Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (224) - Favorites From Both of Us!


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.


And in honor of DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, all month long you'll be getting a pick from me and an additional one from Cassius!





FROM GOODREADS: Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l'Etoile, and the proprietess, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break.

Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper--and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.

Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore's high class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family--and it's up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it's too late for all of them.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  First of all I love this series.  Veronica and Stoker are two of my favorite characters.  And look at that cover!!!  Also, it doesn't hurt that Jack the Ripper is mentioned and that there is a dog on the cover!

CASSIUS'S PICK:



FROM GOODREADS:Werecougar Lily Mason has sworn off investigating crimes in Moonrise, Missouri. Now that she's a college student with two jobs and officially the girlfriend of animal activist Parker Knowles, she's too busy for drama and danger.

Besides, the last case nearly cost her everything, including her life.

At least until her friend, the elderly Opal Dixon, breaks a hip and must recuperate in a nursing home. Opal's has been spending all her time complaining about her annoying roommate, her idiot doctor, and the laundry service that keeps losing her clothes. So, Lily is less than convinced when Opal insists a nurse's suicide is really foul play.

Still, to ease her friend's fears, Lily agrees to look into the situation. With her loyal dog Smooshie at her side while she delves into the case, Lily soon learns that it's not all Bingo and low-sodium diets at Moonrise Manor.

And when Opal's suspicions make her the next target, Lily realizes she's running out of time to save her friend...and stop a sadistic killer. 

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  Because Smooshie is my book girlfriend.  I love her and am so glad she is getting a 5th book!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

TTT - Tropes I Love and Ones I Love to Hate

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is favorite tropes but I thought it would be more fun to mix it up.


TROPES I ENJOY MOST OF THE TIME:

1. School settings - especially in fantasy or middle grade
2.  Love to hate
3. The anti-hero
4. Person saves an animal (usually a dog) but the animal really saves them
5. The reluctant hero

TROPES I USUALLY HATE: 

1. Love triangles
2. Did I mention love triangles?
3. The chosen one
4.  The fake relationship
5. Insta-love

So do you agree? Disagree?  Let the discussion begin!



Monday, August 19, 2019

Favorite Books A-Z

So I've seen this list popping up on some of my favorite blogs.  Mogsy over at Bibliosanctum did one which you can find HERE, and Tammy From Books, Bones & Buffy did both a male AND female list which you can link to.  This week Tammy mentioned to me that I should try this so I accept the challenge.  I doubt I will have one for every letter and to be honest, I can't say I can pick JUST one for every letter but I will definitely pick a fave.  Let's see what happens!


A - Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

B - Blood Sisters - Jane Corry

C - Certain Dark Things - Silvia Moreno Garcia

D - A Dog Called Jack - Ivy Penbroke

E - Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire

F - The Flatshare - Beth O'Leary

G - Ghost Mine - Hunter Shea

H - Hollow Kingdom - Kira Jane Buxton

I - In Dog We Trust - Beth Kendrick

J - Jurassic Florida - Hunter Shea

K - Kinski - Gabriel Hardman

L - The Last Woman in the Forest - Diane Les Becquets

M - Mutts & Mistletoe - Natalie Cox

N - Nightshift - Charlaine Harris

O - Outpost - W. Michael Gear

P - Providence - Caroline Kepnes

Q - Antiques Maul - Barbara Allen

R - Repo Madness - W. Bruce Cameron

S - The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman

T - This Monstrous Thing - Mackenzi Lee

U - Unsub - Meg Gardiner

V - Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop

W - We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix

X - Death's Excellent Vacation - Anthology

Y - I Hate Fairyland - Skottie Young

Z - Once Upon A Zombie - Billy Phillips

As you can see, a couple were a stretch but my blog, my rules :)
Let me know if you do this so I can be sure to check it out.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

What's Happening...(08-17-19)

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out.

So it's been an okay week.  Hey, at least we're all healthy.  I took my Gpa to his little hometown reunion Sunday.  It wasn't bad but it was 2 hours on the road each way and we were so far in the sticks that there wasn't even cell service.  I also finally gave up and towed my truck to a garage.  Not the result I wanted but hey, gotta have wheels.  Mr. Barb drives the newer vehicle and there's no way we're taking on another car payment.

We managed to watch Avengers: Endgame this week.  It was really good but I did manage to cry. I also have to say Rocket the Raccoon is still awesome.  I also started watching BH90201 - it will have to go into the guilty pleasure category.  It is rather humorous.  

So I got some reading done but not enough.  Here's what's up on the stack this coming week.


I also really only added a book or two this week so I think I'll just call this a wrap and add them next week.  

So have you done anything fun or read anything I just have to add to my stack???

Friday, August 16, 2019

Blog Tour - A Killing Fire



TITLE: A Killing Fire
AUTHOR: Faye Snowden
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
PUBLISHING DATE: August 8, 2019


FROM GOODREADS: The first time Raven Burns saw her father kill, the victim was her mother. Afterwards, Floyd "FIRE" Burns set the house on fire, making Raven watch as the flames slithered across the yard like some unknowable language. Then he took her on a multi-state killing spree. She could've told or killed him in his sleep. But there were his constant whispers, his wet lips close to her ear saying that little girls who told were sent to hell, and their mothers were called down from heaven to take care of them. 

