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Snowy Wings Publishing: Middle Grade Blog Hop

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Good afternoon,

It has been quite the crazy week for me with vacation and it seems strange to get back into the swing of things after being away. Thankfully I have books to help me adjust and slowly get back into my schedule of work and other activities that I do on a daily basis.

Speaking of work, I was recently approached to ask if I’d like to join in on a middle grade blog hop of which I said yes because I love reading a variety of different genres and helping spread the word of unique books particularly if they have a fantastical element to them.

So without further ado, I give you my thoughts on a brief chapter sample because I like to mix things up from time to time. Thank you so much to Snowy Wings Publishing for reaching out to me!

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Buy Link:

Amazon

Synopsis:

When Natalia’s younger brother disappears while on a visit to Mexico, Natalia is certain that La Llorona, the mythical Weeping Woman, has taken him. Her friend Miguel agrees to accompany her back to Mexico in the hopes that it will help him deal with the recent death of his grandfather. But as they embark on a journey to search for the creature that has taken Natalia’s brother, it becomes apparent that the spirits Miguel had brushed aside as mere legend are very real…and they have a dark connection to his family.

My Thoughts on Chapter Two:

I found the beginning of this story to be equal parts interesting and sad. Miguel and his siblings are still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their Grandpa who lives in Mexico has passed away who has been such an important part of their young lives and how quickly he passed in such a short amount of time. It’s amazing just how quickly things can change in a short amount of time and how hard it can be to come to terms with those changes.

Miguel then proceeds to remember how the night before he and his siblings along with a dog named Conde had walked to the store for some supplies and then that night they were all enjoying some chocolate milk. Miguel then proceeds to take his mind of things by feeding the animals and notices that Conde seems to be on edge about something.

I also found it interesting when Miguel mentioned his parents who usually seem to be fighting about something and how he really doesn’t want to have to go back with them to Texas where they live and feels guilty about leaving the ranch though friends of his Grandpa have promised to look after things while they are away.

I love how Selenia mixed two cultures in this story and how Miguel seems to find himself caught in the middle of the two. Their Grandpa is called Abuelo, some of the dialogue is in Spanish and there are glimpses of what life has been like visiting a small Mexican farm while also knowing that eventually Miguel will have to return to life in Texas, wondering what may become of the farm now that their Abuelo has passed.

After having briefly read this chapter, I am eager to read more about this book, see what adventures are to be had and hopefully learn why Conde the dog seemed so on edge. There’s so many things that I’m anxious to learn about including the local Lore and why their Abuelo passed so suddenly.

About the Author:

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Selenia Paz loves to write stories containing elements of mystery and of the supernatural. When not writing, she loves to read and run with her dogs. She received her Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University in 2010, and has been a librarian ever since. Her short story “Broken English” was the Honor winner of Lee & Low Publishing’s New Voices Award.

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I can’t wait to read more by Selenia and other authors who write middle grade adventures. There’s something about them that draws me right in and love getting to know about other cultures who I haven’t read much about. Stay tuned if you’re curious about the other people participating in the blog hop!

Giveaway

As a thank you for participating in our blog, we’re offering a chance to win eight (8) ebooks and two (2) paperbacks from our middle-grade authors!

  • An ebook of Something Wicked by Sarah Dale (releases Nov 2019)
  • An ebook of The Falling by T. Damon
  • An ebook of Keara’s Raven: Escape by Mindy Klasky
  • An ebook of The Missing Guardian & The Mer Queen’s Daughter by Melanie McFarlane
  • An ebook of the World of Aluvia series (Fairy Keeper, Mer-Charmer, Dragon Redeemer) by Amy Bearce
  • A paperback of Life and Death & Gods and Demons by Selenia Paz

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

Please feel free to hop around and check out the other participants in this blog hop!

October 25th- YA/NA Book Divas
October 26th- Selenia Paz
October 27th- Mindy Klasky
October 28th- I Love Books and Stuff
October 29th- Amy Bearce/ The Reading Faery
October 30th- Melanie McFarlane/ Jenifer Reads
October 31st- Sarah DaleSucker for Coffe

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Rainy October Tuesday Bookish Ramblings

Hello fellow bookworms,

September seemed to fly by which was also my birthday month and now here it is the first of October. I know my blog has been rather quiet lately which has partly been because of getting caught up reading and partly because I took a brief break from blogging. I’m back now and not sure how often I will update but I will try to be more engaged.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be going to D.C. for a week’s vacation with my boyfriend and another friend. I’m nervous about the flight but excited about the trip. I plan to see as many museums and sites as possible. Not surprisingly, The Botanical Gardens and Library of Congress are at the top of my list.

Speaking of lists, I haven’t decided which books I’ll bring though I don’t plan to bring more than three so I’ll have room for souvenirs which will hopefully include books and I’ll have my Kindle. So many possibilities to choose from!

