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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Swoon Thursday

So, I have managed to finish City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. It was City of Ashes that I finished while taking a bath until about 3am. Couldn't not wait to get to book 3 and could not put that one down either, so I basically got no sleep for a few days. It..was...AWESOME!!!!!!!

While not all my questions were answered, the biggest one was, so I was satisfied. I started reading City of Fallen Angels, but so far, it is all about Simon and while I don't dislike Simon, he did get on my nerves quite a bit. I really wanted to ask him why he didn't just go home. But he felt so entitled to be around all the time. Nevertheless, he is a good character, I just don't know if I feel like reading a whole book about him, so I'll give it a few chapters. It may be time to take a break and read some other things.

While City of Glass was full of so many delicious passages, I was so happy to find this one near the end which is my swoon for the week.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

It's simple. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

"Valentine couldn't believe I'd killed Jonathan, " he said. "Couldn't believe it because I was the weak one, and Jonathan was the one with more training. By all rights he probably should have killed me. He nearly did. But I though of you - I saw you there, clearly, as if you were standing in front of me, watching me, and I knew I wanted to live, wanted it more than I'd ever wanted anything, if only so that I could see your face one more time."

"And now I'm looking at you, " he said, "and you're asking me if I still want you, as if I could ever stop loving you. As if I would want to give up the thing that makes me stronger than anything else ever has. I never dared give much of myself to anyone before - bits of myself to the Lightwoods, to Isabelle and Alec, but it took years to do it - but, Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely. I still do. If you want me."

Ah, nothing like a great swoon to warm the soul. I hope you all enjoyed this week's selection.

Until next time, Go Pens!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Top 10 Tuesday List of my own

I have been somewhat frustrated with the lack of time I have to get on the computer lately and not just with my blog. In order to vent a little, I decided to do my own Top Ten list today of why I can't get anything done. Well, anything important, anyway. So here it is, in no specific order...

Top 10 Reasons I Can't Get Anything Done

1: Work - I am still working 15 hours OT every week and am now working both Saturday and Sunday which seriously cuts into my free time.
2: Time Management - I can't get up in the morning for work, so I've been leaving later which means I have to stay later at work. It's usually 7 by the time I get home.
3: Hockey - The hockey lock out is finally over, but it is a very condensed season of 48 games, so no team has more than a 2 day break between games. If the Penguins are being broadcast on TV, I'm going to be watching it.
4: Housework - I still have Christmas decorations up, for crying out loud. I had thought to sort through the Christmas decorations because I thought to sell some off, but that means I have to put them in categories. All the Peanuts have to be together, Pooh, Star Wars, etc. There is a lot to organize before I can make any decisions, but I just haven't had the time. I have a tree that is missing the very top and there are no decorations on it, but it is standing in the middle of the floor between the living room and library. I feel guilty spending time on my blog or reading when I have to get this stuff put away. And let's not even get started on actual cleaning.
5: Egg - Egg demands chin rubs and it has been so cold lately that as soon as I come home he yells at me until I sit down so he can jump in my lap and suck up all my body heat. I spend a lot of time on a daily basis catering to the whims of one furry little critter.
6: Mortal Instruments - Can't put the damn books down. I just started book 4, City of Angels. I keep the books with me where ever I go and read every chance I get. The questions have been driving me to keep reading until I get the answers I'm looking for. Thankfully, my biggest question was answered at the end of book 3, so perhaps I won't be quite so compelled and can actually post my reviews.
7: Weather - The weather has been playing havoc with my sinuses since it is fluctuating up and down, so I have been getting some sinus headaches. I usually take Bendryll. It does dry me out, but unfortunately, it also makes me lethargic if not downright sleepy.
8: Meals - I know it seems like a non-thing, but while I had intended to eat at home more, that pretty much hasn't happened a lot since Hurricane Sandy. We usually go out or sometimes order in. Since I'm not getting home until about 7pm as it is, by the time we go get something to eat and get home, it is already 9pm and I'm usually too tired to sit up typing.
9: Bath time - If I take a bath, which I infinitely prefer over a shower, and I take a book in with me, I'll be in there for hours. Well, a couple at least. Time just gets away from me and if the bath water is getting a little cold, I just let some of the tub water out and fill the tub up some more.
10: Hubby - Perhaps last, but certainly not least, I still have want to find time to spend with him.

