Friday, January 25, 2019

Book of Review - A Circle of Elephants by Eric Dinerstein + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon
Nandu is a thirteenth-year-old elephant drive who lives in the Royal Elephant Breeding Center in the jungle. The King's elephants in the compound are protected in the stable. Nandu and his friends at the center are tested when an earthquake hits Nepal, which the locals deem to be a bad omen. Nandu and his elephant, Hira Prasad, have an unbreakable bond but, becomes strained when a series of event upturn their lives. Will Hira Prasad and Nandu be able to keep their bond? Is the earthquake a sign for more evil to come?

This novel was one of the best novels I have read this year (yes, the year did just start). The author wrote the novel so beautifully, that I felt transported to Nepal being surrounded by lush foliage and being there with Nandu. I love how the characters felt so real because they were flawed people trying to do the best with what they have. Overall, I love this book and I can't read more books by the author.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**  

About The Book:
Author: Eric Dinerstein
Pub. Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 288
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children's Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.

Thirteen-year-old Nandu lives in the newly established Royal Elephant Breeding Center on the edge of the jungle. Here, the King's elephants are to be raised under the protective watch of the stable. Nandu-along with his adoptive father Subba-sahib, his mentors, friends, and the rest of the elephant drivers-is tested by man and nature as earthquakes, drought, wild herds, and rumors of poachers threaten the Center.

When Nandu's world is thrown into turmoil, so, too, is the world of Hira Prasad, the Center's powerful bull elephant. An unbreakable bond of brotherhood drives Nandu and Hira Prasad together as they struggle to maintain the delicate natural order of life in the Borderlands.

Dinerstein's poetic prose and scientific expertise come together in this breathtaking tale that transports the reader to the center of dangerous conflicts and heartbreaking friendships.

About Eric: 

Eric Dinerstein is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at RESOLVE. Previously, he was Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. His areas of specialty include tropical mammals, large mammal biology, biogeography, bats, rhinos, seed dispersal and community ecology. With the World Wildlife Fund, he led many of the organization's most important scientific projects, including the Global 200 Ecoregions, examples of which form the basis of his book TIGERLAND AND OTHER UNINTENDED DESTINATIONS. Dinerstein is also the author of THE KINGDOM OF RARITIES, THE RETURN OF THE UNICORNS: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW: A Novel, among other articles and publications.

He attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University, and did his post-graduate studies at the University of Washington (Organization of Tropical Studies) and the National Zoological Park's Conservation and Research Center.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS, US Only.

Giveaway Link:

Tour Schedule:

Week Two:
1/21/2018- Lifestyle of MeReview
1/22/2018- Loie DunnReview
1/23/2018- YA Books CentralInterview
1/24/2018- The Layaway DragonExcerpt
1/25/2018- Two Points of InterestReview

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Summer and Rose Candle Trio - Sea Breeze, Sweet Fig, and Lavender

I love candles and when I came across this set for $45, I thought it was a bargain. However, the listing didn't have the size listed so, I thought these were going to be a decent size. Instead, the candles (2.5oz) were the size of a shot glass or the small candle from Nest. Overall, the candles had sweet and summery scents but, the scents were not very strong. For the price, I think these were overpriced as the quality and scent were poor. I find Bath and Body Works candles to have a stronger scent and last longer than these.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Doucce Luscious Lip Stain - 615 Passion Peach

 The Doucce Luscious lip stain goes on glossy but dries matte. It promises a full coverage application and to last all day. It took a few swipes before I got full coverage and after an hour or two, I noticed that the top layer rubbed off. However, my lip had a faint stain. I didn't like that the color didn't apply smoothly or evenly. The next time I am going to use a lip scrub so, that could hopefully help with the application. Overall, it's not my favorite lip stain but, I would be open to trying a different color.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Book Review - The Good Detective by John McMahon

Photo Credit - Amazon

Detective P.T. Marsh was a rising star in his police department in Mason  Falls, Georgia. Until the death of his wife and son. After their accident, Marsh has been making a series of bad decisions, including helping a woman confront her abusive boyfriend. The next morning he is called to the scene of his new murder case, only for Marsh to realize it was the very man he beat up last night. He knows the man was alive the night before but,  he can't remember all of the details from the night prior.

