Saturday, August 20, 2011

School of the Ages: The Ghost in the Crystal by Matt Posner

Kiki & Jules rating: 5 stars

Fantastical...... Any book that can make you sit up, take notice, talk and debate, is a great book! Kiki and I did just that, and we are still processing all that this book has to offer.

School of the Ages has a new fresh take on young wizards in training.  Posner has taken this much loved topic of young wizards, and has intertwined  magic with the aspects of religion and our ability to believe in something more.  News Flash this is not Harry Potter, nor does it resemble those shows on a channel with a famous mouse. This is a book that takes magic and makes it feel real, like if we were to believe a little bit more we would see it.  As one would say "seeing is believing", but in this case "believing is seeing".  This book is so well written, you feel everything the characters are feeling.  We felt the darkness with only candles to light the way.  We felt the cold that no amount of clothes to heat.  To put it lightly, we felt as if we were Simon.  This is the type of book that pulls you in, and you will not be able to put it down.

When Simon gets accepted to the School of the Ages, he didn't know he would have one of the hardest challenges of his young life. Beyond training to be a wizard, being possessed by an ancient spirit, making friends and enemies, and time travelling to ancient Alexandria, Simon struggles with what it takes to be ....Simon. Magic was something in Simon's blood, but not something he was accusomed to on a daily basis.  His idea of magic was that much like our own, a wand, a spell, maybe lighting some engraved candles.  What Simon finds out, the hard way, is that magic is not like what you see in the movies.  It hides in the realm of belief and lives off our emotions.  With a vast cast of unforgetable characters like Goldberry, Robbie, the nasty Yakov, and the ever elusive Leah, Posener takes Simon and us through the first year of magic. 

After much debate and some LONG converstaions, Kiki and I have decided to not tell you any more about the plot of this book. We feel deeply that no matter your genre, this book is a must read!

Kiki & Jules

PS - We are on pins and needles in antisipation of the next installment of this fantastical series!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Little Push by Jennifer Steen

Jennifer Steen is the short story goddess.  She has a great ability to give you one small moment in time, like a picture window into someone's life.  This picture may seem so similar that you give that small chuckle and say, "ya, I've been there, sister."  Then as you read on you remember, and your moved by her words.  This is exactly how I felt when I read "A Little Push".  I read three lines into the story and quickly related.  I had definitely had one of those days.  It wasn't until the end that I was able to reflect back on my day and realize I had that push just like Jess, but didn't know it.  Actually, I have that push every day in the two young men I see before me.  See, in 28 pages, Steen moved me, and made me reflect on what really are my most precious moments.

Before this day Jess probably wouldn't have told you she had a blessed life.  She would do what most of us do and say she loved her husband, Chad, and her three children, Micah, Sam, and Katie to pieces, but some days were better than others.  On this small glimpse into her life, we got to see one of those days.  A day when, right from the start, everything goes wrong.  Your late, the car doesn't start, the baby is sick, something breaks...on and on.  You stop, look up to the sky and say, "come on, what now?"  Then you get that brief reprieve in something simple that makes you think you were foolish to be upset in the first place.  For Jess, it was the first snow of the season, and the look on her children's faces in that snow.  Then of course that slap of reality happens, and you get further down in the hole.  On this day Jess had all this and then her husband got laid off.  They were already barely making ends meet, not even having insurance.  They had a little saved that would be used to stay afloat, and of course their was Jess' trip.  A great sacrifice to give up.  The last trip home to see her dying dad, and she couldn't go.  Why was she being punished?

After a conversation with her father, Jess feels a little uplifted knowing he loved her.  He knew she loved him, and he felt his life was complete.  She didn't need to come see him.  All she needed to do every day, for him, no matter how bad it got, was smile.  Find that happiness in her life and grab a hold of it because that happiness is what makes it all worth it.  At that point in time Jess was struggling for that happiness.  She had just broken dreadful news to her family, and she still had to go ride a bike, in the snow, to get her son from school.  It wasn't until that bike ride home that Jess realized what her father meant in his declaration.

I bet today if you were to ask Jess she would still say that some days are better than others, but I bet this time she would still feel blessed to have those days. 

Check out more short stories by Jennifer Steen on her web page


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Jules ratings  5 stars

What an enchanting and lovely book this was to read.  I could not put it down and read almost all through the night. I felt like I stepped right into the town of Mullaby, NC, and could see and smell everything that was happening there.

