Thursday, January 29, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Sometimes you see things around the web that are just too cute. Found these household items and there are so any of them that I could buy on whim if I had the funds. The Ototo Designs can be found here (website).
Nessie Ladle

Off the Shelf did a list of 12 Fantastical Pop-Up Books. There were some interesting ones on the list but this was my favorite. Full List (website)

I don't normally like movie covers for books, but I like the new covers for Insurgent better than the actual movie posters I've seen.

Lastly, the trailer for the Fantastic Four reboot. Based on this trailer not really that interested in it. We just watched the original with son and while not a great movie it was at least fun (and a little campy).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 01/26/2015

A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd (#3 The Madman's Daughter)
A Tale of Two Sisters by Debbie Dadey (#10 Mermaid Tales)
Alive and Kicking by Chris Lynch (#3 World War II)
Alive Day by Rebecca Crowley (#2 Homefront)
Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James (#6 Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Beautiful Redemption by Jamie McGuire (#2 Maddox Brothers)
Beyond Limits by Laura Griffin (#8 Tracers)
Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop (#1 TombQuest)
Breaking Creed by Alex Kava (#1 Ryder Creed)
Burning Nation by Trent Reedy (#2 Divided We Fall Trilogy)
Chaos by Lanie Bross (#2 Fates)
Craved by an Alpha by Felicity Heaton (#5 Eternal Mates)
Cut Me Free by J. R. Johansson (#3 The Night Walkers)
Day Zero by Marc Cameron (#5 Jericho Quinn)
Echo Lake by Carla Neggers (#4 Swift River Valley)
Echoes of Dollanganger by V. C. Andrews (#2 Christopher's Diary)
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (#3.5 Lunar Chronicles)
Fireworks: Riley by Liliana Hart (#3.5 The MacKenzie Brothers)
Flirting with Disaster by Victoria Dahl (#3 Jackson Girl's Night Out)
For Keeps by Rachel Lacey (#2 Love to the Rescue)
Forged in Fire by Juliette Cross (#1 Vessel Trilogy)
Full Tilt by Rick Mofina (#2 Kate Page)
Gemini Cell by Myke Cole (#0.5 Shadow Ops)
Gilt by Association by Karen Rose Smith (#3 Caprice De Luca Mystery)
If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries (#4 The Duke's Men)
In For the Kill by Shannon McKenna (#11 McCloud Brothers)
In His Keeping by Maya Banks (#2 Slow Burn)
No Place That Far by L. A. Witt (#6 Distance Between Us)
Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout (#2 California Bones)
Panther Prowling by Yasmine Galenorn (#17 Sisters of the Moon - Otherworld)
Pillars of Fire by Laurice Elehwany Molinari (#2 Ether)
Playing Dirty by HelenKay Dimon (#2 Bad Boys Undercover)
Playing Dirty by Kelly Jamieson (#3 Windy City Kink)
Risking it All by Tessa Bailey (#1 Crossing the Line)
Shadow of the Raven by Tessa Harris (#5 Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery)
Shark Skin Suite by Tim Dorsey (#18 Serge Storms)
Sweet Surprise by Candis Terry (#4 Sweet, Texas)
Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (#2 Kill Me Softly)
Teardrop Lane by Emily March (#9 Eternity Springs)
The Devil Takes a Bride by Julia London (#2 The Cabot Sisters)
The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin (#2 SPI Files)
The Empty Throne by Cayla Kluver (#2 Heirs of Chrior)
The Inquisitor's Mark by Dianne K. Salerni (#2 Eighth Day)
The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller (#2 Brides of Bliss County)
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (#2 The Bone Season)
The Rebel of Copper Creek by R C Ryan (#2 Copper Creek Cowboys)
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (#4 Smythe-Smith
The Three Fates of Ryan Love by Erin Quinn (#2 Beyond)
This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle (#2 Fixer-Upper Mystery)
Too Hot to Handle by Katie Rose (#2 The Boys of Summer)
Toured to Death by Hy Conrad (#1 Amy s Travel Mystery)
Viper Game by Christine Feehan (#11 Ghostwalkers)
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (#2 The Lonely Hearts Club)
Zombified by Adam Gallardo (#2 Zombie Apocalypse)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review ~ Dark Frost

Dark Frost (Mythos Academy #3)

by Jennifer Estep
published by Kensington
genre: YA, mythology, paranormal,

Summary (Goodreads): I've seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I'm supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I'm just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me--again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects--and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I'm also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can't use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me--and I'm in for the fight of my life.

