Mundie Moms

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BLACK ICE By Becca Fitzpatrick; Book Review / ARC & Prize Pack Giveaway!

Published by: Simon Teen 
To Be Released on: October 7th, 2014
Source: arc from publisher at BEA
Pre-Order from here
Add it to Goodreads

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 on that very mountain... 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?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

A thrilling murder, mystery set in the rugged and dangerous Tetons mountains, Black Ice has plenty of heart stopping action, romance and dangerous twists I didn't see coming. 

Fitzpatrick did a fabulous job at hooking me with her story. For one, I loved the setting. Oh yes, that beautiful, rugged, mountain setting played a huge part in the story itself. It has a crucial role in the story. The mystery and suspense of the story is awesome! There were times I felt my heart beating a little bit faster. Not only is there a murder mystery wrapped up into Black Ice, there's the whole Britt Pffeifer finding herself standard in the middle of a blizzard with her best friend, and then they find themselves in a heap of trouble as they descend on a cabin with two guys who aren't as nice as the girls first thought. 

Britt Pffeifer is a character whom, well I don't know how else to say it. She's extremely hard to like. At least some of the time. Britt grew up with wealth and previlage and has always depended on others to take care of her. Yep, not my type of character to root for, BUT, the thing about Britt is she changed and proved me wrong. Through the course of her kidnapping, Britt had me rooting for her. I wanted her to survive and out smart her two kidnappers. She does such an awesome job at keeping her wits about her, and followed her instincts/surivial skills to keep herself going. Britt changed, and I liked the character she became during her ordeal, because she turned into a strong, independent person who was going to do whatever it took for her to survive. Totally opposite of the girl whom I first met when the story started. 

Then towards the end of the book there's something that happens, which also leads to that twist that I didn't see coming and wow, talk about a crazy twist! Britt reverts back to her old self, and that's when I grew really frustrated with her and the book. Had I not been invested in the other characters, like Mason, and wanted to know the outcome of the crazy turn of events, I would have stopped reading the book all together. I'll just say it, Mason is a man of mystery. He is one of the two guys whom Britt and her best friend, Korbie, stumble upon in the cabin after their car gets stranded. While I never did like Shaun, from the get go I knew there something more to Mason and his story, and I wanted to know what it was. Dang, I wasn't excepting THAT to be his mystery. Yep, never saw that one coming. Nope, I can't say what THAT is, because it's one of the huge twists. Notice I said one twist. There are a couple twists that all brilliantly interconnect and even shocked me. 

The suspense in this story is one crazy thrill ride. Fitzpatrick does a brilliant job at keeping the pace of BLACK ICE going. So much so, that this is a book I devoured in one sitting. I had to know what was going to happen. Not only that, I loved the way Fitzpatrick created the story's riveting action, thrilling romance, and survival tactics. I realized once I was done with the book that nothing was put into the story that didn't give away hints to what was to come. Every detail big and small, in the present or in the flash backs from Britt, they are in the story for a reason. They all lead up to the twists towards the end of the book.

Now let's talk romance & character chemistry. There's a few things relationship wise that happen over the course of BLACK ICE. One, throughout the story Fitzpatrick allows the reader to see Britt learn to let go of the relationship she's been hung up on with her best friend's older brother, Calvin. Their relationship was not a healthy one, and through out her ordeal in the Tetons, Britt takes what she dwelt with in her relationship with Calvin to give her the added push to survive the snowy wilderness. In the process, I got to see what kind of guy Calvin was, and wondered how Britt never saw it. Two, we also see a different kind of relationship that forms with Britt and one of her captors. It's one that makes sense. Again, that's saying things without spoiling anything. There's a lot more to that complex relationship than I can say for sake of keeping this a spoiler free review. Then there's the twist with one of her captors, and who he is, and whether or he's really good or really bad. Which also added to the suspense of the story. 

BLACK ICE is a book I did like, but there parts of it I had a few issues with. Thankfully there was more to the book I liked than didn't, like the suspense and twits being two of them. I didn't buy into the relationship Britt and her best friend Korbie had. It felt like a fake friendship, and giving things that happen through out the book, I felt that Korbie would have been better left out of the story and had only been mentioned through Britt's flashbacks. I didn't like how Brit had this ability to grow into such a strong character, but as soon as someone shows up towards the end of the story, she reverts back to being a character without a backbone. Then there's the thing that happens at the every end of the book. Like in the epilogue. I'm so torn on what I liked and didn't like about it. I'll just leave it at that. 

In summary, Black Ice is an action packed read with heart pounding danger at every turn. Set in the beautiful Tetons in WY, gave Fitzpatrick's book the perfect setting for survival, suspense and the thrilling mystery that kept me hooked till the very end. 

