Monday, November 30, 2015

Air Awakens by Elise Kova ~A beautiful new fantasy!

                Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend!  Back to the daily grind.  I am sad to say I got almost zero reading done during my weekend.  I was dead tired from shopping (nothing like the crazy people you see fighting) and doing some needed real life stuff.  I'm happy with my weekend either way.  Anywho after some time off I am ready to dive back in with another book review.  This one I read as part of the Facebook read-along party in anticipation for the release of book two in the series.  I was kind of bad at keeping up with the reading but did finish with the group and it was amazing so I'm counting it a win.  That book would be Air Awakens by Elise Kova and the sequel that is out and I am currently reading is Fire Falling.

Rating:  5 Stars

                AirAwakens is a high fantasy with all the best elements that pull the reading in instantly.  We follow Vhalla, a library apprentice, who finds out despite being brought up to fear the Tower of Sorcerers that she has magic in her when she saves the life of the sorcerer Crown Prince Aldrik.  She not just any power but the first of her kind in a very long time.  Now she is pulled into this world of magic and has to make a decision to embrace her power and give away the only life she's known or eradicate her magic and remain her normal plain self.  Taking time to make a decision sounds wise but indecision could cost a great price. 

                I went into this story not knowing much about it other than seeing it mentioned on other blogs in the past and thinking then it sounded good, good enough to make a note to check out later.  And that the cover looked pretty awesome.  So when I was invited to join the read along I was down for it.  Wanted to read it, check.  Chatting with other readers while reading, check.  Knocking out another book towards my goal in a structured time line to keep me on track, check.  I was so in.  I started strong but then got a bit behind but finished strong and having the ability to comment my thoughts as I went so amazing.  Also having the author there as well commenting and sharing her thoughts about scenes that really stuck with you was great fun.  One in particular I stopped reading to comment about because it just made me so happy.  I have one particular pet peeve that can make or break a book for me and this one totally made my day.  I won’t go into much detail but let’s just say that when someone does something horrible they aren’t just let off the hook without an explanation and apology.

                I was drawn in instantly to Vhalla’s life.  She is low on the totem poll but she is an apprentice which sounds like one of the better jobs if I’m honest.  She gets to spend her time hiding away ‘working’ and read.  How does that not appear to the book loved in all of us?  Her thirst for knowledge and stories made me relate to her and then when things went crazy from the start I was still there just as attached.   I like the idea that magic is sort of taboo.  Even the crown prince has it but those who don’t have it know little of it and like anything unknown it scares people.  To find out something you feared is now inside of you, it rocks your world and coming to terms with it is hard.  Vhalla really did go through so much but she still held her stubborn and strong willed self.  Prince Aldrik was another one whom caught my attention.  He is confusing to me.  He has so many conflicting things going on and I’m skeptical so I was constantly on guard as to if I trusted him or not but that was half the fun that he was written in such a way.  He’s not some perfect handsome prince who you instantly swoon over, he has darkness in him but at the same time there is something in him that still makes you want to swoon even if it might not be a good idea!  So many other side characters that played a significant part in the story and each had their own personalities, and impossible to pronounce names *cough*, the story flew by. 

                There is a lot happening in the story.  Introducing many characters, building up the world we are in, understanding of magic, but you also have more going on in the background.  Lots of little wheels turning and things happening.  There are a few things I wish I had learned more about but even with questions I can see how they may have been left blank to be filled in later when they better fit the story and where it is going.  With politics and royalty there is always the draw of intrigue and treachery.  The writing was beautiful and compelling and made it
                I could talk about this book on and on but without ruining some of the best parts I’m finding it rather difficult.  So I will leave you with it was amazing.  I’m currently reading Fire Falling but I had to force myself to stop until I did this review so I wouldn’t lose myself and talk ahead!  I highly recommend this book to everyone because it has something for everyone!  I’d love to hear your thoughts as well down below. 

