Thursday, October 31, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends.

This weeks question is:

What book are you embarrassed to admit you LOVED? (try to think beyond Twilight).

Hmmm.. I can't think of any. I mean, there are books I enjoyed that as I grew and changed I may not love the same way anymore, but I am not embarrassed that I loved them at the time. I seriously can't think of a title that would fit this.

Happy Weekend!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth



Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Release Date – October 22, 2013
Publisher Website –  HarperCollins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 526 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**purchased**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.
Ending a series is hard, both for an author and the fans. Ending a series that will please everyone is pretty much impossible. Authors can only tell the story as truthful to their vision as possible, and let the cards land where they may. Veronica Roth has delivered a novel that packs an emotional punch, delivered a realistic but quiet ending to her brilliant trilogy, and made me eager to read whatever she comes out with next.

The world beyond the fence is something most people immediately started theorizing about after Insurgent. The reality that is explored in this novel was something I hadn't anticipated. It's easily the most realistic option, but was not one that I immediately considered. The fall out from the tape and the information on it is felt, like shockwaves, throughout the entire last installment of Tris' story.

War, and the morality around it, exist in shades of grey. There is not really a 'right or wrong' side. These are dictated by the person viewing the circumstances. This novel examines how each side is flawed, and each side has to potential to kill many people, and decimate cities. It also takes a look at what it is like being caught in the middle and struggling with whom to support.

Caleb and Tris' relationship is beyond fractured, perhaps beyond repair. This novel focuses on relationships, and how they change us no matter how much we might deny it. I particularly like the nuances in Caleb and Tris' relationship and how anger, forgiveness and love may not always be connected.

Spending time with Tobias' perspective illuminated his character. He was always sort of mysterious, and came across as quite mythical. Through his narration we get to see how deep his wounds are. We get a glimpse at the abused little boy who is still buried within the adult he's become. The complex relationship he has with both his parents, his feelings for Tris, and his own role in things are give sharper meaning by having his voice to them. The outer strength that everyone sees is a mask for the wounded person underneath. It's the first time I saw Four as being from Abnegation, as well as being a leader in Dauntless.

As a romantic I did enjoy Tobias' note to Tris where he referred to them as Four and Six. Adorable. They see the strengths and weaknesses in each other, perhaps more clearly than they see themselves. The passion between these two is evident, and no relationship is easy. This installment in particular is a wave of ups and downs between the two of them. I've used this word many times, but it felt realistic considering the circumstances they have found themselves in. They fight for their relationship, and for each other, even if they make mistakes along the way.

Was this an epic conclusion? No, I can't say it was. Did it satisfy me? Yes, for the most part it did. It was rather quiet for a finale. The emotions of the characters are the main payoff, and the crushing ending elevated this for me. I am big fan of character development and payoff and Veronica delivered that in her ending. The Tris and Caleb scenes, the relationship between Tobias and Tris, and their respective relationships with their families all created an emotional response, but it was because I already cared about these characters. There was little action, and a slower pacing, but what it said about love, grief, and having the strength to live was a beautiful finale message of the series.

Much will be made of certain events in the novel. Some will hate it, others will love it. Personally, I feel it was a bold choice. A choice that has not been made in very many books (if any) in the genre. It shows Veronica Roth is an author who will not hold back, even if that means breaking readers hearts sometimes. It is an emotional ending to a series that demanded it and an ending that, I feel, elevated the story.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Good Form



It was no surprise to me that an episode titled Good Form would be Hook centric. What we're given is the backstory to how Killian Jones became a pirate, and sadly, it's my least favourite episode of this season. It gave me whiplash with how quickly everything seemed to happen.

Neverland - present

We start the episode with Neal being dragged and thrown into a cage by the Lost Boys. Henry, who has no clue about his family being on the island, starts getting picked on by a Lost Boy. He stands up for himself and they 'sword fight' with sticks. Peter Pan tells Henry that he can make real swords appear because he has the heart of the truest believer. Henry closes his eyes and makes himself a sword. He continues to fight and cuts the other boy on the cheek. Henry apologizes and Peter tells him that the best  thing about being a Lost Boy is not having to apologize.

Meanwhile The Jolly Roger gang (minus Rumple) is still checking out Neal's Neverland cave. Emma notices that Neal kept count of his days on the island but stopped well before he actually left. Emma says she knows what he was doing. He lost hope, just like she did in all those foster homes she lived in (I LOVE how much Neal and Emma GET each other, she just knows this about him without having to be told). They talk about Henry losing hope and decide they need to get a message to him so he can hold on to the fact that they are coming. Snow has an awesome idea of capturing a Lost Boy to help. Hook uses this time to attempt to flirt with Emma, and she shuts that down real quick. I was spoiled about the big kiss that happens in this episode, and I don't know it ends up happening after this. Emma seems to not be interested. Charming plays Daddy Charming and tells Hook that his daughter will never like him because he's nothing but a pirate.


Jewel of the Realm - Flashback

Killian is a naval officer of some kind, and doesn't seem to enjoy fun at all, or rum. He tells the crew that rum will lead to drunkenness and that would be 'bad form' and he actually tosses out the rum. Future Killian would be unimpressed. Killian's brother is the captain of the ship. He gives Killian a sextant (which is something that allows you to decipher coded maps apparently). They head off on their journey.

Neverland - present day

Hook and Charming set out to collect some rope to make a trap for the Lost Boys. Again, Charming tells him to back off Emma and Hook's reply is basically that it's a good that Charming is going to die in that case (so he won't have to disrespect Charming by ignoring that request but still, total jerk thing to say). Charming seems REALLY upset with Hook, more so than usual. Is this the dreamshade making him more noble than usual and cranky? Or is Daddy Charming just really not into Hook doubling his flirtation efforts with Emma? My vote is dreamshade mixed with the daddy thing. Charming passes out and Hook brings him to with some rum, and looks to see how fast the poison is spreading. It's down to hours, not days and I am starting to be worried for Charming. :(

They find a medallion that belonged to Hook's brother and Hook mentions the sextant. He explains how it can help them get off the island and Charming is more than willing to be an idiot and head off after it. He is so freaking self sacrificing, and is being silly about it. Charming and Hook make up excuses to leave the three ladies behind (mostly using Henry and the message they need to send). Charming is making me teary by saying his goodbyes to Emma, Henry (Tell him Grandpa loves him *sniff*) and Snow. You fool, Charming. JUST TELL THEM ALREADY!

Neverland - Flashback

So the Jewel of the Realm can fly?! My Peter Pan fanatic self just had a major freakout. THE SHIP CAN FLY!!!! It apparently flies because of a feather from Pegasus and not pixie dust, but still. Does this mean we might get Hercules eventually? That would be awesome, imagine Hades?! They, of course, are flying to Neverland as William tells his brother to set a course for the second star to the right.

They arrive on Neverland shores. William tells Killian that they are looking for a plant. Peter, of course, makes an appearance. Peter tells them that the plant they are seeking is dreamshade and that it's the deadliest plant on the island. Killian and William are under the impression it is a plant that cures anything. Killian wonders if Peter is correct but William scoffs at the notion that they would be lied to by the King. They leave with Peter reminding them that he warned them about the plant.

