Friday, December 29, 2017

Books I'm looking forward to in 2018

Every year new books constantly come out making it hard for a reader to dwindle their too read list because we are constantly adding new books that we want to read.  I believe my too read list has reached into the 2,000 mark making the possibilities endless.  2018 is filled with releases of so many interesting and great novels from authors we know and love as well as break-out authors.  I have gone through and added at least 20 new books to my too read list and find myself realizing I have fallen behind on some reading, specifically from some of my favorite authors like Gena Showalter.  Here are some novels I am looking forward to getting and reading in the upcoming year.  Will I get able to get them...we shall see.

"The Traitor's Game" is about a young woman who has spent year in exile, but she is still drawn to the palace politics of her father as he is the right hand to King Endrick.  Because of this position, Kestra is the perfect bargaining chip.  Rebels kidnap Kestra on her way home and try to use her to obtain a mystical object that can destroy the king.  Kestra does not go willing and fights back against her captors.  She will destroy their plans by any means necessary.  But as secrets begin to emerge and be known, she will have to decide who and what she is fighting for, and is it worth fighting?

I love the premise of the story, the cover is gorgeous and it seems like it would be a good afternoon read.  I am looking forward to checking this novel out when it is release.

A theater festival is putting on a production of "The Hound of the Baskerville,s a production Gemma is excited to be a part of .  During a tea party Gemma meets with Sir Nigel Bellingham who will play the lead role of Holmes, then he goes missing!  Gemma finds the bottom of a cliff.....dead. (GASP). Gemma decides to do some investigating and finds out that there is another actor who was given the role first.  Many people are suspect due to Nigel's attitude and behavior to them, but Leslie Wilson becomes the prime suspect because a part of her apron is found at the scene.  Now Gemma has to clear her friend's mother's name.

Cozy mysteries are a guilty pleasure of mine, they are so easy to read and don't have a lot of gore and stuff that typical mysteries have.  This book involves a great story, so I am excited to see what will become of it.

In this re-telling of Aladdin, he grows up alone an orphan.  He meets a woman named Kirstyn who's parents are both in positions of power, her father a duke; her mother the patroness of Aladdin's orphanage.  Aladdin becomes Kirstyn favorite companion, best friend even.  Aladdin rises in the ranks to obtain a position in the duke's house, but in order win Kirstyn's hand he must leave their kingdom is search of more.  Thus leaving Kirstyn vulnerable to thirsty men who want nothing more than to take her father's power.  Aladdin must now fight to win her hand and rescue her along the way.

I have always been a fan of Melanie Dickerson.  Her novels are romance in genre, but it is a pure romance.  This means no sex scenes (GASP the horror I know).  This is a great series and I am looking forward to more from this remarkable author.

Popular girls in a local high school are being murdered and arranged in a particular way.  The look almost perfect, except for the line of blood across their necks.  Penelope Malone is afraid that she will be next as all the other girls have been linked to her...and the boy from physics...the loner type.  The two pair up to try and figure this mystery out and try to stay one step ahead of the killer who wants all the pretty girls dead, including Penelope.

I find myself interested in this novel, it sounds like it will be a thrilling suspenseful read. I have high hopes for this novel and look forward to picking it up in the next year.

There are so many books coming out in the next year that it is hard to keep track of all of them or to even mention them within this post.  But you can be sure that I will be reading many new books throughout the year.    What are some of the books that you are looking forward to this coming year?  Let me know in the comments! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Reading Challenges

I haven't actually done any reading challenges other than setting a goal for how many books I want to read in a year, and most of the time I don't make my mark.  Sometimes I do but most times not, like this year I didn't make it. This year though I decided I am going to do some challenges in 2018, they seem like fun and some have groups and followings on Facebook and Goodreads.  So it should be fun and I hope to complete them. 

Alphabet Soup:  This challenge is easy to explain and might be the easier of the three challenges I am going to try and do.  The idea is to read a book starting with a letter of the alphabet in the title like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for A or Tales of Beatle Bard for T.  I think Q, X, Z are going to be the tougher letters, but hey it's a challenge right?!

Birth Year Challenge:  This challenge will be fun.  The idea is to read books published in the year that you were born.  I am an 80's baby, so I am excited to see if the literature is as awesome as the movies and music were, so my year to be exact is 1982.  It'll be fun to see what was published that year.  We'll see how many I can read! 

Banned Books Challenge:  This one will be a little bit harder for me to do.  This challenge is to read as many banned books in the year.  What the challenge will be is that I have already read many books that are now on the Banned Book list.  I could re-read them, but I want to read books I haven't read yet and see why they are banned or challenge.  This one is as much an educational and familiarizing myself with what is going on in the literary world as it is expanding my literary knowledge and joyful reading.

