Mini Reviews: Non Fiction #1

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Hello, panda lovers! This is not a training session. Please, don’t’ panic. This is not a scam, this blog hasn’t been hacked. I’m actually writing some reviews after a year and seven days, the legend came back to life! =D

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

• Georg Simmel – The Art of the City: Rome, Florence, Venice
• Jane Merrill, Keren Ben-Horin & Gail Demeyere – The Sweater: A History
• Maggie O’Farrell – I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death

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Mini Reviews: M/M books #1

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Hello, panda shippers! Hope everyone is on the beautiful path for the new year and having a good time =) Today I’d like to talk about those 83479303203902 late reviews I own you all.

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I know, it’s bad, but thanks to Cait, from The Paper Fury, I FINALLY found a perfect solution to speed things up with my reviews, especially regarding books that were good, but not remarkable: MINI REVIEWS!

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I know what you’re thinking. But Annelise, the whole internet and the galaxies know about your George R. R. Martin syndrome, so how are you planning to write mini reviews?!

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Thankfully, I have another awesome friend that helped me solving this problem: Lindsey, from @thepagemistress ❤ A looong time ago, she asked how I organized my ideas for a review and we chatted about this for hours until she finally came up with her own method for Goodreads reviews and I’m graciously using them as well for the Mini Reviews posts =)

As this is the first one, I apologize for it being so long, but explanation is necessary! I’ll try to stick to a theme when doing mini reviews, so you know what you’ll find here =) Feedback is always welcome and needed, but in this section especially, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO IN THE COMMENTS LATER, PLEASE?!

Now, let’s do this, haha!

In this post, you’ll find mini reviews for:

  • Andrew Grey – Eyes Only For Me
  • Aria Grace – More Than Friends (More Than Friends #1)
  • Aria Grace – Drunk In Love (More Than Friends #2)
  • Chad Lane – Only For You (Only For You #1)
  • Holley Trent – Winterball (Den of Sin #10)
  • Jack Woolf – Police Force

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COVER REVEAL: The Game Begins, by Victoria Danann

Good afternoon, peeps! We’re here gathered today for the cover reveal of The Game Begins, by Victoria Danann =D

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 The Game Begins

 by Victoria Danann

 Genre: YA

 Release Date: February 28th, 2017

 dba 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC

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When it came to the attention of the old ones that their creations, the Earth gods, had been playing games at the expense of humankind for millennia, they put a stop to it. But the rebellious gods were far too addicted to their games to give them up. After several summit meetings, they voted to use their own children as players and locate the playing field in the most treacherous environment in the known universe. High school.

To make it even more interesting, they would strip their children of their memories and withhold the rules of the game. The players believed they were ordinary kids until they were transferred to R. Caine High School. When odd things begin to happen, the players gradually realize they have special gifts or attributes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t die.

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Order Up, from Declan Rhodes

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Good night, cookers! What’s up? Okay, if you’re not a cooker, good night to you too – I’m not much of a chef myself, so who am I to judge, right? Haha!

Nonsense aside, today I’ll talk about a cozy woozy sugared romance I’ve received from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review – thanks, guys! It’s Order Up, from Declan Rhodes!

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Food, sex, and romance.

Anthony Hunt is expert at the first two, but his track record is poor on the third. A recent top-of-the-class culinary school graduate, he owns one of the hottest, trendy food trucks in town. Impressed by Anthony’s good looks and appeal to the camera in a losing cause on a TV competition show, New York producers are looking to sign him for a food truck reality show. The only catch…they want him to have a personal life as appealing as his body and face.

Bryan Pierce is a rising young executive. He loves his success and he loves food, but he’s never really loved a man. He has plenty of experience in bed and on dates, but he has set aside relationship entanglements as a casualty of the corporate climb…for now.

One taste of the seductive, spicy shrimp from Anthony’s truck the Pampered Prawn is all that Bryan needs to want to know more about the chef…much more. Bryan is also just the kind of man that would look great on camera at Anthony’s side. It’s a romance of convenience that works like a charm…until real love intervenes.

Me when I finished this book:

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BLOG TOUR: Mythical, by Michael Weekly (Mystical #2)

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Hello, there! Welcome to the blog tour for the second book in Mystical series, by Michael Weekly: Mythical! This tour is hosted by YA Bound Book Tours 🙂

Mythical

Mythical (Mystical #2)

by Michael Weekly

Genre: YA/NA Urban Fantasy

Limitless Publishing

 summary

When you’re a witch in a kingdom of Elves, there’s bound to be conflict…

Eliza Rose finds herself in a world full of Elves—the very creatures she is sworn to kill. To make matters worse, she is forced to slay her own mother. But one question remains. Why was her mother in such a horrid place to begin with?

