Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Highlights

Well, April went by really fast! And when I started to write this post I thought, "I really didn't read that much this month". But I was wrong. I read more books than I thought I did.


Books Read:

1. Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
2. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown
3. Dangerous by Shannon Hale
4. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
5. Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
6. Panic by Lauren Oliver
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
9. Wind and Shadow by Tori. L. Ridgewood

Challenge Updates:

2014 Series Challenge:

Complete Series = 3

Started 2 new series this month:

The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner and The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

2014: Dystopia Challenge:

Completed = 13 books


13. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (My Review)

Other Highlights I'm Excited About:

  • I was asked to review my first two books! (Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold and Wind and Shadow)
  • I participated in two ARC tours hosted by On The Same Page. It was awesome! I am so glad I was able to participate in these and I am working on my reviews for the books!
  • I won a giveaway for an ARC of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch!!!! So, so, so, excited! It got here and I just kept looking at the book. Holding it. My little Pooh Bear even hugged it. So I am REALLY looking forward to starting this book (it was killing me that I had so many books to finish first, I wanted to skip everything and dive into this one!) And then I can't wait to share my thoughts about it when I finish with all of you!
  • I have been thinking of some things that I want to do on my blog. And have decided to start creating a new Which One? Poll for each month, and the polls will be open until the last day of month. The results will be posted on that day. I am really excited to be doing this! 
  • I participated in a The Maze Runner read-a-long hosted by Cassi (My Thoughts...Literally!) So much fun! 

Some Personal Highlights

  • Our dryer, washer, and lawn mower all decided to break this month. But my handy-man love, Leif, was able to fix both the dryer and the washer. (His first time for both!) And I am so proud. Now, if we could only figure out how to fix the lawn mower.
  • I FINALLY got to watch the rest of Season 4 of Pretty Little Liars. I am addicted to this show. And now I don't have to worry about spoilers. And I can't wait until it starts airing again in June!

Things I Need to Improve

  • I really need to improve actually writing my reviews. I have a notebook full of notes from books that I read in March and April. And I need to get the reviews written. 

How was your April? Get some more completed on your challenges? Participate in any read-a-longs? Any personal highlights you are proud or excited of? 

Wind and Shadow by Tori L. Ridgewood

Title: Wind and Shadow (The Talbot Trilogy #1)
Author: Tori L. Ridgewood
Length: 230 pages
Publisher: Melange Books
Classification: Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: June 13, 2013
Source: e-book (provided by author and publicist for a review. Thank you!)
Read: April 2014
After a series of misadventures including being accused of attempted murder in high school, Rayvin Woods, a photographer and natural witch, left her hometown of Talbot in Northeastern Ontario, hoping to start her life over and never return. Ten years later, circumstances force her back to face her past and her former crush Grant Michaels.  Malcolm de Sade, a cunning vampire, escapes from an underground prison looking for vengeance. His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town. Rayvin’s power is all that stands between de Sade and his domination of Talbot, and beyond.   Grant Michaels, a police officer, thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger... but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it's too late?Rayvin didn't count on rekindling a lost love or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life when she came home to Talbot. Facing the past can be a nightmare… It’s worse when a vampire is stalking you.

**This e-book was provided for me by the author and/or publicist in exchange for a honest review.**

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tune in Tuesday #9: Taylor Swift


Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it at Kate’s Tales of Books andBands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) Then link up with Katelyn's Tune In Tuesday blog post if you want!


Monday, April 28, 2014

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Title: The Maze Runner 
(Maze Runner #1)
Author: James Dashner
Length: 329 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Classification: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Source: ebook (purchased)
Read: April 2014 *I read this book during a Read-a-long with some fellow blogger friends. Thank you Cassi (My Thoughts...Literally) for hosting!*
"If you ain't scared, you ain't human."When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wind and Shadow by Tori L. Ridgewood Excerpt + Giveaway




Tori L. Ridgewood’s new book Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, published by Melange Books, was released on June 20, 2013.
  
After a series of misadventures including being accused of attempted murder in high school, Rayvin Woods, a photographer and natural witch, left her hometown of Talbot in Northeastern Ontario, hoping to start her life over and never return. Ten years later, circumstances force her back to face her past and her former crush Grant Michaels.

Malcolm de Sade, a cunning vampire, escapes from an underground prison looking for vengeance. His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town. Rayvin’s power is all that stands between de Sade and his domination of Talbot, and beyond.

