Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fire and Ice, Five Worlds Series by Carrie Olguin

On planet Majien of the Five Worlds, Sarica inherited the debts of her father, which she can’t repay. The law demands her indentured servitude. Fate taunts her to find the lost City of Almona, the adventure that claimed her father’s life. She becomes the property of a judge, a man she fears. And desires. How can she attain freedom to answer Fate’s call?

Rosche burns for Sarica. The extreme cold she generates through her skin can soothe the curse he bears of creating heat through his. Emotions incite the beastly fever to flare. Because he is callous, she had rejected him as a suitor. So he buys her servitude. As his most precious possession, he will keep her. Forever. Will he risk their lives on an expedition to find Almona City to finally win her heart?

My Review:

Fire and Ice, Five Worlds Series

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do you ever read a book in 24 hours, give up on sleep and don't care that you are sooooo grumpy because you have to FINISH THIS BOOK!!! Well, that is what Fire and Ice was for me. Yes, I finished it in 24 hours. Yes, I gave up on sleep, staying up 24 hours just to finish it. Do I want to re-read it later? HECK YEAH! Do I want to read more about the Five Worlds? Definitely. So let me tell you why.

Rosche is a strong, hurting man who is struggling with his gift, but thinks the only way to work through it is by having Sarica, whether as a wife or a servant. Sarica wants freedom for herself and from the men/husband that would control her future. When she gets stuck with her father's debt, she has no choice on what will happen to her under Rosche's care.

When I read the synopsis, I was like, this sounds good. It sounded like a little mermaid take in space. Well, it is so much more. It is like the Little Mermaid meets the Beast, who deep down inside is a dragon. Now, I'm a huge fan of any takes on the Beauty and the Beast story, but this one is a great one by far, just because Sarica is just too stubborn for her own good, even when Rosche starts to change.

I loved the power play and the arguments, just the movement that kept you trying to turn the next page faster was great. I must say, my favorite part was in the Court Room (I promise, no spoilers!), but the revenge Sarica gets on Rosche was amazing.

Oh, and the way there are 2 twist in the story that make you just shout with "What?" makes it even better.

Highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read the next one.  Be warned, there are several sex scenes, so this might not be appropriate for everyone.


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The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross


In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch... Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.

My Review

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So I'll admit it first, because I don't need others to tell me I have a problem, but I'm a Cover Whore. If the cover doesn't catch my attention, I'm most likely not to EVER read a synopsis of the book. I know, that is judging a book by its cover, but I don't care.

Now, to the actual review. So if you are not familiar with steampunk, let me tell you, it is hot! Think Victorian England with a bit more yum factor with the technology and the clothing... Not as prim and proper and the good Queen V would like it.

For me, this book was delicious,just in the fact that it refered to several classic books, which might encourage readers to get a bit more familiar with them. Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are just two of the books referred to, and they do add something to the books.

So this group of specially gifted teenagers are trying to save the world from the evil Machinist, and in the process they learn more about their past and their possible futures. I love how even in Steampunk Victorian London, the teens are still texting. You can't escape it! Also, how the story mores quickly, with little down time to bore you.

I did love the romance that kept intertwining through the book, though I must say the gentlemen in the book seemed to be bits of dunderheads in not speaking up, and the women were a bit too "Oh, I don't know if he likes me, but I like him", plus the whole 2 love triangles between the 6 main characters kind of brought on a headache.

Great read, and highly recommend.  Looking forward to the 2nd in this series.


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Friday, July 29, 2011

Follow Friday - My first!

Welcome to Follow Friday Hosted By

This weeks question:

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

Ooooh, so many t-shirt slogans, so little time!  I think the one that best describes me is 
Because there is nothing like having fair warning.... :)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More by Tina Sparkles

Never shop retail again with this chic and sweet collection of DIY patterns from a former host of DIY Network’s Stylelicious, Tina Sparkles. Joining the green movement was never so easy — and cost saving! With Sparkles’ stripped-down approach to patterning and sewing, the delightful dresses, tops, skirts, and pants in this fashion-forward project book will not only raise your eco-IQ, but open your eyes to new methods for sewing garments. Author Tina Sparkles, a talented and imaginative designer, offers up an array of project ideas that are both earth- and user-friendly. Readers can pick and choose the patterns that suit them best, from A-line, tiered, and bubble skirts to “body tube” dresses and “cap-sleeve cutie” blouses. Included are sewing and shopping resources and a fitting guide.

