Mar 31, 2020

ARC Review--A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff--an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in--and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it's reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

I received this ARC from a fellow blogger in a fair trade. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was in no way compensated for this review.
Darynda Jones begins a new series with A Bad Day for Sunshine which is much like her Charley Davidson series in terms of mystery, humor, and awesome cast of characters, the only difference here is that there is no paranormal elements. Yup, zip! But since this is Darynda Jones we’re talking about I knew I had to give it a try and I have to say it was just as awesome as Charley’s books minus the ghosts.
Sunshine Vicram learns that she is now the sheriff of her old hometown…though she never ran for the position. There’s more to that story I think that will eventually make it’s way onto the page. For not only is Sunshine handed a missing teenager case, there is also her own mystery to solve. When Sunshine was a teenager, she was kidnapped and held for ransom. She doesn’t remember much of those days and barely remembers when she woke up in the hospital sometime later. It’s heavy stuff, to be honest, but Darynda handles it very well. The case Sunshine is focused on involves a young girl going missing who predicted her own death when she was a child. Now that her timeline is coming up, her parents are frantic over her disappearance.
What I found very intriguing about this story is not only are we in third person point of view, whereas Charley’s series was first, but we get two points of view in this book; Sunshine and her daughter Auri. Auri is trying to adjust to her new school, but things don’t go quite well, especially when she learns the girl she met over winter break who would be her new best friend, is the girl who’s gone missing. Auri in turn decides to help her mom out with the investigation by trying to look into the girl’s life.
At times, this book felt a bit more serious than the Charley books, but it still had plenty of light-hearted moments. In fact, I could totally see Sunshine and Charley being the best of friends, they have the same kind of humor. In fact, if you catch it, you’ll see there’s a little nod to Charley in this book. Being as Charley and Sunshine both live in New Mexico I was wondering if there would be a bit of crossover. It’s too soon to tell of course, but you never know!
For a first in a new series, this one did very well! I liked how we had two mysteries going on. There’s the more present mystery and the one that Sunshine works on in secret. I’m actually developing my own theories about that one. I feel like Darynda might be giving us hints to some things, but as I said, it’s really too soon to tell!
As far as romance goes, well that one’s tricky. Sunshine’s old flame is naturally still in the picture. Only problem there is, they are kinda sorta enemies. It’s not a Romeo and Juliet thing for sure, but let’s just say Levi comes from a dangerous family and he’s a complicated guy himself. He’s not nearly as bad as his relatives, but he’s not a saint either. So complicated is pretty much the perfect summation. We do get to know bits and pieces of their past together and there’s some serious tension still brewing between them. Oh yeah, he’s this series’ Reyes for sure!
And there may or may not be competition there too. There’s another guy hanging around who may be a potential romance partner for Sunshine, but again, too soon to say! And let’s not forget little Auri! She’s got a boy she’s eyeing and who’s eyeing her in return! This is almost—emphasize ALMOST—a dual YA and adult book what with the side by side stories going on from their points of view. But this is MOST DEFINITELY an adult read!! So tread carefully teen readers as there’s some intensity to this one!
The outcome of the present mystery was pretty shocking! Due to life and a slow reading pace I might have missed this bad guy when we first saw him, so I feel ashamed for that. But the motives and reasons why were pretty shocking. Though Sunshine’s personal mystery is still under investigation. I’m truly eager for more on that front due to the few theories I’ve been developing!
All in all, A Bad Day for Sunshine was an excellent read! The mystery elements were enticing and the characters were absolutely wonderful! I loved every moment of this story. I was hooked into the world created by Darynda yet again, and I cannot wait to see what more she will write with these new characters. This is a must read for Charley Davidson and mystery fans alike!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
A Bad Day for Sunshine releases April 7, 2020


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.

"'Let's stop at my agreeing with you. There is no reason to get ahead of ourselves.'" Kindle loc. 74%*

*Quote comes from the eARC, therefore it and its location are not final.

