Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

First, thanks to Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  I have really been into fairy tale re-tellings, as well as just reimaginings or stories with the characters from those fairy tales.  And this story ended up not disappointing. 

The main character is Princess Aislynn.  In the world she lives in women have magic, but are not supposed to use it.  They are supposed to follow the "Path"  and prepare themselves for a life with their future husband and without magic.  Girls who fail at holding their magic in will get redirected to be fairy godmothers.  The fairy godmothers are allowed to use magic.  And every princess, or girl on her path to her future life with her husband, has their own fairy godmother.  Aislynn has always had a little trouble holding her magic in.  She has learned when it is seeming to bubble up that she can stop it by causing herself some kind of bodily harm.  And so she has cuts and scars all over her legs.  A place that is hidden with her tights and long dresses.  But right when it is time for her big Introduction Ball, one of the other girls there, a very hateful girl, upsets her so much that she can't control the magic.  And from that she is redirected to become a fairy godmother.  She now will lose her loving heart, and become the help for another princess.  This time it is a well-known princess, Linnea, and she is at a new school, far away from her family.  At this new school she makes new friends.  A maid named Brigid, a gardener named Thackery, as well as the carriage driver named Ford.  And she learns that maybe not all she was taught as a princess is true.  Maybe those that she was always taught were evil aren't necessarily the ones causing the problems.  And maybe those they've always thought they needed to follow their directions and rules are the ones that should be feared.

A great idea of who fairy godmothers are or might have been before they became as we know them.  Now, there doesn't list a sequel on Goodreads, but it does say this is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, and I don't know how long I can wait to read the next one!  Especially since this had a bit of a cliffhanger ending.  This one did start off a bit slow for me, but soon it picked up and I could barely put it down to work, to sleep, to do anything else.  There are still many questions I have about this world, and so as I said, I'm very eager for the next story to come out.  A definite recommendation for anyone who enjoys fairy tales reimagined.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - September 30th, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be ReadingAnyone can play along!  Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read 
  • Open to a random page
  •  Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  •  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) 
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
 My Teaser:

"Her magic gave a strange lurch, as if it was being pulled from inside her.  As if there was a hand sliding up through her ribs, stripping the magic away from her very core.  She felt as if she was being turned inside out and scraped clean." 
~p. 175, Stray by Elissa Sussman 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Light (Gone #6) by Michael Grant (September Sequel Challenge #6)

I actually got a copy of this through a trade on YA Book Exchange a while back.  And just didn't seem to get around to it till my September Sequel Challenge.  Which I'm so not going to meet my goal this year.  But, I must say that the sequels I did read this year, including this one, were all really good.  And this was another great ending to a favorite series of mine.  As I watch Under the Dome on tv, I think about how much better this series would be on tv.  At least in my opinion.

The end of all the kids' time in the FAYZ is almost over.  The gaiaphage is coming into its own, ready to break lose, and take over the world.  Little Pete, the one who created the dome is now fading away.  The kids have kind of revolted, and no one is working.  Partly because the dome has now become see through, and they can see their parents and the outside world, and all they want is to get out and go back to normal life.  It will take the most powerful, Sam, Caine, Breanna, Lana, and others to stop Gaia.  But not before she kills many of the kids.  There will be lots of death, and even of some who may have started out as the bad guys, but who had a redemption of some sort.  Orc who found God.  Albert who knew he was the only one to get the kids back working. Even Diana, the mother to the monster, will do what she must to try to save the others, including Caine, who she loves.  And some of the deaths will be beloved characters.  And then there will be some that are thought to be dead, that may survive and show up after everything is over.  The kids know that they will have to face authorities when they get out.  That people will want to punish them for what they don't understand.  And in the end, Sam will find out things from his mother that will really change his whole view on everything, including his brother Caine.

As I said, such a great ending to a great series. If you haven't started, you need to.  They have started putting them all out in new covers, which aren't bad, but I'm glad I was able to get them all with the same cover.   Now I must fit in my ARC of Messenger of Fear that I got at BEA.  And because I must share, here is my picture when I met Michael Grant this summer at BEA.  Let me just say how cool and personable he was!

