Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published: November 1st, 2003
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: MG - Fantasy - Magic



Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the "Harry Potter" series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.
Purchase at: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo 

I am not the creator of this image. No copyright infringement intended.
  Wow, rereading a book with the knowledge of what's going to happen is really awesome! I got to catch on things in the beginning that I never did before. I am not sure if this is my first or second reread, but when I first read this, I was still in grade school and I didn't think the same way that I do now. But I must say, Harry Potter is definitely amazing no matter how many times I read it. 

  Yes, it's a bit juvenile, but it's written for kids anyway. And even now that I am reading this one as a teen, I cannot disregard that this book is a work of art. Yes, art - bringing readers into a vivid, magical mystery that is filled with colors and easy to imagine. I definitely loved J.K. Rowling's writing style with this one! 

  I must say, J.K. Rowling is good at throwing people off haha! Of course I knew how things were going to work out in the end, but I can imagine how those who haven't read the book yet can be misguided.  

  My favorite scene from this book is when Nevile finally stood up to someone, which just happened to be Harry, Ron and Hermione. It cracked me up when Ron told Neville, "Yeah, but not to us." My second favorite is when the trio each had a certain "job" to complete in the end, so that each of them was useful, and it wasn't just centered on Harry.  

  Harry Potter is definitely a must-read for kids and adults alike.  

  On a side note, imagine the whole book in Hermione's perspectives. I bet there would be no chapter without mention of how stupid the boys are. Haha!

Totally EPIC! One of the best books I have read. A MUST read!
This was a reread and I would reread it again!



Monday, August 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Gaia by Karen Ann Hopkins || Review & Giveaway!

Welcome everyone to the GAIA by Karen Ann Hopkins blog tour! Today is my stop on the tour and I will be sharing my review on this amazing new novel. There is also a giveaway at the end of this post. Be sure to check it out before you go. :)

Enjoy!



Title: Gaia 
Series: The Wings of War #2
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Kindle, 294 pages
Published: August 2015 by author
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance 
Source: eARC via author
Purchase at Amazon



As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.

But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted. When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.

As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.


Back in November of last year I read an outstanding YA Paranormal Romance novel called Ember. First in the series, Ember was unlike anything I have ever read before and I went on to gush excessively about the book in the review I wrote which you can see here. So when I was given to opportunity to read Gaia, the next book in the series, I was overjoyed. To be perfectly honest, there hasn't be one book that I did not fall in love with that the author has written. No surprise here, Gaia was no different. 

*Warning! This part of the review will contain me gushing a LOT over how awesome it is. XD*


Gaia directly picks up right after Embers left off. Ember, her demon boyfriend/guardian, and their friends are still recovering from the deadly battle fought between good and evil. Ember is now tasked with finding an Earth Watcher named, Insepth so he may begin teaching Ember to learn as well as use her Earth power, Gaia. With the end of times almost here, Ember must learn how to use her powers to help fight the evil that is coming. Her journey will not be an easy one. She will need to fight for the ones she loves and choose who's side she is really on. Ember quickly learns much more about her powers, and how strong of a Watcher she truly is. But there are secrets she is not being told....things that could be the key to winning the war. 

(normally I would give more details about the story itself but since this is the second book in the series and a lot of major things happen I didn't want to spoil it for anyone.)


What can I say? Once again I was blown away by the epic awesomeness of this book! I knew it would be good because well all of the authors books are, but Gaia went way above my expectations. The story was unbelievable amazing! There was so much going and so many different parts that just had me reading faster and faster to find out what would happen next. The adventure, the elemental battles, the romance, and the discovery of Embers powers all leading up to the ultimate battle between Good and Evil. I don't know what else to say or how tell you how truly wonderful this book is. I know that sounds cliché, but sometimes the best thing to do would be to read it yourself. Trust me you'll be glad you did. I highly recommend Gaia and Ember if you haven't read book one to anyone who loves exciting paranormal romance novels. 

Karen Ann Hopkins never ceases to amaze me. Each novel she writes just keeps getting better and better. The Wings of War series is nothing short of extraordinary and I can't wait to find out how the story ends.


Totally EPIC! One of the best books I have read. A MUST read!!


 Here's all about Embers, book #1!

Purchase at Amazon | Add on Goodreads
 photo 71b5a542-5716-4e7c-86bc-40fb7a95a7df_zpsc52bb87b.pngThere are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evils rises. 

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage, and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war, one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.


Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.


