Sep 21, 2017

Mini Bloggiesta To Do List: Sept 21-24

"The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!"
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Mini Bloggiesta Fall 2017 Officially Starts TODAY September 21st and will run until the 24th. Get your To-Do Lists ready!
YAY it is another Bloggiesta!!! Now to do all the things I avoid normally :/


So for my list I would like to:
  • Back up the blog
  • Update my "Reviews by Author" Tab  
  • Update my TBR spreadsheet with recent books in/out 
  • Clean up my inbox 
  • Participate in the Twitter Party 
    • Here are the deets (#bloggiesta @bloggiesta): 
      • Saturday, September 23 @ 2pm EST!
  • Do a mini challenge 
  • Prep some October reviews  
  • Visit as many Bloggiesta blogs as possible (IF NOT ALL) to cheer people on :)

Added Items:
If I think of anything else, I will add as I go and strike trough as I complete tasks.

Sep 20, 2017

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway!: The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist

The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone. Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies. Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes. And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too… 

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby
"[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery." - Kirkus 

You'll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! - Stephanie Faris 

About the Author
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she'd better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019)

Find the Author
    amazon or paypal 
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway 
Ends 10/10/17 
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 19, 2017

Early Reader Review: The Call of the Swamp by Davide Cali

Source: From Netgalley and Eerdman's Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Call of the SwampThe Call of the Swamp by Davide Cali
Publisher: Eerdman's Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  September 25, 2017

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
A sweetly offbeat adoption story

Boris is a normal kid: he goes to school and rides his bike and climbs trees, just like all the other children. It doesn't matter that he has scales and gills, or that his parents found him in a swamp when he was just a baby. But one day Boris catches the scent of his old home, and suddenly he's not quite sure where he belongs. He journeys to the swamp, filled with questions, and eventually discovers the only answer he needs.

From the creators of The Queen of the Frogs comes an enchanting, nuanced story about adoption and family.
This book was a strange one and I like strange books for all ages! I have read The Queen of the Frogs by Cali and really enjoyed it. I love the style of the illustrations - they are sketchy and muted and different from a lot of children's books - but in a good way.

The Call of the Swamp is another gorgeous book - the images are very detailed and have realistic bits and playful bits too. The book is about a kid named Boris learning where he belongs ad what it means to belong. It is a very heartfelt story with questions and some answers, but there are a lot of things to think about while reading this one.

I think that this is geared for an older audience in the children's book realm and I think parents will enjoy this one as well. I appreciated the artistic style and the story was charming and thought-provoking.

Sep 17, 2017

Building the Book Pile #251

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

This week FLEW by so quick... but it was pretty fun. We are back to full normal hour weeks at work, which always feels weird - it feels like I am leaving so early when I leave at my normal time now.
But on Tuesday, after about 7 years with only tattooed outlines for fairy wings on my back, I started filling them in SO EXCITED about this. Having the outlines done were pretty painful, the artist used a very thick liner and so it was not fun. It took me this long to work up the courage to start filling them in and they are beautiful so far. Today I am peeling and itchy (if you have tattoos - you probably get it, if not - it is all part of the healing process). I sat for way longer than I should have so next time I will go for shorter but I already have the appointment on the books :) I took Wednesday off of work because clothing was no fun but the rest of the week was pretty low key.
How was your week? Do you have tattoos? If so, what do you have? If not, do you want them, what would you get?

The shop has scarves, cowls, hats and baby booties now... :)
Go take a look and if you have requests let me know.

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: The Call of the Swamp by Davide Cali (Youth)
Blog Blast w/ Giveaway: The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist (MG)
mini Bloggiesta To Do List - Runs Sept 21-24 - join us here
Early Reader Review: Lady Mechanika la Dama de la Muerte (GN)
Recent Reads: The Third Coin by J.A. Howard (YA)  

Books Received this Week   
How to Be Perfectly Unhappy Christmas at Mistletoe Cove  Baseball Bats for Christmas  Random Illustrated Facts: A Collection of Curious, Weird, and Totally Not Boring Things to Know
I went a bit crazy on Netgalley on Friday :/ But I needed books for the HoHoHo Readathon in November! (I also grabbed some other ones - no shame)

How to be Perfectly Unhappy by The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman from Netgalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for review
Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin from Netgalley and Bookouture for review
Baseball Bats for Christmas by

Have you missed anything lately?

Week of  September 11 - September 17

Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Sep 15, 2017

Early Reader Review: I Am Bat by Morag Hood

Source: From Netgalley and Soucebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

I Am BatI Am Bat by Morag Hood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  September 5, 2017

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
I am bat.
I love cherries. They are juicy and red and delicious and...
My cherries! Some of them are missing.
Who took my cherries? Was it YOU?

