Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. 

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre. @goodreads 

I had a great time with this book! There was never a point that is was boring, at least not to me. =)

**Maybe some minor spoilers**

Amalia Cornaro is out one evening getting a rare book when she runs into a fire mage and a Falconer.

Zaira has been in hiding all of these years because she doesn't want to be a slave to the city. She has lived in some horrible situations as a result.

Amalia was trying to save her from some ruffians when she set off her fire and was on the brink of burning the town down. These mages can lose control and kill everything. The Falconer that was there asked Amalia to put a jest (was it called a jest?) on her wrist to stop her powers.

Little did Amalia know, this was going to change her life forever. Once someone puts the bracelet on, they are bound to the mage and said person is now a Falconer. It's almost like having a real falcon in captivity. They have these people in their army of course. They get taken at birth and put into a special place to learn with a Falconer. They are treated like little kings and queens but they aren't free. Most Falconers let them free for a good amount of time but they have to always be watched because some of these mages have accidentally killed their parents and others as children. It's pretty sad all the way around. Everyone is trying to do the right thing. Well, accept the idiot that uses them for war, but most of them are happy.

Amalia's mom isn't too happy with this situation. Amalia is to be heir to her mother's throne and her mother is a force to be reckoned with, seems like all of the other higher ups are terrified of her.

Amalia can't live with the Falconer's for this reason so she visits Zaira and tries to do everything she can to make her happy. She doesn't like the situation they are in and just wants to do what she can.

I loved Zaira, she was funny and well, she had her problems. And she loved a dog =)

Anyway, the Falconer that Amalia had run into that night is named Marcello and I just fell in love with him. So did some other people =)

There is a lot of political garbage going on in the book. Everyone pretty much wants to kill everyone else and take over.

Amalia, Zaira and Marcello are put into some really tough situations but they all did good for the most part. I wanted to smack them a few times but I digress. Zaira wanted to set everyone on fire which she was allowed to do at times. =)

Oh and Marcello also has sister that's a mage. She hit it off with Amalia because they were both book lovers and inventors etc. I loved her too =)

I loved these characters and they had me freaking stressed out at times but it all worked out, mostly. There are other side characters in the book that were evil and awesome in equal parts.

I am looking forward to reading the next book!

*Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book.*



Thursday, September 28, 2017

What We See In The Stars by Kelsey Oseid

A richly illustrated guide to the myths, histories, and science of the celestial bodies of our solar system, with stories and information about constellations, planets, comets, the northern lights, and more.
Combining art, mythology, and science, What We See in the Stars gives readers a tour of the night sky through more than 100 magical pieces of original art, all accompanied by text that weaves related legends and lore with scientific facts. This beautifully packaged book covers the night sky's most brilliant features--such as the constellations, the moon, the bright stars, and the visible planets--as well as less familiar celestial phenomena like the outer planets, nebulae, and deep space. Adults seeking to recapture the magic of youthful stargazing, younger readers interested in learning about natural history and outer space, and those who appreciate beautiful, hand-painted art will all delight in this charming book. @goodreads 

This little book is awesome! I love the hardback, the pictures on the front and the back! Gah, just everything. 

A little excerpt taken from part of the introduction. 

We once imagined the sky to be something like a hollow, sperical shell surrounding the Earth, and stars as bright points on that shell. When we began to notice that some of those bright points took different paths across the sky than the rest, we altered our explanations: the Earth was encased not by one sphere, but by many perfectly transparent crystal spheres nested inside one another and sinning in different directions. Onto these, we mapped constellations, the sun, and the moon. 


1. the Constellations
2. the Milky Way
3. the Moon
4. the Sun 
5. the planets
6. Asteroids, Comets & Meteors
7. Deep Space

This book may be small but it's jam packed with wonderful illustrations and a quite a bit of information on all of the things in the different contents sections. My favorites being the Moon, the Constellations and the planets. 

 I'm going to leave you with a few illustrations from the book but they don't do the whole book justice. It is filled with tons of beautiful pictures and I loved the layout and pictures related to our planets. 

I think everyone that loves anything about space will enjoy this book. 


* I would like to thank BloggingForBooks for a copy of this wonderful book.

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man. @goodreads 

This book was sweet and magical 😊

Ceony was hoping to apprentice to become a smelter or chef, but Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined had something different in mind when they set her up with Mg. Thane.

Ceony wasn't happy with this at all as she didn't see any use to being a paper magician. But she was wrong, wrong indeed.

Mg. Thane had a paper skeleton as a butler! How freaking cool, but Ceony didn't like it at all. Mg. Thane got on her good side though when he made her a paper dog since she couldn't bring her real one due to his allergies. The dog, Fennel followed her all around and acted as much like a dog as he could 😊

Then there is an evil person that comes to the house and hurts Mg. Thane. Ceony must slap together everything she has learned and try to save his heart. < --- Read the book and you will get it!

