I Was the Cat

By Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey
Published on August 6th 2014
Published by Oni Press
Source: Netgalley
Allison Breaking is a talented journalist with her own blog and a lot of bills to pay. So when she receives an offer from a mysterious stranger named Burma to write his memoirs, it's an offer she can't refuse, not even with all the red flags popping up. But Burma is quite literally unlike any man Allison's ever known - because he's a cat! And this cat has stories to tell about how he (over the course of a few lifetimes) has shaped the world - and another, darker story that Allison must risk all to uncover... a story of what this particular cat has been doing with the LAST of his nine lives.
A story about a talking cat trying to take over the world? I'm in!

Actually, I was mostly drawn to this because of the art of Benjamin Dewey, who is responsible for the always awesomely weird Tragedy Series. But also: talking megalomaniacal cat.

The bulk of the story is given to Burma recounting his previous eight lives for Allison, who accepts the fact that she's working for a talking cat with much more coolness than I could ever muster. (TALKING. CAT.) As the story progresses, though, you start to get glimpses that Burma is a little more than just a cat talking about the past, as some subplots kick in showing what Burma's up to today.

I think this story somehow managed to have both too much and too little backstory.  There were times where I was definitely bored with the long sequences detailing Burma's past lives.  And yet, somehow, I wanted to know more. I was left with a lot of questions and felt like some important plot points had been glossed over in favor of more explanation for the current day events and characters (like, why does one of Burma's henchmen-type-dudes look straight out of a Sherlock Holmes movie? is he a secret hipster? is he immortal? tell me more!).  There was too much plot for the story they were trying to tell, and I think it would have been better served by either making sure this was at least a two-book run, or cutting down on some of the digressions. The ending does leave things kind of ambiguous, so there's potential for a second book that could clear up some of the gaps this one left.

Overall, despite some plot holes, this was an entertaining read, especially once the present-day plotline kicked in.  Check it out for Dewey's art, if nothing else, especially in the latter chapters.  I don't want to tell you what to look for because of spoilers, but there are some pretty epic spreads whenever the story switches entirely to the present day.

Jaime's Waiting on Wednesday #2


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming reads we are stoked about!




By Dawn Metcalf
Published on September 30, 2014
Published by Harlequin Teen
Some things lie beneath the surface. 

Invisible. 

With the power to change everything. 

Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever. 

Her choice is balanced on a scalpel's edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Since I am a happily married woman, I have a list of awesome chicks that I would want with me if I were on a deserted island! Bear Grylls, you ain't got nothing on these awesome author creations! As usual, no particular order!



Anna from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The scary stuff on that island would go running from ME (well, Anna), instead of me running from THEM! Unfortunate side effect: I would probably be running away WITH them. Still...



Scarlet from Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
Like most of these girls, no explanations needed! She is just AWESOME! Scarlet is the reason we would have FOOD!



Gretchen, Emma and Penelope from A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
These 3 girls captured my heart, and I want to be an honorary cousin. They would be fun to hang out with on long, lonely nights and an added bonus? Magic, baby!



Kami Glass from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Comic Relief! Best friend- worthy! She would be absolute fun to hang around with on the island!



Ismae from Grave Mercy, Sybella from Dark Triumph, Annith from Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers 
Um, They are Assassins. For Death. Why wouldn't I want them by my side? I love these girls! 



Karou and Zuzanna from Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor 
Karou is one tough chick, and she is smart and loyal. Zuze is a true best friend, and so dependable. I could count on them both to get me out of a funk! And have Karou wish my hair different colors!



Sophie Mercer from Hex Hall series  by Rachel Hawkins 
Another one that just needs no explanation! She is hilarious, strong-willed and fierce. One of my fave characters!



Arabella Holmes from Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman 
Smart as a whip, like her father. Mystery solver extraordinaire! Does not take crap from any man, and can kick any man's butt, to boot!



