Friday, March 31, 2017

ApollyCon 2017

                Hello happy readers!  Okay so I’ve been mentioning ApollyCon since I got my Titan Pass last year.  Well it happened.  Last weekend I went down to Orlando Florida and took part in the amazing event.  I had tons of fun meeting authors I already adore and finding new to me authors as well to check out.  Not only were the authors amazing but the event also had several cover models attending, mostly for Jennifer L. Armentrouts books as she was the one hosting the event with help from Steph and Hannah over at No BS Book Reviews.  And of course all the readers and fangirls like myself. 

                Basically lots of fun and tons of fun, new friends, and pictures!  Now as I’m not the best at selfies like most we just handed the phone to someone else to take photos so some of them are better than others but let’s be honest excitement can make anyone a bit shaky ;)  Thursday I got to the hotel and got checked in and got my pass and wristbands and such and meet my roomie.  That’s pretty much it for Thursday as I was near crashing I had been up transitioning from night shift and I was passed out by 8:30pm. 
                Friday though was the Titan signing and I got almost all of my books signed which is impressive given my suitcase full of goodies.  I made lots of new friends in lines outside and in the different author lines.  I jabbered and discussed books and stories and it was beautiful!  As the Titan signing Friday was winding down I ended up chatting with the talented and awesome Nicole Castroman, Kasie West, and Kimberly Derting as I hijacked one of the extra chairs to rest my knee for the last 15 minutes or so and just talked.  Then as I was trying to figure out my plans for food, real food given I hadn’t had anything real since Wednesday night, these lovelies asked me to join them and some others for dinner.  I was thrilled and we walked (well I more limped) over to a Japanese Steakhouse Kobe which was delicious and had a great evening.  Not many pictures from that given the lighting and it was more all about the company, conversation, and food.  So many amazing ladies and I think them again for inviting me to join.  Then back to the room to crash way early for me but my body was sore but totally in a wonderful way that happens after a great day.
                Saturday as I had all but a couple books signed and those two authors were ticketed and by number group (and I had first call numbers having been there Thursday to get my numbers) I wasn’t concerned with standing in line waiting to go in.  I took my time getting ready and just enjoying the need not to rush.  I only had a stack of books for Jennifer L. Armentrout (5 books limit and having so many books out takes more than one trip I had 9) and given I’d have to see her Saturday to get my copy of The Dead List signed from the Q&A panel the night before.  I also had one last trip to see the lovely Sarah J. Maas as she had an injured hand and was only personalizing/signing one item per trip in line and I needed 3 things overall signed I had one last item on Saturday (Empire of Storms).  Random story while she was signing I told her I was listening to it as an audiobook currently and on the way down I hit one part and ended up honking the horn when I hit the wheel in an “OMG OMG” moment and had been thankful I was on cruise control.  She asked if it was an action scene or a sexy scene, I advised action and she knew instantly which scene.  How awesome as an author when someone says they got super excited about a scene and to know just that scene.  I loved it!  Side note having finished the book now that is an even more impressive feat since there are a lot of scenes that had that reaction for me.  Anywho the line outside to get into the signing was HUGE!  I was so glad to have my tickets and got them signed and finished up first thing.  Then as it was crazy inside I decided to step out for a bit and had a drink at the bar with some new friends (also drinks at the hotel bar are hella expensive fyi) then went back into wander.  I had a T-shirt in my bag and had been working on getting everyone to sign it.  It was a great way to get to meet everyone and say hi and get to know some of the authors works as there were several I had never heard of.  So I got my shirt signed and pictures and just took random breaks when my knee was starting to hurt (I pulled it when I moved back in November and it acts up when on it excessively, I need a brace but didn’t think to get one before the event) then go back at it again.
                When the event died down I made my way up to the room to freshen up and figure out my dinner plans.  Again having spent the day on snacks I brought like crackers and pretzels and such.  There was a TGI Fridays across the street so I walked over and since I was alone I sat at the bar and made more friends.  Ended up next to a new to me author (I’m horrible and forgot so many names during this) and we discussed some items while getting food and drinks (much more budget friendly) and then some other guests of the hotel (for a business conference) joined and were asking about what had been happening in the courtyard.  Apparently the cover models were making an impact and making lots of girls squeal.  They were friendly and had lots of questions and it was a nice dinner.  Then back to the room to change for the after party.  The party was simple and fun lots of good music, some awesome costumes, and surprises…like the proposal.  YES someone proposed in the center of it and it was so so adorable!  So many were all teary after!  Then dancing while the models and Jen took pictures in the corner as they couldn’t at the table Saturday due to the sheer volume of people.  Giveaways and more dancing.  We eventually closed the room down and not everyone wanted to go to bed so we moved the after party to the hotel lobby.  Someone even brought down some wireless speakers and gave us some tunes.  More talking and fun, including some extra photo time with the models who hung out to chat.  I honestly wasn’t as excited about cover models and authors to begin with but they were so fun and easy to chat with (and smelt amazing just saying) that as everyone squealed and such you get caught up in it for sure.  Plus some of the accents….just listening to them talk was amazing. 
And this happens when you as a photographer to take the simple photo and he starts directing the shot :)
                I stayed in the lobby/bar area for a while until my feet and knees were killing me beyond belief and the random wet spots on the tile floor (dripped drinks and people walking through from the pool) that almost had me on my behind a couple times it was time for bed.  Also it had been a long day and as much as I didn’t want it to end I was drained.  So I said my goodbyes and exchanged some information and went up to my room.  That was it, next morning I just got the rest of my stuff packed up and headed out for my drive home.  It was so much fun and I hope to get to go next year as well but as it will be further from me I’ll have to keep my budget in mind but it was so worth it!  I had a blast meeting each and every person!  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Shattered Pack (Alpha Girl #6)

