Friday, March 30, 2012

Blog Design

I just changed the background and header of my blog. I totally intended to do a spring type of theme but I ended up with a darker theme than I had before. Which as you can see is not anywhere close to springy. Though I like the new header and love the background I think I'm going to change it to be more spring like. I was messing around with some things but I haven't made anything I like as of yet.
Just a heads up in case you notice an ever changing blog design in the next couple of days. I will continue to work on my design until I find something I like.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Swoon Thursdays (25)

The ladies at YA Bound have created a hot and fun new meme called SWOON #YABound. If you want to join in here's what you need to do.

All you need to do is pick up the book you are currently reading or just finished reading. Find what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding and your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Then shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag  #YABound, post in the comments, or grab the awesome button from YA Bound (above) and share it on your blog!

This week my SWOON comes from Lenobia's Vow by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

"His taste imprinted on her senses, mixing indelibly with his scent and the wonderful feel of him that was thoroughly masculine, and uniquely Martin. He made a small, satisfied sound deep in his throat as her arms tightened around him, He deepened the kiss, and Lenobia lost herself in him." SWOON #YABound

What do you think? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review "Soul Thief" by Jana Oliver

Soul Thief (The Demon Trappers #2)
Soul Thief (Demon Trappers #2)
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Paperback 339 pgs

     Soul Thief starts soon after the devastating attack on the Demon Trappers at the Tabernacle. Riley's life seems to be falling apart. Not only was her boyfriend Simon nearly killed but her father, who she was protecting from poaching, was reanimated by a powerful being. There is also a freelance Demon Hunter in town. He seems to be there when ever Riley is trouble. Then there is Denver Beck. He is helping Riley financially as well as with her apprenticeship. Because of the attack, the Vatican is sending a team of Elite Demon Hunter's to Atlanta. Which is bound to cause issues with the local Demon Trappers. As Riley tries to solve the mystery of who is behind her fathers reanimation, as well as what is going on with the Holy Water in Atlanta. She must also try to figure out who is really what they claim to be?

     We return to Riley's world where things have shifted for her once again. The Hunters have come to town and to say that Trappers and Hunters don't get along is an understatement. The Hunters seem to be all powerful. I hate when the characters I like get harassed and never seem to win. The Hunters are kind of like bullies that don't have to follow everyone else's rules because they have more money and are backed by the Vatican. Another interesting aspect of this book is that we learn more about some of the necromancers that visited Riley during The Demon Trapper's Daughter, like Mort and Lenny as well as what happens to some of the people that get reanimated. It's a disturbing part of the Demon Trappers world, one that I am glad that doesn't exist in our world.

     Riley's life is falling apart. She's not only trying to solve the mystery of the Holy Water, but she also needs to find out who reanimated her father as well as come to terms with all the death she witnessed during the attack on the Tabernacle. She's not only dealing with her grief but with the difficulties of being alone. Though she seems to be overwhelmed she has an inner strength mixed with determination that keep her from completely falling apart. She's also really smart. Which will help her as she tries to figure out what is going on with the Holy Water. Plus, she has some really good friends that help her out from time to time. One thing I like about Riley is that she learns from her mistakes. Though she still makes mistakes since she is still discovering who she is. Which makes her seem more believable.If she was perfect she would get annoying but her mistakes make her human. On top of all her problems it seems as though she is being stalked by a Grade 5 demon who is determined to kill her. Riley is still an apprentice to Master Harper and we get to see more of the relationship between him and Riley. 

     Another big part of Riley's life is her relationship with Beck. Their relationship is still complicated. Though the two do spend some time together, they have a hard time getting a long for extended periods of time. I like that we are able to get some of the story from Beck's POV. I think it allows readers to get a better understanding of why he does what he goes as well as his complicated feelings for Riley. I like that Beck is a man of his word. When he tells Riley he will be there for her he means it. He continues to help her out financially. He is quite protective of Riley and does all that he can to keep her out of harms way. Though it is difficult at times since Riley doesn't always listen to what he has to say. Beck also has other things to worry about. He is spending a great deal of his time dealing with the Hunters. Beck has been appointed the media liaison for the Trappers which means he must field questions from freelance reporter, Justine Armando. 

