May 31, 2021

Monthly Re-Cap - May 2021 / To Read in June 2021


Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Here is the progress from the MAY TBR 
.
.
.

TADA!!



~~Books I Read in May 2021~~



~~Links to Some Reviews~~

Thanks so much for reading!
Support late night reading by sending caffeine 😮







 TBR for JUNE
(I may be a glutton for punishment but here we goooo...)

Crownless by M.H. Woodscourt - for review/ tour in June
Call of the Night Vol 2 by Kotoyama - for review
Luna Howls at the Moon by Kristine O'Donnell Tubb- for review
Chuncky by Yehundi Mercado - for review
Shipped by Angie Hockman
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba - Vol 1 
The Umbrella Academy: Dallas by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba- Vol 2 
The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba- Vol 3 
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint - May BOTM

Do you have a June TBR? Feel free to share it in the comments below! I would love to know what you are reading!

May 30, 2021

Building the Book Pile #347



Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy End of Sunday ... I hope you have all had a good weekend thus far and have plans to take it easy again tomorrow for the US holiday of Memorial Day. 

As you may have noticed, I had a few posts that were supposed to go up last week... that well... didn't ... I forgot to move them from draft to scheduled... SO you will get them this upcoming week instead. (My bad - please forgive my mush brain).

This past week, I had a friend visit me in FL for the week. We worked / played and had a wonderful time. My introvert self is exhausted but happily exhausted. I pretty much slept and was in PJs all day today (thus this late post). 

OH in other wonderful news, I found my local library - I love the library it is such a wonderful resource and if you are not using it... I HIGHLY recommend it. I splurged at the library and now have a large stack of books in addition to my already owned books that I need/want to read. 

As always, I hope you are all safe and well. I hope that as you pay respects to those we have lost to war this Memorial Day you also take some time for self care.

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Monthly Re-Cap: May 2021 / June TBR

Blog Blitz: Opposites Attract by Jacqueline Lee

Recent Reads: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams (Adult)


Books Received Recently...


Have you missed anything lately?
Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

May 26, 2021

Early Reader Review: Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz

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

Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz 
Illustrated by Micah Player
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date:  June 1, 2021



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


Rating:



Goodreads Synopsis: 

A truly refreshing picture book about determination, kindness, ice pops—and the true meaning of being part of a community—from Latin Grammy winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player!

What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick! And find Paletero JosĂ©!

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Can you hear his call?

Paletas for one! Paletas for all!

Follow Paletero JosĂ©’s call and rush along with our narrator as he passes through his vibrant and busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he arrives, our narrator’s pockets are empty! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.

Celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer, fans of Thank You, Omu and Carmela Full of Wishes will be hungry for what Paletero Man has in store.

The book includes Spanish words and phrases throughout and an author’s note from Lucky Diaz about why he was inspired to write this picture book.
Review: 
This wonderfully colorful and enjoyable book. The illustrations are vibrant and full of movement. There is lots to look at in these two-page full spreads.  It also showcases a community of color and includes Spanish throughout. I should disclaimer that I don't speak or read Spanish, although I did take it as a language it didn't stick. This book did a good job of incorporating it so that you can understand through context clues. For younger readers this may be difficult so parents should try to have an understanding before reading to children. 

The book is about a boy running to meet up with the Paletero man, which is the fruit-ice pop man. Along the way the young boy passes by members of his community all working but still saying hello and trying to engage with him as he hurries to get his treat, only to find when he arrives that he has lost all is money. Luckily his community is a supportive one and they come to the rescue. 

This story was so heartwarming and will be a great one for bilingual families. It is also a great book as we start entering the warmer months, but be forewarned... as a reader you will then want an ice-pop... they look delicious in the illustrations.

May 23, 2021

Building the Book Pile #346



Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Sunday Funday! 
This past week I felt like an actual blogger again (lol), so many reviews and tours!
I hope that you are enjoying the variety. 
It is also the beginning of my FINAL class in my program, so it is graded pretty much pass/fail, so come July I might be more away again, so I am trying to front load as best I can while keeping on track with other course requirements.

In other news, thanks to vaccinations - I have a friend visiting!!! I am so excited to see her and hang out in the warm weather, and BOY is it getting warm. We haven't made it to 'rainy' season yet so it is a big muggy.

