Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review Thursday- Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Published July 26th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.

Despite what all the negative reviews say about the opener to this book, I loved it! Who doesn’t love a good girl smack down?!
In Wildefire, we follow Ashline from her home in upstate New York to Northern California. After witnessing her sister, Eve, electrocute a classmate Ashline decides it’s time to get as far away from home and her sister as possible. At her new school Ashline is drawn to a group of students by weird events. As the story unfolds, we learn what these students have in common with each other and how they all ended up at the same small boarding school...

For Ashline, the drama never seems to end. The sister she tried so hard to get away from keeps showing up and screwing with her school life. Plus she has to deal with the daily school/boy drama. Not to mention the creepy weird monsters in the forest.

I liked the Knight’s take on mythology. I don’t know much about Polynesian mythology, but after reading this book I so want to go out and learn more! I am very picky about the way authors treat mythology and I thought Knight did a great job.

I absolutely loved and hated how this book ended! I loved it because Knight wrote a totally awesome cliffhanger making me want to read the next book. I hated it because I am now dying to read a book that is not out yet and won’t be out for some time!

Overall I really enjoyed this book and am salivating at the chance to read Embers & Echoes!

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lack of posting...

Hi Ya'll!  Sorry I have been so absent lately.. I spent the last 2 weeks trying to get over a horrible cold (or something..) I am feeling so much better now! I promise I will get back to posting recipes and reviews this week! I've got a review for Wildefire going up tomorrow and will try and get 2 recipes up by the weekend..

I hope everyone is having a good week so far!
What have ya'll been up too?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review Thursday- Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen
 Published September 1st 2011 by Harlequin Teen

I can't move forward with my life, until I know my demons are confined to the past…
Being Charlotte Silver, the daughter of famous paranormal investigators, means my life isn't like that of other teenage girls. Especially after what happened to my parents. Things changed. I missed prom and deferred my big college plans. But I still have my boyfriend, Noah. He's everything I could want—if I can figure out what's up with him. Suddenly Noah is secretive.

Oh my! How do I even start? When last we left Charlotte Silver, her mom was in a coma and the Watcher had been subdued.
As you dive into Beyond the Grave, there is immediate intrigue with the mysterious Michael and Noah’s never healing bruise. As Charlotte starts her first semester at college, her mom is still in a coma and has until January before the doctors say they will need to discuss other “options”.
Charlotte and Shane try to keep the family business together while her dad spends every waking moment by her mom’s bedside. With a trip to an old prison to get some footage, weird things start to happen.
The first day of classes hold a few surprises for Charlotte. She runs into Bliss and meets Michael. As Charlotte and Bliss start a new friendly relationship, Charlotte learns that the Watcher is not entirely gone, and turns to bliss for help. Michael keeps showing up where Charlotte least expects it. Who is he?
Meanwhile Noah’s mom and Shane announce that they are engaged, and Noah starts acting strange. First he’s sleepwalking and having no memory of it, and then Charlotte finds out that he is lying to everyone about his whereabouts.
Charlotte must find a way to help her mom wake up, find a way to save Noah and stop the Watcher for good. All without having to worry her dad or Noah’s mom.
Overall I loved how once again I was sucked up into the world of Charlotte Silver. I could not put this book down! I look forward to more from this Author.
My rating: 5/5 stars

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi ya'll!
What an exciting week! I was contacted a few weeks ago to participate in a book tour! I got the books I am to review over the weekend. The look very interesting.

What I got:

The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman
I'm very excited to read these books! So look forward to my reviews and a guest post from the author(!) in the next few months!

Velva Jean Learns to Fly by Jennifer Niven
I won this signed copy from Goodreads!

What I read:

I was really sick over the last week so I didn't get much read. I'm in the middle of reading The Bentley's buy a Buick and have started The Lens and the Looker.

That's all for me. What are you reading?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review Thursday- One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen & a Giveaway!

 One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Published February 15th 2011 by Harlequin
It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

This is the second book in the Past Midnight series by Mara Purnhagen.  At first I was not sure how I would like this series. I don’t like those ghost hunter shows on TV, but I was absolutely blown away by this series! I loved it!
One hundred Candles takes place a few months after the events that happened in the first book, where Charlotte got a glimpse into the other world. While trying to act like a normal teenage girl, Charlotte agrees to go to a party with her friends, Noah and Avery. She runs into Harris, who invites her to another party across the street. Once there she finds a group of people sitting on the floor surrounded by candles. The object of the game is to tell a real ghost story or occurrence that has happened to you or someone you know, and then light a candle. When all one hundred candles have been lit, they wait for something spooky to happen…
With nothing happening at the party everyone was convinced it didn’t work. Until a few days later when weird things start happening at school. With the strange things at school and the investigations Charlotte helps her parents with; she has a full plate of weird.  Somewhere along the way, the weird and strange things start to affect her life and she is faced with a “thing” called the Watcher. If all that wasn’t bad enough, she is having relationship issues with not only her boyfriend, but with her friend Noah.  
I love how easily I was drawn into the life of Charlotte Silver.  There was never a dull moment. This book was a complete page turner and had me on the edge of my seat till the end. With the end leaving you hanging, I had to start book three, Beyond the Grave, right away!
My Rating: 5/5 stars

I was lucky enough to get a second copy of this book! So, I am going to share. On September 30th one lucky person will be the new owner of a brand new paperback copy of One Hundred Candles.
Giveaway is open to U.S. only. Just leave a comment and be a follower. That's all you have to do!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll

I'm super excited! I received a R.A.K. last week! I was only expecting one book, but got two! Yay!
I'm still on my library/buying ban. I have made a pretty good dent in my TBR pile. It doesn't look like it, but I have..

