May 19, 2019

Stacking the Shelves--The Finale Part 2 Edition

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

I more or less survived my first week downtown. And it was as awful as I imagined it to be. The commute there isn't too bad, but the commute home is dreadful. I sit in traffic every day, 2 or maybe 3 days there were accidents shutting down the lane. And naturally, there wasn't one of those helpful blinking boards to tell you this because it happened in areas they don't have those. It's dreadful. I don't understand how other people do this everyday. In other news, I do have an interview after work on fingers crossed!!

The week wasn't too bad though bookwise...thank goodness! Here's what I got:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber--the paperback, SIGNED! Another one down for my collection!! :D

Finale by Stephanie Garber--UK hardcover, SIGNED edition! And I got it signed/personalized while I was at it, because why not?! I'm in the process of ordering the other three and am cursing my phone as it's apparently causing troubles/delays with Waterstones trying to call me for payment!

Then in February I won the Discussion Challenge contest and I picked a preorder of this beauty:

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

THANK YOU Shannon & Nicole!

Then my Finale Fairy Loot box came and while I did get spoiled on item "type", I was still surprised and blown away by the details themselves!! This box was amazing!!! I'll be sharing pictures much later, likely the week they have all the prompts because I'd rather be safe than sorry in sharing contents later than sharing them earlier.

KUDOS to the Fairy Loot Team!

And this book...oh wow. It is gorgeous!! I truly hope everyone who is ordering it hasn't been spoiled for the design because just wow! Totally worth the fortune I paid for it! Lol.

And then lastly I was able to snag some swag for myself at the Finale signing and got the buttons I wanted but couldn't afford to order from Kelper's for Legendary. So all in all, a good week...for books!

What did you all get this week?

May 17, 2019

Stephanie Garber Signing Recap & GIVEAWAY!!

So this past Monday I had the immense pleasure of seeing Stephanie Garber again! This time, it was for Finale as previously I met her just after Caraval released! And WHOA! It was an amazing signing! She was in conversation with Nadine Brandes who had just released Romanov which is now in my TBR pile too!
(and this is only part of my collection! Some was already back in my cube on wheels!)

Stephanie is without a doubt one of the sweetest, most genuine and kind authors I've ever met! Granted a LOT of them are all of those things too, but I positively love Stephanie! It's always a wonderful feeling when one of your favorite authors feels like they could be your very best friend!

I was also happy to meet @BiblioStacks in line! She drove over 5 hours to St. Louis for the signing! I think we were the two with the most books for Stephanie to sign when she only has three out at this point! LOL.

So time for a long overdue giveaway! ONE lucky winner will receive the ENTIRE Caraval Trilogy SIGNED! Plus goodies!

This giveaway is open to US addresses only, sorry! But that does mean if you have a US address you can use, you're golden! Must be 18 years or older or have a guardian's permission to enter. Giveaway ends Saturday, May 25th and winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or else a new winner will have to be chosen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: Which author would you most like to interview, and why? (submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea)
MY ANSWER: Hmm...this is actually a tough one. I've been fortunate enough to have interviewed favorite authors before! A lot of them are super kind enough to answer a few questions in an email when I have them!
I guess one I would really like to interview, but edges on impossible because I don't think she's writing anymore is L.J. Smith--the real one!
I loved read her books growing up and still have a few of them to read in my TBR pile at some point!



May 16, 2019

Random Thursday

Let's learn some more about words from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! This chapter is definitely more interesting than I originally thought!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The first few weeks after a marriage is called a "honeymoon" and it didn't mean a vacation after the wedding. Not at first. The custom of a "honeymoon" began in Babylon over 4,000 years ago when the first month after a wedding the bride's father would give his new son-in-law all the honey-beer he could drink, thus earning the name "honeymoon." The actual word "honeymoon" didn't enter our language until 1546, but it didn't mean a trip away from home until the mid-19th century.

Never going to think of "honeymoon" the same way again!

(image borrowed from Lavender Sidetrack
When you get set off course from your goal, it's called "sidetracked." This term came about in the early days of railroads. Trains would have the problem of having near collisions with another when they were headed in the same direction. Eventually, to solve this problem, an extra "side" was created where one train could pull over to the side and let the other train go by. The train that was "sidetracked" for awhile by not going anywhere.

