Sunday, June 25, 2017

2017 Blogger Shame Challenge Mid Year Check In

Blogger Shame 2016

2017 Blogger Shame Challenge hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Vist The Herd Presents to see more about this challenge.

I just realized that I should have posted this check in at the beginning of the month.  Leave it to me to be late with a challenge that is supposed to help me get caught up.

I have read 5 books that count towards this challenge.  I started the year out pretty well squeezing 2 old review books in my reading schedule in January, 2 during the month of March, and 1 in April.  And then nothing.  Hopefully, I can get back on track and read at least 5 more books towards this challenge before the end of the year.

Books Read for the Challenge


Until Tomorrow by Annie Kelly
Out of Frame by Megan Erickson
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
And I Darken by Kiersten White
City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett 
(click the links to read my reviews)

A big thank you to Anna @ Herding Cats and Burning Soup for hosting this challenge!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #75


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

It has been a really quiet week with my daughter away at camp.  Driving from St. Louis to Bloomington, Indiana and back in a single day to get her to camp was exhausting on Sunday and we are making the same trip today to pick her up.  She will only stay home for a single night before she head off to drum major camp which thankfully is only for a few nights and close to home.

Please be patient with me since I am traveling this weekend.  I hope to catch up on comments very soon!

Digital Books

The Sea King by C.L. Wilson (Edelweiss)
So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn (NetGalley)
Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain (NetGalley)
Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin (NetGalley)
The Address by Fiona Davis (First to Read)
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter (Kindle Purchase)

I have to admit that I was really surprised to get approved for The Sea King so quickly.  I am looking forward to it.  I can't wait to read So I Married a Sorcerer and downloaded the book as soon as the widget hit my email.  I have been wanting to read Theresa Romain so I am happy to have one of her books for review.

Print Books

Dark Saturday by Nicci French (Won - LibraryThing Early Reviewers)
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (Blogging for Books)

I was so excited to see Ink and Bone offered on Blogging for Books.  I can't wait to get started on this series.  Nicci French is an author that I have wanted to read for a while so I am looking forward reading to Dark Saturday.

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 23, 2017

Audiobook Review - How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland
Narrated by: Allison McLemore
Series: White Trash Zombie #4
Publisher: DAW / Audible Studios
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Date Read: June 14, 2017
Length: 14 hours 44 minutes
Source: Purchased - Audible
★★★☆☆
It’s zombie versus zombie as the Saberton Corporation declares war against the Zombie Mafia, kidnapping several of their party. It falls to Angel to lead the remnants of her gang halfway across the country to claw their way through corporate intrigue, zombie drugs, and undead trafficking to rescue her friends - and expose the traitor responsible for their abduction.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her
My Review

I liked this book but not nearly as much as I thought I would.  I actually listened to about an hour and a half of this audiobook several months ago and found it just wasn't working for me so I decided to try it again later.  I started over from the beginning this time and was able to make it through the book but still had some trouble with the first part of the book.  The story did really pick up and by the end I was really enjoying myself but that beginning was rough for me.

I think that the beginning of the book had too big of a focus on Angel's internal dialogue.  I love Angel but I have to tell you that she was starting to drive me crazy.  Some of her actions seemed a bit childish to me and I kind of wanted the other characters to tell her to snap out of it.  Once the action really got going I didn't have any of these issues so maybe the balance was just off at the beginning.

This book did have a lot of things going on and once the action got going it seemed to move pretty fast.  There were a few revelations that I found completely surprising and look forward to seeing how they impact future installments.  Angel proved that she can hold her own in a fight and is able to make really good decisions very quickly.  The big twist was a pretty big surprise for me which was a definite plus.

Allison McLemore does such a wonderful job in narrating this series and this book was no exception.  She is the voice of Angel to me.  She is able to perform a large cast of characters quite well making it easy to follow along with conversations.  She reads the story at a very nice pace making it very easy to listen for hours at a time.

I would recommend this series to others.  This is the fourth book in a series that I think is best read in order.  I thought that this was a good installment, not my favorite, but still good.  I do consider 3 stars to be a good rating.  I look forward to reading more of this series very soon.

