Thursday, July 31

Book Review: A Tangled Web by Sandra Schwab

Author: Sandra Schwab
Title: A Tangled Web (Allan's Miscellany #3) 1846
Genre: Short story, Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2014
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Free ebook)

"Lawrence Pelham works as a comic artist for the magazine Allan's Miscellany. A chance meeting with a young woman dressed in mourning changes Pel's whole life, and without his even knowing, he is thrown into a world of mystery and intrigue, where nothing is as it seems to be - especially not the woman he has given his heart to.

Her whole life Sarah Browne has been told how plain she is, how nondescript, destined to become an old maid. For years she has been her family's dutiful nursing maid, but now a secret inheritance and an encounter with the charming Mr. Pelham seem to offer her a chance to break out of her life of duty and drudgery - if she dares to take it. Yet how could such an interesting, witty man be possibly interested in her boring self?

And so, Sarah soon find herself entangled in a web of lies and deceit, which might even cost her the love of her life."

Oooooooh silly Sarah. Silly, silly chit. There were no reasons to lie about who she was. I get WHY she did lie to Pel, because she thought she was a no one and he wouldn't want to talk to such a "loser" nursemaid who takes care of her nephews for free and she is also a spinster in her late twenties. Totally get it, but there was no reason. He liked her before she told him anything about herself. A moral lesson to all the girls out yourself; don't be self-conscious or you could push away someone who really loves you *makes mental note too*.

Now...Pel. You are an idiot. One could see a mile away she is not who she says she is. Her acting is bad and he should have used his brain. Yes, love is blind, but still....even though she says she is a widow and has her own place must you go over there and hang out? NO! It is the middle of the city and someone is BOUND to see. C'mon silly boy. Also, Mr. Pel, I get how you responded when you found out all the lies, but it was indeed a little melodramatic. Poor Sarah. 

Even though both were silly and caught up in their love web (see what I did there?), I liked them. They were so human and 3D and I could really relate to both. The side characters were okay too, except for Mr and Mrs Browne who were a little 2D asshole brother and sister-in-law, but I found them entertaining nonetheless. I really liked Edward. :3 He was a cutie and such a good cousin to Sarah. I hope to see more of him someday. 

I am currently mad at Mac. Very, very rude in this one especially with his loathing a woman joining in on the editorial. I'm not sure if it is because he is sexist or because he looks at the magazine as a "Boy's club" type thing. It's hard to gauge, but he made me mad. He better redeem himself later on! I am proud of him for sticking up for Pel against Sarah even though she was innocent, but I'm proud of him being loyal. 

Well, this was a nice short story. Not as good as #1, but still really good. I am glad that it wasn't easy for the two to be together after Sarah's stunt. I was worried that they wouldn't be together, but c' is a romance after all. haha. I definitely recommend this to those that don't mind short stories and those that like Historical Romances. Out of five stars, I stamp this one with 4.

Favorite Character(s): Sarah, Pel, Mr. Allan (such a cute old man), Robbie (yayy for him getting a little round in the face!), Mac (even though I'm mad at him), and Edward.
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Mr and Mrs Browne (>__>) 

Tuesday, July 29

Camping is Good for the Soul

I've been really stressed the last month or so due to school and work. This trip could NOT come quick enough. The gang and I went to Mio again (we went there last year too) and it was just as fun and just as beautiful as it was last year. Honestly, I wish I could become feral and be a wild-woman in the woods. haha 'tis only a dream though. Luckily we left when we did, because a huge storm came rolling in. Here are some pictures (excluding the ones from the river where we went tubing, because water and phones don't go together well):

He always ruins such good pics lol. Love him though

Friday, July 25

Movie Review: Upside Down

Length: 1 hour & 47 mins
Released: 2013
Genre: Drama, Romance, SciFi, & Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Juan Diego Solanas

Where I Got It: My shelf (Bought it at Dollar Tree)

Ever since Adam and Eden fell in love as teens, their bond has faced astronomical odds. The pair are separated not just by social class and a political system bent on keeping them apart, but also by a freak planetary condition: they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions-he on the poverty-stricken planet below, she on the wealthy, exploitative world above. Their budding but illicit romance screeches to a tragic halt when interplanetary-border patrol agents catch them and Eden suffers an apparently fatal fall. But when, ten years later, Adam learns she is alive and working at a vast corporation whose towering headquarters connects their planets, he sets out on a dangerous quest to infiltrate the company and the upper world to reconnect with her.


