Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow Friday & In My Mailbox

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers - Steph Likes Books & Teen Fiction Centre
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. LINKY TOOLS IS BACK! I paid for the subscription - finally so now you can add the links to your own post!!! To add the code to your own post click on GET THE CODE here under the list of names.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?

I definitely read more for pleasure than I did then for two reasons mainly. The first is the fact that I have more time! I work in an office where I can read as long as I get my work done, and I don't have homework when I get home (just chores). The second is I have more access to books, let me explain . . I grew up in a tiny town nearly 100 miles from the next nearest and we had a very small library. I had read pretty much every book they had in my age range (and then some) but now I live on the east coast where I have probably 5 book stores and 3 libraries within 10 minutes of my house.


In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren that I have decided to participate in.

How IMM works:
Make your own IMM post! You can post about books you've bought, gotten from the library, received for review... books don't have to arrive via your mailbox.
I post every week, but you don’t have to. You can do one week out of the month or every other week it’s up to you.
You don't have to call your post In My Mailbox... (some people don't even have mailboxes!)
I post my IMM on Sunday, but choose a day of the week that works for you.
Once you have your IMM posted, come back to The Story Siren on Sunday and add your link to the list.
Try to post a comment on other bloggers IMM posts. I don’t expect you to post a comment on every single one, but pick a few!

All book bloggers are welcome, while I’d like to keep the theme to YA literature it’s NOT a requirement.

There is no right or wrong way to do In My Mailbox, you can vlog, you can take fun picture, you can use the books cover art, it’s up to you!

Most importantly HAVE FUN!

So I was very bad this week, a day off without the hubby leads to book buying.

Synopsis: "When Addy is swept back in time, she couldn't be happier to leave her miser-able life behind. Now she's mistaken for Lady Matilda, the pampered ward of the king. If Addy can play her part, she'll have glorious gowns, jewels, and something she's always longed for—the respect and admiration of others. But then she meets Will, the falconer's son with sky blue eyes, who unsettles all her plans.
From shipwrecks to castle dungeons, from betrothals to hidden conspiracies, Addy finds herself in a world where she's not the only one with a dangerous secret. When she discovers the truth, Addy must take matters into her own hands. The stakes? Her chance at true love . . . and the life she's meant to live."

Synopsis: "strange imprisonment
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.
When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, "Cannot a Beast be tamed?"
Robin McKinley's beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty and the Beast"

Synopsis: "He is a prince and heir to a kingdom threatened on all sides, possessor of the forbidden animal magic.
She is a princess from a rival kingdom, the daughter her father never wanted, isolated from all except her hound.
In this lush and beautifully written fairy-tale romance, a prince, a princess, and two kingdoms are joined in the aftermath of a war. Proud, stubborn, and bound to marry for duty, George and Beatrice will steal your heart—but will they fall in love?"

Synopsis: "In a world struggling back from the brink of apocalypse, life is harsh. And for Elspeth Gordie, it is also dangerous. That's because Elspeth has a secret: she is a Misfit, born with mysterious mental abilities that she must keep hidden under threat of death. And her worries only multiply when she is exiled to the mountain compound known as Obernewtyn, where—for all her talents—Elspeth may finally and truly be out of her depth. Then she learns she’s not the only one concealing secrets at Obernewtyn"
Synopsis: "In a quiet fishing village seventeen years ago, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from -- or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.
Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.
But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom -- a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl's past threaten to tear them apart...forever."

Synopsis: "In this rousing sequel to Nobody’s Princess, young Helen of Sparta is not about to be left behind when her older brothers head off to join the quest for the Golden Fleece. Accompanied by her friend Milo, and disguised as a boy herself, Helen sets out to join the crew of heroes aboard the massive ship known as The Argo.

Helen quickly faces all sorts of danger. There are battles to be fought, as well as an encounter with a terrifying murderous princess. With her beauty blossoming, Helen’s journey takes her beyond the mythology of the Golden Fleece to Athens, where her very future as Queen of Sparta is threatened."

