Monday Morning Check-In: Over It.

Happy Monday everyone!  Didn’t get my post written this morning because I needed to clean my chicken coop and do some other chores.  So let’s talk about the elephant in the blog, shall we?  I seem to be slowing down in my reading and posts.  I’m not sure what is up and why I’m not into reading currently but I don’t seem to be doing as much of it.  I wonder if the pressure to create content killed my interest or if it was something else but I simply have not been putting in the time and effort needed to make this book review blog a success.  And you know what? That’s alright.  This is not a job. No one is paying me.  I am only accountable to myself and my followers.  So I think this is what I’m going to do.  I’m going to take the pressure off even further.  I’m going to take a break from Net Galley, which is my current source of stress related to the blog.  It helps that I haven’t found anything I’m super excited about in a while over there so when I finish up my three books up for review  I’m going to take an extended break from Net Galley.  Sure it is a lot of fun to read a book before others get to but it isn’t like I can’t read the book later.  I do work at a library so it isn’t even like I would have to buy all the books I want to read I can simply borrow them from my library or another.  I just find myself over Net Galley.  I simply want to read a book because I’m interested in it and not because I owe a publisher a review by release day.  2019 is going to be the year I try to rekindle my love of reading by reading whatever the hell I like and not worry if it is current or relevant.  I might spend a month reading nothing but Star Trek novels or pick up a really old series I’ve never tried.  Explore genres or take a month and read nothing at all.  I’m not going to sign up for Goodreads pledge either, well I might say I’ll read one book and just use it to record how many I do finish next year.  I do want the pretty little badge for my profile after all.  I do plan to continue posting for Top Ten Tuesday because I enjoy the challenge and I will probably still post a weekly update but the monthly recaps will disappear if I haven’t finished any books that month.  I hope you all don’t mind but I simply don’t want the pressure in committing to more.  I just feel like the blog has gotten a little stale and might think of some other types of posts I can deliver to you all.  I have been toying with doing a Wish bookish haul like the videos on YouTube.  If that sounds like something you’d enjoy leave a comment and let me know.  Or leave a link to something you saw on Wish that you would like to see reviewed.  Have a great week everyone!  Happy reading.

Advertisements

Dead Eye by Alyssa Day

Book Review

 


Dead Eye (Tiger's Eye Mystery, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Book Series: Tiger’s Eye Mystery #1

Released: 2/27/17 by Alyssa Day

Pages: 257 Price: $4.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

For Jack Shepherd, tiger shape-shifter and former soldier, life is heading for a dead end. Dead End, Florida, to be exact. When he learns that he inherited a combination pawn shop/private investigation agency from his favorite uncle, Jack’s first job is to solve his uncle’s murder. Because sometimes it takes a tiger’s eye to see the truth.

Tess Callahan, who owns half a pawn shop in the strangest town in Florida, didn’t expect Jack to show up and be so very enticing. And exciting. And annoyingly over-protective. But when yet another dead body shows up on her doorstep, it’s time to take action. And if she has to team up with a sexy tiger shape-shifter to do it, well, that’s just a bonus. 

Welcome to Dead End, Florida, where Bigfoot keeps a winter home. And welcome to the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries!

My Review:

When I took a chance on this book I did not realize it was a spin-off from this author’s Warriors of Poseidon series.  Not that I have a problem starting with a spin-off but I had tried the other series and didn’t care for it.  I’m glad I didn’t know that when I picked up this one because I really enjoyed this book.  I did feel that there was some information that I was missing out on not having read the other series but it didn’t bother me enough to stop reading this book.

Another thing that surprised me was that this story is told from Tess’s perspective only.  When you read the synopsis on Goodreads it ends with the first paragraph above and there is no mention of Tess’s character at all.  (They synopsis above was taken from Net Galley in order to save you the confusion I felt)  Not a big deal but I thought I was in a male’s head and when he started checking out the other male character…well let’s just say I thought the book was going to take quite the different path than I expected.  I finally figured out I was in a girl’s head it became a story that I was much more familiar with.  Although, the other would have been fun too.  Might have to look into checking out some LGBTQIA shifter tales to see what I think.

This was a fun read all around.  It felt a lot like the Sookie Stackhouse series and if you enjoyed that world I would suggest giving this one a try.  I liked Tess and found her pawn shop to be a hoot.  There are tons of potential plots to be had in that setting.  Jack was interesting but I felt like I didn’t get a chance to know him as well as Tess.  That might be because he was brought over from the other series and I missed out on some key history for his character.  The town was a good mix of fun supporting character and creepy bad guys, some I really wanted to tear into myself.