My Thoughts: It has been awhile since I read the first two books in this series but book three felt much darker than I remember them being. It started out dark and stayed that way throughout. There were some nice and sparkly parts but they were few and far between. The darkness did not only come from the reapers. Gwen was dumped on from all sides, the reapers, her boyfriend, and even her best friend.
I had some problems with Gwen in this one. She seemed to be overly slow. There were several things where it was so obvious to the reader that I was becoming annoyed with the fact that Gwen was so gullible. The lost ring case was the biggest evidence of this.
I also felt the author foreshadowed too much in this book. There was no mystery, everything was laid out. I did like the reveal of the reaper girls magic. Knowing that there is an opposing magic to Gwen's gypsy magic could be interesting.
My favorite part was Nott and Grandma Frost. We always get Grandma Frost as the lovable, baking type and it was nice to get a glimpse of her as a former champion.
Overall, this was enjoyable read and kept me entertained even when we knew what was going to happen next. I do wish that the growth we saw from Gwen in the beginning of the book carried over through the whole book. She seemed able to handle herself and was confident in what she could do and what her friend could do. Still, I'm looking forward to reading the next book and finishing off this series as well.

Rating: 4

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Not sure how I missed this movie but after watching this trailer I really want to see it.

Found this artist while looking at Disney fan art. DeviantArt: pushfighter (Ralph Sevelius). You can find more of his work here (DeviantArt / blog)
Sith Snow White
by Pushfighter (Ralph Sevelius)
Sith Elsa
by Pushfighter (Ralph Sevelius)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 01/19/2015

A SEAL's Secret by Tawny Weber (#6 Uniformly Hot SEALs)
All Fall Down by Ally Carter (#1 Embassy Row)
Bound to be Tested by Becca Jameson (#3 Emergence)
Burned by Karen Marie Moning (#7 Fever)
Confessions by Cynthia Eden (#1 Battling McGuire Boys)
Consume Me by Ryan Michele (#3 Ravage MC)
Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman (#2 Brigid Quinn)
First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen (#6 Waverley Family)
Hero By Night by Sara Jane Stone (#3 Independence Falls)
Last Hit: Reloaded by Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick (#2.5 Hitman)
Lethal Consequences by Elisabeth Naughton (#2 Aegis Security)
Mr. Kiss and Tell by Jennifer Graham (#2 Veronica Mars)
Nisekoi: False Love, Vol. 10: Shu's Crush by Naoshi Komi (#10 Nisekoi)
Once Loved by Cecy Robson (#2 Shattered Past)
Once Upon a Highland Christmas by Lecia Cornwall (#3 Once Upon a Highland Season)
One Last Thing by Kim Baldwin (#7 Elite Operatives)
Playing by the Greek's Rules by Sarah Morgan (#0.5 Puffin Island)
Playing it Kale  Keary Taylor #4 in McCain Saga
Polaris by Mindee Arnett (#2 Avalon)
Revealing Ruby by Lavinia Kent (#1.5 Bound and Determined)
Ripper by Lexi Blake (#1 Hunter)
Serial, Volume 3 by Jaden Wilkes (#5 Serial)
The City of Blood by Frédérique Molay (#3 Paris Homicide)
The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene (#8 Nancy Drew Diaries)
The Prey by Tom Isbell (#1 The Hatchery)
The Prince by Sylvain Reynard (#0.5 The Florentine)
White Knight by Kelly Meade (#3 Cornerstone Run Trilogy)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review ~ The Vanishing Girl

The Vanishing Girl (The Vanishing Girl #1)

by Laura Thalassa
published by Skyscape
genre: New Adult, Sci-Fi, 

**received as a free read from publisher and netGalley

Summary (Goodreads): Every night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world—London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom—wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It's a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.

