Decatur Book Festival: Day 2

Out final day at DBF was quite busy, but we made it to all the authors on our list. We had a good bit of morning to fill before the festival began, so we stopped by our cousin’s restaurant, Highland Bakery, for a fantastic breakfast. If you’ve never been to HB, definitely try it out. I highly suggest the Fried Chicken Benedict. You won’t regret it!

After breakfast, we headed up to Decatur and got a great parking spot (which we later forgot and walked an extra four miles at the end of the day to find…) near the Children’s Stage. W wanted her face painted yesterday, so we went there first (still had to wait for-freakin’-ever) so she could fulfill this dream. She got an arm tatt like her Uncle Hal. He’s such a great influence…

Unicorn Rainbow Tattoo for W

After the tattoo experience, we waited at the Children’s Stage for the anti-climatic Wizard of Oz parade and then tried our best to sit through the Wizard of Oz performance. We didn’t make it. We couldn’t hear it at all and there were five point two million small children there also trying to watch. We left to walk around for a bit and explore the tents. Here’s what we found:

1) A giant sock puppet

2) A marionette that we weren’t sure was a horse or a camel. We were later told it was a horse named Camel.

3) A performance company based in Atlanta solely performing Celtic works (so, naturally, I signed up)

4) The cooking stage, which Mom was excited about, but then bummed because, again, we couldn’t hear anything.

5) The Atlanta Ballet

6) A little W that needed to take a creative break

7) A bunch of very large Waldos. Why aren’t they this big for our local search?!


A few hours later, we were back on schedule. Authors galore! Woo hoo! 

For me: Mary E. Pearson (Kiss of Deception), Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy), Katherine Howe (Conversion), Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 trilogy),and Vicky Alvear Shecter (Curses and Smoke)

For W: her very favorite, Eric Litwin (the first 4 Pete the Cat books and now, The Nut Family: Bedtime at the Nut House) and Tony DiTerlizzi (WondLa series and Kenny and the Dragon)


W loves Eric Litwin! He visited her school last year and absolutely stole her heart. We’ve been singing Four Groovy Buttons forever and ever amen at our house. He lives near my brother’s Glenwood Park coffee shop, Drip, and is a very regular customer. He told W that her Uncle Hal has the best coffee in the world! 

That’s a wrap for the Decatur Book Festival 2014, but tomorrow, that Big Books bag you’ve seen in the photos is going to be given away on Instagram! Be sure to follow ReadingUpWiththeJoneses for your chance to win it! 

W leaving with a bag full of books!

Speaking of the bag, it’s also signed by an emerging author that I met while sitting in line waiting for Leigh Bardugo. She was a new mom with a darling little baby boy. We waited a long time beside each other and, as is custom, struck up a conversation about, what else? Books. She asked if I’d read either of the books that were being signed. I had not. I told her I’d gotten ARC’s of both, though, but since I get so many, I just didn’t have time to read a lot of them. Then she revealed that she, herself, was an author and had a book released earlier this year. How cool, I thought. Naturally, I asked what her book was titled. And, naturally, it was one of the ARC’s I’d received and…not read. So, then I felt like the world’s worst blogger. Ever. But she was really, really nice about it and now, of course, I need to dig up that ARC and read it! Better yet, I should just buy the book so she gets a cut of it ; ) Here’s her book so you can check it out, too. I promised I’d give her a shoutout! Check out 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen.

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

I hope you enjoyed following us around DBF 2014! What was your favorite part? Are you looking forward to winning that Big Books bag? I sure hope so! 

Read Up!

Win this bag! Follow Reading Up with the Joneses on Instagram!

Decatur Book Festival: Day 1

Little W and I have been counting down the days to DBF and it’s finally arrived!

Decatur Book Festival 2014We came up yesterday to see Adi Alsaid and Jennifer E. Smith at a pre-festival book signing, and I’m so glad we did. Their signing line (which also included Stephanie Perkins…so…) was crazy long. I did get to hear them speak though, during their panel discussion, which was right before my main event: Maggie Stiefvater. But I’ll come back to that later.

