Monday, March 28, 2011

10 Good Things On A Monday!

    10 Good Things On A Monday was created by Nina B. at Brush Up On Your Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
    2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
    3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
    4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
    5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!
    I have not been able to do any pleasure reading not related to school all week.  Its so pathetic how lazy I feel when in reality I've been very busy.

    My 10 favorite things for this week:  Things I'm looking forward to accomplishing this week!
    1. Finishing my literary analysis of Ron Rash's boring ass book Burning Bright
    2. Finish reading Probability Angels!  It was getting so good where I left off, too! 
    3. Finish reading Lost Voices
    4. Go running at the park near my boyfriend's house this Saturday.  Shooting for two miles since its been a while. 
    5. Start working out in general again.  I've been way to lazy for a while now.
    6. Finish cleaning up my horrifically messy room. 
    7. Start reading The Shack so the boyfriend will stop giving me the evil eye.
    8. Catch up on my laundry.  >.>;
    9. Not buying any more books until I read at least ten of the 22 I have waiting to be read on my desk, which is not including the ones I've already mentioned.  ><;
    10. Work on boyfriends birthday present since he's being ridiculously stubborn about it.

    I'm sorry this week is not filled with its usual comic relief of awesomeness.  I'll try to do better next week!  :D


    ~Kelsa

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Author Interview: Aimée Carter



    Thanks so much to Aimée Cater, author of the soon to be released The Goddess Test, for joining us with an interview!

    Make sure to check out Aimée's blog, goodreads page, and website before you go!  You can also find her on facebook and twitter!

    1) What inspired you to write a story about a girl going through the pain of losing her mother?

    I wanted to write about a character who was on the brink of losing everything. I lost my mother when I was ten years old, and while my experience wasn't anything like Kate's, I know what that feels like. And more than anything I wanted Kate's fears and pain to be authentic.

    2) What made you decide to write a story with the Greek Gods and Mythology?

    It was never really a conscious choice. I grew up studying mythology, devouring everything even remotely related to Greek mythology. The idea was in the back of my mind for many, many years, and finally the key ingredient of Kate being willing to do anything to save her mother showed up, and the story blossomed. At first I thought it would be a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone, but in the end, it turned out to be much more interesting as a sort of modern-day sequel to that myth, which plays a large role in the story as something that happened thousands of years ago.

    3) In the opening before the story you dedicate The Goddess Test to the memory of your mother.  Was the close relationship between Kate and her Mother a reflection of you and mother?

    I was ten when my mother died, and while we were close, we were never as close as Kate and her mother. Kate's mother is all she has in the world, and she's seen her through a devastating illness that was supposed to claim her years before. My mother died instantly and without warning, so there really aren't many parallels between my experience with my mother's death and Kate's, other than the emotional impact.

    4) Did you run into any evil creative blocks with writing The Goddess Test?  How did you work through them?

    Coming up with a cohesive plot was difficult at first, and I must have rewritten the story a dozen times. Thankfully most of those were in outline form. The ending was a monster to figure out, and the prologue was added several drafts in as well, to highlight that part of the story. So many aspects of the plot changed, from Kate's mother's situation to several of the more spoilery plot points, but in the end I think - I hope - that it's the best book I could make it be. And that was what I was striving for all along.

    5) What did you enjoy the most about writing The Goddess Test?

    The characters, for sure. Writing Ava was a joy, and while Henry was a challenge, I loved exploring his history and seeing how it all unfolded. I also love editing, and watching the story go from mediocre to something I could be proud of was amazing.

    6) Was Kate's personality based off of your own?  What traits do you share with her?

    Oh lord no, Kate is definitely not me! She's far more patient and a whole host of other things than I am. I tend to rely more on my mind, and Kate follows her heart. Though that love for her mother, that determination - that, I think, I share with her. Other than that, we're both brunette, so there's that. Though in my head, she looks nothing like me.

    7) You explain at the end of The Goddess Test that a sequel is on the way.  Is there anything you can divulge to us nosy fans?

