Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 12/30/2013

A Study in Ashes by Emma Jane Holloway (#3 Baskerville Affair)
Badlands by Jill Sorenson (#3 Aftershock)
Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller (#6 Parable, Montana)
Born in Blood by Alexandra Ivy (#1 Sentinels)
Buried by Kate Watterson (#3 Ellie MacIntosh)
Busting Loose by Kat Murray (#3 Roped & Wrangled)
Cormorant by Chuck Wendig (#3 Miriam Black)
Deadshifted by Cassie Alexander (#4 Edie Spence)
Desperately Seeking Fireman by Jennifer Bernard (#4.5 The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel)
Eli's Promise by Lissa Matthews (#2 The Bar Nextdoor)
Fighting Love by Abby Niles (#2 Love to the Extreme)
Have No Mercy by Shannon Dermott (#4 Cambion)
Hazardous Duty by W. E. B. Griffin, William E Butterworth IV (#8 Presidential Agent)
Heart of Stone by Christine Warren (#1 Gargoyles)
Hell's Belle by Marie Castle (#1 Dark Mirror)
High Desert by Katherine V Forrest (#9 Kate Delafield)
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (#3 Naked Werewolf)
Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter (#1 Profiler)
If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle (#3 Rhymes with Love)
Killing Cupid by Laura Levine (#12 Jaine Austen)
Love Your Entity by Cat Devon (#3 Entity)
Netherwood by Jane Sanderson (#1 Netherwood)
Obsessed by Him by Red Garnier (#6 Billionaire's Club)
Once Upon a Time in Hell by Guy Adams (#2 Heaven's Gate Chronicles)
Othersphere by Nina Berry (#3 Otherkin)
Prey & Prejudice by Marie Harte (#8 Cougar Falls)
Shatter by Joan Swan (#4 Phoenix Rising)
Somebody to Love by Lori Wilde (#3 Cupid, Texas)
Sunroper by Natalie J Damschroder (#3 Goddesses Rising)
Sweetest Mistake by Candis Terry (#2 Sweet, Texas)
Taste of Darkness by Maria V Snyder (#3 Healer)
The Book of Love by Lynn Weingarten (#2 Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers)
The Commander by Cat Johnson (#12 Red, Hot, & Blue)
The Courier by Andrew Britton (#6 Ryan Kealey)
The Death Trade by Jack Higgins (#20 Sean Dillon)
The Devil's Breath by Tessa Harris (#3 Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery)
The Greatest Lover Ever by Christina Brooke (#5 Ministry of Marriage)
The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin (#1 SPI Files)
The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd (#2 Whispers on the Moors)
The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic (#1 Rage of Kings)
The Kill Order by Robin Burcell (#5 Sydney Fitzpatrick)
The Naked Prince by Sally MacKenzie (#8 Naked Nobility)
The Offering by Kimberly Derting (#3 The Pledge)
The Purity of Vengeance by Jussi Adler-Olsen (#4 Department Q)
The Sharpest Blade by Sandy Williams (#3 McKenzie Lewis)
The Valentine's Arrangement by Kelsie Leverich (#1 Hard Feelings)
The Vastalimi Gambit by Steve Perry (#2 Cutter's Wars)
The Ziti That Never Sleeps by Shelley Costa (#2 Italian Restaurant Mysteries)
Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy (#3 Drew + Fable)
Unbreakable Hearts by Harper Bentley (#2 CEP)
Unchosen by Michele Vail (#2 The Reaper Diaries)
Warrior by Ellen Oh (#2 Prophecy)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews to share your weekly book haul. It can be what you bought, received, borrowed, or were gifted. For more info you can go here.

Janet Evanovich: books 4-18 Stephanie Plum series and Wicked Business

Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus
J.D. Robb: books 28-36 In Death series

James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge: Zoo
Markus Zusak: The Book Thief
Nora Roberts: Dark Witch

I also got this book related t-shirt

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review ~ Kindred in Death

Kindred in Death (In Death #29)

by J.D. Robb
published by Berkley
genre: Adult, Romance, Crime, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Summary (Goodreads): When the newly promoted captain of the NYPSD and his wife return a day early from their vacation, they were looking forward to spending time with their bright and vivacious sixteen-year-old daughter who had stayed behind.

