Sunday, July 24, 2016

Halloween in July Scary Book Read-a-Thon and Giveaway

I realized that I had a bunch of scary books I got last year after Halloween, probably from winning Halloween giveaways, or because they came out around that time and I never got them read. So I decided at the beginning of the summer I was going to do a little personal read-a-thon at the end of July to rectify that situation.  I'm planning to read three books, although I'm not sure one of them really counts as a scary book, but the cover looks scary.  So I have a back up for it in case I decide it isn't scary, although the one I plan to replace it with also may not be a scary book.  Here are my 3 planned books:

1.  The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
2.  Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto
3.  The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
OR
4.  These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

I'm actually leaning more towards #4 than #3, but we'll see.

If you want to join in this week, leave me a comment below.  Even if you just want to join in with one book, that is cool.  In fact, one you're following me, you can use your comment below as one of the entries on the Rafflecopter giveaway.  If you decide to join in, I'd love it if you'd do a post on your own blog, and feel free to use the button I made above featuring my sweet dog named Dora, hiding her face from the scary stuff!

And because it is putting me in a fun mood to try this, I'm going to host a giveaway! I feel like I haven't had one in a while, so it should be good to have one.  I'm going to give away any scary book of your choice up to $15 as long as The Book Depository will deliver to you.  Just enter in the Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Post #65 and Stacking the Shelves July 24th, 2016

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  Not sure when the being busy is going to end, but it's still there!  And I didn't get one review a day written, so I'm still behind.  :-(

Last week on the blog:
I got my two reviews for the week in.  I had planned to do my discussion post this week, but didn't get to it, so I'm planning it for this Thursday.  I did my exercising like I should, so yay!  I also got to the movies this week, finally saw The Secret Life of Pets, and also went to see the new Star Trek movie.  I went in and worked with my new co-librarian on Monday.  It sounds like we have a lot of the same ideas, so I'm getting very excited for next year.  I got to go to the Royals baseball game on Monday night and it was a blast!  They were losing, and then, come the 8th inning, they brought it back!  It was so exciting.  I still insist that I probably need to be at the home games as a good luck charm to help them win.  They didn't win Saturday  night.  They did win Friday night, and while I wasn't at the game, I was visiting my grandpuppies over near the baseball stadium.  I've told you about my grandpuppies, right?  My male dachshund, Argyle, is still used by his breeder once in awhile.  Well, this is his second litter, and they were actually born on the same day as his first litter last year.  Here's a picture of me with one of the puppies.




Isn't he adorable!  :-)  Of course it is still pretty hot outside, so I'm ready for hopefully some cooler weather and getting to see him and his three siblings play outside.

Coming up this week on the blog:

  • Promo Posts:  We Awaken by Calista Lynne, The Architect of Song by AG Howard (Review and Giveaway), Wax by Gina Damico (Review and Giveaway)
  • Reviews:  The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Cover Characteristic:  Schools
  • Discussion Post:  DNFing books
  • Maybe Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop
I've put my 3 days of walking on the calendar to make sure that I get them all in.  I also need to do some writing, but I know that this week I need to get into my library and get some stuff done!  


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  I did okay with physical books.  I only bought one, but got three others.  Ebooks, well, you'll see.

Physical books:




I won both of these from Jennifer L. Armentrout in a giveaway on her Facebook page.  I have to finish reading the Covenant series first.  I've got books 3 and 4 on their way from The Book Depository.  I decided I wanted the white covers.  :-)
I got this as part of the books for trade on Twitter.  I haven't read this author yet, but she is going to be at NOLA Story Con when I go in September, so I should give her a try before, right?  And then have this to get autographed?
I found this at Half Price Bookstore this weekend.  It's the next book in this series that I need, although I will probably listen to it as an audiobook.  I will eventually want to own all of them I think!  Just in case I ever get the chance to meet the author.  :-)

E-galleys:




Both of these are from Edelweiss. 





Free or Cheap Ebooks:

























 All of these I got from Amazon for the Kindle app, except the last one is for my Nook.  But I didn't realize that Masque is the second book in a series.  Grrr.

Free e-books/galleys:





All of these were given to me by the authors, either for review, or for signing up for their newsletter.

So, those are the books I got this past week.  What did you add to your shelves? Virtual or physical?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Carver by Jacob Devlin


The Carver
Author:  Jacob Devlin
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: July 19th, 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .
THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .
THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .
Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.
With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.

The #roadtripwithpeterpan has begun! THE CARVER is a young adult fairy tale retelling that takes you on a road trip with an adult Peter Pan as he and the children of some of your favorite characters. Together, they must find out what happened to their missing family members as secrets of the old world and new are revealed, with only Pinocchio’s carvings to guide the way. You can get your copy of THE CARVER by Jacob Devlin on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

carver3(new date)

EXCERPT:
“Welcome to Sirenetta’s Diner, gentlemen. You boys ever dined here before?”

