Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (22) Best Books To Read For Halloween

A weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

I haven’t done this meme in months, and I’ve missed it! This probably won’t become a regular thing again just yet, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to share some spooky reads with you! I would go with the normal topic this week of Scary Book Covers, but I’m too big of a scaredy cat for that.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to be spooked on occasion!


1. Sisters Red & Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

These books are the perfectly creepy blend of your childhood fantasies and nightmares. Just look at those covers!

2. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Fairy Tales are kind of my thing, so I figured I’d recommend one of the most disturbing retellings I’ve run into. Seriously.

3. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

This is a hilariously dark middle grade read that I’d recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. And have I mention it’s being turned into a movie by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline)? That’s the kind of creepy good story this is.

4. Splintered by A.G. Howard

This is NOT Disney’s Wonderland. It’s a disturbing, beautiful, and definitely creepy Wonderland like you’ve never seen it before!

5. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

There are nightmares and murders and paranormal monsters galore, but with all that high school drama we all secretly love. This is THE PERFECT Halloween read!

6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

If you want to go kick some paranormal butt, while laughing your butt off, this is the novel for you. You’ll be laughing ‘til you’re out of breathe, while still embarking on a thrilling paranormal adventure.

7. Ten by Gretchen McNiel

You guys. I hate gory, bloody, evil kinds of books. Especially of the murder mystery variety. And yet I loved this book like crazy! I was on the edge of my seat, and definitely left feeling completely terrified.

8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I just finished this, and it’s definitely one to add to any Halloween TBR pile. Peculiar orphans with mind-blowing abilities, plus a bunch of spoilery stuff of the creepy variety.

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is the perfect anytime book series, but I think it’s especially well suited for Halloween time. There’s magic and mystery and TROLLS IN THE DUNGEON!

10. Tales of Beetle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

And if you don’t have time to squeeze an entire Harry Potter novel into your busy reading schedule, you have to read some classic wizarding fairy tales at the very least.

11. Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Or you could always read some good ol’ Muggle fairy tales (“What’s that? An illness?”) which are sure the fill you with memories of the past, and possibly some pretty darn weird nightmares. Start with The Girl Without Hands.

What are some of your go-to Halloween reads?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (16)

Things have been really quiet this week, and so now it’s time for an explanation. My dad is moving across the country on Sunday, and so it’s been nonstop family time. I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen with blogging for now, because the rest of us are staying here until we figure something out. This might mean I have tons of spare time, or none at all. I’ll just have to play it by ear in the mean time.

UPDATE: I just realized that since I just copy-and-pasted this whole post from a few weeks ago to keep the formatting the same, that the whole message about my dad was still there. Circumstances are basically the same, only he’s safe and sound on the other side of the country!

Now on to the books!

      Received This Week


      David CopperfieldOliver TwistGreat Expectations (Illustrated)

      David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
      Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
      Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

These brand new hardcovers came in a matching set for $3, but I’ve scoured Goodreads and it turns out only the David Copperfield has a match, so I found the second closest covers. It would help if they had ISBN’s…

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban

I also picked this up for 50 cents. I think I read it 5 years ago. Hmmm…

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)


I last minute ordered this, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve NEVER been so emotional over an ending! (Well, maybe TFiOS) Tied for my favorite dystopian trilogy ever!



      Fates by Lanie Bross

      This looks amazing and it comes out on my birthday!

      For Review (unsolicited)

      Love Letters to the Dead

      Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

I’d never heard about this book until it appeared on my doorstep, and it looks really cool! Can’t wait to dig in!

      Blogged This Week

Nothing! I’ve been trying, but I just can’t seem to find the time for anything these days! I might be “officially” going on hiatus soon, just to take a break from stressing about the lack of posts. In other vaguely related news, I’m doing NaNoWriMo, aka Turn Into a Sleep-Deprived Zombie Month! I’m going to be working on a fairy tale mashup that’s been living in my brain for the past few months If you can guess which 3 fairy tales I’ll be mashing together, kudos (and maybe something from my super secret swag supply) to you!

Read This Week

Two weeks ago…

Ten Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

This past week…

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenSlayers (Slayers, #1)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Slayers by C.J. Hill

To Read Next Week

The WitchesFriends and Traitors (Slayers, #2)Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer (Twisted Tales, #2)

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Friends and Traitors by C.J. Hill
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer

How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hero Blog Tour: Grand Finale!

The Grand Finale
(In case you missed anything!)
On Tour with Prism Book Tours

by Alethea Kontis

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world.

Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?"

