Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WEP Entry: Lonely Old Bridge

Today I'm taking part in June 2017 WEP Challenge. Bridges is the theme whether literal or metaphorical. For more info, and to see a list of all entrants you can click here.

WEP June 2017 Challenge - Bridges

Lonely Old Bridge

A lonely old bridge stood outside an empty town.
What was once a bustling populace had no one around.
The bridge groaned and swung day and night.
As if calling out for the days of old.
When humans walked across to and fro.
The rare traveler now always turned away.
One look at this lonely bridge, humans went where they came.
Before you feel pity though, the travelers did the right thing.
Crossing a bridge made of zombies is not a wise feat.

Word Count: 85 words  (including the title)

Thanks for stopping by. WEP challenges entrants to come with all kinds of stories and that's what I love. Hope you enjoyed my poem.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Book Review: Seraphina (Chapter Sampler)

So today I'll be sharing a chapter sampler I got from Netgalley. This is a small excerpt of the full novel. Friday I'll be reviewing a comic (full book). So read on and thanks for coming.

Title: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - E- galley excerpt

Publication Date: December 23, 2014

Source: NetGalley

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository


Summary on GoodreadsIn the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer. 

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

Book Review

Seraphina's born in a world where humans and dragons co-exist but there's still fear and distrust. A talented musician, she kept a secret that's known by few including her father and his friend and her confidante Orma. I loved that the main character had close characters not just with males but with adults. Too often fiction sadly tries to depict men who are close to children as creepy or ill-intentioned. I even saw a list once that warned against writing stories with males holding girls or standing too close if they weren't family members. Seriously? I'm glad this book never took on that nonsense. In this brief excerpt you get a fantastic inside look at a fantasy world where a murder has taken place, humans and dragon kind are at odds and a girl with a secret might hold the key to solving or making things even worse, maybe both. The author wrote a vivid story that held me with every page. I have wanted to get this book but it kept falling off my radar. It won't again and I highly recommend this book. Especially to fans of stories with dragons. Dragons are awesome.

Rating: 5 Stars

Thanks for stopping by. See you Friday.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Warcross by Marie Lu



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that allows us to spotlight books we are eagerly anticipating to be released.

Funny enough this book won my Twitter poll to be the book I'll use in June for my monthly book giveaway on my Author Facebook Page. It has a cool cover and an intriguing premise. I really want to get my hands on it.



Release Date: September 12, 2017

Summary on GoodreadsFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all
Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository

Remarkable cover. What do you think? Thanks for coming and see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Book Review: The Most Magnificent Thing

Yeah, I missed Monday but I'm here today instead and will do my best to be around the rest of the week. So I git this book recently due to a granted wish on NetGalley. Not sure when I wished for this but you know I have a love for picture books. My YA soul has room for those lovely reads.

Title: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Source: NetGalley

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository


Summary on Goodreads: Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy.

For the early grades' exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn't just make her magnificent thing --- "she tinkers and hammers and measures, she smoothes and wrenches and fiddles, she twists and tweaks and fastens." These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
 


Book Review

A charming tale about a girl who learned that perfection isn't everything and making something just right takes many tries. I really enjoyed watching her attempt different ways to make exactly what she wanted just right. Each failure got her frustrated and it took a while to put herself back on the right path. Kids take a journey with this book are likely to enjoy both the imagery and wording that show the girl's repeated attempts and eventual solution in ways children can understand and empathize. Even adults like myself can get joy and lessons from this book. The little girl's like many of us who have a plan but not the full understanding of how long it will take for that plan to come around. Also that we can;t predict the bumps along the way and that what we view as awful, others might find useful. Plus I got a personal kick of one random kid criticizing one of the discarded pieces as wet. I pegged him as one of those nosy side critics who no one asked but always has an opinion. You know the type. I have to wonder if this was an intentional or unintentional wink at adults.