    Goddess Interrupted, the sequel to The Goddess Test, will be released in January 2012. And while I think my publisher would string me up by my toes if I gave anything important away, I will say that it involves a lot more mythology this time around. And as a result is a lot more action-packed. I'd love to reveal the plot, but unfortunately we'll all have to wait a bit longer!

    8) I like how in your book there was no "love triangle," but I couldn't help but feel sad for James's character, not often, but still.  Will he get a happy ending later on, or be doomed to be the odd man out?

    Oh, I adore James! I think James has always been a bit of the odd man out, and whether that will change or not...well, I haven't written the third book yet. :) Really, whether or not he gets a happy ending would depend on your definition of that! Who would you like to see him paired with? Anyone in particular?

    9)  What books have influenced your writing and style for your first novel?

    That's difficult to say. I think every book a writer reads influences them in one way or another. Mostly what I want to do with my writing is improve, and the books I love definitely make me strive to do better. I can't turn to any one writer in particular and copy them though. I have to be true to my own style and go from there.

    10) The cover art for your novel is beautiful!  Is this the finalized version before the debut release April 26th, 2011?

    Thank you! The art department at Harlequin TEEN did an amazing job. As far as I know, it is the finalized version!

    11) Is there anything that you would have done differently with your novel?  Changed something, if only slightly, to the plot? or Characters?

    In a year, five years, ten, I'm sure I'll be massively embarrassed about some glaring newbie mistake I made writing this book. But I've been so close to it for so long that right now, I'm content with it, and after nearly four years of working on it in some form or another, I'm just relieved it's finally about to be released.


    Thanks so much for doing this Aimée!

    Make sure you check out my review of The Goddess Test here


    ~Kelsa

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday: Lost Voices

    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!  You don't want to ruin the story for others!
    • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants cant add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teasers!

    My Teaser:  Luce couldn't justify the icy, unsettled feeling in her chest; of course what the other mermaids had told her was true.  It was Catarina, after all, who'd swum to the depth where Luce's own breath had started to give out on her first night in the sea, Catarina who had saved her life. ~ pg. 95, Lost Voices by Sarah Porter. 

    This is the second ARC I've received from Netgalley.  I've seen some positive things about it on other bloggers pages, so I'm hoping this will be a good one to read.  :)  




    ~Kelsa

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Book Retail Threapy (5)


    I ordered these books a week ago.  One was at my boyfriend's request, which is funny to me because he would much rather be doing something outside or physically demanding then sit still for an hour and read.  He makes fun of me often for it.




    I bought City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare; Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause, finally got my own copy to love; The Shack by William P. Young, which is the one my boyfriend wouldn't stop raving about and is ordering me to read; and Fell by David Clement-Davies, remember my review of The Sight?  This is the sequel.  :)

    Now if only I could get a good handle on school.  Its been so over whelming lately that its been cutting into my pleasure reading.  My commute is tiresome, an hour and ten minutes one way.  Gah.  Forgive my sidetracking.  Anyways, what did you all get this week?  :3

    Sightly Off Topic Note:  I've thought about this a bit and decided that technically all of my Book Retail Therapy posts could fall under the popular In My Mail Box Meme that has taken over the blogger-sphere, but I just don't feel like using their Meme for this.  If I do it will more then likely be just for books I've won or received for review.  ARC's (Advanced Reader Copy's) would fall under that Meme as well.  Just a technical note for anyone who cares to know.  :)

    ~Kelsa

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    10 Good Things On A Monday!


    10 Good Things On A Monday was created by Nina B. at Brush Up On Your Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
    2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
    3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
    4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
    5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!
    Going with the same thought as Nina B. I am going to celebrate my geekness in the most embarassing way possible and reveal a deep dark secret...

    *pause for dramatic effect*

    I still watch Disney movies every chance I get.  I also sing the songs.  Often.  Just ask my poor friends who suffer the embarrassment that is me.  LOL!  That's why this week's list is.....!


