Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 2015 Wrap Up

Well, I think it is totally safe to say that this month was quite crazy when it comes to reading.  I read 12 books.  Honestly, I probably read a couple more picture books than I listed on here...and it is very likely that I read those picture books more than once!

Speaking of picture books, this year is my little girls first Halloween!!!!!  You may have noticed that I tend to refer to her as my bug, so naturally I am dressing her up as a Lady Bug.  I have actually been dressing her up in Halloween themed clothes all month though.  I was super excited when it finally hit October 1st so that she could wear them!  I have to be careful though, the weather here is still pretty warm (dang SoCal weather) and Halloween themed clothes like to be long sleeved and/or have pants.  I keep my house super cold though, so it works out I guess.

As far as the land of the blog goes, I have some things in the works.  I am signing up to participate in more blog tours and I am trying to read at least one self/indy published author a month.  Oh! And I am also going to try to fit in more backlist titles!  Also, I am going to try to do more book related conversational posts and not just have a bunch of reviews.  Don't worry though, I will most definitely be posting a lot of reviews.  So you can expect some new "features" to pop up.

All in all, October was a crazy month for books.  November will be bringing a lot of blog tour stops and some really fun giveaways.  

Psst - one of the ones I am most excited about is going live on November 3rd!

Title: Users
Author: Andrea M. Alexander
Series: Users #1
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Source: Author

Find my review HERE

Title: Super Freak
Author: Vanessa Barger
Series: Currently Stand Alone (hoping for more!)
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

Find my review  HERE

Title: The Mutts Winter Diaries
Author: Patrick McDonnell
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Netgalley

Title: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: Summer on East End #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Source: Publisher

Title: ABC's of Halloween
Author: Patti Reeder Eubank
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Ideals Publications
Publication Date: May 7, 2003
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars

Find my review HERE

Title: You Look Yummy!
Author: Tatsuya Miyanishi
Series: Tyrannosaurus Series
Publisher: Museyon
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Source: Publisher

Find my review HERE

Title: The Inventor's Secret
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: The Inventor's Secret #1
Publisher: Speak; Reprint Edition
Publication Date: July 14, 20151
Source: Purchased

Find my review HERE

Title: A Halloween Scare at My House
Author: Eric James
Illustrator: Marina La Ray
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: August 1, 2014
Source: Publisher

Find my review HERE

Title: Frankenpooh
Author: Bruce Talkington
Illustrator: John Kurtz
Publication Date:
Source: Purchased

Title: The Conjurer's Riddle
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: The Inventor's Secret #2
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Source: Publisher

Title: Nightfall
Author: Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
Series: None
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Source: Publisher

Find my review HERE

Title: What We Left Behind
Author: Robin Talley
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

It Was a Book First! (#1) - An Introduction

Hi everyone!  I bet you are wondering what "It Was a Book First!" is all about.  Well let me tell you!

Have you ever realized how many books have been turned into movies?  There are quite a bit, and more are released and/or announced every day it seems.  It is ridiculous.  I wish the movie industry could come up with their own ideas.

Now, don't get me wrong.  There are books out there that have/should be turned into movies.  Sometimes you just need your favorite book to hit the big screen.  You have reread that book a bunch of times already and you are ready to experience it in a whole new way.  Also, it may be the only way you can get someone you know to experience the story (even us readers have non-readers in our lives).

All of that being said, lovers of any given book want the movie to do the book justice.  It isn't much to ask for really.  Stick to the story line and don't change it.  It was good the way it was written, don't mess with it.  But we all know that this doesn't happen very often.  The story in the movie is usually changed at least a little from how it was written in the book (but sometimes the changes are very drastic).

So here in "It Was a Book First" you will find me ranting or raving (usually ranting) about how a movie adaptation was done.  These are not meant to be reviews, they are meant to be ways for me to vent my anger (or love?) about the movie.  I am not a huge movie fan in the first place, so be warned!  Also, I will just say it now, if any spoilers slip out for either the book or the movie I am sorry!  I will try hard not to let any slip!

You may be wondering where the title of this movie ranting feature came from, and I will tell you.  As you are hopefully already aware, I spent a good 6 years or so of my life being a bookseller.  When you are a bookseller you hear a lot of things get said.  Some of which aren't very smart.  A very common one around the release of a "popular" movie is something along the lines of "Oh they wrote a book based off of the movie!"  Well, when you are working you can't really go up to the customer and tell them that they are wrong all you can do is scream in your head at them that "IT WAS A BOOK FIRST!!!" and then mentally face palm yourself and roll your eyes.

