Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #123


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

My Life
You may remember that I shared the fact that everything around my house seemed to be breaking.  I was convinced that nothing else would break for a while.  I was wrong.  Our van's power window on the driver's side went out with the window all the way down in the door of course.  We got that fixed and I guess the timing was pretty good since we are driving to Indiana and back on Sunday.  Could you imagine if the window would have been stuck down for that long round trip drive in the heat? 

Books Added

The Mermaid by Christina Henry (NetGalley)

This will be the next book that I read.  I cannot wait to read this new book from Christina Henry since I absolutely loved Lost Boy when I read it last year.


Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Publisher)
True-Blue Cowboy by Sara Richardson (Publisher)
Cowboy on My Mind by R.C. Ryan (Publisher)
Switch and Bait by Ricki Schultz (Publisher)
More Than Words by Mia Sheridan (Publisher)

Publishers were very generous with me this past week.  I am really exited to finally read Iron Gold and looking forward to getting my cowboy on with True-Blue Cowboy and Cowboy on My Mind.  I have seen several great reviews for More Than Words just this week so I know I will be fitting that one into my reading schedule as soon as I can.  Switch and Bait is one that I don't know to much about but I am willing to give it a try.

Thank you Del Ray, Forever Romance, and Grand Central Publishing!


Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson (Purchase)
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (Purchase)
The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan (Purchase)
Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Don Kramer, and Danielle Rudoni (Purchase)

I actually bought these books several weeks ago and forgot to include them in my Stacking the Shelves post.  I picked these four books up at my local dollar store for $1 each.  I am usually pretty quick to add books to my cart when they only cost $1 but I think I picked some pretty good ones this time.

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, June 15, 2018

Audiobook Review - I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus

I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T Phipps and Michael Suttkus
Narrated by Arielle DeLisle
Series: Bright Falls Mysteries #1
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Date Read: June 12, 2018
Length:  9 hours 54 minutes
Source: Audiobook Boom
★★★★☆
FROM THE BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA

Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend's sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she's game.

Set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.

My Review

This was entertaining.  I am not going to lie - the thing that really caught my attention about this book was the title. Weredeer?  Have I ever read a book about a weredeer?  Of course not so you know I had to give this book a try just to find out more about this weredeer.  It ended up being a really clever story with some great world-building.  I am glad that I took a chance on this fun little story.

Jane Doe is a weredeer.  I should probably mention that there are little bits of humor sprinkled all over this story as you may have guessed as soon as you saw Jane's name.  Anyway, Jane's family owns a local diner where Jane works as a waitress alongside other members of her family.  Since Michigan is one of only two states that are safe for shifters, the town of Bright Falls has a rather large shifter population.  Jane's best friend is a werewolf and there are all kinds of colorful characters around town. 

Jane learns that her best friend's sister has been killed and that her brother has been accused of the murder and decides to investigate.  Weredeers often have special abilities and Jane is able to gather a lot of knowledge just by touching objects.  Jane and her best friend hope that her special abilities will make finding out what really happened a simple task.  Of course, things quickly get complicated and they find themselves uncovering a mystery that goes back quite a few years.

I liked Jane.  I thought she was pretty brave to get involved with everything and she was never afraid of asking the hard questions.  It was fun to watch her try to figure everything out.  There were a lot of other characters in the book and I liked most of them.  I did find it a bit difficult to keep everyone straight at times since there were so many characters that had a role.  I did think it was odd that Jane's parents were almost always referred to as Judy and John instead of Mom and Dad.

I thought that Arielle DeLisle did a great job with this story.  This was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to this narrator and I was impressed by her delivery.  I thought that she was able to bring Jane to life and added a lot of emotion and excitement to the story.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to her work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others.  I had a lot of fun with it and found myself chuckling from time to time.  There were a lot of pop culture references and puns worked into the story that kept everything rather light.  I felt that the ending of this book was pretty satisfying but I may decide to pick up the second book at some point in the future.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author via Audiobook Boom.
About the Author

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles" blog. He's recently released the novels The Rules of Supervillainy and Esoterrorism.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Books from the Backlog #12


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Poison by Sara Poole

Series: The Poisoner Mysteries #1
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness.

Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul.

Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father's killer from the depths of Rome's Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.

Why did I add Poison to my bookshelf?

This one has been sitting on my Kindle since April 2011. I am pretty sure that I caught this one on sale and decided to take a chance with it.  I even picked up the second book in the series, The Borgia Betrayal, a year later. I do still think that the book sounds like something I would like.  Now to work it into my reading schedule...

