Saturday, January 23, 2021

Swiniging Saturdays # : Spotify ABC ~ D


Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.

I took a Saturday off, I spend the day, taking down all the Christmas decorations and cleaning the house. I can tell you it was needed. We made a typical Dutch dish (split pea soup) and we watched some Criminal Minds, our new addiction. 

I might not have told you this but I own a company with my sister Isabelle, we used to work every Saturday, we have our weekend personnel, they do all our production work for us. Saturdays I am usually printing labels, arrange the warehouse and other things we do not have time for during the week. We both used to be present on Saturdays. However this new year we are taking a different approach we are dividing the Saturdays between the two of us, which means last Saturday I was off, and this Saturday I am working. 

So that is a little bit about my personal live, lets get into a new round of Spotify artists, starting with a D. In the D category I have: Dana Sipos, Dananananaykroyd, Daniel Romano, Danny Vera, Dave House, The Dead South, The Deaf, Dean Lewis, Death Alley, Death Cab for Cutie, Declan McKenna, Des Rocs, Devil Electric, Dewolff, Distrubed, Donnerwetter, and last but not least the Dropkick Murphy's. Wow, that was a long list! So I am picking 5 of these and this week it is going to be my favorites, just because I can. 

Can you figure out which ones will be present below (before scrolling down, that is) ? 

Danny Vera ~ Roller Coaster

I fell in love with his music, when I saw him play on "Bevrijdingsfestival" in Zwolle, I was suprised by how good it was. Little did I know that he would become such a prominent name in the Dutch music scene. Roller Coaster is so big that it made it all the way to the number one position in the Top 2000, knocking down Bohemian Rapsody from it's throne, where it has been for years. I think that indicated how beloved this song already is by the people here in the Netherlands. For all my non Dutch readers, I am proud to present to you Danny Vera! Let me know if you enjoyed it!


DeWolff ~ Big Talk

Well let's get the other Dutch band out of the way before we move on to North America. I didn't know which song to pick, to showcase their talent, so let's go with one of the more recent ones, well recent, we are going back to 2018 they have released a new album in 2020 and I just saw another release is coming up soon, in February this year. We can definitely say that they have been using Covid to their advantage, 2 albums relatively shortly following each other up. If you like this band, I can suggest their vinyl for your collection, I have 3 albums all are very special, one is green transparent, the other gold, another has the band on printed on the vinyl, which is also very pretty. So if you want something special for your collection their albums are really a treat. I usually buy them at their shows but I am thinking of pre-ordering the new album since well, there are no live shows to go to.


The Dead South ~ In Hell I'll Be In Good Company

Hello, Canada, from the most boring province, sorry Saskatchewan, comes a great band, The Dead South, In Hell I'll Be In Good Company, if so simple but yet so effective in what it is. I love this song, I can put it on repeat and it will never be boring. Bonus that this is coming from my second home on this planet, Canada, I miss you.


Dave Hause ~ Wild Love

Well we are hopping across the border to to Philedelphia, USA. I am very fond of the LP "Bury Me In Philly" I bought the LP at the show I went to in Bitterzoet, Amsterdam. It was a great show, Wild Love is one of my favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it as well.


Devil Electric ~ Hypnotica

We are finishing this top 5 in warm and sunny Australia, all though I would not call their music warm and sunny to be honest. This music is dark and earily beautiful. I have a much love for female lead singers, iti is something I am always on the look out for. They have been working on a new album for a while I am very curious when it comes out. Devil Electric has released to singles of this album, both sound very good!

This was a really hard one, only picking five, out of a pool of great artists, but I made it once more, I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!  

What is in you D category?
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Books: Eragon ~ Christopher Paolini

Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: Inheritance Cycle #1
Publisher: 
Publishing date: 
Number of pages: P.
Languages: English, Dutch, German, Spanish and more
Age Category: Young Adult, epic fantasy
Other Books In This Series:
Eldest, book #2
Brisngr, book #3
Inheritance, book #4
The Fork, The Witch and the Worm (Tales from Alagaësia)

About Eragon

One boy... 
One dragon... 
A world of adventure. 

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. 

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. 

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. 
(from: Goodreads)

My thoughts on Eragon

I received Eragon I think as a birthday present, I remember starting to read it and immediately falling in love with the story. After many many years I thought it would be a good time to do a re-read it, why did I love the story so much when I firsts read it? 

