Friday, September 4, 2015

These Better Be Good!

Or. . . in which I place my complete trust in the book blogger world.

Yeah, it's not the first time I'm going on blind faith that a book is good. But I do believe it's the first time I've bought a complete series (dang, but they AREN'T complete yet are they?) an entire set (almost) and gone to a book signing for an author that I don't really even know just because everyone else says:

"These books are so good!"

"Oh my gosh, I'm so excited!"

"Twitter, if you give spoilers today, I'm going to kill you!"

"My heart has been ripped out!"

"Oh, so-and-so is SOOOO HOT! No wait, so-and-so is... or... wait... maybe it's so-and-so!!" (How many hot boys are in these books anyway?)

"These books, I can't even, they're just, seriously, you need to read them."

"That Sarah J. Maas, she is so amazing. Does she get emotion right or what?"

And etc.

I'm just saying... they better be really really REALLY good!

And yes, we went to see Sarah J. Maas last night, and joined a complete capacity and very fan-girly crowd. In fact, we got the time wrong and were late, which meant we stood up the whole time she did a Q and A like interview with another author that I had no clue who it was. (Christina Hobbs, who's really Christina Lauren, which is a co-op author thing, which isn't at all confusing or anything)

But she was funny and clever. Though I did roll my eyes when she said, "When I got my start at 16 years old...." Yeah, so she started these books back then. What were the rest of us doing at 16? Well, I mean Christopher what's-his-face can say... "Yeah, well, I started Eragon at FIFTEEN so there!" I suppose. Sigh. I have no hope.

And then she moaned about being nearly 30 one time. I rolled my eyes a little bit again. I think I'm a bit sensitive to these things this particular year. More to come on that later. But seriously people who are just now happy!

She was nice and sweet when we got our books signed and was actually the first author to ask (that I remember anyway) what Suey stands for. She thought it was adorable and memorable... the nickname, I think, not the real name. I don't know. So anyway, I'll take that.

And yes, I'l read the books, but I'm holding off because we actually have Throne of Glass on tap for our December book club. So stay tuned till then and I'll let you know if you, book blogger world, have been spot on with all the buzz or not!

Toto (who has actually read the first book)
meeting Sarah J. Maas
(We couldn't take a group/posed picture because... they told us not to.
Even though many people broke the rules and did it anyway.
If I'm one thing, I'm a freaking rule follower. )

Our view from the standing position in the back.

And because I'm a freaking rule follower, (see caption above) I have an extra signed copy of this book (Queen of Shadows), which, I think I just might giveaway here. And let's just say, if I hear the virtual sound of crickets like I normally do when I say "giveaway" on this blog.. it won't be doing much to support all y'alls claim that these books are so so good. Know what I'm sayin'? But sit tight, I'm not giving it away yet, I'm just building anticipation here. So stay tuned while I' come up with something good.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

TV Review: Poldark Season One

It seems like I heard a vague mention of this show, Poldark,  once somewhere, then forgot all about it. Well, it appears that it started airing on Masterpiece Theater while I was on my trip, so I probably missed the true hubbub. But then caught a whiff of it around and about and decided to see what it was all about.

Well, I actually decided to see what it was all about when I realized that Aidan Turner starred in it. And then when I realized it was a period piece also, that sealed the deal.

It's not yet on Netflix, though I imagine it will be at some point,  so I had to find it other places. All the episodes are on YouTube here, but the quality is pretty bad and I felt like it skipped some stuff. However, I didn't care. I watched it anyway. (This link is to a different channel than what I used. Maybe the skipped stuff is there this time!)

And absolutely loved it.

Its about a guy who has come home to England, the Cornwall area, after fighting in the Revolutionary War. His family thinks he's dead so it's a bit of a surprise when he shows up. And in fact, his fiance is engaged to his cousin and they get married two weeks after he gets home

His dad has died while he's gone and the estate has fallen into very bad neglect. He begins to restore order. This includes getting the copper mine going again. And dealing with the bad guys that want to see him not succeed.

And even though his fiance has married, don't worry because he finds someone! And oh boy! The intensity is perfect!

But it's not just about Ross Poldark, but also all the people in the community, and his cousins and everyone. It's one of those small town relationship, everyone-in-everyone's-business type of stories.

And the scenery is incredible. So beautiful and amazing.

There's laughs, and loves and tragedy and violence and... everything.

And there's Aidan Turner who is absolutely perfect.

So, watch it if you can stand the YouTube thing. If not... keep your eye out for when it comes to Netflix. or when they re-air it before the next season. There will be another season right? Yes, yes, there will!

Here's the trailer:

 Here's a montage of the romantic bits, which is awesome:

Seriously. If you missed this one, catch up! And if you watched, it, what did you think?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Music Stuck in My Head: Mission Impossible

So, it's been a long time and I really feel the need to do a music post. The music I want to highlight today is the theme from Mission Impossible! (Yes, I finally saw the latest move... review to come soon!)

Is there a better movie theme EVER? I mean, there are a lot of awesome movie themes, but this one.. I don't know... it's just genius. You familiar with it, right?

Here's original simple version from the TV show:

Here's the theme as recently highlighted in the new movie during the opening airplane scene:

Here's a DJ'd up Tiesto version:

And here's my most favorite version of all.... crank the bass guitar at the 2:15    mark! I dare you! Man, I love this one so much!

Do you have strong feelings about this particular piece of music? Would you go see the movie just for the music? Do you have a favorite movie/TV show theme that trumps Mission Impossible in your mind? Share!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book: Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Genre: MG Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Utah Book Month
From: Bought from Amazon, I think. One loses track of these things.

Short Synopsis: Nic has been a salve just outside of Rome for years. His mom has been sold off and now his only wish is to keep his sister safe and out of the clutches of Sal, their mean old guard. One day, Sal forces Nic to be lowered into a scary cave where they suspect treasures of the gods to be found. Well, Nic does find something and his life is forever changed. Now not only does he have to protect his sister, but all of of the Roman Empire.

My Response: What I loved most about this one is that it took place in Rome! And where was I just hanging out a short month or two ago? How awesome is it that I could totally picture everything? Awesome I tell you! And I've always loved stuff that has to do with ancient Roman gods and their power over the people. Really fascinating stuff. There was some awesome magic power fighting and a cool creature (a griffin) and some bad guys. All great stuff. Being a middle grade, there was only a hint of a romance, which made me crazy. And also, it ends just when you are all revved up for more! Gah!

Bottom Line: Perfect book for fans of Percy Jackson and company.

Let's Talk About: Are you like me were if you've been to a place, and then read a book set in that place, it just makes the reading experience all that much better? That's why we have go everywhere so all the books will be even cooler!

Other Reviews:

MARK OF THE THIEF showcases Nielsen's addictive writing, which has much to entice adults as well as the target child audience. From In Bed With Books

But there was action aplenty, the bonus griffin relationship was a nice touch, and the whole set up promises good things in the next books! From Charlotte's Library

I'm certain that kids are going to love it, and I look forward to the next book. From Jen Robinson's Book Page

I loved how the story combines Roman history with magical elements. From Literary Rambles

Monday, August 31, 2015

August aka. Utah Book Month 2015 Reading Wrap

Well, guys! What a month it's been! I had a great time focusing on Utah authors and books this month, but I must say, I'm glad to get back to "normal" too!

This month we Twitter chatted with 11 Utah authors! That was a blast and thanks to all of them for humoring us and joining in the fun. Three of those authors I spotlighted here:

Johnny Worthen
Sara Zarr
Amy Finnegan

This week we had our annual blogger party. It was fun, after I calmed down from the clash with the group that stole our reserved pavilion! Here's the one picture I took at the event:

Jenni from Jenni Elyse
Jessica from The Bluestocking Society
Penelope from Reading Fever
Jessica from Books a True Story
Kathy from Read This Instead (behind)
Karena from Karena Lapray
Jenny from Alternate Readality
Kami from Kami's Library Thoughts
Toto, who is pondering a book blog with her friend, but in
the meantime has a YouTube channel you can click on

And finally, here are the Utah Books I read throughout the whole month:

Mania by J.R. Johansson: Parker and Jack work together to bring an end to the conflict between Watchers and Takers.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: A young pregnant girl comes to live with the family that plans to adopt her baby.

Eleanor by Johnny Worthen: Eleanor appears to be a normal, ordinary girl, but as the story unfolds we learn that she is anything but ordinary.

Unraveled by Julie Daines: A pair of magic shoes causes much more trouble than than they are worth.

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani: Claire is trying to figure out how it is that her dead father and her current step dad knew each other before. 

Lost Without You by Annette Lyon: Brooke is trying to find the right guy, and the cop with the kid just might be the one!

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen: As a slave in ancient Rome, Nic is forced to go inside a haunted cave to retrieve a trinket for a general, and in so doing acquires some magical powers. (review to come this week I hope!)

Usually I squeeze in some non Utah books during August, but this time around, it was ALL Utah books! I felt like I could have done more but I guess this isn't bad. 

Favorites from this list: How to Save a Life and Unraveled.. and Eleanor too I'd say.

Plans for September:

  • Read Bone Gap
  • Read A Mad Wicked Folly
  • Read The Girl on the Train for book club
  • Read Goodbye Stranger
  • Read Fires of Invention
  • And if I still have time, read Station 11

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Utah Book Month First Line Quiz: Answers and Winner!

It's time to wrap up the Utah Books First Line Quiz and announce the winner. Thank you to those of you who entered!

First, here are the answers:

1. Male or female? (Remake by Ilima Todd)

2. Call it reaper's insomnia, but the dead wouldn't let me sleep at night. (Shutter by Courtney Alameda)

3. The Low-Gravity Club pulsed with music and memories. (The Unmaking of Genesis Lee by Shallee McCarthur)

4. "A good trap is like a good story: hidden and leading toward one inevitable conclusion." (Return to Exile by E.J. Patten)

5. "You promised us brides!" (Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George)

6. Everyone tells me funerals help with the grieving process, but I think those people are full of crap. (Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick)

7. I see Jack every night. (Evertrue by Brodie Ashton)

8. "Princess Ailsabet, your father demands your attendance at court this morning." (The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison)

9. I don't like to see children cry, but I couldn't feel much sympathy for the little guy. (The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne)

10. People go to hell for what I'm about to do.(Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani)

From those that entered, Susan from Bloggin 'bout Books got the most right with a score of 8 out of 10! Congratulations! Let me know which one of these books you'd like and I'll mail that too you ASAP. (Here's hoping you don't already have them all!)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Lost Without You by Annette Lyon

Book: Lost Without You by Annette Lyon
Genre: LDS Romance
For: Utah Book Month
From: bought for Kindle (maybe it was free, I can't remember!)

Short Synopsis: Brooke has just broken up with Christopher. And here she thought he was the one. But she learns that he has some pretty big issues and she's so glad she's out. Meanwhile, she keeps running into this other guy, a guy who just happens to be the cop that took down her info when Christopher crashed the car after they broke up. One thing leads to another and before long, they are going out. But all is not still not well.

My Response: I haven't read an LDS romance for so long! I didn't realize that this book was in that genre. And all the same things that have bugged me about them over the years still bugged me, but I overlooked it and enjoyed the story for what it was. . . a sweet, clean romance with a bit of a disturbing twist and ending. One thing is for sure, this Greg guy is most awesome.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed it for the most part, with some qualifications.

Let's Talk About: You know, I really enjoy clean romance, but sometimes it's almost too clean. Know what I mean? How do you define clean and where do you like to draw the line between that and way too much information?


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