Jun 26, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine


Bookish and proper Percival Tunstell finds himself out of his depth when floating cities, spirited plumbing, and soggy biscuits collide in this delightful conclusion to NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger's Custard Protocol series.

Percival Tunstell loves that his sister and her best friend are building themselves a family of misfits aboard their airship, the Spotted Custard. Of course, he'd never admit that he belongs among them. He's always been on the outside - dispassionate, aloof, and hatless. But accidental spies, a trip to Japan, and one smart and beautiful doctor may have him renegotiating his whole philosophy on life.

Except hats. He's done with hats. Thank you very much.





I still need to START this series, but I LOOOVED Gail's Parasol Protectorate series so I have high hopes that Alexia's daughter will prove to be just as entertaining!



TITLE: Reticence
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger
PUBLISHER: Orbit
GENRE: Paranormal Steampunk
RELEASE DATE: August 6, 2019  






 

Jun 25, 2019

Review--You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook

Seventeen-year-old Kim gets more than she bargained for when she is set up for murder. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, E. Lockhart, and Gillian Flynn.

17-year-old Kim never expected to plot a murder. But that was before her boyfriend dumped her for another girl. Now, Kim’s stuck on a class trip to London with him and his new soulmate and she can’t help wishing he was a little bit dead, even if she’d never really do that.

But when Kim meets Nicki, a stranger on the plane who’s more than willing to listen to Kim’s woes, things start to look up. Nicki's got a great sense of humor, and when she jokes about swapping murders, Kim plays along—that is, until Kim’s ex-boyfriend mysteriously dies.

Blackmailed by Nicki to fulfill her end of the deal, Kim will have to commit a murder or take the fall for one.



I received this book from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Eileen Cook's You Owe Me a Murder is her latest thriller mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat and trying to guess the outcome! It's the kind of mystery that held me riveted with every page turned and it had me questioning everything! It was a heart-racing read that I could not get enough of.

Kim is on a class trip that she initially signed up for in order to win her ex-boyfriend back. Or at the very least find some other guy to date and make him insanely jealous. She had signed up for the trip pre-breakup and her parents really wouldn't let her out of the trip because they thought the trip would be a good learning experience for her and yadda, yadda, yadda.

It's while waiting for a delayed flight that she meets Nikki, another traveler who happens to be on her flight too. She and Nikki really hit it off and Kim vents out a lot of her emotions over the breakup with Connor while Nikki vents about her overbearing, alcoholic mother. Nikki jokes that she should kill Connor for Kim and Kim would kill her mother, and thus put an end to their troubles. It's the perfect set of crimes for neither of them would have a connection to the "victim." Kim laughs it off as a drunken kind of promise since alcohol was involved in their conversation.

But it's not long into Kim's trip that it happens. Connor is killed when he "falls" in front of the oncoming train. It's gruesome and Kim is suddenly reminded of the conversation she had with Nikki. When Kim finally finds Nikki again, it's only because Nikki wants Kim to fulfill her end of the bargain they made, but Kim isn't a killer and doesn't want to bow to Nikki's whims.

This was quite the page-turner! Kim is you totally logical kind of girl, basically the complete opposite of myself, but she has her ordinary struggles too. The whole fiasco with Connor was an eyeopener, and it started to make you wonder if there was more to this story as well. There have been plenty of books and such where multiple personality disorder took place and the heroine or hero wasn't sure of what was real and what wasn't. I won't get into more details than that, but it was something that came to my mind and was eventually addressed in the book.

The pacing was really intense! It was one that had thoroughly engaged as the story has a sort of countdown to number of days. As to what those days are...well, it becomes clearer as the story moves along and I don't think it's much of a spoiler, but I won't say what it counted down to.

The story wasn't without romance either. While Kim was still somewhat pining for Connor and what they had, she did know that the relationship was over. That didn't stop romance from finding her. It was a sweet sort of romance and it didn't play a big role in the story, which was also nice!

