Friday, January 31, 2020

Lost Creed by Alex Kava...

Ryder Creed's sister, Brodie, disappeared sixteen years ago, taken from an interstate truck stop while her dad and brother waited for her in the car. She was eleven years old. Now, every time Ryder goes out with his dogs on a search-and-rescue mission, he thinks about her, wondering if his sister, or her body, will ever be found. Then he gets a call from FBI Agent Maggie O'Dell. In a human trafficking raid in the middle of Nebraska, Maggie finds Brodie's picture. And she thinks that Eli Dunn, the man at the center of the raid, might know what happened to her. But Eli's playing his own game with the FBI, leading Maggie and Ryder (and his Jack Russell terrier, Gracie) on a macabre scavenger hunt.

(In a side story, Ryder's associate, Jason, and his black lab, Scout, go on their first search-and-rescue assignment alone where things don't quite go as planned. Moral of this secondary story: Trust your dog!)

My thoughts:  Lost Creed is a fast-paced and well-written read. I like all the characters in this book, both the people...and the dogs! It's fun to see Jason's role grow. And Gracie and Scout are awesome. Every book makes me like Ryder more and more. (In this one we even get to meet his mom.) And the mystery surrounding Dunn and all the missing kids was both compelling and suspenseful. Though I find the fact that human trafficking of minors continues in our country today completely heartbreaking! Overall, this is a great book. I couldn't put it down. In fact, I think this just might be my favorite Ryder Creed novel yet!

Happy Reading!

Previous Creed read:  

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme is a Book Cover Freebie. So I thought I'd have a little fun with it.

Here are the book covers that best resemble the weather I see out my windows all January long (and often throughout February, too):

And here is what I wish I saw instead:

Ah well...only two more months until spring. Until then....

Happy Dreaming...and Reading!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Friday, January 24, 2020

Space Adventure. Mystery. Compelling Suspense.

I could give you a lot of good reasons why I think you should read Admiral by Sean Danker, but instead I think I'll let this 5-star science fiction novel speak for itself:

"I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side. We were somewhere. That was a relief. It was better than floating with no power in space. Wherever this planet was, it raised our chances of rescue from zero to more than zero."

 "I had a feeling that decisions we made here and now were going to be significant with regard to our collective futures. It was a lot of pressure, knowing that it might be possible for us to get through this, but only if we did everything right, and in time. I was used to that kind of pressure. They weren't."

   "... playing dress-up was my specialty."

"There were two kinds of people in the universe: the people working for a better future and the rest of us. Time wasn't on anyone's side, and neither was regret. If I let a little PTSD and some bad memories slow me down now, what good was I?"

"Admiral, we're in trouble!"

 Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday...

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every  week it's a different bookish top ten list. This week's theme? The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf. Only I don't have ten; I just have eight. Here they are:

Risk It All by Katie Ruggle

Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant

Next Door Knight by Nicole Flockton

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

American Rebels by Nina Sankovitch
(A Goodreads Giveaway!)

When the Peace is Gone by P.A. Glaspy

Voyage by Ellisa Barr

Walking With the Dead by P.J. Dziekan

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Blind Search by Paula Munier

Quick synopsis:  Mercy Carr and her Belgian Malinois, Elvis, are back! It's the beginning of hunting season in Vermont when Mercy and Elvis find the body of a murdered woman in the woods. She's been shot by an arrow at close range, and they think a nine-year-old boy named Henry witnessed her murder. Only Henry's not talking--he's autistic and prefers numbers to words or people. He likes Elvis and Susie Bear though. But with his dad suspected of murder and the police wondering what he may have seen, it's clear Henry is in danger. Troy Warner, a Vermont Fish & Wildlife Game Warden and Susie Bear's owner, and Mercy are determined to protect Henry, even if that means finding the killer themselves.

What I liked:

  • HENRY. With a penchant for Batman pajamas, prime numbers and playing his own version of Dungeons & Dragons, he's an easy character to love. I also loved how Elvis and Susie Bear are so protective of him, and how he was drawn to Mercy and Troy (who he named Paladin and Ranger).
  • MERCY & ELVIS. "Elvis lifted his head, nose nuzzling her thigh. Even so, Mercy felt alone. Whether this feeling was down to another sudden wave of grief over her fiance's death catching her unawares again or the insistent tug of attraction to a certain game warden, she wasn't sure. Elvis licked her hand and she smiled. As long as she had Elvis, she was never alone."
  • TROY & SUSIE BEAR. "Susie Bear was excited. All the way from the truck to the restaurant, she pranced in front of him. Despite her size, she was light on her feet. She stopped several times to enjoy the attentions of children and grown-ups alike. The dog's happy-go-lucky personality was a beacon, allowing Troy to shine in her light. He wasn't that good with people, but thanks to Susie Bear, most people never noticed."

