Thursday, January 31

The Crimson Crown: Book Review

The Crimson Crown

Cinda Williams Chima

Hyperion Book CH
October 23rd 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Official Blurb - 
A thousand years ago, two young lovers were betrayed—Alger Waterlow to his death, and Hanalea, Queen of the Fells, to a life without love.

Now, once again, the Queendom of the Fells seems likely to shatter apart. For young queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against a common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she's falling in love.

Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?

A simple, devastating truth concealed by a thousand-year-old lie at last comes to light in this stunning conclusion to the Seven Realms series.

A lovely end to a fabulous series.

Han was very entertaining as usual.

There was this odd point about half way through the book, page 330 to be exact. Where there was a happy lull for me. I didn't feel drawn into the next chapter. I was content to put the book aside and pursue other activities. I easily put it aside for the next day. I think it was a break before the storm scenario. Because after that page everything went to Hell in a hand basket.

This book left me smiling for hours afterward. It is also an easy series to recommend. It has all the great parts of a story without going to far into unwanted details. Don't let my short review let you think this book wasn't stellar. It is just hard to come up with words to capture the journey. Loved it! Definitely recommend this series!

Violence: Heavy
Sexual: Moderate

Moment Divine:
"Now--how do we go about this? Are you supposed to give Alister your gavel, Lord Bayar, or does he need to purchase one of his own?" His eyes gleamed with suppressed glee.
"Touch me again and I'll forget that I've decided not to kill you," Han said. "Given my upbringing, I just don't have that kind of self-control."

Tuesday, January 29

Alanna: The First Adventure - Book Review

Alanna: The First Adventure

Tamora Pierce

Simon Pulse
January 6th 2005
Middle Grade | Fantasy
Official Blurb - 
"From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight." And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins -- one that will leard to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

Alanna's journey continues...

This didn't quite live up to all the recommendations I got for it.

Luckily it was a very quick read. It was nice that time passes quickly in the book. I didn't read hundreds of pages and only witness the passing of a handful of days. Plus the story wasn't very deep.

The bones of the story remind me very much of Eon by Alison Goodman. Girl masquerading as a boy in order to learn to be a warrior or knight. Eventually the secret gets out. A future king in peril of his life. The girl helps the future king, and so on.

I am curious enough to try out the next book. Perhaps the recommendations were based more upon the entire series than just the first book.

Violence: Moderate

Saturday, January 26

Pile Denial: 16

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Reached by Ally Condie

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Pile Reduction:
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes 
Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowan
REM by Cheryl Abbott
Reached by Ally Condie

Not good. It has been weeks and I have very little to show for it.

Bottleneck Effect:
Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Justice by Jade Varden

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:43 (decreasing) :)
eBooks: 27 (decreasing) :)

So even though it has been a very long time since my last update I haven't really accomplished all that much. But at least I didn't go crazy and add to the pile. Though if I had gone to ALA Midwinter like I wanted to I am sure the case would be different. Or at least by the next Pile Denial post I would be losing ground. But it would be so worth. I am crossing my fingers that at some point in life I get to attend one of these book conferences. I think part of the problem is I haven't felt any real pull to read. More of my time has been spent knitting. Perhaps I just didn't have the right books to tempt me or maybe I just needed a small break. Hopefully very soon I will find a return of my desire to turn some pages.

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Friday, January 25

Eye Candy: LIV

During the week I spot different book covers that catch my eye for one reason or another. I keep track of them all here on my weekly Eye Candy post. Most of the books featured here I have not bothered to read the synopsis for. Just plain old fashioned cover envy or not in some cases. There are the occasional covers that catch my eye but not so much because I want to read them but more of a oh my goodness what were they thinking.

It has been some time since my last eye candy post and these were starting to add up even if I haven't been actively looking. Thought it was about time to clear my list.


Cambria Hebert

I have always loved misty ink. Based on the cover alone I would love a chance to read this book.


Tara Fuller

Wow, now this cover speaks fun to me. I wasn't the most impressed with Inbetween but I would definitely give this book a try based on the cover and Cash was very entertaining.

The Caged Graves

Dianne K. Salerni

Lovely. The title has me a bit apprehensive about the contents but at least the cover is nice.


Lisa McMann

Both beautiful and disturbing. I am rather worried about this person. Something is terribly wrong even when everything looks like it should be right.