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review - Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue @TessLesue @BerkleyRomance

Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue
Series: Frontiers of the Heart #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Read: June 9, 2018
Length:  304 pages
Source: First to Read
★★★★☆
The first novel in a new western historical romance series that will take readers for the ride of their lives on the Oregon Trail.

Alexandra Barratt has found the perfect man—it's a shame he thinks she's a boy...

Fleeing from the murderous Grady brothers, Alexandra disguises herself as a boy and joins a frontier party heading West, with her brother and sister in tow. The wagon train is captained by the irresistible Luke Slater, who's never met a woman he couldn't charm.

At first, Alex can't believe the way every woman in town falls at Luke's feet, including her suddenly flirtatious sister. But when she sees him naked in the bathtub, she finds herself swooning over him too. If only she could wash the muck of her face and show him who she really is. Unfortunately she has more pressing concerns...

The Gradys aren't about to let Alex, nor the small fortune she stole from them, slip through their fingers. Only by maintaining her ruse does she have a chance of protecting her family. But fate, it seems, is conspiring against her.

My Review

I ended up liking this book quite a lot.  I decided to read this book simply because I thought that the premise sounded rather interesting and I usually enjoyed historical western romances.  This was one of those books that was really hard to put down once I started reading.  I am so glad that I decided to take a chance with this book.

Alex and her siblings find themselves in a lot of danger at the start of the story.  Everything that happened at the beginning of the book really got my attention and I found myself wanting to read just a bit more.  They flee their home to head to their older brother's home but have a long way to go.  Some bad men are after them so Alex decides that the best way to escape attention is to pose as a boy.  Since the Grady brothers are looking for two women and a man, they will be much harder to find as a boy, woman, and man.

I liked this book despite the fact that it had a few things happen that I don't usually enjoy.  I don't usually like to see a book's Hero with other women and that does happen in this book.  I don't mind so much when it happens before the story starts and is talked about but I don't need to see it on the page.  I am also not a huge fan of any Hero that is almost having to beat women off with a stick.  I love Luke but I don't think any man is that universally appealing.  I also found that I doubted Luke's intelligence.  I don't really think that it is believable that he could have spent so much time with Alex without being able to see past her fake identity.  All of these things actually worked for this book.  I think that some of the charm and the humor worked into the story only worked because Luke was a clueless but irresistible man.  Bravo to the author for making me like all of the things I wouldn't usually care for!

I liked Alex and Luke.  They both had a few flaws that I felt added to their appeal.  Alex was tough and determined.  I did find some of her early reactions to Luke to be a bit unbelievable but it worked with this story.  Luke really was a good guy.  I liked the way that he took Alex's family under his wing and felt responsible for them.  There were some wonderful secondary characters in the book as well, such as Alex's brother and sister, the local madam that sees everything, and a few members of the wagon train.  I thought that the Grady brothers were great villains that I wanted to see defeated.

I would recommend this book to others.  I had a lot of fun with it and found it to be a quick read.  There were a few laughs and a couple of surprises along the way that kept everything very interesting.  I was happy to see this couple make it to there happily ever after.  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.
About the Author

Tess LeSue writes sexy and adventurous romances, set against sweeping historical backdrops. Her current love affair is with the wild landscapes and even wilder men of the Wild West. Bound for Eden is her first Western. Tess also writes literary fiction under the name Amy T. Matthews and teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Flinders University in Australia.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Releases - June 12, 2018 #newreleases #newbooks


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 Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon
In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.

A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she's now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she's posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered.

Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia's memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn't he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable--both in our country and in our own homes.


The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Find it at:
A debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Ain't She a Peach by Molly Harper

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
The first thing you learn when you climb a tree is to hold on. Now it’s time for Harry to learn to let go…

Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane, lifelong lover of trees, works as an analyst in a treeless US Forest Service office. When his wife dies in a freak accident, devastated, he makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, intent on losing himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She, too, has lost someone—her father. And in the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.

As Harry agrees to help the young girl, the unlikeliest of elements—a tree house, a Wolf, a small-town librarian and a book called The Grum’s Ledger—come together to create the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains…a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open the door to a new life for Harry.

"Harry’s Trees" is an uplifting tale about love, loss, friendship and redemption. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s "A Man Called Ove" and Gabrielle Zevin’s "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will find in its relentless good humor a much-needed remedy for these fraught times."
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36462046-venom-in-the-veins?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36048592-breathless?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36373398-the-woman-in-the-woodshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36342145-more-than-words?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Blog Tour Review - Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely @LaurenBlakely3 @InkSlingerPR #giveaway


What do you get when you mix a charming British hero, a temporary marriage of convenience, and a smart & sassy heroine? PART-TIME LOVER, the brand new, standalone rom-com from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely! Narrated by the deliciously sexy Shane East and Grace Grant, PART-TIME LOVER promises full-time satisfaction. Get your copy of PART-TIME LOVER now!

Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Shane East and Grace Grant
Publisher: Lauren Blakely Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Date Read: June 6, 2018
Length:  7 hours 21 minutes
Source: Publisher via Inkslinger PR
★★★★☆
I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression. When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.

Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***

Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.

But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…
As long as no one gets hurt…
As long as no one falls in love…

But our ending was one I never saw coming.

My Review

This was just a lot of fun!  I really enjoyed just about everything about this audiobook.  This book had a lot of things going for it with a sweet and sexy story read by two excellent narrators.  I have only had the chance to listen to Lauren Blakely's books twice before starting this book but I have found all of the books I have read to be remarkably well done.  I am so glad that I had the chance to listen to this fun and romantic story.

This is one of those books that doesn't have a whole lot of surprises but it doesn't matter because the journey is just delightful.  I am finding that books with fake relationships are really working for me lately.  Most fake relationships in books quickly turn into real relationships and this book is no exception.  I had such a great time spending time with Christian and Elise and they fell for each other and their initial meeting really set the playful tone of the story.

Christian and Elise were both great characters.  Elise's past was unexpected and really did a great job of giving the reader some insight into her hesitation to put her heart at risk.  I usually fall for the Heroes in this kind of book and I had no problem falling for Christian.  His personality was just magnetic and he really was a fantastic guy.  I really enjoyed that this book is told in alternate points of view so that I got the chance to experience the thoughts and feelings of both Christian and Elise.

I loved the narration.  This was the first time that I have had a chance to listen to both Shane East and Grace Grant and I thought that they both did a wonderful job with this story.  They both were able to handle the story's dialogue really well and I thought that it was a great decision to have the narrators read the text messages  written their characters.  I thought that each narrator did a great job of adding emotion to the story and adding some heat at just the right time.  I would not hesitate to listen to more of each of these narrators work in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.   This was a quick feel-good romantic read that often put a big smile on my face.  It was so easy to fall for these characters as they were falling for each other.  I look forward to reading more from Lauren Blakely soon.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Lauren Blakely Books via Inkslinger PR.
About the Author

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 95 times, and she's sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she'll release PART-TIME LOVER, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter 
Giveaway
Let’s celebrate the release of Christian and Elise’s romance with a year subscription to Audible ($150 value)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #122


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

My Life
This was a pretty normal week at our house.  My daughter had a jazz performance Sunday night which was nice.  This seems to be the time of year that everything around my house is breaking.  First, we had to pay our insurance deductible to fix our house and spent some money replacing groceries that were not covered.  Then our pool pump had to be replaced.  This week the lawn mower decided to take early retirement so we had to buy a new one.  I am thinking that since that is three major items we should be good for a while.  Right?

Books Added

Bishop by Sawyer Bennett (NetGalley)
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely (Publisher)
I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus (Author)

I downloaded Bishop from NetGalley as soon as I saw it.   I am lucky enough to be auto-approved for Loveswept but have noticed a whole lot of their titles disappearing from NetGalley very quickly lately or not showing up at all so I add anything I want right away.  I enjoyed Part-Time Lover and my review is scheduled to post on Monday.  I remembered seeing a good review of I Was a Teenage Weredeer so I decided to request a copy from this week's Audiobook Boom. 

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, June 8, 2018

Review - Brief Cases by Jim Butcher @longshotauthor

Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #15.1
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Date Read: June 6, 2018
Length:  448 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City's favorite wizard.

The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue--and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you'll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published "Zoo Day," Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.

With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.
My Review

I had a great time with this book.  I knew that this was going to be a book that I would need to read as soon as I saw it.  I have been a fan of The Dresden Files for quite some time so spending a bit of time with Harry Dresden and company was something that I was quite eager to do.  I went into this book with pretty high expectations simply because I have come to expect great things from this series.  I am happy to say that this book met every one of those expectations.

Of the 12 stories included in this collection, 11 have been previously published.  I was lucky enough to have missed all but one of the stories so almost everything was new to me.  The one story that I had read previously was one that I really enjoyed the first time so I decided to go ahead and read it again and ended up enjoying it just as much the second time around.

