Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox - January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

For Review:

The End of Time by P.W. Catanese
Tighter by Adele Griffin
The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig

Clarity by Kim Harrington
On My Nook:

The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
From the Library:

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

Clarity - Blog Tour

by Kim Harrington

When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most? (description taken from
Publication Date: March 1, 2011

What a great debut! I devoured this book. It was so compellingly written that I literally had to force myself to put it down when my eyelids kept fluttering shut at insane hours of the night. I kept thinking, "Just one more chapter..."

Clarity, or Clare, Fern is a great character. She is sixteen and has a great blend of snarkiness and sincerity. Her relationships with her mother and brother are really great. I felt proud on her behalf for the way she handled her ex-boyfriend, the snotty mean girl from school, and the people around her in general. She's not hard, though, and that's what makes her really "real." I can't wait to read more featuring Clare...(I HOPE!!)

The mystery is fast paced, exciting, and well done. Harrington sprinkles in tidbits here and there, taking readers on a twisting journey to the truth. I really loved, too, getting to see the case from Clare's psychic perspective. Fascinating.

As I said, I couldn't put this one down. I am definitely hoping for a sequel...

Since I was so riveted...I also award this book one of my coveted GOLD STARs!!

Check out the trailer.

2011 Debut Author Challenge title
Full disclosure: ARC received for review from Book It Forward ARC Tours

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters
by Natalie Standiford

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....
(description taken from

I really loved the premise for this book. The idea of three sisters' stories building into a larger book was very intriguing, and though I enjoyed parts of this book, overall it just didn't do it for me.

Part of that, I think is that I'm really just not a contemporary realistic fiction reader in general. My overall preferences are fantasy/sci-fi/historical, etc. *Sigh* This book got such great reviews, I really wanted to love it.

I did enjoy parts of it very much. I loved Jane's story about blogging her family secrets to the world, and Sassy's story about thinking she'd become indestructible, but I just couldn't really connect at all to Norrie and I felt like I was really reading three individual books rather than one larger one.

Standiford did a good job layering complexities into the stories, building on each girl's experiences during the same time, but there was still a feeling of utter disconnect for me. One of my biggest problems, too, was that a secondary character named Shea was mentioned over and over and over, yet her story was never explained. I really wanted to know why she did the things she did!! *(An update - I emailed the author and she said that though she did not really envision exactly what happened to Shea, that I could imagine a happy ending for I'm choosing to think that she turns her life around!)

This book was well written and I am sure that a lot of people will really enjoy it. Unfortunately, it just didn't quite capture my attention the way I'd hoped it would.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lips Touch: Three Times

Lips Touch: Three Times
by Laini Taylor

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:

Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Hatchling: Six days before Esme's fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?
(description taken from

I am sooooo glad that I finally got to this book. I first heard about it at BEA two years ago, immediately put it on my list of Books To Read, and it just lingered there ever since. Honestly, I even checked it out from the Library twice...and never read it. I just kept finding other books that I was dying to read more.

Let me tell you, though, Laini Taylor's writing is mysterious, beautiful, dark, destructive, and yet hopeful and breathtaking. I was listening to this as an audio book in my car and I couldn't wait to get back into the car at the end of the day to drive home from work because I had to know what happened to each girl next. I was totally hooked!

The first story, Goblin Fruit, is lyrical and compelling. It's insidious and tempting. It's short but punches a big impact. I had thought that Taylor wouldn't be able to top that when she blew me away with the concept for Spicy Little Curses. That was heartbreaking and courageous. Then...then I listened to Hatchling. What an amazing world that Taylor has created. I was enraptured as I listened, drawing deeper and deeper into the cold, nightmare world of the Druje. I loved the layering of different generations, love stories, and how each character was fleshed out as the story's complexities unfolded.

All be told, when I was done, I wanted to start over again. *Sigh* These were great short stories. I should have read this years ago...

Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile magazine

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Anxiously Awaiting...

by Myra McEntire

Publication Date: May 24, 2011

"Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange things – dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson's well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He's barely older than she is; he listens like no one she's ever met before; and he doesn't make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future--and her very life.

A seductive time-slip novel that merges the very best of the paranormal and science fiction genres, Myra McEntire’s Hourglass is a stunning debut from an author to watch."

It sounds so good and the cover is awesome!!
Check out the cover reveal trailer...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Minor Milestone Giveaway!

Today I hit a minor milestone in my blog. I reached 100 followers!
To say thank you, I want to do a little giveaway. :)

One lucky person will get to order (or pre-order) one book of their choosing, up to a $20 value, from the Book Depository. My personal suggestions might be Delirium, Demonglass, or Wither...but what's great is I don't get to pick...YOU DO!!

To enter:
1. You must be a follower.
(This is your thank you!!)
2. Leave me your name and a valid email address in the comments.
I will have to email you to get your book choice and the address where you want the book shipped.

I will choose a random winner on Wednesday, February 2nd. If that winner does not get back to me by Friday, February 4th, I will choose another winner on Saturday, February 5th.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Priscilla the Great - Blog Tour

Priscilla the Great
by Sybil Nelson

Did you ever want a blowtorch for a finger? Meet Priscilla Sumner, an ordinary seventh grader with extraordinary gifts. As if middle school isn't hard enough, not only does Priscilla have to fight pimples and bullies, but genetically enhanced assassins trying to kill her and her family. Armed with wit, strength, and a genius best friend, Priscilla must defeat the Selliwood Institute, a mysterious organization with a mission of turning children into killing machines. (description taken from

What a hilarious and fun middle grade read! I am so excited to find out that this is just book one in a series!

Priscilla is one of those rare characters whose voice just leaps off the page at you. She is funny, loveable, tough, and just the kind of girl you want to root also helps that she's kind of awesome, what with the fire fingers and all! Her brother Josh, who sings Christina Aguilera songs, her mischievous little twin brothers, and her overprotective Dad also feel as if they could walk right off the pages of the book.

Though you may think that a book about a girl who finds out she has superpowers and suddenly has to save other kids like herself would sound kind of farfetched and unbelievable, Nelson's writing just pulls you right past any doubt. The tone of this book is great. I ripped right through it with a smile on my face. I definitely would recommend this to tween girls looking for a role model character...or boys that want something funny...or adults who love funny YA books...or well, anyone.

Full disclosure: Received from Author for Blog Tour

Monday, January 24, 2011

Anxiously Awaiting...

Beauty Queens
by Libba Bray

Publication Date: May 24, 2011

Synopsis: From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to emall. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Ummm...Yes, please!!

Get to Know... Priscilla Sumner...and her Creator, Sybil Nelson!

As part of the Priscilla the Great blog tour, author Sybil Nelson has graciously stopped by to answer some questions for us!! This book is absolutely hilarious, the start of what I think will be a fantastic new middle grade series, and Sybil is just as spunky as her super creation, Priscilla. :)

1. I have to say I love that Priscilla has multiple powers…but if you could only pick one superpower to have, which would you choose?

I would want to pause time. I tend to do a million things at once and if I could take a break and give myself an extra hour here and there, that would be awesome.
*Oooh! That's a good one. I always say I'd like to be able to split myself in two so that I could be in two places at once, but your idea is EVEN better!*

2. Priscilla has a very overprotective Dad. I love that he’s so actively involved, but I remember being a teen and feeling like parents were such a pain sometimes…Did you draw him at all from your real life experiences?

Oh definitely. If my mother was a superhero she would be Psycho Paranoid Lady. My teenage years were an experiment in covert operations. Thankfully, I had my own car and an active imagination. She never knew what was going on. ;)

3. An older brother that likes to sing Christina Aguilera songs – why Christina Aguilera and not Britney or Lady Gaga or Katy Perry?

I really have no idea. I happen to be a big Christina Aguilera fan myself and one day I got an image in my head of a cute boy singing his heart out to “Ain’t No Other Man.” I thought it was hilarious so I went with it.

