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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever (OMG Classics Series)

Darcy Swipes Left
By Jane Austen and Courtney Carbone
Sept. 27, 2016
Random House
Source: from pub for review
Pride and Prejudice, one of the greatest love stories ever told . . . in texts?!
Imagine: What if Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy had smartphones and dated IRL (in real life)? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!
A truth universally acknowledged: a rich guy must want a wife.
A terrible first impression.
A couple that’s meant to be . . . if they can just get over themselves. #hatersgonnadate
Don’t miss: Lydia taking selfies with soldiers, Mrs. Bennet’s humble-brag status updates, Lizzy texting from her long walks, and Darcy swiping left on a dance card app.
tl;dr Jane Austen’s most famous novel told through its characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for any teen (or any reader with a sense of humor)!
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

Scrooge #worstgiftever
By Charles Dickens and Brett Wright
Sept 27, 2016
Ranom House
Source: from pub for review
A Christmas Carol, one of the holiday’s greatest traditions told . . . in texts?!
Imagine: What if Scrooge, Marley, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and the whole Cratchit family had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol!
One grouchy old man who can’t stop asking “How did you get this number?!”
Three ghosts who communicate in the most modern ways, including one who ONLY uses emojis!
And a status update with the most “likes” ever: God bless us, everyone!
This retelling will cure even the worst bout of Bah hummingbird! #darnyouautocorrect
A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it.


The OMG Classics series offers readers two more hilarious additions, Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever. These Pride & Prejudice and A Christmas Carol retellings are cleverly given a modern, fresh twist by being told completely through texts, emojis, social media postings, emails, and more.

What I love about this series of books, is the way each retelling manages to be cool and hip, yet still captures the essence and timelessness of each story. Both Darcy Swipes Left and Scrooge #worstgiftever are full of refreshing humor, relatable storytelling, and laugh-out-loud moments, but the stories remain as classic and thoughtful as ever. Scrooge #worstgiftever has great gallows humor and a entertainingly and darkly fantastical vibe, but Dicken’s poignant message still shines through.

Darcy Swipes Left is bursting with smart humor, just enough fanciful whimsy, and wonderfully snarky and engaging characters. Lizzy and Darcy’s personalities, so full of wit; sarcasm; and bite, are effortlessly captured through modern language and expression.

These two books, and the others in the OMG Classics Series, are perfect companions to their classic counterparts, especially for teen readers.

MY RATING for both books
4/5 Cupcakes

Monday, August 22, 2016

5th Blogiversary Giveaway!

Word Spelunking is 5 years old today!!

Ahhh, I can't believe I've been blogging at Word Spelunking for five years! It's been an amazing five years, filled with great books, wonderful authors, and the most awesome blog readers and followers in the world...seriously, y'all rock my socks and bake my cupcakes! I still can't believe that people actually take the time to visit my blog, leave lovely comments, and engage in thoughtful discussion.

I've experienced many fantastic things because of my blog, including my career, and I can't wait to see what the next five years will bring!

And to celebrate five years of bookish fun and to thank ALL OF YOU MAGICAL READERS, I have a little giveaway to celebrate...
Win a $10 Gift Card to 
the retailer of your choice!
The winner can choose any retailer, as long as I can email the gift card to the winner.
-open to everyone, everywhere
-ends 9/18
-the winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom Blog Tour {review, guest post, giveaway}

I'm thrilled to have the Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom Blog Tour stopping by today...

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom
David Nelisen
August 9, 2016
Random House
Source: from pub for review
When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.
Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

“Deliciously dark, funny, and foreboding, Neilsen’s first novel delivers with broad appeal.” —Booklist

“Recommended for school libraries that need to breathe life into their traditional mystery collections.” —School Library Journal
“Such deliciously creepy fun! I fell in love with Dr. Fell! So will urchins and whippersnappers everywhere.” —Chris Grabenstein, author of the New York Times bestsellers Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and The Island of Dr. Libris

The abandoned house at the end of the street has long been the chosen hangout and playground for the neighborhood children. But then strange, mysterious Dr. Fell moves in. The children are sad to lose their spot, but soon a magnificent and ever growing play structure is erected by Dr. Fell in his front yard. And with the wondrous playground comes disastrous injuries, ouchies, and booboos...but don’t worry, Dr. Fell is there to miraculously heal them. Soon all the kids and grown-ups in town are under Dr. Fell’s spell...all except young Jerry, Gail, and Nancy. These three kids will brave the spookiness of Dr. Fell to uncover the truth behind his powers.

