Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review - Reckless Creed by Alex Kava @AlexKava_Author @PutnamBooks

Reckless Creed by Alex Kava
Series: Ryder Creed #3
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Date Read:  August 8, 2016
Source: First to Read

In the new edge-of-your-seat thriller from New York Times–bestselling author Alex Kava, Ryder Creed, his K-9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O’Dell find themselves at the center of a dire and mysterious case.

In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-story hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son stumble upon a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest...and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell will discover the ominous connection among these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever known.

My Review

I  really enjoyed reading this book.  The idea behind the story was really pretty scary largely because of how realistic everything felt.  All of the characters that I have grown to love over the past few years played a part in this complex and exciting story.  There was really a lot of action in the story and I had a hard time putting the book down.

The story was very relevant to today's world.  The book starts out with several seemingly unrelated events that may be more than they originally appear to be.  The events take place in several different locations in the United States.  Maggie is called to Chicago to investigate the suspected suicide of a man that appears to have been ill while Ryder and his dogs are searching for a lost girl.  As the book progresses, everything starts to be pulled together until a frightening plot is uncovered.

One of the things that I love about reading a series is the characters and this series has some wonderful characters.  I have read so many books featuring Maggie O'Dell that I feel like I know her.  I am not sure whether I like Maggie or Ryder more but since they are both featured in this series I don't feel like I have to choose.  As an animal lover, I love the whole aspect of Ryder's service dogs.  Each of the dogs used in the book become an important part of the story with the personality of the dog really adding an authentic element.

I loved the way this story was told though multiple points of view.  Each of the points of view added an important element to the story.  I loved how each of the plot threads started out being told from a different perspective.  Each perspective brought the emotions of the individual and really made things feel real.  Figuring out how everything would come together in the end was part of the fun of reading this book.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery.  This is the third book in the Ryder Creed series which picks up after the Maggie O'Dell series.  While I think readers could enjoy this story as a stand alone, I would recommend reading the series in order if at all possible.  I already can't wait to get my hands on the next Alex Kava novel!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from G.P Putnam's Sons via First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

Alex Kava is the New York Times-bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Breaking Creed and Silent Creed, as well as the internationally bestselling mystery series featuring FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell. Her novels have been published in more than twenty countries around the world. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Releases - August 30, 2016 #newreleases #newbooks

August 30, 2016  

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:
Made For Sin by Stacia Kane

Karen Marie Moning raves that Stacia Kane “delivers dark, sexy urban fantasy at its finest.” Now Kane introduces her most addictive antihero yet: a Las Vegas PI who makes his own luck—and embodies everything that’s oh-so-right with Sin City.

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.

But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.

Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.

The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Wellington was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her skills as a hunter of men had gone from merely brilliant to full-on uncanny. Her mysterious rescuer wants her to put them to the test. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.

If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk.

And the way his arms wrap around Vinnie tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Elias and Laia are running for their lives.

After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf - the Empire's most secure and dangerous prison - to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars' survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene - Elias's former friend and the Empire's newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus's will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own - one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape... and kill them both.

Spellbreaker is the long awaited sequel to Spellbound, which was listed by Kirkus Reviews among the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2011. This final installment of the Spellwright Trilogy stands alone as a complete story; however, fans of the series will find in it answers to the questions raised by the previous books about Leandra’s parents, Nicodemus Weal and Francesca DeVega.

Just Kill Me by Adam Selzer

From the author of Play Me Backwards and I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It comes a dark comedy about one teen’s unusual summer job as a ghost tour guide in Chicago.

Megan Henske isn’t one to heed warnings…

When the last letters in her alphabet cereal are D, I, and E, she doesn’t crawl right back into bed. When her online girlfriend won’t text a photo, she just sends more of herself.

And when she realizes that Cynthia, her boss at a Chicago ghost tour company, isn’t joking about making stops more haunted by killing people there, she doesn’t quit her job—she may even help.

But who is responsible for the deaths of prominent figures in the murdermonger industry? Could it be the head of the rival tour company? Or could it be someone near and dear to Megan?

