Sep 30, 2015

Blog Ahead: Planning List

Blog Ahead 2015

I am not even sure what I am getting myself into, but for the month of October I will be participating in Blog Ahead, a challenge hosted by herding cats and burning soup and Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Here are the details, borrowed from the lovely Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer...

Purpose: Increase the number of scheduled blog posts you have ready to publish by 31 posts during the month of October. (You can set your own goal) All post will be scheduled from November 1st or later.
Who Can Join: Any blogger or author can join. Brand new, been around for years.Blogger, WordPress or other platform. Any heat level, genre or theme, etc. If you blog…you’re welcome to join.
Types of Posts that Count: Any finished posts count! Meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion. Top Ten Posts, Favorites posts, Shopping Guide Posts, Cooking posts, pet posts, photo posts, etc. Posts do NOT have to be book related.
Required: The post must be complete and scheduled from November 1, 2015 onward. (So not just blurb, buy links, etc for a review post. The review needs to be complete for the post to count.)

So here are my goals for Blog Ahead.

I hope to complete 31 posts that will include the following + some others:
  • Ho Ho Ho Read-a-thon Goals Post (11/6)
  • Kid Athletes Review (11/17) - drafted so far/ awaiting my review
  • Waiting on Wednesday Posts (for the 9 weeks of Nov. & Dec.) - Done with all these :)
  • 'Series I Need to Finish' Post
  • Drones Review (11/27)
  • Thanksgiving Post (11/26)
  • 'Books you will shun me for not reading' Post
  • Discussion post, topic TBD
  • Recommendations post
  • Movie Mondays, new feature (@ least 4 weeks worth) - 2/4 posts done
  • Blogger Pet Profiles, short series (maybe Linky for others to join?)
    • Rolo, Cooper, Shreki & Timmy
  • Happy Holidays Post (12/1)
  • Merry Christmas Post (12/25)
  •  Anything else that comes up :)
I will be tracking my progress as I go with strike thorugh here and on the sidebar with my the pumpkin/bats tracker (yay for Halloween themed things).

Wish me luck!

Monthly Re-Cap: September 2015

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

And it's October - WOOHOOOOOOO! I love October, pumpkins, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, parties, Halloween! It is my absolute FAVE!  But also that means we are another month through 2015 :/

September was a great month - being in Vermont it is even more fun than when I was in Virginia - the leaves all start to change and there a so many more trees here. The air is crisp and cool and mornings are extra dew-y and I love everything about it. Autumn really is my favorite time of year and September is its kick-off. Speaking of kick-off, football is in full swing and a lazy day of football watching is my jam. 

On another note: This month we had some visitors to the house, we had a Labor Day party with some friends, did a bunch of crafts, I started decorating for Halloween, and it have overall been a great month.

How was your September? What Autumn things do you love?

What did you read or listen to in September? 

Link me up in the comments section! 


     ~~Books Read in September ~~     

The Inheritance  Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)  Hoodoo  The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor  The Mutts Winter Diaries   Ice Cream Work  26096827  The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) 
Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2)  the dragon of the month club  The Unquiet Past (Secrets)

~~Links to Reviews ~~

Sep 29, 2015

Release Day Blast w/ Giveaway!: Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz

Happy Book Birthday UNTIL BETH! We're so excited to be sharing this fantastic Young Adult novel by Lisa Amowitz with you today! Be sure to stop in at the bottom, and enter the giveaway for books, swag and a guitar pick necklace! The giveaway is open internationally!

About The Book
UNTIL BETHAuthor: Lisa Amowitz
Release Date: September 29th, 2015 Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press  ISBN-13: 978-1633920330
She doesn’t just play, she kills it.
Talented rock guitarist Beth Collins has been barely holding herself together for months, ever since her boyfriend and bandmate became the latest victim in a string of suspicious disappearances. When her brother is injured an accident and she sees something dark billowing around him as he hovers close to death, she’s convinced her sanity is collapsing for good.

Then she's accepted by a boarding school for the musically gifted. All of her new friends are bursting with talent, but they're also keeping secrets. Can she trust Vincent, who's so sweet that his very touch makes her fears melt away? Or Xavier, who's trying to tell her something but is hiding even more?

