Thursday, February 29, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Fatal First Edition (Library Lovers #14)


Wow, every time Stormi and I see a new Library Lovers book is set to release, we always try to score an ARC and read it together.  We both love this series and this installment did not disappoint.  So read on to find out why I loved it so much and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads and see her thoughts. 

TITLE: Fatal First Edition (Library Lovers #14)
AUTHOR: Jenn McKinlay
PUBLISHING DATE: February 13, 2024
PAGES: 280   

FROM GOODREADS: People are dying to get their hands on a rare, valuable book in the newest Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot and the Pendulum. 
Briar Creek Library director Lindsey Norris and her husband, Sully, are at a popular library conference in Chicago to hear book restoration specialist Brooklyn Wainwright give a keynote address. After the lecture, Lindsey looks under her seat and finds a tote bag containing a first edition of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, inscribed to Alfred Hitchcock. Brooklyn determines the novel is one of a kind and quite valuable, so Lindsey and Sully return the book to the conference director, not wanting to stir up any trouble. 
But just hours after the pair boards the train back to Connecticut, rumors that the Highsmith novel has gone missing buzz amongst the passengers, and they soon find the conference director murdered in his private compartment. And worse—the murderer planted the book in Lindsey and Sully’s room next door, making them prime suspects. Now, they must uncover the murderer and bring them to the end of their line, before they find themselves booked for a crime they didn’t commit.

MY THOUGHTS: Hands down if push came to shove, I'd have to say this is my favorite cozy mystery series.  What's not to love in a book featuring libraries, reading, fun characters and a great small-town Connecticut setting. I honestly can't believe I remain caught up with the series considering this is book #14.  I also realized today that there is even another set to release in November.  I'm so excited, it's a Christmas one!

So, this one starts out in Chicago with Lindsey and her husband Sully for a library conference.  They find a rare book beneath Linsey's conference chair and upon returning it, think all is well.  However, after the board their train back home, they learn that not only are a lot of the conference participants also on the train, but the book is missing, and someone is willing to kill to find it.

It was fun seeking the two MCs in another setting besides their hometown, but I will admit it meant we didn't see all my favorite characters quite as much which was a bit sad.  However, the murder mystery element was exciting and kept me guessing plus we ended up with the entire train getting snowed in as a horrible blizzard arrives.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes cozies, especially ones that feature libraries or books.  I don't think you will be disappointed.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Feed Your TBR - Haunt Your Heart Out


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" 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.

OCTOBER 8, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: A dashing ghost hunter and the bookseller who made up the ghosts he’s chasing wind up entangled in more ways than one in this steamy contemporary romance from the author of Text Appeal, perfect for fans of Ashley Poston and Chloe Liese.

Homebody Lex McCall loves her sleepy Vermont town and quiet bookstore job. After her family, friends, and exes all moved away to seek futures elsewhere, Lex set one rule: no dating tourists, newcomers, or anyone else who is bound to leave her behind. When the bookshop owner, eager to offload the supposedly haunted building, offers to sell the store to Lex at an unbeatable price, Lex jumps at the chance to further put down roots.

Then handsome stranger James stops by the bookstore. Lex assumes he’s just another tourist passing through, but it turns out he’s part of a ghost-hunting documentary crew that’s looking into the many “verified” ghost stories in town. Lex can’t resist getting involved—especially because these so-called ghosts are actually made up stories from Haunted Happenings, her hobby vlog from a decade prior. Worried her ghost-faking secret will get out and ruin her chance to buy the store, she tampers with the ghosthunters' research and skews the results. After all, James’s stay is only temporary and her career dreams come first.

But as they spend more time together, Lex realizes she’s falling for James. Worse, there’s more at stake than her simply being found out and losing his affection: his mission isn’t as frivolous as it seems and her interference may cost him much more than a spooky story.

This not-quite-ghost-story is sure to delight Gilmore Girls fans and anyone who loves flirty romances with a little extra spirit.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Gilmore Girls comparison - yes please!  Say nothing else.


Friday, February 23, 2024

Guess Even Zombies Suffer from Depression Too!


TITLE: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2)
AUTHOR: Diana Rowland
PAGES: 312   

FROM GOODREADS: Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia. 
Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

MY THOUGHTS: I am surprised at how much I am enjoying this series so far.  I have always been curious about it and even ended up buying this book years ago, but it wasn't until I saw that series readalong that I decided to give it a go.  Glad I did.

This second installment sees Angel still struggling with the ramifications of becoming a zombie and what that means going forward.  She is now seeing the local law enforcement officer, working at the city morgue, and trying to get off probation, when a body she transported gets stolen at gunpoint.  Because of her past, not everyone buys into what happens and feels she is just covering for losing the body. This leads her to clear her name and investigate what she suspects are nefarious activities at a local lab in town.  Throw in a shady character who reappears from book one and her boyfriend's mom uncle and Rowland takes the reader on a ride that isn't soon forgotten.

This book shows a lot of character growth from Angel.  And growth is a strange word to use when she is coming to terms with the fact that she may "live" much longer than those around her.  She is starting to question her new relationship as well as realizing she really wants to turn her life around and make a future for herself.  I enjoy seeing Angel and her father trying to repair their relationship and when a character who I thought was long gone makes another appearance, my concern quickly morphed into excitement and I have to admit, I'm curious what the author has planned for him in the future.

If you have ever enjoyed urban fantasy, then this series is one to consider.  It is quickly becoming a fave and I can't wait to read book three!


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Feed Your TBR - A Cold Night for Alligators


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" 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.

