Sunday, December 22, 2013

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted and created by The Story Siren.   Once again, lots and lots of kindle books.  Most or all are free on amazon (except for the books I got from Netgalley).  I'll * the ones that are currently free on Amazon :)  



*free on Amazon Kindle

*Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood #1) by Anne Elisabeth Stengl - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Deepest Cut (MacKinnon Curse #1) by J.A. Templeton - Goodreads | Amazon
*Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls #1) by Jessica Sorensen - Goodreads | Amazon
*Shadow of the Sun (Timeless #1) by Laura Kreitzer - Goodreads | Amazon
*Into the Shadows (Into the Shadows #1) by Karly Kirkpatrick - Goodreads | Amazon
*Angel In The Shadows (The Angel #1) by Lisa Grace - Goodreads | Amazon
*Sleepers (The Swarm Trilogy #1) by Megg Jensen - Goodreads | Amazon
*Become (Desolation #1) by Ali Cross - Goodreads | Amazon
*Significance (Significance #1) by Shelly Crane - Goodreads | Amazon
*Ember (Death Collectors #1) by Jessica Sorensen - Goodreads | Amazon
*Untraceable (The Nature of Grace #1) by S.R. Johannes - Goodreads | Amazon
*Perception (The Perception Trilogy #1) by Lee Strauss and Elle Strauss - Goodreads | Amazon
*Gated by Amy Christine Parker - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge #1) by Lindsay Buroker - Goodreads | Amazon
*Introductions (The Academy #1) by C.L. Stone - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare - Goodreads | Amazon
*Ember X (Death Collectors #1) by Jessica Sorensen - Goodreads | Amazon
*Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises #1) by Jessica Sorensen - Goodreads | Amazon

For Review 
Fates (Fates #1) by Lanie Bross - Goodreads | Amazon
The Lost Boys by Lilian Carmine - Goodreads | Amazon
Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1) by Ruth Warburton - Goodreads | Amazon
Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1) by Keri Arthur - Goodreads | Amazon
A Bandit's Betrayed Heart (Blood Blade Sisters #3) by Michelle McLean - Goodreads | Amazon
Beautiful Addictions by Season Vining - Goodreads | Amazon

*Witch Way Bends (Bend-Bite-Shift Trilogy #1) by Olivia Hardin - Goodreads | Amazon

I'd love to know what's in your haul! Leave your links in the comments below :) 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Title: Of Beast and Beauty
Author: Stacey Jay
ISBN: 978-0385743204
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: 2013
Source: Purchased
Genre: Romance/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction/ Fairy Tale/ Retelling
Pages: 400
5 Kisses

Author's Website

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds. Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe. As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

