Friday, October 31, 2014

Finishing School Read-Along

Finishing School Read-Along
November 1-30, 2014
hosted by Batch of Books
Wishful Endings
details here


Adding some steampunk reading into my already loaded schedule ;-)


Reading schedule:

Nov 1: Read-Along Launch
Nov 7: Curtsies, chapters 1-8
Nov 14: Curtsies, chapters 9 -16, epilogue, and final thoughts on the book
Nov 21: Waistcoats, chapters 1-8
Nov 28: Waistcoats, chapters 9-16 and final thoughts on book
Nov 29: Read-along wrap up
Nov 30: Giveaway winner announced

I have not read book one so I am going to squeeze that in somewhere.

Books to read:

Etiquette & Espionage
(Finishing School book 1)
by Gail Carrier
Amazon | Goodreads

My two-bits:
My rating: 5

So, I read this after reading book 2 (went backwards). But, this was totally fine and it felt like a big flashback scene.

Loved getting a little bit of history about Sophronia and her family and home base.

Also got a proper introduction to Soap - my favorite character.


Curtsies & Conspiracies
(Finishing School book 2)
by Gail Carrier
Amazon | Goodreads

My two-bits:
My rating: 5

First chapter: As I am starting this series with book 2 (will read book 1 right after), I found the first chapter a fun way to learn about the different girls involved. The assessment of each gave interesting descriptions of their personalities.

Characters: Each are presented so well that they are special and distinct. It's not hard to keep track of them. Each voice is unique.

Plot: Love it. Along with the mystery of trying to figure out what is going on, I love watching how Sophronia gets herself out of sticky situations.

Least favorite part: Not knowing who Sophronia picks - Soap or Felix.

Most favorite part: The dialogue. Totally love the humor infused in everything whether it be blatant or subtle.

Favorite lines: I admit that I am listening to the audio version. So, I can't pick any out easily. But, there are so many wonderful ones. BTW, the audio version is excellent! The narrator is perfect in capturing the voices of all the characters.

Predictions: Clueless. However, this is fine because I'm just along for the wild ride in store for us.

Other thoughts: I agree. I love the names, manners of speaking and etiquette described that Gail uses in her stories. Just the right amount of serious and whimsy.

The dialogue and banter is the most fun to read in this series.


Waistcoats & Weaponry
(Finishing School book 3)
by Gail Carrier
Amazon | Goodreads

My two-bits:
My rating:

watch this spot



* check out Finishing Fashion Week for some steampunk eye candy

* non-participants are welcome to follow along and win a giveaway prize that will include all three books. I will post the giveaway link on this post when it goes up.

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming
by Patricia Briggs
illustrated by Francis Tsai

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @Mercys_Garage

Published: 2009
Publisher: Del Rey/Dabel Brothers
Genre: Graphic novel, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Hardback: 112 pages
Rating: 5
Based on Mercy Thompson book series

Mercy Thompson is a walker, a magical being with the power to transform into a coyote. She lives on the fine line dividing the everyday world from a darker dimension, observing the supernatural community while standing apart.

When Mercy travels to the Tri-Cities of Washington for a job interview, she quickly finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a gang war between rival packs of werewolves. And as if fangs and fur weren’t bad enough, Mercy must deal with the scariest creature of all: her mother, who is convinced that Mercy is making a mess of her life and determined to set her daughter on the right course.

The thrilling adventures of Mercy Thompson–Moon Called, Blood Bound, and Iron Kissed–have topped the New York Times bestseller list. Now Mercy makes her comics debut in an exclusive new story created by Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson: Homecoming is sure to please longtime fans and capture new ones with its mix of unforgettable characters and thrilling supernatural intrigue.


My two-bits:

This was a great way to get introduced to Mercy and the Mercy Thompson series. There were brief appearances from the main characters which left me wanting.

I got just the right amount of action and character descriptions to get me hooked. After reading this graphic novel, I definitely want to go to the book series to read more about this world.

The really interesting trait about Mercy is that she does not shift into a werewolf, but another creature. So, I am curious to learn about the special abilities and lore of that particular creature.

The illustrations were good as well and portrayed actions scenes, especially the shifting scenes really well (see sample comic page below).


