Saturday, November 28, 2015

In Search of Scandal Blog Tour + Giveaway

Welcome to the In Search of Scandal blog tour!

Title: In Search of Scandal
Author: Susanne Lord
Series: London Explorers, #1
Pubdate: December 1st, 2015
ISBN: 9781492623502

All of London is abuzz with the tale of Will Repton. The lone survivor of a massacre in Tibet has returned to England a hero, but the traumatized explorer has no time for glory. Another dangerous expedition awaits. Nothing will deter him from his quest, and no one will unearth his secret—until Will meets Charlotte Baker.

Vivacious Charlotte Baker also has a mission—to find a man whose bold spirit matches her own. When she meets Will Repton, she immediately recognizes him as her soul mate, and she’s naively willing to turn her back on the rules of propriety to ensnare him. Will is torn between his fascination with Charlotte and his vow to finish his quest. He knows what it is to risk life and limb—but what if his most perilous adventure doesn’t lie across an ocean, but within his own lost heart?

Susanne Lord is a writer of Victorian-era romance and author of the London Explorer series published by Sourcebooks.  Originally from Okinawa, off-base and on, she now makes her home in Chicago where she is an active member of Chicago North RWA.  When not writing, attending theater or reading, she enjoys hiking the English countryside and visiting historic homes and gardens.

Buy Links:

I asked Susanne Lord what her five favorite historical scandals are and these are her answers.

1.      What are your top 5 favorite historical scandals?

They’re all rather sad, so I’ll call them my most memorable instead.

1.      The “courtship,” abusive marriage and divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, the Countess of Strathmore to Andrew Stoney is a hair-raiser.  Wendy Moore’s book, ‘Wedlock,’ recounts the poor woman’s story.

2.      The life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, fascinates and saddens me.  Her willingness to allow Lady Elizabeth Foster into her marriage and the child Georgiana had out of wedlock with Charles Grey seems shockingly scandalous, yet she seems to have made the best out of both situations.

3.      Oscar Wilde’s claim of libel against the Marquess of Queensbery that led to his conviction and ruinous imprisonment for gross indecency.  The jailing, torture, and subsequent premature death of one of the greatest talents of the 19th century is among England’s greatest injustices.

4.      Adele Hugo, the tragic daughter of Victor Hugo, developed a romantic obsession with a British officer, Albert Pinson.  Pinson had once proposed to Adele, and she had rejected him.  A change of heart, and deepening mental illness, led her to pursue Pinson through the years, even following him to Nova Scotia and Barbados.  When she was finally returned to her family in France, she was committed to a mental institution until her death at the age of 85.

5.      ‘Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace,’ by Kate Summerscale, was a fascinating book about the Victorian-era divorce petition filed by Henry Robinson against his wife, Isabella.  Henry Robinson suspected his wife of adultery after reading his wife’s diary and her fantasies regarding a married doctor among their social circle.  

Giveaway! Here's a giveaway for a copy of In Search of Scandal. All applicants must be a resident of the U.S. Have fun and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2015

Goosebumps Read-A-Long Wrap-up Video

I had a lot of fun reading Goosebumps books and I hope to do this again some year (not in the upcoming years because college). It was a lot of fun to experience novels from when I was a little. I'll still be posting reviews and discussions of the books until I'm completely finished, but here's a video to talk about each of the books I read.

Let me know your thoughts and comments down below!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Princess & The Penis Review


The Princess & the Penis by R.J. Silver

4 stars

Satire in the form of a light princess tale! I love it! This isn't a thought provoking satire, but it is a fun story that touches upon innocence and shielding children from the world. I really enjoyed Silver's take on a typical princess tale that features a penis, or a lump in the rump.
He blocked all love songs fromm reaching her ears, all romantic stories from passing before her eyes, and even made it a crime to discuss such matters with her.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

The characters are outlandish and fun to read about. There are characters that are showcased in most fairy tales- protective father, a queen who is there, but not really there, a wizard, a priest, and a prince disguised into something else because of a curse.

Character Scale: 3.5

This plot was fun and I highly recommend it because penis innuendos are funny. Plus I giggled quite a bit. This is one of those books that I wouldn't have discovered if it wasn't for Goodreads. Plus it's free and under 100 pages. A perfect read for a rainy day.

Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: The cover is horrible, but the title is definitely going to drawn people in.