Liam cut right to the chase. “Are you Mr. Bellamy?”

The man’s face fell into a tight frown, but Crescenzo assumed by the figurine that the frown was just his natural expression. “I am he. The Lord of the Diner.”

“Violet sent us,” Crescenzo said.

“Mm. You mean Heather, yes?”

“Sure?” Crescenzo was still trying to figure out the rule on what he should be calling the Old World people. He supposed Pietro would forever be Pietro to him and he understood why he needed the new name, but he didn’t feel that somebody like Violet, who wasn’t a part of any story Crescenzo had heard before, needed an alias.

Mr. Bellamy plopped two brunch menus in front of Liam and Crescenzo and poured them each a cup of coffee, to Crescenzo’s dismay. Then the old man leaned over the counter and furrowed his eyebrows. In a tense whisper, he said, “Your presence brings ruin to my happy New World life! Where you go, trouble will surely follow. Now, what can I serve you this morning?”



Author Bio:
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

About the Publisher:
BLAZERUN1500Want to stay up to date on everything from Blaze Publishing? Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing! The first 100 subscribers get free Blaze bookmarks (UK, US, and Canada only) AND get added to our Loyal 100 group, which gives you access to exclusive news, teasers, prizes, and ARCs!
WebsiteInstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookTumblrGoogle+
Get ready to give up your time to THE SURRENDERED by Case Maynard–a young adult dystopian sure to suck you in further to with every page! Want to be a part of this new release? You can sign up for the Facebook parties, blog tours, or to review. The #taxonkids is coming!


GIVEAWAY!

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott

If you've been a follower of mine for awhile, then you know that I'm a huge fan of Victoria Scott, and also a part of her V Mafia.  So when I got an email on Thursday about a new book from her, I was excited to get to be a part of the cover reveal!  And if you're interested, there's a giveaway below for 10 ARCs. 

Book info:
TitleHear the Wolves  
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher:  Scholastic
Publication Date:  March 28, 2017
Genre:  Middle Grade Contemporary

Blurb:
It's survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire and Flood author Victoria Scott!

Sloan is a hunter.

So she shouldn't be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it's been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight -- it makes her too scared to be on her own.

When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she's already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn't stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that's tied there -- their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.

But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That's when the wolves start hunting them . . .


Victoria Scott
www.VictoriaScott.com
____________________________

TITANS (Scholastic)
FIRE AND FLOOD Series (Scholastic)
VIOLET GRENADE (Entangled Teen)

Giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour and Giveaway: invisible-i-am by Gregg Davis


invisible-i-am by Gregg Davis
Harriet Showman
Publication date: August 18th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
An experimental, literary YA multimedia narrative centered on the experiences of 16-year-old Gregg Davis, who undergoes brutal bullying and sexual violence by her peers. Spanning the mediums of the printed page, online social media and the screen, this story offers a wrenching, empathetic look at the experience of bullying through a victim’s eyes, and then extends this theme of oppression, humiliation and violence to address issues of historical and systemic racism in the U.S. today. A picture book.
Read Chapter One for free at invisible-i-am.com.


For updates on Gregg and the invisible-i-am story, follow her on
Twitter @iaminvisibleiam,
Tumblr via http://iaminvisibleiam.tumblr.com,
YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ3_7rR2myNZl0rX2mWsy1g,
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/invisibleiambook.


 Excerpt:
“Caroline Lee Davis.” my mother’s second command penetrated my sister’s brain and she left me to the inevitable interrogation. Her thoughtful eyes met mine as she passed. Good. my sister and i understood each other.

(at least this time)

As she went upstairs, i turned to face my parents.

Mom still wore her yoga clothes from teaching classes earlier in the day. The thigh-length, mossy green, cashmere sweater and dark teal leggings complemented her brown hair and hazel eyes. She was barefoot yet she had draped a silk paisley shawl across her shoulders. Typical.

my father was fashion hopeless. Think tan khakis, a button down, light blue. Yet i never doubted their absolute love.

As if reading my thoughts, Dad put his arm around me and pulled me closer to him in support. His touch made me stiffen at fi rst but i reminded myself to breathe. my father was not going to abuse me and if i was going to pull off this charade, i needed to act like nothing was wrong.

“Spill,” Mom ordered, stepping into her role as disciplinarian. To her, living a well-regulated life was an act of self-friendship. She believed consistency provided a foundation for creativity. Dad was more into chaos, despite the fact that he viewed the scientific method as his religion. Both believed in balance. Or, as Mom taught, “hugging-the-midline of life.” Dad used English and called it moderation in all things.