Xandra Vardan from The Immortal Empire series  by Kate Locke
Snaaaarrky! Sarcastic! Funny! Kick-Arse! I kind of want to have her as a bestie! 



ZoĆ« Sorensson from The Dragon Diaries trilogy by Deborah Cooke
She is an awesome girl, tough and smart. Knows how to keep herself together in tough situations. Plus, she is a dragon... she could get all of our awesome butts off the deserted island and back to civilization once we had our fill!


There you have it folks! My island party awaits! Thanks for coming back for another TTT, and hope to see you again next week!

SPOTLIGHT: Winter Angel


Winter Angel
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance
Release date: 25th June 2014
Length: Novella

Blurb:
She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.


Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can't turn it down. What she couldn't have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He's struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn't been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy's persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he's torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn't go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download in now for FREE!
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You can also download Summer Demons: the first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for 99c / 77p.

Excerpt

White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However, it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
“Luke?”
The silence that filled the space around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.” Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good, that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self. Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However, seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth, trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting him through something she knew would hurt him.

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.


Connect with Mia:

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The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

By Andrea Cremer
Published on April 22, 2014
Published by Philomel
Source: The Amazing Public Library System
Sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth they have their health (at least when they can find enough food and avoid the Imperial Labor Gatherers) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape from the coastal cities or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp he brings new dangers with him and secrets about the terrible future that awaits all those who have struggled has to live free of the bonds of the empire’s Machineworks.

The Inventor’s Secret is the first book of a YA steampunk series set in an alternate nineteenth-century North America where the Revolutionary War never took place and the British Empire has expanded into a global juggernaut propelled by marvelous and horrible machinery
  Charlotte is heading home to the Catacombs one afternoon when she sees a boy running from a Rotpot, a monstrous machine used by the Empire to capture laborers and take them to the camps, which is basically a death sentence. She helps the boy escape, and in doing so sets off a chain of events that leaves Charlotte and the reader breathless. From the Catacombs, the home of the children of the Resistance, to the Floating City, home of the Empire, the Hive and the wealthy, the poor and everything in between, we travel with Charlotte, Grave, Ash, Jack and Meg as they set off an adventure that will change everything they know, for better or for worse!

 I LOVED this book, y'all! In such a big way, I loved this book. The Inventor's Secret is only my second experience with an Andrea Cremer book, and while I enjoyed the first, Rift, very much, there is just something incredibly special about this story. She has woven such an incredible tale of steampunk and fantasy, with just the right amount of romance and mystery, and intrigue. The world-building is spectacular, and her descriptions of all thing "machine" are perfection. The cherry on top, however is absolutely the characters.

 Charlotte, the main character in the story, is a kick-butt, snarky tough girl who isn't afraid to get her hands dirty, and can handle herself in a fight. She is loyal  and protective and fierce, and everything that I could hope for in an MC. Her brother Ashley is the leader of the Resistance children, and her is a typical older brother. He has an incredible sense of duty to the cause, and to the kids. Jack is as fierce as Charlotte, but he comes from a different sort of life, and has many secrets. Meg is the mother hen of the Catacombs, the protector and the kind heart among them. She also is harboring secrets. Grave, the runaway boy, is the mystery character, even to himself, but as mysterious as he may be, he is a character you can't help but love. Pip, Birch, and Scoff, the comic relief. Commodore Winters, Jack's brother and Linnet, his and Jack's half-sister. Lord and Lady Ott.... Every character in this story is richly written, and believable. They jump right off of the pages.

 The plot is fast-paced and just fun, but there is always that knowledge that something is amiss, the world these characters live in is just not as it should be. There is a ball, and a temple, a carnival of sorts, and an iron forest. Gah, there are so many things about this book, I could ramble on and on. However, in an effort to give you as little information on the story as possible, as usual, I will stop here, with the exception of one more thing. GO! Right now, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing, and get yourself a copy of this book! There are elements in this story that will make lovers of so many genres happy as can be. And when you get to the end, you will be BEGGING for book 2, already! Or at least a title, and a hint of whats to come!

