Monday, December 19, 2016

Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Secrets and lies can’t stay buried forever in Cedar Valley.

In the summer, hikers and campers pack the small Colorado town’s meadows and fields. And in the winter, skiers and snowboarders take over the mountains. Season by season, year after year, time passes and the lies, like the aspens and evergreens that surround the town, take root and spread deep.

Now, someone has uncovered the lies, and it is his murder that continues a chain of events that began almost forty years ago. Detective Gemma Monroe’s investigation takes her from the seedy grounds of a traveling circus to the powerful homes of those who would control Cedar Valley’s future.

Six-months pregnant, with a partner she can’t trust and colleagues who know more than they’re saying, Gemma tracks a killer who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets buried."

My Thoughts:

I just finished this one and am still reeling from how good I found this book to be. This has to be some of the most gorgeous writing that I have found in all of the mysteries and thrillers that I've read so far this year. I found myself highlighting multiple passages as I was reading so that I could go back to them. There were even times that I just had to stop and reread so that I could fully appreciate the author's talent and way with words. What a great reading experience I had from the writing alone. Add in an intense mystery where nothing is as it seems and I was completely hooked by this book. I love when I find a book like this with a new to me author! This looks to be this author's first book which is even more impressive. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

One of the things that really stood out to me in this book was the main character Gemma Monroe. Gemma is one of those characters that I really enjoyed reading about. She is pregnant and trying to deal with this high profile murder which is enough in itself. But she is also struggling with other issues including her family's past and trust issues with her significant other. It all combined into this intense puzzle that needed to be solved by Gemma while we also watched her to attempt to resolve these personal issues. I'm not even sure that I'm doing this book justice but just believe me when I say that it was so, so good! I was also pleasantly surprised by how creepy I found this book to be at times. The setting of a traveling circus for a all combined into a few downright intense scenes. You've got to love a book that not only manages beautiful writing but also then gives you chills a few chapters later. The ending of this book was absolutely perfect in my opinion. I loved it because the author wasn't afraid in the choices that she made with the ending. It just all worked really well for me and I was left so excited about about this author.

Overall, I am so glad that I didn't let this book languish on my e-reader and listened to a recommendation to give it a try! I will definitely be reading more by this author, and I'm especially excited because it looks like this is a beginning to a series. Heck yeah! This is one of those books that keeps you thinking about it for days afterwards. Even now I'm planning on going back and rereading some of my favorite passages that I saved because I can't resist how gorgeous the writing really was. I would highly recommend this book to both suspense/thriller fans and mystery lovers as well. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: A book that will most likely be on my top reads list this year!

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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Feliz Navidead by Ann Meyers (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Holly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice . . . It’s the most picturesque time of theyear in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play.

What she doesn’t plan for is murder.

Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal."

My Thoughts:

I adore this cozy mystery series so as soon as I heard about this book I couldn't resist the chance to read it!  There aren't very many series that I am completely caught up on but this is one of them because it is just so good (and the books are such fun reads).  Feliz Navidead was such a great addition to this series and the perfect read for this time of year!  In this book Rita finds herself drawn yet again into another murder investigation but with added stresses since her mother is visiting for the holidays.  I loved reading about Rita trying to juggle everything that was going on especially as it seemed that her mother had some secrets of her own.  I enjoyed the mystery portion of this story as it had me guessing throughout the entire book.  It is the characters though that make this series so great for me.  Reading this book was like chatting with old friends again- there is just something about these characters that I absolutely adore!  

In this book we also had the chance to see some of Flori's new antics which included "rogue knitting".  Flori is hilarious and I love all of the trouble that she gets herself into.  If your curious as to what rogue knitting is, it is knitting things in the night onto/covering public property (like statues or park benches).  It cracks me up with the crazy things that she comes up with.  I also liked that we got to see more of Rita and Jake's relationship.  I'm a fan of that one so it was nice to see this book focus on it a bit more.  Without spoiling anything, the author did set up a possible story line for a future book that I am very curious about.  It didn't have anything to do with the ending of this book though which I felt like tied up everything very nicely.  In fact, this was probably one of the more suspenseful endings in this series so far.  I was actually sad to see this book end as I just enjoy this series so much!

Overall, this was another great addition to one of my favorite cozy mystery series!  The added bonus was the holiday theme that just made reading this book in December absolutely perfect.  I don't always read holiday themed books during this time of year but I'm really glad that I did with this one.  It helped to put me in the holiday spirit especially when the snow was falling outside while I was reading.  I'm a huge fan of this series (obviously) and have read them all, but I do think that you could read this book on its' own or out of order if you haven't read the other two.  I would recommend reading the entire series though as this is only book three and they are all definitely worth it.  I highly recommend this book especially at this time of year!

