Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

First, thanks to Delacorte Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an egalley of this title.  I was excited for it because I loved Holes and Small Steps by this author. And the idea behind it really grabbed my interest as a science fiction reader and former science teacher.  And while the idea was really great, and there were some good parts to the story, I was left a little disappointed and feeling like the story was too short and too rushed.  I feel it needed more, just more  More depth, more story, something. 

There are two main characters. Tamaya, a 5th grade girl, and Marshall, a 7th grade boy.  Tamaya is a good girl, she likes rules, likes doing what she is supposed to do.  And one of those things is that she has to walk to and from school with Marshall, and not walk through the woods.  Marshall is a pretty normal 7th grade boy, but he is being bullied by a new kid at school named Chad. And on the day the story starts, Chad has told Marshall that he is going to meet him on a certain corner on his normal route home from school and beat him up.  So Marshall decides that he's going to go through the woods and avoid that place.  Tamaya has to go with him, as she doesn't want to walk by herself.  Unfortunately, once they get in the woods, it's almost like they get a little lost. And then, even worse, Chad shows up, and starts beating up Marshall. Tamaya doesn't know what to do, so she sees this mud that looks fuzzy, and throws it in Chad's face, and then she and Marshall take off for home. 

However, the hand that she used to grab the mud is now all tingly, even after she washes it up. And then sores start popping up on her skin. So she tries different creams and bandages, but nothing seems to do much for it.  The next day at school it seems that Chad never made it to school.  With what is happening to her hand, she has a feeling what might have happened.  When Marshall refuses to do what Tamaya knows is the right thing, go look for him, or else tell someone, she goes into the woods herself.  And from there, well all heck breaks loose.

Interspersed within the story are records of a political hearing about the people who made the stuff that is called fuzzy mud. And it is interesting.  But I'd like to maybe have the scientists in the story more. 

A good story, might be a good read for a reluctant reader because of how quick the story is, without a lot of extras.  But it really doesn't have the heart that Holes did, which has always been a good book for reluctant readers itself.  So it was an okay read, but nothing special, and not what I have come to expect from this author.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cover Reveal: Dangerous Games by D'Ann Burrow


Dangerous Games by D’Ann Burrow
(Secrets and Lies, #2)
Publication date: September 28th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Kennedy Thatcher is leaving Piney Bluff, Texas. In September, she wanted nothing more than to go back home to California, but things have changed.

Two weeks ago

Kennedy broke Rule #1. She used her gift to save a life. Her secret is no longer secret. Her mother once tried to warn her – using her ability was dangerous. No one could know what she could do. Now Kennedy is paying the price.

Two days ago

Tanner Shields helped Kennedy rescue a friend by skipping school and driving to New Orleans. His entire future is at risk when he’s benched during the most important football game of his life. He’s lost the chance for a scholarship and a way out of town.

Two hours ago

Kennedy made a bargain to save Tanner’s future. When she agrees to return home with her father, she’s forced to ask herself the most important question of all – who can she trust?


I’m a fan of things that go bump in the night—at least I like to read and write about them. I write both Young Adult and New Adult romances, frequently with a paranormal twist. (No vampires or werewolves allowed…I see enough of them when I watch The Vampire Diaries, and can any other vampire really compare with Damon Salvatore?)

My preschool teachers began to worry a bit when I said that I wanted to be a witch when I grew up and my favorite color was black. Thankfully, my imagination still gets a good workout when I write about the secrets people keep. And don’t we all have a few secrets?

When I grow up, my dream is to work at the Haunted Mansion. Until then, watching Ghost Hunters will have to count as research.
Author Links:

Cover designed by Okay Creations.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2) by Caragh M. O'Brien

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  My choice this week is the sequel to a book I got at BEA back in the summer of 2014, The Vault of Dreamers.  It was an interesting story, even if it wasn't quite what I'd expected, and I'd really like to see where the story goes next.  Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

The fast-paced, psychologically thrilling sequel to The Vault of Dreamers follows Rosie after her consciousness has been split in two.

The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students' dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie's dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie's consciousness woke up in that body--a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, this sequel to The Vault of Dreamers will keep readers on the edge of their seats and leave them hungry for more.

