february 2014 playlist

Feb 28, 2014

recover // chvrches
i'm gonna get you back // florrie
problem // natalia kills
a light that never comes // linkin park x steve aoki
the devil within // digital daggers
cut it out // kitten
waiting game // banks.
seconds // ghost loft
second heartbeat // shy girls
myth // beach house
lofticries // purity ring

♥ did you discover or rediscover any songs this month? ♥

Bitter Sweet Love

Feb 25, 2014

In celebration of the release of White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I created a story diary for the prequel novella, Bitter Sweet Love. I must warn you it is lengthy, filled with quotes, pictures, commentary from yours truly and a little background info. Enjoy, drool, fear, awe and swoon over the red-hot Wardens and demons that Jennifer created!


Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

From my review:
Jennifer has a way of making any species she writes about differently, which sets her characters and stories apart from others. Whether it's aliens, demi-gods, demons or gargoyles, she knows how to twist, entice, and turn up the heat like it's no one's business. Given the demons that Jennifer wrote of in this story, and being a HUGE Supernatural fan that she is, I wonder if she based some of her demons from Supernatural. There's also a ton of back story to cover about their species and their enemies. It was a lot of fun learning about that, because Jennifer's gargoyles are different and more modern than the ones I grew up with. I might not be much of a fan of history when it comes to whatever we learn from our grade school textbooks, but Jennifer makes learning paranormal history exciting. I absorbed it like a sponge. Bitter Sweet Love has plenty of action, history, adventure and love to fill this short story. Read more >>



Adirondack Mountains

Image Source: Wiki

"I was so high, so far above the domes of the Adirondack Mountains that when I opened my eyes, I felt as though I could reach out and touch the stars or rise straight to the Heavens." --Jennifer L. Armentrout, Bitter Sweet Love (Loc 31)

Adirondack Mountains are located in the Appalachians, Northeastern of Upstate New York.

New York City

"The city created its own skyline, an elegant stretch of buildings against the backdrop of blue skies, some tall enough that they seemed to have their very own stairway to Heaven. I could almost imagine what it looked like at night, all lit up, dazzling and awe-inspiring." --Jennifer L. Armentrout, Bitter Sweet Love (Loc 775)

Times Square

Ellis Island, NY


Although the character did not go sight-seeing the Capital or the Monument, they did go to the city to visit the D.C clan (White Hot Kiss is about their clan).




Warden: Gargoyles

"Full height, standing close to seven feet. Wings, spanning several feet on either side. Flesh was the color of granite and would be just as hard to touch, making him and all Wardens indestructible. Two dark horns parted his mane of black hair, each curving in a fine, wickedly sharp point. Nose was flat, nostrils thin, and eyes, normally the color of the sky at dawn." --Jennifer L. Armentrout, Bitter Sweet Love (Loc 81)

I, Frankenstein (2014)

In mythology, Gargoyles are believed to be used to ward off evil and act as guardians of the church, which is where they are perched, and were inspired from a passage written in the bible. The word Gargoyle is derived from an old French word gargouille, meaning "throat." Which, I guess, explains why they are often found to have spouts that carry out water. And that concludes basic background that we already know. Okay, let's move on.


Only because I grew up with Gargoyles and The Goliath Chronicles

I imagine him as Dez (except more charcoal than purple, and more sexy and less cartoon-y) whenever Jas doesn't do what she's told, or gets him hot and bothered. LOL. I can hear it now, "Dammit, Jas!"


Of course Jennifer's gargoyles, being the modern ones that they are, are still as big and lethal, but also dangerously hot as well. You can count on Jennifer to create (almost) any creature to be such a looker.



  • Upper Level


Not the demon in White Hot Kiss, but in mythology/demonology

"Most dangerous of all demons were the Upper Level ones -- the princes and dukes of hell. They were rare, but their threat was very real." (Loc 418)


  • Lesser


Lesser demon from RuneScape


"Lean, muscular bodies covered in reddish matted fur. With clawed, four-fingered hands and hooded feet. Their wings were black and fragile looking. Mouths gaped open, each exposing a ragged set of teeth that rivaled a great white's. A large brown horn curved out from each camel-shaped head, sharp as a dagger. Controlled by Seekers." (Loc 439)

Did you know...

