**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates

Another sweet and magical treat from Bailey Cates! Since I've started reading this series a while back, I've really come to enjoy the characters and the small town feel of Savannah, Georgia. Personally, I don't know much about the practice of magic and Wicca, but I always feel like what the characters practice might actually be authentic.

Katie Lightfoot hasn't been practicing as a witch for very long but as a catalyst/lightwitch, her magical powers are curiously strong. Trouble seems to find her at every corner, but always for a good reason. With her intuitive mind and the help of her fellow coven members, she helps solve murder mysteries. This time, the murdered victim is particularly close to Katie and she feels it's her duty to help solve the mystery, especially since the victim's niece and protogée appears to be magically cursed into a coma. The niece's life might depend Katie fishing out the truth, but Katie's own life is at risk when she is targeted for asking too many questions. Since she suspects voodoo is part of the answer, she has been sleuthing around, asking questions about voodoo and black magic. Obviously someone isn't thrilled that Katie is poking her nose in the voodoo community. However, the near-death experience doesn't stop Katie for long.

In this book, Declan, Katie's boyfriend, seems to have embraced Katie's magical side and is more open to that aspect of her life. He almost doesn't have a choice because he has recently discovered that he, himself can channel his great-uncle from the after life. Katie's other "suitor", Steve, seems to have finally acknowledged Katie's rejection by getting engaged, which is a whole other story. Suffice to say, nothing is ever boring when it comes to Katie's love life.

I keep coming back to this series mainly because it's an easy and light read, but let's be honest, I'm also interested in the food. Although I've never tried any of the recipes at the end of the books, they have me salivating throughout the story. Since I love coconut, and macaroons are some of my favorite deserts, I've decided to try one of the recipes at the end of this book. I'll make sure to come back and let you know in the comments how they turned out.

MAGIC AND MACAROONS is the fifth book of the Magical Bakery Mystery series, and as the series goes on, we learn more about Katie and what her purpose as a lightwitch might actually be. The series is nothing too complicated but I do recommend reading the books in order. I would recommend this book and series to any fan of cozy mysteries. The magical elements makes it that much more original and adds a little flair to some of the eccentric characters. Personally, this book is the best of series so far. The last few chapters are particularly gripping and I hope the author is already working on the next book.

stephsig moon

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stacking The Shelves [174]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Happy Saturday everyone! I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far, no matter where you're from. Here in Northern Ontario, it feels like fall is right around the corner with all the rain and cool whether we've been getting (I wish I could send it all to the west coast). But the weird thing about summer here is that one day it can be a sweatshirt day, then the next it will be a bathing suit day.

I have a wide variety of books to share with you this week and honestly I don' t know where I'll find the time to read them all!

sts aug 29 2015


Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston

Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates

City of Savages by Lee Kelly


Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Martian by Andy Weir

So what's stacking your shelves this week?

stephsig moon

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day, A wakes up in a new body. One day A may be a beautiful, popular straight girl; the next day A is a grungy metalhead quiet boy. A is always 16, but A is never the same person twice. A has become accustomed to this lifestyle and has never known anything else and that is ok with A.

Until A meets Rhiannon. One day, A wakes up as Justin, Rhiannon's boyfriend. It's just another day for A until he gets to school and meets Rhiannon and falls in love. The problems: A will be a different person the next day; Rhiannon thinks she's spending the day with Justin; even if A could and did try to date Rhiannon, she's in a long-term relationship with Justin.

What follows is a sometimes funny, sometimes heartrending, and often awkward courtship/friendship between Rhiannon and A.

I loved this book! David Levithan really makes the reader think: how would a relationship work with so much uncertainty day to day? If you weren't sure who you'd be the next day, is it fair of you to ask another person to love you? What if you woke up a drug addict, or with really, really bad acne?

What would it be like to make connections based completely on how much you like person, regardless of gender? A never knows what gender they will be until he/she wakes up, or what sexuality they will exhibit that day. Having lived their entire life body-hopping, A can't even be certain if they have a gender themself!

What important parts of life would you miss out on when you wake up in a different life every day? You wouldn't have an ancestry, a history, or close relationships. You wouldn't have your own bedroom, decorated the way you like; you wouldn't have your own clothes, such as a t-shirt from your first concert or a favorite pair of Converses.

Now for a momentary gripe: there are two characters introduced in Every Day that make absolutely no sense. An entire side story that goes nowhere and is, in my opinion, unnecessary. I think this book would have been better leaving the focus entirely on A and Rhiannon.

Back to positive: I loved, loved, loved this book and that includes the ending! A lot of times when I love a book and it's characters I get upset at the end, mostly because I simply don't want it to end. Well, David Levithan did such a great job with the ending to Every Day! Even the pace of the ending was great: not too fast, not too slow.

I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up. :)  (And!  There's a sequel that just came out Tuesday!)


