Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)
by  Maggie Stiefvater
published by Scholastic Inc
expected release date: September 17, 2013

Summary (Goodreads): Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after...

**I really enjoyed the first book and have been waiting for this one since I finished reading The Raven Boys.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 5/28/2103

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty (#3 in Spin)
Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer (#3 in Elemental)
Lover Be Mine by Nicole Jordan (#2 in Legendary Lovers)
South of Surrender by Laura Kaye (#3 in Hearts of the Anemoi)
A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen (#3 in Department Q )
Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett (#3 in Arcadia Bell)
Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz (#6 in Odd Thomas)
Leopard's Prey by Christine Feehan (#6 in Leopard)
Darkness Avenged by Alexandra Ivy (#10 in The Guardians of Eternity)
Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler (#6 in Jane True)
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare (#4 in Spindle Cove Series )
Goddess by Josephine Angelini (#3 in Starcrossed)
The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross (#3 in The Steampunk Chronicles)
A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper (#3 in Half Moon Hollow )
Dare You To by Katie McGarry (#2 in Pushing the Limits )
It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis (#7 in Lucky Harbor)
The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen (#2 in The Secret )
Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James (#5 in Eloisa's Fairy Tales)
Love at First Sight by Lori Wilde (#2 in Cupid, Texas)
Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer (#2 in Noon Onyx)
Forever by Jacquelyn Frank (#2 in The World of the Nightwalkers)
Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery (#11 in Fools Gold )
Before the Larkspur Blooms by Caroline Fyffe (#2 in Prairie Hearts)
Big Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller (#4 in Swoon-Worthy Cowboys)
What a Wicked Earl Wants by Vicky Dreiling (#2  The Sinful Scoundrels )
The Night Is Watching by Heather Graham (#9 in Krewe of Hunters)
Zero Hour by Graham Brown, Clive Cussler (#11 in The NUMA® Files)
A Gathering of Wings by Kate Klimo (#2 in Centauriad)
Avenging Angel by Cynthia Eden (#4 in Fallen Angels of Death )
Highlander Taken by Juliette Miller (#2 in Clan Mackenzie)
Scorpion Deception by Andrew Kaplan (#4 in Scorpion)
Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods (#3 in Ocean Breeze)
Jet by Jay Crownover (#2 in Rule)
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren (#2 in Beautiful Bastard)
Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne (#2 in Monument 14)
Get Over It by Nikki Carter (#6 in Fab Life)
Any Other Name by Emma Newman (#2 in Split Worlds)
Of Triton by Anna Banks (#2 in Of Poseidon )
Freefall by Jill Sorenson (#2 in Aftershock)
Surrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen (#2 in Brides of Redemption)
Taken by Him by Red Garnier (#2 in Billionaire's Club)
The Geneva Option by Adam LeBor (#2 in Yael Azoulay)
Haven Creek by Rochelle Alers (#3 in Cavanaugh Island)
Silent Harmony by Michele Scott (#1 in Into the Ring)
This Is Who I Am by Cherise Sinclair (#7 in Masters of the Shadowlands)
Triumph by Janet Dailey (#3 in Bannon Brothers)
The Pirate's Coin by Marianne Malone (#3 in Sixty-Eight Rooms)
Catch Us If You Can by Hope McLean (#1 in Jewel Thieves)
Faerie After by Janni Lee Simner (#3 in Faerie)
A Mischief of Mermaids by Suzanne Harper (#3 in Unseen World of Poppy Malone)
Antiagon Fire by L E Modesitt Jr (#7 in Imager Portfolio)
The San Francisco Splash by David A Kelly (#7 in Ballpark Mysteries)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Early Family Vacation

We had a college graduation to go to this past weekend. Since it was out of state and our son had never been to D.C we decided to take a few extra days and see the sights.

We spent Friday going around to all the different Memorials. There are plenty to see and we all had our favorites. My son's was the MLK memorial, DH's was the FDR, and mine was the WWII (for today, it tends to change).