Adam - Jim Sturgress
Eden - Kirsten Dunst
Bob Boruchowitz - Timothy Spall
Albert - Blu Mankuma
Pablo - Nicholas Rose
Lagavullan - James Kidnie
Mr. Hunt - Vlasta Vrana
Becky - Kate Trotter
Paula - Holly O'Brien 

This was a random pick up Boyfriend and I found at the store. It was only a dollar, so we decided to give it a go since we both like Kirsten Dunst and weird/unique movies. 

Oooooh such a good movie. Yes, this is a typical love story but with a HUGE twist - they can not be together. However, the reason is because they live on opposite sides of gravity and social class; the lower side are poor and the higher side are rich. It's so hopeless, especially when Eden loses her memory...but you can't help but cheer for them. 

Poor Adam...I can't say much, but I felt so bad for him. All he wanted was love and family, but the stupid rich made it hard as hell for him. This film does really poke at the idiocy of social class and how it ruins everyone lives in the end....even the upper class themselves. The rich world is very high class and has such great technology, but since they view the lower gravity people as "inferior", so they keep them poor and missing out on the glories of the wealth and technology. It's a sad world and makes you look at the world. 

The visual effects were fantastic and beautiful. I especially loved the two mountains that connects to the two worlds. Wonderful.

The story was fun and you wanted to know what was going to happen. Honestly, I was waiting for everything to explode in Adam's face when he was trying to woo Eden and pretend to be rich and on that side of gravity. Some of the dialogue was a little dry here and there. The acting, though, was pretty good. They had a such a good cast that I am surprised this wasn't more popular. Was this in theaters? I can't even remember the trailers being on TV. Meh, oh well. 

The story was enjoyable, but the ending left me confused and annoyed. I can't say what happens, but the ending just...drops off and doesn't really answer why and how. It's not a terrible way to end it, but I wish they gave more explanation on the how and why. You'll see what I mean if you watch it.

I highly recommend people who like Sci-Fi and Romance with a huge twist in the everyday love story. It was a fun adventure and I'm so glad we randomly found it. The cast is really good and the special effects mind blowingly beautiful. I wish the ending had more explanation on the how and why of what happened. Also, there are a couple dry parts, but in total it is a movie worth watching. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this one with 4 stars. It's more like 3.5 stars, but I rounded since I don't give decimals. 

Re-Watch?: Sure. :) 
Favorite Character(s): Adam, Bob, Becky, and Albert. 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Mr. Hunt 

Thursday, July 24

Tale of Two Brothers by Carole Rae

**My 3rd paper for class. This prompt was a freewrite**
Tale of Two Brothers
by: Carole Rae

“Mama...why do you look so sad?” I ask Mama, who is curled in the corner away from my brother and me. Like normal, my brother was in his own world chewing on the brown chew sticks, without even noticing that our mama's eyes were filled with such sorrow. I cuddle closer up against her soft ebony fur to try and soothe her. Was she thinking about the past again?

Her black eyes refuse to look at me, “The time to say goodbye is upon us my son.”

Panic seeps into my voice, “What do you mean?”

With a heavy sigh, she replies, “This happens every time when my little ones grow up into little chinchas. Mama Jacy finds them another home. Sadly, it is the way our people now, my son.”
Tears begin to flow and I stammer, “But I don't want to leave you! I love you! What about brother? I do not want to leave him either!” I cuddle closer to her.

“Perhaps you two will go together, son. You may not remember this for you two had just been born, but a couple of humans came here. Mama Jacy had the couple hold you two. They seemed nice. They handled you two with such ease and with such joy. I did not even worry they were going to drop you. Perhaps it is them that will take you two home.” She sounds hopeful, but still sad.

“Does brother know this?” I ask, still sobbing.

