Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WOW: Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, highlighting the upcoming releases being eagerly awaited by all of us bibliophiles.

This week's Waiting on Wednesday title is:

Tris and Izzie
Here's the Goodreads synopsis:

A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

Lately, I've been enjoying modern re-tellings of classic tales.  I've always loved the story of Tristan & Isolde/Iseult and its many variations.  I'm curious to see how Mettie Ivie Harrison tells their tale.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday!

It's Follow Friday!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Today's Follow Friday question is:

Q. In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?


This is a tough one for me.  First, I'd have to go with the classic:  A Midsummer Night's Dream,  Shakespeare's tale which gave me my first real knowledge about fairies outside of Tinkerbell. My favorite fairy story, which is really not about the fae, but more like a fairy tale is Stardust by Neil Gaiman.  Young Tristan ventures away from the safety of his hometown, Wall, and into the land of Faerie.  He encounters some pretty incredible things, witches, flying boats that catch lightning and a fallen star, but no fae.  It is, however, my favorite Faerie tale.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hourglass by Myra McEntire


One of the drawbacks of reading new releases is coming across a book that you really love, only to realize that you have to wait a year for the next book to be released.  This happened to me while reading Hourglass.  I read a lot, and I have to say that Hourglass really stands out--it pulled me in from the beginning and kept my attention all the way through.  A lot of novels that are first in a series get bogged down with exposition and character introduction, but Hourglass does not fall prey to these mistakes.  The entire story flows so well, the characters are well developed without being over written, everything just works.  I truly did not want the story to end.

The story centers around Emerson Cole, a seventeen year old girl who has spent years trying to deal with the fact that she can see and interact with dead people.  After being hospitalized and then escaping the scrutiny of her home town at boarding school, she returns to Ivy Springs to live with her older brother & sister-in-law.  When her brother Thomas suggests bringing in another consultant to 'help' Emerson with her issues, Emerson wants nothing to do with it.  Thomas' track record with bringing in consultants is significantly less than stellar.  When she meets the mysterious Michael at a party, she is instantly drawn to him and when she later discovers that Michael is Thomas' latest consultant, she agrees to work with him.  She learns from Michael that what she sees are not ghosts but ripples in time and that she may have even greater untapped abilities lurking beneath her surface.

Although the main character is a seventeen year old girl, Emerson is hardly a YA heroine.  She is mature, intelligent and independent.  Although she does show some insecurities, a lot of the teen angst present in a lot of YA works is notably absent in Hourglass.  It's also a nice change to read a YA fantasy book without supernatural creatures.  Don't get me wrong, my shelves are full of vampires, weres, fairies and the like, but change is good and so is Hourglass.

I really enjoyed Hourglass.  The story itself blew me away and although I had suspected a few of the twists in the plot, there were still a few that I didn't see coming.  The story set up also allows for sequels, and I hope that Emerson has a lot of new adventures coming.  According to Goodreads, the untitled sequel to Hourglass is expected in 2012.

Article first published as Book Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire on Blogcritics.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WOW: Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, highlighting the upcoming releases being eagerly awaited by all of us bibliophiles.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday title is:
Grave Dance: An Alex Craft Novel
The second installment in the Alex Craft series finds Alex still recovering from the events of Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1).  Her love life is more complicated than ever, her grave witch powers are still causing problems and her family situation is a mess.  However, there's still work to be done and Alex is ready to take on more mysteries.  Here's the Goodreads synopsis:

After a month of down time, Grave Witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But when her new case forces her to overuse her magic, it might be the last mystery the Grave Witch ever gets to solve...
I'm interested to see how things develop between Detective Andrews and Alex, as well as her complicated relationship with Death.  I love Alex's character, she's strong, witty and smart, but flawed.  Her judgment isn't always the best and sometimes using her magic causes her to seek out random hook-ups to replenish her body temperature.  But, she has  a good heart and goes out of her way to help others, even if they don't deserve her help.  I really enjoyed the first book, Grave Witch (Alex Craft, Book 1) and am looking forward to reading Grave Dance: An Alex Craft Novel when it is released on July 5.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday!!

It's Follow Friday!!

Thanks to Parajunkee for maintaining this weekly meme :)

Today's Follow Friday question is:

Q. Genre Wars! What's your favorite genre and which book in that genre made it your favorite?

Tough question.  The truth is, I don't really know what specific genre is my favorite.  I really like books about otherworldly beings like faeries, witches, vampires and weres.  These constitute what I would consider my favorites and I guess they could be categorized as fantasy.   I do, however, read different genres of fantasy, including urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and YA fantasy.  

