Most Anticipated Reads of September 2019

Morning, bloggers!

Get ready, everyone. We readers and bloggers will feel the burn. I will tell you now that this post will kill your credit card, your budget, and your TBR pile. So I am not responsible for any and all damages the list inflicts onto you. I’ve been dreading this month because of the number of releases.

These publishers weren’t joking when they said September was a killer. I warn you that the post is long, so buckle in!

Read More »

Review | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Published by: Scholastic

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Paranormal

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself.

And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.


“Embrace your strange, dear daughter. Where’s the fun in being normal?”

As I travel further into the worlds Victoria creates, I simply fall in love with how creative her writing has evolved over the years. If you’re looking for a spooky yet adorable ghost story, pick up this middle grade paranormal treat!Read More »

Wrap-up: January 2017

january-2017-wrap-up2

I’M BACK! Finally, I can blog full-time. 😌 I’ve been trying to catch up on my TBR pile on my shelf so I can be ready for the release of Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage and Kelley Armstrong’s A Darkness Absolute. And I have to throw in a little weirdness to boot.

 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve fallen in love with this book. I adore Kelley’s fantasy work, and she’s known for that genre, but this series just brings an exhilarating twist to her repertoire. Her writing shines in City of the Lost. It’s one of her best works in the last few years, and I highly recommend. Kelley has a huge reservoir of stories, and you may feel overwhelmed. But the Rockton Thriller series steps away from previous characters and solely focuses on a solid psychological thriller. If you love her Nadia Stafford series, you’ll love this.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I cannot get enough of this series. Yes, there are some issues with the whole special snowflake syndrome, but, and I mean BUT, Victoria’s storytelling makes up for some of these problems, and she takes a new spin on that trope. Like The Hunger Games, Red Queen inspired me to take more risks with picking up YA books, and I’ll always be grateful for her work.

Reviews for both Red Queen and Glass Sword will be coming soon!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glass Sword has an X-Men feel to it with Mare, Cal, and the other newbloods (Reds with Silver abilities) looking to find, well, more of their kind. Mare and Cal try to deal with betrayal they never saw coming in Red Queen. And throughout the book, Mare struggles with herself, fighting an internal tug-of-war. Her transformation is hard to read. THAT ENDING. My feels can’t take it.

#freemare!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So my girl Kat hooked me up with her charming and dark little MG story revolving around a girl after my own heart. It has a dash of Coraline and a sprinkle of Tim Burton’s magic. Kat offers such a refreshing tale. I simply love this book.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book looks wonderful in person. I read it back in late 2016, but it has always struck a cord with me. What is life? What is death?  The Oddity is one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking stories I’ve ever read.

I will always support small publishers. So if you want to do the same, go directly to the publisher and buy here.

Find my review here.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Publisher’s Website

Review: The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

25143847The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

Published by: BookFish Books LLC

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Extent: 178 pages

Rating: 5/5

Source: Gift from Author


Isabel Wixon is weird. Not only does she see dead things, but her list of friends consists of a talkative ventriloquist’s dummy and the gentlemanly spider that lives in her hair. Real friends? Too hard. Inventing friends is much easier.

Inventing the Boatman—a terrible monster that lures kids into a strange sleeping sickness and never lets them go—probably wasn’t one of her better ideas though.


Izzy, also known as Isabel Wixon, has a knack for finding the weirdest friends. A talking––yes, I actually wrote the word “talking”––ventriloquist’s dummy, a gentleman in a form of a spider, and a ghost girl who insists on taking off her head when she feels the need are said friends. Weird? Yes. Am I intrigued? More than yes. So if any of these characters freak you out, or if you have Ron Weasley’s fear of spiders, heed my warning: go find a novel filled with sunshine and daisies and turn back now.

Izzy doesn’t fit in with normal people. I don’t see how she could since she sees ghosts, and Monty, her spider friend, lives in her hair. So when she hears of the Boatman, he piques her interests. But thinking of this dastardly fellow may lead her to an early grave. You see, the Boatman has spread fear and pain throughout the town. A sleeping illness takes children at the cusp of life. But how can you fight a monster that haunts your dreams?

