Sunday, July 31, 2011

In My Mailbox

This weekly feature is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

For Review:
The Babylon Prophecy by Sean Salazr

My eclectic shopping trip:
Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn; this was my first WOW post and now it's out and I've already read/ enjoyed it!
Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

That was my week in books. What did you get?

Have a Great Week and Happy Reading !

Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday & Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q: Lets step away from books for a second and get personal. What T shirt slogan best describes you?
A. I'm not big on t shirt slogans, but I do like some of the mental floss t shirts...

Book Blogger Hop
In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This is hosted over at Crazy for Books.

Q. Highlight one book you have received this week, for review, library, etc. that you cannot wait to dig into.
A. I would have to say Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. I'm trying to catch up on this series, way behind!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)
By Jessica Spotswood
Published By Putnam's Sons Books
expected Release Date: February 7, 2012

Summary: Cate Cahill and her sisters are considered eccentric bluestockings—a little odd, a little unfashionable, and far too educated for their own good. The truth is more complicated; they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. Before their mother died, she entrusted Cate with keeping them safe and keeping everyone, including their father, in the dark about their powers. When her father employs a governess and Cate begins to receive notes from her missing, presumed-mad godmother, her task becomes much more difficult. As Cate searches for answers in banned books and rebellious new friends, she must juggle unwanted proposals, tea parties, and an illicit attraction to the new gardener. Cate will do anything to protect her sisters, but at what cost to herself?

**First, I love this cover. Second, I've been enjoying books on witches of late and hope it sticks until this book comes out because it sounds like it will be a nice fit to my collection.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review ~ A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
By Deborah Harkness
Published By Viking Adult

Summary: When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.
For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.
Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. That being said, it is a very heavy book. I don't mean literally, even though it is that as well. At almost 600 pages it has a lot of information that is can be important later on and easy to miss if you just skim over parts. The mix of history, science, and paranormal was well done and I enjoyed it more than I anticipated. 
The characters were an enjoyable mix of old world meets modern. While Diana was not my favorite, throughout the book, she did hold up and by the end I was on her side. There were times that she was either too headstrong or too pliable, and not at the times you would want her to be either. Matthew and his family are typical, long lived vampires with enough history and back story to make them an interesting read. The remaining  witches, daemons, vampires, and humans was an interesting mix with their own quirks . My favorite character had to be the Bishop house and all its ghosts. From slamming doors and shifting rooms I wanted to spend more time finding out it secrets than I did the main story.
The author did an excellent job taking everything throughout the book and bringing to end that felt natural and still set up the next book. I'm looking forward to see what the next book brings for Diana, Matthew, and their hodgepodge group of family and friends.
Rating: 4 (only because I cannot see myself rereading this book due to the sheer volume and focus needed while reading it)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book Review ~ The Near Witch

The Near Witch
By Victoria Schwab
Published By Hyperion Books
expected Release Date: August 2, 2011

*received from netGalley for review

Summary: The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know- about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the lyrical almost sing song writing of this book. The subject, setting and writing made me want to curl up and dig in right up to the end. I can definitely see myself reading this story again. 
Part of the reason for this was two of my favorite new characters of this year. Lexi has this permissible rebelliousness about her that makes you want to see her come out on top no matter the odds. Trying to fill her dead father's shoes (literally) and remember the stories he taught her while trying to keep her little sister safe. Then there is Cole, the deeply, darkly, haunted stranger to Near. This character grabbed from his first mention and as his story unraveled it just drew me to him more. While there is romance between the two in the story it does not overwhelm the main story. 
The rest of the characters are just as important. From the sisters who seem to be the only ones in Near who refuse to forget the past, to Lexi's uncle who is trying to do the right thing by his brother's family, just maybe not in the best way.
The action built from the beginning and while all the stories and rhymes may have seemed repetitious they were important come the final stand against the Near Witch. 

Rating: 5

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q. What do I do when I'm not reading?
A. I take care of my 6 yr old and this is definitely a full time job. I'm also a game person, it's how I shut my brain down so I can relax enough to read with thinking about everything else but the book.

Book Blogger Hop
In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This is hosted over at Crazy for Books.
This weeks question:
Q. How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?
A. I both buy and get books from the library. As my blog name suggests I buy both new and used. I don't get a lot online. We have a great used book store near me that I go to when I'm looking for older books in a series that I cannot find at Border's.

Have a Great Week and Happy Reading

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review ~ The Art of Steampunk

The Art of Steampunk: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement
By Art Donovan
Published By Fox Chapel Publishing
expected Release: August 1, 2011

Received via netGalley for review

SummaryThe Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation.  A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.  
 Inside, you will find the fantastical and stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world.  The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs.  Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator.  You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces.  Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego—a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.
    The Art of Steampunk brings the vision of the Steampunk artist alive on the page, providing a unique insight into the captivating and dynamic world of a vastly underground genre.

My Thoughts: I liked the layout of this art book. The opening  was very informative. It gives the history of the steampunk movement; from written words to artwork and fashion inspired by them. My favorite was the artist section. From the clocks, jewelry, and modern technology to the less practical(my 6 yr old asked if Dali had created one of the pieces)  each piece brought you further into the world of steampunk. There is a bio and examples of all seventeen artists that were part of the London exhibition. Some of the artists only got their bio and then one example of their work where others got 2-3 double pages. This was the only issue I had with the book.
Even reading this on my laptop the quality of the pictures and art was amazing and I look forward to adding this to our collection of art books.

Rating: 4

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox ~ Birthday Edition

This weekly feature is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren

Disney Hyperion: The Gray Wolf Throne By Cinda Williams Chima (I've been waiting for this one since I finished the last book)
Entangled Publishing: Out In Blue By Sarah Gilman

Simon & Schuster galley grab
Fury By Elizabeth Miles

Three to Get Deadly, Four to Score By Janet Evanovich
Bad Things Happen By Harry Dolan
The Reservoir By John Milliken Thompson
Dissolution By C.J. Sansom

That's it for me! Have a Great Week and Happy Reading!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Follow Friday and Blog Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q: Let's step away from besties... What is the worst book you have ever read and finished?
A. I'm sure there's some that are out there but if I'm not enjoying a book I usually stop and move on to something else. I will say I read Midnight Reign by Chris Green and it was OK but I could not finish the second one at all. I have also found that since I started blogging I try and find at least 1 redeeming thing about a book that wasn't a fave.

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. This weeks question: 
Q . Promote a geiveaway from another blog..
A. I'm going to have to go searching for this ... TBA

Have a great week, Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review (Shorts) ~ Dark and Stormy Knights

Dark and Stormy Knights
edited by: P.N. Elrod
Published by: St. Martin's Press

Summary (Goodreads): It was a dark and stormy knight, and nine dark defenders embarked upon a most perilous quest….
They’re the ultimate defenders of humanity—modern day knights who do dark deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of supernatural knights that are brimming with magic mystery and mayhem.
John Marcone sets aside his plans to kill Harry Dresden to go head-to-head with a cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s Even Hand.  Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than the enemy in Ilona Andrews’ A Questionable Client.  Cormac must stop a killer werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s God’s Creatures.  And in Vicki Pettersson’s Shifting Star, Skamar gets more than she bargained for when she goes after a creature kidnapping young girls—and enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor.
When everything’s on the line, will these knights complete their missions and live to fight again another day?  Find out in Dark and Stormy Knights!

My Thoughts:
A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews: I was more interested in the story of the tree, acorn, and Russians than I was in Saimen but it was still a good story to start of this set.

Even Hand by Jim Butcher: No Harry in this story but (even if it's wrong) Marcone is one of my favorites in this series. We get to see a slightly different side of him before he goes back to the guy we all know.

The Beacon by Shannon K Butcher: Is destiny something we are born to or what we make it and where do you draw the line. I enjoyed this short more than I thought I would.

Even a Rabbit Will Bite by Rachel Caine: The last dragon and the last dragonslayer. I love Rachel Caine and I loved this story.

Dark Lady by P.N. Elrod: Ghosts, vampires, mobster... it was a good read but not one of my favorites.

Beknighted by Deidre Knight: This would have worked better if I had a clue about the setting, world, characters. etc. It seemed like a full book that was condensed instead of short story.

Shifting Star by Vicki Pettersson: I have only read the 1st book in this series. I could not find when this story takes place but it seems to be well after the 1st, so I didn't finish this one.

Rookwood & Mrs King by Lilith Saintcrow: I liked this one but felt like I was missing something the whole time I was reading it and that feeling did not go away when I was finished.

God's Creatures by Carrie Vaughn: This one's about werewolves. Normally I like Carrie Vaughn but I just did not enjoy this story. No real reason it just didn't work for me.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

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

Iron House
By John Hart
Published by Thomas Dunne Books
expected Release Date July 12, 2011

At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, there was nothing but time. Time to burn and time to kill, time for two young orphans to learn that life isn’t won without a fight. Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. When tensions boil over and a boy is brutally killed, there is only one sacrifice left for Michael to make: He flees the orphanage and takes the blame with him.

For two decades, Michael has been an enforcer in New York’s world of organized crime, a prince of the streets so widely feared he rarely has to kill anymore. But the life he’s fought to build unravels when he meets Elena, a beautiful innocent who teaches him the meaning and power of love. He wants a fresh start with her, the chance to start a family like the one he and Julian never had. But someone else is holding the strings. And escape is not that easy. . . .

The mob boss who gave Michael his blessing to begin anew is dying, and his son is intent on making Michael pay for his betrayal. Determined to protect the ones he loves, Michael spirits Elena—who knows nothing of his past crimes, or the peril he’s laid at her door— back to North Carolina, to the place he was born and the brother he lost so long ago. There, he will encounter a whole new level of danger, a thicket of deceit and violence that leads inexorably to the one place he’s been running from his whole life: Iron House.

**I have not read anything from this author but this sounds like something I would read during my get away from fantasy moments.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Review ~ Legacies

Legacies (Shadow Grail #1)
By Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
Published By Tor Teen

Summary (Goodreads)Spirit White has survived from a deadly car crash that has killed her mother and father and her sister. She has been discovered by a school with special talents, called magic. A couple of months after staying, people begin to disappear, some vanish to be never seen again, so Spirit and her new friends begin the investigation. But will they find out the truth of what is going on? Or will Spirit and her friends suffer a terrible fate from which they don't know about yet?

My Thoughts: As a whole this was a quick enjoyable read. It's when you stop and really think about it that it starts to fall apart in places. The character building was good but you still don't know who falls in with the good guys and who's stepped to the other side. Even within Spirit's group the people she had concerns with were not cleared up by the end of the book. 
The books in this series are definitely  not meant to be read alone. Besides the above you still don't know about Spirit's magic, who's really behind the disappearing kids, and why are there so many magical orphans that came from magical orphans (OK this is not an issue in the story but a question I had). 
Overall there was enough in this to make want to read the next book, especially after read the preview at the end of the book. Plus, it comes out in a couple of days (7/5/11) so not a long wait.

Rating: 3

Friday, July 1, 2011

Follow Friday & Blog Hop

Sorry for the slow week. Looking for a house has become a time consuming, tedious project

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. This weeks question:
Q.Your favorite book/movie character just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction?
A. I don't really have a who, at least I can't think of one (might be either Jamie or Valek). The reaction: I would probably just stand there and say nothing. Kid Rock walked into the store I was working at a few yrs back and it was more interesting to watch everyone else act crazy. Didn't have time to react myself :)

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This meme is hosted by Crazy For Books. This weeks question: 
Q.What keeps you reading beyond the first page of a book, and what makes you stop and put it back on the shelf.

A. This is another with several answers. The first being mood, sometimes I just don't feel like reading a particular book doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it just don't want to read it right then. Usually it is the main character/s if I don't feel any sort of connection to them it can cause me to set the book down.

Happy Reading and Have a Safe Holiday Week!