Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blogging Fun and Signing Up

It wouldn't be fall if I wasn't signed up to participate in R.I.P. (or Readers Imbibing Peril).  Even though I'm a bit later than usual in signing up, I have been reading for this challenge already.  There is no challenge out there like Carl's Annual R.I.P. event and I look forward to it every year.  As always to participate all you have to do is the following:

"There are only two expectations if you want to participate with us:

1. Have fun reading (and watching*).
2. Share that fun with others."

I always end up adding a ton of books to my TBR list thanks to this challenge.  Usually I would share a pool of possibilities but since I've been a bad blogger lately I'm going to skip that part for the first time in years.  I'm signing up for Peril the First which only requires me to read four books.  It almost feels like cheating when I've already read three books with this event in mind.  I'm counting them too because I can.  Ha!  Here is what I've read so far if you are interested (or looking for book suggestions for yourself:

If you want to sign up then go here.  Basically all of my reading till the end of October will fit in with this challenge because nothing makes me think of fall more than spooky reading.  And look at that beautiful artwork from Abigail Larson!  How could you not want to share that as well??

I'm also planning on participating in Blog Ahead.  This is a blogging event that focuses on schedule posts ahead of time.  This is something that I always want to do but very rarely happens.  I wouldn't have month long gaps in between my posts if I could schedule and plan ahead that far.  For the month of October I'm going to work really hard to creating posts ahead of time with the goal of getting at least a week ahead (if not more).  It is going to be hard but fun and I'm really looking forward to participating.  If you would like to participate yourself, sign up here.  

So I take off a month of blogging and jump back in feet first.  Sounds about right, doesn't it?  LOL!  Are you participating in either of these events?  If you are then let me know so we can cheer each other on!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr. Iris Ballard’s glory days are behind her, so when Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and onetime lover, asks for help constructing a psychological profile of an elusive serial killer who murders single mothers and dumps their bodies in the woods, Iris turns him away. She just wants to be left alone with her infomercials, her German Shepherd, and her vodka. That is, until she gets a peek at the case files.

The media has dubbed him “the Woodsman.” But after Iris learns the sickening details held back from the press, and as she sets foot onto the scene of his latest crime, she assembles a portrait of a more complicated, enigmatic, meticulous man. Control is his motivation. He thrives on it. Soon he even tries to manipulate the investigation by contacting Iris, hoping to rattle the woman he considers an intellectual equal.

The game is on. Iris thinks she has a read on her target, enough to push his buttons, to make him lose control. But when the Woodsman gains the upper hand, Iris faces the most painful reckoning of all—with her own violent past."

My Thoughts:

I requested this book from NetGalley based off of the cover alone because I just thought it was great. Then I read the above description and this book shot to the top of my TBR list that easily. As we are slowly getting closer to fall weather, I am constantly in the mood for dark and creepy thrillers. This book was exactly what I was looking for and is a perfect read for this time of year! It spooked me a few times and I found myself unable to put this book down because of it. It was just the perfect combination of mystery and thriller where as the reader, I couldn't stop reading just so I could see what would happen next. Talk about a page turner! The intensity level was high from the very beginning and didn't let up until the very end. If this was this author's first book ever written (which she is just now publishing), well I just cannot wait to read more by her!

One of the things that I liked most about this book was the main character Iris Ballard. I love a book with a strong female lead and she was one of those characters I enjoy the most. She isn't perfect and is in fact really struggling when the book begins. I don't want to share why though as it is an important part of this book in the sense that it really shapes Iris and the woman that she has become. I loved her character and am really hoping that we get to see more of her in future books. I can definitely see this being a series and I would be first in line to get my hands on book two- this book was just that good. I've forgotten how hard it is to share my thoughts on a book like this without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that if you are looking for an intense, heart-pounding read then look no further. This was just as good as I had hoped it would be when I first heard about it (if not better).

Final thoughts: I need more of Iris Ballard in my life! Please, please, please tell me that this is going to be a series because I really want it to be. I feel like I didn't say much about this book but I didn't want to spoil any of it. I'm going to be recommending this one to everyone I know because I enjoyed it that much. I'm also planning on checking into some of Jennifer Harlow's other books to see what else she has written. This book was very good, dark and thrilling, and I want more. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A thriller that shouldn't be missed!