Killian seems very upset about about the possibility that this plant is deadly. He thought the king had honour. William, obviously annoyed, takes the plant and scratches himself with a thorn deep enough to draw blood. Immediately the dreamshade beings to work and William is dying. Peter (because he knows everything and is everywhere) comes and tells Killian that the spring on the island possess magic (sort of like a fountain of youth) and it can cure anything. Peter warns them not to leave the island as all magic comes with a price, and Killian cures William with the water. This is where I get upset. THERE HAS BEEN A CURE THIS WHOLE TIME? WHY IS HOOK NOT TELLING CHARMING THIS?!  UGH! I am guessing it'll come up later in the episode, but Charming has been sick for awhile now, why has he not told them about this before?!

Okay  so maybe it's because once you leave the island you die. William and Killian leave Neverland and it doesn't take long for the dreamshade to claim William. Killian is obviously devastated.

Present Day - Neverland

Charming makes Hook promise not to tell Snow and Emma he left the camp already dead. He wants Hook to tell them he died like a hero trying to get their way home. Hook asks why he should help Charming. Charming reminds him it's Hook's fault that they are there. If Hook hadn't stolen the beans Greg and Tamara would never have gotten Henry to Neverland and none of this (including Charming being poisoned) would have happened. Hook says he'll do it, but brings up that Charming at least got to say goodbye. Charming realizes Hook lost his brother, and tells his story about James (Charming's twin). FUN banter between Hook and Charming here that I giggled over
Hook: There were two of you? I can barely stomach one 
Charming: You would have liked him. He was a thief and a liar.
Hook: Yeah, you would have liked my brother. He could be a stubborn ass.
I love the humourous moments. They need more of them. Hook goes to pull Charming up the steep incline, and Peter is waiting at the top. Wants to talk to Hook first. Offers him a deal - if Hook returns and works for him he will allow Hook and one other person (Emma, obviously) to leave Neverland. Hook says Emma will never leave Henry, and wants to know what he would have to do for Peter. Peter mentions that Emma has left Henry before (Again, HOW does he know so much? GAH!) Peters says he wants Hook to kill Charming before the dreamshade does as proof that Hook as taken the deal. Hook inquires what will happen if he does not take the deal. Peter reminds him what happened last time Hook didn't listen to him and tells Hook to have a drink of rum. While this is happening, Charming pulls himself up the rocks, and isn't buying Hook's excuses of who he was talking to. Charming heard him talking to Peter, and knows everything. Hook reveals that he isn't going to kill Charming, but brought him there to save his life, via the magic waters of Neverland (finally telling him). Charming has to decide if he wants to drink the water in order to live but be trapped in Neverland forever. Charming takes it, and it buys them time to find a way to allow him to leave the island. I am glad Charming isn't dying, and am not concerned that he will end up stuck in Neverland, someone will find a way (I predict Henry will do something and Charming will be able to leave).

Present Day - Neverland

The girls manage to catch one of the Lost Boys in their trap. It's the same one Henry cut on the cheek. They try to reason with him, and bribe him with some chocolate, telling him that they can get all the Lost Boys home. He laughs and says he doesn't want to go home. Emma appeals to him by saying that Peter hurts them saying 'look at what he did to your cheek'. He tells them it wasn't Pan, but Henry who did it and that Henry is one of the most vicious recruits they have had in ages. Regina wants to rip the Lost Boys heart out so that he'll do exactly what they want. Snow says no, but Emma says they have to do it. A beautiful scene where Snow is crying and Emma is comforting her saying that she's sorry as Regina rips out the kid's heart. Snow is very upset and tells Emma that she can't cross the line and not be herself when she does get to Henry. Snow doesn't want Emma to embrace the darkness. Regina gives the Lost Boy half of a mirror so that they can see Henry and sends him on his way back to Pan's camp with a message for Henry.

The Lost Boy finds Henry and tells him that his family is on the island. Henry doesn't believe him at all. The Lost Boy hands Henry the mirror and it isn't until Emma tells him that it's 'Operation Coba Rescue' that he believes it. Pan is coming so Henry tosses the mirror (and it looks like it breaks). At least Henry has some hope now! Poor kid. He is having a rough year in general.

Emma says Henry has something to survive for now, and Snow apologizes for doubting the plan. Hook and a healed Charming come back. Charming makes out with Snow (much to Emma and Regina's dismay, which was hilarious). Charming tells a lie about HOW Hook saved his life, and they all toast Hook with the rum in Hook's stash. This leads to the big, much hyped kiss. Hook basically insinuates that he wants Emma to kiss him as thanks for saving Charming (which, gross. Sorry, but I think that's a little crass, but very pirate like). Emma tells Hook that he couldn't handle a kiss from her, and he says that it's perhaps the other way around. Emma rises to the bait and lays one on Hook. The kiss is a lustful one, obviously. They do have some sexual tension going on, but Emma tells him it was a 'one time thing' (I can only hope this is the case, but sadly I think Emma is kidding herself).

Jewel of the Realm - Flashback

Killian's rousing speech turned the crew awfully quick. He manages to get the entire crew on his side in less than five minutes. The speech is certainly passionate but it all happened so quickly....
Never again shall anyone set sail to that cursed land. And never again shall we take such orders, serving the king, fighting his wars. That is the way of dishonor and all you who disagree, flee now or walk the bloody plank! For those who stay, we’ll be free men, and I will be your captain! We’ll sail under the crimson flag and we’ll give our enemies no quarter! We’ll take what we please and we’ll live by our own rules, for that is the best form of all!
It's a total nod to the original Captain Hook who was basically obsessed with good form, and bad form. The shift from officer to pirate is immediate and obvious but it just seemed like it was done at warp speed (like everything in this episode). Oh and WHY ARE YOU BURNING THE FEATHER THAT LETS YOUR SHIP FLY, KILLIAN?! WHY?! He also changes the name of the ship to the Jolly Rodger.

Neverland - Present

Of course, it wouldn't be Once Upon A Time if Peter Pan didn't come to cause some trouble. Not mere minutes after Emma and Hook kissed Peter came along to ruin Hook's party (which I applaud. Love Peter for this entire exchange).
Peter Pan: You really should’ve taken my deal.
Captain Hook: It doesn’t look like I need your help with Emma after all, mate.
PP: Do you think that kiss actually meant something?
Hook: I do. I think it means she’s really starting to see me for the man I am.
PP: What, a one-handed pirate with a drinking problem? I’m no grown up, but I’m pretty sure that’s less than appealing.
Hook: A man of honor.
PP: So, tell me. What would a man of honor like yourself do with a big, fat secret?
Hook: Well, that depends what the secret is.
PP: Baelfire, Neal, whatever name he goes by these days, the guy Emma loves, Henry’s father.
Hook: What of him? He’s dead.
PP: No, I’m afraid not. He’s alive. That’s not even the best part. He’s in Neverland!
Hook: He’s here?
PP: Oh, yes. Can you believe it? I’m sure that Emma would love to know that Henry’s father is still alive, but I’d hate that to get in the way of a budding romance. So, I leave it up to you, to tell her or not. Let’s see what kind of man you really are.
I laughed so hard at Peter's "one handed pirate with a drinking problem" comment. He's freaking hilarious. More interestingly though is the fact that Peter knows Killian...really well. I don't for a second think he expects Hook to come clean to Emma about Neal being alive. I think Hook will wrestle with this. One side of him wants to help Milah's son, and honour that memory. He bonded with Neal and looked at him like a son. The other wants to 'hook up' with Emma. The pirate side of him would keep it a secret, the gentleman side? Well that one would make sure Emma knows Neal is alive. So my only question is will Hook display good form? Jury is still out, but I am hopeful for an Emma/Neal reunion either way. Peter Pan won't keep quiet when it knows what kind of bombshell this is! (Also, Robbie Kay is still KILLING it. Can we keep him forever please?)

