Thursday, October 31, 2019

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Magic Shifts

So Stormi and I are moving right along with our year-long Kate Daniels project.  This month we finished up #8.  That leaves two more left, along with the book about Hugh that Stormi and Anne from Books Of My Heart have convinced needs to be read before the last book.  So read on for my thought on this latest installment and then check out Stormi's over  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

As usual, no intentional spoilers but it IS book 8 so read at your own risk.  

TITLE: Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8)
AUTHOR: Ilona Andrews
PUBLISHING DATE: August 4, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters. 

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected. 

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece… 

MY THOUGHTS: There were quite a few things I really liked about this installment, yet it wasn't my favorite.  Kate and Curran are still separating from The Pack and Curran is helping Kate in her investigative business.  Julie, their adopted daughter, is trying to go to school and be normal but she really doesn't want to and it's quite clear that it really isn't possible. 

So Eduardo, the boyfriend of the main Clan Bear's daughter, George, has gone missing.  Since her father despises him, George goes to Kate and Curran for help locating him.  Along the way, they discover that some other shenanigans are going on in Atlanta and they are trying to decide if Kate's father, Roland, is behind any or all of them.

Without ruining much of the plot, I will say that there is something major that happens to Kate in this book.  I actually viewed Kate from Curran's POV a tad more and saw how her sometimes reckless decision making can lead to dire consequences.  Now I love Kate but I wish sometimes she would just think.  I know she has now taken all of Atlanta's safety on her shoulders but if something happens to her, what then? 

As usual there is a fair amount of snarkiness and humor.  And Christopher, a side character that was rescued from Hugh several books back, continues to light up my world.  There is just something in his brilliance yet child-like innocence (he is Broken after all) that touches my heart.  And there is PLENTY of Curran in Magic Shifts which is always a plus.  Curran is learning new roles yet is still the roaring lion he has always been and how he handles living in a new suburban neighborhood is worth its weight in gold. 

And FINALLY, Grendel is back.  I really have missed that attack poodle.  He even gets in on some of the action in this installment but I'm hoping that Andrews does the right thing and keeps him safe until the end.

So overall, a good addition to the series, but not my favorite.  I feel like the ending was wrapped up almost too quickly and it was too easy to defeat the bad guy once they figured out who/what he was.  I am anxious to see what lies ahead!


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (234)

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: If Shirley Jackson wrote The Shining, it might look like this novel from the acclaimed author of Baby Teeth: A mother must become a protector when unnatural forces threaten her family's new and improved life in a rural farmhouse.

The Bennett family -- artist parents and two precocious children -- leave their familiar urban surroundings for a new home in far upstate New York. They're an hour from the nearest city, a mile from the nearest house, and everyone has their own room for the very first time. Shaw, the father, even gets his own painting studio, now that he and his wife Orla, a retired dancer, have agreed that it's his turn to pursue his passion.

But none of the Bennetts expect what lies waiting in the lovely woods, where secrets run dark and deep. Orla must finally find a way to communicate with -- not just resist -- this unknown entity that is coming to her family, calling to them from the land, in the earth, beneath the trees ... and in their minds.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I still need to read Baby Teeth but for the most part, I've heard decent things about it.  And who can resist the temptation that this reads like The Shining from Shirley Jackson's perspective.  Color me curious.


FROM GOODREADS: Laid off, cheated on, mugged: what else can go wrong in Maeve Stephens’ life? So when she learns her birth mother has left her a house, a vintage VW Beetle, and a marauding cat, in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, she packs up to discover the truth about her past.

She arrives to the sight of a cheerful bulldog abandoned on her front porch, a reclusive but tempting author living next door, and a set of ready-made friends at the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, where women knit colorful sweaters for the dogs and cats in their care. But there’s also an undercurrent of something that doesn’t sit right with Maeve. What’s the secret (besides her!) that her mother had hidden?

If Maeve is going to make Timber Creek her home, she must figure out where she fits in and unravel the truth about her past. But is she ready to be adopted again—this time, by an entire town…?

