Aug 30, 2019

Monthly Re-Cap: August 2019

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Where did summer go? It was here for a few weeks really... I am fine with the hot weather going away but I am dreading the chaos that work brings in the fall. 

August was and still is a busy month though, we had our work 'offsite' which I planned - which was meetings, mini gold, and pizza 😀, it was orientation for the new class of students and we were very involved in that for two weeks, plus finishing 2 classes and starting a new one. My sister came to visit for an afternoon, (she is at Boston University this fall, and is excited for her transfer ... now in the big city), on Saturday I am planning to have a yard sale - I need to purge some junk and also probably some books 😕

All that said, Sept and Oct are my happy place - Ren Fest🍂, Corn Maze🌽, Apple Picking🍏, Pumpkin Carving🎃, HALLOWEEN💀!

~~Books I Read in August~~

not all pictured
Who Stole the Hazelnuts?    The Unadjusteds  Wild Horse    Texts from Mittens: The Friends and Family Edition  A Warm Friendship     The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander    The Crayons' Christmas

Still didn't post a TBR list, but again I kept myself somewhat on track... while taking 2 summer courses, I call that a win. 

I think for September I will post one though...

    ~~Links to Some Reviews from Books Read in August ~~ 

    Dessert Cooking for Two by Robin Donovan (Cookbook) - 3 stars
    Challenge Accepted: 100 Word Searches by Andy Kravis (Puzzle) - 4 stars
    How to Make a Mom by Claressa Swensen (Youth) - 3 stars
    Wild Horse by Kyle Richardson (YA, Novella) - 4 stars

    ~~ Reviews from previous recaps ~~
    The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner (MG, GN)- 3 stars
    Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book! by Julie Berry (MG) - 3 stars

    ~~Coming Soon Still~~ 

    The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne- Jones  (YA)
    Snug Harbor Stories by Will Henry (GN)
    Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World by Scott McCormick (MG)
    Jukebox Joyride by Jacob Stein, Jason Rabinowtiz and the Pop Ups (MG)
    Harley Quinn Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh (YA, GN)
    Texts from Mittens by Angie Bailey (Comic, Adult)

    Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond and Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Youth) 
    Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (YA, GN)

    You are Home with Me by Sarah Asper-Smith (Youth)

    Aug 29, 2019

    Early Reader Review: The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

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

    The Okay WitchThe Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
    Publisher:  Aladdin
    Publication Date:  September 3, 2019

    Format: Ebook


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl in this hilarious, one-of-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything!
    Magic is harder than it looks.
    Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.
    In this spellbinding graphic novel debut, Emma Steinkellner spins a story packed with humor and heart about the weird and wonderful adventures of a witch-in-progress. 
    This graphic novel is meant for a middle grade audience and is about a girl that is just trying to be herself in a town and school of people that just won't accept her. Then she finds out that she is also a witch... how cool is that?

    Moth is hilarious, she knows herself and she knows her limitations and abilities and is really trying to just survive her life when she finds out that she has so much more potential. The problem is, the town is stuck in the dark-ages and she has to be careful. Moth is a bit stubborn and can get into trouble pretty easily.

    This graphic novel’s story was interesting and had a lot of drama points to keep the reader interested. Moth has to deal with finding her powers, the problems the cause, a weird town that still lives thinking about the witch trials, a mother that won’t explain things, and a grandmother who happens to live in another realm. So there is a lot going on here, but Moth is true to her age as far as attitude and wants and she is portrayed well. 

    I think that some of this story was a bit weird for me to handle, the blend of reality and fantastical was hard to accept, but the illustration was fun and bright and I think that MG readers will love this character because she is relatable and the world is different and interesting. 