                Until next time…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

                So a brief note before the usual Wednesday post.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so I will not be posting but working then shopping (AKA people watching because wow it's fun to watch crazy people).  Still while I won't be posting anything I would like to wish all of my wonderful readers a happy and safe holiday.  May you spend it with those who make you happiest and a good book when they start to drive you mad ;)

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Out:  1/5

From Goodreads:
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie.  It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born.  So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires

Iseult, a Treadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart.  Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands.  With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Why I’m Waiting:

               So I had the chance to meet Susan when she surprised her friend Sarah J. Maas at her signing and together they were just hilarious.  I was reminded of my friends and I just wanted to go get some coffee or drinks with them and just jabber on about anything and everything because they seemed that awesome.  Now I already loved Sarah J. Maas but had only seen the covers of Susan’s books before didn’t know about them but I left wanting to read them.  The most prominent in my mind was Truthwitch because she was talking about it, and Sarah was raving about it as well, apparently being best friends with the authors means you get the book way before there is an ARC.  So that was enough for me right there plus it sounds pretty amazing with lots of fantasy elements and magic and even better girl power!  Gal pal friendships are the best and I realize there are not a ton that focus on that as a main element.   

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I'm Thankful For

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top today is:  Authors I'm Thankful For
Stephenie Meyer- Twilight got be back into reading so for that I will always be thankful.

J.K. Rowling I then soon quickly fell in love with Harry Potter and realized what I had been missing

Maggie Stiefvater with Shiver first catching my eye with a different take on werewolves and the climate

Richelle Mead made me fall in love with Rose and Lissa's friendship and the sexy Russian cowboy Dimitri to start

Sarah J. Maas writes such and immersive fantasy world full of names you can't hope to pronounce without help but that doesn't matter because you love them all the same and the men....damn

Cassandra Clare threw me into the world of Shadowhunters and all the things that go bump in the night

Jennifer L. Armentrout So many books in all different styles I feel I may never catch up but I look forward to trying

P.C. Cast Soon after finishing Twilight and Harry Potter I found this series as it was still in the first half and devoured them then looked for more work by her as I waited patiently every year for one of the House of Night books.

I also started requesting books for review and found some lesser mainstream/indie authors who not only were their books captivating but the authors themselves really down to earth and started a conversation with me about their work!  I still fangirl thinking about it.  Two of these wonderful ladies are:

Krystal Wade and Wilde's Fire just drew me in and I needed more and didn't have to wait a full year for it either 

J.C. Andrijeski I found the Allies War series and spent some serious reading time catching up because reading the first one was addicting and then to find I had several more books already out and waiting for me I was in heaven

               Those are some of the authors I am most thankful for.  Please share your Thanksgiving themed lists with me below in the comments.  Are you thankful for any of my authors?  I have a feeling a couple will be huge hits ;)

               Until next time...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cress: The Lunar Chronicles Book 3

                Happy Monday!  I hope this is a short week for many of you and you have great plans for the holidays!  I so hope many of you have now seen Mockingjay Part 2 as well, I did a full review here.  I am thinking of seeing it again later today because I loved it so much!  But in the mean time I wanted to continue on with my review of The Lunar Chronicles and move onto book three, Cress. If you missed it I reviewed Cinder and Scarlet previously.  As usual there will be spoilers for the first two books in the series so be warned, go catch up and come back.

Rating: 5 Stars

                In Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, we continue on with our previous characters Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Captain Throne, Prince Kai and so on but we get introduced to a new lead as well.  Cress of course!  Cress is based around Rapunzel, though instead of being stuck in a tower she’s been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens to keep her company.  This has made her an excellent hacker and the groups best hope of staying ahead, though she just received orders from Queen Levana to hunt them down.  When her daring rescue goes badly the group is separated.  Cress is finally free of the satellite but it’s not without cost.  The group, split, but keep moving forward and though they didn’t volunteer keep trying to save the world while Queen Levana is bound and determined nothing will prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai and of course ruling over the world. 

