Mar 30, 2018

Monthly Re-Cap: March 2018

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

(And GRAMPS! - I hear you have been reading my blog☺️
Love you, miss you!)

Not sure why these months are just flying by. I hope April goes a bit slower - it is my birthday month :) 

March was pretty low-key, work was SUPER busy so social outings weren't as often. I did go out for St. Patty's with a friend nothing crazy just dinner and I attended a coloring party while the hubs was at a tattoo show in Maine. We had another friends-Sunday dinner -  taco night 🌮🌮. These are so much fun.

On the blogging/reading front - I am getting back into it all. I have been reading a good amount and the posting is more consistent (I think). Yay for pre-planned posts! I participated in Bloggiesta and am working on some Blog Ahead which will be done soon (I need to get to work!)

How was your month? What are your goals? What did you read this month?

~~Reviews Up This Month From Previous Re-Caps~~

Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle (Crafty Cat #3) by Charise Mericle Harper (MG, GN) - 4 stars
My Bed by Anita Bijsterbosch (Youth)- 4 stars
Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson (GN, MG) - 5 stars

Reviews still on their way to you: 
April 2018

Brothers Unite (Secondhand Heroes #1) by Justin Hansen (MG, GN)
In the Trenches (Secondhand Heroes #2) by Justin Hansen (MG, GN) 
The Last Battle (Secondhand Heroes #3) by Justin Hansen (MG, GN)
The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais (MG, GN) 
Deep Water by Watt Key (MG) 
Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts by Ian De Haes (Youth) 
Fish-Boy by Vanita Oelschlager (Youth)  
All Summer Long by Hope Larsen (MG/ GN) 

 Coming soon in 2018 ...

Today I'll be a Unicorn by Dana Simpson (Youth)
The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw (Youth)
Fox and Racoon by Lesley-Anne Green (Youth) 

Mar 29, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 4 (Saga, #4)Saga Volume 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: December 17, 2015

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend.



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. As they visit a strange new world and encounter even more adversaries, baby Hazel finally becomes a toddler, while her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana struggle to stay on their feet.

Collecting: Saga 19-24

I wasn't a huge fan of this volume. It was depressing and it seemed like it too everything it had built and then was outrageous just to be outrageous. There was a birthing scene and a lot more explicit content and drugs than before. All of this is fine, I understand that it is an adult series and there is bound to be some raunchiness but this was a bit overboard for me.

Hazel is still telling her parents story and she seems depressed about it in this volume. Her parents are working their way apart and it is wearing on the family. A majority of this volume was about their story - which I actually liked. The other story lines are good but don't hold my interest as much. I will keep reading but hope that the story's content calms back down a bit in the adult content.

Mar 28, 2018

Blog Tour - Excerpt and Giveaway! The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller

The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller
Series: The Call of the Rift #1
Publisher:  ECW Press
Publication Date:  April 3, 2018

About the Book:
A rebellious heroine faces a colonial world coming unstitched in Jae Waller's stunning debut fantasy

Seventeen-year-old Kateiko doesn’t want to be Rin anymore — not if it means sacrificing lives to protect the dead. Her only way out is to join another tribe, a one-way trek through the coastal rainforest. Killing a colonial soldier in the woods isn’t part of the plan. Neither is spending the winter with Tiernan, an immigrant who keeps a sword with his carpentry tools. His log cabin leaks and his stories about other worlds raise more questions than they answer.

Then the air spirit Suriel, long thought dormant, resurrects a war. For Kateiko, protecting other tribes in her confederacy is atonement. For Tiernan, war is a return to the military life he’s desperate to forget.

Leaving Tiernan means losing the one man Kateiko trusts. Staying with him means abandoning colonists to a death sentence. In a region tainted by prejudice and on the brink of civil war, she has to decide what’s worth dying — or killing — for.

