Thursday, September 21, 2023

That Was A Change of Pace


TITLE: Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful #1)
AUTHOR: Tessa Bailey
PUBLISHING DATE: Originally Published March 17, 2015
PAGES: 304   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: College drop-out Roxy Cumberland moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actress, but her dwindling bank account is quickly putting the kibosh on that fantasy. To make some quick cash, she signs up to perform singing telegrams. Her first customer is a gorgeous, cocky Manhattan trust-funder if she ever laid eyes on one. And what could be more humiliating than singing an ode to his junk, courtesy of his recent one-night stand? Maybe the fact that she's dressed in a giant pink bunny costume... 
After a night out to celebrate winning his last case, lawyer Louis McNally II isn't prepared for the pounding in his head or the rabbit serenading him from the front door. But the sassy wit and sexy voice of the girl behind the mask intrigue him, and one look at her stunning face--followed by a mind-blowing kiss against his doorjamb--leaves Louis wanting more. 
Roxy doesn't need a spoiled rich guy who's had everything in life handed to him on a Tiffany platter. But there's more to Louis than his sexy surface and he's determined to make Roxy see it...even if it means chasing her all over NYC.

MY THOUGHTS: After reading quite a bit of horror the past few weeks, I found myself wanting something nice and quick.  This book just got a re-release complete with a new animated cover, which I won't lie, always gets my attention on romance books, so since I had recently picked it up from the library, I decided to dive in.

I've grown to really enjoy Tessa Bailey's books the past 2 years and luckily, she has enough of a catalog that I am nowhere near being finished with it.  Roxy is in NY pursuing an acting career.  She has just been kicked out of her apartment and needs money fast so she gets a job doing singing telegrams.  On her first gig, she meets Louis. Even though Roxy is in a bunny suit, the chemistry is undeniable and after she leaves with only a kiss, Louis hunts her down.  The remainder of the book allows us to see the whole cat-and-mouse game play out while learning exactly why Louis and Roxy are carrying so much baggage.

While the plot kept me interested, I will admit the side characters are what made the book for me. Roxy ends up being roommates with two women who are hilarious and it's really the first time Roxy has ever experienced true friendship.  Also, Louis's sisters are volatile and add just enough comedic relief. For example, when Louis is told his sister is cooking for everyone, he declares he will bring the fire extinguisher and when he arrives and asks her what is burning, she replies ketchup.  

If you want a fun read and you don't mind quite a bit of spice, then consider giving this author a try. I don't think I could read her novels in succession, but spread throughout other things, they are usually just what I need to rev up my reading.  There are two more books in this series with each one focusing on a different roommate so I'm excited to visit this world again.  Overall, not my favorite Tessa Bailey, but definitely worth my time.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Ghost Station


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. 

April 9, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: As an exploration crew begins to establish residency on an abandoned planet, they must unravel the mystery behind the previous colonizer’s hasty departure. When their pilot is discovered dead – in what appears to be a gruesome murder – it’s up to the corporate-sponsored psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray to find the killer among them … before someone else is next.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I'm not a huge sci-fi reader girlie but there was something about Dead Silence I loved when I read it a few years back.  I'm excited to see what the author does with another space horror.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Please Vote Me Off This Island!


TITLE: Hemlock Island
AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 12, 2023
PAGES: 304   

FROM GOODREADS: Laney Kilpatrick has been renting her vacation home to strangers. The invasion of privacy gives her panic attacks, but it’s the only way she can keep her beloved Hemlock Island, the only thing she owns after a pandemic-fueled divorce. But broken belongings and campfires that nearly burn down the house have escalated to bloody bones, hex circles, and now, terrified renters who’ve fled after finding blood and nail marks all over the guest room closet, as though someone tried to claw their way out…and failed. 
When Laney shows up to investigate with her teenaged niece in tow, she discovers that her ex, Kit, has also been informed and is there with Jayla, his sister and her former best friend. Then Sadie, another old high school friend, charters over with her brother, who’s now a cop. 
There are tensions and secrets, whispers in the woods, and before long, the discovery of a hand poking up from the earth. Then the body that goes with it… But by that time, someone has taken off with their one and only means off the island, and they’re trapped with someone—or something—that doesn’t want them leaving the island alive.