4. Speaking of music, what would be on Priscilla’s iPod?

What an awesome question. She’s actually not that big on pop music and likes more eclectic stuff believe it or not. She hosts a weekly theme on her blog called “Music the Radio Doesn’t Play.” Some of her favorite bands are Travis, Kent, Julie Slonecki, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, The Influence, David Ford, Robyn, The Smiths, Tuatara, Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips. But on the other hand, Priscilla is an amazing hip hop dancer so when she needs peppy music to get her going, she usually looks toward Usher or one of the Justins.
*I'd love to borrow her iPod for a day!! Don't forget to check out Priscilla's blog here.*

5. Are you working on any new books that you can tell us about right now?

I’m the type of author that always has about a million books going at once. I’m working on book 5 of the Priscilla series. I’m also working on a Young Adult Historical Fiction novel called Shadows of St. Louis. It’s an interracial love story about the race riots that occurred in that city. I also got another idea for a book today which I will start writing as soon as I’m done with this interview.
*Whew! This is one busy author-bee!! I can't wait to read books 2-5 in the Priscilla series myself!*

6. What was the last book that you read that you would recommend to other readers?

Another tough question. I don’t usually recommend books because everyone’s tastes are so different. I think the last book I read that would be a hit with the most people would be Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I just read that book last week. I don’t know why it took me so long to jump on that bandwagon, but I’m on now and I can’t wait for the next stop.

7. Quick Picks: Favorite Vacation Destination? Favorite Childhood Book? Favorite Movie? Favorite Food? Favorite Clothing Item?

Disney World, (Can’t decide) ,The Wedding Singer, Bacon, Sunglasses

Well, I'd like to thank Sybil again SOO much for stopping by to answer my questions... Please go check out her website, Priscilla's blog (which is hilarious and fun), and the actual book, of course, Priscilla the Great. Check out my review of the book here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox - January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!

For Review:

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck

From the Library:

Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

On My Nook:

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Shifter Challenge

I am a huge fan of werewolves and other shifters! I love to read this type of paranormal fiction, so after much thought I have decided to join the 2011 Shifter Challenge, hosted by ParaJunkee's View.
I am committing to reading 20 books this year that have a shifter as a main character (YAY!). Should be a piece of cake. If you want to find out more and join, check it out.

Bloody Valentine

Bloody Valentine
by Melissa De La Cruz
Blue Bloods novella

Vampires have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shapeshift and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even the strikingly beautiful and outrageously wealthy Blue Bloods, has total control. (description taken from

This novella had three great short love stories. I think my favorite was the first story, Just Another Night in Suck City, featuring Oliver and a new character, Freya. Oliver is one of my favorite characters and I feel so sorry that his relationship with Schuyler is so tumultuous. The events in this story made me feel better, though. ;) I was also very excited to see that this story is a prelude to Melissa De La Cruz's next book, Witches of East End, coming this summer.

The other stories were about Allegra and Charles before Allegra leaves him and has Schuyler and then about Schuyler and Jack's bonding. They were both very good, but I had to really think about some of the details from the books that I couldn't remember right away... Especially with the bonding story, I had to remember that it was actually set before the newest book, Misguided Angel.

Definitely a fun read for fans of the Blue Bloods series.
PS - OMG. Love this cover. One of my absolute favorites!

How the Male BF always gets overlooked...or my review of The Iron King

The Iron King
by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. (description taken from

Okay. I cannot believe that it took me this long to pick up this book... With my love of dark fae books and fantasy in general, I should have known that I would love this book. However, I think that this series felt the same way for me that The Hunger Games trilogy did for a lot of people right before Mockingjay came out. I'd heard so much buzz that I kind of kept saying, "I don't want to read this just because everyone else has...I want to find my own books."

*Sigh* I should know better!! Almost all of the bloggers I follow are into the same type of books that I am and I trust their opinions. I was just being way too stubborn with this one...I put the second book on hold at the Library the moment, literally the moment that I put The Iron King down. I loved it.

