Monday, December 5, 2016

The Puppy Birthday Giveaway!

Well it's time!

First, let me say that I'm sorry this one wasn't going to be international. I just can't afford the shipping. However, if you are willing to pay the shipping, then that is another matter. Unfortunately then it wouldn't be a prize in the truest sense.

I will run this one like I have the others

The Rules:
Kindness. Just spread it around. 

You must have done something kind to a person or an animal in need (in the past it was only for animals and this year I've expanded it as explained HERE as to why (posts on this issue can be found on the featured area to the left). Lend a hand to someone who needs it. Support any cause that uplifts another/animal or fights for their rights (you can also add a link to the animal links in the page listings, it's for charity). Blog post about a issue or cause. Called on your representatives to actually represent! Just do SOMETHING that really shows that you care. You could have done this action at any time during this year of 2016. Gotta make the year positive somehow. 

๐Ÿ’— Expand that heart! ๐Ÿ’—

You must put what you did in the comments in ๐Ÿ‘‰THIS post only๐Ÿ‘ˆ (okay, you can comment on other posts what you did but it only counts here for the giveaway). 

You must then fill out the rafflecopter form (to keep it organized and simple).

It is US only because of shipping.

The giveaway starts Today and ends on Dec. 30th, 2016. 

๐Ÿ’žAlso, if you could help promote it, I would be grateful. *gives soulful puppy eyes* I think we need to see as much kindness as possible. I'm not asking for follows, just kindness!๐Ÿ’ž

The Prizes:
I tried to keep to the bookish theme since most of you are readers and kept a bit to the animal side since it is celebrating my pup's b-day. Both books are animal positive so no need to grab any tissues. I also wanted to throw a bit of fun into the mix to hopefully put a smile on your face. Guess which one I'm talking about with that one? LOL

I'm also throwing in a choice between the key FOBs listed below. A second place winner will also get their choice of key FOB.

I really hope you all like the prizes.

The Details:
A poop emoji bag! Dimensions are about 3.5" x 3.5"
4 Harry Potter felt bookmarks. One for each house.
Felt cable (earbud) holder. Earbuds not included.
CHOICE of either key FOB (second place also gets choice). 




The Love Dog 
By Elsa Watson
Fired from her job as a paralegal, Samantha Novak is in trouble. When Telltale, a Hollywood tabloid, asks her to write an expose on the reality television dating show, The Love Dog, Samantha is thrilled. She's always dreamed of being a writer, and the fat paycheck won't hurt. After being recently left at the altar, she's not too keen on love either. 
Hired as the canine star's handler, Samantha finds that digging up dirt on set is harder then she thought. Apollo, the show's star, is a sweet golden retriever who takes his job as the "love dog" very seriously. He only wants to help couples fall in love and make everyone on set happy. Mason Hall, the show's producer and leading man, is down to earth, charming, and... very attractive. 
If Samantha doesn't reveal to the world that the reality show isn't exactly "real," her new career will be over before it starts. But when she falls in love with Apollo and Mason, will she still have the heart to expose The Love Dog's dirty secrets?
Elsa Watson returns with another charming "tail"!

Doghouse
by L.A. Kornetsky
Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard has begun to make a name for herself as an unofficial champion of the tongue-tied. When a mysterious stranger comes to her with landlord trouble, she convinces her bartender friend Teddy Tonica to help her once more. Soon, they realize they might have got themselves tied up in an underground dogfighting ring. With the help of Ginny’s pet shar-pei puppy and Tonica’s tabby cat, they have to figure out what’s going on before someone else gets hurt. Will twelve legs really be better than four?
The Rafflecopter Form

This may be the last one I do (the dog is fine so no worries) so don't wait until next year to enter. Also, I do think I may have a few giveaways in the near future of older books that I have and I need to make space. So if you are wanting more books, look for those. 

It has been fun "meeting" many of you. I hope this post ends up making you smile like it has for me in the past. It seems like something we all need right about now. 

The pup also thanks you for thinking of others at this time.
๐Ÿถ

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis

Standalone
340 p.
Publisher: Pyr
Published: 11/1/16
Source: From publisher for review
In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon…among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline’s childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy. 
Under a new name and nationality, she returns to Vienna determined to save her father even if she has to resort to the same alchemy that nearly broke her before. But she isn’t expecting to meet her father’s old apprentice, Michael Steinhรผller, now a charming con man in the middle of his riskiest scheme ever. 
The sinister forces that shattered Caroline’s childhood still rule Vienna behind a glittering faรงade of balls and salons, Michael’s plan is fraught with danger, and both of their disguises are more fragile than they realize. What price will they pay to the darkness if either of them is to survive?
My thoughts:

I really enjoyed Stephanie Burgis's last historical novel, Masks and Shadows (review linked) so I was thrilled that this one came in the mail for review. This is based on some historical events (Congress of Vienna) and people ( for example Pergren, a villain in the book, was a real villain in life). The author even suggests books at the end of the story if you would like to further your education on the time or people of the book.

Of course not everything is based on truth and usually that is the part that I enjoy. I would have thought the alchemy would have drawn me in... well, it did, but what really captivated me was the mystery. Caroline was the mystery. Her past, present, and what she wanted all intermingled with the political intrigue of the time period.  How those puzzle pieces came together is what really what had me turning the pages of this book.

