Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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:
She was just thinking she might be lucky enough to get out of there before Jeremy showed up when he stormed into the bullpen. Crap.
This week my teaser comes from Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler. This is the second book in her SWAT series. Here is the description from Amazon for this August 4 release:
He's in trouble with a capital T

There's never been a female on the Dallas SWAT team and Senior Corporal Xander Riggs prefers it that way. The elite pack of alpha male wolfshifters is no place for a woman. But Khaki Blake is no ordinary woman.

When Khaki walks through the door attractive as hell and smelling like heaven, Xander doesn't know what the heck to do. Worse, she's put under his command and Xander's protective instincts go on high alert. When things start heating up both on and off the clock, it's almost impossible to keep their heads in the game and their hands off each other...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 27, 2015) #IMWAYR

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

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...

This was another quiet reading week. The weather has been hot and humid (at least for Duluth) making me grateful for air conditioning and good books.

Read Last Week
I took two off TBR mountain this week for my first two reading choices.

Heart of Brass by Kate Cross was an entertaining steampunk thriller/romance that begins a series. I enjoyed the world building and the characters which led me to purchase the rest of the series. My review will be posted on September 12.

Dragon's Kin by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey had been on the mountain since sometime before Feb. 19, 2008. (I began my LibraryThing account then and scanned in all my books over the course of a few days.) This is a story of the early days on Pern and, with the main character being eleven, would be a great into to Pern for middle schoolers and young adults. My review will be posted on September 16.
Dark Waters by Chris Goff was a great thriller that I got for review from Crooked Lane Books. It takes place in Israel and is filled with the twisted politics of that region. I liked the characters, the twisty plot, and the setting. My review will be posted on September 9 for this September 15 release.

The Heat of the Moment by Katie Rose is the third book in her Boys of Summer romances. This pairs up a star baseball player traded to the Sonics after an injury and the trainer who wants to get him back in shape. This one also had great characters and nicely spicy love scenes. My review will be posted on September 17 for this September 22 release.
Bengal's Quest by Lora Leigh is the latest (30th!) in her Breeds series. This was an entertaining paranormal romance for fans of the series. My review will be posted on Sept. 19.

Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson was a review book from Loveswept. This was a great romance with well-rounded characters and an interesting plot. My review will be posted on Sept. 24 for this Sept. 29 release.

Currently
Having caught up on review books for a while, I'm back to trying to lower TBR mountain. Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey is his first solo effort in the world his mother built. I've had this on on my stack since before I added all my books to LibraryThing in February of 2008.

Next Week
Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton is the latest book in her Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer series. I got this book when it was released in June and want to read it before my summer vacation is over.

Live to See Tomorrow by Iris Johansen is a romantic suspense title (or maybe a thriller) that has been on my stack since Sept. 24, 2014. It is the third book in a series. I have, but have not read, book 1. I have read books 2 and 4.
Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn has a werewolf for a main character. It is part of a long-running series. This is the tenth book. I bought it July 7, 2012. Since book 15 is being released on August 4, I am really behind.

Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent is the first in an urban fantasy/paranormal romance series. I added it to my stack on August 31, 2011 because I had read and enjoyed other books by the author. I also have book two but not book 3 in this series.

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

This read one-buy two (or more) strategy is not helping me lower TBR mountain but when I read a good first book in a series, I have to have the rest of the series.
Breath of Iron by Kate Cross is the third book in the Clockwork Agents series. I bought it for my Kindle.

Touch of Steel is the second book in the Clockwork Agents series. This is also a Kindle book.

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal is the fourth book in her Glamourist series. I bought the hardcover because I couldn't resist the lovely cover. Also, it was a deal in Amazon Marketplace.

After reading a couple of books from the new publisher Crooked Lane Books, I went to NetGalley and asked for these three more.
Dark Waters by Chris Goff is a thriller that will be released on September 15.

Nine Lives by Wendy Corsi Staub is a cozy mystery that will be released on Oct. 27.

Dark Turns by Cate Holahan is a romantic suspense title that will be released on Nov. 10.

