Thursday, October 27, 2016

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

Series: Three Dark Crowns  #1
Genre: Fantasy 
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Published: October 2016
Hardcover - 398pgs

Rating- 4/5

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Kendare Blake continues her string of dark and gritty stories with this foray into fantasy. Unsurprisingly this story had just the right mix of dark elemental magic and awesome writing.

If I had one word to describe this book, it would be solid. It started as an intriguing synopsis which I was very excited to check out. The foundation for this new duology is well set. An interesting set of characters is introduced and the world building is slowly starting to take shape. I honestly loved all the sisters, which I wasn't expecting, and am eager to have the next book in my hands.

Most of the characters, especially the strong main characters, are ladies. All of them are fierce and brave throughout the book and romance took a back seat to the main storyline which I really enjoyed. The story really focused on the three sisters' lives and their preparations for this year when they would try to kill each other. The romance is there, but for a majority of the book it is low key and in the background. 

Overall I only had two issues with this story which all relate back to the very short chapters. Throughout the book the chapters are short and we switch between the three sisters' lives. For the first part of this book this constant switching made it difficult to distinguish the many side characters. It was also difficult to feel connected to any of the sisters since we constantly jumped from one to the other. These short chapters also made the pace drag. It took a long time for the story to build and not  much happens in the middle of the book. The ending is quite exciting and action packed, which really saved the book, but I would have liked more action throughout.

Like I mentioned, I am still really excited about the next book. There will be a lot of ground to cover and a lot of strings to tie up, but I am sure Blake is up to the task. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Ten Halloweenish/Spooky TV Episodes

Last year I wanted to put together a list of my favorite Halloween movies and episodes. I've done a little better this year and actually gotten together a few of my favorites! Before we jump into the best single episodes, I would recommend any of the episodes in the first season of Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow or Buffy like I mentioned yesterday in my Top Ten Tuesday post. Many of these episodes are stand alones and don't have season long story arcs. Supernatural especially is dark and spooky in the early episodes when we are just hunting monsters. Sleepy Hollow is very Halloween appropriate since its all about the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. Everyone knows Buffy is excellent, but a reminder never hurt! Anyway lets jump into my favorites.

We start with the best of the best! 

Mummy in the Maze (Bones Season 3, Episode 5) The discovery of two mummified girls has Booth and Bones checking a fun house, a Halloween maze and a church charity for clues that may lead them to a missing girl whose parents believe she's dead.

This episode is great for so many reasons including that Rider Strong makes an appearance as one of the murder suspects! Also the whole team is decked out for Halloween which is quite funny while they try to solve a grisly murder. This is my favorite Bones episode of all time as well as a great themed episode.

Image result for bones mummy in the maze

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5)
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased.
Paperback - 308 pgs
Published: June 2008

Rating - 4/5

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate. 

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price…

When I'm reading a series, I typically write a review for each installment before starting the next book so I keep all my facts straight. The Kate Daniels Series isn't the typical series and I've been tearing through the books. Sadly this mean I have read another book in this series from a different point of view since finishing this one and I am having trouble remembering the finer points of this story.

While you hear it all the time, it holds true for this series. The books continue to get better with each installment. You could really see improvement starting in book three, Magic Strikes, and each book gets better. This book exemplifies how much Kate has grown, changed, and learned in the first four books. The ratio of sword battles and poltical battles has balanced out quite nicely in these last few books. I love both. I also love the new characters we've acquired in recent books. Each addition makes the story more diverse and interesting.

Kate continues to kick ass and take names now that she is the Beast Lord's mate. She and Curran have a nice balanced relationship and I think their communication skills reflect having a husband and wife duo writing this series. However, there were times when I wanted to strangle the two of them for being so stubborn.

I do want to mention I think the synopsis available for this book is awful. There is a lot more going on than Kate helping Ghastek with a vampire problem. It is an insult to the book that it is boiled down to that. Describing the first scene of the book and describing the plot is not the same thing.

As I say at the end of each review of this series, I can't wait for the next book!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

  Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3 (Finale)
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Published: April 2014
Hardcover - 613 pgs

Rating 3/5

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love. But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky? From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter? 

At the end of this series I am conflicted. While the first two books were stellar, I struggled with this final book. There were moments of greatness and I loved following our main characters to the end of the story. However there were some things that majorly affected my view of the book and ultimately lowered my rating of it. 

First the good. Many of the characters are full fleshed out and beautifully written. Like I mentioned, I loved diving back into this story and seeing what their fates would be. I was surprised and impressed by the new characters and fell in love with the old ones all over again. The relationships are intricate and both new and old grow and change throughout the book. The characters were my absolute favorite part. I was so connected and engaged with the characters we knew from the previous two books.

