Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Early Book Review: The Inn Between by Marina Cohen

The Inn Between by Marina Cohen

Genre: Middle Grade / Mystery
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: March 22, 2016 
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 208

My Rating: 4 stars


The Shining meets 'Hotel California' in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned. 

When Quinn's best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara's parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara's family before it's too late?

My Thoughts:

Quinn's best friend Kara is moving from Denver, Colorado to California. Her parents allow her to take the trip cross country with Kara's parents and brother to spend a few 'last days' with Kara. Somewhere in Nevada, close to the border of California, they choose to stop and stay the night at a Victorian mansion hotel called 'The Inn Between'. There's something rather strange about the hotel though and Quinn has a bad feeling about it. Stranger yet, she thinks she sees her missing sister Emma at the hotel. But Emma couldn't possibly be there, could she? When Kara's parents and brother disappear, Quinn is desperate to keep Kara close so she doesn't lose her too. Looping her friendship bracelet through Kara's and tying it tight, Quinn holds onto their friendship-and her sanity-as tightly as possible. 

The Inn Between is a journey through the hardships of losing a sibling, friendship, and so much more. Loss, guilt, and fear are just a few key words that Quinn and Kara deal with and attempt to overcome. Part horror and part mystery, The Inn Between will take you places you didn't think you would go. 

The story was a little predictable towards the end but I think it will be very much enjoyed by middle-grade readers. 

I received an advance ecopy of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #65

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Valentine's Day Freebie

Top Ten Books With Couples That I Loved

I don't read a lot of romance but I do enjoy a little love interest in some of the books I read. These probably aren't the best love stories and most are pretty tragic but here they are. 

Percy & Annabeth in 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' & 'The Heroes of Olympus' series. They are such a cute and endearing couple.

Celia and Marco from 'The Night Circus'
I loved this story of forbidden love.

Celaena and Chaol from Throne of Glass.
Ok, yes, technically there was more romance between her and the Prince but I was rooting for Chaol from the beginning.

Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows.
Another almost there but not kind of romance but I adore them together. 

Hazel and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars.
Sorry for the tears. 

Juli and Bryce from Flipped. 
This was seriously cute. 

Cecelia and Robbie from Atonement.
Damn you, Briony!

Winnie and Jessie from Tuck Everlasting
While it lasted...

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy
I'm running out of couples! I do love this story though.

Cathy and Heathcliff
Ok, this couple is pretty tragic but this is one of my favorite 'love stories'. 

I seem to really like the less romantic love stories. Tragedy works for me. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Children's Books Review Roundup #2

Story time happens several times a day every day in this house. We read at least one new book as well as several books that we re-read almost every single day. We visit the library every week for story time and load up with books and we also find ebooks through Netgalley and Amazon to read. Less often we find some great children's books at stores and thrift stores.
 Sometimes I have an opinion on these books and sometimes I don't but I wanted to share some of the newer books with everyone. I know there has to be at least a few of you looking for great new picture books for their little ones. 


Netgalley Roundup

Disclaimer: I received these ebooks for free from Netgalley in exchange for honest reviews. 

Title: If I Had A Gryphon
Author: Vikki Vansickle
Illustrator: Cale Atkinson
Publisher: Tundra Books

Publication Date: Feb. 9, 2016

When a kitten sneezes it's adorable. When a dragon sneezes? It's a fire hazard!

Sam is already bored of her new pet, a rather sedate hamster. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet... or is he?

If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about the fantastical beasts in everyday situations -- and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them. The perfect primer on mythological and fantastic beasts for young kids not quite ready for Harry Potter!  

My Thoughts:
While reading a book about mythological creatures, the little girl decides she'd much rather have a gryphon, a unicorn, or fairies than a boring old hamster for a pet. But as she thinks about it she realizes that while all those creatures are exciting there would be downfalls to owning krakens, dragons, or a phoenix and perhaps her hamster is the perfect pet for her. 

The illustrations are really fun. This is perfect for any kid who is a little bummed about their 'boring' pet or learning about mythology.


Title: Our Love Grows
Author: Anna Pignataro
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: April 5, 2016

In the deep green forest, Pip asked,
"Mama, when will I be big?"

Pip is an adorable, roly-poly little panda who sees the world changing and growing. But Pip is feeling a bit left behind. Luckily Mama is there to show playful and curious Pip that, like the trees in the forest and the stars in the sky, he's growing and changing too. And no matter how much Pip grows, the one thing that will never change is how much Mama loves him! 