     One of my favorite parts of these books besides the characters are the mysteries that have developed. Some of the questions I wanted answered after reading The Demon Trapper's Daughter were answered in Soul Thief but there are still a ton of questions I am waiting to get answered. Which is part of the fun. Learning information bit by bit as we delve into the world of Demon Trappers.The ending of this novel had me eager for the next installment in this series. Riley made some questionable choices and I'm interested to see what the fallout will be not only for her but for those around her. Overall, I really enjoyed this book even though at times I wish that Riley didn't have to suffer so much. Which makes me think Jana Oliver did a great job of creating a likable character that readers care about.

     I like the cover of Soul Thief it fits with the first cover yet isn't entirely the same. Riley is sitting in a graveyard where she unfortunately spends a lot of her time. And I am a fan of the color blue which takes up half the cover.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. Anyone can join in. Here's what you need to do.
Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Croak (Croak, #1)

"Vowing never to leave her scythe at home again, she grabbed a nearby stick, as it could possibly defend her from the horrors materializing in her imagination. She had just began to calculate how many jab in the eye it would take to bring down a chupacabra, when--
A twig snapped." 

 Gina Damico Croak (ARC) pg 167

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WHY (14)

This week the question I have been thinking about is, WHY do I have such a hard time taking consistent notes?

Recently I read a post by Fiktshun at Fiktshun's Ramblings where she talked about her note taking skills which got me thinking about my notes. I started taking notes because I thought it would be easier to write my reviews if I had notes on the books I was reading. But what I have come to realize is that my note taking skills need to be improved. I just end up frustrated because the notes I ended up taking were not very effective. For example I had a ton of notes for The Demon Trapper's Daughter but for the next book in the series I wrote down three notes. Yeah that doesn't exactly help me write a review especially since I've read about 18 books since I read Soul Thief

I think what I need to do is improve my note taking skills so that I write info on each character, I tend to forget to put details about characters in my reviews. I usually have plenty to say about the main characters but secondary characters usually get over looked even though they are usually essential parts of the main character's life. It would also be beneficial if I wrote more about what I thought about the story, was it predictable, exciting, original, and why was it that way. I always forget the why. In other words I need to take better notes because as of now they aren't too useful.

Additionally I need to realize I am not going to remember how I felt about the book weeks later. I always think, Oh I'll remember what I wanted to write about the book, but that never happens. I have a horrible memory so I need to take detailed notes. I thought about writing my notes in the margins of the book, like I did in college, but I tend to lend my books out and who wants to know what I was thinking when I read the book. I also need to expand on my notes writing great ending has me eager for next book is not entirely helpful. I need to write why I thought the ending was great because like I said earlier I won't remember even though I think I will. 

Do you take notes? And if you do is there some kind of system you follow? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I need all the help I can get when it comes to note taking.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Swoon Thursdays (24)


The ladies at YA Bound have created a hot and fun new meme called SWOON #YABound. If you want to join in here's what you need to do.

All you need to do is pick up the book you are currently reading or just finished reading. Find what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding and your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Then shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag  #YABound, post in the comments, or grab the awesome button from YA Bound (above) and share it on your blog!

This week my SWOON comes from an adult novel instead of YA like I normally choose but I loved this scene from Pale Demon by Kim Harrison 

"His tongue touched mine, and this time, I pushed forward, pulling him closer. My leg went around his, and I demanded more, running my hands through his hair, enjoying its silky softness, enjoying the feel of his hands on my body, tingles arcing through me." SWOON #YABound

Steamy, right? Let me know what you think or leave me a link so I can see what you came up with this week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review "The Demon Trapper's Daughter" Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers #1) 
The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trapper's #1)
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Paperback 340 pgs

     In the not to distant future, 17 year old Riley Blackthorne is a demon trapper's apprentice. She wants to be just like her father the legendary demon trapper, Paul Blackthorne. Riley lives in Atlanta, the city is bankrupt along with much of the country. Because of the lack of money most things have fallen by the wayside, like proper education. Between going to classes at now defunct grocery stores or coffee houses Riley spends her time trapping Grade One demons and learning all there is to know about becoming a demon trapper. But a tragic accident leaves Riley reeling and trying to figure out what to do next. Who can she trust and how will she become what she wants to be?

     I found the world that Jana Oliver created to be extremely different and exciting. Especially the types of demons that the guild traps. The Grade One demon's known as biblio-fiends are particularly interesting. They hate books therefore they can usually be found in a library reeking havoc on the much hated books. Though they are small, small enough to fit into a sippy cup, they are still demons which means they're still dangerous.Besides the demon's the world that Riley inhabits is kind of depressing. Because of the bankruptcy of the country gasoline is way too expensive for most people to afford. Some people still have cars but others use whatever they can to get around, yeah even horses. School's were too costly so kids are shuffled from building to building getting their education in whenever they can. Her father used to be a teacher but he now has to hunt demon's in order to make ends meet. Yeah, like I said it's kind of depressing.

