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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Once Every Never

Once Ever Never
by Lesley Livingston

Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never. (goodreads.com)

Whatever shall I say about this book without spoiling it for those of you who are still waiting for it to arrive. (*cough*Jenny*cough*) I shall try my best to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. In fact I might even regale you with my tale of trying to get this book and my embarrassing moment in a bookstore because of it.

Firstly I want to say that although I was skeptical about how the story might play out when I started I was quickly distracted by that by the witty dialogue. There were quite a few lines that made me laugh out loud and I was soothed by them and able to enjoy the story. Time travel-esque stories worry me because they are often confusing. This book wasn’t confusing at all and it was a light, fun romp through Celtic times and present-day London.

I was a fan of Livingston’s Wondrous Strange series and I was both eager to read more by her and nervous that the new story wouldn’t live up to the other series. I am happy to report that this was a great book with humour, history and engaging characters who captivated me for an entire evening when most other books couldn’t. I have a new pile of awesome books that I have been dying to read and yet every time I started one I just wasn’t feeling it. Once Every Never held my attention right away and I didn’t look back.

I quite enjoyed the relationship between Claire and her best friend. I love that she had support while everything was going on and it was humourous and fun. Did I mention I loved the humour in the story? Well I did. 😉

One thing I am hoping for is that Once Every Never will be a stand-alone novel. I love a good series, mind you, I am just tired of every new release being a series now. Even books that were only supposed to be singles or perhaps trilogies just seem to keep going and going and they are not always kept at the same level. Too many books fizzle out as the series gets stretched thinner and thinner. (I am thinking House of Night series here, I gave up after book 4). I love this book as a stand alone novel. I don’t want to see more wacky time travel adventures, but I do want to see more from Lesley as she creates other worlds and new people for me to meet.

As for my embarrassing story on procuring this book, well… I had originally pre-ordered two copies of Once Every Never and one copy of Heartless way back when and then Canada Post went on strike and ended up being locked out. I was in Chapigo one weekend and I saw stacks of OEN on the table and it just so happened that my sister’s best friend, a manager at the Chapigo I was at, was working that night. I went and asked him if it was easy to cancel preorders because I don’t know when I’d get the books because of the strike. He started looking me up in the system and asked when I ordered them because the last thing he saw on my account was from February. I said “Hmm I believe it was April, I am sure I placed the…oh…crap” I started to blush and back away. I had suddenly recalled that I did the preorder with AMAZON and not Chapigo since I was all ticked off at them for their stupid membership stuff. Now, having worked in bookstores for almost 10 years I KNOW better than that. I was so embarrassed that *I* made that mistake. Oh, golly! I used to roll my eyes at people like that and think them daft. Turns out I am the daft one.

In the end, cancelling a pre-order with Amazon was super easy, in case any of you were wondering. *blush*

In My Mailbox #45

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.
All my IMM posts can be found here!

Ok, so I probably shouldn’t have done a video just after waking up when it was already 32C outside and humid and my nose is stuffed up something fierce after spending yesterday outside most of the day for my 6th wedding anniversary… but I did. I sound like I alternate between total space cadet and super snooty snob girl – I promise you I am neither!!

Books mentioned:

Bought from Book Depository UK

  • Hexbound – Chloe Neill
  • Forgotten –  Cat Patrick
  • Blood Magic – Tessa Gratton

Gifted (THANK YOU!!)

  • The Jewel of the Kalderash  – Marie Rutkowski

Bought from Chapigo

  • HEARTLESS!!!!! – Gail Garriger
  • Once Ever Never – Lesley Livingston

Peeps mentioned in le video blog:

Jenny from Wondrous Reads


Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange, #3)
by Lesley Livingston

“I don’t love Sonny Flannery.”

That’s the lie Kelley Winslow told to protect the boy she loves from a power he doesn’t know he possesses. Devastated, Sonny retreats—to a haven for Lost Fae that’s hidden deep underneath New York City.

But Kelley’s not about to let things end in heartbreak. To get Sonny back, she’s got to find out who’s after his magick—and how to use her own. She’s got to uncover who’s recruiting Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie. She’s got to help rebuild the shattered theater company she called family. And she’s got to do it all without getting dangerously distracted by the Fennrys Wolf, whose legendary heart of stone seems to melt whenever he’s around Kelley. (goodreads.com)

This *might* be a little spoilery, so if you have not read Wondrous Strange and Darklight yet, I would wait before reading this post!

Thanks to a birthday gift card from my wonderful boss I was able to pick up the final book in Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange trilogy. I was not disappointed.

I think I liked this book the best of all three, I know I found it much funnier than Darklight, but it’s been so long since I read Wondrous Strange I had to go back and read my review to make sure I was right in that thought. Heh. I recall not liking Sonny at all in the first book, but he’s grown on me since then. I do feel he’s not as well-rounded of a character as say, The Fennrys Wolf, but I think that’s just more a personal thing with me connecting with one character over the other. I say Kelley should have fallen for Fenn in my little world. 😉

I loved trying to figure out what was going on the entire book. I kept making these predictions of who was behind everything and I was only half-right. The character relations in Tempestuous seemed much stronger than in the first book and I think the trilogy itself was a great mesh of character development as it went on. All the characters I loved were in this book, even if only for a brief moment.

I was particularly intrigued by the recruitment of “Janus Guards to murderously hunt innocent Faerie” plot line. I wasn’t sure which Janus to trust and I wanted to know how this happened and who was behind it all.

What I didn’t quite like was how Kelley went from not referring to either of her Faerie parents as Mother and Father to suddenly calling them Mom and Dad near the end. I know that some progress had been made with those relationships, but I didn’t feel it was enough to suddenly have such endearments flinging around. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but I sort of feel it was too quickly thrown in – despite the growth of their relationships.

I don’t want to say much else because I don’t want to give anything away that wasn’t already written in the official summary, but I highly enjoyed the conclusion to this series and I hope that Lesley writes more books soon, because as I said to her on Twitter, “I need more of your words in my head!”

As with my posts on the previous books in the series, I need to take a moment and talk about how beautiful this cover is. Each cover in this series has been fantastic, but this one takes the cake. (Mmmmm, cake.) A photo from the internet just does NOT cut it in detailing the beauty of this cover. It’s almost shimmery in real life and the pages are once again all those torn edge ones (I know it’s called something, but I can’t think of it!) and it was just such a pleasure to HOLD while reading the book.

I am also on a quest to find out what type face was used for the titles of these novels. Anyone? I think it’s gorgeous and since I am a font whore I need to find it and have it on my computer!!

Read this series – especially if you are Canadian and would like to support awesome Canadian authors!

Wondrous Strange series

  1. Wondrous Strange
  2. Darklight
  3. Tempestuous


Darklight (Wondrous Strange, #2)
by Lesley Livingston

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt.
Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.
When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart. (goodreads.com)

I know, I know, it has taken me forever to procure and read this book. I am ashamed to say that it took me this long to get it. But I got it with my Christmas money with the idea that if I loved it I would use birthday money later this month to buy the third book. And guess what? I will be buying the third book later this month!

I re-read my review of Wondrous Strange as I was setting up this post and it made me recall that I didn’t like Sonny. Funny, I didn’t have that thought at all this book. I was a little scared about how I would enjoy Darklight because I thought it started off a little slow, but by about half way through the story I couldn’t put it down. It was my hope that I would be able to get it finished before midnight on December 31, but that didn’t happen. Sadly all the painting I was doing in the bedroom took up way more time than I thought it would and… well, I had a nap. A three hour nap. I was exhausted from 3 days of painting and I knew I wanted to stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop.

So I finished this book on January 1st. I’d like to take my enjoyment of the novel as a good sign of awesome reading to come this year.

I am curious as to who the Big Bad is in the next book. Something is up with Auberon and someone seems to be after… Kelley? The Green Man magick? Something. I am actually quite invested in this mystery!

One other little thing about this book that isn’t really about the story – the author is Canadian. Yay! I am always extra excited when I know the author is a fellow Canadian, but I never thought to keep track of this on my blog to refer back to at a later date. It wasn’t until I was reading Court’s recap of 2010 on her blog that I thought, hmmm, she keeps track of Canadian authors read, why can’t I? Therefore I have tagged this post with “Canadian Author” and I will try my best to remember to do the same for other Canadian author books!

I enjoy this series, it’s fun and fast paced and I rather like the characters. I can’t wait until after January 23rd to get me my next book!

Wondrous Strange series

  1. Wondrous Strange
  2. Darklight
  3. Tempestuous

Wondrous Strange

Wondrous Strange
by Lesley Livingston

I quite enjoyed this book. It has been way too long since I sat down and read something other than a bill or work-related document, so I was thrilled when I felt the excitement of a new book when I opened the parcel in my mail and saw the cover. I took the book to bed with me that night and read almost until the very end before exhaustion overcame me.

Kelley is 17 and on her own in New York City. She has acting aspirations and recently was bumped from stage hand-slash-understudy to the role of Titania in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Meanwhile, out in the big city there is an actual Fae crisis happening. The Janus guards are trying to keep the faeries from coming through the crack in the magical gate that keeps the mortal world safe from the faerie one. When Kelley happens to find herself starting to get mixed up in the middle of all of this and learns of her faerie heritage she has to help stop the return of the Wild Hunt or all human kind will suffer.

I would really like to thank the author for her help in getting me an ARC of this book. I had trouble with the Harper Collins First Look Program (like it seems many others have had!) and she contacted me and offered to help out. I am forever in her debt!!

My only problem with the book, is that I didn’t really like Sonny. I found him to be a very flat and one-dimensional character and not all that entertaining. I am hoping that if there is more to this story (AND I CERTAINLY WANT MORE!) that he will be better rounded or something.

Also, this cover art is fantastic.

And one note  – it seems that the hard cover version isn’t going to be available in Canada much longer (I am sure I saw some in the store though) because the trade paperback version is due in stores on January 9, 2009. Strange. I am going to have to try and get my hands on a hardcover version myself. It’s pretty enough to have in hard cover. 😉

Wondrous Strange series

  1. Wondrous Strange
  2. Darklight
  3. Tempestuous