Book Tags

#Beforebookstagram Tag

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I was tagged on Instagram to do the #beforebookstagram challenge, and this really applies to my book blog too, since I started my IG account not long after I started my blog. So I thought it would fun to share the tag here too. 🙂

1. What was the first book you read? I don’t really remember the exact first book I read, but I remember reading and loving Ferdinand and the Bullies. Not long after that, I started reading Little Women, and throughout middle school I devoured every Nancy Drew file book I could get my hands on.😊📚📖
2. When did you start reading? Pretty much as soon as I could read on my own – by 2nd grade I was reading several books per week.

 
3. Where do you get your reading recommendations? IG, Litsy, Goodreads, and my sister.
4. What books are your favorites? Little Women, the Lunar Chronicles, and the Wendy Darling series, just to name a few.
5. What inspired you to join bookstagram? I love books and taking pictures, so it was the perfect combo.📷
6. What changed after you started your bookstagram? I found out about so many good books I hadn’t known about before, and I found a great community to share my love of books with!

What about you? When did you start your book blog or bookstagram account? Let me know in the comment. I tag whoever wants to participate!😁

Reading Challenge

#Armedwithabingo Q2 Check-in

This year, one of the challenges I’m participating in, is #armedwithabingo hosted by Kristi and Ariel. All the details for the bingo are here, and you can check out my first post about the challenge here.

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For the first quarter, I read these books:

Poetry collection – Ink Knows No Borders

Book in the middle of a series – Blizzard of New Moon (Magic Treehouse Series) by Mary Pope Osbourne

Book published in the last decade – A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahareh Mafi

A YA novel – Heart of the Moors by Holly Black

A memoir – Wildflower by Drew Barrymore

Friendship/family – Drama by Reina Telgemeier

Fantasy – Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Bestseller – The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Meant to read last year – Final Girls by Riley Sager

Nonfiction – You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time by Patricia Marx

 

And since the last post, I’ve added these books to my bingo board:

Book published in 2020 – Straight on Till Morning by Liz Braswell. This is my favorite read of the year so far, and you can check out my review here.

Book with multiple POV’s – Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reed

Book with a number in the title – The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie. This one was also enjoyable and though not one of Christie’s most popular series, I find I’m really enjoying the Superintendent Battle series.

Book a friend recommends – Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto.  I read this book as part of the Book Gizmo Book Club on Instagram.

A dystopian novel – The Jewel by Amy Ewing.

Not third person POV (first person POV) – Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell

Book by an indie author – A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Book with a Beautiful Cover – Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. As soon as I saw the cover for this book, I wanted to read it, even without reading the premise. 🙂

Book you saw someone else reading – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers

How about you? How are your reading challenges coming? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

 

Reading Challenge

My Summer Reading Plans

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Summer is finally here! It’s my favorite season, and everything seems a little better when the warm weather rolls around. It’s also a great time for reading – reading on vacation, reading outside, reading by the pool, reading at the beach – you get the idea. So I always have big reading plans for summer. Here are challenges I’ll be participating in this summer:

#30booksin3months hosted by Jessica Brody.  (Most posting for this is on Instagram.) This one is pretty simple. You have until Labor Day to read thirty books. Here’s where I’m at currently:

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#SummerFun Bingo hosted by @fourthhouseontheleft and @staycurious over on Litsy. If you don’t know what Litsy is, check out my blog post about this social media platform here. This app is totally based on books, so if you’re an avid reader, you’re going to want to check it out.

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My progress so far

My local library’s summer program:

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Each week they are releasing new challenges. Here are the challenges so far:

  1. Libraries Stand Against Racism. (reading The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas)
  2. Library Summer Reading Booklist Challenge. (reading Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison)
  3. Read a Book From a Different Perspective from your own. (reading Beautiful on the Outside: a Memoir by Adam Rippon)
  4.  Seasonal Favorites (spring, summer, winter, or fall in the book title, reading The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones)
  5. Read a Graphic Novel. (reading Anne Frank’s Diary: the Graphic Edition)

 

What about you? What are your summer reading plans? Are you participating in any summer reading challenges? Let me know in the comments!

Blog tours, Book Reviews

The Redpoint Crux Book Review

TOUR BANNER (1)

I’m happy to be part of the Fantastic Flying Book Club’s blog tour for The Redpoint Crux. Below you’ll find the book info, my review of the book, info about the author, and don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

TRCThe Redpoint Crux

by Morgan Shamy

Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: June 9th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
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Synopsis:
Fans of The Phantom of the Opera and Black Swan will enjoy this thrilling debut.
When Megan Van Helsburg gets kicked off the U.S.A. Climbing Team, she has no choice but to return home and leave her climbing career behind. With no coach, no money, and no prospects, she joins the corps de ballet determined to improve her strength and agility. But the ballet theater is in dire straits. Not only do a series of murders break loose, but the ballerinas are becoming deathly thin and brain-dead. As Megan investigates, she meets Bellamy, a tortured young man who lives beneath the depths of the theater. Megan falls hard and fast for Bellamy, who becomes her mentor, but something is off about him.

