Saturday, April 19, 2014

Garden Ramblings: This week in bloom…

It was a cloudy, rainy week, which is good for the plants (& knocking down pollen counts) but not so good for picture taking. I managed to get a few though.


Mock Orange shrub




He was kind of far away – but there was a gorgeous hawk on my fence one morning yesterday.

Friday, April 18, 2014

{Speed Dating} Review: Shadow Spell (The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

18527947From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…

With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken…

A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss.
Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess…things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle.

Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves.

Goodreads | Author | Amazon

*** I love The Bookswarm’s Speed Date reviews and Mary kindly gave me permission to do my own twist on the format.


How we met: In a reading slump, I decided to pick up a book from one of my favorite, comfort read authors – Nora Roberts. The story is set in scenic Ireland, has the friends to lovers trope and has a hot falconer. What could go wrong?

The honeymoon phase: Connor is indeed a hot falconer. The Ireland countryside is indeed lush and scenic. The land is filled with mystery and magic. I didn’t read book #1 but there is a wonderful recap of the history of the land and the friendships between the characters. Connor and Meara fall pretty quickly once they decide to move past the friend zone but I like them together.

Reality hits: I have no clue what anyone is talking about. They talk in weird “witchy spell speak”.

“We’re not the three, but with the three. Another delicate balance we could say. What we bring to the circle is as vital as the other end of that balance. The three might think it different from time to time, and some with the three might think different, but it is what it is, and that’s for us all to remember and respect.”

What the whaaaa? Could we please just get back to the Connor, Meara sexy, romantic times with a healthy dose of tension? Those were great. Except we’re interrupted almost constantly by an evil dude who’s there – then not there – then there – then - whatever. I stopped caring. But apparently after each evil guy encounter the friends must all gather and eat. At this point I feel like I’ve missed a lot from the first book even with the recap. Or this is just a dumb book. The dialogue is awful so I’m going with the latter.

Can this relationship be saved? No. We can still be friends with occasional re-read benefits of Nora Roberts other novels. I just won’t be continuing with this series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!


Welcome to the 4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway HopApril 17th to 24th
Hosted by
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later

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Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel & Mortal Heart

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I have two picks for this week:

Rebel JKT HC des3.indd

Rebel (Reboot #2) by Amy Tintera
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: May 13, 2014

The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can't-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.

~ I really enjoyed Reboot and I love the fact that this is a duology and NOT a trilogy. There isn’t too long of a wait either!


Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: November 4, 2014


Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has.

~ Is anyone who reads this series NOT waiting for this book? Gorgeous cover and I have a feeling Annith’s story will be both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tune in Tuesday: American Authors, Bad Things, Foxes


Tune In Tuesday is a weekly feature in which bloggers get to showcase another one of their loves, music! The feature was originally created and hosted by Ginger over at GReads! but can now be found over at Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands.

I picked these three songs this week for their gorgeous lyrics..

American Authors


Bad Things

Caught Inside

I had no idea that Sean White (Olympic snowboarder/skateboarder) was the guitarist for this band.


Holding Onto Heaven

Let me know what you’re listening to this week in the comments!