Just as soon as I can get Christmas put away I will have more free time and can get down to writing my reviews which I really miss doing.  So my goal is to have Christmas down in time for Valentine's Day.  I think that's a realistic goal.

So any thoughts out there on how you all balance the demands of daily life and manage to post on a regular basis?  I'd be interested to hear how you do it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Here it is, Thursday again. My favorite day of the week, or I guess I should say my favorite day of the work week. Let's face it, Saturday is the best day of the week.

But here it is...Swoon Thursday!!!

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

It's simple. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

I have been having a very difficult time trying decide which swoon to post. I am now reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare and cannot put it down. The last time I ripped through a series like this was Harry Potter. I may share one of the others at a later time, but here's the one that turned me to mush.

"There is no pretending," Jace said with absolute clarity. "I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then."

She caught her breath. He had said it - the words there was no going back from. She struggled for a reply, but none came.

"And I know you think I just want to be with you to - to show myself what a monster I am, " he said. "And maybe I am a monster. I don't know the answer to that. But what I do know is that even if there's demon blood inside me, there is human blood inside me as well. And I couldn't love you like I do if I wasn't at least a little bit human. Because demons want. But they don't love. And I - "


Monday, January 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - A Day Late and a Dollar Short

So Verizon came and hooked up Fios for us, but since it is a whole new network, I have naturally been having connectivity problems on my computer. The main computer is my hubby's. My computer is hooked up by wireless. I happened to pick up a wireless keyboard and mouse for my work laptop as I work downstairs. Unfortunately, the software had to be loaded to the computer via a disc and my laptop has no CD drive. You need a plug in in order to use a disc. And since it is a work computer, they kind of frown on installing external software anyway. So, I took the plug in keyboard and mouse from upstairs and decided to install the wireless keyboard and mouse upstairs, which unfortunately coincided with me trying to get the new network set up. It has taken me two days.

And as I have not read any manga recently to post, plus I worked overtime all weekend long, I figure I will do a Stacking the Shelves post even though it is not so timely.

Nothing but issues lately.

My last STS post was December 30 (Really?), so here is what I've picked up in 2013.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Splintered by A.G. Howard
Dreamspinner ( A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms) by Lynn Kurland
Scoundrels: Star Wars by Timothy Zahn
Bone: Quest for the Spark Book 3 by Jeff Smith and Tom Sniegoski
Flaming Carrot Hardcover Collected Vol 2 by Bob Burden

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls) by Maggie Stiefvater - $2.99
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman - $1.99
Wake (A Watersong Novel) by Amanda Hocking - $2.99
Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries) by Courtney Cole - $3.99
The End of the Dating Moratorium by Stephanie Celeste Perkins - $2.99
The Prince with Amnesia by Emily Evans - $2.99

A Princess for Christmas - I saw this enough on TV this holiday season, however, all the external shots were filmed at Castelul Peles in Sinaia in Romania, which I've been to, so I just had to pick it up.
On the Second Day of Christmas - Starring Mark Ruffalo and, as if that wasn't reason enough, it was like $6.00.
Bridesmaids - Guilty Pleasure - It's like a train wreck that I can't look away from and this one is the unrated version, so it will be even more unpleasant. Still Chris O'Dowd more than makes up for it as the charming Irish police officer.