Eliza and Donovan cannot face the dangers of Ellevil alone…

When the Elf, Christian, meets Eliza for the first time, he knows he must have her. As a master of manipulation, he will do anything he can to get his way.

Donovan has left his old gang life behind. In his journeys with Eliza, he has seen her talents as an assassin bloom. He wants what is best for her, and he is certain that Christian is anything but.

In a land of pure beings called Mystics, not all of them are what they seem…

When Eliza falls in love with Christian, only Donovan knows the Elf can’t be trusted. Christian manipulates the myth within her to come forth, and Eliza’s hidden power is unleashed, bringing her true nature to light.

Answers might be found in the fairy and mermaid kingdoms…

To discover why Eliza’s mother was in Ellevil, Eliza and Christian must embark on a journey to the fairy and mermaid kingdoms. As challenges continue to unfold, Eliza is forced to choose between her hidden power and the witch she truly is.

Eliza Rose must unlock her hidden power in order to survive, but time is running out. Corruption may overcome her—the same way it consumed her mother.

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purchase links

You can find Mythical in both paperback and ebook versions 🙂

AMAZON

also in the series

Mystical (Mystical #1)

Mystical MED

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the author

52371-michael2bweekly

Michael Weekly is a professional writer known for his ability to construct detailed, believable worlds and then to inject them with captivating stories and relatable characters. His big break came three years ago when he started writing on a site called Wattpad. Prior to that, he had written mainly as a hobby and as an exercise in relaxation and meditation, using writing as an escape out of the world and into his own mind.
Writing in the genres of Urban Fantasy, Dystopian YA, and NA, Michael is the author of Mystical, which has earned a ton of positive feedback. Mystical was picked up by Limitless Publishing in 2015, and since then, Michael has been working on additional entries to the series.
When he is not writing, Michael also enjoys playing video games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft. He enjoys being a shopaholic and a professional foodie. He lives in Virginia with his imaginary fury companion CoCo, where the two live happily.

 WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

giveaway

This giveaway is only open to lovely US RESIDENTS. If you are a lovely US resident or have someone there to receive the prize for you, gather around for the prize you can win!

One lucky US RESIDENT winner will take home a $10 Amazon Gift Card + one paperback copy of Mystical!

To enter, just click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks for reading and thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for my spot on this tour 🙂

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BOOK BLITZ: The Cinderella Theorem, by Kristee Ravan

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Hi, there! Welcome to the first piece of bookish news of the day 🙂 It’s a blitz by YA Bound Book Tours for The Cinderella Theorem, by Kristee Ravan!

the cinderella theorem

The Cinderella Theorem
by Kristee Ravan
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retellings
Release Date: May, 2016

summary

Fairy tales are naturally non-mathematical. That is a fact, and fifteen-year-old Lily Sparrow loves factual, mathematical logic. So when her mother confesses that Lily’s deceased father is (a) not dead, (b) coming to dinner, and (c) the ruler of a fairy tale kingdom accessible through the upstairs bathtub, Lily clings to her math to help her make sense of this new double life (1 life in the real world + 1 secret life in the fairy tale world = a double life).

Even though it’s not mathematical, Lily finds herself being pulled into a mystery involving an unhappy Cinderella, a greasy sycophant called Levi, and a slew of vanishing fairy tale characters. Racing against the clock, with a sound mathematical plan, can Lily save her fairy tale friends before they vanish forever?

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purchase links

You can find The Cinderella Theorem in both paperback and ebook version 🙂

Amazon

excerpt

You can read the first full chapter of the book over here 😀

 “Lily,” Mrs. Price, my guidance counselor, flashed a fake smile. “You have forgotten to put any fun in your schedule. Why don’t I switch you out of Geometry and put you in Health and Careers? Lots of students say this is a fun class…” She let that last part dangle in the air, like a worm on a hook.

I don’t like worms on hooks. “No thanks.”

Mrs. Price shifted in her seat, still smiling. “And this class will help you discover what you’re good at as you explore your career options.”

Chatting with a woman who can’t recite the Pythagorean Theorem isn’t exactly how I thought I would be spending my first day of high school. “I know what I want my career to be.”