Grant Michaels, a police officer, thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger... but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it's too late?
Rayvin didn't count on rekindling a lost love or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life when she came home to Talbot. Facing the past can be a nightmare… It’s worse when a vampire is stalking you.
Wind and Shadow is available for sale on Amazon

“During a period of writer’s block on Wind and Shadow, I wrote a prequel novella titled Mist and Midnight to help myself find answers to questions about how my vampire was trapped, and why he had come to the small town of Talbot in the first place. Mist and Midnight was released in 2011 as part of the Midnight Thirsts anthology, published by Melange Books. It’s a stand-alone piece, but it’s a terrific companion to The Talbot Trilogy,” said Ridgewood.

Blood and Fire: Book Two of The Talbot Trilogy was released February 2014 available for sale on Amazon


After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.




Follow The Author:







Excerpt from Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood

Rayvin’s teeth were grinding together. The pretty little waitress, her head cocked while she smacked her gum and smiled saucily, didn’t know with whom she was dealing. Rayvin’s hand itched to wipe those too-red lips off her freckly face; her magick boiled inside her, making the room spin slightly with its intensity. Maybe the little bitch wanted those braces to be permanently glued to her teeth? Or every freckle to spontaneously morph into ugly, enormous, oozing pimples?
Rayvin had had enough of being nice. She had held her tongue while Asshole Wilson had made his insinuations, in front of everyone. She had been good, waiting with utmost patience while Grant Michaels, of all people, had risen somewhat to her defense. He had impressed her, just when she didn’t want to feel or be impressed, which put her in even more of a bad mood. Everyone kept assuming they knew everything, just like this dumb bitch behind the counter, who had smiled blandly when Rayvin had tried explaining her relationship to Andrea.
“Sorry, I don’t know you, I wasn’t on shift last night.” She snapped her gum. That particular habit had always driven Rayvin crazy. “I could lose my job if I let you have the necklace.”
“Is the assistant manager here?”
Snap. Chew. “Nope. Sorry. She’s busy.”
“Look, maybe I haven’t made myself clear—” Rayvin checked her name tag. “Susan.”
“Suzie.” She smiled brightly, flipping a long brown pigtail over her shoulder and thrusting her shirt forward.
“Whatever. You don’t seem to understand—”
“Hey, there, Suzie-Q!” Michaels eased his way between Rayvin and the counter. Inwardly, she seethed at his interference and at herself for feeling relieved. She had already fought this battle with herself; she did not need his help. So why was her breast still tingling where his chest had brushed against it while moving her aside?
As he smoothly explained the situation, again, Rayvin crossed her arms and scowled at the patrons watching with interest. Once more, she was getting attention that she neither needed nor wanted. Tapping her foot to focus some of her negativity, she looked away as Michaels continued to flirt with the girl behind the counter.
Susie was now leaning against her arms to reveal her assets at their best angle, beaming up at the tall dark off-duty cop who had to be twice her age. Her giggles clawed up Rayvin’s back. She saw a dimple flicker within the light dusting of bristle on Michaels’ face as he grinned down on the little girl.
She couldn’t look away. She’d seen him grin like that before, for his friends, but not for her. Her heart ached, remembering a flash of a grin she’d thought was directed toward her in high school. And the crushing embarrassment when she’d realized he was looking at someone behind her. It was ridiculous, really, that the man had this ability to affect her in this way, after ten years. Stupid.
Impatiently pacing to the door and back, she couldn’t decide what irritated her more; the entirely age-inappropriate crushing going on, or her reaction to it. Her hackles had gone up in a decidedly defensive manner. It shouldn’t matter that he wasn’t interested. He’d made the boundaries in their relationship painfully clear. She shouldn’t even use the word, ‘relationship.’ She was essentially a subject in an investigation, and the enemy of his best friend. And yet she needed him to get what Andrea needed. Michaels could talk to people in a way that she could not, and it was clearly working. She grudgingly appreciated the effort, on Andrea’s behalf, but still . . . did he have to be so obvious?
As long as he was able to get the necklace, then they could go their separate ways, and she wouldn’t have to watch him smiling at a pretty girl. She wouldn’t have to pretend that he might, in some small way, want to move forward. His offer of coffee had felt like a truce of sorts, and for a moment she had nearly believed that they were just two ordinary individuals, catching up after years of separation. But as much as she wanted to believe in the possibility and enjoy something of a reunion, or something more, because she had to admit that the man made her weak in the knees and always had, she knew it could never happen. There was too much history between them. Now, there was too much at stake. Whatever heartache and loneliness she might feel, she would have to bury it, for Andrea’s sake.
Rayvin swallowed her feelings, and resumed her post behind Grant, glowering at her former high school crush and the flirtatious waitress.
The door opened again, this time admitting an icy wind as well as an individual in dirty jeans and a torn and grimy black jacket. He pulled the door shut firmly against the breeze. Rayvin couldn’t see his face for the curtain of greasy black hair under his dismal grey trucker’s cap.
