Monday, February 29

B's Monday Review - Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.

My thoughts:
Now first there is the whole should I review this differently cos it was an audio book thing...

Let's do that, first up story:

Alix got screwed over and now she hunts for treasures for other people. I am not that happy about that, but I liked her too much to stay mad. If I were to dislike a fault it is the fact that she never listens and rushes in, she is too headstrong and wants to save everyone.

Vampires are after her because of a botched job. A dragon hires her for another. And she does not even likes supernaturals (but it seems that when you dig for treasures you will come across them and your world will never be the same.)

She has a cat for a sidekick, yay.
She has some feelings for this guy.....can't say more.
She has a friend in Japan, and she totally needs good friends because she is trouble.
Oh and she plays way too much Warquest (I forgot the name of the made up game, was it this?), but that was actually fun to hear about.

I liked her, I enjoyed the story.

Now to the narration.
Hmm, what to say. Well the narrator did an excellent job. They really make it or break it for me. She was great and I enjoyed listening to her voice. Sometimes the accents were a bit..hmm, but overall amazing job.

And now I do not know what else to say about the did make me want to listen to book 2 like this too. But then reading is fun and goes faster ;)

A great start to this series.

Christy Romano (Narrator), Audible Studios
Audible Audio, 14 hours and 55 minutes
Published December 29th 2015 by Audible Studios (first published January 13th 2015)
The Adventures of Owl #1
urban fantasy

Sunday, February 28

Joint Review: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This month Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller.

Author: Madeline Miller
Title: The Song of Achilles
Genre: Historical Fiction & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: September 201
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles' mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. 

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

B: So where to begin with this epic story (that wasn’t epic at all.)

C: Hahaha. I must comment that it was better than I had thought…..BUT it was still only decent for me.

B: True, I thought I’d dislike it, but I enjoyed it, well to a point, then it  started to draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag.

C: Yes. It certainly was sooooo slow. SO much talking. I did like the beginning when they were young. It was nice to see young Achilles before Troy or even thinking about going to Troy. However, that was still slow.

B: Slow, but good. The worst part was so the war. NOTHING happened. We saw NOTHING. The most boring war in the history of wars.  I could have handled slow but boring, no, just no. The second part made it an ok read

C: Agreed. I honestly did SO much skimming during the war part, because it was boring me. Which is a bummer!! The last couple of chapters got MUCH better, so I’m glad it ended strongly.

B: With everyone dead,...ok so I knew that, but still, I was all why did I even read this? I hate endings like that and I so did not get the whole oh look there is someone visiting me. Did the Greeks believe in ghosts?

C: I believe they did. Especially if they didn’t properly take care of the remains of the dead. Poor Pat. I actually kinda sorta liked him in this. Normally, I find him annoying, but I liked him in this one. I don’t mind endings like this, because I do like tragedies! LOL

B: Many did believe that. Sucks to be him. It was just so weird and all floating and stuff. I, oh I do not know. It was all what was it for? Stupid Pat, you brought on his destruction. Maybe someone could have told him that. I mean Achilles´mum did hate him

C: Honestly though! If Achilles’ madre JUST flat out said, “Yo - if you go you will kill Achilles….so like...don’t go.” For goodness sakes! I’m sure if he was told THAT he would have stayed and cheered from the sidelines.

B: Stupid Greeks. I am glad they all died. Talking about stupid people, I hated his son so much. What a little creep. Ewwwww.

C: YES! He was a little snot. >___> Especially what he did to Hector’s innocent baby. Like what the hell? I hate that part of the story.

B: I know you have been fed ambrosia and whatever, but still 13 and a man. How old was Andromache by then too? God I hate that creep, I wanna go back in time and strangle him and cut of his *beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep*

C: Bleurgh. Annoying little buttface! LOL Sooooooo what did you think about the portrayal of Achilles in this?

B: I have no feelings at all. he was just there. He was nothing special, I never saw him as a hero. He was kind of dull.

C: Agreed. I’m glad he wasn’t an arrogant snot like he normally is portrayed as in other renditions. BUT he was boring. He felt very 2D to me.

B: I wish for arrogant at times, cos this. So boring. The hero of the Greeks? Ha.

C: He’s no Stamos for sure! LOLLLLL Any final thoughts?