Mrs. Price sat up straighter, leaning forward. “Oh, and what is that?”

“I want to do pure mathematics research at a major university or be a code breaker for the National Security Agency.”

Her eyebrows arched. I think she thought I was going to say I want to be a doctor when I grow up or I want to be an artist.

“Lily,” Mrs. Price said slowly, “Are your parents pressuring you to take more math classes?”

“No.” I folded my arms across my chest. Mrs. Price has incorrectly assigned two parents to me. This can lead to an error in the equation of my family.[i]

 1 Lily + 1 mother = the Sparrow family.

The Sparrow family ≠ 1 Lily + 1 mother + 1 father.[ii]

 “Lily, if you don’t want to take these extra math classes, you don’t have to. Your parents can’t make you.”

“I want to take Geometry.”

“Lily,” Mrs. Price paused dramatically. “Do you know that you can talk to me about anything?”

Is that supposed to make me open up to her? Mrs. Price has not equalized her equation. She assumes: one simple reminder of being able to talk to her = me sharing my deepest beliefs and ideas.

I sighed, rolling my eyes. “Mrs. Price, no one is pressuring me to take math classes. I just like math, that’s all.”

Mrs. Price frowned. “I had hoped you would agree with me, Lily, and change your mind about these classes, because I’m afraid I can’t allow you to jeopardize your academic career with difficult classes that will cause you extra stress. Besides, our school district frowns upon students taking more than one math course a year. I’m going to switch you from Geometry to Health and Careers, from Statistics to Tennis, and from Pre-Calculus to Legendary Literature. This will be a much less stressful class load for you.”

It was my turn to frown. Scowl, actually. “How exactly are Health and Careers, Tennis, and Legendary Literature going to help me in life?” I was especially disgusted with Legendary Literature. Tennis was at least active and I suppose Health and Careers could–at the very least–be informative.

“Lily, I’m sure you’ll enjoy these classes. Other students in this school have rated these electives as some of their favorites. Now, run on back to class.” She returned my schedule card, all marked up and practically math free.

Can I have a look at population and sample data used to arrive at this conclusion? Other students in this school do not want to be mathematics researchers. Other students in this school do not understand that mathematics is fundamental to all life. Other students in this school do not love math. I do.

Mrs. Price called cheerily, “Oh, I almost forgot. Happy birthday, Lily!”

Yeah, what a great start to my birthday. Resigned to my mathless fate, I walked back to class figuring out how many days were left until I graduated and escaped to college.

