Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday...

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme for this Tuesday is supposed to be "Books I wish I'd read as a child." Which is great. But I decided to go rogue and do my own top ten list this week. Here it is:

The first 10 books I'm going to check out from my library when it finally reopens:

1. The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

2. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

3. Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons

4. The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren

5. The War Bride's Scrapbook by Caroline Preston

6. Hidden by Rebecca Zanetti

7. Desperate Creed Alex Kava

8. Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

9. Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

10. The Catacombs by Jeremy Bates

Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind...and any or all of the books on this list...if my mood changes or I find 10 other books I want to read even more than these. (Or if none of these are available...because you never know.)

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Haiku Reviews...

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton

Scarred and scared, Beth thinks
Alaska's the perfect place to hide and heal.
Until there's a murder.

Mystery .... 275 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(Awesome start to this new Alaska Wild mystery series.)

Storm Rising (An FBI K-9 Novel) by Sara Driscoll

Meg and Hawk's latest search
leads to a sex trafficking victim
running for her life.

Mystery .... 291 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(This series just keeps getting better and better!)

No Way by S.J. Morden

Alone on Mars?
That's what Frank thought. He was wrong.
Survival just got harder.

Science Fiction .... 372 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(Great sequel to One Way.)

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

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

This week's theme?

"Book titles that would make good band names."

I thought this one was a lot of fun. Here's my list of possible band names taken from some books I've read:

1. The Lost Causes
(By Jessica Etting and Alyssa Schwartz)

2. boy meets girl
(by Meg Cabot)

3. What Alice Knew
(by Paula Marantz Cohen)

4. Future Shock
(by Elizabeth Briggs)

5. Sparrow Hill Road
(by Seanan McGuire)

6. Thirty-Three Swoons
(by Martha Cooley)

7. Slashback
(by Rob Thurman)

8. Choose Your Own Love Story
(by Ilyse Mimoun)

9. Plague Town
(by Ashley Parker)

10. The Awesome
(by Eva Darrows)

Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Two more from my TBR shelf....(because my library is still closed!)

Title & Author:  Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris

Why I bought it:  Actually, I didn't. I won this copy from Goodreads. But it's one I would have bought anyway because this mystery series is one of my favorites.

The plot in brief:  This is the fifteenth Sebastian St. Cyr mystery. It takes place in London in the summer of 1814, and it revolves around the murder of Nicholas Hayes, the third son of the late Earl of Seaforth. Only, everyone thought Haves died years ago in Botany Bay. So why did he come back to England? And who killed him? Viscount Devlin and his wife, Hero, are on the case.

My thoughts:  This is a good one! I love Devlin and Hero; they're such great characters. They are definitely the reason I enjoy reading these books so much. The time period these books are set in is an interesting one, which is another draw. And while I know you're supposed to read a series like this in order, I actually read the fourth book, Where Serpents Sleep, first, and I'm kind of glad I did because that's the book where Devlin and Hero meet. Of course, I then went back to the beginning and read the first three books to catch up; I've been reading this series ever since. 15 books later and I'm still hooked.

My rating:  4/5 stars.

Title & Author:  A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas

Why I bought it:  I love Fred Vargas's books. So last year when I spotted this one at a library book sale, along with four other Vargas mysteries that I'd already read and knew I loved, I quickly snatched them all up. ($1.25 well spent!)

The plot in brief:  When the same symbol is found at two apparent suicides, Commissaire Adamsberg and his unique team of detectives think they might have a serial killer on their hands. The twists and turns of their investigation lead them to a tragic expedition in Iceland that took place ten years earlier, and to a strange society in Paris obsessed with Robespierre.

My thoughts:  What I love about Vargas's mysteries is that they're always so unexpected. I never know where they're going to end up, but I always enjoy the ride. I also love the quirky eccentricity of Adamsberg and the other members of his team. These are just fun reads. A little strange at times, but always entertaining. My two favorites are An Uncertain Place and The Chalk Circle Man. But this one is good, too.

My rating:  4/5 stars.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April's bookish art...

