5 Reasons I’m Excited for CRESS & the Lunar Insignia

20 10 2013

Hey all! So I know CRESS by Marissa Meyer is still a ways away (though I’ve seen ARCs floating around), but I thought I’d do a mini blog post on some of the things I’m looking forward to in the next book!

1. Cress: I read the first chapter when she had it available online and I absolutely LOVED it~! I mean, Cress is a genius trapped on a satellite orbiting Earth, forced to spy on everything that goes on in New Beijing and all of Earth! How cool is that? It is such an awesome twist on Rupunzel!

2. The return of Scarlet and Wolf: I really felt for these characters! I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes in the next book!

3. King Kai: Last time we saw Kai, he was in a bit of trouble with Levana and the Lunar Kingdom. I wonder what is going to happen to the devilishly handsome young King?

4. Cinder, Levana, and the whole Lunar invasion: If you’ve read SCARLET, you know of all the craziness that happened in Paris and New Beijing. For those of you who HAVE’NT read it, I won’t say anything to spoil it for you. Just that it is something I am looking forward to!

5. Captain Thorne: YES! I am a HUGE Captain Thorne fan. I loved EVERYTHING about him. He reminded me of Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and I simply adored him! He is the one character I want to see more than any other!

What about you guys? What are YOU looking forward to most from CRESS?

By the way, I’m also entering Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Insignia Contest. Below is my own creation of how I think the Royal Insignia of Luna looks.

lunar symbol

The symbol at the top of the insignia that looks like a weird ‘H’ is actually a rune that means ‘Hail’. I chose to add a rune because I remembered how the Lunar ships all have runes on them. I colored it and the crescent moon below it yellow as a symbol of the shining moon. They are supposed to go together to say ‘Hail Luna’. (I also put the crescent moon as a nod to Sailor Moon, Marissa’s favorite anime!)

The eye below the ‘Hail’ rune symbolizes Levana’s watchful eye and her control over others with her power as well as illusions. I colored it with a silver sharpie to give it the flashy and unearthly beauty that the Lunars have with them.

Below the eye is a colorful circle that is a mix of purples, blues, and greys to signify space and royalty. I’ve read that purples are the color of royalty too, so that’s another reason I chose it as a color.

The two words on either side of the crescent moon are ‘Forma’ (Beauty) and ‘Virtute’ (Power) and are latin words. I placed them at the base of the insignia because I feel that they are the structual base that Luna was created from and what keeps them so powerful.

So that is my Lunar Insignia!





Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

20 10 2013

As some of you know, I have been in love with the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast since I was a child. It has been a bit of an obsession of mine since I was young and I have read MANY remakes of the story. That being said, Of Beast and Beauty went beyond my expectations. It took a very unique spin on one of my favorite fairytales of all time!

spoilers warning

Of Beast and Beauty Finished: October 8th, 2013
Published: July 23rd, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
POV: Multiple First Person (Isra and Gem)
Number of Pages: 391

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.”

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Of Beast and Beauty took an even magical and darker twist on the original story of a Beast and his Beauty. It was like stepping out of a normal fantasy world and into a surreal world of blood, secrets, and a story unlike any I have read before.

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Isra: The only daughter of the Yuan king and a living sacrifice for her people. Isra was a very unique character for me. Not only was she blind but she was considered a ‘monster’ because she was taller than her people and had ‘scales’. The best thing about Isra is the fact that, as a blind person, she is an unreliable narrator. For the first half of the book she tries to spreads her wings and be free only to have her freedom taken away even more after her father is murdered and she is made Queen. She’s strong and tries to do well by her people and eventually, the Mosterous beyond her dome. She’s even willing to sacrifice her love for the sake of her people, much like Belle from the movie. What I liked most about her was how different she was compared to all the other girls her age. She loves running around barefoot and working in the garden and strolling around the gardens at night.

Gem: Our dear Beast. Gem’s design in the book (and in my head) was similar to the Silurians from Doctor Who. With scales and claws and the whole shebang. He was very fierce at the beginning filled with hate and loathing toward Isra. I found him and his people to be intersting. The way he spoke of his ways and the treatment of his people by the Smooth Skins really had me sympathizing with them. I found his hard avoidance of Isra somewhat of a relief. I’m glad that their relationship evolved from hate to love over time instead of right away. It seemed much more believeable.

