Jul 19, 2019

#24in48 Readathon

I'm doin' a thing... what thing you ask?

And what is this thing? Well it is a readathon... that I very much need right now. Below I have quoted the rules from their site and sign ups are still open if you need a reason to sequester yourself inside (or outside) and read for a very long period of time.

"Beginning at 12:01am (official timezone is EDT) on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period.
You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between. You can pause as much as you need, enjoy regularly scheduled weekend activities, nap, stop for dance breaks with your kids or pets or neighbors. Whatever works for you.
And that’s it. The format never changes but it’s always an adventure."

Here are some of the books I hope to read during the readathon. 24 hours is a lot of reading time and I need to get to so many books that this doesn't even cover it :) Hopefully I will get through these and more.

I will be tracking my progress on Twitter mostly, but will also try to pop into this blog post as well. I am not sure how I am going to track quite yet but I think analog is the way to go - start and stop times written down. I will have to find a cute notebook :)

....so progress... TBD....

1st check in here on the blog - I am at 3 hours and 28 minutes done and I have finished When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington.

2nd check in - I am at 5 hours and 17 minutes and finished an audiobook that I had started this past week Mr Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game by Chris Grabenstein

Jul 16, 2019

Recent Reads: Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day by Holly Reisem Hanna

Source: From Calliso Publishers Club and Althea Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day: Simple Strategies to Increase Productivity, Enhance Creativity, and Make Your Time Your Own
Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day by Holly Reisem Hanna
Publisher: Althea Press
Publication Date:  June 18, 2019

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: 
No-nonsense time management in no time.
Learning to manage your time doesn’t have to take a lot time. Filled with practical advice for everybody, Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day makes increasing your productivity and getting the most out of every day a snap.
Sprinkled with bite-sized lessons and personal anecdotes, Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day introduces strategic changes geared to help you improve your daily life. From obsessing over emails to hunting through clutter to mismanaging meetings—learn how to stop doing all the little things you didn’t even realize were wasting so much of your time.
Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day includes:
Learn time management, fast—Straightforward suggestions focus on simple and proven strategies that you can do in 20 minutes or less. Advice for home and office—It doesn’t matter if you’re a busy CEO or a stay-at-home parent—discover dozens of ways to do more with your day. Modern techniques for current times—Learn to take advantage of all the time saving potential of tech—productivity apps, digital planners, and more.
Discover how fast and simple mastering time management can be.

When I first started to read this book I was a bit concerned... I recently went to a conference and the keynote speaker was a woman who has made her living writing books about a very similar topic, and this book was getting too close for comfort as I began reading. I had literally just gotten back from hearing a woman talk about a majority of these key steps and I was afraid that this book might be a replications. It is not. I can assure you, and that being said... this book did offer other very valid steps for productivity and resources to help one achieve time management. The author does cite the speaker's book as a reference as well in case you are interested in her too. 

This book manages to give pointers and starting points for organization that are simple and to the point, they are unassuming and make this process less stressful than one might think when first diving in. Some tips that I found useful were:long term goals versus a to do list, yea long term goals can be on your to do list but they aren't always pressing and the author explained the importance of prioritization of those goals versus tasks. The organization section was also nicely succinct and it seems to take some of the Marie Kondo ideas ans simplifies them. 

Some things that I felt did not hit home: The author works from home and there is a lot of flexibility in that that a person working out of the home might now have, I don't think she truly accounts for that, but all of the processes are somewhat helpful.  I also found some of the information too vague. I also would have liked more detail about how to do things and more information about the resources she mentions would also be very nice. For those resources she sometimes gave options - great, but what worked and what didn't in them for her to have various examples? 

Jul 15, 2019

Recent Reads: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper

Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues (Mystic Bayou, #2.5)Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper
Series:Mystic Bayou #2.5
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Publication Date:   June 6, 2019

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true audible, an amazon company

Format: Audible Audiobooks
Source: Freebie in June as part of my membership.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Listening length: 3 hours, 3 minutes
A hilarious new standalone novella brimming with otherworldly charm from the reigning queen of paranormal romantic comedy Molly Harper!
Ingrid Asher is the newest resident of Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shapeshifters, vampires, witches and dragons live alongside humans.
Ingrid doesn’t ask for much. The solitary tree nymph just wants to live a quiet life running her ice-cream shop in peace. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to shake her new neighbor, Rob Aspern, head of the League’s data science department and so good looking it just isn’t fair.
If there’s one thing Ingrid doesn’t need, it’s someone poking around in her business. But the more she gets to know the hunky mathematician, the more she finds herself letting her guard down. Can she trust him with her secrets, or will her past destroy everything?

