Something Dark and Holy | Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Title: Wicked Saints
By: Emily A. Duncan
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Summary from Goodreads: A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

Review: How could you not want to read this book after reading the synopsis above? The story has all the elements of a good story. Intrigue, adventure, magic, but the story wasn't quite what I expected. In the beginning, the main female character was strong and witty. She commanded the story line like a seasoned veteran. Toward the end of the book, we kind of lose her and she becomes just another love interest. Even with this flip flop of roles, I still loved this story. It had a wonderful vibe about the world that drew you in and kept you reading.    

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

One Thing She Still Has | The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Title: The Shadow Queen
By: C.J. Redwine
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling 
Pages: 387
Release Date: February 16th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary from Goodreads: Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Review: I have to say that I had no idea this was a Snow White retelling when I pick up this book, but I was wonderfully surprised. The magic twist and wonderful characters, really brought the story to life. I loved that the huntsman turned into a dragon and that the Snow White character wielded a really fantastic form of magic. The author really did a great job explaining how the magic works and the tole it takes on the wielder. This is usually skipped in books, but it really worked here. A great read.

Wrong About the Future | A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Title: A breath of Snow and Ashes
By: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Pages: 1439
Release Date: August 29th, 2006
Publisher: Delta

Summary from Goodreads: A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.

Review: I'm so sad... I really am obsessed with the Outlander series, but this book just plane sucked. There was absolutely no plot. 1400 pages of nothing... Nothing I tell you. I struggled through until about 45%, then I skipped forward to about 70% and that is when things really got good. I wasn't confused either, which meant that I didn't miss any real world building or story line. The last 30%of the book was interesting, but seemed to be several short stories mashed together into one book. It was horrendous. There were a few things that happened that pushed the story forward and probably meant something to the next book, but it needed to be cohesive and not just stuck at the end of a boring waist of paper. I'm sorry if you don't agree with me, but its the truth. If you need to read this book before you read the next one, skip forward to 70%. Rant concluded. 


What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #293

Its Spring Break! and its Monday. We've almost made it. The kids are doing well in school. My youngest is excelling, but he's in kindergarten and that is super easy with the help of his autistic brother coaching him. Middle guy is struggling, but mostly with his attitude. His grades are right where they should be for is grade level. My oldest is also doing well. He has been able to adapt to middle school like a champ even though his autism is giving him some troubles. I can't believe how well he is doing.

This weeks book is going to be The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. This read was voted one of the best books of 2018 on Goodreads, so I'm excited to read it. I've also been working with a friend of mine to start up our own book club Burgers & Books. I know I'm already in one book club, but who says you can only have one. Its going to be awesome and exciting.

Lets get on to this weeks menu, again from It looks delicious and I can't wait to eat it all.







Leftovers Night

Bohemian Rhapsody | Movie Review

Title: Bohemian Rhapsody
Genre: Historical Fictional Biography
Release Date: November 2nd, 2018
Rating: 8.1 out of 10 IMDB

Summary from IMDB: The story of the legendary rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).

Review: I grew up listening to Queen. I remember listening to Bohemian Rhapsody over and over again on long car rides with the parents, everyone belting out the lyrics. This bad has been infused into my system like my own blood. So, naturally, when I heard there was a movie coming out I was over the top excited. 

Now, I've heard that there isn't much historical accuracy to the story, but damn its a good story none the less. 

The music is epic. We blasted it through the surround sound with the front door open so the neighbors could share in our joy. All the wonderful songs of Queen, how could you not love this movie. 

I really hated Paul. He was such a leach. The movie made him feel like he was the down fall of Freddy, but who knows if that was the real truth. Either way, I really enjoyed this movie.

The Fight Continues | Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling

Title: Theater of Spies
By: S.M. Stirling
Genre: Historical Thriller
Pages: 400
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Ace

Summary from Goodreads: The second novel in an alternate history series where Teddy Roosevelt is president once more right before WWI breaks out, and on his side is the Black Chamber, a secret spy network watching America's back. 

After foiling a German plot to devastate America's coastal cities from Boston to Galveston, crack Black Chamber agent Luz O'Malley and budding technical genius Ciara Whelan go to California to recuperate. But their well-deserved rest is cut short by the discovery of a diabolical new weapon that could give the German Imperial Navy command of the North Sea. 

Luz and Ciara must go deep undercover and travel across a world at war, and live under false identities in Berlin itself to ferret out the project's secrets. Close on their trail is the dangerous German agent codenamed Imperial Sword, who is determined to get his revenge, and a band of assault-rifle equipped stormtroopers, led by the murderously efficient killer Ernst Röhm.  From knife-and-pistol duels on airships to the horrors of the poison-gas factories to harrowing marine battles in the North Sea, the fight continues--with a world as the prize.

