Welcome to the Hinterland! | The Hazel Wood By Melissa Albert

Title: The Hazel Wood
By: Melissa Albert
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books

Summary from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Review: Welcome to the Hinterland! Holy cow! I was really drawn into this book. There was a crazy mystery that started at the beginning and ended at the Hinterland. You get this creepy feeling, as the main character is being followed and strange things start happening. Things aren't always what they seem though, and the people you think you can trust are telling lies.

The story fell apart for me a little bit toward the end. That creepy mysterious feeling that I had for three quarters of the story was suddenly gone and I didn't have that need to read the book like I did before.

In the end, I was a little let down, but the story was so well put together and unique that I couldn't help but still love it. Pick up this book and be sucked into the Hinterland. 

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

Month9Books | Year in Review Part 1

It's time to celebrate the amazing 2017 titles from Month9Books!
Today we are showcasing just a few of the books that you need to get and enjoy while relaxing during the holiday season.
While your here, be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Be on the lookout for Part 2 of the Year in Review with Month9books!
Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.
CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany
Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan Publication Date: September 5, 2017 Publisher: Month9Books
Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.
Now that Lia and Clay’s love has broken the Little Mermaid’s curse, everything has changed. Will Lia’s family remain on land, leading the only life she and her sisters have ever known, or will they move below the waves, to the sparkling new capital city? Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year. But at Melusine and her father’s trial, new revelations threaten what Lia holds most dear.
The verdict will shake Lia’s whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders who to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she’s lost or to embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey.
Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2) by Tobie Easton Publication Date: September 12, 2017 Publisher: Month9Books
Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Learn more about Tobie and her upcoming books on www.TobieEaston.com.
It is 1890, and London has secrets. For sixteen-year-old Will Winchester, born Willow Winchester and raised as a young man, the safety of his own secrets rests one atop the other. Hiding his gender queerness is important. But so is hiding the ghostly voices of the Missing, which Will hears when no one else can … until the Spiritualist Black Cross Order of Occult Occurrences wants him in their service to keep peace between London’s living and dead.
The freedom to be himself may come with a price. Working alongside a patchwork team of misfits and unlikely allies, Will finds he isn't the only one keeping secrets. Someone does not want him to uncover the truth about the ghosts who aren’t just missing from the world of the living, but missing from history itself. Can he find the Missing before he ends up becoming one of them?
The Missing by Jerico Lenk Publication Date: October 10, 2017 Publisher: Month9Books
Undergraduate studying Creative Writing, Classics, Russian and Western European History. Unabashed weeb probably burning incense and drinking too much coffee at this very moment. Out for queer representation and great sex hair. Beyond ready for the upcoming Vampire Chronicles TV series.
Lenk writes Young Adult/New Adult, spec fiction, poetry, and screenplays. He is currently unagented.
His poems have appeared at/in USF Tampa’s Thread Literary Inquiry, biannual 6x6 creative writing showcase, and placed second in National Poetry Month 2015; Tethered By Letters’ F(r)iction Spring 2016 poetry contest finalist; winner of the 2017 Bettye Newman Poetry award.

Love and Loyalty | Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Title: Between the Blade and the Heart
By: Amanda Hocking
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 319
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Summary from Goodreads: Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. 

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

Review: So, Valkyries  huh. This is an awesome concept. I've always been a big fan of Norse mythology. My husband is Norwegian and it turns out, I have some Norwegian in me too. Its in my blood.

This book started off promising. It felt like it had a mortal instruments kind of vibe. All the paranormal creatures and things to really pull you into this interesting world. Things moved fast though. All of a sudden, there was a strange man that broke into the main characters house. The scuffle, there are words exchanged, then he hands her his card. Its seemed like a lot of situations were just placed there to move the story along, and they didn't seem very plausible.

The story was interesting and I'm lad I read it, but there were somethings that could have been situated better.    

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

Merry Christmas! | #WeeklyMenu Week #229

Merry Christmas! Its a most wonderful day, and on this wonderful day, we are blessed to spend time with friends and family. Its been a long year full of doctor's appointments and surgeries. The boys are in a better place now, all of them. My youngest is able to hear. My middle boy is finally on the right medication for his ADHD, and we figured out how to overcome my oldest's night terrors and anxiety. All together its been a long year.

I hope you find joy in your Christmas celebrations. I will see you tomorrow.

Enjoy this weeks menu!

- Christmas Festivities!

- Spaghetti 

- Grilled Cheese





Tuna Sandwiches

Will Hedgehog Learn His Lesson | Hedge Hog! by Ashlyn Anstee

Title: Hedge Hog!
By: Ashlyn Anstee
Genre: Picture Book
Pages: 21
Release Date: May 8th, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House, Tundra Books

Summary from Goodreads: Hedgehog is hogging the hedge and won't let the other animals live there. In this humorous political allegory, he learns that it's not a winning strategy.

