Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Wicked Burn by Rebecca Zanetti


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!
Five soldiers faced him, and fire flashed out, all different colors. Such fire would kill a non-witch. Simone reacted without thought, throwing herself in front of the injured demon. Fire and then pain detonated throughout her chest.
~6% though on my kindle
Wicked Burn by Rebecca Zanetti is due out June 7, 2016 from Lyrical Press. It is book #3 in the Realm Enforcers series.
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Review: Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham

The serial killer known as the Archangel Killer is on the loose on a cruise ship after his latest murder in New Orleans. Will our heroes find out who it is before the next victim is found?

This is number 18 in the Krewe of Hunters series. The Archangel Killer is so named because of the way that he displays his victims in churches with saintly medallions at their throats. Jackson Crow, head of the Krewe of Hunters, has been assigned the case after having the ghost of one of the victims appear to him. Jude McCoy, a local agent in New Orleans, is assigned to work with Jackson. He doesn't know that they both are capable of seeing and interacting with the dead.

After following what they think might be the killer on board the cruise ship Destiny, Jude has an occasion to meet Alexi Cromwell who works the ship's piano bar as the entertainment. The more they interact, the more their attraction grows and the clearer it becomes to Jude that they are both seeing ghosts to his surprise, and not just the victim's ghost.

The race is on though. They are expecting at least 3 more murders because there are 3 more medallions in the set that the killer has been using to mark his victims. Can Jackson and Jude keep people safe while searching for the killer and without causing a panic?

So, we have here a book with a strong mystery and a secondary romance. They work well together and I had my doubts as to how well it would work on a limited location like a cruise ship. I liked that the characters come to accept seeing the ghosts as unquestionable rather easily. So many books end up giving a lot of space to the denial of their abilities as part of the plot. The pace of the mystery  is good. It gradually increases until it's solved. I found myself reading fast trying to find out who the murderer was and being somewhat surprised at the identity. There were some good red herrings in the pool of suspects.

Overall I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Both the mystery and the romance were handled well. It's a good addition to the Krewe of Hunters series.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

An Alphabet Book Tag


I have seen a few posts about this tag recently and thought why not?
The Rules:
Pick a book that is on your shelf (TBR) or one that you have read in the past and fill out each letter of the Alphabet with the title.
A: Anne Frank: a Hidden Life by Mirjam Pressler
B: Belle Weather by Celia Rivenbark
C: The Complete Poems of Ray Bradbury
D: Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
E: Eternally Bad: Goddesses with Attitude by Trina Robbins and Rachel Pollack
F: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
G: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
H: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I: Illusions by Richard Bach
J: Jackaby by William Ritter
K: King Lear by Shakespeare
L: Lamb by Christopher Moore
M; Mort by Terry Pratchett
N: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb
O: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
P: Poison Promise by JenniferEstep
Q: Quicksand by Gigi Pandian
R: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
S: The Shotgun Arcana by R.S. Belcher
T: Three to get Lei'd by Jill Marie Landis
U: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone
V: Volstok by Steve Alten
W: Waking the Dead by Heather Graham
X: 
Y: 
Z: Zane's Infinite Words by Zane

As you can see, there were 2 letters that I couldn't come up with a title for. I think I've read a Y, but not an X. I just couldn't remember the title.

So, who do I tag? Anyone who wants to give this a shot. And if you do it, would you please leave a link to your answers in the comment section? Have fun!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #139: Halloween by David J. Skal


"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 the book that I am waiting on is Halloween: The History of America's Darkest Holiday by David J. Skal. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Acclaimed cultural critic David J. Skal explores one of America's most perplexedly popular holidays in this original mix of personal anecdotes and social analysis. Skal traces Halloween's evolution from its dark Celtic history and quaint, small-scale celebrations to its emergence as mammoth seasonal marketing event.
Skal takes readers on a cross-country survey that covers remarkably divergent perspectives, from the merchants who welcome a money-making opportunity that's second only to Christmas to fundamentalists who decry Halloween a form of blasphemy and practicing witches who embrace it as a holy day. He also profiles individuals who revel in this once-a-year occasion to participate in elaborate fantasies. Their narratives, combined with the author's cultural analysis, offer a revealing look at an intriguing aspect of our national psyche.


Why am I waiting on this book? I love Halloween. I am curious to see what he has to say about it.  According to the Boston Globe, It's "Entertaining … and scholarly … Like a bag of Halloween candy, the book is a lot of fun."