So last year I have re-read Eragon and let me tell you, I still love it as much as I did before. This may be due to the fact that I forgot about half of the things that had happend like for example when did Brom lose his live? Did they save Arya before or after that? Did they managed to kill the Ra'zac or not? 

These were all things I forgot about which is not really strange because I think it has been at least 6 years since I first read it. In Eragon the author takes the time to set the tone for the rest of the books, there is a lot of world building and character development in this book, which not at all takes away from the story.

What a really appreciate in this book is that the author took the time for the characters to grow, take for example Saphira, she didn't turn into a big ass dragon overnight (like they made it look like in the very badly done movie), but she grew over several months and in the beginning was not able to touch upon Eragon's mind, nor was she able to fly. This whole process took about half a year I think in the book. I really appreciate the realistic approach. 

Also we get to see the town's dimensions of Carvahall, the role Eragon plays in the town, we meet many side characters that will be important for the plot in the later books. I really liked Horst and his family. And of course Brom, I think he is my favorite side character in Eragon. He is mysterious and a great teacher to Eragon. 

This book can be slow at times but there is enough happening in these pages that will blow your mind, I think it is not the best book in the series, but it is a great introduction to Alagaësia, I hope to read the other three books somewhere during 2021. I really want to finish this series, as I remember that the third book leaves us on a major cliffhanger. The reason I never finished it was that I think the last book was not out yet, and when it came out, I was not in a great reading place. I might not have been reading at all. 

Hopefully 2021 is the year were I finish series, any serie will do, I have a couple more I would like to finish this year, for example The Curse Workers by Holly Black. Anyways back to Eragon. 

Conclusion

Great start of a series, love the world, the creatures and the characters. How could I not, it has dragons! I love me some dragons, and Saphira is witty, caring and beautiful! This is for fantasy lovers, I don't think it will appeal to people who are not familiar with epic fantasy. If you don't like original world building, elves, dragon's and other creatures, this will not be for you, but in case you do, this is a great place to start when you are new to epic fantasy. It is written for a young adult adience but can easily be read by adults as well. All in all this book is really close to my heart, it will forever be a favorite and I really am hoping the ending of the series will be satisfying.

 


The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.
- Eragon ~ Christopher Paolini, p. 197

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Books: 25 book from my physical TBR I want to read in 2020

Welcome everyone, 

2021 is going to be a great reading year, I can just feel it. Well actually, I have set some goals for myself to get my reading back on track, because to the left is my reading corner downstairs. 

I think that all most half of the books in this book case have not been read yet. I think I might have a bit of a problem😜. I thought it would be a good idea to change this in 2021. 

Tick off some more reads, I have gathered some wonderful editions on these shelves, some I bought myself, some were gifts from family and friends. 

If you are ever interested to see the more special editions I have let me know, maybe I can do a post about it, of maybe I will try to make a video. 

I have picked 25 books of my physical TBR, that I am going to read this year, hopefully I can keep to this TBR.

1. Heir of Fire - Throne of Glass #3 ~ Sarah J. Maas
Yes I know I am so far behind with reading my Sarah J. Maas books. I have read Throne of Glass twice already and also have read Crown of Midnight, but for some reason I never continued with the series even though I enjoyed both previous books in the series.
This was a Christmas gift of my boyfriend, it is one of those books I really really want to get to, because, well it is Sarah J. Maas and because this is an adult fantasy, it is said to be very different from Throne of Glass and A Court Of Thornes and Roses Series. I am very curious how it turns out, and also who the characters are on my Fairyloot Tarot cards!
3. A Darker Shade of Magic - Shade of Magic #1 ~ V.E. Schwab
I have been in love with the covers of this series for a long time, there are so many books that I don't get around to buying and when I saw this in a book store while we were on vacation I thought what the hell lets pick it up. I am not going to give you a synopsis that will follow with my review, but I have heard there are multiple dimensions/London's and that the magic system in this book is very interesting. It sound dark and beautiful



This is one of the most hyped books of 2020. I actually had the honour of meeting the author at Dutch Comiccon, so I have a signed version of the book. I really am hoping to finish this one this year, because it is different from anything else on the list, with the setting in China. I like to read divers, so I am very curious how I like this one.
5. Red Glove - Curse Worker #2 ~ Holly Black
I have re-read White Cat by Holly Black in November, I still have to review it, because it is a great story, eventhough it is a little bitter(sweet) as well. I need to finish series, it is a real problem I read the first book of a series, forget about it, continue on with something else and then never return to it. Then I end up re-reading the first book and the circle continues. It is becoming very annoying so if you have any tips or tricks to getting me to continue a series please let me know.