Review: This would not have been a book that I would have normally picked up, but I managed to finish 90% of the book in one day, that's how much I was involved in the story. I think it was the interesting alternative history that the story portrays. You want to keep reading because you want to know what is different than reality. This is a book about spies and the thrill of chase. A wonderful story. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #292

Monday... Again... Spring break is coming up and the whole family has vacation this week. I'm excited. We might go to the beach and we might go to the mountain. Choices, choices. I love living here in the Pacific North West. We are an hour or two from whatever we want to do. Its a beautiful part of the country.

This weeks book is going to be The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. I've had this book on my list to read for a while and it was my random pick of the week. I'm excited to dive into it. Who's with me?

I've made a few adjustments to the menu this week. Normally I've been really into HelloFresh. Its an easy place for me to find some amazingly delicious recipes, but I feel like they are getting a little repetitive, so I'm switching sites to see if I like something else. Lets try Home Chef and see if they compare. Lets get cooking.








Leftovers Night

Camp Half-Blood | The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

 Title: The Lost Hero
By: Rick Riordan
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 557
Release Date: October 12th, 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books

Summary from Goodreads: Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who's gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

Review:  Another fantastic book by Rick Riordan. I always like diving into the Percy Jackson world and the half-blood Olympians. Its a unique world that never disappoints. We don't really follow Percy Jackson in this one. In fact, he's missing and a group of half-blood must save him. There were a lot of cool new characters and villains to adore and many adventures that Riordan is so well known for. Loved it and you will to.

Dangerous Little Lies | Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I had the opportunity to join a book club that a friend was hosting and it was a blast. February was the first meeting, so we spent the time discussing what we wanted to read. It was book after book and they all sounded amazing. It took a while to pick what we would spend the next few weeks reading, but we did it. It was hard, but we did it.

Of course, I already finished it, but I couldn't help myself. This would not be my normal read, but I was sucked in. Keep reading for my review...

Title: Big Little Lies
By: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Contemporaneity Mystery 
Pages: 460
Release Date: July 29th, 2014
Publisher: Berkley

Summary from Goodreads: Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Review: The books starts off with the suggestion that someone has been murdered. What a way to draw you in to a story. We bounce back to a few months before the murder and find out some info about our characters. Around chapter 6 is when stuff gets good. At the kindergarten orientation, a little girl is attacked by another child. When her over bearing bitch of a mother asks her who did it, she blames poor little Ziggy. The whole book is one big poop show, with mothers at each others throat. Petitions to get Ziggy kicked out of school, and the truth that seems to be elusive, but what does this have to do with a murder you might ask?... You are going to have to read the book, because someone gets whats coming to them. 

Loved this book. Gave it five stars and the bloggers choice award from Confessions of an ExBallerina.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #291

Monday, Monday! Here we are again and what a week it has been. We are dealing with sickness again and the weather has decided to be cold with a hint of snow. Not enough to get anyone out of work and school, but just a dusting to give you the sense of winter, but not the satisfaction of it. Its driving me nuts. 

Anyway, my husband and I were able to see Captain Marvel. We've been planning this little outing for months now. Bought our tickets in advance and booked the ever elusive baby sitter. It was nice to get out for a few hours without having to worry about the boys. The stress of all the normal everyday routines builds up after a while and makes me crazy. That's the life with autism children. 

I finished Big Little Lies in like three days, it was that good of a book. I'm not trying to finish The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan and A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabalden this week, but that might be a little more than I can chew. We shall see. 







Leftovers Night

Revenge on Everyone | The Stiehl Assassin by Terry Brooks

Title: The Stiehl Assassin
By: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 368
Release Date: May 28th, 2019
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Summary from Goodreads: After The Black Elfstone and The Skaar Invasion comes the next chapter in the Fall of Shannara, a saga more than four decades in the making.

The Skaar have arrived in the Four Lands, determined to stop at nothing less than all-out conquest. They badly need a new home, but peaceful coexistence is not a concept they have ever understood. An advance force under the command of the lovely princess Ajin has already established a foothold, but now the full Skaar army is on the march--and woe betide any who stands in its way.

But perhaps the Skaar victory is not quite as much of a foregone conclusion as they all assume. The Druid Drisker Arc has freed both himself and Paranor from their involuntary exile. Drisker's student, Tarsha Kaynin, has been reunited with Dar, chief defender of what is left of the Druid order, and is learning to control her powerful Wishsong magic. If they can only survive Tarsha's brother and the Druid who betrayed Drisker Arc, they might stand a chance of defeating the Skaar. But that is a very big Tarsha's brother now carries the Stiehl--one of the most powerful weapons in all the Four Lands, and is determined to take his revenge on everyone he feels has wronged him.

Review: Another great installment from Terry Brooks. I always love anything to do with this series and this book didn't disappoint. Brooks has painted a wonderful story where we follow Drisker on another skin tingling adventure. This was a fairly quick read and that is why I love Brooks stories so much. They aren't the long drawn out epic fantasies. Don't get me wrong, I do love the epic fantasies, but a good short fantasy is a nice read every once and a while. Read this book. You won't be disappointed. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.