There are other POVs within the book which enhances the political mystery as well as brings to light other aspects that Caroline did not and could not have known or expected. One of them is the viewpoint of Michael who was an old trusted friend whom she felt abandoned her. You also get a viewpoints of Emperor Francis and Peter who is part of an actors group caught up in the intrigue. These viewpoints are well placed and so it wasn't confusing to the reader.

Without revealing what happens I have to say I really enjoyed the ending. I did not want to put it down and it was quite satisfying, especially with our main character, Caroline. This is a solid mystery with some paranormal happenings to enhance the threat. I give this book 4 stars.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly

Series: Seriously Wicked #2
240 p.
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: 11/1/16
Source: From publisher for review
A sparkling new adventure about teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, introduced to readers in Seriously Wicked 
Teenage witch Cam isn’t crazy about the idea of learning magic. She’d rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother’s wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them. 
Now Cam’s learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don’t get him first, that is.
Can’t a good witch ever catch a break?
My thoughts:

I had not read the first book in this series and I had a feeling I would be okay skipping it. I was so you should have no problems if you haven't read the first book (although I know it's gotten good reviews).  I did read her Ironskin series and enjoyed them so that was another reason I took a chance on this book, plus I was in the mood for something light.

The book as a whole is YA but it reads quite young. I would think that mature MG kids could read this one with no problems. While the themes weren't too mature, there was some alcohol in the book even though Cam was against underage drinking. I would probably suggest those that are on the fence about letting their kids read it try it first before deciding. If nothing else you will have read a entertaining book yourself.

Within the story Cam is determined to be a good witch despite being surrounded by "wicked" witches. She considers her mom a wicked witch (her mom concurs) but she is more like someone who wants her way and feels she knows what is best for everyone else. So... borderline evil. She finds that her mom's friends want to play a game in destroying her friend's lives but with an unexpected truce with her mom she figures out the most evil witch's end game and how to save everyone around her. She should be quite exhausted after trying to outthink everyone.

The secondary characters work and I really think they enhanced the story. I really liked her circle of friends and it was nice that she was able to let several of them in on her witchy secret. Sometimes the secret trope gets old quickly so that was a refreshing part of the story.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed the friendship and the fun in dealing with a wicked witch while finding out what truly makes a good witch. I also enjoyed the end tidbits with the spells she had to figure out as well as her morality good witch list.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy US Thanksgiving

Thanks for visiting the blog, and for being great bookish friends!
For those celebrating have a great time and lots of good food. For the rest, happy Thursday! 

๐Ÿฆƒ

Also please care and have a thought to those that are facing some scary times right now. I thought this video was beautiful which actually has a Thanksgiving theme to it.
You might have to sit through a commercial first. Sorry about that.

Filmmaker Frank Chi captures young Muslim Americans reading letters written by Japanese Americans during their time held in internment camps in the midst of World War II. (Frank Chi/ Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center)
๐Ÿ’—

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Arts and Crafts Corner: Holiday Crafting


I've been complaining that the holidays come WAY too soon, but in crafting it can begin as early as July (Christmas in July... sound familiar?) to get everything done. I've been doing a few things and I thought I'd share.

 The first thing is actually for me. Had to try this out and see how it works. 

EOS holder:

This holds those EOS lip balms. I could not resist this one. Too funny! :)

I had mentioned that I used the glow in the dark embroidery on my wreath. I also did that to these unicorn skelanimals. I tried to get a pic of them. If you squint just right... you may be able to see it (you might have to click on the pic to make it bigger)...

I also made some key FOBs for the vet's office:
For the vets, vet techs and office workers. They get to decide who gets what... although some are more obvious than others. :)

And last for today is some key FOBs I made for a cousin and his boys. They love the ninja turtles and so I made all the colors. They get to chose who gets what color. :)

So, anyone crafting for the holidays already? I'm not done yet... *wipes sweat off of brow* ;) Will have more of these posts as I start to take pics. :) I'll try to do better pics.
๐Ÿ’

Got a question as to what to do besides donations. Here are some actions:

1. Call Senator Lindsey Graham's office at (202) 224-5972, push 2 if you get the recording. Tell the staff member "I support Senator Graham's investigation into Russia's participation in the election of Donald Trump."

I have not been able to get a hold of someone yet. Both mailboxes have been full as of this writing.

2. Call the House Oversight Committee tell them you support the call for a bipartisan review of Trump's financials and conflicts of interest. (202) 225-5074.

Still haven't been able to get it through... yet.

3. Call Paul Ryan's office and take his survey about the Affordable Care Act. You'll hear a short pause (sometimes the dead air is more than a minute), then press 2 to opt into the survey. You'll a short speech about Ryan's stance, then press 1 to support the ACA. (202)-225-0600. You don't have to talk to anyone here, it is all a recording.

4. Find your representatives. Calling is best as I posted a link (HERE) who is a Republican staffer and tells you how you get heard. House Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and US Senate: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

5. Sign the petition for Standing Rock at the ACLU's site: HERE. The DOJ's comment line is: (202) 353 1555 

The fact that the mailboxes are full. That is good. Keep trying!