If the Monstorous had these guns around, I'm sure they would have over thrown the smooth skins a long time ago.

If the Monstorous had these guns around, I’m sure they would have over thrown the smooth skins a long time ago.

Needle: Isra’s mute companion. She was loyal 100% to Isra and would do anything to take care of and protect her. I really enjoyed and admired her character. It was nice to see that isra had at least one person she could be close to and wasn’t alone. She was actually my favorite character and the fact that she could be that without talking 98% of the book really shows how powerful her character was.

Bo: Isra’s fiance (the Gaston of the book). I went back and forth from liking to hating Bo. He seemed really sweet and genuine at times and yet a total womanizer and jerk at other times. Honestly, he didn’t leave much of an impression on me so I don’t have a whole lot to say about him. Every time I heard how apparently attractive he was, all I could think about was his Disney counterpart doing this:

gaston hair gif

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So the story is a drastic change on the original tale (one I find is better). Isra was bred to be a sacrifice to the dark roses in her garden that keep the giant dome that protects their kingdom strong (as well as let the water flow and make the ground fertile, etc.). They need royal blood to sustain themselves. What I like about this plot is that the rose has been made a dark force and the sort of ‘evil spell’ while Gem’s people and their transformation was necessary to survive on the new planet humans landed on gifted to them by a good god. (I know it sound complex, but I promise it is not mixed up or difficult to understand in the book).

Like I said before, the love story wasn’t too rushed or overdone (minus the occasional pining) and the evolution was their relationship was great. Add in all the secrets and the political conspiracies in the story and you have a very magical, dark, twisted and suspenseful story!

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I can’t get over how great this story was! It had all the best twist and turns and love and mystery that I enjoy in a fantasy novel! For a spin-off on a book & movie that is very dear to my heart, I thought that Stacey jay did a marvelous job making the story uniquely her own and I recommend it to any fairytale lover! 5 out of 5 stars!

5star

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).





Radio Silence

7 10 2013

Hello my lovelies!

I know it has been some time since I last posted a review, but fear not! Now that I have gotten used to working two jobs, I have found time to read the back up of book in my To Read pile. I currently have 18 novels to read plus one eARC I need to get done ASAP. So expect a floodgate of reviews in the next few weeks.

What am I currently reading, you may ask? It is: OF BEAST AND BEAUTY by Stacey Jay. I loved her JULIET IMMORTAL book and have yet to read ROMEO REDEEMED, but I am really liking OBAB. It is no secret that I am a HUGE Beauty and the Beast fan (I’m even dressing up as Belle for Mickey’s Halloween Party on the 18th) so the second I saw this book I had to snatch it up!

I’m also working on a fun side project for NaNoWriMo next month and trying to figure out the plot and overall outline for the book. It should be fun!

Until then, I’ll see you all soon!





So long Sookie Stackhouse! Review of Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

12 09 2013

After 14 years of vampires, werewolves, faeries, and supes of all kinds, telepath sookie Stackhouse’s adventures has fnially come to an end. And I am sad to say that this ‘dead Ever After’ should have stayed dead.

dead ever after Finished: September 10th, 2013
Published: May 7th 2013 by Ace
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
POV: Mainly First Person with bits of Third Person
Number of Pages: 338

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…”

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I was really looking forward to this book. Sure, the last couple books have pissed me off, but I was SURE Sookie would get a good happily ever after filled with life and death battles, mystery, and a love that would conquer all. What I was expecting and what I actually got were two different things. Not only was this the same typical Sookie plotline (which I hoped would have changed in the last book), but the overall villains and love story were so typical and anti-climatic. I was really disappointed in this book.

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There are too many characters that make a half-assed appearance in this book as a kind of way to give them a ‘wrap-up’.

Sookie: I never thought she could piss me off more than she did in this book. Half the time she just kind of whined about Eric and Sam without really doing anything. The rest of the time she was clueless as to why someone was coming after her (I mean, come on! She had 13 books to make enemies, it should be obvious!) As if that wasn’t enough, she kept reminding the reader about her past relationships and complaining about her faerie enhanced garden. If I had my land blessed to be fertile, I would have been ecstatic! That’s less money I would have to pay for groceries! The bad ass Sookie I had grown to like seemed to completely disappear in this boo for a whinier, pining Sookie. If she would have just turned into a vampire, she would have been fine! Most of her loved ones are either dead or some type of part-supe themselves! Seriously, she was pretty bad.