(my hair-cutting exercise hardly fell within their parameters)

“Well,” my mind sifted through strategies and chose the first line of defense. “You know how Jack and i broke up a couple of weeks ago?” How could they forget? i used every invective i could access in my vocabulary and invented new ones. It took them days to calm down my rage.

“Yes,” Mom answered. Succinct, as ever, my mother. She poured me a cup of Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Tea from Zhejiang Province, China, out of a delicate Qing Dynasty china pot.

Silence.

Mom knew the best way to break me.

(hated when she did it)

“i wanted to make a statement?” i offered, hoping this would be enough. The skeptical looks on their faces said maybe not.

Dad changed his usual approach and challenged me, “Kind of extreme, don’t you think? What are you not saying?”

His eyes sought the truth i would never give him.

Fate intervened when a convoy of guys in pick-up trucks roared by our house. They blasted their horns and shouted obscenities about me. Their noise intruded into our sanctuary.

Shit.

Mom and Dad raced over to the window, pulled back the heavy, indigo velvet drapery and stared as the thugs made another pass. The full moon rising added drama to the scene.

(lovely)

(quintessential loveliness)

my parents turned and looked at me. And then they did something so them. They drew me off the sofa and placed me in the middle of their gentle hug. My father whispered, “Gregg sandwich.” A’ja rubbed against our legs, purring.

The sweetness of their gesture contrasted with the horribleness of the day and overwhelmed me. i began to cry heart-wrenching, broken-animal sort of sobs. Mom stroked my hair. Dad sang the lullaby, “Hush, little baby, don’t you cry.” Their tenderness made me blubber even more. i don’t know how long we stood there.
 

Author Bio:
Harriet Showman (born 9 May 1954) is an author and multimedia artist born in South Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania. She returned to South Carolina for university and lives there today. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in colonial South Carolina history and has spent much of her life helping children and young adults succeed amidst challenging circumstances, including poverty and abuse. With a strong core of allies, Showman helped to establish a statewide Guardian ad Litem program to provide legal support for abused children; a Cities in Schools organization to serve underprivileged students; and a vehicle for the accumulation of monies to be distributed in grants through the Children’s Trust Fund. As a development officer for South Carolina’s flagship university, Showman attracted resources from major, national foundations to target South Carolina’s most urgent needs. She remains interested in the plight of children, teens and adults who suffer abuse, oppression and the paralyzing pain of invisibility.

GIVEAWAY!

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Book info:
TitleAnd I Darken  
Author:  Kiersten White
SeriesThe Conqueror's Saga #1  
Genre:  YA alternate historical fiction/fantasy
Published:  June 28th, 2016
Source:  ARC received at bookstore where I work from publisher

Synopsis:
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.


Review:
I really enjoyed this story!  While it was a change in the actual history, the bits of real history that were woven in were enough that I really became very intrigued about the time period.  I guess I hadn't realized quite how far back in the history of Vlad that the author was going to go.  And I was really thrilled to learn it all. 

I loved the characters. While at first Lada was kind of rude and you could definitely say unlikable, I really understood her irritation and reasons for behaving the way she did. And, I really liked her by the end.  The love story for her was so good, heartbreaking, but good.  And then to learn about what her brother really wanted in life, and how he grew up and began to see the way she had treated him.  All the love and family and friendship in this book made for emotions and tension, and a great story.  I loved the battles, and learning about the women's lives in the harems.  The religion itself was also a big part of the story that I hadn't actually ever thought about with what I knew about the true history of Vlad the Impaler.  But I also loved Mehmed, and while I understood Lada's reasons for keeping herself separate as much as possible, I wanted them to be together more than anything. 

When I went online to update my progress as I read on Goodreads, I realized it was a series, and the way this ended, and how it didn't get to the part of Vlad's life that I really knew about, I am so glad to know that.  A great read, and two more on the way to finish up the story.  The author was so detailed with both the history and the life and characters, that I am sure to be more involved after each new book.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Love Between the Lines Coloring Book by Christina Collie

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  My pick this week is a little unusual, it isn't a book to read, it is a book to color!  I actually discovered this first from a cover reveal post on Bookhounds.  Now, I do actually participate and enjoy the new coloring craze.  But when I saw that this book would have drawings inspired by one of my favorite authors, Anna Todd, as well as some other awesome authors, I was sold.  I MUST have this!  Only problem?  It's not out till November!!!  I really need it now.  Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

Fall in love all over again with this adult coloring book featuring 45 hand-drawn illustrations inspired by romance novels from bestselling writers Colleen Hoover, Anna Todd, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Jodi Ellen Malpas and more. Sit back, grab your pens and markers, and get ready to explore LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES.

