Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

It's been a week around here. Freezing temps that froze our underground pipes. Nothing we can do until we get some days around/above freezing. Then CO detector started going off in the middle of the night. Had to have the fire dept come out. Readings were coming from the furnace, made for a very cold night until someone could come out in the morning. Luckily, it was just a clogged up chimney. Needless to say I'm exhausted and ready for winter to be over.

Now on to the good stuff. Really enjoyed Ed Sheeran doing a cover of Christina Aguilera's song Dirrty.

Not really sure how I'm feeling about Allegiant right now. Can understand why people didn't like it and I haven't got to the bad part. That said I do plan on watching the remaining movies at some point.

TeeFury's Shoe section has some great shoes. Not that I can afford right now but still love them. The two below are my favorites so far.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 02/23/2015

A Sinful Deception by Isabella Bradford (#2 Breconridge Brothers)
After Ever Happy by Anna Todd (#4 After)
Allegiance by D. J. Molles (#5 The Remaining)
Armageddon Rules by J C Nelson (#2 Grimm Agency)
At Wolf Ranch by Jennifer Ryan (#1 Montana Men)
Bound by Bliss by Lavinia Kent (#3 Bound and Determined)
Broken Honor by Tonya Burrows (#3 Hornet)
Cursed by Fire by Jacquelyn Frank (#1 The Immortal Brothers)
Demon Child by Kylie Chan (#2 Celestial Battle)
Devils And Dust by J D Rhoades (#4 Jack Keller)
Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister (#2 Dorothy Parker)
Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke (#18 Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Dove Arising by Karen Bao (#1 Dove Chronicles)
Empire Rising by Rick Campbell (#2 Trident Deception)
First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan (#1 Puffin Island)
Fury of Obsession by Coreene Callahan (#5 Dragonfury)
Grave Matters by Lauren M Roy (#2 Night Owls)
Homecoming by Kass Morgan (#3 The Hundred)
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman (#12 Tess Monaghan)
I Loved a Rogue by Katharine Ashe (#3 Prince Catchers)
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871 by Lauren Tarshis (#11 I Survived)
Kalahari by Jessica Khoury (#3 Origin)
Kings and Emperors by Dewey Lambdin (#21 Alan Lewrie)
Lamentation by C J Sansom (#6 Shardlake)
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A Nielsen (#1 Praetor War)
Mightier Than the Sword by Jeffrey Archer (#5 Clifton Chronicles)
Mission Titanic by Jude Watson (#1 39 Clues: Doublecross)
Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A L Herbert (#1 Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery)
My Healer by Alanea Alder (#3 Bewitched And Bewildered)
Okay by Danielle Pearl (#2 Something More)
One Kiss More by Mandy Baxter (#2 U.S. Marshals)
Playing With Fire by Deborah Fletcher Mello (#1 Sultry Southern Nights)
Quake by Patrick Carman (#3 Pulse)
Running Blind by Cindy Gerard (#3 One-Eyed Jacks)
Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott (#2 Fire & Flood)
Secret of the Water Dragon by Tracey West (#3 Dragon Masters)
Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder (#1 in Soulfinders)
Slow Burn by K. Bromberg (#5 Driven Trilogy)
Soulbound by Kristen Callihan (#6 Darkest London)
Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan (#6 Mattie Winston)
Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci (#2 Tin Star)
Teaser by Burt Weissbourd (#2 Corey Logan)
Tempt the Night by Dixie Lee Brown (#5 Trust No One)
The Burning Gates by Parker Bilal (#4 Makana Mystery)
The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale (#3 Princess Academy)
The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery (#1 Mischief Bay)
The Griffin's Riddle by Suzanne Selfors (#5 Imaginary Veterinary)
The Immortal Who Loved Me by Lynsay Sands (#21 Argeneau Vampires)
The Rookie Blue Jay by David A Kelly (#10 Ballpark Mysteries)
The Secret Cipher by Whitaker Ringwald (#2 Secret Box)
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (#1 Sin Eater's Daughter)
The Tempting of Thomas Carrick by Stephanie Laurens (#22 The Cynster Series)
The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes (#3 Alice Quentin)
One Wish by Robyn Carr (#7 Thunder Point)
Twelve Hours by Leo J. Maloney (#4 Dan Morgan)
Unchanged by Jessica Brody (#3 Unremembered)
Uncharted Redemption by Keely Brooke Keith (#2 Uncharted)
Unleashed by Sophie Jordan (#2 Uninvited)
Welcome to the Jungle by Matt London (#2 The 8th Continent)
When Irish Eyes Are Haunting by Heather Graham (#14 1001 Dark Nights)
Wrongful Death by L J Sellers (#10 Detective Wade Jackson Mystery)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review ~ Shadow Study

Shadow Study (Soulfinders #1)

by Maria V Snyder
published by Mira
expected release: February 24, 2015
genre: Adult, Fantasy, 

**Received via NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for honest review

Summary (Goodreads): Once, only her own life hung in the balance.
Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.
Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,

My Thoughts: First, the cover. While I don't hate this cover, it doesn't go with this series. It feels way too much like YA Fantasy when the main characters are clearly adult and have been since the first Study series books came out.
The Study series is a favorite go to for re-reading. I was thrilled when I heard that there was a new trilogy coming with characters from the original series.
Shadow Study starts around six years after the previous series. I loved getting the POVs of Valek and Janco as well as Yelena. To be honest, Valek's chapters were my favorite. We get to find out not only how he really joined the Commander but also how he was trained to be an assassin. All of the flashbacks played well with what was currently happening both in the castle and along the borders of Sitia and Ixia.
I'm not sure where the author is going with the Commander's story but I see nothing good coming from it. Between the new people in the castle, illegal products, and people coming back from the dead it all spells trouble for Valek and Yelena. It will be interesting to see where loyalties fall once more of the story comes out.
Overall, this was another great addition to this series. The author was able to find a way to bring back loved characters and mix them with new blood to keep the world fresh. There was also enough revealed to make the story satisfying but enough questions left to make you want more. Now for the wait until book two comes out.

Rating: 5

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Crimson Peak Trailer, starring Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain

I've shared about this movie before but I really am looking forward to it...

Finishing up with some more fan art. Artist Jeffrey Thomas (Jeftoon01 on DeviantArt) has some interesting twisted princesses and fairies. Merida and Vanellope might be my favorites but I had trouble choosing and could have added many more.
Twisted Princess: Merida
Jeffrey Thomas (DeviantArt)
Twisted Princess: Alice
by Jeffrey Thomas (deviantArt)
Twisted Fairies: Tinker Bell
by Jeffrey Thomas (DeviantArt)
Twisted Princess: Vanellope
by Jeffrey Thomas (DeviantArt)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 02/16/2015

A Restored Man by Jaime Reese (#3 The Men of Halfway House)
Basic Incubus by Nicole Peeler (#3 Trueniverse)
Bear Attraction by Jennifer Ashley (#6.5 Shifters Unbound)
Bitten by a Hellcat by Felicity Heaton (#6 Eternal Mates)
Black Wolf's Revenge by Tera Shanley (#2 Silver Wolf Clan)
Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles (#4 The Cursed Princes)
Craving Talon by Zoey Derrick (#2 69 Bottles)
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (#13 Mary Russell Mysteries)
Gabe by Minx Malone (#3 Blue Collar Billionaires)
Garrett by Sawyer Bennett (#2 Cold Fury Hockey)
Grizzly Love by Eve Langlais (#5 Kodiak Point)
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie (#2 Shattered Sea)
K-9 by Rohan Gavin (#2 Knightley and Son)
Last Days of the Condor by James Grady (#3 Condor)
Lucky Break by Chloe Neill (#10.5 Chicagoland Vampires)
Make Me Yours by Rhyannon Byrd (#3 Dangerous Tides)
Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black (#2 Wars of the Realm)
Ristèard's Unwilling Empress by S E Smith (#4 Lords of Kassis)
Rocky Retreat by Vivian Arend (#7.5 Six Pack Ranch)
Rogue Cowboy by Kasey Millstead (#5 Down Under Cowboy Series)
Secrets by Cynthia Eden (#2 Battling McGuire Boys)
Stupid Boy by Cindy Miles (#2 Stupid in Love)
Tattered Loyalties by Carrie Ann Ryan (#1 Talon Pack)
Tears of Crimson by Michelle Hughes (#1 the New Orleans Vampire Bar)
The Billionaire and the Virgin by Jessica Clare (#1 Billionaires and Bridesmaids)
Lies That Bind by Maggie Barbieri (#2 Maeve Conlon)
The Master by Kresley Cole (#2 The Game Maker)
The Only Game by Mike Lupica (#1 Home Team)
The Return by Jennifer L Armentrout (#1 Titan (Covenant Spin-off))
The Taming of Xander Sterne by Carole Mortimer (#2 Twin Tycoons)
The Trouble with Patience by Maggie Brendan (#1 The Virtues & Vices of the Old West)
The Wide World's End by James Enge (#3 Tournament of Shadows)
Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan (#1 Hope Town Series)
Unseen by Amber Lynn Natusch (#2 Unborn)
Vostok by Steve Alten (#2 Loch)
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy by Sarah Rees Brennan (#1 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
Where Rivers Part by Kellie Coates Gilbert (#2 Texas Gold)
You Only Live Twice by Lexi Blake (#8 Masters and Mercenaries)

Monday, February 16, 2015

What I'm Reading

I'm kind of scattered in my reading right now. Which means I haven't finished anything to write a review about. I recently finished Taste of Darkness by Maria V Snyder but am still unsure how I feel about it.
Instead, I decided to give a glimpse of the three books that I'm currently reading.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Goodreads) - I finally watched the movie for Divergent. It was what I expected but I found it entertaining. It also made me want to finally get around to the second book. All I can say right now is it's interesting. Not sure how I feel about Tris or Four. Some of the things they are doing just make me cringe at the stupidity. I do like the overall story of the factions and the differences between them. Learning more about them and why the would or wouldn't become involved in the war that is going on.

Half Bad by Sally Green (Goodreads) - This is told in both first and second person. It takes some getting used to. Even the first person reads weird at times. I'm not far enough in for the story to have left an impression. Nathan is kind of depressing as a character. There hasn't been much good in his life except his brother and sometimes one of his sisters. There is talk of black witches and the council but I still feel like I need to know more to understand what is happening.

Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder (Goodreads) - I'm only two chapters in but already the Yelena and Valek goodness has started. There's a mystery assassin, unknown toxin/illness, and Valek rushing off to the Commander as usual. I cannot wait to get more into this one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

I've seen mixed thoughts on this movie. I think it looks interesting but not sure a Stark should be having a wedding :)

This is a little old but here are some illustrations from the new fully illustrated Harry Potter book. Jim Kay is illustrating this edition and it is set to some out October 2015. Find out more here. I'm not sure the pic of Hogwart is included in the book but it is done by the same artist.
Came across this site called 100% Soft (artist Truck Torrence). He does fan art for his favorite tv and movie scenes.
Ghostbusters 30th
The Lost Boys

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 02/09/2015

All That Burns  by Ryan Graudin (#2 All That Glows)
Blood Infernal by James Rollins (#3 The Order of the Sanguines)
Bridged by Kendra Elliot (#2 Mason Callahan)
Cannibal by Jeremy Robinson (#8 Jack Sigler Thrillers)
Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells (#3 The Prospero's War)
Enemy Lovers by Shelley Munro (#2 Clare Chronicles)
Hawk's Revenge by Vivi Andrews (#3 Lone Pine Pride)
Motive by Jonathan Kellerman (#30 Alex Delaware)
Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (#40 In Death)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (#1 Red Queen Trilogy)
Search and Recovery by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (#11 Retrieval Artist)
Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson (#3 Shades of London)
Song of the Lonesome Cowboy by Lynn Kelling (#9 The Society of Masters)
Storm of Dogs by Erin Hunter (#6 Survivors)
The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan (#3 Powder Mage Trilogy)
The Bold and The Dominant by Shayla Black (#3 The Doms of Her Life)
The Cat, the Devil the Last Escape by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (#19 Joe Grey)
The End of Tomorrow by Tara Brown (#3 Single Lady Spy)
The Lost Chalice by Anita Clenney (#3 Relic Chronicles)
The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (#6 Bloodlines)
The Truth as He Knows It by A M Arthur (#1 Perspectives)
Twelve Days by Alex Berenson (#9 John Wells)
Unspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett (#1 Freedom)
Unveiled by Jodi Ellen Malpas (#3 One Night Trilogy)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review ~ Seeker

Seeker (Seeker #1)

by Arwen Elys Dayton
published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
expected release date: February 10, 2015
genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi,

**received e-galley from NetGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (Goodreads): Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

My Thoughts: I so wanted to like this book. The blurb and cover on netgalley grabbed my attention and had me requesting it. I started reading and understood why so many people had DNF'd this book, most around the half way point. I was there and had to force myself to finish, skimming most of the final chapters only stopping to read the parts that seemed important to the story.
The first thing that disconnected me from this story was the setting/time. We start on an estate in Scotland that sounded/ felt very highlander-ish and then next thing you know there are airships and other futuristic things that did not match the estate setting. While this could have worked, it just felt jarring to me and did not blend well.
The bigger problem was the characters. They really weren't likable and by the end even the one you thought you would be rooting for was unlikable. Quin is supposed to be the hero of this story. She seems to be at first when they are training and she is spending time with John. Once the training is over and she is going there and doing what her father says we find out what she is really like. She blindly goes along with everything her father says including killing children because "that's how she was raised". Then once she is free instead of doing the good she was always spouting about she decides to "forget" everything. Her cousin, also a seeker, is no better. When he is given a chance to do something better he turns to drugs in order to forget. Again another unlikable hero.
Then we have John. He comes to the estate to train to be a seeker and avenge his mother's death. Sounds like something you could get behind. Then he starts using the one weapon that he is terrified of because it was what killed his mother, and kills several people in the very same way.
The one redeeming thing and what made me read to the end was the Young Dread Maud. Her story throughout was interesting. The Dreads are the judges/law of the seekers and are  supposed to make sure no laws are broken. Of course this is not what happens. The middle Dread has taken up with Quin's dad and helps him even when it goes against everything they believe. She is the only one that seems to be able to think for her self even when she doesn't know what to do about the wrongs around her. I didn't really understand why she gave Quin what she did at the end. It was the only thing she did throughout that did not seem to match her character.
Overall, there was a lot of potential in this story it just fell short. The characters and backgrounds needed to be more fleshed out. It also would have helped if one of the three seekers had been likable and lived up to their billing.

Rating: 3

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Ian McKellen starring as a 93 yr old Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes. This is something I would take the time to watch. did another infographic. This one is called The United States of YA (here). The book for my state is Wake by Lisa McMann.

I don't have Netflix but this trailer for Marvel's Daredevil looks really good. Don't personally know a lot about this character but still a show I would watch.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 2/2/2015