Sam: I know he had just died and come back to life because of Sookie and her Cluviel Dor, but he was such a Debbie Dower. He made some really stupid choices in the book that forced him to alienate himself from Sookie. And on top of it all, he barely showed up when she was dealing with some difficult stuff (I know its because of a deal he made, but seriously! That shouldn‘t matter!). I’ve never been a real big Sam fan and he made that clear more than ever in this book.

Eric: I’ll be the first to admit that I am a die hard Eric fan, but I feel like he didn’t try hard enough in this book to keep Sookie. In fact, he was a total ass. I know he’s always been one, but he usually redeemed himself to Sookie one way or another. This time, however, he didn’t even try and that really irritated me.

All of Sookie’s Exs: Any normal woman knows that you want to get over your exs and never pine over them or want them to come knocking. But Sookie isn’t normal and neither or her exs. Not only did they all more or less come over whenever they felt like it (even though they were helping her) some made themselves at home at her place. I don’t know, but I fell like they all seemed too harmonious together. If I were in a room with my ex-boyfriend’s exs, I wouldn’t be so okay with it.

The so-called ‘villains’: The villains were pretty much people that Sookie had already defeated teaming together to try and get revenge on her. I won’t say who they are for all of you fortunate enough who have not read it yet. All I can say is that the hype was built up so much and then dropped to rock bottom in the most uninteresting action less conclusion ever.

Everyone else: We got a look at everyone else in Bon Temps who interacted with Sookie and got a bit of a wrap up for them all. It wasn’t great and all of it was not important at all. Just a bunch of uninteresting fluff to lengthen the book.

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I think I’ve said enough about how piss-poor the plot was, but I’ll expand a little more here.

It was your typical Sookie Stackhouse plotline. Mysterious enemy comes after Sookie. Sookie proceeds to try and figure it out for 95% of the book. Discovers the not so surprising villain that she should have figured out 200 pages prior. She gets kidnapped, tortured, or almost killed. Someone comes and saves her. End book.

Okay, there are the occasional steamy sex scenes here and there, but that is pretty much it. I’m sad to say that even those steamy sexes scenes barely made an appearance in this book. In fact, there was only one and it was hardly worth mentioning. In fact, there isn’t really much else worth mentioning. I didn’t like any of it, if I’m going to be completely honest.

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I was really disappointed by this book. I was expecting some epic final conclusion to the magical life of Sookie Stackhouse, but what I received was anything but that. I give it 3 out of 5 Stars.
3 stars

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).





And the Winner is…

7 09 2013

Hey all!

So for the past week I’ve been participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz and had a giveaway of my own. In case you missed it, here is that post.

I have selected a winner for my giveaway. And the winner is…*drumroll* Danielle Shipley! You have been favored by the giveaway gods and will receive a Voodoo Doll keychain named Bookworm and a bunch of signed book swag! Congrats! Please email me with your address so I can send your prize post haste!

Bookworm-500x500

I plan to have some more giveaways soon, so be on the look out for that in the upcoming weeks. Halloween is right around the corner and I happen to be a huge Halloween nut. I may come up with some FABULOUSLY Frightening Treats!





Sweet Legacy Blog Blitz!

2 09 2013

Hello all! Today is September 3rd and the official realease date for the final book in the Sweet Venom series, Sweet Legacy!

Sweet Legacy “Greer has always known she was privileged, though she had no idea how special her second sight made her, even among her triplet monster-fighting sisters. But when a god starts playing with her mind, can Greer step up in her pretty high heels to prevent anything from stopping her sisters’ mission?

Grace loves her adopted brother, Thane, but now that he’s back and has joined her sisters’ team, it’s clear his past is full of dark mysteries. She wants to trust him, but will Thane’s secret put the girls in even more danger?

Gretchen knows she can rely on her sisters to help her stop the monsters. But after getting to know some of the beasties in the abyss, she finds her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined. How can she know what her birthright demands of her now?

