August 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Recipe Reveal (and Giveaway) with Yangsze Choo, Author of The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo
William Morrow Paperbacks
August 5, 2014 (paperback)

Yangsze Choo’s stunning debut, The Ghost Bride, is a startlingly original novel infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists. 

Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favorable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Instead, the wealthy Lim family urges her to become a “ghost bride” for their son, who has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at what price?

Night after night, Li Lan is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, where she must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family. 

Reminiscent of Lisa See’s Peony in Love and Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Ghost Bride is a wondrous coming-of-age story and from a remarkable new voice in fiction.

Recipe Reveal: 
Teh Tarik

As a former British colony, Malaysia has a long and rich history of independent little coffee shops, or kopitiam, as they’re known by locals. These are usually little shophouses with round marble topped tables and the iconic Polish bentwood chairs that used to be so common. You can sit under the lazily spinning ceiling fans and order toast with butter and kaya (a kind of caramelized egg custard jam), soft-boiled eggs, and a wide variety of tea and coffee drinks. 

One of the most beloved drinks you can find in a kopitiam is teh tarik. Teh means tea, and tarik means “to pull”. It’s basically a cup of perfectly frothed milky tea that’s made by pouring hot tea from one cup to another. The more expert you are, the further the distance between the two cups, and when it’s done right, it looks effortless, as though the stream of tea is being pulled between the two cups. 

Although it takes some practice to do, it’s an entertaining and fun way to serve tea to your guests, though practicing outdoors makes it easier to clean up spills! Try it some time and see. 

Teh Tarik

- Make strong tea. The traditional way to make this is to use 4 teaspoons of tea dust or broken tea leaves per cup. Add 1 cup boiling water, let it steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a cotton strainer or “sock” (not a real one though!). If you don’t have tea dust, choose a robust tea like Malaysian Boh tea from Cameron Highlands, or Lipton black tea and use 2-3 tea bags per cup. Steeo longer if you want a stronger brew.

- Next, add about ½ inch of sweetened condensed milk per cup of tea. More if you have a sweet tooth, and less if you don’t, but in kopitiams, tea and coffee are generally served very sweet and strong. Stir to mix. If you prefer thinner tea, you can add milk and reduce the amount of condensed milk. If you have a very sweet tooth, you can add more sugar.

-Now comes the tarik part! Traditionally, this is done by putting the tea into two stainless steel mugs and pouring it from one to another. As you pour, the tea becomes cooler and frothier. The higher you pour from, the better the quality of bubbles. People say that the flavours blend well and it tastes better. 

Fun facts: 

If you’re ever in Malaysia or Singapore, here’s a glossary of kopitiam terms so you can order like a local!

Teh - tea
Kopi - coffee
Chum - tea and coffee mixed together
Teh/kopi oh - Hot tea/coffee served black with sugar
Teh/kopi see - tea/coffee with evaporated milk (less sweet than regular teh or kopi)
Teh/kopi kosong - black tea/coffee with no milk or sugar (kosong means “empty”)
Teh halia - hot tea with ginger. This is especially good when you’re not feeling well or have a cold.

[Photo captions: 1. Our local teh tarik guy in Malaysia. A professional like him can get a lot of height while pouring! 2. The tea has a nice head of bubbles, rather like beer]

About the Author:
Yangsze Choo is a fourth generation Chinese from Malaysia. After graduating from Harvard, she worked in various corporate jobs while secretly writing fiction between financial spreadsheets. Now a stay-at-home-mum, she writes late at night when her kids have (finally!) gone to sleep. Yangsze Choo eats and read too much and often does both at her blog

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Check out the rest of the blog tour:
4th Guest Blog @ Fire & Ice 
5th Character Spotlight @ Pages From My Thoughts 
6th Author Interview @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf
7th Recipe Reveal @ Pieces of Whimsy
8th Character Spotlight @ Gobs and Gobs of Books
11th Guest Blog @ A Dream Within A Dream
12th Recipe Reveal @ Bookish Things and More
13th Author Interview @ Bibliophelia, Please
14th Recipe Reveal @ Fantasy's Ink
15th Character Spotlight @ Addicted Readers

August 12, 2014

Review: Ignite Me

Ignite Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Series: Book 3 in the Shatter Me series

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

My Review:

Cover: This cover implies that it's spring or summer, the flowers have bloomed and Juliette is all better. I personally think that this cover is depressing because it's the opposite of the book. The book just ended bleakly.

