Jul 15, 2018

Building the Book Pile #262

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another week gone... summer is flying by but that's ok because Fall is my favorite months and I am getting excited for them! Still a lot to do first though. This weekend (and while you are reading this) I am in a Beginner Motorcycle Safety Course - I am learning to ride a motorcycle. Day one went well and today I am in Day two hoping to make it through without freaking out. It is getting more difficult but I think I am doing ok.
Last week I got a lot of reading done but the reviews went up immediately so I need to get more reading caught up ASAP because this upcoming week I work for 2 days then leave to visit family in PA and VA and I have no time to read :/ I am hoping to have some content prepped but we will see.  

Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!


Coming up on the Blog

Let's Compare: Recent Reads: TV Show - The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket (MG)
Recent Reads: There are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming- of- Age Story by Pamela Druckerman (Adult)
Cover Reveal: Sugar Spells (The Spellwork Syndicate #2) by Lola Dodge (YA)


Books Received this Week  

I may have visited Netgalley this week, I love children's books :) but I also ended up getting a few in the mail too.

Poppy and Sam and the Leaf Thief  Giant: The Panda of the Enchanted Forest  Sheets  Magic Harvest (Fairy Trafficking, #1) Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge  Children of the Bloodlands (The Realms of Ancient, #2)  Everywhere You Want to Be

 Poppy and Sam and the Leaf Thief by Cathon - from Netgalley and Owlbooks
Giant: A Panda of the Enchanted Forest by Xuan Loc Xuan - from Netgalley and Happy Fox Books 
 Sheets by Brenna Thummler - from Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors
 Magic Harvest (Fairy Trafficking #1) by Mary Karlik - for Blog Tour with Xpresso Reads
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen - From Librarything Early Reviewers program and Candlewick press
Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June - from a publicist and publisher for review. 

Have you missed anything lately?

Happy Reading!

Jul 13, 2018

Guest Post w/ Giveaway! - The New Adventures of A.R. Achanid by Sandi Smith

Book Details:

Book Title: The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid (Revised Edition)
Author: Sandi Smith
Illustrator: Kathy Lee
Category: Children's Fiction, 126 pages
Genre: Children's Chapter Book, Animals, Bugs & Spiders
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: January 3, 2017
Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: G

About the Book:

Harold! There goes that spider! See, he is running on the floor! That spider has to go. He cannot live here anymore!!! Oh, no! Beth looks very, very angry. What has A.R. Achnid done now? Well, before A.R. got into big trouble with Beth, he had a lot of wonderful adventures.

There are ten different adventures in this book. There is the time he went to the circus and rode on a balloon, and then had some shoo fly pie. Another day, A.R. and Rex (a Great Dane, who is A.R.’s best friend) decided to walk all the way into town, and they had such a wonderful time. Then, A.R. and his family went to New York City for the biggest craft fair ever (which was for spiders only), plus many, many other adventures.

Unfortunately, in the tenth story, A.R.’s current living situation is going to need an adjustment. Something changes in the lives of Harold and Beth (the humans) that will make things very difficult for A.R. Come along with A.R. for some fun, and find out what small bundle will cause problems for A.R. and his family.

As A.R. says, “Spiders rule!”

To follow the tour, please visit Sandi Smith's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Sandi Smith

Family First ~ Life when I’m not Writing

Family is first.  Now that we are retired, if they need any help around their house, or need us to pick up the grandchildren from school, or drop their vehicles off at the garage and need a ride to work, we are now available 24/7 to do those things whenever they need us.  When Johnny first retired, I told my daughter-in-law that I felt sorry for her, because we would be over there every day driving her crazy.  She is sweet, so she said that would be okay, but we are so busy.  We are hardly ever there.  Maybe in the fall things will slow down for us, and we can keep our word and drive her crazy, but right now it is filled with lots of things to do. I think time is going faster now that my husband has retired, then when we both worked.  Certainly, less money, but very nice to be able to spend time together.