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Three (Legends of the Duskwalker) by Jay Posey

Cities are basically forts in this post-apocalyptic world.  People don’t like to travel outside city walls and absolutely nobody does so after the sun goes down.  There is a man named Three who seems to be one of the few who can manage to survive in the wide open dangers between the cities.

Having grown up during the Cold War, I have a special appreciation for post-apocalyptic tales.  The genre is a veritable goldmine of possibilities for new and intriguing stories.  Three by Jay Posey is an excellent example of what I mean.  This is a good melding of that genre with science fiction that brings us world that is both familiar and completely alien.

Our main protagonist is this man named Three. I want to be careful not to describe this character too much because, I believe at least half of what is fascinating about him is the slow exposition of him and his story.  It’s his journey through this story that foundation the whole book is built on.  Three does have two companions throughout the majority of this story and they serve as more than props or plot devices.  These are two become two well defined and individuals that travel alongside Three but, have their own journey to complete.  The reader gets to learn, along with Three, what lures them outside the safety of the city walls and where they expect to be at journey’s end.

The overall plot of the book is simple: getting from point A to point B through a hostile environment.  Since before The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, these types of tales have captured the imaginations of anybody willing to hear, read or see them.  This book takes advantage of that setting while not relying on that sole aspect.  This is a well-paced story with action and strife happening in places that make sense and give the reader enough respite to allow the readers to catch their breaths.

Three by Jay Posey is an action filled drama set in a world filled with ruin.  It is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.  It is also very violent and delves into some mature subject matter to the point that I would give it a PG13 rating.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

I absolutely love this series. Anything written by Kelley Armstrong is usually pretty good but Deceptions and the rest of her Cainsville series is amazing. It's creepy and gothic, yet the characters are intriguing and intelligent. I hope this series goes on for a while still because it's fascinating and I feel like there's a lot more to tell.

What's exceptional about this book is that deep down, it's a murder mystery novel with so many paranormal elements. At times, you even start to doubt the heroine, Olivia, wondering if she's imagining everything, wondering if her so called visions are just hallucinations. With her fae blood, she has the ability to read omens and apparently recall long ago event through a collective memory and visions. Her importance to the Cainsville elders was slowly revealed in this book but there's still a lot of mystery surrounding her early childhood and her serial killer birth parents. After three books, we still don't know the whole story behind the murders that happened more than two decades ago but at least we do learn some of the motives behind the killings.

I love the fact that this series doesn't have any werewolves, vampires, witches or zombies. Kelley Armstrong has veered away from the typical paranormal approach. Instead, it has gargoyles, kelpies, hounds, bogarts, fairies and so much more. But these fae are unlike anything we've seen before. They're not all bright and shiny vs dark and spooky, like we've seen in some of the more popular fairy books. These fae are enigmatic, creepy and sometimes dangerous. They all have a second agenda and don't necessarily work together. It's hard to keep track of who's who and their ultimate goal is still unclear. However, one thing is for sure: they have no problem using humans as puppets in their quests.

Kelley Armstrong has perfectly melded Welsh, Cornish and Irish mythology and used its stories to create her own. Her characters have said it themselves; their story isn't a reincarnation or a retelling of the mythological characters. They have been born to play the roles of Mallt-y-Nos, Gwynn Ap Nudd and Arawn. Whether they follow in the originals' footsteps is completely up to them. Like in so many mythologies, cycles must repeat and Olivia, Gabriel and Ricky are stuck in this one, for better or for worse. The three of them form a weird love triangle that I wish a could explain in a few words but it's best if you discovered it on your own. The interactions between the three are so intricate and I admire the author for spending so much time on these little details that don't seem to matter but reveal so much about the characters.

The little town of Cainsville is almost a character on its own and plays an integral part in this series, but it wasn't as important in this book compared to the previous two. However, I love how everything always links back to Cainsville and its fae inhabitants. It might seem like a quaint little town, the Stars Hallow of the supernatural world, but it's creepy and sometimes dangerous. I honestly hope to spend more time in Cainsville in the next book. I feel like it holds the answer to everything.

Kelley Armstrong is a phenomenal writer, keeping you engaged from beginning to end. I'll admit this series isn't made for everyone but I still highly recommend it. Keep an open mind and see for yourself how amazing this story is. It's just too unique to pass up and the secrets are just too seductive to ignore.

stephsig moon

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Stacking The Shelves [173]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Happy Saturday everyone!  Here in my corner of NC, it's the last weekend before school starts!  (Some private and charter schools began this past week, too.)  I feel like most of "my" teens at the library are ready to be back in school, seeing their friends... even if they're not in the most studious frame of mind yet!

Myself:  I started grad school this week!  I'm pursuing a Masters of Library and Information Science, which will make me a legit Librarian.  (Right now I'm officially a Teen Library Services Specialist.  A mouthful.)  I'm also getting ready for all kinds of fun fall programs at the library, and trying to decide with the hubby whether or not to take a fall getaway to the mountains.  Who's ready for pumpkin spice everything?  ;)

eARC for Review

Pound for Pound Shannon Kopp

Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp--now that I'm a dog owner myself, I love love love books about dogs helping people!  (My dog, btw, only ate half of one library book since my last Stacking the Shelves post.  An improvement.)