My Reveries and Ramblings:
     What a unique book!  I have never read anything like this.  It’s a fairy tale-science fiction-fantasy-myth-romance story.  Of Beast and Beauty starts out like a myth or an old legend.  The prologue is the history of this planet spoken by The Pure Heart (the good side of the planet).  The condensed version:  He explains to the readers what happened after the ships, filled with humans, arrived on his planet.  How he introduced magic to them and how they split themselves up into two groups: the Smooth-skins, people without magic and the Monstrous, people who started to mutate because of the magic.  The Smooth Skins locked themselves up in domes offering a sacrifice to The Dark Heart, the evil side of the planet, in return for an abundance of resources and safety.  So long as they kept giving a sacrifice, nothing bad would happen.  The Dark Heart placed roses in the city’s walls as a reminder of the deal.  Meanwhile, the Monstrous were banished to the desert and began to go hungry and cold.  After trying to convince the people to stop hating and killing, The Pure Heart used it’s magic to place a curse on all the people.  The Smooth Skins would be born either with some of the mutations of the Monstrous or they would be born with missing body parts.  The Monstrous could never shed tears.  The only way to undo this curse is: 
“If even one Smooth Skin and one Monstrous can learn to love the other more than anything else- more than safety or prejudice, more than privilege or revenge, more even than their own selves-then the curse that division has brought upon our world will be broken and the planet made whole.” -p.5
     Isra the current (blind) queen of Yuan, one of the remaining domed cities.  She is to be the next sacrifice as soon as their resources start to deplete. She lives each day knowing that she could be asked to die the next day.  Because her death is the city’s only way to survive, she is smothered by her protectors on a daily basis.  Isra wants nothing more than to feel the wind outside Yuan’s walls.  
     Gem is a Monstrous warrior.  He sneaks into Yuan to steal their magic roses to help save his people from suffering and dying.  He gets captured and is imprisoned.  Isra forces him to help her make a garden to help heal the people who were given monstrous traits at birth.  
      Gem is so large and masculine.  (I pictured a werewolf in human form….there are no werewolves in this story, though).  He wants to save his people, but instead is being forced to play gardener by Isra.  He hates her.  He hates her so much.  But he also pities her.  These two contrasting feelings frustrate him.  As he spends more and more time with Isra, however, he starts caring for her.  
      Now, onto why I really liked this book.  For starters, Ms. Jay created a heroine, who in every way should not have been one.  Here’s the thing, though, Isra knew that.  She had every card stacked against her.  Isra did what she believed was right.  She follows her gut instinct.  So what if she was blind.  So what if she was threatened with being locked in a tower.  Even blind, she figures out a way to help her people.  She’s stubborn. Even though her advisors treat her like a child and humor her, she does everything she can to help her people.  I admired her so much because of this.  She knew who she was and what her circumstances were.  She never let any of that get her down.  She was also very caring and wanted to prove that she can not only help her people, but lead them.
     Okay, so.... the romance….so perfect! Ms. Jay has Gem and Isra HATING each other in the beginning.  And that just sounds like a boy-and-girl-hate-each-other-then-fall-madly-in-love kinda YA book but it was different.  It wasn’t as superficial as one would think.  There so much at stake for both sides.  They have people they want to protect and help and no matter how much he/she likes the other person, they must hold true to their individual end-goals.  But after a while, Gem becomes protective over Isra, and becomes disgusted at how she’s treated by those around her.  Isra, in turn, wants to help him in his plight to save his people.  They grow to care for each other over a very long time.  The romance was really well developed.  Not cliched at all.  There is a love triangle.  It’s okay though! It’s VERY obvious which guy we want to win.   
     I hated the other guy, Bo.  UGH Bo! Bo and his father, Junjie, are conniving, manipulative, and just plain bad.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying Bo is evil.  But he’s definitely very very selfish.  Ugh, the last time I felt this way about the bad guy was with Prof. Umbridge *shivers*.   
     The final thing I loved about this book was the world-building.  It’s not an epic read, however Ms. Jay fleshed out a very detailed world.  The Smooth Skins and the Monstrous had their own ways of life, their own cultures and language, as well as physical appearances and characteristics, stories, etc.  Ms. Jay also gave the planet a voice.  Literally.  The spirit of the planet was the one who placed the curse over the people.  It was the one who wanted to make people stop hating and start loving.  I would love to dive back into this world.  I was very sad when I finished the book.  Of Beast and Beauty is a stand alone book. sequel :( 
     Of Beast and Beauty felt like a cross between Beauty and the Beast and the anime Romeo x Juliet (which if you haven’t seen, I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND’s a beautiful, EPIC, and very unique re-telling of the classic Shakespeare play).  Of Beast and Beauty had an EPIC ending!  Loved every minute of this book.  It had the perfect blend of sci-fi, romance, and fantasy with a dash of political intrigue.  I would highly recommend you read it this beautiful and one-of-a-kind re-telling...and then tell your friends to read it! 

(Click Here if you want to listen to it on Grooveshark--if you don't have spotify)
Had so much fun making this playlist. A lot of these songs I actually listened to while reading the book and they fit perfectly with certain scenes. Like "Oblivion" played during the epic climax scene at the end. Hope you enjoy this playlist :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a Weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  This week's topic is: 

1.   The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3) by Rae Carson  - I LOVE this series.  I finished the first two books over the summer and have had the 3rd one since it came out.  The problem is....I don't want the series to end.  Which is why I haven't read it yet.  I've been mentally preparing for the end.  So I'm hoping to read it in the next few weeks :)

2.  A Beautiful Dark (A Beautiful Dark #1) by Jocelyn Davies - It's been on my TBR list since it came out.  'Bout time I read it. 

3.  One for the Money ((Stephanie Plum #1) by Janet Evanovich  - Really liked the movie.  Now I want to read the books.  Also, I grew up in NJ and lived there until I left for college.  So...obviously...I have to read this series. 

4.  A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers #5) by Lisa Kleypas - Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors.  I adored her Wallflowers series as well as her Hathaways series (both two of my favorite romance series).  I haven't read this one yet.  But I can't wait! 

5.  Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas - Found, bought, and read the first book when I was at the beach.  LOVED IT! Became depressed when I found out that the sequel would not be coming out for another 2ish months.  When it finally came out, I went to a signing at a nearby bookstore.  Met Sarah J. Maas, and let me tell you, she is the sweetest! She even signed my book and gave me some great advice about writing! (I'll post the picture with the review). Anyway, I've been putting off reading this book for many reasons, but I'm totally ready to get back into this series!  

