September 21, 2018

Book Blogger Hop

The question of the week

Do you like to finish one book before starting the next or do you read several at once? (submitted by Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next)
I can't begin to express how frustrated I am with books right now. I am concentrating so dang hard and nothing is grabbing my attention. I don't know if it's the book or just me. I'm not one hundred percent certain it's me. There is always room for improvement in my choices of books and I sometimes can't concentrate but come on! I am getting sick of paranormal fantasy Idk. Maybe I should step out of the proverbial comfort zone and choose some other genre for a while. I've been thinking about adult fiction or new adult fiction.
Presently I am reading Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews and Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron. I'm also listening to an audiobook, Under A Dark Sky. I'm having a hard time keeping up. Typically, I have a hard time paying attention to just listening to an audiobook. Anyway, no it doesn't work for me. I prefer to finish one book before I start another one. 

September 20, 2018

Books from the Backlog - Lolita

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @ Carole's Random Life In Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book



Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the ageing Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation. 

Where to begin with this one. I first heard of Lolita on MySpace. The moderator of Choking on Sunflowers (a Facebook forum) voted for Lolita in a read-along but I never read it because it got shut down or something crazy stupid like that. It was a long time ago and for all intents and purposes, Lolita came recommended. I'm afraid I won't like it. I received my copy from Secret Santa in 2011.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?

September 19, 2018

All Hallows Read Free Booklet Treat

Neil Gaiman started All Hallows Read in celebration of books and Halloween. The idea is to give a scary book on Halloween. Sounds good right? I know. There is a free booklet available for download, and it would make a great treat for giving out to young tricksters. Follow THIS LINK

From the pages of What October Brings: A Lovecraftian Celebration of Halloween, a new anthology edited and with an introduction by Doug Draa, comes a treat for your trick-or-treaters! Celaeno Press has created a series of foldable booklets, reprinting Uncle’s in the Treetops by Darrell Schweitzer. Each print is on a single sheet of single-sided paper and can easily be folded and (with one small cut) turned into a small booklet.
Two different formats are provided:
  5 Booklets – The story is split into five different parts, each with their own cover. Split them among friends and family members to encourage sharing, or give each trick-or-treater a complete set.
  1 Booklet – The story is split across four pages, each of which can be folded into a booklet and then glued or taped together into one thicker booklet. For instructions on how to fold and cut your booklets, you may consult this short video tutorial or this blog post.

September 13, 2018

Books from the Backlog - Sacré Bleu

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @ Carole's Random Life In Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art
by Christopher Moore
The book image on the left is an Amazon affiliate link
Book title link to Goodreads
In his latest novel, Moore takes on the Great French Masters. A magnificent “Comedy d’Art”, Sacre Bleu is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter who joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed suicide of Vincent van Gogh.

  Why did I add Sacré Bleu to my bookshelf?

It was mostly because of the title. Sacred Blue or Dammit. In French. Also, he mentions the Virgin Mary because she is depicted dressed in blue, hence the sacred aspect. I thought the title and the author were brilliant. I read Christopher Moores cute little vampire story called You Suck, and I liked it. I actually started Sacré Bleu but I didn't finish it and I abandoned it sadly. There was nothing wrong with it other than it was something I wasn't too interested in at the time. Idk. It's good though.
What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?

September 6, 2018

Books from the Backlog

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @ Carole's Random Life In Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book



The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Movie Tie-in Edition

by C.S. Lewis (author)
(adult) Paperback – Oct 25 2005
Publisher: HarperFestival
They open a door and enter a world
NARNIA...the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy...the place where the adventure begins. Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever.



Why did I add it to my bookshelf? 





I won this book in a blog giveaway a few years ago @ weheartya.com. I had watched the movie already and had every intention of reading the book but never did. I remember how thrilled I was to win a copy of C.S. Lewis Lion Witch and Wardrobe.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?

September 3, 2018

Kill The Queen - My Review

Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards, #1)

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

I received an e-arc copy thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins!

To be released: October 2, 2018
Series: A Crown of Shards Novel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy

Goodreads Summary 
Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance. In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten. But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre. Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move. But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen. 
I enjoyed reading about Lady Everleighs experience at Seven Spire palace and her growth as a character with Serilda Swanson's troupe of gladiators. It was quite formidable how much she changed, and I couldn't put the book down. She loved people in general and fought hard to save her country because she was the Winter Queen. Her friendship with Paloma had me in tears. It was so kind and genuine. She learned how to fight from always getting knocked down and beaten, to winning death matches, gladiator fashion, with a sword dagger and shield in an arena! You go, girl! Baking and Dancing were tasks she thought were useless but proved to be critical and useful for saving her life.
Lady Everleigh was good at playing the long game with the opponent.
Crown Princess Vasilia is the daughter of Cordelia, the Queen of Seven Spire and the kingdom of Bellona.
Vasilia is a powerful Magier with a black heart.
When her mother Cordelia invites noble guests from Andvardia to negotiate peace, Vasilia massacres the lot of them and kills her mother and injures Everleigh. Everleigh has magic but keeps it a secret. She is immune to magic and can smell it a mile away. Everleigh gets thrown out of the palace when blasted by Vasilia's lightning and falls into the river below.

