Monday, March 30, 2015

Musing Mondays (25)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB(Jenn) at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My Musings for the Week...

John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature PhotographyThis week I'm going to be reading John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography by John Shaw.  This book is considerably shorter than the Space Exploration book I finished reading over the weekend, and I have to say that I'm pretty excited about this one. So, what are you reading this week?  If you want, tell me in the comments below.

Friday, March 27, 2015

ARC Review: Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham

Scarlett UndercoverTitle: Scarlett Undercover
Author: Jennifer Latham
Source/Format: The NOVL Newsletter (Publisher), Paperback ARC
More Details: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher/Publication Date: Little Brown, May 19, 2015

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Summary from Goodreads...

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks -- and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father's murder...
When I signed up for this book I knew very little about it but the synopsis certainly got my attention. Not just because of the main character but also because of the mystery aspect—it just sounded like something I would enjoy. So as you can guess I was pretty excited to dive into this book and I have to say that I loved it! I literally read this book within a few hours.  It was the kind of book that I found hard to put down, and that's a good thing.  Because I was invested in the story, I wanted to see what happened next and what the characters would do about it.

The beginning of Scarlett Undercover instantaneously grabbed my attention, and I immediately knew that the seemingly simple case was going to end up being much more complicated. And wow, let me tell you, things got complicated real fast. Scarlett finds herself completely embroiled in the case, and I liked how she approached it head-on—even if she broke a few rules here and there.

As far as Scarlett goes, well, she was the perfect main character for this type of novel. She was smart, dedicated, and she cared about her sister, Reem. Basically, she was strong in her own way. I liked how Latham incorporated their faith into the novel, and built up the characters around past events that affected them in the present. Deck (Decker), well, all I have to say about him is that I liked his relationship with Scarlett—it was easy to see that he genuinely cared about her—and even though their relationship was already developed at the start of the story, it was easy to see their connection by the way they interacted with one another. The secondary characters had their own places in the story.  I liked seeing how their paths crossed with Scarlett's and how their respective roles ultimately influenced some of the events in the book.

And the plot—literally from page one I was sucked into this story. I wanted to know more about Gemma, her brother, and the circumstances surrounding her situation that eventually led her to Scarlett. Needless to say there was plenty of suspense, action, and mystery that ultimately made this a page-turner for me. And the end…well I did not see it coming. I like it when a story can keep me guessing and that twist near the end was There was a lot of deception involved that just blindsided me when it was finally revealed.

At the end of the day, Scarlett Undercover had a mix of interesting elements that ultimately came together to form a fantastic story set against the gritty backdrop of Las Almas.

This galley of the book was provided by The NOVL (newsletter/publisher) for this review, thank you!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musing Mondays (24)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB(Jenn) at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My Musings for the Week...

Usually when I think about book to movie adaptations the first ones that come to mind are the more recent ones like The Maze Runner, Harry Potter, and so on. Here’s a very short list of some of my favorite ones…

**I have not read all of the books that go along with the movies**
  • Matilda
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, & The Return of the King
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, & The Battle of the Five Armies
  • How to Train Your Dragon
What are some of your other favorite book to movie adaptations?

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Friday 56 (22)

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 Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2)"Meg said, "Ok, Charles, I don't doubt your dragons any more.""--A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'engle

What's on your page 56 this week? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2)Title: A Wind in the Door 
Author: Madeleine L'Engle
Souce/Format: Won, Paperback
More Details: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Square Fish, May 1, 2007 (first published 1973)

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository     Audible      Book Outlet

Summary from Goodreads...

It is November. When Meg comes home from school, Charles Wallace tells her he saw dragons in the twin’s vegetable garden. That night Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace go to the vegetable garden to meet the Teacher (Blajeny) who explains that what they are seeing isn’t a dragon at all, but a cherubim named Proginoskes. It turns out that C.W. is ill and that Blajeny and Proginoskes are there to make him well – by making him well, they will keep the balance of the universe in check and save it from the evil Echthros...
So I dived into A Wind in the Door knowing that I loved the previous novel, A Wrinkle in Time—my expectations were a little high because of this. And thankfully, I enjoyed this book as much as the first one.

Most of the characters from the previous book were back, and I enjoyed their relationships with one another. Meg was a great older sister, she cared about Charles Wallace and went to certain lengths as she tried to help and protect him. Calvin was about the same—caring and supportive—so there isn’t much to say about him. But I really enjoyed how they interacted with one another.

Once again I was impressed by Madeleine L’Engle’s use of science combined with fantasy. The elements played a large role in what happened to Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin. as was true with the previous story the beginning was a little slow, but it didn’t bother me enough to make me put the book down. In fact, I liked the gradual build up that the plot followed before the exact details of what was really happening was revealed. Just like in A Wrinkle in Time I really enjoyed the setting. It begins in the small town but ends up entirely different for a good portion of the second half of the book. As always, the setting paired nicely with the plot, and the writing was nice and descriptive. Needless to say, I look forward to reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet to see what happens next.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Musing Mondays (23)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB(Jenn) at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My Musings for the Week...
The Dragon King (Otherworld Chronicles #3)
This week I'm going to start the The Dragon King by Nils Johnson-Shelton. This book released on December 31, 2013, and I look forward to seeing how this trilogy ends.

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository     Book Outlet

Summary from Goodreads...

Artie Kingfisher, his sister, Kay, and the New Knights of the Round Table have finally reached the legendary isle of Avalon. But before Artie can take his place as King Arthur reborn, he must recover nothing less than the mythical Holy Grail. And as the greatest battle of his life looms, Artie finds himself facing off against the one person he never dreamed he'd be fighting...
Random weekly question: How often do you use your local library? Are you happy with their availability?