The characters were pretty great too! Mainly, Kim and Nikki! Kim being logical and Nikki being, you know, murderous and little bit of batsh*t crazy! Lol. You gotta love a good evil villain! This book pretty much had it all! Eileen Cook is a talented writer for the YA Thriller genre and her style has me coming back again and again! If you're looking for a good thriller read, look no further!



Overall Rating 5/5 stars





Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



"My brain scrambled to make sense of what I was seeing to put it in order. It was all wrong. A mannequin assembled incorrectly. Arms and legs, but not in the right places." p 77*




*This quote comes from the ARC, therefore it and its page number are not final. And I don't have a finished copy on hand to check it.









TITLE: You Owe Me a Murder
AUTHOR: Eileen Cook

PUBLISHER: HMH Books for Young Readers
GENRE: YA Thriller/Mystery
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


This week's topic is: Top Ten Books On My Summer 2019 TBR


*in no particular order 
**some are chosen at random, so there's no telling if I will actually get to them this summer! lol


10. CONTAGION by Erin Bowman--I was super excited for this thrilling duology last year but since I heard that it had a cliffhanger ending, I decided to do the smart thing and wait to binge read it!
9. RAGE by Cora Carmack--super excited to finally be able to read this one this summer!
8. INTO THE CROOKED PLACE by Alexandra Christo--excited for Alexandra's new duology as well! Though I did get an ARC of this one, so I'm likely not doing the smart thing and wait to binge read them!




7. THE KING by Jennifer L. Armentrout--SUPER excited for this novella because omg...I can't even explain! Lol.
6. SCOOBY APOCALYPSE V. 5 by Keith Giffen--I can't wait to get caught back up with this series! I can't figure out if it's actually ending this year or not. 
5. THESE REBEL WAVES by Sara Raasch--I still need to read this one and I was approved for the sequel earlier this year and still haven't gotten to either one!




4. WILD CARD by Rachel Vincent--I was almost picked this one up but forgot what I turned to instead!
3. BREATH OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet--would love to be able to finish this series!
2. SMOKE IN THE SUN by Renee Ahdieh--another series I would like to cross off my list!




1. IN THE END by Demitria Lunetta--let's just call these last few unfinished series that haunt me...mostly because these last two at least are duologies are unfinished!!





 

Jun 24, 2019

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

A Toxic Trousseau by Juliet Blackwell (5 stars)


Review That Was Posted:

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter (ARC) (4 stars)


Currently Reading:

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook


Up Next:

Contagion by Erin Bowman


Other Posts of Interest:







 

ARC Review--Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Protect the Prince is Jennifer Estep’s follow-up to Kill the Queen and continues the Crown of Shards trilogy and I must say, this book does not even come close to falling into middle book syndrome! If anything, this one was more intense and action-packed than its predecessor!

Things pick up a few weeks after the events of the first book. Evie is settling into her new role as queen and is finding that it isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Nobles are all vying for her attention and are already trying to scheme their way into her life by foisting off their sons on her and pressing her into marriage. Except, our girl Evie here, doesn’t forgive and forget. She remembers every cruel thing that was ever said to her by these nobles and their sons, so they won’t be winning any prizes from her in the near future. Her first goal though isn’t to find a husband, it’s to go to Andvari and try to smooth things over after the massacre that her cousin set upon them.

Although before her trip even happens, Evie is attacked by a would-be assassin, it seems that Maevan and her troops aren’t done trying to kill Evie just yet. Once that matter was settled, it was off to Andvari where she receives a less than warm welcome. Even having Sullivan with her doesn’t quite ease the tension as Sullivan is still the bastard prince of the lands and doesn’t hold much sway in the kingdom. King Heinrich is still a little sore at Evie for having “caused” the death of his son.

It seems like Evie just can’t cut a break in this one. She’s dealing with scheming royals, would-be assassins and trying to figure out who among the Andvarian kingdom wishes her dead, and the list isn’t too short either. Add to that her relationship with Sullivan is on rocky terrain, and she soon learns that his ex is still a friend within the castle, so there’s that to deal with too.

