Friday, January 26, 2018

Lucy Castor Finds Her Sparkle by Natasha Lowe

26 January 0 Comments

"Lucy Castor did not like change. It made her queasy and uncomfortable, and she tried to avoid it at all costs. Luckily, she had lived her whle life in the little western Massachusetts town of Hawthorne, in the same clapboard house on the same street with the same set of parents, so change was not something Lucy had to deal with very often. And when it did come along, she could usually cope with it, like the time her mother decided to make chicken on a Monday instead of spaghetti, or insisted Lucy wear a skirt and not her usual sweatpants when they went out for dinner. Or the time her parents replaced their old green sofa (the one Lucy felt certain could fly if she knew the right magic words) without asking her first. These things were mildly upsetting (well, the sofa was heartbreaking) but Lucy generally recovered quite quickly, and life would go on in its familiar, comfortable groove.
At least until the weekend before she entered fourth grade, when a series of monumental events shook Lucy's world, and everything began to change."

(First chapter may change before publication date)

Lucy Castor Finds Her Sparkle by Natasha Lowe
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Paula Wiseman Books
Release date: February 20, 2018
Format: Paperback ARC via publisher
Ages: 8-12
Pages: 240

I feel like I have a little Lucy Castor in me. I hate change. I like things to stay the way they are, because I feel like changes are little portals straight into Anxiety-Land.

This book would be perfect for children ages 8-12 because it involves a lot of things children of that age have to deal with. Drama between friends, things changing in your life, and possible new additions to the family.

It's a very cozy book, although we can all tell that Lucy has major anxiety. She is obsessed with magic and magical moments, which I think we all could learn a thing or two from her if I do say so myself.

Lucy is also very quirky and goes against the norms of what seems to be what everyone else is doing. She still believes in magic, she loves her neighbor's Chloe's outrageous outfits, and she collects nests. I like that Lowe wrote about a girl who isn't all about sparkles and other shiny things. It's showing children that it's okay to be themselves because your true friends eventually find you anyway.

A cute cast, a cute story, and an even cuter ending. Definitely a recommended read to Elementary/early middle-graders everywhere.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Between the Blade and the Heart (Valkyrie #1) by Amanda Hocking

24 January 16 Comments

"The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers."

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA, fantasy
Pages: 319

Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos. 

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

I won this book from someone's giveaway, but I can't recall who I won it from. I'm just very thankful they gave me a chance to!

I don't read a lot of books (any) with Norse Mythology being a subject matter. The beginning was slow to me, but what drove me on were the short chapters. I'm thankful for that, because after getting through it, I want the second one ASAP.

All of the different characters like monsters and demons and Valkyrie's I was introduced to in the book kept me in awe. I loved how most all of the different species roamed the earth together.

Malin, the main character, is a Valkyrie in training following the path her mother was on. She soon finds out that her mother did something that she never thought she would do, and the whole world is in chaos now. With the help of a handsome guy named Asher, Oona, her best friend, and Quinn, her ex, and a father figures bodyguard, they travel to a place they never dreamed they'd go to save the world and prevent it from becoming worse than it already is.

There is a major amount of diversity in this book, which makes for a great read. Hocking's descriptive words captured and entranced me and transported me right into the story. As if I were witnessing the different monsters and people Malin saw on a daily basis.

There are plenty of fight scenes, drama, internal struggling, and some decently behind the scenes hot stuff goes on, if you're into that. ;)

The book does end off in a cliffhanger so I'm super happy I don't have to wait a year for the next one to come out to read it!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

18 January 0 Comments
"We all turned sixteen today, and for any normal girl that would mean raspberry and lemon macarons and tiny pastel blimps an pink champagne and card games. Maybe even a teacup elephant. But not for us. Today is our debut. There are only six of us this year."

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Genre: Dark fantasy
Pages: 434

Belles are used to create beauty in the citizens of Orleans because they think they're ugly. Camellia and her sisters were born (grown) for this specific reason. The Queen holds a ceremony to pick a "favorite" Belle. The one chosen is tasked with keeping the royal family happy and beautiful.

Eventually the Belles realize all isn't roses and daisies in Orleans. They hear screaming into the night, secrets are kept, nastiness by the citizens and people in power is rampant. People will go to the end of the world and further to be seen as beautiful. The darker undertones of The Belles reflect real life, and how the wish to be seen as desirable can become too much sometimes.

We are introduced to a deliciously evil villain, who just so happens to be the Queen's daughter, and the regent queen at that. Virtually untouchable and unstoppable, we see her dole out punishment after punishment for kicks and giggles or for punishment as well. I haven't hated a character like her in quite some time.

