Monday Check-In: Better late than never…

My brain is fried.  I have done nothing but cook and search for a new car.  That is it.  We have decided it is time to get our SUV and now the search begins and I hate the search.  Probably more than the negotiating or paperwork.  We are going to have a second car loan which sucks but it is coming to the point that neither one of us want to drive the Honda.  It has been a great car but is reaching the end of its life.  We didn’t want to be pressured into having to buy a car so we started looking now.

We are also on this Whole30 and didn’t get a chance to cook yesterday so this morning I did that, hence no post this morning.  I’m listening to The Young Turks now and after the news is over I’m going to step away from the computer and go read in bed because I am done looking at cars that are either too far away or more than I want to pay…  Hopefully, we will find something soon because I’m already tired of looking.

Have a great week everyone.

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Top Ten Tuesday:Odd Crossovers

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

August 7: Books You’d Mash Together

 

I kind of love the idea for this week’s list!  I’m going to put a bit of a twist on it however.  I’m going to select some of my favorite series or trilogies that I would love it if the authors got together and did a crossover story with characters from both worlds visiting each other.  Something like that Marvel does where you get Ironman and Thor or Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange team up to have an adventure.  Alright let’s see what awesome story ideas we can make up.

Ten Series Crossover Ideas

  1. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, #1) Love at Stake & A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1) Argeneau: These two series are my favorite light and fluffy chick-lit vampire series.  The Argeneau is still an active series but Love at Stake is finished so maybe some of those characters could show up in one of Lynsay Sands books.  Could be fun.
  2. Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends Series #1) The Dark Hunters & Born of Night (The League: Nemesis Rising #1) The League: I thought this might be a fun crossover being that both series are written by Ms. Kenyon.  We could have The League discover Earth and interact with the Dark Hunters. I’ve also always wondered how all the Gods and goddesses would influence a mulit-planet system.
  3. Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) Night Huntress & Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) Chicagoland Vampires:  These author’s writing style remind me of one another.  Perhaps Bones and Cat can take a trip to visit Merit and Ethan in Chicago.
  4. Redshirts John Scalzi & The Martian Andy Weir: This is the only exception to this week’s list.  Weir has only written/published two books neither one a series and Redshirts was a stand-alone for Scalzi.  They also have a slightly different writing style but what they do share is a great sence of humor and I’d love to see what they could write if they teamed up.
  5. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Charley Davidson & Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) Mercy Thompson: It might be because I’m currently rereading these books in audio format and they are narrated by the same person but I think these two series might be fun for a crossover.  In Jones’s world there is only angels and the grim reaper for paranormal elements  what would happen if they learned there were also shifters, vampires, and fae, oh my!
  6. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) Blackdagger Brotherhood & Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1) Guild Hunter: I almost pared up Ms. Ward with another author but at the last-minute I remembered Singh’s series (which I keep meaning to return to…) and thought they would be a great fit.
  7. Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1) Immortal Guardians & Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends Series #1) Dark Hunter: I have alway thought the Immortal Guardians series reminded me a lot of the Dark Hunter series so for the purpose of this list why not pair them up and see what happens!
  8. Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) The Hollows & Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) Alpha & Omega: I wanted to match Ms. Harrison’s Hollows series up with someone because I thought it was such a great series but I struggled to find the right fit.  I think the Alpha and Omega series might work because of the character Charles.  He is such a stoic character that it might be fun to see how he handles interacting with Rachel and her crew.  Jenks would drive him mad, I think.
  9. Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1) Blackdagger Legacy & Kiss of Midnight (Midnight Breed,  #1) Midnight Breed: Decided to match Ms. Ward’s spin-off series with the Midnight Breed world because the two world seem like they would work well together.
  10. A Girl's Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones #1) Dark Ones & Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, #1) Jane Jameson: Returning to lighter hearted paring for my final selection.  Both of these authors have great senses of humor and tend to write wacky female characters that would be fun to see interact.

I tried to pair up authors and series that would compliment each other either in plot or in writing style.  How about you?  What series would make good crossover novels if their authors teamed up?

Monday Morning Check-In: Do What I Want

Good Monday Morning everyone.  I actually got to this post before noon this week!  I received a bit of a shock last week and perhaps a bit of a wake-up call as well.  I ended up going to the doctors for a rash that ended up being shingles!  Now I know I’m old but not that old but apparently, it is quite common for people under 50 as they are half the cases diagnosed.  I’m thinking the stress of dealing with a difficult person and a week in Chicago was what triggered it.  So I need to be better at managing my stress levels.  That means saying no more things, not worrying about pleasing other people, less news, and more of doing what makes me happy.   That does include reading but not last weekend because it was our 23 wedding anniversary on Sunday.  We had a nice day out and visited a farmer’s market and some indie bookstores on Saturday and then on Sunday, we started a whole30 together.  Speaking of stress…  No, this shouldn’t be a big deal, my husband recently read the book and it is easier to have a successful whole30 if you have a partner so why not.  Maybe this time it won’t suck so much.