* thanks to Sophia Rose for recommending this to me :-)

* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Green Cover

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane by Alex Irvine

The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane
by Alex Irvine

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @alexirvine

Just released: September 2014
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Witches
Paperback: 208 pages
Rating: 5

“I am Ichabod Crane, born in the year 1747. It seems this is the year 2013 Anno Domini, and I have been given new life—how, I know not; why, I know not. I will discern the truth—if, that is, I can keep my head.”

In "Sleepy Hollow," a supernatural twist on Washington Irving's classic short story, Ichabod Crane has been pulled two-and-a-half centuries through time to find that he and detective Abbie Mills are humanity's last hope in the war against evil. Passionate, intelligent, and wryly funny, Crane has always used journals to collect thoughts and documents that may prove useful later, and The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane offers an unprecedented look at the battle also raging inside his fascinating mind.

On the pages within, Crane shares new memories of the American Revolution; more amusing reflections on modern-day phenomena, from the Internet to Election Day; and private thoughts about Abbie, Katrina, and others. He also includes hidden case files; secret Freemason puzzles; selections from George Washington's mysterious Bible; and photos, letters, and drawings he has collected along the way. Filled with detail about past battles and vanquished monsters, as well as clues about those he and Abbie have yet to face, this journal is not just the ultimate repository for fans, but the key to Sleepy Hollow’s future—and the world’s.

My two-bits:

This is a treat to read as a supplement to the tv series. I would recommend watching the series, specifically season one first. Mainly because more descriptions, historical details and background stories are provided in relation to certain episodes in the show and would be more appreciated and understood.

I liked journal vibe created with illustrations, photos, newspaper clipping images and etc. along with the text.

As a fan of the show, I liked this read.

Also available: comic book series

Sleepy Hollow #1 (Of 4) Comic
by Jorge Coelho (Artist), Phil Noto (Artist), Marguerite Bennett (Author)

After dying on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War, Ichabod Crane awakes in present-day Sleepy Hollow, New York. His resurrection is tied to the reappearance of the Headless Horseman, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Realizing it is his mission to help stop the end of the world, Ichabod teams with Lt. Abbie Mills to meet each evil threat head on. When minor miracles start to sweep the town, they're glad something good seems to be happening for once.

No decapitations, no headless horseman, no worries, right? But as one by one the miracles start to backfire, more and more violently, Abbie and Ichabod must find time between saving the world to save the citizens of Sleepy Hollow...

-----> gonna wait for this series to be released in graphic novel form before reading it

BASED on tv series:

Sleep Hollow (2013 - present)
Created by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane
Nicole Beharie as Abbie Mills

Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

My two-bits:

I am currently binge watching the first season on DVD and loving it. Perfect for watching this time of year.

This Season 2 poster has a YA book cover feel to it. I plan on catching up with season two soon.


* review copy courtesy of Blogging for Books

* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Set in Autumn

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @jojomoyes

Published: 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Women's fiction
Hardback: 384 pages
Rating: 5

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My two-bits:

Heart wrenching and tissues-at-hand-required kind of read. Regardless, I really loved how this story pulls at the heart strings.

Jojo Moyes creates such imperfect likable characters that make me want to hang out with them all day long.

The great mix of humorous and serious scenes of love, life and living make this an entertaining read from start to finish.

Got me thinking of how can I change my life to be one that is more fulfilling and joyful.


* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Birds on cover

Talk Like Jane Austen Day - 2014

Happy Talk Like Jane Austen Day

Celebrating the 203rd anniversary of the publishing of Sense and Sensibility


The official site has themed this year as "Snarky Jane". The site will post a different quote every hour here.


Dear Reader,

Today I present a couple quotes from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

Colonel Brandon
played by David Morrisey
in Sense & Sensibility 2008 tv series

“’My protégé, as you call him, is a sensible man; and sense will always have attractions for me. Yes, Marianne, even in a man between thirty and forty. He has seen a great deal of the world; has been abroad; has read, and has a thinking mind. . . . I can only pronounce him to be a sensible man, well-bred, well informed, of gentle address, and I believe possessing an amiable heart.’”

-Elinor speaking to Marianne and Willoughby about Colonel Brandon
Sense & Sensibility, volume 1, chapter 10

Edward Ferrars
played by Dan Stevens
in Sense & Sensibility 2008 tv series

'I do not attempt to deny,' said she, 'that I think very highly of him — that I greatly esteem, that I like him.'

