Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Day Randomness

It's Thanksgiving here in the states. Time to remember all the things you are thankful for and eat way too much food. I'll be cooking all day and getting ready for family coming in the following weekend.
Ocellated Turkey
The first football game broadcast on Thanksgiving was at University of Detroit Stadium in 1934. Featured the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. The two teams are playing against each other today as well.
© Cartoon by Rick McKee

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 11/24/2014

Abracadaver by Laura Resnick (#7 Esther Diamond)
Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline (#13 Rosato and Associates)
Black Widow by Jennifer Estep (#12 Elemental Assassin)
Broken Open by Lauren Dane (#2 Hurley Boys)
Captive by Aimée Carter (#2 The Blackcoat Rebellion)
Cold As Ice by Sarah Mlynowski (#6 Whatever After)
Curves 'em Right by Milly Taiden (#4 Paranormal Dating Agency)
Damnation by Jean Johnson (#5 Theirs Not To Reason Why)
Dead But Not Forgotten by Charlaine Harris (#14 Sookie Stackhouse)
Deadly Obsession by Maggie Shayne (#4 Brown and De Luca)
Death Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd (#2 Kurland St. Mary Mysteries)
Endsinger by Jay Kristoff (#3 Lotus War Trilogy)
Exquisite Danger by Ann Mayburn (#2 Iron Horse MC)
Farewell to Ceder Key by Terri Dulong (#6 Cedar Keys)
Ghosts of Christmas Past by Corrina Lawson (#3.5 The Phoenix Institute)
Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye (#3 Hard Ink)
Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler (#1 Jinn and Juice)
Last Chance Family by Hope Ramsay (#9 Last Chance)
Lying In Wait by Ann Rule (#17 Ann Rule's Crime Files)
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews (#7.5 Kate Daniels)
Mine to Take by Jackie Ashenden (#1 Nine Circles)
Never Judge A Lady By Her Cover by Sarah MacLean (#4 Rules of Scoundrels)
Saving the Sun Dragon by Tracey West (#2 Dragon Masters)
Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh (#13.5 Psy-Changelings)
Shadow Watchers by K. F. Breene (#6 Darkness)
Sister Eve, Private Eye by Lynne Hinton (#1 Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery)
Symbiont by Mira Grant (#2 Parasitology)
The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger (#2 The Whispers Series)
The King by Tiffany Reisz (#6 The Original Sinners)
The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre (#3 2B Trilogy)
The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy (#2 Twelve Kingdoms)
Twice Tempted by Eileen Dreyer (#5 Drake's Rakes)
Unchained by Caris Roane (#3 Men in Chains)
Unwrapping Tess by Krystal Shannan (#5 Vegas Mates)
Vampire in Paradise by Sandra Hill (#5 Deadly Angels)
Wicked Ways by Lisa Jackson (#4 Colony)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review ~ The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deception

by Mary E Pearson
published by Henry Holt & Co.
genre: YA, Fantasy,

Summary (Goodreads): A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My Thoughts: This should have been such a higher rating. I enjoyed the story, the characters and the world/mythology that the author created. Yet it just seemed to drag. It took me a week to read this and usually when I'm loving a book I can read it in a day or two.
I found Lia to be an interesting character. I wasn't sure how I felt at first. It jumps right into her fleeing from her marriage. Since we don't really know her yet it is difficult to feel for her at this point. I still liked her just wasn't sure. I did like how she wasn't your normal royal princess. She was a younger sister that clearly grew up a tom boy. I also liked her with Pauline. They had a great relationship that felt more like friends then servant/princess.
Kaden and Rafe both caught my attention as well. I hate love triangles and yet enjoyed all these characters that I was able to overlook it, mostly. It also helped that Lia had a clear favorite even when she was saying otherwise. Both men have their secrets and trying to figure out which is the assassin and which is the prince was not as easy as these things usually are.
There are questions I have. Like who was Gwen a spy for. She seemed shady when her and Pauline were going back to Civica. Also, Pauline herself is about to walk into something that could not only have an effect on her future but the relationship she has with Lia.
Of course the main reason for wanting to read the next book is to find out what happens now that we have all three main characters on their way into enemy territory. Not sure what the plans are that the two men have but cannot wait to watch them play out. I'm also interested to find out more about Lia's gifts and how they come into play.

