Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans with Giveaways!

Title: Spells & Sorcery
Author: S. Usher Evans
Series: Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Publisher: Sun's Golden Ray Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Author

So here I am, the day before my review is supposed to go up for the blog tour trying to write my review.  I think I read this book over a month ago now, but I have put off writing this review.  Even though I knew I had to write it since I promised it for this tour.  But I couldn't.  I am not even sure I can now....but I must as I am running out of time.

Are you wondering why I didn't want to write this review?  Are you afraid it is because I hated the book?  What could possibly keep me from wanting to write this review aside from being a huge procrastinator?

Well, aside from the procrastination is because I don't have the words to describe this book for you.  Not really anyways.

No it isn't because I hated it.

It is because I loved it.  It is because I devoured it.  It is because I want the rest of the series to be out so I can read the whole story up and keep my thoughts, opinions, and memories of reading it happily bottled up inside me.

That is right.  I loved this book so much that I don't really want to share it with you, but I will.  It is only fair after all.

What is Spells & Sorcery about?  It is about Lexie.  A girl who is told the night before her birthday that she is a witch and that her powers are going to come to her at midnight.

That wouldn't throw anyone for a loop.  Especially not a teenager.  It isn't like they are already wondering about themselves enough as it is, but then to add magic to the mix...and she didn't even know magic existed!  Yeah.  I aside from getting magic myself, I don't envy Lexie whatsoever.

Lexie discovers quickly that no one really is able to help her.  Is it because they don't want to? Or because they can't?  And everyone assumes she should be able to control her magic without any practice and then get mad at her whenever she uses it accidentally or when her magic goes BOOM.

This is a story about self discovery for Lexie.  About herself and about her family.

It is such a wonderfully crafted story.  The world, which is mixed in with the world as we know it, is very wonderfully crafted.  If there really is a hidden magic world, I am very upset that I am not apart of it!

One thing that you can really tell from reading this book is that S. Usher Evans really likes Harry Potter.  You can see the influence all over be it jokes or references.  It fed my Harry Potter loving heart!

So read it.  You know you want to.  You won't regret it!

My Rating
5 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Storming the Castle: A Mystery Story (Part V)

Part V
For two days, they scoured the interior of the castle to little avail. Each of the rooms, even those of which had obviously gone unused for years upon years, where turned upside down during their search. All that they had turned up was an old, musty, book; it’s cracked spine left it eternally opened to the middle.

Feeling that no other clues were bound to turn up, they all settled in their rooms to think over the little they had discovered since they first arrived. From the mysterious letters that invited them, to the old castle where they were staying, to the discarded glasses among the brush, and finally, to the old, spine cracked book.
“How, how does any expect one to solve the mystery with so little to go upon,” muttered one to herself. “Repeatedly she would walk towards her door, to seek help from the other four, only to turn back once more thinking, “Surely, I can figure this out! It’s not like this is a mystery novel filled with red herrings…”
No closer to an answer, they each faced an internal battle of whether or not to seek the help of the others. One moment they had decided, yet as soon as their hand touched the door, they would turn back once more. Till at last, their fruitless introspection was broken by the now familiar scratching the preceded the mysterious voice’s arrival.
“As you have made no progress on solving the case separately, come to the parlor where it is time to work as one to lay this case to rest.” Chagrined, they all made their way down the gloomy hallway towards their meeting. Whether they would succeed or not was up in the air.
As they sat, the voice resumed speaking saying, “Now that everyone is here, let is begin.” Silently, they listened to the voice as more people trickled into the room; the gentleman, H, and the lady who showed them about the first day. “Who, is the missing? That is the question that needs answering!” Exclaimed the voice more animated than usual.
Dear readers, it is now up to you to figure out who the missing is/was throughout the entire story. Of the entire cast, who do you think it wasStop by The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia tomorrow for the answer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Blog Tour: Iron Man - The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Gauntlet
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Marvel Press
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Source: Netgalley

I should probably start this off by admitting that I have never really watched any of the Marvel movies (including the Iron Man ones and the ones that have Iron Man in them) nor have I read any of the comics or books or all that stuff...

In short, I am more or less an Iron Man noob with very limited knowledge about the guy.  It is not to say that I am totally ignorant about the character and have no idea about his personality or anything, I do.  I have been in the room while my husband has watched the movies, so I am not TOTALLY clueless.  I just know that I am no where near an expert on this character.

So, if I don't know much about this character, why did I want to read this book?  Because it was written by Eoin Colfer.  He is an author I have enjoyed in the past, so I thought I would get this book and genre a go.

The Gauntlet, in short is about Iron Man (duh!) on one of his adventures.  This particular adventure, he is supposed to be going to an eco-summit - but finds that is suit has been hacked and that he is more or less kidnapped.  Now he has to make it out and he needs to try to help a young girl get out too.

Oh the stuff that goes on in this book!

All in all, I enjoyed the book well enough.  Was it my absolutely favorite?  No.  But I liked it.  I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next and how.

