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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017 – Day 1: Introductions #ArmchairBookExpo

Armchair Book Expo is the experience for book bloggers to participate in Book Expo from the comfort of their homes. This experience is created lovingly by book bloggers specifically for our peers who for whatever reason are not able to participate in the main conference in New York each year. We bring publishers, authors, and bloggers together in celebrating our love for all things literary by hosting celebrations such as sneak peeks, daily discussion topics, and sponsored giveaways. 

I am . . . a multi-tasking busy single mom, working full-time. I have very little sit-down time to read, so I listen to audiobooks on my work commute and while doing chores!

My current read . . . is Unspoken by Lisa Jackson, and I'm also reading an autobiography/memoir by Alice Cooper called Alice Cooper, Golf Monster. I'm listening to Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn, and I'm reading the second book in the Oz series, The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, aloud to my younger daughter.


My summer plans . . . spending time in my lovely backyard with my kids in the evenings and on the weekend!

My buddy . . . meet Trixie. She actually is my older daughter's cat, but she enjoys lying on my lap in the evenings if she can catch me sitting down.

My blog/channel/social media . . . Darlene's Book Nook. All the links to my social media handles are up top.

The best . . . my kids!!

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Part of the Silence by Debbie Howells @debbie__howells @KensingtonBooks

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

PUBLISHER: Kensington Publishing Corporation
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 320 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
ISBN: 9781496706911
From the international bestselling author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about the distorted nature of reality, the unreliability of memory, and the enduring power of a mother's love.

A blighted memory. A child who seems never to have existed. A watcher in the shadows.

When they find Evie Sherman, battered and left for dead in a maize field, the young woman has no recollection of who she is. After three days in a hospital bed, the fog in her head begins to lift, and she remembers two names: her own, and that of her three-year-old daughter, Angel. Evie is convinced that Angel is in grave danger. But the police can find no evidence of the girl's existence.

It's clear that Evie is having some kind of mental breakdown--or is it? Even in the depths of her amnesiac darkness, Evie knows her daughter's voice, her chameleon eyes, every precious hair on her head. So how can she be losing her mind?

As Evie's grasp on reality slips away, she finds herself haunted by the same three-word warning, which she hears over and over: Trust no one. But whom is she being warned against? The police? The doctors and nurses? Or the mysterious figure who's been watching her, who knows all her secrets, has a hidden agenda--and perhaps their own twisted version of reality.

I love psychological thrillers, and this one sounds like a good one!

What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017 Big Book Summer Challenge: Starting Line #BigBookSummer @suebookbybook

The 2017 Big Book Summer Challenge has begun! This challenge is being hosted by Sue @ Book By Book.

Here are the details:
  • Anything over 400 pages qualifies as a big book.
  • The challenge will run from Memorial Day weekend (starting May 26 this year) through Labor Day weekend (Labor Day is September 4 this year).
  • Choose one or two or however many big books you want as your goal. Wait, did you get that? You only need to read 1 book with over 400 pages this summer to participate! (though you are welcome to read more, if you want).
  • Choose from what's on your shelves already or a big book you've been meaning to read for ages or anything that catches your eye in the library - whatever peaks your interest.
  • Sign up on the first links list below (or on Goodreads if you don't have a blog).
  • Write a post to kick things off - you can list the exact big books you plan to read or just publish your intent to participate, but be sure to include the Big Book Summer Challenge pic above, with a link back to this blog (no blog? No problem - see below).
  • Write a post to wrap up at the end, listing the big books you read during the summer.
  • You can write progress posts if you want to and/or reviews of the big books you've read...but you don't have to! There is a separate links list below for big book reviews or progress update posts.

This is the biggest book that I'm planning to tackle for this challenge:

by Stephen King
(1,116 pages)

There may be other books over 400 pages that I'll be reading, so I'll add them as I go along.

Here are the links to my reviews:

  1. Raging Star by Moira Young (Dust Lands, Book #3) [448 pages]
  2. Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Blood Rose Rebellion, Book #1) [416 pages
  3. Blood Vow by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Legacy, Book #2) [459 pages]

I will post my updates on Twitter using the #BigBookSummer hashtag, and then do a wrap-up post at the end of the challenge on my blog.

