Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Visions of Sugar Plums

I hope y'all have had a GREAT holiday season so far. Christmas at the Kirk house was pretty amazing! I ended up getting "everything" I asked Santa for, got to spend good times with family and remembered what the true meaning of Christmas is! All that's left now is to box up the remaining decorations, ring in the new year and hopefully watch my alma mater win their bowl game! (GOOOOO Dawgs!!)

But as we all know the busyness of the holiday season can take a toll our regularly scheduled programming. For me that means I have read a LOT less than I usually do, unfortunately. So I picked something short and seasonal to read this week. Visions of Sugar Plums is "A Stephanie Plum Holiday Novel" by Janet Evanovich.

Visions is a fun little story set around Christmas time involving our favorite bounty hunter. Per her usual, there is a "bust" that doesn't really go well, procrastination, and car to blow up. Everything you want in a Plum novel, except Ranger. And though I missed him, there is a new cutie to drop in (literally) on Steph. Diesel is some kind of supernatural being that shows up and "helps" Steph with her skip. I'm still a little confused with Diesel's story line but he is fun addition to the cast of characters and I was certainly left with wanting to know more!

I give Visions of Sugar Plums 4 out of 5 stars for being an easy escape from one's own holiday madness! After all, no one does dysfunction like the Plums!

Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

My favorite book of all time guessed it...

And that's a wrap folks! All 30 days of the meme complete!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

Today's topic is "a book everyone hated but you liked." Well, I really don't know what everyone hates, that is soooo general. I guess we could go with Twilight again even though clearly at some point lots of people liked it!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 28 – Favorite title

For my favorite title I'm going to go with...

Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker!

I'm picking this one because the title is unique, every time I mention it to anyone they have the same reaction I did. "Hmmm, what's that about?"

Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending

Ooops. I missed this yesterday! I was so close to having all of them done on the day there were supposed to be done. Darn it! Oh well. I'm back now!

For the most surprising plot twist I'm going to go with Untraceable by S.R. Johannes. There were so many twists and turns through out this book but that made it so good! I never knew who to trust  and I'm still not sure now!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Jack Templar Monster Hunter

Title: Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Series: The Templar Chronicles 
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Reading Level: Middle Grades
Source: Review Copy Provided by Author

More info on Jack Templar on Goodreads.

It took me forever to read this short book. I think with the holiday and the general busyness for this time of year really got in my reading way! 

Jack Templar was a good coming of age type story, perfect for a young reader, especially boys. There are all kinds of monsters; harpies, vampires, werewolves, zombies, teachers that in fact actual mythical creatures, and so forth. There are epic fight scenes between the Monster Hunters and monsters, good verses evil.

My favorite quote from Jack Templar is the Monster Hunter mantra, "Do your duty, come what may."(Working in Public Safety, I quite like that! I may use that in my daily life from now on!) 

The main character Jack occasionally speaks directly to the reader, providing advice. It's kind of cool and I think a younger reader would really appreciate that. 

I guess the author was going for reverse psychology but he kept saying, "don't read this book!" That's not really my favorite approach. Maybe that's why it took me so long to finish it! But it was a fun little read. It's a good start to a series but I am left with many questions and I really hope the author continues this story (and soon!). I give Jack Templar 4 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something

 Today is "a book that changed your opinion about something."  Hummm, at first I was trying to think of a book that changed my mind on some major life issue. But I took a look at my Goodreads shelf and got some inspiration!


I never thought I'd like "zombie" books but Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry is pretty awesome!



Across the Universe by Beth Revis changed my mind on the whole sci-fi/space theme. Again, I didn't think I'd like a space travel type book. (I guess I thought it was too geeky for me, HAHA!) But AtU is amazing and I'm so glad I gave it a chance! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most

First, I'd like to wish those of you who celebrate...A Very Merry Christmas! Mine was wonderful! I got almost everything I asked for and then some! I hope you all had a great day with family, friends, food, etc.!

Today's topic is character who you can relate to the most which again is a super hard topic! Then I remembered hubs said I reminded him of a character a while back. So I had to go look in our library but my memory finally kicked in and I remember!!

The character I relate to the most is...
Katy from Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series!

