Tuesday, June 30, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015


Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.

If you follow me on Goodreads, you'll know I'm about 21 books behind my goal of reading 100 books this year. No pressure! None, right? Anyone else panic when they log onto Goodreads or feel awfully proud when they're going on to write a review? That's me lately, LOL! 

--> An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir



--> Lock & Mori by Heather Petty



--> Cress by Marissa Meyer



--> Attachments by Rainbow Rowell



--> Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



--> Half Wild by Sally Green



--> Jackaby by William Ritter



--> Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles



--> The DUFF by Kody Keplinger 



--> My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins






Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #13: Beastly Bones by William Ritter


Have I mentioned being a sucker for Sherlockian type stories yet? It probably didn't get brought up the numerous times I've mentioned what a fan I am of Sherlock, right? So saying it again can't hurt?

I ADORED JACKABY!

Such a great homage to Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all in one delightfully clever supernatural mystery. From the snorts of derision Jackaby airs over that fellow who works with Scotland Yard to the absolutely necessary and all-burning desire Ms. Rook has for a little flipbook, leather bound -- their introduction and thence forth partnership makes my deerstalker printed heart go bahda-bing. They're adorable as are the entire cast surrounding them, fleshing them out into a motley-crue family of sorts that's irresistibly sweet, and unputawayable.

Also, the covers are freaking amazing. Gorgeous... practically perfect in every way!


So heck yes, I am waiting on Beastly Bones and wishing that Netgalley would come through for me because I've requested it but my request is pending. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!

DETAILS:
  • Title: Beastly Bones
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
  • Publishing date: September 22, 2015
  • Author(s): William Ritter
  • Series: Jackaby #2



SUMMARY: 
“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #12: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas


Have you all read the first three books in this series? Or picked up the anthology of stories?!

This fourth novel will be the death of us... am I right?! 

If you haven't checked out this series, go over to the fansite HERE. These first three books are so worth reading... binge reading! Lately I feel like all I've done is recommend series that aren't finished. I'm sorry all of you who like closure, but you really don't want to miss out on these.



DETAILS:
  • Title: Queen of Shadows
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
  • Publishing date: September 1, 2015
  • Author(s): Sarah J. Maas
  • Series: Throne of Glass #4


Wanna see the UK cover too?! 


Do you like one better than the other? 

SUMMARY: 
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books on my Summer TBR Pile


Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.

So there's a lot of overlap with this list and the beach reads from a couple of weeks ago. However, I did already get Jackaby and Throne of Glass books off the list. Do hope to get more reviews written... and I'm a Percy Pack blogger for Fangirlish so it's going to be a lot of fun over there if you want to check out the special posts for the 10th Anniversary celebration of that series. 

To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway
Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather Reid
Pretty Dark Sacrifice by Heather Reid
Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil

Of course, there's so many more, but I'm most interested in these right now for myself. My children always have lists too and I usually try to read the books on their lists too. So I only included the books just for me right now. 

Looking forward to reading everyone else's list too because I always forget about books for the TBR pile and only remember them after seeing them show up on these lists. That's why I love participating in Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting On Wednesday.

Monday, June 15, 2015

BLOG TOUR: 'A Matter of Time' Author Lisa M. Basso Talks Relaxation

One of the books I waited to go on tour in 2015 is A MATTER OF TIME by Lisa M. Basso.



The last book, A SLITHER OF HOPE ended on a cliffiest of cliff hangers and so yeah, I was ready to know what had happened to Ray and Kade, being fond of both of them after spending two books getting to know them quite well and all their hangups with life. So finding out their story went to Hell in the second book just about broke me and my hope was stuck on the fact there would be a third book!

Thank the heavens I got to be a part of this blog tour though, because once I knew this story was out there, I really did not know how long I could hold out reading it. Lucky me! I got to read it early along with getting some closure for myself. Having finished it though, the ending led me to believe that there could potentially be a spin-off series. Hmmm... and while I didn't get a chance to grill Lisa on dangling character development and happy endings and her newest projects, she did take the time to write up a guest blog post on relaxation. Something that eludes me a lot what with all the books on my TBR pile vs. how many book review blog posts I should be getting up to even out the ratio of must read to has been read.


