Monthly Giveaway for November: Winner's Choice of YA or Christian Fiction Book

It's November!!! Can you believe it? The end of the year is approaching. I'm not ready. :/

Is there still a book you'd like to add to your shelves from this year? I know I've got a list. :) Well, I'm going to help you out a little with that. This month I'm giving away the winner's choice of a YA or Christian Fiction book up to $15 USD (as long as Amazon or the Book Depository ships to you for free). I'm going to sweeten it even more by opening choices up to books that will release this month or next. Of course you can choose any book, but I do love pre-ordering my favorite authors' books. Here are some suggestions (you will need to check prices at the end of the giveaway):

The Princess Spy The Secret of Pembrooke Park The Wishing Season (Chapel Spring #3) Lizzy & Jane
Can't Let You Go (Katie Parker Productions, #4) Princess of Thorns The Walled City Forbidden

Good luck!

Must be able to enter and receive winnings by law. Must live in the US or the Book Depository must ship to you for free. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please ensure that you correctly enter your email (and check your junk mail folder if I'm not on your contact list) so that I have a way to contact you. You can read my giveaway policy on my policies page. Void where prohibited by law. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Ahead!

Blog Ahead is hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup and goes from November 1st through the 30th.

With the holidays coming up and spending time with family, including some coming in from out of town, I really need to have posts scheduled ahead. I've got a bunch of tours coming up (both that I'm a tour stop for and some that I'm organizing) as well. I debated for a couple of weeks about joining this, but I really do need the extra encouragement to get ahead and to set some goals.

Are you in a similar boat or just want some posts scheduled so you can relax during the holidays? You can sign up and find all the info here.

Obviously I want to get those 30 extra posts scheduled before the end of November. My goal is to schedule a post a day, but some days tend to be busier than others, so I will say that my goal is to have seven extra posts at the end of each week. It would be so awesome if I was mostly scheduled for December when this is over. That means I'd have to get ahead in my reading too, so we'll see.

FINAL UPDATE: I've gotten over 30 posts scheduled/drafted!!! As of 11/30, which is the end of this challenge, I've gotten 17 scheduled posts and then 25 posts that are as prepared as I can have them without my review and the tour hosts' giveaway info. I am maybe two posts shy of having all of December done. It feels so fabulous!

42 / 30 posts. 140% done!

Week 1 (Nov 1-8) = 9 posts
S=7  S=1  M=0  T=0  W=0  T=0  F=0  S=1

Week 2 (Nov 9-15) = 2 posts
S=0  M=2  T=0  W=0  T=0  F=0  S=0

Week 3 (Nov 16-22) = 
S=0  M=1  T=13  W=0  T=0  F=0  S=0

Week 4 (Nov 23-30) = 
S=0  M=0  T=0  W=0  T=0  F=8  S=0  S=10

Hurray! If you participated in Blog Ahead!, how did you do?

4 for Friday Blitz with Month9Books


Welcome to the 4 for Friday Blitz for Predator by Janice Gable Bashman, Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake, Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman, and The Emissary by Kristal Shaff, presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Happy Halloween!

I've invited some of my other owl friends to the blog today to show you how they like to dress up for Halloween. I especially like the steampunk owl. That would be fairly easy to do with some crazy goggles, a wind-up watch, and some cool clothes. My children are going as some very popular people this year: Elsa, Anna, Ultimus Prime, and Captain America. I'm trying to enjoy it while they're young. :)

If you celebrate Halloween, I hope it's a fun one and you only eat (or take from your children) the amount of candy that you should. My kids already know that all the Snickers belong to me. ;)

Friday Favorites: Favorite Book Covers from August & September 2014

Friday Favorites is a meme that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that I have loved, would recommend, and want to tell others about. You can see all of my Friday Favorites here. You're welcome to join in as well!