WHY CASS CAN'T WAIT:  I know Mom loved Pupcakes and often features it here on her blog.  I think it's cool that women are knitting sweaters for dogs and cats - sometimes we need a little extra warmth.  However, it says when Maeve arrives home, she finds an abandoned bulldog on the porch.  Do you think we should tell the publishers that dog on the cover isn't a bulldog???  Mom's gonna be miffed!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

TTT - Stephen King Books I've Yet to Read

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 is a Halloween freebie.  I've done so many horror related posts that I struggled to mix it up a bit. I've decided that this week I'm going to share with you Stephen King books I've yet to read.  I've read over 56 of his titles, but for some reason, there are a few I just never get to. And as a bonus, at the end you'll get my ONLY Stephen King DNF - the horror!

CARRIE (1974) - I've seen each movie version several times but have never picked up the book.

THE STAND (1978) - I will be remedying this one soon because Stormi and I are starting a buddy read in November.

THE DEAD ZONE (1979) - I'm starting to see a pattern here.  

THE DARK TOWER SERIES (1982-2012) - I own a pretty box set.  Maybe someday.

THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON (1999) - Wow, I took a pretty big jump in the timeline!

THE BILL HODGES TRILOGY (2014-2016) I remember running out in a massive thunderstorm to buy this book.  You would think that would have motivated me.  Again, I own them all.

SLEEPING BEAUTIES (2017) - Another one that sits on my shelves.

THE ELEVATION (2018) - I've not heard many good things at all so this skinny little book scares me!

THE INSTITUTE (2019) - Quite new yet so I'm not THAT far behind on it.

So there you have it!  Can you believe that's it.  I've read all of his other novels?  And are you ready for the only King book I've DNF'ed?  Maybe one day I'll give it another try.......

THE TOMMYKNOCKERS (1987) - I hated the movie too!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Perfect for Fall

TITLE: Pumpkinheads
AUTHOR: Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
PUBLISHER: First Second
PUBLISHING DATE: August 27, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. 

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.  

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye. 

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . . 

What if their last shift was an adventure? 

MY THOUGHTS:  I'm glad I was able to grab Pumpkinheads from my library because even though it was a a fun read, like most graphic novels, I would have had a hard time justifying paying so much for something that I read in under an hour.  That being said, this graphic novel was definitely seasonal appropriate and just the kind of book I expect from Rainbow Rowell.

It's the last night working at the Pumpkin Patch and the seasonal job brings Josiah and Deja together for one last season of fun. However, it is their last night ever working there as they are both headed off to college soon.  For years Josiah has crushed on the Fudge Shoppe Girl and Deja is convinced tonight is the night he should finally talk to her.  So the two of them skip out on their jobs and travel all over the patch looking for Josiah's crush.  By doing this, they take the reader along for all the shenanigans going on at the patch and run into some side missions along the way.

Josiah and Deja's tale is a cute one but I will say I found it very predictable.  In fact, I pretty much knew where it was headed before I got past the first chapter.  However, it was still an enjoyable read and the artwork was stunning.  Also, I really do think this is a book that screams to be picked up during the Fall season as I honestly think it might have lost some of its appeal to me had I waited until another time to read it.

So overall, if you enjoy Rainbow Rowell and need a light contemporary read, then definitely try to grab Pumpkinheads.  However, save some money and utilize your public library if you can. 


Saturday, October 26, 2019

What's Happening (10-26-19)

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 it's been a fairly good week here at The Farm, but busy.  I accompanied Gpa to a doctor visit Wednesday afternoon and then Friday afternoon Cass had a routine vet appointment.  It kind of made me mad because I made it 2 months in advance so I could go on a Saturday morning and then suddenly this week they needed to change it. Which meant I took him alone, in a truck built for two vs. Mr. Barb SUV.  Oh well, I do love my vet so he's gets a pass - but they might be limited 😊

I put up a few more Halloween decorations last weekend.  I did the other downstairs mantel.  I need to remember to take some pics. I think it's my favorite yet.  My college Alma Mater, Marshall University, won their game Friday evening and it was actually broadcast so I got to watch.  We also watched "Crawl" which was a pretty good, suspenseful alligator movie.  

