June 29, 2015

I Ship It :: Scarlet & Wolf

So I recently discovered this website as well as this long-expired link up (it's from Valentine's Day). But I loved this idea, so I decided to write a post anyway! I have so many favorite couples in fiction. From Anne and Wentworth (Persuasion), to Sam and Alex (Dear Ms. Knightley), to Madison and Beckett (Barefoot Summer), to Finley and Beckett (There You'll Find Me), and many, many more! But I ultimately decided to talk (gush more like) about Scarlet and Wolf from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Because they are AWESOME. They really, really are. I love these two together. They make my heart happy! Even now, I'm grinning just thinking about them. :D

So without further ado, I give you Scarlet and Wolf (aka: The Fabulous and Formidable Scarlet and Wolf ;)

​​What is their current relationship status, and how did they meet?

They both know the other loves them, but they are currently separated. *sniff sniff* (Ms. Meyer, you'd BETTER give them their happy ever after! I mean it.)

They met when Wolf approached Scarlet for some tomatoes she was trying to sell.

Why do you want them to be together? What makes them better together?

They just fit. They understand each other, they protect each other, they go against every instinct telling them not to trust the other and trust anyway (with a few ups and downs in that trust :). They find a true partner and the first feeling of home in each other (more so on Wolf's side, but true of Scarlet as well). They complete each other so perfectly. I was committed to both of them pretty much from their very first meeting! And Wolf's heartbreak at the end of Cress?! Oh my poor heart. They need each other!

What song(s) remind you of them?

Ah, let me get back to you on that?

How would they divide household chores (cooking, cleaning, etc.)?

I think Scarlet would probably do most of it, but Wolf would probably love the chance to learn how a normal household works (plus just be able to spend more time with Scarlet). Which means they'd end up sharing some of it.

What would this couple argue most about, and who is most likely to compromise?

At this point, I think they'd fight most about Wolf learning to become more open. His life hasn't been easy (well, neither has Scarlet's for that matter) and learning to integrate into normal society will be difficult for him So that means Scarlet would probably compromise the most, because she loves him and knows how difficult this will be for him.

What interests do they share?

Hmmm. Well, I'm kind of drawing a blank for this one.... (Embarrassing. I say they're one of my top favorite couples, yet I can't remember these sorts of details? *embarrassed grin*)

Are they introverts, extroverts, one of each?

I would venture to say Scarlet may be a bit more extroverted, yet has lots of introverted qualities, and Wolf much more introverted (for good reason!). But together, I think they'd really help each other to open up and be awesome. Not that they aren't already awesome, of course (because they are!).

What would their first date be like? (If they've already had their first date, describe their ideal date.)

At this point, I think they'd both just really love to spend some quiet time with each other. Haven't had much of that in the short amount of time they've known each other! So spending several hours with just the two of them I think might be precisely what they need. Some time to truly talk and express their hearts.

Do they get along with each other's families?

Um...well...if you consider Cinder and her gang a family (which they totally are), then yes! As for meeting their real, biological families, neither of them really get the chance to do that. Wolf may or may not meet Scarlet's grandmother (I kind of forget?), but it's not in the context of "meeting my significant other's grandmother", so...

In what ways do they drive each other crazy? In what ways do they drive other people crazy together?

(To be honest, it's been a little while since I read their story and I kind of forget some of the precise details. So this question I'm not entirely certain how to answer. I think a reread is in order soon!)

Wolf's natural tendency to be a bit dominating and fierce can cause Scarlet some frustrating moments. And Wolf isn't used to normal human beings, so there's probably a great deal that he finds frustrating about all he has to learn. And together? I think since they're so different from each other (in the physical/physiological sense), yet they so obviously care deeply about the other that their cuteness can probably be slightly too sweet? This requires more thought...

Where would they go for their honeymoon/a romantic getaway?

Hmmm. Definitely not the moon! ;D I'm forgetting if either of them expresses a desire to visit somewhere specific, so I suppose I'll go with: it doesn't really matter where they go. The important bit is that they just have time together. As long as it's just the two of them, nothing else is probably as big a deal.

