Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (108)

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.  

Only a few books to share this week.  I know I grabbed some free ones for Kindle so let's see.  All three of these were free and seem to be in the general horror genre.  Here are the links: "The Halloween Girl" "Daisy Pushers" and "After the Cabin."  On a side note, I hope Amy Cross writes great books because I've grabbed a ton for free over the past 6 months.  

I also received the following for review. "The Things They've Taken" is published by Entangled Teen and I have good luck with liking their books.  I couldn't resist the synopsis of "Devil's Call" but have to admit if the cover hadn't said DEVIL, I wouldn't have given it a second glance.  Also, "The Frozen Woman" sounds like a great crime/thriller.

So what did you add to your shelves this week???"

Friday, April 28, 2017

Weekly Reads (04/28/17)

So the next 2 weeks are going to be really busy with Mr. Barb's graduation and such but I'm still hoping to find lots of time to read. Last weekend we did watch "Purple Rain" and a few Prince videos. I also made Purple Rain cocktails which turned out better than last time since I remembered the lime this go-around.  We also watched  "Underworld: Blood Wars" and although I don't find them great movies, it was enjoyable and entertaining.  "Bates Motel" and "Outsiders" had their season enders which I've yet to watch so I want to do that over the weekend as well.

Mr. Barb, Grandpa and Useless Cousin took down a tree in our backyard Monday.  Well, Grandpa supervised and Useless Cousin helped because he has nothing else to do since he lots his job and he ad his family are getting a free ride at Grandpa's right now so he better do something.  The weather has been fairly decent and I had to order new reading glasses which are taking FOREVER to come in. That's about all that's notable going on.

Here's what I hope to finish up/start this weekend and upcoming week.

Hope everyone had a great week and what's your plan for the next few days???

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Title is Almost as Long as the Book (review)

TITLE: Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman & Shane Oakley (illustrator)
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Books
PUBLISHING DATE: February 7, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: A celebrated send-up of gothic literature, beautifully adapted into a dark, brooding, and oddly comical graphic novel. Somewhere in the night, a raven caws, an author's pen scratches, and thunder claps. The author wants to write fiction: stories about frail women in white nightgowns, mysterious bumps in the night, and the undead rising to collect old debts. But he keeps getting interrupted by the everyday annoyances of talking ravens, duels to the death, and his sinister butler.
Shane Oakley beautifully illustrates New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman's satirical tale.

MY THOUGHTS:  I am so glad I didn't order this from Amazon. It was in my cart and I resisted. Luckily I saw it on the library new release shelf a few weeks ago and it immediately jumped into my greedy little hands. I LOVE the cover and heck, it's Neil Gaiman, so I thought it had to be good. I'm not really sure what I expected, but this wasn't it.

This is a VERY short Gothic graphic novel. It tells the tale of a man trying to write a classic gothic literature piece and he keeps getting interrupted by his butler, some scary Aunt in the attic and a talking raven. I'm pretty sure it supposed to poking fun at Gothic tales but I think I missed something. I will say it is comical in places. The writer in the book finally thinks he is trying too hard to wrote some great piece spellbinding literature so he eventually starts another tale about an unhappy housewife and toast (yep, toast - not a typo).

The artwork is great and that's why it actually is a 3/5 read rather than a 2/5. It goes back and forth from black and white (the author's tale) and color (Gaiman's tale) which is a nice division. If you see it at the library and like dark tales or else are a huge Gaiman fan, then I'd say grab it. However, I can't recommend buying it and it literally took me under 1/2 hour to read it.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (103) - "Booker T In The House!"

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

Hello fellow bloggers.  Mom has given me free reign of the blog yet again so I wanted to share some of my latest finds with you guys.  Cass and I are doing well and with Spring in the air, we are enjoying the extra walks and time outside with the folks.  Maybe Mom will practice with her new camera again so I can have some new pics of us to share soon.

I am VERY photogenic outdoors!  On with the books.

New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay returns to Bluff Point, Maine, where one woman finds love with the help of an adorable golden retriever.


Carly DeCusati returned home to Bluff Point, Maine, with her tail between her legs. But she’s determined to get her life back on track—and that means finding new homes for the elderly golden retriever and overly talkative parrot she inherited before her old life fell apart.

