Friday, January 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. 

 I can't seem to stay away from the library, but in my defense, I had a hold that needed to be picked up.  Also, I did purchase a few additional books, received a couple for review and picked up some free titles for my Kindle.  Anyway, I guess here is another haul.

From the library:

Seconds: A Graphic Novel: Bryan Lee O'Malley - Quite a few booktube channels I follow have mentioned this and I have heard good things so when I saw it at the library, I grabbed it.

The Supernatural Enhancements:Edgar Cantero - This is the book that prompted the library trip.  Haunted house, dark, gothic - some of my favorite buzz words. Not to mention, isn't that cover beautiful?

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone: Adele Griffin - A fairly new YA release that I had my eye on, but didn't really want to purchase.

On my Kindle:

The Invisible Man Relative Strangers The Color of Magic

The Invisible Man: H.G. Wells - I couldn't resist this one.  I have always found it intriguing.

Relative Strangers: A Modern Vampire Story: Helen Treharne - This one was also free and sounded interesting so I snagged it while I could rather than risk wanting it later after I thought about it and it no longer being free.

The Color of Magic (Discworld #1): Terry Pratchett - I want to give this series a go this year so I picked this up on Kindle when it was marked down earlier this week.

Hard copies purchased from various sources:

Delia's Shadow (Delia Martin #1): Jamie Lee Moyer

A Barricade in Hell (Delia Martin #2): Jamie Lee Moyer

I Thought You Were Dead: Pete Nelson - It has dog, I couldn't resist.

Dogs: A Very Peculiar History: Fiona McDonald - This cute little book is gorgeous in person.
From Netgalley for review:

The Thorn of Dentonhill Every Breath You Take The Diamond Conspiracy

The Thorn of Dentonhill - A Novel of Maradaine: Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Diamond Conspiracy (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #4): Pip Ballantine, Tee Morrie

And the most exciting eARC in ages, maybe even ever:

Vision in Silver (The Others #3): Anne Bishop - I can't explain how much I love this series.  The second installment was one of my top 5 of 2014.  It comes out March 3rd and I can't wait to read and review it for everyone. Thanks PENGUIN GROUP BERKLEY!

Leave me a comment if you have read any of these or are excited for any of these new releases!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Just Know the Zombies are Headed Our Way!

Hello there everyone out there in blog land.  It's me, "Not Very Amused T."  And let me tell you why! I tell you, those damn zombies are on their way back to the farm.  Now Mom and Dad are living in denial.  Either than or they are plain out lying to me.  First, I caught Mom bringing this book home:

Mom claims that it is actually a vampire book but it sure looks like the walking dead to me.  I mean, come on, look at that blood.  I haven't seen her reading it yet, but I am sure she is prepping for when the zombies return to the farm.  Oh I keep hearing "Calm down Booker got rid of all the zombies months ago."  But really, I am not a stupid pup and I know as well as you do that they are never really gone,  And finally, my last piece of evidence.  I hear things, and I have heard Mom and Dad talking about the walking dead returning on February 8th.  Are they idiots!?!  It sounds like they are actually looking forward to it.  I swear guys, they are not amusing me one bit.  I will leave you with a picture of Cassius.  Mom and Dad say he is dark and sneaky and would be a great advantage should zombies return, but I just don't know.

Stay safe friends and leave me a message if you have seen any zombies in your neck of the woods.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - Anti-Heroes

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingereadslainey on booktube and can also be found on goodreads.  The link can be found here.  This week we are taking a look at anti-heroes and I must admit I am struggling a tad with this topic.  However, I will give it a go!

1.  Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning's Faefever series.  I am current up to last week's release of book 7 and I still can't quite figure Barrons out.  He does some good things, does a lot of bad things, and does many things you can't quite put into a category.  Therefore, he is my #1 choice.  However, the rest of mine are in no particular order.

