Monday, October 28, 2013

Reviews in a Nutshell: Joyland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Reviews in a Nutshell
This feature will include 2 or more short reviews featuring these non-review books. I absolutely will still do longer reviews on personal choice books, but this feature is to showcase a couple books that I have read throughout the month or so.
Now with the introduction out of the way, let's get to it!

Joyland by Stephen King

Okay folks, I am just going to get this out of the way now; This is my first Stephen King novel. I own a few, but have yet to crack them open. I work at a Bookstore, and this one was moving quite well, and with Halloween right around the corner, temptation got the best of me!

I was really, really disappointed with this novel. It seemed that it dragged on and on about some of the most unnecessary details. It started to become really mundane. I was approaching page 100 and the story line was still yet to kick off. He was still in the midst of painting the picture of Joyland. By the time I reached halfway through the novel I was bored and frustrated. I know sometimes I won't always find the perfect balance between Characters and Plot, but both of these qualities severely lacked. In the end, I did push through it, and unfortunately there were no redeeming aspects. This book wasn't a win for me, however it won't turn me off of reading Stephen King. I still look forward to cracking open Carrie and The Shining!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I know, could these 2 books be anymore different?! I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was just a wee little bookworm, although I know the story well from the films, I don't remember how my reading experience was with this one. Perusing the local used bookstore, I found a BEA-UTIFUL hardcover 1965 edition, and I could resist; Initially buying it to read to my niece. Well, that fizzled quickly! I had already devoured the first 4 chapters before reaching my front door!

This novel took me back to being a kid again. Reading such simple text, yet being completely whisked away by a vibrant, colourful story; Not to mention the beyond amazing characters that Dahl crafted.

Almost finishing this book in one sitting, it completely took me by surprise. I had forgotten how truly awesome Roald Dahl was. He took me back to my childhood, and re-introduced me to the beautiful man that is Mr. Willy Wonka! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

All Hallows Eve Blog Tour: What Goes Bump in the Night with Heather Hildenbrand + 2 Giveaways!!!

Top 5 Things That Made My Bladder Weak as a Kid:
1. The dark. I was epically afraid. The shadows moved, the furniture turned to monsters, I couldn’t let my feet hang out of the covers OR over the edge of the bed. Monsters were always waiting to grab my feet and bite off my toes. And I needed my toes. They were handy. Didn’t matter I had nine extra if one got bit off. I am very fond of my toes. #NoToeBitingMonsters #GoHome Also—we didn’t have central air growing up. So even in the middle of summer, when it was eighty degrees in my room at night, I slept with full sheets AND blankets. #Bettertobesafe It was the only way I could protect my body while I slept. #MonsterLogic

2. My dad. This MIGHT be where my fear of the dark came from. His favorite thing in the whole world was hiding behind a door or in some dark crevice and jumping out when I walked by. As I got older, it became a game and we did it to each other, but as a kid, it meant no patch of shadows was safe. The worst was one night, walking home from my neighbor’s house. We didn’t live in a subdivision. We lived on 5 acres of mostly woods. The nearest neighbor was ¼ mile away. Walking the gravel, tree-lined DARK road one night (why did I wait so long to come home????), he jumped out of the woods and yelled. I peed a little. (The beginning of a lifetime of scaredy-cat-weak bladder) and my one friend jumped CLEAR onto  another friend’s back and yelled at her to run. #geniusescapeplan #minimaleffort Now, it sounds hilarious but at the time it was like every nightmare come to life. I was like, “we’re all gonna die. The end.”

3. Scary movies. We weren’t allowed to watch these as a kid. Partly because I was born a wuss and partly because my parents were busy raising me as a Southern Baptist conservative Jesus-lover and anything above a PG rating was the pathway to Hell. (My mom let me stay up one night and watch Dick Tracy with her and swore me to life-long secrecy or Hell. Guess which is happening now?) Because nothing visual and scary existed in my home world, when I was eleven, I spent the night at a friend’s house and let her show me Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I cried myself to sleep that night. For real. At her house. In her room. All. Night. #Nomorescaryforme As an adult, I watched Scream and didn’t sleep for two weeks. #ImstillyourgirlJesus

4. Fire. THIS is the fear that kept me up at night. Not monsters eating my toes. Not people jumping out from behind the bathroom door (good thing for my bladder he always did that when I left instead of entered.) I was so terrified my house would catch on fire and get so out of control while we slept that we wouldn’t be able to escape. And our house was a ranch. I had two windows in my bedroom. Escaping wouldn’t have been difficult. But there it was. Eating away at my subconscious. For no good reason. I think my body liked being afraid. 