A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne captures her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.

Dragged off to a remote facility where others like her live, Ember’s forced to pair up with her former captor, Caden, to learn how to survive inside until she can escape. Only Caden’s making escape seem less and less appealing.

But even as Ember falls for the boy who got her into this mess, she knows that she is running out of time. Because the government has plans for those like her, and those plans might just cost Ember her life.

My Thoughts: I downloaded this based on the blurb alone. The idea of being able to teleport but only being able to do it for 10 minutes and only at night when you're first falling asleep was interesting.
We soon find out that this is all part of a government program that their parents made deals with in order to get help conceiving. Of course there were conditions to the help. The parents agreed to the children being forced to "serve" the government for two years once they turn eighteen.
I like Ember 90% of the time. I could have done without the whole romance or at least make Ember have a bigger problem with it than she did. She spends the whole book trying to figure out how to get away from the facility and everything the government has done to her but doesn't question her "love" for her pair (Caden). Even when she figures out that the pairs were determined when they were being created she questions it little. It just seemed to go against her personality the rest of the time. I actually liked Caden and didn't have a problem with the relationship, just the fact that Ember was okay with it too quickly.
Overall, I found this to be a mostly fun read. Government conspiracy, teleporting, doubling crossing teenagers, and mysteries abound. I didn't hate the relationship just the cause of it. The author definitely kept my attention and ended the book with enough intrigue that makes me want to read book 2.

Rating: 3.5-4 (the relationship makes me waiver on this)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

So I'm going to start with the obvious one I saw this week. The new trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. There seems to be a lot in this and since I don't follow the comics I don't have all the speculation that everyone else does. I'm just looking forward to watching it. did a list of the 100 Best Children's Books of All Time. I was surprised by the number of these that I had read even before I had my son. (Website).

Lauren LoPrete has created a Tumblr where she combines Peanuts cartoons with lyrics from The Smiths.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 1/12/2015

Angel Fire by Gerri Hill (#4 Hunter)
Blackout by Meredith McCardle (#2 Annum Guard)
Carniepunk: The Werewife by Jaye Wells
Fatal Scandal by Marie Force (#8 Fatal)
Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh (#2 Spademan)
Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols (#2 Superlatives)
Raveling You by Jessica Sorensen (#2 Unraveling You)
Reckless Nights by Karen Erickson (#1 Vegas Nights)
Saint Odd by Dean Koontz (#7 Odd Thomas)
Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope (#1 Earthsinger Chronicles)
Tap Out by Cat Grant (#3 Bannon's Gym)
The Dagger's Path by Glenda Larke (#2 Forsaken Lands)
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The Honest Folk of Guadeloupe by Timothy Williams (#2 Anne Marie Laveaud Mystery)
The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus (#3 Bodenstein & Kirchhoff)
The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley (#2 Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)
The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan (#1 Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak)
Unbreakable by W C Bauers (#1 Chronicles of Promise Paen)
Unmade by Amy Rose Capetta (#2 Entangled)
Wicked Wolf by Carrie Ann Ryan (#8 Redwood Pack)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review ~ Wild Things

Wild Things (Chicagoland Vampires #9)

by Chloe Neill
published by NAL Trade
genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy, PNR, Supernatural

Summary: (Goodreads): Since Merit was turned into a vampire, and the protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House, it’s been a wild ride. She and Master vampire Ethan Sullivan have helped make Cadogan’s vampires the strongest in North America, and forged ties with paranormal folk of all breeds and creeds, living or dead…or both.

But now those alliances are about to be tested. A strange and twisted magic has ripped through the North American Central Pack, and Merit’s closest friends are caught in the crosshairs. Gabriel Keene, the Pack Apex, looks to Merit and Ethan for help. But who—or what—could possibly be powerful enough to out-magic a shifter?

Merit is about to go toe to toe, and cold steel to cold heart, to find out.