Enter physical therapist and hot one-night stand James Sinclair. James doesn’t care that Carly doesn’t do relationships. He is determined to win her heart, promising to help her with the pets if she’ll just give him the time of day.

Carly agrees to date the irresistible James, and, for the first time in years, she’s dreaming of a happily ever after. But James has secrets, and if he can’t open up to Carly, their future could go to the dogs...

From W. Bruce Cameron, the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel A Dog's Purpose, which is now a major motion picture!

Lucas Ray is shocked when an adorable puppy jumps out of an abandoned building and into his arms. Though the apartment he shares with his mother, a disabled veteran, doesn't allow dogs, Lucas can't resist taking Bella home.

Bella is inexplicably drawn to Lucas, even if she doesn't understand the necessity of games like No Barks. As it becomes more difficult to hide her from the neighbors, Lucas begins to sneak Bella into the VA where he works. There, Bella brings joy and comfort where it is needed most.

After Bella is picked up by Animal Control because pit bulls are banned in Denver, Lucas has no choice but to send her to a foster home until he can figure out what to do. But Bella, distraught at the separation, doesn't plan to wait. With four hundred miles of dangerous Colorado wilderness between her and her person, Bella sets off on a seemingly impossible and completely unforgettable adventure home.

A classic story of unwavering loyalty and incredible devotion, A Dog's Way Home is a beautifully told, charming tale that explores the unbreakable bond between us and our pets. This fantastic and exhilarating journey of the heart is in the same tradition as the beloved bestseller, A Dog's Purpose.

WHY BOOKER T CAN'T WAIT:  So I know Mom just read and reviewed "About a Dog" and I heard her mention she is thrilled the next one is coming out this year.  She doesn't read  lot of romance but I can tell ya, when she was reading the first in this series, that dog Tulip really pulled her heartstrings because she was often sitting down Paul Anka (Mom's Kindle) and giving us lots of hugs and kisses and then going back to reading.

I also know she has a lot of books by Bruce W. Cameron so I'm assuming she'll want this one too.  She's read his mystery series but she's always saying this series seems like it will be sad.  I know there's a movie coming out to rent soon based on one and she's always laughing when she sees the ad and that goofy dog introduces himself and says "I'm Bailey Bailey Bailey."  Heck, I can say my name three times and I don't think she would laugh!

So what books can't you guys wait for this week?  For now, I'm Booker T, signing out! (I always wanted to say that).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TTT - Things That Make Me Instantly NOT Want to Read a Book

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.  Today I'm sharing with you 5 things that make me NOT want to read a book. I didn't think I could come up with 10..

1. Self help books (I'm not against them, I just prefer my reading to be fictional and use it as an escape.  I don't need reminders of how messed up I might be).

2.  Books with animal abuse (I've read a few which mention it after I've already started, but if I know it exists right from the top, I'll usually avoid them altogether).

3. Aliens (I've never had much luck about books with aliens - just visit my Welcome to Night Vale review...or my 5th Wave one).

4.  Books with love triangles (although I read some books with them, if the triangle is the primary focus of the book, and there's nothing else to snag me, I'll skip it.  And I can't believe I've used a Twilight GIF on my blog but it definitely demonstrates the point).

5.  Books with snakes!  (I don't think I need to say anything more).

So what automatically turns you away from a book?  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cover Reveal - Blue Bottle Tree

There's no such thing as voodoo.  At least that's what most of the Baptists in Bellin tell themselves.  But Seven LeVey knows better.  In a small rural town just outside of Nashville, voodoo conjures and curses simmer and seethe under the noses of may who will never know.  Seventeen year old Seven romanticizes about the meaning of life while being held captive as a zombie under the shell of a kiddie pool.  He's counting on the strength, and maybe even the love, of a certain redheaded clarinet player to save him.  But will she?

Filled with betrayal and revenge, two families struggle with a curse that stretches back to the Queen of Voodoo Marie Laveau in this contemporary Southern Gothic adventure.  Prepare for a wildly original twist on the paranormal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Beaird Glover grew up on a rural farm in Tennessee.  He graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.  He then moved to southern California and wrote "Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Election." More recently he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree from Long Island University in Brooklyn and has worked as a physician's assistant.  Beaird now lives in New Orleans with his wife Kim and their cats.