While the plot doesn’t move too much forward as the first book did, this was still a rather fast paced read. There’s definitely something much larger on the horizon, a war most likely, the battle to end all battles. Despite what might seem like a small plot, this book was still engaging and enticing. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough when reading, because among one of my pet peeves in reading is a sort of “pretend deception.” Evie has to make certain people believe one thing is true, even though it isn’t and that just leads to catastrophic events! The reader will know the truth of course, but not certain characters and for whatever reason this always drives me insane as a reader!

On the romance front there is a little more developing between Sullivan and Evie, but it’s sporadic. It comes in spurts and then you’ll go chapters with nothing else happening. Although, it does just make those random moments even more powerful between them. It’s almost refreshing to have a romantic couple not get to spend that much time together. Though I do hope for more romantic interludes in the future between these two. I suspect that this next and likely final book is going to be a doozie of a story and I just hope that they can sneak off occasionally for some more one on one time! Lol.

One thing that was starting to nag at me, a very small nonsensical kind of nag, is exactly what kind of fantasy am I reading here? I feel like at times there’s a bit of modernity to it when it mentions certain things, but then I feel contradicted by another thing. Like for instance the train Evie travels by. A train? Really? But then we’ll mention weird things like medieval undergarments and I’m left scratching my head! It’s really nothing in the long run, but it drives me batty not really knowing! Lol.

Protect the Prince was an exciting read that continues what is sure to be an all-around amazing trilogy! It’s the kind of fantasy one can easily sink into as there’s no overly complicated world or magic system to comprehend. This would definitely be a good beginner’s fantasy series if one is looking to get into the genre! The series will come to its probable earth-shattering ending next year with Crush the King and I have a feeling I know exactly which king that is and I cannot wait to see what will come of it! If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it because it’s simply amazing!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars




Protect the Prince releases July 2, 2019





 

Jun 23, 2019

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


I write this post to you early, Thursday in fact! This is my haul thus far and if anything is acquired Friday and Saturday, I will feature it in next week's haul post!

The week, though somewhat shortish, was brutal. Still making the way too long commute to a job I can't stand--physically and mentally--for too little pay. So many of our original team that came down here has left, at least from what I've heard. I don't even get to see my old coworkers anymore, it's kind of sad. Thus my determination to get the hell out of there as soon as I can. Job search has been slow going. I had one phone interview and was told immediately the next day that I was a no-go, they really don't like to string you along like other companies, but damn that was fast! Lol. 

I'll admit at least my haul was spectacular to take the sting out of this week's rejections! Take a look...


This week I bought:

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian--I've been trying not to buy sequels before reading the first book, but when I saw this one was UNDER $10 on Amazon last week, I made a one click decision!
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa--keeper copy
Cinder and the Prince of Midnight by Susan Ee--hoping to enjoy this one despite hearing a few so-so comments about it


I received from the publisher:

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh (ARC)--curious to see what Nalini's first thriller/mystery will be like!
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (ARC)--SUPER excited for this one!!


THANK YOU Berkley Books & Bloomsbury YA!!


Momento by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff--my preorder incentive arrived this week too!! Was super happy to see that one when I came home!


THANK YOU Knopf Books for Young Readers!


And then it was just this past week Amazon invited me to join the Vine program! I had heard about this program awhile back but was never invited to join. Well that changed this week! And I picked my first book...

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook--though I'll admit, I was kind of surprised that they sent an ARC since this one's been out since March! Anyone else a Vine member? Is this normal?


THANK YOU Amazon Vine!!


Then in an amazing trade/deal with Lily-Beth, I received one of my unicorns!!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber--the TESCO PAPERBACK!!!
 
 
THANK YOU Lily-Beth!!!!
 
 
 
And then I made a rather impulsive eBay purchase...but I've zero regrets!
 
 
So apparently there was a kind of coin collection among Disney that I did not know about at all! I knew of one because I remember my mom buying a few of the coins on clearance at our old Disney Store when it was still an amazing store.
 
