Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Elvis Has Entered the Building (

TITLE: Elvis and the Grateful Dead (A Southern Cousins Mystery #2)
AUTHOR: Peggy Webb
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 2009

FROM GOODREADS: In the second work in Webb's rollicking mystery series filled with Southern-fried wit and lovably eccentric characters, Callie Valentine and her incomparable Basset hound, Elvis, must uncover a murderer who's leaving residents of the King's hometown all shook up.

MY THOUGHTS: This book was a complete blast to read and I honestly don't know why I read so long to read book two considering I really enjoyed book one as well. Callie and her cousin/best friend Lovie have a southern knack for finding themselves smack dab in the middle of murder mysteries and this time around, all the drama and fun takes place during an Elvis festival in their hometown. All of a sudden, an Elvis impersonator ends up dead and then two...and then get the point. To make matters worse, Lovie, who catered most of the food for the event, is the prime suspect.

The characters in this book really are hilarious. Callie seems to be the most stable other than her Uncle Charlie and even saying that, she manages to find herself in loads of sticky situations. Lovie is hilarious and only has one thing on her mind and being a murder suspect isn't it. Finally, Callie's husband who deeply cares about her even though they are separated is still always showing up at the right time. I wish Callie would open her eyes regarding Jack, but with new town vet Champ now in the picture, I'm not sure it will even happen. The mystery wasn't too easy to figure out and at the end, the motive for the murders was so ludicrous yet so plausible.

Finally we come to Elvis, and yes, he deserves his own paragraph. Callie's basset Elvis is a main character in this series and he adds so much color commentary to the books that one can't help but adore him. At first I thought Elvis just felt he was the actual Elvis reincarnated, but after this book, I think he IS actually supposed to be reincarnated Elvis. Elvis is a joy and throughout the book there are chapters called "Elvis' Thoughts On....." where he discussed what is going on from a dog's point of view. They were clearly my favorite.

If you love cozy mysteries and if you enjoy books with southern wit and charm, you have to give this series a try. I'm just grateful one of my local libraries has the rest of the series (6 in all) because I don't plan on waiting another 2 years before picking the next one up. 


BOOKER T's THOUGHTS: It's been a while since I've shared my thoughts but I just had to add a few comments about Elvis.  Elvis is an awesome basset and I've always liked bassets since my brother Cooper (who is playing at Rainbow Bridge) fell in love with Suzie down the street.  Anyway, Callie clearly can't survive with Elvis and there were many times in the book where I felt like he was the only sane character.  He's very bright and loyal.  I'm kind of sad that his parents Callie and Jack are divorcing, but have all the faith in the world that Elvis will eventually bring them back together.  

Now, it might seem a little odd that Elvis used to be the real "King" but hey, stranger things have happened.  However, this has sparked a serious conversation with my brother Cassius.  He is now saying that he is Muhammid Ali (Cassius Clay) reincarnated and that is why he lost control and "beat" me up.  I told him I wasn't born yesterday and that he was born a few years before Ali passed and reincarnation doesn't work that way.  I sent him off to the drawing board to try to come up with a new excuse.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (99)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS:  Lakin, West Virginia, 1930.  
Following the suicide attempt and consigned to a segregated insane asylum, attorney James P.D. Gardner finds himself under the care of Dr. James Boozer,  Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Boozer is eager to try the new talking cure for insanity, and encourages his elderly patient to reminisce about his experiences as the first black attorney to practice law in nineteenth-century West Virginia. Gardner's most memorable case was one in which he helped to defend a white man on trial for the murder of his young bride - a case that the prosecution based on the testimony of a ghost.

Greebrier, West Virgina, 1897.  Beautiful, willful Zone Heaster has always lived in the mountains of West Virginia,  Despite her mother's misgivings, Zona marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County.  After weeks of silence from the newlyweds, riders come to the Heaster's place to tell them that Zona has died from a fall, attributed to a recent illness.  Mary Jane is determined to get justice for her daughter.  A month after the funeral, she informs the county prosecutor that Zona's ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered.  An autopsy, ordered by the reluctant prosecutor, confirms her claim.

The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but Sharyn McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts.  Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the defense attorney, a pro-Union bridgeburner, who nevertheless had owned slaves; and the mother of the murdered woman, who doggedly sticks to her ghost story - all seen through the eyes of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century, with his own tragedies yet to come.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I've been to both of these locations and growing up and living in West Virginia, I've heard a few takes of the Greenbrier Ghost.  I stumbled in this one a few months ago and I think it will be a really interesting read.


Monday, March 20, 2017

TTT - Books I Pretty Much Devoured in 2 Days or Less

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. Today I'm sharing with you books I devoured (or basically read really quickly because I thought they were so good).

Don't think I need to say more.  This was the first book I read in 2017 and by far it's one of the best.

I don't read a lot of biographies but I have picked them up from time to time. I read this in 2012 because Ice T is my favorite character on Law & Order: SVU.  Such a engrossing read.

I love this entire series and have found all of them really fast reads.  I wish there were more books scheduled.

This book is so hilarious and fun I think I read it in one afternoon.

I think because this is told in emails, it made it fly by really quickly.  

I always fly through Lucy Dillon's books and this one was no exception.  Plus, I love any excuse to show this cover.

This book is awesome - pun intended!  Plus the author is also Hillary Monahan who writes other horror titles as well as this one.

Ok so technically this is a novella and it's easier to read it all in one sitting but I think I would have even if it had been longer - and oh I wish it had been longer.

