Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - WE DID IT! (Magic Triumphs Review)

It's time to celebrate guys!  Stormi and I actually read the entire Kate Daniels series (as well as two companion novels) this year.  I'm so glad we coordinated this challenge and it was a wonderful series to knock out of the way.  I love so many of the books so much and can't wait to start a new series in 2020!  There were times I didn't know I had it in me (I'm looking at you Hugh) but Stormi managed to keep me going.  So read on to see what I thought of the last book in the series, Magic Triumphs.  And then make sure you're checking out Stormi's thoughts over @  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

WARNING:  Spoilers ahead.  What do you expect - it's book 10!

TITLE: Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10)
AUTHOR: Ilona Andrews 
PUBLISHING DATE: August 28, 2018


Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can't-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban-fantasy series. 

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She's made friends and enemies. She's found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be. 

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate's doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows her time is up. 

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try. 

For her child. 

For Atlanta.

For the world.  

MY THOUGHTS: So I did it!  I finally finished this series.  And I feel like the last few books having definitely been setting up for a final battle between Kate and her father Roland.  Although I must admit that while the reader knew it was headed there, there was additional focuses as well in this novel.

So this book skips ahead about 13 months after the last one.  I also want to thank the bloggers who urged Stormi and myself to read Iron & Magic before this.  I definitely see now where it filled in some important data.  We are FINALLY introduced to Conlan, Kate and Curran's son and man, this needs to be adapted to television because I need to see baby Conlan in his shifter mode.  We are also visited by some familiar faces - including Hugh and his new wife, Elara.  And yes, brace yourself, I will finally admit that I am starting to like Hugh and he has redeemed himself.  And gee, I never thought that was possible which just goes to show how talented this husband/wife writing duo is. 

So yes, this book has battles, and yes, it has deaths.  I expected them both and was saddened by the outcomes for several aspects.  Curran does something really stupid this time around which turns out to be very smart.  I should have never doubted him.  But then again, Kate doubted him as well and he's her husband so there. 

If you are on the fence about this series, don't be.  I can honestly say that every installment has gotten at least 4/5 from me and many 5/5.  It's hard to find fault with this last one as well.  The ending left some things hanging and I'm hoping to see Erra and Julie appear in the future Iron Covenant books.  And speaking of, those can't come fast enough!


ANIMAL ABUSE TRIGGER WARNING:  NONE!  Grendel the giant attack poodle survived the entire series!  YAY GRENDEL!!!!!

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Perfect Christmas Book for Young and Old Alike

TITLE: A Very Fiona Christmas
AUTHOR: Richard Cowdrey
PUBLISHER: Zenderkidz
PUBLISHING DATE: October 1, 2019


Join everyone’s favorite hippo, Fiona, and all her loveable animal friends for their first heartwarming Christmas adventure through the zoo to find the answer to the question, “What’s Christmas?” This fun and whimsical book is the perfect read-aloud for fans of Fiona (and hippos) everywhere! 

A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the Hippo picture book comes A Very Fiona Christmas! 

It’s Fiona the hippo’s very first Christmas, and the zoo is sparkling with holiday spirit. When the adorable little hippo asks her friends, “What’s Christmas?” they set out to show her all the wonders and excitement of the season. With each new experience Fiona lets out a snort, wiggles her ears, and asks, “Is THIS Christmas?” 

Amidst the snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe, and stockings, Fiona ends up meeting a new friend at the zoo who helps her discover the true meaning of the holiday: Love. Snuggle up with your little ones and join Fiona and her adorable animal friends for a heartwarming holiday romp through the zoo. 

A Very Fiona Christmas: Stars the one and only Fiona the hippo, the worldwide internet sensation and star of the Cincinnati Zoo, who through her spunk and fighting spirit overcame all odds when she was born six weeks premature Features adorable art by Richard Cowdrey, illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Fiona the Hippo.

MY THOUGHTS:  This picture book was a perfect Christmas read.  And I'm not going to lie, I read it aloud to my pups.  It's Fiona's first Christmas and she is strolling through the zoo spreading Christmas cheer and learning about the true meaning of Christmas.

