Wednesday, November 30, 2016


30077755Mira’s mother sizes up bodies at the morgue like she’s rifling through the sales rack: this one’s too big… this one’s too small… ah, here it is. Just right. The perfect vessel for the one they’ll call Adam.

Since Adam’s survival is the key to drawing out the Conduit—a slippery sort bent on evacuating souls from their human bodies—Mira must help him pass for a typical teenage boy. That means showing him how to talk right, walk right, chew with his mouth open... blend in.

Ironic, because blending in is has always been a challenge for Mira, especially with hair the color of a Dorito. But at their small, secluded prep school, blending in is a matter of life and death.

Because the Conduit is watching.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Kama Falzoi Post brings a race of aliens to Earth in hopes of trying to save their species in her book, InHuman. The beings need a host and become a parasitic race, accidentally evacuating human souls from bodies and taking their place. They realize their mistake and begin searching for deceased bodies to reinvigorate, but it's too late. The damage is done and revenge from one specific soul is underway. 

Mira is half-human, half-conduit, with no world-saving experience, but she's still tasked with the job. A conduit is part of the alien race who functions as a doorway that souls can travel through. Specifically, souls that have been sent to the Dark Eternal, aka the other side. Mira has been trying to find *The* Conduit for years. The Conduit is the villain of the story, taking souls from the Dark Eternal and giving them bodies that were originally used for the alien species to reside in. This has resulted in many alien souls being trapped in the Dark Eternal, threatening the extinction of the alien species. Mira, since she's half-conduit, has been assigned the job of finding The Conduit in order to bring back all the trapped alien souls. Though Mira has no idea exactly how to do this. It doesn't matter though, because her father is one of the trapped souls, and she'll do anything to get him back. 

Mira is also a teenage girl, which comes with its own set of problems and character traits. She has a bit of trouble making friends and is unsure of herself when it comes to boys. Though she'd give anything to only have those problems. Readers will enjoy learning about this alien race and how exactly their species survives, but they'll also be interested in Mira's life as a half-conduit. I think the teenage aspect of her character creates a fun addition to the story while also adding weight to the search for her father. 

Adam is the newest Initiate from the alien race and his story is a bit sadder. He's been brought to Earth in order to be bait for The Conduit. Mira and her two leaders, Hal and Larry, think that if Mira is with the Initiate then she can catch The Conduit when it comes for Adam. Adam gives the readers a sort of insight when it comes to the aliens invading former deceased bodies. As described in the book, it's like a new foal - a little clumsy and unsure of how to act. I think readers will like Adam's character and offer an understanding of what he's going through. He knows he's bait and it's a difficult position to be in. 

The only real problems I had with the book were the lack of training Mira has when it comes to her capabilities as a half-conduit and her father. Her father is also a conduit, which is why Mira has that ability. However, I'm not sure how The Evil Conduit could force her father out of his body and into the Dark Eternal without him fighting back. It seems like her father could/should have had the power to stop The Evil Conduit from evacuating the alien souls in the first place. There's also a lot of back-stabbing in this book and though there are reasons given, it doesn't seem like loyalty is a well known trait in this cast of characters. 

InHuman is a book that brings aliens to Earth and creates a chaotic mess that could potentially destroy the human race as well as the alien species. I think young adult readers as well as those who enjoy supernatural, alien, or fantasy genres will like this novel. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Mark your Calendars: 
December 13th, Guest Post by Kama Falzoi Post,
 author of InHuman

What's Next, Wednesday (32)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

I'm waiting on a couple of Ebooks up for review next, but I may try to sneak A Gift of Ghosts by Sarah Wynde in next if I finish the current book before I receive the others. I downloaded this for free a few months ago and have been waiting for a little break to read it. This book tells the story of a woman who can communicate with ghosts and a man who needs to reach his deceased family. But simply working together is too easy. Really excited about this one. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (240)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. 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 Queen of Annam's Daughter (Kindle 18%)
   - Nina Vida

And now she has to get her mind straight when she's with him, has to tell herself that she needs to take care of him, that no one will do it if she doesn't, that she might even love him a little bit. Anyway, it's not his fault that the war caught up with him when everyone else was forgetting all about it. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sing For Freedom

2725746This new combined edition of We Shall Overcome and Freedom Is A Constant Struggle weaves together the leadsheets of 115 songs, 135 moving documentary photos, and stirring firsthand accounts. Grouped together in chapters on each of the key stages of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, they create a stunning vision of this critical moment in world history. Includes an introduction by the editors, Guy and Candie Carawan. Arranged chronologically, fully indexed.


