Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Reads

February seemed to come and go quickly. To tell you the truth, I felt rushed with my reading list and there are still about seven books on my TBR list that I haven't had time to read yet. That's just the way it is. 

Here are the books I did read this month. Check out my reviews if you want to know more about how I rated them.

Weariland by Mary Shotwell
Gilded Cage by Vic James

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
The Prince by Kiera Cass 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Mass
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick 

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase by Greg Cox
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Ensnared by Rita Stradling
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

The Selection by Kiera Cass




Monday, February 27, 2017

#WeeklyMenu Week 186

It has been a long week. Each kid got sick in turn. This always happens. They never get sick at the same time. My youngest, poor guy, got strep on top of it all. He was down the longest. 

Of course, Cabin fever set in about day three. I was going crazy. Didn't want to write, didn't want to idly sit and watch a movie, and certainly didn't want to clean my house. Not that there was much left to clean after three days of being home. I can't wait to get back to work!

In writing news: Its been three weeks since I sent off my manuscript to my publisher. I hate the waiting game, but its the nature of the beast. 

I'm also a good 10k words into a new series. This one is going to be a scifi dystopian. Lots of excitement and fights against aliens.

Enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday

Tuesday
- Ranch Oven Fried Chicken and Potatoes

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Tuna Sandwiches

#BookReview - Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Title: Ensnared 
By: Rita Stradling
Genre: Scifi / Fantasy
Release Date: December 18th, 2017
Publisher:

Summary from Goodreads: A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast 

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake. 

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see. 

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.



Review: Rita Stradling has done an amazing job at this futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There is so much depth in the characters and the love scenes aren't overwhelming like a lot of books portray. Toward the end, I was on the edge of my seat, unable to figure out how the characters were going to get out of their situation. That's always a good book when I can't guess what was going to happen before it happens. Four stars for Ensnared!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

State of Allegiance by Summer Lane #BlogTour @SummerEllenLane @XpressoReads


State of Allegiance
Summer Lane
(Collapse #9)
Publication date: February 24th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult
Be brave. Be vigilant. But above all, be loyal.
In the wake of a dangerous but successful mission to Yukon City in Alaska, Cassidy Hart now finds herself back in California, at the naval air station in San Diego. Together, she and Chris now face their most terrifying threat yet: nuclear destruction.
Surviving in a world gone nuclear is easier said than done. Faced with the prospect of being wiped off the face of the earth by Omega’s nuclear arsenal, Cassidy, Chris and their fellow rebel friends stage an incredible, daring journey into the Pacific Rim with the hope that they will be able to seize a weapon that could turn the tide of the war in the militia’s favor.
The clock of the apocalypse is counting down.
Choices must be made. Relationships will be strained. True love will be put to the ultimate test.
It’s militias versus Omega. Hope versus destruction.
Where does your allegiance lie?
Choose carefully.

Interview with Author Summer Lane
How does it feel to publish the 9th installment of the Collapse Series – and your 16th overall?
It feels unreal! When I was a kid, I always pictured myself as an author, sharing my stories with readers, but I admit I didn’t really think that would materialize until I was much older than I am right now. I’ve been really blessed – and I’ve worked really hard!
What’s a typical day in your life like?
I do manage a business, so while I do a lot more than simply write manuscripts, writing certainly is the base of everything that I engage in. I just got a German Shepherd puppy named Kona, and she gets me up early in the morning (earlier than usual, haha!), and I’ll start work then. If I have a good day, I’ll be done with work around 2:30 or 3. If it’s a long day, I’ll be working until 6.
What is State of Hope going to be like – and is it the last book in the series?
State of Hope is going to be long, intense and flushed with adrenaline. There are so many secrets to be revealed, so many character plots to be tied up neatly, and most importantly: Cassidy’s conclusion in this apocalyptic war. While Hope is indeed the final installment in the Collapse Series, it is not the last book in the Collapse universe. I certainly do have some plans for Cassidy in the future – they may not be as huge as Collapse, but trust me: I have plans.
How do you stay motivated and healthy in your career as a writer?
I stay motivated by keeping my eye on the prize: I remove negativity from my life, because nobody needs that. I try to surround myself with people who really care about me and support what I do. Staying healthy, for me, at least, is actually really difficult. My profession requires a lot of sitting, so I have to make an extra effort to get up, walk and move. It’s also tempting to snack on junk food working in an office (am I right?). I try hard to indulge only with healthy snacks: I have celery sticks and apples in the fridge, I like cheese, and any gluten-free cracker in combination. I also just discovered baked parmesan crisps. Oh, my heart!
Advice to aspiring authors?
Don’t let anybody bring you down. Never take no as a final answer. Work hard, and it will pay off, one way or another.


