Thursday, December 31, 2015

Some New Year's Randomness

New Year's Trivia

  • In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
  • In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, some families stuff a large doll, which is called Mr. Old Year, with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated the second full moon after the winter solstice. *2016 is the year of the Monkey.
  • The traditional New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne,” means, “times gone by.”

2016 Zodiac Dragons Cancer
by The Sixth Leaf Clover (DeviantArt)

Symbol of the year - 2016! Red Monkey
by Yullapa (DeviantArt)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 12/28/2015

Anything for You by Kristan Higgins (#5 Blue Heron)
Brute Force by Marc Cameron (#6 Jericho Quinn)
Choked Up by Janey Mack (#2 Maisie Mcgrane Mystery)
Christmas From Hell by R.L. Mathewson (#7 A Neighbor from Hell)
Cowboy Take Me Away by Soraya Lane (#2 Texas Kings)
Dead Eye by Alyssa Day (#1 A Tiger's Eye Mystery Book)
Dead in Her Tracks by Kendra Elliot (#2 Rogue Winter)
Death Crashes the Party by Vickie Fee (#1 A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery)
December by Audrey Carlan (#12 Calendar Girl)
Dirty Pleasures by Meghan March (#2 The Dirty Billionaire Trilogy)
Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase (#4 The Dressmakers)
Hunter Deceived by Nancy Corrigan (#2 Wild Hunt)
Kill Without Mercy by Alexandra Ivy (#1 ARES Security)
Mastered by Maya Banks (#1 Enforcers)
Murder Most Finicky by Liz Mugavero (#4 Pawsitively Organic Mysteries)
Murder Most Malicious by Alyssa Maxwell (#1 Lady and Ladies Maid)
Naked Hunger by Desiree Holt (#8 Naked Cowboys)
On Thin Icing by Ellie Alexander (#3 Bakeshop Mystery)
Point Blank by Fern Michaels (#26 Sisterhood)
Redemption by Kate Douglas (#2 Intimate Relations)
Shameless by Joan Johnston (#14 Bitter Creek)
Smoldering Hunger by Donna Grant (#8 Dark Kings)
Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York (#2 Untamed Highlanders)
The First Hostage by Joel C Rosenberg (#2 J. B. Collins)
The Forgotten Soldier by Brad Taylor (#9 Pike Logan)
The Lady's Command by Stephanie Laurens (#1 The Adventures Quartet)
The Rock by Monica McCarty (#11 The Highland Guard Series)
The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean (#1 Scandal & Scoundrel)
The V'Dan by Jean Johnson (#2 First Salik War)
Their Fractured Light by Meagan Spooner, Amie Kaufman (#3 Starbound)
Thread and Gone by Lea Wait (#3 A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)
Untouchable Darkness by Rachel Van Dyken (#2 Dark Ones)
With Every Breath by Lia Riley (#1 Wanderlust)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Year End: Favorite Reads of 2015

These are some of my favorite books that I read in 2015. Not all are from 2015 but I was surprised to see how many new books I was able to read this year.

Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder
Released: February 2015
Rating: 5
**This is one of my all time favorite authors and I was thrilled to get to go back to this world.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Released: February 2015
Rating: 4.5-5
**Loved this book. From the characters, the plot, and the setting it all just worked. Cannot wait for book 2.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Released: July 2015
Rating: 4.5-5
**This was another that hit on all high points for me.

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
released: originally 1990-2012
**I'm trying to get book three finished before 2015 ends. Definitely the longest books I read this year.

The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin
Released: December 2013
**I've been enjoying everything I've read by this author so far.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Some Christmas Randomness

Christmas on Other Words

  • Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan ~ Mandarin 
  • Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar ~ Dutch
  • Joyeux Noël ~ French
  • Froehliche Weihnachten ~ German
  • Sung Tan Chuk Ha ~ Korean
  • Nollaig chridheil huibh ~ Scots Gaelic

Christmas Facts (collected from various sites around the web)

  • Hot cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. "Hot cockles" was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.
  • Wassail" comes from the Old Norse "ves heill"--to be of good health. This evolved into the tradition of visiting neighbors on Christmas Eve and drinking to their health.
  • According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans buy 37.1 million real Christmas trees each year; 25 percent of them are from the nation's 5,000 choose-and-cut farms.
  • America's official national Christmas tree is located in King's Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the "General Grant Tree," is over 300 feet (90 meters) high. It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.
  • An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.

