The Sunday Post #7 | 22/01/2017

The Sunday post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news – A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Currently Reading:

Last Week on the Blog:

Teaser Tuesday #5: The Dragon in the Garden
Excerpt: The Empty Room by Sarah J. Clemens
Review: Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang by Emma Thompson
TBR Thursday #1
Review: The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner
Cover Reveal: Wolves & Roses by Christina Bauer

Coming Soon:

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (Review)
Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer (Review)
Maurice by E. M. Forster (Review)
Calamity Jane: How the West Began by Bryan Ney (Review)
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (Review)
It’s Monday! What are you Reading? #4 (Meme)
Teaser Tuesday #6 (Meme)
TBR Thursday #2 (Meme)
Friday 56 #3 (Meme)

Books Read:

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Review e-copies Received:

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Please comment below or make your own post. Tell me about what you have been up to! What are you reading? How was your week? Do you have anything planned for this coming week? Did you find any good books last week? Comment with the link to your own post so I can check it out.

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Cover Reveal: Wolves & Roses by Christina Bauer

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Wolves & Roses
by Christina Bauer

(Fairy Tales of Magicorum, #1)

Published by Monster House Books

Publication Date: March 28th, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal

 

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

About the author:

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien’s text, it’s entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Review: The Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner

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51vtcj-hzflThe Dragon in the Garden by Erika Gardner
Published By: Tirgearr Publishing
Publication Date: February 19th, 2016
Series: The Watcher Rising, #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Format: eBook
Pages: 272
Rating: 3
Date Read: January 18th, 2017
Links: Author’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon: Kindle | Amazon: Print | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks

There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.

It’s time to find out why she has this power.

Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.

I received The Dragon in the Garden from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

This tale is magical and weaves a complex story of a girl with a past shrouded in pain and mystery. This story is about a woman, Siobhan, who has the sight and has an important role in the fight between evil and mankind. This book has it all – Angels, an Oracle, a prophecy, demons, fey, Valkyries, other dimensions, and dragons.

This book had the potential to get very messy, as it had a lot going on. The Dragon in the Garden wasn’t quite what I expected. I was originally drawn to this book because of the interesting premise and the fact that there’s dragons. My biggest problem with this book was that so much happened in a relatively short time. With all of these mythological beings and creatures added to the mix, I feel the story became a little bit jumbled. As a result, I found myself struggling to stay focused and connected to the plot.

I think this book needed a little more time spent on explanations and allowing the reader to really understand what was happening. But I did enjoy aspects of this book, and the characters were interesting and well-developed.

Siobhan was a decent main character. I could have done without the love triangle though. And how people were always rushing in to save her. She has been able to see through illusion and lies since she was young. This is how she knew that the dragon statue in her garden was much more than just a statue. Little did she know but this ability is actually going to help her become a Watcher and decide an ancient war against good and evil.

Siobhan is full of disbelief about her abilities and her roll as the watcher. But that doesn’t stop her from fighting and making her a strong character. Siobhan went from being a precocious, happy child to an extreme introvert only trusting her brother with the things she sees.

Apart from her, there were four central characters that are featured: Turiel, one of the Two Hundred, who acted as both mentor and love interest, Nefta, a Valkyrie, Alex, Siobhan’s brother, and Tim, Siobhan’s ex-boyfriend.

The Dragon in the Garden is a very engaging story — the author demonstrates an impressive knowledge of mythology and folklore, and interweaves these worlds into a modern-world setting. Erika Gardner creates a protagonist that is relatable and engaging.

This book ended up being a decent read, though I didn’t see it as anything really special. I enjoyed learning more about all of the characters, both mythical and human, but I felt most of them could have been better interpreted by the reader if more details had been shared about them. The events of the novel were lightly glossed over, enough for the reader to get a feel for them, but again, lacked the detail I had hoped for when picking up the book.

I liked the story and most of the characters. This was still a very enjoyable book. It is a good start to a new paranormal series. Lovers of urban fantasy will adore this.
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TBR Thursday #1

This is a weekly feature created by Kimberly @ Kimberlyfaye Reads. This feature is to showcase what’s on your to be read shelf and see what others think of it. Have you read it? Should I read it or put it back on the shelf? It’s a way to dust off the books on your self and decide if they’re worth reading!

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51hkos5w5il-_sy445_ql70_Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.

Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery.

With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.

And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.

In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

I picked this book up after finding out that they were making a movie on it. I’ve started reading it, just haven’t had the time to continue it. Have you read it?

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Review: Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang by Emma Thompson

7664289Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang by Emma Thompson
Published By: Bloomsbury UK
Publication Date: March, 2010
Series: Nanny McPhee, #1
Genres: Children, Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 298
Rating: 4
Date Read: November 23rd, 2016
Links: Goodreads | Kobo | Book Depository | Amazon

Nanny McPhee embarks on a brand new adventure in this brilliant, funny and captivating novel based on the new Nanny McPhee film. The Green family is trying to survive the war in their house in the country, but unfortunately they are not out of harm’s way. A wicked uncle is intent on getting his hands on the family fortune and the children miss their father who is away fighting who knows where, and then their horrible cousins arrive! Life is not easy in the Green household …Thank heavens for Nanny.