Bottom Line:  A really great cozy holiday read!

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


Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christmas
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0062382322 (ISBN13: 9780062382320)
Series: Santa Fe Cafe Mystery #3

Feliz Navidead Can Be Found on: HarperCollins 🔗, Amazon 🔗, Barnes & Noble 🔗, and Goodreads 🔗.


Author Bio:

More About Ann:

Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Café Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced café chef and reluctant amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 25, 2016). Ann lives with her husband and extra-large house cat in southern Colorado, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, and cozy mysteries.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

#COYER Blackout (Reading Fun Begins)

One of my favorite reading challenges is starting up again and I am pumped.  I know that I've been a bit absent (STILL) around the blogging world lately but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to participate in #COYER.  Heck no!  It just means that I need to work on changing the whole not blogging thing starting now.  Being realistic, I might still be on the quieter side until after the holidays are over....after that though, game on!  I'm getting a bit off topic though.  #COYER has new rules this time around and I'm pretty pumped about them:

"This time COYER is going to be a 12 week Blackout, where you have to dedicate yourself to reading the books YOU ALREADY  have acquired for less than $1.00.
That’s right,  you have between now and the start of COYER, December 17th, to acquire the books you’ll be reading during COYER. And they must be books you got for less than $1.00. The only exception is audio books, which you must have purchased for less than $5. They must either be eBooks or audio books."

I have a ridiculous number of books on my e-reader currently.  Seriously ridiculous.  I buy books like they are going out of style (and especially those $0.99 finds) but then never seem to read them.  And don't even get me started on my NetGalley/Edelweiss addictions.  I'm more than ready to focus on getting some of these books read thanks to this challenge.  My goal is to read 10 books during this challenge.  As always I will consider any more that I read a bonus but I would really, really like to get at least ten books knocked off my overloaded Kindle.  Here are some of the possibilities that I am considering:

It was so hard to even narrow down my list of possibilities to just these.  I have SO MANY books calling my name lately so anything else that is on my e-reader is also thrown into the pool of my potential reads.  I am so excited about this challenge and cannot wait to begin!  If you are interested in signing up yourself or want to know more go here.  Now I'm off to work on my endless laundry piles while watching the snow fall outside.  If your participating in this challenge, let me know so that I can cheer you on. 

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Winter Halo by Keri Arthur (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:
When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay....

The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself...

My Thoughts:

I am loving this series so much! I read the first book in this series, City of Light, earlier this year and just adored it. I've been pining for this book every since I finished and was so excited to finally get the chance to read this one. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first book. What a mark of a great series (and author)! One of the things that I love most about this series is how original and unique it feels. Tiger is a déchet which is both a very rare and dangerous thing to be in this new world. Tiger was created in a laboratory and created for a specific purpose which gives her many special skills and abilities. The entire world that Arthur has created with shifters, vampires, wraiths, and all kinds of other supernatural creatures just feels so fresh to me. I can't seem to get enough of it! Then you add in a fast paced storyline where Tiger constantly gets herself into trouble and I found myself flying through this book as fast as I could.

This might be slightly spoiler-ly (there is your warning) but I really liked that with this book we got to see more of Tiger's relationship with Jonas. I like that the characters are starting to trust Tiger more and find that I'm anxious for more of that in the third book. My one and only complaint with this book was that it definitely had a build up to the next book feel. There was resolution at the end so don't get me wrong but there was also a lot of set up for book three. It didn't bother me too much though as now I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to get my hands on that next book. The wait is going to be the hardest part!! I'm going to have to move on to one of Arthur's other series while I wait for this next book to be released. The ending of this book was completely intense! I got to a point where I just couldn't see how it was all going to end and the author had me on the edge of my seat. It was completely worth the ride and I am left eager for more.

Overall, this is by far one of my favorite new series that I have found in 2016. It is pretty rare that I'm caught up with a series but when the books are this good...well, how could I not be? I think that fans of science fiction and urban fantasy would both enjoy these books. I do think that you should start with book one first just so that you get the full back story as this second book continues on after events from the first. You don't have to as the author does a pretty great job of refreshing the reader on everything that happened but I just think the reading experience would be better reading in order. I would highly recommend this book and the series. I can't say enough good things about it!

Bottom Line: Such a great follow-up to book one! I need more!

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

My thoughts on City of Lights are here if you are interested.