Friday, July 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (26)

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.  It was a decent week for books so here we go!

I received 2 physical books this week.  I was going to borrow them from the library, but I think they are so creepy and beautiful that I needed my own copies.  

Miss Peregrin's Home Hollow City

For my Kindle I purchased (or obtained for free):

To Catch her Death Styx & Stoned What the Dog Ate

And for review I received:

Alice Cooper Edward Scissorhands Once Upon A Zombie
Rescue Me, Maybe House Trained Fuzzy Mud

Alice Cooper #1: Joe Harris & Eman Casallos - This man used to terrify me as a child.  Now that I am older, I consider him fairly harmless.  However, I believe he would translate beautifully into a graphic novel.  This one comes out September 1, 2015 from Diamond Book Distributors.  I plan on reading it next week for a read-a-thon.
Edward Scissorhands #2 Whole Again: Kate Leth -  Releases November 3, 2015 from Diamond Book Distributors.
Once Upon A Zombie - The Color of Fear:  Billy Phillips, Jenny Nissenson - A fairy tale about princesses - and they're all zombies.  Now that is my kind of Disneyland! Releases October 1, 2015 from Smith Publicity.
Rescue Me, Maybe: Jackie Bouchard.  Releases August 25, 2015 from Lake Union Publishing.
House Trained: Jackie Bouchard. Releases October 20, 2015 from Lake Union Publishing. I am so glad to get my hands on these ones!
Fuzzy Mud: Louis Sachar - A middle grade horror which sounded interesting.  Releases August 4, 2015 from Random House Children's. 

Thanks to Netgalley and all the publishers for these new pretties!  What did you get this week?  Leave a message so I can check out your hauls!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Scary Read-a-thon

The COYER challenge group is hosting a read-a-thon next week and the idea is "to read books which scare YOU."  I love all things horror and scary and this is a great way to get some books on my TBR out of the way.  The standard COYER rules apply (cannot be a library, borrowed or illegally obtained book).  I am having such fun with this group that I definitely recommend people consider participate in the next winter COYER.  Here's what I hope to read:

The Night Sister Alice Alice Cooper

And if I have time...

The first 3 are ARCs which I need to get off my pile and the last one I have been wanting to read for a long time.  What are some of your favorite scary reads?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

"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:


The Last Necromancer : C.J. Archer - August 11, 2015
From Goodreads: Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn't raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly "made" creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world - Charlotte - but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he's been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn't trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they're hunting.

I love that cover and can't wait to get my hands on this.  At least it isn't a long wait!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stepdog - A Different Type of Blended Family

TITLE: Stepdog
AUHTHOR: Nicole Galland
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
PUBLISHING DATE: August 4, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: When Sara Renault fired Rory O'Connor from his part-time job at a Boston art museum, and in response, Rory—Irishman, actor, musician, reformed party-boy— impulsively leaned over and kissed her . . . she kissed him back. Now, as Rory's visa runs out on the cusp of his big Hollywood break, Sara insists that he marry her to get a green card. In a matter of weeks they've gone from being friendly work colleagues to a live-in couple, and it's all grand . . . except for Cody, Sara's beloved dog from her troubled previous relationship. Sara's overattachment to her dog is the only thing she and Rory fight about.

When Rory scores both his green card and the lead role in an upcoming TV pilot, he and Sara (and Cody) prepare to move to Los Angeles. But just before their departure, Cody is kidnapped—and it is entirely Rory's fault. Desperate to get back into Sara's good graces, Rory tracks Cody and the sociopathic dognapper to North Carolina. Can Rory rescue Cody and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they'll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.

I couldn't wait to dive into Stepdog by Nicole Galland because I love a good pet story. Especially when it is woven into a good contemporary setting. Overall Stepdog did not disappoint even though I found a few aspects of the book irritating.