                Hello happy readers!  So this post is a day late but I was out of town yesterday and it wouldn't let me post via phone so….an extra post today.  Yesterday was the release for Shattered Pack (Alpha  Girl #6) by Aileen Erin and as you may know I LOVE this series!  Seriously I read each book in one sitting and then as soon as it's over wish I had more.  This was no exception.  I have previously reviewed the other titles: Becoming Alpha, Avoiding Alpha, AlphaDivided, Bruja, and Alpha Unleashed.  There are spoilers for the previous books, duh.

Rating:  5 Stars

                In Shattered Pack we follow Meredith this time around instead of Tessa.  I loved Meredith from the first book on and when she found her mate Donovan, Alpha of the Celtic Pack….I was so in love with him.  So a book with them at the center was totally something I needed.  So when we let off our gang had faced down Luciana and her hoard of demons and come out on top but they also exposed themselves to the public.  This makes things a bit uneasy as the world comes to terms with it and the different communities are rattled with the exposure.  Donovan is stretched thin between his job as an Alpha and as one of the Seven already but add in this mess and it's hit a breaking point.  His pack isn't in the best shape but when he gets the call that his second has been murdered they head for Ireland.  Not an ideal time given the tensions but even with some exes and not so friendly welcome Meredith is there for her mate never one to let a few angry wolves stop her. 

                Again I love that we get a book focused on Meredith and Donovan.  I loved them in the previous books, I mean I imagine him with the accent and….well yeah.  But Meredith is such an amazing character.  She is so strong and sweet.  She loves her friends fiercely and believes friendship outranks everything else.  I love that about her.  Donovan is so powerful but he doesn't flaunt it and is really just a softie.  They really balance one another out. 

                We get to see more about the world at first, how the normal world is dealing with the whole news of supernatural.  Things have been flipped and the school they call home isn't safe so we go home with Meredith.  Getting to meet her family and know the pack she has been a part of outside of her satellite pack was great.  Her family is serious business.  It makes sense why Meredith is the way that she is, strong, fierce, and loving.  Then we shift to Donovan's pack and it is a completely different story.  They have been largely without an Alpha for so long as he had been stretched thin with his work for the Seven and things have fallen into disrepair.  To see the contrasts was great.  I also loved how Meredith went in knowing it would be dangerous but also knowing this was an important part of the man she loves so she wants to make it work and improve things. 

                There was lots of everything we love in these stories from romance (Can I say enough how cute Meredith and Donovan are together) to pack politics, mystery, suspense and tons of action.  There is so much happening you can't put the book down for a second.  From getting to know some new players to seeing our old favorites it flew by and as always I need more.  I can't wait for book seven in the series and I'd be happy to follow any of our couples around but I can't wait to see what happens with the Celtic Pack.  

                Until next time…

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Fireblood (Frostblood #2)

                “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:

Fireblood (Frostblood #2) by Elly Blake
Out:  9/12

From Goodreads:
                In this action-packed sequel to Frostblood, the future of Ruby’s world and a court ruled by the love of her life depends on the uncovered secrets of her past.

                Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice.  But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves.  The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

                Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen.  Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment.  But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust?  The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.  

