Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monthly Wrap-Up #1 - MAY

My first month back at blogging is coming to a close. So, it seems only right that I should honor it with a quick wrap-up of what has happened this month . . .

- Reviews - 
"So Shines the Night" by Tracy L. Higley
"Meet Your Match" by Lindzee Armstrong
"Angel Eyes" and "Broken Wings" by Shannon Dittemore
"Feudlings" by Wendy Knight
"Willie Out West" by Rhonda Walker
"Blood Lust" by Alexandra Ivy

- Challenges -
2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge (signed up)

- Authorly World - 
Not much writing this month. I have been working my way through and email Plotting Workshop for my YA Fantasy/Paranormal novel. Also, Husband and I have decided to co-write one of his movie scripts into a novel so I am incredibly stoked about that! 

- Up Next - 
Reviews Scheduled - "Tovi the Penguin Goes to the Seaside", "Jonathon Unleashed", "A Change of Plans", and "Miss Match".

Currently Reading - "Cinder", "The Maze Runner", "To Have and To Hold"

TBR June - "The 11th Demon" and "The Lightning Thief"

That's all for now! I would love to hear how your May went and see what's up next for you in June! 

Book Review #6 "Blood Lust" by Alexandra Ivy

Blood Lust 
(The Sentinels #3)
by Alexandra Ivy
Publish Date: May 31, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance 18+

How Many Stars? 4
Synopsis: Blessed and cursed by their hidden abilities, the Sentinels have no choice but to live, and love, on the edge of humanity . . .

The Sentinel assassin, Bas, is facing the greatest challenge of his outcast existence. His young daughter, Molly, has been kidnapped. But her disappearance has brought the return of her mother, Myst, whom Bas has never forgotten - or forgiven. 

Haunted by a vision that she's destined to create a weapon that will destroy thousands, Myst was never impulsive - until she met the irresistibly handsome Bas. But with the Brotherhood, the enemy of the high-bloods hunting for her, Myst had to stay on the run, to keep her child, and the world, safe. Now, with the most important thing in both their lives at stake, she and Bas must embark on a treacherous journey to save Molly, to confront the truth of Myst's fate - and to face their fierce desire for one another. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge!!!


So I know it's May (almost June) and I'm a little late to the party but I can't wait until 2017 to join up with a challenge like this. It's Dystopian!! Dystopians and Romance novels tie for my favorite genres. I think Dystopians may even come out just a teensy bit ahead. And what better time to start the challenge than just when we're starting #DashnerDash!

So what is on my TBR for this challenge? I'm not going to plan out too many books (because there are bound to be new dystopians coming out this year and I don't want them to get left out just because I have this massive TBR list).

Mailbox Monday #1

Because I bought another book after I posted my Stacking the Shelves (and don't want to forget about it by next week), I'm linking up with the Mailbox Monday group! Want to see what that book was? (and a hint . . . it was part of the $1.99 deal that I told you about in my STS post). It was . . .

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kids Book Review #1 "Willie Out West" by Rhonda Walker

Willie Out West
by Rhonda Walker

How Many Stars? 4
Format Read: Kindle - free for review

Synopsis: Young Willie Walrus leaves his ice home to travel on an adventure to Big West, where the town's citizens desperately need help. Arriving to cheers, he quickly runs into Old Walter, the One-Eyed Whale. Colorful illustrations and action take readers to an old West town where citizens expect Willie to save them. Can he? 

My Scribbles: I read this book to Little Boy and he sat through most of it. Reading the kindle version, I wished that the pictures had been bigger. They were too small to really catch his attention. And I think a lot of the words went over his head. It was a cute story about a walrus going off to save the day because he's bored at home while everyone else seems to be having adventures. I think, when he's a bit older, we will probably try reading this one again. For now, it's a bit out of our age group but still a cute story for kids! 

I received my copy free for review from Book Look Bloggers but you can get yours on Barnes and Noble. Enjoy! 

