Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Review - Into Darkness (Stuffed, #2) by Liz Braswell + Giveaway

 

This year Clark can't wait to go back to camp. This time he has friends to hang out with. His friends from last year will be there again. Clark will finally be initiated into their exclusive camp club. The club and its members are the only ones who knows everything about Monsters and Stuffies. Clark brings his Stuffy, Foon, who Clark suspects had saved his father from a monster.

When Clark and his friends get to camp, they realize something is off. They find strange things and gooey substances are all over their bunks. The adults at the camp are all acting weird and their Stuffies go missing when they need them most. On a camping trip, they friends become trapped in a creepy old cabin. They soon realize that the Monsters are out for revenge against Foon and will stop at nothing to get it.

I thought this was going to be a fun read because the cover looked cute. I liked that the book included instructions on how to create your own Stuffy. I didn't realize this book was a continuation of the first book. While they attempted to give a brief summary, I felt like there was a few nuances that I missed. However, I actually didn't finish reading the book because I felt the book was to very boring. The writing style was clinical and felt dull. Typically, when I read YA/Children books, the book is filled with jokes that are aimed to keep young readers entertained. This book felt like punishment to read and I lost interest one third of the way in. 

 **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.**

 

 

About The Book:

Title: INTO DARKNESS (Stuffed #2)

Author: Liz Braswell

Pub. Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 315

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, AudibleB&NiBooksKobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

From New York Times Bestselling Author Liz Braswell, comes the second novel in the STUFFED series! Set at summer camp, Foon’s boy, Clark, is kidnapped by an evil monster bent on revenge and Foon must enter the Darkness in order to save him.

No Stuffy has ever gone into the Darkness and returned....

Clark can’t wait to go away to camp this year. For the first time ever, he has actual friends to hang out with. Catherine-Lucille and D. A. will both be at Camp I Can with Clark, and C. L. has already promised to induct him into her exclusive camp club—the one for campers who know everything there is to know about the world of Monsters and how Stuffies protect kids from them. And now that he knows (or suspects . . . very strongly) that his grandma-made Stuffy, Foon, heroically saved his own father from a horrible fate, Clark is obviously bringing Foon to camp along with him.

But once Clark gets to camp, he and his friends discover things are off. There are strange, gooey findings in some of the bunks, the adults are acting weird, and, worst of all, their Stuffies and dolls go missing right at the moment they need them the most—when they go on the intersession camping trip and end up trapped in a creepy old cabin. What Clark and his friends don’t know, and what the mighty Foon soon discovers, is that the Monsters have launched a revenge campaign against Foon—a campaign that entails sucking the very life out of Clark. Now it’s up to Foon to enter the World of Darkness and take on the Monster in charge in order to stop the plot and save Clark’s life. 

In the long tradition of Stuffies vs. Monsters, this one’s a battle for the ages—one that will certainly go down in Stuffy history.

PRAISE FOR STUFFED:

“A warm and engaging tale” – Kirkus Reviews




 Grab Book 1, STUFFED Now!

 

About Liz:

Liz Braswell spent her childhood reading fairy tales, catching frogs, and going on adventures in the woods with her stuffed animals. She has a degree in Egyptology from Brown University (and yes, she can write your name in hieroglyphs). After making video games for ten years Liz now writes full-time and plays video games for fun. She has written Snow, RxThe Nine Lives of Chloe King, and several books in the best-selling Twisted Tale series, including Part of Your World and As Old as Time. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish, and five coffee trees, and still sleeps with a Stuffy.  You can email her at me@lizbraswell.com or find her on Instagram and Twitter @LizBraswell.



