Jan 31, 2019

Monthly Re-Cap: January 2019

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

How was your January?

This month went by so extremely quick. Granted, I was super busy all month with work, school, blogging, and snow/water removal but still it was such a short month. I did get a lot done though. I read a pretty good number of books and have really been enjoying audiobooks with my gifted audible subscription. 

I am in the middle of a few books still, I am hoping to finish another one from my TBR tonight and I am listening to one audiobook by myself and another one with the hubs (Harry Potter #2- YAY). 

I just wish there was more time in the day for all the things I have to do...

~~Coming Soon~~ 
Muddy: The Raccoon Who Stole Dishes by Griffin Ondaatje (Youth) 
Quinn's Promise Rock by Christie Thomas (Youth)
Julius Zebra:Entangled with the Egyptians by Gary Northfield (MG)
The Secret Joy of Hygge by Alexandra Amarotico  (Non-Fiction)

~No Review~
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling - reread 😀

Jan 30, 2019

Blog Blitz w/ Excerpt and Giveaway! Remote by Lisa Acerbo

Remote by Lisa Acerbo 
Publication date: December 24th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

About the Book: 
When technology fulfills every dream, reality is a nightmare.

Below the streets of New State, the Grounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. When dusk falls, Wren risks her life by entering the capital city as a raider to secure resources for the rebellion. Each step further inside puts her life in jeopardy from New State’s deadliest weapons – Phantoms. More machine than human, tortured until devoid of emotion and caring, Phantoms have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Wren is good at her job as a raider and committed to the cause until she meets Codex, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Wren feels for Codex is very real. And it’s punishable by death.

As she and Codex grow closer, Wren convinces him to leave New State for the underground. But unrest between New State and the Grounders escalates, and Phantoms move in to destroy her world. Nothing goes as Wren planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Wren’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…

“Clear here. Ready to get this night rolling,” Wren said into the headset, maneuvering down the hidden steps.
“You’re the only person I know who happily goes into New State,” a static voice replied.
“For the cause,” someone whispered into the headsets for all to hear.
“For the cause,” came a reply from the raiders.
She chuckled to herself as sure steps brought her off the mountain and onto the barren landscape. Wren took a moment to enjoy the moonlit March and think about her job as a raider. She rarely saw the sun, so even the glimpse of the night orb hiding behind a sheen of clouds brought her intense joy. But it also worked to her advantage. Raiding New State took skill and effort. Darkness added to her stealth. Few luxuries found their way to the underground caves where she lived. Even some basic provisions like food and medicines had to be commandeered. “If you want it, you’ll have to find a way to get it,” her father had told her from a young age.
She approached the small group of raiders, all of whom had exited the mountain range separately for safety and listened to the whispered arguments about the best picking in New State. Wren didn’t join the debate. 
She thought back to the conversation she had before leaving for this mission. One of the Grounder leaders, whom just happened to be her father, cornered her on the way out. 
“Wren, I got a complaint from your commander. You need to follow the rules as written for the raiders. It’s the only reason your mother and I let you join the group.” 
“I need to explore New State and go where others don’t. How else are we going to understand and defeat them?”
“We have other ways,” her father said.
“Excuse me, Head of State Rafe,” She watched his expression sour as she used his official title with his first name. She loved annoying him. “My searches lead to the best discoveries.” 
“I won’t care what you find if you end up dead. Promise.”
Wren had let the silence grow. “Fine.”  She had no plans to keep her promise.

About the Author:
Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education. 

Find the Author

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 5 eBook copies of Remote
  • 5 eBook copies of Twelve Months of Awkward Moments
  • $10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 28, 2019

Early Reader Review: The Monster Friend by Asaf Rozanes

Source: From the Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Monster Friend by Asaf Rozanes
The Monster Friend: Help Children and Parents Overcome their Fears. (Bedtimes Story Fiction Children's Picture Book Book 4): Face your fears and make friends with your monsters (Mindful Mia) by [Rozanes, Asaf]Series: Mindful Mia
Publisher: Yazamia Ltd.
Publication Date:  February 1, 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


