Tuesday, July 25, 2017

UF Book Review: Devil and Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Title: Devils & Thieves
Author: Jennifer Rush
Series: Devils & Thieves #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: October 3. 2017
Pages: 336
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Little Brown

Book Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called "kindled," and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all. 

Book Review:

An awesome book that I couldn’t put down. For a first book in this series, it delivered in a way that was spectacular. The main character is someone who just shines in this book as they grow in a lot of ways. 

Jemmie Carmichael has some issues when this book starts. I like how we start off with her hanging with her friend, Alex. Alex and Jemmie are doing typical female things and see someone that they don’t like, Katrina belongs to the Sixes, which is an ally of the Black Devils. Alex is the sibling of Crowe, who is the leader of the Black Devils.  They pull a prank and it makes them both laugh, but Katrina is not happy and this causes both Alex and Jemmie some problems.

So of course, Alex’s brother Crowe makes Jemmie use her magic to bind Alex’s power so that Alex learns not to disrespect him or his decisions in a way. Jemmie doesn’t like to use her powers. She really hates them and feels sick when she is around magic. It’s like she grew up around magic, but it doesn’t work for her. Everyone tells her to practice it. No one knows Jemmie’s secret. She has kept a lot of things. We also learn that Crowe and Jemmie had a thing or almost did. Their relationship is complicated to say the least. Not to mention things get iffy as Jemmie is kind of seeing someone else that Crowe doesn’t know about. Derek is a Death Stalker and that is the rival gang of the Black Devils so this is not good. Yet we learn that Derek doesn’t have magic or so we are led to believe.

We learn that when certain people go missing, every group is blaming one another. This is causing some major issues between the groups and no one is looking for the people in a calm and organized way. Plus people are claiming to have seen certain others with other people, even though they claim that isn’t true. Lady Jane, who’s gift is to tell the future and your death,  tells Jemmie that she is more important than she realizes. She has a gift and not to be afraid to use it. Plus we learn that what people are seeing could be an illusion.

Also in the book, we learn about Blood Magic and how bad it can be used. Jammie’s father also comes back to investigate for the Syndicate. He fears for Crowe. So of course Jemmie has to deal with her own issues with her father.  Jammie’s father and her have a conversation about things that he should have talked about to her a long time ago. This conversation was so good, as it illuminated a lot of things that she thought were not the truth, but sometimes things happen in life to people that change them and he was changed by it. So this makes things so much easier for the two of them to move forward.

This book had a lot of twists and turns. We learn that Darek is the one who has abducted people for his own sick, twisted purpose. He wants to become the most powerful Kindled of all. He is actually the son of a very bad Kindled who died many years ago. His true identity was concealed for his own safety. He actually is stealing other people’s Kindled Magic via some very old spells and a certain object. He almost drains Jemmie at one point of her magic, which is bad, but she certainly regains it when she tells Crowe about what she has seen and grabs them back. Her magic is to sense Aura’s and this makes her different and more powerful than she thought.

What happens next is utter craziness and more people with different kindled abilities get kidnapped. So now the stakes get higher and a wild crazy fight ensues between Darek, Crowe and Jemme. They are doing everything they can to win. What happens during this crazy fight scene which was wonderful by the way to read, is that Jemmie and Darek have some intense dialogue and Jemmie almost dies, but comes back to life and is different now that she absorbed what Darek had taken from others. She is now the person that she never thought she would be. This young woman finds herself staring at someone she doesn’t even recognizes. She killed Darek to save everybody else.
A great start to what looks like an awesome series.

Rating:


Five Hearts

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Stacking The Shelves, Bought, Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Books

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

Note: I'm back. This is two weeks worth of stuff, since I went on Vacation. 

NetGalley/Edelweiss









E-Books Gotten













Print Books 





Coloring Book Haul 







Beautiful Dresses Coloring Book Update



Fantasy Faces Coloring Book Update



Romantic Country Coloring Book Update





Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting Adult Coloring Book Release Blitz

Title: Crossroads Saga
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Fantasy
Illustrated by: Arnild C. Aldepolla
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
* * * READERS FAVORITE GOLD AWARD WINNER 2012--YOUNG ADULT * * *
***Based on a dream the author had in high school-chapter 1 & 2***
Protecting her from the Fallen was his duty. Falling in love was never part of his plan. Loving her was forbidden. Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity. Claudia Emerson's life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia's dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim--half angel, half human. Now that she's been there, Fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. Between (Book 2) Beyond (Book 3) Eternity (Book 4) Halo City (Novella Michael's Journey) Spin-off The Angel Knights (Prequel) The Chosen Knights (Book 1) The Blessed Knights (Book 2) The Sacred Knights (Book 3) Other YA books. From Gods From Deities From Origins From Titans
Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links:
Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uAldba

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

YA Book Review: Salt by Danielle Ellison


Title: Salt
Author: Danielle Ellison
Series: Salt #1
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub Date: January 7, 2014
Pages: 266
My Copy: Got via Entangled Teen for an honest review

Book Summary:


Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own. 