Marianne here burst forth with indignation —

'Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again and I will leave the room this moment.'

-thoughts on Edward Ferrars between Elinor and Marianne
Sense & Sensibity, volume 1, chapter 4

Hear some Jane-speak in the Sense and Sensibility 2008 tv series...

--~ eBook Giveaway ~--

And what of the youngest Dashwood sister? Learn a bit about her in this mystery tale...

Margaret Dashwood's Diary
(Sense and Sensibility Mysteries)
by Anna Elliott
Amazon | Goodreads

Margaret Dashwood learned from her older sisters—sensible Elinor and romantic Marianne—that the path of true love is rarely easy or smooth. And yet Margaret grew up dreaming of one day finding love and romance of her own. Now, smarting from the pain of a broken engagement, Margaret has traveled to stay with her now-married sisters in order to heal.

But life is still far from smooth: John Willoughby, Marianne’s first love, has unexpectedly returned to once again complicate the Dashwood sisters’ lives. Colonel Brandon, Marianne’s husband, has been commissioned to apprehend a ruthless ring of smugglers operating in the neighborhood. And when a mysterious figure from Margaret’s past returns, Margaret realizes that she herself may hold the key to uncovering the smuggling gang. Worse, she comes to suspect that she faces an impossible choice of her own: not between sense and sensibility, but between duty and her own heart.

WIN the kindle version of this book.

Open to all.

Offer ends: November 9, 2014


VISIT the author here.

RETURN here and tell me something you found of interest there.

ALSO, leave your email OR make sure I have a way to contact you (twitter link, clickable profile, etc).


AND, if you did not already know...

INVITATION to Pemberley Ball, November 15-18, 2014

You are invited to another charming Jane Austen event, the Pemberley Ball.

More information and to RSVP visit here.


* image source: characters from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Colonel Brandon, Edward Ferrars


Contest has ended - winner is here


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

Horrorstor: A Novel
by Grady Hendrix

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter #horrorstor

Just released: September 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Ghosts, Horror
Paperback: 240 pages
Rating: 5

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom. It’s “a treat for fans of The Evil Dead or Zombieland, complete with affordable solutions for better living.”—Kirkus Reviews.


My two-bits:

I started out reading my ebook review copy, but decided to get a print copy after a couple chapters. My ereader did not display the images properly and I felt that the print copy would enhance the story which it did.

Instead of a scary tale in a haunted mansion, this story takes you into a haunted furniture store not too different than IKEA.

The format of the story was intriguing in that each chapter started out with a page out of furniture catalog. The furniture piece highlighted was incorporated in the chapter in a spooky kind of way.

The characters were quirky and fun to follow.

I could totally see this made into a successful campy/horror film. If so, I would go see it :-)

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

signup to win this book


* review copy courtesy of edelweiss

* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Horror

Left Behind by Vi Keeland & Dylan Scott (with giveaway)

A New Adult Romance novel

New York Times Bestselling Author Vi Keeland and Dylan Scott

I met Zack and Nikki.

You should too!


Left Behind
by Vi Keeland & Dylan Scott

Find out more about this book and author:
Google Play
Book Excerpt
Book Trailer

Want to read the first few chapters?
Sign up for Vi’s mailing list now and get a sneak peek here!

Just released: October 14, 2014
Publisher: self
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Paperback: 290 pages
Rating: 5

Two stories so deeply intertwined, you’ll think you know how they intersect…

but you’ll be wrong….

Zack Martin
The day I met Emily Bennett my whole world changed. Sure, we were just kids, but I was old enough to know my life would never be the same. She was my best friend. My destiny. My fate. I wasn’t wrong…I just didn’t know how twisted fate could be.

Nikki Fallon
After the death of my mother, moving from my dark and dreary trailer park to sunny California, I was focused on one thing – finding a sister I’d only just learned existed. Falling in love with him wasn’t part of the plan. But he filled a void I never knew was possible to fill. He had to be my fate. My destiny. Until the day I finally found out who my sister was…and how twisted fate could be.

My two-bits:

Such a sweet read!

I liked how the romance and relationship development between the two main characters, Nikki and Zack, progressed with a lot of dialogue and shared cute moments. Because of their attraction, they pushed through their individual self-conflicts to come together.

