Saturday, April 30, 2016

Children's Book Week Celebration and GIVEAWAY HOP starring Ursula Vernon!

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, we've just about closed the door on one giveaway celebration (the SHOWERS OF BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP via @bookhounds!) and we're stepping right into another.  Hey, you can't blame me considering the week long celebration that's about to commence and when you see the prize pack I have for you, YOU'RE GONNA FLIP (pages that is)!  Should I presume you are ready to get this show on the road?  WHOA there...don't shake the screen so violently....I'm getting a headache!  (^-^)  Ladies and gents, may I present, the next BIG EVENT, and week long bookish celebration...




...THE CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK GIVEAWAY HOP!

That's right!
It's officially Children's Book Week (May 2-8) and while I celebrate kid lit every day with absolutely no shame (if you can't enjoy a great children's read, you've misplaced your imagination), it's fun to refocus the spotlight to bring it to the forefront for the reading world.  The week long celebration is all about the books that brought us to the world of reading, let our imaginations roam, and are just plain FUN!  For more info on the event or events in your area, check out the OFFICIAL SITE.  Now, as for OUR celebration...

We've teamed up with over 50+ blogs once again via BookHounds (You rock!) to give YOU a chance to win some truly fantastic titles.  At the end of this post, you'll find a linky list to the other awesome sites that you should definite pay a visit to, but first, MY GIVEAWAY.  Once upon a time (*ahem* last week or so), I received an email from Rachel over at Penguin Young Readers (Hi, Rachel! ~waves~).  In it, I found an inquiry about a review copy I received, the offer of a forthcoming one...and an AWESOMELY AMAZING CHANCE TO BRING YOU INTO THE FANDOM FOLD OF AUTHOR URSULA VERNON'S WORLD.

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Recognize the name?
You most certainly should!
She is the creative mind behind such works as Castle Hangnail (on my to read list), the Danny Dragonbreath series (have read a few, trying to collect them all!), and her latest creation, the Hamster Princess series (so much fun!).  Of the latter, I've read the first two (reviews to come this week!), and I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the THIRD book this October, Ratpunzel!  If you can't tell from the title, they are a sort of "fractured fairytale" with a graphic novel quality but PLENTY of pages of wordy fun to revel in.  In short, they are AWESOME and something readers of all ages can totally get into...same goes for Dragonbreath.  While one may appear to be geared towards boys and the other towards girls, they have something for EVERYONE in each and TONS of snarky (kid friendly) humor to boot!  Now, later this week, we'll be catching up with the author (~jumps for joy~), but for now, YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN AMAZING PRIZE PACK will have to suffice.  ^-^


The PRIZE PACK OF AMAZINGNESS...
(1) person wins (1) copy of EACH of the following...


Castle Hangnail





Hamster Princess Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic Hamster Princess: Ratpunzel

 Hamster Princess...
Book 3:  Ratpunzel (advanced copy)





Dragonbreath Dragonbreath #2 Dragonbreath #3
Dragonbreath #4 Dragonbreath #5

Danny Dragonbreath...





.....have I got your attention?
Deep breaths...
...in, out...
...in, out...
...you good?  Awesome.

Now, time for YOU to ENTER TO WIN and then get to hoppin' to the other fabulous sites of bookish fun participating in this event.

The rules...
*MUST fill out the Rafflecopter form
*OPEN to US residents only, no P.O. Boxes please
*WINNER will be contacted at contest end and have 48 hours to submit their full name and mailing information to be sent to the publisher for prize send out.  If the information is not received in the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.
*SFIR is not responsible for lost prizes.




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Special thanks to BookHounds for hosting this hop.  (THANKS!)  For more information on these titles, the author, the publisher, or our host, feel free to click through the links provided above.  Remember to stop in all week for more Children's Book Week fun!
Now, get to hoppin'!









Secrets of Sand Mountain by Philip C. Elrod

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.