I don't know how non-book people make it into a bookstore in the first place, but they do.  Then they sadly make it quite obvious that they are not book people while they are there...

Any ways, I hope you enjoy.  And I will welcome any and all comments about any of the movies I end up posting about.  Feel free to make the comments section a place you feel you can rant or rave along with me (or even against!).

I already have a few movies in my head that I plan to rant about.  Can you guess which ones they are?  Here is a hint - one is based off of an extremely popular Middle Grade novel?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Explore Your Creative Side (#3)

Hi everyone!  I hope you have been having fun exploring your creative side in various ways since last month.  I know that I have.  I keep acquiring beautiful adult coloring books - I have a serious addiction now, I can't help it.

In this months feature of Explore Your Creative Side, you will find an adult coloring book, a book of recipes that you use that ever popular, never going out of style Jell-O in, and a fancy cookbook for braising, roasting, and grilling.

I hope you find something that peaks your interest and will help you explore your creative side further.  I really enjoy reviewing creative/crafty/artsy/cooking/hobby filled books for you guys.

Title: Fantastic Cities - A Colorful Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
Author: Steve McDonald
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Source: Friends Copy
Rating: 4 stars

You will get a lot of hours of calming, relaxing coloring from this coloring book.  The pages are filled with very finely detailed drawings, all relating in some way to cities.  All most all of them cover the entire page.

The paper is of a thicker quality.  It should allow for marker use.  However, the pages are double sided, so I would still use markers with care.

There is also A LOT of very fine detail.  And I mean very very fine.  This is not a book for those who do not like to have a lot of very small spaces in the things that they color.

The biggest downside to this book, in my opinion, is that the pictures are kind of dull.  I guess there is only so much you can do with with drawings of cities, but I would have liked a little more variety.  Everything is very repetitive, especially in a given picture.  It does let you create the variety yourself with your coloring though, which is a great way to work your creative side.

In the end, I was pretty impressed.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Magic of Jell-O
Author: Jell-O
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Imagine
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5 stars

The cover of this book really does not do it justice, so do not let the cover deter you from picking this one up!

This book has 100 different Jell-O based recipes for you to try.  All of the look really tasty, and some of them look really cool (like the one where you make an igloo!).

The majority of the recipes look really easy and there are quite a few that don't require much effort to make.  And when I say easy, I mean easy.  I am the most impatient person in the kitchen.  If I glance at a recipe that has what I deem too many steps (like more than 5) I won't even think about trying it and looking into trying it at all.

I think I am going to have to get myself some boxes of Jell-O and make some of these tasty treats!

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: Slow Fires - Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill
Author: Justin Smillie with Kitty Greenwald
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Source: Blogging for Books
Rating: 5 stars

This cookbook is HUGE.  I was blown away by the size of it.  I know cookbooks aren't typically small, but I still wasn't prepared for the size of this guy.  I received my copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review, so I had no idea what to expect of it.  It is too new for me to have seen in stores.  I was quite honestly blown away.

Aside from the introduction, there are 4 sections to this cookbook: braising, roasting, grilling, and foundations and finishes.  There is just so much to this book!  It is perfect for anyone who loves to do any of the above and to explore the wide world of cooking.

That being said, I would say that a lot of the recipes aren't necessarily what you would think of making on a normal day.  I think of them as being a little bit more fancy.  This book isn't filled with hamburgers and hot dogs.  Instead it has recipes for things such as: Grilled Duck Breast with Charred Greens, Grapes, and Celery (pg. 236), Farro Porridge with Sweet and Savory Winter Antipasto (pg. 137), and Summer Clams in Corn Milk with Fresh Corn Relish (pg. 72).  Obviously these are just some of the recipes that you can find in this cookbook as there are many many more.  

Unfortunately, not all of the recipes come with pictures.  If they did this already huge book would be ginormous!  Some of the pictures aren't all that appetizing either, but that is because they aren't of the actual food plates you would create.  In stead they are of the food items: fish, pig, octopus/squid.  They all have the same type of photo quality to them that the cover does; a bit of a darker touch.

