Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.  Here is what I am most waiting for this week:

Looking for Mr. Good Witch (A Retired Witches Mystery #2)
Everyone’s favorite retired witches from Spell Booked have returned and are diving into troubled waters to find a sinister sea witch…


A sea witch has been leaving bodies in her wake up and down the Carolina coast, baffling authorities who are finding drowning victims with no water in their lungs. The fin-icky female will continue to kill young male witches until she finds her perfect man—the one who survives her mating ritual—so she can live for another hundred years. And now coven hopeful Brian Fuller is about to be ensnared in her net.

Retired witches Molly and Elsie, along with the ghost of Olivia and her daughter Dorothy, need all the help they can get to stop the sea witch. Aided by a selkie and a crème puff–craving mermaid, they’re determined to keep Brian out of her murky clutches. But are they all about to get in over their heads?

This comes out October 2015 and having read the first one, Spell Booked, earlier this year, I can't wait to see what the coven is up to next.  I like a cozy mystery with paranormal elements from time to time and basically consider them a palette cleanser when some of my reading gets to scary or intense.  What are you waiting for this week?


Lawyer for the Dog...read it as soon as possible!

TITLE: Lawyer for the Dog
AUTHOR: Lee Robinson
PUBLISHER: Thomas Dunne Books

FROM GOODREADS: One of the sharpest attorneys in Charleston, S.C., Sally Baynard isn’t your typical southern belle. She’s certainly not what her mother hoped she’d grow up to be, especially since she divorced her husband, Family Court Judge Joe Baynard, and his historic family with their historic wealth and historic houses. Maybe Sally was never going to be a proper society lady, but her success as a public defender and family lawyer have been enough for her. She’s represented murderers, burglars, drug dealers and lately has taken on some of the thorniest divorces, all cases closed with her Sally Bright Baynard wit, charm and brains.

Or have they? One case she’s never successfully closed is her marriage. And when Judge Joe assigns her to one of his divorce cases by appointing her as the Lawyer for the Dog -- Sherman, a miniature schnauzer-- she’s forced into close quarters with him again. Juggling the needs of the dog, the angry owners, her amorous but uncommunicative ex-husband, her aging, Alzheimer’s-ridden mother, and the expectations of the court is more than Sally could have imagined. And as rascally Sherman digs his way into Sally’s heart, he brings along his charming vet Tony, a man who makes Sally question her views on love and marriage.

MY THOUGHTS:  I absolutely loved everything about this book. I anticipated it from the moment I first saw it and was thrilled to receive an eARC from Netgalley (which does not influence my review). But let's talk specifics. First of all, the cover is great. What a cute, adorable dog. And guess what? The dog on the cover matches Sherman's description. You would be surprised the books with dogs on the covers which aren't even close to accurate or perhaps do not contain a dog at all.

Our main character Sally, is a lawyer and is appointed as Guardian ad Litem for Sherman during his parents' divorce. My degree is in criminal justice and so much of what was discussed in the book rang true to my experience with courts. Robinson either has experience in this area or did some great research. Sally is a strong, independent, middle-aged woman and it is refreshing to see that type of character for a change. The struggles in her day to day life are not far-fetched and I enjoyed reading about her triumphs and tragedies.

Before you thing this is automatically a "feel good" dog story, think again. Sally is not a dog lover and basically gets thrown into a position she initially sees as ludicrous. There are great side characters, some minor love interests and some family drama.

I can't say enough good things about this book. If you like contemporaries, dog stories or just great writing, please pick it up and give it a chance. I devoured it in less that 2 days and my only regret is that I can't enjoy it again for the first time!


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT # 29 - Read a book with no magical or futuristic elements.

BOOKER T's THOUGHTS:  I loved Sherman.  Mom showed me his picture from the cover and he is very cute, if not a tad bit small. Sherman's parents are divorcing in this book and I think he is a pretty well-adjusted little pooch all things considering.  On top of that, his parents are a bit neurotic even on good days.  Sherman is very lucky to have a Guardian ad Litem to look after him (Mom keeps calling it a GAL though, too much time working with lawyers if you ask me).  He also has a very attentive vet, but probably not as good as mine.  Please considering reading about Sherman because I definitely thinks his story needs to be shared.  

RATING: I give Sherman 5 doggy paws (although I tried explaining to Mom that's not physically possible).


Top 10 Tuesday - Top Books I've Read So Far in 2015

The Top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found here.   Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. This week we are looking at my top 10 books so far this year.  I am glad I have finished so many already as it gives me plenty to choose from.  The pic should take you to my Goodreads review.

A Hundred Pieces of Me: Lucy Dillon.  I have yet to read a Dillon book I did not love.

