First Impressions: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest, #1)

First Impressions Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest #1

January 17, 2012 – St. Martin’s Griffin

Purpose – Netgalley, Project- Kindle Clean-Up

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.


This is a title that I have been interested in off and on. I received a copy of it before it was published, and for whatever reason never got around to actually reading it. Now since then it has been published, along with the rest of the trilogy. The covers have also been revamped (or maybe it’s the UK edition that I’ve been seeing). Either way, every time I have passed this book, I felt compelled to pick it. The premise of the book sounds interesting. I finally pulled up my review copy. And, it just didn’t hold my attention. I wasn’t even able to make it very far into this. But this may be a case of “it’s not the book it’s me”. My reading tastes has changed a lot since I’ve requested this book, so that may be the cause for my lack of interest.



Always Shine!


First Impressions: Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

FirstbornFirst Impressions Review: Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

January 28, 2014 – Blink YA Books

Source: Netgalley

Project: Kindle Clean-up

I received a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Full disclosure: this is a title that I have had on my kindle for a very long time. I was excited to read this title when I first received it, but with most books I got distracted. And as I received more and more for review, it became a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.   As you can see, this is part of my special project-Kindle Clean-up. I am going through my backlog of old review titles on my kindle. For some books, those that pull me into the story long enough to complete, I will be doing full reviews. For those that I DNF, I will do a first impression review.

I wasn’t drawn into this story. The characters weren’t very compelling. The setup for this society’s culture and beliefs was confusing. The synopsis was confusing. Since it’s been a week since I’ve picked up this title to read and I haven’t even thought about this book, I am moving on to the next title.


Always Shine!

So Far Saturday…….2/18

18I had planned on posting this last week, but I hadn’t finished very many books so I waited. I have fallen behind with my reading, but that’s okay. I thought that I would be on track with my reviews and everything, but I’ve read a few duds. I started and DNF’d a few. There is one that I am still reading, but I plan on finishing it this week. But this is what I have read so far…..

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse # 10

Purpose: Complete a Series

4 stars 

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since I wasn’t too impressed with the last book. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed this installment. Yeah, a part of me is glad that I am coming to the end of the series. But with Dead in the Family everything and everyone seems to be connected. All of the issues that came up are family related. Eric has to deal with his maker and brother. Bill is reunited with an old family -like friend, and is able to address his human family. Sookie is mending fences with her brother  and cousin, as well as other family. Even the werewolves have to deal with internal issues.  But even in the background, a storm is brewing. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Sister Sister

Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin

Purpose: Review/Buddy Read

4 stars 

Full Review on the blog


Torched by April Henry 

Purpose: Read an Author’s Backlist

2 Stars 

I really wanted to like this book. Henry is an author that I respect because of all the work she puts into her books. I have also enjoyed the books that she co-written by Lis Wiehl. I did enjoy her debut book Shock Point. But this one was a bit disappointing. It was a short book, but it still took a while for me to get through. It was slow and boring. The entire situation with Ellie and the FBI was unrealistic and Henry didn’t make a believer out of me. Ellie and Coyote gets an undeserved happily ever after. And though she hardly knows him, her experience with the lynx has convinced  Ellie that she loves Coyote. Umm….no.

City of Wolves

City of Wolves by Willow Palecek 

Purpose: A Random Pick

3.5 Stars 

This was a nice quick read. It was super short, and for the most part the shortness worked in its favor. Drake appeared to be operating on insider information that we, as readers, are not privy too. This made following the murder mystery harder to follow. This also means that we have to trust the conclusions Drake comes to explicitly. But, I did enjoy this story.

True to You (Bradford Sisters #1)

True to You by Becky Wade 

Bradford Sisters #1

Purpose: PW Review

3 Stars 

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11)

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse #11

Purpose: Complete a Series

3 Stars

Okay, so there’s only 2 more books left in the series. I have mixed feelings about this. Once again death and drama surround Sookie. it’s her reaction that I find annoying. This time she plotted and planned and knew that it had to be done.  And yet, she is reacting as if this is the first time she’s had to face it. At this point, if she can’t handle it she need to cut ties and be done with it. But we also learn more about Sookie and her ties to the fairies. It is an interesting history, and I am curious to find out what the fairies are up to.

Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti By Nnedi Okorafor 

Binti #1

4 Stars 

Review will be on the Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog

My Last Five 6/10/16

my last five

I am almost caught up on these. I have been thinking that maybe it would be better to just do monthly wrap-ups or check-ins, since I am still falling behind on this. We shall see.  Here is what I read:

Worth Dying For: A Navy Seal's Call to a Nation Worth Dying For by Rorke Denver and Ellis HeniganThis was a review book from Howard Books, and I have already posted my review. I liked this book, and I have a lot of respect for Denver. I have also been watching him on American Grit and I would love to meet this guy.


My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me: And Other Stories I Shouldn't Share with Acquaintances, Coworkers, Taxi drivers, Assistants, Job Interviewers, Bikini Waxers, and Ex/Current/Future Boyfriends but Have My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary  WinstonThis was a book club pick. While I enjoyed the beginning part of this, her constant degrading of herself grew old. She is a comedy writer for shows that I have found funny, (Blue Collar TV and My Name is Earl). But I didn’t find this book funny. Some of it was, but it appears she did the same stupid stuff with multiple guys and never learned from any of it. Maybe that’s not the case, but I didn’t stick around to find out.

The Tenth Circle The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult:  This was another book club pick. While I didn’t finish it in time for the meeting, I did finish it on my own. By the end of the book, I found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought that I would. It would from being an okay read to a really good one. I could see myself reading this one again.