And will anyone be safe when her true Talent comes out?
Praise For Until Beth
"I  wish I could have read about a protagonist like Beth when I was growing up--a girl who doesn't fit into her society and must learn to use her abilities for good instead of evil. Her struggles will resonate with teen readers, and the hidden agendas of the school and its students will keep readers guessing up to the final page." - Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of Rogue
"This unique and compelling novel grabbed me on the first page and wouldn't let go. With unforgettable characters and a story that is by turns heartbreaking, thrilling and uplifting, UNTIL BETH is a must-read.” - Christine Johnson, author of The Gathering Dark


About The Author
Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly twenty years. She started writing eleven years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency.
BREAKING GLASS, released in July, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series was released September, 2014. FRACTURED, a novella combining the worlds of BREAKING GLASS and VISION releases as an ebook only, June 7, 2015. UNTIL BETH, the first in the Life and Beth trilogy will be released September 2015.
Lisa Amowitz is available for guest appearances, Skype visits, school visits, libraries & interviews. Please contact her for scheduling.

Grand prize US:$25 gift certificate to Amazon, Powell's or B&N (Winners Choice)
Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz
Swag AND a hand made (by the author!!) guitar pick necklace.
(International will only be ebooks and gift certificate)
Second prize:Ebooks of Breaking Glass, Vision & Fractured also by Lisa Amowitz
(International: ebooks only)

Must be 13+ To Enter | Open Internationally with restrictions
Please see Terms and Conditions for full contest rules.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sep 28, 2015

Just Playin' Around on Playster

Disclaimer: I was given access to this service temporarily for free in exchange for an honest review, this in no way altered my opinion or review.
Recently, I was contacted by to try out their new awesome subscription site during its BETA. This service is available to the public but is still in BETA.

So what is Playster?
It is a subscription service for all sorts of things there are Games, Movies, Music and most importantly for me...Books!

Here is more information from their Press Kit

The service is kind of like a bunch of others all rolled into one. With a subscription you would have access to all sorts of entertainment. I tried it out for a week for free in exchange for my honest opinion and was not disappointed. It seems like a wonderful idea and I am excited to see where it goes as they come out of testing.

When you log into the system you are greeted by a bright and colorful array of images for all of the categories. The set up is similar to other media subscriptions, you scroll through the page to choose your media - games, movies etc. then move into more detailed lists, like genres within those categories. It was easy to scroll through and being a visual person, I loved the covers for things right there for the user to see and access. 

You also have access to various menus on the top of the page, including a place to see past history and queue, a place to immediately get you into the type of media you want, and when you are in your media section there is a drop-down for easy access to genre so you don't have to scroll.

Playster also gives you a search function for ease of use and will be available for use on computers, tablets, and smart phones.

The games section consisted of a bunch of strategy, hidden object, and puzzle games for your computer. I am on a Mac and was able to download and play the games very easily. The download time was quick and the playback of the games was seamless.

The download itself installs a player and the game to your computer while you are subscribed to the service and will make it un-playable after your subscription ends - as would be expected.

The movies section, in my opinion, was still lacking at this point. I already subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and HBO which gives me access to HBOGo, so I am pretty covered in the movie department anyway so I wasn't too disappointed to find it such. 

However, if you are looking for this service to be a catch-all, which I think it could someday be, you may need to wait for them to really get going. As of right now their selection is mostly older movies and low budget films. Not all bad, just not what I would be looking for.

I did not peruse this section for very long, but from a quick glance through their options, it looks like Playster will offer a good variety of choices for listeners.

As an avid reader, this was the section I was most excited about looking through and I was not disappointed. Playster gives you a great deal of options in the books section including (but not limited to): bestsellers, movie related titles, romance, young adult, graphic novels and comics, cooking, biographies, non-fiction, history and the classics.

Within those categories there are numerous options for readers. When you click on the titles they give you all the important info: author, the book summary, the number of pages, and even recommendations based on the book you are looking at - which I thought was a pretty cool feature.

As far as I could tell, the "Juvenile and Young Adult" section was pretty good and included a lot of the more popular series like the Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments, Jenny Han's Burn for Burn, and there are a bunch of R.L. Stine and Nancy Drew to choose from.

Overall I think that you should check Playster out. It might be an easy way to condense some of your other online subscriptions.  For more info head over to the site and check out their Features.
Many thanks to Playster for giving me the opportunity to play on the site!

Sep 27, 2015

Building the Book Pile #155

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Another week closer to October and all things HALLOWEEN :) I am so excited. I started decorating my house already (much to my husbands displeasure "since it isn't October yet" - poo on him).

This week I was able to finally finish a few more books and post reviews but I am still a bit behind and need to catch up, but since that is the case I found a new hobby :P

I learned to knit and am attempting to my a scarf... we will see how that goes.

Nothing else super exciting happened this week, I got a few great kids books in the mail and really need to get reading! 