Not even their worst nightmares could have prepared them for the crime scene that awaited them instead. Brutally murdered in her bedroom, Deena's body showed signs of trauma that horrified even the toughest of cops; including our own Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who was specifically requested by the captain to investigate.

When the evidence starts to pile up, Dallas and her team think they are about to arrest their perpetrator; little do they know yet that someone has gone to great lengths to tease and taunt them by using a variety of identities. Overconfidence can lead to careless mistakes. But for Dallas, one mistake might be all she needs to bring justice

My Thoughts: Even 30 books in I still enjoy this series. There have been some misses along the way but not this one. It had everything I love when I'm reading a good mystery/crime drama book.
All the main characters were back doing what they do best. Dallas is kick-ass Lieutenant brought in to lead a case that hits a little to close to home for all involved. Not only does Dallas relate to it personally, Peabody and several others knew the victim.
The bad guy's reasoning behind the crime was convoluted and it was easy to believe that he was brainwashed along the way to think the way he does. Even with the bumps along the way (wouldn't be a story without them), I was satisfied with how this case came to an end.
I also liked the happy note that this story ended with, another wedding of a couple we have seen grow from the beginning. It's always nice to see these characters have some happy moments.

Rating: 5

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review ~ Frozen

Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)

by Melissa de la Cruz, Michael Johnston
published by Putnam
genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy

Summary (Goodreads): Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

My Thoughts: This was a hard one for me. There were many times that I thought I would not be able to finish it. It had a good beginning and end but the middle dragged out way to long. Also, this is YA only because you are told the characters are teenagers but nothing about the story felt like it. The majority of the characters are already retired or discharged from the military but you are supposed to believe they are  only 16. Most of the story I forgot that they were teens until the authors pointed out their ages.
The world that the authors built was interesting in some ways but too current in others. Something happened (if it was explained, it wasn't something that stuck with me) that left the world covered in ice. There seems to be no hope anywhere. The government is in charge and every little thing is monitored. The problem was that this is supposed to be some time in the future but all technology was stagnant to current day. They have all these trained military people and none of them have any initiative to try and better what they have, they just fix it back to old ways.
I liked the characters. Nat was the most interesting and the only reason this was above a 3* read for me. Going with her on her journey to The Blue and finding out about her powers along the way was the reason I kept reading. I had to know about the voice in her head. I could have done without the insta-love/ attraction between her and Wes. Even if you hadn't read the blurb it was a very telegraphed story line.
Overall, whether I read the next book is going to depend on what it focuses on. If it's more about all the different fae and what about the ice is killing them, I will probably give it a try. There is also where they are going with Nat's story. The final "battle" saved this book and also set up some stories to be played on.

Rating: 3.5 (I wavered between a 3 and 4 so just went to the middle)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 12/16/2013