     The characters are well developed and flawed which makes them fun to read about. Riley for instance is not your typical teenage girl. She wants to go into a field that is dominated men. She faces intimidation from the male guild members who don't believe she is capable of becoming a trapper. Yet, she is determined to become a trapper so she refuses to let them get to her.She is young and makes mistakes but she is also strong which allows her to deal with the difficulties that arise in her life.Her father is supportive of her even though he wishes she would do something less dangerous. He is a loving father who is trying his hardest to make life easier for his daughter. Since becoming a trapper he has made a name for himself, in some circles he is considered a legend. Then there is his former apprentice, now journeyman, Denver Beck. He is on his way to becoming a master trapper but still works with Riley's father on cases. Beck has a thick accent and is quite protective of Riley without seeming to be. He and Riley have a complicated relationship. The two don't get long very well which means when he tries to help or give her advice she refuses to listen to him. We also meet Peter and Simon. Peter is Riley's best friend an all around nice guy. Riley is able to be normal around him and not worry about the demands of being a demon trappers apprentice. They talk about everyday things like their parents and school. Simon is Riley's love interest and he is a sweet, highly religious guy. There are several other character's that make Riley's world come alive but to learn about them you'll have to read the novel.

     Though I really enjoyed reading The Demon Trapper's Daughter I had a few issues with the book. I thought the language seemed a little dated. At times I was taken out of the story because of the awkward wording. I'm not sure if this is only me but it just felt off. There is also some strong language which I don't mind but I'm noting it in case others are bothered by this type of language. 

     I really like this cover from the bright red to the city of Atlanta in the background. Plus, I like how Riley is not dressed as a girly girl. She's wearing awesome pants, super cute shoes that let you know she can kick butt when she needs to. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. Anyone can join in. Here's what you need to do.
Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
Be careful not to include spoilers! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Lenobia's Vow (House of Night Novellas, #2)
Lenobia remembered that morning and the beauty of the sky and the sea-and how everything had changed so suddenly and completely in less than the time it took her heart to beat a dozen times. She remembered it, and vowed that for the rest of her life she would not take anything beautiful and special for granted. 

P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, Lenobia's Vow pg 107

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swoon Thursdays (23)

The ladies at YA Bound have created a hot and fun new meme called SWOON #YABound. If you want to join in here's what you need to do.

All you need to do is pick up the book you are currently reading or just finished reading. Find what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding and your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Then shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag  #YABound, post in the comments, or grab the awesome button from YA Bound (above) and share it on your blog!

This week my SWOON comes Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

I shivered as I felt something deep within me rising, opening, aching for something only he could give me. When we kissed again, I thought I would break apart with need. SWOON #YABound

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review "Clockwork Prince" by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)
Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
Publication Date: November 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover 498 pgs
     In Clockwork Prince we are back in Victorian London as the hunt continues for the Magister. Tessa and the Shadowhunters are still trying to find out who he is and why he hates the Shadowhunters so much. After the Magister's escape in Clockwork Angel, The Clave is threatening to remove Charlotte as head of the London Institute. If that happens Tessa will have no one to protect her and help figure out who she really is. In order to keep that from happening the group must find out where the Magister is and try and capture him. Meanwhile Tessa's feelings continue to develop for both Will and Jem and trying to figure out what to do about those feelings is becoming harder each day. Will the group be able to stop the Magister before they are ousted from the institute?

    I think that Clockwork Prince is a great addition to The Infernal Devices. All of the characters that I grew to know and love in Clockwork Angel are present and they continue to grow and develop in this installment. I especially like how each character is working through their on issues as well as on the bigger problem of the Magister. I like the complexities that this adds to the story. Not only is Will trying to help catch the Magister but he is also working through why he left his family. Jem has his addiction that he is dealing with. While Tessa is trying to figure out who she is and how she came to have the powers she does. 

     Tessa continues to try and learn all she can about not only her past but also her families past. She ends up learning some shocking secrets that change the way she sees her family. Even though her life is in a state of constant upheaval she handles it really well. She doesn't try and hide from the truth she actively goes out to find it. I think this is the reason she is so fun to read about. I like that she doesn't sit in a corner and hide, she stands strong willing to do what needs to be done not only for herself but for others. We also get to learn more about Will and why he is the way he is. He is working to overcome his past and the problems that lead him to the institute in the first place. I was really excited to learn why Will is so moody with everyone. What we learn about him made me like his character even more than I already did. Let's just say I am definitely a Will fan. I don't think we learned that much about Jem but he continued to be the great guy that he was in the first book. 