April 10, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: A determined CDC epidemiologist goes rogue to tackle a mysterious outbreak in Savannah, only to find himself entangled with a pair of urban explorers and a dangerous, tortured soul in an abandoned theme park where dark forces stir.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  This isn't much of a synopsis for this new horror release but the setting of an abandoned theme park in Savannah definitely sells it for me.


Friday, February 16, 2024

Sometimes I Question My Own Reading Choices


TITLE: The Woman in Me
AUTHOR: Britney Spears
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
PUBLISHING DATE: October 24, 2023
PAGES: 277   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. The Woman in Me reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history. 
Written with remarkable candor and humor, Spears’s groundbreaking book illuminates the enduring power of music and love—and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last.

MY THOUGHTS: Let me start by saying that overall rating is not a reflection on what has or has not happened to Britney Spears.  Who am I to put a rating on her life or her experiences?  That being said, I do have some thoughts I'd like to share.

I was never a huge fan of Britney and her music wasn't something I gravitated toward.  I liked as song here or there and didn't turn them if they came on in the car, but also never sought them out.  I saw the same media coverage about things in her life that many did and will admit to making some judgement calls when I had limited information.  I picked up this book out of curiosity and hype, not because I thought it would be some in-depth look at her life and where she is right now with all that has happened.  Good thing because this book was nothing but chaos.

I can best compare the reading experience to reading a high school diary.  It's choppy and even when she admits she did some things that weren't very thought out and which probably were not the smartest moves, she flippantly makes an excuse.  I also personally feel that her discussions on her love for her children and her desire to do anything to protect them could be compared to a little girl playing with her favorite dolly.  Harsh, I admit it. I hope her children have a good trust fund because I'm putting it out there, they are probably going to need to use it for therapy for many years to come.

So, the positive takeaways... Britney definitely loves her children.  I never doubted that.  Britney experienced some very bad men in her life and made poor partner choices which were probably a direct correlation to her childhood.  Her parents probably should not have had kids (which makes me think of cycles repeating themselves), and they were horrible to Britney on many occasions.  Britney is very famous and has HUGE fanbase and I feel sad that no one taught her what that would mean for her life and all the negative that comes along with the positives.

If you like Britney, love Britney or are just curious, you might want to consider this read. I don't regret grabbing it from the library but am grateful it was relatively short.  


Thursday, February 15, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Beneath a Blood Red Moon


I'm not sure how she did it but Stormi roped me into ANOTHER series by Heather Graham (under the name Shannon Drake).  Actually, she didn't have to try too hard because all I heard was vampires and I was in.  So read on to see what I thought about the first book in the series and then hop over to Stormi's at Storm Reads to see hers. 

TITLE: Beneath a Blood Red Moon (Alliance Vampires)
AUTHOR: Shannon Drake (Heather Graham)
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 1999
PAGES: 384   

FROM GOODREADS: A tale that sweeps the reader from the antebellum South to contemporary New Orleans, the dark, sensuous world of love and immortality of the beauty and the beast whom some call vampire... 
Maggie Montgomery, the owner of Magdalena's an elegant New Orleans boutique, gasped when she learned about the mysterious beheading of a local street person, and the trail of blood that led from the corpse to her building. Her shock turned to turmoil when she met Sean Canady, the police officer who arrived to question her...and inspired a dangerous desire.
Something powerful--and beyond reason--had brought Maggie and Sean together. Something that spoke of an interwoven past, and a passionate torment that began generations before under a blood red moon. For on that night of erotic seduction, Magdalena Montgomery became a vampire, and began a century-long quest to find the one man whose love was pure enough, strong enough to save her from the darkness within...

MY THOUGHTS: I will admit that at first, I found this book kind of slow.  I wasn't that invested in the story or the characters and may have secretly thought, "What did I get myself into?"  However, after about 75 pages, it picked up and the last 50 or so pages were so action-packed, and the ending was very satisfying.

Maggie runs a boutique in New Orleans and meets Sean, a detective, and his partner, Jack, when there is a pimp murdered outside her headquarters.  Someone is killing the seedier characters of New Orleans in very disturbing manners, reminiscent of Jack the Ripper.  Maggie and Sean grow closer as the mystery unravels and slowly, both seem to realize Maggie may know more about the killer than even she initially realizes.  Oh, and did I mention Maggie is a centuries-old vampire and in order for the killer to be stopped, Sean and Jack may just have to believe in something they always considered to be a myth. 

This book is told in current-day time as well as historical flashbacks where we get to learn more about what make Maggie such an unusual vampire.  Sean and Maggie cannot fight their attraction and as the book progresses, the reader learns how destined to be together the couple really is.  If you enjoy paranormal romance, which is a bit heavy on some thriller aspects, then this might be something you want to check out.


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Feed Your TBR - The Hunt (The Moon Blood Saga)


Can't Wait Wednesday, which I have adapted to better suit my blog as "Feed Your TBR" 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.

March 12, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: Charlotte has survived transforming into a werewolf, but now she must face her new life and the new world that she has been thrown into. To become part of the pack, Charlotte has to not only prove to the new pack that she is capable, but she must embrace her new beast to survive the Hunt in the Trappers Forest. A forest that is forbidden for most to enter and littered with traps from the past fur trade―but it’s not the traps that scare Charlotte the most, it’s the ghosts that seem to keep following her and Levi, leading them directly to this forest for a hunt that will test her and her beast. Budding love interests, new friendships, and a future pack are all what awaits Charlotte, but what she can’t get her head around is why everyone is so scared of a forest―and why does it feel like rogue wolves are still following her . . .

I picked up the first book in this series from my local library last year when I saw it on the "new releases" shelf.  I ended up loving it and have been looking forward to continuing it for what seems like forever.