This is only the first book in a series, and I absolutely can't wait to get my hands on the second one already, and this book still has a month to be actually released! Clayton definitely outdid herself with a book that has relevant meaning to every day life while still keeping us intrigued with a vast variety of characters we end up hating or loving.

I haven't read a book in quite awhile that had this much detail in it, definitely a major page-turner. I could see the dresses that Camellia thought up in my mind, as well as the myriad of beauty changes that happened throughout the book. This is one book I'd love to see made into a movie.

Monday, January 15, 2018

(18 + POST) Pink Hearts 3-Piece Silicone Anal Plug Set

15 January 0 Comments

You can find this product by clicking here.

This product is adorable! The vibrant pink color sets a very romantic mood. The jewels on the end catch the light sometimes and twinkles, making you look super cute and fancy. It's also soft to the touch. The shape of the toy is made for easy insertion. It looks pointed but with plenty of lube, it will slide in smoothly with no hitches. The narrow stem allows for your bum to relax once the product is inserted so you can go about your day or your romp without worrying that it will come out!

I recommend this product to anyone who is ready to explore anal play with their partner. Since I'm new to it, I can only use the smallest size for now. The next size up looks like a huge jump, but I won't jump to any conclusions until I get warmed up to the first one first. Definitely need to use lube with these or any anal toys so you can keep your bum in tip-top shape.

These plugs are made out of silicone, phthalate-free as well as non-porous. It's also super easy to clean! All you use is some soap and water. I recommend not using silicone based lube.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson

11 January 12 Comments
"Fate came for Dottie Epstein a year earlier, in the form of a call to the principle's office.
It was not her first time there.
Dolores Epstein wasn't sent for any of the normal reasons - fighting, cheating, failing, absence. Dottie would get called down for more complicated matters: designing her own chemistry experiments, questioning her teacher's understand of non-euclidian geometry, or reading books in class because there was nothing new to be learned, so the time might as well be spent doing something useful."

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 1/16/18
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 432

When this book arrived in the mail, it took everything in me to not put the book I was reading at the time down and pick this one up instead.
I do judge a book by its cover, and let me tell you, I loved the cover of this, as well as the book itself.
I mostly read books pertaining to the dark side of life, and this one left a major impression on me and left me grasping for more.

We follow a curious girl named Stevie to a college way up in the mountains. Stevie's heroes are the detectives she's read about and watched on TV, and it just so happens that there not one but two murder mysteries at the college she's going to that's begging to be solved.

With multiple references to Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie, I fell in love with Stevie. I also really liked all of the supporting characters as they all brought very different personalities to the story.
The chapters switch back and forth between timelines but it's not hard to follow at all, and all of the characters we read about in the past are just as intriguing as the characters we follow in the present in the book.
The atmosphere of the book was another plus side to me. A massive boarding school up in the mountains shrouded in the mystery of an unsolved murder got all my book-senses tingling. I devoured this book, and now I have to wait until 2019 to figure out what happened after the MASSIVE CLIFFHANGER I was left with!! I'm so, so glad there's going to be a sequel. Not many books leave a lasting impression on me and this one was a solid 5/5 stars for me.

This book made my mouth drop on more than one occasion. It was that full of surprises. If you like detective stories with a strong female lead, I suggest this book be your next read!

Monday, January 8, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

08 January 13 Comments

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you've read, are reading, and about to read over the week.

Click here to visit Book Date for more details!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your first week of the year was amazing and filled with nothing but awesome-ness! Mine was slow and lazy, BUT I've read two books to keep me occupied. Goodreads is telling me I'm ahead of schedule, so that's nice to hear.

What I read last week:
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

I have the review posted here. 4/5 stars!

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Review will be up Tuesday so be on the look out for it!

What I'm reading now:

Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson

I received this ARC a couple days ago and I finally started it today. I've hardly been able to put it down. Big props to a female detective and the mentions of Sherlock at the beginning roped me in right away. Not to mention that the setting is a private school where murders have taken place!!!

The Virgin Suicides by Jeff Eugenides

I'm reading this as an e-book and I truly don't know how I feel about it. I'm 3/4 of the way done and still have yet to make my mind up. It's more than a little weird, but I have to finish it! I'm a little slower to read e-books than I am print books for some reason, but I'll get through it.

What I'm reading next:
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

I got an ARC at the same time I got Truly, Devious, so this is up next on my TBR. I read The Way I Used to Be by her last April. I had mixed feelings about it but liked her style of writing in it so I can't wait to delve into this one. Her covers are truly something else!

So, what are you reading?! Leave a comment below or link me to your post so I can see what you all have been up to as well. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir GIVEAWAY!

06 January 14 Comments
Hey everyone! I've been sitting on this one since the beginning of December! Since the release is in March I decided I'll do the giveaway now so someone can get their hands on and ARC!

Read below for the synopsis, then enter the giveaway if you're feeling up to it!

The Final Six
by Alexandra Monir
When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Classix Power Pump

04 January 0 Comments

Classix Power Pump was a wonderful product! Click here to buy.

My boyfriend and I are more than happy with the size of his package, trust me. Sometimes it's just fun to try out new things to spice things up in the bedroom. With Classix Power Pump is was easy to do just that!

At first we experimented to make sure we were doing it right. It's pretty straightforward but we were worried we could damage something if we didn't research properly. After that, we started. He made a little "oomph" sound. He's really new to toys, so he didn't have a clue what to expect.
But he liked it! And he liked it a lot! 

He has an extremely sensitive penis. Usually he can't use sex toys for too long because it starts to hurt, but he had no issues with this toy thankfully.

You will need to use lube for the rubber base as to not create any fine tears and to help you glide smoothly in. Or if you don't even want to use the rubber base, it's removable! I was worried since the base was rubber it would have a nasty smell to it, but I couldn't pick up any whiff of anything which is a plus to me.

It helped him last longer, and definitely kept him harder even after we reached the end game. So we went for round two, and even made it to round three after I gave him about 30 minutes rest.

The transparent tube lets you see how much you're growing, and no doubt gives you a confidence boost. Plus, it's pretty cool to see it grow coming from a female's perspective.

I highly recommend this pump for a first time user.

To use, all you have to do is place your finer over the air release hole, and squeeze the pump to whatever feels right to you. After you're done, make sure to clean the product with an anti-bacterial soap and washcloth to make sure you're staying healthy and clean for your next romp! ;)

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Size Matters Clitoral Pumping System

03 January 0 Comments
I love getting to learn about new products, using them is one of my favorite things to do as well. Before getting started, I had to look up exactly what the clitoral pump was supposed to do. I even looked into some videos as well to aid myself and make sure that I was doing it right.

This product is made wonderfully. The black pump part was easy enough for me to press down so I didn't have to use too much strength to get it to pump.

Sadly, the suction just wasn't all that good for me.

I began by positioning the cylinder right above my clit then started pressing the pump.
For some reason the thing just would not suction to me properly.
Thankfully I never had to use the release valve (that did scare me at first) but I'm not quite sure that this product just is suited for me or my anatomy. I'm fairly sure I wasn't doing it wrong because it's a pretty straight forward product.

In my opinion, this doesn't create enough suction for me to do its job properly. It might work on you, though! I'm not quite sure if they work well on people with bigger or smaller clits, but I have a medium sized one and this pump wouldn't suction to it for some reason.

The packaging was discreet and arrived super fast! You couldn't even tell what was in the box when it arrived, which is a good thing if you live with others or live in an apartment complex like I do!

Click here to see the product!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan + BookishFirst!

01 January 11 Comments

"My wig slumps on my desk where I have tossed it like flattened road kill. Out of court, I am careless with this crucial part of my wardrobe, showing it the opposite of what it should command: respect. It's handmade from horsehair and worth nearly six hundred pounds, but I want it to age and to accrue the gravitas I sometimes fear I lack. I want the hairline to yellow with years or perspiration, the tight, cream curls to relax or to grey with dust. It's been nineteen years since I was called to the Bar, but my wig is still that of a conscientious new girl - not a barrister who has inherited it from her, or more usually, his father. That's the sort of wig I want: one dulled with the patina of tradition, entitlement, and age."

(Beginning of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan. Quotes may be subject to change based on final copy of the book when it's published.)

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Publisher: Atria/ Emily Bestler Books
Date published: 1/23/2018

Genre: Contemporary, fiction
Pages: 400

Anatomy of a Scandal has it all. Vaughan has managed to start off my 2018 with a book that has already left such a big impression on me. This is the second book I've read this month with the theme of rape, and I'm thankful that Vaughan handles the topic with grace and a straight-to-the-facts personality that shows us how deeply this can affect someone one it happens to them.

James is a politician who has been accused of rape. His wife wants to believe he's innocent, but as time goes on the less she's convinced. Kate is the lawyer who has been hired to try to pin James with a guilty verdict, and she's more than one hundred perfect convinced that he is guilty.

A courtroom is the perfect setting for this book, as it blends well with the topic at hand. We get multiple perspectives of different people, and see how looking past past crimes can come back to haunt people if they're not taught a lesson when it happens the first time.

With more women and men speaking up about their past run-ins with sexual harassment or rape in the news today, Vaughan has managed to come up with a book that's both timeless and trendy that packs a real lesson to all of us.

5/5 read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to start their 2018 with a book that they're unable to put down. I gobbled it up in two days tops. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own and are not swayed by any outside factors.