In My Mailbox (10)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

I received a book in the mail for review:
The Wild Adventures of Eli Johnson and Curly Bill
The Wild Adventures of Eli Johnson and Curly Bill by Dan Wright.

I'm going to start reading this tonight with the boy child. It's a western/ action and adventure story. It sounded like something my 8 year old would love, so I'm happy to read and review this book. It should be good ole' mommy-child bonding over books.

I downloaded a few (free) books off the Sony e-reader store:

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
The Strange Case of Finley Jane by Kady Cross.

Summer's Crossing
Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa.

Last week's Amazon order came in the mail!

D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection)
D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls 
D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths
D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Mythology.
Of course, I plan on stopping into Barnes and Noble tomorrow while I'm out bathing suit shopping. So this list could change. =)

Review: Gatehouse: The Door to Canellin

Gatehouse: The Door to Canellin
E.H. Jones

Product Details
Genre: YA, fantasy
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: OnMyOwn Publishing (April 29, 2011)
ISBN-10: 061547876X
Source: A copy was provided by the author in exchange for a review

Gatehouse: The Door to Canellin (Volume 1) Wes is a teenage with teenage troubles, who feels as if his world is crashing down around him. But when he discovers the house in the woods that wasn't there before, he finds himself thrust into Canellin, a world of dragons, monsters, magic, and mayhem. What's more, he discovers that his own unique talents may be the key to Canellin's salvation, and his own. Unfortunately, his only way home is halfway around the known world, in the lands controlled by an evil dragon bent on the eradication of all human life!

The synopsis from the back cover does NOTHING for this book. It sounds good, but it doesn't even begin to hint on all of the complex and completely awesome elements found in The Door to Canellin.

To begin with, there were multiple plots intricately woven together. It was amazing to read the same story told from several characters' points of view AND still be able to find the depth in each individual character. All of the plots eventually merged into the same story, which heightened the climax of the story.

Most books that I have read lately have followed a traditional plot line. Rising action, climax, falling action and resolution-- just like the books in your high school literature class. All of the elements were in this book (obviously), but it was a constant up and down, which kept me turning the pages. Just when I thought that some major catastrophic event was about to occur, the story would switch to a new character--or take a completely unexpected turn-- and start to build the tension anew. It was knuckle-biting suspense all the way through. 

I'm a huge fantasy fan; I can't even pretend like I'm not. With that being said, it's no surprise that I was drawn to the magical/fantasy elements in this book. What fantasy fan can resist a maniacal dragon, wizards, and double crossing dragon warriors? Not to mention our Black Knight worthy of Arthurian legend (definitely some similarities there) and the lovable and honorable thief, Elarie. Oh, and there is Jiane-- a completely rockin' swordsWOMAN that can best the top blademasters. 

As I said, I liked how everything tied together. The complex story was well thought out and orchestrated. The details certainly make this story! The ending is complete, but also sets the stage for future novels. Plus, the underlying theme of father and son relationship building was great. It didn't seem over the top or forced. It was believable, and a great coming of age story.

This story will continue in the fall of 2011 when Gatehouse: The Door to Justice hits the shelves. For more information check out The Door to Canellin's blog and website.

Follow Friday (18)

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop meme that is hosted by Parajunkee's View. Each week a new blogger is featured, so the rest of the world can get to know people behind the names.  

This week's question comes from Backseat Reader: What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.)

Muhahahaha... I had to get that out of my system. Such a funny question.

I've never thought about preparing for the zombie apocalypse, even though the CDC did post something about how to prepare for a zombie invasion. You can see for yourself here. As for me, being prepared wouldn't matter much for me because I move like a geriatrics patient. I'm from the South-- we don't get in a hurry. I'd be one of the first taken out. Although, I could use some of my secret Super Ninja moves to ward off a few rogue zombies... depends on how much coffee I have before the attack. The root of my action plan is to buy lots of bandaids and a new zombie-friendly recipe book.

As for Mel Gibson, let's not think about that. Zombies are scary enough. Maybe he's a zombie? (Sorry Mel! I loved you back in the day, but you've gone over the deep end with Charlie... so we can't be cool anymore.)

100 Follower Giveaway Winner Announced

glitter graphics
Congratulations to Lauren B at Lauren's Book Bag ! She won my 100 Follower Giveaway. Lauren won a copy of 


A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone that participated. I appreciate the effort. =) It makes me feel like someone is reading! Honestly...

My next giveaway/contest will be in July. Check out this post for more information!

May Monthly Wrap-Up

Wow! I can't believe how quickly the month of May has gone by. It seems like just a week ago it was Mother's Day. The end of the school year is one of the busiest times for me. It seems like I haven't had much time to read this month; but looking back at the reviews for May, I guess I can say that I have managed to find a few moments for reading. 

Here is my May Wrap-Up:  

Reviews -- May 

Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.
Any Witch Way by Annastaysia Savage
Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
The Lens and the Looker by Lory Kaufman
Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Contests that I hosted:

My 100 Follower Giveaway (which ends JUNE 1st... just in case you want to enter)
My very first giveaway EVER which was generously provided  by Daisy Piper, the author of the new Princess Callie series. Which, BTW, is an adorable new fairytale series that you all should read.

R.A.K.-- May

Thanks to Book Soulmates for creating and hosting this awesome monthly meme. R.A.K. is a great opportunity to fulfill your karma quota by sending a fellow book lover something off of their wish list.

I'm new to participating in R.A.K. so my R.A.K. is on the small side. Training bra size, really. BUT it's growing. This month I was able to send out a little book love to two fellow bloggers.

