Wednesday, February 28, 2018

They Call It Puppy Love Wrap Up


So I guess it's a wrap.  I hope everyone had a good time participating and I really enjoyed seeing some of your reads.  I think we had everything from non-fiction to cozy mysteries to horror.  What fun!  And I think I'll be making this a yearly February challenge so make sure to save some of those puppy reads so you can join in again!

I still need to post my last review later today, but since I'm hosting and not eligible for the giveaway, I don't think it matters much.  However, here is an overview of what I accomplished:

Pawprints and Predicaments (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #3) - Bethany Blake (5/5 paws)
The Love of a Lab - Jim Dratfield (5/5 paws)
Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble (Southern Cousins Mystery #4) - Peggy Webb (3/5 paws)
The Plot is Murder (Mystery Bookshop #1) -V.M. Burns (3/5 paws)
The Doggist Puppies - Elias Weiss Friedman - (5/5 paws)

So basically all you need to do is link-up either a wrap up post, or a link to one of your reviews. Something to let Booker T, Cass and myself know you participated and actually read a book that counts.  The link-up will be live until March 7th and at the end of the day, we will randomly draw to see who is the lucky winner of the $10.00 gift certificate.



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (147)


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: San Francisco. Summer, 1947. A dame walks into a saloon . . .

It’s not every afternoon that an enigmatic, comely blonde named Stilton (like the cheese) walks into the scruffy gin joint where Sammy "Two Toes" Tiffin tends bar. It’s love at first sight, but before Sammy can make his move, an Air Force general named Remy arrives with some urgent business. ’Cause when you need something done, Sammy is the guy to go to; he’s got the connections on the street.

Meanwhile, a suspicious flying object has been spotted up the Pacific coast in Washington State near Mount Rainer, followed by a mysterious plane crash in a distant patch of desert in New Mexico that goes by the name Roswell. But the real weirdness is happening on the streets of the City by the Bay.

When one of Sammy’s schemes goes south and the Cheese mysteriously vanishes, Sammy is forced to contend with his own dark secrets—and more than a few strange goings on—if he wants to find his girl.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I have read tons of Christopher Moore and really haven't found a book of his that I didn't enjoy.  Yes, they are odd and quirky but I think they're done well.  I do love the name Stilton and want to learn more about her.  I admit that this synopsis sort of gave me "Welcome to Night Vale" vibes but I hope that isn't the case.  Either way, I'm willing to give it a chance.

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

Monday, February 26, 2018

TTT - Books I MIGHT Re-read Eventually

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing 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 actual topic is "Books I Could Re-read Forever."  Well, I RARELY re-read books, so instead, I'm sharing with you books I MIGHT re-read eventually, or in some cases, ones I've actually read more than once.






BOOKS I'VE RE-READ:

One of my all-time favorite King novels.

Do you see a theme developing here?

I've been known to read these to the pups from time to time.  In fact, when our first three boxers got sick and were close to passing, they all got special Winnie-the-Pooh tales -probably more for my comfort than theirs.

BOOKS I MIGHT RE-READ

There was such a long time between this book and its sequel, that I really need to read it again before tacking Spectacle.  It remains one of my favorite books though.

Another one of my faves and since they just cast Milo Vintimiglia as the MC in the upcoming movie, a re-read will definitely be in order.  

I actually read this in 2003 and recently learned there are more books in this series - in fact, there are 6!  I will have to re-read this one if I hope to ever continue.  I also love the movie but then John Cusack is one of my favorite actors.

It's looking like this year's King re-read will be Christine.

I remember loving this series and do hope to re-read the Wendy Ward trilogy soon.

So there you have it!  What books could you read forever???

What Adorable Pups -The Love of a Lab Review

TITLE: The Love of a Lab
AUTHOR: Jim Dratfield
PUBLISHER: Lyons Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 1, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Friendly. Loyal. Affectionate. The list of wonderful traits possessed by America's #1 dog goes on and on. Given the Lab's good looks, trainability, and devotion, is it any wonder that there are millions of happy Lab owners in the United States? In The Love of a Lab, Jim Dratfield's beautiful photographs, combined with witty, insightful, and poignant quotes, capture the many reasons people feel the way they do about these cherished companions. Like Dratfield's previous books, Pug Shots, and Day of the Dachshund, this is sure to become a classic gift book for Lab owners and dog lovers everywhere.

