Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Winterspell

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, April 27, 2015

YA Review: Winterspell

Winterspell (Winterspell, 1) by Claire Legrand, September 30, 2014. 454 pages. Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Source: borrowed from library.
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.
New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.
First Sentence:
Our stories say that when the human world was made, not all of it fit.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: Our One Great Act of Fidelity

Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist by Ronald Rolheiser, March 3, 2015 (originally published June 14, 2011). 144 pages. Published by Image: Source: Blogging for Books.
More so than anything else, the Eucharist is what anchors many peoples' life, prayer, and ultimately the way they live their lives. In this deeply personal book, Father Ronald Rolheiser delves into the history and meaning of this sacred tradition, drawing upon the insights of various scripture scholars, theologians, and church teachings. With personal warmth and great insight, he reflects on his own particular Roman Catholic upbringing and the centrality that the Eucharist has within that tradition. At the same time, he looks at other denominations’ traditions around the Eucharist. Our One Great Act of Fidelity is an investigation into the ways people secure their faith and belief and discover true intimacy with God and each other. Ultimately, however, it is a spiritual and a personal statement of how Ronald Rolheiser understands the Eucharist and why he celebrates it every day.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Catholic Review: Diary of St Faustina

Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul by St Maria Faustina Kowalska, April 6 2004 (originally published in 1981). 699 pages. Published by Marian Press. Source: borrowed.
This is the book that sparked The Divine Mercy devotion -- one of the fastest growing movements in the Catholic Church today. Diary is a dramatic telling of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska's amazing encounter with The Divine Mercy -- our Lord Jesus Christ. On Mercy Sunday 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said, "The mystery of the merciful love of God was the center of the pontificate of my venerable predecessor [Pope John Paul II] ... evidencing that the devotion to Divine Mercy is not a secondary but an integral dimension of a Christian's faith and prayer." Diary chronicles God's message given through St. Faustina to the world to turn to His mercy. In it, we are reminded to trust in the Divine Mercy of Jesus and seek His forgiveness. And as Christ is merciful, so, too, are we instructed to be merciful to others. The message of Divine Mercy has become an integral part of Catholic faith, including the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy on the Sunday after Easter as Jesus had requested of St. Faustina. Diary is truly a book that inspires people to turn with trust to Jesus and guides the reader through an intimate journey of prayer and devotion that ultimately leads to God's mercy.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon


So, I only decided late yesterday afternoon to participate in this year's Dewey's Read-a-Thon. I have no idea what I'll be reading but I'm hoping it'll be something awesome!!!!

I'll be posting any and all updates here, on this post, and probably on Twitter (HauntedOrchid). Hopefully by the time tomorrow gets rolling I'll have selected a book for the reading...

Read:
1. From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot

Thursday, April 23, 2015

DNF YA Review: Temple Boys


Temple Boys by Jamie Buxton, February 10, 2015. 288 pages. Published by Roaring Brook Press. Source: publisher.
Jerusalem: year zero. A gritty, vivid, startlingly original reimagining of the world's most famous story, told from a street kid's point of view.

Jerusalem, year zero. Flea belongs to a gang of teenage vagrants living in the shadow of the Temple, living on their wits and what they can beg or steal. When a man called the Magician arrives, bringing talk of miracles and revolution, Flea and his comrades latch onto the newcomer in the hope that he'll offer them a secure home. As events accumulate and powerful forces gather around the Magician, Flea notices rumblings of discontent among his followers. Is the Magician the savior he claims to be, or a fraud? Does Flea hold the fate of the Magician—and possibly the world—in his hands, as he begins to believe? Temple Boys vividly conjures up ancient Jerusalem and the Biblical era and boldly re-imagines the western world's most famous story from the point of view of a teenage boy. 
First Sentence:
The cold woke Flea and drove him out of the shelter.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Graham Cracker Plot

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, April 20, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: The Graham Cracker Plot


The Graham Cracker Plot by Shelley Tougas, September 2, 2014. 288 pages. Published by Roaring Brook Press. Source: publisher.
No one believes her, but Daisy Bauer knows her dad has been wrongfully imprisoned and that it's up to her to break him out of jail (aka Club Fed). She has a plan that she's calling the Graham Cracker Plot because it was all Graham's idea. She just needs a miniature horse, a getaway truck, and a penny from 1919—the idea coin.

