May 31, 2016

City of Spies by Nina Berry Release Day Celebration +GIVEAWAY!

Pagan Jones is back today with the release of CITY OF SPIES by Nina Berry! Join us in celebrating by sharing this post and entering the giveaway!

I will admit - I haven't read the first book but boy do they sound amazing!!! I plan on getting both of them.  They are just my style! 

About The Book

Pagan Jones is back!
Celebrating her escape from East Germany and the success of her new film, teen starlet Pagan Jones returns to Hollywood to reclaim her place among the rich and the famous. She's thrilled to be back, but memories of her time in Berlin—and elusively handsome secret agent Devin Black—continue to haunt her daydreams. The whirlwind of parties and celebrities just isn't enough to distract Pagan from the excitement of being a spy or dampen her curiosity about her late mother's mysterious past.

When Devin reappears with an opportunity for Pagan to get back into the spy game, she is eager to embrace the role once again—all she has to do is identify a potential Nazi war criminal. A man who has ties to her mother. Taking the mission means that she'll have to star in a cheesy film and dance the tango with an incredibly awful costar, but Pagan knows all the real action will happen off-set, in the streets of Buenos Aires.

But as Pagan learns more about the man they're investigating, she realizes that the stakes are much higher than they could have ever imagined, and that some secrets are best left undiscovered.
Also available, May 31, 2016, THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES in paperback!

  About The Author


Writer, crypt-explorer, bodysufer, Nina Berry is the author of THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES and the OTHERKIN series. Born in Honolulu, she now writes books for teens from her secret lair in Hollywood.
TWITTER: @Ninaberry | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM: @ninaberrybooks | TUMBLR | PINTEREST

3 winners will each will win a signed paperback of NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES + signed hardback of CITY OF SPIES + bookmarks!!
Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only
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May 17, 2016

Confusion. Sweetness. Magic. A Review of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

When I first started this book I was very interested in the story right away.  I wanted to know about Finn and why he behaved the way he did.  I wanted to know who Roza was and what happened to her.  It had my attention.  But then I got confused because things got a little odd.  What I didn't know what that Bone Gap is magical realism.  It put magical/mystical events into a otherwise very realistic story.  And it threw me for a loop.  Ok ok, if I had read the summary better or paid more attention to reviews I might not have been as caught off guard! But I was.  Once I realized that I could let go of trying to fit everything into a realistic world and my confusion went down.  I will admit it never fully went away, but it didn't interfere with my enjoyment any more! 

Now with that out of the way - I did like Bone Gap.  What I liked were the characters.  I loved Finn.  He was so real because he hurt so much because of Roza.  You could just feel it in him.  I wanted him to find peace and answers.  It was hard to watch him struggle so much.  By the end I felt I understood him so much more, and he understood himself! 

I also really loved the character of Petey (Priscilla).  She was probably my favorite character.  I liked how she was strong, but yet you could see that she struggled with accepting herself at times - or more I think accepting what others (Finn) thought of her.  I wanted to hug her at times, but I also knew she was the kind of girl that would've hated that! 

Because I liked these two characters so much I liked the book.  I'm a very character driven reader, and for this book containing the magic it does - I needed to care about the characters or I would've stopped reading it.  Thankfully I didn't because I got to witness Finn and how incredibly sweet he is to Petey.  Or how Roza , even in difficulty, remain sweet and kind.  I got to feel the closeness of Bone Gap and share in its magic.  

In the end: Read it.  Just be more prepared for the magic than I was! 

May 12, 2016

Oh No She Didn't! Review of Girl Last Seen by

Title: Girl Last Seen
Author: Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

Kadence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren knows how deceptive Kadence could be sometimes. And nobody believes Lauren when she claims she had nothing to do with the disappearance. Or the blood evidence As the town and local media condemns Lauren, she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the truth herself. Lauren slowly unravels the twisted life of Kadence Mulligan and sees that there was more to her than she ever knew. But will she realize she's unknowingly playing a part in an elaborate game to cover up a crime before it's too late?"

I love books what keep me guessing as a mystery is being solved.  And I love when I never know who I can fully trust.  Girl Last Seen gave me both of those!  In the search for what happened to Kadence leads are created, destroyed, and news once found.  Each time I thought - I got it! I know what's going to happen.  And each time I was wrong! And trust me this went on right up until the very end of the story! Ok, so I had a tish figured out here and there, but I never fully trusted that I did.

I do have to tell you - I really really really did not like Kadence! She was (in my mind) not a nice person.  You find out so much about her as Lauren digs to find out what happened.  People from both girls' past share their experiences and often times I was left thinking "Wow!".  Now of course as Lauren digs, you begin to question what you know - or thought you knew.  Are you right?  Can you trust this person or that?   That's the type of book that I love because I want to keep reading to see if I'm right - to see what turn it will take next! And with that Girl Last Seen did not disappoint.

I don't want to say much more in fear of giving anything away! So in the end - if you like a good mystery check this one out.  It may keep you guessing as much as it did me! 

Copy Obtained: From publisher for honest review.

May 11, 2016

WoW: How it Feels to Fly by Katheryn Holmes

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm Waiting On:

How it Feels to Fly by Katheryn Holmes
Release Date: June 14

The concept of this book sounds really good.  I'm very interested in it. 

The movement is all that matters.

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

The change was gradual. Stealthy.

Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.

What I really need is a whole new body.

Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

May 10, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Sites Beyond Books I Visit!

Hosted by Broke and Bookish

As I've explained, I want to keep blogging but in order to do that I really need to simplify what I do.  