My one complaint:  Mercy and Troy seemed to take a nice step forward in their relationship about halfway through the book, only to take two steps back at the end--a setback I found both frustrating and stupid. Here's hoping they resolve it quickly in the next book. 

Happy Reading!

Post script:
If you haven't read A Borrowing of Bones, Munier's previous novel about Mercy and Elvis, I'd recommend reading that one first. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

More laughably bad spam...

Spam comments -- the gift that keeps on giving. Here are some of the latest and greatest:

  • On this design, the bed tank is full of water.
  • Unquestionably believe that which you said. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects.  (Glad there were no side effects!)
  • Avrupa Da Kitap Siparisi Yabanci Ketap Satis Siteleri.
  • What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable familiarity on the topic of unexpected emotions.  (What?!)
  • of course like your website however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform the reality.

Who writes these things anyway?
Hope they made you laugh like they did me. The second one is my personal favorite, although the fourth really made me stop and ponder.  😉

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 13, 2020

January's bookish art...

Carl Wilhelm Holsoe

"Books are the plane, and the train, and the road.
They are the destination, and the journey.
They are home."

--Anna Quindlen

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Haiku Reviews...

All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen

Reed asks Ellery
for help with a cold case--his
own mother's murder.

Mystery/Suspense .... 322 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(This third book is as good as the first two in this series: The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.)

Fallen (Alex Verus #10) by Benedict Jacka

To save Anne, defeat
Drakh, and escape the Council's wrath,
Alex must risk his own soul.

Urban Fantasy .... 296 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(This is still one of my favorite urban fantasy series.)

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Alva's haunted by
her past; her house by a ghost -- Sam's
interested in both.

Historical Romance  .... 339 pages .... 5/5 stars.
(This one has a lot of humor in it and a little mystery, too.)

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Urban Fantasy Fun...

Felix Castor, or Fix to his friends, is an exorcist. Of ghosts. A very handy skill to have since the dead in London started rising ten years ago.

"It's not as bleak as it sounds, because not everyone you lay in the earth comes back; there are a whole lot who are content to sleep it out. Most ghosts are tethered to the place where they died...but sometimes ghosts go walkabout, impelled by ... some unfinished business that won't let them lie quiet. ... (And) a close encounter with a ghost can be an upsetting experience. That's where exorcists come in--both the official church-sponsored ones, who are usually either idiots or fanatics, and the freelancers like me, who know what they're doing."

Only something went wrong a year and a half ago when Castor tried to help a friend, and he's been refusing all exorcist jobs ever since. Then the Bonnington Archive called needing to get rid of a ghost. Castor would have refused this job, too, except he really needs the money. So he reluctantly accepts. But things don't go as planned. And Felix soon finds himself investigating the employees of the archive hoping to discover the identiy of the ghost and how and why she died. That's when things really start to go wrong...and people start trying to kill him.

The Devil You Know by Mike Carey has all the makings of a really good urban fantasy series:  a London where ghosts and other undead creatures are known to roam, a complicated main character with layers and flaws to go along with his gift for necromancy, quirky secondary characters, and great writing. I enjoyed reading this one. I like Carey's take on ghosts and how Castor uses music to connect with and exorcise them. I like that there's potential for more demons, zombies, and loup garous to show up in future books. I like that Castor's complicated past continues to complicate his life now. And I look forward to seeing where this series goes next. If you like books that combine urban fantasy with mystery, you might want to check this one out.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My bookish goals for 2020...

(Although...they're more like personal affirmations than actual goals.)

😎 Read what I want!

😎 Don't get tied to lists or goals.
(Or reading challenges.)

😎 Don't forget about the books on my own shelves.

😎 Leave room for library serendipity.

😎 Blog less; read more.

😎 Have fun!

😎 Dream big.

😎 Be open.

😎 Be fearless.

😎 And believe!

See, it's more about the mindset I want to have this year than any specific goals I'd like to achieve. Which means I might be cutting back on the six or more book reviews I usually post each month...because writing reviews has started to feel like a chore. And I want my blogging to stay fun. Which means I might be posting more haiku reviews this year...and other fun bookish posts. Just not as many reviews. I also want to leave room...and my life for new adventures, new experiences and new connections. After all, who knows what 2020 could bring!

What about you? Are you setting any goals this year?

Happy New Year!