This short novella is part of a bigger series that I have not read, but I thought the novella sounded interesting and it was. The story is about a tree nymph making her home in Mystic Bayou and starting an ice cream parlor. She meets a nice man and they hit is off, until something happens.

The chapters alternates between the point of view of Ingrid, the tree nymph, and Rob the man she hits it off with. It was a fun listen and I found the characters enjoyable and the story funny. But due to its length I was not so invested in the characters that I really loved them. 

That being said it did make me interested in finding out more about the series though. So if you are looking for something new and on the short side, an a paranormal romance... this would a great listen.

Jul 14, 2019

Building the Book Pile #307

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Woo! It is hot here in Vermont! But it is nice to finally have summer appear. 

This week was a great week, we had an office move, which is great for purging but it is still a stressful process. Our new space is wonderful though, it has a lot of wood and trim and a (non-functional) fireplace and mantle. It is going to be SO good for Christmas decorations, I know, I know... it is only July but trust me it is going to be sooooooo goooooood. I will make sure to take pictures.

I even had some time to finish some no-school related reading this week, granted most of it was children books but still it is progress and blog content :)

Hope everyone is doing great! 

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

Recent Reads: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues (Mystic Bayou #2.5) by Molly Harper (Audio, Adult)
Recent Reads: Time Management in 20 Minutes a Day by Holly Reisem Hanna (NonFiction, Adult)
Recent Reads: Mr. Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #4) by Chris Grabenstein (MG)

Books Received Recently...

None -- probably for the best.

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!

Jul 12, 2019

Recent Reads: Potty Training Books with Sound!

Some back-story here, my co-worker's daughter is turning two this week and so potty-training here we come...

She let me read some new books going into the home and here is the verdict.

Potty Time! (Daniel Tiger)Potty Time! by Scarlett Wing
Series: My Little Sound Book
Publisher: Cottage Door Press
Publication Date:  February 12, 2019

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
Source: Borrowed from Co-worker


Learning to use the potty is something to celebrate! Join Daniel Tiger as we get ready to potty train.
Daniel Tiger's Potty Time! was a hilarious and wonderful book about stopping what you are doing and finding a bath/rest room when you have to potty, even the fun things that you don't want to stop doing. 

Even as a result I think some of us can relate to this... one more email then I will go... but this is great lesson for potty trainees to learn and the sound effects include a little song and flushing and washing hands noises. 

Potty Time with Elmo
Potty Time with Elmo
Publisher: Publications International
Publication Date:  2007

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
Source: Borrowed from Co-worker


Read the story and press seven sound buttons to hear Elmo teach Baby David about the potty. Elmo makes potty-training fun and encourages young readers to use the potty. Full color.


Elmo's dolly is learning to potty and Elmo is here to help. Luckily Elmo is potty trained so he knows all the steps. This book includes fun noises and lots of Elmo laughter. 

This was a fun book, but I think that Elmo potty training would have been more enticing than David learning to all the kids trying to emulate Elmo.  I also think that parents might run into young children putting their dolls in pottys or swiping at the toilet paper because of the fun sound this book makes to unroll it. Otherwise this was a really fun book and the sounds make it even more exciting to read.

Jul 11, 2019

Recent Reads: 10 World Wonders by Gene Lipen

10 World Wonders: A Guide For Young Explorers (educational childrens books by age 3 5, preschool, kids books ages 6-8 and ages 9-12 ) by [Lipen, Gene]10 World Wonders by Gene Lipen
Publication Date:  June 2019

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
Source: Freebie (when I bought it) from Amazon


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Are you ready for a FUN and UNIQUE adventure!!!NEW books are launching that will make kids excited about exploring the world we live in!!!
Arthur is a happy, full-of-energy dog that just can’t sit still. He loves to travel, meet new people, and visit amazing destinations. Join Arthur on this exciting, fun-filled and rhyming adventure around the globe. Jump in and explore the 10 magical World Wonders that have this planet buzzing in excitement. Learn what makes each Wonder special and have a great time in the process, as you jump from one part of the world to the next just by turning the pages of a book. Don’t wait another second—Adventure Awaits!

