Friday, February 27, 2015

This Book Is So... (1)

You know sometimes you're in the middle of a book and are just about to explode with feelings, be they good or bad, and you just want get them out there and no one is willing to listen. Well, that's what "This Book is So" is for; tell us how your current read is making you feel. Are you head over heels in love with, feeling kind of 'meh' about it, or maybe it's making you feel rage-y.

None...other than to have fun. You can either keep the title a secret or not, it's totally up to you. If you join in, please, link back to this post and leave a comment so I can check out your post. =)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

YA Interview w/ Kyle Prue (Author of The Sparks)

Today, I have Kyle Prue stopping by to discuss his book The Sparks. Hoping y'all will give him a warm welcome to the blog.

About the Author:
For Kyle Prue, age 16, a night of insomnia led to the creative inspiration for his new trilogy, The Feud. “I was lying in bed around 5 am thinking about the marked differences between myself and my two siblings and suddenly I got the idea to build three families around each of our different personalities.”  The seeds of that idea led to an action packed series that is sure to keep readers turning pages into the wee hours of the night.

You can haunt Kyle Prue at-
Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Instagram |

1. What drew you to write YA Fantasy?

I wanted to write for me. Recently, I’ve hit an “in-between” zone where it’s harder for me to find books I want to read. I wanted to write something that I would want to read and that would appeal to other kids my age. I wanted to appeal to boys who have lost interest in reading and I also created strong female characters that girls will love.

2. Do you have a favorite character in The Sparks? 

It alternates a lot. In general, I’ve always been a fan of characters that are only around for one book and that are very big and eccentric. I really like Michael Taurlum because he’s kind of the epitome of what’s wrong with the Taurlum family and he’s just such a child. So it was really interesting to write about him and make him such an aggressive, haughty character. 

3. What was your favorite part or chapter to write in The Sparks? 

I really, really enjoyed writing the fight between Darius and Jennifer. It’s interesting when you write characters separately, then give them a chance to interact together. Jennifer is one of my favorite characters. Neil describes her as the model assassin so it was really fun to write her in that type of setting.

4. How did you pick the names of the families? 

I based the family names on Latin root words: Taurlum is based on the Latin word for bull, Celerius is the Latin word for swift and Vapros is smoke.

5. How did you get the idea for the three families? 

In the first book, there are three main families and since I have a brother and a sister, I loosely based these families around the three of us—their mannerisms, their traits, resulting in a black-and-white version of us blended with a more honorable, respectable side and a more aggressive, audacious side. So the Taurlum are based off my brother, the Celerius off my sister and the Vapros off me, a little bit.

6. Where did you get the idea for the Feud series? 

This is a coming of age story for young adults and I am a teen in that demographic. Everyone struggles to find their path in life and my characters are all struggling with not wanting to let people down and to find their way; forgiveness and hope is a part of that journey as well. One night, at the age of 15, I had terrible insomnia and I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about the different personalities of my siblings and myself and how we will all follow different paths. That gave me the idea to create three different families loosely based around our differing personalities. I decided it would be fun to take these families and place them in a fantasy world where the obstacles we all face could be magnified to a whole new level. I wrote out the plot for the three books that night.

7. Were you a big reader as a kid? 

In 5th grade, I started at a new elementary school when I moved to Naples. They had a reading contest for whoever read the most books. I ended up reading like 200 books, which was a bit of overkill as the next highest kid read about 75 books, but apparently I’m more competitive than I realized. I just really wanted to beat this girl in my class who told me she was a better reader. 

8. How have those writers influenced your writing? 

I think Rick Riordan introduces and writes characters very well, which is something I kept in mind, because I have a group dynamic with my book. But I really like the way JK Rowling set up the overall plot and carried it through, intertwining a lot of different elements. She knew how to set up a big, epic adventure and finished it beautifully. That is what I hope to do with this trilogy.

9. Do you have advice for other high school students wanting to write a book? 

Yes, never stop writing. Write, and write and write, until you’ve got something that you like. Don’t be afraid to have a very rough copy of something. The editing process is terrible and long and arduous, but it’s something you have to do. What matters is getting something on paper and then really shaping it into what you are looking for. 

10. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans? 

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. The series only gets better and more intense from here and I can’t wait to see what you guys think of it all.

You can purchase the book from Kyle Prue’s store on his official website (linked) and save 25% off a autograped copy by using the code: 'BLOG25' (code does not work on Amazon).

