Posted in Feature, Recommendations

Romantic Duos

Since I did friends I had to do a Romantic Duos too, since we are leading up to Valentine’s Day next month. I’m not big on romance but I’ve run into a few that I think are great so here are my top five. Also this list is kinda queer.

1) The Henna Wars

This was one of my favorite romantic books of a few years ago. I deals with not only issues of romance but of identity, culture, family and finding yourself.

The Henna Wars by [Adiba Jaigirdar]

Nishat doesn’t want to lose her family, but she also doesn’t want to hide who she is, and it only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life. Flávia is beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. In a fight to prove who is the best, their lives become more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush, especially since Flávia seems to like her back.

As the competition heats up, Nishat has a decision to make: stay in the closet for her family, or put aside her differences with Flávia and give their relationship a chance.

Amazon: The Henna Wars

2) Tea Dragon Tapestry

This series of books shows a lot of sweet romantic pairs but the one I identified with most was with Greta and Minette I enjoyed seeing the sweet conclusion of their romance that started in the Tea Dragon Society and left the ending open ended so you could imagine a romantic ending for the two in the future.

The Tea Dragon Tapestry (The Tea Dragon Series Book 3) by [Katie O'Neill, O'Neill, K.]

Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series! Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.

Amazon: The Tea Dragon Tapestry

3) Sweet and Bitter Magic

Both the main characters I loved for different reasons and they come together perfectly as a romantic couple though they don’t realize it at first. Their personalities just match, even though I will say I have bit of a soft spot for Tamsin because of her rough edges. The world and the magic system are also super well thought out. I can’t the author’s next book.

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first.

Amazon: Sweet and Bitter Magic

4) The Infinity Courts

The world was key to making this romance work, for the main character to fall in love with her significant other the world has to be set up in a certain way. Also the interplay between the two characters in the seeming love triangle was excellent. Why is it not April already so I can read the SEQUEL!?!?

The Infinity Courts by [Akemi Dawn Bowman]

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.

The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.

As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.

Amazon: The Infinity Courts

5)Skin of the Sea

This Black Woman Magic version of the Little Mermaid that deftly weaves in West African mythology the original tale and 15th century history. It was one of last years favorites and it also needs a sequel right now. Like now. The romance between the Simi and Kola is very sweet though as the original tale says not meant to be though we’ll see if they find a way around that in the sequel. They face gods, monsters and they do it together along with a great group of friends all for the love of their respective families and maybe love for each other.

Skin of the Sea by [Natasha Bowen]

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
 
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi goes against an ancient decree and does the unthinkable—she saves his life. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy the gods.
 
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But all is not as it seems. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail . . .
 
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she fails, she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it

Amazon: Skin of the Sea

Who are your favorite romantic duos? Tell me in comments!

Posted in Uncategorized

Side Quest Planting Saplings: Pondathon 2

In this side quest for the Pondathon you are helping Gen plant saplings to do this you must complete the following objectives

Objectives:

  • Read a book by a Black author for Black History Month.
  • This quest is repeatable. (Repeating this quest is optional.)
  • Those who complete the quest may choose their quest reward. However, colours of the reward are random.
  • Bonus: Read at least three books by Black authors during the quest period to earn the Sleepy Sapling badge for your character card!
  • Secret Achievement: Read a book by a Black author with one of the following themes: friendship, family, community, nature.

Here are pictures of the Quest Reward Items

pondathon ii. rewards for gen's side quest, january 30 to february 19. rewards are: park bench with 1 design and 9 colours,

Here are a few ideas of the books I’m going to read for this side quest to celebrate Black History Month.

1) White Smoke

White Smoke by [Tiffany D. Jackson]

I’ve been looking for some good horror for awhile and the premise of this is unbeatable, it is perfect for this side quest! A good psychological thriller with issues of race addressed as well.

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

The theme I think this is going to work with is community

Amazon: White Smoke

2) Operation Sisterhood

Operation Sisterhood by [Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich]

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her. 

