Random Thursday

Time for more fascinating facts about obscure topics with That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser!

(image borrowed from European Summer School)

"The word 'deadline' originated in Civil War prisons, where lines were drawn that prisoners passed only at risk of being shot."

Whoa. Definitely gives new meaning to writers on deadlines!!

(image borrowed from Steam Community)
"The 'D' in D-Day doesn't stand for anything. In military terms, D-Day and H-Hour are sometimes used for the day and hour on which a combat operation is to be initiated."

That's interesting! Always had scarier thoughts about what D-Day meant. Which in essence I supposed could still be true for whoever is using it!

(image borrowed from BBC.com)
"The term 'the whole nine yards' dates from World War II. When fighter pilots armed their planes, the .50 caliber machine-gun ammunition belts loaded into the fuselage measured exactly 27 feet. If a pilot freed all his ammo at one target it got 'the whole nine yards.'"

Never really knew that term had military connotations!

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.
The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's "impossible-to-put-down" Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.

When Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn't resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents' crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series' fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel's drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.

This series has been one of my favorites over the last few years! I've been fortunate enough to receive review copies of them too! Hoping to get this last one sometime soon as well! Eager and terrified to see how it ends!

TITLE: Rituals
PUBLISHER: Random House Canada
GENRE: Paranormal Fiction
RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2017

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.

"I felt the burn of a flush at my cheeks as he moves ever closer. His breath is a delicate breeze on my hair when he says, 'In fact, at this moment, I am not a king at all, but a servant. Your servant, Sepora.'

Saints of Serubel. Now he's as serpentine as Sethos can be. 'My servant? Well then, Tarik My Servants, go throw yourself from the Half Bridge.'" p 37*

*Quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its page number are not final.

AUTHOR: Anna Banks
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
GENRE: Fantasy YA

RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week I borrow a topic idea from my friend Tracy at Cornerfolds, who actually found it on the list TB&TB have posted! :D

 This week's freebie topic is: Top Ten Books I've Loved But Were Never Reviewed

i.e. The Pre-Blogging Years

*in no particular order

10. BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong--I know I have reviews of some of Kelley's Otherworld books, but it looks like the early ones, including Bitten, never made it to the blog!
9. POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder--now I know I must have read this one when I created my blog, but as I mentioned in previous posts in the early days I didn't review everything I read. Spy Glass was the first Maria book that I reviewed apparently!
8. DEMON IN MY VIEW by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes--yup never reviewed this one either! I read it wayyyyyy before blogging was even an idea! Yet it still remains one of my favorites. It's possible if I re-read it I would find flaws, but that's because I've read soooo much! And YA was soooo different back then too.

7. OLD MAGIC by Marianne Curley--another beloved favorite from early days! No review for this one either. But I've been contemplating re-reading it and reviewing it for the heck of it! But then I see the 300+ unread new books starting at me and guilt makes me rethink it!
6. FULL MOON RISING by Keri Arthur--never reviewed my first Keri Arthur book either. This one was out way before blogging began as well, but I know I have some of this series up in my archives!
5. DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison--another one of those series that I started reading before blogging so this one won't be found with a review either!

4. THE FORBIDDEN GAME TRILOGY by L.J. Smith--I love love love this series! Read it again, a loooong time ago, so no review exists! I always thought L.J. might write another installment, as I heard it somewhere, but as time moves on, I begin to think it may not happen after all! Oh Julian!!
3. BLOOD & CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause--love this one!! SOOO much better than the movie, aren't they always? But seriously WAY better than the movie for it got nothing right other than the werewolf girl falls in love with a human boy! That's a rant for another time though.
2. THE MEDIATOR: SHADOWLAND by Jenny Carroll--will always refer to these first 4 books as written by Jenny vs. Meg. Old habit! I adored this series! Though again, read it lightyears before the blog, so the only one with a review was the beloved Remembrance!

1. SNOW by Tracy Lynn--another favorite from my youth! It was a most fantastic retelling of Snow White! There are elements to the original fairy tale, yet it stands out on its own as well! Totally amazing! I outta re-read that one too!