The author did a great job of making me invested in this town and its resident.  I see that there are two more books out, a novella and another full-length novel and I really want to pick them up to find out what happens next.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Bookish Thoughts: I’m Done…

…with the Blogging for Books review program. Every time I’ve logged on to the site over the past year there is never any books I’m interested in reading.  Because of that, I wasn’t actively posting reviews and I noticed the books offered to me became more and more limited.  That might also have something to do with my Klout score being low due to my reduced social media activity.

Blogging for Books was nice in that they sent you a physical book. But when the selection to choose from is so crappy what is the point?  I’ve never been a fan of how they ran their system, limiting review copies to one book at a time and a wait time before having access to a new title after posting your review of course… (example: I receive my book in two days, read it, yet have to wait their arbitrary amount of time before I can post my review) They would also not offer the same books to every participant.  If your Klout score wasn’t up to their snuff then you only had access to their less popular titles to review.   I understand it is their site and their rules but I’m done jumping through their hoops. I also understand this will probably put me on a blacklist over on Net Galley as well.  That’s okay too.

I’m also drastically reducing my review requests on other sites like Edelweiss and Net Galley.  Edelweiss has never been a lucky place for me to request titles anyway and if it wasn’t for one publisher granting me access to a beloved author through that site I would be giving them up as well.  Net Galley, on the other hand, has been a great way for me to try different authors and score some ARCs in series I follow.  But I have noticed recently that there are fewer titles I’m interested in requesting from that site as well.  I continue to check their new listings every day but rarely do I put in a request anymore.    Of course, there are some months that I find a bunch of titles I’m interested in but that tends to be the exception.

I’ve also noticed that I’m not being offered review copies from Indie authors as often.  Which honestly is fine with me.  I’m going to say 90% of the titles offered to me are nothing even remotely similar to the types of books I read.  Either the authors are offering less, actually reading my review request rules and honoring them, or I’ve fallen out of favor.  Maybe it is a mix of all three.

So have any of you noticed a decline in review copies available or of interest through any of these sites?  Are you scaling back or ramping up your review requests?  Or do you avoid them altogether and just read what you want?

Bookish Thoughts: So Shiny

Bookish Thoughts

I may be requesting fewer review books through Net Galley but that doesn’t mean I don’t log in and check the new titles twice daily, once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  Today when I logged on to see what was new I noticed something on my dashboard.  This
Reviews Published

I earned a shiny new badge to go along with the five others they have awarded me.  This one means that at least three of my reviews have been featured on their title’s info page by the publisher.  Now I know, this is simply arbitrary rewards given by the company to encourage us to review…  Still, I’m excited as this is one that I was actually coveting.  So.  Yay me and thanks to the publishers for the books to review and then appreciating my feedback.  It is always nice to feel like the time and effort you put into a passion is noticed.  My next goal is to earn the 200 reviews badge.  Only 70 more books to go.

Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Freedom!

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone!  This post is being written up on Saturday because I am really on the ball this week.  Or I had some free time and decided to fill it by being productive instead of wasting time on YouTube.  See I can be responsible.  Anyway, I’m coming off a busy week and my attitude has really taken a hit.  Just too much time around people and I am getting all sensitive.  Sensitive to noise, sensitive to being touched, sensitive to perceived insults or challenges to authority… Basically, I just need some time alone where I don’t have to do anything.  Tuesday is looking pretty good.

Anyway, I actually got more reading done this week than I thought I would.  I DNFed three of my review books as they just were not working for me which means I am ready to declare my reading independence!!! I have NO REVIEW  BOOKS! Not a single one.  No deadlines, no pressure, simple freedom to read whatever catches my fancy.   I’m not sure what to do with myself.  I have so many books that have piled up while I was working on reading books with a deadline that I’m not sure where to start.  I am thinking about taking the rest of the month off from review requests and just reading whatever the hell I want to!  It is so liberating.  Oh sure I am still checking Net Galley and Blogging for Books but nothing is catching my eye.  I’ve decided I’m not going to request a book just to have a review ARC for the blog.  If something I really want to read pops up or there is a title I was already going to read I will put in a request.  So often as bloggers we get obsessed with obtaining those ARCs that we push aside other books we have been wanting to read for them because there is a deadline attached.  How about every once in a while we just read something that interests us and who cares how old it is or that everyone else and their brother has already reviewed the book.  I haven’t.  Why shouldn’t my opinion be added to the mix?

So those are my reading plans for the rest of the month.  Trying to make a dent in the mountain of books on my to-read bookcase or Nook.  I’m thinking it will be a nice change of pace.  How about you?  Fellow bloggers do you ever get ARC fatigue?  Do you ever take a break from requesting books for review?  Or am I the only one….

Happy Reading ~Amy

Monday Morning Check-In: Reading Inturuptus.