Soon after she learns that she has an uncanny resemblance to a flapper who disappeared in 1922, Megan receives a warning she can’t ignore: the next ghost on the tour might be her…

More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Audiobook Review - Grave Peril by Jim Butcher @longshotauthor

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
Narrated by James Marsters
Series: The Dresden Files #3
Buzzy Multimedia Publishing Corp. (Audio)
Publication Date: June 10, 2009
Date Read:  August 10, 2016
Source: Purchased - Audible
Length: 11 hours 59 minutes

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. All par for the course for Chicago’s only professional wizard.

But in all of Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble—and not just of the door-slamming, ‘boo’- shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly.

Someone—or something—is stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself....

My Review

Every once in a while the right combination of things come together perfectly.  This audiobook fits that description.  I enjoyed this book the first time I read it years ago but listening to James Marsters perform this story really takes it to a whole new level.  The series seems to really be taking off at this point and the story was very well done.  I completely enjoyed every moment that I spent listening to this book during my re-read.

Harry Dresden's life is anything but boring.  This book starts with a bang and really doesn't slow down until the end.  I love how many different things can come together to make sense in Harry's world.  In this book, there are ghosts, demons, and vampires all mixed together and it flows smoothly.  The mystery was pretty complex in this one with a lot of things happening that will be brought up again as the series moves forward.  I had a hard time setting this one aside.

I am so in love with the characters.  Harry is awesome in his own way.  He is funny and able to think on his feet.  He makes decisions based not only on what is best for him but what will be best for others.  He risks himself to helps other people quite often.  Michael played a large role in this book and I really enjoyed his character.  It was really fun to go back and see some of my favorite characters early in the series.  Karin, Bob, Susan and everyone else really all added important pieces to the story as well.

James Marsters is the perfect voice of Harry Dresden.  I absolutely love how this book was narrated.  He didn't just read the story - he performed it.  I could totally hear every one of Harry's emotions in the performance.  I was really impressed that even the perfectly placed breath seem to add to the delivery.  He performed all of the different characters flawlessly.  I can't wait to listen to more books narrated by James Marsters.

I would highly recommend this series to fans of urban fiction.  This is a series that you will want to read in order since there are some story arc that carry over from previous books.  I am looking forward to listening to book four in the series very soon.  

About the Author
Photo by Karen Hacker with The Portrait Gallery, located in Independence, MO
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990’s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #35

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

This has been a much quieter week for me.  Yay!  I spent most of last weekend reading and doing things around the house.  My evenings during the work week still don't seem to have enough time to get everything done.  I did squeeze in a book and an audiobook during the week so I did okay.  Fear the Walking Dead started back up and while I wasn't completely impressed with this week's episode, I was very happy to have zombies back on my TV screen.

Digital Books

Transcendent by Katelyn Detweiler (First to Read)
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (First to Read)
Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King (First to Read)
Deadly Silence by Rebecca Zanetti (NetGalley)

I can't seem to resist all of the wonderful books on offer at First to Read.  I hope that the books I added this week will be as good as some of the other recent offerings.  I love starting a series just as it is beginning so when I saw that Deadly Silence was the first in a new series, I requested it right away.

Print Books

The Last Mile by David Baldacci (From Publisher - Grand Central Publishing)

I loved the first book in the Amos Decker series and somehow missed the initial release of The Last Mile earlier this year.  When UPS dropped it off Tuesday night, I decided to take a look and couldn't put it down.  I should be posting my review soon.  

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Audiobook Review - The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison @BurningBunnies @TantorAudio

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison 
Narrated by Marguerite Gavin
Series: The Hollows #2
Tantor Audio (Audio)
Publication Date: December 10, 2007
Date Read:  August 4, 2016
Source: Purchased - Audible
Length: 14 hours 22 minutes

Rachel Morgan, sexy witch, independent bounty hunter, prowls the downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night. She can handle leather-clad vamps and a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is an ancient, implacable evil that threatens her very soul.

My Review

This was such a fun audiobook!  Years ago, I read the first several books in this series but never went any further for some reason.  I meant to but I guess I got distracted by other shiny books or something.  Since I knew I need a refresher before moving on with the series, I thought that a re-read would be a perfect choice.  I am almost positive that I liked it even better this time around.

