Sunday, October 21, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10/22/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

I've been bad about the blogging again, but in my defense, life has been ridiculous crazy.  I did manage to read all of my discussion books, though a couple I finished within a day after the discussion.  I only read a few of the books I sent out for my Birthday Giveaway.  The rest will be read via library ebook format.

I've had quite a bit of programming and whatnot going on for work.  My grandfather passed this past week so that's been hard on the family.  And it doesn't help that my father has been doing poorly (mentally) and has been hospitalized for the better part of 2-3 weeks (he came home, but had to go back).  Oh and the dogs are wild without someone home with them as they are used to. 

So anyway, blogging, and to some extent reading, have been slow going.

Since I last blogged, I've read:

Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors; Read by Patrisse Cullors
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Currently reading:

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 2) by Jacqueline Winspear

Started but currently paused:

Eye of the Shoal by Helen Scales
Moby Dick by Herman Melville


I once again have many, MANY library books.

I also have (for a discussion) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

I also have Crepe Factor by Laura Childs for a discussion, but since it is book 14 in a series, I have a lot of catch up.

Monday, September 24, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9/24/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

I was supposed to be going to ArtPrize, etc.  I took a few days off work to make a thing of this.  And then for various reasons, plans fell through.  So I'm hoping to read like crazy and catch up on the many books I need to read instead.  We'll see how far I get.

I finished this week:

Asking for Truffle (Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery, Bk 1) by Dorothy St. James
Tough Luck Hero (Copper Ridge, Bk 5) by Maisey Yates
Death in Dark Blue (Writer's Apprentice Mystery, Bk 2) by Julia Buckley
A Dark and Twisting Path (Writer's Apprentice Mystery, Bk 3) by Julia Buckley 

I'm currently reading:

Eye of the Shoal by Helen Scales

Up next: 

The books that I need to send out from my Birthday Giveaway...

Midsummer Night's Mischief by Jennifer David Hesse
Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon
Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton
Die, Die, Birdie by J.R. Ripley
Easy Innocence by Libby Fischer Hellmann
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley 
A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean 
Lone Star Nights by Delores Fossen

And books for October book discussions...

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
When They Call You a Terrorist by  Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

I've bitten off more than I can chew.

Asking for Truffle

Title: Asking for Truffle

Author: Dorothy St. James aka Dorothy McFalls

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Series: Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781683312918

Length: 316 pages + "Recipes Snipped From the Camellia Current, Camellia Beach's Local Newspaper"

Obtained: Library hardcover copy


Penn is the next thing to an orphan, even though, presumably, neither parent has actually passed.  She's the daughter of a very rich man, and was raised by her very rich grandmother (kind of).  But she is estranged (and always has been) from her known family, and doesn't want any part of their money.  Her background has made her cynical and short on trust.  So wen she gets a letter claiming she's won a trip to a beach town chocolate shop, she suspects a scam.  She speaks to an old school friend who agrees to go down and investigate for her.  But when he is murdered and his death is written off as a drug crime, Penn goes down to investigate.

Penn's cynicism sees this small beach community as worn down and crumbling.  She encounters a closed minded and inept cop, a mystical "woo-woo" shop that she doesn't believe in, two old ladies who she believes must be involved in the scheme to get her into town for her trust fund.

Unfortunately, Penn's negative picture is how the town is introduced to the reader as well.  Instead of the usual cozy warmth that tends to be found in small cozy mystery towns, there is this gloom.  And while Penn's perspective changes throughout the story as she gets to know the people in town, it is hard to move past her initial negativity.

The mystery itself is fine.  It is multi-part, and of course, events throughout add to the mystery.  I guessed the bad guy, but not the motivation.  Anyway, I had a little trouble connecting to this story and its characters, but I do expect I'll keep reading the series.

Monday, September 10, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9/10/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

Today is the last day you can enter my Birthday Giveaway! Stop by to potentially win one or more of 18 autographed books (half romance, half mystery).

I didn't finish reading anything this week.

I'm currently reading:

Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James

Eye of the Shoal by Helen Scales

Up next: 

Any number of books that I've purchased or obtained from the library.  I have a LARGE selection.  And a couple books for discussions.

Monday, September 3, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9/3/2018

Hosted by: Book Date

I'm still doing a Birthday Giveaway, but I've changed it up.  There are a total of 18 possible autographed books (half romance, half mystery) that you can choose from.  Visit Birthday Giveaway! for more information and to enter.

