Archive | November 2016

Review: The Dragon’s Price

Title: The Dragon’s Price

Author: Bethany Wiggins

Date of Publication: February 21st, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

My Review:

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Sorrowlynn has a prophesy that she will one day die by her own hand. It has kept her parents at a distance, and she has a choice to make when another kingdom comes. If the heir chooses to marry her, she can either choose to marry or be lowered to be eaten by a dragon. Her choice is to be eaten by the dragon. One of the King’s sons follows her in the dragon’s layer to help her defeat the dragon.

My first thoughts when I saw the cover to the book was that it looked like it was from another decade, so I chose to avoid the cover and still read the description. The description sounded awesome, and the other early reviews I read seemed to like it, so when I got an ARC I was so excited to start reading it.

I did like the characters for the most part, but my biggest issue with this book was the dialogue. The dialogue and book itself really felt more like middle grade than YA. The romance, which I usually love, was just too insta-love. Sorrow goes to be eaten by this dragon, and Golmarr just flies down to rescue her and he barely knows her? I get it maybe he just wants to rescue her, but then acting like they are best friends right away without getting to know each other? Come on now!

There were a lot of parts that seemed to drag, but for those that like action there was a lot of action too which I did enjoy those parts. The ending was predictable, but if you are on the younger side or haven’t read a lot of YA fantasy you may enjoy this book more than I did.

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Review: RoseBlood

Title: RoseBlood

Author: A.G. Howard

Date of Publication: January 10th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

My Review:

Rune is sent away her senior year to an arts school where odd things begin to occur, and she runs into a boy named Thorn who she believes is the actual Phantom of the Opera. She must face her past and an unknown future that could slip away into darkness at the hands of this musical creature.

So this book is a stand alone which is a plus, and it is told in both perspectives between Rune and Thorn. Rune was a likable character, and she seems more human because she is battling demons of her own. There was a lot of being in her head versus dialogue which I was wanting a little more dialogue, but being inside her head you could really feel those musical thoughts and all the energy pulling her in different ways.

I liked the characters she meets at her school such as Sunny, Audrey, and Jax. They all seemed to have interesting small stories, but I wish that they had been fleshed out more because there wasn’t enough about them or their bond with Rune to have me truly care about them. Thorn was a whole different can of worms. I loved him! Even with his creep factor which was even more intriguing. His back story is haunting and deeply moving and was the best part of the book.

The Phantom has always been an interesting character, and here it is like you want to hate him, but then you want to feel bad for him. It made him the perfect villain, and the atmosphere and world building had that gothic feel throughout that made the mood much more intense.

It did take me a while to get into this book because it seemed like it took a while for Rune and Thorn to interact. I just wish that there would have been more dialogue between them and getting to know each other. The chemistry of them being drawn to each other was definitely there, and there were some great moments between them. The sock scene being my absolute favorite!

I still like the Splintered series and The Architect of Song more than RoseBlood, but it is definitely worth a read because A.G. Howard’s writing is always so well down and beautiful.

 

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Fire in You: Release Day Launch + Excerpt + Giveaway

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Some are born with fire in them.

✮✮✮SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY…FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t Miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance!✮✮✮

Let the FIRE IN YOU burn and grab your copy today!

 

 

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About FIRE IN YOU:

From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

 

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Order a digital or paperback copy of FIRE IN YOU by Jennifer L. Armentrout, writing as J.Lynn, AND fill out THIS FORM by December 3rd, and get an exclusive bonus scene-an Epilogue featuring POVs from all the major couples throughout the Wait For You World!

FIRE IN YOU will be available in paperback and eBook November 28th, 2016!

Just enter your name, age, email address, and the order number from your digitalor paperback pre-order receipt at https://a.pgtb.me/M7KhMC to receive your exclusive FIRE IN YOU bonus scene! All entrants will receive the bonus scene on December 5th, 2016 through email using the email given when the entrant filled out THIS FORM.

 

 

EXCERPT:

Making my way through the narrow pathways between the tables, I headed back toward the bathroom. Only once I pushed open the double doors and stopped in front of the water-spotted mirror did I realize I’d left my purse at the table, so there’d be no reapplying my lipstick.

I pumped soap onto my hands and waved them under the facet. Water flowed, washing away the suds as I slowly lifted my gaze to my reflection. Normally when I looked at myself, I didn’t really pay attention longer than was necessary to put makeup on without ending up looking like a tutorial gone wrong.

Standing here now, I really looked at myself, though.