Overcoming Life's Challenges Bill Crowder Captive Sarah Fine Journal of George Washington 1754

Overcoming Life's Challenges: Lessons From the Life of Joseph by Bill Crowder

Captive by Sarah Fine (my first ebook purchase!  I've only downloaded freebies before this.)

George Washington's Journal for 1754  by George Washington  (love love love G.W. books!)


Respectable Sins Jerry Bridges March Geraldine Brooks Good and Cheap Leanne Brown Voice on the Radio Caroline B. Cooney Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee Penguins with People Problems Laura Mary Philpott Dodger Terry Pratchett Ana of California Andi Teran

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges (already read this & it was SO. GOOD.)

March by Geraldine Brooks (I had tried to download the audiobook, and started listening, and it failed about 1/3 of the way in.  So I had to request the hard copy from my library.)

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown (who doesn't want to eat on $4/day?)

The Voice on the Radio by Caroline B. Cooney  (I read the first two books in this series as a teen and loved them, so for nostalgia's sake I downloaded the audiobook of the third one:  such a good life decision!  I'm loving it.  The whole story came right back to me!)

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (so much buzz!  Will it live up?)

Penguins With People Problems by Mary Laura Philpott  (adorable!  And humorous!  I already read & recommended to my sister, as we're both already fans of a similar book, Going for the Bronze.)

Dodger by Terry Pratchett  (this one is taking me longer than I'd like to read, considering it's YA.  But it's Terry Pratchett, so every page is enjoyable, and I've literally laughed out loud a few times.)

Ana of California by Andi Teran (I love love love love Anne of Green Gables, and this is a modern retelling.  CANNOT wait to try it!)

And you?  What books are you stacking this weeks?  Click on the link to join the fun!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Burn by Julianna Baggott

Warning!  This is the third and final book in the Pure trilogy.  You can read my review of Pure HERE.  I promise not to spoil Burn, but there may be Pure or Fuse spoilers below.

This trilogy ends in the same way it began:  in a nuclear explosion.  (Not literally; I don't do big spoilers like that.)  Figuratively, that is.  There's build up build up build up and then BAM everything you thought you knew, everything you thought you'd find out, is blown to bits and you're left wanting to go find Julianna Baggott and demand an explanation.  (Don't worry; I didn't actually go stalk an author.)

So there's a lot of stuff going on all at once in Burn and you find out about it from quite a few points of view, so be prepared to pay attention.  This is not a beach read.  You're going to want to pay attention to everything in this book because it's fantastic the way all the pieces come together at the end.

Partridge is inside the Dome, living with Iralene.  He's the new ruler of the Dome, now that his father is dead.  He's supposed to be getting married to Iralene, but he's really in love with Lyda, the soon-to-be-mother of his child.  I do love this about Partridge though:  he's not completely hardhearted like his father and he hates the idea of hurting Iralene.  This causes him some grief at one point, but I won't give anything away.  So things are pretty hard for Partridge right now because his heart is with the resistance movement, with Pressia and Bradwell and El Capitan and Helmud, but he has to play a part for the time being.

Pressia and Bradwell and El Capitan and Helmud are outside.  They've got the serum that is supposed to cure all the fused people and they're back from Ireland.  But there's major disagreement between the four of them that threatens to ruin any and all plans they have for taking down the Dome and it's current regime.

Lyda is inside the Dome and is not coping with that too well.  I cannot say anything more than that for fear of spoilers.  But you'll agree, right, that we all want her and Partridge to end up together?

Speaking of characters we'd love to see end up together:  how about Pressia and ... ?  You could just as easily put either Bradwell or El Capitan in that blank.  Decisions are made in this book!  I just can't promise you'll like them.

The ending:  WOWSA.  Not the ending I expected at all.  Just WOW.  When I read the entire Divergent trilogy and got to that ending, I was half angry and half ok.  With this one I'm just shell-shocked.  Like this trilogy took me on a journey and left me stranded with PTSD.  I really want to re-read the trilogy straight through and see if I feel any different.  I just want... need... more.  There's so much character development and world building!  Such a well-written trilogy.

One last thing:  I've read rumors of a movie series.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Anyone out there have an opinion?  I think the books are FREAKING AWESOME but the movies might make it almost too real, if that makes sense.  Like, it might be too much for me to actually see Pressia, with her hand and her face, or Bradwell with his birds, in real life on the silver screen.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac

Andersonville is the bold new entry in the world of magic and historical fiction from author Edward M. Erdelac.  Prisoner of War camps are never an pleasant subject, and Andersonville (Fort Sumpter POW Camp) with it's infamous history, made for an interesting backdrop.

