Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre (thoughts)

Bronze Gods started off a bit slowly for me but by the end I found myself enchanted with the story in such a way that I didn't want to see the book end.  I'm a huge fan of steampunk and what I really appreciate is that this book was different from other series out there by adding a layer of fantasy to the storyline.  Before I get started on my thoughts though I better let you know a little bit of what this book is about.

Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko are lead detectives that are assigned to investigate when the daughter of one of the houses goes missing.  Their search uncovers lots of questions and a killer that seems to appear/disappear from thin air while doing the impossible.  Their jobs are about to get even harder though as the young girl's family helps to throw the entire city in an uproar over her death.  The pressure is on: now they need to figure out who the killer is, find them fast, or lose their jobs.  It's going to take a little bit of Mikani's magic and a lot of Ritsuko's determined patience to get the job done.

What really worked for me in this book was the chemistry between Mikani and Ritsuko.  I'm not sure why but I wasn't expecting it so when the attraction started to hit I was almost surprised.  Pleasantly surprised but surprised nonetheless.  Even now I'm eager to get my hands on the second book because I'm so curious to see what happens next between them.  I thought that the authors (this is a husband/wife duo that wrote this) did a really good job in creating a book that is different from others in this genre.  I liked that the Fae are tied into the storyline even though I felt like this area of the book could have been explored more.  I'm guessing that it will be in future books which is exciting.  In the world they created, some individuals have magical ties and abilities thanks to their Fae ancestors and others don't.  I loved that Ritsuko didn't have any magical skills but instead used plain old hard nosed detective work while Mikano had magical abilities.  They worked so well together because of it (and this was another reason why they clicked so well for me).  The authors also hinted at the history of the Fae and the Ferishers which I'm hoping they will also expand on in future books in this series.  The mystery was pretty darn good and I definitely didn't see the end coming.  I wanted more when the book ended and I wasn't ready for it to be done.  The book did start off slowly for me for a variety of reasons with the main one being that I kept getting Mikani and Ritsuko confused.  Obviously I've gotten it figured out now but when you only use the last names of your main characters it is easy to do at the beginning.  The characters would also switch viewpoints throughout the chapters which didn't help.  Once I really settled down into the story though I was completely hooked.  But I have to admit it took a little bit which is why I mentioned it.

Overall, a really solid beginning to a new steampunk series.  While the book wasn't a perfect read for me it was pretty darn good and I'm eager for more.  The only bad part is waiting for the next book to come out because I am not a patient person.  LOL!  I have high hopes for Mikani and Ritsuko figuring out their feelings for each other (please, please let them figure out their feelings) and am eager to see what kind of trouble they get caught up in next.  Because I definitely think that there were a few tiny questions left unanswered in this one that could become storylines in future books.  Definitely a book that I would recommend!

Bottom Line:  An interesting beginning to a steampunk series that I have high hopes for!  Read it!

Disclosure:  Checked out my copy of this book from my local library!

Monday, August 26, 2013

R.I.P. VIII Challenge (It's Here!!!)

It is officially the best beginning to a week ever because Carl's R.I.P. VIII Challenge is here!!  I am SO, SO excited and feel like I have been planning for this for weeks.  Maybe because I have.  I've been adding potentials reads for this challenge to my TBR list on Goodreads for weeks now.  I have big plans for lots of scary reading in the next couple of months.  And I see a few library visits in my very near future!  Of course I will be culling some books off of my own shelves that will fit in with this challenge as well.  This is always my favorite time of the year when the weather begins to change and the urge to read those creepier books sets in.  I plan to embrace this and read to my heart's content all of the thrillers, mysteries, and horror reads that I can find!

I'm signing up for Peril the First which only requires you to read four books.  I'm hoping to read many, many more than that but it is a good start!  I've already signed up for the group read of The Historian (which I just need to dig off of my shelves) and I would love to get back to It by Stephen King which I started last year but didn't finish.  What other books am I considering you might ask??  Only all of these...

Because I'm sure these two will have a high creepy factor to them.

Two books from previous R.I.P. lists that STILL haven't been read (but that will change this year).

Thrillers from authors that I've loved previously.

Gothic mysteries?  Ummm...YES!!

More creepy possibilities...

Books that I plan on grabbing from the library...

