Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Sunday Salon: Beginning Books

Good morning everyone!  This past week has been a quiet one for me on the blogging front which is sometimes needed.  It was also a quiet week in our every day life with just work and ball games for the majority of it.  The garden continues to grow and also continues to be a very rewarding experience.  So far we have eaten fresh lettuce from it, radishes, and cherry tomatoes.  My daughter loves to point out the new things that she discovers growing each day.  I will definitely be doing this again for years to come!

I don't have a lot more to share other than the books that I've been reading.  This weekend I was in a finicky mood and kept starting books.  Seriously, I started three before I finally settled on one.  As I plan on reading them all, I have lots of reading ahead of me.  But that isn't different from any other day :)  I have a bunch of books that I have finished since I last posted a reading update.  Here are the books that I have finished since then:

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane was just as good as the other book that I read in this series.  I liked seeing how Forensic Instincts began but especially enjoyed seeing the beginnings of some of the relationships between the main characters.  This is an author that I will be reading more of!

The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters was a delightful read!  This series just keeps getting better and I am only on the third book!  This one had me laughing out loud at times and turning the pages as fast as I could at others.  I adore this series and cannot wait to get my hands on the fourth book :)  I cannot sing the praises of these books enough!

Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb was a reread for me but still oh so good!  I love the earlier books in Robb's series where we are still getting to know some of the main characters.  I flew through the pages of this one in a matter of days, and was instantly ready to start on the next one.  This series are comfort reads for me that I turn to whenever I am feeling a reading slump coming on.  I probably won't end up reviewing this book as these are rereads and there is only so much you can say about a series without giving something away.

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart was oh so good!  So, soooo, good!  It instantly put me into a gothic romance mood and I've been scouring the internet for more authors just like this.  The first book by Stewart I liked (a lot!) but this book I just loved!  I cannot wait to share my thoughts on this one!

I'm currently reading one too many books including the following:

I started The Wicked Girls because I was in the mood for a good thriller and Stephen King recommended this author.  Seriously?  How could I not want to read it after that?  But then I realized that I was still craving something gothic and older so I downloaded The Stone Bull for free onto my ipad thanks to Open Library.  Both were moving along well for me until I stopped in at the library yesterday to return some books and grabbed Conspiracy in Death to take home with me.  This promptly meant that I dropped everything to crack this one open.  I'm shaking my head at myself even as I type this.  So now I somehow have three books that I am currently attempting to read all at once.  Wow.

This week is probably going to fly by thanks to the upcoming holiday weekend.  I have family coming in town so it might continue to be quiet here on the blog.  Or not as I am in the mood to write up a couple of blog posts.  It just all depends on how much I get accomplished today.  I hope that everyone has a great week filled with a couple of good books.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

COYER Summer Vacation Reading Challenge

Hosted by Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better Than Real Life, this is a reading challenge that I can't help but participate in because who doesn't love summer reading?  I sure do!  This one sounds super fun as they are hosting multiple read-a-thons among other fun challenges.  I'm looking forward to meeting some new to me bloggers from this as well.

 Here are the official rules:

 "1. You must create a sign-up post anytime between now and August 15th -on blog, goodreads, fb, google+, etc. Yes, that means you can sign up
until August 15th! But don’t wait, you’ll miss most of the fun!

2. You must link the sign-up post below (don’t link to your blog, link to the sign-up post).

3. You must post your review books somewhere & link the reviews to the review linky to be eligible for one of the grand prize giveaways.

4. Have Fun!

Normally you’re only allowed to read eBooks that were less than $5 for COYER, but since this is Summer Vacation you can read whatever you want!"

I decided to make a list of possibilities as my goals post (basically because I love making lists).  I probably won't stick to it too closely but it will be fun to try.  Here are just some of the books that I am hoping to read this summer:

Books I bought for my ipad (and still haven't read): 

Review copies from NetGalley or Edelweiss:

Library Books:

Review Copies (that I need to get off of my shelves):

Books off of my own shelves:

Other random books that I want to read:

I will be amazed if I get through half of these but you never know with all of the read-a-thons that they have planned.  It will be fun to try, and it will FINALLY get some of these books read/off of my shelves.  Good stuff! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A murder case with ties to a convicted serial killer leads a young defense lawyer and an NYPD homicide detective into parallel investigations with explosive and deadly results in this superb mystery."

My Thoughts:

I need to stop reading series books out of order.  That being said I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I yet again started at the end of a series.  In this book Ellie Hatcher and her partner JJ Rogan are drawn into a cold case that is being re-investigated thanks to the recent murder of a therapist.  Neither of them want to take the case on as they both know that they will also be investigating their own peers who originally worked the case.  And it doesn't take long before they have more questions than answers....which is when the real fun begins!

This book was intense and easy to fall into.  Even though I didn't know the character's histories from previous books, I found myself drawn down into their world almost instantaneously.  Burke always seems to write these twisty, fast paced reads and this book was no exception.  Every time that I thought that I knew what was going on something happened to make me question everything once again.  I love that!  Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book is that the author takes two storylines and brings them together.  They are both related to the recent murder but one is about what happened during the original investigation and the other one is what is happening now.  She easily intertwines it all together in a way that makes the suspense level go up a notch.  I had a hard time putting this book down because of it!  All of this should show you how much I enjoyed this book.  That being said it had a bit of a weird ending.  I wasn't sure how I felt about it to be honest.  It wasn't just didn't feel quite right.  I don't know that I can really explain it without giving away major spoilers so I will leave it at that.  

 Overall, I really enjoyed this book!  I'm eager to start at the beginning of this series so that I can see how these characters have grown.  Alafair Burke is becoming one of my go-to authors when it comes to thrillers thanks to her two stand alone books and now this one.  I'm becoming a pretty big fan!  I didn't have any issues reading this series out of order but I am betting that my reading experience would have been even better if I had read the earlier books.  Easily recommended!  

Bottom Line:  A book that takes a closed murder case and turns it into so much more!

Disclosure:  I  received a copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher.  Thoughts are my own.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Reasons I Love My Library #1

Picking up books like reading plans for the month of June just flew out the window.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"When she’s not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in a remote area called Saltmarsh near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea.

When a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach nearby, Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson calls Galloway for help. Nelson thinks he has found the remains of Lucy Downey, a little girl who went missing ten years ago. Since her disappearance he has been receiving bizarre letters about her, letters with references to ritual and sacrifice."

My Thoughts:

I waited entirely too long to finally give this series a try!  This book is one of the reasons that I have been reading so many mysteries this year.  (This and finding the Amelia Peabody series again of course!)  I really enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons but the main one was Ruth.  I'm finding that I am drawn to mysteries with strong female lead characters.  Ruth just comes across as such an independent woman but she is written in a way that makes her easy to identify with.  I really liked that about her!  In fact, there was just something about her character that I really liked. 

In this book, Ruth finds herself caught up in the mystery of a missing girl.  The little girl has been missing for years but some bones found near where Ruth lives are thought to possibly be the young girl's.  From there, Ruth becomes drawn into the mystery of what happened all those years ago.  The mystery in this book is quite intriguing.  I found myself wrapped up in trying to figure out what happened to little Lucy.  The questions were all there.  Could Lucy possibly still be alive?  Were the bones found hers?  I was completely caught up in the mystery which meant that I flew through the pages of this book.  This was one of those reads where you just had to see how it was all going to end.  I'll admit that I guessed part of the mystery but happily enough I was never sure until the very end that I was right.

The setting of the story was one of my favorite things about this book.  The author managed to make me feel like I was there on the salt marshes with Ruth.  I loved the desolate feeling that she permeated the pages of this book and gave it a darker touch.  I also really enjoyed learning more about archeology thanks to Ruth's profession.  The author included little details throughout the book that just gave the reader a taste of history.  It really made this book so much more enjoyable in my opinion.  The ending of this book was very intense!  There was a certain point where I just could not put this book down.  And then the author did the unexpected but I won't give that away.  Just know that I set this book down VERY excited to read the second one.

Overall, I loved this one and am so glad that I finally gave this series a try!  The mystery was great but the best parts of the book for me were the main character and setting.  I'm eager to continue on with this series but especially after the author left off with such a surprising ending.  I need more books like this (and series) in my reading life!  I would highly, highly recommend this book to my mystery loving friends!  As for me, I'm off to get my hands on book two :)

Bottom Line:  A thrilling beginning to this mystery series and a book that I couldn't get enough of!

Disclosure:  Checked out from my local library. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (See How My Garden Grows)

Oh my goodness!  No one told me how exciting it would be to see my seedlings grow into plants.  I love gardening!! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 9th)

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!  Did everyone have a great weekend?  I know that I sure appreciated mine because we had a quiet weekend at home.  Finally!  I cannot tell you how good it felt to just be at home with no plans.  I managed to weed my garden, dig into cleaning my children's bedrooms (yuck), and get some laundry done.  I shall call this weekend a success!

Once again I have fallen behind in updating you all with my reading progress.  I've finished a number of books since my last reading update.  Consider this to be a two week update (it might be three but I don't feel like looking).  Here are the books that I have recently finished:

River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz- Was a good read but not great.  I actually wanted to like this one more than I did.  I just didn't quite connect to it so I'm thinking that it will be interesting trying to write up my thoughts on it.  Review to come.

Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb- Was a reread and just as good as I remembered.  I was listening to this series on audio from the beginning but I have kind of stalled out on audios as of late.  I was struggling with what book I was in the mood for and saw this series at the library.  It was the perfect way for me to avoid a reading slump.  I'm not sure if I will share my thoughts on this one or not since you all know how much I love this series. 

Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett- This series just keeps getting better and better!  I need to write up my thoughts on it soon because I'm ready to pick up the last book asap.  The author left things hanging and I NEED to know how it is all going to end.  Even if I will be super sad for the series to end.

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells-  My favorite read from last month which should say it all.  She is one of my favorite authors!  I definitely will be writing up my thoughts on this one soon! 

Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz- Was a delight to read!  This book was just as fun to read as the first one (which I never reviewed. Ugh!), and made me wish I already had my hands on book three.  But on a positive note, I just found out that there are six books in this series ( I thoughts there were only three) so yay!  These books are just fun!  Review to come.

Whew!  That's a lot of books that I still need to review!  I'm currently reading the following two books:

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice is my current print read.  I'm finding it hard to put down, and am glad that I'm finally getting back to this series.  A Dark and Twisted Tide will be my ipad book as soon as I actually begin reading it.  I am so pumped to read this one as Bolton is one of my very favorite authors (and this is one of my favorite series).  I'm a bit nervous to begin it too just because I have such high hopes for it!

That's it out of me for today.  I hope that you all have an amazing week!  I actually have a couple posts scheduled so that is exciting.  Now if I could just get a little bit further ahead.  That would be AMAZING!

What books are you reading on this Monday?  Feel free to share!

Friday, June 6, 2014

June's Reading Plans (2014)

I'm feeling very moody with my reading lately.  I get this way sometimes where I want to read ALL of the books but I can't settle on any.  I love coming up with monthly reading plans but this time it was really hard for me settle on what I actually want to read.  So I'm reserving the right to go completely off pile this month :)  As long as I actually get lots of reading done, I will be happy.  I'm off to a good start as I've already finished one book so there you go.  Here are some of the books that I'm hoping to read this month:
  • The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane- This is my current read.  I read the third book in this series out of order last year (and really enjoyed it) so I'm going back to the beginning.  All I can tell you is that it is good so far.
  • Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur- This will be a reread for me.  I'm craving some good paranormal romance, and I've been wanting to get back to this series.  I'm really looking forward to reading this one again!
  • Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett- Eek!  This is a series ending book, and I want to read it SO BADLY yet I don't want it to end.  I can't wait long though after finishing Binding the Shadows (what an ending!!)  Review copy.
  • Soulless by Gail Carriger- Another reread.  I'm in the mood for rereading apparently.  This is a series that I absolutely ADORE but have never finished.  I'm shaking my head at myself here.  I'm planning on rereading the first three and then finally continuing on.  I have a thing about not finishing series (but that is a post for a different day).
  • Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield- This is for the zombie reading club that Amy is hosting.  You should all know by now how much I love The Walking Dead, and Amy started this to tide us all over until the new season begins.  I have had this one on my shelves for way too long so gives me a great excuse to actually read it!
  • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane-  Another one off of my own shelves.  I actually gave this one to my Mom to read first, and she liked it so much that now I just have to read it :) 
  • The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters-  Do I really have to explain why I want to read this one??  I love, love, love this series and cannot wait to continue on with it!  This is very likely going to be my next read!
  • The Heiresses by Sara Shepard- Review copy.  This one sounds like a great summer read so I am really looking forward to it.  
  • House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter- 1st in a new urban fantasy series.  I love the cover on this one so of course I couldn't resist grabbing it from the library.  
  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves- This is the first in a mystery series that I have been meaning to try for some time now.  I have been on a mystery kick this year so I can't wait to read this one as well!
Oh my goodness!  Look at all of those books....a bit ambitious once again.  I've got a good mix here though so it should help keep my moodiness at bay.  And if not I just put a bunch of books on hold at the library (I'm crazy) plus there are plenty on my ipad to keep me busy.  Here is to having lots of good books to look forward to!

What books are you looking forward to reading this month?  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May Reading Wrap-Up 2014

(Enjoying a beautiful summer day)

I have no words for how fast I feel like this past month has gone by.  School is ending, sports are in full swing, and everything has been a bit crazy.  The month of May was filled with travel for us.  Disney, Memorial Day weekend on my parent's houseboat, and my stepdaughter's high school graduation in Ohio.  All very fun but I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am to finally be home.  Blogging has fallen to the wayside a bit because of all these things and that is okay.  I'm hoping that June will allow for me to be a bit more present in the blogging world.  Time will tell if that actually happens though.  Because the month of May was so crazy, my reading definitely suffered as well.  There just wasn't enough hours in the day to actually find time to read.  I'm hoping that with life getting back to normal a bit that my reading will once again pick up.  (This is the plan anyways.)  Last month I finished the following books:
  • All Day and a Night by Alafair Burke
  • River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb (reread)
  • Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett
  • Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells 

My favorite read of the month ending up being Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells.  I knew that I was going to enjoy this one but kept putting it aside to read something else.  My mistake because once I finally committed to reading it I was hooked!  This was a GREAT read, and now I have to try and wait patiently for the second book to release.  Blah!  But still so good :)

My plans for June are no plans.  Every time I make plans for the month I find that I don't follow through so this month I'm just going to relax with the goals.  We will see what happens.  I'm going to try to blog more, comment more, and read more.  I'm not sure if any of that will happen but I am going to try!

How was your month of May?  Any tips to getting more things done in the day?  Ha!  But seriously, how do you get it ALL done and then some.  Please share!

P.S.- This all makes it seem like I didn't have an AMAZING month of May but I really did!  It was actually one of the best months in a long time but boy did it wear me out :)