Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (96) - Booker T is Back!

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.

Hello guys!  I'm back and ready to go.  Thanks so much for all the well wishes.  I've spent some time recuperating and found a few books I'll know Mom will love (and maybe you too).  Don't worry, Cass will be back eventually but he's lost his computer privileges for the time being. 

FROM GOODREADS: One extraordinary dog, a family in peril and a country turned upside-down by war. Can Bertie reunite everyone before it's too late?

Stranded in a war-torn London, pampered Bertie is cold, alone and scared. Now that his owner has passed away he has to learn the ways of a stray dog on the streets. Luckily he has the help of his new friends in the community, both those on two legs and on four.

But Bertie doesn't expect the Blitz and the horror it brings, or how some Londoners might start to resent pets in such difficult times. He also doesn't expect to find love again in the arms of one special little boy.
When his second chance of happiness is threatened Bertie knows he needs to do whatever he can to protect it, no matter what dangers lie in his path. With bombs raining down on London streets, can this small dog with the big heart help the ones he loves before it's too late?

Hopeful, heart-warming and fun, Bertie the Blitz Dog is perfect for fans of Alfie the Doorstep Cat and A Street Cat Named Bob.



FROM GOODREADS: From Sue Pethick, acclaimed author of Pet Friendly and Boomer s Bucket List, comes a heartwarming story sure to take the chill out of the holiday season . . .
Renee Richardson s list of Christmas wishes includes: a few more clients at her hair salon, a few less unsuitable dates set up by her father, and some new friends for her troubled young son, Kieran. Little does she know that Kieran has already made a pal in their new town . . . a scrappy little dog named Max, who he found in the woods.
When Max gets caught in a snare, Kieran and his grandfather rescue the pup, and the whole family begins to bond with their four-legged guest. The holidays draw closer and more chaotic and Renee has her hands full, especially when Max s owner turns up to claim him. Travis Diehl is the first man to intrigue her since her divorce though she s facing stiff competition in a local bombshell who also happens to be Renee s most important client. But as a white Christmas becomes a bona fide blizzard, Kieran, Renee, and Max may all gain the gift they've been longing for loyal companionship and a lifetime of love . . . 


WHY BOOKER T CAN'T WAIT: I love the covers on these books and Mom has been working so hard to take care of me the past few weeks, I thought they would make her smile.  Bertie sounds like an awesome read and I know she has some of Pethick's other books so she might as well add this one to her collection.

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








Monday, February 27, 2017

Cover Reveal - The Supernatural Pet Sitter


The Supernatural Pet Sitter
Diane Moat
(The Magic Thief, #1)
Publication date: March 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade
Pepper is a 12 year old who pet sits magical animals. When someone steals their magic, Pepper must find the thief before the thief finds her!
Full Description TBA















Author Bio:
Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person...” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

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TTT - Favorite Horror Covers



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. The host is taking a break for a couple of weeks so I figured I'd go back and do some older ones I never did before.  This week I want to share some of my favorite horror covers!






This book was pretty decent but in my opinion, the cover was much better!

I still need to read this one but that cover gets me every time.

Don't know about you but I never want to run into this thing on Christmas.

Clowns...need I say more?

I love the simplicity of this one.

Clive Barker's mind scares me.

Read this years ago and still love looking at it.

This book still gives me chills.

I just adore this and find it very twisted - which I think is a good thing!

Had to work in Lizzie somewhere.  This cover remind me of Natalie Portman for some reason.  I think it's gorgeous and love the colors and the ax. 

So, if you love horror, I definitely recommend The Birthing House.  I stumbled across it accidentally at the library and it remains one of my favorite novels.  Do you have any favorite horror covers?


February 2017 Wrap Up


So at least February was a better reading month in terms of books completed than January was, which is surprising given the curve ball life threw me this month.  I've managed to read 7 books and am halfway through an 8th so I should start March off with an early finish.  There are still some challenges I am not doing so well with but hey, it's still early in the year and I do have plans to focus on a few of them this month.  While I am still behind with my Goodreads challenge (which I have to admit is a pretty odd occurrence) I am gaining ground.  So here's what happened in February:

GOODREADS: 12/100
2017 CLOAK & DAGGER CHALLENGE: 3/25
(Nemesis, Death By Chocolate Lab)
2017 FLIGHTS OF FANTASY CHALLENGE: 6/18
(Curse of Stars, Nemesis, Guardian of Secrets)
2017 HORROR READING CHALLENGE: 5/25
(Something, Dread and Breakfast, Six Scary Stories)
2017 WHAT AN ANIMAL CHALLENGE: 2/20
(Death By Chocolate Lab)
2017 NEW RELEASE CHALLENGE: 8/61
(Curse of Stars, Something, Nemesis, Death By Chocolate Lab, Guardian of Secrets)
BLOGGER SHAME REVIEW CHALLENGE: 0/12 (gee, guess what I need to work on)

Of the 7 books read, I had 1-1 paw read, 3 3-paw reads, 2 4-paw reads and 1 5-paw read.  "Dread and Breakfast" was my favorite read this month with "Death by Chocolate Lab" and "Nemesis" close on its tail.