Book Review #5 "Feudlings" by Wendy Knight

Feudlings
(Fate on Fire #1)
by Wendy Knight

How Many Stars? 5 stars!
Synopsis: Nothing makes a new school suck worse than discovering the guy you're in love with is your prophesied nemesis. 

Ari is the most powerful flame-throwing sorceress ever, and her people's last hope in an ancient war. But she's also a seventeen-year-old girl, and in her free, not-hunting-nemesis times, she jumps from school to school, trying to figure out regular people her own age and pretending she'll get the chance to graduate. 

Shane lives a double life. He goes to school and masters the art of popularity, hiding the fact that he has a fate with a slim chance of his survival. He's destined to end a 300 year-old war by killing or being killed. He knows he's hunted by a powerful enemy who's not afraid to die. Only problem? he has no idea who that enemy is. 

When Ari shows up at Shane's school, angry and sullen and determined to keep him at arm's reach, neither of them realize they are supposed to be killing each other, not falling in love. Until Ari does realize it, and she almost dies - by Shane's hand. 

My Scribbles: It is very difficult to put into words how much I loved this book. I have been raving about it since it came out in 2013. I had a copy from the author but at the time, never got around to reading it because my tablet was abducted by the Angry Birds obsessed :) Once I sat down to read it, however, I couldn't put it down. Upon finishing it, I fell into Ari and Shane withdrawals while I waited for book 2 to come out! 

So why did I love this book so much? Because of the characters. At the beginning of the book, Nevaeh was my favorite character simply because she was so spunky and adorable! I loved her. As the book progressed, though, I got wrapped up in the drama between Shane and Ari. How they were both clashing because they were clearly attracted but were denying it. I loved it! So much amazing drama! 

Toward the end of the book, my favorite character had switched to Will, Ari's brother. It was obvious how much he loved Ari and he was always trying to protect her. Their relationship is one of my favorites throughout the entire book. Well, after Ari and Shane :)

If you're interested in diving into the Fate on Fire series, you can find Feudlings on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #1

So this morning I woke up to an exciting little email from Amazon that said a bunch of popular books were going to be on sale for today only! Of course, I had to check it out! What did I find, you ask? Only my favorite author of all time . . . Rick Riordan! Here's what I picked up for only $1.99 each!! (and remember that is today - Saturday the 28th - only!)


Seeing that The Son of Neptune, the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series, was on sale, I immediately picked that one. They also had many, if not all, of the Percy Jackson books but, as I already have all 5 of those in paperback, I decided to pick something else. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is supposed to be a series about Norse Mythology, centered around an entirely new group of characters than the Percy Jackson series so I was excited to check that one out, as well! I chose the first book, The Sword of Summer, of course. And for only $1.99 a piece? Who could resist that!

The only problem is, now I have to go back and finish the Percy Jackson series. Well, in all honesty, it's been long enough that I should probably go back and read all of them so that I know what's going on. The Heroes of Olympus series picks up after then end of the Percy Jackson series so I don't want to give away what happens in book 5 by starting a new series.

And lastly, I am participating in the #DashnerDash for the next few months as we re-read the entire series while waiting for the arrival of book 5 in the Maze Runner series, The Fever Code! It doesn't come out until September 27 but we will be reading one book a month, starting with the Maze Runner . . . well, yesterday! Each month on the 27th, we will be reading the next book! So I'm heading out to sit in the sun (while it lasts . . . looks like rain) and start re-reading one of my favorite dystopian books of all time!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

(If you'd like to share what you picked up this week, hop on over to Tynga's Reviews and link up!)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What to Read to a 2 Year Old!

I am always talking about what books I am reading, books I have read and loved, or even that amazing best seller I am starting to write (well, hopefully someday it will be a bestseller). But these aren't the only books in my house. Far from it!

For the techy, college-student hubs, we have textbooks galore! Books about computers and programming and math and wow! Most of these things are way over my head. But that isn't the focus of today's post.

Today's post is about what my Little Boy reads. Yes, a 2 year old can enjoy books. I am sad to say that part of his enjoyment comes from coloring on the board books with crayons when Mom isn't looking but he also loves being read to. And I thought I would share a few of our favorites (the ones we have read over and over and OVER again). These books are special to us. These are books he just loves!