I used to wear my hair up all the time, but I’d stopped doing that every day. My hair now hung in waves and the ends curled over the tips of my breasts. I also used to have heavy bangs, but thank God they were long gone. I’d finally learned how to put on eyeliner. That was another miracle. The slight flush of my face darkened my naturally tan skin. My lips were fuller and my nose straight.

My hair was parted to sweep to the left so it shielded my cheek…and my cheek didn’t look that bad, especially considering how it looked the first time I’d seen it after…after days in the hospital.

Hell, my entire face had been one hot mess.

There was a deep indentation in my left cheek, almost like an icepick had been shoved in there, and as I stared at my right jaw line, I was still amazed by what reconstructive plastic surgeons could accomplish. Half my face had literally been pieced back together with an iliac crest graft with a reconstruction plate and a crap ton of dentistry to give me back a full set of functional teeth.

Plastic surgeons didn’t have magic wands, but they were magicians. If you weren’t looking at me straight on, you’d have no idea that my right jaw was thinner than my left.

You’d have no idea what had happened to me that night.

Now I stared back at myself just like I had done that night, six years ago, standing in a bathroom, mere minutes before my entire life came crashing down.

It wasn’t that I hated the way I looked now. The fact that I was alive meant I was one of those rare, walking and breathing statistics.

But even knowing how lucky I was didn’t change the fact that I felt…deformed. That was a harsh word to use. I didn’t like to whip it out often. Doing so on what was so far a pretty good date was probably not a good idea.

Taking a deep breath, I shook my head. I didn’t need my thoughts going in that direction tonight. So far, the dinner had been amazing. Grady was nice and he was cute. I could maybe see myself going out with him again, to an art exhibit, and maybe coffee.

And that was what had freaked me out.

I was not going to let living freak me out.

Nope.

I could give him a chance and not worry about whether or not I was settling.

Turning from the sink, I dried my hands and then readjusted my hair so it fell forward, over my left shoulder and cheek. I walked out of the bathroom and into the narrow hall, gaze trained on the floor as I took about two steps before I realized someone was standing right outside the door, leaning against the wall. Before I nearly plowed into him.

Gasping, I took a step back. All I could see were finely cut black trousers paired with…with old black and white Chucks? What an odd combination, but those shoes reminded me of…

I gave a little shake of my head and stepped to the side. “Sorry. Excuse—”

“Jillian.”

I stopped.

Time stopped.

Everything stopped except my heart, because it was suddenly pounding in my chest too hard, too fast. That deep, rough voice. I recognized it all the way to my very core. Slowly, I lifted my gaze, already knowing what I was going to see but refusing to believe it.

Brock Mitchell stood in front of me.

TRAILER: https://youtu.be/fDn7F_mJuok

 

Giveaway!

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About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Review: The Fir Tree

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ABOUT THE FIR TREE

Gorgeously packaged with intricate illustrations from Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka, this new edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s well-loved fairy tale, The Fir Tree, is the perfect holiday gift for adults and children alike.

Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the striking and contemporary illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is elevated from a children’s book to a unique work of art and makes an ideal gift for people of all ages.

My Review:

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First, that cover!! The cover is so perfect, and the illustrations within are so beautiful. I have never read any of Hans Christen Andersen’s fairy tales, so this was my first go around. I would like to say I am not sure about all of his fairy tales, but at least this one may not be for everyone. I on the other hand really enjoyed it.

This book is about a Fir Tree who starts out as a youngling, and it watches other trees around it being taken away for various reasons, eventually it gets cut down and is going to learn what will be it’s destiny. I think what made this book harder for me was it is as if the tree is an actual person that thinks and feels, so you can’t help but feel bad for this tree.

I would definitely pick up another fairy tale from Hans, and to see how it compares to this one. The thing I liked most about this book was that it wasn’t all flowers and roses and not everything in life is great.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hans Christian Andersen (1805—75) was born in Odense, Denmark, the son of a poor shoemaker, who nonetheless was a great reader, made a toy-theatre for his son and taught him to notice every natural wonder as they walked in the woods together on Sundays. His father died when he was eleven, and it wasn’t until six years later that, with the help of a patron, he finally went to a state secondary school attended by much youger children. There he suffered at the hands of a cruel headmaster, but he aquired an education and was determined to be a writer. He published his first novel and his first fairy tales in 1835; thereafter he wrote over 150 more of these stories which have become classics in many languages.A lonely man who never married, he was also an anxious man; he loved travelling, but would carry a coil of rope with him in case of fire in his hotel. Although he originally addressed his fairy tales to children (and some would maintain he had a streak of childhood in his nature) he insisted they were ‘for all ages’, and the gentleness and humor that are their characteristics are recognized by everyone.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

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Have you read a Hans Christian Andersen book?

