Tuesday Morning Check-In: Adapting…

Good morning everyone. Since I made the mistake of scheduling my TTT post for Monday this week I decided to write my Monday Morning Check-In post on Tuesday.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I was busy yesterday morning.  Nope.  Not at all.

Anyway… Not a lot of reading going on at the moment.  We are leaving in next week for a vacation to Chicago and I have been busy getting the yard, animals, and house ready for our absence.  I did manage to start The Devil in the White City audiobook which is about a mass murderer in Chicago around the same time as the World’s Fair of 1893.  I was a little leery about this book as I’m not a huge fan of historical reads or non-fiction but I have to confess I’m hooked!  Not a fan of the sections about the serial killer but the sections about the world fair are fascinating.  Husband and I plan on visiting Jackson and Hyde Park while in Chicago next week and I can’t wait to explore the grounds that once held the fair.  I also want to go to Navy Pier, a place I usually steer clear of now, to ride the Ferris Wheel.  It will mean so much more now that I know how the first one was for the 1893 Fair.  Should be fun.

Next Monday I won’t have a check-in post or a Wednesday post as we are going to be gone.  If you want to see pictures of our trip follow my personal Instagram account: amyjoiowa.

Have a great week!


Top Ten Tuesday: Lost Interest.

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:

 June 25: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish

I’m going to have to put some limitation on this list because it could quickly get out of hand.  I’m going to exclude series where I’ve read only one or two books.  I’m going to say I needed to have read five or more books before calling it quits.  Five books demonstrates some level of commitment to the series and I will usually stick with them for longer than that.

Note:  I know this published on Monday…  I’ve been writing up these TTT blogs a few months in advance and must have gotten the date wrong for this week.  I’m not going to redact it and re-post it tomorrow.  This week I’m just a day early.  Sorry.

Ten book series I’ve given up on.

  1. Midnight Breeds by Lara Adrian 15/23 read:  This series simply became too difficult to follow with a ton of novellas showing up in anthologies where that would be the only story read.  When I dedicate myself to a series I like to read all the books and to have to pick up a bunch of books for just one short story.  I also started having trouble keeping all the second generation characters straight.
  2. Broken Heart by Michele Bardsley 10/19 read:  This series was a case of waiting too long for the next book.  I think the author lost the publisher or changed publishers halfway through and there was a delay in release.  I simply lost interest along with too many novellas in anthologies.
  3. House of Night by P.C. Cast 6/12 read:  I made it halfway through this series.  I was never super excited about it and eventually asked myself why I was reading them.  All three-star ratings.
  4. Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole 7/19 read:  Only one of the books I read in this series made it to three stars.  The other six were all two-star ratings.  I truly don’t understand why I stuck with them that long.  I probably bought them…
  5. Scanguards Vampires by Tina Folsom 8/12 read:  I’m surprised I have given up on this series as I actually really enjoyed it.  There was one book I DNF due to violence or something but I had planned on simply skipping that story and picking up with the next book.  That never happened and I’ve simply moved on.
  6. Half-Moon Hollow by Molly Harper 5/12 read:  Another series with tons of novellas in anthologies.  Although, that isn’t what ended my journey with this series.  This was a case of constantly being turned down for an ARC and then never making time for the book once it released.  I eventually just quit trying.
  7. Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey 8/13 read:  I might even own two of the remaining book in this series but I am so over YA that I don’t even care that I paid for them.
  8. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin 5/7 read:  I don’t care anymore.  I’m done.  Not that the sixth book will ever come out.
  9. V.I. Warchawski by Sara Paretsky 12/20 read:  I slowly lost interest in this series as my taste changed.  Out of all the series on the list, this is the one most likely to be picked up again.
  10. Vampire for Hire by J.R. Rain 10/29 read:  This is a case of the author made me mad.  He decided to not offer his self-published books through Barnes and Noble anymore and I decided to stop reading his stories.

What series have you decided to be done with?  Share in the comments!

Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams

Book Review

Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3)Book Genre: Science Fiction

Book Series: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #3

Released: 12/29/1982 by Pan

Pages:  224 Price: $16.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.  



Book Synopsis:

The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky above their heads–so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals stand between the killer robots of Krikkit and their goal of total annihilation.
They are Arthur Dent, a mild-mannered space and time traveler who tries to learn how to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing; Ford Prefect, his best friend, who decides to go insane to see if he likes it; Slartibartfast, the indomitable vice president of the Campaign for Real Time, who travels in a ship powered by irrational behavior; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-president of the galazy; and Trillian, the sexy space cadet who is torn between a persistent Thunder God and a very depressed Beeblebrox.
How will it all end? Will it end? Only this stalwart crew knows as they try to avert “universal” Armageddon and save life as we know it–and don’t know it!