Now on to the real discussion...

I really enjoyed the combination of modern technology and fae culture in this series. The Iron Fey is a fascinating concept that I'm surprised had not been come up with sooner...the blending of ancient faerie mythology and modern culture was just incredible.

Now. I'm all for a girl meeting a guy and falling in love, but it just broke my heart in this book that Meghan cannot see the wonderful thing she already had going...

In my opinion, Male Best Friends get overlooked WAY too often in books and movies. Perfect Dirty Dancing, Baby chooses to go with the flashy dance instructor instead of the funny guy friend that is willing to carry watermelons for her! He was cute, totally into her, and yes, I suppose less exciting, but way more reliable!!

*Spoilers Ahead!!*
In The Iron King, Puck literally watches over Meghan for years. He is her bodyguard, her friend, her confidante... but the moment that Meghan sees Ash, Puck becomes a second class friend. It's obvious that Puck has real feelings for Meghan, she starts to realize it, and just passes him right by.

It nearly broke my heart on page 248 when Puck says,
"I would have gotten you there!" Puck roared. "Me! You don't need his help!Don't you trust me to keep you safe? I would've given everything for you. Why didn't you think I'd be enough?"

I mean, you could feel his pain....his betrayal...
I just wanted to reach out and shake Meghan.

*End Spoilers*

I have to say that my husband was one of those Male Best Friends and choosing to date him was one of the best decisions of my life. I always want to shout to characters - "Look! Look at _____! He's right there...give him a chance."

Okay. That's the end of my rant. Anyway, though I had that problem with the romance, I really loved this book. If you, like me, kept putting this one off...STOP! Go out and read it. NOW. :)


by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Missing, book three

After helping Chip and Alex survive 15th century London, Jonah and Katherine are summoned to help another missing child, Andrea, face her fate. Andrea is really Virginia Dare, from the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jonah and Katherine are confident in their ability to help Andrea fix history, but when their journey goes dangerously awry, they realize that they may be in over their head. They've landed in the wrong time period. Andrea doesn't seem that interested in leaving the past. And even worse, it appears that someone has deliberately sabotaged their mission... (description taken from

This was the best book of the series so far, in my opinion. I've been obsessed with the Roanoke Colony mystery since I was a child, and I got little glimpses of more theories in this book. *Squee! There really isn't a lot of information available, but Haddix pulls out everything she could.

The introduction of new, unexpected time travelers throws everything out of whack and makes for an exciting adventure as Jonah and Katherine try to figure out who they can really trust! I loved how the kids slowly learned to lean on each other and to trust their instincts.

There is a huge new twist introduced at the end of this book that makes for a new storyline in the overall series arc that I am really excited about...I don't want to give spoilers, so I won't say any more.

If you like historical fiction done in a very accessible way...information fed to you from a modern kid's perspective, you will love this series. Add in the danger of going to new time periods, attempted murder, etc. and you have a real winner!!

Full disclosure - Audio book received from SLJ for review

Friday, January 21, 2011


by P.C. and Kristin Cast
House of Night, book eight

Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…

And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart? (description taken from

Can I tell you how much I like Stark? He is just so good to Zoey...and (without spoilers, I promise!!) I felt so bad for the way he was being used. I am on edge now waiting to see what the future holds for Stark and Zoey...

I was really pleased with how the good/bad mythology deepened in this book. The explainations of the black/white bulls and how they were as old as elemental magic and only manifested when the world was out of balance was very well done.

Trying not to get all spoilery...I loved the confrontations in this book. Lines were drawn, moral battles were waged, and though not everything came out in the open, Zoey and her friends definitely made their point. Along with a heartwrenching moment that almost killed me...some major decisions were made.

Though I just put it down last night, I am ready for the next book TODAY! *sigh* Hope the wait isn't TOO long.

Heartless Blurb - Oh, the teasing!!