So that is it for this week.  I have a few books and some manga I am waiting on that haven't come in yet, but I will share them when I do.  Until then, I wish you all lots of good things in your mailbox!!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Swoon Thursday

So, tomorrow, Verizon is coming in the afternoon because we are switching from Cablevision back to Verizon Fios. Because we are going to lose everything we had DVR'd, I have been spending the entire evening trying to watch the movies I recorded. I watched three Hallmark Channel / Lifetime Channel Christmas movies, another movie set in the California Wine Country and a movie that was on Cable not long ago that I have wanted to get on DVD for years, Dreaming of Joseph Lees. It stars Rupert Graves as a geologist who lost his leg in a quarry accident and it is about a cousin of his who has pined after him for years. An all around feel good movie (not), but I must say, Rupert Graves is just dreamy in this movie. I have one more I probably won't get to as it is almost midnight. Anyway, after watching hours of Christmas romance, love in the country and a tale of twisted, tragic love, it is time to get my swoon on. This week's swoon comes from City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments Book 2) by Cassandra Clare.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

"She felt the brush of his lips, light at first, and her own opened automatically beneath the pressure. Almost against her will she felt herself go fluid and pliant, stretching upward to twine her arms around his neck the way a sunflower twists toward the light. His arms slid around her, his hands knotting in her hair, and the kiss stopped being gentle and became fierce, all in a single moment like tinder flaring into a blaze. Clary heard a sound like a sigh rush through the Court, all around them, a wave of noise, but it meant nothing, was lost in the rush of her blood through her veins, the dizzying sense of weightlessness in her body."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Breeders: A True Story

Breeders...It's a story about how two adorably cute infants turn deadly killer. Whether purposely or unwittingly carrying the virus, these two seemingly innocent children take down an entire dynasty across two continents. No one is safe. It is a story about biological warfare wrecking havoc on unsuspecting immune systems and I got caught in the crossfire.

Beware!!!  Look upon their faces and quake with fear!!!

The top 3 are Tai (6 mos) and the bottom 3 are Ayden (1 yr). 

So, yeah.  I've been under the weather for more than a week.  Finally feeling better now.  Both of my nephews were sick at Christmas and New Year, so they got me and their uncle sick, their grandparents and their parents.  I felt bad for my baby brother because he and my sister-in-law, Em, had to fly back to Germany with a sick baby and being sick themselves.  And they missed their connecting flight so had to hang out at the airport for extra hours.

Sorry I was not around, but I was in bed a lot.  I worked from home for the week and am ashamed (not really) to say that I didn't get out of my pajamas since last Sunday afternoon until this morning when I finally had to drive back into the office.  I just don't understand why pajamas are not considered appropriate for work.  Everything's covered up.  Maybe for Casual Friday?

Anyway, I missed my fav post, Swoon Thursday, but only because I thought Thursday was Wednesday.  It was Friday by the time I realized it.  I was heavily sedated.  Benadryll.  Say no more.  I do have a swoon or two lined up for this week, though.  I missed my Stacking the Shelves, so I will post last week's goodies this coming weekend.  And I missed It's Just Another Manga Monday, but that's not so bad as I didn't have anything ready to go.  Got to start catching up on the manga.

While in my sick bed, I reread the last half of Illusons by Aprilynne Pike.  Destined, the finale, came out in 2012 which was one of my top 5 must reads.  I needed to refresh myself, though, hence the reread.  I will not be reviewing Illusions, however, I also didn't start Destined because I picked up Book Two, City of Ashes, in the Mortal Instruments series.

OMG!!!  Started a little slow, but now I can't put it down.

I got one phrase for you...

"Ask your father, when next you see him, what blood runs in your veins, Jonathan."

I must know!!!  (Please don't tell.)  Now I'm dreaming about the book as well, course it could be the delirium set on by overdosing on Nyquil, but I think not.

GTGFN.  Jace's calling me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: What I can't wait to get my hands on now

So, I was surfing Amazon yesterday looking for new releases yesterday and I found two new books coming out I didn't know about and I just had to tell somebody!!!

The first title is Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. That's right! It is the finale in the story arc of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door!!!