"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
"Muddypaws" by Moira Butterfield

I was so excited to find, while looking for a picture of Muddypaws on Amazon, that there is an entire set of these books. Muddypaws has quite a few adventures so I am going to have to pick up a few of those and add them to our Little Boy TBR pile (a teensy bit shorter than Mom's pile at the moment). If you are looking for books to teach your child the alphabet or colors (One Sheep, Blue Sheep is FANTASTIC for color teaching), I highly recommend these books. And Muddypaws is sentimental to us because we have a 6-year-old golden retriever. Not as small as Muddypaws and thankfully not as dirty, either! 

If you'd like more board book suggestions (we don't do anything other than board books right now because he isn't too careful yet), let me know...I have tons! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Book Review #4 "Broken Wings" by Shannon Dittemore

Broken Wings
(Angel Eyes #2)
by Shannon Dittemore

This is a sequel so there may be spoilers in the synopsis or my review. Continue at your own risk...

How Many Stars? 5 stars
Synopsis: Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken. 

Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Book Review #3 "Angel Eyes" by Shannon Dittemore

Angel Eyes
(Angel Eyes #1)
by Shannon Dittemore

How Many Stars? 5 stars!
Synopsis: Once you've seen, you can't unsee.

Brielle went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She's come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt...and an incredible, numbing cold she can't seem to shake. 

Jake's the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption. 

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what's going to happen. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices begin. 

A realm that only angels and demons - and Brielle - can perceive. 

My Scribbles: (this review is from December 2012, being re-posted because the blog no longer exists) 
I received a free copy of this book and I have to admit that I read it because it was one of the best out of the choices I had to pick from. I didn't even know there was a trilogy until halfway through the first book. No future plans to read the other books...it was just a means to an end (yes, that's how I saw it). Read this book, write a review, get to move on to another book. 

And then, about 50 pages into the book, I was shocked by how complex the characters were and I felt myself feeling a little bit sad for Brielle because of all the stuff she's had to go through. And I loved the little Twilight references the author snuck in there. Cracked me up!

I love how, even though this is a Christian Fiction book and God is a very big presence in it (as well as angels, demons, halos, etc), it's not preachy. Even as a Christian, that is one of the biggest turn-offs for me when it comes to reading a book. I didn't find any preachy-ness in Angel Eyes. In fact, I was so sucked into the plot and hastily turning the pages on my Nook to find out what happened next, that I had to keep reminding myself that this is a Christian Fiction book. 

I loved the main characters! It was so easy to want everything to work out for Brielle and Jake (wanting them to hook up, as well). They were so easily likeable, but in a real sort of way. It's not fake. The plot progresses in a very natural way (even though the plot consists mostly of two kids' adventures with angels and demons...what's natural about that?). 

All in all, it was a five-star book! I loved it and can't wait until the second book comes out in a couple months so that I can continue the saga. Loved it!

Update: Since reviewing this book in December 2012, I received the second book, Broken Wings, for review and purchased the third, Dark Halo. 

If you want to check out this series, Angel Eyes, Broken Wings, and Dark Halo are all on Amazon! Stay tuned for reviews of the other two! 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Book Review #2 "Meet Your Match" by Lindzee Armstrong

Meet Your Match 
(A No Match For Love Novella)
by Lindzee Armstrong

How Many Stars? 5 stars!
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Brooke Pierce doesn't need her mom to tell her all boys are trouble. After watching her dad break up the family for a woman half his age, dating is the last thing on her mind.

On the first day at a new high school Brooke meets Luke, the school flirt with a reputation for heartbreak. He's interested. She's not. That only makes him chase her more.

After a shocking revelation from her dad, Brooke and Luke form an unexpected bond, complete with crazy rules to keep them safely in the friend zone. Problem is, that's the worst place to be when you're falling in love.