Speaking of bombshells.... Neal is strung up in a cage next to......SOMEONE ELSE IN ANOTHER CAGE! Who is it? My guesses based on the promo are either Prince Eric (Yup, Ariel's prince), one of the Darlings (a grown up Wendy to mess with my Emma/Neal dreams), or perhaps someone unexpected like Rumple's father (Neal's grandfather). We don't know much about Rumple's father except that he apparently abandoned Rumple. I have a theory regarding Rumple and Peter that would make a lot of sense for it to be Rumple's father.

The last 5-10 minutes were what made the episode for me. I felt like more was needed for me to believe Killian turned to piracy that quickly (and won over the whole crew) and the flirting was kicked up a notch (or 12) as well. It just felt really disjointed and too fast.

Until next week (when we go under the sea!!!).... Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust.

*bonus... if you wanted a drinking game for this episode take a shot every time Hook says the word 'form'. You'd be drunk before the episode was half over*

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 Most Anticipated Novels Event Annoucement



As we near the end of the year my thoughts automatically start drifting to the amazing books the next year is going to bring. With that in mind I have decided to showcase the titles I am most eager to get my hands on. This was hard (VERY hard). Having to narrow it down was killing me. I've capped it off at 15 titles because I couldn't stop at 10 (though honestly, I could go higher). Each Thursday and Friday will shocase another title. The event will start November 1st and run until December 20th.

I've also asked two publishers to provide their list of titles to watch for in 2014 as well, and those will go up during the event.

I am also hosting a giveaway. One winner will get a pre-order of one of the titles I am excited about! The contest will go up with the first post and will end sometime in the new year (Christmas craziness will prevent me from dealing with it until after the holidays).

I am not going to give away the titles in advance, as I think the surprise is more fun. Any guesses as to which titles I will be showcasing? Leave them in the comments!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Altered by Gennifer Albin



Altered by Gennifer Albin
Release Date – October 29, 2013
Publisher Website – MacMillan/Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**received from publisher for review via BEA**


**SPOILERS FOR CREWEL**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Life. Possibility. Choice.

All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.
Crewel was a surprise for me last year. A novel that I didn't have strong feelings for either way and ended up enjoying quite a bit. It was thrilling, different, and unique. After the shocking ending of Cewel, Altered was high on my list of books to get my hands on. Altered has taken the world we know in Crewel and expanded and changed it. Everything we learn in Altered impacts and changes the story in some way taking it into an unexpected direction.

Altered is going to be a hard book to review. So much of Altered is information based and therefore talking about anything will spoil the book. It's a fast paced, plot twisting ride that left me wishing I had the third book to read immediately. 

Adelice is now on Earth, and the story picks up right where Crewel left off. The time frame of these novels and when they take place was not apparent in Crewel. Altered clears that up and it's one of the many reveals in store. Prepare to have your mind messed with because things you thought were true may not be, and things you didn't expect all of a sudden come into play. I am not sure if Gennifer plotted this series in full before writing Crewel, but everything meshes together rather well in either case. 

There is a lot of scientific information is given in this novel. It does get a little heavy with the details, and at times it's given in a manner that is more telling than showing. Some of these reveals left me with an insane amount of questions, and others left tantalizing possibilities for plot points to come. I will admit that my head spun at some points as the pacing is rather quick in some parts and the amount of information can be overwhelming. This put me in Adelice's shoes as she is just as overwhelmed, and processing the information at the same time as the reader. It's a perfect case of the character being as informed as the reader.

New characters are plentiful in this installment. There are surprising connections that are revealed, and everything Adelice thought about herself gets turned upside down. I enjoy Adelice's determination, her unwillingness to stand back, and her honesty. She knows her limitations, and is equally aware of her strengths. She is someone who wants to help if her skills allow it and it is admirable. With all these new characters being introduced Adelice, Erik and Jost are forced to navigate the unfamiliar. The fact that nobody can be trusted is never far from their minds, and it's something Gennifer Albin makes sure that readers don't forget either. Crosses, double crosses, and lies are plentiful and knowing this doesn't make them any easier.

The romance, surprisingly, takes a backseat in this. I tend to not like triangles that involve brothers, but this one some how works for me. There are cute moments and that aspect of the story progresses, but Adelice has a lot going on besides Erik and Jost. I do believe that there is a decision of sorts made in terms of who holds Adelice's heart. Is it a permanent one? I hope so, but realistically there is one more book so it could always change. If Adelice's affections have be claimed I would applaud this development because it ties up that storyline before the finale, something no series has done yet (to my knowledge anyways). It would be welcome, and based on the events of this book, Adelice is going to have bigger things to worry about. 

I predict many people may be split on this one. There is a lot of new information, and crazy plot twists which will either thrill or put people off. It did the latter for me, and I devoured this. The plot is unexpected, and surprising. I appreciated the payoff from things set up in the first book, and delight in what has been set up for the finale. 

A surprising sequel that stays away from the second book syndrome of having nothing happen that progresses the plot. Altered is filled with many shocks, thrills, and a story that is interwoven to unravel at just the right time. The third installment can not come fast enough as Adelice's story is far from it's conclusion.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

Another exciting mailbox. A huge release this past week, and I am sure everyone is going to have it in their mailboxes.



Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Goodreads)

Harper Collins Canada made these amazing newspaper ads for certain Canadian cities. I snagged myself two copies.

I also got a few other goodies in the mail


The Lonesome Young by Lucy Connors (Goodreads)
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Postcard from Kelly (KellyVision).

Huge thank you to Penguin Canada and Kelly for these goodies. They made my week! I am excited to starting reading The Lonesome Young, and I am so freaking jealous that Kelly got to see Hogwarts!

Happy Reading, and Happy Weekend!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

BOOK

Cover of Katherine Longshore's Brazen



I revealed this earlier in the week, and have a great contest going on. It reminds me of chocolate, and therefore I love it. The teaser excerpt also makes me want to READ IT IMMEDIATELY.

OTHER

Ontario Blogger Meet Up


This time next week I will be in Toronto taking part in a huge meet up that is sure to be filled with bookish fun. I am very excited about seeing everyone again, and getting to chat with fellow bloggers about all things bookish.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends.

This weeks question is:

Bookagram: Photograph your fave read in a funny place.

Um, I don't really have any funny place pictures so how about a picture of my cat with a book? Sure, why not. It's a funny place for a book to be. She loves books, so much so that she often tries to eat them.


I think she's pretty cute.

Happy Weekend!

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire



Infinityglass by Myra McEntire
Release Date – August 6, 2013
Publisher Website – Egmont/RandomHouse Canada
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 3/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn't an object. It's a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?
If I had to describe Myra McEntire's series one word, I would choose fun. They are enjoyable, and delectable. This installment is no exception. It provides a thrilling conclusion to the Hourglass series and fans of the previous books will not be disappointed.

One of my favourite elements of this series it the different narrators. These side characters are given the chance to step into the spotlight and some of them become personal favourites. This installment features Dune and Hallie. Dune, previously a side character, more than shows why he needs his own story. Hallie and he create a wonderful team, and the dual narration allows us to get to know each them. They compliment each other and I enjoyed their banter.

