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March Library Finds

Happy Spring. It already feels like Summer here in Texas. So, we’ve spent a good portion of it at the air-conditioned book field we call the local library.

First, I wanted to share a couple of cute adult level books, because really I think I grab one book for us for every ten I grab my kids (most of that is they have more time to read, with it being a daily requirement at their school…That almost makes me want to go back to school). But I did manage to get two good ones this time.

The first I reserved, it’s comedian Jim Gaffigan’s “Dad is Fat”.

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My husband and I love Jim. He’s relatable and centered in a large family. Few people understand the love and the flipping chaos of that these days: and trust me, those of us living it need some laughs. It was Gaffigan who said large families are like waterbed stores, they used to be everywhere, and now they’re just weird…Anyway, if you love his stand-up, you need this in your life.

The second book I happened upon by accident as I was leaving the library and went back around in line to check it out. “Murder in the House of Rooster Happiness” by David Casarett has a striking cover and it’s about a Thai nurse named Ladarat who has to act like a detective. It’s exotic, it’s thoughtful, it’s a wonderful little escape I recommend for people who love things in the vein of Agatha Christie, and it has such a wonderful viewpoint.

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For my older children, we found “Arthur and the Golden Rope” by Joe Todd-Stanton, and “Futhermore” by Tahereh Mafi. Both high magical and adventurous, and dealing with the bravery it takes a young person to prove themselves. My son was very happy with Nordic based tale and lovely illustrations of “Arthur and the Golden Rope”, and for any child interested in that mythology this is a great pick.

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“Furthermore” was more the speed of my eldest daughter, who was instantly in love with the cover art and opening pages. It’s a nice story for upper-elementary students, that is for sure.

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And, finally, for our littlest reader, we chose a traditionally illustrated Easter board book. It’s longer than most, but the pictures kept my toddler still. Other than Beatrix Potter, we don’t have a lot of stories and art like this. The style is still around, but not as popular as in the past, so we liked the idea of introducing it to babies and toddlers. Jan Brett’s “The Easter Egg” is so lovely and intricate to look at that I could see an adult getting lost in the illustrations of this board book. Great find for the holiday that will be upon us soon.

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Happy book hunting!

Erika

http://www.writeathomemothering.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Beauty and the Beast

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IMDB Summary:   

An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

 

My Review:

First, I love the original Beauty and the Beast like a lot of people. I knew this was going to be pretty similar to that, but I loved this one because while it had all the same elements, it also answered a lot of plot hole questions! There were things in the original that I didn’t have answers to and now I do!

Loved the opening scene! But anything that has that Marie Antoinette vibe, gets me all kinds of excited! Huge fist pump!

The classic songs were intertwined with new songs, which I actually liked! Luke Evans and Josh Gad were awesome as Gaston and Lefou. Emma made the perfect Belle and swoon alert for Dan Stevens! Loved all the side characters! Heck, I loved this entire movie!

 

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Have you seen Beauty and the Beast?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proof of Lies: Blog Tour + Giveaway

Proof of Lies (Anastasia Phoenix, #1) by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on March 7th, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28143051-proof-of-lies?ac=1&from_search=true

Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/index.php/proof-of-lies.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Proof-Lies-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach/dp/1633756084

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/proof-of-lies-diana-rodriguez-wallach/1124230937?type=eBook

Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.


Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…

Website: http://www.dianarodriguezwallach.com/

Twitter: @dianarwallach

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianarwallach

Playlist:

Check out the Proof of Lies playlist here: http://dianarodriguezwallach.com/wp/proof-of-lies-playlist/

Giveaway!

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Garden of Thorns: Review + Giveaway

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Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

Genre: YA Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Published by Entangled Teen

Published March 6th, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30118749-garden-of-thorns?ac=1&from_search=true

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll to take to her grave if she must.

My Review:

Garden of Thorns is an interesting book. I loved the whole aspect of the girls having garden names, and the gardener I wanted to kick him so hard!

Rose was a likable character, and the best part was how fierce her loyalty was to the other girls in the garden. She was a great friend and sister to them, and it is awesome when a character is selfless.

Rayce was a good character, even though at first he kind of made me mad when he didn’t entirely believe Rose, but then he grew on me. The chemistry with him and Rose was cute.

There were some things that came across as odd, but I liked how different this book was. Overall I would recommend giving this one a try.


Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.

When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.

Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15236246.Amber_Mitchell

Twitter: @amberinblunderl

Giveaway!

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How does this book sound to you?

February Library Finds

I didn’t grab just Valentine books (since I knew I’d be writing this afterward, most likely) but I’m glad I didn’t limit our haul by focusing on that theme. I’d of missed the coolest stuff we found this month that way.

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My eldest daughter really connected with Rosemary Wells’ Yoko character, and we read and reread those books to her when she was very small. My son loved Max from Max and Ruby: possibly because he was often led around by his older sister, didn’t like to talk much, and had the same mischievous grin…And the magic of this writer isn’t lost on our toddler. “Love Waves” is one of my favorites and it deals with the bond between parents and their children while they are away from each other. The ways the mom and dad keep them in their thoughts all day until they can come home and see them again is poetic but very spot on. It’s beautiful, and a great starting book for Wells’ work. “Max’s Breakfast” is a fun little board book, short and funny, and there are several like this (which are all perfect for very young readers). maxsbreakfast

 

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Jose Domingo’s visually striking “Pablo & Jane and The Hot Air Contraption” was just what my elementary school middle child wanted in a book. The comic book intro and scenes are not too wordy and have a nice pop art surreal feel, and the rest of the book is an awesome page search for needed objects and stuff. The style here isn’t common for children’s books, but that is a such a shame because I love this kind of artwork and so do my oldest children.