“Yes, but you know him. He is always positive and ready for adventure.” We both look at brother. He is still chewing away and bouncing all around the cage with such ease and not a care in the world. Annoying. His fur is like Mama's and Father's, black as night. Which is unlike mine that is speckled with black, gray, and white. Mama Jacy still finds it odd how different I look, but according to Mama, her father looked the same way. Anytime Mama mentioned her old life, the saddest look invades her face and she can not help but let a tear fall. She had been taken away from her mama, father, and brother. She has no idea what became of any of them.

What if I am torn away from everyone I love too? Anger explodes in me, “I will not go! I will not let them take brother and me! I will not leave you! I will fight!”
Mama's sad eyes suddenly turn red with fury. She stands up on all fours and glares down at me, “You WILL go. It is your destiny as a chincha!”

Before I can respond, Mama Jacy walks in slamming the door behind her. I do like her. She has a friendly smile and she smells sweet like apples. She doesn't give us any apples, but I see her eat them and it smells so delicious and I always grow envious. When she opens our cage door, I want to lick and nibble her fingers, but she always wants to pick me up or pet me. It is very irritating! I tell her all the time to leave me be, but she never listens! Even though she has been nothing but kind to us, I am still convinced she will eat me or turn me into a chinchilla coat. The old and wise chinchas that are in the same room as us, tell of stories of human doing things like this to our ancestors in the old country of our people. Some say that humans still do this to us in America as well. I can not help but believe those rumors! Mama tells me not to listen to those old chinchas for humans are kind, but she has been spoiled, because Mama Jacy uses her for making more chinchas.

There are about twenty chinchas in this huge room of ours. Some are old, some are young like us. Some are brown like tree bark with speckled ears, some gray, some white as snow, some black, some with purple hues, and so many others. There are so many that live on the other side of the room that I haven't seen or talk to yet. There are so many it takes Mama Jacy a little while before getting to our cage to refill our food and water. When Mama Jacy nears our door and smiles at us, Brother runs over to the silver door and puts his front paws on it and begs for a treat. I back up to the back of the cage and glare. I pray she doesn't use that black device of hers to flash at us again. It's rather rude and it hurts my eyes. With a soft voice, she says, “Hey cuties. It's time to get your own cage!”

Mama lays back down. I am rather confused. New cage? As Mama Jacy begins to open the cage door, Mama whispers, “Good bye my sons. Do not cry and love your humans with all your hearts.”
I try to reply, but Mama Jacy grabs a hold of Brother and me and carries us a way. Brother says his goodbyes. There is some sadness there, but nothing surpasses my cries and sobs. Mama Jacy tries to comfort us, but I care not for anything she has to say. Each cage we pass the chincha that occupies it gives us a pitying look. It seemed like forever before she stopped at a cage that I assume is for us. It is more spacious then our old one. There are a few more chew toys too. However, I shiver as she puts me down. Even though the yellow bedding is fresh and new, it feels different. It does not have Mama's comforting scent or the fluffy spots she makes for us when we go to sleep.

“Wow. This cage is SO much bigger then the old one and there are so many more toys here!” Brother exclaims.

I hiss, “Shut up, Brother. Have you already forgotten Mama?”

Brother sighs and the sorrow returns for just a moment in his voice, “No, silly. I have not, but what can we do? Mama told me this was going to happen sooner or later. We get taken away and put in our own cage to get ready for the humans that will take us to their cage. It is the way of our people. Only a select few get to stay with Mama Jacy and her mate.”

I turn away from him and face the other side of the cage. This was stupid and silly. Why can't I just stay with Mama? How long will we have with each other? Will the humans take both of us like Mama predicts? Or will we be separated like Mama and her brother? I can not imagine a world without Brother by my side! I will not allow this to happen! I will fight these humans if they try to separate us!
Days fluttered by with no real change to our situations. Mama Jacy does let us play with the other young chincha boys once in a while. She calls that cage the “Chinchilla Male Cage”, which doesn't make sense to me, but humans have an odd tendency to name things. It is fun to play with them though, but I missed Mama. However, I had made a vow to myself never to cry again, because it is a weakness and Brother needs me to stay strong and watch out for the both of us. Whenever a human would come, I would hide in the back of the cage and call for Brother to join me, but he would ignore me, of course. Lucky for him they have no interest in us. They come and take some other poor chincha away forever.
“You guys are going to your new home today!” Mama Jacy exclaims as she refills our pellets. Home? That word must mean death or something equally as horrible. Brother, without thought to what Mama Jacy has just said, dives into the fresh pellets. After a couple pets to each of us, she leaves us to our isolation.
I crawl up to the pellets and join Brother, “Today is the the day. We must unite against these invaders.”
“Brother,” He sighs, “They are not going to turn us into chinchilla coats or whatever it is you go on about. They are taking us to their cage.”