Do they share any similarities to classic romantic couples? (I.E., Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Beauty and the Beast)

Ha! Yep, Beauty and the Beast would be pretty apt. :D Maybe a bit of Lizzy and Darcy too, in that they don't always communicate well, at least at first. But they're getting there!

What would their "celebrity couple" name be? (I.E., Brangelina) ​​

Scarf? (Okay, that's terrible.) Hmmm. Wolflet? (Yeah, that's not much better.) I'm not cut out for this sort of decision!

Where do you see this couple in 10 years?​

Provided Wolf (and Cinder and Kai and Thorne and Cress and Iko and....the whole gang!) can save her (which they WILL.) (They'd better or I will not be a happy reader.), I picture them happy together. Beyond that, I'll see how the final book ends and then maybe come back and say for sure. But they're definitely happy in the future! Those two deserve ALL the happiness!

June 27, 2015

New Cover Reveal :: The Seahorse Legacy by Serena Chase {Plus a Giveaway!}

Hello dear readers! I am excited to share a beautiful new book cover with you today. Ms. Chase had her original cover redesigned and I get to let you be among the first to take a peek at it! Plus she's giving away some very fun items, so all in all, this post is made of win, yes? I knew you'd think so too. :)

Also of note, The Seahorse Legacy is already out on Amazon, but the story itself has gotten a bit of a facelift as well. Just a small one, according to Ms. Chase, but if you haven't read the series yet (why on earth not?! Here's my review of book one if you're interested) or if you haven't gotten a copy of this one, then now is the time! Plus you'll be all prepared for book four, The Sunken Realm, which should be out in late Summer. (It cannot arrive fast enough for me! I am SO excited to find out what's coming next for Erielle and Cazien! :)

So? What do you think? Kind of dark and mysterious and intriguing, isn't it? I love how their eyes stand out so brightly. And the pirate ship on the sea of red is awesome! Sailing into the sunset, perhaps? Doesn't this make you want to know what the story is about? Please say yes! Because I happen to think this series is fabulous and I'm pretty sure you will too. :)

About the Book

a Pirate, bound by a centuries-old oath

As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

a Knight, determined to prove her calling

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

a Legacy, demanding surrender

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

The third book in this series-within-a series, The Seahorse Legacy begins an epic re-imagining of several fairy tales combined--including an unexpected twist on The Twelve Dancing Princesses. This romantic adventure will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: The Sunken Realm, coming late Summer 2015.

About the Author

SERENA CHASE lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found coaching her local high school's Color Guard, watching action movies, and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea. Connect with Serena on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Visit her website to subscribe to her newsletter and gain access to exclusive, subscriber-only content.


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June 26, 2015

Five Things For Friday

Thing 1 - Precisely what the picture says. I hope you are having a delightful Friday! If not, well....at least tomorrow's the weekend, right?

Thing 2 - The lovely Amber is hosting "A Special Jane Austen Read-Along" in July! I hope you'll join in the fun? We're reading Persuasion, which just happens to be my fave Austen book (and I promise I had absolutely no say in choosing it. It's Amber's fault that I get to gush over this story for three whole weeks! ;)

Thing 3 - The Inspy Award winners will be announced on Sunday, June 28th! I haven't talked much about it here, but I had the honor of participating this year and let me just say that every single book nominated in my category was wonderful. Check out the shortlists here.

Thing 4 - If you enjoy The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit movies, you should go gush with Hamlette. She spent four months writing 28 different posts about her favorite things in the movies. From favorite scenes, favorite costumes, favorite one-on-one fights, favorite songs, etc, she covers it all! Seriously. Go check it out.

Thing 5 - Stay tuned! On Saturday (that's tomorrow, folks!) I have an awesome cover reveal and giveaway coming.

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

June 25, 2015

And The Winners Are......!!!


First, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all who entered my giveaways. I admit to being a bit nervous that only one or two people would enter, so I was ever so pleased when so many comments came in! I sincerely wish I could send a book to all of you! :)

So! The two winners are as follows:

The Near Witch ~ Olivia

Undeniably Yours ~ Heather

I will be notifying both of you for your mailing addresses. Please note that you need to contact me back by July 1st.