Emily Benedict  has come to live with the grandfather she didn't know she had, after her mothers death. Soon finds out that the house has secrets, changing wall paper in her room, and her grandfather is always looking in the dryer, and is 8' tall. Plus there is a strange floating light in the woods, everyone is very hush, hush. There is tension from the town when they see Emily, because she looks so much like her mother.  Emily is trying to find out what her mother did to the town and why everyone hates her mother. Trying to dig into secrets and live down her mothers pass is not easy. She finds a friend in Win. His family and her grandfather are not happy with the budding friendship.

Julia Winterson grew up in Mullaby, after tough teenage years and being sent away from home and growing up, she is back to take over her deceased fathers restaurant J's Barbecue. In the process of paying down debt to sell the restaurant, she bakes cakes all the time to call to her love, and the town loves them.  She has to deal with the past ,a boy she loved in high school, and the secret she has to tell him. She lives next store to Emily, and is shocked when Emily tells her she has seen the Mullaby Lights in the woods. But will not tell her what or who they are,and she must ask her grandfather.

This story is about love, hope, forgiveness and magic. I really enjoyed reading this book, and will read it again in the future.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mai Tai One On By Jill Marie Landis

Jules rating  4 stars

This is a great start to the Tiki Goddess Mystery Series.
Em is divorced and broke, went to help her Uncle Louie to help run the infamous Tiki Bar The Goddess. Uncle Louie is funny and has a parrot who is taste tester for all of his drinks.

Soon  every event at the Tiki Bar or catered event, dead bodies start showing up, Police Detective Roland has his eye on the whole crew at the Tiki bar. When their Bar tender Sophie, who has a checkered past, is accused of murdering the victim's. Needless to say Em and the Hula Maidens are fast to prove her innocent, and find the real murderer. Much to Detective Roland's dismay.

There is a romance in the air between Roland and Em, hopefully we will see more in the next book. I love the Hula Maidens, they are so crazy and funny. Mai Tia One On was a really good read, lots of action and funny, I can't wait for the next in the series .

Don't forget to look in the back of the book for the drink recipes.......Yummmm.........


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hollywood Scandals(Hollywood Headlines) by Gemma Halliday

Jules rating 4 stars
I found this book free on Amazon, and it is a fast, fun read, with lots of action. Tina Bender is a snarky and quick witted gossip columnist for the L.A. Informer, which is a tabliod. All the actors in Hollywood hate her column.
Tina finds herself getting stuck with a very hunky bodyguard named Cal, beacuse she is getting death threats. She digs in her heels to find out who is trying to kill her, making Cal's job that much harder.
Does romance bloom out of all the craziness??? Read the book, very quick read, I throughly enjoyed reading Hollywood Scandals.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Reluctant by C.S. Splitter

Kiki's Rating:  5 Stars

Ladies and Gentlemen buckle up, put your seat backs in their upright positions, and prepare to take flight!  C.S. Splitter's debut novel, The Reluctant, is going to take you on one thrilling ride.  A ride with twists and turns on every page.  One that, when you're finished, you'll beg to ride again.

First person narrative is tricky to say the least.  The main character has to be one that every reader can relate to. The descriptions given by the character have to be vivid, as if the reader is seeing them with their own eyes.  The most important aspect, I feel, is that the story has to be believable.  You have to feel like if roles were reversed you could see yourself in their shoes.  Splitter has accomplished all this and more. He's created this story that has a realistic quality, but still has that little bit of fantasy and mystery we all desire in our lives.

Tom Crayder is the main character of the story.  He's a guy we can all relate with these days.  He is a pilot that charters his own plane, nothing fancy, but it gets you where you need to go.  This job may be his dream, but right now it's not paying the bills.  With the current economy his charters are less and less, and he's stretched out his and his wife's incomes to cover a mortgage that would make the best of us a little cranky.  This puts a lot more than stress on his life and his marriage.  Crayder, like many of us, starts thinking that maybe the grass is greener on the other side. So, resorts to odd and end jobs, some would say aren't exactly legal, from Jake, the head of the local biker "gang".  These jobs seem to add the income, but more they add that sense of adventure that Crayder feels is missing from his "cool, sexy pilot" image. Then enters the enticing Lorena, who is more than a little easy on the eyes "if you liked that over thirty and well preserved look."  In Lorena, Crayder finds not only a hell of a shot, but a willing flirt.  There are a series of other strong characters that round out Splitter's cast and add even more depth to the many twists and turns in the story so that it hooks you from page one, and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end.

