Friday, September 21, 2018

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3) by Kim Harrison + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.




This week I'm spotlighting one of my current #BeatTheBacklist reads, Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows #3) by Kim Harrison.  I've really been enjoying this Cincinnati, Ohio set urban fantasy series so far and that's no exception for this installment either.  I'm glad to be back with witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan.

Beginning:

I took a deep breath to settle myself, jerking the cuff of my gloves up to cover the bare patch of skin at my wrist.  My fingers were numb through the fleece as I moved my next-to-largest spell pot to sit beside a small chipped tombstone, being careful to not let the transfer media spill.  It was cold, and my breath steamed in the light of the cheap white candle I had bought on sale last week.

56:

I smiled, settling myself farther into the seat, my fluster vanishing at Jenks's star fawning.

50/50 Friday: Favorite Book Set Where You Live/ Another Place


Where I Live - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - This book is so much fun and I was so pleased to find out that it's set in Columbus, Ohio, the capital of my home state (I live about 45 minutes from there)!  It's seems so rare that such a popular novel is set in Ohio... and I was pleased to hear them talk about Columbus in the movie (even though it wasn't actually made there).


Another Place - Birds, Beasts and Relatives (The Corfu Trilogy #2) by Gerald Durrell - For last year's Read Harder Challenge, hosted by Book Riot, one of the tasks was to read a book set 5,000 miles away from my location.  Well this classic series of memoirs is set in Corfu, making it set about 5,100 miles away from me.  If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it (book one is called My Family and Other Animals) and there have also been a couple of fantastic adaptations (the 2005 tv movie featuring Imelda Staunton, Matthew Goode, and Russell Tovey and The Durrells in Corfu which will return with season 3 on PBS on September 30th).


Have you read any of these books?  What's your favorite book set close to where you live?  What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Mini Reviews: Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2) by David Meredith & The Friar's Lantern by Greg Hickey


Happy Thursday everyone!  Today I'm sharing two mini reviews of novels I received from authors in exchange for honest reviews: Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2) by David Meredith & The Friar's Lantern by Greg Hickey.  Read on to see my thoughts on these two novels:


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Aaru: Halls of Hel by David Meredith is a more than worthy sequel to the outstanding series opener which I also read for review. I'm so happy that the author remember me and how much I enjoyed it so I could have the opportunity to return to Aaru and the Before world with Rose and Koren. It was fantastic to see how far both of them have come from the moment we met them. Due to their experiences they're a bit different than they were before, but I adored getting to see them grow over the course of the story, especially Rose who's really had the chance to come into her own since she got a second chance at a life after her life before was stolen from her. As you can imagine, though, the two have struggled and suffered dearly and constantly have to grapple and come to terms with who they are and their lives as they are now. Meredith has done a fantastic job of continually developing his cast of characters. He isn't afraid to put them through the wringer. As for the world building, the author expertly builds upon everything we were introduced to the first time around. Now, though, the darkness is a little more intense - the world of Aaru certainly isn't as perfect as it was designed to be. Overall, Aaru: Halls of Hel if a must read if you enjoyed the first volume of the series. I have a feeling you'll also enjoy it if you are interested in virtual worlds, sci-fi thrillers, and contemporary YA that isn't afraid to tackle tough subjects. I'm certainly looking forward to continuing The Aaru Cycle.

I read this ebook from August 31 - September 3, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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I loved those choose your own adventure books when I was a kid and that aspect of this book totally drew me to it - it's all I really had to hear from the author about the book to be honest. I hadn't read one in ages, but the nostalgia factor hit me hard. Thinking back on my reading experience now, I think I preferred the concept of the novel a little more than the actual execution of it. A major factor in this is that I was expecting to have the opportunity to make more choices, and for the stakes to be higher overall. There were no life or death, game over choices to be made that I associate with the classics that I read when I was little. I also felt way too removed from the character I was making decisions for and I had a difficult time connecting and relating to them as well as the plot. It isn't a long story, but it was hard to stay motivated to keep going. Overall, after reading The Friar's Lantern by Greg Hickey I wondered how much I would like those choose your own adventure stories now. Either way, if you were a fan of these types of stories like I was you still may want to give this 2017 release a try.