The patrons closest to the entrance reacted to the unexpected gust of cold air, grabbing for their coats and scarves. The newcomer stood by the door, rubbing his grubby hands vigorously. It was a hint of the winter to come, Rayvin reflected, shivering through her own thick woollen sweater. If it was as cold as that wind suggested, she was going to have an uncomfortable journey home, whether it was walking or riding with Officer Michaels. Constable Michaels. Whatever he was called now. She rubbed her arms, waiting for the brief burst of chill to dissipate with the warmth of the restaurant.
It didn’t.
In fact, as waitress Suzie twirled her hair around her finger and dipped below the counter to retrieve the necklace for Michaels, Rayvin noticed a distinct odour pervading the room. A couple behind her left off eating their soup, noses wrinkled wrinkling in distaste.
“Does it seem darker in here to you?” Michaels asked.
Before Rayvin could respond, Suzie called out, “Do you have a penlight or something? I can’t see down here.”
Obligingly, Michaels removed the tool from an inner coat pocket, and turned around.
Rayvin had noticed that the lights seemed dim, and the small votive candles on each table were giving off faint blue hues. Not that any of the diners picked up on their supernatural glow; they were putting on coats or sweaters against the chill that continued to spread, or using menus and napkins to try wafting away the stink that ruined their appetites.
She stepped toward the stranger who had walked in, sensing the source of the problem. For a brief instant, as he lifted his chin, her eyes met his in the shadow under the brim of his filthy hat.
Suddenly, it felt like the walls were closing in; the world tilted around her, her head pounded, and her vision exploded. Sickening lights and horrifying, demonic faces leered at her as the floor slanted under her feet. The breath left her lungs in a whoosh, as though she’d been punched in the stomach. Rayvin reached out, blindly, hands grasping for something solid, and found Michaels’ arm.
“We have to get out of here, now,” she whispered, clutching his wrist.
She turned her head away from the shadows and that elongated and loomed over her to gesture at the door, where the decorative lights shimmered and stretched into a matrix of fantastic threads snaking through the air to bind and trap her. They blinded her against the dark figure, but she could hear his malevolent laughter. It echoed all around her, drowning out the words she knew Grant was speaking; she could feel his chest against her back, an island of stability in the chaos, rumbling gently as he spoke. Her knees trembled, nearly giving way under the onslaught. The arm encircling her waist took her off-guard, and she fought against it at first, until touch revealed it to be Michaels’ muscle, sinew, and bone holding her steady.
As one, they moved toward the entrance. His grip tightened as Rayvin staggered under the weight of the malevolence bearing down on her. Black, dark, evil energy sank down along her shoulders and spine, cloaking her with icy tendrils and muffling her senses even as her feet shuffled toward the threshold, until she felt the contours of the door under her palms. The vile blanket lifted from her with the first brushes of crisp, fresh air against her face; she tilted her chin up, letting the calming breeze wash over her eyelids, her nose, and her lips. Exhaling, she let him steer her down the sidewalk a few paces. She felt like a swimmer who’d barely escaped drowning. Stopping at a low stone wall, Rayvin leaned her elbows against its frosty, pitted rough surface, and immediately missed the warmth of Michaels’ touch when his hand let go of her body.
“What the hell happened in there?” Michaels was standing a step away, his hands fisted on his hips.
She looked up, rubbing the back of her hand against her forehead. The pain banding her skull from temple to temple was starting to ease, but when she opened her eyes, halos of energy stood in bright relief around the living entities and made her head ache anew. Michaels moved into her field of vision. She flinched, but instead of the burst of agony she was expecting, his aura flooded her with calm. He stepped closer, and with relief, she felt herself opening to his vibration, warm and healing. She felt his concern, his confusion and frustration, and more.
“I . . .” Rayvin hesitated, unable to hold his gaze. She looked back the way they had come, down the sidewalk at the seemingly ordinary restaurant. Another couple was just coming through the doors, holding hands and laughing, oblivious to whatever had attacked her.
“It’s hard to explain. I felt something . . . wrong, really wrong. Something powerful, that came at me, like it was attacking me, or about to. It wasn’t safe to stay. I couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe . . .” She shuddered, bowing her head, and felt him move a step closer.
“Well, I thought you were going to faint,” Michaels noted. “And you’re still pale. Are you on anything? Any medications, herbs, or . . .” He cut off when she glared at him blearily. “What you experienced could logically be the result of a hallucinogen of some kind.”
Cradling her chin, he pulled out the penlight again to check her pupils. She jerked her head, trying to get away, but he refused to let go. The touch of his hand made her breath come more quickly. The sensation of his fingers brushing against the sensitive skin, just below her jawline, weakened her defences. Or was it his nearness, the way his eyes met hers, his lips so close to her own that hers trembled in response? Rayvin’s stomach was still clenching in reaction to fear, and her fingers were numb with shock; her instinct was tearing her in three directions. She wanted to run back in and fight the creature. She wanted to run for her own life. And she wanted to stay right here in the safety of this man’s arms.
She would never know who moved first.
Her eyes closed as his mouth covered hers, yielding to the hand that cupped her face and tilted it back. Her fingers touched his chest, exploring the contours of the warm muscle hidden under the soft flannel work shirt. Heat blossomed between her thighs as she felt his heartbeat quicken. He moved closer, settling into the space between her legs as their kiss deepened. 


