Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (133)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

From Amazon

My class on writing memoirs has finally started and I couldn't be more excited. We're reading a bunch of memoirs over the semester and the first one up is Orange is the New Black! While I wasn't a big fan of the first couple of episodes of the show because of how graphic it was, it seems like a really interesting story and I can't wait to read the book!

That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Just in Time For a Highlander by Gwyn Cready

Just in Time For a Highlander
By Gwyn Cready 
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Summary: From RITA winner Gwyn Cready comes a Scottish borderlands time travel romance perfect for fans of Outlander

For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real…
Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made—until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.

Abby needs a hero and she needs him now
When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself—one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.

       “Undine, do you see what your magic has wrought?” Abby stabbed a finger in Duncan’s direction.
       The woman gave him a full look and her eyes widened. “Oh. Oh, dear.”
       “What magic?” Duncan demanded.
       Undine regarded him thoughtfully. “He’s handsome, at least. And tall. That could be useful. But that hair…”
       “If I wanted handsome, Rosston would certainly do. He at least wields a real sword.” She took    Undine by the elbow and turned her away from Duncan. “The poor man appears to have no skills beyond his fists,” she said in a lowered voice. “And I think he’s addled in his head—like Hal the sheep shearer.”
       “What were you thinking?” Undine demanded.
       “What was I thinking?! ’Twas your herbs.”
       “I mean when you opened the paper.”
       “I didn’t open the paper. It was shot out of my hand.”
       All of it?!” Undine paled.
       “Except for the part that flew in my mouth.” Abby wiped the back of her hand across her tongue and made a sharp sound of disgust. “It tasted like burnt groats.”
       Duncan had had enough of being ignored. “What herbs? What magic? What are you talking about? Did you bring me here?”
       Undine considered. “You could try to make do with him.”
       Make do?!” Abby cried. “You make do with him! Can’t you see this is the last thing I need with the clans right now?” She pulled herself onto the horse. “You need to get rid of him.”
       The “get rid of him” made Duncan’s stomach tighten. “No. Wait—”
       “Abby?” a voice called from beyond the trees. “Abby, are you there?”
       “Oh, God help us, it’s Rosston.” Abby gave Duncan a warning look. “Don’t say another word.”
       “No!” Duncan grabbed her pommel. “I want to go home! Send me home! I don’t know what you two witches have done.”
       “Silence, you fool.” She jerked the reins in an effort to keep the beast from lurching. The arrow fell from her bow.
       A kilted clansman crested the rise.
       “You, there!” Duncan called to the man. “Help me. These women have—”
       Duncan felt a thwack on the head, and the world went dark.

Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | Chapters | Indiebound | Kobo


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday (179)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

Between Us and the Moon
By Rebecca Maizel
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Summary: A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.


First off, how gorgeous is the cover of this book? One look at it and I marked it as to-read. Then, when I saw that it was compared to Judy Blume, I was definitely intrigued. And then it says it's for fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins? Yeah, I'm definitely sold! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club

I am actually in two book clubs now, one with some students at the school I am student teaching at and my Jane Austen Book Club at college that I'm still attending while student teaching. Since we pretty much always just read classics for the Jane Austen Book Club, here are some YA books I would love to read with my students at school! 

1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger
2. Legend by Marie Lu
3, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

4. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
5. I Was Here by Gayle Forman 
6. Jackaby by William Ritter

7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 
8. Winger by Andrew Smith
9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

10. The Darkest Minds by Aexandra Bracken

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blog Tour + Review/Giveaway: Can't Always Get What You Want by Chelsey Krause

Can't Always Get What You Want
By Chelsey Krause 
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Source: Tour
Summary: Sophie Richards has been looking forward to a much-needed girls’ night out: a Rolling Stones tribute-band concert, a few drinks, a distraction from her grueling nursing shifts in acute care. But when her best friend bails, Sophie gets stuck with a blind date.

Although Brett Nicholson may be the hottest carpenter alive, and Sophie may technically be single, she isn’t exactly on the market. Six years ago she found The One. He was everything Sophie dreamed a man could be—and then she lost him. In an instant, her whole life changed, and she forgot all about happily ever after.

But as she gets to know Brett, Sophie starts to wonder about the future for the first time. With a broken heart still clouding her mind, jumping into a new relationship feels impossible. When she’s in his arms, walking away feels even harder. Now Sophie faces an impossible choice: living in the past or choosing love in the here and now.

Review: It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a gorgeous cover. So when I saw this one, I just couldn't resist picking it up. It turns out that the cover pretty much has nothing to do with the story except for the fact that it's a romance. And I'm sad to say that the romance was a bit too lackluster for my taste. 

Sophie Richards is a nurse who's learned to be content with her life. She has a best friend and a roof over her head, so what more could she want? When her best friend bails on their girls night out to a Rolling Stones Tribute Band concert, Sophie ends up acting totally out of character and sets herself up on a blind date with her best friend's boyfriend's colleague. Sophie hates meeting new people, but she's pleasantly surprised when she meets Brett and as they spend more time together, she finds herself falling hard. Sophie has already loved and lost once, though, so is she really ready to let someone completely in? 

When I read the first page of this book, I thought I was going to love Sophie. She's a nurse and has a pretty good sense of humor when it comes to her work, so I instantly loved her nursing anecdotes and her personality. As the book progressed, though, and Sophie started dating Brett, I became less and less interested in her story. Her relationship with Brett wasn't as naturally romantic/emotional as it was supposed to be and their storyline didn't feel like the main focus of the story. I felt like some emotions in their relationship were forced and just lost my interest. 