Website | Twitter |Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of INTO DARKNESS (Stuffed #2). US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/26/2021

Kait Plus Books

Review

4/26/2021

PopTheButterfly

Review

4/27/2021

Nerdophiles

Review

4/27/2021

booksaremagictoo

Review

4/28/2021

The Momma Spot

Review

4/28/2021

BookHounds Ya

Review

4/29/2021

For the Love of KidLit

Interview

4/29/2021

fictitious.fox

Review

4/30/2021

Moonlight Rendezvous

Review

4/30/2021

I'm Shelfish

Review

Week Two:

5/3/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

5/3/2021

Two Points of interest

Review

5/4/2021

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

5/4/2021

Eli to the nth

Review

5/5/2021

The Book Nut : A Book Lovers Guide

Review

5/5/2021

Little Red Reads

Review

5/6/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

5/6/2021

Celiamcmahonreads

Review

5/7/2021

michellemengsbookblog

Review

5/7/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Book Spotlight - Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi + Giveaway

 

About the Book:

Title: ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD (A Pandava Novel Book 4)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Pub. Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleAudibleB&NiBooksKoboTBDBookshop.org

Aru Shah and her sisters--including one who also claims to be the Sleeper's daughter--must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras.

Aru has just made a wish on the tree of wishes, but she can't remember what it was. She's pretty sure she didn't wish for a new sister, one who looks strangely familiar and claims to be the Sleeper's daughter, like her.

Aru also isn't sure she still wants to fight on behalf of the devas in the war against the Sleeper and his demon army. The gods have been too devious up to now. Case in point: Kubera, ruler of the city of gold, promises to give the Pandavas two powerful weapons, but only if they win his trials. If they lose, they won't stand a chance against the Sleeper's troops, which will soon march on Lanka to take over the Otherworld.

Aru's biggest question, though, is why every adult she has loved and trusted so far has failed her. Will she come to peace with what they've done before she has to wage the battle of her life?

 

PRAISE FOR ARU SHAH AND THE TREE OF WISHES

“Touching, riotously funny, and absolutely stunning.”--Kirkus

 

Praise for Aru Shah and the End of Time:

“An imaginative novel that puts girl power and diverse protagonists front and center.”

Entertainment Weekly

 

“[An] engrossing adventure tale.”Teen Vogue

 

“Roshani Chokshi spins a modern-day fairy tale that adults and children will love.”-Bustle

 

 


Grab the first 3 books in the series!

Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel Book 1)

Aru Shah and the Song of Death (A Pandava Novel Book 2)

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (A Pandava Novel Book 3)

 

 

About Roshani:

Roshani Chokshi (www.roshanichokshi.com) is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling books in the Pandava series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, and its sequel, Aru Shah and the Song of Death. She also wrote the New York Times best-selling YA books The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded Wolves. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. The Pandava novels were inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani's all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in the south and says "y'all," but she doesn't really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

4/1/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt/Spotlight

4/2/2021

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt/Spotlight

Week Two:

4/5/2021

BookHounds Ya

Excerpt/Spotlight

4/6/2021

For the Love of KidLit

Excerpt/Spotlight

4/7/2021

Kait Plus Books

Review

4/8/2021

onemused

Spotlight

4/9/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

Week Three:

4/12/2021

Emelie's Books

Review

4/13/2021

What A Nerd Girl Says

Review

4/14/2021

Little Red Reads

Review

4/15/2021

PopTheButterfly

Review

4/16/2021

Amani’s Reviews

Review

Week Four:

4/19/2021

Moonlight Rendezvous

Review

4/20/2021

booksaremagictoo

Review

4/21/2021

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review

4/22/2021

The Momma Spot

Review

4/23/2021

I'm Shelfish

Review

Week Five:

4/26/2021

Book Briefs

Review

4/27/2021

Confessions of a YA Reader

Review

4/28/2021

The Book Nut : A Book Lovers Guide

Review

4/29/2021

The Book Dutchesses

Review

4/30/2021

Two Points of interest

Review


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Book Review - This Is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

 

'

Nearly twenty-five years ago, Eve Knox, a young sixteen-year-old is found dead in the caves near her home in Grotto, Iowa. Eve's body was discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and Eve's sister, Nola. The police have a handful of suspects including Eve's boyfriend, Nick, but they lack solid evidence to convict anyone. The case has gone cold for years until one eventful day.