This giveaway is for 1 ebook version of Wind and Shadow by Tori L. Ridgewood
  • This giveaway is open Internationally
  • I will check and confirm the entries and any that haven't been done correctly will be disqualified.
  • If you win, the email provided will be given to the publicist so they can send you the ebook of the book either for the kindle or epub.
  • The winner will be contacted through email and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond another will will be picked. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tune in Tuesday #8: Songs That Remind Me of Freshman Year of College



Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it at Kate’s Tales of Books andBands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) Then link up with Katelyn's Tune In Tuesday blog post if you want!

Top Ten Tuesday #10: Ten Female Characters Who Are Strong


Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog can be found here.


April 22nd: Top Ten Characters Who_______(fill in the blank)

Top Ten Female Characters Who Are Strong
(No particular order)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Length: 513 pages
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Classification: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: February 25, 2014

Source: Paperback *won a copy from GoodReads First Reads giveaway*
Read: March 2014
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? 

***I won a copy of this book from a  Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This does not change the way I view this book.***

***This is the second book in a series. There will be spoilers of things that happened in the first book, so if you haven't read it and don't want to know things that happened, please stop reading now.***

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading Book Excerpt + Giveaway




Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.  After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series available for sale on Amazon: 









Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/

Follow Iain:

Ian's Twitter
Ian's GoodReads 







Prologue

Back Where The Entire Adventure Began

As soon as the engine began to sputter, I knew that I was in real trouble. Up until then, I had somehow managed to convince myself that there was just something wrong with the fuel gauges. After all, how could I possibly have burnt through my remaining fuel as quickly as the gauges seemed to indicate? It simply wasn't possible. But with the engine choking and gasping, clinging to life on the last fumes of aviation fuel, it was clear that when the fuel gauges read, "Empty," they weren't kidding around.
The lightning strike that took out my radio and direction-finding gear hadn't worried me all that much. (Okay, I admit it worried me a little bit.) It wasn't the first time that this had happened to me, and besides, I still had my compasses to direct me to where I was going. But I did get a little bit concerned when I found nothing but open ocean as far my eyes could see at precisely the location where I fully expected to find tiny Howland Island—and its supply of fuel for the next leg of my journey—waiting for me. The rapidly descending needles on my fuel gauges made me even more nervous as I continued to scout for the island, but only when the engine began to die did I realize that I really had a serious problem on my hands.
The mystery of the disappearing fuel.
The enigma of the missing island.
The conundrum of what do I do now?
"Exactly," the little voice inside my head said to me in one of those annoying 'I-told-you-so' kind of voices. "What do you do now?"
"First, I am going to stay calm," I replied. "And think this through."
"You'd better think fast," the little voice said, and I could almost hear it tapping on the face of a tiny wristwatch somewhere up there in my psyche. "If you want to make it to your twentieth birthday, that is.  Don't forget that you're almost out of fuel."
"Thanks a lot," I replied. "You're a big help."
Easing forward with the control wheel I pushed my trusty De Havilland Beaver into a nosedive. Residual fuel from the custom-made fuel tanks at the back of the passenger cabin dutifully followed the laws of gravity and spilled forward, accumulating at the front and allowing the fuel pumps to transfer the last remaining drops of fuel into the main forward belly tank. This maneuver breathed life back into the engine and bought me a few more precious minutes to ponder my situation.
"Mayday, mayday, mayday," I said, keying my radio transmitter as I leveled my flight path out again. "This is aircraft Charlie Foxtrot Kilo Tango Yankee, calling any ground station or vessel hearing this message, over."
I keyed the mic off and listened intently for a reply. Any reply. Please? But there was nothing. There was barely even static. My radio was definitely fried.
