Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Sunday Post #34 (Football Mania)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Morning!  Sundays are fast becoming my favorite day of the week.  Football, good food, and lots of time to relax.....what more could a girl ask for?  Not much new happened this week besides the usual.  My youngest had his best flag football game of the season so far this year scoring two touchdowns (one by intercepting the ball).  He was thrilled and it was a really fun game to watch.  It was homecoming week for my oldest son which is always fun.  He plays for both JV (junior varsity) and the freshmen teams so we spent Friday and Saturday watching his teams play.  I love every minute of it!

Somehow I also managed to finish not one but two books this week!  I was pretty impressed with myself if I do say so!  Now I need to really work on catching up with the reviews for the books that I've been reading lately.  Next week looks just as busy (I feel like I say that every week but it is the truth) as this one was.  Added to all of the football games though is the fact that my daughter has a softball tournament.  I love watching her play so it will be a fun change of pace after watching football to then go watch some softball.  I probably won't be posting next week as Sunday is when the bracket play really begins and we will hopefully be at the softball fields all day.  Don't worry, I'll have my book with me for in between innings and games.  LOL!  But on to the books.  Here are the books that I finished this week:

I is for Innocent by Sue Grafton - It was SO great to get back to this series!  I flew through the pages of this book, and was almost sad when it ended as it was so great reading about Kinsey's adventures again.  I won't be waiting as long before I continue on with the next book in one of my favorite mystery series!

Beneath the Skin by Caroline England - This was a compelling but unexpected read.  It is being billed as a psychological thriller but I don't know that I would necessarily agree.  Instead it was more of a drama relating to these different families that were entangled with one another in different ways.  There were a few unexpected twists which is maybe where the thriller label is coming from but I actually thought that this book was more than that.  It was one I won't be forgetting about any time soon!

I'm now currently reading the following books:

Asylum by Jeannette De Beauvoir is my current print read.  Friday night I was trying to figure out what to read next as I had finished the above two books.  I had a stack of books laying out on my bed and made my husband (not a reader) choose.  He chose this one based off the title alone.  Ha!  I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying it so far.  Death Among the Doilies by Mollie Cox Bryan is my new kindle read.  I've been in the mood for a cozy mystery and this is the beginning to a new to me series.  I haven't actually begun reading this one yet but have it ready to begin.

Plans for today include enjoying the peace and quiet.  My little two have gone to a friend's house for the afternoon which is a nice change of pace after having sleepovers here the past two nights.  I see a lot of laundry in my future.  Blogging and reading as much as possible.  Definitely relaxing as much as possible while still getting ready for the upcoming week.  No rest for the wicked and all that!  I'm off to work on some reviews.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Sunday Post #33 (Library Fun)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Morning and Happy Sunday!  It has been another one of those weeks that almost passed by in a blur.  Busy busy and all that!  I've been working lots of overtime hours squeezed in wherever and whenever I can fit them in.  The kids are right in the middle of sports seasons so we usually have something going almost every night of the week.  And then I wonder why it feels like I never get any reading done.  LOL! 

I was able to finish one book this past week and it was a good one.  I also went to the library and brought way too many books home to go along with the R.I.P. reading I'm planning on doing.  This week looks to be just as hectic as last week so I'm savoring a quiet day at home today.  It's always good for the soul to spend time with my family and just relax!  But back to the books.  Last week I finished reading the following:

A Season to Lie by Emily Littlejohn - This is the 2nd book in Littlejohn's Gemma Monroe mystery series.  Last year I read and adored the first book which was Inherit The Bones.  I've been impatiently waiting to read this one and am happy to report that it was just as good as the 1st book!  I won't be sharing my full thoughts on this one until closer to the release date.

I'm now currently reading the following books:

I is For Innocent by Sue Grafton is my current print book.  It has been WAY too long since I last read a book in this series.  I'm already loving it and I've been squeezing in reading time with it every chance that I get.  On kindle, I'm getting ready to begin Beneath the Skin by Caroline England.  I was browsing through my NetGalley review copies trying to figure out which ones I needed to read soon when this one caught my eye.  I love that cover!  I haven't actually begun reading this one but will be very soon.