My only issues, with the series as a whole, is that is often lighter than I would like. It's the type of book I have to be in the mood for, kind of like candy. It's plot could have gone deeper, darker, and it could have added something to the series to take it that much further. The focus on romance and action will certainly appeal to some, but others may want something more from the series.

Romance is a huge focus of this entire series. It's often filled with tension and an excruciating build up. It's the tease before the kiss that makes these books so scorching, in my opnion. Myra McEntire makes the characters, and the reader, work for it. The anticipation only increasing the payoff when the characters finally do kiss. Myra certainly creates wonderful characters that are easy to root for so the romance element comes naturally.

Wrapping up any series is not an easy task. The world Myra's built is vast, and full of potential. The ending while resolving the major plot points, leaves a little wiggle room, not everything is wrapped in a bow. Things set in motion in the first come full circle, and are resolved making sure everything ties together that should. The characters, and their world go on however, and that is possibly the most fitting ending there can be.

A series that surprised me. If you are looking for something fun, action packed, and high in romance this will certainly hit all the right notes. It provides a fitting ending to the series that left the world Myra McEntire created open to explore if she wishes. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

**EXCLUSIVE** Brazen Cover Reveal


I am honoured to get to reveal the cover for Katherine Longshore's newest novel, Brazen, today. The new cover scheme that began with Tarnish is a much better fit for the series, and I think this one is just as pretty!

Here is a little about the book before I reveal the cover...
Anne Boleyn’s younger cousin Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry FitzRoy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she and “Fitz” join a tight clique of bright young things who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and dalliances. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him- but to consummate their marriage would mean breaking the law. Soon, Mary and her friends find themselves at the center of the king’s case against Queen Anne. And Mary is forced to choose between betraying her beloved cousin and losing her beloved Fitz.
I also get to share an excerpt as well! It's a rather fun one....
The door flies open and the glaze of candlelight inside the crowded bedchamber blinds me.

“Like a startled deer!” a voice shouts.

“Like a lamb to slaughter,” says another.

“Be gentle with her, FitzRoy.” I recognize Wyatt’s voice.

Madge pushes me into the chamber. “Go make him love you.”

Even completely dressed, I feel naked beneath their stares. My skirts are huge. The pink brocade bodice binds me so tightly I can feel the pounding of my heart against it.

The men bow. All of them.
A giant tester bed piled with damask and fur dominates the room. Gorgeous and barren.
Fitz is pummeled forward from the crowd. He, too, is still dressed, but they’ve removed his boots and stockings, his bare feet vulnerable on the wooden floor.
“Enter and enjoy!” George Boleyn calls, and bows to the howl of laughter that follows.
His wife, Jane, brings a stool and places it at my feet. When she straightens, she whispers in my ear.
“Tonight is just for show,” she tells me. “You have time to fall in love.”
I think of how she told the queen that love tastes of strawberries and try to smile before taking her hand to climb into the bed, Fitz beside me.
We don’t touch.
The priest flicks his holy water and bows his head. He mutters his Latin and gives us his blessing.
Then comes the moment when everyone should leave the room. When we should be left alone to do what married couples do. Fitz starts to climb back out of the bed.
“Give her a kiss, Your Grace!” Wyatt says. Ever the tempter and purveyor of young love.
Fitz turns to me, eyebrows raised in question. Not a challenge—a request for permission.
I nod. Just a tiny bit. Thinking of the suggestions the men made that I never heard. Thinking of his body so close to mine, both of us burdened with layers of velvet and damask and heavy gold braid. Both of us watched so closely—our audience half hoping to see us fall into each other’s arms, while half afraid that we will.
And I am excruciatingly aware of my lips. Are they too dry? I daren’t lick them. What do I do with my nose? How do I turn my head?
My husband leans into me, the mattress tipping us toward each other like the concave mouth of a vault. Our shoulders touch and we both startle back, laughing nervously. The crowd roars.
Fitz leans forward again and raises his left hand to my face, partially sheltering us from the gaze of the spectators. I close my eyes.
“You’re beautiful.”
My eyes fly open. He smiles and leans ever so slightly closer. His words taste like bridecake and hippocras fruit and cinnamon and sweet wine.
I wonder if his mouth tastes of the same.

I am dying to find out if Fitz and Mary get that kiss! I am already counting down the days until I have this in my hands, and one of you lucky people will have the chance to be one of the first to read it in the giveaway below!

Now for the pretty......


Pretty right? Anyone else think it sort of looks like chocolate?! Let me know in the comments what you think and be sure to enter the giveaway. It's international, and there are TWO prizes up for grabs! Huge thank you to Katherine for the prizes, and allowing me to reveal this today. You can visit her website for more about any of her book.

The two prizes up for grabs are

PRIZE # 1 - An ARC of Brazen! Be one of the first to get your hand on it.
PRIZE # 2 - Signed copies of Gilt, and Tarnish. Get caught up before Brazen is released.

The two prizes are on the same rafflecopter. I've included a few pre-fabricated tweets and a Facebook post too. Please use whichever one you like to spread the word about Katherine's cover reveal for your Rafflecopter entry. You, of course, can also make up your own if you prefer.

TWEETS

Duty. Loss. Rebellion. Go see the cover of @KALongshore's BRAZEN and enter for a chance to win! http://bit.ly/H9styf @PenguinTeen #yalit

Exclusive excerpt and cover reveal for @KALongshore's BRAZEN on @kathycoe's blog! Plus a chance to win! http://bit.ly/H9styf @PenguinTeen

Want to be one of the first to read @KALongshore's BRAZEN? Cover reveal and a chance to win! http://bit.ly/H9styf @PenguinTeen

FACEBOOK POST

See the gorgeous cover of BRAZEN, the final book in Katherine Longshore's Tudor series, and read an exclusive excerpt on A Glass of Wine! http://glass-of-wine.blogspot.com/2013/10/exclusive-brazen-cover-reveal.html Plus, you can enter for a chance to win signed books or an ARC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Nasty Habits



Neal is in NEVERLAND!! Okay, now that I have that out of the way. Let's start Nasty Habits.

Felix has Neal walking through the forest. Felix mentions he hoped he would never see Neal again. Neal tells Felix that all he wants is Henry. Again it's brought up that Pan has been looking for Henry for a very long time. Neal manages to get out of the knot Felix tied his hands with and punches him out, noting "I am not a boy anymore Felix, and sure the hell ain't lost" before running away. *prays that he finds Emma or Henry*

Flashback - Enchanted Forest

Young Baelfire is drawing when Rumple comes in bringing him am gift. I always love a young Bae flashback. Dylan Schmid is fantastic in this role, and young Bae crushes my heart constantly. I already know I am going to love this episode. Baelfire sneers that he does not want anymore gifts from people Rumple terrorizes. He wants to go outside, have friends, and see the world. Rumple says it's not possible because he has enemies who could hurt Bae. Bae tells him that what Rumple is really scared of is Bae leaving and never coming back, which fair point. I would run if I was Baelfire too. His dad turns people into snails and squashes them.


Present day Neverland

Rumple once again sees Belle. Is she really there? Is she a vision? Not sure at this point. They discuss Rumple wanting to save Henry and how honourable his intentions are. Rumple says that he honestly does want to save Henry because he is okay with dying. He wants to because he has nothing left to live for. Belle is all "Hey, what about me?" which I understand. I would be upset too. Rumple tells her that eventually she would have seen him as the monster he is, and left him. He wants to honour Bae and save Henry. Belle reminds him that he has a nasty habit of reverting to self preservation.