The story was told in two voices which was effective in sharing both perspectives and inner thoughts. I got a better sense of each character when the story was presented this way.

About the authors:

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!
Website | Facebook | Twitter @ViKeeland | Goodreads

Dylan Scott is a New York trial attorney, wife and mother of four. She believes her job as a trial attorney is a subcategory to the field of entertainment more than law. With a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature she believed teaching English was a destined career choice until she realized her life long talent of "argument" could actually be her job. A recent, fairly boring, midlife crisis resulted in a brief stint as a middle school English teacher which confirmed that she wasn't ready to give up the law. Dylan has also taught legal courses at the college level and worked with at-risk inner city youth in the roles of mentor and coach. She is co-author Vi Keeland's biggest fan.
Facebook (1) | Facebook | Goodreads

--~ Blog Tour Giveaway ~--

WIN a $100 Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


* review copy courtesy of book tour sponsored by TRSOR promotions

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Guest post: Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by E.J. Stevens
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

Hunting in Bruges, the first novel in the Hunters' Guild series, is set in Bruges, Belgium and author E.J. Stevens is taking us on a spooky trip to Bruges' Top 10 Spooky Places.

Let's see what terrifying places E.J. has planned for our tour.

Top 10 Spooky Places in Bruges

The charming medieval city of Bruges, Belgium may seem like an unusual setting for an urban fantasy novel. The city is known for its tranquil canals, historic buildings, and romantic vistas.  But the moment I saw a picture of Bruges, my mind began populating its cobblestone streets with bloodthirsty vampires, flesh eating ghouls, monstrous fae, and wailing ghosts.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there really was something sinister in the city's bloody history.  My research into Bruges began in earnest, and last year I completed my book research with a trip to Belgium. The pictures included with this post are from that research trip. These photos are taken during daylight hours, but I can assure you that the atmosphere becomes decidedly spooky when the sun goes down over West Flanders.  Do ghosts walk the streets of Bruges?

I will let you decide.

The Canals
The canals play an important part in my novel, Hunting in Bruges. Jenna Lehane, a Hunter with a troubled past, arrives in Bruges to discover that something is killing humans and disposing of their bodies in the canals. Not only are the canals filling with corpses, but there are supernatural horrors that call the canals their home.  While I was visiting Bruges, the canals were the watery grave for more than one unfortunate creature.  Did these ducks, pigeons, and small mammals die from natural causes, or is there something deadly lurking within these dark waters?


Jerusalem Church (Jeruzalemkerk)
I have to admit that I was completely unprepared for the experience I had within the stone walls of Jerusalem Church. The macabre altarpiece and tomb were ghoulish, but the truly terrifying part of this church lay in a crawlspace in the vaulted chapel in the back. A cloth wrapped body is on display, and though I've read that this is a replica of Christ's tomb, there is something chilling about that small chamber. My travel companion bolted out the door...and I wasn't far behind. (Note: No pictures came out of the rear tomb. The photos were completely black.)


Beguinage (Begijnhof)
Beguines were lay sisters who lived and dressed as nuns, but did not take vows. The Beguinage continues to be a place of silence within the bustling city--a silence that can seem downright eerie. During my trip, the courtyard was filled with a field of wilting daffodils. Beauty with an edge of decay seemed to be the common theme of this place. One house has been preserved in its original rustic state and visitors can wander the maze of tiny rooms filled with antique furniture and aging lace to see the way in which the Beguines lived. I swear that someone, or something, was watching me during my entire visit. With every creak of the old wooden floors, my unease grew and I made a hasty retreat to Minnewater Park.


Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)
12th century basilica located on Burg square in the heart of Bruges. The church houses the relic of the Holy Blood.  The Holy Blood is venerated daily, and is paraded through the streets of Bruges during the Procession of the Holy Blood on Ascension Day.


Saint John's Hospital (Sint-Janshospitaal)
This place is not for the faint of heart.  The 11th century hospital is one of the oldest in Europe and contains the often grotesque artwork of Hans Memling, as well as many antique surgical implements. The artwork and objects of torture are absolutely horrifying and the depictions of nuns in their traditional garb had me jumping at my shadow.