Anyway, this line of coins was another collector set, but then I saw the Beauty and the Beast coin: it featured BELLE with a BOOK!!! Why I'd love to have collected this series, I'm happy with Belle alone!
 
 
 
And that's it for me! I wonder if any of my other goodies will arrive while I'm MIA. Most likely because that's just my luck! I will admit that coming home to seeing a box/big envelope or whatnot when I come home brings me great joy! Even when it's something that I bought myself! Lol.



 
 
 
 
 

Jun 21, 2019

MIA

Hey all! Just wanted to drop by to tell you I will be MIA this weekend through Monday! I'm taking a much needed mini-vacay! Though as of now, it looks like the rain I'll have will be there too, so cross your fingers that the weather changes all around! I'd rather not have to drive in rain either! Lol.

See you Tuesday!





Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is:
1.Which is your favourite library (or which would you most like to visit)? (submitted by Nicki @ Nicki J. Markus/Asta Idonea) 2. How often do you visit the library? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)  
 
 
 
MY ANSWERS: I don't really have a favorite library. To be perfectly honest, I don't visit all that often. Usually just for book events. I tend to buy my books more than go to the library and hope they are available when I want to read them. 99.9% of the time, I love the books I buy, so it all works out in the end.
 
Though if ever there was a library I would like to visit it would be:
 
 Belle's library!!!!


AND...

The Harry Potter Library! I tried finding one without the "green hands" but it was becoming futile! But seriously, how cool would it be for the book you're trying to find, finds you?






Jun 20, 2019

Random Thursday

Just one more week of this chapter on Words in The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! After next week, we'll dive into Expressions. That should prove intriguing!


(image borrowed from BBC)
 When things are chaotic and noisy it's referred to being a "bedlam" and this expression is a medieval slang pronunciation of "Bethlehem." It's been used to describe a mad uproar back when London had a hospital for the insane. In 1547 St. Mary in Bethlehem was incorporated as the Royal Foundation for Lunatics. Since you could only ever hear noises and likely cries coming from the hospital, they could only imagine the chaos happening inside. Soon, they began referring to any noisy, out of control situation as like that in "Bedlam" aka Bethlehem hospital.


That's interesting. I honestly did not realize that "bedlam" was a word, I always thought of it as the hospital mentioned. Though now I know otherwise! Lol.


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
When we have a bad dream, it's referred to as a "nightmare." Bad dreams come in many different levels, but the most terrifying ones can cause sensations of suffocation and paralysis. In literature, there's a tale of a female demon known as "the night hag" that (likely) sat on you and caused those feelings. "Mare" is the old English term for "demon" and shares the same root for "murder," therefore the demon or mare that comes at night earned the name "nightmare."

Gives nightmares a whole new meaning! I added the bit about the demon that sits on your chest, as I feel like that's what the stories were headed towards! There's a picture even depicting this somewhere in art history that's rather terrifying! I've experienced that dreadful feeling in the middle of the night once or twice that I can recall and it was most unpleasant...especially since Sam and Dean didn't come to help! ;)


(image borrowed from Organic Facts)
When a purchase or investment turns out to be a disappointment, it's called a "lemon" and it earned that name in 1910 when a slot machine appeared as a device to dispense gum. They had pictures of a cherry, an orange, and a plum and each wheel had a bar that read "1910 Fruit Gum." Naturally certain combinations provided a payoff, but if a lemon appeared in any row, there was no payoff. Hence the expression "It's a lemon" and its connection to disappointment.


That's interesting! I knew the expression, but not the origins! Now I feel reminiscent over the old bank slot machine my grandparents had...I remember the lemon now too! 



 (image borrowed from Wikinews)
As many dollar denominations have nicknames, a ten-dollar bill was called a "sawbuck." "Deuce" was originally a slight curse of the devil when the number two appeared in cards or dice. "Sawbuck" for a ten comes from the frame of a sawbuck or sawhorse which farmers used to hold logs to be cut into firewood. The frame rested on two supports that were shaped like X's that resembled the Roman numerals for ten that are found on the early American bill.


That's new to me information.