Characters WIN!
World-Building WIN!
Andrea Cremer WIN!


Dollhouse by Anya Allyn

By Anya Allyn
Published on May 20th 2014
Published by The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit imprint
Source: Netgalley
Dress-up turns deadly. . .

When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, disappears during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha’s boyfriend Ethan and their best friend Lacey, determined to find her. But the mist-enshrouded mountains hold many secrets, and what the three teens discover is far more disturbing than any of them imagined: beneath a rundown mansion in the woods lies an underground cavern full of life-size toys and kidnapped girls forced to dress as dolls.

Even as Cassie desperately tries to escape the Dollhouse, she finds herself torn between her forbidden feelings for Ethan, and her intense, instinctive attraction to The Provider, a man Cassie swears she has known before…

Because Cassie’s capture wasn’t accidental, and the Dollhouse is more than just a prison where her deepest fears come true—it’s a portal for the powers of darkness. And Cassie may be the only one who can stop it.
This book was one crazy, creepy, truly disturbing ride! When I read the synopsis for Dollhouse, the first thing that popped into my head was the movie, Jeepers Creepers. Not necessarily a scary movie, but definitely a strange one, and since horror is something I enjoy, I jumped at the chance to review this book. While not exactly scary, it definitely has some of the same creeptastic vibe as Jeepers Creepers.

 Cassie, Ethan, Aisha and Lacey head into the mountains one day to complete a school project. On the way out of the woods, there is an altercation of sorts, and Aisha runs. She never comes back. Ethan is being looked at as a suspect, so to clear his name he goes to the woods to find Aisha and bring her home. Cassie who loves him so much, and Lacey decide to go after him and help him so they can all come home. What happens instead is nothing short of the worst nightmare imaginable for the three.

 I don't want to give anything away, just for the pure shock factor of the story. I will just say that there are animated, life-sized dolls, a very creepy girl, and a basement full of serious surprises....and not the good kind. The author paints such an imaginative picture that I could close my eyes and see what the characters were facing, and I can say that I would not want to be in their shoes.

 Speaking of characters, Cassie is a good one. She is fierce and loyal and protective, and she never stops fighting, never gives up, no matter how hopeless it seems. Lacey is a good character, but she isn't what she seems. Aisha is a mean girl, it seems, but in the end I really liked her. Ethan is okay. Not the best, not the worst. The rest of the characters are very well drawn, and definitely have their own personalities.

 I would recommend Dollhouse to people who love a little bit of creepiness, but can't handle full blown horror. It is a quick, fun and fast-paced story, and the ending will definitely leave you wanting more!

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

By Dana Alison Levy
Published on July 22 2014
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Net Galley
Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks and James Patterson’s Middle School series, this seriously funny, modern family adventure features two dads, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets.

Meet the Fletchers. Their year will be filled with new schools, old friends, a grouchy neighbor, hungry skunks, leaking ice rinks, school plays, wet cats, and scary tales told in the dark!

There’s Sam, age twelve, who’s mostly interested in soccer, food, and his phone; Jax, age ten, who’s psyched for fourth grade and thinks the new neighbor stinks, and not just because of the skunk; Eli, age ten (but younger than Jax), who’s thrilled to be starting this year at the Pinnacle School, where everyone’s the smart kid; and Frog (not his real name), age six, who wants everyone in kindergarten to save a seat for his invisible cheetah. Also Dad and Papa.

WARNING: This book contains cat barf, turtle pee, and some really annoying homework assignments.

This is a fun middle grade book that would be perfect for boys (and girls who happen to love hockey, cat barf, soccer, and turtles!) Like many middle grade novels, it is very episodic.  Instead of focusing on one character or story line The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher follows all four boys and both dads through all the crazy ups and downs that can only happen when so many males are under one roof! It's hilarious and likely will engage all middle school readers.

