Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday Randomness

I somehow missed this on Tuesday. The last volume of the Fables series came out this week. I'm still on vol. 19 and have all the side stories (like the Jack of Fables) to read as well. I've really enjoyed this series and it got me reading in a genre that I hadn't paid much attention to before I started reading these.

Fan Art/ Cover Art
While looking for Fables artwork or fan art found the DeviantArt page for Dan Dos Santos (DsIllustrations). Had a couple of Fables artwork I really liked as well as covers for some of my favorite books. Not sure how I missed this artist before now.
Fables Deluxe Edition, book 9
by DSIllustration
I don't remember this story but have to find it now because of this picture...
Peter and Max
by DSillustration
Not Fables but one of my favorite Mercy covers
Bone Crossed
by DSIllustration
Short Story video by Tyler Novo. Teddy Bears fighting the monsters under the bed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 07/27/2015

A Wedding on Primrose Street by Sheila Roberts (#7 Life in Icicle Falls)
All the Ways to Ruin A Rogue by Sophie Jordan (#2 Debutante Files)
Attack Of The Living Shadows! by Jake Bible (#4 ScareScapes)
Bad News Cowboy by Maisey Yates (#3 Copper Ridge)
Beware of Me by Cynthia Eden (#4 Last Option Search Team)
Breaking by Barbara Elsborg (#2 Fall or Break)
Broken by Natasha Thomas (#5 Devil's Spawn MC)
Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay (#1 Promise Falls)
Brush Back by Sara Paretsky (#17 V.I. Warshawski)
Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh (#1 Queen B*)
Coyote’s Kiss by Crissy Smith (#4 Shifter Chronicles)
Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister (#1 Dragon Fall)
Dragons Live Forever by D'Elen McClain (#4 Fire Chronicles)
Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith (#4 Caprice De Luca Mystery)
Every Last Breath by Jennifer L Armentrout (#3 Dark Elements)
Extinction by D. J. Molles (#6 The Remaining)
Fall of Blaze by H. O. Charles (#6 The Fireblade Array)
Fatal Pursuit by Elisabeth Naughton (#3 Aegis Security)
Frisk Me by Lauren Layne (#1 New York's Finest)
Half a War by Joe Abercrombie (#3 Shattered Sea)
If He's Noble by Hannah Howell (#7 Wherlocke)
In the Drink by Allyson K. Abbott (#3 Mack's Bar Mysteries)
Inferno by Angela Graham (#5 Harmony)
Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney (#1 Dewberry Farm Mystery)
Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey (#7 Sandman Slim)
Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran (#3 Rules for the Reckless)
Lone Rider by B J Daniels (#2 Montana Hamiltons)
Never Die Alone by Lisa Jackson (#8 New Orleans)
Queen of Pentacles by Katee Robert (#4 Sanctify)
Redzone by William C Dietz (#2 Mutant Files)
Servicing the Target by Cherise Sinclair (#9 Masters of the Shadowlands)
Silent Creed by Alex Kava (#2 Ryder Creed)
Siren's Call by Jayne Castle (#12 Harmony World #4 Rainshadow)
Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep (#13 Elemental Assassin)
The Blind by Shelley Coriell (#3 Apostles)
The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward (#1 The Bourbon Kings)
The Conquering Dark by Clay Griffith (#3 Crown & Key)
The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan (#1 The Dinosaur Lords)
The Forbidden Billionaire by J. S. Scott (#3 Sinclairs)
The Forgotten by Heather Graham (#16 Krewe of Hunters)
The Highlander Takes A Bride by Lynsay Sands (#3 English Bride in Scotland)
The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter (#2 Original Heartbreakers)
The Legacy of Copper Creek by R C Ryan (#3 Copper Creek Cowboys)
The Orchard at the Edge of Town by Shirlee McCoy (#3 Apple Valley)
The Promise of Love by Billi Jean (#6 Love's Command)
The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak (#1 Fairham Island)
The Silence of the Chihuahuas by Waverly Curtis (#5 Barking Detective
The Terrans by Jean Johnson (#1 First Salik War)
Thrill Me by Susan Mallery (#18 Fools Gold)
White Death by Ted Bell (#9.5 Alexander Hawke)
Wired  by Julie Garwood (#13 Buchanan)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

I've shown this movie before but now we have the official trailer for The Good Dinosaur. Loving the look of this one as well.