    Friday, March 18, 2011

    The Goddess Test by Aimée Cater


    Source:  Publisher via NetGalley
    Released:  April 19th 2011

    Published:  Harlequin Teen

    Page Count is 297
    Buy It:  bookdepository

    Every girl who has taken the test has died.

    Now it's Kate's turn.


    It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

    Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

    Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

    If she fails...
      (Description from goodreads).

    The Goddess Test was an unexpectedly great book that tugged at my heart strings in many ways.  The emotional connection between Kate and her mother, Diana, was strong, tender, and frail all at the same time.  Diana is Kate's best friend and the only person who understands her.  The emotional turmoil that Kate goes though, worrying about how much longer her mother has to live, being forced to say goodbye and expecting it any day, facing the thought of being alone with no one to love her,  is heartbreaking.  Some scenes were incredibly overwhelming.  I found myself crying unexpectedly throughout reading this ARC.

    Kate is an interesting character.  While her mother is sick with cancer Kate dedicates all of her time and efforts to caring for her dying mother.  Instead of feeling confined to her role as soul caregiver Kate takes her job very seriously, valuing the time she spends with her mother, knowing that any day she can lose the one person she cares for more then anything else in the world.  When she meets Henry and is offered the chance to save her mother for a time, how could she refuse his simple request to stay with him for the Spring and Summer every year for eternity and become his wife?

    Henry's character is fickle with his constant roller coaster of emotions, but at the same time this trait makes him very real as a character.  In The Goddess Test we learn the real story surrounding Persephone in Greek Mythology and how it affected Henry so deeply.  What we learn as the reader is that only one side of the story was told, Persephone's, while Henry's was never revealed.  Instead of a confident God that we expect would rule the Underworld, Henry is heartbroken from the wound left by Persephone that has never healed.

    The slow building relationship of trust between Kate and Henry was well paced and believable.  I loved reading the progression of their friendship and how they learned to understand one another.  The romance was not heavy like it is often found in other books.  Instead it was light and slow and seemed to pass over their relationship in the blink of an eye, which I found to be a nice change of pace to read about.




    The Goddess Test was given to me through NetGally courteously of the publisher.  This in no way affected or influenced my review for the novel in any way.  If you would like to contact me about my rating or review please email me at amateurvoice.kp @ hotmail (dot) com.


    ~Kelsa

    Author Interview: Andrea Cremer


    A big thank you to Andrea Cremer for gracing us with this interview and talking about her novel Nightshade!

    Make sure to check out Andrea's blog, goodreads page, and website before you go!


    1) What inspired you to write Nightshade?

    Calla was the inspiration for Nightshade. I knew she was a strong, independent young woman who was facing a crisis. I also knew she was a wolf, which presented a problem for me because as much as I’m a lover of paranormal and fantasy I’ve never been a fan of werewolves. I grew up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the wilderness was always magical and beautiful to me. Wolves are intelligent, graceful and social and I wanted to reflect my admiration of wolves in Nightshade’s mythology. That influence plus my work as a historian, who studies witchcraft, built the world of Nightshade.  


    2) Was it hard writing Nightshade?  If so, how did you counter the evil of writer's block?

    My writing process is strange - I don't outline, nor do I write in chronologically order. I call myself a jigsaw puzzle writer because I create scenes as they inspire me and then figure out how they all fit together. If I get stuck in one part of the story I jump to another and that gets my writing going again. I also use music for inspiration. If I listen to the right song it can help me figure out what needs to happen in a scene.

    3) This book reminded me a great deal of Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause.  Was that your intention?  Have you read the book?
    I hadn't read BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE or seen the movie until after NIGHTSHADE was on submission to publishers. Someone recommended it to me as a good wolf book. I read it and loved it - I definitely think that her wolves bear the closest resemblance to Guardians that I've seen, but the words they occupy are very different.

    4) Was a love triangle between Ren and Calla and Shey your intention when you composed your first draft?

    It wasn't. I was trying to answer the question: What happens to love when choice is taken away?

    5) The Guardians in Nightshade are terrific.  Are they Shifters Shifters?  Werewolves?  Or are they just Guardians by definition?