The Progeny (Descendants of the Blood Countess #1) The Progeny By Tosca Lee (Descendents of the Blood Countess #1) : This was another review book, from Howard Books. I really enjoyed this one. I have already posted my review, and I am looking forward to the next book.

A Monster Calls A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: This is one that I read aloud to my son. (He is too young to really understand what the book – or any book- is about). I think I enjoyed this more because I read it aloud. I liked the story and found that while it was emotional, it was also very engaging. I passed this along to my sister so she can see/understand what death looks like through the eyes of a child. I liked the fact that the monster is there for the truth that we may be blind or ignorant to and not just the surface response of what we think that we want.

My Last Five 4/12

my last five

I am a little late getting this one posted,as well as some reviews. But there was spring break and starting a new position. But I am getting back into the swing of things. But I have been reading.

Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 3: The Tide of BloodKill Shakespeare volume 3: The Tide of Blood by Conor McCreery    3 stars – While I did enjoy this volume, it was not my favorite one of the series.  And as long as it doesn’t take the next volume forever to come out, I do plan on continuing with these graphic novels.

A Brush of Wings (Angels Walking, #3) Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury  Angels Walking #3 5 Stars- I really liked this one. It is the conclusion of a trilogy, and my review is already posted.

 Straight Punch Straight Punch by Monique Polak 5 stars  This was a random book that I picked up from the library. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised, and ended up really liking this story.  I think that the main character was authentic and stronger than she thought that she was. It was definitely a feel-good story, but one that the character had to work for.

Time to Run (Nick of Time #1) Time to Run (Nick of Time #1) by John Gilstrap 3 stars I had this book for review, via Netgalley. And the only reason that I requested this was because I started his Jonathan Graves series and loved it. I will have  full review of this up soon, but I think that it has a decent beginning. This novel is told and released a serial novel before the complete novel comes out. I am not sure if I like that or not, but at least this part came to a decent stopping point.

Could a Shark Do Gymnastics?: ...and other questions - Hilarious scenes bring shark facts to life! Could a Shark Do Gymnastics? and other questions by Camilla De la Bedoyere. 5 stars. This is a review book, via Edelweiss, that I requested for my son. It was not only a cute, funny story, it was full of information. It’s a great step into nonfiction for kids, and presents the information in a way that most kids come about theirs; by asking silly thoughtful questions.

Well, I will have another one of my last five posts to put up shortly. But I am hoping to put up a couple of review posts and a diversity discussion in the meantime.

So, what have you been reading?

Always Shine!



Mini Review: Jack Gantos, Trinidad Giachino and Kate Douglas

Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos 

Book Info and Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts:  I really liked this and I hadn’t expected to, if I am being honest. It was recommended to me by a school librarian, and I will have to thank her. It was funny, history was smoothly integrated and it was relateable. It is something that I would put in a personal or classroom library.

4 stars **** 

(un)DEAD (Detective Saussure Mysteries)

(UN)Dead by Trinidad Giachino 

Book Info and Goodreads Summary
Personal Review Request

My thoughts:  Normally, I force myself to finish review books completely. Especially if the author has reached out to me personally. But there are some books and some times where I can’t.  I made it to 40% of this book, and I still didn’t care one way or the other about Detective Saussere or his client  Lord Hugh. Though this appears to be relatively short, it was difficult to get into. Almost halfway into the book and the only thing I know for sure is that Detective Saussere is trying to figure out why Lord Hugh won’t die. Even Lord Hugh has no idea what made him the way that he is. I am calling foul and moving on.


Dark Wolf (Spirit Wild, #1)

Dark Wolf by Kate Douglas

Spirit Wild #1

Book Info and Goodreads summary

Review for Netgalley

My Thoughts:  I’ve had this title for a while and finally got to it as part of my kindle clean up challenge. I only read 15% before I called it quits. Dark Wolf appears to be a spin-off from one of Douglas’ earlier series. No, it doesn’t seem as if you have to read one before the other. You’re just missing a bit of history and understanding of what the Chanku are. I chose not to go any further with this story because it falls more on the erotic side of romance. Too much heat and arousal and not enough story for my taste.


**Some, or all, books may be review books. Review books are given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. **

Always Shine!

Mini Review: Kelsey Sutton,Gina Damico and Jenna Black

Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place, #1)

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton 

Some Quiet Place #1

Book Info and Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts:  I enjoyed this story. I think it went a little too long without knowing what was going on. If it had been a little clearer up front, at least for the reader, I would have liked it a bit more. As it is, I liked it enough to recommend it if you are looking for a good, sort of weird read.

3 stars *** 

Scorch (Croak, #2)

Scorch by Gina Damico 

Croak #2

Book Info and Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts:  What the hell! Holy croakers! What did I just read? Lex and the juniors are back. This time Uncly Mort’s not in charge- death and deception are still a part of Croak.  lex seems to be super whiny but, with everything that’s happening, I’ll have to let it slide. This was another whirlwind adventure and I enjoyed every minute of it.

4 stars ****

Sirensong (Faeriewalker, #3)

Sirensong by Jenna Black 

Faeriewalker #3

Book Info and Goodreads Summary

My Thoughts:  Well, it’s over. Or at least I think that it is. It read like it was the last one, but there were still quite a few unanswered questions.  With the exception of a novella published a year after this book, it appears that the author has moved on. I’m kind of glad since it didn’t appear that this series was improving. Dana was still a whining, horny teenage girl.  Her secrets all came back to bite her. There wasn’t a character that I truly liked. But, they all managed to annoy me. And I completed the trilogy.

2 stars **

Always Shine!