The body of a black teenager is found in a field with a rope around his neck. While investigating the murder, he realizes he might have killed his number one suspect for the murder.  With racial tensions and media scrutiny rising, Marsh is facing against the clock to solve this murder and to prove his own innocence. Is there something more sinister behind the teenager's death? 

I thought the book had an interesting premise. I enjoyed that the author mixed a few different topics such as racial tensions, murder, and superstition to create a unique plot. However, I felt that the writing fell flat. I didn't feel connected to P.T. Marsh or really cared for any of the characters. 

**Disclosure - This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**  

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Review - The Extremely High Tide! (Secrets of Topse) by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Talise is well versed about the ocean. She knows more about the ocean than any kid and adult in Topsea. She is currently the only bathymetrist in Topsea. Talise can predict important things about the sea like the next tide or the beginning of Seaweed season. However, Talise has a hard time understanding her classmates' behavior.

Talise discovers a message in a bottle. She realizes its blueprints for boats and the message was meant for her. Talise feels there is a reason for the messages while her classmates think she is being silly. Unsure why she needs to build a boat, she begins to build the boat. Who is sending Talise these massages? Will she be able to build the boat in time?

The book was an interesting and creative read. It was filled with eccentric and bizarre jokes like searching the beach for teeth. However, I don't feel like I am the target audience for this book because of the book's humor. Although, I can see this would be the perfect zany book for a child who likes this type of humor. I did like that each character had a chapter dedicated to them so, the reader could learn more about them. Overall, this would be a great book if you love zany and wacky humor, if not, you would be better off skipping.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**   

About the Book:

Author: Kir Fox & M Shelley Coats

Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 208

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Talise knows more about the ocean than any kid in Topsea. Any adult, too. As the best-and only-bathymetrist in Topsea, Talise is able to predict important things about the sea, like the next tide (Severely Low with a threat of Wildcard) or the arrival of Seaweed Season. What she can't predict, however, are her classmates' behaviors. Sometimes it's as if they're speaking different languages.

When Talise discovers a mysterious message in a bottle, her classmates believe it must have been sent by someone stranded on a deserted island. (Not to be confused with a dessert island.) But Talise is convinced the message is meant for her. And it's telling her to build a boat.

Everyone seems to think Talise is just being silly. Even Talise isn't exactly sure why she has to build the boat. And who keeps sending those strange messages in a bottle, anyway? All Talise knows is that she'd better finish building her boat fast, because an Extremely High Tide is coming? 

About The Authors:

Kir Fox (Kirsten Hubbard) and M. Shelley Coats (Michelle Schusterman) are great friends, longtime critique partners and ardent consumers of the strange and unusual.

Find M!

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of SECRETS OF TOPSEA, BOOK 2: THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE!, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:

Tour Schedule:

Week Two:
1/14/2019- Loie DunnExcerpt
1/15/2019- Daily Waffle - Spotlight
1/16/2019- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
1/17/2019- BookHounds YA- Review
1/18/2019- Two points of interestReview

Monday, January 7, 2019

Book Review - The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Photo Credit - Amazon

Fatima is a royal concubine in the royal court of Granda, the last emirate of Muslim Spain. Hassan, her best friend, is the palace mapmaker. Hassan has the power to draw maps of places he has never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives from the Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima becomes friends with one of the women, Luz. However, she didn't realize that Luz will see Hassan's gift as a threat. Fearing for their lives, Fatima and Hassan escape the palace. Will Fatima and Hassan be able to escape Luz?

At first, I thought this novel was going to be a historical fiction novel but, it slowly became a fantasy novel instead. The novel was written beautifully in the beginning but halfway in the book, I started losing interest in the book. I felt like the story was a bit slow and boring. I found the parts with Vikram, the jinn to be the most interesting part of the story.  After finishing more than 75% of the book, I lost interest in the book and couldn't finish it.

**Disclosure - This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**