And finally a few from my own shelves :)

I could obviously keep going but I'm going to show a little bit of restraint and stop here.  Don't worry because I also plan on sharing a library loot post with all R.I.P. inspired reads AND a wishlist/radar post with creepy reads!  I've got plans I tell you....creepy reading plans that is.  By the way, I'm starting early on this challenge because I can't wait any longer.  So....what creepy reads are you planning on reading?  C'mon you know you want to share (and add to my never-ending TBR list)!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Reads....Bout of Books Update

Happy Friday!!  I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend!  I don't know if it will necessarily happen that way but that is what I'm hoping for :)  I might even get some reading accomplished after I finish up my piles of laundry and knock this house back into shape! 

I'm going to be rereading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews as my Friday reads this week.  I read this one probably during my first year of blogging and then never continued on with the series (I'm horrible with doing this).  Seeing all of the glowing reviews lately for this series made me itch to get back to it so I grabbed my copy off of my shelves.  It's been entirely too long and I'm not remembering any of it which means I'm completely hooked!  Once I finish I'll be able to finally continue on and read that second book.  LOL!

I'm making great progress with my reading goals for the read-a-thon this week considering I've finished both The Arrangement and Vanish With the Rose.  Any book that I finish now is just icing on the cake!  So that's my plans for this weekend: a little cleaning, lots of laundry, maybe a few Friends episodes, and definitely some reading.  I even went to the library today after work for a few scary reads (told you I had R.I.P. fever).  I've been looking forward to today all week long!

Happy Friday Everyone!  What are you reading this weekend?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Sunday Salon: R.I.P. Fever!!!

You guys!  I seriously, seriously have R.I.P. fever as of late and am anxiously waiting for Carl to post about it!! I've been setting books aside for about a month now that I plan/want to read in the coming months but when I saw that the ladies at The Estella Society are hosting a read-along for The Historian I knew that I just HAD to participate!  I've already got this one on my shelves and have been meaning to read it for awhile now.  I actually think that I won my copy a few years back but I'm struggling to remember from who or where.  But anyways this would be a great way to get this one off of my shelves and finally read!  I can't wait to get started!

I'm also officially signing up for the Bout of Books read-a-thon.  I've participated in this one a couple of times and always had a good time.  This weeks looks to be crazy busy for me: school starts, overtime, football practice and other fun things but I'm still planning on getting some books read.  Here is what the Bout of Books website says:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My reading plans are going to be kept to a minimum considering how crazy the week is shaping up to be.  I'm currently reading The Arrangement by Mary Balogh which I'm reading for a TLC book tour.  I also want to finish up Vanish With the Rose by Barbara Michaels which I keep setting aside for no good reason.  Actually I do have a really good reason as last week I read and loved Lost by S.J. Bolton.  S.J. Bolton is one of my FAVORITE authors and she definitely didn't disappoint with this latest book.  I plan on writing up my thoughts on this one for this week (which almost never happens) but suffice it to say that it helped to give me even more R.I.P. fever.  This book was so creepy!  So I may only plan to try and finish two books this week for the read-a-thon but if I get the chance to read more you can bet I will!  In fact I plan to get some reading done today in between loads of laundry (and cleaning).  Happy Sunday and happy reading!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Caved...(A Bookish Haul)

I swear that I always have the best intentions when it comes to book buying bans but then something happens and my plans go awry.  This time I feel compelled to tell you that it wasn't my fault.  We went school shopping for the kids in a city that we don't usually go to that has another branch of my favorite used bookstore.  And while I was able to resist going into Barnes and Noble without bringing anything home, the temptation was too great when I walked into the used bookstore.  It is always fun to see what different books they have and I'm always looking to add to my collection of vintage mysteries.  Here are the books that I managed to bring home with me:

Whee!  I love me some old vintage covers like The Wall has!  I also brought home another book with an equally fabulous cover but soon found out that I already had it on my shelves.  Ugh!  This is the exact reason that I put myself on a book buying ban in the first place.  LOL!  I obviously have too many books if I'm buying duplicates without realizing it.  I'm super excited about G is for Gumshoe though because I was just whining in my last book haul post that my used bookstore didn't have it.  Now I shall continue on with my reading of the Alphabet mystery series! 

