Friday, November 6, 2015

ABC Challenge Week 1

Week 1 Update:

I guess it really has been a week hasn't it, and one that has sort of been all over the place. You know its a problem when you forget to wear jeans on casual Friday, because it is something that you look forward to every week.

I started this challenge out with Air Awakens by Elise Kova, there is a very specific reason why. I think she is one of the sweetest authors I have encounter on Twitter. I hear bloggers rant left and right about this book, so I thought this was a good bet. It was a fast read as well, finished it in almost one sitting, meaning I could have sat a read it probably in a good 2 hours of no distractions, doesn't really work that well though. My review will be separate, but I loved the book. The premise was a familar one, meaning I probably have picked up a another book along the same story lines. It did actually remind me a little of Robin McKinley's Blue Sword story.

Beauty and the Werewolf is book 6 in Mercedes Lackey's Five Hundred Kingdoms series. They describe these books as fractured fairy tales. The little review I wrote on Goodreads, just says I loved every one of the books that I have read in the series. Which I think is a feat to have read almost all of them because I am terrible about finishing things. I haven't picked up the one about the Snow Queen, which I might in a little while. That particular fairy tale isn't one of my favorites, so I am a little hesitant.

I have actually just started my C book. I am reading The Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J Maas. I am liking it thus far, which doesn't surprise me because I have liked everything I have read by this author. Sometime I am actually going to finish the Throne of Glass series, which I do own in its entirely. I did almost change this, I had in mind maybe I wanted to read something different then fantasy, but I stuck with my first choice because I really wanted to read it.

My reviews for each book will be separate, but this update actually motivates me to write them. Happy Reading and Writing out there. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sort informational post

So my November challenge will only be the ABC books I picked, the help me decide sort of fell through. And December will now include a reread challenge of Harry Potter, all good things, and I am ready to get myself back on this reading train.

PS, I am going to post pictures of my first fanmail box tomorrow. I am super excited about the items in this box.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My ABC TBR LIST Starts November 1, 2015

This is the list of books I picked for my challenge months, as you can see the ABC's are the theme, I am having a little trouble at the end with the x y and z, and recommendations would be great. I may just leave these three up to a random choice, but since they are at the end, I have a little time



a.    Air Awakens
B.  Beauty and the Werewolf
C.  Court of Thrones and Roses
D. The Darkest Minds
E. Ember in the Ashes
F. Forever Song
G. Girl in the Steel Corset
H. Hacker
I. Infinite, The
J. Jewel, The
K. Killing Moon, The
L. Legacy
M Mechanica
N. Name of the Star
O. Of Shadow and Bone
P. Poison Princess
Q. Queen of Tomorrow
R.  Red Queen
S. Serpetine
T. Talon
U.Ugly Stepsister, The
V. Vicious
W. Witch Hunter
X (Someone told me about a book called XVI)
Y.Young World, The
Z.

Update post, and what is happening in November and December

There are many things going on as of late, its been a busy month. So here are a few things to see what has been going on

My favorite birthday present, my pride and prejudice poster from Litographs.

Going to the fierce reads tour, sorry that isn't the best picture by its the only group one I have

Owlcrate came the other day, I am super excited about the book, and the swag was cute.

November will be my last Owlcrate, I wanted to see what else is out there, I am getting another from Fanmail, which I am going to keep for another month as well. They are having a mix of science fiction shows in their box next month, can't walk away from that. Okay october is finished, what is next...

I am starting a big challenge month, 26 books picked by me, 26 books picked by others. Hey will we see.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Bookish things I want to quit

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday a meme hosted by Broke and Bookish.


Top Ten bookish things I want to quit

1. Not finishing a series:

I know this is a bad habit...but seriously what person can say they never finished Allegient, So my 2016 goal is finishing those series that I have started and trying my best to break this habit

2. Judging a book by its cover

This may sound cliche I fall in love with covers all the time, but then hate the content. I have learned to do some research into what the book is about first, and reading a few reviews. This sort of leads into my third thing

3. Not Judging a book by others review

Just because one person didn't like it, doesn't mean the book will be the same for you. I hate to admit I sort of let this happen a few times in the past. The same goes for the opposite too, everyone loves loves the book and it just falls short for you, again I don't think this is a bad thing, not every book is going to be a hit.

4. Buying books I might not read

I can't be the only one who does this, I really have this thing about see a book for free, or buying books for 99cents and not ever reading them. I just read that many books go unread on ereaders, and I know I have some I may not ever read, so maybe that 99 cents can get get saved for that new book that I really want.

5. Arc-envy

You know that I see people with arcs every day on twitter, I almost broke down once into begging mood. I had to step back and think for a second. I could try to write to the publishers, but I am not that well-equipped. I don't have many followers. I am trying better on Netgalley to get my rating up. There are so many 2016 books I want to read, I am just going to have to wait until I get them. In the very least it gives me something to look forward too.

6. Getting rid of books-

Gasp...no I said it, I really need to do a major clean out, I have book that I have had since middle school. Honestly do I really need them all, no. I have a hard time with this, books are memories to me, but they are a pain in the butt to move. (Just ask my sister lol)

7. Getting to know people

I have learned through Twitter that book bloggers are amazing people, they are there to help when you need it. Authors are more open to conversations than I first thought. I have to learn how to open up more. This may not be such a bookish habit as it is a life habit.

I may have some more of these, but I can't think of any at the moment. Do you guys have any bookish habits you want to break?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Review of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Title: Wolf by Wolf

Author: Ryan Graudin

Format: Arc

Publication Details: Expected publication: October 20th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Source:  Arc Adoption Program at Miss Prints Blog page

Description from Goodreads:
Code Name Verity meets Inglorious Bastards in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?



My review:

I am giving this book a solid 4 star review

I am going to be honest in the beginning. I think I may have a problem with alternative history books. It takes me awhile to wrap my mind around new details about the world, and I always have questions about the holes that never seemed to get answered.

I did this awhile back about a alternative history book that centered around the Rape of Nanking. This one also happened during the time period, even though it was before World War 2 started, nothing seemed to read right for me, and there are so many now what's to ask.

So looking at the state of the world in Wolf by Wolf, Hitler won his war in Europe, England fell, Russia fell, the United States remained isolated which I guess means Pearl Harbor didn't happen, there were no nukes...you see I have a serious problem. There are just to many questions to be answered, okay lets get back to the story

We met Yael, a young Jewish girl on a train to a concentration camp, she is picked by a doctor, now I am sort of curious which concentration camp they are at, but maybe in not naming it, it makes it just seem like all the others. She is picked by a camp doctor for experimentation. I am not a doctor, and honestly I might have to go back and do research in what he was trying to do. I am a little lost in those details. Most important fact, this changes Yael, she gains the ability to change her appearence which in fact aids in her escape.

This book takes place in two parts, flashbacks to the people that are important to Yael and the present. The race which takes place across Europe into Asia. She takes the appearance of Adele Wolfe, the only female racer to have won the race before. She meets Luka, who shares a past with Adele and Adele's twin brother Felix. She struggles most often in her deception around these two. She doesn't have the details about the relationship with Luka, and Felix whose relationship runs deep with Adele.

I think I loved the race idea, its sounds crazy to compete in, but at the same time cool to read about. I loved the complex character of Yael, a girl who doesn't seem to know who she really is and assumes other's identities. She makes the story more intriguing, and I can not help but wonder if Ms. Graudin has a sequel in the works. 

I would really like to know more, about what happens next in this world. I am not going to spoil anymore details, but I can't help but feel that the ending was sort of a cliffhanger. Romance isn't a big part of this book, there may have been a few kisses, but they were ones of mistaken identity. I can even get past the problem I have with alternative histories, I swear I can.

I would recommend this book to a person who like a strong female lead character, even to people who like alternative history.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I loved signed books I cannot lie

Okay maybe that was a flashback to the wrong song.

My friend Jessica over at CrossRoad Reviews , recently went to the Speculative Fiction Convention in Orlando. She is a great person because she lets her friends send her books to sign. You know Speculative fiction is a hard one to figure out here is a quick definition

The term speculative fiction refers to any fiction story that includes elements, settings and characters whose features are created out of human imagination and speculation rather than based on attested reality and everyday life. So basically it includes fantasy, science fiction, paranormal anything like that. 

So going back to the point of the story, two of my favorite authors were going to be there, Marie V Snyder and Jacqueline Carey. Well thanks to the awesomess of my friend...here they are


















I know that this month is the 10th Anniversary of Poison Study and to have it signed is all kinds of yay!















 Jacqueline Carey's Saints Olivia was a surprise like for me, I haven't actually read book two yet, the continuation looks awesome as well.





















Some cool swag too. Thanks Jessica you are awesome.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review Of Esther by Rebecca Kanner

Title: Esther

Author: Rebecca Kanner

Format eArc from Netgalley

Publication Information: Expected publication: November 3rd 2015 by Howard Books

Source: Netgalley

Description from Goodreads
From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king. Soon the fated night arrives, and she does everything in her power to captivate the king and become his queen.

But wearing the crown brings with it a new set of dangers. When a ruthless man plies the king’s ear with whispers of genocide, it is up to the young queen to prevent the extermination of the Jews. She must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.

This is a story of finding hidden depths of courage within one’s self. Of risking it all to stand up for what is right.

This is the story of Queen Esther.


My Review
4 out of 5 stars

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this from Netgalley

Rebecca 's story of Esther takes us to different sides of Esther than I think we have seen before. We see her as a concubine, a woman, a friend, a protector, we dig deeper into who Esther was and who she becomes. Esther has always been one of my favorite stories in the bible, a woman who is chosen to be the savior of her people at the moment when they needed one. She becomes queen to the most powerful man during the time in which she lived.

I love Kanner's look inside the months before Esther marries the king. She delves into the harem, where the story has never really gone before. We see Esther's rivals, her friends. We find ourselves cheering on a maid in an act of bravery that befits a king. We look at the others in a different light, how maybe they have more to do with Esther than thought before.

Of course the villain is disliked, if ever there was a villain I found easy to dislike, it was Haman.
However now we get to dislike Haman's sons as well, which just adds to the story.

We have a different sort of love story in this version of Esther, it was this one point where I found I didn't know how to feel. I can see why the author did it, but I can not say if I entirely liked it. Esther has always seemed to be a devoted and loyal person, to her people and to her king. This veering of character, it seems out of place, yet even though that is, I do not think it takes away from the story.

Esther is a wonderful character to read in the first place. I hope you find the time to pick up this book especially if you love strong female characters.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Work, and more work


I know I haven't been active lately, but work has been stressful. I love blogging and reading books but I haven't taken the time to do so lately. This weekend, I actually decided to sit down and do some stuff.


PS Leaving a picture of one of my books shelves. I have many books to read before I sleep.

Review of The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh



Title: The Wrath and the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Format: Hardcover

Publishing Information:  May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Source: Purchase

Description from Goodreads 
 
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
 


Review + a little extra

5 out of 5 stars

Finished Reading this book in August. I could have probably have devoured it in one sitting, however I wanted it to last. I had to make myself put down this book and walk away. I love the story and the setting and the details that made it a little different from the original One Thousand and One Nights. Everyone has their own agenda, everyone has different reasons for falling into this one place. The love story starts to build, and even though maybe it starts to climax. Then boom...what the heck was that in the ending. NOOOOOOOOO...you can't do that to the reader.

Okay back to other things, I know many readers loved this book, so I am adding a little extra at the end. The picture features Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in one of my favorites movies Jodhaa Akbar. I think they would be a good pair for the leading roles in the movie of The Wrath and the Dawn. Its also features one of my favorite scenes, the sword fighting one...Ms Ahdieh can we have another sword fighting scene in the second book. One that is part dangerous...part sexy. Ahem ok moving on.

If you haven't read this one, go read it


(Pictures is not mine, all rights reserved, will remove if asked)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Courtesan by Alexandra Curry

The Courtesan By Alexandra Curry
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

About the book: The Courtesan is an astonishing tale inspired by the real life of a woman who lived and loved in the extraordinary twilight decades of the Qing dynasty. To this day, Sai Jinhua is a legend in her native land of China, and this is her story, told the way it might have been.

The year is 1881. Seven-year-old Jinhua is left an orphan, alone and unprotected after her mandarin father’s summary execution for the crime of speaking the truth. For seven silver coins, she is sold to a brothel-keeper and subjected to the worst of human nature. Will the private ritual that is her father’s legacy and the wise friendship of the crippled brothel maid be enough to sustain her?

When an elegant but troubled scholar takes Jinhua as his concubine, she enters the close world of his jealous first wife. Yet it is Jinhua who accompanies him--as Emissary to the foreign devil nations of Prussia, Austro-Hungary, and Russia--on an exotic journey to Vienna. As he struggles to play his part in China's early, blundering diplomatic engagement with the western world, Jinhua’s eyes and heart are opened to the irresistible possibilities of a place that is mesmerizing and strange, where she will struggle against the constraints of tradition and her husband’s authority and seek to find “Great Love.”

Sai Jinhua is an altered woman when she returns to a changed and changing China, where a dangerous clash of cultures pits East against West. The moment arrives when Jinhua’s western sympathies will threaten not only her own survival, but the survival of those who are most dear to her.

A book that shines a small light on the large history of China’s relationship with the West, The Courtesan is a novel that distills, with the economy of a poem, a woman’s journey of untold miles to discern what is real and abiding. 


My Review:

First I would like to thank the publisher for letting me review this title.

This one intrigued me when I first saw it on Edelweiss, I have to admit, I am glad I followed my intrigue to Netgalley, where I hoped beyond hope to get my hands on an early read of this. I love historical reads, I especially love historical reads that are about places where I have been. I traveled to China while I was in college, it was a trip I won't ever forget.

The loved how the author took me back there in her descriptions and in the rich culture that I can clearly see that she loves.

The character of Sai Jinhua is very intriguing, we see her at her most innocent in the beginning of the book, she loves her father very much. She feels like her father's death is her fault in a way. For a child the very act of losing a parent is devastating. Yet it does not stop there, she is then sold to "A house with a wide door" by her mother. She is first put through the process of foot binding. Can I admit that I became slightly squeamish at this part, I mean I have heard of foot binding before, I have seen the pictures. Yet the thought and the descriptions, just to have the smallest feet possible, I have to always wonder why.

She is also taught how to pleasure a man, this house is; in a simple description a brothel. All cultures have their own names for them, but the Chinese names are always elaborate descriptions. This one is called The House of the Round Moon and Passionate love. I have read even more elaborate names, but you get the point. So at 12 Jinhua loses her innocence, this scene made me slightly less squeamish than the foot binding.

So a year goes by, and while Jinhua is not alone, she in the years she has been there has made a almost sister like friendship with the maid Suyin. This friendship is one that she treasures always, even though a strange twist of fate takes her away from the house. This part of the book, from the introduction of the scholar to the journey to Vienna, was a little hard to understand. This was suppose to happen to her, it was suppose to lead her to something happy, but it all seemed sort of random. I mean how does the scholar know to go to that house, where there happens to be a girl who remembers her father's beheading by painting a red line across her throat.

So moving on, her master is sent to Austria as an emissary, and you can clearly see the difference in the experience with these two. One holds tightly to his cultural background, while Jinhua wants nothing more than to learn about everything she can. I don't really think it was the Count she meet there that made her happy. I think it was what she gained in knowledge that made her truly happy. In the book she meets the Empress of Austria, Elizabeth. who shares with her the tale of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

After three years, we find Jinhua and Suyin in Peking, the year is 1900. They own their own brothel by the name of The House of Midsummer Dreams.

I only mention the year because of the events that happen in Peking in 1900, what is known as the Boxer Rebellion. I first heard about the Boxer Rebellion when I was in middle school, I was watching a movie one day called 55 days in Peking. It’s an old one starring Charlton Heston, this piece of history from that day truly fascinated me. The author mentions a book in her sources about the Boxer Rebellion that I actually own. It is Jinhua's relations with foreigners that causes her trouble here, leading to a tragedy that changes her life forevermore.

As a wrap up, this book is about a truly fascinating person, and I would recommend to anyone who likes history, who likes learning. I would recommend it to a person who likes to be drawn into the life of a woman who defines an age in her countries history. I commend the author for sharing Jinhua's life with the rest of us, and offer a thank you to her for a truly wonderful book.












Monday, August 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Happy Top Ten Tuesday. This is my first top ten list, so enjoy.
August 5:

My Top Ten Retellings

One of my favorite kind of books is one that twists a fairy tale into something new. So I am doing this a little different in that I am going to mention the fairy tale then the book.

Cinderella:


 This first book in the Lunar Chronicles was the reason why I love retellings, especially when they involve science fiction.



Beauty and the Beast

Robin McKinley (note this is just one of the retellings she writes for Beauty and the Beast)




Persuasion

I love



















This one is good, but I think there is another one I am forgetting





August Read

Announcing the August read for The Not Your Normal Book club: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. Watch for Teasers and other posts devoted to this book.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wow #5

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

About the book: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

About this author Isabel Bandeira grew up surrounded by trees and lakes in Southern New Jersey, right on the edge of the Pine Barrens. Her summers were always spent in Portugal, where the cathedrals, castles, and ancient tombs only fed her fairy tale obsession. Between all those influences and her serious glitter addiction, it wasn’t a surprise when she started writing stories of her own.

In her free time between writing and her day job as a Mechanical Engineer who designs and develops medical devices, she reads, dances, figure skates, and knits.

Isabel lives in New Jersey with her little black cat, too many books, and a closetful of vintage hats. She is represented by Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER is her debut novel.

My thoughts: I love the idea of a character who loves books just about as much as I do, she sounds like a someone I would like as a friend. And her idea of a perfect place is Belle's library...who doesn't love that.

(Just as a side note, the last part came out of a discussion on #FAC16 a twitter chat that features new authors)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewing a book like The Kiss of Deception is not difficult because its really good, however I really think the author was sort of clever in playing the deception on the reader like she did.

Or was I the only one confused about who was the prince and who was the assassin until the middle.

Okay let me start from the beginning...

I really liked Lia, she wanted more with her life than being a pawn in the kingdom's politics. I see her being happy with just being a barmaid with Pauline. She runs away from her duty, but one she really does not want. Maybe I understand that, and its easy to do. However she learns that running away isn't always the choice that one is going to be able to keep.

She meets Rafe and Kaden, two strangers who strike her interest. They both play protectors, and they both have other intentions when it comes to Lia.

I actually found myself liking both of these guys, it became very unclear what they were actually going to do until the middle.

Okay in not giving away any spoilers...well the rest of the book is good too.

Hints: Kidnapping, an object to decipher, feelings to be sorted out, and truthfully still figuring out the intentions of others.

The biggest hint...no one is telling the truth.

View all my reviews

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shacking the Shelves #2

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

This is a little late but it has been a busy week. First I want to thank my fellow blogger Jessica Porter over at CrossroadReviews for sharing her birthday trip to Jacksonville with several of us. I received the three books I wanted about a week later, and I am cover heaven.



I don't have a picture of the other books I got in the mail. But here are the titles: The Storyspinner, A Creature of Moonlight, The Girl at Midnight, Saints Astray. (I will post a picture later)

I am going into reading these after reading the description and with some mixed reviews. All but Saints Astray, I really liked the first book Saint Olivia and Jacqueline Carey is a really good author. Plus the relationship is a very different one, and may lean more to the adult category then YA. I also got the Uk paperback of the Falconer, that is also one I will post a picture later. Yes I have a copy of this on my Kindle but I love this cover.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)The Diviners by Libba Bray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So picking apart this Libby Bray book, is like a 1000 piece puzzle, with too many blues, too many reds, and not enough edge pieces.

It took me awhile, I feel good that I finished, but I also feel like I am missing pieces. So let me list everything I liked, disliked, wanted to scream at, wanted to cringe etc.

The characters-

Evie- What can I say about Evie, she had this Scarlett O'hara vibe, you hate to love her, and you love to hate her. She was annoying, but I could not help but to like her at times. She was a bad influence, a lush, selfish, but at the same time, loyal, at times had other peoples interest first in her mind. I think it was the love she had for her brother that sort of won me over.

Jericho- Okay I liked him, but then I got to that big reveal, I was like wait a minute, what genre of book am I reading. I am so confused...

other characters- Okay so I am lumping here, don't get me wrong, I did like all the other characters, but those two really stuck out for me.

I couldn't get past the vernacular, seriously people didn't talk in it all the time did they. Evie even had to translate a couple of times. Just throwing up my hands in frustration here.

Is it wrong for me to admit I found some of the content heavy, it made me think, made me ponder. It even had me cringing at times. I like that, I think that is what makes a book good, and an author great to read. Yes I will eventually get to the second book, I just think I need a break for awhile.


View all my reviews

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It is a list of what books you have received over the previous week, either for review, from the library, from the bookstore, or from trades.

My first stacking the shelves involves a shopping trip last week to two books stores

I was sort of excited about finding the Libby Bray book, I have the first two, so this completes the trilogy. It was on the used cart also, so that was the second bonus. The two hardcovers were from the same store. I am super exited to read both of these books.

The paperbacks were from the other bookstore, I have Code name Verity, I thought I pick up Rose under Fire as well. I picked up Queen of Tearling, after hearing about on various blogs and twitter.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Review: Velvet Underground by Teri Brown

Velvet Underground by Teri Brown

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: October 20th 2015

Rating: 4 stars

Source: eDRC from Edelweiss



Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.

Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?

From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences

My Review:

First I want to say thanks to the publisher for a chance to read this. I have to admit, I do not read many spy-related books, even though I am a big James Bond fan. I liked this one for various reasons. One the main character, Sam is a likable person, she has a strong sense of duty to her family that I can appreciate. She just didn't jump head on into the spy game without thinking seriously about it. She shows her lack of experience making mistakes that could lead to her downfall. Maybe it was just pure luck on her side, or something else why she wasn't caught earlier.

I liked the setting and the time period also, WW 1 is not a usual period to be written about, well not that I have read anyways. In fact this sort of made me curious about the whole spy games during WW 1, and I will have to go look up what girl guides were, sounds really intriguing to me.

There are many twists in this book, they will have you guessing until almost the end about who Velvet is, and this one caught me completely by surprise. The romance was just a little bit of flirtation, nothing to serious. It was all and all a very good read, I hope the author has plans for something else in the future.

Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Queen of Someday tells us the story of Sophie, who would later becomes Catherine the Great of Russia. Sophie is somewhat of a rebellious child, she doesn't really like to do what her mother tells her, and she has a mind of her own. She becomes the favorite for Peter the heir to the Russian throne.

I actually liked Sophie, she has a certain spunk about her that sort of won me over, yet then again the woman she becomes is quite well liked by her people when she rules. I understand that the author says she might have taken some liberties with dates and some people. However I do think she did her research, so it does not spoil the story to much.

This sort of reminded me of the 1995 TV movie with Catherine Zeta Jones, which may not have been completely historical accurate as well. I just remember how horrid Peter was in the movie as well.

I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

I am sort of curious about the title though, is it a metaphor.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WoW #4 REVENGE AND THE WILD by Michelle Modesto

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

About this Author

Michelle Modesto is an associate editor at Gold Man Review, a west coast literary journal. She is also a former tattoo artist and works as a dog groomer and rescuer. She loves hockey, mudding and redneck things. She lives in Northern California with her two kids and a couple of bed-hogging bull mastiffs

My thoughts: I love the cover, but its the story that sounds different to me. Western mixed with some steampunk, I would love to read that.

Review: Thorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin

Thorn AbbeyThorn Abbey by Nancy Ohlin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thorn Abbey is a retelling of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I like some things about Thorn Abbey, however a couple things bugged me.

This story is about Tess, a new student at Thorn, who isn't the rich sort that usually inhabits the school. Tess is the smart girl, she likes to learn, and she is the type who on some levels I can totally relate. The relationship between her new roommate and herself is somewhat hard to describe. Devon is a not very nice 5 letter word, she is the type who often you think might be nice and then puts you down.

So back to Tess, I can relate yes, the smart girl...but I just could not stand the overwhelming feelings she had for Max. Max is the love-interest in the story, smart, athletic, super hot, brooding...you know the type that all the girls fall for. I understand in the dynamic of the story the romance was important, but it just didn't click for me.

And then there is Becca, the ex (the deceased ex). One would think that the dead girlfriend wouldn't be much of a competition. Yet she was perfect, flawless...you know the Queen B type. Even dead one could hate her, she just didn't seem that perfect to me.

I liked this one because there were some twists I didn't expect, I knew what was going to happen, but that one big twist at the end, I didn't expect that one.

My overall impression would probably be a 3.5.



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