It really kind of felt like I was reading a movie or something.

Character wise, they were okay.  Sometimes they felt a little flat or a little too similar to each other.  Eoin Colfer did try to keep true to Tony Stark/Iron Man's personality though.  I felt the snarky roll right off the character and the pages.  I just wish I could have found a way to connect with the characters.

Also, just a heads up, there is some language use in the book.  Not too much, but it is there.

So, for not being a huge Marvel fan by any means, I still found this book to be okay and mostly enjoyable.

My Rating
3.5 Stars

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Follow the Rest of the Tour!

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Blog Tour: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Title: Glitter
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Source: Edelweiss

So I had heard of steampunk - a genre I love love love!  But I had never heard of retro culture!  Have you?  In case you haven't, the best way I can describe it is as the opposite of steampunk.  Instead of the technology being in the wrong time period, the time period is in the wrong place in time!

And that is how it is with Glitter.

In Glitter, the majority of our story takes place in a castle (the palace of Versailles to be exact) with people that live there.  And these people, well, they go about their lives as if they live in that time period.  They dress the part and they even have a king!  The do allow for some of the technology of the time in though - so they do kind of cheat in that way, but other than that they try to remain pretty true to how things had been.

Outside of the world though, they don't live this way.  It is only in the castle that time has found a way to go backwards and to stand still.

Pretty cool huh?

In all of this is our main character Danica.  A girl who lives in the castle who finds herself engaged to the King despite her not wanting to be.  And she will do anything to get out of the situation.  Including, but not limited to, selling a highly addicting drug disguised as glittery make up to those that live in the castle.

Oh and of course there is a love interest in the story.  You can't have a story without one of those these days it seems.

So what did I think?

I loved Glitter!  I loved the world.  I loved the characters.  I loved the story.  I loved the creativity.  I just loved it.

I found myself pulled in.  I was actually surprised how dark this story actually is.  I was definitely not expecting that at all.  In my mind Aprilynne Pike writes fluffy fairy stories, not dark deceptive drug stories.  But oh my goodness, does it work for her.

There were a lot of layers to the characters, and I enjoyed almost all of them.  I really loved the scenes between Danica and the King.  Oh my goodness how I loved them.  In my opinion, they were some of the best written scenes in the whole book!  So much anger, so much chemistry, so much YES!

And something I think Aprilynne Pike did very well in regards to this story was research.  I had absolutely no idea that a corset could do what it apparently can to a person over time!  Of course, this is only one example - but despite this book being a work of fiction, I still learned something!

So, obviously I loved this book.  I cannot wait for more of these characters and more of this world that Pike has created.  I just hope she doesn't take too long to write the next one.

My Rating
4.5 Stars

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: Marked in Ink - A Tattoo Coloring Book by Megan Massacre

Title: Marked in Ink - A Tattoo Coloring Book
Author: Megan Massacre
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Source: Blogging for Books

Like so many other people, I am a fan of tattoos.  I only have one myself though...and I forget I have it since I cannot see it as it is located behind my right ear.  I do have a desire to get more of them at some point in time, but I have a problem with committing to a design/art piece.

So that being said, I was instantly intrigued by the idea of this coloring book.  A coloring book filled with tattoo designs?  Yes please!

However, I was a bit hesitant about it as I was afraid it would be filled with boring flash tattoo art.  I really didn't want to color in a bunch of anchors or dice or something.  I personally need more than that to keep my interest.

So when I finally found this coloring book sitting on my porch waiting for me I was pleasantly surprised.  While not all of the designs are to my liking, there are still quite a few in the book that I am looking forward to coloring and adding my own personal touch.

And the paper quality! Oh my!  It may be some of the best paper I have found in a coloring book!  It is nice and thick.  Also, all of the pages are single sided!!!  So you can easily color in this book with whatever medium you choose to.  You can either put some paper behind the page you are working on to keep the next page clear from bleed through damage or you could remove a page and work on it some where else.  Each page is perforated for easy removal which is also great if you decide you want to display one of your coloring masterpieces.

Honestly, Marked in Ink is not my favorite coloring book, but I like it well enough and I look forward to coloring in it.

My Rating
3 Stars

This review is based on a copy provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Blog Tour: Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen

Title: Bound by Blood and Sand
Author: Becky Allen
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Source: Edelweiss

I hate the heat.  So so much.  So I would absolutely hate living in a true desert.  Especially a desert where there is so little water to be had.

But that is exactly the kind of world that Bound by Blood and Sand takes place in.

The world is a desert.  The places where people inhabit are few and far between and vary in size.  And thanks to the drought that the world is finding itself in - the smaller places might end up being deserted.

However, not everyone gets to go.  There happens to be a group of people that are cursed.  They have to do what the Avowed tell them to do and they cannot lie.  And when I say that they have to do do what they are told, they HAVE to do it.  No matter what it is.  So with that being said...TRIGGER WARNING.