Beth, thank you so much for having me today! *waves to all the readers…like a madwoman* 
I’m a bit of a loon when it comes to working and relaxing. When I get sucked into a project, I become a bit of a workaholic. I’ve been known to work twelve to sixteen hours a day. Once, when I was on deadline I clocked a full eighteen hours. That was a crazy day. And, so you don’t think I’m Superwoman or anything, these days aren’t the norm. Some stories and characters take longer to sink into, some require weeks, months, even years of work before I can drift off into that all-obsessive mode where laundry and dishes pile up to the stratosphere and the fridge and freezer become black holes. 
One of my best tips for writers is this, take a break. Sometimes being overworked will help bring forth an idea from the dark depths of the creative abyss, and sometimes it will only burn you out until you can’t even think of work for days afterward. If you can avoid burnout, I recommend doing so. Now, taking a break could be anything from, stretching for two minutes, going for a walk, getting something to nibble from the kitchen (oh! don’t trip over that pile of stuff you were supposed to put away a week ago!). It could also be, taking a long bath, reclining on the couch, reading a book, watching TV, or going to a concert. I love to read, love it, but sometimes after staring at words all day, looking at more doesn’t put me in a relaxing mood. (Also, I have problems reading when I’m in the middle of a project, as I’m almost always subconsciously thinking about my world and characters and I don’t want another author’s work twisting up my thoughts, but that’s just one of my special brand of weird quirks). 
Personally, I’ve used all of this stuff to help manage my stress, though my favorites are TV, movies, and videogames. For TV, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash, The Big Bang Theory, Grimm, and Supernatural are some of my favorites. I also just finished Netflix’s Daredevil. Masterfully done. I’m such a huge Marvel comics fan that it’s been challenging for me to really love some of the marvel remakes—though I do love what I’ve seen from The Avengers so far. The easiest way to unwind, flip on the DVR or pop in a funny movie. Really, a good laugh is great for relieving stress. Nothing pulls me out of slump faster than a good game. Give me something fun to focus on, and boom, I’m a wide-eyed ten-year-old again. Fire up the PS3 or PS4 (yes, I have both) because nothing beats the all-immersive world of gaming. Some of my favorites are anything Lego, zombies, or in the action/adventure genre. I’ve also been known to die really well in many different versions of Call of Duty. Lately, I’ve been pretty heavily into Dying Light (a really cool take on zombies), the Borderlands series (a very entertaining post-apocalyptic Mad Max type game), and Legend of Zelda (yes, I still have my original Nintendo and favorite gold cartridge game). 
Working is great, I’m all for it, but everyone needs downtime. Find your happy place and relax, after all, life’s too short—especially if you’re a character in a George R. R. Martin novel. ;)


ABOUT the BOOK:

Title: A Matter of Time (Angel Sight #3)
Publication date: eBook June 9, 2015 / Paperback August 18, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa M. Basso
Synopsis: 
Rayna entered Hell to save Kade. Kade entered to protect Rayna. Both have failed. Centuries of Kade’s demons are unearthed when he is brainwashed and used as a Fallen pawn. In the freezing pits of Hell, Ray is beaten and tortured, pushed to her breaking point. She takes a stand, firing back at her attackers though she’s only begun to understand the true strength of her wings. A strength she will need once she uncovers the evils that await on Earth. Together they find solace, alone they will fight.

ABOUT the AUTHOR:

Lisa M. Basso was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She is a lover of books, video games, animals, and baking (not baking with animals though). As a child she would crawl into worlds of her own creation and get lost for hours. Her love for YA fiction started with a simple school reading assignment: S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. When not reading or writing she can usually be found at home with The Best Boyfriend that Ever Lived ™ and her two darling (and sometimes evil) cats, Kitties A and B.

Connect with the Author:  

Giveaway:

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

Sometimes I get suckered by my love of Sherlock Holmes. Books, television and movies all attempt luring Sherlockians into reading/watching their stories just because it might have a bit of the illumination that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle managed in his canonical works. It's rare that I'm displeased by such comparisons to the famed detective when it has revealed a wealth of talent in the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Heather Petty and Bonnie MacBird. All individuals delving into the psyche of the Victorian character who notices everything. 

