Random Thursday

It's the last Thursday of the month, so it means it's the last month for venturing further with That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser! Next month I'll go back to the Disney book!

(image borrowed from Twitter.com)

"The state motto of Alaska is 'North to the future.' Alaska's Point Barrow is the northernmost point in the United States."

"Alaska contains the easternmost (Pochnoi Point on Semisopochnoi Island in the Aleutians) and the westernmost (Amatignak Island in the Aleutians) points in the United States."

Alaska is pretty point worthy!

(image borrowed from Alfred K)
"Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe were identical twins born in 1933and separated shortly after birth. Oskar was raised as a Catholic and became a Nazi; Jack was raised as a Jew. When they reunited many years after World War II, they had little in common aside from the urge to fake sneezes during uncomfortable silences."

That's regretfully sad, yet a little funny with that last bit!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Although the word 'ghetto' today connotes impoverished urban centers, it originally pertained to quarters where Jews were forced to live irrespective of social class. In Venice in the early 1500s, Jews were housed on an island with an iron foundry. The Italian world for foundry is gheto."

And now we're back to sad.

Review--Vicarious by Paula Stokes

Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you—for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.

Vicarious is the first book in an action-packed duology by Paula Stokes, better yet, this first installment takes place in St. Louis! I don’t think a book I’ve ever read has ever happened in my dull little city. Maybe there was a mention of it or a very brief stay, but that’s it! The fact that this book is pretty intense coupled with a mystery to boot, it had me itching to read it stat. Yet, I restrained myself to wait until I could binge the duology, for sanity purposes of course!

Winter and Rose have both had a troubled life. When they were young and living in Korea, their mother gave them up for adoption, they were later brought to the US but into a human trafficking ring. It’s sickening what humans will do to another, especially ones who are vulnerable. The two sisters were saved by Gideon some years back and have been living in St. Louis ever since. Gideon developed a new technology that allows people to virtually experience intense situations such as skydiving, scuba diving with sharks, you name it! Winter is one of the people who actually does the intense activities and records them with the technology and then users can experience all the things they always dreamed of doing.

Then one day, tragedy strikes and Winter learns her sister Rose was murdered. The murderers even recorded in using the tech which had been stolen the same night. Now Winter with the help of her friend and partner in the business, Jesse, work to solve the mystery behind Rose’s murder. But it’s a case that keeps leading them in circles and into dead ends. Rose apparently was living another life that Winter was unaware of, doing things she never expected her sister to do.

This read was seriously awesome and a bit twisted, which is why it was so awesome! I love a twisted read! There were so many angles to this story that I truly never saw anything coming! Ironically, it never bothers me when I am wrong in my own theories when reading! I just get so swept away with the story that I basically become the main character as they struggle to solve the mysteries! That to me always speaks of great writing! When a story can pull you in so deep you forget you’re the reader! That’s pretty much what happened with me and Winter!

I also really enjoyed the subtle romance between Winter and Jesse! It was one of those situations where you know Jesse is in love with Winter, but Winter’s not quite there yet! And can I comment on his name first? Jesse Ramirez! It was kind of hard not to picture Adam Rodriguez from the old show Roswell as that was his exact name as well! Weird, right? But I totally dug it! Jesse has his own troubled past as well, he and Winter are both kind of broken in some parts, but I loved that they had this incredible friendship. Granted, Winter does try to keep him at a distance emotionally, but you can see she even struggles to maintain those walls.

The mystery was one of the most exciting mysteries I’ve read in a while! I truly, truly didn’t see it coming! It was pretty shocking! I like to think I play detective pretty well with my other mystery reads, but this one totally blew me away! The reveal was so incredibly shocking! And then to top it off there’s even more added shock and reveals at the very end! I am sooo glad I have Ferocious ready at the helm! I don’t think I could handle that cliffhanger after that series of revelations! As always, I highly recommend binge reading duologies! Though I am still known to break that rule, lol! But I can already tell that binge reading this particular duology will be the best way to go about things!

Vicarious was an incredible thrilling mystery filled with so many twists and turns that it will have your mind reeling with all the possibilities! I think I may have found a new favorite author with Paula Stokes!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars


Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter―finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?