The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches) by Anne Rice is what sparked my interest in all things paranormal many years ago.  I was looking for something new to read and my then boyfriend had gotten a copy of The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches) as a gift from a friend.  He was into fantasy novels, but was more a fan of D & D type works and Anne Rice didn't appeal to him.  I started reading it and I was hooked.  I tore through both the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches, devouring each one as soon as it came out.  I still can't get enough of a good book about witches.  

Reading The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches) also, inadvertently, led to my interest in Wicca and other Earth based religions.  Although I do not consider myself a practitioner of any religion, reading and researching the Old Religions has become a fascinating part of my life.


What book opened up a whole new world of reading for you?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WOW: Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, highlighting the upcoming releases being eagerly awaited by all of us bibliophiles.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday title is:
Reckoning: A Strange Angels Novel
I love the Strange Angels series & this is the final book in the series!  I just recently discovered Dru and company and I tore through the series.  Now, I've got to wait until November 1, 2011 for the final installlment.
Dru has spent her entire life feeling different.  After her mother died when she was young, her father took her to live with her grandmother in rural Appalachia.  Her grandmother taught her folk magic, how to ward against evil and such.  Dru is a seer, she can see evil beings where most humans can not.  At 12, she takes to the road with her father after her grandmother dies.  Her father hunts and kills the evil beings that Dru can see.  When she is 16, a trip to the Dakotas goes wrong and Dru finds herself on her own, with her only friend a homeless boy from her class.  Graves and Dru fight to survive and, eventually, Dru finds out more about herself and her mother than she could have ever imagined.

I won't go any further--I don't want to spoil anything for someone not having read the series.  If you haven't, I strongly suggest you read Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1).  It's a great introductory book, introducing interesting characters and providing a strong basis for the series.  

I hope that Reckoning: A Strange Angels Novel finds Dru knowing who she can trust and making choices for herself.  I also hope that we find out what Dru's given name is--but that seems to be a highly guarded secret, we may never find the answer to that one :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Succubus Blues

Meet Georgina Kincaid, Seattle's resident succubus and book store assistant manager.  What a life, huh?  But, after centuries of surviving by syphoning the life force off of men, Georgie isn't the happiest succubus.  You see, she yearns for a real relationship, to experience love again, only she can't turn off being a succubus and any relationship she'd have would be a literal drain on her boyfriend.  She has friends though--an imp, some vampires, a high level demon and an angel--and, right now, it seems that someone is trying to pick them off one at a time.  You don't mess with Georgina's friends and she's determined to keep everyone, including herself, safe.  On top of all of this, she's about to meet her all-time favorite author who may turn out to be a bigger part of her life than she ever expected.

What an interesting premise for a series--the unhappy succubus.  After signing away her soul and her mortality, Georgina Kincaid has spent centuries as a succubus.  But, she's changed.  No longer happy with her lifestyle, she only does the bare minimum of her job and insists on feeding only on lowlifes.  She doesn't get near the energy buzz from them, especially compared to pure souls, but her conscience is a little more clear.  Georgina and her friends are very interesting and likable, it's easy to forget that they are supposed to be working on the side of evil.  In fact, they've even got an angel that hangs out with them.

I really liked the beginning of this series--the initial book introduces us to some great characters while still providing an interesting story.  I am looking forward to reading the second book, Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid, Book 2) very soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday!

It's Follow Friday!

Today's Follow Friday question is:

Q. The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?


No question:  Thursday Next.  Anyone who is able to travel between Bookworld and our world is someone I wouldn't mind being.  Sure Thursday has her problems as well as her enemies, but being able to visit the world of literature on a regular basis is just too cool to me.  Imagine being able to pop in between scenes to have tea with Elizabeth Bingley or vacation in Spain with Jake Barnes and Lady Brett.  Granted, your travels are confined to what has been written, but what wouldn't that cover? 


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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel

Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel by Karen Chance is the fifth book in the Cassandra Palmer series.  If you are not familiar with the series, stop now and go read Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1), I guarantee you'll be caught up and reading Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel in no time.

We catch up with Cassie shortly following the events of Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, Book 4).  Cassie is preparing for her coronation as Pythia, training with Pritkin, learning Circle diplomacy from Jonas and vampire diplomacy from Mircea.  She is also dating Mircea, which does not sit well with the Circle because they fear she will be seen as partial to the Senate.  She's feeling a bit out of sorts with all the attention being paid to her and she's still not sure that she is the proper choice for Pythia, as she was never properly trained.  However, she doesn't have much time to ponder her position when the attempts on her life begin and no one knows how to protect her.

