Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moon Chosen Review (Or Why I Didn't Read More Books in November!!!)

TITLE: Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
PUBLISHING DATE: October 18, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has been forced to turn from her duties, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save herself and her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating Tribe, strays across her path that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now evil is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By breaking Clan Law and forming an alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and battle the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

Anyone who saw my "Hallelujah I'm done" comment on Goodreads or who follows this blog will probably know that I had a lot of difficulty getting through this book. In fact, it led to my first reading slump of 2016. Also know though that this was probably one of my top 3 anticipated books of the year. I desired it ever since I first saw the cover, I featured it on my blog several times, I even jumped up and down when I won an ARC from Goodreads. I looked at the cover over and over basically counting down until I could start it even. So it really pains me that it only rated 3/5 for me. And the truth is, for a lot of the book, it was maybe even closer to 2/5. The cover alone probably earned at least 1/2 a paw if not a whole one.

This book has a lot of information in it. What it all boils down to is that there are different populations of people inhabiting the earth. We are introduced to several during the course of 600 plus pages and I have a feeling there might be more. So far I have a decent grasp on the Skin Walkers, who are basically cannibals, Earth Walkers who live off the land and have goddesses who assist with the day to day sanity, and Companions, individuals who bond with various animals and probably function the closest to what would resemble life as we know it - except they live in trees. In fact, their clan may be closer to being called Tree Walkers or something but that piece of knowledge apparently didn't stick with me. Oh, and these clans can't stand each other. Also, I think this book is futuristic. There is know real time period mentioned that I recall, but there are things in it which elude to the idea that it's set in the future.

Mari, an 18 year old Earth Walker is the product of an elicit relationship between her mother, an Earth Walker, and a Companion. She has lived with this secret knowledge her whole life for risk of being banished. Her mother is the main Moon Goddess of the clan and is looking for a successor, and Mari just doesn't fit the bill. Companions grow up and if they are lucky, they are "chosen" by an dog - either a shepherd or a terrier, which determines if you will have power in the clan or be a hunter. Once night a cherished pup escapes, crosses an impossible terrain, and chooses Mari. Mari loves Rigel with all her heart. The remainder of the book follows Mari's world with Rigel and Nik, a Companion who has never been chosen but whose father is basically "king." About 3/4 of the way in, their worlds finally collide. Instead of going on and on, I'll leave it with a war is raging and I have no clue what is going to play out in future installments of this series.

I have to admit there are a few things I liked about this book. I love the concept that you can be "chosen" by a dog and they become your life-long soul pet (for lack of a better word). I love dogs so that's a given. I also liked a lot of the characters. Mari, although somewhat annoying because of her indecisiveness and lack of self esteem grows as the book progresses and is rather likable at the end. Also, another Earth Walker, Sora, who is EXTREMELY unlikable in the beginning had an plot arc that I got totally caught up in and she became one of my favorites. I also really liked the story line once Nik and Mari's paths crossed. The problem is, it takes almost 450 pages for that to happen. I crept through those first 450 pages at a snail's pace, but once they met, I pretty much flew through the remainder.

I am interested in where this series will lead. Thanks heavens the last part saved me because it made me very interested in continuing on with future installments when they are released. I am a huge fans of longer books so I wasn't intimidated by the size of this book, but I kind of think the beginning wasn't interesting enough to warrant such length.

I also feel I should issue a small warning. This book contains some disturbing scenes. There is rape, cannibalism, animal abuse, physical abuse and murder. I rarely allow stuff like this to deter me from books, but I pretty much feel I should mention it in case anyone is undecided and any of these are themes you avoid. If you love animals, especially dogs, I am sure the Companion relationship will interest you enough to pick up this book. Also, if you've read any of Cast's previous works and enjoy her writing (which I have), picking this up might seem like the next step. Just keep in mind the things I've mentioned above and realize it may be a long commitment.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.

January 10, 2017

FROM GOODREADS:  The year is 1888 and Jack the Ripper begins his reign of terror.

Miss Sarah Bain, a photographer in Whitechapel, is an independent woman with dark secrets. In the privacy of her studio, she supplements her meager income by taking illicit “boudoir photographs” of the town's local ladies of the night. But when two of her models are found gruesomely murdered within weeks of one another, Sarah begins to suspect it's more than mere coincidence.

