Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Southern Gothic by Dale Wiley

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. 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 (from the 10% mark of the eARC):
Would I have done something different if I had know it would only last for less than a year? Or that a different location might well provide a different outcome? I can't answer that. Grief is a never-ending series of what-ifs.
This week I am reading Southern Gothic by Dale Wiley. I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Here is the description from Amazon:
Aspiring author Meredith Harper owns the hottest bookstore in Savannah.

Michael Black is her favorite writer—long thought dead—until he mysteriously approaches Meredith with a new manuscript, and a most unusual offer. Meredith can keep the manuscript to herself, or publish it under her own name.

Her decision results in a bestseller, but the novel contains a coded secret; one that will put her on trial for murder and in hiding from “the blood stalker,” proving too late that making a deal with the devil comes at a heavy price.

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 16, 2017)

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...

I have felt like a prophet of doom all week as I have been constantly reminding my students that the end of the semester is coming and they have missing work. Our semester ends this Friday. Monday is a work day/inservice day and then the second semester begins. I will be seeing a whole new bunch of students. I'm saying goodbye to my fifth, third and second graders and hello to Kindergartners, first graders, fourth graders and sixth graders. I'm also saying goodbye to my half-time schedule and going to full time for the first time since the 2014-2015 school year. This week will be filled with meetings and report cards (upwards of 240 of them).

After a (relatively) warm and sunny weekend, we are supposed to begin the coming week with a "wintry mix." We still haven't lost the ice from the last time. Freezing rain on Monday and Tuesday ought to make the driving miserable. I'm forever grateful that my longest commute is 3/4 of a mile.

I bought myself a present this week - a paper shredder- and have gleefully been going through my file drawers in my quest to be more organized and have less stuff in 2017. I searched online to see how long I should be keeping papers. I was pretty sure I didn't need my first pay stub from 1976 but didn't want to get rid of it prematurely.

Read Last Week
Beauty and the Wiener by Casey Griffin was a cute romantic suspense title with cute dogs. My review will be posted on Feb. 4.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh was a chilling suspense novel, told from multiple viewpoints, that kept me up reading late into the night. My review will be posted on Feb. 16.

Currently
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop has finally reached to top of my Review stack. I got the eARC on Nov. 9 and had a hard time waiting for it to have its turn.

Next Week
Next are two more from my review stack:
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
For my review stack:

Just because:
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (Kindle)
  • The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman (Print - It's joining the first two books in the series on TBR mountain.)
To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

ARC Review: A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot

A Merciful Death
Author: Kendra Elliot
Series: Mercy Kilpatrick (Book 1)
Publication: Montlake Romance (January 17, 2017)

Description: FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…

My Thoughts: FBI Agent Mercy Kilpatrick returns to the small town where she grew up after a fifteen year absence when she is assigned to a case that may have a link with domestic terrorism. Someone is killing elderly preppers and stealing their gun collections. The new police chief, an import from San Jose who used to spend summers there, is the nephew of one of the victims. He definitely wants the cases solved and is happy that the FBI, with their vast resources, has come to assist.

We gradually learn about Mercy's backstory as this story unfolds. She was raised to be a prepper -- someone who is stockpiling resources for the inevitable collapse of society. She left because of some unknown tragedy that led her parents to shun her. She has had no communication with her parents or her sisters or brothers since. In fact, when she stopped in to get some coffee at a new coffee shop she was surprised to see her that her brother and her niece owned it. Neither acknowledged each other during the awkward encounter.

We also learn about small town politics as we see the rivalry between Mercy's father and an influential local rancher who wants Mercy's family as a part of his community. After still another elderly prepper is murdered, Mercy notices a frightening connection to a couple of murders that happened shortly before she first left town. Every mirror in the victims' houses has been shattered. This brings up a connection to earlier crimes that comes very close to exposing the secret the led to her getting out of town.

