Peep and Egg Time | Happy Halloween

I'm going to give you an amazing episode of the Kids Corner, the Halloween addition. Just because I have kids and I love Halloween.

There are early readers in my house, so I've been picking out new books to read with them everyday they have school. Its been a lot of fun. We've read some really fun and awesome books lately. One of my favorite is the one I'm going to share with you today.

Peep and Egg - I'm Not Trick-or-treating. This cute little story is about two little chicks. One who is excited to trick-or-treat and the other who is scared of everything. 

Peep tries to convince Egg that trick-or-treating is fun, but Egg is scared of everything. Of course, in the end Egg goes with Peep, but it is a fun journey getting there. 

My seven year old who struggles with reading was really into this story. He was able to read the book from start to finish in one sitting and the words were easy enough for him to sound out.

This story is our new Halloween Favorite to read with the boys. 

What is your go to Halloween read? Do you normally stick something more gentle like Peep and Egg, or are you hard core and go straight for the Stephen King? Share you favorite stories in the comments.   

Sausage, Peppers and Onions | #WeeklyMenu Week #221

Hello, and welcome back to another Monday. Its been a busy week and this  coming week is going to be just as busy. Many doctors apts and Halloween to deal with.

Last week, my youngest son saw an ENT to figure out what to do about his hearing. The doctor determined that my son was in bad enough condition to get him right in for surgery to correct the problem. We were at the hospital two days later.

The surgery went well. Within an hour, my little man was sitting quietly in a chair in his recovery room, listening to sounds that he had never heard before. There was a bird outside his wind. Nurses talking quietly in the hallway. The sound of the AC coming on behind him. His little eyes would dart toward those sounds as he realized what he could hear. It was a great moment for him.

That boy is going to do amazing things. 

This week he starts seeing his speech therapist to help him talk better. We've already started seeing a difference now that he can hear himself clearly, but this will give him the tools he needs to succeed. 

I hope your week goes well. Please, enjoy this weeks menu!








Tuna Sandwiches

Before it Can Conquer All | A scandal in Battersea by Mercedes Lackey

Title: A Scandal in Battersea
By: Mercedes Lackey
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Publisher: Daw Books

Summary from Goodreads: The twelfth novel in Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series reimagines Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate 20th-century England

Christmas is a very special time of year. It is special for Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White and their ward Suki, who are determined to celebrate it properly. It is special for their friends, Doctor John Watson, and his wife Mary, both Elemental Masters, who have found great delight in the season seeing it through young Suki’s eyes. 

It is also special to others...for very different reasons.

For Christmas Eve is also hallowed to dark forces, powers older than mankind, powers that come awake on this, the Longest Night. Powers best left alone. Powers that could shake the foundations of London and beyond.

It begins slowly. Women disappearing in the dark of night, women only missed by those of their own kind. The whispers only begin when they start to reappear—because when they do, they are no longer sane. And when Nan and Sarah and the Watsons are called on to examine these victims, they discover that it was no ordinary horror of the streets that drove them mad.

But then, the shadows reach for other victims—girls of good, even exalted families, who vanish from concerts, lectures, and evening balls. And it will take the combined forces of Magic, Psychic Powers, and the worlds greatest detective to stop the darkness before it can conquer all.

Review: I've always been drawn to this wonderful world that Mercedes Lackey has built. This book had a strange Pirates of the Caribbean vibe going on. It was interesting and easy to follow, even though I'm not familiar with this story line. This was a fun read with just enough magic and adventure to keep me entertained, but not overwhelmed. 

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

A Salty Dark Scandal | My Netgalley Shelf

I'm excited to share whats on my Netgalley shelf currently with all of you. I've been requesting a lot of awesome books lately and managed to get my hands on some really cool reads.

There have been a few that I was declined for and I'm totally sad about, but that's how this game works. You win some, you lose some.

So, lets get on to the fun stuff.

