Sunday, September 18, 2016

Book Blast: The Carver by Jacob Devlin with Giveaway



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Welcome to the Book Blast for

The Carver by Jacob Devlin

presented by Blaze Publishing!

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THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers...

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.

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The Carver by Jacob Devlin
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

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"an inspired vision that felt fresh and unique; and something that would be entertaining for all ages" - Silvia's Reading

"The descriptions were vivid and I could easily see it in my head!" - Kindle and Me


"It brings you great laughs, tears and a special twist on all the fairytales we know from our childhood." - Goodreads Reviewer





When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads




Asleep EBook (1)


Seventeen-year-old Rose suffers from terrifying, painful nightmares that leave her bruised, exhausted, and questioning her sanity. Desperate to hold on, she makes a choice: Trust her doctor who claims he can cure her, or listen to another patient who swears the asylum will kill them.

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Asleep by Krystal Wade
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

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Because I Love You


When Sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton discovers she’s pregnant, she also learns the truth of her adoption. Overwhelmed, Andie must choose what’s best for the baby, but after hearing the heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able let go.

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Because I Love You by Tori Rigby
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Blaze Publishing

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Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland #1) by Chris Grabenstein

Title: Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland #1)
Author+Chris Grabenstein
Pages: 304
Release date: October 4, 2016
Ages: 8 and up

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Eleven-year-old P.T. Wilkie may be the greatest storyteller alive. But he knows one thing for a fact: the Wonderland Motel is the best place a kid could ever live! All-you-can-eat poolside ice cream! A snack machine in the living room! A frog slide! A giant rampaging alligator! (Okay, that last one may or may not be made up.) There’s only one thing the Wonderland doesn’t have, though—customers. And if the Wonderland doesn’t get them soon, P.T. and his friend Gloria may have to say goodbye to their beloved motel forever.  They need to think BIG. They need to think BOLD. They need an OUTRAGEOUS plan. Luckily for them, Gloria is a business GENIUS, and OUTRAGEOUS is practically P.T.’s middle name. With Gloria’s smarts and P.T.’s world-famous stories and schemes, there’s got to be a way to save the Wonderland!  BONUS: Includes fun extras like P. T. Wilkie’s outrageous (and sometimes useful) things you learn living in a motel. Installment 1: How to say “Help! The toilet is clogged!” in over twenty languages!

My Thoughts:

As soon as I opened this book, I knew it was going to be super entertaining to read. Brooke Allen is a wonderful illustrator! All of the drawings absolutely cracked me up. Imagine a boy riding an alligator back to where it came from after he's lasso'd it with some bed sheets from a hotel. Pretty funny in your head, right? It's even better to see. I'd show some of the artwork but since it said that the art may not be final, I'm going to exclude it for now.

P.T. Wilkie is hilarious. Above all else, he's imaginative. Spinning stories much to his classmates' delight, even some of the teachers, (except for grumpy old Mr. Frumpkes) and getting himself out of trouble on multiple occasions.  The book does have some sad parts that deal with P.T. Wilkie's father, but it's made up for in non-stop funny shennanigans that him and his friend new friend Gloria get into.

We follow P.T., Gloria, and occasionally P.T.'s grandpa on hilarious antics in order to save their beloved motel from the hands of some horrid businessmen. Before they know it, they're caught up in a years old mystery surrounding a bank heist two robbers had pulled off. Now, the robbers are out of jail and snooping around the motel looking for their loot. P.T. and Gloria must find the jewels before they do and before Spring Break is over to keep the Wonderland Motel up and running and out of the grasp of people who don't deserve the motel.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Book Review || The Mystery at the Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew #4) by Carolyn Keene

Title: The Mystery at the Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew #4)
Author: Carolyn Keene
Pages: 180

Synopsis from Goodreads
Nancy and Helen visit a charming old inn, recently purchased by friends. Soon after her arrival at Lilac Inn, Nancy discovers someone is impersonating her! The young detective’s enemy alters her appearance to resemble Nancy and uses stolen identification! When Emily Willoughby's diamonds are stolen, Nancy is determined to find Emily's inheritance. A mysterious ghostly figure roaming Lilac Inn's grounds, a strange message with the phrase “blue pipes,” and other unexplained incidents lead credence to the belief that the inn is actually jinxed!

My Thoughts:
Nancy Drew went through a lot in this book, and it's super fast paced compared to the previous ones. First, she gets ran off the road by a stolen car, she gets shot at while skin-diving with a spear-gun, a cabin she was residing in for the time being was blown up by a time-bomb, rocks are being thrown at her through her car window, and to top it all off, someone is going around impersonating her! I could not be Nancy Drew for the life of me. It seems to be one thing after another and she doesn't get a break!

A thing I loved the most out of this book was the vivid imagery of the lilac that surround the inn where Nancy is staying at. I could almost smell them. I also love the fact that this book includes some lesser-known facts on the lilac flower. These books are very educational on a vast amount of subjects.