Teamed with a motley crew of friends--including a street urchin, a gay aristocrat, a Jewish butcher and his wife, and a beautiful young actress--Sarah delves into the crime of the century. But just as she starts unlocking the Ripper's secrets, she catches the attention of the local police, who believe she knows more than she's revealing, as well as from the Ripper himself, now bent on silencing her and her friends for good.

Caught in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer, Sarah races through Whitechapel's darkest alleys to find the truth...until she makes a shocking discovery that challenges everything she thought she knew about the case. Intelligent and utterly engrossing, Laura Joh Rowland's Victorian mystery The Ripper's Shadow will keep readers up late into the night.

WHY I'M WAITING:  All my blogging friends know how much I like tales about Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper so this one automatically went on the wishlist the minute I saw it. 

What are you waiting for this week? 

Monday, November 28, 2016

TTT - 10 Books To Buy A Book Lover For Christmas

This 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.  Since Christmas is coming up, I'm focusing on 10 books certain to please a book lover this Christmas!

I don't know if you guys have seen this beautiful book yet but any fantasy lover is sure to want Santa to bring it.  It has a beautiful hardback embossed cover, gilded edges and illustrations.  I know I've already enabled several people to purchase it.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a great book for anyone who likes a good story.  Of course, if they like dogs, it's a must-have.  It's one of my all-time favorite dog books.  And yes, one of the few books that made me cry.  I have a lovely hardback but since doing this post, I'm on the lookout for this cover as well.

Nope, I've never read this book but I knows tons of people rave about it.  If you have a classic lover on your list, I doubt you can go wrong with this one.  Plus there are TONS are great covers to collect.

You can hardly go anywhere on the internet without hearing about the Gilmore Girls revival.  I was just as excited about it as many so I figure there are a lot of people out there who would like to have this under their tree - if they can wait that long!

I believe every reader should at least attempt a Stephen King book once in their lives (unless they absolutely hate horror).  He creates such conflicted characters and the book setting often becomes an additional character all on his own.  The Shining is probably my favorite of all his works so it's a good place to get someone started.

Everyone can use a little Christmas cheer - or some Christmas horror.  I know this one is on my TBR for December and the hardback is gorgeous (if you like that kind of thing).

Longmire the television show has appealed to lovers of both mysteries and westerns so why not get the reader in your life the first installment in this series (the books are always better right?)

I believe all kids should receive a book or two at Christmas so why not rely on an old faithful.  It may be old but it's still a classic!

I've yet to see a bad review about this one so I think it's a great go-to for any sci-fi lover.

And the perfect gift that keeps on giving.  Why not buy the reader in your life a new e-reader?  That way they can add some wonderful books to it themselves and never be at a loss for something to read.

So I can't wait to see what is on everyone's lists this week!  Hope you found something good on this one.

COVER REVEAL - Guardian of Secrets

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I'm thrilled to be showing you all the cover for Brenda Drake's next installment.  Anyone who loves books featuring books and libraries and enjoys fantasy should definitely pick up Thief of Lies before this new one comes out!

FEBRUARY 7, 2016

Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens.

Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it.

And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia.

Maybe. If she survives.

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Weekly Reads (11/25/16)

I hope all my friends out there who celebrate Thanksgiving had a great one and that everyone who is venturing out into Black Friday madness is keeping safe and having fun.  That scene is not for me so as you read this, I am settling into a nice, quiet day at home where hopefully, I can squeeze in an episode or two of the new Gilmore Girls.

We had a great low-key Thanksgiving dinner at The Farm.  We also watched the new Star Trek movie Wednesday night while the turkey was cooking in the smoker and although I didn't love it nearly as much as the last one, I still found it pretty good.  However, it was tough knowing Anton Yelchin won't be in any future franchise installments,

Since I've been off this week, I'd love to say that I've read tons, but the truth is, I've hit a slump. Thanks a lot "Moon Chosen."  I only hope I can finish it before Saturday hits. I'm seriously thinking of scraping the November TBR and moving right into December's plans.  Maybe that would help some.  Who knows.  So far, these are STILL sitting on the stack.  Tired of this photo - ME TOO!