P1000670

 

Good Monday morning everyone in reading land.  I have done 0 minutes of reading this weekend.  Now part of that is I’m struggling to get into the indie book I agreed to review, but like 75% if it is my husband’s fault.  I’m finding that when he has time off I get no reading done at all.  That is not an awful thing we had a lovely day out together, but it is not helping me catch up and post reviews on my blog either.  I’m still leaning towards relaxing my reading commitment next year.  Only pledging to read a book a week and just using the counter at Goodreads to see how many I can read in a year.  In other words I still want that shiny little badge for my profile and am not too proud to cheat to get it…

Another issue I’m having is recently I’ve been pre-approved over at Net Galley for two books through a publisher.  Both of the books are in the genres I read, one is by an author I don’t care for; the other is an anthology I might be interested in reading, but probably would not have requested.  I’m thrilled that they are noticing my blog and sending me books, but now I feel a little bit of guilt for not reading the books.  One of them I already gave feedback and explained that I didn’t like the author and now the second book expires in four days and I haven’t started it yet and might not get around to it at all.  I want the to still approve me for books, but when I didn’t request the title in the first place I don’t think I should feel guilty for not fitting it into my reading schedule either.  What do you think?  How do you handle books that publishers pre-approve you for review?  Do you attempt to fit them in or pass them up if they aren’t something you are that interested in?  I just thought I would ask to see what other bloggers thought on this issue.

Need to get some house and yard work done today. Cooking eggplant for lunch and then digging potatoes that have been in the ground for far too long already.  With all the non-reading time I spent this summer you would think the garden wouldn’t have been so neglected…

Monday Morning Question: New Favorites

13829744482f96a

 

Good Monday Morning, it is still technically morning… just barely.  I was struggling to come up with a topic for this morning’s question and decided to go through my review index for inspiration.  Just over a year of blogging and I’ve run out of questions to as already…not a good sign. Anyway I started to notice a good portion of my reviewed books were through review requests, either by me though Net Galley or another site, or from authors themselves looking for reviews.  To me this is the best perk of blogging, people giving you free books to read!  Over the past year there have been many that I’ve enjoyed and plenty that I’ve felt eh about and even a few that I didn’t like.  I thought I would share with you some of the authors that I’ve discovered through review requests and ask:

What new (or new to you) authors have you discovered through reviewing books?

Here are some of my new favorites found this year.  Book picture linked to reviews.

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)

I received a different book in this author’s other series last year, just before or around the start of my blog.  It was like book 7 and I needed to read the entire series before I could start that one, thank goodness my library had them!  Loved the world and am thrilled to still be approved to review her releases.

The Martian

This is perhaps one of my biggest review request titles and the biggest surprise for me.  I actually received the physical book, having requested it on a whim.  LOVED it, as you might already know.  It also serves to remind me to take a chance every now and again and request something a little different from my normal tastes.

Vincent (Vampires in America, #8)

This is another author that I requested something like book six in the series.  I didn’t know much about the author having never heard of her before, but loved the action packed world I found and quickly requested all the other books in the series for review.

Prototype (Archetype #2)

This author was great,  loved this dystopian world she created.  So hope she decides to add new stories in this world as I feel there is so much potential left to explore.

Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5)

If you are looking for steam and action give this author a try. Her series I discovered is finished, but I’m curious so see what her new series is all about.

Angel Bait (The Angel Assassins)

Another great new author. Loved her writing and am looking forward to seeing where she takes us next.

Making Magic (Books of the Kindling, #3)

This is one of the independent authors that reached out to me for a review.  I decided to take a chance and found a fun new world to explore.  Don’t be so quick to turn down indie authors,  you are going to miss out on some great reads!

Guardian's Patience

 

This book I saved for last because technically I started reading her books well before my blog.  Still I would not have found her work if it had not been for a review request that I signed up for on Goodreads.  She is another super talented indie author that I highly recommend.

 

 So, what authors have you discovered through review requests?

Tamed by Rebecca Zanetti – 4 Stars

Tamed (Dark Protectors, #6.5)

I received this book for review from the publisher through Net Galley

Synopsis found on Goodreads (Click Here)

#6.5 in the Dark Protectors Series

Publication Date: May 15, 2014

This is my first time reading this author.  I knew it was part of a series, but it looked interesting and I hoped that I would not be too lost as to what was going on.  While I might have enjoyed the book more if I had read the previous titles I still was able to figure out what was going on and liked the story.   I plan on going back and starting at the beginning to find out how this world got to this point in its history.

The story was captivating, filled with action and a couple good steamy scenes.  I liked Caleb, he is a warrior and isn’t about to change his ways  just because he was thrust into this role of prophet.  Lily was all button up and formal, taking her role as prophet very seriously.  You could feel the chemistry between these two and I’m surprised that they didn’t spontaneously combust after holding back from each other for so many centuries.

