Posted in Chopped Readathon, Readathons

Halloween Chopped Adventure

We’re back! It’s my favorite time of year. Spooky season and fall in general, so we had to come back with with another addition of Chopped. The prompts are based on generally fall based things as well as a few Halloween favorites with historical ties. I was going to post this list on Friday but it’s up early due to one of our biggest fans (we’re looking at you Bethwrym). The readathon will be from October 1st-October 31st. Midnight to midnight wherever you are.

So here are the prompts

Candy Corn

Candy corn is distinct for its multiple colors. For this book we want a cover with multiple colors. If you want to be especially spooky you can try for orange, yellow and white but any multiple colors work.

Pumpkin

This book makes you think of fall. Doesn’t matter if it’s spooky or cozy just something with a distinctly fallish aura about it.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is a trendy or popular book.

Apple Pie

This is the book you read in your pajamas in your blanket nest, whatever you consider a comfy read use for this prompt.

Sweet Potatoes

This prompt ask you to push your reading limits sweet potatoes are hearty so we are looking for readers to read a hearty book. Now what you define that as depends on what you normally read. Normally read 300 pages try for 350 or 400 for example. We leave what everyone reads to the honor system and their personal goals.

Eggs

We also considered that fall was harvest time and put in some things that would be harvested. So eggs are in here for that reason, the prompt for them is a new release.

Chocolate Buttons

My co-runner assures me these are very popular in the UK. And you can’t have Halloween without candy. The prompt for this is circles on the cover.

Resses

Of course we had to have two kinds of candy on the list! It’s Halloween. I chose peanut butter cups and the prompt for this is more than one main character because you can never stick to eating just one of these.

Apple Cider

Apple Cider reminds me of fall even though I don’t live in a state where I can go pick apples. I would love to go pick apple picking and have fresh apple cider, however as we know some apples can be a bit tart. So for this one we want a protagonist with a bit of a edge, specifically a witty protagonist.

Buttered Rum

Though some would argue this is a Christmas drink it made is think of fall because it’s toasty and warm and perfect for settling in front of a fire with. Also that spice based flavor fits best with fall. For this charming drink we want a charming protagonist to match.

Salt

Well we had to get superstitious didn’t we? Salt is suppose to form magical protective circles thought at one time to repel witches. Now it’s used in all sorts of magic work and a seen as a lovely ingredient for spells and purifying. With it’s history around witchcraft for this prompt read a book involving witches.

Radishes

Like salt radishes also have some Halloween history before people carved pumpkins they would often carve gourds and radishes to keep the spirits away as a nod to that we want you to read a historical fiction.

So those are the prompts we hope you enjoy them! You can find us on our discord channel! https://discord.gg/VGyXDykd and we hope you have a great time!

Posted in Announcements, Challenges, Chopped Readathon, Orillium Readathon, TBR

Seek and Find Prompts TBR

For our Chopped Seek and Find we came up with a week of prompts to keep everyone interested for our little Easter adventure of fun where there will be prizes, surprises and who knows what else.

Flower – The first book that you think of or the first book that you see.

Gallant

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

Amazon: Gallant

Chocolate – Plot twist or a surprise

Extasia

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain—an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

Amazon: Extasia

Cake – Multiple POV

Flight or Fight

This is an ARC so I can’t say too much about it but I know it’s going to be very cute.

Bunny – a short read

Making Friends: Back to the Drawing Board 

Dany, Madison, and…wait-another Dany?!-must navigate some very complicated friendships while trying to capture a magical dog that is turning their town upside-down!Almost everything is going great for Dany. She and Madison are still best friends, she still has her magic sketchbook, and the new school year is looking up. But when Dany creates a duplicate of herself to secretly help with homework and raise her social status, the two of them accidentally unleash a magical dog that wreaks supernatural havoc on the town. Now, with the big school dance coming up, time is running short for Dany, Madison, and their friends to set things right before the night is completely ruined!

Amazon: Making Friends 2

Sun – Non-book prompt – such as watch bookish videos, take a bath etc have some self care

Play video games.

Moon – a mystery

All for One

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl.” But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for new Musketeers: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a sword fight.

With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels that she has a purpose, that she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming—and might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

Amazon: All for One

And finally carrot – a title that starts with a c

Cece Rios and the Dessert of Souls

Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.

When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.

With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

I’m also reading this final one to help finish up my dwarven character for Orillium as I needed to read a book set in the desert.

So what are you all going to read, I can’t wait to see all your lists!

Posted in Chopped Readathon, Feature, monthly goals, Orillium Readathon, Realm a Thon

Plans for April

My plans for April are going to be a little different than most months of the year. I’m hosting and a Chopped mini Readathon with The Blind Scribe, this one is a Seek and Find based on an Easter Egg hunt, we’ll have prizes and sweets and fun galore. We’ll be back for the full length readathon in July, whose theme we will reveal sometime between now and then.

