Aug 31, 2022

Monthly TBR (Sept 22) and Re-Cap (Aug 22)

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Here is the progress from August
Didn't do as good as I had hoped. I struggled with Book of Night

~~Books I Read in August 2022~~  


~~Links to Some Reviews~~
Others will come later.
  1. The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels (MG) - 2 stars
  2. The Darkening by Sunya Mara (YA) - 5 stars

 TBR for September
  1. What We Saw by Mary Downiung Hahn
  2. Quest fro Atlantis by Marisa Noelle
  3. The Year Without A Summer by Arlene Mark
  4. Mere Mortals by Erin Jade Lange
  5. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  6. The Dark Alchemist by Rhys A. Jones
A few carry overs from August, I am currently reading Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and loving it! I have lots of books for review to get through in September. I am really hoping my reading picks up.

How was your August reading? 
Feel free to share it in the comments below! I would love to know what you are reading!

Aug 29, 2022

Building the Book Pile #408

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Monday! 
Busy weekend and I am wiped out and just started the week.
I had a friend help me pick up topsoil and fill some planter boxes on Saturday morning, then I ran some errands and picked up an new canning pot... becuase wooo tomatoes are here and there are so many. I had an end of the season softball get together, and did some garden harvesting, craft projects and finally some reading.

I am currently reading Book of Night by Holly Black and I am not sure how I am feeling about it and I am 100 pages in. I am hoping it picks up more. Have you read this one? What are your thoughts? Should I push through or give up?

XOXO - Steph

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Monthly Re-Cap (Aug 21) and TBR Pile (Sept 21)

Early Reader Review: The Twilight Library By Carmen Oliver, Illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora (Youth)

Recent Reads: The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz (MG)

Books Received Recently...   

Harley Quinn: Ravenous by Rachael Allen - From Netgalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for review.

One Cup at a Time, A Cat's Café Collection by Matt Tarpley - From Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for review.

What We Saw by Mary Downing Hahn - from publisher for review

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

Aug 25, 2022

Early Reader Review: The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels

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

The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne MichaelsEmma
 (Illustrator )
Series: Miss Petitfour #2
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date:  August 30, 2022

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
For fans of Mary Poppins, heroine Miss Petitfour and her feline friends return for more flights of fancy in this cozy, charming collection of illustrated stories.

Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size” for a “single, magical day.” With her sixteen cats and the aid of a tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour soars — which is to say, she rises high in the air and flies — over her charmingly eccentric village, encountering adventures along the way. One never knows where the wind will take her in this delightfully seasonal collection of magical outings: perhaps to the aid of dearly loved friends and neighbors, including a hapless handyman and an onion-loving baby, or to a coconut-confetti parade, or in search of keys, lucky charms or even simply the perfect tablecloth for her next flight. A witty, whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrate language, storytelling and all the pleasures of life, large and small!
Read my Review of Book 1

While the Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour is the second book, you do not need to read the first book to understand what is happening, however it might help a little.

I like Miss Petitfour and her interesting travel method (by tablecloth balloon and the wind) and her cats are adorable and so helpful. I enjoyed book one, it was quirky and fun, book 2 fell a little flat for me but I am only one adult reader.

In this installment, Miss Petitfour helps her friends and neighbors and goes on more adventures with her numerous cat companions. The book takes priority in defining and explaining vocabulary works which is very nice and educational but it was hard to keep focused on the story at times because of it. 

Much of what I had issue with during this read, was that there were a lot of descriptions, to the point of a run-on, jumbled, mess or words that by the time you got to the point, you almost forgot what you were trying to read about in the first place. It is even a little difficult to pinpoint the main audience for the book. It seems like a middle grade read, but is very wordy, like I mentioned and it might put younger readers off. I personally found myself skimming past some of the descriptions to get directly to the point, but didn't make me feel good. 

Overall, the character of the book, Miss Petitfour, is delightful and the story is super cute. And if you like cats, she has SO many of them that are decribed in wonderful detail. However, if you have trouble focusing and reading already, this might be a very difficult book to read, it was for me. 