I'm really excited to see just how this story will go on.  Because it seemed as if Rosie was gone at the end, yet here it seems like she will get a new chance, even if not as herself really, or at least not in her own body.  

So, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I was able to get an ARC of this book through a trade with Emily at Falling for YA.  It was one that I was very excited to read.  Although so far I've only read Legend by Marie Lu, I really liked that one so much, that I just had to get ahold of this one.  Unfortunately I wasn't as blown away this time.  By the end of the book I was definitely drawn in enough that I'll have to read the next book to see what happens though. 

This is a fantasy story set in a world ten year after a horrible disease/plague has either killed or left with major scars.  The types of scars usually include things like hair colors, but can also be things such as losing an eye.  And some of the children who survived not only have strange markings, but also may have powers.  These children are called malfettos, and the king and queen want to rid the world of them.  They may not all have powers, but those that do could be a serious threat to the king and queen.  You see the prince is one, and he wants revenge on his sister who kept him from becoming king due to his new deformity/power.  His name is Enzo, and he is one with the strange powers.  In fact he calls himself and those he has gathered for his revenge, The Young Elites.  Adelina is truly the main character though.  She lost an eye and her hair turned silver.  She has a younger sister who seemed to have survived with no markings or any changes.  And so their father has always treated her younger sister, Violetta, much better.  Until one day Adelina hears a plan of her father's that she wants no part of, and so she tries to run away. But when her father catches her, her powers manifest and she kills him.  But in doing so, she is caught by the king and queen's Inquisitors and taken to be killed.  There she meets Teren, the head Inquisitor.  Teren is a malfetto himself, but his power is more well hidden. And he does the queen's bidding, as he is in love with her, and thinks she is in love with him. 

When the Young Elites save Adelina from her execution, she is taken back to their hideout where they will try to train her and see if she can be of use in their plans.  But she will not know if she is really being accepted, or if she must only do what is in her own, as well as her sister's best interest for themselves. 

The powers were definitely interesting.  The story itself had great detail and description.  I just don't know how I feel about the love story, seems almost forced to me unfortunately.  And really, I just don't know if I like Adelina that much, or even her sister towards the end of the book.  But there is enough left hanging, and characters that I do like, that I need to know what will happen next.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amanda Hocking

First, thanks to St. Martin's Griffin and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an egalley of this final book in the Kanin Chronicles.  As I mentioned in the review for the 2nd book, Ice Kissed, that I finished right before I started this one, I just love this author and her writing.  And I have to say that this ending didn't disappoint me at all.  Again, if you haven't read the first two books yet, there are definitely going to be things you won't want to read about in this review.  So you should go back and start with my review of the first book in the series, Frostfire, in that case.

Of course at the end of the last book Bryn was accused of being guilty of treason, and now she had to flee her home and try to prove her innocence.  Once out of danger and on the run, she is joined by Konstantin, her one time enemy, who now seems to be the only one she may be able to trust in this mess.  The two of them try to work with some of the other troll tribes to get the true mastermind and guilty one, Queen Mina, out of control.  But it will take finding some kind of actual proof of the Queen's treachery, as well as finding which other tribes or members of tribes are not already part of Queen Mina's revengeful scheme.  She will work to avenge the death of her friend Kaspar, and will even call on help from her friend's family back in the Trylle kingdom, so we get to go back and see some of my favorite characters from the Trylle books.  The characters that really got me hooked on Hocking's books.

In the final battle, because there will be one, she will have allies in those that she has helped in the past, but will lose loved ones as they fight to save those they love.  And she will find true love, and work to set her kingdom right as it should be in the best way that she can.  Another great series by Amanda Hocking, one that I could not bear to put down even though I did have to work and sleep at some times. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - July 26th, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  This week I got several physical books, a few free e-books, and no egalleys.  I also got these cool Pop figures:

Physical books:

I've been wanting to read the new companion series to Flowers in the Attic, and I know that Secret Brother is one of them.  I just didn't realize the other two I'd seen were supposed to be before this one.  So guess I'll be on the lookout for them.  I'm hoping that I didn't already buy Red Hill, but I've wanted to read it for awhile, and it was on the bargain table for like $5, so I had to grab it.  I got Prodigy through the Books for Trade tag.  I've tried really hard to keep the coloring books out of my house so that I don't waste time on them, but I love peacocks so had to buy this one.  Broken Trust is by my friend Michelle Sodaro, and I finally was able to get together with her since she got them so that I could buy one.  And the last one is just a sampler of the actual Black Widow book that they were giving out at my bookstore during the Pop Culture Fangirl event.  


