Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: The Dragon Lantern


The Dragon Lantern (League of Seven, 2) by Alan Gratz, June 9, 2015. Published by Starscape. 
Archie Dent is convinced that he and his friends Hachi and Fergus are the first three members of a new League of Seven: a group of heroes who come together to fight the Mangleborn whenever the monsters arise to destroy humanity. His belief is put to the test when they are forced to undertake separate missions. Archie and his faithful Tik-Tok servant Mr. Rivets pursue a shapeshifting girl who has stolen the Dragon Lantern, an ancient artifact with mysterious powers. And Hachi and Fergus travel to New Orleans to find Madame Blavatsky, the only person who knows the circumstances surrounding the death of Hachi’s father.

In the course of their adventures the three heroes meet potential candidates to join their League. At the same time, they learn deep-rooted secrets that could destroy the League forever...

Why: After finally reviewing The League of Seven this week, I was reminded that I completely forgot to see when book two comes out...turns out it was this past summer... So, I'm definitely in need of The Dragon Lantern because things were just beginning to take shape and there were, how should I put this, a cliff-hanger or two that I demand answers, too!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The League of Seven

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 28, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: League of Seven


The League of Seven (League of Seven, 1) by Alan Gratz, August 9, 2014. 352 pages. Published by Starscape. Source: Library.
Young Archie Dent knows there really are monster in the world. His parents are members of the Septemberist Society, whose job it is to protect humanity from hideous giants called the Mangleborn. Trapped in underground prisons for a thousand years, the giant monsters have been all but forgotten -- but now they are rising again as the steam-driven America of 1875 rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn.

When his parents and the rest of The Septemberists are brainwashed by one of the evil creatures, Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
First Sentence:
The secret entrance to the headquarters of the Septembrist Society could only be reached by submarine.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Choice of the Family

Choice of the Family: A Call to Wholeness, Abundant Life, and Enduring Happiness by Jean Laffitte, Setpemeber 1, 2015. 192 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
“The Christian life we are called to live within the family is not something just to be studied. It is something to be lived. And it is something to be lived with joy.”-Carl A. Anderson, from the Introduction
When the Catholic Church speaks of "vocation," she means the "calling out" of each human person to accomplish a task preordained by God in the co-redemption of the world. Every human being has a vocation. God created each individual soul with a specific purpose in mind. Thus, the greatest joy for a Christian is pursuing the purpose for which God created him or her. For Christians, marriage is a vocation.

In this series of interviews and reflections, the Head of the Pontifical Council on the Family at the Vatican focuses on the intricacies of family. Bishop Laffitte provides theological and practical insight to deepen our relationships with our parents, children, brothers and sisters, and, ultimately, God. The Choice of the Family stresses the importance of the family in the twenty-first century. and issues a call to action for everyone to reinvigorate the teachings of Jesus in his or her day-to-day life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Clairel

Clariel (Abhorsen, 4) by Garth Nix, October 14, 2014. Published by HarperCollins.
Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all. 
Why: I may be still catching up on the series, but if books 2&3 are anywhere near as good as Abhorsen was then I can assure you that I will be needing to get my hands of Clariel. I'm sure I'll love the rest of the series since Garth Nix is, in fact, one of my favorite authors!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Six of Crows

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 21, 2015

YA Review: Six of Crows

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, 1) by Leigh Bardugo, September 29, 2015. 465 pages. Published by Henry Holt & Co. Source: Library.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
First Sentence:
Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Serpentine

Serpentine (Kingdom of Xia (second series), 1) by Cindy Pon, September 8, 2015. Published by Month9Books.
SERPENTINE is a sweeping fantasy set in the ancient Kingdom of Xia and inspired by the rich history of Chinese mythology.

Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.

When her plight can no longer be denied, Skybright learns that despite a dark destiny, she must struggle to retain her sense of self – even as she falls in love for the first time.
Why: The fact that Serpentine is by Cindy Pon is reason enough for me to be "wishing" for a copy of her newest book. Her writing, world building, and characterizations are so incredible that I am beyond in need of this book. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Islands of Chaldea

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 14, 2015

YA Review: The Islands of Chaldea

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and completed by Ursula Jones, April 22, 2014. 368 pages. Published by Greenwillow Books. Source: own
Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her Aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself, even though she is old enough and it should have, by now. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful (but mostly invisible) cat changes all of that-and with every obstacle Aileen faces, she becomes stronger and more confident, until her magic blooms. This stand-alone novel, by the beloved and acclaimed author of such classic fantasy novels as Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci books, will be welcomed by fans old and new.
First Sentence:
Porridge is my Aunt Beck's answer to everything.

