Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Giveaway Hop


Welcome to our stop on the Christmas in July Giveaway Hop,

We LOVE Christmas, and giving books away is something we enjoy no matter what season it may be. On our stop, we're giving away a $20 Amazon card so you can buy your favorite Christmas read.



 Here are a few of our favorite Christmas stories:

A Christmas Carol How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Polar Express
The Christmas Box Let It Snow 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win.
  • Open to all who can receive and use Amazon cards.
  • Winning entry will be verified.
  • The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced here.

Thank you for stopping by, and be sure to check out the participating blogs in the linky list below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Saving Raphael Santiago (The Bane Chronicles #6) by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan


Title: Saving Raphael Santiago
(The Bane Chronicles #6)
Authors: Cassandra Clare, 
Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry
Published: September 17, 2013

Purchase:  Amazon  |  B&N

From Goodreads: 

A Manhattan teen—Raphael Santiago—is missing, and Magnus Bane must track him down before it’s too late. 

In 1950s New York City, a distraught mother hires Magnus Bane to find her missing son, Raphael. But even if he can be found, is Raphael beyond saving?



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When a frantic, anguished mother shows up on Magnus Bane’s doorstep pleading for him to save her son, Magnus takes the case. 

“It was the sun getting to him, Magnus thought later, 
that had filled him with the desire to be a private eye.  
That and the Raymond Chandler novel he had just completed.” 

There’s a monster vampire preying on children, and Magnus must find him before the fiend’s carelessness and disregard for the law Downworlders must follow bring the Nephilim down on all their heads. And Magnus knows just who to ask: 

“Go to faeries for gossip about vampires,
 to werewolves for gossip about faeries, 
and do not gossip about werewolves,
 because they try to bite your face off.” 

What follows is an often hilarious look into two of my favorite characters from the series, but it’s also a story that is tragic and poignant.   The interactions between Magnus and Raphael are so well written and spot-on for their characters. 

“‘Where would I be without the light of your sweet smile? 
If you go, I will throw myself upon the ground and weep.’ 
‘Will you?’ asked Raphael, raising one thin eyebrow. 
‘Because if you do, I will stay and watch the show.’” 

Clearly the only thing more difficult than a newly made vampire is a newly made teenage vampire.  Talk about surly! 

Raphael Santiago is a character I’ve always been curious about.  Good guy?  Bad?  Villainous hero? 

“Here was a monster with the face of a Caravaggio angel.” 

As always, I can never get enough of the nods to other characters in this world of Shadowhunters.  And I love glimpses into Magnus’s love life.  His reflections make me all warm and swoony:

“He had convinced her to dance with him,
and she said she had been in love by the end of the song.  
He told her he had been in love before the beginning.” 

In the final installment of the Mortal Instruments series, we learn about a debt one character felt he owed another; and it was intriguing to learn what had transpired that led to that moment.  These chronicles always make me feel as though I know the characters just a little more and whet my appetite for this amazing world Cassandra Clare has created. 

This was one of my favorites in the Bane Chronicles; and while there were many funny moments, it left me a bit emotional.  I highly recommend this short story to admirers of Raphael Santiago, the quiet and brooding vampire boy, and Magnus Bane, the ever fabulous high warlock of Brooklyn. 

  My Rating:

chelesiggy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (43): Atlantia by Ally Condie

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Our pick:
Title: Atlantia
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Expected Release: October 28, 2014
Pre-order:  Amazon | B&N


From Goodreads: 

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.


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"Can you hear Atlantia breathing?"

This cover is gorgeous!  We love Ally Condie and her Matched series, and we can't wait to see where she takes us next!

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (47): Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1) by Amalie Howard

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

This week’s Teasers come from the following book:

Title:  Waterfell 
(The Aquarathi #1)
Author:  Amalie Howard
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published:  October 29, 2013
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Summary:

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age. 

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?

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My Teaser:

"'Struggling to breathe, I hear the voice. My father's voice. 
Run, Nerissa, run. All is lost. Never return." 
                                                                   - Page 8

I got this amazing book for Christmas from the fabulous TeresaMaryRose at Readers Live A Thousand Lives, and I am LOVING it!  I have so many questions, and I can't wait to discover the answers!

I'd love to know what your Teaser is!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mini-Reviews: Sookie Stackhouse #12, #13, and #13.5 by Charlaine Harris



2014 is my year to finish up the book series that, for one reason or another, I never got around to.  The Sookie Stackhouse series was at the top of the list. This was one of my most feared goodbyes because I had heard that things did not end well for the fans.  After reading several negative reviews and having the ending spoiled, I put the series to the side. But I finally pulled up my big-girl britches and finished the books.