Cassius celebrated his 3rd birthday on the 22nd so next week, I hope to have some pics to share.  In the meantime, stay safe everyone and let me know what you're reading this weekend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (83)

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.

April 25, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . .

This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women, but without ever once breaking the law.
Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew s soul.
There is a new darkness in the town, too frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he s become, Alice is desperate to intervene and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.
Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother s brutal mission and is drawn into the Hopkins family s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.
Inspired by the real-life story of notorious Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience. 

WHY I'M WAITING:  I've read more historical fiction this year than any previous ones and find that I enjoy it from time to time.  Since this one has to do with witches, it has a good chance of holding my attention. 

What are you waiting for this week???

Monday, November 21, 2016

TTT - 10 Bloggers I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving!

This 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. Since Thanksgiving is approaching this week, I want to feature 10 bloggers I am thankful for.  There are so many great bloggers out there but I know when I visit these blogs, I'm ultimately going to add to my TBR and find some interesting posts!

Tammy always has such great reviews and hauls and I am always finding something interesting to read on her blog.  While we read a lot of the same things, I've recently found some new sci-fi books to try since I'm trying to read more of that genre.  Tammy also shares my love of pups!

I can't say enough about Stormi.  She is the first person I've co-hosted a challenge with and she has really reunited my love of cozy mysteries.  We love enabling each other which has brought about the new #stormimademedoit tag.  We recently started doing buddy read/tag team reviews which has motivated me to read some books which have been lingering on my pile for too long.

This blog features a lot of speculative fiction and the reviews are super in-depth, yet non-spoilery.  Mogsy is great to interact with and I am always excited when I see I've added to her TBR because she has caused mine to grow tremendously!

Angel Erin and I read so many similar books, and quite often share the same opinions that we have joked maybe we are long lost relatives.  I love that her blog also features music from time to time as I'm always looking for new tunes to try out.  Her blog also incorporates one of my favorite colors - purple.

Kristen reads and reviews a lot of books that I don't normally see on other sites.  She also does some "cover characteristics" features which showcase some really truly beautiful books.  She recently did her first author interview and I always look forward to reading her new posts.

Greg @Book Haven

I recently discovered Greg's blog.  He is participating in Sci-Fi November and I've loved looking at some of the older science fiction covers he has been featuring.  Greg is another blogger that mentions music from time to time which is extra enjoyable.

Lindsay and her husband recently moved back to Hawaii but prior to that, she was fairly close to me living in Ohio.  I first found Lindsay when I saw a picture of her with her boxer on Goodreads.  Lindsay always features some great photos on her blog and she reads a variety of genres.  I've discovered quite a few dog-related titles from checking out her blog regularly.

This blog has become a daily stop for me.  We tend to enjoy a lot of the same genres and both adore our animals.  I really can't imagine my life without my daily fix now! It also features awesome horror movie recommendations!

Lauren @FUONLYKNEW and Sherry @fundimental

I met these two awesome bloggers through Stormi last month and I couldn't be happier about it.  We did a four person Tag Team review in October and hope to do more features together in 2017.  Some of this blogging stuff is very new to me and both have been extremely helpful.


I met both of these great ladies through COYER last year when I participated for the first time.  Since becoming involved with that group, I've met so many wonderful bloggers and found so many great sites.  Both of these blogs showcase a variety of genres and both are lots of fun to visit.

Chuckles @chucklesbookcave

I love everything about Chuckles blog and it's one of  the first book blogs I ever remember stumbling upon.  She reads all kinds of books, especially some lesser known ones, so I'm always finding some great titles.  She loves to ask about Booker T and Cassius and they fondly refer to her as Auntie Chuckles.

So as you can see, I cheated a tad.  And to be honest, there's more great blogs I could mention.  However, I wanted to make sure to give a special shout-out to these individuals.  So Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My First Neil Gaiman Book - The Sleeper and the Spindle

TITLE: The Sleeper and the Spindle
AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator)
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing

FROM GOODREADS: A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.