I have a review book that I NEED TO FINISH but keep getting distracted by my shiny computer game. I might need to make the rule of read first, game second.  Anyway, have a great week everyone!

Month in Review: June & July 2018

Month in Review

Read these months: 8 Books, 2074 Pages 

Read this year: 49 Books, 10,242 Pages 

June:

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3) Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11) Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8) House of the Rising Son (Dark Hunter #22.5; The Entire Dark-Hunterverse, #28)

July:

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12) Slaying It (Chicagoland Vampires, #13.5) Shotgun Lovesongs

 

Looking Back:

Oh. My. God.  I totally forgot to write a month in review for June!  Then I forgot to write one for July yesterday!  Where is my head these days.  I’m so sorry to everyone that enjoys the monthly wrap-up posts.  For June I left on July 1st for vacation and didn’t even think of writing one up before we left.  I could have totally done it on June 30th too.  For July I think since I’ve not been reading as much, which is typical for July for me, then a last-minute doctor’s apt on the 31 followed by work the next day caused it to simply slip my mind.  Anyway as you can see I had a fairly good June and July simply tanked.  I didn’t do a ton of yard work as we haven’t had a lot of rain in July for me to need audiobooks to listen to while I mow lawn.  I did finish up the Charley Davidson series on the lawn mower after a month of no mowing.

Looking Ahead:

I plan to attend a book talk in the Chicago suburbs on the 16th.  Husband has been talked into going with me so it should be a nice day trip.  Once I know what property taxes are there are a few projects I have in the works.  A new chicken coop, cattle panel greenhouse, and getting new glasses.  I know our prop tax is going up and depending on how much that is will dictate what I can accomplish this month.  We also need a new car but going to try to get our current one to last the rest of the year, but who knows it might suddenly die on us and force our hand.  The new glasses might not be able to be pushed off much longer because it is getting more and more difficult to read.  Anyway, I’m sorry for the missing posts and hopefully next month I’m back on track.

Happy Reading ~Amy

Top Ten Tuesday: Worth the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

 July 31: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

Hyped books tend to be popular books, or is it popular books tend to be hyped.  Either way, I’m going to share ten books that I heard so much about that I ended up reading them and decided the masses were correct, it was a damn fine read.

Ten books that lived up to the hype.

  1. The Martian I feel this book needs a caveat as I read it well before I heard much about it and was one of the ones contributing to the hype about this book.  It continues to be one of my favorites and recommendations to patrons.
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) I didn’t jump on this bandwagon until something like book four or five but it was indeed as good as I was lead to believe, at the time, at least.  Last time I tried to pick the series up for a reread I couldn’t get into it.
  3. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) I think most of the hype I heard about this series revolved around the tv series.  Not having access to HBO I decided the book is always better anyway and read it.  Wow, it was great up until the last two books which turned me off the series.  I don’t care anymore.
  4. Twilight (Twilight, #1) Not the first book I picked up because of the hype but the first one I read due to its popularity at my library.  I ended up consuming the series over a two-week period.  If you haven’t read it I would still recommend even though I don’t plan on rereading it again.
  5. Redshirts This was a book I learned about from TTT lists.  I remember seeing it so much and having it recommended to me that I tried reading it and fell in love with John Scalzi.  I need to read this one again soon.
  6. First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1) Another title that kept getting recommended to me on Goodreads or through TTT lists.  It is all kinds of amazing and most definitely worth the hype!
  7. Bared to You (Crossfire, #1) This one was recommended during the Fifty Shades of Grey mania a few years ago.  This one lives up to the hype where the other does not in my opinion.
  8. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  This book was worth the hype and I feel bad that I lost interest in YA titles.  I might go back and try to pick up the series someday…
  9. The Passage (The Passage, #1) I remember seeing this one pimped all over the material we receive at work.  I read that it was about a girl named Amy from Iowa that saves the world and was hooked.  I did see that it is going to be made into a tv series and I’m on the fence as to if I’m going to watch it or not.  I’m a little sore at FOX for canceling Lucifer…
  10. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1) I remember this book being hyped about through the TTT lists when I started blogging.  It was sold to me as for Big Bang Theory fans as it is essentially Sheldon in love.  For me, it lived up to the hype many of the patrons at my library were less enamored with it.

Another week another list.  What books have you read that lived up to the hype?  Share in the comments!

Monday Morning Check-In: I can’t read.