This funny, nail-biter of a novel is about friendship and admitting you're wrong. Debut novelist Shelley Tougas balances humor and warmth against themes of family, broken trust, and unconditional love against all odds.
First Sentence:
I will tell you three things right now.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Catholic Review: Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette

Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette: Three Saints Who Challenged My Faith, Gave Me Hope, and Taught Me How to Love by Elizabeth Ficocelli, March 10, 2014. 192 pages. Published by Ave Maria Press. Source: publisher.
In Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette: Three Saints Who Challenged My Faith, Gave Me Hope, and Taught Me How to Love author, speaker, and retreat leader Elizabeth Ficocelli introduces her readers to three remarkable women saints who became not only her role models, but also her life-changing friends. Therese, Faustina, and Bernadette taught Ficocelli about faith, hope, and love, and showed her what true Catholic womanhood looks like. Some of the best saint stories are not about wonder-workers, but rather the everyday saints-friends who understand the challenges of marriage and motherhood and the banalities of day-to-day life. Bestselling author Elizabeth Ficocelli discovered three such friends in Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of the Divine Mercy, and Bernadette of Lourdes. The witness of their lives moved Ficocelli to cultivate the virtues of faith, hope, and love as she journeyed from a successful career as a marketing executive to what she found was a more authentic, even counter-cultural Catholic womanhood. Ficocelli offers women the wisdom of these saints for their own spiritual journeys.
First Sentence:
I emerged from Grand Central Terminal on a warm summer morning in 1982 like an ant scurrying out of a dark tunnel to the bright sunshine above.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Beyond Championships

Beyond Championships: A Playbook for Winning at Life by Coach Dru Joyce II, March 10, 2015. 224 pages. Published by Zondervan. Source: publisher.
As the coach of one of high school basketball s greatest programs, Coach Dru Joyce has been mentor and motivator to some of the nation s best young players, including basketball legend LeBron James. Despite having virtually no experience in the sport, in less than ten years Dru went from a no-name fan to one of the highest profile basketball coaches in the country.

With insight and grit earned from his years on and off the court, Coach Dru shares for the first time the secrets to his teams success and his own coaching achievements. Far more than a sports book, Beyond Championships is a blueprint for anyone looking to make better choices, reach their full potential, and become winners in all areas of life.

As Dru outlines the nine principles that he promotes to his players and tries to live in his own life as well, you ll discover that the solid foundation on which he built so many successful basketball programs can be applied to almost any situation. As you assess your chosen path in life and look for ways to embark on a more inspiring and rewarding journey, Coach Dru offers an accessible and relatable roadmap for personal evolution.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Dream a Little Dream

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, April 13, 2015

YA Review: Dream a Little Dream [ARC]

Dream a Little Dream (Silver, 1) by Kerstin Gier, translated by Anthea Bell, April 14, 2015. 336 pages. Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Source: publisher.
Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .
First Sentence:
The dog was snuffling at my bag.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Catholic Review: Seven Revolutions

Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change it Again by Mike Aquilina and James L. Papandrea, February 24, 2015. 256 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
Combining history, politics, and religion, Mike Aquilina and Jim Papandrea provide practical lessons to be learned from the struggles of the Early Church, lessons that can be applied to the day-to-day lives of Christian readers.

Prolonged, multiple wars in the Middle East. Waves of immigrants crossing the borders. Ongoing economic recession. Increasing political polarization, often with religious overtones. Conflicts over ideologies that pit the progressive against the traditional. Sound familiar? These conditions not only describe the United States, but the situation of the Roman Empire in the third century. That situation led to religious persecution and the eventual collapse of the empire. In the middle of the third century, the Roman Empire was roughly the same age as the United States is now.