5. Roosters. Stay with me here. We had chickens when I was a kid. A whole henhouse full of those fu—I  mean, cluckers. The hens weren’t too bad. They were more skittish than me on a back country road at midnight. But the rooster… he wasn’t scared. And he wasn’t backing down. If you came too close, he was going to peck your eyes out. Well… if your eyes were on your feet. Seriously, he was evil. I didn’t care so much about the crowing at dawn as I did about the “I will come at you like a spider-monkey” attitude he took on the MOMENT you entered the pen. My brother had to save me with a baseball bat once. No lie. #solidreasontofear

That’s my list. Well, the top 5 anyway. There were undoubtedly more but these kept me up at night for sure. For that reason, Halloween is only fun if it’s the kid-cartoony-glitter-on-cardstock sort of occasion. Otherwise, RUN AWAY! 

What were you afraid of?

In honor of creepy-ness for Halloween, I am offering a free e-book copy of Imitation, Book 1 in the Clone Chronicles, up for grabs to one winner. If you haven’t read it yet, let me say this: What could be creepier than another YOU hidden somewhere until its needed to save you from your own death?

About Heather

I am a mother to two adorable children who are both so much like me, I'm scared of their teenage years and open to six-figure offers from anyone who wants to handle the 13-17 age range.
I live in coastal Virginia and I work from home, part time, as a property manager. I write YA paranormal romance and I read it, too, so if you know of a great book/series, feel free to suggest it. Some of my faves are Twilight, Hunger Games, and the Mortal Instruments series. #TeamJace #TeamPeeta #TeamJacobbutEdwardishottoo #AlsoImightbeaddictedtohashtags
When I'm not writing or reading, I'm chasing my kids around the house or I'm lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.
I love Mexican food, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire, the one thing I’d grab is my DVR player.

Heather is awesome enough to offer one lucky winner a copy of her #perfectforhalloween ebook!
(Don't miss your chance to snag this epic novel!)

All Hallows Eve Giveaway
Grand Prize is a Kindle 7" HD Fire and 100 books (mostly ebooks!)

2nd Place Prize is for a FUC (Furry United Coalition) t-shirt from Eve Langlais and 19 ebooks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other epic tour stops HERE

Friday, October 25, 2013

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: Bookagram: Photograph your favourite book in a funny place

My favourite Book, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly enjoying some morning Yoga!

If you enjoy your visit then please do stop by again and say Hi!

Follow via Linky list>>

**Leave your link in the comments so I can hop back!**

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for a hilarious Halloween guest post from author Heather Hildenbrand and a giveaway!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Six Months Later by Natalie Richards: A Review and Featurette!

Six Months Later
Released October 1st, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her?
And why can't she remember?
What Readers Are Saying

An intriguing new book loaded with suspense. The shocking reasons behind Chloe's transformation will keep you guessing until the very end, culminating in a stunning truth. So what really happened in those six months? You'll just have to pick up this incredible book to find out for yourself." - Girls' Life

"Filled with tension and heart-in-your-throat suspense that kept me guessing to the very end. I predict readers will want more and more from her. I know I do!" - Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List and Thousand Words

"What a wonderful debut!"- Literary Meanderings

Read more 5 Star Reviews on Amazon here and GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

About Natalie

Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. When she's not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he's the family dog.
Tweet Natalie | Website | Facebook

My Thoughts

If I had to describe Six Months Later in only a few words, I would say: Compelling, thrilling and quite the page-turner! 

This novel left me on the edge of my seat the entire way though! 

I was an immediate fan of Chloe. I found it really easy to fall into step with her because she reminded me a lot of myself when I was in High School(although I didn't have a totally swoon-worthy "Bad Boy" pining after me!) She was a well crafted Character and remained a powerful one throughout the novel. 

Adam stole the show for me!

Natalie did such a fantastic job at making this Breakfast Club type bad boy a favourite of mine! Long hair, piercing eyes; More please! Very swoon-worthy and aside from that, he was a wicked character. He added a lot to the plot and was much more than just a secondary character.

The plot line of this novel is quite nerve-wracking! I mean, imagine dozing off, and waking up with a six month gap missing. CAA-RAAZZY! You will be flying through the pages to fill this gap along side Chloe!

A superbly crafted story! A mysterious reading experience sprinkled with a tad of romance made this novel a winner! This will definitely be one that I blab on and on about with my friends in the years to come! And one that I will definitely be re-reading to visit these great characters again!

