Monday, March 31

Book Review: Under the Dragon's Claw by Alex George

Author: Alex George
Title: Under the Dragon's Claw (Heartstone Talisman #1) 
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 8th, 2014 
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

"The Dark Circle is augmenting its ranks with fresh blood and will stop at nothing to achieve its goals. Their esteemed son Zarzbudin, Dragon Lord and Warlock of the Dragon’s Foot Mountains has set his eyes on Alcavia, a fortress kingdom on the furthest outskirts of strife-torn Thalagia.

Theodor leaves his isolated world and sets off on a voyage with the crew of the Sea Breeze to thwart the warlock’s plans and rescue from his clutches Princess Adelayne. Aiding him in his quest are Archon, High Mage of Aldorn, ancient Zoi and the traitor nymph Roxette. Relentlessly pursuing them with all the resources the Shadow has to offer is Archon’s nemesis, the notorious Dark Sorcerer.

With a past shrouded in mystery and a future destined to be as turbulent as the seas surrounding his island home, the outcome of Theodor’s struggle is all but certain…"

Like earlier stated I read this for the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Yayy dragons!!!! I've been craving a book with dragons. The few that I thought were going to have to dragons in them left me upset and void of dragons. 0.0 But not only were there dragons in this they could talk and some were good guys! ^.^ I am super happy.

Along with the dragons in this world, there were a lot of different creatures running about. Mages, nymphs, dwarves, ancients, and etc. It was fun and it reminded me a little bit of Lord of the Rings mixed with YA and Game of Thrones. Weird, I know, but it worked. This did seem very YA. I'm not sure if it is officially in the category, but I would put it there if I had it my way. 


There is a lot going on. A lot of characters and a lot of stories and back-stories. The first few chapters really were a blur sometimes and I had to re-read spots because I couldn't remember who was who. >__< Perhaps its was just me, but I feel that too much was thrown in at once. He jumped RIGHT into the story. I wish that he slowly introduced the characters that would follow Theo on his journey. After like 4 chapters, I finally got down and understood who was who and what was going on. 

I can't really go into much detail without giving away major spoilers...

The ending was a cliffhanger...but not the annoying rip-out-my-hair type of cliffhanger. It left the reader wanting more...if they want it. If the reader doesn't want more, then its fine. It was slightly abrupt, but it worked. I did like the final battles (yes there were a handful going on all at the same time) at the end. I can only imagine a director if a movie having a ball with all the battles. Dragon on dragon, mage on mage, knight on knight, and human on evil nymph. Fantastic. I think that last little bit was my favorite scene throughout the entire book. hahaha.

In the end, this was indeed a fun adventure. The world was nicely displayed. The beginning may have been confusing at times, but once the story goes along everything begins to slow done and be understood. I really liked the final battles at the end. I would recommend this to those that like fantasy books with adventure and a little bit of romance mixed in. I'm so glad it had dragons in it. ^.^ Out of five stars I shall stamp this with...mmmm...ummmm....3. It would be a four, but the beginning really let me down. 

Favorite Character(s): Nem, Princess Adelayne, Roxette, and Dark Sorceror (a good baddie).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Archon (he annoyed me...can't explain why). 

Friday, March 28

Movie Review: Beowulf

Length: 115 minutes
Released: 2007
Genre: SciFi, Fantasy, and Action & Adventure
Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis

Where I Got It: watched on Netflix

In a legendary time of heroes, the mighty warrior Beowulf battles the demon Grendel and incurs the hellish wrath of the beast's ruthlessly seductive mother. Their epic clash forges the timeless legend of Beowulf.


Queen Wealthow - Robin Wright
King Hrothgar - Anthony Weir
Unferth - John Malkovich
Beowulf/Gold Man/Dragon - Ray Winstone
Grendel - Crispin Glover 
Wiglaf - Brendan Gleeson 
Demon Mother - Angelina Jolie

Been wanting to watch this since I first seen the trailer years ago! Just never got around to it. 0.0 I wanted to read the book first, but...I never got around to it, so I didn't think I deserved to watch any of the movies (there are others), but my BF found it on Netflix and he loves the movie, so I was forced to watch it. really wasn't hard to make me watch it. 