Friday, December 11, 2015

On My Mind (5): When You Can't Like Them All


I don't know what happened this year but there were some really bad books out there. There's just no other way to put it then the fact that I had a run-in with some not so great titles. Seriously though, I'm pretty sure this has been my worst year for books with no 5-star fictions reads and 11 (yes, eleven) DNF'd books.
                                         
Some of the books that I ended up not finishing were one's that I decided to, against my gut feeling, give a chance. I thought maybe I was just being prejudiced against them by not at least giving them a shot. No. JUST NO. I should have never even cracked open the cover of some of these. While I may be smirking over my folly in book choices now, there were some that I wasn't even able to make it more then ten pages in.

My biggest problem with a lot of the books I cut loose were that the stories were just bad and poorly done. I didn't like the concept, characters, writing, or the underlying messages of the books. Some of the books were so infuriating that I wanted to fling them across the room. Sorry to say that I could not do that since a good chunk of them were, thank goodness, library books (not sure I would want to explain that kind of book damage to the librarians).

To be honest, I was so disappointed in many of these, especially since there were some of them that I was really excited to read. The rest of them, well, let's just say that curiosity won out a few times and led me astray.

No, I will not be linking to or mentioning the titles I DNF'd this year. I just really wanted to vent and move on from the duds as the year draws to a close in hopes that next year will be full of bookish awesomeness. Though if you are curious, I have reviewed most of them and you can easily find them by searching the blog for "DNF".

So, was it just me this year or did any of y'all see an increase in DNF worthy titles? Please, oh please, tell me I wasn't alone with the bad books!!!

On a lighter note, now when a bad book is before my eyes I just so happen to see/hear this AMV C-Loathing in my head. It is awesome and definitely worth a watch and listen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: The Fires of Calderon


The Fires of Calderon (Balance Keepers, 1) by Lindsay Cummings, September 23, 2014. Published by Katherine Tegen Books.
After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash.

The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile....

With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?
Why: I've actually had The Fires of Calderon on my want list for ages now, I just haven't managed to get my hands on a copy yet. The idea of balance keepers is what really makes me want to read it; that and the fact that I really enjoyed Lindsay Cummings YA book The Murder Complex.  I believe it is well past time that I bugged requested that they purchase a copy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After


The Mislaid Magician or Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, 3) by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer, November 1, 2006. Published by Harcourt. Source: Own
Ten years have passed since Kate and Cecy married Thomas and James, and England is now being transformed by the first railways. When the Duke of Wellington asks James to look into the sudden disappearance of a German railway engineer, James and Cecy's search reveals a shocking truth ...

The railway lines are wreaking havoc with ancient underground magical ley lines, which could endanger the very unity of England. Meanwhile, Kate has her hands full taking care of all their children, not to mention the mysterious mute girl Drina, rescued from a kidnapper! The letters between Kate and Cecy, and between their husbands, blend magic, mystery, adventure, humor, and romance.
First Sentence:
Dear Kate,.
    It was splendid to see you and Thomas and your boys again this fortnight past.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 30, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy


Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee, January 28, 2014.233 pages. Published by Alfred A. Knopf. Source: publisher.
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
First Sentence:
In the end the Queen was nothing like she was in the stories the Marvelous Boy had been told, first as a child beside the hearth and later by the wizards.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Illuminae

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

YA Review: Illuminae

Illuminae (Illuminae Files, 1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, October 20, 2015. 599 pages. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Library.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

First Sentence:
So here's the file the almost killed me, Director.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: See How They Run


See How They Run (Embassy Row, 2) by Ally Carter, December 22, 2015. Published by Scholastic.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.

But the truth has only made her a target.

And the past?

The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.

On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep.  Trust is a luxury.  Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.
Why: The easy answer would be that I need this one because Ally Carter's one of my favorite authors-and has been since I first picked up her first YA book. The longer answer would be that the ending of All Fall Down (you can see my review) has given me a great need to know what happens next. So many plot points were set up in book one and teased about...and by golly I want answers!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: A Riddle in Ruby

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: A Riddle in Ruby


A Riddle in Ruby (Key to the Catalyst, 1) by Kent Davis, September 22, 2015. 432 pages. Published by Greenwillow Books. Source: publisher.
Ruby Teach, daughter of a smuggler and pirate, has been learning how to swindle and steal and pick the most complex locks for as long as she can remember. But a collision with aristocratic young lord Athen sends her spinning into chaos. Little did she know that her whole life has been spent in hiding from nefarious secret societies and the Royal Navy . . . who are both now on her trail. In this debut middle grade adventure, Kent Davis weaves a rip-roaring tale through an alternate colonial Philadelphia. A world where alchemy—that peculiar mix of magic and science—has fueled the industrial revolution. 
First Sentence:
Never pick a chemystral lock.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sew Adventurous (4): Adventures in Cosplaying


Named after my first (negelected) Tumblr Sew Adventurous, this is my new blog feature where I'll be sharing some of the non-reading and non-bookblog things that I do. From my latest sewing project(s) to the cross stitch patters I'm currently working on. Hey, I might even get bold one day and chronicle my ill fated attempts at other forms of crafting.

