Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Our Thoughts Precisely!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014: End of the Year Wrap Up & Favorite Reads

     2014 is nearly over.  Seriously, Christmas is practically around the corner so I figured it was time to do a wrap up for the year. This is probably one of the last posts on Our Thoughts Precisely before the new year.

     I have to say that 2014 was a much better year that 2013.  I didn't read as much, but most of the books I read were pretty good.  I think where the blog activity sort of dropped off for a while was during the move.  And with all the books in boxes and lack of internet connection for a while, I got no reading or blogging done. But after the move was over and everything was unpacked, things picked up again. The blog also got a new look this year, and I have to say that I'm relatively happy with it. I might add a few things here and there, but mostly it'll probably stay the same.

     What I learned this year...

     Balancing life with blogging/reading is more important than the number of books I read, and its perfectly fine that way.  Although--despite the lack of quantity--I read a bunch of good books, which makes me happy. Last year I, as a reader, still tried to finish every book.  But this past year I did something a little different.  I gave books the first 100 or so pages to grab my interest.  And if I really wasn't feeling it then I DNF'd it. That method saved a lot of time, and I got to read the books that I truly enjoyed.

     Some things from 2014...

     Through October and November I did a series of post called Falling into Fall.  It was just a fun way to share some of the things I wanted to do during fall. All links can be found on the Features Page.  I also got involved in a couple of weekly memes: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice & Musing Mondays hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.

     Favorite reads of 2014...

     So, since its almost the end of the year I figured that I would share some of my favorite books that I read in 2014!  Some of the books on the list were released some time ago so the year they came out doesn't matter much to me.  It's in no particular order, and placement has nothing to do with how much I enjoyed the book.

*I will be taking a break from blogging to enjoy my holiday. Any posts that show up after this one were already scheduled (There's only 2 of them). Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Friday 56 (16)

     The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Monstrously Funny Cartoons"What personality types make for the funniest vampires? (The answers may surprise you.)"--Monstrously Funny Cartoons by Christopher Hart

What's on your page 56 this week?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Monstrously Funny Cartoons by Christopher Hart

Monstrously Funny CartoonsTitle:Monstrously Funny Cartoons 
Author: Christopher Hart
Source/Format: Blogging for Books, Paperback Review Copy
Age range: anyone
Publisher/Publication Date: Watson-Guptill, October 14, 2014

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository 

Book Summary from Goodreads...

Learn to draw the silliest and scariest monsters, zombies, vampires, witches, mummies, and other creepy cartoon favorites. Cartooning master Christopher Hart teaches aspiring artists all the drawing tips and tricks they need to create laugh-out-loud renditions of their favorite monsters and scary creatures. Full Summary Here

     Monstrously Funny Cartoons by Christopher Hart is a great step-by-step guide on how to draw classic monsters in cartoon style. There are easy-to-follow steps on faces, eyes, and walking postures to ensure the best possible results.

“Compared with many of the monsters you’ve drawn so far—such as vampires with their capes—the monsters in this chapter are subject to greater interpretation” (p.107).

     This book has a wide range of…I guess you could call them tutorials, that go over everything from zombies to vampires—and even creatures “born of dreams and nightmares.” There was also a variety of examples and steps for aliens, mummies, and legendary monsters like ghosts, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Abominable Snowman.

“Don’t render a scene, suggest one. Draw a limited number of elements that are designed to create associations in the eye of the observer” (p.133).

     There was also a chapter on drawing backgrounds with suggestions and tips. So, if you’re interested in creating cartoons, and need an easy guide to start with I recommend Monstrously Funny Cartoons. As for me, I will be keeping this one on hand right alongside all of my other art books.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review, thank you! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Ideas for Readers

    Every time I look around, more time has passed.  Christmas is coming up soon, so today I thought I would share a few things that could make a nice gift for anyone (It doesn't have to be a reader). I'm going to start with books first and then a few others things.  I don't have many recommendations, but here they are anyway:

     Barnes & Noble collectible classic books. I recently got Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories. I do have to say that I love that edition of it, but for someone who likes classics, it could make a good gift.

