Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell (YA)

by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Chris Riddell
UK Release date: October 23rd, 2014
UK Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Expected US Release date: September 22nd, 2015
US Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: UK Hardcover I purchased.


A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish. 

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.


(Review initially posted here on Misty of The Book Rat's blog.)

Only an inventive and astute mind can create a new fairytale out of two very much loved fairytales; combined with a magical artisan, the story is sure to take on a life all on its own...

THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE is an enchanting retelling of both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. The author took the most memorable, pivotal and historical parts of each story and weaved a new one full of magic, wonder and intriguing new characters.

Our Snow White is a warrior who is being forced to marry in order to keep her Queen status. However, news of a curse gone awry forces the Queen to skip her nuptials and go on a long journey to find what the curse is and how to stop it.
Flanked by some not-so-merry men, the Queen encounters zombie-like obstacles before making a few discoveries and reaching her destination. There, she finds an elderly woman with a tragic tale. And a Sleeping Beauty who is full of cunning surprises and shocking revelations.
And in the end, the Queen makes the most startling choices... and will she go back to her kingdom and remain their queen?

Neil Gaiman does not disappoint, he continues to enchant me with his creepy style and unsettling twists. Chris Riddell's illustrations only enhances the eeriness and heightened my imagination, bringing the characters to life in a way that made me stare at the pictures to be sure that they weren't real, or moving... I wish to say more, but I fear two things: one, it may be spoilery; and two, that those things will come to haunt me in my sleep.
As you can see by the book's stunning cover, the illustrations are fascinating and, like I mentioned, they will capture your attention and you will have a hard time looking away. You will be forced to stare and study them, they are gorgeous, it will be hard to look away.

THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE is simply beautiful - swift, grim and mesmerizing. Both the author and the illustrator will leave you in a stupor wanting more. I highly recommend this not only to those who are enthralled with fairytales, but for those who are looking for something different to escape into for a little while... unless you find yourself enchanted by their spell.
You have been warned.



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #90 - April Book Haul Part 2

Hello fellow bookgeeks!!!

I hope you are all doing wonderfully!

I took a 2-week break from writing/posting reviews. The pressure I was putting on myself to catch up was too much, and it was turning into an unwanted chore. I'm glad I took a break and just kept up with the fun posts/memes, read some great books and started up my old hobby of making/creating cards again!

Breaks and changes are good! I am so ready to get back into both reviewing and cardmaking again :)

I also received some ah-maaazing books too!
THE original hardcover edition of DELIRIUM!!! and, an italian paperback of SHIVER!!!

*What I received for review...
- EXQUISITE CORPSE (HB) by Penelope Bagieu (A) from First Second Books (Macmillan).
- FIND MOMO COAST TO COAST (PB) by Andrew Knapp (E) from Quirk Books.
- ROOK (ARC) by Sharon Cameron from Scholastic.

*Book trade/swap...
- DELIRIUM (Original HB *squeals*) by Lauren Oliver from Emma... thank you!!!

*What I purchased...
SHIVER (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) (Italian PB) by Maggie Stiefvater

* * * 

A few pics from this past week :)

I got a haircut and chopped off over 5 inches!
My repurposed writing/arts and crafts desk :)
I love making cards!... again :)
My Dad was on the local news re: the senior fitness program... again!
SO proud of him!!!

* * * 

Please help Annie get her new lungs!
My husbands sister, Ann Marie, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 2.
Until a year ago, she has been living a relatively normal and active life... 
Ann Marie is in need of a double-lung transplant now.
Any donations will be forever appreciated.
Healing prayers too!

Please click on the link for more info!
And, thank you in advance for any and all contributions!!! 

* * * 

Thank you SOOO much for stopping by!!!

Don't forget to leave a comment with your links so I can visit your hauls too!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blog Tour (Excerpt, Review and Giveaway): THE TRUTH ABOUT US by Janet Gurtler (YA)

by Janet Gurtler
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.