                I just loved it.  We got more Captain Thorne, who if you didn’t read my review of Scarlet to know, whom I just adore.  Cress has a major crush on this handsome rogue as well which is written so beautifully, all sweet, cute, and innocent but still with something more as they get to know one another all the while Cress is learning how the world works in real life not just on the screens.  Cress has been through a lot but she is ready to help and dive right in I liked her from the start.  But even though we have them we also have plenty of the other gang is well with everyone working to their own ends as they are all fugitives.  Each character is going through some serious emotional and physical trials which add depth to everyone and the story at large. 
                 I really enjoyed watching the plot unfold and how things twined together.  There was lots of action happening, mystery, political power plays and spy like moves to keep you glued to the page.  Oh and some romance happening….when you’re heart isn’t breaking that is.  There is also plenty of comic relief throughout in the moments when you need it and my favorite ones are still from Thorne and Iko!  If I didn’t already love Throne (sorry Cress I might have to fight you for him) then a gift he gives would have totally won me over, even if he went about getting it a bit badly.  I do think one of my favorite parts of the series is how everyone is involved and no one is just stuck sitting on the side lines as the story moves along, everyone has a story and a purpose.  Which as you gain more characters of different temperaments and personalities it’s just bound to be interesting. 

                We also get a deeper look into Luna as a whole.  Not just as moon people who can use glamour but inside the castle.  We also get an introduction to Winter, the title character from the final book.  Things are getting serious and I have so many theories and sub plot lines running through my head trying to figure out how it will all play out and if I can prepare myself for any surprises.  I highly recommend this series to everyone it just gets better with each book. 

                That’s all I have to share with you as of now.  I look forward to getting into Winter and getting my full thoughts of it and the series as a complete whole soon.  I also wanted to take a moment and give a small update.  With this week being a holiday I hope you are all safe and happy.  I will be posting my usual Tuesday and Wednesday posts but I will not be posting anything on Thanksgiving Thursday as a heads up.  Still I wish you all the best and safest of holidays.

                Until next time…

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mockingjay Part 2: The Conclusion of the series

                So today is the day The Hunger Games movies come to an end; Mockingjay Pt. 2 is officially out.  I went with a group of friends to go see the ‘advanced’ showing AKA what used to be known as midnight showings before they decided to put them at 7 or 8pm instead.  I have some thoughts on that change but that’s for another time, today I want to share my thoughts and feels of the concluding movie.  My review for Mockingjay Pt. 1 can be found here.

Rating:  5 Explosive Arrows!!!

                I am just in love with this conclusion.  Mockingjay was my least favorite of the books, and not just because of some deaths, but because it felt disjointed and rushed.  Some aspects were rushed wham bam next, and other aspects seemed to take forever considering the pacing of the other parts.  The movie did a great job in splitting into two movies and giving us more time to delve into some aspects.  I also give huge props for finishing up the movie without Philip Seymour Hoffman, I was unable to tell/notice while watching any scenes where he was digitally altered/added if it happened it was seamless and changing how some lines were delivered was just perfect. 

                Part 2 picks up just where we left off, Peeta and the others were rescued but upon seeing Katniss he goes into a blind rage and attacks her.  He does serious damage chocking her.  We find out he’s been hi-jacked, programed with tracker-jacker venom inducing fear and made to associate Katniss with fear and pain.  Horrible right.  Anywho we pick up with her throat still bruised but the brace coming off and her voice being rough from damage.  Still at war and trying to not lose momentum in the rebellion is key.  They need to move on the capitol but they still have other things to accomplish first.  And Snow isn’t going to make it easy for them.  Though when you’re not sure you completely trust Coin either it’s a hard place to be. 
                 I loved the visuals of the movie.  From the warn town areas to the capitols outlandish attire and fashion ideals and everything in between.  Peeta looks wrecked.  He looked like hell and given what he had been through it makes sense and looked real.  Then let us talk about the ‘games’ AKA traps.  They are insane.  That tar flood and the mutts!  Great stuff.  Really the mutts were beyond disgusting and creepy looking and sure to give small children nightmares and that tar, yikes not just water but tar.  The journey through it all was spectacular and the contrast from dark to light was on point back and forth seeing things from both sides, which again is something the movies were able to excel at and we didn’t get in the books. 