Another thing is that the eye is reflecting a bird. From reading Shatter Me, you'd think Adam symbolizes the bird and freedom and he has bird tattoo and all that. But, not really a spoiler, Juliette and Warner end up together and Adam becomes the exact opposite of himself. At the end of all that, you wonder why they even bothered with the whole bird analogy at all.

OK, and I hate this cover because I hate this book. I hated looking at my copy so much, I threw in the trash where it belongs, even before I had a chance to write this review.

Writing: (1/5) Why, why the hell did I ever think the writing for this series was good? God I don't even want to get into the previous books, but if you think the writing for this series is good or have heard it's good, please read this review

Let's just get into the writing for Ignite Me. This book was 98% dialogue. So the author needs to redeem Warner right? So she spends most of the book making the characters talk and talk and talk about Warner. Every problem characters have had with Warner, they work it out through talking. Why should Juliette end up with Warner? He's just horrible. Well, Warner explains why he's not that horrible in the first chapters so they can leave more room for the rest of the book for him and Juliette to have plenty of sex.

Talking and talking and talking...

You know I remember when at school, the teacher would assign us to write a short story, and because we kids were amateurs and had no idea how to write a story, we would just write almost completely in dialogue.

Setting: (1/5)always thought the setting for this series was flimsy. Looking back though, I just imagined the characters in a white void. Out of all the books I've ever read, and I've obviously read tons, this has to be the most sorry excuse for a setting I've ever seen.

Did you think that there would be world building in Ignite Me? That the stupid dystopian conflict would get resolved? Hell no, it doesn't.

Plot: (1/5) Plot...

I don't even know how anyone in their right mind could pretend Ignite Me had a plot. The idea is laughable

Here's the plot. We have 400 pages, give or take. 350 pages are spent redeeming Warner, getting every character to love Warner (and I do mean everyone), and of course the main course, HAVING SEX WITH WARNER AND TOUCHING WARNER AND AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

OK, and the last 50 pages are settling the conflict with Anderson in a way that's beyond a joke.

Main Character: (1/5) If you read my past reviews, I read this series because I loved Juliette. That's it. I did not read it for the romance or Adam or Warner. I wanted to see character development and I wanted to see Juliette becoming better. I did not want to see Juliette throwing away her kindness and thinking it's weakness. I did not want to see Tahereh Mafi shredding this character into bits because she wanted to get into Warner's pants so much.

Villain: (1/5) Anderson literally appeared for like two seconds...

Wow, talk about such little screen time for such a major character.

Also, his first name is kind of awkward with Juliette.

Other Characters: (1/5) 
Adam: So how does the author make everyone completely agree with the disgusting pairing that is Juliette and Warner? By deconstructing Adam and making him a jerk that would swear, yell, and even hit Juliette.
Kenji: No one's going to be on Juliette's side because everyone thinks Warner is a psychopath. I know! Let's make Kenji and her sudden BFFs and we know BFFs support you in all your decisions. Especially when it comes to men. You hate him, we hate him. You love him, we love him.
Castle and the rest of the people at Omega Point: OK, we don't have time to squeeze you in because we need every chapter for Juliette x Warner, so let's kill most of you and only keep a few. With Juliette leading of course. Because she'd make a fabulous leader.
James: We still might not buy that Warner is indeed a good person. I know, let's make the little kid talk and even become attached to him! You know, because little kids are so innocent and cute and stuff.
Warner: Ha, Warner. Warner just scares me. This is not Warner. How can a psychopath do such a head turn? From psychopath to this unbelievably "kind" person. 

Romance: (1/5) You know the title fits very well. Ignite Me, as in, hey Warner have some hot passionate sex with me. It felt gross writing that, but that's how gross this book is. If any of you think Juliette and Warner actually love and care for another, then something is wrong with you. If the author had to ruin not one, but all the characters just to make these two be together, then there is something seriously wrong here.

How did these sex scenes even make it into a YA book? I swear, if you're teenagers, read the sex scene to one of your parents and see if they think this is appropriate. A lot of people told the author that she should write erotica...

The sex scenes were a mix of very descriptive and leaving it up to your imagination and that combination was frightening. I've never been more traumatized. I wanted to puke.

