Rane Aria

Just reading, drawing,crocheting and enjoying naps

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones

 As I read Wintersong I found myself falling more and more under it's magical spell. The setting and characters just got to me. S. Jae-Jones just pin point something few can: people. No one in this book is good or bad, wrong or right. Nothing in this book is black or white and like the characters everything is in shades of grey.

  The heroine especially can came across as selfish, narrow viewed, but on the other has a huge heart that gives and gives. Liesl was never given the chance to grow and spread her wings, always push aside by her beautiful sister and talented brother, her own worth put on the back shelf. The thing about Liesl is, she doesn't want to be there, and in her own ways fights to break free from the place she was put.


 Her fight and later love of the Goblin King is every changing. It's not the, be all, end all kind of love. It hurts, it heals. It can be messy and it can be crystal clear.

 

 The first part of the book is the trial of Liesel as she gets her sister back and the later part of the book is her discovering of who the Goblin King is. Both like a symphony changes, with the words poetic or harsh.

 

 The ending could have made this a standalone, but with this type of sad (heartbreaking!) ending I'm glad we will be able to see more of Lisel and the Goblin King's love story.

Baking Powder Wars by Linda Civitello

Baking Powder Wars: The Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking (Heartland Foodways) - Linda Civitello

 

 I find history truly fascinating, from the changes we can read and see in people, culture, places. One thing that connects us more is none other then food. Food history is just as rich as it showcases the culture impact every day food such as Baking Powder had on us,that today we take for granted.


 Linda Covitello packs in so much history from the 19th century to today in how Baking Power changed the way we cook and in some cases changed the world.
Covitello just doesn't talk about baking power, but takes the reader along as you see how women, homemakers,bakers and later inventors used to cook before baking powder with old recipes, dairy entries and digging deep into our history from America to Britain and all over.


While I truly enjoyed the history, at times I felt that Covitello put a little to much info, making the reading at times a bit slower or something we had to slog through to get at the meat of the matter. This was a double edge sword though. One had to understand this to understand how it effect that. While this balancing act was troublesome, it didn't take away to much from the book overall.


  For those who love history to cooking, this is a fun book to dig into and learn how something as simple as baking powder changed the world around us.

Death and Night (The Star-Touched Queen 0.5) by Roshani Chokshi

Death and Night - Roshani Chokshi

 I don't know how Roshani Chokshi can wrap up such magic and wonder in her book, let alone a novella but she does it!

  Set before the Star Touched Queen you learn how Amar and Maya first truly meet and how they fall in love with one another. You learn about a few secrets and heartbreak along the way, but joy and understanding and real love between these two amazing characters set in an amazing world.

 

 June 9th is June's full moon called the Strawberry Moon from the riping strawberries also known as the Honey Moon and Rose Moon in Europe. June's Moon will be the lowest Full Moon of the year and takes on a Honey Color because of the weather.

  It will be a "mini-moon" because it will be the farthest full moon away from the Earth.

 

More Strawberry Moon Facts

 

Summer Recipe: Braided Peach Cobbler

 

 Trying out new Summer ideas and recipes, my newest try is my Peach Cobbler in a braided puff pastry

 

For BrokenTune

       

Recipe: 

     You will need:

                          1 Box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets

                          1 Can of Peach Pie Filling (No High Fructose Corn Syrup) 

                          1 Egg

                          1 tsp & 1/2 Cup of Sugar

                          1 tsp of Cinnamon 

 

     First defrost the Puff Pastry Sheets. You can leave them out for about 40 mins in room temp,  They will feel and look a tad doughy (like when you open a can of biscuits look) but not sticky.

 

    Next place them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cut into a braid <-great tutorial 

 

   Open the can of Pie Filling and place into a bowl and mix with the 1/2 cup of sugar and toss together. (You may have to cut the pie filling into half as there maybe a lot, and can use for topping on ice cream?)

 

   Place peaches in the middle of pastry and braid!

 

   Next crack open the egg and using only the white of the egg wash the top of the pastry.

   The using the remaining sugar and cinnamon mix together, sprinkle on top and place in oven for about 20-25 mins until golden brown on top and fluffy.

 

     

Reading progress update: I've read 1%.

A Million Junes - Emily Henry ""What light through yonder window breaks?" "It's me," I yell back. "Wait, June? You're positively glowing. I thought that was the east and you were the sun." "Yeah,I'm ovulating. Common mistake.""

