Dec 7, 2016

Recent Reads: Ready, Set, Find Christmas

Source: From the BookLook Bloggers and Zonderkidz in the exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Ready, Set, Find ChristmasReady, Set, Find Christmas by Zondervan Publishing
Publisher: Zonderzidz
Publication Date:  October 4, 2016

Format: Board book/ Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Get ready to follow Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. They are in a hurry! Mary is expecting the baby Jesus and they need your help to find many things along the way. This holiday board book is perfect for young children who will love finding the 48 objects hidden on the pages while reading the classic story of Christmas, accurately retold and with scripture references. On your mark, Ready-Set-Find! 
This was a religious board book for very young children that focuses on Mary and Joseph and the birth of Christ. While I am not really religious this search and find book was very cute and the objects that needed to be found were interesting. The book is short and features vibrant colors and an interactive nature that will be very amusing to your child. The board book will be easy to handle for little hands and each page has a tab to flip to it. There are lots of cute little animals and the pictures are perfect for a younger audience. A great book for the holiday, esp. if you are religious and would like to share that with your child.

Dec 6, 2016

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway! A Guide to the Other Side by Robert Imfeld

About the Book 
A boy and his ghostly twin sister work together to pass messages from the beyond in this funny paranormal debut.

There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.

Oh, and his twin sister, Kristina? She’s a ghost too.

They’ve been working as a pair for years, expertly relaying messages from ghosts to their still-living loved ones. Baylor’s even managed to come up with an introductory phrase—one that he has to use far too often.

But when a strange ghost shows up close to Halloween, a grown man, covered in a sheet, with only his black leather shoes showing from the bottom, Baylor starts to wonder if something else has taken notice of him. And when his sister goes missing, somehow ghost-napped, he’s forced to figure out the truth about the Sheet Man and his sister’s disappearance, all without his usual ghostly ambassador.

This was a very imaginative book, the author does a wonderful job setting the tone for the book in the first 100 pages and keeps it up throughout. I really felt for the characters and what was happening and that is great in a middle grade read. 

Baylor is a young boy with the ability to see ghosts and spirits, which is great because that way he can see his sister, who died at birth - a morbid beginning, but the book works out really well. Baylor and his sister Kristina have a really close bond. They talk all the time and I think that it is an adorable relationship. If they had both been alive I think that the relationship would not be so friendly. 

The plot was very fun and kept my heart racing. Baylor and the creepy ghosts and Halloween night taking its place among the creepy and then Kristina starts to be away the plot picks up even more. As Baylor panics so does the reader. 

I really enjoyed this read and think the series is going to be a fun one for all middle grade readers. If you enjoy a paranormal, young read than this is definitely for you. 

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
5 Winners will receive a Copy of A Guide to the Other Side by Robert Imfeld

About the Author
Robert Imfeld grew up in Orlando, FL, and, like any self-respecting Floridian, evenly split his free time between the beach and Disney World. After graduating from the University of Florida, he put his journalism degree to good use by saving lives at a luxury resort (some call this “lifeguarding”) in Orlando, interning/brewing coffee at a production company in L.A., and managing finances for country songwriters in Nashville. He now lives in New York City, where he works on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid marketing team by day and writes kids' books by night. Follow him on Twitter @robbyimfeld.

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Dec 5, 2016

Blog Blast: Interview with QL Pearce author of Spine Chillers

Hello Readers! Another fun day of Book Content for You!
Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with Q.L. Pearce author of Spine Chillers. I also have an excerpt from the book too...

Welcome to Cover2CoverBlog, thank you for joining us.

Could you first tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m originally from Kitchener, Ontario. Shortly after I was born my family and I moved to Baranquilla, Colombia. We arrived in the United States when I was five and I grew up on an island near the Gulf coast of Florida. When I was a child I wanted to be a storyteller or a mermaid. We eventually moved to Palm Springs in the California desert so I scratched mermaid off the list and focused on storyteller. I have written more than 120 books for young readers including educational, nonfiction, biography, and fiction for all age ranges. Middle grade to YA horror, sci-fi and mystery are my favorites.

