Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #109

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Winterspell by Claire Legrand
September 30th 2014

The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.

Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #105 and Top Ten Tuesday #95

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Bloggers choose two
sentences out of our current read to peak others' curiosity.

Boys Like You

Boys Like You by Juliana Stone


One mistake.

And everything changes.

For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that…

Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that…

Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt – looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.

The tightness of my chest eased a bit, but it only managed to irritate me. Why was i so concerned about his girlfriend? It's not like this-us-was anything.

Top Ten is an original feature/weekly meme created here at
The Broke and the Bookish that features a great bookish top ten every week.

Top Ten books to read if you like Once Upon a Time.... One of my favorite shows 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)Cruel BeautyKill Me SoftlyStrands of Bronze and GoldMy Name is RapunzelThe Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)Of Beast and BeautySplintered (Splintered, #1)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Genre Definition and Recommendation #63

Genre Definition and Recommendation is a feature where I will define a genre and a sub-genre definition and the make some recommendations.  

Science Fiction - Definition found on Wikipedia

Science Fiction- is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible (or at least non-supernatural) content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities. 

Parallel Universe Definition found on Wikipedia 

A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical or (fictional) self-contained separate reality coexisting with one's own. A specific group of parallel universes is called a "multiverse", although this term can also be used to describe the possible parallel universes that constitute reality. While the terms "parallel universe" and "alternative reality" are generally synonymous and can be used interchangeably in most cases, there is sometimes an additional connotation implied with the term "alternative reality" that implies that the reality is a variant of our own. The term "parallel universe" is more general, without any connotations implying a relationship, or lack of relationship, with our own universe. A universe where the very laws of nature are different – for example, one in which there are no Laws of Motion – would in general count as a parallel universe but not an alternative reality. The correct quantum mechanical definition of parallel universes is "universes that are separated from each other by a single quantum event."

My Recommendations: 

3:593:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Josie Byrne's life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she's betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can't get worse.
Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.
Jo's life is everything Josie wants: she's popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they're just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo. 
Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgängers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo's perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day.
But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo's boyfriend, he hates her. Jo's mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh.
By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?
From master of suspense Gretchen McNeil comes a riveting and deliciously eerie story about the lives we wish we had – and how they just might kill you.

Tandem (Many-Worlds, #1)
Tandem by Ann Jarzab


Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Of Beast and BeautyTitle: Of Beast and Beauty
Author: Stacey Jay
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date:  October 14th 2013
Pages: 368
Genre:  Ya Dystopian/Fairytale Retelling
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

I couldn't wait to get to this book. I have had it sitting on my shelves for a while and just couldn't get to it.... finally... I read this book. I LOVED IT! This is one of those reads that nothing I say will be adequate enough to describe how much I loved this book. This is the third Stacey Jay book I have read, and I have loved them all... this one is by far the best. It was sweet, intense, emotional, endearing, catastrophic, romantic, exciting, and so much more. 

This is a dystopian retelling of Beauty and the Beast except not. Isra is in line to take the throne, to give her self the land, and save her people. She has know this her entire life and has accepted it. That is until a monstrous from the desert makes his way into the city, kills her father, gets captured, and completely changes her life. Gem is the monstrous. He wants to save his desert people. The smooth skins (Isra's people) do not understand their kind and allows them to starve in the desert. He travels into the city with one mission, save his people. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen. He gets captured and does what he can to earn the trust of Isra. He needs her to save his people. What he didn't count on, falling in love with enemy.

This book was just wow, I mean wow wow wow. I loved so much about this book I can't begin to piece my thoughts together and put them into words, but I will try. Where to start. The story is just wonderful. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but so different. It has the main core... The beast, the capture, the roses, the falling in love, and of course the beauty. What is different,.. Well neither the beauty or the beast is really the beauty of the beast. They see each other as the beast and then they turn into the beauty. They are completely different and they hate the other with a passion. They fear each other. they don't understand each other. They only want to save their own. There is curse but its not on one person, its on the  planet. A very dark curse. Both Isra and Gem want to end it, they just have different ways to do so. The story is very sad and dark but very lovely and beautiful. Romantic and cruel. It crushed my heart and put it back together again. The story was creative and original for a retelling. One of the best I have read. 

The characters were just amazing. I fell in love with both of them right away. They were much alike but so different too. They were both scared, in the dark, and selfless. They both wanted to do what their own needed even it meant their life. They were loyal to their kind, brave, independent, and lonely. The main difference... Gem knew who he was, what he was, he accepted it and embraced it. Isra was afraid of herself, what she was becoming, she tried to hide and run from it. Gem had freedom and Isra only dreamed of it. They needed each other desperately and just didn't know it, not until it was too late. I adored these two characters. They were real for me, they came to life inside my head and I missed them every time I had to close my book. They were great together and their love story was beautiful. 

The romance in this book was just magnificent. It was slow building, intense, and sweet. I could see it building right from the beginning. I knew there would be a romance but I didn't need to. It was very evident in every moment Gem and Isra were together. They started out enemies, made it to friends, felt the attraction, then fell in love. They started off willing to die for their people but ended up willing to die for each other. Just splendid I tell you. 

It was just so much but not too much.The story, the characters, the writing. The writing was just exquisite. Beautiful, charming, elegant, just perfect for this story. The story never slowed. I was submerged deeply. I had to take my time reading this book and it was well worth it. One of those rare books I could start over and read again as soon as I finished it. I could read more. I wish there was more. I would beg for more if it would get me anywhere. I am definitely heartbroken it is over. 

This book will live forever in my heart and on my top reads shelf. One of the best I have read. 

Stacey Jay
Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with three pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend for a living. She’s been a full time mom-writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor.

Learn more at

Delightful Discoveries #63

Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered recently... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 

Chasing PowerChasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst


Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.

Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady
Dark Amelia by Sally O'Reilly 


The daughter of a Venetian musician, Aemilia Bassano came of age in Queen Elizabeth’s royal court. The Queen’s favorite, she develops a love of poetry and learning, maturing into a young woman known not only for her beauty but also her sharp mind and quick tongue. Aemilia becomes the mistress of Lord Hunsdon, but her position is precarious. Then she crosses paths with an impetuous playwright named William Shakespeare and begins an impassioned but ill-fated affair.

A decade later, the Queen is dead, and Aemilia Bassano is now Aemilia Lanyer, fallen from favor and married to a fool. Like the rest of London, she fears the plague. And when her young son Henry takes ill, Aemilia resolves to do anything to save him, even if it means seeking help from her estranged lover, Will—or worse, making a pact with the Devil himself.

In rich, vivid detail, Sally O’Reilly breathes life into England’s first female poet, a mysterious woman nearly forgotten by history. Full of passion and devilish schemes, Dark Aemilia is a tale worthy of the Bard.

Famous Last Words
Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.

The Wizard's Promise (The Hannah Duology, #1)
The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke


All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.

As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.

Talon (Talon, #1)
Talon by Julie Kagawa

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Imagination Designs