Monday, May 29, 2017

New Addition to the Family

Our first picture together

Picture Number 2

Playing with a new bone

We just got her this morning. She's a rescue from Virginia. We're still debating the name. 
I'll keep you posted on it. 

Is it she adorable?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Cozy Review: Caramel Crush

*  Book 9 in the Cupcake Bakery series *
An old friend from Mel's college days appears asking for a debt to be settled - she wants cupcakes baked for her soon to be ex fiance. She wants to be on the phone with Mel when they are delivered. Except when Mel finally tracks him down, he's been murdered.

Of course, Diane is the number one suspect. She begs Mel to figure out the murderer and then they will be square. Mel isn't thrilled with the plan, but she goes along with her old friend.

What she uncovers makes her remember why they're no longer friends - she doesn't belong in that world. 
My Thoughts: I adore this series; I enjoyed this addition to the series. I loved Angie as bridezilla. I loved her and Mel's interactions will all the wedding talk. I loved more of Mel and Joe. I'm so looking forward to the next book, all about weddings, in this series. Another scrumptious read from Jenn McKinlay. 

Cover Thoughts: Yummy! Is is wrong that I want to gobble those up?
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Serve these up at your library, your patrons will thank you

Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Enemy Exposure

Book 2 in the Raven Files
With Raven's cover blown, she's got to stay one step ahead of KATO intelligence. But in order to get her revenge on the agency that held her captive for years, she might need a little inside help. Can she trust her old enemies to become allies with her? Can she get close enough to talk with them and perhaps turn them or will they complete their mission and recapture her alive?
My Thoughts: I love this series - lots of action and danger. I love the idea of taking down KATO from the inside. I love that Raven's father enters the picture and how that messes with her head. I love the tangled relationships Raven has with the other IDA agents, especially with Scorpion. I loved meeting the other KATO girls - and seeing the world through their eyes. They added humor to the story. After that cliffhanger ending, I can't wait to see what happens next.

Cover Thoughts: Love it!
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Get this for your school and public library - it's a fantastic series with a female heroine who doesn't take no for an answer and goes after what she wants. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mini Review: Courage to Soar

Simone Biles's story from discovering gymnastics to earning a spot of the Olympic team and winning Gold.
The Good:
I loved learning about the good days and bad days
The struggles to learn a certain move
The gymnastic people she met along the way
Her family life
The strength and commitment it took to maker her dreams come true.
One dream at a time
Her work ethic
Knowing her family was behind her.

The Bad:
Just a nitpicking thing - but the financial obligation to the sport wasn't talked about.

Final Thoughts: A wonderful book about going after your dreams and achieving them. Grab this one for your school or public library to inspire others. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Picture Book Review: Say Hello, Sophie!

Sophie has a hard time talking in front of people. Words get stuck and she can't force them out - until her Grandmother needs her help.

I really enjoyed this one - mostly because this story could have happened between my Gram and I. The personal connection but the wonderful illustrations from Rosemary Wells make this one my new favorite. I think it's a great growing up story for younger ones who are a bit shy themselves. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR pile

This week's topic is summer's TBR pile - because I included June books in the Spring TBR pile, I'll just include July and August books. Especially the ones I dream about reading by the pool (I wish I had a pool.)
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Tween Reads:
No Place Like HomeBest. Night. Ever.The Countdown ConspiracyRoyal Crush (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, #3)Ghost of a Chance (100 Dresses, #2)
A Dash of DragonLights, Camera, Middle School! (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls

YA Reads:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)In Some Other LifeThe League of American TraitorsFollow Your HeartJust Friends
Kissing Max HoldenChanges in LatitudesLucky in LoveWesley James Ruined My LifeI See London, I See France (I See London, I See France, #1)
Hello, SunshineComing Up for AirBombshell

Adult Reads:
You Say It First (Happily Inc., #1)On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Her Royal Spyness #11)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Journey Across the Hidden Islands

Twin sisters have spent their last year apart, each training for her future. Seika remained in the palace, learning her role as heir of the kingdom while her sister Ji-Lin learned how to become a warrior to protect her sister. In their world, the two must make a journey across the Hidden Islands to reform the bond between the dragon that keeps their world safe. The princesses believe that day will be far in the futures, so they're stunned when their father sends them on their way.

