Month: October 2017

Ten Halloween Things I’ve Never Done

Posted October 30, 2017 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Halloween! I’ll admit, I’m weird when it comes to Halloween. I love the fall vibes and the spooky atmosphere, but I don’t love Halloween. I don’t like orange and black together. I don’t like paranormal or supernatural things. I don’t like blood or spiders or the undead. I do like some things about Halloween, though! I love watching old thrillers, reading gothic novels, eating candy, and seeing the cute kids in costumes when they come trick-or-treating to my house. So for today’s Halloween freebie I thought I’d share with you some totally Halloween things I’ve never done or experienced before.

 

1. I’ve never seen a Tim Burton movie.
Seriously. No Nightmare Before Christmas. No Corpse Bride. They’re just not my thing!

2. I’ve never gone to a haunted house (or haunted anything).
I’d probably die if a went to a haunted house, haunted corn maze, haunted hay ride, etc. I almost died on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, so it’s just never going to happen.

3. I’ve never carved a jack-o’-lantern by myself.
Yeah, this is weird even to me. I’ve just never carved my own pumpkin! I remember carving one with a date a few years ago, but I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch as an adult and when I do end up with pumpkins from the grocery store I just put them by my door uncarved.

4. I’ve never baked Halloween treats.
It’s true. I’ve never made Halloween frosted sugar cookies or hot dogs that look like severed fingers.

5. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice flavored beverage.
So, I don’t drink coffee so it’s not like I’m against the PSL because it’s pumpkin spice. I actually love pumpkin spice, just only in baked goods.

6. I’ve never done themed costumes with friends.
I had friends in college who all dressed as a Spice Girl or a different Power Ranger or a Disney princess. Me? Not interested.

7. I’ve never read a horror novel.
I mean, I’ve read scary books, but my threshold for scary reads is so below average that pretty much nobody I know would think I’ve read a scary book.

8. I’ve never told ghost stories by flashlight.
It will just never happen. Ghost stories keep me up at night no matter how outlandish they might sound.

9. I’ve never participated in a séance or used a Ouija Board.
It’s too scary! I won’t even look in the mirror in the dark because I’m scared Bloody Mary will show up unannounced.

10. I’ve never gone on a ghost hunt or ghost tour.
Pretty sure this comes as no surprise and requires no further explanation.

So basically, I’m a major chicken. I’m scared of my own shadow or if the toast pops up out of the toaster before I’m ready. I’m scared of little noises. I’m scared of no noises. I’m really just here to find out when I can start decorating for Christmas.

Is anyone else as much of a scaredy cat as I am?

 


Meet the Anarchists! | Marissa Meyer’s Renegades Blog Tour

Posted October 30, 2017 by Jana in Blog Tour / 1 Comment

Welcome to my stop along the official blog tour for Marissa Meyer’s Renegades, hosted by Fierce Reads! This tour asks us all to choose a side: are you a renegade (a hero who uses their powers to rebuild Gatlon City and return the world to order) or an anarchist (a villain who wants to take back power and give it to the people)? I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I have chosen my side. I have chosen the…

 

I know, I know. I’m usually all about the good guys, but everyone loves a sexy villain, right? Everyone loves the bad boy/girl. I believe that the power should be in the hands of the people, and not the power-hungry Renegades who pretend they’re all that, but are just in it for themselves.

Marissa Meyer is here to exclusively introduce the Anarchists that you will be reading about in Renegades. I’m pretty sure you’re going to decide you’re on their side as well.

Things You Should Know

• Take this nifty quiz to discover your superpower and choose your side!

• Tell us on social media which side you’ve chosen (meet the Renegades here) using the hashtags #Renegades and #ChooseASide.

• If you pre-order Renegades (out November 7th) and upload your proof of purchase here, you’ll receive some cool buttons that correspond with the side you’ve chosen.


Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Series: Renegades #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 7, 2017
Add to Goodreads
Pre-order from Amazon • B&N 

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

About Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as the graphic novel Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first stand alone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Universe of Marissa Meyer


Top Twelve Pretty Autumn Book Covers

Posted October 10, 2017 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 8 Comments

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we’re sharing ten books that feature autumn themes or have covers that exude the feeling of the fall season. I chose the visual angle of the topic because I love book covers and fall colors. Some of these books are actually fall themed, so happy bonus when that happens! And I chose 12 because I couldn’t stand having only one cover on the bottom row. The curse of being artsy. Well, sone of them.

 

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This book takes place during October and November and it’s TOTALLY a fall book!

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
It takes place in December, but the cover and ambience are so perfect for this time of year!

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
The cover looks fall, but the creepy castle and the mysterious/supernatural happenings make it the perfect read for the fall season!

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
That sunset looks like a fall one to me! And there are plenty of fall themes!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

What covers just scream autumn to you?

Have you read The Hazel Wood or The Historian? I haven’t yet, and am curious if they feel as “fall” as they look!


Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Book Review

Posted October 6, 2017 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Book ReviewHunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
Also in this series: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Published by Jimmy Patterson on September 19, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Bone white. Blood red. Along this path, you’ll soon be dead.

Following the horrifying revelation of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth flees her home in Victorian London to enroll as the only female student in Europe’s most prestigious forensics school. But it’s impossible to find peace in the dark, unsettling Romanian castle that houses the school—and was also once home to the depraved Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Prince Dracula.

When a series of troubling deaths brings whispers of Vlad’s bloodthirsty return from the grave, Audrey Rose and her sharp-witted companion, Thomas Cresswell, must unravel the cryptic clues that will lead them to the shadowlike killer—living or dead.

I absolutely LOVE Dracula stories (which is weird, since I’ve never read Dracula…) and creepy historical fiction, so I was really excited when I learned what the second installment of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series was going to be about. I really, really enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I LOVED Hunting Prince Dracula like a million times more. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. Ok, so DRACULA. I love how Kerri tackles old, old mysteries in a way that makes them feel very real instead of over-the-top and silly. The story of Dracula, of course, is fictional. But the character was named after a real man who did enjoy the taste of blood: Vlad the Impaler. So there’s some truth mixed with a ton of fiction, and it was so wonderful seeing how Kerri would spin that. Dracula felt so real to me.

2. The setting of Hunting Prince Dracula is amazing. The story takes place in Vlad’s actual castle in Romania, which is now the home of an elite forensics school that Audrey Rose and Thomas are attending. This castle has secret alcoves hidden by tapestries, secret trap doors and rooms, and a labyrinth of creepy tunnels that you access through the floor in the morgue. It is surrounded by a creepy wood that is rumored to be filled with all manner of scary animals and people. It’s December at the castle, so it’s bitterly cold outside, it gets dark very early, and the entire world is blanketed in snow. Audrey’s rooms are away from the other rooms since she is the only female attending the school, and she hears creepy things outside her door. And on the roof. It’s just so perfectly creepy without keeping me up at night!

“Winding our way through the narrow path, we finally pulled to a blessed stop outside the castle. Fingers of moonlight reached over the spires and slid down the roof, casting our shadows in sinister shapes. This castle was eerie and I haven’t even stepped inside.”

3. Things were so much swoonier (lol. Totally not a word.) between Audrey and Thomas in this novel and I loved it. There’s all this scandalous tension and innuendo between these two! And chemistry! Their banter is amazing, and so perfect. They sneak around through the castle and night to meet up and discuss or explore the castle and its grounds. There are stolen glances and warm thoughts during class and before bed. It’s just so romantic, yet not heavy on romance if that makes sense. You can feel it there, but there’s so much going on that it’s rarely talked about.

4. I just adore Thomas so much. He’s snarky and flirty and tender and romantic. He’s also dapper and intelligent and forward thinking. And he’s so sweet and silly and loyal and has the driest humor. And he’s so protective of Audrey Rose, it just makes me melt. He was my favorite part of this book. I love seeing more and more of who he is.

“I have a feeling you haven’t invited me here for kissing. Though it never hurts to ask. You’re dressed for sneaking about Dracula’s castle. Be still my thawing, dark heart. You certainly know how to make a young man feel alive, Wadsworth.”

