Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mini Reviews (10)


 

I feel bad for saying this, but this book didn't really do anything for me.  I know a lot of people raved about it and had so many emotions about it but I just didn't get it.  It was very slow and hard to get into and I guess I just wasn't overwhelmed by the big event.  It wasn't a bad book and I really enjoyed a lot of the interrogation scenes (not because I enjoy that but because they were well-written and the dialogue was interesting).   I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't.  3 stars.

 

I loved the Wolves of Mercy Falls books so I had to read this book.  It's all about Cole and Isabel and it was  really good.  Cole is a fascinating character; he's a total smart-ass but also a very sensitive soul.  I enjoyed getting to know him more and watching him deal with his demons.  He is a very unpredictable character so there were a lot of situations where I felt like I was holding my breath out of fear that he would screw something up.  The romance between Cole and Isabel is dreamy and the story had me hooked from page 1.  Did I mention that the ending rocks?  Because it does.  Definitely a must-read fro any fan of the series. 4 stars.
 

I am fascinated by the story of the Titanic (embarrassingly enough, I saw the movie 7 times in the theater).  This book moves between past and 'present' (1980s) and follows a young Irish immigrant girl in 1912 and her granddaughter in the 1980s and is kind of a coming of age story for both characters.  The story is absolutely beautiful and heart-breaking.  The author created a wonderful story by combining fictional characters with historical figures who really were on Titanic.   I highly recommend this book.  4 stars.




Let me start by saying that I love Tana French so I was really excited to read this book.  However, I was a little disappointed by this book.  It was very slow to get started and even when the story started moving it was just not super exciting.  I didn't hate it but I really struggled to push through it. It was an interesting premise and I think that Ms. French did a great job of portraying the complexities of teenage girls so it wasn't a total wash.  That being said, if you haven't read any of Ms. French's books, don't start with this one. 3 stars.
 

 
Margaret Pole is such an interesting historical figure with such a complicated life.  Ms. Gregory did an excellent job of covering Margaret's life from the time of her brother's death until her own death.  However, this book was really long and at times seemed to drag on.  Even though I enjoyed reading this book, it seemed like I was reading it forever.  I stuck with it because I really wanted to finish the series and overall, it was a decent read. 3 stars.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mailbox Monday (37) Kid's Edition!

I'm back and linking up with Mailbox Monday again!  Work and life have been insane lately so it's been a few weeks since I have posted.  The past week has been filled with work related stress and a sick baby so Christmas wasn't anywhere near as fun as I had hoped.  

I didn't get any books for Christmas but I did get some gift cards that I will be using to buy books so I will post those in the next few weeks.  I decided to make my Mailbox Monday a kid's edition because Julia got a ton of books for Christmas and I thought it would be fun to showcase them!


Frankenstein: A BabyLit Anatomy Primer - If you haven't seen these BabyLit books, you should check them out.  They take Classics and turn them into fun education board books for little ones.

The Bearnstein Bear's Bear Family Treasury-I couldn't find a link to this one but it is a compilation of 8 Berenstain Bear's books.  I loved these books when I was a kid so I'm excited to read these to Julia.

Going West (My First Little House)- I had never heard of the 'My First Little House' books until a friend of mine gave me one for Julia.  They take some of the stories from the Little House books and turn them into short, illustrated children's books.  They're really neat!

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - This is one of my childhood favorites.  My mom read it to my brother and I when we were kids and I have great memories of listening to her read it.

Julia's House for Lost Creatures- I have never heard of this book before but my brother and his family gave it to Julia and just from flipping through it, it looks like a fun read.  Plus, the main character is named Julia!

A Wolf's Tale - This is another one I haven't heard of before but it's another version of the Three Little Pigs and looks really cute.
Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and Little Blue Truck's Christmas - We have the first Little Blue Truck book and love it so I can't wait to read these two!


My online book/mom group had a Christmas book exchange and Julia got the books above.  The Christmas in the Big Woods book is another of the 'My First Little House' books.  She also got Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton; her books are awesome and I recommend them to anyone with a little one at home.  The final book she got was Anna Karenina: A BabyLit Fashion Primer.  This book is absolutely gorgeous.  The drawings are exquisite and I love it even if Julia doesn't get it.

So there you have it!  Julia hit the mother load for Christmas in both books and toys.  Hope you all had a happy holiday!  Leave a link in the comments so I can check out your book haul!

