Feb 21, 2019

Let's Discuss: Mirrors

So on Twitter last week I saw this video that was basically the opening credits to a show I used to watch and a kid and omg the nostalgia! Credit for the video clip and tweet goes to @90sManiax

This show has that 90s flair to it, so naturally when seeing it again, you would think it's so corny! Well in 20 years today's shows will be corny too, just saying! And with the nostalgia feels came other memories and feels, one that I admit is kinda dorky...

My Real Obsession with Mirrors

As a kid I remember having an obsession with looking in the mirror. Everyone thought it was because I liked to look at myself. Well, they are wrong. I wasn't obsessed with my reflection. I was really trying to find a way to go inside my mirror and go off to Wonderland! As the opening song will show you, Alice simply just walked on through. So I thought if I tried hard enough I would be able to do that too!

There was also an episode of Rugrats that was called "Mirrorland." While it wasn't a "Alice in Wonderland" spin, it was more about entering a world where everything is backwards. So my childlike mind naturally thought that it was further proof that there was a WORLD behind that mirror. If only I could've figured out how to get the door to truly open! Lol.

I was always a bit of dreamer, always believing in things that most kids eventually gave up on. Granted nowadays I'd be more scared of mirrors expecting some ghost to crawl out of it and either scare me to death or actively try to kill me, but I can only hope then that Dean and Sam jump out of the TV to rescue me too.

Though, I do know none of that is actually possible, but I figure if I'm going to stretch that daydream, I better stretch it right! Lol.

Did anyone else by chance have a Wonderland obsession with mirrors? Or any other bizarre obsession as a kid that you look back on now and just laugh?

Random Thursday

I'm truly having a blast in this Holiday section of The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! I feel like I am learning new things that I wasn't always aware regarding holidays or at the very least, further details on what I knew!

(image borrowed from Newsbug.info)
It was the Irish who introduced Halloween to America. Children would basically have a night filled with vandalism. Adults would soon realized they could offer candy to them to stop the pranks and children would soon give adults a choice of "trick or treat."

That's interesting! I guess I was mixing up my knowledge of souling.

(image borrowed from Mental Floss)
Jack o'lanterns is another tradition that comes from Irish folklore. It goes back to a stingy man named Jack or "Jack-o" who tricked the devil at one point. When he died he was barred from heaven for all his evil deeds and he couldn't go to hell for having tricked the devil. After quite a bit of begging he convinced Satan to give him a burning ember that he placed in a hollowed out turnip. This served as his lantern throughout the afterlife. In North America the turnip was soon replaced with a pumpkin which they had in abundance.

Now this legend I remember well!

(image borrowed from History.com)
The Celts originally celebrated New Year's Eve on October 31 and it was called All Hallow's Eve. This was the night that all those who had died in the past year would come back and chose the body of a living person or animal to inhabit for the next year before they could move onto the afterlife. The original Halloween festival involved human sacrifices and costumes that were both meant to protect the living from the dead.

Now this was something that I sorta knew, but not the whole possessing part!

(image borrowed from Freepik)
When we say Merry Christmas it suggests a mood for celebration, but that wasn't its original meaning. Merry initially meant peaceful or pleasant instead of joyous.

That I did not know!

Feb 20, 2019

Let's Discuss: Weird Quirks

Time for a little sharing moment! This will be a short post to discuss...

The Weirdness that is Me

I'm weird. I've no shame in it. Weird is fun. Weird is unique. Weird is different! Among my many quirks, one of them is that when I get an Amazon gift card I refuse to use it on any ebooks. Yup. I won't do it. If there's an ebook I want, I will wait until I finish up my gift card. This makes no sense. I realize this.

When I get an Amazon gift card, I think of it as a book gift card. A gift card to buy books and only books! None of the other crap Amazon sells. I only have Prime so I can get my books on release day and get the lowest preorder price--well that's in general, but if I were to order multiple books with different release dates in the same order, they'll ship them as they release instead of making me wait until they were all "out."

But why don't I use them on ebooks for the rare times I buy them? It's more about wanting to use the gift card money on a book I can hold! Putting the funds to good use instead of on a book or novella that's under $5. 

So that is just one of my weird quirks! Any chance anyone else does this? Lol.

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

Seventeen-year-old Kim gets more than she bargained for when she is set up for murder. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, E. Lockhart, and Gillian Flynn.

17-year-old Kim never expected to plot a murder. But that was before her boyfriend dumped her for another girl. Now, Kim’s stuck on a class trip to London with him and his new soulmate and she can’t help wishing he was a little bit dead, even if she’d never really do that.

But when Kim meets Nicki, a stranger on the plane who’s more than willing to listen to Kim’s woes, things start to look up. Nicki's got a great sense of humor, and when she jokes about swapping murders, Kim plays along—that is, until Kim’s ex-boyfriend mysteriously dies.

