Mar 24, 2019

Building the Book Pile #294

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

It has been a few weeks since I have posted a Book Pile post - I am still alive :) I have just been busy, and the blog has fallen a bit out of the schedule :/ Sorry. 

We just got back from a vacation in Florida. We visited some family and had a wonderful time in the warm weather. We were staying the Cape Coral but spent St. Patty's weekend in Key West and it was so much fun. It was our first time down. I will post a few pictures here and on Instagram of the trip and all the fun animals I stalked while I was there.

Not much on the blog lately because of travels and my new course starting - but there will be more soon. I read a bunch of books that are coming out in April and the end of March and those reviews will be up as fast as I can write them/ close to the books release date. 

I have two work trips coming up one at the end of this week and one at the end of the following week, so hopefully I still be able to get on track and post regular weekend posts again..... we will see :/

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi

Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog! 

Coming up on the Blog

Blog Blast: The Rebel Mages by Laurie Forest (YA)
Recent Reads: The Minimalist Way by Erica Layne (Non-Fiction)
Early Reader Review: Muddy by Griffin Ondaatje (Youth)
March Re-Cap (WOW it is almost April)

Books Received Recently

 The Mutts Summer Diaries  The Door to Witchcraft: A New Witch's Guide to History, Traditions, and Modern-Day Spells  A Mind of Her Own  Wishes and Wellingtons

Unicorn Bowling (Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure) by Dana Simpson - from Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for review.

The Mutts Summer Diaries (Sampler) by Patrick McDonnell - from Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for review.

The Door to Witchcraft: The New Witch's Guide to History, Traditions, and Modern- Day Spells by Tonya Brown - from Althea Press and Callisto Publishers Club for review.

Audible Originals from March - Freebies with Audible Subscription
A Mind of her Own by Paula McLain
Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry

Have you missed anything lately?
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!

Mar 22, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway! Friendroid by MM Vaughan

About the Book
Stranger Things meets robots in this sweet story about an unlikely friendship between two boys—one human, one android.

Eric Young is an android, but he doesn’t know. He does know that he’s just moved to Ashland, so it’s important to make the right kind of friends—the kind that would be interested in skateboarding and the new Slick sneakers his Uncle Martin sends him.

Danny Lazio doesn’t have any friends, but he doesn’t care. Even if his classmates don’t accept him, he still has Land X, the online role play game that he’s actually really good at. But then Eric takes an interest in Land X, and suddenly Danny thinks he might have found a real friend…if he can figure out the mystery behind Eric’s sudden disappearances and strange lifestyle.

It becomes harder to ignore the weird events that happen only around Eric. But uncovering the secret behind Eric’s identity is an act that might cost them both as powerful forces soon move in around them.

This heartfelt story about friendship and what it means to be human is sure to tug at your soul—or your soul-chip if you’re like Eric.  


"A timely parable for this generation of digital natives." ―Kirkus

"Vaughan presents another noteworthy sf middle-grade offering peppered with mystery." ―Booklist

"For middle-grade readers who are ready to fight the power." ―Publishers Weekly

Slick: Wednesday, October 31 
We left the house at 6:12 p.m. to go trick or treating. I was carrying my Baltic Wave skateboard under one arm and a black bag with a skeleton on it to collect candy in the other. I looked up what a zombie was this morning, and they are only interested in eating human flesh and organs, so I don’t think they’d be carrying skateboards around, or bags to collect candy. But as zombies are not real, I guess nobody can say that they definitely wouldn’t. Even so, I thought other people might think it was weird, but nobody said anything, so maybe they didn’t. Or maybe they were being polite, like how nobody mentioned that Tyler was dressed as an entertainer for little kids parties. 
I had never been trick or treating before, but it looked like everybody in Ashland had. Harry’s street was already full of kids when we went out. The younger kids had adults with them. We were old enough to trick or treat without an adult, so we went on our own. 
The streets looked very different from how they normally look at night. This is because most people decorate their houses for Halloween with lights, pumpkins, candles, spiderwebs, ghosts, bats, and witches. Some people had put gravestones and dead bodies on their front lawns. Not real ones. 
We did not decorate our house. I will tell Mom and Dad to decorate our house next year. 
We went to thirty-two houses. Sometimes we had to wait a long time to get to the door as there were so many kids in front of us. Some of the houses ran out of candy. The code for running out of candy is to leave an unlit pumpkin outside your home. 
One of the houses had a big basket filled with candy on the front porch. The owners of the house were not there. The basket had a sign saying TAKE ONE. Harry, Luke, and Tyler grabbed handfuls of the candy even though the sign was stuck on the handle of the basket and the words were written in large orange letters, so they couldn’t have missed it. 