Okay...this fell a little bit below my expectations, but I still enjoyed it. I really expected more....I don't know. More battling? Just more. I felt it was missing something. However, the ride and story was still fun. I did like the was just and made me respect Beowulf again (earlier in the film he did something bad and made me mad and lose respect for him). 

The CGI was insane! It was crazy good (especially for the early 2000s). Not sure if this was a good or bad thing, but I felt like I was watching a video game sometimes. Other times I felt like I was watching real people...especially when the Demon Mother came up to play. It was crazy how well they made her look like the voice actor, Angelina Jolie. I did think it was cheesy how they made some of the characters look like the voice actor. Why not, then, just do a movie movie? Perhaps that's just me then.

This movie has defiantly made me want to read the story of Beowulf now. Perhaps that'll be a summer read, once I slim down my list a little bit. Even though some parts were lacking, I still enjoyed the film. It was fun and the CGI was awesome. I recommend this to those that like action movies and for those that likes myths and legends. Out of 5 stars, this shall be stamped with 3 stars. 

Re-watch?: Sure. 

Favorite Character(s): Queen Wealthow, Wiglaf (I may be biased because I adore the actor), and Beowulf (I had a love-hate relationship with him though). 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Grendal (ugh) and Unferth (snake)


Tuesday, March 25

Top Ten Tuesday: Bucklist

                 ~The Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.~

Man...I really stink at doing these. hahaha the last time I did a TTT was in October. 0.o Wow. 

Anyways, this week's prompt is to list your top 10 bookish bucket-list:

(There is no order to mine)

-Own all of the Pink Carnation books

-Make my future children read the LOTR books, including 'The Hobbit' (which I need to re-read).

-Write a book myself.

-Read all of William Shakespeare's stories.

-Read all the books on my shelf.

-Have a successful book club that lasts more then a year (been in many but they only last a few months and fall apart)

-Find and read the book series about Geralt of Rivia the witcher. 

- Read 100 books in a year. Been close...

-Read the 'Hunger Games' books. I have them on my kindle...but I haven't even touched them.

- Help make the Pink Carnation books a movie or TV show. I would love to be a casting director or anything really.  


What is your bucklet-list?

Saturday, March 22

Book Review: Dark Witch

Author: Nora Roberts
Title: Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy, and Paranormal
Pages: ebook
First Published: October 29th, 2013 
Where I Got It: Online freebie

"With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…"

This is the first Nora Roberts book I was able to even able to get through. It might mainly have to do with the fact I read this for my book club I just joined with my friends. This is the second book (the first one was 'The Last Lecture' which I picked for the group). 


For a Nora Roberts book this was pretty good. The characters were okay, but the side characters seemed very 2D. Flat and cut-out-of-the-box. Except for Fin. Fin was the most complex character out of the story and I really liked him and I wanted to know him more. Perhaps one of the books in the series surrounds him. I was scared throughout the whole novel I was worried about him turning to the dark side. I was a lot like Branna...always suspicious but absolutely in love with him. Yes, there are feelings are between the two, but since they found out Fin is a relative to the baddie (like great-great-great-great and so on grandson or whatever) Branna was super worried about him. He gave no worries just the blood that he shares. 

Ooooh Boyle was an idiot. I hated him. Iona was okay, very naive and feels bad for herself a lot, but I did like her ultimately. 

The story itself was a little cheesy at points, but was interesting and it had me wanting to see what happened next. It was also slow at points, maybe it was because I was anxious for the big battle with the baddie. We all know its gunna happen. They're training and meeting about it. It took FOREVER to get to that battle and the battle lasted like two pages. That made me mad. :/ All that build up for not a lot. However, the battle was intense and well written.

I can see how people like Nora Roberts, but she is defiantly not ever going to be my favorite author. I did think this book was okay. It was alright written. Some of the characters were okay and the story was fun. I still think it's funny the cousin, Connor, is considered a witch...not a sorcerer. Oh well. 

In the end, this wasn't bad. I'm proud that I managed to not only get through this book, but I actually liked it. I would recommend this for those that like paranormal books mixed with a touch of romance. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Finn, Iona, Connor, and Branna
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Boyle (an idiot and I wanted Iona to end up with Fin)


Friday, March 21

Book Review: The Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michaels

Author: Greg Michaels
Title: The Secrets of Casanova
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, and Adventure
Pages: ebook
First Published: October 19th, 2013 
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion. 