Lonely Nights Melody
by JulyaArt (DeviantArt)
Winter Fantasy
by IronShod (DeviantArt)
Winter Mystery
by Tatyana (DeviantArt)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 12/21/2015

Adam by Beth Williamson (#1 Devils on Horseback: Generations)
Drantos by Laurann Dohner (#1 VLG Series)
In Constant Fear by Peter Liney (#3 Detainee)
My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis (#2 Cedar Ridge)
Night Shift by Bianca D'Arc (#3 Grizzly Cove)
No Hiding Place by M A Comley (#2 D I Sally Parker Thriller)
Outtakes From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (#7.5 Night Huntress)
Secret Admirer by Ron Roy (#8 A to Z Mysteries Super Edition)
The Marriage Contract by Katee Robert (#1 The O'Malleys)
Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh (#1 Rogue Winter)
Waltzing into Damnation by Rita Stradling (#3 The Deception Dance)
Wild Cowboy Ways by Carolyn Brown (#1 Lucky Penny Ranch)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Book-ish Movie Trailer
November 2016 is a long ways off but still looking forward to this movie...

more Harry Potter. New ebook covers were revealed on Pottermore. I saw them on The Guardian (here) Of the new ones, my favorite is the first with the owl on it.

Some Random Cuteness (at least they are to me )
flash mob for Dick Van Dyke's 90th birthday

Firebox is selling a candle egg that hatches into a dinosaur as it burns (pre order).
and this one is where you can tell I have a little boy in the house. He thought this was great..

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This Week's Reads

Just now starting to read Crown of Midnight from last week's post.

The Grimm Legacy and The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman (Goodreads)

I've already read book 3 of this series. Going back now and reading books 1 and 2. So far I'm enjoying the world Ms Shulman has created.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire (Goodreads)

I really liked what Maguire did with the world of OZ and wanted to see what he did with Wonderland. Based on reviews I'm worried that I'm not going to get far into this one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 12/14/2015

A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles (#2 A Society of Gentlemen)
Axel by Grace Burrowes (#3 Jaded Gentlemen)
Can't Hold Back by Serena Bell (#2 Returning Home)
Catching Dragos by Gail Koger (#2 The Dragos Clan)
Celebrate Me by Kristen Strassel (#5 Sawtooth Shifters)
Cinnamon Toasted by Gail Oust (#3 Piper Prescott Mysteries)
Demons by Ednah Walters (#4.5 Runes)
Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes (#5 Falling Kingdoms)
Hard to Forget by Bella Jewel (#3 Hard to)
Killing Trail by Margaret Mizushima (#1 Timber Creek K-9 Mystery)
Love: Uncivilized by Sawyer Bennett (#1.5 Uncivilized)
Mine To Protect by Cynthia Eden (#7 Mine)
Prodigal Cowgirl by Lacy Williams (#8 Heart of Oklahoma)
The Aftermath by R. J. Prescott (#2 The Hurricane)
The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins (#11 SIGMA Force)
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J Sullivan (#3 Riyria Chronicles)
The Wedding Pearls by Carolyn Brown (#4 Cadillac)
To Catch His Mate by Savannah Stuart (#5 Crescent Moon)
Treacherous Net by Helene Tursten (#8 Inspector Huss)
UnBound by Neal Shusterman (#5 Unwind)
Undeniable by C.A. Harms (#4 Key West)
Untamed by A. G. Howard (#3.5 Splintered)
Warlords and Wastrels by Julia Knight (#3 The Duelist Trilogy)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This Week's Reads

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (Goodreads)

I'm not as familiar with Norse mythology as with Greek but I've always enjoyed Riordan's books.

Rarely Seen Photographs of the Extraordinary
by National Geographic (Goodreads)

This is a huge coffee table book that has some amazing photos so far.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (Goodreads)

Everyone seems to love this series. I read and liked book 1 but it did not make me want to run out and read this book immediately. Will see if this one makes me love this series as much.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 12/07/2015

A Beary Sweet Holiday by Lia Davis (#3 Bears of Blackrock)
A Love for Irma Rose by Beth Wiseman (#2 Amish Year)
An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman (#1 Amish Year)
Beneath the Tor by Nina Milton (#3 The Shaman Mysteries)
Capture Me by Anna Zaires (#1 Capture Me)
Charming by Dannika Dark (#6.5 Seven)
Coming Back by Lauren Dane (#3 Ink & Chrome)
Dead Man's Steel by Luke Scull (#3 Grim Company)
Desperate Measures by Jo Bannister (#3 Gabriel Ash)
Dirty Deeds by Megan Erickson (#3 Mechanics of Love)
Evening Street by Julia Keller (#4.5 Bell Elkins)
Falling Hard by Tina Wainscott (#2 Falling Fast)
From Bad to Wurst by Maddy Hunter (#10 Passport to Peril)
Healing Eden by Rhenna Morgan (#2 Eden)
Hold Me Down by Jackie Ashenden (#3 Deacons of Bourbon Street)
Knight's Cross by Christine Kling (#3 Caribbean Thrillers)
Line of Scrimmage by Desiree Holt (#2 Game On)
Night Flower by Kate Elliott (#0.5 Court of Fives)
Reckless in Pink by Lynne Connolly (#4 Emperors of London)
She Can Kill by Melinda Leigh (#5 She Can...)
Sword of Apollo by Noble Smith (#3 Warrior Trilogy)
Teased by Rebecca Zanetti (#7.5 Dark Protectors)
The Final Move by Victoria Denault (#3 Hometown Players)
Three Promises by Bishop O'Connell (#2.5 American Faerie Tale)
Wandering Star by Romina Russell (#2 Zodiac)
When We Fall by Marquita Valentine (#2 Take the Fall)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Some Thursday Randomness