I sent a signed copy of A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine to Misty at The Book Rat.

I also sent a copy of Crime and Punishment and a heaping ton of Faulkner books to Moonlight Reader. Just for fun I added some ARCs of more "manish" books that I probably wouldn't get around to reading for a looooong time. I hate the thought of books sitting unloved on my shelf when they could have a happy home with someone else.  

So, double score for me because I managed to clear off an entire section (small cube) of my bookshelf. Which, by the way, made room for new books! =)

Not So New News (But New to Me)

I read Carrie Ryan's series a while ago, and always felt like I was missing some of the story. It really bothers me when I feel like there are unanswered questions in a book. I trudged through all three books hoping to find my answers, but they never came. Then I came across this today:


(April 5, 2011, New York, NY)—Random House Children’s Books ( announces the publication of an exclusive ebook original written by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan, entitled HARE MOON: An Original Forest of Hands and Teeth Story (Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers / $1.99), on sale today. The story is available exclusively in digital format and continues the setting of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. Fans will clamor for this new addition to the three-book series, which concluded in March 2011 with The Dark and Hollow Places. Also included in the series are The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2009) and The Dead-Tossed Waves (2010).

HARE MOON: An Original Forest of Hands and Teeth Story is set in the barricaded village of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but takes place years before the novel began. Tabitha, an adult character in the first book, is a teenager who dreams for there to be more to her world. This desire pushes her to sneak past her village gates and into the Forest of Hands and Teeth where the undead reach for her from beyond the fence. And where she meets Patrick, who proves there is life beyond her village. HARE MOON answers questions about how Tabitha the teenager became Sister Tabitha of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Readers will live through the gruesome moment when she realizes just how much she’ll have to give up to live and love among the Unconsecrated."
Finally! Maybe some of my questions will be answered! I want to know why/how the Return occured. Who was the first person infected by it? Sister Tabitha was one of those characters you love to hate, so I'm interested to see the humane side of her. Was there one?

I know that most people have probably already heard about this, but for those that live in a cave like myself, this is new news. Hope you enjoy.

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren to showcase all the awesome books that we have had contact with during the week.

My IMM post this Memorial Day features books that are military/war related. I thought it would be a fitting time to showcase these beauties. 

Dogtag Summer
Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge.

I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful author at the IRA convention. While she was signing my book, she told me a little bit about the story that inspired this novel. It's based on theVietnam War, and many of the stories that are told by the protagonist are actual stories relayed to her by a Vietnam vet. Coming from a long line of military service members, this book instantly touched my heart. During our conversation I told her about my grandfather that served in Korea. She was so compassionate and caring; it was heartwarming. I actually do not plan to read this book (as of yet) because I passed it along to my co-worker. Her father served in Vietnam, and I thought she would appreciate this story.

Chains Forge (Seeds of America)
Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson.

I've actually had Chains for some time now, but I bought Forge this week. Anderson is an amazing storyteller, and I cannot wait to read these books. Speak and Twisted are two of my all-time favorite books, so I know I won't be disappointed. 

Now Is the Time for Running
Now Is the Time For Running by Michael Williams.

At first glance I thought this was going to be a soccer story, or some sports story at least, but I was wrong. Soccer is at the heart of the story, but it's also about Zimbabwe refugees fleeing for safety and acceptance. It seems like it's going to be really powerful. A quote from the back says, "... this staggering story of survival follows Dea and his mentally handicapped brother on a transformative journey that will remain with readers long after the last page."

Mythological Mondays (2)

Mythological Mondays is hosted by Bonnie at A Backwards Story to highlight all things myth related.

The family and I recently took a trip to Disney's Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival. While traveling through the countries, we stopped at the Norway pavilion to ride The Maelstrom. How could you not love this adorable troll that pops out at you? I know, adorable troll? Only Disney...    

Loving all things mythological, I decided to do a post about some Norse mythology items that have caught my attention. Item #1: Thor. (sigh)  Don't knock the story, ok? I know it's not an entirely accurate portrayal of Norse mythology, but really what were you expecting? It's all about the eye candy and the special effects. =) This hunk of burning love is my new celebrity crush, so move over Jude Law. You have officially been replaced.

Okay, I know you're wondering where the book related items are. Wait no more! While at Epcot I saw a copy of D'aulaires book of Trolls. I wanted it right then! But, knowing how Disney jacks up their prices, I decided to wait (it was very hard) until I got home to order it from Amazon. After all, you can find just about anything on Amazon!

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse MythsD'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection)

If you have never read the Greek myth version, you might not know what to expect from these books. Personally, I love them. They are a fantastic introduction to mythology, complete with full page color illustrations. I really like how the stories portrayed actually stick with the original versions of the myths. There is no watering down of the stories here, except that the myths are told in child friendly terms (maybe middle school level). Also, the book is put together in chronological order, so you get a complete timeline of events. It's a family tree history worthy of! I wasn't able to look at the Book of Trolls in Epcot thanks to the shrink wrap, but I'm sure it will be fabulous. And of course, while I was surfing Amazon I came across the Norse myth book. Double score for me. Unfortunately, they do not make a D'aulaires Book of Chinese Myths. A little sad about that one. Chinese myths are pretty cool.

Ok, kiddos. That's my Mythological Monday post. Last week was a tribute to Greek/Roman mythology and Rick Riordan's brilliance, so I thought it only fair to feature my other favorite type of mythology this week: Norse. Maybe I'll find something awesome on Chinese mythology next week... or Hawaiian mythology. The wheels are already turning! Be warned.

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