This book starts with a bang.  Rachel and Jenks are in the middle of a run....and things don't go as smoothly as they would have hoped.  One thing leads to another and before you know it Rachel is in the middle of a much bigger case and has a new human sidekick to go with the gig.  This book really has a lot packed into it with a pretty compelling mystery at the heart of the story.  There are a lot of side plots that also keep the story moving.

I love the characters.  Rachel is just all kinds of awesome.  I like she handles herself in really difficult situations.  She keeps an even head and can think about things from different points of view.  She also tries hard to do what is right.  Jenks is nearly perfect.  He is tough and always seems to add a lot to every scene he is a part of.  Ivy is still a bit of a mystery but I like the tension she adds to story.

Marguerite Gavin is the perfect choice for narrator with this series.  She is somehow able to capture each of the different characters in this book flawlessly.  Each character's voice was unique and fit their personality.  I was able to stay completely focused on the story and had a hard time setting it aside to do anything else.  I think that her narration really made the story come alive.

I would highly recommend this series to fans of urban fiction.  I do think that this is a series that really should be read in order since some of the story builds on previous books.  I can't wait to move on to the next book in the series. 

About the Author
Photo by
Myra Klarman Photography
Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive.  After gaining her bachelors in the sciences, she moved to South Carolina, where she remained until recently returning to Michigan because she missed the snow.  She's currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles and a Hollows prequel, and when not at her desk, Kim is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home or in the garden.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #29 - A Perilous Undertaking

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries... 

London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia's life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....

Pre-Order:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Why Am I Waiting?
I almost didn't realize this book was the next installment in the Veronica Speedwell series because of the cover change.  I like the new cover style but I am not sure why there was a change.  I liked the first book in the series quite a bit and am interested going along with Veronica Speedwell on her next adventure. 

What are you waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Releases - August 23, 2016 #newreleases #newbooks

August 23, 2016  

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:
The One Man by Andrew Gross

1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

100 Days by Nicole McInnes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Agnes doesn't know it, but she only has one hundred days left to live. When she was just a baby, she was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare disease that causes her body to age at roughly ten times the normal rate. Now nearly sixteen years old, Agnes has already exceeded her life expectancy.

Moira has been Agnes’s best friend and protector since they were in elementary school. Due to her disorder, Agnes is still physically small, but Moira is big. Too big for her own liking. So big that people call her names. With her goth makeup and all-black clothes, Moira acts like she doesn’t care. But she does.

Boone was friends with both girls in the past, but that was a long time ago—before he did the thing that turned Agnes and Moira against him, before his dad died, before his mom got too sad to leave the house.

An unexpected event brings Agnes and Moira back together with Boone, but when romantic feelings start to develop, the trio’s friendship is put to the test.

Spellbreaker by Blake Charlton

Leandra Weal has a bad habit of getting herself in dangerous situations.

While hunting neodemons in her role as Warden of Ixos, Leandra obtains a prophetic spell that provides a glimpse one day into her future. She discovers that she is doomed to murder someone she loves, soon, but not who. That’s a pretty big problem for a woman who has a shark god for a lover, a hostile empress for an aunt, a rogue misspelling wizard for a father, and a mother who--especially when arguing with her daughter--can be a real dragon.

Leandra’s quest to unravel the mystery of the murder-she-will-commit becomes more urgent when her chronic disease flares up and the Ixonian Archipelago is plagued by natural disasters, demon worshiping cults, and fierce political infighting. Everywhere she turns, Leandra finds herself amid intrigue and conflict. It seems her bad habit for getting into dangerous situations is turning into a full blown addiction.

As chaos spreads across Ixos, Leandra and her troubled family must race to uncover the shocking truth about a prophesied demonic invasion, human language, and their own identities--if they don't kill each other first.

Spellbreaker is the long awaited sequel to Spellbound, which was listed by Kirkus Reviews among the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2011. This final installment of the Spellwright Trilogy stands alone as a complete story; however, fans of the series will find in it answers to the questions raised by the previous books about Leandra’s parents, Nicodemus Weal and Francesca DeVega.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

Named one of BuzzFeed’s “Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Summer”

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ fa├žades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
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