My Thoughts: Another enjoyable installment in the Chicagoland series. I probably liked this book for all the wrong reasons. Since he first showed up Gabriel has been my favorite character in these books. I really want a book from his POV circling around the supes.
Ethan and Merit are laying low (hiding from mayor) with the supes. During an annual festival things get a little out of hand. We find out about other types of supernaturals "living" in the world besides the ones already out. In the aftermath it is discovered that someone is kidnapping supernaturals. In order to get out of trouble with the elves Merit and Co. have to find the missing and return them to their families.
The story line with the mayor seemed to resolve too easily. I also didn't like that it happened off page. The story went from A to C without showing anything between.
The rest felt like a transition type book. With decisions being made regarding Chicago, GP, and the future it set up for some possibly interesting stories.

Rating: 4

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Marvel's Ant-Man Movie

Brad Pitt teaching the audience how to say David Oyelowo's name at the Palm Spring's International Film Festival.It's really not that hard but still a cute moment.

by Dallas Williams (DeviantArt)
Dark Forest
 by Dallas Williams (DeviantArt)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 1/5/2015

*Beginning of month is always a long list and this month has a ton of mysteries being released. All links go to Goodreads.

A Case of Spirits by KJ Charles (#2.5 Charm of Magpies)
A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd (#17 Ian Rutledge)
A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourbon Ramirez (#6 A Magical Dressmaking Mystery)
After the Fall by Patricia Gussin (#5 Laura Nelson Mystery)
Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory Funaro (#1 Odditorium)
All the President's Menus by Julie Hyzy (#8 White House Chef Mystery)
As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley (#7 Flavia de Luce Mystery)
Because of the Baby... by Cat Schield (#5 Texas Cattleman's Club: After The Storm)
Blood of the Faithful by Michael Wallace (#8 The Righteous)
Carrying the lost Heir's child by Jules Bennett (#3 Barrington Trilogy)
Contradictions by Tiffany King (#3 Woodfalls Girls)
Cowgirls Don't Cry by Silver James (#1 Red Dirt Royalty)
Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole (#3 Arcana Chronicles)
Dead Wrong by Richard Phillips (#2 Rho Agenda Inception)
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker (#4 Headlines in High Heels Mysteries)
Diners, Drive-ins and Death by Christine Wenger (#3 Comfort Food Mysteries)
Doing the Devil's Work by Bill Loehfelm (#3 Maureen Coughlin)
Drifters by John L Campbell (#3 Omega Days)
Ensnared by A. G. Howard (#3 Splintered)
Falling Away by Jasinda Wilder (#4 Falling)
Feta Attraction by Susannah Hardy (#1 Greek to Me Mystery)
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (#2 The Reckoners)
First and Last Sorcerer by Barb Hendee, J C Hendee (#13 Noble Dead)
For Whom the Bluebell Tolls by Beverly Allen (#2 Bridal Bouquet Shop Mysteries)
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (#1 Kanin Chronicles)
Fry Me A Liver by Delia Rosen (#6 A Deadly Deli Mystery)
Ghost in the Guacamole by Sue Ann Jaffarian (#5 Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery)
Golden Son by Pierce Brown (#2 Red Rising)
Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jos Older (#1 Bone Street Rumba)
How to Plan a Wedding for a Royal Spy by Vanessa Kelly (#3 Renegade Royals)
Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler (#1 SWAT)
Insatiable Appetites by Stuart Woods (#32 Stone Barrington)
Iron Axe by Steven Harper (#1 Books of Blood and Iron)
Kiss of the Rose Princess, Vol. 2 by Aya Shouoto (#2 Kiss of the Rose Princess)
Last Call by Alice Clayton (#2.5 Cocktail)
Lie of the Needle by Cate Price (#3 Deadly Notions Mystery)
Lycan Fallout : Fall Of Man by Mark Tufo (#2 Lycan Fallout)
Meet Me In Scotland by Patience Griffin (#2 Kilts and Quilts)
Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant by Hy Conrad (#4 Mr. Monk)
Nantucket Fivespot by Steven Axelrod (#2 Henry Kennis Mystery)
No Ghouls Allowed  by Victoria Laurie (#9 Ghost Hunter Mystery)
Originator by Joel Shepherd (#6 Cassandra Kresnov)
Reborn by Jennifer Rush (#3 Altered)
Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner (#1 Ranger in Time)
Retribution by David Hagberg (#18 Kirk McGarvey Adventures)
River of No Return by David Riley Bertsch (#2 Jake Trent)
Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly (#2 Waterfire Saga)
Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain (#3 Matchmaker Trilogy)
Slavers of the Savage Catacombs by Jon F Merz (#2 Shadow Warrior saga)
Snoop to Nuts by Elizabeth Lee (#2 Nut House Mysteries)
Snow Way Out by Christine Husom (#1 Snow Globe Shop Mystery)
Snowed In with Her Ex by Andrea Laurence (#1 Brides and Belles)
Some Like It Haute by Diane Vallere (#4 Style and Error)
Someone Like Her by Sandra Owens (#2 K2 Special Services)
Strands of Sorrow by John Ringo (#4 Black Tide Rising)
Sweetie by Kate Klimo (#6 Dog Diaries)
The Body Snatchers Affair by Bill Pronzini (#3 Carpenter and Quincannon Mysteries)
The Burning Horizon by Erin Hunter (#5 Seekers: Return to the Wild)
The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford (#1 Wollstonecraft Detective Agency)
The Trouble with Texas Cowboys by Carolyn Brown (#2 Burnt Boot)
The Millionaire Rogue by Jessica Peterson (#2 Hope Diamond Trilogy)
The Witch Hunter's Tale by Sam Thomas (#3 Midwife Mystery)
The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (#1 Witches of Echo Park)
Twisted Threads by Lea Wait (#1 A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Unbound by Jim C Hines (#3 Magic ex Libris)
Unleashed by Gordon Korman (#7 Swindle)
Where the Bones Are Buried by Jeanne Matthews (#5 Dinah Pelerin Mystery)
White Plague by James Abel (#1 Joe Rush)
Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock (#3 Hemlock Trilogy)
Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves (#1 Lizzie Snow)
With Baited Breath by Lorraine Bartlett (#1 Lotus Bay Mystery)
Wolves' Bane by Angela Addams (#3 Order of the Wolf)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Series Review ~ The Selection