With a smidgen of Tim Burton’s touch of horror, The Boatman will tug at your heartstrings, especially if you live in the dark side like my friend Kat. She crafts her stories in such way that will grab your curiosity the moment you pick up her work. Disastrous and dismal stories are her forte. She thrives in them. And The Boatman is a shining piece I adore. The characters move the story along masterfully. The story itself kept me up for several nights. I couldn’t get enough of Izzy, Monty, and all the others. Dora Mitchell, the illustrator, perfectly captures these characters and brings the story to another level.

So if you have an affinity for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, pick up this book. It’s a cleverly written story that will show children they can be whoever they want, so as long they stand up for their convictions and never back down from anything. But I warn you now: don’t grab the oar.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Book Haul: November 2016

My poor and already full bookshelf. But I need more books. Scratch that thought. I need a bookshelf, not books. Uh, nope, that thought didn’t last three seconds. I’ll eventually get a new one. I think the suspense of reading these gorgeous books might kill me. Might?! Will. Definitely will.

22299763Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I’M NOT READY. I don’t want this series to end so quickly. Why? Why?! I need more people who feel the same way I do for this series so, at least, I can gush, cry over the characters, and not feel like such a possessive and crazily obsessed fan, or hopefully I can find more who think like me (thankfully I have Dana). The first book is just perfection mixed in six masterful POVs.

I can only hope for more stories of my perfect heist gang.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

20053031.jpgThe Witches of New York by Ami McKay

I will buy any book Ami publishes. I’m still waiting for the sequel of The Birth House. But seeing Moth again is such a great surprise! Moth, now named Adelaide Thom, has grown up.

When I found out Ami was publishing a new book, I wasn’t expecting to see Moth again. Now this book has a touch of supernatural, and  I’m always glad to get into that genre. Ami has a way to write an endearing, powerful female characters.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

rex-epub-cov2_origRex by Cody B. Stewart, Adam Rocke, and Mark Rogers

Oh look at it. I’m in love. It’s in my hands. FINALLY. I’ve seen some of the book’s birth through my friend Ellie, who is the publisher of Common Deer Press. And I’m so happy to see this book in the flesh.

You get a taste of E.T., Jurassic Park, and 90s scientific flare. I love how Rex gave me a little piece of my childhood back. You can find my review here.

Please, and I mean please, buy from small, indie publishers. The money made through direct sales will go to the publisher and authors, not a third-party seller!

Goodreads | Publisher’s WebsiteIndigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

7ea7ea_e3a172eb0b7a42618cde0fc328529d09~mv2_d_1800_2475_s_2The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

It’s so much prettier in person. So much. The Internet and the ARC don’t do it justice.

Kat takes you on a cleverly twisted journey told through eloquent prose. She injects the consequences of right or wrong, fate, and genetic engineering. And just to keep you guessing, she then intertwines tarot card and its lure into the mix.

Check out my review!

Again, buy from indie publishers!

Goodreads | Publisher’s Website | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

25143847.jpgThe Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

I’ve been wanting to read this book since the first I heard of it in my Book Design course. So when Common Deer Press sent it with my Rex copy, along with The Oddity (which I wasn’t expecting either), I freaked.

Isabel is a girl after my own heart. This odd child not only sees dead things  but also has a cast of interesting friends: a talking ventriloquist’s dummy and a gentleman in the form of a spider named Monty, who wears a top hat. You had me at dead things, but you sealed the deal with a top hat-wearing spider. But to make things even more creepy, she creates The Boatman, who lures children to a sleeping illness.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this book! Thank you, Ellie! ❤️

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Review: Rex, by Cody Stewart, Adam Rock, and Mark Rogers

rex_banner

I’ve received an eARC for an honest review. I’ve had such a great time trampling in the swamps and roaming with TJ, Sam, and Rex. This middle-grade book is surprise I’ve been waiting for. It made me jump back in to my younger self, and I was sad to read the last page!

I’m thrilled to be a part of Rex‘s blog tour. So here we go!


rex-epub-cov2_origRex by Cody B. Stewart, Adam Rock, and Mark Rogers

Published by: Common Deer Press

Publication Date: October 5, 2016

Genre: Middle Grade

Extent: 292 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: eARC from Publisher


When eleven-year-old TJ finds a weird looking egg in the Florida Everglades after a tropical storm rips through, naturally he takes it home for identification. It could be the egg of a mutant duck or something, which would be awesome. Problem is, the egg doesn’t look like it came from a mallard, even a mutated one—it’s too big and heavy and…strange. So he hides it away in his closet and continues on with his life as usual, doing his best to ignore the creepy men constantly banging at his front door and the significant rise in military helicopter sightings in his typically quiet neighbourhood.