Also post may be a little later in the day for the first week of March and the beginning of April, I have realized I needed glasses and went to the eye doctor yesterday so my glasses are being made, but until I get them, I’ll have to limit my screen time to avoid headaches.

1) Plans for Readathons

So I’m doing at least two other readathons besides my own. I also think I saw another readathon I wanted to do last evening but can’t remember so far I’m doing Magical Readathon and Realm A Thon along with our own readathon so of course some books will be cross used.

2)Getting back to my reading goal

Since I’ve gotten to the root of why I haven’t been reading as much now I can read more through audio books and printed books until my glasses arrive then get back to reading on my devices once they do.

3) Books on Vacation

I’m going to a slightly bigger city to see a production of the travelling cast of the Broadway Show of Frozen. Slightly bigger city equals more book shops so I’m probably going to come home with goodness knows how many books. I will have so many pictures to post from this vacation I can’t wait.

4) More plans on my novel

I’ve been doing some solid work on my novel, but I make plans to need to do more research. But that has been a priority this past month I’d like to continue to make it a priority in April and get more scenes done.

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Booster Needed

Chopped Readathon Easter needs a booster to help us out! As you may know The Blind Scribe and I are back for Easter Mini Readathon to do a little week long Seek and Find Challenge. Now here is where I ask for a little help from you, we would love for someone to interview us about the challenge so we can reach a wider audience.

I’m sure at this point you have some questions so I’ll answer a few of the most common ones.

What’s this challenge about?

This is basically an egg hunt, The Blind Scribe is drawing a picture with all eggs, we will be releasing the prompts leading up to the readathon. We aren’t going to about meals this times since eggs are their own little meals in themselves. The Readathon goes from April 10th to the 17th ending on Easter.

What can the booster expect?

Some classic Easter favorites along with a few unexpected fun things. We have a cute picture planned out as well as some unique prompts that will give you a week of fun leading up to Easter.

The Prizes

We will send 25 US to our US winner and twenty to our international winner. There may also be cute postcards with stickers apparently it’s not a thing so much internationally but in the US we’re going to send Easter candy.

For The Booster

The Booster will get honored during the Readathon they will also depending on their viewership number will get an Amazon gift card of some denomination.

Please send me a email @ alisonmariehamm@gmail.com or contact me on Twitter if interested in helping us out. Thanks from me and the Blind Scribe

Posted in Chopped Readathon, Monthly Reads, Readathons, Wrapup

Chopped Readathon: In Review

It’s the end of the Chopped Readathon, @TheBlindScribe and I are sad that this is over but we really enjoyed our time reading with all of you. As your host we didn’t get much reading done, because again, running readathons is more work than either of us pictured. So we are both crossing the finish line with 2 books each.

I’m sure some our participants however will have wonderful posts that will show up throughout the day now as for the prizes @TheReaderPegniun won our prize for who read the most and will get a twenty euro prize.

Prizes

Meanwhile in the random drawing JenniReads won our US Chopped prize pack of signed books and a $20 however they want it from.

Finally @WordsThatStay1 and @hepatic15 have both won our random drawing twenty euro prize package, we will figure out how they want it delivered as well.

I’m also sending out ARCs to @KittyGamerGirl who is getting an ARC of Arrow to the Moon. As well as @JenniReads getting Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating.

Books We Read

Overall we as a group have read 39 different books. Though I think a couple of people were reading The Kindred.

Also we reached the over 10,000 pages mark like I knew we would, the total number of pages read is 10,682! Along with the total number of hours read at via audio book at 6.7!

You finished a lot of books and hit a lot of prompts so I can’t wait to see what your meals look like when you post your wrapups for this readathon. As sad as we are to see this finish we will be back in July, we aren’t sharing the theme yet, but I have a lot to learn about Google Forms and making announcement videos so expect next time to be bigger and better. And please share with your friends if you enjoyed the readathon, you see how relaxed we are about prompts and such, if you like that please share with someone else you think might enjoy that atmosphere as well.

Chopped Readathon

Posted in Chopped Readathon, Reviews

Chopped Readathon:Barakah Beats Review

If you’ve been following me for very long you know I like books featuring Muslim characters. Barakah Beats was a short and sweet middle grade story which also brought up important issues about music in Islam. This also fits the Chopped Readathon prompt for Spaghetti a book featuring good friends.

Barakah Beats by [Maleeha Siddiqui]

Summary

12-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but is about to embark on middlel school and is feeling nervous.

Nimra is desperate to fit in but finds the popular kids avoid her because of her hijab, and her best-friend Jenna isn’t the same at school. So when she is invited to join the school’s popular band, Barakah Beats Nimra is unsure what to do. She has been taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, but it is an opportunity to make new friends and win back the graces of her best-friend Jenna.

