Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Menu I'll Definitely Skip - Gluttony Bay Review

TITLE: Gluttony Bay (Sin du Jour #6)
AUTHOR: Matt Wallace
PUBLISHING DATE: November 7, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Gluttony Bay is the penultimate Sin du Jour affair, Matt Wallace's funny foodie series about the New York firm that caters to the paranormal, which began with Envy of Angels.
Welcome to Gluttony Bay High Security Supernatural Prison. We value your patronage. For your entertainment this evening, we are delighted to welcome the world's most renowned paranormal culinary experts.
And on the menu: You.
MY THOUGHTS: So basically anyone who follows my blog knows how much I love Matt Wallace's Sin du Jour series. In fact, anytime a new one comes out, it's pretty much a guaranteed quick read. "Gluttony Bay" was no different and once I received approval for an ARC from Netgalley and, I knew before long I would be revisiting old friends.
Given that Gluttony Bay is a high security supernatural prison, you can only imagine what goes on there. And somehow, part of the Bronko's catering crew ends up as residents - or should we say hostages. It's hard to go into much detail because this is the 6th installment in the series but I can honestly say that the book is action-packed and Wallace never fails to amaze me with new material. I do feel like a lot of "Gluttony Bay" is set up for the final installment in the series, which even though I'll be sad to see it end, can't come soon enough to please me.

If you haven't started the Sin du Jour books yet, this would be a great series to marathon. In fact, I sort of wish I was a first-time reader all over again because I can still remember how much I love the first one. Wallace is headed to the finish line strongly and I'm pretty sure the next installment will secure his win!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (134)

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: Fourteen-year-old Ozzy lives near Portland, Oregon, and is desperate for help. His scientist parents have been kidnapped after discovering a formula that enables mind control. Their work was so top secret Ozzy is afraid to go to the police, but without help, he fears he'll never find his parents. Then he stumbles across a classified ad in the local newspaper that says "Wizard for Hire. Call 555-SPEL." Ozzy has read about wizards in books like Harry Potter, but wizards couldn't actually exist today, could they? After Ozzy meets the wizard Labyrinth--aka Rin--he's even more skeptical.

Sure, Rin dresses like a wizard, but the short robe and high-top tennis shoes seem unorthodox, as does Rin's habit of writing notes on his shoes and eating breakfast for every meal. Plus, Rin doesn't even cast any magic spells, which means that the unexplained coincidences that start happening around Ozzy are just that--coincidences.

With the help of a robotic-talking raven invented by Ozzy's father, a kind and curious girl at school who decides to help Ozzy, and, of course, a self-proclaimed wizard who may or may not have a magical wand, Ozzy begins an unforgettable quest that will lead him closer to the answers he desperately seeks about his missing parents.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Two words - the cover.  Enough said.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TTT - Twelve Books on My Winter TBR

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 week's topic is books on our winter TBRs.  I would never be able to narrow it down to just ten, so I'm giving you twelve.  Plus, it's easier for me to format twelve!

So I'm pretty sure my wishlist will grow by leaps and bounds because of today's topic so I'm almost afraid to ask, what is on your Winter TBR???

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ever Want to Be in the Head of a Lice-Eating Vampire.......Me Either.

TITLE: The Truants
AUTHOR: Lee Markum
PUBLISHER: The Overlook Press
PUBLISHING DATE: July 25, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Contorting the conventional vampire narrative into a startling tale of immortality, blood lust, and rage contaminating London’s inner-city youth like a virus, The Truants tells the story of the last of the old-ones—creatures afflicted with a condition not unlike vampirism: ancient, bloodthirsty, and unable to withstand sunlight.

The last old-one has decided to end his life, but before he can act he is held up at knifepoint. His assailant disappears, the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge. The knife trades hands, drawing blood again, and the old-one is resurrected through his victims’ consciousness and divided, spreading through the infected. With his horde of infected youth, the old-one must reclaim the knife to regain control of his soul. But someone is out to stop him...