Speaking of lists on this rainy day, I’m spending some time at the Library and managed to haul some books. I love rainy days like this where I can curl up with tea and books and what better place to enjoy being surrounded by books than the Library?!

As you can tell from the photos, I’m enjoying browsing a variety of genres though lately I’ve been mostly reading Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I have a feeling I’ll be tossing in romance and historical fiction this Fall.

Speaking of Romance, I love these cover versions of Susanna Kearsley’s books and so far these have been my three favorite of her novels. Looking forward to rereading Mariana and hopefully finally getting around to Splendor Falls as well as Bellewether.

Well I’m off to continue wandering the Library and getting some reading in. Hope you’ve enjoyed my bookish ramblings and I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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The Highland Earl Review

Good morning,

This month seems to have flown by and here it is almost the end! We’re already halfway through the year which is amazing to think about.

Speaking of amazing, I have just read my 110th book which has surpassed my goal of reading 100 books for this year and how fitting to reach such a milestone with Amy Jarecki’s latest book in her Lords of the Highlands series which also happened to be one of my most anticipated reads! It’s always such a joy to read Amy’s books particularly when they involve Highlanders! I was generously sent a copy from the publisher which I was very happy to receive because I’ve eagerly waited to receive and devour every one of her Highlander books!

Well enough of my fangirling, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on Amy’s latest book!

The Highland Earl (Lords of the Highlands #6) by Amy Jarecki

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

This is the further continuation in the Lords of the Highlands series though each are written in a way that can be read as standalones.

I love how Amy takes real life figures, gives them much happier endings including falling in love, tossing in a mix of the real with fiction and gives them a revamp so to speak.

John Erskine, Earl of Mar has recently been widowed and left to raise two young boys. He’s in need of a Mother for his boys who hopefully comes from money that can go a long way in helping to pay off debts, many of which were inherited from his Father. He finds himself drawn to Lady Evelyn Pierrepont who is a Duchess, well off and has all of the manners and understanding to become his future Countess.

Evelyn knows that she must do her duty despite having misgivings on becoming John’s wife. She would rather spend time cultivating gardens, helping those less fortunate and aiding the cause for the Jacobites than to marry the Scotsman. Evelyn is convinced to marry John, realizing that she could potentially offer more aid to the cause and she has grown rather fond of John’s boys.

Though it is a marriage of convenience, Evelyn and John soon find themselves spending many nights locked in passionate embraces and growing fond of each other.

When John learns that Evelyn is a spy, it throws him off guard and he’s very much hurt by feelings of betrayal. Evelyn feels terrible for causing such hurt, realizes that her spying may not be for the right cause and is soon caught up in quite the debacle.

It’s not long before John is accused of treason which sends him, Evelyn and their boys into hiding until they can figure out a way to be cleared of charges. The boys are safely tucked away into hiding during the search.

Soon Evelyn and John will find themselves on quite the dangerous adventure, coming across help in unexpected places, coming to terms with their differences, realizing what’s really important and determined get to the bottom of the plot they’re caught up in.

I loved how strong Evelyn was despite knowing her husband was upset with her for not choosing to come clean at first.

I also loved how much she immersed herself in the role of being a Countess, genuinely caring about the servants as well as the crofters, bonding with her stepsons and trying to make amends to her husband for putting him in such a difficult situation.

It was wonderful to see Evelyn and John grow together as a couple, overcoming some very difficult circumstances and learning to develop trust as well as a way to communicate particularly after Evelyn revealed being a spy.

Oliver and Thomas are such precious little beans who deserve all the love, support and understanding they can get. Evelyn could understand and relate to their sorrow over losing their Mother and she worked hard to become a second Mother to them.

Full of adventure, steamy scenes, romance, the lure of the Highlands, a dash of politics, mystery and friendship, I had such a fun time reading this book.

I can’t wait to see which Highlander will be next to find his happily ever after!

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I am off to more bookworm adventures which will hopefully involve bringing down my current reading pile a bit before the end of the month. I will return soon with more bookish content!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Top Ten Tuesday: October Haul

Happy Tuesday,

Hard to believe that it’s almost the end of October! This month has flown by between work, a week’s vacation, book hunting, reading and generally trying to enjoy as much of Autumn as possible before Winter decides to rear its ugly head.

It’s been some time since I have posted a haul so I thought today would be a great time to mention some of the books I hauled. At last count, I have twenty four physical and close to that amount in digital form which means I could be here for quite some time. Thoughg granted, sixteen of the physical were from my local Library Book Sale. At this rate, I won’t be without books to read for a long time though resisting buying books for a while isn’t something that I stick to for long.