Synopsis: "In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!"

Synopsis: "The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years -- until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore's loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.
Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.
On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess's bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny."

Synopsis: "Lady Cassandra St. Ives had sworn off marriage ever since becoming a happy widow, but lately her affections have been engaged by a mysterious, long distance correspondent. Cassandra has shared her soul with her far-off admirer, and whe he invites her to visit his home she accepts the invitation gladly. Expecting a kindly of gentleman, Cassandra is stunned to find that Count Basilio Montevarchi is a virile man in his prime who knows her heart's most intimate desires--and is only too willng to fulfill every one...
The moment Basilio sets eyes on the vibrant beauty he recognizes a soul mate he will never be able to claim as his own. A long-standing betrothal--and the honor of his family--dictate that Basilio must deny himself Cassandra's love. Still they cannot deny the force of their passion until the confines of responsibility finally force them apart. Now Basilio must find a way to keep his heart's desire--before he loses her forever. "
Synopsis: "During China's infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding. Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for defense, she enlistsreluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior. Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li's innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her--which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted."
Synopsis: "Firethorn is a slave. Her master, Sire Galan, in a certain way, cares for this remarkable woman who's required to do his bidding. Firethorn has healing powers and a preternatural imagination, and when she is struck by lightning, her powers only increase, despite the disfiguring damage done to her face. Her injury never dampens her spirits, however, and Firethorn persists in obstinately disobeying her owner and then her captor, when she is kidnapped by Galan's enemy. This eloquently penned story of strength and perseverance is the second book Sarah Micklem has published featuring this brave heroine.
Firethorn, a healer, precognitive dreamer and slave, is struck by lightning while on a voyage to join her master. Sire Galan still desires her, but her rebellious acts strain their relationship. Then Galan's adversary, King Arkhyios Corvus, takes Firethorn captive, and her further travails lead her to truly understand the gift of "inward fire."

I know, I know, that was very bad of me and I really must not buy any more books because my TBR pile is teetering dangerously!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Adding Sand to Hours and Words to Minutes

So I have received multiple comments on the amount of books and time I spend reading. I am beginning to think I definitely spend an unusual amount of time reading.  I recently came across a report online from the US Department of Labor stating survey results from 2010.  It states the average person spends:
"Time spent reading for personal interest and playing games or using a
     computer for leisure varied greatly by age. Individuals age 75 and over
     averaged 1.1 hours of reading per weekend day and 18 minutes playing
     games or using a computer for leisure. Conversely, individuals ages 15
     to 19 read for an average of 6 minutes per weekend day while spending
     1.1 hours playing games or using a computer for leisure."

Really? Only 1.1 hours each WeekEND Day reading for those 75 or older and 6 minutes for teens?! I didn't see anywhere in the survey it mentioning ages between.

Another fantastic article I found compares the amount and time spent reading between 2002 and past years. It is truly amazing how much less time people spend reading now than they use to, if you read this article it almost seems as though reading is a dying leisure activity. 

I guess I do spend a lot more time than the average person reading! Due to my work environment and the use of Nook for PC I can spend anywhere between 2 and 6 sometimes 8 hours reading each and every day! I tend not to read as much during the weekend because it is the only time I see my husband, but I think I more than make up for it during the week ;)

If only I could add more sand to my hours!

So how about you? How much time do you spend reading each day or week?

Review of Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Synopsis: "Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it's the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s, this is one romantic adventure you ll never forget!"

My Review: This one really caught me off guard. Whenever I get a little homesick I try to pick up a western book (usually romance and preferably based in my home state of Wyoming), so I was very excited to read this one. Little did I know that religion book. It was still a great historical western romance but it pushed the mormon religion hard, in fact it was so relevant in the story it really became a character all its own. Once you got use to that it was a great story. The characters were well developed and you really become attached to each of them. I loved the story line and the banter between the MCs. Carla Kelly takes you on quite a roller coaster of emotions and really seemed to understand the hardships of the time period and the area the story takes place.