Things I LOVED about this book:

  • The Fletchers have two dads, and this is normal and not treated like it's a big deal. When one of the boys starts a new school, they have to explain the situation to the teacher, but everyone else in their lives finds this perfectly acceptable. At first, I thought the grouchy old neighbor disliked the family for this reason, but that was quickly disapproved.
  • All four of the boys are adopted, and are different races and religions. This gives the family the opportunity to celebrate literally every winter holiday, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas. They are probably the most diverse family I have ever seen in a middle grade novel, and that's really important for kids to see. 
I am super impressed that Levy (a woman) was able to bring to life a family of boys in such a vivid way. The menagerie of animals, various sports, mud, fights and name-calling all add to the Fletcher Family experience. I'm left wondering if this is going to be a series, because I can see a lot more misadventures coming from each boy! I'd read any future books, for a nice change of pace from hard-hitting YA novels and a laugh or two.


Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

This week, I am waiting on......




By Karina Halle
Published on August 11, 2014
Published by Metal Blonde Books
New Release Date in North America and the UK: August 11, 2014
The dramatic conclusion to the Experiment in Terror Series.

Perry Palomino and Dex Foray.

On their own, they’re uniquely brilliant. Together, they’re an unstoppable team.

Until now.

Because after everything the duo has encountered, they haven’t come across an evil quite like this. An evil that has been years in the making, an evil that will stop at nothing until they, and everyone they care for, are destroyed.

Dex and Perry’s love has survived a multitude of sins.

But can it survive the end?
Why am I waiting?

I FINALLY decided to read Darkhouse, after being told again and again to try it, at the beginning of the year. I don't know why I waited so long, since horror is a favorite for me. I ended up reading the first 8 books in about a week and a half, and I loved every second. And the ending of book 8, Ashes to Ashes, was painful. I can't wait to find out what happens to the amazing Dex and Perry in this final book. It better be good!

What are you waiting for this week?


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

When I actually put down the book to watch TV, these are the culprits responsible. I wanted to add movies too, but the list kind of got out of hand. Here is hoping we get another one like this soon so I can go overboard on the movies, too!



How do I love thee, Scrubs? Let me count the ways! One of the best shows that ever graced our T.V. screens!



Do I even need to list the reasons why I love this show? I mean, it really is pretty self-explanatory!



Phil and Luke, Cam! Every one of these characters. Too stinkin funny!



I love food, I love to cook and I am good at it. But I don't have the guts to go on this show, or even try. But I love watching the ones that do, and learning from them!



The old man, Rick, Corey and Chum offer great laughs, interesting history lessons, and some really awesome.... stuff! I love it!



One of the funniest shows on T.V. Plus, there is the one and only Uncle Si. And best of all? They love Jesus, and they sit down and pray together IN JESUS NAME at the end of every episode. Unbeatable!




I can't dance worth a squat, but I love watching people dance. It just makes me happy. I am especially partial to hip hop! I LOVED Fik-Shun and Amy last year!



Will always be one of my favorite shows, and favorite casts, in the whole world. Even with that ending, which threw me. A lot. I love it now, after several retries. The first time, I was.... Thrown



Even though it makes me cry at least once an episode, I have loved every minute of it since the first episode. It is family. And family is everything!



Best new show in years, and without a doubt one of my all-time favorite shows, ever! As a product of the 80's, I can relate and I love it!




HGTV
This is the default channel at my house. When we have to leave, this is the channel we leave on for the dogs 90% of the time. We watch HGTV all of the time. I am a construction worker, and build or refurbish furniture and I love getting ideas. I love just about every show. The magazine is awesome too!


 

PGA Tour
I am a huge fan of golf and college football. If there is a game or tournament on, we are tuned in.


There you have it, folks! When I put the books down, and I have time on my hands, this is what I occupy myself with. There are more, but these are the tops. Sorry that it went a little long. I got excited about this topic and went overboard. Hope you enjoyed! 
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