This past week on FYFA (and in my life):
I’m back from Cancun! We had a fabulous time. My favorite part was definitely the animals—the resort had a beach and pools, but it also had a lot of jungle areas where you could walk the paths and see wildlife. I was in love with the monkeys, coati, capybara and a tiny baby deer that came right up to us and let us pet it while it used us as a salt lick (we were salty from the ocean still). My heart pretty much melted right there and dripped down onto the jungle floor.
And right next to our resort was a place called Xcaret Park where we got to see more wildlife (including a gorgeous aviary and butterfly enclosure) and swim in amazing underground rivers. We also visited Chichén-Itzá, which is an ancient Mayan city, whose temple is one of the seven wonders of the world (it deserves the honor—pretty amazing!). Here are a few pictures:
Unfortuntely, we came home to a bit of a disaster. The plumbing backed up while we were gone and my mom had scheduled a plumber to come. But it turns out, our pipes in our house are messed up and not up to code, so they have to do a bunch of extra work replacing stuff before they can even get to the clog (we had two separate plumbers tell us this). Well, the guys came out yesterday evening, but it’s not going well. The sump pump wasn’t unplugged, and it basically poured 20 gallons of water onto our basement carpet, and they were having a really hard time getting the pipes in properly and in a configuration that works. They finally got that all sorted out, but it turns out, the root of the issue is pipes settling outside, so they have to come in with a backhoe on Monday. This is probably going to end up costing five times what our vacation just cost, so … yeah. We’re not happy. It doesn’t help that Scott is drumming at church this weekend and needs to practice since there are like four songs he doesn’t know, and I had Noah’s indoor hockey Special Olympics state tournament and then had to go straight to a parent meeting for Danielle’s gymnastics team. It’s just a little hectic around here! (Can I go back to Cancun now?)
Here’s what you may have missed on the blog since my last Sunday Post:
Book Blogger Birthdays and Blogoversaries:
Here are the birthdays and blogoversaries for this week! I hope you’ll go wish these bloggers well on their special days! Make sure you check out the calendar to see what you might have just missed or what’s coming up. (If you want to be added to the calendar, it’s easy! Just fill out the birthday/blogoversary form.)
- Nov 17th – Tonyalee @ Vivacious Bibliophile‘s Birthday
- Nov 19th – Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight‘s Birthday
- Nov 21st – Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward‘s Birthday
I got some surprises in the mail over the past two weeks! First of all, I just about squealed with joy when I opened The Toll by Neal Shusterman. You guys know I LOVE him with all of my heart, and it just so happens that I just did a reread of Scythe (via audiobook) in preparation for finishing the series. Thank you, Simon & Schuster!!! (The jacket art for this one was created by Chloe Foglia.)
Then I also received a few middle grade reads as well:
Greta’s Story is a biography of Greta Thunberg and tells about her quest to combat climate change. It’s by Valentina Camerini, translated by Moreno Giovannoni, and illustrated by Veronica Carratello. Thanks to Simon Kids (Aladdin) for this title!
Then I received the fourth book in the official Minecraft Series: The End (so I assume it’s the last?). This book is written by Catherynne M. Valente and the jacket art is by M.S. Corley. Thank you, Del Rey books!
And finally, I got Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun. I requested this one—it’s a contemporary reimagining of Great Expectations, which I remember loving when I was a teenager! (I might have to refresh my memory on the storyline. LOL!) Thanks to Fabled Films Press for this title!
Great Discussions/Goings On Around the Blogosphere:
- Tarissa @ In the Bookcase is hosting A Literary Christmas 2019. Link up your Christmas reads!!
- Check out this post with A Simple Tip for an Engaging and Wild NaNo Novel by E. Hormazabal
- Riveted Lit shares their Favorite Fan Art from Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe Series
- Mike Chen added notes to Here and Now and Then on Goodreads—essentially giving like 15 annotations for the book. I’ve never seen an author do this before, have you? (I think it’s a fabulous idea!)
Listed in order of release date. Any new deals that I just added to the list this week will be denoted with a *** so you can easily find them!
Please note: Almost all pre-order giveaways run “while supplies last,” so they might not be open until the date listed. Pre-0rder early for your best chance to get all the goodies!