Saundra Mitchell

This reminds me more of those slightly out of focus paintings you see all over the place. It just doesn't look quite real but it is still communicating strong emotion or feeling.

That Time I Joined the Circus

J. J. Howard

Now this doesn't sound serious. More like a practical joke. But the cover is very dream like. Makes me feel like this girl is stepping out of the real world and into a fictional one of wonder. Probably quite a journey ahead for her.

Just Breathe

Kendall Grey

A bit overly Photoshopped but lovely all the same. Wonder if it is about a guy who is a whale shape-shifter. Never read one of those before.

Earth Bound

Aprilynne Pike

Would you look at that. I had no idea she had another book in the making. Very interesting. I like the bubbles and the girl looks so very intent and curious.

Love is All You Need

Deb Caletti

Monochrome is a favorite of mine especially when paired with a splash of striking color. Add a fun flirty pose and now you have my attention.

Sworn to Raise

Terah Edun

Can't say exactly what drew me to this cover except that altogether it is very nice.

The Edge of Never

J.A. Redmerski

Braided hair, love it! The title really sparks my interest. Just what does it mean and where will this book take us?

Soul Screamers

Volume Three

Rachel Vincent

Probably not my favorite of the volume covers but still very nice. I do like the pose.

The Distance Between Us

Kasie West

Wonder if this title is suggesting the distance is bad or good? The cover makes me think that the distance can be surmountable with the right amount of desire and effort.

Tide Ever Rising

Mandi Tucker Slack

These water covers make me wary. I find them beautiful like water but water can also be very deadly. Plus, I have somehow linked water covers with depressing in my mind. Wonder where I got that idea.


Julia Crane

Love the color of her eyes. Always wished I could have an eye color that was truly unique. I like the tiny teaser of an ear to guide our thoughts about this book.

Winter Queen

Amber Argyle

This reminds me of those fantasy unicorn paintings I admired as a child. Sure eye catching wonder if the book will be too fantastical to believe or maybe an amazing journey?

What do you think about the covers?

Like it, love it, or could do without it?

Seen any stunning covers you care to share?

Thursday, January 24

Born at Midnight: Book Review

Born at Midnight

C. C. Hunter

St. Martin's Griffin
March 29th 2011
Young Adult | Paranormal
Necromancer | Fae | Werewolf | Vampire | Shapeshifter
Official Blurb - 
Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Having never loved or even been interested in more than one person at any given time I couldn't identify with Kylie's romantic issues. Every time I try to think about it I get all confused. I know who I would pick but none of the choices are perfect. They each come with issues. But I have long been a fan of werewolves so Lucas gets my vote. If only we could actually get to know him better. Why does he have to be so AWOL.

There is just so many unknowns floating in this story. Plenty of potential but I am not sure I have the gumption to stick it through. The book did take me back in time to days with a simpler story. As a whole it wasn't spectacular but was fairly entertaining. My biggest beef isn't the story but the love triangle.

The best part was probably when she kicked some butt ghost style. Which probably makes no sense to you. Basically she can use ghosts to beat the living daylights out of you. But it doesn't work how you would think. Now that power is something to fear if she can actually develop and harness it. If it weren't  for the promiscuous love triangle I would love to find out just what all she can do.

Language: Moderate
Sexual: Moderate

Tuesday, January 22

Something Strange and Deadly: Book Review

Something Strange and Deadly

Susan Dennard

July 24th 2012
Young Adult | Steampunk
Official Blurb - 
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

I liked Daniel right from the beginning. He certainly didn't deserve my good regard since he was very rude and aggressive. In fact I don't think he ever did much to earn my generous feelings toward him. There were moments when he would seem kind. Only with the tiniest flip of a switch he reverted back to his gruff ol' self.

Even though our main character Eleanor was stating her dislike and unconcern for society and all its rules in the end she didn't seem to put up any resistance to toting the line. Altogether much too biddable. For all her inner prose of being "changed" it came off more as a weak bout of justification for giving up. She may think differently but will she act so?

The historical portion and technological portion of this world aren't entirely well mixed. I felt that I could always see the seams where they were joined. So instead of slipping into another world it always felt a bit unbelievable.
The author certainly tried to break away from fictional tradition in this book. The heroine is plump and plain. Mr. Romantic Interest is bad tempered and rude as well as a wanted man. In every way ineligible and mostly uninterested. There is a complete lack of a happy ending. The closest that can be claimed to a "happy" ending is that they didn't die, though I think it might have been better if they had. The ending pages irked me and were cheesy. I got left feeling disgruntled.