6. Black Heart - Curse Worker #3 ~ Holly Black

Did I tell you I need to finish series? Well yes I just did, didn't I? This is the last book in the Curse Worker Trilogy and can I just hope we can leave it on a happy ending? I really hoping for this because well, out main character has not had much succes at it in the first book, and not even in the beginning of the second book either, which I have already started.
7. Catching Fire - Hunger Games #2 ~ Susanne Collins
Embarrasing right, that I have never finished the Hunger Games trilogy. I am going to hide now....
So I have read the first 3 books in the Mercy Thompson series, Moon Called, Blood Bound and Iron Kissed in 2020. I am having a great time with this series and I currently own 3 more volumes in this series, what I like about them is that they focus on 1 kind of species at the time, so the first one focusses on werewolves, the second one on vampires and the third one on the fae. I am curious to learn what book four is about. I have not actually read the synopsis for it yet.

9. Bone Crier's Moon - Bone Grace ~ Kathryn Purdie
This book has been hyped up on Youtube and I know Fairyloot did a special edition of this one as well, the second book in the series is also getting a Fairyloot edition, if I remember correctly. I am very curious if I will like this one as the ratings on this book vary. The cover is stunning though.
I bought this somewhere during the summer, Martijn stole it right away, he has already finished it and loved it! He even gotten the second and the third book for Christmas, so if I am tempted I could finish the trilogy in one go if I want to. Yeah I know, this is probably not happening. I can still dream right? I have been obsessed with this cover ever since it came out.
11. Insurgent - Divergent #2 ~ Veronica Roth
This is going to be the second time I am going to hide in embarrasement on this list, it is not that I am anti series or anything, I just never seems to finish them. This is going to be the year though, that I do. Wish me luck!
On with some classics then, this is my favorite Studio Ghibli movie of all time, I am very curious if the movie did the book justice. I got this one for my birthday last year, I have a beautiful Folio Society edition of it with stunning illustrations by Marie-Alice Harel, it comes with a beautiful slipcover (I love slipcovers).
13. Pet Sematary ~ Stephen King
I have been enjoying some more horror of late, it started during the horror season (October if you are wondering), but I want to get into horror a bit more this year, well, let start out with the master of horror himself then. I have never read a Stephen King book. This list is confronting me with so many things, yes people, I have never read a Stephen King, but that will change once I have finished this one.
More cover love, I can't seem to help myself, I have heard lots about this book, I own the whole trilogy with these covers I might add, because I am not so fond of the other ones. I am dying to read this, and very curious if I could get used to the sidenotes that the book contains.
15. Star Daughter ~ Shveta Thakrar
I had this on my wish list for a long time, it sounds very interesting, by stars I always think of Stardust (I have yet to read the book, I love the movie). The ratings for this are again very different, I think you either love or hate it. I hope it will not dissapoint me.
16. Deathless Girls ~ Kiran Hargrave Millwood
I just like pretty covers, oke? This was suggested to me by Bookdepository when I was on a shopping spree, it was very cheap for a hardcover so I cover bought it. When it arrived it turned out to be even prettier than I thought it would be, the endpapers are stunning, and under the dust jacket a surprise was waiting as well.
17. Incendiary- Hollow Crown #1 ~ Zoriada Córdova
You would almost think this post is sponsored by FairyLoot, it is not, I have been a subscriber, for almost a year now and enjoy all the beautiful editions I have required, now I only need to start reading them, so here is yet another stunning FairyLoot edition I want to get to this year. To more will follow below as well. Do you have a book box subscription? What are your experiences?
18. The Gilded Ones - Deathless #1 ~ Namina Forna
This is also a FairyLoot edition, and this has not even been released yet! Well I own a copy now, I think this will be my next read. I would like to finish is before the releases in February.
19. Circe ~ Madeline Miller
I love mythology and witches, so this one is right up my alley, I briefly read the first page of the book, I already can tell this will be great, I like the writing style already.
When I read the synopsis I was hooked right away, have I ever told you I am a big fan of L.J. Smith? This reminds me of The Vampire Diaries, the part they spend in hell. I hope I love it as much as L.J.'s work.
21. Fable - Fable #1 ~ Adrienne Young
This is also a FairyLoot edition, it was my least favorite box of the year, allthough I must say the brush that was in this box did come in handy. I just am not so fond of mermaids and thinks related to the sea. Oh well shit happends, so far that was the only box that was not up to my taste.
22. Inheritance ~ Inheritance Cycle #4 ~ Christopher Paolini
I have actually read the first three books in the series, but then it took a long time for Inheritance to publish, and you guessed it, I got distracted by other books and never actually finished the series. I have already re-read Eragon last year, and hope to re-read Eldest & Bringr before I will finish the series, as I cannot remember much of the story, it has been year since I picked it up.
23. A Discovery Of Witches - All Souls #1 ~ Deborah Harkness
There seems to be a new genre on the rise, Dark Academia. There are some other books I really want to get to in this genre think of Ninth House, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue or the Secret History. Let's start of with a book that is already part of my collection shall we? This is a long book so it will probably take me a while to finish.
24. Time Keepers ~ Nicki J. Markus
I won this I think on Goodreads, never really gotten around to read it though, I think this is about the shortest book on this list.
25. Frankenstein ~ Mary Shelley
I want to read at least one classic this year, I have a nice collection of Wordsworths Classics, this is one of them. I remember buying them at "Het Boekenfestijn", which is a large book exhibition in the Netherlands, unfortunately they stopped. I got a lot of classics for €2,00 a piece, and I kind of like how they look on my shelf.

