Holiday Gift Guide Day 4 & Review/ The Twelve Days of Christmas In Canada

Holiday Gift Guide Day 4 & Review/ The Twelve Days of Christmas In CanadaThe Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada by Ellen Warwick
Published by Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated on October 6th 2015
Pages: 32
Source: Book From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Canada, Christmas & Advent, General, Holidays & Celebrations, People & Places, Young Adult

O Canada, in Christmastime! Come with Juliette and her "crazy Canuck cousin" as they take a holiday trip across the country, all the way from Prince Edward Island and vieux Québec to Winnipeg and Vancouver. Along the way Juliette gets really cool Canadian gifts—like 8 bears a-swimming, 6 Mounties marching, and a loon in a maple tree!

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Today I have another picture book for you as you know I love picture books and so does Michael.

I did not realize that The Twelve Days of Christmas In… was a whole series of books. It covers places such as New York City (you know I want to get that one), Illinois, New England, Texas and so many other places.

I loved that there was a map included at the front of the book so you could see and trace the root Juliette took in the book. The book is told in a letter format that Juliette writes to her mom and dad back at home. Juliette has been invited to spend Christmas in Canada with her cousin Theo.

Juliette’s journey begins in Charlottetown, PEI on Day 1 and for the next twelve days they travel across Canada by boat, plane, train and car. Hitting various spots in Canada.

Once you begin reading the  book you realize that certain things are mentioned that you know are purely Canadian and you associate them with Canada, such as a loon, fiddlers, bagels, Mounties (RCMP), sled dougs, and so many other things including hockey because you know that has to be mentioned.

If you want to know more of what is included then you have to get the book. It will bring a whole new meaning to The Twelve Days of Christmas.

This is such a fun and cute book to read over the holiday season that kids of all ages will enjoy.

I love that it took place in Canada and I love that at the back of the book there is a little Canadian facts such as some totally amazing Canadians (Mike Meyers, Jim Carrey, John Candy and so many others), Canadian Inventions ( the snowblower, basketball, goalie mask etc), Cool Canadian Records, Wacky Canadian Landmarks, Astounding Canadian History and Glorious Canadian Nature.

I should also mention that both the author and illustrator are Canadian which I love. Its nice to read Canadian books and expose Michael to them as well.

2015GiftGuide

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3 & Review/ Over The River & Through The Wood

Holiday Gift Guide Day 3 & Review/ Over The River & Through The WoodOver the River & Through the Wood by Linda Ashman
Published by Sterling Publishing Company Incorporated on October 6th 2015
Pages: 32
Source: Book From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: General, Holidays & Celebrations, Young Adult

Pack up the pooches and load the van. We need to leave by eight! There's so much to bring. Do we have everything? Come on, we can't be late!   The classic song gets a fresh new twist! The fun begins when Grandma and Grandpa send invitations to their far-flung, modern, and multiracial family: Come to our house for the holidays--and bring your favorite pie! Off everyone goes, driving down snowy roads, riding the train, boarding a plane . . . even sailing along in a hot-air balloon. As each family faces an obstacle that delays their trip, they learn that sometimes the most old-fashioned form of transportation works best . . . NEIGH!

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One thing I love about Christmas time is the books especially picture books.

Today I am going to be talking about Over The River & Through The Wood by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kim Smith.

I loved the illustrations in the book and the diverse characters in the book. It was nice to finally see that in a picture book for kids.

Over The River & Through The Wood is set to that classic tune and your suppose to read the book in that tune. I admit I had to google it to see how it went as its been a long time since I heard it. The story is about a diverse family that has been invited to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Each member of the family has to overcome a traveling disaster such as the car running out of gas, a flat tire and so much more but in the end they all meet along the way and help each other out to arrive at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

This is such a cute book and I think it would make a perfect gift.

2015GiftGuide

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway/ Put Me In The Story’s Holiday Personalized Book

Today I am lucky once again to be part of another Put Me In The Story blog tour. This time its the Put Me In The Story’s Holiday Personalized Book Tour + Giveaway. 

You might recall that I recently took part in the Celebrating Personalized Peanuts Books blog tour and I loved the books and you can click on the bold font to take you directly to that review.

With Christmas just around the corner I was thrilled to have been asked again to take part in another one of their book tours this time its for their holiday books. Today I am going to be show casing three books. Two will be a mini spotlight and the third is a review for a book that I did receive. If you are interested in any of these books I invite you to check out Put Me In The Story and order your very own copy.