A Little Misbehavin' by Abbi Glines (#6 Sea Breeze)
A Marriage of Notoriety by Diane Gaston (#2 Masquerade Club)
All He Needs by C C Gibbs (#2 All or Nothing)
Cold Case at Carlton's Canyon by Rita Herron (#2 Cold Case)
Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (#0.5 Dangerous Creatures)
Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush (#1 Hidden)
Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi (#2.5 Shatter Me)
Her Unexpected Cowboy by Debra Clopton (#5 Mule Hollow Homecoming)
High Desert by Katherine V Forrest (#9 Kate Delafield)
His Ideal Match by Arlene James (#7 Chatam House)
Matched by Moonlight by Gina Wilkins (#1 Bride Mountain Trilogy)
Murder and Moonshine by Carol Miller (#1 Murder and Moonshine)
Murder as a Second Language by Joan Hess (#19 Claire Malloy Mysteries)
Out of Turn by Tiffany A. Snow (#4 Kathleen Turner)
Reaver by Larissa Ione (#5 Lords of Deliverance)
Rosemary and Crime by Gail Oust (#1 Piper Prescott Mysteries)
Shadowdance by Kristen Callihan (#4 Darkest London)
Sparked by Edie Harris (#2.5 city2city)
Take Me On by Cherrie Lynn (#4 Ross Siblings)
Temptation Bay by Anna Sullivan (#1 Windfall Island)
That One Summer by C. J. Duggan (#3 Summer)
The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood (#4 Incorrigible Children of Ashton
The New Countess by Fay Weldon (#3 Love & Inheritance)
The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton (#3 Redhead)
Unrepentant Cowboy by Joanna Wayne (#2 Big D Dads: The Daltons)
Wanted by Delores Fossen (#6 Marshals of Maverick)
We Hold These Truths by Andrew Clements (#5 Keepers of the School)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review ~ Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

by Tony Cliff
published by First Second
genre: graphic novel, Adventure,

Summary (Goodreads): Lovable ne'er-do-well Delilah Dirk has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she's picked up on the way, Delilah's adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her new found friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan's guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life.

A little bit Tintin, a little bit Indiana Jones, Delilah Dirk is a great pick for any reader looking for a smart and foolhardy heroine...and globetrotting adventures.

My Thoughts: This was my favorite graphic novel yet (the whole month I've been reading them). The illustrations from beginning to end were great. They told the story. The dialogue was lacking at times but it did not matter because the pictures told the story.
I liked Delilah. She was a kick ass, girl power type of character. If there was trouble she was in the middle of it. That said I think Selim was my favorite. He was the complete opposite. He is an expert tea maker, who just wants to sit and enjoy the quiet with his tea. At least until Delilah comes into his life. The friendship that builds between these two was great to watch and satisfying by the end.
Overall, this is filled with great characters and the adventure is told in the pictures. I will be looking forward to the second volume coming out in 2014.

Rating: 5

Preview: Delilah Dirk and the Easy Mark this is 11 pages and will give you an idea of the graphics and features Selim.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review ~ Touch of Power

Touch of Power (Healer #1)

by Maria V Snyder 
published by Mira
genre: Fantasy, PNR, Zombies

Summary (Goodreads): Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life..

My Thoughts: Another great start to a series by one of my favorite authors. I was completely sucked in right from the beginning.
This was a world that you could get lost in, even if it wasn't a very nice world. People are just trying to pick up the pieces and survive after a plague has ravaged the land. The different lands were filled with every type of character and while you may not have liked some (the scared that turn in someone who just helped them) you understood them.
Avry and her magic are the most hated by the people but most wanted by the leaders. I loved how strong she was when she knew the decision she was making could kill her. The most important thing to her was that she make the choice not have someone else make it for her.
Kerrick and the rest of the group, that help Avry escape just to kidnap her, could have been very easy to hate but you couldn't help but have a soft spot for them by the end. Kerrick was the worst offender but I really ended up liking how his relationship with Avry grew. By the end of the book them as a couple worked where if it had been forced any earlier it would not have been believable.
Overall, this was another reminder why I love reading this author. I have read most of her books multiple times and this will be added to that list.