Slow Fires is not meant for your every day cook.  You won't be finding a meal that you will be wanting to cook after a long week day.  However, if you like adventuring out with your cooking you will be happy to find some dishes that you can make at home that are worthy of high class restaurants.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Read This! Round Up (#56)

20151024_100522_resizedPhoto courtesy of KissinBlueKaren
Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.
Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.





















Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

Title: The Inventor's Secret
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: The Inventor's Secret #1
Publisher: Speak; Reprint Edition
Publication Date: July 14, 20151
Source: Purchased

I love steampunk!  But it has been so long since I last read a steampunk novel that I forgot how much I enjoy them.  Thanks to The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer I was reminded of my love for the genre, and I will be trying my hardest not to let myself forget it again.

The Inventor's Secret is not only steampunk, it is an alternate history as well.  In the world that our characters live in Britain won the Revolutionary War and America lost.  Britain has thus made those who fought against them be little more than slaves.  They have to work hard for little to no money, live in squalor, and hope to survive to the next day.

Of course, there are those that still stand against the British Empire and hope to take back America and win their independence.  While the adults are off fighting, they have their children hidden away in a series of caves, known as the Catacombs.  There the children scavenge for the things they need and try to stay out of sight.

Charlotte is our 16 year old heroine.  She is one of the handful of children that live in the catacombs.  Her brother, Ash, is the leader.  Once he is 18 he is to leave the Catacombs and go fight alongside the rest of the adults.  A few other characters of note are: Jack - the boy who loves to torment Charlotte, Birch - the inventor of the group, Pip - the happy go lucky one, Meg - the oldest female of the group and the one that takes care of all of the rest, and Scoff - the pilot and amateur alchemist.

The story starts out with a bang.  Charlotte is out in the wilderness and comes across a lost boy running for his life.  She assists him and brings him back to the catacombs.  Unfortunately, this boy cannot remember anything at all.  Not who he is, where he came from, or anything about anything at all.

With needing to find out more about this strange boy Charlotte sets off on an adventure with Ash, Jack, and Meg to the Floating City (New York).  Jack and Ash have their own thing to do in regards to the war, and Meg and Charlotte are to work on figuring out the mystery behind the boy.  They meet a few other interesting characters along the way, and many secrets are told.

The Inventor's Secret was an absolutely fantastic read!  I loved the world and the creativeness around it.  Especially in regards to the Catacombs and to the Floating City.  It is just so wonderful to try to picture a city up in the air with multiple levels.  And the ships that take them there!  My imagination was going into overload and I loved it!

I also really enjoyed the characters.  Charlotte is pretty headstrong and stubborn.  I enjoyed that a lot about her.  I do wish she could be sure about somethings (boys) as she is about other things (fighting).  I haven't quite decided how I feel about a few of the other characters.  I guess time will tell as more things about them are found out.

The one thing I could really do without though is the hint of a love triangle.  I am not too big of a fan of them in the first place.  I have only come across one or two that I have actually really enjoyed reading through.  The one that seems to be trying to take place in this one is not one of those.  At points it almost feels forced into the story.  I also have no idea who I am going to root for.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and the world that it contained.  

My Rating
4 stars

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nightfall by Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski and Some Other Wicked Reads

Title: Nightfall
Author: Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
Series: None
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Source: Publisher

If you love yourself a good horror story that will keep you on your toes, you will want to check out Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski.  It will mess with your head and make you wonder if there really IS something else out there.  Something that will only come out when the sky is dark and the moon is out...

The island of Bliss is an almost magical place to live.  The community lives more or less in peace, the landscape is beautiful, and the houses are gorgeous.  However, having all of this comes with a price, and rules.

Where the island of Bliss is on the world, the sun is up for 14 years straight.  While the sun is up, those who reside on the island can stay.  However, once the night come, and it will come for 14 years straight, the people who live there must leave.  They must leave their homes without stain and put them back how they were found only 150 years before.

That is right, the homes on Bliss were found.  No one was living in them.  They were perfect and already there, so the people moved in.  And they always tried to abide by the rules that were left for them...but sometimes things happen.  Sometimes people get left behind.

What I really liked about Nightfall was that is more of a psychological horror story.  You never quite know what is going on.  However, you can feel it lurking over on the next page waiting to get you.  It makes you see the night in a whole new way.

I felt that the whole story was very creatively done.  I enjoyed the characters a lot.  I wanted to yell at them each in turn for the stupid things they did - but that is the joy of being outside of the horror story - you can see the stupid.

