Random Thursday

Time for another round of random and obscure facts that I bet you never really knew from That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"The sudden, violent windstorms that rush up and down Mount Fuji contributed greatly to Japan's mythology, which includes many flying spirits."


That's interesting! And something I can totally believe! Now I want to know about these myths!


(image borrowed from Friendly's)
"Sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, then nap after lunch to gain and sustain their weight."


Note to self...never skip breakfast and nap right after lunch.


(image borrowed from Disney Wiki)
"'Honcho' comes from the Japanese word meaning 'squad leader.'"


John's the honcho!! 


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Francis Ford Coppola made a Suntory whiskey commercial with legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa--an event depicted in Sofia Coppola's film, Lost in Translation."


Never heard of any of this! Lol! But cool! I guess?



 

Review--The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.

The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

Monalisa Devlin is a Will O’ The Wisp, a rare and potentially dangerous creature. Unfortunately, her greedy father makes sure she lives up to that potential. Monalisa is magically compelled to obey her father's evil commands--until he finally agrees to free her in exchange for one, last mission: Travel to Nocturne Falls and use her powers to force Ivan Tsvetkov back into the ring.

Once a champion on the supernatural MMA circuit, Ivan 'The Hammer' Tsvetkov retired after a devastating injury that left him unable to shift into his dragon form. Wounded and embittered, Ivan wants nothing more than to be left alone. Until an infuriating, stubborn, delicately beautiful stranger shows up on his doorstep and demands that he rebuild his life.

Posing as a rehab therapist seemed like the easiest way to get close to the smoldering recluse, but Monalisa quickly realizes that nothing about this mission is going to be easy. To gain his trust, she shares more of herself than she ever has before, and as their connection deepens, so does the weight of her secrets. She thought she was willing to do whatever it took to win her independence...but when her deception blows up in her face, will Monalisa discover that the loss of Ivan's heart is too high a price to pay? Or will their love rise from the ashes to burn stronger than ever?


Nocturne Falls is one of my most favorite places to be! Kristen Painter was created a world that is very much our own, except of course, there are real live vampires, werewolves, gargoyles and even dragons walking about! As you might have guessed it, The Dragon Finds Forever involves a dragon and even a Will ‘O the Wisp! I can’t say that I’ve ever encountered one of them in literature before, so it was quite fun having one as a main character!

Monalisa is our Will ‘O the Wisp and is basically a type of fae. Her father is a leprechaun and an evil one at that. He controls Monalisa through and through and until he grants her the coin that should’ve been hers at eighteen, she will never be able to escape him. Her father runs a fighting league and when his best player called it quits after losing a fight, he tasks Monalisa with the job of getting him back into fighting shape for a rematch with the supernatural who bested him.

Ivan is the dragon of this story and as you might have guessed it, is a MMA fighter. After he was poisoned by a manticore in his last fight he has decided to call it quits. The poison has yet to leave his veins and it’s left him inured and unable to shift into his dragon form. When a young woman comes to his door claiming to be sent by the League, his past employer, to help him get rehabilitated he’s skeptical but doesn’t want to cost the poor woman her job so he agrees to let her help him heal.

Monalisa isn’t too thrilled with having to lie to Ivan, he’s a good guy despite his rough exterior. He shows her more care and consideration than her father ever has and it endears him to her. She hates lying to him though, but knows things will get worse if she were to come clean. Her father’s hold over her is too strong for her to break by herself and he promises to give her her freedom if she completes this one final task, though Monalisa knows better to trust her father’s word.

Like all Kristen’s books in this series has been, this one was just as magical and entertaining as ever! I feel like Monalisa and Ivan were going to have the roughest trial of a relationship to form since they had to start out with lies, on Monalisa’s part, though she wasn’t happy to lie either. It definitely added this sort of invisible tension in a way, because you know that things aren’t going to be pleasant once the secret was out. In the meantime, though, you start to swoon a bit as the big tough Ivan and gentle hearted Monalisa start to truly fall for each other. It was almost heart-aching for me to read because I was anticipating the worst blowout ever once Monalisa’s secret came to light.

Ivan was an enjoyable character too! I almost feel like it’s a cliché for the big and tough Russian fighter to be a big softie at heart. But then again, who doesn’t love a guy with a big heart? He’s definitely one of the most thoughtful and considerate guys you’ll ever meet. And his rescuing a dog from the shelter was heart-melting too! As I said, he’s a lovable guy and he really surprised me with his growth.