ARC Review--First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.

A secret society – for the four of us. 

The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.

We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that. 

Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.

We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to.
Our invention ratcheted out of control.

What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I remember being intrigued with Alexandra Sirowy's debut The Creeping! I still need to read release from last year, but when I saw First We Were IV up on Netgalley I decided to throw my name in for a review copy! It was definitely an interesting kind of read and had me intrigued for a time, but I also couldn't help but feel like it started to move at a terribly slower pace than I expected. And then the ending just left me feeling a lost. It just wasn't the feel good ending you would hope for a standalone. It ends with resolution, one that is filled with shock and surprise, but still, there's a kind of loneliness to it as well.

Izzie, Graham, Viv, and Harry have all been best friends ever since Harry moved to their little town when they were twelve. Izzie is feeling a sense of dread as their senior year comes upon them. She knows that soon they will all drift apart as they go to college and she wants there to be something that binds them together. Bring them closer together. She starts their secret society group and they decide that they would right the wrongs they feel need written.

It starts off as harmless pranks, but then they decide to take things up a notch. They remember the time when they were twelve and they found the body of a dead girl in their secret spot. The police never really investigated the death to the full matter of the law and suddenly, Izzie decides she wants there to be justice for the lost girl she dubbed Goldilocks because of her blond, golden hair. Their pranks take a darker turn as they try to go at the people they feel are responsible for the lack of justice.

The beginning of this one was a bit hard to get into, for we start in the past and deal with a few chapters of these flashbacks that helped to shape the circle of friends we are about to meet and also to show us the tragic event that in a sense brought their circle of friends together. Really it was the added addition of Harry who was the newest kid in town at the time.

I think what also started to set things off for me was the involvement of animal abuse. I don't like when that happens in books and in this one, we had three instances, at least that I can remember off the top of my head. There may have been mentioning of one more instant but I can't say for sure. I mean, only one kind of went into detail but the rest were kind of glossed over but we still witness the aftermath. It's nothing against the author really, I just wished she could've left it out, but I can see how it fit into the story.

There's also a bit of a complicated love situation going on. Four friends; two girls, two boys. It's not as twisted as you might think, but it does get a little love triangle-y. But the romance was more just a side occurrence. It didn't overtake the story which was kinda nice, but it also wasn't all that swoony. I didn't really feel like I was meant to care about the romance. The friendships were a far grater bond and I liked that, but then obviously things evolve into chaos.

This was a sort of intense read but at times I couldn't help but want it to be over. I felt like the group's true mission was starting to be lost and just wanting to cause chaos and shock. Their group becomes a phenomenon of sorts and some copycats come out of the woodwork and that brings about a new set of chaos.

At it's heart, this is a book about friendship, for all Izzie wants is to be able to be closer to her friends in their last year of high school. But naturally, things get taken a little too far. While First We Were IV isn't one to make my favorites list I will still eagerly look for new books from Alexandra because her books still have that sense of creepiness to them that I always find entertaining!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

First We Were IV releases July 25, 2017

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:

 Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price (4.5 stars)
Nemesis by Anna Banks (4 stars)

Currently Reading:

Ally by Anna Banks (ARC)

What I Plan to Read this Week:

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Other Posts of Interest:


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.

Well this wasn't a bad week. Sadly one of the books I ordered online came to me deformed. I can't stand it. What's worse is none of the stores have it!! This is why I loathe buying books online. I will admit that 95% of the time, if not more, the books I get come in acceptable condition. Occasionally some little nuisance might be on the spine but never anything to make things really bad. This one's bad! The cover is all smushed and is slanting towards the side. It's dreadful. So I won't be sharing that one until I find a replacement! Lol. The struggles of a bibliophile!

But anyway, here's what I did buy in beautiful condition! :D

The Merciless III by Danielle Vega
The Carnelian Crow by Colleen Gleason
Exiled by Amanda Carlson
The Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey--UK edition
Scooby Apocalypse #15 by J.M. DeMatteis & Keith Giffen

While out and about I found these adorable book pins by Jane Mount! I think I've seen them somewhere once before as well! There were a lot of classics and then all 7 Harry Potter titles! I limited myself to Dracula and Harry Potter 1! There's an Etsy shop and a website! If you wanted to check them out yourself! ;)

Then I tracked this one down on Amazon! Once I saw that there was a Scooby Dum Funko Pop I knew I needed it for my Scooby collection!