Goodreads Synopsis: 
It's time to stop denying their existence and start getting to know them and why they came to pay you a visit.
In this amusing and heroic bedtime tale Mia decides to confront her worst fears - what happens next is truly inspiring and provides both children and parents with REAL practical life tools for facing and conquering their fears! 
A must have book for children and parents to teach kids about:  
Identifying and facing fears with courage
Building and relying on their self-esteem
Conquering their fears and achieving inner growth

Fun, cute and entertaining with beautiful illustrations, a hidden game, coloring pages and an activity sheet with discussion points - ALL IN ONE BOOK!
The Mindful Mia book series is a group of books for kids about how to address issues. Previously in the series the author has discussed diversity, acceptance, self-image, and self-esteem, and this book adds to the series very well. The Monster Friend focuses on friendships and facing fears with a common bedtime issues - monsters. Mia has seen a monster in her room and just wants it to go away. her dad is able to help her face her fears and even befriend the monster. 

This is a cute book, the pictures are bright and the message, while a common theme, is a good one to keep addressing. I think parents could use this book as a teaching tool and I think that children will enjoy the overall story. 

These books also include coloring pages and a search game throughout the book so it adds more fun for later.  

If you are a parent looking to address the monster under the bed problem, this book is a very good option for you and your little one.

Jan 27, 2019

Building the Book Pile #289

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful week. Here in Vermont it snowed, rained way too much on a warm day, then iced over everything.... that meant that I have a cold and there was a good amount of water in my basement for a bit.  However! I am starting to feel better and the basement is fairly dry again. 

On the books and blog front, I have been listening to some audiobooks and reading some things, so there is content on the blog lol YAY! I was able to get my school work done early this week so it left more time for recreational reading. I am also officially through the first hectic time at my new job and it feels great to be a part of a new team and getting things done, but also now that we have a bit more room to breathe. 
(I am trying to be better about the positive thinking in 2019.)

Yesterday I also got some friend time, my bestie and I went to Concord and went to Olive Garden and Target :) for some that is a normal outing, for us that is an hour away and you make a day trip of it.... yea I know! The struggle is real.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful last week of January!!!

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! 
None right now. More coming soon...

Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: The Monster Friend by Asaf Rozanes (Youth)
Book Blitz w/ Giveaway: Remote by Lisa Acerbo (YA)
January Re-Cap
February TBR Pile

Books Received this Week 

  You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)  Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)
 The Monster Friend: Help Children and Parents Overcome their Fears. (Bedtimes Story Fiction Children's Picture Book Book 4): Face your fears and make friends with your monsters (Mindful Mia) by [Rozanes, Asaf]  The Library of Ever

There was a sale on Audible... so yea...I got some more audiobooks!  

You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day (Non-Fiction)

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (YA)

Books for Review:

The Monster Friend by Asaf Rozanes (Youth) from the author for review

The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander (MG) from Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group 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!

Jan 25, 2019

Recent Reads: The Spies that Bind by Ally Carter

The Spies That Bind (Gallagher Girls, #0.5)
The Spies that Bind by Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #0.5
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Publication Date:  June 25, 2018

Listening Length: 2 hours and 55 minutes

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:  Audible Audiobook
Source: Freebie with Audible account in January.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
An original novella and prequel to Ally Carter's New York Times best-selling Gallagher Girls series, exclusively on Audible.
The first day at a new school is tough for any kid, but it's especially scary when you're going to a school for spies. Cammie Morgan has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a Gallagher Girl, but she has no idea what she’ll face when she arrives at The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Secret passages? Check. Lab experiments that might make you lose your eyebrows (and other body parts)? Check. Classmates who are the smartest, strongest, most intimidating girls in the world? Double check. 
Cammie might be a Gallagher legacy, but she's about to learn that the most intimidating part about the Gallagher Academy are the Gallagher Girls themselves. Soon Cammie and her clumsy-but-genius roommate Liz, and the glamorous Bex have to learn the most important lesson of the seventh grade: getting into spy school is hard. Surviving spy school is harder. 
Ally Carter is the author of many beloved series, including Heist Society and the Embassy Row novels, and Not If I Save You First.
I have not read the Gallagher Girl books so I picked this one out of the Audible freebies to see how I would like it. I think it is great when series come out with novella prequels, they are like dipping your toes in water to see if it is cold. If it works out you have a whole new series to jump into, and if it doesn't you can move on without getting too invested, and I really appreciate that.