The Series

Book #1 - My Life as a White Trash Zombie - My Review
Book #2 - Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - My Review
Book #3 - White Trash Zombie Apocalypse - My Review
Book #4 - How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back
Book #5 - White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
About the Author

Diana Rowland has lived her entire life below the Mason-Dixon line, uses "y'all" for second-person-plural, and otherwise has no southern accent (in her opinion.) She attended college at Georgia Tech where she earned a BS in Applied Mathematics, and after graduation forgot everything about higher math as quickly as possible.

She has worked as a bartender, a blackjack dealer, a pit boss, a street cop, a detective, a computer forensics specialist, a crime scene investigator, and a morgue assistant, which means that she's seen more than her share of what humans can do to each other and to themselves. She won the marksmanship award in her Police Academy class, has a black belt in Hapkido, has handled numerous dead bodies in various states of decomposition, and can't rollerblade to save her life.

She presently lives in south Louisiana with her husband and her daughter where she is deeply grateful for the existence of air conditioning.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blog Tour Review - I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne @_laurenlayne @TastyBookTours @readloveswept


I am really excited to be a part of the review tour for I Knew You Were Trouble.  Lauren Layne has become a go to author for me anytime I am wanting to read a fun and sexy kind of romance.  Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win an audiobook CD of the first three books in this wonderful series!

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #4
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Date Read:
Length: 215 pages
Source: NetGalley

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her
My Review

I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story.  This was a pretty quick read and I found myself flying through this fun little book.  This is the fourth book in the Oxford series and while fans of the series will enjoy seeing some of their favorite characters, this book could easily be read as a stand alone novel.  This was one of those books that I could just totally lose myself in and ended up reading it for hours at a time.  It definitely lived up to all of my expectations.

This book is about Taylor and Nick.  The book starts out with short chapters showing some of their history with each other which I thought really set the stage of the book quite well.  Taylor is planning to move in with her boyfriend, Bradley, but is surprised to find a break up note at the new apartment.  When Taylor starts looking for a roommate, Nick decides to taker her up on it and the stage is set for a whole lot of fun.

I thought that Taylor and Nick had wonderful chemistry together.  Each of these characters had some very painful moments in their past that really shaped how they deal with life.   It became quite apparent that Taylor was very misunderstood because of how she was raised.  Nick is a really good guy and sometimes others have taken advantage of his kindness.  These two just seemed to fit together perfectly once they gave each other a chance.

I really liked the way this book was written.  The characters were wonderfully developed.  Their chemistry with each other was intense and their banter was a lot of fun.  I liked the fact that it took this pair some time to really get together since it felt more realistic.  I must admit that I was pretty sick of Bradley before the book was over but Taylor and Nick seemed to feel the same way so I guess that is okay.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.  This is a fun little book that tells a really wonderful story.  Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors when I am in the mood for contemporary romance and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley


Oxford Series
Book #1 - Irresistibly Yours - My Review
Book #2 - I Wish You Were Mine - My Review
Book #3 - Someone Like You - My Review
Book #4 - I Knew You Were Trouble 

Excerpt



About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Blog Tour Review - Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @WmMorrowBks

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone #1
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Date Read: June 18, 2017
Length: 400 pages
Source: Edelweiss

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earth shattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her
My Review

What a wonderful book this turned out to be!  Jill Shalvis is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary romance authors because her books are consistently good.  This book was even better than I could have hoped.  I was grabbed by the story right away and it just kept getting better.  I ended up reading most of the book in a single day because I just couldn't put it down.  It was one of those books that left me with a big grin when I reached the conclusion and was an utter delight to read.

Quinn is the main focus of this story.  She is getting by one day at a time and not really feeling much of anything after the sudden death of her sister.  She gets some unexpected news that turns her whole life upside down.  She has some really big decisions to make that will have a lasting impact not only on herself but on other people as well.  I liked Quinn a lot.  She was resilient and cared about other people deeply.

Mitch is in Wildstone trying to help his mother get her house in order.  His constant companion is an aging Golden Retriever named Coop.  Along with Coop, Mitch runs into Quinn when she is having an emotional moment and something just seems to click.  They run into each other again later on and just seem to hit it off.  Mitch was such a great character and I loved everything about him.  He really fit with Quinn very well and they had some wonderful chemistry.