I don't really use the library in my new area so I can't comment on the availability of the books they have.

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Our Thoughts Precisely is turning 2!

I’m just going to jump right into this. Our Thoughts Precisely started on March 15, 2013 so today officially makes the blog two years old. Hooray! We don’t have anything planned for today except for the new header which should be up some time today, but other than that, yeah, the blog turned two. As for the design of the blog, not everything is changing—some things sooner than others, other designs won’t be changing at all.

Other places where you can find us online…
So yeah, that’s basically it. Thank you to the readers that have stuck around with us these past two years, and we look forward to having another great year. Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

Today, I'm revealing the cover for Dragons are People, Too, a young adult contemporary fantasy by Sarah Nicolas releasing April 28th from Entangled Teen. Read all the way through and scroll to the bottom for a giveaway.

Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

About the Author

Sarah is a 30-something YA author who currently lives in Orlando with a 60-lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She’s a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library and as a freelance book publicist and author’s assistant.

Since Sarah Nicolas couldn't have written any of this book without coffee, she's giving away a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! (Open anywhere Starbucks Gift Cards can be used)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh and before you go, Sarah Nicolas has one more giveaway going. Drop by Goodreads for a chance to win the book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

Dragons Are People, Too

by Sarah Nicolas

Giveaway ends April 27, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, March 9, 2015

Musing Mondays (22)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB(Jenn) at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

*MizB(Jenn) has a new blog, A Daily Rhythm, don't forget to drop by and check it out!*

My Musings for the Week...

This week for Musing Monday's I'm going to share a few of the book trailers I've come across. I did a few posts like this last year as well (Part 1 & Part 2), and I thought I would do it again. I guess you could say that this is sort of like a part three to the other two. Basically, there's one trailer that I want to share. Lets get started.

The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other)The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey This book releases April 7, 2015, but you can check out the website now: CLICK HERE 

Summary from Goodreads...

A contemporary comedy featuring twelve-year-old fraternal twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn't be more different...except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war! But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that's fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price... 

So that's basically it.  Maybe I'll do another post later like this one later on, it just depends. 

What are you reading this week? Or, what are some of your favorite book trailers?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

ARC Review: Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Finding SerendipityTitle: Finding Serendipity 
Author: Angelica Banks
Source/Format: Won, ARC
More Details: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Henry Holt and Co., February 3, 2015

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads...

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.
It took me a couple of days to finally just sit down and write this review. Not because I didn’t like this book, but for the simple fact that I had to figure out what I wanted to say without spoiling it for everyone else. When I first read the synopsis for this book I was excited to read it. It just seemed like my kind of story. And I have to say that it not only reached my expectations but exceeded them. Finding Serendipity is a gorgeously spun tale about a place where stories can live and breathe, and the adventures of a girl who sets out to find her mother, Serendipity Smith.

I loved this book. The concept of it was just awesome and done so well that I had a hard time putting this book down. The setting, wow, I loved everything about it—the idea behind it clearly had some thought to it and the execution of the details made it easy to get immersed in the story.

As far as characters go, I really liked Tuesday McGillycuddy. On the day that she thinks Serendipity will finally be able to take some time off she finds that her mother has mysteriously gone missing. And she was worried, which was entirely understandable. So, one thing led to another and Tuesday ends up in a place where she thinks she’ll find her mother. The way she got there was just…I don’t even know what to say about it besides that it was definitely something I haven’t read before, and entirely entertaining to watch unfold. It was one of the numerous aspects that I liked about Finding Serendipity. Ok, now I’m going to talk about the dog, Baxterr. I loved Baxterr! He was faithful and helpful to Tuesday and he was just such a nice addition to the story. I could go on and on about all of the various characters but that would kind of be a spoiler so I’m just going to stop now. I’ll just leave it at the fact that they were all great!

All in all, Finding Serendipity was an entirely enjoyable book, and while it might be considered middle grade, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read it. The only thing I really have to say that could even remotely be considered a complaint is that I wish there was a sequel, because I would totally read it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cover Reveal: Balance Keepers: The Pillars of Ponderay by Lindsay Cummings

Today the cover for book two of the Balance Keepers series by Lindsay Cummings is being revealed. The Pillars of Ponderay will be released September 22, 2015. Check out the cover below!

About the book...

Albert Flynn is psyched to return to the Core, the magical world at the center of the earth where Balance Keepers fix problems in three underground Realms. Last term, Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy saved New York by fixing the Calderon Realm and were crowned First Unit, aka the Coolest Kids in the Core.
Now Albert and his teammates have been called to the Core for an emergency training session…along with their archenemy, Hoyt. There’s a horrible Imbalance in the Ponderay Realm and they have only seven days before California will be swallowed by hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Worse yet, it’s rumored there’s a traitor among them who is causing all this chaos.

Will Albert, Leroy, and Birdie discover who’s been putting the Core—and the world above—in danger? Can they save Ponderay before California becomes an underwater wasteland forever?

Don't forget to visit the author online...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Discussion: On the importance of taking a break…

On the importance of taking a break…

Most of the time blogging is fun for me, but even then I still need breaks from it. Early last week I read a book that I didn’t like and ended up DNFing—I’m not naming names—needless to say, it completely threw me off. I ended up taking the rest of the week off since my posts were already scheduled. I found that I had absolutely no enthusiasm to pick up another book.

And I have to say that I think I needed that time away to just do other things. The extra time allowed me to come up with some new ideas for the blog—a new header that I’m currently putting the finishing touches on. And now with a new week I feel ready to get back to reading and blogging. So, this week is going to be kind of slow. As for what I’m currently reading, well I’m not at the moment, but I hope to start something soon.

What do you think? Do you occasionally need time away from something, even if you enjoy it?
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