To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Book Review: Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

Thornyhold
Author: Mary Stewart
Series: Rediscovered Classics
Publication: Chicago Review Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2008)

Description: During Gilly Ramsey’s lonely childhood, the occasional brief visits of her mother’s cousin were a delight, seeming like visits of a fairy godmother. Years later, when Gilly inherits Thornyhold, her house, she discovers that her cousin, with her still room and herbalist practices—and her undoubted powers—had long been known to the locals as a witch. She is approached by neighbors, some innocent, some not so innocent, but all assuming that she, too, is a witch, and a possible addition to the local coven. Gilly finds there is some truth in this, for she discovers that she can call on a kind of power in difficult moments. This wonderful novel from bestselling author Mary Stewart is delicate in its perception of a young woman’s falling in love, delightful in its portrayal of the English countryside, and skilled in its creation of a world full of magic.

My Thoughts: This is a story told by a woman looking back at her life. She tells of her lonely childhood when she was neglected by her parents and bullied at her boarding school. She tells of the life she lived as a pastor's daughter in a dirty, ugly coal town. She tells of the few, magical visits by her godmother.

She also tells what happens when she inherits Thornyhold after that same godmother's death. She describes the beauty of the house, gardens and countryside. She also describes her interactions with the local witch who is her rival for the affections of a widowed author who lives nearby. This story also tells us about how she fell in love with that same author and his young son.

Woven into the story are some magical elements. Her godmother was a herbalist and maybe she was also a witch. And maybe Gilly herself has inherited the potential to be a witch too. It describes incidents that could be magical in nature but could also have natural explanations.

The book is set in the time just after World War II and in a part of England that is still very much behind the times. She travels by bicycle and doesn't have a telephone. Until her arrival and her encounters with would-be witch Agnes Trapp, no one ever locked their doors and neighbors felt free to just walk in. Mentions are made of rationing and coupons though shortages aren't as noticeable in this rural area.

This was a quick read. It had lovely descriptions and lyrical writing. It was definitely a gentle Gothic romance.

Favorite Quote:
He smiled at me, and I got the impression that the sun came out and all the birds suddenly burst out singing. I took some sort of control of my besotted thoughts, and said feebly: "Do come in. I was just finishing here."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Memes: Thornyhold by Mary Stewart

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.

This week I am spotlighting Thornyhold by Mary Stewart. I recently discovered a series of books called Rediscovered Classics done by Chicago Review Press which is reprinting a number of books I remember reading years ago. I thought I had read everything Mary Stewart wrote but somehow this one has eluded me until now. Here is the description from Amazon:
During Gilly Ramsey’s lonely childhood, the occasional brief visits of her mother’s cousin were a delight, seeming like visits of a fairy godmother. Years later, when Gilly inherits Thornyhold, her house, she discovers that her cousin, with her still room and herbalist practices—and her undoubted powers—had long been known to the locals as a witch. She is approached by neighbors, some innocent, some not so innocent, but all assuming that she, too, is a witch, and a possible addition to the local coven. Gilly finds there is some truth in this, for she discovers that she can call on a kind of power in difficult moments. This wonderful novel from bestselling author Mary Stewart is delicate in its perception of a young woman’s falling in love, delightful in its portrayal of the English countryside, and skilled in its creation of a world full of magic.
Beginning:
I suppose that my mother could have been a witch if she'd chosen to. But she met my father, who was a rather saintly clergyman, and he cancelled her out. 
Friday 56: 
Slowly, as I lay with open eyes, the darkness dissolved into shapes of varying blackness; the room was a cave of blackness with the faint oblongs of the uncurtained windows showing indigo.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review: Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Magic Lost, Trouble Found
Author: Lisa Shearin
Series: Raine Benares, Book 1
Publication: Ace (May 29, 2007)

Description: A girl with attitude. An all-powerful amulet.
This could only mean trouble.


My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound…

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not-quite-reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they’re after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possession of the item, it takes possession of her.

Now her moderate powers are increasing beyond anything she could imagine—but is the resumé enhancement worth her soul?