    Aug 27, 2019

    Early Reader Review: Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book! by Julie Berry

    Source: From Netgalley and Getty Publications in exchange for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

    Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book!Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book! by Julie Berry

    Publisher: Getty Publications
    Publication Date:  September 2, 2019

    Format: Ebook


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    It’s no ordinary day at the castle! This beautifully illustrated, silly picture book is a fun introduction to the medieval world and the illuminated bestiary.
    Godfrey, a peasant boy who works for the lord and lady of the castle, finds a bestiary, or illustrated book of beasts, on the way to do his chores one morning. He begins inventing his own story, placing “Sir Godfrey” at the center of numerous heroic deeds. Sir Godfrey battles a lion, tames a unicorn, defeats a griffin, conquers a bonnacon, and triumphs over a dragon. Godfrey does not realize that each time he says the name of an animal, it magically emerges from the book, causing mayhem and inadvertently accomplishing his chores. 
    The laughs pile up and the tension mounts: When will Godfrey realize that all this outrageous stuff is going on? This book also contains engaging backmatter with information on life in the Middle Ages and a mini-bestiary drawn from original 13th-century manuscripts. Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book! is a humorous introduction to the medieval world.
    This was such a weird but interesting book, I think that part of my issue was that my Kindle copy split up the pages and they were out of order because of it. I moved to my computer to view it in Digital Editions and everything was much better.

    This book was about a boy that needed to get his chores done but he normally gets distracted. Today however he has picked up a book and when he reads a beasties name it appears and just so happens to help him out which the things he has forgotten to do. The story itself is adorable and a lot of fun, I think both parents ans children will really enjoy it.

    However, I think what makes this so much better is the fact that is it also a learning tool that talks about illuminated manuscripts and the beasts that were often found as images in them. For an art nerd like me this is huge, but where I had issues in this book was also this aspect. It is a little hard to tell which age-group this book really is for. It tells this amazing kids story but then gets very technical in the end with all the historical information. 

    I think because this book looks like it is for an older audience and because of the historical information bit this might sell best for an older crowd but it is delightful and if you are looking for educational and beautifully illustrated, this is a great addition to your library. 

    Aug 26, 2019

    Recent Reads: The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids by Carole Roman

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

    The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes!The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes by Carole Roman
    Publisher: Rockbridge Press
    Publication Date:  August 13, 2019

    Format: Paperback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Tons of jokes, tons of laughs, tons more time kids spend reading.
    “Why do fish live in saltwater? Because pepper makes them sneeze!” The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids is brimming with over 800 knock-knock jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, and silly stats for endless hours of hilarious entertainment anywhere.
    This illustrated collection of jokes for kids is inclusive and family-friendly, with knee-slappers that kids will be bursting to tell every chance they get (parents, you’ve been warned). The jokes also get more challenging with each chapter, so this book will tickle funny bones of all ages.
    The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids is hysterical fun for anytime and anywhere:
    Are we there yet?—Keep kids engaged and giggling at home, on the road, and beyond. Reading frenzy—The best way to keep them reading? Make it so much fun they forget they’re reading. Budding comedian—Kids will learn about setups, punchlines, and how to write some jokes of their own.Keep them laughing and reading for hours with this massive book of jokes for kids.

    I am not a child... but I sure do act like it when I can and this book was hilarious. I carried it around in my bad for a few days and would pull it out before dinners and at work randomly and all the jokes are appropriate and funny, and mostly bad but bad in a good way.  

    The jokes are broken up by type - Q&A, knock-knock puns, riddles, and there is a section of tongue twisters. In the very back, the last section is a "Your Turn" section where it gives kids prompts and helps them come up with their own jokes. I love the DIY feature here (although writing in books makes me cringe). Each section has a short paragraph about what the types of jokes are and how they work/ are delivered. The whole book is also illustrated and the illustrations are cute, funny, and fit with the jokes on the page.

