30.11.15

8 Christmas Giveaways!

Hey guys, I am doing a fun Christmas giveaway on my twitter but I thought I'd lay down the law (rules) in one convenient post so that everyone knows what's up and can fairly participate.

I am hosting 8 giveaways over the course of 18 days in December with the last one ending on December 18th. This is for hopes that your prize will arrive to you BEFORE the holidays, but honestly I cannot guarantee that.

My first giveaway goes live at 8am EST on December 1st. Some of the giveaways last a couple days, some a couple hours, so be sure to get your entries in so you don't miss out on a prize you really want! Some of them may even have secondary prizes depending on my mood! Because I have lots of stuff and I love giving presents. 

To choose my winners, I will be using Competition Agency and will in no way rig the competition so that one person wins over another. This is all about being fair and equal! 

All my tweets are already scheduled (and have been since the beginning of November when I was first coming up with the idea). I will do my best to pin the current competition to my Twitter page but no guarantees. December is a busy month for me! Also, once a competition ends, the next giveaway will go live approximately 10-15 minutes after so keep your eyes peeled!

The majority of these giveaways are International, but there is one that is Canada only! Please read the tweets carefully. Also, all funds are in Canadian dollars because that's how my money is. I think there are only two giveaways that this actually matters for, but just thought I'd let you know.

I have explained the rules on Twitter, but I am going to reiterate them here:
  1. You have to Retweet the tweet for the prize you want to win
  2. You have to be following me on Twitter
  3. You have to be 18+ or have parental permission to enter as you have to give me your address in order for me to mail you your prize
  4. You have to respond to me within 48 hours to claim your prize; if you do not, I will redraw.
  5. You can only win once! If you enter the first giveaway and win, awesome! But that's it. You cannot win another giveaway and your next entries will not be valid. There is one day that I will be having two giveaways at once, so I will not penalize you if you win one and have entered in the other. However, if you win the first one and "win" my last giveaway, I will still send you your first prize, but you will be banned from entering/winning any of my future giveaways.
All these prizes are on me. I am not being sponsored in any way, shape, or form to be hosting these giveaways. I am choosing books/bookish things to promote that I enjoy and want to share my love of them with you.

I'm looking forward to sharing all this festive joy with you guys! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favour. Especially for my last giveaway!! It is the one I am most excited about.

I think that's it. If something is unclear or if you have a question, please feel free to either tweet me (@booksandladders) or email me (jkramer@booksandladders.ca). But I will not answer questions about what the prizes are because I want them to be a surprise!

29.11.15

Guest Post of the Month: There's Things Outside of Blogging?


Guest Post of the Month is a monthly feature brought to you by Emily at Emily Reads Everything. She matched us up with partners to write guest posts on each other's blogs every month! I am so lucky to be matched with Melanie from One Less Lonely Blog who is AWESOME. She has written me (and by extension you guys) a lovely blog post about what she does when she's not blogging. Her answer seems pretty similar to mine (not much. When did blogging take over our lives?) Without further ado, here is her lovely blog post for y'all!
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When I say that books are my life, I'm not saying it to seem cool or because is a joke. I say it because, it's true, my life revolves around books. 

 4 Things I Do When I'm Not Blogging.

1. I'm a bookseller!
         I work in a local book store. I love my job. I get to meet other readers and recommend my favorite books. We have a YA book club hosted by Epic Reads where besides the book discussion, we do a Skype session with the author of the featured book. I moderate those reunions and it's my honor to work in such project.

2. I chat with my blogger friends.
          Being a book blogger has its perks. I have come to meet other bloggers who are very close friends now. Some part of my time is spent talking to them mostly about books.

3. I write.
          Writing is my one of my favorite things to do. My dream since I was a little girl was to write stories. Now, though I haven't finished any draft, I am writing a few novels at the same time. It's crazy but I love it and I've mastered the art of not forgetting the ideas that comes to my mind. You'll always see me carrying notebooks to take notes.

4. I got to college.
          Do I?  Yes!  After running away from my real dream of being a writer, I finally accepted that dream and decided to go back to college to study English Literature.

5. The obvious: READ.
          Because I need to have material for my blog, because I can't live without it, because I love it, I read. 