I loved how varied and original each of the stories were while giving me the taste of much loved series that I was looking for.  Some of the stories feature Harry as the lead character but we do get the chance to see other characters take that role including Molly, Butters, Maggie and Mouse, and Warden Luccio.  I loved getting the chance to see these other characters take the lead and enjoyed spending a moment hearing some of their thoughts.

When I pick up a collection of stories, I have discovered that I will probably like some of the stories more than others.  I usually come across a few that I don't really care for as well but that didn't happen with this book.  I really liked all of the stories pretty equally and can honestly say that every story in the group is solid and if rated individually, I would give them all either 4 or 5 stars.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  These stories take place at various spots within the series but I think readers new to the series would appreciate this book.  Fans that are up to date with the series will enjoy seeing favorite characters as we remember them.  I can't wait to read more from this amazing series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversation of his imaginary friends, but his head can generally be found in Independence, Missouri. Jim is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera novels, and the Cinder Spires series, which began with The Aeronaut’s Windlass.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Books from the Backlog #11


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Feed by Mira Grant

Series: Newsflesh #1
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Orbit
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.


Why did I add Feed to my bookshelf?

This one has been sitting on my Kindle since January 2015.  I bought this because I love the premise.  Plus zombies.  I love a good zombie book.  This is one that I really should have fit into my reading schedule by now.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?






Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Review - Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Date Read: May 28, 2018
Length: 416 pages
Source: NetGalley

Cliff Hubbard is a huge loser. Literally. His nickname at Happy Valley High School is Neanderthal because he's so enormous-6'6" and 250 pounds to be exact. He has no one at school and life in his trailer park home has gone from bad to worse ever since his older brother's suicide.

There's no one Cliff hates more than the nauseatingly cool quarterback, Aaron Zimmerman. Then Aaron returns to school after a near-death experience with a bizarre claim: while he was unconscious he saw God, who gave him a list of things to do to make Happy Valley High suck less. And God said there's only one person who can help: Neanderthal.

To his own surprise, Cliff says he's in. As he and Aaron make their way through the List, which involves a vindictive English teacher, a mysterious computer hacker, a decidedly unchristian cult of Jesus Teens, the local drug dealers, and the meanest bully at HVHS--Cliff feels like he's part of something for the first time since losing his brother. But fixing a broken school isn't as simple as it seems, and just when Cliff thinks they've completed the List, he realizes their mission hits closer to home than he ever imagined.

My Review

My thoughts are somewhat mixed regarding this book.  I really had no trouble reading it and did enjoy the story but it was missing that extra spark that it would have needed to make it great.  It was a book that was pretty easy to set aside because I never felt completely invested in the story.  There were a lot of issues address in this story and in some ways it felt like nothing went beyond the surface level.  I did find the book entertaining and am glad that I decided to pick it up.

Cliff is huge which is one of the reasons that his classmates refer to him as Neanderthal.  He leads a rather solitary life and is dealing with the loss of his brother not too long ago.  Cliff and Aaron are not friends at the start of this book.  Aaron is the popular quarterback so he has very little in common with Cliff . When Aaron has a near death experience, he partners with Cliff to fulfill a to-do list that he received from God.  The list is very specific and everything on it is tied to their high school.  If they can accomplish all of the tasks, the school will undoubtedly benefit from their efforts.

This book touches on so many issues.  I actually think that it would have improved the story if fewer issues were dealt with but in greater detail.  Cliff and Aaron are not only dealing with their list but they are also developing relationships including their own friendship.  Some of the items on the list sound almost impossible and other will require some investigation before they can even begin.

I liked the characters but I never felt like I completely connected with them.  The book is told from Cliff's point of view and I didn't feel like I got to know any of the other key players beyond the surface level.  Even during some parts of the book that were more emotional, I found that I was rather unmoved.  I think I would have liked this book a lot more if I had been able to develop an emotional connection with any of the characters.

I did enjoy the story and thought that it had a lot of unique aspects.  I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more from Preston Norton in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley.
About the Author

Preston Norton is: bisexual, slightly genderqueer, married. His partner, Erin, is trying to put him on a diet, and he’s revolting (both contexts apply). He has taught seventh grade and ninth grade English, mentored drug addicts, and mowed lawns (in no particular order). He is obsessed with 2001: A Space Odyssey and Quentin Tarantino.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

New Releases - June 5, 2018 #newreleases #newbooks


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:


Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City's favorite wizard.

The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue--and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you'll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published "Zoo Day," Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.

With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Find it at:
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste...

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.


Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36739332-the-history-of-jane-doe?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36341202-the-lost-family?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36341674-a-people-s-history-of-the-vampire-uprising?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36373463-us-against-you?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?
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