So how did you do this month???

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Curse of Stars Blog Tour and Review



TITLE: Curse of Stars (Diamond Crier #1)
AUTHOR: Donna Compositor
PUBLISHER: Donna Compositor
PUBLISHING DATE: February 19, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Sabi Perez is the last Diamond Crier, only she doesn’t know it. Not until a crazed ruler from another world comes to collect her priceless tears and won’t take no for an answer.

Living in New York, Sabi’s seen some nasty things, but the lengths to which her captor will go to keep his crown are things found only in the darkest nightmares. Afraid and alone, Sabi finds solace in her cellmate, Anya, and Cabal, a fellow Crier who also has powers, a rare combination that buys his favor from the ruler. Only it’s a favor he doesn’t want.

In a fit of rage, power erupts out of Sabi, the same power Cabal has, and a spark of hope ignites. Together they may have a chance at escape, something no other Crier has done. Except a ruler hellbent on draining them of every last diamond tear isn’t their only hurdle. If they escape they’ll be hunted to the ends of the earth, if they survive the trek to safety. If they stay the ruler will leech them dry. Sabi would rather die trying than lie down and die, even if that means running away into even more danger.


MY THOUGHTS:  I'm trying to read more science fiction this year which is one of the reasons I requested this book.  Sabi is living in New York and knows something isn't quite right with her family, but little does she know how right she is - Sabi and her family are from another planet.  Sabi is the last born Diamond Crier - her tears become diamonds and are the way the current leaders of her planet maintain their wealth and power.  Trying to save Sabi, her family fled to Earth with her sister. However, eventually Sabi's unknown past catches up with her and before long, she is being held captive.  She meets Anya and Cabal and together they formulate a plan to escape.  However, Cabal is secretly aware their escape will start a planet-wide war.

I enjoyed learning more about Sabi's home planet and really felt sorry for Sabi.  Not only did she not know what she was or where she was from, she is out through torturous means to harvest her diamond tears and is hated by almost everyone who encounters her because her family's escape of brought on a "sickness" which took many lives.  I really liked the developing friendship between Anya and Sabi, which starts out rocky.  Sabi never fully trusts Cabal and I shared her instincts throughout the entirety of the book.  There is lots of actions in "Curse of Stars."  The book covers a lot of territory and is a good setup for future installments.  However, I never felt fully connected with the story and at times I felt it bogged down.  I will more than likely read the next book, but this isn't a tale where I'm dying for the next installment immediately.  If you like YA, science fiction and diverse characters, you may find "Curse of Stars" something you will enjoy.

RATING: 3 PAWS




 

Donna has been writing since she was in the single digits when she first realized she needed to do something about all the thoughts in her head. After a stint with bad poetry she finally found her way to novels, mainly of the young adult fantasy variety. When she's not cranking out more stories she works a regular 9 to 5, reads anywhere from 2 to 3 books a week, drinks copious amounts of tea, eats way too much, and makes her own beauty products because her skin turns into a sentient hive if she uses anything else. This is mostly because she lives in the desert where the air siphons water clean out of her. She lives with a man named Steve and several quadrupeds: three cats named Renfield, Sam, and Dean; and a MinPin named Malfoy.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Something - I'm Just Not Quite Sure What??? (review)

TITLE: Something
AUTHOR: Shelby Lamb
PUBLISHER: Grunge Bookz
PUBLISHING DATE: March 7, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: “I will find true love and everything will be okay. I will find true love and everything will be okay…” she chanted.

They say be careful what you read. Something is wrong. Something is very wrong. It can happen to anyone. This is just four teenagers’ story. Aubrey Golding hates her face, her body, and is devastated after Nathan Silva leaves her. Alone, suicidal, and desperate for love, she discovers a book called Something and unknowingly links others to a dark and terrifying curse that is beginning to consume her. Nathan is glad to be moving on with someone new and can hardly believe what is happening now. Wild child and amateur porn star, Bella Broadhurst, loves bullying that “emo whore” Aubrey with the other girls, but mostly she loves partying, hookups, and plain ol’ drama when terror arises. And Kendra Coke is just a new teen mother working on a delicate relationship when things start becoming utterly bizarre. Chilling sleep disturbances and figures hiding in the corners of their rooms are just warnings of what is to come. Be careful what you read, they say. Tread carefully.


