Friday, October 20, 2017

Adult Review: You Say It First

 * First in a new series *
Pallas's new  business is struggling. Having inherited it, she's not sure she wants to keep it. She likes planning weddings, but it feels stale. Luckily, she just hired herself a handyman artist who convinces her to think outside of the box.

Nick's in limbo, waiting to hear about an overseas art project. So, he doesn't mind helping out someone in need. Plus, it lets him go back to working with a familiar medium.

Together, the two of them fall into an easy relationship. But Nick doesn't do long term and he's leaving soon. Should Pallas risk her heart anyways?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this spin off of Fool's Gold. I loved seeing the brothers from Fool's Gold and their relationship after the bombshell that changed their lives. I loved watching them create art and dabble in new projects. I really loved Pallas. I loved her loyalty, loved her group of friends, and I loved how she started to take chances. I felt terrible for her in regards to her relationship with her mother, but I love how she started feeling more confident in herself. And the meetings between Nick and her mother were great. A wonderful start to a surefire hit series! 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your romance section!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review: Dash of Dragon

Lailu graduated as a master chef and finally found someone to back her restaurant. Little does she know that her master made a deal with the devil in order for funding. Now he's come calling and Lailu learns the truth.

If they don't pay  back the loan within a year, they will lose the restaurant and also their freedom. Lailu is not about to let this happen, she'll do anything in power to stop it - even if it means spying for the elves or fighting dragons.

With the help from a friend and one rival, she comes up with a plan to make her restaurant filled with people. She hates depending on her rival for help, but she can't do it without him. Is her pride worth the sacrifice for her future?
My Thoughts: I really loved this book. I loved the banter between Lailu and Greg (her rival). It added humor to the story. I enjoyed the moments between Lailu and her fashion loving friend. I loved the world and understanding the hierarchy. I loved the mystery and the spying (along with with the action and danger of course.) I enjoyed the cooking parts, even if they were dishes I would never eat! I loved Lailu coming up with plans. I really hope there's a sequel in the works! 

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Source: My Library
If you like:

Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your public library and school library! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Books and Treats (9)

A new blog idea inspired by Andi @ with the Pub Date where a few bloggers share book and beer pair ups.  Andi states that the idea is the brain child of Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide.
Lara Jean spends a lot of time trying to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. And it's no wonder that after reading the end of the trilogy that I'm craving chocolate chip cookies. I might have to whip up a batch, although they might not be as good as Lara Jean's....

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Food

This week's topic is books with food. I read a lot of books with food in them. Yum! Here's the list of books so far I've read with great descriptions of food. 
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

The Gauntlet by Karuna RiaziA Dash of Dragon by Heidi LangLights, Camera, Cook! by Charise Mericle HarperThe Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanLove & Gelato by Jenna Evans WelchThe Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Before I Knew by Jamie BeckFudge and Jury by Ellie AlexanderSilence of the Flans by Laura Bradford

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: The Gauntlet

They're celebrating Farah's birthday. Because of a move, she hasn't seen her two best friends in a while. They head upstairs to try to escape her younger brother. Her aunt left her a birthday present. When they unwrap it, they find the strangest game they've ever seen: The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand.

Before they realize what happened, her younger brother vanishes into the game. They go in after him, knowing they must beat the game or be trapped inside forever. 
My Thoughts: I really loved this book. I loved the Middle Eastern flair. I loved how the friends had to come together to save Farah's little brother. Of course I loved the description of food. And the board gaming. I loved reading about the puzzles and the challenges they had to solve. I enjoyed the characters (especially the giant lizards) in the game who wanted to help them and get out of the game itself. The world building was amazingly good; I loved the descriptions. The action and the danger pulled the story along making me not want to put the book down. 

Cover Thoughts: Really Great
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have for both middle school and public libraries

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cozy Review: Grace to the Finish

 * Book 8 in the Manor House Mystery series *
Grace's concerned about her sister exiting jail and reentering society. Now that Grace has become Bennett's heir, she knows that Liza will do everything in her power to get her fair share of the money. Grace's happy to finally convince her Aunt Belinda to come help out with Liza's reentering. But Aunt Belinda has her own view on the sisters' relationship.

With all the family drama, Grace can't wait to move forward with her new business adventure. She's the new silent partner in her roommates' business. They have a new building. But during a walk through, they discover the bank manager at the bottom of the stairs - murdered. Could this halt their project for good?
My Thoughts: I'm sad to see this series end, but I loved hanging out with the characters once again. The solving of the murder was well done, the climax terrifying. I love that the murder brought up romantic drama in Grace's life. I love how Frances tried to manhandle her love life - that made me giggle. I enjoyed the family drama - especially how it ended. I'm happy where the characters left off; the series ended well. 