     Double Vision Trilogy by F.T, Bradley The great thing about this middle grade trilogy is that it's already finished, and it provides lots of laughs as you follow Linc's adventures with Pandora.

     The League of Princes Trilogy by Christopher Healy This is another trilogy that completed this year. I love this series precisely because of its different take on the classic fairy tales that we already know.  

     A Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle It's another great classic series. And I love the fact that it comes in a boxed set.

     Mythos Academy Series by Jennifer Estep Overall, I liked how this series handled the mythology, and managed to intertwine it with the plot.

     Alright then, moving on. For those who like cute coffee mugs I thought of the Cute Cat Mug from Tickled Teal. (There are also some Harry Potter themed ones.)

     Maggie Stiefvater art prints & more on Society 6. I really do like her style of art.

    An assortment of available tote bags through Society 6. There are too many pretty prints available to just list one.

      That's all for today, happy reading!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other StoriesTitle:Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories
Author: Lweis Carroll
Source/Format: Purchased, Barnes & Noble Hardcover Edition
Age Range: Anyone
Publisher/Publication Date: Barnes & Noble, November 1, 2010 (First Published June 1, 1962)
Goodreads     Barnes & Noble

    So, on Halloween I went out and bought Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories in a gorgeous hardcover edition from Barnes & Noble.  This review will only cover the first story.

     I've seen the movies, even the more recent one, but this is the first time I've read the original book.  Considering how much I love Alice in Wonderland, I should have gotten around to reading it sooner.  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as the title suggests: Alice’s adventures with the variety of characters that live there. The story had a series of miscellaneous events that just sort of happened at random. Regardless of this fact, I loved it. Actually, I think I liked the novel better than the movies.
     Alice was a child that came across as a bit of a know-it-all, and seemed to always want to be right. She was almost as random as the storyline, but overall her faults didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. I felt like I got a better understanding of the characters by reading the original novel. But my favorite character will always be the Cheshire Cat. The whimsical setting of wonderland paired nicely with the writing that flowed well and had the right amount of descriptions and dialogue. So yes, I loved this book, and that’s all I really have to say on it. I definitely recommend reading the original.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Musing Mondays (15)

     Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My Musings for the Week...

    I thought I would answer 3 questions for Musing Mondays this week.  Well here goes:

     Long books or short books? 

     I will admit that I like longer books and don't mind an abundance of detail either.  I like when the world within the book is thoroughly explained.  I prefer long epic tales and usually look to read them first.  However, despite my love of lengthy novels, I occasionally enjoy a shorter one.  So, I guess you can say that I enjoy all kinds of books--long or short depending on how much time I have to read.

     Standalone or series?
     Both.  I like long series because it gives me time to get invested in the characters and the overall story.  But at the same time I also like standalones where the story is nicely wrapped up into one book. 

     Do book covers matter when deciding on what book to buy?
     Covers are just covers in my opinion.  I care more about the story rather than anything else.  So I try not to buy books based off the cover alone.

     Well that's it for today.  Basically, books are books. It doesn't matter if they're long or short, series or standalones, as long as the stories are great.  I try not to judge just by the cover, because it could look pretty, but the story might not be so great.  Question: Standalone or series? Long books, short books, or both? Do nice book cover's play a part in if you buy a book or not?

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Friday 56 (15)

     The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels"Then one night I thought about Jim Rockford and The Avengers--the UK ones I mean--for whatever reason, and I found my book. So I had to repitch. I got it, luckily, but everyone thoughts I was nuts. Anyway."--Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

What's on your page 56 this week?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Words for Pictures by Brian Michael Bendis

Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic NovelsTitle:Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels 
Author: Brian Michael Bendis, Foreword by Joe Quesada
Source/Format: Blogging for Books, Review Copy
Age Range: anyone
Publisher/Publishing Date: Watson-Guptill, July 22, 2014

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Book Summary from Goodreads...

