Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: The Grind by Nikki M. Pill

Wow! What a thriller. It starts off slow and the pace picks up fast and keeps going right up to the end. The Grind kept me up late. I can't wait until the next book.

Anna Zendel, the main character in the book, was a burlesque dancer and therapist in The Tease, the first book in The Darling Killer Trilogy. In book 2, she is waiting to see if she will be allowed to practice therapy again and is working as coordinator/leader for the burlesque troupe, but not performing herself. The Darling Killer takes exception to that and starts to kill again after the admonition, "Keep performing and they live."

And to amp up the suspense factor, "Anna’s stage training and psychological savvy arm her for another deadly dance, but a series of sinister accidents threaten the survival of everyone she loves while a killer watches her from the wings."

So, Anna is fighting evil on 2 fronts, and she does so marvelously. She is a very human protagonist. Suffering from PTSD as a result of an attack in book one, she still manages to pull it together when it really counts. Some of the other characters are well developed while others are shallow. The shallow ones serve a purpose as well. They're important because of their reactions to what's going on around them which helps further characterize the others and move the plot forward.

The suspense is well done right up to the end. Seriously I can't wait for the third book in this trilogy. I want to know what happens next. I don't want to detail what I want to know next because it would give away spoilers.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is well written and fulfills its description of a suspense/thriller title. It's a hard book to put down.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #65 - The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

This book is the sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by
Seth Grahame-Smith. The blurb says that if you liked the first book, you will enjoy the second one as well. I haven't read the first book yet. It's been on my TBR list for a while. It's nice to know that there is a sequel, assuming I enjoy the first one. I'm looking forward to checking them both out. The Last American Vampire is due out January 13, 2015.

The blurb from the publisher:
New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith returns with the follow-up to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter--a sweeping, alternate history of 20th Century America as seen through the eyes of vampire Henry Sturges.

THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE
In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln's shocking death. It will be an expansive journey that will first send him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia's October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination.

Expansive in scope and serious in execution, THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a runaway success.

So, what do you think? Sound any good? What book are you waiting on this week? Please leave a link or the name of the book in a comment. I'd love to hear from you. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Grind by Nikki M. Pill


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

The Grind by Nikki M. Pill is Book Two of the Darling  Killer Trilogy. It was released November 28, 2014. As book 2 opens, we find that Anna Zendel has been suspended from being a psychotherapist and she is guiding the burlesque troupe, but no longer performing herself. 

In this teaser, Anna is thinking about the killer who has possibly just threatened everyone she knows if she doesn't perform again. 

"I had to admit that it might have excited him that I was there. He sent flowers and his kill-trophies to me. He murdered one of my clients...
How do I keep my friends safe from being my friends?" 

So, what is your teaser from? Leave a link or the teaser in the comments so we can check it out. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quickie Review: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb

Published October 7th 2014
by Abingdon Press 
Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb is a novella length book featuring two parallel stories. One is about Sheriff Spencer Arrowwood and his deputy Joe LeDonne. The other is about Nora Bonesteel being called upon to use her "sight" to help a new family staying for Christmas make peace with a ghost of Christmas past. From the publisher, "In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime."

The story of Sheriff Arrowwood and Deputy LeDonne has them going out Christmas Eve to arrest a man because a senator wants him arrested over a trivial reason. It's the last way that either man would want to spend Christmas. And yet they're called to do so. The man in question is elderly and has an elderly wife to take care of as well.

Nora Bonesteel spends much of the story reminiscing about what Christmas was like at the Old Honeycutt place when she was young. The new folks that own the house have generally been snowbirds, but this year decided to stay for Christmas and their pink tree keeps getting knocked down by some unseen force.

The stories are interesting and the writing goes back and forth a little between the two stories. The characters of course are well done. The writing is excellent. I liked both stories. This is a good book for a Christmas Eve and would make a nice gift for someone. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #64 - Process by Sarah Stodola and The Quick and the Undead by Kimberly Raye


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

This week I am waiting on 2 unrelated books. The first book is Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors by Sarah Stodola.  


This sounds like a good book if you like to read about how authors write. In particular this book states that what sets it apart from others of its type is that "Process puts the true methods of writers on display.Each chapter contains a mini biography of one of the world’s most lauded authors, focused solely on his or her writing process. Drawn from both existing material and original research and interviews, Stodola brings to light the fascinating, unique, and illuminating techniques behind these literary behemoths." It's supposed to focus on really how they write and not techniques as much. This book is due out January 20, 2015 from Amazon Publishing.