OH on another note! If you are sick - Vick's scented Puffs are awesome! I <3 them :) 

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

  Giveaways Going on This Week!

Woohoo! Finally Some Giveaways!

the dragon of the month club

Coming up on the Blog... 

Spotlight: Subscription Service

Release Day Blast! Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz (YA)  - with Giveaway!

Monthly Re-Cap: September 2015

Blog Tour: Review -- Ice Cream Work by Naoshi (MG) - with Giveaway!

Early Reader Review: The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong (YA)

Books Received this Week

Physical Books

The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review

A Halloween Scare at My House by Eric James from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review

Nick and Tesla's Special Effects Spectacular: A Mystery with Animatronics, Alien Makeup, Camera Gear, and Other Movie Magic You Can Make Yourself! by

Sep 24, 2015

Recent Reads w/ Giveaway!: The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading

Source: From the Author and Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way altered my opinion or review.

the dragon of the month clubThe Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading
Series: #1
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date:  February 22, 2015


Format: Paperback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
The Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.

On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.

But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.

Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.
The Dragon of the Month Club was a surprisingly quirky story about two friends who come together over a book and find themselves thrown into other books... I know that sounds crazy but it is so much fun.

Ayana and Tyler become fast friends at the library and one day stumble upon a book about conjuring dragons, the magic is real and they soon discover that they really can have dragon pets. One day a spell goes completely wrong and instead of a dragon appearing they are thrust into a magical world. Now they are just trying to get back to the real world. 

This is where this book gets good, yes the dragons are cool, but really this is the best. The two end up in various books and tales that were around them upon botching the dragon spell. So you get Dune, Fairytale, Sherlock Holmes, they even talk about other books while there. As a younger reader, I loved these kinds of books, they gave me insight into other books to read and also made it seem like falling into a book was a completely plausible thing to happen - much like walking through a wardrobe to Narnia (I still try, by the way).

This was a very creative way to both have a book but also have it be about different books and it is done in a very fun way. The book s are not spoiled, and they lend their locations and ambiance to the story at hand. 

I guess I should also mention that even in the magical world the kids are still able to summon dragons, and they do! Lots of them and they seem adorable and very pet like. 

I really did enjoy this book and hope that others are able to pick it up and give it a read. Perfect for young readers and their parents.

1 copy of The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading
(Physical Copy for US, Ebook Copy for INT)

Must be 13 with a parents permission or older to enter
Please enter via the Rafflecopter Below. 
Prize will be sent by Book Publicity Services and the Author 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~Author's Contest~~

There is an ongoing contest for readers to win a one-of-a-kind hardcover version of The Dragon of the Month Club with their artwork as the cover.

“Draw a picture! Write a story! Take a photograph! Bake some cookies! Mold a dragon out of clay! Knit one out of yarn! Make one out of LEGO! Whatever you want! Just let your imagination run wild because anything goes – the more creative the better! Send your dragon in and then on the 13th day of every month one entry will be chosen at random and featured on the official Dragon Of The Month Club website. Each month’s lucky winner will also receive a free one-of-a-kind personalized hard-cover edition of The Dragon Of The Month Club book featuring their winning artwork (or other creative content) on the cover or inside the book itself,” says Iain.

To learn more, go to 

About the Author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain writes young adult novels. He is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to

Connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sep 23, 2015

Recent Reads: Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot

Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2)Princess in the Spotlight by Meg Cabot
Series: Princess Diaries #2
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Publication Date:  March 2002


Format: Hardback
Source: Library




Goodreads Synopsis: 
No one ever said being a princess was easy.

Just when Mia thought she had the whole princess thing under control, things get out of hand, fast. First there's an unexpected announcement from her mother. Then Grandmère arranges a national primetime interview for the brand-new crown princess of Genovia. On top of that, intriguing, exasperating letters from a secret admirer begin to arrive.

Before she even has the chance to wonder who those letters are from, Mia is swept up in a whirlwind of royal intrigue the likes of which hasn't been seen since volume I of The Princess Diaries.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was pleasantly surprised when it was different from the movie, I was again happy to find that this installment is a continuation of the last diary and I really got into it. I sat down with this book to take a break from another one and ended up reading through it in one sitting.

Mia is still getting used to the princess thing and now she has so many other things to deal with. Slowly her life seems to be unraveling more that she thought it could and it doesn't help that her grandmother is the root of all the evil. 

Reading Mia's diary is hilarious, it reads like a teenage girls inner monologue perfectly and it is an easy read since it is in diary entry style. I know that this isn't a long review but I don't want to spoil the first book or this one for anyone intending to pick it up. I can say that I will definetly be grabbing the next in the series.