2.  Ivy from Kim Harrison Hollows series.  I love Ivy and she definitely started out the series more on the side of bad than on the side of good.  This whole series is awesome and although I stopped reading around book #8, I will absolutely pick it back up.

3.  Eric from Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series.  What can be said about Eric the Vampire that hasn't already been said? I like the original covers so much better than the series tie-ins.

4.  Lizzie Borden from Cherie Priest's Maplecroft.  I cannot sing the praises of this book enough.  If you haven't read it, stop right now and go pick up or download a copy.  Most of us know the story of Lizzie Borden and while no one would really consider her a hero of any type, that is actually what she becomes in Maplecroft.  Read it, read it now! And that cover.  Enough gushing.

5.  Gabriel Walsh from Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series.  Gabriel is not really a likable guy, however, as the series progresses, he does start to show some redeeming qualities.  I have read the first 2 books and am interested to see how story continues.  I believe Armstrong is really good at writing anti-heroes as her Women of the Underworld series is also full of them.

What's on your list?  Give me a link so I can check it out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Summer Blowout - Review

TITLE: Summer Blowout
AUTHOR: Claire Cook
PUBLISHER: Hatchette Books

FROM GOODREADS: Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she works as a stylist and makeup artist for her family's small chain of beauty salons in Marshbury, Massachusetts, along with her four half-brothers and -sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times-divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair, who is obsessed with all things Italian and still carries a torch for his first wife, Bella's mother. After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men. Then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur at a college fair, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. He also gives her a brilliant business idea, one that just might allow her to share her makeup expertise with the world. A small, well-tressed dog finds her way into her life, and her heart, and she decides to chance that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly--in a summer blowout no one will ever forget. This hilarious, rambunctious novel is pure Claire Cook: full of juicy conflict and unconditional love.

I loved "Must Love Dogs" - both the book and the movie. So when I saw this at the library, I grabbed it on a whim. It was on the shorter side, which was fine because I didn't find myself really invested in the story or the characters. The family in the book is super dysfunctional and while I have no problem with that, I felt the book introduced too many characters much too soon and without much explanation or back story. The dog storyline is rather cute, but everything else was pretty much predictable. This would make a great summer, beach read. During any other time, I would recommend someone opt for something else.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

This is my first time participating in Stacking the Shelves, although I have followed the weekly meme for quite some time.  Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews

First up I will share my ebook haul.  Since I have never done one of these before, and don't know if I will participate weekly, or maybe just bi-weekly or monthly, this basically includes everything I have obtained during January.  I will link the books to their goodreads page.

Here is what I have added to the Kindle:

pic name pic name
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Burned (Fever #7) - Karen Marie Moning.  I love this series and I pre-ordered this new title which was released on 1/20/15.  If you haven't started this adult urban fantasy series yet, what are you waiting for?

The Book of Ivy - Amy Engel.  This one has been all over booktube.

Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter.  Found this one for 1.99 on Amazon and couldn't pass it up.

The Shadow of Black Wings - James Calbraith.  Grabbed this one for free on Amazon.

Ignite - Lily Paradis. Same goes for this one,

A Little Something Different - Sandy Hall.  I purchased this by accident.  I had seen a few reviews and was adding it to my Amazon wishlist for future consideration and hit the 1-click purchasing option instead.  I took it as a sign.

I received these from Netgalley for review:

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Shadow of the Raven (Dr. Thomas Silkstone #5) - Tessa Harris.  I didn't realize that this was part of a series and am extremely picky about reading series in order.

The Venus Trap - Louise Voss.

Follow the Leader - Mel Sherratt

Next up are a few I checked out from the local library.

The White Magic Five & Dime - Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco.
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline.  Yes, I think I am one of the last people to read this book.
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man - Bruce Cameron.  This was on the new release shelf and I couldn't pass it up - look at that abstract dog on the cover - how cool!
The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman.  Vampires, and not the glittery, shimmery kind. Always good.
Wide Open - Deborah Coates.  I have seen this time and time again on BookOutlet and always pass it up.
The Future Falls - Tanya Huff.  The conclusion to her newest series.  I find the books sort of slow, but really have to know how they end.