6.  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1) by Jeaniene Frost - I've seen this series EVERYWHERE on the blogisphere.  And pretty much everyone has raved about it.  Sooo why not? I'm quite excited!  

7.  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I know, it's sad.  I haven't read this book.  And yet, I own multiple copies of it.  

8.  The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Claire - I actually read the first three books 4 years ago and they quickly earned a spot on my favorite series list.  However, I haven't read the next few books in the series.  After seeing the movie (LOVED IT!), I decided that it was time to reread and catch up on the series.  

9.  World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth #2) by Ken Follett - Took me forever to read the first book (I think it's around a thousand or so pages).  But I loved it! It was super epic.  The romance, of course, being my favorite part.  Funny story, my English teacher in high school highly recommended The Pillars of the Earth when I asked her for a reading recommendation for my mom.  Apparently it was one of her favorite books.  And my mom then became the huge Ken Follett fan.  So anyway, I started the second book shortly after reading the first, and then stopped because the semester started (I leave long epics for vacation time).  

10.  Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) and Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins - Read the first book several years ago.  Really liked it, but had a hard time with the suspense.  I hate suspense.  And I really hate not knowing.  I need happy endings.  So it took me a few days to get through the first book.  Then I really wanted to know where the story was going to go from there, but Catching Fire hadn't yet been released on paperback (I wanted to own all three books in the same format), so I waited.  And waited. Years went by and still no paperback (I know, right?!).  Until finally my sister bought the series on kindle, read it, and then proceeded to badger me about how i HAD to finish the series.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago...went to see the Catching Fire movie.  Thought I was going to go insane from the suspense and not knowing if it would end well.  I needed to know that my favorite characters would survive.  And my boyfriend would not let me look it up on wikipedia! -_- to read the series.  Because not only did I like Catching Fire better than The Hunger Games and I want to re-experience it all, but I don't think I'll be able to make it through the Mockingjay movie (movies?) without freaking out from the suspense.  Best to go in knowing how it ends.  Haha.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: Whisper of Light by Jennifer DeLucy

Title: Whisper of Light
Author: Jennifer DeLucy
Series: Light #2
ISBN: 978-1936305414
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Purchased
Genre: Romance/ Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Pages: 272
5 Kisses

Author's Website

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
: The saying goes that all men are created equal... but Nicole Abbot knows better. Lacking the supernatural gifts of the Sentients she has known all her life, Nicole has lived with her nose pressed to the glass, withering beneath the guilt of her own inadequacies and the disapproving glare of her father. It's easy to believe that the universe has forgotten all about her, but things are not always as they seem. With the arrival of Christian Wright, a handsome but complex Combatant with a troubled history, Nicole is forced to question everything she has ever believed about herself, proving that sometimes, our most flawed perceptions are those reflected in a mirror. Jennifer DeLucy again plunges us into the world of lingering spirits, dark apparitions, and malicious vampires. But this time she takes us to the California coast where we get to know a new ensemble of gifted souls that are just as vibrant and endearing as the Sentients we came to love in Seers of Light. In Whisper of Light, DeLucy delivers exciting supernatural encounters as well as very human interactions that will both break your heart and make it soar.