David Neilsen’s Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is a spooktacular and wildly fun middle-grade adventure! Neilsen creates an atmospheric tale full of humor, fun frights, imagination, and an irresistible villain.

With a snarky, clever, and pitch-perfect voice, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom provides plenty of laughs and amusing storytelling. Young readers will be enthralled by the whimsically dark atmosphere and frightfully fun and age-appropriate scary elements. The wondrous and impossible playground, with its ever growing and marvelous sections, and Dr. Fell’s creeptastic home, make for a thrilling and captivating setting. The story is full of wacky, humorous, and exciting twists and turns.

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is full of awesomely over-the-top and outrageous characters, from a gaggle of absurdly named children and their silly parents. And of course, the strange, kooky, maybe sinister Dr. Fell, is a bad guy young readers will just love and be fascinated by!

My final thoughts: Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is a spooky fun read that will entertain and excite young readers who enjoy fun frights, clever humor, and spine-tingling villains.
4/5 Cupcakes

Dr. Fell and the Cupcakes of Doom
by David Neilsen

I can very honestly say that I have never before been asked to imagine any of my characters as cupcakes. Or, for that matter, as any form of baked goods whatsoever. Be that as it may, I have taken the challenge to heart and now serve up the following menu of literary delectables.

  1. Vanilla is the Finest of the Flavors
Our first joyful concoction is inspired by the always-dependable Gail Bloom. A vanilla cake covered with rich (but-not-too-rich) vanilla frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles, it is the perfect treat for any boy or girl who’s been good and deserves something special. Not quite as daring as other flavors of cupcake, Vanilla is the Finest of the Flavors is happy to wait in the box until most of the other, more adventurous cupcakes have been chosen and eaten, and the eater thinks to himself or herself, “Why don’t I choose Vanilla more often?”

  1. Deviously Delicious
Next up, this red velvet treat is inspired by perky, mischievous Nancy Pinkblossum. Wholesome and pure, it nevertheless gives the mouth a surprisingly bold experience. The soft, smooth red velvety cake with a rich, chocolatey filling is topped with chocolate frosting, but the true surprise is the unexpected sprinkle of coconut on the top. The combination makes each bite an unexpected surprise.

  1. Chock Full O’ Nature’s Goodness
A cupcake with nuts and whole-grain fiber? But, of course! Just because you’re indulging doesn’t mean you have to skip a chance to eat healthy. Inspired by the intelligent-if-underappreciated Jerry Bloom, Chock Full O’ Nature’s Goodness is the smart choice--the cupcake your mother would want you to eat. It is a moderately healthy, gluten-free cake topped with a thin layer of honey--nature’s sweetener. It may not look like much, but it is surprisingly delicious.

  1. The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul
Inspired by the mysterious, nefarious Dr. Fell, this impossibly-rich cupcake is shocking both to look at and to sample. Made with the darkest of dark chocolate and frosted thoroughly with bright purple frosting, The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul easily blends into the forgotten corners of your kitchen. When spotted, one is almost compelled to take a bite. Doing so rewards the sweet tooth with a spurt of the sweetest, fullest, most powerful dark chocolate fudge imaginable flowing from an unformed, gooey center. But one bite is never enough. Once you have tasted The Deep, Black Darkness of the Soul, you are overcome with a desire to swallow the rest whole and reach for another--all the while rotting your teeth with each tender bite.

David Neilsen is a classically trained actor/storyteller, a journalist, and a theater/improvisation teacher for children and adults. During the Halloween season, David can be found telling spooky tales to audiences of all ages, or performing one of his one-man shows based on the stories of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. David lives in New York with his family. Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom is his first novel. Visit him at

We hope you’re enjoying the blog tour for David Neilsen’s Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom! In case you missed yesterday’s post, head over to Book Blather to check it out. The tour continues tomorrow on Reader Girls.

Win a brand new copy of
Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom!
The awesome folks at Random House have offered up one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/28
-the winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes
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