There were many things I loved about the book. First of all, the cover is great. The dog on the front seems pretty spot-on for how Cody is described so one of my main pet peeves didn't rear its ugly head (I hate it when dogs on covers do not resemble at all the dogs in the book, or worse yet, there are cute dogs on the cover who are never even mentioned in the book). Secondly, the plot of the books is a pretty fresh concept and not one I have seen overly done lately. The last 1/2 of the book flew by and the conclusion was satisfying, even if the first part was a tad slow. The action takes off right from the beginning, but I fear it overshadows the readers ability to form strong connections to some of the players. In addition, Galland has a unique writing style which took some getting used to in the beginning, but eventually came naturally.

Now for some of the irritants. Rory is the narrator of the book and he is desperately in need of a green card. He and Sara, after working together for a while, go one one date and when she learns he plans on marrying a family friend to get a green card, decides they should just get married themselves rather than her having to date a married man. Talk about impulsive...and ill planned...and did I mention, probably stupid? However, they do and the novel proceeds from there.

Some might say Sara is overly attached to her dog Cody, but as an animal lover - I get it. Unfortunately Rory doesn't. He becomes irritated, jealous and throughout a lot of the book, criticizes Sara for her love for Cody. In my opinion, he should probably never be a pet owner, but it's a contemporary romance so it happens overnight. I never really liked Rory throughout the book. His character develops as the novel goes on, but for me, Rory never hits the mark. I certainly never liked him enough to impulsive marry him so he could get a green card. I did eventually like him enough that I would probably stay in touch with him once he was deported back to Ireland. I had some difficulty understanding why someone who clearly loves her dog, didn't see from the beginning that the situation with Rory was doomed, or at least seriously challenged.

I do have to mention there are some great side characters in the books. Alto is a wonderful transgender addition and many of Sara's friends come from diverse backgrounds which really added to the texture of the book.

Overall I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys animals, romance, or contemporary novels. There are also some humorous aspects, but you kind of have to like Rory more than I did to appreciate them. I feel this book is a strong 4 star book and it reminds me of the works of Lucy Dillon, who is one of my favorite authors.

I received this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT CHALLENGE #4:  Read a book with a red item on the cover.

BOOKER T's THOUGHT AND RATING:  Mom says to make this quick because the entry is already too long.  Cody is great (although I think she has a male name).  She is fun, even if somewhat needy.  I feel sorry for Cody because she has a lot of stupid humans in her life.  She should come live with me and my brother.  Cody gets 5 PAWS !

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Last week I was tagged by Velvet over at vvb32reads.  She has a wonderful blog and I want to thank her for tagging me.  She has picked 10 questions for me to answer so here we go!

1. What book are you currently reading?

Stepdog: Nicole Galland

 2.  In your current book, if you were one of the characters, who would you want to be?

     I think I would want to be Lena, Sara's best friend.  Lena was wary of Rory the first time she met him and basically didn't know that his relationship with Sara was a smart thing.  She is a tad stuck up, but has the levelest head in the book.  Being Cody, the dog, wouldn't be bad except she seems surrounded by stupid people at times!

3.  In your current book, is an animal mentioned?

     Kind of obvious but yes, time and time again!

4.  What book is next on your reading list?

The Veil (Devil's Isle #1): Chloe Neill

 5.  What book is your significant other reading?

     My husband is not a big reader, but since his fall semester of college starts in 3 weeks, I figure his next book will be one of his Criminal Justice textbooks.

6.  Do you like to keep your books stacked in a pile or standing upright on a shelf?

     That's easy - BOTH!

7.  Who usually gives you a book as a gift?

     My husband.  He always gets me books for Christmas or my birthday.

8.  Where do you usually buy your books?

     Amazon on the internet or else Walmart/Sam's Club when physically shopping.

9.  What dream location would you like to be while reading?

     Somewhere in the mountains, in a cozy cabin, with my husband and pups, in front of a warm fireplace - with cable.  That way he wouldn't get bored!

10.  Which current authors would you like to visit your local bookstore for a reading/signing?

      Stephen King, Joe Hill, Lucy Dillon and Karen Marie Moning.
Thanks again for the tag.  I will have to put some thought into who I will tag as I don't connect with many bloggers on a regular basis.  Hopefully I will get something up this week.  Again, don't forget to read vvb32reads blog.  Also, if you would like to be tagged, leave me a comment and I will make sure you get the questions!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (25)

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.  Had a somewhat slower book week, which I desperately needed.  I did manage to snag some good books though.