Little prepared for the journey, they arrive at the first island and realize something is amiss. Monsters are attacking the people, who are in hiding. The earth shakes, causing damage. There's something drastically wrong. How are these two Princesses supposed to save the world?
My Thoughts: I adored this book. I felt bad for the sisters first for their separation from each other and their strict lifestyle and then because they were forced into this journey without proper preparations. I love how they started to bond again after so long apart. I adored Alejan (the flying lion). He added humor and bravery into the novel. I loved how these two sisters grew into their positions and how they wanted to change the world. I love that they never stopped trying, even after all the hardships that came their way. A wonderful novel filled with adventure, action, danger, bravery, friendship, humor, and growing up. 

Cover Thoughts:Amazing
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: Perfect for both public and school librarians - grab this one.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: Someone Else's Summer

Most days, it used to be Anna, Storm and Cameron together. But then Anna grew tired of being the third wheel and sought out other opportunities. Now her sister, her best friend, is dead. And she's left to pick up on the pieces and move on.

One night while in her sister's room, she discovers a list. Her sister used to create lists all the time, but it's been a while since Anna and Storm completed a list together. Now Anna feels compelled to complete the list her sister will never get the chance to start.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Since it's all about lists, here's 10 reasons why I liked this book:

I didn't see the end coming, but I liked it. It's realistic and understandable. Oh, I forgot about the camera when making my lists. I loved the picture part. Reading this book made me want to write my own list of summer moments. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfection - a moment captured in time with a Polaroid.
Source: ARC sent for review

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review: Dragon with the Chocolate Heart

Aventurine loves her dragon life, but she hates being cooped up in the caves waiting until her scales are hardened so she can escape danger. Annoyed at everyone, Aventurine  decides to take matters into her own hands and show her family that she can survive.

She escapes through a hole in the mountain case, hurting her wings as she maneuvers outside. But when she encounters a human, she's distracted by the smell of hot chocolate.

After she drinks the chocolate, her form changes into a human. Without her dragon form, Aventurine isn't sure what to do next, but she knows that she finally found her passion - chocolate. Armed with barest hint of knowledge, she makes her way towards the city to become an apprentice at a chocolate house. Can she survive in the city with her limited knowledge of humans?
My Thoughts: I adored this novel. First for the dragons - I loved the family squabbles. I loved Aventurine learning more about the human world. Her limited knowledge made me laugh. The secondary characters brought life in to the story. Greta added humor. Marina added motherly affection. I adored Marina and her knowledge of chocolate. I liked that she feared success. Silke added friendship and sass. I love how she knew how to obtain information and how she pushed herself forward. I adored the two princesses and how Aventurine immediately understood their behavior based on her own siblings. I loved reading about the chocolate houses and the politics of the town. Of course, this book made me crave chocolate - how could it not? I was sad when it ended because I desperately wanted more - and there is more coming! 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: ARC sent for review
Date Released: May 30, 2017
Library Recommendation:Be sure to get this one for both your school and public library. It's so charming; readers will gobble this one up!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: Batgirl at Superhero High

In providing tech support for Super Hero High, Barbara Gordon knows the inside scoop on the school. She badly wants to attend, but her father is dead set against it. She doesn't have any superpowers and he's worried about her.  She makes a deal with him and starts on a trial basis.

Since she's behind, she has a lot of work to catch up on. Plus, everyone still comes with her with tech questions. When she's selected to be on a reality show featuring her technology skills, she can't say no.

