Variant Series (Reckoning): Book 4 Review

Jena Leigh newest book is out! It is the fourth book in the series, and the wait for it did not disappoint. If possible, it is even better story. The title is called Reckoning, and it is another perfect title. 

The story takes place back from the past, but keeps roughly the same characters in play, but with a few new friends, namely Brandt. The man whom “tortured” Alex (although it was Sam Masterson wearing Carson Brandt’s face) is now newly minted on the team. While he was in the other books, this one you really get to know him better. You may even change your mind about him, a bit. Declan has now changed, and Alex has more issues than you might have thought possible. She is strong though, and that has never changed through any of the books; though she has grown into her own skin a bit better, so her troubles will only do so much. 
This time, fresh from the past, the Grayson co and friends are in a new home, along with some new faces, and old trying to keep Alex safe, and to keep the world from ending. A familiar “villain” will come into play, and you’ll get a bit of backstory with her as well. Trouble will be had, and time will tell the outcome. It ended on a cliffhanger, but a fantastic twist I did not see coming one bit, and a really extra sad part that I was almost in tears. Great writing on Jena’s part.
If you liked the other books, I recommend this one. If you have not read the others, I suggest you start. I do warn you: you will be addicted to these characters. Once the series end I’ll be sad to see them all go, but I’m excited to see how it will all end, in the end. I just hope it’s not incredibly soon. 

I still see the same characters. One problem though is the actor Brian is all grown up and looks way different. So would need to re-think him if this was made into a movie or series (which I’d be down to watch)...just saying. Netflix. Jena. 

I was going to add in a few new characters, but decided not to for the moment, because in honest, it is hard for me to pinpoint the right actors. 

Simone Snaith: Interview

Simone Snaith has a lot of books written and they are wonderful (I have written reviews on them all: Faireville Woods Series, The Indigo Stone, and Into the Drawing).


All of the books can be found at Amazon and I recommend buying them if you have not already. 

**I was really happy and excited that Ms. Snaith had taken me up on answering a few questions for the blog. They are wonderful responses, and I want to thank her for taking time out to do so. 


You have written a few books, one being a companion series (From the Ashes and Through the Eyes: Faireville Woods) and the rest standalones. Which are your favorites to do; series or one book a piece?
I prefer both writing and reading stand-alone books, most of the time. I like the idea of leaving the reader to imagine his/her own version of what else might happen in that particular fictional world. And I like having that freedom myself after finishing reading a book. There are some exceptions though; I eagerly read all of A Song of Ice and Fire and the Harry Potter books.

If I recall, there is not many/if any love triangles in your books. Do you hate them/love them or consider them unnecessary?
I absolutely hate love triangles! I think they are widely overused as a plot device and also, they’re not even very realistic. I’ve never been in love with two people at the same time, and neither has any of my close friends or family members...

Do you have a favorite book that you wrote?
I think my favorite is “The Indigo Stone.” I love a good, fish-out-of-water adventure story with a romantic subplot, and I feel like I achieved that with that novel. “In The Drawing” is the most personal, however; Genevieve is loosely based on a younger version of myself.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? What made you love that character?
It might be a tie between Eine from “The Indigo Stone” - because she is a tough survivor, but in a matter-of-fact, unshowy way – and Lundy from “From The Ashes,” for her kind heart, and her love of books and music.

How did you come up with the idea for your books? 
They often spring from images that pop up in my head, or just scraps of ideas. “From The Ashes” was a very old story idea of mine, but one of the first images I had was of Harlan in Lundy’s window. I had a dream about the spinning contraption that Eine is strapped into by Indigo, and “In The Drawing” definitely started out as just the idea of vines growing over a building overnight.

Can you give us a hint to what we should be expecting in your next book?
“Between The Water & The Woods” is scheduled to be published by Holiday House in the spring! It’s a YA Fantasy that involves monsters, magic, and machines. 😉

Where do you like to write?
I usually write at my desk at home, but I also write on my Kindle Fire when I’m out and about.

Do you decide character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you go along?
There are usually some that I know beforehand, but others that develop as I go. That’s one of the exciting parts for me.

If you could give a young writer any tip, what would it be?
Keep going until you finish the first draft, and THEN go back and edit. Don’t keep stopping and second-guessing things. A lot of the writers I know have trouble finishing even that first draft.

If you weren’t writing, what would you want to be doing for a living? What are some of your other passions in life?
My other passion is music, so I would be focusing more on that if I wasn’t also a writer. I currently sing and write songs in a band that plays locally in L.A.

