Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #85: February Book Haul Part 3


Hello fellow bookgeeks :)

It's been another rough week with baby boy sick and boys readjusting to school schedules and other stuff... I'm worn out! I've barely had any energy for reading, amongst other things; which makes me so sad :(

But, it was still a good week in books!!!
Yay for more ARCs to add to my Oliver and Stiefvater collections :)



*What I received for review...
- I'LL HOLD YOU FOREVER (PB) by Dawn Marie Hooks (C) from the author.
THE TRUTH ABOUT US (ARC) by Janet Gurtler from Sourcebooks Fire
- PUBLIC ENEMIES (The Immortal Game #2) (ARC) by Ann Aguirre from Macmillan

*Book trades/swaps...
- THE SCULPTOR (ARC) by Scott McCloud (NA/A)
GEEK GIRL (ARC) by Holly Smale 

*Books I received in trades because of "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?" meme :)
THE RAVEN BOYS (ARC) by Maggie Stiefvater
- SINNER (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) (ARC) by Maggie Stiefvater
- REQUIEM (Delirium #3) (ARC) by Lauren Oliver
- ROOMS (ARC) by Lauren Oliver 

*Won in giveaway...
- SPOT by David Wiesner - SPOT swag from HMHKids :)


* * * 

A few pics from this past week :)

Hubs and I selfie-ing :)

Baby boy and I are Oogaa brand partners!!!

Baby boy torturing Papa, lol! Help find the lost toy :)

* * * 

Thank you SO much for stopping by today!!!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your link so I can visit you too, please!!!
xoxo

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Release Day (Excerpt and Giveaway): THE HIDDEN LIBRARY by Heather Lyons (A)



by Heather Lyons
Release date: February 26th, 2015
Published by: Cerulean Books
Genre: Adult Romantic Fairytale (Fantasy and Adventure)
Format: eBook

SUMMARY

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.





 EXCERPT

We are about to open the conference room door and enter the hallway when he stops. He turns to me, his lovely eyes achingly sincere. “I want to take you on a date when all of this craziness is over. A real one. We’ve kind of gone about this all backwards, haven’t we?”
One corner of my mouth lifts up. “Are you saying you’d like to court me?”
There is no playfulness to his face, no quirk to his own lips. My heart flutters at his seriousness. “Yes.”
He wants to court me.
Too many emotions rush around in a caucus race throughout my body. I have no doubts of Huckleberry Finn Van Brunt’s feelings toward me. I understood them two minutes ago just as well as I did this morning when I woke up and from the night before and from the day in Wonderland where he said, in not so many words, that he was falling in love with me.
I told him he was my north star, and meant it. He countered we are binaries.
He and I . . . We’ve never said those words, though, not the ones that truly spell out fragile, deep secrets of a heart and soul. Words so easily and yet unfortunately uttered by many, be it to express their appreciation of fried bits of potatoes to sports teams on the television. Words offered so frivolously about a variety of subjects and yet can be the most difficult, most painful, most meaningful, most cherished syllables we gift another person.
I have said these words before, to another man. Another man I still love. One I know, in the deepest confines of my heart, that I will love until the last breath escapes my body. A man who courted me in secret and then publicly in the face of astonishment, disapproval, confusion, and, in the end, prophesies.
I have willingly given the man in front of me my heart, though, whether he knows it or not. He now holds it in his hands, and while I pray he is my future, there is still a part of me that bucks in conflicted confusion and delight by this declaration of his.
He wants to court me.
And yet, as sweet and romantic as such a gesture might be, I require no such formalities. My affections for Finn Van Brunt have already solidified into something real and wonderful and meaningful.


PURCHASE LINKS

 Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Don’t miss the first book in this series, THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY!



GIVEAWAY

(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Heather Lyons


Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #121: INK AND BONE (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!!
The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!
And, quite possibly, to make our shelves look pretty too :) 


What I'm currently waiting for... 


The Great Library #1
by Rachel Caine
Expected release date: July 7th, 2015
Published by: NAL
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, eBook



SUMMARY

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.



Why I'm waiting on INK AND BONE...

First of all... do you know the story of the Library of Alexandria? 
If not, go here and read a bit about it on Wikipedia... I'll wait... 

Second... did you not just learn about the Library of Alexandria??? 

And lastly... seriously, it's about coveting BOOKS!!!
And people put their lives on the line for them!!!

Can you imagine not being able to personally own any books?!?!


SO, what are you waiting for this week???

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): WITHERWOOD REFORM SCHOOL by Obert Skye (MG)


by Obert Skye
Illustrated by Keith Thompson
Expected release date: March 3rd, 2015
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (Macmillan)
Genre: Middle Grade
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.