So I highly recommend this book for children. Also to the adult in your life who might be a bit of a perfectionist. Perhaps he or she will get a kick out of this book as well. A thoughtful charming read. I got an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Cover Reveal: The Serpent's Secret

I saw this cover being shared on Twitter last month and knew from first glance it was amazing. Also as a cover in the diversity column, it helps increase representation. There were so many positive replies to this reveal, right down to the shoes she wore. Feel free to look for yourself and choose what's the most striking thing for you. Me? A girl standing in fighting pose with startling snake figures all around her. Love it! Eat your heart out, Rick Riordan.

Title: The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta

Release Date: February 27, 2018

Link: Twitter, Goodreads


Summary on Goodreads: MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMONSLAYER

(But she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they've kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and slay demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld (who may or may not want to kill her) and the rakkhosh queen (who definitely does) in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…
So what do you think? Isn't this cover amazing? I really love it. See you on Monday.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

IWSG: June 2017 Already?

My does time go no matter what. June has arrived and with it another IWSG. Also thanks to our host Alex and his monthly co-hosts. Lovely that he has help getting through that long list. Like Santa!



June IWSG Question: Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what happened when you came back to writing?

Quit writing? Are you mad? I have taken breaks for various reasons. But really quit? Never. I have quit other things including believing my parents will ever accept writing as a career. But never writing. I pushed through to be a writer and there's no quitting in my past, present or future.


In the rest of my life I'm having a lot of fun taking part in writing prompts and hashtags on twitter. I have been regularly doing #authorconfession for a few months and loving all the bonds forming. For someone with limited IRL support, the internet is my lifeline. Love writing, reading and hanging out with my peeps which of course includes bloggers too. Thanks for stopping by and see you Friday.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Book Review: Alex and Eliza Excerpt

Title:  Alex and Eliza: A Love Story (Excerpt) by Melissa De La Cruz

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

Source: NetGalley

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository



Summary on Goodreads:

1777. Albany, New York. 

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball. 

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Book Review

Hamilton has blown up in America and other parts of the world. Melissa's take on the love story for Alex and Eliza has been popular among the book community. Reading the excerpt from Netgalley I found it a good read but not exciting. The historical aspect was solid but dragged in parts where I had little personal interest in it. Still, the characters got my attention and women's treatment and thoughts in that time period were nice to read and take in. On a whole, I'd highly recommend the book to Hamilton fans who'd be best familiar with this material. Also, history buffs who are interested in fiction from this time period. For the rest, I'd say read a sample then decide if this book is for you. I got this arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Plus this was an excerpt, not the full book.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thanks for stopping by. I'm working on my writing schedule as I recover. Right now I'm going to try for Monday, Wednesday to Friday. But for this week I will not be posting on Thursday. I'll see you on Wednesday for IWSG and my next book review.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Whichwood (Diverse Covers) and Goal Hop Update

The battle for my health soldiers on. Recovering from swollen gums due to sinusitis is my latest stumbling block. But I'm trying to get back to blogging and reviewing. Hey guys glad to be back.
God is by my side and I'm still able to dig up time to work and do what I love. I'm blessed.



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that allows us to spotlight books we are eagerly anticipating to be released.

Earlier in May I got to see the cover of this book via twitter and I'm even more excited for it. The summary intrigued me before but now I know I must have this book in hardcover greatness come November. A long wait but also my birthday month! Also I love that this is a diverse read and 2017 has been the year of some jaw-dropping covers from authors of color. 


Release date: November 17, 2017

Summary from Goodreads: A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

Links: Amazon, Book Depository


Goal Hop Update



The Goal Bloghop is a hop where you sign up with the goal you have in mind. It can be a small or big goal. Either way after joining you share your progress the last Friday of each month. Started by Misha, it is now co-hosted along with Jen and Brittney.

Uhhhh no. Health, freelance work...yup. Wasn't able to make any May submissions. Nada. I did keep up some consistent social media thanks to timing and apps/programs set with advanced post. New followers all around and even gave away a book on my Author Facebook Page. So while I didn't update my set goal. I feel some accomplishment social media wise. 