I was contacted by a rep from the Penguin Group about reviewing The Salt Line. This story sounded really interesting. I am often drawn to dystopians and all its sub genres and I'm excited to read this one. Currently, the PDF that I received from Netgalley, didn't convert very well into a format that I can use on my text to speech app, so I am waiting for a copy from the library. It's taken a while, but I am next in line, then this bad boy will be read.  
My next book is one that I have seen all over the place. Instagram, blogs, Goodreads, its everywhere. So, naturally, I wanted to know what all the hubbub was about. I requested To Guard against the Dark and wallah! It was mine. I' really wondering what this one is about. It's in line, so I' excited.
Third on my list is A Scandal in Battersea. I've heard great things about Mercedes Lackey, and recently I've picked up a few of her books and they are great. This one, I think is her new one and I'm really excited to dive back into this epic world that she has built. 
The most recent one that I am really excited for is Banished by Betsy Schow. I read the last book in the series and loved it. It was actually one of the first books I was given on Netgalley, so we have come full circle. I can't wait to review this one, and of course, you will get the full scoop here on my blog as soon as I'm finished. 
On my wishlist is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. She is one of my favorite authors and I really, really want this one. If you are reading this Little, Brown Books, please approve my request. 
So many great books pass through Netgalley, too many for me to read, even at my fast pace. If you're on Netgalley, what books have you picked up lately? Share your favorite Netgalley or Edelweiss captures in the comments bellow. 

A Fugitive Werejackal | Posse: Legends by T. Hammond #BlogTour

Posse: Legends
T. Hammond
(Posse, #1)
Publication date: October 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
It should have been an easy job.
Track the jackal. Locate the girl. Rescue said girl. Return bad puppy to the Council for questioning.
As leader of the Posse, a paranormal alliance, shapeshifter Lexa O’Clare thought she’d seen everything over the past millennia. Neither she, nor her vampire partner, Etienne, expected this case to be different.
A fugitive werejackal leads them to a secret lab where supernaturals are unwilling subjects in genetic experimentation. The Posse uncovers a conspiracy implicating high-ranking members of the Inter-species Council.
Can anyone’s motives be trusted?
Lexa: a shapeshifter sheriff who also proxies for humans killed before their destinies are fulfilled.
Etienne: a Knight Templar, turned master vampire.
Yasmin: a dragon who walked among the gods.
Jade: an historian & Fox-familiar to a cranky dragon.
Sentinel: a gargoyle who mourns the fall of Atlantis.
Richard: a witch with a target on his back.
Tris: a rare polyshifter with an eye for a sexy male.
Rhys: four months ago he was human…
I rocked forward on my arms so I could lean closer and hear more clearly. My attic bedroom was directly above the coven leader’s desk, and from this angle, I had a clear line-of-sight to the witches gathered below. It’s surprising how, after all this time, they still hadn’t caught on to the fact I was spying. I could see and hear everything they discussed. Note to self: when creating a sound-dampening spell, it’s not sufficient to muffle the walls, windows, and door—the floor and ceiling should also be considered.
The peephole had been a fortuitous mishap. I’d been practicing my air-moving skills when I accidentally created a small tornado. Hey now, it was a little one, only a couple feet tall—it’s not like I created a whirlwind of epic proportions. Did you know, if you got air spinning fast enough over a single focal point, it’s possible to drill a hole in a wood floor? It was easy enough to make a plug to conceal the damage, and my room’s simple privacy spell was always active, so there were no worries of discovery. Even if they’d looked up—and they never looked up—my magic was flawless enough they’d see an unblemished ceiling. Cocky witches.
Each coven contained a main circle of twelve witches, plus a priestess. The strongest groups consist of extended families who could pick and choose the most promising amongst themselves, but most covens are formed from a collection of individuals with varying degrees of power and skill. Mother Nan’s coven was moderately talented, with a core group of six sycophants, err…I mean, mature practitioners, all of which were crowded around her desk—standing, of course. The seventh witch was Lea, a semi-strong practitioner who still lacked emotional control over her mouth and her magic, but was her mother’s favorite daughter.
“He’s an abomination.” Mara spat the words as if they left a foul residue in her mouth.
“Too true,” Betti agreed, as was her nature.
“It’s a miracle we haven’t been killed in our beds,” Ella said, lips pursed in sour disapproval.
“Oh, definitely, in our beds.” Betti nodded in quick little jerks, like a bobble-head doll.
Coral sniffed. “It was touch-and-go while he went through his let’s-set-everything-on-fire phase.”
Oh, come on now, I’d been sick, running a high fever. I was seven! You’d think, after all this time, they could let it go.

Author Bio:
T, a paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, feels writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, (re)directing stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. Although T starts out each novel with a basic outline, she finds one or two chapters into the novels, not only have the characters shredded her outline into tiny unidentifiable pieces, they use the resulting confetti in a nose-thumbing parade.
T is fully convinced the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale.


The Big Lebowski... Or Not... #MovieReview

Title: The Big Lebowski
Genre: Comedy / Crime
Release Date: March 6th, 1998
Rating: 8.2/10
Cast: Jeff Bridges and John Goodman 

Summary from IMDB: "The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Review: I know this is a huge must see movie among all my friends. Its taken me a long time to get around to watching it and I can't say that I'm any better off for it. 

