Monday, October 10, 2016

October Monthly Recommendations: Monster Mash

This is my second time doing a monthly recommendation through a group on Good Reads named Monthly Recommendations. This group was created by Trina from Between Chapters and Kayla Rayne.  The book links go to Good Reads plus the creators of the group's Youtube channels.

This month is Monster Mash.  The group had a list of creatures and monster and we could recommend books pertaining to the list.  There are a number amount of ways this could be done.  Could pick just 1 creature, like a vampire, and just recommend all vampire books or pick monsters from certain books who you'd invite to your party.  

I decided just to pick certain creatures/monsters from the list and recommend books I really liked or loved based on the monster/creature being in the book.


Amy and her friends love a vampire series and find two of the main
 characters from the book series somehow are now in her world.  
One is a vampire hunter, Alexander, and the other one is a vampire.
The vampire attacks Amy and is saved by the vampire hunter.  
Both of them must figure out how to get Vigo out of Amy's world.

I really loved this book when I read it. I think this can appeal to
because I know I've wondered what it would be like if a book 
or characters from
a particular book were real.  Unfortunately for Amy, it just included 
an evil vampire :)
I really don't think this is a scary read, but a good read nonetheless.


Matt and his family are vampires.  One night Natalie is babysitting 
Matt's younger sister, Ashley, and Natalie throws a fit and bites Natalie, 
turning Natalie into a vampire as well.  Matt has been taking care of Natalie ever sense.

This is a novella, so it's a really quick read.  It may not have a lot of depth,
 but I loved it so much.



Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Good Reads Summary

Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast.

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

First off, can I mention it has elements from Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre.  My favorite fairy tale meets my favorite classic.  Now, this book is not what I'd classify as a retelling of either, but I definitely can see the parallels of both.  This book has vampires, a werewolf, and  a ghost.  Combines three of the categories in one.

This is a steampunk, romance book.  This one definitely has creepy moments in this book.  There is like a conjuring scene I really hated.  I don't like that sort of thing in my book, but other than that I devoured the book.


Mia has been asked out by a popular, football player, Rob.  But, Rob is starting to show interest in another girl.  With the help of Mia's best friend, Candice, they set out to make a love potion, but instead, they actually create a zombie virus that affects her classmates.  Suddenly, Mia is popular, or at least, she thinks she is.

Chase, a zombie hunter, enters the scene and tells Mia her class is actually just trying to make her fat so they can eat her.

It's been a while since I read this one.  I might reread this one because I forgot how fun this sounds.



Winnie Price has written for a while.  She dreams of a fae realm almost every night and has notebooks about her dreams.  She thinks, along with her friend, that she is a good writer until the owl that visits her turns into Cathair, a dark Fae Prince whom she has dreamed and written about.

This is the first in a novella series.  I have read books by Tera before, but this is one of my favorites of her.  I still like Forgive My Fins more by her, but this is really a close second.  I didn't not expect to like this as much as I did.  I haven't read a lot of faery books, but I highly recommend this.

You can get the first two free, but you need to confirm the subscription.

Feel free to recommend me some books or which one you think sounds the best out of what I listed! :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Selection by Kiera Cass


Title: The Selection
 Author: Kiera Cass
  Published: April 24, 2012
 Publisher: HarperTeen
Series or standalone: The Selection #1
Format: paperback
 Source: own

Summary from Good Reads:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Review:

I started to read this before and remember loving it so much, but I feel like I didn’t love it like I did then.  I only got to like 100 pages I think.  I believe I would have given it five stars if I didn’t wait so long to read it. 

I don’t read a lot of dystopian books, and I always say that I’m iffy on them.  I do get intrigued by some.  One element that I feel like I enjoy are the caste systems in dystopians.  I really enjoyed this one and do believe I enjoyed this so much because of the competition, royalty, and contemporary aspects of the book.

I definitely remember rooting for the opposite person in the love triangle and found myself wanting to root for that person this time, but I think I am close if not to switching sides.  I do know who America ends up with though.  That still doesn’t change the love triangle struggle for me. 

I will mention that I felt uncomfortable through some of the kissing scenes because of some occurring in America’s bedroom.  I do not like those kind of scenes in books.  I know others won’t be bothered with it, but I definitely was.

I think that is one reason this book got a 4 stars for me.  I’m still looking forward to reading the other books in this series and the duology spin on this trilogy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


                                                       Title: Snow Like Ashes
 Author:  Sara Raasch
  Published: October 14, 2014
 Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series or standalone: Snow Like Ashes #1
Format: paperback
 Source: own

Summary from Good Reads:

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Review:

I saw the cover of this book in Wal-Mart and was immediately drawn in.  I will say I’m not particularly a huge fan of fantasy.  I like some of it especially when it deals with mermaids, but this is clearly not a mermaid book.