Rating: 3.5 (only because it read so slow for me)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

There were not many movies that came out this year that my son/family wanted to see. The list for next year just keeps getting longer. Stills were released this week for a new Peanuts movie. My son loves reading the comic strips and watching the cartoons. 

I've been reading various comics/graphic novels. Found the Girl Genius series at my local library. I've read the first book and enjoyed the story and graphics. Then I found the whole series has been archived and available to read online. I haven't read more yet but looking forward to it. website,

So has anyone heard of this site? It's called Indie Arcs. It's like NetGalley but for Indie authors. I created an account but haven't really had the time to look around. It looks more interactive than netGalley. There are book groups, forums, etc. that you can join and connect with other readers and authors. (Website)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 11/17/2014

A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson (#4 Weird Girls)
A Deadly Measure of Brimstone by Catriona McPherson (#8 Dandy Gilver)
Bound by Ink by Marcella Burnard (#2 Nightmare Ink)
Captivated by You by Sylvia Day (#4 Crossfire)
Captured by Lorhainne Eckhart (#3 Saved)
Ella and Micha: Infinitely and Always by Jessica Sorensen (#5 The Secret)
Hart Attack by Cristin Harber (#5 Titan)
Heritage of Cyador by L E Modesitt Jr (#18 Recluce)
I Belong to You by Lisa Renee Jones (#5 Inside Out)
Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull (#2 Five Kingdoms)
Stolen by Melissa de la Cruz (#2 Heart of Dread)
The Escape by David Baldacci (#3 John Puller)
The Job by Janet Evanovich (#3 Kate O'Hare)
The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum (#10 Inspector Sejer)
The Shiro Project by David Khara (#2 Consortium Thriller)
The Void by J. D. Horn (#3 Witching Savannah)
Undefeated by Melissa Cutler (#2 Destiny Falls / Bomb Squad)
Unwrapped by Maisey Yates (#3.5 Silver Creek)
What The Greek Wants Most by Maya Blake (#3 Untameable Greeks Trilogy)
Wild by Sophie Jordan (#3 Ivy Chronicles)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review ~ Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty 

by Rosamund Hodge
published by Balzer+Bray
genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings, Mythology,

Summary (Goodreads): Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

My Thoughts: I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. There were parts that were interesting and others that were confusing. It was like the author had so many ideas for a book and felt they needed to get them all into their first book. There is the retelling of "Beauty and The Beast" mixed with a type of mythology. I'm not sure it always worked.
Nyx may have been my biggest issue at times. Unfortunately, with a retelling you have a picture of characters already in your head and Nyx does not come close. While I understood her reasons, I found her to be too bitter and it was constant. She couldn't seem to do anything without going back to how much she wasn't loved and how much she hates her family. It made it hard to believe that she would be so dedicated to save them all.
Ignifex's story was probably the most interesting. I liked learning all his secrets as well as those of the castle. There was a mini love triangle but to me it was obvious what was going to happen between Ignifex and Shadow. Even before the reveal I liked Ignifex more anyways.
Overall, it was a good story it just had a few too many components. The switch towards the end with Nyx's sister didn't make a lot of sense other than to add more drama to Nyx's story. It might go back to the bitterness and hatred. It lessened her character by making her unable to make any decisions on her own. She would think one thing then do the opposite because of her family.
I enjoyed this book enough that I would definitely give this author another try.

Rating: 3.5

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

I came across this paper artist Wolfram (Paperwolf) and his Esty shop. I find this type of art sometimes more interesting because I know I would not have the patience for some of these pieces.

Book to Movie
Insurgent Teaser Trailer: Movie release 03/20/2015

FabArtDIY put together a list of Nail Art designs for the holidays. I like to paint my nails but cannot see myself taking the time to do some of these. Still, there are a couple (like the one below) that just really grabed my attention.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 11/10/2014

