It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

Dark Tales: Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne-Marie Leprince (5 stars)
Dark Tales: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (4.5 stars)
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
The Replaced by Kimberly Derting (4 stars)


Review that was Posted:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber (ARC) (5 stars)


Currently Reading:

The Countdown by Kimberly Derting


What I Hope to Start this Week:

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding (ARC)


Other Posts of Interest:








COVER COPY REVEAL--Summoned to Thirteenth Grave

OMG! Have you seen the cover for the final book in the Charley Davidson series? While I am tragically sad that it's ending next year (and the wait keeps getting longer by pushing it back! Lol), I am excited to see how it all ends, because man...that description!!!


Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed her daughter, she’s missed Reyes, and Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.



I mean, seriously, I'm reeling here!! What does this mean!? No Cookie?! No Ubie?! Where is Reyes?! I can't imagine he'd be gone, but it says "she missed Reyes" and where is her daughter?! There are wayyyy too many questions on the whereabouts of practically everyone! I thought my wait was until October but it looks like it's January now. This is going to be a loooong year! Though still plenty to look forward to this year, but man...it's going to be awhile until January! Lol!

And another thing...are we missing a "the" on the cover? Tripping up since Goodreads has a "the" within the title search results but the cover itself is missing it. I know it can be added easily enough since we're just seeing the picture of it, but it makes posting about said cover a little tricky! Leaving out the "the" since the cover is clearly missing it!


Summoned to Thirteenth Grave releases January 15, 2019





Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


This week was far better than expected...book wise! Lol! The weather has gotten ugly, we're talking 90s, heat, humidity...disgustingness. I don't understand how some of the people in this city enjoy this weather! I loathe it! Every day I drive home I see people with their windows down, meanwhile I'm cranking mine on MAXIMUM!! Yeah, summer is definitely here. What's spring anyway?


Anyway, I really didn't *buy* any books this week. Well...books that need to be read that is...

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir--so yeah...I succumbed once again to buying paperbacks of books I own to have the matching covers. It's a sickness I tell you. But I smile as I do it! :D
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir--it also helped to motivate me that Sabaa is coming HERE next month! So I wanted to get these asap...mostly because there was a good sale going on too! Before the holiday! I did the math even anticipating possible sales! Definitely got the better deal earlier this week! Though I still might go shopping today! ;)


Then for review from the publisher I received:

The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck (ARC)--SUPER EXCITED to read this one!! I had anticipated it as a Halloween read, but I am totally up for reading it earlier! Lol!


THANK YOU Delacorte Press!!


Then in an awesome trade yet again on the BooksforTrade hashtag, I received:

Campfire by Shawn Sarles (ARC)--another super creepy read that I am looking forward to!


THANK YOU @Addicted2FantaC!!



I may have bought another book sleeve!! Lol! In my defense...yeah...that's losing its meaning now, lol! But there was a sale and I had my eye on this one for awhile and it pays homage to one of my favorite shows growing up!

Go go Power Rangers! Yes, I was singing the song as I opened this one up! Lol! Gotta love the 90s (and my gif proves it! Yes, it was a 2000 song, but close enough!)!

This beauty came from Book Biff on Etsy!



And that was my haul this week! What did you get?







Review--The Replaced by Kimberly Derting

Romantic and action-packed, The Replaced is the gripping second installment in the Taking trilogy.

Kyra hasn't been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted—all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it's a risk to go after him. What if it's a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn't the same boy she lost?

Perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and the Body Finder series, The Replaced is both chilling and explosive, with creepy, otherworldly elements and twisty, psychological thrills that will have you questioning what exactly it means to be human.


I finally got around to reading Kimberly Derting’s The Replaced! Better late than never right? Naturally, my scattered mind couldn’t recall too much about The Taking other than the general plot and what the cliffhanger ending was. Though I found it was surprisingly easy to get back into the story. Things were recapped well enough, the only problem I had was remembering the characters outside Kyra and Tyler.

