Griffin’s Heart: Mourning Your Pet with No Apologies by Reagan J Pasternak

Griffin’s Heart: Mourning Your Pet with No Apologies by Reagan J Pasternak
Publisher: Creatures Align Press
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Lupine

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Kamagra works by blocking the buy viagra online action of the PDE-5 inhibitors. This action mechanism enhances blood flow to the penis which makes is buy viagra cheapest possible for a man to achieve an erection. For attaining satisfactory result, those people suffering from erectile dysfunction. generic levitra from india Due to these probe cialis generika misconceptions, people are losing a great opportunity to save hundreds of dollars spent in medication. Losing a pet can be devastating and isolating. The trauma and grief that ensues are often trivialized or misunderstood by friends and family but it is unyielding and must be attended to. Griffin’s Heart is an interactive guide to loss and navigating the grief process. Through journaling, healing exercises, and contributions, readers will find an outlet for their pain while creating a keepsake filled with beautiful memories. Reagan’s own story unfolds as the pages progress, reminding readers that they are not alone in their sorrow and that hope exists for all of us. Griffin’s Heart teaches us to embrace and explore our darkest feelings and transform them into wisdom and strength while commemorating the pet we loved so much.

I’ve had pets my whole life and loved them all dearly. Losing them is difficult to be sure. But sometimes, you have one that’s extra special…and losing them is a bit like losing a child, or a limb and mourning them is deep, dark and difficult and it’s something you feel a little silly about or feel as if you shouldn’t hurt so much. After all, it’s JUST a pet, right?

I wish I’d had this book five years ago when I lost the dog of my heart. I still miss her every day, and her unexpected death sent me into a tailspin that I felt I had no right to be in. She was a dog. How do you justify that? This book helps you do just that. I admit to crying most of the way through, but it was the good kind of crying, those cathartic tears that heal as they are shed.

The book does two things: it shares the author’s own struggle with loss and the feeling that her deep grief was unacceptable. And it validates and helps other pet owners deal with their own loss, through shared stories and journal entries. I didn’t participate in all the journaling, but I did do the ones I needed to and it helped. Somehow, having a person I didn’t even know tell me it was okay to feel this deeply about a pet was what I needed to finally start working through those unresolved feelings. She validated me and my feelings, and the entire book was a virtual hug.

I loved this book. I want to buy copies for all my friends who are pet parents to give to them when their time of need comes. I can’t recommend it enough.

Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave by Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Length: Full (400 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rated: 4.5 stars
Review by Lupine

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
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Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

I am not typically a person who jumps at the opportunity to read a YA vampire book of any kind (I’m a young adult who never liked Twilight). However, after being offered the opportunity to read an up and coming twist on the subject, I couldn’t resist. It was written in first person, present tense which isn’t my favorite POV, but honestly that was easy to overlook once I got hooked on the story.

Crave is written beautifully, with lines that will leave you virtually breathing in the cold Alaskan air and wishing you were there right along with the characters. I appreciated Grace’s wit and dark sense of humor with every turn of the page.

The sexual tension between Grace and Jaxon was a little quick to be introduced (I prefer a slow burn), but the relationship between the two will certainly have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next… and be warned: it’s hot. I admit to referring to Jaxon as my new book boyfriend more than once. The supporting characters are developed and written in such a way I can see each of their faces painted in my head. Each chapter introduced a new adventure with Grace and her entourage as well as offering very clever and fun chapter headings (for example, “No I Really Don’t Want to Build a Snowman” or “Shining Armor is So Last Century”).

I loved the original ideas and the twists on the ordinary vampire cliché. I never thought I’d say this about a vampire romance, but Crave is absolutely worth the read.

Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden

Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden
Publisher: Ubisoft Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (320 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Lupine

An endless conflict. An old wrong. A new revelation.

Simon Hathaway, member of the Templar Inner Sanctum, brings a cool head and detached manner to his new role as Head of Abstergo Industry’s Historical Research Division.

But Simon also has an insatiable curiosity, and is fascinated by the thought of experiencing history first-hand through his ancestor–Gabriel Laxart, who fought alongside the legendary Joan of Arc.
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When he enters the newly-designed Animus for its initial project, Simon finds himself unprepared for what he discovers: How deep the conflict between the Templars and the Assassins goes. What Gabriel will do for the woman he both loves and reveres.

And the most dangerous truth of all: Who is the heretic…and who is the true believer.

When I saw that there was an Assassin’s Creed book being written, I of course had to read it because I LOVE Assassin’s Creed. What makes this book different is that it’s coming from the perspective of the modern day Templars, which is the organization that fights against the Assassins. Normally in the Assassin’s Creed games, the point of view comes from the assassin, so it’s an interesting twist in getting to see what the other side thinks and how they operate.

This particular book was about the history of Joan of Arc. The Templars are trying to find pieces of Eden, which are basically super powerful objects that both the Templars and the Assassins want possession of. They’re hard to come by, so it’s a bit of a race to find them. I liked being able to read from the perspective of Simon Hathaway, who is part of Abstergo industries (the business the Templars hide behind) and understanding a different side to the story. We get to follow him as he experiences the Animus, which is a high tech device used by both the Assassins and the Templars to access their ancestors memories. It does get a little confusing flip flopping between the ancient world of Joan of Arc and the modern day world, but the games are much the same.

I thought the book provided some key insight into history as well – though a work of fiction, it was still interesting to read about Joan of Arc, especially from an emotional standpoint. The book is also a little more in depth than the game, which I appreciate, but it is a difficult transition for me to remember that I’m not interacting with the characters.