A lovely big group who I think will hit the right notes the family theme for the side quest.

Amazon: Operation Sisterhood

3) The Jumbies

The Jumbies by [Tracey Baptiste]

I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile but I’ve never gotten around to it. I think it with prompt of friendship.

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
 
When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, Corinne is sure that danger is in the air. She soon finds out that bewitching her father, Pierre, is only the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn’t know she possessed to stop Severine and to save her island home.

Amazon: The Jumbies

I really think I’ll be able to do this side quest even though I was not able to do the last one, I’m out of my book slump and ready to read, and I can’t wait to include more Black authors in that lineup!

Posted in Discussion

Favorite Duos

Since Valentines Day is coming up I wanted to give a shot out to some of my favorite duos. This list focuses on friendships or unrequited love. There is nothing like a good duo to give a otherwise boring book some flare. Now I’m all for trios and big groups of friends and may even do posts on that throughout the month. What do I look for in a good duo banter mostly. High levels of snark. A good camaraderie between the two parties. Here are my top five:

1) City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts by [Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab]

Cassidy and Jacob have just the right level of snark, and I know you might argue this is a trio since Laura makes her way into the books a lot, I can see that, but at the heart of it is Cassidy and Jacob, their connection anchors the books despite all the ghosts and other things we see it all feels real because we’re coming at it through the eyes of two best friends, and also they are extremely snarky to each other, about the situations they are in, it just add something light to the books that could get too dark and scary for the younger readers its aimed it.

Amazon: City of Ghosts

2) Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go by [Marieke Nijkamp]

This book is so special because you can only see one side of the friendship and the other is told through flashbacks, it is an elegant portrayal of mental health and the friendship that was made through it. It’s a lovely tale of understanding and reaching out for help, and trying to find justice. This is the one serious pick for the list but I’d read it again. The friendship between Corey and Kyra deserves its place among the top duos.

Amazon: Before I Let Go

3) Starfish

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Ellie and her friend Catalina is the friend every young fat girl needs in her life. Ellie’s mom fat shames her while Catalina’s mom and her family accept her and her size. Catalina encourages Ellie’s confidence in wearing and doing things her mother had put on the no go list. These two help each other win. When Catalina has a problem Ellie is her biggest cheerleader. Okay so maybe Before I Let Go wasn’t the only serious book, but Starfish is wonderful if I can have a favorite book it’s this one, and also the next one I can’t just pick one favorite okay. Everyone go buy 10 copies.

Amazon: Starfish

4) Vespertine

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

Though Starfish is my favorite on the list Vespertine made me laugh the most. Artemisia and the Revenant are the ultimate snarky duo. Seriously every other line is a smart remark and yet the have a strange way of caring about each other, who would have though the death nun and the possing somewhat evil spirit would win for win for best comedy but seriously they do. I’d like to have tea with them just for the laughs.

Amazon: Vespertine

5) Stargazing

Moon and Christine are a great duo Though Christine is initially put off by Moon unique way she soon finds she has a lot to learn from her next door neighbor, like the way Moon is willing to be friends with everyone and do things that are a little off the wall. They also do things Christine’s strict mom won’t allow like painting their toenails! But when a medical event happens Christine wonders if Moon will still be her Moon after the operation of if things will have changed. This is a great book for apricating people as they are.

Amazon: Stargazing

Posted in Memes

Cat Markings Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag in awhile since I’ve been working on the Readathon. I wanted a quick little fun post. So check out this tag based on Cat Markings. I’m also partial to this tag because they included one of my favorite cat markings which often gets overlooked.