Okay, that might have been clickbait.  Obviously, I can read but over the past month, I have noticed that I physically can’t read the words on a page anymore.  I would love to be able to just walk into Target and pick up a pair of readers off the shelf but that isn’t possible for my prescription.  I need a negative number and readers are essentially just magnifiers and don’t do squat for me.  That means I need to dig out the insurance card, find out what providers are in the network, and make a freaking eye appointment.  I need bifocals.  I don’t really want to buy the expensive eyeglasses in the store like I’ve always done so I need to grow a backbone and say just give me the prescription, please.  My husband had success ordering glasses online for work so I’m going to go the same route this time.  I want to have multiple pairs of glasses, bifocals for work, a set pair of readers, and maybe a pair without the bifocals for distance while driving, while we are at it I might pick up a pair of prescription dark sunglasses.

In the meanwhile, I will continue with audiobooks and play my new game, Sims 4.  Hopefully, I will have new glasses soon and be able to enjoy reading again.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones (Audio)

Book Review

 


The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Audiobook

Book Series: Charley Davidson #12

Released: 10/31/17 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 289 Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.  

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Ever since Reyes Farrow escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley Davidson accidentally trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings–some corporeal, some not so much–as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture–the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford–out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes: Can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect? 

My Review:

I’m both excited and sad to have finished my reread of this series.  Sad because that means there is only one more book left and I have to wait until next year to read it.  Excited because the next book (fingers crossed) will be amazing and wrap up all the cliffhangers and plot threads that are left.

My opinion of the story hasn’t changed since my initial review when I read it last year.  Still a hilarious read which might be even funnier when read to you.  I listened to the end of this while mowing the lawn yesterday and laughed so hard I ended up with a stitch in my side.  Also, probably looked like a fool on my riding lawnmower laughing my head off. Good thing I live in the country…

Since I don’t have much to add to my thoughts on the book I’m going to encourage you to consider listening to this series.  I’m glad I did both and happy I read it first.  I worked through the series without outside influence mispronouncing names and locations like crazy.  Then I listened to the book, going in knowing I loved the series and was in for a funny, steamy, crazy ride.  It was a blast!  The narrator Lorelei King is an amazing talent and I have begun seeking out titles that she has recorded.  She breathes a story to life and was an excellent choice for this series!  In fact, if I was to rate this book now I would give it the full five stars, she brought so much to the story.  But I’m going to leave the rating as it is, just know I enjoyed to book more the second time thanks to Ms. King.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

July 24: Books with Sensory Reading Memories

I have to confess I’m finding it more and more difficult to remember what I have read let alone sensory memories.  I’ve also read a lot of similar books and I find that they tend to blend together so do the memories of reading them.  So this week I’m going to select books that I have distinct memories associated with them.

Ten books that stand out.

  1. Go, Dog. Go! Why not start at the beginning.  This is the first book I ever read on my own.  I remember sitting on our living room couch, it was an ugly brown sectional, and when I was done I went to the kitchen to tell my mother that I read it all on my own.
  2. Rubber Legs and White Tail-Hairs This is another book from my childhood.  My dad, who was blind, was a fan of this author’s writing and would have me read the short stories to him.
  3. The Shining (The Shining, #1) This was the first Stephen King book that I read.  It was a year or so after my mother died and this book was on her bookcase in the basement.  I 13 at the time and wasn’t interested in her romances so I gave this book a try to I remember reading late into the night.
  4. Say Goodnight, Gracie I read this in High School.  I enjoyed it so much I might never have returned it to the school library…  If I ever come across it maybe I will mail it to them.
  5. The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus I read this book one summer in Bulgaria while I was visiting my husband in his home country before he emigrated to the states.
  6. The Time Machine This book I remember reading on a bus between cities in Turkey while on vacation.
  7. Twilight (Twilight, #1) This was one of the first books I read while working at my library.  We couldn’t keep it on the shelf and one week it was returned without a hold waiting for it.  It was Friday and 15 minutes left before closing in an empty library so I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  This is also the event that would eventually lead to this blog.
  8. The Goldfinch This book was one of the first audiobooks that I downloaded to listen to while working outside.  I remember reading a very emotional part and bawling while shearing a sheep.
  9. The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3) This book will always have the memory of BEA attached to it.  I was able to meet Mr. Cronin who is such a nice man.  I had also been approved for an e-arc and read it that way due to the book’s size and tendency to fall on my face while reading in bed.
  10.  Lock In (Lock In, #1) I also picked this book in Chicago while attending BEA. The Science Fiction Writers of America were holding their convention at Palmer House after BEA and was holding a signing for readers.  So after my last day at BEA and I had dropped off my haul I got back on the train to head to the book signing and met John Scalzi for the first time.

There you have my list for the week.  Feel free to leave links to your list in the comments.

Monday Morning-Check In: Mamma Mia 2 Review (Spoilers)

Good Monday morning everyone.  Hubby and I went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again over the weekend and I’ve been stewing over my thoughts on the movie all weekend.  So I’m going to use this platform to discuss the movie.