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows - Linsey Miller

 Mask of Shadows had alot going for it, peace trying to grow in a war torn land, A Queen trying to hold the ragged strings of peace with her band of assassins to keep the unsettling silence. Here is where Sal grows, their home wiped from the face of the earth, victim of dark cruel and uncontrollable magic. Sal finds their chance to work with the Queen as one of her assassins, a chance to get revenge for their family and home and get justice once and for all. As Sal plays the game and walks through the court, they learn more that makes this so called peace nothing more then a magical illusion.

 

 I was curious in how Miller would write a gender fluid character and perhaps one of if not the best part of the overall book was the way Sal was shown as being gender fluid and great understanding and beautiful storytelling weaving that it just flowed. Sal as a character was interesting as they slowly uncover clues but use their mind to figure out whose pulling the strings.

 If Miller followed, I think, this line of plot of just Sal it wouldn't have fallen into something that felt like it was done before. Sadly, this felt like the Hunger Games with all those in the tournament giving an all go to kill one another. Unlike the Hunger Games the rest of those in the tournament wore masks with numbers on their face being called by a number, you never get to "know" them at all. Even the "love" interest was ok but again nothing that really drew the character to the reader.

 

This had an amazing history but instead of discovering it in the book it was given as a summary toward the end in a timeline.

While in the end this ended up being an okay read with a big cliffhanger, this may turn out the be a better series in book two- we shall see.

 

 

 

"I was the nightmare" #acowar #sarahjmass #bookstagram #book #roses

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Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 648 pages.

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

 

YEAH! Look what I got in the mail today!

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

With You Always (Orphan Train) - Jody Hedlund

 

 With the death of their parents and struggling on the streets while trying to keep her family together, Elise Neumann is lucky to have stumbled upon a place that could offer shelter to her family and her a well needed job. With faith and a bit of luck Elisa finds herself in a building town and finding herself meeting someone again by chance.

 

 Thornton Quincy has lived in the tall shadows of his Father and twin, but with his father's health failing, a contest pits the brothers against one another to build a town and marry in six months time. Thornton's plans go awry when he meets Elisa again and starts seeing things from a different perspective and who truly sees him...

 

 Jody Hedlund works always show the strength in the human spirit. She never preaches to the reader, she shows the reader the bad and good in life she doesn't stray from the harshness of life, but shows the one can overcome the bad. Elisa and Thornton both show this, Elisa takes a chance to make a living for herself and her family but isn't scared of standing up against injustice and giving someone a push in the right direction and believe.

 

 Through Elisa's eyes, we see how poor immigrant women who came to the US in hope and didn't find nothing but heartache. Elisa may be soft spoken but has a spine of steel and is able to keep her family together the best she can and even help Thornton who she met in a trying time (in the middle of a riot no less) But even Elisa can't stop things, good or bad, from happening. She only has her inner faith and her strength to help her through and love.
 Thornton had to find himself, he was a better man but him seeing it took a bit longer. He to loved his family and turned a blind eye to even their worse faults. He finally stood as his own man and showed who he truly was with help from Elisa.
 

 Elisa and Thornton love grows slowly as they learn about one another and show and prove something not only to one another but to themselves. By the end you can see together they can face anything and everything with by each other's side.

 

 The only trouble I had with the book was the very rushed ending and while it left it open for the rest of Elisa's family, the ending just went by in a fast and felt a tad jarring.

Hedlund placed the reader in a time not talked about but truly made it vivid with amazing characters and place I look forward to more from this series.

Surrender to the Marquess by Louise Allen

Surrender to the Marquess (The Herriard Family) - Louise Allen

 It's always a treat to pick up a Louise Allen book, she weaves some of the best regency history in all her books with engaging characters and places. This book happily surprised me when I found out it was the third book in the Herriard line along with Forbidden Jewel of India & Tarnished Amongst the Ton, this time picking up with Lady Sara Herriard.

 Sara has put everything behind her to start anew in a seaside town, healing after the sudden death of her husband. Her quiet world is turned up side down when she runs into Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock and his sister hiding their identity for some reason. Between Lucian and Sara's word sparing, Sara finds out more of why the Marquess is hiding and also trying to fight the draw Lucian has on her.

Lucian thought a quiet seaside town would be perfect after his sister's terrible elopement. He find himself at odds with Lady Sara who brings out his sister out of her sadness and brings out of his temper. The more he finds himself thrown together with Sara the more he fights his desire for her and the more he learns he just can't fight his feelings.