One of my favorite books of last year.  It's so fast paced and I loved it so much that I couldn't put it down.

I loved this series and found all of the books really quick reads.  I kept waiting for the next installment to be released but it kept getting pushed back and I finally gave up.  Not sure what happened to the author or this series so if anyone knows, please clue me in.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cover Reveal - Chasing Eveline

Chasing Eveline
Leslie Hauser
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student atCarmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a planto reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.

Author Bio:
Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.
When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases 2017 from Pen Name Publishing

This isn't my usual read but I can't help but be intrigued by the 80's music vibe.  I'm interested to see what Hauser does with it

Friday, March 17, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (103) - Another Trip to the Library

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.

So I ran into the library really quickly during lunch Thursday to grab "Chew: Vol. 2" since I liked it so much and of course, I ended up browsing the new book sections and went home with too much again.  I may get to all of them and I may not, but unless someone else reserves them, I can renew and keep for up to 9 weeks so we'll see.  I really to see where "Descender Vol. 2" heads and I've never heard of "Zatanna" but  the book looks super awesome.  I had no plans on reading "The Chemist" and still don't really but I did hear mention of some really cool dogs in it somehow so I'll admit I'm curious.  It may be OK as long as there are no sparkling vamps in it.  This isn't the cover of the "Dark Days Pact" I have but I don't like that version so I'm showing this one.  Also, I've seen "The Grendel Affair" around the net and the library just got a copy so I grabbed it.  Hey, at least they all were free.

I got the following for review.  "Memortality" is for a blog tour and "The Only Child" and "The Halloween Children" looked too good to pass up.  So I basically have an addiction but at least I don't need to run from the cops.

And finally I have a few books for my Kindle.  "The Skeletons of Scarborough House" is a #Stormimademedoit buy, but in her defense, it has a pug named Lestat who shows up in it so I'd probably have bought it anyway.  "The Queen of Blood" was a daily deal one day and "Fangs vs Claws" was free.

So what did you add to your shelves this week and have you read any of these?  Anyone know anything about the dogs in "The Chemist?"  If so, please clue me in.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Weekly Reads (03/17/17)

OK, so what I really want to know is where did Spring go.  I know technically it's not Spring yet, but we've had some of the coldest days of the season the past few days.  Of course, I'm not REALLY complaining because at least we didn't get the snow a lot of the Northeast did.  Last weekend Mr. Barb and I went out to eat with my Grandpa.  He has had some drama the past few weeks with  my cousins and their two kids living with him but I hope it's finally ironed out.  All I can say is if they mess with Grandpa again, they are going to have to deal with me.

We have been watching some TV and movies this week when Mr. Barb hasn't been watching ESPN to keep up with football free agency news.  We finally watched "Fences" and I really wasn't impressed.  I mean, I can see it is a well done movie and there's some great acting in it, but Denzel Washington's character as a real jerk...and I don't like Denzel being a jerk.  I also finished watching "Santa Clarita Diet" on Netflix and actually found it to be an entertaining dark comedy.  Hope it's renewed.  Now I'm starting "Jessica Jones" fully realizing I'm late to that party.

I got some good reading done this week and here's what's coming up next:

I am super loving "Elvis and the Grateful Dead" and am not sure why I waited so long to check out book 2 from the library.  I need to start "The Jekyll Revelation " for a "Two Bloggers One Book" feature.  I also can't wait to see what happens next in "Chew: Vol. 2."  Hopefully I get lots of reading time in this weekend.

The boys are doing fine and Booker T is getting ready to share his thoughts about Elvis the Basset Hound.  Cassius will no longer be grounded soon so look for a post from here too.  In the meantime, here are a few pics of my gorgeous sons.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Time Machine Thursday - Chew Vol. 1

So this week I'm sharing with you a review for a graphic novel I recently read.  It was published in 2009 and it's been one I've wanted to read for at least the last 3 years.  I know it's quite popular and I'm really glad I made the time for this one!

TITLE: Chew, Vol. 1 - Taster's Choice
AUTHORS: John Layman & Rob Guillory
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLISHING DATE: December 8, 2009

FROM GOODREADS: Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he's a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn't mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. He's been brought on by the Special Crimes Division of the FDA, the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, to investigate their strangest, sickest, and most bizarre cases.

I've wanted to read this series for a long time and have even checked it out from my library once before, so when I grabbed it this time, I intended to finally make time for it and I'm glad I did. Of course, I won't lie, I was also motivated because I know there is planned released for an animated movie version with Steven Yeun (Oh why Glenn!) and I wanted to have at least started the graphic novel series before it's release.

Tony Chu, the main character, is a police detective and only one of three cibopaths left in the world - people who can ingest a substance and get a psychic sensation of what has happened to that object. As you can imagine, this is a very coveted skill to have in the detective world, even if it is a bit disgusting. In addition, Tony lives in a world where chicken of any form is contraband due to a bird flu that killed over 23 million Americans. So thing drug activities - except with chickens!

This book covers the first 5 issues of the comic book and introduces Tony, his partner and some of his family members. Tony is quickly recruited to work for the Food & Drug Administration and also meets the girl of her dreams (which is a bit of a mystery herself). "Chew, Vol. 1 " is a fast paced book full of action and information setting up the remainder of the series. The artwork is really enjoyable and I look forward to continuing on with this series.

RATING: 4 PAWS (primarily because he tastes a dead dog or maybe it would have gotten 5!)