Both of those were free ebooks.  They sound pretty good.  

So, what books did you add to your shelves this week?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

U.S. Virtual Road Trip- Day 25- Missouri

Hey everyone, haven't had time to blog today.  I had a great writing date with my friend that helped me back in November to actually win NaNoWriMo in the morning, which led to me uploading 4 more chapters of that novel to Wattpad HERE.  And then this afternoon we had my stepmom's birthday party.  But I wanted to make sure to check in and send everyone over to a post I got to be a part of at Reading Away the Days.  You can learn all about my lovely home state of Missouri!

Only one thing I have to do a little correction on, I listed author Heather Brewer as living in Missouri, but recently she has come out to the public as being transgender, and she is now a he, as in Zac Brewer.  So forgive me for the info in the post as I sent my information to Megan before the announcement.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cover Characteristic: Castles

The Cover Characteristic meme is hosted at  Sugar and Snark.   Here are the guidelines:

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit).
You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

I always choose from books I've already read.  Here are my top 5 for castles:





1.  And my favorite:

Those are my top 5 choices for this topic.  What do you think?  Have you read any of them?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Ice Kissed (Kanin Chronicles #2) by Amanda Hocking

First of all, thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read an egalley of this.  For some reason I didn't get to it before it was published, but then when I knew the third book in the series, Crystal Kingdom, was coming out, I had to hurry up and read this so that I could read my egalley of that as well.  And I have to say, just like the first book in this series, Frostfire, I was once again blown away by how much I love this world and these characters.  And even though it has been since December that I'd read the first book, I was able to jump right back in and not feel like I'd forgotten anything.  In fact, there were little details sprinkled throughout the beginning that totally filled in any gaps of things forgotten, without being a total information dump.  Now, if you haven't read the first book, then I can't promise you no spoilers, so you might want to click on my link for the first book above and read that review to decide if the series sounds good to you.

Bryn and Ridley have come back to their home after trying and failing to find the queen of Skojare.  And with the news of both Konstantin and Viktor both being out there, their own king has decided to prepare for war.  But Bryn doesn't believe the queen is dead like others are saying.  Especially after the queen comes to her in a dream.  She take Ridley to a fairy tale place that her mother knows about and they find the Queen Linnae.  She tells them that she didn't feel safe, and that she'd been warned by Konstantin that she was in danger.  Ridley doesn't believe that Konstantin would help her, although Bryn does, since he seems to have helped her as well.  So Bryn gets sent back to Skojare to help them figure out their own guard and try to fix it so the queen will feel safe.  But while there they find not only tons of issues with how the guard is run, but there is also lots of suspicious behavior by all parties.  When a suspect is finally arrested for a murder, Bryn and Kaspar head back home.  Only to find that the problem has come to them. And when they try to bring it to light, Bryn will find herself on the other side of the investigation.

Of course there is still the romance or the steamy feelings between Ridley and Bryn, and they will have to decide if they should act on them.  And then there is Prince Kennet, who seems to be flirting with Bryn every time she sees him.  But she can't flirt back, as it wouldn't be appropriate the way their society works.  And then there is still the attraction she always had to Konstantin from when she was a child.  She still wants to know why  he tried to kill her father, but still knows he is attractive, and seems to be a good guy.

After reading, I'm so glad I have the egalley of the third book ready to go, and I started it this morning.  I need to know what happens next.  I love that these books have been released just months apart instead of years in between each one.  They could probably have been one big book, but this works as well for me.  I understand the publishers wanting money and all of that. But this is the way to split it up so that we don't have so long to wait in between.  I'm still a huge fan of this author, the writing style is easy to read and definitely grabs you and keeps your attention.  Stay tuned for my review of the third book later this week as I'm reading it right now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Banished, (Forbidden #2) by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.  I've chosen a book this week that is a sequel to a book I read as part of a blog tour and absolutely fell in love with it.  The first book was called Forbidden, and you can read my review of it HERE.   Here's the blurb for this second book, Banished, from Goodreads:

She thought she’d lost everything . . .

