Friday, April 29, 2016

Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis

300 p.
Publisher: Pyr
Published: 4/12/16
Source: From publisher for review
The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.
My thoughts:

Oh the cover intrigued me and so did the blurb and yet I really didn't know what to expect in this book. I just knew it was about a historical setting, opera, and lots of music... and a bit of the paranormal thrown in. Yea, I knew this one would be for me.

The book goes through several POVs but what was confusing at first was just remembering who was who and that would have been a problem for me if it was only one POV. Quickly, it did settle in my head enough that the book took off and then shortly after that I had all the players securely in my head.

A mystery flows through the book and we know that the Prince is a big part of it. However, what is being planned and how much damage will be wrought? There is an undercurrent of secret society with a demon at it's center but those things tended to stay at the periphery until the end. The end culminates with the mystery surrounding the story, music and a whole lot of explosive magic. It was a complete ending.

I enjoyed that aspect of the story but what really captured me was the romance between Carlo a castrato and Charlotte who was newly widowed. Both have let society dictate their lives and both have suffered for it. They also need to learn to trust and it is hard trusting one another. However, I really was impressed with Charlotte shunning the drama for truth and that helped the romance move forward. I didn't quite see why Carlo loved Charlotte as much as I was able to see the reverse, but it didn't matter as I was still swept up in their romance. This part of the story really moved the rest of the mystery along more than the other POVs in the story.

I give this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed the historical setting, the feel of Hyden's music, and the mystery behind it all. I recommend it to those that love historical mystery fiction with a bit of paranormal at the fringes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

On My Wishlist: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Ever the Hunted
by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1
Published: 12/27/16
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. 
However, it’s not so simple. 
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
So what is on your wishlist this week?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Series: Black Blade #3
Series finalé
368 p.
Published: 4/26/16
Publisher: Kensington
Source: From author for review
Bad Things Always Come In Threes… 
As a thief, I'm good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families--and kill every last Sinclair. What they don't know is that I'm on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I've got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
 My thoughts:

Oh I'm not a general fan of ending books. If you love the series you hate to see it end, and it also seems to be the weakest book. However, while the first half is true... I don't want to leave this world... this was not the weakest book in the series. This series planned to go out with a bang and it succeeded.

As I said everything was leading up to this book, but for the sake of those that haven't read the previous books, I will try to be non-spoilery. AND that is going to be hard.

The worldbuilding was expanded further with the monsters in the book. While the second book expanded that aspect more, we get a bit more personal here. The characters which are my favorite aspects of the series stayed consistent. While we see a glimpse of an expansion of Blake, it is only a glimpse which was my only disappointment... but then I really wasn't in the series for Blake. The rest of the characters came through and I just wished we could get more time with them. However, the series ended complete and I was satisfied.

I give this book 5 stars. I recommend the series to those that love YA PNR/Fantasy and love a female protagonist to not only root for, but admire. This is only a trilogy so start at the beginning. Those that like Jennifer Estep's other books, look out for the easter eggs in every book. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Daughter of Winter by Amber Argyle

Series: Fairy Queens #3
Publisher: Indie
Published: 4/21/16
Source: From author for review
Bargains. Only the truly desperate make them. Only the truly desperate need them. And always, the desperate pay. 
The silence and never-ending dark of winter are all Elice has ever known, for she is the daughter of the Winter Queen. Isolated in a northern queendom with only the seals for company, she dreams of color and music and life. So when a whaling ship crashes just offshore, she doesn't hesitate to rescue the lone survivor, Adar, who quickly becomes her friend. She must keep him hidden from her mother at all costs, for if the Winter Queen discovers him trespassing, she'll kill him.

When her mother reveals just how dark her soul has become, Elice realizes she is as much a prisoner as Adar. To ever know true freedom—to ever become the woman she was meant to be—she must flee with him. But in their flight, she begins to see hints of something more nefarious. The darkness that has taken hold of her mother is spreading, staining the world with its influence.

Unbeknownst to Elice, a bargain was made long ago. A bargain she was born to fulfill.

