Sunday, July 31, 2016

Arc Review ~ An Untimely Frost

An Untimely Frost (Lilly Long #1)

by Penny Richards
published by Kensington
expected release date: July 26, 2016
genre: Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction

**Received e-galley from netGalley and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (Goodreads): In 1881 Chicago, the idea of a female detective is virtually unheard of. But when famed crime buster Allan Pinkerton opens his agency's doors to a handful of women, one intrepid actress with her own troubled past is driven to defy convention and take on a new and dangerous role. . .

Since the age of eleven, when her mother was murdered, the life of the theater is all Lilly Long has known. Now twenty-two, she has blossomed into an accomplished Shakespearean actress. But after her innocence--and her savings--are taken from her by a seductive scoundrel, Lilly vows to leave the stage, enter the real world, and save others from a similar fate. Following in the footsteps of the country's first female detective, Lilly persuades Allan Pinkerton to take her on.

Lilly's acting skills are a perfect fit for her real-life role as a Pinkerton operative. But her first case is a baptism by fire as she is sent to the small town of Vandalia to solve the mystery of a pastor who disappeared with his family--and the church's funds. When Lilly arrives, she finds the mere mention of the reverend's name provokes enmity or suspicious silence. Shadowed by a second Pinkerton agent with an agenda of his own, Lilly begins to uncover Vandalia's sordid secrets. But she'll have to deliver the performance of a lifetime to survive the final act of this drama.

My Thoughts: This is our introduction to Lilly Long. The newest agent for the famous Pinkerton Agency. Lilly decides to pursue this job after her husband's true nature is thrown in her face.  Using her acting skills, she convinces (sorta) the Pinkerton brothers that she is the one they want.
The first assignment in Vandalia is not as easy as it would appear. Stories about a pastor with ulterior motives, missing money, and a haunted house greet Lilly once she arrives in town. I liked Lilly's ability to kept moving forward with her inquiries not matter how off putting the locals are. This did lead to some rather uncomfortable situations where Lilly ended up needing rescuing, usually by the mysterious boxer that Lilly keeps running into.
There were enough surprises and twists to keep you reading to find out what was going to happen next. Added into the mix is Lilly's memories of her mother's murder that tied in to the current story while also setting up for future books. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more.

Rating: 4 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Week's Reads

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #8 (Goodreads)
**I can't seem to catch up on this series. I love the side characters just as much as the main characters.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson #4 (Goodreads)
**I started rereading this series this month. I have plenty of new books to read but something made me want to read the old Mercy books.

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
Becoming Jinn #1 (Goodreads)
**I saw book 2 on the new releases shelf at the library and it caught my eye. Thought I should start with this one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Releases ~ week of 07/25/2016