“For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”

5. I liked reading about our flawed Audrey Rose. It’s only been about 2 weeks since the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, and she’s still processing and coming to terms with how that mystery unfolded. She’s scarred and a little damaged, and I enjoyed watching her find her new normal. I’ve always admired her bravery and desire to push the norm, and she continued that in Hunting Prince Dracula even though her scars tried to prevent it.

6. There were a few scenes that had me ready to run for the hills because they were so scary! Like… spiders… and trees made of bones. The tunnels under the castle are filled with terrifying things that you gradually learn about as the story progresses. Audrey and Thomas spend a fair amount of time exploring, and I could never ever do that. I couldn’t stop reading, but also wanted to cover my eyes at the same time. It was amazing!

7. With all the twists and turns and spooky moments and ominous characters, I really had no idea how they were going to solve the mystery. I had no idea how things were going to wrap up. The ending was super climactic and totally blindsided me.

8. Kerri’s writing and prose is beautiful perfection. I could swim in her words. I could wrap them around me like a silk scarf.

Bottom line, Hunting Prince Dracula is a new favorite that I kind of want to read every fall now because it’s so perfect for this season. It’s just the kind of book I want to curl up with under a blanket and read while it storms outside. I loved everything about it… the heat between Audrey and Thomas, the setting, the mystery, and Kerri’s beautiful writing style. I will forever recommend this wonderful story!


Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Posted October 3, 2017 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 16 Comments

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Well FINALLY this topic has come along in my life and I am so excited because book. boyfriends. Maybe I’m alone on this (I know I’m not alone on this), but I totally swoon and fall a little in love with some of the guys from the books I read. It’s not even hard because authors GET IT. So here are my favorite book boyfriends (because I have more than 10… sorry, not sorry), in no particular order, with some pretty amazing fan art because obviously fan art should always happen in a post like this.

 

1. Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.

He’s powerful, protective, handsome, loyal, sensuous, and darkly firm, yet caring. And the things he says to Feyre make me swoon every single time.

2. Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Sarah J. Maas

He’s so dapper and intelligent and forward thinking. And he’s so sweet and silly and loyal and has the driest humor. He’s so protective of Audrey Rose, it just makes me melt. AND READ WHAT HE SAYS:

For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.

3. Étienne St.Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Basically he’s just loving and romantic. I don’t think he’s super cute in my mind, but his personality and who he is makes him the ideal boyfriend.

4. Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

He’s snarky and egotistical, but also funny and sweet. Major crushing going on over here.

5. Malyen Oretsev (a.k.a Mal) from the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

He was Alina’s best friend before they fell in love, and it’s so sweet to hear about their relationship. I just want a Mal for myself! And read this swoony thing he says:

“I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me we don’t belong together.”

6. Lucien Vanserra from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

I have always loved Lucien’s friendship with Feyre. It’s so sweet. I love that he falls in love with all he can, no matter what anyone thinks. He feels very deeply. He’s very loyal to those he cares about, and he’s super snarky and witty. I love his sarcasm. Plus, he’s super handsome regardless of his scars and russet eye.

7. Cassian from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Ok, ok… I’m trying to not make everything about the ACOTAR men, but it seems to be happening. Cassian is super powerful. He has wings, so he can fly me anywhere I want. He’s super confident and cocky, which I don’t always like, but he doesn’t go overboard with it.

8. Jaxon Tyrus Rafferty (a.k.a Rafe) from the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

He’s noble and wonderful!

9. W.W. Hale the Fifth from the Heist Society series by Ally Carter

The gorgeous best friend. He ad Kat have the best tension, and I love their shenanigans. He’s rich and classy, and is always looking out for Kat. His previous life goes to show how unlikely a candidate he is for Kat’s crew, but he fits in so well because you can tell how much he cares for her.

10. Sam from the Newsoul trilogy by Jodi Meadows

This guy is Mr. Perfect, in my book. Because he’s been reincarnated so many times, he’s extremely smart, talented, and mature. He’s unbelievably caring and considerate. He adores Ana and helps her figure out that she’s worth so much more than her birth mother has been telling her her whole life. And he’s musical. Like really, he is an amazing musician. He made me melt a little.

Who are your book boyfriends?