I really liked the story. I was aware of who Emma Thompson is, of course. I’ve seen the Nanny McPhee movies. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book. The book is divided into chapters that alternate between being the story and being a diary that Emma keeps while on set. Emma is utterly honest. Grumpy at times. Fatigued. Cheerful. Optimistic. I laughed at some of her commentary.

I’m a huge fan of Emma Thompson, when I found out that she narrated her own book, I had to listen to the audiobook of it. She does a great job at giving a unique voice and the story is just so much fun. The only problem I had with this is that the switch between the diary entries and the story were, at times, anticlimactic — but nonetheless very fun. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

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Excerpt: The Empty Room by Sarah J. Clemens

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The Empty Room
by Sarah J. Clemens

Mystery / Romance

Date Published:
July 23, 2016

Amazon | Author Website

About the Book:

Rain soaked and dreary, it was a 1901 abandoned Victorian and Dean and Elizabeth hoped would fulfil their dreams, even if the of Eastbrook, Maine was trapped under a blanket of fog. The first neighbour they meet in town dashes those dreams when he raises a bizarre question: what happened to the last person who lived in their house? under mounting pressure from the residents of Eastbrook to stop questioning the past, Dean and Elizabeth are driven deeper into the history of the house, and the town. When they discover what happened  in Eastbrook, keeping the secret could save their lives, but uncovering the truth might be worth the risk.

A gripping psychological mystery, The Empty Room takes readers on a cat-and-mouse game where some secrets are better off hidden.

Excerpt:

A knock pounded loudly on the door for a second time and Elizabeth involuntarily let out a small shriek. She frantically put her hand over her mouth, but the sound had already escaped and there was little doubt that Mrs. Jacobs had heard.

“Well.” Dean sighed, as he stood up from the crouched position he’d been holding beside the window. “Now we answer the door because you apparently have Tourette’s.”

As Elizabeth slowly stood up beside him, a third round of loud pounding ensued. Elizabeth jumped at the sudden noise and hit her head against Dean’s lower lip. His head jolted back from the force and he winced.

“Oh my God.” She leapt forward toward him. “Are you OK?”

Dean reached up his hand and clenched his jaw, pulling it from left to right. He pointed toward the door. “Great, first I get physically abused, now I’m going to get emotionally abused. And I still have no underwear.”

He finally came to the door and put his hand on the doorknob. He looked back at Elizabeth. “Just for the record, you are the worst covert ops partner ever.” With a specific intent in mind, he quickly turned the doorknob and ripped open the door as fast as he could. A startled Mrs. Jacobs stumbled backwards.

“You almost scared me to death,” she asserted, quickly brushing her dress to remove the imaginary wrinkles that had not formed from the unexpected greeting.

He stepped outside and grabbed Elizabeth by the wrist to pull her out of the house with him. “Well, follow-through has always been my problem. Look, we were just headed out the door and into town so we’re going to have to finish this later.” He reached for the doorknob and slammed the door behind him.

But Mrs. Jacobs did not move. Other than the slight falter when he opened the door, she held her stance and stared at the closed door. Dean had a feeling it was not the first or the last time she had ever had a door closed in her face. With their backs to the old woman, the couple took several steps toward the edge of the porch.

“You live next door, right? We’ll stop by. Oh, the fun we’ll have.” Still holding on to Elizabeth’s wrist, he pulled her past Mrs. Jacobs and down the steps.

“Where are we going?” Elizabeth whispered.

Mrs. Jacobs turned to face them. Her hands clasped in a folded position in front of her.

“We’re going to see if we can find out what happened in that room, what happened in that house. Someone here knows. Everyone in this town can’t be as bad as Mrs. HaWiggins back there,” he whispered back.

About the author:

Sarah J. Clemens is the author of the debut mystery novel, The Empty Room. She started writing The Empty Room in 2008 and formed her own imprint in 2016 called Off the Page Publishing. She started out her professional career working as a news assistant for her local newspaper before finding a passion for the law and pursued an education in criminal justice. In addition to writing fiction, she is also an assistant with an Associate of Arts and a Bachelor of science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Human Services. Sarah was born in California and now lives and works in Boise, Idaho. She has the same sarcastic sense of humour as the characters in her books, and she has an unparalleled love for animals.

Contact Information:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

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(Review to come at a later date)

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Teaser Tuesday #5: The Dragon in the Garden

Teaser Tuesday is a meme previously hosted by Books and a Beat and revived by The Purple Booker. Grab your current read, flip to a random page, share two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page, be careful not to include spoilers. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My Teasers:

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“The Memory has haunted me for years. In the middle of a bright California summer, dark days came. My mother and grandparents spoke in hushed, serious voices, arguing about my absent father. Was it my fault he left?”

“I shut them out and got in the car. After years of peace,  my vision had returned. Had I been a fool to think that will power could make it disappear? Once again I saw something that no one else did.”


What are you reading this week? Please leave a comment with the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post. Or Share a Teaser from your Current read.

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