One of the most popular writers in modern comics, Brian Michael Bendis reveals the tools and techniques he and other top creators use to create some of the most popular comic book and graphic novel stories of all time.Words for Pictures shows readers the creative methods of a writer at the very top of his field. Full Summary Here

     Words for Pictures (The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels) by Brian Michael Bendis, is a great guide for tips on how to structure stories for comics. It also offers an insight into the business aspect of the comic industry, and offers easy guidelines to remember.

“He learned how to fail. This is the key to success” (p.xi).

     In the beginning, this book goes over type A and B artists to give an example. But it makes a strong point, and it was all within a few paragraphs. There’s always room for improvement, and I like how the information was presented. It states some very true points on criticism and how some could take it more personal than others.

“If you’re not falling, you’re not really trying hard enough. This book is about falling, and it’s about failing. Any book that offers to provide you with a road map to success in any given field ultimately is about failure" (p.xii).

     There’s a lot to learn in this book, and I like how Bendis handled the explanation on the topics. I especially like the examples given on pitch documents, story outlines, the pros and cons of using a full script, and “a marvel style situation.” The script examples were also nice.

“I don’t want you to write like me. I want you to write like you” (p.8).

     There was never a truer statement—and it applies to all forms of writing. The book stresses the idea of developing your own individual styles, but also offers handy explanations on what different people do when working in groups. So, in the end I enjoyed reading Words for Pictures, and I will definitely keep this book on hand as a reference.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for review, thank you!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Musing Mondays (14)

     Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 

My Musings for the Week:

     Wow, it's Monday already. And where the heck did November go?  I don't know, it just seems like the month passed by too quickly.  It's already December which means that the year is almost over. Seriously, where did the time go?  
     Well, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I did a little shopping over the weekend, and I thought I would share some of my purchases.  I actually bought a few DVDs, which is one thing I normally don't do.  I picked up The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Sherlock, and Pacific Rim. There was a really good sale on them, so I just had to get them.  And lastly, I picked up a few books from the Book Outlet: The Keep by Veronica Wolff & The Bone Season.  I'm really excited to read both.  So that's basically it, as I said I did "a little shopping" as in, not a lot.  Question: Did you take advantage of any of the sales going on over the weekend?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Falling into Fall {#5}

     Thank you to everyone who stopped by & took a look at the Falling Into Fall posts. First, Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you're all enjoying your day. Second, this is the final Falling into Fall post of 2014.  Who knows, maybe I'll dive back into it next year. Below are the links to all previous posts which can be found on the Features Page.  Thanks for following along and happy reading!

Roundup of links:

October 2 Introduction
October 16 Food/Recipes
October 28 Falling Into Fall Extras
October 30 Halloween/Movies/TV shows
November 13 Craft Links
November 27 (Today) Wrap-up. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Musing Mondays (13)

     Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 

My Musings for the Week:

     Today I'm going to share a few books that I would like to reread but don't have the time to.  They're all my favorites, so order on the list doesn't really apply because I love all of them.
  1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass and what Alice found there by Lewis Carroll
  2. Mythos Academy Series by Jennifer Estep
  3. Mistborn & The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
  4. Double Vision Trilogy by F.T. Bradley
  5. Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
  6. The League of Princes series by Christopher Healy
  7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab 
  8. Dante Walker series & Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  9. First 3 books in the Agency series by Y.S. Lee
  10. Daughter of Smoke & Bone & Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
  11. Kat Incorrigible series by Stephanie Burgis
  12. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  13. Ink by Amanda Sun
     Well, those are just a few of the books I absolutely loved and would like to read again if and when I have the time.  Question: What are some of the books you would like to reread, but might not have the time to?

