By Your Side- a dream in theory…

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Summary:

An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My Thoughts:

PS I Like You was my first Kasie West book early last year as an ARC. I immediately fell in love with that book and was ready to read my next book from her. I have her back list, but then I heard about this one and got an ARC.

First things first…the concept of getting locked in a library. SIGN. ME. UP.

That idea sounded perfect to me from the beginning, but I immediately felt bad for Autumn because where were her friends? Why didn’t anyone come for her? (Spoiler: We learn that later.) I think I maybe even spent too much time wondering where the heck her friends were and why they didn’t come back for her.

I do think I enjoyed the library parts more than the middle of the book just because some of the middle was lots of back and forth and got frustrating at times.

I will admit, that there were parts that dragged for me, but for the most part, I zoomed through the book. There was lots of back and forth with Dax, yet it also was understandable for his character and situation.

Overall, this is still a classic Kasie West book. It isn’t my favorite, but it is still a cute, fast read if you’re looking for a contemporary romance. By Your Side releases next week, January 31, so be sure to pick it up if this is what you’re looking for!

-M

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5 questions with PC Cast

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Quick note:

I’m SO excited for Moon Chosen, out next Tuesday! I met Ms Cast a couple years ago at RT book convention and she was incredibly nice. I loved the House of Night series when I was in college, so I’ve been excited to see what she’s done on her own.

Thanks to Ms Cast for taking time to answer a few questions for the blog tour!

PC CAST

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  1. What 3 words would you use to describe your book? EXCITING – HEARTWARMING – UNIQUE
  2. What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, etc?)

My tread desk!  Yep, I walk and write at the same time (it’s actually awesome and easy – google it!).  I write in silence.  Well, except for four dogs and a Maine Coon cat who tend to either sleep like the dead or create chaos.  I brew a big pot of either green tea or herbal tea and get to work surrounded by my fur babies, research books, crystals, and infused candles made specially for me by the wonderful Sage Goddess (you can find her on Etsy).

3. What was the last book you read that you just couldn’t put down?

SCARLET RAIN by my talented daughter, Kristin Cast.  The book rocks!  But that’s not why I couldn’t put it down.  I couldn’t put it down because she based the mom character in the book on me and what happens to “me” in that books is…well…you’ll have to read it to see!

4. What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Well, I destroy all of Portland’s bridges, so I had to do lots of research about how they were built so that I could properly tear them down!  My father taught biology for about half a century, so being sure my ecosystems work is imbedded into my DNA.  This series merges biology and fantasy, which means I have to be sure the biological foundation of my world is solid so that it can remain believable when I add fantasy.

I also had to do quite a bit of research about treehouses for the Tribe of the Trees.  I even went to Washington state and stayed in a treehouse B&B (it was fantastic!).

5. Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

From another author – Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series.  From my own books – ClanFinan from the Partholon series: DIVINE BY MISTAKE, DIVINE BY CHOICE, and DIVINE BY BLOOD.

Moon Chosen is out next week!

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Music Fridays…The Wild Feathers

I enjoyed sharing about The Avett Brothers recently, so I’m back with another music suggestion that you may or may not have heard from.

This week’s suggestion is The Wild Feathers!

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I got hooked on Wild Feathers back in the spring when Lonely is a Lifetime was released and I got curious about some friends talking about them. I looked them up and was quickly sold on them.

Honestly there isn’t a song on this album or their first album that I don’t love.

They’re different, fun, and can be enjoyed by a wide variety of music fans.

Additionally, they are currently on tour with Band of Horses- which is huge in my opinion. I’ll get to see them with BoH in Jackson, MS on September 28. I bought my ticket ( a dang good one at that!) in early July as soon as the concert was announced. I don’t have any friends who were interested in seeing BoH, so I bought a ticket to go by myself. I was SO iffy on this decision, but just a few weeks later Wild Feathers were announced as the opener and I no longer questioned my idea to go to the concert alone. (Spoiler- I’m way more excited to see them than I am to see BoH)

GO HERE (<— click) for a video performing one of the tracks from this album to check them out and see what they’re all about…so go! Let me know what you think 🙂

-Melanie

Waiting on Wednesday: Caraval

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Summary:

“A spellbinding tale of sisterhood, love, and betrayal.”
―Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Why I’m Excited:

This. Sounds. Awesome.

A mysterious game?

Sisters?

Heartbreak?

Sign. Me. Up.

The hype around Caraval as been HUGE and I think it sounds like it is rightly so.

It releases on January 31, 2017, and I couldn’t be more excited for it to be out in the world.

7 thoughts on A Week of Mondays…

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Summary:

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true… 

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.


 

  1. Don’t we all wish we could get a re-do and make Monday awesome from time to time? OF COURSE this bad day was on a Monday! I love Groundhog Day type stories that give do-overs.
  2. I really liked Ellie…granted, she SHOULD have followed her friend to book club ages ago, but I like her.
  3. The book is drags in spots. The first 3 or so Mondays before she finally catches on seem to be almost identical and got boring in spots. Granted, it wasn’t enough to give up, but it was enough to where I started hoping progress would be made.
  4. The last couple “days” moved fast and are where most of the development is. Those days ended up being my favorites for that reason.
  5. I loved Owen, but…I wish there’d been more to him. I knew what would happen with him from the get go, but I wish there’d been more development and getting to know him.
  6. I kind of found Tristan annoying. Not in a way that hurt the book, but in a way that made me hurt for Ellie because…girl, you could do better than this silly guy.
  7. The book is long. It over 450 pages and was way longer than I thought it needed to be, but it was good over all despite the length. It wasn’t too long that I lost interest, and  do still suggest it, but…it’s LONG. Maybe that’s just me and my short attention span though?

