Wrap-Up: October 2016

Monthly Reads


So I haven’t had a productive month. Blame that on school. But I’ve read quite a few great books. I’m just two away from my Reading Challenge, but I expect to surpass it soon enough. 😊

 

october-wrap-up

Rex by Cody B. Stewart, Mark Rogers, and Adam Rocke

It transports me back to the 90s, and I can’t help but adore this book more. You get a mix of E.T. and a children’s version of Jurassic Park. It’ll delight the young, the youth, and the young at heart! So get your nerd on, grab your copy today, support indie publishers, and stroll down memory lane. You can’t get much better than a dinosaur book.

I hope the authors make a sequel for this little book. If not, we may get more of Rex, TJ, and Sam if it gets picked up for a movie! Here are more details.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

 

Omari and the People by Stephen Whitfield, narrated by Curt Simmons

Jess @ Audiobookworm introduced me to Stephen’s work. It’s one of the books that you didn’t think you’d pick up, but now you’re happy you have. It’s my first audiobook. Curt’s narration makes Stephen’s book mesmerizing. And the author’s storytelling keeps you intrigued from the first sentence to the last.

I definitely recommend you to listen to the audio!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads | Amazon US | Audible

 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I haven’t finished this book yet. But I can safely say it’ll be one of favourites of the year! I still question myself why I hadn’t picked it up sooner. It’s been sitting on my shelf since May.

I’m irrationally in love with every character, and I’d beg Leigh to write more stories about them, but alas, I get only two books. Thankfully I’ve ordered the sequel. So you might see a squeal-filled post or a Tweet about me getting it. 😂

But I can’t recommend this series and book enough! BUY IT.

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

 

Book Haul


October’s Book Haul

 

Posts


Reviews and Blog Tours

Rex Blog Tour Review

Rex Blog Tour Author Spotlight and Q&A

Omari and the People Blog Tour Audio Review

A Torch against the Night Joint Review

Empire of Night Review

 

Features

Bookish Finds (3), Halloween edition

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