Rating: 5

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 12/9/2013

*All links go to Goodreads

A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie McGuire (#2.5 Beautiful)
Edge of Darkness by J. T. Geissinger (#4 Night Prowler)
Elect by Rachel Van Dyken (#2 Eagle Elite)
Fae by Emily White (#2 Auri)
Heirs of the Body by Carola Dunn (#21 Daisy Dalrymple)
Interlude with Tattoos by KJ Charles (#1.5 Charm of Magpies)
Once Upon a Lie by Maggie Barbieri (#1 Maeve Conlon)
Rearranged by Sara Wolf (#3 Arranged)
Seven Sorcerers by John R. Fultz (#3 Books of the Shaper)
Snakeroot by Andrea Cremer (#1 Nightshade Legacy)
Spoonful of Christmas by Darlene Panzera (#4 The Cupcake Diaries)
Sunny and the Secret Passage by Laura Dower (#4 Palace Puppies)
Tangled Vines by Kay Bratt (#2 Scavenger's Daughter)
The Doctor and the Dinosaurs by Mike Resnick (#4 Weird West Tale)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman (#1 Starbound)
True by Laurann Dohner (#11 New Species)
Weapons of Mass Distraction by Camilla Chafer (#5 Lexi Graves Mysteries)
Wolf Quest by Bianca D'Arc (#7 Brotherhood of Blood)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review ~ Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Legends in Exile (Fables, Vol.1)

by Bill Willingham
illustrated by Lan Medina, Steve Leiahola, Craig Hamilton, James Jean
published by Vertigo
genre: Graphic Novel, Fairy Tales, Adult

Summary (Goodreads): When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White's party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown's sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose's ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

My Thoughts: I heard about this series while I was looking at reviews for the Sisters Grimm series of books. I tend to enjoy fairy tale retellings  and have started looking at more graphic novels so I thought I would give it a try.
The summary pretty much tells it all without telling you the ending. This felt more like a murder mystery than a fairy-tale, but still a good read.
I liked the illustrations in this more than the previous graphics (not many) I had looked at.  Each panel told the story and really helped the story.
Overall, it was interesting seeing some favorite characters in a different light. While this was definitely adult it wasn't too graphic or dark considering the topic. I will be reading more from this series.

Rating: 4 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review ~ Emerald Green

Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3)

by Kerstin Gier
translated by Anthea Bell
published by Henry Holt and Co
genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi (time travel)

Summary (Goodreads): Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

My Thoughts: While this book nicely wrapped up this trilogy, there were some things that just came out of nowhere that caused me to not give it 5 stars.
I normally like Gwen but there was too much whining for me in this book. The amount of tears and moaning complaining was excessive and then when you thought you were past it, it started all over again. It may have been fine for others but it brought the character down some for me. I did like the twist, regarding Gwen, I thought it was interesting and liked how that whole story line was done.
The biggest problem for me was the reveal of Count Saint-German. It just didn't seem to match with the character that we knew. While I understand that he was laying low and trying not to be noticed it just wasn't working for me. It could have been any of the other characters in the story and it would have been more believable.
Overall, this wrapped up all the stories well (even if I didn't like them). All the characters that you would have wanted to have an HEA ended up with one and those who needed to be brought down some pegs were.

Rating: 4

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Releases ~ week of 12/2/2013