Then one day he comes home from school and it’s as though a cyclone has ripped through his bedroom. Suddenly, TJ knows he’s dealing with something a little more interesting—and a little more deadly—than a duck.


“Nothing really exciting ever happened in Greenmarsh.”

Oh, TJ, you are so wrong!

With a sprinkle of Jurassic Park and a dash of E.T., Rex throws you into a coming-of-age journey where an adrenaline-filled boy stumbles upon a T. Rex egg and uncovers a sinister government cover-up.

I don’t read many middle-grade books, but when I had the opportunity to get my (digital) hands on this one, I wasn’t expecting Rex to get me hooked so quickly! The little girl in me who dreamed of owning and training a raptor wanted to see where this story goes (Star Lord, eat your heart out).

Rex reminds me of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and the movies E.T., The Goonies, and Jurassic Park. It has a strong 90s feels to it, even though the book’s setting is in the present time. I felt as if I’ve stepped back into my scuffed sneakers, dropped my Nano Kitty into my pocket, and, this time, looked for my very own T. Rex. I’ve read only five books that transported me back to my crazy childhood, so I’m happy to take that trip again.

 

“Oh man, I’m probably breaking so many dinosaur etiquette rules right now…but I really wish I could’ve gone out in some way that didn’t involve being digested.”

TJ––a typical eleven year old who wants a dog and hopes for the trio of goons to stop bullying him––is an only child to a single mother, who works several jobs just to keep the roof over their heads. He and his best friend, Sam, are practically joined at the hip. While they’re out on a Cub Scout scavenger hunt, he discovers an egg. But when the army rolls in to his small town, Greenmarsh, he knows what he really finds is a lot more than an egg. The army gets closer to him and the dinosaur affectionately named Rex, and TJ realizes he has to sneak Rex out of the town to protect him. How? Through a science fair, of course.

 

“Honey, what’s morning rule number three?”

“Never talk about swamp people before Mom’s had her coffee.”

The humour in Rex will hook you from the beginning. Rex appeals to all readers. The 30-year-old nerd will fall in love with TJ, Sam, and Rex, just as much as the 12 year old will. It also offers you an authentic taste of what a true family is. But in this case, this family is an eclectic bunch: a Doctor Who-fanatic mom, a boy who loves to tinker, a protective friend, and a loyal, cold-blooded, and adorable dinosaur, a substitute for a dog.

TJ’s mom, Ellen, and TJ have a genuine bond that many readers can relate to. They banter. They argue. And they protect one another when the other doesn’t realize. He also brings out the kid in her. She gives everything for her little man and is willing to give more to see that smile on his face. Their relationship shines for me. It reminds me of mine with my Mom.

 

Rex is an enchanting story that transports you back to your childhood and stomps its way into your heart. I highly recommend this book to any reader! I can’t wait to step back into Greenmarsh again.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

Author Spotlight and Q&A with Rex’s Cody Stewart, Adam Rocke, and Mark Rogers

rex_banner

Today, I am excited to announce the release of Rex, by Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, and Cody Stewart. I’ve set up a spotlight and a Q&A with the authors!  I’m in love with this book and can’t wait to see it released for everyone to read!

I hope you enjoy.


Title: Rex

Author: Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, Cody B. Stewart

Genre: Middle Grade

Release date: October 5, 2016

Publisher: Common Deer Press

Buy here:

Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

Previous Post: Cover Reveal Tour

 When eleven-year-old TJ finds a weird looking egg in the Florida Everglades after a tropical storm rips through, naturally he takes it home for identification. It could be the egg of a mutant duck or something, which would be awesome. Problem is, the egg doesn’t look like it came from a mallard, even a mutated one—it’s too big and heavy and…strange. So he hides it away in his closet and continues on with his life as usual, doing his best to ignore the creepy men constantly banging at his front door and the significant rise in military helicopter sightings in his typically quiet neighbourhood.

Then one day he comes home from school and it’s as though a hand grenade has gone off inside his bedroom. Suddenly, TJ knows he’s dealing with something a little more interesting—and a little more deadly—than a duck.

