Jun 30, 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.

Well I had an amazing weekend last week, so naturally that meant coming back to work this week was H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. It wasn't pleasant. Thursday we had a torrential downpour right when I was driving home and traffic became a DEAD STOP. It was dreadful trying to get home, I was ready to cry but I stopped myself because then I really, really wouldn't be able to see out my windshield. My staffing agency has not contacted me since that first week nearly three weeks ago with possible jobs despite my checking in every week--which is what they said to do. I need out of my downtown job because it is not working for me, but I can't afford to not have a job, so keep it I must. Eck.

But the week was happily filled with quite a few books and other happy finds...not all of which is included since it's not book related and some were gifts intended for other people eventually! 

But here's what I got this week...and maybe somewhere in that Friday and Saturday while I was gone something might have came. I can't remember...feels like a lifetime ago. Sad, but true. Lol.

The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter--keeper copy
Wherever She Goes by Kelley Armstrong
Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder--the Australian ed keeper copy! My preorder with TBD was officially canceled a month or so back, so I tracked this one down on Abe Books! I wanted to preorder the sequel last month, but it was already "unavailable." FOR A PREORDER!! That's nuts!
Bewitched and Betrothed by Juliet Blackwell--I was sooo close to getting caught up with this series, but then the review books came in...lol
No Exit by Taylor Adams--an impulse buy on my kindle, YES A KINDLE BOOK! It was a $1.99 deal and I couldn't say no since I was wanting to give it a read eventually!

For review from the publisher I received:

Immunity by Erin Bowman (Early Copy)--perfect timing as I am nearly finished with Contagion!

THANK YOU HarperTeen!!

Other bookish goodies this week:

 Yes, I bought another book sleeve! But it was one of Story Hero's lovely sleeves and CHECK IT OUT!! I saw it when she first posted about it, but I was too slow to buy one. So when it was in the shop a week or so ago, I clicked it so fast it was insane! Lol. Happy to have this gorgeous one in my collection!

Then about a month ago, I preordered Icey Designs revamped Caraval pin, because I had no clue about the first version, so second version it was, and it finally came in! Now I can start putting my project together...if only I wasn't so lazy this weekend! Lol.

And then I won the 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge for May! It was another Amazon gift card for me this time...which I quickly applied towards a preorder so I could then order my Kindle book. As you know, I am a geek who doesn't spend gift cards on ebooks. Lol.
THANK YOU Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know!

And that was it for me this week! What all did you guys get?



Jun 29, 2019

Review--Contagion by Erin Bowman

Perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux, Jonathan Maberry, and horror films like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, this pulse-pounding, hair-raising, utterly terrifying novel is the first in a duology from the critically acclaimed author of the Taken trilogy.

After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

When they arrive, they find the planet littered with the remains of the project—including its members’ dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

I finally picked up Erin Bowman's Contagion, just in time to have the followup, Immunity at the ready! This book was a hot topic last year as it was said to be an edge of your seat kind of thriller where the characters are basically lost in space on a secret rescue mission with no backup present and the planet come to seems to be uninhabited...by the living, there are plenty of dead bodies about though. The mystery element runs strong in this one as we basically have no clue what happened and if it's even safe to be here! Needless to say, this was a page-turner! 

The story starts off with a group of people going off on a mission to attend to a distress call that came from the Black Quarry ship that was on another planet. Their captain leading them is a young woman by the name of Devlin who has ulterior motives for wanting to go on this mission, then there's their pilot Nova who has been banned from being a professional military pilot because of a vision issue, Thea, who's a young intern for Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow, a skittish older woman who has serious doubts about going to this distant planet, and then of course a few others who I can't quite remember because, well, you can take a guess or two!

When the team lands on the planet it's to see isolation and dead bodies, lots of dead bodies. Near one of these bodies is a message, written in blood that says not trust the kid, that he was a killer. Though for the longest time we see no one who even remotely looks alive. Devlin has the idea that they should try to study one of the corpses to see what might have killed them and that's when things start to get interesting.

The story was told through many points of view, not through all of this crew's eyes, but most of them. There's also a mystery segment that happens before every chapter where we see through the eyes of someone or something. It's hard to say so early on in the story, but whatever it is, it's watching the crew as they stumble along the ship.

I will admit, I was expecting a story that was a little more terrifying. Granted, this one was pretty eerie. It's the whole mystery of WTF is going on that keeps you going. While the answers take awhile to come about, there's still plenty to keep the story going. It's a story that's rather intense, especially since it all happens within the same day. I'll also admit that there were times that I was rather confused too. This was mostly in part to when the rescue team had sidebar moments to discuss their intergalactic politics and history that played a role in those politics. It was a little discombobulating to try to grasp what they were talking about because I knew it would pop up later, I've come to learn that nothing is ever said without a reason in books!

The story takes plenty of surprising turns. It's set at a pace that has you reading through the late night, which may or may not be a good idea because as I said, this book was pretty eerie! While I wasn't all out terrified like I had hoped, it was still pretty damn creepy! I mean I'm not going to say that zombies are involved in this story, but it's pretty close! Lol.