It gets a little crazy train for a bit but it was fun

Mel ❤️



The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear. @goodreads 

This book was fan-freaking-tastic! Even though I wanted to beat about 1500 people 😄

I love about 15 people in this book! They were so damn awesome!

First off, Elloren, Rafe and Trystan were all brought up by their uncle Edwin. And good ole uncle brought them up to be good peeps. They were all still tarnished by untrue beliefs but it all comes out in good time ladies and gents!

They are all descendants of The Black Witch and uncle is keeping some things hidden from Elloren

Then ole evil auntie comes and takes Elloren off to university where her brothers go. There is a lot in between that storyline but you can read that yourself. Evil auntie wants Elloren to marry this mage named Lukas. When Elloren refuses, auntie makes it hard for her at university.

You see the Garderians think they are the better race. We have elves, werewolves, selkies, dragons, etc. They are called The Evil Ones, which is crap. Well, auntie sets it up where Elloren has to work with some said Evil Ones and bunk with some said Evil Ones. Little did evil auntie know, this is the best thing that could have happened to Elloren because she eventually finds out the truth about these creatures and makes friends with many and so do her brothers. There is even love in the air ❤️ But none of this is supposed to happen so a lot of stuff goes down.

I seriously hope we see Elloren come into her own in the next book. I know she has to be all powerful damn it and I want to see her fire up the world!!!


Sweet Ancient One in the Heavens Above, what a mess we're all in.

I've stolen a Selkie. Yvan's plotting to steal a military dragon. Both Rafe and Aislinn are in love with Lupines, and I'm becoming increasingly close friends with a shunned Elfin Icaral.

This has actually gone way beyond a mess. We're all threading on increasingly dangerous ground here.

What on Erthia are we all going to do from here?

Like I said before, I love so many of the characters but the werewolf Diana is my favorite. She's just bad to the bone!

Mel ❤️



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. @goodreads 

Damn it all! If every time I decided to have a snack, I picked up this book and it would be at a morbidly, graphic part of the book! Hence, said snacking ceased to exist! 😄

There were parts of the book that were a tad boring but overall I think it was great. There are also pictures through-out the book. I might add some later.

Audrey works with her uncle cutting up cadavers and doing gross stuff they do with trying to find out causes of death and what have you. Thomas is also a student that is learning as well. They both get caught up on trying to find out who Jack The Ripper was as one of the girls worked as a servant at Audrey's home. I think she was there for like a day, but still. Then it became a thing for Audrey and Thomas to find this mad man to stop the killings.

And I knew who the Ripper was in the first few chapters. The author added some things to try to make you think it was someone else. BUT. . .

I liked Audrey's uncle even though he was a bit nutty. Thomas grew on me. Audrey got on my nerves from time to time. Audrey's dad was nice but had a lot of sadness. And Audrey's brother, Nathaniel, I crushed on for a bit there. He wasn't in the book much but still.

The ending was completely sad and I really loved the way the author set it up. I have read other Ripper books whose ending was a big let down. The end of this book was sad AND morbid. The end, end was sweet and leads us into the next book!!! Yessssssss 😄

Mel ❤️

Christmas At Carnton by Tamera Alexander

A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son's.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas. @goodreads 

I chose to read this book from my picks because it mentions the Battle at Chickamauga, Chattanooga and some other places. The Chickamauga Battlefield is about 15 minutes from our house here in Chattanooga and this is one of the places me and my dog used to hike, dad would come with us a lot as well. I wanted to add some pictures of us but they are all on cd's unfortunately.

At the Battlefield there is a lot of land and trails into the woods where you can hike or ride your horses. We would go on the horse trails a lot because they have some steep ones and I loved walking up those hills and we would sometimes get to meet the horses and people along the way. We would hike from 2 to 4 hours, that is how big the Battlefield is but you could easily hike longer than that. They have monuments all over the place, even in the woods. There is also a visitor center where you can buy different things.

This story takes place at the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN. I have never been there myself but it's still there.

Aletta Prescott lost her husband, Warren to the war. Now she has to leave their home as she has no money to pay for it. She has a six-year-old son, named Andrew and a baby on the way. I felt really bad for her to be kicked out of her house that she lived in with her husband for so many years but that's the way it goes.

Luckily, Aletta gets a job as a cook at the Carnton Plantation and a room to live in for her and Andrew.

She's also helping with the Women's Relief Society auction to help the troops.

Captain Jake Winston gets sent to help the women after he is wounded in battle. He was one of their sniper's and a hit to the head stopped his career as his long vision sight was ruined.

It's a bitter sweet story of people helping people and finding love and friends in time of need.

*Thank you to BookLookBloggers for a print copy of this book.*

Mel ♥



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (little mini, plus Owlcrate)


Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I loved some parts and others I'm not too sure about so I'm going to go with 3 stars for now. I will do a re-read before the next book comes out and maybe that will be better =)

Mira is friends to dragons but the dragons are being hurt in this book. Mira also goes to prison because of reasons. She meets some cool peeps there.

Then she gets out for a bit and gets back to her best friends only to be sent back to prison with her friends. It's all crazy.