Aug 24, 2022

Recent Reads: The Darkening by Sunya Mara

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

The Darkening by Sunya Mara 
Series: (The Darkening #1)
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date:  July 5, 2022

Format: Paperback ARC


Goodreads Synopsis: 
In this thrilling and epic YA fantasy debut the only hope for a city trapped in the eye of a cursed storm lies with the daughter of failed revolutionaries and a prince terrified of his throne.

Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.
Oh wow, I have some whiplash from this book. So much here... enemies to lovers to enemies, light versus dark, magic, 3 guys that bicker, secrets, lots of history and old city and so much lore and I need more or it. 

This YA 1st installment follows Vesper Vale. Her father (unkowingly to her) was a rebel and traitor to the kingdom and was located and taken. Vesper has to get him back but she has to work with the people that took him in order to do so. In addition, her world is being consumed by a storm darkness that is pushing slowly inwards, but getting quicker with time. She only has a limited time to save her father, save her part of the city that the storm is creeping in on, and inevitably find herself. 

Vesper is determined, but unsure of herself, she is plagues with pain, loss, loneliness, self-doubt, and stubborness, but she was a great main character. Casvian, or Cas, is a Wardana (think magical soldier), he is smug and a sour-puss and classist, but his bickering is entertaining and he comes around in a beautiful way. Dalca is also a Wardana but also a prince, doomed to take on the duty of Regia one day, meaning that he will sacrifice himself to their god of light to protect the city. He is so fearful and I liked his story but I am not sure that his character stayed true throughout the story. Finally, we have Izamel, or Iz, who is the 3rd Wardana and he is from the fifth ring like Vesper, he is fighting to help them survive and is also an undercover rebel. 

I really enjoyed the overall story here. Vesper had a goal that smoothly transitioned into a goal for the greater good as the sotry progressed and I appreciated that, however I felt that Iz's efforts got a little lost, sadly.  The romance portion was a little meh, I was ok with Vesper's choice but I think that the swift betayals and judgements were not necessarily in character at all times.

However my biggest pro/con is the worldbuilding, I wanted MORE! I felt that this was a good starting point but I have so many questions and I really hope as the series progresses that we get more detail. Like what/where is the Ven? Why is the old kingdom underground? Why and how is there this class system? how did it get to this point? I loved what we got but I want more.. so much more, fingers crossed for book two. 

Aug 21, 2022

Building the Book Pile #407

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

hi hi, sorry it has been a few weeks between book pile posts. I have been ... doing other things. I would saty busy but I am not even sure it is that...
The garden is huge and taking up a lot of time with harvesting, pruning, and generally just playing outside and we have also been doing some other projects.

We got a new washer and dryer and had to get them into the house through a window since the basement stairs are so narrow. We are also building more sections of the fence around the backyard so that eventually Charlie can just run free. 

All that said, I have been reading/listening to books and am making an ok dent in the TBR pile. Hopefully lots of reviews coming soon and I have been sent so many great books from Publishers for the Fall too :)

 Stay healthy everyone!

XOXO - Steph

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: The Darkening by Sunya Mara (YA)

Early Reader Review: The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels (MG)

Books Received Recently...   


(I am lacking self control)


Drawing Outside the Lines by Susan Austin (MG) - from the publisher for review, out October 18, 2022
The Last Huntress by Lenore Borja (YA) - from the publisher for reivew, out November 1, 2022
The Year Without A Summer by Arlene Mark (YA) - from the publisher for review, out now (August 16, 2022)
The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz (MG) - from the publisher for review, out September 1, 2022

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

Aug 19, 2022

Blog Tour: Review - From the Deep by Kateri Stanley

From the Deep by Kateri Stanley
Publisher: Burton Mayers Books
Publication Date:  May 6, 2022

About the Book
Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called "The Culling", the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation. 
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They've been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail. 
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole. 
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.


What a ride this book was. The book is about Julian, a fisherman in Drake Cove. He is a widower, with a teenage daughter, who lives in this small fishing town just trying to get by financially and mentally. 