MY THOUGHTS: This is a wonderful "coffee table" book that I think any lover of dogs would enjoy. I grabbed this book from my local library and it has the most awesome book plate in the front which says it was donated to the library in memory of someone's beloved dog.  I just think that is the best thing and now I know what I plan to do in the future to celebrate my dogs when they pass.  Can you imagine how many people will open up this book over the year and know how much this family loved and cherished their family member?

Anyway, back to the book.  "The Love of a Lab" is a combination of photographs and quotes by various people. The quotes were very uplifting and I am always amazed at professionals who can take such endearing photos of pets and manage to capture their souls.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

" PIGLET: How do you spell love?  POOH: You don't spell it, you feel it." A.A. Milne

" No possession is gratifying without a companion." Seneca

" We are halves, but we make an infinite whole." Catherynne M. Valente


So overall I would recommend this book to any dog lover and it will be one I will be purchasing for my collection one day.

RATING: 5 PAWS



CHALLENGE: Library Love, What an Animal

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sidetracked Sunday - A Special Kind of Annoying


So for this month I am sharing the 4th installment of the Southern Cousins Series which I have slowly but surely been working my way through.  I can't lie, the main reason I still read this series is because of Elvis, the Basset, and I have to admit, I found this installment somewhat more annoying than the past ones.  Originally published in 2011, I just recently grabbed it from my library.


TITLE: Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble
AUTHOR: Peggy Webb
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 2011

FROM GOODREADS: It's two times the turmoil for mayhem magnet Callie, her curvaceous cousin Lovie, and Elvis, the King reincarnated as nothin' but a hound dog. This time they're finding a lot more than relics on an archeological dig that could truly be their ruin....Forced to choose between one man who wants to marry her and another who already did, Callie Valentine Jones can't think of a better way to check out of her personal Heartbreak Hotel then to get way, way out of town. So when Lovie invites the whole Valentine clan to visit her brainy new beau's worksite near Cozumel, Callie packs up her crooning basset hound and heads straight for the airport --- But the moment they arrive at the dig, Elvis sniffs out T-R-O-U-B-L-E, in the form of a skeleton too fresh to be part of the research and too dead to spell anything but homicide. 

Suspicious minds blame ghosts and gods, but Callie knows the guilty party is all too human --- and for once, she's determined not to get involved. That determination goes right out the window when Lovie and Elvis go missing. It's now or never, if Callie wants to save her cousin and her canine from someone who's got murder always on his mind. And when her sexy ex arrives to save the day, she'll have to keep her head together, because her love won't wait --- but neither will a killer with something deadly to hide.

MY THOUGHTS: So the Valentine clan head to Cozumel - Lovie, to see her boyfriend at his archaeological dig, Callie and her Uncle Charlie to attend a mortuary conference, and Mama and Fayrene, who knows.  And of course, we can't forget Elvis.  Look at him on that cover looking all handsome and courageous.  So early on, Lovie is kidnapped and Elvis follows her because he doesn't want her to be alone.  That leaves the rest of the crew looking for them during the remainder of the book.

This is the 4th installment of The Southern Cousins Mystery Series and I have to admit, I didn't enjoy it as much as the others.  Now basically all of these books contain some kind of annoyance.  Lovie is obsessed with having sex with her boyfriend, who is truly devoted to her but just thinks there are other things they could do.  Fayrene and Mama are pretty comical, but about half way through, I wanted to smack them - hard.  And Callie, she is so indecisive between her soon-to-be ex and her new boyfriend that I have no idea which way she's going to sway.

But then there is Elvis.  Since he is along for the kidnapped ride with Lovie, there are even more chapters told from his point of view which are absolutely precious.   Elvis is pretty much the main reason I continue with this series and yes, I will be continuing.  Just because I want more of that lovable pooch. However, hopefully the Valentine clan won't be as obnoxious once they are back on their home turf.

RATING: 3 PAWS

Friday, February 23, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (149)/Sunday Post

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. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Once again I grabbed a few books for my Kindle.  None of these were free, but two were at least under $5.00.  However, I'm making NO EXCUSES!  I've been waiting for "Pitch Dark" to release and it will be perfect for my Swords and Stars Challenge.  I've read one of the Sabina Kane novels by Jaye Wells and liked it so I jumped when I saw she had a new horror book, "High Lonesome Sound" coming out.  And let's be honest, I just couldn't resist the cover of "Moonfall."

I received "Cast a Cold Eye" and "S" in my Nocturnal Readers subscription box and "The Friend" from Page Habit Quarterly.


And lastly I got "Fiction Can Be Murder (#StormiMadeMeDoIt)," "Big Woods," and "Trail of Lightning" for review.  Thanks to the publishers and can I just say how thrilled I am to have a copy of "Trail of Lightining" in my greedy little hands!


So what did you add to your shelves this week?  I have to make a library run Saturday morning so look for that haul next week.  Have a great one everybody!

Weekly Reads (02/23/18) Some Progress - I'll Take It!


So there has been some progress on my day-to-day saga.  The safety order was finally served Wednesday afternoon.  I received news at the end of the day Thursday.  This required that I pretty well map out directions to our Walmart, advise of the supervisor that needed contact to assist in serving the party and the clerk writing these specific instructions on the order I had to get renewed Tuesday.  Now since both husband and I work in the criminal justice, I know a piece of paper isn't going to protect me if needed.  However, I also know that now law enforcement will take me more seriously when/if I need their assistance, which is primarily why I sought it from the start.  So everyone is still fine at The Farm and I look forward to a peaceful weekend.

Man, is there ever a lull on what to watch.  All my faves seem to have been put on hold because of the Olympics, and rightfully so, and there haven't been tons of movies coming out so I feel like we've been scraping the bottom of the barrel.  We did watch "Flatliners 2017" and it was just okay.  It was nice they had Keifer Sutherland in it but really, did they have to try extra hard to make him look like his dad!  Seriously, he looked like a cross between his elderly dad and his an aged version of his lost boy character.  Does anyone else see it???


So I've also been on a Pink! this week and every time I'm in my work car, I have her new CD on. I can pretty much listen to it all the way through, but right now, this is the one I have on repeat a lot.



 Finally, here are the books that are up next on my TBR pile. I'm about 30 pages into "Sandman" and need to read the last 30 pages of "Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble."  Next up will more than likely be "Pawprints and Predicaments" but I am craving horror so it might be "Snowblind."  Oh the indecision!


So how was your week and do you have anything fun planned this weekend????

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Two Bloggers One Book - The Plot Is Murder


Since Stormi was doing "Getting Cozy With a Mystery" this month and I kind of joined in, and since I hosted the "They Call It Puppy Love" challenge, it seemed quite fitting that this month's buddy read was both a cozy and featured some adorable pups.  So check out my thoughts on "The Plot Is Murder" and then head over to Stormi's @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and check out hers.

TITLE:  The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop #1)
AUTHOR: V.M. Burns
PUBLISHER: Kensington
PUBLISHING DATE: November 28, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store's owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . . 

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store's grand opening, she's also realizing another dream--penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling's charms. When one of Daphne's suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her--after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?
 

MY THOUGHTS: I picked up "The Plot is Murder" because I was craving an easy, cozy mystery read. Usually I can flu through this genre and have fun while doing so but unfortunately, that wasn't always the case with "The Plot is Murder."

Our main character, Samantha, is leaving her teaching position to start her own mystery bookstore. Within the last year she has lost her husband, sold her house, and invested her future in this brand new endeavor. Samantha is also a "closet writer" and hopes someday to publish a book of her own. Right before her new shop is to open, her fired real estate agent, Clayton Parker, ends up on her front steps.

I kind of have a love and hate with this book. I didn't mind Samantha as a MC and the mystery itself was interesting enough. I really enjoyed a lot of Burns' characters, especially Jo, Sam's grandmother and her retirement community cronies, who assist Sam in solving the mystery. In my opinion, those spunky women made the book. I also liked Sam's bond with her two miniature poodles - Oreo and Snickers. 

What I found majorly annoying was the whole book within a book premise. Sam is writing a historical fiction book and when she is tired and couldn't sleep, needed to get her mind off things, etc, the entire plot would stop and she would write her novel. I would probably read a historical mystery from Burns and I have proven I would read a cozy by her, but I did not like the whole combination thing. I know cozies rely heavily on certain elements, but this one left me worn out. 

Overall, I think I will give the next in the series a go. However, it will be the make or break book for me in this series. I just don't know if my love for many of the characters will outweigh my annoyance of the book within a book.

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

RATING: 3 PAWS


CHALLENGES: Cloak & Dagger, What an Animal

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (146)


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 misfit crew race across the galaxy to prevent the genocide of magical creatures, in this unique science fiction debut.

Having magical powers makes you less than human, a resource to be exploited. Half-unicorn Gary Cobalt is sick of slavery, captivity, and his horn being ground down to power faster-than-light travel. When he's finally free, all he wants is to run away in his ancestors' stone ship. Instead, Captain Jenny Perata steals the ship out from under him, so she can make an urgent delivery. But Jenny held him captive for a decade, and then Gary murdered her best friend... who was also the wife of her co-pilot, Cowboy Jim. What could possibly go right?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Since I signed up for the Swords and Stars Challenge this year, I've been on the lookout for some science fiction which might interest me.  I do like my unique books (aka - odd) and this fits that bill.  Also, who can resist a tagline of "FIND THE UNICORN, SAVE THE PLANET?"

What book can't you wait for this week????

Monday, February 19, 2018

TTT- Don't You Want Me Baby????

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but starting this week, they are handing 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 Books I'm No Longer Interested in Reading.  Now I'm pretty much a mood reader, so it might be possible that 6 months from now, I will change my mind on a few of these.  But hey, that's the beauty of reading for enjoyment - I can do what I want!  




Any of the remaining Anita Blake books.  I checked Goodreads and I made it through book #11.  Man, I don't recall making it that far.  But I've lost interest and honestly, this series should have probably ended years ago.

I actually featured this as a Can't Wait Wednesday book not too long ago. However, since then, I've read a review and apparently there is quite a bit of animal abuse in here.  Therefore, it's not for me and I'm glad I never bought it.

I tried reading this and just couldn't get into it.  Maybe some day I'll pick it up but for now, it's not even on my radar.

I've kind of lost interest.  But don't tell Cass - you know, birds and all.

I saw the movie and I'm okay with leaving it at that.

I'm not even sure why I have this on a wishlist.  I'm not a huge contemporary reader and nothing stands out to me when I reread the synopsis.  

Read Partials in 2012?  That was some time ago.  I don't miss it so this is another book I will probably never pick up even thought I think it's on my Kindle somewhere.

I'm one of the few who hated The 5th Wave.  There is no way I'll read this one.

Just saw the movie and while I'm sure the book is probably better (aren't they usually?) I think I'll just skip it.  While the movie was okay, I found the MC annoying.

Hated the movie and STILL bought the book when I saw it used.  What was I thinking?

So, can you convince me to give any of these books a go?  The Ritual might come the closest just because I love horror and have heard good things about the author.  And don't even TRY to convince me to give The 5th Wave another chance!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February Blog All About It - Red


Blog All About It is a challenge being hosted by Anna@Herding Cats and Burning Soup.  Each month we are given a prompt and have free reign regarding what we chose to blog about pertaining to that prompt. February's prompt is........................


So for most of my life, the color red has played a prominent role. Now this was never really planned and I have to admit, red isn't even my favorite color but for some reason, it's always been around.

For 12 years, my school mascot was a red devil.  Now I always thought it was kind of redundant to be called the RED Devils because aren't devils supposed to be red.  However, a neighboring town was called the Blue Devils so I guess clarification was needed.  
Growing up I was always obsessed with painting my nails.  And I remember for some reason my Dad HATED red nail polish.  He said it "sent the wrong message." So yep, you guessed it, every chance I got I was buying various red nail polishes.

Then when I got older and met the man of my dreams - aka Mr. Barb, we decided to have a small wedding yet still needed some kind of color scheme.  I was never into pastels and what I then called "girly-colors" so we ended up with a red, black and white theme - for no real reason at all.  An no, this isn't my ring, but I do love it and would love to have one some day.


After getting married, we soon needed some newer transportation and our first new car together, which was used, was a little red Sundance.  I LOVED that car.


And then a several years later, our first NEW car together was a red Sunfire.  I loved that car even more but sadly we had to get rid of it after 13 glorious years.  It was replaced by a "dog friendly" Kia Sportage which believe it or not, IS NOT red.


And those who are aware of my current neighbor situation, knows that the past few weeks, I've been "seeing red" quite a bit.  


So there you have it, the history of my unintentional love affair with the color red!