Sew Adventurous (4): Adventures in Cosplaying....



I only mentioned it a couple times on Twitter, but, for the last few months I had been working on my first cosplay for an upcoming (now past) anime convention (my second one...ever) and, well, it turned out quite nicely. So, now I want to share with y'all my first experience with cosplaying from my fears to things I would have done differently.

Even though it took me months to complete it, I was still somewhat nervous about dressing up even though it was more "normal" for one to be in costume at the convention than not. It was just that I'm one of those people who don't like to stand out; I've never been comfortable being the center of attention.

So, what made me the most nervous about cosplaying-
  1. a fear of a wardrobe malfunction. I'm still pretty new to sewing and have only finished maybe three clothing pieces (mainly skirts because they're easy) so the idea of something going wrong was all too easy to see. 
  2. It could be awkward. I'm mean here you, or should I say me,dressed as a character from a show and someone wants your picture...*cue mini panic* I never know what to do in pictures!! I'm that awkward photo taker.
  3. Being a character that people really like. You know it's not easy, especially when you hear them calling that characters name and realize that they're actually talking to you. While it was a little odd, it was pretty easy to handle since I use a pseudonym here on my blog. 
Things I wish I'd done differently-
  1. Taken some pictures with other cosplayers from the show my character was from! I was just too nervous (and awkward) to ask them for a group photo! Next time though I will not chicken out!!
  2. I wish my sister and I had been able to take some fun photos of ourselves in costume! Sadly though the moment we decided to go out, to what would have been the perfect photo spot, it (of course) started to rain!
  3. Find a better way to pin my hair up under the wig. I'm so glad my mom was there because there was no way I could have braided my hair myself...and kept it contained long enough to get everything situated. 
Surprisingly enough, it ended up not being weird or awkward when it came to actually cosplaying. It was quite fun and made it easier to ask others for a picture of their cosplay. I ended up enjoying it so much that before the day was half spent I had already decided who my next two cosplays would be. Now comes that hard part: planning, buying materials, and putting things together.

Since you always here of people getting the "Con Crud", I went in with a plan to not wind up sick post convention. So, if you should find yourself at any convention or even just out of town, here are some things to help keep the ickies away.
  1. Get plenty of rest!!! Cannot stress this enough!!
  2. Drink WATER!! You can drink other things just make sure you drink lots of water throughout the entire event.
  3. Purell is your best friend....so is thoroughly washing your hands!
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Eating actual food and not the junk you find at conventions. Yes, that's right take time to eat some proper food and drink, you got it, water!
  6. Feeling tired, try taking a short break from doing and chill out with your group in a quiet spot. They can be hard to find but unwinding will keep you from crashing and burning. 
If I hadn't been so shy, I would have liked to question some of the cosplayers about how they accomplished their outfits! Some of them had some mad talent!! Next time though I believe I will ask someone how they were able to create their costume and get it looking so close to that of the character they were portraying!! Yes, I wanted to "nerd out" and question them about costumes because I have so much more to learn and skills to obtain!!
 
Can you tell, I'm already dreaming of attending another convention. Next time I want to cosplay at least two days of the convention.

Have you ever dressed up as a character, if so tell me all about it!! If you haven't, is there a character you always wanted to be but were maybe to nervous to attempt? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Orphan Queen

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 9, 2015

YA Review: The Orphan Queen

The Orphan Queen (Orphan Queen, 1) by Jodi Meadows, March 10, 2015. 391 pages. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Source: borrowed from library/now own.
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
First Sentence:
The mirrors were an expensive superstition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Royal Wedding Disaster


Royal Wedding Disaster (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, 2) by Meg Cabot, May 17, 2016. Published by Feiwel & Friends.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she's a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA. Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she's anything but ordinary!) but she also gets her very own PONY!

Of course, things aren't going exactly like she imagined. Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself-to Mia's mother!-and spends most of his time "renovating" the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them.
Why: Let's see: Meg Cabot and Princess Olivia...that's why I need this one!! To be honest, I really loved the first installment and am eagerly awaiting Royal Wedding Disaster because I want to know where the series will go next and what path Olivia will take.