And then I got my Roar pre-order swag which is truly awesome!!! I love it! Need to find one of my empty chains to make it into a necklace!!

And that was my haul this week!! What did you all get?!

Discussion Challenge: This or That Bookish Edition

I've had this post idea saved until I had more time to type it up! Hello lonely Friday night! LOL! I saw this post idea originally at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and thought it sounded like fun! It's basically a This or That Bookish Edition!

Buy new or buy used?
Well I'm not opposed to used. I buy books randomly at HPB or other places. But for the most part it's NEW.

Eat while you read or read while you eat?
Well, I guess I read while I eat lunch. That's about it for eating and reading at the same time. I try not to but it can't be helped at lunch time! Lol!

Re-read old favorites or pre-order upcoming possibilities?
Well with a TBR pile that's more than I can handle, I almost never re-read old favorites. It's more about pre-ordering and reading all the TBR books. Though I have been contemplating a few re-reads as series I thought long over might possible be revived! Re-reads will be necessary then!

Read every single word or skim at times?
I almost never skim. It may have happened once or twice but for the most part I read every word!

Happy endings or tragic?
I prefer happy! Though while being devastated at the tragic endings I do see why they worked for the individual story!

Audiobooks or ebooks?
Uhh...I read real/physical books, but I do occasionally read an ebook or enovella, so I'll go with that!

Multiple books at once, or one at a time?
Definitely one at a time. At some point in my youth I thought I could read multiples. I never counted when I had to read multiples for school and one of my own for my sake of sanity! But yeah, definitely one at a time!

Mostly one genre, or a little bit of everything?
Mostly one genre! You could call it a wide scope of paranormal! There's adult, YA, NA, fantasy which I sometimes call a sub-genre of paranormal as there's usually magic or some sort of magical like system going on!

Lifelong obsession or later (re)discovery?
Lifelong obsession, I've always loved reading! Bookfair week was my favorite week, I LOVED getting the Scholastic book order forms and would have dozens of items circled! So yeah, I've been a reader for as long as I can remember!

Classics--yay or nay?
Uhh...is uhh an answer? Lol! I guess possibly yay, but not as enthusiastic? I don't read them often but I did for awhile. I count fairy tales as classics, because they are in a sense! And I still want to read Frankenstein at some point too! I have it in the TBR pile, so it'll happen...eventually!

Read aloud to others or be read to?
Oh gee. Not sure I qualify for either. I don't like being read to anymore. It's part of the reason why I don't like audiobooks. I like reading at my own pace. And I've had no reason to read aloud to others. But I guess that could be the closest one. I probably read to my niece when she was little.

Cover on or naked?
Hmm...for the most part, cover on. But there have been times I've taken it off when it keeps sliding. But with my most recent hardcover read, I kept it on. So it depends on how cooperative it's being. For the most part, on!

Dog-ear or bookmark?
All I see here is bookmark! Is there something before bookmark? Whether it is, it must be blasphemous! LOL!

Movie covers or originals?
ORIGINALS! Especially if I've read it before the movie! Then there's proof that I read it before the movie! Lol. I don't know, just never been a fan of movie covered ones. I've read movie novelizations that have had movie covers, but that's kind of expected! And I don't think there's ever been a movie I saw that I didn't know beforehand that it was a book, if I know in advance I buy it asap and that way I don't have the movie cover version.

Review--Nemesis by Anna Banks

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?

I was a big fan of Anna Banks’ Syrena Legacy trilogy and was ecstatic when I heard she had new fantasy series out! Fast forward to the now, I finally read Nemesis and found it to be pretty enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I had a huge struggle with the first 100 pages, but I stuck with it, determined to see it through and found myself captivated by it by its end.