Chapter 1 Excerpt
The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller
“Ouch!” I cursed under my breath and sucked on the line of blood that appeared across my thumb.
“You’re doing it wrong.” Fendul took my hunting knife and peeled a curl of dark wood from the palm-sized figurine. “Hold it like this. You’ll stab yourself in the gut otherwise.”
“Nei. It doesn’t work that way.” I yanked it back from him.
We sat cross-legged on the rocky beach of Kotula Huin, a still, glacial lake. Drifts of fog surrounded us. Colossal hills loomed over the valley, its dense layer of trees barely visible against the dark sky. A dull pink glow silhouetted the jagged peaks to our right. Behind us, the forest dripped. My fingers were too damp to grip the rawhide cord wrapped around my bone knife.
Voices drifted down the shoreline. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?” I asked.
Fendul shrugged. “Not until the ceremony starts.”
“So you’re up this early for the fun of it.” I rolled my eyes. I’d been awake for an hour already drying wood for a bonfire, along with my aunt Isu and three others who’d spent years learning to call water. Our skills weren’t usually required so early in the morning, otherwise I might’ve been more reluctant to learn. Not that I had much choice. As the eldest — and only — child of an antayul, I was bound by custom to become one as well.
I bent my head over the driftwood. In my peripheral vision, I saw Fendul tossing a stone from hand to hand.
“Can you stop that?”
The stone fell with a clatter. “Concentration conquers distraction.”
“Don’t underestimate yourself,” I muttered.
“Ever consider I’m not the problem?”
“Ever consider shutting up?” I tossed my knife away and flopped backward, piling my hair into a pillow.
Fendul’s face appeared in my field of vision. We shared the same dark eyes, sharp features, and wiry build. Even after a summer apart, our skin had tanned to the same warm, muted shade — but while my light brown hair spilled past my waist, his hair was charcoal black and cropped short. We didn’t have much choice in that either. He couldn’t grow his long until he married. I’d never been allowed to cut my hair and never would be.
His amulet swung back and forth as he leaned over me. I reached up as if to touch the crow, carved from a black shark tooth, then pushed on Fendul’s bare chest. “You’re blocking my view.”
“Of what? It’s barely light.”
“Of the clouds, bludgehead.”
“Come on. Try again.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me upright. I sighed and picked up the knife, letting him place my hands in what he insisted was the right position.
“What is that? A fox?” he asked.
“Nei.” I could hear the pressure to elaborate. “It’s a wolf.”
“That’s not the colour used for wolves. Lighter wood is more suited to . . .”
I stared at him. He trailed off. Without breaking eye contact, I flipped the figurine over my shoulder. It rustled through some bushes and thumped to the ground. He muttered something that sounded like “immature.”
The clouds were brightening, turning pale pink and white like the smooth rocks I used to collect from creeks. The lake was turning turquoise. I stood up and sheathed the knife at my back next to my throwing dagger. “I’m going to find Nili.”
Excerpted from The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller. © 2018 by Jae Waller. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
Jae Waller grew up in a lumber town in northern British Columbia. She has a joint B.F.A. in creative writing and fine art from the University of Northern British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Now living in Melbourne, Australia, she works as a novelist and freelance artist.  

Mar 27, 2018

Early Reader Review: My Bed by Anita Bijsterbosch

Source: From Netgalley and Clavis Publishing  in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
My BedMy Bed by Anita Bijsterbosch
Publisher: Clavis
Publication Date:  April 1, 2018

Format:  Ebook



 Goodreads Synopsis: 
There’s a star in the sky. Bear, Rabbit, Reindeer and the other animals are tired. Time for bed! Reindeer tries every bed he sees, but which bed is really his? A funny picture book about Reindeer and his own bed. For sleepy toddlers ages 24 months and up, with a focus on the child’s daily life.
Such a cute book about bedtime. The Reindeer in the story is trying to find his bed at the end of a long day. He tries all types of beds only to find out they aren't for him until he finds his own. The images are bright and bold and the text is short. All the animals in the book are adorable and I think this will be a great bedtime read for parents and their toddlers. 

Mar 26, 2018

Recent Reads: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Source: Ebook from Netgalley and Little, Brown books for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. Audiobook borrowed from local library.
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #2
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  August 25, 2015

Format:  Ebook/ Audiobook

DNF 😩 

Goodreads Synopsis: 
The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?

In this heart-stopping sequel to The Diviners, Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray takes readers deeper into the mystical underbelly of New York City.
Disclaimer - I did not finish this book. I made it approx. 75-80% through and then threw in the towel. 

Some background though...I read listened to The Diviners around the time it came out and enjoyed it, but it was very long and long-winded, but I wanted to keep up with the series so I requested book 2 from Netgalley. It had been sitting there for YEARS and I was ashamed of that. 

I decided to borrow the audiobook from my local library and got a few chapters in when I got swamped with other things and let it expire. Recently, I have been trying to go back and clean up my act with books I need to review and so I was giving Liar of Dreams another go. I reserved the audiobook again from the library and got a good bit in (about 45-50%), then it expired, I reserved it again and at the 80% ish point it expired again and I just didn't want to go back again...

In the first book, I expected it to build this gorgeous world the Diviners are in and the elaborate story thereafter and it did that wonderfully, but was SO LONG in doing it. In book 2, I wanted more story and action and less building... and that is all that it did. It built and built and built and built and at the 80% point I should have been seeing some climax in the story. Yea, I was getting little tastes here and there but no grand one, and it was getting old real fast and I was losing steam. Specifically, I would have been ok with less of Henry in the dream world - experiencing the same thing every time, or the creepy woman in the dreams over and over again, and with less Evie partying (we get it- she likes the drink!). It was all just useless repetition for me. So after trying 3+ times to tackle this book, I am giving it up for other books on my stack. I hate to not finish a book, but it does happen and there are too many books out there from me to keep struggling through this one.

Mar 25, 2018

Building the Book Pile #247

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Good Morning! It is Sunday and we woke up to another dusting of snow here in VT 😩🙄 and today is chore day - I have been putting a lot of things off that I have to do now. 

Bloggiesta is over today, I think I did ok - I added a few items to my list that I did not get to do yet but I will try to get them done today anyway.

Yesterday was also the start of a Mini Blog Ahead round that I am participating in. I don't think I will get to the full number of posts prepped but I am aiming for at least 10.  It will be really helpful if I can do it. Fingers crossed.