But will her technology skills bring about her downfall and give her father a reason to bring her back home?
My Thoughts: I was really happy to have a Batgirl book, she's been in the shadows the last two books and I'm glad she came into her own here. I loved that she didn't have any superpowers. I liked that she relied on her own skills. She has a giant heart and tries to help everyone. I like how everyone at the school comes together in friendship and in times of need. A great addition to this series and I'm looking forward to seeing who the next heroine will be. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Perfect for both public and school libraries.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

On Your Radar (7)

Title: Perfect Ten
Author:  L. Philips 
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Why it Should be on Your Radar:

M/M Romance
Not an issue book
Wiccan spell
Frank about Sex
Bad relationships
Falling for people - easily
The list of 10 items to look for in a relationship

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blog Tour: Dragons Love Tacos 2

Our dragons' favorite snack is in danger of going extinct in this laugh-out-loud, time-traveling sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos.
Listen, don't freak out, but I have some terrible news: There are no tacos left anywhere in the entire world! That's a huge problem because, as you know, dragons love tacos. We've got to do something! I know, let's fire up that time machine in the garage and go back in time, to before tacos went extinct. Then we can grab lots of tacos and bring them back with us. Just be sure you don't grab any tacos with spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time…

Check Out the Book Trailer:

Where would you go if you could travel back in time? 
If I had to search for tacos, I would go back to Ancient Rome  

Dragons could use shields to save their tacos from being eaten by anyone else. Or they could pile their tacos high on the shields like a plate to bring them back to current times to plant taco trees.

Shield Facts: 
1. Were designed to protect against swords and spears
2. Shields were curved to protect your body better
3. You could knock someone over with your shield
4. You could kneel and use your shield for cover while fighting
5. You could use the shields together to build a wall so your enemy couldn't get through.

Make your Own Shield:

Adam Rubin is the New York Times best-selling author of a half dozen critically-acclaimed picture books including Secret Pizza Party and Robo-Sauce. He spent ten years working as a creative director in the advertising industry before leaving his day job to write full time. Adam has a keen interest in improv comedy, camping and magic tricks.

Daniel Salmieri has illustrated many fantastic picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Robo-Sauce. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, constantly drawing and painting images of ninja turtles, dinosaurs, and fighter jets (not in the same scene...), and graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of Dragons Love Tacos and Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARV: $17.99 each), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARC: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Moms

This week's topic is in honor of Mother's Day. I'm using this week to highlight books I've read this year with great mothers. 
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 
The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

These were by far the best (and not just this year)

What to Say Next by Julie BuxbaumWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonThe Other F-Word by Natasha Friend
The moms in these books stood out to me too.

What about you? What great moms have you read about lately?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: By Your Side

Autumn has big plans for the weekend - they include finally making a certain boy her boyfriend. They do not include being locked in the library for three days without any supplies. With her bag in Jeff's car, Autumn returns to the library to find a bathroom. All her friends believe her to be in a different car and leave without her. Autumn returns from the bathroom to discover no way out.

At first, she thinks she's alone, but then she discovers a classmate there. Only Dax isn't there by accident. Being in the library over the weekend is better than being in his latest foster home. Thankfully, he has supplies because it's cold there and the hunger pains don't go away any time soon.

To pass the time, Autumn and Dax play games, watch TV, and talk. As the weekend progresses, Autumn realizes that everyone's view of the resident bad boy is wrong. Before she knows it, Autumn cares about Dax. But will she revert back to normal once they escape the library and get back to reality?
My Thoughts: Of course, this one grabbed my attention as the characters were stuck in a library. It took me a tiny bit to suspend reality that the doors were locked from the inside too, but I loved the library scenes. I loved exploring the library. I loved the moments uncovering items in the staff room. I really loved the truths shared between Dax and Autumn. And their little moments together. I enjoyed the moments after the library too - even though they both returned to reality, they were still connected in someway. I felt terrible for Autumn as she struggled to find her equilibrium after that weekend with Jeff and his friends. Super cute romance!

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Library Recommendation: Who doesn't want a romance about getting locked into the library? Order this one! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mini Review: Strong is the New Pretty

Photographs of girls being girls - with quotes about themselves. Girls of all ages showing off their skills, their fearlessness, and their interests.
One of my favorites from the book.

Great photographs: a mix of action shots and posed photographs
Great quotes from the girls about their beliefs, their strengths, their joys all about being girls and awesome.

A wonderful celebration of girls and their strengths

Perfect for libraries and for gifting.