Ironically I just received this one right before I had this WoW scheduled! But since I'm technically not ready to read it, I can't wait to binge read this duology that partially takes place in St. Louis!

TITLE: Ferocious
AUTHOR: Paula Stokes
GENRE: Dystopian YA
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2017


Review--Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

In the explosive finale to New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Prince series, Vlad is in danger of losing his bride to an enemy whose powers might prove greater than the Prince of Vampire’s….

In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

I finally read Jeaniene Frost’s Into the Fire, which brings a conclusion to Vlad and Leila’s story and once again felt myself swept away by an incredibly amazing story filled with action, some romance, vampires, and a bit of humor as well! I’ve loved Jeaniene’s books since I first discovered her debut on a shelf in Borders and I’ve pretty much been a fan ever since! I never thought a series with Vlad would be possible but I was ecstatic when it came into fruition!

Vlad and Leila’s man mission now is to find Mircea and break the bond that is between him and Leila. When either one is cut or inured, the other feels that pain too. Mircea has been nothing but a thorn in Leila and Vlad’s side and now Vlad is determined to find a way to break the bond so that he can kill Mircea. Unfortunately for Vlad, he’s going to need help and when he turns to Mencheres for said help, he actually is given help in another form! You know who I’m talking about of course! It’s Ian! Much to Ian’s own dismay, his love for Mencheres has him doing his bidding. And let’s just say, Ian and Vlad working together doesn’t quite go as smoothly as planned!

The hunt kicks into full gear once they learn that Mircea has been kidnapped and they make a serious demand from Vlad, one that he will have to comply with unless he wishes to see Leila dead.

Like all Jeaniene’s books this one was filled with just the right amount of adventure! There’s a course our characters set on and it’s anything but easy. And there’s the ever growing fear that at any time, the kidnappers could decide to just off Mircea and thus put an end to Leila’s life as well. Then you have Vlad being Vlad who has been overprotective of Leila pretty much since their beginning. He continues to harbor secrets and do things without consulting Leila. It’s almost worrying to a point, but when you get down to the heart of it, he does what he does out of love for her.

There were quite a few surprises in this one! What is likely to be the foundation of Ian’s story is laid out. He does something drastic in pure Ian fashion and the consequences are dire. And we also get to see who will be starring alongside him in his book, a fact that is confirmed at the very end of the novel! Which only makes me more excited for Ian’s book, something I’ve been longing for ever since Jeaniene ventured to Spade’s book!

There was also new developments that I can see playing a larger role somewhere down the line. Unsaid events happened that we never really got to see a follow through on. Not saying what or naming names, but I think there might be more novel potential within these events! I may have to talk to Jeaniene again at some point! Road trip!! Lol.

I guess the only issue I truly had with the book was the ending, there’s just this little nagging bit that was left unclear as to what’s going to happen. And to me it felt glaringly obvious, like this needs to be addressed obvious, yet it wasn’t. Though I thought I detected a bit of it being answered in some way, but that could’ve possibly been in reference to another thing that happened! Vagueities, I know! Not a word either, I know! Though we did get some sort of answer to it, I just felt like it needed to be cut and clear discussed among the characters instead of leaving this poor addled reader to make assumptions!

Regardless of that, I still enjoyed this book, as I do with all Jeaniene’s books! It was as enjoyable as they all have been since day one! Jeaniene is known for writing fierce heroines who can kick butt and for their alpha males being all swoony! She packs in an added punch with all the great action scenes and tension-riddled moments! This is a world I’ve come to love and revisiting it through more and more characters eyes continues to be the highlight of my year! Looking forward to the next adventure more than you would know! I hope the adventures never stop!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars


Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

OOOMG! I am LOVING Into the Fire!! It's been too long since I've been with Jeaniene's vampires! And one of my most favorite ones makes an appearance in this story! Check out the teasers for a hint!

"Mencheres gave Vlad a look of grim amusement. 'Oh you know him. And you dislike him even more than Bones.'" p 32

Any guesses? ;) And because I couldn't leave it at one teaser, here's another:

"'I don't,' Ian agreed with a laugh. 'But I've been wrong before. Think it was on a Tuesday.'" p 107

TITLE: Into the Fire
AUTHOR: Jeaniene Frost
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2017 

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's freebie topic is: Top Ten Books You Own Multiple Copies Of

*in no particular order
**May be referring back to my FF post with same topic!

10. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth--3 copies; hardcover, paperback, hardcover special edition...to be 4 once I get around to buying the UK version!
9. A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas--3 copies; standard edition, Target edition, BAM edition...still unread...still guilty...still hoping to read very soon!
8. HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer--4 copies; hardcover, Owl Crate hardcover, UK paperback, ARC

7. INSIDE OUT by Maria V. Snyder--4 copies; US paperback, Australian paperback, UK paperback (in transit), US compilation
6. SEA GLASS by Maria V. Snyder--5 copies; 2 US trade paperbacks, US mass-market paperback, UK paperback, Australian paperback 
5. OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout--5 copies; original US paperback shown, redesigned US paperback, Kindle copy, US compilation of books 1 & 2 paperback, US compilation of books 1 & 2 hardcover...I need to get some international editions of this one apparently! ;D

4. MAGIC STUDY by Maria V. Snyder--6 copies; US hardcover, US trade paperback, US young adult paperback, UK adult paperback, UK young adult paperback, Australian paperback 
3. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling--8 copies; US paperback, US 10th Anniversary hardcover, US Illustrated Special Edition, UK hardcover, 4 UK 20th Anniversary House Editions (technically 3 are in transit at this time, but close enough!). 
2. CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber--8 copies; US hardcover, Russian hardcover, Polish paperback, 5 UK hardcovers with all the hidden covers!

1. POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder--10 copies; ARC, US hardcover x2, US mass-market paperback, US trade paperback, US young adult paperback, UK young adult paperback, UK adult paperback, Australian paperback, Japanese paperback.


Discussion Challenge: Favorite Standalones

Awhile back on a friend's blog Readers in Wonderland, Bec had a post up about 5 favorite standalones and that got me wanting to list a few of my favorite standalones as well!


Heartless by Marissa Meyer--I really enjoyed this one! I've always loved fairy tale retellings or "origin" stories! This one about how the Queen of Hearts came to be the villain that she is in the literary classic Alice in Wonderland. It was quite entertaining and a little heart-wrenching!

Old Magic by Marianne Curley--of course I have to mention this one! This one was a favorite of mine as a teen! I re-read it half a dozen times or so! It was just sooo good! Magic, time travel, romance! What more could a paranormal craving teen ask for?

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson--I love Vicki's books so when I heard she had a thriller coming out in 2015 I was most excited! It was really good! At least in my opinion! It had the right amount of creepy! I can't remember if I guessed the whodunit or not, but it was definitely a chilling read!

Nocturne by Syrie James--I have so much love for this book! I can't quite remember how I stumbled upon it. Probably from another blogger but sadly I can't remember who. They might have retired by now. But this one was a standalone that pulled at all my heartstrings! It's a vampire romance with a flair of Beauty and the Beast, at least I always thought so! I mean the rose on the cover pretty much gives that impression too!

Fateful by Claudia Gray--three words: werewolves and Titanic! Because yes, that's exactly what this story is about! Plus add in some romance and you have the makings of a truly unique kind of read! Though, as I look at it, I can't make sense of this cover! Is she really standing in the Atlantic?! She's not the werewolf FYI! Lol! The UK cover was a bit better in my opinion. She's actually standing on the Titanic, though her dress may be over the top.

And this is where I will cut myself off! I may refer back to standalones for a TTT post one day! So you'll likely see these 5 again because they are truly among my favorites!! Do you have any favorite standalones? Ones that you so readily enjoyed and would've loved for there to be MORE but yet at the same time, like that it's a standalone?

BLOG TOUR: ARC Review--Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor +Contest


For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends...and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was so thrilled to have gotten an early copy of Janet B. Taylor’s Sparks of Light! I read Into the Dim towards the end of 2015, so you can imagine my wait for this one was painful! LOL! Things picked up shortly after where we left Hope and gang. Naturally, my brain couldn’t quite remember a lot of what happened, but as I am wont to do, I just dive in and hope for the best! Luckily, Janet incorporates enough of a recap of all the pertinent details that my memory loss wasn’t much of an issue. I’d kill for Hope’s gift of memory though!!