    Thank you! They aren't werewolves or shifters, but creatures brought into the world for a specific purpose. In the prequel to Nightshade, which I'm in the middle of writing and will be published in fall 2012, you'll learn more about the origins of the Guardians.

    6) Was Calla's personality based off of your own?  What traits do you share with her?

    Calla is completely her own character. I'm much more like her little brother, Ansel, because I'm a dreamer and idealist. Calla is stoic and very concerned about her sense of duty. We do have two things in common - a love of black coffee and our favorite book: Watership Down.

    7) You give Ren a lot of character and personality in this book, which made me fall in love with him.  Are we going to see a possible happy ending for the lonely Alpha in the series?

    I can't say what happens to Ren but he is a major part of all three books. 
    8) Nightshade's sequel Wolfsbane picks up right where Nightshade left off.  Can you tell us more about it?

    I have a strict no spoiler rule so I can't say much as WOLFSBANE is full of spoilers. But you'll learn a lot more about the war between the Keepers and Searchers.

    9) Will we find out more about the history of the Keeper's and Searcher's feud and where it stems from comes from in Wolfsbane?

    Ha - guess I just answered that :)

    10) Was it your intention to make Nightshade a series of books?

    I always knew Nightshade was three books. I actually think of it as a single 1,000 page story that is broken up into three parts.  
    11) Personally, be honest, which guy do you love more?  Ren or Shey?

    I never answer this question because it's Calla's choice, not mine.  
    12) Is there some clue as to which guy will end up with Calla?  It seemed like there was room to speculate at the end of Nightshade and the summary of Wolfsbane.

    Nope. And she might not end up with either of them. She'd be fine on her own.

    13) I love the original covers for your books much more then the paperback reprints that have been circling the web.  Do you like the new cover designs?

    I love all the covers. The originals are gorgeous, but the new covers really capture Calla and the content of the book. I feel lucky to have so many beautiful covers!


    Thanks again Andrea!  :D

    Make sure you check out my review of Nightshade here.


    ~Kelsa

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    10 Good Things On A Monday!


    10 Good Things On A Monday was created by Nina B. at Brush Up On Your Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
    2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
    3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
    4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
    5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!

    With my attention being evenly divided between the Army, college, and the boyfriend I totally forgot to keep up with my 10 good things for this week, but like people say "Better late then never!" :D

    My 10 favorite things for this week:   Things that made my Friday night incredible

    1. Getting surprised with dinner at a Greek restaurant I've never been to.
    2. Trying hummus for the first time.
    3. Being told I looked beautiful.
    4. Talking about our dream house. 
    5. Trading private jokes.
    6. Sharing baklava for desert.
    7. Getting a strawberry and banana daiquiri after desert!
    8. Going to the Lakefront at night watching the waves. 
    9. Getting a sweet kiss good night.
    10. Hearing three simple words.
    The image for the lakefront is not what my view was, but it is still a gorgeous picture non the less.  I hope everyone has a great week! :D


    ~Kelsa

    Teaser Tuesday: Probability Angels



    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!  You don't want to ruin the story for others!
    • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants cant add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teasers!
    My Teaser:  When they came to a stop, Robin was pinned underneath Nyx as she sat straddling his back.  Her ungloved hand was pinned against his mouth and although he was failing and struggling with the energy of someone in terror, every part of his body in contact with Nyx might as well have been in contact with solid granite. ~ page 119

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Female Army Medic Earns Silver Star For Bravery in Afghanistan

    Spc. Monica Lin Brown

    Female medic earns Silver Star in Afghan war:
    19-year-old only second woman to receive valor award since WWII.

    For me this article is touching a tender spot on my heart. This girl is incredible. She was nineteen (this happened back in April 15, 2007), in the same MOS as me (Military Occupation Specialty), and was serving in her first tour for the war.