As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.  Excerpt


Sail Away on the
Fairy Tale Adventure Tour*
*Family Welcome

Sept 22 - LAUNCH
Sept 23 - The Missing Piece - Althethea Kontis 

Acknowledgements - Alethea Kontis
I wrote them. And I cried. And I sent them in. And my editor was touched. And then somewhere between then and publication, they fell through the cracks...
- Video Rant on Debz Bookshelf
Something about Saturday’s story just touched me... and that made my experience reading this book even more powerful. - Debz review

- Celebration on Deal Sharing Aunt

Sept 24 - Interview with Miss Print 
The plan is for the Woodcutter Sisters Series to encompass 7 books — one about each sister. That’s always been my original plan. The publisher’s plan was for Enchanted to be a solo book...INTERVIEW
Hero is another excellent installment in the Woodcutter Sisters story and a mandatory read for anyone looking for an antidote to the typical princess story.  - REVIEW
Sept 25 - Interview with Carina Olsen  
What was the first fairy tale you remember falling in love with?  I started reading when I was three and was crazy about reading by the age of five. When I was eight, my French grandmother gave me a giant copy of unexpurgated Grimm and Andersen tales. I mark that date as The Beginning of The End...

- The Grandfather Pirate on Living a Goddess Life

- Meet the Inspiration Part I on The Wonderings of One Person
I was a normal kind from a REALLY NOT NORMAL family. My biggest feelings of inadequacy came from comparing myself to my parents and siblings and everyone else and just not measuring up...
Sept 26 – Review on Shannon’s Blog
Coming from a large family, I liked the way the author not only made the heroine one of many siblings, but managed to include all her brothers and sisters...  It wasn’t just an interesting biographical fact that Saturday came from a large family; it actually mattered to the story.
Sept 27 – My Amazing Sister on Leeana Me
My little sister, Soteria, always asks me who she is in the Woodcutter stories, but it’s hard to say. She and I were so close growing up–if I am every single one of my characters, then she is always my sister in every scene.
Sept 30 -- USA Today Happy Ever After interview
My 8-year old daughter loves Alethea Kontis. She's never read one of her YA books, but she knows her as "Princess Alethea" who hangs out with Mommy at book festivals. Alethea lives and breathes fantasy, fairy tales and girl power, and it always pours out of the page. The second book in her Woodcutter series, Hero, is out, and this one has all the trademark spunky heroine and swashbuckling (there are pirates!) fantasy adventure you will find in her books. I was fortunate enough to grab a few moments with Alethea to ask her a few questions...
 Hero by Alethea Kontis
- Review of Enchanted on Colorimetry
What a deliciously fairy tale filling read… with just enough light-hearted fun, deeply dark antagonists, magic straight out of real fairy-tale-dom with real fairy god mothers… and characters that carry their faults around like real people that accidentally fell into the story.
- Alethea at Waterworld Mermaids - "Last Minute Wonder"
I can’t even call it procrastination, because it was more like Self-Imposed Ninja Boot Camp...
- "My Favorite Bit" guest essay by Alethea - Mary Robinette Kowal
...clothes may be an expression of who you are, but they are not the definition.
- Review at Library of a Book Witch
I think that this series is really good at setting that fairy tale tone with the writing style, being a hard core lover of fairy tales, it makes the books perfect for me. I also love how she weaves in the different stories and pieces it togther like one of Fridays quilts.
- Interview & Review at Tressa's Wishful Endings
Alethea: I have been accused many times of "cramming all the fairy tales into one book like it was some sort of challenge"--and indeed, it sort of started out that way.I just have to ask, what is your favorite fairy tale and fairy tale princess and why?Alethea: Yay! I love answering this question... Interview
Saturday is such a great character! She is struggling with figuring out her place in the world and who exactly she is...  I loved that she isn't dramatic, but rather sarcastic... Review
Oct 2 - Video Rant Geek Girl In Love 

Princess Alethea rants about Petronella
I found Hero to be a creative and exciting work of fantasy.  The highlight of the book was the exploration of gender roles, and the romance, which was based very much on the idea that people’s differences can complement each other.
  - "The Big Idea" John Scalzi's blog 

Every author wonders if they’ll be able to hack it in a trial by fire. Well, this author knows she’s got what it takes. I wrote that manuscript in three months, and when they didn’t like that, I took the fourth month to rewrite the whole thing. But I did it, against all odds, and what came out was magic.
Ironically, this is exactly what Hero is all about.
  - My Bookshelf on Mel's Shelves
I was intrigued with the summary for this book. I come from a family of 7 daughters (and 2 sons). I line up with daughter number 4, Thursday, who ran off with the Pirate King and sends trunks of gifts back home, haha!  - Review of Enchanted
The Shelf I Can't Live Without

  - Did You See? on Cu's eBook Giveaways

Princess Alethea has had a busy week!

Madeleine DeRondeOct 3 – Hightlighting The Missing Piece on I Am a Reader, Not a Writer 
Last but not least I must thank the members of my very large family... thank you for keeping my feet tied to the ground while I reach for the stars. You are my heart, and I love you all more than these humble words can say.
- Review at Books for Kids
I love the way she writes.  Her characters are vibrant and full of life.  Saturday is a fabulous protagonist.  I adore her strength and her stubbornness, her fire and her fight.  I love the way she solves her problems (with her brain) and the way she carries out her plans (with her strength).
Oct 4 - Podcast Anything Goes with Bennet Pomeranz

- Review of Hero on Colorimetry
The scene with the lake is burned on my memory forever:  Surrounded by icy walls, with water so clear you can see that the lake is deep, so deep you don’t know how deep, heated from molten lava within the mountain. It’s amazing. I want to go there!!
Oct 5 - Hero LAUNCH PARTY at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA
...where you can get a personalized, signed copy from Alethea!!