And finally, a few I purchased right after the new year started.
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) - Gail Carriger.  I have heard great things about this series.
Night Film - Marisha Pessl
Carrie - Stephen King.  I can't believe I have never read his first book.  This will help fulfill my Hail to the King challenge.
And last of all, who can resist a cute Sloth bookmark.

There you have it.  Hope you enjoy seeing what I have accumulated.  Please leave a comment and let me know which ones I should make priority.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - 5 Authors I Would Like to Meet

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingereadslainey on booktube and can also be found on goodreads.  The link can be found here.  This week we are looking at the top 5 authors we would like to meet.  I had to do some thinking but managed to narrow it down.

1.  Stephen King - I have loved him for as long as I can remember.  He pretty much started my love of reading and he keeps coming up with such new, interesting ideas.
2.  Joe Hill - I really enjoy his works and since his father is coming, might as well make it a family reunion.
3.  Edgar Allen Poe - While this is physically impossible without the use of a time machine or maybe a Ouija board, he would make an interesting dinner quest don't you think?
4. Karen Marie Moning - I am dying to read Burned, and would love to ask her what happens next in the world of Mac, Barrons and Dani.
4.  Anne Rice - But I would like to meet her on her old turf - New Orleans.  I think it would be interesting to have her show me some of the Gothic scenery and I would love to tell her how Tom Cruise single-handedly ruined my love for Lestat (although I am betting she has heard that before).

Can you imagine a party with all of these individuals?  It would definitely have to be held on Halloween.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Veronica Mars - Mr. Kiss and Tell Review

TITLE:  Veronica Mars - Mr. Kiss and Tell
AUTHOR: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
PUBLISHING DATE: January 20, 2015

FROM GOODREADS:  In the second book in the New York Times bestselling mystery series, Veronica Mars is back with a case that will expose the hidden workings of one of Neptune’s most murderous locations.

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why?

I am really surprised about how much I am enjoying these books. Especially given I have never seen a full episode of the actual series - only the movie that came out last year. Once again, there is a mystery to solve and Veronica does it in her usual snarky fashion. I love the character development between Veronica and Logan and it was nice to meet some other town residents and see their interaction with Veronica and her father. I really enjoyed the introduction of "Pony" the new family pet, which allowed for some additional growth between Veronica and Logan and it was nice to see their family unit grow. This book dealt with some deeper issues of Logan serving in the armed forces, and I guess it would have been too much to expect their relationship to go off without a hitch.

The storyline itself was interesting and the mystery was much more fulfilling that the first book in this installment. It was nice to see Veronica work with different individuals. Mac did not have a huge role in the book, and as she is my favorite side character, that was a tad disappointing, but I did enjoy what interaction was present.

Any fan of Veronica Mars will enjoy this series and it is perfect for new fans as well. 



Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Reads

I have a three day weekend after work ends today so I am hoping to get some books read, movies watched and spend some quality time with the family.  Here's a look at what I plan on reading.

I need to finish Summer Blowout by Claire Cook.  Checked it out from library and it needs to be back Tuesday.  I loved Must Love Dogs but this one is coming up short so far.  Glad it is a relatively short book.

I am over halfway finished with Paw Enforcement by Diane Kelly.  Should be able to wrap it up as well.

And finally I would like to make a dent in Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell.  I am in the mood for some Gothic reading.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gone Girl

TITLE: Gone Girl
AUTHOR: Gillian Flynn
PUBLISHER: Broadway Books
RELEASE DATE: June 2012 (although the movie tie-in version was released on August 26, 2014)

FROM GOODREADS:  On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

MY THOUGHTS:   Ok, this review and this rating is about as difficult as the relationship between Nick and Amy. Let me say I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars and finally settled with 4 for a few reasons. The book is definitely dark and twisted, which I almost always enjoy. In addition, Flynn must have an incredible, or maybe somewhat scary, mind to come up with this hot mess of a couple. And finally, it was very well written and engaging.