Kyra had to sacrifice Tyler to the same powers that took her five years ago. Tyler had been poisoned by her blood and the only way to save him was to let him be taken. He was, but then trying to figure out when and where he’ll come back was another story. Kyra contented herself by staying with Simon and his friends but when they get a possible lead on where Tyler might be, she’s ready to jump on it. The place? The NSA’s base in Tacoma.

And so begins a journey to rescue Tyler who may or may not be there among their enemies, especially Agent Truman who has been relentless in capturing Kyra. When the plan fails, the group decides to take refuge with another camp that isn’t known for being too friendly, but Simon is out of options of where they could safely go.

I’d say a good chunk of the beginning of this book involved getting themselves to Tacoma and then all that took place there. There’s a lot of traveling in this book and then more events take place when the group gets to the camp.

A lot of new secrets are revealed in this one as well. Since I can’t really remember much about the first book, I was pretty shocked by some of what we learned. Kyra and her friends find themselves among other Returneds who are unlike any she’s met before. They are more like soldiers getting ready for battle, just what battle that will be remains to be seen.

I will admit at times I felt like the pacing to this one slowed down some. There was a good deal of buildup in some of the mystery and secrets of just what the Returned are capable of. As well as a few other things that developed along the way.

There wasn’t too much romance in this one. That’s one thing I can’t really remember much about in the first book. I knew I was somewhat weirded out with Tyler and Kyra’s togetherness, but it didn’t last that long. Since Tyler is MIA with the hopes of a reunion soon, you’d think there wouldn’t be any romance left to have. Well…that’s the thing! I’m not entirely sure if Kimberly is setting us up for a love triangle or not. There’s definitely some chemistry brewing between Kyra and Simon, though it seems a little one-sided in the beginning that changes along the course of the book. I feel like Kyra has made her “choice”, yet there’s something that makes me feel like maybe she hasn’t. It’s a pickle that’s for sure, especially since I can’t remember why I loved Tyler so much! Simon was a riot at times and is definitely a character that made me laugh. Plus, he’s very loyal to his friends and whether in fiction or reality, that’s always an admirable quality.

The ending was definitely something of a shocker! There were things that were happening that I didn’t quite believe! A few more shocking revelations thrown in for good measure as well, yet those I sort of was getting to the bottom of! Just not quite in the details that were later given. The final part of the book was something of a head-turner though and I cannot wait to read the next book. Part of the reason why I now just need to binge read trilogies as well as duologies!

The Replaced was a pretty decent follow-up to The Taking! Again, with my addled memory I can’t remember The Taking as well, but diving into this one nearly blind I was able to follow along with little problems. It’s definitely going to be easier reading the next and final book for sure! If you’re a fan of the alien abduction type stories, this is definitely a read you will want to check out! It’s eerily mystifying in that area and I cannot wait to read the conclusion!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars





 

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is: Do you remember the first book you read by yourself? (submitted by La La @ La La in the Library)
 
 
 
MY ANSWER: Sadly, I do not. It's definitely been wayyyy too long since then! Imagine the number of books between when I write this and my first one. It's definitely got to be a story book of some sort...I just can't think of which one it could be.
 
I'm just going to go with The Berenstain Bears books! I can't say if Messy Room was the first...though I do have it! LOL! These were some of the first books I remember reading with my mom, so perhaps I read them by myself? Like I said, this question is harder to answer! Lol!





Random Thursday

Well, it's time! We're at the final pages of facts from That's a Fact Jack: A Collection of Utterly Useless Information [Updated] by Harry Bright and Jakob Anser. I've truly enjoyed this little book and was sad that I couldn't find other books by these two filled with randomness. There were some, don't get me wrong, but the two I found were on topics like Science and Psychology...ie: subjects I failed at! Lol!


(image borrowed from Science News)
Some sea slugs have disposable penises. After mating, the slug's penis essentially falls off but then grows back.

That...really? I'm at a loss for words here.


(image borrowed from MDC Discover Nature)
A fungus known as the honey mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) in the Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon is the single largest organism on Earth. Roughly 2,400 years old, it stretches 3.5 miles across and covers an area larger than 1,600 football fields--most of it hidden underground.


Daaaang! That's a lot of shrooms!


