Monday, October 31, 2011

What are you reading, Monday!



It's Monday! What are you reading is hosted by Book Journey . Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading.



So I've got to admit, I haven't really been reading as much as I normally would. It has just been one of those months where I don't.  


What I read the past weeks:


 



What I'm reading




What Will I be Reading?






So what are you reading?


Happy Reading!


Cana

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost


Description:

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger
Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.
Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

My Review:





My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Cat and Bones are finally taking a vacation when dreams start haunting Cat, suggesting that her past is not all what she believes. When an older vampire comes claiming Cat as his own, hints of war and so much more start to spread through the supernatural world.


Of course, there is a lot of tension in this novel. Bones and Cat have an extreme fight, one that leaves you wondering what will happen between them. I know that I was a little frustrated with Cat, especially when she got mopey and ice cream gorging. There are moments where you want to cheer on Cat and Bones, times you want to scream at their stupidity, and cry for the things that are going on.


As usual, this book has action, romance, and mystery. And the surprises that kept popping up, AMAZING! There are new characters you meet, you re-meet some old characters, and of course, you loose some characters that you have grown to love.


I highly recommend this continuation of the Night Huntress novels, and am looking forward to reading more by Ms. Frost.

**Adult scenes involved.  Not appropriate for all readers.**


Happy Reading!


Cana

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zompacolypse HOP


Zompacolypse Hop
October 28, 2011 through November 1, 2011








Happy Reading!


Cana

Follow Friday (14)


Welcome to Follow Friday Hosted By Parajunkee.com andAlisoncanread.com










Q. If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?




A. Who says I'd be eating with my favorite book character?  :)  But I must behave.  Hmmm, to eat dinner with?  I'd say Daine from The Immortal Series.  It would be some vegetarian dishes, since she stopped eating meat once she realized that she could talk to animals as well as shape shift into them.  I mean, what could be cooler than having lunch with a half-godling/shapeshifter/animal communicator/ wild magician?  


   






So who would you eat (or do other things) with?




Happy Reading!


Cana

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

Description:


Twenty years ago, Robin McKinley dazzled readers with the power of her novel "Beauty". Now she returns to the story of "Beauty and the Beast" with a fresh, perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight. With "Rose Daughter", she presents her finest and most deeply felt work--a compelling, richly imagined, and haunting exploration of the transformative power of love.


My Review:




My rating: 5 of 5 stars


In this second retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Robin McKinley writes a much darker story than her first one. It starts out the same: Merchant looses all he has, and the family moves away to another smaller town, where Beauty discovers and grows beautiful roses. But they move to a town where magic no longer exists because of what happened a thousand of years ago. No one knows the original story, but when the town discovers Beauty is showing signs of being a greenwitch (for only greenwitches, sorcerers, and other magic practicers can grow roses), they have hope that the curse may be lifted. But after getting lost one winter day, the merchant makes a deal with the Beast to send Beauty to him.


This beautiful retelling should not be compared to Robin McKinley's first retelling of Beauty and the Beast, for it is the own creation, completely separate. This novel is much darker than the first one. There are monsters, prophecies, and the constant plays between darkness and light. The house is not a friendly entity, where it will change the number of doors, or send you where it wants you to go. Nothing is consistent, and you almost have a sense of going crazy as Beauty walks through the house.


Beauty in this story is a gentle woman, who has little confidence in who she really is. After all, her sisters are given names that represent the strengths they have, but Beauty is sometimes feels like the only form of worth she has is in her beauty and in how she can grow roses. The Beast himself seems to be a gentle creature from the start, he is a painter, and though he can't paint well with his beastly hands, he has found other ways to do it.


This novel also doesn't end like any of the other Beauty and the Beast. It ends in a way that you really don't expect. But again **Spoilers, darling, aren't allowed.


Highly recommend this book (especially since I've re-read this book several times).


Happy Reading!


Cana

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 


Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore



Description:

"Book 3, tentatively titled Bitterblue and currently in progress, is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. Bitterblue will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the sixteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book. Plenty of fighting still to come!" 

Why?

  1. I have read Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore, and absolutely loved them (though I prefer Graceling over Fire).  
  2. Bitterblue was in Graceling and she seemed to hold a lot of secrets from her past, and you can't help but wonder how she wasn't a graceling in the first place.  
  3. Look at this cover! I want to know if there is a mystery about those keys...

So what are you waiting for?


Happy Reading!


Cana

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen

Description


Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.
To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.
Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…
For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of "Little Red Riding Hood" catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man….
Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength.
Strength he needed to rescue his royal parents. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.