Guy and Candie Carawan, Civil Rights Activists from the movement, compile a collection of songs, quotes, snippets of stories, and photographs to shared Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs

Singing was a critical part of the Civil Rights Movement. It brought people together, shared religious beliefs, calmed nerves, and spread the message of equality. This collection chronologically shares the songs sung by Civil Rights Activists and Protesters during sit-ins, marches, and jail time. I feel like this book offers a whole new perspective on the Civil Rights Movement. 

Some of the songs are accompanied by musical scores, so readers could sing them or play them if they wanted. A few of the songs are adapted traditional religious hymns. Others were written by activists themselves in the moment. 

Throughout the book, there are quotes and articles interspersed into each time frame. The quotes are a powerful aspect of the book. They give the songs a sense of time and place. Sometimes that means sitting in a jail cell, other times it's marching or participating in a sit-in. The quotes paired with the lyrics are a strong combination that will give readers a perspective that will help them understand how that song was utilized in the movement. Anyone who is interested in the power of music, history, or the Civil Rights Movement specifically should read this collection. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (31)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

The Queen of Annam's Daughter by Nina Vida. A woman escapes her home country of Vietnam to hide in the U.S. She builds a life for herself but when the past she escaped reappears, everyone she cares about is put in harm's way. I've been holding onto this book for a while now and it seems like a great time to dive in. I'm hoping for an action filled mystery. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (239)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. 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


Inhuman (Kindle 9%)
   - Kama Falzoi Post

I'd wanted to get started right away, to lead Adam to the pines, to draw out the enemy. But Larry and Hal told me to wait, and I had to listen to them. They'd been through all this before.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

15783514A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Neil Gaiman takes readers into the memory of a man who experienced magical trauma in his childhood with his novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. A man returns to his childhood town, while dealing with a new trauma, to reminisce about something he cannot remember. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is completely absorbent. Just as I prepared to write this review I realized I had no idea what the main character's name was. The mysticism and magic of this novel is so enveloping, I found myself drowning with the others, in an ocean the size of a pond. 

The narrator has just returned to the town where he grew up for a funeral. On the way to his sister's house, he finds himself driving somewhere different: the Hempstock farm. Only there is he allowed to remember that something evil used him as a tunnel to our world and tried to destroy it. The novel is set in a sort of framework. The present day funeral is the outer frame, with memories swirling around inside. As the narrator relives the events (a man's suicide, the escape from the orange-skied place, and the varmints) the readers are taken on a journey to a place where it seems only children can visit. 

The narrator is a likeable little boy with a fruitful imagination and a love of reading. His loneliness and trouble making friends will charm the readers, as they sympathetically connect with him. When he accidentally brings a force of evil into the world, readers will understand his guilt as well as his focus to help Lettie Hempstock fix it. 

Lettie is a character of wonder, as are her mother, Ginnie, and grandmother, Old Mrs. Hempstock. They live at the end of the boy's lane and Lettie becomes the boy's only friend. The blossoming of a new friendship is heartwarming, but there's something different about Lettie that readers will notice. She's wise beyond her age and has more experience than eleven years could truly offer. Readers will enjoy Lettie's vivaciousness, creativity, bravery, and loyalty in the face of adversity. 

The magic this book offers is astounding and warm and sharp and dangerous. My favorite part of the book is the framework. At the end, readers learn that this isn't the first time that the boy has returned to the pond to remember what happened. It seems he returns during times of turmoil, like this funeral, because the Hempstock farm has always meant safety for him. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story that wisps like smoke. As soon as you think you have a hold on it, it shifts with the wind. Reminiscent of both a fairy tale and a cautionary lesson, this fantasy novel will worm it's way into the hearts of readers. 