Me with Michael Grant

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - September 28th, 2014 - The one where I get Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  And this week, well let me say that earlier this week, I had a moment like the new iPhone 6 commercial where the women all scream so high pitched they make the glass break.  Finally, finally, I got my ARC of Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

I got it at work, that's where almost always have things shipped to me anymore because I know they will actually arrive.  And it was during a very busy time in the library, and there was no one really to share my excitement with, so I was doing the above inside my head.  If you've seen my last few STS posts, you know how badly I wanted this book.


The first one was from Netgalley, the middle was from Edelweiss.  The third one I was so excited to see that I clicked request before I realized it was just the first 5 chapters in a sampler.  I don't like to read samplers.  I like to wait and read the whole thing at once.  Don't know if there will be a full blown e-galley available, or any ARCs, as this is the final book in a trilogy, and often they don't do them for that one.  So I have it, but I probably won't read it.  Will wait till I can get the whole thing.

Free Nook Books:

These were all part of a set.

Free Amazon e-books:

They both sounded good, and as I said, free.  I really think I need to come up with a challenge for next year to read some of these free books I've downloaded.  If you know of anyone that already hosts something like this, something different than just a TBR challenge, let me know!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vanished From Dust by Shea Norwood Blog Tour

About the Book:

Book Title: Vanished from Dust by Shea Norwood (Book 1 in the Vanished from Dust series)
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Pages: 320
Published: October 16th, 2013
Published by Createspace

Barnes & Nobles:



Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.

Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.

Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

 “I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

About the Author:

Shea Norwood is an emerging author and native of West Texas that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son.He was drawn to writing at an early age and recently rekindled this passion after dusting off a decade-old manuscript, titled Vanished from Dust. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.
When he’s not writing, Shea loves to spend time with this family, read, and is a frequent globetrotter. His travels have taken him to France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany, and Mexico.Shea writes Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal/Mystery

Follow Shea on Facebook to get updates on upcoming releases.





“I’m not crazy,” Eric Stark shouted at the crowd of seventh graders as they surrounded him. He looked up from the ground, which consisted of patches of grass and dirt, to see the sunlight glinting off of the metal braces of a girl with pigtails as she pointed and laughed with the rest of them. Another boy kicked him in the stomach, causing him to retreat into a fetal position to guard against another blow.
“Oh yeah?” Greg Coffey asked as he towered over Eric. His lip was curled, showing his crooked, heavily stained teeth. “What happened last week in class? You said, ‘They’re watching me.’ Remember that, loser?”
“I didn’t say that.” Eric tried to get up, but Greg pushed him back down and kicked dirt in his face. Eric rubbed his burning eyes with both hands. When he opened them he saw four more kids sneering over him, all laughing at his expense. Where was a teacher when you needed one? The hot Texas sun was high on the horizon, almost blinding him as he stared back at his tormentors. Sweat was pouring from his brow, mixing with the tears that streamed down his face.
“Yeah you did,” Adam Marshall said with a smirk. “You’re going off the rails, crazy train.”
“I like that—crazy train. Just like the song,” Greg said. He laughed and gave Adam a high five. “That’s your new name. Like it?” Greg kicked another pile of dirt at Eric.
Eric tried to spit it out, but his entire face was covered in a muddy film. He wished that he’d just kept his mouth shut about it, but it was too late now. News traveled fast in a small town, and he was sure everyone thought he was insane by now.
He didn’t know what he was.
“Leave him alone,” a kid said. He leaned over to help Eric to his feet. “I don’t like bullies.”
“Stay out of it, new kid.” Greg said and gave him a scowling stare.
“Or what?” The kid got closer.
“Let’s go,” Adam said. “There’s a teacher coming.” He slapped Greg on the

“This ain’t over,” Greg said as he walked away.
“Thanks,” Eric said.
“I’m Kyle Barrett,” the kid said, extending his hand.
Eric shook it. “Did you just move here?”
“Yeah, this is my first day,” Kyle said. “It’s hard being the new kid. No one talks to

“No one talks to me either, except to make fun of me,” Eric said.