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Falling in love in the world’s most romantic city is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year at the School of America in Paris, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to deal with the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

All the characters I came to love are going to be there so I just can't wait to get my hands on it!!!

Sorry, no picture available yet.

The second book was an even bigger surprise: Unbroken: A Ruined Novel by Paula Morris.

Ruined is a haunting story set in New Orleans. It came out in 2009. So, I was shocked to find out that there was a sequel almost four years later!!! I may have squeed and can't wait to get my hands on this one either!!!

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Welcome back to New Orleans.
Where the streets swirl with jazz and beauty.
Where the houses breathe with ghosts.

A year ago, Rebecca Brown escaped death in a New Orleans cemetery. Now she has returned to this haunting city. She is looking forward to seeing Anton Grey, the boy who may or may not have her heart.

But she also meets a ghost: a troubled boy who insists only she can help him. Soon Rebecca finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery from more than a century ago. But as she tries to right wrongs, she finds more questions than answers: Is she putting her friends, and herself, in danger? Can she trust this new ghost? And has she stumbled into something much bigger and more serious than she understands?

These two are going to be at the top of my pile when they do come in.  Heck, they may not even make it to my pile.  I might have to read them immediately!!!


Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Strobe Edge Vols 1 & 2 by Io Sakisaka

Burn baby burn! - Disco inferno!
Burn baby burn! Burn that mama down

Sorry, got lost in the 70's with this week's manga selection, Strobe Edge by Io Sakisaka. What does that mean anyway, "Burn that mama down"? Sadly, this title was very misleading as it has nothing whatsoever to do with disco or even roller skating which is what I associate strobe lights with.

This series so far doesn't have anything to do with lighting at all, strobe or any other kind. I scratch my head. Sometimes I wonder where they get the titles from.

Confusion related to the misnaming of the series aside, I was pretty excited to get a new series from Viz which now seems to be the premier manga publisher with Yen Press, Kodansha, Seven Seas, Dark Horse and DMP hanging on by a thread. For me, I find the best shojo comes from Viz and this series is not disappointing so far, but let me fill you in.

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites. Currently Alison is running through and reviewing one of my favorite mangas, Skip Beat, so check it out.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release Date: January 1, 2013 | Series: Strobe Edge (Book 2)
Being in love can light up your life… A sweet love story that will warm your heart!
What is love, anyway? Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wonders what this mysterious feeling really is. When she meets Ren Ichinose, the handsome, enigmatic guy that all the girls worship, her life takes an unexpected turn. With just a few words and a smile, he changes her world...

Once Ninako realizes that she’s fallen for Ren, she confesses her feelings to him even though she knows he has a girlfriend! Meanwhile, a new semester brings an outgoing guy called Ando into Ninako’s life—is Ando just an outrageous flirt or will he turn out to be Ninako’s savior?

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.

My Review:
In the words of the manga regarding volume 1: "I wrote Strobe Edge because I wanted to craft a story that illuminated some specific emotions that everyone has. I wanted to draw the sensation you feel in the window of time between one event and another. In a single moment, people think about all sorts of things. We may never put them into words or write them down, but we feel the sensation of them flying through our minds. I thought that perhaps by examining that sensation and teasing it out here, readers will be able to sympathize with it."

Regarding volume 2: "I always think that the "sparkles" of every day life - those precious moments - are incredibly beautiful, so I want to capture as many of them as possible. But those fleeting moments are usually well hidden, so unless I really make sure to have my feelers out, I can miss them entirely. So it's very exciting when I do notice one! Yes!

With Strobe Edge, I'm hoping to portray those "sparkles" and share the thrill of discovering them - that moment of "Yes!" - with all of you."

I always read the authors intro, but I don't think I have ever read one that has got me thinking so much. It's interesting to me that Io Sakisaka is trying to capture a sparkle,a moment, a thought, a feeling in a moment of time.

Ninanko is vulnerable and pretty naive. She's oblivious to the opposite sex, has never shown interest in boys and seems pretty clueless. Her best friend is Daiki, who happens to be in love with her, but he won't tell her. She can't see it, but everyone else does. All her classmates think it is just a matter of time before she and Daiki become a couple, but she just says they're friends.  Her classmates won't be dissuaded in their fantasy and talk as if she and Daiki are already a couple.  Her one big flaw, though, is that she seems far too swayed by what other people say.

As an example, as volume one opens up, her mother has sent her to the sore with specific instructions on exactly what to buy. She gets caught in the shop owners snare as she eyes a juicy looking red apple.  AS she continues looking, he tells her, "These apples taste amazing!" So she buys one. When she gets home, she gets in trouble from her mother for buying something that was not on the shopping list. Her mother asked Ninako if she got a sample. Of course, she did not, she just bought the apple on hearsay and that basically sums her up. She believes everything people tell her almost as if she is afraid to have an opinion of her own or she doesn't trust it.

So, when Ninako's classmates ask her if she likes Daiki, she tells them that they went to the same middle school, they get along, he's nice and fun to be around and she doesn't dislike him. So the girls convince her that means she likes him. Surprised by this revelation, she takes them at their word and seems confused that she obviously has romantic feelings for Daiki when she didn't even know. She even goes so far as to say she wouldn't have known she was in love if they hadn't told her. Pathetic, right?

Still, there is something very real about Ninako. She is innocent and through her eyes, we get a glimpse into our own past. How we felt when we realized we liked a guy for the first time, how we felt when the idol walked the halls of the school, the one guy that we got up for every morning and couldn't wait to see, even if he never acknowledged us. That innocence is so precious and magical and is captured wonderfully here.

Daiki is handsome and a really nice guy and he is absolutely crazy for Ninako. He doesn't want to push her, though, because he doesn't feel she's ready for a relationship. But he starts to question his tactics as Ninako becomes aware of the resident pretty boy all the girls are crazy for. Can he afford not to say anything now? Or should he just go for it before it is too late and someone else snatches her up?

Ren is the resident hottie. He is in the same grade as Ninako, but in a different class. Every morning when he walks by her class, all the girls stop to watch him and then spend their remaining free time gossiping about him before class starts. Numerous girls have confessed their feelings to him and he has turned down every one. So of course, he is the center of all the gossip. Why doesn't he go out with any of them?

Ninako is taking the train home one day and she realizes that Ren is on the same train as her. He has fallen asleep and almost misses his stop. When he gets up to rush out at the stop, he catches her cell phone on his messenger bag and accidentally steps on her phone charm. He apologizes and offers to buy her a new one, but Ninako assures him it isn't necessary.

He buys one for her anyway as a replacement. After that, they keep bumping into each other, they talk and eventually become friends.  She never sees him talking to any of the other girls at school and she starts to feel hopeful, realizing she has fallen in love with Ren.

Daiki, realizing her interest in Ren has grown decides he can't wait anymore and he confesses his feelings to her. One of their classmates knowing Ninako has a crush on Ren confesses her feelings to Daiki. Ninako confesses her feelings to Ren and what about Ren? It's girl loves boy loves girl loves boy loves? Well, I'm not telling. 

And volume two intriduces yet another character in this string of unrequited love.  Ando is the new kid who went to middle school with Ren.  When he realizes Ninako likes Ren, he just can't stop teasing her and getting in her way at every opportunity.  But does he really like her? 

Volume 1 is all about Ninako's discovery of her feelings and what it really means to her to finally understand what it is to like someone and not just believing other people. Volume 2 is about keeping hope in your heart when it seems there is no hope at all. The hearts wants what the heart wants. You're head can tell you otherwise, but ultimately it is going to make very little difference.

This is sweet story of first love and I am really looking forward to the next installment which is due out March 5.

Book Review: Half-Blood: A Covenant Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

So, yeah. The Kindle. Dead again, number 3 that is. So upsetting because it died just when the Apollyon showed up. I had to wait about a week and a half. My fault because I didn't have time to call before Christmas. I called Wednesday (Boxing Day), though and had it by Friday. By Sunday I had it all sorted out again, mostly. I was so happy about it, too, because I was able to start reading Half-Blood again which I finished this weekend.

I really wasn't sure how I felt about it at first. When I looked at JLA's books, the Lux series peaked my interest more than the Covenant series, but I needed to read something while waiting for Opal to come out and am I glad I did. After I started reading it, I could tell I was going to love the series, so I downloaded everything.

This one is a story about scions of the Greek gods. I've read a few of those before, but this one definitely had an edge none of the others I've read had. So let's get into it, shall we?

Book Description (From Amazon):
Publication Date: October 18, 2011 | Series: Covenant
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

My Review:
In Daimon, the prequel, we meet Alex. She is a half-blood. Her mother is a pure descendant of the gods and her father was mortal. Half-bloods are treated like second class citizens. They are looked down upon by the pures and there are all sorts of rules in place regarding them. They can go to The Covenant to learn and train to either become a guard or a sentinel. The sentinels are the hunters. If they are not able to become one or the other, they are given an elixir that basically turns them into a walking zombie. They become servants, but like with a lobotomy. Alex had been training at the Covenant, but one night her mother takes her away and they've been on the run for three years.

Pures and half-bloods have within their blood aether which turns out to be sort of like crack for Pures, but it also turns them into the monsters the Covenant is training pures and half-bloods to fight. Once they turn, they become daimons, which I liken to vampires sucking up life force which is contained within the blood.

Alex has no idea why her mother took her away, but they have been on the run ever since. On the run from the Covenant, but also on the run from the daimons since they're not well protected. One morning, Alex wakes up to find that daimons had broken into their home and one had drained her mother dry. Alex knew there was nothing she could do for her mother and there were more than one daimon, so she did the only thing she could. She fled. She decided to run to the closest Covenant base, but her flight was cut off when daimons found her.

And that's where Half-Blood picks up. She is cornered in an abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. She fights them off as best she can, but is overpowered. The cavalry come, but not before she gets bit by a daimon, which is referred to as getting tagged. Now just getting bit once won't turn a pure and half-bloods can't be turned at all. The aether in their blood is like a snack whereas the aether in a pure's blood is more a feast.

She gets rescued and taken back to the Covenant where she finds her uncle is now the dean of the school. She wants to start up training again, but her step-father, Lucian, might have something to say about that since he is her legal guardian. He could order her back home and force her to take the elixir, which for her would be a fate worse than death. She begs to train again at the Covenant and her uncle agrees only if she can catch up over the summer and graduate with the class. Such a fete would seem impossible, but Aiden steps in to offer assistance.

Aiden is a pure and he is one of the sentinels who rescued her. He is also the pure that Alex has had a crush on forever. The only obstacle to her happiness is the breeding laws stating that pures cannot mix with half-bloods. The pures barely acknowledge the half-bloods as they are inferior. And if it does happen that a relationship starts up between a pure and a half-blood, the pure will have no consequences, but the half-blood will suffer all the consequences. Talk about someone being out of your league?

Alex is a strong-willed individual. She never gives up, she never admits to weakness, but she also never listens and basically does what she wants anyway. For instance, the terms of her training was that she would stay out of trouble and stay on the island the school was on unless Aiden was with her. So, of course in the first week she is back, she sneaks out of her dorm and goes to a party on the other island. Aiden does find out about it and trains her hard the next day. Boys are also not allowed in the girls dorm, but she lets her friend Caleb in anyway. She gets cocky a lot, has a bad attitude, has anger issues, she doesn't listen to anything anyone tells her and decides to do things her own way. All this gets her in trouble. Like her uncle, Marcus, coming to check on her. She decides to challenge him to sparring thinking he is soft and she can take him. She basically gets her butt handed to her. So while I really like her character, I found her to be so frustrating at times. It's simple. There are rules. Follow them. Listen to your seniors, pay attention, do what your told, but she's a rebel. And believe me, she gets into some serious trouble, a lot more than she ever would have bargained for and her stupidity can have dire consequences.