That is it for this very long list of books, if you made it to the end of this long post, then well done! I haven't started reading any of the books of this list yet, since I was finishing something else I started in 2020. I finished My Plain Jane yesterday, review will be coming up soon. 

 What does you physical TBR look like? what does your physical TBR look like?

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Swinging Saturdays: Martijn's picks

Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.
Today Martijn is taking over the blog! He is going to take you on a musical ride around the world! I hope
you enjoy is take on music, well Martijn, take it away! 

Oh! Surprise! So hi I’m Martijn and other than being Irene’s boyfriend I’m also an avid music fanatic partly thanks to my job as sound engineer. Which influences a large part of my tastes and I've had the pleasure of meeting/working with most of these bands. I always believe you can learn a lot about a person if you look at their music taste. With some struggles I have picked 10 songs to introduce me. Hang on! This ride will go all over the place! 

Pssst (Irene here) if you are nice to him, he might come back with more. Any requests for the hard stuff?


1. Bombino ~ Azamane Tiliade

We are going to start in the warm desert of Niger, where we find these roaring guitars by none other than Bombino, a self taught guitarist making... would you believe dessert rock. And they were picking up a lot of steam since this song and album is produced by Dan Auerbach from the black keys. Sadly the second guitarist Ilias has passed away in 2020, i’ve had the luck to work for them twice. Ilias you will be missed.


2. Ufomammut ~ Aureum

Now to travel on to Italy, where we find this really heavy band. I will admit this a bit of an acquired taste. Ufomammut is Doom! This was the first Doom/stoner band I worked for and since then I'm hooked on the genre! For the uninitiated Doom and stoner is usually a slow build up to a massive wall with changing speeds and ripe with lots of reverb on the vocals if there is any and tape delays and FUZZ dialed up to max.


3. New Cool Collective ~ Gnawa

Ok now for something more cheery from the Netherlands. With some great beats if you ask me. These guys have been 27ish years at it. Wow! In their own genre they are quite renowned. This just makes me want to groove and dance.


4. Tinlicker ~ Empty Skies

We are not traveling much further this jump, from the city that everyone knows. Amsterdam. We have the electronic duo Tinlicker. When I need max focus I always turn to these guys. I was tempted by turn everything around but I am going to cheat a bit. And here is empty skies with tessa rose jackson who also makes some great music!


5. Ellie Ford ~ The North Wind

With a small hop we land in the UK. To be precise in the great music scene of Brighton! Where we find Ellie Ford and her great band. This band was a joy to work with and the first time I heard this I was wowed! While singing Ellie also plays the harp which is an instrument you don’t come across that often.


6. Spring Offensive ~ Worry Fill My Heart

Staying in the UK. This band was the first indie band I've did sound for and sparked my love for this gerne. Sadly they have stopped which in my opinion is a shame but that’s life. This is so very britpoppy and I love it!