Most of the time is spent in the prison but I'm hoping that with the way things were headed at the end that the next book will be even better!

And it has dragons! And I hope something good comes out of it =)

Mel ♥ 



Monday, September 18, 2017

David Bowie: A Life by Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones's engrossing, magisterial biography of David Bowie is unlike any Bowie story ever written. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. Tracing Bowie's life from the English suburbs to London to New York to Los Angeles, Berlin, and beyond, its collective voices describe a man profoundly shaped by his relationship with his schizophrenic half-brother Terry; an intuitive artist who could absorb influences through intense relationships and yet drop people cold when they were no longer of use; and a social creature equally comfortable partying with John Lennon and dining with Frank Sinatra. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, DAVID BOWIE is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with admiration and grievances, lust and envy, as the speakers bring you into studios and bedrooms they shared with Bowie, and onto stages and film sets, opening corners of his mind and experience that transform our understanding of both artist and art. Including illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones's interviews with him across two decades, DAVID BOWIE is an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time. @goodreads 

I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. I'm not saying it wasn't a good book. I just would have preferred a book written by the man himself. I wish he was able to write one before his death. 

This book is written by the author but he has taken words from tons of different people.

Some of these are words by David himself over the years. 

There are also so very personal and sweet letters from people about this death. 

Overall it was a pretty good book, but like I said before I would have liked it to have been written by David himself so it would have felt more personal. 

I will leave you with a few quotes: 

DAVID BOWIE: I had a very happy childhood, seriously nothing wrong with it. I was lonely but never really wanted and certainly never went hungry, but I obviously saw people deprived around me and kids going to school with their shoes falling apart and kids looking like urchins. It left an impression on me that I never ever wanted to be hungry, or at the wrong end of society. 

FRANCIS WHATELY: When I was filming people for the documentary I made after his death, I asked them all at the end what they would have said to him if they'd been able to say goodbye, and they all said, "I love you, thank you," but mostly thank you for being a part of their lives. 

* I would like to thank BloggingForBooks for a hardback of this book. *

Friday, September 15, 2017

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember. @goodreads 

Update: Finally able to talk about the book.

This book touched my heart, made me laugh so many times, made me mad and made me cry.

There are a lot of books I would never have read if it wasn't for my Goodreads friends, but the two most memorable and that have made it to my favorites list are:

The Conte Of Monte Cristo and Lonesome Dove

I loved so many characters in this book and I feel like I have been on that journey with them. I kept wishing they would have stayed in Texas or at least stopped in Nebraska after so much they went through. And my emotions are still raw as I cry. Because people die and when you love characters you don't want that but that is life for real, life in books and life in movies and tv.

I will write a more detailed review after I have had some time away from what I just read. I'm going to have to watch some shows, read more books and come back to talk about these people I grew to love.

To be continued. . .

Mel ❤️

Like I have said, this book really got to me. I fell in love with so many of the characters. I loved Augustus and he made me laugh through this whole book. I have to say he was my favorite character. I loved Call too but Gus was the one.

I loved Deets and he also has a special place in my heart. I loved how he was with them for 30 something years. He was a great man and a great tracker.

Roscoe is another character who cracked me up. He was so innocent and funny. I loved the relationship between him and the little girl, Janey.

I didn't really care for Jake at all. If they never listened to him none of the bad things would have happened. I felt bad for him for a minute when he ended up with the Suggs boys and what happened to him in that situation.

I felt bad for Lorena and all that happened to her. I loved the relationship between her and Gus.

I loved Newt (who could not love Newt). I really wish he could have gotten better closure at the end of the book.

I loved Pea Eye, the Irishmen, the pigs, the horses, Bolivar, Po, Clara, July, Joe, Wilbarger and I'm sure I have left some out.

I just know that if you have been putting off reading this book, don't, go ahead and get to it. I think 9 times out of 10, you won't regret it!

Mel ♥ 



My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge. Full-color illustrations throughout.@goodreads 

OMG! This book is awesome! It's freaking huge too. I have a picture of it next to my pen but it still doesn't do it justice. And it's heavy! I love it =)

Karen Reyes is a little girl that is trying to figure out what happened to her neighbor. She was a holocaust survivor that was killed.

The book is written in a notebook style by Karen with drawings and stories. The artwork is totally awesome! Karen draws herself as a werewolf <-- she could really be!

The story goes through her neighbor Anka's life and Karen's own life. It seems like the kids in school were bullies to her. She did get one friend but I think she secretly had a crush on her. Until, her friends parents broke them up because of all the monster stuff.

Karen's brother Deeze bought her copies of Dread, Spectral and Ghastly. These were horror magazines and they show front covers of some of them through out the book.

I think this was a wonderful book and I really wish I could draw and write like this book was formatted because I would be filling notebooks full of this stuff! It made me so happy. I didn't understand the story all of the way but who cares, I had fun =)

I'm leaving you with some pictures in no uncertain order.

Mel ♥