Vision in Silver (The Others #3): Anne Bishop.  I adore this series and it is probably sad how many lists books from it have made this year already.

The Blondes: Emily Schultz. 

The Awesome: Eva Darrows.  Love that cover and what a fun read!

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man: W. Bruce Cameron.  This is a wonderful start to a new series and I love Cameron's writing.  Plus, Jake the Basset is adorable.

Lawyer for the Dog: Lee Robinson.  Just finished this one up over the weekend and it definitely is one of my top 3 so far.  LOVED IT!

The Ice Twins: S. K. Tremayne. Everyone seems to compare this to Gone Girl (just like all other thrillers it seems) but this is a wonderful book and should stand on its own without comparisons.

Apocalypse Bow Wow: James Proimos III.  Hilarious children's book which I found totally suitable for adults as well. 

Day Shift (Midnight, Texas #2): Charlaine Harris.  So much better than the Sookie Stackhouse books.  

The Dog Park: Laura Caldwell.  Great contemporary.  

That was rather easy.  I think that covers all of my 5 star ratings so far this year.  Have you read any of these and what made your list this year?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (22)

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.  This books I obtained this week were either free/daily deals on Amazon or galleys received.  So lets get started!

From Amazon:

INK:Red Guess Who Sweet Things Dying
Dead Tree Under the Ice https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1377049339l/17845816.jpg

I think most of these were picked up for free, except I think The Ghost Prison was a daily deal.  I have read an Aaron Paul Lazar book before and absolutely loved it so I had to grab Under the Ice when I saw it.  Clicking on the pics should take you to the Goodreads page so you can see if any of these interest you.

Then I received several books for review.  The list is getting too long but I have kicked out 3 reviews for ARCs this week so at least that is a positive!

Stepdog Alice House of Shattered Wings
The Veil Led Astray End of the World

Stepdog: Nicole Galland - It took so long to get approved for this one from Edelweiss, I had pretty well written it off.  I am so glad I was approved.  Look at that adorable dog.  Booker T will enjoy guest posting on this review I am sure.  It releases August 1, 2015 from William Morrow & Company.  Thank you for my copy!
Alice: Christina Henry.  I have read the first two Black Wings books and really like Henry's writing.  I just got behind on this series.  This one sounds great and it seems like Alice retellings are popping up everywhere.  It comes out August 4, 2015 from Penguin Group.
The House of Shattered Wings: Aliette De Bodard.  I have heard lots of buzz about this one.  It comes out August 13, 2015 from Penguin Group as well.
The Veil: Chloe Neill.  Another author I really enjoy.  Penguin is releasing this on August 4, 2015 as well.
Led Astray - The Best of Kelley Armstrong - I adore the Otherworld and Cainesvilles series and it will nice to have a lot of short stories all in one place.  It releases October 1, 2015.  Thanks to Tachyon Publishing for providing me a digital copy.
The End of the World is Rye: Brett Cottrell.  This one sounds so absolutely quirky that I couldn't resist.  It isn't extremely long so I hope to get to it soon!  It came out June 1, 2015 so you should be able to grab a copy now if interested.

So overall I think it was an awesome week.  I start vacation soon so hopefully I will be able to stay up late reading and get to some of these.  What did you stack your shelves with this week?

The Saga of Rex - One Cute Fox!

TITLE: The Saga of Rex (Graphic Novel)
AUTHOR: Michael Gagne
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PUBLISHING DATE: November 2, 2010

FROM GOODREADS: A little fox named Rex is plucked from his home world by a mysterious spaceship and transported to the arcane world of Edernia, where he meets Aven, an enigmatic biomorph with a flying saucer. Follow his epic journey as he travels through outer-worldly landscapes, faces strange perils, and makes surprising encounters.

MY THOUGHTS:  I really wanted to like this graphic novel and heard lots of good things on booktube, so I was quick to pick up a copy. The best way I can describe this book is whimsical. Rex is an adorable fox. In fact, I couldn't help but think what an adorable tattoo Rex would make. Rex runs across a flying saucer and goes on adventures traveling to different worlds and meeting different entities. There is little text in the book and while the artwork is nice, it just wasn't enough to hold my attention. I did enjoy the section where Rex meets his soulmate, a magical blue fox, but other than that, not a lot stood out for me in the book. I would advise against purchasing this book unless you either collect graphic novels, or have already seen it and think it might be a good investment for you. I am glad I read it, but not necessarily glad I own it.  


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT #55 - Read a book featuring an animal prominently in the story.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Survive the Night

TITLE: Survive the Night
AUTHOR: Danielle Vega
PUBLISHER: Razorbill

FROM GOODREADS: Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.

In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse . . .
. . . until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.

Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.

They’re being hunted.
Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here. . . .” in this bone-chilling sophmore novel by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.

I should probably start this out by saying that this book almost earned a 2 star rating, but overall I have to give Vega some credit for her excellent writing skills and I do believe she does horror quite well. I would be interested in knowing if she plans to move into the adult horror world because most of what I found annoying in this book centered around the teenage characters.

Let's start off with what I liked about this book. Like I mentioned, Vega does suspense and chills very well. She manages to be descriptive without overdoing it and she really sold me on the evil presence in this book. Also, I found it to be a quick read and let's admit it, sometimes you just need to read something you can knock out in a day or two.

However, Survive the Night had some negative aspects as well. This book has some serious resolution problems at the end. Now I am all for suspense and leaving the reader guessing, but seriously, I would have liked a tad bit more explanation about the monster. In addition, I felt little connection to any of the characters. They were bratty, and while flawed, they didn't think they were flawed - they felt they were indestructible, above reproach teenagers(see previous bratty comment - it says it all).

I don't regret picking up this book, but I am sure there are books on my TBR which I would have enjoyed more. Being a quick read, I really didn't put much time into it, so that upped the enjoyment factor somewhat as well. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys YA horror, or anyone who enjoys late 80's/early 90's teenage slasher films.

I received this book from Penguin First to Read which did not influence my review/rating in any way.


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT #39 - Read a book with no living thing on the cover

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.  Here is what I am most waiting for this week:

This Side of Wild: Gary Paulsen
The Newbery Honor& winning author of Hatchet and Dogsong shares surprising true stories about his relationship with animals, highlighting their compassion, intellect, intuition, and sense of adventure.

Gary Paulsen is an adventurer who competed in two Iditarods, survived the Minnesota wilderness, and climbed the Bighorns. None of this would have been possible without his truest companion: his animals. Sled dogs rescued him in Alaska, a sickened poodle guarded his well-being, and a horse led him across a desert. Through his interactions with dogs, horses, birds, and more, Gary has been struck with the belief that animals know more than we may fathom.

His understanding and admiration of animals is well known, and in This Side of Wild, which has taken a lifetime to write, he proves the ways in which they have taught him to be a better person.

This releases September 29, 2015 and since it in involves the relationship between humans and animals, it seems like a perfect read for me.  I know it is a MG/YA read, but every once in a while, I enjoy picking one up.  What are you waiting for this week?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday - Characters I wish I could Drown!

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Gingereadslainey on booktube and can also be found on goodreads.  The link is located HERE.  This week we are looking at my 5 Characters I Wish I Could Drown.  This shouldn't be too hard!

Bella Swan from the Twilight series.  Yep, she is absolutely the first one going down.  In fact, if I could only choose one, it would be her.

Yep, I read 50 Shades of Grey.  A friend convinced me and I was curious to see all the hype.  I did not read it when it was first released.  Since the novel started out as fan fiction of Twilight, and since I found Anastasia to be almost as annoying as Bella, she is going into the water right on Bella's heels!

Sookie Stackhouse from the Southern Vampire/True Blood Series.  I really liked the books in the beginning, and I do plan on eventually reading the final 2.  However, as the books progressed, so did Sookie's ability to get on my last nerve.  I am afraid the TV series gets muddled with the books in my head so it's hard to say if Sookie would have to drown if she had only stayed in print.

Anita Blake from the Anita Blake series.  These books were good in the beginning.  I made it to book 8...I really did.   And maybe someday I will pick them back up, but I wish someone would drown Anita Blake so the series could end!

OK...I admit it.  Edward was almost as annoying as Bella and since their love story was so "epic," I just don't see him wanting to live without Bella.  They can drown together.  But please, let me stake them first so I know they won't come back!

Who made your list?  Did I offend with my Bella and Edward picks?  Leave a comment so I know :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday - Favorite topics over last 5 years!

The Top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found here.   Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.  This week, to honor the 5 year anniversary of Top 10 Tuesday, we are to post our favorite topics of all time.  I haven't been participating in this meme for that long, so I am just going to post the topics I wish I had participated in which might have been my faves.

 1.  Top 10 books to read during Halloween.
 2.  Top 10 covers we wish we could redesign.
 3.  Top 10 covers of books I have read.
 4.  Top 10 best bookish memories.
 5.  Favorite Kick-ass heroines.
 6. Top 10 OCD bookish habits.
 7.  Top 10 books I would save if my house were to be abducted by aliens
      (please I hope they do this again!)
 8.  Top 10 books I wish I could read again for the first time.
 9.  Mean girls in books.
10.  Most unfortunate character names.

What made your list this week?  Leave a comment so I can check out your blog!