Thursday, August 28, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

It's the week before Back to School! Been really crazy trying to make sure all the lists are filled and son is mentally prepared to go back. I'm ready for it to be over and a nice normal routine to start again. 

Now for some art. I was in the mood for dragons this week.
by Agaave (deviantArt)
Ecelion Brilordan
by FlorindaZanetti (DeviantArt)
Nature's Sanctum
by CazziArt (DeviantArt)
And a just because I think they're cute movies...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 8/25/2014

365 Days of Wonder by R J Palacio (#2 Wonder)
A Love to Call Her Own by Marilyn Pappano (#3 Tallgrass)
A Royal Tea by Debbie Dadey (#9 Mermaid Tales)
A Scandal to Remember by Elizabeth Essex (#5 Reckless Brides)
Astray by Amy Christine Parker (#2 Gated)
Bramblestar's Storm by Erin Hunter (#7 Warriors: Super Edition)
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Making Money by Tommy Greenwald (#4  Charlie Joe Jackson)
Darkest Ecstasy by Tawny Taylor (#3 Black Gryffon)
Deadly Bonds by L J Sellers (#9 Detective Wade Jackson Mystery)
Death of a Dog Whisperer by Laurien Berenson (#17 Melanie Travis)
Deliverance by C J Redwine (#3 Defiance)
Don't Let Go by Michelle Gagnon (#3 PERSEFoNE)
Escape From Lucien by Kazu Kibuishi (#6 Amulet)
Escape to California by Jeff Brown (#12 Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures)
Evernight by Kristen Callihan (#5 Darkest London)
Harbor Island by Carla Neggers (#4 Sharpe & Donovan)
Her Last Whisper by Karen Robards (#3 Dr. Charlotte Stone)
I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre (#1 2B Trilogy)
Irresistible Force by D D Ayres (#1 K-9 Rescue Series)
Is Sort of Freaked Out by Steve Cotler (#5 Cheesie Mack)
It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis (#10 Lucky Harbor)
Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan (#2 Maids of Honor)
Mercy by B J Daniels (#5 Beartooth, Montana)
No Limits by Lori Foster (#1 Ultimate)
Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney (#6 Lost Lords)
Oblivion by Kelly Creagh (#3 Nevermore)
On Impact! by Nate Ball (#4 Alien in My Pocket)
On the Record by K. A. Linde (#2 Record)
Once More, My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath (#2 Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James)
Own by Katie Porter (#1 Command Force Alpha)
Playing With Fire by Cynthia Eden (#3 Phoenix Fire)
Revenge on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach (#3 Missing on  Superstition Mountain)
Sanctum by Madeleine Roux (#2 Asylum)
Second Chances by Victoria Schwab (#2 Everyday Angel)
Sins of the Father by Christa Faust (#3 Fringe)
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (#2 Smile)
Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren (#2 Gargoyles)
Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (#4 Bell Elkins)
Summer's Moon by Lacey Baker (#3 Sweetland)
Sweet on You by Laura Drake (#3 Sweet on a Cowboy)
The Aftermath by Jen Alexander (#1 Aftermath)
The Arrow by Monica McCarty (#9 The Highland Guard Series)
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost (#1 Broken Destiny)
The Bellingham Bloodbath by Gregory Harris (#2 Colin Pendragon Mystery)
The Benedict Bastard by Cate Campbell (#3 Benedict Hall)
The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane (#1 Hurley Boys)
The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (#3 Lightbringer)
The Destruction of Pompeii, 79 A.D. by Lauren Tarshis (#10 I Survived)
The Far Dawn by Kevin Emerson (#3 Atlanteans)
The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey (#6 Sandman Slim)
The Highlander Next Door by Janet Chapman (#6 Spellbound Falls)
The Homecoming by Robyn Carr (#6 Thunder Point)
The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle (#3 Rainshadow)
The Iron Sickle by Martin Limon (#9 George Sueno and Ernie Bascom)
The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block (#2 Love in the Time of Global Warming)
The Locker Ate Lucy! by Jack Chabert (#2 Eerie Elementary)
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (#10 Chief Inspector Armand Gamache)
The Phantom Music Box by Suzanne Weyn (#2 Haunted Museum)
The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore (#5 Lorien Legacies)
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner (#2 Mortality Doctrine)
The Search for Treasure by Geronimo Stilton (#6 Kingdom of Fantasy)
A Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale (#3 Ever After High)
To Die Fur by Dixie Lyle (#2 Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery)
Torch by KD Jones (#7 Galactic Cage Fighters)
Flashpoint by Gordon Korman (#4 39 Clues: Unstoppable)
Villainous by Matthew Cody (#3 Supers of Noble's Green)
Voices from Beyond by Simon R Green (#5 Ghostfinders)
Wanted: Wild Thing by Jessica Sims (#4 Midnight Liaisons)
Whiskey You’re the Devil by Liliana Hart (#4 Addison Holmes Mysteries)
Winning Love by Abby Niles (#3 Love to the Extreme)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review ~ New York to Dallas

New York to Dallas (In Death #33)

by J.D. Robb
published by Berkley
genre: Adult, Sci-Fi, Cop Drama, Mystery

Summary (Goodreads): The number-one New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name-and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago.