Our main female character, Jae, is one of the cursed.  But through some interesting happenings...she actually becomes special and separate from others like her.  And she plans to use this advantage to save the rest of the cursed.

And then there is our main male character Lord Elan.  He is the son of the guy on top.  Not many outrank him and what he says goes.

Needless to say, the two meet and do not like each other.  But things happen and they have to deal with each other.

The story is told from a rotating first person view.  It switches between Jae and Elan.  So you get to see both sides.  And you get to see them each come to their own special realizations and growth.  It is really quite well done.

Personally, I didn't like Jae much during a lot of this book, but she is the way she is for a reason.  You will learn about it and come to understand her though.  So if you find yourself like me, give it time.  Don't give up on her.

In regards to the world, I really liked it.  It did take a little bit to get the world built up, but it was done quite beautifully.  I had absolutely no problem imagining the world and the characters.  If it was a place I could actually visit, aside from the heat, I would want to go!

You may have also heard from reading other reviews that there is no romance in this book, and that is true.  However, there are building blocks for a romance!  So hopefully in the next book we will see it actually start.  The lack of romance makes a lot of sense for the story contained within Bound by Blood and Sand and I am glad that Becky Allen did not force one into the story.  It wouldn't have felt right with were characters are in their own personal growth at the moment.  Jae is just too tough and hard!

I cannot wait to continue on in this world and read more about Jae and Elan.  There are quite a few hints about possible story lines that I cannot wait to see where the story goes!

My Rating

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Blog Tour: Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Source: Publisher/Irish Banana Blog Tours

It is going to be hard to tell you about Last Seen Leaving.  I just don't really have the words that are going to do this book justice.  It is a story I really enjoyed reading and found myself totally lost in, but it left me some what speechless at the same time.

Last Seen Leaving is about Flynn.  His girlfriend, January, has disappeared - seemingly into thin air and he is set on solving the mystery of what happened to her.

But really, that story line is kind of second to what Last Seen Leaving is truly about.

Really, Last Seen Leaving is about a boy, Flynn, who is trying to come to terms with himself and who he really is.  It is a story about self discovery with a mystery plot line to help that discovery along.

It is quite beautiful.

I will admit that I thought that there were parts in the first half of the book that were a little awkward and didn't flow too well, but there was world building to be had and a character we had to get to know so we could understand his dilemma.  

And I think Caleb Roehrig did a pretty good job bringing a confused teenager to life in Last Seen Leaving.  I had absolutely no problems believing in the existence of Flynn.  And there were quite a few jokes that Caleb stuck into his book that worked.  They had me laughing out loud (thankfully no one was around me when I read these) and they helped in building a teen aged character.

As for January.  I really really didn't like her in the beginning of the story.  But promise me this as you read through the story - keep an open mind about her.  Your opinion, like mine, just might change.

Also, the mystery.  Man, this book was a lot darker than I thought it was going to be.  There are some tough topics contained within...and with that being said TRIGGER WARNING.  Some of it is a little predictable and other bits of it are not, but the whole thing was masterfully crafted.

I think it is rather obvious that I loved Last Seen Leaving.  I cannot wait to get to read more of Caleb Roehrig's work.  This was such a wonderfully crafted debut novel.  

My Rating

This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher through Irish Banana Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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The Tour

Week 1:

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Source: Publisher

Imagine going to a different country to visit a person that you have come to know through written letters, only to learn once you got there that she has passed away...

That would put a small damper on your vacation, don't you think?

This is exactly what happens to Sara.  Sara corresponded for a good while with Amy before deciding to visit Amy in America...and then when she got there she learned that Amy passed away.  However, instead of turning around and going home, the rest of the small town of Broken Wheel insist that Sara stays in Amy's home and takes it upon themselves to host her.

Amy and Sara shared a love of books and so Sara decides to open up a small bookstore in the town of Broken Wheel to remember Amy.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is like reading a Hallmark Channel movie.  So, if you like those movies, you will like this book.  That being said, this book is also as predictable as a Hallmark Channel movie....

The characters were not my favorite.  A lot of them fell sort of flat for me.  And a lot of their growth was rather predictable.  Almost everyone in town was friendly with one another.  You had your busybodies that tried to control all things and everyone that lived within the small dying town of Broken Wheel.  There were the characters that were afraid of change and the ones that wanted change.

All in all, it was just very very predictable.

And Sara.  I just couldn't really believe her situation.  Then again, I normally don't fall prey to Hallmark Channel movie plot lines either.

And everything happens so quickly which only lead more to my not being able to really get into this story and fall in love with it.  And I did want to.  I really did.

And since it is just like a Hallmark Channel movie, the plot is pretty much something you can expect. You know who love interests are for who, you know who is out to ruin who, you know whats coming next and you pretty much will be able to guess the end within the first 10 minutes.

I know some people out there really enjoy light and fluffy reads and movies like those that appear on the Hallmark Channel.  I, however, am just not really one of those people.

My Rating
2 Stars

This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts are my own.