The good thing is that books can cross over challenges, so whatever books I read for one challenge I can use if it fits in another like if I need an H and a book I read from 1982 starts with an H I can use it for the alphabet soup one.  Yay!  I am excited to see what I can come up with and actually have some friends helping me think of books to try.  Wish me luck!

What are some challenges you are doing in 2018 to help dwindle that TBR list or even add to it?  Leave me a comment!

Happy Reading y'all!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Fourth Monkey

Title: The Fourth Monkey
Author:  J.D. Barker
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Source: Print: Hardback
Rating: 5 out of 5, beyond 5 actually

The Four Monkey Killer has been elusive for the past 5 years, taking girls and dismembering them, sending parts to their families prior to killing them.  When he is identified as a victim of a bus accident while delivering yet another package, detectives Nash and Porter race against time to find out where his latest victim is.  Upon his body a diary is found detailing his life as a child, along with what seems to be a random assortment of items.  The detectives try to follow the clues to find out who 4MK really is and where he has hidden his last girl.

This is probably my favorite book that I have read this year.  There are honestly no words for how phenomenal this book was to read.  I could not put it down, and when I did, I counted the moments until I could pick it back up again.  It lived inside my head and I felt addicted to the writing and characters.  I could have sworn I went through withdrawal symptoms (jokingly).  I lost sleep trying to find out what would happen next.  Every
time I thought I had something figured out, Barker would throw in a twist and all my theories went out the window.

I absolutely love the idea of the killer doing things according the the three (well four) wise monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and lastly do no evil.  It was such a unique concept that I instantly fell in love with it.  I couldn't stop myself from telling everyone around me about this book.  There are things that after you finish reading the book, you wonder why you didn't pick up on it the first time around.  I love how the novel ended, it makes me anxious for June 2018 for Fifth to Die to be release, and I'm also probably hoping over to amazon to pick up Forsaken as well!

I loved the characters and the development and depth behind Sam Porter, but I expected a little more from his back-story and a little more for Nash as well.  I loved Nash's character and wanted (still want) more of his character in the story, maybe in the next book?  I actually enjoyed the killer a lot as well, I find his diary interesting and while it may have felt a little on the far-fetched wild side, but at the same time it is one of those stories that gets you thinking and wondering what a radical sort of family would do in the same circumstances.   Even Falcor found it a little chilling and captivating!!

When you open the book to the bus accident and the idea that the killer is already dead and now detectives need to puzzle it out to find the missing girl you are drawn completely into the story.  It is like nothing else I have read this year, or in a while.  I highly recommend this novel, this author, to anyone who loves a good book that refuses to be put down or to leave your mind.  Pick up a copy today, become a slave to J.D. Barker's writing!

** There is a hidden chapter online, but I have yet to find it, I will add that in when I find it!**

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to one and all.  I hope this year brings you lots of cheer and joy as you spend this time with those you love.  Reflect on the memories you made in the past year and look forward to the new.  Christmas is about more than just gifts and money, it's the time you spend with loved ones.  This has to be my favorite time of the year and I could wish more for my readers than a merry Christmas filled with peace and happiness. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Mistletoe At Moonglow

Title: Mistletoe at Moonglow
Author: Deborah Garner
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This year is the first year Mist is working at the Timberton Hotel, and she has made the hotel look beautiful as ever and is intent on making the holiday season perfect for all their guests.  While the guests spend time together Mist provides special thought out gifts and refreshments catered to each person.  This is the season for warm hearts and happiness, and Mist is determined to provide that to all of her new friends

This little novel was adorable to read, but there wasn't much to it beyond a slice of life type of story.  We don't delve deep into character relationships or backgrounds.  It is a great little heartwarming book to read on a Saturday afternoon with a cup of hot cocoa as it snows outside.  The things Mist does for each guest reminds readers what it really means to spread Christmas joy and love.  It's a cute, easy read. The writing style to clean and crisp, the setting and characters are described nicely and you get a clear picture of the personalities involved in the story.  I think my favorite character was the little boy Robert.  He added an air of innocence to the story.

The book seems to have a nice theme of healing as each of the guests all have their own personal issues to over come from the lose of a loved one to feeling homesick and even physical healing after a medical issue.  I enjoyed reading how each guest helped one another in small ways and the kinship they all had even with the new guests. I was waiting for something to happen, like a freak snow storm or large profession of love or something but nothing happened, it was all happy go lucky which is a nice change from novels that always have something happening in them.