What do you love about being an indie author?
I love the fact that many indie publishers accept unsolicited manuscripts! While literary agents are obviously amazing, they are also gatekeepers, in a sense. If you can’t find one who is excited about your current book, then you’re stuck, because the major publishers will only accept submissions through them. With my self-published books, I liked having control over the book cover and design, and also receiving the sales notifications directly in my inbox. 

What is the oddest thing you’ve found yourself researching for your books (if any)?
The most recent (unpublished) novel that I wrote is about a girl whose parents work in the space program, and who starts dreaming that aliens are contacting her. So I went on a tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab here in L.A., read about the Cassini spacecraft and Mars Rover online, and talked to a family friend who works for NASA! I had to figure out how my main character and her friend could do something technically minor that would alter her parents’ spacecraft mission.

Any tidbits you wish to share for inspiring or other indie authors?
If you truly love writing, then keep pursuing it forever and ever. There are many routes to publishing now and you can keep trying them all.




Which would you pick- (fame, money, happiness, or easy inspiration)?
Happiness, which would give me plenty of inspiration!

How many drafts from first to final?
For myself, usually only 2 or 3, but their have already been more than that for “Between The Water & The Woods.” I’m still in the editing stage with Holiday House.

Do you fit any author stereotypes (Cat owner? Coffee/tea Addict? Messy handwriting? Recluse? Late night writer? OCD spelling/grammer (i.e. hate others who don’t use it properly or even yourself)?
Haha, I fit all of those except for “recluse” and “late night writer!” I prefer to write in the morning, although I certainly don’t get up early, and I do like to get out often. I have a 21-year-old cat who is my true love, and I’m definitely a coffee addict and spelling/grammer Nazi. My handwriting only gets worse as I get older...

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Probably when people are unjustifiably rude. I work in retail, so I see this often, unfortunately. I’m a stickler for basic manners.

What is one thing you love and could not live without?
Rock ‘n roll. <3

Those answers are wonderful, amazing and the tidbits for writers is a must read! Always helpful to add insight for others. I love the NASA information and I bet it was really cool to do. Manners are a must for me as well, sad to think we are losing some of that. I don't know about you readers, but I'm going to be checking out Ms. Snaith's music now and reviewing it up. Love that she writes music as well!

Picture This: Coolest Band (Review)



I love finding new music to listen too, and when I stumbled upon new band PictureThis ; I was really excited to listen to something new. The band was no disappointment, if you are into Pop Rock than this is a band to listen too. 

Jimmy Rainsford and Ryan Hennessey are two friends from Kildare, Ireland whom formed a band together a few years ago; and they are amazing sounding. Ryan Hennessey is not only dreamy in the looks department (Jimmy is just as good looking…), but in voice as well. Both boys sing well, and mix together fantastically.

Pair that with love songs, and life songs written by Hennessey. These boys are going places, if not evident by their album going platinum and by selling out arenas on tour. As a thank you, they’re going to be putting out a special edition, deluxe, with even more songs. 

Their album thus far contains 13 wonderfully written tracks, which are sung with heart and intensity. All the boys in the group, Owen Cardiff, Cliffe Dean, Jimmy Rainsford, and Ryan Hennessey are talented young men going to go far. They have already started. I cannot wait to watch them soar even farther.

As far as the tracks go:

Take My Hand – A typical upbeat love song, which will make you feel warm and fuzzy; it seems to be the biggest hit thus far.

Dream – My favorite track on the whole album (this one out at least). A “life” track; which will put you in a better mood just by listening to the smooth melody and the uplifting lyrics that to me seem hopeful. You can lay on your bed, closing your eyes and just feel the song.

You & I – My favorite part to this song is honestly (in my eyes) the music video. A fun love song, but not a typical love song; its honest, raw and not completely sappy.

Addicted To You – If you’re thinking love song, you would be correct. It’s about first meetings, but feeling a connection that is strong, and the reminds me of the perfect “honeymoon” stage of relationship. Bubbly and makes you want to dance around the room. Perfect for what the song is about.

Everything I Need -  A love song: a love song that is pure and honest. Giving in and truly letting others in. A perfect romantic vow.

Jane – A love song that is one of the slowest on the album, but beautiful and sweet.

Never Change – Another love song, that is a bit like “Everything I Need” in the sense that it is a romantic view on being who you are s exactly perfect, pure and honest.

Carry On – I want to call this a love song, mixed with life, but I think it’s more of a infatuation song instead.

Smell Like Him – A sad song that you can feel in the tone. It almost makes me want to cry for the pain (I did not). A love lost.

Let’s Be Young – A bit upbeat mixed with a “chill” vibe. An utter fun song based on life and just as the title suggested, “being young”.  It makes you want to party, but not in a club.

95 – A cute love song that you just want to lay down and listen. It’s sweet and lovely.

Difference – Just a lovely song. Listen. Honestly. Go. Now.