A Bee In Her Bonnet by Jennifer Beckstrand (#2 The Honeybee Sisters)
A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen (#2 Season for Scandal)
A Gentleman Never Tells by Eloisa James (#4.5 The Essex Sisters)
A Grave Prediction by Victoria Laurie (#14 Psychic Eye Mystery)
All You Need is Fudge by Nancy Coco (#5 Candy-Coated Mysteries)
An Affair of honor by Heather Boyd (#2 REBEL HEARTS SERIES)
An Untimely Frost by Penny Richards (#1 Lilly Long)
Before the Snow by Danielle Paige (#0.1 Stealing Snow)
Benjamin by Emma Lang (#8 Circle Eight)
Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub (#2 Mundy's Landing)
Brutal Obsession by Kennedy Layne (#1 Safeguard)
Cinders by Kate Klimo (#1 Horse Diaries)
Deadly Fate by Heather Graham (#19 Krewe of Hunters)
Death at the Day Lily Cafe by Wendy Sand Eckel (#2 Rosalie Hart)
Dirty For Me by Jackie Ashenden (#1 Motor City Royals)
Don't Let Go by Jaci Burton (#6 Hope)
Don't Tempt Me by Lori Foster (#1 Trade Duology)
Dragon Fever by Donna Grant (#9.5 Dark Kings)
Fatal Identity by Marie Force (#10 Fatal)
Fearless by Kimberly Kincaid (#2 Rescue Squad)
Four Roads Cross by Max Gladstone (#5 Three Parts Dead)
Free Fall by Rick Mofina (#4 Kate Page)
Hell Breaks Loose by Sophie Jordan (#2 Devil's Rock)
His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes (#3 Secrets at Thorncliff Manor)
Illusion Town by Jayne Castle (#13 Harmony World)
In Pieces on the Ground by Joss Whedon (#5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 10)
Into Dust by B J Daniels (#5 Montana Hamiltons)
Just Can't Let Go by Mary B. Morrison (#2 Crystal)
Killer Look by Linda Fairstein (#18 Alex Cooper)
Kilt at the Highland Games by Kaitlyn Dunnett (#10 Liss MacCrimmon Mystery)
Lightless by C A Higgins (#1 The Lightless Trilogy)
Live and Let Growl by Laurien Berenson (#19 Melanie Travis)
Night of the Ninth Dragon by Mary Pope Osborne (#55 Magic Tree House)
Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton (#1 Deadly Secrets)
Scorch by Liliana Hart (#12 The MacKenzie Brothers)
Shift by Sidney Bristol (#2 Hot Rides)
Shots in the Dark by Allyson K. Abbott (#4 Mack's Bar Mysteries)
Spells and Scones by Bailey Cates (#6 A Magical Bakery Mystery)
Supernova by C A Higgins (#2 The Lightless Trilogy)
Sweet Surprises by Shirlee McCoy (#1 Home Sweet Home)
The Angels Share by J. R. Ward (#2 The Bourbon Kings)
The Concubine by Shay Savage (#5 Unexpected Circumstances)
The Dead House by Harry Bingham (#5 Fiona Griffiths)
The Man Who Stole the World by Ed Brubaker (#3 Velvet)
The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak (#2 Fairham Island)
The Untamed Pet by Samantha Cayto (#3 Alien Slave Masters)
To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne (#1 The Wedding Belles)
Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake (#2 True Heroes)
Waking Up with a Billionaire by Katie Lane (#3 Overnight Billionaires)
Wasteland King by Lilith Saintcrow (#3 Gallow and Ragged)
Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper (#5 Half Moon Hollow)
Whitefern by V. C. Andrews (#2 Audrina)
Why Do Dukes Fall In Love? by Megan Frampton (#4 Dukes Behaving Badly)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Some Thursday Randomness

Took our son to see Finding Dory a couple of weeks ago and of all the previews this one was the one I most wanted to see.

I probably won't see Suicide Squad until it comes out on DVD but still looking forward to it. So far Harley Quinn is my favorite character.

Random Stuff
Artist Martin Vargic creates different maps, which can be seen on his website or in his book Vargic's Miscellany of Curious Maps: Mapping the Modern World I really like the look of his Map of Literature.

Here are some interesting bookshelves just because...
Coffin Bookshelf
Viking Ship
Saw these first on Colossal (Site). Artist  Alfred Basha (Facebook) mixes trees and animals to make some beautiful images.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Week's Reads

Fables vol. 19 Snow White by Bill Willingham
Fables #19 (Goodreads)
**My goal is to finish this series (the main set) by the end of the year. It shouldn't be hard there are only 22 but I keep putting them off.

SkyBorn by David Dalglish
Seraphim #1 (Goodreads)
**I saw this at the library and the cover really grabbed me. Don't really know anything about it other than what the blurb says but it's got elemental weapons and wings, so I gotta give it a try.

The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy
The Twelve Kingdoms #3 (Goodreads)
**Really loving this series.  Wish Andi had been in the second book more but hoping to see more of all three together in any way in this one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Releases ~ week of 07/18/2016

