Nov 30, 2018

Monthly Re-Cap: November 2018

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 
  Happy Last Day of November! I hope that your Thanksgiving (if you are in the U.S.) was family filled and wonderful and that you are all SO EXCITED for the holiday season... you know I am...

My fake tree has been up since the day after Halloween, and I started wrapping gifts around that time too. I get that shopping done early!!! that way I can enjoy all the festivities and fun things in the month of December.

In November, I was still in my first class (I am one week until done 😳). I actually got a good amount of reading done too. We saw Bohemian Rhapsody in theater and I saw the new Grinch movie in October before it came out in November (perks of working for a college).

I accepted a new position at the college as well... starting in mid-December I will be a part of the business school Career Development Office.

It was a crazy month of things, and I am exited about all that December holds!

How was your November?

Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri (Youth)- 5 stars
Chilly da Vinci by Jarrett Rutland (Youth) -3 stars

~~Coming Soon~~ 
Muddy: The Raccoon Who Stole Dishes by Griffin Ondaatje (Youth) 
Quinn's Promise Rock by Christie Thomas (Youth)
Book Love by Debbie Tung (GN)

Nov 29, 2018

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway! The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons by Dan Elish

About the Book

Born to... Fight?

Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won’t let him forget that his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking. But when he’s attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand. Killing the giant locust is only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad’s death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose…  

"…a fast-paced, entertaining story with appealing characters, a healthy dose of action, and a dash of humor." ―Publishers Weekly


And suddenly there they were, four statuesque dragons. Like any child, Ike had grown up seeing pictures of dragons in storybooks, giant scaly lizards with large, sloping backs, wings, and an extra wide mouth. And that description was largely true. But what the creators of The Fighting Dragons had added were the colors. Instead of plain greens and browns, these dragons’ skin was a rich blend of light lavenders, dark maroons, sea-greens, pale oranges, pinks, yellows, and blues. Even so, the creatures looked so real it was hard to believe they were no more than artistic creations of a TV studio. One by one, the beasts flapped their wings and breathed fire for the camera. Ike had always found it amusing how each had been named for a different English Park.
Loch Lomond.
Then suddenly, there was Ike’s father again, climbing onto Dartmoor, the largest of them all, a beautiful, terrifying creature with a silver body, golden wings, and a red stripe down the middle of his forehead. As the music grew, they soared into the sky. With a gentle tug on the reins, Ike’s dad moved Dartmoor in a slow arc around the boat. It was a beautiful day, only a single cloud in the blue sky. Even though his father’s flight was with wires, computers, and green screens in a TV studio, he was thrilled. His dad’s bright smile filled the screen. This was the kind of day where nothing could possibly go wrong.
But then it did.
Ike had heard that it had happened fast, but he still wasn’t prepared for just how soon and quickly the giant locust thundered into view. It was a great black flying thing, fully twenty feet long with round yellow eyes. On its hard forehead, between its two swooping antennae, was a small blue splotch. Not wasting a second, the mighty locust dove straight for Ike’s father, who reacted immediately, pulling sharply on the reins. Dartmoor craned his neck in preparation. But when the dragon opened his mouth to deliver the death shot … there was no fire. Not a spark. Not even a wisp of smoke.
Ike gasped.
And the locust was still coming strong. If Ike’s dad was worried, he didn’t show it. Quickly, he reached to his waist and pulled a sword out of its sheath. Without a second’s hesitation, he parried for the locust’s body.
“Yes!” Ike shouted.
His father’s sword found its mark, plunging deep into the bug’s midsection. But unfortunately, the locust’s stinger was already rocketing forward. In its dying gasp, the giant insect caught Ike’s dad in the chest and pierced his armor. It happened just that fast. One second, Ike’s dad seemed to be in control of a perilous situation, the next he was mortally wounded, clawing at Dartmoor’s left wing, trying desperately to stay on. As the locust fell out of the sky, Dartmoor contorted himself, frantically trying to catch Ike’s father with his teeth. But Cameron Rupert Hollingsberry was unable to hang on and he fell, holding his sword, looking up to the sky.
Teary eyed, Ike watched his father fall down, down, down …
But then he heard it, the last thing he expected.
“Ikey,” his father called.
What? Had his father called his name?
But wait. There was more, but the words had gotten lost in the wind.
Copyright © 2018 by Dan Elish

About the Author

Dan Elish is the author of nine novels, including The School for the Insanely Gifted, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, and Born Too Short: Confessions of an 8th Grade Basket Case (Simon & Schuster), which was named a New York Public Library "Book for the Teenage" and a "Young Adult Choice for the International Reading Association.”

Dan co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical 13with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, which premiered on Broadway in 2008 and is slated to be a movie by CBS Films. Dan is also a TV writer who has worked on shows such as Cyberchase (PBS) and Jo-Jo’s Circus (Disney). Dan has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and is represented by Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates. He lives in New York with his wife and children.  


Find the Author

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of THE ROYAL ORDER OF FIGHTING DRAGONS by Dan Elish.
1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 28, 2018

Recent Reads: Art Boss by Kayla Cagan

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

Art Boss
Art Boss by Kayla Cagan
Series:  Follow Up to Piper Perish
Publisher:  Chronicle Books
Publication Date:   October 2, 2018

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Artist Piper Perish has moved from her hometown of Houston, Texas, to New York City. Her days are spent exploring; her nights are filled with painting. It's her lifelong dream come true . . . . Except life in the city isn't as glamorous as it looks from afar. Piper's high-pressure work as an assistant to a famous modern artist takes away time from her own art. And Piper's new friend Grace, a budding activist, has Piper beginning to wonder if making great art is really enough.

In a story that stands alone but can be read as a companion novel to Piper Perish, acclaimed author Kayla Cagan returns with Piper's powerful and utterly authentic journey of growing up into a strong, independent young woman—as she learns how to make life about art, and how to make that art matter. Art Boss will have readers asking big questions along with Piper. What is art for? What can art do? And how can a young artist change the world?
I saw this gorgeous cover and the synopsis and was really excited to request this book for Fall reading ... sadly I was disappointed and I could not finish it.

If you don't know, Art Boss is actually a follow up novel to Piper Perish, another book by this author.  I didn't realize this until I started writing this review and doing some more research, so that may have been the biggest and first flaw. I found the main character to be pretty flat, I didn't really click with her and I didn't feel the need to keep reading about her experiences. I also felt like I was missing a lot of information. 

Since I had no idea that this was a sequel, I didn't know about Piper or her artwork, so when the author jumps right in talking about art pieces she assumes that I know which ones she is talking about (I am guess that was in the first book), but I had no clue and immediately felt lost. I was thinking that it was being kept secretive for a reason, but then the character starts to reproduce them and then I got more information but the full one never came.  I made it through a quarter of the book before I gave up, between the lack of information that I felt like I needed, and my lack of connection to the main character I just had to put it down. 

I was also feeling some strong anxiety about what was to come in the plot, and while that is normally a good thing for a book to do, since I was not enthralled with the book itself, I felt like I was riling myself up for nothing. 

I always feel bad about not finishing a book, but this one just was not for me, maybe if you have read Piper Perish and really enjoyed it this would be a good one for you, either way, I would suggest reading that book first so you have more context if you pick this one up.

Nov 27, 2018

Early Reader Review: Chilly da Vinci by Jarrett Rutland

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

Chilly da VinciChilly da Vinci by Jarrett Rutland
Publisher: NorthSouth Books
Publication Date:  December 4, 2018

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!  Chilly ties into the popular "maker" movement with humor and imagination.

While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!
Draw Chilli!

This was a creative and cute book for younger readers. It is about an inventor penguin based on Leonardo da Vinci, he likes to make things and in this book he gets some other penguins into a bit of a mess and has to figure out a way to help them. The pictures are a lot of fun but might be harder for younger readers to follow - there are some diagrams and blueprint looking pages. These are very fun to look at but could be difficult to explain as a parent reading to a child. 

Either way a penguin inventor is a fun thing to read about and the story was imaginative and entertaining. I think kids will have a lot of questions and learn a lot.

Nov 26, 2018

Building the Book Pile #281 - Monday edition

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Monday readers! I have no excuse other than I was playing video games all weekend so I did not do this post, BUT I am doing it now :)

Last week and Thanksgiving were nice. I worked Monday and Tuesday and had a bunch of meeting (no fun); then Wednesday we took the doggie to the Eye Doctor again and he is better (Yay!) but he is getting older so we need to visit the eye doc at least once a year now; Thursday for the holiday we relaxed in the morning and decorated the tree then went to my family's house for the meal; Friday was super low-key - we stayed in and played games; Saturday we hung our outdoor lights and ran errands; and Sunday we hosted the "family" (read that as friends we have made our family) dinner and had a full Thanksgiving spread again.

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee (almost Peppermint Cocoa time now...) via Ko-fi

Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: Chilly da Vinci by Jarrett Rutland (Youth)
Recent Reads: Art Boss by Kayla Cagan (YA) 
Blog Tour w/ Excerpt and Giveaway! - The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons by Dan Elish (YA)
Monthly Re-cap: November 2018

Books Received this Week

A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage

For Review:
A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel from Callisto Publishers Club in exchange for an honest 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!