What I didn't like is that it ended.  I am pretty sure that this is a stand alone book and is not meant to be a series.  It ends like it is, but I want to know more about these characters.  I have invested time into them.  I want to know more.  I want to see more of this world.  I WANT MORE.

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

My Rating
4 stars!

Other Delightfully Wicked Reads

The good news is that when you have finished reading Nightfall, there are a couple other delightfully wicked reads that you may find yourself interested in.  The first is Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett.  It will change the way you feel about corn.  You can find my full review of it HERE.  And the second is The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle.  And while this one is a wicked read, I found it so beautiful and profound by the end of it that it made me cry.  I loved it that much.  You can find my full review of it HERE.


Also, if you are up for it there is a twitter contest going on.   You can write your own spooky story in 140 characters or less using #TwitterGhostStory to enter for the chance to win a prize pack of the featured Wicked Reads titles from Penguin Teen!  But you have to hurry.  The contest is only running from 10/26/2015 to 10/31/2015!!

Super Middle Grade Mondays Blitz: Author Spotlight – Donna Galanti with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays

Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays Book Blitz presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!
Today, we get up close and personal with
Donna Galanti
author of Joshua and the Lightning Road from Tantrum Books.
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Donna Galanti
Donna Galanti attended an English school housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There she fell in love with the worlds of C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl, and wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse, and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is the author of the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books) and blogs at Project Mayhem. Visit her at
Praise for Joshua and The Lightning Road: "Vividly imagined characters in a gripping action fantasy that never lets you go until the very last page." —Jenny Nimmo, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlie Bone series
“Joshua and the Lightning Road is a heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish.”The Midwest Book Review
Watch the Joshua and The Lightning Road book trailer.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Would You Rather Questions by Donna Galanti
Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind? Never have to speak again! If others knew all my crazy thoughts, I might not have any friends or family left. Ha ha! At least I could still write. J
Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)? Read, absolutely! To read means to explore other worlds, create movies in your mind, find deeper meaning in life, experience self-awareness, and go through transformations. I would be afraid to read minds to see truly what people are thinking. I definitely do not want to know what goes on in many people’s heads (especially my son’s)! Besides, it’s more fun to imagine what is in other people’s heads and create character stories about them to entertain myself.
Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing? Be the best in the world at…playing the violin! I can challenge myself to learn new languages, but I’ve always dreamed of having musical talent – and I adore the violin. Writing and music go hand in hand for me and I want to play and inspire myself, and others.
Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?
What a terrible dilemma! As many as I want. Even if I don’t remember them, at least I can experience new worlds through them in the moment.
Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page? Definitely the last page! I have a habit of flicking to the back and reading the last line of a book I pick up to possibly buy. If that last line pulls me in and connects to the first line then I am good to get it!
Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
5 pages per day. I am a speed reader and if I were to read 5 books a week, I know I would skim them and not get the full experience each one. To read 5 pages a day I could immerse myself in the story, slowly, and reflect on it and its journey.
Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once? I would rather never read the same genre more than once. I lost my love of reading when I became an author and couldn’t figure out why. Then a friend made me aware that as an author I now needed to expand what I read. She was right! I had always read the same one or two genres and had simply gotten bored. Now I like to sink into books that challenge me in new ways, to read things I never would have before: non-fiction, science fiction, historical, horror, etc. In reading across genres it helps me expand my skills as an author and also brings a richness to my own writing.
Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds? Invisible! Then I could sneak around and grab private conversations of people to churn my brain with ideas for stories! (a spy but for educational purposes, of course).
Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again? That’s easy. TV. I am not much of a TV watcher – and could always catch up on my favorite shows on the internet through Netflix.
Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years? Definitely three in ten years. My desires and needs may change across the years. Something I desire today, may not work out for tomorrow!
Would you rather know it all or have it all? Have it all. If you have it all, that’s wonderful to not worry about material things and still explore the world to seek knowledge and meaning – and know it’s a vast, never ending tide of information. But if you know it all, what left is there to discover? Life would be very boring. There would be no challenges! No amazing discoveries! No transformations! It would be a life without curiosity and that would be a very sad life indeed.
Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.
add to goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Friday, October 23, 2015

An Interview with Blogger Zoey-Rose from Paranormal Books #BBCreativityProject

Team Orange.png

There are a lot of bloggers out there.  There is absolutely no way to keep track of all of us.  Personally, I discover a new blog/blogger every day.