(image borrowed from WikiShrek)
When someone is rather charming, we say they have "personality," that's because in Greek and Roman theaters people had to wear masks to portray different characters. The Latin word for mask is "persona" and basically became to mean a personality. Today we still think of "persona" or "personality" as being a mask a person wears to mask their true character.

That's interesting! I feel like I've heard some of this before somewhere!

(image borrowed from Country Living Magazine)
 Daisies and dandelions were both named for a physical characteristic. The daisy was named as such since it was a flower that closed at night and opened in daylight. Thus earning the name "day's eye." The dandelion was named by the French for its sharp, edible leaves. It was thus called, "dent de lion" or the "tooth of the lion."

Whoa. We think the "tooth of the lion" is a weed! That's intriguing!

(image borrowed from eBay)
Levi denims eventually earned the name "jeans" based on their location of origin. In the 1850s, Levi Strauss was selling pants to California gold miners when he ran out of tent canvas. He imported a tough material from Nimes in France called "serge de Nimes" that was Americanized into "de Nimes" which eventually turned into "denim." "Jeans" is the French word for Genoa where the cloth was invented. Jeans eventually became a popular clothing item after James Dean wore them in Rebel Without a Cause!

Another interesting origin story!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
A derrick is an instrument used in construction for heavy lifting that got its name from a famous London hangman named Godfrey Derrick. He built the sturdy gallows that he used to hang 3,000 souls. Since items that were hung from cranes tended to sway while loading a ship, longshoremen called them "derricks" after the executioner's device.

That's really interesting! Though I'm not sure it will be something that truly sticks in my mind even with its morbid history! Lol.

May 15, 2019

The Wanderlust Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Fiction No Chaser who saw it over at Reading by Starlight! It sounded like fun, so naturally, I decided to jump in! I borrowed the above image from Fiction No Chaser as there didn't seem to be a "tag" image.

SECRETS AND LIES: a book set in a sleepy small town

Gotta admit that this one was a good creepy story in the small town surroundings!

SALT AND SAND: a book with a beach-side community 

Ember moves close to the beach and learns the art of surfing! 

HERE THERE BE DRAGONS: a book with a voyage on the high seas

It's a little bit at sea and a little bit on land! But you can't have a mermaid story without the ocean!

TREAD LIGHTLY: a book set down a murky river or jungle

I mean Neverland is jungle-ish! It's definitely not a place for the faint-hearted!

FROZEN WASTES: a book with frostbitten atmosphere

Okay this might be cheating, lol, but come on! Elena goes to Alaska! A dark and spooky Alaska looking for a maneating werewolf!!

THE BOONIES: a book with ruff or isolated terrain

Post-apocalyptic world starting in the bayous in the South!

HINTERLANDS AND COWBOYS: a book with a western-esque setting

I STILL need to read this one but it definitely has that air of "western" to it!

LOOK LIVELY: a book set across sweeping desert sands

I mean it fits this category perfectly! Title and all! Lol.

WILD AND UNTAMED: a book set at the heart of the woods

Like I wouldn't choose this one! Lol! Yes, Jessie lives near the edge of the woods so it's perfect!!

WILDEST DREAMS: a whimsical book shrouded in magic

So I begin and end this tag by choosing the same (nearly there with this last one) books as Fiction No Chaser! Lol! I decided on Legendary though since Tella was kind of my favorite of the two sisters and Legendary was filled with just as much magic as Caraval! I loved this series soooo much!

If you're feeling the Wanderlust, consider yourself tagged for this one!

Waiting on Wednesday--MOST ANTICIPATED!

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine

New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

This should surprise no one that this one is on my list! My love for vampires is eternal and I've been dying for a new vampire read for ages!!

AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
GENRE: YA Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: October 8, 2019

May 14, 2019

DNF ARC Review--The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule.

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human.

I received this ARC in a fair trade with a fellow blogger. My review is completely honest and voluntary and I was in no way compensated for this review.

Well, it happened again. I’ve encountered yet another book I just cannot get into no matter how hard I try. This time it’s The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg. I was really excited about this one. An amusement park where the animatronics have lives of their own. But for whatever reason I couldn’t really get into the story.

I’m wondering if it was due, in part, to the formatting. We go back and forth between the past and the future, where the future is told through transcripts of interviews post trial. The story already clues us in that Ana is a half-human, half-android princess who is programmed to make other people’s dreams come true. But, naturally, Ana finds herself acting against her programming and doing one thing that she shouldn’t be capable of, falling in love.