Otherwise I am also getting some reading done (finally) and will have a bunch of reviews coming to the blog very soon - just have to write them!

How has your week been so far?
Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (YA)
Early Reader Review: My Bed by Anita Bijsterbosch (Youth)
Blog Tour w/ Excerpt: Call of the Rift - Flight by Jae Waller (YA)
Recent Reads: Saga Volume 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (GN, Adult) 
Monthly Re-Cap: March 2018 

No Books Received this Week

But that is ok, because I have a lot I need to read already. 

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!

Mar 23, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 3 by Brian Vaughan

Saga, Vol. 3 (Saga, #3)Saga Volume 3 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date:  March 24, 2015

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend.



Goodreads Synopsis: 
From the Hugo Award-winning duo of Brian K. Vaughan (The Private Eye, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (North 40, Red Sonja), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the universe. Searching for their literary hero, new parents Marko and Alana travel to a cosmic lighthouse on the planet Quietus, while the couple's multiple pursuers finally close in on their targets.

Collecting: Saga 13-18.

It had been a bit since I had read the first two volumes but this next one pulls the reader right back into the story. Marko and Alana are still fleeing and on their way to locate an author, whom Alana believes will have some answers for them.  In another story arc - The Will, Gwen and the little girl they rescued are stuck with a broken ship and there is something wrong with the food they ate. Overall this was a good issue - there was action and the diversity that I am really enjoying in these graphic novels as well as the ridiculousness that is occasionally thrown in (like a drunk man in his undies - yup that happened). If you are looking for a multi-story romance, political, sci-fi graphic novel series to jump into I am really enjoying this one so far.

Mar 22, 2018

Recent Reads: Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

Source:  From Netgalley and Little, Brown Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Marabel and the Book of Fate
Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

Series: Marabel of Magikos #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  February 6, 2018

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Free-spirited Marabel must defy expectations to rescue her brother--and their kingdom.

In Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate's ancient predictions, including the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the realm. Princess Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, who everyone assumes is the true Chosen One. While Marco is adored and given every opportunity, Marabel is overlooked and has to practice her sword fighting in secret.

But on the night of their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, and Marabel runs to his rescue. Outside the castle walls for the first time, accompanied by her best friend and a very smug unicorn, Marabel embarks on a daring mission that brings her face-to-face with fairies, trolls, giants--and the possibility that all is not as it seems in Magikos.
This book caught my eye due to its whimsical cover and its adorable synopsis - magic, a fantasy world, and an adventure. It is everything I enjoy and it did not disappoint.

Marabel is a princess who is often looked past because she has a twin brother that will be taking over the kingdom and is thought to be the Chosen One. Her parents dote on him and she is always in the shadows. When her evil aunt kidnaps him, Marabel tasks herself with getting him back and embarks on the adventure to save him. She travels with a friend and a chatty unicorn and has to break into another realm and a castle to go get him. 

I really loved this book, it was so much fun. The adventure was fantastical and so much fun to read, it had me on the edge of my seat a lot of the time and I couldn't wait to dive back in when I had to stop reading. The characters all had great growth through the story - including the adults and I think that is a great aspect of this book. Most of the time it is only the main character but in this one everyone has some realization about how to better themselves - so good. 

I think this is a great book to share with younger fantasy reader, I think they can learn bravery and courage and to believe in themselves as they read and adventure with Marabel. It was so great!

Mar 20, 2018

Early Reader Review: Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle by Charise Mericle Harper

Source: From First Second Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly BattleCrafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle by Charise Mericle Harper
Series: Crafty Cat #3
Publisher:  First Second Books
Publication Date:   April 24, 2018

Format:  Ebook



Get your paws ready for crafty time! From beloved author Charise Mericle Harper comes Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle, a new adventure in the Crafty Cat graphic novel series.
Everyone in Miss Domino's class is excited about the school play and its lead role, the super-sparkly butterfly. Birdie knows she’d be perfect for the part―unfortunately, she’s not the only one who feels that way. Eight other classmates also want the starring role. And even worse, one of them is Anya! And doesn’t Anya always seem to get her way?
Who can save the day? Crafty Cat! As her alter-ego, Birdie can craft her way out of any disaster. With tape, tissue paper, and her can-do spirit, Birdie will find a way to shine on stage.
Join in the fun: Instructions for five easy do-it-yourself projects are included.

The second book in this series was not the best, but this installment brought it back for me. In this issue, Birdie wants to be the butterfly in her school play but another girl in her class wants it too, she must find a way to accept the possibility of not being the part she wants. I liked Birdie/ Crafty Cat in this issue again, she wanted something, couldn't have it, and handled it very well and I think that is a great lesson for younger readers. Anya the other girl in the issue is always the troublemaker and she is kind of a brat, I think that these books should take more time emphasizing that her behavior is not acceptable, but as long as our main character Birdie is a positive role model I think that is something.

In this issue there are also loads of great crafts, and it is probably my favorite thing about these graphic novels is the crafts - we have bookmarks, lanterns, and butterfly clip craft templates that all look like a lot of fun.

If you have a kid that loves crafts this is a great series for them and the instructions tell you everything you need.