You can see my review of From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot to find out just why I enjoyed it so much!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Charm & Strange

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 2, 2015

DNF Review: Charm & Strange


Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn, June 11, 2013. 216 pages. Published by St. Martin's Griffin. Source: publisher.
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 
First Sentence:
I don't feel the presence of God here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review: Broken Gods

Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D., June 2, 2015. 208 pages. Published by Image: Source: Blogging for Books.
You are gods."

Blasphemy? No, those mysterious words, spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John and alluded to in Psalm 82, point to a holy longing deep in our hearts that tells each of us that we were created for more.

“Imagine that you were to wake up tomorrow to discover that, by some miracle, you had become a god overnight,” writes Dr. Gregory Popcak.  “Not THE God—omnipresent, all-knowing, all-powerful—but a god in the classic sense. That is to say, you woke to find that you were perfect, immortal, utterly confident in who you are, where you were going in life, and how you were going to get there. It might seem ridiculous to consider at first, but allow yourself to imagine this truly miraculous transformation.  What would it be like to live without fear? How would it feel to be completely at peace with yourself and the people in your life? Imagine what it would be like to be able to resolve—once and for all—the tension that currently exists between all your competing feelings, impulses, desires, and demands. What would change in your life as a result of your having become that sort of divinely actualized person?”

Bold questions are in need of bold answers. And in Broken Gods, a work that is both practical and inspirational, Dr. Greg explores what our deepest desires--and even our darkest desires-- tell us about our ultimate destiny and reveals a commonsense approach to fulfilling our true purpose in life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Mechanica

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell, August 25, 2015. Published by Clarion Books.
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.
Why: Blame Cinder for my need for yet another Cinderella retelling. This one sounds interesting; never really considered that a steam-punk retelling of Cinderella might be interesting. If my library doesn't have it I'll be suggesting it for a future purchase. 

Season's Readings: Winter

Summer shines, Spring blossoms, Winter glistens and Autumn crunches. Seasons affect our lives constantly. As part of Nori’s Book Blogger Creativity Project #BBCreativityProject, the Hot Pink Team are celebrating and honouring the seasons with some special book posts over the next month.
We have all worked really hard and hope you enjoy what we have created.



I see the time has finally arrived for me to talk about the season of winter. For me, winter is more of the time of year where I would prefer to hibernate until warmer weather returns, so, it has taken me some time to even put together something that works for me on the topic of winter. With that in mind, I decided to go with the one series that I cannot go without reading every December because my winter would not be complete without journeying into the book's world and following the characters through all the perilous adventures that they face. As well as the fact that I will take any and every chance to bend an ear when it comes to this series of my heart.


So, what is the one series that I cannot face winter without reading, well, my dear readers that would have to be The Chronicles of Narnia. Even though I always feel bereft at the end when it comes to saying goodbye to the world and characters (and have been know to wonder the house muttering "Narnia"), I cannot keep myself away from this series. I love it in a way that is, to my sisters at least, unfathomable. It makes me laugh. It makes me tear up. Hey, it even makes it nearly impossible to contemplate starting another title because of the infamous book hangover that befalls me (EVERY SINGLE TIME)!!


There is not a single time that I have walked away from a re-read of The Chronicles of Narnia without coming away with a new perspective on it. Each time I enter the world of Narnia there's something buried within the text that is waiting to be discovered. And the character development and how they, okay, mainly Edmund, changes throughout the book, now that is something that always hits me hard. I just love seeing him change and how he has to learn to forgive himself for the things he did and to move forward. I'm terribly sorry, okay not really, but y'all are going to get all my Narnia feels in this post. I could talk to you from here to next year about the great things hidden within this book. From theology and the overall magic that is C.S. Lewis's wonderful, wonderful book.

If you ask, I will be more than willing to talk more about this book and the underlying story. All you need to do is ask; or, if there's a question you have about the series (or maybe something that you didn't understand about how it ended), I'm always up for clearing things up.


Seriously though, there is nothing better than getting lost in The Chronicles of Narnia, especially the books that have the Pevensies', while being snuggled up in a blanket with a hot cup 'o tea to make winter feel a little bit distant...well, once you get past the White Queen's icy reign of terror that is. Since you have so bravely endured my feel-sy post on one of my absolute favorite series-EVER- I'm going to share with you some books I'm excited to tackle during the upcoming winter.
and of course................


So, tell me, what books do you like to get lost in during winter? Any books that you are hoping to cross off your TBR during the frigid months ahead? TELL ME!!*waits patiently to add for books to her ever growing TBR*

For now, I shall leave you with a quote from the dedication of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-
But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.

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