Thursday, 29 November 2012

Mad Musings on: City Of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

The Blurb:
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.     Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
     City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

Mad Musings:
I was very excited to receive an arc via Netgalley and Penguin Books for two reasons:  A.) It sounds like something right up my alley (ie, paranormal historical mystery) and B.) It's set in Prague, and is another historical type story similar sounding to the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness(which I adore!) 
It has a lot of the same components - time travel, historical figures, paranormal happenings, romance...of a sort.  

What I wasn't expecting was it's fun quirkiness and nympho-like heroine!  I mean, she arrives in Prague on assignment, and proceeds to let a total stranger feel her up at dinner after meeting her cohorts for the first time AND then has anonymous sex in the bathroom with a mystery man.... What a way to start the book!!  Not the way I would introduce myself to a bunch of strangers......  
The best part of the book is Magnus Flyte himself (the author, you'll notice)  Seems his story is just as out-there as one Lemony Snicket!  The book (can we even call it a prologue?) explains on the first page about how this mysterious manuscript 'City of Dark Magic', hand typed, just kind of 'shows up' on the editor's desk one day....  I knew I was going to be intrigued with the story right from then....
The story builds from one bizarre event to the next, adding in elements of a murder mystery, or two, a strange drug, a foreign prince, an American Senator, a seemingly ageless dwarf, and Beethoven.....  yes that's right, Beethoven and his Immortal Beloved.  I learned a lot of interesting tidbits about Beethoven and his flatulence and quirks and off/on deafness.  How he managed to become one of the greatest composers in history is anyone's guess - must be pure talent!  The climax of the story builds  to one hell of an explosive finale.... and sets up expectantly for a book #2 (which I understand is in the works)

This was a fun read!  I look forward to the second book.

4 Stars

Look for City of Dark Magic - Magnus Flyte on and goodreads

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

All I Want For (My Book Shelf) Christmas Is...

So I'm making my list, and checking it twice, and this is what I've come up for what I want to see por moi under the tree this year.....  and, yes, this is my way of hinting not-so-subtlety to my family and friends (insert innocent eyes here)

I know you're all dying to know, so here goes:

1. Twilight Saga complete Movie Archive - Yes seriously! (and that's why it's Number 1!)
     SUCCESS!! And it's gorgeous too.....

2. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness - Yes, I already have these two books, But if you go to this bookshop, you can get a signed and personalized set - with something like - oh I don't know, maybe "To my favourite Pinterest Queen, Tammy" inscribed in it, and I will worship you forever!!!

A Discovery of WitchesShadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)

3. These missing books from one of my best author discoveries of the year: The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa - weirdly enough - I have book 1 and book 4 (NOT shown)....That's just how I roll
                                                                     SUCCESS! (Thanks, Kristilynn :) )
 Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

4. A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis - books 2 and 3 of the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis - Which I fell in love with just this last fall ( bonus points to anyone who finds me signed copies!)


5. The King's Man by Pauline Gedge - Oh how I love thee, lovely Alberta author - this is the third book of the King's Man trilogy
SUCCESS! Can't wait to go back to ancient Egypt
Product Details

6. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - another fab new author find for me from this year - and this book has been getting raving reviews
SUCCESS!!  First on my reading list :)
Product Details

7. Breaking Dawn By Stephenie Meyer - this is the Breaking Dawn 2 movie tie in paperback cover - not to be confused with the BD1 paperback movie cover or the original cover (Which I already have!!) I'd like to complete my collection....

8. Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick - Cause I just have to see how this, one of my favourite angel book series, ends!! 
Product Details

9. Hidden By PC and Kristen Cast - the penultimate (so I hear) latest of the House of Night Series

10. A Trail of Fire By Diana Gabaldon - And maybe, just maybe, she will one day show up in E-town again and I can get her to sign this one for me - got to have a complete set, after all!

11. Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King - Because, it's the King, man!!  And I love this series - and all his books, really....

That's it for now!   What is on your Christmas bookshelf wish list this year?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Mad Musings on: 'Crossed' (Matched Trilogy #2) by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie

The blurb:
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. 

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Mad Musings:
Just like the first book, I was fascinated with the idea of a 'perfect' society - one that controls every aspect of your life. It was interesting to see what happens when everything starts unraveling. I kind of wish that Ally Condie explained the past a bit more, though... Maybe in book #3, Reached? 

This story, while I enjoyed it, didn't seem to move fast enough for me - I found it dragging a few times. I don't entirely believe that Ky and Cassia should be together, as they don't seem to connect very well - it seems superficial. I guess that means I like the third part of the triangle better - Xander. I have a feeling Xander will be coming into the story a lot more in Reached, as well, so I am looking forward to reading it for that.

One of things I liked the best of Ally's writing is her use of poetry in the story - I've been curious about Tennyson lately, because of another series I've read, and now it pops up again here - seems I should go read more Tennyson!


My review of 'Matched'

On a personal note - I had the pleasure of meeting Ally Condie when the Smart Chicks tour rolled through town, and she was gracious enough to sign both my 'Matched' ARC and 'Crossed' books.   Good times, good times....

Friday, 16 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 32.2

"We have plenty of time to work on it," I reminded him.

"Forever and forever and forever," he murmured.

"That sounds exactly right to me."

And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of forever. ~ Bella and Edward, the end

**And I can't believe that it's all over!!!** 

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 32.2

"I want to try something," I informed him, smiling slightly at his bewildered expression.
I put my hands on both sides of his face and closed my eyes in concentration...

"Bella!" Edward whispered in shock.

I knew it was working then, so I concentrated even harder, dredging up the specific memories I'd saved for this moment, letting them flood my mind, and hopefully is as well.

Some of the memories were not clear - dim human memories, seen through weak eyes and heard through weak ears: The first time I saw his face... the way it felt when he'd held me in the meadow... the sound of his voice through the darkness of my faltering consciousness when he'd saved me from James... his face as he waited under a canopy of flowers to marry me... every precious moment on the island... his cold hands touching our baby through my skin...
And the sharp memories, perfectly recalled: His face when I'd opened my eyes to my new life, to the endless dawn of immortality... that first kiss... that first night...
His lips, suddenly fierce against mine, broke my concentration...

"Oops, I lost it!" I sighed.

"I heard you," He breathed.....

"Now you know," I said lightly, and shrugged.  "No one's ever loved anyone as much as I love you." ~ Bella and Edward chpt 39

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 31.2

"He got up, stretched, kissed the top of Nessie's head, and then the top of mine.  Finally, he punched  Edward's shoulder.  "See you guys tomorrow.  I guess things are going to be kind of boring now, aren't they?"

"I fervently hope so," Edward said. ~ Jacob and Edward, chpt 39

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 31.2

"Sorry!  I know it was rough for you, too.  It's just that... well I missed you like crazy, Alice.  Don't do that to me again."

Alice's trilling laugh rang through the room, and we all smiled to hear that music once more.  "I missed you, too Bella.  So forgive me, and try to be satisfied with being the superhero of the day." ~ Bella and Alice, chpt 39

Alice and Bella - alice-and-bella Fan Art

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 31.2

"Try to find Alistair and tell him what happened.  I'd hate to think of him hiding under a rock for the next decade." ~ Carlisle, chpt 39

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 30.2

"I get to stay with you?"  Nessie demanded.

"Forever." I promised her.  And Nessie was going to be fine and healthy and strong.
Happiness expanded like an explosion inside of me - so extreme, so violent that I wasn't sure I'd survive it.

"Forever." Edward echoed in my ear.

I couldn't speak anymore.  I lifted my head and kissed him with a passion that might possibly set the forest on fire.
I wouldn't have noticed. - ~ Renesmee, Bella, and Edward, Chpt 38

bella edward kiss

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 30.2

And the last was a young man... not quite as fast nor quite as fluid in his run.  His skin was an impossible rich, dark brown.  His wary eyes flashed across the gathering, and they were the color of warm teak.

"Alice has been searching for her own witnesses these last few weeks.... Why don't you introduce the witnesses you've brought?"

Alice stepped forward lightly and introduced the strangers.  "This is Huilen and her nephew, Nahuel." ~ Edward and Alice, chpt 39

TWILIGHT stars hit the BREAKING DAWN - PART 2 world premiere in L.A. on Nov. 12

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 30.2

"Chelsea is trying to break our bindings," Edward whispered.  "But she can't find them.  She can't feel us here..."  His eyes cut to me.  "Are you doing this?"

I smiled grimly at him.  "I'm all over this." ~ Edward and Bella, chpt 38

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 29.2

"If we live through this," Garrett whispered to Kate, "I'll follow you anywhere, woman."
"Now he tells me," She muttered. ~ Garrett and Kate, chpt 37

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 29.2

"You're the only one we could ever trust her with," I murmured to him.  "If you didn't love her so much, I could never bear this.  I know you can protect her, Jacob."

A tear the size of a baseball rolled into the russet fur beneath his eye.

Edward leaned his head against the same shoulder where he'd placed Renesmee.  "Goodbye, Jacob, my brother.... my son." ~ Bella, Edward, and Jacob, chpt 37

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 29.2

"Aro murmured "Though the creatures think of themselves as werewolves, they are not.  The more accurate name for them would be shape-shifters.  The choice of a wolf was purely chance.  It could have been a bear or a hawk or a panther when the first change was made." Aro, to Caius, chpt 37

'Red-Riding Wolf' by Paula Adams

Monday, 12 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 28.2

 "May I greet your daughter, lovely Bella?" he asked sweetly.

This is what we'd hoped for, I reminded myself.  Fighting the urge to take Renesmee and run for it, I walked two slow steps forward...