Before Cordelia dies, she makes Evie promise to save Bellona. Everleigh is a Blair and the only living true heir to sit on the throne and therefore must defeat Vasilia before she spreads her vicious and evil attacks and dooms Bellona for good.
Cordelia also tells her to find Serilda Swanson for protection. Now the adventure begins, and she travels with the troupe of friends and gladiators to some distant land risking life and limb in perilous snow storms only to be captured and made to dance the Tanzen Freund of some sort. Lol, that was a little silly, but it all made for a fun read. I enjoyed it.


About the author


Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author who prowls the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. In addition to Kill the Queen, Jennifer is also the author of the Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Black Blade, and Bigtime series.


Website: https://www.jenniferestep.com

August 30, 2018

Books from the Backlog

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @ Carole's Random Life In Books, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.

This week's neglected book



The Host

(The Host #1)
by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

  Why did I add The Host to my bookshelf?


The Host is another thick book that I never finished. I am a fan of Twilight and I started reading The Host a couple times and even got the audio from the library but I was frustrated with my iPod. I remember liking the main character and wanted to know more about her.
What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?

August 29, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we are desperately wanting. Generally, they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 Books I'm desperately waiting for 

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers 

This title is set to release on Feb 5, 2019.

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning.
Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the Duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them. Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long-awaited orders from the convent. As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about? 

About the Author 

Robin LaFevers, the author of the New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassin books was raised on fairy tales and nineteenth-century poetry. It is not surprising that she grew up to be a hopeless romantic. She was lucky enough to find her one true love and is living happily ever after with him in California. www.robinlafevers.com, @RLLaFevers

August 23, 2018

Review: All the Little Lights

All the Little Lights

All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jamie McGuire's All The Little Lights is an emotional representation of a romance between two young and wounded souls. Catherine Calhoun and Elliott Youngblood.
The epilogue starts off with Elliott stuck in a tree in the girl's backyard. Catherine was with her dad, burying their dog Booger and Elliott did not want to come down for fear of disturbing her or risk seen as a 'creeper.'
She lives on Juniper Street in a big old Victorian mansion. He was visiting his Aunt Leigh for the summer. The story moves as slow as molasses. Catherine was keeping one hell of a secret.

All the Little Lights is a contemporary romance, but it felt like reading a suspense novel at times, mainly when the Juniper's "guests" were so weird.
When a girl that Catherine hates disappears everyone blames it on her and Elliott is unaware of the danger she is in.
Catherine's mama is "weird" and has outbursts of rage which is the reason why Catherine lives in fear.

Publisher's Summary

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

Where To Buy



About the Author

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Jamie lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with her husband, Jeff, and their three children. Visit her Website

Books from the Backlog #2


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @Carole's Random Life then spend some time visiting other posts.

This week's neglected book 

✱All books are affiliate links to Amazon

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb

Paperback, 809 pages
Published February 2nd, 1999 by Spectra
Goodreads | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Audiobook
-Tantor Audio
Narrated by: Anne Flosnik
Series: Realms of the Elderlings, Book 4, Liveship Traders, Book 1
Length: 35 hrs and 24 mins
Release date: 2010-02-12
Publisher's Summary
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships---rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown's oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia. For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her---a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim.
For Althea's young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence. But the fate of the Vestrit family---and the ship---may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles...and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will.
I added Ship of Magic to my shelf on November 10, 2012. I was so obsessed with Laini Taylors Daughter of Smoke and Bone so when she recommended it, I jumped. It is a really thick book 809 pages! I bought the mass paperback but the text is really small and I never got very far with it. So it's something I wish I could read soon. I should probably get the audiobook so it will be easier to read.

August 16, 2018

Books from the Backlog

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link @carelesrandomlife, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.



This week's neglected book


The Leopard (Harry Hole #8) 

by Jo Nesbø
Paperback, 624 pages
Published November 1st, 2011 by Vintage Canada
Amazon | Goodreads
Two women are found murdered in Oslo — both of them have drowned in their own blood. What mystifies the police is that the puncture wounds in the victims' faces have been caused from the inside of their mouths. Kaja Solness from Homicide is sent to Hong Kong to track down a man who is the Oslo Police Department's only specialist on serial killings. The severely addicted detective has tried to disappear in the vast, anonymous city. He is on the run and haunted by his last case, the woman he loves, and creditors alike. His name is Harry Hole.
I sometimes stare at my shelf and look at all the books I haven't read that I keep putting off for another day. Time goes by and there is often no particular reason other than maybe I wasn't in the mood or the cover isn't something that caught my eye. Whatever it is my selection this week is of a favourite mystery/thriller/crime writer. Jo Nesbo.
Why did I add The Leopard to my bookshelf?
I've read some of his Harry Hole novels, and he is the reason I keep coming back to that genre.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?