Thanks for stopping by and God willing I'll be here again Friday. Otherwise whenever I can pop in.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Marked Beauty Cover Reveal

Hello, everyone. Today I'm sharing the cover for S.A. Larsen's upcoming book. Tale a book at this beauty.




MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen


Title: Marked Beauty

Author: S.A. Larsen

Publisher: Ellysian Press

Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

ADD to GOODREADS

About the Author

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway

This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.

To participate:

  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.

***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.

Pre-made tweets (you add the image)

"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0

"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

---

So what do you think? Isn't the cover beautiful? Will you be entering the giveaway? Mine will be up on Twitter during the day. Thanks for coming.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Monday MishMash: May 2017



Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme created by Kelly Hashway for sharing what's going on in your life and noggin. You just grab a button and post your business...I mean thoughts online. No biggie. Have fun!


1. I bought four paperbacks Sunday. Sorry, I mean three paperbacks and one hardback. I'm back in the paper buying business! Though technically I did buy two last month. But now it's really official. Still, have a love for e-books but....

2. Getting back in the writing trenches this week. Slid last week but I'm back.

3. Hopefully, will see two movies this week in theaters. Especially Fast 8 and GOTG2. Or something else and save GOT2 for later (it will hold unlike Beauty and the Beast. Guess Jamaica really didn't like the 'gay moment' and booted it out quickly. Sigh. I really wanted to see it in theaters.). But I'm going out!

4. Been winning a few Amazon Gift Cards. Thinking of going Prime.

5. Looking forward to each day and being grateful for all that I've got.

6. Read and write more.

7. Watch up House of Cards so I'll be ready for Season 5. Billions put me back on the board!! Plus that cool teaser for HOC was pure genius Netflix. I'm needed!

Thanks for stopping by everybody.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

IWSG: May is here and Goal Hop Update

IWSG is back and time to share your thoughts.



Hey, guys, I'm back. Took a break from April's IWSG. My blogging habits have changed. I don't blog as much and QueendSheena has now become mostly a book review blog now. I move more around social media via Twitter and Facebook mainly. Still, I'm writing and happy to say my freelance work is going well. I look forward to seeing what will happen this month and the rest of 2017. What about you guys?




The Goal Bloghop is a hop where you sign up with the goal you have in mind. It can be a small or big goal. Either way after joining you share your progress the last Friday of each month. Started by Misha, it is now co-hosted along with Jen and Brittney.

Sadly I was unable to send in any submissions for April. Issues including health had me guarding my time. Freelance work took precedent and my personal writing time shrunk quite a bit.

Thanks for stopping by. See you guys on Monday.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Book Review: The Jungle Book: Manga Classics

Title: The Jungle Book (Magna Classics) by Rudyard Kipling

Publication Date: April 28, 2017

Source: Netgalley

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository


Summary on Goodreads: Heavily influenced by his childhood in British-ruled India, Rudyard Kipling created some of the most well-read children s stories in Western Culture. Book One of The Jungle Book(s) includes Mowgli s Brothers, the story of Mowgli, the abandoned man-cub who was raised by animals in the Indian jungle, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the heroic mongoose, and Toomai of the Elephants, the tale of a young elephant-handler, and in The White Seal, we meet Kotick, a rare white-furred northern fur seal as he searches for a home where his family will not be hunted by humans. Originally published as a series of short stories for magazines in the late 1800s, the Nobel Prize-winning Rudyard Kipling would eventually publish the classic The Jungle Book in 1894." 

Book Review

I highly recommend this manga/book. Yeah, I said it from the start. This version of The Jungle Book hearkens back to the originals which don't focus on just Mawgli. You have a heroic mongoose, animals that are used both for burden and war and so on. Yet each story has your attention from beginning to end thanks to great writing and breath taking art/visuals. When you read about the effort put into this project at the back of the book, you see why. Everyone on this team wanted to create a new way for young readers to be introduced to Rudyard Kipling's original work but in a new style for the younger generation. I never read the original stories and only saw about three versions of the movie (including 2016's masterpiece in visual effects). Just remember that as a magna you have to read from left to right, therefore starting from where most of us would consider the back of the book. I got a free e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, 24 April 2017

Book Review: Goldie Vance Vol. 1

I'm back guys. Not 100% but well enough to be back in the blogging world.