Very small list this week. All links go to Goodreads

A Darker Past by  Jus Accardo (#2 The Darker Agency)
Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne (#1 Autumn Falls)
Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston (#14 Pendergast)
Conquer Me by Geneva Lee (#2 Royals Saga)
Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh (#4 Love and Football)
Denied by Jodi Ellen Malpas (#2 One Night Trilogy)
Fear City by F Paul Wilson (#3 Early Years Trilogy)
Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell (#22 The Scarpetta Series)
Her Warriors by Bianca D'Arc (#4 String of Fate)
His Wicked Seduction by Lauren Smith (#2 The League of Rogues)
Hunting in Bruges by E.J. Stevens (#1 Hunters' Guild)
More to Give by Terri Osburn (#4 Anchor Island)
Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread by Mary Jane Hathaway (#3 Jane Austen Takes The South)
Revolution by Jenna Black (#3 Replica Trilogy)
Sleigh Ride by Heidi Cullinan (#2 Minnesota Christmas)
The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel (#1 The Book of Ivy)
The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean (#7 Color of Heaven)
The Curse of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker (#3 The Buttons)
The Flame by Christopher Rice (#11 1001 Dark Nights)
The Witch Must Burn by Danielle Paige (#1.5 Dorothy Must Die)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Review ~ Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1)

by Sara Raasch
published by Balzer + Bray
genre: YA, Fantasy, Debut Book

Summary (Goodreads): A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Thoughts: I was glad that this mostly lived up to the Hype. I'm always concerned when everyone loves a book, for some reason I tend to not like those books.
My favorite thing had to be the world the author created. I loved the idea of having four different lands based on the seasons and with the characteristics of the seasons. The other side of that was the Rhythms. These I didn't understand as well but understand where the author was going. Ms Raasch brought balance throughout. Whether through the four seasons/ four rhythms or the four female conduits/ four male conduits. Balance was important.
Meira was another thing that I liked. She was young and eager but at the same time full of doubts concerning her place in their world. All she wants to do is prove herself to those she looks up to and feel a part of Winter, a world she hasn't set foot in since she was an infant. From being on the run, learning to be a queen, and dealing with Spring each scenario made Meira a stronger and more likable character.
The only thing that stopped this from being a straight five star read was the foreshadowing to the big reveal. It might be because I read so many fantasy books but the flashbacks, while subtle and easy to miss, told me what was going to happen. I did enjoy how and when it happened. There is some romance in this book. I never bought into Meira and Mather only because they knew no one else so who else would they be interested in. I thought her relationship with Theron felt more genuine.
Overall, this is one of my favorite reads of 2014 and I look forward to reading more about this world that Ms Raasch has created.

Rating: 4.5 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some Thursday Randomness

Thursday Randomness

This post seems to be about things my son enjoys...

My son is a big fan of the Despicable Me movies. He has been waiting for the minions movie forever and we finally saw a trailer for it. Now for the long wait until Summer 2015.

My son also loves attempting to make flip books. We found this guy on YouTube who takes it to another level. We had fun clicking through his playlist. Most are around 30 secs so does not take long.

and lastly one thing for me... Epic Reads has made an infographic called The Age of YA: A Timeline of Historical Fiction. There are some on this list that I have already read and some that I'm looking forward to reading. You can find the list here.
From ancient times to the decade of grunge, take a trip to the past with this timeline of 140 YA historical fiction novels, curated by the Epic Reads community! Scroll down for the gorgeous graphic and then keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, for the list of titles featured!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Releases ~ week of 11/03/2014