I love the blogging community.  It is such a great way to share my love of books with others.  I really like that no two people blog the same way, that we each like different books, but that we all can come together and share the book love.

I wanted to take time today to introduce you to another blogger that I follow - Zoey Rose.  She has taken the time to answer a few questions about herself, her inspirations, and why she started blogging.  I strongly suggest that you check her out.  You won't be disappointed!

You can find her gorgeous blog HERE

And follow her on twitter HERE

Introduce Yourself!

I'm Zoey-Rose, more often known as Rose, or Cass (one of my various nicknames).  I'm an avid reader, and I'm against slow reading.  I'm an aspiring writer, you can see most of my work on my wattpad:  I'm also really into Music and Movies, and I have aspirations for music as well; I have B Credit in the NZMEB Grade 8 Piano, and I'd Like to use it to further my love of music and really develop my style.

What are your other hobbies outside of reading and blogging?

Well, like I said before, music is a big one.  Besides that, I'm also quite into art and drama.

What do you do for a living?

At the moment, I blog, read, write, listen to music, and chill out while my parents do all the hard work.  I am still unsure of what I'll do when I'm older, but I'll grab the chance when it comes.

How long have you been blogging?

I started my blog Paranorml Books in February 2014 because I needed to publish a review as part of my homework.  Instead of one, I posted three.  At that point, I was very inexperienced and had literally no idea how to use blogger.  I returned in September 2014 and redid my blog, restarted, and really started blogging.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I've seen so many cool blogs online that it drove me to start my own.  At first, I tried, and I'll admit, I really failed.  After that I didn't think I could do it.  Then I am here now, with my blog, and I'm pretty proud.

Who are your blogging inspirations?

I've seen some pretty cool blogs, but my main inspirations has to be Xpresso Reads
Giselle is such a hard worker, as well as her co-bloggers, and they receive books to review from many great publishers.

What has been your favorite or most memorable moment of book blogging?

The start.  I struggled, but then I got the hang of it and zoomed off.

What does blogging mean to you?

Everything and anything.  Anyone can start a blog, but it takes effort to make a good blog and post.  My blog has really given me something to do in my spare time.

What plans do you have for your blog in the future?

Who knows?  I'll just go with the flow and let destiny decide.

What advice or tips would you give new bloggers?

Don't give up.  If you're unsure, Google knows everything.  If you can't find anything, don't be afraid to ask a blogger or make a thread on goodreads.  Bloggers are supportive and will answer your questions.

Is there anything you wish you would have known starting out that would have greatly helped you in your blogging journey?

Virtual book tours.  These are a great way to gain popularity, and they've greatly influenced my blog to this day.

What was your gateway book to reading?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Who is your favorite author?

Julie Kagawa

What is/are your favorite book(s)?

I have many favourites, argh!  No, I can't decide.  Really just any well written YA.

Favorite character(s)?

Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Celeana Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.  Legolas Greenleaf from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and much much more.

Favorite genre?

Mostly any YA, but specifically YA Paranormal Romance, Dystopia, Sci-Fi and Fantasy

What is an instant turn off in a book for you?

Long descriptive paragraphs.  If an author can't come up with a better way to introduce things, then why write?

Recommend some books that you think everyone should read!

Um... Any YA! Seriously, just start reading, and you'll love it.

Don't forget to check out these other fantastic bloggers!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Super Freak by Vanessa Barger Blog Tour!

You can find the entire tour schedule HERE

Title: Super Freak
Author: Vanessa Barger
Series: Currently Stand Alone (hoping for more!)
Publisher: Tantrum Books
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours

Wow! This book! I totally devoured it!

That it ended so quick actually saddens me.  I really enjoyed the world and the characters.  It was light hearted and really fun.

Super Freak is about Caroline.  She is the normal daughter of two Dryad parents.  And I mean normal.  She has absolutely no magic in her at all.  This is extremely rare as almost everyone has some sort of magic inside of them to some degree.  It has been that way ever since 1978 when Pandora's Box was found.  It turned out that Pandora's Box didn't hold what everyone though, it actually held all the worlds magic.

At the beginning of this story Caroline and her family are just moving to a new town.  Her father is a historian and they have moved around a lot.  However, if what her parents say is true, this will be the last time.  They move into a spectacularly spooky house with a lot of character that no one has lived in for a long time.  The town is very dense with supernatural and other paranormal creatures, giving Caroline very little hope that there will be many that are like her.  Or at least a few around that have very little magic.