TITLE: Winter's Wolf
AUTHOR: Alyssa Rose Ivy

GENRE: Paranormal New Adult
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2020

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 Signs You’re a Book Lover 

*in no particular order

10. You measure every inch of space available for bookcases--I mean, they make some small space ones and narrow ones, so this is a very logical thing to do! I even bought a night stand that had two shelves to it!
9. You buy multiple copies of favorites--I can't take a reader seriously if they don't own multiple copies of at least one book! Lol! 
8. You own international copies you can't read--I mean seriously, if you're collecting you have to had editions you can't read purely for the cover love!
7. You own at least 50 bookmarks--I counted mine out for this and I am right at 99!
6. You frame book cover art--because gorgeous covers are freaking works of ART!
5. You have books stashed all over the place--closets, hide-away-hole places, a large trunk that's used for blankets but you secretly used it to put TBR books in!
4. You always have a book on you--I carry my physical book to work with me or my kindle. And if worse comes to worse, I have my phone which has my kindle app on it with a handful of short reads I could draw up!
3. Every birthday and holiday you ask for books or bookstore gift cards--these are always at the top of my list every December! Lol! Like my family needs reminding! Though occasionally I do throw a book title or two on there to mix it up!
2. You own at least 44 book sleeves--I haven't added one to my collection in awhile folks! I swear! Lol.
1. If a friend or family member asks to borrow a book you make them sign a BLOOD!--kidding, kidding!! Lol! I'd just buy them the book so they stop looking at mine. And yes, I did this. Twice. When my sister was about to teach 5th grade I gifted her a paperback set of Harry Potter books so she wouldn't look at the ones we "shared" and then two years ago I bought a set for my niece for Christmas because my sister's students lost a few of her copies and my niece was looking at mine!

Mar 30, 2020

ARC Review--Crave by Tracy Wolff

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

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

When I heard that Tracy Wolff was writing a VAMPIRE novel this year, I freaked out! I had to have it and luck was with me when Entangled Teen granted my wish! Crave is the first book in a yet unknown series and it was everything I love about vampire books! This is the book vampire fans have been waiting for...dying for, you could say! Lol!

First, despite the cover look, please don't go thinking this has anything whatsoever to do with Twilight. Yes, it's a vampire book, yes it's YA, but please, please don't play that comparison game. If you do, you will be disappointed. And second, can we also bask in the sheer size of this beauty?! It's nearly 600 pages and it's all amazing!!

We pretty much know that this a vampire novel, but I will forewarn you that our heroine Grace, isn't in on the vampire secret right away. In fact, it's just past the halfway mark that things start to make more sense to her and the secrets are revealed, so know that the pacing to this one is a bit slower. It's not a high stakes, action packed adventure. Crave is more subtle than that. In fact there were times I was starting to doubt that vampire were involved, like maybe it was a psych out or something. The answer was forthcoming and yet with a twist of shocking too because WHOA!

Now let's get into what this plot is all about! Grace is our heroine, a teenage girl who had her world upended when her parents died and her next of kin is an uncle who works at a private school in Alaska! Still dealing with her grief, Grace doesn't quite know what to expect from everything. Her cousin, Macy is definitely one of the sweetest people ever! She makes Grace feel right at home trying to get things ready for her inevitable stay and she thinks of the littlest of things to make sure Grace has nothing to worry about.

That is until Grace meets Jaxon, the all around most popular/mysterious/brooding boy at school. And the welcome she receives from him is anything but warm and welcoming. In fact, he tells her to leave the school entirely. But Grace is my kind of heroine and instead of backing down and cowering, she gets in his face and I think that's when their chemistry started because Jaxon is suffering too and tries to hide it. The next few days has Grace getting into some dangerous mishaps and then Jaxon usually appears to help her out of said predicaments. He's her brooding knight in shiny armor, you could say.