                Seeing how things went down from Snows POV was perfect.  It shows more depth to the character who wasn’t just evil for the purpose of being evil, he did have some qualities about him that make him seem human.  Do you like him?  NO!  But having him seem human was great.  Another aspect I enjoyed better for the movie was that they really worked on playing up some of the political/power play aspects and more of Coin and the not trusting her part.  The depth was nice and it made the ending resonate that much more.  We also got to see more of the ones we already love and learn a bit more about them like the propo-team, Cressida, Pollux, and Castor.  Favorites like Johanna and her spastic behavior and random outbursts add to the comic relief we find normally in Effie and Haymitch.  We also got to see more of Finnick and Annie!  Oh the wedding was just so sweet, made even more powerful given what you know he was put through not just in the games but as a victor sold out for the night.  I could name all the characters I really could because they did a great job and it was good to see familiar faces, like Commander Paylor, Boggs, Beetee, Plutarch L and new ones like Tigress.  All stunning performances. 
                 The cast did a stellar job and the story moved along and blended well, so well that even as I expected (and dreaded most) all the known deaths I still found myself shocked when they happened.  No amount of planning could prepare me for seeing it on the screen.  One particular death in the book I thought was moved through too quickly just there, bye, moved on; was given more depth and feeling which I loved.  Counter to that though I did find another death that was I believe several chapters and mental anguished for long gaps was over in an instant.  I am glad the long drawn out breakdown was played out differently but I wish they could have extended the emotion just a bit given how pivotal it was.  That was my only real complaint of the movie. 

                That’s all I really have to say.  It was amazing at keeping you on your toes.  Though I will say at certain parts I was the only one in my group who didn’t jump, just saying!  Though I did hold back tears better than I thought I would I still got teary at some parts I’ll tell you which in the comments if you ask.  I think this was a perfect wrap up to the series that is solid and true to the books.  I can’t wait to see it again and own it so I can watch it whenever I want and marathon the whole collection, because you know that needs to happen when it’s out!
                 Until next time…May the odds be ever in your favor.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Lunar Chronicles Book 2 Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

                Hello everyone!  I am super excited today because Mockingjay Pt. 2 comes out tonight, technically tomorrow is the release but almost every theatre is showing 'advanced night showings' for which I am thankful since I work tomorrow.  Yep a group of friends and myself will be going to see the movie and wrap up the series of book to movies.  I am beyond stoked, all the trailers and prep, I re-watched Pt. 1 last night (review here), and I am ready to go.  While I wait for the day to pass I wanted to focus on something else I love and that is The Lunar Chronicles.  I reviewed Cinder last week, here, and today I'd like to continue with book two Scarlet.  Spoilers ahead for those who haven't read Cinder yet get on it and come back.

Rating: 5 Stars

                In Scarlet we still have all the characters we loved from the first book but we get more characters that pull the story into another retelling of sorts all wrapped in the original.  I probably just sucked at explaining that but trust me it works.  Scarlet, if you haven't guessed, is Red Ridding Hood.  Cinder is still here of course, she's trying to break out of prison and make herself the most wanted fugitive in the world.  Still while Cinder works her magic and meets one of my favorite characters ever, Captain Thorne, halfway across the world Scarlet is trying to find her missing grandmother.  Turns out grandma had secrets.  In her search she meets a street fighter, Wolf, who may have the answers she needs but she doesn't trust the beast even if she is drawn to him as he seems to be to her.  Still as they work to recover her grandmother and unravel the secrets of the past they encounter more and more and meet Cinder.  Now all of them have to keep on their toes to stay ahead of Lunar Queen Levana and every guard in the Commonwealth while trying to stop Levana from forcing Prince Kai to become her husband and enslaving the world to Levana.