The story was ok, but I didn't have that one moment where I laughed out loud which is one of the main things I look for in a comedy. 

I have to say that the character dynamic was great. It was the one saving point for the movie. I'm glad that I watched it, but its not on my list of favorites. Three stars for the Big Lebowski.

Someone Blew Up My Home Planet | Joined by Mara Gan

Mara Gan
(Joined #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.
All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.
Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.
Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.
Kind of a lot to deal with, right?
Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.
And I think I’m falling for him.
“Great, Clee,” I said. “Job’s all yours. I’m going to bed.”
Kenzi covered a snicker as Synie rolled her eyes. “Princess, you know the Yurilians will only talk to you.”
I leaned back in my chair and stretched my neck. “Yeah, yeah.”
Kenzi tilted his head at Synie. “Why will they only talk to the princess?”
Synie shifted uncomfortably. “King Cepheus was….” She paused, searching for the right word.
“A jerk,” Clee supplied unhelpfully.
“Clee!” Synie barked. “That’s practically treason.”
Clee shrugged. “Yep. But I already told him that to his face. He agreed with me.”
Cepheus had a weak spot for Clee, as did we all; her tendency to tell the truth and lighten the mood at the same time was curiously refreshing. And she was right: Cepheus was a terrible diplomat.
With another reproachful glare at Clee, who was no longer paying attention, Synie continued, “King Cepheus was less than sympathetic toward their grain dispute with us. Andromeda smoothed things over and managed to talk them down from outright war.”
Kenzi’s eyes bugged. “They were going to declare war on us, just for some grain?”
“Food is a common reason people go to war,” I said. “Or, rather, lack of it. When people starve, they feel they have nothing left to lose.” Perseus’s words came back to me: people who have nothing to lose, fear nothing.
That was true on a global scale as well as a personal one, I supposed.
Kenzi’s dark eyes turned to me and he gave me an awed smile. I really hated being an object of awe. I liked doing my job—a lot—and I loved helping people, but at heart, I was an introvert who wanted as little attention as possible.
Just my luck, I got the most high-profile job in the galaxy.

Author Bio:
A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.


Creamy Noodles and an Instagram #Giveaway | #WeeklyMenu Week #220

Happy Monday and welcome to the last week before Halloween. I can't believe we are in the season of holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Somewhere in there is my birthday, my favorite day of the year, of course.

Make sure you stop by my Instagram page today for a giveaway loop from Evernight Teen. I'm going to be giving away a signed copy of Hunter, a Hunter bookmark and a Dobby Funkopop. There are also many other prizes from the other authors and a grand prize from Evernight Teen. Click here to get started

I had a wonderful brainstorming session and came up with some awesome ideas for my new book. I think I'm finally out of my writing slump and have a clear direction to finish my story. I'm really excited, but you will have to wait a while for the revisions and then finding a publisher. Its going to be a long road, but thanks for sticking with me.

My next project is either going to be the third book in the Hunter Saga or a Jack Frost adaptation, kind of along the lines of a Court of Thrones and Roses. What is your pick?

Well, enjoy this weeks menu. It's a good one.




- Stew




Tuna Sandwiches

27 Hours by Tristina Wright #BlogTour @chapterxchapter @TristinaWright @EntangledTeen

27 Hours by Tristina Wright
Publication Date:  October 3, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

Rumor Mora fears two things: hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton has two dreams: for humans to stop killing monsters, and for his strange abilities to vanish.

But in no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them.

Nyx Llorca keeps two secrets: the moon speaks to her, and she’s in love with Dahlia, her best friend. Braeden Tennant wants two things: to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon's darkest secret.

They’ll both have to commit treason to find the truth.

During one twenty-seven-hour night, if they can’t stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, the things they wish for will never come true, and the things they fear will be all that’s left.

27 Hours is a sweeping, thrilling story featuring a stellar cast of queer teenagers battling to save their homes and possibly every human on Sahara as the clock ticks down to zero.

Review: This was a fast paced sci-fi with action galore. I felt like the pacing was too quick. The book starts off throwing you straight into action and the action doesn't stop. It took me a while to get through the book because I kept having to put it down to take a breather. It was very intense. 

The writing was great. There were many sci-fi elements that were awesome. I would have liked to have more back story as to why the humans were fighting the aliens, but the story was well done. 

This was a great break out novel for Tristina Wright and I can't wait to see what she writes next. 