My thoughts:

I've enjoyed this series for a while now and I love every cover that has come out. This one is no exception. I did have a bit of book amnesia from the previous books, but most of it came back as familiar names were read. This is the book of the Winter Queen's daughter and Ilyeanna has become the cruel queen predicted. Elice, the daughter, still has her humanity in tact but also control over winter. This is her journey into something perhaps powerful or will it lead to enslavement? Either is a possibility and both are hinted at throughout her journey.

The author states that her editors encouraged her to split the book into two. While I understand it, I also think that this would have been better as one journey. The ending leaves one big question behind and it was a threatening twist to the story. One I think the next book will open with and that anticipation will be over. However, we are left with that anticipation so be warned. Despite that aspect of the ending it did not feel like a cliffie and the main adventure Elice took on was completed.

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. While I would have liked a longer story, I do understand why it was split into 2 books. This is a good addition to the series and one that should not be missed. I recommend the book to those that enjoy YA fantasy with a lot of faeries who are more bite than sparkle.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

On My Wishlist: Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Be aware that the blurb may hold spoilers for you if you aren't up to this book yet.

by Jennifer Estep
400 p.
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: Aug. 30, 16
What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy? 
As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter. 
So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected. 
Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

August? Cannot wait. So, what books are you wishing for?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #1
404 p.
Published: 8/7/12
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Source: Library
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. 
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
My thoughts:

I had heard so much about this series that I decided I wanted to try it. I've had such good luck with YA fantasy lately. Off to the library!

The book starts out with Celaena braving unspeakable cruelty and is given a chance to serve as the king's champion in exchange for freedom after 4 years. While this starts out with lots of promise, I have to say that it flagged for me in the middle. I liked all the characters involved (except those you weren't supposed to like). My biggest problem came from Celaena's attitude at court. While it made sense to me that she could easily slip into the role of courtier (assassin... hello!) she didn't. In fact she had a lot of missteps to the point it kind of became unbelievable she was the best of the best. She also started to become very spoiled in her nature in how she started to complain about everything. It was a bit annoying. However, thankfully the whining was interspersed with some adventure and also her compassion for others. I loved that part and it made the middle much better for me. This also set us up for who Celaena really was underneath the assassin exterior at the end. That person I really liked.

My favorite part came toward the end with the tournament at it's pinnacle. The final battle was not a let down but we do not get all the answers. I figured that since this is the first book in the series so you know more learning about herself, her family and her romance will come. I will warn those that there was a love triangle brewing for most of the book but looks like it gets solved in the end... but maybe not permanently. I'm not sure about that, but I can see the possibility of an opening.

I give this book 4 stars. While there were aspects of it that I didn't care for, I'd have to say that there were also parts where I wanted to keep reading even when life told me to put the book down (darn life!). I recommend it to those that enjoy YA fantasy.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wylde Magic by Erin Kellison

*Supposed to be published Jan. 2016 but is still only a part of the Mammoth Book of Souther Gothic Romance
*Previously Published in the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic romance 
Returning home after a decade of study, historian Jack Wylde has to contend with a family curse he’s dedicated his life to breaking and a brother on the edge of madness. The last person he wants involved is Sergeant Evangeline Renard, the only friend he ever had as a kid, now on the Bloomfield police force. When news spreads of a vicious animal attack on the outskirts of town, he knows eventually the bloody tracks will lead to the dilapidated steps of what was once the grand Wylde family estate. And sure enough, look who’s knocking on his door…

My thoughts:

Ah... one of the few reviews that got away from me. I was supposed to review this one in Feb, but I guess April is fine. ;) It was supposed to be published as a novella, but I have not seen it separate from the anthology.

In this book we find Jack who is dealing with a family curse that ends in insanity. Seeing every family member go down this path he knows it will be his time soon. An old flame Evangeline (now part of the police force) comes to see what has been going on with a black panther attacking the residents in the small town. Now we have to figure out if they will solve the puzzle in time or will Jack go the way of the rest of his family?

