Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cover Characteristic: Toys

The Cover Characteristic meme is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.   Here are the guidelines:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I always pick from books I've already read, and here are my top 5 choices, although this week was a little harder for me!




So those are my cover choices for the week!  Have you read any of them?  What do you think of my choices?

While you're visiting, make sure to go enter my September Sequel giveaway HERE, and have the chance to win a book up to $20 from The Book Depository.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven't Told You by Kunal Nayyar

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I've chosen a nonfiction book for a change this week.  It comes out next week, and is by an actor on one of my all-time favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory.  I guess he was at BEA this past summer, when I wasn't able to go.  :-(  Meeting him would have totally made any cost worth it, if I'd had any way to get the money together.  The author, Kunal Nayyar, plays Raj on the show, and I can't wait to read what he has to tell us about.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory — the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist — ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.

Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)

Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.

So much that sounds so good!  I am hoping to find it as hilarious as other books I've read by actors like this.  

So, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week? 

And while you're here, don't forget to go enter my September is for Sequels Giveaway. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Mirrored by Alex Flinn

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this earlier this year from Cynthia Leitich Smith, who is an author, and also blogs at Cynsations.  I didn't even realize it was autographed to me personally until I finally picked it up to read!  Here is the autograph:

I haven't read very many of Alex Flinn's books, but the ones I have, I've enjoyed for the most part. And of course, they almost always fit perfectly into my current love of fairy tale retellings, and this one was no exception.

The main character, well, there are two.  We start the story in the 80s (when I was growing up, so I loved that!) with a girl named Violet.  Violet is not a pretty girl, and she's also not a well liked girl, people think she's weird.  She's bullied, especially by a girl named Jennifer.  But there is a boy that she becomes friends with after a strange incident in the playground when they're kids.  A bird is dead, obviously killed by one of the boys who is a bully.  She sees another boy, named Greg, who seems really upset, so she goes over and picks up the bird, and all of a sudden it's okay.  Of course she plays it off as it wasn't dead, just stunned.  But from that point, she and Greg become good friends.  Until 8th grade.  They didn't get to spend the summer together, and when school starts, Greg comes back and he's grown, a lot. And now he seems very interested in being friends with Jennifer, and he won't hang out with Violet anymore.  When a strange woman comes and shows Violet that she really is a witch, and has powers, Violet thinks maybe, just maybe, she can change herself to make Greg like her. 

We join up again in the future with Greg and his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Celine.  Violet hasn't been in their life in a long time.  No matter how beautiful Violet became, or how talented, Greg was always in love with Jennifer.  But one day there is a tragedy, and Jennifer dies.  Violet comes into their life, and becomes Celine's stepmother, at first it seems like she's a good stepmother.  Soon Violet decides that Celine is always going to come between her and Greg, and Celine feels like she must always stay away from home.  Even to the point of hiding, basically leaving her home and living with a new friend she's made, Goose.  The strange woman who first was kind of a savior to Violet, now sees the way Violet is, and also tries to help Celine.

This is a wonderful retelling/reimagining of Snow White.  I loved all of it, especially the boy band part, and the character Goose and his family.  I really felt for Violet, and was rooting for her, until she just couldn't move on past wanting Greg.  She had everything, beauty, talent, smarts, and magic, but her whole life the only thing to make her happy would be if she had Greg.  And Celine was just a really sweet girl, you couldn't not like her, or even feel like Violet was ever right, even at times Celine felt sorry for Violet, when she knew what her life had been like.  Just a really great story, with really great characters.  I can't wait to purchase this book for my school library so that my students can read and enjoy it as well!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Promo Post: The Wanderers by Kate Ormand

The Wanderers
by Kate Ormand
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


A Unique Twist on Shape-Shifters with Fast-Paced Action, Thrilling Adventure, Mystery, and a Bit of Romance

Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.

In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.

Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.

Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?

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Follow the The Wanderers by Kate Ormand Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

KATE ORMAND is a YA writer represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She recently graduated from university with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also a member of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. 

You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website ( or on Twitter (@kateormand).


September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop

Here we go, another September, another Sequels Challenge and Giveaway Hop!  You can click on the link in the sentence before if you want to join into the challenge. It's really simple, and there is even a prize associated with that for people who participate.  This hop started because of the challenge that I started 4 years ago.  The goal is to catch up on those sequels that often get set on the TBR pile due to all the new books for review that bloggers get to read.  My goal was to try to get as many of those read in September as possible.  So along with that theme, this is a giveaway where you can win a sequel in any series you want from The Book Depository, and it is international as long as they deliver to your country.  Because this is a sequels hop, you cannot pick the first book in a series, but any one from the 2nd on to whatever number that series is on now!  It does need to stay below $20 though.

Once you've entered my Rafflecopter below, be sure to hop on along to the other blogs in the link-up below to see what other awesome prizes are available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Post #34 and Stacking the Shelves August 30th, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  

Last week on the blog:
 I actually finished 3 books this past week, but the beginning of the week was kind of busy and I didn't get a review posted on Tuesday, so one of the reviews will be put off till this week.   And it is the end of the  month, so I do need to do an update on my challenges, like my TBR challenge, but I'm going to wait until later this week for that as well.  Had a bit of an issue with a fellow blogger that felt something I suggested in a comment was a rude put-down, whereas I wasn't trying to be that way at all.  Sad face.

This week on the blog:
  • Reviews:  Mirrored by Alex Flinn, A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
  • Possible Reviews:  Hunter by Mercedes Lackey, Arianna's Destiny by Michelle Sodaro
  • September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop begins on Monday
  • Promo Post:  The Wanderers by Kate Ormand
  • Promo Post/Interview:  Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis
  • Promo Post:  The Next Together by Lauren James
  • Possible Cover Characteristic post
Lots planned this week.  I have had to make myself take a step back from signing up from tours as you can see I've got quite a few lined up this week.  I do hope to get a bunch set up for November so that I can do NaNoWriMo again this year.  Monday is also the last day you can enter to win the big prize for my 6th Blogoversary.  You can still join into my 4th Annual September is for Sequels Challenge HERE.  As I'm starting my challenge myself, that's what one of the reviews this week should be from, if I get it done hopefully.  I mentioned last week about trying to cut back on requesting egalleys, and while you'll see below that I did request a lot this past week, if you look at their publishing dates, I am keeping it down to only 1 or 2 review books a week, and that is basically what has been causing me issues.  For example, in my calendar for this coming week, I have 7 books that are published this Tuesday to review.  I'm working on one of them now, but don't know when I'll get to the others before they expire. Although two others I have physical ARCs of now.  

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Another light week for physical books, and none were paid for by me, other than shipping in a books for trade!

Physical Books:

The first two were successful #booksfortrade on Twitter. The last one I won from Valerie at Stuck in Books.   I will probably go ahead and donate it to my school library for now, not sure how soon I'll get to it, and that way my students will have the chance to read it instead of it sitting on my shelf and not being read at all for a while.  


 It felt like Christmas when I got on Edelweiss this week and saw all the new egalleys available!  Like I said though, I only took them if I really wanted them, and didn't have any other egalleys set up that week yet.  Most of them are coming out in 2016.  I still have one I requested that I haven't heard back about yet as well.

Free e-books:

The first four were all free on Amazon, the last one I got on Barnes and Noble.

So those are my additions to my shelves this week.  And my plans are listed above.  What did you add this week and do you have any exciting plans coming up?