Title: Goldie Vance Volume One by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams

Publication Date: October 11, 2016

Source: Netgalley

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository



Summary from Goodreads: Move over Nancy, Harriet, & Veronica. There's a new sleuth on the block!

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery. Eisner Award-winning writer Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) and artist Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting, whodunnit adventure.

Book Review

I had a lot of fun reading this book. Marigold 'Goldie' Vance is a spunky girl ready to help do the right thing, even if it means doing a little bad. She wants to be a detective for the hotel her father works at. Her parents are divorced but she's a well-adjusted teen who has a close friend who also works at the hotel.The friend's a young lady who wants to be an astronaut which I also love.  Also, books representing black people and African-Americans in a positive light is always appreciated. And you get to meet a variety of diverse characters, each with their own part to play. When the surprising mystery of a stolen necklace turns into a shocking kidnapping, Goldie is on the case. But when her sleuthing gets not only her but her father in hot water. Can she undo her mistakes and still find the victim in time? You'll have to read the book to find out and I highly recommend it. I think from pre-teens upwards will enjoy this read and it works for both boys and girls.

The only downside I can give this book is the sad stereotyping of Russians and Germans. The latter started fine but then it kind of went sideways with typical running from the government to savior United States. Yes, I get that there are times when espionage happens but when your first instinct is to use Russia or Germany (this also includes authors who automatically target Asian Countries), it kind of makes me think you're not that creative. Spies are in many countries. Not just a few that you can count on almost fully on one hand. For a book with a great representation of females and African Americans, it was sad to see this happen.

In the end, it is an amazing book with an intriguing would be detective lead that can draw in readers of various ages. I got an e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Stars

Thanks for stopping by. See you on Wednesday.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Out Sick

Sadly I've been having flu remission and it's sort of kicking my ass. See you next week.



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Source: Purchased at Bookstore

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository

Publication Date: January 8, 2013 (this edition, book was originally published in 2009)



Summary on Goodreads: Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Book Review

Beautiful Creatures was a book I first read back in 2013. It followed Ethan Wate as he meets a strange girl named Lena Duchannes and all the madness his life descends into as a result. What Kami and Margaret did was create a story that kept readers invested and took magic in another direction. With a curse that forces females in Lena's family to potentially turn evil at sixteen, the clock was running out. Ethan's determined to help her and so's her uncle who sees the boy as a hindrance to that goal. Time is on no one's side and the reader's taken on a journey that asks many questions but gives limited answers. Including if it's really a good idea for a regular boy to fall for a special girl? Despite being a bit longer than necessary this book was an intriguing read. I'd recommend to anyone looking for a good young adult read. More so if you want one with a male protagonist.

Rating 4 Stars

Monday, 10 April 2017

Getting Personal: Thanks for the advice...but no

I am a frank person. Sure I'm shy and hopefully fun when I can be. But I'm likely to either give you the truth or just walk away. If you want someone to tell you a bunch of fairy tales, that's not me. Not that I just go around spouting 'my truth' everywhere. I know when something is none of my business and stay out of it. However, I've noticed that on some topics that I've come out strongly about. There are some comments saying that I should either not post that way or consider the risk of losing or limiting a future as a published author. Now I know some are just trying to give honest advice and I respect that. But the answer is a strong no.


When I made this blog. I had no idea that I'd have all kinds of people visiting and me visiting them back for years to come. Hell, I even lost touch with one of my first blog visitors but then got back in touch with them when they restarted their blog and I also discovered their twitter. This blog has been great to me and almost every visitor, a pleasure. However, there are times when I'll discuss a hard topic or do a rant. When I rant I do ensure to let people know so they have the option to read or not. I just think it's good to let people go on with eyes wide open. Of course the same goes for me as well. 