My Review

Little Green Dresses: 50 Original Patterns for Repurposed Dresses, Tops, Skirts, and More

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book shows readers how to re-use/harvest cloth from old clothes, and how to refashion clothes. Chapter 1: Sewing introduction, with the 4 levels of sewing
Chapter 2: Using and Creating Patterns
Chapter 3: Tops (Patterns)
Chapter 4: Skirts (Patterns)
Chapter 5: Dresses (Patterns)
Chapter 6: Bottoms and Rompers (Patterns)

When I read this title, I was like, "Yay! Finally a way to re-use all those clothes that have become too big for me to wear!" Which, this book is good for giving ideas on how to re-use those ex-large clothes that no longer fit, but for me this book was more for a beginner sewer than for someone who is intermediate or advanced. But, it still has it's good points for any sewer to have it in her library.

Good points for this book include that it gives not only the pattern difficulty (Levels 1-4), it also gives the sewing difficulty (Levels 1-4). All patterns are referred back to previous patterns, so it is best to start at the beginning with a Sewing Level 1, Pattern Level 1 and work your way forward instead of skipping around. Everything in this book builds upon itself, which makes it a great beginner sewer book.

Also, Chapter 2 gives wonderful introduction and ideas on how to create, patterns, use tools for creating, measuring for your pattern, copycatting a pattern you like and the basics on using a pattern. And this is great, because we all know that sometimes we experienced sewers need that refresher on how to do something. And if you have never made your own pattern before, this gives you some great pointers.

Personally, I found this book to be targeting the young adults and teenagers. I personally found very few outfits that were appealing to me as an adult.

Highly recommend for the new sewer, the needed refresher on techniques, and for those who want to learn to create their own patterns using recycled/reused fabrics from clothing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dragonlight by Donita K. Paul


The fantastic land of Amara is recovering from years of war inflicted on its citizens by outside forces–as well as from the spiritual apathy corroding the Amarans’ hearts. With Kale and her father serving as dragon keepers for Paladin, the dragon populace has exploded. It’s a peaceful, exciting time of rebuilding. And yet, an insidious, unseen evil lurks just beneath the surface of the idyllic countryside.

Truth has never been more important, nor so difficult to discern.

As Kale and her father are busy hatching, bonding, and releasing the younger generation of dragons as helpers throughout the kingdom, the light wizard has little time to develop her skills. Her husband, Sir Bardon–despite physical limitations resulting from his bout with the stakes disease–has become a leader, serving on the governing board under Paladin. When Kale and Bardon set aside their daily responsibilities to join meech dragons Regidor and Gilda on a quest to find a hidden meech colony, they encounter sinister forces. Their world is under attack by a secret enemy… can they overcome the ominous peril they can’t even see?

My Review

DragonLight (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #5)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This final (5th) book in the Dragonkeeper Chronicles ties up all the loose knots that have been building through the past 4 books. Bardon decides that Kale and he needs to get out of the house, mainly because she is too dense to realize she is prego... Again, I'm not her race, but REALLY? Kale is a bit anti-quest, but decides to go along with her husband.

Along the way, they discover some amazing things about themselves, their friends, and the little child growing inside of Kale.

But of course, where ever there is a quest there is evil, and this is an evil that is ancient, since before the 5 races came to Amara. You can't help but wonder, will they succeed?

Beautiful imagery and definitely some crying and laughing moments.

Highly recommend!


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Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It's almost as if he's alive... 

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.

My Review

Changeling Dream (Changeling, #2)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, this is the 2nd book I won from Bending the Spine (, and I must say that I LOVED this book! I've always had a facination with wolves, and Dani Harper does a wonderful job making me love wolves even more.

This book picks up several years after the first book. James lost his family 30 years ago, but still hasn't healed from the loss. He has stayed in wolf form for 30 years, and when he finally changes back, he has a hard time adjust (but then again who wouldn't?). Jillian is a vet who moves to town, but has for years seen the wolf-James after he rescued her from her rapist/attackers. As they work through the troubles of loving each other and the attempted murders of both Jillian and the changelings, you are taken for the ride of your life.

For me, this book is about healing, and does a good job of showing that from James point of view. Jillian is still healing, but is closer to the point of being healed, giving a wonderful spectrum of that there can be hope and healing after tragedy. There was the one predictable moment, but then Ms. Harper gives it a twist, and you have no clue where it is going with it.

I can honestly say that I had a lot of laughing moments, which were wonderful, and a few yelling-at-the-characters-because-they-are-being-stupid moments.

Highly recommend, definitely worth a re-read.


