Jun 30, 2017

Monlthy Re-Cap: June 2017

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 


The beginning of June was a busy time. We had a family visit and there was lots of things to wrap up before 'summer' at work, but all that led to 4 day work weeks and some great days out of the office. Some even included some reading...

OK... a lot of reading. The blogging has been slacking a little but the reading picked up so I have about 5 reviews I need to write and get up, so you will see those very soon.

I also participated in the Mini Blog Ahead Challenge - 15 posts scheduled is the goal and today is the last day, I have 3 more to get finished today and I think I am going to be able to pull it off :) 

So I am off to write up more posts and I will see you Sunday with my Book Pile and Monday with my July TBR... I am rocking these and getting more and more excited about it!
  

     ~~Books I Read in June~~

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)  The Sad, Sad Monster (Xist Childrens Books)  Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen  Hello Stars (Lena in the Spotlight #1) Welcome Home, Beaver The Spell Thief (Little Legends #1) The Secret Art of Being a Grown-Up: Tips, Tricks, and Perks No One Thought to Tell You Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis (Crafty Cat, #2)  Harley Quinn (2016-) #19 Carson Crosses Canada Ratchet the Reluctant Witch by Sara PascoeThe Great Troll Rescue by Tom Percival Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) When a Wolf Is Hungry The Call of the Swamp Nick the Knight, Dragon Slayer A Loud Winter's Nap  In the Springtime Everything is New All Over Again: A Dark Humor Short Story

 

How did I do on my June TBR?

I read 4 out of 4 books... WOOT! 2 months strong with this TBR!
Well I listened to one of them ;)


~Reviews Coming Closer to Release or Next Month~
  • Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers (YA) - coming in July
  • Ratchet the Reluctant Witch by Sara Pascoe (YA) - coming in July
  • The Great Troll Rescue (Little Legends #2) by Tom Percival (MG)- coming in July
  • In the Springtime Everything is New All Over Again by Esmerelda Q. Jones (Adult) - coming in July
  • Craft Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis (Crafty Cat #2) by Charise Mericle Harper (GN)
  • Suit Your Selfie by Stephan T. Pastis (GN)- coming in July
  • Nick the Knight, Dragon Slayer by Aron Dijkstra (Youth)
  • Welcome Home, Beaver! by Magnus Weightman (Youth)
  • The Call of the Swamp by Davide Cali (Youth)
  • When a Wolf is Hungry by Christime Naumann-Villemin (Youth) - coming in July
  • A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson (Youth)

    Jun 29, 2017

    Blog Tour Spotlight w/ Giveaway!: Firebrand by A.J. Harley

    See the Tour Schedule HERE 
     

    About the Book

    New York Times  bestselling author A. J. Hartley returns to his intriguing, 19th-century South African-inspired fantasy world in another adrenaline-pounding adventure

    Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. The latest threat to the city-state: Government plans for a secret weapon are stolen and feared to be sold to the rival nation of Grappoli. The investigation leads right to the doorsteps of Elitus, one of the most exclusive social clubs in the city. In order to catch the thief, Ang must pretend to be a foreign princess and infiltrate Elitus. But Ang is far from royal material, so Willinghouse enlists help from the exacting Madam Nahreem.

    Yet Ang has other things on her mind. Refugees are trickling into the city, fleeing Grappoli-fueled conflicts in the north. A demagogue in Parliament is proposing extreme measures to get rid of them, and she soon discovers that one theft could spark a conflagration of conspiracy that threatens the most vulnerable of Bar-Selehm. Unless she can stop it.