Unfortunately, I still work part time, but I work from the house.   At 5:30 in the morning (that’s correct, 5:30 in the morning), we head up to the office where I work.  I drop off my work from the day before, and then I pick up any work that is there waiting for me to do that day.   Having to get work done every day does limit our freedom to travel or go for day trips.   I know my boss would tell me not to worry about getting it done every day, but I could not enjoy myself if I had work waiting for me at home.  Work needs to get done first, then play, so our days are really centered around my work.

My husband and I like to kayak, and we have some beautiful bodies of water in New Hampshire.  I like the quieter lakes, and we stay close to the edges.  It is so peaceful and relaxing.  We were out on the lake one day and it was a cloudy day with a very heavy mist.  We were soaked by the time we left the water, but it was so much fun. I like it when the water is a little choppy, as I like going over the waves (not too big).  With kayaking, you go at your own pace.  We sometimes look for a nice quiet, shady cove, and we just sit there and bounce with any waves that come our way.   Johnny usually does a little fishing.  I will bring a book so I can relax and read.

Watch the book trailer:

About the Author:

Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.

Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.

Find the Author

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 21, 2018
Prize: Hardcover copy of The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid 
Open to USA & Canada - 1 winner

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Jul 11, 2018

Early Reader Review: Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel byA.W. Jantha

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

Hocus Pocus & The All New SequelHocus Pocus and the All New Sequel byA.W. Jantha
Series: Disney's Hocus Pocus
Publisher: Freeform
Publication Date:  July 10, 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.

Shortly after moving from California to Salem, Massachusetts, Max Dennison finds himself in hot water when he accidentally releases a coven of witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the afterlife. Max, his sister, and his new friends (human and otherwise) must find a way to stop the witches from carrying out their evil plan and remaining on earth to torment Salem for all eternity.

Twenty-five years later, Max and Allison's seventeen-year-old daughter, Poppy, finds herself face-to-face with the Sanderson sisters in all their sinister glory. When Halloween celebrations don't quite go as planned, it's a race against time as Poppy and her friends fight to save her family and all of Salem from the witches' latest death-defying scheme.
Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, I love being about to dress up and act a fool and then there is all the sugar that people give you for FREE (at least when you are a kid, now I have to buy it for the kids... and myself). With all this wonderful fun, there are Halloween movies and traditions that I keep up. So every year I watch Hocus Pocus about 15 times before Halloween, I own it and actually watch it all year - so much that my husband quotes it sometimes and he is not as big a fan as I am. 

When I saw this book in an Instagram post, I jumped over to Netgalley to request it and YAY, request granted. The book is really two in one. The first third is actually a retelling of the original movie/story. It is pretty much the same as the movie, so if you want to read it - it is just as fun and funny, but if you want to move right into the new stuff you can do that too without missing much.

The Sequel is about Poppy, who is the daughter of Max and Allison. She has grown up knowing the story of the Sanderson sisters coming back on Halloween and almost killing her Aunt Dani and she has always put up with it. This Halloween though, it has been 25 years and her parents are throwing a party but to impress a girl she likes Poppy decides to bring her to the Sanderson house... sound familiar? It is kind of the same set up as before but it works. 

In this book, we learn about another Sanderson sister, and even get more depth from the previous story, but with an all new adventure, because the sisters have found their way back into the moral world and are still out to take it over.

The sequel was good, I think that if you are lover of the original it is a great way to relive it in a new way. I loved seeing the Sanderson sisters again and the characters in this book were fun as well and you get to see old faves too (BINX!). It may not be the best book as a stand alone, but it gave me everything I was looking for. New old meets new...and possibly another story?... yea, how's that for a cliffhanger?! (I die!)

Jul 10, 2018

Recent Reads: The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr

Source: From Librarything Early Reviewers Program and Chronicle Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Language of SpellsThe Language of Spells by Garret Weyr
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date:  June 26, 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Paperback ARC 



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship
If it has been a while since you read a Middle Grade book, you should go find one and read it. There is something about that MG authors just get and they pull you into a world and you fall in love with the characters and everything just pulls at your heartstrings. 

The Language of Spells is one of these books. It is about a dragon names Grisha and also about a girl named Maggie. The reader meets both of them and follows their lives for a bit before these two wonderful characters even meet each other and start unfolding a beautiful plot.  

They live in a World of Magic, and there are magical things and no-so magical, normal world things. If you happen to be a human and want more of the magical world you can give up what you treasure most - money, time, or your most dear things to become magical. This book was a twisty road of past meets present and the magical and non-magical things and it was so wonderful to read.

I loved this world, it was wonderfully whimsical and sometimes very sad, and it just blew me away. I found myself crying a few times throughout and really loved this whole book. That being said, it takes quite a while to get up and running so it is a slower read then most MG books, but the time it takes to get there is a pleasure.

Jul 9, 2018

Recent Reads: Amulet #6 by Kazu Kibuishi

Escape from Lucien (Amulet, #6)
Escape from Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi 
Series: Amulet #6
Publisher: Graphix, Scholastic
Publication Date:  August 26, 2014

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback
Source: Library


Goodreads Synopsis: 
A worthy mission...or a trap?

Navin and his classmates journey to Lucien, a city ravaged by war and plagued by mysterious creatures, where they search for a beacon essential to their fight against the Elf King. Meanwhile, Emily heads back into the Void with Max, one of the Elf King's loyal followers, where she learns his darkest secrets. The stakes, for both Emily and Navin, are higher than ever.
Another great addition to this middle grade series - Amulet #6 focuses a lot more on Navin, the little brother. I had thought that this would be the case and am happy to learn more about his role in the series since his sister seems to have such a big part.

In this installment we are still gearing up for war and prophecies from the past are coming to fruition. Overall it was pretty sad, there were some deaths and people abandoned to the shadow creatures - it was a bit scary at times too.

Navin is learning to pilot robots and ships but it isn't really going as planned and he can't really explain being Commander to this group of people. But he has made a group of friends that will stick with him and he is very brave for a kid.

Younger readers will enjoy this installment to the series and it leaves enough questions that make you want to grab the next book as soon as you can.

Jul 8, 2018

Building the Book Pile #261

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Good Morning! How was your week? Did you do anything fun for the 4th of July? 

We had a pretty low-key week and just hung out with friends on the holiday. Yesterday though we visited the Shelburne Museum and it was a lot of fun, we were only there for a few hours and didn't finished seeing everything so we will have to go back, but it is a bunch of buildings on 45 acres and some have galleries in them while others are just really old buildings from Vermont that have been moved there - like an old school house and a sawmill. It was very cool.

After that we went to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings - which we don't really have one close to us and we shared a Crunch Berries milkshake (yea you read that right) it was delicious! And then we came home for a bit before going to a friends house for some burgers and lawn games. It was a great day! The weather was perfect, only in the 80s finally and the nights are in the 60s which is great.

Today I am going to run some errands and do some chores and then hang out with my bestie and sync planners (super nerds UNITE!) No shame I am a huge nerd and this is exciting.
Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Amulet #6 by Kazu Kibuishi (MG, GN)
Recent Reads: The Language of Spells by Garrett Weyr (MG)
Early Reader Review: Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha (YA)
Blog Tour, Guest Post w/ Giveaway: The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid (Youth)


No Books Received this Week again... 

still ok with that.


Have you missed anything lately?

Happy Reading!

Jul 5, 2018

Recent Reads: Dinner for Dinos by Ben Whitehouse

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

Dinner for Dinos: Gulp, Guzzle, Chomp, ChewDinner for Dinos: Gulp! Guzzle! Chomp! Chew! by Ben Whitehouse
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date:  June 5, 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Board book



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Dinner doesn’t have to be a disaster - just ask the dinos! Your kiddos will love this silly story about a rambunctious crew of dinosaurs who are making mealtime extra fun while learning how to grow up healthy and strong by eating all sorts of yummy foods.

Mealtime can be challenging with little ones, and Dinner for Dinos is a fun, exciting way to show your kids that eating healthy foods to grow big and strong doesn’t have to be yucky or scary.

“My mom says those who eat good foods

Will grow up big and strong.

I’m eating all the greens I can

To make my tail grow long!”

Children everywhere will love joining goofy Stego, Bronto, Raptor, and Rex as they help make dinner, say their prayers, and clean their plates, making mealtime the best part of the day!
A simple board book about dinosaurs getting together to have a nice meal. They talk about how eating greens will make you big ans strong and it is all done in an easy to read rhyming scheme. The pages are big and bright and the characters are adorable. Due to the rhyming, it is a quick and easy read, perfect for right before dinner or bed.

The dinosaurs pray before dinner, help set the table, and have great manners at their table. I think this book would be a good addition to family dinner times.

"Gulp! Guzzle! Chomp! Chew!" this book might be just right for you....

(That was pretty nerdy ... I know. Happy reading!) 

Jul 4, 2018

Recent Reads: Skooter Girl by Danielle Mac

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

Skooter Girl
Skooter Girl by Danielle Mac

Series:Skooter Girl Volume 1
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Publication Date:  March 13, 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Paperback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Amber lives on a remote, mystical island known as Tir Na nor’, nestled in a chain of islands in the Northern Sea. She is mischievous, bright, gifted, and always digging herself out of trouble. She is finally turning 16, and in her world this means she is now accepted as a grown member of her village. Her foundation schooling is done and she is expected to choose her calling. Her father is a gifted teacher and musician who has trained her in music and other skills, and has charted a course for her future. Amidst the celebrations on her birthday, Amber learns of buried secrets about her family. These unveiled secrets thrust Amber’s life into a tumultuous new direction and force her on an adventure that will change who she is, if she is to survive.
I am all for graphic novels of all sorts and I really love to see them with female leads, however, this one feel a bit short for me. The images throughout are very classic in style and very detailed but I felt that the story was missing parts and not really a cohesive story overall. 

The story is about Amber and it is kind of like her origin story - she is in search for her place in the world and also for her mother, who has not been a part of her life. While staying with her uncle she get a scooter and thus she is now Skooter girl... no really... that is about all that I can figure out at this point. She has a scooter so thus the nickname/ hero persona.

Overall it did have some saving graces though - the main character was a female who was not overly sexualized and that is very refreshing.  She is strong willed and a bit stubborn but I think that it all lends to some of the plot. The images were very detailed, so when the story was falling flat for me I loved looking at the images. I also really liked that this is geared toward the young adult audience, because I feel there need to be more. Another bonus was that it was pretty short at about 80 pages, so it was a a very quick read.

If you are looking for some young adult, graphic novels this is one you could add to the pile. It was different and interesting even though it fell a bit short for me personally.

Jul 3, 2018

Early Reader Review: Lady Mechankia Clockwork Assassin

Source: From Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Lady Mechanika, Vol. 5: Clockwork Assassin
Lady Mechanika-  Clockwork Assassin by Joe Benitez and M.M. Chen
Series: Lady Mechanika Volume 4
Publisher: Benitez Prodcutions
Publication Date:  June 26, 2018

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
When a series of brutal murders linked to Mr. Lewis' past leads Detective Inspector Singh to Lady Mechanika's doorstep, the Inspector is finally forced to consider: is Lady Mechanika a crime-fighting hero or a cold blooded killer? 
I have a special place in my heart for well done, overly detailed comics and graphic novels and Lady Mechanika falls into that place. My husband brought me home the first issue of this series years ago and I loved it, Mechanika is awesome - she is a self sufficient woman in a time when that wasn't really a thing. She can handle her own and she is mysterious and interesting. 

This volume is a murder mystery and Mechankia is helping to solve the puzzle of who done it in order to save her own skin and help out a friend. This part of the story steps back from her background and overall missions and we get more background on Dr. Lewis, her close, often drunk friend, and it was refreshing to finally learn more about him.

The story is woven pretty well, some things were predictable but other parts were very surprising and I really liked the mystery and conclusion. As always Mechanika is sexualized and I am not a huge fan of that but that is how she has always been drawn. 

Overall this was another great addition to the series and I really enjoy them a lot. If you are looking for a kick-butt female heroine and a steampunky setting - these could be for you. But be warned - there is a lot of violence and death.