Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On My Wishlist: Second books in a fantasy series...

Haven't done one of these in a while...

Ever the Brave
by Erin Summerill
Series: Clash of Kingdoms #2
Published: December 5,17
Publisher: HMH Publishers for Young Readers
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she'd like to, and now he's insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost. 
The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.
Well, gotta know what happens next. I liked the first one despite a few niggles but I do want to continue this series. Plus I like the cover. 

Now I Rise 
by Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #2
Publisher: Delecorte Press
Published: June 27,17 
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her. 
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him? 
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
Loved the first book and just realized I hadn't listed it as a wishlist book. Corrected that. :D

So, what is on your wishlist lately?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Snared by Jennifer Estep

Series: Elemental Assassin #16
400 p.
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: 4/25/17
Source: NetGalley and publisher for review
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.
Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web… 
Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl. 
My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive. 
A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.
My thoughts:

Another great addition to this series. It, once again, brings us an harrowing mission for Gin and also gets us a step closer to the overall arc in the series. I was interested in the overall arc in this section of the series, but this one really solidified my interest. I have a few questions I HAVE to know but I will try to be as patient as the Spider and wait to find out if a few of my theories are correct. Oh so many good clues and just enough of a tease to set you on edge in wanting the next in the series right now. Only problem I have with the series is that I'm up to date with the novels and that means I have to wait for the next one. You who have not read these yet will enjoy devouring them at  your leisure with out much wait. Sometimes that is an enviable position.

I did figure out the small twist in this one easily but there was no disappointment in the reveal. It still held so much tension (in a good way) that it didn't matter. You are still fully engaged in the story and the outcome. I think we may have also added to Gin's collection of people who make up her overall family. I love that she collects people like this and how they all fit together.

I don't want to say too much as I don't want to spoil this book nor do I want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't caught up to this book in the series yet. Although you could read a bit out of order, I really don't suggest it. There have been a few story arcs and you don't want to confuse those. You also should read these in order to get the feel of all the secondary characters as well as how Gin has evolved throughout the series. This is a series that should not be missed. I give this book 4 1/2 stars.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Netflix: They have movies!

Yep, still Netflix-ing and yep, it is still cutting into my book time. I have been starting to get back into my reading. Perhaps my brain is coming back? Why did it leave? Questions for the universe, I guess. 

I'm still continuing Supernatural but in the middle of S4 so I won't say more now. I did put Once Upon a Time to the side right now. I'll try it again later.

I did see a couple of movies I wanted to mention.

I'm probably the last to have seen Finding Dory but I finally did and I loved it. I don't know why it took me so long especially since I've been a fan of Pixar since their shorts. If you haven't seen it, you need to see this one. It made me laugh a lot and it is so cute. It doesn't suffer from sophomore syndrome at all.

The other movie I want to mention is Begin Again. This one is so good with a lot of character growth, romantic tension without romance (yes, you read that right). I loved Kiera Knight's character and how she made her music and how she viewed it. She was naive with a brain and willing to learn. She figured out who she was and became true to that knowledge. Adam Levine's character was a jerk, but the problem he creates is the perfect reason for her to find herself in both music and in life. Cute film.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #2
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
14 hrs. 13 min.
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Published: 3/4/14
Source: Library
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
My thoughts:

In some ways I had a hard time getting through this story. It wasn't the story's fault at all, but I kept hearing "Humans First" group causing the feel of racism and prejudice and I couldn't help see the parallels in today's world problems. However, it is also quite different and that is what pulled me through the story and had me fading from the problems of the world a bit.

There was also a horrifying aspect of the Cassandra Sangue in how they were treated and how they were used. This brought a source of tension and realization of what Meg survived and what she was able to accomplish. It also makes Meg and her kind a sort of bridge between the humans and the Others but also outside of it all. I really like how Meg manages to hold that delicate line which would only be possible with an accepting group. This also means that Simon and the Lakeside Courtyard unique because of their acceptance. We see in this book how that isn't so easily accomplished, but it is possible.

Alexandria Harris is the narrator for the series and I really enjoyed her version of all the characters in the book. She really helps put you into the world and I also loved her wolfish and crow vocalizations. She makes this series fun. I do hope you at least try one book on audio in this series.

I give this book 4 stars. It is another good book in Meg's journey and it also does a good job at foreshadowing not only a possible romance but also what Meg may be up against in the future. I highly recommend this series and I do suggest to read them in order.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Arts and Crafts Pinspiration: Electronic Charging Station

I actually became inspired by a pin in Pinterest on making an electronics charging station. Here is the pin and my result...

This was the pin by Design Sponge I was inspired by:

There were a few things I changed and this was my result:

Sorry for the lighting, but it was the best I had at the last moment and where I have it, it is too dark for pics. I still need to set up a spot to take better pics, until then, please bear with me. 

The case is something my mom got me a million years ago from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale (I have no idea if they still have these) to store things in but I thought it would be perfect for this project. 

I used grommets for the opening in the back like the pin suggested. It was a good sized opening and I'll be able to not only fit the large plug from the surge protector power strip, but I'll also be able to thread wires back out for those things that I wouldn't put in the box.
back of case

The headphones were attached to a shower hook that I had which fits semi-securely on the top (not for a lot of movement, but stationary it will be fine). The box can be closed (without hook) just like it came.

case front
The part where I deviated the most was the place where I will lay my ereader on. In the pin they had you use white peg board and it already had a place to lay this top piece. I just glued (Gorilla wood glue and a couple of small clamps) a couple of 1 1/2" boards cut to the side areas for my shelf just under the metal pieces they had to give the case stability. I then used foamcore cut to the size of the shelf (cutting a section out for the hinge so it didn't interfere with that area), minus the 1 1/2" board in the back for a bit of extra stability, added one layer of batting on top of that and then hot glued the fabric on top of it and then added a piece at the bottom to make it look nicer even though you won't see it. The fabric I used is a very thin microsuede I got from the remnant section at Joann's (hint: the remnants are usually 50% off and if you find the fabric in in a section that is on sale, you get that % off as well). Also, because I used foam core and the box isn't completely square in the front, I have a small space which I can thread my wires through to the items that need to be charged. I did add a small tab so I can easily lift it to sort things out in the storage area.
inside which shows the glued shelf and where the cords are going. Ignore the extra wood piece...
Hope you liked my wordy explanation! 😊

So this is my pinspiration! Have you done any projects from Pinterest?