    I'm incredibly jealous and proud of this girl. Before I was accepted into Southern Louisiana University for this semester, I was planning on volunteering for deployment. I wanted to get out and do something with my military training. Even though I'm in the Army National Guard, went through all the training, and settled into my unit, I feel like I'm only playing solider sometimes. Shoes Never Worn has brought this up on her blog before. "A soldier with no Deployment isn’t really part of the post 9/11 Army Club."

    She's right, too. Until you do get deployed you don’t feel like you're part of the real Army experience when you’re around others who have stories of the good, the bad, the bloody.  I know from experience.

    I can't help but feel like I'm missing out.  There's plenty of volunteer slots available coming up this year, but there's no way I could manage it now that I'm back and settled into home life again.


    ~Kelsa

    An Awesome Give-a-Way! Five Authographed books to win! :D



    Beth Revis is giving away autographed copies of all of these awesome books!

    Information about the contest titles by Beth Revis from her blog:

    * THE ETERNAL ONES by Kiersten Miller is a fast-paced, adventurious love story that involves reincarnation, secret societies, and fire.
    * THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff is a hauntingly beautiful book that scares the pants off me.
    * NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer is not about werewolves--it's about true wolves that can shapeshift into people written by a brilliant scholar who incorporate history into the tale.
    * MATCHED by Allie Condie shows us that love can break through any barrier, and the most important thing is to not go gently...
    * ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the book that I wrote and I would really like it if you liked it. Also I think you're pretty and want to be friends with you.


    I've only read Nightshade, but I've heard such great things from others about a few of these titles.  This should be exciting!


    ~Kelsa

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

    Source:  Purchased
    Released:  March 1st 2011
    Published by:  New American Library
    Page Count is 336
    But it:  bookdepository

    Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

    As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

    And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
    Description from goodreads.

    I've heard raving reviews from all corners of the blogger sphere and I have to say that Falling Under lived up to all of the hype.  At first the story was a little slow, but it quickly grasped my attention with the fast moving romance between Theia and Haden.  When you first meet Theia you can't help but like her.  She's quite, shy, and unsure of herself throughout the first half of the novel.  As the story progresses she becomes more sure of herself and begins to take some control of her life.

    When she meets Haden everything about him scares her.  His very presence emanates something dark, dangerous, but Theia can't help but find that she is drawn to him.  She has no experience with boys, being sheltered for most of her life makes socializing with boys difficult.  She doesn't know how to act when Haden begins clouding her every thought with sinful girlish fantasies and blushing become pure habit in his presence.

    Haden's character is strange, but one you can't help but want to like.  He's a romantic, selfish, and obsessed with Theia.  Even when his motives are unclear at first, you know he will never hurt her physically.  Mentally he just continued to blindside Theia by being flirtatious and attentive one moment and then turn around to give her the cold shoulder, while simultaneously flirt with other girls in front of her.

    As you read about the intimate scenes between Haden and Theia, you can see their relationship grow on a more solid emotional level even as the passion between the two continued to build with every kiss and touch the two shared.  I rather enjoyed how Theia kept her head and wits about Haden from the very beginning.  Even though he went to her school during the day and haunted her dreams at night, she still managed to not become overtly crazy over him.  She loved him and learned to without being completely blinded by what he really was.  She knew the danger was very real about him, but she understood that he was not out to hurt her.

    Another thing I rather liked about this novel was the descriptive nature of the dream like world of Under.  The faceless men, the ghoul servants, and the skeleton orchestra made the story different and wonderfully creepy to read through Theia's eyes and thoughts.  I loved how the story ended as well.  It was a total cliffhanger indicating that a second installment would follow, but even without knowing what would happen after Haden executed his plan to rescue Theia I was happy that the two love birds found each other again.

    A great read indeed.  I encourage you all to give it a try.  This definitely made my inner romantic swoon with envy.



    ~Kelsa

    Teaser Tuesday: Dead Space Martyr


    Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

    Here's how it works:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
    • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!  You don't want to ruin the story for others!
    • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants cant add the book to the TBR lists if they like your teasers!

      My Teaser:
      "He realized at a certain point that they'd begun to avoid each other when they could.  He still loved her, but he felt like he was losing her and didn't know how to get her back." ~page 266, Dead Space: Martyr by B. K. Everson








      Have a safe and fun Mardi Gras everyone!