A Dog And A Diamond by Rachael Johns (#1 McKinnels of Jewell)
A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn (#3 Nine Minutes)
A Most Inconvenient Wish by Eileen Richards (#3 Lady's Wish)
A World Without You by Beth Revis
All I Need by Linda Winfree (#11 Hearts of the South)
Always the Best Man by Michelle Major (#7 Crimson Colorado)
Assuming Room Temperature by S P Durnin (#3 Keep Your Crowbar Handy)
Cowboy Untamed by Vicki Lewis Thompson (#7 Thunder Mountain Brotherhood)
Crazy Dead by Suzanne Kingsmill (#4 Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery)
Death Deserved by L J Sellers (#11 Detective Wade Jackson Mystery)
Deep Cover Detective by Lena Diaz (#3 Marshland Justice)
Emerald Fire by Monica McCabe (#2 Jewel Intrigue)
Extinction by Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant (#6 Alien Invasion Series)
Fallout by Harry Turtledove (#2 Hot War)
Flying by Carrie Jones (#1 Flying)
Fool's Gold by Jon Hollins (#1 Dragon Lords)
Forever Driven by Kathleen Brooks (#4 Forever Bluegrass)
Forged in Smoke by Trish McCallan (#3 Red-Hot SEALs)
Forgotten Secrets by Robin Perini (#1 Singing River Legacy)
Full Heat by Carla Swafford (#2 Brothers of Mayhem)
Gatlinburg Getaway by Crystal Jordan (#7 Destination: Desire)
Ghost Run by J L Bourne (#4 Day by Day Armageddon)
Heating Up by Stacy Finz (#7 Nugget)
Her Maverick M.D. by Teresa Southwick (#2 Montana Mavericks: The Baby Bonanza)
Her Unexpected Family by Ruth Logan Herne (#2 Grace Haven)
Hitched: Volume Two by Kendall Ryan (#2 Imperfect Love)
Imprudence by Gail Carriger (#2 The Custard Protocol)
In America by Nina Romano (#3 Wayfarer Trilogy)
Lonen's War by Jeffe Kennedy (#1 Sorcerous Moons)
Nero's Dream by Deborah Cooke (#1.5 The Dragons of Incendium)
New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2 by Stephenie Meyer (#4 Twilight: The Graphic Novel)
Night and Day by Iris Johansen (#21 Eve Duncan)
Obsession by Helen Hardt (#2 Steele Brothers Saga)
Only Her by Sandra Owens (#5 K2 Special Services)
Outfoxed by David Rosenfelt (#14 Andy Carpenter)
Protected by Evangeline Anderson (#2 Alien Mate Index)
Rescuing Emily by Susan Stoker (#2 Delta Force Heroes)
Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh (#5 Rock Kiss)
Ruined by Shiloh Walker (#4 Barnes Brothers)
Show Time by Suzanne Trauth (#1 A Dodie O'Dell Mystery)
Sinner's Revenge by Kim Jones (#2 Sinner's Creed)
Small-Town Girl by Jessica Keller (#4 Goose Harbor)
Stars So Sweet by Tara Dairman (#3 Stars)
Swept Away by Kristina Mathews (#1 Swift River Romance)
The Bachelor's Sweetheart by Jean C Gordon (#3 Donnelly Brothers)
The Baker Street Jurors by Michael Robertson (#5 Baker Street Letters)
The Branson Beauty by Claire Booth (#1 Sheriff Hank Worth Mystery)
The Revival by Chris Weitz (#3 The Young World)
The School For Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook by Soman Chainani
The Secret Language of Stone by M J Rose (#2 Daughters of La Lune)
The Texan's Second Chance by Allie Pleiter (#3 Blue Thorn Ranch)
The Unexpected Ally by Sarah Woodbury (#8 Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery)
The Valley by Helen Bryan (#1 Valley Trilogy)
The Way Back Home by Alecia Whitaker (#3 Wildflower)
This Loving Feeling by Miranda Liasson (#3 Mirror Lake)
To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino (#3 Southold Chronicles)
Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout (#2 Wicked Trilogy)
Triple Score by Regina Kyle (#4 Art of Seduction)
Unwanted by Jennifer Estep (Elemental Assassin #14.5)
Wagon Train Sisters by Shirley Kennedy (#2 Women of the West)
Warrior King by Evan Currie (#5 Odyssey One)
Warriors Three: Godhood's End by Keith R A DeCandido (#3 Tales of Asgard Trilogy)
White Bone by Ridley Pearson (#4 Risk Agent)
Wicked Sexy by J. T. Geissinger (#2 Wicked)
Wild for You by Debbi Rawlins (#18 Made in Montana)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Week's Reads

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
Stranje House #1 (Goodreads)
**I had not heard of this book but the title caught my attention. I've been in the mood for historical and epic fantasy lately. This fits in.

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time #4 (Goodreads)
**I went through the first three in this series rather quickly but needed a break at the time. Trying to pick it back up again. There are a couple of characters I don't like and with the lengths of these books it can be a lot of work to get through one.