Overall? I liked it and definitely give it a try if you want something fun or if you like Groundhog Day type situations.

A Week of Mondays is out TODAY!

-Melanie

Finally found a cure…

So I finally finished a book.

It took me longer than I would normally liked, but I finally got engrossed in a story enough to finish.

It’s felt like this has been my longest reading slump in awhile and I hate to be wasting valuable reading time in the summer, but it is what it is.

With that said….I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic.

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Summary:

STEP INTO A UNIVERSE OF DARING ADVENTURE, THRILLING POWER, AND MULTIPLE LONDONS.

Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

My Thoughts:

I was hooked. That’s all I can really say.

In the beginning, I wasn’t really sure where the book was going, but once it got started then I was completely IN.

I loved the writing style and the world was unique.

I’d easily suggest ADSOM to other adults who loved Harry Potter growing up and need a dose of magic in their reading lives.

However, the interesting thing to me about the book is that although it is going to be a trilogy (book 2 is already out and #3 is out next year), the book wraps itself up. Sure, there is still open ended things, but it could have stood alone if it needed. Granted, I’m sure the next book will have a cliffhanger, but I loved how this book wrapped the story up enough to not have a huge cliffhanger.

I’ve already started A Gathering of Shadows and look forward to more from Kell and Lila.

Funny story, I bought AGoS in HC earlier this week while on vacation in Pigeon Forge. Yesterday I realized I’d bought a signed copy even though the book did not have an “autographed” sticker on it. Little “win” of the week, I suppose.

Monday Musings: True Sadness track-by-track

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Happy Independence Day!

I know, I know… I said I’d do this Friday…but…it didn’t happen.

It’s no secret that I’m a big Avett Brothers fan and I’ve been eagerly awaiting this album. Most of the songs have been in rotation at live shows for awhile, but there’s something about having a version to play anytime…especially if it’s really different.

So without further delay, here a quick track-by-track review…

“Aint No Man”

This song has been getting tons of airplay recently and deserves it! When it first started getting played at shows, I thought it was good, but I knew it was going to be huge when I heard the studio version.

It’s fun…it’s summer…it’s Avett.

“Mama”

“are we pretending or is this the real you and me?”

I hadn’t heard “Mama” before the album release and I’m kind of glad that I hadn’t. This is a typical Avett track to me, but still shows growth because I LOVE the string arrangements in it! Beautiful lyrics and storytelling!

“No Hard Feelings”

I cried the first time I listened to this one…it hits me every time to be honest.

“when my body won’t hold me anymore and it finally sets me free…will I be ready?”

The lyrics in this one…good lord. I’m hoping and praying that I’ll get this one at my next show even though I know that I’ll cry. It’ll be like the first time I got “november blue” live all over again.

“Smithsonian”

This may actually be my favorite track on the album.

“…loved ones will break your heart with or without you…turns out we don’t get to know everything.”

It’s upbeat and catchy, but yet the lyrics…man, the lyrics.

Also…again with the awesome string arrangements!!

“You are Mine”

Not going to lie…I’m still waiting for this one to grow on me.

I like it lyrically, but I just wish there was something else to it musically.

I’m thinking that it may click for me if and when I see them perform it. That’s usually when happens with songs of theres that I didn’t previously “get.”

“Satan Pulls the Strings”

I love this song.

This is SO incredibly different from the live version thanks to an added beat, but I like it and it’s perfect for blasting with the windows down on back roads!

That said, there is absolutely NOTHING on this earth like this song live.

NOTHING.

“True Sadness”

Don’t let the name fool you.

True Sadness is upbeat, but it also has a good message.

Look beneath the surface!

Also…this song makes me more thankful for Tania because it’s easier to harmonize when there’s a female in the mix. Thanks, lady!

“I Wish I Was”

New goal…this is the song that I want a man to learn to play and sing to me.

Or dance to…I could settle for that.

So sweet and romantic!

Take notes, men!

“Fisher Road to Hollywood”

“Regret for every step I took on Fisher road to Hollywood…”

This has the gorgeous brother harmonies that I love.

There’s nothing better than sibling harmonies in music!

“Victims of Life”

Fun fun fun!

More than that…the lyrics are great!

“If you’re rich you hunger for money. If you’re broke you hunger for bread. If you’re wild you bound to die young. If you live in fear you’re already dead.”

It’s almost so fun and catchy that it’s possible to miss the clever lyrics that are happening.

“Divorce Separation Blues”

There aren’t enough honest divorce songs in the world.

I’ve never been married, let alone divorced, but you can feel that this is raw and honest.

Plus…yodeling. I never thought I’d enjoy yodeling, but it’s great and perfect in the song.

“May It Last”

This is hard to explain, but it’s easily one of my favorite Avett songs ever.

It has a Beatles and Pink Floyd vibe that is crazily different for them.

If I didn’t know it was them then I would’ve been surprised, but…man. It’s just so good. Not everyone has liked it from what I’ve seen, but it’s such a stretch of talent in my book.


Now…if you haven’t listened to True Sadness…what are you still doing here?

Go get a copy or stream it on Spotify…something!

Get some good, new music in your life!

-Melanie