      ~Kelsa

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      Musing Mondays: Dead Space Martyr


      Musing Mondays is a weekly mem hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading.

      This week’s musing asks…
      "What book(s) are you most excited about right now? (it can either be something you’re currently reading, or something you just bought, or a book/books that are soon to be published)."
       I'm really excited about picking up Dead Space: Martyr by B. K. Evenson after I finish tackling Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.  I won it from the publisher through goodreads a little more then a week ago and I just recently got it in the mail.  From what little information I know about the book its based on the video game Dead Space franchise.

      The guys at GamePro had this hilarious post about the game which helped me learn a great deal more about it.

      The images for the game sum up nicely what Dead Space is all about.  Aliens, zombies, spaceships, and violence.  Lots of it apparently according to GamePro.  At the very bottom you come across this lovely little entry.
      It wasn't violent enough.
      Dead Space Executive Producer Glen Schofield has been quoted as saying the game wasn't as violent as he would have liked. Which makes us very wary of ever being alone in a room with him (10 Incredible Facts about the Dead Space Franchise).

      I can't wait to start reading this book now.  The last game based series I read was StarCraft and that was a few years ago.  This one is already proving to be more interesting information wise, but I still couldn't help but think that it looks a lot like the Halo Reach game.  I don't play video games (please don't hurt me) but I do like watching my friends play.  There is nothing quite as entertaining as watching someone get frustrated, throwing controllers, and cursing out virtual characters.


      ~Kelsa

      10 Good Things On A Monday!


      10 Good Things On A Monday was created by Nina B. at Brush Up On Your Reading.

      Here's how it works:

      1. Think of a particular group of good things you want to make a list on, does not necessarily have to be about books, e.g. your current book wish list, or your favorite book foods (you know, foods you love to eat while reading, if you're like me), or your favorite girly names, whatever you can think of, as long as it makes you feel good.
      2. If you have no ideas for a list, you can always visit my blog post to check out my theme for that week and you can take a cue from my list.
      3. Post your list on your blog, grab that cute ARGH button above and put it on your post too, so we'd know you're doing this meme.
      4. Leave the link for your post on my own 10 Good Things post for the week, if you see others doing it, comment too and let's share our good things with everybody.
      5. Everybody goes through the whole week happy!

      I know the rules say my list dose not have to be about books, but I'm going to do just that because I can't think of anything else at the moment! (I'm so original, I know)

      My 10 favorite things for this week:  Books that bring out the hopeless romantic in me
      1. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
      2. Twilight by Stephenie Myer
      3. A Thread Of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
      4. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
      5. Atonement by Ian McEwan
      6. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
      7. The Host by Stephenie Myer 
      8. Dark Lover by J. R. Ward
      9. Unmasqued:  An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of The Oprea by Colette Gale
      10. The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
      Everyone of these books has made me laugh, cry, and swoon and over the years and has helped me get through many a trying times in my young life.  To all creatures reading this post with a Y chromosome:  learn from these fictional men in all of their awesomeness!  Without their help I would have lost my faith in the opposite sex long ago.  Take notes while your at it!  You might just learn a thing or two about 'How to Make Your Lady Swoon'.  ;)


      ~Kelsa

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


      Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
      Source:  Purchased
      Released: October 19th 2010
      Published by:  Philomel
      Page Count is 452
      Buy it:  bookdepository

      Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? Description from goodreads


      Amazing writing, engaging characters, and a fantastic plot!  Nightshade's tantalizing world of magic and werewolves had me hooked from the very beginning.  From the very first page I was pulled into the exciting world of Nightshade as I read about the struggles of Calla, the alpha female of the newly formed Haldis pack.  Her character is strong, commanding, and fiercely loyal to her family and pack.  Even as she awaits the day of her arranged marriage to the Bane's young alpha, Ren Laroche, Calla is determined to see it through and carry on the traditions of the Keepers.  Her role as a faithful Guardian is the only life Calla has known and all she ever expected out of life, until the day she unexpectedly saves a human, Shay, from the killing claws of a grizzly.  Now she is pulled in two directions between loyalty to her pack and loyalty to her heart.