- Meet the Inspiration Part II on Bookmarks
...So you see, I didn’t just have family members growing up. I had legends. I may have been destined for greatness, but only because my family set the bar SO HIGH.

Oct 7 - Character interview with Saturday Woodcutter at I Smell Sheep
Troubadour: I’m here today with Saturday Woodcutter, sixth of the seven Woodcutter daughters, and sister to the Queen of Arilland. Princess Saturday, could you tell me--

Saturday: Call me "princess" again and I punch you in the face.
-  Craft "Stealing from the Best" on Romance Writers of America & Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal Chapter
In my teen novels, I retell the classic Grimm and Andersen (and a few others') fairy tales. I don't regurgitate the exact same sequence of events--though as they're public domain, I suppose I could. I prefer, instead, to fill in the blanks I feel the original authors left.
Oct 8 - Families in Fiction at A Backwards Story
In real life, we have families. Some of us have REALLY LARGE AND OBNOXIOUS families. And though we feel alone sometimes in those awkward middle school years, we're never really alone-alone.
Even when we want to be.
- Review at JL Mbewe
There’s that saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” well, in the publishing world, books are the author’s children. And it takes a village to raise them, too...
The first thing that jumped off the page at me was the author’s style. It’s playful, fun, and fresh filled with an out-of-this-world yet grounded fairy tale experience. I loved it... Review
AK – Beloved is a parallel novel to Hero, chronicling the adventures of Friday and the rest of the Woodcutter crew back in Arilland, in the tragic aftermath of the appearance of Saturday's "impossible ocean." Apprentice seamstress Friday becomes a leader of the children (because that's Friday's thing), and gets caught up in trying to break a curse involving seven swans, a mute girl, and the need to weave seven shirts out of stinging nettles. 
I've always loved all the bird-tales ("The Goose Girl" is my favorite) and I have to say...I am SO IN LOVE with writing this book. Beloved is such an appropriate title.
- Deleted Scene at Fragments of Life
It was a sad road that led Peregrine to his mother's bedside...
All in all, Hero was like a tapestry of fairytales interwoven together: vibrant, fun, humorous, tragic and100% magical. I strongly recommend this to readers who love fairytale retellings and fantasy. - Review
Oct 11 - 13 - Caplave
Oct 11-15 - GRAND FINALE
Contact BurgandyIce(at)live(dot)come if you're interested in sharing this Grand Finale!

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Sept 22 - Oct 17

Fairy Tale Gift Basket (US only): Signed copies of both Enchanted and Hero by Alethea Kontis plus swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stacking the Shelves (15)

      Received This Week


Ten Bumped (Bumped, #1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenThumped (Bumped, #2)

No reviews, but some pretty cool stuff!

Read This Week

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)MatildaBumped (Bumped, #1)Thumped (Bumped, #2)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Thumped by Megan McCafferty

To Read Next Week

Friends and Traitors (Slayers, #2)The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)

Friends and Traitors by C.J. Hill
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

How was your week? Leave links in the comments below!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Introducing…Princess Debz 2.0

Princess Deb

A couple weeks ago I was feeling bored and had nothing to do. I was staring at the ceiling trying to think up things I could be doing (y’know, besides geometry and physics) and I was drawing a blank. Then all of a sudden I had a thought. I’m not a bad artist, and I’ve got an empty sketchbook. I’m getting kind of sick of the profile picture on my blog and Twitter. I have a knack for drawing Disney characters. I should try to cartoon myself, and if it’s not half bad, that can be my new avatar!

And so I got sketching. The face is heavily based on Belle, and the tiara is similar to Tiana’s, but the hair is 100% Debz. I drew a rough sketch, scanned it in, and then basically re-drew the entire thing using all of my free graphic editing programs (because free is always better), and added a lot more details like the curls, freckles, and all the shading. It took far longer than I expected, but I’m super happy with it. It looks more mature, and closer to what I actually look like, but it’s still cartoony and cutesy and whimsical.

I kind of miss the old one, but I love this new one. I could make this all cheesy about how this is the beginning of a new chapter in my blogging career, but chances are my blog and I aren’t changing much any time soon, and that’s okay.


Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon


This is a last minute on-a-whim thing. I have a mostly empty(ish) weekend, and I’m horribly behind in my reading, so I figured I’d take advantage of the opportunity this time around!

I’ll be joining Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, which starts tomorrow

I have a nice big stack of books to read, and so for this read-a-thon I’ve selected a handful of shorter (and spookier) ones to try. My goal is 3 books, but my fingers are crossed I can finish all 6 below.


Enclave by Ann Aguirre
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Mind Games by Kiersten White
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
The Witches by Roald Dahl

Are you read-a-thoning? What’s on your TBR pile?

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