Here is the library stack that I brought home to add to my R.I.P. reading possibilities pile:

So many great sounding books here!  I'm thinking that my next print read will end up being one of these.  I'm off to work on writing up a few books reviews.  I also need to work on my never-ending laundry piles.  Other than that, the plan is to veg on the couch and watch football all afternoon.  A nap is sounding really good right about now.  Definitely some quiet reading time to round out the day!  How was your week?  What have you been reading lately?  Do share!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…"

My Thoughts:

Wow!  To say that I really enjoyed this book seems kind of wrong considering how dark it was overall.  After only reading two books by this author I have to say that she isn't afraid to make her readers cringe at times.  She also writes some very compelling, hard to put down books!  As soon as I read the above summary, I knew that I wanted to read this book.  Reading through the summary again, it's funny how much that summary doesn't tell you (which is a good thing).  I kind of went into reading this book expecting one thing and what I got was completely different.  I've got to say that I found this book so hard to put down!  This book starts and you've got this instant sense of something bad is just bound to happen and you are just waiting for it.  It created this layer of suspense that really doesn't let up throughout the entire book.  I found myself almost tense while I was reading just waiting to see what was going to happen next.  I also really loved how this book was set up but I can't say more than that without possibly being spoiler-ey.  I do want to say that there is some difficult subject matter and graphic scenes that may be disturbing for some readers.  Hence why I said that Slaughter isn't afraid to make her readers cringe.  She doesn't shy away from including violence and graphic detail in her books which is one of the reasons that they seem so dark.  

The mystery portion of this book was very well done.  It was almost two mysteries in one as there are some questions remaining of what happened so long ago to the Quinn family and then also the mystery behind the recent tragedy in Pikeville.  I'm trying really hard here not to spoil anything so forgive me for being so vague.  What else can I tell you without giving anything away?  This book is really, really good and has a good chance of making my top reads list for the year.  I found myself reading late into the night because I just didn't want to put it down.  I also found that these characters aren't ones that I will be forgetting about any time soon.  I would actually love if this author wrote more books and turned this into the beginning of a series!  Even now I'm really excited to see what other readers thought about this book.  I usually try to avoid reading reviews of books until I write my own so I'm definitely planning on checking out those reviews now.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this book even when it was way darker and more intense than I had expected.  I've seen a lot of hype on this book and think that it is well deserved!  I myself am eager to go back and read some more from this author's back-list.  This book would be perfect R.I.P. reading if you are looking for reading suggestions.  Just be warned that there is some difficult subject matter included that isn't always easy to read about.  Highly recommended but with that warning to go along with it.

Bottom Line:  A dark and compelling read that I couldn't put down!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barne s & Noble

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Sunday Post #32 (R.I.P Reading)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Football Sundays are here!  This is the beginning of my favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler temps, watching football, and of course spookier reading.  The annual R.I.P. reading challenge is here and I'm super excited to begin reading for it.  I've already pulled off two stacks of books from my own shelves.  I'm itching to get to the library though and grab a few from there as well.  LOL!  So consider this my official sign up post!  I plan on reading as many as possible but I'm officially signing up for Peril the first which is just four books.  I've actually already finished reading one book that I'm counting towards this challenge so three more to go!

Other than spooky reading, we've just been busy with games, practices, and school.  I feel like I'm reading more than I have been but my reading numbers are just so far behind what they usually are that it doesn't seem to be making a difference.  37 books.  I'm going to need September to be an amazing month of reading to give me any hope of reaching my goal of 75 books for the year.  It may not happen, but it is fun to try!  Since my last reading update I've finished two books.  I finished the following books:

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo - This counts as my first official read for the RIP XII challenge.  I first heard about this one on the Read or Dead podcast as there is a movie coming out soon based off of this book.  I've got to say that I'm looking forward to the movie now!  This was dark and twisted - probably not for all readers but I really liked it.  This is my first time reading this series but it won't be my last (and I actually have a couple others in this series already on my shelves).