So what do we have readers?  A well written book that has believable characters and a story line that keeps you on the edge until the end.  What more could I ask for?  Except for it to continue!  I really enjoyed this book.  I felt like I was watching a new television pilot and now I can't wait for the series.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Blogger Award

Blogging Award!

We have just won our very first blogging award!
This blogging award given to people who have under 200 followers.

Thankyou Rachael for picking us!  Vist Rachael's blog at

Good Luck to all new bloggers!  May we all have many followers!
Kiki & Jules

On Dark Shores The Lady by J.A. Clement

Jules Rating: 5 stars

The first couple chapters of On Dark Shores had me sratching my head, I couldn't figure out where the book was taking me. Then it found its rythym. This book is haunting, dark and leaves you wanting more, and more. Some parts of the book gave me chills with my hair standing on end... I can't wait for the next books to follow.

On Dark Shore takes place in the town of Scarlock, which is being held hostage in fear of the moneylender Copeland, and his bodygaurd Blakey. Copeland is an awful, evil, vile, ruthless man, words can not describe how horrible he is to the people of Scarlock. He runs a thieving ring and a brothel, which he gets the money, and leaves very little to the people that work for him to live on, along with getting a cut from all business in town. He also harvests and processes Sea Angel jellfish, which he makes into a drug called Angel Feathers.  Blakey is an ex-boxer , who doles out the beating per Copeland's orders. You start off really not liking Blakey for what he does to the towns people. Then you find out how much he hates Copeland, and hates having to carry out his orders. He is not what he seems to be.... I kinda like him.  Nereia is a thief for Copeland, and not by choice. She does this to protect her much younger sister Mary . Nereia is very strong, smart and tough, She is the only one in town that is couragous enough to stand up to Copeland, which always gets her beaten. He has grand plans for her... that I can't go into.

Their are lots of charcters in this book, and story lines, which I'm sure will be explained in upcoming books. J.A. Clements does a wonderful job writing. You feel the terror, anger, and how helplessness of the town inhabitants . I love the fact you know what is going on inside each of the characters head. The book ends and your so wrapped up in the story and emotional, you can't believe the book is done.

I'm ready for the next book please !!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fire & Ice The Five Worlds By Carrie Olguin

Kiki and Jules Rating:  5 stars

Kiki and I often read the same books, though at different times, and discuss them at great lengths after.  On very rare occasions we find a book that we must read together.  This book was one of those exceptions.  When I first started Fire and Ice I was intrigued, but somewhat lost.  I quickly called up Kiki and after a brief review of where I stood in the book she was hooked.  She quickly caught up with me and we were off to the races.  Through laughter, frustration, and some immense OMG heat, we blew up our phones with text messages.  We were so caught up after page 30 there was no way we were putting this book down.  That alone earns this book the 5 stars, but oh dear readers, there was so much more. 

Carrie Olguin takes you to Majien, one of the Five Worlds after the radiation storms.  The story seems to start off in the middle.  You are at the Majien Advanced Learning Academy awaiting the proposal of Noble Judge Rosche to Sarica, the Professor's daughter.  Professor Stockley needs funding for an exploration that Rosche is willing to offer with a catch, his daughter's hand. The Professor, who is going on the expedition with or without Rosche's funding, leaves the decision up to Sarica. You do not know the ins and outs of what went on with Rosche and the Professor at this point, and neither does Sarica.  That's why she harshly refutes him before he even gets the proposal out.  The next thing we know Sarica's father has failed in his expedition and died. She has been thrown in debtors prison awaiting an auction that will sell her off to the highest bidder.  In comes Rosche again to save the day, or so he thinks, by paying off her debts and taking her on as a "servant".  He knows this deal comes in a distant second to his ultimate goal, Sarica becoming his wife.

Sarica, who is a very intelligent scholar that dreams of running free, exploring the Five Worlds, can't believe she is in this dire situation.  She just got out from under the tight control of her over-protective father to fall into the hands, of what she feels, is a crude, cold-hearted judge that only wants to use her as a sex slave.  What Sarica does not know is that Rosche also has an Anom gift, one that is the complete opposite of her Din cold generation.  Rosche has the gift of Drakond fire.  What she also does not know is that Rosche desperately needs her because only her gift can control the heat within him, and he will do anything to possess her, forever.  This, my friends, is where the fun begins!