My Review:


Lord of the Wolfyn (Royal House of Shadows, #3)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After his parents curse/bless him by sending him away from the Blood Sorcer, Dayn, a vampire/wolfyn prince, has come to deal with being trapped in another dimension with the wolfyn. He has been waiting 20 years, hoping for the woman his father promised to come and help him get back home. Reda is still recovering from the loss of her partner from work as well as the constant reminder of the loss of her mother years ago as a child. After reading the very adult version of "Little Red Riding Hood", she ends up with Dayn, she is shocked to find out that he is both vampire and wolfyn. As they both come to terms with who they are, and who they are to each other, danger is growing both in the wolfyn's world and in Elden.

I truly loved this book. For anyone who loves a fairy tale retold, this one definitely makes the list for being wonderful. Dayn is struggling with the fact that he has been "cursed" with being both wolfyn and vampire, while Reda feels that she is a liability to anyone who needs protecting. Both deal with the past damages done to them, but at the end, they both have come to accept themselves and each other.

I will say that it was harder to get into Ms. Anderson's book than the others in this series. But once I hit the middle of the book, I gobbled it up faster than a child with Halloween candy and no adult supervision.

As a whole, I think this was a good book. There are several fight scenes that leave you sighing a breath of relief when Dayn or Reda survive as the victor.

I recommend this book, but be sure to read the others first!

**Several adult scenes. Not appropriate for all readers.

Happy Reading!


Cana

Monday, October 24, 2011

What are you reading, Monday?



It's Monday! What are you reading is hosted by Book Journey . Each week we spotlight the books we are reading, planning on reading or just finished reading.



So I've got to admit, I haven't really been reading as much as I normally would. It has just been one of those months where I don't.  


What I read the past 2 weeks:


 







What I'm reading




What Will I be Reading?




 (YAY!!!)


So what are you reading?


Happy Reading!


Cana

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Description:


A gorgeously written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her Pegasus. 

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.

New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic.



My Review:




My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In a land where all human royalty are bound to the race of Pegasus that also inhabit the land. In the past, translators in the form of mages have been the only way for communication to occur between the humans and the pegasi, but Ebon the Pegasus and Princess Sylvi have defied years of tradition by actually being able to understand each other and being able to communicate without the assistance of a mage. And when everything they thought to be true is challenged, choices are made that will change their world as they know it.


This beautiful story is about best friends that are so unique that they challenge the world around them. Sylvi is not a normal princess, she is the youngest and only girl within the royal family, and she would rather be outside than cooped up in the castle. Ebon is an unusually large pegasus, and he seems to have a real gift towards carving with his feather hands. As they grow closer, they even go flying (something that is the unspoken rule to never do). I liked how unique both of these characters are, and how they play off each other in their uniqueness.


I enjoyed this book, though I will admit that the ending left me hurting. I did not like the ending, and didn't want the book to end. I wanted it all to be wrapped up in a nice little bow... But I guess that is why Robin McKinley is (Thankfully) writing a sequel in this book.


I recommend this book, and I can't wait til the second book comes out in 2012.


Happy Reading!


Cana

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

Description:


As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee for safety from her father's wrath. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar will unlock a door to a world of magic, where she will find the key to her survival-and an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.


My Review:




My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Princess Lissar grew up with a gorgeous mother. But after her mother died, her father was at loose ends. When she finally became an adult, at the proper age of marriage, her father does an unspeakable thing that forces Lissar to runaway with her fleethound Ash. The moon goddess takes pity upon her, changing how she looks, veiling her memories, and sending her to another country. There she meets Prince Ossin, the original breeder of Ash. She starts working for him as the wetnurse for some orphaned puppies. Slowly as she begins to remember, she also realizes that she is falling in love with Ossin. Can she heal from the wounds she bears and still find love with Ossin?


This is the retelling of the fairy tale Donkeyskin. Lissar is a wounded princess who runs away to save herself, and to hopefully start anew. You can't help but hurt for her as she tries to heal herself, but in the end it takes the help of the moon goddess to help her through it.


I love Ossin. He isn't a good looking prince, rather a plain man. He takes Lissar in and gives her a job. He begins to fall in love with her, and even begins to realize who she really is. He is gentle, even after discovering what has happened to her, to the point that you hope that they will make it to a happily-ever-after.


On a whole, this book is a dark fairy tale talks of rape, incest, miscarriage, and death. This is not appropriate for all ages, and can be too graphic for some people. But, if you think you can handle it, it is a good read.


Happy Reading!


