Friday, March 30, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (154)/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

So first up are two physical copies which arrived via Amazon this week.  I don't think either will be much of a surprise.  I had to have "Tomorrow" and although I'm not sure when I'll get to it, I can't wait.  Also, a new Prince book.  This is an self published book and talks about the author's visit to Minnesota on the 1-year Anniversary of Prince's death.  It may not be that great, but I figured it was a different perspective but worth a chance.  


And also, I was super thrilled to get a few books from the publishers and Netgalley.  The "Taste of Wrath" is the last Sin du Jour book which is bittersweet but I can't wait to see how it all wraps up.  I've also been really anticipating "The Atrocities" but it's shorter than I expected - even for a novella.  And finally, I've been seeing "The Favorite Sister" everywhere so I'm curious to see what it's all about. 


So what books did you add to your shelves this week???

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Weekly Read (03/30/18)


So I hope everyone that celebrates, no matter how, has a Happy Easter this weekend.  I actually get off for Good Friday so hopefully as you are reading this I am enjoying some "chill" time.  I did do some Easter shopping for the pups so they will have some fun Sunday but don't worry, no live bunnies or chicks.

So I watched quite a bit of "Santa Clarita Diet" this week which was kind of hard.  Mr. Barb doesn't like it and I hate to "lock" myself upstairs to watch it so I would catch episodes while he was cooking, on the computer or at the gym when I had time.  I have 2 more to watch and I know I'm going to miss it once it's over.  We also watched "The Last Jedi."  I liked it and I know there are HARD CORE Star Wars fans out there so please don't be offended when I say that part of the time I watch, I'm kind of lost.  However, I did enjoy it.  

So I hope to get some cleaning done this weekend as well as a visit to Gpa who is a tad under the weather.  I need to clean out my closet and switch out winter/spring stuff and toss some things.  I'm sure I can encourage the pups to help me on that one.  On a different note, look at the ring Mr. Barb got me - I love turquoise and think it's super cute.



So I started "The Wolves of Winter" and am enjoying it so far even though I'm not that far in yet.  I also need to finish "Revival" before it's due back to Hoopla.  The last book I'd like to get to this week in a new one so here's a sneak peak at tomorrow's haul.  I can't wait to see what happens in the final Sin du Jour book even reading it will be bittersweet.  Looks like I have some great reading ahead.



So how was your week and what are you reading and watching?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Two Bloggers One Book - The Hunger


Since Stormi and I both love horror and we both were craving some, reading "The Hunger" as our feature pick for the month of March was a given.  However, I think we both wish we had picked something else.  So enjoy my thoughts below and after you are finished, hop on over to  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see what Stormi thought.

TITLE: The Hunger
AUTHOR: Alma Katsu
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons
PUBLISHING DATE: March 6, 2018

FROM GOODREADS: Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. 

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone--or something--is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck--the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions--searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand--evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves "What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased...and very hungry?"
 

MY THOUGHTS:  So I'll start by saying that a lot of my favorite bloggers loved "The Hunger" and I'm so glad they did.  I also think I kind of set myself up for disappointment with this one because I wanted it to be horrific and terrifying and as the terror was more subtle and atmospheric (which I usually like) I felt a let-down.  Also, I've seen "The Hunger" described as a "slow burn" type of novel but for me, it was more like "smoldering."  

So basically this is a tale about the infamous Donner party.  However, there's a twist and instead of just facing insurmountable obstacles related to travel, the time of year and terrain, they also face a supernatural entity.  Now I probably couldn't spoil this book if I tried because I'm still not sure I figured out what the "being" was - in fact, upon finishing, I dubbed it the vamp-shifter-wendigo-zombie-witch-thing.  

I also don't think I really connected with any of the characters, which is something I have discovered is important for me when reading a book.  I don't necessarily have to like them, but I have to feel something, and I just didn't in "The Hunger."  I did have two I liked more than the rest, and one I despised and I'll give Katsu credit for making me feel badly for the one I hated in the end.  However, to be honest, in the end I just wanted it to end.

