Monday, January 26, 2015

Of Fire and Ash by Amber Argyle

Series: Fairy Queens #1.5
64 p.
Publisher: Starling Publishing
Published 1/8/15
Source: From author for review
One promise can change everything. 
The fairies must never know of Nelay’s sight, for the attention of such dark and terrible creatures brings more things dark and terrible. 
But when Nelay's father is near death, the fairies are the only ones who can save him. All they require is a simple promise that she'll return the favor one day.
Sometimes promises are deadly.

My Thoughts:
Knowing that the newest book in the series was coming out soon I was glad to have this novella for review. I enjoy these worlds and I've been very curious as to how this world is shaping up. This is a novella you can read without reading the first book and it is an introduction to Nelay's story.

Yes, expect a cliffie since it is an introduction.

Panar is the other character I found interesting in this introduction. He is Nelay's brother and I suspect will play a big role in the story to come. I had some problems with her parents, but at least they were present in the story.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think I will enjoy Nelay's adventure and can't wait for her full story to come out. I recommend this to those that enjoy YA with magic and the Fae.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Giveaway: Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers

Sci-fi is becoming more and more popular again and I've gotten the opportunity to offer you Unbreakable by W.C. Bauers. It features a female marine. The deets are below:

368 p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 1/13/15
The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration—until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war. 
When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation. Leading the assault is Marine Corps Lieutenant and Montanan expatriate Promise Paen of Victor Company. Years earlier, Promise was driven to join the Marines after her father was killed by such a raid. Payback is sweet, but it comes at a tremendous and devastating cost. And Promise is in no way happy to be back on her birthworld, not even when she is hailed as a hero by the planet's populace, including its colorful president. Making matters even worse: Promise is persistently haunted by the voice of her dead mother. 
Meanwhile, the RAW's most bitter rival, the Lusitanian Empire, has been watching events unfold in the Montana system with interest. Their forces have been awaiting the right moment to gain a beachhead in Republic territory, and with Promise's Marines decimated, they believe the time to strike is now.
 Giveaway Deets:
US/CAN only. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. 
Good luck!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Craft Book Review: Shaggy Dog Eats! by Christy Bright

Subtitle: 24+ Recipes for Easy, Delicious Dog Treats
56 p.
Publisher: Beachbrights Publishing
Published: 12/01/14
Source: from Net Galley and publisher for review
Now you can make your own healthy dog treats without spending a fortune. All the recipes in this book have been developed and made in my very own kitchen. There is a recipe for every special taste and sensitivity. Also, most of the ingredients can be modified. Have some fun and play around. Your four-legged friends will thank you. 
Most of these recipes are fast and easy to make. They also make great gifts and are perfect for bake sales raising money for animal rescue organizations.

A portion from every sale of this book will support animal rescue.
My thoughts:
First, I have to say that I love a book that gives back. I love that a portion of this book supports animal rescue. I also found the recipes in the book very easy to do. While I don't like to cook I will cook for my dogs. Perhaps that can be seen as animal cruelty but luckily they haven't complained. :) Oh and trust me, they can complain without using words.

While I couldn't use all the recipes in the book (I have one dog on a special diet) several of them are easily changeable. There are even recipes in the book that are extremely simplistic that anyone can use. For example, her ingredients for the kong toy. I feel that for some that was almost too simplistic and obvious while other people might like the suggestions. For me, the best recipe was for the sweet potato crisps for one dog (although I may omit one ingredient) and salmon patties for another. I have no doubt that my malamute will love the salmon one. She just loves fish.

I give this book 3 stars. I recommend this book for those that are just starting out wanting to make treats for their dogs at home. They are easy to follow and easily changed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blog Tour: The Originals by Julie Plec

Welcome to my tour stop for The Originals: The Rise created by Julie Plec.

From the creator of The Originals, the hit spin-off television show of The Vampire Diaries, come three never-before-released prequel stories featuring The Original vampire family.

This tour runs January 12th-30th and it will consist of reviews, special content and spotlights. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
The Originals_The Rise_book 1_coverTitle: The Originals: The Rise
Author: Julie Plec
Series: The Originals, book 1/3
Release date: Tuesday, January 27
Format: Trade
Price: $12.95 U.S. / $14.95 CAN.
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780373788897
eISBN: 9781460349731
Imprint: Harlequin HQN

Book Description:
Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they've escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus's attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus's volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

  • An exclusive Originals cast poster to all who pre-order and complete the form using the above link!

Source: From CBB Book Promotions

My thoughts:
Fans of the show rejoice! I think you will end up loving this book. This is the story of how they got first established in New Orleans. This is how they became the premiere family in that area. It reads like an episode of the show and you get the full arc story without having to wait for the next episode. No cliffies here. None needed.

I did have a few problems with with the book but they were minor. I kept comparing the characters with the ones on the show. In some ways they were perfectly matched and in others, it just seemed a bit off. Not everyone will have this problem but I encountered it more than once. Mostly it was that I felt Klaus was too optimistic. Of course the events in the story were probably one of the reasons that created our self persecuted and cynical Klaus since the book is really a prequel.

I think fans of the show will welcome getting into the heads of the Original vampire family. That was probably my favorite part. We get a bigger glimpse into each of the original vampire's mind and heart. It also makes a great companion to a interesting show. I recommend it to fans and those that enjoy an interesting take on vampirism. I give this one 3 1/2 stars and I would welcome reading another episode set in this era. So many interesting adventures left to be had. :)

JuliePlec_AuthorPhotoAuthor Bio:
Julie Plec is the co-creator & executive producer of The Vampire Diaries & the creator of The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. Plec got her start as a writer and producer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY. She also collaborated on the CW drama The Tomorrow People. Her screenplay adaptation The Tiger’s Curse is in development at Paramount, and she will produce the feature @emma with Darko Entertainment. Past feature production credits include Scream 2 and Scream 3.
15 prize packs including: A copy of The Originals: The Rise and a copy of The Originals season 1 on DVD.
US/Canada only
Ends Feb. 4, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Monday, January 19, 2015

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Series: Waverley Family #2
304 p.
Publisher: St. Martin Press
Published: 1/20/15
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store. 
Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts. 
Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has. 
Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke? 
When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.
My thoughts:
It has been quite a while since I read Garden Spells. You do not have to have read that book to read this one, but I recommend it because it was such a good book. However, if you only have a chance to read this one, do not worry you will not be lost.

To me, Sarah Addison Allen is the author I go to for magical realism. I was curious to read more of the Waverley magic. I was not disappointed with this book. I enjoy magical realism as it seems to bring the extraordinary out of being "different" and entertains me more than most chick lit out there. In this book there is also an added theme running through the Waverley women and girls. The theme of finding oneself and accepting who you are despite your fears. It was a theme I quite enjoyed.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. While it didn't have quite the impact that Garden Spells had on me it still wove it's magic about me and I enjoyed myself with the Waverleys. I recommend it to those that enjoy magical realism.