For my Kindle:

Cat Out of Hell Luckiest Girl Alive Castle Hangnail

Cat Out of Hell: Lynne Truss - I have wanted this since it was released.  So glad to have picked it up.
The Luckiest Girl Alive:  Jessica Knoll - Another one I have heard good things about.
Castle Hangnail: Ursula Vernon - I wish I had known about books like this when I was a kid.  I still really want to read it though so I couldn't resist adding it to the pile.

 From Netgalley:

Undertow Lumiere Girl's Guide

Undertow (Undertow #1): K.R. Conway.  Wicked Whale Publishing has this one out now.
Lumiere (The Illumination Paradox #1): Jacqueline E. Garlick.  Skyscape is releasing this September 15, 2015.
The Girl's Guide to the Apocalypse: Daphne Lamb.  Released September 1, 2015 from Booktrope.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for these digital ARCs.  What did you get this week?  Leave me a link so I can see your stack?

Alice in Wonderland - She Had to Be Pushed!

TITLE: Alice in Wonderland
AUTHOR: Lewis Carroll with Illustrations by Camille Rose Garcia
PUBLISHING DATE: February 2, 2010 (this edition)
PUBLISHER: Harper Design

FROM GOODREADS:  One day, a young girl named Alice is sitting on the riverbank with her sister, when she sees a curious looking white rabbit. She soon after falls into the magical world of Wonderland, where she meets a series of strange creatures.

I bought this book last year inspired in part by the beautiful artwork and it's a good thing I did, because if it were another edition, I may have never finished it. Now I know Alice in Wonderland is a classic and is loved by many, but I am just not one of those people. The main reason it received 3 stars instead of 2 is because of Camille Rose Garcia's artwork which as I mentioned is beautiful and also dark and twisty.

My main problem with the book is Alice. She is a whiny little brat. She is never happy, is always complaining and nothing seems good enough. She thinks she is much smarter than she really is and as I have commented on another group, I don't believe for one moment she FELL down the rabbit hole, I think someone PUSHED her because they were tired of her crap.

I did like some aspects of the story. I enjoyed the side characters immensely such as the White Rabbit, the Mock Turtle and the Caterpillar. Although, I do wish the mock turtle had chosen to drown Alice in the sea.

I am not sorry I read this book. I now have a grasp of the hype and can accept that I will not perpetuate it. I have not read a book in such a long time that has stuck with me the way this book has, specifically because of Alice. I have several ARCs of books which are coming out that are either retellings or inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and I hope to enjoy them all more than I did the original.


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT #75 - Step outside your comfort zone and read a book in a genre you have read less than 5 times this year.  (Classics - I haven't read one this year before this.  Check out my link on Goodread.  Check out my shelf HERE.

Ghost Chasers - The Curse of Steel

TITLE: Ghost Chaser: The Curse of Steel
AUTHOR: Dedrick Frazier
PUBLISHER: Outskirts Press
PUBLISHING DATE: March 9, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: Dorian Steel is a lone wolf on a journey searching for an identity now that the orphanage in which he was raised in is several light-years behind him. Serving time in prison due to a jealous ex-girlfriend’s vendetta was not how he saw his life progressing, but through it all, he has finally found peace. Once the visions start however, his isolated world is shattered - leaving only the shards of glass for him to walk on.
The always quiet, unassuming landscaper quickly goes from a life of hiding in the bushes to the forefront of the battle lines for survival - facing an army of ghosts, demons, and human turncoats loyal to a demonic force intent on the systematic destruction of mankind as we know it. When the woman he has suppressed his feelings for re-enters his life, Steel realizes that if she dies, blood will be on his hands for the second time.
Dorian Steel will face a roller coaster of emotions ranging from fear, love, fear of love, and everything in-between. Whether it is demons, detectives, or the occasionally possessed vagrant, Steel’s life, as well as the lives of his loved ones’ are in serious danger - not to mention the fate of the world. However, he does have a chance to save everyone and everything important to him. It all hinges on the one thing Steel despises more than anything else - those damned psychic powers. 