About halfway through the book, this huge tragic past event in Sophie's life is revealed and I felt like the timing/how it was revealed was a little off and the flashbacks were a bit forced. I wish the story had more flow and a better integration of past and present romances. And when her past came out, I really didn't like Brett's reaction. I felt like some characters/reactions were way too overdramatic and were made that way as a convenience to the plot. Sophie's ex Joel, her best friend's other friend Emmie, and Sophie's doctor boss has such over the top personalities that were to the point of ridiculous and unrealistic. I wish the plot could have gotten to where the author wanted it to go without such unrealistic characters to get it there. 

For me, this was between a two and a three star book. While some parts were cute and I really did like Sophie's character in the beginning, there were too many things that annoyed me. As I was reading, I just couldn't wait until I could get to the end because I was already over Sophie's character. The plot started to become too cliche too quickly and some characters acted out of line just to move the plot along. While it sounded promising, I wasn't as big of a fan of this one as I wanted to be.

About the Author
I was born and raised in Canada, and live with my husband and two children. I’ve been a nurse since 2009. An essay I wrote on intercultural nursing has been published in a nursing anthology.
I love thrift shops, repurposing old junk and learning new belly dance moves. I can’t decide if my favorite movie is either “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Fight Club.”
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in the spring of 2013, I finally sat down and wrote my first book. Now that that’s done, I’m working on my second.
I believe that the best way to become a great writer is to read.

A lot.
And then read some more.
I absolutely love books and would live at the library if they’d let me.


Weekly Roundup [1/20-1/26]

It's finally the last week of January! I feel like January is just never going to end! I guess I'm still getting used to basically having a job now that I'm student teaching. No more 3 day weekends every week for me! I had a pretty good week, though, and this week is the official start of spring semester for my college, so the one class I'm taking on top of student teaching will finally start. It's a journalism class on writing memoirs and it sounds like a lot of fun, so I hope I enjoy it! With the semester starting, that means that my book club and knitting club officially start too! I'm excited to see all of my friends and be able to talk about books, knitting, and life again! 


Before You Break by Christina Lee
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
In His Keeping by Maya Banks



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review: In His Keeping by Maya Banks

In His Keeping (Slow Burn #2)
By Maya Banks
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: Abandoned as a baby to a young wealthy couple and raised in a world of privilege, Arial has no hint of her past or who she belonged to. Her only link lies in the one thing that sets her apart from everyone else—telekinetic powers. Protected by her adoptive parents and hidden from the public to keep her gift secret, Ari is raised in the lap of luxury, and isolation. That is, until someone begins threatening her life.

Beau Devereaux is no stranger to the strange. As the head of Deveraux Security, he’s more than familiar with the realities of physic powers. So when a family friend approaches him about protecting his daughter, he’s more than ready to jump on board. What Beau isn’t prepared for is the extent of his attraction to his beautiful and powerful client. What began as a simple assignment, just another job, quickly turns personal as Beau discovers he’ll do anything at all to protect Ari. Even if it costs him his life.

Review: There's really only one way to describe Maya Banks: Amazing. She writes in so many different genre and churns out book after book and I end up enjoying every single one of them. Seriously. Every. Single. One. Her Slow Burn series has a little paranormal spin to them that definitely add to the intrigue and suspense of the novel! 

Living a very sheltered and protected life, Arial has no idea that she was left on her parents' stoop as a baby with a note begging them love and care for her. Without hesitation, her parents took her in and showered her with love. When Ari started showing strange telekinetic powers as a baby, her parents went through great lengths to protect her secret. But when she's all grown up, someone has started to come after her, someone who knows about her abilities. When Ari's parents go missing, she hunts down the only people her father told her she could trust, the Devereaux brothers. Beau Devereaux is all business and puts the safety of his team before anyone else, but when Ari walks in bruised and afraid, his protective instincts kick to a level he's never experienced before. Beau finds himself taking on Ari's case without hesitation and doing anything and everything in his power to protect the innocent and incredible woman who's fallen into his life. 

In the first book of the Slow Burn series, I loved the danger and suspense over who was mentally stalking Ramie. In this one, while I really enjoyed Ari's powers of telekinesis, I missed that constant danger and suspense. While this book had its moments, I felt like there was too much waiting around and talking and not enough action and danger that kept me on the edge of my seat. Aside from that, though, I absolutely loved Ari's character and how utterly selfless she was. She would put everyone else's life over her own, even when they were the ones who were risking their lives to save hers. I could totally see why Beau fell for her so quickly and I loved how their relationship progressed. They were so gosh darn adorable together and I loved how she broke down Beau's serious exterior and made him smile and laugh. Even amidst the danger and mystery over who had kidnapped her parents, Ari could find some solace in just being with Beau. 

While I wish there was more action and less waiting around, I think Ari's paranormal powers definitely added more intrigue to the story. She stopped using her powers ever since she was little and tried to live a normal life, but now that her life is in danger, she has to try to use her powers again to protect herself and the ones she loves. You have no idea how powerful Ari really is and her sweet, loving personality definitely becomes much angrier as she faces those who try to hurt her family. That girl sure knows how to turn some rage on! It was great seeing her so powerful at points and not always the damsel in distress just because she has such a strong man to protect her.

In the end, the romance in this one was much better than the first novel, but it was lacking some of the suspense and danger I had enjoyed in Ramie's story. I ended up loving Ari's character, though, and how powerful she became as she gained more confidence with her powers. Beau was so adorable despite his serious personality and I enjoyed watching those two fall in love. If you're a paranormal fan who also loves some romance, you should definitely check out Maya's Slow Burn series!

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