In Germanic folklore, there are smaller Lesser demons called Imps.


You can find Imps in pop culture, such as Bat-Mite from the DC Comics. Remember him? Yup, his character is indeed based off of an Imp. So is The Great Gazoo from Flinstones.


When I hear Lesser demons -- don't judge me, but -- I automatically think of RuneScape. Which is where I got the image above from. LOL. Anyway, back to the demons.


  • Seekers

"Demons who were in charge of finding something for an Upper Level demon of for Hell itself." (Loc 447)


There wasn't really a description of how Seekers looks like, so no image for Seekers, bye.

  • Fiends

"Looked human and were into general mayhem, breaking things down, starting fires, manipulating the emotions of large crowds." (Loc 411)

Fiends are described as looking like a human, so imagine a human who takes great joy in mayhem and chaos. Think teenagers.


  • Posers

"Looked human, but only for a short while, and they had one hell of an appetite, including the rare cannibalistic tendency. When they bite into a human, things went downhill fast -- like turning-into-a-zombie fast." (Loc 418) 

Again. I can't seem to find an image to fit this description. I'm not entirely sure what they turn into (besides demon, obvi) once their human capacities run out. I'd say the same as Fiends, but not limited to teenagers, and on bath salts.

  • Earth

"Earth demon. Not much is known about them other than they caused a bit of mischief during their heyday. Usually they were only seen up north, near Massachusetts and places like that." (Loc 1133) 

Meet Herbert. The lovingly deceitful pukwudgie demon that went from cute and friendly to full on evil and scary attack mode on Jas. I included the gif above solely because that's how I imagined Herbert right before it bit her.

"No taller than a foot, the thing's skin was the color of aged leather, legs thin and knobby. Some kind of loincloth had been fashioned out of leaves and its potbelly was covered with mud. The creature kind of resembled one of those heinous troll dolls that had been popular before my time. [. . .] its dark brown hair did stick straight up in large clumps, twisting together at the end." (Loc 1126)


Alphas: Powerful angels who calls the shots for Wardens

"Alphas were like urban legends. They were the most powerful of all angels and also the most frightening. Alphas were not warm and fuzzy or nice or even generally friendly on a good day. They saw things only in black and white, evil versus good and wrong versus right. And since they created us, they could also undo our very existence if they wanted." (Loc 67)


Okay, so, maybe Archangels may or may not be the Alphas that Jennifer thought of, but whose to say that Archangels can't be warriors?

Favorite Quotes

"Crap on a cracker." --Jas (Loc 81)

"I've missed you, Jas. You have no idea. I thought about you every damn day. All I wanted was to get back to you and the clan. But mostly you. Always you." --Dez (Loc 298) 

"[. . .] in the end he agreed."

"He did?"

One side of his lips curved up. "Only after promising to rip me limb from limb if anything happens to you."

I smiled widely.

He frowned. "I hope you're smiling about him agreeing and not the ripping-me apart." (Loc 597)

 "The male pride in his face was so evident when I opened my eyes that I wanted to pick up something heavy and smack him upside the head with it." --Jas (Loc 650)

"Maybe at the end of these seven days, you'll still say no. That doesn't mean it's over. I'm in this for the long haul. And I'm just saying that by the end of these seven days or maybe a week from then, or a month, you'll say yes. And I'll be waiting. No matter how long it takes." --Dez (Loc 1111)



        "That's not a kiss," I whispered.

        "Yes, it is."

        Even with my limited experience, I knew better. "No, it's not."

      "It's the beginning of a kiss," he explained, spreading his hand behind the nape of my neck.


      "The beginning?" My eyes fluttered shut as my anticipation rose in spite of the resolution to end these seven days with a resounding no.