27.11.15

ARC REVIEW: NIGHTGLORY by Mathew Babaoye

NIGHTGLORY

Author: Mathew Babaoye
Source: eARC via the Author
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 27, 2015
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary:
WILL, POWER, AND TITLE

The wider world is a place of magic and adventure, host to a number of different ancient races which bicker and war and love, all to their own passions.

But within that wider world are various magical Realms each metaphysically bordering different geographical locations rich in Power and history, each existing separate from all else, and each ruled by councils, covens, Faen courts, or the wild law of nature.

In the Realm called the forest vale by its oldest, Faen residents, and the Night Realm by its nearly mythic usurper Goldenslaughter, the Queen of Night, a balance as old as the Realm itself has been long upset, and a reckoning long overdue is coming for them all: big or small, brave or cowardly, human or Faen, good or evil.

So prepare for love, loss, adventure, and mayhem, all in a magical land where anything is possible…

The Night Realm.
Purchase
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this one. I thought the plot was strong and the characters were well developed, but all of this was definitely overshadowed by the actual writing style. I'm not a fan of purple prose and this semi-fits the bill for that one. It was distracting and really took away from the story for me. The best parts were when there was a lot of the story and text together because then I got a clearer picture of what was happening. 

I loved Goldenslaughter's journey and how she came into herself. I liked seeing how power can corrupt and what titles can do to a person. I liked that there was more to this story than just being set in a Fantasy world. But, again, the writing style impacted my reading of this one. I definitely got more used to it as I was reading along, but I didn't get into the swing of things until about 60% through. 

A lot happens in this but it is quick to pass you by because you get so immersed in what Goldenslaughter is doing to attempt to save herself and her Power. I loved seeing how hard she was trying to right things only to lose more and more of herself. I would have liked a bit more about the other Realms and what the other Powers were and entailed. I thought the world building could have gained a bit more by including some of this explanation but I am hoping that there are more stories set in this world for me to explore other points of view and characters. I just really liked this one. If you're looking for something a little different, I highly recommend this one.

24.11.15

ARC REVIEW: TEMPER by Beck Nicholas

TEMPER

Author: Beck Nicholas
Series: Lifer #2
Source: eARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication Date: 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
FREEDOM COMES WITH A PRICE.

Free from the spaceship and reunited with Samuai, Asher should be happy. But thoughts of her dead family weigh heavily on her mind.

Things worsen when temper problems in camp lead to a murder. When Asher volunteers to get the drug need to calm people down, tension ignites.

Loyalties are questioned.

Jealousy rears its head. Sparks fly.

And when rumor of a second ship hits close to home, all bets are off.


Have the aliens returned? Is this the end of everything Asher has ever known?
Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I reviewed the first book in this series, LIFER, as part of the blog tour. Then I was lucky enough to get a super early version of this book to read and review. Which was awesome because as much as I was skeptical about LIFER, both Dani from Dani Reviews Things and I agreed we needed to read the rest of the series to find out what happened. And boy am I glad I did just that.

Where I thought LIFER was your typical dystopian novel but too "squished" together to be unique, TEMPER blew it out of the water. The beginning 25% was a little slow for me and I found myself rolling my eyes at Asher's interactions with both brothers, but once the plot moved into what the story arc was for this book, it really shone.

23.11.15

BLOG TOUR: FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Today on Books and Ladders, I have an intriguing and beautiful 
Guest Post
by the wonderful 
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
whose debut novel 
FIRSTS
will be published on January 5, 2016! If you haven't already seen, I reviewed this book over on Queen of the Bookshelves (and gave it 5 stars because it was flawless). Laurie's guest post today is all about toeing the line between what makes a decision and a mistake. Thank you again to Laurie for writing this beautiful post for me! Be sure to check it out below. But first, let's learn a little bit about the book...

FIRSTS

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes nrver had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Preorder:
The Fine Line Between Decisions and Mistakes

“I take a deep breath and recall one piece of advice from Kim. The only piece that ever held weight with me. Always lift your chin up high when you did something wrong. Because you might know you did something wrong, but nobody else has to.”
—FIRSTS

When I started writing FIRSTS, I knew I wanted to write something bold and challenge myself to not hold anything back, and I also knew I didn’t want to write a book with a “moral.” I write for teens—to give them stories they can relate to and help them feel less alone, not to pass judgment or teach lessons.