The Sparks (Feud, 1) by Kyle Prue, November 15, 2014. 288 pages. Published by Barringer Publishing.
The Vapros, the Taurlum, and the Celerius: three dynasties bound by an ancient promise, and given superhuman abilities to protect the city of Altryon from the dangerous world beyond its walls. Centuries of fighting, however, have turned the families against each other. A powerful emperor now rules and each family has suffered heavy casualties in the feud.

Sixteen-year-old, Neil Vapros desperately wants to become an assassin in order to impress his overly critical father. Despite a failed mission, Neil learns that a new sinister threat has awakened. This mysterious new power will shatter the established order and threaten not only the very lives of these powerful families, but also the once great city of Altryon.

Everything can change with a single “Spark”
 Don't forget, you can also add The Sparks by Kyle Prue to your Goodreads shelves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Finding Serendipity *ARC*

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks, February 3, 2015. 288 pages. Published by  Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Source: publisher.
When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.
First Sentence:
"Good-bye school shoes," said Tuesday McGillycuddy, dropping her battered black lace-ups into a bin full of lunch wraps and orange peel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Raven Boys, Red 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, February 23, 2015

A Vintage Reads Review: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, 1) by Maggie Stiefvater, September 8, 2012. 416 pages. Published by Scholastic Press. Source: library.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
First Sentence:
Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Catholic Review: The Ancient Path

The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today by John Michael Talbot, Janary 20, 2015. 208 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
People often imagine that the Church Fathers looked like their icons and smelled of incense, heroic figures wrapped in fine liturgical vestments of silk and lace, engulfed in billows of smoke from their golden censers. Yet, truth be told, even in their writings they resemble more the tattered cloak of Jesus or the dusty sweat-soaked habits of the early Desert Fathers and Mothers. Theirs is an utterly incarnational spirituality. It is heaven-sent, but it moves forward with both feet on the ground of the earth.

In this powerful work, John Michael Talbot tells the story of how these men deeply influenced his spiritual, professional and personal life. Coming to the Christian faith as a young man during the turbulent 1960s, he soon grew a fond of the Church Fathers, including St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine and Gregory the Great and found guidance, reassurance and wisdom on his path to Jesus.

“The First Epistle of Saint Peter,” writes Talbot, “tells us that we are ‘a spiritual temple built of living stones.’ The early Church Fathers represent the first rows built upon the foundation of the Apostles. And that sacred building project continues throughout history to our time today. But it rests on the Fathers. It depends on them.”
First Sentence:
People often imagine the Fathers of the Church looked like their icons and smelled like incense.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Catholic Review: The Grace of Yes

The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living by Lisa Hendey, November 3, 2014. 160 pages. Published by Ave Maria Press. Source: publisher.
Catholic new-media personality and bestselling author Lisa M. Hendey is fueled by a lifelong passion for her faith. In The Grace of Yes, she guides readers through pivotal moments of her journey and the eight virtues that have helped her—and will help readers—learn how to say yes to God.

Beloved Catholic blogger Lisa Hendey explores eight spiritual virtues that she believes are foundational to the Christian life. In opening windows to pivotal moments of her own spiritual journey, she helps readers learn about belief, generativity, creativity, integrity, humility, vulnerability, saying no, and starting over, and shows how these virtues lead to generous living and the ability to joyously say yes to God. Hendey reflects candidly on real-life struggles: the identity adjustment of leaving a blossoming career to become a stay-at-home mom; the temptation of Divahood as her online celebrity grew; the freedom and opportunities of empty-nest status versus the middle-aged body’s pull to slow down; her encounters with spiritual community during treatment for cancer; and the contrast between the profound lingering grief she confronted at a Rwandan genocide memorial and the astounding willingness of survivors there to forgive. Readers encounter Hendey’s own struggles and successes while soaking up her characteristic warmth and good advice. Hendey provides questions for personal reflection and a prayer to close the exploration of each virtue.

Friday, February 20, 2015

On My Mind (2): When Things Fall Through

*note* First off, I hope no one else is currently using "On My Mind" as a discussion post title. If they (or you are), please, let me know and I'll find a new name.

As one can probably presume from the header of this post, I have decided to start doing discussion posts here on The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia. Call it me trying to let y'all inside my head and to start a dialog with you my fellow readers.

When Things Fall Through

You know the awkward moment when you read an advanced copy of a book, one that you're enjoying so much that you plan on buying it as soon as possible. And then, then you notice that it seems to have disappeared and is nowhere for the buying. You start wondering what happened, if you imagined said book that you are holding in your hand.... One day, many months after it should have been released you get the nerve to ask the publisher or author, "what happened?", only to find out that they have amicably parted ways...and...and no more book.

