Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.





"Then he's kissing me.

What the--I misread where that was going. I wanted to irritate him. To get under his skin. To mess with him because he's working for the enemy. I hadn't exactly expected him to get all mushy as a result." p 156


















TITLE: Daughter of the Pirate King
AUTHOR: Tricia Levenseller
PUBLISHER: Feiwel Friends
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2017




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


This week's topic is: Frequently Used Words In Paranormal Titles 


*my word choice is DARK
**in no particular order

Shockingly, this was harder than I thought! I didn't want to stick with the same series for more than one pick, and thus the challenge grew!










Let's Discuss: Favorite Weather

Ironically, on the handy dandy list of topic ideas, this topic came up and I had me a chuckle! It seems weather all the over the US has been out of whack lately and it's the neverending winter! Speaking as someone who generally likes the colder temperatures, I can even say I want it to be spring...which is really really weird! I don't want summer, god no, but just slightly warmer than what it's been!



Favorite Weather


I guess I would say my favorite season is fall! I love the cooler weather, mostly because in St. Louis our summers are hot, humid, and looooooooong! They are like neverending! It's hot and sticky and just gross! And people here, like it! I don't get it! I've never lived anywhere else my entire life and I have always hated the gross humid heat and just heat in general! It's miserable. Why people here like it is beyond me! They drive with their windows down in the summer! Granted, I could say that a small percent likely has AC issues, but not everyone! I see way too many people with windows down for it all to be AC issues.

So that was a sidetrack of my I-hate-summer-weather rant, but back to favorite weather. Fall. Yes, fall! I love cooler temps without it being super cold, all above freezing temperatures. Just the perfect kind of coldness where you can comfortably wear jeans and a sweatshirt. I like my sweatshirts! They're so cozy and comfy. Fall is just a great season!

What is your favorite kind of weather?






ARC Review--Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.







I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Brightly Burning is Alexa Donne’s debut novel set in space when Earth became inhabitable. It’s said to be a sort of update on Jane Eyre, set in space, but since I’ve never read that classic, I can’t say how much of that is true for the storyline. Even without knowing about Jane Eyre, I found that I was easily able to enjoy this story! There’s a quite a bit of mystery and intrigue going on within the space ships that have created their own little community up in the stars, and soon our heroine, Stella, will find out just what that mystery is.

Stella is an orphan and has lived on the ship the Stalwart until she applied for a position with the Rochester and got it. Not only is Stella a teacher for the children on board the Stalwart, but she’s also a part time engineer. When she arrives on the Rochester she’s to play a bit of both roles. The Rochester though is rumored to be haunted, there’s a good deal of mystery surrounding this and Stella soon starts to wonder at it as it’s when she’s up at night reading, she swears she hears laughter outside her door.

One of the other many mysteries onboard though, is the elusive captain. Though Stella soon meets him herself without realizing it. Hugo is young for a captain but inherited the title after his father was killed. He and Stella eventually form a friendship of sorts and naturally, where do all friendships lead? Though I will say, I liked the gradual procession the romance took. It wasn’t instant and there were plenty of challenges thrown their way that prevented the couple from being together.

Soon the intrigue of the story comes to light as there was a nefarious plot afoot that would eventually lead to the deaths of many people aboard her old home, the Stalwart. And when Stella learns the truth, she will do anything to save the friends she left behind, as well as the many other innocent people aboard.

I think my first issue with this book was the timing in when I read it…namely right after another book set in space with more conspiracy theories and corrupt government scandals! Not always a good thing to read books with similar trends yet executed completely different. That being said, I won’t say I didn’t like this one, because I did! My next issue that was to come was the mystery of the Rochester. I was led to believe there were spooky things going on, which naturally leads me on my paranormal kick. There were few and far instances where Stella believes she is hearing a ghost and then after one such occasion, it would take ages to get back to another and longer still before the answer was to come. I guess those pages that were in between the ghostly encounters should’ve been my first hint that all was not what I expected it to be. So I guess I feel a little slighted that my expectations were taken off course.

Again, I’ve never read Jane Eyre, I couldn’t even tell you what it was about in the tiniest of details. I don’t know if this book will appeal to those fans of the classic or not. It’s still an engaging read even with some of my expectations being tossed aside. I never once got to the point where I felt like quitting the story because I was eager to see how the characters got themselves out of the dire predicaments!

The pacing to this one was a little more sedate. I don’t want to say slow really, as there was always something going on, it just wasn’t the actiony kind of action. I also really enjoyed the characters. Stella was quite the heroine going from someone used to being cast aside to growing herself a backbone and a voice. I loved that about her. For who doesn’t have moments where you find yourself doubting something or other? Hugo was another interesting character. I had moments where I thought he was being duplicitous. Something would feel off, but then my mind would change with his next set of actions.

