Sunday, June 24, 2012

Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson (thoughts)

Royal Street begins right before New Orleans is hit by Hurricane Katrina and the world that D.J. (Drusilla) knows is changed forever. Because after the storm hits, D.J. finds herself caught up in a search for her mentor, Gerry, who went missing during the storm. Determined to not only prove Gerry's innocence but also find him, D.J. finds herself caught up in a dangerous mystery filled with creatures from the dark.

Royal Street was an intriguing beginning to this new urban fantasy series and it has caught my attention! One of the things that I enjoyed most about this novel is how the author intertwines Hurricane Katrina with the storyline to make an original urban fantasy read. The author uses and references the hurricane constantly throughout the book, and I loved how you could feel her love of New Orleans while reading. It really enhanced my enjoyment of the story. D.J. is a wizard and at the beginning of the story it comes across as if she is an inexperienced wizard. I liked that as the book progressed we were able to see her grow and her skills develop into something more. The author hinted at even more than we saw though and I'm curious to see how she grows and develops in future books. My only real problem that I had with the book was D.J.'s lack of confidence in herself and her skills. It wasn't constant throughout the book so it didn't take away from my reading experience but it was there. I'm hoping that as she grows in future books that she becomes a force to be reckoned with. Because you can just see that the skills and talent are probably there just waiting to be let out. And I will definitely be there to read the next book whenever it comes out :)

All in all, I found this book to be a pretty solid beginning to this new series. And now I'm eager to read more about D.J. and see where she goes from here. I'm curious to see what happens next...which is all you can ask from a book sometimes, right?? Recommended especially for fans of urban fantasy!

Bottom Line: It didn't rock my socks off but it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

Disclosure: My many thanks for an e-copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Netgalley!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading??? (Reading Logjam)

It's Monday! is hosted by Book Journey and states:

"Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!"

I didn't finish any books last week. ANY! And I think that part of my problem is that I'm just reading TOO many books at the same time. When I don't concentrate on one book then it is easier for me to shove reading to the side to do something else. Which has been happening lately more and more. This week I'm going to focus on finishing up the following:

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Castle is one of my go to authors when I'm looking for a good paranormal romance. I've loved everything that I have read by her so far and I'm really enjoying this book as well. I'm hoping that this book is exactly what I need to get my reading mojo restarted :)

I'm hoping to start the following books really, REALLY soon!

And of course I'm hoping to make LOTS of progress on my read-a-long of The Stand by Stephen King. If your wondering, I'm doing horribly so far and am only on like chapter 5. MUST get moving! Here is hoping that all of you have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Summer Fun

I love these three more than words can say! Fun in the sun and a great way to spend summer :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Library Loot (Romance, Romance)

Library Loot is hosted by Marg and Claire and asks us to share our latest library finds.

I may just be the moodiest reader EVER! I pick up a ton of horror books at the library and do you think I read any of them??? Nope, not yet. Instead I've been putting romance books of all kinds on hold. Because now that seems to be just what I'm in the mood for. Maybe because we are all still adjusting to the changes (and Jack working 3rd shift) is why I'm even moodier than normal when it comes to my reading. Who knows?!?! All I really know is by the time that I find time to read some of these (who am I kidding...any of them) I'm going to be wanting a mystery instead. LOL! For now I'm just going with it so here is what I just picked up at the library the other day:

There are some gorgeous covers here!! Now I've just got to find the time to actually read some of these while also working on reading The Stand. Still on chapter 3 of The Stand if you are wondering. Same as last week. Yikes! I really should probably focus on it this weekend. But enough out of me. I'm off to read!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones Giveaway!

Day 2 of Armchair BEA is here and instead of participating in the discussion posts I thought I would do something a little different around here. I can't remember the last time that I hosted a giveaway on my blog (I'm WAY WAY overdue) so I thought that it would be fun to give a book away with Participant Giveaway Day. Somehow or another thanks to the publisher I ended up with two advanced reader editions of this book. I've been meaning to give my 2nd copy away but never got around to it. Until now of course :) I haven't even read my copy yet but the book sounds excellent. Here is a summary taken from Goodreads (Although I like to know less rather than more before going into a book so I cut the summary short. Way short!):

"The Uninvited Guests is the bewitching new novel from the critically acclaimed Sadie Jones. The prizewinning author triumphs in this frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises—where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety—and all is alight with Edwardian wit and opulence."

Sounds good, doesn't it?? I sure think so! To win a copy of this book you don't have to do anything besides comment with your email addy. That's it! I don't even really care if you're participating in Armchair BEA or not. Today I just want to say thank you to all of the wonderful bloggers out there no matter what kind of blog you have. And share a good book of course :) So comment away!

