Monday, December 31, 2012

Mainstream Monday: 2012 Recap and 2013 Excitement

Happy New Year's Eve readers! 2012 was a year full of great books and with 2013 just around the corner it looks like it could top the previous years.

Some 2012 favorites include: 
  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare 
  • Insurgent by Victoria Roth 
  • Dreamless by Josephine Angelini 
  • The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa 
  • Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast 
 Some books to look forward to in 2013:  
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Oh MY GOD, the way Clockwork Prince ended, we need the third and final installment. It's a necessity.  
  • Goddess by Josephine Angelini. There were so many lose ends and complete distruction left in Dreamless that this book is going to be great. Will Helen find out the truth about Lucas or who her dad is? Will they demigods stay demigods or are they destined to take the place of Zeus, Poesiden, and Hades? Will Helen choose Lucas or Orion? I CAN NOT WAIT TO FIND OUT!!  
  • Angel Fever by L.A. Weatherly With pretty much every human brainwashed and the angels hunting them down, Willow and her friends will have a huge battle a head of them and at this point I'm really wondering if they'll make it out a live.  
  • Avenger by Heather Burch  The Gardians was some serious exciting new discovery smack down.  Nikki is really a Halfling and she and Raven are both barely hanging on to the light.  Is she going to be with Mace or Raven?  Will she give in to the Darkness and get revenge on the people that took her entire life away and give Damon what he wants?  This book is bond to be full of excitement.
  • Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris. The final installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I love these books other than Lafayette was killed off and I love his character in the show. These books remind me of summer and they are great easy reads. Also, who isn't dying to know if Sookie finally says hell with all of the supes and settles down with a semi normal guy. BTW this is my second favorite final book in a series title. 
Do you guys have books that you're looking forward to this year?  Any that you recommend from years previous?  Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR READERS!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom by Anthea Sharp

**Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read Feyland: The Bright Court yet, then you may want to wait to read this review.**
Jennet Carter and Tam Linn are almost out of time. Feyland, the most immersive computer game ever designed, is about to be released into the world - along with the Realm of Faerie's dangerous magic.
The faeries, desperate to break free from their realm, have set treacherous plans in motion. Despite magical allies of their own, Jennet and Tam have no idea what dire threats await, both in-game and out.
Battling for their lives against the united powers of the Dark Queen and Bright King, Jennet and Tam's quest to stop the fey takes them into the perilous Twilight Kingdom, where illusion reigns - and magic can break all the rules"
 Jennet and Tam have got quite the mission on their hands. They only have a few weeks before VirtuMax releases their newest computer game, Feyland, to the world. But what the company doesn't know is that the game is actually being used by the Realm of Faerie as a gateway to the mortal world. As members of the beta-testing team for the game, Jennet and Tam must find a way to stop the gateway from being opened. And, as if they didn't have enough problems, it looks like the Dark and Bright courts of the Realm of Faerie have joined forces this time. Will they be able to stop the faeries from entering the mortal world and wreaking havoc? Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom is the third and final installment in the Feyland trilogy by Anthea Sharp.

I rate this book:

Just like the other books in this series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. And, as usual, the latest installment of Anthea Sharp's Feyland series did not disappoint. It had absolutely everything that made me fall in love with the series from the very beginning. I loved the imagery that was present throughout the entire book - it really helped to keep me interested from start to finish. The description used makes you feel like you're actually right there in the Realm of Faerie with Jennet and Tam.

I also really liked that the story had a few different levels to it. It wasn't just about Jennet and Tam struggling to save the mortal world from faeries. There were some different issues that each character had to deal with, on top of everything else. This was something else that really helped to keep me interested in the book. Without it, I think the story would have gotten quite repetitive and boring.

Another thing I loved about this book was the way Anthea managed to bring the many different characters together for the common goal of saving the world. In the past two books, it's just been Jennet and Tam facing off against first the Dark Queen and then the Bright King. But now, they have other people to help them out. I think that really demonstrates good character development and it definitely helps move the story along, too.

If you guys haven't picked up this series, you're definitely missing out. It has everything necessary for an interesting fantasy read. So, check out Feyland: The Dark Realm, if you're just hearing about this series for the first time. But, if you've already read the first two books, then you should grab Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom. You won't be disappointed. 

Growing up, Anthea Sharp spent her summers raiding the library shelves and reading, especially fantasy. She now makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, plays the fiddle, and spends time with her small-but-good family. Contact her at or visit her website –

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa Letter # 3

Here is our third and final Dear Santa letter for you before our give away.  This one is written by Vine, a lost boy from the Halfling series by Heather Burch.  Warning, there are some spoilers.

