Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Explore Your Creative Side (#8)

Oh my goodness guys!  I am so sorry this is a few days late!  Time just got away from me and I didn't get it done in time to put it up on time.  But it is here now!

This month I have for you a book for beginners on calligraphy, a crochet book of patterns, and (of course) a coloring book.

I hope your creative juices have been flowing.  I recently got rid of some stressful things in my life, and it has increased mine by quite a bit!  It makes me so happy!  I hate not feeling creative whatsoever.  It just makes me feel so blah when the creative juices don't want to flow.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy!  Until next month!

Title: Simply Calligraphy - A Beginner's Guide to Elegant Lettering
Author: Judy Detrick
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books
Rating: 4 Stars

When I saw this book as an option on Blogging for Books to review, I had to take it.  Lettering has been something that I want to get into.  However, I am not very good at it yet, so I figured that I should pick this one up and see if it could teach me a few things.

And it does!  Yay!  That is always something you want in a book like this!

There is actually a lot more reading involved in this book than you might think a calligraphy book would have you do, but then again, the best way to learn is the right way?  I don't know if it is necessarily the right way, but for me it works out. 

One thing I would have really liked more of though was alphabets.  This book actually only contains a few.  So this book Simply Calligraphy, to me, appears to just have some very basic lessons.  Definitely meant to be more for a beginner (again, something that is perfect for someone like myself).

All in all, I liked this one.  I look forward to using it to practice and help me get on my road of being able to do amazing looking lettering.

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

Title: Hello Kitty Crochey - Super Cute Amigurumi Patterns for Sanrio Friends
Author: Mei Li Lee
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5 Stars

This book right here is the main reason I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet.  I wanted to be able to make these amigurumi dolls!  If you don't already know this about me, you should probably know that I have an extreme love for Hello Kitty and her friends.  I collect the stuff! 

Now, this book is not necessarily for beginners.  At least not until you are more familiar with how to read crochet patterns.  Once you feel comfortable doing that, you should find this book much more user friendly than you would have otherwise.  You also are going to want to know how how to do the magic circle and the single crochet stitch.

Over all, I really love this book.  It has so many different characters for you to make!  Like almost every one in the Sanrio family is in this title little pink book!

The one thing that I don't really like about this book is that since a lot of the dolls start with the same pattern, you have to find that pattern in the back of the book...and then return to the character you are working with to make their clothes or accessories.  However, marking these pages will make it much easier on you to reference them when you need to!

Title: Majestic Owls
Author: TJ Leigh
Series: Adult Coloring Book Academy Stress Release Series #1
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: December 10, 2015
Source: Author
Rating: 4.5 Stars

If you love owls, this is definitely a coloring book for you!  The illustrations are so cute!

The illustrations are also quite detailed, so you are going to be able to get a lot of bang for your buck out of each one.  This will also allow you to stretch your creativity with them pretty far!

The big downside, however, is that the paper is thin.  So if you want to do them with marker, you can (the pages are single sided!) but you will most definitely need a scrap piece of paper behind the one you are working on so that the ink from the markers doesn't bleed through and ruin the picture behind it.

Now, there is something a little strange about this coloring book and I am not sure if it is something that just happened to my copy, if it was a total accident, or if it was on purpose...but the page you color is on the back side aka...on the left side when the book is opened up.  It doesn't do any thing to take away from this coloring book, it is just something I found a little odd.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green

Title: Hippopotamister
Author: John Patrick Green
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: First Second
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Source: Publisher


The zoo isn't what it used to be. It's run-down and falling apart. Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he'll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He's a good employee, whether he's a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.


Err.  This review is going to be more of the spoilery kind.  I tend to do that with books for younger readers.  I hope you don't mind too much!

Awe Hippopotamister!  This was such a super cute read!  I found it pretty fun to see what mischief Hippo and Red Panda would find themselves in.  And they sure did find themselves in a lot.