For better or worse, I am not so keen on meta details and am quite willing to overlook so obvious ploys for my attentions if there's a good story to be had or characters who manage to suck me in with their extreme displeasure of the human race's inability to keep up. Which is why... I dug Phillip Digby and rooted for Zoe Webster. These two unlikely friends find that sometimes you just have to say... eh... meh... that's what it is and then make up your own adventure to discover the mettle you're made of and a soulmate who's worth putting yourself out there for.




  • TITLE: Trouble is a Friend of Mine
  • AUTHOR(S): Stephanie Tromly
  • SERIES: Stand Alone
  • PUB INFO: expected August 4, 2015 from Kathy Dawson Books
  • ACQUIRED HOW? ARC 
  • BOOK RATING: Peachy Keen


QUOTE ME: Adorably snarky but with an edge of truth to it that bites you when you least expect it. Not bad, just surprising for a fun, light romance and the convoluted mysteries contained within it. For something so fluffy, the characterization and interaction of all these characters prickles. I was impressed, delighted and pleasantly pleased with how well each character became rounded out even when I thought oh, this part of the book relies too heavily on that trope and this cliche. 

Don't get me wrong, despite its best efforts, TROUBLE IS A FRIEND OF MINE does devolve in parts and where the plot should be tighter strays a bit too much. A lot of the story lines entangle in such a predictable way and yet they still get away from the author. Also, I felt the age of Zoe and Digby didn't quite fit the narration and that it would've seemed more realistic if they were aged up. However, these weaknesses were easily overlooked when the same sort of sarcastic edge you get from the banter between Watson and Sherlock in the modern BBC Sherlock very much fits how Digby and Zoe interact and is probably why I adored them. 

TROUBLE is a great, clean romance that's actually got very little of any romancing of the sort and more of a Nate the Great friendship vibe where everyone sort of gets into trouble together and they all somehow managed to get out of it... together, awkwardly and not without bruises. Unrealistic, yes, but exactly what readers are wanting from this kind of story.

SYNOPSIS:

When Philip Digby first shows up on her doorstep, Zoe Webster is not impressed. He's rude and he treats her like a book he's already read and knows the ending to. But before she knows it, Digby--annoying, brilliant and somehow attractive?--has dragged her into a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all related to an investigation into the kidnapping of a local teenage girl. A kidnapping that may be connected to the tragic disappearance of his own sister eight years ago.
When it comes to Digby, Zoe just can't say no. Digby gets her, even though she barely gets herself. But is Digby a hero, or is his manic quest an indication of a desperate attempt to repair his broken family and exercise his own obsessive compulsive tendencies?
A romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook, a friendship story where they aren't even sure they like each other--this is a contemporary debut with razor-sharp dialogue, ridiculously funny action, and the most charismatic dynamic duo you've ever met.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #11: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer


More Lunar Chronicles could not come at a better time! The end is nigh people and hearing that Marissa Meyer is going to do her best to expand upon the universe even if it means only the addition of shorts in an anthology featuring already been published short stories elsewhere, I still am beyond pleased. As one of the many who read her extras on wattpad, knowing I can finally have them all plus new words in a compilation, a physical book... isn't that brilliant news?! Who's hurrahing with me?!

DETAILS:
  • Title: Stars Above
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publishing date: February 2, 2016
  • Author(s): Marissa Meyer
  • Series: The Lunar Chronicles





A Lunar Chronicles Collection titled STARS ABOVE includes:
  • Glitches: A prequel to Cinder, detailing Cinder’s first weeks after her cyborg surgery and her introduction to her new stepfamily.
  • The Queen’s Army: A prequel to Scarlet, telling the story of one soldier in Levana’s army who is determined not to become the monster everyone expects him to be.
  • Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: A prequel to Cress, expanding on some of Carswell Thorne’s exploits when he was a young man with big dreams.
  • The Princess and the Guard: A never-before-released prequel to Winter, chronicling the friendship between Winter and Jacin and answering some frequently asked questions about Winter, her insanity, and her scars.
  • The Little Android: Retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” in which an android falls in love with a human boy.
  • BRAND NEW as-yet-to-be-determined story!
    SNEAK PEEK of Marissa's first non-TLC novel, Heartless
    POSSIBLE GLIMPSE of super-secret project
Now there's good news and bad news along with this announcement for fans though. First off... good news, right? No panicking because initially I feared that the release of Winter might be delayed with all this talk of new words. However, that is not the case. The last novel of The Lunar Chronicles is still on target.