Saviour – Another favorite song of mine. Upbeat, love song, about childhood sweethearts that you can find again. Amazing!!

Take a listen for yourself though, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the least. If you were going to buy their music (recommended) I would just wait until this Friday when the new one will be out. It will include 2 new tracks, as well as

This Christmas – I adore this song so much. A chill love song, that gives you a bit of a Christmas vibe, but not a heavy one (twinkling lights) and just a hopeful song that is lovely and nice. The choir in the back adds a nice touch to the song as well. Perfect.

If you want to listen to “This Christmas” go to youtube and take a listen. Great timing at the moment too.

I know what I’ll be spending my money on (again).

Also, if you haven’t, do yourself a favor on all social media accounts. It will keep you informed on all new projects and tours that you do not want to miss.

Plus you do not want to miss Ryan Hennessey extraordinary fashion style that to me is amazing. I want him to take me shopping (I’ll buy it haha, just a guide).


UPDATE: The Deluxe album is out now, and these extraordinary band has done it again with only two new songs and "This Christmas". I hope you go and buy it on iTunes and listen on Spotify.

Mind and Body - I think this will become or have become another favorite of mine. It's not a love song in the traditional sense, but it is sensual with a wonderful beat behind it that you just want to sing over and over again.

Gritty Picture - Is such an interesting song, I guess you could characterize it as a love song, but it is more of a tribute to an amazing girl rather than a true love song.

Found this lovely live version of Mind and Body. Listen to it and enjoy it. 

In The Drawing (Review)

So I have been MIA for a while now, no excuses. The only thing I’d say is that life took over that did not allow me to write as I once loved to do. While I don’t see me as 100% back, I did however finish a book that I wanted to write about. 

When I heard that Simone Snaith was writing and putting another book out, as soon as I could snatch it; I did. Purchased it right then and there and promised a review. I read it, it took me a bit longer to get through than her others, and then even longer to get my butt in a chair to write this up. 

While it was way different than her other pieces of work that she has done (write up here and here), it was by no means not a fantastic piece of work. I loved seeing Simone’s heart and soul being poured into this one, with the same amount of eloquence her other books possess. This one, while still fantasy oriented and a bit of romance thrown in, it struck a different chord; it made you truly think and feel.

The story is about a young, introverted girl named Genevieve, whom never felt quite right in her own skin. Her best friend, Claudia, and adoptive parents try to help her the best way they can (and a few others). What I love about this story is that sometimes others do not help, which rings true in most cases. While those people help, and the hunky, and lovable cop Elliot does not hurt her; it inevitably comes down to her. There is something incredibly inspiring about becoming who you are meant to be without being pushed, pulled and prodded to be something you are not. She is accepted for her nature, and not thrown to be happy always; she is who she is. Of course there are some mystical elements to her that truly help her realize everything about her, but the Easter Eggs along the way truly make this book worth reading. The Doctor Who mention, albeit brief, was awesome too. 

My Character Take: 

This is not all the characters by any means, but I thought a few would be cool to put up. What do you think?

Once Upon a Time Season 5b


Once Upon a Time or fondly called OUAT is back after its hiatus. Season 5 has seen a lot, and I am not surprised to see that it has reached a season 5; I am still fixed and I am beyond excited that there will be a season 6! I am not 100% sold on all the writers do, but I have always loved fairy-tales and the twists are so much fun to join in on. I think one of my favorite things to do is fantasize about different plot twists and see if they fit. Usually my far out ones do not, but I do go with two: one twist that I could see them doing and one that is so far beyond the realm of possibilities it could lead to a crazy epic twist.

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We are finally on to Season 5b and the first half portrayed a darker Emma and everyone trying to save her for once since she's become pretty good at saving everyone else. Although to be fair she has help saving everyone so it never is always just her: Henry and Regina being the top two, with an occasional help from her family and Rumple. I digress...season 5a focused on Emma being dark, but as much as I really think Jennifer Morrison's acting skills are out of the park; I felt a darkness lacking a bit. I'm thinking it was because she was not full on darkness, since she was one-half of a pair. I'm not sure how Killian did not realize he was the second, he was so good until he found out. I'm still confused by that.