(image borrowed from Curious Things)
There are 1.5 million species of fungi. Shaggy inkcap, golden scruffy, the deceiver, pixie's parasol, golden scalycap, Zeller's bolete, devil's tooth, and woolly bird's nest are a few of the more colorfully named varietals.

These are some fun names! I was interested to see what pixie's parasol looked like! That's what this picture is (that hopefully will show because apparently I can't know until they've posted! Lol!)!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
As the name suggests, desert-dwelling honeypot ants are like living, breathing pots of honey. The ants chosen to be good lockers for the colony, called "repletes", are force-fed regurgitated nectar from worker ants until their own abdomens swell to the size of a grape. The Australian Aboriginals have long considered them a sweet and sticky delicacy.


That's just weird!! Honey in the ant's butt? Lol! Okay, it's not really the butt, but it looks like it! LOL!






Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.
 
 
While camping in a remote location, Maddie Davenport gathers around the fire with her friends and family to tell scary stories. Caleb, the handsome young guide, shares the local legend of the ferocious Mountain Men who hunt unsuspecting campers and leave their mark by carving grisly antlers into their victims' foreheads.

The next day, the story comes true.

Now Maddie and her family are lost in the deep woods--with no way out--being stalked by their worst nightmares. Because there were other, more horrifying stories told that night--and Maddie's about to find out just how they end...
 
 
 
 
As I write this, I just successfully made a trade to get this one!! So I still have a wait...especially with the review books currently on my plate but it's definitely going to be shorter than before! This sounds creepy good and I can't wait to read it!


TITLE: Campfire
AUTHOR: Shawn Sarles

PUBLISHER: Jimmy Patterson Books
GENRE: Horror YA
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2018





GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW--The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen & Ill. by Emilie Majarian

Follow Gerda on an adventure to find her friend Kay, who has been taken by the Snow Queen!

Seven vignettes in a graphic novel format make up Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, which depicts the struggle between good and evil. More than 100 pages of illustrated action and adventure await! A demon creates a magic mirror that reflects negative thoughts. His minions break it, and shards of the mirror get into the hearts and eyes of citizens all over the land. Gerda’s friend Kay is affected, and is lured away by the Snow Queen to become her palace slave. Follow Gerda’s adventures in her quest to rescue her friend and restore his compassion!
 








I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in way compensated for this review.
 

The next Dark Tales graphic novel I received was The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Emilie Majarian. It’s been a very long time since I read the original The Snow Queen, but I do remember some bits and pieces of it. So I can’t really say how much creativity and differences were taken with this story version. I felt like it followed the original tale rather well though, all things considered.

The story starts off with a group of demons creating a mirror that shows ones ugliest parts on the inside. When the mirror is broken over a town, bits and pieces fall into the townspeople’s eyes and their uglier nature comes to fore. The demons being pleased with this kind of chaos decided to create more mirrors and break them over towns.

This is where we meet two best friends named Kay and Gerda. They were neighbors and practically grew up together. So when a piece of cursed mirror enters Kay’s eyes and heart, he turns into a cold-hearted person and basically torments Gerda. It’s when he’s out with friends one night that he encounters the Snow Queen and they are enchanted with one another and he willing goes with her to her ice palace very far away.

After months of waiting for Kay to return, Gerda decides it’s time to take action and she sets off to find her friend despite his cruel treatment to her. She encounters a series of characters who will prove to either be friend or foe on her journey. The Snow Queen is, in a sense, a story about love and friendship.

I have to commend the artist Emilie Majarian on her artwork! It was quite beautiful, though I thought the Snow Queen was a little more terrifying than beautiful, but perhaps that was her intent. I remember this being one of Hans’ longer stories, so for it to have been condensed so thoroughly into a graphic novel gets its own kind of praise. Again, I haven’t read the original in some years, but I felt like the bulk of the tale was here and hit the many high points of the story.

The world was rather frightening, for Gerda to have traveled it all by herself was astonishing. I want to say she might have been near her preteens years, it’s hard to say. I remember in the original tale, she was a rather young girl, not the classic sixteen we tend to see in most fairy tales either.