My Thoughts:
Pip is a cute little panda who asks his mama, "When will I be big?" The mother, in turn, gives him a beautifully poetic answer.

'Our Love Grows' is adorably illustrated in watercolors that, while not cookie cutter perfect, give a very natural and earthy feel to the story. The sweet and gentle rhymes make this a perfect bedtime story! 

His Personal Relationship Manager Book Blast & Giveaway

  His Personal Relationship Manager 

  His Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel

Kenadie Marshall suffered the most public of humiliations, being left at the altar. Instead of wallowing in her misery, she makes it her mission to help others find true and lasting love, all while swearing off relationships for good. Between the software application she developed and a team of relationship managers, her brainchild, Binary Search, has an uncanny knack for choosing the perfect match almost every time. Attractive and loveable Jason Hadley is taken with Kenadie Marshall from their first meeting. Determined to win her over, he does anything and everything he can think of, even if it means using her firm’s service and dating other women to stay close to her. Will Kenadie realize she’s met her match before it’s too late? Or will Jason’s ploy go too far? Find out in His Personal Relationship Manager, a romantic comedy with an epic battle of wills.

amazon get it

Praise for the Book 

 "One of the best romantic comedies I've read in a long time!" - Becky Monson, Bestselling Author of the Spinster Series "There's nothing more satisfying than a story with a great plot, strong characters, and a romance that makes me swoon. This story has it all and more! I loved every minute of it!" - Katie from Katie's Clean Book Collection

add to goodreads


He paused for a moment. His intense gaze had me feeling undone. “Are you happy, Kenadie?” “That’s a complicated question.” “Well, you are a complicated woman.” “I don’t try to be.” “It was a compliment.” “How do you do that?” “What’s that?” “You always know what to say to make me feel better about myself.” “Well, that’s easy. You give me good material to work with.” “Jason … Today, I’m happy.” “You don’t know how happy I am to hear that,” he said smoothly.  

  Jennifer Peel

Author Jennifer Peel 

 Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.


  Book Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash 
 Ends 2/25/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Love For Books Readathon

The 3rd annual Love For Books Readathon is hosted by Novel Heartbeat

This read-a-thon runs from Monday, February 8th through Sunday, February 14th.

You can find out more about this challenge and sign up HERE

I've been on the lookout for another readathon since the beginning of January and this couldn't have come at a better time. I need motivation to get through the books I'm reading! Something about February puts me in a bit of a slump. All the excitement of the new year has worn off, I guess. 

I hope to read at least 3-4 books during this week. 

I need to finish Cogling and City of Thirst and I don't have anything specific lined up after that unless I finally get some of the books I have on hold or something becomes available through Overdrive. If not, I may start a classic to pass the time. 

The Sunday Post #5

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

Something about February makes me a little sad. Maybe it's just the realization that January holds all the excitement of a clean slate and a new year and now that is over. Before we know it we will be half way through the year and on our way to 2017.
Our weather here in Florida has been wacky, as always. It got up into the high 80's earlier this week but then it rained and it dropped down into the 40's and is supposed to get colder this week. We are so used to our heat that we will be bundled up inside with the heat on. 

In gardening news, I harvested my first head of cabbage from the garden and made a 'Stuffed Cabbage Roll' soup out of it. It's the same great taste without the hassle of forks and knives. We planted lots of seeds for the summer and we are trying jalapenos this year! 

This Past Week On The Blog
Anticipating February - New Releases
Coming Soon
Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Book Review: The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
Book Review: The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Children's Book Review Roundup #2

Books I Finished This Week


New Children's Books We Read This Week

What I'm Currently Reading

City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis
Yes, still haven't finished this. It's a fun read but reading it out loud is taking a lot of time. 

Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
This is my first 'steampunk' story and it is actually quite awesome! The world is full of unique characters such as talking birds, foxes with three tails, and silver-eyed hags that steal small children and replace them with a 'changeling' made of cogs, hence the 'cogling'. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Freebie Friday #2

I recently decided to start up Freebie Friday again. All titles are available through Amazon (mobi format) and will be striked out when no longer available.

{Covers link to Goodreads}


In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne

Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells



The Sea Queen by Jovee Winters

The God Killers by David Simpson

The Knight by Kim Dragoner

A Reaper of Stone by Mark Gelineau & Joe King

Decoy (Assassin's Rising #1) by S.B. Sebrick

Mr. Ruins by Michael John Grist

Check out last week's Freebie Friday for more titles.