And in exciting news.  A few weeks back I mentioned a chihuahua down the street that drives Cass mad.  The owner lets him run lose at times, which worries me because big car traffic and tiny dogs don't have the best outcome. He likes to run in our front yard, bark and then run when Cass comes out to see him.  We change his name all the time.  Sometimes he is Rodrigo, sometimes he's Pedro, or maybe Paco.  Well I found out this week his name in Baby!  Please.  He thinks he's vicious and can take on my 112 pound boxer and his name is Baby.  Too funny!

This week's reading has picked up some.  I am actually almost done with Kate Daniels #8 so I'll be reading it this week and then after that "Slash" by Hunter Shea.  I've shown them so much because October has been a reading disaster so I'll skip the photos.  Check out last week's post if you are curious.  

This week in books, I had two Goodreads wins arrive.  I am excited for both but need to the first in the series before tackling "Dead Blow."  Also, "The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek" is a horror novel I featured on Can't Wait Wednesday some time ago so I was thrilled to win a copy.

I also picked up a few holds at my library that came in.  "Pumkinheads" looks like a perfect read for the season. "The Vanished Bride" was actually on the NEW RELEASES shelf so I couldn't resist, and I have heard some decent things about "The Bone Houses."  

And finally, over on Instagram, Cass got to model his Comic Book bandana.  I have to admit this little find is one of my favorites!  We're trying to enjoy the sunny afternoons while we still have them.

So I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  Did you read, watch or do anything fun?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday Face-Off (8)- Scary Covers

So it's been quite a while but today I'm once again participating in Friday Face-Off,  which originated over at  by Books by Proxy.  Probably assisted by the fact that it was an easy topic.


So honestly, I've never read this book but I do own a cover.  But it is by one of my favorite authors.  And technically it DOES feature a dog.

1. 2003 German
2. 2011 English (Hodder)
3. 2016 Portuguese

4. 1993 Belgian
5. 2000 Spanish
6. 2011 Spanish

7. 2016 Enlish (audiobook)
8. 2016 German
9. 2007 (Hodder paperback)

So I knew there would be no shortage of covers and this is just a hint.  I actually like quite a few.  #1 strikes me more as a cover for a mystery book.  #8 freaks me out because it's a cartoon dog with a real mouth and on #9, why is Cujo's tongue yellow?

I think my favorite just adds to my suspicions that in my past life I was a Portuguese librarian.  No matter who does these posts, about 90% of the time my favorite is the Portuguese edition.  So what's your favorite????

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Look! There's a Dog!

TITLE: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1)
AUTHOR: Meg Cabot
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Paperbacks
PUBLISHING DATE: September 24, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life… 

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.  

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. 

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too. 

MY THOUGHTS: So I knew this would be a romantic women's fiction book when I picked it up but I was lured by the promise of dogs.  While I didn't find it mind-blowing, it ended up being a solid read and a good way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Bree has moved to the small island off of Florida after having some relationship and family troubles in New York.  She recalls fond memories of her dad taking the family to Bridge Island when she was young, so it is there she decides to retreat.  She is working in a small cafe, tending to her rescue cat, and sharing a small apartment with her new best friend when news that a hurricane is headed straight toward the island.  Despite numerous warnings, Bree decides to tough out the hurricane.  In the process, she learns she has more friends than she thinks, her important connection to someone famous comes out, and she ends up rescuing a lot of animals.  And oh yea, the jerk nephew of her employer's wife just may be what's been missing in her life.

So overall I really liked Bree. It's clear she has some baggage which the reader learns about as the book progresses.  In addition, she has a big heart as evidence by her rescue cat and how close they've become.  I also tend to like the enemies to lovers trope when I do read romance so I enjoyed Drew as well.  And there were a few things to admire about Drew - his soft spot for dogs and his don't-care-what-people-thinks attitude.  And did I mention his love for dogs?

Like I said, I don't know that this book really stands out against similar ones I've read.  Some of it was pretty predictable.  However, the characters and the roll the animals play in it definitely pushed it to a 4-paw read for me. Without them, it may not have rated so high.  And let's just say when I mention animals, there are cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs and probably a few others I forgot to mention.

I enjoyed the characters enough that it's likely I'll check out the next installment in this series.  I am especially hoping it might center around Bree's roommate. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday (233)

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: Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.

Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  So, have I read the first one yet?  Nope.  But hey, don't let that stop me from looking at the pretty cover.  


FROM GOODREADS: A few rough breaks lead a woman at the end of her leash to journey across the pond to fetch a surprise inheritance--but the dogs she rescues along the way have other ideas.

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would suffer through a quick trip to her late father's family homestead in the English countryside, try not to think about how she was unjustly fired from her dream job, claim her inheritance, and hop on the next flight back to Silicon Valley where she can get her life back on track.

The plan does not include rescuing an abandoned black and white puppy. Or bonding with her long-lost aunt and uncle, their Border Collie, and their two very opinionated sheep. Or falling for the handsome local who runs the town's craft brewery. As Elizabeth's brief visit to Fargrove turns into an extended stay, she discovers that she has more in common with the new puppy than she realized.

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  It's about time we pups get credit for all the people we rescue.  I think Elizabeth is in for a rude awakening once she discovers how much she needs us!  

And hey Mom, can I have that puppy?  


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Doing Time Blog Tour

Today I'm pleased to be featuring the new book by Jodi Taylor - Doing Time.  Thanks to Random Things Blog Tour, the publisher and the author for this great opportunity!

TITLE: Doing Time
AUTHOR: Jodi Taylor
PUBLISHING DATE: October 17, 2019

FROM GOODREADS: At some time in the future, the secret of time-travel became available to all. Chaos ensued as people sought to take advantage. Because there will always be nutters who want to change history... 

And so the Time Police were formed. Internationally sanctioned thugs whose task it was to keep the timeline straight by any and all means possible. And they succeeded. The Time Wars are over. The Time Police won. But who will win the peace? 

Doing Time follows three hapless new Time Police recruits - Jane, Luke and Matthew - as they try to navigate their first year on the beat. It's all going to be fine. Obviously. 

MY THOUGHTS: I've always wanted to try Jodi Taylor's Chronicles of St. Mary's series but to be honest, was a tad daunted by how far behind I was before I even started.  So when is saw she was coming out with a spin-off series, I thought it was a great time to dive in, and I'm glad I did.

Time travel books are sometimes a hit or miss with me but not in this case.  Probably because it is combined with another trope I love - groups of unlikely characters thrown together.  In this first novel, Jane, Luke and Matthew are Time Police recruits and they are learning to navigate the world in which they live as well as each other.  And the fact that none of them really believe they are cut out to be Time Police makes this historical science fiction tale even more enjoyable.  I love how Taylor creates flawed and believable characters and combines them with action and chaos.

So if you like ANY of the things I mentioned above, do yourself a favor and pick up this book.  Honestly, I was afraid it might be a hard transition since I've not read the original series, but it really wasn't.  I'm sure there are things I missed, but reading Doing Time definitely gives me motivation to go back and read The Chronicles of St. Mary's books.  I wonder if I can convince hubby that I need this series for Christmas.  'Tis almost the Season right?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jodi Taylor is the internationally bestselling author of the Chronicles of St Mary's series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone individuals who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel! Born in Bristol and now living in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and write a novel. Nearly twenty books later, she still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

TTT - Books I Read or Bought Strictly Because of the Title

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 we all know I jumped the gun and did this week's topic last week.  You can see my alternative titles HERE if you missed them.  So this week I'm sharing books I read or bought strictly because of the title.

So it may have been a combination of title and the cover.  It was so worth the read.

I remember clearly seeing this one at my library and grabbing it without even seeing what it was about.  At the time I don't know if I'd made the Joe Hill/Stephen King connection yet either.

I haven't read it yet but with a title like this, how could I NOT add it to the TBR?

When I saw this book, I immediately wanted to know more about this last woman.  So glad I read it and I highly recommend this book.

This title says it all!

I took a chance on this one and it paid off.

I need to know more about this book and added it to this year's Christmas list without even reading the synopsis.

Seriously, first the title, then the cover.  Who cares what it is about!

When I added this to my wishlist, there was no cover and no synopsis.  All I saw was the title and then the author.  That's all I need.

Key word - spellbook 😃

Awesome word play - and cute pup.

So there you have it.  And apparently this week I can't count because here's eleven!