Monday, January 30, 2012

Must Read Monday (#14)

Must Read Monday (#14)

Monday Meme Hosted by Fans of Fiction

The goal of the Must Read Monday is to find share your love of great books with others in the hopes that they'll add a new title to their To Be Read list.

Your job is to create intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?

On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing)

For specific ways to build your puzzle, click here, but pretty much any style of acrostic is welcome.

When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week's topic:
Favorite self-published book (or, if you don't have one, a book that is underpublicized that more people should know about)

I had to take a hiatus for a week, but I like this meme and am going to try my hardest to keep up every week. For this week' acrostic I chose Switched by Amanda Hocking.  It is no longer a self-published book she just re-released, but it was a series I loved.  I also loved Amanda Hocking's story of how she went about publishing the book herself... very inspiring. This is the first self published book I ever read.

Separated, emotionally and mentally, from those around her Wendy Everly always   
     remained on the outskirts of social acceptance.

Wendy’s own mother perceives her peculiarities and impulsively attempts her     
     assassination – by way of a butcher’s knife on Wendy’s sixth birthday.

Imposter and pretender her mother exclaimed, convinced her child was not her own.

Through the years Wendy partially accepted her mother’s behavior as madness, but      
     an innate suspicion always remained.

Curiosity and undeniable attraction develops as a mysterious stranger enters her life,      
     alluding to reveal secrets of her past.

Engrossed by the possibility of explanations, she follows him to a world filled with      
     magic she never fathomed.

Denouncing the world she knows means accepting the truth -- her mother was right
     about her all along.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Halflings & Oppression

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Heather Burch
February 1st, 2012

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.
A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world

by Jessica Therrien
February 28th, 2012 

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning - and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ramblings: Why I LOVE My Husband

Why I LOVE My Husband

For anyone who knows me, really knows me, they know that I am slightly over-emotional and eccentric (more than slightly, I lied).  The universe, knowing that, created the perfect mixture of a person to deal with my personality quirks.  This person, is my husband.  He has the perfect combination of passive aggressive calmness and humor to get through the many days ahead of us and my strange, moody, absentmindedness. I have created a list of the top reasons why I love my husband.

I might add to this list as I remember things or as new ones develop, but here is what pops to mind for now: 
  1. When I'm frantically looking for my keys because I've lost them yet again, he knows to look in places like the freezer.  More importantly, he doesn't ask questions as to why they would be there.
  2. We're food soul mates.  We crave the same horrible food at the same time, which makes pacifying those cravings so much easier -- I don't have to argue my point.
  3. He knows that I like barbecue sauce from McDonalds and sweet & sour from Burger King, that's it. There is no compromise, its the right sauce from the right place, or else.
  4. When I scream and start crying because I swear the spider in the corner is planning to kill me he scoops it up and throws it outside.   One, he gets rid of my attempted murderer. Two, he knows if he squished it I'd feel sad about it later.
  5. He continues to tell me about his weird fears, even though he knows I'll use it against him later.  Like his fear of dead hair -- hair not attached to a head (drain hair, brush hair, cut hair).  When I cut my hair to donate, I found a great deal of humor chasing him around stores and our home with my ten-inch locks before sending them away. 
  6. He reminds me to eat when I find a really good book and don't move from the couch for hours on end. 
  7. He knows to check all the outlets to look for anything that I might have used throughout the day.  Preventing fires from curling irons, flat irons, and coffee pots.
  8. Instead of telling me I look pretty when we're going out, he stands next to me and says, "Man I make people look good."  I know I succeeded at that point. 
  9. He knows if I go out with my BFF, Meghann, to keep the phone on because we might need assistance out of any shenanigans we've gotten into.  He also stocks the house with Vitamin Water, Campbell's Soup, and Aleve.
  10. He doesn't get mad when I turn off movies because I know the ending is sad.  If I shut it off at a certain point everyone lives happily ever after and I don't have to spend the next two days crying because they had to put Marley to sleep.
  11. Never once have I pretended to be someone else.  From the moment I met him (and called him an a-hole because he offended me) he loved me for me.  I didn't pretend to be demure, sweet, and ladylike.  I was just me and it was enough.   

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Born Wicked

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Born Wicked
by Jessica Spotswood
February 7th, 2012

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday
January 17th 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

Here is my Teaser Tuesday:
The Alchemy of Forever, by Avery Williams

"The ensuing silence yawns around me, a dark formless presence that pushes me toward the ladder.  I have to see if it's Taryn, to see if my penance, my last act on Earth, has failed." ~ p. 51 (Nook)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reading Reflection: The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)

The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1)
by Avery Williams
Published January 3rd 2012

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

Oh my... what a fantastic book!  The Alchemy of Forever is the debut novel of Avery Williams and it has left me speechless.  I have never read a story about reincarnation and never thought I would enjoy the concept, but I absolutely loved this story.