"Paris of 1755 is bloated with opportunity. That’s the way Jacques Casanova, an unredeemed adventurer with an ever-surging appetite for pleasure, needs it. But times, men, and gods are changing—and Jacques’ luck is fading. When he is thrust to the center of a profound mystery, he doesn't ask if vice or virtue leads him onward. “After all,” he declares, “a man who asks himself too many questions is an unhappy man.” But as Jacques’ challenges mount, what questions will he ask? What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? Loosely based on Casanova’s life of intrigue, danger, and passion, The Secret's of Casanova will keep you burning the midnight oil."

Like earlier stated, I was given this book for my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Ooooooooooooooooooh Casanova! WHAT A ROGUE! However, one can resist his charms even in a book. Greg Michaels truly did his homework on Mr. Casanova. I feel this is the closet representation of the man (from what I know and believe) that I know of. The movie did an okay job, but this book really painted the man wonderfully. Yes, he was a gambler and a lover, but he was also smart. He was a philosopher and technically had a degree in being a lawyer. He was also and foremost and adventurer. 

The adventure that we are taken on was exciting and I was addicted! I needed to know what the next clue was and even though I had a deep foreboding (which would be come true twice over) about what was going to happen, I still plummeted forward, because I needed to know just as badly as Casanova did. The ending did make me mad, BUUUUT I seen it coming. I also understand the symbolism and WHY the author ended it the way he did. Still though...I was not a happy camper and it was a small let down (at least for might see it differently).

The beginning was a little slow, but it was indeed the calm before the storm. Enjoy the slowness, because after a couple of chapters things EXPLODE and the adventure begins. I'm glad the author didn't just jump into the adventure. 

Poor Dominique...can't say much, but I truly connected with her and I felt bad....sighs.

In the end, this was a fun and exciting book. Even though the ending was a small let down for me (personally), I see the wisness and the symbolism behind it. The beginning was a little slow, but it was necessary and I liked it. I recommend this to those who like their historical fiction mixed with some mystery and adventure. I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Casanova and Dominique 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Petrine and Quentin 

Thursday, March 20

Thursday Book Teaser: The Secrets of Casanova

Happy Thursday! Yet another rainy day over here. Thank goodness. I rather have the rain then the snow. Super tired of seeing that white stuff. *shakes head*

Anyways, I haven't done a TBT in a while, so I thought I would try to get back into the habit. ^.^ Maybe I'll try to get back to posting Cast that Book too. I'll try.

This week I'm going to share a teaser from 'The Secrets of Casanova':


'"The landlady has softened a bit. We have until noon tomorrow to be gone from here."

"Yes, time is crucial," Jacques muttered. He looked at Petrine. "Did you know Dominique intends to join a convent? 'Forbear, lady, forbear,' I bade her."

Petrine turned slowly toward Dominique, rolling his brown eyes in their sockets.

She frowned.

"I smell a skirmish," Petrine said, wagging his finger. "But I don't take sides. Believe me, I know how to hold my tongue."

"Hmm," replied Jacques, arching an eyebrow. He did not look at Dominique but stammered in her general direction. "I've asked this lady to delay her decision. For....just...until tomorrow."

"Until tomorrow?" asked Dominique.'


What are you guys reading? 

Wednesday, March 19

Book Review: Seven for a Secret

Author:Elizabeth Bear
Title: Seven for a Secret (New Amsterdam #2)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Alternate History/What-If, and adventure 
Pages: 128
First Published: January 1st, 2009 
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"The wampyr has walked the dark streets of the world's great cities for a thousand years. In that time, he has worn out many names--and even more compatriots.

Now, so that one of those companions may die where she once lived, he has come again to the City of London. In 1938, where the ghosts of centuries of war haunt rain-grey streets and the Prussian Chancellor's army of occupation rules with an iron hand.

Here he will meet his own ghosts, the remembrances of loves mortal--and immortal. And here he will face the Chancellor's secret weapon: a human child."

Again I stumble upon a book and read it out of order. I checked the book and summary and etc but it said no where that this was the second book of the series. Granted it does stand alone alright. Some references and back-story went above my head, but I managed through with little confusion. 