Blackmailed by Nicki to fulfill her end of the deal, Kim will have to commit a murder or take the fall for one.

This one sounded really exciting! I love me a good murder mystery! I still need to read another of Eileen's books but that doesn't stop me from wanting to add more to my TBR pile! Lol!

AUTHOR: Eileen Cook
GENRE: YA Thriller
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019 


Feb 19, 2019

Let's Discuss: How I Came Back to YA

Once upon a time, there was a reader who lived to read paranormal books. But sadly, she soon discovered that the YA shelves at Borders didn't have a lot to offer, so she gave up on YA and went over to the "adult" books where there were plenty of choices. Then one day, when she was a member of The Pride (a now deceased discussion board that was tied to Rachel Vincent's The Pride series) some friends recommend a YA book to her. One that was about VAMPIRES! 

How I Came Back to YA

So yes, when I was in my late teen years, I had given up on the YA genre. There just wasn't a lot of paranormal books to choose from or read. And I couldn't handle reading the contemporary books anymore. So I started reading the "adult" books but then it was recommend to me on The Pride that I really ought to try reading Vampire Academy. I had just started blogging at this point as I do have that review on my blog, I won't recommend reading it as it's a review from year 1! So tread at your own risk! Lol.

Anyway, I remember buying a copy and reading it and just being like WOAH!! I immediately bought the next two and then I screamed! I screamed loud and bloody! I might have asked my friends why they didn't tell me to pace myself as the fourth book wouldn't release for over a month. Yes, my wait wasn't that long, but still. I should've been told to pace myself! Lol.

Anyway, after I read that series, I discovered that there was a handful more paranormal books that released in recent years, really probably that year and maybe 2008. I started picking them up one by one and discovering magical read after magical read and omg I realized that the genre I had been waiting for was FINALLY kicking off!

So that is the book that got me to read YA once more! Over the years I would read about 50/50 of adult and YA books, though in recent years I've been reading more YA as it seemed a lot of my authors who wrote both either switched to YA full time or they're just not writing anymore in general. Granted I do have a lot of backlist titles to read that are adult books that I really want to read and hope to do so prior to death. Fingers crossed! Lol!

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.

Having just the tiniest bit of trouble getting into this one. I initially thought it would go back to Vicki and her friends from the first book of this spinoff. But it didn't. Not only that, the description of the story gave no character names, just occupations, so I basically have no clue who I am supposed to be following in a sense. I'm slowly getting into it though, so by the end I'm sure it will be a 4 star read!

"Don't punch him in the face. Don't punch him in the face. Do not punch him in the face. And don't even think about a knee to the groin, no matter how satisfying the action would be in the short term." p 133

TITLE: Wild Country
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019

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: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

*in least to greatest rating order
**numbers are as of February 15, 2019

10. BAD BLOOD by Lucienne Diver--(219 Ratings) This was such a fun series! It combines paranormal elements and Greek mythology. In other words this was a series made for me! Lol!
9. THE MORTICIAN'S DAUGHTER: ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE by C.C. Hunter--(531 Ratings) I don't know how this one has such low ratings! It was such an awesome read! Ghosts, murder, mystery, I mean you can't go wrong with that!
8. THE LANTERN'S EMBER by Colleen Houck--(637 Ratings) I'm actually surprised by this one! Colleen's books are always amazing and rich in mythology and her standalone here was no different! It's got great Halloween lore woven into it that made it a perfect Halloween read!

7. NAVIGATING THE STARS by Maria V. Snyder--(650 Ratings) I'm hoping this is because this one is still newish. It released in December and it was a self-published one for the US. I'm STILL waiting for TBD to ship my preorder of the Australian one...thinking they're just gonna drop me eventually. This was a fun and twisty read and I can't wait for the next one!
6. BURNING by Danielle Rollins--(694 Ratings) This one was sooo good! It was twisted and weird and mysterious! It was just awesome and yet it's got less than a thousand ratings!!
5. BEAST: A TALE OF LOVE AND REVENGE by Lisa Jensen--(887 Ratings) I know this one was sorta hit or miss for people but I was still shocked that it was under 2,000 ratings! It was an interesting and unique retelling of The Beauty and the Beast. Yes it was a bit odd, but I rather enjoyed how things turned out!

4. DIRE by Alyssa Rose Ivy--(1,444 Ratings) I'm sadden that this one had under 2,000 ratings too! It's werewolves people!! I love Alyssa's books and I started going down the line of some of my favorites of hers and quite a few were over the 2,000 mark. I can't believe this one wasn't.
3. THE WERELING: WOUNDED by Stephen Cole--(1,568 Ratings) Okay I don't think you can say it's cheating to choose an old favorite because I looked at many of my all time favorites that stretch pretty far back and was happy to see them past 2,000. Then I remembered this series and how I LOVED it and I was shocked that it didn't surpass 2,000! Werewolves, turnings, kidnappings, running away, and lots of danger! This series was a lot of fun!
2. NOCTURNE by Syrie James--(1,660 Ratings) How does this one have under 2,000?! This is Beauty and the Beast but with VAMPIRES!! There should've been a sequel but it never happened and I am in mourning over this fact!

