Oct 8, 2016

Wanderlost by Jen Malone


Jen Malone
Publication:  May 31, 2016

Publisher:  HarperTeen

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.




Jun 25, 2016

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows
Shades of Magic #2
V.E. Schwab
February 23, 2016: Tor Books

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

Jul 13, 2015

REVIEW: Leaning to Bow by Bruce Feiler


Inside the Heart of Japan
Bruce Feiler
Publication:  May 11, 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (originally published in 1991)

Learning to Bow has been heralded as one of the funniest, liveliest, and most insightful books ever written about the clash of cultures between America and Japan. With warmth and candor, Bruce Feiler recounts the year he spent as a teacher in a small rural town. Beginning with a ritual outdoor bath and culminating in an all-night trek to the top of Mt. Fuji, Feiler teaches his students about American culture, while they teach him everything from how to properly address an envelope to how to date a Japanese girl.




I've read on many of the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) blogs out there that this is an important book to read if you want an insight into the world of teaching English in Japan. I've also read that this book is horribly dated (published in 1991) and you shouldn't waste your time with it.

I am really glad that I didn't listen to all the naysayers. While it's true this book is dated, it has humorous stories from the little things that happened to Burusu-san, stories of cultural clashes, but most importantly it does give the reader an insight into Japan.

Printed on the page just inside the cover is the reviews from various newspapers and other book reviewers. "This book should be required reading - Japan Times" definitely stands out. I agree with the sentiment. Anyone looking into the JET Program or who has recently been accepted to the Program should be required to read this book.

Now how did I come across this book? I fall in the former categorey, just a young university girl getting too close to graduation without a plan. Going to Japan to teach English definitely seems like a viable option and this book was all part of my research.

I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would though. If you are looking into JET, I would highly recommend this book!

May 17, 2015

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
February 24, 2015 by Tor Books


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

It's official, Kell is my new book boyfriend!

I wasn't entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up off the shelf at Barnes and Noble. The cover is what really drew me in to start with. It's just so pretty to look at!

The writing was fantastic! I'm normally not one for the third person point of view, but WOW, it could not have been better!

The only thing the book left me wanting is the second one!

SPOILERS BELOW!! - highlight the space below in order to read the text

Lila, the dull human from Grey London, isn't quite as human as everyone believes. Later in the story we learn that she has a glass eye and doesn't remember what happened since she was very young when it happened. 

I think that Lila is another Antari. 

I can't wait for the next book!!

Mar 27, 2015

Textbook Review: Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

*I appologise for the goofy look of this post. Blogger has been giving me issues with formatting lately.

Since I haven't done a real book review in a while, I figured I should review my textbook for this semester. I hope you enjoy it!

Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

Donald R. Prothero


The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics. Written for biology and geology undergrads, the text bridges the gap between purely theoretical paleobiology and solely descriptive invertebrate paleobiology books, emphasizing the cataloguing of live organisms over dead objects. This third edition revises art and research throughout, expands the coverage of invertebrates, includes a discussion of new methodologies, and adds a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.

I started this semester draggin my feet and not wanting to read the text. Eventually I had to read it and let me tell you I was surprised!

My last geology text was for structure and that was pure science writing. There was no added flair and certainly nothing to catch my attention (which is weird because I find structural stuff absolutely fascinating when out in the field). 

Prothero does an excellent job at making the text catchy and something that I can read without being bored out of my mind. 

I'm going to give it a four star rating because this is the first textbook that hasn't put me to sleep!

Dec 12, 2014

Manga Review: Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Vol. 2

Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Vol. 2

Gun Snark, Hajime Isayama, Hikaru Suruga
Publication:  October 28, 2014 by Kodansha Comics

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AMAZON   |   KOBOicon   |   BARNES & NOBLE icon

I was seriously surprised how fast I read this. It was like an hour tops. That was disappointing for me. I was looking to get lost in the world of Levi and Erwin and the titans while I was at work. Oh well though, maybe another time. 

I really like this story. By the time I got to the ending, I could not turn the pages fast enough, and then... a customer comes, so I had to put it down and actually work. I picked it right back up as soon as the customer was gone though and finished it in record time. 

It was so, so, so very sad. I can't say too much more because of the spoilers, but lets just say it was uber duber sad and you'll want a box of Kleenex close by. Okay, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the heart strings were pulled. 

All in all, five stars! 

Dec 11, 2014

Manga Review: Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Vol. 1

Attack on Titan: No Regrets, Vol 1

Gun Snark, Hajime Isayama, Hikaru Suruga
Publication:  June 24, 2014 by Kodansha Comics 



The young Erwin Smith is a rising star in the Survey Corps, humanity’s only hope of defeating the man-eating monsters known as Titans. Ruthless and dispassionate, Erwin’s mind is devoted to strategies and intrigue. But beneath Erwin’s feet is another world, the Underground, where humans are born and die surrounded by the garbage the Capital throws away. Here, the criminal Levi survives on his wits and agility. But when these two ambitious men cross paths, who will prove himself stronger?

The long-awaited origin story of Levi and Erwin, two of Attack on Titan’s most beloved characters!

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This was the very first manga I have ever read. It was definitely an interesting experience. There's not many words to read because the story is told through the drawings. I loved the anime series, Attack on Titan and was hungry for more of the story once the anime ended. 