I was hesitant after I read the synopsis because I try, for the most part, to stay away from dark books. Definitely was afraid to pick up the book because of this.  I finally decided to read it about 2 years later and was right on it being a darker book.  Maybe, the better word would be heavy. 

I never have read fantasy books that had kingdoms based on seasons, and I really enjoyed that.  I really am a newb when it comes to fantasy. I loved that people from a specific kingdom looked a certain race, similar clothing, etc.

Character-wise, I did not care for Meira much.  I sometimes felt for her, but I am put off my the war torn, hard-edge girl that can is displayed a lot.  I loved reading about Meira and Mather together but that quickly changed.  There is a love triangle in this. Enter Theron, a prince of the Summer Kingdom.

I was like, “oh, no,” when I Theron entered the picture.  I normally don’t have problems with love triangles and actually prefer having them in books.  However, I was already invested with Mather.  I really ended up liking Theron and do think I’m leaning forward more to his direction.

Meira was so blasé in how she dropped her feelings for Mather so quickly at a certain point in the book because I feel like someone in that situation would have at least felt sad instead of cutting feelings off completely.  This made me have very negative feelings toward Meira. 

I do like Theron and am unclear if I really like him more than Mather.

Meira and Mather have been through a lot and I believe he deserved better.

There was something that I suspected would happen and it did.  However, something happened that reversed it, which I feel happy and cheated.  I am so conflicted on how I feel about what I’m alluding, too.

Overall, I’m pretty surprised that I loved the book like I did, but I didn’t like how violent it got or some cursing.  It only cussed maybe 4 or so times, so it’s not as much as I have read.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September Wrap-Up and October TBR

  • The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
  • King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt
  • Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen
  • P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
    What I read in September

    I have read the first two books in a mermaid series by Brenda Pandos but was nervous about reading her vampire series.  I'm not really sure why I was nervous, but I really enjoyed this one a lot.  I read this in a day.

King of the Friend Zone by Sheralynn Pratt 4/5 roses

I was sold when I saw the title of the book.  This book has a few instances of innuendo, which I really hated and was confused a little in a scene in the beginning.  After the scene was over, I started to get into the book more.  

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen 5/5 roses

This is the first book I ever read by Nancy and am looking forward to more.  This is a steampunk, paranormal book with inspiration of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast.  Jane Eyre is my favorite classic  and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie/ fairy tale.

This is a MUST read for October.

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West 5/5 roses

This book was just so cute.  I never have read a book by Kasie West before, and I have definitely been missing out.  I prefer my contemporaries light, and this one was just that.  

As you can see, September was a really great month of reading for me. 

What I plan to read in October


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Cress by Marissa Meyer

I recently finished Cinder and really enjoyed it.  I'm going to try to start finishing books as I start the series, so that's why I'm aiming to read the 2nd and 3rd book in the series.  I'm really bad at finishing a series once I start it, so I'm hoping to read this series pretty back to back so I don't need to reread any books.

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

I mostly want to read this book because I'm pretty sure it will make me scared. I don't have a big tolerance for those types of books anymore, but I think I can handle this one okay.

The Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos

This one should also fit the Halloween, creepy vibe.  Second book in a vampire series.  To me, I feel like it's more suspenseful or spooky.  I didn't get really scared at all in the first, but still think it's spooky enough for October.

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Out of all the books, I'm not sure if I'll get to this one or not.  I probably will just because to help break things up.  Again, I recently read The Selection in July or August and want to finish the trilogy and duology companion while I remember the first book.

What books are you going to read for October?  Feel free to leave your TBR links :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 by Various Authors


Authors: Merrillee Whren, Pat Simmons,
Cindy Flores Martinez, Josie Riviera,
and Victoria Pinder
Title: Sweet Christmas Kisses 3
  Published: September 27, 2016
 Publisher: Indie Writers, Inc
Series or standalone: series (loose)
Format: e-book
 Source: for review/own

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 is an anthology of 17 novellas.  I received a bundle of 5 of them to review.  All of these are the first works I’ve read by these authors and will keep an eye out for future stories.

Second Chance Christmas by Merrillee Whren
A young boy helps his estranged parents find love again at Christmas.

3.5 roses

I get that the couple is married, but it didn’t sit well with me about mentions of the estranged couple’s choices of bedroom activity at some point of the book.  Yes, the couple is still legally married, but it has been four years since they have seen each other.  I just could not get past that.  I was expecting more of a Christmas feeling to this story. 

Christmas Eve Wedding by Cindy Flores Martinez
A maid of honor is swept up in the chaos of planning her best friend’s spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve wedding.