The author sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was very interested in reading Ghost Chaser because of the paranormal aspects of it, and because the author resides in Savannah, one of my favorite locations. However, while I enjoyed the book, I kept wishing for "something more."

There were a few points which I really liked about Frazier's work. I really enjoyed the characters. Dorian was a wonderfully flawed character and Carmen provided some lightheartedness in the midst of some very dark subject matter. I also liked the good vs. evil storyline and felt Frazier did a great job tackling this not only on a supernatural level, but also on a human level.

The main issue with the book was the pacing. At times, I just wanted to book to be quicker. It's not an extremely lengthy book, yet I felt it took me much longer to read than some 500 page novels. I found areas of the novel slow, and was at times, confused. The book really jumps around in one section and while it all makes sense in the end, it made for a few confusing chapters.

Overall, I do not regret reading this book and would recommend it to individuals who enjoy TV shows such as Ghost Hunters. The book is not for the faint at the heart as there are some graphic, violent scenes, but they didn't bother me at all. I don't know if this is a planned series, but if so, it's likely I would pick up the next installment.


COYER SCAVENGER HUNT CHALLENGE #3 - Read a book with a cover that is at least 51% black and/or grey.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

"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:

Daughters of the Ruin: K.D. Castner

Game of Thrones meets Graceling in a thrilling debut that follows the four fierce princesses of enemy kingdoms as their worlds collide in the throes of war.

Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren have lived together since they were children. They are called sisters. They are not. They are called equals. They are not. They are princesses…and they are enemies.

Not long ago, a brutal war ravaged their kingdoms, and Rhea’s father was the victor. As a gesture of peace, King Declan brought the daughters of his rivals to live under his protection—and his ever-watchful eye. For ten years the girls have trained together as diplomats and warriors, raised to accept their thrones and unite their kingdoms in peace.

But there is rarely peace among sisters. Sheltered Rhea was raised to rule everyone—including her “sisters”—but she’s cracking under pressure. The charismatic Cadis is desperately trying to redeem her people from their actions during the war. Suki guards deep family secrets that isolate her, and quiet Iren’s meekness is not what it seems.

All plans for peace are shattered when the palace is attacked. As their intended futures lie in ashes, Rhea, Cadis, Suki, and Iren must decide where their loyalties lie: to their nations, or to each other.

This one doesn't come out until April 16, 2016 but U am already wanting it!  What are you waiting for this week?

Top 5 Wednesday - Characters Who Deserve Their Own Series/Book

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 characters who deserve their own series/book.

 Isaac from The Fault in Our Stars.  I know I am the minority, but I didn't care for the book or movie as much as everyone else.  I did love Isaac though and would love to know more about him and see what he has been up to lately.

Jenks the fairy from Kim Harrison's The Hollow series.  Jenks is clearly my favorite character in the book and I think a book about him would be great.  He is gritty and speaks his mind, plus he has a way of getting into tons of trouble.  The book where he was "super-sized" to average human size was the best!

 Beezle from Christina Henry's Black Wings series.  I love that little gargoyle and while it may be a stretch to give him his own series, I would definitely grab it as soon as it was released.

 Stefan Uccello from Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series.  Stefan is a vampire who appears in several of the books.  He drives a van painted like the Scooby-Doo mystery van.  Tell me how that alone wouldn't make for a great spin-off???

 I have two characters from Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series whom I think make better series leads than Sookie herself.  First of all there is Sam.  While he was a main character in the book and it's probably too late for his own series, I believe his story could have been much better than Sookie's.  Second there is Pam Ravenscroft.  Perhaps because she was so well done in the True Blood series, Pam quickly became one of my favorite residents of Bon Temps.  I would love to have a series entirely devoted to her.

What made your list this week?  Any thoughts on these?  Leave a comment so I can check out your  Top 5.