Tuesday, July 16, 2019

TTT - Auto-Read/Auto-Buy Authors

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 we are looking at auto-buy authors but I've expanded it a bit to include auto-read since I do use my library quite a bit.
STEPHEN 

STEPHEN KING - He pretty much is an auto-buy because I have collected his books for years.  Eagerly awaiting "The Institute" this fall.

HUNTER SHEA - I am up for anything this author publishes.  Sometimes there is a rare miss here or there but for the most part, I've loved the majority of his books.

DEANNA RAYBOURN - I love the Veronica Speedwell books and they are definitely auto-reads.  I hope to give her Lady Julia Grey series a try soon as I really think I'll like it too.

JENN MCKINLAY - I adore the Library Lovers series and need to catch up on the Bluff Point books.  She's definitely a fave!

JACKIE BOUCHARD - I hope Jackie releases something new soon because she only has one book I haven't read yet.  To quote her she writes "stories of people & the dogs that change their lives! And the dogs never die at the end! "

JOE HILL - Auto-buy, no doubt about it.

SEANAN MCGUIRE/MIRA GRANT - I've often joked that if this author wrote a phone book, I'd want to read it!

STUART R. WEST - Love him and his horror books.  Such a great guy and dog lover.

CHARLAINE HARRIS - So I've actually finished the Sookie Stackhouse series but have found I like most of her others better.  I think her newer stuff just gets better and better.

BETHANY BLAKE - I NEED more Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries and am looking forward to her new spin-off of the series.

So there you have it.  There are probably many more I'll be reminded of once I start seeing everyone else's lists.  Did any of these make your list this week???

Monday, July 15, 2019

A Must Read For Mystery Lovers (AND DOGS!)

TITLE: The Scent of Murder (Jazz Ramsey #1)
AUTHOR: Kylie Logan
PUBLISHER: Minotaur Books
PUBLISHING DATE: May 7, 2019


FROM GOODREADS: First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs. 

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler. 


Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school. 


She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face. 


The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.  



MY THOUGHTS:  Every once in a while you start a book and only a few pages in, you just know that it's going to work for you.  That is exactly what happened with "The Scent of Murder" and I actually read this whole book in less than 24 hours.  I'm pretty sure the author's note in the beginning set the tone. 

"We have always had dogs in our lives.  For those of you who've never let a furry critter share your home and your time, you'll never understand the power they hold over us or the place they stake in our hearts and memories.  For the rest of you...well, of course you know how wonderful it is.  And how maddening it can be.  You remember the puppy years and the constant chorus of 'No! Don't touch that. Don't eat that.  Don't jump on that.'  You remember the sometimes sky-high vet bills and the times when your furry friendwas sick and you slept on the kitchen floor next to him because...well, because you had to.  You'll always cherish the walks, the play time, the simple, wonderful friendship of a dog sitting at your side.  And you know that every minute of it is worthwhile"


She then goes on to talk about service dogs and how important they are and the cadaver dog training she herself has taken.   So yea, I was hooked from the beginning.  But let's move on to the book.

Jazz Ramsey works at an all-girl school along with her best friend, and also a certified cadaver dog training.  When the book starts, Jazz does not have her own dog, after losing Manny over a year ago.  While training one evening, Jazz and Luther discover the body of a former student at Jazz's school.  The police, including Jazz's ex-boyfriend and Cleveland Detective, Nick, start investigating the case and Jane feels the pull to try to figure out herself what happened.

As I've said, I loved this book.  I liked Jazz as the MC and while she was flawed, she was also bright, dedicated and adventurous.  The remaining cast of characters, including friends, family, dogs and the police force, also all play important roles in the novel.  The mystery was quite satisfying and while I had my own suspicions, I was still surprised at the ending.  

While this book does wrap up nicely at the end, there are some telltale signs that it is the beginning of a series.  There are hints throughout that the death of Jazz's father, a firefighter who died around the same time as Manny, may not be as clear cut as it seems.  Also, we are introduced to a new pup and I'm sure he's going to have a very important role in future installments.  

