Shutting Down

I am going to stop using this blog once again and focus on my wordpress blog.

That URL is kyshakitty.wordpress.com



Sugarcoatin is for Candy, and Pacifyin is for Kids! by Nonnie Jules

I would normally20986637 not even give this book a second look but it is written by the president of Rave Reviewers Book Club, Nonnie Jules, (and it was free) so I read it. I do not read self-help books or inspirational books or books about raising kids (since I have none), but this book is funny and light-hearted.  Nonnie is open and honest. She really wants to share what she
has learned in life with others. Her writing style is like a pleasant conversation over coffee. These passages come from her blog, Watch Nonnie Write.
I agreed with most of what she had to say about life and helping others to succeed. She also talks about changing this world to make a better one for future generations and I believe in that idea 100%. Nonnie gives several examples from contemporary media, one of which is a video of a young girl beating another young girl. I have seen the video and was appalled that our society has told kids that's okay. I admit I did laugh at the girl's unfortunate name but her actions were not the least bit funny.
I gave this book 4 stars, not because it was not well written or informational, but because it was irrelevant to me in many aspects. For many other people this is a relevant and useful book and I have seen many 5 star reviews. The book is available now through Amazon.


Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins

I really love fairies but I hate love triangles. BUT in the is book the love triangle works.

Laney is uprooted from Atlanta GA to Fairy TX when her mom reconnects with and marries her high school flame. They move in with him and his teen daughter on his ranch. Laney does not like the idea at all. She is befriended by several guys, Andrew, Mason, and Josh, instantly, much to the ire of her step sister, Kayla, who really likes Mason. Laney finds out that the town is inhabited by otherworldly creatures, fairies or demons, and both Mason and Josh are part of them. The school counselor and senior English teacher are also fairies. Among other normal high school issues, Laney finds out that Mason and Josh are supposed to date and mate her to bring about an apocalypse that will destroy all humans. None of them find this amusing and they plot to end it. The elder fairies do many things to make sure that Laney is really the prophecy and that she will be mated. Along the way Laney, Mason, and Josh play a game of sorts to make everyone think they are following along, which ruins Laney's reputation in the town. Several fairies and humans are injured or killed during the final altercation. In the end Mason and Josh both end up with the girl they belong with.

I like all the characters. The girls in Andrew's clique are really typical and I didn't trust them at all. Sarah ended up being a genuine person and actually a friend to Laney. The others not so much. Kayla and her friends are the most awful of the humans, but most teen girls are. Josh is the sweetheart of the bunch. He really likes Laney from the beginning and I don't think its just a "new girl" crush like Andrew. Laney herself is a bratty at first but she comes into her own as the fairy breeder scenario plays out. Her mom and step father are really the most clueless parents I have read in a while, but it seems most of the adults in the town are.

Overall this is a 5 star YA read. Even if you are not into fairies but do like paranormal/fantasy romance it is still for you. I couldn't find anything wrong with story or the writing, but there is one typo that irked me for a minute. I look forward to the next installment.

Wicked Looking Caterpillar

Wicked looking caterpillar that I found in my backyard


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Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour

I was given this ARC by Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review.

So overall I give this book 3 stars. It gets 4 stars for story and characters, but only 2 stars for writing and plot line. This is a modern retelling of the Scottish fairy tale Tam Lin. Apparently there are many interpretations of the story its just not one of the widely popular ones. I am all in for a fairy tale retelling so I figured I would really enjoy this book. Well I was partially right.

Finn, the main character, moves to Fair Hollow, her father's home town to live in her grandmother's old house after the deaths of her mother and sister, Lily Rose. She attends HallowHeart, one of two local colleges, while her father teaches at the other, St.Johns. Finn makes two really good friends, Christie and Sylvie, and a few enemies, Angyll and her crew. She also meets a group of strange, gothic, vintage, oddly beautiful, and very dangerous people known as the Fatas. The Fatas are a large, very rich and eccentric extended "family". Finn falls for "cousin" Jack and tries to befriend "adopted" Nathan. Finn, Christie, and Sylvie are all threatened, tortured, and kidnapped by various members of the Fatas. Angyll ends up being killed by one of them. Throughout the story, Finn tries to unravel Lily Rose's journal and how it pertains to Fair Hollow and the Fatas because there are so many similarities. In the end though true love, between Finn and Jack wins out and the Queen of the Fatas is destroyed leaving the rest of the Fatas to live on and Finn and Jack to live as normally as possible.

Finn and Jack are both likable characters and throughout you are pulling for their love. I would have liked to see more development of Finn's life before and without Jack and the move. Once she meets Jack her whole world revolves around him and the Fatas, which is both cliche and unhealthy. Jack is not developed until the last chapters and then only a little. Christie and Sylvie are great friends and characters, but neither is developed. Christie is a flirt who you want to hug and slap all at the same time. I would like to have seen more of his life without Finn and Sylvie, maybe even heard more about all those brothers. Sylvie is a goth girl who is supposedly a witch. I would love to know more about her family and the witch blood. The characters are written as freshmen in college but I felt like they were freshmen in high school. Finn, Christie, Sylvie and Angyll are all very immature, which could be from their small town upbringing or their damaged psyches. Jack and the Fatas are supposed to be hundreds of years old, but really act like spoiled rich high school bullies. I see a lot of parallels with Vampire Diaries, with Finn being Elena and Reiko being Rebecca and Angyll being Katherine. I think that each of the individual Fatas could have been elaborated on.

The story line is classic: new girl meets and falls for older unobtainable guy. Guy falls for her even though his and her friends forbid it. In the end true love conquers all the naysayers and the drama. I like this story line usually and Harbour kept it flowing nicely through the book. The scenes are set with lots of details on lighting, colors, sounds and smells. I know that smells are a big deal in fairy lands but the overuse was annoying. The details seemed to be written before the overall plot outline was finished. The author was apparently rather young when she wrote the story and that shows. The story is fluffed to fill the pages with unneeded adjectives and filler. I do not see any major flaws in this book that a ruthless editor couldn't iron out.

In conclusion I liked the story and the characters. I felt that the book as a whole needed a little more work. I read an ARC so maybe some of that was worked out in the final draft. I hope that Harbour continues to write and hone her craft. I look forward to seeing her growth as an author.

P.S. The cover is really pretty. And you should check out her website for more on Lily Rose. http://www.darkfaeryblackrabbit.blogspot.com/ Available June 24, 2014. Pre-Order at Amazon.



Go to Amazon a pick up a patchwork of poetry from today's PushTuesday author. www.amazon​.com/dp/B00HUB4FG2


Destruction by Sharon Bayliss Release Day

Introducing a new dark wizard family drama, Destruction by Sharon Bayliss, Book One in The December People Series.

An independent family-owned bookstore. The ONLY place to buy signed copies!

A locally owned book store in Austin, Texas.

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

Destruction (Book One of The December People Series)

The Author

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.


Random Pictures

These are some pictures that I took with my new camera that were not good enough to go up on BigStock for sale.


Queen of the Dark Things by C.Robert Cargill

I received this book through the Harper Voyager super reader program.

So this book is way darker than Dreams and Shadows in many ways. The new characters are darker but so is Colby. The situations he finds himself in are also much darker and more dire.

It starts with a story from a distant land in a time long past that really seems to have nothing to do with our journey but we are wrong. Then we pick up Colby's story several months after Dreams and Shadows ended. He is mourning all he lost and not coping all that well. Everything reminds him of the friends he lost and he is somewhat self destructive. That self destruction is what leads him to his latest "adventure". During this "adventure", he/we meet many new, mostly frightening, characters. They include his old friend, Kaycee, and his new friend, Austin. There are several times that Colby questions who the Queen is and we question right along with him. I actually was not surprised when it was revealed, but I has thought it was someone else from the first book. We are taken back to some of Colby's time between part one and two of Dreams and Shadows. The Clever Man who cared for Colby during Yashar's absence is both frustrating and helpful to Colby and us. Once again Colby's arrogance and ignorance lead him into trouble and he has to eliminate many creatures. We find out how the new characters relate to the story in the beginning along the way. In the end he sets many creatures free and both he and Kaycee find their true destinies.

I liked this book better than the first one once we get past the whining and self-pitying Colby. Kaycee is a welcome addition to the story line. She is the other half of Colby to me. She possesses characteristics that he is lacking and he has come she is lacking. She is more adventurous and less fearful, but she acknowledges that she has limits. Colby feels he is all powerful, but he uses his heart more than she does. Gossomer is a great friend but I feel sad for him because his dog traits make him too eager to please. A golden retriever as a familiar is a terrible idea because they are obedient to a fault. I assume that is why witches use cats, they are obedient to no one. Once again I didn't care for Yashar, but I hated Mandu. I guess being a Clever Man means playing both sides but screwing with kids heads is just wrong.

Austin is pretty much what I would expect the spirit of the city to be. I imagined a female Willie Nelson and that is basically what Cargill gave us. She is country with some hippie and yuppie thrown in. I am sure if you stroll down 6th street any saturday evening you will find at least 10 people that fit her description (yes I said people, "keep Austin weird" is not just a slogan it is a way of life).

This book takes place in Austin and central Texas again but also includes Australia and other more exotic foreign locations. I assume that Cargill did a lot of research on each place to create the settings. I could picture each one easily. I want to comment Cargill on his knowledge of multi-cultural folklore. I am sure some things were made up but I have heard or read about many the creatures, symbols, and rituals he discusses. I am a fan of folklore and legends so I was fairly impressed. The passages by Dr. Thaddeus Ray, PhD add that air of authenticity once again and show how much research Cargill must have done.

There isn't much I disliked about the book. I feel Colby is too whiny and pitiful in the beginning and very self doubting. Yashar is very doubting and just a grouch for a lot of the book. I would have liked more information about Colby's time in Australia and about the kutji, since I have never heard that word before.

I hope that if Cargill feels the need to make this a trilogy that the 3rd book is about Kaycee.
Available May 13, 2014. Pre-Order at Amazon.


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Emily and the Strangers by Mariah Huehner and Emily Ivie

I got this review copy from Netgalley.

This is my first Emily Strange comic to read. I have seen the merchandise at toy stores and online before but I failed to realize it was a comic book series.

In this one Emily wants to win a guitar that belonged to one of her heroes. In order to win she has to play in a band contest with other people. Emily is not someone who works well with others. She finally comes around to working with a band and after a while they start to sound good and actually win the contest.

I think this book is a good lesson for kids. Everyone likes to do things their own way and learning to work as a team is very important. In school you work on projects but in real life you have a job and there are lots of other people that you have to work with. The comic format is easy and enjoyable for children and teens. I love that Emily is a female scientist. We see so much these days about gender stereotypes and this shows that girls can be good at science and math too. I also like that she is goth and not typically girly and pink, because not every female likes pink.

I loved the illustration style. The backgrounds enrich the story and don't distract from the characters. The fact that she is a major cat person is what first drew me to her. Most of the merchandise I see has a goth girl and a black cat both things I love.

Overall I think this is a good read for middle grades students. I can see more advanced upper elementary students also enjoying the series.

Available May 27, 2014.


Dreams And Shadows by C.Robert Cargill

I was given this book by Harper Voyager to review.

Just a simple story of 2 young boys. One boy and his djinn and one boy and his changeling.  What? Huh?
Okay not so simple!

Ewan was taken from his human parents as an infant and replaced with a changeling. The same but not quite. Ewan was raised by the fairies for a special purpose. His changeling, Knocks, was returned to the fairies and raised along side Ewan, always knowing he was a second class citizen. Both boys are enamored with a girl fairy, Mallaidh.

Colby is a mediocre boy living a mediocre life in a middle class neighborhood until he meets an oddly dressed stranger in the woods near his house. He promises to meet the stranger in the woods the next day in exchange for a wish. (Yeah Colby was gullible and not really smart). The stranger tells Colby that he is a djinn or genie named Yashar. Yashar grants Colby's wish of being able to see the supernatural, even though he feels that it is a very bad wish. After the wish, Yashar convinces Colby to leave his home and go on an adventure (Not real smart, remember) and then Colby and Ewan's stories converge.

Colby meets Ewan and Mallaidh during the "Wild Hunt", at which Knocks "mother" is killed by Ewan's formerly human mother' soul (yeah its complicated). Afterwards, Knocks declares war on Ewan and also Colby for being his friend, with the help of the creepy blood thirsty Red Caps. Red Caps are unsavory, unseelie, and unattractive fairies. Ewan's special purpose is to be sacrificed to the Devil. Colby finds out and decides to save him. He uses another wish, which Yashar warns him about, and becomes a powerful wizard and saves Ewan's life. This messes up the fairies' plans so they decide to sacrifice someone else. The fairy king lets Ewan leave with Colby and Yashar with a warning not to come back. Since Colby is living a very strange adventure with Yashar, they decide a foster home is the best place for Ewan to have a normal life. Colby tells Ewan he will visit and keep in touch, which he manages to do somehow.

Fast forward many years.
Ewan has lead as normal a life as an kid can live in the foster system. He settles in Austin as an adult, being pulled there for some unknown reason. He works in a downtown club as a dishwasher and fill in band member. Colby has traveled the world seeing and doing things best not talked about. Through out the years Colby kept his promise to write and visit even though Ewan does not remember how or when they met originally. Ewan remembers nothing of his life before the foster homes and Colby cannot forget it. Colby manages to keep his communication with the supernatural and Yashar secret and separate from Ewan.

But Mallaidh has spent the years looking for Ewan and finds him the same day that Knocks finds him. She convinces Ewan to love her (being a "love" fairy it wasn't that hard). Once he tells her he loves her all his memories start to come back. Then lots of bad things happen to Ewan, Mallaidh, Knocks, Colby, and all the fairies and assorted creatures.

So as not to give any more spoilers, I will say there is an "epic" battle and lots of creatures are killed or maimed and NO ONE "wins"

The book is written in a way that makes it both simple and complex. The story is well paced and engaging. I wanted to know what was going to happen next on every page. The characters are likable and relate-able even though they are supernatural. There are characters that I liked, Colby and Ewan, and characters that I didn't, Yashar and Malladh. I didn't fall in love with any of the characters but I felt both empathy and apathy towards them.
I didn't give the book 5 stars because the dialogue was boring in a couple of places. Also there were a few scenes that I just didn't like, such as the druggie camper chapter. I did enjoy the pseudo reference manual chapters that were thrown in. I think I would actually read Dr Thaddeus Ray, PhD's book. (spoiler he is one of the characters in the book).

The setting is as much of the story as the characters and I liked the detail the Limestone Kingdom was described in. It wasn't boring or long, but enough for you to picture it.
Having lived my childhood and most of my adulthood is the areas surrounding Austin, it was fun to think of it as supernatural. If you have ever actually been there, Keep Austin Weird ain't just a slogan, people are living it out. I lived in the Driftwood which is in the Hill Country and could be part of the Limestone Kingdom. At dawn and dusk it is easy to imagine that fairies, gnomes, trolls, and other creatures were playing and dancing just out of your sight in the shadows. Sometimes when the wind is just right, you can almost hear a song on the wind. It was fun and exciting to be able to picture the real places that fit the imaginary ones in the book. I wish there was a secret book store somewhere in downtown Austin that only a few people know about. I would find the darn thing.

I really enjoyed this book and have already requested and started my review copy of Queen of The Dark Things. 


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Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

I was chosen to be one of the first group of Harper Voyager super-readers. I am still so excited. They send me books to read and review. I just downloaded 2 e-galleys for new fantasy books. So excited to be able to read books before anyone else and share how awesome they are with everyone.

I am also a member of RaveReviewsBookClub. It is an online book club started by an indie author to support and publicize other indie authors.

I also signed up for edelweiss/abovethetreeline and netgalley. Both sites are used by publishers to get their books into the hands of blogger, reviewers, teachers, and librarians. I have been approved for several books already. I read one and will be posting a review shortly.

My computer decided it just wasn't going to work anymore so I had to reinstall Windows 8 and upgrade to Windows 8.1, but we are all updated and ready to roll now.

I look forward to sharing more reviews and book sites with you, whoever you may be.



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Thrift store book haul

This is the stack of books i bought today. I got these 9 books, 3 packs of different craft papers and a coffee table for $20.


What's up guys

Just hanging out doing cat stuffs