     There are a couple new characters, the Lightwood boys, Gabriel and Gideon. The come to the institute to train Tessa and Sophie. But they have been told to do so by the Clave and no one is sure whether or not they are spies sent to acquire more information that will help oust Charlotte as the head of the Institute. I happened to like the addition of the boys. They add tension and allow the reader to see a little of the training that the Shadowhunters receive. What we find out about them and their past was quite interesting and I am hoping to see more of them in Clockwork Princess.

     Again Cassandra Clare has written a complex story that had me entertained from the very first page. One of the reasons is the vivid and complicated characters that I have become invested in. I want them to be happy or suffer horribly depending on who they are. The story flows so beautifully that I had to read the book in one sitting. And we may or may not learn more about Demon Pox. I can't wait to learn more about these characters in Clockwork Princess

     I love that this cover is so dark and mysterious. Though I am not a fan of the model chosen to play Jem, he's just not how I pictured Jem. I do like that we can see only a few of his Marks as he is dressed according to the fashions of Victorian London. Plus we get to see the cane he always carries. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kim Harrison Signing

On Friday I was fortunate enough to meet Kim Harrison as part of her tour for A Perfect Blood (book ten of the Hollows series). When I heard she was coming to Colorado I was really excited. My brother bought me one of her books and then I had to go out a buy the rest of them. I couldn't put them down. I think her's is the only adult series I have actually read.
I haven't been to that many author events so I still get nervous each time I attend a signing. This event was by far the biggest one I have been to, there were a ton of people and the book store was out of almost all of her earlier releases. Luckily for me I had my own books so I didn't have to buy any to get signed but I did end up with a copy of Once Dead Twice Shy.or at least my brother did.
I always forget to take a lot of pictures. Every time I have gone to an author signing I think remember to take pictures and I forget every time. Embarrassing, I know. But I do have a couple. Oops I don't have any pictures of my signed books. I'll have to get some and put them up later.

It was really crowded

Yep, that's Kim Harrison
I may have arrived a little late to the signing, okay I was really late but I got lost and my GPS was all wacky and kept recalculating (nightmare). I eventually made it in time to hear her talk about how her book made it to number 2 on the New York Times best seller list. She also mentioned how she wants her characters to get their happy endings but those HEA may be different from what readers want them to be. I'm just saying I know who I want Rachel to end up with and it better happen or I will be really really sad. Yes I want her to accept herself and be able to fully understand her magic but I still want her with a certain someone. 

I had a great time and can't wait for the next book Ever After to come out in 2013. Yep I'll be waiting awhile for this one.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

WHY (13)

This week the question I have been thinking about is, WHY is insta-love okay with me?

     I have thought about this issue a lot because it seems to bother some people but I have to say I really don't mind insta-love. I am of course referring to when characters fall in love the first time they meet and then they can't live without each other and are even willing to die for one another. For me the reason I don't mind is that I realize that in paranormal worlds things are a lot different than in the real world. There is always the threat of danger or death, life is just more intense in a supernatural world. If I can believe that characters have supernatural abilities why can't I believe in insta-love. Several factors have to be in place for the insta-love to feel real. It has to be well written. It also has to be believable. The relationship also has to fit into the story and make sense for the characters. If all of a sudden the character falls in love but it doesn't make sense to me then I won't become invested in the relationship therefore I won't become attached to what I am reading. 

     There have been a few examples where an intsa-love relationships was just too unbelievable, even for me. I won't say which books I am referring to but I will give vague examples. The main characters feel in love right away even though they were swore enemies. I just thought it was too unrealistic. There was no getting to know you phase where the characters realized that they were wrong about the other. They just meet and immediately couldn't live without the other, not a relationship I could realistically believe. Therefore I got a little annoyed with the book. Another example would be when a female lead instantly fell in love with a guy and couldn't stop thinking about him just because he was super attractive. She didn't even know his name or where he came from but she did know she couldn't live without him. It was very annoying and not at all realistic.   

