Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (189)

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:  A dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge and plenty of drama, layering the secrets we keep and how appearances can deceive, from the New York Times bestselling author.

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She'll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won't be exciting, but she'll cope, right?  Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don't talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried...

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I'm going to be honest and admit I almost skipped this one because of "...romantic YA..." but the rest of the synopsis was just too good to pass up and it doesn't scream of too much romance. Plus I've had great luck with this author.


Monday, December 17, 2018

TTT - My Winter TBR

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 our Winter TBR.  I do TBRs each month so I'm sharing with you some books I hope to get to in January and February but as always, they are subject to change.

So even though I haven't announced it yet, Stormi and I are doing a year-long buddy read of the Kate Daniels series (there you go - announcement), so we plan on kicking it off in January.  Also, "And the Ocean Was Our Sky" is a library book due back sometime in January so I must get to it.

So this may seem more like a "What are Stormi and I buddy reading?" but what can I say, we are planning ahead.  These will definitely be getting read in February.

I promise, "If We Were Villains" is the last of the Barb and Stormi show - at least until we figure out what we want to read for March.  "Black Wings" is an upcoming title for Flame Tree Press and I can't wait to dive into it.

"The Familiars" and "Miraculum" should both fit any fantasy mood I might be in this winter.

So I've asked for "The Passage" for Christmas so if it's under the tree, I want to start it in early January before the TV series starts.  "Kill the Farm Boy" is a recent library grab so I better make time for it too.

So what is on your Winter TBR?  Bet my wishlist grows with this post!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - For Murder!

TITLE: Fatal Festival Days (A Dog Days Mystery #3)
AUTHOR: Jamie M. Blair
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: November 8, 2018 

FROM GOODREADS: Planning activities for the Winter Festival in Metamora, Indiana, is hard work for Cameron Cripps-Hayman. Not only is she organizing dog sledding, ice sculpting, and downhill skiing events, but she's also dealing with angry protesters and a missing mascot. The last thing she needs is another mystery to solve. And yet, that's what she gets.

After a greedy landowner is found dead on top of a ski hill, Cameron scrambles to keep the reindeer games running. Then the festival's former-Olympian host is also found dead. Cameron gets the Metamora Action Agency together to investigate, but proving the victims were both murdered--and catching the killer--will take a miracle on ice.

MY THOUGHTS:  December was the perfect time to pick up the latest installment of the Dog Days Mysteries because this time, the murders take place during the Winter Festival.  That's right, murders is plural because this time not just one, but two people wind up dead and unfortunately, Cam takes it upon herself to figure out what is going on.  And on top of that, the town mascot, Metamora Mike (a duck) is missing.  Is he the latest victim?

I had so much fun visiting Metamora and all of the familiar characters as well.  Anyone who likes zany individuals would surely appreciate some of the attitudes of Cam's Action Agency which range from geeky teenagers to an elderly crumudgeon to a knitter with a tendency to steal yarn.  In addition to that, Cam's house is still full of dogs and she is STILL trying to find the perfect names for the two dog brothers she adopted in the last book.  

Finally the mystery was fun and kept me guessing up until the end.  It was fun to see the town pull together to save their Festival Days and it once again made me crave some small town life.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post 12-15-18

So I have a slightly bigger haul this week but still not too bad. I did get a few physical arcs but I'll hold off until next week (primarily because I don't have pics yet and I'm feeling lazy).  I did have to run to the library and I kid you not, the minute I returned I got an email notification that the other book I had reserved was in!  Oh well, I have 7 days to pick it up.

So I picked up "Seven Days of Us."  I've been seeing it around this holiday season and from what I understand it centers around family dysfunction and the holidays.  One of my favorite movies of all time is "The Family Stone" which sort of has that vibe going on so I was anxious to give it a try.  Plus, for some reason I enjoy reading about families that are more dysfunctional than mine.

And from Netgalley I received a few books for review.  I've had good luck with Jennifer McMahon books and "The Invited" a ghost story so I think it will be good. "For a Good Paws" is the 5th in a cozy series I really like from Midnight Ink so requesting it was a no-brainer.  And finally how cute does "A Dog Called Jack" look?  

So there you have it - ghosts, crazy relatives and cute dogs.  What did you add to your shelves this week???

Weekly Reads (12/14/18)

So the boozy cupcakes were a success.  I didn't take a picture because by the time I made them, and then made homemade icing, which I've never done before, I was done.  Then Mr. Barb liked them so much he wanted another batch to take to work the following day.  Oh well, at least they were good huh?  If anyone wants the recipe, look up Betty Crocker boozy cupcakes or HERE.  

I ended up having to go to a training for work this week as well which meant 1 hour 45 minutes driving each way and a 4 1/2 hour meeting.  It's just been one of those weeks.  And to top it off Saturday, for my Gpa's Christmas gift, I'm taking him 2 hours away to see his sister.  AND I think it's supposed to rain all day.  The things we do for those we love huh?