Disclosure: Contest ends on Friday. Or maybe Saturday. Or honestly whenever I remember to pick a winner. This copy is an advanced reader edition sent by the publisher. It is unread. That is all :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair Bea Day 1 (I'm Late As Always)

Whoops! I'm so behind lately that I didn't even realize that this week was Armchair BEA week. I participated (kinda/sorta/maybe not so much) last year and decided that I HAD to participate again this year. I love community stuff like this so really how could I resist??? I couldn't! Day 1 is introductions day and even though today is basically over I'm going to go ahead and post my answers. I'm cutting the questions down a little bit since it's so late. Without further ado...

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? My name is Samantha, aka Sam, which is what just about everyone calls me. Except my kids who of course call me Mom or other variations of it :) I am a mother of 3 little ones ages ranging from 9 years old to two. I also have an amazing stepdaughter that lives in Ohio and is 16. Yep, she is driving....crazy! In between all of the craziness I find the time to read and blog. I've been blogging for 4 years now which is just crazy when I think about it. And I got into book blogging after joining a bunch of Yahoo reading groups years ago. In fact, I believe A Novel Challenge is the name of the group that really made me want to try blogging.

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012? I'm currently reading 3 books (which NEVER happens) and they are all completely different from each other. Here is what I'm reading:

All good and all completely different from one another.

3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. One non-book-related thing?? Umm..that I'm a horrible cook. Seriously, this is something that I'm trying to work on/experiment with but I'm not very good at it. Or patient with it. But I try so I guess that is a start. And if you have easy recipes that are kid-friendly feel free to send them my way :)

4. Where do you see your blog in five years? I'm not sure yet. I'd like to say that I'm still around and talking books but I also hope that my blog has evolved into something more personal. I will always enjoy talking books with others but I'm hoping to infuse a little more of my life into the blog. Changes. They are coming!

5. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years? The friends that I have found through blogging. Hands down that is my favorite thing about the book blogging community! I love finding reviews of books that I've already read and talking about them with others. Twitter convos about books are the best! I have met some of the nicest readers EVER through book blogging! I really love the community aspect that comes with book blogging. I feel that it is important that we nurture this feeling with events like these!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Janus Affair by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris (thoughts)

There are those books that suck you in completely and pull you deep down into their depths. When you stop reading it is almost painful because you were submersed in the world that you were reading about. And the characters....books like this make me feel like I know these characters. That maybe they were once intimate friends of mine. This is one of those books for me! Stepping back into The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences was like visiting old friends but only better because I swear that I enjoyed this book even more than the first!

I LOVED The Janus Affair! Loved it! Everything that I enjoyed about Phoenix Rising was back in this second book and there was more! That's right...more! In this book, Eliza and Wellington begin to secretly investigate the very odd and mysterious disappearances of a few leaders of the feminist movement. Secretly investigate because it seems like these disappearances are being ignored by the Ministry. And Eliza and Books are still in hot water for all of the trouble that they managed to cause from their last case. As always trouble is underfoot whenever these two get their hands on a good mystery.

One of my favorite things about this book was the growing and changing relationship between Books and Eliza. I'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible but it really was what MADE this book for me. I loved the fractures and misunderstandings that were abundant and played an important role in this book. I felt like each step of the book was leading up to something, and that something happened at the end of the book just like I had hoped! Did I say that I loved this book already??? I seriously did! I had a hard time putting the book down and found myself wondering how I am going to possibly wait for the next book to come out. Aack! I may end up rereading these two books to help hold me off until book 3 comes out. But back to my thoughts on it. The steampunk aspect was fun to read about it...I loved reading about all of the different gadgets and gizmos. Although there were a few times that the technical parts of explanation went way over my head, I felt like it really added to the story. I've got to add that I really like the mystery that is included in the interludes throughout the book. I feel like these interludes are giving us hints on whats to come in the series. It is very intriguing! Reading this book was such a fun-filled adventure with unexpected twists and turns and so much more! I can't get enough of these books and I'm really eager to see what kinds of trouble Eliza and Books can get into next. Because you just know that somehow they are going to get themselves in more trouble. It is bound to happen. And I'll be there to read all about it!!

All in all, a deliciously good read and a great follow-up to the 1st book! I highly recommend this series if you haven't tried it yet. Especially if you are thinking about dipping your toes in the steampunk genre. You won't be disappointed! As for me, I'm going to be impatiently waiting for the next book to come out. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: An unputdownable read! Already a favorite series of mine and we are only on book 2!

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to receive an e-galley of this through Edelweiss and the publisher.

If you are interested, here is a link to my thoughts on Phoenix Rising, the first book of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.