I think my struggles began with the world-building. With fantasies world-building is a very delicate matter, I think. You can make or break a story with it. In this one, there were times when I wasn’t quite grasping what kind of world I was dealing with. I know we say things like show, don’t tell. But that’s not always the best route for fantasy worlds. All of sudden I am seeing new words that describe creatures and there’s talk of this land and that land and the land in between. A map would’ve done wonders for that part! There’s just SO much new information and then to incorporate segments of history lessons, so to speak, it basically gave me a headache and left me confused.

To top it off, our characters, Sepora and Tarik don’t meet until past the 100 page mark. Hence my struggle to get into this story. But once they’re finally in the same scope of things, the story did start to pick up for me. Sepora is a princess and is running away from home. She is tired of her father using her to Forge spectorium. Forging spectorium is a very rare ability and the spectorium is rare and powerful itself. It’s exact usage and whatnot was one of those things not made completely clear, but it’s basically the hot powerful thing to have. Sepora’s father was using it too much, having Sepora drain herself dry in order to create it and never letting her have a life of her own. So she runs away. And then as fate would have it, she soon finds herself a concubine for the new king of Theoria, Tarik.

While Sepora wanted out of her kingdom, winding up as her enemy’s concubine, or one of them. She manages to get herself another job at the palace and is soon an adviser to the king while his own adviser is away negotiating a marriage contract with yet another kingdom. Poor Tarik though became king in a sad way as his father died from the Quiet Plague and has healers working to treat other patients with it and to hopefully find a cure. When it becomes clear that spectorium is what they would need, Sepora knows she must keep her abilities a secret because she is tired of being used by others.

Naturally, it’s not long before feelings start to develop between these two. Though, in a sense, it does take a while page time wise. That was something I enjoyed obviously! I love a slow burning romance! Then add in a brother who also likes Sepora, and is actually the one who “gifted” her to his brother’s concubine horde, for hopes of having his own dalliance with her, it definitely shakes things up. I wouldn’t say there’s a love triangle involved, because Sepora is less than impressed with the brother.

The plot soon revolves around a possible impending war between the countries. Or more likely between Theoria and Serubel. There’s a tension to things, especially when Tarik’s kingly duties start to affect the romance growing between him and Sepora.

The ending definitely leaves things kind of tense. I wouldn’t say we’re dealing with a cliffhanger per se, but you’re left knowing that there is a great deal more to come. And the tension was soooo bloody thick! I loved it!  We get both Sepora and Tarik’s points of view during the telling of this tale, which was nice as it let us in on what they were both thinking. Oddly though, Sepora was told in first person and Tarik in third, but I guess it’s just more to differentiate between the two? Just something I noted as I read but really had no effect on my enjoyment.

Nemesis had a rough and bumpy start but once I got further into it, it soon became a read that held me riveted! I am so glad I kept going with this one and even more glad that I have the next book ready and at the helm! This is definitely a fantasy that stands out as it has a more unique world setting.


Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Random Thursday

I'm not sure how it's possible, but so far I seem to like this That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser just a little bit more than the Disney book. Granted I'm not far into that one and I have yet to see any of my own burning questions answered. Like truly answered and not giving the non-answer answer. Like how the early princes are basically nameless!

(image borrowed from Greenland.com)
"At 840,000 square miles, Greenland is the world's largest island. It's three times the size of Texas."

Wow! That's pretty big!

(image borrowed from ABC News)
"There are 2,598,960 possible hands in Texas Hold 'Em."

Wow! That's a lot!

(image borrowed from history.com)
"A ten-gallon hat only holds about three-quarters of a gallon of liquid. It got its name from the Spanish word galon, which means 'braid'. Some Mexican cowboys, or vaqueros, wore as many as ten braided bands on their sombreros."


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
"Major Henry Wirz was the only solider convicted of war crimes during the American Civil War. Wirz was the commanding officer of the Confederate prison in Andersonville, Georgia. Of the 48,485 prisoners who entered the camp, nearly 13,000 died from disease and malnutrition."

Huh. My book spelled it "Wirtz" and the internet spelled it Wirz. Not sure which is true!