Six months after the dirt-kicking incident, Eric and Kyle had turned from strangers

into fast friends. But everyone else still thought Eric was crazy. Even now, he couldn’t be sure if they were right or wrong.
He only knew one thing—he hadn’t actually seen them in several months. So was it all in his head? His mom always told him time heals all wounds. But this wound
was more like a cut that never healed. It festered in the eyes of everyone in Dust, Texas. He was just a mentally defective kid who barely deserved their pity.
He was in the eighth grade now, and he tried to put those troubled years behind him. It seemed that most of his classmates felt the same way, but a select few never grew tired of reminding him of his sanity (or lack thereof) and demeaning nickname from time to time.
Eric looked up at the clock. The second hand moved in a slow, agonizing speed before the bell rang loudly, reverberating throughout the building.
“Finally,” he said quietly to himself. The sound of the bell signified the end of the school week, and he was happy to hear it. It was only the week after Thanksgiving and he was already looking forward to summer break. He scrambled down the stairs and out the heavy double doors. Kyle Barrett waited at the foot of the steps wearing a tucked-in red polo. They had been inseparable ever since Kyle had stood up for him that day.
He didn’t stop when he got outside, taunting Kyle to a footrace. Kyle ran hard to catch up after seeing Eric dart by. Kyle was five months older, but for the time being they were both still fourteen, and they were often thought of as brothers due to their similar appearances. Both of the boys had dark-brown hair, chestnut-colored eyes, and olive skin. But Kyle was broader in the shoulders compared to Eric’s slender frame.
“Bet I can beat you to the car,” Eric yelled.
“No way,” Kyle said as he raced ahead of Eric.
Eric wasn’t going down without a fight, so he ran harder while dodging several

students loitering outside the school. He was closing the distance when he tripped, scattering his books across the parking lot. A group of girls standing on the sidewalk giggled as he got to his feet and gathered his things and what little dignity he had left. Kyle made it to the car and pointed at Eric, laughing.
“You busted big time,” Kyle said.
“You got lucky. If I hadn’t tripped I would’ve beat you,” Eric replied.
“Yeah right, you’ll never beat me.”
Jean, Kyle’s mother, rolled down the car window. She had a cigarette hanging

from her lip. Eric watched as the smoke drifted out the window and disappeared into the wind.
“Can I spend the night at Eric’s house tonight?” Kyle blurted out, still breathing hard.
Eric was standing anxiously next to the car, waiting for her reply. He bent over to rub his knee. He was pretty sure he’d scraped it hard enough to draw blood. He looked back to see if the girls were still watching him. They were on the sidewalk waiting for their rides but apparently had found a more interesting topic to discuss since they were no longer looking at him.
“Did Eric’s mom say it was all right?” Jean asked. She flicked her ash out of the window and took another drag. She had dry, ashy-brown hair, along with a pair of large-rimmed glasses that draped over her hazel eyes. She wore a simple mauve- colored T-shirt and blue jeans.
Kyle’s little sister, Katie, and older brother, Ben, were sitting in the backseat. Katie Barrett, the youngest of the family, had wavy dirty-blonde hair that looked like a poodle’s fur. Ben was Kyle’s older brother.
“She is okay with it,” Kyle said.
“Yeah, we asked last period,” Eric added.
“Well if she doesn’t mind, then it’s fine with me,” Jean said. She took her huge

glasses off, wiped the lenses with her shirt, and put them back on. “Kyle, do you still have your bike at Eric’s?”
“It should be there.” Kyle eyed Eric for confirmation, and he nodded.
Eric looked in the backseat and saw Ben picking his nose with no shame. He thought about pointing it out but quickly decided against it. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Eric had narrowly escaped getting his head dipped in the toilet by him at the high school football game, so it was best that he kept a little distance for now. If it hadn’t been for the school principal walking in during the act he would have had the unfortunate opportunity of seeing a close-up view of the inside of the toilet bowl.
“Dammit Ben. Don’t pick your nose and throw boogers in my car,” Jean demanded.
Ben looked up and replied, “I’m not picking my nose Mom.”
“Katie, did you see him picking?” Jean asked.
“No ma’am. I didn’t see anything,” Katie said. Eric was fairly certain that she had

in fact seen her older brother pick a fairly large booger, methodically roll it into a neat ball, and then flick it onto the floor of the car, but she probably knew that it was much wiser to keep her mouth shut.
Jean turned and gave Ben a stern look before turning back to look at Kyle. “Y’all be good now.”
Kyle and Eric nodded in near unison as she rolled up the window and pulled out of the school parking lot. 


One $25 Amazon Gift Card, Paypal, or B&N Gift Card, One $15 Amazon Gift Card, Paypal, or B&N Gift Card, and Two $5 Amazon Gift Card, Paypal, or B&N Gift Cards.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Life Tag

I've been tagged by Ellen at Random Smiles to complete this fun Book Life Tag.

If I tag you, I'll let you know.  Don't forget to link me back so I can see your answers! If you want to participate even if I didn't tag you, feel free to join right in and link me as well.

Note: Those I tag will play the on the "HARD" version of this, you can only reference the same book twice.

Let's start:

Who would be your father?
Jon Glass, Kami's father in the Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. 

Who would be your mother?
 Lily Evans Potter, Harry Potter's mom.

Who would be your sister?
Alice from Twilight.

 Who would be your brother?
Rusty Montgomery also from the Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan.
 Picture from author's website

  Who/What would be your pet?
 I would pick Einstein, the Golden Retriever from the book Watchers by Dean Koontz.

Where would you live?

 I think New York City like in Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz.

 Where would you go to school?
Hogwarts of course!!

What would be your fictional job?
I would be a Mortal & Caster Librarian like in Beautiful Creatures.

 Who would be your best friend?
Paige Kelly from The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz.

Who would be your significant other?
This was a really hard decision to make.  I kinda wanted Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse books.  Or maybe Jace from the Mortal Instruments books.  But I finally went with some with no magical powers.  Peeta from The Hunger Games.  I think.  Now I'm  not sure!  Oh well, I'll go with Peeta for now.  Oh but maybe I want either Fred or George from Harry Potter?  Nope, sticking with Peeta I guess.

You have been tagged!  Don't forget to link me to your posts!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris (September Sequels Challenge #5)

Well, it looks like I read the book right before this in the series last year during my September Sequel Challenge.  So seems appropriate that this one is now.  Don't know if I'll wait till next year to read the 13th and final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.  I'll probably pick it up next summer when I'll be wishing there was one more season of True Blood.  

What I love about these books is that I may have forgotten a little about what happened in the last book that I read a year ago, but I am easily pulled back into Sookie's life and the small town of Bon Temps.  Something I realized as I read this is that Sookie is really just like those detective characters in what you'd call a cozy mystery.  And I know the author does write mystery books as well. 

In this next to last story, Sookie and Eric's relationship is a bit strained.  Partly because the King Felipe has come to see them, and is asking about his man Victor.  Yes, Sookie and Eric are responsible for Victor and his men's deaths, and yes Felipe wanted that, but they cannot let there be any proof of it, because the King will have to do something about it.  The story starts out with several problems, first when Sookie goes to visit Eric while he is entertaining the King, she walks in to find him in a room feeding on some random woman.  The woman is part were, and also may have drunk or injected herself with fairy blood to make herself irresistible to Eric.  When she is made to leave, not long after she is found dead on the lawn, something the vampires are unable to hide because the police are called before they can make the problem disappear.  Also, Sam's girlfriend Jannalyn seems to have it out for Sookie.  So she is dealing with that.  Then there are problems with the fairies that have been left behind when her great grandfather Niall closed the door to their homeland.  They want to go home, and some, the elves, need to feed to relieve their stress.  All of it will end up being tied together at the end, very neatly this time, unlike some of the books in the series that I remember. 

There are also good things happening, Sookie's brother Jason proposes to his girlfriend, Tara has her twins, and those are just a few good things.  I have to admit that I do see the actors from the tv show when I read the book, and I hear Sookie talk in Anna Paquin's voice.  So while I am going to miss the show, since it was so different from the books by this season, it is okay.  Another good read.  Now I'm anxious to read the last book, even with all the things I've heard from people who were unhappy about things in it.