Language: Moderate
Violence: Moderate

Monday, January 21

Book Blogger Confessions: Quitting Time


We've discussed blogging slumps before but have you ever seriously considered throwing in the towel and quitting blogging? If so, what changed your mind? Did you discuss it with other bloggers?

Blogging Slump (forgive me Dictionary for the massacre of your definition of slump)

 A sudden severe or prolonged fall in interest to blog. 
  • a prolonged period of abnormally low interest in all things books, typically bringing widespread lack of blog posts
  • a period of substantial failure or decline of blog
Or I like to think of a blogging slump like this:

A period of time in which all the life has been sucked out of blogging. You find yourself making excuses just to get away.

I have suffered many a reading slump. It seems I accept too many review requests and buy too many books. Never thought I would say you could buy too many books. But as the pile of books to read becomes massive. You feel like you have no choice in what to read next since they all have some sort of waiting list order. A slump sets in. It isn't pretty and I usually have to wait it out hoping the next book I force myself to read will be awesome and break the spell.

I have hit a bunch of blogging slumps. Mostly caused by disappointment or disillusionment. I think I approach a blogging slump the same way I do a reading slump. I just keep moving forward if at a slower pace. Eventually something sparks my attention and renews my vigor. I expect that some day I may call it quits. It does feel a bit inevitable. It won't stop me from reading, fingers crossed. But until that day I will just blog or read what I feel inspired and comfortable with.

I never thought to discuss it with other bloggers. Probably a good idea. Wait I think I have discussed reading slumps with other bloggers just not a blogging slump. I know I have seen quite a handful of bloggers calling it quits lately. In my head as I read these I am sad and listening to the tune Another One Bits the Dust in my head. Every time I come across another quitting post I wonder if they know something I don't. Should I be following them to see what is on the other side? If I follow them will I miss blogging or find that I don't? Every time I consider quitting or I try to weigh the pros and cons. There are so many things I do enjoy about blogging and so many things I don't. I guess my biggest con at this point is that if I give up I won't still qualify to participate in a future ARC or event I have already worked to get in line for. It is hard not to be able to reap the rewards of hard work. It isn't quite the same to just buy that book. I have often wondered if instead of quitting all together it wouldn't make more sense to combine forces with another blogger. Quit one blog and join another. That way if their are periods of time I don't feel like making posts the other blogger is still going. Plus maybe having a buddy would make it more fun. And that way I don't have to give up all the pros of blogging. Of course that comes with its own set of cons.

Anyway, thanks for the topic.

Thursday, January 17

Revolution 19: Book Review

Revolution 19

Gregg Rosenblum

Harper Teen
January 8th 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky —they live with their parents in a secret human community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world—by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.

Revolution 19 is a cinematic thriller unlike anything else. With a dynamic cast of characters, this surefire blockbuster has everything teen readers want—action, drama, mystery, and romance. Written by debut novelist Gregg Rosenblum, this gripping story shouldn’t be missed.

Far too much running and not enough character development, especially by page ninety-two. Either that or the hcaracters are just too dull or brainless for my taste. The boys both seem to be rather dim for having lived under constant threat of death for the last fourteen years. They just keep acting like their actions have no consequences. A bit too naive under the circumstances.
The robots actions feel more like a video game than believable. It is all great in the movie i-Robot since we have all the action packed sequences as distraction. But in the confines of the imagination there needs to be a bit more story.
I grew bored with the robot chases and their possible re-education. In fact I was hoping they would get caught so the story would go somewhere. Science fiction isn't my first love so this book might find great reviews in the right circles.

Violence: Moderate
Language: Mild to Moderate


Wednesday, January 16

Birthdays and Giveaways

to me!!!
The Marlboro Man Sandwich

So it is my birthday. Yep. Big day. Many years ago my mother exchanged uncomfortable days in for sleepless nights. In honor of that transition that granted me life I am giving away my favorite book from last year. It was impossible to put down and kept me up until 3:30 in the morning. I happen to have an extra copy after Christmas and will share it with one lucky person. I have already had my birthday dinner. In case you are curious I had The Marlboro Man Sandwich and Blueberry Crumb Cake. It was delightful and I think in order for me to eat those foods more often I need a birthday ever month. To which my hubby reminded me that I don't need a birthday to eat those foods. Both of those links take you to the recipe on The Pioneer Woman's site. I just love her! Since it is my birthday I think you should all entertain me. Hey, it is the least you can do since I didn't see a birthday package from you in the mail.
Blueberry Crumb Cake

I love family traditions.
So share in the comment section something along the following:
Favorite Birthday
Favorite birthday tradition

Either that or since I know as most women get older they begin to pretend they are younger than is possible we can pretend you sent me a gift. In the comment section tell me what book you sent (pretend) for my birthday. It would be nice if you would include a reason why you chose that particular book. (Then I can laugh maniacally over my fake birthday stash. And also be somewhat thankful that since it is fake my TBR pile didn't swell.)