That being said though, all the mischief was really caused by the Red Panda and Hippo just accepted it.  And Hippo kind of let some of the blame be on him - despite that whatever he tried to do he was good at.  That is something I didn't like.

Now, I don't think Hippo should have been mean to Red Panda or anything, but I felt that it was all rather unfair to Hippo.  He was good at EVERYTHING, but they kept getting fired.  This was usually because Red Panda did something he shouldn't have.  Then Red Panda acted like it was the fault of both of them, but never something he did directly.

I don't know...call me a mom or something...but I didn't think that was very fair of Red Panda.

Other than that though, I found the story enjoyable over all.  And the artwork was cute!  I mean...just look at those Hippo illustrations!

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

My Rating
4 Stars

Thursday, May 26, 2016



Woah! If you ever needed a reason to reread a favorite series, this is definitely a good one!  In celebration of the release of The Fever Code by James Dashner we are all being invited to join in a giant group binge read of the series!

The whole reread is set up so we will be ready to start The Fever Code as soon as it is released.  We will be refreshed and reminded of the story.  And look at it! I know I personally cannot wait to get my hands on it!

But really it is more than that.  This is also a really great way for all of us book lovers and James Dashner fans to come together and to enjoy these stories that we love with one another.

How will that happen?

Well, there are going to be great discussions using Google Hangouts where you can talk with other fans AND James Dashner!  There will be numerous giveaways going on all over the blogosphere.  We will get the chance to see some exclusive content pop up over the course of the binge read.  And of course the hashtag #DASHNERDASH will be utilized to help us all stay connected through this reading adventure!

So you may be wondering, which book is up first?  Is it The Maze Runner or is it the prequel to the series The Kill Order.  Well, I am happy to report that we are going to be reading this series in order of publication - so The Maze Runner is up first!  Officially this read is meant to start tomorrow on May 27 2016 so I hope you have your copy ready.  If not, get to the library! Get to the bookstore! You do have a month before we start reading The Scorch Trials, so if you find yourself having to order it or waiting a small bit for it to become available at the library, don't worry.  There is time!

 And you may be wondering when that first Google Hangout that I mentioned is going to happen?  Well I am pleased to let you know that it will be taking place on June 30, 2016.  I am sure a lot more information will become available to us about this before then, so make sure you stay tuned and follow that hashtag #DASHNERDASH


And finally, here is the schedule for the binge read.  As you can see, it is set to last us through the summer, but I don't think we could have asked for a better series to reread during the hot months of the year, do you?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

Title: All Chained Up
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #1
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Source: Irish Banana Blog Tours

First off, let me say that, if you are a fan of Ben and Jerry's ice cream....specifically of the flavor Cherry Garcia...you will never ever be able to look at it in the same way again.

Mmmm ice cream...

Do you like bad boys?  Yes?  Good!  Then you will like All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan because it is all about bad boys!

All Chained Up is about Knox Callaghan.  Knox one of a few guys that we meet that are in prison for doing not very nice things.  In his case, Knox is in prison for killing a guy.  His little brother is also there (and I cannot wait for more of his story!) and Knox is willing to do anything to keep his brother safe while he is there.  To keep them both safe and alive until it is time for parole - or at least until baby brother is out and on the other side where it is safer.

Well that was the plan anyways...then nurse Briar showed up.  And for one reason or another, Knox can't figure out why he is so pulled to her...

And Briar can't figure out why she is so drawn to him either....

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  It definitely had its steamy moments - quite a few of them actually.  And I do think that they were well done.

One thing that I really appreciated that Sophie Jordan did was that she didn't make Briar this drop dead gorgeous female.  Instead she made her a relatively normal looking and intelligent one.  This is something that needs to happen more often in literature and I like Sophie Jordan for doing this with her leading female character in All Chained Up.

Something I did want more of though was more from Knox and Briar in regards to their relationship and how they interacted with each other.  So much of it felt like it was just physical.  But I wanted to be more in their minds and hearts too.  I just felt like all I was really getting most of the time was the surface/physical, and I wanted to go deeper emotionally!