There you have it folks!  I am weak with no self control when it comes to books :)  I'm restarting my book buying ban although I'm not sure how long it will last with my birthday coming up next month.  I AM planning on getting a new Kindle but until then I'm NOT buying any more books.  For least I think.  What books have you bought lately???

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields (thoughts)

The Truth of All Things is an engaging historical mystery that is meant to be read slowly and savored.  Filled with historical details that add layers to the story, I found this book to be a solid beginning to this mystery series.  Now I need to find more books just like this to read!

In this book a woman is found murdered in such a way as to cause instant attention and speculation as to the why's of the murder.  Detective Archie Lean instantly realizes that this isn't your typical murder so he calls in help from criminalist Perceval Grey.  It soon becomes apparent that this murder has ties to the Salem witch trials and that their murderer has a strong interest in history.  It will be up to these two men along with the help of a few others to sift through the layers and find the killer.

This book was such an interesting read because of the uniqueness of the murder and the storyline.  The author ties in the Salem witch trials from the very beginning in such a way that I felt like I was learning more about them while reading this book.  The details from history that the author included (and not just about the Salem witch trials but other events) added a depth to this story that isn't always present in other books that I have read.  I also really enjoyed the main characters for a variety of reasons.  One of the main reasons was the uniqueness that each of them shared.  They were both so different from each other.  While the two men didn't always agree with each other, they both brought so much to the table when it came to solving the crime.  I also appreciated that the author took the time to flesh out their different personalities so well.  I'm looking forward to learning more about them in future books.  While I really, really enjoyed most of this book, I did find it to be a bit on the slow side at times.  I think that this was mainly my own mind frame and once I settled into the pacing of the story it didn't bother me as much.  Also the ending was such an abrupt change of pace as all of a sudden everything was happening at took me a minute (and a few pages reread) to catch up.  The ending was really solid though and tied everything up very nicely.

Overall, this was a really solid read that left me eager to continue on with this series.  I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the second book and I definitely plan on reading it soon.  If you are of fan of historical mysteries then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this one.  I loved the details and uniqueness of this book which is why I enjoyed reading it so much.  I'm actually surprised that I haven't heard more about it because it was really good.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A standout historical mystery....I want to read more books just like this!

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher.  The thoughts are my own :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?? (August 12th)

It's Monday! is hosted by Sheila at 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!"

Happy Monday everyone!  I feel like this may be one of the last few Mondays before life gets really crazy with school and sports so I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.  It might not happen though as I'm working mandatory overtime for the next couple of weeks.  My paycheck is going to appreciate it so I'm not too worried but it is definitely going to cut into my reading time.  Oh well, what can you do??  Not much else going on in my world besides lots of back to school preparations.  And my jungle of tomatoes is growing quite nicely.  I need to share some pictures so that you guys actually see the craziness that is my tomato plants.  But let's move on to my latest reading news.  Last week I finished the following book:

Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks was one of those books that I read at just the right time.  I've been in the mood for some romantic suspense and this one really hit the spot.  I started right in the middle of this series though so I'm going to have to go back and read the first book sometime soon.

This week I'm currently reading:

I couldn't resist cracking this one open as soon as I found it at the library.  I've loved the previous two books in this series so it is a MUST read for me!  And I'm definitely creeped out by this one already!  You guys should definitely give this author a try if you are a fan of thrillers!

Enough out of me for the day.  Happy Monday and Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Three Sister's Island Trilogy (Thoughts on a Reread)

Pre-blogging days I used to read many, many books by Nora Roberts.  Now that blogging has expanded my reading horizons a bit (and led me to a truckload of new authors) I find that I don't read as many of her books any more.  Besides her In Death series under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb there are no books that I enjoy more by her than these three books.  It has been years since I indulged in a reread so I decided that now was a great time to dive back into some of my old favorites and revisit this amazing trilogy.  I can easily say that these books are just as amazing as I remembered them but obviously I'm a bit impartial.  Because of this I thought I would share my thoughts on these with some mini reviews. 

Dance Upon the Air is the first book in this trilogy and by far my favorite.  Nell has done the impossible by faking her own death and leaving her abusive husband.  She comes to Three Sister's Island on an impulse and finds so much more than she could have ever expected.  The problem is that her past is getting ready to come back to haunt her.