This book is free on Amazon and I highly recommend purchasing it

Do you love satires? Are you interested in reading or have had read The Princess and the Penis? What are some satires you love? Leave me comments below and let's discuss!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Goosebumps Read-A-Long Review & Discussion: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight


October is over, but I'm still reviewing the books I read during the read-a-long. I'm having a lot of fun with these books and I'm really happy that I've re-experienced books from my childhood.

Earlier reviews:
Stay Out of the Basement
Monster Blood
Let's Get Invisible!
The Ghost Next Door
You Can't Scare Me!
Why I'm Afraid of Bees


The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight by R.L. Stine

4 stars

The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight is the twentieth Goosebumps novel and even though it's a later book in the series, I think it's one of Stine's best. I remember watching the TV episode of this as a child and it scared me. I had already been briefly introduced to Children of the Corn (I say briefly because I was a chicken and refused to know more) and the thought of corn stalks and rows already scared me. I mean have you seen Signs? I never want to live on a farm or near that kind of setting. My whole childhood I spent driving through country because my family lives there and nothing is scarier than driving past fields of swaying plants that can hide the worst creatures imaginable. Suffice to say, corn and fields have been a creepy place for me.

I think Stine did a brilliant job of playing off that fear of what lurks in rows of a farm. The plot could get a little out of hand and just wacky, but I was so apprehensive about the scarecrows I could care less. I think my imagination is what got me for this novel. Stine isn't the best writer and I think it attributes to him having to dumb down descriptions, but I can easily see these scarecrows swaying in the wind and pulling themselves off of their stakes.

Some people probably won't find this a great read in the Goosebumps series, but since I had a slight fear of the rural settings as a child I felt like if I had read this as a kid, I never would've wanted to visit my aunt again. The thing about Stine is that in this novel he plays off of a real and understandable fear. The scarier things lurk in the dark and in places that are isolated from cities and towns.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5

Jodie and her brother Mark are typical Stine characters. For some reason, Stine loves writing about allergies and Jodie's allergies eventually come back to cause a bad situation in an already horrifying one. I'm not a fan of either of these kids, but I liked the air Jodie brought to the story. She's also one of the Stine's stronger main protagonists. The grandparents are sweet old people who offer an unsettling feeling to the farm. Also grandma is not cooking the kids' favorite foods.

Stanley, the hired hand, is an interesting character. He doesn't mean harm, but he wants to be in control and be appreciated.

Character Scale: 3.75

I think the plot of how the scarecrows awoke was a little ridiculous, but only because Stine wrote it to seem ridiculous. If King or the writers of Supernatural had this plot they could really scare people.

Villain Scale: 3.5

This is a Goosebumps novel I actually think a lot of people will enjoy. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Definitely recommended to those who like creepy atmospheres.

Plotastic Scale: 4.5

Cover Thoughts: Scarecrows can be scary, but they can also look ridiculous.

This scarecrow looks like a grumpy pug. I would not want this in my field.

This one isn't horrible, but I don't think it could even scare crows away. In comparison to the others in these editions it's a better cover.

PUG! But I think that zooming in on his face isn't as scary. I usually love these covers most, but I think the original it's based off of is fantastic.

I don't think this is scary. In fact using pumpkin heads wasn't a great idea. 

TV Show:
The tone of the episode is a lot darker than the usual episodes. It has the usual changes from the book, but I enjoyed the changes in this one. It added suspense and the scarecrow creeping around trying to get into the house is definitely creepy. Definitely a creepy episode!

What are your thoughts on the book, cover, and TV episode for The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight? Let me know down below in the comments!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

October Wrap-Up


I read a total of 26(!) books in the month of October and I can't believe I was able to accomplish that much reading with all that I've been doing. I also contribute that high number to Goosebumps books, but they aren't featured in this wrap-up. I'll be posting one for those books soon!
Books I've Read:
15783514 16101128 120555 2282 235718 25558821 420031 23332877 17876853 15989437 19229046 16691588 22358603  

Total Books Read in October: 26 (15 in this post)
Total Pages Read in October (Not Goosebumps): 2082
Total Pages Read in Goosebumps: 1535 pages
5 Star Reads: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The 5th Wave, The Veldt, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Physical: 8
ARCs: 3
E-Books: 5
Borrowed: 10

What books did you read in October? Have you read any of these books? Let me know down below in the comments!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice Review


Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen & PoTse

5 stars

Pride & Prejudice is a popular beloved classic. It’s one of Austen’s most renowned works and is probably considered one of the world’s greatest loved classics. Merchandise for P&P is everywhere and it makes since that this famous novel would be adapted into a manga format. I personally haven’t watched the movie all the way through or read the book, but I definitely plan to. I’ve only known bits and pieces of the plot and characters, but the pieces I knew didn’t do these characters or the story justice. It’s a beautiful masterpiece and I can see why it’s so acclaimed.

Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

Lizzie and Darcy are probably literatures most loved couple. Darcy is a name that most women fawn over and get giddy over discussing. I can definitely see why he’s a stunner and I totally can’t wait to read P&P to experience more of him. I love Lizzie’s personality and her stubbornness. She is level headed, but also too stubborn for her own good.

Kick- Butt Heroine Scale: 5

Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

I love all the side characters. Lizzie’s family, Bingley, and Lizzie’s friend are all so enjoyable and bring a small presence to the story that I enjoyed.

Character Scale: 5

I definitely enjoyed this manga classic and I’m convinced that P&P will be a book that I will love. Can’t wait to pick it up!

Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I really like the illustration. It’s not amazing, but it’s quite beautiful in a simplistic tone.

Thank you Netgalley & Udon Entertainment for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Pride & Prejudice? What are your thoughts on it? What are some adaptations that you would recommend? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dead Ringer Cali-Style Swag Bag Giveaway!

Jessie Rosen’s debut novel DEAD RINGER is here, and so is Laura Rivers, new girl at Englewood High School. In DEAD RINGER, Laura wants to start the school year with a splash and bring some fun to her new life on the East Coast, but is stopped short by the rumors flying around—rumors about how she’s the uncanny doppelgänger of the school’s most famous suicide victim: Sarah Castro-Tanner.

Regardless, Laura is determined to shake off the weird stares and make a stunning first impression. How? Bright colors, cool accessories, fresh beauty favorites, and a killer attitude.

But Laura may be covering up some secrets with all that California sunshine…

In honor of Laura Rivers and DEAD RINGER, Full Fathom Five Digital is giving away a fabulous pack of prizes designed to give you the Cali-girl look you’ve been dreaming of. Three winners will walk away with Laura Rivers-inspired prizes that, altogether, value at over $400!

How do you win, you ask? Just enter using any (or all) of the methods listed in the Rafflecopter below. The more ways you enter, the higher your chances of winning the CALI-STLYE SWAG BAG Grand Prize!

TWO (2) RUNNER-UP WINNERS will receive:

- One (1) cuff bracelet inscribed with #SWAG from Hearts&Hashtags – in honor of Laura’s mantra during her first day of school at Englewood High (“It’s all about swag.”)

- One (1) set of three girly stockings from Wade & Belle – exactly what Laura wears to the homecoming dance with her vintage Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress

- One (1) Cali Trucker Hat from Billabong – it would totally remind Laura of her sunny Cali days

- One (1) Maybelline lipstick in the shade “Faint for Fuschia” – the same shade Laura wears on her first day at Englewood High

- One (1) “Go Teen” Skin Authority Kit – which Laura would use to maintain her perfect, sunkissed, Cali complexion

- One (1) “FAB Faves” To-Go Kit from First Aid Beauty – perfect for all the on-the-go touchups Laura might sneak in at school

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive:

- One (1) trendy, vintage-inspired Nasty Gal bag – just like Laura would carry at school or bring on a date with Charlie

- One (1) olive-sapphire bracelet in white-gold, provided by Starling Jewelry – blue to match the bluer of Laura’s different-colored eyes

- all of the beauty- and fashion-related goodies listed above!

Rafflecopter HTML:

The giveaway ends on December 2nd, so don’t hesitate – enter the DEAD RINGER CALI-STYLE SWAG BAG GIVEAWAY today!

Curious about Laura Rivers and her story? Read an excerpt from DEAD RINGER and find out more about author Jessie Rosen on

A big thanks to the sponsors for providing the prizes: Maybelline New York, Nasty Gal, Billabong, First Aid Beauty, Starling Jewelry, Skin Authority, Wade & Belle, and Hearts & Hashtags!

Short Stories That I Enjoyed in the Last Two Weeks

Hey, everyone! I've been away for a while. I moved into my apartment, started my intern teaching tenth graders at a local high school, d...