Thursday, December 31, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Series - The Masked City


This month Stormi and I continued our read of The Invisible Library series. We're now finished the first two and have five more to go - I think.  So read on to see if I loved this one as much as the first (hint, I didn't) and then go and read Stormi's thoughts over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! 

TITLE: The Masked City (Invisible Library #2)
AUTHOR: Genevieve Cogman
PUBLISHING DATE: December 3, 2015


Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds. 
Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves. 
Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

MY THOUGHTS: So as I mentioned, I didn't quite like this one as much as the first book in the series, but it may just have been a case of sophomore slump.  Or more likely it could have been a case of there just wasn't enough Kai.

When the book picks up, Irene and Kai have become permanent placements in alternative London and when not locating and obtaining books for The Library, they are associating with Detective Vale, who has become a close friend.  Early on Kai is abducted and it's up to Irene to save him because if his dragon family becomes involved, it might just mean war.

This book once again had some familiar faces.  I'm enjoying learning more about Detective Vale (and seriously hope there isn't a love triangle brewing) and Lord Silver is smack-dab in the middle of things again.  I am intrigued by him and he SERIOUSLY reminds me of a character in the Anita Blake series but I can't remember which one.  We do get to learn more about Kai's heritage and per usual, Irene manages to get into some precarious predicaments.

The beginning of the book was a tad slow but once it picked up, it was a quick enjoyable read.  Stormi and I chatted while I was reading it and I do believe I enjoyed it more than she seemed to, but we are both eager to see what happens in the next installment.  I just seriously hope there's more Kai!


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (303)


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: She left the NYPD in the firestorm of a high-profile case gone horribly wrong. Three years later, the ghosts of her past roar back to terrifying life.

When NYPD undercover cop Laney Bird's cover is blown in a racketeering case against the Russian mob, she flees the city with her troubled son, Alfie. Now, three years later, she's found the perfect haven in Sylvan, a charming town in upstate New York. But then the unthinkable happens: her boy vanishes.

Local law enforcement dismisses the thirteen-year-old as a runaway, but Laney knows better. Alfie would never abandon his special routines and the sanctuary of their home. Could he have been kidnapped--or worse? As a February snowstorm rips through the region, Laney is forced to launch her own investigation, using every trick she learned in her years undercover.

As she digs deeper into the disappearance, Laney learns that Alfie and a friend had been meeting with an older man who himself vanished, but not before leaving a corpse in his garage. With dawning horror, Laney discovers that the man was a confidential informant from a high-profile case she had handled in the past. Although he had never known her real identity, he knows it now. Which means several other enemies do, too. Time is running out, and as Laney's search for her son grows more desperate, everything depends on how good a detective she really is--badge or no.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I think this sounds like a very interesting thrillers and I am curious about the Russian mob aspect.  Oh come on, let's be honest - there's snow on the cover.  And I like reading snowy thrillers and horror tales in the winter.


FROM GOODREADS: Can you fight like cats and dogs, and still be perfect for each other?

Things are getting ruff in this Brooklyn neighborhood when new veterinarian Caleb Fitch moves in next door to the Whitman Street Cat Cafe and gets on the wrong side of cafe owner Lauren Harlow. Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start...

Lauren can't ignore the fact that she is instantly attracted to Caleb, but he gets her even more riled up when he argues with her about how best to treat the cats in her care. Determined to smooth things over, Caleb comes to the rescue when a new litter of abandoned kittens is left on Lauren's doorstep, and they confront the fiery attraction that's been building between them from the start. But saving the baby kittens is only the first challenge Lauren and Caleb have to face, and when a real estate developer comes sniffing around their block, they'll have to work together, or risk losing everything...

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT: I'm in love so I think EVERYONE should be reading romance.  My girlfriend down the street, Emma, came to my house and brought me Christmas gifts!  She also got accepted to Mom's alma mater college so I'm dating a college girl!


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Books of 2020


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

I just KNEW there was a reason I put off doing my favorite books post.  Now I actually have something to share this week that isn't redundant.  These aren't in any order because to be honest, I'll be lucky to narrow it down to ten.  I will also provide a link to the review - if I actually did one 😂

Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant is one of my favorite authors.  That being said, I am still a tad surprised how much I loved this science-heavy mermaid book.  My review can be found HERE.