The first thing that sticks out about this book is the artwork.  I love how all the zoo animals, especially Fiona, are depicted.  There's so much to look at in each and every picture and the coloring and details are wonderful.  I love animals of all kinds and knew when I saw this I had to grab it.

Here's an example of the art and then the very real, very cute, Fiona.

This book is a definite must for any animal lover.  I am hoping this summer I can make the trek to the Cincinnati Zoo, which isn't that far away, to see Fiona in person.


Saturday, December 28, 2019

What's Happening (12-28-19)...

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out. 

So I've been a tad missing this week and will definitely blame the holidays - and Apollo.  I will be getting caught up on comments and replies hopefully early next week.  Sorry for the unannounced break.

So I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Our Christmas was pretty low-key and very nice.  Mr. Barb cooked and we stayed home.  We both received lots of great gifts and the pups got lots of toys and snacks.  I will be posting a complete haul and hopefully pictures on next week's post. 

Speaking of, there will also be lots of Apollo.  I've managed to post a few on Instagram but I'll be honest, he's kind of wearing us out.  I forgot how exhausting puppies can be.  However, he is doing great, Cass is getting used to him and sort of likes him (I know it just takes time and he doesn't HATE him) and growing already.

I have been getting some reading done and still have a few reviews to post to be caught up.  I'm also looking forward to all of the new books that the new year's reading will bring!  I also wanted to add a few comments from Cass and figure he will continue contributing to the weekend post for the next few weeks.  So on to Cass!


1.  Apollo touches me!  Seriously, I'm okay being near him, and am always making sure I know where he is at all times, but right now I draw the line at touching me.  I am not ready to cuddle yet.

2.  Anything that looks like a dog - a yard statue, a stuffed animal, the bulldog statue in our home - he thinks is a real dog and he's a mixture of afraid and unsure of it.  He barks, sneaks up, approaches and hides.  It's almost funny and who know a Scooby Doo stuffed animal could be so terrifying.

3.  He bites everything and all the time.  Mom was napping and he decided to take a bite out of her neck.  Now while it may be cool that he knows about Vlad the Impaler already, he needs to realize that he is NOT Dracula.  Although with his ears flopped back he does resemble Gary Oldman in the Dracula remake with Keanu Reeves.

So tune in next week because I'm sure I'll have more crazy s**t to report. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Such a Lovely Read - Meg and Jo

TITLE: Meg & Jo
AUTHOR: Virginia Kantra
PUBLISHING DATE: December 3, 2019


The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. 

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger. 

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters. 

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams. 

MY THOUGHTS: I don't read a lot of classics but I've always loved Little Women and it's a book that always reminds me of the holidays.  So I was thrilled when Berkley provided me with a copy of Meg & Jo to read and review, and I suspected it would be a great for the month of December.  I'm so glad I was right.

Meg & Jo focuses primarily on two of the March sisters, even though all are present. Having grown up on a farm in North Carolina, Meg decides to branch out and move to New York.  She has completed college and now secretly runs a food blog.  She also works at one of New York's renowned restaurants.  Meg stays behind in North Carolina.  She has married a good provider, who gave up his coaching career so she could stay home and raise their twins.  However, when Meg's mother gets ill, the running of the farm falls primarily on Meg which makes her question what she really wants from life. 

Jo has always been my favorite March sister and the same is true for Meg & Jo.  I love that Jo is independent and loves writing.  She decides to go after her dreams even when the road doesn't seem easy. During the book she strikes up a romance with the restaurant's owner and chef, and even though it is doomed from the start, I couldn't help but cheer Jo on.  I also really liked Meg's character development throughout the novel.  I must add that Mr. March is not a very likable character and I don't know how the March women tolerate him.  It seems they have grown up with a very jaded idea of what their father is really like and the bubble may be about to burst.

