Feb 28, 2019

Random Thursday

Sadly we have reached the end of the Holidays chapter in Doug Lennox's The Little Book of Answers. It's amazing how fast that one went by! Guess there aren't enough unknown factoids about the holidays! The next chapter on Animals should still prove to be interesting!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In 1939, Robert May wrote a promotional Christmas poem for a department store in Chicago. He called it, "Rollo the Red-Nosed Reindeer" but corporate didn't like the name. They also didn't like his second choice, "Reginald." It was actually Robert's four-year-old daughter who came up with Rudolph.

Reg-in-ald the Red Nose Reindeer...had a very shiny nose! Yeah, I'm not feeling it! 

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
So this book is copyright 2003, so the numbers that were averaged for this are likely based in that time. The price for all the gifts in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song is pretty hefty. Also, apparently "Golden rings" are pheasants, not jewelry which whoa! Doug says that the price for all these gifts comes to $15,944.20!

But seriously PHEASANTS?!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Okay, wow. I was reading the description for some of the "bizarre ingredients in history's most exotic Christmas pies" and just whoa!! The records (likely from early English times) show that LIVING CREATURES were baked in pies at temperatures there were not hot enough to kill! The creatures ranged from blackbirds, pheasants, foxes, rabbits, and A DWARF in one case! It was a highlight of the celebration that once the crust was broken the creatures would hop, fly, or run among the guests.

And this is where we get the story of Hansel and Gretel! Okay, that's not true...I don't think butt that's what came to mind! And that nursery rhyme about Old King Cole--right? There was some dude who was going to eat pie and I thought birds flew out of it! Lol. And eww!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
During the Middle Ages, Christmas dinner started at three in the afternoon and with appetizers and ten main courses would last until midnight! Today (2003) it's calculated that North Americans (combined) would consume 24 million turkeys, 112 million cans of cranberries, 108 million quarts of eggnog and 89 million gallons of liquor. This amounts to an average weight gain of 4-6 pounds.

Sounds about right, though I want to know the cookie count! Okay...maybe not! LOL!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In the Middle Ages, Boxing Day was known as St. Stephen's Day. This is a holiday that is more known in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It gets it name from the time period when the wealthier people would box up gifts to give to their staff and the churches would open their charity boxes to the poor.

That's en eye-opener! I never did know what this holiday was about!

Feb 27, 2019

COVER ART REVEAL--Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

I am super excited to share this cover that I stumbled upon Goodreads earlier this morning and was like WHOA! Sarah Henning's Sea Witch was one of my favorite reads last year! Such an interesting and unique retelling of The Little Mermaid, basically spinning it to be an origin story of the sea witch the little mermaid visits!

Here's what the sequel will look like! There's no description about the story itself listed just yet, so I might repost this when it does show up! But I did include the description Sarah had on her website below.

The sequel to her YA fantasy Sea Witch, which will continue with the epic fairy-tale retelling of “The Little Mermaid” from the perspective of both the sea witch and the little mermaid’s left-behind twin, exploring the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

Sea Witch Rising releases August 6, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday

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.

Chloe was three years old when she became Chloe Holden, but her adoption didn’t scar her, and she’s had a great life. Now, fourteen years later, her loving parents’ marriage has fallen apart and her mom has moved them to Joyful, Texas. Starting twelfth grade as the new kid at school, everything Chloe loved about her life is gone. And feelings of déjà vu from her early childhood start haunting her.

When Chloe meets Cash Colton she feels drawn to him, as though they're kindred spirits. Until Cash tells her the real reason he sought her out: Chloe looks exactly like the daughter his foster parents lost years ago, and he’s determined to figure out the truth.

As Chloe and Cash delve deeper into her adoption, the more things don’t add up, and the more strange things start happening. Why is Chloe’s adoption a secret that people would kill for?

This is one I am thinking about adding to my TBR pile. It doesn't sound quite like my usual read, but it sort of has that weird mystery vibe to it. I figure I'll wait for a review or two before making that one click decision! ;)

AUTHOR: C.C. Hunter
PUBLISHER: Wednesday Books
GENRE: YA Mystery
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2019



Feb 26, 2019

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.

Playing rule-breaker again today! The first teaser I felt was perfect for today BUT THEN I saw one that was bookish and you know I can never pass up a bookish teaser/quote!

"With no land of the dead in Faerie, grave essence didn't reach for me. I couldn't feel bodies. I wasn't used to that." p 52*

"The Prince of Shadows and Secrets was a reader. You learn something new ever day." p 68*

*Quotes come from the ARC, therefore they and their page numbers are not final.

TITLE: Grave Destiny
AUTHOR: Kalayna Price
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: April 2, 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: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit (submitted by Georgia @justreadthemm)

*in no particular order

10. HOGWARTS, HOGSMEADE, DIAGON ALLEY--pretty much everywhere in this book!
9. NEVERLAND--because if I don't have to grow up, I can stay tucked in a corner and read and read and read!
8. WONDERLAND--just for a visit! I always thought it would be a fun place to see...as my story with mirrors last week will tell you! LOL.

*i.e.: these are random books I found with good titles! ;)

7. WINCHESTER MANSION--there's a lot I would LOVE to see in California! Hoping to get out that way one of these days! The Winchester Mansion is at the top of the list! And I really don't think this book is about THAT Winchester Mansion, but the title was perfect for this one, so there you go! LOL.
6. SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS--while I do enjoy historical places, I really enjoy the ones with paranormal connections. I mean obviously! Lol. One day I hope to head to the other opposite coast and visit this place!
5. DISNEYLAND--my trip I was initially planning for next year has been waylaid a bit, my month of choice is a month when the Castle will still be under construction so I've got to rethink things. And oh yes, this is #1 on my California list with Winchester coming in at a close second, therefore it's at the "top" of the list! Lol.