Book Review || An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga #1)

Title: An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga #1)
Author: Gaia B Amman
Pages: 381

Synopsis from Goodreads:
A humorous coming of age tale of friendship, sisterhood, and family drama set against the gorgeous backdrop of northern Italy.Recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Green, Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie 
Italy, the late 80s. Leda is a bookish tomboy whose life is turned upside down by shady Nico, who just moved north from Sicily. Their unlikely friendship will evolve through a whirlwind of adventures leaving both kids transformed. Ultimately, Leda will discover that adults aren't always right, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of everything else.
Recommended for ages 13 and above. Some swearwords, mostly in Italian.
The book is the first in a series following the same characters throughout their life.

My Thoughts:
I could not put this book down for the life of me. I felt my eyes growing heavy so instead of laying down I sat upright on the couch and opened my eyes really wide so I could get to a good stopping point. (There are no good stopping points because all I wanted to do was keep on reading until I got to the end).  There are quite a few good quotes throughout this book as well.

I honestly didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, because when I first started I couldn't believe how naive Lee was, but I also had to keep in mind she was barely nine years old and we were all annoying at one time or another, if not still annoying. ;) She deals with quite a bit of inner issues with herself, mainly wishing she had been a boy named Alessandro and constantly feeling like she has to prove to her gang of nothing but boys that she isn't just a "little girl" but in fact strong, fierce, and a leader. 
Too often this leads them into a lot of shenanigans like mountain biking on normal bikes, a near-death experience involving a tumble from a very tall tree, among other hilarious yet poignant experiences that only made me look back on my childhood with fondness. This book actually made me recant my childhood adventures with my "gang" of friends and all of the trouble we used to get into and all of the fun times, arguments and tears, and other emotions we all had to endure when we were coming-of-age. Even though the synopsis says it's good for children ages 13 and above, I believe every adult should read this as well so we can reflect and remember what it was like to be a kid so we don't lose sight of it.
Being set in the late 80s in Italy, there is quite a bit of talk about what girls are supposed to do and what they're not supposed to do, which is the bane of Lee's existence. All of the characters have their own very distinct characteristics, but I love Lee's character most of all. She's described as a "bookish tomboy." She a daredevil of the highest sorts, never backing down from a challenge (with the exception of her older sister who she seeks contact approval from), as well as being incredibly wise for her young age. Even though she doesn't understand a lot of things older people do, she feels things much deeper than any ten year old normally would.
I can honestly say the only bad opinion I have about this book is the fact that I absolutely despised Lee's dad. He has his good days, like when Lee and him are alone, but any other time he just gets on my nerves. I hope I find out why he is the way he is when I read the other books, because I really need more insight so I don't feel like I'm judging a character unfairly. 

I gave this book 5 hearts! I will forever recommend this until the end of my days. Had me belly-laughing, rooting for the characters, and deep in thought for how much sense this book made. Amman perfectly captured the troubles of growing up.


A strange smell exuded from the secret basement, of something old, worn out, and forgotten. Strangely, as I stared at it, I got the feeling that rather than light seeping inside through the crack, a beam of darkness, dust, and silence spilled out on the cement. I pushed my head through the slit in between the gate’s doors, peering inside and holding my breath.
Nothing: dark, dark, dark and quiet.
Nico whispered, “Is there someone inside?”
I shrugged. “It’s dark, I don’t think so.”
The light from the opening above and below my head had carved away a slice from the dark, revealing a grey concrete floor on which my shadow lay. Right on the edge of the gray light there seemed to be something, maybe old desks, stacked chairs?
I gathered all my courage, wanting to look brave in the eyes of my friends, and for some reason wanting to impress Nico. I was no chicken! I stepped into the secret basement.
The other three asked from outside, “What do you see?”
“It’s pitch black, Guys. It’s impossible to see the back wall.”
I swallowed entranced by a very bad feeling, remembering the Nothing that had swallowed Fantasia in The Neverending Story, one of my favorite books ever. Maybe this was where the Nothing fled after Atreyu and Bastian kicked its butt.
Nico chuckled. “Do you think that there is a back wall?”
I answered, “I’m gonna find out,” and took one step forward. They laughed nervously at my bravado. So, I took another step into the unknown.
Flavio whispered alarmed, “Lee, come on! You made your point, come back!”
I took another step, feeling the eyes of my buddies resting on my back. Their distress turned into excitement. “What do you see? How is it? What’s there?”
Truth be told, I couldn’t see a thing. I just focused on crawling forward with my arms stretched in front of my body to feel for the wall or possible obstacles, none of which seemed to come. The cold engulfing me made me even more aware of the sweat beading on my face. My heart was pounding.
I started to be able to tell the outline of huge piles of unidentified, luckily inanimate, objects stacked so high they might have reached the ceiling, if I could have seen one.
My senses were on edge, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something lurking in the darkness, ready to pounce as much as I was.
When I lurched into something cold I immediately withdrew my arms letting out a scream.
Flavio yelled, “EVERYTHING OKAY?”
I pondered, nothing was moving. I reached out with my hands and found the end wall. I yell-whispered, “Yeah! I made it! I found the end!”
My heart exulted as my friends celebrated. “Yippee! You rock, Lee!”
Everything happened within a couple of seconds. A sudden thump came from my left and I screamed again, as my friends went suddenly quiet and still. My adrenaline, which was already quite high, skyrocketed bathing me in a warm wave.
I turned to run toward the door for my dear life. I moved my feet as fast as I could in a frenzy of certainty that whatever was audibly moving not too far from me was going to grab one of my ankles at any moment to drag me into the Nothing forever.