B: Ok wait. Let me see. Good first part even if it was slow cos I can like that. The war was boring. We never got an insight into Troy. The Greek men are creepy rapists, especially you snotfaced devil. Achilles was a boring guy. Good old Pat was nice, but nice guys finishes last, and dies. Ha. Oh, I wanted more Gods. Now we just got that bitch of a mother.

C: still feel for Pat. But yes, the beginning was a good slow. The middle due to the boring war was uberly slow. Achilles in no Stamos. I wanted more Hector and insight into the Troy side as well. The last couple of pages, for me, were pretty good. I had low expectations for this, but it was a wee bit better than I thought….so a win-ish?

B: I had so low expectations (since I knew this war was stupid), so for me it was a huge win. I just wish the end was as good as the beginning cos the beginning was really good for me. I liked the style and then it all went up in flames. Like the city of Troy.

C: Oooooh Troy. I feel bad for the innocents like Hector’s wife and child. But I have to agree. The style was nice. I am curious to see if the author has anything else.

B: For me I hope it is a happier book ;)

C: She might be an evil writer and only write overly sad tales of woe and despair.

B: How depressing.

C: Very. The end?

B: The end.

C: Your turn! hehehe

B: And I said that YA book ;)

C: oooooh right! I nearly forgot! Excited. I hope it’s good.

**Carole's Conclusion**

This turned out better than I had thought. Very slow for being an "epic" love and war story. Bummer. I really liked the beginning and the last couple of chapters. The war part though bored me to tears, so I skimmed. I'm a bad kid, I know. In the end, I shall stamp this with 2 stars. 

Friday, February 26

Book Review: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Author: Charles Frazier
Title: Cold Mountain
Genre: Historical Fiction & Romance
Pages: 449
First Published: 1997
Where I Got It: My shelf (A gift many years ago)

The tale of a wounded Confederate soldier, Inman, who walks away from the ravages of the war & back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. His odyssey thru the devastated landscape of the soon-to-be-defeated South interweaves with Ada’s struggle to revive her father’s farm, with the help of an intrepid young drifter named Ruby. As their long-separated lives begin to converge at the close of the war, Inman & Ada confront the vastly transformed world they’ve been delivered.

One of my favorite books. Its been many a long time since I've read it, so I thought it was a good choice for Book Club (it was my turn to pick something). I feel an even stronger bond with this book since I've been doing that Ancestry project of mine. On both of my parents sides I have members of my family who fought during that horrible war. I've had family on both sides of the Civil War. I even had a member who fought in the North Carolina regiment like Inman. So I feel a little closer to Inman now. 

Such a horrible time in American vs brother in one of the bloodiest wars to date. We had more causalities in this war then WWII. Extremely sad. 

Poor Inman....he didn't really want to join. He wanted to be home and marry Ada. Much like Odysseus he has a hell of a journey home to the love of his life and the town/state he loves. Honestly, I love how it wasn't all about Ada. He wanted to be home. He wanted to see Cold Mountain again. However, he has many, many trails to conquer before he can do this. 

I adore Ada and her transformation. She was a southern belle who is forced to survive alone without her Dad and Inman. Ruby is an assistant in this growth, but Ada becomes a strong woman. Yes, she yearns for Inman with every fiber of her being, but so many has died from the war and she cannot rely on him coming back. Ruby and Ada also have many trails to conquer. 

My only complaint with the book is the lack of quotation marks. I get what the author was trying to do....but it was annoying.

Other then that, I have no complaints.

This book poked many issues of the time like racism, sexism, human rights, war, and so forth. Everything was tied together with beautiful scenery and the power of music and love. Simply beautiful in my opinion.

If one is to read a book about the American Civil War, I recommend this one. The movie does justice to the book (even though I question Nicole Kidman as Ada) and I think both need to read/watched in order to truly grasp the story. The both really show humanity at its worst and its best. They show the true human element of the time period in all its beauty and uglyness. This one quote is in both (a wee different in the film), "They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say, 'Shit! It's raining!"

This book is and will remain on my top 5 books (which I should make a post about that...hmmmm) Of course, I shall stamp it with 5 stars.

