Friday, July 19, 2024

July's bookish art...

Georges D'espagnat -- In the Garden

"If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book."
--J.K. Rowling.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday...

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is supposed to be a list of ten things you love about a certain book. But that was too much like writing a review for me. So, I'm going rogue. 

Here are Ten Fvorite July Reads From the Last Ten Julys. Just because it's really fun to look back and see what I was reading through the last decade. 

I'd forgotten that I'd even read some of these, but I loved them all. 
If you're looking for a good book, check any of these out.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven

 Storm strands amusement
park employees who form tribes
and go Lord of the Flies.

The framework of this novel is a journalist investigating the events that occurred at the Fantasticland amusement park in the aftermath of Hurricane Sadie when over 100 college-age employees were killed at the hands of others. It's told through a series of first-person interviews with the various survivors, from the older Mole Men hiding in the tunnels, to the Shop Girls and their deadly archers, and even the leader of the violent tribe of Pirates. Each eye-witness account offers a different perspective on what happened, and why things went so wrong so fast. The stories are haunting and horrifying. I thought it was an interesting way to tell a story, and one I ended up liking a lot. And I always love that amusement park setting. If you're in the mood for some suspenseful psychological horror that unfolds like a documentary, give this book a try. I gave it 4 stars. 

Happy Reading! 

Similar amusement park read:  

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall


From the blurb:  

"Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes. They were liars. 

"Now, decades later, Olivia wants to tell the whole story. Then she goes missing, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be."

What this book has:   Suspense. Mystery. Atmosphere. Flawed yet likable characters. Lyrical prose. Taut plotting. 

My thoughts:  Can you tell I really liked this one? It's a very fun summer read! I appreciated Naomi's sass and attitude, and her grim determination to figure out the truth despite her inner fears and struggles. She's not a perfect character, but I was rooting for her. And I thought the twists and revelations along the way were so well-timed. Some of the secrets I guessed, others were unexpected. But they were all good. 

My rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 8, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday...

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is a Throwback Freebie where you choose a past Top Ten Tuesday topic to do. And I thought I would do my own take on Opening Lines.  
So, here are my Top Ten Fun First Lines From Some Recent Reads:

"I was not born a monster."
(Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim)

"Addie Macrae's internal compass was irreparably damaged."
(Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley)

"What baffled them was the skeleton."
(This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer)

"Madi Morgan had never been good with decisions, especially when it came to life or death situations. And cake was definitely life or death."
(Love On Camera by Dana LeCheminant)

"Boo couldn't think of a worse way to die."
(One Last Shot by Susan May Warren)

"My face is melting."
(Wild About You by Kaitlyn Hill)

"Cousin Edna Fairchild had designed her life on the principle that far fields were greener."
(The Chocolate Cobweb by Charlotte Armstrong)

"If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I love a happy ending. That butterlies-in-your-stomach, rush-of-serotonin, breathless, euphoric, wrapped-up-in-a-bow happy ending."
(Only and Forever by Chloe Liese)

"Blood leaves no stain on a Warden's grey cloak."
(Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher)

"The fairy tales in Jen's imagination leaned toward the dark, Grimm variety, but in the real world, the worst monsters looked like everyone else."
(On Her Watch by Melinda Leigh)

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Two Quick Recommendations...

 Winter Lost by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson is a coyote shifter; her mate, Adam Hauptman, is the Alpha of the Columbia Basin pack. Between werewolves, Fae, magical artifacts, and her half-brother, Gary, showing up unexpectedly, Mercy has her hands full in this latest urban fantasy novel by Patricia Briggs. I love this series! Mercy and Adam and all the rest are some of my all-time favorite characters. Every book in this series is a magical adventure with suspense, heart, and humor. And this fourteenth novel is no exception. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. And when I finished, I wanted to pick up the first book in this series and read them all again. They're that good.

A Deceptive Composition by Anna Lee Huber

It's October, 1832, and Keira and Sebastian along with Sebastian's father, Lord Gage, are off to Cornwall to investigate a murder among the Roscarrock family--the part of Lord Gage's family that he hasn't seen or talked to in decades. What they find is an intricate web of secrets, smuggling, and lies. And unexpected danger, too. Huber's historical mysteries are always interesting and entertaining. I love this series because of the two main characters, Keira and Sebastian, and their relationship. If you're new to this series, I recommend starting with the first book, The Anatomist's Wife, where Keira and Sebastian first meet. You won't regret it.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Loyally, Luke by Pepper Basham


Luke Edgemont doesn't believe in meet-cutes, romance tropes or Hallmark movie moments. So when he finds himself on the island nation of Skymar in the middle of all three...with a princess, no less! ...he's not sure what to do. Because he's just in Skymar temporarily to help renovate an orphanage and then he's going home to America. And there's no way he could ever be with a princess; he's a flannel-wearing carpenter who's a bit of a grumpy introvert, not the suave Prince Charming type. But the more time he spends with Ellie the more danger he's in of falling hopelessly in love with her. And that's just asking for a broken heart.

My thoughts:  I loved Basham's previous novel, Authentically, Izzy, about Luke's cousin, but I love this book even more. Luke's such a great character. I loved the banter between him and Ellie, and his sweet interactions with the orphans. His texts with his sisters are pretty funny, too. And all their movie references from Rambo to The Princess Bride totally made me laugh. This is a delightfully charming romance with humor, heart, a little faith, some fishing, a Cinderella-like ball, and a very cute happy ending. My kind of romance. 

Happy Reading!