Blogmas – Day 7

The ideas for my Blogmas posts are from a post on the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. You can see the list of ideas in my Day 1 Blogmas post here.

I love handmade Christmas presents both to give and get. They are very special and creative. Sometimes it’s easier to make someone for the people who have everything! My mom is very creative and she was always making crafts as gifts. She still does add personal touches on some presents.

Do you like handmade Christmas presents?

Review: The Good Sister

Title: The Good Sister
Author: Jess Ryder
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Bookouture
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Two sisters. One secret… A lie that could destroy them both.

When her father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover he led a secret life: another house, another family and a half-sister called Valentina.

Both with red hair and icy blue eyes, Josie and Valentina could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there…

Josie – Sweet, reserved, jealous, thief.
Valentina – Care-free, confident, dangerous, liar.

Two sisters. One survivor.

A nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Sister Sister.

Review:

The premise for this story is very creepy. When Josie’s father dies, she discovers that he had a secret double life with another family and another daughter who was exactly the same age as her. I’ve read other stories with a similar starting point, and I just find that so creepy to think about.

I really liked the Viking facts at the beginning of each chapter. They gave a little insight into their culture and reinforced the Viking theme.

I didn’t like how the narrator switched between Josie and Valentina without warning. Sometimes I would start reading a chapter and realize a couple of pages in that it wasn’t who I thought it was. If those changes were identified at the beginning of the chapter, it would have been much easier to read.

I enjoyed this thriller. I really didn’t know how it was going to end! I recommend it to other fans of psychological thrillers.

Blogmas – Day 6

The ideas for my Blogmas posts are from a post on the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. You can see the list of ideas in my Day 1 Blogmas post here.

We open presents first thing on Christmas morning. Now that I’m older, I can wait till about 12. But I always had trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve, and would be awake at 7 on Christmas morning, waiting to see what Santa brought. Now, we usually have breakfast and then open them, but I have to admit that it’s hard to wait even a couple of hours!

When do you open presents?

Review: The Visitors

Title: The Visitors
Author: Catherine Burns
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

Review:

This was a very unusual story.

Marion is more immature than a typical spinster. She collects teddy bears. She is very quiet when someone gets mad at her. But she also longs to have a child of her own. Her mother and brother held her back in life by asking her to take care of them. This has made her act irrationally when she’s pushed to the limit.

I liked that the story was told from a third person perspective because it gave an outsider’s view of Marion’s life. I think she would have been distracted as a narrator. She had some disturbing thoughts sometimes when she wished something bad would happen to a person. That was creepy and showed how she was like her brother.

The story about the “visitors” in the basement was so creepy. And it’s sad that this could actually happen. There are women from around the world who are desperate to escape their country so they will move somewhere else if someone says they will pay for them. The only thing they have to go on is a picture on the internet. It’s scary that it is a realistic story.

I enjoyed this story. It’s unique and creepy but entertaining too.

Blogmas – Day 5

The ideas for my Blogmas posts are from a post on the blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. You can see the list of ideas in my Day 1 Blogmas post here.

My favourite Christmas food has to be the turkey dinner. My aunt always makes a delicious turkey dinner with great potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

There are also some foods that we just eat during the holidays. For example, my mom would always make a crab and cheese spread that was just amazing. But we would mostly just have it around the holidays. Food just tastes better around Christmas!

What are your favourite Christmas foods?

Release Week Blitz: Sea of Strangers

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy today!

Congratulations Erica!

Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.

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Giveaway:
Sea of Strangers Prize Pack, including:**
* A signed copy of Sea of Strangers
* A $20 Visa gift card
* A swag pack
**For international: 1 copy from book depository and a $20 Visa gift card

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Review: Stan Lee

Title: Stan Lee
Author: Bob Batchelor
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 15, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Amazing Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. The Invincible Iron Man. These are just a few of the iconic superheroes to emerge from the mind of Stan Lee. From the mean streets of Depression-era New York City to recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Lee’s life has been almost as remarkable as the thrilling adventures he spun for decades. From millions of comic books fans of the 1960s through billions of moviegoers around the globe, Stan Lee has touched more people than almost any person in the history of popular culture. In Stan Lee, The Man behind Marvel Comics, Bob Batchelor offers an eye-opening look at this iconic visionary, a man who created (with talented artists) many of history’s most legendary characters. In this energetic and entertaining biography, Batchelor explores how Lee capitalized on natural talent and hard work to become the editor of Marvel Comics as a teenager. After toiling in the industry for decades, Lee threw caution to the wind and went for broke, co-creating the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and others in a creative flurry that revolutionized comic books for generations of readers. Marvel superheroes became a central part of pop culture, from collecting comics to innovative merchandising, from superhero action figures to the ever-present Spider-Man lunchbox. Batchelor examines many of Lee’s most beloved works, including the 1960s comics that transformed Marvel from a second-rate company to a legendary publisher. This book reveals the risks Lee took to bring the characters to life and Lee’s tireless efforts to make comic books and superheroes part of mainstream culture for more than fifty years. Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel Comics not only reveals why Lee developed into such a central figure in American entertainment history, but brings to life the cultural significance of comic books and how the superhero genre reflects ideas central to the American experience. Candid, authoritative, and utterly absorbing, this is a biography of a man who dreamed of one day writing the Great American Novel, but ended up doing so much more – changing American culture by creating new worlds and heroes that have entertained generations of readers.

Review:

I just started reading superhero comics in the last couple of years. I find the history of comics fascinating! They were always considered a lower type of book, but now they can be high literature.

This book wasn’t as much about Stan Lee, but about Marvel and the comic book industry at the time. There were still great stories about Stan’s innovations in comics. I loved the story in the prologue where his wife convinced him to try and write what he wanted for a change, since he had nothing to lose. The result of that was the Fantastic Four.

I loved the stories about how Stan Lee developed some of today’s most beloved superheroes. His boss didn’t approve of Spider-Man but he published it anyways, and the rest is history. I also love his special touch on comics, where he places himself in the stories. He still does it today when he makes cameos in all the Marvel movies.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a great history of Stan Lee’s career and influence on Marvel comics.