Someone on FB posted this list from BoredPanda that shows fairy tale architecture from Norway. These are a couple of my favorites.
Bridge of Lateffossen Waterfall

Road Vindhellavegen

Artist Dreemers (Elasar Reem) (DeviantArt) combined Disney and League of Legends to come up with this set of Fan Art

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 07/20/2015

A Little Bit Closer by Evelyn Adams (#5 The Southerlands)
Agents of the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone (#2 Internet Apocalypse)
An Obsession with Vengeance by Nancy Haviland (#3 Wanted Men)
Balm of Gilead by Adina Senft (#3 Healing Grace)
Bare for You by Lexxie Couper (#3 Outback Skies)
Caught Up in the Touch by Laura Trentham (#2 Falcon Football Series)
Chaos by Jamie Shaw (#3 Mayhem)
Dirty Thoughts by Megan Erickson (#1 Mechanics of Love)
Essential Beginnings by Kennedy Layne (#1 Surviving Ashes)
Exposed by Brighton Walsh (#2 Captive)
Focus on Me by Megan Erickson (#2 In Focus)
Jaguar's Judgment by Lia Davis (#10 Ashwood Falls)
Kansas City Secrets by Julie Miller (#2 Precinct: Cold Case)
Killing Secrets by Dianne Emley (#5 Nan Vining Mysteries)
Over The Top by Rebecca Zanetti (#4 Maverick MT)
Pale Kings & Princes by Cassandra Clare, Robin Wasserman (#6 Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy)
Protected by a SEAL by Cat Johnson (#5 Hot SEALs)
Rake Most Likely to Thrill by Bronwyn Scott (#2 Rakes on Tour)
Release Me by Ann Marie Walker (#2 Chasing Fire)
Resonance by Erica O'Rourke (#2 Dissonance)
Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz (#2 Dark House)
Rolling Like Thunder by Vicki Lewis Thompson (#3 Thunder Mountain Brotherhood)
Sinclair Justice by Colleen Shannon (#2 Texas Rangers)
Slate by Kelly Gendron (#2 Breaking the Declan Brothers)
Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs (#18 Temperance Brennan)
Stand Down by J A Jance (#23 J P Beaumont)
Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine (#1 Take the Fall)
Tamed by HelenKay Dimon (#8 Corcoran Team)
The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries (#1 Sinful Suitors)
The Bride Wore Denim by Lizbeth Selvig (#1 Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys)
The Dead Man's Reach by D. B. Jackson (#4 Thieftaker Chronicles)
The Devil's Bag Man by Adam Mansbach (#2 Jess Galvan)
The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani (#3 School for Good and Evil)
The New Order by Chris Weitz (#2 The Young World)
The Other Son by Alexander Soderberg (#2 Brinkmann Trilogy)
The Redeemers by Ace Atkins (#5 Quinn Colson)
The Taming of the Billionaire by Jessica Clare (#2 Billionaires and Bridesmaids)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Review ~ The Stars Never Rise

The Stars Never Rise 

by Rachel Vincent
published by Delacorte Press
genre: YA, Fantasy, Supernatural, Dystopia