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan
The Onyx Court #1 (Goodreads)
**Needed something to read while my son was in his library program for this week. Grabbed this and started reading. So far it's interesting. Queen above (Elizabeth) tied to the Queen below (Invidiana). Making deals with the Fae never goes well, cannot wait to see what happens.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Releases ~ week of 07/11/2016

Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo (#8 Kate Burkholder)
An Author's Odyssey by Chris Colfer (#5 Land of Stories)
Clash of Empires by Brian Falkner (#2 Battlesaurus)
Blow Down by JL Merrow (#4 Plumber's Mate)
Born of Magic  by Missy Jane (#2 Gargoyle Masters)
Buried and Shadowed by Alexandra Ivy, Carrie Ann Ryan (#3 Branded Packs)
Cream by Alice Clayton (#2 Hudson Valley)
Dangerous Protector by Katie Reus (#14 Red Stone Security)
Dark Road Home by Anna Carlisle (#1 Gin Sullivan Mystery)
Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery (#1 Los Lobos)
Fatal Headwind by Leena Lehtolainen (#6 Maria Kallio)
Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis (#4 Flavia Albia Mystery)
His to Protect by Stacey Lynn (#2 Fireside)
Hottest Mess by J. Kenner (#2 Dirtiest)
Hound's Bite by E J Stevens (#5 Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective)
Life Debt by Chuck Wendig (#2 Star Wars: Aftermath)
Masks by Robert J. Crane (#9 Out of the Box)
Most Curious Murder by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli (#1 Little Library Mystery) by Haughton Murphy (#8 Reuben Frost)
My Name is Milena Rokva by T.A. Maclagan (#2 Alexandra Gastone)
Necessity by Jo Walton (#3 Thessaly series)
Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson (#4 Lumberjanes)
Outlaw by K. Eason (#2 On the Bones of Gods)
Rampage by John Sandford (#3 Singular Menace)
Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson (#2 Rebel Mechanics)
Red Queen by Christina Henry (#2 The Chronicles of Alice)
Rookie of the Year by Phil Bildner (#2 Rip and Red)
Salvation Lake by G M Ford (#9 Leo Waterman)
Savage Seduction by Ellis Leigh (#3 Dire Wolves Series)
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton (#2 Tiny Pretty Things)
Steadfast by Sarina Bowen (#2 True North)
Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson (#5 Ms Marvel)
The Black Widow by Daniel Silva (#16 The Gabriel Allon Series)
The Crimson Skew by S. E. Grove (#3 Mapmakers Trilogy)
The Innocents by Ace Atkins (#6 Quinn Colson)
The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray (#1 Lone Star Hero's)
The Scars of Her Dragon by Julia Mills (#14 Dragon Guards)
The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey (#2 The Girl at Midnight)
The Shortcoming by Shay Savage (#4 Unexpected Circumstances)
The Staff and the Blade by Elizabeth Hunter (#4 Irin Chronicles)
Time Siege by Wesley Chu (#2 Time Salvager)
Vita Brevis by Ruth Downie (#7 Medicus Investigation)
Witchdependence Day by Amanda M. Lee (#8.5 Wicked Witches of the Midwest Mysteries)
Wolf Lake by John Verdon (#5 Dave Gurney)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Product Review ~ #ZZZQuil VoxBox from @Influenster

** Received this #ZzzQuil voxbox (#SleepLovers, #ad) from Influenster (website), In exchange for an honest review of the product.

My Thoughts: I guess it would depend what you need it for to decide whether or not it works. My biggest sleep problem is getting my brain to shut off long enough for me to fall asleep. Even when I'm exhausted I still have trouble getting to sleep.
The ZzzQuil pills did not fully help with this. It did not take me as long to fall asleep but it took longer than 30 minutes. Which for me, while shorter than usual, is still too long.
I will say, once I fell asleep I stayed that way until morning. I also did not feel groggy or have trouble waking up in the morning.
Overall, for me, I wouldn't use this since it did not help with my particular problem but for someone who has trouble staying asleep it may be a better fit.

Rating: 3

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Week's Reads

*I feel like I accomplished a lot, reading wise, last week. I finished two of the books I picked up and started the third.

The Field Guide to Sports Metaphors by Josh Chetwynd
**Received this from Blogging for Books (website). We are a big sports family as well as a big trivia family. This book falls into both categories.

