Sunday, May 1, 2016

Showers of Books Giveaway Hop Winner

Congratulations to Elizabeth.
Your Amazon Gift Card has been sent. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Review: Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey

Dragon Harper
Author: Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey

Series: Pern (Book 20)
Publication: Del Rey; 1 edition (December 26, 2007)

Description: For millions of readers the world over, the name Pern is magical, conjuring up grand vistas of a distant planet whose blue skies are patrolled by brave dragons and their noble riders, a paradise threatened by the periodic fall of deadly Thread. But not all dangers descend from the skies. Now, in their third collaboration, Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd McCaffrey, spin a tale of a mysterious illness that may succeed in doing what centuries of Threadfall could not: kill every last human on Pern.

Life in the Harper Hall is busy for best friends Kindan, Nonala, and Kelsa. As the only female apprentices, Nonala and Kelsa are the butt of jokes and easy targets for the bully Vaxoram and his cronies. But when Kindan springs to Kelsa’s defense, he winds up in a fight for his life against the older, bigger Vaxoram–a fight that will lead to a surprising friendship.

Meanwhile, in nearby Fort Hold, a clutch of fire-lizard eggs is about to hatch, and Lord Bemin’s beautiful young daughter, Koriana, is determined to Impress one of the delightful creatures. At the hatching, Kindan Impresses a fire-lizard of his own . . . and wins the heart of Koriana. But Lord Bemin mistrusts harpers and will not hear of a match between his daughter and the low-born Kindan.

Then fate intervenes in the form of a virulent plague as fast-spreading as it is deadly. Arising suddenly, as if out of nowhere, the contagion decimates hold after hold, paying no heed to distinctions of birth. In this feverish crucible, friendship and love will be tested to the breaking point and beyond. For with Threadfall scant years away, the Dragonriders dare not expose themselves to infection, and it will fall to Kindan and his fellow apprentices to bravely search for a cure and save humanity.

The price of failure is unthinkable. But the price of success may be even harder to bear.

My Thoughts: DRAGON HARPER stars apprentice harper Kindan. It begins with him standing up for the girl apprentices from bullying by an older apprentice Vaxoram. They fight a duel with the loser becoming a servant to the winner. Kindan wins and is determined to redeem Vaxoram. But events intervene....

A new virulent plague is infesting all of Pern and threatens to kill everyone. The Dragonriders need to stay away from the infected Holds because Pern won't survive the next Threadfall without the Dragonriders. And it isn't long before the trusted elders at Harper Hall succumb to it, leaving the fate of Pern in the hands of Kindan and his fellow apprentices.

There is a romance too. Both the Lord Holder's daughter Koriana and Kindan impress two from a clutch of fire lizards and fall in love. But the Lord Holder isn't going to let his daughter marry a lowly harper.

This was an entertaining story that makes me eager to read the next book in the Pern series.

Favorite Quote:

Step by step
Moment by moment
We live through
Another day.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Memes: Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
J'lantir's brows were thick, gathered like thunderclouds as he glowered at his wing riders. He had called them to his quarters and met them in Lolanth's weyr. The presence of his bronze dragon, eyes whirling menacingly red, left his wing riders in no doubt as to his mood.
Friday 56: 
"I want to live for all that I can learn," Kindan said. Another finger. "For all that I can give." Another finger. "For all that I have yet to see." Another finger—he was up to nine. "I want to live for me and what I can offer."
This week I am spotlighting another book from deep in TBR mountain. Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey is the 6th book going by internal chronology of the series but the 20th book published in the Pern series which began in 1968. I have had this one one my stack since 2008 but have recently rediscovered the series. Here is the description from Amazon:
For millions of readers the world over, the name Pern is magical, conjuring up grand vistas of a distant planet whose blue skies are patrolled by brave dragons and their noble riders, a paradise threatened by the periodic fall of deadly Thread. But not all dangers descend from the skies. Now, in their third collaboration, Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd McCaffrey, spin a tale of a mysterious illness that may succeed in doing what centuries of Threadfall could not: kill every last human on Pern.

Life in the Harper Hall is busy for best friends Kindan, Nonala, and Kelsa. As the only female apprentices, Nonala and Kelsa are the butt of jokes and easy targets for the bully Vaxoram and his cronies. But when Kindan springs to Kelsa’s defense, he winds up in a fight for his life against the older, bigger Vaxoram–a fight that will lead to a surprising friendship.

Meanwhile, in nearby Fort Hold, a clutch of fire-lizard eggs is about to hatch, and Lord Bemin’s beautiful young daughter, Koriana, is determined to Impress one of the delightful creatures. At the hatching, Kindan Impresses a fire-lizard of his own . . . and wins the heart of Koriana. But Lord Bemin mistrusts harpers and will not hear of a match between his daughter and the low-born Kindan.

Then fate intervenes in the form of a virulent plague as fast-spreading as it is deadly. Arising suddenly, as if out of nowhere, the contagion decimates hold after hold, paying no heed to distinctions of birth. In this feverish crucible, friendship and love will be tested to the breaking point and beyond. For with Threadfall scant years away, the Dragonriders dare not expose themselves to infection, and it will fall to Kindan and his fellow apprentices to bravely search for a cure and save humanity.

The price of failure is unthinkable. But the price of success may be even harder to bear.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review: The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

The Witch with No Name
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Hollows (Book 13)
Publication: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (September 9, 2014)

Description: It’s Rachel Morgan’s ultimate adventure . . . and anything can happen in this final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series.

Rachel Morgan has come a long way from her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel has known that this day would come—and now it is here.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything. . . .