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Friday 56 (14)

     The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Double Vision: The Alias Men""Don't wait too long," Kate said. "Hollywood is like any other place. People will take what they can get before someone else does.""--Double Vision: The Alias Men by F.T. Bradley

What's on your page 56 this week?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Source/Format: Won, Hardcover
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Disney-Hyperion July 8, 2014

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     I have read awesome books and I have read terrible books, but Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne fell in between the two. The characters were alright, the plot I found to be a tad bit predictable at times, but overall it wasn't half bad. Kyra was an ok main character, but she was special with an ability that set her apart from everyone else, essentially making her a good thief because of it. She could climb walls—basically up the sides of buildings like she was some kind of squirrel on caffeine. Her loyalty was suspect, but some of her decisions and hesitations I understand considering the circumstances. Tristam was mildly interesting, I guess, he was a young palace knight who experienced tragedy which motivated him to do what he did in Midnight Thief—but I felt like he sort of lost his way, as in his judgment got a little clouded when Kyra was around. James…oh James *sigh* he was shady, and honestly I didn’t like him, period. I felt like he wanted Kyra to be something she was not. As I said before the plot was alright, but halfway through I figured out what was going on. The writing was pretty good with enough descriptions to hold my interest in the world. All in all Midnight Thief was pretty average for me, and I would consider reading another book by Livia Blackburne.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Falling into Fall {#4}

    Welcome to the next Falling into Fall post.  This post is all about fall themed crafts.  The first craft is tote bags.  Over the past year I've seen an array of tote bags from those with themes based on books, to just those that are simple, or more complex with intricate designs and patterns. Tote bags are simply awesome and below are links to those and other easy projects: 

Kate Spade Inspired Bow Tote @Flamingo Toes (A Creative Blog) This tote bag looks a little more complex, but easy enough to do.  I like the design and would like to make one if  and when I have the time and supplies. (Just with fall colors)

A Simple Six-Pocket Bag @Better Homes and Gardens There are lots of pockets on this one, so if you need to carry books,  maybe a wallet or something.

DIY Monogram Tote Bag @Sweet T Makes Three (Homemaking in the Heart of Dixie!) This one is cool. I like how it's personalized with the monogram.

How To: Make A Simple Tote Bag @Cardboard Cities This one is simple and looks quick and easy to make.

Exquisite DIY Bookmarks @Shelterness I don't think its possible to have too many bookmarks, and the ones found at Shelterness are so pretty.

DIY Safety Pin Bracelet @Redfly Creations I really like how they crafted the safety pin bracelets and want to try it eventually since it's super simple.

Easy to make Pencil Holder @Happy Happy Nester I think this is a great and simple way to organize all of those spare pencils and pens.

Duct Tape Accordion Style Clutch Wallet @ JWallets Youtube Channel Okay, this is a really unique use of duct tape--it's a duct tape wallet.

Tote to Backpack @ Sincerley Kinsey  Oh, and finally, I just love this tutorial on how to easily transform a tote into a backpack!

     Well that's it. Check back November 27 for the last post. Question: what are some of your favorite crafts?

{All current post links can be found on the Features Page}

Monday, November 10, 2014

Musing Mondays (12)

    Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, that asks you to muse about something book related each week. Want to join?  Visit the link above. 

My Musings for the Week:

     I haven't done a Musing Mondays in a while, so here's one for today.  Since I want to keep this simple, I thought I might do something a little different. So I thought book quotes that I would want as bookish jewelry would be a fun topic. There are so many quotes that I've come across that I absolutely love, but here's just three I would want as jewelry in my jewelry box.

1) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: ""Would you tell me, please," said Alice, a little timidly, "why you are painting those roses?""
2) The Rithematist by Brandon Sanderson: ""You'll deal with unicorns--maybe some flower people and a Pegasus or two-- and you'll like it.""
3) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld: "Though we find the comparison to cats a bit infuriating, don't we Tazza?"

     Those are my three quotes, but there are many more.  Which quotes would you want on a piece of your jewelry?


Friday, November 7, 2014

The Friday 56 (13)

     The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories""Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
"No, I give up," Alice replied.  "What's the answer?"
"I haven't the slightest idea," said the Hatter.
"Nor I," said the March Hare."--Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
     I have to say that I do love this edition from Barnes & Noble, and this quote is actually from page 71, but I like it.  Anyway, what's on your page 56 this week?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Today, I'm happy to take part in the cover reveal for Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott!  Check out the cover below, but don't forget to stick around  till the end of the post for a giveaway. Alright then, scroll down:

Tada, the cover.  I like this cover, especially the mountains, and it matches with the new paperback cover.