After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the Kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba is fraught with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden, is full of love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.

The description leaves me very breathless! Can't wait to read it, don't know if I can wait clear till 2016.  

So, what book are you eagerly awaiting this week?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: After Dark by James Leck

First, thanks to Kids Can Press and Netgalley for allowing me to read an egalley of this title.  I definitely enjoyed it.  It is more of a middle school level title, but not in a bad way.  I loved the main character who was just constantly sarcastic.  I mean even in the middle of danger his responses were snarky.  And I probably love it because my brain works that way so that I have to stop myself from saying those things all the time.  But it was fun to read a story where someone did just let it all out that way.  The reactions he got, well, I've gotten those myself before.  I also love how the names of many characters are from the original Dracula story, even though this isn't necessarily a vampire story, although it is kind of.

The main character is Charlie Harker, who moves to a small town where his mom is renovating a family bed and breakfast for them to live and run.  (Jonathan Harker was the guy in Dracula who went to his castle to help him with his affairs).  He's just finished the school year at his private school, where as usual, he was up to a lot of mischief and causing problems.  He arrives in this small town and is not real excited about it.  For one thing, in the past his family has always gone to the beach or other fancy vacation spots.  Now he's going to have to help his mother renovate the inn, and he doesn't want to spend his summer working, he wants to relax as in the past.  His older brother is an actor in a popular supernatural tv show.  His younger sister is kind of a severe girl, vegan, very into yoga and meditation, as well as martial arts.  They have a crazy uncle that lives there, and after a first strange meeting with him, the uncle disappears. This all leads into the conspiracy theory or whatever you'd call it, that the new boy he meets, Miles Van Helsing, is trying to prove.  (Van Helsing was the vampire hunter in Dracula, if you didn't already know that).  Miles is kind of the town crackpot. The sheriff knows all about him, and when he shows up the first night and is supposedly running from something, he makes Charlie and his mom stay in the house and lock the door because he says they are in danger. And then he won't leave.  So Charlie's mom calls the Sheriff who comes and picks Miles up and takes him home. 

But when people do start acting funny, Charlie can't quite explain away all that Miles is saying.  And soon the whole town seems to be taken over, so Charlie and Miles must figure out a way to save their families without getting sucked into the zompire/virus or whatever it is that is going on.

Like I said, it was a fun read.  Loved how the craziness just went from one incident to another, and Charlie just happened to stumble into Miles and helping him out whether he wanted to or not.  The characters were fun to read.  This kind of left it open for a second book.  Not sure if one is planned. But I will have to read if it is, to find out just what will happen to Miles next.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - July 20th, 2015

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  It is a way for us to share the new books we have collected.  Once again I've had a busy couple of weekends, so this will be a compilation of the last two weeks.  Plus, I'm a day later than I usually like to post this, but Sunday was just pretty busy for me.  I've got a lot to share this week.  And I've really gotten into the #booksfortrade on Twitter.  Trying to get more involved on the web site as well as the group on Goodreads.  

Physical books:

The first 5 were all through the Books for Trade.  Lois Land: Fallout I had to buy, just had to have it!  The Write Stuff and Innocence are books I also bought.  The first one for some good writing prompts, one that already turned into a great scene for my story for this Novembers NaNoWriMo.  I have already read the Dean Koontz, but when I saw it in our bargain books, a hardcover for $5.98, and I didn't have it on my shelf at home, I had to purchase it.  The last book was a surprise ARC from the publisher.  


 The first three above are for reviews, the others are all free or cheap ebooks. 

I also was bad and just stopped by the library and picked up some sequels I need to read.

I got the egalley of the book after Sanctum, so I had to read that. And then I never got an egalley for Unleashed, but when I saw it at the library I just grabbed it.  

So, what did you add to your shelves this week?