7. Kuenta ~ Lightswitch

Now for some cool (dutch) carribean beats by kuenta formerly known as kuenta i tambu. The first time i saw this act i was like yeah cool! Live instruments and highly danceable. Let's shake what your mamma gave ya and feel this.


8. Buddy guy ~ Justifying

We are going to end our journey on the States side. With a true old skool blues legend buddy guy. I hope I won't have to be justifying my pick.


9. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings ~ Humble Me

Now for something truly special. To me this next band was the absolute best I've ever seen in the venue where Irene and I met. Though they played here a good 3 or 4 years before we met. Anyways their sound was out of this world and their sound engineer for the tour is on a level I hope I can achieve one day. I’m sad miss Jones also left this world way too soon. But her voice just is so soothing and warm and a true pearl, no! Diamond of soul!


10. Frank Sinatra ~ As Time Goes By

And to end with a classic, here's to looking at you kid.


Man this was hard! I have no idea how Irene manages to mostly pick 5 songs. I’ve left out most of the louder and heavier picks. Maybe I will write a swinging Saturday Martijns heavy picks, who knows! But first I'm more inclined to write another more unconventional list, if you all will have. Please let Irene know what you thought of this small journey of my taste.

Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Swinging Saturdays: 2020, It's a wrap!

Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! to all of you!!! 

I hope you have had a wonderful time, we here in the Netherlands are still in lockdown so everything was totally different this New Years eve, first of all no fireworks were allowed, not that anybody cared because there was still a lot going into the air.  People in our town have been firing off fireworks for 2 months already.  We had a very relaxed New Years Eve, we spend part of it at home, and partially at my sisters.

So now for todays top 10, of course we are getting in to the musical year 2020. Even though half of the live performances have been cancelled, in the beginning of 2020 I still visited some concerts. And of course I have listened to a lot of music during the year. Let's get into the stats shall we?

According to Spotify, I have discovered 554 artists, listened to 459 different genre, my favorites being Rock (no surprises there), new Americana, dutch rock, modern rock and space rock. The last one is kind of a surprise, what the hell is space rock? If anyone knows let me know because I haven't the faintest clue. Oh, and I am a pionier! Meaning I find music before it gets famous, always nice to know.

We let's look at my favorites of 2020 according to Spotify there are a few surprises for me here as well.

Favorite songs of 2020

5. All My Life ~ Foo Fighters

The iconic guitar riff in this song, makes this one of my favorites of the Foo's well deserving of a place in this top 5 favourite songs, just one thing, that bugs me, when did I listen to this one so much? I am guessing that is might be due to it probably being in my favorite playlist of the year.


4. Legendary ~ Welshly Arms

Yes, this I do remember, I have had this on repeat so many times, I just love this song, the sound the bass. All around it is a great song, it has something very powerful in there, I can't really explain but the transition from verse to chorus is phenomenal.

3. Uprising ~ Muse

Allthough Muse is definitely one of my favorite bands of all time this definitely is not my favorite song by Muse, if I have to choose I would go for Plug In Babe or Supermassive Black hole, so I am kind of suprised this one made the cut.


2. Are You Gonna Be My Girl ~ Jet

No surprises here, Jet remains one of my favorite bands of all time, Get Born is the album I listen to most often, and Are You Gonna Be My Girl, will never be past over on any playlist. Even after years and years. It also makes me very happy. If there is one band I would go to the other side of the world for to see them play live it will be this one.


1. Fire ~ Barns Courtney

I found this, and I got hooked, this song is a real addiction. It is right up my alley. It is sooooo freaking good!!!! Such raw talent. This is also the song I listened to most during the year.

Favorite artists

5. The Vines ~ Get Free

Well, I think this is the biggest surprise of all, I love their music,but it is not my go to artists for any mood. I kind of like that this one is here, the underdog, the artist I no almost nothing about, but still really enjoy their music.


4. Rival Sons ~ Where I've Been

From here it will get really predictable, as now we are definitely getting to the core of my musical taste. I could have taken any song by them, because they are that good, it doesn't matter which, they are all good. I have choosen this one because sometimes I wonder, "how he could love me, when he knows where I have been". This song always hits close to home, it is so beautiful. And can we talk about the guitar? I am not an expert on instruments, but I love this guitar, the metalic sound, it is freaking awesome.