As you can see this book left me with a lot of mixed feelings. I didn’t love it entirely, but I didn’t hate it either. It definitely falls somewhere in the middle for me. I think there are a good deal of readers who would thoroughly enjoy this one! It’s a love story, it’s a story of hope, it’s a story of survival; it really has a lot going for it. By its end I could see that this was a standalone and I think that’s the best fit for it as everything gets resolved, if somewhat quickly in some areas, and there’s a feeling for hope for the future for the characters we will leave behind. Brightly Burning was a different kind of read for me, but I found myself enjoying it just the same.


Overall Rating 3.75/5 stars—not quite four stars, but exceedingly close to it. I just had a few hang-ups on some matters that doesn’t give me the vibes that this one was a four star rating for me. But I hope you will give it a chance if anything about it sparks an interest for you!



Brightly Burning releases May 1, 2018 






It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter (5 stars)
Titans by Victoria Scott (3 stars)


Currently Reading:

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller


Other Posts of Interest:








Review--Titans by Victoria Scott

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.


After a long, long, long wait, I finally managed to read Victoria Scott's Titans! It was definitely an exciting and interesting read, but it wasn't all that I expected and hoped for, but still good. Really good. In fact, the more I think about it, my expectations were just little things that I wanted to see happen that I have come use to seeing happen in YA books these days, that it didn't happen was almost a breath of fresh air.

The setting is a somewhat futuristic one in which creatures called Titans, that are basically robot horses race in complex tracks that are incredibly dangerous. When young Astrid's family is on the brink of losing their house, she is determined to do whatever she can to help save it and her family. Even if it means she must work with a grouchy, old neighbor known as Rags. He just happens to have an available Titan, one of the very first ones and it's just what Astrid needs to compete in the upcoming race. If she places well enough in this one she can hopefully find a sponsor for the future races and keep moving up until she can hopefully win the final race and the nice payout that will save her family's home, her best friend's home and help the new friends she's acquired along the way.

This book was definitely exciting in a sense as Astrid is the underdog in the race since her Titan isn't the newest or preferred model, but since it is one of the first ones, she has an edge to her and hopefully it's just what she needs to pull through and win this thing.

At its heart, I definitely say this book is about family. As Astrid is doing all this for her family, to save their home and prevent them from having to move again and this time things are even dicier and money even more tight since her father is without a job. In the in-between moments, Astrid spends moments with her family and we see how they struggle and not everyone is agreeable to her racing due to the dangers of the track.

What surprised me about this one was the lack of romance! I mean, I guess these days I just expect there to be some sort of romance going on for the main character. While we get teases of one possibly happen, it was simply just that, teases. The end result was something even more interesting but I won't go further on that part.

Astrid's friendship with her best friend, Magnolia was also endearing. Here are two best friends who have no animosity between them. Magnolia is totally game in helping Astrid with whatever she can to win the race. They are close to one another and I like that they never let anything petty get between them and cause strife, not money, boys, fame, or just anything!

I also really enjoyed Astrid's Titan, Padlock! Though he was a mechanical horse it was easy to forget. He had such a personality and a life of his own. It's weird to say that, but it's kind of true. He was easy going in some sense, but still a fierce horse in the heart of the race. While I never had the fascination with horses like most little girls, I still liked them well enough, even I was rendered an emotional heap with the the bond Astrid formed with Padlock. I kept reminding myself that he was still just a machine, but who I am kidding...he was a real horse too! 

While it wasn't the read I was anticipating it to be, Titans was still an interesting one! It was different in that it didn't meet what expectations I had or theories I devised in how things would turn out! Just another reason why Victoria Scott is one of my favorite authors, she defies all the odds and rules of typical expectations for YA books and I cannot wait to read more form her in the future!




Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars





 

Let's Discuss: Dream Holidays!

So yeah, my brain has been mush this past week since I was sick and I saw my challenges suffered greatly, heck everything suffered last week! And I'm only slightly better today! Whelp! So I'm using my handy dandy list of ideas once again to discuss! Today's topic is: 


What's Your Dream Holiday?


I'm going to interpret this a holiday that doesn't exist, but should! And we all know where this going...reading day! Yes, a day where you are allowed to stay home and just read all day long! Granted, I do this on most holidays when I am off anyway, but this will be a special day dedicated to reading and the love of reading and all that. I think the holiday pretty much speaks for itself.

And I'd say that we would have to have this holiday at least once a month! If not quarterly, and that's me being nice! Lol!!





Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


This was a very ugh kind of week. I was sick pretty much all week. It started out as a sore throat--which I mentioned on twitter that it came about because at my sister's wedding I was talking with people at the reception and had to shout over the music playing--and it basically led to a cold from hell. The moral of the story is...stay at home! Lol! It wouldn't have been so bad but the freaking daytime cold medicine about knocked me out! I was sneaking cat naps at my desk, dozing in and out. It wasn't pretty! I think I'm finally on the mend though. Not 100% but definitely over 50%!

This week my Book Outlet order came in! I haven't order from them in ages, mostly because I end up ordering books as they release or preordering them. Then I decided I wanted to read one of a new author's old books and BO had them soo cheap! I started looking around for other books I needed. So this is the "I want to read Mary Lindsey's Backlist titles plus the final book to several trilogies & one (assuming) duology I need to start!" haul! I got 6 hardcovers and 1 paperback for under $43! A pretty darn good sale in my opinion--nope not even gritting my teeth at the sale that literally started the day before my books arrived. Not. At. All. ;)


Just Dreaming by Kerstin Gier
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
Fragile Spirits by Mary Lindsey
Sorceress by Claudia Gray
One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr
Dream Forever by Kit Alloway



Then for review from the publisher I received:

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong (ARC)


THANK YOU Crown Books for Young Readers!!






Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is: How do you organize your books for review? Does it work for you or have you had to change it? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)
 
 
MY ANSWER: Generally I read them in the order I receive them in since they tend to be few and far between. Though in the rare moments where that's not the case, I'll read them based on release date. Whatever releases first gets read first...which works well for me.
 
 
 
 

Random Thursday

Time for another round of random and obscure facts that I bet you never really knew from That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"The sudden, violent windstorms that rush up and down Mount Fuji contributed greatly to Japan's mythology, which includes many flying spirits."


That's interesting! And something I can totally believe! Now I want to know about these myths!


(image borrowed from Friendly's)
"Sumo wrestlers skip breakfast, then nap after lunch to gain and sustain their weight."


Note to self...never skip breakfast and nap right after lunch.


(image borrowed from Disney Wiki)
"'Honcho' comes from the Japanese word meaning 'squad leader.'"


John's the honcho!! 


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Francis Ford Coppola made a Suntory whiskey commercial with legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa--an event depicted in Sofia Coppola's film, Lost in Translation."


Never heard of any of this! Lol! But cool! I guess?



 

Review--The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.

The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

Monalisa Devlin is a Will O’ The Wisp, a rare and potentially dangerous creature. Unfortunately, her greedy father makes sure she lives up to that potential. Monalisa is magically compelled to obey her father's evil commands--until he finally agrees to free her in exchange for one, last mission: Travel to Nocturne Falls and use her powers to force Ivan Tsvetkov back into the ring.

Once a champion on the supernatural MMA circuit, Ivan 'The Hammer' Tsvetkov retired after a devastating injury that left him unable to shift into his dragon form. Wounded and embittered, Ivan wants nothing more than to be left alone. Until an infuriating, stubborn, delicately beautiful stranger shows up on his doorstep and demands that he rebuild his life.

Posing as a rehab therapist seemed like the easiest way to get close to the smoldering recluse, but Monalisa quickly realizes that nothing about this mission is going to be easy. To gain his trust, she shares more of herself than she ever has before, and as their connection deepens, so does the weight of her secrets. She thought she was willing to do whatever it took to win her independence...but when her deception blows up in her face, will Monalisa discover that the loss of Ivan's heart is too high a price to pay? Or will their love rise from the ashes to burn stronger than ever?


Nocturne Falls is one of my most favorite places to be! Kristen Painter was created a world that is very much our own, except of course, there are real live vampires, werewolves, gargoyles and even dragons walking about! As you might have guessed it, The Dragon Finds Forever involves a dragon and even a Will ‘O the Wisp! I can’t say that I’ve ever encountered one of them in literature before, so it was quite fun having one as a main character!

Monalisa is our Will ‘O the Wisp and is basically a type of fae. Her father is a leprechaun and an evil one at that. He controls Monalisa through and through and until he grants her the coin that should’ve been hers at eighteen, she will never be able to escape him. Her father runs a fighting league and when his best player called it quits after losing a fight, he tasks Monalisa with the job of getting him back into fighting shape for a rematch with the supernatural who bested him.

Ivan is the dragon of this story and as you might have guessed it, is a MMA fighter. After he was poisoned by a manticore in his last fight he has decided to call it quits. The poison has yet to leave his veins and it’s left him inured and unable to shift into his dragon form. When a young woman comes to his door claiming to be sent by the League, his past employer, to help him get rehabilitated he’s skeptical but doesn’t want to cost the poor woman her job so he agrees to let her help him heal.