 There were emotional scenes that brought me to tears and the writing continues to impress. It is beautiful and Taylor writes descriptions like no one else. It is stunning to read and to listen to. The themes of Us versus Them play out beautifully. Those themes are easy to relate to the world today and I was thinking about this book for a long time after finishing it. 

Now for the things that didn't work as well. To start this 600+ page tome didn't have enough space to fit in the whole story. There were too many plot lines and the story became unwieldy. In this final book we follow more characters than ever before. We travel between Eretz and Earth while following a multitude of different POVs. It simply became too much and I never felt like we spent a sufficient amount of time with any one character. Instead throughout the book it felt like each change in POV was meant to be a cliffhanger instead of a complete scene with a character. It kept me engaged in the story, but it also caused the plot to move very slowly.

Quite a few new ideas and characters were introduced and they all feel rushed. Instead of feeling like essential parts of the plot of this story, there were moments when it felt like a new story was starting. They were introduced too little too late. The initial two books in this trilogy set up a lot of back story for everyone involved. Karou and Akiva have lived a long time. They have a lot of past and so do the other Angels and Chimera from Eretz. While the new characters received a lot of page time in the third book, I still wasn't connected to them as strongly.

Also the climax of this final book fell flat to me. The story built for hundreds of pages up to the climax of the book and series, but it fizzled. Quite a few events fell into place very easily after so many things going wrong. This finale essentially felt different than books one and two. It became its own story rather than a completion of the larger story. I was disappointed, but overall this is still a good book.

Top Ten Things I Do to Get in the Halloween Spirit #AllHallowsWeek

Halloween is one of my favorites times of year and the lead up is almost as exciting as the lead up to Christmas. These are ten things I do to really get myself into the Halloween and fall spirit.

1) Listen to the Legend of Sleepy Hollow - A few years ago I downloaded a reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which is completely appropriate for this time of year. Tom Mison reads the story and the reading is so atmospheric. I love it!

2) Watch Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic -These two movies are two of my favorites of all time as well as my favorite Halloween movies. They are fun and have so much fall and Halloween spirit!

3) Drink Cider and Pumpkin Beer - Not at the same time! I've loved cider for years, but this year I've finally found the pumpkin beer craze. PSL isn't for me but this spin on pumpkin is delicious.

4) Take a scenic drive - I live in Pennsylvania and this time of year is perfect for taking the long way home to enjoy the sunny afternoons filled with fall color!

5) Bring out the sweaters and high boots - Who doesn't have a favorite pair of brown boots that scream fall when you pull them out of the back of your closet? I've already worn my favorite sweater from last year once.

 Image result for pumpkin

6) Go to Target and stock up on candy - For me! Who cares about Trick-or-Treaters when I have three bags of assorted candies at my house? If only they put Nutrageous bars in the mixed bags...

7) Pop Sleepy Hollow into the DVD player - I have permanently abandoned this show (side eyes so hard at you directors of season three), but season one is full of ghosts and ghouls which I will be very happy to see again. This really applies to any of my favorite shows. I could watch X-Files, Buffy or Supernatural too.

8) Shop for a costume - Sadly this year I am traveling for a conference and will not be able to go to any parties OR hand out candy. Usually I wait until the very last moment, try to scrounge up a costume the day of the party, then end up at the store shopping for something simple and warm. I think my brain does this to me on purpose since most costumes go on sale in the days leading up to Halloween. I usually find a steal!

9) Read half a dozen spooky supernatural books - This should be higher on the list right? Of course I'll read a few scary books just to spook myself into the mood. This year I have some great ones that will be featured over the next few days! Watch out for those.

10) Bake my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies -I haven't done this yet and I'm dying about it!

Happy Reading! and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Creatures of the Night Tag #AllHallowsWeek

Happy All Hollows Week! Its time to talk about spooky creatures of the night that I've found in some of my favorite series. This tag was created by the lovely Katytastic a few years ago. When I searched through my videos to see the last time I did this tag, I was very surprised to find I never did it!

Creatures of the Night Tag Created by Katytastic

1. Vampire
2. Werewolf/Shapeshifter
3. Zombie -
4. Ghost -
5. Witch/Warlock/Spellcaster
6. Fairy/Fae
7. Demon
8. Angel
9. Alien
10. Superpowered human

#AllHallowsWeek Review - The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

 The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter, #1)
Series: Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror
Age Group: Young Adult
Published -January 2013
Hardcover-420 pgs

My Rating - 3/5

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

At the beginning of this story I was very hopeful about this book. We had an headstrong female protagonist and I was very interested to see how the interpretation of such a creepy classic would play out. However, the promising pieces just did not gel well together and I didn't love this one.