The ending was a real trip though! I had started making some guesses as to what was happening and what might happen. I foresaw some of the things and it definitely ends with a rather dicey cliffhanger that made me glad I waited to read this one! Can't wait to pick up the sequel next! If you're looking for that read that will keep you up late in to the night by part fear, part thrill, and part need to know answers, then Contagion is the read for you!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

Challenges Wrap-up: JUNE

CHALLENGE 1: 2019 New Release Challenge

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry (6/18/19) 
You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook (3/5/19)

Just one new release away from completion!

CHALLENGE 2: The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019

72 Hours by Bella Jewel (4/4/17)
Spellcasting in Silk by Juliet Blackwell (7/7/15)
A Toxic Trousseau by Juliet Blackwell (7/5/16)

So this month was a bit of a flop, but I more than halfway through with this challenge! Thank goodness!

CHALLENGE 3: 2019 Discussion Challenge

As I said, I flopped this month

CHALLENGE 4: 2019 Series Enders Reading Challenge

NONE!! I totally failed!!!

Jun 28, 2019

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out

So I saw this tag over at The Bucket List and it's also where I borrowed this gorgeous image for the tag because I have zero graphics skill as you all know! I believe this tag originated at The Literary Huntress based on another post I saw with the same title!


Hands down, Finale by Stephanie Garber. I suspect I will be choosing this one a lot for this tag! Lol.


Well, I'm going to say Finale was a "finale" lol so "sequel" wise I am choosing The Wicked King by Holly Black which blew my mind! 


Polaris Rising and No Country for Old Gnomes are two I am dying to read but haven't gotten them into my queue yet. Hopefully soon though!


I know, you're all SHOCKED SENSELESS!!


I had expected so much more from this one.


I was intrigued with the premise of this one because fairy tale retellings!! And just WHOA!! I had not been expecting to be so fully blown away!!


Erin A. Craig and Crystal Smith...ironically, both fairy tale retelling authors!


Alyssa writes the best book boyfriends! Asher was definitely one I could crush on!!


Annaleigh was definitely a favorite! I enjoyed her character quite a bit! *This one was so hard since many of my reads were sequels! Lol.

There were so many mixed emotions with this one!

As I said, a mix of emotions!


I haven't seen any yet. I know, I am SO behind!


My Finale collection from this year! I LOOOOVED the Owl Crate and Fairy Loot editions and of course the standard US & UK editions too!

A Heart So Fierce and Broken which is in my review pile waiting for me and The Beautiful because DUH! Lol.

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is:  Would you or do you choose a book solely on the cover? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews
MY ANSWER: I am not ashamed to admit that I have done this. The most notable of course was Shannon Delany's 13 to Life!
I saw this cover at my first RT Conference in 2010 and was in LOVE! I just knew that it was a book for me! Of course I discover this beauty months before its released but I was able to get a lot of swag with this cover image all over it!

Over the years, I find many a cover that caught my eye as I travel the bookshelves. I admit it's much harder now for me to pick one up willy nilly without checking Goodreads for ratings or scrolling through trusted blogger's reviews. While I love this series, I admit Shannon's next series was harder for me to get into but still had amazing covers!


Jun 27, 2019

Random Thursday

Today's the last day for Doug Lennox's The Little Book of Answers chapter on Words! This chapter was definitely more appealing than I initially thought it would be! I think the next chapter on Expressions will be just as intriguing though!

(image borrowed from Shutterstock)
"Criss-cross" means back and forth that we usually refer to as a pattern of sorts. This term comes from the 16th century when school children did their lessons on a wooden board that hung from their belts. On these boards were the alphabet, the numbers, and the Lord's Prayer. This board preceded the Maltese cross and thus the alphabet was called the "Christ-cross-row." When students recite from the boards they started with the prayer, "Christ's cross be my speed." Two hundred years later, Christ's cross became "criss-cross."

That's an interesting thread of history!

(image borrowed from Goodreads)
The events that tend to happen after a large, impacting event are called "the aftermath." "Math" is from the old English meaning "to mow." When a second smaller crop of hay springs up after a field has been mowed, it's called "the aftermath" of "after mowing." Though the crops are nearly useless they must be tended to for the good of the field.

I thought of this book right away for the picture! I still need to read it though! Lol.

A "blurb" is an inspired recommendation that dates back to 1907 during an annual trade dinner of New York publishers where it was customary to distribute copies of new books with special promo jackets. Humorist, Gelett Burgess graced his book with a jacket featuring a very attractive young woman whom he named, "Miss Blendia Blurb." From then on, any flamboyant endorsement for a book was called a blurb.

And yes, I am featuring one of my first printed blurbs on Gena Showalter's Twisted! If you haven't read the Intertwined series, you are missing out! So read it! Let's get those sale numbers up so a finale HAS to be written!!!

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
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