Present day Neverland

Strategy meeting to get Henry back. Tinkerbell wants to know how they intend to get off the island. She doesn't want to help until they have an escape plan. None of the group do, and she flat out tells them to forget her helping until they've figured it out. She is not confident because nobody leaves without Pan's say so. Fun moment as Tinkerbell tells them that Tamara and Greg are dead and Regina smirks. Lana Parrilla is fantastic. It's funny but I am enjoying Regina more this season. Tink storms off and tells them they know where she lives when they are ready. 'Never break in somewhere unless you know the way out'  is something Neal taught Emma and she agrees they need a plan. Hook doesn't have a way off the island either but does mention that he had made a deal with Pan to get off the first time, and now I am curious. What exactly is their backstory? Please give it us, writers! He mentions that he may know where they can find answers though.

Present day - Neverland

Rumple comes across two Lost Boys and magics them to sleep. Neal comes bursting out of the forest at the same time! Father and son reunited. Rumple doesn't believe it's actually Neal, with good reason. He's been seeing Belle all over Neverland so...  not surprised. Neal eventually convinces Rumple it's him by calling him Poppa (and the tears start, seriously this messed up family!).

Flashback - Enchanted Forest

Rumple comes home to find young Bae gone. He is immediately enraged and traces Bae's trail to this little town where other children have gone missing. Apparently there is a magic piper who lures children away. I love this twist on the Pied Piper already. Of course, because it's what Rumple does, he threatens to find this piper and kill him.

Present Day - Neverland

Neal wants to know if the Lost Boys are dead. Rumple says no, and Neal wants to leave it this way. He says he'll do whatever it is to get Henry back, but they don't need to kill Lost Boys. Seems Neal may have a soft spot for the young boys he spent so much time with. He tells Rumple that he does not have sacrifice himself to save Henry, that he has another way. Neal calls up a giant squid from the ocean using a shell and tells Rumple to extract the ink from it to immobilize Pan long enough to snatch Henry. It's a solid plan! I can't see them rescuing Henry this early in the season, so I am not confident it's going to work.

Hook's led them to Neal's hideout when he was in Neverland as a boy. The paintings on the wall...*feelings*. He painted the Darling family, his trip through the portal, and the Port/Starboard symbol Hook drew on the ship when Neal was with Hook. *all the tears*. It makes me want to hug young Baelfire. Such a tragic life. I LOVE that Emma immediately knew it was Neal's home.

Hook and Charming have a discussion about Charming's injury. Hook wants him to tell Snow and Emma about it. Charming refuses and tells Hook to keep quiet, and that they only thing that matters is Henry. Ugh. Charming...STOP! You're being ridiculous.

Flashback - Enchanted Forest

Rumple waits and hears the piper's music. Follows it to a group of bewitched dancing boys. Rumple orders the piper to hand over his son. Piper rips off his hood to show....PETER FREAKING PAN! Okay, that's a fantastic twist. Peter calls Rumple "laddie". It's obvious they know each other, even back this far. Interesting. One of my theories is seemingly becoming more plausible. Peter sneers at Rumple, commenting "Look whose all grown up and become the Dark One". Peter mentions it's lonely in Neverland and wants to take these boys with him so he can have friends. He mentions that people can visit Neverland in their dreams, but that they can't stay. Only certain boys can hear the music that he plays. Boys who feel unloved, and lost (which gives Peter the inspiration for the name). It explains why Bae can hear it, and obviously Rumple too. Peter rubs it in that everyone Rumple has loved has left him. Milah, his father, and now Baelfire. He offers a deal...Rumple gets to ask Bae if he wants to go home or go to Neverland. If Bae picks home, Rumple can keep him. Robbie Kay manages to hold his own against the incredible Robert Carlyle. He is truly talented, and this scene pretty much blew me away.

Present day - Neverland

Peter is throwing a party in Henry's honour, but Henry's not having it. Henry can't hear Peter's music, which means Henry still feels loved, and has faith he will be found. Peter tells him that he'll hear it soon enough. Felix comes to tell Peter that Neal and Rumple are searching for Henry as Neal escaped. Peter doesn't seem concerned. Rumple and Neal try to ambush Pan. Peter calls Neal Baelfire and gets reprimanded "It's Neal now". Neal shoots the squid ink dipped arrow at Peter. He catches it, and laughs. Neal tells him the tip wasn't what he coated and Peter ends up being frozen in place.

Peter tells Neal that he may want to leave Henry with him because there is something Rumple isn't telling him. He tells Neal that Rumple isn't there to save Henry, but to kill him. Neal wisely grabs Henry and runs before questioning Rumple. He demands to know what Pan is talking about. Neal gets worked up, and angry (it's hot!) and tells Rumple to "stop stalling". Rumple tells Neal all about the prophecy and that Henry will be his undoing. Neal puts it together and accuses Rumple of deciding to kill the boy no matter who it was. Rumple agrees but says it is different now that he knows it's his grandson. Rumple swears he was going to save Henry. Neal doesn't seem impressed, or convinced. This episode is filled with nasty habits, both Rumple and Neal have them. Rumple is a coward who always puts self preservation before anything. Neal's learned that he can't depend on his father, and that mistrust may just mean Henry getting recaptured by Pan. Rumple offers to prove that he is telling the truth. Neal wants his dagger, but Rumple can't produce it. Neal is fed up (just like his younger self) and says that there is always some answer, some reason with his father. It doesn't matter that his intentions are honourable now. What about when they get back to Storybrooke? In a week? Month? Year? He could end up thinking that 'undoing' is not such a good thing. Rumple says that will not happen, Neal is his happy ending. Neal, in a moment of mistrust, freezes his father, and tells him that he is going to find Emma and take his family home. Rumple begs him to not go off alone, but Neal doesn't listen. Damn it, Neal! For once just trust your father (although I get why he doesn't). That final "Goodbye Poppa" *tears*. Young Bae flashbacks break my heart EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Hook and Milah feels! Hook mentions Neal got his love of drawing from his mother. Eventually Emma works out that the candle they are using to look around the cave is not just a candle, but something that reveals a map made out of stars. A map home (the way Emma says home.. Tallahassee feelings). Sadly, nobody but Neal can read it though so they are screwed (until they find out Neal is alive that is). Hook tells them that he taught Neal to code his maps, so since Neal is dead they can't use it. Emma runs outside on the verge of a breakdown. Her speech here is awesome "I’m not sad. I’m pissed! Yes, Neal just died. But I lost him years ago, all that time thinking he didn’t love me only to find out that he did, and it was too late. I can’t even tell him how angry that makes me or how much it hurt when he left. Or how terrified I was when he came back, because I knew the moment I saw him that I never stopped loving him." SHE NEVER STOPPED LOVING HIM! I may have burst into tears, and this episode is just filling me with so many different emotions. This is what happens when I get invested in fictional characters. EMMA LOVES NEAL! She, of course, goes running off cry. Snow has a very real moment where she tells Charming that she has no idea has to comfort Emma. It's the first thing a mother learns, and Snow has NO CLUE. You can see the hurt on her face, and how desperately she wants to be there for her daughter. It drifts into Snow and Charming talking about how Snow would cope if Charming died. Of course he does not take the chance to tell Snow he's dying, nope. Charming is a lying liar who lies and pretends everything is fine. Not cool, Charming.