It was hard to believe that it would all come down to this. After the months of preparation and training. After all the adventures that I'd had, the friends I'd made, the beauty I'd experienced, the differences and similarities I'd discovered from one culture to the next and from one human being to the next. All of this in the course of my epic flight around the entire world.
Or I should say, "my epic flight almost around the entire world," in light of my current situation.
And the irony of it was absolutely incredible. Three-quarters of a century earlier the most famous female pilot of them all had disappeared over this exact same endless patch of Pacific Ocean on her own quest to circle the globe. And she had disappeared while searching for precisely the same island that was also eluding me as I scanned the horizon with increasing desperation.
"Okay," I thought to myself. "Just be cool and take this one step at a time to think the situation through." I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing, slowing it down and reining in the impulse to panic. Inside my head, I quickly and methodically replayed every flight that I'd ever flown. Every emergency I'd ever faced. Every grain of experience that I had accumulated along the long road that had led me to this very moment. Somewhere in there was a detail that was the solution to my current predicament. I was sure of it. And all I had to do was find it.
Maybe the answer to my current situation lay somewhere among the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia? Or in the steamy jungles of east Africa? Or inside the towering pyramids of Giza? Or among the soaring minarets of Sarajevo? Or on the emerald rolling hills and cliffs of western Ireland? Or on the harsh and rocky lava fields of Iceland?
Wherever the answer was, it was going to have to materialize quickly, or another female pilot (me) would run the risk of being as well-known throughout the world as Amelia Earhart. And for exactly the same reason.
"It's been a good run at least," the little voice inside my head observed, turning oddly philosophical as the fuel supplies ran critically low. "You've had more experiences on this journey around the world than some people do in their entire lifetime."
"That's it!" I thought.
Maybe the answer to all this lies even further back in time? All the way back to the summer that had inspired me to undertake this epic journey in the first place. All the way back to where North America meets the Pacific Ocean—the islands and glaciers and whales of Alaska.
All the way back to where this entire adventure began.


This giveaway is for 1 kindle ebook copy of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
  • Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
  • This giveaway is open Internationally
  • I will check and confirm the entries and any that haven't been done correctly will be disqualified.
  • If you win, the email provided will be given to the publicist so they can send you the Kindle ebook gift through Amazon.
  • The winner will be contacted through email and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond another will will be picked. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway





You can read my review here

Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Title: Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold
Author: Iain Reading
Length: 336 pages
Classification: Young Adult, Adventure, Mystery
Release Date: December 2012
Source: e-book (provided by author)
Thank you Iain Reading!
Read: April 2014
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

**This e-book was provided for me by the author and/or publicist in exchange for a honest review.**

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Family Game Night: Dungeon

**This post was originally published by me on my personal (family) blog from March 2012. (I have since taken that blog down) I thought it would be fun to share this post on here. This was one of my Family Game Night posts, and I hope to have more in the future.
At the time Cutie Pie was 5 years old.**

We love having Family Game Nights.  We played a game that was Leif's when he was a young boy. It is called Dungeon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movie Review: Veronica Mars

(source)

If you have been following my blog, then you have probably realized by now that Veronica Mars is one of my FAVORITE TV shows of pretty much all time. I was depressed when it was cancelled. I think I even might have signed some petitions to try and save the show.

So you could probably imagine my excitement and happiness when I found out that there was going to be a movie.

There was some of this happening:



I also felt like this:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tune in Tuesday #7: Musicals


Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! This feature was originally created by Ginger over at GReads! but you can now find it at Kate’s Tales of Books andBands. If you would like to participate in this weekly feature, make a blog post showcasing a song (or a few!) Then link up with Katelyn's Tune In Tuesday blog post if you want!