Monday, February 22

B's Monday Review - Duality by Renee Wildes

Dara Khan Androcles is really in over her head this time. From childhood she s been forced to hide her half-dragon mage fighting skills behind a public persona as a healer. Now, with a traitor and his demon threatening the throne of Safehold, Dara has no choice but to turn reluctant warrior and seek help.

She strikes a bargain with runaway Elven prince Loren ta Cedric and his sentient, pain-in-the-butt war mare, Hani ena. Loren s not only too handsome for Dara s own good, the powerful empath can see right through to the pain that drives her.

Loren can't help but feel Dara s every hurt, physical and emotional. Though his need for her drives him half mad, he must stay his course to see justice done for his people. Even if it means swearing a Life Debt to the distracting mortal.

That vow, made in the heat of their parallel quests, carries more power than either of them guessed. The power to bond the unlikely pair as Life Mates. The power to lay bare the fears and desires that could bind them to a single purpose or tear them apart.

All the while a demon awaits, ready to destroy all that they hold dear.

My thoughts:
Oh this was a silly light fantasy romance. Do not expect any world building. It starts off in a country and then suddenly there are lots of more things. Like it took a 1 day to walk to the elves and I was all, whaat? Cos weren't they fairytales? Or wait, just, never mind. The world building lacked

But if you want a little romance about a woman who has nothing and meets a cute guy, who then turns out to be a prince, and whose family are assholes to her (well not all). And then we find out she was more than just a silly little peasant. And she is an awesome healer too btw, and everyone loves her. And then they live happily ever after.

Oh and there is a bad guy, but to not worry, it takes 80% of the book, one week, for all nations to meet him in battle. And then it's over in 10 pages and there is this loooooooooooooooooong blah blah blah where they find happiness.

But hey, it was ok, I just think it could have been fleshed out more. 

ebook, 411 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Samhain Publishing
Guardians of the Light #1
fantasy romance

Sunday, February 21

Super Duper Late Blogoversary & Giveaway Time

I really stink at remembering dates like this. This blog turned 4 on the 4th. Jee wowzer. I guess I was thinking it was the 24th, not the 4th. Oh well...

Anyways! I can't believe it has been 4 years since I created this blog. There have been ups and downs. There have been some AMAZING people I have had the pleasure of "meeting". There have been some not so amazing people that have tried to belittle what I do and me. Thus is life.

In honor of my blog and the wonderful people I have met, I will be hosting a giveaway. ^____^ I'm too lazy to deal with rafflecopter, so we'll just go ahead and have you enter through commenting.


  • 1 Winner shall be picked at random
  • Open for everyone - even my international buddies
  • Must be a follower of this blog (and/or subscribed)
  • Must comment below with email address OR link to "Contact Me" page on blog (I need to be able to contact you somehow)
  • Giveaway will end Feb 28th
  • Has 24 hours to respond or a new winner shall be chosen.
The Prizes
The Movie - 'Cold Mountain'
The Novel - 'Elizabeth I' by Margaret George

Annnndddddd......a mystery book. It shall be a surprise when you get it. Why? Because I am evil hehehe. ^_^

Good luck everyone! And again, thanks for all the support.

Saturday, February 20

Book Review: Life After Joe by Ann Benjamin

Author: Ann Benjamin
Title: Life After Joe
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

When the love of your life leaves, where do you go? 

When thirty-something Liz McNeil is unexpectedly widowed, she has no idea what to do with her life. After the initial shock of her husband's death wears off, she packs up her car and sets off on a tour of the country with Joe's urn in the passenger seat. Using social media to connect with a variety of friends and family, Liz works through her grief in a number of unpredictable methods. As she shares her experience via blog posts, on a road trip full of surprises, Liz takes what life has given her and makes the best of her situation. 

Liz just lost her husband and she is trying to move on and grieve. She decides to go on a roadtrip with her dog and her husbands urn. It is no normal roadtrip...shes on a mission to make a stop to key figures in both her and her late husband's life. 

Feelings. Lots and lots of feelings. Lots of sad moments, lots of funny moments, lots of angry moments, and so forth. This made me feel. I was worried it would just be full of sadness, but there is hope in this and it made me happy. I had many moments of blurting out exclamations and questions. "What would I do?" "You go girl." "So sad!" "Really? Weird!" And so forth. Poor Boyfriend had to deal with that and me asking what he would do if I died. hahaha. Gotta love when a book makes you think like that and can't help but blurt out emotions. 