Make sure you record your entry in the rafflecopter form.

Oh by the way you will all be competing to win my extra copy of EDENBROOKE

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 15

Prodigy: Book Review


Marie Lu

Putnam Juvenile
January 29th 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Official Blurb - 
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

The characters are so entertaining. Not your average character in the least. Day isn't all ego and brawn. He is much more emotional than you would expect a boy to be. June is so much more detached and always on top of any situation. I absolutely love June, she is so keenly aware of what goes on around her. Very analytical. Always puzzling things out and making plans. Not full of an inordinate amount of hope and optimism. Realistic and very nice. The way her mind works things out is fabulous.
There is a lot of pressure on Day to get rid of June. It seems that at every turn someone is trying to convince him she is all wrong for him and a bad person to boot. The best part that is instead of getting the traditional reaction you would expect in most books where Day listens to the people and goes off with another girl we get something different. So refreshing to have him trust his instincts instead of another person's opinion. It was nice to not have to deal with distrust and miscommunication. Though I suppose they do come at a later date.
Oh my! What an emotionally stirring moment with which to end the book. Moving and powerful. It has the strength to cast the entire future into darkness. So tangible and thick it makes the rest of life seem unbearable. What a terribly realistic twist to place on our hero. Ouch. There is so much pain in the last scene. A moment similar in magnitude to the fatal ending between Romeo and Juliet.
Don't hold your breath for a happy ending when this trilogy concludes, folks. The best we can hope for is likely something peacefully tragic. Well unless you splash a bunch of unrealistic hope and a miracle into it.
Regardless of that ending or the bleak despairing future you will be hungry for more. It left my mind of fire with so many questions. Will June work out the real reason behind Day's decision? Will Day's resolve breakdown? What terrible trials and possible traps will be laid for them? How could a world keep turning without all the sparks that fly between them? If this world needs anything it is definitely love and trust that crosses all barriers. Should that carry more weight than political aspiration and appearances? And if you had to choose sides would you pick Day or June? Both have gone through much. I think if June forces me to it I will pick Day. Crossing my fingers that doesn't happen.

Violence: Moderate
Language: Moderate

Thursday, January 10

Inbetween: Book Review


Kissed by Death #1

Entangled Teen
August 28th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal

Official Blurb -
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Cash was my favorite character. he is so funny and such a rock solid being. I am interested to see how things play out with him.
I found the book rather depressing. The inbetween sounds like a curse. Second chances are meted out like lottery winners instead of based on merit. And the sins that got them banned are pathetic. What sort of a caring God would abandon people for such petty sins? How could God let a shadow/soul cause so much damage to the living? Especially when the living have no means of protection. It is just insane. The God in this book didn't seem remotely loving. As if our entire eternity is judged and determined by one mistake instead of the sum of our choices. Who would want to live forever in this empty eternity?

Speaking of sins that caused banishment, Finn didn't start the war that lead to him killing a couple of people. Sheesh, and then when he breaks a rule he gets sentenced so some pretty harsh cruel torture. It was sick.
There is definitely judgement going on between characters. Maeve is especially prone to bad judgement. She accuses Emma of wasting her life but that wouldn't be the case if she hadn't been scared the slightest thing would kill her. All of which was brought about by Maeve's haunting and murder attempts. How Maeve thought she could actually swap and it would work out to her benefit is beyond me. Hello, as if!

Didn't work out to be as great as I was hoping. It really is more of a 3.5 rating. Still an entertaining read but not especially cheery. Everyone is broken and there doesn't seem to be much prospect for that to change.
Spoiler Section:
Is it really worth it, the bargain Finn made? Now he will have to deal with school, a job, numerous responsibilities, and a short time to be with Emma. On the other hand he is facing an eternity of servitude. I think he got the short stick. Guardian!?! Are you kidding! Where have the guardians been for Emma? Or how about Cash? I suspect that the title of Guardian was made up on the spot by Balthazar. His story sounds as if if goes from fairy tale happy to boring and mundane. I guess there is no accounting for the power of love.