Aiden is so opposite Alex. Although they are similarly motivated, Aiden keeps a cool head. He is patient with Alex, but is also strict with her training. He wants her to succeed and works selflessly to get her up to speed so she can stay at the Covenant in the fall. He's mister straight lace, but so incredibly competent. He is the knight riding in to save the day and I find him to be a very likable character. I am just not sure how he doesn't lose patience with Alex, but he really seems to care.

Enter the Apollyon, Seth. The Apollyon is like the ultimate fighter for the Covenant.  He can control all five elements and has powers others can only dream of.  So why is he guarding Alex's step-father, Lucian.  He wants to know why, so he starts ollowing Alex around trying to figure it out as he is sure it has something to do with her. And why can Alex see the tattoo like markings on his exposed skin?

There are a lot of questions raised, some of which are answered. There are twists to the plot that I really didn't see coming which kept me on the edge of my seat. There are more questions raised that are left unanswered. Not to mention that there is a swoon or two that keeps the heat up.

The flow is different with this series than with the Lux series, but if you are a fan of JLA's work and have not read any of the Covenant series yet, I suggest you pick up Daimon, the prequel, and Half-Blood and get started.  Me?  I'm going to get started on Pure.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Soooo...I killed my Kindle...again. I am now on the fourth one. The first one sank into the swamp. The second one burned down and sank into the swamp. The third one burned down, fell over then sank into the swamp. But I am hoping the fourth one stays, because I am so bleeping tired of having to re-format my kindle folders and load from the archives.

For crying out loud, I have 111 books to read, 90 still archived which are public domain classics, poetry, etc, 21 books read and 131 samples I've downloaded over time to check out.
And don't get me started on the physical books, we're not talking about the physical books here.

The only reason I mention it is because I was in the middle of reading Half-blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I was at a particularly tense scene, the Apollyon first walks on the page, when I discovered my Kindle had died.

Between you and me, I'm not ruling out fowl play. The first Kindle was from my hubby. My niece, now 9, then about 6, tried to remove the Kindle from the cover and bent something. It never worked right after that. After much encouragement, I convinced him to order a new one and give me the old one as I was sure I wouldn't use it much. Turns out I was wrong.

The first Kindle was always testy and it finally locked, so the only way I could access the content was to have it plugged into the PC. I ordered a new one and we had a happy relationship until my new Kindle developed both vertical and horizontal lines. Since it was under warranty, I was able to turn it in for Kindle # 3, which I had for less than a year when it developed the same condition. I was reading it one a.m. before Christmas and later in the day it had developed lines, both vertical and horizontal. Still under warranty, I had it replaced, so now I am on Kindle # 4, but I didn't get it replaced until after Christmas.  I have resumed reading Half-Blood, which, coincidentally,  is the source of my Swoon for this week.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

"I kissed him.

At first, it wasn't much of a kiss. My lips just brushed his, and when he didn't move away, I pushed harder. Aiden seemed too stunned to do much of anything for a few seconds. But then his hands slid up my arms.

The kiss deepened, full of passion and anger. There was also frustration, so much frustration. Then Aiden pressed down, and I wasn't the one doing the kissing. His lips moved against mine, his fingers pressing into my skin. After only a few seconds he broke off the kiss and sprung away from me.

From several feet away, Aiden crouched on the balls of his feet. His heavy breathing filled the space between us. Eyes wide, they dilated until they were almost black."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book Review: A Midsummer Tights Dream By Louise Rennison

I honestly don't know how I fell upon Louise Rennison, and not fell on her in a literal sense. I loved the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, but that was only one book a year. I wanted to find something else to read and at the time, I was not so well versed in the genre of young adult books. I honestly can't remember what made me pick up Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging. A moment of lunacy or a moment of clarity? I can't really say. Is she mad? That is without doubt, but she is also brilliant. I could not put down Angus.

