Friday, March 31, 2017

Myths of Mish by Katie Hamstead #BlogTour @HamsteadKatie @YABoundToursPR


Myths of Mish (Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #2)
by Katie Hamstead
Genre: YA Space Opera/Scifi/Fantasy
Release Date: March 14th 2017
Curiosity Quills Press

Summary from Goodreads:

Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he's about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.
Wilhelmine Nordon has plenty of experience with Hansel's quirkier side. So when she catches him and Gretel running away in the middle of the night, she follows to keep them from getting killed. The siblings have never left the capital of Mish on their own, so they need a babysitter. Except when she's discovered, Hansel gives her his usual cold shoulder, and Gretel secretly begs her to take them back.
The problem is, Hansel's paranoia turns out to be well founded, and they're all being hunted.

Add to Goodreads

Princess of Tyrone (Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #1) on Goodreads



About the Author

Born and raised in Australia, Katie's early years of day dreaming in the "bush", and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.
When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels now available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 2017 Books

This month was a very lucrative book culling. I read nearly 20 books and have a 6 high pile of paper books and another 8 ebooks to speed read. There have been some really good reads and some not so good reads, but all have been interesting.

You can find the reviews for a lot of the books on this list, on the left sidebar or by clicking this link: reviews.

Here's my March books.

 James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
Surviving the Angel of Death - Eva Mozes Kor

 The Kill Order - James Dashner
Etched in Bone - Anne Bishop

 The Automation - GB Gabbler
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane - Lisa See

 Caraval - Stephanie Garber
Cold Reign - Faith Hunter

 Frogkisser - Garth Nix
A Crown of Wishes - Roshani Chokshi

 Carve the Mark - Veronica Roth
Garden of Thorns - Amber Mitchell

 The end of Magic - Amber Benson
The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown

 Free Space - Sean Danker
Vanguard - Jack Campbell

 The List - Patricia Forde
The Castaways - Jessika Fleck

 Strungballs - Mike Russell

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney @YorwickCastle #BlogTour


Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant fa├žade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
TEASERS:
“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.
* * *
Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.


Author Bio:
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.
Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.
I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.
You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

#WeeklyMenu Week 190

Happy Monday! Welcome to the brother head hugging pile. This is how my boys show their affection to their older brother.
I'm not sure if he likes it or if he's ready to run.

We spent the whole week being sick. One right after the other came down with the flew. It was terrible, but I think we are passed it all... Finally...

Well, enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday
Pork Schnitzle and Potatoes

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Tuna Sandwiches


Sunday, March 26, 2017

#BookReview - Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession

Title: Anne Boleyn - A King's Obsession
By: Alison Weir
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: May 18th, 2017
Publisher: Headline Review

Summary from Goodreads: 'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian


The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown - and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry's Queens. Her story.
History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.

SIX TUDOR QUEENS. SIX NOVELS. SIX YEARS.
 



Review: I've always been drawn to this story and how one woman almost brought down a country. This book was written well and kept me intrigued from start to finish. The characters had color and depth. They brought to life the story of the Boleyn sisters. If you like historical fiction, this is a good read.    


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#BookReview - The List by Patricia Forde

Title: The List
By: Patricia Forde
Genre: Fantasy 
Release Date: August 1st, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 

Summary from Goodreads: Fahrenheit 451 meets The Giver for tweens in this gripping story about the power of words and the dangers of censorship.

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
 


Review: This book started off with a cray concept. A list of words that are approved and the rest are banned, that's preposterous. There was intrigue and excitement at first, but half way through I lost interest from the slow pace of the story. The writing was good and the characters had depth. It just didn't keep my attention the way I wanted it too. Three stars.  

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#BookReview - A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Title: A Crown of Wishes
By: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: March 28th, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Summary from Goodreads: Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.



Review: A Crown of Wishes is a captivating sequel to The Star Touched Queen. It reminded me somewhat of Caravel that I also loved. I couldn’t put it down and read it cover to cover in 24 hours. The characters had an awesome connection and they were full of color and wonder. I loved the mythological creatures and the magic that flowed around them. Four stars for this magical read.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Monday, March 20, 2017

#WeeklyMenu Week 189

Its been such a beautiful day. I can't wait for summer to get here so I can enjoy the sun. We spent the weekend cleaning out our cars from the nasty winter weather, removing all the gunk that's built up over the last few months. 

Enjoy this weeks menu!


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday
- Spaghetti

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Tuna Sandwiches

Sunday, March 19, 2017

#BookReview - The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Title: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
By: Lisa See
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Publisher: Scribner

Summary from Goodreads: A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.
 



Review: Lisa See has done it again! The whole time I was reading this book, I'm thinking to myself "Is this based on a real story or not." That's when you know its a good book, when you can't tell the real from the fake. There was so much depth to the characters and all the superstitions and traditions that the Akha carried. It must have took the author a lot of time in research. I was sucked into a world that felt old and far away, but was in fact set in the current world and was only a plane flight away. Loved this story!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

#BookReview - The Castaways by Jessika Fleck

Title: The Castaways
By: Jessika Fleck
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: April 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Summary from Goodreads: Mean Girls meets Lord of the Flies in this YA contemporary fantasy.

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous.

Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing.

Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home.
 



Review: Wow! I can't even express how epic this book was. I couldn't put it down and read it from cover to cover in 24 hours. The Castaways pulls you in from the moment you open the cover when you realize that the main character, Olive is being bullied at school. Through the rest of the book, all I could think about was how Olive was going to get off the island alive and would William go with her. At the end, all I wanted to do was scream at William "Go with here!." But, alas, he couldn't. At the end, I just wanted to cry, but the author made everything better. I'm not going to give it away, but it has a happy ending. Five stars for Jessika Fleck!


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