Thanks again, friends! I hope your week has been delightful! :)

June 24, 2015

Little Letters :: Thirteenth Edition

{It's been way too long since I posted one of these! Which is ridiculous since I love these posts.}

Dear A/C Repair Guys, THANK YOU. Another week at work with no a/c was not what I was looking forward to at all. I am so grateful you finally showed up. (Even if you were a day late.) When it's 90 degrees or better outside, a/c is very, very, very important.

Dear Hannah and Hamlette, you guys rock! I heart our bookish convos. Every time I get an email notification of another blog comment from either of you, it just makes me happy. I hope y'all know how awesome you are. (Plus I just found out that Hamlette discovered A Snicker of Magic and loved it! How spindiddly is that?! :)

Dear Summer, well, you certainly decided to show up with a bang! No slowly creeping in happening here. Nosiree, you are bright and hot and dancing everywhere! I could've used a little more time to adjust, but as you didn't ask me my opinion, I suppose I'll take what I got. (I am enjoying your sunshine! Just not your heat and humidity.)

Dear Antique Tractor Show, I really only visited because dad is so involved and required my help. Turns out you can be quite fun! I admit the fresh, homemade (giant!) doughnuts enticed me a lot more than the tractors though. ;)

Dearest Nephew of Mine, thank you for driving the golf cart so carefully. Also for not minding that your aunt was around, especially when your friends showed up. I'm very thankful you missed that ditch I was sure I was about to be tossed in! All in all, I think I won't be too worried when it comes time for you get your driver's license. (Still glad you've got a few years left to practice though!)

Dear #BookBesties (or Rissi and Amber), our twitter convos never fail to make me grin. There is just nothing like chatting with friends who get you. I love that we start out a convo all serious-like and end up talking in exclamation points about some book we all love! You both are awesome. The end.

Dear Nutella, is it bad that my jar is almost empty and 90% of it was eaten with a spoon? What can I say, sometimes a girl just needs a midnight snack, you know?

Dear Rel and All The Inspy Ladies, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process this year! Thank you SO much for the opportunity to participate. I don't know how y'all got started or whose idea it was, but woohoo for them!

Dear November, can't we change all your publishing dates to June?! I am beyond ready to read Winter and The Bronte Plot! Seriously. I NEED them. Like now.

Dear Blog Readers, I don't know how many people actually read my thoughts, but those of you do are awesome. I'm so grateful that you stick with me, even in the weeks where I sporadically post or don't post. Thank you for sharing this little spot with me. Even if we've never chatted, please know that I am very happy you visit! It means a great deal that you visit actually. So thanks. :)

June 17, 2015

To The Creators...

Do you write? Or make? Or sing? Or dance? You must be a creator. An Artist. a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria

That's a word that took a long time for me to accept as a description of myself. Artist. That was other people. Not me. All I did was write a few words occasionally on this blog. Or in my journal. Once in a while I get inspired to write poetry. But none of this is very consistent. It just....happens.

And yet! All that adds up to making me an artist. I can acknowledge that now. Oh, I don't think I'll ever be a famous artist. I seriously doubt I'll do much that people other than my friends and family will appreciate. But still. I am an artist. Simply because I create. It isn't always beautiful. It isn't always worth sharing. It isn't always lovely or amazing. In fact, most of the time it's not good at all. But oh.....that moment that the words come together. That moment when things just flow and I know. I know that it's good. No one but me may ever read it, yet that takes nothing away from the knowing it's good.

What about you? Do you question it, like I did? Have you ever even imagined that word describing you?

Then you need to read this post: An Anthem For An Army

Even if you already know you're an artist, you should read that post.

It's "To the ones who dare to create, to the ones who are almost brave enough to try, and the ones who still seek." Doesn't that describe you? I bet it does. Go. Read.

June 15, 2015

The Great Book Giveaway Bonanza!!!!

So the lovely Hamlette is showcasing a huge book giveaway celebration starting today! If you click over here, you shall have access to lots and lots of giveaways to choose from. Enter only one or enter them all! Giveaways are simply awesome, yes? :D

I decided to have two separate giveaways for y'all. Fun, right? I hope you think so. Anyhoo! Here's all the details...

First up! One paperback copy of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. I read this one last year and positively fell in love with it. Y'all, it is so atmospheric and delightful! (Here's my review if you're interested.) I already own a hardback copy and when I found this one at a library sale (in great condition!) I could not leave it there. So now one of you fabulous people get the chance to own it.

Second up! Your choice of Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade or How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler. I accidently purchased a second copy of Ms. Wade's and also now own a signed copy of Ms. Wisler's. So I figured that meant I should give them away to some lucky person! If you like foodie stories, then How Sweet It Is would be a wonderful addition to your personal library. And Becky Wade is one of the best writers of swoonworthy heroes out there. :)

There now, you know what your options are. To participate, please leave a comment below with your email address (otherwise I can't notify you if you win) and especially specify which book(s) you'd like to be entered for! (And yes. You may enter both of them.) Then click over to all the other giveaways and try your chances there.

I've never hosted a giveaway before, so I hope I have at least a few happy participants? :) Oh! And these giveaways both end on June 24th fyi. Thanks for joining in!

June 10, 2015

Book Anticipation {or Waiting is Hard, People!}

{I haven't participated in Booking Through Thursday in ages! But I happened to be searching for some post ideas and ran across this question from a year ago. Thought it would be fun to join in again!}
Do you still get excited about new books as you did when you were little? In general? New books in particular, like from a favorite author? Or do you look at all new, unread books with the same level of anticipation?

YES! I still get excited about new books!

I chose that particular picture above because it features a book that I anticipated for months and months and MONTHS before it came out. My patience was wearing very, very thin, I do admit. But! It was so worth the wait, because it is such a delightful story! Based on one of my very favoritest books ever, it is full of heartache, happiness, and real moments. I have reread it several times and each time just makes me love it more. If you haven't read it, you really should remedy that, by the by.

*ahem* But this post is not about Dear Mr. Knightley. (Although clearly I could gush about it if you wanted! ;)

13206900Anyhoo! So yes. I still get excited. I anticipate new arrivals long before their publishing dates arrive. I count down the months and/or the days. Sometimes even the hours! (Confession: I have stayed up until the wee hours just so I could download an ebook as soon as it was available. Of course, I probably would have been up that late anyway, but that's beside the point.)

Yet I also look forward to any book that is new to me! I still *happy dance* when I have a book waiting for me that I have not read yet, regardless if it's been out for years or just for a few hours.

I will admit that favorite authors who have new books coming out make me a bit more excited though. Like Katherine Reay's The Bronte Plot! Or Marissa Meyer's Winter! Or....lots of others as well. (Although I do think that Winter is the highest on my anticipation list. I need it like NOW. *impatient sigh*) (Also. Isn't that cover amazing?! How long until November again? *woefully contemplates the calendar*)

*whispers* And sometimes I haven't had to wait near as long. Because a certain author who goes by the name of Katherine Reay once gifted me a copy of her book a few months before it was published! (I know, right?! That solidified her on my favorite author list. Not that she was in any danger of losing that position, but.... :)

So basically, all books are worth getting excited over! At least for me. While I wait very impatiently for some (still looking at you, Winter), others I only have to wait a few hours until I can get home and start it. Either way, I have to say that most of the books I'm anticipating especially a lot leave me very happy once I'm finished. Because BOOKS. Are. Awesome. The end.

What about you? Do you get as excited as I do? Or are you all adult about it? :D

June 9, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Twelve

I am SO incredibly behind on my reviews! *wails* So here are a couple just big enough to swallow down quickly. That way I can spend more time trying to get my incoherent thoughts down on some other reviews I'm currently working on. (Some books just bring the feels, you know? And feels are difficult to write about.)

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund
My very first foray into Ms. Hedlund's writing! So many blogging friends have raved over her books which made me wish to read one. And when I heard that she had a YA book coming out, I just knew that would be the perfect one to start. I was right, this story is delightful! A heroine who learns how much strength she really has, three handsome knights to vie for her hand (and let me just say that a certain someone is very swoonworthy! ;), a villain who must be defeated, sword fighting, chivalry, a vow to contend with, and romantic adventures all combine to make for a wonderful story. I loved it! A quick easy read that made me smile at one moment, giggle at another, and shout hurrah when the good guys win. It is fairly short, which does mean that the romance moves rather rapidly. But they are both so sweetly earnest and cute that it doesn't matter in the least. And there's hints to the next story in the series, which has me anxious for it's publishing date! You should read this one. I'm positive that it'll make you grin. :)

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Ms. Smith has quickly risen to the top of my list of favorite authors! Her stories never fail to make me sigh with happiness and this one is no exception. Lucy and Owen's journey is such fun! As they come together and get pulled apart, they impact each other in ways they'd never imagined. I loved their introspective moments, especially Lucy's. So much of life is figuring out who you are, whether you're a teen or an adult, and watching each of them struggle through these moments and come out the other side much more confident in themselves is lovely. Of course, life is still life, so those struggles are far from over. Yet they've got their families to rely on, their friends, and each other. I absolutely loved how they truly became friends. The romantic parts are sweet, don't get me wrong! But the way they help each other to become better versions of themselves, whether intentionally or not, is wonderful. They build a great foundation for themselves, which I appreciated. The romance feels kind of secondary through much of the book, mainly because of the distance between them. Yet there is much cuteness to swoon over, don't you worry. ;) A charmer of a story plus an awesome cover makes for happy reading for me!

June 8, 2015

Review: Dune by Frank Herbert

Where do I begin? To describe all my complicated feelings about this story seems nigh on impossible. But I want to try, so I'll begin with how awesome the world-building is. Because I was amazed at the degree of detail Mr. Herbert wrote! Yet he left just enough to the imagination so that I could clearly picture this planet. Dune (or Arrakis) was so vividly in my mind while I was reading this story. The sand, the severity of little water, the worms in all their awful, yet somehow fascinating glory, the people. Oh the people! I heard from fellow readers that Mr. Herbert is often compared to Tolkien, and when it comes to the world-building I can easily see why. There is an entire world of which we only get one small glimpse. And the epicness and vastness of this world is potently felt. That was one of my favorite parts actually.

But I want to be honest. So I have to say that I did not love this story. It took me a little while to get used to Mr. Herbert's writing style for one thing. We jump from this character to that character to the other character over here with little to no preparation or explanation. It was very jarring at first. We also jump from important scene to important scene, with no trivial moments happening. Every single thing that happens is important later. Unfortunately, I think much of this flew right over my head. There are so many undercurrents and details that I know I missed. I was very, very grateful for fellow readers who could explain things for me! (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jenni and Bella!)

 And while we may spend a great deal of time in Paul's head (as he is the main character), I could never come around to understanding him. Which is probably my biggest disappointment. Characters are what make or break a story for me. (Usually.) And these characters, particularly Paul, felt entirely emotionless. I was told they felt this way or that, but I could never feel it with them. They all seemed very distant. Paul and Lady Jessica were important enough to the story that I kept thinking that I should trust them, yet I couldn't seem to shake the feeling like they were untrustworthy. (I don't really know why?) Back and forth I would go until I just gave up the idea of trusting them and went with the flow.

However, all that being said, can I also mention how riveting it is? Because while I kind of checked out on liking it, I could not put it down! I kept wanting to skim ahead to try and catch up with the others in the read-along, but the book completely prevented me from being able to do so. There are so many scenes and convos that hinge on things said or done in the past and hard as I tried, I could not read any faster. Kudos to Mr. Herbert! :D

It also really felt like the book had been deliberately plotted from the beginning. That the writer knew precisely where he was headed and what he wanted to happen. Not one character or moment was carelessly thrown in. And while I may not have loved the end result, I can absolutely appreciate the skill and talent involved. I'm actually quite glad I read it, surprising as that may sound! :)

And Kynes, returning the stare, found himself troubled by a fact he had observed here: This Duke was concerned more over the men than he was over the spice. He risked his own life and that of his son to save the men. he passed off the loss of a spice crawler with a gesture. The threat to men's lives had him in a rage. A leader such as that would command fanatic loyalty. He would be difficult to defeat. Against his own will and all previous judgments, Kynes admitted to himself: I like this Duke.


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