I read this ebook on September 20, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you read either of these books?  What are you reading now?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Zero Repeat Forever Website Reveal


I'm very excited to welcome you all to my leg of the Zero Repeat Forever website reveal, hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!  Today, you'll find the details and summary, the book trailer, an exclusive link to the novel's website, a giveaway, and the tour schedule.  Thanks for visiting my stop!


About The Book:

Title: ZERO REPEAT FOREVER
Author: Gabrielle Prendergast
Pub. Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.
Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.
His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.
Until a human kills her…

Sixteen year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade, annihilating entire cities, taking control of the Earth. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her friends have only a fragment of instruction from the human resistance.

Shelter in place.

Which seems like good advice at first. Stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend.

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other…


Exclusive Zero Repeat Forever Website Content:

Visit  the FAQ/ fan forum and as a bonus feel free to download some coloring pages inspired by the story.

About Gabrielle:


Gabrielle is a writer, teacher and designer living in Vancouver, Canada. You can read about her books here. She is represented by Barbara Poelle at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

In 2014 she was the Writer in Residence at Vancouver Public Library. In 2015 she was nominated for the BC Book Prizes and chosen to tour the province to promote BC Books. In 2017 Gabrielle took part in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week Tour. She has also been nominated for the White Pine Awardand the CLA Award.

Gabrielle won the Westchester Award for Audacious. Audacious was included in CBC’s list of 100 YA Books That Make You Proud to be Canadian. A poem from Capricious was chosen for the 2014 Poetry in Transit Program. Pandas on the East Side was chosen as an Ontario Library Association Best Bet for Junior Fiction in 2016. It was also nominated/shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily Award, The Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow Award and the Myrca Award.


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a grand prize of a signed copy of ZERO REPEAT FOREVER, a tote bag, & a swag pack, US & Canada Only.

9 winners will receive ZERO REPEAT FOREVER Swag Packs (stickers, signed bookplate, tattoo and bookmark), US Only & Canada.


Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/10/2018- Here's to Happy Endings- Quiz
9/11/2018- A Gingerly Review- Ways to win or buy swag
9/12/2018- Trendy Simple Life- Fan art
9/13/2018- Two Chicks on Books- Deleted Scenes
9/14/2018- Novel Novice- Bookclub Questions

Week Two:
9/17/2018- Shortie Says- Fan videos/reviews
9/18/2018- Simply Daniel Radcliffe- A "Find Your Sci-Fi Title" Meme
9/19/2018- Always Me- An FAQ/fan forum
9/20/2018- BookHounds YA- Character descriptions
9/21/2018- The Hermit Librarian- The pitch for book 2!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2018 TBR


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books On My Fall 2018 TBR and I'm focusing on new releases from this September through November.  Here we go, in order by release date.

September:


Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco - Release date: September 18, 2018 - This author has quickly become one of my favorites and I can't wait to see more from Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell.


For a Muse of Fire (For a Muse of Fire #1) by Heidi Heilig - Release date: September 25, 2018 - I loved Heilig's brand of fantasy in The Girl from Everywhere duology and I'm excited to see where she goes in this all new Asian cultures inspired fantasy series.


Vengeful (Vicious #2) by V.E.Schwab - Release date: September 25, 2018 - I don't think I can adequately express just how excited I am for this sequel!!

October:


The Hollow Fear (Lady Sherlock #3) by Sherry Thomas - Release date: October 2, 2018 - Currently this series is my new favorite take on the classic character and like with the first two installments I want to listen to this on audiobook.


The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2) by Mackenzi Lee - Release date: October 2, 2018 - Felicity was my favorite character from the first book in this series and I'm thrilled that she's the main character in this sequel.


Saga, Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples - Release date: October 2, 2018 - It's been way too long since I've had a new volume of my favorite graphic novel series in my hands!


A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess - Release date: October 16, 2018 - I've loved this historical fantasy series and I need to know how it all ends.  I'm hoping to try it on audiobook as the productions of the previous installments have been excellent.


Alice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink - Release date: October 30, 2018 - I love this Night Vale Presents podcast and I can't wait to see the novelization of the story!  I'm hoping to try the audiobook version since Jasika Nicole is narrating and she plays the lead character Keisha in the podcast.

