Monday, July 31, 2017

TTT - Covers I Would Definitely Redesign

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. 

This meme is actually on hiatus for a few weeks but a few bloggers are doing their own topics for a while and I've missed this post.  I saw this idea on a blog last week (wish I remembered where) so I most definitely stole it.  I am sharing with you covers I'd redesign if I had the chance (and the ability).

Rituals (Cainsville #5) - Kelley Armstrong.  This book isn't even out yet and I already want a cover change.  I love this series so much but I don't think this cover depicts what is needed for the final conclusion of an awesome series.

Heart of Stone (Old Races Universe #1) - C.E. Murphy.  This is a great and highly under-hyped urban fantasy novel.  I think more people should read this series, and might if it had a cover change.

I've read some V.C. Andrews (isn't a team that writes under this name now) and pretty much I've found every cover to be pretty horrible.  

The Dark Elements series - Jennifer L. Armentrout.  This series was pretty good but if I hadn't heard about them from others or recognized the author, I wouldn't have picked it up.

Dead Ever After - Sookie Stackhouse #13 - Charlaine Harris.  This might be cheating because there are lots of better covers out there, but this particular one didn't do the series any favors.

Love Is Red - Sophie Jaff.  Any clue what this one is about?  I didn't know either when I grabbed it from the library.  Guess what though, it's actually a really good horror/fantasy/thriller book.

The Mistake I Made - Paula Daly.  Never been a big fan of faces - full or partial - on covers.  Didn't care for the book much either.  Should have taken the hint.

Survive the Night - Danielle Vega.  A lot of people like this book and I thought it was okay, but I've never been thrilled with the covers.

The History Major - Michael Phillip Cash.  I love this author and he has even been a guest on the blog.  This is probably my least favorite book though and I can't pretend to understand the cover.

Everything Belongs to the Future - Laurie Penny. Not a bad book but the cover looks like an out-of-focus Barbie doll.

So, any books you're dying to redesign?

Summer 2017 August Comment Challenge

So this summer I have been participating in this challenge hosted by Flylef and A Kernel of Nonsense. I met some really cool bloggers and they've done a great job of teaming me up with bloggers who seem to read a lot of similar things as I do.  This month I'm paired up with Erica @ Erica Robyn Reads. I want to welcome her to my blog and urge you guys to check out hers as well.  

Just by looking at her August anticipated releases I can tell we like the same books (See What I Have Done and Wonder Woman).

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (121) / Sunday Post

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. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book ReviewerI'm hoping to discover some new blogs to love.

I had a few credits with Amazon and was interested in a couple of new releases.  When I saw that with the credits and my Prime benefits physical editions would only cost me $2.96, I couldn't resist.  They arrived late last week (after I scheduled last week's post).  I grabbed the newest on the Warlock Holmes series "The Hell-Hound of Baskersville" since I have a physical copy of the first and I love the cover of "Because You Love to Hate Me" and I hate reading anthologies on my Kindle for some reason so I grabbed it.

I also picked up a few books for my Kindle.  I saw "Hell Divers" on sale one day this week for $0.99 cents and since one of my B3s (Best Blogging Buddies) - Dragonfly over at Our Familiarium - recommended it to me ages ago I had to grab it.  "Violet Grenade" was also a daily deal one day last weekend. "The Haunting of Emily Stone" was free and since I seem to grab a free Amy Cross book weekly, why not.  Finally, I had to buy "The Spawn of Lilith" for full price but it was a reward because I've only had 3 half sodas in 2 months (and basically Coke is the only thing I'll mix bourbon with so that's the main reason why).

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Weekly Reads (07-28-17) - Maybe I Should Build an Ark

So honestly, I don't have a lot to report here from The Farm.  The weather has been crazy and last Saturday evening, we had enough rain in that we had over a foot of water flowing down our street.  I live in the city so this is not a usual occurrence (and you all really thought I lived on a farm???).
This is the street that runs down the side of our house.  And no, I don't know the idiot who owns the black SUV and is trying to drive their way out.  Luckily there was minimal wind/lightening damage so my little scared Booker T didn't panic too much.  However, they are calling for more of this today so who knows.  Seriously, anyone have any ark blueprints for sale?

My reading picked up some which is a good thing because after "Final Girls" I really didn't want to pick up anything. There also aren't that many good movies being released so movie time has sucked too.  However, we have been enjoying "The Strain" and "Game of Thrones" and I marathoned the entire season of "This Is Us."  I also caught the first episode of "Midnight, Texas" on NBC and although slightly cheesy, I found it extremely entertaining so it has promise.  The  books are WAAAYYY better though.

Grandpa was hospitalized Sunday evening but has since been released.  He may have had a small heart attack or else maybe he overdid it when he mowed his entire yard by himself Sunday.  Either way, he is doing fine now.  Also, those of you who remember the saga of the cousin and his wife living with Grandpa?  Let's just say Karma caught up with them and is riding in a police car.

So here's what I hope to read this weekend and following week.  I'm in  the middle of "The Thirteenth Gate" and so far, it's pretty good.  However, it brings in some characters from another series so I feel like I started at a disadvantage.  I need to get through "Descender Vol. 3" before it's due back at the library and then I feel horror calling my name so I want to get through "Optical Delusion" because chances are good that I will love it.