You can Preorder now on

And not to forget the new cover for the paperback version of Fire & Flood! I like this one a lot.

Barnes & Noble     Goodreads     Amazon

Don't forget to visit Victoria Scott

Website    Goodreads     Twitter

Wait, before you go don't forget about the giveaway. Below you can enter for a chance to win a signed Salt & Stone galley, Landry Park galley, Vendetta galley, signed paperback For Darkness Shows the Stars, Everything Leads To You galley, Breaking Butterflies hardcover, or signed Fire & Flood Swag.  Whew, that's a lot of prizes up for grabs!  It's an awesome giveaway, right?  Well, go forth and enter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Review: Double Vision: The Alias Men by F.T. Bradley

Double Vision: The Alias MenTitle:Double Vision: The Alias Men
Author: F.T. Bradley
Source/Format: Author, Hardcover
Age Range: Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: HarperCollins, October 14, 2014

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository 

     Double Vision: The Alias Men by F.T. Bradley is probably one of the best spy novels I’ve read, and easily one of my favorite books this year. Linc was back again for another adventure centered on the latest mission Pandora has assigned him. There was no lack of danger and suspense as they worked against a tight deadline that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could read them.

     Lincoln Baker (Linc) was back to his old antics, getting into some trouble, but mostly he had grown as a character across the trilogy. Benjamin Green (Ben) was back as well and as usual he was stiff and all about following the rules. Sometimes he was too in-the-box, rather than thinking outside of it. But having both Linc and Ben interact with one another is a part of what makes the Double Vision series great. I mean, how would you feel if you had to deal with a lookalike? Oh, and Henry, the tech guy was back. I love Henry and his gadgets! As always, Henry had an assortment of cool and useful gadgets for Linc to use. And Agent Stark, I liked how more of her past was finally revealed. Linc’s family was great as well—especially the grandfather.

     The plot begins as they all do: with Pandora contacting Linc with a new mission. So really, this book picked up right where the last left off. It seemed so straight forward at first—so easy—but alas that was not to be. Things weren’t easy for Linc—this Dangerous Double case was a complicated one. There were all sorts of twists that had me believing that I knew who the culprit was, but the ending was unpredictable—my assumptions were wrong. I like it when books surprise me, and Double Vision: The Alias Men had no shortage of surprises. There was an equal mix of action, humor, and a well-developed plot that kept me reading till the end. My only wish is that I hadn’t read it so quickly. I love this series and I’m sad to see it end, but the ending was awesome and wrapped things up nicely. All in all, this was a fantastic end to the trilogy.

This copy was provided by the author for review, thank you!
Read a preview below:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Falling into Fall {#3}

     This one is going to be sort of short.  Anyway, welcome to the third post for Falling into Fall.  This time I'm going to briefly discuss movies.  Part of what I do during fall is watch certain reruns of movies/TV shows that I will always love.  One of them would be Hocus Pocus, it's one of my all time favorite witch movies, and I watch it at least once a year.  Another one is The Nightmare before Christmas.  I always like the whimsical style of Tim Burton's animated films.  So it shouldn't be hard to guess that another one of my favorite movies is The Corpse Bride. I really like the story of that one, and the animation. (I'm I sucker for animated things.) Here's a classic one...or two: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown & A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingI will always like the Charlie Brown specials, because...well just because.  And Casper (1995), I love this movie, end of discussion.

     As you can see, I tend to like festive movies and TV shows, especially the ones that come on every year. Well that's basically it, but check back Thursday November 13 for the next Falling into Fall post. Question: What are some of your favorite fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving movies/TV shows?