    The hallway was lit by the amber glow of shaded oil lamps on side tables, so that for all the opulence of the place, the air tasted of acrid smoke, and the darkness pooled around me as I ran. Up ahead, the corridor turned into an open area where a single yellowing bulb of luxorite shone on intricate ceiling moldings and ornamental pilasters. There were stairs down, and I was aware of voices, lots of them, a sea of confused chatter spiked erratically with waves of laughter.
              A party.
              More Bar- Selehm elegance and, for me, more danger. I had no official position, no papers allowing me to break into the hotel rooms of the wealthy, nothing that would make my Lani presence among the cream of the city palatable. And in spite of all I had done for Bar- Selehm— for the very  people who  were sipping wine in the ballroom below— I felt the pressure of this more keenly than I had Darius’s malevolent kick. Some blows were harder to roll with.
              I sprang down the carpeted stairs, turning the corner into the noise. The hallway became a gallery running around the upper story of the ballroom so that guests might promenade around the festivities, waving their fans at their friends below. Darius was on the far side, moving effortlessly through the formally dressed clusters of startled people. He was still masked, and they knew him on sight, falling away, their mouths little Os of shock. One of the women fainted, or pretended to. Another partygoer, wearing a dragoon’s formal blues, took a step toward the masked man, but the pistol in Darius’s hand swung round like an accusatory fin ger and the dragoon thought better of his heroism.
              I barreled through the crowd, shoving mercilessly, not breaking stride. The party below had staggered to a halt, and the room was a sea of upturned faces watching us as we swept around the gallery toward another flight of stairs. As I neared the corner, I seized a silver platter from an elegant lady in teal and heaved it at him, so that it slid in a long and menacing arc over the heads of the crowd below and stung him on the shoulder. He turned, angry, and found me elbowing my way through the people as they blew away from him like screws of colored tissue, horrified and delighted by their proximity to the infamous cat burglar. And then his gun came up again and they were just horrified, flinging themselves to the ground.
              He fired twice. The gilded plaster cherub curled round the balustrade in front of me exploded, and the screaming started. Somewhere a glass broke, and in all the shrieking, it wasn’t absolutely clear that no one had been seriously hurt, but then someone took a bad step, lost their balance, and went over the balustrade. More screaming, and another shot. I took cover behind a stone pillar, and when I peered round, Darius had already reached the stairs and was gone.
              I sprinted after him, knocking a middle- aged woman in layers of black gauzy stuff to the ground as I barged through. My kukri was still in my hand, and the partygoers were at least as spooked by the sweep of its broad, purposeful blade as by Darius’s pistol, though it had the advantage of focusing their attention away from my face and onto my gloved hands. A waiter— the only black person in the room that I could see— stepped back from me, staring at the curved knife like it was red- hot. That gave me the opening I needed, and I dashed through to the stairs.
              Darius had gone up. I gave chase, focusing on the sound of his expensive shoes. One flight, two, three, then the snap of a door and suddenly I was in a bare hall of parquet floors, dim, hot, and dusty. A single oil lamp showed supply closets overflowing with bed linens and aprons on hooks. The hall ended in a steel ladder up to the roof, the panel closing with a metallic clang as I moved toward it.
              He might be waiting, pistol reloaded and aimed. But he had chosen this building for a reason. Its roof gave onto Long Terrace, which ran all the way to the edge of Mahweni Old Town, from where he could reach any part of the northern riverbank or cross over into the warren of ware houses, sheds, and factories on the south side. He wouldn’t be waiting. He was looking to get away.
              So I scaled the ladder and heaved open the metal shutters as quietly as I could manage. I didn’t want to catch him. I wanted to see where he went. It would be best if he thought he’d lost me. I slid out cautiously, dropped into a half crouch and scuttered to the end of the roof like a baboon. Darius was well away, taking leaping strides along the roof of the Long Terrace, and as he slowed to look back, I leaned behind one of the hotel’s ornamental gargoyles out of sight. When next I peered round, he was moving again, but slower, secure in the knowledge that he was in the clear.
              I waited another second before dropping to the Long Terrace roof, staying low, and sheathing my kukri. The terrace was one of the city’s architectural jewels: a mile- long continuous row of elegant, three- story houses with servants’ quarters below stairs. They were fashioned from a stone so pale it was almost white and each had the same black door, the same stone urn and bas- relief carving, the same slate roof. Enterprising home owners had lined the front lip of the roof with planters that, at this time of year, trailed fragrant vines of messara flowers. The whole terrace curved fractionally down toward the river like a lock of elegantly braided hair. For Darius it provided a direct route across several blocks of the city away from prying eyes.
              The nights were warming as Bar- Selehm abandoned its token spring, and the pursuit had made me sweat. We had left the light of the Beacon behind, and I could barely keep track of Darius in the smoggy gloom, even with my long lens, which I drew from my pocket and unfolded. At the end of the terrace, he paused to look back once more, adjusting the tubular roll of documents he had slung across his back, but I had chosen a spot in the shadow of a great urn sprouting ferns and a dwarf fruit tree, and he saw nothing. Satisfied, he shinned down the angled corner blocks at the end of the terrace and emerged atop the triumphal arch that spanned Broad Street, then descended the steps halfway and sprang onto the landing of the Svengele shrine, whose minaret marked the edge of Old Town. I gave chase and was navigating the slim walkway atop the arch when he happened to look up and see me.
              I dropped to the thin ribbon of stone before he could get his pistol sighted, and the shot thrummed overhead like a hummingbird. He clattered up the steps that curled round the minaret and flung himself onto the sand- colored tile of the neighboring house. He was running flat out now, and I had no choice but to do the same. I jumped, snatched a handhold on the minaret, and tore after him, landing clumsily on the roof so that I was almost too late in my roll. Another shot, and one of the tiles shattered in a hail of amber grit that stung my eyes. I sprawled for cover, but Darius was off again, vaulting from roof to roof, scattering tile as he ran, so that they fell, popping and crackling into the street below. Somewhere behind us, an elderly black man emerged shouting, but I had no time for sympathy or apologies.
              As the narrow street began to curl in on itself, Darius dropped to the rough cobbles and sprinted off into the labyrinth which was Old Town. The streets were barely wide enough for a cart to squeeze through, and at times I could touch the buildings on either side of the road at the same time.  There was a pale gibbous moon glowing like a lamp in Bar- Selehm’s perpetual smoky haze, but its light did not reach into the narrow ginnels running between the city’s most ancient houses. Down here his footfalls echoed in the dark, which was the only reason I could keep up with him as he turned left, then right, then back, past the Ntenga butchers’ row and down to the waterfront, where I lost him. 
              The river wasn’t as high as it had been a couple of weeks before, but it filled the night with a constant susurration like wind in tall grass. As the carefully maintained cobbles gave way to the weedy gravel around the riverside boatyards and mooring quays, any footfalls were lost in the steady background hiss of the river Kalihm. I clambered down the brick embankment that lined the riverbank and revolved on the spot, biting back curses as I tried, eyes half shut, to catch the sound of movement.
              There. It may have been no more than a half brick turned by a stray foot, but I heard it, down near the shingle shore only fifty yards away. It came from the narrow alley between a pair of rickety boathouses that straddled a concrete pier. I made for the sound, opting for stealth rather than speed, one hand on the horn butt of my kukri, picking my way over the rounded stones, my back to the city. Even here, in the heart of Bar- Selehm, when you faced the river, you stepped back three hundred years, and there was only water and reeds and the giant herons that stalked among them.
              I heard the noise again, different this time, more distinct, but in this narrow wedge of space between the boat houses, almost no light struggled through. The river itself was paler, reflecting the smudge of moon in the night sky and touched with the eerie phosphorescence of glowing things that lived in its depths, but I could see nothing between me and it.
              Or almost nothing.
              As I crept down the pebbled slope, I saw—or felt— a shape in front of me as it shifted. Something like a large man crouching no more than a few feet ahead. A very large man. I slid the kukri from its sheath, and in that second, the shape moved, black against the waters of the Kalihm. It turned, lengthening improbably as it presented its flank to me. It was, I realized with a pang of terror, no man. It was as big as a cart, and as it continued its slow rotation to face me, a shaft of light splashed across its massive, glistening head. I felt my heart catch.
              The hippo rushed at me then, its face splitting open impossibly, eyes rolling back as it bared its immense tusks and bellowed.
    Copyright 2017 by A.J. Hartley

    Jun 26, 2017

    Recent Reads: Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey


    Carson Crosses CanadaCarson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey, Illustrated by Kass Reich
    Publisher: Tundra Books
    Publication Date:  May 30, 2017



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


    Rating:


     



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    From the author of If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur comes a funny and sweet cross-country roadtrip adventure with a sassy septuagenarian and her quirky canine.

    Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they're setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson's favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky -- and grasshoppers! -- in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie -- and a surprise for Carson!
     Review: 
    I really enjoyed If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur and was very excited to see this book up on Librarything last month. I did not however remember the synopsis when I started reading, so I had completely forgotten that Carson is a doggie! I got a little over excited when I realized that. 

    The story follows Annie and her dog Carson across Canada to visit her sister. As they travel they stop in a bunch of different places and show the reader Canada. I really liked this book a lot, I love books with dogs - that was the first win but the illustrations throughout this book were GORGEOUS! They are vivid watercolors of landscapes and the adorable characters and I loved looking at them. The story was so cute I loved the road-trip and the stops along the way. There is even a map on the end-pages which shows their trip. I thought the whole thing was absolutely adorable and I highly recommend it for parents and their children (or just lovers of children's books - like myself).

    Jun 25, 2017

    Building the Book Pile #150

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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    Good morning lovely people! This was a great week - I know there wasn't much up on the blog, but it was still a good one. 

    I (@gorelenore) was named one of the top reviewers on Twitter by The Book Publicist (UK) - a PR company. Here is the list if you are interested.

    That was pretty cool...I also learned how to knit in the round this week and am making a hat for the hubby, and I got a raise at work :) As far as blog stuff goes I am still working on finishing my TBR reads and Blog Ahead, I am making great progress on both! 

    AND last but not least I am prepping for cold weather - yup, I'm already over the hotness of summer time, BRING ON FALL (the best season)!!!! - I am doing this by re-opening the Etsy shop, Use code SUMMERSAVER for 10% off, click on the image below to link over and see what is available. More will be added soon.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/StephsSimpleScarves

     

    How was your week? Any book recommendations for me?
     

      Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!
    http://cover2coverblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/sourcebooks-summer-reads-round-up-and.html

    Coming up on the Blog

    Recent Reads: Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey (Youth)
    Blog Tour Spotlight w/ Giveaway!: Firebrand by A.J. Hartley (YA) 
    Monthly Re-Cap: June 2017

    Books Received this Week

    ***I am doing SO good reading my review books but I keep requesting more and I need to calm down***

    The Last Magician  Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle 
    The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell from Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for review
    Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle by Charise Mericle Harper from Netgalley and First Second Books for review. 


    Have you missed anything lately?

    Week of June 18  - June 24
    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!

    Jun 23, 2017

    Recent Reads: The Secret Art of Being A Grown-Up by Bridget Watson Payne

    The Secret Art of Being a Grown-Up: Tips, Tricks, and Perks No One Thought to Tell You
    The Secret Art of Being a Grown Up: Tips, Tricks, and Perks, No One Thought to Tell You By Bridget Watson Payne
    Publisher:  Chronicle Books
    Publication Date:  April 4, 2017



    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:  Hardback
    Source: From Librarything Early Reviewers program and Chronicle Books in exchange for review. This in no way alters my


    Rating:
     


     


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Hello, grown-ups of all ages! Eclectic, bite-sized bursts of advice meet quirky illustrations in this playful guide to feeling like the grown-up we all wanted to be as a kid. From thoughts on the best way to open a champagne bottle to a short list of the kitchen tools you actually need, these tips and tricks reveal secrets that are attainable, not intimidating. Anyone can make a life upgrade using these insights alongside the traits they already have—their wits, creativity, and enthusiasm. This engaging guide is the perfect gift for recent grads, first-apartment dwellers, and anyone who's ready to grow up, one step at a time.
    Review: 
    I was so excited to receive this book in the mail! I am a "grown-up" I guess but there is always more to learn and I have a younger sister who will be graduating high school much sooner than I would like to admit. I had seen this book popping up and I wanted to read it to see what it was all about. It was WONDERFUL! I adored it and here is why...

