Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Heart of Iron: liked the core, but connection failure

I saw Heart of Iron pitched as Anastasia meets Firefly. Combine that with an entertaining experience with Poston's last book, Geekerella, and I was in. I didn't love this book, but it has a lot of elements I know other readers will enjoy.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Series:  #1?
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on February 27, 2018
Published by Balzer + Bray
Final Rating: 2 stars
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?

I like the overall concept. Space pirates, missing royalty, evil lurking in the shadows. There's a lot of good stuff there, and the plot was generally interesting.

January Adventures: Scotland, Knitting and Books

The biggest January Adventure was easily my week in Scotland! Technically 5 days, but who's counting? I posted a few of my best photos over on Instagram. Here's a sample:

A post shared by Kel (@kelmpeterson) on

I got two days in Edinburgh, during which I stayed at a hostel, explored, saw a musical, ate tasty food, and climbed up to Arthur's Seat (which was amazing and FREEZING). The other three days went to a tour through the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. It was beautiful and amazing, and I'd love to go back!

In other news . . .

A romance I read because I needed more Scotland

I got back from a whirlwind 5 days in Scotland last week, and I wish I could go back already. (Curse you school!) So, to slake my need for more Scotland (without missing class), I picked up this.

This e-book was provided by the author for review.
Lake of Destiny by Martina Boone
Series: Celtic Legends #1
Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Published on April 25, 2017
Published by Mayfair Publishing
Final Rating: 2 stars
A magical Highland romance about men in kilts, destiny, family, healing, and the sometimes twisted path to love by the award-winning author of Compulsion.

Helping her aunt organize a Beltane Festival in a picturesque Highland village seems like the perfect escape from Anna’s second broken engagement and the meltdown that wrecked her legal career. But to succeed, she’ll need to wrangle kilt-wearing villagers, dangerous sheep, a disaster of a dog, and the reclusive laird who refuses to open his property to the public for the ancient tradition of “Sighting.”

For centuries, Loch Fàil in Balwhither has been known to locals as a "thin" place, one where the veil between worlds peels back on Beltane morning to show the face of a person's one true love. The tradition could draw tourists by the busload, but that’s exactly what Connal MacGregor fears will reveal the two secrets he's been desperately keeping hidden.

While Anna struggles to mediate between the needs of the village and Connal’s need to protect his identity and his child, Anna finds herself falling in love with all of them: Connal and his daughter, the magical glen, the villagers. But day by day, opening herself to love exposes deep scars from Anna’s childhood, and confronting those wounds could finally set her free--or endanger her every chance of happiness.
Lake of Destiny will appeal to contemporary readers looking for a light read centered around a sweet romance. I definitely got Highland vibes (and sheep), and there are some great humorous moments toward the beginning.

2017 End of Year Book Survey

I just realized today that this month marks my 4-year blogoversary!!! Yay me!

Now, on to a look at this year's reading with a survey brought to us by the ever-amazing Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner!

Number Of Books You Read: 44
(I'm hoping to squeeze in one more before New Year's)

Number of Re-Reads: 0

Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? There were a number of good ones this year, but I'm going to give it to Invictus. This book delivered the time-travel adventure I'd been waiting for.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Book Year!

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's been a long road to December 25th, but we made it.

Since I last posted, I've finished finals, read a few books, checked out some Philly holiday traditions, and put in extra hours at work (because money).

I'm not going to lie. Finals were rough this semester. I wound up trying to teach myself and a classmate a whole course in a week--after my first exam, but before my last paper. I can't tell you how glad I am it's over.

I squeezed in a few more books during and after finals. I've mentioned a number of times how much I love Anne Bishop's The Others series, right? Well, I happened upon an omnibus paperback of her older Black Jewels trilogy at a library sale and picked it up.

I read all three quickly, but I can't say I enjoyed any of them. It takes place in a seriously messed up world with sexual violence galore, and the story remains focused on a couple of emo super special snowflakes while showing next to nothing of the more interesting side characters. If you haven't read any Anne Bishop, I recommend skipping these and trying The Others series instead. If you've already read The Others and want more . . . a lot of people seem to like the Black Jewels, so maybe you will? But if you can't read sexual violence stuff (including some truly awful characters and their dealings with children), definitely stay away.

On a happier note, I read Vengeance Road, which my super awesome OTSP secret sister Morgan sent, and really liked it! It has that spaghetti western vibe (and dialect), disputed gold, a stubborn-as-a-mule protagonist, and a teensy bit of romance properly playing second fiddle to revenge and, you know, people shooting at them.

In between studying and work, I finally checked out some of Philadelphia's holiday events, mostly light shows.

November Wrap-Up: What Just Happened?

A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest
from the blogosphere, and life.

I'm not entirely sure where this month went. There's a vague memory of school and Thanksgiving and mild panic over papers and finals... Oh! And I made some special plans for Christmas break, so there's that. :)

November Reads:

Dealing with Dragons was amazing! If you haven't read it yet, go do so.

There's Always a Catch was less amazing. Actually, it was a total bust for me, but I can see why others would enjoy it.

November Post:

October 2017 Wrap-Up: Counts, Birthdays, Giveaways & Panels Galore

November Life:
Clearly November was not my best month for blogging. I'm hoping to do a little better (and do a lot more reading) in December once finals are over.

This month feels like it's flown by. I literally have to take out my calendar to figure out what all happened. As I said in my last post, I pulled off hosting my final panel event of the semester. Then followed that up a week later with a "we survived" celebration and e-board elections. Good news: there's a brand new e-board and I'M NOT ON IT! :D I'm still around in an advisory capacity (and let's face it: I'm totally the puppet master lurking in the shadows when I want to be), but I am no longer the responsible person for these events. Whoo!

October 2017 Wrap-Up: Counts, Birthdays, Giveaways & Panels Galore

A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of
interest from the blogosphere, and life.

I'm a little late on the monthly wrap-up post (technically halfway into November), but it's been a while, I wanted to check in, and yes, I'm avoiding homework.

October Reads:

The Count of Monte Cristo as a manga adaptation is better for some purposes than others, but the art is pretty. More details in my review. :)

The Look of Love didn't wow me. The bulk of the couple's problem probably could have been resolved with better communication, and their thoughts got too repetitive with too little happening. On the bright side, I won this e-book from a Goodreads giveaway, which hasn't happened in YEARS. :)

October Posts:
September 2017 Wrap-Up: Magic Eggs, Tennis and Panels

The Count of Monte Cristo's Manga Makeover

October Life:
Law school is always crazy, but this last month or so was a little crazier than usual.

The Count of Monte Cristo's Manga Makeover

Udon's Manga Classics line brings us a manga-style take on Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece, The Count of Monte Cristo. It stays closer to the original than the movie with Jim Caviezel, but I'm still mulling over how successful it was--as both an adaptation and a story.

This e-book was provided through NetGalley for review.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Story adapted by Crystal S. Chan, Art by Nokman Poon
Series: n/a
Genres: Action/adventure, Graphic novel, Manga, Classic
Published on April 1, 2017
Published by Udon Entertainment
Final Rating: 3 stars
A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him - but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know?

Alexandre Dumas' skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

I LOVE the source material, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's the ultimate tale of revenge (with a little redemption thrown in), and it's one of my all-time favorite novels.