This was yet another beautifully done graphic novel based on a fairy tale! I truly think we need more of these in the world! I’ve always loved fairy tales and having them condensed into graphic novels is entertaining, like seeing the Disney movies kind of entertaining. Though, here the novels tend to stick to the original story a bit more, which is rather nice.

This is definitely a good read for people wanting to know the origins of The Snow Queen story, as Disney kind of turned it on its head with Frozen, though in their early storyboards they were going to keep with the villain theme, obviously that didn’t stick. A most enjoyable read I’d recommend to all fairy tale fans once again!

 

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars





SAVE ABOSAT!!

Hello all, today I want to talk you about a beloved series of mine that is in danger of being cancelled. And technically, is cancelled temporarily for the moment. Though I have had seen a previously loved series cancelled and then 6 years later the finale was written, though let's hope it doesn't take nearly this long to save A Book of Spirit and Thieves!

I know many of you may have read the Falling Kingdom series and enjoyed that, but did you know that A Book of Spirit and Thieves takes pace in the same world? True we don't get to see our beloved characters, but we have a whole cast of new ones to fall in love with instead!

The book is sort of divided in half, we still have our multiple narrators telling the story from different angles. Half of them are in modern-day Toronto and the other characters are in a very familiar place, Mytica. Though Mytica is set in the past, as in our favorite heroes haven't quite been born yet (from my gatherings).

In the first book alone, Becca touches a mysterious book and collapses into a coma. Unbeknownst to her family, her spirit has traveled to Mytica and has no idea how to get home. She meets Maddox, a boy who thinks she's a ghost and the two form a friendship of sorts.

Back home, Crystal is trying figure out what's so special about the book Becca had been looking at. Then she meets Farrell Grayson who's a member of the super secret Hawkspear Society that is after that very book. Farrell will remind you of another arrogant sort of character, but we all know how that one lasted! Lol!

I realize that at the time, we had these first two books coming out among the Falling Kingdom books, which had its own list of narrators. For some, I know too many points of view can be difficult, it can for me at times as well and it might have overwhelmed me when I started Falling Kingdoms but it wasn't long before I couldn't get enough of it. So if too many points of view was why you held off reading this series, I hope you would give it a second chance now that the Falling Kingdoms series has come to an end! It's really the PERFECT time to start reading this series.

As it stands we only have two books in what was meant to be a trilogy. If we can make miracles happen and I truly believe that we can, all we need is for Morgan to write that one last book, because OMG the cliffhangers! I know, I know, I am asking you to read and possibly post reviews around the web about this series and how awesome it is...I am asking you to read a 2/3 books where one ends in some pretty dicey cliffhangers. I know, it's hard, it's unthinkable! I would never willing do this to any of you, but you guys...CLIFFHANGERS! I am already suffering!!

Imagine one of your favorite series, one that ended in cliffhangers on occasion. Now think of the book that ended with the biggest cliffhanger of them all...and now imagine the publisher saying WE'RE DONE! I've already had to live through this with Gena Showalter's Intertwined series. I've lived with hearing there would be a book and then the next year being told nope, not happening! I've lived through SO MUCH heartache with cancelled series and the teasing of there being a finale and it never happening.

But if we can all continue to buy this series, continue to post reviews on websites like Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and all the other bookish places that I am not aware of, I know, I KNOW we can get the publisher and likely Morgan too, to write that final book! I've seen it happen you guys! It's happened after 6 long years in between the books (I'm going on 7 years of agony with Gena's series). Anyone else remember Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie's Wicked series? Yeah, that series started in the early 2000s and was cancelled in the early 2000s, it wasn't until 2009 that we got the finale. So it has happened before!

Since we're just coming up to 2 years since The Darkest Magic released we're not doing too bad. The publishing schedule had to change for reasons as Falling Kingdoms was overlapping and time constraints and other little things had happened for Morgan. So I haven't completely lost my mind. Though Amazon telling me just last week that The Cursed Thief would be releasing this August was a punch to the gut since it's clearly not (and yes I had this one preordered already! I preordered almost a year ago to the day...unless I've passed that day, I'm not in that email at the moment).