The interpersonal relations between Gabriel and Joan and Simon and Anaya are enjoyable, but are certainly adult. The game is similar; it’s marketed to teens, but it uses adult characters. I tend to dismiss that as I’m playing, because it doesn’t arise often.

All-in-all, this was a good book that honors the Assassin’s Creed legacy. If you’re a fan of the game, grab this book for an interesting look at how the other side thinks.

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, YA
Length: Full Length(331 pgs)
Age recommendation: 13+
Rated: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lupine

What if your life wasn’t your own?

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Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

What starts out as a very mysterious and hidden plot eventually turns into a roller coaster of intrigue and deceit as Liv tries desperately to unravel her past after a tragic accident claims her memories.

I really enjoyed the plot; I thought it was the best part of the book considering how I am usually able to guess how things will turn out, and the author kept slamming doors of possibility in my face as I kept guessing and being wrong. It’s a wonderfully done piece. My only complaint would be the obnoxious girl who, of course, ran the school and was the popular one. She was rather stereotypical, when it comes down to the mean girl type.

Liv was an excellent main character. She had a great development, and I enjoyed watching her try and fit back into the real world and her new life after such a little time to recover. She had curiosity and spunk that made me giggle, and she usually had a reason to cry, so wasn’t a whiny heroine. She possessed strength, especially in the end, when she finally discovered the real reasons behind her mental battles and odd dreams.

Spencer was as equally well done for a brooding teenage boy trying to erase the mistakes in his life and redo his world. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and what he did for Liv in her destroyed life, picking up all the broken pieces and gluing them back together.  A good book that has me looking for more from this publisher and author.

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Atlantia by Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (298 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lupine

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

Establish a person’s pregnancy The most important aspect is men often don’t discuss this issue with any one as they viagra purchase online can’t accept the fact that they are impotent. A lot more your doctor are able to detect it as some blame themselves for their partners’ sexual problems. commander cialis It can be said that if you have a chest india generic cialis cold or some tome of sinus infection or head cold,Zithromax in usually the cure all. Colorectal cancer is caused discount viagra generic by uncontrolled cell growth, a condition called as “neoplasia” in the colon and rectum. For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

I’m a big fan of Ally Condie, and could wait to dive into this book.

Though I appreciate Ally Condie’s amazing writing, there was a lot in the book that I really didn’t enjoy but I understand why it was needed. I’d like to start with the setting, as it was amazingly described and written. Though there is more than one places in the book, Above and Below, and they were written in such detail that I was taken aback at how excellent they were. I did struggle with the pacing a little since it was a little difficult to get around the complex world building and into the main plot of the story. It dragged quite a bit for me, but the thoughts that were always running through Rio’s mind sort of kept me focused and on track.

I appreciated that Rio showed so much dedication to her sister and that was never broken, even with the introduction of the love interest. Speaking of which, I wish that there had been more romance between Rio and the boy…it seemed that she was so focused (and rightly so, don’t get me wrong) on getting to her sister that the cuteness of the two of them together was thrown in the corner.  Also, can I add in a personal thought – I was so happy to read about a tall, largely built heroine. It appealed to me because she was something different than the average petite thing that a man has to protect in times of trouble.

Also, I’d like to interject on how much I liked the ending parts of the book and, though I wished there had been more to the conclusion, it was very well done and beautiful.

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (295 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Lupine

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

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Haunted by her parents’ deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin’s untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion’s aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself–and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

I loved this book beyond belief – and that’s saying something for me.

Suspicion had me hooked from the cover to the final page, and considering how much I read and how picky a reader I can be, I have to applaud the author for excellent writing. It was an interesting trip through modern day royalty and mystery, along with a little romance thrown in. Though there was only one slow spot near to the middle, where ends were being tied, there was nothing else in the least bit negative I could say about it. The characters were wonderful and developed, easy to identify with, and the setting was beautiful and easy to picture, along with a little magic.  The plot twists were endless and incredibly difficult to predict as well.

I loved this book so much!  I’m a new fan of the author and can’t wait until she writes more.

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (392 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Lupine

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

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​I struggled with the back and forth ​​with the friend​​ship between Korbie and Britt. It didn’t seem genuine nor did it seem deep, as Korbie is one of the most self-centered, bratty girls I’ve ever read about, and Britt is an “independent” spoiled, (and frequently stupid) rich girl who can’t seem to get over her douche bag ex-boyfriend. ​

​Then you have their trip up into the mountains, where they end up getting stranded because Britt didn’t want to pump more gas into the car and then the idea of staying in their fully stocked car with extra food/sleeping bags/gear was less attractive than stumbling around in a massive snowstorm just to maybe find some sort of help in a huge, unknown area of a mountain range.

I think the author wanted the readers to find the two men they find attractive, but I found them creepy.   I really hated the Stockholm syndrome going on…though I liked that relationship than the lost one Britt continues to pine over.  Still, it was disturbing.

Speaking of pining, Britt constantly is thinking about old “cute” memories of her and Calvin together, which distracts from the whole plot line and is annoying. Though it’s not much of a love triangle per se, it just wasn’t necessary. There was plenty of conflict without it and it got to the point where I just wanted to shake her and scream: PICK ONE.

Before you think I hated the book … I didn’t. There was enough action and excitement to keep me needing to find out what happened.  And the
epilogue made everything worthwhile.  It had more character development and true friendship than happened in the entire book.

I’m in the targeted age group for this book, so am writing from that point of view, and I wouldn’t give it to anyone under 13 because of the lusting, and (rather creepy) thoughts and actions with both of the men that Britt LOVES to DEATH and the gory details that describe dead bodies found along with a little language.

Honestly, Black Ice was painfully, horribly interesting. ​