I had a love-hate relationship with the way the story was told. Liz has a blog about her journey. It was certainly unique and a way to really get into the mind of the character. However, some posts seemed overly long and ranty. I would skim from time-to-time. I understand that the blog is acting as a personal diary and all that, but some of the long rants didn't really help progress the story. But yes - I loved it, but then at points I didn't.

I hated Joe's father....buttface. That is all.

Adrian?? I'm not sure how I feel about him and that whole situation. I had hopes elsewhere personally. Like maybe Will. Hmmm. Sorry to be vague...I can't explain much further....just not sure my feelings on that.

This certainly was a refresher for me especially in the Chick Lit arena. It made me think and feel. I read this in only a couple of sittings. I highly recommend it. Is it book of the year? No, but it was good. Some of Liz's choices surprised me especially in regards to Adrian. I liked the blog post set-up, but sometimes it annoyed me. 

In the end, I shall stamp this with 3 stars. 

Friday, February 19

Movie Review: My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Length: 99 mins
Released: 2011
Genre: Drama
Rating: R
Where I Got It: Netflix


Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl in the 1950s. 


 This has been on my TWL for a long time now, because I adore Marilyn Monroe. The moment I seen it was available Netflix I popped it on. 

Yes, I had high exceptions because I do love Marilyn Monroe and I want them to do right by her. Also, the cast is good, so I have high expectations of them. Did the movie meet me expectations? Sadly…no. 

The cast is amazing and you love Marilyn Monroe…so what is the issue you may asked.
It felt 2D. The characters were flat and the storyline seemed unrealistic and boring. Yes, I wasn’t expecting this boy to be the love of her life. She certainly just was looking for a bit of fun, but there was no emotion. I wanted to punch everyone. Everything seemed so forced. Honestly….I barely made it to the end. Not because the film was horrible, but it didn’t catch my attention and interest. I pretty much surfaced the internet while watching this, because I was bored. There are only a few moments in the film that caught my full attention. That is sad.

I must put in a good word though…the costumes were lovely and accurate. Kuddos to that department. Also, the main actress looked and sounded like Ms Monroe. It was nice, but her acting left me wanting more…in a bad way.

So disappointing. I expected so much out of this and I was left bored and bummed. 

There is little left to say at this point. I’ll be honest…I barely remember the vast majority of the film except for a few highlights. Very forgettable. 

 I do not recommend this film unless you are looking for background noise. I had so much hope for this, but a big meh from me. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 1. 

Re-watch?: Maybe give it another chance 10 years from now when I am feeling nicer. hahaha

Thursday, February 18

Book Review: Speak (Guilt) by Laurie Halse Anderson

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Title: Speak (Guilt)
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 198
First Published: October 1999
Where I Got It: Borrowed from friend

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.

Another recommendation from my friend Reece. J I instantly was curious to check this out because of the summary and especially the cover. The cover was the most intriguing to me.

Poor Melinda. I did feel bad for her, but then a part of me was really, really annoyed at her, because she would NOT tell anyone what happened to her. She lost all her middle school friend, her parents are mad at her, her grades are slipping (except for Art), she keeps getting in trouble, and letting people bully her all because she won’t talk about what happened to her at that party. Granted – I blame the parents. They were never helpful with trying to get her to open up. They just yelled and yelled. Dumb oblivious parents…

The beginning was good. The middle lost me for a few, but then the ending had me anxious to find out what happens next. The last paragraph angered me. I wanted justice! I wanted more! GAH.

This was written like a diary, but the secret of the book was WHAT happened to her even though it was very apparent at one point. I liked the writing style, I felt closer to the character, but I felt like it wasn’t a true diary, because I feel like Melinda would have at least mentioned what happened to her in a little more detail OR something.

Even though this was a shorter book, it still took me an eon to finish it. Why? Well – it’s not a book you can read all at once. I needed to step away and maul over what I just read. Sometimes I like when books make you think that much.

In the end, this was pretty good. I was annoyed at Melinda, but I did feel bad for her and understand her. The middle was a drag, but the beginning and end were good. The ending left me wanting me more!! Well, I do recommend this for those looking for a darker book with some funny moments. Out of 5 stars, I stamp this with…..mmmm…3.  