So as I said, I'm sure lots of people will be and are enjoying this book.  I did like Katsu's writing and plan to check out more books by this author.  However, I think if you don't set your expectations high and are okay with slow-paced novels (and I mean SLOW - like wagon train slow), then give "The Hunger" a chance.

RATING: 2 PAWS




Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (151)


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:  When Ichabod Crane arrives in the spooky little village of Sleepy Hollow as the new schoolmaster, Katrina Van Tassel is instantly drawn to him. Through their shared love of books and music, they form a friendship that quickly develops into romance. Ichabod knows that as an itinerant schoolteacher of little social standing, he has nothing to offer the wealthy Katrina - unlike her childhood friend-turned-enemy, Brom Van Brunt, who is the suitor Katrina's father favors.

But when romance gives way to passion, Ichabod and Katrina embark on a secret love affair, sneaking away into the woods after dark to be together - all while praying they do not catch sight of Sleepy Hollow's legendary Headless Horseman. That is, until All Hallows's Eve, when Ichabod suddenly disappears, leaving Katrina alone and in a perilous position.

Enlisting the help of her friend - and rumored witch - Charlotte Jansen, Katrina seeks the truth of Ichabod Crane's disappearance, investigating the forest around Sleepy Hollow using unconventional - often magical - means. What they find forces Katrina to question everything she once knew, and to wonder if the Headless Horseman is perhaps more than just a story after all. In Alyssa Palombo's The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel nothing is as it seems, and love is a thing even death won't erase. 

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I just discovered this one this week and basically I can sum up why I can't wait in two words...SLEEPY HOLLOW!

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

Monday, March 26, 2018

TTT - My Favorite Books That Take Place In Another Country

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 I am sharing some of my favorite books which take place in another country. 








Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne.  The "silly ole' bear" hails  from England.

A Hundred Piece of Me - Lucy Dillon.  Another England book.

Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor.  A wonderful MG book set in Nigeria.

The Prey of Gods - Nicky Draden.  I loved this science fiction tale set in South Africa.  

A Treacherous Curse - Deanna Raybourn.  I love the whole Veronica Speedwell series (they've all gotten 5/5 from me) which takes place in London, England.

A Study in Scarlet Women - Sherry Thomas.  Another wonderful take set in London.

Christmas at the Dog & Duck - Jill Steeples.  I loved this book and really need to continue on with the series.  It takes place in....yep, you guessed it, LONDON!

Certain Dark Things - Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  Mexico City and I loved every minute of it!

The Skeletons of Scarborough House - Kitty French.  Another England books.  This cozy was so wacky and cute that I simply must continue on with it.  I love that little pug Lestat!

Into the Dim - Janet B Taylor.  Scotland

So basically I confirmed my suspicions.  If a book I've read isn't set in the US or some supernatural place, then it's likely that it probably takes place in England.  I was just glad I was able to find a few other locations so this list wasn't so one-dimensional.  

I can't wait to see your lists so I can be like "Yea, why didn't I include that one."  Anything to make me thing most of my books don't take place in England.

Jinxed Blog Tour


Jinxed
Thommy Hutson
Publication date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
High School Can Be a Real Killer
Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack

Innocent childhood superstitions …
But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.
Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.
Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?

MY THOUGHTS:  Once again this month I ended up grabbing with a school setting, except this time it is a privileged Academy of Performing Arts.  There seems to be quite a few fans of school settings, boarding and otherwise, out  there and I think "Jinxed" is a book many would enjoy. 

When reading this book I was reminded of some of the more well-known 90's slasher films such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer" where someone is racing against time to solve a murder mystery before they themselves fall victim.  In this case, it's Layna.  While I didn't find Layna particularly likable, I did feel invested in what happened to her so the book was still enjoyable.  In addition, the incorporation of superstitions and tying them into the deaths added some extra flair.

"Jinxed" is a fun and quick read and I will be looking forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.

RATING: 3 PAWS



Author Bio:
Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!
His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY, MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th.
He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.
Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.
He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.
Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.
As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon & Schuster reached number one in Amazon.com’s Movie History & Criticism category. He also has a deal with Vesuvian Media to write a YA thriller trilogy with the first book due out spring 2017.
He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”
Most recently, Thommy wrote the screenplay for CineTel Films’ supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE. He is also directing, writing and producing a documentary with Clive Barker’s Seraphim Films in addition to developing other film and television properties with the company.
As an author, he is currently writing another book that definitively details the history, making and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.
A member of the Producers Guild of America, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

March Blog All About It - Favorite Scent


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........................