Like I mentioned before the pacing here is very...steady. It's not fast, some might call it slow and while it isn't the pacing I usually go for, I was eating up the pages! Because there's the bizarre happenings that seem to follow Grace, and then there's the fact that you kind of want to know exactly what all the big secrets about this school are. Yes, we know it's vampires but there's always more to it than that and THAT is what made the pages just fly by for me.

Grace was a really fun kind of heroine. Sure she had some quirky moments, but honestly, who doesn't when they're a teenager? It was find of fun when she interacted with Jaxon because you add quirky with brooding and you get an interesting result. The fact that we know ahead of time that things aren't quite normal at this school didn't make me think ill of her either. Occasionally, Grace would wonder about things happening at school with students or whatnot, but someone, usually Macy, was always quick with a reason. That is until she is let in on the student body's "quirks."

The romance between Grace and Jaxon might remind some of Twilight, and honestly those books didn't leave much of an impression for me, so other than that slow to start friendship to romance I can't really make much comment on its likeness or not. But I will say that the relationship that slowly develops between Grace and Jaxon was definitely a heart-racing kind! Yes, it's a slow-burn romance but those have always been a favorite of mine! And there were hints of a possible love triangle, but I am not fully convinced that that is what's going on. So I feel 98% confident in saying that there is no love triangle. But you know, it's only book 1!

There's even more mystery going on in this one that starts to become more apparent after the halfway mark, so basically once Grace gets in the "know," more mysterious things happen and some vague explanations start coming too. The ending was one that I started to think about being a possibility but of course I wasn't quite on par with all the whys and hows, but it basically blew my mind! Especially the very last chapter because WHOA! I MEAN FREAKING WHOA!!!!!! This was not something I had anticipated AT ALL and now I have ALL the questions because my mind was blown!

Crave is not for the faint-hearted. This is a long book, a deliciously long book filled with intriguing characters and a page turning storyline that will leave you breathless! There's a spine-tingling romance between the star-crossed lovers and mysteries and secrets galore! The next book is bound to be equally, if not more amazing! This is the book vampire lovers have been waiting for! I have missed my dear friends of the night and having Wolff's vampires in my life was everything I could've hoped for! Crave is truly a book for the vampire girls/boys of this world! A group I am happy to be apart of!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Crave releases April 7, 2020

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. 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:

American Demon by Kim Harrison (ARC)--review to come at a later date 

Review That Was Posted:

Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa (ARC) (3.5 stars)

Currently Reading:

Winter's Wolf by Alyssa Rose Ivy 

What I Plan to Read Next:

Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole 

Other Posts of Interest:



Mar 29, 2020

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 survived another week! Which in this world today, that's a good thing. It's not looking like my company's doors will close. Even with one employee deciding to stay home since they didn't feel well after one day. I honestly have no clue if they are truly truly ill or what, but it doesn't seem like the company is taking any precautions with it, so business as anxiety sky high as usual. I'm doing what I can to stay safe by wearing gloves when handling packages. Washing my hands frequently and using hand sanitizer every so often as well. But still, I'm kind of freaked out by everything and the fact that we're to continue business as normal like there's not a serious crisis happening outside. Traffic has been extremely light...which only makes me realize we're one of the only companies still open. I work at a non-essential company who has essential company customers. So it sucks.

Another slow week for books. I was a bit devastated that my one book I had ordered signed from Apollycon--which was cancelled for obvious reasons--arrived unsigned. Honestly, I just wish that under the circumstances that I could've cancelled my order. I mean I get why I couldn't, truly I do! But at the same time receiving the book that I wanted signed by a super popular author and getting it unsigned at full price, was just a major letdown on my week.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas--the collector's edition

For review from the author I received:

Winter's Wolf by Alyssa Rose Ivy
THANK YOU Alyssa!!
And that was it for me this week! How's your week going? Get any new reads this week?