Rating: 4.5/5 Cups

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Waking Lazarus (A Guardian Novel #2)

29979808Jake Harris' life hasn't turned out the way he planned. Battling his addictions, and the shattered pieces of his family, he is hired to ghostwrite a memoir. From the 1920's story of a controversial evangelist, to the present day mystery of a former District Attorney, everything changes when his search for the truth leads to an atrocity hidden from history. With a past he can't remember, he begins to discover that he is not the person he believed himself to be. Rather, he is a threat to a secret society that has remained in the shadows for nearly a century. Jake is drawn deep inside a world he never knew existed that brings him closer to his own extraordinary destiny.

*May Contain Spoilers*

DJ Williams defies expectations with his novel, Waking Lazarus, the second in the Guardian series. With everything already lost, there isn't much choice but for Jake Harris to help with an investigation that cleared him as a suspect. But there's more to the FBI partnership than there seems. 

Jake seems like an average man going through a rocky part of life. He's getting divorced, though he doesn't want to, and lacking both a job and a home. When he's hired to ghostwrite a memoir, it seems his prayers have been answered. He has hope, he has drive, but he also has a drinking problem. Jake Harris is about as real as a character can get, before he is dragged into a world of secret societies and trained assassins. After Doc Warren hires Jake as a writer, he is killed and Jake is pulled into a world that he was once a part of. But those memories have been erased. Jake isn't a perfect person, he has more then his fair share of flaws, but he has good intentions and even better motivations: keeping his wife and daughter safe. I think readers will connect with him through that motivation more than anything else. 

Though not the main character, I really enjoyed Kate's role in the story. She is brought back by the President to protect Jake, though she isn't given a reason as to why. As she becomes entangled in this terrorizing plot, Kate's certainty that she's working for the good guys becomes unclear. I really enjoyed that Williams wrote a female FBI agent to protect Jake, it added another level to the relationships, espionage, and what overall success of the operation would mean exactly. 

The plot begins with Doc Warren and the story of Evelyn Shaw, a 1920s miracle worker. She created Hope House, a place for orphaned children, in different areas around the world. Some of these children were trained to be weapons under an off-the-books government program. Jake Harris was one of them. In present day, the secret society of the Brethren know Jake is alive, but they don't know who he is. They know him only as Lazarus. However, Jake doesn't remember how to be Lazarus. Though he can be forced to remember. 

Waking Lazarus is an action thriller with guts and killer instincts. To fight the Brethren, Lazarus must be awakened in Jake, but the cost is high. Readers will enjoy the action in the novel as Jake searches for answers and redemption. But this is only the start of the war. The end leaves readers hanging off a cliff, waiting for the battle to really begin. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

The Disillusioned (A Guardian Novel #1)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Naked Lunch

7437Naked Lunch (sometimes The Naked Lunch) is a novel by William S. Burroughs originally published in 1959. The book is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie William Lee, who takes on various aliases, from the US to Mexico, eventually to Tangier and the dreamlike Interzone. The vignettes (which Burroughs called "routines") are drawn from Burroughs' own experience in these places, and his addiction to drugs (heroin, morphine, and while in Tangier, "Majoun"—a strong marijuana confection—as well as a German opioid, brand name Eukodol, of which he wrote frequently).

The novel was included in Time magazine's "100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005". In 1991, David Cronenberg released a film of the same name based upon the novel and other Burroughs writings.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs, is definitely the most disturbing book I have ever read to date. It was written in the Counterculture Movement when many people were rejecting the American Establishment. They had had enough. Burroughs was one such person. He was friends with a few of the Beat Authors, specifically Allen Ginsberg who helped him get this novel published. 

Burroughs was addicted to drugs for many years. During this time, he wrote these vignettes about drugs, society, sex, art, and more. The novel doesn't have a clear plot line and Burroughs actually said that the pieces could be read in any order. There are certain characters that pop up repeatedly in different sections but the world, Interzone, is so alarming and terrifying that it's hard to form a connection with any of the characters. Except perhaps the ones being harassed by the doctor. Dr. Benway is utterly insane and it's easy to connect with his patients, who also think he's insane. 