Okay, so no cover to tease you with yet...BUT...for those of you who enjoy the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger as much as I do, here is the blurb for Heartless (book four) which is coming out this summer!!

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
To be Published: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Orbit

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she just happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?

Taken straight from Gail Carriger's can check it out for more info here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Personal Moment...

I may not get to do much posting in the next few days...
I haven't had much time to read.
My husband's grandfather passed away this past weekend and we've been doing lots to help out his family. Especially his grandmother - who I LOVE.

Anyway, the wake was today. The funeral is tomorrow, and then Friday will be a huge catch up day at work...

Back to life as usual this weekend, I think. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind? (description taken from

I have to admit I really liked this sequel to Glimmerglass much better. Though the world set-up in the first book was great, I didn't really connect to the characters (other than the irresistable Kimber) that well. In the second book, without the setup, there was a lot more focus on character relationships.

I still don't really love Dana, or myabe it's that I don't really understand her emotional compulsion for Ethan, but she is fiercely loyal and brave, which I admire. I think I just feel so much more for some of the other characters, like Keane and Kimber, Finn, and I am absolutely fascinated with Arwan, the Erlking.

After some of the amazing developments in this book, Dana learning what she can really do, Dana figuring out what the Erlking really bargained with her for, and how these revelations will change the rest of her life...I cannot wait to read book three, Sirensong, when it comes out!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Zombie Felties

Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead
by Nichola Tedman and Sarah Skeate

Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate awaken their inner George A. Romero and focus their creative attention on the malleable, fuzzy softness of felt inside Zombie Felties: How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead.

With only the most basic of sewing skills, crafters can raise their own macabre multitude of Zombie Feltie creations from the undead with an average construction time of less than one hour per pattern. Each design includes a full-color photograph of the finished project, as well as an illustrated, instructional overview, pattern diagrams, and a convenient list of everything needed to complete the project.

Zombie Feltie friends can be customized with limitless embellishments and they make great Halloween decorations, party favors, finger puppets, key rings, and even mobile phone mascots. Get ready to shudder as you stitch!
(description taken from
These zombie projects were super fun! I made three for my sister for Christmas and had a blast when she opened them. They came out really cute...
(Pumpkinhead, Zombie Puppy, and Zombie Vampire)
I also made this cute "Dead Ducky" for one of my co-workers.
These are all even cuter because they are only about three inches tall. However, I will tell you that sewing something this teeny is much more difficult than they make it out to be...I loved the outcome, but I spent about 8 hours making these!!
My advice - photocopy the patterns to sew slightly larger versions!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


by Jenna Black
Faeriewalker, book one

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again… (description taken from

Though this concept of a girl who can walk between Faerie and the mortal world is not really new (Frewin Jones' Faerie Path series is very similar in this sense), Black creates an awesomely new world where the Fae and humans know about each other and share a "country" that both can reside in that is neither in Faerie nor fully part of the mortal world. This was what totally fascinated me about this series.

I really like the main character, Dana, and the problems she has to face...dealing with an alcoholic mother, a father whose politics are threatening her life, and a whole new world of threats. I wasn't as fond, though, of the potential love interest, Ethan. I much preferred Dana's bodyguard, Finn, and kind of hoped that something may develop there...until I realized he was some centuries old!! Whoops. I guess I will have to wait and see if something develops with Finn's son, Keane, instead!
:P J/K

I definitely want to see what's going to happen in book two, Shadowspell, as Dana explores the fact that she can feel magic...and what that might mean about her heritage.

The Curse of the Wendigo

The Curse of the Wendigo
by Rick Yancey
The Monstrumologist, book two

While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiance to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? (description taken from

I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. When I accepted it for review I didn't realize it was the sequel to The Monstrumologist. I had really wanted to read that when it came out, but kept hearing how gruesome it was, so decided to skip it. When I then realized that I was going to listen to the sequel, I have to admit that I was really nervous that I would not be able to get all the way through it.