Mar 27, 2020

Let's Discuss--Bookcase Shelves

It's time for another round of Jessica Rants! Lol! I've been wanting to rearrange the books in one of my bookcases, but in order to do that I need to move the shelves around so that I can get them set to make it so that there's room for all books to stand normally...but that's not possible when there's a built-in shelf on the bookcase.

Bookcase Shelves

I mean, structurally I can understand if a bookcase NEEDS a shelf to be irremovable...but then of course I still question it. I mean really? The shelf has to be RIGHT THERE and never ever EVER move again EVER?!

It makes it EXTREMELY difficult to set the shelves to be able to hold all tall standing books! And in this instance I'm referring to my Caraval case.

See that shelf right there in the middle? The one that my copies of Finale sits on? It can't be removed or height adjusted, which makes trying to place ALL the other shelves at equal height nearly impossible! I'm trying to figure out if I need to just remove a shelf altogether--which I am loathe to do!--or bring down the second shelf so that the middle shelf has small space that I could put all the decorative art pieces on. They wouldn't all fit of course, but then I realize that only solves half the problem as the lower half will still have no space for a tall book to stand on. 
Plus by shelving them horizontally I feel like I am not getting enough books in. And I worry if the weight distribution is level enough. These are the problems of a bookworm!

I really don't want to remove a shelf because then what do I do with it? It was a pricey book case and I'd like to use all the shelves. Should I just leave it the way it is? I mean...and I shudder to even say it, but should I mix them up? GASP! I love having them grouped together by book! I mean, yes, eventually Caraval might run out of room and overflow into Legendary...which then presents the problem of trying to keep the books all together still. Like should I stack Legendary copies beneath the overflow copies of Caraval?

Does anyone have any advice? If you have a bookcase like this with adjustable shelves except for one that likes to be evil and stable and disrupt the balance of all that is holy and bookish, how do you arrange the shelves? Comments and tips are much appreciated!

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: Share a photo of one section of your bookshelf randomly selected or go ahead and share the entire bookshelf. (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews
MY ANSWER: Want to guess what shelf you'll see? ;)
TA DA!!! It's my Caraval Shelf! The Goldsboro Caraval is blocking a few more copies but I can't otherwise display it without blocking a few spines!

And here is the updated shot of my entire collection. Sadly I would have to remove an entire shelf if I want to display my books upright. I honestly haven't decided if I should do that or not. Part of me wants to if only to have more room for copies! 
Not picture is on the bottom shelf (two shelves down) is my Caraval collector's set in its box!


Mar 26, 2020

Random Thursday

Let's talk about feet with Leslie Gilbert Elman's Weird But True! These first few facts are regarding actual feet. So let's see what weirdness we'll learn today!

(image borrowed from YouTube)
Walking across hot coals will hurt less than running across them. If you use quick, light steps limit contact between one's foot and the hot surface. Whereas running across thrusts the foot against the ground more forcefully.

Makes sense. And owww!!!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Walking on your toes requires 83% more energy than by regular walking.

I can see that.

(image borrowed from Shutterstock)
There's an average of 1.7 of every 1,000 babies being born polydactyly--meaning they have an extra toe or finger.

(image borrowed from Live Science)
The earliest example of a prosthetic appendage is an artificial toe found on a female mummy in Thebes in 2000. The toe was made from wood and carve and painted to look realistic and was attached to the woman with leather laces. This was not an unusual thing to find on mummies, these nonfunctional prostheses were used for cosmetic reasons or sometimes were even attached post-mortem, so that the body would appear whole in the afterlife. This toe found on the lady though was clearly used for function as there was evidence of wear on the underside of the toe.

Note: I am not positive that this image is from THAT mummy, though it's a pretty likely guess as it is! ;) 

(image borrowed from Live Science)
When an axolotl salamander loses a leg, it will simply grow a new one in about three weeks.

I always found that oddly fascinating when animals can regrow a missing limb.

