Sunday, March 27, 2016

Giveaway: Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Yes, it's that time.  I've been lucky enough to share with you a Rafflecopter giveaway that gives you a chance to win a signed copy of Sister Dear by Laura McNeill, On sale 4/19.  

Synopsis from Amazon:
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review: Lady Midnight

Like most readers of Cassandra Clare, I waited a long time for this next part of the Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices, to begin.  I was a little bit apprehensive as I opened it, a sliver of doubt creeping in that it wouldn't be as wonderful as The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices. I think I knew in my heart however, that I really didn't have anything to fret about. After the first chapter or two, I immediately connected to the Blackthorn family and Emma because I already knew them from City of Heavenly Fire, they are just older. I was easily able to get right back into the flow of the characters and their stories. Minor hints to the story-line ahead but no spoilers.

I have to say that my favorite character in this book so far is Mark Blackthorm.  His struggle was the most difficult in my opinion and his conflicting loyalties and ultimate decision about where he belonged was truly absorbing. He definitely experienced the most inner turmoil, growth and change.  I'm really looking forward to reading the continuation of his story because I am confident that his character will be further explored and developed in the books to come.  Julian and Emma were of course the power couple of the story and, while I loved their connection, love and loyalty to one another, I knew that, as with every relationship, obstacles would be coming for them so I prepared early for the frustration of them being torn apart in some way. After all, what would a love story be without a little turbulence and unrest?

The plot itself reads much like that of a crime novel and I loved the mystery flavor of the story, the research process, the search for clues, and the investigation really kept the pace going.  There were a few times when I thought there might be a lull in the story only to turn the page and go into battle.  This was one of those few books that had me reading every chance I got, while I was cooking, helping the kids with homework, etc. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series.  Cassandra Clare does not disappoint.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday, March 15th

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.  A different top ten topic is presented each week. This week's top ten is easy for me as my TBR list is huge so I just took the ten I am most looking forward to in the coming months.

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR

by Laurie R. King
This is the newest book in the mystery series that follows Mary Russell, wife of Sherlock Holmes, as she investigates crimes with her husband.  I love these books but I don't like to rush through them because I know once I finish, I have a long wait for the next book.

By M.R. Carey
I saw this on another blog and it looked intriguing.  It also got pretty good reviews so I decided to give it a go.

by William Ritter
I just read the first book in this series, Jackaby, and loved it.  I'm really looking forward to reading the second book.

by Amalie Howard
I read Bloodspell, the first book a couple of years ago and it seemed like forever before this one came out so I'm excited that the author finally did write a second story.

by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
This is the fifth book in the Fox and O'Hare crime series.  Similar to the Stephanie Plum books by Evanovich but not as repetitive yet.  Fun reading.

by Jessica Knoll
Another that I had seen on someone else's blog.  I loved the cover and plot so added it to the list.

by Sarah Maas
This book has been on my TBR list forever! I don't know why I keep putting other books in front of it but I have decided it will definitely be read this spring.

Darynda Jones
One of my favorite series, fun and completely inappropriate. One of my few guilty pleasure series. Charley Davidson, the main character, is a riot and every book makes me laugh out loud.

Ernest Cline
Another one that has been on my list for a while but keeps getting passed over.  Someone else just recommended it so I've bumped it up on the list for spring.

by V.E. Schwab
A recommendation from another blogger and a twitter member.  I love the synopsis and I'm looking forward to it.  I just wish I had more hours in the day to read!

What's on your top ten list this week?

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Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by BookDate and is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment on other book blogs, and of course, to add to our TBR lists.  While I don't read as many books as quickly as most, I love seeing what others are reading and starting up some great bookish conversations.  :)

Last week I read

This week I'm reading

And I'm listening to

Next week, I'm hoping to start

What are you reading this week? 

Review: Cogling

Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth was graciously given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I'll begin by saying that the first thing that attracted me to the book was the cover.  I love the color scheme and the graphics, and once I read the story and connected it to the images represented, I liked it even more. Truly beautiful.

The story is, in my opinion, a mix of steampunk and fairy tale.  The basic premise is that hags are stealing children to work in their factories and they replace them in the real world with Coglings, which are mechanical versions of the children held together with gears similar to that of a clock.  Edna Mather, the main character, realizes this when her brother suddenly falls apart into a mess of gears, onto the floor.  She goes to search for him with help from some friends she meets along the way.  

The story has several fairy tale elements, including a king, a prince, fantastic creatures such as Hags, Nix, and a dragon, as well as the steampunk elements such as airships and the mechanicals themselves.  It was a nice mix and I found myself appreciating the story from both sides.  There was a dabbling of romance and a few battles where some blood was spilled.  The pacing of the story kept me wondering what was going to happen next so I finished it in just a few hours. Definitely a fun read for anyone who enjoys fantasy.  The possibility of another book is definitely an option but it could just as easily be a stand alone. I would surely read another book if it was written to see what happens next for these characters.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: March 2, 2016

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I actually have several books that I'm waiting for, most of which come out this spring and I already posted about Lady Midnight, which is probably the one I am looking forward to the most. That being said, another favorite is the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King. The first book, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, is in my top favorites of all time list. So, for this week's post, I'm going with the next book in this series which comes out next month. :)

The Murder of Mary Russell
By Laurie R. King
Publication Date: April 5, 2016

From Amazon:

Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond.

And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son.

What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson.

Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street.

The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets—to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away.

There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed.

And nothing will ever be the same.

What are you waiting for?