Monday, December 31, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:
SplinteredShades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)Everbound (Everneath, #2)
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis 
  • Everbound by Brodi Ashton

Currently Reading: 
Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
  • Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed 
Up This Week:  
Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen, #2)Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)
  • Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel 
  • Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In My Mailbox!

For Review: 

The Forgotten QueenThe Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen, #2)
  • The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan
  • The Rules by Stacey Kade
  • Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel (I have an eARC so look for this in a giveaway)


Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity, #1)On Raven's Wings (Hell Bent/Heaven Sent #1)
  • Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett
  • On Raven's Wings by Isobel Lucas 


Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)
  • Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins 


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!
In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Review - India Black and the Rajah's Ruby eSpecial (Madam of Espionage Mysteries .5) by Carol K. Carr

India Black and the Rajah's Ruby eSpecialTitle: India Black and the Rajah's Ruby
Author: Carol K. Carr
Series: .5 ebook special (India Black, India Black and the Widow of Windsor)
Pages: 306KN (I think about 80 pages)
Published: December 31st 2012 by Penguin 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Drawn into intrigue by her lover Philip Barrett, India finds herself being used as a pawn to help him steal a valuable jewel. Turning the tables, she proves that India Black answers to no man, no matter how attractive he may be…

I Give This ...

I jumped all over this one.  I love India Black and this was the perfect little story to tide me over until the 3rd book is released. 

I was a little surprised at India at first.  She seemed a little smitten with Philip.  Her actions were a little odd to me.  She never acts this way with French in later books, and I'm convinced she's head over heels for him.  But, in true India fashion she manages to prove that she can best any man.

I loved the storyline and greatly appreciated learning how she was able to open her own house.  I love that she owns a brothel and has so much confidence her own abilities.  She runs a successful business in a time that women very rarely did such a thing.  She's also earned respect, which I think would be very hard to do in her profession.

Very much look forward to the next book in the series!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review - Tempest's Fury (Jane True #5) by Nicole Peeler

Tempest's Fury (Jane True, #5)Title: Tempest's Fury
Author: Nicole Peeler
Pages: 356
Series: 5th (Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, Tempest's Legacy, Eye of the Tempest)
Published:  June 26th 2012 by Orbit 
ISBN: 9780316128117
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Jane's not happy. She's been packed off to England to fight in a war when she'd much rather be snogging Anyan. Unfortunately, Jane's enemies have been busy stirring up some major trouble -- the kind that attracts a lot of attention. In other words, they're not making it easy for Jane to get any alone time with the barghest, or to indulge in her penchant for stinky cheese.  Praying she can pull of a Joan of Arc without the whole martyrdom thing, Jane must lead Alfar and halflings alike in a desperate battle to combat an ancient evil. Catapulted into the role of Most Unlikely Hero Ever, Jane also has to fight her own insecurities as well as the doubts of those who don't think she can live up to her new role as Champion. Along the way, Jane learns that some heroes are born. Some are made. And some are bribed with promises of food and sex 

I Give This ...

Ok, so 5 books into the series seems like a strange time to introduce a whole lot of history.  But oddly enough it worked well in this book.  I don't think the chain of events would make a whole lot of sense without it, and it didn't need to be introduced before now.

Jane's character has grown tremendously throughout this series.  She's gone from learning about who she really is to truly beginning to accept her role as champion.  She may think she's not the right person for the job, but she's willing to give it the best she can.  She's got a spirit in her that I greatly admire and I'm also realizing why she was chosen (and not just because the storyline tells us it is this way).  

I also have enjoyed how Jane's relationships have progressed.  At first she seems so juvenile and its really reflected in her relationships.  By this point you can tell who is important to her and the role they have all played in her life.  I particularly love her relationship with Anyan.  I relished in the little tidbits of information we get about his life and how his relationship with Jane is special.  Yes, the sex scenes in the book are a little bit raunchy, but that's part of the fun.

I think my favorite part was honestly the history.  Turns out England is steeped in it (and I don't mean the obvious).  The Alfar, supernatural creatures, and haflings have been apart of the island so long that the seem to abide by their own rules.  I loved the idea of the library with the greatest collection about the supernatural.  The librarian guarding all its secrets was especially intriguing.  I also was fascinated with the history of the children born from Fire and Air, the Red and the White.  The power and destruction was just awesome.  And the way the Alfar have gone to such great length to keep them hidden yet the way to find them was written in plain sight.

A great addition to the series, maybe one of my favorites.  The ending was a shocker and I'm curious as to how this will all work out.  There has to be something...right?    


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review - Eye of the Tempest (Jane True #4) by Nicole Peeler

Eye of the Tempest (Jane True, #4)Title: Eye of the Tmepest
Author: Nicole Peeler
Series: 4th (Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, Tempest Legacy)
Pages: 352
Published: August 1st 2011 by Orbit
ISBN: 9780316128087
Source: Purchased

Description: Nothing says "home" like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.  Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she's not the only thing that's been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.  Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped...and Jane's just the halfling for the job.

I Give This ...


I kind of forgot about this series for awhile. I guess it just hasn't been on the top of my to-read list, so it got pushed back.  I made the effort to get catch back up and I'm glad I did.