Mar 25, 2020

COVER REVEAL--Crush by Tracy Wolff


Jaxon and Grace’s story continues in New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s captivating sequel to Crave

I’m in the fight of my life. For my humanity. For Jaxon. And for the world I’ve only just begun to be a part of. I’m all in, even if saving the people I love means I risk losing myself forever.

After that shocking ending of Crave--review to come next week--I am positively DYING to get my hands on this one!! And that cover! Just whoa!!! This is going to be one of my favorite trilogies ever! I can feel it!


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

In four new novellas, Christina Henry returns to the universe she created for Alice and Red Queen, where magic runs more freely than anyone suspects, but so do secrets and blood.

Lovely Creature
In the New City lives a girl called Elizabeth, a girl who has a secret: she can do magic. But someone knows Elizabeth's secret--someone who has a secret of his own. That secret is a butterfly that lives in a jar, a butterfly made by a girl called Alice.

Girl in Amber
Alice and Hatcher are just looking for a place to rest. Alice has been dreaming of a cottage by a lake and a field of wildflowers, but while walking blind in a snowstorm they stumble into a castle that seems empty and least until nightfall.

When I First Came to Town
Hatcher wasn't always Hatcher. Once, he was a boy called Nicholas, and Nicholas fancied himself the best fighter in the Old City. No matter who fought him he always won. Then his boss tells him he's going to battle the fearsome Grinder, a man who never leaves his opponents alive.

The Mercy Seat
Alice has a secret--a secret that not even Hatcher knows yet, but pretty soon she won't be able to keep it from him.

I loved Christina's dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland and I am so excited that she's venturing back to this world with these novellas!

GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: April 21, 2020 


Mar 24, 2020

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.

It's sooo great to be back in the Hollows! I loved the original series and am elated that Kim is writing a continuation! 

"'Sweet as pixy piss,' Jenks said, and I dropped the two-by-four. Ivy met my grin with her own. It was always a pleasure to work with her, even this little." Kindle loc. 6%*

*Quote comes from the eARC therefore it and its location are not final.

TITLE: American Demon
AUTHOR: Kim Harrison

GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: June 16, 2020

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: Genre Freebie: Top Ten "Old School" Paranormal & YA Paranormal Reads

*in no particular order
**in this case I'm defining "old school" as books that were out 10 years (or later) ago.


10. BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong--werewolves! Which spawned into more creatures getting stories and whatnot!
9. HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost--VAMPIRES! This was an example of finding an Urban Fantasy book in the romance section! Yes it's Avon and yes we all know of the hot romance inside, but the romance itself isn't the storyline so I felt like it was slightly mis-shelved. We need that in between genre name that falls between romance and sci-fi fantasy.
8. STRAY by Rachel Vincent--big cat shifters...think panthers! This was the first time I learned that Urban Fantasy books could be mis-shelved in romance because the publisher was a "mostly" romance publisher. Though there was romance in the book, it took a backseat to the story at large!

7. SOME GIRLS BITE by Chloe Neill--snarky vampires! I was drawn to this cover because of the heroine wearing jeans and a tank top! She looked like your average girl despite the vamprisim which is what drew me to it!
6. DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison--witches, vampires, pixies, elves, you name it! I remember I accidentally started reading the second book first thinking that was the start of it all. Took me maybe 30 pages or 3 chapters to realize the events they kept referring to was an actual book! To BORDERS I went! Lol!


5. DEMON IN MY VIEW by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes--vampires! This should surprise no one to find on my list! ;)
4. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES by L.J. Smith--vampires! Decided to leave it just as the series title!
3. COMPANIONS OF THE NIGHT by Vivian Vande Velde--vampires! Still kicking myself for donating my copy! Need to get on finding another asap!

2. THE SILVER KISS by Annette Curtis Klause--vampires! True, as a young middle school teen I read lots of vampires...yet I soon expanded my reading come high school when I started reading adult urban fantasy!
1. BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause--werewolves! Proof that I read more than just vampire books! (she says of 1 book out of 5! LOL!)