                There is a lot happening.  Seriously prison breaks, street fights, chases, mysteries, romance, and so much more.  I liked the way the new story with Scarlet was blended into Cinders story.  I liked the addition and he is pretty bad ass.  I like her.  I also really liked Wolf.  He was so awkward and cute at times it was just adorkable.  Plus he kept me on my toes with his…lets say complex nature.  But yes Scarlet keeps her head pretty much as she is suddenly faced with her whole life being changed and turned on end and that is always a sign of a badass heroine.  Cinder is her normal cyborg mechanic self we love from book one, if anything about her life is normal.  Really you just grow to love her more.  Oh and I still just adore Iko!  But yes back to another new character, Captain Thorne, oh I love that man.  To be he is a cross between Hook from Once Upon a Time and Captain Jack Sparrow!  The best of both and just sigh…his one liners and comments had me snorting with laughter as I read.

                There is constantly something happening, a new discovery and mystery to be revealed so there is not much down time.  I liked the continuation and learning more of what Lunar wanted and how both sides were working to achieve their own goals. I also enjoyed the emotional elements throughout the book as well and oh Prince Kai having a chance to see him dealing with Levana and see how torn he is between desire and duty to his people is on point.  Oh and Scarlet and her grandmother, made me tear up.

                I don't really have much else to say because I'm worried I'd ruin it.  Just know I LOVED this book and highly recommend it to everyone!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the series through the first two books so leave them in the comments.  Did you see some things coming?  Who was your favorite character? I'd love to know.  

                Until next time…

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Passenger by Alexander Bracken

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Out:  1/5

From Goodreads: 
passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spence loses everything she knows and loves.  Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home.  And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of.  Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands.  But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily.  Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find.  In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not. 

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp.  But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home…forever.

Why I’m Waiting:

Do we need to re-read the description?  Seriously time travel and a mystery/scavenger hunt through time and space.  Plus it involves a ship, so many yummy Captains come to mind, and hints at romance.  I’m interested.  Plus while I have not yet finished The Darkest Minds series (I know I’m so behind) it is in no way because I don’t enjoy them, just life and constant interruptions.  Also technically I’m not waiting on it as I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this which I plan to start soon but still I’ll need the beautiful hardcover edition to go on my shelf with the other books since that is my favorite format!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

~Top Ten Tuesday~Top Ten Quotes I Love (from this year)

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top today is:  Top Ten Quotes I Loved (from books read this year)

Okay so I love books and words and so many amazing quotes but I've never really taken the time to really write them down or note them just normally smirk at them and maybe comment to a friend about it.  I have recently started taking some random quotes down but this is only a few books back so this is why my list is lacking and have multiple from the same books.  

Oh, how cute.  He thinks he can out-stubborn me. First & Then

If I had to be with these kids for two semesters, I wanted to surround myself with the quieter ones, the ones who looked and acted their age.  The regular ones.  but there were so few of them that I think the prostitots and freshboys were what was considered normal. First & Then

I wanted to make sure you were fine…and that he was oaky, too.  You didn't, like, stab the boy, did you?  I mean, I totally disapprove of murdering hotties, but if you need help burying the body, you know I'll bring the shovel. The DUFF

This is what love does:  It makes you want to rewrite the world.  It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot.  The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible.  And when it's just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.  Everyday

It's not natural for someone to be as stupid as they are tall, and yet there you stand. Six of Crows

Hell, I'd keep her in Bubble Wrap if it weren't so damn creepy and also inconvenient, considering I had a terrible habit of obsessively popping the damn things until not a single bubble was left. Opposition

What is bad for the heart is good for the art.  The terrible irony of our lives as artists.  I’ll Give You the Sun

There's only one of him, she thought, and he's right here.  He knows I'll like a song before I've heard it.  He laughs before I even get to the punch line.  There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes me want to let him open doors for me.  There's only one of him.  Eleanor & Park