SUMMARY

After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. 

Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. 

Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger — especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control. 

If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. 

If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood — 
and ultimately save themselves.




MY REVIEW

There are very few authors that can pull off such a wickedly humorous story about two siblings that !

The narrator tells us the story about how Tobias and Charlotte Eggars ended up at Witherwood Reform School. And it is not a pretty nor easy story to tell.
Tobias is a normal boy that likes a little mischief. He's very smart and thinks better when he can write things down and loves to study and draw maps. Very protective and attuned to his younger sister.
Charlotte is also just a normal girl who always sees the bright things to every situation. She compliments her brother's darkers side too well. She always seems to be the voice of reason.
The school is dark, mysterious, strange and... perhaps even evil. Too many odd and unexplained things occur. A headmaster that is able to brainwash the students. Unknown guardians that could possibly kill any intruders, and/or, escapees.
And the narrator knows how to guide us with what is right, what is wrong, and what Tobias and Charlotte should have and shouldn't have done. The narrator is very smart, cautious and to the point. Anyone reading this book should take much care in what the narrator suggests.

There is no happy ending here. Tobias and Charlotte brought this bad luck onto themselves. And it will definitely take some time to figure out what they have done, what they are mixed up in... and if they will ever learn their lesson(s) and be able to make amends in order to get out of Witherwood... sane and whole.

Definitely for fans of Lemony Snicket's Unfortunate Events series, this book will have you laughing out loud, grossed out and on the edge of your seat! I anxiously await for the next book to be released! Will the Eggers siblings be able to behave enough to not get into anymore trouble? Will they figure out a way to leave the reformed school for good? So many questions, so little time... can't wait!!!


*An ARC was sent to me from the publisher for the blog tour and an honest review. All thoughts are my own.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Obert Skye


Obert Skye is the author and illustrator of the Creature from My Closet series: WonkensteinPotterwookieePinocula, and Katfish (forthcoming September 2014). He has also written the bestselling children’s fantasy adventure series Leven Thumps and Pillage. 

He currently lives indoors and near a thin, winding road with his family. 



Macmillan "Witherwood Reform School" Blog Tour Schedule

2/27: Mundie Kids

Release Day: VENDETTA by Catherine Doyle (YA)


It's here!!!
VENDETTA by Catherine Doyle is out TODAY
and we're thrilled to celebrate it's release!!!


Blood for Blood #1
by Catherine Doyle
Release date: February 24th, 2015
Published by: Scholastic
Genre: Young Adult Romance Thriller
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: eARC from the publisher.


SUMMARY

Think Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather. Oh yeah.

Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

For Sophie, it starts as just another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill. Then a new family moves into the long-abandoned mansion across the street: the Falcone family, with its five mysterious brothers. 

Unable to resist bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him - and into his world. But just as the dark secrets of the Falcones begin to come to light, the skeletons of her own family, the Gracewells, rise to the surface, too. And soon Sophie is torn between the desires of two warring dynasties: the one she was born into and the one she's now in love with. 

But she'll have to choose between passion and honor. And when she does, blood will spill and hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, loyalty can mean the difference between life and death.





BOOK TRAILER




PURCHASE LINKS








ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Catherine Doyle


Catherine Doyle was born in the West of Ireland in 1990. 

She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in English. 

As a child she was an annoying smarty-pants with an overactive imagination. She feels lucky to have now found a healthy outlet for her tendency to make up stories. 

Her debut YA novel, VENDETTA, is the first in a trilogy. 
The novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, where Catherine’s mother grew up.




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Blog Tour (Guest Post, Review and Giveaway): A MEMORY OF VIOLETS by Hazel Gaynor (A)



A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
by Hazel Gaynor
Release date: February 3rd, 2015
Published by: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Format read: eARC from the publisher.


SUMMARY

"For little sister. . . . I will never stop looking for you."

1876. Among the filth and depravity of Covent Garden's flower markets, orphaned Irish sisters Flora and Rosie Flynn sell posies of violets and watercress to survive. It is a pitiful existence, made bearable only by each other's presence. When they become separated, the decision of a desperate woman sets their lives on very different paths.

1912. Twenty-one-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London to become assistant housemother at one of Mr. Shaw's Training Homes for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the homes have cared for London's orphaned and crippled flower girls, getting them off the streets. For Tilly, the appointment is a fresh start, a chance to leave her troubled past behind.

Soon after she arrives at the home, Tilly finds a notebook belonging to Flora Flynn. Hidden between the pages she finds dried flowers and a heartbreaking tale of loss and separation as Flora's entries reveal how she never stopped looking for her lost sister. Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie—but the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.


