Jan 17, 2017

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! - Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 
About the Book
After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 
There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5). Each book can be read as a standalone.

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”
For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/


The Arctic Trails Have Their Secret Tales

By the dancing dim light of the campfire, the group of men surrounding me looked demonic—light and shadow played off their features and made their faces seem lopsided and horrifically deformed. In such light every scene appears monochromatic, with every detail rendered in shades of only black and orange. True colors are sucked away, and objects are repainted in a hellish tint that makes every face look like a jack-o-lantern and the world look like something out of Dante's Inferno.

"There you go again," the little voice inside my head nagged. "Always making comparisons to books that you've never read."

"Shut up," I told myself. "This is hardly the time to be criticizing my choice of literary references."

Besides, Dante was writing about hell, wasn't he? And the situation that I found myself in was surely the closest thing to hell that I could possibly imagine.

The tallest one of the group walked over to get a better look at me. As he leaned in close, some dark shadows flickered hideously across his face and eyes and caused me to pull away in terror. I tried to push myself backward away from him, but it was difficult, considering that I was sitting on the ground and my hands were bound tightly behind my back. Every move that I made only pulled the binding tighter and made my wrists scream in agony as the wire cut painfully into the skin.

"I never should have come out here," I told myself as the tall one stood up again and continued pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to do with me. How could I have been so stupid? What had I been thinking, hiking around a deserted ghost town from the Yukon Gold Rush in the middle of the night?

What made me even stupider was the fact that ever since I had first set off on my foolish quest, I'd felt a heavy, dark blackness filling every pore of the landscape. But instead of turning back and going home, I had stubbornly dismissed it as merely the dark shadow of the suffering and death that had occurred here so long ago, when thousands of souls had passed through on their way to the empty dreams of the Klondike gold fields. How many of those greedy fools had died chasing after those empty dreams?

"I am no better than them," I thought. I was just as stubborn and foolish as they had been, and now I was paying the price for it.

"I hate to say that I told you so," the little voice in my head said.

"Yes, you did," I agreed. "But right now, that isn't helping. Right now we have to figure out how to get out of here, because these guys are a bunch of greedy fools just like the rest of them, and who knows how far they'll go to protect the secret of their gold."

"What are we going to do with her?" the man with dark blonde hair asked the tall one, who was apparently their leader.

The tall one thought about this for a moment, and there was a long silence, broken only by the crackle of the nearby campfire. My fear of his answer made my heart pound faster and faster.

"There's only one thing we can do with her," he said slowly and deliberately, his voice ice cold and emotionless.

I was terrified of what that meant, and as they continued to discuss my fate among themselves, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and my breathing becoming shallower and faster with every passing second.

"I promise not to tell anyone," I thought, feeling completely helpless and considering the option of begging them to let me go. "I will promise not to go to the police if you just let me go free."

"Don't be crazy," the little voice in my head scolded. "They aren't stupid. You discovered their secret! You know about their stolen gold!"

I remembered a line from a poem that I'd learned back in high school—a poem about the Klondike Gold Rush and the lengths that men were driven to by their greed and lust for gold.

"The Arctic trails have their secret tales," the poem had said. "That would make your blood run cold."

That was exactly how I felt at that moment—as though my blood was running cold. I had discovered the secret tale that these men had tried to keep hidden, and now they had no other choice. They couldn't just let me go. They couldn't trust me to keep their secret. And now they had to deal with it. And that was the part that terrified me.

The men continued their discussion, and a sudden outburst from the tall one broke my train of thought. The discussion had grown quite heated, and he'd finally put an end to it by holding up his palm and cutting off the blonde one in mid-sentence.

"There's no other way," the tall one said simply.
RULES: Open Internationally!

Must be 13 w/ parent permission or older

Please note: If you win, your mailing address will be given to Book Publicity Services to issue your prize. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or forfeit the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/ Connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Jan 13, 2017

Winter 2017 Mini Bloggiesta: To Do List

"The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!"
-Join in using the Button Below-

Mini Winter 2017 Bloggiesta runs the 13-15th Get your To-Do Lists ready!