May 6, 2018

My 2018 AtoZ Challenge Reflection -"I Survived"

I blogged the AtoZ Challenge every day in April and all's I got was this computer-generated T-shirt.
Literally, I still haven't received my AtoZ blogging T-shirt. Overall my experience was depressing and regrettably will not be doing this again. I think the only reason I finished was that all my posts were completed ahead of time and I was committed. That's all. I scheduled them all in March to go up every day for April at the stroke of midnight. I felt that leaving my link daily didn't make a difference and it was cumbersome for me because I do not know how to schedule the link as I had to wait until midnight every night just to get my link in before I went to bed. What an inconvenience! I did tweet my post out on Twitter every day but I felt disassociated if I didn't visit other blogs because nobody was visiting me it seemed. This year there was not a whole lot of blogs that I enjoyed, but the outstanding ones were unforgettable. Like the girl who baked cakes, or the graphic art skills of others and the iPad sketches. Arts and crafts were probably my favourite AtoZ blogs especially the ones about food, baking or sharing a favourite recipe. I didn't receive as many comments as I would have liked and that was such a bummer. I think I would have been discouraged had I not written my posts in advance IDK. I know my theme wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but I hope you all enjoyed the experience and the challenge more than I.

April 30, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter Z - Zews


My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books tfrom The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.

Z is for Zombie Eathing Wraith

credits

ZEWs is an acronym for zombie eating wraiths, so named by Dani O'Malley. Hulking anorexic vulturelike creatures, they are five to six feet tall, with gaunt, hunched bodies and heavily cowled faces. They appear to be wearing cobwebbed, black robes but it is actually their skin. They have exposed bone at their sleeves and pale smudges inside their cowls. In Burned, Mac catches a glimpse of metal where their faces should be but doesn't get a good look.
-Characters of unknown genus| Karen Marie Moning, https://karenmoning.com/characters-of-unknown-genus/ (accessed March 21, 2018)

April 28, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter Y - Y'rill

My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books from The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.

Y is for Y'rill 

🙈 Spoilers Beware


Y'rill was Shazam the mighty fur beast!
Y'rill is the Hunter. When Dani gets trapped in the Silvers for 5 years she befriends a big furry and broody Hel-cat who is very shy and hungry all the time. She promises to take him home with her. Shazam makes his appearance in book #8 Feverborn. We learn that Shazam was the last surviving Hel-cat in existence before he was chosen to become a Hunter named Y'rill.
source

April 27, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter X -

My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books from The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.
X  – One of the Nine who is first mentioned in Feverborn and is mentally unstable nearly insane 

April 26, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter W -When the walls came tumblin down

My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books from The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.
WeCare is an organization founded after the walls between man and Fae fell, using food, supplies, and safety as a lure to draw followers. Rainey Lane works with them, seeing only the good in the organizations, possibly because it's the only place she can harness resources to rebuild Dublin and run her Green-Up group. Someone in WeCare authors the Dublin Daily, a local newspaper to compete with the Dani Daily; whoever does it dislikes Dani a great deal and is always ragging on her. Not much is known about this group. They lost some of their power when three major players began raiding them and stockpiling supplies.

April 25, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter V - V'Lane

My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books called The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.

The Letter V for V'Lane

Artwork by Lesya

V'Lane is a Seelie prince, queen of the Fae's high consort, extraordinarily sexual and erotic. The real V'lane was killed by his own queen when Cruce switched faces and places with him via glamour. Cruce has been masquerading as V'lane ever since, hiding in plain sight.

April 24, 2018

A to Z Challenge: The Letter U - Unseelie King

My A to Z Challenge contains names, places and things that are found in a series of books called The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. If you haven't read these books, which I recommend, please be aware there will be spoilers.

The Letter U for Unseelie


The Unseelie King is the most ancient of the Fae, no one knows where he came from or when he first appeared. There wasn't a time the king did not exist. Despite the court's matriarchal nature, the king predates the queen and is the most complex and compelling of all the Fae- lacking a single enormous power that makes him the Seelie Queen's lesser: she alone can use the Song of Making, which can call new matter into being. The king can create only a thing that already exists, sculpting galaxies and universes, even on occasion arranging matter so that life springs from it. Countless worlds call him God. His view of the universe is so enormous and complicated by a vision that sees and weighs every detail, every possibility, that his vast intellect is virtually inaccessible. To communicate with humans, he has to reduce himself to multiple human parts. When he walks in the mortal realm, he does so as one of these human "skins." He never wears the same skins twice after his involvement in a specific mortal episode is through
Fae | Karen Marie Moning, https://karenmoning.com/fae/ (accessed March 20, 2018).