A Cursed Moon by Cecy Robson (#2.5 Weird Girls)
A Valley Ridge Christmas by Holly Jacobs (#4 Valley Ridge Wedding)
Alien Research by Gini Koch (#8 Katherine "Kitty" Katt)
Before We Fall by Courtney Cole (#3 Beautifully Broken)
Billionaire Blend by Cleo Coyle (#13 Coffeehouse Mysteries)
Black Flag by Oliver Bowden (#8 Assassin's Creed)
Blood, Milk, and Chocolate by Cameron Jace (#3 Grimm Diaries)
Bound to Break by SE Jakes (#6 Men of Honor)
Bourne Retribution by Eric Van Lustbader (#8 Jason Bourne)
Buttoned Up by Kylie Logan (#4 Button Box Mystery)
Castle Hill by Samantha Young (#2.5 On Dublin Street)
Caught Up in You by Beth Andrews (#3 In Shady Grove)
Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile by Bianca Turetsky (#4 Time-traveling
Cloak and Spider by David Dalglish (#0.5 Shadowdance)
Colton Christmas Rescue by Beth Cornelison (#3 Coltons of Wyoming)
Command Authority by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney (#13 Jack Ryan)
Darkwalker by E. L. Tettensor (#1 Nicholas Lenoir)
Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray (#3 Cleopatra's Daughter)
Deadly by Sara Shepard (#14 Pretty Little Liars)
Elementary by Mercedes Lackey (#10 Elemental Masters)
Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim (#2 Out of Bounds)
Forged by Jennifer Rush (#0.5 Altered)
Full Throttle by Erin McCarthy (#7 Fast Track)
Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard (#3 Gabriel's Inferno)
Gentlemen Prefer Mischief by Emily Greenwood (#2 Mischief)
Going Dark by James W. Hall (#13 Thorn P.I.)
Her Return to King's Bed by Maureen Child (#13 Kings of California)
Hero's Journey by J. J. Cook (#1.5 Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)
Home For the Haunting by Juliet Blackwell (#4 Haunted Home Renovation)
Home For the Homicide by Jennie Bentley (#7 Do-It-Yourself Mystery)
Hot Pursuit by Jo Davis (#2 Sugarland Blue)
Hunt the Falcon by Ralph Pezzullo, Don Mann (#3 SEAL Team Six)
It Happened One Night by Kathie DeNosky (#6 Texas Cattleman's Club)
Katie Sprinkles & Surprises by Coco Simon (#17 Cupcake Diaries)
Kicking It   edited by Faith Hunter
Leave Tomorrow Behind by Judy Clemens (#6 Stella Crown Mystery)
Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass (#1 Bookmobile Cat Mysteries)
Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell (#3 Widdershins Adventures)
Man-Kzin Wars XIV by Larry Niven (#16 Man-Kzin)
Mars, Inc. by Ben Bova (#1 Billionaire's Club)
Merry Market Murder by Paige Shelton (#6 Farmer's Market Mystery)
Murder, She Barked by Krista Davis (#1 Paws and Claws Mysteries)
Never Trust a Pirate by Anne Stuart (#2 Scandal at the House of Russell)
Pinkbeard's Revenge by Greg Trine (#4 Adventures of Jo Schmo)
Proxy by Mindee Arnett (#0.5 Avalon)
Quilt Trip by Elizabeth Spann Craig (#3 Southern Quilting Mystery)
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally (#4 Hundred Oaks)
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes (#2 Falling Kingdoms)
Reel Stuff by Don Bruns (#7 Lessor and Moore Mystery)
Scandal at Six by Ann Purser (#13 Lois Meade)
Second-Chance Seduction by Kate Carlisle (#1 MacLarens Pride)
Secret Valentine by Wong Herbert Yee (#7 Mouse and Mole)
Shannivar by Deborah J Ross (#2 Seven-Petaled Shield)
Shoot the Woman First by Wallace Stroby (#3 Harry Rane Mystery)
Staged to Death by Karen Rose Smith (#1 Caprice De Luca Mystery)
Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk (#3 Whyborne & Griffin)
Super Nova by Jayne Rylon (#3 Hot Rods)
Take Me by J. Kenner (#3.5 Stark Trilogy)
Ten Lords A-Leaping by C C Benison (#3 Father Christmas Mystery)
The Accidental Werewolf 2: Something About Harry by Dakota Cassidy (#8 Accidental Friends)
The Diplomat's Pregnant Bride by Merline Lovelace (#1 Duchess Diaries)
The Grove by Jean Johnson (#2 Guardians)
The High Price of Secrets by Yvonne Lindsay (#4 Master Vintners)
The Sayers Swindle by Victoria Abbott (#2 A Book Collector Mystery)
The Spook Lights Affair by Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller (#2 Carpenter & Quincannon Mysteries)
Things Fall Apart by Harry Turtledove (#3 Supervolcano)
Typhon and the Winds of Destruction by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams (#5 Heroes in Training)
Unclaimed by Sara Humphreys (#5 The Amoveo Legend)
FlameBound by Tessa Adams (#2 Lone Star Witch)
Welcome Back to Apple Grove by C H Admirand (#3 Apple Grove)
Yesterday and Today by Phoebe Rivers (#11 Saranormal)
Your Worst Nightmare by P J Night (#17 You're Invited to a Creepover)