About The Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Find Karen @
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Tour Giveaway Info:
One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift card (Amazon, B&N, iTunes), as well as a complete set of Karen’s YA books, including Embers, Gaia, Temptation, Belonging, Forever, and Rachel’s Deception
Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule: Week 1
Monday, August 24th
a Bookish Escape (Review)

Tuesday, August 25th
Behind The Pages (Guest Post)

Wednesday, August 26th

Thursday, August 27th

Friday, August 28th
Avid Reader Musings (Review/Guest Post
Books and Things Review together with Guest Post

For the FULL tour schedule, click here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: Secrets in the Grave by Karen Ann Hopkins + Giveaway!

Hello everyone and welcome to the official cover reveal for Secrets in the Grave by Karen Ann Hopkins! This is the third book is this amazing series. It will be released in the first week of Septemeber 2015! Karen Ann Hopkins, as many of you know is one of my favorite authors. I've read and reviewed all of her books. She is also having a giveaway for a signed set of this series. Be sure to enter below. :)

The cover is so beautiful and kind of creepy. You'll see what I mean...
Ready for it?

Scroll down...






Secrets in the Grave by Karen Ann Hopkins
Number of Pages: 256
Genres: Adult > Amish Mystery, Thriller 
Publication: September 2015

Some Amish communities aren’t so cozy.

Just when Sheriff Serenity Adams thinks life is getting back to normal, the death of a young, pregnant Amish woman rocks the community. Is it circumstance…or murder? It’s up to Serenity and her ex-Amish boyfriend, Daniel Bachman, to discover the truth about the new shaman-type medicine man who’s brought his dark secrets to Blood Rock.
But Serenity has secrets of her own, and if she and Daniel don’t work it out, the reappearance of a woman from his past could threaten to ruin their relationship.

The deeper Serenity delves into the magical world of Amish herbal medicine, the phenomenon of laying of the hands and other cultural healing oddities, the more she wonders if miracles are real. What she witnesses with her own eyes may be too fantastical for her to believe.

In this riveting third installment of Serenity’s Plain Secrets, beliefs are challenged, a way of life is questioned and family skeletons are unearthed, leaving no one untouched.
Purchase on Amazon

Check out the other book in the series:

Lamb to the SlaughterWhispers from the Dead


About The Author: Karen Ann Hopkins

Find Karen @
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

Karen is having a giveaway for a signed set of: Lamb to the Slaughter, Whispers from the Dead & Secrets in the Grave. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blog Tour: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender | REVIEW + Giveaway!

http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/2015/08/tour-schedule-dead-girls-of-hysteria.html

Hello fellow book nerds! 
Welcome to the BLOG TOUR for The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender! 
Today is my stop on the tour and I am excited to be sharing with you all my review for this OUTSTANDING new novel by one of my very favorite authors! I've read and loved all of Katie's books. She's a brillant author and you can find out how much I loved her book from my review below. I even included a poem I wrote as part of my review. I hope everyone will enjoy this post! Be sure to enter in the giveaway below where you can win a print copy of your very own. :)



 photo d0d1f216-11ed-4267-a193-92f9c78c92e2_zpstclg4caw.jpgTitle: The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall
Author: Katie Alender
Hardcover, 336 pages
Pub. Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA - Horror/Thriller > Ghosts
Source: Print ARC via publisher



Asylum meets Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, in this riveting tale of ghosts, secrets, and family, from master of suspense Katie Alender.

Delia's new house isn't just a house. It used to be an insane asylum, a place to lock up "troubled" young women long ago. And a restless, wicked spirit is still at play--and it doesn't want defiant girls like Delia to go anywhere.

So the house kills her.

Now Delia is a ghost, trapped in her creepy home forever. As she meets the other ghost girls who haunt the narrow hallways, as well as the handsome ghost boy on the grounds, she learns shocking truths about the house's history. Delia also realizes that her alive and grieving sister might be the house's next target. Can Delia unlock the mystery of the old asylum, save her sister, and free herself?
Purchase at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Kirkus (starred review): "This superior ghost story keeps the creep factor high… A really scary and original ghost story, well told. Read it with the lights on."

School Library Journal: "Alender has created a chilling tale of forgotten tragedies and family secrets. A great choice for fans of horror or suspense novels."

I lurk in the dark, but cannot be seen.
Where the smell of death is often keen.
Not alive, but still around. In the shadows I can be found. 
I know secrets I cannot tell.
Must find a way to escape this HELL!
If I fail to break this ancient hex
You too will be NEXT!
written by Beckie (me)


While pondering my words of what to say about this amazing book, this poem popped into my head, so I thought I would share it with you all since it's about the book. Now I dabble with writing poetry, and not often at that but for some reason this poem began to form in my mind. I like it quite well, don't you? It's written as if Delia is the author. Delia, our main character in the story was once alive but now is dead. At the beginning of the book Delia comes to inherit a rather large home from her recently deceased great-great Aunt Cordelia. Delia, her parents and her little sister Janie arrive at the home only to find out it's much more than a house, but a former insane asylum used to house troubled girls properly named, Hysteria Hall. 