So for my short to do list for the short Bloggiesta event - I would like to do the following, as I complete items I will be using strikethrough to show that they are DONE (woo!):
  • Back up the blog
  • Update my "Reviews by Author" Tab
  • Update my TBR spreadsheet
  • Clean up my inbox
  • Cross post reviews to Goodreads/ Amazon/ Librarything as needed
  •  Visit as many Bloggiesta blogs as possible (IF NOT ALL) to cheer people on- I think I got everyone :)

Jan 12, 2017

Recent Reads: Monstress #8 by Marjorie Liu

This book is for Mature Audiences only. 

Monstress #8Monstress #8 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Publisher:  Image Comics
Publication Date:  November 2016

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Comic
Source: Bought/ Own



Goodreads Synopsis: 
The hunt for answers takes Maika and her friends out to sea, along with a fearsome crew provided by the Arcanic pirates-turned-smugglers who are Maika’s mother’s old friend
Previous Reviews - Catch Up!
Comic #: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
As I say with every Monstress -- the art is amazing!!! You should read these, or at least look at them, they are so pretty!

In this issues we are on the seas traveling to find out more about Maika's mother's story and what became of her and really how that translates into what has happened to Maika. Maika is still struggling with her inner demon... literally. This part of the story was more contained than others - we only follow one group of people who are all on the boat with Maika. The story is starting to pick up pace and I am interested in seeing what happens when they get to their destination.

These comics are not for the faint of heart - they are violent have have a lot of mature themes and I can only imagine that they will get more forceful as the story progresses. There are a lot of people after Maika and her magic for both good and evil reasons. 

Jan 11, 2017

Recent Reads: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)
Miss  Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss  Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #1

Publisher:  Quirk Books
Publication Date:  June 7, 2011

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend



Goodreads Synopsis: 
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
I have been waiting to read this book. At first I thought it was Horror so I was a bit turned off by it because I am a wimp... but then I realized that the blogging world and even other readers adored this book and this series. I found myself wanting to read it more and more and the opportunity arose when a friend of mines started reading them. He said that he wanted to know what I thought and left the first book at my house. It was there for a little while but with the DVD/Bluray coming of the movie (which I had yet to see) I was prompted to start - because obviously you read the book before you see the movie - that is just the way it is right?! Well I cheated then because I did in fact watch the movie first and really enjoyed it. I also watched all the bonus stuff so I knew going into the book the changes that had been made. The book did not disappoint regardless.

Miss Peregrine's is a book of layered worlds, where Peculiars can exist without our time messing with them or being hunted by other creepy Peculiars trying to gain more power. It is your normal good guys/ bad guys/ want all the power kind of stories. Much like X-Men... So I was drawn into the plot and the characters although I really didn't feel all that much connection to Jacob, he seemed the rich, flakey type and I didn't really care for him. The other characters were interesting enough and I think what kept me going was the world building. I liked the idea of multiple realities happening on various dates - I want to see/ read them all. 

This book has so many reviews now, so there probably isn't much that I could say that would be new. I enjoyed the book - the plot, the worlds, some of the characters, I felt like it could have been a bit more polished but I also think that it lends to the book - it is strange and macabre... mostly just peculiar. I have book two - complements of the friend so I will be reading that soon.  

Jan 10, 2017

Recent Reads: Rebirth Harley Quinn #10 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner

Harley Quinn (2016-) #10
Egg Noggin by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
Series: Rebirth Harley Quinn #10
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date:  December 21, 2016

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format:  Comic
Source: Bought/Own



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Come spend the holidays with Harley in issue #10’s collection of wintry short stories-just don’t expect to make it to New Year’s in one piece!
Mini Review: 
Another holiday with Harley. In this issue, Harley is off to visit Santa and while there she realizes that something isn't quite right as always all hell breaks loose and Harley has to fight a Krampus and evil holiday enemies in an attempt to help her favorite holiday man - Santa.  This was a fun-filled holiday themed book but it does break away from the overall storyline for the holiday. It was a good book and funny to follow but nothing super spectacular - still can't wait to see how the main story continues.


