Monday, August 31, 2015

A Vintage Reads YA Review: If I Stay


If I Stay (If I Stay, 1) by Gayle Forman, July 8, 2014 (originally published in 2009). 304 pages. Published by Speak. Source: bought at Library Sale.
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.
First Sentence:
Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (The Penderwicks, 2) by Jeanne Birdsall, April 8, 2008. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
The Penderwick sisters are home on Gardam Street and ready for an adventure! But the adventure they get isn’t quite what they had in mind. Mr. Penderwick’s sister has decided it’s time for him to start dating—and the girls know that can only mean one thing: disaster. Enter the Save-Daddy Plan—a plot so brilliant, so bold, so funny, that only the Penderwick girls could have come up with it. It’s high jinks, big laughs, and loads of family warmth as the Penderwicks triumphantly return.

Why: Earlier in the month, I discovered the first of the Penderwick books thanks to my the sale at my local library. After devouring it in just a matter of hours, I fell in love not only with the author's writing but with the entire Penderwick clan. Most especially the Penderwick girls. Now, well now I need more of their adventures!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Crenshaw

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, August 24, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Crenshaw


Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate, September 22, 2015. 256 pages. Published by Feiwel & Friends. Source: publisher.
In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
First Sentence:
I noticed several weird things about the surfboarding cat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Neptune Challenge

Neptune Challenge (Neptune Project, 2) by Polly Holyoke, May 19, 2015. Published by Disney-Hyperion.
Danger lurks beneath

Genetically engineered to survive in the ocean, Nere and her friends are recovering from their long, treacherous journey to refuge and settling in at Safety Harbor. Despite its name, plenty of dangers still lurk just outside the colony's boundaries. When two among them are kidnapped, the remaining Neptune kids and their loyal dolphins must set out on a mission even more perilous than their first: infiltrate the kidnapper's fortress to save their friends and steal away a vital scientific secret that may save the world and its oceans. Fighting terrifying mutated creatures and teens, will the Neptune kids find a way to save their friends, themselves, and their underwater world? The stakes couldn't be higher in this thrilling sequel to the award-winning The Neptune Project. 
Why: Well, after my library finally purchased, at my insistence, The Neptune Project I finally was able to read Pollu Holyoke's debut. And, well now, now I need to know what is going to happen to Nere and the rest of the Neptune Project children. Will they survive another encounter with danger, I don't know and it's driving me crazy!!!

All About Middle Grade Interview with Sherel Ott [blog tour]


Guys, I am excited to be one of the tour stops for Sherel Ott's Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu blog tour. Hope y'all will enjoy her interview and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of her wonderful sounding book.

About the author:
An eclectic collector of animation movies, Sherel Ott is a writer of fantasy and romance stories. One day while watching an animated movie, she noticed that there weren’t a lot of movies or books with girls of color in leading roles…as heroines, adventurers or with strong moral characters and wondered… Where were the influential leaders, doctors, lawyers or royalty of color? Why weren’t there any strong black female characters where a girl of color could be proud of her skin color and the type of person representing and say … “I want to be like her!” Wanting something more for her own nieces to look up to and strive to emulate, other than what girls of color were currently being portrayed as or should settle for is how her book initially took form. She wanted to show that there are black princesses, warriors, adventurers of all walks of life. That she should be and can be recognized for what she does and who her true self is, not be prejudged by what color her skin was.
As a fan of all fantasy, magical, mystical, celestial and other worldly creatures, Sherel began reading sci-fi/fantasy stories at a young age. (read her full bio here)

Website | FB | Twitter |


Interview
  1.  In five words tell us about your book:
The Labyrinth meets Arthur and the Invincibles.
  1. So, who exactly are the Warrior Maidens and what do they do?  
The Warrior Maidens are an all female military force from the age of 16 on up.  They are responsible for protecting the Royal Family and the surrounding region.
  1. Let's talk personality traits.  What would you say is Janai's best and worst personality traits: How are they going to help or hinder her throughout the book?
Her best trait is her optimism, which will help her navigate the situations and adventures that she finds herself in.  Her worst trait is her being na├»ve. She has lead a pretty sheltered life and even though she is aware of some of the problems in the world, they have never directly impacted her; and she doesn't quite understand why people are doing and feeling the way that they are.
  1. Sherel, could you tell us a little about the setting of your book: Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia.  
The setting in this book deals with two cities, one shrouded in mystery (Tonga) and the other a fabled/mythological city (Tongia). Tonga is a city that has been enveloped in mystery for over a hundred years because anyone who has gone into the area has never returned and the reason for that is the same reason/cause that lead to it's downfall.  The city of Tongia, is the fabled city of the High Priestess Jinjura and the Goddess Ariana, when they first came and lived among the people.  Here too you will see what has caused this city to "disappear" from the world of Quinu.
  1. Can you share with us a two-sentence teaser from Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu"?  
"That impertinent brat!  How DARE she humiliate me in front of all those people!" roared Serlina.  "A 12 year old little nobody.  She will pay for this." "But Mistress Serlina, she is the Princess" Serlina's second in command, Zara, said.,
  1. If you could have tea with any author living or dead, who would it be?  What would be the first question you would ask him?
That is a hard one...I am so enamored with both Nora Roberts and Piers Anthony. But if I really had to choose...it would be Piers Anthony.  My first question would be "What made you come up the the land of Xanth and it many denizens?
  1. The world has fallen into robot invasion, and only one heroin/hero can save the day, who would you choose?  
I would choose...Lara Croft.  She is so ingenious and self reliant.  She shows that even in the face of failure, you should persevere and never give up.  She shows that females are very strong, intelligent, cunning, capable people...physically and mentally.
  1. Last book that kept you reading into the night?  
Nora Roberts the "Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy". I really love her paranormal books.