1. VELVET by Temple West--(1,851 Ratings) So this isn't bad! I mean we're 150 ratings from being too many for this topic! Lol. This was a fun vampire series that I really enjoyed! This one did pretty well in ratings but the second book had a serious drop, I only went with this one because it's a first-in-series and that's what I chose for the most part or a standalone. The second book only had 248 ratings! I'm still waiting on the third book but I am starting to worry as nothing released last year. 


Feb 18, 2019

ARC Review--Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

How do you kill a god?

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

I received this ARC in a fair trade on the booksfortrade hashtag. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was in no way compensated for this review. 

If you love Tricia Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King, you're going to love Tricia's next heroine as she's a tough as nails warrior woman! Warrior of the Wild is Tricia's standalone novel that follows Rasmira, the only female warrior in her village and when she's betrayed by people she thought she knew, she finds herself outcast from her village with an impossible task set before, she should want to seek redemption. This was a fast paced story filled with adventure, surprises galore, and MONSTERS! 

Rasmira is the only female warrior in her village and she's been trained to follower in her father's, the leader of the village, footsteps. But when she and the other warrior trainees take their final test to prove themselves, Rasmira finds out she has been betrayed by the people she thought she knew. It's not long into the story when we find Rasmira being outcast into the wilds. She's give an impossible task known as a mattugr that basically sets her up for failure in its impossibility. The task? To kill the god that has been terrorizing their villages for years.

I was quite surprised that once Rasmira is on her way to her seclusion in the wilds that she encounters two other outcast teens. At the same time, I was actually hoping for something like this to happen because I couldn't imagine reading a 300+ page book about a heroine who didn't get to interact with anyone other than monsters and the god she is tasked with killing. She meets Soren and Irik, two boys who failed their final tests and have their own impossible mattugrs ahead of them. While Rasmira is loathed to let herself trust again, she finds herself doing just that with these boys. They discover that if they have any hope of returning to their homes, they will have to learn to work together.

I quite enjoyed Rasmira's interactions with Soren and Irik! And never fear, there is no love triangle here as Irik is already spoken for! But that leaves Soren up for grabs! Soren is the first to "fall," yet Rasmira isn't about to let her heart get broken again and constantly shuts down Soren's attempts. It was rather realistic to see Rasmira being unwilling to trust Soren whatsoever. The way that she was betrayed would definitely leave its scars on you and trusting again wouldn't be easy. But as you can imagine, that begins to change, ever so slowly, over the course of the novel.

I really enjoyed Rasmira's character. She wasn't perfect, she had her flaws, but I really liked that she began to learn that about herself and slowly change (in the right ways) to become a better person. She wasn't horrible mind you, but there were little things that get pointed out to her eventually and though it's never stated, you can clearly see her trying to be better.

The ending was quite amazing! I loved everything that led up to it and then the grand finale itself! The story leaves us in the perfect place too! It's the way I prefer my series (and standalones) to end! Warrior of the Wild has a lot going for it! It's action packed, there's MONSTERS, seriously scary and deadly monsters, romance, humor, shocking surprises, and growth from lessons learned. It was thought provoking in a roundabout way.

There were only a few minor things that bugged me about this. Nothing too extreme, but I feel like I can't say with confidence that it was a flawless read. Sure there were times when I didn't agree with Rasmira's choices, but I feel like that's typical of any book because if she made the choices I wanted her to go for, there wouldn't be a story! Lol. Perhaps I just needed more to the story as well. Just the simple MORE. I think if there was just a little something more to it I would be all over giving this one five stars. It's still a tremendously worthy story that I still highly recommend! It's definitely different from my usual fantasy reads and I really loved the warrior woman vibe it had going! This is a story not to be missed!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Warrior of the Wild releases February 26, 2019

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:

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
Wires and Nerve Volume 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (5 stars)
The Joy of Cookies by Cookie Monster (5 stars)
I'd Rather Be Reading by Guinevere de la Mare (3.5 stars)
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard (4 stars)

Currently Reading:

Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Up Next:

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price (ARC)

Other Posts of Interest:


Feb 17, 2019

Review--Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

Fans of Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

I've finally read Susan Dennard's Bloodwitch! Took me most of the week due to crazy hectic work life and then just other crazy life things. This is Aeduan's book, i.e. the book I've been waiting for ever since Truthwitch ended! Lol! Though my memory is fuzzy on all things Truthwitch and Windwitch, naturally, I do remember having a fierce fascination with Aeduan ever since he started hunting Iseult and Safi. That this was "his" book had me immensely excited, though I was quick to remember that even though the book has his "title" and he's on the cover, this story isn't just Aeduan's, sadly, as I definitely could happily read a book that was more focused on him!

