Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shadow of Night

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)
Deborah Harkness
Penguin Group


Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

A Discovery Of Witches (the first book in this series)  left me a bit torn. I liked it, but wasn't sure how I felt about the story overall. As I said in my review (which you can read here), I was going to give the second book a try to see how I felt about the series. Well...

I loved Shadow of Night! I thought it was just awesome; It definitely exceeded my expectations.

WARNING: there are kinda spoilers from the first book, so don't read any further if you haven't read it yet. There won't be spoilers for book two.

I'm not much of a history buff, but the trip back to the past was so enthralling! Diana is a witch, and she goes back to a time when witch hunts were becoming commonplace. It was so suspenseful! I didn't think that I'd like that aspect of the book so much, but it kept me turning the pages! This is kind of a long book, but it didn't feel like it at all; I read it pretty quickly!

When I read the first book, I wasn't sure how I felt about Matthew, Diana's vampire husband. I'm glad to say that I like him much more now, even though he's still far from perfect. I think their relationship really changed for the better in this book.

You know, I'm not really much for historical stuff, but this one was so fascinating to me. I guess I liked the paranormal aspect added in.

I'd definitely recommend this series! I can't wait for the next book!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Authors Are Rockstars ~ Jennifer Castle ~ Giveaway

click on the picture above to see what it's all about, and to visit the list of all participants!

Jennifer Castle is a Rockstar!



Because she took on the task of writing out a gut-wrenching tale of a young girl facing life after family are all taken from her suddenly in a car accident, and totally rocked it. Rockstar, rocked it... get it? I'm such a nerd. Anyways...

I've never had the opportunity to meet her in person (someday!), but I did win an Advanced Review Copy of The Beginning of After from her! She was so nice when she emailed me, and she personalized and signed the book too! I love when authors reach out to their audience and seem like genuinely really awesome and nice people.

Jennifer's so much of a rockstar that her editor has offered her a deal for two more books, and they aren't even written yet (see her blog post about it). Rock on, Jennifer!


Laurel, the main character from The Beginning of After, has stopped by for a little chat!

Welcome, Laurel! You've said that "Anyone who's had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It's all about Before and After". What has been the biggest difference between your before and after?

You know what's funny? The answer to that question has changed a few times, for me. If you'd asked me in the months after the accident, I would have had a very different response, and I'm sure if you ask me in a year I'd have another one. But today, in the place I am right now, I'll say this: in my before, I was so embedded in the way things were, the way I thought they'd always be, that I thought my life would be pretty much over if I lost the people I love most. In my after, though, I understand that even when terrible things happen, the world is still full of joyful possibilities and incredibly cool people. I understand that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I can really see that difference and it's one thing I'm really glad for.

Such a great answer. It's great that you can see the good in life still. I've heard that having animals around can be good for you if you're sick or going through something difficult. Have your kitties helped you heal?

Yes they have, and in a big way. I feel like my pets don't see me any differently than they always have. They've got those piercing eyes that are so, so clear -- clear of judging or pity. I love that they don't understand how the circumstances of my life have changed. To them, I am still me, and being reminded that I'm still me...well, that keeps me breathing past the bad moments, when they come. Also, having animals around forces you to reach outside of yourself, even if it's just to pour some dry food in a bowl or stroke a soft furry tummy. It's important to be responsible for something else, although to be honest, I often feel like they are the ones here to protect me. 

OK, enough with the deep questions. How about we get to know you a little better by answering some silly questions instead, hmmm? If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Ah, I love that question! Definitely not be a weeping willow. That's totally cliche and besides, wouldn't it hurt to be bent over like that all the time? No, I would be an oak. I would spread myself wide and thick and solid over the people I care about. I would have graceful curves and big floppy leaves and just be the kind of tree people want to hang around, because I make them feel like they're home.

Your tree answer equals awesomeness! Love it. Moving on... What's in your fridge right now?

Half a grapefruit, pre-cut and plastic-wrapped by Nana. She sure knows how to give leftovers their dignity back. Some kind of mystery meat she's planning to cook tomorrow night. A jumbo bar of 70% dark chocolate that I let myself eat two squares of every day. Yogurt. Cat food. Oh, and milk and juice, in big containers again because you never know who's going to stop by (hint hint).

Ok, one last question: What's the one song you love to belt out and dance around to when no one's watching?

Oh, God. I guess I should be honest here. At first I was going to say something like "Set Fire To The Rain" by Adele, which is a respectable, un-embarrassing song to shout and shake your head to, especially in the car. But, argh. I cannot tell a lie. Sometimes I just have to channel Danny and Sandy and "Grease" because we did that musical at school my freshman year and I helped paint the sets. I know every song by heart. I sing "Summer Lovin'" in my bedroom at the top of my lungs, and yeah, I do the voices and everything, and I refuse to be ashamed!

So fun! Thanks for stopping by Laurel! Thanks to Jennifer Castle for being so awesome, too!

You can find Jennifer Castle on:


This contest is international, as long as the book depository ships to you! Please read the rules and regulations at the bottom of Rafflecopter for the complete set of rules. Good luck! 
Thanks to Rachel from Fiktshun for donating the book for giveaway!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Children's


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Raving reviews for this book have been aplenty, but I'm not sure I share their enthusiasm. I thought this book was really good, but I think there may be a bit too much hype around it, and that always leads to disappointment. For me, it wasn't EPIC, but I did really enjoy it.