I haven't participated in this in the better part of a month, so I'm backed up.  
In the last few weeks, I've read: 

A Hard Day's Knight (Nightside, Bk 11) by Simon R. Green

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin; Illustrated by Giovanni Rigano; Lettering by Chris Dickey

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

the age of miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Venom in the Veins (Elemental Assassin, Bk 17) by Jennifer Estep

Cat About Town (Cat Café Mystery, Bk 1) by Cate Conte

A Distant Heart (Bollywood, Bk 4) by Sonali Dev

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey; Illustrated by Júlia Sardà

Murder in an Irish Village (Irish Village, Bk 1) by Carlene O'Connor

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Volumes 1-4) by Kyle Higgins; Illustrated by Hendry Prasetya, Jonathan Lam, Thony Silas, Daniel Bayliss; Lettering by Ed Dukeshire - Read on Hoopla.  Started for a new Comic Club Discussion Group.

Walrus in the Bathtub by Deborah Underwood; Illustrated by Matt Hunt
Valensteins by Ethan Long
Frankenstein by Rick Walton and Nathan Hale
Frankenstein's Fright Before Christmas by Rick Walton and Nathan Hale
Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon
The Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for Children by Katherine Paterson; Illustrated by François Roca
Dear Komodo Dragon by Nancy Kelly Allen
Once Upon a Slime by Andy Maxwell
3x4 by Ivan Brunetti
Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries by David Levinthal; Illustrated by John Nickle

I'm currently reading:

In audio (on CD), I've been listening to Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read by Paul Boehmer).  I'm not very much further than I was a month ago.  There was a portion that was script-like in print that I did not follow well in audio.

Eye of the Shoal : a Fish-watcher's Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything by Helen Scales (library hardcover) - I'm still early in this book.  I'm slow with non-fiction that isn't told in a storylike manner.  However, I've found this to be pretty good reading material when I'm on the stationary bike or elliptical.

I started listening to Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff; Read by Paul Fox in downloadable audio...

Up next:

Probably a giveaway book.

Birthday Giveaway!

I had planned to do a series of giveaways for my birthday.  That didn't work out when no one entered for the first book.  So I'm going to try again with one big giveaway.

All books are autographed.  Some are ARCs (Advance Reader Copies), and this will be noted.  I will link to my posts if I've read the book in question.

I'm not going to do the Rafflecopter thing.  Instead, if you are interested in entering
  1. Comment with your interest in  Package Romance or Package Mystery.
  2. List your top 3 choices.
  3. Include an email or way of contact.
How many winners and how many books each winner will receive depends on the number of entries received.  This is open Internationally and ends on the 10th of September 2018.

Package Romance
  • Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean [My Thoughts]
  • Hot Mess by Emily Belden [My Thoughts]
  • A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev [My Thoughts]
  • Six Impossible Things by Elizabeth Boyle
  • An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath
  • A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
  • Lone Star Nights by Delores Fossen (ARC)
  • Tough Luck Hero by Maisey Yates (ARC)
  • Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis (ARC)
Package Mystery
  • Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor [My Thoughts]
  • Midsummer Night's Mischief by Jennifer David Hesse
  • Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon
  • Survival of the Fritters by Ginger Bolton
  • Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley
  • Die, Die, Birdie by J.R. Ripley
  • Easy Innocence by Libby Fischer Hellmann
  • The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins
  • City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

Murder in an Irish Village

Title: Murder in an Irish Village

Author: Carlene O'Connor

Series: Irish Village Mystery, Bk 1

Publisher: Kensington Mystery

ISBN: 9781617738463

Length: 344 pages

Obtained: Purchased autographed paperback at Lit Fest


I found out I could go to a "Cozy Book Club Mini-Con" for my birthday and I was so psyched! As I reviewed the list of authors expected, I realized I had bought this back in June, so I started it the night before.

Siobhán O'Sullivan and her five siblings are trying to keep up their parent's bistro and each other after the death of their parents a year prior.  But when the brother of the young man who killed them in a drunk driving accident comes into town, making crazy claims, an stirring things up he ends up a murder victim... in the bistro.  Eldest sibling James, is believed to be the killer, and Siobhán is left to solve this mystery and keep the pieces of their family and home together.