My Thoughts: As usual, Rachel has tons of problems to solve before she can get to her happy ending in this final book of the Hollows series. The elves want to kill the vampires and the demons. The old vampires want to get their souls back despite the fact that regaining their souls would make them walk into the sun. The Goddess is searching for Rachel and wants to kill her. She loves Trent but feels that she isn't a positive in his life. You know, typical problems ranging from the personal to the world destroying.

One of Rachel's more personal problems has to do with the relationship between Ivy and Nina. They are in love but Nina is still being controlled by an old vampire named Felix who is going insane. Cormel has demanded that Rachel find a way to reunite vampires with their lost souls. Rachel discovers that the souls are in the Ever After but finding them and reinserting them causes more problems than it solves.

Then there is Landon who convinces the vampires that he can free vampire souls from the Ever After but doesn't mention that his technique will also free the demons and destroy the Ever After and end all magic on Earth.

This book was packed with excitement as it ties up the loose threads from earlier books in the series. I breathed a sigh of relief when I got the end and think other long-time readers will feel the same way. I enjoyed this series and really enjoyed the place where Rachel ended up when the story was over.

Favorite Quote:
But what made my steps slow as I walked back to my car was knowing that Cormel knew I was right, otherwise he would've gone to find his soul. He knew I was right, but he wanted me to be wrong so badly that he was ignoring it.

Tomorrow was going to be one hell of a day.
I bought this book. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cherry-Picking Anthologies 2 (Hexed, Unbound, The Unquiet, & Mirror, Mirror)

I am not a big fan of anthologies. I much prefer longer works of fiction. However, occasionally, I am still tempted to purchase an anthology because it has a story by an author I do read. Most of the time, these anthologies sit on TBR mountain unread. Since my goal is to lower the number of books on the mountain, I am going to be checking out some of these anthologies, reading the story by the author I bought it for, and donating these books to someone who will like them better.
Unbound by Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, Jocelynn Drake
  • Ley Line Drifter by Kim Harrison tells the story of Jenks' first case when another pixie comes to him for help with a haunted statue. I liked Jenks' concern for the futures of his children and his love for his wife.
  • Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost tells the story of when Bones went to New Orleans during Mardi Gras to track down some ghouls who were visiting while Marie was away. He finds and kills them but loses an innocent that he involved along the way. He also learns that Marie hasn't sanctioned the hunt which puts him in danger from her. Interesting to read a story about Bones before he meets Cat.
Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein
  • Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews tells the story of Dali and Jim. She has been crushing on him but thinks he can't want a clumsy, near-sighted, vegetarian of a tiger shifter. When Jim is cursed, Dali uses her talents to save him and along the way lets him know that she wants him.
  • Blood Debt by Jeanne C. Stein has Anna Strong, bounty hunter and relatively new vampire, brought to an unearthly plane to stand trial for breaking sanctuary and killing an evil witch who was killing young vampires to use their blood to make a beauty cream. I haven't read any other Anna Strong stories but found this one interesting.
The Unquiet by J. D. Robb et al.
  • Chaos in Death by J. D. Robb has Eve trying to solve a case where three former addicts are brutally murdered by a monster.
Mirror, Mirror by J. D. Robb et al.
  • Taken in Death by J. D. Robb is a novella that has Eve working a kidnapping of seven-year-old twins after being called in because of the stabbing death of the nanny. This had a fairy tale feel because the kids saw the kidnapper as a wicked witch. Eve saw a criminally insane woman with cannibalistic tendencies.
What do you think of anthologies?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
The relief that he came to help me in the ever-after had almost hurt, even if he'd risked his life and an already failing reputation. There hadn't been a wisp of regret in him, and I shoved the coming heartache down because even though he meshed with my life perfectly, I did not mesh with his.
This week my teaser comes from The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison. This is her final book in the Rachel Morgan urban fantasy series - book 13. Here is the description from Amazon:
It’s Rachel Morgan’s ultimate adventure . . . and anything can happen in this final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series.

Rachel Morgan has come a long way from her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel has known that this day would come—and now it is here.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything. . . .

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 25, 2016)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

Not much is happening around here right now. The weather is improving and school is keeping me really busy. We are down to less than 30 days left of this school year. I am ready for a break because I'm really tired of correcting papers.

I spent some time this week browsing my TBR mountain and pulling some books I really want to read this summer. I also added some adult reads to my review stack too. Most are from authors I have enjoyed in the past or from a publisher who publishes consistently enjoyable books. I am not in the mood to try something new. I just want old favorites. I set up all my blog posts for June and made a stack of the books that are in physical form. More than half are Kindle books and are already stashed on my Kindle.

Read Last Week
Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell was a romantic suspense novel from deep in my TBR pile. I enjoyed it. My review will be posted on May 26.

The Murder of Mary Russell by Laurie R. King was another excellent addition to the long-running Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series. My review will be posted on May 25.

Currently
I am currently deep into Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs. This is the latest book in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series.

Next Week

It's time to start reading the June 7 and June 14 releases.
Boundary Lines by Melissa F. Olson got added to my reading list because I just received Boundary Born for review. I've read the first in this trilogy and need to read the second before I get to my review book which is the 3rd and final of this trilogy.

To Love a Wolf by Paige Tyler is a review book that is in an urban fantasy series I've been reading since the beginning. It will be released on June 7.
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle is a review book. It is the most recent in a romantic suspense series I've been reading from the beginning. It will also be released on June 7.

Written Off by E. J. Copperman is a mystery from Crooked Lane Books. I got this eARC from NetGalley. It will be released on June 14.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

I couldn't resist these. Most are additions to my review stack.
Keeper's Reach by Carla Neggers is the only non-review book I got this week. I'm following this series and this book was also a Kindle Daily Deal.

Now for the review books:
State of the TBR Mountain
  • New in April - 17
  • New in 2016 - 118
  • Unread April - 14
  • Unread 2016 - 71
  • Total Unread - 1927
  • Review Books - 24
To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.