MY THOUGHTS: I have seen some mixed reviews about this book which made me a tad hesitant to pick it up, but I do love the author, so I took the plunge.  I can see why this wouldn't work for everyone, but for the most part, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the author or who is looking for a spooky book to add their TBR this fall.

Laney and her husband Kit divorced after the pandemic basically tore their marriage apart.  However, Kit had bought Laney an island and built her a gorgeous house on it as a wedding gift and he insists she keep it as part of the settlement.  Laney, unable to afford the upkeep on her own, even though she is a published author and a teacher, decides to make it an air-bnb type rental, which leads to all kinds of headaches.  She has been finding evidence of some kind of rituals being performed and when the latest renters call saying they found blood and scratches on an inside closet, Laney and her niece, whom she has guardianship of, head off to check things out.  Kit and his sister Jayla, who used to be Laney's best friend also show up as do an ex-friend, Sadie and her brother, who had a falling out after something tragic happened in high school.

This first half of this book read like such a well-paced slasher novel.  But warning, it isn't a slasher novel at all.  It could have been though and I would have liked it just as much if not even more perhaps. People start ending up dead and mysteries start being revealed, and I did not see the turn this book took in the end.  I liked Laney well enough as a character and wanted the best for her and Kit.  A few of the other characters were despicable and I cared nothing for what happened to them except for entertainment value.  

I do think one of the big reveals was extremely obvious from the beginning, but it didn't really spoil my enjoyment of the book.  I have found Armstrong to have a vivid imagination and some of the scenes are not for anyone who easily gets grossed out.  Armstrong has written in so many different genres with both adult and YA titles and this is actually my 20th read of one of her books.  I guess I can confidently say I would probably read whatever she releases at this point.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Farm News - September 17, 2023


I'm getting a late post up this weekend and honestly don't have a lot to report.  I'm suffering from the beginnings of a migraine as I write this and am hoping I caught it in time before it gets too bad.  It was a busy week at work (as busy as it can get when you are privileged enough to work from home) as my boss was at a major conference in Atlanta all week and half our unit was in the state capital at another conference for 3 days.  I have a retreat coming up early in October I am dreading and then Mr. Barb has a week-long conference the week after I return.  Apollo does not do well when both his people are not home at night.

I have been reading a lot and managed to finish two books this week.  Look for a review of Hemlock Island from Kelley Armstrong coming up sometime this week and Stormi and I are still plugging away on It.  I need to get to page 390 by the end of this coming week which should be easily done as I am on 320 right now.  It helps mixing other books in with it.  As far as currently reading, I also started Schader's Chord.

I also managed to receive a couple of arcs from Netgalley this week.  I had totally given up on getting an early copy of The Twelve Dogs of Christmas which releases on October 17th but I opened my email this week and there was the approval I was waiting for. And by the way, am I the only one bothered by the fact there are only 8 dogs on the cover?  I used to read a lot of MaryJanice Davidson books quite some time ago and loved her Betsy the Vampire Queen series.  I am sure Road Queens will offer a fun read with a fair share of humor.  It publishes on November 28th.  And finally, I received The Locked Door by Freida McFadden.  I read The Housemaid earlier this year and enjoyed the twists and turns and am excited to see what this one holds.

So I hope you all have had a wonderful week.  It's nice and rainy here today so I'm off to curl up with a blanket, a dog and a doorstep - oops, I mean my copy of It.

Friday, September 15, 2023

They Were Killed How????