My Review:

I have to confess I listened to this book twice.  Not because it was so great but because when I sat down to write the review I realized that I had not paid attention for most of the book and didn’t know anything that happened.  So, I was going to town the next day and decided to go shopping and decided to start the book over again.  It is only five hours long and shopping took up three or four of those so it wasn’t a great hardship.  I liked enough of what I could remember to want to go back and see what I missed.

I did manage to pay a bit better attention for most of the book in the second listening but that final hour and a half I still lost interest.  I’m not going to try a third time.  I did like the book and have enjoyed the series for the most part.  Got to love quirky British humor.  I think the main problem for me was this story was simply a bit disjointed for me. Too much all over the place and didn’t hold enough continuity.  It wrapped up nicely and brought everything around in a full circle but everything in between left me a little lost.

For much of the book, the group was separated from one another and pairs of them were off doing their own thing.  I needed the chemistry of the whole gang together for it to work for me.

I did enjoy the social commentary and observations that I noticed and that is what is going to keep me coming back for the next book.  I’ve also taken a shining to Arthur Dent.  He is such the reluctant hero who just wants a cup of tea and to be left alone while continuously being dragged into this crazy plot.  Loads of fun when I can focus.  Perhaps this is a book that would have worked better for me in print.  I would have missed out on some great narration, however as the reader does an excellent job of portraying these characters.

My Rating: 3 Stars

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This Wednesday I’m Reading…

 The Howling Shotgun Lovesongs Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1)

The Howling:  Started this last week and got about a chapter in before I ended up distracted by other things.  I hope to pick this up and read it tonight after I get off work as it is only 70 pages long that shouldn’t be a problem.

Shotgun Lovesongs: This will be the next audiobook that I start after I finish up my review for Life, The Universe and Everything.   That should actually be on this list too but I decided to not include it as I only have an hour to listen to and in all actuality, it is my second listen… Read the review to find out why.  Shotgun Lovesongs is the book talk book for July at my library and I want to have it listened to before I hand out books so I can answer questions about it.

Wild Hunger: Still waiting to start this one from last week.  I actually moved it to currently reading on Goodreads because I hope to actually start it this week.   Better get moving if I want to have this one read before our Chicago trip.

I kind of like doing this post each week.  It is helping me stay accountable for my reading.  Or at least remind me that I need to be reading each week.  Of course, that is all a load of BS if I go home tonight and fire up Sims 3 and spend the night telling little people what to do…


Top Ten Tuesday: Vacay reads

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:

June 19: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach

This feels pretty similar to a TTT list I wrote up recently, maybe the books and travel something or other.  I know we have done lists similar to this one in past summers and I would like to post some fresh titles.  So I’m going to look for titles that I would like to take on vacation.

Ten books that I’d take on Vacation

  1. Carpe Demon (Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, #1) The cover of this one just screams light summer read.  A demon-hunting soccer mom?  Sounds like a hoot to me.  Looks like I might even have it on my nook so I could read it on my phone and save some space.
  2. A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2) We are going to be spending five days in Chicago this summer so why not pack a suspenseful romance set in the city!  This is book two which I happen to have in paperback form perfect for reading on the train.
  3. Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross, #1) This book is a brick so not really ideal for taking on a trip but the pirate/historical/paranormal/romance might be fun for a Caribbean beach.  I’ll check to see if the audiobook is available with my library.
  4. Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1) I’ve only read one series by Christopher Moore that consisted of two books.  I enjoyed them and thought his humor might be fun for vacation.  After all who wouldn’t want to laugh while relaxing.
  5. Island of the Sequined Love Nun Mr. Moore made it on to the list twice because I couldn’t decide between the two books.  I believe I have the other one on hand but this title seems more fitting for a beach vacation.
  6. Private Eye (Tiger's Eye Mystery, #2) I enjoyed book one of the paranormal urban fantasy series set in Florida.  They have beaches in Florida right?
  7. Agent to the Stars Another fun funny author, John Scalzi would be great for reading on vacation.  I might hold off taking this one simply because it was signed to me when I met him in Iowa City.  Yep, I name dropped.
  8. Afterburn & Aftershock (Jax & Gia, #1-2) Maybe you are in the mood for a little steam while you have your toes in the sand.  One of Ms. Day’s books should hook you up for a little summer romance that is sure to have you blushing.
  9. Space Unicorn Blues I put in a review request for this title as it looked like a lot of fun.  Maybe I will be approved, maybe not but with a July 3 release date I’m not sure I can get a hold of a copy before my vacation.  People visit bookstores on vacation right? Update:  Turned down for an ARC, probably won’t be going out of my way to pick it up or get around to reading it.
  10. Every Demon Has His Day (Demon, #1) Chick-lit: check, romance: check, paranormal: check, humor: check this one ticks off my list of books I’d enjoy while sitting on a beach or by the pool.  Sounds like fun.