This fictional account of some of the happenings there is brought to us primarily from the point of view of one Barclay Lourdes.  Barclay becomes a resident of Andersonville by unique circumstance in that he went there on purpose.  I won't go too deep into the why's and how's of it because, I think the exposition of Mr. Lourdes is half the journey of this story.  To be sure, he and many of his fellow captives and even some of the captors are compelling characters.  We not only get to struggle with our perceptions of people in this world but, Barclay's perceptions as well.  This is a story that has characters development set down layer by layer until we start to see who are the good, the bad and the evil.  There are a few scattered flat characters that serve as plot devices but, they are used judiciously and don't crowd the scenes.

The scenes are where I start to have some difficulty.  The difficulty, however, is all mine.  I was blessed (or sometimes cursed) with an excellent imagination.  Wonderful when it comes to flying on dragon back or walking through an elfin forest.  When it comes to spending time in a Confederate POW camp of the American Civil War, an excellent imagination can make things difficult.  When the descriptions are so well done, it can be downright disturbing ( I had to limit my reading to non-meal times).  Conditions of that era were hard and in any prison more so.  In a place where human life became a bargaining chip to a lost cause, conditions had to be horrific.  To do this in any other fashion would take away from the total impact of the story.  While it's hard to bear at times, the stark realism of the story is necessary to the narrative.

The story as a whole is well done.  The pacing is done so that revelations are made at the best time to maintain the sense of suspense and drama.  Edward Erdelac masterfully pulls back the veil of each scene and character and draws us deeper into this macabre world.

Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac is a journey back to a time when the world was simpler, more barbaric and yet full of mystery and magic.  This is one I definitely put in the PG13  bordering on R range due to its disturbing imagery and some mature subject matters.Roberts Signature

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann

At first, this book reads like your typical historical romance but the author, Brooklyn Ann, intelligently included vampires in her story. I usually love reading these two genre separately, but together they form the ultimate guilty pleasure. What's more, is that the author created wonderful and smart characters to tell the story and I especially loved the gutsy and eccentric heroine, Angelica Winthrop.

Fascinated by Gothic tales and literature, Angelica Winthrop hopes to become the next great authoress. However, limited by her sex, she vows to try everything in order to get published. Including visiting the Duke of Burnrath's mansion, which is presumed haunted. But when things go wrong and Angelica is found by the Duke, Ian Ashton himself, Angelica and Ian become prime gossip material because of their unseemly encounter which a servant became aware of. Gossip by the haute ton is the worse kind of attention one can get, especially when you're a vampire trying to hide in the middle of high society. Ian Ashton has always been careful, but there's just something about Angelica that makes getting exposed worth it. Ian figures that the only way out of the unwanted situation is to propose and marry Angelica. However, Angelica has other plans since she doesn't want to get married.

I love the way Angelica and Ian interact with one another. Their romantic story may have been predictable at times, but it was still highly entertaining to listen to their banter and to see them fall in love. As an early feminist, Angelica is the type of 19th century woman I admire, but in hindsight, probably never existed. Her stance on woman's rights is very progressive (maybe a little bit too progressive for that time) but I still love how the author created such a wonderful and strong leading lady. Ian is pretty great too and his vampire status is definitely an advantage. I don't know if I would have liked him as much if he weren't a vampire because otherwise, I fear he would have been a little bit too boring.

I thought it was pretty great that the author named quite a few real historical figures. Angelica is a great admirer of Mary Shelley and even though I'm not a really big fan of Frankenstein, I can see how Angelica might be fascinated by her and her writing. Along with Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori are also mentioned. The later actually has a pretty important role in the novel and despite the fact that the other three are never actually present in the story, they have a major influence on some of the characters.

Bite Me, Your Grace reads like your typical historical romance novel but the paranormal elements makes it original and a lot more interesting. This fusion of genre was a definite success and I'm definitely checking out the rest of the series.

stephsig moon

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stacking The Shelves [172]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Hello, all, I hope you're having a great Saturday.  What I have for you this time  is a mix of books I bought from home, books I bought at Comic-Con, a book I received as a gift, books I received for review purposes and one special book I got signed by the author!

Robert's August STS

Gearteeth by Timothy Black and Andersonville by   were two books I received for the purposes of review.  I won't go into my thoughts on them here but, you'll be able to see the reviews once each is posted.

I got Alive by Scott Sigler  as a part of a 2 for 1 deal at Comic-Con.  I have no idea what it's about but, I may give you all my impressions of it later!

Three is a book I got because the title caught my eye.  I thought it was a bold statement to go with such a short and enigmatic name.

Of course, what would an STS post from me be without at least one Sookie Stackhouse book in it.  This month is the 4th book in the series Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris.

Rachel Caine at Comic-Con

The other book I bought in my 2 for 1 deal was sold to me, written and signed by Rachel Caine!  Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine is high up on my todo list right after......

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher, first book in the new Cinder Spires series.  This was a major score by my lovely bride for me as an early birthday gift.  I am a truly lucky man. You will hear more from me later on this one.