Thanks again to Sue at Book By Book for hosting!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is:

Top Ten Thirteen Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

This Is Not the End
by Chandler Baker

Before She Ignites
by Jodi Meadows

Two Nights
by Kathy Reichs

by Marissa Meyer

Agatha Raisin and the Witches' Tree
(Agatha Raisin, Book #28)
by M.C. Beaton

A Stranger in the House
by Shari Lapena

Sleeping Beauties
by Stephen King and Owen King

How I Lost You
by Jenny Blackhurst

Such a Pretty Girl
by Tess Diamond

Friend Request
by Laura Marshall

Close to Me
by Amanda Reynolds

The Salt Line
by Holly Goddard Jones

The Paper Bag Christmas
by Kevin Alan Milne

So, what books are at the top of your list for the second half of 2017? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my review pile, in light of the May Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge.

TITLE: Unspoken
AUTHOR: Lisa Jackson
PUBLICATION DATE: November 27, 2012 (first published November 1, 1999)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 369 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781420100938
The More You Know

The envelope delivered to Shelby Cole's Seattle home contains no return address, just a photograph of a little girl. Shelby knows at once that this is the daughter she was told died at birth. And in that moment, Shelby knows something else: she needs to go back to Bad Luck, Texas.

The More You Tell

She's not the only one coming home. A long-ago killing is in the news again following recanted testimony. A violent nightmare from Shelby's past has been set free. And she can't shake a suspicion that someone is baiting her, luring her back here for their own ends.

The More There Is To Fear

Shelby's search for answers is met with stonewalling and hostility. Her only ally is a figure from her past--someone she has every reason not to trust. And in the midst of dark family revelations she uncovers a terrifying scheme of revenge. Because some secrets, once spoken, can never be forgotten--or forgiven. . .

Something from the library. I'm a big Alice Cooper fan, though I'm not a fan of golf!

AUTHOR: Alice Cooper
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 260 pages
GENRE: Autobiography/Memoir
ISBN: 9780307382658

The man who invented shock rock tells the amazing and, yeah, shocking story of how he slayed his thirsty demons--with a golf club. It started one day when Cooper was watching a Star Trek rerun between concerts, bored and drunk on a quart-of-whiskey-a-day habit; a friend dragged the rocker out of his room and suggested a round of golf. Cooper has been a self-confessed golf addict ever since. Today he and his band still tour the world, playing some one hundred gigs a year . . . and three hundred days out of that year, Cooper is on the course.

Alice Cooper, Golf Monster is Cooper's tell-all memoir; in it he talks candidly about his entire life and career, as well as his struggles with alcohol, how he fell in love with the game of golf, how he dried out at a sanitarium back in the late '70s, and how he put the last nails in his addiction's coffin by getting up daily at 7 a.m. to play 36 holes.

Alice has hilarious, touching, and sometimes surprising stories about so many of his friends: Led Zeppelin and the Doors, George Burns and Groucho Marx, golf legends like John Daly and Tiger Woods . . . everyone is here from Dali to Elvis to Arnold Palmer.

This is the story of Cooper's life, and also a story about golf. He rose from hacker to scratch golfer to serious Pro Am competitor and on to his status today as one of the best celebrity golfers around--all while rising through the rock 'n' roll ranks releasing platinum albums and selling out arenas with his legendary act.

Something from my bookshelf. This is my vintage 1970 edition, which I've kept from my childhood! I'm reading it aloud to my daughter, and our plan is to make our way through the whole series. This is a re-read for me, but I honestly don't remember a thing about it! It read it when I was young.

SERIES: Oz, Book #2
AUTHOR: L. Frank Baum 
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
PUBLICATION DATE: 1970 (first published 1904)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 192 pages
GENRE: Children's Fiction, Classics, Fantasy
ISBN: 0590085654
"You'll never bother me again," says Mombi the witch, "once you drink this magic brew."

"What'll it do?" cries poor Tip.

"It will turn you into a marble statue!"

Tip's heart beats wildly.

Can a mere boy escape from a witch's evil power?

But this is Oz -- the marvelous, magical land where anything can happen!

I'm listening to:

Something from my review pile, in light of the May Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge.

TITLE: Souljacker
SERIES: Lily Bound, Book #1
AUTHOR: Yasmine Galenorn
NARRATORS: Cassandra Campbell
PUBLISHER: Tantor Audio
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 42 mins
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Lily O'Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker - an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before - has escaped to reclaim his "artwork", Lily knows she's next on his list.

With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn't expect to fall for Archer - and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim....