You guys knew there would be at least ONE dog book on the list right? Check out my thoughts on this one HERE.

Are you shocked to see a romance novel make the list?  I know I am (and there is actually another coming up as well).  HERE'S why I loved this one so much.

This was a pretty tough read but you can see what I gave it a 5/5 rating HERE.

I really loved this thriller so check out my REVIEW.  Also, now that I'm reminded of it, I wonder when book #2 is coming out?

If you love books that incorporate police interviews, newspaper clipping, maps and texts then I highly recommend this YA thriller.  I can't believe I haven't read the sequel yet.  Click HERE to get more details in my review.

Hands down this might have just been my favorite horror read of 2020.  It was totally slaying the Lost Boys/80's vibes.  Come see my REVIEW and then go grab your copy!

Wait a minute - a sci-fi book made it to my list?  Who am I?  Come see why HERE.

While I STILL haven't forgiven Hendrix for the unnecessary dog death in My Best Friend's Exorcism (RIP Max), I did love the author's take on a suburban vampire. Go read my REVIEW to find out why.

Words can't describe how much I LOVE this book.  But I tried to convey it in my REVIEW.

So there you have it.  These aren't all of my 5 paw reads but they are pretty much my faves and ones which stand out in my mind.  It's a good mix of dogs, horror, sci-fi, romance and moose.  Seriously, don't you need a book with a cute moose?  


Thursday, December 24, 2020

2 Bloggers 1 Book - Mistletoe & Mr. Right


Stormi and I both loved the first book in this series so we were super excited to read this one.  And it turned out to be a great Christmas read!   So read on for my thoughts and then head to  Stormi's at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! to see her opinion! 

TITLE: Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs #2)
AUTHOR: Sarah Morgenthaler
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Casablanca 
PUBLISHING DATE: October 6, 2020


How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.
Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can't stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana's determined to prove that she belongs...even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town's hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into. 
And hard could it be? The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it's not getting any easier now that his dream girl's back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it's clear she needs help, fast...and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It's an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong...together.

MY THOUGHTS: So I basically adored this book ALMOST as much as the first one.  Lana has pretty much invested a lot of family money in order to revitalize Moose Springs and help it prosper.  She is building a set of fancy condos and has lots of other ideas.  The problem is, the town hates tourists and they pretty much hate Lana.

Now I have to admit Lana grated my nerves in The Tourist Attraction. I kind of thought she was a bad friend to Zoey and was rather annoying.  I even sort of dreaded reading a whole book centered around her.  However, I quickly warmed to Lana.  She really wants to help the town because of a connection she felt with it when she was young.  She wants to win everyone over which is why she even volunteered to try to capture the Santa Moose - a local moose which appears every Christmas and destroys Christmas decorations everywhere.  I LOVE the concept of Santa Moose and the author has created a town where I think I might be able to live - despite the fact that it's Alaska and it's extremely cold and snowy.  

Rick also turns out to be a great love interest for Lana.  He loves animals and has a pet hedgehog he builds winter scenes for and dresses in cute clothing.  He is also taking care of his nephew Diego, which is no easy feat.  He is divorced and not looking for love.  He can't deny his attraction to Lana but also feels he is way out of her league.  And their first date is pretty interesting.  Let's say I'll never look at squirrels the same way again!

This book is a perfect place to lose yourself and fall in love with some wonderful characters.  I do believe I probably softened to Lana more than Stormi did, or at least more quickly, but I'm pretty sure we both enjoyed this read tremendously.  So glad we area closing 2020 with a great buddy read!

RATING: 4 PAWS (only because I liked The Tourist Attraction a tad bit more)

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (302)


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: A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker’s latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel.

In the wake of her father’s death, Betty Roux doesn’t allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn’t know what she wants, except to run.

When she’s offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino’s new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no.

Anthony gives her a new identity–Lola–and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she’s been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island’s caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I love the sound of this one and I think it sounds rather creepy.  I can't wait to get my hands on it!


FROM GOOREADS: Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them wear collars.

A Dog’s Purpose meets The Happy Ever After Playlist in this charming, pitch-perfect take on relationships as seen through the eyes of a wise pug named Doug, who is determined to play cupid to fix his owner’s love life with his own four paws.