Cana

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday (13)




Welcome to Follow Friday Hosted By Parajunkee.com andAlisoncanread.com







Q. What Superhero is your alter-ego?


A. What?  Does this question mean, what superhero could be my alter-ego, or can I make one up?  So lets go with both of my questions, and hopefully answer the first one!  So superhero (that already exists)... Well, that is a hard one. Most of the female superheros are just extentions of male primary superheros (i.e. Batgirl, Supergirl, Hawkgirl.... Do I really need to go on?), though Wonder Woman would work, in a bind I guess.  I have really always loved Sailor Moon... Mostly Sailor Jupiter, because I relate to her.  




 




So if I'm making up my superhero alter-ego, I'd more than a church secretary by day and an alarm dispatcher at night (unfortunately this is my real life :/). Instead I'd do a bit of rescuing.  Maybe with some cool gadget or power.  The power to silence people is actually sounding really, really good :P.  Oh, maybe something water related.... I don't know, soooooo many options!


So who/what would you be?  


Happy Reading!


Cana

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chalice by Robin McKinley

Description:


As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Master’s Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?
Robin McKinley weaves a captivating tale that reveals the healing power of duty and honor, love and honey.




My Review:





My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mirasol is the new chalice, a position of power and unity for her country. When the new Master is called from the priests of Fire, she knows that it will not be an easy transition for all involved. But it is more difficult that she realized, especially when it is discovered that the new master can burn people with just a touch, and eyes look like burning coals. Will she be able to hold the country together, without getting burned?


This beautiful story is almost a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with the exception of the Beast being a Fire Elemental Master who was a good person punished by his older brother to become a fire priest.


Mirasol is a quiet and reserved character that slowly develops a back bone. She is unsure that Willowland made the right decision by choosing her as the new chalice. Her doubt, though, slowly disappears and creates a wonderful internal dialogue as she discovers the truth of it all. I personally love how this character develops, where she has to make a major decision and that is... *Spoilers darling, I promise for no spoilers. :)


There is a lot of back story, and sometimes you forget that you are reading a flashback, but overall, this is a wonderful book. Just don't read it while doing other stuff, or you will get lost!!!!


Highly recommend this book!


Happy Reading!


Cana

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Everneath by Brodi Ashton


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 


Everneath by Brodi Ashton



Description:

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Why?

  1. Ooooh, the Everneath/underworld that holds immortals who feed off of human emotions, especially despair.  Nikki is given a chance to redeem herself, and she only has 6 months before she has to go back to Everneath.  
  2. Smoldering good looking immortal versus sweet mortal boy... Enough said!
  3. To me, it is almost like a Persephone and Hades retelling.  And I love my Greek mythology, so I'll definitely want to read it. 
  4. Look at this cover! Beautiful!  You can't seem to tell if she is appearing or disappearing.  Her dress also kind of hints again at the Greek mythology.  

So what are you waiting for?


Happy Reading!


Cana

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rain Plays Barefoot by Jennifer Steen

Description:


It's seventh grade. Uncomfortable at thirteen, Rain watches as her friends morph into 'hair-flinging gossip mines' and the pressure mounts to get 'girlie' using curling irons and make-up. Utterly sick of the table talk revolving around 'boys, boys...freaking boys everywhere...,' she privately wishes that men didn't make up half of the population, so maybe her friends would talk about something else. The only girl percussionist in her Middle School's history, she finds she's surprisingly good at something she shouldn't be, and overwhelmingly flawed at everything else


My Review:




My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This delightful short story is about Rain, who is a 7th grade girl with a tomboy perspective on the world. She plays basketball, she plays the drums in a school that has never had a girl in the drumline. She is the ultimate tomboy, who doesn't get why all the other girls are acting crazy about boys. But when the boy that she has a crush on starts hinting that he likes her, she decides to go to the school dance with him. Yet, not all is as it seems.


This 18 page short story is a delightful reminder what it was like to be in middle school: The hormones that make almost every girl crazy, the stress when there is a crush or relationship, and just plain stress of middle school!


I really enjoyed this short story, and am looking forward to more of Ms. Steen's books. I recommend this for a good quick read.

Happy Reading!


Cana

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spindle's End by Robin McKinley

Description:


All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her.


My Review:



My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rosie was just an infant when she was whisked away from her own name day at the palace. Raised to believe that she is just a local fairy's niece, she has no idea that she is actually the princess cursed to fall into a deep sleep on her 21st birthday by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel.


In this beautiful retelling of sleeping beauty, you can't help but love Rosie (sleeping beauty), because she isn't your average fairy tale heroine. She is strong willed, course (she works in a smithy), she can talk to animals, and she is more of a tomboy than a regal princess. But you love her just as she is. Personally, I love Rosie, because she is the character I'd love to be.