I just finished:

PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: January 13, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post

This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

My daughter's Ultimate Frisbee tournament is running all weekend, so it's been busy busy! Thankfully, the weather has been good. The rain we had last weekend has resulted in everything becoming nice and green and my fruit trees blooming! My backyard smells amazing!! It's indescribable. I wish that I could bottle it! Separately, each tree smells delicious but together...oh, that's heaven!! Don't they look gorgeous?

If you missed it earlier, I have ARCs to swap. Check out MY POST to see if there's anything there that you'd like to read. If so, please let me know! I'd love to trade with someone. I will be adding to it once I have a chance to dig through boxes and bookshelves.

This one has been on my Wishlist, and it was Downpour's Deal of the Week for $4.95:

The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco

 Have you all been taking advantage of the FREE audiobooks that SYNC has been offering? I love this program! Each week during the summer, there is a new pair of audiobooks up for grabs and you need to download them before the new pair is up which takes place every Thursday at 7:00 AM EST. The pairing consists of a newer YA book with a classic or non-fiction title, and it's based on a weekly theme. The books are suitable for ages 13+.

Here are the Week 5 FREE audiobooks, which you can download HERE. You have to download them by 7:00 AM EST on June 1st. Once you have downloaded them, the audiobooks are yours to keep forever and listen at your leisure.

Here is information about Week 5's theme:

The pair of audiobooks offered by AudiobookSYNC this fifth week features characters who have been required to conform to identities chosen for them. Many teens have felt this put-upon sense that conflicts with self-identity, although usually they are caught in less extreme circumstances than the young adults we meet here. Listening to these audios, then, can awaken both empathy for others and insight about.the difference between relying on social pressures to conform and recognizing one's own identity as essentially one's own responsibility.

by Lana Krumwiede
(Psi Chronicles, Book #1)

by Anna Ziegler

I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Michelle @ Seasons of Reading during the Spring Into Horror Read-a-Thon:

We Are Always Watching
by Hunter Shea

Thanks again, Michelle!

Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, May 26, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne @jlbourne @audible_com

SERIES: Day by Day Armageddon, Book #1
AUTHOR: J.L. Bourne
NARRATOR: Jay Snyder
PUBLISHER: Audible Studios
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 38 mins
GENRE: Horror/Zombies, Science Fiction/Apocalyptic
Start intercept: Sporadic reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet. The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain. Intercept complete.

In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.


I love apocalyptic survival stories, and the start of this series reminds me of The Walking Dead…where zombies are scary and not cheesy!

The story is told entirely in epistolary fashion through the main character’s (“MC”) journal entries. A Naval Aviation Officer, whose name is never mentioned, chronicles the worldwide collapse due to a viral outbreak that begins in China. The US government sends medical military staff overseas to help out, but one of the doctors gets sick and is sent back home due to the inadequate care in the area. Thus, begins the spread of the virus to other parts of the world. The highly contagious disease causes victims to lose their motor function and act in an erratic manner, and it is transmitted through a bite. The victim dies and then returns to life, seeking to spread the virus to others. The undead are drawn to noise, and they can only be killed by trauma to the brain. People are ordered to stay indoors, and the MC prepares to hole up inside his home by stockpiling ammunition and other essentials and to reinforce the entrances to his home. A neighbor, John, makes contact with him using a flashlight. They soon are forced to leave the area, fleeing with John’s dog in tow. You gotta love a MC who refuses to leave someone’s dog behind! On the run, they rescue other survivors including a couple with a young girl and the group rallies together.

It's during a time of crisis when we see one’s true nature: To be selfless or selfish. The MC is definitely selfless. He risks his own life to save others and puts himself in danger again and again. With his military training and background in aviation, he is built to survive. If it’s the end of the world, you definitely want this guy on your side! He is a great hero to this story, and I really like John as well. The men take turns carrying John’s dog as well as the little girl. These are good men who look out for others, so you can’t help but root for them! When the government orders the use of nukes on the most infested cities, the nukes actually have the opposite effect on the zombies. Instead of destroying them, the radiation actually changes them and makes them more cunning. The story is fast-paced, but the ending comes abruptly. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile.

Narrator Jay Snyder is new to me, and I thought he suited the MC. You would think that a book of journal entries would be boring, but Snyder doesn’t make it so. He conveys the emotions of the MC, whether that’s fear, despondency, anxiety, or hopefulness.


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy horror/zombie or science fiction/apocalyptic stories!

This book qualifies as:
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