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 lists. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Haunted Destiny by Heather Graham


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:
May 24th 2016 by Mira
And while he prayed that no one on the Destiny would be murdered, and that they'd weather the storm and did make port, he also prayed they'd catch the killer before that.
Because if they didn't...
More were destined to die.
~60% on my Kindle
Special Agent Jude McCoy is thinking about the serial killer they think is on board the cruise ship.
Would you keep reading? What's your teaser this week? Please share it or a link in the comments so we  can check it out. Thanks for coming by!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Published May 17th 2016
by Saga Press
"What would you sacrifice for everything you ever dreamed of?"(From the synopsis)
Imogen and Marin were raised by a highly dysfunctional, abusive mother. And yet they've managed to mostly grow beyond that experience. They have both been accepted to a prestigious program at a place called Melete where they will work with a mentor to improve their crafts. Imogen is a writer. Marin is a dancer.
As with most fairy tales, there is more than meets the eye here. And there will be some big decisions to be made. Imogen is finally getting to live out a fairy tale with some similarities to Tam Lin. But, “Perhaps the only happily ever after is to survive to tell the story.”(location 2492 on my Kindle)
This book is wonderfully well written. It stayed with me long after I had closed it. And in fact, it was one of the few books I wanted to re-read right away. The cover has a very positive blurb from Neil Gaiman saying how good the book is. 
I could see the elements of Tam Lin. Using two sisters instead of a couple was a great idea. The two sisters in fairy tales is a theme used throughout the book. I liked that the book referred to other older fairy tales where the Good Folk were often not so good and the solution of the story wasn't always exactly a happily ever after.
The pace of the book is sometimes dreamy like fairy and sometimes faster. It makes sense and suits the story. 
Overall I felt this book was excellent. I give it 5 stars out of 5. I started to give it 4, but realized how much it had stuck with me in the days following my finishing the story, and the desire to re-read it right away made me give it the last boost up to 5. This is a book I will revisit. I also look forward to seeing more from this writer in the future.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: In Sunlight or in Shadow ed. Lawrence Block


"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:

"Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within."

So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.

Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonĂ©e, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.

In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.


Expected publication of this book is December 6, 2016 from Pegasus Books.

Why am I waiting on this book? The whole idea of stories based on paintings is intriguing. And the selection of authors for the anthology is nothing short of stellar. I wonder how many of the stories will fall into the mystery genre based on the list of authors. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard


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!
Nothing lasts forever, and midnight is a purposeful stop. A pause to remind you that there is always a clock ticking. There will never be enough time, and for every Beauty who saves  her Beast, there will be a voiceless mermaid who dissolves into sea foam.
~13% on my Kindle
It was hard to pick a teaser from this book. It is very well written. It's a fairy tale with a twist, sort of a version of Tam Lin.
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016: Beyond the Blog - Alternate Book Formats

Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, webcomics, etc.)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reader experience?

At the moment my favorite alternate form to books and kindle editions is the audiobook. I take one in the car with me whenever I have to drive somewhere. I have grown appreciative of the people who narrate these audio editions. I love it when they speak clearly, even more so because I have a cochlear implant to aid me in my hearing. One of my favorites so far is an Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody novel. There are just so many characters and the performer is able to make different voices for all of them and keep them straight. To me that is quite an accomplishment.

I do also enjoy reading collections of comic strips. One of my current favorites is
Adulthood Is a Myth by Sarah Andersen. Another favorite is Unicorn on a Roll by Dana Simpson featuring Phoebe and her Unicorn named Heavenly Nostrils.

I haven't read a graphic novel in a long time, but I just discovered that my public library has some on the shelves that I can check out. Just not sure what to check out yet.

Different formats do affect how a reader perceives the story. If you are listening to an audiobook, you are hearing someone's version of the story even if you are still using your imagination to fill in the blanks. And collections of comic strips and graphic novels are visual so you are still imagining how the characters sound, but you have their appearance given to you. It would fire up a different part of the brain for each format. The exception might be a book or ebook, because you have to imagine both how the characters sound and what they look like.

Do you have an alternate format that you prefer? Do you have any favorites in that format? Share it with us in a comment or a link. Happy Reading!

Review: Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

In a small town with a vampire, 3 were-tigers, a witch, a psychic, two fallen angels, and some humans, something shifty is going on. People are coming into Midnight, Texas and killing themselves at the crossroads. Whatever is responsible, it's likely it will take teamwork to deal with it.