    If your kids love jokes and you are looking to hear some different ones... this is the book for you and them. There are over 800 jokes, so it won't be the same joke every five sections. :)

    Aug 22, 2019

    Blog Blast: Thaddeus of Beewicke by Louis Sauvain

    Thaddeus of Beewick  By Louis Sauvain
    Series: The College of Sorcerers Volume 1
    Publisher: Micro Publishing Media
    Release Date: October 4, 2019

    Is there a path and a mission set for a person before they are even born? For Thaddeus, he is called upon to fulfill a prophecy that not only holds the fate of the world in his hands, but it also leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery.
    The story is universal. All of us face the choice to move away from the safety of certainty to face life’s challenges head-on. Thaddeus must break away from familial expectations to pursue his higher calling. 
    Thaddeus of Beewicke, the first in a series, is an immersive experience that can best be described as Stand By Me meets Harry Potter.  It is a coming-of-age saga within a magical fantasy world where the ensemble of characters discern right from wrong and learn the values of inner strength and loyalty. 

    About the Book

    In this debut high fantasy epic, author Louis Sauvain creates an ensemble of unique characters who endure precarious situations on the road to the Collegium Sorcerorum, the College of Sorcerers. The story opens as Master Sorcerer, Silvestrus of Somerset, is searching for an apprentice with latent gifts. His first protégé is 14-year old Thaddeus, a young boy from Beewicke who shows great promise in magic. Master Silvestrus and Thaddeus set out for the College of Sorcerers in a cart pulled by the sentient mule, Asullus. Along the way, they are joined by two other sorcerers-in-training, Anders (a likable bookworm) and Rolland (an immature mischief-maker.) As the group travels, amusing adventures ensue and the young apprentices learn the road to sorcery and adulthood is precariously precious.

    To be released October 2019, Thaddeus of Beewicke is the first of three separate trilogies that take place at the mystical Collegium Sorcerorum, the College of Sorcerers.

     "Refreshing and captivating, a rollicking story from start to finish. A solid fantasy storyline is remarkably enhanced by a great sense of humor that eases the tension when things get epic throughout the book."
    -Amazon Review

    "(This book) will draw in fantasy readers with its sense of adventure and mounting mystery. As a rich backstory and hints of magical secrets begin to unfold, readers will become more and more engaged."
    -Alicia Sondhi, Forward Reviews

    About the Author

    Midwest born and educated in the field of behavioral health, Louis Sauvain created the fantasy world within which this epic journey takes place to examine the deepest challenges of human development. The result is a deeply constructed tale with nuanced layers of meaning that will entertain and delight even newcomers to this genre. Sauvain is married residing with his family in the upper great lakes.  


    Aug 21, 2019

    Waiting on Wednesday: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

    Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
    Publisher: First Second Books
    Publication Date: August 27, 2019

    Why I Am Waiting:
    I really enjoy books written by Rainbow Rowell and this is a graphic novel :) I am so excited to check this one out.

    Aug 20, 2019

    Blog Tour w/ Excerpt and Giveaway! Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon #ClaimingTMoBlogTour

    CLAIMING T-MO by Eugen Bacon
    Release Date: 8/13/19
    Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy

    About the Book
    In this lush interplanetary tale, an immortal priest flouts the conventions of a matriarchal society by choosing a name for his child. The act initiates chaos that splits the boy in two, unleashing a Jekyll-and-Hyde child upon the universe: named T-Mo by his mother and Odysseus by his father. The story unfolds through the eyes of these three distinctive women: Silhouette, Salem and Myra - mother, wife, and daughter. As they struggle to confront their fears and navigate the treacherous paths to love and accept T-Mo/Odysseus and themselves, the darkness in Odysseus urges them to unbearable choices that threaten their very existence.