       His lips pressed down on my jaw, a tiny hot little brand. He moved to one corner of my lips and then the other. Air caught in my throat as he slanted his mouth over mine, kissing me softly. It was such a sweet, tender kiss, little more than a brush of his lips. Still, the contact sent a rush of fire through my veins, and the kiss deepened, as it had when he'd returned. The pressure of his mouth increased, and he flicked his tongue along the seem of my lips, causing me to gasp. He was quick to take advantage of the opening, kissing me in a way I'd only dreamed of. His tongue slid over mine, patient and coaxing; a slow seduction that demanded a response. The kiss lingered until he retreated, nipping at my lower lip. (Loc 642 - 650)

About the Author

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.


Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.


She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Happy book birthday, White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)!

{watch, read & listen} vampire academy, the collection & problem

Feb 10, 2014

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend 
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥
Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half-vampire and half-human, who is training to be a guardian at St Vladimir's Academy along with many others like her. There are good and bad vampires in their world: Moroi, who co-exist peacefully among the humans and only take blood from donors, and also possess the ability to control one of the four elements - water, earth, fire or air; and Strigoi, blood-sucking, evil vampires who drink to kill. Rose and other dhampir guardians are trained to protect Moroi and kill Strigoi throughout their education. Along with her best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir, a Moroi and the last of her line, with whom she has a nigh unbreakable bond, Rose must run away from St Vladimir's, in order to protect Lissa from those who wish to harm the princess and use her for their own means.
How far would you go to control your own destiny? Mia Morrissey has escaped: America, the Registry, and the role she was raised for— a perfect bride auctioned to the highest bidder. She’s enemy number one to the world’s largest power, and there’s no turning back now. From the moment she and her friends Andrew, and Carter cross the border into Mexico it becomes clear their troubles are only beginning. The young men are immediately picked up by a violent and omnipotent militia—The Collection—and it’s Mia’s turn to rescue them. With time running out, her ex-fiancĂ©’s henchman on her trail, and a dangerous tide shifting back in America, Mia will do whatever she has to. Even if that means risking everything and putting herself back on an auction block. The price of freedom is never too high…but what if the cost is her life?

i'm currently reading an advanced review copy (arc) right now, and am enjoying where this series is going so far. i only hope it doesn't end in a cliffhanger because the next book doesn't come out until another year.

[music video]

{Story Diary} Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Feb 7, 2014

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Setting + Places

St. Vladimir

Image Source: Yahoo
Image Source: Vampire Academy trailer
"Sprawling and gothic. The buildings boasted elaborate, almost churchlike architecture, with high peaks and stone carvings. Wrought iron gates enclosed small gardens and doorways here and there. Each [campus] was built around a large open quadrangle decorated with stone paths and enormous, century-old trees."

Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy (pg. 16-17)

Located in the backwoods of Montana.

Image Source: Yahoo
 St. Vladimir is a boarding school where Moroi and Dhampir are educated. Where Dhampir's are trained to become Guardian's to Moroi. The grounds of the campus and dorms are protected with charmed Wards (more info on that later).  

Missoula, Missouri



There are three different types of vampires in this series. There are the mortal (Moroi and Dhampir) and there is the immortal (Strigoi). These vampires actually are based off of Romanian and Eastern European mythology.


In the Vampire Academy series, the Moroi are mortal, living vampires -- born, not made. They are taller and leaner than Moroi, Dhampir, and humans. Have pale skin and are weakened by too much exposure of sunlight. Specializes in elemental magic: fire, air, water, earth, and spirit. Also, can use compulsion. The origin of the Romanian term Moroi may be unclear, but may be connected to:

  • Old Slavic mora, meaning "nightmare" (Middle English as well, mare), or mer-, meaning "to harm"
  • Old English mare, meaning "goblin" or "incubus"
  • Latin morbus, meaning "disease", or mors meaning "a corpse"

Image Source
In Romanian Mythology, the Moroi are known as vampires, only mortal. Much like the VA Moroi. The female counterpart of the Moroi is called Moroaica. However, Moroi are considered in the folklore to be the offspring of two Strigoi.