A Beaumont Christmas Wedding by Sarah M Anderson (#3 The Beaumont Heirs)
A Dog Gone Murder by Elaine Viets (#10 Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper)
A Dream of Home by Amy Clipston (#3 Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel)
A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle (#1 Fixer-Upper Mystery)
A New York Christmas by Anne Perry (#12 Christmas novellas)
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (#1 Firebird Trilogy)
Acts of Faith by Patricia Wynn (#5 Blue Satan And Mrs. Kean)
Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green (#2 Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire)
By Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan (#1 Five-Ingredient Mystery)
Chorus Lines, Caviar, and Corpses by Mary McHugh (#1 Happy Hoofers Mystery)
Coming Home by Jack McDevitt (#7 Alex Benedict)
Crashland by Sean Williams (#2 Twinmaker)
Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren (#2 Wild Seasons)
Dovewing's Silence by Erin Hunter (#7 Warriors: Novella)
Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster (#2 Bhinian Empire)
Everblaze by Shannon Messenger (#3 Keeper of the Lost Cities)
Freed by Stacey Kennedy (#4 Club Sin)
Heart Fire by Robin D. Owens (#13 Celta)
Her Lone Wolf by Paige Tyler (#2 X-OPS)
Hope Reformed by S. M. Stirling, David Drake (#7-8 General)
Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (#2 The Naturals)
King's Assassins by Jenna Rhodes (#3 Elven Ways)
Knot in My Backyard by Mary Marks (#2 Quilting Mysteries)
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Rita Mae Brown (#9 Jane Arnold)
Lethal Letters by Ellery Adams (#6 Books by the Bay Mystery)
Letting Go by Molly McAdams (#1 Thatch)
Limitless by Robert J. Crane (#1 Out of the Box)
Make You Remember by Macy Beckett (#2 Dumont Bachelors)
Midnight Action by Elle Kennedy (#5 Killer Instincts)
Mistletoe & Hollywood by Natasha Boyd (#2.5 Eversea)
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (#3 His Fair Assassin)
No Boundaries by SE Jakes (#1 Phoenix Inc.)
No Mallets Intended by Victoria Hamilton (#4 Vintage Kitchen Mysteries)
Not Quite Forever by Catherine Bybee (#4 Not Quite)
On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay (#5 Library Lover's Mystery)
Plagued by Quilt by Molly MacRae (#4 Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery)
Polar Bared by Eve Langlais (#3 Kodiak Point)
Reap the Wind by Karen Chance (#7 Cassandra Palmer)
Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne (#6 Spy Series)
Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare (#5 The Billionaire Boys Club)
Seduced by Stratton by Katy Regnery (#4 English Brothers)
Spice by Seressia Glass (#1 Sugar and Spice)
Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere (#1 Material Witness Mystery)
Tainted Blood by M. L. Brennan (#3 Generation V)
The Billion Dollar Player by Mandy Baxter (#2 Billionaire's Club: Texas)
The Blazing Star by Erin Hunter (#4 Warriors: Dawn of the Clans)
The Chocolate Clown Corpse by JoAnna Carl (#14 Chocoholic Mysteries)
The Cowboy's Christmas Gift by Donna Alward (#1 Crooked Valley Ranch)
The Future Falls by Tanya Huff (#3 Enchantment Emporium)
The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg (#2 The Paper Magician Trilogy)
The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney (#9 Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
The Pretender's Gambit by Alex Archer (#51 Rogue Angel)
The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate (#2 Potting Shed Mysteries)
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (#3 Mara Dyer)
The Texan's Christmas by Tanya Michaels (#6 Texas Rodeo Barons)
Visitors by Orson Scott Card (#3 Pathfinder)
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (#3 Finishing School)
What to Do with a Bad Boy by Marie Harte (#4 McCauley Brothers)
Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber by L. A. Meyer (#12 Bloody Jack)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Art Book Review ~ Fairy Homes and Gardens

Fairy Homes and Gardens

by Ashley Rooney
Intro by David D.J. Rau
published by Schiffer Publishing
released October 28, 2014
Genre: Art, Fantasy, Crafting

**Received e-arc from publisher and NetGalley

Summary (Goodreads): Many supernatural creatures are said to inhabit our world. Their magical, wonderland realm has been the subject of many books, movies, and our childhood dreams. In this richly illustrated book, 30 designers from around the world transform natural settings into enchanting displays that recreate that sense of wonder. Using artificial flowers, fabric, sticks, wire, crystals, berries, acorns, baskets, and polymer clay, these designers have been inspired to create their own once upon a time fairy home and garden for special events, storytelling, or just because they believe in fairies. In doing so, they tap into our inner child and help us to imagine a new world. This is a wonderful resource for designers and artists, as well as parents, teachers, or anyone looking to create their own magical place."

My Thoughts: This is a book that I would definitely put on my coffee table just for the visuals. I liked the photos of all the different fairy houses. My favorites were the nature based homes. There is a wide variety of different artists to help inspire you in creating your fairy own home.
There was also a section that talked about hospitals that use this art movement for therapy. I can see where this would be a zen type project that would help calm the mind.
The only thing I would have liked to see is a couple of projects from start to finish. It was nice seeing all the finished houses but seeing what the artists started with and maybe a few shots along the way to the finished project would have been nice.

Rating: 4