TITLE: Murder on a School Night
AUTHOR: Kate Weston
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegan Books
PAGES: 384   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: A hilarious murder mystery–rom-com from author and comedian Kate Weston investigates the sinister side of social media when bullying turns bloody—and a string of classmate deaths by menstrual cup and sanitary pad sets amateur sleuth Kerry hot on the trail of a menstrual murderer. Perfect for fans of Truly Devious and Fleabag. 
There’s never a good time to find a dead body, sure. But what about finding a dead body while you’re trying to kiss your crush? Kerry had different plans for her first high school party—like not going. All she wanted to do was stay home in the safety of retro rom-coms and her strict retainer schedule. Instead, her BFF, fiercely outgoing mystery-fanatic Annie, has roped her into going to the party to investigate who’s cyberbullying Heather, the most popular girl in school.
Finding herself getting close with her dreamy crush is odd enough, but when the two of them discover Heather’s second in command, Selena, suffocated with a menstrual cup, things get really weird. And when a second student turns up dead, this time with a sanitary pad across the eyes, Annie and Kerry—no matter how much she resists—are officially on the case to stop the menstrual murderer . . . period.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm pretty sure I didn't read the synopsis when I put this book on hold through Libby some time ago.  When it finally came in, I started it on a whim - can we say mood reader?  Needless to say, when the first victim showed up with a period cup shoved down there throat, I myself about choked.

Kerry and Annie are high school best friend and Annie wants nothing more than to be part of the popular crowd.  When they manage to work up an invite to a school party, they find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery.  Because Heather, the Queen Bee of the school, is one of the main suspects, she convinces Annie, a true-crime obsessed fan, to investigate.  Additional people start dying and Annie finds herself in bind after bind, taking her friend Kerry along for the ride.  All Kerry wants to do is enjoy her first boyfriend experience but is he hiding some terrible secret?

I was not prepared for all the period talk in this book.  Heather's parents own a feminine hygiene factory, so that's how it all fits in.  I will also say I didn't quite expect to laugh and giggle as much as I did while reading this.  Annie and Kerry have a great bond which is sometimes tested but made me reminisce about my high school ride-or-die.  If you liked the movies Heathers and Jawbreaker, this book is definitely for you because I got serious vibes of both while reading it.  And oh, the mystery was pretty decent as well.


Thursday, September 14, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Jackaby (Jackaby #1)

So, Stormi actually convinced me to start another series with her this month!  Actually, it wasn't too hard and now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I convinced her.  Either way, I really enjoyed the first book and the series isn't an extremely long one so I'm glad we did.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: Jackaby (Jackaby #1)
AUTHOR: William Ritter
PUBLISHER: Algonquin Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: September 16, 2014
PAGES: 321   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.

MY THOUGHTS: I will first say that I'm not exactly sure why this book is classified YA.  On the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter to me, but I will admit I find it a bit odd. I think it may have actually missed out on a bunch of readers through the classification and will say if that has held you back on starting this series, you might rethink your decision.

Abigail Rook arrives in New England with no real prospects.  All she knows is that she is running from her parents with money that had provided for her education in search of adventure.  She is looking for a job when she sees a posting for an assistance.  She immediately takes off and through some unconventional job interview excursions, she ends up getting the job. While Abigail loves the idea of being a "detective," she has no idea she is about to encounter a world full of supernatural beings and magical elements.

This book sort of reminds me of the Veronica Speedwell series, except perhaps a little younger with more paranormal elements.  Jackaby is odd, quirky and so much fun and the interaction between him and Abigail is quite humorous and witty.  There are some interesting side characters, like Officer Charlie Cain who happens to catch Abigail's eye, who me to play an important part in the conclusion and hopefully the series going forward.  There is also a beautiful pond in the attic and an ex-apprentice of Jackaby who now lives there as a duck.  If that isn't enough to make you curious, I don't know what is!

This would be a perfect addition to someone's spooky TBR this season of they are looking for mystery and a bit of supernatural but they want to stay away from the horror genre.



Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Feed Your TBR - The Gathering


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. 

APRIL 9, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: Deadhart, Alaska. 873. Living.

In a small Alaskan town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and all the blood drained from his body. The inhabitants of Deadhart haven’t seen a killing like this in twenty-five years. But they know who’s a member of the Colony, an ostracized community of vampyrs living in an old mine settlement deep in the woods.

Detective Barbara Atkins, a specialist in vampyr killings, is called in to officially determine if this is a Colony killing – and authorize a cull. Old suspicions die hard in a down like Deadhart, but Barbara isn’t so sure. Determined to find the truth, she enlists the help of a former Deadhart sheriff, Jenson Tucker, whose investigation into the previous murder almost cost him his life. Since then, Tucker has become a recluse. But he knows the Colony better than anyone.

As the pair delve into the town's history, they uncover secrets darker than they could have imagined. And then another body is found. While the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, a killer stalks Deadhart, and two disparate communities circle one another for blood. Time is running out for Atkins and Tucker to find the Are they hunting a bloodthirsty monster . . . or a twisted psychopath? And which is more dangerous?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I wasn't a big fan of The Chalk Man but I read The Drift when it came out and really enjoyed it so I'm more than willing to pick up another Tudor book.  I love the snowy setting and did I see vampyrs?  Yes please!


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

She Should Have Asked for a Better Job Description


TITLE: Witches Get Stuff Done (Starfall Point #1)
AUTHOR: Molly Harper
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Casablanca
PUBLISHING DATE: September 5, 2023
PAGES: 304   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Juggling newfound witchy powers, a house full of ghosts, and verbal battles with the handsome local librarian is almost too much for a new witch to manage. A new witch with a coven, however, can get so much more done... 
From the moment Riley Everett set foot in Starfall Point, magic bubbled inside of her. But with only her late aunt's journals and a cantankerous live-in ghost butler to instruct her on all things witchy—including her newly inherited Victorian haunted house—Riley seeks out a coven for sisterhood and support. The last person she expects to be drawn to is the town's frustrating, yet ridiculously attractive head librarian. 
Edison Held knows almost everything there is to know about Starfall Point, but Shaddow House was always off-limits, thanks to its elusive owner. If he can convince the new owner, Riley, to let him take a peek inside, there's so much he could learn. But as he gets closer to Riley, he's fascinated by her dazzling wit and fiery spirit. Edison will do whatever he can to help Riley keep her family legacy alive, especially if it means spending more time with the captivating new witch in town.

MY THOUGHTS: I have been spending a lot of time reading horror the past month or so and wanted something lighter to mix things up a bit.  When I saw Witches Get Stuff Done on Hoopla, I thought it might be a good palate cleanser and still stay in the spooky vibe and I can say I am glad I picked it up.  Some of my best reads this year have come from whims so maybe I should do it more often.

Riley Everette's mother has recently died when she learns her mother had been keeping a secret.  Riley has an aunt living on a Michigan island who Riley never knew existed.  The Aunt reaches out to Riley and since she is in between jobs, again, she decides to visit.  However, once she lands on the island, she learns her aunt has passed away.  Riley is suddenly thrown into a mysterious manor on the hill that the whole island is curious about and meets the butler, Plover, who just happens to be dead.  Riley learns it is up to her to guard all the spirits attached to the objects that now call Shaddow House their home and even though Riley has had MANY jobs in her life, this is one she is unprepared for.

This book was so much fun.  It has just the right amount of paranormal elements, romance and humor.  Riley manages to make some friends one she arrives who end up being part of her mystical coven and they were the perfect additions to Riley's zaniness.  I particularly loved Caroline, the town bartender, and was happy to see the next installment focuses on her. 