Honestly I think part of the problem with this book is something outside of the author's control. The source material, the original Island of Dr. Moreau, is quite short and doesn't have a lot of details. The original is quite mysterious and gruesome which translates well, but Shepherd had a lot to fill in and smooth over to make this an interesting and engaging story for young adults. She does a fair job, but engagement is where this book struggled.

After a strong first few chapters, this book took a bit of a nose dive. The pacing is extremely slow especially in the beginning. As soon as the story hits its stride, we get on a ship and it feels like the story hit the horse latitudes. Not only that, but that headstrong narrator I mentioned, seemed to disappear in the face of a love interest. Juliet seemed to shift her focus entirely from the dark themes of the story and her father's past to the two men she is flirting with.

Like I mentioned there is a love triangle which never sits well with me. Juliet swings wildly between the two love interests in an unbelievable way. I wasn't convinced she was interested in either one of the men because she constantly changed her mind (sometimes in the same paragraph!)

HOWEVER, the last 100 pages of this book salvaged it. The pace picked up and some of the true madness crept into the story. The darkness finally appeared and I was tearing through the pages to find out what would happen to Juliet.  Her father's madness and the revelations at the end of the story were what I was looking for throughout and I'm glad we got there even though it took a while. Even though I struggled with this book, I'm looking forward to the next one and I will continue on with this series.

All Hallows Week Kick Off

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rreview - Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivan

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)

Series: Burn for Burn #1
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source - Purchased
Published - September 2012
Hardcover - 356 pgs.

Rating: 3/5

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

After hearing a multitude of good things about this series, I decided to check out what all the fuss was about. The story starts out interesting, but the plot is very slow. Throughout the book I thought the story would have benefited from more action in the present and fewer flashbacks. There is a lot of backstory for each character and it slowed down the plot a lot. It was very hard for me to go back to this book even when the revenge plot line really started to take shape. Overall I didn't feel connected to any of the girls and because their personalities were so stereotypical they were like cardboard cut outs. 

The revenge itself felt out of control and over the top. These girls actually started to freak me out towards the end. Their individual thoughts about it were relatively calm, but when the three of them joined forces it became an extreme version of John Tucker Must Die with high schoolers. Just like in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, there was a strange paranormal element that popped up when it was convenient. Honestly, this seemed to make everything too easy for the girls and didn't fit with the rest of the story.

I'll pick up the next book in the series because I already own it, but I wasn't very impressed.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October Currently Reading

This week I am reading some great books, but I am also struggling to get all the way through them! Hopefully by the end of the month I'll have some of these finished up.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Other Places to Find Me

So over the past few weeks I've added a few more followers across many of my social media platforms. New subscribers, new follows and new friends! If you are looking for me on other social media platforms, you've come to the right place.

Over the past year or so I've added a few different social media accounts for this blog. Also since I never had a good list of the ones I was already using, I decided to make this post. Here is a complete list of all the social media sites I use for Keep Calm With Books and Coffee

1) Litsy (Username: KeepCalmWithBooksAndCoffee)

Image result for litsy
Right now this is my favorite bookish app. It is easy and fun. I like the easy review system. I post most frequently on this site. While my reviews aren't detailed when I post them here, they are my most immediate thoughts. This app is fairly new and still growing. I'm always looking for more people to follow here. Let me know if you are on Litsy!

2) Twitter (Username: KCWB_C)

If you want to see my day to day thoughts about the books I'm reading or what I'm doing right now check out twitter! While I do post on twitter often, I go through droughts too. Twitter is where I go to keep up with the community and find out news about recent events. I also post links to my posts and videos.

3) Youtube (My Channel)

You've probably seen my Youtube videos posted here every week. I post Mondays and Thursdays. Occasionally I miss posting the videos here, but most of them are available here on the blog. Most of the content on Youtube is wrap ups, hauls, tags or discussion videos. Most reviews are on the blog. Check out my latest haul for a sample!

4) Goodreads (My Profile)

Of course you probably know what happens on Goodreads! I cross post reviews on Goodreads from here so you can see them both places. I also have a Reading Challenge going over there!

5) Instagram (Username: kcwb_c)

As of this moment, Instagram is my least used social media. I try to post on here, but I can't live up to the excellent photography of bookstagrammers. So don't expect too much! (Haha) However, I do try to keep up with what I'm reading and other book related stuff.