*All post links can be found on the Features Page

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Falling into Fall {Extras}

     The Falling into Fall Extras edition. Dun, dun, dun.  No, actually its just a post I'll occasionally put up between other Falling into Fall dates. Where things that didn't make it into the main post or were just overlooked end up.  Since the last post was all about food here are two more recipes I forgot about. So here they are:

Parmesan Potato Wedges @ Tablespoon, Recipe by Girl Who Ate Everything Seriously, this is my favorite recipe for oven baked fries.  I had these yesterday and they were delicious. I highly recommend this recipe & its supper simple.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars @Averie Cooks I love this recipe, its another easy one to make, and equally delicious.

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts Trail Mix @Averie Cooks While I don't make the entire trail mix, I certainly used the candied nut recipe.

     So that's basically it. Don't forget to check back this Thursday for the next Falling into Fall post!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Crystal Fire by Jordan Dane

Crystal Fire (The Hunted, #2)Title: Crystal Fire
Author: Jordan Dane
Source/Formate: won, paperback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin Teen, November 26, 2013

Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Goodreads     Audible     Book Depository

     I had reservations about Crystal Fire by Jordan Dane since I was unfamiliar with the author. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I rather enjoyed this book, and would consider picking up its predecessor Indigo Awakening. The concept of the story was fascinating with its take on psychics, and paired with writing that flowed nicely with a good pace. Crystal Fire ended up being a quick read. As I said, the writing—third person—had a nice flow to it with descriptions that helped me visualize the setting and major events. The characters were developed with backstories that shaped who they were.  With plausible worries, and emotions that made them seem more real. Their bonds with one another played out in a spectacular fashion that only served to enhance the story. One part that I found hilarious was the way the main characters decided to deal with one of the villains, and for some reason I just couldn’t stop laughing at it—it was so sudden that it was almost ridiculous. It was one of the most…um colorful endings to a villain that I’ve ever read. I’m not going to specify on what happened exactly, but it was funny. Since I’m unfamiliar with the series I was left wondering how certain things and characters got to where they were. But the story was easy to get into once I got past my initial confusion as more details were revealed over the course of the book. The plot and the concept were well-developed with a satisfying ending. All in all, Crystal Fire surprised me in a good way, and I will definitely check out other works by Jordan Dane.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Falling into Fall {#2}

     Welcome to the second Falling into Fall post. Food, that’s right, I’m here to talk about food today which has nothing at all to do with books. Unless, of course, I was talking about cookbooks which I’m not so they don’t really apply. Anyway I’m just going to move on. One of my main goals this year is to make more candy/desserts/food. I’ve seen plenty of recipes floating around with simple explanations on how to make some of my favorite treats/dishes. I’m going to leave a few links so if you want to try some of them as well.

Homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cups @Lauras Sweet Spot This is a different recipe than what I used last time.  But I have made peanut butter cups before, and they were delicious. So I want to try them again with this recipe.

Homemade Butterfinger Eggs (only 3-ingredients) @Raining Hot Coupons   This is just one of the many recipes I really want to make.

Homemade Twix Bars @And They Cooked Happily Ever After There are just so many things I want to make, and this is another one of them.

Chocolate covered pretzels…does this one really need a recipe? I think it’s pretty straight forward.

Dark Chocolate Nutella Brownies @ CookiesCakesPiesOhMy  This is the typical recipe I use for brownies, the texture is always good, and I’ve used it multiple times with different swrils—i.e. Nutella, peanut butter…sometimes both. I’ve also doubled the recipe to make a larger pan (Also had to cook it a little longer) and used just normal cocoa powder instead of dark chocolate.

French Bread Rolls to Die for Posted by JOCATLIN Oh gosh, what should I even say about these easy French rolls?  Well for one, forget buying them, this recipe is awesome. And yes, I’ve tried these before and they were marvelous.

Cranberry Shortbread Bars @ Joy of Baking I have made this with canned cranberry sauce—shortcut—with jellied and at another time with whole berry. Both turned out to be delicious and I look forward to making this again.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili @The Girl Who Ate Everything  CHICKEN QUINOA CHILI, that’s all I’ve got to say on it. I haven't tried it, but it looks delicious.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili @True Life Kitchen I’ve had this one before and let me just say that it was delicious and I want more. With the colder weather coming this is the perfect dish.