MY THOUGHTS:   This was a short book/story I grabbed from the library when I saw it on the "newly arrived" shelf a few weeks ago. I had been interested in it when it was released, and simply couldn't pass it up. "The Sleeper and the Spindle" is a sort of fairy tale retelling/mash up and reminded me of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. The tale is fairly short and I don't want to give anything away but it's definitely a dark tale ,which made the story all so much more enjoyable for me. I love the young queen who sets out on the adventure to save the sleeping kingdom and the ending is perfect. I have to mention the artwork. I've always been a fan of Chris Riddell's art and the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous! It's almost worth reading it for the artwork alone!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

COYER Blackout Winter Storm Challenge!

It's time once again for another COYER Challenge - and boy, the hosts have went out of their way this time to make it a doozy!  This is one of my favorite challenges and I've met so many great people through it.  So I'm posting the general rules below and if you are interested in joining us, or want more specifics, head over to the challenge website and sign up!

This time COYER is going to be a 12 week Blackout, where you have to dedicate yourself to reading the books YOU ALREADY  have acquired for less than $1.00.
That’s right,  you have between now and the start of COYER, December 17th, to acquire the books you’ll be reading during COYER. And they must be books you got for less than $1.00. The only exception is audio books, which you must have purchased for less than $5. They must either be eBooks or audio books.
We understand that we’re all constantly acquiring new books,  though.  So we’ve provided you a little relief (believe it or not this was all Michelle!), in the form of a generator.  Every book powers the generator up a little more.  After reading 10 books over 100 pages your generator is fully powered.  Books under 100 pages only provide half the energy… So it would take 20 books under 100 pages to power your generator.
Once your generator is powered up,  you may read ANY one book you want.  Doesn’t matter how much it cost, where you got it,  what format it is.  But your generator only has enough power for ONE book,  so use it immediately and wisely.  You can’t save it to use later,  it’s now or never!
COYER Blackout will run from December 17, 2016 – March 3, 2017. We will leave the linky open 1 extra day for you to get reviews in,  but those reviews need to be posted by the end of the day March 3rd. We will announce winners of (3) $10 gift cards to Amazon or Barnes and Noble on March 4th.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (90)

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.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page. 

I received the most wonderful physical ARC in the mail this week from St. Martin's Press.  Since I featured this one on a W.O.W. a few months ago, I was thrilled to receive this package.  Two Good Dogs comes out early March.

I received the following from Netgalley.  Just One Bite looks like too much fun.  I really like the cover of the Inspector Hobbes book but I think it's part of a series I'll have to look up.  I was sent an invitation for Beauty and the Wiener and I never really anticipated being approved for the Sophie Kinsella book, but I have read a few others by her and find them nice reads from time to time.

Finally, I had to grab a few books from Amazon. Murder at Mistletoe Manor, Cold Hollow and A Tangled Teaser were free and I had to grab Freckles after seeing it over at Laurie's blog #LaurieMadeMeDoIt.

So what did you guys add this week???

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Weekly Reads (11/18/16)

So it was a pretty busy week here at The Farm.  We had another Neighborhood Watch meeting and attendance is really picking up.  We just have to name Captain/Co-Captain and then we can officially be "recognized" by the city - whatever that means.

Saturday my Grandfather, Mother and I went to a local county farm and got to see the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.  They are so gorgeous and I am thrilled that I was able to pet one - Charlie.  I took tons of pictures and here are some of the better ones.  I wanted one of the their dog - an adorable dalmatian named Harley - but he rarely sat still.

It has been a slow reading week and my current read is sort of dragging me down.  I still adore the cover, but so far, the verdict's still out on what lies beneath it.  So hopefully I can get this finished this weekend.  I still have over 300 pages yet to go. Basically what's up next hasn't really changed.

So what are your plans over the next few days????

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (82)

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.

May 30, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Complete with photo illustrations and eerie black-and-white art, this all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum tells the story of teenager Louisa Ditton, who finds employment as a maid at a boarding house in Northern England—only to discover that the owner is executing his own brand of dark justice on the guests.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

WHY I'M WAITING:  Because it's horror.....that's enough for me.  Not to mention I read Asylum by  this author and enjoyed it. 

What are you waiting for this week???