The descriptions and the animals are the just one of the great reasons to read this book. You can be sure that you won't be bored, especially when you find out who the 21st fairy is... Of course, no spoilers here!


Highly recommend this book.

Happy Reading!


Cana

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Over 100 Followers!!!! So Lets Celebrate With A Giveaway!






So everyone gets excited about reaching over 100 followers.  Well, I'm excited that we have reached over 100 followers as well!!!  To celebrate the joy that I am feeling for reaching this milestone, we are going to have a give away!


So here is what is up for grabs:

 


Legal stuff:


  • Open to US only. The winners will be notified within 72 hours of the giveaway.  The winners will have 7 days to contact me with their address.  If no contact is made, then a new winner will be picked. 
  • Winners will be picked through rafflecopter.com.  
  • Giveaway runs from October 15, 2011 at 1201 am to December 3, 2011 at 1201 am.  




So just fill out the rafflecopter.com form below.  


Happy Reading (and winning)


Cana

Friday, October 14, 2011

Follow Friday (12)


Welcome to Follow Friday Hosted By Parajunkee.com andAlisoncanread.com





Q.If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?




Oh, that is SO EASY!  I would choose Doctor Who meeting with just about ANY BOOK!  I'm a Whovian, so it can't be helped, everything comes back to the Doctor.  Really and truly though, I'd probably have the tv characters from Doctor Who (Preferably the 10th Doctor, played by the MARVELOUS David Tennant) meet with the book characters from Virals by Kathy Reich  or The Host by Stephanie Meyers.  Or just about anything else.  If you are a Whovian like myself, you know that the Doctor loves Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, and many more authors :P, so I'm sure he'd love to play along with any of them.  


 


So what would you like to see joined?




Happy Reading!


Cana

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Description:  


Sunshine's mundane existence as the head baker at Charlie's Coffeehouse takes an unexpected turn when she drives to her grandmother's secluded summer camp. While she is taking in the scenic view of the starlit sky reflecting off the lake's calm surface, she is attacked by a gang of vampires and brought to an abandoned mansion on the far side of the lake. They strip her of her shoes, dress her in a blood-red gown, and shackle her to a wall. In the semi-darkness of the moonlit room, she realizes that a vampire is shackled next to her. After some tense moments, the two begin to talk and quickly conclude that if they don't help each other escape, they're both as good as dead.


My Review:




My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Sunshine is an amazing baker for Charlie's family restaurant in New Arcadia. After the Other Wars (a war that involved wizards, vampires, ghouls, etc), the world is a completely different place. You have to watch out where you go because you can become lunch/dinner/breakfast. But that didn't matter to Sunshine. She decided she had to get away from it all, and went to the lake to relax and remember. There she is attacked by several vampires and then chained to a wall across from a very hungry vampire named Constantine. Through her natural magic, Sunshine is able to free herself and the vampire, creating a bond to destroy the vampire that kidnapped them both.


This is one of the darker books that I've read by Robin McKinley. There is very little to laugh about, very little lightheartedness in a book where death is around the corner. But that doesn't make it a bad book. Sunshine is trying to escape her father's name and magical lineage, while Constantine is trying to survive against his arch-nemesis, Bo. Together they team up in the most unlikely way, in a vampiric bond.


Sunshine's character seems to be burdened with the fact that she is a wizard's daughter, while her mother's new husband and children have no claims to magic. It is the secret that no one talks about, but it still haunts Sunshine. She is constantly questioning whether she is a danger to everyone or not. She also struggles with her attraction to Constantine (which is not always sexual), and why she saved him in the first place.


I love Constantine's character. He is so patient, never forcing the issue with Sunshine, though sometimes I think he should have.




I recommend this book, but be prepared to occasionally have to put it down because of the amount of death involved. And as always, looking forward to the next book Ms. McKinley is writing.

**Adult scenes involved.  Not appropriate for all readers.**


Happy Reading!


Cana

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 



A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink




Description:

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel. 

Why?

  1. I'm not one for angel novels, but this one just sounds interesting.  Who wouldn't want to read about angelic beings who are in charge of the past present future... Kind of hints towards Dickens' Christmas Carol.
  2. Of course, what novel would be complete without some form of conflict, and what better conflict than hot childhood crush against the new brotherhood she has joined?  Perfect!
  3. Look at this cover! Beautiful!  It has just enough mystical, paired with just enough substance that you can't help but want to pick it up to see what it is about.  

So what are you waiting for?


Happy Reading!


Cana