On the first night inside Hysteria Hall things are already starting to get weird. Delia is hearing things in the night and seeing things from the corner of her eye. Screams come from down the hall from her sister Janie where she is found bound to her bed with straps. Delia wants to leave, like yesterday but is denied by her parents who feel she is just making things up. Little do they know things are about to get a LOT worse because something or someone is not about to let Delia leave. 

Waking up the next morning Delia feels something is off. She hears screams from her family and goes to find out what has happened. She gets the shock of her life when she sees a dead body in a broken heap on the ground outside the house. A body she knows all too well...her own. Now devastated, scared and feeling lost Delia will have to rely on the other inhabitants who haunt the halls of Hysteria. Delia learns something very powerful and very evil has been killing residents of Hysteria Hall and if she is not careful her family will be next. She will need to unlock the mystery of the asylum before it's too late. Who can Delia trust and who is not who they appear to be? 

You'll need to read the book to find out what lies next. 

I am and forever will be a huge fan of the horror genre, not only in books but in movies as well. I love to be scared. I love the uncertainty of what will happen next. There's just something so fun and thrilling out being frightened. Katie Alender is my go-to author when I need a good scary read. The first books I read by her were the "Bad Girls Don't Die" series and let me tell you I was on the edge of my seat throughout the series. All three books I proudly own and have re-read. Katie is the QUEEN of Horror and knows how to masterfully craft her stories into something darkly haunting and originally frightening. Without a shadow of a doubt, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is my all time new favorite horror novel. It thrilled me, it gave me chills and at the end had me in tears. 

This unforgettable read is one I highly recommend to anyone who loves a good scare, exquisite world-building, and a story that will leave you breathless. 

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is one not to miss....you may be "sorry" you did. *evil laugh*


Totally EPIC! One of the best books I have read. A MUST read!!





Instagram | Tumblr | Wattpad
Katie Alender is the author of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, Famous Last Words, Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer, and the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found quilting, reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her friends (on very special occasions, she manages to do all of those things at once).



Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL. US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I would love to hear your thoughts on my poem or review. Writing a poem as part of my review is something I've never done before so I am kind of worried people won't like it. Anyhoo, leave me a comment. I don't bite. ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #38: Queen of Shadows + The Shadow Queen

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


 This week, I'm waiting on...


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Hardcover,  656 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA - Fantasy - Magic



Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world

Why I'm waiting:  I mean, it's Queen of Shadows! Do I even need to explain? This series opened doors for me. Last year, I only read about 5-10 fantasy books out of 100. I read Throne of Glass back in January, and boom! Now I'm reading more fantasy books and I'm so happy! <3


  Beckie is waiting on...


The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Hardcover,  400 pages
Expected publication:  February 23rd 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA - Fantasy - Fairy Tale Retelling

 
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose

Why Beckie is waiting: 


What books are you waiting for this week?

Isn't it funny that we're both waiting for Queens and Shadows? Haha!
Leave a comment down below with the book that you are waiting for 
or a link to your WOW post so I can return the favor and visit you too! :) 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Release Day Book Blitz: Into the Dark by Caroline T. Patti + Giveaway!

Into-the-Dark-RDB-banner

Happy Release Day to
Into the Dark by Caroline T. Patti!!
Join us in celebrating this release from Month9Books!
Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Caroline!

Into-the-Dark-cover
A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.
 
Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.
 
But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.
add to goodreads



excerpt
Here are a couple excerpts from the book:


Out in the hall, I look right and left, hoping, waiting for a sign. A scream rings out in the stairwell and I set off running.
With my full weight behind me, I shove open the door and take the stairs two at a time until I reach the roof.
Nathaniel has Mercy. He’s dragging her across the graveled roof. Tiny pieces of rock kick up against her feet as she struggles to pull away from him.
“Let her go!” I yell.
Nathaniel smiles at me. His grip tightens around Mercy’s arms.
“Back away, Nathaniel, or I swear I’ll kill you right here.”

------------------

Not only am I in another body, I’m in someone else’s dead body. I can see it in the broken blood vessels around the eyeballs, the chalky blue of the lips.
It makes sense now, my attacker’s reaction. He thought she came back from the dead. She did—in a way.
This is bad. This is very, very bad.
“You’re prettier than she is,” Nathaniel says from behind me.
My eyes catch his reflection in the mirror. I flinch and spin around to face him.
I scream at him. “I’m in a dead body!”
“And whose fault is that?” He gives me a stern look.
About-the-Author2
Caroline-Patti-225x300

Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter:@carepatti or find her on Facebook.
Connect with the Author: 



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