- Pre-order THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black from select indie bookstores to receive a signed hardcover of the book and an enamel pin with bookmark. (US or UK)(ends 11/18)
- Pre-order COLD FALLING WHITE by G.S. Prendergast OR request it from your local library to receive a set of four vintage-style propaganda posters. (INT)(ends 11/18)
- Pre-order THIRST by Jill Williamson to receive a water bag with carabiner, a bookmark and cut chapters from Hannah’s POV. (ends 11/20)
- Pre-order RETURN OF THE DRAGON QUEEN by Farah Oomerbhoy to receive a signed bookplate. (INT)(ends 11/25)
- Pre-order STARSIGHT by Brandon Sanderson to receive an exclusive flight patch inspired by the series! (US only)(ends 11/25)
- Pre-order BLOOD HEIR by Amélie Wen Zhao to receive a “Choose to be Brave” sticker, an illustrated bookmark with glossed lettering, and a signed & personalized bookplate with a Book Secret written on the back. You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 11/26)
- Pre-order DEAR AUTHOR by Laura A. Grace to receive a postcard, a bookmark, a sticker, and a personalized mini letter from the author. (ends 12/2)
- Pre-order SCARED LITTLE RABBITS by A.V. Geiger to receive a bookmark, signed bookplate, and graphic sticker. (INT)(ends 12/2)
- Pre-order JUST DON’T MENTION IT by Estelle Maskame to receive a signed bookplate. (US/Can)(ends 12/2)
- Pre-order THE LAST KING OF THE MOUNTAIN by Camryn Daytona to receive a postcard of a map of Illistra. If you purchase a physical copy you will also receive a signed bookplate. (US only)(ends 12/9)
- Pre-order DIAMOND & DAWN by Lyra Selene to OR request it from your local library receive five stunning full-color character cards and a signed bookplate. You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize. (ends 12/9)
- Pre-order THE KILL CLUB by Wendy Heard OR request a library purchase to receive a Blackbird Killer lapel pin, a Blackbird Killer playing card, a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and secret swag. (Form to submit can be found HERE.)(ends 12/16)
- ***Pre-order THE RELIC SPELL by Jimena I. Novaro OR request it from your local library to receive a custom tote bag or a custom journal! (US only)(ends 12/16)
- Pre-order THE NIGHT COUNTRY by Melissa Albert to receive an original Hazel Wood chapbook featuring fan-favorite Finch! (US only)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order A HEART SO FIERCE AND BROKEN by Brigid Kemmerer to receive a designed art print of a quote from the first book. (USA–not PR, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim to receive a 9 X 12 art piece, 3 character cards, a bookmark, & a signed bookplate. (INT)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THAT NIGHT, WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT, HERE THERE ARE MONSTERS, I HAVE NO SECRETS, THE SIMILARS, THE LAST TO DIE, SCARED LITTLE RABBITS or THE LAST WITNESS to receive one of four custom magnets and be entered to win a 6-month subscription to Hunt-a-Killer and a $100 gift card! (US only)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order OASIS by Katya de Becerra to receive an art print and a query critique! You’ll also be entered to win a grand prize. (INT)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THE MAP FROM HERE TO THERE by Emery Lord to receive exclusive bonus content written by the author! (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and India)(ends 1/6)
- Pre-order THE OLD TRUCK by Jarrett Pumphrey & Jerome Pumphrey from BookPeople to receive a signed and personalized copy and an enamel pin! (ends 1/7)
- ***Pre-order A LONGER FALL by Charlaine Harris to receive an exclusive, collectible print of Dixie. (US only)(ends 1/13)
- Pre-order THE ECHOES BETWEEN US by Katie McGarry to receive a limited-edition notebook! (US/Can)(ends 1/13)
- Pre-order A BEGINNING AT THE END by Mike Chen to receive a download copy of the short story ANONYMOUS, which was the basis for Chen’s next novel WE COULD BE HEROES. You’ll also be entered to win a giveaway! (ends 1/14)
- Pre-order DIANA, PRINCESS OF THE AMAZONS by Shannon and Dean Hale, art by Victoria Ying to receive an adorable 2″ Acrylic charm! (ends 1/14)