In this book, authors Mike Aquilina and Jim Papandrea examine the practices of the Early Church—a body of Christians living in Rome—and show how the lessons learned from these ancient Christians can apply to Christians living in the United States today. The book moves from the Christian individual, to the family, the church and the world, explaining how the situation of the Early Church is not only familiar to modern Christian readers, but that its values are still relevant.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

[Blog Tour] All About Middle Grade Review: The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other)


Guys, I am really excited to share my thoughts on The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) because this was one delightful read. I devoured it in 90 minutes because I could not put it down.

The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) (Tapper Twins, 1) by Geoff Rodkey, April 7, 2015. 240 pages. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Source: Rock Star Book Tour/publisher.
This brand-new series by a popular screenwriter is a pitch-perfect, contemporary comedy featuring twelve-year-old fraternal twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn't be more different...except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war! But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that's fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

Told as a colorful "oral history" by the twins and their friends, and including photos, screenshots, chat logs, online gaming digital art, and text messages between their clueless parents, The Tapper Twins is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it's like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world.

Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads
First Sentence:
Wars are terrible things.


The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) was my first experience of Geoff Rodkey's writing. Supposedly he's written for Disney and a couple of other things...I just have never watched any of those things, so, his writing was a new experience for me. I'll say this, it was funny and impossible to put down.

It has been quite some time, or at least it feels that way, since I last devoured a book as fast when I read The Tapper Twins Go to War (with Each Other). As one with three sisters, I seem to find myself drawn to books with siblings even the ones where they go to war with each other. Claudia and Reese, are a riot in this book. I spent my time flipping between laughing out loud and wondering how the got away with half the things they did. Ah, some good times reading this one.

Oh man, I was surprised by some of the things Claudia and Reese did in their war. Yet, while most of it was outlandish and immature-from dead fish in bags and secret video recordings being posted. I don't know which was more worrisome, the things they came up with or the fact that they got away with them. That aside, I really enjoyed watching their rivalry play out because it was a) funny and b) well written.
  Yet, while I really enjoyed the pranks and sibling rivalry it was the consequences and how Claudia and, even, Reese learned how getting even did not always feel good. I really enjoyed the contrast that brought to this hilarious read because seeing how revenge can not only hurt the other person but leave you feeling like a heel is something that isn't really explored in most revenge-type books.

As The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) was my first sample of Geoff Rodkey's writing, I must say that I was impressed. He managed to balance out the humor and craziness to create a book that was both funny and well thought out. While I was really excited to read his writing I was unsure if this book, and his writing, would work for me as a reader. I'm usually the one not laughing at the supposed funniness of comedies. What can I say, things that are supposed to be funny are generally not funny to me; yet, I (shockingly enough) found myself highly amused by the shenanigans of this book.

Final Verdict: The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other): Wonderfully funny with an interesting look into how revenge can go oh-so wrong.

The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) earns





About the Author:
Geoff Rodkey is the author of the Tapper Twins middle grade comedy series and the Chronicles of Egg adventure series. He's also the Emmy-nominated screenwriter of such hit films as Daddy Day Care, RV, and the Disney Channel's Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas.

Geoff grew up in Freeport, Illinois and began his writing career on his high school newspaper. While in college, Geoff was an editor of both the Harvard Lampoon and the Let's Go travel guide series. His early writing credits include the educational video game Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, the non-educational MTV series Beavis and Butt-head, and Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect.

Geoff currently lives in New York City with his wife and three sons. They do not have any pets, mostly because the whole experience with the goldfish was just too upsetting.

You can haunt Geoff Rodkey at-
Website  | Tapper Twins Website | Facebook  | Twitter  | Goodreads
Giveaway Details:
10 winners will receive a hardcover of THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (With Each Other) US Only.

Having trouble with the form, you can see it and enter HERE.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, April 6, 2015

DNF YA Review: Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) *ARC*


Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) by Amy Spalding, April 7, 2015. 320 pages. Published by Poppy. Source: publisher.
After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they'll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone's heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she's been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.
First Sentence:
"This summer is a failure."

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