She never looked nice.  She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something. Eleanor & Park

Monday, November 16, 2015

~Asleep by Krystal Wade Cover Reveal~

               Today is the cover reveal for Asleep by Krystal Wade, a YA horror that will have you on the edge of your seat with every page turn. This is the debut novel from Blaze Publishing, set to be released February 16, 2016. Pre-orders are available now from Amazon. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list! Share the cover on social media using our Rafflecopter entry below for a chance to win the awesome prizes listed, or come join us at the Cover Reveal Party on Facebook. Or do it all!

"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He's understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they'll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.



I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

<3 Krystal


Books with Heart for Teen and Young Adults

At Blaze, we're committed to bringing you high-quality, hard-hitting books full of heart. Whether the story is a mystery, a thriller, horror, steampunk, or some goofy comedy, there will be a message woven into the pages for readers to find and fall in love with. We want you to walk away inspired, in awe, or just happy to be alive. Or maybe you'll look at other people differently, in a less negative light. Whatever the case, you will find heart in our stories.

Our goal is to bring you four or five amazing works of fiction in 2016, and six in 2017 and each year after. We've already lined up a few and can't wait to see what comes across our desks next!

Do you have a submission you'd like to send us? We'd love to see it! You can find our submissions guidelines on our website.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Lunar Chronicles Book 1 Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

                So I'm sure you all are well aware what came out Tuesday…well a few things came out but one of those beautiful books was Winter by Marissa Meyer.  The 823 page fourth and final book in TheLunar Chronicles.  I am caught up with the series and cannot wait to dive into the book.  I even read the novella featuring Queen Levana's story, Fairest, the other weekend.  So I am beyond ready to start this massive book.  I hope should all things in life work out to read this book rather quickly but I realized that I have yet to post reviews on the previous books and while that isn't necessary by any means I wanted to do them.  Plus writing them up from notes I made while reading will help further help get me in the groove for Winter!   So today I'll talk about book one in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder.

Rating: 5 Stars
                First let us just appreciate the beautiful covers!  Plus they all match!  Technically Fairest is a bit off but spines all match!

                So in case you've lived under a rock and are unfamiliar Cinder is a sci-fi, fantasy, fairytale retelling.  Each book has a new main female character added but they all play into the main character of the series (that's what I'm going with) Cinder.  Oh and there are people, ruthless really, who live on the moon that have these creepy 'gifts' aka powers to glamour themselves and also some have the power of mind control, which is freaky!  Well with Queen Levana it is anyways!  Cinder is a gifted mechanic  and also a cyborg, that's part human and part machine.  Making her a second-class citizen in the plagued world living in New Beijing.  Her mother hates her and when one of her step sisters becomes ill with the plague she is blamed.  Throw in her run-ins with the handsome Prince Kai and Cinder is in the middle of a huge mess.  She is stuck trying to figure out her heart, her past and what it all means and choose between duty, freedom, and loyalty.  Somehow the fate of the world rests on her shoulders. 
                 Sounds awesome right?  It is.  I loved this book.  I was drawn in from the start and I couldn't believe it took me so long to start the series.  Grant it I was happy to have three books ready for me without waiting but WOW waiting for Winter has been killer.  Bright side if you haven't started the series yet…you can read all the way through now! 

                Seriously though I loved this series.  Cinder was so much fun to read about.  It was very familiar in the Cinderella aspect but at the same time so much is different, like she's a cyborg.  Yeah that is totally a thing.  Oh and the plague killing tons of people.  The Lunars, the ruthless moon people I mentioned above, are lead by Queen Levana who is a total piece of work.  She is vindictive and power drunk.  She plays sweet and innocent but it's clear by her actions she is nothing of the sort.  Back to Cinder, she is a mechanic and a damn good one at that.  Her life has never been easy but she has one step-sister who doesn't hate her and Iko!  Iko might be one of my favorite characters ever, oh and she is an android.  She is hilarious!  I love her!  She is Cinder's only real friend and when she meets Prince Kai and feels an instant attraction she knows it could never be more because not only is she a poor mechanic but she is also a cyborg.  You relate to her and the struggles she is put through. 