SantaIsComing

TwasTheNightbeforeChristmas

Bring the magic of Christmas Eve to life with your favorite furry friends—Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and everyone on Sesame Street!

It’s the night before Christmas and Cookie Monster is nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of cookies dance in his head. When, all of a sudden, he’s certain he hears Santa outside! There’s only one problem: he’s already eaten all of Santa’s cookies! If only he had an elf helper or two…

Come help save Santa’s cookies with Cookie Monster and the rest of his Sesame Street friends in a Christmas adventure!

Make a cherished keepsake when you personalize this all-new Sesame Street story with your child’s name, photo, and a special dedication page with a message from you.

I was graciously provide with a code that I could redeem to get the following book for free. They retail for $29.99 US each. As you can see they are personalized so you just follow the easy instructions on the page and that is is within 5 minutes I had the in my cart and ready to go. Shipping was super fast and I had the book within a week of ordering it.

The book is  beautifully bound like a regular hard cover picture book and it arrived in perfect condition.

MichaelOutLittleDeer

This was the one I chose and trust me it was a hard decision to make. I do have to say that I am beyond thrilled with my selection. This book is perfect in my opinion.

I was looking for something that was cute but not to young for him because he is 12 going on 13 in a few months so I wanted something that I think he will treasure now and always and will want to share with his own kids one day.

When I got the book I opened it right away and I was reading the story and it made me cry. The story is beautiful.

Michael, you twinkle,  glow and shine so bright.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and I think this could attract readers of all ages. The story line is easy and simple and its just great words kids should hear from their parents. I truly love this book and I am sure Michael will to once he reads it. christmasbreak Thanks to Put Me In The Story and Sourcebooks for sending Michael, Out Little Deer and allowing us to be a part of the Put Me In The Story’s Holiday Personalized Book Tour + Giveaway. Enter to win the Personalized Christmas Book Bundle from Put Me In The Story! Dates: Oct. 15 at 12:00 a.m. – Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST Enter for a chance to win the Personalized Christmas Book Budle Giveaway, including personalized copies of: ·         Santa Is Coming To My House ·         ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street ·         Our Little Deer by Sandra Magsamen a Rafflecopter giveaway

2015GiftGuide

Review/ Myles and the Monster Outside

Review/ Myles and the Monster OutsideMyles and the Monster Outside by Philippa Dowding
Published by Dundurn on September 19th 2015
Pages: 128
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Horror & Ghost Stories, Monsters, Young Adult

Book Summary:

The second instalment in a series of scary tall tales from acclaimed children’s novelist Philippa Dowding. I will never leave this car, the back seat reeks of everything my little brother has ever eaten, and that thing is still out there ... Myles and his family have been driving for four days. It’s their final night on the road, but Myles knows they will never arrive at their new house. It will never stop raining. And even if they do get there (which is doubtful), he knows he will never have friends again. He also knows that something is following them in the dark, rainy fields outside their car. Something monstrous. Once the monster arrives, things go very wrong. Myles and his family get lost, their car keeps breaking down, and a strange old man and his dog turn up, again and again. Then things get really weird. Myles is pretty sure it’s all his fault: he’s the only one who can see the monster. He’s the only one who can hear the monster. And hardest of all? He’s the only one who can make it go away.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I should begin this review by saying yes this is the second book in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series but they are totally stand alones meaning you don’t need to read the previous one to know what is happening. The first book is called Jake and the Giant Hand and it came out last year.

One of the great things about getting to work with Dundurn Press is being exposed to some great and talented Canadian authors which I truly need to read more of.

Reading Myles and the Monster Outside brought me back to when I was a child and leaving my grandparents house in Montreal to return to Bathurst (NB) during summer vacations and driving at night along some pretty dark and scary roads so reading this I instantly remember that I was exactly like Myles and thinking there was monsters outside my window because you always saw something that would look like something scary.

Myles is a twelve year old boy who is traveling with his mother, sister and baby brother to their new home. Its a long four days of traveling for the family. Myles is excited to see his dad who is relocating the family to a new city for his job.

Myles can’t wait to get out of the car because its beginning to stink of everything imaginable because the family has practically been living in the car since they left their old house.

The trip is going good until they take a ferry ride on a cold stormy day and Myles see’s something looming near by. In the mist he sees what looks like a monster shaped like a man with red eyes and you know that this is the beginning of the tension and suspense that is about to happen. Myles doesn’t say anything to anyone because at first he doesn’t believe it but gradually he begins to think that is real.

Once off the ferry they are back on the road and its seems like they are headed for diaster because if its not one thing its another and this basically has Myles freaked out and I think had I been in that same situation I would have been the same way.