Also, I know of many authors who defy the rules of not talking politics, respecting opinions and so forth. And these people have great careers and when you hear their stories, they've been hard from the get. Sure not every publisher will take on such an individual but a lot do. There's a YA author who told a parent on online that she was born without. The parent had found her site and criticized her for how she 'acted' at the airport. This author didn't give a hoot and she's 100% traditionally published and has been outspoken and even rude for the longest time. She doesn't care what anyone thinks and still got her agent and publishing deals. You can scroll back to see her online history of I don't care. It's there and she clearly has no fears. Now if she's fine then I feel pretty good about my chances. 

So I'm just going to post my thoughts and opinions. People are free to agree or disagree with me. I'm fine with that. You will never get shunned or burned for just being honest. Being flippant is another story and sadly I ended communication with one blogger a while back. But trust me it was for saying something super out of touch. It never happens with my regular readers. Anyway thanks for stopping by and always stay true to yourself and listen to the thoughts of others. See you Wednesday.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Book Review: I Will Love You Forever

Title: I Will Love You Forever by Tatsuya Miyanishi

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Purchase: Amazon



Summary from Amazon: A female Maiasaura finds a lost egg in the forest and decides to look after it with her own egg. Surprisingly, a baby Tyrannosaurus hatches from the egg. The greathearted mother accepts and raises him as her own son, Heart. One day, Heart goes to pick berries and comes across another Tyrannosaurus. The foster son of the Maiasaura discovers his real identity. The fourth title in this acclaimed Tyrannosaurus series, I Will Love You Forever delivers a heartwarming story about adoption with vivid, brightly colored illustrations and endearingly drawn characters.


Book Review

A touching story about love, adoption, acceptance and sacrifice told through dinosaurs. I must say for a short read this left me quite emotional. Both writer and artist know the right words and images to draw out the reader. Even single parent issues and brotherhood are touched on this book. The art will definitely be great for kids and adults can read this to children without being bored or annoyed by childish language or cliches. Highly recommend for small children, parents, and picture book enthusiasts.

Rating: 5 Stars

Thanks for coming and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Book Review: Return to the Isle of the Lost

Please Note: Like I said in previous posts for April I'm not participating in any hops (including IWSG). While I won't have the full hiatus this month, I'm still limiting my blogging to posts and blog visits only. Thanks for understanding. I'll be back in May.

Title: Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

Source: Purchased Paperback from TBD

Publication Date: May 24, 2016

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository



Summary from Amazon: There's no place like home. Especially if home is the infamous Isle of the Lost. Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay haven't exactly turned their villainous noses up at the comforts of Auradon after spending their childhoods banished on the Isle. After all, meeting princes and starring on the Tourney team aren't nearly as terrible as Mal and her friends once thought they would be. But when they receive a mysterious invitation to return to the Isle, Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay can't help feeling comfortable in their old hood—and their old ways. Not everything is how they left it, though, and when they discover a dark mystery at the Ise's core, they'll have to combine all of their talents in order to save the kingdom.

Book Review

Melissa brings back the lovable rebel villain kids for a rabble-rouser of a sequel. I really had a lot of fun with this one. As a huge fan of the Disney Descendants film, this book really took me away. Watching the VKs continue to adapt to life in Auradon while trying to maintain some of their mischievous was is very intriguing. Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay are interesting anti-heroes in their own right. Especially when they end up having to return home to the Isle in order to stop their parents from bringing down goodness forever. There are a few deux ex machina moments and rushed resolutions that took a little shine off the story but not enough to cause too much damage. Plus this book knows how to combine comedy and danger like no other. Saving a friend from certain death by chanting 'tick tock tick tock' for example.

Anyone interested in reading this book should read the previous one first. Plus also watch the movie (not a must) which is set after the first book but before this sequel. The fandom for this series is massive and definitely on fire with the movie sequel coming this summer. If you are a fan of fairy tales told from a teen perspective and enjoy retellings of fairy tales then this is a book series you should try.