The story was a little confusing to start with, but it was most likely due to my lack of ever reading a comic like writing or manga writing. Once I got it all figured out, it was very good and before I knew it, I was at the end of the book. 

I am seriously considering going to Barnes and Noble to get the next one right now, but I have so much homework to do that I don't want to do, but it is a good read before bed kind of book for me. 

Anywho, I give this five stars. Go read it now, if you're into manga and anime. Even of you aren't into it, you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Dec 10, 2014

Verum Pre-Order Drive!!

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.




My name is Calla Price and I'm drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I'm being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don't know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I'm entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It's just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

Dec 4, 2014

Waiting on Thursday?

Here I was, all ready to post an official WOW before the clock struck midnight. Then I realized that today was Thursday... oops. Much like earlier this week, I was trying to get to English class on time which I thought was 3pm. It is the end of the semester and English has always been at 2pm. I have never been more confused in my life.

Anyway, since today is Thursday and not Wednesday I figured I would do something a little different for my waiting on post this week.

I am waiting on ApollyCon!

That's right folks, this North Dakota gal is headed to Philly for ApollyCon on February 27! Can you say excited? I am BEYOND excited!!

That's what I'm waiting on this week, what were y'all waiting on?

Dec 1, 2014

Book Blitz - Excerpt + Giveaway: Burdened by Peiri Ann


A Burdened Novel #1
Peiri Ann
Publication:  April 26, 2014


Eighteen-year-old Tracey Warren is a ‘run-of-the-mill’ high school student on the verge of graduation. She has her friends and her fun; she has life all figured out. Or she thought she did.

Her pedestrian reality crashes around her after an innocuous touch from a diabolically handsome stranger. Just one touch from Nathan Newcomb and her head and her world spins out of control. Soon she discovers that the only cure for the uneasy feelings and pain is Nathan himself. A man whose very existence balances between violent chaos and rigidly controlled dangers.

Nathan knows that the life of a woman mated to a burdened Sephlem is destined for peril beyond a human’s reckoning. But Tracey calls to his desire to experience love in spite of the hazards. And Nathan’s impossibly potent magnetism draws Tracey into a bonding that will put her in mortal danger again and again.

Once the pair becomes one, the threat escalates and nowhere is safe. There are enemies that lurk behind every corner. But the greatest danger may be in the bloodlines that course through Nathan’s veins.

Can a love for all time survive or will their burdened souls surrender and fade away?

Find the Book 


AMAZON   |   KOBO icon  |   B & N


Scott stays at least ten blocks away from us. This is going to be a long walk.
“So, I’m the first guy you’ve ever introduced to your mom as your boyfriend?”
I feel my cheeks warm. “Yeah, I don’t introduce my mom to guys. I haven’t cared much about her meeting them, especially if I wasn’t sure they would stick around.”
“So you met my family; I met your mom. I think we can make this official, so the next time you’re introducing me and what I am to you, you won’t have to think about it.”
“So us meeting each other’s family is what makes us official? What about the whole having sex part?”
“Hey!” He throws up his hands. “You’re the one who’s uncertain. I know what you are to me.”
“And what is that?”
 He throws his arm around me. “You’re my mate, my girl, my love, my heart—and my future wife and mother of my children, when we are both ready.” He double steps. “No confusion here.” This is free-and-relaxed Nathan—light voice and not intense. This ‘him,’ makes me incredibly comfortable, like he’s normal.
“Clearly,” I say. “But I wasn’t confused. I just didn’t know how to introduce you to her. Like I said, I’ve never done it before, and I didn’t know how she was going to react.”
“She was cool about it. Not a hair out of place. I think she likes me.”
“She might. I think she just thinks you’re cute.”
“Do you think I’m cute?”
“I think ‘cute’ is an understatement. When God made you, he was breaking all the limitation rules.”
“You think God made me?” he asks, more serious.
“Of course. Who else?”
“Well, considering I’m half demon and all.”
“It’s not what you’re made of, it’s what you make of yourself. You make who you are—no one else. We are not who we are because of where we come from or what people make us out to be, but because of what we want to be.
“You’re not a demon,” I continue. “You just possess demon behaviors, but you know that, you don’t let it consume you, and you’ve bettered yourself—which means you were made by God and not by a demon.”
He doesn’t respond. I stay quiet too, holding onto his hand that hangs over my shoulder.
My mom’s words start playing back in my head. I can’t imagine what it is that they want to talk about. And keeping a clear schedule for two days? When my dad comes back, we usually do things as a family, staying out all day or going away for a few days.
To be without Nathan for a full day makes me remember that ache in my chest.
“What are you thinking about, babe?”
“Keeping a clear schedule.”

About the Author

I fell in love with the short story writing after I started reading a lot of fiction fantasy. I loved the idea of creating new worlds and placing people to live within them. Then came the love. Awe...love. Specifically I love to write paranormal romance, adding a twist to everyday life. I'm a lover of YA and NA, but I've written some middle grade fantasy fiction that is soon to be released. 

You can never write 'too much,' you can never read 'too much,' you never learn 'too much,' and there is never 'too much' imagination and creation. Everyday is a new day to dream, to create, to love, to try again and again, to live, and to explore. Time may be short but we have to take as much of it as we can, to make sure it doesn't slip away. 
My moto, "Love Life's Loves because Life Loves You"

If you love something, do what you need to do to have it, the only person holding you back is you.  

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