Why I’m Waiting:
                 I really enjoyed the Frostblood!  It was awesome and amazing and I wanted to know more.  I’m not loving the idea of what feels like a love-triangle type thing in this summary, more because I don’t know this Kai cat and I adore Ruby and Arcus but I’m still excited for this book.  I want to see the other side, see more of what Ruby is, more Fireblood.  Plus it comes out on my birthday!

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Reading Challenge Wrap-Up: March

                Hello happy readers!  So today is the 25th which means it is time for my monthly challenge update and wrap-up.  I am posting this from ApollyCon so I had to prep this a couple days early I may have even finished another book in since then but this is where I am as of 3/22!  Don't forget to share your progress as well!

Goodreads Challenge:
Goal: 125
At: 23

2017 Debut Authors (#2017DebAuthC):
Goal: 12
At: 2
What I've Read:
Nothing new this month…

2017 Rock My TBR (#RockMyTBR):
Goal: As many as possible!
At: 13
What I've Read:
Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
 Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

2017 Series Ender Challenge:
Goal: 15+
At: 2
Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

2017 New Releases Challenge:
Goal: 31-60
At: 6
What I've Read:
The BoneWitch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco (review)
TheseRuthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2) by Tarun Shanker (review)
Beauty ofthe Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel Demeter (review)

2017 Audiobook Challenge:
Goal: 5-10
At: 7
What I've Listened:
Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare- So I’ve reached the lower end of my goal but I am loving this one so I’ll probably surpass it by far!
Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Sentinel (Covenant #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

                 All in all I'd say it was a pretty successful month.  I didn't get to finish or review my debuts but that just means next month will be even better!  I'd love to hear how you're doing so link back to your wrap up!

~Stacking the Shelves~

                Welcome to Stacking the Shelves was created by Tynga and the full details can be found on her page.  Basically you showcase the books you bought or received each week.  Little, or not so little, weekly book hauls. Some of these were supposed to arrive last week but they were delayed so I had nothing to share.  Now I have more so I guess win/win.

Physical Books:
Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes
Long WayHome (Thunder Road #3) by Katie McGarry
TheseRuthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas (review
Reign ofShadows & Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows 1 & 2) by Sophie Jordan

                That's if for this week.  Share a link below with what goodies you got this week.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beauty of the Beast

                Hello happy readers!  So I am posting this from ApollyCon!  With it happening during several posts I had to get them ready in advance and be ahead of the game for once so score me!  I will share thoughts and feels about the event as I return and can type them up!  But for today I wanted to extend the Beauty and the Beast theme of things and share my thoughts about a retelling of sorts with you, Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter.  I reviewed her other title A Kindled Winter (review) so when she told me about her Beauty and the Beast retelling type book I was excited to receive a copy for my honest review.

Rating:  4.5 Stars

                So I should start out advising this isn't a Disney version of the story and it has some serious adult items in it of a mature nature.  So be warned.  This is a story of Adam a Prince, hidden from the world in seclusion after his families massacre and his disfigurement.  No real contact with the world and having given up on hope.  Isabella is a beauty trying to find a way out of a very bad situation, an engagement to a monster she doesn't want but agreed to trying to save her ailing father.  Seeking shelter from the storm Isabella and her father end up at Adam's door and things don't go smoothly by any means.  Still through pain and mutual haunting dark thoughts they find kindred sprits in one another.  Can they both find happiness despite the past or will the past come back to rip it away?

                Normally I'm not one for historical stories.  I just never seem to connect fully with them but the whole Beauty and the Beast retelling had me overlooking that.  I'm so glad I did too because the story was so good.  As a retelling the majority of the major points were known, but some things just caught you off guard.  I hadn't expected so many things.  It was also much darker in times that I had been expecting which fit perfectly to the story itself but it was enough to make me give a warning to those sensitive to things like animal cruelty and sexual assault. 

                The POVs swap between Adam and Isabella and really let us see how things are developing.  We get to see how the other feels about one another from the ill fated meeting through getting to know one another and developing feelings.  Adam was harsh and bitter about the world but given his life and what he has been through it's understandable and we love him anyways hoping he will work to be better and repent for his past actions.  Isabella is strong and loyal.  She loves her father and is willing to sacrifice herself to save him, that much love and devotion is inspiring.  She acted before she thought from time to time which I can see everyone does it especially when excited about something.  Isabella was also a nice balance of optimistic willing to see the good in everyone but also not a total push over.  Her step-sisters were wretched to her but she still wanted them taken care of. 