That all being said though, the story line was good.  A little bit predictable, but still very enjoyable.  Also, while this story is technically a stand alone, it does open it up for stories for other bad boys!

More bad boys!  That is something Sophie Jordan definitely does well.  She writes drool inducing hot and steamy bad boys that you just can't get enough of!

My Rating
4 Stars

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Blog Tour: National Geographic Kids Mastermind by Stephanie Warren Drimmer and Julie K. Cohen

Title: Mastermind - Over 100 Games, Tests, and Puzzles to Unleash Your Inner Genius
Author: Stephanie Warren Drimmer and Julie K. Cohen
Series: National Geographic Kids
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Source: Publisher

Welcome to Stop #1 on the National Geographic Kids Mastermind Blog Tour!

This summer, National Geographic Kids Books is inviting kids to "Unleash Their Inner Genius" with the release of Mastermind (May 2016, ages 8-12).  In this fun, interactive book, kids learn what type of thinker they are and are given the chance to exercise different parts of their brains with games, tests and puzzles.

Each stop on the National Geographic Kids Mastermind Blog Tour will bring you one step closer to becoming a Certified Mastermind.  Once you’ve completed the quiz below, please visit Mother Daughter Book Reviews tomorrow to find out your Genius Genus!  Then, be sure to stop by each stop on the tour and challenge yourself to unleash your inner genius with fun quizzes, optical illusions, and brain teasers, and learn tips and tricks for improving brainpower and explanations for the science behind navigating your mental map.

Are you ready to train your brain to become a Mastermind? Take the quiz below!

About the book:
The cheeky narrator and self-proclaimed "Mastermind" Ima Genius and her talking dog, Atom, guide the reader through short and snappy explanations of the science behind why the brain does what it does and how it affects the senses, spatial reasoning, language, memory and problem solving. As kids work their way through the book completing experiments, brain teasers, mazes, quizzes and games, their efforts (and smarts!) are rewarded with a Certificate of Mental Achievement declaring them as a Certified Mastermind.  Or, in the words of Ima Genius:

"When I'm finished with you, your brain will be so huge that your average-size neck will no longer be able to support your massive noggin.  Ha!  I kid.  That's only happened once."

Stop by Mother Daughter Book Reviews tomorrow to find out your Genius Genus!

Buy the book!!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | National Geographic

Blog Tour Schedule:

5/23 – Reading is Better With Cupcakes
5/24 - Mother Daughter Book Reviews
5/25 – Geo Librarian
5/26 - Mrs. Mommy Book Nerd’s Book Reviews
5/27 - Always In The Middle 
5/31 - Mundie Kids
6/1 - Unleashing Readers

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

Title: Summer of Sloane
Author: Erin L. Schneider
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis (GR):

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.


Oh geez. This book is going to give you some feelings. That is for sure. It will make you happy, sad, angry....it will cause you to suffer from all of the emotions! So just be ready.

The Summer of Sloane actually reads really quickly. You fill find yourself totally pulled in, time will pass, and eventually you will close the back cover finished....blink...and find yourself wondering how so much time passed without you even realizing it was passing.

Yeah. It is that good. It is a definite beach read too. Take it and lay out in the sun this summer. Get yourself a tan. You will practically feel like you are already doing that anyways while you reading it. It is set in Hawaii and it is done very well. I personally could have used a bit more beach, but it was still good :)

What I really like though is that Erin L. Schneider made us feel things for the characters, even the secondary characters that we don't see much of. You hate them, you love them, you want to punch and break their noses in three places. I actually have very strong feelings towards Mick and I still feel them even though I finished the book a few weeks ago. I don't think Mick can ever be redeemed for me. Not even if Erin L. Schneider writes Mick her own story (I will TOTALLY read this by the way if it ever happens).

And to top it all off, The Summer of Sloane still has a beautiful message for all of us readers. But like always, I am not going to be sharing with you what that lesson is. It won't mean as much if I don't let you go discover it yourself.