4 stars - Over All I Enjoyed It!

The Giveaway
Thank you to Simon & Schuster, I have a sweet giveaway today! 
  • 1 lucky winner will win a SIGNED arc of BLACK ICE, a BLACK ICE water bottle & a $50 gift card to REI. 
  • 10 runner ups will each receive 1 arc of BLACK ICE 
To enter to win, please fill out the form below: *US residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

To find out more about BLACK ICE, grab some of the graphics I included in my review, and for more changes to win, visit COUNTDOWNTOBLACKICE.COM

Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz: Blog Tour: Guest Post: DIY Pirate Costumes

Arrr! Welcome to the next stop in the HOOK'S REVENGE blog tour! Today I'm thrilled to have the fabulous, dreaded pirate, Heidi Schultz, also known as the author of HOOK'S REVENGE, here on the blog! She's stopped by to tell us how we can dress like a pirate!! 

DIY Pirate Costumes

Arrr! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is in just two days! Yesterday I shared some piratical words to get your speech shipshape, but now we need to do something about your clothes. No self-respecting pirate would be caught dead wearing jeggings and flip-flops! You’ll want something to inspire a bit more terror in your friends and loved ones this weekend. But who has time to shop with all the pillaging you’ve got planned?

DIY Pirate costume to the rescue!

Follow these three rules and you’ll have a pirate costume in no time:

  • Pillage your own closet, keeping a weather eye out for black and red.
  • The hallmarks of any DIY pirate costume are these three things: scarves, belts, and jewelry.
  • Attitude is everything.

Pillage your own closet

Last Halloween, I decided, two hours before going out, that I wanted to dress up. I generally put on a costume every year, planning weeks in advance, but last year we had some other things going on and I didn’t think I would want to. When I realized I really did, it was almost too late!

I opened my closet to see what I could come up with and saw my old forest fairy costume hanging next to a long denim jacket. Eureka! I decided to be a pirate fairy.
See photo here.

For a straight-up pirate costume, I could have easily ditched my wings and replaced my fairy dress with a long, white men’s dress shirt under my jacket, perhaps tucking the collar under and adding a short red or white scarf, a la Disney’s cartoon Captain Hook.

Or, I could have turned myself into a lesser crew member with an oversized t-shirt, (striped would be great), belted at the waist with a long scarf. I’d wear it over leggings and boots or loose fitting, cut off khakis and sandals.

Once you start looking over your closet with the dead-eyed stare of a pirate, you may be surprised at the treasure trove that is there. Keep a particular sharp eye out for anything red or black, the most swashbuckling colors there are. And if you don’t see what you are looking for, perhaps you could move on to another closet in your house—a roommate or significant other’s? I mean, you are a pirate, after all, right?

Scarves, belts, and jewelry

Pirates love to accessorize. Scarves can be worn around the waist, draped across the body, or on the head.

Layer on some belts. Use different widths and colors. Fasten a couple together to wear across your body. If you have an old one you don’t want to wear any more, consider cutting it short and adding a new hole. It’s now a wrist cuff.

And bring on the bling: Oversized earrings, necklaces, and bracelets of all kinds. Show off your hard won booty. (Um, not that kind of booty. I mean, unless you want. Who am I to judge?)

Attitude is everything

In Hook’s Revenge, the pirates in Jocelyn’s crew weren’t very experienced (you’ll learn more about them later this week), but that didn’t keep them from acting the part.

They knew that much of being a fierce pirate is how you carry yourself. Sneer, growl, shout out “ARRRR!” and “Bucko!” at random moments.

Battle scars and injuries also help lend an air of danger. If you have an eye patch lying around (and who doesn’t?), go ahead and don it. But if not, you could simply adopt a squint. No peg-leg? Exaggerate a limp. No hook for a hand? Just do what One-Armed Jack, one of Jocelyn’s crewmen, did and tuck an arm inside your shirt.

Now that your pirate costume is complete, I’d love to see it! Tweet me a picture @HeidiSchulz or tag me on Instagram @HeidiSchulzBooks. And don’t forget the ARRRR, Bucko!

About The Book

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she’s sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb’s Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn’s hopes of following in her father’s fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.
So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn’t hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she’d bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland’s most fearsome beast isn’t enough to deal with, she’s tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.
The crocodile’s clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz’s debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?
Purchase Hook’s Revenge: Powell’s | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Heidi Schulz is a writer, reader, and giraffe suspicioner. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband, co-captaining a crew made of their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible chickens. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on September 16, 2014. A sequel, HOOK’S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, will follow in fall 2015. Bloomsbury Kids will publish her picture book debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, in 2016.