Jan 9, 2017

Discussion: Life/ Blog Balancing

Today is a Discussion Day here at Cover2CoverBlog. I am trying to start these a little more since they seem fun :) I hope you enjoy and if you have any topic suggestions let me know in the comments.

Today's Topic

Life/Blog Balancing!

2016 has come and gone... can you believe it?
I can't believe that it is already 2017! 

So since we are starting a new year and being fresh, I wanted to take today's Discussion Day to talk about how to find Life/ Blog balance and the techniques that I use and to see if you have any to lend me!

So let's get started!

We all need it, we talk about it a lot, and more often than not, we avoid the rest we need and get burnt out.

I have been blogging for about 4 years (I think- I can never remember) and I often feel like I am in over my head. I work full time and have a home life and social life...and my blog. This means loads of reading, prepping, reviewing, and online social media time. I know you feel me...

I think that for me it is important to remember that I don't make money off of blogging, I do it as a hobby because I love reading and sharing my opinions about books :). So if something needs to get cut out for a bit it is normally the blogging.

So how do we balance if cutting blogging out isn't working?

Over my years of blogging I have found a few different techniques that I use to limit myself, because a blog can become a full time job.
Here are some of those techniques...

Commenting in Batches!

Image result for speech bubbleYes I am 'that person' I hoard comments until I have a chance to do them - this is often in between work tasks during the day. I sit at a computer all day long and often have to wait for people to return my emails in order to keep trudging forward.  The comment that I do in batches are both the ones left on my blog but I also read and comment on blogs all at the same time too. I give myself a time limit and get going...which brings me to...

Time Limits! 

Image result for clock
If you have a billion things going on in your life and blogging is one of them, SET YOURSELF SOME TIME LIMITS. Say for example that you planto be online for 1 hour, allot some of it to reading/ commenting, some to social media, some to emails, some to prepping a review - choose what is a priority and get that done first and if you have more time stalk other bloggers :P

Blog Events!  
Another way I work on my blog in a meaningful way is to sign up for and use blogger events that help push me to achieve more in a short amount of time...
Blog events such as  Bloggiesta, Write-On Review-a-thon, & Blog Ahead  - I am SO thankful for these
   PageLines- bloggiestalogo.gif
I take the time during Bloggiesta to always do the things I am putting off - like updating cross-posting, adding to my "Reviews by Author" page, updating my TBR list and cleaning my email inbox up. I also back up my blog - but I try to do that more than just during event time.

Write-on Review-a-thon is what it sounds like, a weekend of reviews, all the reviews. So if you had a Read-a-thon and now need to catch back up on those reviews this event is awesome. BUT I am normally reading and have to review right away to get a post up :/

And last but certainly not least - Blog Ahead. This happens at least once a year (maybe twice), I participate in October to prepare for the holiday season. It is a challenge to prep and schedule 31 posts (1 a day) to go live after October - so Nov - the new year :) I love this even. It really pushes me to get things done and have content ready for the coming months so that I have to blog less during the time that family and friends should be  the priority.

Do you have any events you would recommend to help with the balance?

Loads of Planning!

I think that as a blogger most of the balance has to do with planning - loads of pre-planning, thus Blog Ahead but you really have to find the time to plan out your time. So ... PLANNERS, LISTS, CALENDARs... all the fun.

Image result for planner
I have a paper planner and use an Excel spread sheet. My paper planner has everything: work, home, blog all of it in one place. My excel sheet is all my TBR books, how I got them, when I need to review them, and ones still in limbo that I NEED to get to ASAP. This helps a lot when I am planning my monthly TBR posts. I read through what I need to get done and run with it. 

How do you plan? Do you have a calendar/ planner? Is it all in your head?

I know that everyone is different and I know that life happens, so if you are a blogger remember to take some time for you. Remember that your blog is yours, while followers love your content they will be understanding if something comes up. I started my blog as a hobby and I am really trying to keep it that way.

Let me know all of your coping and balancing techniques, I would love to heard them! 
Happy reading, happy blogging and Balancing everyone!