- Pre-order EVERY OTHER WEEKEND by Abigail Johnson OR request it from your local library to receive a bookmark, a signed & personalized quote bookplate, and an exclusive sticker. US pre-orders will also be entered to win a grand prize! (INT)(ends 1/14)
- Pre-order BEYOND THE SHADOWED EARTH by Joanna Ruth Meyer OR request it from your library to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and 4 character art cards. (TEENS can receive the goodies even if they’re not able to pre-order.) (US only)(ends 1/14)
- Pre-order THIS VICIOUS CURE by Emily Suvada to receive three signed (and personalized, if desired) bookplates and three signed bookmarks – one for each book in the series. (US residents can also get a signed postcard for ordering THIS MORTAL COIL or THIS CRUEL DESIGN.) (INT)(ends 1/28)
- Pre-order DON’T READ THE COMMENTS by Eric Smith OR request it from your local library to receive an enamel pin, a signed bookplate with pixel art, and a laptop decal! There’s also an option for teachers and book clubs to receive a Skype visit or have the author come to your classroom (read the details on his site). (INT)(ends 1/27)
- ***Pre-order THE STARS WE STEAL by Alexa Donne to receive a digital, exclusive bonus short story. US pre-orders will also receive 2 bookmarks, a limited edition art print, a signed bookplate, and a limited edition “half agony, half hope” Persuasion laptop sticker. (US/INT)(ends 2/3)
- ***Pre-order BELOW by Alexandria Warwick to receive a digital swag pack, including complete annotations, an extended scene, Inuit resources used for research, early art inspiration/images/aesthetics, and two scenes from the North series book 2. Paperback pre-orders will also receive a signed limited edition World of the North card. (INT)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order CHIRP by Kate Messner to receive a class set of bookmarks and a poster! (US/CAN)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order THE GRAVITY OF US by Phil Stamper to receive a signed bookplate that’s been sent to space! (US/Can only)(ends 2/3)
- Pre-order HOW TO SPEAK BOY by Tiana Smith OR request it from your local library to receive a X♡X♡ leather notebook, a X♡X♡ tin of mints and a mini bookmark! (US only)(ends 2/7)
- Pre-order THE GOBLETS IMMORTAL by Beth Overmyer to receive a bookmark, a signed bookplate, and a mini replica of the silver sword that makes an appearance throughout the book. (ends 2/12)
- ***Pre-order BREAK THE FALL by Jennifer Iacopelli OR request it from your local library to receive a signed bookmark and a teal Sexual Assault Awareness enamel pin! (INT)(ends 2/17)
- Pre-order CHAIN OF GOLD by Cassandra Clare to receive a limited edition wooden bookmark! (UK & ROI only)(ends 3/2)
- Pre-order CRESCENT CITY: HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J. Maas to receive an exclusive art print! (US, Can, UK, ROI, AUS, NZ, and India)(ends 3/2)
- Pre-order THE KINGDOM OF BACK by Marie Lu to receive a custom book pouch! (US only)(ends 3/2)
- ***Pre-order THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE by Kaitlyn Davis to receive an exclusive double-sided art print! Print pre-orders will also receive a bookmark and a signed bookplate/sticker to attach to your book. (US only)(ends 3/8)
- Pre-order THE EMPIRE OF GOLD by S.A. Chakraborty to receive a set of six pins featuring the tribal sigils of each tribe of Daevabad! (US only)(ends 6/29)
- Pre-order TRAITOR by Amanda McCrina OR request it from your local library to receive pre-order goodies (details forthcoming). (ends 8/24)
- Twitter Giveaways:
- @Danika_Stone is giving away WILDER GIRLS, SWITCHBACK, CAMP TALLAWANDA and more goodies!
- @_becca_donnelly is giving away an ARC of CHIRP by Kate Messner
- On my blog, you can enter the giveaway for the October 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up & Make Me Read It Giveaway, and the November Discussion Challenge and Giveaway.
- Head over to It Starts at Midnight for a chance to win CROWN OF OBLIVION by Julie Eshbaugh
- Head over to In the Bookcase to enter to win a Book Page Snowman from Fold Between The Lines
- Lots of blogs participating in the Gratitude Giveaway Hop!
- Head over to Here’s to Happy Endings for a chance to win ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE, THE LIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD, CORAL, and DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS.