 4 years x the 180 days required by the state = 720 days – the ½ a morning I wasted arguing with Mrs. Price about the joy of mathematics = 719 ¾ days.[iii]

 ~~~

 My mother is a famous writer (in this equation, famous = distracted). For some reason, that I have not been able to calculate, being a famous writer makes it difficult to focus on any one thing for extended periods of time, including daughters’ birthdays. Writing is not as exact as math.

To combat her distraction, I mark my birthday on every calendar in the house. It’s not so much that Mom forgets my birthday. It’s that she gets distracted while planning. This year, I took an additional precaution: I changed her screen saver to “LILY’S BIRTHDAY IS THURSDAY!!!!!”

So, having solved the problem of the distractedness, we are usually ready to proceed with normal birthday celebrations. I say usually because there are occasionally book signings or tours that cause further issues. This year, however, there were none of these kinds of complications.

That is not to say that there were no complications.

There was, in fact, a huge one.

I came home from school intending to go out to dinner with my mother. That is a normal, mathematical way to celebrate a birthday. I grabbed a handful of pretzels from a bowl on the counter and popped my head into Mom’s office to say hello. (Mom’s office = a cluttered, messy room full of unorganized paper scraps that contain notes about her stories.)

Mom smiled at me. “How was school?”

“Not enough math.” I munched a pretzel. “What time are we going out tonight?”

“Going out?” Mom’s voice was quieter, distracted. She was sinking back into her novel.

“For dinner? For my birthday?”

Eyes fixed on her computer screen, she answered, “No. Matt is bringing dinner.”

“Matt? Matt who?” I quickly ran a mental index of my mother’s friends, acquaintances, and contacts for a Matt.

Mom gasped, covered her mouth with her hand, and mumbled, “Oh! It was supposed to be a surprise! What am I—”

“Mom!” I grabbed her shoulders, crushing a pretzel in my palm. “Stop. Who is Matt? Explain logically.”

She nodded. “Okay. Let’s sit down.” She led the way to the living room, and sat beside me on the couch, patting me on the back. “The thing is, Lily, I don’t want to explain too much without your father. He—”

“Wait. What?” I interrupted. “My father?”

“Oh! Fiddlesticks! I did it again! Matt’s going to kill me. I do fine for fifteen years and blow it on the last day. Why am I—”

“Mom!”

“Right. Well,” she took a breath. “To begin, I should say that your father is not dead.”

“But, he is dead. You told me that he died–that the train he was on hit a cow.”[iv]

“No, Sweetie.” She patted my knee. “He’s not dead. He is alive and he’s coming to dinner.”

“I don’t understand. The train wrecked, the cow died, Dad died. You showed me the channel 6 news footage.”

Mom sighed. (Why is she sighing? Did she think that I would automatically understand? Did I miss the Lily, your dad is not dead memo?) “There was a train wreck, a cow did die. And it was on the news. But your father was not on the train.”

I took a deep breath and tried to sort out the emotions that started crowding my brain. Shock and disbelief—what she’s saying can’t be possible—can it? Joy and happiness, too—my dad’s alive!

But years of dealing with my mom have made me logical.  One of us has to stay focused, so I pushed all the emotions down and focused on gathering more data. “Okay. Where was he?”

“He wants to explain all this to you, and he should be the one to do it. Can we just leave it at: he’s not dead, and he’s coming to dinner tonight?”

“But why did you tell me he was dead?”

“It was safer for everyone if you thought that. But, Lily, your father can explain this a lot better than me.” She stood up. “Now, I need to work on getting the prince to fall in love with the princess, and you should probably get your homework done before dinner. I’m sure you’re going to have a lot to talk about with your dad.” She turned to go back to the office.

Are you kidding me? That’s the end of the conversation?

I followed Mom into her office.  “But you lied to me.”

She sank into her chair, sighing.  “Lily. There will be a lot of discussion about this tonight.  Please.  Let’s just wait until then.”  She added in a lower voice, “I wasn’t supposed to have to do this alone. It was so stupid of me to slip up.”

“So, we’re not going to talk about it now?”

“Lily! I have a deadline.  You have homework. Go do it!”

“Fine.” I slammed the door on my way out.

 ~~~

 Mom was wrong to assume I had homework. It was the first day of school. We wasted most of the day with passing out textbooks and going over rules. I spent my “homework” time analyzing the events of the afternoon.[v] Specifically, I needed to place Mom’s shocking new variables into the equation of Lily’s Life.

 Lily = a 5 foot, normal, freshman girl, who has shoulder length blonde hair, green eyes, and a distracted mother.

 The new variables that now had to be put into my equation are A = my father is alive and B = my mother is a liar.

A and B are dependent upon one another. For instance, my mother is proved to be a liar (B), because my father is alive (A). My father’s being alive (A) was a secret because my mother is a liar (B).

How is that normal?

Statistically speaking, teenagers should have parents who create supportive environments for them to grow in during their difficult, formative years. This is the mathematically proven way of success.[vi]

How are a dead father, who is not dead, and a mother, who is a liar, supportive? What teenager sits around on her fifteenth birthday trying to think of questions to ask her mother about her used-to-be-dead father?

I was led to believe my father died in a bizarre train/cow accident two days before I was born. I always thought of it like this:

 After the accident = (Amtrak – 1 train) + (Lily – 1 father) + (Farmer Jones – 1 cow)

 But none of this matters now, since my father is not actually dead. How unfortunate there isn’t enough time in the Plan of Lily’s Life to have therapy discussing cows, liars, and fathers.

I dug around in the bottom of my closet looking for The Box my mother gave me for my fifth birthday. It contains everything I know about my father and once upon a time, I thought it was the best birthday present ever.[vii] When I was younger, I kept The Box beside my bed. I was very afraid of the dark as a child and having The Box next to me gave irrational comfort. (Mom leaving the hall light on helped, too.) But as I grew older and no longer needed The Boxbeside me to sleep, I put it away in my closet, getting it out less and less to look at the items and think about my father. And this past year, I hadn’t even looked at The Box since my last birthday.

I blew the dust off, slowly opening the lid to hear the creak of the hinges. I like that sound. The Box has a tarnished keyhole, but the key was lost before I ever had it. I ran my fingers over the lid, feeling the words carved on the smooth wooden surface:

Our Only Protector

HRHMS

When I asked my mother about the words on The Box, she said she didn’t know what they meant; Dad had never explained them to her. (She was probably lying.)