Finally with all these things happening Myles decides to speak up and of course no one believes him and there were telling it like it was and not playing along with Myles. Finally after a weird encounter with a old man in the middle of the night in the rain wandering around has the family believing him.

Philippa Dowding did an amazing job telling the story. She was very descriptive with the book and I think most people probably has experienced the same things as Myles did in the book in their real lives. Granted mine was never like Myles’s but I did think there were monsters or something chasing us.

Review/Dumplin’

Review/Dumplin’Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Published by HarperCollins on September 15th 2015
Pages: 384
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Social Issues, Young Adult

Book Summnary:

For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.  Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dumplin’ was a book I had picked up at BEA 2015 this past May and I finally managed to sneak it into my reading pile mainly thanks to Tina who wanted to borrow it to read so now I can officially tell her she can read it and pass it along.

I really like the cover its simple but it stands out when you look at it and I love “Go Big, Or Go Home!”

Dumplin’ has been labelled as the must read book of 2015 and I have to say that I am happy that I was to get this to read and review. Its also be optioned for a movie and I have to say that I will definitely watch that one when it comes out.

Willowdean otherwise knows as Willow (to her friends) or Dumplin’ (by her mother) is your typical high school girl who works part time at a fast food restaurant, she has a crush on one of her co-workers (Bo) and a best friend Ellen. She has a huge obsession with Dolly Parton.

One of the things I loved about Willow was that she was comfortable in her skin and she won’t change for anyone no matter what. Willow is a big girl with hips and curves. I think alot of girls will be able to relate to Willow.

Dumplin takes place roughly six months or so after her aunt Lucy dies. Aunt Lucy was a big girl as well. Willow’s world is slowly changing and she doesn’t like it. Willow lost the only person she felt like she could confide in and knew what Willow was going through and her struggles.

Willow’s mom is the complete opposite of Willow and her late aunt. She is thin and was a former beauty contestant winner and she makes it a point to run the beauty pagent every year. So you can see that they have a strained relationship.

Willow and Bo begin a summer romance where everything is kept on the down load and no one knows about them even Ellen has no clue about Willow and Bo. Willow was questioning why a cute guy like Bo would be interested in her when he could clearly have any other girl. Its at this point where she decides she needs to quit her job and get away from Bo because she can’t take being his secret girlfriend or the lies and the secretiveness.

Then enter Mitch who is the high school jock that plays football who takes a liking to Willow. I wish Willow would have given him more of a chance instead of using him like she did. I think Mitch could have been good for her.

You can tell Willow’s confidence is falling and she knows it too so she takes it upon herself to enter the beauty pagent and along the way other kids who are different begin to enter as well and they all look to Willow to guide them. Will Willow be able to follow through with the pagent or will it prove to be too much for her?

So much is going on in the book as you can tell from the book summary that it will keep you reading until you are done.

Review/ Dangerous Lies

Review/ Dangerous LiesDangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published by Simon and Schuster on November 10th 2015
Pages: 400
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Genres: Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, New Experience, Social Issues, Young Adult

Book Summary:

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.Stella Gordon’s life is a lie. She does not belong in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. As the star witness in a murder trial against a drug dealer, Stella is now in the Witness Protection Program. The small town locals can never know who she really is. Not even Chet Falconer, the one boy who makes her want to reveal her true self. She knows that telling the truth will only bring violence to this safe haven. Despite how hard Stella tries to stay under the radar, danger is fast-approaching. Criminals have a way of getting rid of witnesses, and Stella may have made the one mistake that could lead the cold-blooded men hunting for her right to her doorstep.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was recently contacted by Simon & Schuster Canada asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing this for my blog and I instantly said yes because its been a book that has peaked my curiousity since first hearing about it.

I recently saw the hardcover of the book and I have to say that I love the cover. The rain drops on the final cover are all embossed and it makes the book stand out although I have to say that I feel the cover really doesn’t go with the book per say but I did love it just the same.

I know I am going to get some flack when I say this but I have never read any of Becca’s previous books (The Hush Hush Sage and Black Ice) and I do own them all and I think I might have to dig them out to read because I loved Dangerous Lies.

Dangerous Lies was pretty much a quick read for me. I started it Wednesday night at bed time and by Thursday night I had finished the book. I literally could not put it down because it was a fast paced action thriller, mystery book to say the least.

Estella (AKA Stella) is placed in the witness protection because she is suppose to testify against a drug cartel that her mother was involved with. She stumbled upon a dead body in her living room and witness the killer kidnapping someone.