My Rating
4.5 Stars

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

About the Author:

Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu - and although Hawaiian - should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.

SUMMER OF SLOANE is her debut novel, out May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion. Visit Erin online at Erin L Schneider or on Twitter: @ErinLSchneider1.

Erin is represented by literary agent Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Title: Becoming Jinn
Author: Lori Goldstein
Series: Becoming Jinn #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Source: Traded

Before reading Becoming Jinn, I don't think I really had ever read a story involving Genies.  I think the most experience I probably had with them was the Disney movie Aladdin.

But there was something about this one that intrigued me, so when I was able to trade for an ARC of this book with another blogger, I took the chance.  Then thankfully it got bumped way up on my TBR so that I could send it to yet another blogger who desired it for his collection (and I am very happy I helped it find its forever home where I know it will be loved and appreciated).

And so, I read it.  Actually, I devoured it.  There was just something so wonderful about it that I had a hard time putting it down.  Was it the story? Yes.  Was it the writing? Yes.

Just yes.

Becoming Jinn is about Azra, a teenager who is Jinn.  Reluctantly.  This means that she is going to be forced into a world where she must grant wishes.  But she doesn't get to grant just anyone's wish.  She is under direct orders of who gets their wishes.  Actually, pretty much everything she does is watched and governed by someone else.  She has no say and she hates it.

On top of that, she is supposed to keep the part of her that is Jinn a complete secret.  She has "Zar" sisters and their mothers that she can turn to, but those relationships are iffy at best.  And she can't really allow herself to become close to anyone who is human for fear of being discovered.

So as you can probably already tell, I enjoyed this book a lot.  I really liked the idea of a genie living among us, going to school like a normal kid, but still not being normal.

And this story is actually quite complex!  At first, you may not think it is going to be (I know I didn't) but the further I got into it, the more complex everything got.

And now, here I am totally sucked into this story and world.  Thankfully there is a novella that I plan to read very very soon.  Oh, and the second book Circle of Jinn was released...today!  Oh yay!

Now I need to get my hands on that bad boy.  I need to know how everything unfolds.  NEED.

My Rating
4 Stars

This review is based on an ARC.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Blog Tour: The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

Magic can do a lot―give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That's what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.
However, Gwen doesn't know this. She's just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn't know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though―and when she does, she'll discover she's in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.
She'll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won't be the only one. Peter Pan's constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she's going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she's going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

I have actually had the chance to read and review this title already.  If you haven't gotten the chance to check out my thoughts on The Neverland Wars you can check it out HERE

Introducing Rosemary!

The younger of the Hoffman sisters, Rosemary is the latest addition to Peter Pan's band of lost children, having flown off just this year to explore the beauty and excitement of Neverland. Her imagination, impressive on its own, has been organically nurtured by her big sister's stories and tall tales. She loves animals and is easily enchanted by flowers. She makes friends wherever she goes, and especially enjoys coaxing quieter children out of their shells. She is self-centered, too excited by her own passions and desires to take into consideration anyone else's. Coloring is one of her favorite hobbies, and she prides herself on her connect-the-dot abilities.
Rosemary has always lived in a fantasy world, easily enchanted and full of joy. She has no qualms about joining Peter to defend the alternate reality she's always felt should exist. Everyone, even the most persnickety of the fairies, likes Rosemary, and she is happy to learn how to understand the fairy language. Any time she learns something new she wants to share it, but she usually jumbles the facts. She is gracious and rarely forgets her manners, but is usually oblivious to how other people are feeling. She loves all of her family, but shares a special connection with her young-at-heart big sister, which is why she comes back for Gwen after she runs away to Neverland. You can find out more about the other lost children at Paper Type Adventures and our previous blog tour stops, or in The Neverland Wars, out now!

Connect with Audrey Greathouse!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell

Title: Once Upon a Dream
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: A Twisted Tale #2
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Source: Irish Banana Blog Tours

A retelling of a fairy tale!  A retelling of a fairy tale!  If you follow my reviews, you already know that I love fairy tale retellings.  Love, love, love them!