True North Blog Tour - L.E. Sterling

True North by L.E. Sterling
Published by Entangled Teen
Published April 4th, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

FROM GOODREADS:  Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.   While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.   As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

MY THOUGHTS:  "True North" picks up right where "True Born" left off and is packed full of excitement and action.  And even though I may have enjoyed book one a tad bit more, this is still a strong installment in Sterling's series.  I think for the most part, "True North" is setting the scene for something major to happen in the next book.  Yet, don't fret, there is still plenty going on.

As the book starts, Lucy is still working with Storm in Dominion City and together they are trying to move into a position of power and figure out what is happening with the Plague and what role Lucy and her twin Margot may play in the cure.  However, upset because Storm has yet to follow up on his promise to help locate Margot in Russia, Lucy finally decides to take off on her own.  However, this time, she has some help from a new "friend," Alistair and of course, her True Born guard, Jared, is not far behind.  Together, the three of them travel to Russia, meet some new power players in the current Plague war, and get into loads of nasty predicaments.

I really enjoyed the introduction of Alistair.  I feel I need to clarify that there is no real love triangle forming as Lucy is still trying to fight her attraction to Jared and vice versa.  However, that doesn't stop me from being #TeamAlistair.  Oh well, one can dream.  Almost all of "True North" focuses on Lucy and when Margot is finally reunited with her sister, there is still a lot of her backstory missing. Being more familiar with Sterling's excellent storytelling though, I'm pretty sure the readers will learn lots more about what happened to Margot during her time in Russia when book 3 arrives.  I'm not sure about how I feel about Storm and feel there is still a lot to learn about the man who just might hold Lucy and Margot's fate in his hands.

If you liked "True Born" then reading this next installment is a must.  And if you haven't started this series, now is a great time to catch up and marathon both books.



I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance. For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since. My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words. My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend. But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow. Website:
Read the first 6 chapters HERE:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (107) - Back After Two Weeks

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.

So it's been two weeks since I shared a haul.  Last weekend was a holiday weekend and to be honest, I just didn't feel like posting one.  However, that hasn't kept me from accumulating books so here we go!

I grabbed a few book for Paul Anka (my Kindle).  Some were free and others were under $3.00 (I think and nope, don't remember which were which so check before you buy).  I had to grab "The Beast of London" after seeing it on Clare's blog at Duel Reads and "Just One Damned Thing After Another" was a daily deal and since I never read it when I had it from the library, I couldn't resist.  "A Howl in the Night" is a mystery series I stumbled on and "Demon Blessed" was free and the both satisfied my C-ADHD (Canine ADHD).  "Chips of Red Paint" was also free and since my Dad had a refinished truck like that when I was a kid, the cover spoke to me.  Finally "Live Wire" sounded like a decent urban fantasy read.

I snagged the following three books from the Penguin First to Read program.  It was 3am and the dogs needed out and while I was standing at the back door, I remembered new books were being posted so I grabbed the tablet and this is what happened.  I may not make the best decisions at 3am - we'll see.  

And finally I got the following ARCs and rather than make excuses, I'm just owning it 😈😈😈 "A New Leash of Love" and "Hunting Hour" were new acquisitions courtesy of the above mentioned C-ADHD.  I saw "Strange Alchemy" on a Can't Wait Wednesday post and really wanted it - Roanoke Island/lost colony tale.  I've had my eyes on "Only the Dead Know Brooklyn" for some time and was recently approved and the "Penance" and Carnivalesque" were impulse grabs, but at least they sound promising.

I think I hit the jackpot with quite a few of these.  So what did you add to your shelves this week???

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Reads (04/21/17)

I want to thank everyone who tolerated and even commented and enjoyed some of the Prince posts from the past few weeks.  I know this week was kind of heavy with them, but as he passed a year ago today, I wanted to make sure to do some things to remember him this week.  I have pretty much used up all my ideas though so that's all the Prince posts for now.  However, do expect to see some books in some upcoming hauls.

Last weekend was nice and restful.  I took Grandpa on a mini-trip last Friday while Mr. Barb was working and then he came up for Easter dinner Sunday.  With the cousins still at the house, he really needed to get out so I'm glad he felt he could come visit us.  The boys got new Easter presents - a bunny and a parrot and enjoyed seeing Grandpa as well.