I think anyone who likes reading about family drama will thoroughly enjoy Meg & Jo but if you are a Little Women fan, then you really need to pick it up.  It's nice to see the March sisters venture into the 21st century.  And I'm thrilled to know there is a sequel, Amy & Beth, already in the works.


Thursday, December 26, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Book - The Stand (part 2)

Well, Stormi and I are at it again and this time, she managed to convince me to read another giant book! Seems like it's been the year of the big book so why stop now.  For the months of November, December and January, we are tackling the unedited version of Stephen King's The Stand.  While I don't feel right rating each section, I do want to share some thoughts. And make sure to go check out Stormi's thoughts @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

TITLE: The Stand
AUTHOR: Stephen King

FROM GOODREADS: This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.  

So honestly, I'm really struggling with this one.   If it wasn't for Stormi, I might have put it down where it might have stayed long-term.  At least she managed to motivate me and I finished the section we arranged.  However, she bribed me with a somewhat shorter section than we anticipated so we could finish the Kate Daniels series before the year is out.  Thank heavens for small favors 😊

So basically the section we read this month were the "good guys" traveling to join Mother Abigail, and the "bad guys" traveling to join Flagg.  Now where in the first part it was Larry's chapters which killed me, Trashcan Man now has him beat.  His chapter went on forever...and I mean FOREVER!  I

I am still liking the same characters.  Nick is my favorite and Fran and Stu are pretty great too.  Mother Abigail is completely awesome and I'm interested in learning more about Joe.  I seriously dislike Harold and Nadine as well as Trashcan Man and of course Flagg.  I am starting to like Larry more and I feel that he is showing the most character growth right now.  I'm not real happy that Stu's gang abandoned the dog because they were taking motorcycles because seriously, won't the new world need canines?

So overall, I'm still journeying along just like our cast of characters. One of the main differences in mine and Stormi's reading preferences is I like character-driven tales more that her so that being said, I don't know how she is managing to read The Stand so far.  There's been very little action.  I am hoping the last third is action-packed and keeps me on the edge of my sheet or I fear I may never finish! 

RATING:  No rating yet as we aren't finished.  However, at this point, I'd be hard pressed to give it more than 3/5 if I had to rate it.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Best Animals in Books - Chuckles Christmas Selection

So, it's time for all the year-ending lists so many of us love to complete and share.  This year Chuckles, over at Chuckles Book Cave has created a Christmas Selection for each day of the month.  I loved so of her ideas so much that I just had to participate on 4 or 5 select days.  Just something extra for the month.  Check out here original list HERE and join in on the fun!

This is my third time joining in and of course I couldn't resist talking about this special topic....


Hollow Kingdom is probably my favorite read of the year and of course, it would not be so with S.T. the snarky crow and his beloved pal Dennis, the bloodhound.  Seriously guys, read this book!

It's no secret that I love Grendel, the giant attack poodle, from the Kate Daniels series.

He may be cyber-enhanced but XK9 Rex is one awesome dog!

He doesn't get much mention but I love Stoker from the Veronica Speedwell series and I do hope we see more of him soon.

He may have been evil, but Pearl the one-eyed pig stole my heart!

Smooshie the Pitbull is just plain awesome!

How could Bunnicula, the vegetarian vampire bunny not make the list!

And finally, everyone needs a French Bulldog with a severe attitude problem in their life!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

What's Happening (12-21-19)...

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out. 

Let's just admit it - Christmas is here!  Where did the time go?  It's like WHAM!  And Christmas is here.  The good think is that I'm officially on break until January 6th.  Yay!  Of course that means January will be dismal as usual but hey, you can't have everything right? 

As you are reading this, Apollo is probably home.  His timeline got moved up when we were contacted Thursday and the breeder said he was finished nursin and we could get him early if we wanted. So we are getting him Saturday morning.  I'm typing this on Friday so all I can say is man, I hope we are ready.  And be prepared for puppy/Cass pics galore!  Here is one she sent us Wednesday and basically said that he was just chillin'.  I hope he likes to "chill" a lot. 