Instead of going into a full list of what I’ve hauled, I’ve narrowed it down to the top ten physical books that I’m excited to have in my possession. Some of them I’ve waited months to have in my hands, one I waited for two years and others were a surprise that I happened upon or were given to me.

So enough rambling, time to get to the really interesting parts! I don’t have them arranged in any particular order because it would probably take me too long to attempt to make up my mind.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay

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The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

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The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

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In the Labyrinth of Drakes (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #4) by Marie Brennan

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Life and Death (Leyendas #1) by Selenia Paz

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Gods and Demons (Leyendas #2) by Selenia Paz 

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Echoes by Maeve Binchy

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The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translator)

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Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs by Keena Roberts

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Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews Edwards

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As you can see, I have quite the eclectic haul this month which is a very good thing as I tend to enjoy having a variety of different genres to choose from and several nonfiction though I only mentioned that one in this particular post.

Well that concludes my bookish ramblings for the time being. I’m excited to dive into the worlds of the many books I’ve recently hauled and maybe revisit some old favorites. I’m also really looking forward to Nonfiction November and have a good stack of books that I can choose from for starters. Hope you’re having a wonderful October and getting in as much reading as you’d like.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Ambitious October TBR

Happy Sunday!

I’m spending most of my day attempting to read a lot of books, hopefully finish a few that I put aside for a while and hopefully get my currently reading pile down a bit. Good thing I’ve had some coffee to keep me going!

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Hoping to tackle quite a few by the 15th as I leave for a vacation to D.C. for a week. Looking forward to exploring with my babe, eating and seeing some friends. Haven’t nailed down which books to bring though trying to limit myself to taking three physical books and my Kindle

My tentative TBR & books on my radar which will probably go out the window after the 15th:

-Angel Mage by Garth Nix (on my radar)

Gilmore Girls Readathon (1st-15th)
-The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey (completed)

– Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson (currently reading)

-Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

-Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

-A Study In Death by Anna Lee Huber

-The Time Traveler’s Wife (reread and a possibility if I get to the rest of my readathon books)

Night Owl Book Club (Library)
-The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Stormlight Archive Readalong (hosted by ebnovels )
-The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (currently reading)

Books I’m over halfway through
-The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier (less than 140 pages left)

-The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Other Books I hope to get through
-Mariana (reread) by Susanna Kearsley

-Splendor Falls by Susanna Kearsley as -Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

-An Echo In The Bone by Diana Gabaldon (at least read a few chapters)

As I mentioned to a few people, there’s so many books and so little time! Here’s hoping my pile doesn’t fall on me.

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for now. I will return soon with more bookish content and maybe even a tentative TBR for vacation.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Orchid Throne Blog Tour

Good afternoon,

I hope you’ve had a good week and a very successful reading month. Mine has slowed down a bit but I’m still reading so I count that has winning. I was asked if I would like to review an author’s book who just happens to be one of my favorites so of course I said yes! Before I gush about the book, I would like to say that I received an advanced digitally galley from the publisher via Netgalley though all thoughts are my own.

Orchid Throne_cover

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

This is the start of a fascinating series in a world where magic is real, a viscous person has become Emperor after unfairly seizing land and destroy many lives, particularly the majority of royalty who have either been killed or turned into slaves.

Queen Euthalia has spent a good chunk of her life trying to protect her people and little corner of the world which just happens to be a beautiful tropical nation that has many interesting temptations though has worked hard to keep blood from being shed in violence. She has been engaged to the Emperor for quite some time and has tried to elude him the best that she can with some rather clever wording and hopes eventually to figure out a way to get out of the betrothal. Then she is tasked by the Emperor with holding a group of rebels until they can be sent to the Emperor himself and all of her careful plans start to fall apart.

While reading about her island, it reminded me of a more magical version of Hawaii. I loved the concept that her world mostly revolved around flowers, many of her subjects are inspired by flowers or named after flowers and it’s in general a very lush community. There’s a lot of court intrigue and a certain part of the court that’s known as the Night Court which offers quite the interesting distractions though Euthalia doesn’t partake in them because it’s all part of her plan to distract the Emperor from trying to force her to marry him.

Conri is the former Crowned Prince of Onri whose world was turned upside down when the Emperor showed up and was sent to the mines to work as a slave along with his Father and former subjects when he was just a boy. He has fought hard to get out of the terrible conditions he spent most of his childhood and teens in particularly after his Dad passes away from a combination of heartbreak and the terrible side effects of inhaling the fumes from the mine. He is determined to put an end to the Emperor’s tyranny by killing him and hopefully freeing others who are under his domain. Conri is joined in the quest by many loyal people including Sondra who is like a sister to him and the mysterious Ambrose who is a wizard and has a bird familiar. Just when things seem to start looking up for Conri, he finds himself a prisoner in Euthalia’s court and is about to have quite the changes in life yet again.