This upcoming week I should have a few more fun things to share.

I hope you are all staying safe and well and here is a virtual hug if you need it


If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi
 



Coming up on the Blog


Early Reader Review: Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz (Youth)

Recent Reads: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams (Adult)

Blog Blitz: Opposites Attract by Jacqueline Lee

Someday this review will be up - I need to finish reading it though ... sorry: 
Recent Reads: Guards! Guards! (Discworld #8) by Terry Pratchett (Adult)


Books Received Recently...
 



Ariadne by Jennifer Saint - Book of the Month Subscription for May

Have you missed anything lately?

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

May 21, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan



The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan
Publisher:  SpellBound Books Ltd
Publication Date:  May 21, 2021


About the Book:

After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben. 

A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.

After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.
Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.

Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=truehttps://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

   


Edel Marston has recently lost her husband and is starting her life anew in a quant Ireland town called Ballynoon. She has bought herself a cute cottage with a garden to upkeep to help her take her mind off of things and do something she loves. The story follows her right as she is moving in and experiencing the town. She is excited for her new property and a new group - the Ballynoon Friendship Circle, a meeting of the ladies of the town. She finds herself immersed in the town, their gossip, and even meets the mysterious wealthy man on the hill.

The Ballynoon Friendship Circle is a realistic, yet fantastical tale of romance and friendship. It is a cosy and adorable story including themes of friendship, aging, grief, finding love again, and finding joy in the little things. Edel has her struggles and is trying to love a new life without her past haunting her, but it pricks her at every turn. I really enjoyed all the characters in this book, the women were funny and all had their personalities. There were so many though that it was a little hard to keep track of who was who. 

The story is told from Edel's point of view, and so it is a mix of emotions and sometimes panic, so it was realistic. Although some of the 'conflict' I believe could have been left out and there would not have been an impact on the story. I won't say more, I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a part of her past that doesn't really need to be included to make this story worthwhile.

I liked the love interest and their relationship leading up to the ending. I was slightly surprised by the ending but it seemed a bit predictable, although absolutely adorable. 

If you are looking for an adult, cozy romance, and tale of friendships this would be a good book to pick up. 

About the Author
The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme.  She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey. 

Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning www.writing.ie 
She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival. 

Her first poem Airborne, published on Pendemic.ie website March 2020 
Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel. 

She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.  

Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks. 


Find the Author



May 20, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland


It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: May 18th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

About the Book:
In Miel Moreland’s heartfelt young adult debut, It Goes Like This, four queer teens realize that sometimes you have to risk hitting repeat on heartbreak.

Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they’ve been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school, never expecting to headline anything bigger than the county fair.

But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens’ band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste’s starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same. Gina and Celeste step further into the spotlight, Steph disappears completely, and Eva, heartbroken, takes refuge as a songwriter and secret online fangirl…of her own band. That is, until a storm devastates their hometown, bringing the four ex-best-friends back together. As they prepare for one last show, they’ll discover whether growing up always means growing apart.




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

 

This book follows four difference point-of-view from characters of a former band. Back in the day these four best friends were a hit, they had two albums, and two tours, and then it all ended. We follow them as their worlds are coming back together. Eva is a college student who has still been working in music behind the scenes writing for others to sing.  Celeste went solo after the break up of the band and is killing it. Gina opted to go into acting,  has landed some wonderful roles and won awards. Steph opted to return home and help her family but now a huge storm has hit her town and someone has asked them to reunite as their band to perform at a benefit show. 

This is a Sapphic tale of relationships, friendship, understanding, and heartbreak, but also of love. As mentioned, we get all four POVs which makes for a very interesting view into how things happened between these characters before and during the break up and then the rekindling of their friendship afterward. The characters all have varying personalities in addition to the story having LGBTQ+, there are also diverse characters - it was so refreshing. 

The story is interestingly told from a fractured timeline, so you get a few chapters of the current followed by a one off of the past or a few depending on the drama the book wants to dive into. It feels flashback-esq, and makes for an amazing story. I loved all of these characters, and adored the love story and the rekindling of a lost friendship. The musical landscape was very interesting and such a good way to allow all the characters to be different but all want to come together again for a good cause. 