Sep 22, 2015

Recent Reads: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)
The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
Series: Fairyland #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date:  May 10, 2011


Format: Paperback
Source: Library



Goodreads Synopsis: 

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

I was so excited when I picked up this book from the library - I have read wonderful reviews about it and the cover and premise are spectacular. I am sad to say that this was not my favorite book - I did enjoy it but found a lot of the plot bogged down by too much detail and fancy wording.

September is a special girl, one that has the chance to be whisked off into fairyland and have the adventure of her lifetime. She gets to meet a dragon, make friends with creatures that only exist in fairy tales, defeat an evil Marquess. This book had the makings of a wonderfully epic fantasy. I enjoyed September as a main character but with all that detail there wasn't much to really draw me in to make me really root for her - I found myself with her rooting against this crazy rule-making Marquess instead. The adventures were reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and Halloweentown from the Nightmare Before Christmas all rolled into on - so they felt like stories I had heard before.

One last point, I really kept feeling like this was written for adults and not a middle grade reader, there were a few passages that just seemed for parents or adults, and even I felt like I had to dig my way through the book to get to the good parts. 

That being said, there was a wonderful twist in the last few chapters and a great cliffhanger ending. While I don't think I will continue the series, the ending did make me stop and think I wanted to for a moment.


Sep 21, 2015

Bloggiesta Re-Cap and Wrap-Up
"The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!"

ALL Accomplished Tasks:
  • Back up the blog
    • Done and done, this is always the easiest thing and I ALWAYS forget.
  • Update my "Reviews by Author" Tab
    • I have been avoiding this task since June and I did a lot of reviewing over the summer for the Crazy for Summer Read-a-thon which was followed by ARC August, so there were a lot of additions. I am feeling great that this is done now. 
  • Update my TBR spreadsheet
    • I starting doing this task and am very close to finishing :)  
  • Clean up my inbox 
    • I used the wonderful Mini Challenge here -> Clean Up Your Email from Aloi at Guiltless Reading
  • Visit as many Bloggiesta blogs as possible (IF NOT ALL) to cheer people on :) 
    • DONE! I kept checking for additions to the list through Sunday Morning- Up to #69 on the Linky. Some were harder to find, some weren't even Bloggiesta Links, and some were duplicates BUT I love going through to all the people and commenting.
  • Do some mini challenges
    • Only really did one, but that is better than none. I also ended up adding more little things to my to do list.
  •  Fix email subscription buttons
    • I noticed while reading through my blog that there was an issue with these buttons not working :( so I updated them
  •  Add a search bar into Archives page.
    • The Archives page is so old but I don't want to completely get rid of it, so I added a Search Bar in case someone ends up there looking for something newer.
  •  Remove Cecilia's page.
    • If you have been around Cover2CoverBlog for a bit, you know I have a younger sister who also loves to read and for a minute there she wrote some reviews - Well she is in high school now focusing on all those things teens like so I finally removed her page since there wasn't more to add. No worries, she is still a reader but reviewing isn't for her right now.
  • Edit my review policy
    • Since CeCe is no longer reviewing, I had to edit my review policy accordingly.

I did not prep any reviews because there were none to prep - I am kind of in a reading slump :/ but I got a lot of great blog things done.

Sep 20, 2015

Building the Book Pile #154

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Just another week for me, nothing special and kind of boring actually. I was kind of in a reading slump and didn't feel like reading, so there was a lot of TV watching (ahem Girl Meets World & White Collar). 

It was Bloggiesta though and I got a lot of bloggy - maintenance done :)
What's Happening?! 
How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

  Giveaways Going on This Week!

Woohoo! Finally Some Giveaways!


Coming up on the Blog... 

Recent Reads: The Girl that Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynne Valente (MG)

Recent Reads: The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading (MG) 

Spotlight: Subscription Service


Books Received this Week

Physical Books

Never Said by Carol Lynch Williams from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review

Last-but-not-least Lola and the Wild Chicken by Christine Pakkala (Lola #2) from Publisher for Tour and Review

Last-but-not-least Lola and the Cupcake Queens by Christine Pakkala (Lola #3) from Publisher for Tour and Review

The Mutts Winter Diaries  Drones Ice Cream Work

The Mutts Winter Diaries by Patrick McDonnell from Netgalley and Andrew McMeels Publishing in exchange for review.

Drones by Chris Lewis from Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors in exchange for review.

Ice Cream Work by Naoshi for Blog Tour with Candace's Book Blog

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!