A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult."-Booklist

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie...until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.

The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.
But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.



I’m about to put my tools away when I spot an Ivy wilted and close to dying.  I clip and spray the leaves, chattering to it the whole time. “Come on little guy, give it your all, you can do it,” I tell it.
“You talk to plants?”
I jump and glance behind me. Flynn is a few feet away. His dark eyes sparkle with amusement. He’s wearing the shit out of his jeans and plain white t-shirt. “I didn’t hear you come in,” Now that his presence is known, it overtakes the room.
He walks closer and I inhale deeply.
“You were giving that plant shit.” He walks up beside me and reaches out to touch the plant.
“No. I was giving the plant encouragement,” I tell him. “Big difference.” My skin tingles and everything in the greenhouse seems more alive and brighter. I clip another leaf and start gathering the tools to put them back in the cupboard. “How’d you get in?”
Flynn lifts his finger and a key dangles. “Stella keeps an extra key in her office. Wilf lets me come here alone sometimes. I like the air.” He glances at me. “Weird?”
“Not weird. Green thumb.” I hold my thumb up in the air.
“Yeah, Wilf told me your thumb is green.” He looks at the miniature hoe I’m holding. “Looks like you’re pretty handy with a hoe,” Flynn says.
“Your brother said you were too.” I place my hand over my mouth and giggle at my own joke.
“Very funny.” He pushes back his bangs. “I really hope Kyle has no idea what a ho is.” Flynn helps me carry a few things back to the cupboard. 
I smile. “Doubtful. Not yet.” I stand on my tiptoes to place tools back in the cupboard. “I didn’t see you at lunch.”
“You noticed?”
My cheeks warm. He obviously doesn’t know my entire shift revolves around whether he shows up or not. The silence gets louder and I search for something that doesn’t sound stupid. “I’m glad you came.”
He tilts his head. The hair on my arms stands to attention.  “Do I make you nervous?” he asks. And then he grins. Slowly. 
“No,” I lie barely able to breath.
“I don’t know about that,” he says. It sounds like a challenge.
“About what?” I can’t focus. I don’t know where to look or what to do with my hands. 
“I make you nervous,” he says. His voice is low, almost a whisper.
My cheeks burn and I stare at him, mesmerized. He licks his bottom lip. The air between us sparks.
My face gets hotter. I remember what Mom used to say about Dad before she retreated into her shell.  “We don’t always choose the ones we fall for. Sometimes the chemistry chooses us.”
Is that what this is? Chemistry. Because it feels wonderful. And also scares the shit out of me. It’s more real than anything I’ve felt lately. And dangerous.

I like it. 



- Giveaway is open to International.
- Must be + to Enter

- 2 Small Sock Monkey by Janet Gurtler.
- Large Sock Monkey by Janet Gurtler.
- Signed Copy of Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler.


A Rita Award Finalist and Crystal Kite Award Finalist, Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Okotoks Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, and a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce.

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cover Reveal: BOUNCE (Boomerang #3) by Noelle August (NA)

A Boomerang Novel, #3
by Noelle August
Expected release date: August 25th, 2015
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback, eBook 

Image Map


Following in the bestselling tradition of Molly McAdams and J. Lynn, this final chapter in the fun and steamy New Adult trilogy by Noelle August (authors Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger) features two aspiring musicians who must choose between their careers… 
and their sizzling attraction for each other.

Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Noelle August

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? 

AnswerNoelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind Boomerang

You can visit them at,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Trailer Reveal: NOWHERE BUT HERE (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry (YA)

Thunder Road #1
by Katie McGarry
Expected release date: May 26th, 2015
Published by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, eBook


An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.



Register your Pre-Order and you'll get the eBook you’ve been asking for, Abby’s Story, CHASING IMPOSSIBLE absolutely free! 