Maggie has been haunted by Eve's death and finding her body. Maggie is now a detective and seven months pregnant when she is thrust back to that night when new evidence emerges. Maggie is assigned to the case when it is reopened. As she begins to investigate, she discovers that someone knows more than they are letting on and they will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

I was really torn while reading this book. I didn't care for any of the characters and I didn't find the plot to be believable. When reading the book, I had a hard time believing Maggie was a detective. There was an incident that happened to her and it was never explained who was behind it and the book just chalked it up as "we will never know".  And then one of her neighbors in the community, she knows they are a pedophile that targets young girls and she knows that people like that never change but, she does nothing to try and stop it. The novel moves very slowly until a "bombshell" is dropped but, even then it doesn't redeem this tedious book.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Book Review - The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

 

In London in 1850s, the Great Exhibition was being built in Hyde Park. The spectacle brings a huge crowd of people which causes two strangers to be meet by chance. Iris is an beautiful aspiring artist who doesn't think much of this fleeting moment. However, for Silas, a curious collector is enchanted by the meeting and intrigued by Iris.

Iris is asked to model for artist Louis Frost but, before she agrees she asked him to teach her to paint. Iris finds her world expanded beyond the doll shop she was working in. She loves everything the new creative world has offered to her but, she has no idea of the evil that is lurking in the shadows. Silas has been unable to stop thinking of anything other than Iris and his thoughts are turning darker.

I didn't really care for the gruesome and disgusting details in this book. I felt like this has put me off on liking this book. I thought the book was  a bit boring and the ending felt incomplete. I wish there was background on some of the characters and less details on gruesome stuff. This book was a complete miss for me.

Friday, April 23, 2021

April 2021 Haul Part 2!

 

What the month is already almost over? It felt like it just started not to long ago. Ugh, I definitely feel like the year has flew by!

As always, I ended up buying way too much this month. Definitely more than I would finish with in the upcoming months...but, we already established that I have a problem.

I got a quite a few new masks that I am excited to try.  I tried quite a few Facetory masks and I got their new banana mask. The packaging looks so cute! I like Dr. Jart+ masks but, I haven't used them in awhile. They tend to be quite pricey. I splurged and bought the rubber mask to brighten my skin. I have tons of dark spots all of my chin that I can't seem to get rid of. I like TonyMoly's and Simply When's masks and bought a few new variety. They always consistently deliver great results. And while heating eye masks don't really have a skin benefit (at least one I have noticed) I got a few from the MediHeal line because I just like the way they feel.

I love taking both baths and showers. In addition to a few new Lush bath bombs and bubble bars, I decided to up my soap and shower gel game. I got a few bars of soap from TJ Maxx. They didn't seem to have a specific brand name but, they had a nice pine-y scent that I liked. I got two new body washes from Elemis and BBW. The Elemis has frangipani monoi extracts and smells like a dream. The BBW has eucalyptus and spearmint which would make it perfect for bedtime.

I got a new watermelon mask by Milk. I am very interested in the stick application because its perfect when you are traveling. I am going to keep this when I visit my brother. I got a new facial oil from Rain Organics. I love the name of the oil - "I am Enough". I wonder if that applies to the user or the product? I got a new serum from Balance Me to help with my acne prone skin. Hopefully, I can stop getting breakouts...that's a dream..

Have you gotten anything new recently? Anything you are excited to try?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Book Review - Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh

 


When girls get their first period, they are able to take part in the lottery. The young women report to a station and they learn what kind of woman they will be depending on the ticket they get. If they get a white ticket, they can have children and get married. A blue ticket allows them to pursue a career and be free of family duties. This system relieves the burden of choice from a young woman's shoulder. One of the rules of the lottery is that once you receive your ticket, there is no going back.

Calla has received a blue ticket and she questions her fate. She decides to go on the run and live the life she wants. Calla will need to rely on the skills she learned and question those around her. She will have to find a way to escape as the system pits women against her. During her journey, Calla must decide if the lottery knows her better than she knows herself and what the consequences are for going against the lottery.