My Scribbles: So, I signed up for a newsletter and ended up with a free book in a series by an author I know but hadn't read anything by yet. So what do I do first? Go through and see which book is first in the series and do I have it or not? Of course, I now have all (except the pre-order). So, with Little Boy drawing a chalk picture on the chalkboard painted bar in our dining room and Little Girl nestled in my arms, finally fast asleep, I open up my Google Play Books app and start reading.

Well, that was mid-morning. By evening, I had finished this book (it's only a 100-some page novella, to be fair). And the verdict? It. Was. Amazing! I got to the last page and just sat there staring at it. I couldn't believe it was over. And oh, did I ever crave more! If I didn't already own every one that's been published so far, I would have been on Amazon within seconds to get the next in the series. It's that addicting (well, and I might have a teensy book buying problem but shush, no one needs to know that!) Now, here I sit, anxiously writing my review so I can continue on with the series and not worry about giving any spoilers away!

If you want to give this series a try for yourself (and I highly recommend it if you love romance novels), check it out on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! And if you're tight on cash (like I usually am after buying books), stop by Lindzee's website and sign up for her newsletter to get this one for free! Enjoy!

Stay tuned for the next book in the series, Miss Match (No Match For Love Book 1)!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review #1 - "So Shines the Night" by Tracy L. Higley

So Shines the Night
by Tracy L. Higley

How Many Stars? 0 - DNF
Format Read: e-book, received free for review
Synopsis: On an island teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.

She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her. 

But the darkness she fled has caught up with her. 

The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas's exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She's drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings. 

When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul's God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything - Lucas's fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows. 

My Scribbles: Let me say right off the bat that I really enjoy most of the Christian Fiction that I have read so far and I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. And I tried so hard to get into this one. Right away, however, I could not relate to the main character, Daria. I didn't like her at all. She exists in a world where being an educated woman is not something to be proud of. It makes you very undesirable. That did not work for me. Also, I know it is appropriate to the time this book is set in, but most of the names were hard for me to grasp. Daria and Lucas, the two main characters, were easy names (although, in comparison to the rest, they seemed out of place). But the rest of the names were complex enough that I spent more time trying to remember who was who instead of getting into the story, which moved slow enough as it was. 

This, of course, is my opinion. If you enjoy novels set in this time period/region, I am sure you would enjoy this. I would have liked to see the author dive into the romance a little sooner, as I think it would have been easier to get the ball rolling.

If you want to check this book out for yourself (just because I didn't like it doesn't mean you won't love it!), head on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Thomas Nelson.

And stay tuned for the next book review...Meet Your Match (a No Match for Love novella) by Lindzee Armstrong!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why "All the Doodles and Scribbles"? And a Grand Relaunching!

For weeks now, I have been toying around with re-launching my blog. One thing stopping me was always that perfect name. I needed something that I wouldn’t want to change in a week or two. And I wanted something that represented how kid-oriented my life is these days. I love my babies and wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I also needed code names for the kids. Some people are fine with putting everything about their family and their children on the internet. I wanted my kids to have a bit more privacy than that. So when my mom suggested Doodles and Scribbles for the title (even though I changed it a bit to get my domain name), I knew I had my blog name. And for the code names? Well, I went simple. Little Boy for my son and Little Girl for my daughter. I'm sure there will come a time when I will think up something a bit more . . . creative . . . but for now, I am sleep-deprived and well, that's about it. Just tired.

So what is the blog going to be? Well, I will be sharing my writing journey (including the Camp NaNo win I just got!) on my Author-In-Training page, but book tours and reviews will be here (to be honest, BookTubers and bloggers motivate me the most to write). There may be the occasional recipe or post about my adorable little ones (but that will likely branch off into its own page down the road). So mostly, books. Lots and lots of books.

For now, I am only expecting a post once a week at the most, maybe more if I have really super awesomely big news. I haven’t set a date yet but seeing that today is Sunday, I suppose we could just stick with that. So if you’re interested, come on back next Sunday and see what’s new! Until then, take time to enjoy the little doodles and scribbles in your life…