Dear Santa,

I think I've been good this year.  I began my first mission as a Halfling, to protect Nikki Youngblood.  But the real mission has been to keep Mace and Raven from ripping each other apart.  They both are in love with Nikki, which would have put them on the naughty list for sure except that we just found out that she's a Halfling too, although not a normal one.  I'd imagine she's on the naughty list by now but that's neither here nor there.  I've done my best to keep the peace between the three of them but with Raven and Nikki barely hanging on to the light side and Mace's new found temper it's become quite the job.  He is so passive aggressive.  I've barely had time to eat my candy.  While we were at school at the beginning of our mission I also was careful not to fall for any of the human girls even though they were all fawning over my hair.  It was difficult because I've never had that kind of attention before.  It was nice to be noticed for a little while. 

Anyways, if you could throw a few months supply of sour gummy worms in my stocking I'd greatly appreciate it.  With all of the stress coming  up I'm going to need those.  Also if you feel like making a Christmas miracle happen could you magically make the three problem children act right for one day?


Don't forget to submit your own Santa letter before December 25 for a chance to win a Hedwig plush and a Harry Potter ornament!

Review: Guardians by Heather Burch

The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have.
Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?

Nikki Youngblood has lost everything.  Her parents, her dog, her motorcycle, even the home she grew up in.  She is stuck with three gorgeous half angels, two of which she is falling for, but has to avoid them at all cost even though she needs them both now more than ever because if they fall for her they turn themselves over to the dark side of their beings, a line that Raven is teetering on, and will be damned for eternity.  When she finally gives in to Mace, causing Raven to leave, it seems to turn everyone against her and after a brief misinterpreted goodbye to Raven, Mace feels the same.  Nikki turns to the only person she believes she has in the world, Damon.  Guardian has that love triangle that so many love in a book, adventure, darkness, action, and whopping smack in the face of where did that come from by the end of the book that makes it better than it's predecessor.

Although for the character they are not good, I really liked the changes in Nikki throughout the book.  In the first book she is strong even before she loses everything.  But in this book she is not just strong throughout the book she slowly becomes harder and darker as everything is thrown at her from Raven leaving, Mace and the other Halflings turning their backs on her, to seeking her revenge for her parents death with Damon.  Through it all she becomes stronger than all of them but it consumes her she finds that she can't even be nice to the few people that have always been there for her and have been nothing but kind to her with nasty things flying out of her mouth without even realizing where the thought had come from.

If we are choosing sides, I am team Raven all the way.  Especially after this book.  Mace was the nice responsible guy in the first book.  But in Guardians he was a bit annoying.  I understand that there's the whole damned for eternity if a Halfling falls in love with a human but if he cannot stand Raven and Nikki flirting because Raven is much more forward than Mace he should try to truly move on or risk it.  Considering the fact that I'm team Raven, Mace's broodiness is just fine for my cause.

Damon didn't really make too many appearances in the first book but in this one he around quite a bit.  In the first book as the reader I knew there was something not right about him.  In the second book he puts on a super nice act with Nikki but as she continues to change you know that it is him that is the problem and there is something really wrong happening.  Throughout the first book and most of Guardian you know there is an ulterior motive and by the end of the book we finally know what it is but I'll let you guys read and find out for yourselves ;]  But it's pretty mind blowing.
I really liked the change of scenery in this book.  The whole first half of it was on a boat or in Europe, giving the book a good summer read feel even though it is clearly not summer.  There is also a small handful of new characters that lighten up the book a bit as well as some mystery of who was that and will we find out who that stranger was in the next book.  This book ended with plenty of unanswered questions that leave you impatiently waiting for the third book. 

Heather Burch is the author of the Halfling series.  She grew up loving fiction books and after marrying into a family of published authors she discovered that fiction writing was her passion.  She lives with her two sons and husband in Florida. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa Letter #2

Hey guys! Here's another Santa Letter for you as part of our Christmas Giveaway. This one is from Samantha White from H.P. Mallory's Dulcie O'Neil series. Be advised, if you haven't read up to the third book in the series, you'll want to hold off on reading this letter, too. Enjoy! 