                There is constantly something happening from the intrigue around the Earth and Lunar treaty, the interactions of Cinder and Kai or further on as Cinder starts to discover who she really is and more about her past, pre-cyborg days, than she ever expected.  Then as things pick up she must decide on the best course of action and what is best for herself as well as the world she knows. 

                Lots happening.  I don't want to go through too much but we get some amazing characters and so many more turn out in the series.  Lots to do and uncover and just keeps you wanting more.  That's all for now.  I'm working on the reviews for the others and plan to post through the next couple weeks.  Tell me your thoughts below and feed my inner book lion.  What do you think of The Lunar ChroniclesCinder?  Have you already read Winter (no spoilers if you did please)?  What did you think of this type of fairytale retelling?

                Until next time…

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

                “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.  Basically books that are not yet out that we are dying to get our hands on.  This week’s pick is:

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Out:  12/1

From Goodreads:
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction.  Some say Flynn's a madman, others whisper about conspiracies.  Nobody knows the truth.  A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world's gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head.  Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—whiz kid and an urban warrior.  He'll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don't dare touch.

Sofia quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you're done noticing it, she's got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires.  She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia's separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they're forced to work together to escape.  Each of them has their own reasons for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other.  But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRIis so desperate to hide.

Why I'm Waiting:

It's the final book in the series.  I started earlier this year and enjoyed the first two (These Broken Stars and This Shattered World) and am ready to see where the stories wind and end up.  Also can we point out the beautiful covers!  OMG cover love.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

~Top Ten Tuesday~ Book to Movie Adaptations I'm Waiting On

                Hello everyone!  Top Ten Tuesday is just how it sounds, a topic is picked and we put our Top Ten for that in a post and share and check out everyone’s answers.  Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The top today is: Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I’m Waiting On (or ones I still need to watch)

Mockingjay Part 2- duh it's almost here!  Next week!

The 5th Wave- I need to read this book!!! But the trailer looks great and I've heard nothing but love so I'm there.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them- More Harry Potter world SOLD!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children- I am working on finishing this trilogy but I liked the first two and am curious how they work it into the film.

Allegiant- I have to continue on...we all do.  Have to know how they end things since so much has already changed.

Fifty Shades Darker- I liked the books and the first movie I'm excited for the next one I just wish it was coming out sooner.

The next ones are just some I've heard are coming/sold/production but not a ton of data on...yet

All of the Maggie Stiefvater books! I just adore her books.  Shiver, The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys all optioned so I have three to wait on.

Legend- I think seeing Day and June brought to life would be interesting with the dystopian aspect and revolution

Shadow & Bone- All the different Grisha powers played out and the Darkling.

An Ember in the Ashes- Loved it and I think it would be visually stunning though the masks might creep me out

Monday, November 9, 2015

Nirvana by J.R. Stewart A debut novel about virtual reality and what it's capable of

                Another start to another week.  And with it more book reviews because I am pleased with myself for finishing three books this weekend and putting a good dent in another.  One of those books I was pleased to read was an ARC I received from NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishers which I had featured in my Waiting on Wednesday post a couple weeks ago, Nirvana by J.R. Stewart.  Well the wait is over for me, for you to tomorrow when it comes out.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

                Punk rocker, animal activist, and Nirvana operator Kenders is our main character in the dystopian world where the world has pretty much died and the virtual reality is how you deal cope.  Her fiancĂ©, Andrew, head designer and programmer at Hexagon is the world to her, her soulmate, her everything.  One day after a discovery at work that has him on edge Kenders is told he was killed in an accident but given no details on his work.  Heartbroken and confused she is prescribed time in Nirvana as time to heal.  Anything is possible in Nirvana, even visits from Andrew.  She knows it’s fake, virtual reality, still there is something about it that seems real.  Andrew even asks for her help, all cloak and dagger like.  She already didn’t trust Hexagon but now with Andrew asking for her help in Nirvana to find his files she starts to believe he might still be alive.    Working to stay safe and uncover the files while your every move is monitored and hard enough figuring out who is friend and foe. Factor in that you’re not 100% sure if any of this is real or your virtual self, trying to process the grief of losing the one you love. 