I only had a few issues with the book.  There were a few typos and unfortunately, I tend to focus on those things so they briefly pulled me out of the moment when I would run across them.  Also, the pacing was bit off.  Turns out quite a few months pass as the story unfolds and honestly, I wasn't picking up on it and didn't find out until basically it was laid out for me toward the end.  

All in all, this is a fun read, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romance which leans heavily into rom-com territory.  This would also be a great read for someone who wants to read certain themes for spooky season but wants to stay away from horror and gore.


Sunday, September 10, 2023

Farm News - September 9, 2023


Hope everyone has had a great week.  Things here are fine.  We had a couple of really hot days again, but this weekend should lead way to a cool down and I'm all for it.  Apollo is still having a few issues with his "arm."  Nothing major at this point, just keeping an eye on it.  He is completely oblivious to his hover-mother's worrying and doesn't understand why daily I tell him I am wrapping him in bubble wrap.

We've watched quite a few movies lately in between the football games.  Meg 2: The Trench was decent.  I love shark films, but I have to admit the first one was better.  And spoiler alert - the dog lives. The Boogeyman, a recent King release, was much, much better than I originally anticipated and I would recommend it to any King or horror fan in general.  And finally, most recently we watched The Last Voyage of the Demeter. This movie gets all the stars despite... spoiler, the dog dies in the one.  It was a wonderful scary vampire tale set at sea and this vamp is nasty - no sparkles at all!

I feel like I'm in the middle of reading too many books. I'm not a big multi-reader but do dabble from time to time.  Stormi and I are doing a 2-month long buddy read of It, so I need to average about 130 pages a week to get that finished on time.  So far, I'm on schedule.  Jackaby is another buddy read and I'm enjoying it a lot and it is sending out lots of Fall vibes.  And I had to work a romance in for a break with all the horror and thriller books I've been reading so I started Chase Me.  Tessa Bailey is a newfound fave and I find her books to be quick, fun reads.

Friday was double points for Kindle Rewards and since it coincided with payday, I grabbed a few books I had my eyes on.  It Found Us is for a Middle Grade readathon in October, There's No Way I'd Die First is for a horror book club pick on a Facebook group in October, and The Beast Keepers is just because I was curious.  

Well, that's about all on this end.  Pro football starts this week so we will see how the Steelers and the Bengals fare.  Last week all three of our favorite college teams won - Georgia, Marshall and Florida State.  Hope this week is just as good.  

So are you reading anything good?  Any movies I need to add to the watch list?

Thursday, September 7, 2023

HGTV Do I Have a Project For You!


TITLE: The September House
AUTHOR: Carissa Orlando
PUBLISHING DATE: September 5, 2023
PAGES: 336   
SOURCE: Netgalley ARC

FROM GOODREADS: When Margaret and her husband Hal bought the large Victorian house on Hawthorn Street—for sale at a surprisingly reasonable price—they couldn’t believe they finally had a home of their own. Then they discovered the hauntings. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee. 
Margaret is not most people. 
Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning calls, and their daughter Katherine—who knows nothing about the hauntings—arrives, intent on looking for her missing father. To make things worse, September has just begun, and with every attempt Margaret and Katherine make at finding Hal, the hauntings grow more harrowing, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep.

MY THOUGHTS: So, if you are a fan of horror or even if you just dabble in it from time to time, you do not want to miss out on Orlando's debut book, The September House.  I described this book to my good friend Stormi as sad, scary and comical and I pretty much stick to those descriptors now that I have completed devoured the book in two days.

Margaret and her husband Hal are empty nesters.  Their daughter has graduated college and started her own life elsewhere. Margaret has always dreamed of owning her a home so when she and Hal can snatch up a large Victorian House in a secluded area, they jump on it.  Never mind that there might have been a murder or two years ago.  Surely that won't interfere with their current plans.  Soon Margaret and Hal become aware of some spirits that remain in their house and refuse to pass on.  Some are relatively harmless such as the lady who only wants to clean the house and make tea.  Some more annoying such as the young boy Elias who will bite you if you get in the way.  But every September, the spirits ramp up, the walls start to bleed and whatever you do, never go into the basement.