Top Ten Tuesday #9: Ten Bookish Things That I'd Like to Own


Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog can be found here.


April 15th: Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like to Own

1. More (and bigger) Bookshelves: I have so many books and not enough bookshelf space for them. So one day when I get a bigger house (and my own personal library...) I will get some bigger bookcases.

2. Bookish Pins: I love pins. I have a small collection, and I would love to have more that are from favorite books.

3. Bookish Tote Bags: I LOVE Tote Bags. I have several. And I would love to have some inspired by favorite books.

4. Bookmarks: I would just love some more to add to my collection. Bookmarks are so pretty and I love all the ones I have that have been signed by awesome authors!

5. Bookish Jewelry: I would love to have charms based off of my favorite books for a bookish charm bracelet. I think I would love that THE MOST. This is what I REALLY want. I think I would be over the moon, if I had a charm bracelet that had charms inspired from all my favorite books.

6. Bookish Patches: Patches that have favorite quotes from different books, or sayings. Book covers. So I can put them on bags or something. I really like patches.

7. A Bookish Quilt: I would love to have a quilt that is made up of squares/rectangles that are pictures of my favorite book covers. That would simply be amazing.

8. Bookish Posters: Posters of my favorite book covers. Would be fantastic.

9. Bookish Games: There are some games in the books that we read that I think would be a lot of fun to play in real life. So I wish they make the games so we could buy them and play them. It would also be cool to have games based off favorite books, even if it is trivia games. Imagine: Trivial Pursuit YA edition. Or Dystopian Edition. Sci-Fi Edition. Etc.

10. Book Quote Art or Posters: There are so many quotes from books that I really LOVE. And it would be awesome to have those hanging up in my house. Just to make me smile or help inspire/motivate me on a bad day. (I think I need to look into making myself some...)

What do you think? What are some bookish things you would love to own. Is there one thing that you would want the most?

After looking over my list, I definitely think the one thing I would want the most is my bookish charm bracelet. :D

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me 
(Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Length: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Classification: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Source: e-book 
Read: March 2014
tick
tick
tick
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it's almost
time for war.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.
She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.
Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movie Retellings

So I have become obsessed with Retellings lately. I am loving them. And I got to thinking about different movies that I have watched that are Retellings.

And now I want to make a list of Movie Retellings and I want your help to make a list.
Also I think it would be cool to find some new movies to watch. So tell me some that you have enjoyed watching.

What I have so far
  1. 10 Things I Hate About You- Inspired by Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew
  2. She's The Man- Inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
  3. Sydney White- Inspired by Snow White
  4. Ella Enchanted- Adaption of Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (retelling of Cinderella)
  5. Red Riding Hood- A take on Little Red Riding Hood

Disney Movies:

  1. Cinderella
  2. Snow White
  3. The Little Mermaid
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Sleeping Beauty
  6. Aladdin
  7. Alice in Wonderland
  8. Peter Pan
  9. The Lion King
  10. Mulan
  11. The Princess and the Frog
  12. Tangled
  13. Frozen
I imagine there are movies that I don't know about. So please feel free to fill out the Google Doc and if I get a lot of responses, I will make a list with all of the movies.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone Fan Cast

This is my fan cast for Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

So I have been thinking about which actors best represent how I picture these characters in my mind. And it has been a bit tough (I'm having a really hard time having a dream cast for the chimaera characters) but here are some that come close that I have found so far:

Karou: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
(source)
I had a really hard time finding someone to pick for Karou and I am not sure that this is really how I picture her in my head. Who would you pick for Karou?


Akiva: Blair Redford
(source)

Zuzana: Ksenia Solo
(source)
I specifically pictured Ksenia pretty much in the beginning of reading Zuzana!

Mik: Nico Tortorella
(source)

Liraz: Jaimie Alexander
(source)
Yes, I know Liraz is supposed to have light hair, but I can't help it, I specifically pictured Jaimie in my head when I read both books in the series. And I haven't been able to picture a different person yet. 

Hazael: Alex Pettyfer
(source)

Thiago: Joseph Morgan
(source)

Brimstone: I think that whoever does the voice for Brimstone's character needs to have a deep voice. Just my thoughts. I just couldn't think of anyone whose voice I really wanted to be Brimstone. Suggestions?