The book begins as a murder mystery, fishermen are showing up on the shore in horrible condition. Soon the book transitions to life with Julian and his daughter. there is day to day stuff, fishing, friends in the town, activists trying to stop the fisherman etc. I almost forgot about the murders for a while because the book stops talking about them almost entirely while we are going through Jules' life. Oddly, the book then starts to be more than one point of view at about the 40% mark, which I found a bit strange as well, but it was nice to have some other perspectives for the end half of the book. 

There was a lot here. If you are squeamish, I would not recommend this book, there was a lot of fish killing and graphic moments of the fisherman’s jobs. I think it lends well to the story and to the activists playing a role in the book, but it was hard to read. The synopsis noted the ‘slaughter’ of whales, but I didn’t expect it to be so violent. That being said it was a fascinating read for the most part. The characters were interesting and had a fair amount of growth throughout the book, which I appreciate. The plot was captivating, albeit a little all over the place – there is the culling, the activists, the father/daughter dynamic, the mother being gone/romance dynamic, and then the mermaid/sea creature possibility that were all thrown together… oh yea and the murders… again, almost forgot that is where we started. 

If you enjoy books with supernatural creatures set in pretty mundane surroundings, or fisherman tales/ related this might be a good book for you. It was a good mix of reality and fantasy being woven together to form a book with modern-day problems that captivate the reader and spark emotion with fantastical elements.

I enjoyed the book and think others will as well. But be prepared for some violence. 

About the Author
Kateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child,
Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and her cat. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, Darkstroke Books in 2021 and it reached #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts on Amazon.

Find the Author


Aug 17, 2022

Waiting On Wednesday: Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Various


Marple: Twelve New Mysteries by Various Authors
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date:  September 13, 2022

Why I Am Waiting:
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple ... new short stories.. new great authors writing her in their style... YESSSS 😁😁

Aug 15, 2022

Recent Reads: Hello, Goodbye by Kate Stollenwerck

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

Hello, Goodbye by 
Kate Stollenwerck 
Publisher: SparkPress
Publication Date:  August 2, 2022

Format: Paperback


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Fifteen-year-old Hailey Rogers is sure her summer is ruined when her parents force her to spend a few days a week helping her grandmother, Gigi. Although she only lives across town, she never sees her grandmother and knows little about her. But Gigi is full of surprises--and family secrets. Throw in the gorgeous boy down the street, and Hailey's ruined summer might just be the best of her life.

Then tragedy strikes, lies are uncovered, and Hailey's life suddenly falls apart. After unearthing clues in an old letter written by her great-grandfather, she takes off on a road trip to solve the family mystery with the only person she can trust. In a forgotten Texas town, the past and the present collide--and Hailey is forced to choose what she truly values in life. 
If you need a good cry, specifically for loved-ones lost, this is a book for you. I preface this review that way because there was a lot of tragedy in this story and I feel the need to prepare the readers of it, and I hope there are a lot of them. 

This book follows teen Hailey, she is somewhat forced to spend time with her grandmother this summer. Her grandmother is a bit eccentric and Hailey's mother does not get along with her. It makes for an interesting family dynamic. While Gigi lives right down the road, Hailey does not spend a lot of time with her, until now. Gigi is taking the time now to teach Hailey all about their family and the stories are amazing, even book-worthy in some cases. Hailey whie learning more about her family history and secrets is also learning who to trust and trying to understand who she is from their past. 

Hailey in the beginning is your typical teen, angsty, upset about ruined summer plans, but Gigi helps her with that swiftly. The pace of the book is wonderful and Gigi is hilarious and marvelous and I can see why she has lived such an exciting life. I enjoyed both Hailey and Gigi as characters throughout the book.

This book seemed to come to me at just the right time, a few months ago we lost my grandfather and recently we had his memorial. Every summer when we were younger, my sister and I would be dropped off at his house for a week. While we moaned and groaned about the situation, we always had a wonderful time... and looking back I really wish I would have kept up those visits into adulthood.  I think I cried so much more during this book thinking about the time I missed, but also remembering all the fun times we had together during those summers. 

Overall, the book was heartfelt and a wonderful coming-of-age story that I think both teens and adults will love to read.