What will Nimra do?

Review

I really liked this story because it showed another side of how Muslims deal with music. Nimra is the first character I’ve seen in fiction who has actually not done music because of her faith. And while I’m not Muslim and understand it is a widely debated issue within Islam it is interesting to see a character with another perspective. As for the rest of the band, they are so wholesome you can’t help but love them. It’s also nice to see characters praying during school. My favorite scene though had to be the basement scene and them re-enacting something, I won’t spoil it for people who haven’t read it but it was just hilarious.

As for Nimra trying to impress Jenna, the plot is perfectly understandable, she doesn’t see the prejudice until someone else points it out because she’s been friends with Jenna so long, even though Jenna is toxic, she wants to save the friendship, but it’s only when she lets go of Jenna does she fully begin to thrive.

Another great scene was the solo at the concert, I won’t go into too much detail about that either but I think it was a very powerful scene.

Overall this was another great book about a Muslim pre-teen.

Amazon: Barakah Beats

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Yuzu-A sweet and tart protagonist

So Yuzu was one of my picks when it came to the readathon. It comes up often on Chopped as a citrus alternative, now I’ve only had it in candy, but from what I understand it’s sweet and tart, kind of like a lemon-lime flavor.

Fiona from Long Lost

Long Lost by [Jacqueline West]

Even the author of the book said Fiona fits Yuzu so I consider that good enough reason to put her on the list.

Eleven-year-old Fiona has just read a book that doesn’t exist.

When Fiona’s family moves to a new town to be closer to her older sister’s figure skating club—and far from Fiona’s close-knit group of friends—nobody seems to notice Fiona’s unhappiness. Alone and out of place, Fiona ventures to the town’s library, a rambling mansion donated by a long-dead heiress. And there she finds a gripping mystery novel about a small town, family secrets, and a tragic disappearance.

Soon Fiona begins to notice strange similarities that blur the lines between the novel and her new town. With a little help from a few odd Lost Lake locals, Fiona uncovers the book’s strange history. Lost Lake is a town of restless spirits, and Fiona will learn that both help and danger come from unexpected places—maybe even from the sister she thinks doesn’t care about her anymore.

A little bit sweet and little bit tart, Fiona is the perfect heroine for this mystery.

Amazon: Long Lost

Artemisia from Vespertine

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

Some may say that Artemisia is lemon and not yuzu but after seeing the way she treats people throughout the book and is willing to put herself at risk for others show that she’s not just tart. She cares about Revenant and the people in the cities she’s helping and the nuns.

Amazon: Vespertine

Jun Bei from This Mortal Coil Series

This Cruel Design (Mortal Coil) by [Emily Suvada]

Jun Bei is the real personality that was buried under another personality, she does try to control people with her hacking skills but at the same time she’s trying to fix a deadly virus. She’s a moral quandary, she cares about her friends but is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. Very yuzu for this character.

Amazon: This Cruel Design

Posted in Chopped Readathon, Monthly Reads, new releases, Reviews

Bone Spindle Review

The Bone Spindle was a great adventure novel. Billed as Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones the personal relationship and bonds between the characters make it so much more. Yes, there is romance, but this is also an ode to female friendship, not giving up, and not running away from your past.

Summary

The Bone Spindle by [Leslie Vedder]

Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.

Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.

Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.

Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.

Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.

Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.

Review of the Bone Spindle

This book was an absolutely lovely read. I didn’t mind the three perspectives at all as they made sense shifting when the situation did. Everyone must have been a blast to write due to the level of snark they all possessed. Oh an Red, poor Red. I can’t wait to see her again in later books, and hope she comes around. I’m also worried about the link between Briar and the Spindle Witch. But let me not forget a to give a shoutout to the Paper Witch, who even before I knew his history was still awesome. What I’m trying to say is this is a great introduction to a series of book and I can’t wait to read more, sequels as fast as possible please!

Amazon: The Bone Spindle

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Edible Glitter-Fantasy Book Suggestions

Though a little silly this was one of the prompts I insisted upon, I love magic and fantasy in fiction so I had to see some in the readathon. So here are a few of my favorite just in case you’re having a tough time finding something you like for this prompt.

The Bone Spindle

The Bone Spindle by [Leslie Vedder]

A wonderful gender-swapped retelling of Sleeping Beauty with its own magic, a smart alec prince, a loyal exile, a a mysterious woman in red are all characters that keep you turning the pages throughout this fantasy thriller.

Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.

Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.

Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.

Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.

Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.

Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.

Amazon: The Bone Spindle

Night Render

Nightrender (Salvation Cycle Book 1) by [Jodi Meadows]

If you’re a fan of dark fantasies this piece will be sure to catch your interest.