Rating: 4 Stars

Happy to be out of my book reading funk. This was one of my unfinished books from last year. Thanks for stopping by. I can't wait for Descendants 2!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Book Review: Stitched #1 by Mariah Huehner and Aaron Alexovich

Title: Stitched #1 by Mariah Huehner and Aaron Alexovich

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository



Summary: Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage. Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real "mother" is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?

Book Review

This book had so much potential. A fun quirky graphic novel (e-arc) from the Read Now section of Netgalley that I decided to try. Sadly this one falls into the middle road barely escaping awful because of one thing. The horrendous writing structure. In fact, there is no structure. Crimson started off confused and you end up even more so than she is. I thought this was the story about a girl stitched from different girls trying to find herself. Oh no, it's also about going to bed and waking up to meet random people each night, suddenly get random gifts, change personalities on a dime, start crushing on boys out of nowhere, making enemies turn friends with no explanation or build up...the story was just so poor and the story version of a head hopping nightmare. And for the record, I'm fine with head hopping in books. So imagine my chagrin of finding a book that shows why others are against it?

There are some positives things, though. The characters are cool and quirky, although in under a hundred pages they're crammed in and never fully explored. The art is top notch without a doubt and I must say was a huge reason I could slowly read through this painstaking headache of a story. Sending huge props to Aaron the illustrator. The friendship between girls and boys are explored and the abilities of these characters are fun to see. At the end, you do want to find out more and a character biography after the story gives you some greatly needed insight into these characters.

However at the end of the day. I am disappointed the author couldn't have written a coherent storyline. With all the differents parts crammed in, this should have been a three hundred page book at least. Instead, you have an overstuffed story with so much potential and amazing artwork undone by writing that feels like the death of a thousand cuts minus the dying part. I do want to get this book strange enough, but only because the characters and art speak to me. The rest I just wish was so much better than the end result. Marginally recommend but not for little kids unless they really just love pictures or quirky stories. This Middle-Grade graphic novel is just too darn confusing.

Rating: 3 Stars

Thanks for stopping by and see you tomorrow.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Book Review: The Little Mermaid and Goal Hop Update

Hey guys. Today I have a lovely graphic novel to share with you. I believe it will entertain both children and adults alike. It takes an old tale and turns it into a true wonderland of imagery. I have decided to not go on hiatus. But I will not be taking part in any hops or promos (unless already arranged) this month including no Insecure Hop post. I will be back to IWSG and everything else in May. This week I'll be posting a book review every day (minus weekends).

Title: The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog

Source: Netgalley

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository



Summary: The Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen's most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), winners of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards Best Visual Artist 2016, and authors of the acclaimed The Red Shoes and Other Tales.

The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.
 

Book Review

This version of The Little Mermaid is perfect for both kids and adults. The imagery alone is breathtaking and you will want to turn the page to read the story but also not because of all this spectacular eye candy. The sad tale of the mermaid (yes this is the original, not the Disney version) is told in under a hundred pages but masterfully so. The words are somewhat eclipsed by the beautiful art but only because it has been done so perfectly. The duo who created this masterpiece are award winners and I can see why. If you have heard of the tale of the little mermaid, then you know how it ends with the sea foam. But I truly believe the way that it's done here really emphasizes the heart of the story and this ill-fated mermaid. The themes of love, family, and sacrifice are well explored in a way appropriate for both children to read and adults to understand the deeper meaning. I highly recommend this book both for it's touching take on this old tale and for the captivating artwork. I got this e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 Stars


Goal Hop Update


The Goal Bloghop is a hop where you sign up with the goal you have in mind. It can be a small or big goal. Either way after joining you share your progress the last Friday of each month. Started by Misha, it is now co-hosted along with Jen and Brittney.

I had decided to go with a new goal for the new year. One hundred submissions a year. Well, I can say that so far that I have made one submission. It was for a small online contest for flash fiction under 100 words. Don't know the results yet but I'm hopeful. Admittedly I've been procrastinating on my poetry submissions. Perhaps I'm just nervous since I haven't sent in poetry for a long while. Either way this month I'm determined to get my numbers up. I am excited to see where this new goal takes me by the end of the year.