It isn’t until the company announces they’re doing Giselle for the fall performance that Megan realizes the parallels between the ghost story and the lives around her. Megan must find a way to not only save her climbing career, but balance her feelings for Bellamy, and stop the murders and dying girls before she, too, is numbered among the dead.

My Review

My rating: 4 stars

This book had so many things I like  – ballerinas, haunted places, mysterious murders – and it’s a bit of a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, which I also love. The suspense built through each chapter, and kept me turning pages faster and faster until the end. The characters were intriguing, though I wished we had been able to learn more about Megan’s mom and her backstory since that was part of Megan’s growth journey. Overall, I really enjoyed the book! Fans of Tiny Pretty Things and Don’t Look Back will enjoy this book.

About the Author

Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She is represented by Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency.
Morgan has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she trained under the tutelage of Julie and Stacey Orlob. She performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.
Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old  son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in the cold mountains of Alaska.

Giveaway Link

Win a $10 Amazon gift card!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog tours

The Redpoint Crux Blog Tour Schedule

TOUR BANNER (1)

I’m excited to be part of The Fantastic Flying Book Club’s book tour for The Redpoint Crux by Morgan Shamy. Here is the schedule for the tour:

Blog Tour Schedule

June 3rd

June 4th

L.M. Durand – Guest Post
Captivated Reading – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Faery – Review

June 5th

Indie and Diverse – Review
Small Stained Pages – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

June 6th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Books and Zebras – Review
Inktalkswithmaria – Review
The Writers’s Alley – Review + Playlist

June  7th

Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish Looks – Promotional Post

June 8th

BiblioJoJo – Review + Favourite Quotes
Mahkjchi’s Not-So-Secret Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Susan Heim on Writing – Promotional Post

June 9th

Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Playlist
Wishful Books Reviews – Review + Favourite Quotes

TRCThe Redpoint Crux

by Morgan Shamy
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: June 9th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
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Synopsis:
Fans of The Phantom of the Opera and Black Swan will enjoy this thrilling debut.
When Megan Van Helsburg gets kicked off the U.S.A. Climbing Team, she has no choice but to return home and leave her climbing career behind. With no coach, no money, and no prospects, she joins the corps de ballet determined to improve her strength and agility. But the ballet theater is in dire straits. Not only do a series of murders break loose, but the ballerinas are becoming deathly thin and brain-dead. As Megan investigates, she meets Bellamy, a tortured young man who lives beneath the depths of the theater. Megan falls hard and fast for Bellamy, who becomes her mentor, but something is off about him.
It isn’t until the company announces they’re doing Giselle for the fall performance that Megan realizes the parallels between the ghost story and the lives around her. Megan must find a way to not only save her climbing career, but balance her feelings for Bellamy, and stop the murders and dying girls before she, too, is numbered among the dead.
Uncategorized

Virtual Book Events

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I recently attended the virtual #Yallstayhome Book Festival, the Yallwest Book Festival gone virtual, and it was so much fun! I’ve been researching other virtual book events and have found quite a few.  So now I’m sharing them with my readers:

  1. Everywhere Book Fest – lots of videos on YouTube from a variety of authors.
  2. Social Distance Book Festival This festival aired a couple of weekends ago, but you can still view the recordings on YouTube. This is a festival hosted by a book YouTuber, Beautifully Bookish Bethany.
  3. Wordplay Book Festival – This is going on now and has events for all ages.
  4. Bookcon – Bookcon is doing a virtual series on Facebook.
  5. Midtown Scholar Bookstore – This bookstore has several virtual author talks scheduled.
  6. MYVLF – This site has all kind of virtual events, including The Big Book Weekend.
  7. Gaithersburg Book Festival – I’ve enjoyed attending this festival in person, and am happy to see I’ll be able to attend virtually this year!

How about you all? Are there any virtual book events you’ll be attending during this quarantine time? Let me know in the comments!

Reading Challenge

My May TBR Stack

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For the month of May, I’m participating in #bookspinbonanza hosted by @TheAromaofBooks over on Litsy. If you’re haven’t heard of the Litsy app, you can find out more about it here. It’s the perfect app for readers!

Since the start of the year, I’ve been participating in the #bookspin, where the host draws a random number 1-20, and participants read the book from their list of twenty books that corresponds to that number. This month the bonanza twist is to read all twenty of the books in the order they are drawn. Here’s the graphic for #bookspinbonanza:

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So here are the twenty books I’ve chosen (they are all my own books so this also helps me with the #unreadshelfproject):

1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

2. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeves

3. A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

4. The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson

5. Malice by Pintip Dunn

6. In the Hall With The Knife by Diana Peterfreund

7. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

8. The Secret Horses by Megan Shepherd

9. The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

10. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto (I’m reading this as part of @bookgizmo’s book club on Instagram)