Although I didn’t learn much, I learned enough so that the story made sense, I would like to explore this universe more.  It looks like are at a pivotal moment in this world’s search for peace and I was intrigued to learn more, so I quickly looked up and ordered the first book in the series so I can catch up.    It looks as if there are a lot of different types of creatures that are in conflict.  The book also had a science fiction feel to it that doesn’t often show up in paranormal stories.    The writing was well done and reminded me of authors such as Kim Harrison, Sherrilyn Kenyon,  Lara Adrian, and Alexandra Ivy.

Sophia by D.B.Reynolds – 3 Stars

Sophia (Vampires in America, #4)

Find book synopsis over on GoodReads

Book 4 in the Vampires in America Series

I received this book from the publisher for review through Net Galley

While I’m still enjoying this series, on the whole,  I do think I need to take a break before I read book 5 and the two novellas.  I found myself skimming the sex scenes and that my mind would wonder a bit from time to time.  All signs that I need to take a break before I get burned out on the series.  Sometimes this happens when the books in a series seem to follow a formula, not that that is a bad thing, but when you read them back I find it difficult for what I’m reading to keep my attention.

This book is a good addition to the series.  I thought perhaps the author would start going in a new direction, but instead she returned to the West coast and much of the story centers around Cyn and Raphael again.  This time they share the spotlight, fairly evenly, with Sophia and Colin.  The story centers around the violent murder of several of Raphael’s children.  At the same time there is instability in the Canadian territory by the missing of the lord there who is Sophia’s sire.

There was plenty of action, and guns (again a lot more information than I needed about the vamp’s sidearms) and a mystery around a missing person.  That seemed to take the back burner for much of the story as the vamps race to discover who is killing vamps during the day.  We also have a bit of a power struggle between Raphael and Cyn in this story as she continues to assert her independents from Raphael and tries to prove her value despite the fact that she is simply a human and his mate.  Unfortunately this ends up being to her detriment and she pays a very high price.  Of course it works out in the end and we are again left with a cliffhanger that leads us to believe the couple is not quite out of the woods yet.  I was a little disappointed to see that Sophia and Colin’s story is almost an afterthought in the book and is wrapped up swiftly near the end. I’m not sure they were granted their fair allotment of time to share their story.  I hope the author revisits them again because I fear Sophia has a hard road ahead of her.

Rajmund by D.B. Reynolds – 3 Stars

Rajmund (Vampires in America, #3)

Book synopsis over on Goodreads (click here)

Vampires in America book 3

I received this book for review from the publisher through Net Galley

This is the fourth book I have read in this series and it has been interesting to see how the series works its way up to book 6, the first one I read.  Reading in order this is the first book that ventures away from Cyn and Raphael as being the center of the story line.  The couple is only barely in book 6 so it looks like the author is going to wean us off them bit by bit.  They show up in the very beginning of this story and again at the end as a cliffhanger that I hope is resolved in the next book.  This is Sarah and Rajmund’s story though and and they play the most prominent roll.  Again I find myself unsure how to rate this book, 3 or 4 stars, so I will wait to the end to make my final decision.

I like the change of direction in this series.  It was nice to get out of the West coast and be introduced to a new lord’s territory  and see how he came to power.  Some of the same themes are used in this book as in others in this series.  We are again dealing with a missing person and one half of the love interest that has trouble committing to a relationship.  Guns play a less prominent roll, but we don’t see a decrease in violence.  They are vampires after all.  We do get to catch a glimpse of what the vamps would be like if left to their own devises allowed to run wild without a strong lord.

I liked Sarah,  she has an interesting past that I would have liked to learn more about.  What happen to her and her “power” is kind of just taken for granted and not gone into much detail.  With all the vamps in this series we get great flashbacks detailing how they become vampires and the source of their issues they are working through, but the humans not so much.  It would be nice to learn more about them too.

Rajmund was well done in this story as well.  He was a fun pretty boy that knew how to charm the ladies.  He was everything you would want in a male lead; strong, good looking, charismatic, a reluctant hero.  My only complaint about him is his inability to let things go and holds on to a grudge, but perhaps that is what also makes him a good character.  He isn’t perfect.  He has a flaw.

As with other books in this series the supporting characters outside of the lime-light are a hoot. Perhaps after this author works through all the Lords she can go back and give some of them a h.e.a too.  I would like to see someone for Duncan and Emelie.   The villains were well done but we didn’t see much of them in this book, which was fine.  I’m not such a fan of being in the bad guy’s head in these escapist reads.  I want a good story with a little mystery, a puzzle to figure out and a juicy romance.  This story delivered all that and I enjoyed it.  Still not sure how to rate it…  I’m thinking 3 stars.  While I really liked Sarah and Raj, compared to the other book in this series this story left me wanting more, and unlike Cyn and Raphael’s story I think this one has been wrapped up. I hope to see them again, but I think we are moving on to other areas of this world.