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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Couple Quick Notes!

Good Monday Morning, Everyone! Just a few quick notes from me today. 

I found out a few days ago that I'm moving! It's actually very exciting. We've been wanting to get into a bigger place and we found a great one. We can start going over on the 15th, but probably won't get completely moved until Easter weekend. Because of that, my posts over the next couple of weeks will probably be spotty. 

I have a few pre-written posts, but not many. I'll try to keep up on lists and recaps, but probably won't do any that require a great deal of thinking. So, if I'm a bit absentee, that's why. Once we're all moved in, I'll be back to my regular schedule, though.

In the meantime, make sure to check out my Epic giveaway, which is still going on. The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite!

Have a great week, Everyone! :D

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Change

Thoughts for Thursday is a new feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

Spring is in the air and the weather is being all crazy here in Utah. (Last week we had a thunder-and-lightning snow storm! But it's normal to have crazy weather in the spring here.) So, I decided this week's theme will be quotes about Change!

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.--Stephen Hawking
There is nothing permanent except change.--Heraclitus
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.--Carl Rogers
We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.--Harrison Ford
It's the most unhappy people who most fear change.--Mignon McLaughlin
When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change...you will change.--Robert Anthony
Check out some more quotes on my other blog HERE.

Which quote is your favorite? Do you have one to add?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Review: Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6)

**If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my Epic Giveaway! The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite! Click HERE to enter!**

Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6)

Okay, so I finished the 6th installment out of 7. I'm probably starting to sound like a broken record with these books, but there were actually some differences in book 6 that made me feel different about it than about previous books. So, bear with me.

Characters: I really loved what she did with the characters and the relationships in this book. Naturally there's still a lot of resentment between Nash and Tod, which I thought was handled very well. Plus, Kaylee and Tod get to explore their relationship a lot, which is always fun. So basically, as with other books, I really loved what she did here. Yeah, yeah. I know: broken record. 

Plot: Here's where I had a bit of a problem with this book. It wasn't that the plot was boring or terrible in any way, but let's just say the gore level went way up. Not that it was more gore than a PG-13 rating, but rather she just started killing people off left and right. This was The Departed installment of this series. (i.e. everyone dies!) 

Okay, I'm exaggerating. Not everyone. Before you yell at me for posting spoilers, please note that most of our main characters will be returning in book 7. Those killed off were the less-mainstream characters, but some of them were people I really liked. I guess you could say this book was just far darker than earlier installments.

And yes, given that this series deals with banshees, hellions, undead reapers, and other minions of the Netherworld, to be critical because it's "dark" may sound ridiculous, but I promise it's true. After six books, I'm very invested in these characters and it was overkill (pun intended) to me. I suppose it just rubbed me the wrong way. So I wasn't a huge fan of all the death.

Ending: As per usual, it ended on something of a cliff hanger that left me anxious and wanting to jump into the next book.

Will I keep reading? Oh yeah. The final book is called "With All My Soul" but as I understand things, it could easily have been called something along the lines of "Kaylee's Revenge." Sign me up. Somebody's gotta get rid of these evil hellions once and for all. And, after 6 books, I'm gonna have to see it through to he end!

Recommendation: Very High

Have you read Soul Screamers yet? What was your favorite installment?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teasers come from Before I Wake, book 6 of Soul Screamers  by Rachel Vincent.

"Should I just make myself at home, like company?" Thane started toward the living room, but Nash stepped into his path. 
"No, you should stay right where you are, or my estranged brother and I will settle our differences by seeing who can break more of your bones." 
Tod glanced at him, brows raised. "You want to settle our differences?" 
Nash frowned. "No, I want to break every bone in his body, and I didn't think you'd let me do it alone." 
Tod nodded. "Good call."

What are you reading this week?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Historical Tidbit: The (Somewhat Creepy) History of the Jack-in-the-Box

**If you haven't yet, be sure to enter my Epic Giveaway! The grand prize is a Kindle Paperwhite! Click HERE to enter!**

Did you know...

That the jack-in-the-box has its origins in the Middle Ages?

