Book Review: The Guilded Stone

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My 2020 has been going well so far. So well in fact that I slightly forgot about my blog. Well, not forgot about it, but I haven’t had much time for it.

One of those reasons is because I have had my nose stuck in a book half the time, which is how I wanted my year to go! 🙂 Between my new book club (a post on that later) and my massive TBR pile, I have been enjoying catching up on some good reads.

One of my faves so far of the year, is a book I was SO EXCITED to finally get my hands on. I was lucky to get an ARC of ‘The Guilded Stone’, by Candace Osmond, which is book five in the Dark Tides series.

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What good is a happily ever after if it’s all ripped away by the hands of a devilish siren?

When Dianna’s children go missing, she and Henry are left with no choice but to do something they swore they’d never do again…travel back to the 1700s. But with their children’s lives in the hands of an unpredictable siren, they must make a hasty decision; trust that the sea creature will return their kids…or find a way to go back in time and risk never coming home again.

They soon realize they’ll have to travel further than they’ve ever gone; beyond our world to the mythical realm of Faerie to save their children. A task easier said than done. The rumored entrance lays across the ocean. They needed a ship.
And a crew…

In hopes of saving the family they started in the future, Dianna and Henry must search for the family they left behind in the past and travel across the sea to an unknown world. But four years is a long time and things aren’t quite as they left them.

Can they sail across the sea and uncover the entrance to Faerie before it’s too late? Or will they find themselves broken hearted and lost in time with nowhere to go?

I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this book! If you have read my past book reviews, then you know I am in love with this time travel series, that has a pirate with a dark past, a strong and sometimes stubborn woman, a band of ragtag people who are fiercely loyal, magick, witches, sirens and more.

After the huge cliffhanger of book four, I started reading this as soon as I hand my ARC (advanced reading copy).

One thing I love about this series is that Candace’s writing is consistent,  it flows and there is always something happening. We are always on our toes with adventure, mystery, or some other plot that is a foot. If I didn’t know better, I’d say these novels are written as if she sat down, wrote an epic tale, and then decided to break it up into smaller novels. I always know what I am getting into when I read something by Candace. She is an excellent story teller and writer.

The story starts off with Dianna getting a threat of sorts from a siren. Return to the past, or have her children taken away from her. Instead of telling Henry, she tries to deal with things on her own, not wanting to worry him. And I think in her own way, she thought the siren would give up eventually. That is, until one day her children are missing.

Dianna and Henry are heartbroken, and must return to the past to find their babies. But things don’t go so well for them. Dianna ends up in the past, alone. Henry is nowhere to be found, she can’t find the kids and so she sets out to find her friends.

The reunion is bittersweet. Finn and Dianna prove that, no matter what, a true friendship can survive distance, secrets and the bad times. While Finn is thrilled to have her back, the same can’t be said for the others.

During the book, more secrets are revealed, a relationship put to the test, heartbreak and also in true Candace form, another cliffhanger. But that’s okay because there’s going to be a book six. 😉

I could ramble on and tell so many spoilers, but I think you should grab the book yourself and dive into this book! It’s now available wherever books are sold. Here are a couple of links:

Amazon

kobo

 

Another Spin Around The Sun

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2019

My feelings about 2019 summed up perfectly.

I think most of us can agree 2019 was for the pits.

Mr. C needed major surgery (and we are still waiting on biopsy results);  my mother is in hospital while waiting for a nursing home (and rapidly declining while she is there), several other loved ones got bad news, my depression was bad and my anxiety started getting out of control. Between hospital visits and the like, I became exhausted and I stopped taking care of myself.

If you are reading this and can take just one thing away, please let it be this: self care is important. I learned this the hard way.

But 2019 had light spots along the way. We learned who our true friends were, D&D nights are the best way to spend time with friends, and our Greyhound is still coming out of her shell, even becoming a cuddle bug. We must be doing something right.

Thanks to a doctor I spoke to when getting a med refill, she referred me to mental health, and now I am doing a program called ICAN, which is helping me gain control of my anxiety. It’s forced me to take care of myself, and I am starting to feel like my old self again, a little at a time. (My couch is amazing. He’s helped me more then he could ever know).

The end of 2019 has had me gaining control and getting organized. While I have said before I don’t do resolutions for the new year, I do plan to continue my progress for 2020. Staying more positive, continuing to work on my anxiety, and getting back to the things I love. I have started a book club and have made a plan to get organized in the new year. Change and progress doesn’t happen overnight. But I am feeling pretty good about the new year.

Hello 2020, I look forward to meeting you.

Book Review: Wicked Magic

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Earlier this month I read an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Wicked Magic (A touch of Darkness, book 1) , written by Candace Osmond and Rebecca Hamilton.

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Every Wicked Born must accept whatever fate the Sorting Ceremony grants them…

Being the Daughter of a Light High Priestess means Lydia Laveau has one fate: the life of a light witch. But when her ceremony chooses her for the Dark Faction—something deemed impossible—her world crashes down around her.

Soon, Lydia finds herself wrapped up in a clandestine whirlwind of blackmail, illegal magic, and betrayal. She has one goal: keep her head down, get through her five year pledge at the school for dark witches, and return to the human world she calls home.

But when she meets Anson Abernathy, a drop dead gorgeous third year Wicked Born accused of murder, she finds herself drawn to him…and all the danger that comes with their attraction.

Can Lydia survive her five-year pledge without unraveling centuries of tradition? Or will her own secrets unlock answers that threaten her very existence

I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this novel. Being a fan of witches, magick, books like Harry Potter, I knew I would love this book from the start. It did not let me down! It was so good, that when I finished the roller coaster ride I would have lit a cigarette if I smoked. 😉

Lydia is certain of her life and its path. Turn eighteen, have her sorting ceremony, attend Arcane Academy and then get back to the human world and be a reporter with her best friend. But her life and her plans make a drastic turn when she is sorted into the Dark Faction, instead of the Light.

She is thrown into a world where she can’t trust anyone, aside from the small few who befriend her. But even when it comes to them she can’t know who to fully trust. Her fellow students dislike her, as she’s not ‘one of them’. On top of that she falls for Anson, who allegedly murdered another student, and the Dark Dean is pressuring her into an event she wants nothing to do with. Lydia is trying to find her place, get through her five years, but it’s hard when she’s being black mailed over a secret she can’t risk getting out.

Wicked Magic flows so well, is full of twists and surprises, and kept me wanting more. I needed to know the answers: who could Lydia trust, what was Anson really capable of and what are the Dark Dean’s real motives.

I can’t wait for book two, and to see what fate has in store for Lydia.

 

 

The World Sucks Sometimes

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I’m having a hard time, folks.

Usually when I come on here, I talk about my favorite things: A book review, a comic con trip or something writing related. This is my little place to chat about things I love.

But today I need to talk about something else. I have all these emotions and I don’t know what to do with them.

My faith in humanity is waning.

I used to think if I ever won the lotto, I would quit my job, buy a cozy cabin in the country and work on my writing. It was a nice happy thought. A place by the water, where I would have the best view of my private paradise.

But now when I think about that it’s my idea of escaping the outside world. Every time I turn on the news, I see something awful. Facebook is full of horrible stories. A dog (Galgo) found hung up in an empty building, the orangutan shot over 70 times (I HATE animal abuse). I see stories of children being murdered, the environment going to shit and increased violence and racism.

It all makes me sick. And it feels like it is all I ever see and hear.  It really gets to a person after awhile. Maybe I am the only one who feels like this, but I am sick of this shit. I don’t understand how people can do so much nasty shit. Who has the sick mind to string up a dog? How can someone hate another just because their skin tones don’t match? And how can a grown ass person think it is ok to beat a senior citizen?

I don’t mean to be a Negative Nelly here. I really don’t. I’m just trying to make sense of things and sort out my emotions. I am cursed with the fact I am far too empathetic. Well, on days like today it feels like a curse.

I guess all I can do is share the good news stories, and put as much good out in the world as I can.

 

For The Writer Who Loves-or Needs!- to be Organized

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I don’t know about you, but as a writer I have everything EVERYWHERE. Random pieces of paper fill my desk, purse, and even pockets. When I have an idea and can’t get to a notebook I grab whatever I can.

I also have all my notes scattered. A variety of notebooks have ideas, blog posts, things to do etc…I can’t keep everything in one spot.

For the last little while, planners have become an addiction for some people. There are all sorts of templates, print outs, and even Youtube videos about how to make your planners functional and pretty.

I have looked at all sorts of planners but I haven’t found one for writers. And on the rare time I do, they are lacking something. I wanted a set/planner that covered all the basics of writing life.

I gave up on finding such a thing until yesterday. My friend announced her most recent secret project, and it makes my little writing heart happy.

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The Writer’s Complete Planner All sorts of pages for the writer who needs to get orgainzed!

Sherry started a new Etsy shop called Writers Corner Shop, and is selling the planner pages she has created.

The pages cover many of the basics, from story boarding, blog posts, goal list, self publishing tracker as well as traditional planner must haves like a calendar and bonus: beautiful divider pages with inspirational quotes. The kit contains 35 different pages to help you sort out your writing life.

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The pages are beautiful!

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You have your choice of grey scale or colored pages. You can print these off without it being an ink guzzler! 

The full set, which is available as an instant download, is just $12! If you’re interested in grabbing these up for yourself or checking out the store, you can check out The Writer’s Corner shop and see what’s what!

Book Review: Greyhound of the Baskervilles

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Greyhound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle with some new bits by John Gaspard

My husband knows how much of a crazy dog lady I am. Sometimes while he is working away, he sends me random surprises. So finding this book in my mailbox one afternoon made my day. I just finished reading it and writing a review for a newsletter for a greyhound group I’m in, so I thought I would share here.

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This is new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
It’s the same story. Mostly. That is, it contains the same characters, the same action, and much of the same dialogue.
What’s different?
Well, it’s a little shorter, a little leaner, a little less verbose in some sections.
But the chief difference is that it’s now narrated by a dog. A greyhound, in fact, named Septimus.
In this new edition, he tells his story of how he became “The Greyhound of the Baskervilles.”

Legend has it that the Baskerville family are cursed to be murdered by a demonic hound that lives upon the moor. So when Henry Baskerville is the next heir set to move into the family home in Devonshire, there are worries that his life is in danger. Holmes sends Watson and Septimus to go with Henry, and start an investigation into the truth behind the hell hound.

.I was very pleased to discover that the book is in the point of veiw of Septimus, the greyhound that Sherlock rescued. Septimus takes his job seriously, as he knows he plays an important role in helping his master solve crimes.

The creepy atmosphere is perfect for this mystery. The moor, the fog and curious neighbors all combine well for this tale.

I highly recommend this book for any bookworm who loves dogs, especially greyhounds. I love the classics but I find sometimes they can be a bit verbose, so I enjoyed this leaner version. I was chuckling in the first few pages at Septimus. Like any dog, he worries he will starve to death one day (even though he is very well fed) and he can be stubborn (who wants to walk in the rain?!)

Does Septimus help save the day? Does the hell hound exist and who really wants the Baskervilles dead? You will just have to get a copy and find out yourself. 😉

I found this cartoon by Richard Skipworth, which I found very fitting. 😉

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Book Review: Reigning Magicks by Candace Osmond and J.J. King

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An Irish witch from the past. A Romani sorcerer from the future. And a bond of love that stretches across the threads of time.

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Ashlynn is an Irish princess, set to sit on her father’s throne and rule her people. The only problem is: an arranged marriage she wants nothing to do with. She wants the clans to unite, but not by marrying because of duty. She seeks the seer, in hopes of finding another solution to her problem.  But it just creates a new one: thanks to a spell gone wrong, Ashlynn is thrust over three hundred years into the future. Not only does she have to adjust to this new world, she needs to figure out why the spell went wrong and how she can get back to her own people.

Cian is a Roma prince, set to marry in just two weeks.  He is set on this duty to unite the clans, that is until Ashlynn comes along. She is unlike his fiance Serena, who is a vile woman set  on the power their marriage will give her. Cian makes it his mission to help Ashlynn but in the process her falls in love with her.

Did the spell really go wrong, or was it destiny? How can Ashlynn get back to her own time and how can Cian get out of a marriage without causing a war between the clans?

Reigning Magicks is currently in the Rite to Reign box set, which I have just started reading. In the near future it will be available as a stand alone novel!

I am really impressed with this book. Co-authoring isn’t easy, but these two make it look seamless! I forgot that two creative women wrote this book as I was reading. The style and flow of the writing was consistent throughout the story. Each character voice stayed true. Their hard work has really paid off. This is book one in their A Witch In Time series and I am really excited for book two!

 

Something For Fans of Candace Osmond

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Last year I read and reviewed the Dark Tides series by Candace Osmond. I fell in love with these books. I found myself lost in the world of pirates, time travel, magick and adventure. These best selling books are for any fantasy lover, especially fans of Outlander and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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Candace has something special for her fans, as well as those who have yet to discover this series. She has put together a collection that contains all four books (The Devil’s Heart, The Blackened Soul, The Pirate Queen, The Siren’s Call) PLUS a brand new short story!!!

The short story features Benjimin Cook, the pirate once living on a cursed pirate ship with his brother. The story gives insight to his thoughts as well as whets the appetite for more. I have a feeling the new short story and the future book five will connect. I think I figured out one connection but won’t say here: you will just have to read the series and short story yourself!

If you want to nab this collection, head  over here to grab yours!

If you want to check out my reviews on this series, you can find them here:

The Devil’s Heart

The Pirate Queen

The Blackened Soul

The Siren’s Call

I will be sure to update you on any future Dark Tides news!

Book Review: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making of The Princess Bride

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Book two of 2019 is one that my hubby gave me for a gift last year. I’ve crossed off ‘A book that makes you feel nostalgic’ on my  reading challenge . It was the perfect gift. before I get into my review, I should say a few things.

First, The Princess Bride Came out when I was five. I watched it at least five hundred times, if not more. I can recite dialogue as it is being said, (or randomly with friends). This movie made me fall in love with fantasy, pirates, princesses and whimsical worlds. It has gotten me through illnesses (including the WORST FLU EVER, when I watched it 9 times in one week). It is the movie I pick up when I am blue, when I am happy or whenever I just want to relive the story of Westly and Buttercup.

I have read the book, which sits proudly on my bookshelf. I own the board game, and am planning a tattoo. So when Mr. C gave me this book, I fell in love with him even more. Because that man just gets me.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

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This book is a MUST HAVE for any fan of the film. Cary writes about all aspects of making the film, including when he was cast, the table reading, meeting his fellow cast mates, how he injured himself on set: twice, preparing for the duel, and the last day of filming.

He tells stories of what it was like having Billy Crystal on set, the night he went for drinks with Andre the Giant and how the film became a classic

There are also inserts from many people who worked with him, giving their take on the movie, different things that happened and how the film affected them.

I devoured this book, and I am so pleased that Cary Elwes wrote it. It will sit on my bookshelf, right next to my copy of The Princess Bride. Now if you will excuse me, I think it is time for me to watch the best film ever made.

What film(s) have affected you? Which one got you through rough patches or made you fall in love with new worlds?

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is my first read of the New Year, and it also crosses ‘A Book You Meant To Read In 2018’ off of my list from Pop Sugars reading challenge.

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In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I don’t know what I love more about this book: the fact there’s so much 80’s jam packed into this, or the geeky goodness. I’m an 80’s girl. I love the movies, music and the decade as a whole. Growing up in it made me the nerd I am today. So I loved reading a book that took me down memory lane.

The book is pretty freakin good, in my opinion.

Wade is a believable character, and I found myself feeling for him and rooting for him from the beginning. From living in poverty, to trying to escape reality and escape what his life is by winning the big contest, he has a lot on his plate. The futuristic setting is also very realistic. I often wonder what living will be like in the future, with an every growing population. The stacks described a scary view of what living may look like. Technology keeps progressing and the OASIS sounds like something that could very well come to pass.

The OASIS is an intriguing thing, but shows the dangers of technology.  People spend most of their time hooked up in a virtual reality world. Some to escape their crapping real life, or for other reasons, like making money or friends.

I also loved the supporting characters. I’m a sucker for any type of ragtag group, even if they weren’t working together.

When Wade is searching for the first clue to the key and passing the gate, I felt like I was playing the game with him. At one point and let out a “Yes!” as his points on the big scoreboard increased. Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I loved reading about every point he earned and every time he unlocked a clue and found a key.

Of coarse every story, especially in a world where fortune is involved, has to have a Big Bad. In this case a corrupt and evil corporation that wants to win so they can own the OASIS and do whatever they please with it.

I did find the novel to be too wordy. Long descriptions were used in places I (personally) didn’t think necessary. Aside from that though, I pretty much loved every aspect of this book. It was a really fun read.