Now for some of the negatives. I didn't like any of the characters except Go, Nick's twin, who clearly got the brains, wit and wisdom of that twin relationship. She seemed to be the one with common sense and the guts to say what others were thinking. I find it amazing that I liked a book so well when I wasn't really invested in any of the characters. I even found Amy's parents annoying and flawed. Also, even with trying to avoid spoilers, which I did for the most part, I knew there was some big twist in the book and I don't think it was that hard to figure out. Now, I didn't expect the ending. It was rather shocking, but as I sit her and type, I can't figure out why I found such stupidity shocking.

The people in this book are in need of a whole lot of therapy. I commented about a hundred pages in that I didn't know where Amy went, but wished she had taken Nick...I stand by that opinion. All in all, I am somewhat surprised that I gave this 4 stars, but I think I am comfortable with that decision. I will read more of Flynn's works, just not right away.


I need to add that I watched the DVD the evening after finishing this book.  My husband couldn't stand the first 45 minutes or so and we almost turned it off.  However, his opinion was that it picked up in the end.  This is really the first movie where I have enjoyed Ben Affleck as an actor.  The movie was pretty true to the book although I really thing they missed the boat by failing to portray how much Amy disliked and resented her parents.  Although it was already 2 1/2 hours long so I bet they ran short of time.  I was a decent watch and I still ended up liking "Go" the twin the best.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - 5 Series I Want to Start This Year.

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingereadslainey on booktube and can also be found on goodreads.  This week's topic is a pretty fun one although I have to admit it got me thinking.  However, I think I came up with a few good ones.

1.  Songs of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.  I love this TV series.  My husband bought me the first 4 for Christmas 2 years ago, and I am sure this was one of my undocumented goals for last year.  I hope this year fairs better.

2.  Chet and Bernie Mysteries  by Spencer Quinn.  What can I say, a dog who helps his owner solve mysteries.  I'm in and have had this on my radar for several years.

3.  Discworld by Terry Pratchett.  I don't exactly know why but I want to give this series a spin this year (no pun intended) to see if it is something that interests me.

4.  Esther Diamond by Laura Resnick. Sounds like a fun urban fantasy series and I think the covers are great.

5.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  I received this for Christmas and have heard so many great things about it.  Can't wait to see if it lives up to the hype.

So what about you?  What series are on your TBR pile. Leave a comment so I can check them out. 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I have seen people all over booktube have TBR jars and use them to help them get some books off their shelves and actually read them and I thought it was a cute idea.  So this year, I made one but modified it to better suit my needs.  I decided to pull about 15-16 books (hmmm...looks like 17) which I really want to read this year, put them in a jar (or in my case a coffee cup) and pull one a month.  This way I don't have to include all my unread books ( a task I don't want to take on right now) and I can probably be more faithful to what I pull out and not end up drawing out choices 5 or 6 times a month until I get a book I actually want to read.  Below are the books I included.  The title should take you to the goodreads link.

1.  Spirit Dust - Rosemary Clement Moore
2.  Magnificent Vibrations - Rick Springfield
3.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
4.  One Bloody Thing After Another - Joey Comeau
5.  Christine - Stephen King
6.  Precinct 13 - Tate Hallaway
7.  I Thought You Were Dead - Pete Nelson
8.  Those Who Fight Monsters - Justin Gustainis
9.  NOS4A2 - Joe Hill
10.  Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King
11.  Prince- Inside the Music and the Masks - Ronin Ro
12.  Insurgent - Veronica Roth
13.  Carrie - Stephen King
14.  The Trouble with Fate - Leigh Evans
15.  Roam -  Alan Lazar
16.  Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter
17.  Gone Girl - Gilliam Flynn

Now keep in mind, I already cheated, but at least the book I cheated with I already finished.
I knew Gone Girl would be released on DVD in January and I wanted to read the book before watching the movie so I "picked" it as the January pick.  Also, some of the other picks fit into other goals and challenges for the year.  I think this system may work well for me as most of these I
have wanted to read for over a year.