While Mia and Michael are one of my favorite literary couples, I cannot deny that Georgia Nicholson is without a doubt, the craziest character I have ever come across and all her friends as well.  

When I found out the first two books were turned into a movie, I couldn't wait to see it live on the screen. Sadly, it never made it over here, but a year later, it was released on DVD. Again, sadly, not over here. My brother downloaded a copy for me which I had to be satisfied with, but I was so happy when a version was released for the US.

I was really sad when I had finished reading the final book in the series and even sadder that Georgia didn't end up with the guy I thought she should really be with, but it was a really funny series none the less. When I found out Ms. Rennison was writing a new series, I was overjoyed and thus I met Tallulah Casey, Georgia's cousin from Ireland and if the first two books are any indication, she is even more of a madcap loon than Georgia is.

Book Description (from Amazon):
Release Date: June 26, 2012 | Series: Misadventures of Tallulah Casey
Performing Arts college, here I come again! Hold on to your tights!! Because I'm holding on to mine, I can tell you.

Tallulah Casey is back and ready to Irish-comedy-dance her way through another term at Dother Hall, but now that she's been officially admitted to the performing arts program, that won't cut it anymore. Especially if she's going to help raise enough money to keep the school from closing at the end of the year.

There are also some . . . distractions to worry about: The boys of Woolfe Academy are lingering about. And they are still boys, so they are still confusing.

Will Tallulah be able to test out her new snogging skills and ace her performance in this term's project, A Midsummer Night's Dream? Only time and more Irish comedy dancing will tell.

Louise Rennison returns with her trademark sidesplitting humor, sending Tallulah and her mates on another riotously spectacular (mis)adventure.

My Review:
I have to say, I love British humor and have done since back in the days when Monty Python was being aired on PBS. So, this book felt like coming home.

I love Tallulah! She is such a great character. She is confused about her sticky outy parts and doesn't know what to do about any of it or who to talk to about it. Sure, she has some mates from Dither Hall, I mean Dother Hall, but none of them are exactly experts.

For instance, she claims she has Tourette's of the legs as she is prone to break out into spontaneous Irish dancing. She is obsessed with the length of her legs and the fact that she has nobby knees, hoping to one day grow into her knees. She is waiting for normal body parts to grow and keeps measuring her chest to see if her bust size has increased.

She is at a performing arts school, but by her confession, cannot sing, dance or act, but she so desperately wants to climb the ladder of Showbiz and wear the golden slippers of applause.

Then there are the boys in her life. There is Ben, who kissed her in Book 1 who she refers to as Bat Boy. When he kissed her, she said it was like a bat flying about in her mouth. There is Charlie, who kissed her in Book 1, but then told her he had a girlfriend. There is Alex, the brother of her mate, Ruby, whose father owns the Blind Pig Pub. Alex is her dream guy who she refers to as Alex the Good, but he is also away at college. so she doesn't really get to see him. And then there's Cain, the resident bad boy who seems to be a player and always seems to have a way of showing up at the worst of times when Tallulah is acting less than normal.

She is confused about her body, confused about boys and what they want as well as how to interact with them on a romantic level. It is amusing to follow along as she and her Tree Sister friends stumble their way through adolescence, love and relationships with a bit of Irish dancing thrown in the mix.

Her sole source of wisdom and expertise is her cousin Georgia and Georgia's mates and if any of you have read the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series, only hilarity can ensue.

If you're looking for a lighthearted laugh, I would highly recommend these books. Book 1 in the series is Withering Tights and they are well worth the time to read. They'll have you "laughing like a loon on loon tablets"!

Warning: Contents include snogging and lots of talk about snogging. I wouldn't recommend for the very young.