I ADORED this book and cannot stress that enough.  I immediately connected to Margaret and her quirky and odd storytelling style.  She refuses to leave her home and believes everything is okay as long as they formulate rules and follow them.  Margaret is good at following rules and soon the reader learns why.  Margaret's daughter is also a force of nature herself.  She returns home when her father goes missing and although she is not immediately likable, I quickly learned why she acts in such a manner.  And I have to admit, her foul mouth made for interesting conversations between her and Margaret on most occasions.

This book had it all.  The right amount of family drama, mystery, ghosts, horror and even gore.  I will definitely pick up books from this author and my only complaint of The September House is that it's over.


Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Midnight Showing


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. 

October 3, 2023

Immediately following the events of Malice House (Book 1), Haven and her newly found sister are on the road, trying to discover the contours of her family's curse. But while they hunt, they are also hunted by the most vile creature from the previous book: a vile, aging salesman who can compel people to do anything with but a whisper and who wants to rewrite the entire world in his image.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I picked up Malice House at the end of last year on a whim and it ended up being one of my favorite horror books in a long time.  I had no idea until recently there would be a sequel but I am so glad there is.  If you haven't read the first one, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Series - We Finally Made It!


Well, Stormi and I finally did it!  We actually completed the Virgin River series.  And just in time for the new season to drop on Netflix this week (however, I will say the show is much more drama-filled than the books and doesn't really follow them to directly - but I do get to see Preacher so I'm okay). It's been a joy to read this series with Stormi and now we are on the lookout for one to replace it.  Not that we are lacking other series reads because we are in the middle of several and have a new one planned for later this month.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: Return to Virgin River (Virgin River #19)
AUTHOR: Robyn Carr
PUBLISHING DATE: October 13, 2020
PAGES: 257   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline. 
Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need. 
Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

MY THOUGHTS: This book follows two new characters who have only limited connections to anyone already in Virgin River, which was kind of refreshing and in a way, kind of sad.  Kaylee recently lost her mother and is headed to Virgin River to finish her novel, which is overdue.  Her rental plans go up in smoke, literally, and she ends up renting a place from artist and local dog trainer, Landry, who has issues of his own he is dealing with.  They soon form a new friendship and since this IS Virgin River, of course it is going to turn into more.

At first, I was concerned about this book.  Kaylee hates dogs.  Well, in her defense she was badly attacked as a youth which fuels her fear, but I shouldn't have worried because once Carr introduced a sexy dog-trainer, I knew my concerns could be put to rest.  I really like the slow-moving friendship between Kaylee and Landry and although there was the to-be-expected drama of an ex showing up, there were also some really sweet side stories involving Kaylee's father and a young girl who lives in town who is also losing her mother to cancer.  

I am so sad to see this series end but also really impressed that Stormi and I stuck through 19 books!  And honestly, I don't think one book in the series earned less that a 4 star so that's saying something.  If you love small town romance and engaging characters, this series just might suck you in as well.


Sunday, September 3, 2023

Farm News - September 3, 2023


There are so many things to be excited about this week!  First of all, I am happy to report that Apollo's bite seems to have completely vanished with no lasting effects.  I do wish I knew exactly what happened, but I guess that's a mystery that will never be solved.  I keep threatening to wrap him in bubble wrap though, so I don't have to worry about him so much.

Second, college football kicked off this past week and we are now in full swing.  I'm super thrilled to be watching some of our favorite teams (Go Marshall! Go University of Georgia!), trying out some new snack recipes and not having to scramble to something to put on in the background while I'm reading.

Third, the last season of Riverdale finally dropped on Netflix this past Thursday.  I will admit I'm a tad scared because this show has gotten more and more "out there" each season, but I am curious to see how it all ends and hopefully get my last Jughead fix.