Amazon | B&N

After seeing the less-than-stellar reviews, I put this one off for quite some time; but I didn't have nearly as many issues with this installment as I had feared. A vampire whodunnit, an heirloom scrutiny, a family feud, and one magical wish all make for a pretty interesting read. It might not be my favorite in the series; but I still enjoyed it, and I still love my southern sister Sookie ;)













Favorite quotes: 

“'It’s called Two and a Half Men,' Dermot was telling his guest. 
'I understand,' Bellenos said. 'Because the two brothers are grown, and the son isn’t.' 
'I think so,' Dermot said. 'Don’t you think the son is useless?' 
'The half? Yes. At home, we’d eat him,' Bellenos said.” 

“I so seldom had to dispose of a human body myself, I was at a loss. Fairies turned into dust, and vampires flaked away. Demons had to be burned. Humans were very troublesome.” 

“Pam said, 'Sookie, I brought you something, too. I never thought I'd want to spend time with a human, but you're more tolerable than most ...'” 

My Rating: 



Amazon | B&N

Whether it was the break from this series or the fact that I knew going into this story who Sookie’s final paramour would be, I was able to relax and just read.  I’m not the type of reader who can’t enjoy a book just because "my guy" didn’t get the girl.  And make no mistake… he did not.  But I think this book had more to offer than the love triangle, or love square, or in Sookie’s case... love pentagon.  Personally, my favorite moments were the ones that included Desmond Cataliades, Sookie’s sponsor, aka “otherworldly equivalent of a godparent” and all-around favorite demon lawyer.  Mr. Cataliades is completely charming and absolutely, though unintentionally, hilarious!

This is a series that initially captivated me and, though it began to wane, is still one I can look back on with fond memories.  This last book contains most of the elements that made me a fan of the series to begin with.   I’m pretty content with it; and as far as the love interest goes, I have always really enjoyed that particular character.  I just wish there had been more groundwork laid for the couple so it didn’t seem like such an abrupt decision on the author’s part.  I read that the author said she always intended this outcome.  I just think it might have been a good idea to give readers a storyline so we would have been more inclined towards Sookie’s pick.  I really did love all the reminders of past books and characters.  When I read “My name is Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here,” my vision went a little blurry.  Or maybe a lot.  I won’t be re-reading the whole series, but I’ll always have my earlier favorites to revisit.


Favorite Quotes:

“'I remember you wearing that scarf last winter.  You wore it to church, tied around your ponytail, with a black dress.'  Well.  You never know what men will remember.  I started to feel a little touched and tender. [He] said, 'You were sitting right in front of me, and I was looking at the back of your head the whole service.'  I nodded.  That was more like it." 

“Nothing is ever clear-cut in Bon Temps. What passes for truth is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough...” 

“Your life was not right when you were actually surprised that someone didn't want to kill you.” 

“But I also knew that if he turned away from me at this moment, somehow I would survive that, and I would find a way to flourish like the yard that still bloomed and grew around my family home. 

I'm Sookie Stackhouse. I belong here.” 

My Rating: 



And because I couldn't just quit while I was ahead:

Amazon | B&N

This is why I am so grateful to reviewers and bloggers – I knew not to waste my money on this book after reading what they had to say.  I borrowed this one so I could make my own judgment, and here it is: Don’t buy this book.  It’s labeled as a “coda,” but what it truly is is an example of greed and not knowing when enough is enough.  Don’t be fooled by its "200+ pages" -- it’s nothing more than a few paragraphs and bullet points on characters most of us don’t even remember (seriously… who were some of these people??)  Some pages only contain a few sentences… all for the bargain kindle price of $9.64.















I have no favorite quotes, and I have no tombstones to give to this tomfoolery.


Then I started watching the final season of True Blood. 



And now I have no way to un-watch it.



So I canceled my season pass for that, and now I can truly bid the whole Sookie-verse adieu.




chelesiggy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (42): Fairest: Levana's Story (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Our pick:

Title: Fairest: Levana's Story
(The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Expected Release: January 27, 2015
Pre-order:  Amazon | B&N


From Goodreads: 

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


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"Mirror, mirror on the wall,
  Who is the fairest of them all?"

We love this series; and though the wait is long, we know it will be completely worth it to have Levana's story!

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (46): Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• 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!

This week’s Teasers come from the following book:

Title:  Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author:  Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Published:  May 4, 2009
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Summary:

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.


Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.



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My Teaser:

"'How long will you keep me?' I asked.
You shrugged. 'Forever, of course.'"
 
                                                                   - Page 30

My mom read and reviewed this a year and a half ago. She adored it, and I am so excited to finally be able to read it.  This one has me obsessed!  It is SO good!

I'd love to know what your Teaser is!