Sunday, 24 June 2012

Stacking the Shelves #3


"Stacking the Shelves" is a meme created by Tynga's Reviews

Here are some of the books that I've received since the last time.

Click on the title to view it's Goodreads.com page.



Show White and The Huntsman
Lily Blake, Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock 


Check out my movie review here


Summary:


A breathtaking new vision of a legendary tale. Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman who was dispatched to kill her.




Short-Straw Bride
Karen Witemeyer


Check out my review here


Summary:


No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?





Austenland
Shannon Hale


Summary:


Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?





The Breakaway
Michelle Davidson Argyle


Summary:


When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she's missing. Escape isn't high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she's part of a family-even if it is a family of criminals. But she's still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she's falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn't sure she wants to take it.




Crazy Beautiful
Lauren Baratz-Logsted


Summary:


In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does. 





Four Houses
Tori Scott


Courtesy of Victoria Scott


Summary:


The door in front of me is the ugliest shade of plum I've ever seen. It's a prune Grandma would eat, a raisin on its last leg, a swollen bruise in the most inconvenient of places.

The waiting is the worst part, wondering who will open the door. But this time the waiting is killing me, tearing me down piece by piece and devouring me with its insatiable jaws.

I bite my lip and raise my hand to knock.


A young girl faced with four choices, must make a decision that will forever haunt her.





Head in the Clouds
Karen Witemeyer


Summary:


Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.
When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.
When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?



Lies Beneath
Anne Greenwood Brown


Can you say excited?


Summary:


Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


Marriage Bargain
Jennifer Probst


Check out my review here


Summary:


A marriage in name only...

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…



Struck
Jennifer Bosworth


My Random Read #2 for the Month of June


Summary:


Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.



The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin


Summary:


Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.



The Vicious Deep
Zoraida Cordova


Summary:


For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.



Croak
Gina Damico


Summary:


Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate
New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of
dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort's true occupation is
much dirtier than shoveling manure.
He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business.
She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by
reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for
justice--or is it vengeance?--whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to
stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with
her reaper skills?



Under Wraps
Hannah Jayne


Summary:


Sick of wrongful-death lawsuits every time a full moon comes around?
Call the Underworld Detection Agency.

As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .
Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn't what he seems, she's got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power. . .
Poltergeeks
Sean Cummins


Summary:


15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.



Diary of a Mad Fat Girl
Stephanie McAfee


Summary:


Ace Jones needs a vacation, but she's not going to get it. What she gets instead is a good dose of scandalous small town politics that takes her on a wild quest for truth and redemption. Things get really complicated when the love of her life, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in over three years, shows up and vows not to leave town until she agrees to marry him. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is as adventurous as it is entertaining as Ace and her friends delve into illegal surveillance, stalking, and covert operations in a strip club.


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My Big Mistake

Well, I really managed to screw something up royally.


A couple of weeks ago there were a lot of posts flying around about plagirism and I thought nothing of it. 


Well for the first time in my life, since about grade 5, I've realized that I plagiarized. And its shameful that it was brought to my attention by the person who's work I stole.


And you have no idea how crappy I feel.


When I started this blog in November of 2011 I surfed through many other blogs gathering ideas and looking for ways to set things up. 


I got my design and my tabs set up and also all my blog content. 


Well I had no idea about what should be put on a blog. I had no idea what people looked for when surfing a blog and when I realized that my word would be out there I thought I had to get serious. 


So before I launched I got my policy and request page set up by copying another persons' policy and request page and added/changed minor things that I thought or right away. I took their information and used it as a starting point and began to write my own in a word document. But, the things is I forgot to replace the information and instead launched my site with someone else's work on it, and I did not give credit to them.


Forgetfulness is not an excuse. I should have been extremely thorough going over everything before I launched, and now I've managed to hurt an individual that did nothing but sit back take a couple of hours and write their own information for their blog. They same person that I admire and whom's blog was one of the first that I ever started following. Its like letting down your hero or something.


And what is worse is that the words have been sitting there acting like I wrote them on my policy and request page for close to eight months.


That is just shameful. 


You may notice that the page has come down until I can find my own original information I wrote that is somewhere in my vast majorities of USB drives. 


I apologize to the individual who's work I stole. I apologize for any harm I may have caused, any feelings I may have brought up, and in general I just apologize for my irresponsible behaviour. 


And I do apologize to my followers for not being up to the standard that are set and expected from every blogger. 


If this occurrence has lowered your respect for me or your expectations then again I apologize. But I felt I needed to be true and honest with everyone and believed that the best way would be to post it instead of hiding behind my mistake.


To all bloggers out there: please be thorough and please be respectful of other people's works, just as you expect them to be of yours.


To all the review and blog followers out there: report something that you believe to be plagiarism and don't be afraid to hold people up to the standards that are expected. 


Stealing is stealing no matter what. If you want to run a blog, if I want to run a blog, then you, and I, need to put our own work and time into it.


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Friday, 22 June 2012

My Not So Vacant Shelf has a new look

Well for the past couple of weeks I've been a little behind on my blogging and there was a very good reason for it. 


As some of you might know blogging is a competitive bobbie...I know sounds weird. But, if you really want to get your words out there you have be able to snag new followers and catch the attention of writers and publishing companies. 


So I was looking around and I saw that many blogs that had great graphics and so many other blogs that offer graphic design services. 


Then...I looked at the prices. You have to remember I am not being compensated for my reviews. Not one bit, and I'm a student to boot so moulah is tight.


And then I had another brilliant idea.


If this is going to be my blog. Then this is going to be MY blog.

And I busted out my old artistic talent (which I was happy to see was still around) and I created my own graphics.