Cover Thoughts: Amazing
Source: Reviewed for Fresh Fiction
Library Recommendation: Grab this cozy series for your library!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Anthony Horowitz Book Tour

On Tuesday, I left work early to go to an author event - Anthony Horowitz. I've been reading his books for years and I was SO happy to meet him.

If you're not familiar with him, he's the author of the Alex Rider series. Which I adore. I'm a huge fan.

Here he is chatting.

Alex Rider first came out in 2000, now 17 years later the 11th book came out. But he swore he would stop at 10. So for the last five years, there hasn't been any new Alex Rider stories.

Then his publishers asked him to polish up some short stories for publication. And he fall back into the rhythm of Alex Rider's life. We left Alex in a dark place, hoping that he would get better as time passed. He started writing new stories about Alex and this one wouldn't let go. Thus we have book 11 (which is amazing - read my review here) and book 12 will be out next year (or so). 

He had a boring childhood, but he used to play spies with his sister in their neighborhood. They would sneak about the garden and spy on their neighbors.

Anthony Horowitz hated school, but he loved the library. It was the one place he felt happy. He read action adventure stories. He loved James Bond - first the films and then the books. He hated how old Roger Moore was in the last films, he wanted someone much younger and cooler. A light bulb went on, and Alex Rider was born.

He had written kids books about roughly 10 years with mild success. His wife advised him to give up writing, but he wanted to write one more: Alex Rider. 

The first book sold double of his previous books and then the series took off. And millions of readers enjoy Alex's adventures. 

There's a new TV series in the works, starting with book 2 coming from British TV. I'm quite looking forward to that. 

Besides Alex Rider, he's done quite a lot with British television. 

It was a really fun night and I'm so glad I finally got a chance to meet him!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: Princesses, Inc

When their favorite YouTube star announces plans to visit their state, Hailey and her friends would do anything to see him. But the trip to the local comic-con is expensive and their parents aren't willing to pay for it. So the girls come up with a plan - they will become princesses and babysit the neighborhood kids. Babysitting is easy right?

Hailey has another reason for going to the comic-con; she wants to enter a writing contest. She loves writing, especially the fanfiction starring a certain YouTube star. But she needs something more impressive to enter.

In between school work, babysitting, and writing Hailey barely has time to sleep. Can she and her friends pull off their plan or will it be a complete failure?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I felt bad for Hailey because of all the pressure she was under and how she didn't have any time for herself. I enjoyed the babysitting moments - both the sweet and the crazy ones. I loved the magic show in the hospital and how that worked out for the friends. I really liked the writing moments - even the accidental email. The writing advice was great; I loved the different between the fanfiction and the more literary writing. I loved how Hailey and her friends have so many interests: writing, video games, cosplay. And that they get excited about them. Another fun novel from Mari Mancusi.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Fun Fact: I just saw on Facebook that Mari and I have been social media friends for 9 years. I've been reading and loving her books for a long time!
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for both public and school libraries. Hand it out to everyone with a fandom.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Children's Book Review:Creepy Pair of Underwear

From the moment Jasper sees an advertisement for this new underwear, he must have it. He's definitely old enough for it. But at night, when the lights go out, you can still see the green glow. No matter what Jasper does to get rid of his creepy underwear, it always comes back.
A great cover and great illustrations will have readers picking up this book. It's creepy and fun. A winning combination! Plus who doesn't love a story about underwear? Readers will love this one. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall Covers

This week's topic is fall covers - which for me means a mix of picturesque covers and horror covers. 
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Just Your Average PrincessFar from the TreeSilence of the Flans (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery, #2)The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia, #1)Defending TaylorIt Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)
Fall Covers

Horror/Creepy Covers
Curse of the Boggin (The Library, #1)There's Someone Inside Your HouseThe Dead and Buried
Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Marge in Charge

Jemima and Jake have a new babysitter. When they first meet her, Marge looks - normal and boring. But as soon as the adults leave, she's anything but. Her rainbow hair comes out and she looks younger - much younger.

While the siblings always have a crazy adventure, they still manage to get everything done on the list from their parents - but never in expected way. Because when Marge is in charge, new rules are made.
My Thoughts: The book consists of three short stories that are entertaining and amusing. Marge would be a fun babysitter to have as a kid and you can't help wishing she were your babysitter. I love the crazy wild ideas but also how everything works out. I love relationship between the siblings; it's sweet.