Reality bends easily here. Villages disappear. Forests burn forever. Pockets of inconsistent time are everywhere, their boundaries strung with yellow ribbon. And the three kingdoms of Salvation have been at war for a thousand years.  
 
But the greatest threat is the Malice, an incursion from the demon plane slowly tearing its way through the world’s weakest seams. Seams that—once split—will lead to the total unraveling of night and day, light and dark, life and death. 
 
Not that the human world takes much interest. Of more concern is the upcoming marriage of Rune Highcrown, Prince of Caberwill, and Johanne Fortuin, Princess of Embria—the serpent bride, a girl of famous cunning—which offers a possible end to the ancient conflict. But Rune has noticed the growing darkness, and he is determined to summon mankind’s only defense: Nightrender, the hammer of the gods, an immortal warrior more weapon than girl.
 
There is only one problem. The last time she was summoned, she slaughtered every royal in Salvation, and no one knows why. Will she save humanity from the Malice… or plunge it deeper into the fires of eternal war?

Amazon: Night Render

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves: A Novel by [Meg Long]

One girl’s story of survival and connection with the wolves of the ice planet that took her mothers from her should surely be on your list this time of the year as its easy to imagine yourself tucked away on the ice planet with her.

On a frozen wasteland of a planet, a girl is on the run with a wolf who is born to be a killer but bound to be her guide. As they fight to escape ice goblins, giant bears, and a ruthless leader intent on trapping them both, one question drives them relentlessly forward: where do you turn when there is nowhere to hide?

Enjoy this new take on survival and frontier tales!

Amazon: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves

Got any other great fantasy stories to suggest add them in the comments!

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Red Strawberry-Books with a Red Cover

For one of our prompts you have to read a book with a red cover. I have books from several levels depending on what you are looking for.

The ABCs of Black History

A lovely picture book perfect for Black History Month.

Letter by letter, The ABCs of Black History celebrates a story that spans continents and centuries, triumph and heartbreak, creativity and joy.

It’s a story of big ideas––P is for Power, S is for Science and Soul. Of significant moments––G is for Great Migration. Of iconic figures––H is for Zora Neale Hurston, X is for Malcom X. It’s an ABC book like no other, and a story of hope and love.

In addition to rhyming text, the book includes back matter with information on the events, places, and people mentioned in the poem, from Mae Jemison to W. E. B. Du Bois, Fannie Lou Hamer to Sam Cooke, and the Little Rock Nine to DJ Kool Herc.

Amazon: The ABC’s of Black History

Dear Student

Dear Student by [Elly Swartz]

I have to be fair and note that I was given a free ARC copy by the author to review for my honest opinions. I love the lovely red cover!

Starting Middle School is rough for redhead Autumn after her one and only BFF moves to California. Uncertain and anxious, she struggles to connect with her new classmates. The two potential friends she meets could not be more different: bold Logan who has big ideas and quiet Cooper who’s a bit mysterious. But Autumn has a dilemma: what do you do when the new friends you make don’t like each other?

When Autumn is picked to be the secret voice of the Dear Student letters in the Hillview newspaper, she finds herself smack in the middle of a problem with Logan and Cooper on opposite sides. But before Autumn can figure out what to do, the unthinkable happens. Her secret identity as Dear Student is threatened. Now, it’s time for Autumn to find her voice, her courage, and follow her heart, even when it’s divided.

You should totally check it out when it releases on the February 15th.

Amazon: Dear Student

Mary, Will I Die

If you’re looking for a little YA horror take a look at this book.

It starts innocently enough. Four kids – three girls, one boy – are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about “Bloody Mary” and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she’ll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world.

Both sets of legends are true. The kids go through with the act, saying her name thirteen times. One girl looks in the mirror and sees her longtime crush. One girl looks in the mirror and sees the boy in the group. But she pretends to see something else. One girl looks in the mirror and sees a girl she’s never seen before but can’t get out of her mind. And the boy . . . he sees a skull. But he pretends to see something else. They try to laugh it off. And mostly they forget about it. Or at least they don’t talk about it. Yes, over the next few years, whenever they look into a mirror, it’s like there’s always another figure standing in the background, getting closer.

Just short of five years later, the four of them are no longer friends, having gone on separate paths. The girl whose house it was has always tried to avoid the mirror they used – because she always sensed someone in the background. One morning as she’s passing by, she sees much more than her own reflection – it’s a scary figure taunting her. She startles and breaks the mirror. When the pieces are put back together (barely), the figure is gone.

That day in school, a new girl arrives. Her name is Mary . Will this new devlopment have her seeing red?

Amazon: Mary, Will I Die 

The Red Palace

The Red Palace by [June Hur]

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed. Will all this red lead them to the killer, and will that matter given his position?

Come back and check out more suggestions for if you can’t find a book for a prompt soon, but tomorrow we have something very special so you’ll just have wait and see.