Why did you decide to start writing? What was your inspiration for Spine Chillers?
I’ve been writing since I could first scribble a story on paper. I won my first school writing contest in third grade and my first city sponsored contest at age eleven. I actually got into a little trouble when I was a kid for telling scary stories that frightened my friends. My first paid publication was an activity book about dinosaurs. It wasn’t too long before I sold my first collection of scary stories for the series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs. Spinechillers is in that tradition. It’s a collection of short stories for tweens to teens. The tales include ghost stories, a monster or two, and a couple of quirky stories that spring from a childhood spent watching Twilight Zone and reading scary comic books.

How did you come up with the plot for Spine Chillers? And did you do any research before writing your book?
My goal was to write stories that are perfect for reading aloud at a sleep-over, or under the covers with a flashlight. I tried to include something for everyone. I do a lot of research about ghosts, monsters, myths and legends to get ideas for the stories. My dear friend, horror writer Tamara Thorne, and I occasionally go on road trips to stay in haunted hotels, take photographs at spooky locations, or visit locations known for popular urban legends.

Was there anything really challenging about the writing of this story? Any obstacles you might have run into?

The main challenge for me is that I’m easily distracted and I have to work at staying on task. Researching a home with a spooky history might lead me to another story, then another and I have to stop before I go to far down that road.

What is your favorite part about the writing process? Do you have a special writing spot?
I like all of the elements of the process. I enjoy the research, “meeting” my characters for the first time and getting to know them, sketching out the first draft, and shifting the elements like pieces of a puzzle. I belong to a terrific critique group and they are each very generous in sharing their thoughts and expertise to help me shape each story. When I write I usually sit at my dining room table. I have an actual home office with a desk, but my dogs prefer the main room and I like to work with them close by.

Is there anything about you that would surprise your readers – hobbies, likes, dislikes etc?
Years ago I was an assistant SCUBA instructor. It’s how I met my husband. We both love to travel. In the past couple of years we’ve visited Florence, Vancouver, Shanghai, Lhasa, and Cambridge, England. I’m also currently completing my meditation teacher training.

If you could spend time with any author, who would it be and why?
If you mean anyone living or dead, I would want to have dinner with Ray Bradbury. I love his writing style and, of course, he was the master when it came to short stories. I had the opportunity to hear him speak once. He was just as wonderful in person. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all time favorite books. I’ve decided that if I were a character in that book and had to choose a book to personally become, it would be Animal Farm by George Orwell. So George Orwell can also join us for dinner!

What are you reading right now? Do you have any book recommendations for the young adult/ new adult reader?
I’m currently reading Station Eleven by Emily St. Jon Mandel. The books on my nightstand that are next up are Invisible Planets, edited by Ken Liu and The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. For a YA reader who likes a murder mystery with a paranormal twist I would definitely recommend The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. 


Spine Chillers: Hair-Raising Tales by Q.L. Pearce

About the Book

The town of Saltlick Bluff is famous for an urban legend. Does the spirit of a young girl wait on a misty cliff-hugging highway for her ride to the prom?

In the house on Beech Street a terrible tragedy occurred. Now neighbors won’t look at the place as they pass. Those who live nearby draw their blinds and shutter their windows after dark. What are they afraid of?

Hale Hallow Woods seems sinister and menacing even in the light of day. Does a thirst for revenge beat near its dark heart?

The answers lie within these pages, just waiting to send a chill up your spine!