For me, if you are going to read a novella, read one by Erin Kellison. It feels complete and you are only left wanting more in the world she has created. This book is a bit different. You are left with feeling like you need to know more about this world before we were cut off. However, what we do get, is good. You are captivated wanting to solve the mystery of Jacks family and beyond. I do hope there will be more in this series and I do believe that is the plan. I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to those that love shifter romance.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On My Wishlist: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Oh this looks good and I loved Anna Dressed in Blood!

Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake
416 p.
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: 9/20/16
Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. 
The last queen standing gets the crown.
So what is on your wishlist this week? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

DNF: The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan

332 p.
Publisher: Roc
Published: 3/6/12
Source: Library

India Morgan Phelps — Imp to her friends — is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth — or from something far, far stranger...

My thoughts:

I had heard such great things about this one but I just never connected to Imp. The disjointed style fit the character who has schizophrenia but what frustrated me was the promise of a big revelation but it never quite reaches fruition. I reached the 30% mark and just got tired of the promise of the person she just met had a huge impact on what happened to her... again. I will say this... I do think this is a case of it's me not you. I've just not been in that much of a patient mood when it comes to reading and I will try this book again at a later date.

Friday, April 8, 2016

How I Audible

*Note Sponsored Post
As you know, I've been getting into more audiobooks lately. I've been enjoying them so much more than ever. What I keep hearing is that people hate to do audiobooks because you can't just sit there and listen. Oh I can't either... unless I want a good nap. I always pair an audiobook with an activity. I know most people who listen to a lot of audiobooks do the same thing. I usually listen when going on a trip. It really helps the miles go by quicker. I didn't find it using more attention than the radio does especially between cities. I also craft (as evidenced with my crafting with audiobooks posts) and since I'm often just following instructions, it also doesn't cause a attention shift. Others use it with cleaning... but I haven't gotten that hang yet. I think it is because I just want the cleaning to be over as quick as possible I don't want to linger during a good passage. LOL So try an activity if you want to try audiobooks but have been reluctant.
My favorite place for audiobooks is Audible. The reason it tends to be my goto place (besides the library) for audiobooks is because I love the whispersync option you get when you get the ebook at Amazon. What is great about this is getting the book on a sale and then getting the audiobook for around 2-4 dollars. Bargain! Plus, if you prefer to read and then have to do something but don't want to put the book down, you can just use the whispersync to continue the book where you left off and vice versa. You also can gift and get audiobooks as gifts quite easily. I admit most of my audios come to me this way. I use my ipod app and it makes it so easy to use and take with me when I need to go somewhere.
Lately, Audible Studios have been having a lot of famous voices narrate classic books. One of them is Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensiblity, Nanny McPhee, Mrs. Trelawaney: Harry Potter) narrates this gothic classic. Others have jumped into narrating classics as well. Rasamund Pike, Dan stevens, Jams Franko, Jesse Eisenberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Tim Robbins have also narrated classics. How many times have we all said... "Well, this is based on the classic *fill in the blank* and I never read it." Now there is a way to do so with voices you are familiar. I love that audible is doing this and I do plan on doing a few classics this way as well as catching up on all the series books I need to yet read.
If you already haven't tried audible through Amazon (one of the easiest ways), you could always get a free audiobook though their free one month trial. Just go to Audible to sign up. What I like about that (besides the free audiobook) is you also get special sales for members as well as a audio daily deal. What can I say? I love a bargain. :D

So do you audible and how do you do it?

Also note that for this post the comments are done differently. It's right after the end of the post.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On My Wishlist: Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun

Heir to the Sky
by Amanda Sun
384 p.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: 4/26/16
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft. 
When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.
Jenny from Supernatural Snark brought this one to my attention. Chimera, storm dragons, basilisks? Yea, sign me up! :D