Doug wants his rescuer, Julie, to be happy. He is loyal and loves her unconditionally—two things that can’t be said about Julie’s married boss and lover, Luke. Yet Julie is reluctant to break up, afraid to end up like her eccentric cat-owning neighbor. It’s a prospect that horrifies Doug, too.

Newly divorced Tom, on the other hand, is perfect for Julie. Everyone can see it—except for Julie and Tom. Doug is confident that with his help they will get over their initial animosity toward each other.

As Doug humorously navigates the quirks of human relationships, he knows he can’t give up on Julie—after all, being a “rescue” works both ways.

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT: I  think everyone needs to meet Doug.  And I love that this is written by a guy.  Bring it on! And look at that cover! Also, Mom might already have an e-arc of this one.


Friday, December 18, 2020

A Love Triangle That Wasn't Really...


TITLE: In a Holidaze
AUTHOR: Christina Lauren
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
PUBLISHING DATE: October 6, 2020

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.. 
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions. 
But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy. 
The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe. 
Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

 I HATED Geometry class.  I mean I seriously struggled with proofs.  They were my enemy and I knew they were out to destroy me.  I even recall demanding my teacher explain to me how proofs would help me in law school (my goal at that point - thank Heavens it changed) because I highly doubted I would ever have a client stuck in a triangle I would have to prove was a triangle.  She didn't see the humor.  Anyway, what does that have to do with this book?  Well I'll tell ya!  It reminded me of trying to prove something was a triangle.

Maelyn Jones and her family and friends spend each Christmas in a country cabin.  Her parents, who have been divorced for several years, both still attend.  This Christmas though things change.  Not only does she kiss one brother after some drinking games instead of the brother she has secretly had a crush on since she was a kids,  their parents have decided to sell the cabin.  On the way to the airport to leave, Maelyn and her parents are in a wreck.  But instead of winding up in the hospital, she winds up back on the airplane on the trip TO the cabin.  So basically, time loop premise.  Mae wants nothing more to be happy but will making some serious life decisions change the outcome or is she destined to be stuck in Christmas forever?

This was a cute premise and while I liked Mae and she was rather comical at times, I didn't enjoy the whole brother triangle thing.  And seriously if you've read the book, did it really seem like a love triangle to you?  And come on, why am I so hung up on this, I HATE love triangles anyway.  The holiday aspect was cute and I liked the outcome.  I could really get on board spending Christmas at that cabin every year as long as it promised to end after the holidays and not get stuck on repeat.  

Basically, I've seen some mixed reviews of this book and while I didn't love it, I didn't hate it.  It was a pleasant enough read but it just didn't wow me.  My favorite character was Mae's hippie Uncle who was trying to help Mae end her time loop.  I think I'd really enjoy a book about him.  If you love Christmas reads or this author, then you might as well pick this up.  It does seem to be one of the "it" books this Christmas season.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Want to Read Before Winter is Over


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

This week we are looking at our winter's TBR.  These posts are always dangerous because when blog hopping, my wishlist then grows and grows.

Stormi and I are buddy reading this one this month.  I'm both excited and afraid because I loved the first one so much!

I'm definitely looking forward to more Kai.

Doesn't this look like the perfect winter read?  Winter horror anyone???

You guys know how much I love this series.  And doesn't the cover look a tad bit winterish?

I need to make time for this one, especially since I preordered it this year.

Time is running out on this one.  I WILL get it read soon.

I'm determined to give Sager a second try.

Okay, so I just stumbled on this one.  Where has this short story from been hiding from me?

Will this finally be the Tudor book I like?  We will see.

So I've never read a Colleen Hoover book, and never even planned to.  But then she goes and writes one with a supernatural twist and I'm all over it.  I don't have high expectations though.  Sometimes it's good to read out of your comfort zone right?

So there you have it.  Have you read any of these and are there any I need to cross off the list????

Saturday, December 12, 2020

What's Happening (12-12-20)...


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.

Man what an exhausting 2 weeks since my last update.  A few days after Thanksgiving week, Mr. Barb called me on the way home and said that he probably shouldn't come home.  Apparently a guy at work had been sick all day and they came an hour before my husband got off and told the guy he had to leave because he was positive for COVID.  Now why he was there is beyond me and you can bet the following day I made quite a few phone calls.  Mr. Barb did come home and was tested the next day at work.  He wanted me to get tested so I scheduled one and couldn't get in until last Sunday.  I couldn't be around Gpa until I found out so luckily Stupid Uncle stepped up.  Mr. Barb's came back in 2 days (negative) but mine took 5 days.  Thank Heavens it was negative as well and thank goodness Mr. Barb wears his mask all the time at work and social distances the best he can.  I'm sure I'll be having another one soon the way things are going at his workplace.  Gee I think the last what's happening post has him testing as well.  What can I say, the facility he works at is full of idiots!