 Much like the rest of her family, Sara is someone who is fighting the period of time she was born in. She doesn't come across as modern like we are now, but had beliefs and common sense that was looked down on women in that time. I loved Sara she was strong and had alot to put up with the men in her life and the code of honor she didn't agree with. The back and forth between her and Lucian that was the best part IMHO in the book as it showed the trust and the ideas of "honor". Between the two I think Sara changed the less, only grew stronger as a person and was willing to love again and risk her heart on someone that was different in views with Lucian.

 Lucian on the other hand, could be a hardheaded with his life, family and his views. He changed the most, when he put himself in Sara's shoes and looked at her from her views. This toward the end gave way to a bit of a misunderstanding that dropped my rating along with another incident. I felt after the road Lucian took with Sara he would understand her more, but it was a big step back in my view. Do I think with Sara by his side he keep going forward. Yes. Still a bit of a downer. Yup. Along with the misunderstanding I truly didn't care for the sister and her beau who always tend to get into trouble that felt like it was just there to move the story along and cause headaches for everyone.

 In the end this was the beauty of the story, no matter the trouble that comes one's way. If a couple finds common ground, understanding and love, they can work through alot together. Another wonderful keeper from Louise Allen!

 

Have You Tried These 40 Types of Pizza?

  Damn, I guess I better get on the ball!

Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery by Maia Chance

Bad Housekeeping: An Agnes and Effie Mystery - Maia Chance

 Agnes Blythe is at a all time low in her life. After supporting her professor boyfriend for years in his career he sudden dumps her for the local Pilates instructor, kicks her out of the house and is going to judge her academic paper when she returns to school. To top it off, Agnes' Great Aunt Effie has shown up into town suddenly and wants to remodel the old family inn. Then to make matters even worse Agnes also runs into the town evil busy buddy Kathleen Todd who she has an heated exchange with, only for Kathleen to wind up dead her her Aunt's fixer-upper inn!

 Now Agnes and her Aunt are murder suspects and team up to track down the clues in who really wanted Kathleen Todd out of he picture.

 

 I enjoy a fixer upper cozy mystery, with the fixer upper leading to more then what they fixer bargain for. In this case sadly, the inn was rarely showcased in the grand scheme with just a few scenes to it. The mystery was well done with Agnes and Effie tracking down a who started a rumor that lead to bigger clues and the trail of enemies Todd had.

 

 I think the weakest part of the book was the characters themselves. I never found myself liking Agnes are Effie and while I did chuckle at some of the antics, I can say I never felt they endeared themselves to me. Agnes was always going on about her weight, her ex, her new beau(?), her aunt. The "woe is me" got a bit old with her and wanted her to be stronger. This of course is the first book in the series so I wouldn't be surprised to see hopefully bigger changes in her character as the series goes on.

 

  In the end this was a nice little cozy with an big range of characters and a small town feel to pass the time with.


A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

A Gathering of Ravens - Scott Oden

 Know as a skraelingr to the Danes, orcneas to the English and fomoraig to the Irish. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. His name is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind. Driven by an centenaries old vengeance, Grimnir takes hostage a young Christan and drags them into this blood soaked and war torn world in order to fulfilled his oath.

 

 I was very surprised when I found out Grimnir was an Orc. I've have never read a book with an Orc as an protagonist. Now don't think Grimnir is some goodie two shoes. Far from it. He's an a**hole! He does alot of questionable and doesn't think who he has to grin under his heel to get what he wants. So when he comes across as young Christan he drags them from the new world faith to the old world ways.

 

 Oden weaves an incredible tale using the mythology of Norse and many others, taking pieces from Beowolf to Balor and it works completely. It flows and makes so much sense for Grimnir backstory and his "family" line of war-thirst monsters. The story can be very violent in a violent time of the middle ages where war of clans and new faiths are fighting for dominance, the old magic giving way to the new faith of Christ words.  The balancing act of this time showed not only the change of the world but the change of Grimnir himself. In all his acts of war and violent, he does keep his word, and had a honor he follows to the bitter end but he's part of a dying breed of warriors.

  Many of the characters you meet along the way from the fae folk to the willow trees to the kings and witches. All have something to gain in this world where only the strong-will survive and each come with a big personality. None such as Grimnir "companion" who starts off as a hostage and later bears witness to the change of times at his side. In the end both Grimnir and the young Christan grew to really respect the other with a tale that reaches long after them both.

 

 Placed in the age of change and violence and rich with history, Oden created an world with the last Orc and warriors of old and the birth of the new in a truly amazing tale.