Please let me know if you post or vlog from any of these sites! I'm always looking for new people to follow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Book Characters I Would Name a Pet After

This week on Top Ten Tuesday the Broke and the Bookish ladies have come up with a really fun topic. Which fictional characters would you name a pet/car/child after? I decided to reduce the pressure from child to just pet. I can't imagine naming a person right now, but I can handle a pet. Some of these are quite serious while others may just be for fun.

1) The Dread Pirate Roberts (The Princess Bride) - Obviously I would need to make a nickname for pet if I named them this. I do love it when people name their pets after distinctive characters. The Dread Pirate Roberts is iconic. I could call him Wesley for short?

2) Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) - Of course I would name a dog after Mr. Darcy! He would probably be all aloof but, hopefully, love me a lot despite of my poor circumstances. Plus it is short and I think that is important for pets' names.

3) Blue (The Raven Cycle) - All my life we've hard female pets so me naming two male characters is a little weird. However, if I had a dog to name right now I would call her Blue after one of my favorite characters ever. Blue Sargent is awesome and I want to be half as amazing as she is.

4)Kate (The Kate Daniels Series) - Though I would hope my pet wouldn't be as adept at violence as Kate is, I think I could name a pet defender after a great warrior like Kate. This girl is kick ass. My dog will probably be Grendal though. (Daniels Series jokes abound)

5) Ghost (The Song of Ice and Fire) - Who doesn't want a giant white wolf as a best friend?

6) Puck (The Scorpio Races) - I love this character's name and I love her. I could definitely name a pet after her.

7) Tempe (Temperance Brennen Novels/Bones TV Show) - Bones has been one of my favorite shows for a long time and I've been watching it for as long as I can remember. Of course I would love to name a pet after the main character of the series.

8) Abby (Sleepy Hollow) - Though Sleepy Hollow has betrayed me and I consider it dead to me, I still love Abby Mills. She's a great character and I will not get on my soap box about this show. Basically I would love to have Abby on my side in a fight, but this is as close as I can get.

9) Lady "Newt" Truthful (Newt's Emerald) - Again I just love this character and would love to have a cat climbing around my house named Lady Truthful. But I could exclaim "Newt! Not again!" when it breaks something.

10) Pounce (Tortall Series/Universe) - Pounce is a cat who I love dearly and really helps Beka throughout her journey. Love him and if I ever have a black cat, I'd love to name it after such a loyal kitty.

My Last Top Ten Tuesday ---> Top Ten Books I've been Recommended

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Time Cozy Time Tag

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It is a beautiful season and today I am celebrating the fall weather by doing one of my favorite tags!

Happy Reading

Friday, October 14, 2016

Review - Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4)

Series: Kate Daniels #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group - Adult
Source - Purchased
Published: May 2010
Paperback - 349 pgs
Add it // Buy it 

Rating - 5/5 

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially, as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family… 

Quick Thoughts: If you aren't aware, I love this series to bits. I've read the first four in September and plan on continuing with books five right The series is action packed and stars a lady I would never want to cross even on my best day.

Full Review:

I have enjoyed the first three installments in this series. I have enjoyed them so much I've been able to swat away any complaints I had about them. This is the first novel I don't have complaints to swat away. This fourth book is my favorite so far and we finally unravel a lot of the mystery surrounding both Kate and Curren's pasts. There are many more battles to come and more darkness to uncover in Atlanta. However, Kate as a character, finally feels completely fleshed out and fully developed.

As is the trend so far, one I am not complaining about, this book is an emotional roller coaster. I was right there with Kate when she was angry, upset, sad and happy. The authors just pull these emotions out of me and I can't help but feel the same things Kate does as she confronts the supernatural head on. This book is full of explosions both on the battlefield and in the political arena. There will be a lot of repercussions moving forward. 

So many amazing things happen in this installment. All i have to say is finally! Finally! So many pieces fall into place in this book and I could not be more pleased. I am a little afraid to start the next book since things are going so well right now, I know they are going to fall apart in half a minute. That can't stop me though. I am on a serious roll with this series!

Happy Reading

Thursday, October 13, 2016

September Book Haul (Part 2)

This month I picked up so many books and I decided to split my haul into two parts. The first part was posted earlier this week and today is part two! I'm very excited to read a number of these books and hopefully I will pick them up soon. 