We started the day at the Audi dealership, much to W’s dismay, to let them finish up a few things with my car and to get an estimate on repairing the damages from the Publix incident. We made it over to Decatur on time, though, to see Amy Krouse Rosenthal, one of W’s favorite authors, speak in her panel. 

If you’re not a mom or a teacher or librarian, you probably aren’t familiar with Rosenthal’s books, but we certainly are. Little Pea has helped us get through some “I’d rather have candy” moments in the Jones home and Little Oink has helped get a few more toys picked up than usual. She has many, many great books available and today we were here for her newest addition, Uni the Unicorn. 

W got to meet her and had her sign the new book for her, as well as another of her books, Exclamation Point, for her class at school. She thought it was pretty cool, even though she didn’t say much besides, “I like Little Pea.” The end. It’s probably best that she didn’t fangirl out on her favorite author…kind of like I did later in the day…but I digress.

After waiting in the (very long) line for Amy, we headed over to the vendor tents to find lunch. And find lunch we did. Eight dollar-but-not-worth-four gyros. With no posted prices. Ah, festivals.

My mom went with us (yay!) and I’m so glad she did. She’s always loved the festival atmosphere, so she took W to the children’s area while I went to the Teen Stage. 

I caught the tail end of Stephanie, Adi, Isabelle Gilles, and Stephanie Perkins panel and also Jennifer L. Armentrout’s signing, then waited for the lady of the day. While waiting, the Marching A’s or whatever the band is called (I feel like they have a different name when they’re marching through the Mart) came through to play a little halftime show. I imagine they’d probably just left DragonCon.

Then she arrived; the wonderful author of my favorite series and my favorite standalone. 

Maggie Stiefvater...eeep!!!!

Two things you may not know (or care) about Maggie Stiefvater:

1) She sounds EXACTLY like my friend Heather when she’s speaking. I could’ve closed my mind and I would’ve immediately thought it was Heather on stage. 

2) She’s a comedienne. 

She even made a joke about people mispronouncing her name (It’s Steve-Otter, in case you’re wandering). 

Now, I really, really, really, wanted to sit and hang onto her every word, but I also had a 7-year old who would be hot and ready to go home soon, so I had to do the family thing and scoot out a few minutes after Maggie started fielding questions. I went to hop in line, hoping to be close to the front so I could get the signing done and get W and my mom and go. 

Well…I still ended up waiting for almost and hour and a half. In the sun. Yes, I have burns. But for Maggie, I will scorch. W…not so much. She found a misting fountain to sit atop.

The Children's Misting Sculpture (I don't know the actual name, so I made one up)

In the meantime, I got a few more signatures on the Big Books bag for our Labor Day giveaway!

Eventually, I got to Maggie and well, let’s just say, I made a total fool of myself. She signed my copy of Sinner (I’m lame and totally left all of my other books at home), one of the awesome book wraps that she drew, and I also snagged a pair of Sinner sunglasses. I may or may not have told her that it was a dream come true to meet her. It was like meeting Madonna. Only better. Because Maggie wrote The Scorpio Races.

Check back tomorrow night for a wrap-up of our visit to the Decatur Book Festival and look for the Big Books signed bag giveaway starting on Monday!

Did you go to the Festival today? What was your main event? Let me know!

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Chloe + Isabel Labor Day Sale!

Labor Day Sale at C+I!

Head on over to my C+I Boutique for a great sale on summer pieces! Also, the new Fall collections have launched and they are quite fab, if I may say so myself ; )

(Insider Hint: click over to the C+I Shop page here on the blog and RSVP to get $25 off $75!)

The Labor Day Sale ends when Labor Day ends, but my c+i boutique is always open.

I’m booking online pop-up shops and in-home pop-ups as well, so if you’re interested in free jewelry (because really, who isn’t?), let me know!

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Book Swag, DBF Schedule plus One Very Sad Audi.

DBF is so close!

Little Jones W is so excited about going to meet authors, which in turn, of course, makes me even more excited!

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to hang around the Teen Stage all day Saturday and Sunday. This means I’ll be missing quite a few fantastic authors who are going to be speaking. On the bright side, my budding author of a daughter is going to meet some “real-life” writers and perhaps gain a little perspective on what it’s like in the profession. She’s the kid that, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up, quickly answers, “author.” 

