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!

Read Up!

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!

Bookish Fashion: Summer Reading TFIOS

Bookish Fashion: Summer Reading TFIOS
For this installment of Summer Reading inspired fashion, we’ll look at an outfit just right for trying to lighten your mood after reading the world’s most depressing book to date, The Fault in our Stars. No, you’ll never know happiness again once you put this book down, but these super cute chambray Chucks with white skinny jeans will make it somewhat better.  A cute bracelet combo with a quote from the book plus one to match the cover, and a TFIOS tank, a la easy, really rock out your Bookish Nerd side and a simple feather necklace (let’s skip the infinity necklaces, shall we? A little much…) with a tan moto jacket make it great for the transition from summer to fall…or when the tears just start falling when thoughts of Augustus Waters come to mind. Okay? Okay.

Star tank top

Chloé blue bracelet

Pop of Floral feat. Chloe + Isabel

Pop of Floral feat. Chloe + Isabel

Book Anticipation: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner Hardcover Edition

Let me begin by saying that Maggie Stiefvater (pronounced Steve-Otter) is pretty much responsible for my being here. Well, my blog being here. It was her Shiver series, aka The Wolves of Mercy Falls, that really got me hooked on YA lit.

Sure, I read Twilight…many times. I liked the story (until the end, but that’s another post for another day). I liked the movies. The writing was questionable. Maggie’s is not, so please don’t think it’s another Twilight.

It was really and truly though, the blue toned lettering in the beautiful blue-jacketed hardcover edition that I picked up in Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport that really sold me on contemporary YA. From page one, I was hooked. Her writing is fluid, like a liquid that could be bottled up, shaken, then sprayed into a fountain to open a portal to another dimension.

Since then, I’ve adored everything she’s written and in my opinion, she gets better and better with every new release. Also, she’s just a really cool author. With goats. Super cute goats.

Maggie's Goats (via her Facebook page)

Told you so.

AND she’s a pretty amazing artist. Check out this book jacket she drew!  It’s available if you pre-order from her favorite local bookstore, Fountain Bookstore. I’d really, really love to have one, but I’ve pre-ordered my copy from The Bookshelf (which just happens to be my favorite bookstore…so…you know…I have to support them). She also Sharpie’s the guitars in the background (which she plays…).

Sinner Book Jacket

Maggie has two new novels coming out this year.

Sinner, a much-anticipated spin-off of the Shiver series will be released July 1st. Because her books are really well-known, I was unable to get an ARC of this. That’s okay though, because it just means that I get to fangirl out with everyone else when it does come in! It’s going to feature former rock-star/drug addict, Cole, and the bitchiest sister ever written, Isabelle. Who is actually quite similar to our beloved Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments…minus snake whip. Just because you’re awesome and have read this far, here’s a link to the Jones Book Shop in Amazon where you can pick up a FREE preview (the first three chapters) of Sinner for Kindle devices and apps.

The covers of the first three are my favorites, but what makes the hardbound copies really stand apart is that the text is the same color as the book. Shiver‘s text is blue (previously mentioned), Linger’s is green, Forever’s is red. Really nice, readable tones.

The second book coming out this year is the third installment to her really amazing Raven Boys series called Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue. If you like paranormal, you MUST read this series. And don’t skip a word. It’s beautiful, captivating and above all, magical. Maggie writes the characters in this book so well that I swear I am part of the story, exploring the woods with them, sitting in the backseat of Gansey’s car….oh…Gansey. If Blue doesn’t figure out how to kiss Gansey without killing him in this next book, I’m going to have heart palpitations. I NEED them to be together.

So there it is: my next book crush! I’ll be picking it up the day it is released and letting you know what goes down with Cole and Isabelle. If you’d like to check out more of the fabulous Maggie’s work (of which there is a great collection), check out her Goodreads Author page here or her Amazon author page here.

As always, the books mentioned in this post are available over in the Jones’ Book Shop on Amazon or head over to The Bookshelf here in Tville to order your editions.

If you haven’t seen, there’s a pop-up shop going on in the Chloe & Isabel boutique! In honor of the namesake of Cole’s complicated love life, I think you should pop over there and grab a little something-something. Now through the 27th, you’ll get $25 off an order of $125 or more, plus, I’ll send a little Tresors charm as a thank-you gift for celebrating with me!

Summer Solstice Sale! Tresors Charm GiftWhich Tresors charm is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! If you place an order by tomorrow, you just might have it show up in your mailbox : )

Read Up!


The Summer Solstice needs more gold.

Which is where you come in. Head on over to the new pop-up shop this week starting today and ending Saturday night. There are some pretty sweet prizes for those RSVPing! If you received a Paperless Post invite, you can RSVP there or with the contact form here. Click on the invite to join the fun!

Summer Solstice Invite

I was inspired by Home Depot. An earring display was born.

c+i gold paillette chandelier earrings on DIY displayW has been attending orchestra camp this week in Tallahassee (yes, she’s little, but the teachers take this very seriously…plus, she’s been having a ball). Upside: music education. Downside: it starts at 8 freakin’ am. For those of you not familiar with our geography, TVegas is an hour away (okay, really it’s only 45 minutes, but you never know about traffic…or how long the line at the Flash Foods will be when I run in to get my morning SF Red Bull… so I like to have that 15 minute buffer). I’d like to brag for a moment and say that we have been ten minutes EARLY every day this week (which means we’ll probably be late tomorrow, but whatever).

On day one, S and I dropped W and her cello at camp and then headed to shop. There was nothing opened. Or at least the stores I tried weren’t open. Day two, we drove just around the corner to check out Home Depot. Surely contractors start shopping before 8 am. BAM! I was right! Home Depot, my savior. The indoor lawn mower display was the perfect playground for S. I was inspired during the hour and half we shopped. I came out with three things: a hedge trimmer, a blower and a section of Moroccan tile-inspired stamped gold sheeting.

Do not laugh about the first two items. As a former cake decorator, I am phenomenal at hedge trimming. It’s like a big ‘ole spatula. Don’t hate. My hedges look good. As for the clippings all over the yard…I’m not really sure what to do about those.

Anyway, the gold sheeting was my best buy. I saw it on an end cap and grabbed it. No plans. It was just a gorgeous piece of material that had lots of potential.

On the way home, I figured out what to use it for: earring displays! Yay, me! So, here’s what happened when I got home so that you can recreate it (there were lots of other pretty designs in the sheeting:


  • out-of-use picture frame, any size
  • metal shears/clippers
  • Sharpie marker
  • metal sheeting

Materials for DIY display


I moved it over about a 1/2″ to the side and bottom to allow for cutting room.



I wanted it to fit just right, so I went back around the side and bottom and clipped off any little pieces that were causing it to bulge in the frame.

trimming metal sheeting


You can leave it like this and tape the back with Gaff or Duct tape and use it as it. I wanted a little deeper texture (and less parts and pieces floating around my house), so I put the mat and glass behind the sheeting.

IMG_0589 Fitting pieces into frame


front view of DIY display


I’m using this for hook style earrings, but you could leave the glass off of the back and use it for posts as well. I already have two other earring displays (I have A TON of earrings), so this was a non-issue for me.


Yay! Now, if you love the earrings, most of them are available in my c+i shop and I’d love you and appreciate you forever and ever, amen, if you’d hop over and place an order. Even better, get in touch with me and lets schedule a book-themed pop-up shop and you can get some free jewelry. I really, really, really want to make a few more displays to use in a pop-up shop!

Okay, now that I’ve plugged my one (very small source) of income, I can tell, as always, that it’s time for you to

Read Up!

Do you love gold? Pavè? Paillette? Good. I thought you might.

Because Chloe + Isabel just released a few new pieces in the Moroccan Summer Collection that happen to be all of the above.

There are some fantastic summer reads this year that you should be enjoying on the beach or in your backyard. Either place, I think the chandelier earrings would make you look and feel fantastic while turning those pages. Those characters in your romance novel would totally be wearing these while reading, so why not you too?

As with all of my pop-up shops, there’s a raffle! Comment on this blog post (see raffle for details and to link through) for 5 entries and Like our FB page (through the raffle thingy ma-bobber) if you haven’t already for an extra entry.

Click here for to enter my c+i raffle for $25 off $75+.

Good luck, goldies! Read Up!