There you have my list of contenders for my upcoming vacation in Chicago this summer. I’ll probably be too busy to read but a book blogger always has to be prepared for a reading emergency.  Seriously, though I’ll probably take a couple of audiobooks for walking around and L riding and a paperback to read on the train into town and before I unwind before bed.  What book would you take on vacation?  Share in the comments.


Vampire’s Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

Book Review


Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8)Book Genre: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Book Series: Dark Protectors #8

Released: 6/19/18 by Lyrical Press

Pages: 292  Price: $5.99 ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. 



Book Synopsis:

Vampire King Ronan Kayrs wasn’t supposed to survive the savage sacrifice he willingly endured to rid the world of the ultimate evil. He wasn’t supposed to emerge in this time and place, and he sure as hell wasn’t supposed to finally touch the woman who’s haunted his dreams for centuries. Yet here he is, in an era where vampires are hidden, the enemy has grown stronger, and his mate has no idea of the power she holds.

Dr. Faith Cooper is flummoxed by irrefutable proof that not only do vampires exist . . . they’re hot-blooded, able to walk in sunlight, and shockingly sexy. Faith has always depended on science, but the restlessness she feels around this predatory male defies reason. Especially when it grows into a hunger only he can satisfy—that is if they can survive the evil hunting them both.

My Review:

The Dark Protectors was a completed series and the author had moved onto other series including a spin-off that failed to capture my interest.  I loved the series and was sad to see it go but completely satisfied with where it left us.  After rereading my review for book 7, however, I see that I had wished the author would revisit the world and continue someday.

Well, today is that day!  If you don’t take into account the novella and short stories…  Anyway, Vampire’s Faith is a full-length novel set in the Dark Protectors world and I’m thrilled to see that this series is back!

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew there were going to be a strong-willed defiant female lead and a pig-headed yet completely sexy alpha male that would swoop in and throw her over his shoulder to claim her as his mate.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The action was plentiful and nicely paced, and the romance full of tension and chemistry.   I so enjoyed watching Faith defy and attempt to resist Ronan knowing full well he would win her in the end.  some days you are just in the mood to read about a female standing up to a pushy mate.  My only complaint about their relationship is one sex scene near the end bothered me a bit as it felt that sex was being used for a punishment and I’m just not into that sort of thing.  Otherwise, this was a great couple and I enjoyed reading about their pairing.

If you are looking to check in on some of the previous characters in this world you might be a bit disappointed.  They were mentioned several times but largely stayed out of the plot.  We do have a couple of their kids play prominent roles in this new book but the rest stay out of the picture mostly.  I don’t want to spoil the plot but the way the story went gives me hope that the series will continue and we might get a chance to see familiar faces.

This was a great read and I loved the fresh plot and new adventures that await us.  If you enjoyed the first seven books you won’t want to miss this one.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Monday Morning Check-In: Feeling the Heat

Good morning everyone.  I did manage to get some reading done last week and even finished a couple of books.  Then the heat wave struck and you would think that I’d just hide in the air condition and read.  Nope.  I did try to listen to an audiobook but then realized I was distracted for the second half of the book and decided to try again.  I hope to finish up that today and post a review.  I do have another short book to finish up and review before its release date next week.  Then I hope to start the ARC that I’m most excited to read before our trip to Chicago next month.

There is only one more day left in this heat wave and it is my day off so maybe I will be able to step away from the computer and actually read.  Have a great week everyone!

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review


Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Charley Davidson #11

Released: 1/24/17 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 310 Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library. 



Book Synopsis:

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

My Review:

While I’ve been enjoying this reread of the Charley Davidson series I’m ready to be done and read the last book.  I’m glad I took the time to refresh the entire series but I desperately want fresh material and to know how everything ends up!  There have been some teasers shared in the synopsis of the last book shocked me a bit as to what might have happened between book 12 and 13.  All I know for sure is that I. Need. It. Now.