Join the grumpily adorable Bat as he searches for his missing cherries in this vibrant and hilarious picture book.
I am Bat is an adorably simple book about a bat that loves cherries. The text is short and easy to read and the images are large and bright. The little bat is the main character and he dislikes some things and loves others - cherries being the main thing. He is grumpy and a little nasty to the reader and very possessive over his cherries, he even blames the reader when they go missing, but other cute things happen and he is ok again.

I think this could be a fun book to use for interactive reading - the stealing of the cherries lends itself to 'where did they go?' 'who took them?' questions that can be posed to young listeners to the story. It is a chance to learn about both animals and fruits but also why sharing is important. 

Overall this was a very endearing book and I thought the little grumpy bat was very funny.

Sep 14, 2017

Recent Reads: Doris Morris and the Invasion of the Neighbors by Janet Kelly

Source: From Bobaloo Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Doris Morris ... and the Invasion of the Neighbor by Janet Kelly
Series: Doris Morris #1
Publisher:  Bobaloo Books
Publication Date:  March 10, 2016

Format:  Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Doris Morris is the first in a series of beautifully illustrated children's books about a cat, called Doris, and what she gets up to with her family.
In the first of the series, The Invasion of The Neighbours, she has to deal with the bullying behaviour of Gangsta and Lizzie who keep coming in through Doris's cat flap when the family are out, and making a mess so that Doris gets into trouble. When Amy and Ted, the children, find out, they go out of their way to put things right - with a fabulous happy ending.
This book is too adorable - it is about a cat named Doris who is fuzzy and dirty and a typical house cat. She can be temperamental but the kids love her and she has it pretty good in the Morris household. When two neighborhood cats start coming in and messing up her house and her happiness the children in the house help her make it all right.

The lesson at the end of this rhyming book is a very cute one - family is always there for you and I loved the vibrant illustrations throughout. Doris is a huge purple fluff of a cat in most the images and  I loved the color pallet. I think that kids and parents will really enjoy reading this book together.

About the Author:
Janet Kelly is a journalist and author, having acclaim with her novels ‘Dear Beneficiary’ and ‘For The Last Time’. She has vast marketing experience and runs Bobaloo Books, the publisher behind the Doris Morris series. 

Facebook: DorisMorris
Twitter: @dorismorriscat

Sep 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Black Moon Rising by D.J. MacHale

Black Moon Rising (the Library Book 2)
Black Moon Rising by D.J. MacHale
Series: The Library #2

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  October 3, 2017

Why I Am Waiting:
I read book 1 in this MG series and it was amazing! I love a good story about a Library too and so this is adventure, a library, and some spooky all wrapped into one package - can't wait for this installment! What is even cooler is that you can read these books in ANY order after reading book 1 ... So go grab #1 now :)

Sep 11, 2017

Building the Book Pile #250 (a late edition)

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Last week was crazy pants - work is gearing up for next term and even though none of the professors I help are teaching, there is still a lot going on. We were supposed to have cousins staying for the weekend so I was cleaning but then they had to cancel because flights got delayed and it wouldn't have been worth the whirlwind trip at that point, BUT another cousin came to stay for a night unexpectedly- so I guess things worked out in terms of cleaning for company :)
I had a routine doctors appointment - nothing weird just a check up - on Friday, I dread the doctors but on Saturday we went to the NY Renaissance Faire for pirate weekend and I LOVE that!!! ... it was a crazy, fun, weird week.

How was your week?

The shop has scarves, cowls, hats and baby booties now... :)
Go take a look and if you have requests let me know.

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog

#TheReadingQuest has ended...
Recent Reads: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (YA)
Recent Reads: Doris Morris and the Invasion of the Neighbors by Janet Kelly (Youth)
Waiting on Wednesday
Recent Reads: The Third Coin by J.A. Howard (YA)  - coming next week maybe

Recent Reads: I am Bat by Morag Hood (Youth)

Books Received this Week   
I Am Bat

The Rusty Old Postbox by Susana Sanchez Gonzalez - From Bobaloo Books for review
Doris Morris and the Invasion of the Neighbors by Janet Kelly- From Bobaloo Books for review
My Zombie Best Friend by Terry Lowell- From Bobaloo Books for review
Crib and the Labours of Hercules by Gerald Vinestock - From Bobaloo Books for review
I am Bat by Morag Hood - From Netgalley and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for review

Have you missed anything lately?

Week of  September 4 - September 10

Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Recent Reads: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013

Format:  Paperback
Source: Own



Goodreads Synopsis: 
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
I bought this book a while ago and put it on my shelves. After a clean up and a bookshelf move, I asked my husband what I should read next and he thought this looked fun. This is another book recently that I CANNOT believe I have owned and it took me forever to read. I knew there was hype going into it so I was skeptical but it is SO worth all the hype. 