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

27 Hours by Tristina Wright Publication Date:  October 3, 2017 Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She fell in love with science fiction and fantasy at a young age and frequently got caught writing in class instead of paying attention. She enjoys worlds with monsters and kissing and monsters kissing. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up more stories for her wombfruit, who keep life exciting and unpredictable.

Can She Fall in love | Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
By: Melissa De La Cruz
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 240
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Summary from Goodreads: Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Review: I was pretty disappointed in this one. I love pride and prejudice. I also loved the zombie rewrite, but this one was lack luster. It took me a long time to get into the story, mostly because the whole beginning of the book was a big bunch of who was sleeping with who. It was a cute Christmas story toward the end, but not enough there to really suck me in. I gave this book three stars because the writing itself, was well done, but the story needed help.

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

Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous #BookReview #BlogTour @chapterxchapter @sparkedbook

Sparked by Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Geek & Sundry

Fifteen-year-old Laurel Goodwin wakes up to find her older sister Ivy missing from their Airstream trailer in the Oregon redwoods. A recurring nightmare convinces her that Ivy was abducted, but no one takes her dream seriously, including her mom. Laurel, a loner, has to learn to ask for help, and Jasper Blake, a mysterious new kid who shares her love of old books, quickly becomes her ally. Together they find their quiet town holds a deep secret and is the epicenter of a dark prophecy.

Laurel soon learns that her worst enemies, mean girls Peyton Andersen and Mei Rosen, are developing powers that she needs to find and save Ivy. With time running out, Laurel realizes that power doesn’t always take the form that you expect. And once she learns to look beyond her snap judgments, she develops an unexpected gift of her own.

This was a weird read and it was hard for me to pick a rating. I finally settled on four stars because it was a really good read even though I felt like the point of view change hurt the whole feel of the book. I really loved how it started out with IVY going missing and her sister having to try and track her down, but just when I felt like the story was getting good, the POV would change throwing me into a boring story line that made me want to put the book down. When the story finally switched back to Ivy and her sister, it took a while for the feel goods to get going again. I stuck with it and the whole thing came together in the end.'

Hello! We are both novelists, but if you’ve ever tried to write anything, you know that writing can be a lonely, angst-filled business. So one night over a cocktail or two, we came up with a solution: write our next book together. Malena already had an idea: a girl’s sister is kidnapped and she has to rely on mean girls with superpowers to get her sister back. We couldn’t resist seeing where that story would take us – a wild ride that includes a loner girl who wants to be a writer and a gorgeous boy who can shoot fire from his eyes but also loves to talk about books. And an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy. And pie shakes. (OK, so maybe we got a little carried away.)

We’ve both published solo novels (check them out here and here) and had no idea how co-writing would work out, but we pounded out the first draft in a white-hot frenzy of inspiration we called “the Vortex.” One of us would write a scene and send it to the other with a note: “My apartment is a pigsty and I haven’t eaten all day. #inthevortex.” We wrote the book we wanted to read as teenagers: a supernatural thriller with healthy doses of horror and humor. Oh, and of course there’s romance. You have to wait a long time for the only kiss in the book, but isn’t that the case with all the best kisses in books?

Beauty and the Beast #BookTag

I've finally jumped on the book tag train. I know, its taken me a while, but life has been crazy around here in the House of Chaos. 

This book tag is Beauty and the Beast themed. I recently watched the movie and it was a little lack luster for me. They could have picked a better actor for the Beast. I did love Bell and the music was grand. The new song from Celine Dion, to die for.

Ok, lets get on with the good stuff.

The original tag was created by Du Livre but I found it over at Dreamland Book Blog. Make sure you stop by their pages for more fun.

1. A Villain You Can't Help But Love

For anyone who has read this book, you all know that Rhysand seems to be the villain, but he turns into a very sexy hero in the end. In the first book though, you have to love to hate him... Even though I love him... 

2. Your OTP

I am in love with Clair and Jamie from Outlander. The show is a regular staple on my Sunday nights and the books adorn my shelves at home. How can you live without a good romance? 

3. A Character Who's Destined For Greater Things

One of my favorite books that I've read this year is The Diabolic. The main character Nemesis is considered less than human, but yet, she overcomes the stigma of being a diabolic and learns how to love. She is definitely destined for greater things.
4. A Character Who's More Than They Appear

I would have to throw one of my favorite authors out there and say that Celaena from Throne of Glass is really not what she appears. Is she an assassin or a princess on the run? I don't know... 
And that's all I got today. The boys are calling for their dinner and the dog needs some love. Next time I promise to give you more than four answers. Please Join me on this book tag, and feel free to add more questions to the list. Make sure you tag me so I can stop by and comment.

Have a wonderful day my book friends.