So overall, I would highly recommend this book.  It has a solid mystery, good characters, is light on romance (but there is some there - or at least the possibly there), and DOGS!  What more could this girl ask for?

MY RATING: 5 PAWS



COYER CHALLENGE UPDATE: Read a book with a strong female protagonist (3)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

What's Happening...(07-13-19)

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out.

So I didn't have an update last week.  As you know,  I was on vacation during the week of July 4th and as usual, I just didn't get much blogging down other than the the posts that were prescheduled.  So a short recap.  We had a great cookout on the 4th of July even if it was a very hot day to spend the entire day outside.  I got some good reading while off.  I managed to get current with "Yellowstone" and still hate Kevin Costner.  And we binged "Stranger Things: Season 3" which I loved tremendously.  

Cass got spoiled having us with him all the time for 10 days straight which has made it somewhat going back to work this week.  And Grandpa was in the hospital for a few days which led to me going totally ballistic on my Uncle's wife - only because my Uncle was in the middle of the Mississippi River and once again, doing Stupid Uncle things.  

So this week we headed back to work.  It's been so hot here and although we've had some rain here and there, it's mainly just made things hotter.  There hasn't been a lot of good things to watch it seems.  We did watch "Pet Sematary" and on the whole, I was kind of disappointed in it.  The casting didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, but the ending did.

So this weekend we will probably relax more than normal because we are both worn out from heading back to work. Here's what books I plan on picking up.


I also managed to snag a few review books.  I couldn't resist "Resurrection Girls" as well as "The Dogs of Cuba."  And finally, many thanks to the author, Tyler Hayes, for "The Imaginary Corpse" because he totally helped me get approved for a copy on Netgalley!  Thanks Tyler!



And I can't forget.  Today is my Grandpa's 98th Birthday - Happy Birthday Grandpa!!!!


So how was your week????

Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Face Off (5) - Wrap Around Cover


So I'm back with another round of Friday Face Off, hosted by Books by Proxy.

Today's topic is a wrap around cover.


So although this isn't one of my favorite Stephen King books, I did enjoy it and it's the one sitting on my shelf which I immediately thought of when I saw this week's topic.  Now let's visit some different versions!


1.  English Mass Market Paperback (2001)
2. Movie Tie-In (2002)
3.  English (2001)


4. Turkish (2001)
5. German (2001)
6. Ukranian (2016)


7. Spanish (2012)
8. Spanish (2003)
9. Russian (2001)

So we have quite a choice this week and there were even more I found.  I think #9 is very interesting and I like the coloring of #3.  However, I have to admit the one I own is my favorite closely followed by #4.  There's just something horrific about the blood splatters on the dreamcatcher.

Which one is your favorite???

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (218)


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: You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.

And the wolf is angry.

Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Despite the fact that I've yet to read Christina Henry's "The Girl in Red," I LOVE Red Riding Hood and all its retellings.  I also want to learn more about those vicious wolves.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

June Down For the Count - Just a TAD Late


So this is going up just a TAD late right?  I mean, come on, we're already more than a week into July.  It seems like the further into the year we get, the faster it goes.  I'm not going to make any excuses and just say I put off this post  because I didn't feel like doing it.  Guess that's finally changed so on with the books!

Once again I read eight books in June.  Seems like eight is now the magic number.  I did have a run of great books which was nice because last month I wasn't so lucky.

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels 5.5) - Ilona Andrews 3/5
(What An Animal, Library Lovers, Dancing With Fantasy)

Herding Cats (Sarah's Squibbles #3) - Sarah Andersen 3/5
(Library Lovers)

Something Borrowed, Something Mewed (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery #5) - Bethany Blake 5/5
(What an Animal, Cloak & Dagger)

Dust Devils - Jonathan Janz 5/5

The Devil's Equinox - John Everson 3/3

I Hate Fairyland Vol. 3 - Skottie Young 4/5
(Library Lovers, Dancing With Fantasy)

A Discovery of Witches (All Soul's Trilogy #1) - Deborah Harkness 4/5
(Dancing With Fantasy)

Chop Shop - Andrew Post 5/5

So there were a few 5 paw reads and I think my favorite has to be "Something Borrowed, Something Mewed."  I was a tad disappointed with "Gunmetal Magic" and am excited to get back to Kate and Curran. I don't really have a book that sticks out as least favorite this month and the closest would have to be "Herding Cats." 