So I hope everyone else's week is going well.  Are you reading anything good this weekend???

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Coven - Witchiness All Around

TITLE: The Coven (The Crystal Coast Series #1)
AUTHOR: Chrissy Lessey
PUBLISHER: Tenacious Books
PUBLISHING DATE: June 27, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: The future Queen awakens...

Newly single mother Stevie Lewis divides her time between raising Charlie, running a store with her best friend, and avoiding the meetings of her mother's Beaufort's Historical Society.  Although her life has its challenges,  it's altogether average.  Just the way she likes it.

When Vanessa, a ruthless dark witch, launches an attack against Charlie, Stevie's simple life derails and her long-dormant powers awaken.  A 300-year-old secret is exposed, revealing her destiny to one day rule the clandestine community of witches who hide in plain sight.

Now she must master her own magical powers before it's too late.  Because Vanessa's on the warpath, and only Stevie can stop her.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a super cute start to a new series which overall, I find hard to classify. It has elements of fantasy as well as paranormal romance, but isn't extremely heavy on either.  Stevie is doing her best to co-parent her autistic son Charlie following her divorce.  She is also doing her best to keep her best friend Lexi from hooking her up with every eligible bachelor in the quaint coastal town.  Her parents help with Charlie as much as they can, but their tactics include inviting her ex-husband Sam around as much as possible.  One day some of Blackbeard's sunken treasure is discovered which leads dark witch Vanessa to return to Beaufort with hopes of destroying the coven which put her mother in a mental institution.  However, she didn't count on her actions awakening Stevie's witchy powers which only strengthen the coven's abilities.

I really enjoyed this book and it was a really quick read.  It had enough paranormal and fantasy elements to pique my interest, but was also light and a great "summer read" for those of us who don't read what I call straight-up romance.  There was enough action and intrigue in the book to keep the pacing comfortable and although it's a start of a series, there is enough of a resolution at the end that the reader is not left with a cliffhanger hangover.

I would compare this book to some of Nora Robert's paranormal romance books and if you like them, The Coven should be an automatic read.  I received this book from the author and Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chrissy Lessey is a beach bum with a deep appreciation for good jokes, strong coffee and salt air.  She lives on the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina where she finds endless opportunities to procrastinate and daydream.  A long-time fan of rock music, Chrissy married a talented drummer.  She still loves listening to him play - as long as it's not in their house.  Together they have two energetic children and an ill-mannered dog.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (116)

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.

FROM GOODREADS: When the Krakau came to Earth, they planned to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species.

This would have worked out better for all involved if they hadn’t arrived after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau’s first impulse was to turn their ships around and go home. After all, it’s hard to establish diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.

Their second impulse was to try to fix us.

A century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they’re no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she’s in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack by an alien race wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates—is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her assortment of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship, but flying the damn thing is another matter. As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance.

A conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago…

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  This sounds weird...and fun...which I totally enjoy in books from time to time.  Plus, I've read most of Jim C. Hines' Magic Ex Libris series and I enjoyed it as well.


So I've Been Thinking and I Need Input....

So, I've been thinking I have quite a few dog books I'd like to read so I'm thinking about doing a challenge/read-a-thon/something next year to remedy that.  Basically I'm looking at a February "They Call It Puppy Love" read-a-thon.  Basically people could sign up and for every dog related title/cover/etc, they could link a review and at the end I would have a drawing for $10.00 Book Depository Give-Away (an entry per review).  Would anyone be interested?  I want it as stress-free as possible, but also would like to have a few pals to read along with.  Just post a comment if you think this idea would "fly" and then if so, I can do some planning.

Thanks for any input you can provide!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

TTT - My Latest Dog-Related Book Finds

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. 

This meme is actually on hiatus for a few weeks but a few bloggers are doing their own topics for a while and I've missed this post so I decided this week to share with you my latest book discoveries featuring dogs.  Some of these have already been released and some are up and coming.

Dog Drama (Allie Babcock Mystery #6) - Leslie O'Kane.  Nope I haven't read the other books in this series but how could I resist this cover.  This one was just released a few weeks ago.

Special Agent (Classified K-9 Unit 3#) - Valerie Hansen.  I don't read romance very often but I'm tempted just because look at the boxer on the cover!!!!  And it has dogs so it can't be all that bad right?

Blood Red, White and Blue (Mary McGill Dog Mystery #3) - Katheleen Delaney.  I own the first in this series but need to get this second.  These are sooooo expensive when they first come out and this one was released earlier this month.  I mean seriously, $25.00 for a Kindle edition?????

Barking Up the Wrong Tree and Every Dog Has His Day (Bluff Point Romance #2 and #3) - Jenn McKinlay.  I loved the first one in this series and can't wait for these two. They are great light reads and lots of fun.  I've said it before though, I think the dog on the third one resembles a baby goat.  Yes, I'm slightly crazy.

Gin & Tonic Mysteries - L.A. Kornetsky.  I've had my eye on these ones for awhile.  I think there's a total of 4 so far in the series.