For me, this one has been a truly eclectic gathering of titles and sources.  So tell me, what random acts of literature have you added to your shelves?

Roberts Signature

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

This book is SO DIFFICULT to talk about without spoilers!  So I apologize in advance if anything I write seems a bit fuzzy.  I can tell you that you definitely, absolutely need to read this book.

I will share with you as much as Goodreads does:  Anne Merchant is a brand new student at Cania Christy, a very, very exclusive boarding school on an island off the coast of Maine.  Parents are paying exorbitant amounts in tuition to send their high-achieving teens here, where the fight to be valedictorian seems to be almost life-or-death.  Anne fits it alright; she's definitely smart, and a talented artist.  A few questions are left lingering, though:  how is her lowly funeral-director dad paying the tuition for this place?  Why is she living in a cottage off-campus rather than in the dorms with the rest of the students?  And what's the big secret, that keeps the villagers from interacting with the students?

Right from the start, this book had a deliciously dark and spooky feel to it, and the author never lets the tension slip.  I was glued to it through and through!  Have you been to Maine?  I have, and I can vouch for the coastal islands having an intermittent deep fog that drifts in off the ocean.  I could just imagine Anne waking up in a chilly attic bedroom on the first morning of school, shivering into her school uniform and a coat, and walking toward school.  Can you imagine walking through a deep fog and suddenly coming upon a thick red line painted across the road, marking the territory between school grounds and village property?  That would spook nearly anyone!  And then to arrive at school and find out that none of your peers are friendly or welcoming?  As I mentioned:  delightfully dark.

The setting isn't the only dark part of the book.  You'll definitely start to get the feeling that "something's up" from the near the beginning of the book.  No spoilers, but I will promise that although the jacket cover doesn't mention anything fantastic or supernatural, I will let you know that the novel fits on this blog.  ;)  The plot twists and turns will leave you guessing right up to the end.  The novel is told entirely from Anne's pov, so the reader gets to uncover clues and come to conclusions right alongside her.  Wiebe did a great job with spacing out clues and reveals, and with never allowing Anne to make improbable leaps to conclusions.  As I was reading, I kept thinking "ah ha!" but then by the end of the chapter I'd be surprised again!  All of the surprises, though, fit very nicely into the novel's context, and never seemed too ludicrous.

There was only slight downside to the book, and that was in the female relationships.  There's a bit of a Mean Girls thing going on at Cania Christy.  I definitely say "boo" to girls being catty to each other, but I have to admit it might not be too abnormal among teen girls, especially ones forced to live together.

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is the first book in a trilogy, and I'm so glad!  I already have the sequel sitting beside my armchair to read.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gearteeth by Timothy Black

When most people think their world might come tumbling down around them, it's more metaphorical than it is for Elijah Kelly.  He lives in a world where cities have taken to the skies to escape a pandemic.  Though biological in nature, it leaves the victims more closely resembling a curse. A werewolf curse to be more precise.

We meet Elijah right as he has his first contact with a werewolf and, as one might guess, it doesn't turn out well.  In a matter of minutes he loses his friend and partner at work and he also gets infected himself.  Since nobody realizes he, too, has been infected, Eli now has to spend the few weeks until the next full moon trying to find a cure, a control or a way to leave their flying city.

These first few weeks for Eli are some of the best parts of the book.  It's were so much of our entrance into this strange world happens.  We start off learning about Eli and his grandmother, Maude and some about Henry, Eli's best friend.  There's enough interaction with the rest of the city that, we get some semblance of life aboard it and even a rudimentary idea of the social structure there.  There quite possibly have been a whole book exploring those aspects of this world.  Later on we get to meet some who have made a place for themselves on the ground but, I won't go into detail there (spoilers).  We do get introduced to some good characters there and that too could have been a tome all its own.

I love the setting.  Nothing says steampunk better than rail yards.  When you combine rail yards with flying machines and overly complicated machinery, that is steampunk at its finest.  Even when the focus shifts to events on the ground, it's still close enough to  the rail yard that the story is able to maintain that environment going.

There are two aspects I didn't quite enjoy once the focus shift to earth.  I won't go into because I feel it gives too much away but the second has to do with credibility.  I really do get the fact that, this is fantasy and odd things happen.  I mean, that's what drew us to these stories in the first place.  There is one thing any work of fantasy must stay true to and that is itself.  There are a few key points where it seemed that the story ignored events that had just occurred in order to keep the narrative going at the pace the author had set.  This could have been to very good books though, I will admit, I'm not sure how that would have impacted future books in the series.