Fire and Ice, with its large cast of characters, has many twists and turns that make it much more than a love story. There is an extensive subplot that goes on in this series, and Kiki and I both felt this first book was just the tip of the iceberg in letting you know what is really going on in the Five Worlds. There is so much more that Olguin could have said, and so many different ways she can take the next book.  Kiki and I are completely invested in the series and can't wait for the next installment. I do have to give one warning. This is 100% an adult book.  There are some very racy scenes that can make even the most veteran of readers blush.  But please don't let that stop you.  We encourage you to pick up this book, and then dare you to try and put it down!

Happy Reading

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Changing My Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

Kiki's Rating - 5 stars

I seem to be more and more compelled to write reviews on YA books that are brave enough to tackle "hush, hush" topics.   Deb Hanrahan steps up to the plate in Changing My Wardrobe and tackles one giant of a topic in today's society, bullying.  There are many forms of bullying and most people attribute the term to the physical form done by the stereotypical cliques.  The kid being shoved into the locker, the toilet swirls, or the popular uneven fist fight.  But today, more and more bullying is done verbally, and done by everyone.  The old "sticks and stones.." no longer applies.  Not only do the words hurt, they sometimes kill.  Students, and adults for that matter, have many more venues to accomplish their trash talking.  It is no longer just the gossip in the halls, or the vandalism on the bathroom wall.  Today, we have Facebook, Twitter, and cellphones to accomplish even more damage. This is what I enjoyed most about this book.  It tackled this form of bullying and showed the natural reaction of the teens involved, the adults surrounding them, and even the fellow students.  It was very sad to read the reality that this book puts boldly in your face.

Lindsey is your typical teen starting her first year of high school.  She is a very bright, intelligent, and responsible young lady.  She is every parents dream of what we want our children to be like.  But what we find out quickly is that Lindsey is scared, petrified really.  In junior high Lindsey was picked on for being a "nerd".  She never stood up for herself and let girls, especially one girl, Avery, walk all over her. To put it lightly, junior high was hell for her, and she decides she is going to take high school as the opportunity to be a totally different girl. She knows she is not willing to give up her grades, or even her feelings about right and wrong to accomplish this goal.  She is convinced by her best friend, Teeny, that a new wardrobe will create a new Lindsey.  So she starts her first day with her old friends, Teeny and Grouper, a new sense of style and hopefully a new outlook.

This doesn't stop Lindsey from still being pessimistic because it doesn't take long for the same old, same old to start up again with Avery and her scum of the earth boyfriend, Cal. But this time Lindsey discovers high school really can be different as she earns a new vocal ally in Jocelyn and a gorgeous guy, Marco. With her group of friends growing, and a real boyfriend, Lindsey finally feels more comfortable in her own skin and the drama seems to cool.  As Lindsey is getting it together Avery and Cal make a switch to Teeny.  Now Lindsey has to come completely out of her  shell and stop being the victim and start being the protector of her best friend.  The story continues on with some exciting twists and turns that I refuse to give out.  The biggest shocker coming at the end.  You know something big is about to happen, but you will never guess what does.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Beyond the plot, I loved how when you read you really felt like you were in the mind of a teen.  The dialog seemed very much like something I would hear in my high school classroom.  I also enjoyed the view of the other side of the coin where you see the life of the bully.  What makes the bully tick and might cause them to be the way they are.  I found it very interesting that at times, once they found out, the main characters felt sympathy for Avery and Cal due to their situations.  That quickly changed when they discovered some people are just evil.  I enjoyed this roller coaster ride of emotions and hope you will soon take the ride as well.


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare :: Extras

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare :: Extras

Rose Pressey Books

This is my dog Bella, and she is reading How To Date A Werewolf by Rose Pressey. Bella gives the book two paws up, and I give each of the books 5 stars.
Pressey has 4 different series out as follows:
How to Date a Werewolf (Rylie Cruz Series, book1)
Me and my Ghoulfriends ( Laurie Donavan Series, book 1)
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells ( Mystic Cafe Series, book 1)
Rock-N- Roll is Undead ( Veroncia Mason Series, book !)
If you like witches, vampires, ghouls, ghost, demons, with a dose of romance, this is your series. All the books are a funny, laugh out loud, and a fast light read. It has been quite some time since I laughed out loud at a book, and Ms. Pressey has done the job. I really enjoyed them and will re-read them in the future.
Look for upcoming reviews on her new books coming out soon. Happy reading !!