So we have been watching some TV.  We binged the whole Watchmen series in a few nights and I actually really liked it.  It was pretty darn weird but I was so curious and that last episode!  I started watching Virgin River on Netflix but haven't gotten very far.  We plan on watching the Star Wars series on Disney as well as The Witcher series while off.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I finished the finale of The Masked Singer.  Such an odd show but I became totally obsessed.  Can I say that the Rottweiler got ripped of and totally should have won!  I knew it was Chris Daughtry from the first show because I love his voice (well, and maybe him too).  So I bet some therapists would have a field day with the idea that I find him even hotter now that he was a Rottweiler.  

I have been reading but need to be reading more.  If you saw my Top Ten Tuesday this week you know what books I'm working on.  If you didn't, HERE is a link.

I also got a few digital arcs.  Of course there are dogs present with Who Rescued Who and Gabby.
And then The Last Smile in Sunder City sounds like the beginning of a great urban fantasy series which might have a touch of humor as well.

I actually received a few physical books from publishers as well and I need to get some pics this weekend so I can put them here and on Instagram.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by.  Are you reading or watching anything good???

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Very Seasonal Read - A Wedding on Christmas Street

TITLE: A Wedding on Christmas Street
AUTHOR: Ivy Pembroke
PUBLISHING DATE: Out now but only in the UK (that I can find)


Sam is about to propose to his girlfriend Libby, and his neighbours in Christmas Street all think they know the right way to do it. With their 
help - and sometimes hinderance - Sam gains a fiancée and the wedding planning begins.

Meanwhile, Sam's nine-year-old son Teddy and his friend Pari - with their constant companion Jack the street dog - are fascinated by the arrival of a mysterious new neighbour on the street who has rented the empty, run-down house. Their attempts to spy on her are thwarted by her staying indoors with the curtains drawn most of the time. But soon Christmas Street begins to work its magic and Millie is reluctantly drawn into street activities. 

As Millie starts to relax into thinking she can have a different life, maybe even with Jasper, the local carpenter, someone turns up from her past to threaten that. But with all of the street looking out for her, Millie's Christmas will be filled with hope and promise. 

MY THOUGHTS: Earlier this year I feel in love with A Dog Called Jack (you can find that review HERE). Then I learned there was a second one coming, so I proceeded to stalk the internet until I was able to find a release date overseas.  I actually preordered this book from Book Depository which should tell you how excited I was since I rarely preorder books. It arrived at the end of October and I purposely saved it for the holiday season and I'm glad I did!

Once again the reader is pulled into a little area of world called Christmas Street.  The area is quite magical and makes me long for a small, quaint neighborhood where people get along and lifetime friendships are made.  Again, that says a lot since I'm basically a homebody.  So when the book starts, we have fast-forwarded through some time.  Libby is now living with Sam, who is anxious to propose and make everything official.  The kids have started a new grade and have a new teacher, and they have taken it upon themselves to become neighborhood spies.  There is a secretive new lady living in an older house on the street and a new handyman that has been "adopted" by the residents.  And I can't forget to mention Libby's mother who comes to visit.  She is totally every new husband's nightmare mother-in-law.

Just like the first book, A Wedding on Christmas Street was a good mixture of drama and humor.  There were some very lighthearted parts as well as some serious issues the author chose to tackle.  But whether the street was celebrating or in turmoil, they were doing it together.  The friendships between an unlikely group of individuals is one of the things that Pembroke makes shine. I really can't think of any character I didn't like (well, the mother-in-law came close) and again, my favorite would have to be the grumpy old widow Bill.  I love his cynicism and his grouchy exterior because he also has a soft interior which awaits discovery.

Finally there is Jack.  I love Jack and while he is still the bond that holds the street together, he wasn't as prevalent as in the first book.  Jack is still the street dog and everyone takes on a responsibility for him and while he is still around, of course you could guess that I wanted more.  I do love that on most nights, Jack chose to sleep at Bill's.  See, dogs CAN sense good human beings.