The Spies that Bind is a novella following Cammie Morgan and her first days at Gallagher Academy. She isn't sure about all the spy training and even more than that she is not sure if she will ever fit in. 

I thought that she was a fun point of view to listen to and the chapters included random lists that she made about her time adapting to her new life. She is nervous but seems to know herself but is becoming stronger every day she is there.

The story is entertaining but very quick and it got to the climax point and them pretty much just ends, but it was a good ending and I think that this series would be a good one to get into (if/when I ever have the time). 

This book is only available as an Audible Original at the moment, I think I read somewhere that after a year (maybe) there would be a print option. So that suck for people that like print editions of series, but it was a fun listen and a good break from my review books.

Jan 22, 2019

Recent Reads: The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners by Joanna Monuz

Source: From Callisto Publisher's Club in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners: Beautiful Projects and Essential TechniquesThe Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners: Beautiful Projects and Essential Techniques by Joanna Monuz

Publisher:  Rockridge Press
Publication Date:  December 18, 2018

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


Transform your words into an art form with the largest collection of tutorials, alphabets, and DIY projects from The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners. 
Hand lettering adds a fun, creative touch to crafts and projects―and the best way to learn is to start putting pen to paper. The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners is a hands-on guide to master the art of lettering and create your own signature style. 
Invitations, signs, personal notes, tote bags, and more―this hand lettering guide offers 20 DIY projects for you to try. Complete with a step-by-step guide to basic hand lettering techniques and 8 sample alphabets, The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners encourages you explore and experiment with your artistic style. 
The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners gives the tools you need to master the craft of hand lettering, with: 
  • 8 sample alphabets (4 cursive, 4 print) that offer stroke-by-stroke instruction and space to practice, plus downloadable practice sheets. 
  • 20 projects that include thank-you cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, bunting, envelope liners, place cards, and more!
  • Create your own alphabet that provides guidance for personalizing your style with tips for incorporating different moods and tones for variety. 
For wedding invitations, birthday cards to a loved one, or just because―make your words bold and beautiful with The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners.

I have been on the bullet journal train for over a year now and the most daunting part is seeing all this wonderful handwriting out there and mine is crap. This book is such a great learning tool for Hand Lettering. I have already learned so much just by sitting down and reading through it. I have yet to use the techniques but as an informational it is already great.

The book is broken up into four sections - the basics, learning some alphabets, projects, and how to create your own alphabet and style. Each section is super easy to read and understand and there are a lot of wonderful visuals as well that really helped me to learn about the parts of letters (Want a peek? Amazon's Look Inside feature shows a good section). There are a bunch of practice pages as well and if you need more there is a link for downloadable sheets too.

They way this book was put together made me feel like this is something that I can handle and do., and I really appreciate that. It seems like a practice that is simple enough for everyone and that is what it is about, practice practice practice. Joanna also goes one further and through all of her practicing and experience she has formed these tips and tricks, so throughout the book they pop up in the margins to help further. I really loved reading all of them and it made me feel like I have such a jump-start on this technique.

If you have been interested in learning more about Hand lettering, this is an amazing starting point and I already recommend it. I can't wait to practice with it and finally have one of those journals that I can show on my instagram! 

Jan 20, 2019

Building the Book Pile #288

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

I read some things this week... yay! The reviews are up too! Yay! This week went by so fast though and I still have so much to get done.

So last night into today we got over a foot of snow... I need to finish a big homework assignment, and do all my chores before the start of the week. Laundry is never ending... 

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! 
None right now. More coming soon...

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: The Art of Hand Lettering for Beginners by Joanna Munoz (Non-fiction)

Recent Reads: The Spies that Bind by Ally Carter (Novella, YA)

Books Received this Week 

  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) The Spies That Bind (Gallagher Girls, #0.5) Zero G

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (Audiobook) bought from Audible.
The Spies that Bind by Ally Carter freebie from Audible
Zero G by Dan Wells freebie from Audible
(some of the freebies were from last month but I forgot to add them)

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!

