Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Prophecy (The Fulfillment Series #1)

23594683Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Ethereals and the Vangards have been at war so long, it's difficult to remember how it started. But everyone remembers the prophecy: a girl with raven hair and purple eyes will marry the Ethereal Prince and bring peace to the war weary world. Thus The Prophecy by Erin Rhew begins The Fulfillment Series

Layla plays the main character but is supported by an array of influential characters. Layla has always been a little careless, though her family has told her again and again that she has to be careful. She has the prophesied black hair and the purple eyes. This carelessness and want for adventure gets her procured by the Elder. Laya is loyal, caring, and believes that she is not the Fulfillment. She's also open-minded, accepting, and curious. Readers will enjoy her personality, understand her feelings, and will only be slightly irked at her naivete. 

Nash, Wil, and Vespa along with Grant and Samson are Layla's allies. Grant and Samson are her brothers, always looking out for and protecting her. The other three are Ethereal royalty, as Wil would be the Prince who would help Layla bring peace to the lands. Wil is trusting, sweet, and genuine where as Nash is a little rough around the edges. And Vespa is a secretive, but trustworthy, teenage Princess. 

The plot begins with a country wide celebration of the prophecy, where Layla is captured and taken. She wishes to escape but one of her brother's lives is at stake and she can't take the chance that he'll be killed. Layla is presented as the Fulfillment and taken to live at the Ethereal castle where she learns much and more. The story line will excite readers, pulling them into the action. The magic induced love triangle was a bit much but the writing style and pace were both wonderful. (As was the surprise at the end...)

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Friday, November 28, 2014

Photo Friday

A Gift Guide for Book Lovers via
Found on Pinterest:

For those of you shopping for fellow book lovers. Another blog came up with a wonderful and impressive list of gifts.

Pink Heels Pink Truck

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

Found on Pinterest:

!Happy Thanksgiving!

So many things to be thankful for (like books and family). 
Counting my blessings. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WWW Wednesday (125)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

23594683     544891     16059426

01. Currently Reading:
The Prophecy by Erin Rhew. It is prophesied that a girl with dark hair and violet eyes will bring peace to two divided countries. That girl is thought to be Layla Givens and now she's in the hands of the King, not ready for the future.

02. Recently Finished:
Beastly by Alex Flinn. A modernized tale of Beauty and the Beast. Very enjoyable even if it was a bit cheesy at times.

03. Reading Next:
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. So excited to check this off my main reading list. I love this author and cannot wait to dive in.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (138)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone 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


The Prophecy (11%)
   - Erin Rhew

"This girl is the Fulfillment. No testing is required because the First Ones told me themselves."

Monday, November 24, 2014


544891I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright--a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever--ruined--unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Alex Flinn modernizes the classic Beauty and the Beast tale in her novel, Beastly. I've been wanting to read this for a quite some time, probably since the movie adaptation came out. It definitely lived up to my expectations. 

Kyle Kingsbury is the main character of this fairy tale. He's the guy that everyone secretly, or not so secretly, hates. He's snooty, selfish, and knows he's attractive. The worst combination ever. He's also cruel to those he sees as below him. Until the witch that is. Then Kyle becomes a spell induced beast who can no longer rely on his looks and his money to get through life. Kyle then changes his name to Adrian King. But his name isn't the only thing that changes, obviously. He becomes caring, kind, and thoughtful and begins to realize his own potential. Readers will no doubt dislike Kyle Kingsbury, but they will come to love Adrian King. Though it's difficult to relate to a beast, that fact can be used as a metaphor for any characteristic that makes us self conscious. This interpretation will connect readers to the beast. 

The plot begins with Kyle taunting a girl named Kendra who plays the witchy role. When he fails Kendra's little test, she casts a spell on him. Kyle will look like the beast he is on the inside until he can find someone who will love him for him. Someone he loves as well. And he only has two years. The modernized tale follows the well known story pretty closely and is easy to enjoy. With relatable characters, fairy tale situations, internal struggle, and a happily ever after, Beastly won't disappoint. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Vardin Village

20930730Sixteen-year-old, George Vardin, lives in a crappy, ramshackle cottage with no electricity and a roof that’s about to implode. The creaky front porch overlooks the magnificent ancestral mansion that his father lost because of his drug abuse. George is not sure which is more breathtaking; the view or the irony.