Language: Moderate
Sexual: Mild - Moderate

Moment Divine:
"You can see me," I said, breathless. "Of course I can see you." Emma glanced over my shoulder, but she didn't make a move. "Your face is practically touching my face. It would be kind of hard not to see you."

Tuesday, January 8

Vanquished: Book Review


Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Simon Pulse
August 28th 2012
Young Adult | Paranormal
Official Blurb - 
Following the “globetrotting supernatural adventure” (Publishers Weekly) of Damned, the riveting conclusion to the Crusade trilogy pushes the power of love to its limits.

Hope is in short supply, but courage runs deep as the Salamancan hunters recover from a devastating loss. Jenn knows she must rally her team against the Cursed Ones, but her focus is shattered. She’s torn between passion for Antonio, who once fought by her side, and hate for the bloodthirsty vampire he’s become. His volatility is tearing apart their team...and Jenn’s trust.

As the Cursed Ones amass new strength, Team Salamanca must strike together if they hope to survive, let alone defend humanity. Jenn wants to believe Antonio’s loyal to their cause—and their love—but she’s slowly losing her heart to Resistance fighter Noah. And if Antonio’s not careful, he may just end up with a stake in his.

This gripping conclusion to an epic trilogy pairs steamy romance with heart-stopping action, and delivers an ending as dramatic as it is unexpected.

I definitely loved the portion of the book where Jenn's grandmother tells Antonio off. He has been moaning and complaining about his lot for many pages. She puts him in his place not a moment too soon. I envy her this moment. Even Father Juan got on board and tried to pull him out of his self induced confinement. I have encountered many similar characters in my reading. I often wish I could smack a little 'so what' sense into them. Do something, anything just make a decision.

Loved the ending or more precisely the epilogue. It made me laugh. "Not again." So very funny coming from the Catholic Father.

So awesome! Not perfect but definitely worth every page. What a ride. The bad guys who spread so much terror and torture through the first two books turn out not to be all that scary or bad compared to what waited in the shadows. As horrifying and terrible as the evil in the shadow it seems the light had better plans in the wings. What a battle!

I really enjoyed the view of religion and more specifically God and Love. It was nice to watch how each character came to grasp with those two things.

I loved the different languages and cultures of the characters. So much life in them. Fabulous trilogy!

Violence: Heavy

Moments Divine:

"They took our beer? And no one fought back?"
"Hard to find any fighters back home," she retorted. "Fangers have killed most of 'em. All that's left are children and old men and cowards."
"Say you're a liar."
"I'm not. They took our whiskey, too."
"You're a sorry excuse for a man, vampire or not."
"Excuse me?"
"You heard me. Sorry excuse for a living creature."
He felt his lips twist into a snarl. "You don't understand."
"Then enlighten me," she said, raising an eyebrow.
"You should back away from the bars. You're standing too close. I might . . ."
"What? Bite me? Kill me? Bore me to death with your sad tale about how you just wish you could be good?"
"What is wrong with you?"
"That's what I want to know about you," she said with a snort.
"I'm a vampire," he said, pulling back his lips to reveal his fangs.
She shrugged. "So what?"
He felt as though she had slapped him. He shook his head. "I don't understand your attitude."
"And I don't understand yours. You love my granddaughter, right?"
"With all my heart," he admitted, though the words tore at him.
"Love's stronger than hate, or fear, or anything. Except maybe faith. And from what I hear, you've plenty of that. At least you say you do."
"I have faith," he insisted. "I do."
"Prove it," she said, not even flinching.
Without hesitating, he placed his hand against a cross tacked on the wall of his cell. After a moment he showed her the skin, unburned.
"I'm not talking about parlor tricks or magick or superstition," she said, shaking her head at him. "I'm talking about real faith. And real love. Either you have them or you don't."
He stared at her. No one had challenged him like this in a very long time.
"Last time I read the Bible, it said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains," she continued.
"I know the passage."
She looked at him full on, challenging. "So if you have faith, you can overcome the evil urges in your heart." He lowered his head.
"And Antonio? Mustard seeds grow in the dark."
"I want to believe that you're right," he whispered.
Esther exhaled, exasperated. She looked as if she wanted to strangle him.
"Then do it. Don't want to believe--believe. Or maybe that's your problem. You just don't have the will."
"I do, senora," he insisted, but he couldn't look at her.
"When it all comes right down to it, what a man has is his will," she said. "If his will is weak, so is the man. If it's strong, the same applies."