November:


Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean - Release date: November 6, 2018 - I actually got approved for an ARC on NetGalley and I'm looking forward to diving into this YA fantasy that's inspired by Japanese folklore.


The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman - Release date - November 20, 2018 - This historical fantasy series has quickly become one of my favorites and I'm not ready to say goodbye to Lady Helen and Lord Carlston, but I have a feeling this finale will knock it out of the park!


Are you planning on reading any of these new and upcoming releases?  What books are on your Fall TBR?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Night Crossing by Robert Masello (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An intrepid explorer discovers a mysterious golden box in the Carpathian Mountains. She is unaware of the danger it poses and she takes it home to Victorian London - unaware that evil has already started to take root in the city. Bram Stoker, a theater manager and frustrated writer, finds himself pulled into the nefarious plan of the rich owners of a mission house for the poor. The shelter isn't the safe haven it promises to be, but instead harbors a horrific secret. Stoker, the explorer, and a mission resident grieving the loss of her child must work together to save their city from ancient Egyptian enemy, but first they'll have to survive London's overgrown graveyards, rat-infested tunnels, and even the maiden voyage of the Titanic.

I'm so pleased to find out I was approved to read this novel - I mean, how could you go wrong with a historical fantasy horror featuring the legendary authors Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle? As it turns out it works out really well with only a few minor issues. Like I know I've mentioned before, historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read and I love how Masello combines real history, and real facts about Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle with awesome fantasy elements. I've always been interested in Egyptian mythology and it's pretty interesting how the author integrates that with real world Victorian London. My only major issue with this story are in the number of POVs. They all move pretty quickly and held my interest once I got into the swing of the style, but I only found myself truly invested in Bram Stoker's perspective chapters. Honestly, I could have done without at least one fewer POV - the novel may have flowed a little more without it. I will say, though, that I enjoyed how things begin to come together with Stoker at the lead.

Overall, The Night Crossing by Robert Masello is a creative and unique scary historical fantasy novel. It is definitely must-read for fans of the author Bram Stoker, who begins to find inspiration in the horrific events going on around him for what eventually becomes Dracula. Even though I had a few minor complaints I was still quite addicted and on the edge of my seat to see what would happen. This is my first experience reading Masello, but I'm going to have to read more from him in the future and I believe I'll have to start with The Jekyll Revelation.  Thanks again, NetGalley!



I read this ARC from September 14 - 17, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsThe Night Crossing will be released on September 18, 2018.

Music Monday: Seo Linn


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm spotlighting the music of the bilingual (English and Irish) Irish folk-pop band called Seo Linn with lead vocals by Stiofán Ó Fearail.  I first started listening to their music due to their performance as a part of TG Lurgan's Gaeilge cover of Avicii's Wake Me Up.  Since then I've been enjoying listening to my copy of their debut album Solas (2017).  For "Music Makers" they were tapped by the RTE for Ireland's the celebration of 1916 Centenary to make an English/ Irish song inspired by Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy"Buy Me Time" is one of their most recent releases from this year, in fact today they're releasing a video for the Irish language version of it!  Enjoy!  What are you listening to this week?






Friday, September 14, 2018

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix (ARC) - Review


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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was nearly a breakout success, but the lead singer Terry went solo and became a superstar as Koffin, leaving the rest of the band in the dust. Now, former guitarist Kris is miserable as a night manager at Best Western. Then one day she learns a horrific secret about Terry's meteoric success -it may have come at the price of Kris's soul. With this information, Kris plans to confront the man who ruined her life, but first she's going have to get the rest of Dürt Würk back together again and travel across the country to a monster of a music festival where Koffin is playing his final show.

I was so excited when I realized I had been approved for this ARC via NetGalley because Grady Hendrix has quickly become one of my favorite new horror writers. His brand of horror is right up my alley - I loved Horrorstor and My Best Friend's Excorcism was pretty fantastic. Needless to say, I had really high hopes and was expecting to be thoroughly creeped out by his newest novel. Luckily for me, We Sold Our Souls totally delivers in all the ways that matter. I'm not a guitarist and heavy metal isn't one of my favorite genres, but as a musician I forgot how much I like reading about fellow musicians. I especially like seeing it in genre fiction which doesn't happen often enough, and I love how key Kris's music (and love of music) plays such a central role in this horror story. Kris herself is a fascinating lead character. Even though she's quite flawed, a bit rough around the edges, and doesn't always make the best decisions, I couldn't help but root for her throughout. In fact, all of the characters in this novel are complex and well-drawn. Finally, I just need to mention just how well this novel works as a psychological horror story. I was on the edge of my seat and there are plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Plus, if you're into conspiracy theories this will probably get you going as well.