Seraphina, the heroine, is an amazing character.  She's soft and feminine, but strong, and I immediately fell in love with her personality.  Never once did I feel that she was murderous, even though she used the bodies of others to live her very long life.  I always empathized with her and hoped she found away from Cyrus.  I hated Cyrus, everything about him and I wondered how she endured so many years with him.  The author creates the perfect abusive, controlling, and manipulative relationship and the need for Sera to escape his hold.

The best thing about this book is how it is written.  It is one of the most eloquent books I have read in my life.  Every scene and word on every page is filled with purpose, and the entire work is masterfully crafted.  It moves through the story seamlessly and though their is minimal action taking place, the need to read forward is still prevalent.  The downfall of this book was the ending.  I only say that because I am partial to happy endings for the characters, without giving away spoilers, Sera did not receive the happy life I hoped she would.  Hopefully in the next book she does. 

Must Read Monday (#12)

The goal of the Must Read Monday is to find share your love of great books with others in the hopes that they'll add a new title to their To Be Read list.

Your job is to create intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?

On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing)
For specific ways to build your puzzle, click here, but pretty much any style of acrostic is welcome.

When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week's topic: Book with a wonderful ending

This week I chose The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I am not a fan of aliens, but this book is one of my favorites.  You sympathize with each character, which is the reason I love the ending.  I couldn't fathom a way for everyone to be happy, but Meyer's did.  That's why I think this book has a wonderful ending, everyone wins in the end. 

Terror seizes Melanie, she’s failed – they’ve caught her, she can’t protect the
   ones she loves.
Humans are now hosts to aliens called Souls, only empty vessels lost or trapped   
   within their own bodies.
Everyone has succumbed to the souls, losing themselves… but few are not taken   
   so easily.

However, Melanie’s voice cannot be quieted and her body heister – Wanderer –
   becomes her biggest ally
Out in the desert, together, they search for the people Melanie left behind,   
   Wanderer cannot deny she loves them too.
Secret caves house a group of rebels, not easily convinced Melanie’s soul is still   
Two souls, two different loves, one shared body, and one intricate bond between   
   captor and captive.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reading Reflection: Unbound

Unbound (The Guardian Legacies)

by Emily Goodwin
Published October 1st 2011

The world of ghosts and spirits is nothing new to eighteen year old Anora Benson; she’s spent her whole life trying to ignore them, trying to be normal. But when the Pricolici, a group of ancient bounty hunters, are sent after her, Anora realizes she is more than just a medium.
As a witch she has power, power she doesn’t know how to use, power that makes her vulnerable to the demons that desire her gifts. Anora is alone and scared, forced to face the darkness on her own. Then she meets Ethan, a mysterious boy who shows up in her life right along with the magic, and he seems to know quite a bit about her and her legacy Coven. Will she risk everything by trusting him or risk fighting alone?

Alright, I have very mixed feelings about, Unbound, the debut book by Emily Goodwin.  Let's start off with the negative so I can get it out of the way.  I didn't really like the way the book was written.  I don't know why, I found myself completely lost at some points because I had no idea there was a scene change.  I had to go back and reread the sections to figure out what happened.  Secondly, there were a lot of errors... to the point where I couldn't comprehend the story.  That added to my overall confusion.  I also found the heroine annoying, something about her had me rolling my eyes every three pages, she just irked me.  I got it, you're weird, move on or do something about it.

Okay, now that I feel horrible, let's move onto the positives.  I really liked the story line.  Even though I was confused at points and wasn't fond of the heroine, I wanted to know what happened.  I wanted to see Anora develop, that kept me reading and will keep me looking for the series.  I also liked that the heroine could share her life with her romantic interest, that they supported each other.  Instead of one being weak always taking care of the other, that was an enjoyable twist to the story.  I only feel that the story, and story writing, can be better from here and look forward to seeing the growth of The Guardian Legacies and Emily Goodwin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Reflection: Hollowmen (The Hollows #2)

Hollowmen (The Hollows #2)

by Amanda Hocking
Published November 10th 2011 

the sequel to Hollowland....
After six months in the quarantine, Remy finds out things are much worse than she feared. Her plans to escape come with a heavy cost, and she realizes that zombies aren't the worst of her problems.

Wait... it's over?  That was is it?  Did I miss a page?  Those were my thoughts as I finished this book and attempted to click the right and left navigation buttons on my Nook, trying to find what I'd missed.