Who are some actors and actresses that you think would be good characters for Daughter of Smoke & Bone?

Do you have any ideas for the chimaera characters?


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday Thoughts #1: Sad Reads

Thursday Thoughts is a weekly discussion meme hosted by Ashley on her blog Ok, Let's Read.
Join in on the discussion and check out Ashley's blog for the discussion topics and dates.

This is my first week participating in Thursday Thoughts.

April 10: Sad Reads - If you know a book is sad does it make you want to read it, deter you from reading it or not effect you at all? Do you enjoy sad books? Are you someone who cries easily at books? What books have you read that made you cry?

I do enjoy reading sad reads, but I have to be in the right kind of mood...if that makes sense. I can get emotional pretty easily. 

I cry if I get too stressed, too mad, or when I am sad. (I can't control it, and yeah, I do find it to be inconvenient and embarrassing sometimes).

I have read several books that have made me cry. 

There have been a few that even made me ugly cry. 

I cried a couple times when I read Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices Trilogy. 
I ugly cried when I read Veronica Roth's Allegiant.
I cried a couple times through Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games Trilogy.
Marie Lu's Legend Trilogy is another example.

You get my point. I won't keep listing all the books that have brought tears to my eyes (and face).

And these are books that I enjoyed and will most likely read again in the future even though they made me cry.

I think most of the time knowing ahead of time that a book is going to make me sad/cry does not affect my wanting to read the book.

It will just affect when I will read the book. Sometimes I think it is good to read a book and have a good cry session. There are times where everything just feels better after you have a good cry. (I'm not crazy...) It really can make me feel good afterwards. Unless it is ugly crying, those times I usually just feel empty inside for a little while. And it can take chocolate and a funny TV show (like That 70's Show) to make me feel better. 

For example: I have heard that The Fault in Our Stars by John Green will make me ugly cry. I still want to read this book, but I keep putting it off because I want to be in the right kind of mood when I read it. And I feel that the need to read this one is coming up soon.

So, in general I do enjoy reading sad books, even re-reading sad books. And knowing that a book is sad doesn't keep me from reading it. 

What are some sad books that you've read and have enjoyed? Are there some sad books you've read and don't like?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor


Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Length: 418 pages
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Classification: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Paperback 
Read: March 2014
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #8: Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read


Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Their blog can be found here.


April 8th: Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read

 *In no particular order!*



1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
(source)
I think this book is unique because it is a Sci-Fi Fairytale Retelling. Where the main character is a CYBORG. It is so unique. I haven't read a book quite like it. And I love the entire series a lot (You've probably heard me fangirling about it a lot before...) So if you haven't yet read this series, I really recommend you give it a change because it is AMAZING. And UNIQUE. :D

2. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
(source)
Not only do I think that this book has an unique story, it has a lot of unique characters. Characters that I love so much and they all have unique, interesting names!

3. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
(source)
I think this book is unique because before reading it, all the zombie books that I had read all had the main characters killing the zombies. Not this one. The main character IS the zombie. And this zombie falls in love. I thought the story was unique. And I love it a lot.

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
(source)
I think this book is unique because I don't think I have read anything quite like it. It is a paranormal adventure. I think this book is awesome and amazing. 

5. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
(source)
I think this book is uniquely written. The dialect is different from other books that I have read. And I like that it is a Dystopian book that also includes a lot of action and ADVENTURE. 

6. The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
(source)
I find this book to be unique because at the end of the book I thought "Wow, I REALLY LOVE this book." I even told my friend that "I am in love with this book". And I haven't written my review for it because I am having a hard time forming words for how much I enjoyed reading this one. I think the story is unique and interesting.

7. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
(source)
I think this book is another uniquely written book. I haven't read it in years. But I don't think I've read a book quite like it. We find out the past and what happened in Hannah's life through tapes that she has recorded and passed on to people. 

8. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
(source)
I found this book to be unique because I haven't read any other vampire books quite like it. The city is basically under vampire control. Most of the vampire books I have read involve them not being widely known about. And they don't control the entire town. 

9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
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This book (well the whole series really) is unique to me because of how much I love it and the way it shaped my love of reading as a teenager. It is a unique story. And it holds a special place in my heart.

10. NIL by Lynne Matson
(source)
I find this book unique because I think the story is unique. The stuff that happens on the island is unique. The fact that they have a year to get off the island is interesting and unique. I think it is an awesome book and I really enjoyed reading it.