      Ren is headstrong, charismatic, and a born leader.  He tries to go against his normal nature of controlling Calla as his pack mate and treat her as his equal, but at the same time he tires to dominate her.  This goes against every one of Calla's instincts as an alpha.  At first Ren is carefree and self assured in his place in Calla's life, but as the story progresses his jealous nature of Calla and Shay's friendship reveals his insecurities and faltering confidence.  

      Shey is intelligent, resourceful, and caring.   He feels nothing but admiration towards Calla because she risk everything to save his life.  Shay hates the strict laws of the Keepers' that Calla is bound too.  To understand more about her world he recruits Calla's help to dig deep into the history of the Keepers' and the role of the Guardians'.  Doing so reveals not only dark secrets that shock Calla to her very core, but they also come to find that Shay is more connected to Calla's world then they ever thought possible.

      As Calla's trust grows in Shey, sparks between the two ignite setting fire to everything in sight!  Every time Calla gets to close to Shay they are both overwhelmed with need and desire for one another.  Ren's teasing nature and wondering hands also make Calla weak in the knees, but she doesn't trust herself with him like she does with Shay, who holds a deep place in her heart.

      You can never bring yourself to dislike Ren in the novel for his character.  Instead you sympathize with him because he tries hard to be what Calla wants him to be.  You also feel sorry for him because of Calla's feelings for Shay, in a way she is cheating on him.  Dwelling on the thought of being Ren's mate brings nothing but anxiety for Calla.  Thoughts of being with Shay make her feel cared for and free.  Watching Calla face temptation at every turn is hard because she is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  The choice between the life that makes sense with Ren filled with strict rules and resslessness, or the life she could have with Shay full of possibilities and freedom are both terrifying and both equally as tempting to follow.



      This novel counts towards the following challenges:

      Wednesday, March 2, 2011

      Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

      Source:  Purchased
      Released:  May 3rd 2007
      Published by:  Hodder Children's Book
      Page Count is 458

      Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ... Description from goodreads.


      This book was brilliantly written and captured my imagination from the very beginning.  The story follows Fin who is a prisoner of Incarceron.  He has no memory of his past and no idea where he came from except for the past three years of living in Incarceron.  Fin is prone to violent fits and blackouts which cause him to see visions of Outside.  The Sapient believe Fin is a Cellborn and that his visions are a means of Escape from the bowels of Incarceron.  This earns him the title of "Starseer" among the Scum, a band of ruthless murders and thieves.  When he comes into procession of a crystal key, which bears the same marking as the one tattooed on his wrist, a black bird with a crown, more questions arise about his past.  Fin's character is careful, thoughtful, and even conniving at times, but his character is often overwhelmed because of constant uncertainty about his visions, what they mean, and who he is.

      Claudia's character is a whole different story.  Her character is malicious, strong, and commanding.  These traits are not typical of the usual characters found to be heroines, making the story feel fresh when you read it.  Claudia's skill at lying and manipulation developed from growing up in the house of her father, the Warden of Incarceron, who is even more manipulative and sly then his daughter.  Claudia fears her father and completely mistrusts him.  They are always competing.  Always playing the game.  The game of lying.  She was "bred" only for the Warden's purposes of ruling the thrown through marriage, as her father so loving puts it.  His character is one you love to hate, but there is always a card hidden up the Warden's unwrinkled sleeve.

      Constantly I was thrown loop after loop of the complexities of the novel.  Incarceron was deceptive and wistful and alive!  This idea intrigued me and made the book incredibly engaging.  Magic and science played a huge role in this story as well.  Protocol was heavily enforced on all the people living in the Realm, Outside of the world of Incarceron, where everyone lived in an era of manners, politics, and formality.  This book, which was bought on a whim, most definitely deserves a top spot on every readers overflowing bookshelf.







      ~Kelsa

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