Monalisa isn’t too thrilled with having to lie to Ivan, he’s a good guy despite his rough exterior. He shows her more care and consideration than her father ever has and it endears him to her. She hates lying to him though, but knows things will get worse if she were to come clean. Her father’s hold over her is too strong for her to break by herself and he promises to give her her freedom if she completes this one final task, though Monalisa knows better to trust her father’s word.

Like all Kristen’s books in this series has been, this one was just as magical and entertaining as ever! I feel like Monalisa and Ivan were going to have the roughest trial of a relationship to form since they had to start out with lies, on Monalisa’s part, though she wasn’t happy to lie either. It definitely added this sort of invisible tension in a way, because you know that things aren’t going to be pleasant once the secret was out. In the meantime, though, you start to swoon a bit as the big tough Ivan and gentle hearted Monalisa start to truly fall for each other. It was almost heart-aching for me to read because I was anticipating the worst blowout ever once Monalisa’s secret came to light.

Ivan was an enjoyable character too! I almost feel like it’s a cliché for the big and tough Russian fighter to be a big softie at heart. But then again, who doesn’t love a guy with a big heart? He’s definitely one of the most thoughtful and considerate guys you’ll ever meet. And his rescuing a dog from the shelter was heart-melting too! As I said, he’s a lovable guy and he really surprised me with his growth.

I loved seeing the relationship develop between Ivan and Monalisa! Yes, it got started on the wrong foot almost, but the feelings they were having were still true. And as they continued to work through the issues they had, you knew they were really meant to be. As I said before, this is a series comprised of standalones and they are all paranormal romances, expecting a happy ending each and every time sort of becomes the norm for this series, so I don’t feel like I am giving away spoilers here!

We got to see some new faces in this one that have me excited for possible books to come! Though I already know who’s in our next book, which I am extremely excited to read since his brothers already had their books and happy endings! It makes me wonder if some of these new faces will be seen again in the near future or not!

Nocturne Falls is definitely a series no paranormal reader should be without! It’s a little town that was made for readers like us and I enjoy visiting it again and again with each and every book I read from this world! I highly recommend picking up any of the books, or all of them of course!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars





 

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.


Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.




I haven't read the first book yet and now I am glad I haven't since this one's a duology! Binging duologies is my favorite pastime! Lol! 


AUTHOR: A.V. Geiger
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
GENRE: Thriller YA
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2018





Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



"And with that one kiss, she was smitten. Ruined, really. Because for the rest of her life, he would be the ruler all other men were measured by. And if she lived to be a thousand years old, she was always going to wonder what if?" Kindle loc. 32%













TITLE: The Dragon Finds Forever
AUTHOR: Kristen Painter
PUBLISHER: Sugar Skull Books
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


This week's topic is: FREEBIE: Most Scream-worthy Cliffhangers!


*in no particular order
**wherein you will need the next book in the series asap and for most of these I HAD TO WAIT!!!!


10. REIGN OF SHADOWS by Sophie Jordan--this was one of the few where I was lucky to have the next book at the ready! Bc OMG that was dreadful!
9. DREAMFEVER by Karen Marie Moning--oh the screams! The terrible screams! Mine and Mac's!!
8. SOLDIER by Julie Kagawa--another rare, rare instance where I had the next book at the ready...thankfully!! Julie holds nothing back with gut wrenching cliffhangers!


7. THE TROUBLE WITH TWELFTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones--omg omg omg omg!!! I NEED 13th GRAVE NOW!!! But aahhh!!! Did you see it was pushed BACK to 2019?! Amazon and Goodreads have conflicting dates, a January and February one so I am left in a state of horror at not knowing how long I will have to wait!
6. SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead--one of the worst cliffhangers EVER!! Dreadful! What's worse...the graphic novel series ENDS WITH THIS!!!
5. TWISTED by Gena Showalter--you're probably tired of hearing about this one from me by now! Lol! I apparently hold "grudges" with cancelled series that are likely to never ever ever have a conclusion! Even Gena's description of how book 4 would've gone down still left out CRITICAL information!


4. OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout--OMG!!!! I had binge read these first three together and this ending killed me!
3. WICKED: SPELLBOUND by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie--aka Wicked (compilation Volume 2). I first read this series when the books were individual and this ending killed me! And I went on to learn that the series was cancelled!!! I had to wait 6 years for the finale to come about as the series was eventually revived due to better sales!
2. DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole--OMG THIS ENDING!!! And then to have the series in a state of hiatus for awhile as there was a change in publishers...this yet again, killed me!


1. CRYSTAL STORM by Morgan Rhodes--although, to be fair, books 1-4 had pretty screamworthy cliffhangers too. But I think this one, this one was the most scream worthy!! I've only just gotten my voice back earlier this year when I got the final book in my hands! Lol!! But even then, it still took several chapters and pages until my heart would beat at a normal rate...even by looking at the cover! ;)