So, that brings me to today's question. What should a reviewer do? Should you review the book that you enjoyed yet is no longer being published or should you just let it go? I'm not sure if this has ever happened to y'all and right now I don't know what to do. 

First off, I really and truly loved that book. It had so much potential and one I would have recommended like mad. It was fun, the characters and plot line were interesting, and the writing really pulled me into the story.  Even months after finishing it, I still fondly think about the premise and the story the author created. Of course, then I get a little sad because this book is no longer going to be available for others to discover. 

You tell me, should I put my thoughts out there on this mystery book, or, should I just move on? 

[Blog Tour] Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula

It's kind of hard to not be excited about this fun blog tour for Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula! I, for one, and mot excited to share some special artwork and a recipe from this delicious sounding graphic novel.

Make your own Gingerbread Golem by Count Spatula

The unique properties of gingerbread are present in the German word lebkuchen, leben meaning life and laib meaning loaf. Bread and life are intertwined, it being a staple throughout history. In France there was a revolution over the price of bread and when a certain queen suggested the poor eat cake, the advice wasn't kindly taken. A generous sentiment and one I agree with wholeheartedly, we should all eat cake when we can. Life and bread can't be separated and that is particularly true in the shape of the Gingerbread Golem.
We're all familiar with the gingerbread man, the tasty little morsel that fits neatly on a kitchen plate. The Gingerbread Golem is essentially the same recipe but much larger in scale. You'll need some specialist ingredients (and lots of them), a very large oven and an oversized broom or pole for a rolling pin.

Necromancer's Delight Resurrection Flour
Of course, we can all make our own self-raising flour from grave dirt and cicada husks but this pre-prepared ingredient is quicker and more convenient. Two sacks minimum.

Gibbous ginger
The best variety for golem creation. A strong bitter flavour, not suitable for eating. Best prepared under a crescent moon.

Ticking treacle
Good for the heart and helps keep the golem going.

Golems play many different roles in and around the kitchen. They're particularly useful for heavy lifting and carrying, being strong and powerful. Not known for their dexterity, do not use a golem to transport china cups or other delicate items unless you want them in pieces. While their thick fingers mean they're unsuitable for kitchen tasks that require a fine hand, they are very good at kneading dough (although everything will taste of ginger).

Make every golem special by making the effort to give them unique characteristics. An elaborate waxed moustache applied with icing sugar or delicious long hair made from strawberry laces. Fondant tattoos, chocolate sprinkles stubble and candy apple eyes will all set your golem out from the crowd.

Don't get attached
Golems don't last forever so try not to see them as friends, pets or long term employees. They're an easy target for infestations (chocolate mice can devour an entire golem in a night) and they're vulnerable to fire and water damage.

Don't forget, you can check out all the tour stops by visiting Mac Teen Books for the full schedule.

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson, February 24, 2015. 176 pages. Published by First Second.
Princess Decomposia is overworked and underappreciated. This princess of the underworld has plenty of her own work to do but always seems to find herself doing her layabout father's job, as well. The king doesn't feel quite well, you see. Ever. So the princess is left scurrying through the halls, dodging her mummy, werewolf, and ghost subjects, always running behind and always buried under a ton of paperwork. Oh, and her father just fired the chef, so now she has to hire a new cook as well. Luckily for Princess Decomposia, she makes a good hire in Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He's a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends. And then...more than friends? Maybe eventually, but first Princess Decomposia has to sort out her life. And with Count Spatula at her side, you can be sure she'll succeed. Andi Watson ("Glister, ""Gum Girl") brings his signature gothy-cute sensibility to this very sweet and mildly spooky tale of friendship, family, and management training for the undead.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

YA Review: Red Queen

Red Queen (Red Queen, 1) by Victoria Aveyard, February 10, 2015. 320 pages. Published by HarperTeen. Source: On the Same Page Tours.
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win? 
First Sentence:
I hate First Friday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Blackhope Enigma

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, February 16, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: The Blackhope Enigma

The Blackhope Enigma (Blackhope Enigma, 1) by Teresa Flavin, August 28, 2012. 304 pages. Published by Templar Books. Source: publisher.
An ancient painting, a magical labyrinth, and skeletons found in a locked room.
For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, centering on a labyrinth and painting in the Mariner's Chamber. When fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower and sees her stepbrother, Dean, disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma. This action-packed debut follows Dean, Sunni, and her friend Blaise on a journey to the heart of an age-old mystery.
First Sentence:
"Soranzo is out for your blood, Fausto."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Ares: Bringer of War

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!

