In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a lovely MEME
from the coolest blog on the planet!

Here are just a few of the goodies that will help me ring in the
New Year!
Print Books:
 Title:  Immortal Beloved
Author:  Cate Tiernan
Source:  ARC Poppy

Title:  Darkness Falls
Author:  Cate Tiernan
Source:  ARC Poppy

 Title:  The Statistical Probability of Love at 
First Sight
Author:  Jennifer E. Smith
Source: ARC Poppy

Title:  The Queen of Kentucky
Author:  Alecia Whitaker
Source:  ARC Poppy

Title:  Johnny Doesn't Drink Champagne
Author:  Cody Young
Source:  Author


Title:  Unearthly
Author:  Cynthia Hand
Source:  Amazon Purchase

Title:  Hallowed
Author:  Cynthia Hand
ARC for Book Tour

Title:  Everneath
Author:  Brodi Ashton
Source:  ARC for Book Tour

Title:  Devastation
Author:  Shandy L. Kurth
Source:  Contest Win from Author

Like what I'm reading?
Go get some for yourself.

Sneak Review: My Heart Burns for "Cinder"

Title:  Cinder
(Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Format:  Kindle
Length:  5 Chapter Sample
Publisher:  Feiwel & Friends
Age Range: Teen
Rating:  5 stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.  -Goodreads

Before beginning this review, I must state that what I write here is not based on having read "Cinder" in its entirety.  I am basing my opinion on the 5 chapter "sneak" that I was able to obtain here: "Cinder" Sneak Chapter1-5
That said...away we go.

A Different Kind of Fairytale 
In this retelling of the classic Cinderella, Cinder is a cyborg working as a mechanic in the day market of New Beijing.  Though she is a gifted mechanic, her cyborg status makes her a second class citizen and a pariah to all who are aware of it.
Little does she know that working to support her tyrannical stepmother Ari and her two stepsisters will put her in the path of Prince Kai, the mysterious and handsome heir to the realm...and change her life forever.

I have closed the book and am still transfixed by Cinder and her mouthy android Iko.  Cinder is a girl that knows how to survive, and though she has been dealt a hard hand in life she is determined to play it to her advantage.
The author does such a good job weaving the cloak of mystery around Cinder's past that I am chomping at the bit to find out more about her.
Though it is more than clear that there is no love lost between Cinder and her stepmother Adri.  The love for her stepsisters, Pearl and Peony shines through.
My heart sinks to my knees when Peony is stricken with the dreaded Letumosis.
I can't wait to see how things will change for Cinder because of the loss of her sister and friend.

And there is the prince...
Prince Kai needs Cinder to fix his android...why?
Is it just a sentimental attachment from his past or something more?
What will fixing the prince's droid mean for Cinder?

I love the concept of Cinderella as  futuristic dystopian.  Given the "plight of the downtrodden" idea of the original work, this take in the retelling is a "key-in-lock" fit that not only allows Miss Meyer to rework the original tale but also to expound upon it in mind-bending new ways. 
This series is sure to break the "glass slipper" forever.


Just Sittin' Here...Waitin' on Wendesday #6

This wonderful meme is based on the one started by Breaking the Spine
I am happy to report that I have survived Christmas!
I am hoping that all of you are having a wonderful Holiday Season!
There are so many GREAT reads for the coming year that it is hard for me to choose just one!
Here is that one
Title:  Fever
(Chemical Garden #2) 
Author:  Lauren DeStephano 
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 
Release Date:  Feb 21, 2012
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

 Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive

Paranormal / Fantasy Reviews: "Goddess of the Sea" Swept Me Away

Title:  Goddess of the Sea (Goddess Summoning Series #1)
Author:  P.C. Cast
Format:  Kindle Edition
Length:  368 pages
Publisher:  Berkley Publishing
Age Range:  Adult
Rating:  5 stars
Home alone on the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, U.S. Air Force sergeant Christine Canady yearned for something to cure her loneliness. After drinking too much champagne, she recited a divine invocation to revive her humdrum life. But how was she to know the spell would actually work?

When her plane crashes into the ocean, CC’s life changes forever. She awakens, bewildered, to find herself in a legendary time and place ruled by magic – and in the body of the mythical mermaid Undine. But danger lurks in the water, ready to swallow CC whole. Taking pity on her, the goddess Gaea turns CC into a damsel so that she might seek shelter on land. When a dashing knight comes to CC’s rescue, instead of falling for this dream come true, she aches for the sea and the darkly sexy merman who’s stolen her heart…

I Wish...
This book is for every woman who ever wished to don a tail and frolic among the waves of the oceans and seas.  You heard me right ladies...the P. C. Cast that your teens love so much has penned a little fantasy for the not so little girls, and you once you plunge into the depths "Goddess of the Sea" has to will want to shun the shores of reality forever.
Where Do I Belong?
As the story opens, the reader is introduced to one Christine Canady.  In Christine we find a woman who try as she might, just can't seem to find her place anywhere.  She feels inadequate at work, has no real attachment to the home that she has made for herself, and is even unsure of herself as a sensual being.
Been there...done that!
Christine's not so perfect character and her struggle to "fake it til you make it" will ring true with any reader who has ever felt themselves to be the square peg in the round hole.
Not to worry dear reader.  Help is just a few...well a great many drinks away.
Yes, as is often the case, Christine has a light bulb moment while blitzed past all help.  During said moment she invokes Gaea, the Earth goddess and asks for "a little magic in her life."  It is not until her plane crashes into the ocean and she trades bodies with Gaea's drop dead gorgeous mer-daughter Undine, that things start to get a little interesting.
This is where the story really begins.  There is an overbearing ass of a Mer-prince named Sarpedon, a knight in shining armor merman named Dylan, and even a Little Mermaid-esque prince, named Sir Andras.

There is quite a lot of physical ping ponging from man to mer and back, but Undine/ CC's heart remains with the waves.
After reading the love scenes that take place amid the crystalline waves, even the most land locked heart will yearn to be lost "under the sea".

Girl Power Mid-evil Style
The meat of this story takes place in Mid-evil Whales, a time and place that at first seems to leave CC completely out of her element.  The further the story progresses, the more readers truly come to know CC and how much in her element she is.
Though this story is dripping with romance and magic; the story is really about the power of all that is feminine.  The spell cast by her eyes.  The enchantment of her voice.  The strength in her bond to the creative and the divine.  These are the real stars of this story. 
This book is a joy to read and a great first in the series.