Flashback - Enchanted Forest

Rumple finds Bae and uses magic to whisk him back home. Bae wants to know who Peter Pan is. Rumple says they grew up together, and that Peter betrayed Rumple at some point. Says that Peter "fooled him for a long time" and that Peter's true nature is "darker and more repulsive than Bae should be exposed to". Bae cries that all Rumple had to do was take Peter's deal and ask him to come home. Bae says that fact that Rumple didn't ask means he doesn't trust him, and that he would have come home if only Rumple had asked. Baelfire walks out the door, not trusting his father. I am now DYING to know how Rumple and Peter know each other.

Present Day - Neverland

Neal, obviously, runs into Peter Pan, but not before making it to Emma's camp. Nobody is there but Neal knows Emma was there (can these two sense each other or something?). Peter tells Neal that HE taught him to never enter a place without knowing how to leave (and Neal taught Emma) and takes Henry back (queue fans calling for Neal's head, but really what was he suppose to do?) and Neal captive. Neal screaming at Henry that he will find him (Charming and Snow's favourite line) and that he's alive was heartbreaking because Henry is passed out. He's got not clue this is going on. :(

Peter tells Neal that it's all a game. What they really should be worried about is getting off Neverland. Reminds Neal that nobody leaves without his permission. Neal reminds Peter that he's done it before. Peter basically laughs in his face and insinuates that he LET Neal leave. Not surprised by this, at all. I have always thought he let Neal leave to meet Emma. Peter says he has everyone right where he wants them. He also mentions resetting the board and that the game is about to change. Seriously Robbie Kay, stop be amazing. I want to hate Peter and I can't. He's ruthless and scary and Robbie went to the same eyebrow acting school as Colin O'Donoghue.

Belle and Rumpe talk again. She says that she knows Rumple would have saved Henry. She is questioning why Rumple is sad though because Neal is alive. Rumple comments that he has something to live for and that makes this whole prophecy something he doesn't want to have happen. Belle beseeches him to break old habits and stop with the self preservation he always falls back on. Rumple tells her to go away, and I am left with the nagging feeling that Henry is in trouble because Rumple wants to live for Neal, and Henry is in the way of that (or so Rumple thinks).

Peter waits for Henry to wake up, and plays his piper music again, except this time Henry can hear the it. Henry joins the Lost Boys in their dancing and I am scared. Henry is not going to want to leave this island when Emma and the gang finally find him.

Until next Wednesday... Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust.


The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa




The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
Release Date - October 29, 2013
Publisher Website - HarlequinTeen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 342 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.
Julie Kagawa may just be the queen of ripping out reader's hearts. The Iron Traitor once again mixes romance, action, fey and heart crushing moments to move her Call of the Forgotten series into overdrive.

Ethan continues to grow on me. A reluctant hero who is being dragged into the fey's mess. He only wants a quiet life where he is left alone. He allows himself to be dragged in though. Is it because he truly cares for Megan and therefore her family, or is something else going on? We, once again, get to see how much is truly destined in these tales. Ethan being involved in fey business is never by chance, and I appreciated how Julie ties everything together.

Kenzie is the voice of reason. The voice we all want as readers in the story. She cares deeply for Ethan and their romance is one of the sweetest I've read. Here is a boy whose built up walls, is abrasive, but is not a jerk to Kenzie. She sees the true Ethan underneath, the one who doesn't have to hide, and manages to bring him out. They support each other. Of course, Kenzie's illness is never far from their minds, or ours either. It's heartbreaking that Ethan has found something good in his life, and for her to be torn away much to soon seems unfair. I hope that there is a magical cure or something.

Keirran is a lot like Ash. He loves Annwyl. We get to see what he is willing to do in order to save her. This chain reaction of fading fey that we witnessed in the first part of this series has severe consequences. We see the natural progression, and panic that is seeping into these fey. Keirran's story is very much woven into the mystery of how the fey got this way, and how to save not just Annwyl, but all of the fading fey.

As usual the ending left me breathless, and anxious to get my hands on the next installment. Julie's taken something that could be expected, and made it still shocking. The theme of love and how far you're willing to go for those you care for is the cornerstone of this novel. It allows us to see the contrast between Ethan and Keirran. Two men who will both lose their loves, but deal with it in very different ways. It leads to an interesting dynamic, and a cataclysmic ending.

Julie Kagawa has successfully bridged these two series together in a way that I was not expecting. This is much more than a spin-off as everything directly relates to the previous series. Intense, romantic, and Ethan Chase is quickly growing on me. If you've loved Julie's previous books be sure to pick this one up.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Night At The Viper Room by Gavin Edwards



Last Night At The Viper Room by Gavin Edwards
Release Date - October 22, 2013
Publisher Website -  Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**obtained for review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Hollywood was built on beautiful and complicated matinee idols: James Dean and Marlon Brando are classic examples, but in the 1990s, the actor who embodied that archetype was River Phoenix. As the brightly colored 1980s wound down, a new crew of leading men began to appear on movie screens. Hailed for their acting prowess and admired for choosing meaty roles, actors such as Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, Keanu Reeves, and Brad Pitt were soon rocketing toward stardom while an unknown Leonardo DiCaprio prepared to make his acting debut. River Phoenix, however, stood in front of the pack. Blessed with natural talent and fueled by integrity, Phoenix was admired by his peers and adored by his fans. More than just a pinup on teenage girls' walls, Phoenix was also a fervent defender of the environment and a vocal proponent of a vegan lifestyle--well on his way to becoming a symbol of his generation. At age eighteen, he received his first Oscar nomination. But behind his beautiful public face, there was a young man who had been raised in a cult by nonconformist parents, who was burdened with supporting his family from a young age, and who eventually succumbed to addiction, escaping into a maelstrom of drink and drugs.

And then he was gone. After a dozen films, including Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho, and with a seemingly limitless future, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. He was twenty-three years old.

In Last Night at the Viper Room, bestselling author and journalist Gavin Edwards toggles between the tragic events at the Viper Room in West Hollywood on Halloween 1993 and the story of an extraordinary life. Last Night at the Viper Room is part biography, part cultural history of the 1990s, and part celebration of River Phoenix, a Hollywood icon gone too soon. Full of interviews from his fellow actors, directors, friends, and family, Last Night at the Viper Room shows the role he played in creating the place of the actor in our modern culture and the impact his work still makes today.
Gavin Edwards takes River's name and makes an anagram. Viper Heroin X. A sadly prolific anagram to how River's life would end. October 31st will mark 20 years since River Phoenix's passing. A young talent, a son, a brother, a friend who died too soon. His impact on Hollywood, and those who he knew is still felt today, and this novel examines not only his life, but the culture that River was part of.

I was hesitant to pick this up. I remember seeing Stand By Me, and My Own Private Idaho and being totally blown away by how talented River Phoenix was in both those movies. I quickly became a fan of his work, and saddened that he would never reach his full potential. Needless to say, I am glad I picked this one up. The author takes a more gentle, less sensational approach. Nothing is glossed over, but it's handled extremely well. You see the devastation drug use has on a person, and how easily it is to spiral. The novel looks at drug use, and it's effect on those who use. River is described as a mess close to his death, with him being almost unrecognizable to some of his friends and loved ones. He jumped from group to group and as a result  nobody seemed to know how out of control his drug use had become.