GUEST POST

Introducing…. New York Times Bestselling Author Hazel Gaynor

I sometimes describe myself as one part writer, two parts mum and I think this is a pretty accurate description! Life as a writer with two young boys is certainly busy, and far from the idyllic image people might have of a place of calm and serenity to channel my writing muse! Writing happens when the kids are at school and in snatched moments between playdates and rugby training and cooking the dinner. It’s busy, messy and, at times, chaotic – but it’s also wonderful and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

I started writing in 2009, following redundancy when I was in my late 30’s. From my fledgling experience as a parenting blogger, to freelancing for the local press and eventually starting the novel I’d been talking about for years, my route to publication has been far from straightforward. But all the ups and downs, the pain of rejections, the nerves as the book eventually goes out into the world have all been so worth it. To finally see my books in the hands of readers is very special indeed. It just goes to show that you should never give up, and that it is never too late to start.

It was sometime in 2010 when I first started to scribble notes and ideas for a novel based around the lives of London’s flower sellers at the turn of the century. That novel would eventually become A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. I’d loved Pygmalion and My Fair Lady since playing the role of Eliza Doolittle in the school musical (of which there is, unfortunately, video evidence!) I wanted to understand more about the real Elizas – the young women who sold flowers and watercress on the streets of Victorian and Edwardian-era London.

During my research, I was surprised to learn that many of the youngest flower sellers were orphaned, blind or physically disabled in some way. I also discovered the work of Victorian philanthropist, John Groom, who gave many of these young girls and women a home at his ‘crippleage’ where he taught them how to make artificial flowers and took them off the streets. Their work became widely known in London, and eventually led to their involvement in the very first Queen Alexandra Rose Day in June 1912. But it was when I read Henry Mayhew’s, London Labour & The London Poor, in which he records detailed interviews with London’s street sellers from the late 1800s, that I came across an account of two orphaned watercress sellers. I knew immediately that I had found my story and that I wanted to combine the idea of two orphaned sisters with the work of John Groom and his Flower Homes.

Since my debut novel, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, was published in April 2014, I’ve been blown away by the reaction of readers. I love receiving messages through my website and am always very touched when readers take the time to contact me and share their response to my characters. To have watched the novel go from being self-published, to a fully-fledged book published across the USA and to then hit the New York Times bestsellers on three occasions has been simply amazing, and I’m so very grateful to all the readers who made this happen.

I am now very excited to be publishing my second novel A MEMORY OF VIOLETS and can’t wait to see what this next chapter of my writing life will bring.



PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound 



MY REVIEW

Every once in a while, there comes a book that is meant to soften your heart and embed itself into your memories for the rest of your life.  And MEMORY OF VIOLETS does so much more than that...

The story is told through a few different point of views, but primarily, it starts with Tilly Harper. Tilly leaves her beautiful home in the mountains to go work as a housemother in Mr. Shaw's Training Homes for Watercress and Flower Girls; a home for orphaned girls who have a physical disability. Tilly is to help care for these girls; girls who are not only cared for and given the opportunity to strive into young ladies, but who are also trained to learn how to live with their disabilities by working in the organizations silk flower factory, and then eventually mature enough to go on with their lives as normal as possible.
Upon Tilly's arrival, she comes across a small box containing a few odd momentos and a journal that belonged to one of the girls, Flora aka Florrie, that had stayed in the room she is now occupying. Tilly instantly feels a connection to the flower girl who lost her blind sister in London's streets. Tilly left home to find a way to forget the things that she had done and not feel so guilty anymore. But with Florrie's journal, she finds a way to do the things she must do in order to come to terms with her mistakes and her family secrets.
Florrie painstakingly writes her journal entries to her long lost sister, Rosie. Rosie is the only good that Florrie had in her life. She promised her little sister that she would always take care of her. Until that tragic day where she let go of her hand and Rosie was lost in the crowd of flower sellers and their buyers. Florrie promised that she would look for Rosie until she found her. Every single page of Florrie's journal was filled with such heartfelt longing and loneliness.

"For little sister... I will never stop looking for you."

Tilly is moved by Florrie's love and unanswered prayers. She is determined to find out what happened to Rosie and hopes to give Florrie the peace that she deserves. Little does Tilly know that there will be more ghosts to meet, help and say goodbye to.

