Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #52: Queen Bee Goes Home Again by Haywood 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 week I am anticipating a book by a fellow Georgian, Queen Bee Goes Home Again by Haywood Smith.  The book is due out September 16, 2014 from St. Martin's Press. If it's anything like the first book about the Queen Bee, Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, it will be funny and touching at times. Queen Bee of  Mimosa Branch was also a nice piece of Southern Chicklit. 

 From Goodreads:
In Queen Bee Goes Home Again by bestselling author Haywood Smith, it's been ten years since Linwood Scott had to move back home to Mimosa Branch, Georgia the first time.  Now, with her work in real estate at a stand-still because of the economy, and her ex-husband and his alimony payments (and his former stripper-current wife) nowhere to be seen, Linwood finds herself back in the place she'd never thought she'd be: the garage apartment next to her mother Mamie's mansion.  But this time around things are different.  It's not just Linwood that's ten years older.  Her uncle and father are living in a home, and Mamie is working hard to take care of everything on her own (while still bossing around her nearest and dearest).  Linwood's brother has cleaned up his act and turned over a new leaf.  And there's a new Baptist preacher in town...who also happens to be handsome and divorced.  While Linwood reconnects with Mimosa Branch and works to figure out what her next step will be, it's family, love, and a sense of humor that will help guide her through the unpredictable turns her life has taken.

Haywood Smith is also the author of The Red Hat Club and The Red Hat Club Rides Again.

So, why am I waiting on this book? It looks like a good, fun read. I expect that it will be touching at times, but that it will overall be funny and a book to remember.

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave a link or a title in the comments below.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Last Days of Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 

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!

This week's teaser comes from The Last Days of Dorothy Parker - The Extraordinary Lives of Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman and How Death Can Be Hell on Friendship by Marion Meade. This book was published May 27, 2014 by Penguin Classics.

The teaser comes from about 7% into the Kindle Version, location 138. S.J. Perelman describing Dottie's entrance at a 1932 cocktail party he happened to be attending.

As befitted one of Manhattan's all-stars, she was tricked out in a soigne black Lanvin outfit, feathered toque, and opera-length gloves, and immediately made every woman in the place look like a frump. Her condition, as he charitably described it, was "visibly gassed."

Besides her wit and some other things, at that time in her life she was famous for her drinking to excess. 

So, What's your teaser this week? Leave a link in the comment below, or if you don't have a blog, leave your teaser. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #51: A Pair of Titles: One Dark and One Light


"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 titles. One is a little darker than the other. The first one that I am looking forward to reading is called The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen. It's edited by Ellen Datlow who is one of the best editors out there and will be published by Tachyon Publications October 14. 2014.

From the publisher: 

What happens after the closing credits and before the lights go out?  When you turn off your TV, but still aren’t able to sleep?

The credits have rolled, but the lights are still off. Something is lurking on the other side of the screen. There are dark secrets, starving monsters, and haunted survivors who refuse to be left on the cutting room floor. But that’s okay, right? After all, everybody loves the movies…. Here are twenty-three terrifying tales, dark reflections of the silver screen from both sides of the camera. James Dean gets a second chance at life—and death. The Wicked Witch is out of Oz and she’s made some unlucky friends. When God decides reality needs an editor, what—and who—gets cut? These award-winning, bestselling authors will take you to the darkest depths of the theater and beyond.

The other book I am waiting on is the first in a new series: Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger. It's due to be released November 18, 2014 from Alibi. It sounds like it's a light, fun mystery with a good sense of humor. I am hoping it will live up to it. 

 From the publisher:
Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.
Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.
But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.

So what book are you waiting on this week? Leave a link and/or a title in the comments below.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: New England's Scariest Stories and Urban Legends by Summer Paradis and Cathy McManus

New England's Scariest Stories and Urban Legends by Summer Paradis and Cathy McManus is a collection of ghost stories and legends from the northeastern United States. The structure for most of the entries is presentation of the legend/story followed by their experiences when they visited the site in question and other evidence for or against the legend. There are also many interesting illustrations in the book showing the actual places.

One of my favorite stories from the book was "Emily's Bridge." In most of the stories associated with this bridge, the young woman hanged herself while waiting for her young love to meet her. Supposedly some people have seen her on or near the bridge. Others have experienced car problems or strange noises. The authors met up with a group of paranormal investigators at the bridge by accident and had an interesting experience.

Another favorite of mine is the story of Mercy Brown, mostly because people feared that after she died she had become a vampire and was drawing on her father. Investigators now think that perhaps she had Tuberculosis. It seems though that her story was in part perhaps inspiration for Bram Stoker who had a copy of her story among his things.

