Sep 30, 2019

Blog Ahead: October 2019

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It's that time again... Blog Ahead!

I told myself, and others that I have NO time for this at all and it is way too busy, but I really need to try, at the very least.

A challenge hosted by herding cats and burning soup.

Here are some details...

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). 
Ex. If you have 1 post already scheduled at the start (Oct 1) then you would need 32 by the end of the month. if you have 5 - you would need 36.
Who Can Join: Anyone with a blog…topic/genre doesn't matter.

On October 1st, I have 6 scheduled posts, so I will need 37 scheduled posts by October 31.
  • Waiting on Wednesday 1
  • Waiting on Wednesday 2
  • Waiting on Wednesday 3
  • Waiting on Wednesday 4
  • November TBR Post 
  • Thanksgiving Post 
  • December TBR Post 
  • Happy Holidays Post 
  • Merry Christmas Post 
  • Happy New Year Post 
  • Holiday Giveaway 
  • Recent Reads: Super Cool Space Facts: A Fun, Fact- Filled Space Book for Kids by Bruce Betts
  • Blog Tour: The Call of the Rift: Veil 

I will be tracking my progress as I go, by adding more to the list and strikethrough to indicate that they are completed.

Wish me luck!

Sep 27, 2019

Recent Reads: Red Yellow Blue by Lysa Mullady

Red Yellow BlueRed Yellow Blue by Lysa Mullady 
Publisher: Magination Press
Publication Date:  August 6, 2019

Format: Ebook
Source: From Netgalley and Magination Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Red loves being red! Apples, wagons, fire trucks -- he thinks all the best things are red! Yellow admires Red's roses, but Red just wants to be left to mind his own business -- why can't Yellow mind hers?
But when Yellow and Blue go off to make frogs, shamrocks, and caterpillars, Red realizes that he may be missing out. The possibilities are endless when the colors work together!
Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information on encouraging empathy and cooperation.

I was very interested in this simple book cover and wanted to find out what it was all about. Red is a color and he loves everything red and thinks everything should be red. He isn't really good at being friendly and cooperating with the other colors that want to combine and make other fun colors, because why change red?

This book showcases lots of different objects and will help with color learning but also focuses on playing well with others and that being together can be a good thing and being alone can be sad and lonely.

I thought that the images were a lot of fun, and they were bright and engaging. The story was a good one and I think as a teaching tool for many ages this book could be fun - starting with colors and moving up to the cooperation aspects. 

I liked this book and think it will make a great addition to a learning library. 

Sep 25, 2019

Early Reader Review: Snitchy Witch by Frank Sileo

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

Snitchy WitchSnitchy Witch by Frank Sileo 
Publisher: Magination Press
Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
"Oh moon so full, round, and brightWe beg one favor of you tonightFor witches who tattle, witches who snitch,Tie their tongues, zip their lips!No witch shall squeal or tell on friends.This spell will be broken when the snitching ends!"
Tattling is an all too familiar occurrence among children that can have harmful impacts on friends and relationships. This spellbinding story encourages children to examine the difference between snitching and telling, and the impact of their words on others.
Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about snitching versus telling and what adults can do to help.

I am so sad to say that this book was not for me. While I love the concept of a book about little witches having a party and there being a tattling witch, I found it hard to take the concept and apply it to a parent and child reading this book. The message is essentially that snitching gets annoying and you should only do it when something serious is happening. While I understand this, and have babysat enough kids that snitch on their siblings to know this feeling of annoyance, I felt like it was shown in this book more as rewarding bad behavior than showing that snitching can go overboard.

While the illustrations throughout are wonderful and follow the story really well, I didn't really get into it. I love books about Halloween and witches but this one just was not for me.

However, that being said the last pages of the book are for parents to use as they use this book as a teaching tool, so it might be better suited to those that can really use it properly and I may have just missed the mark when reading it.

Sep 23, 2019

Recent Reads: The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander

The Library of Ever (The Library of Ever #1)The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander
Series: The library of Ever #1
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication Date:  April 30, 2019

Format: Ebook
Source: From Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. this in no way alters my opinion or review.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The Library of Ever is an adventure across time and space, as a young girl becomes a warrior for the forces of knowledge.
With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored—until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Mazelike and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe’s wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.
She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves.
Such a wonderful book! Lenora is a young girl often left to her own imagination with her nanny, when one day they stop at the library and she is whisked off on an adventure. On her adventure she finds a secret part of the library and she is asked if she wants to become a librarian. She will need to be strong and curious and find all the answers for the questions asked of her.