So of course I was super excited to get my hands on Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell.  A retelling of the ever popular Sleeping Beauty story.

However, as retellings usually go, this is not the story as you know it.  But instead of Aurora waking up when the prince kisses her, he falls fast asleep too!

Then all of a sudden we are with the princess again in the castle.  Maleficent is ruling.  The world outside the castle is dangerous and everyone in the castle is trapped inside for their own safety.  The king and queen have been locked down in the dungeon and Princess Aurora is treated kindly.

Then weird things start to happen and Aurora starts to get confused.  And the story really starts happening.

So much fun!

First, just let me say that Once Upon a Dream was actually a lot darker than I thought it would be.  I thought it was going to be pretty light hearted, but it wasn't.  It got deep.  It got dark.  Sometimes it got a little ugly.  I am not disappointed in this at all, I was just surprised.

As far as the characters went.  I thought they were okay.  I would have liked a little bit more development in them.  There were quite a few places that I felt they went a little flat.  But for the most part, I think the main characters were done okay.  They each had their little moments.

I thought the premise of the over all story line was actually pretty clever and I really enjoyed this spin on the original story.  That being said though, there wasn't much to keep me going when I was reading.  I kept putting the book down.  It wasn't that the book was bad, but I just wasn't drawn in enough.  I wanted a little more to it.  I wanted to feel closer to the characters, I wanted some more action, a little more depth than I was given.  I mainly continued reading this story because I wanted to know how Liz Braswell ended this twist.

This all being said, I still plan to read other retellings that come from the mind of Liz Braswell.  Once Upon a Dream showed me a really cool twist on Sleeping Beauty that I never even thought of as a possibility.

My Rating
3.5 Stars

This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher through Irish Banana Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016 - Introduction Post

This is my first time participating in Armchair BEA.  I actually had no idea something like this existed for us that aren't able to go to BEA until recently.  I am quite surprised and very happy that it does though!  I don't see myself being able to actually attend a BEA in any of the upcoming years, so I will happily participate in this one from the comfort of my home!

Group 1:

1.  What is the name you prefer to use?
I tend to be boring and just go by Stephanie
2.  How long have you been a book blogger?
Almost 1 year! My blogiversary is on June 19th!
3.  Have you participated in ABEA before?
Nope! First time.  I wasn't around for this last year!
Group 2:

1.  Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today - just this second. Remember that favorites are allowed to change if something affects you deeply enough.
Oh Geez.  Dumplin by Julie Murphy or We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
2.  What is your favorite genre and why?
I read pretty much everything, but I will have to go with Fantasty!
3.  If you could recommend one other book blogger, who would it be and why?
I like recommending my books based on the person I am recommending to.  Not all books are for all people. So tell me your interests, books you've liked in the past etc....and I will recommend you a book!
4.  Which day of ABEA are you looking forward to the most?
I am going to try to participate in all of the ABEA days as long as my little bug allows me to participate.  She comes first, even to books!
5.  If you could create a playlist that reflects your bookshelf, what would be the first song you choose? (You can include more than one if you want :D)
I really don't know.  It would have to be something almost put together but still pretty chaotic
6.  How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? (#ABEAShelfie)
I tried to organize it alphabetical by authors last name.  Then I pulled out my signed book and separated them.  And then there are all the books that don't fit onto my bookshelves...
7.  What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by?
My TBR is huge.  I cannot wait to get to so many of them.  The ones that intimidate me are the longer ones because they take more time to get through, which means I read fewer books!
8.  What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far?
I guess I have learned that it is one of my most easily accessible happy places.
9.  If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why?
I have to say, I have never thought of this.  So I have no idea.  I guess I am not too great of a book nerd huh?  I need to work on that.

Influenster - #NutrishTurkeyVenison VoxBox

Influenster sent me some dog food this time around.

Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food to be exact.  Turkey Venison flavored.

In the picture above you can see my husky, her name is Rogue, checking out the bag.  Actually at first she was scared of the bag and ran away from it (she is a big chicken about a lot of things), but after a minute or two she was willing to sniff it and get close enough for me to grab a picture of her with the bag of food.

Now, I don't know if you can really see this in this photo or not, but for a large breed dog this bag is a little small.  I think it would maybe, if we are lucky, feed her for a week.  Maybe.  I am not sure if this is a full size or a sample size.  Or if it is a full size, I don't know if it comes in multiple sizes, but this size would not cut it in my house.  Nope.  Not at all.

I do thank Influenster and Nutrish for sending me this bag of dog food for free for review and testing purposed though!

Sorry guys.... I really don't know what more I can say about a bag of dog food.....

Also, the husky's name is Rogue because her dad's name was Logan.  We felt it was fitting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Picture Book Wall (#10) - Throw a Book Themed Birthday with Brightly!

Hi Everyone!

I have something super special to share with you all this month!  While we know how awesome storytime with our littles can be, have you ever thought of using their love of books to throw them a book themed birthday party?!

I mean, really, what is a better way to support your little bookworms love of books than by having their birthday party themed around of their most beloved book characters?  Absolutely nothing.

However, I bet you are wondering..."where would I even start?"  Well have no fear.  I have an amazing source for just this kind of party to share with you!

If you haven't heard of Brightly yet, you are totally missing out.  They are a great resource over all for bookish love in little readers.  What is even better, they have recently launched a resource just for book themed birthdays!!!

And I mean, they really have it all!  They have book gift ideas, book themed activity ideas, and even some specific character party ideas.  They have really gone all out to help us parents/caregivers give our little bookworm the book themed party of their dreams.

I bet you are wondering where you can find this fabulous resource that I am telling you about... and you can find it right HERE.

Honestly, Brightly is a fantastic resource for a lot of bookish things for our little readers.  They are great for a lot more than just book themed birthday party ideas.  They have reading suggestions for your readers, interesting articles, tips and tricks, reading suggestions for us adults, and other fun book themed activities and ideas beyond birthday parties.

Brightly is a resource I strongly suggest you have bookmarked on your web browser for easy access, but you can also (and should) sign up for their NEWSLETTER.  Their newsletter will make it easier for you to get access to the information that you want.  They let you set it up so that you get information related to the age groups that you want.  You won't have to fish through information that is unnecessary for you personally to get to what you want. 


Guess what everyone! Brightly is giving one lucky person a chance to win this amazing prize pack!  I received one and trust me....this prize pack is really awesome!  So you definitely want to enter for a chance to win.  However, that all being said, there are some rules.  This giveaway is for 13+ and you must be in  the US.  Sorry to all of my international readers :(  

Now go forth and enter!  And in the words of Effie Trinket "May the odds be EVER in your favor!"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: Poison Study #1
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: October 1, 2005 
Source: Purchased

Oh Poison Study....

I don't know how I shall ever find the words needed to express my thoughts completely for this book.

First, I guess I should let you know that this is actually my second time reading Poison Study.  I read it many years ago at the recommendation of a friend.  He was absolutely fascinated with it, so I had to check it out for myself.

Over the years, I found myself not really remembering everything that happened in Poison Study.  However, I knew I liked it (okay loved it) and had been recommending it to people far and wide as a book that they should read.

This book, this series, has made me a forever fan of Maria V. Snyder.

Anyways, I felt I should reread it (and soon hopefully I will get to the rest of the series) before reading the new books that have come in the series very recently.  When I had heard that Maria V. Snyder was returning to this world I knew I needed to reread the books that already existed.  Unfortunately, I am very slow about fitting rereads into my my reading schedule since there are so many unread books still out there.

So, I decided to make this book my very first book to read for the year 2016.  And it was, and then I proceeded to sit on my butt and not write the review for a good 5 months.  The only real reason for this was laziness.  That and I kept reading and writing reviews for other books.  But here it is, finally.