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
**This was a risky pick for me. I enjoy historical fiction but do not like classics. It's called a homage to Jane Austen that has me worried but the few pages I've read so far I liked.

The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy
The Twelve Kingdoms #2 (Goodreads)
**Ami wasn't my favorite character from the first book, she seemed very frivolous princessy. I'm interested to see how she changes (if she changes) in her own book.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Releases ~ week of 07/04/2016

A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson (#2 Sapphire Brides)
A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley (#1 A Writer's Apprentice Mystery)
A Toxic Trousseau by Juliet Blackwell (#9 Witchcraft Mystery)
All Waiting Is Long by Barbara J Taylor (#2 Morgan Sisters)
Alliance of Equals by Sharon Lee (#19 Liaden Universe)
Always My Girl by Samantha Chase (#3 Shaughnessy Brothers)
As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber (#5 Lady Darby)
Autumn's Wish by Bella Thorne (#3 Autumn Falls)
Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold by various authors (anthology)
Billionaire in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear (#20 Heart of the Wolf)
Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch
Colton Cowboy Hideout by Carla Cassidy (#7 Coltons of Texas)
Danger Woman by Frederick Ramsay (#3 Botswana Mystery)
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally (#7 Hundred Oaks)
Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker (#2 Deep Six)
Dressed to Kilt by Hannah Reed (#3 Scottish Highlands Mystery)
Falling in Deeper by Shayla Black (#11 Wicked Lovers)
Flameout by Keri Arthur (Souls of Fire #3)
Gone With the Wool by Betty Hechtman (#4 Yarn Retreat Mystery)
House Revenge by Mike Lawson (#11 Joe De Marco)
Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton (#2 Wild Aces)
Learning to Ride by Erin Knightley (#10 BookShots)
Let the Devil Out by Bill Loehfelm (#4 Maureen Coughlin)
Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt (#1 Afton Tangler Thriller)
Lowcountry Book Club by Susan M. Boyer (#5 Liz Talbot Mysteries)
Midnight Crossing by Tricia Fields (#5 Josie Gray Mystery)
No Good to Cry by Andrew Lanh (#3 Rick Van Lam)
Once Upon A Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt (#1 Maiden Lane Novella)
Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine (#2 Great Library)
Read to Death by Terrie Farley Moran (#3 Read 'Em and Eat Mystery)
Reclaim by Beth Yarnall (#3 Recovered Innocence)
Remembering Everly by J. L. Berg (#2 Lost & Found)
Resist by Ilima Todd (#2 Remake)
Someone Always Knows by Marcia Muller (#34 Sharon McCone)
The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale (#1 Monstertown Mystery)
The Devil's Evidence by Simon Kurt Unsworth (#2 Thomas Fool)
The Dinosaur Knights by Victor Milan (#2 The Dinosaur Lords)
The Harrows of Spring by James Howard Kunstler (#4 World Made by Hand)
The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega (#2 The Merciless)
The Seventh Element by Wendy Mass (#6 Voyagers)
The Traveler by David Lynn Golemon (#11 Event Group Adventure)
The Trial by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (#15.5 in Women's Murder Club)
The Virgin and the Viscount by Charis Michaels (#2 The Bachelor Lords of London)
The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (#1 The Draconis Memoria)
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (#1 Monsters of Verity)
Threading the Needle by Joshua Palmatier (#2 Erenthrall)
Toasting Up Trouble by Linda Wiken (#1 A Dinner Club Mystery)
Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle Casey (#2 The Bourbon Street Boys)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July


4th of July Fun Facts
  • In a bizarre, though perhaps apt, twist of fate, both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826. 
  • "Americans began observing the Fourth of July as early as 1777, when the first-ever major celebration in Philadelphia included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks, but Congress didn’t make it official until 1870, when it was part of a bill passed to recognize major state holidays at a federal level -- like Independence Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day," according to TIME magazine.
  • July Fourth is the "biggest hot dog holiday of the year," according to TIME magazine, with Americans reportedly consuming about 155 million of them on Independence Day alone. 
  • The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
  • The most common patriotic-sounding word used within place names is “union” with 136. Pennsylvania, with 33, has more of these places than any other state. Other words most commonly used in place names are Washington (127), Franklin (118), Jackson (96) and Lincoln (95).