Book Cover Love
Most have been around the web but thought I would look forward to some 2016 reads that appeal to me visually...
February 2016
May 2016
January 2016
Ugly Christmas Sweaters
for the geeks in us (I will admit to liking the Doctor Who one...)
Doctor Scarf
Esty: FishbiscuitDesigns

A Knitted Wonderland by Flying Piggie Designs

Ugly Batman Christmas Sweater

Christmas Music
One of my family's favorite songs from one of our favorite Christmas movies

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Releases ~ week of 11/30/2015

**Links go to Goodreads

A Murder in Mohair by Anne Canadeo (#8 Black Sheep Knitting Mystery)
A SEAL Forever by Anne Elizabeth (#3 Seal)
A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans (#4 Disgraced Lords)
Alien in Chief by Gini Koch (#12 Katherine "Kitty" Katt)
Ash and Silver by Carol Berg (#2 Sanctuary Duet)
Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward (#1 Black Dagger Legacy)
Blood, Salt, Water by Denise Mina (#5 Alex Morrow)
Calling the Play by Samantha Kane (#2 Birmingham Rebels)
Christmas Witch by Amanda M. Lee (#7.6 Wicked Witches of the Midwest Mysteries)
Commander in Chief by Mark Greaney (#15 Jack Ryan)
Cooper by Melissa Foster (#4 Wild Boys After Dark)
Crucible: All New Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey (#10 Valdemar)
Daughter of No Nation by A M Dellamonica (#2 Child of a Hidden Sea)
Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle (#15 Coffeehouse Mysteries)
Empty Nest by Marty Wingate (#2 Birds of a Feather Mystery)
Every Crooked Path by Steven James (#9 Patrick Bowers Files)
Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J. J. Cook (#3 Biscuit Bowl Food Truck)
Forever Summer by C. J. Duggan (#4 Summer)
Gateway to Fourline by Pam Brondos (#1 The Fourline Trilogy)
Ghost in the Wind by E J Copperman (#7 Haunted Guest House Mystery)
Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell (#6 Haunted Home Renovation)
Glow by Beth Kery (#2 Glimmer and Glow)
Guilty as Cinnamon by Leslie Ann Budewitz (#2 Spice Shop Mysteries)
Hellraisers by Alexander Gordon Smith (#1 The Devil's Engine)
Here Today, Gone Tamale by Rebecca Adler (#1 A Taste of Texas)
Hestia the Invisible by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams (#18 Goddess Girls)
His Right Hand by Mette Ivie Harrison (#2 Linda Wallheim)
House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke (#2 Weldon Holland)
In The Company Of Wolves by Paige Tyler (#3 SWAT)
Indirect Lines by Dana Marie Bell (#5 Halle Shifters)
Make Me Stay by Jaci Burton (#5 Hope)
Morrison by MJ Fields (#2 Caldwell Brothers)
Nevermore by Rob Thurman (#10 Cal and Niko Leandros)
Oblivion by Jennifer L Armentrout (#1.5 Lux)
Ornaments of Death by Jane K Cleland (#10 Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries)
Out Comes the Evil by Stella Cameron (#2 Alex Duggins Mystery)
Pouncing on Murder by Laurie Cass (#4 Bookmobile Cat Mysteries)
Rhythm of the Imperium by Jody Lynn Nye (#3 Imperium)
Shadow's End by Thea Harrison (#9 Elder Races)
Shifting Gears by Audra North (#2 Hard Driving)
Skateboard Party by Karen English (#2 Carver Chronicles)
Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid (#9 Tony Hill / Carol Jordan)
Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole (#14 The Immortals After Dark)
Target Engaged by M. L. Buchman (#1 Delta Force)
Tarnished by Kate Jarvik Birch (#2 Perfected)
The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines (#13 Rosemary Beach)
The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto (#2 Anna Fekete)
The Holiday Courtship by Winnie Griggs (#7 Texas Grooms)
The Iced Princess by Christine Husom (#2 Snow Globe Shop Mystery)
The Killing of Polly Carter by Robert Thorogood (#2 Death in Paradise)
The Midwife's Choice by Delia Parr (#2 At Home in Trinity)
The Navy SEAL's Holiday Fling by Zara Keane (#3 The Ballybeg Bad Boys)
The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio (#2 Book Club Mystery)
The Rising by Ian Tregillis (#2 Alchemy War)
The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons (#1 The Gibson Vaughn Series)
The St. Simons Island Club by Brent Monahan (#4 John Le Brun)
The Warrior Vampire by Kate Baxter (#2 True Vampire)
To Brew Or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel (#1 Brewing Trouble Mystery)
Vengeful by Robert J. Crane (#6 Out of the Box)
Wild Wolf Claiming by Rhyannon Byrd (#8 Blood Runners)