The second book I am waiting on is coming out December 31, 2015
It sounds like a hot paranormal romance which I haven't read in a while.  "Welcome to Tombstone, Texas, where anything is possible, even your wildest fantasy. Once a haven to outlaws, Tombstone is now a tourist town that gives travelers a taste of the old West. What visitors don’t realize, however, is that the super-hot cowboys, gunslingers, and lawmen walking the streets aren't actors—they’re originals. These ancient vampires claimed Tombstone two centuries ago. 
So step right up, folks, and book your trip today! The outlaws of Tombstone will be waiting . . .
Travel blogger Riley Davenport loves her job, travelling to the most exotic places in the world. Even better, it keeps her one step ahead of her stalking ex. The last thing she wants in her life is a strong alpha male. But that’s exactly what she gets when she comes face-to-face with Sheriff Boone Jarrett, a hero right out of her most erotic fantasies. 
Boone isn't just the law in Tombstone, Texas. He’s also an ancient vampire and the target of a crazed killer. He certainly doesn't have time for romance. But a temporary fling? Now that he can handle." Should be interesting. I like the premise that it's vampires instead of re-enactors that are staffing the town. I am curious about the world building and what sorts of powers/tolerances the vampires have and how they came to live as a group in this town. I hope the author pays as much attention to that as to the romantic parts.

So, what book or books are you waiting on this week? Leave a link or some other information in the comments below. I'd love to check it out and add to my TBR list.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

"Shirley had Nora Bonesteel to thank for her newly-planted flower beds, filled with only local plants species. But, when the Haverty's Christmas tree was felled by that non-existent gust of wind, Shirley had remembered her neighbor's other talent and decided to fight local ghosts with local magic, if that's what it was."

From Goodreads.com:

"When someone buys the old Honeycutt house, Nora Bonesteel is glad to see some life brought back to the old mansion, even if it is by summer people. But when they decide to stay through Christmas, they find more than old memories in the walls. On Christmas Eve, Sheriff Spencer Arrowwood and Deputy Joe LeDonne find themselves on an unwelcome call to arrest an elderly man for a minor offense. As they attempt to do their duty, while doing the right thing for a neighbor, it begins to look like they may all spend Christmas away from home. In a story of spirits, memories, and angels unaware, Sharyn McCrumb revisits her most loved characters who know there is more to this world than the eye can see, especially at Christmastime. "

Nora Bonesteel is one of my favorite characters from the Ballad series by Sharyn McCrumb. She is kind and sensible. Knows more than a thing or two about plants. And has a touch of sight.

What book are you reading this week? Please leave your teaser or a link to it in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Solomon's Whisper by Sandra Brannan

Published September 2014
by Greenleaf Book Group

Solomon's whisper by Sandra Brannan is book 5 in her Liv Bergen mystery series. Liv is a former miner from a large family who has become an FBI agent. She is concerned that being an agent puts her family in danger and is thinking about quitting the FBI. She agreed to 6 months as a sort of trial period during which she would decide if she wants to continue working there.

As enticement, her boss gives her a cold case to examine: the murder of her niece from several years ago. Then again she is made lead agent on a much publicized case that has become cold as well, the murder of a child much like JonBenet Ramsey. Liv solves the murders and then some with the help and support of her boss, Streeter.

The character of Liv Bergen does some changing and stretching in this book that will undoubtedly extend into the next. Streeter, her boss, also reaches some conclusions about how he feels about Liv that will effect their future relationship.

Action seemed a little slow in the beginning of the book, but momentum increases as the pages go by. At the end I found myself holding my breath reading what would happen next. It's really a thrilling conclusion. The character of Camera Casey seemed to fill a temporary need in the book and was particularly kind of creepy.

All in all, it's a good book. I would buy it for someone else I knew who enjoyed this type of book. I would recommend this book to people who like strong female characters, suspense novels, and thrillers.

I give this book 4 out or 5 stars. The writing is well done. The characters and plot are interesting. And the conclusion is mind blowing, especially if you have read Noah's Rainy Day. But, this can be read as a stand alone novel and appreciated.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.