WINTER will still release November 10, 2015!

The "bad/sad/okay I can deal with this news since everything else is so freaking amazing about this post" news -- is that Heartless, Marissa's next novel and first non-TLC book, has been delayed by nearly nine months! Yikes. Sorry folks.

HEARTLESS will now be out on November 8, 2016 rather than February 2016 as originally planned since STARS ABOVE is now coming out February 2, 2016!



As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

* much of this blog post was crossposted to Fangirlish

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #10: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassie Clare


Yeah, yeah... I love this series. So does my son. Sometimes, middle grade novels are the best! You should check out The Iron Trial if you haven't. It has a really great pace and story and characters.

DETAILS:
  • Title: The Copper Gauntlet
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publishing date: September 1, 2015
  • Author(s): Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • Series: Magisterium Series



SUMMARY: From Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes the second entry in the New York Times bestselling series that defies what you think you know about the worlds of good and evil.

LOL! Okay... so the summary is bare but that's because spoilers yo! This series will be one cliffhanger after another if I suspect it goes how it has started. And yeah... I really cannot tell you anything much about the first book because it literally is its own spoiler. What?! Just read it. Okay? You might like it... a lot.

As always thanks to Breaking the Spine for hosting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books I Would Like to See as a Movie/TV Show



Thanks to the Broke and the Bookish for hosting.

You know, you think these lists would be easy and then yeah, they aren't. However, let's give this list a go, because there have been some wonderful books lately that I have specifically thought, why isn't this story being optioned for film or television. 

1} Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: These fairytale retellings, that are a grunge-steampunk epic space odyssey remind me of the brilliance of Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer which means... Joss Whedon, have you read these books?! Please do and then turn them into a movie. Okay. Thanks.


2} Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn: Always and forever, I will want to see these stories turned into film. The Duke and I, The Viscount Who Loved Me and so forth... these siblings and their spouses are hilarious, mostly because Julia Quinn has a way with witty, funny dialogue like no other. Give this woman a pen and she will make you laugh.



3} Lock & Mori Series by Heather Petty: I don't even need a second book in this series to know that these characters would translate extremely well to a TV screen! It probably doesn't speak to my bias that Young Sherlock Holmes remains one of my favorite films of all time, does it? Or that BBC Sherlock gets watched on repeat here?


4} A Darker Shade of Magic Series by V. E. Scwab: These books have all the makings of a fantastic movie. If you like The Prestige or are intrigued by the upcoming Magicians from SyFy... you're on board with this choice!



5} Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld: A historical retelling with imaginary steampunk elements that just beg for a special effects division to bring to life. Amazing sets and strong female hero types that totally rule the big screen. Brad Bird, I am looking at you!



6} The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix: To be honest, I am surprised this series has yet to make it to the big screen. An older fantasy series, it still is one of the most brilliant series of all times and again with kick-butt female heroes that deal with their problems realistically even if they're living in a made-up world and can walk the waters of death.




7, 8, 9} The Song of the Lioness Quartet, Wild Magic or Trickster Series by Tamora Pierce: Never ever will I stop wanting to see the Tortall characters show up on the big screen. Also, has anyone else read THIS ARTICLE and just been like YES... to all of THIS!



10} Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud: A pesky demon with an affinity to humans that gets him burned nearly every single time. However, with Nate, he suddenly finds out that no matter who or what you are, eventually you will be called upon to make a decision that will forever alter your life. Yeah... these books are amazing and would do so well if made into films. David Heyman aren't you due for another fantasy series?!