The Lost Girls by John Glatt - This was one of the most disturbing and difficult books that I've read in a long time.  Made even worse by the fact that everything was true as this is a nonfiction read.  What these three women went through was horrible!  I took long breaks while reading this one because it was just all so hard to read about.  I definitely won't be forgetting about this one any time soon!

I'm now currently reading the following:

I'm currently only reading one book as I haven't yet settled on a new print book to read.  I love having an open schedule and being able to choose whatever I like for my next read.  That being said this means that I'm also struggling on deciding what to read next.  #Readerproblems....LOL!  I'm enjoying this one so far even though I'm only about 20% in.  I'm hoping to spend some quality time with it this afternoon.

New Additions:

All are review copies thanks to NetGalley and the publishers.  Am I the only one that is struggling with the fact that some of these are 2018 releases already?!?  Crazy!  I'm really looking forward to reading all of these but especially the Jennifer Harlow book as I loved the first book in this series!  My kindle is overflowing with goodness!

Now I'm off to spend the afternoon watching football and probably eating too much food.  I've got laundry piles calling my name as well.  I'm also going to try and settle on what my next print read should be.  (If you are interested in some of the possibilities check me out on Litsy - Samantha.1020)  I'm also hoping to write up a few reviews and get some reading time in.  Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Embark on the breathtaking romantic adventures of The Lady Travelers Society in the brand-new series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander

Really, it's too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders's favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what's a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he's escorting the world's most maddening woman to the world's most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she's certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart."

My Thoughts:

I feel like this is going to be a hard review for me to write because I was very in the middle when it came to my feelings on this book.  I never really was able to put my finger on why but I didn't connect with this book like I had hoped to.  I didn't dislike it to be clear but I also didn't love it.  I just found myself kinda underwhelmed by it all.  I'll try to explain why but it is hard when for me when I'm just kinda meh about it.  I'm almost wondering if my reading experience suffered because I was in the middle of a reading slump.  I kept trying to push through on it because I was supposed to read it for a blog tour and I don't think that helped.  I loved the premise of this book because it sounds like a romance and adventure combined.  It was those things but it was also a bit meandering if I'm being completely honest.  I think that part of the problem was that I didn't connect to the main character India Prendergast.  I don't think that the reader is meant to like her in the beginning really but that also made it hard for me to connect to her and the story as a reader.  Usually when I read romances I'm really rooting for both of the main characters to fall in love and find their happy ever after.  Instead I was only rooting for Derek Saunders (the hero) as his character was one that I could get behind.  He was a romantic at heart and someone that I enjoyed reading about.  I just wish that I could have cared about them both because that would have made this book that much more enjoyable.

One thing that I did really enjoy with this book was the mystery of what had happened to India's missing aunt.  I found myself reading this book more to find out where she was then for the actual romance portion.  I was really surprised (and I won't say more than that) when we did actually find out the answers to the mystery portion.  It made the last part of this book much more fast paced for me compared to the rest of the story.  I also have to add that I really, really liked some of the secondary characters in this book.  I have high hopes that Derek's brother will be featured in the next book as I believe this is the beginning of a series.  I would definitely want to read that one!  I also found Derek's aunt and her friends to be a delight to read about.  I would really, really like to see more of them as well.  It sure sounds like I'm going to have read the next book, doesn't it?  LOL!  Now you can probably understand why I had such a hard time deciding on how I felt about this book.  Mixed feelings anyone?

Overall, I found this to be a good read but not great.  I can't honestly tell you if the book was to blame or if it was just my reading mood at the time.  I enjoyed it enough to plan on reading the next book in the future.  On the other hand, there are other romance reads that I would recommend before this one.  I'm glad that I stuck with it though as I found the ending to be much more in line with what I had hoped the entire book would be like.  This may have been my first book by this author but I don't think that it will be my last.  Recommended but with a few hesitations.

Bottom Line:  A book that left me wanting in ways and satisfied in others.  I can't say it better than that.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley as part of a TLC book tour (I also completely missed my tour date and am just now posting my thoughts.  My apologies.  