                After they meet, at first I didn’t know how they could ever get close.  But then as the story continued and things progressed it just seemed so natural.  Again the dual perspective really helped.  I liked the story and how it played out, it all seemed to happen at a natural pace and didn't rush into things.  I think there is something for everyone to enjoy.  I loved it as a story on its own but also as a retelling of my favorite Disney movie growing up.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

~Waiting on Wednesday~ Obsidian and Stars (Ivory & Bone #2)

                “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:

Obsidian and Stars (Ivory & Bone #2) by Julie Eshbaugh
Out:  6/13

From Goodreads:
                In the sequel to Ivory and Bone—the prehistoric fantasy novel that New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman described as a “richly crafted world of life-and-death stakes”—the story shifts to Mya’s viewpoint as vengeful adversaries force her to flee the life she once knew.

                After surviving the chaotic battle that erupted after Lo and the Bosha clan attacked, now Mya is looking ahead to her future with Kol.  All the things that once felt so uncertain are finally falling into place.  But the same night as Kol and Mya’s betrothal announcement, Mya’s brother Chev reveals his plan to marry his youngest sisters Lees to his friend Morsk.  The only way to avoid this terrible turn of events, Morsk informs Mya when he corners her later, is for Mya to take Lee’s place and marry him herself.

                Refusing to marry anyone other than he beloved, and in an effort to protect her sister, Mya runs away to a secret island with Lees.  And though it seems like the safest place to hide until things back home blow over, Mya soon realizes she’s been followed.  Lurking deep in the recesses of this dangerous place are rivals from Mya’s past whose thirst for revenge exceeds all reason.

                With the lives of her loved ones on the line, Mya must make a move before the enemies of her past become the undoing of her future.

Why I’m Waiting:
                 I enjoyed the first book Ivory & Bone (review) and I am looking forward to see what happens next.  Plus another beautiful cover! 

                What are you waiting on?  Tell me below what you think of this title and leave a link to your WoW as well so I can check it out.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: One Sitting Reads

                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 ten today is:  Read in on sitting

Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1) by Sophie Jordan (I just realized I never reviewed this...)
The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson (review)
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno
Just a Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre (review)
A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
Quanta Reset (The Shadow Ravens #3) by Lola Dodge- all books in this series (review)
Acca (Angelbound #3) by Christina Bauer- All books in both her series (review)
Alpha Unleashed (Alpha Girl #5) by Aileen Erin- again all of her books (review)

                 What books have I been missing out on?  Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below.  Also please link back to your Top Ten as well so I can check out your list and see what I missed!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty & the Beast Live-Action Movie

                Hello again happy readers!  So as I mentioned earlier today I went and saw the live action Beauty & the Beast in theaters this weekend with a large group of my friends.  We were all huge fans of the original movie and most had just re-watched the cartoon the week of (or me the day of) to make sure we were in the spirit.  So now I’d like to share my thoughts about the movie.

Rating:  5 Enchanted Roses

                I LOVED IT!  It was so close to the original it that it was impossible not to love it and think of my childhood.  It gave me all the feels and warm moments even making me tear up in parts.  So much was similar and I loved this movie on its own but also for breathing new life into my beloved childhood movie I still regularly watch as an adult for a new generation.  The visuals were stunning, the detail in all of the animated characters was impeccable, and seriously Lumiere and Cogsworth were so grand and regal while Mrs. Potts and Chip were so artfully delicate.  The movie was a feast for the eyes for sure.  It was one of the best live action movies I've seen in a while with the blend of animation/CGI that is so well done it look real.  I could almost imagine seeing the cast as a clock and tea pot moving around and looking like they were really doing so right in front of me.    
                While it was close it also added more items in, answered some questions we had from the original that as children we didn’t really think to ask but as adults we did wonder about.   It also added more depth to the story in making the Beast more articulate and able to really converse with Belle and really challenge her intelligence in a way that made them fit even more.  She didn’t teach him to read but instead they discussed books.  None of the changes they made were so large or invasive that it changed the story but they seem so natural it’s like they were always supposed to be that way.  It also gave it such depth.  The only thing I wished they had added was that they never once mention the Beasts real name, which is Adam by the way.  I didn’t learn that was his name until a couple years ago when I took some quiz and he was my Disney prince.  My friends found it humorous that my favorite prince had been the Beast and as my name is Eve made them all cackle. 