Checked - Cynthia Kadohata.  This one will be featured soon on Can't Wait Wednesday but I can't wait to get to this one.

The Grace of Dogs - Andrew Root.  I just bought this one a few days ago.  Look how happy the puppy looks (doesn't take much to excite me).

Chester and Gus - Cammie McGovern. I might have grabbed this one too.  What can I say?  It was a moment of weakness.

The Returns #1 and #2 - M.K. Clinton.  This is about people who die too early and come back to Earth as dogs.  Sound like fun reads to me.

Trigger Yappy (Roundup Crew Mystery #2) - Diana Orgain.  Yep, I have the first but haven't read it. This came out in December.  

So there you have it.  Hope all my dog loving friends find something which catches their eyes!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Final Girls - What a Disappointment...WAIT! Maybe Xanax and Grape Soda Will Help.

TITLE: Final Girls
AUTHOR: Riley Sager
PUBLISHING DATE: July 11, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

MY THOUGHTS:  So I commented prior to actually completing this review that perhaps I needed a Xanax and some grape soda before writing it. Well, I decided to skip that plan but definitely apologize to anyone who has already read this because you've probably grown really tired of that phrase since you heard it a thousand times in the book. At least that's how I feel. I went into "Final Girls" pumped and ready to find my next favorite horror writer. I mean come on, there's a blurb on the cover from Stephen King. Surely my favorite author wouldn't mislead me? Well, sorry Stephen, this is one book which can "float on" with Pennywise. I wanted to love "Final Girls" and thanks to all the hype and all the 5/5 reviews, I knew the book was packed full of excitement and twists and turns and I couldn't wait to see how it all panned out. The problem was, that promise set me up for failure. All the time I was reading I kept imagining where all the twists could lead and unfortunately, I think some of my scenarios interested me more than the reality of the book.

"Final Girls" tells the tale of Quincy Carpenter, a young woman who ten years ago escaped the massacre of her college pals while camping in a Pine Woods cottage. Riley has blacked out a lot of what happened, but was basically labeled a "final girl" by the media, along with Lisa and Sam, who also survived similar fates. And if you need help understanding the concept of a final girl, don't worry, the author explained it over and over again throughout the book. Riley lives with her public defender boyfriend and insists her life is going well, despite drinking too much and downing the previously mentioned Xanax and grape soda on a regular basis. Early on in the book, one of the other two girls, Lisa, is murdered, and the third elusive girl, Sam, literally shows up on Riley's sidewalk. What happens next is a train wreck which for me went on and on (and on and on), to determine what happened to Lisa and if Riley and Sam are the next intended casualties.

The main problem for me with the book is that I didn't connect with any of the characters. Riley was a mess which was made worse because she was always justifying she was okay. Sam is all over the place and I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. Jeff, the boyfriend is unlikable and I don't know why he put up with Riley and vice versa - maybe they did deserve each other. Coop, Riley's savior cop had potential and at the end, I still probably liked him the best of all which is saying a lot. I think I would have liked Lisa but since we learn she died practically in chapter one, the reader never gets to know her very well. So see, not a great cast of characters. Also, the actual twist feel flat for me and I spent a lot of time wishing everyone would just die.

I don't mean for this review to come across so harsh. I know lots of people love this book and in the end, my expectations were probably just too much. I should know better than to allow the hype to suck me in. I wouldn't actually tell people not to read it. I mean, come on, this book is plastered everywhere so it's hard to ignore. However, if any of my comments seem like things that might prevent you from enjoying a book, do yourself a favor and borrow it from the library so you don't actually pay for it or perhaps skip it altogether. I might be interested in reading Sager's next effort, or since it's actually a pen name for an already established writer, maybe some of his past stuff. Right now, I'm just not sure.

I received this book from Netgalley and the published in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (120) / Sunday Post - I Hit the Library!!!!

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. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book ReviewerI'm hoping to discover some new blogs to love.

This week I managed to hit both of my local libraries - like I needed more stuff to read.  However, it seems like at the closest one, all my holds came in at one and I have better luck finding graphic novels at the other one.  I had to grab "Lumberjanes Vol. 3" and "Vol. 4" because I'm anxious to continue this series.  "Ravina The Witch?" was a total impulse grab based on the cover. I had put a request in for "Roar," "The Disappearances," and "The White Road of the Moon" and they all came in the same week.  

Next I obtained a few digital books from Amazon.  Stormi recommended "Engaged in Trouble" to me so it was a #StormiMadeMeDoIt purchase.  Both "The Summer Job" and "In the Eye of Hugo" were on sale for $0.99 so I grabbed them.

Finally I was thrilled to receive the following for review.  I was really intrigued by the cover and synopsis of "Sparked."  Many might remember I featured "House of Ash" on my Can't Wait Wednesday feature this past week and two days later received approval on Netgalley.  I've wanted "Berserker" since I first saw it being talked about on BookTube and "Creatures of Will & Temper" is set in Victorian London and features demons and cults so it immediately caught my attention.  

So, have you read any of these?  And what exciting things did you add to your shelves this week???