There are three items in The Box–three tangible, mathematical facts about my father. The first is a solid blue marble, the color of a tropical island lagoon or something else that is blue.[viii] My mother told me the marble was my dad’s. He was so good at marbles as a boy that marble playing at his school stopped, because no one could beat him.

I decided that I, too, would become skilled at marble playing. I got pretty good, but marbles was not a game children played at my school, so I mostly played by myself.[ix] (My mother would sometimes play with me, usually whenever she needed a break from her characters.) But I never played with the blue marble. In my elementary school mind, I reasoned that I would save the blue marble for the game I would one day play with my father. (At seven, mathematical facts, like the surety of death are not overly important.) I do, however, find considerable irony in the fact that, now (apparently), I can play that game with my dear old dad.

The second item in The Box is an antique brass doorknob my father used when he proposed to my mother. He said, “I am giving you the doorknob to my heart because you are the only one who can open it,” or something else equally sugary and romantic. Even though romance is too abstract to be mathematical, I always thought this was a tremendously clever way to say “I love you.” (Evidently, so did Mom.)

The third item in The Box is a letter from my father to me. It was written the day before he “died” or whatever the new story will be. (For all I know, my mother could have written the letter. She is, after all, a writer.) This is what he “wrote”:

Dear Future Sparrow Child:

I wanted to take a moment to write down what I am feeling at this moment. I am rather excited and pleased that in a few days (or maybe less!) I will officially be your Father! I wanted to let you know that you are coming into a wonderful family. Your mother will dream up wonderful stories to tell you, and I will help you explore this New World of yours. We are going to have a grand adventure together. I can’t wait to see you! I am counting the minutes until I can be

Your Father

Now that Mom has given me new data to consider, I’m not sure what to think about the letter anymore. Did he know he was leaving when he wrote it? How could he write such a letter of excitement and then leave? And for that matter, why did my mother say it was safer for everyone if I thought he was dead?Was he dangerous? I lean towards a “no” on this issue. (In my experience, which is limited, dangerous people do not propose with doorknobs.)

There are no pictures of my father in The Box or in the house for that matter. My mom does not like to answer questions about pictures. It makes her very defensive and bothered.[x] And I’ve given up looking for them in her closets or in the attic. There are just no pictures of my father.

I had been working on a theory that Mom burned all of them in some sort of grief cleansing after he died. But now he isn’t dead…. Could he be a spy? Or maybe he was a tortured, drug-addicted musician? Both of those theories would support Mom saying, “It was safer for everyone if you thought he was dead.”

I shook my head. Speculation is not mathematical and the trouble with looking for tangible facts about my father in The Box is that the equation The Box sets up is this:

 what I know about my father = M(1 blue marble + 1 doorknob +1 letter +1 old box)

M = what my mother says about my father

 We can reasonably conclude that the M is tainted (by my mother’s lies) and thereby taints the whole solution, but if you take M out, you’ll have no information at all. Multiplying by zero equals zero. Zero stories about my dad. Just a box.

And for the first time, looking through The Box had made me angry.  All of these things I “know” about my dead father were probably lies.  Just one of Mom’s stories made up to entertain her daughter.

I shoved the blue marble in my pocket. Then I put The Box away and checked the clock. Almost five. Five o’clock is always suppertime in the Sparrow home. I don’t know how this kind of a schedule works with a distracted mother, but somehow it does. She always has supper ready at five, no matter what the characters in her story world are doing.

I saw no signs of supper in the kitchen. Nothing. I looked in the office. Mom was still busy writing. What are the odds that on the day I find out my dad isn’t really dead, my mom also forgets to cook supper?

I wanted to ask my mother about supper, but I didn’t want to ask about my father specifically, because that would be weird, and I didn’t want to lash out at her.  (Cool, rational thinking wins the day.) I didn’t want to say, for instance, “Hey Mom, you may have lied to me for fifteen years, but don’t you need to be cooking something? It isn’t everyday Dad comes over for dinner.” so I said instead:

“What are we having for dinner tonight?”

Mom continued writing for a moment, then realized I had spoken, “I don’t know, whatever your dad brings home.”

I stood shocked for a moment. Let me see if I have my facts straight: a man I have never met, a man who has been “dead” my whole life, is bringing home my special birthday dinner. HE is bringing it HOME? To our home? We have a leaky faucet that has lived here longer than he has. This is not his home. Home implies permanency.

