31 October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! Don't forget, it's the last day to enter to win in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

I almost never do anything for Halloween but ever since I read Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood, I've wanted to dress up as her. 

I lucked out and found a thrift store top I could cut up and make into the bodice...

I couldn't find a skirt to go with it so I made a circle skirt (it was pretty easy since I left all the hems pretty tattered... my cats helped rip up the tulle underskirt for that authentic, just-clawed look. 

I think this is the most makeup I've ever put on at any one time, too. My husband was good enough to help me paint my back white and draw some veins on...

That's the front! I decided to leave the neck wound out of it as I'm pretty gory already and also the fake blood takes ages to dry. I didn't want to be scrubbing it off my work desk for the next week.

Here's what I started with. $4 at Goodwill!

Before the blood... really glad I thought to put the dress out on the porch and splatter it at about midnight, rather than wait til morning. If I'd gotten blood all over the car interior my husband would really have killed me (just kidding! but he would have made me scrub it out of the upholstery, probably). I covered it in blood at about midnight and at 6 am everything was still pretty drippy. 

But as long as I didn't get it all over the apartment carpet, I'm going to consider this a win. 

We didn't even get candy for people this year -- oops! We may have to swing by the store on the way home. And I might need some Whoppers and Candy Corn.

Did you dress up, too? What's your costume? Feel free to post links to posts or photos!

If you're on Instagram you can find me @frootjoos and see my dress #aletheadressedinblood

Happy Halloween! Don't make yourself all sick on candy! :D

26 October, 2013

The Last Enchanter Blog Tour & Giveaway - US ends 11/8

Welcome to the official blog tour for Laurisa White Reyes's The Last Enchanter, Book II of The Celestine Chronicles, a fun-filled fantasy adventure series for middle grade readers! Make sure you scroll down to the links near the end of the post to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a 16GB Nook HD, and one for a hand-crafted pewter gryphon pendant.

In Book I, The Rock of Ivanore, enchanter's apprentice Marcus Frye and five other boys set out on a dangerous journey to locate the Rock of Ivanore and bring it back to their village.

In The Last Enchanter, months have passed since they succeeded in their quest. One of the boys, Kelvin, is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Lord Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, the Enchanter Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.

In addition to The Last Enchanter being released on October 15th in hardback, The Rock of Ivanore is also now available in hardback! Both titles can be purchased at bookstores nationwide and online at Barnes & NobleAmazon, and Indiebound. They are also available as eBooks.

Giveaway Time!

Laurisa is giving away a brand new 16GB Nook HD!!!

Click here to enter!

There are many ways to win:

  1. Take a pic of you and your copy of The Last Enchanter--post it on the web (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, a website, etc.) and email the link to: laurisawhitereyes(at)yahoo(dot)com
  2. Follow Laurisa's blog and/or Facebook page
  3. Tweet about this giveaway
  4. Leave a comment below
The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. To enter the giveaway, fill out the form here.
U.S. residents only, please. This giveaway will end on November 8th.

Second Giveaway!

Click here to enter!

Win this lovely handcrafted pewter pendant from Laurisa--just fill out this second Rafflecopter form.

Good luck!

25 October, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage - Review

Publication date: 05 Feb 2013
by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 031619008X | 9780316190084
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Young Adult Mystery/Steampunk
Keywords: Young adult, mystery, steampunk, finishing school, friendship
Format: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Source: ARC via publisher at SDCC

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.


Etiquette & Espionage is Gail Carriger's first foray into the YA market. As a fan of Carriger's steampunk historical Parasol Protectorate series, I was excited to see what she would do with new characters and see what she could add to this world. The cover to this book is also gorgeous, leading to some high expectations on my part.

Unfortunately the book fell short of those expectations. I usually enjoy Carriger’s whimsical and flowery prose, but it soon began to wear on me. Because there is a mystery plot, I expected a lot of action and intrigue. However, I found the story to be slow and not very suspenseful. I never felt that Sophronia was ever in any real danger and I wasn’t as invested in the mystery as I should have been. This book felt more like a middle grade novel to me than YA, with a main character who is only fourteen and a strong focus on friendship with little romance. That’s not to say that I don’t like middle grades books. I like them very much. But I still expect the plot to be engaging and this one just didn't go anywhere.

Despite my issues with the book, I did enjoy aspects of it. Sophronia is a really fun character. She has a curious and rebellious nature and I enjoyed watching her get into crazy situations and then attempt to get herself out of them. There is also some really great world building and it was fun to immerse myself in an imaginative world full of mechanical creatures, werewolves and floating finishing schools. I also loved the friendships that Sophronia forms with her new schoolmates I hope that we get to explore those relationships further as the series goes on.