MY THOUGHTS:  So this book is 256 pages long, which isn't long by any means.  And I managed to get to page 186...and it was a struggle.,.and I can't continue.  So yep, this is one of a few select DNF books for me and yep, I'm still reviewing it because I've read enough to form an opinion.

"The Truants" features mean, dirty and gritty vampires, which is how I prefer my vamps.  And I really looked forward to reading it.  However, the problem with this book for me lies in the fact that I never felt attached to ANY character.  In fact, I hated them all.  It's told in first-person POV which is fine.  But "the old one" is a jerk and even though he decided to finally end it all, thanks to a stupid teen, or "rat" as the old one calls ALL humans, his essences ends up on the blade of a knife before he does so and now a part of him is ending up in people all over the city.  I sort of felt sorry for Danny, a 10-year-old who ends up "infected" but I couldn't even root for him.  

This book contains child abuse and animal abuse as well as lots of stupidity.  I can't stand by animal abuse but it actually fit with the plot and if only the dog would have survived longer, I may have found a "character" I could cheer on.  So I think people will either love or hate this book.  I checked some reviews before making the DNF plunge and lots of people seem to like it a lot and think Markum is making some statement about society as a whole.  I will consider reading this author again in the future, but am not in any hurry.



The 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

So Katie @ Just Another Girl and Her Books is hosting this challenge and I have to admit, while I really didn't need to join another challenge, I also couldn't resist.  

So here are the rules: 

  1. Tell everybody about the 12 Books of Christmas Challenge (#12BooksOfXmas). 
  2. Build a blog post or create a Goodreads shelf of the books you intend to read for the challenge (you can see mine here.) You can read outside your list, this is just a starting point. Then come back and add your name to the link-up. (Be sure to visit the other bloggers to see what they'll be reading.) Bloggers, please link back to this page so others can find the sign-up if they wish to join. 
  3. Reviews must be posted between November 24 and December 24. The review link-up will open on November 24th. Bookmark this page to add your reviews as you get them posted. 
  4. Any winter holiday themed books count (i.e.: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa etc.) 
  5. There are four achievement levels for this challenge, so read as few or as many books as you want. 
  6. Have fun!
There are 4 different challenge levels and I have to admit I was a tad swayed by the cuteness of Reindeer Status which sort of influence my choice.  

Here are some of the books I might read:

Have you read any of these and can I convince you to join as well?  Look at that cute Rudolph!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Weekly Reads (11/24/17)


So, you can probably guess it was a super busy week.  Good think I was off on stay-cation and don't return until next Wednesday.  Now that all the holidays/events have been hit, perhaps we can relax a tad.  The 22nd was Cass' birthday.  He got toys, snacks and a small piece of ice cream cake.  I can't believe my baby turned 4!  Our Anniversary also happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year so on Monday, as a gift to each other, we had a new fridge and stove delivered.  Do you know when you buy a stove you don't get the cord with it and it has to be purchased separately?  CRAZY.  Then on Thursday Mr. Barb smoked the turkey and Mom came for dinner.  We are actually having a nice quiet dinner home tonight which Mr. Barb is working on right now to celebrate.

We've been busy watching The Punisher on Netflix and finally finished it last night.  I have disliked the actor ever since he played Shane on The Walking Dead but since watching this, I realized how good he is and now that I can associate him with a better character, I think I actually like him.  We've only watched 3 episodes of Longmire so we'll probably watch it in between football this weekend and then start on Frontier Season 2.

I have managed to finish 2 books and look for my review soon of the latest Sin du Jour book.  I've just started chapter 3 of Truants so I hope to finish it and then start the Mira Grant books this weekend.

Here is a picture of Cass in his favorite sleeping position - upside down.  Also, here are the lovely flowers Mr. Barb had delivered Wednesday afternoon.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a super weekend.  Stay safe if you are Black Friday shopping!

2018 Cloak & Dagger Sign Up Post

Where did 2017 go! Neither Stormi nor I can believe it's already time to do sign ups for 2018! We hope everyone who participated this year read a lot of great mystery, suspense, and thrillers. I sure had tons of fun!  I discovered some new authors and some of the best buddy reads Stormi and I had were mysteries! 