Goodbye from the Farm.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review - The Dog Park

TITLE:  The Dog Park
AUTHOR: Laura Caldwell
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Mira
PUBLISHING DATE: July 29, 2014 (out now)

FROM GOODREADS:   Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they've agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.

But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she's in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she's seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there's only one person by her side—and it's the person she least expected. She's willing to open up to a new normal…just as long as Baxter approves.

Although I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal books, every once in a while I love to throw in something different to mix things up. Well, this past weekend was the time to do this as I was in need of a quick read and "The Dog Park" was the perfect choice. This book is all about second chances. I cannot resist a cute dog in almost any book and Baxter fit the bill. I would say he is just about the most important characters in the book as without him, none of the other would be very interesting at all.

The characters in this book are engaging and while not immediately likable, do tend to grow on you. I enjoyed watching Jessica grow and develop and by the end of the book, I could see her as someone I would hang out with if given the chance. I honestly had issues with all three men in the book, but by the end, the book ended in the best way possible.

When I was younger, while I always loved animals, I never thought I would be one of those animal-crazed nuts who treated their pets like little humans. But you know, I am one of those nuts and proud of it. My 4 legged boys are my children and I cannot imagine life without them and Jessica clearly feels the same in "The Dog Park."

I thought this book was going to be mainly a cute, rom-com but it actually contains a lot of substance and is much more deeper than originally imagined. Thanks Ms. Caldwell for a wonderful way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Veronica Mars

I recently read this book because I have an ARC of book 2 which is released on January 20th.  I also finished that one as well and will post the review closer to the release date.

TITLE: Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
AUTHORS: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
RELEASE DATE: March 25, 2014 (out now)

FROM GOODREADS: Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

MY THOUGHTS:  First I have to admit I have never seen a Veronica Mars episode, although I plan on changing that sometime this year. However, I did watch the movie which came out last year and really enjoyed it. I was also approved for an early copy of Book #2, which is released January 20th so I checked this out from my local library and consumed it over the holidays.

I really wasn't as lost as I thought I might be. The book provides enough back story and everything made sense and fell into place. While this is a good mystery, what made the book even better was Veronica and the other characters. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mac and wish she would get her own story someday. I also love Veronica's snarkiness - snark is my favorite thing in a character. Veronica has an endearing relationship with her father, which I can relate to, and I can't wait to see how things progress with Logan.

I assume all hard-core fans have already devoured this book or have it languishing on their TBR pile. However, I would recommend it to people who, like me, never got caught up in the series, as it is a well-written, fun read. 


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weather Forecast - Booker T Style

Well, here in my neck of the woods, they are calling for cold, cold and more cold.  I do not understand what the heck a "clipper" is, even though the folks have tried to explain it to me.  All I know is that it is 2 degrees, walks have been limited, and this white stuff called snow is no fun to play in unless it is at least 32 degrees.  Cassius is a super wuss and really can't stand going out back when we have to take care of business.  Mom and Dad keep saying once we get past Saturday, things are looking up.  All I know is everyone I see out the window or coming through the door looks like this!
Stay warm guy and catch ya when it's warmer!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - Most Anticipated 2015 Releases

This is my first Top 5 post and hopefully not my last.  This week we are looking at our top 5 anticipated 2015 releases.  While I found it hard to narrow down, here are some of the ones I can't wait for! The title will take you to the Goodreads page.

1.  Burned by Karen Marie Moning.  Releases on January 20, 2015

2. Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop.  Releases on March 3, 2015

3.  Day Shift by Charlaine Harris.  Releases on May 5, 2015

4.  The Awesome by Eva Darrows.  Releases on May 26, 2015

5.  Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue.  Releases on March 10, 2015