Her mother is sent to rehab and Stella is sent to Thunder Basin, Nebraska. Stella is not happy to say the least because she is basically dropped off in the middle of no where USA and placed with a lady, Carmina who thinks she knows whats best for a soon to be adult in a few months and has laid down the ground rules for Stella staying with her. Of course Stella tries  to rebel but gradually things begin to change between these two stubborn headed girls.

When Stella lands in Thunder Basin its basically until she turns 18 and then she is out of there but I think once she is there she just might have a few people who will change her mind such as Chet. I loved Chet and I think he was the perfect match for Stella. In the beginning Stella was trying to remain true to Reed her boyfriend from back home who was also placed in the witness protection program because he also was there and he actually witnessed it all. Then gradually Chet broke down the wall and Stella realized she couldn’t resist him.

I have to admit at first I didn’t care for Stella because of her attitude and I got it and it sucks being torn away from what and who you know and resume your life as a new person but still have all those previous memories. Gradually I did warm up to her and I loved that she was going to make the changes so that this process could work.

I don’t want to say much more because I feel as though I will give it away but I will say that the last part of the book is insane and you will literally be glued to the pages because you can’t and won’t be able to put it down. The ending/plot literally threw me for a loop and left me saying “WTH”  as I did not see that coming.

I really hope there is a book two because I don’t think this story is done. I would love to know what happens to Stella and Chet as well as Chet’s brother Dusty and his girlfriend, Inny.

 

Review & Blog Tour/ Peanuts ABC & Peanuts 123

PeanutBooks1 Today I am lucky enough to be taking part in the Put Me In The Story and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang Celebrating Personalized Peanuts Books blog tour.

If you are new to Put Me In The Story they are a company that will personalize books for you. There is so many great books to select from and if you have no idea what to select you can go by gender, age, occasion etc.

Continue reading for a special offer that I have for you my lucky readers.

My First Peanuts: ABC – An Alphabet Adventure

Hurry, friend! Your Peanuts pals have made a mess of the letters of the alphabet and they need your help to get them back in order. Go on an alphabet adventure with the Peanuts gang as they hop from A to Z and teach your little one just how fun learning can be! Find fun little phrases and colorful letters on each page to help your child recognize every letter of the alphabet. Delight your little reader with their first Peanuts ABC book and begin a lifelong alphabet journey. Practicing the alphabet has never been this fun!

 My First Peanuts: 123 – A Counting Adventure

Come along for some counting fun! Your favorite Peanuts pals are ready to play and teach a new friend to count along the way! Show your silly Peanuts friends how to keep their numbers in order, then rhyme from 1 to 10 to start your counting adventure. You will play hide and seek, splash at the beach, visit the library and find a pumpkin patch. Through every adventure, your smiling friends are counting on you to learn something new. Join this bright bunch and jump into the fun. Discover lessons that last a lifetime with your first Peanuts 1-2-3 book!

 As you can see I was lucky enough to get to review both books Peanuts A-B-C and Peanuts 1-2-3 and they were personalized for Michael as you can see from the photo.

I was graciously provide with a code that I could redeem to get both books for free. They retail for $29.99 US each. As you can see they are personalized so you just follow the easy instructions on the page and that is is within 10 minutes I had both books in my cart and ready to go. Shipping was super fast and I had both books within a week of ordering them.

They are beautifully bound like a regular hard cover picture book. What I loved about the books was that it the personalized fonts blended into the story line and not once did Michael’s name stand out like it didn’t belong.

The Peanuts A-B-C introduces the alphabet to the kids with words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. As Michael was reading the book I asked him if he thought anything would be to over the top for younger kids and he said he didn’t think so apart from a word here and there but he said he thought kids would enjoy this little personalized book.

The next book we read was Peanuts 1-2-3. This is all about numbers and being able to count to 10. We loved the story because it made the book a little bit more interactive as you read because as someone is reading it the child could count the objects mentioned in the story and it was nice how different Charlie Brown things that he is known for was included in the story. This was a favorite for us.

Thanks to Put Me In The Story and Sourcebooks for sending the books and allowing us to be a part of the Celebrating Personalized Peanuts Books blog tour.

Use code SNOOPY to receive $10 OFF on personalized Peanuts books.

My First Peanuts: ABC – An Alphabet Adventure & My First Peanuts: 123 – A Counting Adventure

will both be discounted to $19.99. Code valid 10/25-10/31.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Win a $30 Movie Gift Card so you & your family can see The Peanuts Movie!

Winner will be notified on November 2.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7223/

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