Saturday was graduation day.
Sunday we went to Arlington Cemetery and then spent the rest of the day at 2 of the Smithsonian Museums.

After a long day driving home and then yesterday catching up on all the house work (still have lots to do) I am hoping to get back to blogging at some point this week, just in time for another holiday weekend.
Have a Safe and Fun Memorial Day!

(we also got a new kitten before we left, meet Sharky)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 5/13/2013

Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb (#2 in Light)
Magician's End by Raymond E Feist (#3 in Chaoswar Saga)
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham (#3 in Dagger and the Coin)
The Human Division by John Scalzi (#5 in Old Man's War)
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins (#1 in Hex Hall Spin-Off)
Inferno: A Novel by Dan Brown (#4 in Robert Langdon)
All of My Love by Francis Ray (#9 in Grayson Friends)
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston (#1 in The Rules for Disappearing)
Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller (#3 in The Blackstone Affair )
Ray of Light by Shelley Shepard Gray (#2 in Days of Redemption)
Summer in Napa by Marina Adair (#2 in St. Helena Vineyard)
Vote by Gary Paulsen
Recipe for Love by Darlene Panzera (#2 in The Cupcake Diaries)
Never by K D McEntire (#3 in Lightbringer)
The Ball by Charise Mericle Harper (#1 in Bean Dog and Nugget)
The Cookie by Charise Mericle Harper (#2 in Bean Dog and Nugget)
Little Green by Walter Mosley (#12 in Easy Rawlins)
Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts (#4 in Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures)
A Box of Gargoyles by Anne Nesbet (#2 in Cabinet of Earths)
Sign of the Cross by Thomas Mogford (#2 in Spike Sanguinetti)
The Cydonian Pyramid by Pete Hautman (#2 in Klaatu Diskos)
The Year of Luminous Love by Lurlene McDaniels (#1 in Year of Luminous Love)
The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison (#1 in Rose Throne)
Shotgun Lullaby by Steve Ulfelder (#3 in Conway Sax)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review ~ Cinders & Sapphires

Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton #1)

by Leila Rasheed
published by Disney-Hyperion
genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance

Summary (Goodreads): One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton

My Thoughts: This was one of those books that had everything you would expect but it was overdone. Instead of just one or two bad things happening to Ada and her family, every plot device for a historical romance comes into play.
We have the evil stepmother and stepsister (only one), the drunk nephew that squandered the family money, falling in love below station, the maid with a daughter the same age as the sisters, etc. Surprisingly even with all this there was a part of me that couldn't look away. I had to keep reading to find out how much more could be heaped on (and there was more).
I actually liked Ada and her sister Georgiana. I also liked Rose. Everyone else I could have done without.I dislike insta-love and that is what this whole book revolves around. There is nothing that makes you believe there is anything real between Ada and Ravi. Even Lord Fintain seemed better suited to Ada and her dreams than Ravi did.
Overall, this book had a little too much going on but still made me want to read until the end. While there were more bad than good people in this story, the ones I liked were worth the read. I don't know if I'll continue  the series even with the sorta cliffhanger ending.

Rating: 3 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Review ~ The Unnaturalists

The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists #1)