“Mama Jacy did not say 'cage', she said 'home'. Do you even know what that means?”

Brother thinks about this for a moment, “I don't may be a human word for cage. It sounds pleasant 

I snort, “It does not. It sounds terrible. It's probably human for food dish. However, I doubt they will get much from you for you are tiny as a mouse.”

“Ha! They will get two feasts out of you.” He laughs.

“How dare you!” I then chase him around the cage, the whole time he laughs and jumps athletically on the side of the cage. He jumps down on top of me, which makes him laugh harder, because he knows I hate when he jumps on my back. It soon turns into such great fun I forget myself and our dangerous situation. Brother always knows how to cheer me up!

I am not sure how much time passes when the door slams open. Unfamiliar voices and scents stop me in my tracks. I gasp, “They are here!” I run to the back of the cage and watch. When the humans come into view, I size them up. The boy human is tall with brown fur on his head and even brown fur on his face. He seems to be very serious and has a dominate aurora surrounding him; he is defiantly the alpha. His mate, the girl human, is far shorter with long dark fur. It is not as dark as Brother's, but close to it. She doesn't have fur on her face though. It is weird, for not all humans have fur on their faces. She does though, have brown speckles all over her face, which is a new trait to my eyes.

The girl human comes up to our cage and smiles at us, “They have gotten so big from the last time we seen them!” Was this the couple Mama told us about all those moons ago?
Mama Jacy concurs. The humans talk for a few moments and then Mama Jacy brings out a huge green carrier. She opens the cage door and Brother runs over to her hands. Idiot! Mama Jacy picks up and shows him off to the humans. In turn they each give him a couple pets and then Mama Jacy puts him in the carrier. No! I spring across the cage, but before I can kill the humans, Mama Jacy swoops in and picks me up. The same thing happens, the humans pet me, which I recoil much to the dismay of the human girl and then I am put down in the carrier besides Brother. The boy human compliments on how fast I am. It makes me smile for a moment.

Mama Jacy replies, “The ebony one is a little more loving as you see. Make sure to give the other one more time to adjust. If he hisses at you, just keep petting him. He thinks he's the alpha male.”
The couple agree and take the carrier away from Mama Jacy. After a few more words, Mama Jacy says goodbye to us as the couple carries us out the door. I am frightened and full of sadness to be leaving all we know behind, but Brother begins to nibble at the hay blocks left in here. I ask him bitterly, “How can you eat when doom is at hand?”

He shrugs, “Because the humans seem nice and I am excited to see our new cage. Lighten up Brother...a whole new adventure is at our feet.”

I grumble. After a while, my tummy starts rumbling, so I begin nibbling at the hay block too. What can I do? These humans have captured us and are taking us to their “home”. I still do not understand what that word means, but I hope Brother is right and it's a good thing. They don't smell threatening, so I hope I am wrong. Of course, I will be watching them like a hawk...just in case.  

Monday, July 21

Book Review: Drip Drop Teardrop

Author: Samantha Young
Title: Drip Drop Teardrop
Genre: Short story, Romance, YA, Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: April 2011 
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Got from Amazon when it was a freebie. I think its still free.)

"Even Death Can Fall in Love...

Avery hasn’t had it easy. 

When she was ten years old her parents died in a car crash. Now nine years later her Aunt Caroline is the only family she has left. And Caroline is dying. 
So when Death comes knocking (quite literally) in the form of the damaged and dangerous, Brennus, Avery makes a deal with the reaper in order to save Caroline.

Brennus is an Ankou.