Mom looked at me. “Why are you staring like that, Lily?”

“What do you mean ‘he’s bringing dinner home’?”

“Try to understand, Lily.” Mom patted my arm and spoke slowly as if she were talking to a three-year-old or a crazy person. “Your dad is coming home for your birthday, and he is bringing dinner with him.”

I stared at her. “You mean he’s coming over for dinner, right? He can’t be coming home, because he doesn’t live here.”

“Lily, he’ll be here in less than five minutes. Do we really have to discuss whether he’s “coming over” or “coming home,” at this exact moment?” She started stacking her notes in different piles, a sign that writing was done for the day.

“Yes.” I folded my arms. “You don’t get to just lie to me and then say a stranger is coming home and then try to neatly stack me up like one of your writing notes!”

“Lily.” Mom’s voice was stern. “We are not doing this now. If you need to go back upstairs to calm down—fine. But I don’t want your father coming home to us screaming at each other.”

I could tell I was on the verge of becoming irrational so I stomped upstairs to brush my teeth.[xi] (I tend to brush my teeth when I get annoyed.) What does she mean, coming home?

On the landing, I stepped over the mini-vac Mom had left (through her distraction) plugged in. Most likely, this morning, when she was supposed to be vacuuming the stairs, inspiration seized her and she abandoned cleaning for writing.

I stomped into the bathroom, annoyed with my adult role model. How am I supposed to grow up in this abnormal environment?

Just as I finished angrily squeezing toothpaste onto my toothbrush, the shower curtain was pushed back by a fully clothed man standing in the bathtub.

“Lily!” he said. “Happy birthday!”

the author

kristee ravan

Kristee Ravan lives in Oklahoma with her husband, daughter, and pet fish, Val (short for Valentine). She wanted to be many things as she grew up including a general, an artist, and an architect. But she never bothered to say, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” She was always writing stories and thought of herself as a writer anyway. She sent her first story to a publisher in the sixth grade. (It was rejected – in a nice way.) When she is not making up stories in her head, she enjoys reading, juggling, green smoothies, playing dollhouse with her daughter, and hearing from her fans.

Goodreads

giveaway

There will be six winners on this giveaway!

  • One lucky US resident winner will take home a paperback copy of The Cinderella Theorem;
  • Five lucky INTERNATIONAL winners will take home each a digital copy of The Cinderella Theorem!

No matter which prize you aim for, to enter this giveaway, click here and good luck: GIVEAWAY!

That’s it, thanks for reading 🙂

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Maisy and the Missing Mice, from Elizabeth Woodrum (The Maisy Files #1)

Hello, again! So, I decided to try to review a book per day until I catch up with myself. Of course I can’t promise anything, but trying is important, right? 🙂

I’d like to talk today about a lovely middle grade mystery that I received from Lola Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review: Maisy and the Missing Mice, the first one in The Maisy Files series, from Elizabeth Woodrum 😀 Thanks so much for my review copy! Let’s do this 🙂

maisy and the missing mice

*Oh, I’d like to take a moment to explain why I have a lack of bookish pictures on my reviews lately: I haven’t got a second alone with my iPad to take nice pictures. My parents are always using it, 24/7, and now that I’m back to work I don’t have a single moment of the day in which I have the damn tablet all for myself, haha! I’ll try to take some decent and pretty pictures this week before they get home 🙂

the story

Maisy Sawyer has two passions on her life: mysteries and cherry lollipops. Even being only a fourth grade student, she is considered her school’s professional detective and always helps people solving their mysteries… In exchange for cherry lollipops, of course!

At first, the robbery of the school’s mice seemed just another regular mystery on Maisy’s schedule. But it all became personal when the thief, The Black Boot, decided to also steal Maisy’s cherry lollipops collection. That just went too far.