Dear Santa,

     This past year has been unbelievably crazy. Between Dulcie's beyond complicated relationship with Knight and the things going on in the Netherworld, I'm not sure how things could get any crazier. But, knowing my luck, I have a feeling that the insanity is just beginning. And now, on top of everything else, I can't even go home. I miss my apartment and my normal life more than anything. I'd give anything to have it all back. All of my potions and spell books are in Splendor -- do you know how hard it is being a witch without having access to any of that stuff? Hopefully, this plan goes over smoothly and we can all get our lives back again. 
     Anyway, if you could leave a new spell book under my tree this year, that'd be awesome. Who knows, maybe it'll help me feel like I'm useful around here. It would be so nice to have some way to contribute to the plan, some way to help the others out.



There you have it! Now, don't forget to submit your own letters from your favorite character by December 25th for a chance to win a Hedwig plushie and a Harry Potter ornament.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

"Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum."

In honor of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that comes out this Friday, I've decided to treat you guys to a classic tale of dwarves, elves, wizards, and other fantastical creatures. This prelude to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one that will grab your interest and keep it until the very last page. The Hobbit is a must read for everyone.

As I've said before, rereading books isn't really my thing. I rarely ever pick up a book that I've already read before. But since the movie comes out this weekend, I thought I'd pick The Hobbit up again -- especially since I hadn't read it in years. And once I did that, I was reminded of just how much I loved it all over again. One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book was Tolkien's ability to paint a picture with his words that allows the reader to really feel like they're right there with the characters throughout the entire story. His descriptions are so realistic that it's hard to remember that you're not really experiencing it all, you're just reading about it. This is a technique that not many authors today are able to imitate nearly as well as authors past have done.

Another thing I really enjoyed about The Hobbit was the character of Gollum. This scary little creature provides some of the most humorous lines in the entire book -- which is a rather impressive feat, considering he doesn't appear in the book for very long. Gollum is possibly one of my favorite characters in this book, for exactly that reason. He is such a peculiar little character that it's funny to see him interact with Tolkien's more "normal" character of Bilbo Baggins. This makes it extremely difficult to do anything but love and enjoy the character for as long as he's present in the story.

Finally, I am once again amazed at the scope of Tolkien's imagination at the time that he was writing this book, as well as the other books that were set in Middle Earth. The fact that he was able to create this entire world, complete with histories about the different races that inhabit that world, is truly fascinating. And it definitely helps to make an extremely intriguing story, too. Combined with his ability to describe everything in Middle Earth down to the minutest detail, Tolkien's imagined world of hobbits, dwarves, elves, and other mythic creatures is one that I, as well as many other readers I know, would love to live in.

While I enjoy Tolkien's ability to describe everything in great detail, if there is one thing I didn't particularly care for in The Hobbit it would have to be the author's need to describe everything. This is the one aspect of Tolkien's books that I have a sort of love-hate relationship. I enjoy the descriptive detailing in this book, but there does come a point where I feel like it sometimes takes away from the story itself. Nevertheless, I'm still going to insist that you guys check this book out. The Hobbit is a book that you will love from the very beginning, I know it. And honestly, the excessive details are well worth reading through, in this case. So, go ahead: Step into Tolkien's magical world of Middle Earth with The Hobbit. You'll never want to leave. Oh! And be sure to check out the movie this weekend. Looks like it's going to be awesome!

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 -1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Giveaway/ Santa Letter #1

Hey everyone,
It’s time for our Christmas giveaway! Everyone get out those pins and papers and get ready to write your very own letter to Santa… in the perspective of your favorite book character! Over the next 3 weeks Meg, Crissy and I will be sharing our own letters.
The prize you may ask? An adorable Hedwig plushie and a Harry Potter ornament!
You have until Christmas day or December 25th to get your get your letters in to us. Simply respond in a comment below with your letter and your name and an e-mail address we can contact you by. We will go through the letters and find the most fun and creative as the winner. The winner will be announced New Year’s Eve.
Now without further ado…. My very own letter from Miss Dulcie O’Neal from H.P. Mallory’s series. But I should tell you now that if you haven’t caught up to the third book in the series you  may want to hold off on reading this letter! Spoiler alert.

Dear Santa,
                It’s me, Dulcie. I know that things may appear over the past year as if I have been quite a naughty girl. Working for my father and dealing the Draoidheil... but I didn’t want to do any of those things. I spent just as much time trying to make things right. I was thrown into a corner trying to protect the man I love by my very own father, if you could even call him that. Not that I should have to tell you but I didn’t even know that Melachoir was biologically a part of me until recently. Did I mention how difficult it usually is for me to admit the “L” word to anyone?
                So if you could throw one of those shiny new handguns under my tree that would be really helpful. I promise my heart is in the wrong place with The Resistance.
Thanks Santa,

Now it's your turn! Show us what you got.