21.11.15

REVIEW: SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead

SOUNDLESS

Author: Richelle Mead
Source: Purchased from Kobo (why)
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Summary:
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.


Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever....
Purchase:
"Chinese Folklore" my ass. Also, "Fantasy" my ass. This was just a weak ass attempt at creating something diverse. And I know so many people probably picked it up thinking "Oh! A book about Chinese Folklore! So cool!" and will be reading it saying "okay so when does that actually happen?" Because the "Fantasy" and the "Chinese Folklore" don't make an appearance until about 90% through the novel. In fact, it's the last 3 chapters. 

The characters were flat and the romance was dead. I would have called this one more science fiction than anything because of the "dystopian" aspect of it. Which leads me to, why the fuck would the artists be revered and the miners be given less portions when it is the miners who are giving the supply of materials that actual gets the people the food. How does that make sense. Wouldn't they need the most food to be strong to get the metal?

I have so many issues with this one but I'm just done. Here are some other reviews that say it better than me: 
Emily May from The Book Geek
Khanh from The Book Nookery
Riley from Riley Marie

20.11.15

BLOG TOUR: THE SISTER PACT by Stacie Ramey || Excerpt + #GIVEAWAY

THE SISTER PACT

Author: Stacie Ramey
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 3, 2015

Summary:
Who holds your secrets?
Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide- and it's not just because she missed her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they'd always be together, in life and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why.
Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief.
But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie's not sur which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister's death or facing her new reality without her.

Purchase
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I think what I liked about this one was the realness to it. How raw and vulnerable it felt. I liked that it never shied away from the fact that Allie was clearly depressed. She went through all the typical norms that you see: bargaining, denial, finding her vice, etc. I liked that Allie found herself through art but not in a pretentious way. Art was just another tool for her to immerse herself in.

I liked the portrayal of the secondary characters because they felt like people you would know in high school. People suck some times and I felt like Allie's "friends" were nothing more than just people who wanted to be around her.

19.11.15

Happy Book Birthday FIRE FALLING by Elise Kova!

http://elisekova.com/happy-book-birthday-fire-falling/  
Today is November 19th! That means it is officially the release day of FIRE FALLING by Elise Kova! 

Title: FIRE FALLING
Author: Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #2
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: November 19, 2015

Summary:
Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?


Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?






https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26047438-fire-falling
Purchase:

18.11.15

BLOG TOUR: OF DELICATE PIECES by A. Lynden Rolland Excerpt + #GIVEAWAY

Hello and welcome to my blog tour stop for OF DELICATE PIECES by A. Lynden Rolland! Find out more about the book, read an excerpt, and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book! 

Title: OF DELICATE PIECES
Series: Of Breakable Things #2
Author: A. Lynden Rolland
Publication Date:  October 20, 2015
Publisher:  Month9books

Summary:
Settling into her second year of death, Alex is ready to explore her limitless mind in an afterworld that changes each day, but she still isn’t resting in peace.

The ‘gifted’ are humans who see spirits and have the same extraordinary mental powers, though they aren’t considered equals. Centuries ago, Alex’s family led the movement to keep the living and dead separated, but the gifted believe Alex is a reincarnation of their slain civil leader. When they begin to break down the barriers that protect the city, the afterworld becomes dangerous and vulnerable to exposure. The living and dead both want to use Alex for their own gain, but what they don’t realize is that neither side will want her when they find out who she really is.

In the afterworld, nothing stays buried for long.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23344390-of-delicate-pieces
Purchase:
Amazon | B&N | BAM | Chapters | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
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--     
 One of the recurring topics in Of Delicate Pieces is the idea that memories are the most valuable things we have. I decided to turn memories into something physical and equally as valuable. Another new character is Yazzie, the memory miner. He explains his mine here:

“What's a memory mine?”
“Exactly what it sounds like.” He looked up at the sky. “When a body dies, whether the soul comes here or not, the energy has to go somewhere. Think about how strongly you love something, or how strongly you hate something. That doesn't disappear when you die. The energy travels until it finds something to latch onto. When the bodied rushed to California for gold, the spirited rushed here to my mine for the memory stones. But my people, living and dead, we always knew the land better than anyone. We were here long before anyone else.”
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OF DELICATE PIECES is the follow-up to A. Lynden Rolland's 
OF BREAKABLE THINGS.