Now it’s not only a matter of helping the school getting their mascots back. The Black Boot went too far and made it personal. And Maisy Sawyer never left a mystery unsolved.

the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

This book was insanely cute. It was so refreshing to read a so well-written children’s book! ❤ I won’t lie, the mystery is really obvious, but I can really see middle grade students grabbing this book and reading it in one sitting (like I did) to find out who stole the mice and Maisy’s lollipops, haha! (like I did, because I needed to know if I was right, haha!) I had some small problems with Maisy’s behavior – she did things too right sometimes, to the point that it became unnatural for a kid on her age to have that level of awareness of her surroundings – but overall, it was a delightful read. Four stars

The narrative is third person from Maisy’s point of view, which really works for the suspense of the mystery. I liked Maisy, she was a very cute kid and has a great future as a detective 🙂 Woodrum’s writing style was fluid and simple, but sometimes it felt too simple. For example, she would always use “but” instead of mixing it with “however” or any other synonyms and while I understand this is a middle grade book, a child can feel how repetitive it gets. I talk from experience, as I’ve been an assiduous reader since I learned how to do it, with the age of seven – ironically, I was the last child on my classroom to learn how to read, haha! But after I got the hang of it, I never stopped, oops!

dean winchester supernatural it's a guilty pleasure

The plot was good and well executed. The mystery wasn’t that complex – it is a middle grade book, after all – but I liked that the author didn’t make it too easy too. I think a child can solve it too, but nothing is outrageously obvious 🙂 I was highly satisfied with all the technical aspects of Maisy and the Missing Mice!

Now, let’s talk about characters. While I really appreciate that Woodrum didn’t treat Maisy as a naïve and vulnerable child just because she is young, there were times in which Maisy’s maturity was beyond forced. I get that she tried to “teach” children what they should do, but it’s from the young nature to be impulsive and reckless. I was a mature child myself and even so, I did impulsive and reckless things all the time and my mom would end up fighting with me. My point is, I missed a little this natural aspect of a child in Maisy.

On the other hand, there is this scene in which Maisy’s classroom is leaving for their break and Maisy sees some children with their coats on and suddenly decides she wants her coat too. While I think this is perfectly normal behavior among children, it felt forced on Maisy, because she was so decided and couldn’t care less for what her colleagues and friends thought. Contradictory much?

Anyway, even with those small problems, I still loved Maisy and the other characters. They were overall very real and relatable, as we saw little habits that make people who they are 🙂 Veronica, her best friend, was lovely ❤

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Overall, if you like a good mystery for children or is looking for a good middle grade book – who knows? – you totally should give Maisy and the Missing Mice a try 😀

4star

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Thanks so much for reading my review ❤ Also, thanks again to Lola’s Blog Tours for sending me my review copy!

assinatura

lolas blog tour host

COVER REVEAL: Ella’s Twisted Senior Year, by Amy Sparling

Hi, there! Welcome to the first out of two cover reveals for today 😀 The first star is Ella’s Twisted Senior Year, by Amy Sparling! On the account of Lola’s Blog Tours 😀

Ella's Twisted Senior Year

 

Ella’s Twisted Senior Year
by Amy Sparling
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 31th, 2016

summary

Having spent most of her senior year flying under the radar, the last thing Ella Lockhart expected was to have a tornado rip straight through her house, leaving her homeless. It’s bad enough that the whole school now pities her, but did her parents have to let the neighbors take them in?

Now she’s sharing a house with Ethan Poe, her former best friend-turned-enemy. All those feelings she used to have for him are starting to rain down on her again. Too bad he’s a jerk and his new girlfriend has territorial issues. Thanks to Mother Nature, Ella’s house and her entire life have been turned upside down.

Ethan isn’t quite sure why Ella hates him so much, but he does know she wants nothing to do with him. He’s never quite gotten over the crush he had on her as a kid, and now that she’s living across the hall, it’s hard to stay away. His girlfriend isn’t helping the situation and when she shows her true colors, he doesn’t want to date her anymore. He wants to date someone like Ella. Too bad she hates him.

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Amy Sparling
Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

That’s it, thanks for reading 🙂

assinatura

 


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BOOK BLITZ: Icing, by Kelly Jamieson (Aces Hockey #3)

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Hi, there! We are on a day crowded with book birthdays and I couldn’t be happier to see so many new babies around, haha! Right now I’m talking about the release blitz that Give Me Books put together for Icing, the third book in the Aces Hockey series, by Kelly Jamieson!

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Icing

Aces Hockey #3

By  Kelly Jamieson

Publisher: Loveswept

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 19th, 2016

summary

Duncan Armstrong may be an NHL star, but he’s a country boy at heart. His ultimate fantasy is going home with the Stanley Cup, not a gold-digging airhead who aspires to be a trophy wife and nothing more. Newly single and hoping to enjoy a night out with his teammates, he ends up hitting it off with a down-to-earth waitress who’s a complete breath of fresh air—until Duncan learns that she’s a part-time model. He tries to forget about her, but their sizzling chemistry has him coming back for more.