My Rating: Like I said this one really caught me off guard, not exactly what I was looking for at the time. I think a little more of a warning as to what the book consisted of would have been good. Unfortunately the pushing of  the unexpected element brought the book down a little but the great setting and characters helped me through the book.  I give Borrowed Light Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

But please take into mind if you want to read this book that the Latter Day Saints/Mormon religion is very very prevalent in this book.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Write it down on Wednesday

So I thought I would make Wednesday my official writing update day. I have so many story projects going on and I need a push to get some done. So I will be trying to post each Wednesday about how my writing adventures are going (and I may need a swift kick in the pants by you guys sometimes).

Current Active Project:

Princess Bs - 9,073 words
A story about a woman, recently divorced and returned to her home town to figure out what is next. She encounters an old friend and spends a weekend with him and his daughters. Feelings that are long since buried are rising up again, but are her recent loss and his current life going to stand in the way of their happily ever after?

Other Works in Progress:

Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 12,072 words
Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

The Last Mountains - 15,352
A equine shapeshifting family is being hunted to near extinction and the young new leader must go against all her lessons and approach the elite council for aide. Will they help her? How will she keep her family's traditions and values alive, let alone her herd?

Night Rider - 17,229
 Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

Other Ideas Plotting:

The New Old Home
A lottery won and what is decided to do with the money.

Bloodsoar's Story
A pegasus struggles through life, ejected from the herd, near capture by humans.

The Assassin's Assassin
A student learns what the school is really teaching and sets out to destroy those who support the program.

So what do you guys think? Too many projects going?! Any particular one catch your interest?

I will leave you with a couple of teaser lines from Princess Bs:
When there was one cookie left, Bella claimed that Beth had more than she so she should get the last cookie. This of course sparked Beth into saying that she was the oldest so she should get the cookie. Before Tyson could jump in to stop the fight, Bonnie’s calm almost quite voice cut through the argument “Princesses should never fight with one another, especially when there is a guest visiting.” Reminded of their lessons that morning both girls dropped their heads and apologized to each other. 

Review of Tears of a Vampire Prince: The First Krystine by Christine E. Schulze

Synopsis from Goodreads: "This short but powerful novella chronicles the early life of Aaryn, who, in mourning after the recent death of his wife, Chrystine, reflects upon the girl whose name and healing nature made him fall in love with that wife at their first meeting—the other Krystine, his first love, a lovely, innocent, child-like Veela. In remembering her, he recounts his early ventures—how he became the very first vampire; how he protected Krystine from the lusts of the Princes of Night and struggled to protect her from himself; how he was forcibly drug into a mission in search for the One who could overthrow the evil of the Enchantress who created him—and how all these tales and misadventures weave together to tell the story of a love so beautiful and yet sorrowful, brimming with both hope and hopelessness. A tale of mystery, adventure, and passion, Aaryn's story echoes the unbreakable love and eternal bond between two immortals. Truly, this is the saddest vampire tale ever told."

My Review: I was looking forward to reading this one after Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress because I was so in love with Aaryn. I did enjoy this one even though it is a heart breaking story. I feel as though it could have been a full length novel and I may have enjoyed it more. I was a little confused throughout the book with the jumps in timelines and memories. I was most confused when we jumped from Aaryn's memory to Krystine's memory that she gave Aaryn, I wasn't sure who the new characters were or how we met them. Unfortunately, I also didn't connect as much with the first Krystine. But once we were past that the book flowed right along to heartbreak. You can't help but feel for the anguish that Aaryn has been through and how the brutal loss of both Krystine & Chrystine would break such an amazingly strong man/vampire. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series and learn more about some of the events only briefly mentioned in this book. I just pray that poor Aaryn's suffering ends soon.        

My Rating: Unfortunately it didn't suck me in quite as much as the first book did and I was left a little confused at times, but I still enjoyed the book very much. It is good to see the suffering of a vampire because too many books make it out to be all shiny and sparkly but I am sure it is full of suffering like Aaryn's life has been.  So I give it a rating of Three Paws. I definitely suggest reading Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress before reading Tears of a Vampire Prince.