My Thoughts: Raine Benares is not having a good day. While protecting a friend she gets captured by an amulet that won't let go and which is a beacon to a weapon that everyone wants. The weapon known as the Soul Stealer would help the goblin king keep power, or it would help the king's brother overthrow him, or it would give an evil goblin sorcerer power unimagined.

Luckily, Raine isn't in the fight alone. She has the support of her cousin Phaelen who is from the less law-abiding part of the family. She also has the help of her godfather who is a retired spellsinger. Then there's Mychael Eiliesor who is an Elven Paladin and Guardian. The Soul Stealer has been safe in their keeping for hundreds of years and he wants to return it to their keeping.

I enjoyed this story. Raine is a fascinating main character who would like to stay under the radar but who finds herself too much in the spotlight. I liked her loyalty to her friends especially the young spellsinger who she thinks of as her younger brother.

I can't wait to read more of Raine's adventures. Luckily, I have them all on my Kindle.

Favorite Quote:
"Soul-stealing rock, razor-fanged pixies, bloodsucking leaches," I hissed as I struggled to get my knife wedged under the thing's blindly seeking mouth and pry it off. "When this is over I'm going to treat myself to a screaming fit. I deserve it, and I'm going to have one."
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar by Lexi George

Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar
Author: Lexi George
Series: Demon Hunting, Book 3
Publication: Brava (January 29, 2013)

Description: Demons, shifters, zombies: You don't have to go to hell, but you can't stay here. . .

It's Last Call On Earth.

Rebekah "Beck" Damian runs a demonoid bar where everyone's welcome--even a reformed flesheater who's strictly vegetarian, a musical ghost who's looking for a piano bar, and a feline harbinger of doom named Wampus Kitty who's scaring the customers. So when a big strapping demon-hunter walks into the bar, Beck knows it's not the end of the world. She'll treat him like any other customer. If only she could. Conall Dalvahni is the toughest, meanest, sexiest demon-hunter Beck's ever seen--and she's finding it awful hard to hide her attraction. As far as Conall's concerned, the feeling is mutual. But how can he trust a beautiful half-demon babe like Beck--when her demonic friends have the perfect weapon to destroy every hunter on earth? With all the sparks flying between Beck and Conall, it's hard to tell who's the predator and who's the prey. Either way, love is hell--and impossible to resist. . .

My Thoughts: The third Demon Hunting book lacked the over-the-top humor of the first two books but had a great story. Beck is a demonoid who was raised in her father's bar by a shape-shifting friend of her father's. Now the bar is hers and it has become a haven for the kith (supernaturals) who live in the area. It has also become a hang out for Connal Dalvahni who is the captain of all the Dalvahni. His attraction to Beck is somewhat baffling to him since he is a demon hunter and she is part demon.

The plot of this one revolves around the return of Beck's hitherto unknown twin brother who had been the slave of demons since he was a small child. He has come to Hannah with them to raise an army of kith. Beck and the Dalvahni need to foil that plan.

Some of the interesting side characters in this one include a vegetarian zombie and a piano playing ghost. There is also a cat named Wampus Kitty who is supposed to be a harbinger of doom but is actually an eight-year-old demonoid girl who has been surviving on her own for two years.

I liked this story but I missed the humor of the earlier books. Beck is a more serious character. The ending leaves room for more books. I hope to get a chance to read them.


Favorite Quote:
He wasn't wearing a tie. No surprise there. Somehow, demon hunters and neckties didn't go together.

Swords, mayhem, and evisceration, yeah. Neckties...not so much.

His ragged dark hair gleamed in the light, and his eyes were black as midnight—blacker, like the space between the stars.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"Sit tight," Phaelan whispered. "I'll get some help. Tanik Ozal and his crew are two blocks over at the Rude Parrot. They live for this sort of thing."
This week my teaser comes from Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin. I bought this one because I have read a few of her other books and really enjoyed them. Here is the description from GoodReads:
A girl with attitude. An all-powerful amulet.
This could only mean trouble.


My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound…

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not-quite-reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they’re after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possession of the item, it takes possession of her.

Now her moderate powers are increasing beyond anything she could imagine—but is the resumé enhancement worth her soul?