The Authors


Cody B. Stewart

Cody B. Stewart was born in the Adirondacks, in Upstate New York. His love of stories began in those mountains as he vanquished trolls, fought in the American Revolution and discovered his latent mutant powers. Stories have continued to consume his life, but he now plucks them out of his head and puts them down on paper in the form of novels and comic books. He left the Adirondacks to grow into a man, did so, and has since returned with a wonderfully supportive wife and two sons.

Author’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

Adam Rocke


Adam Rocke Slutsky never met an adventure he didn’t love. From swimming with great white sharks without a cage, to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, Adam’s adrenaline junkie tendencies play a major role in his writing. Throw in a secondary degree in CryptoZoology and it’s anyone’s guess where Adam’s literary travels will take him.

Author’s Website

Mark Rogers
Mark’s career as a travel journalist has brought him to 56 countries and counting. These trips have fed his imagination while at the same time provided authentic experiences and sensory detail that find their way into his novels and screenplays. Mark’s won multiple awards for his travel writing, including an award for his Hurricane Ivan coverage in Jamaica. His work regularly appears in USA Today and other media outlets. Mark lives in Baja California with his Sinaloa-born wife, Sophy, where they recently built a rock house overlooking the sea.

Author’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

Q&A


What sparked your idea(s) to write a story about a boy and his t-rex? Have any books or movies inspired you to write this story?

Adam:

The inspiration for Rex stems from a “swamp survival” course I did in the Florida Everglades. While I didn’t find any dinosaur eggs—or any spooky CIA secret agents for that matter—I did find a few alligator snapping turtle eggs, and these got my creative juices flowing. The scenery in there is so amazing, and when it gets dark—whoa! It’s like a whole different world. The Everglades is really a character unto itself!

Mark:

I was a bit of a TJ myself, heading into the woods every day at the age of five until seven years old, for full days of looking for box turtles, salamander, and huge beetles living in logs. These were great days without a grown-up in sight.

Cody:

I have a lot in common with TJ. My brothers and sisters were all out of the house when I was around TJ’s age, and I lived in the middle of the Adirondacks, so there weren’t many people around. I spent most of my time making up stories as I explored the woods. Those stories always involved me running around with fantastic creatures.

This book is a joint project from all three of you. What drew you to be a part of this book? Who contributed to what?

Adam:

The way I see it, the three of us are like a “dream team” for this story. We all have different backgrounds, different life experiences, and different writing styles and tones. So we could bring different thoughts and emotions to each character, each chapter, each “scene” in the story. Then, when we put it all together, and filled in the gaps, we knew we had something special

Mark:

My inspiration was meeting someone as rare and strange as Rex – Adam Rocke. He invited me in to add a little extra something to the Rex project. We had written another novel together and knew we had what it took to create a book that was greater than the sum of its parts. Then when Cody joined in, the magic took off to the nth power.

Cody:

I’m incredibly grateful that Adam and Mark invited me to be part of Rex. I’ve learned so much about writing and the writing business from them and the process. Accepting their invitation was a no-brainer for me. They were positive that they had a great story to tell and that it would take off. And they were right. Rex is a story with so much heart, humor and adventure. I jumped at the chance to help shape it.

Many people have gained a love of dinosaurs over years. What do you believe interests readers on their love of dinosaurs?

Adam:

For me, dinosaurs are the ultimate story creatures because they’re real. At least, they were. Grasping the concept that actual monsters once roamed the earth is really cool. And to think, maybe they’re still out there somewhere. Just because we haven’t found yet doesn’t mean they no longer exist. In the deepest depths of the ocean, or somewhere in the lush jungle, maybe, just maybe, there are leftovers from a prehistoric era.

Mark:

I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love playing with dinosaur toys, reading dinosaur books, or seeing their bones in a museum. Part of the appeal for kids may be because dinosaurs roamed the earth before there were schools, chores, and big people telling you what to do. Also, with all of the scientific strides being made, who’s to say a Jurassic Park scenario is impossible?

Cody:

Dinosaurs make the ultimate What if? story. What if they never went extinct? What if humans and dinosaurs lived side by side? What would it be like if dinosaurs existed on our modern day earth? It’s fun to imagine because they really did exist, not like unicorns. And, really, unicorns are just horses with horns. Not that awesome. But dinosaurs are practically dragons that walked on the same ground that we walk on now!