All About Middle Grade Review & Interview: One Witch at a Time by Stacy DeKeyser [Blog Tour]

Today, I am excited to welcome Stacy DeKeyser, author of One Witch at a Time, to the blog to discuss her latest middle grade book...and to share my thoughts on her wonderful re-imagining of Jack and the Beanstalk. Be sure to stick around to see the last book that kept her reading late into the night and who she thinks could save the world from a robot invasion.

One Witch at a Time by Stacy DeKeyser, February 10, 2015. 224 pages. Published by McElderry Books. Source: Blue Slip Media/Publisher.
When Rudi Bauer sets out for town one morning to trade, he never dreams that Susanna Louisa will sell his family’s cow—for magic beans, no less! But that’s exactly what she does, and the consequences will be disastrous unless Rudi can return the magic beans to their rightful owner, the evil witch of Petz.

The journey to Petz is long and hard, but Rudi and Susanna Louisa soon find a shortcut: a magically sprouted beanstalk leads them straight there...and straight into danger. Because the evil witch of Petz is a terrible giant who has locked away summer and keeps his kingdom a frozen wasteland. And in order to defeat him, Rudi is going to need a little magic of his own.
First Sentence:
The boy hurried along the road as quickly as he could manage while tugging the hand of a squirmy girl.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Ares Bringer of War [Blog Tour]

Ares Bringer of War (Olympians, 7) by George O'Connor, January 27, 2015. 80 pages. Published by First Second. Source: publisher.
The myth continues in the tenth year of the fabled Trojan War where two infamous gods of war go to battle. The spotlight is thrown on Ares, god of war, and primarily focuses on his battle with the clever and powerful Athena. As the battle culminates and the gods try to one-up each other to win, the human death toll mounts. Who will win this epic clash of power? And how many will have to die first?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Catholic Review: The Joy of the Gospel

The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis, October 7, 2014 (originally published in 2013). 224 pages. Published by Image. Source: Blogging for Books.
Pope Francis apostolic exhortation is a passionate call for every Christian to be constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others. He envisions a church of Spirit-filled evangelizers who exude joy and care for Gods people, especially the poor. "Evangelii Gaudium" is thought provoking, wide-ranging, and challenging to every Catholic. Those who carefully read it, study it, and pray with it will be ready for take up, with the whole Church, this new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality and, most especially, joy.
First Sentence:
The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Author Interview w/ Michelle Murray (The Dream Walker)

Today, I have Michelle Murray stopping by to discuss her book The Dream Walker, book one in the Land of Mystica series. Stay tuned to find out which author, dead or living, she would like to question over tea.


1. In five words tell us about Dream Walker:

 Magic, Dreams, Adventure, Wizards, Fun!

2. How does Miranda come to be in Mystica? Is he ready to handle the onset of powers she's discovered?

Miranda goes to an odd bookstore Rainbows and Dreams, where she discovers she is the Dream Walker. She says a spell to take her to Mystica before the dreams drive her insane. She wants to help the old man in her dreams, but is overwhelmed with the pictures and words appearing in her mind!

3. Can you share with us a two sentence teaser from Dream Walker?

Here is a two sentence teaser about how the wizards got trapped in stones:
The spell trapped people’s souls in stones. Midnight quickly went to work. He gathered all the ingredients. He studied the spell over and over again. Finally, he was ready. Mystica would be his!
4. If you could have tea with an author living or dead, who would it be? What would be the first question you would ask him?

I guess if I have to choose I would say the bard himself Shakespeare. His plays and poems still inspire us to this day. Many phrases and sayings have come from his plays that we still us today! I would ask him which one of his famous plays is his favorite? Does he prefer the romantic love story of Romeo and Juliet or the historical plays like Richard III or the power hungry play of McBeth?

5. The world has fallen into robot invasion, and only one heroine/hero can save the day, who would you choose?

I would choose Laura Croft from Tomb Raider. She is awesome! I'm a little biased toward female heroes lol!

6. Last book that kept you reading into the night?

Besides writing my own, Tigers Curse by Colleen Huck. It has tigers, magic, adventure, and a dash of romance What's not to like? She has a new Egyptian book coming out that I can't wait to read!