One of the many, once mortal men and women, who were given the choice to become an immortal in exchange for ferrying the dead over into their afterlife. 
Nine years ago Brennus took Avery’s parents and tried to take Avery, but she fought him and won. Amazed by her strength Brennus followed Avery and has watched over her. 
Now he knows Avery is the one to offer him freedom from his obligation to the dead. 
And he’ll stop at nothing to have her." was a rather long short story. It was about 115 pages, so it's in that weird spot between short story and novel. I think it technically falls into the category of a "novella", but they have it under "short story" on Goodreads, so we will just smile and nod. *shakes head 'no*


This was a random pick up for me, but I couldn't help but take it into my collection. was free. Two, the cover dragged me in. Three, I wanted to know how and why "death" falls in love. Intriguing if you ask me.

Now "death" is not your a-typical "angel of death". There are many, many of ankous around that help fairy the dead to their afterlife. These ankous are dead people themselves that decided to volunteer for some reason. Brennus is an ankou and he volunteered when he sacrificed himself for a different woman who he taught he loved and she loved him in return. It's pretty sad...she was betraying him the whole time in many ways but one. Poor guy...I can see why he was a wee bit bitter. 

HOWEVER, it does NOT give him an excuse to pretty much blackmail Avery into going on a week long date with him. I won't tell you what the deal was, but it wasn't very cool of him. It was rather rude and cold-hearted of him. Honestly, did he think he could win her over so quickly even though she was sexually attracted to him? Granted...he had no choice, because its not like he can take too long of a break from being an Angel of Death and Avery is kind of a snob. I still don't get why he loved her...she's rude, shallow, and bitchy. *shakes my head* That must be his type, because his first wife was a bitch too. Excuse my french. 0.0 

I have a love-hate relationship with the ending. It was done well, but it made me sad and a little upset. WHY? *SPOILER ALERT* Why does she have to erased from everyone's memories and lives, because she chooses to stay with Brennus and be immortal? Maybe it's simpler that way, but its so tragic that she pretty much gives up her existences to be with a man she only knew for a couple of months. Meh *END OF SPOILER* 

ANYWAYS! This was a quick read and it was really interesting and I'm actually excited to see what Samantha Young has to offer, perhaps I should read more of her things (yes, this was my first taste of her writing) in the the future. She's rather good and she had me hooked. 

In the end, this was a pretty good short story (*cough novella *cough*) and I'm excited to see what else the author has out there. I would recommend this to those that like romance and fantasy and YA (for older YA readers though). I will put a reminder on here that it is technically a short story, so things happen rather quickly. Well, I shall stamp this with 4 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Aunt Caroline, Brennus (when you look past the blackmail bit), and Jemima (I hope she gets her own story).
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Sarah (she annoyed me for some reason) and Jason (idiot)

Thursday, July 17

Doomed to Survive: A Re-Telling of Marie Therese of France

**This is story #2 that I had to write for my Creative Writing Class - this prompt was "fan-fiction". We could pick anything and do whatever we wanted with our selected character from a TV show, movie, video game, history, and etc.**