She and Truman Daly, the police chief, get close as they investigate the new and old crimes. He first admires her intelligence and focus but that just leads him to want to know more about her. He is the first to consider a relationship with her. Between her investigation, her guilt over past events, and her current relationship, or lack of one, with her family, it takes Mercy much longer to appreciate Truman.

This was an excellent mystery. I really liked both Mercy and Truman. Since this story introduces new characters, I hope more adventures are planned for Mercy and Truman.

Favorite Quote:
"How do you know this?"

She shrugged. "Everyone knew. It's a small town. People started locking their doors at night."

"And the break-ins just stopped?"

"Yes." Sort of.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Memes: A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe 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:
Mercy Kilpatrick wondered who she'd ticked off at the Portland FBI office.
Friday 56:
This house was a fire hazard of piles and emitted a bad, sour smell. As if damp things hadn't dried out in a few years.
This week I am reading A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot. I got this eARC from NetGalley. I am a big fan of the author's work. Here is the description from Amazon:
FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick has been waiting her whole life for disaster to strike. A prepper since childhood, Mercy grew up living off the land—and off the grid—in rural Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. Until a shocking tragedy tore her family apart and forced her to leave home. Now a predator known as the cave man is targeting the survivalists in her hometown, murdering them in their homes, stealing huge numbers of weapons, and creating federal suspicion of a possible domestic terrorism event. But the crime scene details are eerily familiar to an unsolved mystery from Mercy’s past.

Sent by the FBI to assist local law enforcement, Mercy returns to Eagle’s Nest to face the family who shunned her while maintaining the facade of a law-abiding citizen. There, she meets police chief Truman Daly, whose uncle was the cave man’s latest victim. He sees the survivalist side of her that she desperately tries to hide, but if she lets him get close enough to learn her secret, she might not survive the fallout…

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ARC Review: A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

A Perilous Undertaking
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery (Book 2)
Publication: Berkley (January 10, 2017)

Description: Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries... 

London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists’ colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....

My Thoughts: Veronica Speedwell is lured from her butterfly hunting when a Royal Princess asks her to look into the case of a friend who has been convicted of murder and is soon to hang. Reputations, even Royal ones, are on the line and the real murderer needs to be found soon.

It doesn't take long before Veronica and her friend Stoker are deep into their investigations. Their suspects come from the arty, Bohemian crowd and give us a glimpse into that group.

The setting and time period are well-described and the attitudes and morals of the day play nicely into the mystery. Veronica is a free spirit who doesn't subscribe to the morals of the day. She is a scientist which informs her thinking. She has taken lovers when abroad but won't consider it while she is in England. She has no interest in marriage. She is also the unacknowledged daughter of the Prince of Wales which is a secret that worries the Royal family more than it worries her. She wavers between wanting to meet her father and knowing that she can not. She would prefer not to interact with them but this case involves them.

Stoker is the black sheep of his family and, in this episode, we find out why. Stoker is also a scientist and adventurer. He's a doctor who served in the Royal Navy and looks like a pirate. He and Veronica have a strong friendship and I get the feeling that he would like more.

This was an entertaining mystery. I look forward to reading more of Veronica and Stoker's adventures.

Favorite Quote:
I turned to face him, not lowering the blade. “Might I remind you that I have, upon many and various occasions, been in mortal danger and I am still here.”

“Anyone can get lucky,” he said coldly. “And I suspect your continued survival owes itself to a combination of good fortune and sheer  bloody‑ mindedness. You are too stubborn to die.”
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from Penguin's First to Read program. You can buy your copy here.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WoW: Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!

Peter Swanson
Jan. 10, 2017
The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.

The danger isn’t all in your head . . .

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.

And much, much closer than she thinks.

Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith, and James M. Cain.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. 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:
“What do you mean?” His voice was even and calm, and that is how I knew he was truly angry. A thundering, barking, pillaging Stoker was a happy Stoker. But stillness was the thing that betrayed his deepest rage.
This week I am reading A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn. It is the second Veronica Speedwell mystery. I got this one for review from Penguin's First to Read program. Here is the description from Amazon:
Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries... 

London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists’ colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....