Other Comments: I was thinking of burning the book and posting the video here just to show how much I hated this book. It keeps asking for it - Ignite Me, Ignite Me. But I decided not to because that's too childish. So I just threw it in the trash. I could not find any worth it had for me to give it away to someone.

Overall: (7/35) Ignite Me was the worst book I read in my life. I had months to think about it, so trust me. No book has traumatized me more than this one. Tahereh Mafi is a terrible author. Do not read the Shatter Me series.

I'm sorry if this review seems like a joke in comparison to my other reviews. But I just can't review it seriously, this book is a joke. 

July 24, 2014

Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Series: Book 1 in The Grisha series

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

My Review:

Cover: I really like the covers for this series. So much effort was put into them. I especially like the antlers on either side of the palace.

The book also included a nicely drawn map:

I also really like the chapter title illustrations:

A lot of effort was put into the book's design. I can definitely see why though. YA lately are the same thing over and over, at least this one had something slightly different with the Russian and fantasy setting. 

Writing: (3/5) The writing was clear and very easy to get into. I definitely found the writing better than most YA books. I really liked the prologue and the epilogue's writing, probably because it was written in third person. The rest of the book is written in first person and Alina is such an annoying narrator. She was so much more tolerable from a third person narrative. I really wish the whole book was in third person, it would have been so much better.    

Setting: (2/5) The setting was medieval and it felt like it was spray painted with a "Russian" setting. On one hand, the setting was fun and I did enjoy it to a certain extent and there were one or two original things. But on the other hand, it was flimsy and more importantly, beyond cliché.

Plot: (4/5) Ordinary girl finds out she has power. Taken away by organization and trained. You wouldn't believe how overused this plot line is in fantasy. Despite this, Shadow and Bone threw in a couple of surprises and it was really fun to read. After I finished reading the book, I didn't understand why it was so popular. But looking back, I was way too harsh. I really enjoyed it and it was such a fun read. Most YA books (maybe you can say like all YA books) focus on romance. Let's not pretend it's not true. It's romance with a dabble of plot and fantasy. I sort of felt like Shadow and Bone was the opposite, it was plot and fantasy with a dabble of romance (mind you I didn't really enjoy what romance it had and just wish the author would have cut it).

Main Character: (1.5/5) Alina...where do I start? Well, let's start with her name. I don't really care that her last name is inaccurate in Russian (although a quick Google search could have remedied that). My problem is her first name...Alina. What is wrong with authors and choosing the whitest sounding name? I wish her name was Lyudmila or even Olga or Miroslava. That would have made me like her so much more. God, I hate these names in fantasy books...I really don't feel like ranting so let's just move on.

Alina is an orphan. And by orphan, I mean her parents are conveniently gotten ridden of. How original!! Especially for a fantasy!

Alina is ugly. I would consider her plain but no, she's ugly. She's described as sickly and you could have actually worked with that, if she actually looked sickly. But no, it felt like she was just one of those brown haired and brown eyed heroines, because anybody with that combination is doomed to be ugly or plain (whatever, YA books act like it's the same thing). It's downright disgusting how much Alina whines about her looks. I actually was counting and that was amusing until I lost count.

I don't like assuming things about authors, but considering the author of Shadow and Bone was a make-up artist, maybe that says a lot about Alina...I'm just saying...

I did like the whole sickly thing but it was executed so terribly and, at the end of the day, I don't like females being defined by their looks.

There's just so much to complain about and I don't feel like getting into it. There are so much reviews on people hating Alina that I don't think I'll be adding anything new.

The only interesting thing about Alina was probably her power. It was kinda neat. Everything else was ugh!?

Villain: (3/5) I liked the villain. I think everyone likes him. He's probably my favourite character. It has to be that contrast with Alina being so useless and him being so much more competent. She's like a fat friend.

Other Characters: (2.5/5) The characters were meh. I enjoyed some of their interactions. They weren't brilliant nor terrible, just meh. Though I hated "Mal" (ugh another white sounding name), Alina's childhood friend. I hate him more than Alina and that's saying something. And before anyone starts, it's not because I want Alina to be with the Darkling. I hate the romance. The book would have been so much better without it. Anyway, back to Mal...I really don't understand what the point of him is. He's also such a poorly constructed character. One second he feels like an egotistical bastard that can't be bothered with Alina and next he's all moody and extremely annoying. I hope he dies. PLEASE, someone tell me he dies. 

Overall: (16/30) Shadow and Bone has an annoying main character and the setting and plot is pretty cliché. But it was a very fun read and I still enjoyed it. There were also a few original things here and there. I'll be picking up the sequel.

July 14, 2014

Giveaway: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

by Candace Fleming
Random House
July 8, 2014

From the acclaimed author of Amelia Lost and The Lincolns comes more nonfiction at its very best—and a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards. 

Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew. 

Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants—and their eventual uprising—Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life. History doesn’t get more interesting than the story of the Romanovs.

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of The Family Romanov to give away. Giveaway is U.S./Canada only and ends August 8th.

July 3, 2014

Review: In the Shadows

In the Shadows 
by Kiersten White (Text Story) 
Jim Di Bartolo (Art and Art Story)

Release Date: April 29, 2014 
Publisher: Scholastic Press 
Age Group: Young Adult 
Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures. 

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who've been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can't. 

Arthur is also new to the boarding house. His fate is tied to that of Cora, Minnie, Thomas, and Charles. He knows what darkness circles them, but can't say why, and doesn't even know if they can be saved.

Sinister forces are working in the shadows, manipulating fates and crafting conspiracies. The closer Cora, Minnie, Arthur, Thomas, and Charles get to the truth, the closer they get to harm. But the threat is much bigger than they can see. It is strangling the world.

Until one of the boys decides he wants to save it. 

Told in an astonishing mix of art and words, IN THE SHADOWS collides past against future, love against evil, and hope against fear. The result is both a mystery and a masterpiece.

My Review:

Cover: This is a pretty boring cover (not to mention the title doesn't sound noteworthy or have anything to do with the book). I wouldn't have given it a second glance if I didn't see the illustrations in the book. I really liked the art, which makes you wonder why the cover turned out like this. These hand-painted covers by the artist are so much awesomer.

Writing: (1/5) The chapters (the text part of the book) weren't that long. They were 2-6 pages each, but they were so hard to get through. They were so dull. I read a couple of chapters a day, even though they were so short, just because I couldn't stand how boring they were. Was the art so good that they were lazy with the writing? 

Art: (5/5) My favourite part was the art story. I would sluggishly try to read through the text chapters just to get to the art story. It was so much more interesting, probably because the art wasn't as dull as the writing. I really liked the style and the colors. There was just so much more life to it than the incredibly flat writing:

Setting: (1.5/5) Most of the book is set in a boarding house in Maine 1900. The setting in In the Shadows was incredibly lackluster. I wouldn't call it a cardboard backdrop, but it wasn't really good either. Like the writing, it was just incredibly boring.  

Plot: (2/5) The book has two separate storylines that eventually intertwine in the end. One is told in text and the other through the art (without any words). The text story was the most godawful boring thing ever. I'm not sure if any effort was even put into it. 

The art story on the other hand was so much more interesting and the only reason I didn't drop this book. I really liked that there were no words. The separate text story and art story felt like such a gimmick. The artist should have just tried to make his own story, the text only held the book back. 

Main Character: (2/5) The main character is probably the main character in the art story, but I can't really spoil who that is. I did like him, but because there was more emphasis on the text story, we didn't really see his personality play out that much.

Villain: (1/5) The villains were poorly constructed. Their dialogue was trying too hard to be evil and impressive and just ended up being cringe-worthy. They were unmemorable. Not to mention there were just too many of them. 

Other Characters: (1.5/5) The text story focuses on five characters: the sisters Minnie and Cora, the brothers Thomas and Charles, and Arthur. There are chapters from all their point of views.

Minnie was energetic and irresponsible. She was the opposite of her sister Cora, who was nice and responsible. I hate when they have two sisters and give them opposite personalities.

Thomas and Charles are boarders at the sisters' family boarding house. Charles is sickly and Thomas worries for him. Thomas was easily the most boring character. I liked that Charles didn't care much about his impending death, but that was about it. I found the brothers to be completely pointless. You could have taken them out and the story would have worked fine without them.

Arthur was probably the best. He's very cliché, brooding, and with a dark past. He was the most interesting though, probably because he actually had some kind of conflict. The brothers did not feel like they should have been in the story and the sisters were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There was also the local "witch" Mary, who is one of those poorly constructed crazy characters I loathe. 

And there was the sisters' mother, who runs the boarding house. I liked her motherly personality and it sadly felt like she was the best character...

Overall: (14/35) The book is told through a text and art story that eventually intertwine. While the art story was fun to read through, the text story was so dull and poorly constructed that I can't recommend this book. Not even for the art story, considering it was so intertwined with it.

July 2, 2014

June Haul

An art book by one of my favourite artists, Yoshitaka Amano. I've already posted a review with pictures, which you can find here.
I love this edition of Peter Pan. It's the perfect size, the text size is perfect, and the cover is a chalk illustration. I've already read it and I really enjoyed it! I loved Peter Pan and Hook, the Disney movie just didn't pull them off right. My review will be posted soon.

I've been wanting to read The Princess Bride for such a long time, really excited to start it!
This is the seventh book in the Symphony of Ages series. If anyone has read them, what did you think? 
Fourth book in the Glamourist Histories series. If you've read them, what did you think?
All these sound so good! I'm really not sure where to start. 
  • The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (Thanks to Mod Podge Blog Tours and Harpercollins)
A book about Ghost Marriage, which sounds really intriguing. I'm on the blog tour for The Ghost Bride. My stop is on August 14, make sure to stop by if you're interested!

July 1, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Martina Boone, Author of Compulsion

by Martina Boone
Simon Pulse
October 28, 2014

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse. 

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

1.  Tell us 5 interesting facts about you? 
  •  I was born in Prague in what’s now the Czech Republic, which is probably the most magical city on earth (just ask Laini Taylor’s Karou or Zuzana). I think that probably explains my love of magical settings. There’s nothing like waking up every morning with a fairytale castle rising on a hillside above you, or going to sleep at night with the lights of a hundred spires wining into the sky to spark the imagination.
  • I love to travel and made it to twelve different countries last year. Well, eleven if you don’t count the U.S. Prague and Austria were, as always, two of my favorites, but I loved Turkey and Thailand, had a ball visiting an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka, and despite my fear of heights, I forced myself to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur. I also climbed the 272 steps to the Batu Cave Temple, which wasn't so much a height problem as a distraction problem. I was so busy watching the monkeys sliding down the banisters that I practically took a header. I think my favorite place of all though—because it was completely new to me and full of incredible things everywhere I looked—was India. The Taj Mahal is truly incredible, but I was completely enchanted by the people and the mixture of old and very modern. I also collected the framework of a book I’m dying to write in Bermuda.
  • I’m afraid of heights. (And yes, I know I mentioned that above, but it’s still a fact, unfortunately :D ) 
  • I’m a sucker for a good spooky story. I used to tell Edgar Allen Poe stories at Girl Scout Camp and make people get creeped out. 
  • I have bald eagles in my back yard, which makes me all kinds of happy.

2.  Describe Compulsion in one sentence?

A Southern Gothic about three teens from southern families who own plantations, two wishes granted to two of the families that force them to behave in inconvenient ways, and an ancient curse that ties them all together and makes the romance between two of them very complicated and friendship between two of them unlikely.

3.  Which animals best represent your characters? 

Barrie would be an Arabian horse, very fine boned with big eyes and a lot of intelligence and curiosity, but a little flighty and prone to attacks of nerves. Eight would be a very handsome German Shepherd, driven to take care of the people in his charge, duty bound to be a hero, but longing to play and escape. Cassie would be a sleek, slinky panther, always watching for her opportunity and dangerously beautiful.

4.  What are some of your favourite books, movies, and TV series?

My favorite books are usually what I’m reading at the moment. Some perennial favorites are Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Scorpio Races, The Sky is Everywhere, Graffiti Moon, Anna Dressed in Blood, Mistwood, Wicked Lovely, The Raven Boys, Madman’s Daughter, What’s Left of Me, Shatter Me, and Out of the Easy. Also pretty much anything by Jennifer Armentrout and Wendy Higgins. My favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption. I also love The Princess Bride, and the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. As far as TV goes, I am obsessed with Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead. I also love Top Gear, Hart of Dixie, Vampire Diaries, Chicago Fire, and Blacklist. I’m also a fan of Pretty Little Liars and Scandal, but kind of haven’t loved the most recent episodes, so need to take a break.

5.  What are you currently reading and what are you reading next? 

I’m currently reading (and loving) The Taking by Kimberly Derting, after finishing Complicit by Stephanie Keuhn, which was WOW!!!!! Next up are A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray and Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little. I’m also dying to get to Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.