 *note: Cousins O'Dwyer is NOT a middle grade series...*

Sherel, thank you so much for stopping by!! Loved hearing what you had to say about the setting for Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu.



Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia (The Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu, 1) by Sherel Ott, October 17, 2014.
All Janai wants is to be just like everyone else. Being the Princess and having to try out for the Warrior Maidens is just part of her problems. She has the present Warrior leader unhappy with the fact that she is trying out, because that means her time is almost up and she enjoys her “status” too much to give it up without a fight. Not to mention someone just froze two of her guards into living statues with the fabled Mist Flowers of Tonga. Now she and a small group of warriors must travel to a forbidden city and obtain the antidote before the two guards are lost forever…all in 24 hours. Is she capable? Will she make it in time?

You can purchase Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu through Amazon.

Giveaway:

1st Prize: $50 Amazon.com gift certificate and signed copy of About Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia

2nd Prize: $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and signed copy of About Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia

3rd Prize: $10 Amazon.com gift certificate and signed copy of About Adventures of Princess Janai and the Warrior Maidens of Quinu: The Cities of Tonga and Tongia



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Spell Bound

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, August 17, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: Spell Bound


Spell Bound (Hex Hall, 3) by Rachel Hawkins, March 13, 2012. 337 pages. Published by Disney-Hyperion. Source: bought.
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
First Sentence:
There are times when magic really sucks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Winter

Winter (Lunar Chronicles, 4) by Marissa Meyer, November 10, 2015. Published by Feiwel and Friends.
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
Why: I know, I'm terribly behind the times to only just now be excited/talking about the upcoming conclusion to Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles. I promise, I had every intention on staying on top of this series when it came out years ago, but, alas I fell behind. Yet, with the end in sight I'm striving to be caught up in time for Winter which I can already tell that I'm going to need something fierce. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Cinder

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, August 10, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: Cinder


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, 1) by Marissa Meyer, January 3, 2012. 390 pages. Published by  Feiwel & Friends. Source: book trade/own.
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
First Sentence:
The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sew Adventuruous (3): Adventures with Knits


You guessed it, I'm at it again! Sewing that is!!

I think I may be obsessed with sewing. While it can be somewhat nerve racking when it comes to cutting the fabric (you on get one chance to get it right there) and piecing the pieces together (correctly), it is really empowering to actually complete a project and have it turn out well.

This time, well, I could not not purchase this remnant roll of a yard of knit fabric. For one thing, it only cost me $2.99 and secondly, I knew that it would be more than enough fabric to make myself a skirt. While I had never used knits before, I really wanted my own "Short Girl Maxi-Midi Skirt" because they looked oh so comfy...like sweatpants that can be dressed up for church

Maybe one day, since I have (wait for it) more knit fabric (that I got for an even better price), I'll share more on the craziness that goes into me preparing for a sewing project. *though you may have to ask/remind me*

Skirt project aside.

Let's catch up on other things...like that this is my 1900th post here at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia. Or how about, how in October my blog will be seven years old (where did the time go!). Seriously between planning for Christmas projects/presents that I'm making for my sisters, reading and all things blog related, I am crazy busy lately!

Mainly, there has been a lot of flailing, reading, and crafting around here lately! What can I say, reading and crafting both making me flail either in excitement or exasperation.

So, tell me, what's going on in your world? Any fun plans you have for the last bit of summer? Come on do share on what's been up with you guys. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, 2) by Moira Young, October 30, 2012. Published by Margaret K. McElderry.
Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?
Why: After rereading Blood Red Road I just need to see what happens next!!! Also, with the last two books already being out, I can think of no better time than now to see where the rest of the series goes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Blood Red Road

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, August 3, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: Blood Red Road


Long time no "Vintage Reads", yes. After entirely too long of not revisiting "vintage" young adult titles, I finally was able to read one and thought I'd share my thoughts on it with you, dear readers.

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, 1) by Moira Young, June 7, 2011. 459 pages. Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books. Source: Bought.
Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries.

Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.
First Sentence:
The day's hot.

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