The pictures are fun, capturing the moments. I love how this book started out as bedtime stories for the author. I can see more Marge books in the future. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute - it shows the chaos at times
Source: BEA Arc
Library Recommendations: A cute story that's perfect for kids with big imaginations (aka - everyone). Grab this one. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Night with Jamie Beck and Before I Knew

I had the pleasure of hosting Jamie Beck at my library for the Connecticut Author Trail program. She was lovely and fantastic. I really enjoyed it. I know Jamie through RWA (Romance Writers of America)

She talked about the difference between straight romance and women's fiction and how she writes a blend of the two. Jamie talked about how she became a writer - through a a job she didn't love and then staying home with the kids.

When she first started writing, she didn't tell anyone. After her first book was rejected, she joined RWA where she learned the craft of writing. Her second book was also rejected, but there was interest in it.

All the advice said to just keep writing, and we're so glad that she did!

The only bad thing about the night (besides the traffic) was that I forgot to snap a picture with Jamie!
Before I Knew is her latest book and the first in a family saga.Colby's mentally ill husband killed himself two years ago and she's still healing from all the pain. He wanted to keep his illness a secret, causing her to lie to her family for years. Now she's trying to start up a restaurant, hoping that a new challenge will bring purpose to her life.

Except the head chef is none other than Alec. Besides being an old family friend, he's also the brother of the man that her husband dared to his death. And the family's been estranged for the last two years.

Guilty about both men's death ate Alec alive, but he's happy to be given another chance. He certainly has ideas for the restaurant. He's also had feeling for Colby that never went away. Can they recapture their easy friendship and maybe even something more?
My Thoughts: I loved this book, I loved the two families torn apart by tragedy coming back together and healing. I loved that Colby was trying something new with her life and trying to make it successful - with the help from her family. Her family added both humor and more drama to the story. I'm looking forward to reading more about them. I enjoyed watching Alec put his life back together - with his ideas for the restaurant and his ideas for his family. I loved watching Alec and Colby become friends again and work together. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the work it takes to create and start up a restaurant. Luckily book 2 comes out early next year!

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: Purchased
Library Recommendation: Public Libraries will want to grab this one! And also invite Jamie to chat at your library.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tween Reads: Next Best Junior Chef

 * Book 1 *
Tate, Rae, Caroline, and Oliver compete to become the best junior chef. Rae makes a terrible first impression. Oliver wants to be the king of calm. Tate acted young and really nervous. Caroline wants to befriend Rae.

The contestants battle through field trips, mini challenges, and the competition. Of course by the end of the week, one contestant is eliminated.

All of them want to win the challenge, but who will survive?
My Thoughts: Great for kids who love cooking/baking reality shows. And I have to confess, their skills are better than mine. I really liked the interviews in between chapters - it made the book feel more like a reality TV show, that was captured really well. Plus the illustrations are cute. 

The perspectives switched, giving a rounded view of the event.
I love the bit about Tate's father. That made me tear up a bit. I really liked how the girls became good friends, even though they're competing against each other.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Cover Thoughts: Really Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Great for school libraries (both middle school and elementary school) and perfect for public libraries. This one will have an audience with those who like food, like baking or cooking, like reality TV, or like drama. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Blooper Photos

Yesterday was my 9 year blogoversary. I celebrated with the pups reading. 
Here are the pictures that did not make the cut.

Don't let her in my bed!

You don't want me here?

Not really, but whatever.

I guess we're finally ready.

Little One: What's that?

Oh, is it time to play?

Picture Book Review: 7 Ate 9

A private investigator takes a case from number 6 who is worried that number 7 ate number 9 and is coming for him next. Private I notices that the facts aren't logical. Can he solve the case?
This one is perfect for older readers who will understand the play on words and jokes. It could be used in early elementary school for teaching about mysteries or just for fun. Because it's a charming funny story that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Blogoversary: Nine Years

Today marks my blog-o-versary. 
Nine years ago today I jumped into the blogging world and never looked back. 

Here are my two pups reading a Marmaduke book to celebrate.
Don't they share well?  Come back tomorrow for the blooper reel.

Why Marmaduke?
First off, because he's a dog. I wanted the pups to be reading something of interest.
Second because when I was younger, my grandfather made me a scrapbook of Marmaduke comics. It was one of the last presents he gave me before he died. So it's sentimental. 

As is this blog. 
I've enjoyed writing it (been frustrated at times). I've met so many wonderful authors and read fantastic books. 

Thank you for reading and being a part of this journey!

I'm looking forward to another year!