My Thoughts: There was a lot going on in this one. At one point it was too much.
The story starting out with Peabody and Eve getting medals for the work they had done in bringing down the dirty cops was a nice way of closing off that story. Before we can get there Eve gets a message, n the form of a hostage situation, that a serial pedophile/kidnapper that she put away when she was a rookie has escaped. It's very clear from the beginning that his focus is more on Eve than on getting back into things.
This has not stopped him from going back to his old ways, he's just not as good at it. Not only is Dallas where Eve is from it is also where two of McQueen's victims are from. The emotional trauma that surrounds Eve and the city of Dallas has been a running story line throughout this series. Add in what McQueen is and where he has decided to set up shop and it all comes back up again.
The only thing that didn't work for me was the twist with McQueen's partner. It was just too much. The reveal felt like a throw away. With everything else that was happening this story didn't need it. It seemed as if the author was closing off some loose ends so she wouldn't be asked about them anymore. It was just off for me.
Overall, I liked the book even though a lot of it was old stories putting themselves in the forefront again. The relationship between Eve and Roarke took some hits but managed to right itself with the help of some old friends. I did miss the usual team. While the Dallas people were fine it didn't have the same feel as the group you're used to. Almost caught up with this series and still enjoying it.

Rating: 4

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

As I'm sure you've noticed I am a fan of Disney Princess fan art. Found another artist this week that mixes Disney and Star Wars.
artist: White-Magician DeviantArt

New season of Doctor Who starts this week. I've been enjoying the replays this week of past episodes. I was also glad Clara was not going to be the companion after the Christmas special. While I don't hate her as much as others but she is not my favorite.

Lastly, I'm sure you've seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, here's a short video of why and who started the challenge. We have a young family member with ALS and this is all very important to us.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 8/18/2014

A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson (#4 Weddings by Design)
A View to a Thrill by Lexi Blake (#7 Masters and Mercenaries)
Etta Mae's Worst Bad-Luck Day by Ann B Ross (#16 Miss Julia)
Finn by Minx Malone (#2 Blue Collar Billionaires)
Risky Business by Melissa Cutler (#1 Bomb Squad)
Gun Metal Heart by Dana Haynes (#2 Daria Gibron)
Hard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye (#2.5 Hard Ink)
Haunted by Randy Wayne White (#3 Hannah Smith)
How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries (#3 The Duke's Men)
Maverick for Hire by Leanne Banks (#3 Montana Mavericks: 20 Years in the Saddle)
Never Been Kissed by Mari Carr (#5 Second Chances)
No In Between by Lisa Renee Jones (#4 Inside Out)
Once Dead by Richard Phillips (#1 Ripper / Rho Agenda)
One Kick by Chelsea Cain (#1 Kick Lannigan)
Payoff by Douglas Corleone (#3 Simon Fisk)
Proving His Worth by Cari Quinn (#3 Deuces Wild)
Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby (#2 Love Under the Big Sky)
The Godless by Ben Peek (#1 Children)
The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (#3 Bannon and Clare)
The Scorched Earth by Drew Karpyshyn (#2 Chaos Born trilogy)
The Spirit Box by George Mann (#2 Sherlock Holmes)
Tycoon's Temptation by Trish Morey (#6 Chatsfield)
Visions by Kelley Armstrong (#2 Cainsville)
Way of the Shadows by Cynthia Eden (#4 Shadow Agents: Guts and Glory)
Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger (#14 Cork O'Connor)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review ~ Twice Bitten

Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3)

by Chloe Neill
published by Penguin Group
genre: Adult, PNR, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural

Summary (Goodreads): Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

My Thoughts: This might be my favorite so far. Liked the addition of the shifters and the fact that it wasn't another round of Celina and a traitor in the house.
We finally get some real Merit and Ethan action, unfortunately it doesn't last nearly long enough. There is something about these two on the page, whether working, fighting, or just making everyone frustrated that works and makes you want more. Even when I want to kick Ethan he is quickly moving up the ranks as a favorite vamp character.
I liked the dynamics of the packs. They are such a 180 from the vampires that it was easier to enjoy and want to be on their side. That said the whole "traitor" thing didn't make sense considering how power is passed down. It served the purpose of the final set up but would have liked it to make more sense.
Overall, really enjoying this series. There are a ton of great side characters that can easily steal a page or two. Don't know why I waited so long to read this series but I'm looking forward to reading more. Book 10 just came out so plenty to catch up on.