I loved seeing the relationship develop between Ivan and Monalisa! Yes, it got started on the wrong foot almost, but the feelings they were having were still true. And as they continued to work through the issues they had, you knew they were really meant to be. As I said before, this is a series comprised of standalones and they are all paranormal romances, expecting a happy ending each and every time sort of becomes the norm for this series, so I don’t feel like I am giving away spoilers here!

We got to see some new faces in this one that have me excited for possible books to come! Though I already know who’s in our next book, which I am extremely excited to read since his brothers already had their books and happy endings! It makes me wonder if some of these new faces will be seen again in the near future or not!

Nocturne Falls is definitely a series no paranormal reader should be without! It’s a little town that was made for readers like us and I enjoy visiting it again and again with each and every book I read from this world! I highly recommend picking up any of the books, or all of them of course!


Overall Rating 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.


Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.




I haven't read the first book yet and now I am glad I haven't since this one's a duology! Binging duologies is my favorite pastime! Lol! 


AUTHOR: A.V. Geiger
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
GENRE: Thriller YA
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2018





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.



"And with that one kiss, she was smitten. Ruined, really. Because for the rest of her life, he would be the ruler all other men were measured by. And if she lived to be a thousand years old, she was always going to wonder what if?" Kindle loc. 32%













TITLE: The Dragon Finds Forever
AUTHOR: Kristen Painter
PUBLISHER: Sugar Skull Books
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


This week's topic is: FREEBIE: Most Scream-worthy Cliffhangers!


*in no particular order
**wherein you will need the next book in the series asap and for most of these I HAD TO WAIT!!!!


10. REIGN OF SHADOWS by Sophie Jordan--this was one of the few where I was lucky to have the next book at the ready! Bc OMG that was dreadful!
9. DREAMFEVER by Karen Marie Moning--oh the screams! The terrible screams! Mine and Mac's!!
8. SOLDIER by Julie Kagawa--another rare, rare instance where I had the next book at the ready...thankfully!! Julie holds nothing back with gut wrenching cliffhangers!


7. THE TROUBLE WITH TWELFTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones--omg omg omg omg!!! I NEED 13th GRAVE NOW!!! But aahhh!!! Did you see it was pushed BACK to 2019?! Amazon and Goodreads have conflicting dates, a January and February one so I am left in a state of horror at not knowing how long I will have to wait!
6. SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead--one of the worst cliffhangers EVER!! Dreadful! What's worse...the graphic novel series ENDS WITH THIS!!!
5. TWISTED by Gena Showalter--you're probably tired of hearing about this one from me by now! Lol! I apparently hold "grudges" with cancelled series that are likely to never ever ever have a conclusion! Even Gena's description of how book 4 would've gone down still left out CRITICAL information!


4. OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout--OMG!!!! I had binge read these first three together and this ending killed me!
3. WICKED: SPELLBOUND by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie--aka Wicked (compilation Volume 2). I first read this series when the books were individual and this ending killed me! And I went on to learn that the series was cancelled!!! I had to wait 6 years for the finale to come about as the series was eventually revived due to better sales!
2. DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole--OMG THIS ENDING!!! And then to have the series in a state of hiatus for awhile as there was a change in publishers...this yet again, killed me!


1. CRYSTAL STORM by Morgan Rhodes--although, to be fair, books 1-4 had pretty screamworthy cliffhangers too. But I think this one, this one was the most scream worthy!! I've only just gotten my voice back earlier this year when I got the final book in my hands! Lol!! But even then, it still took several chapters and pages until my heart would beat at a normal rate...even by looking at the cover! ;)








 

Let's Discuss: Dogs or Cats?

Still at a loss for topic ideas these days, so I turn to the helpful little list that I had saved for such occurrences! The next item up for gabs is...


Dogs or Cats?


Growing up we always seemed to have both in the house. I guess I never really had a preference for one or the other. It seemed that no matter what dog we had, they were always rather high maintenance! Lol! We seemed to keep with the trend of having two dogs at once because one always needs a friend! And it in both instances where we had two dogs, when it came to feeding time you always had to stand guard because one dog was a pig and the other was a slow eater! Lol! So yeah, feeding time was always lengthier than it should be!

We seemed to have good luck with cats. I remember our childhood one was a straight up rescue that was always nice, there was a meaner one from when I was a kid. Apparently when you're 1-2 and get too close (assuming I tried to pet it) it scratches you. Other than that one, our cats were always good kitties! Except of course for my late grandpa's evil demon spawn! We took it over after he passed and she remained evil to her dying day. Which it was still sad when that little hellion passed. And since she was our last cat, I'm not feeling too friendly towards kitties anymore! It was a 50/50 chance that our last one would allow you to pet her after she wanted you to pet her. It was that scary! Lol.