This book was an adventure through space and time and knowledge of real things and real-to-this-book things. Lenora helps animals, humans, and aliens and as she helps she gains more prestige as a librarian. But she also has to face the nothingness that wants to destroy all books, all knowledge - it was very upsetting.

Lenora is a strong and independent child, who craves this world or knowledge and adventure. She is curious and that is a wonderful trait in children. Her imagination allows her to accept all the weird requests thrown her way and she is a very fun main character. 

The overall story was such a wonderful ride, I think that both parents and young readers will really love every second of it.

Sep 20, 2019

Early Reader Review: Snug Harbor Stories by Will Henry

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

Snug Harbor Stories: A Wallace the Brave Collection!
Snug Harbor Stories: A Wallace the Brave Collection by Will Henry
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date:  September 24, 2019

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The follow up to the Eisner-nominated collection of Wallace the Brave comics, featuring beautifully illustrated scenes of childhood imagination, friendship, outdoor exploration, and adventure.
I have never read Snug Harbor and Wallace is hilarious. I really enjoyed this graphic novel collection about him and his family and friends. The collection is set up like the comic strips and so they are short and simple reads, and you can pick it up and put it down easily in between theses sections. 

Like I mentioned Wallace is very funny, my favorite story was when he gets his head stick in a Jack-O-lantern and his dad has no idea how to get him out. This is just one example of the funny things that occur throughout the book, but it is also so down to earth and easy to picture these funny things actually happening. 

I think adults without kids would enjoy this, I also think parents and their kids will enjoy this as a read.

Sep 18, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: The Unicorn Whisperer by Dana Simpson

The Unicorn Whisperer (Phoebe and Her Unicorn Series Book 10): Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure

The Unicorn Whisperer (Phoebe and her Unicorn #10)
Publisher: AMP Kids, Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Why I Am Waiting:
It's another Phoebe and her Unicorn book! I love Phoebe and Marigold, they are hilarious, I can't wait to read more with them.

Sep 17, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway! The Brilliant Dark by S.M. Beiko

The Brilliant Dark by S.M. Beiko
Series: The Realms of the Ancients #3
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date:  September 24, 2019

About the Book
The highly anticipated final installment in Beiko's thrilling YA fantasy trilogy

It's been seven years since the Denziens, an unseen people with elemental powers, were unmasked, and seven years since Roan Harken and Eli Rathgar disappeared into the Brilliant Dark.

Marked by Darklings and Death alike, Saskia is a mechanically minded Mundane, raised by Barton and Phae on daring stories about Roan Harken. But the world Roan left behind is in turmoil. The Darklings now hang in the sky as a threatening black moon, and with the order-maintaining Elemental Task Guard looking to get rid of all Denziens before they rebel, Saskia's only option is to go into the Brilliant Dark and bring Roan back.

But nothing is ever that simple.

The Brilliant Dark is the final, thrilling chapter in this series about gods, monsters, and the people who must decide if they're willing to pay the ultimate price to protect the family they found . . . in a world that may not be worthy of saving.

The Brilliant Dark is the third book in The Realms of Ancient trilogy. It follows Saskia in a world formed after the Denizens and Roan Harken and the turmoil they have left the world in. Saskia fights for her friends and herself as the author weaves another beautiful and deep world through the stories of the past and the stories of the present. 

Beiko is a wonderful world builder and each time I find myself surprised at how much more there can be to build out and create, but she does it so well. The world build at the beginning of the series was a lot to take in, but if you know it is coming you are able to really get into the depth Beiko can show the readers. This final installment did not disappoint.

What I love about Beiko's series is the attention to the detail, there is so much world building, so much character development, and so many characters overall. The characters are all ages, races, cultures, they change and adapt as needed and they are diversity at its finest in a series. I appreciate the amount of time the author put into this.

The story is full of twists and turns and darkness and emotion that you feel like you are right there with Saskia, like you left when you were with Roan, trying to figure it all out and make a change for the better. 

Overall this was a great book, and if you have already read the first two, this ending is just what you need. Beiko's story is so much more than just a regular young adult novel, it is an epic fantasy with YA elements, but not the ones you normally find. If you like fantasy, and the worlds that they build, this is a great series and I recommend it strongly.