The book follows Celaena, an assassin who has been confined to a prison after being caught, who now has been chosen to play for the honor of bring the King's personal assassin. She is the prince's choice and that makes things a bit weird and complicated, but besides that the castle is also dealing with a mysterious force killing off some of the competitors.

I liked this plot so much, especially because of the strong female lead. Celaena is full of life even on the verge of death and I really loved that about her - she did everything for herself and not others and even though there might be love interests, she is there for her freedom in the end if she can obtain it. 

I am not always a fan of the love triangle but it gets me in this book - both suitors are great fro different reasons - how can one choose?! I am excited to see where this leads but will be equally as happy if Celaena decides neither are to her liking and lifestyle.

I loved this book, now I need to find the money to buy the whole series, the time to read them all in one sitting, and for my husband to read the first book so I can swoon about it in person with someone...


Sep 8, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway! Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

About the Book
An inspiring tale of a fourth-grader who fights back when her favorite book is banned from the school library--by starting her own illegal locker library!

It all started the day Amy Anne Ollinger tried to check out her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, from the school library. That's when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmate's mom thought the book wasn't appropriate for kids to read.

Amy Anne decides to fight back by starting a secret banned books library out of her locker. Soon, she finds herself on the front line of an unexpected battle over book banning, censorship, and who has the right to decide what she and her fellow students can read.

Reminiscent of the classic novel Frindle by Andrew Clements for its inspiring message, Ban This Book is a love letter to the written word and its power to give kids a voice.


This was a wonderful read! Ban this Book is abotu a young girl whose favorite book gets banned from her school library, she tries to speak up at the board meeting but can't and later has to find a new way to her her book back. With the help of her friends and other students Amy Anne is able to put together a Banned Books library in her locker, since it wasn't just her book that was banned. Togther with the students from her school they are able to do great things and get some books back on the shelves but it took a lot of work.

The story follows Amy Anne, a quiet reader who never has space and time to herself at home but when she realizes how important this cause is to her she grows a good bit. 

I loved this character so much, she was a lot like me growing up, but I also liked how she was described in the books - I am pretty sure she is mix-race and I love reading those characters in books - maybe more are, but unless described I always assume my race as the characters. The author does a wonderful job with this, he is to the point but also spaces out the details about Amy Anne and that was refreshing.

Aside from the character, I really enjoyed the plot of the book as well. I was inspired by the portrayal of power coming from someone so young as well as the masses - in this case other students. And I loved the stand that was taken for something you believe in. For the Middle Grade audience I think that it is a spectacular book about what you can do even as a young person but also to teach about censorship and the banning of books- which happens way more often than it should (in my opinion). I really loved everything about this read and HIGHLY recommend it.

Praise for BAN THIS BOOK
“Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero in Amy Anne Ollinger. She's a true champion and testament to how doing a good thing is the first step in finding your own courage."―Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winning author of The Underneath

"Ban This Book is absolutely brilliant and belongs on the shelves of every library in the multiverse."―Lauren Myracle, author of the best-selling Internet Girls series, the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011

"A stout defense of the right to read." ―Kirkus Reviews

Gratz delivers a book lover’s book that speaks volumes about kids’ power to effect change at a grassroots level." ―Publisher’s Weekly

About the Author

Photo Credit: Wes Stitt
Alan Gratz‘s first novel, Samurai Shortstop, was named one of the ALA’s 2007 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults. His second novel, Something Rotten, was a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers, and was followed by a sequel, Something Wicked, in October 2008. His first middle grade novel, The Brooklyn Nine, was one of the ALA’s Top Ten Sports Books for Youth and Top Ten Historical Books for Youth, and his middle grade Holocaust novel Prisoner B-3087 was one of YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Readers and has won seven state awards. His latest novels are the YA thriller Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and The Monster War, the third book in his middle grade steampunk League of Seven trilogy.

Alan’s short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, online at, and in the anthologies Half-Minute Horrors and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction, which benefitted victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

As the first Artist in Residence at the American School in Japan in 2010, Alan spent six weeks teaching historical fiction-writing to middle school students in Tokyo, and he was the Thurber House Children’s Writer in Residence in 2011, living and writing in James Thurber’s attic for a month while working with young writers from all around the Columbus, Ohio area.

In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E’s City Confidential, Alan has taught catapult-building to middle-schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, sold other people’s books, lectured at a Czech university, and traveled the galaxy as a space ranger. (One of these, it should be pointed out, is not true.)
Alan was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the 1982 World’s Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and, later, a Master’s degree in English education. He now lives with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high country of Western North Carolina, where he enjoys playing games, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, reading books.

Find the Author

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
10 Winners will receive a Copy of BAN THIS BOOK by Alan Gratz

 a Rafflecopter giveaway