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Bloodlust by Michelle Rowen

Jillian Conrad's blood has killed the vampire king. Now an enemy to all vampires, she is targeted for elimination. So is the infant daughter of the dead king. If Jillian doesn't stand in the way of her death, then everyone, living or dead, is in great peril.

My Review

Bloodlust (Nightshade, #2)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ok, so I had read Nightshade and had enjoyed it enough to get the 2nd (and final book) of this series. Let me tell you it had me a bit confused. First it starts with Declan being so anti-emotional, you are thinking the romance part of this paranormal romance is going to bomb (which it does, but not the way you are thinking at the beginning of the book). Instead he goes all "multiple personality/bi-polar/freaking CRAZY", and continues in this mind set through the rest of the book. Jill decides she is going to be the ultimate pain in the ass by not listening to any of the men, because of course she "never follows the rules" and has problems with "management"... How in the heck has she stayed alive this long, let alone through the first book? I mean when someone tells you to stay in the car because there are like hundreds of vampires running an amusement park for humans, wouldn't you stay, considering your blood makes them go CRAZY?!?!?!?!?!? I know I don't follow instruction well, but if I want to stay alive then I would stay at the car.
Anyways, she also makes some pretty stupid decisions where she turns multiple people into vampires, tries to save her nieces, tries to save a vamp child, all the while thinking she is going to die... Of course if she doesn't start paying attention and obeying what others tell her, yep you think she is going to die.
Overall, it was a decent book. Does it deserve a re-read... Not really. Did it pass the time at work? Definitely.


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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dragonfire by Donita K. Paul


Three years of strife have passed since Kale and Bardon freed Paladin’s knights. Now, fiery dragons scorch their beautiful countryside as an evil husband-and-wife wizard duo battle one another for supremacy. The people of Amara just want to be left alone, hoping the conflict with disappear. But Paladin is dying, and Bardon and Kale–now married–must accept fateful assignments if their land is to survive. Will their efforts turn the tide against their adversaries?

They face a deadly threat–and a challenging choice.

Kale’s responsibility is to find, hatch, and train an army of dragons, and she tackles the daunting task–until she is shocked by a betrayal. As the Amaran countrymen seek escape, she must search for her husband, family, and friends while organizing an underground movement to weaken the enemy. But when the end draws near, Kale must choose between two dismal destinies.

My Review
DragonFire (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #4)DragonFire by Donita K. Paul

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the 4th installment of the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, Kale and Bardon must battle once again to save their country, their people, and for their's (and their people's) faith in Wulder. There are a lot of battles, a lot of loss, but through it all comes the story of hope.

I must say that this was the hardest book to read. There are several characters that are lost to death, and even at one moment where I just needed to put the book down to cry. But the theme of hope in the most hopeless situation, that healing can come even when you are at your most broken and the darkness is surrounding you still rings through. It also takes on a deeper thought about how our own faith in God can effect our leaders and our own country. Without faith and hope, we have nothing to keep us from falling into death (spiritually, mentally, and emotionally).

Highly recommend!


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dragonknight by Donita K. Paul


Trapped in an evil spell… can the knights of Paladin be rescued?

Before vowing his allegiance to Wulder as a knight, Bardon heads to the mountains for solitude. His life is suddenly complicated by a woman and her granddaughter, N’Rae, on a mission to rescue the woman’s son trapped in a chamber of sleep. Bardon learns that more of Paladin’s knights are imprisoned–and suspects one of them is Dragon Keeper Kale’s missing father.

The secret is in their hands–and hearts.

The band travels north, uncertain of their destination and encountering numerous perils. When they unlock the chamber, they discover a dozen knights–who cannot be awakened. The journal holding the secret to rousing them is in an unknown language. How can they find the help they need, and overcome even graver obstacles, to rescue the knights?
Return to the land of dragons and magic you discovered in Dragonspell and DragonQuest, in this finely crafted and memorable work of fantasy fiction with a core of eternal truth.

My Review

In the 3rd installment of the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, we are primarily getting to see Bardon (Kale comes in much later into the story).  He goes to a cabin to rest and relax after a lot of work, and instead gets pulled into a quest (I don't know about you, but if after 3 tries of getting rest I get pulled into ANOTHER quest, I might stop trying to rest :).)  AS it is, Bardon meets several people along the as as he tries to save dozen of knights that if they aren't awakened in tiem will die. 
This is a great story of how just because we plan things one way, that it doesn't have to happen that way. Bardon is an orphaned knight of Paladin, trying to follow the ways of Wulder and wanting to live his life.  But he knows that honoring Wulder's plan when it isn't his own is still the best way. 
Fantastic on how the way the character of Bardon loosens up from where we first meet him in Dragonquest. 
Highly recommend this book!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Changeling Moon by Dani Harper


He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything—until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf's vicious attack.
As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw. . .and ultimate evil.