  • Link back to the original creator (The Corner of Laura) and link back to this page (otherwise, the original creator won’t get a notification).
  • Thank whoever tagged you and link back to their post thanks for the tag And On She Reads)
  • (Optional) Use the graphics and don’t forget to credit the original creator (The graphics were also created by Laura @ The Corner of Laura)

The Prompts:

Soulswift

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

It got a little buzz when it came out but nothing like I thought it deserved. The religious order that Gelya was in was extremely well thought out. Both her cultures were in fact. As for Tavik his culture was also well done as for his prayers with the weapons. And Tavik and Gelya’s interactions were engaging, fun and sarcastic. I don’t know I just found this book well detailed and the religious orders were well written and it didn’t get the attention it deserved.

Amazon: Soulswift

Finding Perfect

Finding Perfect by [Elly Swartz]

This is a great book if you are looking for OCD representation, having OCD myself. I can say the experience the main character has is very true to life if you are untreated and especially for a first occurring OCD problem that would happen in adolescence. Swartz did her research well on this one, you should also check out Give and Take her book about childhood hoarding.

Amazon: Finding Perfect

The Midwinter Witch

Aster

Aster is a witch who breaks his family’s gender normative system of boys being shapeshifters and girls being witches. In the first book he it was really about getting his family to accept him. The second book was about him and his friends and this book is about everyone coming into their own.

Amazon: The Midwinter Witch

Torties are my favorite cat, and it’s easy easy to find my favorite female character.

The Nightmare Thief

Maren Partridge works in her family’s dream shop, she loves working with her grandmother but her sister is in the hospital and won’t wake up. So she breaks the one rule the shop has, never give anyone a dream without their consent, because she thinks it will helps it will her sister Hallie. But a stranger from the shop has been following Maren and threatens to tell on Maren. If Maren doesn’t make her nightmares for a nefarious purpose. This lady has a the markings of making the city something Maren doesn’t want but how can she escape her fate?

Amazon: The Nightmare Thief

The Dragon with A Chocolate Heart

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by [Stephanie Burgis]

I’d have to choose Aventurine from The Dragon with a with a Chocolate Heart, because she’s snarky, has an attitude and is blunt like me. She can also make fantastic chocolate and turn into a dragon. Two things that would be really awesome in a friend. She’s got cool dragon markings as well and has an awesome dragon family, plus a whole bunch of cool human friends.

Amazon: The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

Amina’s Song

Amina's Song (Amina's Voice Book 2) by [Hena Khan]

Though she started out very shy Amina by Amina’s Song she’s more gregarious and outgoing. She’s willing to stand up for her nationality and try sending out her music. She has grown a ton from the shy girl we met in Amina’s Voice.

Amazon: Amina’ Song

Keeper of the Lost Cities Series

Keeper of the Lost Cities by [Shannon Messenger]

My favorite squad will always be the Keeper of the Lost Cities crew, they are a large and diverse band of heroes and I love the way their personalities play off each other, I have some favorites, if you know what Silvney is famous for saying then you’ll catch my meaning. The are just fun and sweet and always nice to come back to even when the books are series.

I tag whoever wants to do this tag jus please tag back.

Posted in Discussion

February Goals

I know I need to catch up on my reading in February, and hopefully I will. I’m hoping I will have time to to read a little a bit while I’m focused on holding the readathon.

Try and read at least 10 books in February

This is the same goal for every month. I think I’ll hit it because of the Readathon. I’ve planned out a lot of books to read, For all the Readathons I’m doing my own and Royal Readathon I’ve got 22 on the list for the month, but I plan to double up, in several place so doubt I’ll be reading anywhere near that number.

Work on the Readathon in February

I’ve already done a lot of work ahead of the readathon. So now I’m just waiting for people to sign up and we’ll have a good time. If you guys have any questions I’m here, we’ve got a great prize package. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actually seen the show, you can probably find clips on Youtube. But we are going to have fun either way.

Start doing research and rough drafting for my novel

I said I wanted to do more writing this year and I need to put myself on a schedule if I’m going to get anything done. There is a lot of research to be done, I pretty much know how the story goes but I need to get the details figured out. I should probably do an outline. Anyway, that’s something I want to start working on this month.