(All links are to amazon.com but I am no way affiliated with amazon.  I just wanted to be able to show more information about the books.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Release!: "Feel" by Karen-Anne Stewart

01_Feel CoverPublication Date: December 15, 2014 | eBook, Paperback | ISBN-10: 1502757745

Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Add to GR ButtonThe one whose emotions I can't feel is the one who makes me feel the most.

I was a sensitive, at least that's what I was told by the boy who saved me from the overwhelming emotions that consumed my soul, the boy who saved me from myself when my gift became stronger. Through the years, he was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath...then, he was gone.

Jensen always told me I was strong, but I didn't believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I've taken 42 million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he's standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe.

This isn't just a story about the abilities I possess; it's a story about something much stronger...the love of the man who possesses every part of me.

***Disclaimer - Feel is intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

FeelquoteKISS


Watch the Book Trailer


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoWsYWu9jik?rel=0]


Praise for Karen-Anne Stewart


"Karen-Anne Stewart’s writing always captivates me from the word go….Every character, even the secondary characters are so well developed, that they become so much more to me than characters in a story, and instead feel like long-lost friends. It is the sign of a really good author that they can invoke this feeling in their readers, and Karen-Anne Stewart never fails to deliver." Sorcha O’Dowd – Old Victorian Quill

"Karen-Anne Stewart writes with grit. There is a boldness to her style that cuts through the social niceties with hardcore dialogue, brutal physical violence and sizzling passion. Ms. Stewart will sucker punch you with scenes that will make you cringe, melt your heart and frustrate the heck out of you, all within a few pages. She colors her main characters in vivid tones…each supporting character gets their own unique shade and together the effect is a kaleidoscope of colors. The world she has invented is often dark, sometimes frightening, but always memorable as she reveals each nugget of detail with precision, notching up the tension, heat and emotion. If this author can think it, she can write it, so expect to be taken completely out of your world and to walk on the wild side in hers." Dianne – Tome Tender

"Ms. Stewart develops top-notch bestseller list quality work! NO JOKE! The way that she can weave words together easily sucks you right into the story." Jamie Roberts – Reading, Eating, and Dreaming


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About the Author


03_Karen-Anne StewartAuthor of New Adult Romance who doesn't shy away from writing about sensitive issues and hot heroes.

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, three dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.


Author Links




Feel Release Day Blitz Hosts


The Lit Bitch
Pure Textuality
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Susan Heim on Writing
You Gotta Read Reviews
So Many Books, So Little Time
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Giveaway


To enter to win an autographed copy of Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart & a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, please enter the giveaway HERE.


Rules


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: "Whither Thou Goest" by Anna Belfrage

Synopsis: 
Whither Thou Goest is the seventh book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

In their rural home in the Colony of Maryland, Matthew and Alex Graham are still recovering from the awful events of the previous years when Luke Graham, Matthew’s estranged brother, asks them for a favour.

Alex has no problems whatsoever ignoring Luke’s sad plea for help. In her opinion Matthew’s brother is an evil excuse of a man who deserves whatever nasty stuff fate throws at him. Except, as Matthew points out, Luke is begging them to save his son – his misled Charlie, one of the Monmouth rebels – and can Charlie Graham be held responsible for his father’s ill deeds?

So off they go on yet another adventure, this time to the West Indies to find a young man neither of them knows but who faces imminent death on a sugar plantation, condemned to slavery for treason. The journey is hazardous and along the way Alex comes face to face with a most disturbing ghost from her previous life, a man she would much have preferred never to have met.

Time is running out for Charlie Graham, Matthew is haunted by reawakened memories of his days as an indentured servant, and then there’s the eerie Mr Brown, Charlie’s new owner, who will do anything to keep his secrets safe, anything at all.

Will Matthew deliver his nephew from imminent death? And will they ever make it back home?

My Thoughts:   Even after seven books, Anna Belfrage does not disappoint!  Whither Thou Goest is the latest book in the Graham Saga and follows Alex and Matthew on new adventures.

It's hard to believe that Alex and Matthew are getting older because they still seem as energetic as they did from day one.  Belfrage does a wonderful job of showing how much they still love each other and has created this ideal couple out of Alex and Matthew.  I love how they still face every hurdle head on and together and that no matter where they go, mischief seems to find them.

There was a lot going on in this book but the story definitely had a slower pace to it.  I appreciated that this book wasn't super action packed because after the last book, I think the characters (and the reader) needed a break!  Don't get me wrong, there was action in this book but it was just on a much smaller scale.  The reader got to know some of Graham children better; Sarah and David both moved to the forefront of this story and it was fun to watch them develop as characters.