Before we hit the Decatur Book Festival, though, we’ve been invited by Harlequin Teen to a book signing at The Book Worm in Powder Springs (basically Atlanta…just like Decatur is also basically Atlanta) for Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Geography of You and Me, and a new author, Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost.



Harlequin sent over a pack of swag pre-event, so I’m hoping to get a few things (like the awesome tote bag) to give away here after the Festival! Thanks Harlequin Teen!

Let's Get Lost Book Swag courtesy of Harlequin Teen

Both authors will be at DBF, but by going to the signing the night before, I’ll be free to visit a few other authors.

I’ve been working diligently on my schedule. It may be my first time at DBF, but it’s not my first time at an action packed convention. Try scheduling a cake show! That bad boy takes weeks to iron out…but I digress.

Here is my current list of the authors I plan to see, and hopefully get a signed copy from:

Children’s Authors: Mac Barnett (Telephone), Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Uni the Unicorn), Molly Idle (Flora and the Penguin), Eric Litwin (Bedtime at the Nut House)

Teen/YA Authors: Maggie Stiefvater (Sinner), Maya Van Wegnan (Popular), Jennifer Armentrout (Don’t Look Back), Katherine Howe (Conversion), Mary E. Pearson (Kiss of Deception)

We’re also hoping to have some fun in the Maker’s Tent and catch a few performing arts exhibitions on the Bandstand (namely Atlanta Ballet).

Not only is W going with me to DBF, but my mom, an avid reader of anything I download onto her Nook, will be attending, too. It’s going to be a fun road trip! We’ll be staying with my older brother, Hal, who has a coffee shop, Drip, not all too far from the Festival! Check it out here.

I’m also making the drive to ATL for another reason. Cue sad face.

My wonderful, beautiful, new (to me) Audi Q7, which I haven’t even gotten around to posting for you to see…was backed into in the Publix parking lot last week. I’m so sad. It’s the curse of the new car. I can’t go three weeks without having an accident in a new car. At least this one wasn’t my fault.

audi dent


We’re going to visit the Audi deanship for a nice detail to make her feel better and to see if they can get an estimate for me to repair the big ‘ole dent over the wheel well. It sure isn’t pretty!

Are you heading to DBF this weekend or any other bookish event? Which authors are you going to see or wish you could meet? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget…

Read Up!

Book Review: Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

It’s The Fault in our Stars for those of us who don’t want to read (right now) The Fault in our Stars.

It’s Eleanor and Park for those of you who haven’t been introduced to the fabness (I totally made that word up) that is Rainbow Rowell.

It’s cancer, teenage angst, and a friendship that would’ve never happened otherwise and it’s pretty great.

Set in Australia (bonus points for letting me read with an accent!) and flitting between the cancer ward, where Zac and Mia meet with a very unwelcome 18 repeats of Lady Gaga, to the family olive farm and petting zoo (think Sweet Grass Dairy or anywhere else on the Farm Tour for New Leaf Market), this novel is one of friendship and caring under terrible circumstances. It isn’t romantic, in the common sense of the word, but rather a deep, caring relationship between characters who have an understanding of what each other is going through.

I really enjoyed the book. I’ve also already cast the movie:


Dena Kaplan (played Abigail on Dance Academy) for Mia and

Tom Green (played Sammy Lieberman on Dance Academy) for Zac

Obviously, Dance Academy is the only Australian show I’ve ever watched, but I think they’d be perfect for the roles.

So, there it is! Go out and pre-order today (comes out September 2nd) and grab this book from The Bookshelf  downtown Tville or pre-order online, preferably through our Amazon Book Store (link on the right) so I get a little kickback : )

Do you like reading books with themes of terminal illness or terrible circumstances? It’s kind of new to me…what are your favorites?

Read Up!


‘The Giver’ or Why We Should Give B2F Adaptations a Chance

The Giver

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that there were some MAJOR differences between The Giver book and film.

Let’s accept, just for the moment, that every single book-to-film adaptation is going to have some discrepancies for the sake of condensing the storyline, plot, etc. to fit into 190 minutes.

Now, let’s consider this weekend’s release of the b2f adaptation of The Giver. And the feels. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing. And…Gabe, I love you.

That is all. Read up.