So I guess more dog than cat but not opposed to cats? Unless they were like our last one which was a hellspawn.What about you? Dogs or cats? Or both! Or none!




It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

Almost Midnight by C.C. Hunter (5 stars)
Fighting Back by C.C. Hunter (4.5 stars)
The Shifter Romances the Writer by Kristen Painter (5 stars)
The Vampire's True Love Trials by Kristen Painter (5 stars)


DNF Review:

Pacifica by Kristen Simmons


Currently Reading:

The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Titans by Victoria Scott


Other Posts of Interest:







Stacking the Shelves

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.


This was a rather quiet week, which I suppose was good all things considered! My sister did get married yesterday of course, but I was saying quiet more in terms of bookish things! Lol! I really didn't add to my TBR pile but for a comic! Feeling pretty good about that! But since I am seriously behind on said comic series perhaps I shouldn't feel too good! Lol!

I bought:

Scooby Apocalypse #24 by J.M DeMatteis & Keith Giffen


Then waaaayyyyy back in November I won a preorder of Ace of Shades from Amanda Foody! And it arrived this week naturally! I actually read this one as an ARC, so this is my keeper copy!

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody


THANK YOU Amanda!


Then I got the rest of my preorder goodies from Alwyn Hamilton for preordering Hero at the Fall!



THANK YOU Alwyn!!


And that's it for me! What did you all get?






MIA

(image borrowed from siudy.net)



Hey all! I won't really be around today! My big sister is getting married! So naturally my day will be pretty packed! I should be back in action on Sunday though! If I don't make it to your Stacking the Shelves post, just leave a comment/link in my post and I will be sure to pay you a visit! 

See you all tomorrow!









Mini Review--The Vampire's True Love Trials by Kristen Painter

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals in town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

Vampire Sebastian Ellingham wants one thing: to marry Tessa Blythe, the Valkyrie he’s fallen madly in love with. So meeting her parents seems like the natural thing to do. He’s even looking forward to it, until he discovers they’ve already found her a husband. Now the only way to keep Tessa in his life is to complete a series of tests meant for a very different kind of supernatural. And failing means losing her forever.





Two DNFs in one week, that’s terribly, terribly sad to me. But it did mean that I got to hop over to a TBR book that’s been waiting oh so patiently! Thank goodness I have the kindle app! Since I finished book six in Kristen Painter’s Nocturne Falls series yesterday, I thought I would move along to the novella that follows, The Vampire’s True Love Trials!

In this short little story, Sebastian and Tessa are finally done with all the nasty business regarding Sebastian’s ex-wife. It’s all over and done and since they are in Amsterdam, Sebastian thought it would be the perfect time to extend the getaway and even proposing! Just as he’s about to pop the question, Tessa’s parents call to tell her a berserker named Gunther has completed a set of trials and has won the right to propose. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Tessa or Sebastian.

It’s a basic meet the parents kind of moment except the only way Tessa’s parents will accept the relationship that Tessa and Sebastian want to have is if Sebastian completes the same set of trials. The only thing is the trials were created with berserkers in mind instead of vampires and if Sebastian were to fail any of them, then it’s game over and Tessa will marry the faceless Gunther.

This was just a fun, short little read that lets you see more of the Nocturne Falls world! Made fun since it let us see a returning couple get a little more complete with their happy ending and oh wow was there a surprise twist at the end! Not so much of a twist, but a surprise all the same!

I almost expected that we’d see this mysterious Gunther, but that wasn’t the case, which I guess makes sense. We don’t need to see who this wannabe contender is since we’re all rooting for Sebastian to win anyway! The read was a fast one and I was just happy to be back with the Nocturne Falls gang! Though not everyone was there, being with just two of them is always enough for me! If you’re already reading the series, don’t skip this novella for anything because that surprise at the end was a fun little one that might have you questioning things in the books ahead!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars





 

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
 
This week's question is: Is there a fictitious town in a book that you would love to live in? What makes it appealing? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
 
 
 
MY ANSWER: Yes!! It's a quaint little town known as Nocturne Falls where it's Halloween 365 days a year! And the town residents are all more than what they appear!
 
This town was basically built for me, as I've loved paranormal reads for ages! This is a place I could happily live in! Lol!
 