Its interesting having Jane's point of view in this one.  Since she's was basically unconscious for a month, the world went out without her.  That's a whole lot of time for the bad guys to come up with a plan.  It's also a long time for Anyan to wonder if she will make it through, and to realize exactly how he feels about that.  She seems to spend the rest of the book trying to catch up with everyone else.  I did really appreciate the fact that she's willing to become the champion now.  I think she recognizes that she's doesn't have to be something extraordinarily special.  She may not think she can help, but she will do her best.

I like how this book introduced us to something new.  Turns out there are mythical creatures as old as the earth itself.  They're mostly dominant, but extremely powerful.  Rockabill is home to one of those, leading us to realize that it's really no coincidence that so many creatures come to Rockabill and never leave.  I was extremely curious as to what this creature was or what he could do.  Interesting to see how he was connected to Jane and to Blondie.

I felt that this one was a little slower than the others.  Still really good though and set up the stage for the showdown that occurs in book 5!

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:

Blood Prophecy (Drake Chronicles, #6)Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)

  • Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey 
  • Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Currently Reading:  
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
Up This Week:  

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1)
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
  • Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed

Sunday, December 23, 2012

In My Mailbox!

For Review:   

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

Purchased (or Free):

The Goddess Hunt (Goddess Test, #1.5)The Onyx Talisman (Talisman, #3)

  • The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter  
  • The Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos  


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!
In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review - Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles #5) by Alyxandra Harvey

Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles, #5)Title: Blood Moon
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Series: 5th (Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, Out for Blood, Bleeding Hearts)
Pages: 320
Published:  June 19th 2012 by Walker Childrens 
ISBN:  9780802728470
Source: Purchased

Description: When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange Drake’s struggle with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets, and forbidden magic put her entire family in danger. And when Nicholas Drake is torn between saving his little sister, Solange, or his girlfriend Lucy, who will he choose? 

I Give This ...

With the first four books under my belt, there was never any doubt that I would read this book.   It was really just a matter of when because review book seem to take up so much of my time.  When the book six (and final book) was available for review, there was my last motivation for getting this one read sooner rather than later.

I've been patiently watching Solange struggle with her blood change.  She's definitely not adapting well.  I've known what she's experiencing is not the norm, but just wasn't very sure how far outside that range she was.  I sometime wonder if her family wasn't so busy with her mother taking over and the Blood Moon, if she would have gotten help sooner.  She's been left to her own thoughts and devices, and I don't think that has helped any.  I've been extremely intrigued by the little voice in her head.  

The rituals and rules behind the blood moon are very interesting.  The tribes are all represented.  They have their own guard with a no nonsense policy.  With so many vampires in town in bound to attract some attention.  The presence have not gone unnoticed by Helio-Ra.  Lucy gets a lot of flack at the prestigious vampire hunters school.  There's a lot of bad blood there and most are not willing to accept that not all vampires are bad.

Poor Nicholas seems to go through a lot in this book.  His loyalty to both Solange and Lucy are both tested to the extremes.  Odd that he seems to have see events coming enough to be able to plan for them.  I think its a testament to how loyal he is to his family and how much he cares for Lucy.  He know that not everything is going to be perfect, but love that he tries.

I did not like Constantine.  I was honestly wondering the entire time what it was that had Solange so wrapped up in him.  He was the exact opposite of everything that Solange had been taught.  He fed into her blood lust and was constantly making things difficult between her and her family.  But yet nothing anybody said could convince her that he was anything but understanding.  I sometimes I couldn't decide if I wanted to smack her for it or really dig down and figure out what was going on.

This one dragged a little in places, but really set the pace for the finale.   It ends in the typical cliff-hanger that we come to expect from The Drake Chronicles.  But, I'm more the willing to dive into the next book! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review - Scent of Magic (Healer #2) by Maria V. Snyder

Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)Title: Scent of Magic
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Series: 2nd (Touch of Power)
Pages: 400
Published:  December 18th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA 
ISBN: 9780778314189
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description:  As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.  Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.  War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

I Give This ...

I adore Maria Snyder's work.  My favorite is still her Poison Study series, but Touch of Power really struck a cord with me and was similar in so many ways.  Since Maria is on my must read list, it was a no-brainer that I would be reading this one.

I love how take charge Avry is in this book.  She readily makes decisions for herself and follows through with them.  I never felt like she made any hasty decisions.  Some wrong ones yes, but always in the hope to get to the bottom of things and find answers.  I also love that fact that its obvious she loves Kerrick (and he loves her), but their feelings for each other do not get in the way of what they both feel they have to do.    I was intrigued by Avry's thoughts on the Peace and Death Lilly's.  Everytime she lets one of the flowers take her, I always hold my breathe a little bit that it might be the time that they don't let her go.  I found that theory that the flowers are attracted to the potential of magic to be particularly fascinating because it plays such a huge surprising role in this book.

