Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #177: The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event which had been hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. I'm now linking up with "Can't Wait Wednesday" hosted over at Wishful Endings

Synopsis from Goodreads:
From New York Times bestselling author Sharyn McCrumb comes a finely wrought novel set in nineteenth-century West Virginia, based on the true story of one of the strangest murder trials in American history—the case of the Greenbrier Ghost.

Lakin, West Virginia, 1930
Following a suicide attempt and consigned to a segregated insane asylum, attorney James P. D. Gardner finds himself under the care of Dr. James Boozer. Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Boozer is eager to try the new talking cure for insanity, and encourages his elderly patient to reminisce about his experiences as the first black attorney to practice law in nineteenth-century West Virginia. Gardner's most memorable case was the one in which he helped to defend a white man on trial for the murder of his young bride—a case that the prosecution based on the testimony of a ghost.

Greenbrier, West Virginia, 1897
Beautiful, willful Zona Heaster has always lived in the mountains of West Virginia. Despite her mother’s misgivings, Zona marries Erasmus Trout Shue, the handsome blacksmith who has recently come to Greenbrier County. After weeks of silence from the newlyweds, riders come to the Heasters’ place to tell them that Zona has died from a fall, attributed to a recent illness. Mary Jane is determined to get justice for her daughter. A month after the funeral, she informs the county prosecutor that Zona’s ghost appeared to her, saying that she had been murdered. An autopsy, ordered by the reluctant prosecutor, confirms her claim.

The Greenbrier Ghost is renowned in American folklore, but Sharyn McCrumb is the first author to look beneath the legend to unearth the facts. Using a century of genealogical material and other historical documents, McCrumb reveals new information about the story and brings to life the personalities in the trial: the prosecutor, a former Confederate cavalryman; the defense attorney, a pro-Union bridgeburner, who nevertheless had owned slaves; and the mother of the murdered woman, who doggedly sticks to her ghost story—all seen through the eyes of a young black lawyer on the cusp of a new century, with his own tragedies yet to come.

With its unique blend of masterful research and mesmerizing folklore, illuminating the story’s fascinating and complex characters, The Unquiet Grave confirms Sharyn McCrumb’s place among the finest Southern writers at work today.


The Unquiet Grave is expected to be published June 20, 2017 from Atria Books.

Why am I waiting on this one? I've enjoyed the other Ballad novels. I like stories set in the South. And this sounds unusual. It's not a simple ghost story. The point of view sounds interesting.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• 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 so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"Thank you for getting us out," I whispered to him. "I feared that would never end."
"The old bat detests being left out of a conversation. Sometimes when she's summoned me, I've resorted to talking to myself so I might be dismissed."
p.53-54 paperback edition
These Vicious Masks was published in February 2016 by Swoon Books. The sequel, These Ruthless Deeds, is due out March 14, 2017 from Swoon Books.
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: A Cast of Vulture by Judith Flanders

Sam Clair,  snarky yet mild-mannered, introverted editor and sometime sleuth, finds herself threatened by flames in the third Sam Clair mystery A Cast of Vultures. 

Sam has a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor that she doesn't always express aloud, but we are privy to it in her thoughts as the story progresses. For example: "It is, tragically, still illegal to force people to buy books at gunpoint. I don't know why this kind of restriction is allowed to  remain on the statute books." (location 31 on my Kindle)

Sam has a neighborhood friend named Viv. Viv's friend and neighbor Dennis goes missing. Logically this means that Sam and Viv must break into his apartment to determine if this was a planned absence or if something dire has happened to him. After yet another in a series of fires in the area, Dennis is found, but many questions remain.

Much goes into Sam's efforts to find out what happened to Dennis. From calling his co-worker to pump him for information to following a shady character at the market that was reportedly an associate of Dennis's, Sam gets involved deeper and deeper into the mystery. Someone isn't happy about her interference though and as things escalate her life is at stake.

I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were mostly well drawn and interesting. I read it as a stand-alone, but felt that I might have benefitted from reading the first and/or second book in the series. I felt that would have fleshed some of the characters out more. I did like reading about her job as an editor as well as her exploits as she attempts to solve the mystery.

The mystery was well done. It starts out kind of slow, but accelerates as the book goes on. By the end, I was turning pages very quickly to find out what happened next.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's well written. The characters are interesting. Sam has a lovely snarky sense of humor. And the mystery is well plotted out. Don't be put off by this being the third book in the series. It can be read as a stand-alone and enjoyed. Just a word, there is nothing about birds in this mystery. If there are any vultures, they are the human type. 

This edition of A Cast of Vultures is due out February 21, 2017 from Minotaur Books.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #176: The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event which had been hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. I'm now linking up with "Can't Wait Wednesday" hosted over at Wishful Endings.

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig is the sequel to The Girl from Everywhere. It's due out February 28, 2017 from Greenwillow Books.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? 

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps.


Why am I waiting on this one? I enjoyed the first book. I liked the characters and the way they interacted with each other. I also liked the settings and how the time travel worked. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• 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 so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Her rampant paranoia was one of the things that I admired most about her, especially since she was so often justified in her suspicions. 
So I wasn't going to let myself get too fond of Martin... yet.
~ 18% through on my Kindle
That's Silvio thinking first about his boss and secondly about his date.

Would you keep reading? 

Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep falls into the Elemental Assassin series at #15.5 just after Unraveled and right before Snared. There is a spoiler for #15 in this novella, so don't read it until after you've read Unraveled. And it includes a preview of Snared at the end of it.

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #175: Cold Reign by Faith Hunter


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event which had been hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. I'm also linking up with "Can't Wait Wednesday" hosted over at Wishful Endings.

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter is #11 in her Jane Yellowrock series. It's due out May 2, 2017 from Ace.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…
 


Why am I waiting on this one? I've found that I enjoy the Jane Yellowrock urban fantasy series. And, urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres. To get a taste of Cold Reign, you can read the first five pages on Faith Hunter's website here.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our TBR lists. Thanks for coming by and Happy Reading!


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Ambrosia of The Purplebooker.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• 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 so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Expected publication: February 21st 2017
 by Minotaur Books
'Dennis was a good friend of Viv's, Azim,' I said, my eyes silently adding, So will you shut the hell up?
I'm not sure if Azim was trying to be helpful, or if he was deliberately being provocative, but his deep bass voice soothingly saying, 'We can all be fooled by people', was the match that set off the entire box of fireworks.
33% through on my Kindle
Would you keep reading? 
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments. Are you enjoying your book? Let us know! Happy Reading!
The above quotation is from an ARC and may appear differently in the final edition.