3. Blues Pills ~ Little Sun

I bought myself a beautiful boxset of their new album Holy Moly! It is beautiful, it is the new LP on beautiful coloured vinyl, cd and also the EP Bliss, of which Little Sun is also part of. I love their new single Proud Woman, and have been obsessed with Lady Dressed In Gold. I am very glad that Blues Pills is one of my favorites according to Spotify.


2. Hozier ~ Nina Cried Power

Ever since "Take me to Church" released, I have been in love with Hozier's voice. It is dark and beautiful. I had my doubts about this new album of his, but that is just me, I always have to get used to new albums, after a while I start appreciating them for what they are. I had the same with Paolo Nutini when he release Caustic Love, after years of radio silence (album wise). Nina Cried Power also took some time getting used to, but is growing on me. I love this studio video, were it shows the band and guest artis Mavis Staples.


1. Barns Courtney ~ Kicks

I get to pick another Barns Courtney song! I get.. ok ok I will stop, I am not excited at all. This song probably came in a close second, in amount of times I played this. It is so freaking catchy.


What favorites did Spotify show you?
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Books: 2020 in Books

I thought it would be nice to do an overview of the books I reviewed on the blog this year. It is not going to be a very long list as I of course only got back to blogging from October onwards. I love what I have done with the blog so far, and hope to keep it up in the new year. 

Lets look back at the reviews of 2020:


Anna Dressed in Blood ~ Kendare Blake

As I came back in October what better way to start of with a young adult horror story? I have read Anna Dressed In Blood and I love the feel the books gives me, although Cas will never be my favorite character.
Read my review: here


Girl of Nightmares ~ Kendare Blake

Of course I had to conclude this duology at some point, so for the Halloween month I decided to also read Girl of Nightmares. And boy was this one a struggle, I got even more annoyed with our main character Cas, but it was all worth it in the end, I actually kind of loved the ending! Read my review: here


Fractured Legacy ~ Skye Callahan

Right up there with the horror YA was Fractured Legacy, that got really freaking scary. This was so good, great story, lots of scary moments. The perfect read for Halloween. Read my review here
Pat

Moon Called ~ Patricia Briggs

I re-read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, it is still the wild ride I remembered it to be, I have re-read a lot of books this year, mainly to provide you with good quality reviews, but also because sometimes I did not remember why I fell in love with the books in the first place. You can read my review here


Underneath ~ Heather Marie Adkins

This is a short story by Heather Marie Adkins, of which I have also read Eternal Youth, which she wrote with Julia Crane and Nolia McCarthy. This is a bit of a mysterious story and it has some problems. The concept is great though. You can read my review here

Blood Bound ~ Patricia Briggs

I have also read the second book in the Mercy Thompson series, I think I liked this one even more than the first one. This one focusses more on the vampires in Mercy's world. It thought Stefan is a very interesting charater and I love how different these vampires are from what I have read before. Marsilla is really something. You can read my review here.


The Bake Off ~ Susan Willis

What pulled me in was the cover, I love those covers with this kind of illustration on the front. I think they are so cute, and I tend to one-click-buy covers like these. I was looking for a quick, wholesome read, and I found it. This novella is about a baking competition. And I will have some recipes to try. You can read my review here.

Christmas Magic ~ Alexandra Moody

Last but certainly nog least, Christmas Magic, a book I picked up last Christmas, but did not 
finish until somewhere this summer. I have an incredibly busy live, which gives me limited time to read. I am making some changes in 2021 though, so I should have more time to read hopefully. This is the perfect Christmas read for urban fantasy fans. You can read my review here.
Well these were all the books I reviewed this year, I hope to do better in 2021. It will be one of my goals, so hopefully I can keep to them! For now I hope you enjoyed this little overview. Wishing everybody a happy new year if you don't see any of my other post.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Books: Stacking The Shelves #20


 
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews & Reading Reality. It is all about the books that you have added to your shelves, show case the beautiful books you found. It can also be ebooks you bought a book you borrowed from a friend or from the library.  This is a weekly meme, feel free to join in on all the fun!

It has been years since I have done a Stacking the shelves post, I had dig in to the archives, all the way back to 2015! Wow that was a long time ago. The books I want to show you today were all christmas gives from my wonderful boyfriend, and I am so excited to show them to you because I hadn't expected any of these!






Christmas Day we spend at my sisters place, and she surprised me with another book!!! 
It is so pretty!


What did Santa get you this year? 