Today's featured title is a work of Southern Literature that unfolds like a hot summer day...slowly and up long into the night.  It doesn't mince words, nor does it lack in character (or characters for that matter), but it does take you on a journey through the life and times of those in Campbell Crossing that will stick with you long after the last digital page is turned.  So grab some sunscreen and remember your manners, we're traveling below the Mason Dixon line to check out today's book of choice...





Secrets of Sand Mountain


by
Philip C. Elrod
9781519707222


About the book...
Serene and beautiful on the outside - fires raging beneath the surface. Moonshine, murder, an escaped German prisoner of war....from the tiny town of Campbell Crossing to Cuba's glory days as playground for the rich and unscrupulous, to post war England. The Secrets of Sand Mountain stretch out their tentacles, weaving a complicated web, and leaving none untouched and at least two dead.



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Initially, it was a little hard to get my footing in this one...but I was hopeful, so I pushed on.  Was I rewarded for my efforts?  Ten fold my friend, ten fold.




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Philip is our initial narrator, divulging the details of his summer afternoons spent with friends, avoiding chores, and bringing back to life his Aunt Vi.  The first two are expected for a "man " of his years, but the last is the one that has the most impact on EVERYONE.  You see, Aunt Vi was living a half life for some time thanks to a tragic heartbreak in her past that she never quite got beyond.  All it took to break its spell, a strand of pearls, the love of her family, and an escaped POW.  Confused?  Sorry, but you'll have to remain so for now because to really get into any of that in detail will reveal far too much of a story that is meant to be savored, not summarized.  Suffice it to say that Aunt Vi is a much more vibrant woman than most realize and it's going to pay off in the end for everyone she holds dear...including a new "friend" that unexpectedly steals her heart.  Add to all this, a volatile family life/history, relatives with bad intentions crawling out of the woodwork, a black sheep becoming a horse of a different color (or at least higher held in esteem when viewed in a different light), gangsters and power, flights of fancy and necessity, second chances at love, and a whole heap of adventures to tide anyone over in life.  Some experiences are good, some are great, and others are things we wouldn't wish on our worst enemy, but you're among good people (for the most part) with good intentions (again, for the most part), so take the journey for what it's worth and travel their life path knowing you're in good company.  Now, on to something else I needed to note...




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The length of the work is listed at well over 400 pages on GoodReads, which differed from my e-version, but nonetheless there was truly more than enough content to have turned this ONE book into a trilogy and be thoroughly contented with the result.  As it is, the work is spilt into three (well, technically four) sections.  The first is told by Phillip, the second by Aunt Vi, the third by Karl, and the last by Phillip once again.  Each chapter or section (aside from Aunt Vi and Karl...those could be together) could have easily been a separate novel, thus allowing the slow pacing of the story to march forward through all aspects of the book.  In its current form, the first portion spans part of a lifetime, the second and third but a smattering of months, and the fourth several dozen years down the line.  While I still enjoyed the work, I felt a bit cheated by the final portion when it jumped ten years down the line.  It almost felt rushed like the author decided to stick a fork in it and call it done without regard to the reader hanging on every word.  For balance, I say the break up of the work is needed....or perhaps the first part needs skimming down, though I would hate to lose integral parts of the story as that is how you grow to know and love or loathe these memorable characters.




In the end, this is definitely a Southern Lit title you don't go into lightly. It has depth and builds connections with several of the key characters through a lifetime of situations, floundering and ultimately finding where you belong. One (of many) messages to take away: Family is not blood alone but those we choose to keep close to our hearts.  Recommended read for older teens through adults due to some violent content; nothing over the top, but still...violence is violence. 










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About the author...


Philip C. Elrod


Phil Elrod is an author living and working in Texas. He was born and raised in the Southeastern United States and has a great fondness for the people and places of Alabama. He has also authored science fiction books and articles on data collection, computer technology and the technical trading of
securities. His interests include astronomy, RV travel, international travel, and photography.





SITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK









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Special thanks to author Philip C. Elrod for the eBook for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or his works in progress, free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on at a virtual retailer of your choosing.




Until next time...happy reading!












Friday, April 29, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The War of the Words by Amy Neftzger - REVIEW + CONTEST!