November Library Finds

Each month we will try to feature local library books we found and enjoyed! This will mostly be for kids, as you can follow what we are reading based on our reviews, but if we come across something stunning, I swear to share it.

The reason for making this a regular thing is that we have a lot of smaller, hard-working libraries. If we can find these titles, you probably can too-should you want to. And I think libraries are often under-appreciated for everything they do for us. Our local libraries aren’t the largest or the most heavily funded, but they never miss a beat in ordering new titles and putting together both events and lessons for everyone from toddlers to teens and even adults. Most of what you need in life, you can find out through your library!

Now, to the books!novbooks1

Eric Colossal’s graphic novel series for young kids is called “Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef”. It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s well-drawn and features a cooking boy, so I’m happy. And my son loves it. He tends to be picky-anything that won him over will win me over. I’d of pictured the first book in the series, but my son read and returned it already!

In a different vein, and maybe for that age group and up, there is “Maybe a Fox” by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee. Poetic and beautiful, if you have an animal loving kiddo or one fascinated by how intertwined we are to them, this is a great find. My oldest daughter saw the cover and was in love with it ever since. I mean, she loves all animals. She adopted a bat for her birthday. So there was no way she was going to put this down, and it’s a lovely, well-written tale.

For the much, much younger crowd…novreviews2

Il Sung Ba’s “Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit” is a gorgeous watercolor story about the changing of seasons, which is fitting right now because it’s finally visibly doing so. Simple short text your baby and toddler won’t get bored with, and illustrations you will want to stare at for hours.

“I Love Fall” is by Alison Inches and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. It’s one of those cute, touch all the things texture books. My two-year old daughter loves these. Loves them to the point where she is kind of refusing bedtime stories without textures right now. It’s a short list of all the fun things you’ve probably already done this season, and lots of colors and new things to feel to keep your little one’s attention. It definitely beats some of the cornier Thanksgiving board books we’ve seen as far as celebrating this time of year and we enjoyed reading this one.

Enjoy the rest of your November, and go out (with a scarf on) and find some great books at your local library!

erika

Write-At-Home Mothering

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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IMDB Summary: 

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

 

My Review:

So, I still have only actually read the first two Harry Potter books. I am also not even a big fan of most of the movies, but this one looked really good. My daughter wanted to see it, so that meant I had to take her to see it.

I actually really enjoyed it, and it was awesome seeing all the creatures especially when the characters would go inside of Newt’s briefcase. I loved Eddie Redmayne’s character Newt and how he was adorably awkward. Tina and her sister were awesome, Credence was creepy, but Kowalski stole the show! Kowalski was hilarious!

The movie itself had a lot of darkness to it that kept me hooked. Colin Farrell once again had a terrible haircut, as he does in all of his movies. I should have looked at the casting list because I didn’t realize Johnny Depp was in it… I am so tired of seeing him!

There was loads of action, the special effects were amazing, and overall it is a must see even if you aren’t a big Harry Potter fan.

 

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Have you seen this movie yet?

Review: The Tea Planter’s Wife

Title: The Tea Planter’s Wife

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Date of Publication: August 27th, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

My Review:

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What drew me into reviewing this book was first the cover, and second I love anything tea, so drawing me in with that title worked.

The book started off with Gwen who leaves her home to go off and live with her husband who she has just married. Thinks don’t start off as great as she thought they would in this new place, and eventually there is a discovery and Gwen makes one of the hardest choices of her life.

Throughout the book the writing was really well done, but for me there was just too much description. Sometimes it feels better just to get straight to the point. Gwen and Lawrence could have both made better choices throughout the book. I did however like Lawrence though. Gwen, I am still angry with.

There were some interesting twists and turns throughout the book that held my interest, but the book was just an okay read for me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. She worked in education, lived in a commune and exhibited work as an artist before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a writer after losing her retirement fund in the financial crash; to motivate herself, Dinah stuck Post-its around her house saying ‘you will write a bestseller!’ Dinah Jefferies is the author of three novels, The Separation, The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Number One Sunday Times bestseller – and The Silk Merchant’s Daughter. She lives in Gloucestershire.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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How does this book sound to you?