We still have our facebook group so if you haven't joined we would love for you too!  Here is the groups link: It’s a closed group so just ask to join and we shall let you in. 🙂
Challenge Rules:
  • You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, goodreads, booklikes, shelfari, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to be novellas or novels, please no short stories. (At least 100 pages +)
  • Crossovers into other challenges  are fine.
  • The Challenge will  be from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends April 15th)
There will be a monthly link up so that others can check out your progress and look at your reviews. At the halfway mark and at the end we will have a giveaway for those participating.
If you tweet about your progress or reviews please use the hashtag #CloakDaggerChal so others can see it.
5-15 books – Amateur sleuth
16-25 books – Detective
26-35 books – Inspector
36 – 55 – Special agent
56+ books – Sherlock Holmes

This year we want to play a game some time during the year. It's sort of a mystery game but we haven't tweaked it just yet so it doesn't have a name but I wanted you to get ready in case you like to play games. It will all involve reading mysteries but just doing so in a fun way. :)

Hope to see you all join in on the fun and sign up for the Cloak and Dagger Challenge.  I think this year I'm going for Special Agent!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Two Bloggers One Book - Canal Days Calamity

I think for the most part, Stormi and I have been pretty successful with our buddy reads this year.  And we already have books picked for December and January so here's hoping the streak continues.  This month we chose the second installment The Dog Days Mystery series.  So as soon as you are done reading my thoughts, make sure you head over to Stormi's blog Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see her review.

TITLE: Canal Days Calamity (Dog Days Mysteries #2)
AUTHOR: Jamie M. Blair
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: November 8, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?

MY THOUGHTS: Cam's small town is gearing up for its annual Canal Days (which is something of a Halloween festival so I was glad to find that out) when she finds another dead body.  This time around,  one of Cam's friends is arrested and she is fearful her father-in-law may have had something to do with it.

It was fun to visit Cam and the other town residents again.  In addition, Cam's mother is visiting Cameron and her sister Monica, which brings about a whole new dynamic.   Also, some new relationships are forming and the reader gets to see things progress between Cam and her estranged husband, Ben.  I love that the author doesn't fall back on the commonly used love-triangle trope, and its refreshing to see things play out as they might in the "real world."  

I really wasn't able to figure out the mystery and I have to admit Stormi might have been more on top of it than I was.  I love how Cam is always helping stray animals and she even has a new duck follower this time around.  "Canal Days Calamity" is a strong followup to "Deadly Dog Days" and I'm curious to see what trouble Cam and her crew find next.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (133)

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: DARIO HEYWARD KNOWS ONE THING: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?
WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I love the cover and also love the idea of old creature features.  I know it's a long wait but I really want to read this one.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TTT - New Bloggers I Am Thankful For This November

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 week's topic is supposed to be 10 books I'm thankful for but just like last year, I would like to share some new bloggers I've discovered who I am thankful for and who I visit several times a week.

Also, HERE and HERE are some links to the past features I've done on my other favorite bloggers.

L is a recent discovery and I love the fact that she features some great comic and graphic novel discoveries. 

Jamie lives fairly close to me and is another blogger I've recently found.  She reads lots of variety and I've enjoyed chatting with her.

Bleu @ Booked & Busy
If you're not checking out Bleu's new blog, you don't know what you're missing.  She reads lots of different genres and especially enjoys horror.  She also participates in a lot of challenges and reviews movies as well.

Kate and Kim @ Midnight Book Girl
Kate works at a bookstore so she always features lots of new releases. I've been visiting this blog for years and don't know why I've not featured it before.

Lynn has been blogging for a long time and I love her Friday Face Off features.  She also reviews a lot of science fiction - a genre I'm trying to read more.  I'm always curious to see what she recommends.  

The Qwillery is a site shared by several bloggers.  It always has lots of new releases in some of my favorite genres.  I visit it almost daily and am always excited about what I see.