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe

Subtitle: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It
352 p.
Publisher: Harper Wave
Published: 3/29/16
Source: TLC Book Tours and Publisher for review
Doctor of Natural Medicine and wellness authority Dr. Josh Axe delivers a groundbreaking, indispensable guide for understanding, diagnosing, and treating one of the most discussed yet little-understood health conditions: leaky gut syndrome.
Do you have a leaky gut? For 80% of the population the answer is “yes”—and most people don’t even realize it. Leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of a litany of ailments, including: chronic inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and even arthritis. 
To keep us in good health, our gut relies on maintaining a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. When our digestive system is out of whack, serious health problems can manifest and our intestinal walls can develop microscopic holes, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome. 
In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains that what we regard as modern “improvements” to our food supply—including refrigeration, sanitation, and modified grains—have damaged our intestinal health. In fact, the same organisms in soil that allow plants and animals to flourish are the ones we need for gut health. In Eat Dirt, Dr. Axe explains that it’s essential to get a little “dirty” in our daily lives in order to support our gut bacteria and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe offers simple ways to get these needed microbes, from incorporating local honey and bee pollen into your diet to forgoing hand sanitizers and even ingesting a little probiotic-rich soil. 
Because leaky gut manifests differently in every individual, Dr. Axe also identifies the five main “gut types” and offers customizable plans—including diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations—to dramatically improve gut health in just thirty days. With a simple diet plan, recipes, and practical advice, Eat Dirt will help readers restore gut health and eliminate leaky gut for good.
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My thoughts:

I've heard of leaky gut and how it compromises people's health. Scoffed by doctors at one time, science has actually proven it's existence and more and more doctors are now looking at it in healing help. For those of  you who haven't heard of it, this book explains it well for those who do not have medical knowledge. It also provides some evidence in how it works and how it harms without going overboard in the explanation. I also enjoyed the personal stories from family and his clients to help emphasize how healing the gut impacts health.

I actually agree with most of the book. I think our over sanitization of our world has lead to more deadly diseases (like anti-bacteria hand gel) and have made the bacteria more resistant. I also highly agree with how the american food supply has been badly affected by corporations like Monsanto who have introduced GMOs and other pesticides (which have shown to be carcinogens) which are still in use in our food.

Now we differ on some aspects... and no, I'm not a doctor and he is a certified doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist... so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt. I don't believe that leaky gut is the root cause of disease. I DO believe that it does affect the body and by healing it can allow the body to then get the components needed to heal itself. Now we don't disagree that much on this point as he also believes this... I just don't like making that extra jump to causation. I also believe that some of his cure should come with a big caveat to always refer to your doctor. For example, some of the mushrooms he suggests can have consequences for those on diabetic medications. It may lower the blood sugar too much. I'm sure you could still use it, but it might need to be monitored by a doctor. This is not mentioned. His diet changes are also really for those who are in the general population. I would have also liked to see a section on elimination diets for those that don't find relief or get worse. For example, he highly recommends coconut oil and almond oil/flour. Those that cannot tolerate salicylates might not be able to handle his dietary modifications. Most people don't even realize they have these sensitivities unless they go through a elimination diet.

However after stating all of this, I do find that his changes would help those with generalized problems and just making the average person feel so much better. I think those with specific problems might get ideas from the book but take it to your doctor or get a nutritionist/natural doctor you trust.

Now does he really want you to eat dirt? Kinda. :) He wants you to stop over-sanitizing your food and the environment which helps the good bacteria to thrive and combat the bad bacteria more effectively. There is also a clay you can take at certain intervals to help things along. It is all about having an effective microbiome in your gut to help you stay and keep healthy.

Books and Things side note: The microbiome is also important in dogs to help combat bloat. So even our canine family has to worry about gut health (Bloat in Great Danes: A Major Breakthrough).

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think this is a great introduction to the leaky gut syndrome now gaining interest in conventional medicine. I also think it gives great ideas on what to change in your immediate environment which I also think is key to changing your gut. He also finishes with food, cleaning and beauty recipes which I think could benefit a lot of people right now.

Josh Axe AP
About Dr. Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is a doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get healthy by using food as medicine. He founded one of the largest functional medicine clinics in the United States and runs the popular health website, where you can find recipes, natural remedies, videos, nutrition advice, and fitness tips. Dr. Axe is a board-certified doctor of natural medicine (DNM), earned his doctorate in chiropractic at Palmer College (DC), and is a certified nutrition specialist (CNS) from the American College of Nutrition. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Chelsea. Find out more about Dr. Axe at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Waylaid by Kim Harrison with Giveaway!