A Root Awakening by Kate Collins (#16 Flower Shop Mystery)
Almost Dead by T. R. Ragan (#5 Lizzy Gardner)
Always Loving You by Sydney Landon (#6 Danver's)
An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly (#3 County Cork Mysteries)
As Gouda As Dead by Avery Aames (#6 Cheese Shop Mystery)
At the Drop of a Hat by Jenn McKinlay (#3 A Hat Shop Mystery)
Better When He's Bold by Jay Crownover (#2 Welcome to the Point)
By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates (#1 Lighthouse Library Mystery)
Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose (#16 Romantic Suspense)
Cobra Outlaw by Timothy Zahn (#2 Cobra Rebellion Trilogy)
Countdown Zero by Chris Rylander (#2 Codename Zero)
Covenant's End by Ari Marmell (#4 Widdershins Adventures)
Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner (#3 Tessa Leoni)
Cry Baby by L L Bartlett (#7 Jeff Resnick)
Dark Intelligence by Neal Asher (#1 Transformation)
Darned if You Do by Monica Ferris (#18 Needlecraft Mysteries)
Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown (#4 Consignment Shop Mysteries)
Dearest by Alethea Kontis (#3 Woodcutter)
Death Of A Liar by M. C. Beaton (#31 Hamish MacBeth)
Desolation by Megg Jensen (#4 Dragonlands)
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen (#1 Covent Garden Cubs)
Edged Blade by J. C. Daniels (#4 Colbana Files)
Emissary by Betsy Dornbusch (#2 The Seven Eyes)
Firelight at Mustang Ridge by Jesse Hayworth (#4 Mustang Ridge)
Fry Another Day by J. J. Cook (#2 Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)
Ghost Killer by Robin D. Owens (#3 Ghostlayer)
Give It All by Cara McKenna (#2 Desert Dogs)
His Lost and Found by Sarah M Anderson (#6 Texas Cattleman's Club: After The Storm)
How to Kiss a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy (#2 Cowboys of Decker Ranch)
Hunter Reborn by Katie Reus (#5 Moon Shifter)
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Impulse by Dave Bara (#1 Lightship Chronicles)
Invaded by Melissa Landers (#2 Alienated)
Island of Shipwrecks by Lisa McMann (#5 Unwanteds)
Jaguar Pride by Terry Spear (#4 Heart of the Jaguar)
Just in Time for a Highlander by Gwyn Cready (#1 Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands)
Just You Wait by Jane Tesh (#4 Grace Street Mystery)
Kiss and Tell by Jacqueline Green (#3 Truth or Dare)
Operation Power Play by Justine Davis (#5 Cutter's Code)
Out of Bounds by V. M. Black (#5 Taken by the Panther)
Played by the Book by Lucy Arlington (#4 Novel Idea Mystery)
Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton (#11 Play By Play)
Redemption by J. S. Cooper (#2 Everlasting Sin)
Rescue Me by Catherine Mann (#2 Second Chance Ranch)
The Geneva Strategy by Robert Ludlum (#11 Covert-One)
Rough Rider by Victoria Vane (#2 Hot Cowboy Nights)
Satan's Lullaby by Priscilla Royal (#11 Medieval Mystery)
Shadow of the War Machine by Kristin Bailey (#3 The Secret Order)
Shutter by Courtney Alameda
Something True by Kieran Scott (#3 True Love)
The Accidental Dragon by Dakota Cassidy (#9 Accidental Friends)
The Beige Man by Helene Tursten (#7 Inspector Huss)
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel (#4 Louise Rick and Camilla Lind)
The Highlander's Folly by Barbara Longley (#3 Loch Moigh)
The Raven by Sylvain Reynard (#1 The Florentine)
The Replacements by David Putnam (#2 Bruno Johnson)
Thirty Days to Win His Wife by Andrea Laurence (#2 Brides and Belles)
Town in a Sweet Pickle by B B Haywood (#6 Candy Holliday Mystery)
Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock (#3 Moonlighter)
When Good Earls Go Bad by Megan Frampton (#0.5 Victorian Valentine's Day)
Windburn by Juliette Cross (#2 Nightwing)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review ~ India Black

India Black (Madame of Espionage Mysteries #1)

by Carol K. Carr
published by Berkley Trade
genre: Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction,

Summary (Goodreads): When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator.

My Thoughts: This was a nice mix of two genres that I wish I read more of. I enjoy both mysteries and historicals but am picky about what I read in each.
India was a humorous, straight forward lead. Whether talking about her running of Lotus House or trying to recover a case that seemed to be important to a lot of people, she had something to say even when it would be better if she didn't.
I wanted to like the team up of French, India and Vincent more but at times it seemed disjointed. We are lead to believe that there could be some type of attraction between India and French but most of the time they seemed to be occupying the same space  but not aware of each other. There was more interaction/affection from French towards Vincent (not in a bad way) than towards India. They also seemed to have the tools and abilities to end this chase much sooner but when they were in the moment they seemed to forget about their guns, swords, etc.
Overall, even with some of the problems it was a good introduction to a series. There was plenty of action and enough twists and humor to keep me entertained throughout. I am looking forward to reading more about India and how much trouble she can get into with help of French and Vincent.

Rating: 4