                 My friends and I were some of the many who sang along to most of the movie with only slight hiccups where the trimming from what I was used to was off just a bit but we adjusted and kept on going.  It was so much fun I’m surprised I don’t have a bruise on my arm from my friend constantly hitting my arm with excitement as something happened or was about to happen.  There were also jokes in there that fit the story and ironically some hit close to home with the radical and odd weather.  It was a great time for all of us and everyone I saw coming out was in love.  Yes there were a couple of fun animated moments I would have liked to see that didn’t make it were very few to be sure.  As for the "gay scene" that people are friends and I couldn't even figure out where it was.  It was so faint and let's be honest seeing the original again even as a teenager I knew LeFou was gay so nothing seemed different to me.  
                I can’t wait to see the movie again and I will be right in line to get it on DVD/Blu-Ray for sure so I can put it on all the time.  I can’t say again how much I adored this movie both as remaking one of my beloved movies but also as a movie that can stand on its own.  I highly recommend everyone to see this movie both adult and child it is truly something everyone can enjoy! 

                Until next time…

Apollyon (Covenant #4)

                Hello happy readers!  So I had a bit of a crazy weekend happening here getting things finalized for my trip this week.  I leave in a few days and there is still so much that needs to be done.  I should also note I'm a monstrous over-packer.  Seriously I feel like I have to be prepared for everything.  I just hate needing to buy something when I know I already have it at home.  I also had a girls night and went o see the new Beauty and the Beast which was my all time favorite movie growing up.  I am working on my full review for that well so stay tuned.  Hoping for later today if not tomorrow for that.  In the mean time I finished the fourth audiobook in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Apollyon.  I have a couple days for finish the last book in the series to have it at least caught up before the event!  I reviewed the previous stories here (Half-Blood, Pure, & Deity) and as this book takes place after the short novella Elixir I will share my thoughts on it as well. 

Rating:  5 Stars

                So at the end of Deity we left off in a seriously bad place.  Things had been going to crud for a while but there was some good moments as well as some hope and sweet moments….then it hit fan as Alex came into her power and her connection to Seth took over.  Elixir is the short novella that happens between Deity and Apollyon and while I normally don't think novellas are necessary to the story I feel that this one might be.  Everything that happens is kind of touched on briefly in the story so if you miss it you won't be lost but having read it first, I felt I had a better understanding of where our characters are.  Alex has always feared two things above all else losing herself first to the Elixir and then to the Awakening process.  But through it all there is something stronger, love.  Aiden is willing to do anything, take on any God, to save his Alex.  He is determined to break the connection between Alex and Seth.  Aside from the connection making her all murdery there is still the whole problem of how to keep either of them from becoming the God Killer.  With both Gods and other half's and pure's fighting against you it is not an easy task.

                So first I have to say again how anti-Seth I am.  I mean I didn't like him from the start but yeah he just keeps getting deeper and deeper down this road I don't know how he can ever pull himself back up.  Still even with how much hate he brings up in the story the love between Alex and Aiden outshines it.  I love them!  I love how they are with one another and the understanding of each other.  I also adore that they see something is up with the other and instead of letting it fester up or cause a rift they talk it out.  That and they live in the moment because lets face it when most of the world is out to get you there is no guarantee on tomorrow.  Them together just steams up the pages be it making out or kicking butt.  Seeing the connection grow and even more seeing it out and not hidden because well with everything happening the breed order rule isn't really a huge concern at the present.  Still the scenes when Alex isn't herself, the strong and wild girl we've grown to love over the series but this shell of who she was while on the Elixir or all violent and all "my Seth" it was surreal.  Still even knowing what must happen and what he has done to her, made her into the fact that she still feels for him and the guy he used to be really speaks for her character. 
               There is so many things happening in this story and it is all leading up to a head.  The Gods are coming into play more and more and we see just how the Gods react to the threat.  There is a lot that needs fixing in this series and only one book left I have so many expectations.  One thing I can say is it's never a dull moment.  The action is constantly there but there are also quite moments taken when they can to calm us down and despite the life or death nature of it all find some levity.  So many of the characters in our little trusted group are important, some continue to be so even from the Underworld.  It's always hard to know who to trust in this world but watching everyone fight together really gives you a sense of hope. 
                I'm ready to move onto the last book and see how it ends.  I'm anxious and nervous about this ending.  There is so much ridding on it.  I have some theories and on how things can play out but who knows at this point I may be way off base.  I am hoping things work out but as she has continued to kill off characters it's never a safe bet anyone is safe. 

                Until next time…