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Book Review:

Salt is definitely one book that you should add to your keeper shelf. I love how Penelope Grey is seeking answers, but the answers she wants aren’t always the one she likes or gets answers that are cryptic. Plus I like how her and Carter have this wonderful interesting dynamic between the two of them and sometimes things get very intense.

I definitely like how this book started out. It started out very interestingly finding Penelope in a situation that looks very dire. It kind of is like she has to use her wits to get out of a very bad situation. Plus her magic  doesn’t work or is led to believe that she is a static, someone who can only do magic when someone else is around. Hence, she is very nervous and thinks that a demon stole it. Plus Salt is a good deterrent for the demons and makes them weaker. So of course, Penelope can’t do magic without her sister’s help, but finds someone she never expects, a boy named Carter. Yet when she manages to vanish a demon all by herself, she doesn’t believe it because her magic is gone or is it. I really like that Carter had that whole mysterious element going on.

Carter and Penelope really have this interesting and unique relationship that you know is going to get more complex, but don’t really know until much later in the book certain things about each other because both of them have secrets. Sometimes secrets can be a bad thing or a good thing. Penelope wants to be an enforcer and thinks that her magic is gone, but it really isn’t until she starts hanging out with Carter that she learns a lot of things that she thought were true aren’t about her magic. Also the exams to being an Enforcer, (the police force that keeps Demon activity at bay)are coming up and Connie her sister and her have the test on different days, so she is worried that she will not be able to draw her magic from her sister, but finds out that her magic is working but in unexpected ways.

I do like how the relationships between all the characters really seem to work well. Her friendships and the ones with her family really seem to be a great way to tell you who Penelope is as a person and what her home life is like. Her Grandmother and Grandfather seem to be good people with good morals and have raised both her and her sister. Also she always tell them to carry Salt with them. Salt can be a life saver. Yet her grandmother worries about how Penelope’s going to pass the test.

Yet Penelope passes the test with Carter’s help. Carter is a bit of a wild card. I like when a character is a wild card. You never know what you are going to get with him. There seems to be something that he is keeping. I like that there’s a mystery to him. I like how there’s a major twist regarding his character. He is the son of the head of the Triad. The Triad is the magical government and dispense justice in the magic community. Also the fact that he kept this from Penelope makes her really angry at him. She feels like he manipulated her. This is perfectly understandable. 

I also found that they work really well as a couple, William Carter Prescott and Penelope. They argue, fight, make up. This is normal, yet their lives are anything but normal. Something happens during the last third of this book, that was a total mind shocker. It revealed something about William Carter and Penelope that totally makes sense, but something you never expected to be revealed and gives you an understanding of why their magic works together and why the demons have been after them. The action scenes were great.

I totally enjoyed this book a lot. I’m hoping in the next book that we see more of William Carter Prescott’s home life.

Rating:


Four Hearts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

YA Book Review: Invictus (ARC) by Ryan Graudin

Title: Invictus
Author: Ryan Graudin
Genre: Young Adult Time Travel
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: September 26, 2017
Pages: 464
My Copy: ARC that I got at Book Expo America

Book Summary:

Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Book Review:

One of the most exciting books that I’ve read this year. I definitely thought that this was one of the best books that I’ve read about time travel. The characters and Farway Gaius is one character you will never forget. Farway Gaius is someone who has challenges thrown his way that he never expected and then has to deal with more surprises than most people ever have to.

We find out that Farway is the son of a very famous traveler. Yet he was born on a time ship, so he was born out of time which has created something unexpected, him. So of course he grows up and is expected to pass his final exam and he has friends and what looks like a great future, but things go bad during his final exam. Of course, someone who looks like Marie Antoinette sees him and flirts with him. This is something you should never do. You should never ever let someone of historical importance interact with you or notice. If this had happened during a real mission, it could have had serious implications and cause possibly a paradox, Farway gets really chewed out. He can’t even appeal. The decision is out of his hands. He feels like someone has sabotaged his final exam. He is really upset that this has happened and let everyone down.