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For my higher level reader, “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown is a new book (with, I think, a really cool cover) that she loved. It’s about a female robot waking up in the woods and trying to figure out the world. It’s as amazing as it sounds, and my daughter finished it in just a few days. I can’t give enough thumbs up for this novel approach at characterization and world-building. I’d recommend this for kids that are comfortable with chapter books, and anyone with a love for science fiction. I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for this one because I’m old enough to have grown up with Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, but seriously go get this book.

 

 

There’s Something About Nik: Excerpt + Giveaway

About the Book:

 


There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz

Genre: Standalone YA Contemporary

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on February 13th, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33224598-there-s-something-about-nik?ac=1&from_search=true

About There’s Something About Nik

Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.

He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.

He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.

Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.

It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.

But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.

Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

Excerpt:

Nik drew in a long breath. He was in uncharted territory and didn’t know how to proceed. He’d never met anyone quite like Amber before—specifically, anyone who showed such disinterest in him. Was this what being normal felt like? To be ignored or dismissed like he wasn’t important? Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure if he liked it. He surreptitiously studied her, while she did everything she could to avoid eye contact. She certainly wasn’t his type, if indeed he had a type. His previous girlfriends had all been tall with blonde hair, which would imply that he did. Then again, in his country, most girls he met looked like that.

Amber was small, at least a head shorter than he was. Her dark brown hair seemed ridiculously short as it framed her face. A pretty face with freckles. And what was it with that camera she hugged close to her, like it was something so precious? He’d hoped that in America he’d finally be away from people constantly trying to get a shot of him. Yet, the first day here, he’d met a girl who seemed obsessed with taking photos. No wonder he’d frozen up around her.

“What are you staring at?” Amber’s question brought him back to the present with a start.

“Nothing,” he replied abruptly, feeling like a small child being caught doing something wrong.

She reminded him of his old nanny, who’d always said that he shouldn’t stare at people because it made them feel uncomfortable. Most of the time, he didn’t even realize he was doing it.

“It didn’t seem like nothing to me. You were looking at my hair, weren’t you?” she accused.

“Yes. It’s much shorter than I’m used to seeing.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. He should’ve known better than that. He’d been trained since a child to be circumspect, and here he was, not two days in America, and he was forgetting how to behave.

“Girls don’t have short hair in your country?” Amber challenged, as if daring him to say even more about how she looked.

Which was another thing. All the girls he knew were masters of polite conversation. He had no clue why she was being so unfriendly. He hadn’t been rude to her. Admittedly, he’d been looking at her hair. Well, her hair and also her camera. But surely that wasn’t enough to make her so antagonistic.

Maybe it was a cultural thing. He would check with Josh later whether it was something he’d done by mistake. In the meantime, he couldn’t just stand there in such awkward silence.

“It’s different from girls at home, yes. But it’s very striking,” he added, hoping that would appease her.

She remained silent for a moment, with an expression on her face like he was a bug who had landed on her shoe. “Thank goodness for that,” she finally said, “or I might have had to spend the next several months sitting in my room willing it to grow.”

 

About the Author:

Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.  She has presented many writing workshops with her partner-in-crime Amanda Ashby.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/788620.Sara_Hantz

Website: http://sarahantz.com/about/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahantz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahantzauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahantz/

 

Tour Schedule:

February 13th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Read Love Blog – Promo Post

February 14th

For Love of Books4 – Promo Post

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

February 15th

Vox Libris – Review

Literary Dust – Promo Post

February 16th

Alice’s Book Vault – Review

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Promo Post

A Leisure Moment – Review

February 17th

Book Briefs – Review

RoloPoloBookBlog – Promo Post

February 18th

The Book Beacon – Promo Post

Sleeps on Tables – Promo Post

February 19th

Addicted to Books – Review

Crossroad Reviews – Promo Post

 

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Review: Dead Over Heels

Title: Dead Over Heels

Author: Theresa Braun

Date of Publication: November 16th, 2016

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Goodreads Summary:

Veronica’s first date with Sebastian not only stirs up a powerful attraction, but also a series of supernatural events that will tear them apart.

After countless hours of dead end online dating, Veronica meets up with Sebastian at a reportedly haunted restaurant, since he knows she has a fascination with the paranormal. While enjoying their meals and each other’s company, they share a shocking supernatural experience. Their romantic connection is overshadowed by the ghosts of their own pasts that threaten to destroy their budding relationship. Veronica decides she must return to the restaurant to face her past and dig up more answers. Unfortunately, she realizes she must go back, this time with a reluctant Sebastian. In the end, they join forces against the evil that stands between them, but will they make it out alive?

My Review:

This was actually a pretty good novella. I needed the break of reading really long books, so this was just what I needed.

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Photo Credit

I normally am not a fan of most ghost books because most of them I find lame, but this one was actually interesting. I loved how everything connected. I really liked Veronica, and I found her interesting, and Sebastian was cute.

I didn’t know where the story was going to go, but it didn’t go where I thought it would! If you are looking for a quick and interesting read, check this out!

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Do you like books about ghosts?