Series: Hollows/Peri Reed mash up
Publisher: Pocket Star
Published: 4/4/16
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
Addendum: Will be $.99 in ebook
Worlds collide when Rachel Morgan of The Hollows meets Peri Reed of The Drafter in this exciting new short story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison. 
The paranormal and the futuristic meet in this thrilling novella featuring your favorite badass heroines from two of “the amazingly gifted” (RT Book Reviews) Kim Harrison’s most beloved series: the Hollows and the Peri Reed Chronicles. The magic of the Hollows runs full force into the technological sophistication of The Drafter when a device capable of carrying a city’s data stream pulls Rachel, the bounty hunter witch of the Hollows, between realities, marooning her in a world where the supernatural holds no sway. To get Rachel and Jenks home, Peri, the dangerous renegade of 2030, must decide what will chart her future: her blind trust in those who grant her power, or her intuition telling her to believe.
My thoughts:

I had only read the first book in the Hollows series and the first book in the Peri Reed Chronicles series. That was enough to get into the enjoyment in this series. If you have only read one or the other, I think it is a good way to introduce you to the series you haven't read.

In this one it is set in Peri's world and Rachel is thrown into it by a mistake. It does seem to blend the worlds together as if one was set in an alternate universe and timeline from the other. This does make things make more sense and we do have some basic things in common including magic and science. We only have a small adventure with both characters told in Peri's POV. It is complete and not an absolute necessity in either series but just something to enjoy. It is like hoping unlikely characters would come together in a different series and wanting to see what happens. It's just all in fun.

I give this novella 3 stars. It is a great way to introduce yourself into the world and characters of the other. Now I know I need to start catching up in the Hollow's universe.

The paperback book of The Drafter (Peri Reed Chronicles #1) just came out and I have one to giveaway! It also includes the novella, Sideswiped which most people said helps introduce the world (my Review for both books). To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter form below. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 1, 2016

Art Book Review: Pop Painting by Camilla d'Errico

Genre: Art/ Art Instruction
248 p.
Published: 1/5/16
Publisher: Watson-Guptill
Source: Blogging for Books
A unique behind-the-scenes guide to the painting process of one of the most popular artists working in the growing, underground art scene of Pop Surrealism. 
Get ready for a behind-the-scenes look at the painting tools, methods, and inspirations of one of the top artists working in the growing field of Pop Surrealism. For the first time, beloved best-selling author and artist Camilla d’Errico pulls back the curtain to give you exclusive insights on topics from the paints and brushes she uses and her ideal studio setup, to the dreams, notions, and pop culture icons that fuel the creation of her hauntingly beautiful Pop Surrealist paintings.

With step-by-step examples covering major subject areas such as humans, animals, melting effects, and twisting reality (essential for Pop Surrealism!), Pop Painting gives you the sensation of sitting by Camilla’s side as she takes her paintings from idea to finished work. This front row seat reveals how a leading artist dreams, paints, and creates a successful body of work. For fans of Camilla and the underground art scene, aspiring artists looking to express their ideals in paint, and experienced artists wanting to incorporate the Pop Surrealist style into their work, Pop Painting is a one-of-a-kind, must-have guide.
My thoughts:

I have been enjoying the manga inspired art more than I have previously. I think it is because it has been done more in an artistic way and not just ink on paper. I have nothing against the early manga, but the new work coming out has caught my attention. The author calls her artistic bent, Pop Surrealism. I would say that is quite accurate.

Not only do you get her wonderful, colorful and mystical paintings but she also answers the most common questions she gets about her technique. She also goes through some of her paintings on how each layer builds upon another to the final piece. I love her light touch and I also enjoy seeing her process in how she changes things while she is creating the painting.

I give this book 5 stars. If you are looking for a beginning book, this may not be for you even though her instructions are easy to follow. If you love art books and want to see how someone goes through the process of the painting, I highly recommend this book.

Since books like this are better explained visually, there is a kindle sample HERE and information direct from Camilla d'Errico's blog