Another five notable places to add to any ghost tour of Bruges are the Spookhuis, Retsin's Lucifernum, Belfort, Blind Donkey Alley, and a viewing of Heironymous Bosch's haunting triptych The Last Judgement at the Groeningemuseum.

To learn more about E.J. Stevens and her books, connect through Goodreads, Twitter, and sign-up for her newsletter.  There is an interesting article about Hunting in Bruges in the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.  Hunting in Bruges releases November 11th and is available for pre-order on Amazon. You can add the Hunters' Guild series here on Goodreads.

Readers, was this your first visit to Bruges, Belgium?

Have you experienced anything supernatural in and around Bruges?

What did you think of E.J. Stevens' picks for spooky places?


Guest post created by E.J. Stevens, author of Hunting in Bruges
© 2014. All rights reserved.

~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~
by E.J. Stevens
~-~-~-~-~ guest ~-~-~-~-~

READ more about this world...

--~ Blog Tour Giveaway ~--
signup to win this book
at Goodreads -expires Nov 11, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Release: Forbidden by by Kimberley Griffiths Little (with giveaway)

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love.

Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows.

Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate.

See below for full details on how to enter.

  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.



1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)
3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt
5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Follow Kimberley:
Website | BlogTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at

Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!


* on my want list

* sponsored by Media Masters Publicity

ReadAlong: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season ReadAlong
hosted by Goodreads Featured Author Group
details here
Amazon | Goodreads

Week of October 27: Chapters 1-5
Week of November 3: Chapters 6-11
Week of November 10: Chapters 12-17
Week of November 17: Chapters 18-23
Week of November 24: Chapters 24-29

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds.

For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing. It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.

Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

My two-bits (per week):

Exciting! This will be my first "official" read along.

I will post my two bits per week. Beware, it could be spoiler-ish.

Week of October 27: Chapters 1-5
Loved the start of learning of a new world.

There are handy-dandy guides to refer to. A description tree of clairvoyants and a map of the where the main action takes place are located in the front matter of the book. And, a glossary of the slang and terms used is located at the end.

Rephaims are introduced which presents a big mystery - who/what are they?

Week of November 3: Chapters 6-11

watch this spot for thoughts on this segment

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes

Los Gatos Black on Halloween
by Marisa Montes
illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Find out more about this book and author:
Marisa's Website
Yuyi's Website

Published: 2006
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Children's, Halloween
Hardback: 32 pages
Rating: 5

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party

Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!

This lively bilingual Halloween poem introduces young readers to a spooky array of Spanish words that will open their ojos to the chilling delights of the season.

Los Gatos Black on Halloween is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2008 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative.

Zombie sighting:

Next los fantasmas drag their chains;
The ghosts, the phantoms, shriek their pains.
Now come the ghouls. Then zombies march
Beneath the trees where branches arch.
-page 9

My two-bits:

I picked this up to read to fulfill my Bookish Bingo Halloween square and was tickled.

So cute. So fun.

This is a gem of a book that made me hoot at the end.

It is houses rhyming verses with dashes of spanish words to learn along the way.

The illustrations are delightful and captures the spirit of the story well.


* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Halloween

Queen of Hearts: The Wonder vol. 2 by Colleen Oaks


Queen of Hearts
The Wonder vol. 2
by Colleen Oaks

Visit Colleen:
Twitter @ColleenBlooms

Just released: September 2014
Publisher: SparkPress
Genre: Fairy Tales, YA
Paperback: 238 pages
Rating: 4

Queen of Hearts series:
The Crown - my review
The Wonder
The Fury - coming February 2015

Book two in the bestselling Queen of Hearts series!

Alone in the wilds of Wonderland, Dinah fights for survival. When she meets the Yurkei, natives she was always taught were the enemy, and finds out she had been lied to all along, Dinah plots to reclaim her throne with their help. Filled with vivid imagery and thrilling action, Dinah’s transformation into a fierce warrior is stunning.

My two-bits:

The mixed feelings I had after reading book one in this series carries over into how I feel about book two.

While I really do not want to like Dinah, because of what she turns out to be (per the mad character in Alice in Wonderland), I am being swayed. It will be interesting to see which way I will go after reading the next book in the series.

This story takes place away from the Wonderland palace and continues to show the darker side of Wonderland. Dinah meets creatures and others that live beyond the palace walls that enlighten her perspective on her world.