11.  Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

12. Save Your Breath by Melinda Leigh

13. Shakespeare’s Landlord  by Charlaine Harris

14. Finish First by Scott Hamilton

15. The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis compiled by Caroline Kennedy

16. Secrets of Skating  by Oksana Baiul

17. My Side of the Story: Peter Pan by Kiki Thorpe

18. My Side of the Story: 101 Dalmatians by Daphne Skinner

19. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Mister Rogers

20. The Big Book of Disney Top Ten: Fun Facts and Cool Trivia

 

What are you reading plans for May? Have you read any of these books, and if so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

 

Reading Challenge

Unread Book Bingo

One of the reading challenges I always participate in, is the unread shelf project, a yearly challenge where I try to read many of my own books that I haven’t yet read. During the past two months, Whitney, the host of the unread shelf challenge, has hosted a bingo challenge (more details here.) I love bingo challenges, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to participate in this one. Here is my bingo card:

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And here are the books I read:

Published before 2000 – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Backlist title – The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

From Favorite genre – The Jewel by Amy Ewing (YA Fantasy)

On shelf more than a year – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Blue Book – Ice Breaker: How Maribel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating by Rosa Vina

Fiction – The Stillwater Girls by Minka

YA lit – The Girl in the Picture by Alexandra Monir

E-book – Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey

Published after 2000 – The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent

Any unread book – Tell Me Lies by JD Pomer

Red book – The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Nonfiction – In Other Words by Christopher J. Moore

Book from a series – The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (New Hercule Poirot series)

Last book acquired – Straight on Till Morning by Liz Braswell (check out my review for this book here.)

Less than 200 pages – If a Horse Had Words by Kelly Cooper

Audiobook – The Body in the Woods by April Henry

Chosen by friends – Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montegomery

Hardback – The Handmaid’s Tale: the graphic novel by Renee Nault

Author of color – The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton

I was hoping to fill the board, but I got two bingos and had more spaces filled than not, so I guess I did pretty well. 🙂

If you want to check out all I’ve read so far this year, feel free to add as a friend on Goodreads.

How about you? Have you participated in any fun reading challenges lately? Let me know in the comments!

Book Tags

Little Women Blog Tag

As a fun way to end our read along of Little Women, I decided to host a blog tag. All you have to do is answer the questions and post them on your blog. If you missed the details about the read along, you can check them out here.

Even if you didn’t participate in the read along this month, you can still do the blog tag. Also, I’m going to extend the giveaway for another two weeks so that everyone who participates in the blog tag will also have a chance to win the giveaway prize featured below: a pair of Little Women writing gloves from Storiarts, and  a copy of Little Women as it was featured in the new movie.

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So here are the Little Women blog tag questions:

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why?
  2. Which scene do you like best and why?
  3. What is your favorite quote from the book?
  4. Which movie version is your favorite and why?
  5. Who is your favorite couple in the book?
  6. What is your favorite thing about the book?

I’ll share my answers in a separate post tomorrow. 🙂

Once you’ve posted your answers, you can add the link to your blog here and you can check out everyone else’s answers too! 🙂

Reading Challenge

Little Women Challenge

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If you’ve been following my blog for very long, you know how much the novel Little Women has influenced my life and my writing career. I just saw the new movie, and I loved it. Since my birthday is coming up this next month, I decided it’s the perfect time to celebrate with a challenge all about Little Women.

There will be three components to this challenge and a giveaway at the end. The first component is a read along through the novel, the second is a photo challenge (you can post on all social media sites with #littlewomencrbdaycelebration), and the third one is a movie watching challenge. There have been so many movies made, and I’d love to know which adaptation is your favorite. I’ve seen most of them, but am always willing to watch them again.

Book Read Along:

  1. Chapters 1-12 (Feb. 1- 8)
  2. Chapters 13-24 (Feb. 9-15)
  3. Chapters 25-36 (Feb. 16-22)
  4. Chapters 37-47 (Feb. 23-29)

Movie Watching:

  1.  1933 version with Katherine Hepburn
  2. 1949 version, Elizabeth Taylor wears a blonde wig and plays Amy
  3. 1978 two part TV version
  4. 1994 version, the one I grew up watching
  5. 2018 Masterpiece Theater three part series
  6. 2018 modern retelling movie
  7. 2019 Little Women

Since there are so many versions, you may not have time to watch all of them during the month, but try to choose at least four (one a week) of them to watch.

Photo Challenge:

  1. Favorite/your edition of Little Women.
  2. Favorite movie version of Little Women.
  3. Selfie reading Little Women
  4. Favorite character in Little Women
  5. Bonus post: Little Women merch
  6. Bonus post: All your copies of Little Women
  7. Bonus post:Little Women retelling

I’ve made some graphics for each part, which you can share across social media and on your blogs.

Here’s a link to my Goodreads list of Little Women retellings: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/43870902-charity-rau?shelf=little-women-inspired

Giveaway: At the end of the month, I’ll draw a name to receive a prize package containing a collectible edition of Little Women along with the Little Women writing gloves (from Storiarts, pictured in photo at the top of the post), and maybe some other goodies. Each blog comment below and each social media post with the #littlewomencrbdaycelebration will count as one entry into the drawing. (If winner is from outside of USA or Canada, you’ll receive prize value on a Amazon gift card.)