The most definitive historical fiction I have ever read. The author's strong and accurate details to this period of time was captivating - I found myself living right alongside these characters. I felt the weather and smelled the stench of the London streets; I felt their moments of pain, love, sadness and more. I was able to close my eyes and not only picture the flowers, but smell them too. Even when I had to put the book aside to tend to my real life moments, I couldn't help but wonder about Florrie and what Tilly was going to do next in order to find Rosie, and what she was going to in regards to her own dilemmas - they became so real to me. And every once in a while, I swear, I could smell roses and sometimes, violets... their story kept calling me back. I needed to know what had happened to Florrie and Rosie, and what was going to become of Tilly, her suitor. her own sister, and others as well. 

An unforgettable story that I will be shelving next to my other heartfelt favorites such as The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans and Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.


*An eARC was provided to me from the publisher for the blog tour and an honest review. All thoughts are my own.



GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hazel Gaynor


Hazel Gaynor is an author and freelance writer living in Ireland. 

Her debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME (William Morrow/HarperCollins) was a USA Today and New York Times bestseller. Her second novel A MEMORY OF VIOLETS will be published in February 2015.

Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was recently named as one of U.S. Library Journal's Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. 

Hazel also writes a popular guest blog ‘Carry on Writing’ for national Irish writing website writing.ie. She also writes feature articles for the site and has interviewed authors such as Philippa Gregory, John Boyne, and Sebastian Faulks.

Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel has lived in Ireland for the past twelve years with her husband and two young children. 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): VENDETTA (Blood for Blood #1) by Catherine Doyle (YA)


Blood for Blood #1
by Catherine Doyle
Release date: February 24th, 2015
Published by: Scholastic
Genre: Young Adult Romance Thriller
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: eARC from the publisher.


SUMMARY

Think Romeo and Juliet meets The Godfather. Oh yeah.

Blood Will Spill, Hearts Will Break: With a fierce rivalry raging between two warring families, falling in love is the deadliest thing Sophie could do. An epic debut set outside modern-day Chicago.

For Sophie, it starts as just another slow, hot summer in Cedar Hill. Then a new family moves into the long-abandoned mansion across the street: the Falcone family, with its five mysterious brothers. 

Unable to resist bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling for him - and into his world. But just as the dark secrets of the Falcones begin to come to light, the skeletons of her own family, the Gracewells, rise to the surface, too. And soon Sophie is torn between the desires of two warring dynasties: the one she was born into and the one she's now in love with. 

But she'll have to choose between passion and honor. And when she does, blood will spill and hearts will break. Because in this twisted underworld, loyalty can mean the difference between life and death.





BOOK TRAILER



MY REVIEW

Finally! A contemporary book that has it all - mystery, snark and swoon! It's suspenseful, edgy, fast-paced and brilliant! A unique twist to the classic Romeo and Juliet story... 

Sophie has been having a hard time lately. In the last year and a half, she went from having it all to having to down-size because of her father's mistakes that landed him in jail. Sophie and her mom are now living on the other side of town doing the best that they can. And even though what had happened was not Sophie's fault, she's had to pay for the consequence of losing all her friends, being a social outcast and being stuck at a summertime job. Thank goodness for Millie! Sophie's rock, her best friend, the only one that has stuck by her side and has made life bearable. And what makes Sophie even worthier is that she doesn't dwell on any of her losses. She is snarky and often upbeat and really has a good sense of who she is and what she wants.

That is until a couple of boys move into town. Five of them, to be exact. 

And one of them may have caught Sophie's eye. (Although, I have my eye on two of them!)

And yes, there is definitely a 'vendetta' going on. Someone is out to seek revenge on something... it is too difficult to go into more of the story without any spoilers. Just know that there is a lot of details to be learned! Lots of twisty moves, ups and downs. So many revelations! And yet, with each known fact comes with a million more questions on top of it. You won't know who to trust... All of the characters are deep and complex and have something to say. Choices need to be made. Life and death situations... A great, great page turner!

I am so overly pleased that this is a trilogy... a superb start to more things to come! And although it can be described as a fun book, it is a lot darker than I expected it and that made it so I couldn't put it down. Forbidden love, family loyalty and murder are all in play! It has been so long since I've read a book in one sitting! I cannot wait for the next book to be released!!!


*An eARC was emailed to me from the publisher for this tour and an honest review. All thoughts are my own.



GIVEAWAY

- Enter to win one of ten copies of VENDETTA! 
- US residents only. 
- You must be 14 years or older to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales is not responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Catherine Doyle


Catherine Doyle was born in the West of Ireland in 1990. 

She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in English. 

As a child she was an annoying smarty-pants with an overactive imagination. She feels lucky to have now found a healthy outlet for her tendency to make up stories. 

Her debut YA novel, VENDETTA, is the first in a trilogy. 
The novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, where Catherine’s mother grew up.