Doomed to Survive: A Re-Telling of Marie Therese of France
by: Carole Rae
“And I present to you, your son.” The Physician handed me the small baby. I tried to hold back the emotions, but tears rushed down my cheeks. Everyone, except for Antoine, my husband who looked close to tears himself, sighed and 'awed' over what they thought were tears of joy.
No. My tears were for this child I did not want. My tears were for my child's gender. My tears were for my boy's cursed future. His Great Uncle Xavier and future advisers would push my poor boy into treading a dangerous road; the road of reclaiming France.
“What shall we name him, my dear?” Softly asked Antoine.
I thought for a moment and kissed my son's head. A small noise that sounded like a small kitten came from his little turtle mouth, a diminutive smile settled on my lips. I responded, “Charles.” That was the name of my dear, lost brother.
The years flew by like a summer breeze. Charles continued to grow even though I prayed to God to stall his growth and leave him my little chubby-cheeked baby. A cynical part of me even wished he would die young and innocent like my little sister, Sophie, who did not have to suffer the prisons like my family and I did. My heart ached as each birthday came and went. My heart ached even more as Charles grew to look more like my murdered mother, the late Queen of France, with fair hair and eyes bright like a clear summer day's sky. My heart ached as Charles grew to be a man right in front of my eyes. As much as I wanted him to be innocent and carefree, his Uncle Xavier trained him to be a king. He trained him in diplomacy and etiquette. Antoine trained Charles how to led an army and how to kill if necessary. As much as I loathed these lessons, I was not so innocent myself in his upbringing. My hatred for the people who killed my family and my old life, bled through and infected him as well.
All these things would doom my poor son on his 18th birthday. I knew the day would come that he would think he was ready to take on the French people and reclaim the throne.
“Please, don't do this!” I cried as I softly caressed my son's cheek. Oh, his cheeks had once been so soft and pinch-able, but now they were covered with the stubble of manhood.
“I must for it is my God given right! I am the heir and I want what is mine back.” Charles exclaimed. His eyes were filled with faith and dedication. My poor, poor naive boy.
“France is lost. We have been trying for years to reclaim it. The people do not want us! They want the Republic. They want that Emperor.” He walked away from me and went to the window and stood by Uncle Xavier. This man was mine and Antoine's uncle, but also my murdered father's brother. This man was nothing like my kind and loving father. This man burned with a passion to regain France at any cost. If Charles had not been born, I can imagine him trying to claim the throne for himself.
The silence of Uncle Xavier broke, “It is his destiny, Marie Therese.”
“ die like my family did? To have his head hacked off just like your brother?” I hissed. Oh how I loathed him.
“Yes. The throne MUST be reclaimed at ANY cost.” Uncle Xavier responded so heartily his jowls gave a bounce.
“Antoine. Say something.” As much as I loved my husband, I hated him at the same time. He was so awkward and stammering when nervous. I always wondered how he was able to led armies?
“I-it's seems that Charles wants to do this, my dear. A-as much as I fear for him, w-we must allow him to try. P-perhaps he can do what we could not.” Antoine responded.
“Yes, mother. I would be willing to die for my rights.” Charles said softly, but filled with such hope and undying faith that made me want scream.
I slumped to the chair defeated. My gaze took in the red and gold room. It reminded me so much of Versailles at times. My mother would have fainted to think the place of her birth, Austria, would have such a similar room as her adopted land. Mother would have loved little Charles as much I did. He was such a kind little boy and full of mischief and pride. That pride of his! Oh, I remember when he was trying to learn how to walk, he would allow no one to help him! The most serious of looks would appear on his face and he would try and try. The moment he was able to, the brightest smile appeared and he cheered in joy. After that feat was done, he would be off challenging himself again. Now, he stands at the brink of another adventure and I can not do a thing to stop him. A little breeze from the window blew through Charles' fair hair and made the crystal chandelier twinkle. The silence hung like a threatening thunder storm. The clock ticked on.
Finally, I heaved a sigh, “Go then. Go to your doom, son.”
“Milady, a messenger is here.” The monotone voice of my Steward shook me out of my memory of me chasing after Charles around the fountain below the window. It had been three years since I had last seen my poor boy. He had left that night with troops of Austrian and French soldiers eager to do his bidding. I watched him leave through this same window. Charles had seen me watching him and he threw me a salute and a grin that illuminated the night. I tried to smile back through my tears. In no time at all he was lost from my sight.
In the matter of only a couple of months, Charles and his army claimed victory over the rebels. The throne was his. I could only imagine the smile that sprung to his lips as the crown was placed onto his head. Even though such good news would reach me in Austria, I knew his victory would only last so long, for the people of France did not want a King.
I was correct, his reign only lasted two years. The rebels struck back up and Charles did not have the money or the manpower to keep them at bay. The throne was lost again. Refusing to be in exile like me, he stayed. He stayed and continued to fight to no avail. The people soon arrested him and threw him in prison as a traitor to the French Republic. No matter how much Austria and England begged and pleaded and tried to pay them off for him, they refused to let him go. My poor, poor boy. I try to keep images of him in prison out of mind, but I can not help but picture him alone and miserable in his defeat.
“Let him in.” I responded and straightened out my dress. The messenger walked in ragged and tired from his hurried journey here. His skin with burnt from many miles traveled under the summer sun.
With a bow, he handed me a letter that had been in his side bag, “I came as quickly as a I could, milady.”
“Thank you, my steward will pay you for your great service.” With a nod and a bow, he quickly exited the room. The letter was worn and had seen many miles of sweat and heat. My heart raced and my greatest fear hung over me for I knew in my heart of hearts this letter held ill news. Before I can open the letter, Antoine rushes in the room.
“What news?” He exclaims.
“I have not opened it yet.” I chuckle at his anxiousness.
“T-then open it!” He sits down in the chair away from me.