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to the Friday edition of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Well, you've made it through another week and so have I...sorta.  Yeah, life is still a bit of a train wreck right now but I'm working through it.  One day at a time.  Anywho, enough about me, you came for the books...am I right?  Of course I am!  ^-^  Hey, who could blame you...

Today, we're playing host to an iRead Book Tours promotion starring a Young Adult Fantasy that will have your mind reeling, your thoughts spinning, and leave you contemplating TRUTH in its many forms.  Curious?  As was I, after reading the synopsis on this one, and with good reason.  Ready or not fair readers, we're diving in head first (because we're daring like that) between the pages of today's book of choice...


The War of Words

by
Amy Neftzger
9781940894201
Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc

About the book...
Sometimes there's no better way to understand reality than through fantasy, and the best way to find truth may be in a book - if you can find the right one.

Battles against darkness, a quest for truth, and a search for the book that no one can read are all part of the fantasy adventure in The War of Words. As an evil sorcerer wages war by using mysterious shadows and seeks to gain control by confusing the residents as to what's real and what isn't, the fate of the kingdom rests in the hands of Kelsey and Nicholas.

As the youngest officer in the king's army, Kelsey fights the evil sorcerer s shadows on the battlefield as she explores the kingdom searching for the key to winning the war. Nicholas, a young sorcerer in training who is mastering his craft, discovers how the right words can change the course of the future.

Explore an enchanted maze, uncover the power of words, and learn about friendship in this whimsical tale.






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It had moments of greatness with word play, wisdom, and wit, but there were also vast amounts removed from that spotlight altogether.  Allow me to dig a little deeper...

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Character wise, Kelsey was a strong leading lady, despite being young in years.  She was brave and loyal, curious and truthful, never met a challenge she wouldn't face nor a foe she couldn't best.  Her interactions with the Sisters of Wisdom proved the depth of her character, especially when a gift was bestowed upon her to help shield her from the chaos erupting all around.  Nicholas was certainly pure of heart and intention, plus a huge help in attempting to solve the dilemma at hand, but I don't really feel like we grew to know him that well.  I felt closer to Newton (his gargoyle sidekick) than I did to him, and considering he was more there as a sounding board and (at times) comic relief, that's not exactly what I was expecting. 

Story wise, the linguistic ideas explored are where we get a bit muddy, heavy, and intriguing all at the same time.  The idea of how not having a universal meaning of a word can disrupt more than a simple conversation is pretty big; the way it is portrayed on the battlefield may be startling but definitely gets the point across.  It speaks to our desire to use our language but also the freedom with which we mold it to our liking.  How often is there a new catchphrase going around?  That's hot.  So fetch!  You're bad!   None of which mean anything close to what is actually SAID.  Enter...okay, not exactly chaos in those examples, but you get the picture.  It shows how words have power and we best be careful how we use them lest they grow bigger than us or lose their wonder altogether.

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In the end, it was a mixed bag for me.  While I enjoyed the idea, I can't say the deployment of said ideas was as grand as I was expecting.  Still, it can't be counted as a "loss" either because there were many times that I found myself wanting to capture a few phrases here, share an exchange there, and otherwise commemorate the event or understanding that was just revealed.  It's simply a case of how the words spoke to me.  Will your experience be the same?  I can say "not exactly" with certainty because no two people can read the same book and have carbon copy experiences...it's the nature of the beast.  So I say with a full heart, go forth and try it for yourself!  Who knows?  It may turn out to be your next favorite read!

Recommended for Young Adult fans of the teen to adult age group as it's pretty heady at times and though words can be wielded by anyone at any age, it'd be easier to follow with some experience under your belt.



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About the author...

Amy Neftzger author pic

Amy Neftzger is the author of fiction books for both adults and children. She has also been published in business and academic journals, as well as literary publications.

A few of her favorite things include traveling, books, movies, art, the Oxford comma, and gargoyles.



Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook



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Special thanks to Laura at iRead Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Fields of Gold Publishing, Inc., so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.


BEFORE YOU GO....


Until next time...happy reading!






Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
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