Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2017 Reads (So far)

This week's topic is best books you're read of 2017. I'm going to stick to YA books, although I've read some really great kids, middle grade and adult books too.
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Moxie by Jennifer MathieuWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Windfall by Jennifer E. SmithP.S. I Like You by Kasie WestLetters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Everyday Magic by Emily AlbrightEliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend
Vigilante by Kady CrossDie for You by Amy Fellner Dominy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blog Tour: Heartwood Hotel


About the Book:
Author: by Kallie George, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Release Date: July 3, 2017
Pages: 176
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD

When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they'll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn souffl and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home.
 This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout..

About Kallie:
KALLIE GEORGE is the author of the Magical Animal Adoption Agency series. She works as an author and speaker in Vancouver, Canada, and has a master’s in children’s literature from the University of British Columbia. She also leads workshops for aspiring writers. Kallie happened across the Heartwood Hotel on a hike with her husband. Visit her online at kalliegeorge.com.


About Stephanie:

STEPHANIE GRAEGIN received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She later attended Pratt Institute, obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Stephanie now lives in Brooklyn. Visit her online at graegin.com or on Twitter @Steph_Graegin.

Aren't these charming?

A letter from the author:

Most of my ideas come to me while hiking in the woods. I grew up and still live on the West Coast of Canada, in Vancouver. I spend a lot of my time either writing or outdoors.

Hiking, for me, is one of the best ways to come up with ideas. Especially if you’re hiking with my husband. He likes to go on REALLY hard hikes.

For example, when we visited Greece, we hiked Mount Olympus. (All in one day, I might add, because he didn’t want to stop at the half-way hut, which everyone stops at to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. Yes, we got caught in a Zeus-like thunderstorm.) When we went to Las Vegas, we climbed Mount Charleston, the highest mountain around. (It snowed; I nearly died, enough said.)
The good thing about going on these crazy hikes is that (other than seeing the amazing nature) I’m forced to come up with new ideas. After all, there are no devices to distract you. You have to use your imagination.

That’s how I came up with the Heartwood Hotel series.

We were hiking Garibaldi mountain in Squamish, BC, a few years ago. We were under a time-crunch because we were due back for a family supper with my grandparents. That meant we had to rush. Rushing up a mountain is not fun. On the way back down, my legs were killing me. All I wanted to do was rest.

That’s when I saw the Heartwood. It was a giant tree that seemed to touch the clouds, with moss hanging from its limbs, and a little hollow near its roots. What a wonderful place to sleep, I thought. What if it was a resting spot for animals? I wondered. A hotel even? And so the idea for this series was born.

I instantly told the idea to my husband, who loved it. He grew up in Jasper, Alberta, a destination stop for many tourists, and worked at a lodge when he was younger. He had lots of great stories to share about the inner-workings of a hotel. I also thought back to my love of Eloise by Kay Thompson, about the little girl who lived in a hotel. I’d always wanted to write my very own hotel story. A hotel story is perfect for my style of writing. I love chapter books that tell a mini story in each chapter, with one more major narrative woven throughout. Because hotels have so many characters and mini stories going on, I could easily do this in my books.

By the end of the hike, I had forgotten my pain completely. I was so excited! We rushed off to supper, but I could barely concentrate on the conversation. I was in story-mode, day-dreaming about a hotel with moss-beds, and a little maid mouse that worked there.

I believe in my heart and soul that getting outside is the best way to inspire the imagination. I hope you read the Heartwood Hotel and see my love of nature there, and maybe even go on a hike and find your very own Heartwood.

Happy exploring,

Doesn't that sounds fun? (I mean, not the crazy hikes, but the cute hotel) I'm so looking forward to this book! And if you are too, check out the contest and good luck!

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of HEARTWOOD HOTEL, US Only.

Follow the Tour:
Week One:
6/26/2017- YA Book NerdAuthor Post
6/27/2017- Seraphina ReadsReview
6/28/2017- Just CommonlyReview
6/29/2017- BookHounds YAAuthor Post
6/30/2017- Once Upon a Twilight- Review

Week Two:
7/3/2017- Mundie KidsReview
7/4/2017- Word SpelunkingAuthor Post
7/5/2017- Mommy RamblingsReview
7/6/2017- Batch of BooksReview
7/7/2017- Between the Cracks of Here and ThereAuthor Post

Friday, June 23, 2017

New in my shop

Some new Etsy items are in my shop, some simply perfect for summer! 

See something you like? Use the code BOOKNERD17 for a small discount

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Puppy Update (3)

Kind of sharing a bed


More Sleeping

Awake and annoyed at the picture taking.

first family portrait (taken by my MIL)

It's easy to take pictures of her while she's sleeping, because it's the only time of day when she's still enough. She's a very busy little puppy and loves to race around the house.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Children's Picture Book Review: Who Wants to be a Princess?

What it was really like to be a Medieval Princess.

I really enjoyed this book. In a two page spread, one page was the Disney version of Princesses and the second page showed reality for Princesses.  It was great to see facts vs Disney ideals from gowns to balls to castles to forest animals. I loved the charming illustrations.  

A great addition to both school and public libraries!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Want to Start

This week's topic is series I want to start reading. I love a great series but I have a problem ending them and starting them...
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Somebody Like You (Darling, VT #1)All Laced Up (Breakaway, #1)
Small time romance set in Vermont
Skating book!

Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1)Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1)
Sherlock Holmes Book Shop Cozy
FBI/lawyer romance

To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles, #1)You Say It First (Happily Inc., #1)
Wedding Planner
Happily Ever After

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Ash & Bramble (Ash & Bramble, #1)
Because everyone says it's amazing
Fairy Tales! 

Bonus (Not yet released):
A Deadly Éclair (A French Bistro Mystery, #1)The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen, #1)Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress, #1)Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Girl out of Water

Anise can't wait to spend the last summer before senior year hanging out with her friends and surfing. She feels most at home by the ocean, so much so that she isn't considering leaving for college. But when her aunt is in a serious accident, her father decides that they will both spend the summer in Nebraska helping out.

Anise isn't pleased with this situation.She's going to miss so much time with her friends and the waves. Sure, she wants to be good and help take care of her cousins, but she also wants her own summer.

Taking care of three kids isn't easy, but luckily their town has a skate park where they hang out most days. Anise gets suckered into learning how to skate with a bet from Lincoln. Could skating help her overcome her loneliness and make the time go by?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I loved the surfing and the skating parts. I enjoyed watching Anise struggle while she tried to not follow in the footsteps of her mother who leaves everyone behind. I loved her moments with Lincoln (a diverse character). I really liked her moments with her cousins - both the twins and Emery. I like that both Lincoln and Anise had baggage but they were able to look past it. i like how they were able to tell each other the truth about themselves. A great summer romance with family and friendship drama while trying to figure out your path in life. 

Cover Thoughts: Great - I get it more after reading the book
Source: ARC sent for review.
Library Recommendation: A great book for your library - sporty romance.