Saturday, January 5

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Goals

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Join in the Twitter fun 

My book list:
(Absolutely must get read)
Faithful by Janet Fox
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Books on the Fringe:
(They are just hanging out around the edges hoping to be read) 
REM by Cheryl Abbott
Justice by Jade Varden
Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowan
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows 

I hope to get the mandatory books completed. On top of that I hope to get two books off the Fringe. It is a very dangerous place to be. I can so easily loose interest in books on the Fringe if they stay too long. Hopefully the books will be vastly entertaining and the pages will fly by.

Two Years of Blogging: Celebration Giveaway

I have mixed feelings on reaching my two year mark. December 29th was the magic day in case you were wondering. The first year began with such high hopes and dreams. So many emotions and passions to push me along. Surprisingly they fizzed out quickly and I lost interest while I was pregnant. The second year I recommitted myself and set goals to really give it my all. Now at the end of that gigantic effort I have a few things to puzzle over. When you cast your eyes about to the other blogs there is a good mix of situations. From those who are brand new but gaining speed at incredible rates. There are those who have been around seemingly forever and have hit their maintainable stride. Luckily that stride seems to be highly liked by others. Here are some things I have come to realize and I have yet to decide exactly what it means for me and this blog. The biggest is that even with all my effort this is all I could achieve. There are so many doors still closed to me. And I don't think that will ever change no matter how much I try. Secondly, I find that I am beginning to miss other aspects of my life. Blogging has taken so many hours from me this last year. It really seems that I may just not have a calling for this. It doesn't come naturally or easily. And that is okay not everyone is created equal and surely there is something out there that fits me better. The thing is that I immensely enjoy reading but perhaps I am not a social reader but more the type that likes to read with no strings attached.

So I am not sure if my two years of blogging celebration is the beginning of the end or one more step along the way. Of late my attention has been diverted to other pursuits. I am not sure if it will be permanent. I guess we will have to wait and see.

So there it is ladies, gents, and youngun's. The pile of books that absolutely must go. Oh, did you notice the Kobo sitting at the bottom of the pile? That isn't a mistake but just one more item needing to find a new home. Since I have been so lazy of late when it comes to blogging I haven't decided how to proceed. I wanted to put together some contests along with the giveaways. My original intent was to giveaway all these items but that is going to add up in shipping. I have an idea or two for a contest. How about you help me out with ideas of a contest or even which items absolutely must be offered up for a giveaway.

Comment below or send me a tweet so I can get things together. We all need a little help now and then. :) 

Depending on when I get my idea up and running and just what you all pitch in with ideas and such we can get this show on the road very soon.

Thanks for being with me through the last two years! You guys are the best!

Pile Denial: 15

I am in denial.

It is ugly but it is nevertheless the state of things.

Here I will document my struggle with my book obsession. Behold my denial in all of its glory.

Pile Escalation:
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Prodigy by Marie Lu

Such a great week in my mailbox thanks to Karen over at For What It's Worth. She let me borrow her ARC of Prodigy. And the library finally got their copy of Falling Kingdoms so I can't wait to dig in.

Pile Reduction:
Across the Universe by Beth Revis 
Destiny and Deception by Shannon Delany
Rivals and Retribution by Shannon Delany 
Prodigy by Marie Lu

Oh my I really felt like reading this week. Mostly because I have had a bad case of lethargic depression and it was nice to escape into the written word. I managed to finally finish reading one whole pile in my closet. Well I did sneak the last book into a different pile. Shush, don't tell. I feel so much more free. Now I just need to get rid of one whole pile.

Bottleneck Effect:
Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Faithful by Janet Fox

If you can't tell I am dragging my feet reading Bewitching. In fact the only reason this isn't a DNF is because I was reading it with my husband. He just doesn't know when to give up. I really don't like this book.

Here are the numbers of books hanging out on my TBR pile.

Pile Truth:
Books:45 (a decrease from last week) :)
eBooks: 28 (stable) :|

I think if I get to 40 books waiting to be read I should have some sort of celebration. Maybe a giveaway or a contest. Don't you think I should celebrate my tiny victory over the pile? In case you don't believe I am making progress here is a picture as proof. Not to shabby if you ask me.