Lemuel, the vampire, is translating a book of ancient Etruscan which might just hold the key to what's going on in Midnight currently and why the residents were all drawn to Midnight to start with. There is a bit of romance gone awry with Fiji and Bobo. And Fiji plays a rather central role in the book.

This novel wraps up a lot of the loose ends from the other 2 books while still leaving enough gaps that Ms. Harris could continue the series if she ever decided to do so. She has said more than once that this is a trilogy. And Night Shift is the third book.

Each character has some sort of role to play in the book. My only regret is that the character who is now running the gas station and convenience store isn't fleshed out a little more. Even Teach and Madonna are more fully revealed.

I enjoyed the book. I give it 4 stars out of 5. It has good characters, a good mystery or two, and a good pace. I liked watching the characters work together to solve the problems they face. If you enjoyed the first two books in the series, then this is a must-read. If you like urban fantasy/paranormal stories, then you should check out this trilogy.

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016: Introduce Yourself

It's time for Armchair BEA 2016. Today's blog topic is: Introduce yourself.

1. What name do you prefer to go by? Laura

2. How long have you been a book blogger? I started book blogging in 2011, but it took me a while to get to posting on a regular basis. 

3. And yes, I have participated in  Armchair BEA before.

Do you have a favorite book? Yes, actually more than one. And it varies depending on what's going on. Currently my favorite is Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. It's a collection of urban fantasy stories.

What is your favorite genre and why? Again this varies a little from time to time. Currently my favorite genre is urban fantasy. I like the juxtaposition of things that are magical or paranormal with a current setting.

How do you arrange your books? Is there a rhyme or reason? I worked in a library before and have a tendency to group my books loosely by topic or genre. Fiction is close together on my shelf with subdivisions for genre. Nonfiction is grouped together. And I try to keep it by topic as well. Right now in my house I have very little shelf space, but I still try to keep up the arrangements.

If you could choose 3 characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why? It's tough to come up with just three. But today I would say: Jilly Coppercorn from Charles de Lint's Newford stories, Donald Shimoda from Illusions by Richard Bach, and maybe Biff from Christopher Moore's Lamb.

Waiting on Wednesday #137: The Graces by Laure Eve


"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:
In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
 
Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. And what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.
 
This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The CraftThe Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.

Why am I waiting on this book? I usually enjoy books written about witches. I'm interested in how she portrays these teen witches.The first rule of the Graces seems to violate the common witches' philosophy, "An it harm none, do as you will." And the synopsis suggests that it's perfect for fans of nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer among others. The Graces is due out September 6, 2016 from Amulet Books and is considered a YA title.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler


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!
The problem with stealing the magician's assistant from a carnival was that you were always waiting for her to disappear. He expected her to vanish.
~54% through on my Kindle
"The Mermaid Girl" is a short story related to The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler.
What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Quickie Review: The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler

The Mermaid GirlThe Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is a short story that is sort of a prequel to Erika Swyler's The Book of Speculation. It's well written. It's basically a short piece showing what family life was like when Simon was very young. It lets you get into the heads a little of Paulina and Daniel, the parents of Simon and Enola. The language choices make it seem a little dreamy in parts which is appropriate. It is an enjoyable read. I would recommend it for the way it is written alone. If you've read The Book of Speculation, it gives you more depth into the family. If you haven't read the book yet, hopefully this short story will pique your curiosity and you will read it.

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



View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #136: Unwanted by Jennifer Estep


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

From Goodreads:
The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella--from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes...


Why am I waiting on this book? Well it's a novella in the Elemental Assassin series. I enjoy reading that series. I look forward to learning more about Finn since it's from his point of view. The novella is due out July 18, 2016 from Pocket Star.

What book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: Murder at the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane

The book opens with one murder and a seeming attempted murder. Librarian and curator of the crime fiction collection, Ray Ambler, finds himself working to solve the crime alongside Detective Mike Cosgrove. That's only the first murder and just the beginning of the lives who will be touched by these crimes.

There are a lot of connections between characters that are using the library. Ambler discovers these and slowly makes Detective Cosgrove aware of them.

It's a good murder mystery. The story moves along at a steady pace. There are a lot of coincidences including a major one at the end of the book. There is a romantic subplot, but it doesn't really get much page time as such. It is more about building the relationship between the people than really an out and out romance.

On the one hand, I enjoyed the story. On the other hand, I felt like the pace was on the slow side and didn't vary much. And the number of coincidences seemed high. The last coincidence in question comes across as an extremely convenient way to wrap things up.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5. It's a good murder mystery, but mostly slow and has an abundance of coincidences.

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