So overall A Wedding on Christmas Street was a perfect read for this time of year.  I will be honest and admit I didn't quite love it as much as the first novel, but it is still a very strong and vert enjoyable read.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Iron & Magic

This month Stormi and I continued on with the Kate Daniels series....sort of.  Several of our followers told us we really needed to read Iron and Magic, a spin-off, before reading the last book.  So despite the fact that neither of us cared much for Hugh, we took the plunge.  Read on for my thoughts and then go check out Stormi's   Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Be forewarned, you might be spoiled if you continue on.

TITLE: Iron and Magic (Iron Covenant #1)
AUTHOR: Ilona Andrews
PUBLISHING DATE: June 26, 2018


No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work. 

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. 

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? 

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” 

Hugh and Elara may do both. 

MY THOUGHTS: So let's get this out of the way - I didn't like Hugh at all when I picked up this book.  While I found him somewhat more tolerable at the end of this book, I still don't like him much.  Also, that cover!  That's not what I expected Hugh to look like.  I kind of feel like the covers don't stand up to the those on the Kate Daniels' books.

So Kate's Dad no longer has any use for Hugh.  And since that's all that Hugh has ever known, he's pretty much struggling.  Luckily some of his Iron Dog soldiers impress upon him the importance of not looking for answers in the bottom of a liquor bottle so they head out to form an alliance which might just keep them all alive.

Enter Elara Harper.  She runs a community in Kentucky rumored to be filled with witches.  Her group needs help defending their land so a shaky alliance comes together when Hugh and Elara marry.  We are also visited by Clan Bouda in this book and Hugh has to finally answer for some of the despicable things he did in the past.  I think this needed to be done if Hugh is to ever be redeemed as a character.

Moving on.  So I REALLY like Elara.  She is smart and snarky and she throws some of the best put downs toward Hugh that I've ever heard. She is not happy about the union between them even if it does make sense and she has no plans on making Hugh's life easy.  Now on to Hugh.  I will admit I did see some character growth during the book but when you start out at rock bottom, it's hard to move up.  There were a few touching scenes with a small rescued girl and he did save a dog/dire wolf during one part of the book.  The dog then attaches himself to Hugh so I'm assuming he senses some good qualities in the man.

So overall I am glad I read this and I am anxious for the next Iron Covenant book.  Maybe Hugh will continue to grow on me but the pressing question after that ending is "What the heck is Elara???"  I do believe Hugh finally met his match!


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (241)

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.

So the public has spoken - Cass is now a full-time contributor to Can't Wait Wednesday.  That means each week you'll see two books here. Of course Cass is already lobbying for an increase in salary (at least he works for treats - and bandanas).

FROM GOODREADS: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein in Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy adventure
The gods are dead. Decades ago, they turned on one another and tore each other apart. Nobody knows why. But are they really gone forever? When 15-year-old Hark finds the still-beating heart of a terrifying deity, he risks everything to keep it out of the hands of smugglers, military scientists, and a secret fanatical cult so that he can use it to save the life of his best friend, Jelt. But with the heart, Jelt gradually and eerily transforms. How long should Hark stay loyal to his friend when he’s becoming a monster—and what is Hark willing to sacrifice to save him?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Let's be honest, it's basically the cover.  But then I did look further and see Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea meets Frankenstein...plus the cover.  


FROM GOODREADS: Ocean’s Eleven meets The Secret Life of Pets in this hilarious and delightfully illustrated novel following a ragtag group of pets who will do whatever it takes to avoid being sent to the pound.

Butterbean knew she wasn’t always a good dog. Still, she’d never considered herself a BAD dog—until the morning that her owner, Mrs. Food, fell in the hallway. Admittedly the tile was slipperier than usual, mostly because Butterbean had just thrown up on it.

Now Butterbean and her fellow pets have to come up with a grand plan to support themselves in case Mrs. Food is unable to keep taking care of them. When they discover a mysterious man in their building who seems to have lots of loot, they plan a heist. Oscar the mynah bird is the brains of the operation. Walt the cat has the necessary slyness and slink. Marco and Polo are the reconnaissance rats. And Butterbean...well, no one would ever suspect a cute little wiener dog, right? Can these animal friends can pull off the heist of the century?