Keep posting every day

I know I’ve done this well in January and I want to keep up the habit in Feburary. The daily posting has been showing in my numbers and I want to keep my numbers up and hopefully go above the month before. I want to see the curve go up and do the reverse of last year. And that takes posting

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Example: Meal for Chopped Readathon

Since the meals for the Readathon seem to have confused some people. I’m going to do an example here of four books I’ve read and a dish that would come from them, that fulfills the prompts.

Also I’m not sure how Youtube works internationally but I’m pretty sure you could catch an episode of Chopped there or at least a clip. But anyway I’m going to do an example with four books I’m not reading for the readathon and for our easiest category Appetizers, I’ll do examples for the harder categories if needed but you guys will have to let me know if you want if you want that.

Pizza-Violets are Blue

Violets Are Blue by [Barbara Dee]

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

Amazon: Violets are Blue

Strawberry-Book with a Red Cover

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Amazon: Tea Dragon Tapestry

Milkshake- Soulswift-two people go on a quest

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction?

Amazon: Soulswift

Leftovers-Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch-A book you started but never finished

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by [Julie Abe]

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:

One: Help your town, do good all around.
Two: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
Three: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

Amazon: Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch

The Meal

You can draw, write, or, do any sort of artistic or written expression you can think of.

The meal for this is actually a drink, its a red and blue tea that shifts color as as you watch, you can see a storm forming above the tea. Drinking the tea will tea will give different looks you’ll look like a zombie, a mermaid, and a tiger etc. Drinking this tea will also make birds spontaneously appear on the branches in the trees in the tea garden around where you are drinking. The garden also has embroidered flags and a special tree in the center with a special kind of berries that might occasionally fall into your tea. You take in the whole garden and the tea and feel a special kind of magic.

Now lets break this down, the tea is from Tea Garden Tapestry. The shifting colors are from the red color book and the blue in the storm from Eva Evergreen. The shifting looks are Violets are Blue. The birds are from Soulswift where they were an important plot point. The flags in the garden are also from Tea Dragon. The special tree is from Soulswift which was a very important plot point as were the berries.

Now do you all have a better idea of what I’m thinking about for the meals? If not please comment.

Posted in backlog reviews, Recommendations, Reviews

Making Friends Review

Making Friends is a very cute graphic novel for the middle grade set about a Danielle, who is having issues with friendship ever since she got got to middle school.

Summary

Danielle needs a perfect friend, but sometimes making (or creating) one is a lot easier than keeping one!

Sixth grade was SO much easier for Dany. All her friends were in the same room and she knew exactly what to expect out of life. Now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is totally, completely lost. What Dany really needs is a new best friend! So when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever.

The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there’s no guarantee they’ll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they’ve been created with magic! And this isn’t the only problem magic causes Dany is going to need all the friends she can get to save her school and her friends from a sketch gone wrong.

Amazon: Making Friends

Review

This is a really cute book you can understand Dany’s troubles whatever age you are, given the power of a magic sketchbook. It would be hard to limit yourself on this power. I love some of the group of friends Dany makes along the way and the conflict between Dany and her newly created friend who has to establish herself away from Dany. It’s a good example of boundaries and independence which is always good when show in work for this age group. I like the fact that the group in the end can be interdependent but no co-dependent. Also the Sailor Moon/She-Ra-eque fight at the end was lovely and that’s the kind of content I need in my life. Very good graphic novel, can’t wait to read the rest in the series. 5/5

Posted in Monthly Reads, Wrapup

End of the Month Wrapup

So we are almost at the end of the month, I can’t believe we are almost done with the first month of the year. Maybe because I was in a cast this time this year that time seems to pass a little differently. Anyway I’m looking forward to February because the Chopped Romance Dinner Readathon. But I wanted to take a look back at my goals for January and see how I did.