Summary (Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

My Thoughts: I always worry when everyone else loves a book. Hyped books don't always work for me. This one did. It is right up there as one of my favorite reads so far this year.
Even though the Church is in charge and everyone follows whatever they say, it wasn't a preaching/ religious story. It was clear from the beginning that everyone was under the thumb of the Church even if most didn't agree with what they were saying. Because of the demon invasion the Church rules by fear.
Nina was an interesting character for me. We kept being told that she was slow on the uptake and her sister was the smart one. For me, I'll take the slightly slower character that can survive in the world she lives in than the smart sister who is either incredibly selfish or not as smart as we are being told. Nina's new group of real exorcists are an interesting mix and have something for everyone.
The only thing that stopped this from being a five star for me was the romance. I liked the idea of Finn, at first he was one of the better characters. Unfortunately, the big reveal didn't work for me. It was just weird. I get the idea and could see how his situation greatly helped the group in their work but as not as far as being Nina's romantic interest. The situation just seemed to put her in a situation where she is just making out with random guys. Even if Finn is there, it's not really him. Like I said, I liked him as a character but not as a romantic interest.
Overall, for being a first in the series, the author grabbed me from the start and kept me until the end. I'm looking forward to seeing how the group does out in the wild dealing with everything that was figured out during this book.

Rating: 4.5

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 07/13/2015

After the Storm by Linda Castillo (#7 Kate Burkholder)
Alive by Scott Sigler (#1 Generations Trilogy)
Bad Wolf by Jennifer Ashley (#7.5 Shifters Unbound)
Birthright by E J Stevens (#4 Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective)
Bo by Rie Warren (#3 Bad Boys of Retribution MC)
Caged by Lorelei James (#4 Mastered)
Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones (#2 Illusive)
Earthfall: Retribution by Mark Walden (#2 Earthfall)
From This Moment by Lauren Barnholdt (#3 Moment of Truth)
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (#2 To Kill a Mockingbird)
Last First Snow by Max Gladstone (#4 Three Parts Dead)
Lure of the Jaguar by N J Walters (#7 Hades' Carnival)
Naked Greed by Stuart Woods (#34 Stone Barrington)
Nightborn by Lou Anders (#2 Thrones and Bones)
Once and Again by Elisabeth Barrett (#1 Return to Briarwood)
Outrage by John Sandford (#2 Singular Menace)
Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry Ficklin (#2 Stolen Empire)
Quite Curious by Lyla Payne (#3.5 Lowcountry Ghost Story)
Raisonne Curse by Rinda Elliott (#1 The Brothers Bernaux)
Resolution by J. S. Cooper (#4 Swept Away)
Rip Current by Jill Sanders (#3 Grayton)
Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn (#9 Chet and Bernie Mystery)
Shadow Lands by K. F. Breene (#3 Warrior Chronicles)
Sinful Intent by Chelle Bliss (#1 Alpha PI)
Sinfully Mine by Kendall Ryan (#2 Lessons with the Dom)
Stolen and Forgiven by Alexandra Ivy, Carrie Ann Ryan (#1 Branded Packs)
Caged: Takedown Teague by Shay Savage (#1 Caged)
The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove (#2 Mapmakers Trilogy)
The Maddening Lord Montwood by Vivienne Lorret (#3 Rakes of Fallow Hall)
The Naked Eye by Iris Johansen, Roy Johansen (#3 Kendra Michaels)
The Suspicion at Sanditon by Carrie A Bebris (#7 Mr and Mrs Darcy)
Trouble on Tap by Avery Flynn (#3 Sweet Salvation Brewery)
Turn Up the Heat by Serena Bell (#1 Second Chances)
Wings in the Dark by Michael Murphy (#3 Jake & Laura)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

I didn't know anything about this until today but it looks like an interesting movie.
Disney's The Finest Hours

A Mad Zombie Party by Gena Showalter (Goodreads)
*Not sure is I totally like this compared to the others in the series. The hair seems a little flat/ modern. The first covers felt very fantasy and while the background and outfit still fits, from the neck up it is not working.

Art/Fan Art
Saw a post about this artist on Facebook and needed to find more. The artist is Shoomlah (Claire Hummel) and can be found on DeviantArt here (link) Her Historical Princesses series is really great and these are just a couple of my favorites.
One Grander by Far
by Shoomlah
So Familiar a Gleam
by Shoomlah

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 07/06/2015

A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca (#1 The Maradaine Constabulary)
SEAL Wolf Hunting by Terry Spear (#16 Heart of the Wolf)
A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber (#4 Lady Darby)
A Sword for His Lady by Mary Wine (#1 Courtly Love)
Act of Submission by Mandy M Roth (#3 PSI Ops)
Beyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer (#4 Land of Stories)
Butter Off Dead by Leslie Ann Budewitz (#3 Food Lover's Village)
Call on Me by Roni Loren (#8 Loving on the Edge)
Caught Red-Handed by Terrie Farley Moran (#2 Read 'Em & Eat Mystery)
Chasing River by K. A. Tucker (#3 Burying Water)
Cities and Thrones by Carrie Patel (#2 Recoletta)
Code of Conduct by Brad Thor (#14 Scot Harvath)
Commanded by Stacey Kennedy (#6 Club Sin)
Danger Wears White by Lynne Connolly (#3 Emperors of London)
Dead Men Don't Eat Cookies by Virginia Lowell (#6 Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery)
Death of an English Muffin by Victoria Hamilton (#3 Merry Muffin Mystery)
Dexter is Dead by Jeff Lindsay (#8 Dexter)
Earth Bound by Christine Feehan (#4 Sisters of the Heart Series)
Easy Charm by Kristen Proby (#2 Boudreaux)
Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette (#6 Key West Food Critic Mystery)
Flight from Death by Yasmine Galenorn (#2 Fly by Night)
Ghost in the Flames by Daisy Harris (#5 Fire and Rain)
Grace Cries Uncle by Julie Hyzy (#6 Manor of Murder Mystery)
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E Pearson (#2 The Remnant Chronicles)
Hell or High Water by Julie Ann Walker (#1 Deep Six)
Hooked on Ewe by Hannah Reed (#2 Scottish Highlands Mystery)
House Rivals by Mike Lawson (#10 Joe De Marco)
In Good Company by Jen Turano (#2 Class of Their Own Romances)
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (#1 Great Library)
Licked by the Flame by Serena Gilley (#2 Forbidden Realm)
Lie To You by J.C. Valentine (#2 Forbidden Trilogy)
Macaroni and Freeze by Christine Wenger (#4 Comfort Food Mysteries)
Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates (#5 A Magical Bakery Mystery)
Name of the Devil by Andrew Mayne (#2 Jessica Blackwood)
Nemesis by Catherine Coulter (#19 The FBI Thriller Series)
Not So New In Town by Michele Summers (#2 Harmony Homecomings)
Peaches and Scream by Susan Furlong (#1 Georgia Peach Mysteries)
Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan (#3 Raven's Shadow)
Renegade by Kerry Wilkinson (#2 Silver Blackthorn)
Ruin & Rule by Pepper Winters (#1 Pure Corruption MC)
Seduced by the Spare Heir by Andrea Laurence (#3 The Montoros)
Sense of Deception by Victoria Laurie (#13 Psychic Eye Mystery)
Signal by Patrick Lee (#2 Sam Dryden)
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (#1 Silver in the Blood)
Some Like It Scottish by Patience Griffin (#3 Kilts and Quilts)
Someone Always Knows by Marcia Muller (#34 Sharon McCone)
Spellbound by Michelle M Pillow (#2 Warlocks MacGregor)
Spellcasting in Silk by Juliet Blackwell (#7 Witchcraft Mystery)
Sweeter in the Summer by Olivia Miles (#1 Sweeter in the City)
Sworn to Protect by Katie Reus (#11 Red Stone Security)
Taking Pity by David Mark (#4 DS Aector McAvoy)
Taming Lily by Monica Murphy (#3 The Fowler Sisters)
The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross (#6 Laundry Files)
The Collar by Tara Sue Me (#5 Submissive)
The Dangerous Type by Loren Rhoads (#1 In the Wake of the Templars)
The Duke Can Go to the Devil by Erin Knightley (#3 Prelude to a Kiss)
The Ire of Iron Claw by Kersten Hamilton (#2 Gadgets and Gears)
The Lost Treasure of the Templars by James Becker (#1 Knights Templar)
The Scarlet Deep by Elizabeth Hunter (#3 Elemental World)
The Shores of Spain by J Kathleen Cheney (#3 Golden City)
To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino (#2 Southold Chronicles)
Truly Madly Montana by Fiona Lowe (#2 Medicine River)
Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs (#2 Jack White)
When a Beta Roars by Eve Langlais (#2 Lion's Pride)
Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur (#2 Souls of Fire)
WITCHLOCK by Dianna Love (#6 Belador)
Wound Up In Murder by Betty Hechtman (#3 Yarn Retreat Mystery)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review (Arc) ~ A Whole New World