FAVORITE SCENT

So I know my choice this month may not be well received by all, but I know there are a few of you out there that will totally understand it.  My favorite scents is PUPPY BREATH.


Puppy breath is when the pups' breath has that sweet mother's milk smell because their mouths are clean and they haven't yet developed any bacteria or plaque, which typically causes odors.   I associate puppy breath with bringing home a new life, a bundle of happiness, joy, ups and downs that looks at you with total love in it's eyes and is ready to conquer each day learning something new.  The puppy breath stage doesn't last long so you have to enjoy it while it lasts.  

Mr. Barb and I have been blessed to experience this phenomenon 5 wonderful times - once with each of our dogs.  Cicero, Barkley, Cooper, Booker T and Cassius.  They all brought joy to us on the day they came to their new home and when I close my eyes real tight, I can still imagine holding them in my arms and smelling that sweet smell. 

Apparently they even make puppy breath candles and I discovered several, especially on Etsy.  I think I may have to try this one out:


And here's a link if you are interested as well. 

So let's be honest, who else loves this smell?  Go ahead, admit it.  And for those I grossed out, I'm tempted to apologize but it is a topic about MY favorite smell so I don't think apologies are needed.


And as an added bonus, our third dog, Cooper, was born on this date.  Happy Birthday Cooper.  Hope you're having lots of cake and ice cream up in Heaven!



Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sidetracked Sunday #3 - A Long Overdue Horror Read


So up this month is a horror book I've wanted to read for years.  So a few weeks ago, I located it at my local library and took it home.  Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  I've not heard a lot about it but know quite a few people who have mentioned they would like to read it.  All I can say is YES!  Do it!


TITLE: Snowblind
AUTHOR: Christopher Golden
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUBLISHING DATE: January 21, 2014

FROM GOODREADS: The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as-tonight-another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.


As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

MY THOUGHTS: So the book starts out with an incident that happened 12 years ago in Coventry where quite a few people died.  It occurred during a horrific snowstorm and the town never quite recovered.  Now every time there is a blizzard in the air everyone becomes tense.  When the story picks up 12 years later, the readers follows the lives of a few key characters.  Once again a blizzard is one its way, but this time strange things begin happening. A young boy is almost killed in an accident and wakes up very differently from before, a couple's preteen daughter suddenly starts acting much older than she is - like 50 years older, and an ex-girlfriend shows up wanting to rekindle a romance yet acts more like the man's dead wife than a past flame.

I need to say that Golden does a wonderful job creating a unique character - the snowstorm  itself.  If you love thrillers and horror novels with winter settings, look no further. The chilling weather made the chilling atmosphere much scarier and more unsettling.  I could almost hear the wind howling and the temperatures falling while curled up on my couch reading this.  I devoured this book quite quickly and had to learn more about the entities hiding within the storm.  I connected to many of the characters, even the thief, and rooted them on to safety.  I also felt the loss of those that weren't so lucky.

I'm glad I finally picked up "Snowblind" and it was just the horror read I needed this month.  It has gone to show me that I'm really glad I made the decision to pick up some older titles this year and maybe I can convince some of you to give this one a read too!

RATING:  5 Paws


Friday, March 23, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (153)

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

First up I'd like to share 3 books I grabbed from Amazon.  "Widow's Point" was only  $1.99 and I have been eyeing it because I loved Chizmar's work with King on "Gwendy's Button Box."  I was able to grab "Witch Hunter" for free and since it was already on my wishlist, that was an awesome find.  Finally I saw "The Universes Inside the Lighthouse" and it sounded fun and a tad strange so since it was free, I grabbed it too.


I also received a few books from Penguin's First to Read program the past few weeks and have never mentioned them.  I fell in love with the cover of "Gun Love" and was curious about "The New Neighbors."  I've been seeing "Undead Girl Gang" around and couldn't resist and I love Karen White's last book so I grabbed "Dreams of Falling."