Congratulations on the potential movie deal! What are your thoughts on Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Sony Pictures circling your book?

Adam:

The thought that our story could actually be made into a movie is incredibly exciting. From a writer’s standpoint, it’s always flattering to have people respond to your writing. And the fact that so many people have responded thus far takes that flattery to another level. But it’s important to remain level-headed; Hollywood is filled with almosts and near-misses. Just because we have a ton of interest doesn’t mean we’ll land a deal. And even if we do get a deal, that doesn’t mean a movie will ever get made. But still, it’s awesome to sit back and watch it all unfold and we’re all truly appreciative of the time and attention that Rex is receiving.

Mark:

We’re all excited about a possible film – whether it would be live action with lots of CGI, or an animated movie. There’s a famous saying about Hollywood: “It’s the only place in the world that can encourage you to death.” So I’d say we’re doing a good job managing expectations, while still now and then.letting fly with a “Whoop! Whoop!”

Cody:

I don’t even really comprehend the question. It doesn’t seem real. Actual living people who work for the biggest companies in the film industry have read something that I wrote and at least thought, “Well, this isn’t the worst.” For me, that alone is a win and incredibly flattering. But, like Adam and Mark said, there is no guarantee a Rex movie will happen, so I try to stay grounded. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t imagine what I’d name the dinosaur I genetically engineer with all my Hollywood money. His name would be Newman, and he would be a triceratops.

We hope you love the book as much as we do!

www.commondeerpress.com

www.facebook.com/commondeerpress

@AHerdOfDeer

Cover Reveal Tour: Rex by Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, and Cody B. Stewart

Hey everyone,

I’m pleased to present the cover of Common Deer Press’s Rex! Look out for Rex, which comes out on October 5. Stay tuned! I’ll be writing a review in the next coming weeks.

Sibby

Today is the cover reveal for Rex, by Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, and Cody Stewart.

Title: Rex

Author: Adam Rocke, Mark Rogers, Cody B. Stewart

Genre: Middle Grade

Release Date: October 5, 2016

Publisher: http://www.commondeerpress.com

Presale Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Rex-Cody-B-Stewart-ebook/dp/B01GUEAVJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467646180&sr=8-1&keywords=common+deer+press

Blurb

When eleven-year-old TJ finds a weird looking egg in the Florida Everglades after a tropical storm rips through, naturally he takes it home for identification. It could be the egg of a mutant duck or something, which would be awesome. Problem is, the egg doesn’t look like it came from a mallard, even a mutated one—it’s too big and heavy and…strange. So he hides it away in his closet and continues on with his life as usual, doing his best to ignore the creepy men constantly banging at his front door and the significant rise in military helicopter sightings in his typically quiet neighbourhood.

Then one day he comes home from school and it’s as though a hand grenade has gone off inside his bedroom. Suddenly, TJ knows he’s dealing with something a little more interesting—and a little more deadly—than a duck.

About the Authors

Cody B. Stewart

Cody B. Stewart was born in the Adirondacks, in Upstate New York. His love of stories began in those mountains as he vanquished trolls, fought in the American Revolution and discovered his latent mutant powers. Stories have continued to consume his life, but he now plucks them out of his head and puts them down on paper in the form of novels and comic books. He left the Adirondacks to grow into a man, did so, and has since returned with a wonderfully supportive wife and two sons.

Author’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

Adam Rocke


Adam Rocke Slutsky never met an adventure he didn’t love. From swimming with great white sharks without a cage, to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, Adam’s adrenaline junkie tendencies play a major role in his writing. Throw in a secondary degree in CryptoZoology and it’s anyone’s guess where Adam’s literary travels will take him.

Author’s Website

Mark Rogers
Mark’s career as a travel journalist has brought him to 56 countries and counting. These trips have fed his imagination while at the same time provided authentic experiences and sensory detail that find their way into his novels and screenplays. Mark’s won multiple awards for his travel writing, including an award for his Hurricane Ivan coverage in Jamaica. His work regularly appears in USA Today and other media outlets. Mark lives in Baja California with his Sinaloa-born wife, Sophy, where they recently built a rock house overlooking the sea.

Author’s Website | Facebook | Twitter

Now that we’ve shared this awesome cover, we can’t wait to share the book!

See you in October!

www.commondeerpress.com

www.facebook.com/commondeerpress

@AHerdOfDeer