Moroi are mostly associated with the Strigoi, varcolac, or pricolici (the last two of which are considered werewolves in Romanian Mythology).

In some myths, a Moroi is a phantom of a dead person which leaves the grave to draw energy from the living.


In Vampire Academy, Dhampirs are originally offsprings of Moroi and humans, but since retreating from humans, they are now mixed of Moroi and Dhampir -- a mix that still produces a half-human/half-vampire Dhampir.

Image Source: Tumblr
The word dhampir derives from the Albanian language where pire means "to drink", and dham or dhembe means "teeth", thus dhampir means "to drink with teeth."

In Balkan folklore, Dhampir is an offspring of a vampire father and a human mother. A hybrid. Possible indications include being very dirty, having a soft body, no nails or bones, and "a deep mark on the back, like a tail." A pronounced nose, large ears, teeth or eyes were often other signs.

Albania legends state they have untamed dark hair and lack of shadow.


In Vampire Academy, Stigoi are the evil, immortal vampires and cannot withstand sunlight. They have very pale, ashy skin, and red eyes. They are faster, stronger, have keen sense and reflexes.

The word strigoi derived from a Romanian word which translates to "scream" or "barn owl", along with the Italian word strega, which means "witch", and descends from the Latin word strix, for a shrieking vampiric bird.

Image Source

Another Romanian mythology legend states that Strigoi often have red hair, blue eyes, and two hearts.

Popularly, Strigoi are known as the immortal vampires, as opposed to a Moroi.

There are three ways to kill a Strigoi:
  1. Silver stake through the heart
  2. Decapitation
  3. Set on fire


Image Source: Vampire Academy trailer

Creatures resembling wolves, apart from brown fur and glowing orange eyes; travel in packs, share psychic communication and only answer to Moroi.

from the Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide


Silver stakes

Contrary to the movie, Rose didn't train or use stakes in the first book. It wasn't until Frostbite (VA #2) that Dimitri finally relented and trained her with the stakes.

Elemental abilities

Yes, even the magic abilities the Moroi have can be used as weapons.

Tattoos / Marks

Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Molnija (Russian for Lightning): a mark tattooed on the back of a Dhampir's neck to show how many Strigoi they have killed. Rose counted that Dimitri already adorned six marks the first time they meet. Rose doesn't receive hers until the end of Frostbite (book 2), in which she received two for killing two Strigoi.

Rose described the mark as:
". . .six tiny symbols tattooed on the back of his [Dimitri] neck. . .They looked like two streaks of jagged lightning crossing in an X symbol."

--Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy (pg. 15)
Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Promise: After novices graduate, they receive a Promise mark that signifies that their training is complete.

In Spirit Bound (book 5), Rose describes her Promise mark as:
"a stretched out S in the middle of the back of my neck with curling ends that wrap around my Molnija marks like an embrace."

Image Source: Vampire Academy Wiki

Zvezda (Russian for Star): the Zvezda mark indicates that the bearer has killed too many Strigoi to count, usually after a large battle. The mark is placed at the base of the back of the neck, next to the Molnija mark. Rose doesn't receive one until after the battle at the Academy in Shadow Kiss (book three).

Book Trailer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47DVrh8gFqY&w=360&h=215]

Movie Trailer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLdfjcmzDAA&w=360&h=215]

About the Author

Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.
A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

{watch, read & listen} lone survivor, red rising & the devil within

Feb 3, 2014

♥ watch, read & listen a weekly feature where we share and recommend 
our current movie, book and music obsessions to you every monday. ♥
Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal, and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. After running into mountain herders and capturing them, they were left with no choice but to follow their rules of engagement or be imprisoned. Now Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare. Directed and screenplay by Peter Berg. Novel by Marcus Luttrell.
IMDB Rating: 7.9/10.
The war begins... Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left. Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought. With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...

I'm not too much of a sci-fi fan (unless it's YA), but pierce brown's red rising series is highly entertaining, brilliant and emotional. this is probably of the few that i like and probably will like.

[music video]
empty kingdom. Design by Berenica Designs.