Aug 24, 2018

Book Review: Ruthless Magic




In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?


* * * * *

I love it when I stumble across a new young adult fantasy!  And this one has it all.  There are a variety of characters from different backgrounds all seeking to pass a test so that they can keep their magic.   We really get to know some of these characters as the point of view does jump between a few of the main ones.  

RUTHLESS MAGIC is really a coming of age story.  Everyone is old enough that they had applied to one of the magical colleges and were refused.   Now they have to dig deep into themselves and make some unlikely allies to be able to survive.  Along the way, they uncover some information that will cause them to  wonder if they really want to succeed.

I really think that any reader who enjoyed Harry Potter would enjoy stepping into this new world of Ms. Crewe.  I devoured this book in one day and am now rather impatiently waiting for the next in the series.

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Aug 18, 2018

Pine Ridge Treasures Summer Romance Blog Hop




Okay color me almost impressed.  I managed to get my muse to cooperate enough that I managed to get pieces finished for two posts this week.  Things are looking up.

Now is when I would usually show off the kit that I received from Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasure sent all of us.  The only problem is that I can't find it.  Nope not just the pic but the entire kit.  That's what I get for not picking it up off the table and putting it away. Someone else put it away and can't remember where.  Oh it will reappear but not in time for this hop.  So I decided to out together a couple of necklaces that fit the color path of purple.




This first necklace features an art tile from Kari Asbury from back in the days when she still made them.  That butterfly reminds me of summer and this necklace is something that I would wear out of a first date paired with a flirty sundress.



Now this necklace would be for a fun date playing on the beach, hitting the artist's markets and finishing the day up eating crab complete with a bib.  This necklace was hand-knotted on a heavy purple cord so it would be able to stand up to whatever the day dished out.

And now be sure to check out what everyone else made from the actual kits.  I can't wait to hop around and feast myself on some eye candy...

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak and Renee Edbrooke, Cianci Blue
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kari Asbury, Design Challenges


Aug 16, 2018

Allegory Gallery Design Coral Coast



I can't believe it!  I finally managed to complete a design challenge.  I think that this is my first for the year.  I can only hope that it means that at least part of my mojo is coming back.





Anyways, I just happened onto Facebook just in time to see the announcement for this kit from Allegory Gallery. And just look at that lovely peach and coral color!  And I just love that tiny silver coral focal.  So dainty.



In fact, it inspired my first necklace.  That branch was so delicate so I wanted to go simple so it wouldn't be overpowered.   That was actually more difficult then I thought that it would be since the holes on about 2/3s of the coral were too small for the wire I was using.



This next necklace is in a totally different vein as I wanted to play up all that luscious color.  Since some of the beads were vintage lucite, I choose a rich Art Deco style medallion for a focal. Loads of gold beads add a touch of luxe to the necklace.

To check out what other designer have made with the same kit,  head over to the Allegory Gallery Design Challenges Facebook group,