What I got:

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Shadowspell by Jenna Black
I got both of these as a R.A.K. from Shanella at Books Are Wonderful. Thank you so much Shanella!!

What I read:

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail
See my review here

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen
I'll have a review posted soon for this! Loved it!!

What are you reading?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review Thursday- Kings & Queens

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail 
Published July 4th 2011 by Little Prince Publishing
Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

This book is about Majesty or ‘Maj’ (btw what kind of name is that anyways?) Who over hears a plot to massacre a Church.  Throughout the book we are introduced to a barrage of characters, all of whom seem to have some kind of tragic back story. I often felt lost and confused due to this.

Before I get further into my review I want to start with the authors writing style. I’m not a fan and found it quite annoying. The author had a tendency to leave out words at the beginning of sentences, such as I, A, but, it and several others. For example: “Where is my scrunchy, brat? Was on my nightstand this morning.” “That junk’s not even craptastic. Nearly vomited.” These sentences should be “It was on my nightstand” and “I nearly vomited”.  I found this highly annoying as it was like this throughout the entire book. I almost stopped reading because of it.
As the story line goes, I’m afraid I found myself lost and confused. As I mentioned above, every character that was introduced had some sad and tragic back story. I lost track of who in this book had a dead parent. There was just so much going on; it was hard to follow at times. I felt like the story was rushed at times, it feels to be written a bit chaotically and a little thrown together.
 I liked the idea behind the book, the whole evil corporation that’s trying to control people or see who’s going to be evil. I found that to be intriguing, but with all the other stuff being thrown at you it often got confusing.  As far as the main characters go, I did like Majesty and Alec to a certain extent. Derek was just okay, but towards the end I didn’t really like him anymore.  The whole ‘I found Jesus’ thing was just random and added to the confusion.
I also don’t understand the authors need to toss in a tragic back story for Majesty’s mom. Her being molested by her uncle as a child and deciding to now go to the police about it had nothing to do with the book. I was also annoyed by the author adding that Majesty’s mom finds out she is 5 months pregnant with her dead dad’s baby. There was no need for that. And the fact that her mom had a “companion” just 5 months after the death of her husband is insane. If my husband died just 5 months ago, the last thing on my mind would be having another man in my life.
By the end of the book I was hoping for a super awesome conclusion, but was left wondering what the heck? Over all I feel that this could have been a whole lot better, if the writing style were to be changed, and if the author would leave out some of the details she put in and made it less confusing.
My rating: 2/5 stars


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blueberry Ricotta Cheese Coffee Cake

 Hi Ya'll! I actually made this last week, but didn't have a chance to post it due to work and being lazy! I had a wonderfully lazy Saturday watching my poor Oregon Ducks lose to LSU. So sad.. They had better get their act together for the next game!!

Anyways, this coffee cake is amazing! So give it a try!

 Blueberry Ricotta Cheese Coffee Cake

2 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Shortening
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, drained


Reserved crumb mixture
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture for topping. To remainder, add baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly. Pour into prepared pan.

Blend ricotta, egg, sugar and lemon peel in medium bowl until smooth. Sprinkle blueberries over batter in pan. Gently spread ricotta mixture over blueberries. Combine reserved crumb mixture, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of ricotta layer.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

Eat and Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll!
Well.. I didn't get any books this week and I only got one read.

What I read:

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail
Look for my review later this week...

I also started a new reading challenge to go with the other one I am doing. Its the 2nds challenge. Check it out!

Guidelines for the 2nds Challenge 2011

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. If you're not a blogger, leave your information in the comments.

2. There are four levels to choose from in this challenge:
  • Just a spoonful - Read 3 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author. 
  • A few more bites - Read 6 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • A full plate - Read 12 books that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
  • All you can eat - Read 20 books (or more) that are 2nd in a series or the second time you've read the author.
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you. Any genre counts.

3. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2011. Don't start reading until January.

4. If you're a blogger, write up a sign-up post that includes the URL to this post so that others can join in. Feel free to use the button above. When you sign up in the Linky, put the direct link to your 2nds Challenge sign-up post.

Here is my list of 2nd's

Shadowspell by Jenna Black
Amber Moon by C.L. Bevill
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Siren Song by Cat Adams
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Devoted by Hilary Duff
The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

What are you reading?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review Thursday- Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
A story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave, Next to Love follows the lives of three young women and their men during the years of World War II and its aftermath, beginning with the men going off to war and ending a generation later, when their children are on the cusp of their own adulthood.
I find that I am not able to give a full review for this book, as I could not finish it. Maybe someday I will be able to pick it up again and have the patience to read it. But for now it just seems to drag on and quite frankly is a bit boring.  I love history and was hoping that this book about the lives of 3 women during WW II would be really good. From what I did read of it I found that the POV change between the 3 women was not executed as smoothly as it could have been. I often felt lost and confused with all the jumping around.  The letters between the women and their men seemed endless and pointless. A few here and there would have been better.
Overall I do hope that one day I can finish this book. I think anyone who enjoys the genre will probably like this book.
Pub date: 7/26/11
Source:  netGalley

My rating 2/5 Stars