4 roses

To me the, setting of this book captured the Christmas feel that I have of the season.  I thought this story began really strong.  I liked the dynamics between Al and Jillian and would have liked a longer story with them.  I just wish the last chapter was drawn out more.  It was really abrupt and tried to fit too much information at once.  I wish there was another chapter or two to really flesh things out better.  There is a couple in the book that already had a story.  I am interested in reading about them. 

Secret Wish by Victoria Pinder
Luke Morgan doesn’t believe in miracles, but this season Christmas brought him Caro Soliz, the family maid.

3.5 roses

I was confused a little bit with all of the family drama, but that may just be me. I really wished this book wasn’t a part of an existing series.  I didn’t really feel as connected to the characters with this story as I did in others.  There is a minor plot point that doesn’t get fully resolved either.  I would rather the whole novella have tied up completely.    

Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera
A rising pianist and a pro stuntman winding down his career find love amid the glow of Christmas candles.

4 roses

I feel like this book me more into a wintery mood than Christmas, but I still rather enjoyed it.  I really like that it included a candle shop.  I liked that Gabe had a crush on Noelle since high school, but I do felt like it moved a little fast for each other since it has been a while since they have seen each other.  I also really hated some of the language in the story.  I do believe the pacing other than I mentioned was good.

Couple by Christmas by Pat Simmons
Divorcee Derek Washington wants to reconcile with his ex-wife by Christmas. Although he’s got a plan, with the help of his six-year-old son, Derek only has two weeks.

5 roses

This story probably had the best, true representation of Christmas.  Although the couple definitely had a past together, I did not feel over logged with any backstory.  To me, incorporating backstory is one of the hardest thing in book, let alone a novella.  I think Pat handled this the best I’ve seen in a while.  Most Christian books I’ve read don’t include the Holy Ghost as much as this one has.  I really enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I’d would.  I will say this novella isn’t fully complete.  The couple’s story will be continued in another novella.  Although I wish the story was completed in this novella, I think the ending was the right one.

Final thoughts on all:

I did enjoy this set as a whole.  I have bought the whole set and plan to read them all at some point.   As I read more stories in this set, I’m going to try to update this review and add them below this.  I think this is a great deal.  My biggest qualm is I felt like most of the stories had Christmas as an afterthought.  There were standouts in that regard, in which I think Couple by Christmas and Christmas Eve Wedding had it more for me.  I still recommend this set, especially if you want to sample a huge array of authors for a steal.  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

King of the Friend Zone (Power of the Matchmaker) by Sheralyn Pratt


Title: King of the Friend Zone

 Author: Sheralyn Pratt
  Published: September 1, 2016
 Publisher: Wicked Sassy
Series or standalone: series (loose)
Format: e-book
 Source: for review

I received a copy for review.

Summary from Good Reads:

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem.

The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?

My Review:

This is the 9th book in the loosely related series, Power of the Matchmaker, and the third book that I read.  At first glanced, I thought the title of the book was so funny, but I was hesitant about the blurb of the book due to the mention of Miss Pearl, the matchmaker in the series, wanting Esme and Hunter to give each other a chance while she was engaged.  It really didn’t sit well with me.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book at first because I found the very beginning hard to get through, but I found myself flipping through this book pretty fast.  It was definitely a quicker read for me.  I will say that I loved Pearl in this more than the other 2 books I’ve read in the series, but the other 2 had much cleaner content.  I was definitely put off by the content of this book.  I’ve been waiting for Miss Pearl to have a role more in the line of the Asian lady in the movie, Freaky Friday.  There was definitely that kind of fun, pushy personality that I loved.

All my qualms aside, I still rather enjoyed the book as a whole.  The one major downfall for me was the mild innuendos, and I really didn't like Jon and Hunter that much.

Monday, September 5, 2016

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund


Title: An Uncertain Choice
 Author: Jody Hedlund

   Published: March 3, 2015
 Publisher: Bethany House
Series or standalone: An Uncertain Choice #1
Format: paperback

 Source: for review

Good Reads Summary:

Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

I really enjoyed this book.  I don’t read too many books in the medieval setting, but I definitely want to read more.  I think most of the major plot points are easy to guess, but that didn’t bother me. 

There a couple of torture scenes that bothered me.  Definitely not for anybody squeamish.  Also, I didn’t like reading from the male character’s POV.  There weren’t that many POV’s from him, but sometimes I felt like it seemed like a girl POV instead. That may just be me though. 

For anybody that prefers one knight of the other, Jody is writing a book that features each knight.  I am interested in the others in this series, but I am really hesitant about picking them up if they have more gruesome scenes like the one in this one.

Although I enjoyed the book, I cannot recommend this book for younger teens.  Just be really cautious if you pick this book up.