I'm still working on my challenges and all of the above books count for Summer COYER.  

TOTAL PAGE COUNT: 2297

So how was your June?

L

TTT - Characters I'd Like to Shake!

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 sort of a freebie one having to do with book characters.  I originally was going to call this "Characters I'd Like to Smack" but figured I didn't want to encourage violence so I went with shake - but you guys get my drift.

STOKER - While I enjoy the sexual tension the author has created between Veronica and Stoker, there have been times he drove me nuts!  Especially in the most recent book, A Dangerous Collaboration.

KATE DANIELS - Well, to be honest, CURRAN too!  Both are so hard-headed and could have used a good shaking, especially in the beginning of their relationship.

LOUIS McDONALD JR. -  I usually like grumpy elderly characters but Louis bordered on racist and perverted so he definitely needed shaken!

DETECTIVE BLACK - Although I definitely like the direction he is now headed in, in the beginning of the series, he wouldn't have known a good thing if it hit him in the head.

JONATHAN and CASS - I think my review says it best... "These two idiots, with more baggage than someone their ages should have, should never reconcile and Puddles the pup needs new owners!"

SHELLY "MAMA SHELL" HANSEN - Overbearing mother who needs to cut the cord.  She was REALLY annoying.

ROBBIE VINE - Thank heavens for character growth because I really like Robbie now but in the beginning...don't even get me started!

GRETCHEN - After her scene with her dog, I'll admit it, I wanted to STAB her.  I don't care if she WAS possessed.

So there, you're technically only getting 8 because my head hurts from trying to remember all the characters throughout my reading history who drove me mad.  I'm sure I'll think of more after this post is long gone :)


Monday, July 8, 2019

It Sucked the Energy Right Out of Me!

TITLE: NOS4A2
AUTHOR: Joe Hill
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
PUBLISHING DATE: April 30, 2013


FROM GOODREADS: Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. 

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” 


Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son. 



MY THOUGHTS: I'm pretty sure everyone has either heard about this book or read it, especially since AMC has recently released the tv series.  I have wanted to read it forever and even preordered a hardback when it was first announced.  However, I grabbed a mass market paperback a few months ago knowing I could lug it around better and hoping it would motivate me to finally read it.  And I guess it did.  Even though it took me 2 months to finish, it wasn't because I didn't enjoy the book.  I just had other reading commitments get in the way. 

As a child Vic McQueen found a way to travel within space to find lost things - a bracelet, a cat, and in the end, her sanity.  Along the path, she runs into Charlie Manx.  Manx also uses these endscapes to travel around in his Rolls Royce Wraith, but in order to do so, he needs children.  They can provide energy for him and in return, he takes the little monsters to a place called "Christmasland" where they can experience Christmas every day.

This is not the first Hill book I read and like the others, I really enjoyed it.  However, I found "NOS4A2" to read much like a Stephen King book and was actually surprised at all of the King references.  Especially since Hill has made it a point not to write under the King name.  The book spans quite a timeline and we see Vic as a child and also as a messed up adult with a family of her own.  I really liked Wayne, her son, and Lou his father - almost more than Vic herself.  Their parts in the book were some of my favorites.

My main issue with the book is that as a reader, we really don't get a big taste of Christmasland.  It isn't until the end that we arrive at the magical/terrifying destination and while Hill paints a wonderfully disturbing picture, I would have liked to see more of it.  Also, for an extremely long book, I think the ending was a tad rushed.  For those who have read it, you might understand the part I am referencing.  But overall  I am pleased with how the ending played out and am glad I to finally put Charlie Manx to rest.