But, overall I don't mind when characters instantly fall in love. So how do you feel about insta-love? Does it bother you or do you not really care either way?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Review "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Clockwork Angel ( The Infernal Devices #1)
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
     Sixteen year old Tessa Gray moves from New York to England after the death of her aunt, to live with her brother Nate. But when Tessa gets to England she is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters who work for the mysterious Magister. She is introduced to a world that she never knew existed. It's a dangerous world filled with magic, vampires, werewolves and Shadowhunters. Eventually, Tessa is rescued by a boy named Will. She then finds herself at the London Institute where she agrees to help the Shadowhunters if they will help her find her brother. As they search for clues on the identity of the Magister, Tessa finds herself drawn to two boys, Will and Jem. Will Tessa and the Shadowhunters be able to figure out what the Magister is after before it's too late?

     When I first heard there was going to be a prequel to The Mortal Instruments I was super excited. I couldn't wait to get my hands on Clockwork Angel. I was intrigued with the idea that The Infernal Devices would take place in Victorian London during the late 1800's.
     The main character Tessa learns she is a Downworlder with a unique ability that allows her to transform herself into another person. A powerful ability that many would kill to get their hands on. As Tessa tries to deal with everything she learns she refuses to sit around and cry. I really like Tessa as a leading character. When she learns her brother is in trouble she knows she needs to stay strong in order to help him. That doesn't mean she isn't afraid but she keeps those fears to herself. Even though her life has been turned upside down and she has been thrust into a new and perilous world she keeps it together, never falling to pieces. She also stands up for herself, especially when she feels people might be using her for their own purposes. Tessa eases into life at the Institute which shows she is able to adapt in order to survive. Tessa is an enthusiastic reader which I think helps her cope with all the craziness that has invaded her life. Another reason I liked Tessa is because she is used to being a proper young lady and I loved reading about her reactions when the Shadowhunters didn't follow the traditions she was used to following. 

     We are introduced to a bunch of new characters. First there are the two very attractive Shadowhunters, Will and Jem. The two are quite different from one another. The mysterious Will with his dark hair and stormy blue eyes that match his personality. He seems really smart and can quote from many different types of literature making me suspect that he reads a lot. I have found that when characters quote from books all the time that I generally get annoyed by them. But it made Will more interesting. Why does this boy who seems to care about nothing read so much? There is more to him than meets the eye and I definitely enjoyed finding out more about this moody Shadowhunter. Then there is Jem, a silver haired, silver eyed violin playing Shadowhunter. He's a genuinely nice guy who is the only one Will is close to. He is able to handle Will's moods and keep him from completely self-destructing. But something is going on with Jem and when the story was revealed I found it to be heartbreaking. I truly like both guys, each one for different reasons, And of course I know who I want Tessa to end up with. Will can be a jerk at times but he is also loyal, caring and I like his standoffish personality, it just seems to reel me in. Then there is Jem who is also loyal and caring but he has a inner calmness that I enjoy reading about.

     The others at the  Institute are also instrumental in discovering what is going on with the Magister. Charlotte runs the Institute along with her husband Henry but she does most of the day to day stuff. Henry spends most of his time in his lab trying to come up with new inventions that will help the Shadowhunters, most of his inventions are not very successful and can be quite dangerous. I really like Henry, he had a real mad scientist vibe that I found amusing. Then there is Jessamine who believes she is a proper young lady stuck in a Shadowhunter's body. Though she can fight she would prefer to marry an English gentlemen and leave the life of fighting far far behind. 

     Though I  was excited to read Clockwork Angel, initially I wasn't sure if it could compare to The Mortal Instruments. I found it to be just as interesting as TMI. It had all the things I loved about TMI like Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and magic, amazing writing but the new characters and time period gave this book a completely different feel. Even though most of the story takes place at the Institute we do get to experience a horse carriage ride through the busy streets of London, as well as a stroll around Hyde Park.  Add to that the customs of the time period and Clockwork Angel is a great story that was able to grab and hold my attention. Another aspect that I love about this book is that there is a mystery to unravel. As usual Cassandra Clare has told an amazing story, with well rounded realistic characters,and brilliant details that allow readers to image the world that Tessa and the Shadowhunters inhabit. If you haven't read this book yet I highly suggest that you do especially if you are a fan of paranormal reads like I am. 

I would love to see a family tree so that I could see if these characters are related to any of the characters in TMI.

     I am a huge fan of this cover. First there is the lovely Will dressed like a gentlemen standing in front of a shadowy London. Though he is dressed in a suit his Marks are evident on the skin that is showing. Plus I really love the muted colors making it match the darkness of the Shadowhunter world.