My Review
Changeling Moon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hmm... What to say about this book. It is like that wonderful, decadent dessert that you have been dying to have, and when you do, it is sooooo worth it. So I won this book from Bending the Spine (, and I must say that I completely think it is worth the read.

Werewolves as we know it are very popular in the paranormal fiction realm. And I loved them. Then I met the Changelings, and I love them so much better than werewolves. Connor, a vet and a changeling, lives his life as best he can within his pack. When he comes upon a human woman being attacked by a rogue changeling, he has no idea that he will be in for the ride of his life. Zoey Tyler is running from her family's "gifts", unsure how to live with her own gifts. What she doesn't know is that a new gift is well on its way, and only Connor can help her with it.

Honestly, this book had me hooked from the first page. Not only is there a romance going on, there is action (the final fight scene is masterful), and there are the secrets that each side holds. Connor holds the truth of what he is for a while, and Zoey hides the facts about her family and the gifts they have. When they come together and share their secrets, they seem to become stronger unit. One's weakness is counteracted by the other's strength. And when fight an evil that has gone insane, there is nothing better. And best yet, she adds a nice twist that leaves you very excited to learn, because hints keep coming up!

I love how Ms. Harper not only takes a common legend, like werewolves, and makes it her own. Then she does something I think is absolutely wonderful by adding in some Celtic mythology. Love some Celtic mythology. And it wasn't that she tried to copy it; Rather she turned into her own.
I am very much looking forward to continuing this series. I highly recommend it.


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Friday, July 8, 2011

Dragonquest By Donita K. Paul


A New Quest Begins

A dragonkeeper of Paladin, Kale is summoned from the Hall to The Bogs by the Wizard Fenworth to serve as his apprentice and tend his newly hatched meech dragon, Regidor. But Kale isn’t going alone. The Hall is sending a student to monitor her performance and report back to the scholars. Worst of all, it’s Bardon–an older boy Kale finds irritating, but who at least can hold his own in a sword fight.

New Friendships Are Forged

Meanwhile, the Wizard Risto has seized another meech dragon, bringing him dangerously close to gaining the power he seeks. So with only a motley band of companions, Kale sets out on a desperate quest to rescue the second meech, to free those dragons already enslaved, and to thwart Risto’s devious plans. It’s up to Kale to lead the search and to embrace the role that’s rightfully hers. But will her efforts be enough to save the land of Amara from the dark future that awaits at Risto’s hands?

My Review

As a new quest begins for Kale (she really would rather stay at school at the Hall), she goes to help with Regidor, the Meech dragon that has hatched.  Wizard Fenworth is a hoot as usual, and then they have to go about some fighting, as well as discovering that she isn't an orphan as she thought and who her mother is.
This book has a lot of wonderful moments where you really hope that Kale will just smack Bardon upside the head, but you know where it is going.  They like each other, and discover that they are a better team together than they are apart (does that make sense?  It is like there is no "I" in Team.... Yep).  Kale learns that she has some new gifts (who doesn't as you grow up?), and Bardon learns to accept himself as he was created, not as what others expect.  You also get to meet new dragons, a new character taht will keep you laughing, and some older characters that you loved already.
Highly recommend the book!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dragonspell By Donita K. Paul


One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.

Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.

A Desperate Search Begins…

A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…

My Review

First of all let me say that I LOVED this series of books. I've read them all over and over again. 
So Kale who was raised as a slave in one culture/race finds out that because of her gift to find dragon eggs she is to go to serve Paladin. But before she can make it to the city, she is whisked away by a quest party that needs her help.  On the way she has to learn to trust others, trust Wulder, and trust that her gifts are important just the way they were given to her. 
Kale is a character you love from the very beginning.  She is sweet, though she has no understanding who Wulder (the God figure in this allegory) is and why He would love her so much.  She also has to learn how to use the gifts that Wulder blessed her with and learn to work with the comrades that she has. 
I also LOVE how Ms. Paul creates not just 1 race, but 10 races in all: the high race and the low (often considered evil) race.  Her descriptions of them and how each one differs but are somewhat similar is amazing.  You can't help but want to actually meet all of them.
There is points for why we need to forgive, the power of finding our place within God's will, and the joy of friendship. 
Highly recommend this book!