Another what-if story has found its way to me. This what-if is the same as the last one: what-if England lost to the Germans (which are called Prussians in this world) in WWII. However, in this tale there are vampires/wampyrs, witches, and other supernatural beings. The Nazis have taken English girls and are training them to not only be soldiers, but super soldiers who have wolf like senses. Not were-wolves, but enhanced abilities. Very interesting concept. The cover drew me in and the summary had me hooked. 

I really liked it. It was a short novella I suppose, but it was done in a way were it didn't feel rushed.  I really wished that more detail and back-story went into the girls being trained; especially with Ruth. What is she? She is no simple human. I wanted more on her. Did she accomplish her true goal or did she fall into the "pack"? Meeeeeeeh! Maybe they go into a little more detail in the third book. I'll have to read to find out someday. The ending was left to be desired....

There are some talks of this being in the steampunk genre. I don't care for this genre (unless its the Bioshock games on PS3 haha), but this wasn't bad. It wasn't over the top and I didn't even notice it was until I read other reviews and that its placed in that genre. I feel that it doesn't truly belong...the world has magic and supernatural beings. Oh well, I guess.

In the end, this was pretty good. Even though its the second in the series I found myself not too confused. I wish that the author would have expanded this into a novel, because there is so much information lacking. The ending was an okay ending, but it didn't feel like it wrapped up much. I recommend this for those that like magic mixed with what-if tales. Well, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): James (I want more back-story on him), Abby Irene (witty old lady), and Ruth
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The Prussians/Nazis/Germans 

Tuesday, March 18


I FINALLY HAVE MY INTERNET! No more going to work early or to the library just to access wifi. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

It's been nearly a month since we moved and haven't had internet. Comcast may have fast internet, but their customer service has some MAJOR improvement they need to work on. Seriously. No communication. We had 6 visits from technicans who came out before anything was done. Each time they came, "Oh it looks like there is no cable running to your apartment. Well, there is nothing I can do. We'll have to send out a contractor."



At least it is done with now and we are all good. Regular posting shall commence. ^.^ Thank you all for being so patient with me.

It feels like magic to have it back! Even though it was a struggle to deal with THOSE idiots, we managed and now we have internet. I guess Rumple was right....

Wednesday, March 12

Book Review: Heart of the Hunter by Lara Adrian

Author: Lara Adrian
Title: Heart of the Hunter (Dragon Chalice #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, & Paranormal Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 1st, 2004
Where I Got It: Amazon freebie

"Desperate to rescue her kidnapped brother, Ariana of Clairmont joins forces with Braedon le Chasseur, a seductive knight with a mysterious past--and a dark legacy he struggles to deny. Allied in a quest for a legendary treasure, they encounter powerful enemies skilled in dark magic...and discover a love beyond enchantment."

*Still no internet. Forgive me for lack of posts*

Oooooooh where to begin?

From page one the action never ceased. It kept me wanting to know what happened next. Ariana is on a mission and poor Braedon got caught up in it by happenstance and his own chivalrous heart. Even though he regretted it a time or two until he realized that they were meant to be together (he fought that bitterly though; thought she deserved As we all know that they get their HEA, but I was getting anxious and mad, because Braedon kept threatening (in his head) that he was going to leave EVEN after they do the tango and she is obviously in love with him. Of course he doesn't leave, but it was certainly annoying. 

There were some characters I felt deserved some more air time or a little mention in the epilogue. It was annoying, but perhaps they will be mentioned in the next books. 

I was rather disappointed that all the shifters were wolves. Not a single dragon in sight. Yes, yes, I know its the "dragon chalice", I just don't get why. Why wouldn't they be dragons? I mean...the chalice comes from their world and they are protectors. I don't get it. Don't get me wrong I like wolves, but I like dragons more. 0.0 Perhaps in a later book they will explain WHY the chalice is named after a dragon. 

For being a freebie on Amazon this was pretty good. I was caught up in the story from page one. Even though I was busy I managed to get this done in a couple of days. Which surprised me. I may check out the next book, because I do want to see the baddies not win and not get the rest of the chalice. I certainly want to find out WHY the dang chalice is named after a dragon. mmmmmm. 