Here are some of the reasons why:

1. She is a book blogger and loves to read. (Uh, hello? What are we doing here in Alli's World?)
2. She is kinda of a smart mouth and doesn't let Daemon get away with much.
3. She likes Daemon Black. And so do I. :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 24 – A book that you wish more people have read

Day 24 is a book that you wish more people have read. I'm going to go with Cord of Three by Karen Colley. I choose this one because Karen is a friend of mine. When she told me she had written a book I didn't know what to think. I didn't think about how anybody from my personal life might be an author. I was afraid her book wouldn't be good. Then I read it and I was super impressed! This person that I knew had written a book and it was actually really good! I just thought that was really cool. So of course I wish everyone would [buy and] read her book! See my interview post with Karen here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t

So today's topic is "a book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't. Well, I have a HUGE to-be-read pile of books. And there are a TON of books I want to read and it seems like more come out EVERYDAY and I just never seem get caught up. But to come up with ONE title specifically I want to read but haven't...let me think.


I think my number one book I want to read is...

Looking for Alaska 
by John Green


A close second is...

Beautiful Creatures
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl


Lastly is a book from a new author I met at YALLFest, so it hasn't been THAT long but going on almost two months now...

Meant to Be 
Lauren Morrill

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 22 – Favorite book you own

Oh my gosh! I've made it to Day 22. I think I may actually finish this challenge. Which is amazing, because my reading has practically slowed to a stop. Hopefully after Christmas I'll be back on track and surely by the new year, right? 

So, today is "favorite book you own." I love all my books! But my favorites are my Twilight Saga books, my Charlaine Harris books, and my assorted signed books, especially the signed PERSONALIZED ones! I am kind of addicted to book signings! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood

My childhood was filled with books. I've talked about my love of The Baby-Sitters Club before here on the blog. But if I were to pick just one book that was my all time favorite from my childhood, I'd have to go with The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! Oh man, did I LOVE this book. I read repeatedly and to anyone that would listen to me read it out loud. I thought it was SOOO flipping FUNNY! If I happen across it when looking through our bookshelves I have to stop and flip through it. Every time. I hope I have a kid one day, just so I can read this story to them! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 20 – Favorite romance book

I L-O-V-E love stories! Day 20 is a favorite romance book and again I find this to be a hard question to answer! When I hear the word "romance," I'm thinking those kinds of books lonely housewives read. I'm all in favor of some mind candy from time to time so I'll answer along those lines. I went through a phase where I was really into historical romances, specifically books by Johanna Lindsey. I can't remember the titles  I liked in particular but when I think of the romance genre I think her work embodies it. 

Jack Templar Tour Finale

Jack Templar Monster Hunter Tour

Join the Party!

Jeff Gunhus is wrapping up a 3 week tour with a Twitter Party on Friday, December 21 from 6 pm to 8 pm EST Use the hashtag #JackTemplar to join the party. 

Missed the tour? Check out the entire tour schedule for great reviews, guest posts, and interviews! You can see my post here! It's a character interview with one of Jack's best friends, Will. AND...there is a special giveway on that post just for Alli's World readers! Cause y'all are the best!

Free eBook

As a special gift right before the holidays Jack Templar Monster Hunter is FREE on Amazon December 20 & 21


There's still time to enter the Tour Swag Giveaway which includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Jack Templar Tour is a paid GWR Publicity promotional tour.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie

Ooooooo, I like this one! Day 19 is favorite book turned into a movie! I got a list of these! Of course, y'all know I'm a huge Twilight fan. But I really thing the movie adaption of The Hunger Games was AMAZING! If we want to old school, I used to really like A Time to Kill too! The books are usually better than the movie but books make some pretty good movies!

I'm looking forward to several movies coming out soon that are based books. I'm thinking about Beautiful Creatures (which I haven't actually read but I'm sure I'm going to love and it's in my TBR stack!) , City of Bones, Catching Fire and The Host!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 18 – A book that disappointed you

Day 18 wants to know "a book that disappointed you." I hate negative questions! I just rather not talk about a book if I didn't like. I'll let you know all about the ones I love but I'm just a lowly blogger. Who am I to call an author's work a "disappointment"?

I think I'll just answer this question in generalities. I am usually "disappointed" by books in series when said series has gone on a book or more TOO long. You know what I'm talking about, right? When it seems like the book is rushed out and only published for a paycheck? That's a real disappointment to me. I know the author is a good writer and I care about the characters but the series is ruined for me. 

Teaser Tuesday (Dec. 18)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser is seasonally inspired. This is perhaps one of my favorite Christmas tales! 

"Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing. They'd stand hand in hand. And the Whos would start singing!"

How the Grinch Stole Christmas 
~Dr. Suess~

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 17– Favorite quote from your favorite book

I love quotes. As with every other post in this 30 day meme challenge, I had hard time coming up with my answer. I finally settled on:

“So what you're saying is, I'm your brand of heroin?" I teased, trying to lighten the mood.
He smiled swiftly, seeming to appreciate my effort. "Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin.”

by Stephenie Meyer

For more quotes from Twilight
click here.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Update: NOT Bookish But...

This was such a good weekend, I had to post about it! Which is really awesome because I had really been down for a couple of weeks now so I'm super pleased to be feeling more like myself again.

I kicked Thursday night when I got off work when I went to dinner and to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 (again) with a dear friend. Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your homies!

Hubs took off Friday and we spent all day together. We did some Christmas shopping and by the end of the weekend we are THIS close from being DONE with our Christmas shopping! (Yay!) 

After massive shopping, Friday night we saw The Hobbit 3D! What a great movie! I totally recommend it to anyone! Things I learned from The Hobbit: 1. If you are greedy with gold, dragons will come for you. 2. Don't assume your enemy is dead, cause he's probably not. 3. Just because someone is different, doesn't mean they don't bring something valuable to table.

Saturday we did the Christmas thing with Hub's mother's family. It was a good time with family, food and fellowship. Then hubs and I went to University of Georgia Bulldawgs Basketball game. We are really lucky to live so close to our favorite college, especially since we are both huge Dawg fans! And it had been years since either of us had been to a basketball game. Our Dawgs lost but we still had fun and I totes want to go again soon. Maybe they'll win the next one!

Sunday is church day for hubs and I with my mom and sis. It was a really good service and I'm glad I was able to be there. The music was on point and the message was stellar. (Sometimes I really feel like I'm missing out because I work every other weekend. But I love my job and feel blessed to have it.)

After church we went to what is referred to as the "Redneck Parade." It is kind of an amazing really to see so many people out in the middle of NO-where to witness a parade full of old cars, tractors, trucks, jeeps, ATVs, horses, and assorted silliness. Here are some photos of my personal favorites:

We took lots more photos but I'll have to go through those later because Monday morning is just a few hours away and I have to get some sleep!
I just wanted to share with you guys what we've been up to and I hope you all had a great weekend too!
Now, back to the grind!

Day 16 – Favorite female character

Day 16 is favorite female character. Well, this one is tough because I don't like how so many book portray females as weak or needy or whiny. 

My very first favorite female character to come to mind was Hazel Grace from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. (Not to be a spoiler but hello, she fights cancer!) 

Also, Blue Sargent from Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys, comes to mind for favorite female character. (She refashions her clothes and hangs with the boys!)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 15– Favorite male character

Day 15 is "favorite male character." This is totally an unfair question for me. I develop a crush on a new fictional character with every book I read!

I love BOTH Edward & Jacob from Twilight.

I love all the boys Cassandra Clare writes.

Charliane Harris totally writes drool worthy MEN (Bill, Eric, Sam, Quinn, Jason, etc).

John Green's Augustus Waters is an amazing male character, which made The Fault in Our Stars that much more heartbreaking.

Maggie Stiefvater write male characters that are not only crush worthy but deep and intelligent. 

Asking me to pick a favorite is simply impossible for me.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 14-Favorite book of your favorite writer

I guess I already kinda answered this one....Twilight! :-) 

Sorry for the short has been a busy day!
More on that soonish. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 13 – Your favorite writer

No way I could ever pick just one "Favorite Writer." I'm the kind of girl if I read one book I really love by an author, then I want to read EVERYTHING ever written by said author.

Some of my favorites include:

Stephenie Meyer
Charlaine Harris
Jennifer L. Armentrout
John Green
Maggie Stiefvater

I'm sure I've probably left out some authors I really like but there are just too great authors to name!

Dear Cassie Cover Reveal

(Which I kinda love, right? The cover is really awesome!)

DEAR CASSIE official Blurb:

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?
But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

DEAR CASSIE excerpt:

We kept walking on the lake trail, the bullfrogs croaking. There was also a humming in my ears from the nicotine.
 It could only be from the nicotine. It had nothing to do with being outside, at night, alone with Ben. It had nothing to do with Ben coming to the cabin and taking me instead of Nez and it definitely had nothing to do with the stars above us shining like they were the sky’s tiara. 
I stopped on the trail and looked up, taking them in, when all of a sudden bright colored lights exploded in the sky—fireworks, one after another, on top of each other, huge kaleidoscopes of light, like sparkling rainbow spiders.
“How did you know?” I asked, my voice going softer, like if I talked too loudly they would stop. It was so beautiful, after weeks of so much ugly. 
Ben turned to look at me, the colored lights in the sky turning his skin pink, blue, green. “I’m magic.” He shrugged.
I geared up to tell him to fuck off, because that was some corny-ass shit, but then I realized that he really kind of was. In that moment he was able to actually make me forget being me.
 “I would try to kiss you,” he said, “but I’m afraid you’d kick me in the balls.”
“I probably would.” I laughed, the sky filling with noisy color like paint launching from a giant popcorn popper. “But like I said, it wouldn’t be about you.”
“I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make it about me,” he said, taking off his boots and socks and standing. “Come on.”
“There is no way I am getting near that water again,” I said.
“I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he said, holding his hand out to help me up.
            I looked at his palm, open, waiting, just wanting to hold mine. For once, I didn’t think about anything except that there was a cute, sweet, smart-ass boy standing in front of me with his hand out.
I pulled off my boots and socks and took it.  
We stood at the lakeshore, our hands still clasped, the water licking our feet, fireworks decorating the sky.
I turned to him. He was looking up, his mouth open in wonder like he was trying to swallow the moment.
It was definitely one worth keeping.


Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She lives in Portland, OR, with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Dear Cassie is her second novel.

DEAR CASSIE pre-buy links:


Additional links to Lisa’s pages:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore

I'm having a hard time with today's topic, "A book you used to love but don't anymore." I guess, I don't love books that I used to love as a kid anymore. I read a Fear Street book by R. L. Stine earlier this year. I used to LOVE those books. But this time I didn't love it as much as did when I was a kid. It was still fun but not the same as it used to be. I think as we grow up, get older, and mature, our tastes just change. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 11 – A book you hated

Day 11 is "a book you hated." Hate is such a strong word! A book that strongly disliked but read it for book club selection was The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. It was just not my taste and not something I would have picked out for myself. It wasn't that bad just not my thing. It happens. But there are plenty of other books in the library, right? :) 

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths

Happy Book Birthday to Ten Tiny Breaths 
by K. A. Tucker!!

Book cover and more info on Goodreads.

Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A. Tucker
Reading Level: New Adult
Source:  Complimentary Copy from the author in exchange for honest review.

Ten Tiny Breaths really drew me in. Once I got started reading, it was good I did not want to put it down and I read the majority of TTB in a just a few short of sittings.  I liked the mystery and romance elements. I also really liked the psychological twist in the book. AND..Ten Tiny Breaths is very sexy and steamy.

I didn't like that the story didn't seem believable to me in some parts. The story was just a little beyond the range of what I could imagine being real. That being said, I appreciate that some people may not be as cynical as I am and there is a hope for a somewhat happy ending from truly bad circumstances. Also, I realize the main character is "damaged" but I didn't like how she was so damaged she thought the only way she could be whole was when she was with a man. I'm all kinds of in favor of love stories but I like when my heroines can be strong with a man completing her. 

BUT: The more I've thought about the things I didn't like also kind of made the book more awesome. If that makes sense. Cause I really like the book and I can't see how it would have worked any other way. And the characters did experience personal growth. And really, we can't ask more from a person, fictional or otherwise, than to learn from their mistakes and grow from the experience, right!? Even if it's something that occurs over time. (Thanks to my hubs for reminding me of that!)

I do really like the story, I was hooked right away and was excited to read what would happen next. It seemed like the author thought of almost all the bad things that could possibly happen to the main character Kasey and proceeded to do all those bad things and more to her! And bless her heart, she coped the best she could and did eventually pull through all the crap. This deals with a LOT of heavy issues. And is actually a pretty good cautionary tale. 

Ten Tiny Breaths serves as a good reminder: your actions have consequences people. You may or may not be able to deal with those consequences so think about what you do BEFORE you do it. I was also reminded of how we often try to fill the holes we feel inside with things that are not healthy for us. Sometimes we really just need to deal with our issues so we can move on. 

I'm giving this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. A great read for older teens/young adults and beyond.

Also...if I did want to get away from bad circumstances like Kacey and her sis...I think she had the right idea...
Photo from a family road trip to the Keys. 

Teaser Tuesday (Dec. 11)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Photo and more info on Goodreads

"Jared sat down, pulled the crumpled poem from his pocket, and read it through again. "In a man's torso, you will find my secret to all mankind." Those lines bothered him. He didn't want to find an old, dead body, even if there there was something really cool inside it."

From The Field Guide in The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black