Amber is working hard to put herself through school, and has zero interest in dating a professional athlete. She’s seen firsthand how fame and fortune can mess with their heads—her father’s brilliant football career ended in a firestorm of addiction and infidelity. So Duncan’s attentions immediately have her on the defensive. Still, there’s something different about him. And once she stops trying to freeze him out, irresistible temptation turns into all-consuming passion.

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This is not my usual kind of book, but this cover made me want to give a chance to Duncan and Amber ❤ Yes, I’m a cover girl and I regret nothing 🙂

purchase links

You can find Icing in both ebook and audiobook formats 😀

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

also in the series

Book One: Major Misconduct

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

~*~

Book Two: Off Limits

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

the author

USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson is the author of more than thirty contemporary romance novels. She’s a married mother of two who lives a very ordinary life outside of her imagination. She likes coffee (black), wine (mostly white), and shoes (high!). She also loves watching hockey.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

That’s it, thanks for reading 🙂 Do you like contemporary with athletes??

assinatura

give me books book tours

Around the World in YA Books Tag!

Hello, there! Welcome to another Saturday with a book tag ❤ This time I was tagged by the lovely Jess, from the Mud and Stars! I highly recommend for you to check up her blog, it’s amazing ❤ She’s also amazing, I think there’s a connection here 😉

Anyway, let’s make this trip! Just don’t expect only YA books…

Brazil

  • São Paulo

Brás, Bexiga and Barra Funda

  • Rio de Janeiro

The Hour of the Star

  • Bahia

Sand Captains

Lima, Peru

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

Caribbean

Jack Sparrow series

Cuba

The Old Man and the Sea

Bahamas

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

 Italy

  • Florence

Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance

  • Venice

One Knight in Venice

  • Verona

Romeo and Juliet

Portugal

The Crime of Father Amaro

Germany

  • Molching

The Book Thief

  • Hamburg

Journey to the Center of the Earth

France

The Phantom of the Opera

England

  • London

Convincing the Secretary

  • Shere

His Request

  • Cambridge

Lessons in Love

  • Durham

Object of His Desire

  • Bristol

Polestar

  • Yorkshire

The Tutor

 Scotland

Highland Magic series

Greece

The Iliad

Denmark

Misunderstood: Secrets of a Teen Queen

Russia

Tapestry of Fate

USA

  • New Hampshire

The Asylum series

  • North Carolina

The Bartered Bride

  • Maine

Between Worlds, Jacqueline E. Smith

  • Coldwater, Maine

Hush, Hush

  • Shore Lake

Blur (Night Roamers)

  • New York

Percy Jackson series

  • Florida

Boys of Summer

  • Isla Huesos, Florida

Abandon series

  • Baltimore

Dangerous Spirits

  • Los Angeles

Darkness Brutal

  • California

The Mediator series

  • Laguna Beach, California

Evermore

  • Bervery Hills, California

Misunderstood: Secrets of a Teen Queen

  • Seattle

Twilight series

  • Gettysburg

Escape To Gettis… And Love

  • Nebraska

Fangirl

  • Washington

50 Shades of Grey

  • Texas

His Convenient Husband

  • Austin, Texas

Stripped with the Vampire

  • Arizona

The Host

  • Kansas

In Cold Blood

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Interview with the Vampire

  • Mississippi

The Last Juror

  • Tulsa, Oklahoma

The House of Night series

  • Boston

My Reckless Heart

  • New Jersey

Of Poseidon

  • Minnesota

Origins

  • Hollywood

Secrets and High Spirits

  • Oregon

The Shack

  • San Francisco

Thomasina

  • Alabama

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Connecticut

The Wedding Bargain

  • Massachusetts

Widdershins

  • Georgia

With Abandon

  • New Mexico

With Caution

Saudi Arabia

The Arabian Nights

Jerusalem

The Expected One

Egypt

Cleopatra and her Asp

Istanbul, Turkey

Inferno

Congo

Heart of Darkness

China

Brothers

Japan

Hiroshima

Antarctica

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

 

Omg, it seems that I travel a lot both on the real and on the fictional world…

After so many titles, I’m feeling terrible lazy, so I’m nominating everyone that is up to the challenge of finding out on how many bookish places that you already visited, haha!

assinatura

 

 

[ps: My most visited places of all times is England ❤ ]