MY THOUGHTS: 
I can honestly say this is the only time I can remember rating a book one star. I actually feel badly that I am doing it, but I've read other reviews and some people loved "Something" so let's just say it wasn't the book for me.

I had a really hard time connecting with this book. I didn't care for any of the characters. Aubrey was an emotional wreck and so distraught that Nathan dumped her that she texts him endlessly, cries, whines, shouts and even beats up his new girlfriend (who did violate the girlfriend code and start dating her best friends ex). She is suicidal and homicidal and has a drinking problem as well as mental health issues (cutting) which are never really addressed except for when her private high school wants to have a prayer ceremony for her to "save her soul." Then you have Kendra and Bella. They both have really big parts in this book but other than Bella hating Aubrey and bullying her a lot when they attended school together in the past, and Kendra meeting Aubrey on-line and developing a friendship, I don't know how they played into the big picture. Finally, I have to mentioned there is TONS of sex in this book. And hey, I don't mind a few scenes here and there and am definitely not a prude, but this sex is just pointless. Bella wants to be a porn star and actually starts her career and we get to read ALL
about it.

Now, for the shocker - did I mention this is touted as a horror novel? Yes, there is a mysterious book called "Something" which when the reader reads it, a portal open and other beings begin to creep in and visit and I think they cause some of the havoc we read about but I'm really not sure. Oh, and there is a demon. One who Aubrey falls madly in love with and with whom she immediately has sex even though she is still supposedly madly in love with Nathan.

Basically this whole book confused me. I read through it pretty quick and didn't have a problem at all with Lamb's writing style. It probably is a necessary set up for book two in the series but I will never know because I refuse to continue on. I really can't recommend this to anyone but will say if you are considering reading it because of the horror element, reconsider. There isn't much there.


RATING: 1 PAW





Friday, February 24, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (100)


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.

I actually bought a few books from Amazon this week for my Kindle.  1-click struck again.  I don't think these were on sale but they weren't real expensive either.  I saw Driving Rain on someone's blog and thought it sounded like a decent urban fantasy.  I didn't know Lost Souls existed but since I love the Cainsville series, I had to pick up this novella.  An I can blame Laura over at FUONLYKNEW for pointing out The Adventures of Sherlock Bones to me.  I couldn't resist this middle grade book and need to eventually buy book two as well.



I also snagged these three for free.  Sarah and Caliban look really creepy and I couldn't resist the urban fantasy novel, Dark Siren.



And alas, Netgalley struck again. Or should I say I struck Netgalley again???Redder Than Blood just sounds awesome and the cover of Keep in a Cold Dark Place reminded me of Gremlins.  At least The Blackbird Season doesn't come out until September which was a deciding factor when I grabbed it.


So what did you add this week and did you grab any of these as well?  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weekly Reads (02/24/17)


I'm so glad to say it's been a much better week (and slightly afraid I just jinxed myself).  Mr. Barb started his new job and it's going well.  Booker T continues to heal and is back to his old self, Cass gets his stitches out Monday and my anxiety level isn't quite was it was.  I managed to get a couple of books read this week and we've watched A LOT of movies.  Plus the weather has been unseasonably warm which makes me think it's spring even though I know it's not.

So on to the movies.  We watched 2 straight to DVD (stream) horror movies.  One really good and one not so good.  The not so good one was "XX."  It's an anthology type movie with 4 shorter stories which showcases female directors.  One was "The Box" by Jack Ketchum and it was OK but the other 3 were kind of off the wall and crazy.  Especially the one with the dead dad at his kid's birthday party hid inside the panda suit.  The next one was "Don't Knock Twice" and I loved it.  It stars Katie Sackhoff (of Longmire) and is about a witch legend.  It's really good and I do recommend it.  Finally, we watched "Hacksaw Ridge."  I don't really care for war movies but Mr. Barb has been looking forward to seeing it.  I really did enjoy it but be warned, I think it's the bloodiest war movie I've ever seen.

So this weekend, beside visiting Grandpa and hanging with the pups, I hope to get some reading done.  Here's what's up next and hopefully I will get at least 2 of these done before the month is out.


Oh, and I forgot to mention. One of my favorite series started back up this week - Bates Motel.  I haven't watched the first episode yet but I have it recorded and plan to get to it this weekend.  I'm sad it's the last season but I look forward to it going out with a bang!