WHY CASS CAN'T WAIT:  First of all, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.  Also, I think Butterbean sounds like a lot of fun and I can't wait to meet her friends.  I am also in need of books to share with Apollo when he arrives and I thought this looks good. 

However, do not look for Apollo to take over blogging anytime in the near future.  I think Mom has all the help she needs - woof woof!


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

TTT - My Winter TBR (actually just the rest of the month)

The top 10 weekly meme used to be hosted by The Broke and the Bookish they  handed over the reins to ThatArtsyReaderGirl who can be found HERE.  Each week she will focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

So this week's topic is my winter TBR but let's be honest, right now all I can think of are the books I need to finish this December!  So here we go....

I still need to get through the second third of this one for my buddy read with Stormi.

I'm over 50% done with this one and hope to get it finished soon.

I'm saving this one for next weekend to read to Cass.

Both anxious and curious to see how this series ends.

I really need to get started on this but Stormi has already started it and she has me nervous.

Well, there you have it.  I start vacation the 21st so wish me luck!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

What's Happening (12-14-19)...

So I'm doing things a tad bit differently this year and will be combining all of my regular weekend posts.  This will enable me to add more content on Fridays and it is just starting to make more sense.  I'll still be linking up with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga's Reviews and Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.  Both blogs are awesome so make sure you check them out. 

So I swear, where is the time going?  Can you believe less than 2 weeks until Christmas?  I managed to get a lot of our decorations up last weekend but the tree will go up this Sunday.  I love our tree but we've never been a family to have it up all month long.

So we've been watching some odds and ends on TV.  We started "The Watchmen" and I'm not sure what to think about it.  Also, we finished "Castle Rock Season 2" and I've come to the conclusion that it was like taking 10 Stephen King books, reading a page from each, and expecting it to make sense!  Mr. Barb thought it had a happy ending, but then he totally missed something.  So then he was like "Well, that was a bummer."  

I have been reading but not as much as I would like.  This weekend I need to finish The Wedding on Christmas Street and also work on The Stand.  I also need to make Christmas cookies which is impossible to read during.  

I did get a few books for review this week.  Catherine House is described as a Gothic thriller, which I tend to enjoy.  And I am THRILLED to have an arc of Highfire. I need to know more about the Flashdance-loving, vodka-drinking dragon.   Wicked as You Wish is a YA Fantasy but I've heard good things about the author so I'm willing to give it a try.  

And finally, I think many of you saw the announcement but the puppy has a name - APOLLO CRUZ and will be home in 9 days.  I will also leave with a picture of Apollo's big brother Cassius, looking dapper in his birthday bandana.  You can also glimpse some of his toys and his new bed in the background.

So hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.  Are you adding any good books or are you on a ban until after the holidays?

Friday, December 13, 2019

Best Female Characters - Chuckles Christmas Selection

So, it's time for all the year-ending lists so many of us love to complete and share.  This year Chuckles, over at Chuckles Book Cave has created a Christmas Selection for each day of the month.  I loved so of her ideas so much that I just had to participate on 4 or 5 select days.  Just something extra for the month.  Check out here original list HERE and join in on the fun!

Although it isn't the topic she picked today, it is one I missed earlier so today I'm sharing.....


I actually have two from the Discovery of Witches trilogy.  Diana Bishop is awesome and another favorite is Ysabeau de Clermont.  She can be ruthless at times but overall she rocks!

Another series where I have more that one favorite.  Of course Kate Daniels is a great female character but I also love her best friend Andrea.

No list is complete without Veronica Speedwell!

I wouldn't EVER want to babysit her but as far as characters go, Rosa is a wonderfully evil little girl.

So Violet is actually pretty unhinged but she made a great character. 

I love Gert - foul mouth and all!

So glad I read this trilogy last month and got to know Lilly.  An older female character with brains!  Oh, and her love of dogs doesn't hurt.

So do you have any favorite female characters this year???