I've grabbed some favorite covers to share with you today that were released back in August and September. As I have put this post together, I've noticed a little bit of a trend. There seems to have been quite a few books that grabbed my eye that are on the darker and more mysterious side, and that have red, white, and/or black in their covers. Here they all are (clicking on the covers will take you to Goodreads):

Review: Arcana by Jessica Leake

I contacted author Jessica Leake earlier this year because after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis for Arcana I was really looking forward to reading it. I've had several chats with her since then and she has been super great to work with. Arcana is her debut book and I really enjoy supporting first-time authors. It's a tough place in the publishing world. Prism Book Tours will be touring Arcana next month (you can see the tour announcement here) and it's going to be a great tour! I'm starting off with all this because regardless of my review, I'm looking forward to seeing what Jessica writes next and I hope her book finds its place into some loving hands.

by Jessica Leake
Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover, 288 pages
November 18th 2014 by Talos


Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the fa├žade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

A Lady at Willowgrove HallA Lady at Willowgrove Hall
(Whispers on the Moors #3)
by Sarah E. Ladd
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback, 320 Pages
October 7th 2014 by Thomas Nelson


Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness.
His secret traps him in a life that is not his own.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own – one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

Waiting on Wednesday: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I enjoyed reading Of Beauty and Beast from last year. I thought that Stacey Jay did a great job in creating a twist on a classic fairy tale. I'm hoping this one will be even better and so it's my WOW pick for this week:

Blog Tour Review: More Mormon Origami by Todd Huisken

More Mormon Origami blog tour

More Mormon OrigamiMore Mormon Origami
by Todd Huisken
Craft Book
Paperback144 Pages
October 14th 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media


Make more than President Uchtdorf’s airplanes out of the sacrament programs; now, your kids can fold the gold plates, a pioneer dress, or the Salt Lake Tabernacle! As you develop the unique skill of creating these simple-to-intermediate origami designs, you will find opportunities to use them with all ages for lessons, activities, crafting, and everyday fun!

Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

wonderfully wicked read-a-thon

The Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon was hosted by April and Kat @ My Shelf Confessions. Find out all about it here. I'm number 56 on the linky.

I didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but I still did decently well. Here's my final update:

Finishing School Read-Along - Come Join Us!!

I'm so excited to share this with you guys today!! I hinted this was coming in my Weekly Update and we finally have everything all ironed out, so without further ado...

Dena @ Batch of Books and I are hosting the Finishing School Read-Along for the second and third books in this series: Curtsies & Conspiracies and Waistcoats & Weaponry. We will launch the read-along on Saturday, November 1st, and wrap up on Saturday, November 29th.

The best part, besides reading these fabulous books, is that the author, Gail Carriger, will be stopping by with a couple of interviews and we'll be giving away the ENTIRE FINISHING SCHOOL SERIES!!! The giveaway will be open to international participants (as long as the Book Depository ships to you for free).

Now, if you haven't read the first book, you're welcome to add that in as well. You don't need to be a blogger to participate, you just need some public place to post updates for the linky (like Twitter or Tumblr or Instagram...), or just leave a comment below saying you'd like to join if you don't have a place to post. If you've read the first two, but not the third (which comes out November 4th), you are more than welcome to join us in reading just that book.

Here's what the schedule looks like (for those of us who will be reading both books):

Nov 1: Read-Along Launch
Nov 7: Curtsies, chapters 1-8
Nov 14: Curtsies, chapters 9 -16, epilogue, and final thoughts on the book
Nov 21: Waistcoats, chapters 1-8
Nov 28: Waistcoats, chapters 8-16 and final thoughts on book
Nov 29: Read-along wrap up

Nov 30: Giveaway winner announced

Each of these days Dena and I will be posting some thoughts on what we've read so far. We'd love for you to come share your thoughts as well, even if you're not participating. We'll be using #FinishingRA on Twitter for updates and may be having a chat as well. You can include Dena (@denabooks) and I (@tressherm) as well in any updates.

We're going to have a blast reading these together! So what do you think? Want to join us? Fabulous!!! Fill out your info in the linky below and let Dena or I know if you have any questions.

Review Briefs: Dreams of Gods & Monsters, Into the Still Blue, & Isla and the Happily Ever After

All three of these are the third and last book in their series. They all have been released and weren't books I loved, but did really enjoy reading. I would definitely say each one was a good ending to its series.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)Dreams of Gods & Monsters
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)
by Laini Taylor
YA Urban Fantasy
Hardcover613 Pages
April 8th 2014 by Little, Brown & Company


By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?