I did not love this as much as I’d hoped but Carriger has laid the groundwork for what could be a really fun series and I am looking forward to the next installment. Readers new to Carriger’s may want to start with the first book in the Soulless series. Carriger fans will enjoy this one.

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the author online at gailcarriger.com and follow her on Twitter @gailcarriger

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here

22 October, 2013

Catching Fire Manicure + Giveaway (US - Ends 11/1)

Hi guys. A couple of weeks ago I posted about the new Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection that is popping up in drugstores. Being me, I bought all of the nail polishes. Today I want to show you one of the looks I created with these polishes and then we also have a giveaway so that you can own a few polishes from this collection.

This is the booklet that is with the display. It's filled with some really cool looking looks inspired by the districts of Catching Fire.

One of the looks was this fun gradient using several polishes from the new collection. I decided to recreate the look using new shades Black Heat and Scalding Emerald. I didn't look at this picture while I was doing it so it's not exact, but it's close. I think they have you used more more polish from their core line in the look. I didn't have that so I just used the two.

First I painted on two coats of Black Heat on all of my nails. Then I used the edge of a makeup sponge (just one of those regular white triangular ones you can get anywhere) to lightly sponge on Scalding Emerald onto Black Heat, making sure that I built it up so that there was more color on my fingertips. If I had looked before doing this, I think I would have just started sponging closer to my cuticle since it looks like my gradient is a little shorter than what's shown in the booklet.

So that is my Catching Fire inspired manicure. Now it's your turn to win some polishes. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below. US only at this time. Sorry, there's regulations against shipping nail polish overseas and  I don't want to deal with customs. Good luck!

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14 October, 2013

4th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop - US ends Oct 31

4th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop
October 15th to 31st*

Also check out our www.cleverbee.org giveaway too (INTL ends Oct 31)
* we are posting early -- be patient as the other giveaways start soon!

Tell us in the comments: What spooky book would you like to read? If you don't have a specific one in mind, check out our recommendations below or just tell us what spooky topic you would like to read about.

The winner gets to pick 1 middle grade or young adult book of their choice (minimum $10, maximum $20 value) which will be sent by us through Amazon.com. Make sure you use the Rafflecopter widget to enter!

New Spooky YA:

New Spooky Middle Grade:

Good luck!

11 October, 2013

Born of Deception - Cover Reveal


Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.

And now, the cover you've all been waiting for...

Find this book on Goodreads | Amazon

Teri Brown

I’m not sure who to tell you about here because I’m actually two people rolled into one. As a responsible mother of teens, I show one persona to the world. That person is driven, conservative and level headed. But the other part of me just never grew up. She is rebellious, impulsive and curious.

It’s hard being both these people. They’re often at odds.

The mother part of me knows I should put a cap on how many animals we take in. The teen part of me wants to save them all. We have five cats and two dogs. Who do you think is winning?

Even now. The mother part wants to make a meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a tossed salad. The teen part wants to order a pizza, work on my website and check my Facebook.

Luckily, though my two halves don’t always agree, both of us live happily in Portland, Oregon, with a husband and too many animals. And we both love to write and write and write...

Giveaway is open to US Only. | Must be 13+ to Enter

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10 October, 2013

Spotted: Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

Hi, guys! If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen that I found one of the new Catching Fire displays last week from Cover Girl. You can see the display below. This one was touted as the "Agriculture Look," which is an interesting interpretation of it. This display had 9 nail polishes, mascara and a bunch of lip glosses. I was mostly interested in the nail polishes but took pics of the whole display for you guys. 

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

Here are the first five polishes (sorry the last one got cut off). From l to r they are Pyro Pink, Inferno, Rouge Red, Flamed Out, Seared Bronze

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

l to r: Scalding Emerald, Black Heat, Violet Spark, Sulfur Blaze

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

lip glosses galore

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

This is the Agriculture Look

Cover Girl Catching Fire Collection

A fun nail look that uses two of the colors from the collection.

This collection has some new items (like the polishes) as well as items that have previously been released (the mascara). I've tried a few of the nail polishes already and I really like them. Has anyone else spotted this display yet? Is it a yay or a nay for you?

Keep an eye on the blog because I will be posting a nail look I created with some of my new polishes and hosting a giveaway of several nail polish shades. Thanks for stopping by!

Reality Boy by A.S. King - Book Blast

Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth—, which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. 

Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he has tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone is just waiting for him to snap…and he is starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that. 

 In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

A.S. King is the author of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

 She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Dust of 100 Dogs, an adult short story collection, Monica Never Shuts Up, and the upcoming REALITY BOY (2013). 

After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.

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