The most intriguing thing about this book is the hidden meaning. Burroughs used metaphor, allegory, and allusion to create a world symbolically in tune with the reality of the 1960s and 70s. He challenged the viewpoints of American politics, global war, drug addiction, homosexuality, and sex itself. The world that he saw was harsh and horrible and he put that into his writing. Naked Lunch is held in high esteem in the literary world because of it's risky and controversial nature so I would recommend it, but only to those who have a strong stomach. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Blog Tour - She Runs Away (Sheridan Hall #2)

Today I have the honor of hosting Jessica Calla for the release of her follow up story featuring the luscious Ben in, She Runs Away! Keep reading because there is a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

TitleShe Runs Away (Sheridan Hall Series, Book 2)
Author: Jessica Calla
Genre: New Adult
Release date: November 15, 2016
PublisherBookFish Books
Cover Artist: Anita Carroll at Race-Point

After tragedy strikes New Jersey University's Sheridan Hall, freshman quarterback Ben Riley’s stable, normal life is turned upside down. Sidelined from playing the game he loves and on the verge of losing his scholarship, Ben wants nothing more than to escape the chaos of college and return home to rural Pennsylvania and his family.

Yet, there’s something that keeps him from running. Or someone. A cute blonde he had a chance with but blew off for all the wrong reasons.

Megan Smith has secrets. Secrets that have burned her in the past. Secrets she’s unwilling to share with anyone at Sheridan Hall—especially Ben, her sexy, rough-around-the-edges floormate who broke her heart in a matter of days after moving into Sheridan. Meg decided early on that it’s easier to live life on her own than to share her secrets and let people in.

Meg runs, and Ben follows. But sooner or later, the clock on their chance at love will expire. With inner demons dragging them both down, they must find a way to stop running and trust one another or risk losing their perfectly matched love forever.

Jessica Calla shares a contemporary college-aged romance with readers in She Runs Away, the second book in the Sheridan Hall series. I haven't read the first installment, but from the details of book two it seems that there was a shooting in a dorm at NJU and Frank, a friend of many, was killed and Ben was shot in the shoulder. This book takes place a few months later, when the students of Sheridan Hall are trying to rebuild their lives.

Megan and Ben are the main characters of this book and share the title of first-person narrator. As they switch back and forth, readers get an inside look at what each character is thinking and feeling.

Megan has liked Ben since she met him, but he broke her trust instantly when he dumped Megan on their first date. When Ben comes up with a sex contract, Meg believes that she can have physical intimacy without putting her heart at risk again. Of course... she is terribly mistaken. Megan's life shifts into chaotic mode when Ben starts wanting more than just sex and her presumably dead mother turns out to be alive which means her father has been lying to her. Readers will connect with Megan on her uncertainty and hesitant nature, but even readers will get a little tired of her running away all the time. Megan needs to take a chance on life, and readers will hope she can get there before it's too late. As readers watch Megan grow and open herself up, it's amazing how the negative aspects in her life seem to want to work themselves out. It's also great to witness a girl who feels so alone be supported by so many people. Ben is the protector of Sheridan Hall. He's seen as a hero since the shooting, but that doesn't make him feel like one. Ben wants to keep everyone safe because he blames himself for Frank's death. He especially wants to keep Megan safe and take back everything that happened on their first date - specifically the part where he blew it. Ben is a nice guy who people can depend on and trust. He's always worried about others and wondering what he could do to help. However, putting that much focus on other people has caused him to slide into a bit of a depression. He doesn't know what to do about football, he grows a beard so he can hide behind it, and he feels like giving up and going home. But then there's Megan, giving him a reason to keep trying as he tries to gain back her trust and earn her love. She makes him incredibly happy and it's enjoyable to read their battles and banter. Readers will emotionally connect with Ben based on his history with the shooting, but they'll also see that he's a kind-hearted man who is in need of some guidance. The plot of She Runs Away is focused on Megan and Ben's relationship. However, there are a few side plots that also move the story forward. Other character relationships show up and bring a little drama with them, like Juliet and Chase who are the main lovebirds of the basement dorms in Sheridan, and the break-up between Winston and Mags. There's also a very interesting storyline with Megan's dad who was a Pro-football player. Though, the main suspense includes Megan's mother who suddenly shows up in Megan's life. Megan's dad tells her to stay away because her mother's a bad person, but Megan is willing to take that chance. She Runs Away is a book about healing and opening up. It does have quite a bit of cursing and sex, but I think it works well for the college aged characters.
The ending also has a little hint of something coming next... perhaps a third installment with Maggie as the main character?
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups
Buy Now She Runs Away!

About the Author
Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance and women's fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she's not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you'll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once). Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She recently became the oldest marketing intern ever at BookFish Books. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog. Find Jessica on Twitter (@jess_calla) or at her website ( She loves to make reader and writer friends.
Author Pic She Laughs in Pink Jessica Calla

Here is the link to the rafflecopter giveaway:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (30)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs, edited by Guy Carawan. This book is up next in my literature class. I'm really interested to witness a movement told through songs. I've never read a book that revolved around song lyrics so it'll be new to me in varying degrees. I also have a feeling that it'll be pretty emotional. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Portable Beat Reader

534647Beginning in the late 1940s, American literature discovered a four-letter word, and the word was "beat." Beat as in poverty and beatitude, ecstacy and exile. Beat was Jack Kerouac touring the American road in prose as fast and reckless as a V-8 Chevy. It was the junk-sick surrealism of William Burroughs, the wild, Whitmanesque poetry of Allen Ginsberg, and the lumberjack Zen of Gary Snyder. "The Portable Beat Reader" collects the most significant writing of these and fellow members (and spiritual descendants) of the Beat Generation, including Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane DiPrima, Bob Dylan, Leroi Jones, and Michael McClure. In poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, letters, and memoirs, it captures the triumphant rudeness, energy, and exhilaration of a movement that swept through American letters with hurricane force.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Surprisingly, out of everything I've read, I had never read anything from the Beat Movement before this. It was a time of rebellion and rejection of conformity mixed with experimentation of style in both writing and life. The Portable Beat Reader is a collection of essays, novel excerpts, and poems that really summarizes the Beat Movement. 

For the most part, I loved the work. I know it made a huge splash in the 1940s and 50s, but I think it's still relevant to today's society. There is still controversy over some (most?) of the topics the Beat authors wrote about and it makes the work feel timeless. A bit of a warning seems prudent here: Yes, some of the pieces are a bit offensive, some were seized for obscenity upon publication. I think this adds to the importance of the rebellious tone these authors took.

I really enjoyed how the book was about more than just Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and Allen Ginsberg. These names hold weight, but they weren't the sole members of the Beat Generation. It was, in fact, a generation with many contributors. Gregory Corso, Diane di Prima, and John Clellon Holmes were three writers who really stood out to me. With themes that range from sexuality to war to stereotypical expectations of society, these authors challenged it all.

For readers who have never read anything from the beatnik authors, but are interested in this idea of writing a rebellion, I highly recommend The Portable Beat Reader. It's a strong collection that offers the history of the era, short biographies of the authors, and the works themselves. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Teaser Tuesday (238)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. 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


Waking Lazarus (82% Kindle)
   - D J Williams

Life breathed easier through her body. What magical chant turned such pain and sickness into health?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What's Next, Wednesday (29)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs. This book is up next on the reading list for the class I'm currently taking and I'm both intrigued and nervous to start it. Naked Lunch is a tale of a drug addict as he travels throughout the US and Mexico. I've definitely never read anything like this before so I'm excited to try something new, but am still a little nervous about the subject matter.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (237)

Teaser Tuesday |

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm/Books and a Beat. 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


Waking Lazarus (12% Kindle)
     - D.J. Williams

"Initial report is that it was a botched robbery. Jake, you should've called me sooner."
"I can handle myself."
"Do you know you're a suspect?"