The Selection series (The Selection, The Elite, The One)
by Kiera Cass
published by Harper Teen
genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

My Thoughts: I avoided this series partly because of the huge controversy when the first book came out and also because I hate love triangles. When the second and then the third book came out and I kept seeing them everywhere and the number of people that enjoyed them I decided to give them a try.
The Selection was my least favorite of the series. I did not like Aspen from the start and the more I heard America talk about her undying love for him the more I started to dislike her. I was glad when she got to the castle and things changed up a bit. Even when her reasons for being at the castle and with Maxon revolved around Aspen it was still better than when they were together.
The Elite was an improvement except where America's feelings were concerned. It felt like someone told the author she had to have drama in the romance department and only succeeded in making America seem wishy washy. Every time she seemed to be growing as a character she would fall back to being indecisive and unable to make a decision.
By the time I got to The One I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleased that the author seemed to give up on the love triangle. This was probably my favorite of the series even though I again had problems with it. I've never been so unhappy with getting the ending that I wanted. The things that happened in the last quarter right before the HEA were either confusing or convenient. There were deaths that made no sense other than to make one of the couple realize how much they could be away from the other. Then the whole battle that just dropped everything into place but made no sense. Like I said it was too convenient. I would have been more pleased if the characters had had to earn their final positions rather than getting them by circumstances.
Overall, for some reason, even with all the above, I enjoyed reading these books. They were just kind of light fun books. I'll probably read The Heir when it comes out this year just to see if there is any growth in not only the characters but the authors writing as well.

Series Rating: 3.5-4

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year End Post

Well another year has come and gone. While not everything was great, I at least had a better reading year. I still have not made my Goodreads goal of 150 books but got much closer this year.

Total Books Read: 136
Total Pages: 44649
Five Star Reads: 9
First Book Read: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
Last Book Read: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
Longest Book: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin; 761 pages

Some Favorite Covers (books I read)