Mar 12, 2019

Blog Blitz: Excerpt & Giveaway! The Witch's Tower by Tamara Grantham

The Witch’s Tower 
by Tamara Grantham 
(Twisted Ever After #1) 
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

About the Book

Gothel is a witch. Punished for the actions of her mother, her choice is simple: either she stands guard over Princess Rapunzel—or she dies. But just because a choice is easy doesn’t mean it’s pleasant. Protecting Rapunzel means watching as the princess lays trapped in a tower, bedridden by hair that is so long and heavy it’s slowly driving her insane. Gothel’s life has become one of imprisonment and solitude as well—until a prince and his handsome squire appear at the tower.

Only one object can cut Rapunzel’s hair and end the curse: a pair of magical shears. But the shears are guarded by the most terrifying witches in the land, who also happen to be Gothel’s aunts. As Gothel and the prince’s squire, Raj Talmund, work to form a plan, she finds herself more and more drawn to the mysterious young man from the Outerlands. Unfortunately, his destiny is far more dangerous than she wants to admit: to save a princess, he must kill the witch who’s been forced to guard her.

THE WITCH’S TOWER is the first in an inspired new series of fairy-tale retellings from award-winning fantasy author Tamara Grantham.

99¢ for release week only!
Blood. My blood.  
Rapunzel was getting bolder. A gust of rain-scented wind rushed through the clearing as I pulled a scrap of rolled linen from my cloak. I wrapped it around my wrist where she’d clawed my skin. Droplets soaked through, staining the fabric.  
Sighing, I straightened to stare at the moonlit tower looming over me. I didn’t know what to do with Rapunzel. She was growing more unstable. It didn’t help that my mother had placed a curse on her. How could Rapunzel’s mind be right when she was forced to lie in bed all day, a prisoner to her hair that was so heavy, it prevented her from moving? 
The clouds thickened, covering the sky, making the tower seem to disappear. I lit my lantern. The flame burned bright inside the glass as I started down the trail through the forest. As I walked, twigs snapped under my boots. The sounds of chirping crickets, and the occasional hoot from an owl, filled the air.  
The scent of rain lingered on the wind. I hoped it held off until I made it to the village. The trail sloped downward, and I followed it over a narrow footbridge spanning a stream. As I crossed, my footfalls echoing over wooden planks, I reminded myself why I was traveling through these cursed woods. We needed supplies. Going into the village was the only way to get them, although leaving the tower was risky. If the high sorcerer found me gone, he’d hang me for sure, but what choice did I have? The flour was growing rancid, I would eat dirt before I touched another wild beet, and I was certain the dirt would taste better. It would help if I had skills in gardening, but I’d always had rotten luck when it came to growing things.  
A breeze rushed through the woods, stirring the turquoise blue strands of my hair. I tucked it beneath my cowl, hoping to keep it hidden. It made me easily identifiable, and if anyone saw its strange color, they’d start asking questions. I hated questions. I hated answering them even more.The trees grew thicker along my path, making it hard to see anything.  
A noise caught my attention.  
Hoof beats came from up ahead. I ducked behind a briar bush as two forms emerged from the trail. Dousing my lantern’s flame, I stared at the shapes of two men on horseback approaching me.  
I held my breath, my own heartbeats sounding too loud. 
“Halt!” one of the men called. “I see you there.” 
“Come out,” the other man shouted.  
Under the light of their lanterns, the gleam of their swords’ pommels shone, peeking from their scabbards strapped to their backs. Would they use their weapons? 
Breathing deeply, I attempted to keep my cool. They had no reason to harm me. I kept that in mind as I stood and stepped away from the bush. 
“What are you doing out here?” one of the men asked. 
“I’m on my way to Willow Wood village.”

Mar 6, 2019

Recent Reads: I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly

I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly
Series: I Kill Giants
Publisher:  Image comics
Publication Date:   2009

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Barbara Thorson, a girl battling monsters both real and imagined, kicks butt, takes names, and faces her greatest fear in this bittersweet, coming-of-age story called "Best Indy Book of 2008" by IGN.
I pulled a reader no-no and watched this movie before I read the graphic novel, either way I was NOT prepared for the ending and I won't spoil it in case you are still waiting to read it. 

This graphic novel is a mix of fantasy and the horrors that reality can bring. They are mashed together in a way that is interesting and only sheds light when needed. The reader is pretty much kept in the dark throughout the novel until the very end and then it all hits you like a wrecking ball.

The main character, Barbara, is super strong and brave for her age. She has been through some things and won't put up with anyone that she thinks is dumb, which is most of her peers and even the teachers and principal. She is a hero surrounded by the oblivious. 

The fantastical aspects of this book were subtle but also very over the top and they meshed really well into the story. At some point I will compare the movie to the graphic novel but for now, I have to say that I really liked the book as a stand alone. It has everything it needs to and while it may seem strange, I was not left questioning the giants or fantasy elements, it all just makes sense.