 

In the pages of this book you will find:
· Designs to help you relax and reduce stress
· Hidden images and book quotes
· Each design printed on a separate page
· Elaborate drawings s as well as quickie pages for when you just have a few minutes to color


Illustrations inspired by the works of:

Anna Todd, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Colleen Hoover, S.C. Stephens, Abbi Glines, K. Bromberg, Claire Contreras, Jillian Dodd, Amy Harmon, Tiffany King, R.K. Lilley, Molly McAdams, Tara Sivec, Alessandra Torre, Mia Sheridan, J. Sterling, Katy Evans, Emma Chase, S.L. Jennings, K.A. Linde, Beth Ehemann, Tarryn Fisher, Karina Halle, Helena Hunting, Leisa Rayven, Madeline Sheehan, and K. A. Tucker


I can't even express just how excited I am by this!  I mean look at that list of authors!  Have you joined into the new coloring craze yourself?  Are you a fan of any of the authors this book features work inspired by?  What book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street #4) by Samantha Young

Book info:
TitleFall From India Place  
Author:  Samantha Young
SeriesOn Dublin Street #4  
Genre:  NA Romance
Published:  June 3rd, 2014
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from public library

I listened to this audiobook on my drive home from Colorado back at the end of June.  It made me cry, it had sexy moments, it was all just so good!  This book has the main character of Hannah Nichols, who is sort of a little sister to Braden from On Dublin Street.  In this book we've gone forward a few years from where the last book, with my favorite book boyfriend, Nate, ended.  All the other couples are pretty much married and having kids, or already have kids.  Hannah was in high school in those books, and now she has graduated from college and is beginning her career as a teacher.  

In the other books we got to see a glimpse into the beginning of the relationship of Hannah and Marco.  We get a flashback of the night that what chance they had all kind of went to pot.  Hannah lost her virginity to him, and right after they'd finished, he'd gotten a text, and jumped up, gotten dressed and left.  She never saw or heard from him again.  Until now, 5 years later.  Hannah has pretty much resigned herself to just being happy as an aunt, not ever really planning on having a relationship or having kids.  And that last part has to do with that fateful night with Marco five years ago.  

Marco shows up, and knows that he made a mistake with Hannah, and does his best to get her back. But she fights it at first.  He hurt her really bad, not that she will tell him why exactly it hurt so bad.  But there is still something he keeps from her.  Every other weekend he has a family obligation that he doesn't really tell her much about.  Finally, she starts to feel like maybe they can move on, and then the worst happens.  A friend texts her a picture of Marco on one of these weekends.  Only he's not alone.  This brings back all the bad memories, and reminds her that he wasn't there when she needed him, and so she pushes him away.  Her family all knew about what had happened, but only Hannah's father knows it was Marco, she wouldn't throw him under the bus to anyone else. 

I'm sure you can probably guess what an every other weekend family obligation is, or maybe it's just that I had that at one point in my life, so it is familiar to me.  I won't spell it out though.  But once I kind of figured out that was the obligation, I also kind of got an idea about what had happened to Hannah besides just being deserted after her first time.  And that hit me hard.  It tied in to personal events in my own life, not quite the same, but with the similar thought for her as I had, that I will just be happy being an aunt.  

At first the excuse and way that Hannah pushes Marco away works.  But then he doesn't know the real secret from the past, and so he comes back and keeps trying.  She tells him it is only physical, and for awhile he's okay, thinking he can make her fall back in love with him and get over her issues.  But without knowing the actual issue, eventually he gives up.  But then, Hannah's best friend, and Johanna's brother from book 2, Cole Walker, figures out that Marco is the guy from Hannah's past, and he goes to let Marco have it. At that point, all secrets are out on the table, and everyone has to decide what is worth working on, and if there really is a strong enough love to overcome all the obstacles.     

Samantha Young knows how to make me cry.  She knows how to write a sex scene, and she knows how to make you fall in love with characters.  I am so in love with this series.  You all know that Nate Walker is now my number one book boyfriend of all time from the 3rd book.  And I can't wait to meet the author at NOLA Story Con in September and gush to her just how much I love her books.  If you want a good romance, with sexy scenes, but not over the top too much sex, these books are the ones to read.  

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cover Characteristic: Eggs

The Cover Characteristic meme is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.   Here are the guidelines:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!    


This week was a little easier than last week, although I did end up having to go to my TBR list for one of them.  So here are the top 5 covers with eggs on them that I found.

5.  From my TBR list:




4.  



3.



2.  The first one that came to  my head for this topic:



1.  And my favorite!



So, can you think of any other covers with eggs on them?  Which of my picks do you like best?