Cover Love

In One Word

Six Months Later inspired me to listen to

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: Quanie Miller talks being an Author


It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy

Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress visit
Quanie Miller chats about being an Author

I noticed something when I tell people that I have a novel coming out; they look at me in awe, as if, instead of writing 80,000 or so words of a romantic comedy, I revealed that I had somehow managed to go back in time, messed with a series of events, and invented the light bulb. “You?” They say in shock, looking like they want to poke my skin to see if I’m real. “Really? You? A book?” (They say book like it’s a purple unicorn.)

“Yes, me.” The girl formally nicknamed Tanutsi by my Aunt Lee-Lee because I was so adorably chubby. Me, Quanie, who lost the spelling bee in fifth grade (first round!) by spelling complacent c-o-n-p-l-a-c-e-m-e-n-t. Quanie, who, in high school, had aspirations of being a rapping psychologist (don’t ask). 

Yes. Me, Quanie Miller. Über Cool Newbie Author Extraordinaire.  Je Suis Très Chic. 

I’ve always been a writer. Way back when my cousins were climbing trees in my grandmother’s yard, I was holed up in the house writing my very first short story, "Sheeba the Cat,” or walking back from the library with books stacked up to my chin.

Writing and books have always been my world, but to some, it’s other worldly.  The question I get the most? “How do you get your ideas?” 
 I hesitate telling people how I get my ideas because I don’t want them to think I’m crazy.
“Well, sometimes, I hear the characters talking to me—”
“So you hear voices?”
“No, that’s not what I meant. You see, sometimes, I’ll see a character very vividly—”
“Like an apparition?”
“No, not like that.”
 Then I sit there and struggle for the right words to explain just how inspiration works, and I’m never able to convey it to their satisfaction. They walk away shaking their heads as if I’m a lost cause. Poor Tanutsi.

But luckily for me, my family has been very supportive. But maybe that’s because they think that me writing a book will somehow result in the following:

1. Me being on the Oprah Show.
2. Tyler Perry turning one of my books into a movie.
3. Them somehow being able to quit their jobs as a result of all the money I’m going to make as an author. 

People think it’s a glorious thing, this author business, but the truth is this: on top of the fact that most books don’t sell very well, it’s actually frightening to write something and let it out into the world, not knowing whether or not people will love it or hate it or use your book as a foot stool, or worse, write a review so scathing that you vow to never write anything again (not even a grocery list). It’s the stuff author nightmares are made of. 

So, why do you write, Quanie? 

That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked: I do it because I love writing stories that make people laugh. I figure if I can make somebody’s day by making them laugh, even just once, then maybe I’ve done something worth while. 

But what about Oprah? Next question, please. 

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer.
Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable (The Legion, #1)
Release Date: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Hachette Canada
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Series: The Legion #1
Format: Hardcover
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website | Twitter
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

 I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.
When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.
Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Spirits, Demons and twin boys, Oh my!

Whoa! Okay, I finished this book last week and my head is still reeling over this epic page-turner. What a ride! This is my first novel by the infamous Kami Garcia (please don't judge me!) and I can see why she has such a gigantic fan following; She has major talent!

It has been a long time since I devoured almost a full book in one sitting, but I did just that with Unbreakable. How could I not? This novel was merely un-put-down-able!

Let me start with the writing. If it wasn't for the amazing world building, this book wouldn't have been as amazing as it was. Kami Garcia took you from your normal reality and plucked you right down in a dark, paranormal world; Dodging evil, vengeful spirits alongside Kennedy! Not only did Garcia pen a dark, haunting picture for you to escape to, she also crafted an amazing cast of characters to entertain you all the way through!

Before I start on any of the characters, let me just get this out of the way. Jared and Lukas.

Not only do you get one very Swoon worthy guy, you get two. And that isn't all my friends....THEY'RE TWINS. I know right?! just when you thought it couldn't get any better. Garcia blessed us with two guys hunks. Jared, the strong, silent type and Lukas, the sweet, gentle caring one...Trust me, you WILL NOT be able to choose either. Kami Garcia makes sure of that!

Okay Okay, putting the boys aside. The character cast is a powerful one. Priest being one of my absolute favourites. He was bursting with personality and you couldn't help but fall in love with him. And Alara was a kick-butt female character. Yes, she was snotty at times, but she was fierce, and I loved that quality about her.

I found I could really relate to Kennedy(not in the whole supernatural way) but relate to her personality. She was out-going yet vulnerable. She had a shyness about her. There is no one outstanding character. They all rock! 