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Sunday Post #31 (Bout of Books Wrap-Up)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Happy Sunday!  How has everyone been lately?  School is back in full force so we've been busy, busy all of the time.  The kiddos have adjusted well to the back to school routine which has made everything that much easier.  We currently have high school football, travel softball, and flag football all going on so there is a TON of coordinating our schedules to fit everything in.  This upcoming Friday we are traveling about two hours away to watch my son's first high school football game of the season.  I'm so excited for him.  They've been practicing all summer and then a few scrimmages but now the real thing is finally here.  Crazy but awesome!

I spent this past week participating in the Bout of Books read-a-thon which is always a good time.  I managed to finish two books for it which has me really excited.  I've only read 35 books this year though even with those two added to my totals.  I feel like that is such a low number for me.  I don't know what the deal is but I'm really glad to see that my reading is picking back up.  I finished the following books:

Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander begins a new cozy mystery series that is being published I believe in October.  I adore her Bakeshop mystery series so I jumped at the chance to read this one.  I won't be sharing my thoughts on this one until closer to the release date but I will say that I adored it as well. 

Memory In Death by J.D. Robb was a reread and just as good as the first time that I read it.  So I started "rereading" these books by listening to them in audio despite the fact that I wasn't caught up with the series.  This has morphed into my rereading them all before I continue this point I've got to be getting pretty darn close to wear I left off.  I couldn't remember what happened with this one which made me read it all the faster. 

I'm now reading the following books:

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is my current print read.  I stopped reading it to squeeze in Memory in Death last week but have now moved back into reading this one.  I'm not very far into it yet but I'm finding it to be quite creepy already.  I'm looking forward to reading this one more later on this afternoon.

A Season to Lie by Emily Littlejohn is my current Kindle read that I've just barely begun.  I loved the first book in this series so I'm really looking forward to reading more from this one soon.  Both books are set during wintertime which feels perfect as we begin to have fall-like weather here and there. 

I would love to continue on with the reading pace that I had last week with Bout of Books and finish both of these this week.  I've got tons of really great books calling my name lately.  I never seem to stop adding books to my TBR list thanks to NetGalley.  I've also finished my last tour book for the near future.  I'm taking a break and just focusing on reading what I want, when I want with the hope that my reading will even itself out that way. 

I'm off to work on laundry for the week and maybe get in a few hours of uninterrupted reading time.  Also the Bears are on so I've got football watching going on as well.   I've got some upcoming PTO to look forward to which means that this week will either go really fast or drag on by.  Tell me what books that you've been reading lately!  Is everyone enjoying school being back in session or were you not ready for it yet?

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Everything We Lost by Valerie Geary (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Lucy Durant was only fourteen-years-old when she lost her older brother. First to his paranoid delusions as he became increasingly obsessed with UFOs and government conspiracies. Then, permanently, when he walked into the desert outside Bishop, California, and never returned.

Now on the tenth anniversary of Nolan's mysterious disappearance, Lucy is still struggling with guilt and confusion--her memories from that period are blurry and obscured by time, distance, and alcohol. Now an adult, she's stuck in a holding pattern, hiding out at her father's house, avoiding people, and doing whatever she can to keep herself from thinking about Nolan. But when a series of unsettling events leads Lucy back to Bishop, she is forced to reconcile with her estranged mother and come to terms with the tangled memories of her past to discover what really happened to her brother all those years ago.

Told in Lucy and Nolan's alternating voices, Everything We Lost is a psychological mystery exploring family, beliefs, obsessions, the nature of memory, and fear of the unknown--a haunting, compelling story that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned."