Cheerio Muddy Buddies a.k.a. Puppy Chow @This Little Light Blog Actually, I tried this one just this morning and it was awesome—and I had to include the link on this post—so if you like Muddy Buddies then I definitely recommend trying this recipe.

    Out of all of those links I have yet to mention anything pumpkin...oops. Well here's one...ok two before I wrap up this post. Pumpkin Cake Cheesecake @Sally's Baking Addiction & Pumpkin Waffles @Kitchen Meets Girl So that's all, check back on October 30 for the next Falling into Fall post. Question: what are some of your favorite fall desserts/dishes?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Congratulations: Stacey O'Neale + Giveaway

INDIeReConLive! Banner
Congratulations Stacey O'Neale! I'm excited to announce that she won three Howey Awards at IndieReCon Live!

List of awards:

  • Best Young Adult Book for Mortal Enchantment
  • Best Book Boyfriend for Rowan
  • Most Breathtaking Kiss for Rowan and Kalin in Mortal Enchantment 

From Stacey O'Neale:

"These awards mean a lot to me because they were voted on by readers. They said they got over 28,000 votes and over 300 novels were nominated. Thank you so much to anyone who voted for my books or characters. It really touches my heart to know that people out there enjoy what I do. You can see the full list on winners HERE."

If you haven't read the series, The Shadow Prince is available for FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Now the giveaway.  To celebrate on her wins, Stacey O'Neale is giving away 1 $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card PLUS Five additional winners will get signed copies of her entire Mortal Enchantment series, which includes Fragile Reign. Sounds awesome, right? So stop reading this and just enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Friday 56 (12)

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1)"Suddenly two eyes seemed to spring at them out of the darkness; it was the moonlight striking on Mrs Who's glasses."--A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

What's on your page 56 this week?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Source/ Format: freebie, iTunes ebook edition
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin Teen, September 25, 2012

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

     Alice in Zombieland, yeah, I don’t know where to begin with this one. It wasn't what I was expecting, and I'm not sure if that was such a good thing. I finished this book over the weekend and it took me a few days to sort out my feelings on it. For the longest time—I couldn't decide on how I wanted to rate this book. I wrestled over the choice between 3 or 2.5 stars. Because Alice in Zombieland was by far, not the worst book I've read, but I didn't love it either. It was in this sort of weird place between average and below for me.

     What I liked about the book was the zombies, they were different, and I did enjoy the storyline surrounding them. Actually, the story wasn’t half bad. It was ok. The writing was also just ok and I don’t really have much to say on it. What I didn't like so much were the characters. Alice…*sigh*. Seriously, I get that she was hurting and grieving in her own way, but some of her choices weren’t that smart. I know that she was put into some situations that were out of her control, but I just didn't like her much. She almost seemed to be a typical YA heroine. Now Cole, he was the typical YA bad boy with a chip on his shoulder and a secret compassionate side. Did I enjoy reading about some of his actions? No.

    Alright, so I admit that I might have judged this series based off its titles. So I was expecting a little more Alice in Wonderland vibe than what I really got. It was a zombie book—I don’t really have any other way to describe it. So while I had high expectation for this book, in the end I was left feeling indifferent. So I’m going to give this a 2.5. That’s all.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Musing Mondays (11)

     Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, that asks you to muse about one of the following each week:
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musings for the Week...

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)Since I want to keep it short today, this week I'm sharing another book I'm waiting for: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep. After reading the final book in the Mythos Academy series I have to say that I'm really looking forward to this one.

Question: what books are you desperately waiting for?

On Sale: Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neale

Starting from October 6th to the 13th, Stacey O'Neale's Mortal Enchantment will be on sale for $0.99! Get it while the sale is still going.  Click HERE for $0.99 Kindle Deal!

The Shadow Prince
And don't forget, the prequel novella, The Shadow Prince is still free!
Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission: Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?
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