Oh boy, can Belfrage write some villains.  Angel Munoz was about as evil as they come and Sassafras Brown was super creepy.  They aren't the Burleys, but they were both pretty bad.  I'm curious about the Angel past/future connection and look forward to seeing if there is more about that in the next book.  In fact, I really look forward to the next book in general.  This book did a great job of getting things ready for the last book; I'm so excited to see how things turn out and can't wait to see if all of my questions will be answered.

Overall, Whither Thou Goest is another hit.  Like I always say in these reviews, if you haven't read the series, go do it!  I can't stress enough how much I love everything about it.  4 stars.

About the Author:
I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mailbox Monday (36)

I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday again!  Check it out here!

I had a slow book week but I'm okay with that because I have a ton of books to read and not a lot of time in which to do it.  The good news is, I'm almost done Christmas shopping!! Woohoo!  I still have a ton of holiday related things to do (Christmas cards, wrapping, etc) but at least I can check that off the list.  

Here is what I got this week:

From the Library (ebook):


Purchased:

 (I have already read this one but I have the rest of the series so I wanted this one too)

What books did you get this week?

 

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Reread of the Little House books part 1


A few weeks ago I posted about how I was taking a class on Laura Ingalls Wilder's early works (see the post here).  The class has ended and I have finished my re-read of the first four 'Little House' books.  I have read each of these books countless times but this was the first time I have read them as an adult.

I loved reading these stories again.  The illustrations are beautiful and each book is as wonderful as I remember it being.  I've been trying to come up with a favorite of these four and I just can't.  I do really lean toward Little House on the Prairie because I love the descriptions of the family setting up their homestead but I don't think I could choose a true favorite of these four.  Farmer Boy was a little less fun to read because the edition I read didn't have any illustrations in it; Garth Williams illustrations help make these books great so I was really bummed to realize that the copy of Farmer Boy I got from the library didn't have any. 

It was strange to read these books as an adult because I noticed things that I wouldn't have noticed as a child.  On the Banks of Plum Creek has a lot of fun little stories that help make up the book as a whole but it also shows how poor the family was, how much they were relying on their wheat crop and how devastating it was when they lost it.  There were a couple of scenes where I cringed as I watched Pa Ingalls go on about how they could afford everything when they wheat was sold and seeing him buy a lot on credit because they could easily pay for it with their wheat crop.  Knowing how the story ended just broke my heart and showed me how precarious the family's situation really was.

I was also shocked by just how hard the Ingalls family worked.  They had a home set up in Wisconsin, left it and went to Kansas, built a functioning home there, left and built a new one in Minnesota.  The amount of work that went into building a home and maintaining it was astronomical and then to have to start over and over must have just been overwhelming at times.

Farmer Boy is a little different than the other three books as it focuses on Laura's husband, Almanzo's, childhood.  I love this book because of the descriptions of the food.  Oh my goodness, I want to live at Almanzo's house in this book because it is non-stop delicious food (at least that is the way it is portrayed in the book).  Almanzo's family was much better off financially than Laura's and it is pretty obvious.  That's not to say that the Wilder's didn't work as hard as the Ingalls, they just had more luxuries and a lot better food.

Overall, I had so much fun with this re-read and I really look forward to reading these with Julia when she's older.  The second half of the course starts in April and I can't wait to re-read the rest of the series!  


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

October/November Wrap Up

AAAH! December is here! How did that happen?  The past two months have been a complete blur and I have a feeling December is going to fly by too.  Despite things being so crazy, the past two months have been really good reading months and as of last week, I met my reading goal for the year...again!  Compared to previous years, it's not much but I took a class this semester that is KILLING me and have had an excessive amount of work to do at my actual job so getting any reading done feels like a big deal.  I have read 75 books this year, I'm hoping to get to 80 now but we'll see.  At this moment in time, I haven't read anything in close to a week so 5 books this month feels very ambitious.

Here is what I read in October and November:

1.) Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
2.) The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely
3.) The Case for the Only Child by Susan Newman
4.) Come Dancing by Leslie Wells
5.) Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
6.) Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
7.) Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
8.) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
9.) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
10.) The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner
11.) On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
12.) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
13.) The Loyalist's Luck by Elaine Cougler 
14.) The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

What did you read in the last month or two?

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Release: "A Grave Inheritance" by Kari Edgren

02_A Grave Inheritance_CoverPublication Date: December 1, 2014

Carina Press

eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA



Series: Goddess Born

Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance



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Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London's most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.



But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?



With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid's fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.



Buy the eBook


Amazon US

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About the Author03_Kari Edgren


Kari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist. Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.



For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



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