My Thoughts:

Everything We Lost is one of those books that I can already tell is going to stick with me for awhile to come.  It was an unexpected read for me and also one that I enjoyed immensely despite everything that goes on in this story.  I'm not even sure those two descriptions make sense together but it is the truth.  I almost hate to say that I find books to be unexpected because how in the world do I know what to expect in the first place from a book that I haven't read?  But the statement is accurate here because I went into this book thinking it was about Lucy's search for her missing brother.  It is that but it is also so much more!  This book is this almost perfect mix of two very different things: one is the possibility of other life forms that we don't know of yet (and Nolan's search for these things) and the other is the mystery of what really happened when Nolan disappeared so long ago.  This author takes those two story lines and blends them together so seamlessly throughout the book.  It was almost hard to tell which one was which at times.  Yet it made such an intriguing combination, and even now I'm blown away by how the author managed to keep it all together so that even the ending fit in perfectly with all of this. 

This book is told from two different viewpoints: Lucy's viewpoint in  the present and also Nolan's viewpoint from the days leading up to before he disappeared.  The author managed to create all of these questions for me as the reader that were constantly running through my head while reading.  Were there really other life forms and did these things factor into Nolan's disappearance?  Was Nolan dead after something horrible that might have happened to him so long ago?  Was he going crazy?  It caused me to be unable to put this book down because I was so caught up within the story.  I also loved how focused this book was on outer space, the stars, and other planets.  I really read this at the perfect time with the solar eclipse this week being all over the news.  Add to it that after finishing this book my husband and I watched The Passengers movie (also featuring outer space) and it just enhanced my reading experience so much more.  I'm going to get into slightly spoiler-ey topics here so be warned you might want to move on to my final thoughts if you don't want to read this last part.  I'm going out on a limb here but I think that the ending of this book is going to cause mixed reactions among readers.  I think that the author ended it perfectly myself and it felt very true to the way the entire book was set up.  But I do think that others could possibly not agree which is a shame.  I loved it even when I wanted more!

Overall I really, really enjoyed this book and am so glad that I had the chance to read it!  It isn't the usual type of book that I read but I think that just made me want to branch off from my usual reads a little more often.  This book reminded me a bit of a book I read last year - Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay so if you read this one and want something similar give that one a try.  I really can't wait to see what other readers think of this book.  I enjoyed it so much and know that I won't be forgetting it anytime in the near future.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book that I can't stop thinking about!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bout of Books #20 (Count Me In!)

" The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

It has been too long since I participated in a week long read-a-thon.....or really any read-a-thon to be honest!  My year of reading has been pretty dismal although this past month it has picked up a bit.  I'm hoping to finish both of my current reads during this week.  We've got a pretty busy schedule going all week long so two finished books will count as success and any more will just be bonus reads.  Here is what I'm currently reading:

Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander begins a new series by one of my favorite cozy mystery authors.  I'm really enjoying it so far!  The Snowman by Jo Nesbo is my current print read and I actually haven't quite started it yet.  I first heard of this one on the Read or Dead podcast (a new favorite of mine), and I instantly requested it from the library.  A movie is coming out based off of this book so I'm even more excited to read it first!

Two extras if I make it through the above are:

Here is to hoping for a very successful read-a-thon!  Happy Reading!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

Summary from Goodreads:

"It begins with a phone call that Nora Watts has dreaded for fifteen years—since the day she gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Bonnie has vanished. The police consider her a chronic runaway and aren’t looking, leaving her desperate adoptive parents to reach out to her birth mother as a last hope.

A biracial product of the foster system, transient, homeless, scarred by a past filled with pain and violence, Nora knows intimately what happens to vulnerable girls on the streets. Caring despite herself, she sets out to find Bonnie with her only companion, her mutt Whisper, knowing she risks reopening wounds that have never really healed—and plunging into the darkness with little to protect her but her instincts and a freakish ability to detect truth from lies.

The search uncovers a puzzling conspiracy that leads Nora on a harrowing journey of deception and violence, from the gloomy rain-soaked streets of Vancouver, to the icy white mountains of the Canadian interior, to the beautiful and dangerous island where she will face her most terrifying demon. All to save a girl she wishes had never been born."

My Thoughts:

I've got to say that I'm a streak with reading some really great books lately.  This book was a brilliant beginning to a new mystery series - I need more books just like this!  I was intrigued by this book just from reading the above summary which meant that I couldn't resist the chance of reading it.  The idea of the birth mother being drawn into the search of the missing daughter that she's never met (or wanted to even) can you resist a premise like that?  I just knew that this was going to be a good read but what I didn't expect was how dark of a read that this was going to be.  Nora is not your typical leading female detective in a mystery novel.  She isn't even really a detective but instead works for a lawyer and businessman as an almost human lie detector.  She has all of these issues relating to her past, doesn't have any normal relationships, and is a recovering alcoholic.  She is basically kind of a mess but I loved her!  Even when she was making crappy decisions I was rooting for her.  I wanted to know more about what had happened to her even though there were enough clues that I could guess.  She just was one of those main characters that really stood out for me, and I'm looking forwarding to reading more books featuring her.  I also really enjoyed the mystery portion of this book.  I found myself reading this one for long periods of time which hasn't happened all too often lately.  It was a page turner and one of the things that kept me reading way too late into the night was just trying to see what trouble Nora was going to get herself into next.  And then I kept reading to see if she would get out of it of course.  Ha!  I loved that this book was set in Canada which is a place I've never had the chance to visit but would like to.  I felt like I was really there while reading, and reading about the colder weather made this feel like the perfect fall read (although I read it a bit too early for that).  The ending was super intense and left me wanting more.  

Overall I have to say that I'm left very excited about this author and this series.  This book really stood out for me as it is different from a lot of the mystery series that I've read.  I've come to the conclusion that mystery series featuring lone female main characters is kind of my reading catnip.  I just can't seem to get enough.  This book wasn't any different and Nora is one of those characters that I won't be forgetting about any time soon.  I feel like I'm rambling at this point but this book was just that good.  I cannot wait to see what other readers think!  I would recommend this book mystery fans as well as those readers who enjoy a good thriller.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A dark mystery that I just couldn't put down.  I need more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Love & Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea

Summary from Goodreads:

"After three years of living in the small town of Reigny-sur-Canne, all Katherine Goff really wants is to be accepted by her neighbors into their little community. But as an American expat living in the proud region of Burgundy, that's no easy task.

When the elderly Frenchman who lives in the village chateau is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the town is turned into a hot bed of gossip and suspicion, and Katherine suddenly finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into the small town's secrets. A motherless teenager, a malicious French widow, a brash music producer, and a would-be Agatha Christie are among those caught up in a storm that threatens to turn Katherine's quiet life upside down. As more and more of the villagers' secrets are brought to light, Katherine must try to figure out who, if anyone, in the town she can trust, and which one of her neighbors just might be a killer."

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed my time reading this book!  It is always delightful when a book just transports you to another place.  Reading this book made me feel like I was there in the French countryside with Katherine and her husband.  I've never had the chance to visit France but I could certainly picture what it must be like with this book.  The descriptions of the food, the countryside....I just couldn't get enough of all of it!  This was a quiet read that I just took my time with.  I loved Katherine's character so much.  The descriptions of the different items she would find at the market and the little thrift shop finds she had come across just fit in so perfectly with the atmosphere of the book.  I really can't say enough good things about just the feel of this book.  Although there was a murder mystery happening, what I enjoyed most about this book was everything else.  Don't get me wrong, I found the mystery portion interesting but it was the other parts that made this cozy mystery stand out for me!

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was all of the other characters.  There were a variety of characters in this book each different from the other.  It made the book fun to read as you never knew what some of the characters were getting up to.  I liked the chances that we had to get to know some of these characters as it also helped to make me feel like I was really there within the story.  As to the mystery itself, I guessed parts of it but was incorrect as to the reasons why.  In fact, I really missed a good portion of the whodunnit completely which made the ending more intense than I had expected.  I seriously felt like I was questioning what was going on right until the author decided to share the truth with the reader.  It was a solid read and I'm eager to visit this quiet French village again!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am hoping that this is the beginning to a cozy mystery series.  It would be really great  to have the chance to visit with these characters (and especially Katherine) again!  I loved my time in this world that the author created - I almost wasn't ready to leave by the time the story ended.  I really think that those readers who like a quieter mystery should give this one a shot as I'm sure that they will enjoy it as much as I did!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A book whose atmosphere just pulled me into the world that the author created.  I loved every minute of it!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 31st)

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!"