I love Kim's blog and I had a blast participating in her HoHoHoRAT.  She is an awesome blogger and I just love seeing what's she reading.  She reads more romance and contemporary that I do, but it's nice to mix things up and I've found some great recommendations there.

Bonnie is my go-to blogger to see what is released each week.  She has one of the best new release features around.

Yvonne @ Socrates' Book Reviews
I visit Yvonne's blog when I want to see the latest and greatest cozy mysteries.

Katie @ Just Another Girl and Her Books
Katie is always acquiring new books and I'm really looking forward to her 12 Books of Christmas Challenge

So there you have it  - more blogs to follow.  Be sure to check out my other two posts for some additional faves!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Weekly Reads (11/17/17)/Stacking the Shelves (137)/ Sunday Post

So this in gonna be a combination post.  The last two days I was busy at work (and out of town) for the yearly conference we throw each year.  It was in a neighboring town and was a lot of work and driving.  But, it's over and I have 11 glorious days of Stay-cation planned. 

The pups are fine but the weather is crazy. It doesn't know if it wants to be warm, cold, sunny, cloudy or rainy - all in a three day span.  We watched a new Amityville movie the other night, "Amityville: The Awakening."  It wasn't horrible and I've always enjoyed Amityville movies.  We will probably be Netflix-ing it the next week or so because a new season of "Longmire" started, "The Punisher" has started, and "Frontier" Season 2 starts next Friday.

Since I just posted my November Musts & Mights, I won't show pics of my planned reads but I'm currently reading "Canal Day Calamity" and next up are "Rolling in the Deep" and "Truants."

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 Reviewer

I won this Kindle box set from the HoHoHo RAT Twitter Party.  Thanks Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer.   They look like super cute cozies to get me in the Christmas season.

I also got "The Burial Society,"  "Gringo" and "The Broken Girls" for review.

Next week I should have a library haul as well as a few books I've purchased or found for free.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Killer Libraries! (Death in the Stacks review)

TITLE: Death in the Stacks (Library Lover's Mystery #8)
AUTHOR: Jenn McKinlay
PUBLISHING DATE: November 14, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library's annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover's dream--it's the library's biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable. 

Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library's newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive--but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive's dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she's not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula's future . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Since this is the 8th book in the Library Lover's Mystery series, there are certain things I can't disclose because of spoilers. However, let me say I devoured this book and this series keeps going strong. In this installment, there is a new library Board member, Olive Boyle, and she's out to make Lindsey's life hell. One night, after a fundraiser, Olive is found dead in the stacks and one of Lindsey's favorite employees is the prime suspect. Even though Lindsey has sworn off investigating, she feels it's up to her to clear Paula's name and figure out who really killed Olive. 

McKinlay has once again set up a great cozy mystery and all the town favorites are back - Beth, Sully, his sister and brother-in-law, Robbie and even the Lemon - who I love more and more with each book (doesn't every library have an employee who can be referred to as "The Lemon"). Lindsey once again gets in some sticky situations, which are always fun and entertaining, and it was fun to catch up with everyone's lives.

The only problem I have with this series is that I look forward to the new books being released and then I devour them so quickly so I get discouraged that I have to wait so long for the next one. If you are a cozy mystery lover and adore the small town settings, please pick up the first book and give this series a try!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (132)

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 GOODREADSApril 1943: four boys playing in Hagley Woods, Essex make a gruesome discovery. Inside an enormous elm tree, there is the body of a woman, her mouth stuffed with a length of cloth. As the case goes cold, mysterious graffiti starts going up across the Midlands: 'Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?'

To Ross Spooner, a police officer working undercover for spiritualist magazine Two Worlds, the messages hold a sinister meaning. He's been on the track of a German spy ring who have left a trail of black magic and mayhem across England, and this latest murder bears all the hallmarks of an ancient ritual.

At the same time, Spooner is investigating the case of Helen Duncan, a medium whose messages from the spirit world contain highly classified information. As the establishment joins ranks against Duncan, Spooner must face demons from his own past, uncover the spies hiding beneath the fabric of wartime society - and confront those who suspect that he, too, may not be all he seems ...