Author Bio:
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of the Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Collapse: The Illustrated Guide and the adventure thriller, Unbreakable SEAL.
Summer owns WB Publishing. She is an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher. She also owns an online magazine, Writing Belle, where she has interviewed and worked with countless authors from around the globe.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, where she enjoys reading, collecting tea, visiting the beach and the mountains, and counting down the days until she has her very own puppy (if you’ve read Bravo: Apocalypse Mission, you’ll understand).

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Piper's Price by Audrey Greathouse #BlogTour @missaudreyjoy @XpressoReads


The Piper’s Price
Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #2)
Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult
Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.
Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.
The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.
EXCERPT:
They found the forest’s hiking trail moments before breaking the tree line. “Where are we going, Peter?” He was heading toward a mobile home community next to the state park.
He continued to walk with confidence. His usual cocky stride looked surprisingly like the swagger of an ordinary teenage boy. “My friend lives here. Don’t worry. Don’t look like such a stranger here.”
She didn’t want to appear conspicuous, but Gwen was too baffled to help it. The unkempt lawns were boxed in by chain-link fences covered in varying degrees of rust. They passed a lawn littered with bicycles; on the other side of the gravel street, two different cars were parked on the lawn, clearly non-functional. Satellite dishes were on every trailer home. Despite all being painted differently, the track housing still managed to present a uniformity of depressing color.
Multiple houses had motorcycles out front or a dog milling around their yard. When she and Peter passed a pack of Rottweilers, the dogs ran up to the fence and began snarling until all the other dogs in the neighborhood were barking too. “Ignore it,” Peter advised her.
She was scared. This was not the sort of place she ever expected to visit with Peter. She didn’t trust his ability to protect her here. This wasn’t his world, but it wasn’t hers either. They were both out of their element. Peter just didn’t have the sense to realize it.
Winding down the gravel road, Gwen matched Peter’s pace almost step for step. They approached a blue-and-grey house. Like the others, it had wooden latticework around the bottom to help obscure the fact it didn’t have a foundation in the ground. The square house reminded Gwen of how she would take shoeboxes and try to turn them into homes for her dolls by decorating them. It was hard to fathom that she was walking up the plastic steps of the porch to knock on the door.
She waited, feeling her heartbeat in her throat, her toes, and everywhere besides her chest. Even the predictable noise of the door opening startled her.
A woman with a long, black braid and beige cardigan stood in the doorway. Gwen looked up at her, and then watched as the sharp features of her dark face dissolved into unadulterated shock.
“Peter?”
The startled woman ushered them in. She was just as uncomfortable with their presence in the trailer park as Gwen. Once inside, they stood in a living room full of old furniture, facing a kitchen with old electric appliances. There was no unity or romance to the orange recliner, chipped mixing bowl, off-white blender, dull toaster, and sunken couch. It was a bunch of old stuff that looked like it represented several decades of objects abandoned at Goodwill. The chingadera and bric-a-brac wasn’t any more cohesive: porcelain angles, an antique pot, a vase full of bird feathers, and a stopped clock made the place confusing and strange in the same way her grandmother’s house had been.
“What are you doing here?” she hissed, pulling her cardigan close and tossing her thick braid over her shoulder and out of her way. She had a shapeless housedress underneath the beige sweater, and a pair of black leggings insulating her legs as she stomped around, heavy-footed in her leather slippers. She looked comfortable, except for the unexpected guests who were putting her so ill at ease. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“I need your help,” Peter said.
“They’re still keeping tabs on me.”
“That’s why I came in disguise.”
“You’re being irresponsible. You’re jeopardizing us both, and Neverland to boot.”
“I took all the right precautions. This is important.” Hollyhock and Foxglove wrestled their way out of the pixie purse and came twinkling out now that they knew they were safely inside.
“You brought fairies here?” she exclaimed. She leaned down and grabbed a hold of his arm, forcing him to look her dead in her dark eyes. Gwen wanted to leave. This wasn’t a friend, not anymore. This was a grown-up, and unlike Antoine the aviator, she was not amused with Peter’s wartime antics.
“What happens if they figure it out and come to question me?”
Peter scoffed. “You won’t tell them.”
“What if they threaten to arrest me? They could put me away forever until I told them what they needed to know, and nobody here would stop them.”
Peter broke free of her hold with ease; she wasn’t actually trying to restrain him. “Preposterous,” he declared. “If they did that, you would sit, stone-faced and silent in your cell until they all died.”
“What if they beat me?”
“You’d take the blows as though you were made of rock, and you would not speak.” Peter seemed to disregard the question.
“What if they tortured me and stuck blades under my nails?” she demanded.
“Then you would not even scream, but stay silent as a stone!” Peter insisted, hopping up onto a wooden kitchen chair at her dining table, looking down at the woman.
“What if they bring knives and cut off my fingers, one at a time, until I told them how to find you?”
Peter yelled right back, “Then you would steal their knives and scalp them all like the redskin princess you are!”
Her anger slunk off her face and out of her shoulders. She shook her head, frowning as a sad laugh escaped her. She clung to her sweater, blinking back tears, until, at last, she flung her arms around Peter. Still on the chair, he had to bend down to return the embrace.
“Oh, Peter,” she muttered, unaware of the tears slipping off her smiling face. “Oh, Peter.”
“It’s good to see you, Tiger Lily.”


