Jan 31, 2016

Stacking the Shelves

This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

I had a pretty good week! Nothing outrageous...bookwise, or really real life wise. Besides getting sick. The cold that was passing between my family found my late in the day on Thursday and attacked in full force on Friday. I may or may not have dozed in my chair at work. ;)

But anyway, here's the new release goodies I picked up for myself:

 Otherworld Secrets by Kelley Armstrong
Staked by Kevin Hearne
Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
The Siren by Kiera Cass

Ironically, all Tuesday releases have authors whose name begins with "K"!

So what did you all get this week?


Jan 29, 2016

Mini-ish Review--The Proposal by Meg Cabot

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs - Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together - including Jesse and herself - especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

As it tends to happen, I picked up this novella that takes place before the upcoming novel, and since I devoured Remembrance last month, I had to enjoy this one after all that! But no matter, because there was no way I could not read yet another Mediator tale!! And The Proposal was sooo worth it! Because who wouldn't want to see how Jesse and Susannah got engaged? Meg Cabot gives her readers yet another romantic and ghost-bustingly awesome take of our favorite mediator, Susannah Simon.

It's Valentine's Day and Suze and Jesse have agreed not to celebrate the day, because they don't need an overly commercialized holiday to let the other know the depths of their feelings for one another. So Susannah is spending the holiday in a graveyard, waiting for a ghost, to tell him to stop ripping apart the flowers on his girlfriend's grave. It should be a clear cut case, get him to stop, and move on. But Susannah is about to learn that there is more to the deaths of him and his girlfriend than what was reported in the papers.

And so, Susannah finds herself dealing with yet another ghost who's gone postal. This one seeks revenge on the real killer of him and his beloved. Then she learns that this ghost just might be right.

It shouldn't be surprising that Jesse does in fact show up to celebrate this day with Susannah, only to find that she's working on a case. Especially since he was working on a special surprise for her. The title of the book pretty much lets you know what's going to happen anyway, so this shouldn't be a surprise at all! But naturally, Suze isn't thrilled with the idea of being proposed to on Valentine's Day because it's too cliche. But the whole proposing takes a backseat to the story as now Suze and Jesse are off to find themselves a killer.

Since it was a short story, we pretty much know the whodunit right away. But there's still awesome storytelling going on here and if you're like me and a fan of this series, every moment is precious! This was my most favorite series to read as a teen, in a time when Paranormal YA didn't exist to the full extent yet--for I have the Mediator series in their Jenny Carroll format! The series will always be dear to me, so I ate up this novella!

It takes place a few years after book 6 and a few years still, before Remembrance. And I tend to find it interesting when these series get revitalized that things change. Such as the time period, for Suze is a young adult in the now...not the early-mid 2000s. But it's such a small thing really, I've noticed other "revitalized" series doing this as well.

This was a quick read and it was most delightful! Of course, I might be biased as I am a such a fan of this series. This novella is truly for the fans who want to see how Jesse and Susannah got engaged, and of course to see Suze do what she does best!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

It's My Blogoversary!!! (CONTEST!!!)

OMG!! Can you believe I've been blogging for 7 YEARS!! SEVEN!!! It's amazing how long I've been doing this! And yet, I can't see myself quitting any time soon just because it's soooo much fun!

True, I don't always get those review books I'm dying to read right away, but over the past few years, I've been more mellow about it. Because I've officially gotten wayyyyy more books to read in my TBR pile than I ever intended! I've tried to cut back on my buying books here and there, but it doesn't go over so well. I mean, get me to a signing or even RT Conventions and I'll take whatever free books I can get and then buy about a half dozen or so! (Usually I've bought all the authors' I've already read books prior to going, so I pick up a lot of impulse reads! Or early releases!)

  • Over the seven years of blogging (and as of January 23 as I write this post) I have 1778 GFC followers alone! Plus I don't know how many in Linky, Bloglovin, Email and RSS Feed Subscribers as well! Then there's Twitter and Instagram as well!
  • Not to mention creating Twitter and Instagram accounts as well!
  • I have roughly 3906 posts, give or take a few as a few at this time are scheduled and I'm sure I'll have a few book reviews thrown in before this post goes live!
  • I average maybe 500 pageviews a day

And it's all just soooo awesome! When I first started blogging I knew nothing! I created the blog on a whim because I wanted an extra entry into a contest I was entering and thought, well, I don't do Facebook, but let's trying this "blog" thing!

And then just wow! I've learned soooooo much with blogging over the years and still learn a thing or two! I still have no idea about the technical side of things! My blog was always a premade template and then a year or two ago I won a redesign from another blogger who does website designs as well, so I've stuck with this design the last few years because I love it!