By the time he is executed, Raven has become a cop with the sole purpose of putting men like him away. But she can't escape Floyd's terrorizing voice in her head, somehow guiding her steps while reminding her of the horrors he had forced her to witness. And she can't escape the questions that continue to haunt her: Did witnessing make her complicit? Had the same evil that lived in her father taken residence in her soul? 

 The town of Byrd's Landing, Louisiana appears to have made up its mind. The community accepts that Raven had nothing to do with Floyd's crimes. But when Raven shoots a teenager who points what turns out to be an unloaded weapon at her, stories about Floyd resurface. The whispers begin. No voice is louder than wealthy socialite Hazel Westcott. When Westcott turns up dead in the backyard of her Big Bayou Lake estate, the doubting voices reach a deafening crescendo, and the ghosts of her past rise up to greet her. To catch Westcott's killer, Raven must come to terms once and for all with who she is. And who she is not. What are you willing to do, what are you willing to become, to save someone you love? 


MY THOUGHTS:  When I first accepted to be on this blog tour, I admit I did so basically because I've had such success with Flame Tree Press titles. I knew there was some sort of mystery element to it but honestly, from the cover, I was getting a sci-fi feel.  Well, be aware, this is not sci-fi but it's still a heck of a good read.

Raven Burns and her partner Billy Ray are detectives in a small Louisiana town.  As a child, Raven was raised primarily by her father, Floyd, who became the well-known 4th of July serial killer.  Raven works hard to put people like Floyd away, but secretly wonders how much like him she just might be.  One night, Hazel Westcott, a wild-child from a prominent family, ends up dead following a 4th of July celebration.  Raven and Hazel are not strangers, but how much does she really know about her death and what is she hiding.

This book was a very quick read.  I think because of the mystery elements, I was constantly wanting to see what was going to happen next as well as find out if my amateur theories panned out.  While I don't know that any of the characters were extremely likable, they were all flawed and very realistic.  I did feel for Raven and what she had been though but there were a few times where I felt like her actions were actually complicating her life more so than making it easier.  Billy Ray was a great partner and at time I believed he had to be the most patient and understand person on Byrd's Landing. 

If you love mysteries and thrillers, you really need to consider picking up "A Killing Fire."  This title could clearly go head-to-head with some of the more hyped thrillers on the market right now and dare I say that I actually have liked it better than so of the more popular ones I've read recently.

RATING: 4 PAWS




Faye Snowden is the author of three published mysteries with Kensington— Spiral of Guilt (1999), The Savior (2003, 2004) and Fatal Justice (2005, 2006). She has published short stories and poems in various literary journals and small presses including The African American Review, Calliope, Red Ochre Lit, Bay Area Poets Coalition and Occam’s Razor. A new book, A Killing Fire (Flame Tree Press) will make its debut in August, 2019.

Although born in San Fernando, California, she was uprooted while young to a place where supposedly people had swamps in their backyards and alligators for pets. She didn’t have any pet alligators in Shreveport, Louisiana, but an amazing, resourceful single mother raised the family of six in a shotgun house. And she had a cat named Blue.

At eighteen, Faye left Louisiana to join the Navy. The Navy gave her an opportunity to spend some time living in Naples, Italy and on both US coasts—Washington, DC and northern California. After the Navy, she went to work as an information technology professional in various industries while on her way to a masters in English literature.

Aside from her publications, she also managed two boys, a husband, five dogs and three writing fellowships following those years. Today, Faye works and writes from her home in Northern California. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Oops! I Almost Forgot About This One!

TITLE: The Department of Sensitive Crimes (Detective Varg #1)
AUTHOR: Alexander McCall Smith
PUBLISHER: Knopf Doubleday
PUBLISHING DATE: April 16, 2019


FROM GOODREADS: In the Swedish criminal justice system, certain cases are considered especially strange and difficult. In Malmö, the dedicated detectives who investigate these crimes are members of an elite squad known as the Sensitive Crimes Division. 

 These are their stories. 

 The first case: the small matter of a man stabbed in the back of the knee. Who would perpetrate such a crime and why? Next: a young woman's imaginary boyfriend goes missing. But how on earth do you search for someone who doesn't exist? And in the final investigation: eerie secrets that are revealed under a full moon may not seem so supernatural in the light of day. No case is too unusual, too complicated, or too, well insignificant for this squad to solve. The team: Ulf 'the Wolf’ Varg, the top dog, thoughtful and diligent; Anna Bengsdotter, who's in love with Varg's classic Saab (and possibly Varg, too); Carl Holgersson, who likes nothing more than filling out paperwork; and Erik Nykvist, who is deeply committed to fly fishing. 