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

Just a side note but if you enjoyed The Body Reader by Anne Frasier then I really think that you will enjoy this book as well. Or if you enjoy this one try The Body Reader as it features another strong female lead and is quite thrilling as well!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Sunday Post # 24 (Missing Blogger 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"

Wow!  It has been awhile since my last post a little over a month ago.  And even before that last post my blogging has been sporadic at best.  What happened you may ask?  Summer happened to start.  I went from posting on a pretty regular basis to almost nothing at all.  With three kids all in sports, life just got hectic and blogging had to move down the list a bit.  Not that I haven't been reading blogs (I have) but I haven't been commenting like I usually do are any of that fun stuff.  Today though that is going to change.  We are actually home on this beautiful Sunday enjoying a relaxing weekend.  I'm ready to blog and chat with you all about books once again.  That isn't to say that life has slowed down as in fact it hasn't.  But I'm going to work a bit harder to try and fit blogging in on my down times.  That is the plan at least!

So what have I been up to lately?  The usual fun stuff like work (actually lots of work as we have been on mandatory overtime for months now).  The kids are back in school which means lots of homework help and everything that goes along with that.  My oldest is in eighth grade this year which makes me sad to think about.  Next year will be that first year in high school and I'm not sure I'm ready.  Ha!  He is also playing football which keeps us busy but is so much fun to watch.  My daughter is in third grade this year.  She has also started playing travel softball.  Coming from just playing little league to moving into a girl's traveling softball team has been an experience.  She is loving it so far though so all of the time commitment is completely worth it.  The youngest is in first grade which just seems too crazy.  He is the baby and I can't get over how fast he is growing.  He is playing his first year of flag football which is such fun to watch.  Quite a difference from watching serious football games to flag where half of the kids don't even know where the ball is.  But such a joy to watch as he just begins to learn this game that his brother already loves.  In between all of the practices and games I just try to fit everything else in.  It is crazy pants some nights and the rare night where we don't have anything going on is treasured.  It is worth it though just for my kids and my husband and I don't complain too much!  LOL!

I have been reading though if you can believe that.  I've taken to reading on my phone during practices, at nights right before bed if I haven't fallen asleep first, or wherever else I might fit it in.  My reading pace has gone down drastically but that is okay.  I'm just chugging along reading as much as I can when I can.  What have I finished lately??  I can't even remember the books that I last shared with you so I'm going to start fresh with the last two books I've finished.  They are:

The Kill Box by Nichole Christoff- I picked this one up after being approved for the 4th book in this series on NetGalley and realizing that I had never read this one which is book number three.  I've enjoyed each of the books in this series and I think that this was my favorite yet.  I'm going to try and write up a review for this one later today.

Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow- I've been in the mood for dark and thrilling reads thanks to Carl's RIP Challenge (which I haven't yet officially signed up for but of course I am participating in).  This was a perfect read for this challenge.  Dark, creepy - in the afterwords of this book the author says that this was her first book that she had ever written which is just now being published.  Say what??  This was so good and I am just hoping that she will write more books in this series.  I should try to write up my thoughts on this one today as well.

I'm now currently reading the following books:

I don't usually have three books on the go at once but I currently do.  Hold Tight by Harlan Coben is my print read.  Coben is one of those writers whose books I find myself unable to put down so I'm really looking forward to this one although I've just barely begun it.  The House at Seas End by Elly Griffiths is book three in one of my favorite mystery series.  This is my current kindle read and I'm already sucked into it.  Mystery fans really need to check this series out if they haven't had the chance yet.  Finally, on my phone I am currently reading Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels.  Usually I read the same book on both my kindle and phone but for whatever reason I was having issues opening the Griffiths book on my phone.  I decided to download this book onto my phone instead as this was a book that I was reading (and enjoying) but then for whatever reason it got set aside and never finished.  It has been so long that I'm going to have to go back and start at the beginning but I'm looking forward to finally reading and finishing it.

Plans for today are just to enjoy this quiet Sunday.  I'm working on laundry and my house is relatively clean thanks to a marathon cleaning session yesterday.  I'm going to try and write up a review or two- maybe reply to some comments, and other fun stuff like that.  I'm going to watch a ridiculous amount of football and enjoy every minute of it.  I'm just going to enjoy being at home with the family.  I'm off to enjoy some yummy snacks but here is to getting back to blogging and talking books!!

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!