Well, I recommend this for those that love historical fiction mixed with fantasy. A nice blend. In the end, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Ariana, Braedon (even though he had me nervous and made me mad from time to time), the baddie (a scary and crazy one), and the she-wolf (can't give out her name, but I wish she had more air-time)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Ariana's brother (for some reason he annoyed me)

Thursday, March 6

Book Review: Dominion by CJ Sansom

Author: CJ Sansom
Title: Dominion
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Adventure, Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 1st, 2012
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

"1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany. The global economy strains against the weight of the long German war against Russia still raging in the east. The British people find themselves under increasingly authoritarian rule--the press, radio, and television tightly controlled, the British Jews facing ever greater constraints. 

But Churchill's Resistance soldiers on. As defiance grows, whispers circulate of a secret that could forever alter the balance of the global struggle. The keeper of that secret? Scientist Frank Muncaster, who languishes in a Birmingham mental hospital.

Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, a spy for the Resistance and University friend of Frank's, is given the mission to rescue Frank and get him out of the country. Hard on his heels is Gestapo agent Gunther Hoth, a brilliant, implacable hunter of men, who soon has Frank and David's innocent wife, Sarah, directly in his sights."

Like earlier stated, I was given this book to read and review for the author/publisher with a promise of my honest and unbiased opinion.

Goodness, I do simply love WHAT-IF books. They always stir my imagination. This WHAT-IF book revolves around the idea that if Hitler had beat the British before the US could even get involved. If Hitler did win then he would have accomplished part 1 of his huge dream: conquering Europe. Part 2 would be conquering the entire continent. However, Russia (even in this world) was still a pain in the neck and didn't bow down to Germany. Not an easy prize to win. I doubt they ever will be, too big.

Anyways....this certainly was an adventure. It truly made one appreciate the ending of Hitler and his Nazis. What a horrid world. It was a lot like 1984's world, but not as extreme. It seemed more of a possible world. Germany slowly was converting England into it's world. They made seem (through peace) that they would remain their own state. HAHAHA! Any dim-wit could see that that was not the case. THEN comes in David who at first was blind, but then he was able to see the truth and joined the resistance as a spy. Sometimes that is the safest route to go, but dammit don't get discovered! 

This did have a few POV switches. It mainly stayed with David, Sarah, Frank, and Gunther. Sometimes I would find myself confused, but generally the POV switch wasn't too subtle. It generally switched at the beginning of a new chapter. 

I hated Gunther's POV. Sarah's at first was boring and I skimmed. However, near the middle and end, I actually begin to like her's more. It's not her fault she really wasn't part of the action until then. Poor girl being left in the dark like 80% of the book. Tsk on David for keeping secrets, but one can understand.

This certainly was a long book. I liked the book, but sometimes it did seem to drag. Some parts were boringly necessary. When you change history in a book, one must give detail and a new history lesson. I read it, but I'll admit I skimmed a little bit. 

In the end, this was good. This was interesting and it makes one think and be grateful that the English did not lose and held out until the Americans came to tip the scale in the Allies favor. Even though I skimmed a couple times, I was still enthralled with the story. Not only the WHAT-IFs story, but the people's story. Sigh. Poor Frankie. 

I shall recommend this to those that love a twist to historical facts and for those that love WHAT-IF books. Also fun. I should read more of these...well...out of five stars I shall stamp this with 4 stars. More like 3.8, but I don't do decimals, so 4 it is. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): David (even though he...well...disappointed me), Frank, Ben (GO SCOTS!), good ol' Churchill, and Sarah (felt bad for her)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Gunther (not because he was the baddie and a Nazi, but he bored me and made me mad. Meh)

Monday, March 3

The Life of No Internet: A Tragedy

As some of you may or may not know over a week ago boyfriend and I moved. We are still waiting for our internet. Sighs. The contractor has to come out and run a cable through to our apartment. For some dumb reason in 2011 the old tenants had to get rid of their internet, so the dumb technician completely removed the cable that leads to that apartment. Some people, eh? Now we have to wait. I am not happy at all! The only way I've been able to come on a couple of times was because I went in early to work, so I can post needed posts and pay my bills and check my email. Yes, I have a smart phone, but I don't trust it when it comes to my bills. I JUST WANT MY INTERNET BACK! WAH!

SO PLEASE BARE WITH ME WHILE I WAIT FOR MY INTERNET TO COME! The guy said the contractor should be here within this week. Hopefully sooner rather then later......

Life sucks without the freedom of the web.

I know I'm pathetic and when I mentally or verbally complain I can't help but mentally slap myself. Life could be worse and I spent most of my life without it.

I have an internet addiction.