The story was really well balanced.  This book had a wonderful romance in it but it wasn't just a romance.  Quinn had some other things going on that were just as life changing.  I really liked that this story was so complex and full.  The secondary characters were wonderfully done.  There was even a bit of humor that gave the story an element of fun.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This was a really great story about love and completely rediscovering yourself.  I am really excited that this book is the beginning of a new series because I am already looking forward to spending more time with the people of Wildstone.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.
About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Releases - June 20, 2017 #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:


Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Look for my review to be posted tomorrow!
From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women's fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.'s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there's another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for.


Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Find it at:
A compelling, impossible-to-put-down thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities, sure to appeal to readers of The Widow and Defending Jacob

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller. It begins with a mother fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something to them. Meanwhile, halfway across the country, a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
A dazzling new series debuts with a remarkable heroine certain to become a new icon of suspense, propelled by the singular narrative genius of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.

I very much need to be dead.


These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demands: find the truth, no matter what.
People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important so terrifying that they will exterminate anyone in their way.
But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
The irrepressibly charming duo of Emerson Knight and Riley Moon returns in another gripping mystery by #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

Buddhist monk Wayan Bagus lost his island of solitude and wants to get it back. The island was about two hundred miles northeast of Samoa. It had a mountain, beaches, a rain forest, and a volcano. And now it’s gone. Poof! Vanished without a trace.

Brilliant and boyishly charming Emerson Knight likes nothing better than solving an unsolvable, improbable mystery. And finding a missing island is better than Christmas morning in the Knight household. When clues lead to a dark and sinister secret that is being guarded by the National Park Service, Emerson will need to assemble a crack team for help. Since a crack team isn’t available, he enlists Riley Moon and his cousin Vernon. Riley Moon has a Harvard business degree and can shoot the eyes out of a grasshopper at fifty feet, but she can’t figure out how to escape the vortex of Emerson Knight’s odd life. Vernon has been Emerson’s loyal and enthusiastic partner in crime since childhood. He now lives in an RV behind Emerson’s house.

Together, this ragtag, mismatched trio will embark on a worldwide investigation that will expose a conspiracy one hundred years in the making.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31450855-indigohttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32620328-the-pleasures-of-passionhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32498474-girl-last-seen?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30531551-kiss-carlo?from_search=true

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review - The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry @pcalhenry @BerkleyPub

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Date Read: June 16, 2017
Length:  352 pages
Source: First to Read
★★★★☆
A powerful new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of such acclaimed Southern women’s fiction as The Idea of Love, Driftwood Summer, and The Art of Keeping Secrets.

Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey’s mother disappeared.

Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32766483-the-bookshop-at-water-s-end
My Review

I really enjoyed this book.  I was really pulled in by the writing and ended up loving the characters.  The story was a little bit different than I had thought it would be based on the title but it ended up being a good surprise.  Once I started reading this book, I found myself picking up this book every free moment I had until I reached the last page.  I am really glad that I decided to give this book a try.

Bonny and Lainey called themselves the Summer Sisters when they were children.  Their families would spend the summer together at a little house on the water in Watersend every year.  They both looked forward to those summers and became lifelong friends even after a tragedy ended their summers together.   When Bonny hits a difficult time in her life, Lainey suggests that she spend some time at the summer house and they end up returning together.

This story is told from three points of view.  Bonny is an emergency room doctor that is forced into taking a leave of absence.  She is in the process of leaving her husband and all of her plans seem to be going wrong.  Piper is Bonny's 19 year old daughter who seems to be having a difficult time.  Her first year of college has not went well and she feels somewhat trapped at the house with her mom.  Lainey is an artist that is happily married with two young children.  I really liked each of the three voices and thought all of their stories were unique and well developed.

I think that thing that really made this book hard to put down was the quality of the writing.  The book had such a nice flow and I always wanted to read just a bit more.  I thought that the story had a very realistic quality to it.  I feel like all of the events in this story could happen anywhere.  I really enjoyed the way that the past and present came together for Bonny and Lainey.  There were a few scenes that were really filled with emotion and I felt myself really empathizing with these characters.

I would recommend this book to others.  I enjoyed this story of three women really discovering who they are and what they want out of life.  This was the first book by Patti Callahan Henry that I have read but I would love to read more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.
About the Author

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include The Idea of Love, The Stories We Tell, And Then I Found You, Coming Up for Air, The Perfect Love Song, Driftwood Summer, The Art of Keeping Secrets, Between the Tides, When Light Breaks, Where the River Runs, and Losing the Moon.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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