7. Two things (one non writing thing  you are good at and one you wish you could do)

When not reading, or writing I do crafts and I've gotten pretty good at them. For Christmas, I painted some pictures for family and friends. I painted a reindeer and angels. I used a children's coloring book to help with me with the shape of the reindeer.  In springtime (which is coming soon I hope) I paint flower pots. One thing I wish I could do would be draw. I often use pictures from the internet or stencils for my crafts since my drawings are very poor. I would love to draw my own characters! Who better to depict what they look like than me? Though, I love seeing what my fans and readers come up with as well!

Michelle, thank you so much for stopping by! I do think Lara Croft would do admirably on saving the world from a robot invasion. Ah, Shakespeare, I have some questions for him as well (gives him the eye).

Guys, you can find out more about The Dream Walker and connect with the Michelle Murray via FB.

The Dream Walker (Land of Mystica, 1) by Michelle Murray, August 18, 2014.
Once upon Mystica there were six wizards, three light, and three dark. One day, one of the dark wizards Midnight says a spell to trap the fellow wizards. The spell goes astray, and all the wizards are trapped in stones. Now, one curious boy finds one of the stones and releases Midnight upon Mystica. Midnight gathers an army and prepares for war. Miranda is an average college age girl, until she starts having dreams of Mystica. This dreams lead her to journey through Mystica to find the one wizard that can stop Midnight, Lightning. Follow Miranda through the Ice Caves, Forest of the Lost, and the Dragons Lair. Can Miranda find and release Lightning and save Mystica?

You can add The Dream Walker to your goodreads shelves. 

On My Mind (1): Why I Don't

*note* First off, I hope no one else is currently using "On My Mind" as a discussion post title. If they (or you are), please, let me know and I'll find a new name.

As one can probably presume from the header of this post, I have decided to start doing discussion posts here on The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia. Call it me trying to let y'all inside my head and to start a dialog with you my fellow readers.

Why I Don't...Read Ebooks

While ebooks were not all that big when I started The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia over six years ago, I have noticed that they seem to be "the thing" now. After repeatedly getting requests that I review ebooks here on the blog, I thought it was high-time that I told y'all why I will NOT be reviewing ebooks ever.

My reasoning-

Personally, I'm not a fan of reading on a screen. After more than half an hour of reading blog posts and going through emails I'm left feeling like my eyes are sun-burnt. You know, like, when you take a book to the beach and the sun just glares all day off the page leaving your eyes unhappy, just like that. So, because it makes my precious reading eyes unhappy, I will be refraining from digital books.

Other than the discomfort is causes me, my final angst against digitally formatted books is this. I am not going to pay for an ereader and then turn around and have to buy things to read on it. That is just not feasible nor do I get the pleasure of holding an actual book in my hand and turning the pages. When it comes to reading I am old-school. I love the feel of a book in my hand, turning the pages, and the thrill of finding a long-sought after book at the used bookstore and library sales. My love of holding a physical copy of a book in my hand far surpasses my love of technology. 

So, every time a decent book is only available digitally, my heart breaks just the tiniest bit at the book that I will not be reading. Yet, for my personal comfort, I will be running far away from ebooks (like this gif from Spirited Away).

It's nothing personal against you, dear indie authors, whose books are only available in a digital format. I just don't read digitally and never plan to. 
Alright, dear readers, what are your thoughts on ebooks? Do you love them? Hate them? Or are you more neutral on the subject? 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DNF Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, 1) by Katie Finn, May 30, 2014. 339 pages. Published by Feiwel & Friends. Source: Publisher.
Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.
Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already.
First Sentence:
The Wednesday afternoon that it all started, I was thinking about how great my life was going.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Catching Fire

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, February 2, 2015

A Vintage Reads YA Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, 2) by Suzanne Collins, September 1, 2009. 405 pages. Published by Scholastic. Source: own.
Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
First Sentence:
I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Catholic Review: God's Bucket List

God's Bucket List: Heaven's Surefire Way to Happiness in This Life and Beyond by Teresa Tomeo, November 5, 2013. 176 pages. Published by Image. Source: publisher.
From the popular EWTN TV and radio personality comes a to-do list that's just divine.
Scripture tells us only God knows the desires of our hearts. It was, after all, God who placed them there because they are designed to lead us to His will for our lives. Why, then, is it so challenging at times to figure out if we are on the right track when it comes to what we believe we want or need? God's Bucket List will examine what God wants for each of us: mercy,  fruitfulness, fellowship, and peace, just to name a few, and will explain what the Christian faith teaches about these gifts and how we can begin to achieve and cross out, one by one, the items on that heavenly list.

First Sentence:
Do you have a bucket list, an itinerary of things you want to do before you die?