I was not a fan of this book. I read more than half of the book before I just dumped it. The book lacked world building details. They would share details about certain things but, fail to go into details. I found it hard to understand certain things without understanding the "why".  The writing style felt bland and flat and it was hard to connect to Calla. She came across as cold and clinical. It was hard to put myself in her shoes and feel anything for her plight.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Book Review - The Folcroft Ghosts by Darcy Coates

 

When their mother suffered an accident, Tara and her brother, Kyle, were sent to live with their estranged grandparents. May and Peter Folcroft seemed like the perfect grandparents. Their house is quaint and its hidden in the base of the mountains. 

They noticed that strange things keep happening. Furniture keeps moving around and there are figures in the fog. Tara and Kyle believe that the house might be haunted. A brutal storm cuts down their only line of communication into the outside world. 

May becomes obsessive with them and rarely lets them out of her sight. They try to pretend that they are a happy family. But, when they discover a locked room and a forgotten journal, they know they need to escape.

I read quite a few of the author's books and found this book to be enjoyable. It had a very creepy quality to it. The twist was interesting but, it was hinted at. I liked that they included a few short stories by the author that were interesting to read. I wished that they were fleshed out a bit more into their own novels. If the author released a collection of short stories, I would definitely read them because she seems to have a knack for writing creepy stories.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Book Review - Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

 

Special Agent Jack Tanner left the FBI to become a detective in Montana. During a search and rescue mission, he comes across a body in the national forest. He is determined to find the killer, even if he has to work with his ex-girlfriend,  US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

Terra discovers the victim had ties to a dangerous person who is trafficking artifacts. As the duo investigates, the investigation takes  a deadly turn and it hits too close to home. Terra feels that she doesn't have the courage to face what she needs to do next. However, Jack is determined to protect Terra at all costs. He felt that he has let her down before and he isn't willing to do it again.

I thought the novel was an interesting read with a few twists and turns. I didn't find that the novel was at the edge of my seat suspenseful even though it had a few unexpected twists. I felt like there was a few things that weren't really resolved and it seems the second book in the series are new characters.  While the characters were interesting, I felt like they were a bit dull for my tastes. I would still be open to reading other books by the author.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Book Review - Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith

 


During her life, Miriam held many different statuses for different people. She was an old sister to her brothers but, a prophetess to many. Miriam has always dreamed of freedom and she longed to be loved. This epic story follows Miriam as she navigates the challenges of building a family during incredible hardship, serving as a leader, while holding on to hope.

This was my second novel by the author and I can't say I enjoyed this one. I read more than half of the book and felt that it was moving very slowly for my taste. I felt at times that the story felt fragmented and I stopped reading halfway through. Readers who are more familiar with the story might enjoy this more than I did.

 **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.**

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 2021 Empties!

 

April is almost half way over! Honestly, I am not sure what I am counting down for but, the year has gone by incredibly quick. I felt like I barely did or accomplished anything for the last year and half....I can't even say I been finishing up things. Well, this month I finished a few things but, not much.

I bought a few of these aromatherapy bottles from BBW and I am really loving them. The bottles are gorgeous and they smell amazing. I love putting on this cream at night and just breathing it in. I finished a Juice Beauty pore refining mask and it was okay. I am not sure it really did much but, it didn't irritate my skin which was nice.

I love the nose strips from Me Factory. They were easy to use and I loved seeing all the yuckies on the nose strip afterwards. I been trying to do these once every month. I definitely noticed a difference on my nose. I tried the SF lip mask and that was just okay. I am not sure if the gold pattern had any effect.

Did you finish something that you loved? Anything you are planning to rebuy?


Here is everything I finished - 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Yuni My Om World Calming Aromatherapy Mist
Commodity Rain Rollerball
Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask
BBW Inspire Violet, Sandalwood, and Eucalytpus Body Lotion
SF Sun's Out, Pouts Out Gold Foil Lip Mask
OOTD Aloe Vera & Avocado Ice Cream Mask
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Sodium Hyaluronate + Lotus
Skip the Spa Brightening Firming Sheet Mask 24k Gold
Me Factory Nose Strips
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Chamomile + Tea Tree
Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment
Furterer Lumicia Shampoo