A Whole New World

by Liz Braswell
published by Disney Press
expected release date: September 1, 2015
genre: YA, Fairy Tales, Re-Tellings, Fantasy,

*E-galley received from netGalley and publisher in exchange for honest review.

Summary (Goodreads): Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

My Thoughts: This had all the elements to be a really great story for me. I love retellings, fairy tales, and Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out for me. I didn't quite DNF but I skimmed most of the second half, hoping that something would happen to re-grab my attention.
It starts off well with the prologue taking us back to when Aladdin was little and his mother was still living. It was a nice look at his younger years and seeing how his mother influenced him as he grew. We also meet some street rats that are already friends and a Palace guard that plays a big part in the story.
Chapter 1 is where it starts to go downhill for me. It was line for line if not word for word the dialogue from the movie. From the moment it starts until Aladdin is in the cave of wonders and is handing the lamp to the old guy (Jafar). There was no deviation. Nothing that made this the re-telling it is supposed to be or the author's own version of Aladdin.
As we know Jafar gets the lamp and wishes to be Sultan. It pretty much matches the summary from there. Aladdin helps rescue Jasmine from the palace where Jafar is holding her until he can force her to wed him. They join up with the street rats, that we met when Aladdin was little, and build up the group that will assist them in getting rid of Jafar.
For me what this really needed was more Jafar. Because we see very little of him throughout I never felt he was as truly evil as the rebellion kept telling us. The story would have benefited more if we would have gotten some back and forth POVs from Jafar and then Jasmine/Aladdin.
Another thing that was missing were the side characters that I loved. What made the movie for me was Genie and he is barely around. We get little glimpses and meetings and while his character is different based on who is in charge of his lamp, I still wanted more.
I'll try to end this on a positive. I did like how Jasmine was more of a character. She was very pro active in trying to get back her city and seemed to be a bit more fleshed out as a character.
Some will like this more than I did. I just couldn't get fully back into it after the first part that was too exact to the movie. Even knowing this is from Disney I still would have preferred for the author to change it up in some way.

Rating: 3

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

We took our son to see Inside Out this week. We enjoyed it just as much as everyone else has. Anger was my son's favorite which was fitting since he has had trouble controlling his in the past. I won't go as far as to say it was my favorite Pixar movie but it is right up there. My favorite is still UP.

We saw several trailers for upcoming movies that we are already looking forward to seeing. Two I've talked about before, The Minions and The Good Dinosaur.
Pan ~ Not sure how I missed when these trailers when they both started showing up but both me and hubby thought it looked good.

Book Stuff
Epic Reads did a week of cover reveals (website). I also came across some that were new to me.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine (Goodreads)
This one grabbed my attention right off. There is a part of my that really likes it and another that keeps thinking this should go along with Stitching Snow series by R.C. Lewis.

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdue (Goodreads)
The cover was interesting but the blurb for this one grabbed me more. It's about a girl who can feel what everyone around her feels, whether physical or emotional.

Another book that looks like something I would like is A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes. Of course I really need to read more of her  Falling Kingdoms series.