Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #148: Teetotaled by Maia Chance


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

Expected publication:
October 4th 2016 by Minotaur Books
Teetotaled by Maia Chance is book #2 in the Discreet Retrieval Agency series. It's due out October 4, 2016 from Minotaur Books.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, ultimately leading them to set up shop as a Discreet Retrieval Agency, operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest.

Now they’re in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—they haven’t had a job in months and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a detox facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.” But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s red and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law.
 

Why am I waiting on this book? I read book 1 in the series and I enjoyed it. Lola and Berta work well together. Maia Chance uses humor in her writing as well. And I enjoy reading books that take place in the 1920s prohibition era. 

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 ever-growing TBR list. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Graces by Laure Eve


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.
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:
September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books
"So at the risk of looking like an idiot coming back for another serving," he said to me, "Why do you enjoy being alone?"
from father down the same page...
I forced myself to look straight into his eyes. "I can stop pretending when I'm alone."
4% through on my Kindle
The Graces by Laure Eve is a YA book due out September 6,2016 from Amulet Books. These teaser sentences come from an ARC and may appear differently in the final copy.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Expected publication:
August 2nd 2016 by Shadow Mountain
Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen is a Gothic, steampunk Beauty and the Beast retelling with elements of the paranormal.

Our heroine, Lucy, is smart, attractive and works for the Botanical Aid Society seeking a way to combat the Vampire Assimilation drug which allows vampires to walk among people undetected. Her brother served with Miles in the war. Cousin Kate has married Miles brother, Jonathan. Where she has rarely been ill in the past, Kate is now taking on the appearance of an invalid. With her experiences with the Botanical Aid Society, Lucy is hoping to find a cure for Kate. Lucy looks forward to a restful sleep, but is denied that when a ghost visits her in her room.

Miles is hiding something. He is rightfully bothered over the recent deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister Marie. Clara died of an unknown illness, much like Kate's illness. Marie died a violent death at the hands of an unknown and possibly paranormal assailant. He broods and snaps at anyone who dares enter his space.

Miles and Jonathan have an Aunt Eustace and a couple of cousins, the Charlesworths, that descend on the manor and further disturb the peace.

Will Lucy be able to save Kate? Will Miles and Lucy connect in spite of his foul temper and tendency to brood? Will Lucy be able to love the man in spite of his beastliness?

I enjoyed this retelling and give it 4 out of 5 stars. It's well plotted and moves along quickly. Lucy and Miles are well developed characters, the others a little less so. It's an interesting retelling with the paranormal and steampunk elements. The steampunk is less of an issue than the paranormal, but it is still important character wise. The book has book club questions at the end as well. If you like Gothic tales, this is a good one for you. Also it works well for people who enjoy a bit of the paranormal in their tales.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #147: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige


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

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything...including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
 

Why am I waiting on this book? I love retellings. The story being told from the point of view of the villain has been done in other fairy tales, but I don't think it's been tackled in the Snow Queen yet. So, it promises to be an interesting book. I haven't read any of the author's other books yet, but I know Dorothy Must Die received a lot of praise. I expect the quality of the writing will be really good.

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 ever-growing TBR list. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.
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!
"After leaving the library and its surly master the night before, sleep had been a long time coming. And she hadn't retrieved a book from the library, which had been her goal in the first place." 
~16% through on my Kindle
This tale is a version of Beauty and the Beast in a steampunk setting. I'm about 55% through the story now. It reads like a gothic tale with steampunk dressing. There are shifters and vampires as well. So far, I am enjoying it. 
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out and maybe add it to our ever-growing TBR list. Hope you're enjoying your read!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Quickie Review: The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary Tales by Maria Leach

The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary TalesThe Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary Tales by Maria Leach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The stories in this book are all about things that go bump in the night and the creepy things that can sneak up on you - ghosts, witches, and more. They are written in an easy to read manner making it accessible for both children and adults. The black and white drawings that go along with the stories add to the creep factor.

This book was originally published in the late 1950s. It could be considered a precursor to the Scary Stories books that Alvin Schwartz has written. The stories are enjoyable as they are written or embellished for oral performance. Some of them do seem to beg for embellishment.

In addition, adults who are into folklore will enjoy the information at the end of the book which briefly tells of the origins for the stories. Altogether this is an enjoyably creepy collection of tales. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

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



View all my reviews

Review: Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

This novella is considered #14.5 in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep starring Gin Blanco. Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Elemental Assassin #14: Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep.

The e-novella is told from the point of view of Finnegan Lane and takes place after the events in Bitter Bite, but before the upcoming #15 in the Elemental Assassin series, Unraveled.

The mini family reunion that occurred in Bitter Bite has left a bad taste in Finnegan Lane's mouth. It was a worst case scenario ending in the deaths of several innocent people at the bank where he works.

Attending the funeral for one of the guards, Finn finds out that the widow is being shaken down for some debts owed by the guard's brother. He decides that this is something he can take action on and that the widow shouldn't feel obligated to pay off the giant delinquent. Rather than call on Gin to deal with it, he takes matters into his own hands.

It's a good novella, 4 star quality. We see things from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, a well liked character in the Elemental Assassin series. Here though, he is disliked and full of self-loathing after the disastrous reunion in the previous book. It's interesting to see how he deals with the resulting emotions.

The story moves along at a good pace. It sets up some plot elements that could be built on in future stories. It"s all Finnegan and no Gin. This novella is best recommended for fans of the Elemental Assassin series who have already read book #14. It will please readers who have wanted to see a deeper side to Finn especially about how he feels after the events of Bitter Bite.

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