And finally, with Labor Day here in the states I get a 3-day weekend!

September is a great month for new releases and once again, I find myself with too many books I want to read.  I hope to finally finish up Looking Glass Sound.  It took me a while to get into it, but I think it finally grabbed my attention.  Stormi and I have three buddy reads planned for this month and I've already started Return to Virgin River.  I'm so sad the series is ending for us, but it does coincide nicely with the new season dropping on Netflix on the 7th.  And finally, I want to get started on The September House.  This sounds like a wonderful book to gear up for Fall.

It's also been a while since I've shared some ARCs I've received lately.  This Is How He Collects Them releases October 13th and if that cover doesn't scream spooky season, I don't know what does. Not Your Crushes Cauldron doesn't come out until February which seems so far away but it was too cute to pass up.  And They Stalk the Night, which also releases in October, takes place in a winter storm which is one of my favorite horror books setting so I have high hopes for it.

So I hope everyone had a great week and managed to stay safe amid all the weather chaos that seems to be everywhere.  Have you read or watch anything good I should check out?

Friday, September 1, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Series - House of Evil


This month Stormi and I continued on with our series read of the Krewe of Hunters by Heather Graham.  I've mentioned before these books are a bit formulaic but each one brings in some new characters and some new history and legends and I've yet to find myself getting bored.  I don't know that I would want to read them back-to-back, but with some books in between, I'm finding them enjoyable.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: The Evil Inside (Krewe of Hunters #4)
AUTHOR: Heather Graham
PUBLISHING DATE: August 30, 2011
PAGES: 372   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: For as long as it has stood overlooking New England's jagged coastline, Lexington House has been the witness to madness and murder. But in recent years the inexplicable malice that once tormented so many has lain as silent as its victims. Until now. 
A member of the nation's foremost paranormal forensic team, Jenna Duffy has made a career out of investigating the inexplicable. Yet nothing could prepare her for the string of slayings once again plaguing Lexington House, or for the chief suspect--a boy barely old enough to drive, much less kill. 
With the young man's life on the line, Jenna must team up with attorney Samuel Hall to pinpoint who-or what-is taking the lives of those who get too close to the past. But everything they learn brings them closer to the forces of evil stalking this tortured ground.

MY THOUGHTS: I felt this fourth book in the series started off a bit slow and my opinion may have been directly influenced that I didn't like Sam much at all.  However, I am pleased to report it did pick p and with some good character development and growth, I no longer hated him when I was finished.

Sam is returning to Salem to check on his deceased parents' house, which he is considering selling.  On the way, he is stopped in the middle of the road by a naked teen covered with blood.  Turns out the teen's family has just been murdered and he is the number one suspect.  The teen's counselor believes in his client's innocence.  He contacts his niece, Jenna, a member of the FBI Paranormal Forensic Team for help and together, they convince Sam to use his expert legal skills to assist.  

I really enjoyed the fact that this book takes place in Salem and the reader is given bits and pieces of information about the Salem witch trials and religious persecution along the way.  I really liked Jenna and even though I was pretty sure she and Sam would end up together in the end, I felt bad for how skeptical he was of her abilities in the beginning.  I also found myself not fully convinced of the youth's innocence and enjoyed seeing the mystery unravel.

This is a fun series, and each book brings something new.  I find myself curious about the next installment which I suppose is fundamental for a series that has as many installments as this one does.


Thursday, August 31, 2023

My Final Dog Days of Summer Books!