With the help of a rather verbose local police officer, this crack team gets to the bottom of cases other detectives can't or won't bother to handle. Equal parts hilarious and heartening, The Department of Sensitive Crimes is a tour de farce from a true master.


MY THOUGHTS: I actually read this and April and recently, when reading a companion novella, realized I never reviewed it.  And I did like it well enough and feel it's important to recognize.  Ulf Varg works in the Sensitive Crimes Unit.  I felt that the crimes they investigated were the ones which were a tad off or a little boring.

Overall while I liked the book, it was a different kind of read for me.  The style was extremely verbose and odd (there's that word again) but I think that was because it was a Swedish translation.  The crimes, and this book contained three different ones which strung together into one tale, were interesting enough and I especially enjoyed the quirkiest of them.  The one regarding the missing imaginary girlfriend was my favorite.  Also, Varg has a dog, Martin, who is often watched by the neighbor.  During the novel Martin is being treated for depression and of course, you can guess that I found a soft spot for him.

The one thing about the book I didn't really like is that Detective Varg seems to be in love with his coworker Anna.  To the point where he imagines her family being his.  I honestly don't think he would act on it and to be truthful, at times I felt Anna felt the same way and I sort of found the whole situation weird and creepy.

I understand this author has a very huge following as well as other series which people love.  I don't know that I am that attached to him but I will probably check out future installments of this series.

RATING: 4 PAWS



TITLE: The Strange case of the Moderate Extremists (Detective Varg #0.8)
AUTHOR: Alexander McCall Smith
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
PUBLISHING DATE: February 26, 2019


FROM GOODREADS: Detective Ulf Varg from the Department of Sensitive Crimes is often called upon to investigate unusual matters. But rarely is he asked to conduct an inquiry on behalf of his own family. Is such a thing ethical? Adding to Ulf’s moral discomfort is the fact that he does not exactly see eye to eye with his younger brother Bjorn—a leading player in one of Sweden’s rightwing parties, the Moderate Extremists. Still, family is family, so Ulf finds himself working to uncover the mole leaking secrets to a rival party, the Extreme Moderates. All of this in addition to his responsibilities to the Department, which include investigating a case of cat-related sabotage. As always, it’s up to Ulf to close the case . . . even if he encounters unexpected resistance from the victims themselves.  


MY THOUGHTS: So honestly, if this hadn't just been a 90 page read, I don't know if I would have continued it.  Once again Varg and his partner are investigating some unusual crimes.  I didn't really care too much for the one involving his brother. a member of the Moderate Extremists, but the one featuring the cat sabotage was pretty fun.  So I guess you could say it evened out.  Martin appeared which is basically my high point of the series.  I'm going to have to see what the next one is about before I commit to reading it.

RATING: 3 PAWS



COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE: An author with three names.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (223)


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.


And in honor of DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, all month long you'll be getting a pick from me and an additional one from Cassius!




FROM GOODREADS:  He is, after all, the master of lies.
But is it lies when a man comes calling and says the End of Days is nearing?  That you must do everything within your power to stop it? Even when you have no powers. You are, after all, just a human.

Or do you have no powers? Are you just a human? And what the hell are you supposed to do about preventing hell-on-earth when you’re fresh out of prison, a biker ex-con who can’t even vote?

But the man who bears the message, the mission, is not a stranger shouting on a street corner while hoisting a sign promising death and damnation. He is someone you’ve known since boyhood, someone you trust implicitly. Someone who has never, ever lied to you. He's Grandaddy.

But who is he really? And who are you? Are you truly a weapon meant to be wielded against the devil’s return? Against the End Times. The End of Days. Apocalypse and Armageddon.

Demons, Grandaddy says, are now loosed upon the earth in the first spasms of a most unholy war. Demons inhabit and make real the beasts and characters of fiction, folklore, fairytales. Gods and goddesses walk the earth. The minotaur. Murderers. A horseman without his head. Myth becomes reality. Legends—and lies—are truths.

And maybe the man you’ve always trusted isn’t entirely human.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  This one has all kinds of things to interest me.  The biker/horror combo, demons murderers and minotaurs.  Sign me up!

CASSIUS' PICK: 


FROM GOODREADS:  In David Rosenfelt's newest series - a spinoff of the much beloved Andy Carpenter mysteries - Andy's wife forms an investigative team with a former detective and his German shepard partner.

Andy Carpenter's wife, Laurie, was a cop, a good one. Now she helps out on Andy's cases while also raising Ricky, their son. But she's been chafing to jump back into investigating on her own, and when her former partner and his German shepard K-9 partner come to her with a proposal, she's in.

From the author of the bestselling Andy Carpenter mysteries comes a spectacular new series with a K-9 main character.

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  I don't think Mom has read the original series even though I keep telling her she needs to do so.  I mean, she loves dogs and was once accepted to law school so I think she liked them.  But who am I to say?  Anyway, maybe she can start this spin-off and be on top of things. Plus, isn't that Shepard a beauty?  Wonder if she's a female???

WHAT BOOK CAN'T YOU WAIT FOR THIS WEEK???