So do you have any reading plans this week?  Any good movies to recommend?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Two Bloggers One Book - Death By Chocolate Lab


Stormi and I had been doing a Tag Team Review feature in 2016 and we decided to revamp it and rename it for 2017.  We hadn't had the best of luck with our last read so I put it in Stormi's hands to pick something we thought we both might enjoy and she managed to rock it.  So please enjoy my review below and then head over to Stormi's to see what she thought about the book as well.  Also, a big thanks to Michelle from Because Reading is Better Than Real Life for the awesome graphic.

TITLE: Death by Chocolate Lab (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #1)
AUTHOR: Bethany Blake
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: February 28, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?


MY THOUGHTS:  I knew I had to request this book when I saw it on Netgalley because my Canine ADHD kicked in after seeing the basset hound on the cover. I'm glad I did because I found "Death by Chocolate Lab" to be a quick-paced cozy mystery and a strong start to a new series. Daphne is a pet sitter and since she has a Ph.D in philosophy, she doesn't quite see things as many around her would. She lives with her sister and kind of strikes me as a jack of all trades because although she pet sits, I don't think her life has a whole lot of focus. When her sister's ex Steve turns up dead and her sister Piper is the prime suspect, Daphne takes it upon herself to solve the mystery because she doesn't have faith that the new hot police detective in town, Detective Black, is looking in the right places.

I liked a lot of the characters in this book as well as the setting, and I believe both are crucial for a good cozy mystery. I found Daphne to be somewhat annoying at times because she is super presumptuous and makes a lot of hasty decisions and has to be bailed out tons. However, she grew on me at the book progressed and she didn't interfere with my overall reading enjoyment. I wasn't able to solve the mystery right away and there is a bunch of zany characters which I'm sure will make the future installments that much more fun to read.

Now a word about the dogs. Daphne basically ends up collecting strays and fostering homeless pets throughout the book. Her basset Socrates is a permanent fixture, and she spends the whole book trying to find someone to adopt Archie, a misshapened Chihuahua. At one point, she is also caring for 3 Rottweilers as well as the Chocolate Lab mentioned in the title. Socrates is quite an aloof animal and his name definitely fits him. He doesn't get shaken up or excited about too many things and he is a nice juxtaposition for Daphne.

I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to future installments. If you like animals in your cozy mystery series, than don't pass this one up.

I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.


RATING: 4 PAWS

 


BOOKER T's THOUGHTS:  Can I trade Cassius for Archie?  Just saying.  Mom seemed to really like this tiny little creature and don't tell Cass but I've been secretly looking for a replacement.  Oops, Mom just told me that was mean!  I take it back....sort of.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (95) - The Pre-Order Edition


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.

This week I am featuring two pre-orders (one physical and one for my Kindle).  I rarely pre-order so these are pretty special circumstances.

FROM GOODREADS: At the one-year anniversary of his death, legendary musician Prince's first wife shares a uniquely intimate, candid, and revelatory look inside the personal and professional life of one of the world's most beloved icons.

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince's life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince--both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist--than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince's music lives on with generations to come.


WHY I CAN'T WAIT: First of all, it's Prince and I must add this physical copy to my growing collection.  Secondly, I always thought this was one of the most beautiful (not intended) relationships and now I'm a tad worried that Mayte is coming out with this book on the anniversary of his death.  He would have never allowed it  to be released if he were alive so I'm either going to love it, or hate it AND her for capitalizing in such a tragedy.

FROM GOODREADS: Pit Bulls are Sweet . . . and that's no mystery!

Shifter Lily Mason and her pit bull Smooshie are once again on the trail of a murderer and this time close to home!

The Money Pit, Book 2 of the Barkside of the Moon Mysteries from USA Today bestselling paranormal cozy mystery author Renee George, is a gripping murder mystery that keeps you guessing from beginning to end!
Cougar-shifter Lily Mason is trying hard to live as a human in Moonrise, Missouri. But renting a garage apartment from Parker Knowles, her boss at the Pit Bull Rescue Shelter, is making it difficult to keep her secret, especially with the upcoming full moon just weeks away. Desperate to get into her own place, Lily immediately makes an offer on a “fixer-upper” with a checkered past and begins work on getting the place ready for her and her dog Smooshie.

Smooshie proves primed for demolition when she scratches a hole in a wall and yanks out a human bone. The investigation brings Lily unwanted attention from the local police chief who has an ax to grind and a murderer desperate to keep the past in the past.

With the full moon just around the corner, the police breathing down her neck, and a murderer on her heels, Lily needs Smooshie and Parker more than ever if she wants to keep her secret and prevent another killing!

This paranormal cozy mystery contains cougar-shifters, shifters, lovable pit bulls, and supernatural beings.


WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I read "Pit Perfect" at the end of last year and I can't wait for more Smooshy in my life.  I'm sure this will be as cute of a read as the last!

So what can't you wait for this week???