So I totally forgot to mention some movies we've watched lately.  We've watched "The Equalizer 2" which I liked a lot.  I do think the first one was better but this was a strong sequel.  We also watched "The Nun" and let me just say, it was kind of terrifying in places.  Now I will also admit I think the Nun actually reminds me of Marilyn Manson.  Look at the visual (plus I never imagined I'd ever have a reason to put Marilyn Manson on my blog!)  Also, I don't know what would be scarier, having the Nun chase you or having Marilyn Manson chase you.  What do you think?  Finally we watched "The Predator"" and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would.  I'd recommend all three of these is you like action and horror.

I have almost finished another Christmas book and since this IS a book blog, I better show you what I want to read this coming week.

So how was your week?  Are you ready for the holidays and what good books are you planning on reading?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (188)

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: Caitlin of House Sans Merci is the young half-human pilot of a sentient mechanical dragon. Returning from her first soul-stealing raid, she discovers an unwanted hitchhiker.

When Caitlin is framed for the murder of her brother, to save herself she must disappear into Industrialized Faerie, looking for the one person who can clear her.

Unfortunately, the stakes are higher than she knows. Her deeds will change her world forever.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I'm going to be honest, I don't know if I really want to read this or if I'm just in love with the cover.  I mean, LOOK AT IT!  And yes, I'm yelling.  If anyone has read this author, let me know all the reasons I should definitely give this one a go!


Monday, December 10, 2018

TTT - Worst Books of 2018

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 is a freebie topic and the ones that immediately came to mind are actually being featured soon so I am sharing some of my worst reads of 2018.  

Let me add that this is just my opinion.  I know lots of people who have loved these books so you know, different strokes for different folks.  I do not mean to offend. And because I'm pretty selective with what I even add to the TBR, I'm only featuring 5.

Okay, this one has to be a surprise to NO ONE!

I still love the cover but this one didn't work for me at all.

While not a favorite, it definitely is one of the weirdest books I've read.

I know I'm in the minority with this choice.

I KNOW to stay away from hyped books!

So there you have it, 5 books that just didn't work for me.  So I know plenty of people will disagree with me here, but who feels the same???

Well At Least There's Some Nostalgia...

TITLE: Unmemory
AUTHOR: Krista DeMeester
PUBLISHER: Tallhat Press

FROM GOODREADS: An original, 9,000-word short story by Kristi DeMeester, with 10 illustrations by Yves Tourigny. A university student attempts to track down the briefly-glimpsed Christmas film which traumatized her as a child.

MY THOUGHTS: So this is a "chapbook" that was included in the Night Worms Horror Subscription box, Christmas edition which I bought as a treat for surviving the fiasco of "the horror box which shall not be named."  While I loved that it featured Christmas, horror and cool illustrations, I think I'd have a hard time spending $15.00 on it so I'm glad it was included with some other. For real, it took me 1/2 hour to read and that was also while I was watching the Steelers self destruct or it might have went faster.  And while I love short story collections, it's odd because short stories don't really work for me.  I need more information people!  

But anyway, enough ranting.  When Ashleigh was a young child, she sneaked down into a neighbor's basement and saw a horrifying scene on the TV of an evil Santa sticking a blond kid in his sack and the kid crying for his mom.  Not having much exposure due to her bible-thumping mother, this scene haunts Ashleigh for years to come.  Fast forward to her college days and now Ashleigh wants to do a paper on this movie, but she doesn't know its name.  Her quest to find it leads to some quick sex with her professor (really?), an encounter with an odd woman and a videotape (see nostalgia).  

This story was fine and the woman with the tape VERY weird.  The ending was decent but other than that, I don't know what to say.  Oh, the artwork was great!  I have heard some wonderful things about DeMeester and own another one of her books.  I do want to read more from her because I know she is raved about as a wonderful woman horror writer.  However, I could take of leave "Unmemory." 


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Books to Bark and Crow About (Dec. 2018)

We're back!  It's us, Booker T and Cass and since Christmas seems to be all about giving and getting gifts, we've decided to gift you with our presents (we know Mom, it's PRESENCE).  It's been a while since we've shared some books with you but Mom made us a cool new graphic and we wanted to show it off.  So we've each pick 2 books which are coming out soon featuring fellow 4-legged friends.  Hope you enjoy!



This is the start of a new mystery series featuring a woman who trains cadaver dogs and her pup Luther.  What a cool job.  Hey Mom, can I be a cadaver dog??????  It releases in May 2019


As you can tell, I'm exploring career options and if I was Mayor, Mom wouldn't have to be concerned about that stupid vicious dog law they're STILL trying to pass.  This tale is all about a Border Collie named Shep who wins a town's mayoral race by a landslide.  You can grab this one in February 2019 and I'm sure Mom will be reading it then as well



I think this is a cute pick for people who like cozy mysteries with a hint of supernatural.  Of course the main reason I picked it is because there's a cute sidekick named Wiggles.   I think he kind of looks like the dog down the street.  And as a bonus, this one is out NOW!