Read 10 books in January

I’ve only read like 4 books but I’ll probably finish 6 by the end of the month. Migraines strike again, lots of sleeping and naps because I’m behind on my Botox. I went to my new neurologist yesterday so hopefully they can start giving me Botox shots soon!

Keep Posting Regularly

I’ve posted most every day this month, sometimes twice a day. So this goal I have on lock.

Work on things for my readathon

I dropped clues, my co-host and I figured out prompts, I did announcements for the Readathon coming up, and clue. I have a prize package together and finally I have TBRs up for the books I’ll be reading. I feel like I got at lot done for this goal. If you’re interested in the link to the readathon here.

Spend January planning out my readathons for the year.

I have a better handle on at least the next few months that have announced their dates. I’m sure a few more that have promised to come back this year will announce their date closer to the readathon. In which case I’ll take part in those. I’m also taking part in Pondathon II and some of their author quests and side quests all year.

Organize and clean out the categories on my blog

This one I didn’t really get around. I added a few more categories based on things I’m doing but I still need to rearrange stuff and clean stuff out.

Did you accomplish your January goals? How was you reading for this month? In a slump like me or are you miles ahead on your goal. Tell me in comments!

Posted in Announcements, Challenges

Companion Quest: Pondathon II

As well as my other Readathons I’m taking place in the year long Readathon by blog The Quiet Pond. They are having authors join them a companion to their larger quests this time the have Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All. The book is about

Ophelia After All by [Racquel Marie]

A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness, called a hilarious and heartfelt comedy by author Raquel Marie.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love—and sexuality—never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

Amazon: Ophelia After All

Since the book has roses as a central plot point we were supposed to make a rose after our favorite book cover. We could write draw, make a description of the rose, and then put the book cover with it.

Here is my best attempt at a rose modeled after Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities Nightfall. I really liked this challenge because I got to draw a bit, which I should really do more of. I can’t wait to get the pride rose prize for my garden. And I really enjoyed this companion challenge!

Posted in Announcements, new releases

Friendships, Thrillers, and Body Positivity

This week has lots of great books coming out, from books about friendships to thrillers and books about about body positivity, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

All My Friends (Eagle Rock Series, 3

Middle-schooler Bina has everything she’s ever wanted. She has new friendships and a new band whose song is about to be featured on her favorite television show.

But being in the spotlight is hard. When Bina and her band are offered a record deal, her parents are not thrilled. Now, Bina is barely speaking to her mom and dad. To make matters worse, Bina and her best friend, Austin, are still awkward around each other after their failed first date.

Can Bina untangle the various melodies in her heart? Or will fame go to her head?

Amazon: All My Friends

The Ghoul of Windydown Vale

In this action-packed mystery from award-winning author Jake Burt, Copper Inskeep holds Windydown Vale’s deepest and darkest secret: he is the ghoul that haunts the Vale, donning a gruesome costume to scare travelers and townsfolk away from the dangers of the surrounding swamps. When a terrified girl claims she and her father were attacked by a creature – one that could not have been Copper – it threatens not just Copper’s secret, but the fate of all Windydown.

The Supervillain's Guide to Being a Fat Kid by [Matt Wallace]

Max’s first year of middle school hasn’t been easy. Eighth-grade hotshot Johnny Pro torments Max constantly, for no other reason than Max is fat and an easy target. Max wishes he could fight back, but he doesn’t want to hurt Johnny . . . just make him feel the way Max feels.

In desperation, Max writes to the only person he thinks will understand: imprisoned supervillain Master Plan, a “gentleman of size.” To his surprise, Master Plan wants to help! He suggests a way for Max to get even with Johnny Pro, and change how the other kids at school see them both.

And it works! When Master Plan’s help pays off for Max in ways he couldn’t have imagined, he starts gaining confidence—enough to finally talk to Marina, the girl he likes in class who shares his passion for baking. He’s finally starting to gain friendships. With Master Plan in his corner, anything seems possible . . . but is there a price to pay for the supervillain’s help?

Amazon: The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid