Monthly Archives:: October 2012

Oct 31

Happy Halloween!

Holiday 5

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I hope everyone has a great Halloween today! While Halloween is not my favorite holiday, I am excited about Trick or Treating. I bought my house last year and it ended up pouring rain the entire time so I hardly had any Trick or Treaters (I also recently found out via my neighbors that the previous homeowners did not believe in Halloween and never handed out candy to Trick or Treaters). I’m looking forward to having a better year this year and drawing out lots of Trick or Treaters!

Kimberly


Oct 30

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday 14

PhotobucketTop Ten Tuesday is an weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do.

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

It’s kind of hard to explain why they are so kick-ass without giving away spoilers. But trust me, they are kick-ass!

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1. Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series)

2.Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series)

3. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series)

4. Tris Prior (Divergent series)

5. Heather Wells (Heather Wells series)

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6. Darla (Ashfall series)

7. Hartley Featherstone (Deadly Cool series)

8. Eve Dallas (In Death series)

9. Anna (Anna Dressed in Blood series)

10. Lindsay (Women’s Murder Club series)

Hmmmm all series. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Kimberly


Oct 29

Second Look Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Reviews 14 ★★★★★

Second Look Review * Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeAnna Dressed in Blood (2nd Review) by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1.1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30, 2011
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 316
Format: Audiobook
Source: BEA
Also in this series: Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

 

I’ve already read and reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood back in January. I listed to the audio version this time around for book club (clicking on the title will take you to that review).

What I Thought…

  • This was my second time with Anna Dressed in Blood. I was a bit surprised when I added it to my currently reading list on Goodreads to see that I only rated it 3 stars, because it’s definitely more than a 3 star book. Maybe it was because I was scared. I don’t know.
  • The audio version was narrated by August Ross. I have a hard time with a lot of audiobooks, they tend to give me headaches, but that was not the case here. I thought the narration was good, the only exception being Carmel’s voice. It’s the same whiny kind of voice that Jim Dale uses with Hermione in the Harry Potter books.
  • Even though I knew what was coming there were still times that Anna gave me chills. What happens in that house and what happens by and to Anna are just so creepy and unsettling.
  • Cas is still one of my all time favorite characters. I love that he is completely ok with the ghost hunting job, in fact he relishes it. Because he moves a lot he’s not very good at making friends, which made his friendship with Carmel and Thomas that much more fun, watching them as they pushed and pushed at him to become friends.
  • Carmel and Thomas are the most awesome sidekicks. Even though Carmel gets scared she’s unwilling to let Cas do things on his own, and Thomas is always willing to help. I especially liked that Carmel wasn’t the typical high school girl that you find so often.
  • Anna is special. She’s not good, but she’s not all bad either. The stuff she did as a ghost is awful, but her story of how she became a ghost is absolutely heart breaking. It brought some tears to mind my listening to the audio version. She’s one of the bad guys that you can root for.
  • The Obeahman was sooooo freaky. Seriously freaky. He could give anyone the heebie geebies
  • This was a really good reread, and I raised my rating from 3 to 5 stars. Though I’m not really sure why I only rated it 3 in the first place. I was really bummed that the other book club members didn’t like it as much. But that happens.

Notable Quotes

“You make me want things I can’t have.”

“I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth, the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”

I received a copy of the audio book from Audio Go at BEA. I was in no way compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kimberly


Oct 28

Sunday’s in Bed with… Ashen Winter (Yes, Again)

In Bed With... 4

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Today I’m reading Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin Ashen WinterI’m really hoping I’ll be able to finish Ashen Winter today. I have about 200 pages left and I plan on making some time to (hopefully) finish it, my first book in two weeks!

I’ll be starting the morning off returning comments (I’m so behind!) and writing a couple posts and then it’ll be time for football and reading!

Frankenstorm did take the more northeasternly turn so we are outside the “severe” range, however we are still in the “likely” power outage category due to high winds. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t lose power!

To all those in any of the affected areas, stay safe!

Kimberly


Oct 27

Just a quick note!

Misc 17

 

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This is how I feel right about now!

Everything this month has been crazy and this coming week will be the craziest yet. And to top it all off Hurricane Sandy is looming down upon the Eastern Shore. The good news for me is that it appears that she will turn in around NJ/NY which means that we will not be taking a direct in VA. However we still will be having rain and high winds so we are still in the “likely power outage” category.

Anyways, all this means that I will hardly be around this coming week.  My best chance for commenting and reading other blogs this week will be at work, so if the hurricane passes by with little damage I will be able to return all the comments and catch up on visiting blogs. If there are impacts from the hurricane then work will likely be crazy and I will not be able to do anything blog related. And all of this is dependent on having power.

I promise that in November my commenting and visiting will be much better! While a lot of you other bloggers will be NaNoWriMo-ing in November I will be commenting, visiting, posting and catching up on this:

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Eeek! Though it’s not at all surprising since I haven’t finished a book since the readathon…

To all those who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy stay safe! Be prepared! And if they tell you to evacuate, please do so! Do not be one of those crazy people who are staying “to protect their house” or because “it’s not gonna be bad.” You and your family are way more important than your house!

Kimberly


Oct 26

Random Thoughts on Books: Rereading

Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 12

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new Friday feature.  It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

To reread or not to reread – that is the question.

Since I’ve started blogging I reread a lot less than I used to. Which is both good and bad. Good because I’m reading lots more awesome books. Bad because when the second or third book in a series comes out I’ve not reread the first book before I jump right back in. This rarely works because I cannot remember all the details, sometimes I can’t even remember major plot points!

Not remember things can make a huge impact on the book. I’m not sure I would have loved Insurgent like I did if I would have reread Divergent first. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was released on Tuesday and the only thing I can remember about The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is that I loved it and it was creepy. Not really much to go on is it?

But then the worry sets in that I won’t have anything to review for my blog as most of these books I’ve already reviewed. But for me that’s not a good enough reason to not reread them so I will just have to accept that I will have less to post. Or I could steal Kate’s awesome idea and do a second look review. Which is probably what I’m going to do. You can’t have too much love for your favorite books, right?

Do you reread the earlier books in the series before starting the newest one? Or do you just wing it?

Kimberly


Oct 25

Review * Venom by Fiona Paul

Reviews 23 ★★★★★

Review * Venom by Fiona PaulVenom by Fiona Paul
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Published by Philomel on October 30, 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: BEA
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

What I Thought…

  • I almost missed out on this book at BEA and that would have been a tragedy! There is so much good stuff I don’t even know where to begin!
  • I didn’t really know what it was about when I picked it up so I was surprised by how creepy it was. Cass is all wandering around in graveyards and Venice at night, sometimes by herself and it’s definitely creepy. Especially the graveyard scenes.
  • Venom is historical fiction and I don’t read a lot of that. I really liked the way it was written. I know some people might not agree with me on this, but I liked the fact that the language had a modern feel to it. I didn’t catch any obvious slang that didn’t make sense for the time period, but I appreciated that it was written without the nuances of the past.
  • Cass was very naïve, but that’s not really her fault. She lived a very sheltered life. Her parents have died and she lives with her aunt away from the city and is pretty much not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. She’s also already engaged to be married, but is discovering that she (gasp!) might have feelings. Cass’s naivety and trusting gets her into trouble a couple times.
  • Despite (or maybe because of) Cass’s upbringing she did the craziest things! She was constantly sneaking out in the middle of the night to not so great places. She was pretty fearless about it too.
  • Cass’s best friend Madalena was a little annoying at first. She’s fairly self centered, but that is somewhat understandable given her upbringing. She was less annoying towards the end of the book.
  • There are two guys. I know! Another love triangle! You can decide for yourself who you think Cass might end up with, but I am totally team Falco. Falco is the artist Cass runs into in the graveyard. He’s dangerous and mysterious and a little bit funny (and a little bit over the top, but I was ok with that). He’s also a little suspicious as all his activities don’t exactly seem to be on the good side. Luca is Cass’s fiancé. He doesn’t appear until about 3/4 of the way into the book and he is not who you think he is either.
  • There were so many characters and so many secrets! At times it was almost hard to keep them strait. People are hiding all kinds of things, both small and big. It’s a little frustrating cause you can’t just tell who people really are.
  • The killer wasn’t who I thought it would be, but that’s pretty normal for me. It didn’t end at all the way I thought it would and I can’t wait for the next one.
  • Venice was sooo pretty, but I loved how Fiona Paul didn’t gloss over the canals like you find in some books. A lot of books portray the canals of Venice as clean when in fact they are not. I’ve never personally been there, but I know people who have and they say that the canals are dirty and have a smell. I appreciate that Paul acknowledged that in her book.
  • Despite the fact that this is a YA book it was not a very fast read at all. That’s not a bad thing, it just took more time than normal for me to read it.
  • My one complaint about Venom is that in the beginning Cass is kind of an idiot. She’s wandering around in the graveyard, stumbles upon the body and then runs into Falco and she was all “Falco can’t be a murderer. Not with that smile.” Um, actually, yes he can! You just ran into a strange guy that you don’t know in the middle of a graveyard in the middle of the night. He could totally be the killer!
  • Seriously, this is a really, really good book! I hope everyone has the chance to read it!

Notable Quotes

“How terrible it must be to be a member of the noble class. So many rules. Such restraint. You must feel like a caged bird, battering its wings against the sides of its golden prison.”

“The human form, it’s a symphony. Tiny interlocking movements that join together in song.”

* I received a copy of Venom at BEA in exchange for my honest review. I was in no way compensated.

Kimberly


Oct 24

Home Improvements (What I Did Last Weekend)

Misc 10

Last weekend my brother came for a short visit and since he is boring doesn’t like to sight see at all (he’s been to VA many times) we tackled a couple of home improvement projects.

Our first project was painting the shutters and the trim. I picked out a color at the store that I thought was similar, but it turns out it was much more blue than the original color. Which turned out good because I like this color better anyway.

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Then we tackled the railing on the front porch. Before I moved in I had noticed that on the one side some of the railing wasn’t connected, and has part of the home agreement the previous owners had to fix that. What I didn’t realize at the time was that what they had done (before they put the house on the marked) was paint over all the mold on the railing, so that it looked nice.

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This is the first picture I took of my house. I know it’s a far away picture, but everything looks normal here. Over time I began to notice that the railing was getting worse and worse. Painting doesn’t stop mold, it just covers it up. I don’t really have the knowledge (or strength) to do much about it, so I’ve just kind of left it. After discussing it with my brother we decided to just take it down, it’s only 3 steps so it doesn’t really need a railing anyway. All it took was one kick from my brother and the entire left side of the railing came down. That’s how rotted it was.

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Here is the final look. The blue really brightens up the outside and no more rotted railing!

Kimberly


Oct 23

Review * The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

Reviews 13 ★★★

Review * The Bride Collector by Ted DekkerThe Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on April 13, 2010
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
A virtuoso killer is carving a path of death across the west, intent on killing only the most beautiful women, all in the name of love. He has claimed six victims and slipped through the FBI's fingers, each time leaving behind a handwritten note and a bridal veil.

Special agent Brad Raines has hunted the Bride Collector from crime scene to crime scene, but each time he finds himself one step behind. Desperate for help, Raines turns to the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private home for gifted, mentally ill residents. There he finds help in an unlikely group of four who eagerly agree to help him solve the case.

Raines is quickly drawn to a young woman named Paradise who struggles with psychosis. As they grow closer, he begins to see the world through her eyes. Together they enter the killer's deadly game and begin to close in. But like Paradise, the Bride Collector is supremely gifted and he has a distinct advantage: this is his game.

Now Paradise will be pushed beyond her limits. She will learn what it means to be beautiful and what it means to love, really love. Full of surprising wit and hair-raising twists, that will keep yo riveted to the end, The Bride Collector will haunt you with a new way of looking at beauty, love, and the world in which you live.

What I Thought…

  • Even though I didn’t find the book very terrifying, it was creepy and grotesque.  The first scene they come upon totally creeped me out. There were also quite a few times that I was skipping through paragraphs because the description was just too much for me and I couldn’t handle it.
  • The killer was the best part of the story. He is obviously a special kind of psycho. He hangs them up and drains out the blood and it’s just really creepy, but he’s a fascinating character. You know who he is early on, which I like in books. I like the thrill of the chase as much as the puzzle of putting it all together.
  • The liked the characters well enough. They were so different, but not overly exaggerated with their uniqueness, nor were they perfect. I really liked Brad Raines and Paradise and I thought they worked well together, as well as the others from the mental hospital.
  • The beginning does start off kind of slow. Not The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo slow, but slow nonetheless. Once I got into the story though it was hard to put down. Dekker takes you on a wild, twisty ride.
  • There is some religiousness in The Bride Collector. The killer believes that God is telling him to do these things and that it’s God’s will.
  • The ending was a bit predictable but that didn’t take away from the story at all for me.
  • Overall I enjoyed the story and it’s a perfect October read!

On the Wings of BooksParticipating in Bloggers Dressed in Blood? Be sure to link up your reviews and posts below.
Throughout the month I will be reviewing scary (ok, creepy) books to get you into the Halloween spirit. Join Kate, Steph, Danielle and I in our Halloween Fun.

Kimberly


Oct 21

Sundays In Bed with… (maybe) Ashen Winter

In Bed With... 11

PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Today I’m reading… probably nothing!

Mike Mullin Ashen WinterI really hate having to work on Sunday’s. Now that it’s football season, that’s all I want to do on Sunday afternoons. But my brother came for a visit this weekend, which threw off my schedule and now I’m stuck working on a Sunday afternoon. But it was a great visit, so it’s worth it! I’ll post pictures later but he helped me remove the front railing and paint the trim and shutters. It’s looks so pretty!

If I was able to read today I’d be reading Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin. I’m about 100 pages in and loving it so far. I just wish I had more time to read it!

Kimberly