Also I found that Christine E. Schulze and both books, Golden Healer, Dark Enchantress and Tears of a Vampire Prince are going on a blog tour, hosted by The Bookish Snob Tours blog, that will involve exerpts from the books and even giveaways. I suggest you all stop by and check it out  . . Blog Tour

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Its Not Monday (again) but I am still Reading!

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

I decided to join in this meme for my sanity and your own to keep track of what books have bookmarks in them!

What I Read Last Week:

Links will take you to my review

Fire by Kristen Cashore
A Girl by Ezra Pound
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Flutterby by Stephen Cosgrove
Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
Exile by Anne Osterlund
Currently Reading:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - PB - on Page 19 of 331
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke - PB - on page 6 of 348
Tears of a Vampire Prince by Christine E. Schulze - Nook - on Page 38 of 51
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin - on my Nook, page 20 of 1439
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - PB - on page 23 of 269
Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly - PB - on page 37 of 416

Next Books to be Read:
Little Mouse on the Prairie by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
 The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo - Middle Reader/ 2011 Challenge
Sabriel by Garth Nix - YA/ 2011 Challenge
O Captain My Captain by Walt Whitman - Poetry/ 2011 Challenge
Nobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner - Young Adult
Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze - Young Adult
I apologize for the sudden influx of posts, I had ever intention of spreading out the posts over Sunday and Monday but got distracted by finally watching the Harry Potter Movies.
In other news we are into another month of Nanowrimo, and I have begun working on the Princess Bs and am about 9,000 words in (so I am relatively close to on top of it). Maybe at some point I will sit down and finish all these stories I have started!

Review of Exile by Anne Osterlund

Synopsis From Goodreads: "Crown princess Aurelia is a survivor. She survived attempted assassination. She survived the king's rejection. She survived her mother's abandonment. And now, in exile, she must survive her kingdom-from hostile crowds to raw frontier to desert sands. But even as unknown assailants track Aurelia and expedition guide Robert, she knows her greatest risk is falling in love..."

My Review: This is a sequel to a book I read earlier this year, I was expecting a wonderful resolution, but did not get one. It definitely seems there will be another book coming! Anne Osterlund continues to surprise me by not sticking to the common princess plot lines. There were a couple of chapters that got a little confusing and seemed to be moving too quickly, but that could have been the way it was written because the characters were in a time of emotional meltdown, so maybe Anne Osterlund wanted you to experience the confusion with Aurelia and Robert. Once we got past those couple of chapters the story line moved along great, sucked me back into their world. I still find it difficult to mesh a princess/kingdom type world in with a frontier world (to me they belong in two separate time periods and even continents) but I am getting there. Aurelia is such a strong character, but I enjoyed seeing some of her weaker points, and Robert is an amazing young man. I hope to encounter more of the Valshone in the next books, it seemed like an interesting culture with some great characters! Ahhhh the wait is going to kill me!

My Rating: While I really enjoyed the story line and the characters those couple of early chapters really threw me for a loop and it took a lot to get back into the book, so it didn't suck me in as much or as quickly as I had hoped.  So I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Poetry Pause: Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

I am working in the poetry section of my own 2011 Reading Challenge. I had planned on posting the poems for you to join me in reflecting on them; however, I am not entirely certain on the copyright laws regarding some of the poets we will read. So to be on the safe side I decided to try to link you to the poem I will be reading.

Another option, if you are looking to purchase a book of poetry, I suggest Half Hours with the Best Poets (Barnes & Noble or Amazon)

This is a fantastic collection of poems, nearly all of my top poems are in this one book!

So the next poem is


The title is a link to the poem
This one made me giggle a little, it really reminded me of Dr. Seuss (actually a cross between Dr. Suess and Beowulf)! I love the way this one tells a little story and when read aloud the words just kind of roll with a great rhythm.  Now I am not a fan of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland (or any of her adventures really) but taken out of context with the book it was a part of it is an exciting adventure.