                I enjoyed the story and the concept.  I liked Kenders and what she stood for fighting for the right reasons.  I also enjoyed the struggle in her.  She can see the truth in the virtual reality but as much as she wants it to be real she knows she could be losing her mind and self to virtual reality.  Watching that struggle and how it mingled with her actions was interesting.  I read this pretty quickly, just wanting to know what's going to happen next.  I liked the different characters and how you are never sure if they are friend or foe no matter how they act and also how everyone has a double way of talking, saying and doing one thing for the constant surveillance but having a double meaning to them.  I would be in trouble in this world I would have forgotten everything!

                The love Kenders and Andrew shared is sweet.  At first in the present we don't see much and he's withdrawn due to work but reliving some of their greatest hits in Nirvana and seeing how they came to be who they are just made my heart ache for her.  Andrew is seriously one who understands beautiful moments and gestures!  Also as someone who is simply happy if my family and friends remember my birthday at all, Andrew is the Birthday Wizard! 

                 I did have a couple problems of things I wished were explained more but overall while they left me with questions I still enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one.  The first is that they mention the red door in the prologue and again throughout the story as something bad, something that Andrew fights against but exactly what it is we don't find out.  Which makes the prologue seem a bit weird for me and had me thinking something else through the whole book but I was way off.  The other is just the ages, as Paloma is old enough to be Kenders mom but she dated Andrew for five years before Kenders that ended five years ago from the present and I just assumed Andrew and Kenders were close to the same age even though she got into University before him but factoring all that together I wasn't sure if Andrew was older than I imagined or if he just dated a older woman?  Again didn't detract from the characteristics of the story for me, just things that lingered and I wish I had more explanation on. 

                Overall I think some things could be improved on but as a debut novel I am pleased and I look forward to finding out more.  There has to be more with that ending right!  I look forward to the next installment.  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.  What do you think of virtual reality?  Would you spend your time in it? Would it make it easier to move on or make it more difficult?  I've gone back and forth while reading the book myself.  Let's discuss.

                Until next time…

Sunday, November 8, 2015

~Stacking the Shelves: November~

                Welcome to a special Saturday *cough* Sunday *cough* posting!  The week has been crazy and I forgot what day t was so I'm a day behind.  Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page here.  Basically you showcase the books you bought, they post weekly, but I decided to take part once a month for simplicity.  Basically a book haul!  These are the books I got for myself in October and start of November.

Physical Books

   New Releases:
Twilight 10th Annaversary w/ Life and Death (Twilight reimagined) by Stephenie Meyers 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated edition by J. K. Rowling – Duh! 
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 
First and Then by Emma Mills 
The Rose Society by Marie Lu

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa 
Talon by Julie Kagawa 
Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan 
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

 The rest are from Bookoutlet and ones I'd had on my Amazon wish list for a while looking for a sale (or to win the lottery) and/or have the other books in the series and need to round out my collection so I can marathon!

Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock
Rebel by Amy Tintera
Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little
A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
Twist by Karen Akins
Fire with Fire and Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Signed copies of The Lunar Chronicles (paperback) and novella Fairest (hardcover)!  Thank you!!!


New Releases:
Black as Night by JC Andrijeski
Disavow (Rivulet #2) by Jamie Magee

 For Review:
Portia by Christina Bauer
Outspoken by Lora Richardson
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry 
Divide by Jessa Russo  
 Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Insight, Embody, Image, and See by Jamie Magee