Now, I'm not done. I still have to learn my way around blogger to get it to where I would like, however, I think I am pretty proud of myself. 

Anyhow here is old pics:


Old header and background.



Old grab button, which I am still keeping



And here is the new stuff that I designed and created personally.


New header and background. The background is not my favourite but I haven't found anything that I 100% like yet.

New grab button


And new Facebook profile pic!


So what do you guys think? Any ideas on improvements?




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Review: Leaving Paradise by Simon Elkeles


Leaving Paradise
Series: Leaving Paradise #1
Author:  Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 303
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Rating:

Reason chosen:  

It was selected as one of the three Random Reads I have for the month of June.

Summary taken from Chapters/Indigo.ca:


Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad-her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares-has been canceled.
After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb's free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.
Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It's a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Review:

As expected Simone Elkeles has pounded some emotion into another one of her novels. After reading Perfect Chemistry and being completey blown away I was prepared for the punch that this book was going to deliver, but it didn’t matter it still knocked the air right out of me. Taken into a completely messed up situation where one horrible night has forever changed the lived of two people and two families dramatically…and the catch is they live right beside each other. Their children have grown up together and are friends. So there is no real getting away from it.  Oh the drama. With Maggie it’s all about loss and a complete change for the path that she had in her life. For Caleb it’s all about wanting things to go back to normal, but also for people to acknowledge what happened and move forward. Sadly the only person really wanting to deal with it is Caleb.  I don’t really want to say more because there are probably some people who have not read it but this book is a keeper. I can’t wait to read the second one in the series.

Good:

Caleb: The only actual ‘man’ in this entire story. The only guy who has to guts to stand up for people and who can be a gentlemen.

Bad:

Alright here it goes. Romance blossom…well just looking at the cover we can kind of guess that, but I wasn’t realy sure how it came to be. I can somewhat understand it for Maggie because she liked him before everything happened, but to like his after? And Caleb…well his heart changes pretty quickly. Oh well it happened and the second one promises to be just as good as the first.

Overall (Writing style, story line, and general):

Overall Simone Elkeles’ writing is fantastic and gripping. It brings you into the heart of the novel and still manages to shock you no matter what you expect. With diverse characters and extreme situations she has you locked in from page one.

Quotes:

Click here to check out some of my favourite quotes!

Next In the Series:


Viewer Type Recommendation:

If you love those messed up love stories. The Romeo and Juliet type. Then this is all for you

If you liked this you'll probably love:

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles, Sarah Dessen Novels, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Read Completely:
Yes

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Quotes- Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles


Here are some of my favourite quotes from my recent read: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. (Click title for review).

Keep in mind. They might reveal spoilers.

1. “You gonna wrestle for me this season?”
“No.”
“My team could sure use a good one-sixty five.”
“I’m one-eighty now.”
The coach whistles in awe. “You sure? You look leaner than I remember.”
“I’ve worked out a lot. Muscle weight.”
“Don’t tease me like that, Becker.”

2. I’m the one who was locked up and everyone who stayed home is a frickin’ nutcase. Oh, the comic irony.

3. “Are you following me?” She asks, but doesn’t meet my gaze.
“Yeah,” I say.
“Why?”
“Honestly?”
She looks at me, her eyebrows raised.
I give her the only honest and true answer I have.
“You’re where I want to be.”

4. “I cry a lot.'
'Yeah? Well I'm gonna change that.”

5. “No, the next time i kiss you it'll last a long, long time. And then when we're done you're gonna realize being turned on is not about experience”

6. “Being brave is not as easy as it looks.”

7. I'm wondering if paradise is just some word in the dictionary with the definition: this doesn't fucking exist.


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Review: Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer

Short-Straw Bride
Series: Archer Brothers #1
Author:  Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages:  363
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Rating:

Reason chosen:  

It was recommended to me and while I was in a phase where I was reading romance novels I ordered it.

Summary taken from Chapters/Indigo.ca:

No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk. Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can''t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again. Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?

Review:

So I have to admit that when I look at romance novels I always expect a lot of heat. I was happily surprised when I found out that it was actually a straight-up romance novel. All about two people falling in love. *Swoon.
And better yet she ends up getting stuck on a farm with four hot men and one that is determined to believe she is his responsibility. An of course they’ve only every laid eyes upon each other once before—12 years ago and they remembered each other every since. Her beautiful eyes haunted him and his face was always placed on her dream men. Frig…if that’s not romance I don’t know what else. What I found made this even more romantic is that it takes placed in the late 1800s when a small touch on the leg was extremely personal so I felt myself falling into the old customs and truly enjoying the blooming romance and crazy stuff that happens.

Good:

Meredith: Strong and independent despite her short-comings in life. She’s determined to not let anything hold her back and be the strong woman she needs to be.

Travis: The oldest of the brothers who has sworn to protect them and their land and is determined to keep his family safe and together while still being a good Christian and gentleman. Hot, honourable, sweet, courageous, and a cowboy. Man, oh man. Do I ever love him.

The other Archer boys: with all completely different personalities they sure know how to keep things interested

Bad:

I did want a little but more romance between the two, but then again it is listed as a Christian romance.

Overall (Writing style, story line, and general):

Overall the writing style was great. I didn’t find myself confused expect sometimes coming across readings from the Bible. Its been a while since I’ve read one. The characters I found were well developed, however characters like her aunt just seemed to fall into a usual character type.  Overall I felt this book was a great romance, one that you could really connect to and when you take intro consideration the era you find yourself falling ever so much more.

Viewer Type Recommendation:

Romance Lovers.

If you liked this you'll probably love:


Read Completely:
Yes

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