 
 
Oh, and it goes without saying that I'd live at Hogwarts in a heartbeat too!







Review--The Shifter Romances the Writer by Kristen Painter

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.

The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

For romance writer Roxy St. James, living in Nocturne Falls also means a fresh start. And as soon as her unbearable ex signs the divorce papers, that new beginning will be a reality. Unfortunately, her ex doesn’t seem ready to let her go and the subtle threats he’s been making leave her no choice but to confide in her oh-so-handsome neighbor, who just happens to be a deputy with the sheriff’s department.

But Officer Alex Cruz isn’t just the law. He’s also a panther shifter, a secret he’s sworn to keep (along with the truth about Nocturne Falls) from the very foxy Roxy. Humans aren’t supposed to know the town is filled with supernaturals. Then she starts seeing things she shouldn’t and thinks she’s losing her mind. His attraction—and concern—for her wars with the promise he’s made.

Will his truth be more than she can handle? Or will it cause her to write him out of her life?
 



I finally got myself back to Nocturne Falls! One of my favorite places to visit as Kristen Painter has created a world where supernatural types can all live out in the open, the upside is that all the visiting humans think it’s just pretend! But the residents always know better! In The Shifter Romances the Writer, we see one Roxy St. James moving into her new house located in Nocturne Falls! The catch? Roxy is human and a writer of paranormal romance books to boot!

Humans living in Nocturne Falls isn’t out of the ordinary per se, but it just means that for the time being, Roxy will have to drink plenty of the magically touched spring water that keeps all humans thinking everything is town is pretend. She is in the middle of a rather nasty divorce, one where she’s still trying to get her ex to sign the papers that will set her free. Starting out her first day in town by getting a ticket from one of the sheriff’s deputies wasn’t her idea of a warm welcome though.

Alex Cruz is a shifter, he takes on a panther form and the last thing he expected was to be charmed by the newest resident in town, Roxy. Giving her a speeding ticket didn’t exactly endear him to her, but when they learn that they are in fact neighbors, it’s best to let bygones be bygones! There’s definitely an attraction happening between these two, but Alex has always had his sights set on marrying a shifter like himself, but as the days move on, he’s starting to rethink that idea.

To add a little trouble to the mix, as this is more than just a love story, Roxy learns that she’s got a stalker. She thinks it’s her ex, as he was a very controlling and hurtful type that left a lot of emotional scars on Roxy. The notes she’s finding are unsettling her, and making her get even more behind on her book. She turns to her sexy new neighbor for a little help since he is a police officer!

Since it’s been a long while since I last read a book from this series, I was excited to pay a quick visit while in between reads! I would seriously live in this town if it were a real place! I swear it was meant for me, and likely other readers like me! Paranormal reads have been my favorite ever since I picked up my first vampire novel all those years ago! I’ve never looked back since!

Perhaps my one complaint was that the mystery involving the stalker wasn’t as consuming as I had expected it to be. Roxy had a lot of downtime moments that were filled with things not related to the stalker issues. It was still an incredibly fun read, don’t get me wrong. I loved seeing Roxy working on her book, it’s even kind of got my own muse knocking at my head again as I’ve let my own WIP sitting in dust for far too long. Anywho, Roxy was definitely a character I could relate to. There were several instances where I felt like her reactions to this and that ringed true for a lot of people. She was a very lovable heroine!

I guess my other issue is more of a “me” thing and not understanding fully what rules are applied to the other non-vampire paranormals. When you read as many paranormal books as I do, a lot of “rules” don’t apply for everyone. I guess I just haven’t been in this world particular for a while, so I can’t remember the rules of shifters here and how things work for them. I realize I am being a little vague but I don’t want to mention my problem exactly as it’s sort of spoilery, but given the series to date, not so much when you think about it! Lol! Alas, I shall keep to my hedging. It’s a minor thing and since everyone was happy at the end, I guess what I thought was true, wasn’t. So mystery solved! Lol!

The Shifter Romances the Writer was definitely yet another winner in the Nocturne Falls series! I love this world soooo much! This is a series all paranormal readers ought to give a try! It’s so fun! It’s quirky, cute, and the romance is always so sweet! You can really pick up the series whenever you want to as the books tend to have new heroes and heroines each time, though the characters do all interact with one another. The only thing you will be spoiled for is the aftermath of the previous happy endings. For if you read the descriptions about the book, you pretty much know who ends up with who! This is always going to be one of my favorite series, so I highly recommend giving it a try! You’ll never want to leave Nocturne Falls if you do!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars