Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Sunday Salon: A Reading Update

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  The sun is shining, the kids are already playing outside (I shall go join them soon), and spring finally feels like it is here to stay.  I've got my fingers crossed that it really will stay but I'm not sure that the weather forecasters agree.  It doesn't matter as I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!

I've got lots and lots of stuff going on this week as the upcoming sports seasons starts for my older two kiddos.  What this means is that EVERY single night this week my kids have practice for something.  Seriously!?!  Luckily, we get to skip Friday as we are going out of town for the weekend but it is overwhelming to think about.  I have no clue when I am going to get anything done.  It should be interesting as we all adjust.  It does mean that I should have plenty of reading time while I watch practices, but I will have to wait to see if that actually happens.  Anyways, last week I skipped out on catching you up with the books that I have finished recently so that's what I'm going to share about today.  Here are the books that I've finished since I last updated you:

Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams - Was an interesting sequel that left me with mixed emotions.  You can see my full thoughts on it here.

The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters - Has solidified my love for this series!  I loved this one just as much as the first book.  I would already be reading the third if it was on my shelves.  Since it isn't, I will remedy that soon!  I'm going to try to write a double review for the this book and the first soon.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews - This series just keeps getting better!  This was my favorite book so far but I just cannot wait to continue on with the next book.  A must read urban fantasy series for me!  Review to come soon as well.

Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke - Was one of those books that starts off slowly but by the end....oh my goodness!  I've been holding off on reading other people's reviews, but now that I'm finished I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks about it!  I read this one for a TLC book tour and my thoughts will be posted on April 9th.

I also finished two audiobooks recently thanks to my Harry Potter addiction.  I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as well as Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  Both were excellent ways to re-experience this series.  I cannot get over how many of the details I had forgotten but there are many.  I'm going to be a bit lost when I finish the last book on audio.  I suppose it just means that I will have to listen to them all again :)

I'm currently reading Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith.  Steampunk and vampires?  Heck yeah!  I'm kicking myself for letting this one languish on my shelves for so long.  It is really good so far!

I'm not sure what I will be reading next but it will probably be off my April stack of possibilities.  There are just SO MANY books that I would like to be reading right now.  The choices are endless.

Today's plans include the Harry Potter marathon, a run (since I've been failing miserably with this), and my usual loads of laundry.  I'm going to try and get ahead with my blog posting for the next two weeks but I really don't know if it will happen or not.  Otherwise, I might just go blog silent again.  We will see how motivated I get!  Plus, season finale of The Walking Dead tonight!!!!!!!!!  I can't.  I have no words.  Just please don't kill any of my favorite characters!

What are your plans for this week?  Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

On My Wishlist (Radar) #14

On My Wishlist is my way of sharing all of the books that I cannot wait to get my hands upon and read. These are a mixture of books that are about to be released along with some older titles that I really want to read as well. (All summaries are from Goodreads).

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

"The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane—a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance." 

I think that I have all of this author's books on my TBR list even though I haven't read any of them yet.  This one sounds AMAZING though so I will be reading it! (And hopefully as soon as it comes out!)  It comes out in September so it will fit in perfectly with my R.I.P. reading if I do say so myself :)

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

"Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one....

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe."

How creepy does this book sound?  I have high expectations for it and I know next to nothing about it!  I cannot wait till it releases!!
Made For You by Melissa Marr

"When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva."

This one sounds super intense which makes me want to read it RIGHT NOW!  Plus, the cover is just gorgeous as well.  How could I possibly not want to read this? 

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

"It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be."

I have been meaning to read more by Waters every since I finished and adored Affinity.  This book sounds like my type of book so I am impatiently waiting for it to release.  Plus, the cover is vintage gorgeous!  Love!

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

"A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan."

This one sounds creepy as well which means it instantly was added to my TBR list.  Plus, I'm planning on reading more YA this year so this is one that I am bound to try!  Sounds great!

So many good books here that I just cannot wait to get my hands on!  That doesn't even include the ones that I are on my most anticipated reads for 2014 list.  I think that I just need to read faster!  Because until they release, I will be waiting most impatiently for all of these.  

What books are you wishing for? Or what books have you added to your TBR list recently? 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deceiving Lies by Molly McAdams (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they've had, she's ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there's something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn't want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him ... and it's the girl he loves who's caught in the middle."

My Thoughts:

This is going to be a hard book to review without spoiling anything but especially if you haven't read the first book.  Don't say I didn't warn you!  Deceiving Lies continues where Forgiving Lies left off so it is a must for you to read the two of them in order in my opinion.  I also think that if you are planning on reading Forgiving Lies then you really need to have the sequel sitting there ready to go because you will want it.  Trust me on this!  But on to my thoughts for this book.

This author isn't afraid to make her reader's sweat!  Wow!  This is a book that you can't put down because everything is SCREAMING for you to find out what is going to happen next.  This isn't always a good thing.  It sometimes was frustrating.  But it does make the book both unforgettable and unputdownable so it kind of balances out.  I seriously wish I could explain my reading experience a bit better for you but it was a jumble of emotions.  There was laughter, happiness, and anger all mixed into one big ball.  Rachel and Kash are far from perfect but they really fit together well.  And as much as you love them together there are times when you just want to shake them.  Yet I was still constantly rooting for them to finally get there happy ever after.

The plot in this book was a bit on the unbelievable side but the author made it work.  I had to suspend my disbelief and just read, but I found that easy to do once I was sucked into the story.  I just think that Rachel has had almost too much bad stuff happen to her.  That being said the storyline was definitely a page turner.  In fact, I found myself so wrapped up in this book that I finished it in less than two days which is not the norm for me.  I cannot emphasize how much of a pull this book has even when you don't expect it to.  

In a nutshell, this book made me feel all of the emotions but in the end left me happy.  It wasn't an easy reading experience and there were times that it made me crazy but I did like it?  I'm at a loss to really explain it in any other way.  I honestly am not sure if this review even makes sense.  That's how muddled it made me feel at different points.  I'm looking forward to having my sister read this one, because I'm curious to see if it makes her as crazy as it did me.  I do know that I will remember this book (actually both of these books) for awhile thanks to the addictiveness that was this book.  I would recommend this book if you have read the first one or if you are a fan of angsty romances.  Just be warned that you are in for a wild ride!

Bottom Line: A twisty, turning, unexplainable reading experience!

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

Here is my thoughts on the first book Forgiving Lies if you are interested.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Sunday Salon - Books! (My Poor Shelves)

Good morning everyone!  The last two weeks seem to have slipped by me in a blur which meant an unexpected blogging break.  It was bound to have happened with all of the hours that I had been working so I didn't stress about it.  And happily enough I'm back to my regular forty hour work week which is much needed (and completely doable).  There wasn't much that happened that was exciting over my blogging break other than I finally broke down, and visited my used book store.  I had a bag filled with books to turn in for credit so I didn't even feel guilty for going.  I came out with a smile on my face and a small stack of books to add to my shelves.  My poor overflowing shelves!  In my defense. I still have over forty dollars worth of credit to use so really I could have brought home so many more.  In fact, I think that if I had known that I probably would have bought more books so maybe it worked out for the best.  Here are the books that I brought home with me (sorry for the crappy picture):

  • The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters- only to find out that this is NOT the 3rd book in the series but instead the 8th.  Why they would list the series out of order is beyond me but I've learned my lesson.  Don't trust the list for series books that is included in the book.  Oh well, it gives me an excuse to go back for the third book.
  • Birdman by Mo Hayder- First in this series and because I really enjoyed Gone by this author.
  • All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie- 2nd in this series and because I adored the first book (which I really need to review).
  • Beg For Mercy by Jami Alden- It sounds creepy and I love romantic suspense but don't read a lot of it.
  • H is for Homicide by Sue Grafton- Next book in a mystery series I love.
  • Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter- A book that I've had on my TBR list for awhile now.

I've also received a couple of books for review.  I can never decide if I want to share books I receive for review on here or not.  I've never really done a Mailbox Monday post or anything but I feel like I should at least post about the books that come in to my house.  Kind of to make myself accountable for actually reading them.  But....I just don't know.  Because then that would include ebooks and you guys would really see my reading addiction.  LOL!  Plus, I would have to keep track which I usually don't do.  I received these two books thanks to the lovely folks at Harper.  I'm hoping to add them both to my April reading plans list. 

In keeping with accountability, I have bought a few new books for my ipad. 

In my defense they were on sale AND my library didn't have copies of either.  Good enough reasons for me! 

Since I now have plenty of reading ahead of me (and it's not like I didn't before), I'm going to skip talking about the books I've read these past two weeks.  I will play catch up next Sunday instead.  Plans for the rest of my Sunday include catching up with all of you, review writing, a run, and TONS of laundry.  Oh yeah, and preparing myself for this week's Walking Dead episode since last week's one was CRAZY BUT SO GOOD!  I fully admit that I will be a bit lost when this show goes on break until season five.  Aack!  So worth it though :)

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (March 10th)

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!  Another week passed by quite quickly thanks to overtime at work.  I'm feeling sleepy because of it, but since this week is mandatory ten more hours I'm trying to get in the right frame of mind.  Work, work, and work!  Those are the plans for the rest of the week.  In actuality, I will probably be doing many other things (such is the life of a Mom) besides just working but finding time to read will certainly be one of them.  It just means not as much reading time as usual.  Which I can definitely deal with as long as I continue to fit my workouts in (as those are a must).  Here is what I have finished recently:

Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett- Was a great beginning to this urban fantasy series.  I was this close to grabbing the second book and reading it straightaway but then I ended up changing my mind as I was in the mood for a mystery.  I'm hoping to write up my thoughts on this one for this week.

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters-  Was a reread for me although apparently I didn't remember hardly any of the book.  I adored reading it, flew through the pages, and am seriously considering reading the second book right now.  The best part of this book is that it made me laugh.  Such a good read!  I will be sharing my thoughts on it soon.

I'm now currently reading:

This is for an upcoming TLC blog tour.  The first book left off on quite the cliff hanger so I'm definitely ready to see what happens next.  I'm thinking about starting something new on my ipad but I haven't figured out what.  I was planning on reading Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells (and still might) but I'm not sure that is what I'm in the mood for.  I guess we will see.

Hope you all have a great week!  Happy Monday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Walking Dead: Volumes 1 and 2 (thoughts and a discussion of the show)

Word of warning from the beginning that this post will be filled with possible spoilers.  For both the show and the graphic novels so you might want to skip this post entirely if you haven't had the chance to experience either of these yet.  May I highly, highly recommend both the show and graphic novel series to you though?  I'm so completely addicted to both that it isn't even funny!  So anyways...

In Days Gone Bye, Rick wakes up from a coma to a completely changed world.  His family is missing and there are zombies aka walkers aka roamers (in the graphic novels that is what Rick calls them) everywhere.  He sets out to find his family and gets a first hand taste of this new world along the way.

What I really liked about this first volume was how closely the show followed this volume with the first season.  There are some major differences of course but the majority of Season 1 follows the storyline in this comic in the best ways possible.  The comic goes much, much faster with the storyline in comparison to the show.  Heck, Shane is already dead by the end of this one, and it is Carl that shoots him?!?!  I totally didn't see that one coming!  I loved that so many of my favorite characters are present in both the show and comic.  I'm definitely missing Daryl's character though.  I also found it interesting that in the graphic novel Lori never thought that Rick was dead.  Instead, she left him heading for Atlanta thinking that he would be safe in the hospital.  Say what?  For me, I found myself liking Lori less in the comic compared to the show because of this.  In the show, she believes he is dead.  It made more sense to me for why she turned to Shane and for everything that happened afterwards.  Of course, that is just my opinion but I liked Lori's character so much more on the show.  Overall, this was a fun way to spend a few hours and I felt like I had the chance to connect to the characters more because of it!

In Miles Behind Us, the group is trying to deal with the aftermath of Shane's death along with a few other group members.  They set off in search of shelter and food hoping to find safety from the walkers as well.

Wow!  This volume is so different from the television series and yet the main points are the same.  I love, love, love comparing the two!  It is fun to see which one works better for me and why.  Tyreese is introduced in this volume along with his daughter and her boyfriend.  No Sasha?  Boo!  This was a big surprise for me as we don't see Tyreese until a lot further on into the show.  Plus, Carol and Tyreese?  What?!?  Dale and Andrea?  Are you kidding me?!?!  I'm not so sure how I feel about that one...I will tell you that.  I feel like Andrea's character in the television series was so much stronger than it has been in the graphic novels so far.  We meet Hershel in this volume and experience the farm.  Glenn and Maggie fall in love here (yay!) but then the end?  Glenn stays behind with Maggie and Hershel?  He's NOT part of the group any longer??  Say what?!?  Hahaha!  I feel like all I keep saying is what?  But there were so many surprises and huge differences with this graphic novel in comparison to the show.  We saw a flashback of Shane and Lori turning to each other.  Lori, you knew Rick was still alive!! Ugh!  I found that I was still more frustrated with her character in the comic than I ever was with her in the show.  And the show definitely gave Hershel a better character arc than the comic series has so far.  I continue to be surprised with how much faster the graphic novel series goes.  But it is a good thing I think since that means that the show can go on for many more seasons!  I am hoping that it continues on for awhile since I love it so much!  Oh yes, and they discover the prison at the end of this volume which is almost bittersweet since we saw the destruction of the prison in this season of the show.

Overall thoughts on the graphic novel series so far:  they are fun to read!  I spend half of my time reading them comparing them to the show in every way possible.  What characters are missing?  What major events are happening?  The other half of the time I just find myself completely immersed in the dark world that this author has created.  I love that the author is using this series to really comment on society and the possible break down of it.  It is a scary world that these characters live in, but it is more terrifying seeing how individuals react to this new world.  I will definitely be reading more of this fact, I'm planning on putting volume three on hold at the library right now.

Overall thoughts on the television series:  is that I cannot get enough!  I look forward to every single Sunday thanks to this show and will be completely lost when I have to wait for season five.  Daryl makes the show so much better and I adore both his and Rick's characters.  I think that they are doing a really amazing job hitting the important parts of the graphic novel series while not being an exact replica of it.  But more Norman Reedus please and thank you!  


Disclosure:  Both graphic novels were checked out from my local library.

P.S.- I am SO sorry if I spoiled anything for anyone in this post.  But I've been wanting to discuss it here on the blog now for so long that I just couldn't resist!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March Reading Plans

I'm nothing if not completely ambitious.  Ha!  When it comes to reading though, I always plan on reading a ton of books.....usually more than I can ever get through in one month.  It sure doesn't stop me from trying though.  I've been doing really good with these reading lists recently, and last month I finished six out of the nine books on my list.  Wow!  I'm impressed with myself.  LOL!  This is completely off topic but yesterday I dug my copy of the first Harry Potter book off of my shelves for my oldest son.  He wants to start reading them!!!  I'm hoping he will want to read it with me but we haven't started it yet.  I was just too excited that he wanted to read them :)  But back to my reading plans for the month of March:
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier- She is one of my favorite authors, and I am more than ready to read something new by her!
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters-  This will actually be a reread for me so I can finally continue on with this series.  Also, off of my own shelves!
  • Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith- Also off of my own shelves, and one I've been wanting to read since Christine recommends it.
  • Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett- This is actually my current read and VERY good so far!
  • The Clockwork Wolf by Lynn Viehl- For review and because in February I loved the first book in this series :)
  • Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke- For a TLC book tour in April.
  • The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths- Because I loved The Crossing Places last month. I can't wait to read this one!
  • This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers- Zombies!  And my goal to read more YA this year.
  • Parasite by Mira Grant- Because Mira Grant is AMAZING!  And it is such a shame that I haven't read this one yet!
If I can get through the majority of these then March shall be an AMAZING month of reading!  Overtime is currently back at work so my reading time may be cut down a bit but I'm sure going to try.  A girl can hope, right? 

What books are you hoping to read this month?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Reading Wrapup (2014)

(Sorry for the blurry phone pic but this is why I love our library!! Dr. Suess Month)

February was more of cold, cold temperatures.  I'm SO ready for spring and some warmer weather!  This month was another really solid month of reading for me which means that 2014 could be quite the year of books if this keeps up.  I've been continuing to work out on a very regular basis which makes me feel good.  I'm doing the From Couch to 5K program but rather than doing it only three times a week I usually do it about five times.  I'm thinking about switching it up a bit with the 30 Day Shred Video.  Hopefully, it will help keep me motivated because I'm definitely ready to run outside instead of on the treadmill.  Back to the books though, in February I finished eight books with two of them being graphic novels.  I finished the following books:

Blood Harvest was hands down the best read of the month but I sure read some good books besides this one.  In fact, I didn't read a single bad book this month.  I found two new mystery series to follow and I adored them both.  Plus, it was such fun to get back to graphic novels in February with the Walking Dead series.  I'm hoping to start the Fables series again in March.  It looks like I need to focus on reviews though since I'm starting to fall behind.  

Let's hope that March is as strong of a month of reading as February was.  I definitely have big reading plans for March so it looks like I should stop rambling and get back to reading.  

What was your favorite book in February?