So this is a non-fiction pick which Mom explained to me is another word for real life.  It's a story about a Marine, an extraordinary dog and a road trip.  People always seem to enjoy tales about military and dogs and rightfully so, both do so much awesome stuff for us.  This doesn't come out until May 2018 though.

So there you have it folks.  Hope everyone finds something they like.  And we both want to wish you the happiest and safest of holidays this year!  Hey Mom, how about Santa and his Elf?  Sounds like good jobs for us (Cass, you can be the elf).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post 12-08-18

So this week is pretty much a small haul but man, am I ever excited for these three books.  First up is "The Nursery" which I just discovered is #3 in the Bayou Hauntings series.  However, it seems like each one is about a different bayou location so I think I can go ahead and read this.  Next up is "Hollow Kingdom" and you might remember that I recently gushed about this one on a Can't Wait Wednesday feature.  And finally is "A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World."  Can I just say HAPPY DANCE!

So there you have it - short and sweet.  What did you add to your shelves this week?

Weekly Reads (12/07/18) - With Kitchen Pics

So I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  This might be a long one so make sure you have a favorite beverage of choice.  Things here at The Farm have been good.  Last Sunday I got all the Christmas decorations up except our tree which won't go up until the 16th.  The house is looking pretty festive.  I also got my truck back so things seem more normal. 

So Mr. Barb's birthday is Sunday so I'm planning to make Boozy cupcakes.  I also make him cupcakes and when I asked what kind he wanted, he joked and said "bourbon ones."  Well, I actually found a recipe so he's getting Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Vanilla Vodka icing.  Wish me luck because it might be scary. 

So the kitchen remodel is basically done.  Before I show you the pics, let me just explain that we live in kind of a low-end historical district.  If we both had 6-figure salaries, then it would look awesome. As it is, we don't so I've worked hard to make our 118 year old house look cozy - not extremely elegant.  Mr. and the neighbor basically did the flooring and a new ceiling for an anniversary gift (and jacked the floor up) because people, it's 118 years old :)  I really love it.  I did all the painting, including the cabinets and let's just say, there's A LOT to paint in a kitchen.  Remind me some day to tell you about our haunting and the bones in the wall!

I've accented the kitchen with llamas.  Don't ask why because they basically just popped in my head.  Thank heavens for Etsy.  I still have one more print to frame and one more I'm thinking of ordering.

So on to the reading.  I'm hoping to finish "Fatal Festival Days" tonight and start something new tomorrow.  Look one post back if you want to see my December TBR and what I'm basically choosing from this month.

Also, I've been listening to one of favorite Christmas albums of all week - A Barenaked Holiday by Barenaked Ladies.  Seriously guys, check it out. The best song is "Elf's Lament."

 So hope you all have a great one and what new books are you reading?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December Contenders

So what's Christmas without dogs and horror?  Strange question you ask?  Well not in my household.  So this month has a wide variety of reads.  I've actually already read "The Beast's Heart" and even have my review up.  And I'm also about 70% done with "Fatal Festival Days" so even though by the time you're reading this, it's the 7th, I'm really not THAT far behind.  At the bottom you will also find the books I lined up for my 12 Books of Christmas Challenge I mentioned earlier this week.

12 Books of Christmas Challenge

So can you recommend any of these?  What is on your agenda this busy month of December?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Truly Forgettable Read (For Me At Least)

TITLE: Broken Things
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
PUBLISHING DATE: October 2, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. 

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it. 

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.

MY THOUGHTS:  So this was pretty much the first book I read in November and I figured I better review it before I forget altogether.  And believe me, that wouldn't be a hard thing.  So five years ago Summer was murdered. Although justice was never served, everyone believes her best friends killed her.  And to be honest, at times I think the best friends believed one or more of them did it as well.  All three girls were obsessed with a book called "The Way to Lovelorn" and patterned their every move worshiping the book, the author and even wrote a sequel for themselves.  This obsession caused reality to blur into fantasy so it's no wonder no one ever found out what happened to Summer.  Or maybe it's because everyone is incompetent. So this book resolves the murder in a long drawn out fashion. 

So here's the thing.  I despised these characters - even Summer.  I really couldn't feel sorry that she was dead because she was such a horrible teen.  I pretty much only finished the book so I could learn who actually killed her because I wanted to thank them.  The book is told in dual POVs of Mia and Brynn in alternate time frames.  At first it was really kind of too much.  I did manage to get into the rhythm  and while I usually love both formats, I discovered I'm not much of a fan of both at the same time.  

The only redeeming thing about the book was Mia's best friend and Brynn's male cousin.  I found them to be refreshing and likable even if there was a lot of fat shaming about the friend.  I would have rather had a book about them.

I read "Rooms" by Oliver in the past and liked it a lot but know that like this book, it also got very mixed reviews.  I think Oliver books will just continue to be hit or miss for me so the synopsis will have to be pretty good to get me to pick up another.