TITLE: Hounds, Harvest and Homicide
AUTHOR: Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
PUBLISHING DATE: December 4, 2019
PAGES: 170   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: It’s time for the city’s biggest event, the annual fundraising gala for the local women’s shelter. Half the town attends, including all city officials, and anyone who at least thinks they’re anyone always shows up.
Because of that, I’ve taken the bull by the horns—or should I say dog by the leash—and I’m using the grand event to show off the shelter dogs. Because every event is better with dogs, right? 
I’ve planned a fantastic pooch party down to every last detail, and I’ve chosen the best dogs at the shelter. Of course, all the dogs are the best, so it’s going to be a big pooch party! 
What I didn’t plan for was murder. And the murder of the most prominent financial contributor to the women’s shelter, at that. 
I’m happy to report that the dogs aren’t in any danger, but something equally tragic is happening. My close friend, my deceased husband’s best friend, and a dutiful city council member is the cop’s main suspect. Nope. I can’t let that happen, Max means too much. 
I’m determined to prove my friend’s innocence, no matter what happens, and that determination leads me down a path of power, politics, and money, and straight into the killer's line of sight.

MY THOUGHTS: Of all three books in this series, with this being number two, this was my least favorite.  That being said, it was still a strong addition and I enjoyed reading it and learning more about Missy's rescue and the crazy town in which she lives.  

This time Missy once again is wrapped up in a murder investigation.  She is in the middle of a pooch party with a bunch of puppies, when a prominent donor winds up dead.  Missy's close friend Max, who just happens to be developing strong feelings for Missy beyond friendship, is accused of the murder.  Missy is determined to prove his innocence.  

Once again the dogs play a big role. Missy is always talking about them or working at the shelter and there is even a dog present in the big climax of the murder resolution which Missy ends up saving.  Missy does tend to butt into the police investigation quite a bit and is convinced that she can do a better job than them which got a bit annoying after a awhile.  Also, Missy is still mourning her husband and is convinced he was her one and only love so she is adamant she will not get involved with Max even though she clearly is starting to have feelings for him.  

Overall, this was still a solid installment in the series and I'm so glad that the Dog Days of Summer Challenge prompted me to binge read them.


TITLE: Dogs, Dinner and Death
AUTHOR: Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
PUBLISHER: Magnum Grace Publishing
PUBLISHING DATE: January 11, 2022
PAGES: 133   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: I’m not a dog whisperer, but I am a dog mom, and that’s a whole lot worse for the person responsible for kidnapping some of our adopted shelter dogs. TRUST ME: when I find out who it is, they’ll wish all I did was whisper. No one messes with my dogs. 
Atlanta, Georgia, had a dogfighting issue a few years back, and thankfully, most of those dogs found homes. Unfortunately, the problem’s returned, and the shelter I manage takes in the poor pups victimized by those who hurt them. I plan to train the pups on their socialization skills. 
Things take a turn for the worse when a loud-mouthed city politician pushes to ban pit bulls from town. But the politician is only one obstacle. Dogs go missing, and one of the owners is murdered. I realize this isn’t a case of dognapping gone awry. There’s something bigger going on, and I’m determined to figure out the who and why. I’ll get those dogs back, and stop the killer, even if I have to put myself in danger to do it.

MY THOUGHTS: Hands down this was my favorite installment of the series.  It focuses on the dangers of dogfighting and Missy is trying to figure out who is kidnapping local pits, dogs she has worked hard to find good homes for and who are treated like children.  Furthermore, there is a woman who wants to run for City Council and she is waging a campaign to ban pit bulls in the town and I feel so strongly about actions like that which I find ridiculous so it was nice to see it discussed in a book.

So as I mentioned, the focus of this one is Missy trying to figure out who is kidnapping local dogs and who murdered one of the owners.  Many of the characters are people the reader has seen in previous books, so it lends a bit of familiarity and I think that helped me feel more invested as well.  

I do believe this is the last book in the series and while I would definitely read more, I feel that some of the side stories were wrapped up nicely at the end and if there aren't more books, at least there are no loose ends hanging.  If you are looking for a quick dog-centric cozy series, this one just might be for you!


And in honor of Dog Days of Summer ending, here is a picture of my dear Cass and my wonderful Apollo from the end of the last year before we found out Cass was so sick. My babies!