99 more submissions to go.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Book Review Rant: Riot School

Man, this is not the usual book review today. Not at all. I don't usually do rants on books. But this one has just gone too far. It is a disgraceful book written by a white man who takes progress in writing diverse characters back to the dark ages. And yes I didn't give any book links on purpose.

Title: Riot School by Robert Rayner

Source: Netgalley

Publishing Date: August 22, 2016

29515280

Summary: In the middle of the night, five teens break into a small town high school that has been closed by the regional school board. They are there to protest the decision to move them to a big city school and make their little town that much smaller. Led by Bilan, whose experience with the Arab Spring fired a passion to peacefully fight against injustice, the Gang of Five occupy their old school. The local police chief and the town quietly cheer them on. When the school board calls in a big security firm to break up their occupation using any means necessary, including force, the five have to decide how far they will go to show their outrage at having no control over decisions that affect their lives.

This is a novel which picks up on themes drawn from the world around us, and shows how these can play out in the lives of contemporary young people.

Book Review Rant

Okay. So this exists. You know...okay. This...is not okay. No.


The rage that I'm feeling about this book. The WAY I feel about this book. We have come to the point where reading is a valued commodity. Not by all but literacy is vital to living the best life you can.

This book was supposed to be about a protest carried out by a diverse group of teenagers who society either ignores or mistreats. With the exception of one guy who joins the protest mostly for his own whiny ambitions. But at the start, this book had problems but also promise. The promises went away and the problems got worse. Art is subjective but misrepresenting people and putting them in toxic stories is not. You can write about Muslims, people of color, vandalizing whites and so on from your own view. But when you as a writer create a book that you tout as teaching young people about how protests work, how people are, interaction with the police and those in authority and relationships. Then you have a responsibility to handle it with care. No matter that its fiction.  This book instead does everything that will make you wonder if book publishing should have professional bouncers like many nightclubs do. And if you're wondering, no the writing isn't great, the characters sway wherever the story or their racial stereotype deems them to go and I want to go to bed.

Reading this and taking it as a serious lesson, you'll learn:

1. Students can start a peaceful protest that ends up having severe property damages with no consequences.

2. All authority figures in education hate children and just want them to learn and shut up.

3. If your parents are black you must be bitter and angry, nasty to your girlfriend, hang off her like a stalker, father's in prison for selling dope and you have no idea how to solve problems peacefully. You nearly get in trouble at the start of the book for blocking a car but towards the end after a white student punches out the guard who grabbed your Muslim girlfriend, everything changes and you almost choke another guard to death but face no consequences. Because people just love that choke.

4. If you are a white vandal who carries a knife and will hint violence if you don't get your way. You are at the end of the day a charmer who is nice to girls, stops black antagonist from fighting others, will hint violence but smile so it's okay and you will pull out a knife on security guards but it's good.

5. Female Muslims are all from war-torn countries with issues about being touched, you will crush on and hang onto an awful boyfriend but if during a protest a guard touches you in an inappropriate place then suddenly you have transformed, you transform into a bitter hateful person with no context wanting to vandalize the school and use boys to your advantage instead of keeping the boyfriend you had been pining over for nearly the entire book.

6. If you have an anxiety disorder, stuttering and other signs of more disorders and are homeless. The writer will only address the homelessness and family drama. No one needs to know what medical diagnosis the character has. You can just figure it out while she just considers herself wrong and weird. But will suddenly fling herself on her crush to block a guard after being terrified of everything in the whole book. Spoiler, he's white vandal guy. Coincidence?

7. Police don't arrest anyone. Not even when a security guard grabs a teenage girl's breast and touches up her leg. I mean officers are just friendly people who pass by and wish you luck right? Oh, and when a girl's given a black eye, men are beaten and choked. No arrests. I mean what are they. In charge of upholding the law?

There are many more issues with this book. But I don't want to talk about it anymore. No rating, definitely don't recommend. Oh and did I forget to add the author has been a journalist, school teacher, and principal. Yeah, I'm out. 

