Dec 14, 2014

Building the Book Pile #118

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

What's Happening?! 
How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

This past week was a pretty relaxed one. I got some reading done, work was pretty low stress, and my house if fairly clean which is always nice :)
We got a lot of snow though, it snowed on and off for about three days and we got a little over a foot of snow. Everything is really pretty but also a pain to drive in. Oh well... 

Giveaways Going on Now!!



Coming up on the Blog... 

    Not sure what will get posted on the blog this week... 
    hopefully some more reviews :)

      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 12, 2014

    Early Reader Review: Princess Ugg #6 by Ted Naifeh

    Today’s the Final Order Cutoff for Bad Machinery Vol. 3, Brides of Helheim #3, The Bunker #8, and Princess Ugg #6, which means it’s your LAST day to preorder them from your comic shop!
Get those preorders in, amigos! It feels good, we promise.
    Princess Ugg
    Series: Comic Issue #6
    Publisher:  Oni Press
    Publication Date:  December 10, 2014


    Format: ebook
    Source: Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my opinion or review of the book.



    After a gang of bandits makes off with the rest of the princesses, Ülga takes off after them, following her instincts and abandoning the rules of diplomacy. For the bandits have no diplomacy either, and their leader is a man of great power-who sees Ülga for who she really is. 
    I really loved this issue of Princess Ugg. She is back to her old violent and barbaric self trying to avenge her new friends. In doing so she must come to terms with her new life, civilization, and who she wants to be. It was a great installment. 

    Ulga is heroic, demanding, and wonderfully independent. The plot of this issue was exciting and a very quick read. The dialogue was informative about a lot of the key aspects and themes that have been occuring in these books and that made me happy. 

    Can't wait for the next one.



    Dec 11, 2014

    Recent Reads: Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer by Ali Maier

    Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer by Ali Maier
    Series: Max and Maggie Journal One
    Publisher: Erie Island Media, LLC.
    Publication Date:  October 3, 2013


    Format: Paperback
    Source: From the author and Book Publicity Service in exchange for an honest review. This in no way effects my opinion or review of the book.



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh.

    This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

    Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life – a conclusion they only discovered because, as Max and Maggie say, “Mom Made Us Write This.”

    I love when books for middle grade readers are funny but also teach kids and this was one of those books. A brother and sister have to work together to finish journal entries over the summer in an attempt to get along as well as write during their summer break - both wonderful things. 

    I really enjoyed this book, the idea is wonderful - no planned prompts, just a journal - express yourself but do it with your sibling. It was funny and great. I loved the interaction between the siblings and the doodles and notes in each others entries made those bits all the more entertaining. 

    I think a kid reading this will really like it. It appeals to both boys and girls and lots of different likes and dislikes. I (even as an adult) felt connected to both Maggie and Max in different opinions and really liked that. I wasn't really drawn to one or the other but both and that makes for a great story.

    The journal like writing style and then the open journal pages following the text in the paperback were also clever. I think after reading about the journal that had to be written, middle grade readers will enjoy writing their own entries. I really liked this book and flew through it. I think it would be a wonderful addition to any library and a fun parent/kid read together.

    Other Books by Maier

    Mom Made Us Write This Write Your Own Shared Journal (A Max and Maggie Activity Book #2)  Mom Made Us Write This Family Quiz Book (A Max and Maggie Activity Book #1)

    There is also a wonderful website with info about the Author, the books and Resources for Parents :)
    Mom Made Us Write This 

    Dec 10, 2014

    Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway! -- Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly

    who are you

    Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly

    Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends. Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control. 

    Who R U Really? was a mix of suspense/ thriller, Middle grade/ Young Adult goodness. It was realistic and creepy and a wonderful tale about the do's and don'ts of the internet. 

    Thea is a young teenage girl being very controlled by her parents - so many rules to follow, the largest of which is no dating. But how can she not date when there are boys asking her? After a few mishaps hat school with boys, Thea turns to playing an online game and inevitably finds herself falling for another player, someone she has never met, but she feels a deep connection to. For months they talk and become closer as friends and family drift away with rules and theories about the mystery boy.

    This is where the story turns into a creep-fest. Every time I picked up the book I had goosebumps about what may happen to Thea. Who was the guy she was talking to? there were just so many options of who it could have been. I found myself weary of all the males in the book. It was very realistic and very interesting to read. I really did enjoy it except for the awkwardness it does create because it is SO real.

    The only reason I did not give it 5/5 stars was because in a blurb the book mentions that it is written by a mother that had a similar situation happen to her daughter - with that I began to read certain parts differently. I know that parents are way more involved in internet safety now-a-days but some of the instances of the mother asserting the dangers just seemed off to me ... I think if a teen tries hard enough there was much more that could of been hidden and in this case there was a good amount but I believe there would have been more. 

    For the sake of the story, I am glad the mother was overly involved in her daughters internet life, but some of it seemed over the top to me. Don't get me wrong - THIS WAS A WONDERFUL BOOK and I think all mother/daughters should read it.

    When Tim’s eyes, bluer than an Idaho sky, met mine, my mind turned to mush. He towered above everyone else at the bus stop, and on this cold January morning he looked cuter than ever with his bomber hat and rosy cheeks. He shoved his sidekick, Josh, jokingly, and a cloud of white air escaped Tim’s mouth. My best friend, Janie, whacked me on the hip. “Omigosh, Thea. Here they come. Smile.”

    Her words bounced in rhythm with her black ringlets. She adjusted her new fluffy snow white parka, and even though it had a hood, she would never smash her perfect curls simply to stay warm. The crisp air made the tip of her nose red, but the rest of her face remained alabaster white. We’d been best friends for years, and at fourteen, having a friend made the ninth grade bearable.

    Janie hoped Josh and Tim would ask us to the Winter Solstice dance, but I just hoped to speak to Tim without sounding like a complete idiot. Tim walked in our direction with Josh right on his heels. They stopped in front of us, and everyone else hovered to watch the show.

    “Thea,” Tim said. I wanted to reply, but no words came. Josh approached Janie, and I fidgeted with my favorite fuzzy pink scarf.
    “Jan-eee,” Josh said, dragging out the last syllable of her name. He eyed her up and down. “You look like a giant fat marshmallow.”

    1 print copy of Who R U Really?
    Open to US only
     Ends 1/12/15  
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Praise for the Book
    "Kelly's first novel is a suspenseful page-turner with multiple suspects, a little bit of romance, and a strong but not overbearing message." --Kirkus Reviews 

    "Suspenseful novel that's guaranteed to give readers goosebumps--particularly as events heat up toward the end. A good choice for families to read together." --School Library Journal 

     "Who R U Really? is a fantastically creepy book that is surprisingly realistic and totally engrossing.... Once I opened it, I couldn't close it. Who R U Really is a satisfyingly unique YA thriller that left me guessing up until almost the very last page.... This book is very realistic and I really enjoyed the writing style." --Tempest Books 

    "Based on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens." --VOYA Magazine   

    About the Author

    Margo Kelly
    Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margo welcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

     Find the Author



    Dec 8, 2014

    Blgo Blitz w/ Excerpt and Giveaway!: The Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan

    The Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan 
    Publication date: November 28th 2014
    Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
    About the Book
    When Eighteen-year-old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she hopes to have a summer to remember and a chance to learn more about her parents, to also get to know the family she never knew existed.

    But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night fuel her vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing yet handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin who seems determined to keep his distance. The only bonus seems to be the Housekeeper and Gardener.

    And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, the kind consisting of a forbidden relationship and a war between hidden worlds, and witchcraft, she must decide whom to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love.

    Purchase links:

    Blitz-wide giveaway (INT) 

    An ebook copy of The Lebrus Stone

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    I lay back and tried not to over think things to calm the storm in my head, but a knock on my door moments later interrupted it.
    "Come in!" I called out, sitting up to retrieve my book.
    Syd entered, carrying in what looked like a sandwich and a glass of her homemade lemonade.
    I could have done with a hot soup.
    But I blew a sigh of relief it wasn't one of the Lockes.
    "Isobel said to make sure you had some lunch by now," she said, placing the tray on my bedside cabinet.
    "Thanks, Syd."

    Dec 7, 2014

    Building the Book Pile #117

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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    What's Happening?! 
    How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

    I am lazy... I have not been reading at all :( I sit around an marathon shows on Netflix... I am a bum. But I am going to try to be better in the coming weeks - I mean I only have 2 books left to read for my Challenge this year. 

    I think it is the cold and the snow, I just want to curl up, get warm, and nap...

    Anywho... Work is winding down and gearing up again - I am an assistant and I am assisting in a Faculty Search, helping prepare online things for a course, doing things with accounts - the whole she-bang. BUT Friday was also the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on campus and my departments holiday party. I will be excited when Winter break comes - 1.5 weeks paid vacation (WOOHOOO!!!).

    How is your winter going so far? Any snow where you are?

    Giveaways Going on Now!!

     None :( More coming this week with Blog Tours



    Coming up on the Blog... 

      Blog Blitz: The Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan (YA) (w/ Giveaway)
      Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway -- Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly - (YA)
      Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (YA)

      Books Received this Week 
      I logged into Netgalley -- shouldn't have done that :/ got a bunch of new books :)


      23116073 22493741
      22886537 The ImaginaryDr. Critchlore's School for Minions: Book 1 The Witching Elm

      Toad Weather by Sandra Markle from Netgalley and Peachtree Publishers
      Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser from Netgalley and North South Books Inc.
      The Pandas and their Chopsticks and other Animal Stories by Demi from Netgalley and Wisdom Tales
      The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold from Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
      Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau from Netgalley and Abrams/ Amulet Books
      The Witching Elm by C.N. Crawford for Blog Tour Review

      Links go to Goodreads and/or Publisher Site.

      Have you missed anything lately?

      Early Reader Review: Princess Ugg Volume 1 by Ted Naifeh (GN) - 4 Stars

        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 5, 2014

      Recent Reads: The Pandas and Their Chopsticks by Demi

      The Pandas and Their Chopsticks: And Other Animals Stories
      The Pandas and Their Chopsticks: and other animal stories by Demi
      Publisher: Wisdom Tales
      Publication Date:  August 1, 2014


      Format: ebook
      Source: Netgalley and Wisdom Tales in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.



      Goodreads Synopsis: 
      What do polite pandas, cunning kitties, talkative turtles, and hasty hedgehogs have in common? They all feature in the delightful new book of whimsical animal stories by award-winning artist Demi! Adapted from traditional folktales, these lighthearted stories have a universal appeal and will provide valuable lessons for little hearts and minds to absorb. Discover how panda learns the importance of sharing, how turtle discovers the danger of being proud, and how everyone, including tiny hummingbird, has their part to play in life. 
      This 28 page book is broken up into short (2 page) fables, each with a lesson that follows. The book is bright and stunning with illustrations on each page and borders that go with the stories as well. I loved the Pandas at the beginning and all of the lessons are insightful and understandable.

      The illustrations were simple yet interesting and the pictures of the animals were fun.  Some of the tales I liked the most were: The Kite on a String,The Helpful Hummingbird, and The Owl's Hoot.

      I think this is an interesting way to teach a child these worldly lessons, but it can also just be read as tales to enjoy. 

      Dec 3, 2014

      New Cover Reveal: Dead Girl Walking by Ruth Silver






      Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) by Ruth Silver
      Published: November 25, 2014
      Publisher: Booktrope

      About the Book

      Forget everything you know about grim reapers.
      Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.
      Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.    

      Now includes the prequel Ashes to Ashes as a bonus story in the Booktrope edition. Available in eBook & Paperback.
        “Listen, kid, I don’t care what you believe in. It’s not for me to say what’s true and untrue, real or unreal. My assignment was you. You get to be one of us, if you want it. Otherwise, you move on, life is over, kaput.” Ophelia backed away from the stranger. For the first time, she realized she didn’t feel cold and wasn’t shivering. Is this what being dead was like? “One of you?” “A grim reaper.” He held out his hand to properly introduce himself. “Edon Montgomery, head reaper and old soul.”

      Meet the Characters

      Ophelia Dacre
      The princess and heir to the throne, Ophelia witnessed her mother’s murder as a young child. Barely seventeen, she is a hopeless romantic at heart. Ophelia has fallen in love with Larkin, a commoner. Although she knew it’s against her fathers wishes, she continues to see her boyfriend in secret. Ophelia is passionate, cunning, and would do anything for her young sister Mara.     

      Leila Bele
      Formerly Ophelia Dacre, Leila is the newest reaper and has trouble following the rules. She missed her life as a princess, and has trouble staying away from those she left behind.

      Wynter Gael
      A grim reaper and constant rule breaker. Wynter enjoys Leila’s company. His roommate and best friend, Jasper, keeps him in line.

      Mara Dacre
      Princess and younger sister to Ophelia, Mara is just fourteen years old. Full of love toward Ophelia, Mara will stop at nothing to know the truth about how her sister died, and who murdered her.

       Larkin Alis
      Not of royal blood, unbeknownst to him, Larkin was courting Princess Ophelia up until her murder. He is a suspect in her brutal slaying.

      Edon Montgomery
      Head reaper and considered an old soul, Edon’s job is to keep the other reapers in line. Tough but fair, Edon is always watching and fixing reaper mistakes. Although, he has a few secrets of his own.

      Jasper Ehlers
      A fellow reaper and best friend to Wynter, Jasper has been in love with Violetta for decades. He’s a romantic, constantly wooing Violetta through the decades, hoping to one day win over her heart.

      Violetta Mercier
      A grim reaper and roommate of Emblyn. Violetta is cheeky, dark, and quite often mysterious at first introduction. She loves to tease others and enjoys the thrill of being pursued by Jasper. She prides herself on being a reaper and lets it reflect in her appearance.

      Emblyn Vernon
      The good girl reaper. Emblyn follows the rules, most of the time. A friend to most reapers, Emblyn has a kind heart and upbeat attitude. She sticks up for those that need support, and is always there to offer a hand when necessary.

      Astin Stafford
      Of royal blood, Prince Astin and Princess Ophelia have an arranged marriage for the sake of their kingdoms. He’s kind, charming, but a bit of a push over. Ophelia has no romantic feelings toward Astin.


      Juliana Stapleton
      Once human over a thousand year ago, Juliana was forever marked a dark angel. With black wings and a duty of responsibility, she doesn’t take her job lightly.




      About the Author

      1 lo res
      Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. Her interests also include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and her book blog Write Away Bliss.