Author Bio:
Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Legacy of the Mind by HR Moore #BlogTour @hr_moore @YABoundToursPR


Legacy of the Mind
by H.R. Moore
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: January 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.

Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.

Add to Goodreads


Music Playlist
Ellie Goulding – Explosions
Katy Perry – Wide Awake
Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss me
Owl City – Fireflies
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Young Blood
Sara Bareilles – Brave 
MS MR - Hurricane
Paolo Nutini – Last Request
Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’
Lorde – Royals
Anna Nalick – Breathe (2AM)
Kygo, Conrad Sewell – Firestone
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
Taylor Swift – Wildest Dreams


About the Author
Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don't understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.

Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she'd never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.

At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.

After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the 'people' elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think). She worked as a Project Manager on large change programmes before founding her own consultancy in 2015.

Harriet now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and daughter Atia. When she isn't, writing, editing, eating, running around after her toddler, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY:

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

#Review - Weariland by Mary Shotwell @MaryEShotwell @YABoundToursPR


Weariland
by Mary Shotwell
Genre: YA
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Merge Publishing

Summary:

For fifteen-year-old Lason Davies, it all started with a text.

“HIDING PLACE.”

The last words of her murdered grandmother haunt Lason as she travels to England with her sheltering mother for the funeral. The crime is a sensation, but the clamoring reporters and news photographers aren’t the only ones interested in their arrival.

As her mother’s behavior borders on erratic (on a good day), Lason encounters a stranger from Weariland, a dreary world once known as Wonderland. He petitions Lason’s help in finding a secret family heirloom, a key to saving his land—and to Lason’s past. Lason is swept in an adventure through Weariland’s unpredictable realm, encountering colorful, fantastical characters and discovering her family’s elusive history. But if she isn’t careful, she may never return…





Review: I found this book to be a quick read. I was really intrigued by the story line of Alice in Wonderland re-imagined. The book follows Alice's granddaughter and her adventures in "Wonderland" now known as "Weariland." The characters were good. I absolutely loved White the rabbit. I found though, that with the short length of the book, there was room for a lot more world building and back story. I wanted to envision more of Weariland, to be sucked into the story more. There were a few other story issues that I had, but I feel like they are more personal interest than actual plot holes so I'm going to leave them out of my review.

I'm really glad that I read this wonderful story by Mary Shotwell. She has taken a childhood favorite and turned it into something m adult mind could wrap around. Three stars for Weariland.



Add to Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  

Book Trailer:
 
About the Author
Mary grew up in northeast Ohio, so it was only natural for her to pursue a degree in marine biology. After studying dolphin behavior and estimating great white shark populations, she earned her Ph.D. in Biostatistics in Charleston, South Carolina. It was there, during the arduous dissertation process, where she had the idea to write a book.

With Alice and the crazy characters from Wonderland staring her down from her bedroom poster, Mary envisioned what that fantasy realm would look like in current day. Creative writing served as a natural escape from technical writing, wedding planning, pregnancy, and job hunting.