I liked how Dinah starts to transform into a warrior of sorts. Looking forward to seeing her in combat action.

Loved how we get the back story of Cheshire and how and who alliances are being formed with.

About the author:
Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom series and the YA fantasy Queen of Hearts Saga, both published via SparkPress, a BookSparks imprint.

She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture.

She is currently at work on the last Elly novel and her second YA fantasy series, Wendy Darling.

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

WIN my review copy of this book!

Open to US only.

Offer ends: October 31, 2014

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. ADD this book to your Want To Read list on Goodreads.


Tweet about this giveaway.


Recommend this on Google using the mini-button at end of this post (g+1).


Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or Tumblr the Book Cover image.


Join the BookSparks Fall Reading Challenge 2014 here.

2. TELL me what you did in comments.

AND, leave your email.


Contest has ended - winner is here



* review copy courtesy of Fall Reading Challenge 2014. It's not too late, join the reading challenge here. @booksparks #FRC2014!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Frostbitten by Heather Beck (with giveaway)

by Heather Beck

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: June 2014
Publisher: Enchanted Publishing
Genre: paranormal, romance, werewolves, YA
ebook: 296 pages
Rating: 4

Great beauty hides dark secrets...

Seventeen-year-old Anastasia Lockhart has never led an easy life, but when she starts getting into serious trouble, she’s sent to live with her grandparents in Cedar Falls. The small, picturesque town hasn’t changed since she visited four years ago, with one exception – the presence of a handsome, mysterious boy named Frost.

Despite warnings from her grandparents and friends to stay away from Frost, Anastasia can’t deny their attraction, and the more time they spend together, the deeper in love they fall.

Unfortunately, Frost has a secret that is beyond Anastasia’s wildest imagination, and she soon finds herself in the midst of a supernatural legend that has haunted Cedar Falls for years.

Can Anastasia and Frost’s love really overcome anything, or are their fates much darker?


My two-bits:

Nice gentle start to a series involving werewolves. I say gentle in reference to the not-so-gory scenes involving the werewolves.

This story focuses on the budding romance between the main character, Anastasia, and Frost. As they learn about each other, so too do we learn about them.

Both Anastasia and Frost have mysterious backgrounds and parentage which they both begin to learn about towards the end of the story.

There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending in regards to the characters and their fate. And, not much werewolf lore was described. I'm guessing book two will reveal more.

--~ eBook Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

WIN a copy of this eBook!

Open to all.

Offer ends: October 31, 2014

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. ADD this book to your Want To Read list on Goodreads.


Tweet about this giveaway.


Recommend this on Google using the mini-button at end of this post (g+1).


Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or Tumblr the Book Cover image.

2. TELL me what you did in comments.

AND, leave your email OR make sure I have a way to contact you (twitter link, clickable profile, etc).


Contest has ended - winner is here



* review copy courtesy of author

* added this to my Bookish Bingo challenge - square: Frost in Title

Bookish Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Bookish Scavenger Hunt Challenge
Oct 17-27, 2014
part of the Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-thon

Find covers with themes listed:

a bird
All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven

bitten fruit
A Second Bite at the Apple
by Dana Bate

a lion
When the Lion Feeds
by Wilbur Smith

Towing Icebergs Falling Dominoes:
And Other Adventures in Applied Mathematics
by Robert B. Banks

Shopaholic to the Stars
by Sophie Kinsella

Skin Game
(The Dresden Files #15)
by Jim Butcher

a headless couple
Dead Over Heels
by Alison Kemper

by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

a sword
Soul Meaning
by A.D. Starrling

tree roots
The Magician King
by Lev Grossman

a green dress
Strange and Ever After
by Susan Dennard

almost smooching
Summer Letters
by Dan Petermeier

a cowboy
Her Sky Cowboy
by Beth Ciotta

a witch
Spell Check
by Julie Wright

Assured Destruction
With Zombies
Book #3
by Michael F. Stewart

creepy house
by Brenna Yovanoff

an eye
Being Jamie Baker
by Kelly Oram

a cat
Los Gatos Black on Halloween
by Marisa Montes, Yuyi Morales

large letters
by David Nicholls

In the Company of Educated Men
by Leonce Gaiter


* i really had fun with this challenge because book covers are always a treat to behold ;-)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu