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


Rave Reviews Book Club

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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.

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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.