4. LONDON--so many amazing sites to see here...including Harry Potter related things!
3. SCOTLAND--I think this would be a beautiful country to visit!
2. IRELAND--naturally, I've got to go here and visit my family roots! LOL.

1. TORONTO--random, right? I chose this simply because it's in the country where Morgan lives! LOL! Plus I think it would be fun place to visit and perhaps beg for the rough draft of The Cursed Heir because my mind will NEVER be at ease without it! WHY RAZORBILL, WHY??? 

Feb 25, 2019

Early Review--Wild Country by Anne Bishop

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

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

Wild Country is Anne Bishop’s latest novel in the spinoff series to her first series, The Others. This series is called The World of the Others and explores the other neighborhoods and territories of Thasia. Some of the events in this book take place during the events of Etched in Bone, there’s a little crossover, but basically this book tells you what was happening in Bennett while we were at the Lakeside Courtyard.

I was a bit thrown when starting this book as we once again see new characters, though a few were seen once before, but for me that was too many books ago! Lol. Instead of seeing Vicki again, we’re in a new neighborhood of Bennett. This was the town that was razed to the ground by the Elders, killing everything living but have agreed to let the neighborhood be rebuilt as long as it was “ruled” by the terre indigene.

I didn’t really know who my characters were to start with either. The description only gave vague descriptions so when a character popped up I wasn’t always 100% certain that they were one of the important ones, but within a handful of pages, those answers were finally had. So it took me just a little bit longer to get into this one that I had anticipated.

Here we have humans, terre indigene, and Intuits all trying to make a life for themselves in Bennett, but there are some people who aren’t fond of the peaceful way of life. We meet one Intuit who has a terrible secret, one that will basically cause a whole lot of chaos for Bennett, but that plotline is one that is gradually built over time. Then we have Jana, who is given a job fresh out of the police academy to be a Sheriff’s deputy in Bennett and will have to learn to work with a Wolf who has quite the temper. Basically we have Jana trying to fit into her new role and adjust to her new life all the while the enemy is getting closer and closer to Bennett as well as a horde of other people looking for a place to call home, who may or may not have ulterior motives. It’s mind-boggling trying to keep up with the influx of people coming in and trying to see who is truly devious and truly innocent!

While I have always enjoyed Anne’s books, I’m reminded each and every time I pick one up, how vast her novels are! There is just so many details and characters, that my poor addled brain sometimes has a hard time catching up. Especially since I was trying to remember details of the previous book, but that ended up not being necessary. This is definitely a character driven kind of story and I do enjoy that, even if the pacing is a little touch and go.

All in all, this was yet another amazing read from Anne Bishop! I’m glad that while Meg’s story might be over that we are still exploring other courtyards/neighborhoods with the Others. While some of them are a bit scary, a few tend to be very entertaining! I’ll be eager to see if Anne continues this spinoff story with other different neighborhoods or if we’ll journey back with these previous two. Only time will tell!

If you’re looking for an amazing character driven story that blends the lines of humanity and Other-ness, then Wild Country will be the book for you! While it is a spinoff series and runs parallel to one of the previous series’ books, I feel like one could read this without prior knowledge of either and still follow along fairly well. With my poor memory, I’m pretty much that kind of reader half the time anyway! This is a fun series that I highly recommend to paranormal fans!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Wild Country releases March 5, 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:

Wild Country by Anne Bishop (Early Copy)--Review to come later today!

Review That Was Posted:

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller (ARC) (4 stars) 

Currently Reading:

Grave Destiny by Kalayna Price (ARC)

What I Hope to Start Reading this Week:

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross 

Other Posts of Interest:

Feb 24, 2019

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.

Another uneventful week, other than my signing I had last Sunday! Still no word from the job interview I had. Starting to suspect the worst since the person initially said they wanted the new person to be trained completely by March. Sigh...back to looking I suppose.

Here's what I got this week:

The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine--SIGNED KEEPER COPY!
Soul in Darkness by Wedny Higgins--SIGNED!

Then swag that I acquired this week was:

 My preorder goodies from A.G. Howard's Stain! I got the short story, Alice the Absent, a SIGNED bookplate, and a gorgeous purple rose enamel pin!

Then I got this holographic print of Iseult and Aeduan--i.e. MY FAVORITE WITCHLANDS CHARACTERS EVER! This was acquired at the signing! And yes, I managed to snag an extra for my giveaway going on here! Which FYI, this ends at the end of the week! ;)

And that was it for me this week! Not too shabby, one book is a keeper copy and the other is for the TBR pile and then SWAG! I love enamel pins and artwork pieces so I was quite happy with these! What did you all get?

Feb 22, 2019

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: What's your favourite bookish accessory that's NOT a book? (submitted by Angelica @ Paperback Princess
MY ANSWER: That would be bookmarks and booksleeves! Bookmarks have been the hero for ages when it came to books for me! I can mark what page I left off on without causing damage to the book itself!
In recent years, the new hero has been booksleeves because OMG how have I gone this long without using them?! They offer so much better protection to my book when it's in my work bag and I am just ever so grateful for them all now!

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!