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I didn't intentionally plan on featuring witchy books 2 weeks in a row, but alas, I HAD to share this one.  First, look at the cover in all its purple gorgeousness.  And secondly, black magic and mystery?  Sign me up please!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A VERY late Must and Might

So this is extremely late and I pretty much have already started on November's TBR.  However, I skipped this post last month and kind of realized how lost I am without it as a reference.  You know from my weekly read posts that I'm participating in the #HoHoHoRAT this week, so I've been reading some Christmas cozies.  However, there are some other books I'd like to get read this month and since I have a vacation coming up, here's hoping I get to them.



So 6 books in half a month?   Probably not going to happen but I would love it if it did!

TTT - Why I Would Want My Children to Read Horror

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's topic is 10 books I want my future children (nieces, nephews, etc) to read.  Since my children are of the 4-legged variety, I thought I'd share why any kid of mine should read horror and then share what 5 horror books I'd want them to definitely read. (Are you clued in that I'm not really a kid person - kids reading horror is probably a dead giveaway.  I do  like kids and worked with them for years, but as an only child in a small family, my exposure has been limited).


  • Because it will prepare them for the real world - which is rather scary
  • It will teach them good problems solving skills - if you can defeat evil clowns, you got it made
  • It's an under-appreciated genre and needs more love
  • Scary tales tend to bring people together - there's safety in numbers
  • It can teach them to confront their fears


A modern classic I think EVERYONE should read

A dog named Merlin in the middle of a horror novel - awesome!

So I could tell them about their Grandfather and how he scared the crap out of Grandma and they would understand.

This would teach them that people are much more scarier than monsters.

So they would know what NOT to look for when purchasing their first home.

So there you have it and yes, my kids would probably be scarred for life!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Cute Heading? I Got Nothing - A Christmas Peril Review

TITLE: A Christmas Peril
AUTHOR: J.A. Hennrikus
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: September 8, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: When Edwina “Sully” Sullivan’s life imploded, she left behind her job on the police force and her unfaithful husband to start a new life as the general manager of her hometown theater, the Cliffside Theater Company. For five years, she focused on budgets instead of crimes and kept the Cliffside running alongside its mercurial artistic director.

But when her best friend is arrested for killing his father, the rich and powerful Peter Whitehall, no one is looking for another suspect. So, in between keeping A Christmas Carol on budget and Scrooge sober, Sully dusts off her investigative skills to find a killer. Her two lives collide when her ex-husband gets on the suspect list and she’s forced to confront her past in order to save her present.

MY THOUGHTS:  I picked up "A Christmas Peril" as part of my #HoHoHo RAT and it did serve the trick of reading something with Christmas undertones which wasn't over-the-top.  However, while I think this is a solid first installment in a new cozy series, it didn't pull me in like I had hoped.

Edwina "Sully" Sullivan has moved back to her small hometown after quitting her job as a Detective and leaving her unfaithful husband.  She immediately takes a job working for the Cliffside Theater Company as the primary manager, and has settled in to the job quite nicely.  Just when the troop is getting read for their annual Christmas Carol run, a wealthy but not so liked individual in the community is murdered.  His son and Sully's best friend is accused of doing the deed so Sully and her ex husband, who is also a lawyer, work together to clear Eric's name and figure out who really killed Peter Whitehall.

First, I need to say I think this book was written well enough.  I really wasn't able to figure out the mystery until the very end and even then was only half right.  That's always fun when reading a cozy mystery.  I also liked a lot of the small town characters and especially enjoyed Sully's relationship with Regina, the detective assigned to the case.  However, I don't feel this book needed a love-triangle, especially in the first installment, and for some reason, I never really connected to Sully.  There is just something about her that makes her seem aloof.  I couldn't see myself being friends with her in real life, and sometimes,  it's that connection which makes me enjoy cozies.  

For anyone who loves theater this would be an ideal book to pick up.  There's just enough mention of the production and rehearsals to keep your interest and add to the overall depth of the book.  I will probably pick up the next book in the series and see what the author does with the characters, as well as see if I end up liking Sully more eventually.