“Alright, alright.” Without another second, I rip open the letter and pull out the once piece of paper from the envelope. There are only a couple lines from our informant, “Charles is dead.” The letter slips from my fingers and I lose myself to the pain and shock, but the tears will not come for I knew this day would come. My silly, proud boy, who only wanted one thing in his life, was gone forever. I had shed all my tears for him over the years for I knew his fate was cursed just like the rest of my family who lost their lives. My fate, I feel is worse for I was doomed to survive without my father, my mother, my brother, and now my poor, poor boy.    

Monday, July 14

Book Giveaway & Free Ebook!

Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Twenty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now she has exchanged her pink heart-dotted fountain pen for a computer keyboard (black, no hearts). She lives in a suburb of Frankfurt on the Main, Germany, with a cat, a duck, a sewing maching, and altogether too many books.

Who is ready for a giveaway????!!!!!!!

For this giveaway the lovely Sandra Schwab (talked about above) will be giving away TWO hard copies of her new book The Bride Prize. You have two chances to win! I will be randomly picking a winner and so will Blodeudd over at her blog. Make sure to slip on over there to enter!

"It's 1839, and Lord Eglinton's tournament in Scotland is the most anticipated event of the year: he and some of his noble friends will don medieval armor and joust like knights of old.

Does this mean a revival of true chivalry? Miss Florence Marsh thinks it might.

Or is the tournament mere tomfoolery and the greatest folly of the century? Mr. Robert Beaton thinks it is."

How To Enter:
1. Post a comment below saying you want to enter.
2. Opened to everyone
3.  Enter before July 28th

Make sure to head over to Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell for a second chance at winning!

Sandra Schwab is also giving away free ebooks of the third book in the series! (They all stand well as stand alones).  

"Lawrence Pelham works as a comic artist for the magazine Allan's Miscellany. A chance meeting with a young woman dressed in mourning changes Pel's whole life, and without his even knowing, he is thrown into a world of mystery and intrigue, where nothing is as it seems to be - especially not the woman he has given his heart to.

Her whole life Sarah Browne has been told how plain she is, how nondescript, destined to become an old maid. For years she has been her family's dutiful nursing maid, but now a secret inheritance and an encounter with the charming Mr. Pelham seem to offer her a chance to break out of her life of duty and drudgery - if she dares to take it. Yet how could such an interesting, witty man be possibly interested in her boring self?

And so, Sarah soon find herself entangled in a web of lies and deceit, which might cost her the love of her life." is giving away this book for free until the end of the week. Make sure to fly on over there. 

Sunday, July 13

Book Review: The Bride Prize by Sandra Schwab

Author: Sandra Schwab
Title: The Bride Prize (Allan's Miscellany 1839 #1)
Genre: Historical Romance, Short Story
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 2014
Where I Got It: On my shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

"It's 1839, and Lord Eglinton's tournament in Scotland is the most anticipated event of the year: he and some of his noble friends will don medieval armor and joust like knights of old.

Does this mean a revival of true chivalry? Miss Florence Marsh thinks it might.

Or is the tournament mere tomfoolery and the greatest folly of the century? Mr. Robert Beaton thinks it is."

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

Sandra Schwab strikes again with her new series!! I am assuming all of them are short stories (like about 80 pages or so) like this one. I haven't read them yet. However, I believe they all follow a man who works for the Allan's Miscellany, which is a paper that is a little controversial, because they are writers of the people and they look down on higher society. So some people are not fans of them. LIKE Miss Florence's padre. Oh dear. 