These two unlikely but powerful people have come from very different backgrounds and yet both have been under the tyranny of the Emperor in different ways. They will have to work together if they can hope to get out from under the rule of such a terrible person which will involve a marriage of convenience that could very well be the key to freedom. That is if they can come to a compromise and learn to get along.

Full of surprises, adventure, court intrigue, a dash of magic, a few rather steamy scenes at the end, the power of friendship and the determination of two people to protect those who follow them, it was such a pleasure to read this book. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book and what surprises may be in store!

So that wraps up my bookish ramblings for the time being. I apologize that my blog has been rather quiet lately. It’s been a busy month for me and I’ve been attempting to catch up on some books that have been on my currently reading shelf for a while. Thank you to all who visit my blog as well as my social media sites, it really means a lot and I hope to be back to normal soon.

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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N.E.W.T.s Readathon TBR

Good morning,

Happy August 1st! It’s a little hard for me to believe that Fall is just around the corner though it is my favorite time of year!
Speaking of favorite things, one of my favorite readathons starts today which is the N.E.W.T.s Readathon which is a HP-themed readathon created by Book Roast on YouTube
You can learn more info by going to the Magical Readathon Twitter page and it involves lots of reading and fun times!

Announcement Video

I took my O.W.L.S. earlier this year with the intent of trying for Healer and then realized it wasn’t possible this time around. So now I’ve decided to go with either Herbologist or Magizoologist who have similar subjects funnily enough. My TBR is very ambitious but that seems to be something that can’t be helped and I’m not expecting to get to every book.

So here’s my TBR and I may even attempt a bit of bullet journaling. I recently bought myself one and am new at it so should be interesting because my artistic skills are rather limited when it comes to sketching (my attempts at drawing people turn into stick figures) but I hope that I’ll enjoy it nonetheless and get on the BUJO train so to speak. I haven’t figured out a design yet for this readathon so when I do, I’ll be sure to post a picture on my Instagram. I’m so happy I found my stash of HP-themed pencils from an OwlCrate box!

🌿Herbology🌿  O for Herbologist; E for Magizoologist

A- The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall
E- Emily & Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
O- It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday

💫Charms💫 E for Magizoologist

A- Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
E- Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal: Creation Myths #1 by Brian Holguin, Alex Sheikman (Illustrator), Lizzy John (Illustrator) & Brian Froud

⚗Potions⚗ E For Herbologist

A- Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Artist)
E- Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

🐉Care of Magical Creatures🐉 A for Herbologist; E for Magizoologist

A- Aru Shah and The End Of Time by Roshani Chokshi
E- On Luna Time by Amber Crawley
O- Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto

📜Forbidden Section (Group Book that can take the place of one required book for career)📜

Spellslinger by Sebastien De Castell

Subjects I would like to read if there’s time:

🔭🌟Astronomy🔭🌟

A- Love Potions by Michelle M. Pillow
E- A Duke In The Night by Kelly Bowen
O- Saga Volume II by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Artist) 

⚔️Defense Against The Dark Arts⚔️

A- Daughter of The Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller 
E- Legacy The Graphic Novel by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian (Adapter) et. al. 

🦔Transfiguration🦔

A- The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill 

🖋️Ancient Runes🖋️

A- You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

Well that wraps up my bookish ramblings for now. I’m hoping for a successful readathon and that I won’t burn myself out from trying to read so many books in one month. Looking forward to seeing which books will be the most enjoyable and bringing my TBR down a bit plus all these books is making my Ravenclaw self very happy. Best of luck to my fellow bookish HP nerds!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Top 10 Tuesday: July Wrap Up

Good morning,

July seems to have flown by and here it is, the last Tuesday of the month! I read a lot of books this month, mostly because I was attempting to participate in three readathons which made for quite the interesting choices of books to read.

For this last Tuesday, I decided to mention the books that stood out the most for me this month. If you’re curious about all that I’ve read, I have a link at the bottom to my Goodreads account.

So, let’s get to the really good stuff which is of course the books which have been organized according the order I read them in because they were all wonderful! Artificial Condition was a reread and looking forward to a reread of the rest of the books in the series.

Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races (Water Dragon Races #1) by K.D. Halbrook

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Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor, Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)

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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

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Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles #1) by Jodi Meadows

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Firelight (Amulet #7) by Kazu Kibuishi

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Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

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The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan

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Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman

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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

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So that concludes my bookish ramblings for the time being. I still have a couple of books to finish before the end of tomorrow which I’m sure I’ll be able to. I may not have been very successful with a couple of the readathons I took part in but I participated and pushed myself to read more which was a win in my book! I hope your reading was enjoyable this month and here’s to a hopefully successful month of reading in August!

Happy Reading!

Slainte

~Meg

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Want to find me on other media platforms?

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Would you like me to read your book in digital form or print? Please contact me here: Email