Done

I was going to post reviews all week but I need a break. See you all on Friday.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Review: It's Hard to be Good (Ellie the Weinerdog) by K.J. Hales

Netgalley has passed along another gem to me today. Books are made for all ages and sizes. Today I'll be reviewing a children's picture book.

Title: It's Hard to be Good (Life's Little Lessons by Ellie the Weinerdog, Lesson 1)

Source: Netgalley

Buy Link: Amazon




Summary: Ellie tries, really tries, to be good as she faces temptation over and over again. But how can a wiener dog resist? There are sandwiches and trash baskets and freshly baked ham sending heavenly smells straight to her wriggly nose. Ellie so wants to please because she loves to hear “What a good dog!” but she is also taunted by naughtiness because she thinks with her nose. She smells and sniffs and it’s hard for her to be good when she gets a whiff! Children, and adults alike, will find Ellie’s tale hilariously relatable. What will she do when put to the ultimate test? Ellie’s irresistible charm radiates from every colorful, energetic page as she struggles in her desire to do the right thing. Her expressions tell the story, making Ellie the Wienerdog a pup readers will come to know and love. With playful text and equally boisterous art, this book invites readers to join in the fun over and over again.


Book Review

In this picture book, you meet Ellie. A dog that loves approval but is tempted to disobey just like any pet is. Her weakness is food and the story relates temptation in a way both kids and adults can empathize and understand. The comical wordplay and artwork will mesmerize small children and parents can read a short but fun book to their children. Highly recommend for kids under ten especially baby and toddlers for bedtime reading.

Rating: 5 Stars

Thanks for stopping by. See you on Wednesday.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Monday MishMash: March 2017

Back with Monday MishMash hosted by Kelly Hashway.



1. Blogging conundrum guys. Circumstances as is just don't have me hopping around blogs like I used to. Will try to do better today. Always feel kinda bad when I post but don't visit other blogs.

2. I scheduled for a book trailer. It will be released late Summer 2017. I hope to blow some minds when it is all finished.

3. Excited to be united with Najla Qamber again to complete the covers for The Sacrifice Series. I had done one with her in 2015 and another with a different designer. Now she'll be doing all of them and I'm considering using the one from the other designer as an international cover. Hey, the big guys have had their special international covers....

4. I can't wait for Descendants 2 to arrive on Disney. So naturally...fan fiction time!

5. Got wet in the rain last week. Just what black women love to happen to their hair.

6. Also got approved for Legion on Netgalley. Started reading and it's okay so far.

Thanks for coming.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Cover Reveal: Twelve Tiny Truths

Hey guys, as part of a blogger's mailing list I got a chance to share a cover with you this week. The cover for Twelve Tiny Truths is quite a sight to behold. Read on to get a look.


Cover Reveal
Twelve Tiny Truths
By M. Dauphin & H.Q. Frost


Synopsis

I'm Charlie, and these are my truths:
1) I should have been a doctor
2) One stupid decision changed my life
3) My best friend, Frankie, kept me sane when I thought I'd crumble
4) A new career running a dating website helped save me
5) Steady routine and burying myself in work became everything
6) A drunken dare on a boring night caused a spark in my routine
7) Cherry pie and a deep, sexy voice made the spark ignite
8) A date at the movies and country songs made me swoon
9) His kind heart, affection, and faith in me made me fall in love
10) The secrets he kept broke my heart
11) Good friends helped me understand his reasons
12) Unexpected circumstances threaten to ruin my life
....Travis has his own truths. 


Lend a hand: HELP TRAVIS GO WORLDWIDE: https://goo.gl/forms/kN4f4xYOdj5IQKh73

Now you get to see the cover:

5

4
 
3

2

1




Huh? Look that that hunk staring at you from this cover. It will either be interesting or weird for you. I do love the font and find the model being in black and white a nice touch. Congrats Dauphin and Frost on your cover.


So what do you think of the cover? Thanks for coming and see you all on Monday.

WEP Entry: Lonely Old Bridge

Today I'm taking part in June 2017 WEP Challenge. Bridges is the theme whether literal or metaphorical. For more info, and to see a list...