Monday, Monday!  It has been a really long time since I did a post like this.  I'm going to sound like a broken record here but it has been a poor year for me in terms of both blogging and reading.  I'm not stressing- it happens.  But I am hoping to make both of these more of a priority in 2018.  School starts this week for my oldest- he is a freshman.  Wow, where in the world has the time gone there?  It's hard to believe but I'm excited for him and this new adventure that he is beginning.  The start of school also means the beginning of football which is something I am VERY excited about.  He's been practicing at the high school all summer long but I'm so ready to go to the games.  My youngest will also be starting flag football for his 2nd year.  My daughter's next travel softball season is getting ready to begin.....I think you can already tell where the majority of my time goes!  Work is crazy as all get out - lots and lots of overtime going on and this coming month is no different.  What else?  I wrote out another book review that will be posting later this week.  I'm pretty proud of myself as this will be two weeks in a row of blogging!  I haven't posted that regularly in months.

Since my last reading update I finished the following book:

 The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal was a really great read!  I enjoyed this one immensely and will be sharing my thoughts on August 11th as part of a TLC book tour.  I've got lots of good things to say if you are curious.

I'm now reading the following:

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander - STILL but I'm finally making some good progress with this one.  It has gotten better and I'm hoping to curl up with it this week to see how it will all end.

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen - This is my current print read and FINALLY a book off of my own shelves.  I don't know that I'm really "currently reading" it as I've only read the first couple of pages but I'm definitely reading it next.  I've just been really focusing on the above book as I feel like I've been reading that one for ages.

New Additions:

With how slowly I've been reading I should be saying none here.  Sadly that never seems to be the case with me.  I've been to the library twice and have a towering stack of books checked out. Here is the latest print book to enter my house thanks to the publisher:

This is for a TLC book tour in August- it sounds great and I'm looking forward to reading it soon!  I've got NetGalley books I could share about as well but.....that is for another day. 

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!


Friday, July 28, 2017

Dark Saturday by Nicci French (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Thirteen years ago eighteen year old Hannah Docherty was arrested for the brutal murder of her family. It was an open and shut case and Hannah's been incarcerated in a secure hospital ever since.

When psychotherapist Frieda Klein is asked to meet Hannah and give her assessment of her she reluctantly agrees. What she finds horrifies her. Hannah has become a tragic figure, old before her time. And Frieda is haunted by the thought that Hannah might be as much of a victim as her family; that something wasn't right all those years ago.

And as Hannah's case takes hold of her, Frieda soon begins to realise that she's up against someone who'll go to any lengths to protect themselves ..."

My Thoughts:

Wow. Wow. Wow.  I have to say that this was the perfect book to read to help break this nasty reading slump I've been in lately!  I couldn't (and didn't want to) put this book down.  It is so funny how you can be struggling just to find the time or will to settle down with a book....and then you pick up the right one and it is like you never stopped reading at all.  I found myself absolutely immersed in this book and just so excited about reading in general after I finished.  I love when that happens!  I also really appreciated that it happened with this book as this is a well established series that I started right in the middle of.  Did I miss certain things from not reading the previous books?  I'm sure as there were references to other cases that Frieda was involved in.  But for me if just has me super pumped to go back to the beginning to see how it all started.  I love the fact that I have all of these other books to look forward to now.  It's a great feeling!

One of the things that I enjoyed most about this book was the premise of the story.  It was both horrifying and compelling to think about the idea of a young girl convicted of the murder of her entire family with the possibility that it was a wrongful conviction.  Add to that the setting of a psychiatric hospital and a mystery and I was basically hooked from the very beginning.  I mean how could I resist??  I really enjoyed Frieda's character.....there was just something about her that pulled me in as the reader.  I found myself intrigued by everything that has happened to her - yet another reason why I'm so excited to go back to those earlier books.  I just really enjoyed by entire reading experience with this book.  The bonus was a completely surprising ending and this book turned into a five star read for me.  I haven't had many of those this year which is why I can't say enough good things about this book!