On to better news.  Other than that things are going fine.  Seems like the time is flying and Christmas will be here before we know it.  We spent a few evenings watching "To The Lake" on Netflix which wasn't bad but which I dubbed "Stupid Russians in the Snow."  We've also been watching football, including the Steelers game which was supposed to be played on Thanksgiving Day but kept getting pushed back.

I'm waiting for one final wall art to arrive before I show off my library/office.  Yes, as you can imagine, it's a Prince picture and I honestly think they are trying to get his permission beyond the grave before they ship it to me.  

First I want to share what I'm currently reading the next week of so. I'm almost done with Hark! the Herald Angels Scream which is for my on-line horror book club.  Then I'll be reading Mistletoe and Mr. Right and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas.

So I really hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the holiday season no matter how you celebrate.  Cassius and Apollo are doing great and are anxiously awaiting Santa Paws.  They want to thank you for taking the time to visit Booker T's Farm!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday (301)


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: Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I feel in love with the Kate Daniels series and am so excited that we are getting a spin-off continuation!


FROM GOODREADS: Rex Dexter is cursed...with brains...and daring...and more than his fair share of devilish good looks. But also with an actual curse: dead animals keep showing up in his bedroom, wanting him to solve their murders.

After successfully sleuthing a series of endangered animal assassinations, Rex is pretty sure he's home free, spiritually speaking. But that's when he finds a two thousand pound narwhal in his beanbag chair. And this tough guy is dead. And super crabby about it.

Fishy business is at hand. And as if that's not bad enough, Rex's mom has a stressful new job. His new teacher may be part of a Russian hit squad. His best friend Darvish is distracted by a role-playing game. And, horror of horrors, Rex may accidentally have a girlfriend.

Rex Dexter is neck-deep in dead pet problems. And he's determined to solve them. Or let his best friend Darvish die trying.  

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  Mom just read the first one last month and loved it and I have to admit, it was really cute.  Maybe I can get her to review it soon - she's slacking.  Anyway I can't wait to see what trouble Rex gets into next.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Random Things Tours - Rise of One


TITLE: Rise of One
AUTHOR: Dixon Reuel
PUBLISHER: Thunderbolt Press
PUBLISHING DATE: December 2020


When a zombie apocalypse ravages the world, vampire Rise rescues human survivors to feed his coven. 
But apocalypse survivors are not the type to be merely food. Nor could they ever befriend the coven’s lone human, the beautiful and pampered Cypriot. 
When Warwolves, an ancient order of vampire hunters, infiltrate the rescued survivors, Rise realises the danger he brought upon his coven. Rise resolves to purge all threats to his vampire race as the world, although decimated, might be ripe for rule. 
Rise could set history on a new path, with the rise of one individual.  

When I agreed to do this tour, I knew I'd be reading some light holiday reads during December but also still wanted to stay somewhat true to my dark and twisty roots.  What I got was a novel that did just that but when also provided a wonderful character-driven book as well - something I love.  

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies, vampires and a unique form of vampire hunters called Warwolves.  Rise is one of the leaders of the vampire coven and he is doing his best to save his race.  Throw in a lone human named Cyproit who was a very interesting character in and of herself.  This book has plenty of action and Rise is faced with some real dilemmas during the course of the novel.  

This book was just what I needed at the right time - right after Thanksgiving when Hallmark movies run rampant.  Reuel has created a unique and rather dark world and I look forward to the rest of the series.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Irish award-winning writer, Dixon Reuel is the author of her debut Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal novel, Rise of One.

Dixon lives and writes out of her home base in Dublin, and holds a First in History & Early Irish Studies and another First in Creative Writing. She is a lifelong nerd and devoted hobbyist of cosplay, video games, and other surely worthwhile pursuits.

Dixon cannot stand monkeys or phone calls, and to receive a phone call from King Kong would definitely be her greatest fear.