The storyline was pretty good, and I think most people will enjoy it. I wish there would have been more of the assassin thing going on though. I'm not necessarily one who likes fighting or conflict, but I would have liked to see more of what makes her so amazing. Maybe a bit more of her backstory? I did like the trials and the fact that she was doing all this to try an escape an almost impossible situation though.

It was very reminiscent of Poison Study and Grave Mercy. I think if you liked those books, I definitely recommend picking up this book! Celaena is such a strong character.She has her flaws just like anyone, and I think that made her a bit more realistic. I liked that she was tough, but also a bit girly too. Who says you have to be all rough and dirty to be a strong character? Not that Celaena is afraid to get dirty, mind you. The other characters were great, too. I loved who her love interests were, and who she meets and befriends along the way. Her enemies were really easy to dislike as well.

One last thing I have to mention: the cover. I just don't think it fits this story very well. It's definitely pretty, but there is just something I just don't like about it for this story. The UK cover fits it much better, in my opinion:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bout of Books

It's time for Bout of Books 5.0! 

Bout of books is a read-a-thon where you can join in and participate as much or as little as you want!

I'm going to try and read as much as possible this week! If you want to join in, you can click on the image above and it will take you to the site with all the rules and stuff. I'll be coming back here and updating when I can!

Here are my goals and updates:

Time Devoted to Reading

I will be reading all week, whenever I can! It's kind of going to depend on how well the kiddos behave.I'll probably only get through the first book, but I'm going to try to get through more.

My Goals

  • to read books that I need to read for review so I can read more for fun!

Books to Read

This is my tentative list. I'll probably change it around as I go. 



Number of books I've read today: Hardly anything!! Ugh
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books: Working on Embers and Echoes


Number of books I've read today: About 100 pages of my first book
Total number of books I've read: 1/4 of a book, lol


Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:


Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:


Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:

Recommend A... book with a blue cover

 This brand new meme is hosted by Chick Loves Lit. 
Feel free to head on over to her blog to read more about it or to join in. 
Just click on the banner above! 

Recommend A... book with a blue cover

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) | Deborah Harkness

from goodreads:

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

I had seen this book all over, but hadn't really heard about it much. I actually really liked it! If you like paranormal stories, than I recommend picking this one up. I just read the second book, and it was awesome; Even better than the first!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga. It's a fun way for us to show what books we got this week to add to our shelves! 
Clicking on the book's title will take you to goodreads!

I won an ARC of Crewel from Armchair Bea!! It finally came this week. Reading it now! 

I finished the first book, and had to run out and buy the second! I've finished this one already too.

I already have an ARC, but the publisher sent me a finished copy! Thank you soooo much Simon & Schuster! I may have to hold a giveaway for the ARC. 

This book is soooo pretty in person! It's rainbow shimmery. I found a used copy in perfect condition too!

Some great books for me this week! :) What did you all get?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Recommend A ... book someone else recommended to you

 This brand new meme is hosted by Chick Loves Lit. 
Feel free to head on over to her blog to read more about it or to join in. 
Just click on the banner above! 

Recommend A ... book someone else recommended to you

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) | Charlaine Harris

from goodreads:

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quite, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome - and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting for all her life....

But Bill has a disability of his own: he's a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of - big surprise - murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next....

Yep, this is the book that's the show TrueBlood is based off of. My mother-in-law is the one who actually recommended this book to me. In fact, she sent me the whole box set a couple years ago for Mother's day! Isn't she awesome? This book is such a good guilty pleasure read. If you like paranormal stuff and you haven't given this series a try, I totally recommend you do! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Angel Eyes

Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes #1)
Shannon Dittemore
Thomas Nelson


 Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .


Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

There were things I liked and there were things I didn't like about this book.

I love this cover! There's just something about it that draws me in. I think the colors are awesome. Mixed with the glow-y font and mysterious wooded area, it all jut makes it seem so eerie.

I find stories with angels in them fascinating. The ethereal aspects in Angel Eyes were really neat. I feel like there could be more of it, but since it's a series, I guess I wouldn't fault it for not having enough. Hopefully there will be more in the coming books.

I also really liked the love story. I thought Jake was really, really sweet! He just might be my favorite character in the whole book.

Her best friend died, and I can see how that made her feel like she was responsible, but it still felt like a bit much. I don't know... something was just off. I didn't like how that part of the story progressed. It really bothered me for some reason. It wasn't enough to make me dislike the book, but I'm not sure I'm going to read the rest of the series.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga. It's a fun way for us to show what books we got this week to add to our shelves! 
Clicking on the book's title will take you to goodreads!

I didn't participate last week because I had strep throat and felt like death. That's ok, more books to share this week!
I found the UK paperback edition on the Book Depository. I love having international versions for some reason!

I've heard great things about this one, and it sounds awesome, so I had to pick up a copy!

I LOVED Paranormalcy! I can't wait to see if this one is as good as the first. :) I wanted to get this one in paperback to match book one, but it's a different texture than the first one. I'm a bit bummed about it.

This book sounds so good! I love the cover too. 

This is an adult romance (I think it might even be an erotic romance). I think this cover is only at Target. I like it much better than the original cover. I hope it's good! 

This one is for review from Simon and Schuster and netgalley. Sounds like it could really be amazing!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

July RAK Wrap Up!

Random Acts of Kindness is a program hosted by Isalys and Vanessa over at Book Soulmates. You pick a person or two (or however many you want) and send them something from their wishlist. Someone might send you something, too!

I sent off one book for RAK this month to another reader:

Hope you like it Amanda!

I didn't get anything for RAK in July. Maybe in August! :)


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