Format:  Paperback ARC
Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Instead of heading back out into the street, Saskia shuffled along the building she’d hidden against, farther into the back lanes of houses and small apartment buildings crushed against Young Street. Even before the Restoration Project, coming down here after midnight would have been dangerous, but with the Task Guard posted everywhere, especially downtown, especially by the Old Leg, no one dared. Not even errant, Mundane drug dealers. A cat yowled, darting out of the shadows. Saskia froze when it threw her a withering stare before scampering back to the much-safer hole from whence it had come.It’s just a cat, she told herself, twice for good measure. It wasn’t a f— well. It couldn’t have been that. Not anymore.But the line from the story leapt up like a familiar friend whispering in her ear. Once upon a time, a girl was followed home by a fox . . .Saskia shook it off. Pull it together. Across the back lane, she rushed a collapsing fence and vaulted over it, landing shy of one of many huge piles of trash crammed between houses, against chain-link. A quick survey with her watch’s flashlight showed it to be more of the same — charred old tech, probably seized from a Denizen house, decommissioned and flung out here to be collected for precious metals and scrapped. The Task Guard didn’t want Denizens to be connected in the ways the Mundanes got to enjoy. Wouldn’t want them to assemble. To think twice about putting their powers to use. Saskia scavenged these junk piles often, their contents filled her bedroom nearly floor-to-ceiling. It kept the quickly tumbling world on some kind of keel.It kept the shadows quiet.. . . and after the fox followed the girl home, Death came for the both of them . . .Saskia bent over, digging the heels of her hands — callused from soldering wires and pinching receivers — into her eyes. Stop. Not now. Her heartbeat was picking up. This was what she wanted, she reminded herself. To be the damned hero for a change. She wasn’t going to freeze up. Not this time.She took a breath. She counted. She straightened her spine and dropped her shoulders. Not this time. The cat was long gone, and Saskia was alone in the back alleys of a city she’d never known except under the rule of anxiety. Of caution. Of an undercurrent of fear that she carried everywhere with her. She took another sharp breath and darted from light post to light post, feet quick and legs strong. Just like Barton had taught her, each stride like she was pulling against a current, and somehow, the stronger the bursts, the more her heart evened out. It was in running that she felt him most with her, and though she desperately wished he were here now, wishes were no good to the logical mind even at the best of times.She’d have to cross Reclamation Street eventually, be out in the open with little protection. Saskia had known the risks, made all the calculations. But she was still more human than all the half-finished devices strewn across her workbench. Machines that had been her closest friends . . . apart from the one she was stupidly trying to save tonight.Saskia dashed up another side street when she heard nearby bootfalls, more shouts. She crouched, gripping her black hood tight in one hand. She squinted at her watch and then at the app. Not yet. She still had time to stop this.
Excerpted from Children of the Bloodlands by S.M. Beiko. © 2018 by S.M. Beiko. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author
S.M. Beiko is an eclectic writer and artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also works as a freelance editor, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the trade book and comic publishing industries in Canada and the U.S. Her first novel, The Lake and the Library, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book as well as the 2014 Aurora Award. 

Sep 12, 2019

Blog Tour w/ Giveaway! Harley Quinn Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki

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

Harley Quinn: Breaking GlassHarley Quinn Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki, Art by Steve Pugh
Series: HARLEY 
Publisher: Books for Young Readers, DC Young Adult (YA) Graphic Novel
Publication Date:  September 3, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is a coming-of-age story about choices, consequences, justice, fairness, and progress and how a weird kid from Gotham's poorest part of town goes about defining her world for herself. From Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Supergirl: Being Super).

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named MAMA. Ever since Harleen's parents split, MAMA has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that's taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who's campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time. 

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is at once a tale of the classic Harley readers know and love, and a heartfelt story about the choices teenagers make and how they can define--or destroy--their lives.

I am honored to have received a copy of Harley Quinn Breaking Glass for review. I love Harley Quinn and all the variations of her story, in this version Harleen is headed to live with her grandmother in the city. When she arrives she realizes that things are not always as they seems, and not everyone is as accepting as she is. 

This graphic novel did a lot of things wonderfully. It showcased what it is like to feel like and be an outsider and it hosts so much diversity. Themes of acceptance and the anger that happens when someone you love is being discriminated against for their diversity permeate the story and lend to Harleen's character growth. 

Another wonderful thing this graphic novel did was introduce Joker in a way that was interesting and true to the malice that he brings to many stories. You can see why Harleen would be both drawn toward him and appealed by him at the same time. I think that for characters that are normally not PG, the authors did a really good job adapting them for a YA audience but still kept them true to their overall themes. 

I really like Harley Quinn, she is seen as a character that is good for a laugh, but I also love that she is on the cusp of both good and evil, depending on her mood. Often her anger and violence are not focused in a productive way but she shows love and concern for the causes she is behind with all the ire she can muster. She focuses her rage in ways that we cannot, but sometimes really want to and I think that is what makes her such a great character.