PLUS, you'll also be entered to win a $500 VISA Gift Card!
Register at


Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Tumbler / Instagram

Waiting on Wednesday #128: MIRRORED by Alex Flinn (YA)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!!
The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!
And, quite possibly, to make our shelves look pretty too :) 

What I'm currently waiting for... 

by Alex Flinn
Expected release date: September 15th, 2015
Published by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, eBook


In #1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Flinn's modern and mysterious retelling of Snow White, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and true love doesn't necessarily mean Prince Charming.
Celine's life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She's beautiful, talented, and brave. Unfortunately, her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother!
 When Violet steps into Celine's life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her — bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn't feel safe anywhere. It's almost as if some hateful witch is out to get her.
And there is. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine's father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child's play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn't enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way... but not for long.
Forced to take refuge with her friend Goose and his family, Celine gives up everything she loves and goes deep undercover. But will it be enough to fool Violet, or will Celine's fate be decided by a reflection in a magic mirror? 
And where do you find Prince Charming in Miami anyway?
Mirrored is a modern retelling of Snow White — told from the points of view of Violet, Celine, and Goose — with all the magic and mystery readers will love.

Why I'm waiting for MIRRORED...

First... it's a SNOW WHITE modern-day retelling!!!

Second... I love when books have multiple points-of-views, and this one has THREE!

Lastly... who's GOOSE?!?! :)

SO, what are you waiting for this week???

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaser Blitz: THE MURDER COMPLEX by Lindsay Cummings (YA)

for $1.99 until April 20th!!!
Get your copy NOW!!!

by Lindsay Cummings
Release date: June 10th, 2014
Published by Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: Hardcover, eBook