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Season 5b has them traveling to the Underworld to save Hook: Regina and Robin Hood, Snow and Charming (anyone else find it annoying they all call Snow, Mary Margaret?), Emma and Henry, and Rumple (but not out of the goodness of his heart). So far there has been some pretty gut wrenching starts and some surprising twists: Regina has now been the savior twice (she broke her second curse and saved Emma), and looks to be going for a triple.  Regina seeing both her Mother and Father and gaining some sort of closure with both; at least her Father was a huge closure, and for all she's been through she deserves that (even if she was the one who put him their). I am uncertain why little Henry had to be their, but I'm assuming for a bit more dramatic affect. "Henry meet Henry" it's almost saying: see I did love you with all my heart. Although that was already clear when she ripped out his heart for revenge, but you know. Seeing Neal again, if only for a brief moment was beautiful. Emma and Neal's chemistry has always been amazing, but I just wished for him to see Henry too. A family moment would have been extra bonus. He warned her not to go to the Underworld (like she was going to jump off the boat once they landed and swim back: okay she could have told the boat to turn around), but of course she is going to: and he should have known that. She has always been brave and stubborn. It's not in her nature to give up, even if emotionally she flees. Seeing Hook even for a moment, must have strengthened that resolve. Peter Pan showing up (why isn't he old?) to see his dear son and act like he wants to start over. I can't wait to see what comes next for the rest of season 5b!

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With that said, I have some theories on that:

1. What if Hades planted that memory to get Emma to turn back and not save Hook? He did say he would do anything to not lose a single soul. He already lost Henry thanks to Regina and Cora.

2. Peter Pan has not changed, and will possibly take-over Rumple (if he can) soul or he is going to force Rumple to choose and he'll choose Emma or Henry. Although Emma is supposed to be so powerful that nobody can rip out her heart and supposedly was the "best" dark one due to her magical abilities. (I believe she is the most powerful if she ever got the chance to truly be 100% dark and 100% taught to use her abilities: she gave up). Henry because he'll still see him as a threat now that he is the dark one again.

3. Everyone will join together to free everyone from the Underworld, but more than one will be revived and not actually move on from limbo. I'm not sure how or why.

4. Emma won't be able to split her heart to give to Hook because she is all-powerful which makes her heart extra attached? Not sure if that makes sense.

*Any other theories? Or anything to add?

AKA Jessica Jones Review

So I just finished binge watching all episodes, yes all (over the course of 3 days and breaks in-between, but still). I really enjoyed it, and I really enjoyed all the actors I saw within the show as well. Rachel Taylor is amazing at playing the best friend Trish, I especially loved the nod to the comics by her holding up the superhero costume. Krysten Ritter is of course, as always, phenomenal; her portrayal of Jessica was very believable as a snarky, drunk, that deep down wants to help people. David Tennent is another amazing actor, this time showing his chops as the villain, Killgrave (Purple man). Even if he’ll always have a place in my heart as the good doctor. 
Another reason it was so good? Besides the little nods to the comic, it was all its own, and although it showed; it showed in the best way. I wanted it to continue, although, was hoping for a bit of change (please bear with me): I wanted Killgrave to be good, well, end up good. David Tennent truly did a fabulous job portraying a villain that one would hate; he tortured Jessica and countless others, but his back story makes you (well me) that he can be redeemed. Even if villains don’t get happy endings. I still think it would have been interesting to see Jessica help in. After everything that he had done, to show that people can change. I also truly believe he wanted love, Jessica’s love. I think Jessica was looking for redemption, but also love. 
Could she get that love from Luke? Perhaps, yes. There were obstacles, but nothing they could not overcome, and he obviously cared for her. Jessica had more than she realized she had in the way of friends and people who cared; she just does not think she deserves it. 
Maybe I just watch to much OUAT and think everybody deserves a second chance, albeit with a watchful eye. Killgrave would have way too much to atone for, if it went that way. 
What do you think?
P.S. Little Jessica actress you were fantastic!

Variant Series Book #3: Review

http://www.amazon.com/Redux-Variant-Book-Jena-Leigh-ebook/dp/B0129ZMIKS/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 

Jena Leigh has done it again with her third book in the Variant Series aptly titled Redux. If you love sci-fi/fantasy then this book has it all. Powers (check), time travel (check), strong characters (check), villains (yep). Your emotions will fluctuate and you'll enjoy the ride the book weaves. 

The story takes place in the past, but keeps roughly the same characters in play as the first two books (haven't read them? check book #1 and #2 out), but with a twist: only two are from the future. Alex is desperate to change the past and make a better future for her friends and family. Declan is determined to not let Alex do it alone. The problem? The jump did not go as planned. So while trying to fix the past, Alex is desperate to find Declan too. Throughout the book there are difficult choices to be made, new friends to be had, and revelations that will throw you in a scramble hoping that all survivor this new/past adventure. Will everything change or will it be as it was supposed to be all along?

You’ll feel it all. The hope, the struggle, the possibility of loss; but ultimately you’ll see fate at its finest in this tale of the past the will most likely lead to book number four. And you will hope for a redux and that the book does not end.




I hope you enjoy my old and slightly new version (second) to the newest book.