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and gods descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves. In this exciting conclusion to the Sweet Venom trilogy, these teenage heirs of Medusa must seek the truth, answer the ancient riddles, and claim their immortal legacy.”

Here are some of the many places you can purchase your very own copy of Sweet Legacy:
Indiebound (hardcover) | Amazon (hardcover) (kindle) | Apple (ibookstore) | Barnes and Noble (hardcover) (nook) | Books-a-Million (hardcover) | Book Depository (hardcover)

5 FFATLC.

1. She went to the same high school as Brad Pitt

2. Her first memory is the smell of picking sugar snap peas with her dad when she was two

3. She almost became an architect

4. She once designed a multi-story house for rabbits

5. She once slept through an earthquake in a waterbed

Now here are 4 ways to contact Tera Lynn Childs!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Sweet Legacy

giveaway

Tera has a special giveaway for all her lovely fans celebrating the release of Sweet Legacy. Click the link below and thanks for helping to make the release day special!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Review of The Stone Kingdom by Danielle Shipley

2 09 2013

I was lucky enough to get an eARC of Danielle Shipley’s second novella in the Wilderhark Tales, and I simply ADORED it! Fantasy buffs will go nuts for The Stone Kingdom!

Stone Kingdom Cover, front Finished: August 31st, 2013
Published: September 20th 2013 by Ever On Word
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
POV: Third Person
Number of Pages: 179

““Love and prince,
Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;
For blood begins,
But naught can be put right by blood alone.”

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom
Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

~ ~

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes,and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.”

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THE STONE KINGDOM was a whimsical tale filled with romance, adventure, and a twist on many well known fairytales. As I read, I kept silently pointing out all the different fairytale references. From Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty with hints of Cinderella, this book was full of them! I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy the ending as much as the first one, but the story itself was a fun read! And the fact that it was a fairytale book had me hooked!

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THere were only two amin characters throughtout the book with a few minor princes, so I’ll focus on the two MCs.

Rosalba: She’s a princess who was unlucky enough to be cursed by the witch who cursed her mother. Much like the SLeeping Beauty story, she was cursed on her christening to have somethnig terrible happen on her 15th birthday. Poor Rosalba takes her curse in stride and is determined to break it and save her family and kingdom from their stoney prisons. She takes her duty her kingdom very seriously and puts her own feelings aside in order to save them.

Edgwyn: He’s a lawyer turned tailor/dress maker and is the one who befell the stone kingdom and found Rosalba trapped in a tower. He helped her down and promised to help her find a prince to break the spell on her kingdom. He’s kind and a bit flirtatious but knows his place with her. He puts aside his own feelings in order to help her, even if it means watching his lovem arry another man. He’s very noble and charming. 😉

The Princes: The two princes that Rosalba comes across are both very different. One of them has a crazy mother who tries to use the Princess and the Pea trick on Rosalba *(spoiler: she didn’t feel the pea) and because the mother said no, he didn’t fight back. He was a real Mama’s boy who didn’t have his own balls. THe other prince was pretty much a playboy. He fell for Rosalba when she entered his ball (much like Cinderella) but he refused to marry her right away at her own kingdom, caring more abouth is pride than helping the distressed princess.

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Rosalba is cursed at her christening, where it is said that on her 15th birthday a that something terrible would happen. As it turns out, that curse was to have the entire kingdom trapped in stone for 100 years. I loved the whole idea of the curse. The witch didn’t just put the curse on her because she was evil, but because she was angry that Queen Ursula didn’t so much as invite her to the princess’s christening after she used magic to help the Queen conceive the child. I can understand her anger and she did make teh curse somewhat painless. Instead of being trapped for 100 years and feeling it, the curse made it seem like only a few minutes had passed instead of 100 years. That’s what I call nice.

So anyways, the adventure and story kept me reading as Rosalba tried to find a prince ton help her break the curse while ignoring her feelings for Edgwyn. It was refreshign to see the characters interacting with different courts and people (which did not happen much in the first book).

The only thing I have mixed feelings about is the ending. I mean, I liked the ending but it didn’t have the OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED type of ending that the first book had. The ending seemed a little fast for me (then again it was a novella), but I think the rest of the book made up for it.

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THE STONE KINGDOM was a fast, wonderful read that fantasy lovers and fairytale lovers will simply enjoy! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

4 stars

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).