Excerpt from Spine Chillers

 The House on Beech Street

Jason stepped inside. The air within was tainted with an odor that made him gag.
“What is that smell?” he asked putting his hand to his face.
“What smell?” Mike responded. Thomas just shrugged his shoulders.
“Do you know the story of the Carlson’s?” The woman didn’t wait for an answer before she continued. “They were a typical family. The little girl, Anisa, took ballet lessons. The boy, Junior, played baseball. Some people said he had the talent to go far as an athlete … that is … if he’d lived.”
The group entered the kitchen. The table was set for five as if the family would be sitting down for breakfast any minute. Jason noticed a pitcher’s mitt on one of the chairs.
“He was a lefty,” he said to no one in particular.
“Mr. Carlson’s mother slept in the spare room. She was an invalid and needed a lot of care. Mr. Carlson and his wife had quarreled about it that fateful morning and he’d left early. When he came home he found his wife in that very chair.” She pointed to the one at the end of the table. “He’d brought her flowers and wanted to apologize. It took him a few moments to realize she was dead. It seems she had taken a handful of sleeping pills with her tea. The police found the rest of the family in the basement along with a cracked, bloody baseball bat.”
“What happened to the dad?” Mike asked.
“They found him two days later hanging from the tree in the backyard. He’d left a note that said he wasn’t alone in the house. The neighbors claimed they heard noises late at night … screaming. You’ll notice that the houses on both sides are now empty. No one wants to live near this place.” She paused and looked in the direction of the front entrance. “Sometimes I can’t wait to leave.”
Motioning for the boys to follow, the woman moved from the kitchen into a dimly lit hallway. She opened the first door on the left. “This was the grandmother’s room.” Jason was hit with a wave of a smell like rotting fish.
Excerpt from Spine Chillers, by Q.L. Pearce
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.

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Dec 3, 2016

Building the Book Pile #124

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Wow such a long week and I haven't really gotten a break. This week I worked all week, plus worked my other job, I finished a few books, and I decorated my office for Christmas :) So there was some fun stuff but I would love a nap ... a nice long nap... but there are more books to read!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog...

Interview with QL Pearce author of Spine Chillers (YA)
Blog Tour: Guide to the Other Side by Robert Imfeld (MG)
Review: Ready Set Find Christmas (Youth)
Discussion Day: TV 
Happy Holidays from Cover2Coverblog


No Books Received this Week    


Have you missed anything lately?

Week of November 27 - December 2

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!

Dec 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!- Poppies for Christmas by Stacy Renee Keywell

About the Book

Poppies For Christmas
Stacy Keywell
Publication date: November 15th 2016

Genres: Romance, Young Adult
A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!
Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family. By a dreamful stroke of chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?
You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.

This was a very sweet holiday read and I enjoyed it. It was fully of twists and turns, romance, and warm and fuzzy feelings that made me happy... Although before the warm and fuzzies there was a good amount of drama and anxiety. 

This book is about a love triangle of sorts. Dexx wants to be with Poppy but Poppy is dating Declan who is the brother to Denver who wants to be with Dexx... it was a very interesting set up. All four spend the holiday break together at a lavish, outrageous party that Declan and Denver's parents throw every year, there they come to learn more about one another and celebrate the holidays.

While I did enjoy the book, it threw me off a bit in the beginning because the first perspectives that you read are those of Lenn - friend of Kit and Poppy and admirer of Dexx, then the POVs alternated between Dexx, Poppy, Declan, and Denver and we never really get back to Lenn at all. I found that a bit odd and misleading. I think that there could be easier ways to introduce the reader to Poppy and Dexx. 

That being said, I did really enjoy the romance. The book was very PG and I think that was great, it allowed you to focus on the overall drama. The holiday party that was thrown was everything that I want every holiday party to be - whimsical and charming, and I really liked Declan and Poppy they were amazing characters. But I can't say much more or I will ruin some of the twists. This was a wonderful holiday read!
About the Author
Stacy Renée Keywell enjoys spending time misusing, mispronouncing, and misspelling languages, especially in her native tongue, English. When she is not stargazing or daydreaming she creates adventures for her family to conquer. Besides following her whimsical dreams, Stacy likes to sing to the music in her head, dance poorly, and compose non-sensical words. She is also the author of Forbidden Sky- Book One of the Dark Wing Series. Stacy resides in Michigan in a little house in the woods with her husband, and two daughters.
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