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome weekly meme, but I just can't do 10! I don't have the time.  
So I'm going to keep it simple and to the point and only share 2-3 picks for the week's current topic.

Today the topic is: Non-Bookish Websites I Visit Often

Zulily! I love this website and have gotten several cute clothes from them!

Teachers Pay Teachers:  I find so many ideas for teaching on this website.  I often check "free" first, but I have bought whole novel study units to use.  So love this site!

Etsy:  Of course I'm on this site a lot.  I find everything there!  And I found most things I needed for my wedding.  

Know what I learned from this??? I don't visit many sites that aren't related to books! I visit Amazon (books), The Red Balloon (books), Twitter (books), Instagram (books).  Wow I didn't realize how much my life is books! And that's not a bad thing!!!

May 9, 2016

I Have Another Blog!

Hey everyone I just thought I'd share - I've started a second blog.  

For a long time I've felt that my blog was losing focus because I was reviewing everything from picture books to upper young adult!  

So I decided to start a blog that was just for picture books, early chapter and early readers.  

The blog is: Finding Magic.

I'd so love if you take a look at it!! 

And maybe follow if it's your thing.

PS keep a look out there for a giveaway! 

May 6, 2016

Murder. Mystery, Mayhem. Blog Tour Review: May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude +GIVEAWAY

I'm very excited today to participate in the blog tour The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude. 

I saw this book a long while back and was immediately drawn to it because of the cover.  Then I read the summary, and I really wanted to read it.  
So when Rock Star Tours asked if I wanted to participate I said yes right away.

About the Book:
Author: Sarah Jude
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 304
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

About Sarah:
Sarah Jude lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath whenever you passed a graveyard or a bridge spanning water. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and ghostly apparitions. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and three dogs.

My Thoughts on the Book

I love books that have a scary tension-filled edge to them.  I cut my teeth on John Saul growing up, and going into this book it seemed like a book that could feel creepy and suspenseful.  And it really didn't let me down.  The setting of the book was what created this feeling.  The community is isolated and surrounded by woods, but there's more than that! The superstitions of the people create an ominous feeling because they all seem to point to something bad happening! And then (yes more) there are screams that come from the woods!! Can you imagine that?  You're at home laying in your bed trying to sleep and you hear a scream from the nearby woods!! I would freak.  All of that created a creepy atmosphere for the story to be set.  

Now the story itself had a lot of tension and suspense because of Heather missing and not knowing who in the community (or outside of it) had something to do with it.  I never knew who I could fully trust! And sometimes that included Ivy because she had some odd things happen to her.  As the mystery of Heather unfolds there were several twists and turns that surprised me a lot and lead the story in directions I never saw coming.  Some people have said they thought the ending was rushed - and to a degree it was but I felt it went with the action of the book because everything was rushing at Ivy.  

In the end: I enjoyed the book and found myself reading longer than intended when I picked it up - and that's always a good thing!

Oh heads up - if bloody scenes bother you be aware that there are several in the book.  Remember I loved John Saul so they didn't bother me at all! 

Catch the Rest of the Tour

Week One:
4/25/2016- Once Upon a TwilightExcerpt
4/26/2016- Buttermybooks- Review
4/27/2016- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
4/28/2016- The Best Books Ever - Review
4/29/2016- One Night Book StandInterview

Week Two:
5/2/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
5/3/2016- Literary Meanderings - Guest Post
5/4/2016- Such a Novel IdeaReview
5/5/2016- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
5/6/2016- The O.W.L.- Review

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 4, 2016

WoW: NIL on Fire

This post is inspired by a meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Today I'm Waiting On:

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Despite Rives and Skye's attempt to destroy Nil, the island remains. And back in this world, Nil won't let Skye go. Haunted by a darkness she can't ignore, Skye wrestles with Nil nightmares that worsen by the day and threaten to tear her apart. As the island grows in power, Skye fights to keep her mind intact. Soon Skye realizes that to finally break free of Nil, she must end Nil's vicious cycle once and for all--and she can't do it alone.

Who will return to Nil, and in the end, who will survive? In this thrilling final installment of the Nil series, the stakes have never been higher: everyone's fate hangs in the balance, including Nil's own--and Nil will fight to the death. When the full force of the island is unleashed, Skye faces an impossible choice, a cruel one she'd never imagined she'd have to make. As the island's clock ticks away, one Nil truth becomes painfully clear: only one side can win.

I really enjoyed NIL, so I'm waiting for this one to come out, so I can read the rest of the series together.  I just hope the books got progressive better! I know they switch focus onto different characters some, and I like when books do that.   

May 3, 2016

How Did They Grow Up? Top Ten Tuesday.

Hosted by Broke and Bookish

As I was explaining in an earlier post, I want to keep blogging but in order to do that I really need to simplify what I do.  

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome weekly meme, but I just can't do 10! I don't have the time.  
So I'm going to keep it simple and to the point and only share 2-3 picks for the week's current topic.

Today the topic is: Characters You'd Like to Revisit as an Adult

I'd love to revisit Miranda from When You Reach Me.  I adore this book, so I'm super curious to see what she's like as an adult!

Another character would be Abilene from Moon Over Manifest.  She was so interesting and she grew up so much in that book that I'm curious as to how she is as an adult.  

But the number one character would be:

Ponyboy from The Outsiders.  
Wow would I love to see what he's up to as an adult!!!! But alas I know that S.E. Hinton has no thought of writing any more about him.  

Who would you like to see as an adult???

May 2, 2016