An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

EXCERPT - Chapter One
It is the key to survival, the key to life. My father’s old dagger.
“Peri!” I call out over the waves to my little sister. An old can bobs up and down in the water, mesmerizing me for a moment. Beyond the Shallows, the sea is packed with boats. Some of them are still afloat, with their masts stretching like arms to the sky. Others are half-submerged, shipwrecked and covered with moss.
Among the boats are other things. Old tires, half of a rusted car, plastic. A body lies facedown in the waves, her hair spread out like seaweed.
Behind me, in the city, the Night Siren wails. It starts low, then whoops higher and back down again. Everyone on the beach hurries into the shadows, knowing all too well what happens when the sun goes down.
It isn’t safe anymore. I call out to Peri again. “It’s time to go!”
She holds up a tiny hand and gives me the signal: two grubby little fingers held high above her head.
Two minutes. It is always two more minutes with her.
The sun is sinking, a massive orange ball melting into the sea. It sets fire to the sky, and everything is dancing in colors. Reds, oranges, yellows. It reminds me of blood, it reminds me of my mother.
Peri comes running up to me, kicking a spray of sand behind her. “I found a periwinkle!” she squeaks, sounding like a startled seagull. “Like me!”
“Yeah? Let’s see it.” I cast a glance over my shoulder, at the few people who still litter the beach, before kneeling down to her level. Peri’s big gray eyes, the color of sea foam, widen as she places the tiny shell in my outstretched palm. It’s twisty and fat, with a sharp point at the top. A mollusk sticks out. Though it has barely enough meat for anyone to eat, I’m still tempted to shove it into my pocket. But somehow the Initiative would find out. As sure as the tide comes and goes, the Initiative will always discover our secrets.
“It’s a good one,” I say, smiling down at her. “But we can’t keep it.”
The thick black numbers tattooed onto her forehead crease in frustration. 72050. Peri’s Catalogue Number, just one number different from mine. Our barcodes show the Initiative where we are, who we are, every moment of our lives. As Peri grows, it will grow, and it will never fade or wrinkle because of the healing nanites we all have in our blood.
“Tell you what.” I point the tip of my dagger toward the shell. “We’ll mark it. That way, next time you find it, you’ll remember.” I etch a small heart into the side of the shell. It’s crooked, and hardly legible. I drop the mollusk on the sand, let the waves take it away. Peri smiles triumphantly. She’s a miniature version of me. Silver hair that hangs in loose curls to her waist. Like our mother’s.
“Okay, time to go.” She grabs my hand and tows me along the sand, humming the tune to an old lullaby under her breath. Soft, so no one but the two of us can hear it. Peri knows the value of silence in the Shallows.
At the far end of the beach, a jetty of large rocks juts out into the ocean. Waves crash on the rocks, and we get soaked, but it doesn’t matter. The heat of the summer clings to me like fog.
Peri goes first, clambering on hands and feet up the jetty and over to the other side. I climb down after her and my breath catches in my throat.
They’ll do anything for extra Creds. The Initiative pays them to guard the shore and take care of minor problems, as well as find and report the citizens who break the four Commandments of the Shallows.
Commandment One: Honor the Initiative.
Commandment Two: Thou shalt not attempt to cross the Perimeter.
Commandment Three: Honor the Silent Hour.
Commandment Four: Thou shalt not harbor useful items from the days Before.
“Pay up,” one of the Pirates says. He stands from his spot by a blazing campfire. They are cooking fish.
We could never afford an entire fish. Whatever we gather is sent to the Rations Department, and mixed and pureed with other nutrient-rich foods for distribution.
“We don’t want any trouble tonight,” I say. I press Peri closer to my side. “We just want to get to our boat.”
The Pirate laughs, and the two men with him join in. They are all covered in tattoos. One of them has an Initiative tattoo—an open, unblinking eye—on his neck, just below his chin. “You want to go to sea, little girl, you gotta pay.”
My hand finds the dagger on my thigh. There are only three of them. If I were alone, I could end this at once. But Peri tugs on my shirt, and I see the fear in her eyes. I cannot risk her safety. Not now, when the Dark Time is so close. And I have nothing to give the Pirates, nothing to buy us passage.
But Peri does.
She wears a pair of too-large tennis shoes, and the laces are still intact. Something like that is precious, and it kills me that I will be the one to take them from her.
“I’ll give you the laces,” I tell the Pirates, pointing at Peri’s feet. “Then you’ll let us go.”
The largest man lets out a whistle. His breath is rotten. “I’m feeling generous tonight, little girl. Next time, you better come prepared. Understood?”
I nod my head. “Next time you might not get away with your life.”
He thinks it’s a joke.
I stoop to untie the laces. Peri frowns, but does not cry.
She’s strong, my little sister.
The Pirates snatch the laces and go back to their fish, laughing. Peri and I pass safely and run down the beach. We yank the palm fronds and seaweed from our boat. It is a tiny dinghy, large enough for only two people. I quickly untie the line, push the boat into the waves, and we leave the shore behind.
“Meadow? Will we eat tonight?” Peri asks me as I row, weaving through the maze of waste and litter. The wind blows her hair back from her face, and I notice how her cheekbones stick out, how her eyes are slightly sunken. She’s losing more weight.
“Yes.” I nod, looking away. The way she’s studying me, as if I am the only thing in the world worth loving, makes my heart fill with guilt. If she only knew what I do to make sure she can eat. To make sure that all of us survive.

Two miles from shore, I stop and stare out at the black sea, feeling my shoulders burn from the effort of rowing. The dinghy bumps up against our houseboat. It is quiet here, a still night, the waves lapping the boat, the same way they always have. When my mother was murdered, I thought the world would end with her. But it goes on.


THE MURDER COMPLEX (The Murder Complex, #1)

THE FEAR TRIALS (The Murder Complex, #0.5)

THE DEATH CODE (The Murder Complex, #2)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Lindsay Cummings

Lindsay Cummings is the 24-year-old author of THE MURDER COMPLEX series from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, can’t get enough of her two pesky German Shepherds, wolf cub, and two horses. She's still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts - it was probably just lost in the mail.