Rating: 4

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vacation Time

I was actually on vacation over the weekend but still haven't caught up with posts. We were up near Sleeping Bear Dunes (above) with 20+ family members. Hoping to be back to normal posts next week.
Have a Great Weekend and Happy Reading Everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 8/11/2014

An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd (#6 Bess Crawford Mystery)
Beware Beware by Steph Cha (#2 Juniper Song Mystery)
Black Ice by Susan Krinard (#2 Midgard)
Butternut Summer by Mary McNear (#2 Butternut Lake Trilogy)
Clam Wake by Mary Daheim (#29 Bed-And-Breakfast Mysteries)
Collin by Sandi Lynn (#4 Forever Black)
Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells (#2 The Prospero's War)
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron (#22 Judge Deborah Knott)
Dirty Little Misery by Tracey Martin (#3 Miss Misery)
DragonKin by Maria E. Schneider (#2 Dragons of Wendal)
Dylan's Redemption by Jennifer Ryan (#3 The McBrides)
Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger (#6 Origami Yoda)
Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb (#1 Fitz & the Fool Trilogy #14 Realms of the
Half in Love with Artful Death by Bill Crider (#21 Dan Rhodes)
Hellhole Inferno by Brian Herbert (#3 Hell Hole Trilogy)
Katie Starting from Scratch by Coco Simon (#21 Cupcake Diaries)
Love Letters by Debbie Macomber (#3 Rose Harbor Inn)
Obsessed by T. R. Ragan (#4 Lizzie Gardener)
Show Me, Baby by Cherise Sinclair (#8.5 Masters of the Shadowlands #8 1001 Dark Nights)
Sixth Extinction by James Rollins (#10 SIGMA Force)
Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee (#5 Weekday Brides)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

Came across this artist this week. They turn Disney characters steampunk. You can find Mecanique Fairy's Deviant Art page here.
Queen of Heart by Mecanique Fairy
Tinkerbell by Mecanique Fairy

I still love this series. There have been some misses along the way but I still look forward to new books coming out. I also love that this is a cross over between her Dark Hunters and Lords of Avalon (Kinley MacGregor). More about Son of No One here.

My son's favorite week of the year. Shark Week starts Sunday 8/10/14 on Discovery Channel.

REMUS SharkCam: The hunter and the hunted from Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review ~ The Magician's Land

The Magician's Land (The Magician's #3)

by Lev Grossman
published by Viking Adult
released: 8/5/2014
genre: Adult, Fantasy, 

**Received e-copy from Penguins first read in exchange for honest thoughts.

Summary (Goodreads): The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.

Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.

My Thoughts: This is the last book of the Magician's series. It picks up with Quentin finding his way after being removed from Fillory in book 2. Quentin seemed to have the most growth throughout this series. We see him trying to fit into the real world and move forward. He ends up back at Brakebills as a teacher. We also find out his area of expertise is mending which is important to the end of the series.
Plum is the other main character of this book. She is a senior at Brakebills. The main problem I had with this story was how/why she got expelled from school. It just seemed like a reason to get her and Quentin out into the world where they could be offered this job. Being really bad at pulling a prank just didn't seem like a plausible reason to throw her out of school.
As expected the job does not go off smoothly. The group is attacked by someone else wanting the Chatwin book that's inside the case. Julia's story from book 2 shows up and brings another bit of closure.
Overall, this worked as a final book. Quentin and his quest to try and fix Alice, Plum facing the fact that she is a Chatwin and all that entails and all of them trying to fix Fillory before it completely disappears. The only thing I didn't like was Janet's story. I understand wanting to have all the main characters in the last book but she just came off as a vile, hateful, person filled with blood lust. The chapters were not needed and just dragged down the story line.

Rating: 4

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review ~ Grim


edited by Christine Johnson
published by Harlequin Teen
genre: YA, anthology, retelling, fantasy

Summary (Goodreads): Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skrovon

My Thoughts: I had a hard time rating this. While they were all well written stories there was just something that didn't feel like Grimm retellings. While they were "scary" or had bad things happening they almost felt too cute. They didn't feel dark enough for my tastes. I kept waiting for something more. I wanted the sinister, creepy, twisted stories.
Overall, like I said, these were well written, good stories just not what I was expecting from the title of the book.

Rating: 3.5-4