  

So what books did you add to your shelves this week????

April Spring Into Horror Reading Challenge!


So I've decided to take part in this mini readathon which runs the whole month of April.  Hey, any opportunity to read more horror is alright with me.  This challenge is hosted by Seasons of Reading and all the details can be found HERE.  Basically you only have to read one book which can be horror, mystery or Gothic which is I should be able to do with my eyes shut.  Here are a few I'm looking eyeing:


So head on over to the link if you are interested.  This sounds like a fun one.  And thanks to Christina @ Ruff Day Reviews for pointing it out to me!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Weekly Reads (03/23/18) - The One Where I'm Tired



So as I mentioned before I had 2 days of training this week which involved about 3 hours on the road each day.  The training itself wasn't too bad and we even got out early on Thursday which was great, but we were under a winter weather advisory the first day and even though we didn't get anywhere near what they projected, it still made driving intense at times and I think it took it's toll on me. However, it's always a pleasure to come home to Mr. Barb and those two adorable puppy faces so in the end, all is good even though I am a tad tired.  

We ended up watching a few movies over the weekend.  First up was "Roman J. Isreal, Esq." with Denzel Washington and it was decent.  A little known fact about me is that I was actually accepted to two different law schools before choosing a different path so and I used to be obsessed with CourtTV and John Grisham books.  Scary huh?  Then we watched "Insidious 4: The Last Key."  I really enjoy this franchise and love Lin Shaye.  I think she's such a beautiful and spunky lady.  


So I kind of hit a read slump the past two weeks.  The only thing that saved me were some of the smaller things I read like graphic novels and starting a novella.  My review for said slumpy book will be up Thursday but let's just say I found 2018's "Little Heaven" and I'm sure this book will be making Top Ten Tuesday lists for several months to come!

So anyway I'm excited to read some new things this weekend and think it's just what I need.  Here's what's up next on the stack.


So how was your week and what do you have planned for the next one????

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday (150)


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: Fasten your seatbelts for an anthology of turbulent tales curated by Stephen King and Bev Vincent. This exciting new anthology, perfect for airport or airplane reading, includes an original introduction and story notes for each story by Stephen King, along with brand new stories from Stephen King and Joe Hill.

About the Book:
Stephen King hates to fly.

Now he and co-editor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you.

Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you're suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube (like—gulp!—a coffin) with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we'll bet you've never thought of before... but now you will the next time you walk down the jetway and place your fate in the hands of a total stranger.

Featuring brand new stories by Joe Hill and Stephen King, as well as fourteen classic tales and one poem from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Dan Simmons, and many others, Flight or Fright is, as King says, "ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents... Even if you are safe on the ground, you might want to buckle up nice and tight."

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I got an email from Cemetery Dance a week or so ago advertising this book.  I'm usually not big on limited editions or mega-expensive books but when I saw King's name, and then looked at some of the authors, I had to preorder it.  Now I just have to wait - and the wait is real!!!

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

Monday, March 19, 2018

TTT - Books on my Spring TBR

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. 

I feel like I am all the time doing TBRs - either on the blog, in my head or in my planner.  So today, I'm just going to focus on 10 new releases this spring I know I wanna read.  






Unbury Carol - Josh Malerman (4/10/18)

Pick and Chews - Linda O. Johnston (05/08/18)

The Past is Never - Tiffany Quay Tyson (03/20/18)

Ice Wolves - Amie Kaufman (03/27/18)

The Devil You Know - Mike Carey (03/27/18)

Zombie Abbey - Lauren Baratz-Logsted (04/03/28)

Bluff - Michael Kardos (04/03/18)

Taste of Wrath - Matt Wallace (04/10/18)

Evangeline of the Bayou - Jan Eldredge (05/01/18)

Sorority - Genevieve Sly Crane (05/01/18)

How It Happened - Michael Koryta (05/15/18)

Witchmark - C.L. Polk (06/19/18)


So there you have it - not 10 but 12 books I want to read this Spring.  I've given you some dogs, some horror, some thrillers, some "weird."  I think that's pretty much everything you've come to expect from me.

What books made it to your spring TBR????