There’s also the murder of said boy she loves, Owen. Ana is accused of murdering him, though I never really got up to that part. I was in the beginning stages of Ana’s fascination with Owen. I read about 100 pages before deciding to throw in the towel.

What wasn’t working for me, I suppose, was the pacing. I get the desire to add these transcripts of post-incident, but for me, they weren’t really working. I mean we were getting these transcripts and such before Owen ever came onto the page. It was just kind of disaster for me. I mean, none of them talked about the incident, but the characters involved in it and prior to it.

I don’t know how else to describe it really without confusing myself more. The pacing and structure was just off for me. I had expected to fall in love with this story but it just wasn’t jiving for me, much to my dismay and with a TBR pile that grows by the week, I decided I wasn’t going to force myself to read a book I clearly wasn’t connecting with.

If the story sounds of any interest to you though, I still highly recommend checking it out. The structure I think is what threw me off the most. To be reading about the aftermath of an event that had yet to happen really didn’t do well for my mind’s abilities apparently. Having read about 100 pages, I wasn’t really able to obtain anything I read because I felt like we had yet to reach the start of the actual story. So yeah, this sadly was a DNF for me.

90's Movies Book Tag

Here's another fun book tag that I saw over at JennReneeRead that she saw over at The Butterfly Reader. I'm not sure where it originated from, but it looked too good to pass up! I borrowed the above image from Carrie's blog as it fits the tag perfectly...naturally! I amended the name for my blog, as I did a 90's book tag already but this one seems to be geared more towards movie prompts.

SHE'S ALL THAT: name a book couple that are an odd pairing, but they still fit perfectly together

If you had told me at the beginning of The Falling Kingdom series that I would ADORE Magnus and Cleo as a couple, I would've laughed so hard I'd be crying!! But they work!! I was soooo enamored with them probably by the 4th book if not beginning at the third!

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU: a book/series you have a love/hate relationship with

I still refer to this as The Southern Vampire Mystery series because that's what it originally was! I loved them back then! Then it was right when the series name switched as did the hardback size that things took a downhill turn. It was about when True Blood was getting underway too. The mystery element was nearly non-existent, yet I still read the series because it was kind of guilty pleasure and plus, you know, I wanted to see how it would end after all this time.

CLUELESS: a character that it totally clueless, but you love them anyway

This one's hard. A lot of the times the main character can be sort of clueless to what's really in the world. This tends to be true when it comes to paranormal books. If you aren't "in" on it, you're clueless. Meghan was clueless in the beginning as to what's really living in this world and about her own heritage, but learns pretty quick!

TITANIC: a book that made you cry

Not counting any Harry Potter book from 5 on, Strange and Ever After was one that had me bawling! OMG, this ending STILL kills me! I refuse to talk about it too! Lol! All these years and I still don't want to spoil it!

AMERICAN PIE: a book that made you laugh

I literally just chose one of these books at random! The entire Charley Davidson series had me laughing out loud, so it was hard to pick just one! Lol! This was definitely a LOL series!!

CAN'T HARDLY WAIT: a book with a crazy party

I can't really remember any book having a wild and crazy party, but in The Darkest Star there's a pretty wild time happening at a club, so there you go!

CRUEL INTENTIONS: name a character you can never fully trust

Morpheus. I struggled with this one and had to dig around for some inspiration. I believe Carrie chose him too and I remember why I disliked him out of Alyssa's "choices." He did something that immediately made me distrust him and pretty much if you break my trust, I don't forgive and forget! Lol. He was a complicated character and I tried to like him, but it was hard since I couldn't trust him!

DRIVE ME CRAZY: name your favorite "boy next door" or "girl next door" couple

I decided to use this movie as the prompt because they were the first 90's "boy/girl next door" movie that popped to my head! Lol! And naturally, have to agree with Carrie, Daemon and Katy since they were the "boy/girl next door" and I LOVED THEM!!!

SCREAM: a book with a memorable villain

Malone was without a doubt my most hated villain! In the early days of reading, naturally! I despised him. I mean I was dying for him to get his! He popped up fairly early in the series too, so it was a long wait for his to get his comeuppance!

THE CRAFT: a book with witches

Kim Harrison's Hollow series was all about a witch named Rachel Morgan and I LOOOOVED this series so much!! It was one of my first adult series I read and remained a favorite throughout!