How about you? Are you in denial?

Share in the comments or even in a post, just don't forget to leave a link, and help me feel a little better.

Thursday, January 3

Daughter of the Goddess: Novella Review

Daughter of the Goddess

Rita Webb

Robot Playground Inc
July 20th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -

The Heart.
The God of Love seeks a bride who is pure in heart and full of life—full of soul. Instead of a woman, he finds a child with laughter in her heart. Waiting for her to grow up, he befriends her, pretending to be nothing more than a blue-eyed boy with wild, tangled hair.

The Soul.
Left on the temple doorstep, a young girl turns the lives of the priestesses upside down . . . until one summer day before her eighteenth birthday, a traveling oracle tells her she is to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

The Nightmare.
An ancient demon—half-man, half-snake—wants to destroy anything the gods love. When she was a child, he haunted her dreams, but now he stalks her across the countryside. If he catches her, he’ll devour her.

I was thinking this would be quick fun little romance. What I ended up with was more motivational story. Sort of look inside yourself and face your inner demons. See them for what they are. Also, it brought to mind several of the things that are a bit concerning when it comes to all knowing gods. I found myself rather miffed and grossed out by the god of love following her everywhere but taking a back seat while she got dragged through hardship after hardship. Why are the good guys always passive in their protection. Yet the bad guys are very forceful and in your face. Just doesn't seem right. But I guess the only way for us to understand who we are as individuals is to face the troubles and gain confidence in our abilities. Can't do that if the big guys are always keeping us safe from the slightest wind.

There are some really great descriptive moments in this little story. I did think it was really odd that this holy priestess in training was being instructed in swordsmanship. Why would she ever need that? Even when it plays out to be necessary I wasn't that impressed. So I enjoyed this book but it wasn't as lighthearted as I was hoping.

Violence: Mil 

Wednesday, January 2

YA Authors Want to Meet You!: Find Out How

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown! 
Florence, Oregon
We are a cozy little coastal town with more elderly than young'uns. Not kidding as the average age in the city is 60. The only young folk are a result of the elderly needing medical care. It is brutal here being one of the minority. Attending the local book club is painful if you are interested in fiction. Even more so if you have a taste for YA fiction. They all look at me like I have lost my mind and should be in a straight jacket. The local bookstore is no more than a book swap of only the type of books that strike the elderly as fascinating. Imagine my feelings when I attended our local "giant" book event. Almost nothing but books aimed at the age enhanced. So all of this isn't convincing you that they should come to my home town, is it? 

What if I mentioned that my home town is also a vacation destination during the warm months. We have hiking, camping, dunes, fishing, boating, an ocean and so many more fun outdoor things to do, when it isn't pouring cats and dogs. Our climate is very temperate and makes for nice days in the sun, which is weak at best. Don't want to take my word for it. Here is what it says on our chamber of commerce site:
ActivitiesJust 60 miles West of Eugene, Florence offers one of a kind attractions, outdoor activities, unique festivals, exciting events and spectacular scenery
Experience the serenity of the Oregon Coast with a scenic tour by air and view the historic Heceta Head Lighthouse and the miles of coastal dunes and trails, ideal for hiking, dune buggy riding and ATV riding. Back on land, enjoy the natural beauty of the Florence Oregon Coast by biking or birding for the more than 450 birds that have been recorded in its habitats.
If you are looking for a day of fun at the beach, the Florence Oregon Coast is a kite flyers' paradise. Our beaches are great for clamming or horse back riding! Florence is perfect for deep sea and fresh water fishing, crabbing, diving, kayaking, paddle boat, scuba diving, skim boarding, snorkeling, swimming, surfing, water-skiing, wave-boarding or windsurfing.
In addition to the spectacular Sea Lion Caves, Florence offers many locations perfect for Whale Watching or tide pooling.
After a busy day of shopping, golfing or exploring the area's many attractions enjoy a dinner and a movie, dance to live music in Historic Old Town Florence or catch a show at the Three Rivers Casino & Hotel or at the Florence Events Center.
To be fair I think they are really putting it on just a bit thick. While we do have these things it isn't all so peachy but I like it here.
Alright, alright so I doubt I won many of you over but it would be nice to have the authors in my home town. At the very least they could get outside and play. And you know brighten my day!

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest!
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