Mistletoe at Moonglow is a sweet, sentimental, heartwarming story that will put you into the Christmas spirit.  I would recommend it if you like these kinds of book or if you are looking for a gentle read for this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Favorite books of 2017

As the year begins to come to a close, I look back on the books I have read throughout the year.  Some I enjoyed, others not so much, but the love of reading and the love of books remains strong as ever, if not stronger.  I was able to interview and meet some awesome authors as well as attend a great literary convention here in Pittsburgh.  Looking back through the year of books, There are some that became favorites that I will turn to time and time again as well as share with others, such as you all wonderful people.  Here are some of my favorite books I had the honor of reading this past year:

Beautiful Storm:  This was one of those books that I was expecting one thing based on the title and got something else.  I highly enjoyed reading this murder mystery, but would have liked to have had more with lightening, but the story was still very engaging, I liked the characters, and I couldn't put the book down.  I liked that the characters seemed to have their own demons they wrestled with which made it easier to relate to them.

Woodcutter: Woodcutter was probably my favorite book of the year.  I love fairy tales.  Everything about them brings me back to my childhood.  I love reading retellings and other author's takes on the different stories. The title is a little off putting because it's not about a typical fairy tale woodcutter, but about one who protects the fairy tale like characters.  It was also interesting that Danley incorporated some mythology in the tale with the use of Odin and the hellhounds.

The Rogue Mountain:  I am not a horror type of reader, and I honestly read this one simply because a friend of mine had written it.  I was captivated from the very beginning.  It was a horror novel that reflects on the unknown creature lurking in the shadows.  There are so many things in this novel that I want more of, and after some discussions, readers will see these creatures again in other novels.  YAY!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: The cover just drew me in and then when I read the blurb I thought: "lets give it a shot".  I was greatly surprised and happy that I did step outside of  my comfort zone to read this book. Sometimes it's good to grab a book outside of your normal genre, it helps you find new authors and new books to fall in love with, and this was that book for me, just fell in love with it.

Alice: This book is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, a morbid, grotesque version.  Christina Henry has a way of writing some of the most horrific scenes in an utterly beautiful way.  There are topics that might be a trigger for some such as rape,  but Henry does it in a way that gives strength to Alice. I love Alice in Wonderland retellings and this is one of the top favorite ones for me.

What are some of your favorite books that you read this year?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading

Monday, December 18, 2017

Notable Quotes

This has to be one of my all time favorite quotes about reading.  Being an avid reader has allowed me to explore worlds I would never have dreamed possible, make friends I would otherwise have never met.  I have fallen in love numerous times, dreamt of a world beyond my reach and cried with others who have felt heartache.    I cannot begin to describe what holding a book in my hands means to me, to say it is my life seems odd and silly, but it's true.  I am a reader, it's who I am. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Keepers verses Reapers

Title: Keeper Vs. Reaper
Author: Jennifer Malone Wright
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

After the death of their father, Lucy Estmond inherits the family business even though she is the youngest.  She knew she would be the one to take over watching the souls in the graveyard and keeping them from being stolen from the Reapers.  Reapers are beings that eat souls to keep their strength.  Each despise each other and Lucy continues the age old battle.  But everything changes when Lucy finds out about a prophecy of a Chosen One..  A prophecy that she fulfills of being the  keeper to bring the end of the Reapers.  During a chance encounter at her sister's bakery Lucy meets Jack.  A gorgeous man....and a Reaper.  After their meeting the two realize they now have an attraction they cannot break.  They have a need to be together, almost like breathing.  When Lucy gets kidnapped by Jack's own mother, he joins the Estmond family to save her.  Will they be able to figure out what is behind this unnatural attraction in time?  Will Lucy discover answers to all her lingering questions?

So the premise is interesting keeper and reapers battling over souls and a chosen one to bring down the end of the other.  But it is an idea that has been done many times including the idea of the chosen one being the seventh child, born on the seventh day of the seventh month.  I've seen this 7 theme in other books (the 7th son of the 7 son will be a chosen one type of thing)  Star crossed lovers, too cliché of the Romeo and Juliet ideal. I don't want to give spoilers but several times quotes from Romeo and Juliet entered my head as I was reading this.

The pacing is super slow, it takes a long time to build up and even then the climax sort of falls short of what I was expecting and the ending made me think "that's it?"  It didn't really make eager and excited to read the next book in the series.  There were too many questions left unanswered, and readers are left wondering why the characters are doing the things that they are doing.  The language in this is fowl lots of f words and other cussing.  I understand people do this and do it often, but sometimes in novels it takes away from what the author is trying to do.  It was way overused and got old after a while. 

The characters had no depth to them, you thought they would at various points, but then their story gets dropped.  Lucy totally treats Ethan like crap, Jack is a man whore who changes his ways for Lucy.  There are so many of the siblings that sometimes you lose track of who is who and some aren't even really in the book or have side moments just as a reminder, almost like "Oh hey yea there is a sister named Steph."  The prophecy doesn't even get explained more other than Lucy is the chosen one to bring an end to the reapers.  There should be more to it at least for the readers.  It didn't seem like the Estmonds were too concerned with finding out more about the prophecy to help Lucy other than caging her into the house.