Overall, We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix is a thrilling new Lovecraft-esque horror novel that focuses on music and its cast. If you've enjoyed this author's previous works, I have a feeling that you'll love this too. I can't wait to see what he's going to do next. One thing's for sure, though, I will never look at UPS in the same way!

Thanks again, NetGalley!



I read this ARC from September 10 - 14, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsWe Sold Our Souls will be released on September 18th, 2018.

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Academ's Fury (The Codex Alera #2) by Jim Butcher + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.



This week I'm spotlighting one of my current #BeatTheBacklist reads, Academ's Fury (The Codex Alera #2) by Jim Butcher.  I read the first book in this series, Furies of Calderon, years ago and I absolutely loved this Ancient Rome inspired epic fantasy.  I don't know why I put off continuing the series for so long, but I'm glad to finally be back now.  Plus, I'm glad to have a new-to-me full length novel from Butcher after catching up on The Dresden Files, except for some short stories.

Beginning:

Wind howled over the rolling, sparsely wooded hills of the lands in the care of the Marat, the One-and-Many people.  Hard, coarse flecks of snow fled before it, and though the One rode high in the sky, the overcast hid his face.

56:

Bernard frowned.  "For fury's sake, Aric.  I'm still the same man I was two years ago, title or no.  You shouldn't worry about bothering me when it's hold business."

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Book Set In A School


Favorite - Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - How could I choose anything else?


Least Favorite - The Magicians (The Magicians #1) by Lev Grossman - It's not that I really had anything against Brakebills itself, but the characters were so irritating.  I have to admit though that I do like the tv adaptation.

Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Hidden Gems.  The books I've selected below are some favorite historical fantasy novels under 3,000 ratings on Goodreads.  All of these novels totally deserve more love.  Here we go, starting with the fewest number of ratings to highest.  The titles are linked to Goodreads.


Only the Dead Know Burbank by Bradford Tatum - Ratings: 91


Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney - Ratings: 369


Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer - Ratings: 557


Sharps by K.J. Parker - Ratings: 1,217


Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto - Ratings: 1,249


Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly - Ratings: 1,463


A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly - Ratings: 1,544


The Uninvited by Cat Winters - Ratings: 2,177


The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson - Ratings: 2,618


They Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson - Ratings: 2,868


Have you read any of the books on my list?  What are some of your favorite hidden gems?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Music Monday: The Greatest Showman


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


This week I'm sharing my three favorite songs from The Greatest Showman (2017) - "The Greatest Show", "The Other Side",  "This Is Me".  I don't know why I put off watching this movie for as long as I did, but I'm glad I finally watched it because it's so much fun.  Sure it takes quite a few historical liberties, but the set pieces are fabulous and the songs are infectious!  Of the three songs I've picked, "The Other Side" is the best song out of the entire movie.  Definitely the catchiest and best choreographed anyway!








Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Funday: Literary Book Gifts - 20% Off Promo Code


Happy Sunday everyone!  This weekend I'm doing something a little bit different.  As a book lover, I can't resist quality bookish merchandise.  Well, the good people over at Literary Book Gifts have a lot of unique designs featuring classics that would be great to add to your collection.  They feature t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and tote bags.  The clothes are available in women's, men's, and unisex sizes. 

As a special treat, Melissa from Literary Book Gifts have asked me to offer my readers a promo code which is good for 20% off anything in the store.  There is no required minimum amount to take advantage of this discount which has no expiration date.  That means it can be used multiple times!

Promo Code: never-anyone-else20 

Check out some of my favorite t-shirt designs - each picture is linked to the corresponding product page:


Visit Literary Book Gifts today and stock up on some nice bookish merch!  Thanks again to Melissa for making this all possible!  Have a great weekend everyone.