While the stories are interesting, I think the book could have been better organized. Perhaps by state or type of thing they were investigating. As it is, it jumps around from state to state. Otherwise organized it could also serve a little as a guidebook for people interested in visiting paranormal sites in New England that don't live as close as these authors do.

Some of the stories have more of a creep factor than others, but that's to be expected in any anthology of this sort. For example, the stories about Champ, the cryptid of Lake Champlain, are less creepy than interesting.

Overall, it's a good book about some of the stories and legends in New England. While there were some I recognized from previous reading, there was a different sort of coverage here. Also there were a few legends that I hadn't heard yet. I've read a few books on New England's paranormal before, and was pleased to find some new stories.

I gave this book 3 stars. I liked it, but it could have benefited from a different sort of organization. This book was published June 28, 2014 by Schiffer Publishing.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #50: Skink - No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen


"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 eagerly waiting on Carl Hiaasen's first YA novel Skink- No Surrender. It's due out September 23, 2014 from Knopf Books for Young Readers. 

Skink is easily one of the most loved characters in Carl Hiaasen's books. I know he is one of my favorites. One of the things that impressed me was the library he keeps in the trunk of a car, another his kindness to an old lady. And don't forget he prefers to be called "Captain." The former governor of Florida with one eye and perfect teeth has had many wild adventures and this promises to be another one.

From the publisher and Goodreads:
Classic Malley: her parents are about to ship her off to boarding school, so she takes off with some guy she met online . . . Poor Richard: he's less of a rebel than Malley, and a lot less trusting. He knows his cousin is in trouble before she does. Wild Skink: he's a ragged, one-eyed, wandering vigilante, with perfect teeth. Also, a former governor of Florida. Also, supposedly dead. But he's a man who relishes a lost cause, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to find Malley. With Richard riding shotgun, this unlikely pair sets off on a breakneck chase, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, giant gators, and flying bullets.

In Carl Hiaasen's outrageous, hilarious, and wildly dangerous state of Florida, there are a million places an outlaw might stash a teenage girl. A million unpleasant ways to die. And two who'll risk everything to rescue a friend . . . and to, hopefully, exact a bit of swamp justice. With Skink at the wheel, the search for the missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny. 

I've read many of his books for grownups and enjoyed them. I am really looking forward to this one and expecting it will be quite good as well. 

What's your WoW this week? Leave the title or a link in the comments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Travel Writer- a mystery by Jeff Soloway

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 

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!

This week's teaser comes from my current read, The Travel Writer- a mystery by Jeff Soloway. I am reading the Kindle edition which was released June 3, 2014 by Alibi.

Travel writer Jacob Smalls has just accepted from his ex-lover Pilar Rojas a 2 weeks all expenses paid trip to the hotel where she is PR agent in exchange for him to write a positive piece on the hotel and poke around casually about Hilary Pearson's disappearance. 

"If I was to learn anything in Bolivia about Hilary Pearson's disappearance, I needed first to gather as much information as I could in New York, from those who knew Hilary best. I gave an extra shake of food to my pet turtle for good luck, and then flicked my computer to life and began my research in the modern style: in my underwear, online." Location 149

Advance praise for the novel:
“Travel doesn’t  just broaden the mind; it can also get you killed. Sassy, cynical Jacob Smalls is an ideal guide for journeying into unknown territories.”—Christopher Fowler, author of the Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery series

So far I've been enjoying the book. It's been kind of quirky and I hope that continues.

What's your teaser? Please leave a link or the teaser in the comments.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul Di Filippo


The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul Di Filippo was published July 8, 2014 by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy. It is as it says a trilogy of sort of steampunk short novels or novellas. If you like your steampunk really bizarre, then this might be the book for you. Unfortunately, it wasn't the book for me.

I did like the first novella in the book entitled, "Victoria." The second novella, "Hottentots," I found increasingly difficult to read. The main character is not at all sympathetic. He is racist and sexist. I just found it very unpleasant to read about him. In the third short novel, "Walt & Emily," the author got several details about Emily Dickinson right at first, but I had a great deal of trouble imagining this famous recluse going on such an adventure when she finds it difficult to make it to her brother's house next door. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief quite that far.

So, while I know there are other people out there who enjoyed this book and I am sure there will be others in the future, unfortunately I am not one of them. If you enjoy your steampunk really bizarre, perhaps you should give it a shot. I gave it 2 stars. It was okay, but I didn't really like it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.