On her first day of school, Caroline meets a couple of other kids.  Most notable there is Diana who is a Dhampir (half vampire half human) and two vampire twin boys: Kevin and Leo.  She also learns that her house is cursed and that no one lives there very long.  That they tend to disappear.

Caroline, being who she is, loves puzzles and mysteries and sets out to solve the riddle of the curse.  Everyone except for her friends is against her solving it, which only makes her want to find the answer more.

So as I said in the beginning, this book is fantastic.  I absolutely loved it.  The story just flew by!  I really enjoyed the mystery and the intrigue.  It was all very well done.

I also loved how the world was explained and how being a paranormal entity is the norm and being someone without any magic is actually what makes you weird and not fit in.  Very opposite of how stories are usually told.

I really can't say that there was anything that I didn't like about this book.  I highly recommend it!  It is a wonderful middle grade mystery!

My Rating
5 stars!

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Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Pinterest |YouTube

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This review is based on a copy provided by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Chapter by Chapter

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Halloween Scare at My House by Eric James with Giveaway

A Halloween Scare at My House Series
Author: Eric James
Illustrator: Marina Le Ray
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: August 1, 2014
Source: Publisher


The perfect gift for every child or kid-at-heart who also loves celebrating the most eerie and thrilling night of the year, the Halloween Scare regional series offers a jaunty tale with a humorous bent—sure to ward off any creature who goes bump in the night in cities and states across the country!

Now with 78 titles highlighting different cities, states, and regions in the U.S. and Canada, each book in the Halloween Scare series features art and text created especially for a specific state or city. Fun Halloween creatures and critters haunt your favorite landmarks, including famous sites like the Statue of Liberty in New York, California’s Hollywood sign, the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the San Jacinto Monument in Texas and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina.

With its bouncing rhyme, colorful illustrations, and funny story, the Halloween Scare series is a delightful Halloween adventure for everyone who loves a silly, spooky tale.  It’s perfect for younger readers who can explore their state or city and little learn more about the places and landmarks that make their homes unique.

Prepare, if you dare, for a Halloween scare,
A night of pure terror to whiten your hair.
A tale full of sights that are best left unseen. You ready? You sure?
This was my Halloween.

My Review

I absolutely LOVE this book!  It is incredibly fun to read, especially out loud.  I find this one really easy to get into while reading.  I think this is especially important for storytime with littles.  It helps to pull them in and to keep their attention if the reader can really be into the story.

The version I read was the generic Halloween Scare version, but I don't think that there will be much of a difference between the one I read and a state specific one.  I think some of the illustrations might be a little different, but that is it.  If wording ends up different, I think it will be very minimal.

Not only is the story fun, but the illustrations are too.  I found them to be colorful and very engaging.  They are definitely able to keep the attention of your littles.

My Rating
5 Stars!

This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review

About the Author and Illustrator

Eric James is a children’s book author, word tickler, and champion asparagus thrower. You can find him online at He lives in Bath, England, with his family.

Marina Le Ray has had success both as a children’s book illustrator as well as a greeting card designer. She lives and works in Nantes, France.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book by Daria Song

Title: The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book
Author: Daria Song
Series: Companion Book to The Time Garden
Publisher: Watson-Guptill; Clr edition
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Blogging for Books

Yet another new coloring book to add to my collection.  I really can't get enough of these things.  Weirdly though I find it hard to find the time to actually color in them since I am always reading, taking care of my little, or sleeping.  I love sleep!

This particular coloring book is actually the companion book to one of the other coloring books that I have already reviewed: The Time Garden.  You can find my review HERE.

The Time Chamber, like The Time Garden, tells a story as you go through it.  While there are words, the vast majority of it is told in pictures that you can color.  This book tells the story of the fairy that lives inside the clock.

Just like its predecessor, The Time Chamber is beautifully done.  The pictures that you get to color are quite beautiful on their own and have the promise of being magical once you finish.  The paper quality is very nice and feels quite thick.  It feels like it may be the kind you could feel safe using markers on.  However, that being said, the pages are double sided which makes me hesitant to actually try it out.  I don't want to accidentally ruin something.

The Time Chamber is very well done and will give you many hours of enjoyment.  A definite must have for any adult coloring enthusiasts as well as for those who just want to color and relax.

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Read This! Round Up (#55)

20151016_161553_resizedPhoto courtesy of KissinBlueKaren
Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.
Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.