We can make this happen you guys, we can get the publishers to change their mind! Sales and numbers all matter. So we need to make sure we've bought the books to this series and read them and then post reviews at all the right websites. It doesn't have to be overly long, but we're readers and reviewers and let's face it, sometimes we talk a lot about books--I am most definitely pointing at myself here! Lol!

So if you've read and loved the Falling Kingdoms series I beseech you to now read the Spirits and Thieves series! It's just as entertaining, exiting, spine-tingling and oh-so-incredibly-amazing as Morgan's first series! So please, please help save ABOSAT! Help put an end to the pain and insanity that readers like me are now going through! You can make a difference! You can change the publisher's minds! I know we can do this!!

Here is the post that Morgan wrote just last week about the series and what spurred me to write this mile long post!

And if you'd like, here are the reviews I wrote of A Book of Spirits and Thieves and The Darkest Magic! Read them and see how freaking awesome this series is and why it MUST BE SAVED!!!

Here's what I am going to do! I am going to give away copies of A Book of Spirits and Thieves and The Darkest Magic to one lucky reader! It's open to wherever the Book Depository will ship, so international folks, this means you!!! Here's the rafflecopter, now have at it!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway










Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



Okay, so as I write this I am actually finishing up with Shadow of the Fox and am not certain what I will be reading come Tuesday, so I thought, why not just share a teaser from this one?!


"The ronin blew out a breath. 'Well, there's nothing around here,' he said. 'Let's see where the glowing dead person wants to take us.'" p 362*


*Quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its page number are not final.










TITLE: The Shadow of the Fox
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: October 2, 2018 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


This week's topic is: Top Ten Best Character Names 


*in no particular order


The Boys

10. DAEMON--it's that extra "e"! I don't know why but ever since I saw Jennifer spell it this way, I can't get over that name! Plus the character attached to it, is just awesome! Lol!
9. HUNTER--maybe because it's a noun and that's just cool or maybe stemming from my love of Shawn Hunter...I've just always loved the name Hunter! Naturally, Jennifer has one of these too!
8. AUBREY--more of a unique name, plus since this was my first vampire novel and my first book boyfriend ever, he holds a special place in my heart!

7. ADRIAN--I can't remember if I was introduced to the name Adrian through Richelle or not. I want to say not. Adrian has been the name of one of my heroes in a WIP for years. So I guess that's why I became so attached to the name and was happy to see it pop up in one of my favorite spinoff series! 
6. ETHAN--another name from a WIP and another I became attached to. Not sure how or why, but then I met Chloe's Ethan and I knew the name was going to continue being a favorite!


 

The Girls


5. JESSICA--I know, I know! But you never realize how cool it is to see your name printed in a book! It's weird, my name was always so popular in school. There'd be like 3 Jessicas in class and I hardly ever saw the name used in books I read. There was one book as a kid-kid, but this was my first YA book with a Jessica! Hence why it's so special to me!
4. EMBER--again with the using a noun as a name! It's just cool!!! Plus Ember was freaking awesome!
3. FAYTHE--though she drove me nuts at times, I gotta admit, I loved the way her name was spelt! Yes, there's Faith and that's cool, but this spelling was just fun to type (as I typed it in my reviews since book 3 was when I started my blog!)!


2. CHARLEY--again with the unique spelling and giving a nickname to Charlotte that's sometimes seen as masculine, Charlie. I like the different spellings of common names! It's just fun to see! I'm a geek! 
1. KAYLEE--another Rachel Vincent name and another one that's just kind of new to me! I don't think I've met another Kaylee in book or real life! 



BONUS NAME!

RILEY!!!!

I love the name Riley, whether it's being used as a boy name or a girl name! Here are two of my favorite reads wherein we have a Riley. Yes, my beloved Intertwined had a Riley and though he was sort of a secondary character, he was still one of my favorites! I miss you Riley!!!

Then there's my first gal pal Riley from Jana Oliver's The Demon Trapper's Daughter! Riley was a badass and I loved her! She was tough as nails and still had her girlyness too if I recall--I still have some of Jana's self-pubbed books in the series to read, so I'm a bit behind! Lol!

But yeah, I love the name Riley!