I've met quite a few bloggers in real life as well over the years and have become thrilled with these meetings! And this year I plan to attend BEA for the first time and am SO excited for this as well! 2016 will be my year of fun! I know it, because also our Florida trip has a DATE!!! We're going baby!!!

And now what you're all waiting for...the contest!! And yes, it is INTERNATIONAL!!! Wherever The Book Depository ships is in!

TWO winners will get their choice of $20 (US) in books!! US winners have the option to receive a $20 Amazon gift card, should they rather have that for pre-ordering or other such things!

Just fill out the Rafflecopter and you'll be in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jan 28, 2016

Review--Tempted by Fire by Erin Kellison

Dragon shifter Thane Ealdian has waited six hundred years to avenge the loss of his family, and finally a clue has surfaced that implicates an old adversary. Thane will stop at nothing to seek his revenge, but to prevent violence between the clans, the Bloodkin Triad has forced a mediator on him. Some upstart named Emerson Clark...

Emerson is fed up with all Bloodkin and how they've managed to control every aspect of her life. While she doesn’t believe that Bloodkin can shift into dragons—because, really?—she has to admit, they are exceptionally nice to look at. But once the mediation is over, she wants nothing to do with them ever again.

When Thane discovers that the clever and beautiful Emerson is the key to uncovering the truth, he has no intention of letting her go. Although she wants to run, she can’t turn her back on Thane or her intense feelings for him. His quest pulls at her heart, just as his nearness sparks something dangerous inside her. With evil in hot pursuit, sooner or later everything will ignite—the mediation, the shifter within her... and their passions.

As I tend to say about reads with this particular kind of creature…here there be dragons!! Heehee! You gotta love a good dragon story and I feel like I am seeing them a bit more frequently as of late and I have no problems with that! This time though, instead of a young adult read we have an adult read! Erin Kellison brings us a hot and steamy (no pun intended!) dragon romance read with Tempted by Fire!

I had been meaning to read this one for ages, and finally just dove into the other day! It would’ve been a one day read if it weren’t for the whole being an adult and having to work kind of thing! Tempted by Fire was insanely hard to put down! It’s a shorter read at just over 200 pages, so more novella(ish) length if anything. But that doesn’t stop me from loving every minute of it!

We have a precarious situation to start with, Emerson is acting as a mediator between a man named Thorne and a family known as the Heolsters. They’re dragons, Emerson in facts works for the Bloodkin, but for some reason she struggles to believe that dragons are actually real. And despite having a werewolf for a foster brother, I found this odd. Why would she be so closed off to believing in the existence of dragons? But that’s just the case here.

The Heolsters and Thorne are arguing over who has the rights to a set of bones that were recently found. Thorne knows they are that of his wife and child from centuries ago, but the Heolsters claim otherwise, and so Emerson is the go between. But she’s about to learn just how dangerous this particular job is. It’s no wonder why she wants to leave the business.

Naturally, we start to see some chemistry between Emerson and Thorne. Thorne has been rather secluded and closed off for years, really since the death of his wife and son, but Emerson starts to light a spark in him. She’s everything he desires in a woman, but sadly, he’s nearing the end of his dragon life and if he were to change one more time, he believes he’ll remain a dragon and basically die. He’s accepted this and is ready for it even, but he wants to find his family’s murderer and make them pay once and for all before he goes.

The mystery elements were pretty intense for such a short story! It didn’t really leave room for guessing who could be the perpetrator, but I didn’t have a problem with that. I simply enjoyed the story-telling and watching it unfold! And boy, was this one a doozie! You could see some of it coming, in a sense, but the overall reveals were quite shocking!

We meet quite a few interesting characters as well, and I could foresee them possibly being in their own book, should this series run that way. But I really hope we get more of Emerson and Thorne because I quite enjoyed them as a couple! Time will only tell of course, on how this series will run. Thankfully the next book isn’t too far off!

If you’ve been dying for a dragon read at more of an adult level, then I highly recommend Tempted by Fire! It’s just the sizzling kind of read to warm your blood! I totally enjoyed this one and look forward to more!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Random Thursday

Time to return to find out more obscure facts from That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!

"In 'James and the Giant Peach' a flock of 501 tethered seagulls airlifts a magically enlarged peach across the Atlantic Ocean. According to aerodynamic model created by an enterprising group of British physics students, it would take 2,425,907 common seagulls to get the giant peach airborne."

That's movie magic for you!

"If you feel the obsessive need to correct other people's grammar, you may suffer from a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder called grammatical pedantry syndrome, or GPS."

Wow. I know I have OCD but I don't think it extends to GPS. Though I do have a GPS...LOL!!!

Jan 27, 2016

Ch-Ch-Changes! (Sob! Bowie!!)

Okay, Google apparently made some changes to the GFC procedures. What I've been hearing from other bloggers is that you have to have a Google account in order to be a GFC member.

So if you don't want to create a Google account, I just wanted to point out I have other methods to follow my blog!

There's Bloglovin!

There's Linky...though I can't even remember how that one works anymore!

I also have RSS Feed subscription below Bloglovin

And then there's the good ol' email subscription! That's at the top and right below my rating system. That's a sort of automatic setup I did with Blogger, because as you might remember, I am not tech friendly! Lol! So I am assuming it sends an email with every post? And I post fairly regularly, at least twice a day with a meme, a possible review or sometimes two and sometimes a completely random post--not related to Random Thursdays! Heehee! So apologies if I am in your inbox too much! Unless there's a way I can tell the subscription to just send 1 email with all the related posts after a certain time...

As I said, there's plenty of other ways to follow my blog since GFC has changed their ways. So be sure to click in another way, I'd hate to lose you guys!

NIGHT STUDY BLOG TOUR: ARC Review--Night Study by Maria V. Snyder +GIVEAWAY


New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder transports readers back to the realms of Sitia and Ixia in an exciting new Study novel full of magic, danger and intrigue. 

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek…secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

As you all might know, I LOVE Maria V. Snyder’s Soulfinders series! It was pretty much my first fantasy read and remains in my top number of favorite reads ever! So having her write another trilogy for Yelena pretty much made my year last year! And once Netgalley listed it, I nabbed it! Night Study was a sensational and phenomenal read!

Night Study was a well paced read, one that’s not too fast and not too slow. It’s a read that sweeps you off your feet and carries you on a journey to a magical place! I love returning to Sitia and Ixia every time! When we last left Yelena and crew, Yelena had learned that she was pregnant and she was still without her powers. Not to mention the upset that was being caused by her enemies. There’s quite the political intrigue going on in this one, but never once does it become overly confusing.

In this one we get Valek, Leif, and even Janco’s point of view alongside Yelena’s! And let me tell you, I loved being inside Janco’s head! He’s one of my most favorite characters after Yelena and Valek. Each person has a different kind of voice, not even looking at the third person versus first person that we have going on. Only Yelena is in first, which makes sense, as she was our heroine for the first round of books. But even without chapter headers, you could always tell who was speaking or who we were following! Their personalities are all so strong and unique to themselves that they just jump off the pages.

Yelena and her friends are rushing to find Owen before he causes trouble, but what would a story be without a little…or a lot of trouble! And needless to say, chaos ensues for the duration of the novel.

I’ve loved Maria’s books from the very beginning, I cannot get enough of the magical worlds she creates. Her characters are amazing as well! I swear, every time Janco came onto the page, it wasn’t long before I was laughing in hysterics! He just has that way about him. He definitely brings some much needed comedic relief to the dangerous times the group finds themselves in.

Then there’s the romance. I sometimes forget about the rather large age gap between Valek and Yelena. It just never seems to compute for me. I’ve gushed over their romance since the beginning as well. They didn’t mean to fall in love with one another, being who they are. But it happened. That’s always the most spine tingling kind of romance to read about and I love it pretty much every time!

I loved seeing all the familiar faces again! Just the good guys though! It’s like returning home after a long time away! Everything about this book (and series) is just incredible! I can never get enough of Maria’s stories and I truly hope she never stops writing them! Night Study is an enchanting and enthralling read that cannot be missed! If you’re a fan of fantasy Maria V. Snyder is a must read!

To note, you don’t have to read the first Soulfinders trilogy in order to read this one, though you will miss out on the details of mentioned events, and miss out on 3 incredible reads. But you will have to have read Shadow Study in order to read this one as Shadow Study started the new trilogy. Just so you know!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft. 

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her. 

Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study. 

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. 

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University. 

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: maria@mariavsnyder.com. 

Where you can find Maria: Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
1/18/2016Dark Faerie TalesInterview
1/19/2016The Bibliophile ChroniclesReview
1/20/2016Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
1/21/2016The Moonlight LibraryReview
1/22/2016Read Now Sleep LaterInterview

Week Two:
1/25/2016Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
1/26/2016Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsExcerpt
1/27/2016a GREAT readReview
1/29/2016Mundie MomsReview


Waiting on Wednesday

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

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.

SO excited for this one as I am a huge fairy tale retelling fan!! I can't quite remember this The Singing Bone, but I know I read it at some point because I read the complete collection of Grimm some years ago!

TITLE: The Great Hunt
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2016 

This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.

SO excited for another Melissa Marr book! And she's returning to the faery world, so I'm really excited for this one!! Cannot wait!

TITLE: Seven Black Diamonds
AUTHOR: Melissa Marr
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
GENRE: Fantasy YA

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016


Jan 26, 2016

ARC Review--Forged in Ice by Alyssa Rose Ivy

An undying love threatened by darkness...

James' worst nightmare has come true. From the grave his father has poisoned the woman he loves, and James will do anything to save her.

Ainsley is stuck in a world she barely knows. She struggles to come to terms with the new life she never asked for and her intense connection with James.

When darkness threatens to destroy everything, they must face their greatest fears and the possibility their love is no match for the darkness.

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

We finally return to James and Ainsley's story in Forged in Ice by Alyssa Rose Ivy! I am pretty much a hardcore fan of Alyssa these days! I ADORE here Paranormal New Adult reads! There are so few in the NA genre, but I eat hers up every time because they are all so extraordinarily awesome! And what's even cooler, is that pretty much all her series encompass one another in some way. Meaning...we're going to see some familiar faces in this one!

Ainsley is now James' kindred, but there's a lot more to it than he's telling her. Mainly, that she's been poisoned by his dead father and that Ainsley basically craves James. While it may seem romantic in part, it pretty much means she literally cannot live without him. And if you know Ainsley at all from the first book, she's a pretty independent young woman. Though, she doesn't really understand what's happening between her and James, she just knows that she's in love, and that part is totally true.

James is trying to figure out what his dead dad did to Ainsley and this involves a lot of traveling through the worlds. They come back to Ainsley's world at one point with Talon and Henry in tow in order to track down a certain group of wolves who may be able to help shine some light onto their current dilemma. Yes, wolves!!! DIRE WOLVES!!! I was pretty much bouncing in my seat when Talon mentioned needing to see someone from Ainsley's world! 

I just love seeing all these characters make cameo appearances. And it's almost more than just a cameo as the Dires are going to help James and everyone out! I won't get into the technicalities of what all that encompasses, but just know that familiar faces will be seen!! 

Another predicament that comes about is Ainsley's friend Grace suddenly goes missing. And it's in a really weird roundabout way. It's one of the more confounding mysteries of the story, and sadly, it doesn't get resolved this go around. Nor do we do much investigating as it kinda pops up during their search for answers regarding problem #1! So I suspect this will get resolved in the next book, but it leaves me itching to wonder what happened to Grace! A ton of theories are going through my brain because Alyssa has totally taken me by surprise before...so any one of them could be correct!

And as far as romance goes, I think it's safe to say Ainsley and James are happily in love! They really click with one another and I think Ainsley is adjust well to James' world. It's been a little too long since I last read their first book, but memory vaguely recalls Ainsley being a little skittish over things. But I love that they're in love now! I love watching the slow burn romance and I love seeing their relationships get more and more serious as well!

The ending here leaves you with a few too many questions, but all we can hope for is that the next book won't be too far behind Daisy and Owen's next book! Alyssa Rose Ivy is the best Paranormal New Adult author I've ever read! If you're looking for that paranormal element in your NA reads, then pick up any of her series!! But I highly suggest starting at the beginning with Flight! ;)

Overall Rating 4.90/5 stars--yes another awkward rating...my poor memory left me staggering in the first few chapters as I couldn't recall much of what had happened, but I quickly overlooked that and dove into the story at large!

The Scoop on Almost Midnight

Almost Midnight is just around the corner, and while it may be a compilation of most of C.C. Hunter's Shadow Falls novellas, there will also be a BRAND NEW NOVELLA featuring Fredericka!!!

Ferdericka will star in her own novella, Fierce! And since I still need to read one of the stories in here, I am definitely buying a copy! Plus it has FIERCE!!!

But what will happen in Fierce? C.C. has the scoop on that!

  1. Someone Fredericka cares about isn’t someone she should trust.
  2. Someone from Fredericka’s past shows up and brings with her painful memories Fredericka would rather not face.
  3. Weird and scary crap keeps happening at the falls.
  4. Ghosts happen.
  5. Fredericka finally feels like she’s part of the Shadow Falls Teams.
  6. A certain kick-butt vampire turns out to be someone Fredericka not only can trust, but likes.
  7. Fredericka gets a firm talking to from Burnett.
  8. A murderer is brought to justice and to his knees thanks to Fredericka.
  9. Love happens.

Almost Midnight releases February 2, 2016