All that being said, if you are not ready for an emotional roller-coaster, this book isn't for you; but if you are, you will love this book.

Mar 5, 2019

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Of Salt and Stars by Seven Jane

Of Salt and Stars by Seven Jane 

Genre: Dark fantasy 
Release Date: May 24, 2019 
Publisher: Ang’dora Productions

The Havenwood Falls Collective is the group of award-winning and USA Today bestselling authors writing in the Havenwood Falls shared world, a universe that includes four series in the paranormal fantasy genre. Our authors have been featured in USA Today, on Good Morning America, and in the Emmy's Gifting Suite. Discover more about the Havenwood Falls world and see the full book list at

Welcome to the secluded mountain town of Havenwood Falls, home to sexy men, strong women, and neighbors who bite. Discover supernatural mystery, thrills, and romance in a place where everyone has a deep, dark, and often deadly secret.

This is a stand-alone dark fantasy tale in the Havenwood Falls shared world. Havenwood Falls is a collaborative effort by multiple authors across multiple series all in the paranormal fantasy genre, allowing readers to discover new authors and stories to fall in love with. Each author brings a stand-alone plotline, so they can be read in any order.

You might also enjoy these Havenwood Falls books:
  • Forget You Not by Kristie Cook
  • Covetousness by Randi Cooley Wilson
  • Ink & Fire by R.K. Ryals
  • Nowhere to Hide by Belinda Boring
  • The Lurkers Within by Danielle Bannister
Books are released on a monthly basis.

Look for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series; Legends of Havenwood Falls, a historical fantasy series; and Havenwood Falls Sin & Silk, the darker, sexier side of town.

Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at
Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at

Two women, one love, and a curse lurking in deep, dark waters

For as long as she can remember, Maris Heilen has been haunted by dreams of a beautiful woman beckoning to her from beneath the water. These dreams have been Maris’s only constant. She’s lived her life like a leaf caught in the rushing tide: no rules, no commitments, and no long-term lovers, either—just a string of broken hearts that have tried to anchor her unwilling heart to the earth. When her dreams take on a new sense of urgency following the mysterious death of her estranged father, Maris knows it’s time to uproot and keep moving, her soul pulled to the west, toward the water—toward her.

Instead Maris finds herself drawn to a surreal little town high in the Colorado mountains, where she begins to believe her dream might be much closer to reality than she’d ever imagined. When she discovers her past is linked to a legend even more haunting than her dreams—and that the woman in them is not only real but in danger of being lost to an unfathomable darkness—Maris resolves to outshine the evil that has crept into a small corner of a forgotten forest in Havenwood Falls.


About the Author
Seven Jane 
is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Her debut novel, The Isle of Gold, was published by Black Spot Books in October 2018. 

Seven is a member of The Author's Guild and Women's Fiction Writing Association. She writes a weekly column for WFWA's Industry News newsletter, and is a regular contributor to The Nerd Daily.

She is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

Find the Author


Photo Content from Seven Jane

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Winner will receive the Ultimate Havenwood Falls Swag (Mug, Tote, and Key Chain) 
- Winner will receive an E-Copy of THE ISLE OF GOLD and OF SALT AND STARS by Seven Jane.
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Mar 4, 2019

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! The Haunting of Elmwood Manor by Pamela McCord

About the Book
The Haunting of Elmwood Manor
Pamela McCord
(a Pekin Dewlap Mystery)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 1st 2019
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery

Pekin Dewlap hasn’t seen a ghost since she was twelve. But she’d do anything to get them back. Starting a ghostbusting business with her two best friends, Amber and Scout, seems like the perfect way to accomplish her goal. Of course, playing with ghosts isn’t high on their wish list, so Pekin has to do some arm-twisting to get them on board.
Once committed, Pekin and her friends find themselves in deep, trying to solve the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Miranda Talbert. Miranda went missing in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.
In the midst of finding Miranda, discovering her budding feelings for Scout, and consoling a terrified Amber, Pekin is met by an angry ghost set on thwarting her plans. Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda, or will Pekin’s business die before she solves the mystery?