I enjoyed the story and the characters.  I particularly enjoyed the O'Sullivan Six.  The mystery puts everyone in the village under suspicion.  Since this is the first book and introduction to the village characters, Siobhán's sleuthing and instincts strongly color who may or may not be responsible.

An interesting note... when Carlene spoke at the con, she mentioned that she had thought keeping foul language out of a book set in Ireland wasn't very authentic.  However, her publishers assured her that Irish curse words don't count.  In fact, the Irish cursing is frequent in the book's dialog, and as Carlene said, they are most definitely swear words.  I can see, however, where words that are not common cursing in the States made them easier to just gloss over while reading.

Also of note, the village this book is set in, Kilbane, County Cork doesn't quite exist, but is based off of a real town, Kilmallock,  that the author fell in love with in County Limerick.  She highly recommended visiting if anyone has the chance.  You can see her love of this town, as place is most definitely a character in this book.

Anyway, I own book 2, Murder at an Irish Wedding, and hope to read it soon.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

Title: Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

Author: Linda Bailey; Illustrated by Júlia Sardà

Publisher: Tundra

ISBN: 9781770495593

Length: Unnumbered + "Author's Note" + "Sources"

Obtained: Library hardcover picture book


I have a series of Frankenstein programs scheduled for work, and I've been reading some Frankenstein related books (just kids books so far). This is one of them, but I realized when I finished it that the author, Linda Bailey, is Canadian, so I'm posting to fulfill the 12th Annual Canadian Book Challenge.

 This is a children's book that looks into Mary Shelley's background from her childhood on. It focuses on what inspired her creation of Frankenstein, from her "dreamer" nature as a child to the challenge that prompted the story. The illustrations are charming, and I couldn't help but like Mary her past and creativity is uncovered.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Distant Heart

Title: A Distant Heart

Author: Sonali Dev

Series: Bollywood, Bk 4

Publisher: Kensington Fiction

ISBN: 9781496705761

Length: 297 + "A Reading Group Guide"

Obtained: Purchased autographed copy


I read this in one chunk until 3 in the morning.  I had met the author in June, and she assured me that while it is part of a series, and particularly connected to the previous book, A Change of Heart, that I could read it as a standalone or out of order.  I still tend to believe I would have been better off to read A Change of Heart first.  I know details of that storyline that I otherwise would not have.  However, I'll agree that my reading of this story was not detracted from. 

Kimi has had health issues nearly all of her life.  Her parents wealth and determination allowed her to live through a number of new treatments and options until her heart simply would not take it anymore.  Then she was blessed with a transfer.  She would like to find her donor.  Rahul, a man from the slums and now a cop in Mumbai, came into her life as a child and was her only friend and constant for years of fighting for her life.  Now he is determined to have some closure for a case about a gangster/black market that he has been working on for years.  The stakes are high for them both and while they stay in hiding and investigate their respective quests, they must also navigate their pasts and potential futures. 

The story is told in "Present Day" and "A Long Time Ago" from the perspectives of Kimi, Rahul, and Kimi's father - who is a part of both their lives.  I don't mind multiple perspectives, but I'm not a huge fan of time jumping back and forth.  It does work for this story, though, to unfold what has been (without info dumps) and what the characters are currently going through.

I'd be interested in reading more of Sonali's work, particularly A Change of Heart.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Cat About Town

Title: Cat About Town

Author: Cate Conte

Series: Cat Café Mystery, Bk 1

Publisher: St. Martin's

ISBN: 9781250072061

Length: 295 pages

Obtained: Library paperback copy


Maddie is visiting the town she grew up in as her grandmother has passed and she's helping her grandfather adjust.  While there she finds out a local bigshot is bullying her grandfather - former chief of police - into selling his home... ahouse that has been in the family for generations.  Before she can come up with a plan, said bigshot is murdered, and Maddie's grandfather is suspected.  Obviously this means she needs to help find tehtrue culprit, and to help jer is the cat that seems to have adopted her - JJ.

The story was pretty quick, with a mixture of focus on the murder/investigation and Maddie's relationships with family, friends, and other townspeople.  This book is definitely primarily a set-up for the series though.  The series name, for instance, doesn't even really come into play other than brief mentions here and there.  And I didn't always agree with Maddie's approach to some aspects of her sleuthing.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and I look forward to reading book 2, Purrder She Wrote.