Turn off the lights, pull up the covers and devour this haunting novel. Allow those goosebumps to rise and let that spine tingle. Unbreakable is the perfect Halloween read!

Kami Garcia has earned a brand new fan! I cannot wait to devour her previous and future works!

Cover Love

In One Word

Unbreakable inspired me to listen to:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reviews in a Nutshell: Far From You and Looking for Alaska

Hello, Crazy readers!

Lately, I have been trying to read more books from my own personal library(meaning non-review books) that I haven't had time to read because of review deadlines, etc. I am trying to divide my time alternating between review books and personal choice books. Which brings me to this new feature:

Reviews in a Nutshell
This feature will include 2 or more short reviews featuring these non-review books. I absolutely will still do longer reviews on personal choice books, but this feature is to showcase a couple books that I have read throughout the month or so.
Now with the introduction out of the way, let's get to it!
 Far from You
Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

Release Date: December 23rd, 2008
Pages: 355 Pages

My first verse novel(The Day Before) was by Lisa Schroeder, and I have been a forever fan since. Now I have come across a couple that weren't quite to my taste, but thanks to Schroeder I have given into the hype of Ellen Hopkins and other verse novels and have not been disappointed yet!
Schroeder takes you through a hauntingly beautiful story about a girl still picking up the pieces from her mothers death while her father moves on remarrying and is getting ready to welcome a new baby into the world(which Alice is not happy about!). While stuck in the car with her stepmother and baby sister on a snowy afternoon, Alice falls asleep only to wake up stuck in the middle of nowhere, buried deep inside the eye of the blizzard with her Step-Mother and newborn baby sister.
It takes a while before Alice and her Stepmother's survival mode kick in, and during that waiting game we are given wonderful moments between the two. It's a terrifying and ugly situation that they are stuck in, but we are given tiny moments of beauty during that dark time.  Schroeder's writing style makes it easy for the words to jump off the pages and craft themselves into a haunting, yet stunning story right before your very eyes.
Another verse book going into the success pile! Lisa Schroeder has a fan in me, and I will always look forward to her future work!
Looking for Alaska

Release Date: December 28th, 2006
Pages: 231 Pages

Can John Green to any wrong? Honestly?! How he comes up with these unforgettable characters and tug at your heart-strings story lines is beyond me. This man truly has a talent. He has a way with words that leave your in complete awe.
I absolutely adored The Fault in Our Stars, so when I picked up Looking for Alaska my expectations were high...I was not disappointed!
Miles was such an absolutely blast to read, get to know, and befriend. Not only did I like him as I character, I cared for him! Green crafted a beautiful character inside Miles. Alaska stole my heart. She has these lovely moments where she would drop her guard briefly and let you in, but would quickly bring her walls back up. I loved those small moments, and although they were brief, they showed a lot of the true person she was. Those moments were small, yet very powerful!
Of course, like The Fault in our Stars you will need a tissue...or two...Okay, maybe a box, or even one of those small travel packs close by. You will cry! I'm not talking about, a lone tear spilling dramatically out of your eye, and slow rolling down your cheek; I am talking about ugly, snot-producing crying, heaving, snorting. You will cry, and cry hard my friends!
A beyond, BEYOND stunning character cast, and heart-breakingly beautiful story, Looking For Alaska went far over any expectations I had. This books took me by complete surprise!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: What Book (TV show or Movies) have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

Great question! 

Books: Mortal Instruments Series(I've read City of Bones and loved it, just haven't completed the series yet), The Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver and...I don't know if I should admit this...The Harry Potter Series *Dodges flying books* I am just beginning Book 1 though so please, don't hate me too much!

Movies: The Black Swan, Star Wars, Gone with the Wind, 

T.V. Shows: Once Upon a Time, Glee, Survivor, The Bachelor

If you enjoy your visit then please do stop by again and say Hi!

Follow via Linky list>>

**Leave your link in the comments so I can hop back!**

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

..And good books!

Fall is my favourite time of the year. Colourful sunny days, with crisp, blue nights. All while curled up, nice and cozy with a good book!

Another reason why I adore October is because it's the month of Halloween! The best time for reading those terrifying page-turners, and watching those spine-tingling horror movies. 

My Halloween Reading Pile

Cold Spell (Fairytale Retellings, #4)

Perfect Ruin (Internment Chronicles, #1)

The Exorcist


Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2)

Help for the Haunted

What Books will be keeping you up at night?
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