Aro met us, he face beaming.
"But she is exquisite," he murmured.  "So like you and Edward."  And louder, "Hello, Renesmee." ~Aro, Bella, and Renesmee, chpt 36

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 27.2

"They came with pageantry, with a kind of beauty." ~ Chpt 36

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 27.2

"Renesmee reached out to twine her fingers in the fur over his massive shoulder, and her body relaxed a little bit.  She was calmer with Jacob close.  I felt a tiny bit better too.  As long as Jacob was with Renesmee, she would be all right." ~ Bella, chpt 35

Mad Musings On: The Unnaturalists, Tiffany Trent

The Unnaturalists (The Unnaturalists, #1)
THE BLURB (From Goodreads):
             In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.    

 I picked this book up because, for Halloween, I was all about steampunk and I wanted to immerse myself in it for October.  I've had my eye on it since this last spring.  It has a gorgeous cover, and an interesting premise.  I also wanted to get into the world of e-books, as I now have a tablet, and I wanted to try out the kindle app on it.  So this was my first e-book purchase.

 My first thought after reading The Unnaturalists were "A bit predictable, but I enjoyed the cross-over between steampunk and supernatural elements."  Oh yes, this story has paranormal-Steampunk elements: two things that are right up my alley when I choose books to read.   I thought it was funny how the world of New London (which seems to be an alternate reality created because of some scientific experiment) is a world where anything magical is anathema  and the scientific names which have shaped our history are the 'saints' there ( Saint Newton, anyone?)  It's good for a giggle.  And I love the main character's name - Vespa Nyx- it sounds so James Bond.   I also really liked the main love interest, Hal Lumin, a man of mystery.   There's also 'the other side of the story' - that being Syrus, the Tinker, who becomes an unlikely ally.  But I'm sorry to say it really was a bit predictable, as I could guess where some of the story was going, and at the same time I really hoped I was right about said predictions...   And really, can the main characters just get together already???  ;) 
All in all - this was an amusing read.  I look forward to the next book, which doesn't seem to have a name yet.... 

3 Stars

BTW - how did I like reading my first e-book on my tablet?  While I had to hold it differently than I normally like to hold my books (with my left hand, on the top - I'm strange, I know!)  I quickly found a way that was comfortable to me.  And after a few OOPS moments where I forgot to bookmark it or accidentally jumped ahead to another page (AAAHHH!!!! WHAT DID I TOUCH!!) I quite enjoyed the experience.  I almost ran out of battery one time - one of my fears -   but after playing with the font and color settings, I think I have it set to my preferences.  It's didn't bother me like I thought it might, being that it's a tablet and not an e-reader.  Definitely better than reading on the laptop.  Although I still prefer real books, I'll be reading another e-book soon - which one shall it be?

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 27.2

"I love you," I told her.  "More than anything."

"I love you too, Momma." she answered. She touched the locket at her neck, which now held a tiny photo of her, Edward and me,  "we'll always be together."

"In our hearts we'll always be together," I corrected in a whisper as quiet as a breath." ~ Bella and Renesmee, chpt35

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 26.2

"We set up a tent for Renesmee a few yards back into the protective forest, and then there was more deja vu as we found ourselves camping in the cold again with Jacob." ~ Bella, chpt 35

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 26.2

"Edward and I had not had a last grand scene of farewell, nor did I plan one.  To speak the word was to make it final.  It would be the same as typing the words the end on the last page of a manuscript.  So we did not say our goodbyes, and we stayed very close to each other, always touching.  Whatever end found us, it would not find us separated." ~ Bella, chpt 35

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 26.2

"Then I stared at the blank ivory page for a full 5 minutes, concentrating on my decision   Alice might not be able to see Jacob or Renesmee, but she could see me.  I visualized her seeing this moment, hoping desperately that she wasn't too busy to pay attention.

Slowly, deliberately, I wrote the words RIO DE JANEIRO in all caps across the page.

Rio seemed the best place to send them:  it was far away from here, Alice and Jasper were already in South America at last report ... Now it would be Jacob's and hopefully Alice's job to search for the legends." ~ Bella, chpt 35

Friday, 9 November 2012

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 25.2

"Stupid leeches," he muttered to himself when we got outside. "Think they're so superior."  He snorted.

"They'll be shocked when the infants save their superior lives, won't they?" Edward said.

"Hell yeah, they will." ~ Jacob and Edward, chpt 42

Breaking Dawn Quotes: Day 25.2

"We went to see Charlie on Christmas day, Edward, Renesmee, Jacob, and I.  All of Jacob's pack were there, plus Sam, Emily , and Sue....

Renesmee wore the locket I had given her at dawn, and in her jacket pocket was the MP3 player Edward had given her - a tiny thing that held 5000 songs, already filled with Edward's favorites.  On her wrist was an intricately braided Quileute version of a promise ring.  Edward had gritted his teeth over that one, but it didn't bother me."