All in All, Gearteeth is a book with an intriguing concept.  There is quite a bit of gore and blood since it's filled with werewolves (and not Labradoodles).  I would put this one as a definite PG13 due the violence and some of the more challenging social aspects.Roberts Signature

Monday, August 10, 2015

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

I picked up this book less than a week ago, and I'm really glad I decided to read it. (Funny story: While browsing my local library, I found it on the wrong, and instead of finding its rightful spot, I decided to check it out.) At first, I didn't realize it was the second book of the Corpus series because it's not really part of a "series." The author calls them companion books. I read the first book more than two years ago, but both can be read as standalones. In Vitro, the author introduces us to completely different characters, yet the scientific atmosphere and mystery is very similar to the first book, Origin. Also, instead of working on immortality, the scientists in this book are working on human beings that are grown in labs in order to serve a specific purpose.

Sophie Crue never really understood what her mother's work on Skin Island was, but she always suspected it was something cutting edge and extraordinary. When she receives a cryptic email from her estranged mother, she flies from the continental US to the island of Guam, the island where she spent most of her childhood growing up. With the help of her childhood friend Jim, she finds a way onto this top secret island, worried that her mother is in real danger. However, the person who's in real danger isn't necessarily her mother. Someone wanted Sophie on this island.

I like how unexpected every chapter is. I definitely predicted some of the things that happened in the story, but most of it was really surprising, one twist after another. While I had a few reservations about the science in Origin, the science behind this story seems a little bit more realistic and plausible. As a science nerd, I like it when things hold up in reality. If not, then I like it when things are explained in order to create a better foundation for the story. In my opinion, Jessica Khoury did a better job with this in this second book. With a title like Vitroone can only expect human beings grown in labs, and even if this is a recurring theme in many books, the author did a great job in putting her own spin on it. The book is based enough on modern reality and society that I have a hard time qualifying it as a true science-fiction novel, however, it does have enough technology and futuristic science to categorize it in this genre.

Jessica Khoury is definitely a fan of exotic settings. Her debut book, Origin, was set in the Amazon Rain Forest. Now this second book is set near the island of Guam, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, for those who didn't know (I sure didn't). At the end of Vitro, we mention something going on in South America linked to Corpus, the cooperation that funded the Vitro project. It seems Corpus has roots in many scientific experiments, and we've only began to learn its power. In the summary of the next book, it looks like Corpus also has ties to the Kalahari desert in southern Africa. I'm curious to see if all three books will be tied together. Like I said earlier, these books don't seem to be part of a series. They are simply linked by this big cooperation and its scientific experiments that go on for years.

I definitely liked Vitro better than the first book. It feels like the characters and the story were more thought out. There was a slight lag in the middle of the book, as the characters were trying to figure out what was going on, but all in all, I think it was a good science/adventure book that will please many science nerds like me. It's not Orphan Black, but it definitely draws on some of the same themes and ideas.


stephsig moon

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Stacking The Shelves [171]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Hey guys! It's a small eternity since my last post, and there are mainly two reasons. First, well I didn't get any books in forever, so I don't have anything to show you unfortunately! I am also on the process of trying to buy our first house, the say it's a stressful experience is putting things mildly LOL

In the meantime, my photography is slowly blossoming, here are some shots from my last maternity sessions :)

IMG_0834s panorama IMG_0920s IMG_0947s IMG_0988s

Were you lucky enough to add books to your shelves this week?

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Friday, August 07, 2015

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Kate really has a way of finding her way into the worst situations possible and this fifth installment is no exception. Mysteries are even harder to solve now that she can't fling her Order's badge in everyone's face and require answers, but hey, things you have to do to be 'His Furriness' mate. I loved everything about this novel and I'll try to break it down for you!

First and most important, even though Kate and Curran are now in a 'stable' relationship it would be easy to fall into some kind of old married couple routine, but thankfully it's not the case. They still banter, they still fight, Kate is still insecure, and Curran is still a jealous, control freak. Interactions between those two still generate sparkles, for everyone's enjoyment.

“Curran roared. The blast of noise erupting from his mouth was like thunder. I clenched up, fighting the urge to step back.

“Yes I can,” he snarled. “Listen: this is me telling you what you will not do.”

I raised the cookbook and tapped him on the nose. Bad cat.”

Of course, the dialogues between those two aren't the only interesting ones, Kate is just full of those 'making me laugh alone like a loony' kind of lines and I appreciate her dry humor. The characters we came to know across the whole series will get together in this installment to fight a common enemy and it was truly engaging. I loved how the Andrews pair managed to get all the magical 'classes' to work together toward a common goal, each bringing their own set of skills to the table.

The plot was really great and the bad guys turned out to be very surprising. The only thing that still don't make sense even after I finished the book is why the navigators fainted? Maybe I missed something?

Everything isn't fun, games and war though. Kate has to face a very very difficult situation when a loved one is in life or death situation and it really broke my heart along side hers. I admired her resourcefulness and determination to find a solution despite how impossible it seemed. The solution she comes up with isn't perfect, but she makes the best with what she has and it'll have to be enough.

I can't wait to see the consequences of all the magical beings working together and see how Kate & Curran's relationship keeps evolving.

This series is truly amazing, and if you have not picked it up yet I must urge you to do so. Fans of Patricia Briggs will be sure to fall in love again!