Jan 18, 2019

Early Reader Review: The Shield of Nike by A.P. Mobley

Source: From the Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Shield of Nike (War on the Gods Companion Story #1)
The Shield of Nike by A.P. Mobley
Series: A War on the Gods Companion Story
Publisher: Sea of Ink Press
Publication Date:  January 12, 2019

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41060182-the-shield-of-nike  https://www.amazon.com/Shield-Nike-Gods-Companion-Story-ebook/dp/B07LB889RF/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1547498933&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Shield+of+Nike

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis:
Valeria is in love with her best friend, Greg, and has been for years. But they can’t be together, because after they graduate high school they’ll be on opposite sides of the country. This seems to be Valeria’s greatest dilemma—until a freak storm ambushes the two on a hike a few miles outside their town.  
During the storm, Greg is injured, and a strange shield falls from the sky and knocks Valeria unconscious. When she wakes up, her whole world is turned upside down. Greg is missing, her town has been annihilated, deadly creatures roam, and the disembodied voice of a woman she knows nothing of talks to her from inside her own head.  
The woman says Greg has been taken, but that Valeria can save him and survive the perils awaiting her if she harnesses the “gifts” she was given at birth, and if she uses the shield that fell from the sky. But how can Valeria trust a woman she’s never met? 
She'll have to rely on herself and face horrors she could never have imagined to save her best friend. And, in the process, discover her true identity.
Are you looking for a quick fantasy read and to start a new series, this book will be great! I read this short story in one sitting and it was wonderfully paced. The story takes place before the War on the Gods series begins and it is action packed.

Valeria must learn her true nature and take on monsters to save the boy she loves, while a premise we see often it was still fun to read this story. Valeria is stubborn but strong and she takes to the goal well (eventually). I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot because the synopsis already tells the readers so much and it is a short story. However, I will say that I really enjoyed Valeria and that is what made this story so enjoyable. She is sarcastic and hard-headed and encompasses that teenage angst and annoyance so well.

So, if you are interested in the War on the Gods series but want to see how the author handles the characters this is a great starting point. It is fine if you have not read the first book, because this falls as more of a prequel of sorts. The series so far is a wonderful re-imagining of the Gods and their jealousy and I love modern-mythology stories (hopefully you do too!)

Jan 16, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: Circle of Shadows (#1) by Evelyn Skye

Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1)

Circle of Shadows (#1) by Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Blazer and Bray
Publication Date: January 22, 2019


Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.
As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved. 

Why I Am Waiting:
I found this title while looking at was coming for the next few months and it sounds really interesting. I also really like the cover. The reviews are mixed right now, if I get the chance I will be picking this one up to see how I feel about it.

Jan 15, 2019

Early Reader Review: The Daughters of Salem by Thomas Gilbert

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

The Daughters of Salem How we sent our children to their deaths: Part 1The Daughters of Salem by Thomas Gilbert
Series: The Daughters of Salem Part 1
Publisher: Europe Comics
Publication Date:  January 23, 2019

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43540203-the-daughters-of-salem-how-we-sent-our-children-to-their-deaths  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MF3MH94/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07MF3MH94&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Colonial Massachusets, early 1690's. When a young girl in a Puritan town rejects a farmer boy's gift and instead slips out into the forest to dance with a young man from the Abenaki tribe, it sets off a chain of events resulting in one of the worst cases of mass hysteria in U.S. history, as neighbor turns against neighbor and friends accuse friends of the most terrible things. A fictional re-imagining of the Salem Witch Trials, in which gender politics, religion, xenophobia, innocent games of fortunetelling, and one man's sinful indiscretion are all factors that lead to the deadly witch hunt.
Part one of The Daughters of Salem was a great set up story for what is to come, however you have to wait to get to more plot. In this installment, we meet the main character and learn how things are changing in the town of Salem.

There is a lot to take in with this graphic novel - there is violence and gender issues, and a lot of religion and it is all more disturbing than anything. I am very interested in Salem and the Witch Trials and thought this would be an interesting fictional take, and it kind of was, but I found myself cringing more than enjoying reading it. And I know that that is how a lot of the history is too, but as a fictional piece I was thinking it would take it another route. 

There was a lot of violence in this set up, people are brutally killed and the whole thing just made me anxious for what is to come. Overall, it is probably more accurate than I was hoping for, and if you are interesting in those true-feeling aspects, then this could be more for you.