Well, this book started right from the end of the previous, Hollowland, with Remy getting butchered for experimental purposes.  It was grotesque and I couldn't handle the descriptions, so I had to skip a few pages.  This wasn't a bad thing I just don't do horror, blood, and gore... can't handle it.  It's one thing when zombies are being dismembered and speared, another to read a description of a human being sliced open, gross.

Um.... well, no one but Remy is present in the sequel, which, I don't know if I like or not.  I didn't like her love interest in the previous book, so I wasn't overly upset, but I was still attached to her makeshift family.  It was a bit confusing, disheartening, and depressive... perfect when the world is being destroyed by zombies and everyone you love has fled or died.  I guess those would be your sentiments.

I could deal with everything else, but the story was boring.  They walked, zombies attacked, they fought, they walked.  Occasionally, horrible people would interfere, making it even more depressing.  Not even the human characters were decent during the apocalypse... everything was just downright sad.  There was a little hope for them in the end, but I didn't feel it offered a real conclusion.  I wasn't satisfied.  I think that was the point though.  The world has ended. everyone you loved is gone, you've had to kill repeatedly, you've faced death for months, and the only thing you can hope for are the little things in life: water, food, shelter, clothing, and a few good people for company.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reading Reflection: Hollowlands (The Hollows #1)

Hollowland (The Hollows #1)
by Amanda Hocking
Published October 6th 2010

"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."
Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.








Reading Reflection: The Host

The Host (The Host #1)

by Stephenie Meyer
Published May 6th 2008 

Ah, what can I say about The Host.  I love this book.  It is one of my "go to" books on a lazy day, when I have nothing else to read.  I read somewhere that this story is science fiction for those who don't think they like science fiction - and I couldn't agree more.

I am not a fan of aliens in the slightest, but this book isn't just about aliens.  It's about love, compassion, and strength of different kinds.  Its a very sweet book.  Wanderer is an alien, a soul, and Melanie is her host body who refuses to fade away.  They work beautifully together and you genuinely empathize with both of them throughout the novel, which is hard to believe.

The only negative about the book is that you have to stick with it, the beginning seems to drag endlessly without any real action taking place.  Stick with it!!!  The story gets better and it has a great ending that satisfies the wants and needs of both Wanderer and Melanie.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Must Read Monday (#11)

Fans of Fiction

This week's topic: Favorite book you were forced to read for school, classic or not!

Okay for this first week of my participation I chose Emma, by Jane Austin.  One, I really loved the book and reread it recently. Two, I'm baby-stepping into this acrostic thing as you'll notice by the itty bitty title.

Exceptionally beautiful and witty socialite, but spoiled to a fault. 

Match Maker extraordinaire... well, self proclaimed anyway.

Meddling in romantic affairs, misinterpreting connections in a precarious way.

Adoration disguised as a friend, a very sweet end to her match making days.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reading Reflection: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster


The book reminded me of this quote...
“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe

I absolutely loved this book.  For the past few years I submerged myself in these young adult/middle grade paranormal romances: vampires, werewolves, psychics, telepathics, angels, etc.  Though I like this genre, I needed a change and Beautiful Disaster satisfied that itch.

It seemed so much simpler, realistic.  Bad boy falls for good girl.  Good girl fights attraction for bad boy.  Good girl doesn't have such a good girl background.  The relationship between Abby and Travis was anything but normal.  They presented a clear case of codependency, playing games with each other at every turn.  But... you wanted them to work it out.  You fought against your logical sense that told them to run and seek counseling and rooted for them to find a way to be together.  I loved Abby's attitude toward Travis, she wasn't easily impressed with his charms like every other girl.  He had to win her over.  I liked Travis' vulnerability, he absotuley needed her to survive... well, to continue trying to be a better person.  She grounded him.

Their relationship turmoil seemed to drag on at certain points and I became bored occasionally, impatient for the next up or down in their relationship.  It was realistic to me, like a real dysfunctioal relationship and I wanted to know if they can over look each other's flaws.  I even liked the supporting characters, America might be one of my favorite of all times.  She wasn't overly annoying which is constantly found in other novels I read.  I loved their friendship and once you find out about Abby's past you appreciate the bond they have so much more.  It was a real group of friends and demostrates how their relationships affect one another.  Overall, it was a very good read and I recommend it to anyone.


Reading Reflection: I am Number Four

I am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

January Reading List

I think this challenge is going ot be the best thing for me.  It's forcing me to organize and take action against those piles of books accumulating dust in every corner of my house or using up memory space in my Nook.  I've taken a look around and found some candidates.

These our my choices for January

Title: Beautiful Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Pub Date: May 26th 2011

Title: Hollowand (The Hollows #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking
PubYear: October 6th 2010