My Reveries and Ramblings:
I love this book.  I love this series. The. End.   Seriously, though, Ms. DeLucy has delivered an amazing book.  I’ve read this book probably 3 or 4 times now.  Every time it’s just as amazing as the first.  I even have the same reactions: OMG! AWWWWWWWWWWW! NONONO!
I actually skimmed through the book again before writing this review and had the urge to read the first book (Seers of Light) so I did (that was probably the 5th or so time I’ve read that one).  What I love about Whisper of Light as well as the whole series is that Ms. DeLucy fleshes out her characters so well.  I relate to her heroines and all the secondary characters remind me of people I know.  They all have talents, likes, dislikes, quirks, flaws, motivations and insecurities.  No one is completely evil or completely good.  Everyone is gray. Even Duncan.   Ugh. He was horrible.  You find out why he treats his daughter the way he does...but excuse!  But that is a driving force in why Nicole is the way she is.  Just like with the first book, with Lily, I felt like I really related to Nicole.  Nicole was never weak.  She was always strong, just hidden and scared.  Scared to forgive herself. 
This causes her to sacrifice things in her life to hopefully gain approval from her father or to make up for her what happened to her mother.  Cue Christian.  Christian is hot, British, and kind.  On his own self-forgiving journey, he sees Nicole’s strength and challenges her to be brave and start thinking about herself (not in a self-absorbed way, just in a stop putting yourself last kind of way).  I will admit, I was skeptical about having Christian be the love interest in this book.  I found him so annoying in Seers of Light.  But I found I really really liked him! 
Part of the way through the book, we get to see William and Lily for a little bit.  (OMGOMGOMG) It’s very brief, but left me very happy.  What’s great about these few scenes is that we get to see their relationship through an outsider’s eyes.  Let me tell you, there’s so much love, it made me tear up.  (I swear I could be an empath :P) 
Finally, my favorite thing about this book and this series is Ms. DeLucy’s story and writing.   Jennifer DeLucy’s writing flows so well.  Her ability to write  non-cliched dialogue and story at the same time as making her characters speak like normal people makes her one of my favorite authors.  This book wasn’t that plot driven.  However the characters were so interesting and the dialogue was so real and at times funny that I barely noticed.  This book is more about relationships, what it means to be a family, and what it means to love (not only others but oneself).  I like the spiritual aspect of the books, as well.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not religious! These books have soul.  

I HIGHLY recommend this book and this series.  There’s tons of paranormal stuff, romance, drama, and even even some humor.  
(Hey, guess what?? This book is currently $2.99 on kindle and Nook!)


Book Trailer:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Did a LOT of free kindle book shopping this week (plus three books under $5, two of them were actually free when I purchased them).
Made the images larger so you can see the pretty cover art :) 

*free on Kindle
*Mark of the Mage (Scribes of Medeisia #1) by R.K. Ryals - Goodreads | Amazon
*Promises (Syrenka #1) by Amber Garr - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch - Goodreads | Amazon
*Kindred (The Kindred #1) by Erica Stevens - Goodreads | Amazon
*Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria #1) by Morgan Wylie - Goodreads | Amazon
*Enchantment (Channie #1) by Charlotte Abel - Goodreads | Amazon
*Falling (The Hemlock Bay #1) by Amber Jaeger - Goodreads | Amazon
*Marked (Soul Guardians #1) by Kim Richardson - Goodreads | Amazon
Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole - Goodreads | Amazon
*Forbidden (Arotas Trilogy #1) by Amy Miles - Goodreads | Amazon
*Ignite (Midnight Fire #1) by Kaitlyn Davis - Goodreads | Amazon
*Bound by Prophecy (Descendants #1) by Melissa Wright - Goodreads | Amazon
*Frey (The Frey Saga #1) by Melissa Wright - Goodreads | Amazon
*Deep Blue Secret (The Water Keepers #1) by Christie Anderson - Goodreads | Amazon
*Everblue (Mer Tales #1) by Brenda Pandos - Goodreads | Amazon
*Prince of Wolves (The Grey Wolves #1) by Quinn Loftis - Goodreads | Amazon
The Game by Shane Scollins - Goodreads | Amazon
*Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom #1) by Marie Hall - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Mind Readers (Mind Readers #1) by Lori Brighton - Goodreads | Amazon
Your Guardian Angel (Guardian Angel #1) by Skyla Madi - Goodreads | Amazon
*Branded (Fall of Angels #1) by Keary Taylor - Goodreads | Amazon
*Awakening (The Watchers Trilogy #1) by Karice Bolton - Goodreads | Amazon
*Captured (The Captive #1) by Erica Stevens - Goodreads | Amazon
*Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) by Michelle Madow - Goodreads | Amazon
*Rua (Rua #1) by Miranda Kavi - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Fallen Star (Fallen Star #1) by Jessica Sorensen - Goodreads | Amazon
*The Soulkeepers (The Soulkeepers #1) by G.P. Ching - Goodreads | Amazon
*Enchantress (Evermen Saga #1) by James Maxwell - Goodreads | Amazon

For Review:
Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson - Goodreads | Amazon
Endless by Amanda Gray - Goodreads | Amazon
Make Me a Match by Lori Brighton - Goodreads | Amazon
The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding - Goodreads | Amazon
Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl #1) by Aileen Erin - Goodreads | Amazon
Angelbound (Angelbound #1) by Christina Bauer - Goodreads | Amazon
Let it Snow by Erica Ridley - Goodreads | Amazon
Freak of Nature (IFICS #1) by Julia Crane - Goodreads | Amazon
Winter Solstice Winter (Viking Blood Saga #1) by E.J. Squires - Goodreads | Amazon

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