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Swinging Saturdays #83: Punked up Christmas

Swinging saturdays is a musical meme hosted by Ice Cold Passion, to share our passion for music. The goal is to make a top 5 (or Top 10) for whatever genre or artist you like or get creative and share a theme based music top 5. For example a bookish soundtrack, funny songs, song to listen to on a rainy day top 5.
So I was a little bit unsure if I was going to write another Christmas post or if I was going for looking back at the musical year 2020. I know that for almost every other country in the world Christmas is over, well we Dutch, we have a second day of Christmas. So officially for us here it is still Christmas. So my rebellious side has decided what the heck we are doing Christmas today. Here are some unconventional Christmas songs for you! 

Relient K ~ 12 Days of Christmas

I went deep in to the poppunk archive and look what I pulled up! It's a punk cover of 12 Days of Christmas.


New Found Glory ~ Nothing for Christmas

I have always love the sound of New Found Glory, I tend to forget that they exsist for some reason, and I really have to give them some love soon. For now here is some more Christmas spirit for you.


All Time Low ~ Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass

All Time Low to me is sort of a guilty pleasure, sometimes their music is just too poppy like listening to a boyband,I hate boybands. So yeah that is why it is a guilty pleasure I think. This video is hilarious, these bands all bring some humor to the table and I love it.

My Chemical Romance ~ All I Want For Christmas

I was actually really suprised they every recorded anything Christmassy. I know I am kind of cheating because, it is not really considered Punk now is it? Still it is different and goes really well with the rest of this Punked up Christmas line up.


Dropkick Murphys ~ The Season's Upon Us

We are finishing of with my favourite, no other than the Dropkick Murphys, I love this song, and it always makes me very happy. It is so much fun, I think when the world finally gets back to normal I really want to see them live again. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do, and Merry Christmas. Better late than never.

That is it for my favorite my Punked up Christmas, I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas. 


What is your favorite Christmas song?
Feel free to leave a comment! 
Want to host Swing Saturdays next week? 
Send me an email: icecoldpassions@gmail.com. 
I would love to hear what kind of music you like!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Books: Christmas Magic ~ Alexandra Moody

Title: Christmas Magic 
Author: Alexandra Moody
Publishing date: 15th of November 2018
Publisher: Self published
Sort of story: Full length book, trilogy
Source: Kindle Ebook, freebie
Language: English
Number of Pages: 230 p.
Age Category: Adult
Other books in this series:
Christmas Chaos #2
Christmas Curse #3


About Christmas Magic

Clio has one mission in life: keep her unique powers hidden and avoid other magical beings at all costs. Sounds simple enough. But, when a group of murderous dark elves attack her, keeping a low profile becomes a little more complicated.

To make matters worse, she's now adopted an unwanted defender. His name is Dash, a reindeer shifter who's as irritating as he is handsome. He wants to protect her. She wants him to take his rather large antlers and fly on back to the North Pole. But when magical creatures are being killed, and no one knows why, she has no choice but to trust him. (source: Goodreads)

My thoughts

I am actually really excited to be talking about this book, I picked this up last year, it was an Kindle freebie, but didn't have time to finish it after Christmas, so I ended up finishing it in July. I am really excited that I have found this, a Christmas urban fantasy, I thought this was the greatest thing yet. As I have never really found anything like this one. I absolutly loved the fantasy twist of the story. All the christmas creatures living among us.

This book brings christmas magic to a whole new level, with dark elves, krampusses, Clauses, reindeer shifters. I loved all the characters, the overall story line, and the sparks flying between Clio and Dash,the quick banter and the mystery to be resolved. Also I had never heard of a tomten before, I had to google it. Very well written story all around, I liked the sense of mystery, the reindeer "police" trying to resolve a murder case.

Oh and did I forget to mention that they travel to the North Pole as well? The magical realm where Christmas creatures can live in peace? 

It all may sound a bit on the ridiculous side but I promise you this story is worth your time. The story is action packed, with attacking elves, a creep as prison visit, a underground fight club and much more. This is the perfect christmas holiday read for everybody who loves urban fantasy or fairy tales. I am definitely picking up the second book in the series before Christmas, I am very curious to see how the story continues.

If you have any down time during the holidays, give this book some love. For now I would like to wish everybody a wonderful Christmas Eve. 

Conclusion

Reindeer shifters, hell yes! Clause with amazing powers, keep them coming! Evil elves, and krampus, to bring to the fight. Welcome to an amazing Christmas adventure, I really enjoyed this, so this will be 5 stars for me.