Thursday, August 06, 2015

Captive: A Guard's Tale From Malachi's Perspective by Sarah Fine

Captive is a novella that fits in between Sanctum and Fractured in the Guards of the Shadowlands series by Sarah Fine.  If you haven't started the series yet, you can access reviews by clicking on the titles.

Novellas that fit between books in a series can so easily go one of two ways:  they can help fill in blanks and advance the story, or they can simply be recaps of events from a different character's perspective.  Captive fits in the latter category.  That is NOT to say that it's not worth reading!  Captive is from Malachi's perspective, and anyone who's read Sanctum was probably left (like me) wanting MORE MORE MORE Malachi.  This novella is like an appetizer for that desire; it gives the reader a little more Malachi... just enough to leave me wanting even more!  I haven't yet read Fractured, but I'm even more anxious to after reading Captive.

The novella explores Malachi's thoughts and feelings when Lela is brought into his Guardhouse.  I loved the descriptive language Sarah Fine uses; how Malachi notices even the smallest things about her, like her smell and her strength.  It definitely serves to humanize him, as the smell of the sea on Lela takes him back to vacations that his family would take to the Adriatic, and how protective he is of her, right from the start.  I appreciate how Fine respects her readers' intelligence, and doesn't shove facts in our faces, but through Malachi's thoughts and emotions we also learn a little more about how he came to be where he is, and even more about his fellow Guard, Ana.

I definitely recommend Captive to fans of Sanctum (and I recommend Sanctum if you haven't read it yet)!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

This is the fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries Series.  If you have not yet read or watched the HBO show, yet intend to read this series, turn back now and please, please, come back later. I will likely disclose knowledge from the earlier books.  Information otherwise know as spoilers.

In book 3, Club Dead, we were finally introduced to the character Alcide Herveaux , werewolf and big-time surveyor.  We also meet his father, and his sort-of ex, Debbie Pelt.  Also patrons of Club Dead is the King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington and  his entourage.  These introductions came as a mixed blessing to Sookie.  She was looking for Bill Compton and, as it happened, Russell had Bill Compton.  So that, eventually, worked itself out.  The meeting with Debbie and some of the other werewolves could have gone better to say the least.  Then there was Sookie's introduction to Bill's maker, Lorena Ball.  That one ended with Lorena skewered like a kabob and Sookie having to get inventive with vampire disposal.  In the end, Sookie wound up alone healing as best she could at home.

In the fourth installment, Sookie is bound and determined to make it on her own with no help or interference from supernatural creatures no matter how handsome or gifted in the boudoir they may be.  This plan falls apart no sooner than she makes it when she happens upon a very tall, very blond and Nordic looking vampire wearing only jeans, running down the road early New Years' morning.  Can you guess who it is?  To make things that much more interesting, Jason is missing.  Sookie is very suspicious because she had seen him with woman who was a shifter just before he vanished.

All this is great setup for something that Charlaine Harris is great at: concurrent story lines.  My disappointment with the Club Dead was that there was just the one main story that seemed to follow the regular three act sequence felt a little too much like any other book by any other author.  Dead to the World was a return of Ms. Harris at her best.  We got new characters and a broadening of the supernatural creatures in and around Bon Temps.  I'm finding that developing the types of creatures can be just as important to the story as development of the characters themselves.  Learning and experiencing the difference between a Shifter and a Were along with Sookie gives a bit of depth to the story that would be lacking in a simple narrative explaining it in almost scholarly terms.

The pacing and interweaving of the stories is excellent and in the tradition of the first two books.  This has been one of the aspects that I have grown to appreciate from authors like Ms. Harris and others like Jim Butcher who use similar storytelling patterns.  Let's face it, life doesn't happen in separate three act dramas.  It happens all at once without intermission.  This is a wonderful way to lend a bit of reality to the story in order to bring the reader deeper into the tale.

Dead to the World is classic Sookie and a must read for any burgeoning fan.  Of course, it almost goes without saying, this is not a YA book.  This is an R rated book due to it's violence, mature subjects and mild sex scenes.

Roberts Signature



Monday, August 03, 2015

Her Sinful Angel Blog Tour: Her Dark Angel Review + Giveaway

Honestly, as far as free e-books go, this one is good and steamy! I enjoyed it so much, I immediately purchased the next book of the series. I usually don't like novella length stories because I feel like I get cheated from long character development and back story. In this case, I simply went along for the ride and enjoyed the good paranormal romance that it is.

The hero and dark angel of this story is Apollyon and he is summoned by a witch in modern Paris. This witch, Serenity, inadvertently calls Apollyon to help her get her revenge on her ex, Edward , who cheated on her and broke her heart. Serenity's mother always told her to beware of angels, especially this one who is also known as Abaddon, the Great Destroyer. So when she first sees Apollyon, with his strong armor and majestic wings, she more or less freaks. Eventually, they gain each other's trust and begin to plan Serenity's revenge.