Things are tense as Hope frets over Brandon being back in his mother’s graces, but truly he’s spying on her for Hope’s team. Celia, Bran’s mother, is still fervently searching for the Nonius Stone which can basically allow for easy time traveling with no restrictions, as currently there are some. Mainly needing to travel back in time to an already visited place. So naturally, Hope, Collum, Phoebe and Doug are trying to get to it first.

This time around the journey back in time is to visit a scientist who’s working on an enhancement that can allow for easier time traveling, so not quite the power of the Nonius Stone but kinda close. Hope and the group are being sent back to destroy it and to keep Telsa, the scientist, from creating another. But when they learn that Celia is already there, they know they will have to act fast.

Doug is able to join the group this time as well, when he wasn’t able to before for medical reasons, now he’s taking the chance because it’s really the trip of a lifetime. Naturally though, things won’t be as easy as they planned. For things seem to have gone wrong from the moment they arrive, in the middle of chaos! And it’s not long before Hope and Doug are kidnapped by a madman and put into a hospital where the crazed doctor is prone to experimenting on his patients! It was quite terrifying in some ways. I think I kind of remember learning some about how these institutions that are meant to “heal” people really make them worse, if not outright killing them.

Bran is still in the picture this time around as well, which was a fear of mine when I learned he was back on his mother’s team, however feeble it was. But Bran does make the occasional appearance, every time he can sneak away and have time with Hope! There are a few scenes that are totally swoonworthy too! And I still can’t decide if we have a possible love triangle here or not with Bran, Hope, and Collum! True, Hope and Bran are definitely a couple…it seems. But I can’t help but feel like we’re seeing moments with Collum! I really, really hope I’m just reading too much into it! With all the love triangles going on these days, one can never be sure. But I still hold out for the best and that I am just over-thinking things!

I can only imagine the amount of research Janet must do for this series! It totally boggles my mind! There’s so much history and detail that she’s had to research, not just with the significant historical events, but down to the nit and gritty details like fashion, travel, accommodations…there’s just so much you don’t really think of when it comes to visiting a scene from the past! And it seriously blows my mind!

There was definitely a lot of suspense in this one! As I mentioned before, Hope is put into an asylum of sorts for a good portion of the book. And it really amps up the tension because not only is she and Doug trapped in this place, separated, but there’s still the time limit hanging over their heads, that if they aren’t at their portal at the precise day and time…there’s no returning home! My heart was racing for other reasons too while Hope was in this place! It’s definitely not a safe place for any young woman to be!

The ending was quite shocking! Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, Janet will blow your mind away, again! I felt like I suspected one thing of happening, but I could just be working off other emotions really. But the other thing? Totally surprising!! I’m not sure how long this series will run, hopefully for awhile! There’s no direct course for where our characters might be going, so that was kind of a nice surprise. No killer cliffhangers, yet still knowing that there are things left unsettled. There’s just got to be more adventures ahead! Even if it’s only one! I honestly don’t know at this point!

If you’re looking for a good time-traveling series, I definitely recommend this one! It’s definitely a more historical kind of read, but there’s still that journey of adventure to be had with each trip back in time. Of course there’s also the danger and suspense when dealing with their enemies and the time limit they have to be back in time. And of course, there’s a sparkling of romance and a great deal of friendship. Yes, I’d say Sparks of Light, and the series to date, has a great deal of everything in it!


Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars—just a wee bit off because of my memory lapse! But that’s really more my own issues. Took some great notes for this one though so you can bet that next time there will be no room for error on my part!


Sparks of Light releases August 1, 2017


About the author:

The 2013 winner of the coveted #PitchWars, Janet B Taylor, has four years' experience writing web content for a major television network fan site (CBS) that garners over a hundred thousand hits a day. Janet travels extensively to those places where her novels are set, often roaming around at night to commune with the famous historical figures about which she loves to write. She is a member of several writing organizations, including the SCBWI and the Historical Novel Society, and lives in a tiny town in Arkansas with her family. 


Tour Schedule:
Week One:
7/24/2017- a GREAT readReview
7/25/2017- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
7/26/2017- YA and WineGuest Post
7/27/2017- Ex LibrisReview
7/28/2017- Once Upon A TwilightInterview

Week Two:
7/31/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandInterview
8/1/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
8/3/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
8/4/2017- The Bucket ListReview