Monday, February 15

B's Monday Review - A Lady's Revenge by Tracey Devlyn

British agent Cora deBeau has spent the last three years seducing secrets from the most hardened of French spies while searching for her parents’ killer. When her latest assignment goes awry, she suffers at the hands of her French captor until Guy Trevelyan, the Earl of Helsford and master cryptographer, saves her during a daring rescue. Scarred and wary of men, Cora shies away from the one man who could heal her savaged heart.

After rescuing Cora from a French dungeon, Guy discovers it was one of his deciphered messages that led to her captivity. Guy strives to earn her forgiveness while outwitting their enemy. But will he find the scars on her wounded soul run too deep? 

My thoughts:
OH there is only one person in this dungeon, damn! Oh well, I will rescue that person anyway, even though the only person in this dungeon was supposed to be the woman called raven. The awesome spy. But this woman can't be her. I almost changed my mind and left her there.
Great logic there Guy.

I will not tell Guy that I know this is a trap, I will rush headstrong into it, even though we could make a trap ourselves and save us a LOT of time. But I am just a headstrong young woman that do not listen to men.
And almost gets kidnapped more times than I can count.

But it was still fun. The villain was an idiot too. I mean you had her SO many times. LOL.
The heroine was an idiot cos she kept putting herself in the villain's path.
The hero, well he was actually not an idiot later on, but how he put up with her. Oh man.

The fall in love. She is all I am ruined..yeah, you were a spy. Duh. Women! They conquer the bad guy and live happily ever after. 

Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Nexus #1
Historical romance

Sunday, February 14

Book Review: Across Borders by Lee Ducote

Author: Lee Ducote
Title: Across Borders
Genre: Fiction 
Pages: ebook
First Published: February 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by publisher and/or author for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Lawson Caine, an eight year veteran of the Border Patrol, is stationed in Presidio Texas with legendary lawman Capt. James Garrett. Lawson, who is from a long linage of lawmen, has gained the respect and reverence from his team, Dale Chanson, Terry Bennet, and the crazy member, Alex Sweeny. Together as a team their mission is to protect the US by patrolling the borders of Mexico for illegal aliens and the never ending drug trade. 
James Garrett, who goes by the name Cap, has trained many young rookies from the academy and served as a father figure before turning them over to other stations within the four states that border Mexico. Their greatest task and personal vendetta is to capture a famous smuggling lord who is barbaric and callous leaving many Mexicans to die in the rugged terrain of West Texas. Over the last few years Lawson and Sweeny have built a brotherhood and together they work through the struggle of Sweeny becoming a widower and raising his eight year old daughter all while keeping a guarded eye on the border. 
Lawson never expected anything to come between his dedication with the Border Patrol and his brotherhood with Sweeny until he meets local pharmacy owner, Lia Gonzales. Against her father’s wishes and the dissension she causes with her family Lia continues to see Lawson not realizing the inevitable consequences. Love blind, Lawson leads his team into a dangerous situation with Lia’s brother, who works for the smuggling lord, and loses more than his relationship with Lia. 

This is my first read from this author and I couldn't wait to read this, because it is so different. Yes, there is an impossible love story mixed in, but the characters were refreshing and the plot new. 

I loved Cap and his team members.They were fun. I was worried that all those extra side characters would not be done well and would be 2D, but the author did a wonderful job giving them in depth personality and traits. This is hard to do, but it was done well. I'm not sure how I felt about Lia. I liked her in the beginning, but then some of her decisions bugged me. Totally GET her hesitance, but still.

Honestly, I'm glad there was romance and action in this. It seemed really balanced and realistic. This would make a cute movie. 

My only real big complaint was the beginning. The beginning was really sloooooowwwwww; it felt like nothing was going to happen. I will be honest...I almost gave up. However, I pushed through and after 25 pages or so - it got so much better and I could hardly put it down. It's also an easy read, so once I was hooked and I flew through it. 

I can't really say much else - but one part really made me sad. :( 

Overall, this was a fun read. Something new and refreshing. The characters were fun and the drama/action was intriguing. The beginning was sloooooowwwwwwww, but it did get better. One part made me walk away for a minute, but I love when books make me feel like that. I would recommend this to those who need a quick read, but something interesting. I stamp this with 4 stars.