So as I said, there was no recap that I could find about Truthwitch or any of the books in the series. I had taken notes for Windwitch, but they were kind of lacking, and I was soon to remember that it was because SOOOO much happens in these books and I must not have taken too many details down and was just focusing on the big events, well, I tried to take more nonsensical notes this time! Anywho, we soon find ourselves back with Iseult, Aeduan, and Owl. Aeduan had been hit with many arrows and was weakened severely and for whatever reason his Bloodwitch powers were not healing him the way they should be.

We do get to have a little more insight to Aeduan and his past. I know we had some point of view chapters from him the last few go arounds, but I can't recall if there were many or not. This time, I'd say that there was a nice even dose of chapter time for each of the characters. Moving on, we get to see more of Aeduan's past in brief flashes and omg, some of them had me tearing up. I was a wreck.

Meanwhile Safi is still a "guest" of sorts with Vaness, Vivia is trying to keep her place as Queen-in-waiting, but it seems her father has other ideas. Then there's Merik who is trying to help Ryber out and possibly find a way to cure Kullen, but then finds himself a prisoner to Esme who's a Nomatsi. I so wish I had a better memory for the history on who's who for this world! That's the trouble with fantasys, there is SO much history to remember and all the different groups of people and which ones are evil, which ones are good, and which ones you can never really tell anything about! Lol.

While my mind is really scatter-brained at the moment regarding this book, I can say that it was still an amazing read! I loooooved having Iseult and Aeduan spend time together, even if Aeduan was always leaving Iseult it seemed. They definitely don't have a relationship like Merik and Safi did...from what I can vaguely recall.

What bothered me most about this book was how everyone was separated! It was driving me nuts! Best friends are apart, lovers are apart, no one knows if so-and-so is alive, though we all know the whereabouts and life statuses of everyone, the characters don't and it was bonkers! For me at least! And then of course there were the characters that were somewhat secondary that I knew I was supposed to know who they were and their importance, but naturally, I couldn't figure it out. I was basically taking social cues from whichever character we were "following" at the time.

The pacing to this one was still pretty good though! It amazes me that in the three years that this series has been running, it's only been like two weeks for the characters! Granted by the end, it might be more like three if that, but it's just wow! So much time has gone by for us and yet, no time at all has gone by for them. It's almost like each book is a just a day or two total, but then we hop around to each of the characters for the duration that it hardly feels like time has moved at all. But yet it has! Because SOOOO much goes on for these characters in that short amount of time!

This book pretty much had it all, action, adventure, romance, betrayals, shocking surprise after shocking surprise! It's a little mind-boggling sometimes, but as I tend to do with magical fantasy reads, I just roll with it! I guess the only thing I would've liked to seen more of was a little kissing! True, there were still some spine-tingling moments in the area of romance, but I wish there was just a teeny tiny bit more! Lol! The me from the start of this blog never would've imagined myself saying that! Lol!!!

So while my memory might have made this one a tad hard to get back into after so much time away, I still found that I enjoyed Bloodwitch! I mean, it centered around my favorite character of the series! And it ended on some high notes, yet in true Susan Dennard fashion, there were some cliffhangers. More mind-numbingly agonizing ones, but hopefully book four of the series won't be too far behind this time around! Bloodwitch was totally worth the wait and it fulfilled all my reader's heart's desires! Now I just need to have book 4 asap!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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.

Well this was a meh kind of week. Which I guess is better than one that's terrible! Today though I'm going to a Susan Dennard signing so I'm pretty excited about that!! Going to get my remaining books for her signed AND get that copy of Bloodwitch for my Blogoversary giveaway signed!! Other than that things were just meh this week.

Here's what I got this week:

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard--been reading this one all week! Liking it for the most part, just wish there was MORE Aeduan!
Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik--initially didn't even have this one on my radar but then I KEPT SEEING it! After reading two reviews I was convinced I would enjoy it even with the space setting!

Then I received my contest win from Alexandra's blogoversary contest at Milky Way of Books:

We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

THANK YOU Alexandra!

I also received some trades from two lovely traders from the BooksForTrade hashtag:

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (ARC)
Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury (ARC)

THANK YOU Alexa (@pageoflovealexa) & Amber (@thebookbratz)!!

Then for review I received:

Wild Country by Anne Bishop
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (ARC)
Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine (ARC)
THANK YOU Ace, Delacorte, and Thomas & Mercer!
And that was it for me! So while the week was pretty mild, the books that were trickling in were spot on!!! What did you get this week?