    The book is easy to read - the tips and tricks are presented as 2 page spreads with illustrations. The text is all different sizes and the images are all visually appealing.

    The book has resourceful information and good information - the tips focus on money, what you need, how to live a full life, and how to love yourself.

    It has some great advice - "You 100% deserve to be loved" is my favorite and great advice for all ages.

    Even as an already 'grown-up' person, I really appreciated this book, it was clever and presented in a way that younger ... almost grown-ups will really be able to take about 10 minutes and read it all. It is quick, wonderfully presented and I think that graduates everywhere should be getting a copy.

    Jun 21, 2017

    Recent Reads: The Spell Thief by Tom Percival

    Source: From Sourcebooks Jabberwocky for review consideration. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    The Spell Thief (Little Legends #1)The Spell Thief by Tom Percival
    Series: Little Legends #1
    Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
    Publication Date:  December 16, 2016



    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

    Rating:


     



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Meet Jack and his talking chicken Betsy, Red, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a host of other Little Legends as they have fantastic new adventures! Get to know your favorite fairytale characters like never before in this magical new book series.

    Life for Jack is great ― he's got a magical talking hen named Betsy, he lives in a town where stories literally grow on trees, and all his best friends live there with him. That is, until Anansi, the new kid in town, arrives...

    When Jack sees Anansi having a secret meeting with a troll ― everything changes. Trolls mean trouble and Jack will stop at nothing to prove that Tale Town is in danger. Even if that means using stolen magic!
     
    Review: 
    I was very excited to have gotten the first few books of this series from the publisher - I am really enjoying Fairy Tale re-tellings lately and this is a great Middle Grade adaptation.

    This is the first book in the series and we meet Jack, Red, the Twins - Hansel and Gretel, and the new guy Anansi. Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) is having concerns about this newcomer and is very suspicious of him. This leads Jack down a very dangerous plan to find out what Anansi is hiding (if anything).

    The books does a wonderful job setting but the strange meeting of Jack and Anansi, and portraying doubt about this new character. We follow Jack as he tries to decide how to find out what is going on and he sinks more and more into this belief. The story was very captivating and I loved seeing these characters in a new tale. 

    Jack, who seems lovable and just mistaken in his original tale, might actually be a thief by nature...I enjoyed this about the book. It kept characters true to themselves and also made the reader really think about a lot of things. I believe that young readers will really enjoy seeing these characters in this new light and learning more about them after their tales happened. 

    It was a lot of fun to read, and I am already reading the next installment.

    Jun 20, 2017

    Mini Review: Rebirth Harley Quinn #19 by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti


    Harley Quinn (2016-) #19Read Meat Part Three: Sucking the Marrow Out of the Party! by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
    Series: Rebirth Harley Quinn #19
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Publication Date:  May 3, 2017



    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:  Comic
    Source: Bought/ Own


    Rating:


     



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    “Deadly Sin” part one! The twisted Harley Sinn’s been released from prison, and she’s looking to hurt Harley in a whole new way…by going after somebody she loved and lost! And to make this issue extra-unmissable, a brand-new backup story begins, set in Harley’s earliest days with the Joker—and co-written by one of Harley’s original creators, Paul Dini! “Harley Loves Joker” kicks off as Harley makes the biggest mistake of her burgeoning criminal career…accidentally revealing the location of Mistah J’s hideout! 
    Mini Review:  
    I have been slow to pick up this installment of Harley Quinn, I am still a bit upset that we are getting half-issues because of the Harley Loves Joker pages at the end. I am not saying that I am not liking that tale too but I just want a full book of the comic I am reading at the moment.

    In this installment we wrap up the issue of the missing homeless and there is a very violent and graphic battle between Harley and a bunch of cannibals. Red Tool tries to help, but really just gets himself into a bit of a pickle. Luckily, our trusty Harley doesn't need him to take care of herself.

    This was a good wrap-up to this story. We are still waiting to see what is happening with Harley Sinn, and also the girl from the future - both highlighted in previous issues, so there are a few strings left to pull. Overall, I liked this issue but it didn't steal the show.