This was a cute book about exploring the wonders of the world. A dog named Arthur loves to travel and talk about all the fun places he is visiting. This book explores 10 wonders of the world, including the pyramids, the Northern Lights, and the Great Barrier Reef, just to name a few. Arthur tells you fun facts about each location as he travels so this is both a great book about adventure but also a pretty good learning book as well. 

Each location has a full spread and the artwork is bright and representative of the locations being visited, Arthur even dresses the part. This was a cute book. If your kid likes to learn about new places this would be a great one to add to your collection.

Jul 9, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway! Magic Heist by Mary Karlik

Magic Heist by Mary Karlik
(Fairy Trafficking #2) 
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: July 9th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

About the Book
Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.

Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.

To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.

But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.

With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.

“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.” – I Am the Bookworm

The Grass Market wasn’t far from Ian’s flat. But this version of the Grass Market was all wrong—as if she were looking at it through a mirror.
Layla stood in the walk and scanned the row of pubs. Everything was a mirror image. Even the lettering. But unlike the closed pubs on the other side of the mirror. These were brightly lit and teeming with customers.
A door flew open on the White Hart Inn. Laughter and voices shouting over one another spilled out. A kilt-clad elf stumbled from the inn and toward Layla. “Best deals in town. Third booth on the right. It’s not legal, but it’ll ease the boredom of being stuck in this place.” His speech was slurred, and his eyes ticked from side to side in rapid movements. He twirled unsteadily on one foot and staggered down the lane.Layla studied the white stag above the door of the White Hart Inn. Had the coin taken her to the Magic Market? She had to know. And if things got sticky all she had to do was drop the coin in her other pocket and she’d return to—well, wherever the troll had intended.
She stepped up to the wooden door of the White Hart, shifted the coin from her right pocket to her left hand—just in case she needed a quick exit—sucked in a breath, ruffled her wings, and entered the pub.
It was packed. Humans, elves, ogres, and pixies were jammed around the bar waiting for their turn to order.
The bartender looked like a mix of human and ogre. He was taller than Buzzard and had a huge, protruding belly. His lower jaw hung open like an ogre’s, but he spoke with a human accent.She was fascinated that there were so many magical creatures in one place—especially in the human world. Part of her wanted to mix with the elves, to pretend that she was in her own magical world. But what drew her like a moth to a flame, what she really wanted to investigate, was the yellow glow coming from the back of the pub.
As she moved closer to the glow, she saw that it wasn’t a thing or a being. It came from a corridor—like a back alley that seemed to link the row of pubs.
She stopped at the entrance and listened to music echoing off the walls of the buildings and caught glimpses of buskers performing in the distance. It was fantastic. It was wonderful. She couldn’t wait to bring Ian and Finn here.The bartender shouted from behind the beer pull. “You can’t go in if you don't pay.”The crowd in the pub went silent, and she felt all eyes on her.
She squeezed the coin. “I’ll just want a wee look.”“You can’t go in if you don’t pay,” he repeated.“I’m sorry. I don’t have money.” Her wings fluttered nervously.“And don’t try magic. The last person who tried made a mess of things.”“Thanks for the warning.” She craned her neck enough to see a world of booths beyond the confines of the pub. The light was so bright it made everything look as if it were bathed in gold.
She edged closer. Wooden stalls selling a variety of wares lined both sides of the lane. And she hadn’t seen this many magical creatures in one place since she was thirteen, and her Aunt Mauve had taken her to the fairy court.
But this place, this golden passage, was like a compressed version of what she’d seen as a child. This place was packed with gnomes, ogres, trolls, elves—even a unicorn.
Excitement made her wings flutter all the way to the tips. They had saved hundreds of fairies from Fauth. But what about the ones who’d already been sold? Could this be the trail to those fairies? Could this lead to the wand?A pack of ogres shambled their way up the golden corridor. If she was to sneak across the line and fall in with them, maybe she could enter without a fee. She took a deep breath and eased toward to entrance. 
Purchase Links

About the Author
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion,
The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna's home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn't find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore. 
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as "100% solid storytelling," and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a "lovely story about growing up."
She digs deep into her Scottish roots - there is magic there, she just knows it - for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse. 
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA's national convention. 