The story isn't particularly fast paced, but it's action packed.  There are so many different things going on.  Avry is busy with undercover work in Estrid's Army.  I love that she teaches them how to move through the woods just like Kierran taught her to do.  Kierran is trying to stop a vicious northern tribe from annihilating his homeland.  But to do that, he has to go home to the people and family he's left behind.  And while a lot of his story seems to just complication the plot, I wonder the greater purpose.  Especially the tribe...I think they might come in handy in the future.

I'm most curious what King Tohon's next move is.  I know what he wants, but he seems to be playing around at getting it.  Although what he did with his undead army was just awesome.   I want to see how this can all possibly wrap up in the next book...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Early Review - Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: 1st
Pages: 368
Published: January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile 
ISBN: 9780525425915
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines. 

I Give This ...

Well she's done it again!  Gayle Forman has a gift for contemporary teen fiction.  She has the uncanny ability to write stories that people across generations can identify with.  

I was immediately drawn to Allyson.  She's the good girl who never gets in trouble, gets good grades, and generally seems to have life planned out.  But, she's the product of obsessive parenting and feels like she's never gotten a say in anything she has ever done.  A spur of the moment trip to Paris and the events that happen in one day leave her questioning her own desires.  And I understood so much of what she was going through.  I loved watching her see the joy in doing something so impromptu.  I lived through those beginning moments of falling in love, even when you don't believe in love at first sight.  I was heartbroken right along with her when she realized he was gone.  And I seriously understood every moment of her depression and soul searching over the next year.  

I was completely unsure of Willem.  We see him through Allyson's eyes, and as much as she's falling for him, she's also expecting the worst.  But, he kept doing these little gestures that seemed so real and heartfelt.  The connection was there, I was sure of it.  When he was gone the next morning, I thought I knew what had happened.  I can't wait to get Willem's story to see it for myself!

The added touch of Shakespeare was really just a bonus for me.  I'm a Shakespeare fan and thought it was perfect backdrop for this story.  The author did a fantastic job of weaving it in. 

I can't say enough good things about it.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting, and didn't carry the same punch for me as If I Stay.  But, it was beautifully told.  And as I said before....I can't wait for Just One Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review - The Raven's Heart: A Story of a Quest, a Castle and Mary Queen of Scots be Jessica Blackadder

The Raven's Heart Tour Button FINAL.png

The Raven's Heart: A Story of a Quest, a Castle and Mary Queen of Scots 
Title: The Raven's Heart
Author: Jessica Blackadder
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 464
Published: April 1st 2011 by HarperCollins  
ISBN: 9780732291884
Source: Sent for arranged tour

Description: Scotland, 1561, and a ship comes across the North Sea carrying home Mary, the young, charismatic Queen of Scots, returning after thirteen years in the French court to wrest back control of her throne.  The Blackadder family has long awaited for the Queen's return to bring them justice. Alison Blackadder, disguised as a boy from childhood to protect her from the murderous clan that stole their lands, must learn to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen, building a web of dependence and reward.  Just as the Queen can trust nobody, Alison discovers lies, danger, and treachery at every turn.   This sweeping, imaginative, and original tale of political intrigue, misplaced loyalty, secret passion, and implacable revenge is based on real characters and events from the reign of Mary Queen of Scots.

 I Give This ...

It didn't take me long to agree to this tour.  You see, I'm familiar with Mary, Queen of Scots.  But only in conjunction with Elizabeth I, and we know how that ends.  I've been interested in find out as much as I can about the Queen.  This one seems to pain her in a very different light.
I had a hard time with Alison.  I understood being raised as a boy her entire life to protect her and then being asked to switch gears was probably hard on her.  But, I'm curious how her lifestyle effected the choices she made in life.  The psychologist in me questions the idea of nature versus nurture immensely in this story.  Which bring me to a very important aspect.  This story leans heavily on lesbian themes.  I have nothing against it, but I don't want to read about really.  So that really put me off the book.  I almost put it aside, but I can't digging because I was curious.

But, I became invested in the idea of Alison getting her castle back.  What would she do to keep Mary and her word?  And was Mary as aware of Alison's feelings as we the readers are?  I wasn't sure, because Alison was in such denial over her own feelings.  I felt she was going to extreme measures to make sure her feelings weren't obvious to everyone.  Almost to the point that she was reckless with who she was fraternizing with.  

I learned a great deal about Mary in this book.  I would love to supplement those things with other books, I just need to pick that right one.  I was intrigued that she so depended on Queen Elizabeth.  As a Queen in her own right, I have no idea why she needed another Queen's approval on who she would marry.  In felt like she wanted all the glory that went along with being Queen but none of the work.  It seems like she didn't have much control over her own country and thus her own destiny.

Once I got past the lesbian theme, I was ok with this book.  It wasn't the best historical fiction, but I think my opinion might have been slightly skewed by my own feelings.  I'm still very interested in Mary though!

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:  
Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy, #4)
India Black and the Rajah's Ruby eSpecialGravity (The Taking, #1)
  • Just One Day by Gayle Forman 
  • Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep 
  • India Black and the Rajah's Ruby by Carol K Carr
  • Gravity by Melissa West
Currently Reading:  
Blood Prophecy (Drake Chronicles, #6)
  • Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey
Up This Week: 
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)Splintered
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Splintered  by A.G. Howard


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