Mary is excited to debut Weariland (Merge Publishing, 2016), a novel introducing Lason Davies, a teenager who learns about her family's past in a world once called Wonderland. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and three children.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook


Blog Tour Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

#Yalit #Giveaway

YALit Giveaway Event!
A bunch of authors who got together to bring you a YOUNG ADULT Big Box of Paperbacks Giveaway! One lucky winner is going to win FIFTY (50) Young Adult Paperback Books! How’s that for an epic Book-Lover’s Prize?!
THIS BOX OF BOOKS IS VALUED AT OVER $500! And this giveaway is open worldwide! Our first giveaway went to a winner in ROMANIA–and yes, we’re willing to pay the insane shipping on this oversized, overweight package to get the prize to WHOEVER wins!
Here's a sneak peek from a couple of the sponsors:
Adrenaline Rush by Cindy M. Hogan
As I hurtled toward my destination at 500 miles an hour, I pulled out a notebook, placed it on the shiny mahogany table in front of me, and scribbled a quick to-do list. Pick out an outfit. Get folders and notebooks. Switch into fourth period drama. I chewed on the end of my pen. Oh yeah—just one more thing. Get kidnapped.
According to my pre-mission briefing, kidnappings were up in the States by five percent over the last five years. The significance of which didn’t hit me until I found that the statistics for kidnappings had remained static for a good thirty years. The spike caught the attention of the FBI, and they put their best men on it. The problem? Right when they thought they’d discovered the pattern of the kidnappers, it seemed to change.
We hit some turbulence, and the force of it pulled me out of my reverie. I sucked in a deep breath, my hands resting on the soft leather side arms of my big comfortable seat as the Gulfstream jet jumped. I let the rollercoaster feeling wash over me like a wave, forcing myself to enjoy every last tingle. I only had this flight and a few hours tonight to assume my new thrill-seeking alias—the one that would lure the kidnappers and save the day before the pattern changed again. I might as well make the most of it.
 
Chosen Wolf (Curse of the Moon #2) Excerpt
The full moon inched higher in the night sky, growing bigger and brighter by the moment. One by one, the members of the pack ran behind the Moonhaven mansion to remove their clothes before they tore to shreds as their bodies turned from men to wolves. Howls sounded in the distance.
Toby squeezed my hand, holding my gaze. “Maybe this will be the month you can finally shift again, Victoria.”
Sharp pains ran through my body. My right hip cracked. I bit my tongue, trying not to cry out in pain. My skin felt on fire as fur tried to poke through, but couldn’t.
His face tensed, a pained look in his eyes. “Are you shifting?”
I shook my head. There was nothing normal about this, and it was proving to be more difficult and painful than my other months of un-shifts. Each one grew worse than the last.
Toby scooped me up, carried me inside, and helped me onto my bed. “I can’t keep my wolf inside any longer. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay.” I fought to keep my voice steady. Tears threatened.
He brushed hair from my face and kissed my forehead. “Ziamara’s upstairs sleeping. She said to wake her if you need anything.”
“I’ll be fine.” I grimaced, the pain nearly choking me.
Toby cried out and the sound of ripping fabric tore through the room. He spun around and dashed out the door. The back of his shirt had ripped, and fur poked through the split material.
I gripped a pillow, squeezing it as hard as I could to distract myself from the pain. It didn’t work, and the pillow exploded, filling the air with white feathers.
A loud pop sounded and then a horrific pain shot through my shoulders. I slumped down and screamed, unable to take the pain.
 


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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Moribund by Genevieve Iseult Eldridge #BlogTour @GirlyEngine @Xpressoreads


Moribund
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(Circuit Fae, #1)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
High school sophomore Syl Skye is an ordinary girl. At least, she’s trying to be. School photographer and all-around geek, she introverts hard and keeps her crush on sexy-hot glam-Goth star Euphoria on the down-low. But when a freak accident Awakens her slumbering power, Syl is forced to accept a destiny she never wanted—as the last sleeper-princess of the fair Fae.
Suddenly hunted by the dark Fae, Syl’s pretty sure things can’t get any worse. Until she discovers her secret crush, Euphoria, is really a dark Circuit Fae able to harness the killing magic in technology. Even worse, she’s been sent to destroy Syl. With mean girls and magic and dark Fae trying to kill her, it’ll take more than just “clap if you believe in fairies” to save Syl’s bacon—not to mention, her heart.