Books Mentioned:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Top Ten Books I've Been Recommended

Over the years I've been recommended a lot of books by bloggers, booktubers and websites. Sometimes my friends recommend books too and, to be honest, those are usually the best. Maybe its because they know me personally or just because our reading tastes line up. Either way I've picked ten books for Top Ten Tuesday that I've been recommended by one source or another recently. Five are books I've read and five are books I'm

Recommended Books I've Read

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1) Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1) Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1) For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)

Recommended Books I Want to Read

Stray (Shifters, #1) The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1) Daughter of the Forest  (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, #1) The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1) Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)

My Last Top Ten Tuesday----> Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR

Monday, October 10, 2016

September Book Haul - Part 1

This month has been a little out of hand with book buying. I bought WAY too many book, but I'm very excited about all these. There are a lot of urban fantasy series so be ready!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Review - Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3)

Series: Kate Daniels #3 (Book 1 Review)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group - Adult 
Source- Purchased
Published - March 2009
Paperback - 310 pgs

Rating 4.5/5

Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community

As this series grows, the authors incorporate more and more mythology which I find fascinating and fantastic. I love how each book incorporates different villains from different mythologies and how many overlap and intertwine. The concept of magical battle cage matches is extremely brutal. If you didn't know what kind of urban fantasy world Kate is living in before now, you will have no doubt by the end of this book.

There are even more pieces of the puzzle laid out during this novel about Kate's life before the series started. So I still have a lot of questions, but the action packed installments also resolve on their own. There is plenty to keep me interested while I wait for more pieces to fall into place. In the mean time Magic Strikes absolutely ripped my heart out. What hurts Kate hurts me and it hurt even more to know one of my favorite characters was attacked in this book as you see in the description. The action takes place in the battle arena and outside of it.

On a lighter note the sexual tension in this book is as thick as pea soup and I was dying to get to the next book when I finished this one.  Curran has won me over (many times over) so we will see if he also wins over Kate. My fingers are crossed.

I love this series. It is one of the most engaging and thrilling series I've ever read and I will be very sad when I run out of books.

Happy Reading

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Rapid Fire Book Tag

This tag looked like a lot of fun. Like I mentioned in the video, I tried not to memorize these questions so I could fire them off as quickly and as truthfully as possible. However, there are a lot of questions so this tag is a little longer than my normal video. Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Favorite Childhood Books

A few months ago I wrote a post about the books I missed out on in childhood. I only named ten but when people talk about those books I feel like I really missed out. However, I had my own collection of favorite reads as a kid. Some of them are almost unheard of and other were popular but these were the books that made up my childhood and have a very special place in my heart.

Young Reading:

Sometime in the future I'll cover my middle school and high school favorites, but right now I will focus on the books I read as a young child. These were mostly elementary school I believe? In my mind I'm pretty darn young when I devoured them. 

Animal Ark by Lucy Daniels- As you will soon know well, I loved animals as a child. It made up a lot of my reading and I especially loved the adventures in this series of books. I still have my copies high on my shelf. While my sister read The Treehouse Adventure books, I read Animal Ark. I still remember my shock and disbelief when I heard several authors had penned this series. I felt betrayed to say the least.

Pony on the Porch (Animal Ark, #2) Puppies in the Pantry (Animal Ark, #3) Dolphin in the Deep (Animal Ark, #22) Fox in the Frost (Animal Ark: Holiday Special, #3)

Heartland Series by Lauren Brooke - This was my favorite series as a kid. One year for Christmas I received the second half of the series and could not stop reading them. I followed Amy and her friends work with horses that I wanted to own so badly. It definitely helped ease the pain that I never owned a horse as a kid. Now there is even a Canadian TV show about this series and I adore it. Heartland is still a big favorite of mine.

Coming Home (Heartland, #1) Come What May (Heartland, #5) True Enough (Heartland, #11)

The Land/Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor - These books came into my life a LONG time ago. I remember them as amazing stories and one of the first series I had to hunt down to read. We read Roll of Thunder in class, but I found other books in this series outside of class to read on my own. As of now I don't remember much about the book or the characters, but my love of them has stayed with me.

The Land Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4)

The Year of the Hangman by Gary L. Blackwood - My copy of this story is battered to pieces. I read it many times and carried it around as my favorite book for a while too. Between this and Roll of Thunder I think I know where my love of history sprouted from.

The Year of the Hangman

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley - I mentioned before I loved animals? It was mostly horses that I loved so dearly. This series is a classic! The movies are a lot of fun and I loved how many variations there were. I still have my copies too.

 The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1) The Black Stallion Revolts (The Black Stallion, #9) The Black Stallion Challenged (The Black Stallion, #16)

Like I mentioned I'll cover more of my higher reading level books in a separate post. These were just some of my favorites from when I was a child.

What are some of your favorites? Do you ever consider rereading them? I've thought about it but worry nothing could live up to my memories.

Happy Reading!