Just thinking about this book makes me want to read it again!  I love Nell's character and how we get to see her blossom as a person throughout the book.  Robert's does an amazing job of creating this bond between the three women that are the focus of this trilogy from the very beginning.  The romance that Nell and Zach find is both sweet and believable.  Basically, the book just pulls you in and doesn't let you go until you are wishing that you had the chance to experience life on Three Sister's Island.  I love the fact that there is a paranormal bent to these books without it being the focus.  Instead, the focus of this book is on Nell's growth and finding the courage to stand up for herself.  I love it and loved rereading it!

Heaven and Earth is the second book in this trilogy but it definitely doesn't disappoint!  In this one, Ripley has seen everything that Nell went through to save herself and is forced to come to terms with the fact that she is a witch.  After years of forcing herself to be normal, she struggles with the idea that she might have to use those powers in order to save the island that she loves so much.  Can she overcome her fears and do her part to help save the island??

What I love about this book is the chemistry between Ripley and Mac!  They are by far my favorite couple because they are so mismatched that they just work.  I love seeing their relationship develop as they get to know one another.  For just this fact alone I would reread this book again right now!  But it is also enjoyable to see Ripley begin to reconnect with Mia and begin to use her powers once again.  Ripley is a prickly character whom I just can't help but like especially because she is so stubborn headed.  It is fun to see her and Mia clash with each other but it is even better to see her and Mac clash.  HOT!  Once again Roberts does an amazing job of setting up the ending for this trilogy without making it seem like there wasn't closure with this book.  The ending of this book wasn't as heart pounding as the first book but it still pretty damn good!  Another enjoyable reread!

Last but certainly not least is Face the Fire by Nora Roberts.  By the time I get to this book I am so head over heels hooked on this series that I NEVER want it to end!  Of course it must but usually by this time I'm in denial. 

In Face the Fire, Mia Devlin faces her past when the boy she loved with all of her heart comes back into town.  She may have gotten over her broken heart from years ago but she knows that her destiny may still be tied up in her feelings towards the man that he has become.  But she has an even bigger worry to deal with as the evil that has been haunting the island is ready to make its' final stand against the three sisters.  It is going to take everything that she has to beat the legend and save the island.

I love this book for so many reasons but honestly it is because by now I have become attached to all of the characters.  I usually read these books back to back and all I want is to see how it all ends and make sure that they all get their happily ever after.  I love Mia's character because she is so strong and independent.  And the relationship between her and Sam is both enchanting and dreamy.  I love the way that they have to learn who the other one is now as a person instead of the younger teenage version that they remember.  It makes the ending so much more powerful as the reader is allowed to see everything from each book tie together into an epic finale!

Gosh I love these books!  They are the ultimate comfort reads and reading them again was such a delight.  I could read them over and over again (and I'm actually sure that I will).  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them at all and in fact usually recommend them over and over to fellow readers. 

Bottom Line:  These books are books that I plan to read again and again.  They are some of my favorites!

Disclosure:  All three of these were checked out from my local library which is a shame because I need to own these...looks like I will be getting my own copies the next time I am ready for a reread!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Reading Plans

August is here and moving along.  School will be starting soon, fall sports, and all of the other chaos that comes along with this time of year.  I'm okay with all of that though because I love this time of year.  I love the beginning of a new school year and the fact that fall is fast approaching.  R.I.P. Challenge anyone????  Yes, please and thank you!  Anyways I'm hoping for a good reading month in August despite all of the upcoming life stuff.  Even though my e-reader recently took a dump I'm still planning on participating with Staci in cleaning up my Kindle.  Because I have such an addiction to NetGalley there are plenty of books that have already released that I haven't read/reviewed that used to be downloaded on my reader.  I'm using this time in between e-readers to catch up on some of those books.  I'm managed to snag some of these books from the library so I need to get to reading.  Here is what I'm planning (hoping) to get read this month:

Lost is the only of one of these books that isn't a review copy from NetGalley or Edelweiss.  Instead, this is a drop everything and read book that I did a dance for when I found it at the library.  I feel like I've been waiting for this one for FOREVER!  I cannot wait to dive in!  Also on the reading list for this month are my current reads which are

There you have it.  My overachieving reading goals for the month of August.  Now the only question is how many of these I actually get read :)  What are you planning on reading this month??