17.11.15

REVIEW: OUTSPOKEN by Lora Richardson

http://booksandladders.blogspot.ca/p/reviews-from-to-z.html

OUTSPOKEN

Author: Lora Richardson
Source: Digital copy via the author
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Rating: 3/5

Summary:
Penny Beck is a girl who says yes when she means no. She keeps to herself, follows the rules, and does what she's told. After a disastrous experience with her boyfriend, she's determined to change from the spineless person she's always been into the strong woman she wants to become. All she needs is a little practice. On a cross-country trip to check on her grandpa, she strives to become bolder and more outspoken with the strangers she meets. Penny's plan is to practice saying and doing what she wants without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Then she meets Archer, an introspective loner to whom she finds herself drawn. She realizes she does care what he thinks, very much. Will Penny be able to stick to her plan, or will she revert back to her people-pleasing ways?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28797115-outspoken?ac=1&from_search=1&from_nav=true
Purchase:
Amazon
Disclaimer: I receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For those of you who are considering to read this novel there are major trigger warnings for rape. It is mentioned twice in the book, once at 41% and once near the end, probably around 86%.

16.11.15

#TheShelfieHop

The Shelfie Hop is hosted by Bookiemoji and My Friends Are Fiction

Hey guys! This post is going to be a little different than most because it is all about my bookshelves! As you guys know, I religiously shop at BookOutlet (both online and in store!!) so my shelves are STUFFED with books, so I thought I would sign up for this blog hop to show you guys my shelves (mostly to make you guys a little jealous to be honest). I have five shelves but am only going to show you the ones I have in my bedroom. I took it upon myself to decide that I would rather have pretty shelves than all my books on shelves. However, this means that I do NOT have a shelf for all my science fiction books, so if you were hoping to see those, I'm sorry to disappoint you. They are on the floor in my spare bedroom so they will not be featured in this post.

I had you guys vote on Twitter for the four shelves that you wanted me to feature and they were my Shadowhunter shelf, my Signed books shelf, my Harry Potter shelf, and my manga shelves. So I will go into depth about those, but will still be posting pictures of my complete bookshelves! I have a couple special editions of books that I will point out as I go along, but I will not be listing every book on my shelves (it would take me literally hours upon hours). If you look through the pictures and want to know what a specific book is, just ask! I will be more than happy to let you know! 

One last thing before we get to the pictures, I have my shelves done by genre and then by author name. You're only going to really see my fantasy shelves and my manga/mystery shelf (because my contemporary/historical fiction shelf is a DISASTER that I could not clean up before this -- and as stated above I don't technically have a Science Fiction shelf), but I have two shelves just for fantasy books so that makes it okay, right?? Okay, I'm done talking, look at pictures now.

In my room, this is technically my "first" shelf. 
This is the start of my Fantasy books organized by author last name starting with "A" to "I". I also have my The Hunger Games Funkos on top of this shelf because, as stated before, I don't have a shelf for my Science Fiction books and I didn't want them to get ruined.


You guys voted on Twitter to see my Shadowhunters shelf which resides on this first bookcase! It features all the TMI and TID books plus my copy of THE BANE CHRONICLES and the hardcover of THE SHADOWHUNTERS CODEX
I am currently missing my hardcovers of TID (which are on loan to my aunt) and I still need to pick up the new versions of TMI and a paperback of CoHF to match my others, but this is what I have here. 

15.11.15

BLOG TOUR: EARTH'S END by Elise Kova COVER REVEAL + #GIVEAWAY

http://booksandladders.blogspot.ca/p/blog-tours.html

Hello and welcome to a COVER REVEAL. Today I am featuring the cover of 
the third book in the AIR AWAKENS series by Elise Kova.

As I'm sure you've seen, the covers for this series are GORGEOUS and done by the ever wonderful Merilliza Chan. I feel like with each new cover I see, I fall a little bit more in love with Merilliza Chan to be honest. Keep scrolling after the cover to see an interview with the artist about her process, background, and her favourite cover from the series!

ANYWAY, you are here for the cover, so I shall give you the cover. Scroll to see!

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