Poison Study.

We start out with Yelena.  An extremely dirty, skinny rat of a girl being taken to her execution.  But first she has to stop and meet with Valek (swoon!) the chief of security.  Valek then offers her a way to avoid death, he offers her the position of being the Commanders personal food tester.

Yelena is given the option to trade death by execution, a death that she knows when and how it will happen, with a death that could happen at anytime by any possible number of poisons.

She chooses to be the food tester.

Of course, she plans to figure out how to get herself out of this situation.  Unfortunately for her, a whole lot of things keep happening to and around her.

The plot of Poison Study is wonderful.  It is definitely something that I suggest you read.  It has a lot to it.  Magic, deception, love, friendship, etc etc.  It really is quite fantastic.

However, what I haven't quite been able to get over is that I don't think I loved it as much as I did through my first initial read.  Why?  You know....I have no idea.  I had actually forgotten so much of what happened in this story.  And I really found it enjoyable.  And I still read through it just as fast as I did the first time around if not faster.

What I think maybe it could have been after so much thought is that I love this series.  Not any one book in it.  That I love the story as a whole.

My appreciation for this book didn't drop very much, but it was noticeable for me.  However, my love for this world is still very strong and I will still recommend it to everyone and anyone that I come across.

And I mean....Valek (sooooo hot!)

My Rating
4 Stars

All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.  They were not influenced by any outside parties.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Blitz: The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

Guys, The Selection series by Kiera Cass is finally coming to a completion.  It is just so sad!  Even though I personally haven't caught up the last and final book The Crown, I have enjoyed the ones I have gotten through so far.

For those curious, I have gotten through the first three.  I have The Heir and Happily Ever After in my possession.  The Heir is even signed!!!! I just need to read them.  The problem is that I have loved this series so much that I keep putting off reading the books.

I read the first book, The Selection, back when it came out.  Actually, I may have read the eARC.  I am not quite sure, as it has been quite a long time.  I was just a wee little bookseller back then.  I wasn't involved in the blogging world whatsoever.  To me, I had just found a book with a beautiful cover, so I had to read it.

And read it I did.  More like, I devoured it.  I loved it.  I told everyone I knew about the book.  If you were over in the teen section of the bookstore that I worked in, I was telling you to read this book!  Because of doing this, I got a few other booksellers to read it...and they got more people to read it.

To make a long story short, it became a pretty good seller in our store.

And now here The Selection series is.  A huge seller.  Super popular.  And back then, I had no idea it would ever become as big as it has.  And it has some of the most gorgeous covers ever!

Speaking of covers, here the one for The Crown.  The final book in The Selection series.  Isn't it breathtaking?  I love that this one was done in purple.  I also love the dress.  This may very well be my most favorite cover for this series.

In case you are wondering what this book is supposed to be about, here is a little blurb about it.

Kiera Cass’s bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first page. Now the end of the journey is here, in a wonderfully romantic series finale that will sweep you off your feet.

Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you... and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

The Selection series has sold more than 3 million copies and captured the hearts of fans around the world. This swoon-worthy final installment is the happily ever after they’ve all been waiting for.

Even just reading that little bit about The Crown makes me sad.  It will take me forever to get to this final book just because I don't want this series, this world, to come to an end.  I feel like I know the characters.  That I have been through so much with them.  I want to live in a world where I don't know how everything gets wrapped up.  I know up to the end of The One currently.  And it took me forever to get to that point.

Though I know I can't get myself to read The Heir and The Crown just yet, I know I will.  And I will enjoy and devour every word that the books contain.

You can think me weird for not wanting to complete a series that I love, but I just can't let it end!  Though I can guarantee you I will be getting my hands on this book ASAP!

And you can buy The Crown here!

Oh and guess what?!  There just happens to be a giveaway that you really need to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And thank you Irish Banana Blog Tours for letting me partake in this blitz!  It means a lot to me <3