If I see the second novel available on like a free ebook day I may read it to see if there are questions answered, but I don't expect myself to read the next one.  As I always this book may not have been for me, but someone else might enjoy it, so if you enjoy paranormal fantasies and the like then sure check out this novel.

If you have any recommendations for a fantasy novel you want me to review feel free to let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


For those of you who know me personally know not only do I love books, but I love tea of all sorts.  I am always up for trying something new with tea and checking out new local tea places or things online.  The other day I stumble across a product that is perfectly right up my alley:  Novelteas.  This is a tea that comes in a tea tin that looks like a book and has a name related to that of the book it represents like Oliver Lemon Twist.  How cute is that!!

The design and artwork of the tins are all original and make them special and unique.  I love that look like classic older books with the gold inlay and everything.  The "flavors" the have include (some are available for refills as well which is really cool):

  • Don QuixoTea - Man of La ManChai
  • Oscar Wilde's - The Picture of Earl Grey
  • War and Peach by L.N. Tolstoy
  • Pride and Peppermint by Jane Austen
  • Oliver Lemon Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Matcha Do About Nothing by W. Shakespeare

  • I ordered the Picture of Earl Grey (The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde).  After getting it in the mail I will come back and let you all know what it's like.  But regardless if you like tea and like books worth a look right?  Anyway just wanted to share this with you.  :)

    Happy Reading|!

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Biggest Bounty

    Title: The Biggest Bounty
    Author: Chris Pisano Brian Koscienski
    Genre: Science Fiction
    Rating:  4 out of 5

    Fiore is all muscle, granted it's chemically enhanced, and Zeus is more than a super genius.  Together they make the greatest bounty hunter team; in their minds.  When the famed bounty hunter "The Legend" takes their bounty from them, the duo embark on a crazy journey to track him down and get their bounty back.  Their task takes them on an interplanetary trek across the universe following leads and making new contacts....even entering into a to the death fighting match. The pair make the unlikeliest of contacts and partnerships all the while find exquisite milks from across the galaxy.  Grab a glass and prepare for a thrill ride of humor and mishaps.

    These two authors are two of my favorite people in the world.  I have had the honor of knowing both for a couple years now, and getting the chance to actually cause some mischief with them while they've been in Pittsburgh.  I started reading their books with Shatter Visage Lies and fell in love with their writing, along with themselves as authors and friends.  With these two, you never know what you are going to get, which makes reading their books a lot fun.  The Biggest Bounty is one of those books that makes you laugh while keeping you thrilled and waiting for the next thing to happen.  You find yourself wondering what hair-brained idea Fiore will come up with next or if the guys will get the bounty and the girl.  I loved Fiore and his crazy ideas that seem like really good ideas until he actually puts them into practice such as making up fight club rules.

    The story is interesting and keeps readers guessing at who is tracking these two crazy characters and why.  The readers do not get much in the way of background for Fiore and Zeus, but that's because the characters themselves don't know anything about each other.  It almost makes it feel like you are making a new friend as you find out new things about them.  Because I personally know these authors I can actually see various characteristics of both Brian and Chris in Zeus and Fiore, which made it a little more fun for me as I pictured them in those roles. Now I have myself wondering who would be Huva, Valla and some of the other characters...hmm.  The world they create is rather interesting with jump ports that allow travelers to get from on area to another quicker, almost like an intergalactic toll road. 

    These two are truly master geniuses at what they do (I'm sure that statement will go to their heads, but it's true).  I don't think you will be able to find a more unique novel than this one. I wanted to know more about each of the characters including Valla and Huva who are two kick ass bounty hunter women.  Some people have stated that the book is a combination of Alice in Wonderland and Grand Theft Auto.  I am not sure if I would make that comparison but I see why they would say that. These two are characters that I would imagine being bounty hunters in something like Guardians of the Galaxy.  I actually thought of Groot and Rocket in the beginning of the first movie looking to capture Quill for the units.

    With this book you get comedy, thrills, science fiction, sort of attempts at romance (Fiore ogling every woman and asking them out), fights....milks?  I found the various types of milk interesting almost like that was Fiore's guilty pleasure instead poker.  How many different things can you milk in this universe?  These two deliver a sort of tongue-in-cheek humor without having to include foul language, sex scenes or gruesome deaths.  They tell a good story that you will not forget anytime soon.  I would highly suggest this book for fans of science fiction, humor, thrills, or just a good ole fun story.  Check it out, you won't regret it.

    Til next time, Happy Reading!