Winter is coming, and the animals need homes. The worms move in with the ground hogs. The possums share a burrow with the foxes. The birds and the squirrels stay in the oak tree together. The hedgehog lives in the hedge . . . all by himself. When other animals come looking for a place to stay, he's NOT interested: it's HIS hedge and everyone else can STAY OUT. He gets busy making signs, putting locks on his door and even building a fence. All he cares about is keeping the other animals out... but he's making a huge mistake. 

Will the other animals find a home in time? Will Hedgehog learn his lesson? Is this a terrific story? Read on to find out.

Review: I always review books like this with my four year old. This way I get the most genuine reaction possible. 

The story kept my son involved through the whole thing. That's hard for a four year old to do. He loved the pictures and laughed when I kept saying Ding Dong! My son enjoyed it, but I didn't get that "Let read it again," reaction.

From a mom point of view. I thought the art was pretty good, there was a lot going on in the pictures and sometimes I thought it made it a little overwhelming for the little guy. I know it did for me. The story was pretty fun. That darn Hedge Hog! 

We enjoyed this book and its definitely a story that you should read to your little ones.  

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

The Hate U Give | Playlist

Today's playlist is for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. An intense book, full of reality and situations that, unfortunately exist in our society today. Lets see what I can come up with.

1. Tupac - Keep ya head up

2. Beyonce - Rather Die Young

3. Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are

4. The Fresh Prince of Bell Air Theme

How to Train Your Dragon | Kids Corner

My son has really be into the How to Train Your Dragon series. I've never read the books but I've seen the movies. They were awesome and I'm excited to dive into the books as well. If you have a kid in middle grade that is struggling to read chapter books, I think this series might be able to help.

There are a lot of drawings and side notes to keep kids engaged and the story is really fun. My son wouldn't pick up anything that had to do with fantasy, he was a non-fiction science kid. Strictly text books and dictionaries. You gotta love it, but he was struggling with creative writing in school. It took a while to convince him, but now he is really excited to sit down and read in the evenings. 

Title: How to Train Your Dragon
By: Cressida Cowell
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 214
Release Date: May 1st, 2004
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary from Goodreads: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer"...but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and become a hero!

The Last Jedi | Movie Review

It has been a long time since I was able to see a movie during the opening weekend, but I got lucky this time. My dear mother purchased us tickets to see for my dad's birthday. As the planets aligned, we left the kids with the baby sitter and made our way to the theater, there was a giddy feeling that crept in. 

This was how me and my husband looked walking into the theater. All sparks and fire. Our view was kind of skewed from our seats. Second to the front on the right hand side. Whatever, we were there. 

And then the movie started...

There was some of this...

A little bit of this....

And a few of these cute little guys...

To me, the story was great. There was a lot of character development or Ray and Ben Solo. We found out a little more about what happened to Ben to turn him into Kyle Ren. Ray went in search of her past in a dark cave and Finn took a girl to a casino. Strange but true. 

The cinematics were great. I felt like they went back to the old school ways, where they let the acting and story speak for themselves, instead of the heavy CG shots where all you see is the backdrop and the awesomeness of the force is a second rate show. 

Some old friends stopped by the island, and the humor was great. In the serious moments, the characters would throw in something that would make me laugh, but not pull me out of the moment. It was really enjoyable. 

There was mention of Ray's parents which I know we all have be speculating on. The whole thing left me like this....

There is a lot of explaining to do, people. You can't leave me like this...

I really enjoyed watching the movie with my family. If it wasn't for the really annoying lady sitting next to us, who couldn't stop talking really loud, and the fact that she picked the one part in the movie that was totally silent to snort and laugh really loud, we would have enjoyed it even more. 

I give this epic Star Wars movie four stars... 

Future as an Elementae | Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Reign the Earth
By: A.C. Gaughen
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 448
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Summary from Goodreads: Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarletwill hold readers spellbound.

Review: There was a lot going on with this book. It was very heavy and emotionally exhausting. It took me a while to get through because it made me tired just to read a few chapters. The story was dark, full of many hard issues that I thought the author handled well, but not something I was expecting. There was an arranged marriage and pregnancy. Through the whole thing, I just felt like the main character was really juvenile. 

The story was interesting though, and I think that's what kept me reading. It would be a great book for someone who likes darker fantasies with deep content. I wasn't in the mood for such a read, but maybe it would be something I could read again when I want something dark. 

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

Sesame Pork and Green Beans | #WeeklyMenu Week #228

Happy Monday! Its exactly one week until Christmas and I am totally ready for it. How about you? I'm done with shopping, I'm done with the crowds, I'm done with all the baking and hype. I can't wait for next Monday!

I managed to put pen to paper and make a big dent in my new manuscript. Its been a while since I've been able to write, and it hasn't been writers block, because I know exactly where I want to go with my book, but its more like I've been unmotivated to even look at my book. Its frustrating. I'm glad to be out of my funk.

Well, lets get back to this weeks menu, shall we? 








Tuna Sandwiches