Gwen Jones -- The Convalescent
"Words empower us, move us beyond our suffering and set us free.
This is the sorcery of literature. We are healed by our stories."
--Terry Tempest Williams

Sunday, April 12, 2020

From my TBR shelf...

My library has been closed for an entire month now. The books I put on hold back in March for my next two buddy reads with Melody are languishing on the hold shelf at my library--hostages to COVID-19. And the last of my library books have all been read, leaving me with only the books on my shelves. Luckily, I have a lot. Some I'll review; some I won't. And though I am grateful I do still have books to read, I REALLY hope my library reopens soon! Anyway, here's one from my TBR shelf:

Title & Author:  Voyage by Ellisa Barr

Why I bought it:  I read and enjoyed Barr's previous book, Outage, and wanted to read the next one in the series. Also, it's one of those EMP disaster/survival books that I like to read so much.

Favorite line:  "Wake up and smell the apocalypse, Sena."

The plot in brief:  Sena and several of her classmates are on an Alaskan cruise when the EMP hits. Chaos quickly ensues as Sena and a few new friends struggle to make their way back home to Washington state.

My thoughts:  Sena's a foster kid with a fear of the dark and a past she doesn't like to talk about. You'd think she'd be tough and guarded, but she comes across as meek, timid and naive, and even a bit spineless at times. It wasn't until the last half of the book that she finally stands up for herself. Despite these flaws, I still liked her. And I liked this book, although I do wish it had been a little more fleshed out in places. At only 200 pages, the story felt a little thin and left me wanting more. Barr's first book, Outage, is definitely the better read. But this one was still fun.

My rating:  3/5 stars.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Two Smoak-ing Reads....

The Nowhere Man (Orphan X #2) by Gregg Hurwitz

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. He rescues the helpless and the desperate. Only this time he's going to have to rescue himself, because he's been "captured, drugged and spirited off to a remote location. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless, but they don't know who they're dealing with--or that they've trapped themselves with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth."

Another fun thrill ride with one of my new favorite characters. Full of action and suspense, it's a great sequel to Orphan X. Warning: there's a high body count in this one.

Hellbent (Orphan X #3) by Gregg Hurwitz

When someone close to Evan Smoak is killed, he's determined to hunt down the men responsible. Every last one of them. And he has the skills and the will to do it. But things get a little more complicated when he ends up with a sixteen-year-old girl in tow--a girl who's been orphan-trained just like him. A girl who needs his help and protection.

I think this is my favorite Orphan novel yet! If I was in trouble, I'd definitely want Evan Smoak on my side.
(Side note: these books are best read in order.)

Happy Reading!


1. Assume nothing.
2. How you do anything is how you do everything.
3. Master your surroundings.
4. Never make it personal.
5. If you don't know what to do, do nothing.
6. Question orders.
7. One mission at a time.
8. Never kill a kid.
9. Always play offense.
10. Never let an innocent die.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Gotta laugh!

The brilliant and hilarious John Atkinson strikes again.
Here are two of his latest cartoons to make you laugh.

Be sure to check out his website for more hilarity.

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 3, 2020

A little bookish escapism....

Sometimes I just want to read a book that's lighthearted and fun, with some romance, a little adventure, and a happy ending. A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott definitely fills that bill. It's set in 1871 and centers around two very engaging characters. Young, serious and handsome Capt. Ben Coleridge is leading an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. He's also looking for his father who went missing on a previous scouting expedition. Then there's Meg Pero who is determined to take her late father's place as the survey's photographer. She's determined, and spunky, and loves capturing the wonders of nature on her photographic plates.

Ben and Meg have a history and their relationship is at the heart of this novel. But there's also a mystery to solve, and it's not just the question of what happened to Colonel Coleridge. Someone is following...and sabotaging the expedition. Is it one of the other members of their team? Or someone else? And why do they want the survey to fail?

I enjoyed this one. The Old West setting is always a favorite of mine. I thought the two main characters were believable and well-matched, if a little predictable. There were some very likable secondary characters, and all of Scott's historical details, especially when it came to Meg's photography, gave the novel some nice authenticity. All in all, A Distance Too Grand is an entertaining and sweet romance. And just what I needed right now.

Happy Reading!