The novel is clearly made up of research, rather than new interviews. It doesn't showcase a lot of new information and most of it is taken from interviews that were done previously. As 20 years have passed, this may have been the best solution. The answers given by various people would have been the most resonate at the time and memories clearer. I was struck by a quote from River's on/off girlfriend Martha Plimpton
"(River is) already being made into a martyr. He's become a metaphor for a fallen angel, a messiah. He wasn't. He was just a boy, a very good-hearted boy who was very f-cked-up and had no idea how to implement his good intentions. I don't want to be comforted by his death. I think it's right that I'm angry about it, angry at the people who helped him stay sick, and angry at River."
What gets me the most is the emotion behind it. She's right to be angry. It's the quote that stayed with me long after I finished the book because of it's unflinchingly honesty. Nobody wants to say it, but I applaud her for doing so.

The brief glimpse of who River was made my heart ache even more. He seemed like one of the most caring, sweet, gentle people. River's passion seemed to be not with acting, but with music. He also was deeply involved in various charities and an advocate for animal rights. It's this kindness and spirit that made everyone flock to him. He, by all accounts, held firm in what he believed, and loved to debate with people. His childhood, by accounts, may not have been a happy one. River himself called it "interesting" when asked if his childhood had been happy. Regardless, he had been influenced by that upbringing and that fact is woven into the novel beautifully.

The inclusion of chapters where you see the raise (and fall) of some of the hottest stars that were coming into the scene around this time. It's interesting to note that a group of great actors were just starting out at this time. The 'what if' section was particularly sobering. The author inquires what roles River may have taken on instead of other actors (some examples were Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp). River was in talks to star in The Man In The Iron Mask before his death, and the role ultimately went to Leonardo DiCaprio. He was also interested in The Basketball Diaries, another role Leonardo is well known for. It's heartbreaking because River's talent was evident, and he had potential to grow as an actor. The questions of what he might of done is haunting. 

If you're into pop culture, you'll appreciate the little facts about young hollywood at the time. Johnny Depp acquiring the Viper Room. Leonardo Dicaprio wanting to meet River at the last party he attended. The Two Coreys and their behaviour at the time. The Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp glamour couple starting out, and ending. It's these little details that made the novel a gossip lovers dream. The author never allows you to forget that this is River's story though. He uses this to contrast what is going on in River's life. River referred to LA as "the bad bad town". It appeared he knew it was a bad place for him to be, but tragically was drawn back again, and again.

The novel paints River as a kindhearted, conflicted, troubled young man who sadly died too young. As a fan of River's performances, I was riveted by this novel. It'll give you a brief insight into his background. It left me with an ache that his talent did not get to grow into it's fullest potential and that a young life was needlessly ended too soon.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New To My Book Closet


It's that time of the week again. Time to show you what bookish goodies made their way into my home and book closet (to be saved from the evil book eating cat monster named Aria). This is inspired by the various "mailbox" posts out there (eg. In My Mailbox by The Story Siren, and Stacking the Shelves by Tynga's Reviews).

Small, but awesome mailbox this week. I happened to notice this book up on Edelweiss and requested it. A huge thank you to Simon and Schuster for the chance to review it.


Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine (Goodreads)
 
Happy Reading, and Happy Weekend!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekly Obsessions


The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Here are my obsessions this week:

**SPOILERS FOR AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN**

BOOK

Cover reveal for Brazen by Katherine Longshore

This Wednesday I have the honour of revealing the cover for Katherine Longshore's newest novel. Brazen sounds amazing, and the cover matches Gilt and Tarnish perfect. Be sure to stop by to check it out! 

Reader/Blogger Wishlist

If you don't know what Reader/Blogger Wishlist is Jessica from Read My Breath Away describes it much better than I could. Basically, if you have Twitter, join readers and bloggers who will be posting their wishlist of books they wish existed. I am taking part, and can not wait to see what everyone wants to read. The twitter party is happening THIS Monday.

Cover of Jodi Lynn Anderson's The Vanishing Season



It's so pretty! I am a huge fan of Jodi Lynn Anderson's Tigerlily. One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Its one I push people to read. I am excited to get my hands on this beacause I know the writing will be amazing, and the synopsis sounds AMAZING!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

This Tuesday everyone! THIS TUESDAY! I have the day off work. Wine and cupcakes shall be purchased. Pizza shall be ordered for dinner. My day shall be spent reading. I've, sadly, already been spoiled for this, but I am none the less excited to finally finish Tris and Four's story.

TV/MOVIE

Endless Love Trailer



Risque, sexy and intense.This is a remake of an older movie, and seems to be all about obsessive love. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bookclub will be reading this one just in time for the movie to come out in February. The music is rather chilling. A slowed down version of Addicted To Love sort of fits this story perfectly. Oh, and I fully expect this to be rated R.

Dracula

The new TV series, Dracula is premiering on Oct 25th! That's this week. I am beyond excited. I hope they twist the original story a little bit and make it incredibly fun.

Evan Peters in American Horror Story: Coven

Episode 2! That is the episode that Even Peters BLEW ME AWAY! This is something different from what he's previously played on this show. He's done it brilliantly, and I am so excited about his storyline for this season. The Frankenstein aspect to his story, and how he portrayed someone being pieced back together and brought back to life is pretty amazing. He totally impressed me with those few scenes and I expect many more as he slowly regains his personality, and control.

OTHER

Ontario Blogger Meet Up

We are getting so close! The other Ottawa Blogettes and myself will be traveling to Ottawa to hang out with our fellow book lovers. I am really looking forward to a fun weekend.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet new blogger friends.

This weeks question is:

What are some of your favorite magazines?

I read Entertainment Weekly. I am not a big magazine reader, so I think that would be the only one.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Once Upon A Time - Quite a Common Fairy



This point in the season is when writing these could start getting confusing. I am going to start putting headings above sections, I think. I will label them based on where the action is taking place, and by flashback/present day depending on what's in the episode. It'll help clarify things (at least I hope).

PRESENT DAY/ NEVERLAND

Charming's poisoned wound is causing him issues. Poor guy can't keep up, and he's a little sweaty. No clue how he expects to keep this a secret for long, because it's obvious something is up. Hook manages to be the only one who realizes this and calls Charming out on it. He tells him that he has to tell Snow and Emma. Charming refuses, wanting to put his hopes in Tinkerbell and her pixie dust. Sadly, as we learn Tink's backstory we find out she has no wings, no pixie dust, and no way to help Charming.

Of course Peter's hideout is moving around the island. Always with the tricks. At this point I am not sure they're ever going to find the camp. Poor Henry.

So Henry has clothes! They look like ones he was given though, not his. Peter crows! OMG! That caused so many fangirl feels. Peter often crows to call his Lost Boys in versions of the story. It was a perfect nod to the classic. Peter wants to play a game called 'Target Practice'. I can see this not ending well. There is a humorous exchange of Peter tossing Henry an apple, and Henry saying he doesn't like apples, and that it's a family thing. Very cute.

Henry is peer pressured into shooting the arrow towards the apple, which Felix has on his head. He instead decides to shoot at Pan. Peter catches the arrow easily, and seems to be fine with being shot at. He tells Henry he has something to show him. He wants to show off the picture of Henry he's been carrying around. He tells Henry that magic is dying that he has to save everyone. He tells Henry that HE is the savior. Emma was meant to have him, and that was her role, but that Henry will save them all. Pan says that Henry is the product of both light and dark (Emma's the product of true love, and Baelfire is the son of darkness). Interesting idea, but I think Pan's a lying liar who lies.