- Head over to Riveted Lit for a chance to win the Riveting Retellings Sweepstakes.
- Head over to Novel Knight for a chance to win 2 copies of THE FOWL TWINS + matching backpacks
- Head over to Stuck in Books for a chance to win a pre-order of EVERY OTHER WEEKEND by Abigail Johnson!
- Head over to Jazzy Book Reviews for a chance to win a signed copy of Grimworld + bookmark, notepad, and pin + unreleased chapter art print
- Head over to Utopia State of Mind for a chance to win REFRACTION
- Head over to Star-Crossed Book Blog for a chance to win an Official “Crow & Hammer” T-shirt from Annette Marie’s The Guild Codex
- AJ @ Read All the Things is giving someone a $100 Book Shopping Spree for Christmas!!
- Head over to BookHounds for a chance to win a FULL hardcover set of THE KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES Series, HEART OF THE MOORS or MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU.
- Head over to Wishful Endings for Tressa’s Monthly Giveaway of an Amazon gift card!
- Lots of blogs participating in the November Of Books Giveaway Hop!
- Read It Forward does a weekly giveaway. This week you can enter to win Such a Fun Ageby Kiley Reid!
- Head over to Bookish for LOTS of giveaways!
Lots of good stuff! Have any giveaways or great discussions happening on your site right now? Feel free to share them in the comments!
OMG I want to go to Cancun too!!!!!!!LOL
Yes. Yes you do.
Well I am happy for the great vacation. We would be most interested in the wildlife also. I’m so sorry about the plumbing issues. I think a little it is good you are busy so you don’t have time to be miserable about it. I hope it is all fixed and you can have a great week reading your new books!
Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post
Oh, you make a good point about being too busy to be miserable. It probably is a good thing!
I’m so sorry that things were a disaster when you got back. Looks like you had a good time on vacation though.
Yes, at least we got a little relaxation before disaster struck (again—I’m starting to think we attract it).
Those pics are stunning. But the plumbing disaster after a wonderful vacation is just unfair!
I know, right? What a way to end our relaxation!
Yikes to the plumbing mess! I hope the backhoe doesn’t have to dig up any of your new gorgeous backyard! I’m so happy you had fun on your anniversary trip. I would love to see all the animals and landscape. But, now you need another vacation after dealing with all the mess.
Luckily, it will be digging in the front. Unfortunately, it is on the side with nicer bushes (I was wishing it would have been to the left of the front door because those bushes are already sort of fading). I hope the landscaping makes it through the experience!
Oh no, I’m sorry about all the plumbing issues! That’s horrible. On the other hand, I AM glad you had a lovely time in Cancun. It looks beautiful and omg that baby deer!!!
The baby deer was a definite highlight of the vacation for me. I was just SO in love!!
I am happy that you had a wonderful celebration with your husband. The pictures are fantastic! But, I am sorry that your pipes are a mess. Nobody wants to come home to that. Talk about buzzkill. BUT, at least you had book mail to soothe the pain, right?
Ha! Yes, bookmail is always a nice balm for the soul. 🙂
Glad the trip was such a success. Your photos are simply beautiful! But sorry that you came back to such a mess. And an expensive one, at that. I hope the rest of the work goes smoothly. I’ve received several emails from GoodReads in the last couple weeks about authors adding notes to books I’ve read. I love reading their annotations!
I had never seen an author do that before—what a great way to share annotations!!
Wow, what an amazing vacation! Sorry to hear it was downhill from there. 🙁
It was definitely a wonderful vacation—I’m glad we got some time to relax in between our craziness around here.
a couple years ago my husband and I came home from a trip to Europe and found our basement was backed up with sewage. Turns out we needed new pipes too. Ended up costing us around 8k for the repair and the clean up.
Looks like you had a great time in Cancun though!
Ugh! I’m sorry that you can relate to my pain. This is one time where my misery does not need company.
Oh no! I’m so sorry for all of the plumbing issues! But the pictures from Cancun are amazing! I’m so glad you had a great time!!
Yes, it was a fantastic vacation!!
Wow awesome pics! Glad you had a great vacation, but sorry to hear about the plumbing issues! That’s awful. That little deer though- so adorable. what an experience!
I need to check out those Mike Chen annotations!
That deer was one of the highlights of the vacation for me—I am just so entranced by wildlife and a BABY animal is the ultimate! 🙂
I want to go back to Cancun! I’ve been to Xcaret and Chichen-Itza and loved both of them. Coming home to a flood would not be fun. I hope that gets fixed quickly. Have a great week!
We weren’t sure what to expect with Xcaret, but it was fabulous!! I would definitely go again.
Cancun looks fabulous, it’s also a universal truth that you need a vacation when you return from vacation.
Wishing you a great reading week, I hope the plumbing issues are sorted out quickly, and the bill not as high as you feared.
Wishing you a great reading week
So true. At least I had a little rest and relaxation before I came home to chaos!
Beautiful pictures!! Soooo sorry you came home to such a mess!!
Thanks!! Hopefully all the plumbing issues will be sorted out later today. I’m ready to go back to “normal.” 🙂
I bet you are!
So nice to have water again! 🙂
Yikes, I don’t blame you for wanting to go back to Cancun. 🙁 I’ve always wanted to visit a Mayan ruin, and Chichén-Itzá is at the top of that list. Sadly the time I went to Cancun (via cruise ship) I wasn’t able to go there.
Good luck with the hectic normal life!
Chichén-Itzá was really impressive. I guess over 2000 Mayans lived there! It’s amazing to realize how they had such advanced societies and knew SO much about the calendar and the stars.
Baby deer !!! ahh it looks so pretty, I wish to travel someday.
oh noo.. ??♀️ Of course something like that has to happens when you’re gone.. and then bring something else you didn’t planned for 😐 oooh darn – now to remove the water from the carpet too, hopefully this is all over now ! (and won’t happen again, now that the pipes are fixed, hopefully!)
We’re actually still dealing with the issue, believe it or not, almost a week later. Turns out, every time they think they’ve got the problem pinned down something else turns out to be wrong! Now they discovered that the actual metal pipe in the foundation is cracked, so they have to replace it, which means chipping away at the foundation to get it out. Hopefully today is the day we have it all settled!! For now, I’ll just focus on thoughts of an adorable baby deer licking me and eating leaves out of my hand.
yes, you can go back to cancun, but unfortunately it will still be there when you come back. looks like you had a great trip. my wonderful and i went there several years in a row for thansgiving. we had a great time and went to chichen itza too. we climbed it and i was terrified. i don’t think you can climb it any more.
No, they stopped allowing people to climb it because in 2017 (or 15?) two people died. One woman fell from the doorway at the top and another got struck by lightning, which led to them discovering that there’s a sinkhole beneath the temple that conducts lightning! After that, they stopped letting people climb. Kind of sad, but definitely understandable.
Your vacation sounds wonderful. Your plumbing problems do not. The joys of homeownership, right? Sorry that it is as big of a mess as it sounds like. I hope you have a good week and enjoy your new books.
Yes, there are so many hidden costs with owning a home, and sometimes they all want to creep out of the woodwork at once!
Ugh. That’s just awful about your plumbing issues.
But… I love the Cancun pictures! Looks amazing. =D
Thanks! I’m definitely glad we had the Cancun trip to destress between all the craziness around here! 🙂
Oh no!!! I’m so sorry to hear about all your plumbing woes. It’s never something simple, right? Ugh. And hello! You need to read THUNDERHEAD! I can’t wait to listen to the last book of that series. I got it right away.
Ha! Well, I’m replying to this so late that you know by now that I DID take your advice and read Thunderhead (and The Toll). Shusterman is amazing. The end.
Oh my goodness that monkey and then the baby deer picture just kills me. They’re SO cute!!! And the scenery is so pretty! I’ve never been there before but I’d love to go someday! And I’m so sorry about your flooding! And hugs for how expensive it all is. I’m going through the same thing with our dogs right now….this one needs surgery for a couple thousand dollars, now the other one does for another few thousand dollars, then countless visits to the urgent section of the vets office and pills on top of it all ack. Emergencies are insanely expensive. Here’s hoping that it’s smooth sailing for you guys and that your December is just filled with lots of happy and wonderful moments!
I was in love with the wildlife! I’m really sorry to hear about your dogs. I hope they’re better now!!!