Then something strange happens and he gets an invitation to captain his own ship, but he has to retrieve certain items from different times, basically steal them and bring them to the person who recruited him for this mission. They get paid and get to travel, but to be careful and try not to cause too much damage to the time stream. There are consequences if you mess with time in certain ways. This is to be understood.

As Farway and his crew on the Invictus are traveling through time, you get to see how well this group works together. Everybody on the crew works at a certain task and that is how the group gets to be so good and efficient at stealing things and acting their part. So of course there’s an incident that happens on the Titanic. They are trying to steal a very valuable book and of course run into a girl. This young woman has stolen the book that they are looking for and of course the girl ends up on the Invictus with them. Farway recognizes her as the girl who was posing as Marie Antoinette and is furious when he sees her. This makes him very angry and he wants to know who she is and rightly so. Not to mention why she caused him to fail his final exam.

Her name is Empra and that’s all she’s telling them. Not to mention she has the book and threatens to destroy it. What ensues is some hijinks and major problems with the time stream not to mention we have inter dimensional time travelers. We learn after a while because of how Farway was born, his mother and him inadvertently cause what is known as a Fade which destroys time and it’s growing faster and bigger in the damage we learn. She also comes from a different dimension. She is what you would call Faway’s counter self, meaning same mother, different dimension. Because of the way he was born, this caused little wholes and other things. Her job is to stop it. The only way she thought to do that was to cause him to fail and yet nothing is ever simple we find out. We find out that there a lot of other people in other dimensions thinking that killing Far would be the solution.

Craziness ensues in a way that you don’t expect. We get to see different locations and times through out history. Sometimes we get to places for us that haven’t happened yet. Somehow this group of characters has to stop the Fade and Time itself from disappearing. Learning things about one’s past really is interesting. Also they learn that if they fix things, they could disappear and history will rewrite itself meaning they could very well fade from existence. Not a good situation to find your self in.

Everything becomes crazier and crazier as this book unfolds. I just love all the crazy and inventive things that happen and how they try not to interact with other people who they might know at different points. Plus the real meaning of sacrifice becomes very clear. The way this book ended really was one that I didn’t really see coming but should have, because it was the only thing that made sense in a way. 

This was one of the most fun books that I’ve read in a long time.  Definitely a book that is going to be on my top ten this year.

Rating:


4.5 Hearts

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stacking The Shelves, Bought, Borrowed and Bagged, Coloring Book Updates, I'm on Vacation till July 15 Will be back, I promise

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

Note: I will be in Orlando from July 8-July 15, 2017....so hence I will not be around to check my blog....Hope to be back soon.... I have scheduled two posts ahead of time, so the blog will not be empty if you come to visit....



NetGalley/Edelweiss








Coloring Book Haul 









Glamourista Coloring Book



Jasmine Beckett Griffith Coloring Book Update


Johanna's Christmas Coloring Book Update







Tuesday, July 4, 2017

YA Book Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

Title: Roar
Author: Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Magic
Publisher: Tor Teen 
Pub Date: June 13, 2017
Pages: 380
My Copy: Hardcover that I got at Book Expo America, also signed by the author

Book Summary:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Book Review:
A wonderful new start to what looks like a great new series. I totally loved how this book explored it’s characters, give us a new world to explore. Aurora is a princess who really does grow in a lot of ways.  Love how she finds a path of her own despite having other people want other things for her.

Aurora is a daughter of a powerful queen who can stop storms from destroying their kingdom. It’s a gift that is passed down through the generations. Of course, it’s been kept a secret between Aurora and her mother,  that she hasn’t inherited this gift. This has been the reason things have been kept secret. They don’t want any foreign kingdoms or others from thinking that their kingdom is weak and also why Aurora has been promised to a prince from the Kingdom of Locke. The Locke’s also have the abilities to control storms. So Aurora is promised to Casmir, the younger prince of Locke.

Casmir, is not like what Aurora suspected. At first things seem to be going well between them. He seems likes a young man that she could get along with and possibly have a future with him. Nothing is ever as it seems. Appearances can be deceiving sometimes. Casmir, and his older brother are also fighting some kind of fight. Plus they also have some secrets. One of them wants to escape their father’s grasp, but realize that they might not be able to. Aurora catches Casmir trying to seduce her lady in waiting. Not to mention she overhears something she shouldn’t have. She also sneaks out.

