Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: A Trace of Moonlight

A Trace of Moonlight (Abby Sinclair, #3)A Trace of Moonlight by Allison Pang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher

Abby’s pact with a daemon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal, then gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. On top of everything else, she’s lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy. Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.

I think I actually liked A Trace of Moonlight the least of the three books in this series. Maybe the storyline wasn't as interesting to me. The writing is pretty good, and I think this is a decent urban fantasy series. It's just definitely not the best I've read.

This was a very quick read, but I felt like there was nothing new here from the previous books in the series. Abby is not really growing as a character, and neither are her relationships.

All that said, I appreciate that there are some new ideas in this series as a whole. I imagine it's difficult to come up with some new and original in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre. It's not all more of the same, although at times it seems like too many different things are thrown together in one book.

I would probably recommend this series to paranormal lovers, but there are definitely better series out there.  Also, be sure to read this series in order.  This book really wasn't one that you could pick up and not feel completely lost without having read the previous two.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Feature Friday: Faith McKay

I had the best of intentions getting this post done early in the week so it would be all ready to post Friday morning, and then I just up and forgot.  At least it's still Friday.  This is the first of a new series on my blog called Feature Friday.  Each week will feature a different author, and this first week is author Faith McKay.  I have read an excerpt from the first chapter of Prophecy Girl, and it was really good.  Here's a little guest post from Faith:

5 Quotes & an Excerpt from Prophecy Girl

I'm big on holding back spoilers from my novel Prophecy Girl. When I go to pick a book to read for myself, I don't even read book descriptions anymore because I find they ruin the beginnings of books. So when I go to tell people about my novel, I have the hardest time because while I want to tell them all these really awesome things, I'd hate to ruin the reading experience for them.

Let's have the novel speak for itself! Here are five quotes that hint at things that happen throughout Prophecy Girl, and a short excerpt highlighting the destined romance of Nick and Sam.

"Oh, no! I'm not getting into sibling rivalry, especially not with supernatural beings. Alright? No way, no how."

"The world being at stake? Not an excuse for this one."

"You can pace your cage or you can just sit in it, but it doesn't really make much of a difference, does it? You're still in a cage."

"I do have an evil mother, some people might hold that kind of thing against me."

"She hated seeing monsters smile. Monsters should growl and snarl and be done with the pretenses."


She scanned the hallway again, and there he was. Her breath caught in her throat. Down at the other end of the hallway, half hidden behind a pillar, he nodded and half waved to her. His hair was its usual spiky mess, he wore his favorite plain black wayfarer sunglasses and obligatory black t-shirt, and yet he looked very different somehow. Distant. He felt like someone she'd known years ago; he felt like someone she had always known; he felt like someone who was tied to her straight through the earth, even if he were all the way on the other side. She wasn't surprised to see him, he was always going to be there. She wasn't sure why she was so sure of that, but she was, and it gave her both peace and heartache at the same time. She raised her hand and didn't exactly wave, but moved it slightly to acknowledge his presence at the other end of that string that tied them together. Head down, she walked away and tried not to think about how much that string had cost her.

Author Bio:
Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties. 
Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don't like her because she laughs too much. It's also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She's a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.  

If you'd like to know more about Prophecy Girl or Faith McKay, visit

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: library

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

I almost didn't read this one after reading a couple of bad reviews. I'm so glad I did, because I ended up loving it. Just goes to show that you should take reviews with a grain of salt. If something sounds good to you, give it a go; everyone likes different things, even if they agree most of the time.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns reminds me a bit of Tamora Pierce's writing. There is a strong female lead and plenty of action. Elisa was a hard character to like at first, because she seemed so down on herself for certain things with no real plans to change anything about it. But she definitely grew stronger as the story went on, and became a character that young girls could look up to, which I love to see in YA fiction.

There was honestly nothing in this book that I didn't care for, which is unusual for me. Usually when I'm writing reviews all the bad stuff is forefront on my mind, and it's hard for me to write positive things, even for books I liked. This book had no negatives for me, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.

Oh, I almost forgot to comment on the religious aspects of this book.  It felt like I was reading a Christian fantasy.  There was a lot of God talk, and although Christ was not mentioned at all, it just had a very Christian feel, to me.  I guess since it's fantasy, and could be any world at all, it could be talking about any God at all.  But like I said, it just had a feel to it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Movie Mondays- Disney, Bond, and Supernatural

Wreck-It Ralph
We hardly ever take the kids to the theater to see movies, but this one just looked too good to pass up.  I really love the humor in Disney movies, and Wreck-It Ralph was no exception.  It was fun and heartwarming, and we all loved it.  This was a great one to take our boys to.  We'll be buying this when it comes out on Blu-Ray, but then, we buy most Disney movies nowadays.
A View to a Kill
We saw this on Blu-Ray at Target for $10, and since it's one of the few we didn't yet have in our collection, we bought it.  My husband and I are big James Bond fans.  I think I prefer the newer ones, like Brosnan or later, but my husband really likes the older ones too.  He thinks Sean Connery was the best Bond.  This was a pretty good one, although I've never big a big fan of Roger Moore.  The story was good, and Christopher Walken was an excellent villain. 
 Supernatural is a show that I think could have ended a couple seasons ago, but I'm really glad it didn't because I just love watching it.  We don't have all that fancy DVR stuff, and we don't generally watch a lot of shows when they air on TV, so we've been catching it on Hulu, thus we are a couple of weeks behind.  I'm enjoying season 8, but am hoping Sam and Dean get past the bickering soon.  Oh, who am I kidding?  That's a huge part of the show every season.  There's always something to argue about.

This week we watched the following episodes (may be spoilers ahead):
Bitten: I didn't really care for this episode.  Too much shaky home video type camera work, and it just makes me feel motion sickness.  The story was interesting enough, but I would have preferred it told a different way.
Blood Brother: Good episode.  I noticed in this episode that Benny has the prettiest eyes.  I'd like to see more of his character.
Southern Comfort: Oh my goodness, Garth again.  I'm glad he's just an every once in awhile character.  I don't think I could handle more than we've gotten.  Otherwise, pretty good episode.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Review Policy

Not currently accepting review requests.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: library (but I will buy this one)

 Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. 'How, ' Ann wondered, 'do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long---and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?' In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God's gifts. It's only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we've always wanted ... a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved --- by God. Let Ann's beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all.

This book is going high up on my favorites list. It really was a life-changing book for me, and one that I will read again and again. I would highly recommend this book. Ann Voskamp has a style of writing that is almost like a flow of thought, and it's honestly not for everyone. The message in this book is for everyone, though. It's not really anything new: being thankful for what you have, and expressing that thankfulness. But Ann Voskamp puts a new perspective on it all. It is real, raw, and fresh, and if you let it, it could change your life too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: A Brush of Darkness

A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, #1)A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the publisher

 Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

At first I wasn't really sure if I liked this one, and found myself going back and forth on whether or not I was enjoying myself while reading it. Now that I've finished, I think I can safely say that I liked it, but I didn't love it.

The story was quite interesting, and there were some very original elements to it. I guess I'm not big on sex in books, and this one had quite a lot of it. That made it hard for me to really love the book, even though the author writes quite well. I will be continuing on with the series, though.