Overall, I really loved this one and am so excited to see what other readers think about it as well.  I should have listened to my book blogging friends and started this series sooner!  I've already got the first book on my library holds list so I won't be waiting too long before I go back to the beginning.  I thought that this book was both fast paced and intense which are two of my favorite things to have in a mystery.  I would recommend this book to both mystery and thriller fans.  You can definitely do what I did and start with this book (it obviously didn't affect my reading enjoyment at all).  I do think that there are things you miss not reading in order but that just gives me an excuse to reread this one once I catch up on the rest.  Ha!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  Very likely to become one of my favorites of 2017!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Sunday Post #30 (Summer Fun Edition)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Happy Sunday everyone!  It has been awhile yet again but let's ignore that fact and catch up.  I'm working on this post later than usual as we just picked up the kiddos from their five day stay with my parents.  It was a quiet week with them gone and it is nice to have everyone home again.  They had tons of fun though swimming and boating the entire time.  My husband and I managed to watch the entire first season of American Horror Story while they were gone.  It is a very weird, dark, but strangely addictive show.  I'm sure that we will start watching the next season soon.

I don't know what my deal is this year but my reading sure is suffering.  I feel like I say this every post but I just haven't been reading (or blogging obviously) like I used to.  It doesn't stop me from going to the library and checking out huge stacks of books though.  LOL!  Some things never change on that front.  I decided though that I just need to get back into the habit of blogging and hopefully that will get my blogging mojo started up again.  I'm not sure if it will work but it is worth the shot!  I don't have much of a reading update but here is what I've recently been reading/finished:

 Dark Saturday by Nicci French - I loved this one!  Absolutely couldn't put this one down which is saying a lot as I just haven't been reading lately.  I found myself completely hooked by it all even though I started right in the middle of this series.  The best part about that is now I can go back and catch up with all of those other books.  I'm going to be writing up my thoughts on this one later today but expect lots of gushing to be involved.

I'm currently reading the following books:

The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander - This is my current kindle read and it is okay so far.  I'm not hating it by any means but I'm just not sure it is what I'm in the mood for.  I'm supposed to have been reading it for a blog tour but I'm way late at this point.  I'm definitely going to work on getting some quality reading time in with it this week.

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal is my current print read that I just started earlier this morning.  I can already tell that I'm going to enjoy this one as I sat reading in bed for way longer than I intended.  It was exactly what I needed if I'm being honest and I'm looking forward to continuing on reading this afternoon. 

Other books that I need to share my thoughts on in the near future include:

Looks like my spotty blogging has helped to create a little backlog in the review department.  I'll slowly work on catching up and getting back into the blogging groove.  Now I'm off to work on my laundry piles and also get some quality reading time in.  I'll be by reading all of your blogs later this evening! 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Monday, June 5, 2017

#COYER Summer Reading List!! (My Reading List)

I was just saying how much I needed the next #COYER challenge and here it is!  Serendipity!  This time around they are changing it up with two different options.  The first one is to just read and everything counts.  I love the sound of that because really that is exactly what I need the most.  To just read, read, read!  The second option is to create a summer reading list of 30 books to read from.  This completely appeals to the list making side of me who just can't resist coming up with a pile of books (despite the fact that I rarely ever follow through on these types of things).  Oh heck, I'm going to create that list- you guys should know that by now.  LOL!  I'll count it a success no matter what as long as I really do get some reading done. 

My summer reading list is going to include the following books (which I will create a page for as well):


Wow - that's a lot of books to get through!  I love a good challenge though.  The best part is if I read five books off this list - I can add five more.  So if I need a little more romance added to the pile, there is that possibility to help with my reading moods.  I picked only e-books which is obviously not the only way I read.  I will count the print books towards the first part of the challenge but I would really like to focus on the summer reading list as much as possible.  I can't wait to begin!

Are you participating in the #COYER summer reading challenge?  Let me know if you are so we can support each other in having a bookish summer!  Happy Reading!