by Tiffany Trent
published by Simon & Schuster
genre: YA, Fantasy, Steampunk

Summary (Goodreads): In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

My Thoughts: Tiffany Trent did a wonderful job on the world building for this story/series. It's an alternate steampunk London that has completely bought into science all the way and forgotten the magic that brought them to New London. In the process of furthering their science they have been killing off all the magical creatures that called the land home before they showed up, this in turn is killing the land with something called The Waste.  This was probably my favorite story line of the book.
Characters, this is were it fell short for me. Vespa was a great fully fleshed out character. All she wanted was to follow in her father's footsteps and become a Pedant and study the Unnaturals. Everyone else has other plans for her. Whether it is to become a lady and marry well or prove her true heritage and use her to further their own schemes she has to learn to deal with all these things while trying to stay who she thinks she truly is.
Unfortunately, Vespa was the only full character. Syrus is a lead and we get many chapters from him but we really don't ever get anything that makes you want to know more or care fully when something bad happens to him. With everything that happens to him during this story and the fact that he is the only one that can speak to the Unnaturals and read the old texts it was a real missed opportunity. He only seemed to show up to further another's story rather than following his own.
There is a slight romance in this story but at this point it doesn't really interest me. It has potential down the road but it was hard to buy into Vespa suddenly being dependent on Hal when the author spent so much time making her a forward thinking female that wanted to break boundaries.
Overall, based on the great world building and Vespa I am looking forward to the next book in this series. It'll be interesting to see if Ms Trent does anything further with Syrus and his new (unwanted) abilities. I'm also interested in finding out more about this new Empress and her story.

Rating: 4

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 5/6/2013

Ours To Love by Shayla Black (#7 in Wicked Lovers)
The Enemy by Tom Wood (#2 in Assassin )
Loki's Wolves by Kelley Armstrong (#1 in Blackwell Pages)
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (#13 in Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire))
Mystic by Alyson Noel (#3 in Soul Seekers)
Nightbound by Lynn Viehl (#3 in Lords of the Darkyn )
Eternal Demon by Laura Wright (#5 in Mark of the Vampire)
A Highland Werewolf Wedding by Terry Spear (#11 in Heart of the Wolf)
Taken by a Vampire by Joey W Hill (#9 in Vampire Queen)
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson (#15 in Gaslight Mysteries)
Hearts of Shadow by Kira Brady (#3 in Deadglass)
If I Should Die by Amy Plum (#3 in Revenants)
Angora Alibi by Sally Goldenbaum (#7 in Seaside Knitters Mystery)
Shadows of Falling Night by S. M. Stirling (#3 in Shadowspawn)
Portal by Eric Flint, Ryk E Spoor (#3 in Boundary)
Guardian by Jack Campbell (#3 in The Lost Fleet : Beyond the Frontier)
Complex 90 by Max Allan Collins, Mickey Spillane (#18 in Mike Hammer)
Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette (#3 in Key West Food Critic Mystery)
Undone by Sara Taney Humphreys (#4 in The Amoveo Legend)
Once Upon the End by James Riley (#3 in Half Upon a Time )
Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster (#2 in London Steampunk)
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg (#Collection in Majipoor: Lord Prestimion)
Dead Man's Deal by Jocelynn Drake (#2 in The Asylum Tales)
The Cursed by Alyssa Day (#1 in League of the Black Swan)
Fall of Night by Rachel Caine (#14 in Morganville Vampires)
Cat Nap by Claire Donally (#2 in Sunny & Shadow)
Hex on the Ex by Rochelle Staab (#3 in Mind for Murder Mystery)
The Begonia Bribe by Alyse Carlson (#2 in Garden Society Mysteries)
Dead, White, and Blue by Carolyn Hart (#23 in Death On Demand)
Board Stiff by Elaine Viets (#12 in Dead-End Job)
The Sleeping Salesman Enquiry by Ann Purser (#4 in Ivy Beasley)
Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero (#1 in Pawsitively Organic Mysteries)
Gluten for Punishment by Nancy J Parra (#1 in Baker's Treat Mystery)
Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown (#2 in Consignment Shop Mysteries)
Antidote to Murder by Felicity Young (#2 in Doctor Dody McCleland)
The Bestseller Job by Matt Forbeck (#3 in Leverage)
Icons by Margaret Stohl (#1 in Icons)
Running Wild by Joely Skye (#1 in Northern Shifters)
Alien In The House by Gini Koch (#7 in Katherine "Kitty" Katt)
No Way Out by Susan Sleeman (#3 in Justice Agency)
Silken Prey by John Sandford (#23 in Lucas Davenport)
Whisper's Edge by LuAnn McLane (#4 in Cricket Creek)
Every Broken Trust: A Mystery by Linda Rodriguez (#2 in Skeet Bannion)
Down London Road by Samantha Young (#2 in On Dublin Street)
Yesterday's Echo by Matt Coyle (#1 in Rick Cahill)
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (#1 in Fifth Wave)
Teacher's Pest by Charles Gilman (#3 in Tales from Lovecraft Middle School)
Sworn to Protect by Jo Davis (#1 in Sugarland Blue)
Keeper of the Shadows by Alexandra Sokoloff (#6 in Keepers)
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (#1 in Hopeless)
Generation V by M. L. Brennan (#1 in American Vampire)
The Tower by Jean Johnson (#1 in Guardians)
Cavanaugh on Duty by Marie Ferrarella (#24 in Cavanaugh Justice)
Reawakened by Odette Beane (#1 in Once Upon a Time)
The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer (#1 in W.A.R.P.)
Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy? by Abigail Sharpe (#1 in With This Ring)
Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George (#2 in Castle Glower)
Sweet On You by Darlene Panzera (#1 in The Cupcake Diaries)
The Ophelia Cut by John Lescroart (#14 in Dismas Hardy)
Night Terrors by Dennis Palumbo (#3 in Daniel Rinaldi )
The Night Detectives by Jon Talton (#7 in David Mapstone Mystery)
The Crypt Thief by Mark Pryor (#2 in Hugo Marston )
Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts (#5 in Tommy Carmellini)
Seduction by M J Rose (#5 in Reincarnationist)
Shattered Trident by Larry Bond (#4 in Jerry Mitchell)
The Barbed Crown by William Dietrich (#6 in Ethan Gage)
A Hidden Enemy by Erin Hunter (#2 in Survivors)
The Lost Princess by Debbie Dadey (#5 in Mermaid Tales)
A Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans (#4 in Walk)
The 5th Wave by Richard Yancey (#1 in Fifth Wave)
A House Divided by Kimberla Lawson Roby (#10 in Reverend Curtis Black)
Olympus at War by Kate O'Hearn (#5 in Pegasus)
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke by Samantha Grace (#4 in Beau Monde)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review ~ Perfect Scoundrels

Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3)
by Ally Carter
published by Hyperion Books
genre: YA, Contemporary,

Summary (Goodreads): Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it's that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want. No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale's family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother's billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there's no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won't let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother's will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company's fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she's willing to save her boyfriend's company if it means losing the boy.

My Thoughts: I really liked how this seemed much more personal on a lot of levels. Everything was very close to home even when they were rushing off across the world.
The usual cast of characters are present in this as in the first two with some interesting additions. We meet most of both Kat and Hale's extended families. It was nice seeing glimpses of Hale's relationship with his grandmother and how it shaped him. Also, the first meeting between Kat and Hale where she went in to steal a painting and ended up leaving with the boy instead.
Overall, I've really enjoyed this series and this was my favorite so far. It had everything you've come to expect from this series. It had plenty of action and intrigue with that one moment where you're holding your breath hoping it's just another con.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review ~ The Colossus Rises

The Colossus Rises (Seven Wonders #1)

by Peter Lerangis
published by HarperCollins
genre: YA/MG, Fantasy, Mythology

Summary (Goodreads): One Boy

Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die.

One Mission
Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him.

One Problem
The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years.

Seven Wonders
Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

My Thoughts: This had a lot of potential, it just fell a little short on one thing for me. The characters were not developed enough for me to care about in the long run. The main character from this book, Jack, was a little better than the other three but everything seemed to be happening to them. It was hard to care if one was going to make it or if they disappeared, etc.
The actual story I found interesting. The powers that made the lost city of Atlantis great split up and hidden among the ancient Seven Wonders. The interactions between Jack and the loculi and what happened when he touched it was one of the better parts of the story.
Overall, there is enough in the main story (search for the seven loculi in the seven wonders) that will make me read at least the next book. If there is more character development along with moving the story along I can see myself looking forward to this series the way I do Rick RIordan's books.

Rating: 3.5