THE IDEA WAS SCARY. Exciting. Overwhelming.She wanted to tell her best friends, Amber and Scout, about her new ghost-hunting business. Amber being Amber, she would freak out and say no way before Pekin could explain all the reasons it was a good idea. 
Pekin had decided to do all the legwork before telling Amber and Scout about her big plan. Get her ducks in a row, be ready to answer any question or objection they threw at her. The next day, she would convince her friends how exciting this adventure would be. 
Despite her anxiety, Pekin slept fairly well and was awake half an hour before her 7:30 a.m. alarm. She rolled onto her back and opened her eyes, nervous at the prospect of coming clean with her friends. With extra time before needing to get ready for school, Pekin propped up on her pillows and looked around her room, going over her plans. 
Her bedroom reflected her personality, more practical than all fan girlie over the latest boy band. She kept it clean, her bed made every morning. Clothes were never tossed on the floor. She wasn’t into the rumpled look. A full-length mirror was tacked to the closet door for examining her outfits, since changing her clothes multiple times before deciding on the perfect look was her norm. 
Two posters graced the walls, both copies of the ones hanging in Agent Mulder’s office in The X-Files, one reading “I Want to Believe” and the other proclaiming “The Truth is Out There.” A white bookcase reflected her obsession with the paranormal, as it was stocked with tales of haunted houses and ghostly visitations. Ghosts weren’t the only thing Pekin loved. Her bookshelves also contained a healthy dose of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books. Sure, they were popular when her mom was a kid, but they were still full of great ideas for teenage sleuths and fueled her daydreams of solving mysteries. 
Her gaze fell on a photo of the three friends she’d stuck in the mirror of her dresser. She loved this picture. It was taken six months ago, and showed Pekin, bookish and nerdy, and Amber, looking short next to Pekin and Scout, her beautiful auburn hair wisping around her face. Then there was Scout. Tall, good looking in a Bill Gates sort of way, glasses, studious. And the reason Pekin loved the picture. 
Pekin had known Scout since second grade (he was in third grade at the time, an older man), and this year he’d blossomed (if you could say that about a guy), shooting up three inches, getting contact lenses, losing the braces. Her heart plunked the first time she saw him after summer break was over and he’d come back from spending two months in Europe with his family. But he couldn’t know about that, and she made sure not to let on that she liked him, not even to Amber, who would no doubt let it slip to Scout. Pekin would be so embarrassed if he knew. 
Twirling a strand of blonde hair around a finger, she pondered how to approach Scout and Amber. Pekin wanted to be a ghostbuster. She wanted excitement, and imagined herself and Scout searching for ghosts in haunted houses. Amber would be there, too, of course, but Amber didn’t figure in Pekin’s daydreams the same way Scout did.Still dressed in pajamas, Pekin wandered into her walk-in closet and inspected her options. Jeans, of course, but what top? She selected a white T-shirt with a big orange Cheshire Cat grinning on the front. 
She loved the way her hazel eyes popped when she wore it. Running her fingers through her hair, she turned sideways so she could admire the way it fell around her shoulders and down her back, then headed for the bathroom to brush her teeth and shower. 
During her shower, Pekin considered her outfit, the one she’d picked for the day. Scout once said that the Cheshire Cat was his favorite Alice in Wonderland character. She hoped he’d notice her shirt and admire it the way she wanted. 
As if. The three of them had been friends for ever. They’d grown up together. Scout probably thought of her as a sister. Just because she now saw him in a new light didn’t mean he felt the same about her.Amber had already started attracting attention from boys. Pekin was a bit jealous, but not about the other boys. She only wished Scout would notice her in that way. 
Pekin stepped out of the shower and used a wide-toothed comb for the damp tangles of her hair, confiding in Grandma Virginia that this business was a perfect fit for her. She’d been obsessed with all things ghost for as long as she could remember. She couldn’t count the number of times she, Amber, and Scout had sat in her family room watching scary movies or TV shows. 
Pekin was nervous about meeting Amber and Scout for lunch. She’d been nervous pretty much all the time since she’d taken steps toward making her big idea a reality. As her planning had taken shape, she’d found it hard not to give off any clues that something was different with her. 
The time had come to fess up.

About the Author
Pam was born in Arkansas several decades ago. She’s not sure if that makes her a Southern Girl or if moving to Southern California when she was five revokes her Southern Girl card. She started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Reaching the first 5,000 words was a milestone, but with time and hard work she managed to finish an entire book, much to her surprise. Since then, she’s written several novels, in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

Find the Author 


Mar 3, 2019

Building the Book Pile #293

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Finished another course! Woohooo!! Monday the 11th I start a new one, in the meantime I am trying to get ahead and get some blog reading done too.

This week was a good one. I had my heater serviced (yay adulting things) and I ran a bunch of errands that I needed to. I also went to go see the student production of Into the Woods where I work, and it was so much fun. They did wonderful - now the songs are stuck in my head tho :/

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi

Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog! 

Coming up on the Blog

Blog Blast: The Haunting of Elmwood Manor by Pameal McCord (MG)
Recent Reads: I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly (GN)
Recent Reads: The Minimalist Way by Erica Layne (Non-Fication)

NO Books Received this Week 

Have you missed anything lately?
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!

Mar 1, 2019

March 2019- TBR Pile

Trying to keep it low-key because all the school stuff, but I have so many I need to read. I have started The Camelot Code and hopefully during my vacation I can make a dent in these!

     The Once and Future Geek (The Camelot Code #1)    The Beast's Heart  Mera: Tidebreaker   The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy

What do you want to read this month?
Have you read any of these yet? 
If so, let me know what you thought!