Author Bio:
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge writes LGBTQ YA because as a young adult, she never had any lesbian heroes like her.
Now she brings together her love of LGBTQ literature, urban fantasy, young adult fiction, and the secret world of the Fae in her lesbian YA series, Circuit Fae--so that young adults of the LGBTQ community can have heroes that understand, that think and act, live and love like them.
GIE is also an MFA grad, a martial artist, a self-rescuing princess, and all-around strong female character. She’s multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.
GIE believes in fairies (in fact, she’s clapping right now), true love (not “to blave”), and championing the often-unheard female voice. She might be using D&D figures to plot out an epic fight scene right now.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

#WeeklyMenu Week 185

Its now been two weeks since I sent my newest manuscript off the my publisher. I probably only have like ten more weeks to go before I hear back from them...

In other news, I started another series and I'm already on chapter three. It seems to be going well. More about that later.

Enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Hold Fast by Kate Carter #BlogTour @Xpressoreads


Holdfast
Kate Carter
Publication date: December 14th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Once they’d do anything to keep her safe. Now they’ll do anything to kill her.
The discovery of a genetically twisted corpse on her latest stepfather’s ranch in the Badlands of Forsaken triggers a desperate and brutal race against time for eighteen-year-old con artist Ariel Tesla when her loving stepbrothers are turned into monstrous killers with a single purpose: to hunt Ariel down and destroy her.
Running for her life, the one person she can turn to for help is the last person in the galaxy she can trust, former mark Hale Carrow. She needs a ship to get off the planet, fast; he wants revenge on the girl who broke his heart.
To save the family she never thought she wanted, she’s going to have to gamble on the boy she betrayed, or no-one’s life will ever be the same.
And hers will be over.
EXCERPT:
The human body can only handle so much stress. Ariel knew how this went. If she stopped, she wouldn’t be able to start again. She’d crash, and then she’d be at the mercy of anyone or anything that came along. Despite the danger of stopping, she found her steps slowing. It wasn’t, however, the exhausted halt she battled with every step, nor the jagged, stumbling, end-of-the-line finish she yearned for. It was a graceful, taut arrest of movement, up on the balls of her feet, body quivering, nerves screaming.
The mech shed was in sight, a shade beyond comfortable sprinting distance, dead ahead. She was out in the open, visible from every angle. Flat land stretched around her, rising to bluffs ahead and to her left. She turned, poised and scanning, all exhaustion forgotten.
A full circle sweep. Nothing. She stared over at the bluffs and jumped with a punch of sudden shock when a group of ferrokirrim broke over the ridge and bounded down the slope, scattering scree. A mother and her almost full-grown cubs, she registered. Heading right for her.
They’d take her down in a second. She’d be dead a second after that. In half an hour, she’d be a memory. She wasn’t ready to be a memory. She wasn’t ready for any of this, damn it. She bent her knees as they thundered her way, all the while thinking, What, are you going to wrestle them? There was nothing on the planet of Forsaken fiercer than a mother looking out for her cubs. Ariel braced.
They ran past her.
They ran right past, giving her a wide berth. She felt the mother’s eyes flick over her, dismiss her, then urge her cubs on with a spine-ruffling grunt.
Ariel straightened slowly, staring after them. They were running away from something.
What in hell would scare off a mother ferrokirrim?
A rock bounced down the scree slope.
Ariel counted the strikes. Three, then silence again. She did not want to turn and see what had knocked it loose. She didn’t have a choice. She turned.

Author Bio:
Kate Carter writes science fiction and fantasy, and lives in the UK. You can stay up to date with Kate's books through her Amazon author page.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

#Review - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Title: The Underground Railroad
By: Colson Whitehead
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Doubleday Books

Summary from Goodreads: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor - engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven - but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.


Review: I think with all the hype around this book, my expectations were too high. There was a lot about this book that rubbed me the wrong way. The writing had no depth. It was all tell and no show. The story lacked substance. I felt like it could have ended halfway through and the second half was just fluff to make the book long enough. There were secondary character stories that didn't seem to do much for the story and were confusing. I wanted an amazing historical fiction and what I got was a badly written letter. I gave this book two stars.




Saturday, February 18, 2017

#Review - Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Title: Scrappy Little Nobody
By: Anna Kendrick
Genre: Non-Fiction
Release Date: November 15th, 2016
Publisher: Touchstone

Summary from Goodreads: A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch PerfectUp in the AirTwilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).
 


Review: I absolutely loved reading this book. It was so funny. Anna Kendrick talks about her life before fame, what it was like during her first award show and snippets from when she was filming Into the Woods. That was my favorite part. I gave this review five stars.


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