I really enjoyed this book, especially since it's been two years since the last in the series.  Cassie really learns a lot about herself, her power and her relationships with the people in her life.  She also learns about her mother and her relationship to the original spell cast by Artemis to separate the worlds of Gods and men.  There are still a lot of open questions, but that just tells me that there will be more Cassie Palmer to read in the future.  I just hope we don't have to wait so long for the next one :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Having just finished reading & writing a great review for Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1), is it any wonder I'm back just a few days later to review Betrayals (Strange Angels, Book 2)?  And, is anyone even remotely surprised that I liked this one too?
Betrayals (Strange Angels, Book 2) finds Dru and Graves at a Schola, run by the Order and filled with djamphir and wulfen boys.  Graves seems to be fitting in nicely, being a loup garou has it's privileges, obviously, and Graves is being treated like a prince among the wulfen.  Dru, however, is miserable.  She is extremely isolated, being placed in classes meant for someone much younger & less experienced than she and no one will train with her.  Something is definitely off here and she can't understand why Christoph would place her here without any contact or explanation.

Not knowing who to trust, outside of Graves, Dru's life becomes a web of secrets.  Cryptic messages, secret visits and conflicting information serve to make Dru's time at the Schola a nightmare.  Despite being told that her kind are a treasure, Dru feels more like a prisoner.  As she begins to befriend some of her fellow students, she also begins to unravel some of the secrets surrounding her presence at this particular Schola.  As she begins to get a grip on things, though, more chaos is thrown into the mix and her life is turned upside down once again.

Betrayals (Strange Angels, Book 2) finds Dru really coming into her own as a woman.  Although she is lonely and grieving for her lost family, she is beginning to realize that she needs to take charge of her situation and use her assets and training to protect herself.  Her relationships are changing and she is slowly beginning to make friends.  She also is learning to trust her instincts with regard to those around her and who might be the traitor that wants her dead.  Graves is also changing.  He's an Alpha, a dominant, and quickly finds himself at the top of the hierarchy of the schools' wulfen.  He's becoming physically stronger & much more confident as well, none of which goes unnoticed by Dru.  He uses his position with the wulfen to both protect Dru and help her to understand what's going on around them.  His loyalty to her is unquestionable.  Christoph comes in and out of Dru's life at the Schola, moving completely undercover.  His cryptic visits and even more cryptic messages leave Dru confused, but she still trusts and believes in him.  With all that is going on around her, Dru needs all the help she can get.

As a second novel, this is a wonderful addition to the series.  It is action packed and full of intrigue.  New characters are introduced and it's difficult to tell where they fall in the spectrum of Dru's life.  One thing is certain though, someone is desperate for Dru's life to be ended.  And while the book ends with Dru and her friends in another supposedly safe place, I don't think it will remain that way for long.  I'll be starting Jealousy (Strange Angels, Book 3) very soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Follow Friday!!

It's Follow Friday!!

Today's Follow Friday question is a fun one:

What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.) 

What are we doing to prepare for a zombie apocalypse?  Good question.  I think the answer lies within the question itself--Mel Gibson's return to the silver screen is preparation for a zombie apocalypse.  Ever seen Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or Mars Attacks?  I think constant screening/streaming of Mel Gibson would be enough to blow the heads off of any zombies that might head this way.  So, basically, we're stocking up on anything Mel Gibson we can get our hands on--movies, TMZ clips, You Tube.  Then if zombies attack, we'll just start broadcasting Mel, take off for the woods and wait for the zombies to explode :)

Thanks Parajunkee for such a great question!

Thanks for stopping by--if you're a new visitor, please consider following me :)

Have a great weekend!! 


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1)

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1) by Lili St. Crow introduces us to Dru Anderson, a young woman already living a strange life, which is only going to get more strange.  Raised by her grandmother in Appalachia after the death of her mother when she was five, Dru is taught the ways of folk magic.  Dru is twelve when her grandmother dies and her father returns to take her with him on his travels.  Her father is a hunter of supernatural beings and he and Dru travel the country killing supernatural baddies.   During a harsh winter in the Dakotas, everything changes again.  Her father is killed and Dru is being hunter herself by someone truly evil.  Unsure of what to do or who to trust, she falls into a friendship with Graves, a boy from her school with issues of his own.  Dru then meets Christoph, a very mysterious stranger with a lot of information about Dru, even more than Dru knows about herself.

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, Book 1) is a wonderful introduction to what holds the possibility of being an excellent series.  Dru is a strong but vulnerable character, just coming into herself as a woman and she has no idea of what that will actually mean to her.  She has unknowingly been existing on the edge of a world where the line between hunters and the supernatural becomes blurred, with not every supernatural creature a bad guy and not every human someone you can trust. 

The book is full of action and suspense.  You can feel the rush of adrenaline as Dru faces unknown baddies and taste her fear as her life gets turned upside down again.  It is extremely well-written, with highly intriguing characters.  There is definitely more beneath Graves' surface than just being a nice guy and Christoph has the mysterious bad boy vibe down strong.  I can't wait to start Betrayals (Strange Angels, Book 2)--I'm actually glad that I came into this series well after the release since now I don't have to wait to find out what happens next :)