    T-Mo happened exactly one week after the puzzle-piece woman with fifty-cent eyes.One night, black as misery, Salem Drew stood, arms wrapped about herself, at the bus depot three streets from the IGA where she worked late shifts. A bunch of commuters had just clambered onto a number 146 for Carnegie, and Salem found herself alone at the depot.She waited for a night express bus to take her back to a cheerless home that housed equally cheerless parents. An easy wind around her was just as dreary, foggy as lunacy. There, just then, the shadow of a woman’s face jumped into her vision.Salem blinked. Was the woman real or a figment of thought? Singular parts of her were easy to file, were possibly real: maroon hair, rugged skin the color of coffee beans. And the scar . . . But all put together, cohesion was lost.The puzzle-piece woman stood head lowered, quiet in the mist. When she raised her face, silver shimmered from one good eye, petite and round as a fifty-cent coin. The other eye was broken, feasibly some bygone injury. Even though it was as smooth and flawlessly round as the right eye, it held no sight. The coin perfection of its shape was embedded in scar tissue, a disfigurement that needed nothing but a single glance to seal the hideousness of it.If Salem thought to speak, to ask, “Who are you? How long have you been standing there, watching me, and why?” the mighty keenness of the woman’s good telescopic eye, the one that filtered, turned inward, then came back at her without translation, threw it right out of Salem’s mind.Thunder like the hammering of a thousand hooves did it. Salem ran without a scream, all the way through all that night, never minding the night bus when it whooshed past. All she minded was the gobbling eye, and the unwarned sound of deep belly laughter that chased behind.

    About the Author 
    Eugen Bacon is a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. She has published over one hundred short stories and articles, together with anthologies. Her stories have won, been shortlisted and commended in international awards, including the Bridport Prize, L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Copyright Agency Prize and Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards. Her creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide, including Award Winning Australian Writing, AntipodeanSF, Andromeda, Aurealis, Bards and Sages Quarterly, and New Writing (Routledge). Eugen’s latest books: Writing Speculative Fiction: Creative and Critical Approaches from Macmillan International, May 2019, and her debut novel, Claiming T-Mo, from Meerkat Press, August 2019

    Find the Author

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Aug 18, 2019

    Building the Book Pile #311

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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    Such ... a ...long....week...I am so tired.
    It was a lot of fun though and I got to meet a lot of the new students. I also kicked off my next class, which is Social Psychology, should be fun. Not too much reading this week but that is ok.

    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

    Blog Tour w/ Excerpt: Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon (Fantasy, Sci-Fi)
    Waiting on Wednesday
    Blog Blast: Thaddeus of Beewicke by Louis Sauvain (YA)

    Books Received Recently...
    For Review

    The Brilliant Dark: The Realms of Ancient, Book 3  The Call of the Rift: Flight  Meet Me in the Strange

    The Brilliant Dark by S.M. Beiko from ECW Press for review. 

    The Call of the Rift: Flight by Jae Waller from ECW Press for review.

    Meet me in the Strange by Leander Watts from Meerkat Press as a gift. 

    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!

    Aug 17, 2019

    Review Wrap Up: A Cookbook and Puzzle Book from Rockbridge Press

    Source: Both books are from Callisto Publishing Group and Rockbridge Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 

    Dessert Cooking for Two: 115 Perfectly Portioned Sweets for Every OccasionDessert Cooking for Two: 115 Perfectly Portioned Sweets for Every Occasion by Robin Donovan
    Publisher: Rockbridge Press
    Publication Date:  July 30, 2019

    Format: Paperback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Guilt-free indulgence—dessert delights just for two.
    Say goodbye to pre-packaged sweets and hello to fresh and flavorful desserts. From The Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies to Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread, Dessert Cooking for Two helps you create delicious desserts that are just the right size for two. Enjoy all the fun treats you crave without worrying about overindulging or wasting lots of leftovers.
    Never made your own desserts before? Dessert Cooking for Two keeps things simple with recipes that use equipment you already own—plus tips to make things easier. You’ll also get helpful guides for melting chocolate, mixing ingredients, working with pastry dough, and other dessert-making techniques.
    Dessert Cooking for Two includes:
    115 yummy recipes—Dessert Cooking for Two satisfies your sweet tooth with a huge variety of small-portion treats, including Pumpkin Mini Pies, Blackberry Vanilla Bread Pudding, and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake. Handy kitchen hacks—Become a dessert expert and master important skills at home—like how to create the perfect workarounds when you don’t have specialized equipment. Pick your perfect dessert—Recipes are indexed by both flavor (so you satisfy your current craving) and by leftover ingredients (so you make magic with whatever you have on hand).
    Cooking for two has never been sweeter than with Dessert Cooking for Two.
    If you are looking for a cookbook for a couple versus a family of four, this is a great one, it is pretty much recipes scaled way down for two of everything- one for you and one for your partner.