So at my writer's group last week, there was a story that contained a jack-in-the-box element. It actually wasn't a creepy story, but a literary one.

Anyway, at some point, the question was raised, "When were jack-in-the-boxes first sold?" So we, being children of the internet age, looked it up. I expected the answer to be somewhere around the 1930s. Oh how wrong I was!

The origin of the jack-in-the-box dates back to the 14th century, and a man named Sir John Schorne. He lived in Buckinghamshire, England, and a was great leader and healer in his small village. Folklore says he captured a devil in a boot, and he's often pictured holding the boot with the devil popping out of it. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review Day: If I Die and Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent

Last week I read book 5 of Soul Screamers, If I Die by Rachel Vincent. It was great! I wouldn't have thought the series could get any better but, you guessed it, it did!

Plot: This picks up where the previous book left off. Nash and Kaylee are still struggling with their relationship, but are starting to get to a better place, even if Sabine is still in the picture. At the beginning of the book, Todd pays Kaylee's dad a visit with some grim (get it?) news: Her time is up. She's come up on the reaping list and is scheduled for death in less than a week. Meanwhile, girls at her school are getting pregnant, having horrifying miscarriages, and Kaylee suspects one of her teachers may be a Netherworld creature trying to propagate his own species using high school girls. Kaylee must race against the clock to get rid of this creature before she dies, come to terms with her own, apparently unstoppable death, and help others in her life do the same. High school's never complicated, though. :D

Characters: There's a "surprising" turn of events in this book as far as the characters and their romantic relationships go. I actually wasn't all that surprised, myself. I suspected that a certain crush was happening several books ago, but I couldn't tell if it was just me or if that was where the author was going. Well, now I have my answer. I have to say, it was a very risky thing for the author to do. She introduced a love triangle between major characters a full five books into the series. She ran the risk of fans hating the idea. I have no idea whether many of them did or not, but it wasn't a problem for me. I sort of liked it. Once it happened, I was instantly rooting for the other couple. :D

Ending: I liked the end. Between two possible outcomes, it did the one that was the most provocative and kept the reader going until the final page. It's also the ending that puts the most interesting potential into the next installment of the series.

Overall: I loved this book! Out of the entire series so far, I think this is my favorite! So great! Can't wait to dive into the next volume!

Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers 5.5)

Plot: This short story between installments begins near the end of the last book, but it's told from Sophie's (Kaylee's snotty cousin) point of view. Basically, Sophie has her first Netherworld experience--that she is conscious for and remembers, anyway--and meets a boy who happens to be Necromancer along the way.

Characters: I'll admit I didn't think I'd like this short very much. Kaylee's cousin is a mean-girl super-princess who the reader has been primed to hate in the regular series. Why would I want to read something from her point of view? Yet, I was pleasantly surprised at how readable the story was. Written in Vincent's trademark, high-school-girl style, we actually learn a lot about Sophie and her motivations. Don't get me wrong, how shallow Sophie is, is also driven home plenty of times. But given her personality and the world she was raised in, you can at least see why she believes and acts like what she does.

Ending: I really like how his ended. In a matter of 70 pages, Sophie gains strength of character and the ability to stand up to her even-snottier friend and competition for dance team captain. I liked that she came away from the experience feeling stronger and more confident. Very well-executed character arc.

Overall: Really enjoyed it. It just makes me want to dive into the next installment that much more to see how Sophie's role in the story will change, now that she knows all about the Netherworld.

Have you read the Soul Screamers series?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Never to Sleep by Rachel Vincent

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teasers come from book 5.5 (Never to Sleep) of Soul Screamers.
Maybe we were both crazy. Maybe we were really sharing a delusion in some real-world psych ward. Maybe my ex-boyfriend was in the room next door. Maybe Kaylee was the sanest person I knew. 
I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head--that was the scariest thought I'd ever had. 
"I'm a necromancer," Luca said, and I opened my eyes to look at him. "But that doesn't mean what most people think it means. 
"Well, I'm not most people. I have no idea what that means."

Make sure to check out my check out my epic, celebratory give away HERE for a chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite! 

What are you reading this week? We're you able to guess any of the historical pictures from yesterday?