This was such a quick read for me, I absolutely adored it and might read it again. I think that teen readers will really like this one, it has a lot of both teenage and love drama, and is awkward and realistic while also being a bit over the top since they are all famous. I would love to see another installment following them past this point. 


About the Author
Miel Moreland was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With time spent in California and France, she has a Midwestern heart but wandering feet. When not making pop music references and celebrating fandom, she is likely to be found drinking hot chocolate and making spreadsheets. She currently resides in Boston, where she works in higher education. It Goes Like This is her debut novel.

Find the Author


This tour-wide giveaway is open Internationally.
The Prize: Print copy of It Goes Like This
Ends: May 27th

a Rafflecopter giveaway




May 19, 2021

Spotlight Excerpt & Giveaway! Call of the Rift: Crest by Jae Waller



Hello Book Lovers,

It is a Spotlight Day!! Today I bring you Call of the Rift: Crest By Jae Waller. The third book in the Call of the Rift series! "Step through the portal into a world ravaged by chaotic spirits and corrupted magic in the third book of The Call of the Rift high fantasy series" (Goodreads synopsis). Below you will find an excerpt of Chapter 1 and a giveaway!

XOXO,
Steph


Call of the Rift: Crest by Jae Waller 
Series: Call of the Rift #3
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date:  May 18, 2021



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


About the Book
Kateiko Rin lives a quiet life with her parents and her people in the coastal rainforest. Everything changes when her estranged uncle washes up on their shores, harried and half-dead, trailed by two blue-eyed children no one knew existed. To protect her family, Kateiko secrets away her young cousins. Caring for them includes hiding their ties to the RĂșonbattai, a warlike cult trying to claim the land for themselves, along with as many lives as they can. With the immigrant mage Tiernan and his companions Jorumgard and Nerio, Kateiko enters into the fray, facing strange, dangerous magic that unwinds the fabric of time. She must end the war before it tears the land, and her family, apart.

In the third book in The Call of the Rift series, Jae Waller invites us into another dimension and introduces an alternate version of her captivating heroine in a world full of familiar and unknown faces, including many we thought long dead.



Excerpted from The Call of the Rift: Crest by Jae Waller. © 2021 by Jae Waller. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com

1.

THE RIVER

“Ooh, how about this, Kako?” Nili thrust a scrap of amber cloth at me. “If I embroider that in white, you’ll look all shimmery.”

“You’d lose me on the lake.” I waved at the sun-struck cove where we lounged with our friends, cooking breakfast and preparing for the day’s work. Shafts of golden light cut through puffy clouds and glittered in the morning mist. Cottonwoods with yellowing leaves shaded the beach, dripping dew into puddles with tiny plinks.

I went on sharpening my fish knife. Every autumn Nili sewed me new shirts and leggings, and every autumn we argued about it. She insisted that bright berry dyes would complement my colouring — brown hair, brown eyes, tanned skin. I wanted something dark for tromping around the muddy rainforest.

After I refused her fifth choice, Nili shoved swatches back into her fabric bag. “I don’t know why I care,” she huffed. “You’ll out-grow them anyway.”

“Sorry. Should I stop wearing clothes?”

“That’ll get Canoe Boy’s attention.” She snickered. “Are the duck potatoes done? I’m starving.”

I knocked a bundle of singed leaves from our campfire. While Nili grew up learning textiles from her mother, my mother had spent years teaching me to sense and control water. Closing my eyes in meditation, I slipped my mind through the leaves to the small roots inside the bundle, measuring the water temperature and the amount of steam. I peeled the charred leaves back with my knife to reveal small steaming roots. “Perfect—”

Cheering interrupted me. Several boys were spitting squash seeds onto a tarp, competing to get one furthest. Onarem, an axe-jawed leatherworker, raised his fists over his head and called for anyone brave enough to challenge him.

Nili stood up. “Ai, bludgehead!”

She popped a seed in her mouth and spat. It soared over the tarp and plunked into the lake. Onarem gaped. Nili kissed another seed and spat it at his bare chest. Laughter rippled through the onlookers.

As we ate, an ochre-red canoe slid into the cove. Its high prow was carved into a kinaru, the long-necked water bird that was our tribe’s sacred crest. I peered at the paddler and swore. If I’d known Rokiud was home from summer travels, I’d at least have brushed my hair.