Overall I think this is a great addition to the Harley Quinn stories. I think YA readers will really enjoy this book and re-imagining of Harley's origins.

2 Winners will receive copies of Harley Quinn Breaking Glass from the publisher.

Giveaway Rules
Must be 13 with parent permission or older. 
Must enter using the Rafflecopter below.
I will check accounts and responses :)
Winners will have 48 hours to respond or forfeit their prize to the next person.

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About the Authors

Mariko Tamaki
Mariko Tamaki is an award-winning Canadian writer living in Oakland, CA. She is the author of Saving Montgomery Sole and the co-creator, with Jillian Tamaki, of This One Summer, which received the prestigious Eisner and Ignatz awards as well as Caldecott and Printz honors. her growing slate of critically acclaimed comics and graphic novels includes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tomb Raider, Adventure Time, She-Hulk, Lumberjanes, Supergirl: Being Super and New Super-man.
Image result for steve pugh
Steve Pugh is a British writer and artist, born and based in the Midlands of England. recruited for DC's Vertigo imprint at its inception, he worked on both Hellblazer and Animal Man, and then the Preacher spin-off Saint of Killers. He co-created, wrote, and drew Hotwire for Radical. He has illustrated dozens of series for Dark Horse, DC and Marvel, as well as drawn the critically acclaimed, Eisner-nominated reinvention of The Flintstones.

Sep 11, 2019

Audible Audiobook Reviews - June and July MG Freebies

Jukebox JoyrideJukebox Joyride: A Time Traveling Adventure by the Pop Ups
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date:  June 6, 2019  audible, an amazon company

Format:  Audiobook
June Audible Freebie for Subscribers


Goodreads Synopsis: 
If you could go back in time to witness any concert from all of history, what would it be? Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock? Mozart in the Salzburg court? The Beatles’ rooftop farewell? 
Jukebox Joyride follows 12-year-old twins Jules and George on a wild adventure through time. Their Uncle Bob, a renowned ethnomusicologist (he studies music!), has discovered the secret to time travel and is having a ball joyriding through history checking out the best concerts ever...but something’s gone wrong! A sinister force has been unleashed, someone is chasing after Uncle Bob, and the fate of all music hangs in the balance! 
Now, it’s up to Jules and George to find their uncle before their new rival does! It’s a musical adventure that brings the twins from the birth of jazz in New Orleans to a performance by an 11- year-old Mozart in Vienna, all while trying to make it back to the present day to pass their history test! 

If you are looking for a wonderful youth-friendly car ride book, this one is wonderful. Jukebox Joyride is about Jules and George ending up time-traveling to find their lost uncle. The meet famous musicians and get chased by evil men and it was a wonderful story. 

This is only available as an audiobook, but that experience is worth it, the production on this one was wonderful, with sound effects, and characters voices. It was magical. 

I really liked the story itself and it kept me wanting to listen as the plot thickened and got more and more dangerous and exciting throughout the book, it is a race for them to save their uncle and music all together. I think there could  have been more character development but overall this was a great book. 

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Rivals! Fremenies Who Changed the World by Scott McCormick
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date:  May 29, 2019  audible, an amazon company

Format:  Audiobook
July Audible Freebie for Subscribers


Goodreads Synopsis: 
"Each volume of four 30-minute histories will dig into the petty name-calling and grumbling grudges that led to many of the world's greatest advancements, all delivered with a cheeky sense of humor."

Did you know that most of our dinosaur fossils were discovered because two grown men absolutely hated each other? It’s true!

Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World is a riotous audio exclusive, like if Monty Python taught your history class. Each volume of four 30-minute histories will dig into the petty name-calling and grumbling grudges that led to many of the world’s greatest advancements, all delivered with a cheeky sense of humor.

Choose sides: Cope or Marsh, the jerks who discovered so many dinosaurs; Hamilton or Burr, whose rivalry fueled American politics; Queen Elizabeth or Mary Queen of Scots, who fought to rule England; Adidas or Puma, whose rivalry changed the world of sports and fashion.

Kidnappings, rock fights, duels, and explosions, Rivals! shows world leaders at their absolute best and their worst, often at the same time.
This audiobook is for anyone interested in learning really weird and fun facts about rivalries. This edition talked about queens and shoe companies. It was so interesting. I had no idea that Puma and Adidas were to fraught with rivalry, and who knew so much about the chaos that came from finding dinosaur bones. 

This was a book about nonfiction topics that had silly voices and told the tales of rivalry like it was a story, it was wonderful to listen to and I am so happy to have grabbed it.