George’s life is about to suck even more because school starts next week and he can’t scrape up enough money to pay his cell phone bill let alone the fee to play varsity football. Uncle Morris shows up and offers a creative solution to keep George and his sister together under one roof. It’s a much larger, less leaky roof, with a breathtaking view of the crappy, ramshackle cottage. Crafty Morris reveals a secret tunnel that leads to the mansion and consequently some Vardin family secrets that will make junior year unforgettable.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Maggie Spence shares a story of two lost children adopted by a ragtag group of townsfolk in her family mystery, Vardin Village. Abandoned by their mother, George and Eleanor Vardin try to stay below the radar and makes ends meet until George's eighteenth birthday. When it's discovered that they are alone in the world, odd friendships are formed and a new family is born. But that's just the beginning of the trouble. 

There are many main characters in this novel. George and Eleanor are the focus with Morris, Archie, Maria, Dolly, and Reginald supporting and fighting for the two children. George is a sweet teenage boy who doesn't want to be separated from his sister if anyone found out their mom had disappeared. Readers will sympathize with George and wholeheartedly adopt him as a loved character. Eleanor is a little girl who keeps to herself. She immerses herself in novels because they're better than real life. As the characters come together to help the children, readers will see Eleanor come out of her shell more and more. 

Morris is a family friend of the Vardins. He was very close to the children's late grandfather. Home from traveling, Morris learns of what the children are going through and wants to help. Readers will appreciate Morris stepping up and taking responsibility for the children. Archie is a funny character. He's pushing elderly and is set in his ways. But he has a change of heart when it comes to the Vardin kids. Readers will experience how the children change Archie for the better. Maria owns the town diner and had a rough childhood. Not wanting the children to experience the same, Maria comes to be a mother figure for the two children. Responsible and caring, readers will enjoy the maternal touches she adds to the story. 

Dolly and Reginald live in the Vardin mansion. Dolly has been the housekeeper there for years and Reginald is employed by the city to take care of the historic home. When they are introduced to the children's situation, they are eager to help. Dolly slowly sheds her fears and acts as a doting grandmother to the children. While Reginald takes a sheen to Eleanor, who is like him in many ways with her love of books and history. Readers will love Dolly's feisty attitude and Reginald's dedication to all things Vardin, including the children. With so many characters, readers are bound to feel a connection with one of them. 

The plot begins with it being discovered that George and Eleanor have no guardian. The group of adults form an alliance and decide to help the children in any way they can. But the mansion will soon be up for sale and if everything isn't finished by that time, the children could end up in foster care. Vardin Village is a warming story with flashes of villainous tendencies and skewed views of right and wrong. Readers will enjoy this easy read with it's simplistic writing style and humorous bits. The only thing that troubled me about the novel was my uncertainty of the audience. At times it seemed as if the book were written with a young adult or tween audience in mind, but at other times it seemed to reach out to adults. This made it a little difficult to fully connect with the novel but I think a foundation is definitely built between the reader and each main character.  

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photo Friday

Altered Book - The land of Oz the wizard of OZ book series. $300.00, via Etsy. This artist has some amazing pieces/books for sale
Found on Pinterest:
Pinned from Etsy:

Amazing work of art. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WWW Wednesday (124)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

20930730     6644117     544891

01. Currently Reading:
Vardin Villiage by Maggie Spence. I've just started it this one. George, a teenage boy, struggles to find a place to stay after his father loses their house.

02. Recently Finished:
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. The first book in the Iron Fey series, this book was wonderful. Meghan finds herself in the Fey world after her little brother is kidnapped and replaced by a changeling.

03. Reading Next:
Beastly by Alex Flinn. This one has been on my TBR list for a while. Modern day beauty and the beast. Can't wait to start it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1)

6644117Meghan 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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Julie Kagawa writes of the Fey world in her novel, The Iron King, a book I wish I would have known about years ago. After spotting it at the library, I wondered why I had never read it. The novel that opens the Iron Fey series is a portal to the land of mischief and secrets, where saying 'thank you' puts you in debt and everyone is quick to make a deal. 

Meghan Chase is the main character of this book and the series. She's a high school girl who only has one friend and is often at the receiving end of bullying and pranks. Readers will immediately sympathize with her outcast label. Then, suddenly, Meghan's little brother is kidnapped and replaced by a changeling which leads Meghan to a familial revelation: she's the daughter of King Oberon of the Fey. Readers then bear witness as Meghan learns to be self-sufficient, strong, brave, and determined. Her loyalty is truly astonishing but is most often her downfall in the novel. The characteristics that Meghan has make her easy to relate to and give her a dimensional fluidity that allows her to reach the audience on a deeper level. 

The Iron King begins with the veil between Meghan and the Fey world slowly lowering. As she celebrates (or mourns) her sixteenth birthday, all is revealed. Then with Ethan's kidnapping, Meghan becomes determined to traverse the Fey world until she finds him and returns him to the human world safely. With the level of danger in the Fey world, the journey becomes a trial of Meghan's love and loyalty, faith and strength. I wasn't able to put it down until the last battle. And now, my fingers are itching to hold the second book and continue the adventure. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Cups

Teaser Tuesday (137)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone 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


The Iron King
     - Julie Kagawa

"It's him!" I whispered, cutting my gaze to the nobles approaching behind the queen. "That boy! He was hunting me that day in the forest, when I landed in your tree. He tried to kill me!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moscow Bound

22130087Ekaterina Romanova, the estranged wife of Russia's wealthiest oligarch Konstantin Gravchenko, asks Scott Mitchell, an idealistic young English human rights lawyer who is being intimidated by the authorities, to find the father she's never met. She believes he's been languishing for decades without trial in the Gulag system.

Meanwhile, General Pravda of military intelligence, though an advocate of transparency, is determined to protect a covert operation that he's been running for years. General Pravda hinders Ekaterina and Scott at every turn and lawyer and client are forced to go on the run for a murder they didn't commit.

As they descend into the Hades that is the world of international realpolitik Scott is compelled to reconsider his own values, and Pravda's life's work disintegrates, when Scott uncovers a 50 year-old Cold War secret, which both the Russian and US governments are still trying to hide from the public domain. 'Moscow Bound' is the first book in The Puppet Meisters trilogy, dealing with state abuse of power.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Russian Government has a secret that dates back to the Vietnam War. When Ekaterina's mother dies, she doesn't expect the news that her father is still alive. Somehow the two are connected. But neither she nor Scott Mitchell expect the lengths that the Russian Government will go to in order to keep their secret in Moscow Bound by Adrian Churchward.

Scott Mitchell is the main character of Moscow Bound. He's a British human rights lawyer who lives in Moscow and is currently disliked by many of his fellow countrymen. Scott lives the law. He respects the legal system, uses it to his advantage, and readily points out when the law is not being upheld. Readers will respect Scott for his views and ambitions. He fights for the victim, especially when they can't fight for themselves. He's a very intelligent character with an open heart. Though, his inexperience in working with untrustworthy government employees and bad guys is obvious. Way too trusting.  

The plot of Moscow Bound quickly introduces how Scott's previous case has caused unrest with the opinion of him in Russian minds. But no doubt, this popularity catches Ekaterina's attention. She's beginning a search for her father who has been held by the Russian Government without trial for thirty years and needs the help of Mr. Mitchell. Does it get any more human rights than that? Readers will like Ekaterina though she is secretive, seemingly untrustworthy, and bizarre. Regardless I think a connection will still be made through sympathy and understanding. When Scott takes the case, things escalate quickly. Churchward pulls readers into the disastrous situation without pausing to take a breath. If the characters don't keep the audience engaged, the bombings, murders, and kidnappings will.

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dangerous Creatures

18478946A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed...others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she's a bad girl. She's Dark. She's a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she's around. Lucky for her, Wesley "Link" Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn't hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Kami Garcia and Maragret Stohl are continuing their Caster legacy with Dangerous Creatures, a new series with characters from Beautiful Creatures. This series will focus on Link and Ridley, the unlikely Siren and Part Incubus couple. 

Most of the book is written with the main character focus on Ridley, though Link does have some sections of his own, as does Lennox Gates. I never thought of Ridley as a bad or a good character. More like a victim of circumstance. She wasn't my favorite but she did play an important role in the Beautiful Creatures series. Ridley, by nature as a Siren, is Dark. She's incredibly selfish, self involved, bratty, and doesn't play well with others. As Ridley is an outsider, many readers can relate to her because this feeling is universally understood. Everyone has a past experience where they've felt out of their element. Though not many readers are as villainous as Ridley. 

The plot of the novel, and (safe to assume?) series, revolves around revenge. Link killed Abraham Ravenwood with a pair of gardening shears after being lured by Ridley and, though he is on the Otherside, he isn't too happy about it. Enter Ridley who owes a gambling debt to Nox, a Dark Caster who is being threatened by Ravenwood to kill Ridley and Link. Add all previous ingredients to a NYC Underground Dark Caster Club, mix with a Necromancer, an Illusionist, a Darkborn and voila! Chaos ensues. 

Though I love Stohl and Garcia's writing, their world of Casters, and the plot line, I had trouble connecting with Ridley and caring what happened to her. Not that I think she deserves to be locked in chains and forced to do Dark work... I just wish I would have made a stronger connection with her early on in the Creatures world so that a firm foundation would have already been laid out. No matter what, you can bet that I'll be reading the rest of the series now that the foundation is in place. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Photo Friday

Found on Pinterest

No arguing with that. :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Guernsey Retreat

22841810Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…

A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger - for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm's journey is more tortuous: conceived in Guernsey, he travels to Canada as a baby with his bereaved mother. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father's home, where Malcolm was conceived, but never lived and where his father was killed at the start of the Second World War.

At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…

*May Contain Spoilers*

Anne Allen continues sharing the magic of Guernsey in her novel, Guernsey Retreat. A rich story of familial discoveries, love that is lost as well as found, and a chance to bring justice to those who deserve it, Guernsey fans will enjoy the new series addition.

Louisa is the main character and readers will love her free spirited personality and open heart. She works as a physiotherapist, illustrating her focus of helping people. When Louisa meets her father for the first time, she is understanding, brave, and a bit nervous. These small details add to the overall realistic depiction of Louisa. She's a swimmer, loves the outdoors, and is quite health conscious. Readers will thoroughly relate to Louisa as she focuses on opening her life to a father who wants to make up for lost time and a chance to be truly balanced in life. 

The novel opens with the death of Susan, Louisa's mother. After a home invasion, Susan dies of heart failure, but Louisa caught a glimpse of the attacker. And with her last words, Susan told Louisa to warn her father -- a man she has never met -- of the mortal danger. With hope and fear simmering within, Louisa travels to Guernsey where her father has just opened a health and wellness center. Together they hope to track down the man who caused Susan's death. 

Guernsey Retreat is a book about building an enjoyable life and discovering new wonders by being open. It's also focused on family and the importance of love in your life. The novel is written mainly from Louisa's point of view in European style - complete with alternate vocabulary spellings. Though the characters and story line are interesting, the dialogue seems stiff at times and I had trouble imagining the characters actually saying certain phrases. Regardless, Anne Allen weaves a delicate novel with relatable characters and intriguing mystery.

Rating: 3.5/5Cups

WWW Wednesday (123)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

18478946     22841810     22130087

01. Currently Reading:
Dangerous Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. Just starting this one. I've been so excited to read it. Cannot wait to see what's next for my favorite characters.

02. Recently Finished:
Guernsey Retreat by Anne Allen. When Louisa's mother's home is broken into by a criminal in search of priceless jewels, Louisa embarks on a journey to uncover the guilty, meet her father, and fall in love.

03. Reading Next:
Moscow Bound by Adrian Churchward. Not my typical read but giving this one a shot. A woman hires a lawyer to help her find her father before being dragged into a murder investigation and uncovering a political secret.