“Yan taku,” Nili breathed as he landed. “I forgot how lush Canoe Boy is.”

I pushed her jaw shut. Like every boy in our tribe, the Rin-jouyen, Rokiud went shirtless to show his tattoos, which included crossed paddles on his chest for being a canoe carver. He’d razored off his hair, leaving a thin black layer like leaf fuzz. It highlighted the sharp angles of his face.

Onarem punched his arm in greeting. Rokiud swiped at his head. Onarem tackled Rokiud and they rolled head over boot, shouting joyfully and trying to pin each other in the shallows.

Nili elbowed me. “Go say hi.”

“I’m done wasting time on Rokiud,” I said, picking soot from my fingernails. “I have things to do. Training for my water-calling test, working my trapline—”

She looked at me like I was made of stupid. “You passed every practice test, and it’s not trapping season yet. C’mon.” She pulled me to the shore and beamed at Onarem. “Kateiko and I wanna go fishing by the old smokehouses. Can you take us?”

Onarem scrambled up, dripping. “Uh, my canoe’s only got two seats—”

“Riiight,” Nili sighed. “Guess we gotta ask someone with a bigger boat.”

“Nei, hang on,” he stammered. “Rokiud, why don’t you bring Kateiko? We’ll all go.”

Rokiud grinned at me, shaking droplets off his head. “Do your water-caller thing and we’ve got a deal.”

My stomach flip-flopped. I seeped my mind into the fibres of his breeches to dry them, acutely aware of his muscular legs. I tossed my fishing gear into his canoe’s bow, then stopped when I noticed gouges in the hull. The carved kinaru’s bill had broken off. “What happened?”

“I went over a waterfall and hit some rocks,” Rokiud said. “No big deal. I resined over the damage, so it hasn’t rotted.”

He’s the rotten one, my mother would say. For years the elders had refused to initiate him as a carver — first for skipping lessons, then sneaking off to river-race, then stealing his father’s war canoe to race again. The day they were finally going to evaluate his work, he’d found crude symbols painted on his hull, probably a prank by another kid. I’d made new paint from ground ochre, helped Rokiud cover the symbols, and dried the paint just before the elders arrived. His proud look while getting his carver tattoo had been the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Then, before I worked up the nerve to say anything, we’d separated for summer. My family had canoed to an alpine village of itherans, the foreigners who’d settled around our land. In the high pastures, busy trading my furs for goat wool, I’d tried to forget about Rokiud. Here, eye level with his radiant smile, my resolve melted like honey in sunlight.

I dropped onto the bow seat and grabbed a paddle. Rokiud leapt into the stern and pushed off. We glided from the cove onto the lake proper, framed by steep valley walls dense with forest. Tendrils of mist parted around us. Nili and Onarem followed in his boat, her laughter carrying across the turquoise water.

All along the beach, canvas tents hung from huge conifer trees. The canoes at my family’s campsite were gone. Everyone must’ve left for the day. My father had jokingly moaned that I’d grown up enough to avoid my parents, but they didn’t mind as long as I gathered my share of food. I wondered if I could keep it secret that I was going fishing with Rokiud — then a voice hollered my name.

Fendul, a lanky older boy wearing a sheathed sword, walked out from the woods. “Where are you headed?” he called.

I raised my fishing net. “To catch bears.”

He looked unamused. “Remember to stay off the downriver branch of Kotula Iren. It’s not safe these days.”

“The river I canoed every summer to get to the ocean until your father banned anyone from going?” Rokiud said. “You think I’d forget?”

Fendul rubbed the lines tattooed around his arm, a marker that he was our okoreni, the second-in-command of the Rin-jouyen. “If you knew what’s going on out there—”

“Let’s go,” I interrupted. Fendul and I lived in the same plank house at our permanent settlement. I got enough lectures from him. We pushed off again. Rokiud’s bitterness radiated like smoke.

Earlier this year Fendul’s father, our current leader, had declared the war-torn coast too dangerous to visit — for everyone except Fendul’s family, who’d travelled there on some diplomatic whatever. All I knew was itherans kept fighting over land that wasn’t theirs to begin with.

“Where’d you go instead this summer?” I asked Rokiud.