We also managed to watch a few movies this week that in my opinion, at least didn't suck.  First we watched a new horror flick called "The Void."  It was kind of reminiscent of 80's horror and I can say I practically loved it.  If you are a horror fan, please consider checking it out.  Then we watched the new Jamie Foxx film, "Sleepless."  It's an action film about dirty and undercover cops in Las Vegas and although it's never going to be winning any awards, it was quite entertaining. 

So tonight I will be watching "Purple Rain" and some older videos while chilling with a mixed drink or two.  Mr. Barb works this weekend so I plan in doing some errands, visiting Grandpa and then having Chinese with Mom for lunch Sunday.  Needless to say I want to cram some reading in so here's what's up on the stack - lots of great looking books!

So how was your week and what are you planning on reading over the weekend???

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rest in Purple - Prince Book Tag

So I knew in the month of April I wanted to do a few things to commemorate the passing of my favorite artist this time last year.  Wow, it's hard to believe it's coming on a year.  So I created this book tag to combine my love of Prince with my love of books!

For favorite dystopian novel  chose "True Born" by L.E.Sterling.  I love how the book has beings with combined human and animal DNA.  Plus the second book releases tomorrow.

To say I really didn't enjoy reading "Welcome to Night Vale" is an understatement, but I do love the cover.

I grabbed "Clown Moon" in March for my Kindle after accidentally stumbling upon this awesome cover.

Matt Wallace's "Sin du Jour" series is so crazy and fun that it was an automatic choice for this category.  If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?

I don't read a lot of classics, but I've actually read "Little Women" twice and have enjoyed it both times.

Ever since I've read "Pit Perfect" and its sequel "The Money Pit," I've wanted to give Smooshie a big old hug and kiss!

If you've read any of Jeaniene Frost's "Night Huntress" books, then you'll know why I picked Cat and Bones.

Of course I cried when I read "Marley and Me."  And then did again when I watched the movie.

Hands down it has to be "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making."

I know tons of people liked "The 5th Wave" but I just didn't understand all the hype.  

So there you have it.  I very rarely do tags, let alone create them.  If you like this and want to give it a go, please leave a comment or a link so I can check out your answers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (102) - The Royal Edition

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

This week I'm sharing two books which I will definitely be pre-ordering.  They will be a great addition to my Prince collection!

DESCRIPTION: When Prince wanted to document his One Nite Alone tour in 2002, he turned to Afshin Shahidi. Again in 2004, he went along on Prince’s record breaking Musicology Tour. Afshin met Prince in 1989 and became his cinematographer and later his photographer. He was the photographer closest to Prince for the last fifteen years of Prince’s life. Afshin is the only photographer to shoot the legendary 3121 private parties in Los Angeles that became the most sought after invitations in Hollywood.

Prince: A Private View compiles his work into a journey through Prince's extraordinary life. With many never-before-seen photos, this is the ultimate collection of – some intimate, some candid, some in concert – shots of Prince, but all are carefully directed in the artist-as-art style that we associate with him. Deep photo captions are brief, but complete stories about Prince's life at that moment - some are incisive, others are personal and even funny.

DESCRIPTION: PICTURING PRINCE sees the late icon's former art director, STEVE PARKE, revealing stunning intimate photographs of the singer from his time working at Paisley Park. At least half of the images in the book are exclusively published here for the first time; most other images in the book are rare to the public eye.
Alongside these remarkable images are fifty engaging, poignant and often funny written vignettes by Parke, which reveal the very human man behind the reclusive superstar: from shooting hoops to renting out movie theatres at 4am; from midnight requests for camels to meaningful conversations that shed light on Prince as a man and artist.
STEVE PARKE started working with Prince in 1988, after a mutual friend showed Prince some of Steve's photorealistic paintings. He designed everything from album covers and merchandise to sets for Prince's tours and videos. Somewhere in all of this, he became Paisley Park's official art director. He began photographing Prince at the request of the star himself, and continued to do so for the next several years. The images in this book are the arresting result of this collaboration.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Really???  I won't even insult you with a reason my friends!

So what can't you wait for this week (beside my crazy font to go back to normal!!!)