Anyway, not a lot I can say that wasn’t said in my review of the print book.  I remember the plot in this one and the next better than earlier books because I read them recently.  The cliffhanger ended was a little less traumatic because I know what happens in book 12.

Overall this has been a great listen, though.  If anyone is looking for a sexy fun, hilarious audiobook for a road trip or simply while working on something I highly suggest this one.  The voice artist was truly an excellent choice for this series.

It will be a bit of a wait before I can get book 12.  I’m something like number 16 in line for four copies.  I should be able to finish it well before 2019 when the last book is slated for release but I might be a month or two before I can finish the reread.

My Rating: 5 Stars

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This Wednesday I’m Reading…

The Howling Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11) Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1)

The Howling is an ARC that comes out later this month by an author I’ve enjoyed in the past but haven’t read in quite some time because she ventured away from the paranormal genre.  I’ve taken a peek at the rating and I’m a bit concerned that this book won’t be one I enjoy.  I’m going to give it a try however and hope that I’m one that this book works for.  If it doesn’t then you probably won’t be seeing it mentioned again on the blog.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight is my audiobook selection this week.  I’m almost finished with my audiobook reread of the series and about half done with this book.  I’m also ready for the last book to release because I am craving a fresh story in this world.  The last two books were ones that I read recently so the story stands out the most in my memory.  Going to need to keep my eye out for the last ARC drop as they tend to release them pretty early for this series.

Wild Hunger is the spin-off Chicagoland Vampires series that I was super excited to be approved for.  I’ve not started this one yet and it doesn’t release until August but my husband and I are planning a trip to Chicago in July so I thought it would be fun to start this before then.

In all actuality, I’m just happy to be reading anything this Wednesday as much of the month has been fairly book free.  I did force myself to get serious about breaking the dry spell and spent the past to evenings in bed with a book and what do you know I actually finished one.  Look for that review next week.

Top Ten Tuesday: Have book will travel

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:

June 12: Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

I imagine we have done variations on the travel topic for TTT in the past.  Not feeling very creative today,  I’m trying to finish up an audiobook, I’ve decided to pick two locations that I enjoy visiting and share the books that make me long for those locations.  I’ve visited Turkey and Chicago the most so I’ll try to find five for each.

Ten books that make me long for…

  1. Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses, and Saints Turkey: This is a non-fiction book about the author’s summer spent in Turkey.  It was an interesting and fairly good example of travel in Turkey a few years ago.  With the current government and war raging in Syria I cannot recommend going their anytime soon.  I suggest living vicariously through books like this one.
  2.  Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1) Chicago:  If you have ever seen the movie V.I. Warshawski this is the book series the movie was based upon.  I enjoyed the series before moving onto paranormal books.  Set in Chicago these books were a lot of fun to read as V.I. took us around the city.  I always suggest them to fans of the city.
  3. The Bastard of Istanbul Turkey: Such a beautiful cover featuring the traditional Turkish tile. This is written by a Turkish author who does a great job of capturing the city in which she lives.  Also, a little bit of the controversy between Turks and the Armenian minority of the country.
  4.  The Time Traveler's Wife Chicago:  I’ve mentioned this book many times in my TTT lists.  Another reason I enjoy the story is that it takes place in Chicago and features many of the landmarks that I am familiar with.
  5. My Name Is Memory Turkey:  This is a time-travel reincarnation story that includes several locations in Turkey as its plot unfolds.
  6. Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1) Chicago: Not the typical type of romance story that I pick up but I was in need of an audiobook one week and saw that this one takes place in Chicago.
  7. The Oracle of Stamboul Turkey: a beautiful historical book set in Istanbul that sweeps one away to the age of sultans in a city that was the crossroads of civilization.  It was a wonderful way to explore the streets of Stamboul.
  8. Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1) Chicago:  Probably my favorite series set in Chicago!  Love this one so much that I’ve made plans to visit some of the locations and food mentioned by the author.
  9. Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2) Turkey:  This is another historical book set in Istanbul but also takes us to a region of Turkey I’ve never been to.  The Black Sea coast was never up on my list of must-see in Turkey but this book makes me think it might be worth a trip.
  10. When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity, #1) Chicago:  This was another paranormal romance/urban fantasy series set in Chicago with some other areas around the mid-west featured as well.

Another week another list.  What books set in locations you’ve been to have you read?  Share in the comments.