Find the Author

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
5 signed copies of Magic Heist with the dragon book marks
5 ebooks of Magic Heist
5 key chains
1 set of both Magic Harvest and Magic Heist signed with a pair of fairy earrings
1 twenty-five dollar Amazon gift card
Ends July 25th

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 8, 2019

Cover Reveal and Giveaway! - Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani
Series: A standalone in the “Dauntless Path” world
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Price: US $18.99 (Hardcover), US $9.99 (e-book)

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

About the Book
A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own. 

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Advance Praise
“Thorn is a lovely atmospheric fairytale fantasy about a girl and her found family. I loved it!” - Gail Carriger, New York Times-bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series

“Intisar Khanani is in my top five favorite authors writing today. A stunningly talented storyteller whose lyrical writing just blows my socks off every time I read her.” – Grace Draven, USA Today bestselling author Eidolon

At the far end of the corral I spot the white. He watches me, head raised, bright eyes alert. My heart aches for him.
“I don’t know how I’m going to free you,” I say, resting my hand on the wooden rail. Tonight there’ll be a guard posted, and even now the kitchen staff pass the door at intervals, just enough of a presence that I dare not let him out. “Valka’s the sort that will send you to the knacker when she realizes she can’t ride you. I wish you’d gotten away when you could.”
“I chose to stay, princess,” he replies, his voice deep and gentle. 
My mouth drops open. What? “Did you—did you just speak?”
The horse seems mildly gratified by my shock. “Yes,” he says. 
I can see his mouth move, though his lips don’t quite shape the word that rings in my ears. He’s speaking, out loud, shaping sounds a horse’s mouth has no ability to make.
“But how?”
“I expect that should be obvious.”
I press my hand against the top of my head, as if I might thereby straighten my thoughts. Nothing makes any sense at all, except, perhaps: “Magic?”
He dips his head, for all the world as if he were a courtier.
“Are you cursed?” I demand, letting go of my head to catch the rail between us.
“No,” he says, his voice lightening with amusement. “Not at all. It is my nature to be able to speak. I merely prefer not to flaunt it before your kind.”
Other Purchase Links

About the Author
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020). 

Find the Author

The Author is giving away a THORN-inspired prize pack including a great snowy owl enamel pin, a gorgeous "quill" style calligraphy pen set, a hand-painted watercolor feather on a page from Thorn, and a "fairy dust" candle. The prize pack plus a $25 Gift Card will be awarded to one US winner. The Author also offering a $25 Gift Card to one non-US winner. 

The Rafflecopter ends 7/18, so folks have 10 days to enter!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 7, 2019

Building the Book Pile #306

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy to be at home this week, but it has been a hot one. 
Another week of homework, house stuff, and at work we are moving office spaces so lots of purging and packing going on... plus the 4th of July holiday!

I hope you had a great 4th, how did you celebrate? The hubs and some friends went on a motorcycle ride and I followed in the Wrangler without doors and a roof - it was hot and sunny and so nice for the drive, but I ended up getting sunburn in some spots. (But that is part of 4th of July, right?)

Trying to manage school reading with fun time reading still and trying to find the balance... school/work/ life balance might be one too many with hobbies too... but I am trying really hard. (so if I owe you a review and am slacking....sorrrrrrryyyyyy)

Hope everyone is doing great! 

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

Cover Reveal w/ Excerpt and Giveaway! Thorn by Intisar Khanai
Blog Tour: w/ Excerpt and Giveaway! Magic Heist by Mary Karlick 

Still trying to finish this one... hopefully this week :)
Recent Reads: The Camelot Code, Book #1: The Once and Future Geek by Mari Mancusi (MG)

Books Received Recently...

     The Unadjusteds Mooncakes

 The Unadjusted by Marisa Noelle from the Author for review.

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker from Netgalley and Lion Forge for review.

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!