This one was sooooooo cute. It was cute, simple, but so much fun. Even though it is a short story everything is presented wonderfully. I feel like I am there watching the rich pretending to be knights. Sandra, even in 80 pages, still manages to bring not only the world to life, but the characters as well. Sometimes in short stories the writers tend to write their characters flat and very 2D. It happens if one doesn't fine the right balance. I loved Robbie and his pal Mac. Mac is a grumpy guy, but he's adorable and I hope he is one the main men in one of the other stories (I haven't checked yet). He deserves love to make him less cynical about the world around him.

The only thing I didn't like was how easily Robbie won over Flo's dad. Flo's dad hates the paper and hates the fact that Robbie hates the higher society (since Flo and the family are pretty much higher up - lower First class). Granted, Robbie did defend himself well and make a nice passionate speech, but still Flo's dad gave in too easy for me. Yes, yes, it is a short story, so things happen quickly. 

In the end, I really liked this story. It was fun, quick, simple, and quite lovely. I loved the couple! Flo is super adorable and Robbie is drool-worthy. I prefer Mr. Grumpy (Mac), though. Hopefully Mac is in one of the stories. If one loves Historical Romance, but also doesn't mind short stories pick this one up. Out of five stars, I shall grant this one 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Robbie, Flo, and Mac
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Flo's aunt. 

Friday, July 11

Book Review: The Host by Stephanie Meyers

Author: Stephenie Meyers
Title: The Host (Host #1)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and YA
Pages: 620
First Published: May 2008
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human."

This was another book from my book club I would have never picked up if it wasn't for the gang. Yes, I've read the Twilight series, but it's different. I'm not really a huge fan of the writer AND I'm not really a "aliens" type gal. There are a couple exceptions, but generally I don't do aliens.


The concept of this book is good and different and original. Rarely do you find a book that centralizes around the invasion of aliens that have succeeded and this is the aftermath. An interesting take, also, on HOW the aliens invade. Not only do they invade the planet, but they take over the bodies. Neat. Interesting. I like it. I also LOVE the fact that there are a few occasions when the original soul of the body is tough and refuses to be taken over so easily. Melanie is one of those souls. WHICH makes it hard on the Wanderer/Wanda who is a "veteran" of taking over bodies (this is not the aliens first time taking over a planet and its people. The first couple chapters seems surprisingly okay. However....things fall apart rather quickly.



A love triangle.


FIRST OF ALL, this love triangle is not a love triangle. Ian loves Wanda/Wanderer, while Jared is in love with Melanie and her body. It's odd and weird and I hated Jared. Yes, I get WHY he hated the new and improved Melanie, because it his not his girlie anymore. The Alien is inside of her. I TOTALLY GET IT! However, it's really annoying when he gets all protective over and and says he still loves her, but then punches her. WHAT?! What makes it worse is that Melanie and Wanderer are okay with this. Melanie is an idiot and is still drooling over herself of this man who has punched her like...well...four times. Yes, Ian did get a slug in at the very beginning (when he first laid eyes on her). However, he apologized when he realized Wanderer/Wanda is not a bad alien and that Melanie is still there. When he confesses love, he meant it and never hurt her again. Sorry, Jared, but I would kick you to the curb. 

Bella Swan complex again. Sorry everyone! 

I'll admit it. I did do A LOT OF SKIMMING! I'm sorry, but I couldn't help it. This book should not have been 600 or so page. NO WAY JOSE! There were so many events and parts that should have been cut out. They were unnecessary and dragged the story down. I think the editor just put his stamp of approval on it JUST because it is Stephanie Meyer. *smacks head on table* This was a tough read to get through, but once I got to the was kinda...a tiny bit worth it. It was a good ending even though I totally called it a mile away. Simple and easy solution. Too easy if you ask me. 

In the end, this was a tiny bit better then what I thought it would be. However, it was still hard to get through especially when Jared and the crazy, odd love triangle came about. It then dried up and I had to skim a lot to just get through. Honestly, I think I would have liked this better if some editing was done. NOT ALL STORIES CAN LAST 600 PAGES! MEH! Well, I shall stamp this with 2 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Ian (I would pick him in a heartbeat), Wanderer (Don't know why, but I liked her WAY better then Melanie), Uncle Jeb, and Doc
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Jared, Melanie, and Kyle (deserved the opposite decision).