Aurora sneaking out causes so many bad things to happen and exciting things to occur. She meets a man named Locke. Locke knows who she is. Aurora finds that there are people who hunt Storms and take the magic from it, there are ways to do it. They hunt and sell their services to those villages that don’t have protection from the storms that come. We also get to see Locke and Aurora get closer. The relationship was great how these two started to know one another. He is also teaching her along with the rest of his crew about what they know about storms and are teaching her  the small stuff first. 

I loved the way things progressed in this book and the way everybody is suffering from their actions. Plus the King of Locke, Casmir’s father shows up and you get to see how bad he really is.  He wants to take control of Pavan now that the Queen has taken ill and the Princess has been apparently been abducted or so they think. We also get a twist with Aurora’s abilities. We find that she does take a Storm but there’s a real big surprise about what Aurora really is. It’s one of those things that happens in a book, like you don’t expect. You are like, didn’t see that coming, but it does make sense.

I also love the way this book ended, even if it’s a cliff hanger. I don’t mind cliff hangers if they are going to lead into the next book and make sense. A great way to end the book. Aurora realizes that she has to go back and take back her kingdom.

Rating:


4.5 Hearts

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Love Affair: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Title: The Day of the Duchess
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Pub Date: June 27th, 2017
Pages: 400
My Copy: Courtesy of Edelweiss and Avon for Review

Book Summary:

The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day The Day of the Duchess.

Book Review:

Malcom and Seraphina are two people who find out that the past is something that you can’t escape. It also happens that both Malcom and Seraphina want very different things. She wants one thing, a divorce and he wants her back.

I really love how this book started, with Seraphina going into Parliament and demanding a divorce. Seraphim definitely is not what you call timid. She literally is doing something that most people at the time would have never done, ask for a divorce. The only way to get a divorce is by an act of Parliament and most times, woman had to prove that they were going to die or proof of being beaten. So keep this in mind. Of course Malcom is there when Seraphina walks into Parliament and this causes him to have some words with his wife in private after she makes quite the scene and somewhat of a scandal by doing this. So Malcolm and Seraphina haven’t seen one another. This is the first time they have seen one another and this causes some friction.

Malcom wants his wife back. She wants freedom to pursue her own interests and have her own business. In those days, woman who owned their business were not considered to be owners, because their property or business could be their husbands as women were considered the property of their husband. So you can understand why Seraphina wants one, but she doesn’t tell Malcom her reasons. So they come to an agreement, and it turns out to be something much more.

Malcom has a plan to win her back. Seraphina really doesn’t want to go back to a bad place. One of the things this book does well is that it really explores what happened and why they are in this place where nothing is good between them. Malcolm wants her back, Seraphina doesn’t want the past, but go on with her life and do something else as an independent woman. The fact that she has lost a child, and told that she will never have another one is also something she can’t give Malcom, an heir. Dukes need heirs to continue the family line. This causes a big rift. You really for both of these individuals pain.

I also like how they make a deal. She and him propose this deal for two very different purposes. Seraphina, proposes to find him suitable young women to become his new duchess. He agrees to this, but really has no desire and instead is going to use this opportunity to win her back. What ensues is anything but something easier. There are a lot of conflicts in this book. Also the fact that we add a third person to this equation is interesting. I really like the dynamic of trying to move on and forgive is important.

As this book progresses, you get to see how important that the past affects the present. The way they talk to one another and how Seraphina sisters are there as well for backup and moral support. We get to see how Caleb gets involved and Malcom gets very jealous and has dangerous thoughts about how to get rid of him. You feel like you understand Malcom’s point about him being an interloper.

This book takes on some interesting twists and turns. Ultimately they do get back together after some tumultuous conversations and fights. What happens is they learn sometimes things happen beyond your control. These things can either tear you apart or bring you back together and get a happy ending. Which both of our characters find with each other and get a far happier ending and a few happy surprises that neither of them were expecting. I totally enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would.

Rating:


4.5 Hearts

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stacking The Shelves, Bought Borrowed Bagged, Coloring Book Updates

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged is hosted by Braine over at Talk Supe Blog.

NetGalley/Edelweiss











E-Book Haul








Print Book Haul







Coloring Book Haul
Note: Henna by Bennett Klein was nothing, it was a free download







Alice in Wonderland Coloring Book-MacMillian



Fantasy Faces Coloring Book


Jasmine Beckett Griffith


Just Add Color: Mandalas


Kawaii Girls Coloring Book



Spellbinding Images Vol 1