RATING: 4 PAWS


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Furs-day Feature - A Little Bit of Everything All Rolled Into One


So my goal is to take part in the new feature Jo over at Jo's Book Blog has started at least once a month.  On Thursdays, she posts things related to our precious furbabies.  This week Cass is sharing "Books to Bark & Crow About" as he has discovered a series he thinks all pet lovers might like!


Hi guys, it's me Cass.  I sure hope you all are having a great summer.  Things here on The Farm are good, but hot.  Today, as you read this, we are celebrating July 4th with our family and we wish all of you that celebrate are having a safe and happy holiday.  And beware fireworks, too many pets and Vets don't like them so use sparingly please.

So here is a series that Mom has slowly been collecting and I thought I would share it with you guys.  I think the covers are super cool too!



Here's the synopsis for the first in the Pet Whisperer series.  I think the covers are great - especially the ones with the doggies,.  Hope I can convince Mom to read them soon.  I want to hear all about how great they are!

FROM GOODREADS: I was just your normal twenty-something with seven associate degrees and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. That is, until I died… Well, almost.

As if a near-death experience at the hands of an old coffeemaker wasn’t embarrassing enough, I woke up to find I could talk to animals. Or rather one animal in particular.

His full name is Octavius Maxwell Ricardo Edmund Frederick Fulton, but since that’s way too long for anyone to remember, I’ve taken to calling him Octo-Cat. He talks so fast he can be difficult to understand, but seems to be telling me that his late owner didn’t die of natural causes like everyone believes.

Well, now it looks like I no longer have a choice, apparently my life calling is to serve as Blueberry Bay’s first ever pet whisperer P.I while maintaining my façade as a paralegal at the offices of Fulton, Thompson & Associates.

I just have one question: How did Dr. Doolittle make this gig look so easy?
 



HAPPY JULY 4th GUYS!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (217)


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: It's 1992 in Bleak Creek, North Carolina, a sleepy little place with all the trappings of an ordinary Southern town: two Baptist churches, friendly smiles coupled with silent judgments, and a seemingly unquenchable appetite for pork products. Beneath the town’s cheerful façade, however, Bleak Creek teens live in constant fear of being sent to The Whitewood School, a local reformatory with a record of putting unruly teens back on the straight and narrow—a record so impeccable that almost everyone is willing to ignore the mysterious deaths that have occurred there over the past decade.

At first, high school freshmen Rex McClendon and Leif Nelson believe what they’ve been told—that the students’ strange demises were all tragic accidents. But when the shoot for their low-budget horror masterpiece, PolterDog, goes horribly awry—and their best friend, Candice Boykins, is sent to Whitewood as punishment—Rex and Leif are forced to question everything they know about their unassuming hometown and its cherished school for delinquents.

Eager to rescue their friend, Rex and Leif pair up with recent NYU film school grad Janine Blitstein to begin piecing together the unsettling truth of the school and its mysterious founder, Wayne Whitewood. What they find, with Candice’s life hanging in the balance, will leave them battling an evil beyond their wildest teenage imaginations—one that will shake Bleak Creek to its core.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I think this sounds like a pretty decent YA horror and I'll admit it, I'm curious about the concept of their low-budget movie PolterDog.

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


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

TTT - Middle Grade Books I Want to Read

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 Childhood Favorites and I feel like I'd just be sharing some of the same old books.  You know the ones - Winnie the Pooh, Black Beauty, Snoopy, etc.  And to be honest, I read a lot of adult books when I was ten or so which would make this topic a tad uncomfortable.  So I'm going to switch it up.  I like reading Middle Grade books from time and time and there are so many great ones out there that I want to share some I hope to read before the year is out!

The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) - Jessica Townsend

A Small Zombie Problems - K.G. Campbell  #BlameStormi

The Haunting of Henry Davis - Kathryn Siebel #BlameStormi


Survival Tales: The Titanic - Katrina Charman


Katt vs. Dogg - James Patterson

The Night Gardener - Jonathan Auxier

The Last of the Spirits - Chris Priestley

The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate

So there you have it.  Have you read any of these?  Let me know where you'd start!