All Serenity wanted was to make Edward jealous. She never planned to fall for her guardian angel, although, with his incredible physique, it's kind of hard not too be attracted. More than lust develops between the two, but Serenity doubts strongly a future with Apollyon is possible, so she hides her true feelings. I loved the interactions between the two main characters. I wish we could have had more development and action, and as a whole, I was a little disappointed with the climax of the story (no pun intended). Actually, there's a lot of romance/love scenes in this story, quite a bit for a book this length. And they're very steamy! They're also very detailed but written in a classy way.

Overall,  I thought Her Dark Angel was a really good paranormal romance short, and I can't wait to meet more angels in the rest of the series. It's ebooks like these that allow you to simply get lost in a good romance with lovable characters. Her Dark Angel was a quick and easy read that was enjoyable despite its short length.


I'm new to this series, so I was only able to provide you with a review of the first book, but the latest book in the series, was just a released a few short days ago.

Her Sinful Angel, book eight in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Her Angel, was released August 1, 2015 and is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY on her website.hersinfulangel-barrage-button

Find out how to enter the Her Sinful Angel international giveaway (ends August 9th) and have a shot at winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate on her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel

Here's more about Her Sinful Angel:
hersinfulangelCast out of Heaven and now the king of Hell, Lucifer is a powerful fallen angel warrior with a heart as cold as ice and soul as black as the bottomless pit. For millennia, he has ruled his realm with an iron fist as he plots the demise of his ancient enemies. When one of those enemies dumps an unconscious mortal female in the courtyard of his fortress and leaves her there, Lucifer finds himself entranced by the beguiling beauty and tempted beyond all reason. But is the enchanting Nina an innocent pawn in the eternal game or part of a plot against him?

Tynga's Reviews is also hosting a giveaway for a copy of one book of the series. You can already grab book 1 for free at most major retailers so if you get hooked the first book like I did, now is your chance to win a copy of one the other "sinful" angels.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon


Felicity Heaton is also giving away one (1) ebook from this series to a reader from Tynga's Reviews. Winner gets to choose which book.

Open internationally

Ends August 9, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author

felicityheatonFelicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Her Angel series.

Website │ Blog │ Facebook │ Twitter │ Goodreads

stephsig moon

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

I've heard about Gail Z. Martin for a while now but never got around to picking up any of her work. When she came out with an urban fantasy novel last year called DEADLY CURIOSITIES, I knew it was the right time to give Martin a shot. And DEADLY CURIOSITIES was an absolutely thrilling read.

The main character in DEADLY CURIOSITIES is Cassidy Kincaide, a psychometric whose family has a history of dealing with "spookies", items with magical powers that are so dangerous, in conjunction with a vampire named Sorren. Cassidy also gets help from her assistant manager, Teag, an absolute whiz with data and with his Weaver magic. Cassidy's a main character you can immediately identify with -- very much a regular person, just someone who happens to also possess extraordinary magic. She's the kind of character you'll be rooting for from the start, and so are Teag and Sorren. Sorren is a very typical vampire in some ways -- haunted by history, mysterious connections, sage -- but Martin makes him come alive, giving him a very clear personality in just a few sentences. We don't know too much about him by the end of things, other than the fact that he takes Cassidy's safety and work seriously. I hope we'll learn more about him in future stories. Teag gets a bit more page time and he's a winner in my books. He's a great partner for Cassidy, providing research and fighting support, and a good friend. Teag's also the only one of the three with a stable romantic relationship, with a lawyer named Anthony who's only vaguely in the know about the magical world that Teag, Cassidy, and Sorren inhabit.

In DEADLY CURIOSITIES, the trio face off against a rise in dark magic. Objects that weren't "spooky" are becoming "spooky", even ones that Cassidy had previously cleared as "sparklies" (i.e. magic but not dangerous). It's a curious puzzle (if you'll pardon the play on the title), and one that Martin writes very deftly. There are nice twists and turns in the mystery of why these objects are turning dangerous and I found it very hard to predict where each chapter would take us. The complex but well-written plot kept me hooked the whole time. I think DEADLY CURIOSITIES would satisfy die-hard mystery buffs, plus urban fantasy fans, since the main story unfurls in such an engaging way.

DEADLY CURIOSITIES sets the stage for what should be a really promising and exciting series. I tried to find out if there was another book coming in the series but there doesn't seem to be any news online. There are, however, short stories kicking around so I'm going to buy one and see if these characters are as much fun in a shorter format. If you know anything about upcoming releases, please post in the comments!

Read an excerptJenn

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Stacking The Shelves [170]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


 Hey everyone! I haven't posted many reviews lately because of being so busy and not being to read as much as I want to. I did get the chance to stop by my local library and pick up a few books so hopefully I'll get out of this reading funk soon...

aug 1 2015


Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Free Kindle eBook

Her Dark Angel by Felicity Heaton

What did you add to your shelves? Don't forget to link up your StS post!

stephsig moon

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