I was amazed, though, as I started listening, at how much I love the style that Yancey writes for this series. It is written as if he is investigating the events in Will Henry's journals to prove that they really happened. He reports whole portions of the journals and these are done in the vernacular of 1800s New England. What a wealth of vocabulary!! I love words. I pride myself on not only knowing a lot of words, but of being able to understand the meanings of many words I do not know from the context in which they are used.... Yancey not only gave me a plethora of new words, but also reminded me of words I had not used recently! I loved it.

I think that this step away from today's common language, along with a very matter-of-fact delivery in the narration of the book, allowed me to get through some parts that were very gruesome. In fact, a lot of the visceral action happened so fast that my brain couldn't really process the disgust before we were moving on.

I am not normally a horror fan, almost at all. I tend to avoid this genre, but I have to say that I was absolutely compelled to finish this book. I did not at all regret reading it, and I may even go back and read the first in the series. Very well done!

Full disclosure: Audio book sent for AudioFile review

In My Mailbox - January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren, inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Every week bloggers can share what they received in the mail or at the bookstore or at the library. The goal is that everyone can be exposed to more books this way!
From the Library:
Library Wars: Love and War - volumes 2 and 3
Writing Magic by Gail Carsen Lavine
In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz
The Inside Story by Michael Buckley
The Book of Spells by Kate Brian
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cover Craving...AND Anxiously Awaiting!!!!

Trial by Fire
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Raised by Wolves, book two

Publication date: June 14, 2011

OMG!!! Cannot wait for this book. I loved Raised by Wolves...Loved, loved, loved.

Homicide in Hardcover

Homicide in Hardcover
by Kate Carlisle
Bibliophile Mysteries, book one

The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.

With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safekeeping.

Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless—but attractive—British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice… (description taken from

A fun beginning to a new mystery series perfect for true book lovers! Main character, Brooklyn, is a book restorer and rare book expert. Carlisle does a wonderful job inserting real information about the book restoration processes and materials into the text without detracting at all from the plot. Brooklyn is a very interesting character, herself, and I love her junk food habit!

When her mentor is murdered, Brooklyn finds the body and feels the need to protect someone that she is worried may have been involved. That coupled with the fact that the (Hot!!) security expert is convinced that she was the culprit, means that Brooklyn must do whatever's necessary, including putting herself in danger, to get to the bottom of things.

Full of great book descriptions, interesting plot twists, and just a hint...ahem, maybe more than a hint...of romance, this was a great read. As a book lover, I cannot wait to follow Brooklyn to the British Isles to attend the World Book Fair in her next adventure!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Across The Universe - Blog Tour

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis

A Story of Love, Murder, and Madness Aboard an Enormous Spaceship Bound for the Future

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

Across the Universe is Titanic meets Brave New World.

Though I enjoyed this book very much, I was a little disappointed after all the great buzz I had been hearing... This is a well done science fiction tale, very reminiscent of earlier science ficiton classics. For me, that was the problem.

I think that YA readers who do not often (or ever, really) delve into science fiction, this will be an exciting eye opener to a new genre. For someone like me, though, who reads science fiction fairly often, and enjoyed quite a few of the genre classics, it was not a startling leap into the unknown.

However, do not let me give you the impression that I did not like this book. I did. I really enjoyed the concept of a society trapped in space, subdued by one leader convinced that he had to do what was best for his people, whether or not it might be ethical. I really liked the blend of science fiction, murder mystery, and thriller that Revis seemed to create in a fluid and flawless way. I really enjoyed the way that through Amy's literal awakening, Elder's metaphorical awakening began. It was a well done story. I just did not have that gut-grabbing, immediate thrall that many readers did...I had to keep reading until about the halfway point before I was fully entrenched.

I definitely enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more from Beth Revis. I love her style. I also think that this book will do great things to help draw teen readers back into the science fiction genre. Kudos to the author!

2011 Debut Author Challenge title
Full Disclosure: Signed ARC received from author, also received review ARC from Book It Forward ARC Tours