    What I expected, for some reason, was that these would be quick and pared down recipes for desserts, however that is not quite it. What you have to know going into this is that timing more most of these is the same as if you are baking a whole batch, but the ingredient list is the pared down part so that you don't have 50 cookies in the house. For me, I think for the effort put in, I would prefer to have something to show for it and I would like to have a full batch and then if I didn't want them at home I could bring them to work.

    All that said, I did try the No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars and they were a hit. I really loved them and so did the hubs. And this book has a lot of no-bake recipes which is awesome!

    So if you only want a few sweets in the house at a time and you are excited to learn some new no-bake dessert recipes, this would work for you.

    Challenge Accepted!: 100 Word Searches

    Challenge Accepted!: 100 Word Searches
    Publisher: Rockbridge Press
    Publication Date:  July 23, 2019

    Format: Paperback


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Want thrilling ways to boost your brainpower? Challenge Accepted!
    Find out how exciting word search books for adults can be. Challenge Accepted! is an easy-to-read collection of large-print word searches designed to stretch the skills of new and veteran puzzlers alike. Up your game with 100 searches featuring 25+ clues each―plus more diagonals and shared letters than your usual word search books for adults. Get ready for hours of brain-teasing fun!
    Go beyond other word search books for adults:
    100 challenging puzzles―Word search books for adults can help you develop your memory, concentration, and focus.Enhance your vocabulary―Discover interesting words drawn from a variety of themes―including wine, opera, computers, genetics, and more.Easy-to-read pages―Large type with clean and clear layouts make these puzzles easier on the eyes whether you’re at home or out and about.Take on one of the most engaging word search books for adults you’ve ever seen. 
    I am loving this puzzle book. I love word searches and all sorts of puzzles, they help me take my mind off the stress of the day and keep my brain going. 

    Each page has a list of words and then the puzzle and the size is perfect. Each puzzle has a theme so you can pick and choose if you aren't feeling the 'birds' option.

    The puzzles are not super easy, which is great, but they are easy enough to be a mindless thing to do when you want to relax but not watch TV. 

    Aug 15, 2019

    Early Reader Review: How to Make a Mom by Claressa Swensen

    Source: From the author in exchange for review. This in no way alters my opinions or review.

    How To Make a MomHow to Make a Mom by Claressa Swensen
    Publisher: Self-Published
    Publication Date:  September 1, 2019

    Format: Ebook without images 


    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    The easy to follow recipe book on how to make a perfect mom. Note: every mom is special and unique! You may need to change this recipe a little to fit your own needs. A children's short story combined recipe book.
    How to Make a Mom is a fun, short, and sweet (literally if you make the cookies) about how to piece together a great mom. Luckily, this recipe also makes cookies as well, just in case your mom has different ingredients. 

    While my review copy did not have the illustrations, probably because my computer has been acting up, it was still a very cute and easy read. 

    The steps and sections are clear and the way the author describes awesome moms using ingredients for a recipe is unique and engaging. There are only eight so it is very simple and can be read pretty quickly, at least for me (an adult reader without a child). 

    I think that young readers and their moms (or dads) will really enjoy this one and who can say no to a great cookie recipe as well?! Overall this was great fun.. now I am off to buy the ingredients to make this recipe.

    Video file from the author, I hope the upload works properly - fingers crossed :)

    About the Author:
    Claressa Swensen resides in Northern Utah with her husband, baby girl, and her two dogs. She has written four children’s books, including Teensy the Littlest Fairy and Dino Dino Doing Homework. Her books are currently available in seven Barnes & Noble locations across Utah. Her work has been featured in Readers Favorite and over 10 different reading blogs.