Warning there will be spoilers.  If you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know what happens then click away now.  

 

Alright if you are still here then you either have seen the movie or simply don’t care if it is spoiled.  Now for what I thought.  Basically, I’m torn.  I loved the first movie so much and it continues to be one of my favorites when I want a fun feel-good movie to brighten my day.  I was excited to see the sequel/prequel that we ponied up the money to see it on the Imax screen, in 2D thank God because I’m not a fan of 3D.  For the first spoiler, you were warned, they killed Donna off.  They let us know pretty quick that Donna had died a year earlier and all the returning characters spend much of the movie mourning her loss.  Talk about a buzz kill!  It cast this cloud over the film that just brought the whole mood down.  Also, Donna was my favorite character from the first movie and her loss was definitely felt.   This isn’t to say there were not fun moments, there were, but much of time I kept think about how much I wished Donna was there.  What makes this movie work is the chemistry between the characters and to have Donna gone disrupted that too much. Besides that, though, the cast was amazing!  They did an excellent job of casting younger versions of the characters.  The addition of Cher was also a great choice but underutilized in my opinion.  They should have given her a bigger part as it would have made up for the loss of Donna.  Why not have a reconnection of Sophie and her Grandmother earlier in the movie so we could enjoy more banter between the two.  You could have still had the showstopper number at the end of the film.

The flashbacks with the younger actors portraying how Donna ended up on the island were fun for a while but not that interesting.  I enjoyed learning how she met each man but I felt they could have been condensed.  I would have much rather spent my time in the present with Tanya and Rose and Sophie.   The musical numbers were fun but some of the songs could have been left out.  The whole Kissed a Teacher number, in particular, is not appropriate.  Sorry, it isn’t.  Then just as I’m getting over the loss of Donna they brought back her spirit for the last scene when Sophie baptized her son.  That was simply rubbing salt in my wounds at this point and a horrible note to end the film on in my opinion.  I’m coming off the high of seeing Cher sing Fernando to watch Sophie have a duet with her dead mother!  I bawled.  I’m sorry it needed to end with Cher they should have kept Donna out altogether.

OR, a better idea would have been to have Donna and Sam off enjoying their lives together after turning the resort over to Sophie and Sky.  Now I’m sad from this movie but now when I watch the first one I’m going to be sad all over again knowing that Donna and Sam just have a few brief years together before she dies.  Thanks.

Despite my bitching, I did enjoy this movie.  It is just the more I think about it the more disappointed I get over it.  I want to watch it again, though, I want to see how I feel about the movie going in knowing that Donna has died.  Perhaps I will be able to just let that go and enjoy the silliness of what a movie based on Abba songs should be, simply fun.

Alright, that’s a lot of rambling for a Monday morning.  Sorry to dump that on you all but I needed to get it out of my system.  It is just that I was looking so forward to the movie and then deeply disappointed by what it ended up being.  I needed to vent…

Slaying it by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Slaying It (Chicagoland Vampires, #13.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Novella

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires 13.5

Released: 7/17/2018 InterMix

Pages: 79 Price: $1.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a copy of this book. 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Merit, Sentinel of Chicago’s Cadogan House, is pregnant. She’s ready to meet her daughter, but also very excited about the possibility of seeing her feet again. But trouble always seems to find her…

Ethan and Merit have been married for eight months, and they’re preparing for life-with-baby. Ethan’s battling his overprotectiveness, while Merit’s hoping she can figure out how to be a loving parent given her family’s chilliness.

While out on an evening walk, Merit stops to help a human in need, only to find herself under attack. A sociopath with a debt figures pregnant Merit is an easy target–and Cadogan House would pay handsomely for her return…

My Review:

This was a fun return to a finished series! Since I hadn’t made much progress in my ARC of Wild Hunger I decided to put it off a little longer and read this book before diving too far into that one.  I’m glad I did as it keeps the timeline intact being a reader that prefers to read in the order of release.

In this short visit to the world of Chicagoland Vampires, we get to witness a very pregnant Merit in all her shining, waddling glory!  Not being a kid person or interested in pregnancy at all I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading about Merit’s experience giving birth to the world’s first-born vampire.  Of course, Ethan was a hoot and it was pretty awesome to see some familiar faces around the house.  There was also this whole side story revolving around Jonah and Margot!!!  Much of the plot revolved around some chaos affecting Merit which is pretty typical for this series.  I was delighted to see Merit was her usual kick-ass self, even if her body was currently incubating a vampire miracle.

If you are a fan of the series and looking forward to Wild Hunger releasing next month I suggest picking this one up to tide you over.  It was a lot of fun and I found myself laughing out loud in several parts.  The last chapter was super sweet as well.

My Rating: 5 Stars