PRESENT DAY/ENCHANTED FOREST

Baelfire is frantically trying to find anything that will create a portal. He's realized Henry is in Neverland too, and is desperate to get there. We get a mention of 'ruby slippers' being something that can open portals. I can not wait to see their version of Oz. Robin Hood's merry men come in with an adorable little boy following shyly behind. Turns out the tyke is Robin's son. Baelfire says he knows how to get to Neverland. Um, do not be using that boy as bait, Bae (no matter how much I want him in Neverland). Robin, after hearing out Bealfire's plan, agrees to let Roland call the shadow. Baelfire used a little heart-pulling pleading, and reminds Robin that he technically owes him for Rumple saving Marion so that Roland could be born. I like that Baelfire realizes he has a lot to make up for when it comes to Emma. He has to earn back her trust, and I look forward to him doing just that. Roland is saved from the shadow by Mulan and Robin while Bae jumps out the window after the shadow and is on his way to Neverland!! YES! I can't wait for him to meet up with Emma. I predict intense emotions when everyone realizes he didn't die. Of course, Baelfire ends up with Felix who tells him that Peter will be happy to see him. Totally not surprised that he ended up being captured within seconds of arriving on the island.

PRESENT DAY/NEVERLAND

Of course Regina wants to use magic...again. "Have you even been listening?" snaps Snow. No, she really hasn't. Even when Hook tells her it'll result in her death. Hook mentions that a fairy on the island might be able to help. He mentions she has pixie dust. Interesting discussion about whether pixie dust is the same as fairy dust (it's not, pixie is more powerful). Will pixie dust save Charming? I hope so! Emma's reaction to realizing Hook means none other than Tinkerbell is hilarious (every child 'knows' her). Regina immediately says it's a bad idea to go find Tinkerbell. She tries to convince Emma to pool their magic and get Henry back, and Emma very kindly tells her NO! I love Emma's "what did you do to her" reply to Regina very much not wanting to go find Tinkerbell. Regina finally explains that if they want Tink to help them, she's better off staying out of it because of their history. Regina is the cause of Tinkerbell's wings being ripped away, but Regina sees it as Tinkerbell interfering. Tink is justifiably angry. She seems to have genuinely wanted to help Regina and got nothing but trouble as thanks.

A rather sweet moment where Regina and Emma talk about Henry.  Regina refers to what they are doing as "Operation Henry" because that's what he would have called it. Regina tells Emma that it's the most important thing for her to get Henry, even if she has to leave Regina behind. It's these moments that make me want Regina to redeem herself. The young, innocent girl who lost Daniel shines through, and you fee like there is hope for her. If only Regina would let go of the anger, and let love in. Tink catches up with Regina after Emma has left and they have it out. Regina tells Tinkerbell to kill her, even offering up her heart for crushing. She convinces Tink to choose differently than what she herself did, and not become a killer. Tink relents, but says she won't help get Henry back.

Emma and the rest find Tinkerbell's treehouse. Snow remarks that she sympatizes with Tink a little because she recognizes this as just a place to stay, just like where she stayed when she was on the run from the Queen. She recalls this when she meets Tink later on, and offers her a home with them when they leave Neverland. I am on board with Tink coming to Storybrooke!

Once everyone is back together, Hook and Tinkerbell greet each other. He calls her Lady Bell (um...*SWOON*). They give each other flirty looks. I officially want them together. Hook beseeches her to help them after 'everything they've been through together'. I want to know what their past was! Did she help Hook leave the island the first time? It's Hook that makes Tink relent and help. She agrees to get them into Peter's camp but warns that they will only have one chance.

ENCHANTED FOREST/ FLASHBACK

In a flashback Rumple comes to taunt Regina. She missed her magic lesson and tells him she doesn't want to do it anymore. He tells her it's pretty much too late. She's tasted darkness, but more importantly the darkness has tasted her. He tells her that her rage is all she has. How much of this is him pushing so that she'll do what he needs and get dark enough to enact his curse? ALL OF IT! It softens me a little towards Regina because she is not evil yet, and Rumple is doing his best to make sure it happens. After almost falling off a balcony she ran to when Rumple leaves, Tinkerbell rescues her. I LOVE Tink. She's perfect. Full of adorable sass ('Snow White? That's her name? Even I think that's a bit precious and mine's Tinkerbell'). She tells Regina that she needs love, and Tink can help her find it. She's going to use pixie dust to find Regina's soul mate. This is the first confirmation that you can have more than one 'true love'. Intresting. It leaves the door open for other people to have second chances. Regina is totally having a pity party, and needs to harness this into something productive, sadly we know she won't. Regina eventually relents and Tink steals some pixie dust to help get the job done. They use it, and it brings them to a bar/pub in which a man with a lion tattoo is lit up by the pixie dust. Regina is scared, and doesn't go in, instead she runs away.

Regina's second chance at love is later revealed to be Robin Hood (which, hello, obviously). Will she let love in? I found it extremely interesting to consider what her going into the 'bar' would have changed. She might have let go of her anger, and never enacted the curse. Emma and Baelfire may never have met and had Henry. Would Rumple have gotten another person to create the curse to help in his search for Baelfire? If so, what would it have changed under someone else's hand? Would Emma have still been ripped out of Enchanted Forest, or would someone else have become the savior instead? All interesting to ponder. It's frustrating that Regina couldn't let her anger go, and walk towards potential happiness. I hope we see her change, and let love in. This episode showed that Henry's happy ending will include Regina. I think Robin Hood is a start to Regina's walls coming down. They are each other's second chance, it's rather sweet. I do find it curious that Tink says she ruined Robin's life too. How exactly? Robin loved Marion (whom I am guessing he met after that night in the bar) and had Roland. I assume he's sad that Marion died, but I don't see how his life is ruined. He had love, and a son whom he seems to adore. Curious to see how this will play out.

Blue Fairy is a bit of a hard ass. She is strict and demands complete obedience. Her and Tink did not see things the same way, and since Tink did technically misbehave by helping Regina she's stripped of her wings. A totally crushing moment. Also intriguing is that this was Tink's SECOND chance. What did she do with her first? I found it fitting that to take away her wings Blue had to tell Tink that she no longer believed in her (I do believe in fairies! I do, I do!). I am curious to see if Henry's true belief can get Tink back her wings.

ENCHANTED FOREST/PRESENT DAY

The episode continues with sadness, as Mulan, who has spent the whole episode being told that you have to tell the one you love that you love them, goes to talk to Aurora. She didn't want to speak with Phillip, whom I theorized Mulan may have feelings for. Instead, we find out it's Aurora she is in love with. She doesn't tell Aurora as she's stopped by Aurora's new of being pregnant. Realizing that Phillip and Aurora are happy, she decides to join Robin Hood's band of merry men. I hope Mulan finds her true love, and that we get a happy ending to her story. Unrequited love seems to be a theme that is developing this season.

Now that Tinkerbell is going to help, I hope we're going to Pan's camp next week. I can't wait for Baelfire to meet up with Emma. Rumple's reaction to his son being alive is going to be filled with emotion. It's going to be an exciting couple of episodes!

Until next Wednesday... Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust.

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