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Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my bookshelf. In honour of the Christmas in July Read-a-Thon that ran on July 29th and 30th, this was my pick


AUTHOR: Fiona Harper
PUBLISHER: Mills & Boon
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 2013
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Holiday/Christmas
ISBN: 9780263910292
Family-orientated and Christmas-dinner cook extraordinaire Juliet is trying to keep it together in the wake of her marriage breakdown two Christmases ago, but the cracks are beginning to show.

Bright and vivacious Gemma was always the favourite daughter…So she has no qualms about leaving Christmas in her sister Juliet’s capable hands; and escaping the pressures of her glamorous job, and the festive madness by jetting off to somewhere warm.

When Gemma shirks responsibility once too many and announces she’s off to the Caribbean (again!); Juliet finally snaps. Gemma offers her sister the perfect solution - to swap Christmases: she’ll stay home and cook the turkey (how hard can it be?) and Juliet can fly off into the sun and have a restorative break.

In the midst of all the chaos, there’s Will, Juliet’s dishy neighbour who’s far too nice to float Gemma’s boat and may secretly harbour feelings for her sister; and Marco, the suave Italian in the villa next door, who has his own ideas about the best way to help Juliet unwind.

Will the sisters abandon caution and make this a Christmas
swap to remember?


I'm listening to:

Something from the library. In honour of the Christmas in July Read-a-Thon that ran on July 29th and 30th, this was my pick

AUTHOR: Debbie Macomber
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 5 hrs and 23 mins
GENRE: Romance/Contemporary, Holiday
In a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with another original holiday novel full of romance and cheer. This time around, a plucky young woman clashes with a real-life Scrooge—her grouchy, arrogant, annoyingly handsome neighbor—and tries to get even the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

I just finished:

TITLE: Beyond Exile
SERIES: Day by Day Armageddon, Book #2
AUTHOR: J.L. Bourne
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
PUBLICATION DATE: July 13, 2010
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 277 pages
GENRE: Horror/Zombies
ISBN: 9781439177525
Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe;there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering for human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.

Survivor, Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture the desperation; and the will to survive;as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside an abandoned strategic missile facility. But in the world of the undead, is mere survival enough?



AUTHOR: Paula Hawkins
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: May 2, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 11 hrs and 31 mins
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from--a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface--you never know what lies beneath.

Cast of Narrators:
Rachel Bavidge, as third person narrator/Nel's voice
Sophie Aldred, as Jules
Daniel Weyman, as Sean & Josh
Imogen Church, as Erin Morgan
Laura Aikman, as Lena

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, July 30, 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


The weather here is gorgeous, and I am planning to do this for the rest of the day:






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 14 FREE audiobooks, which you can download HERE. You have to download them by 7:00 AM EST on August 3rd. Once you have downloaded them, the audiobooks are yours to keep forever and listen at your leisure.


Here is information about Week 14's theme:


AudiobookSYNC participants with a yen for fantasy with historical twists are in for a treat with this week’s free audiobook downloads. This pair offers some steampunk, some alternative history, and a pair of protagonists who are clever and brave.

Full Cast Audio’s AIRBORN, by Kenneth Oppel, is narrated by David Kelly and other actors who make this tale of derring-do spring to life. In an alternative to our history of aircraft development, hot air balloons are the height of aviation splendor. There are also air pirates, fierce weather, and a strong-willed young woman out to save her dead grandfather’s reputation. In the tradition of Full Cast Audio, the novel retains every word in its performance as an audio drama, offering inspiration to student thespians seeking ideas for unique audition material.

Paired with this steampunk tale is Zoe Marriott’s genre blending SHADOWS ON THE MOON, performed for Brilliance Audio by Amy Rubinate. Cinderella meets feudal Japan in this fantasy world. A young woman becomes an expert shadow weaver, a skill that allows her to change her appearance and thus escape a cruel household and go in search of a way to wreak vengeance on those who have pressed her into servitude. Marriott stirs together romance, a fully formed mythology with accurate cultural detail, and plenty of action both magical and otherwise. Rubinate’s performance sounds credibly young and moves smoothly among English, Japanese, and invented words as the story builds.

This week’s pair of audiobooks is high-spirited and entertaining, and both beg to be heard more than just one time. Happily for SYNC participants, that’s no problem, as SYNC audiobooks are yours to keep forever after you download them each week.


Shadows on the Moon
by Zoe Marriott
(The Moonlit Lands, Book #1)

Airborn
by Kenneth Oppel
(Matt Cruse, Book #1)


This classic is a FREEBIE at Audible:


The Oedipus Plays
by Sophocles
(The Theban Plays, Books #1-3)


I received this goodie in my mailbox:


The Indigo Girl
by Natasha Boyd

Thanks again to Blackstone Audio!


Penguin Random House Audio had a 48-hour giveaway for this audiobook (it's long at 28 hrs and 42 mins):


City of Golden Shadow
by Tad Williams
(Otherland, Book #1)


I received this audiobook for review, which was one of my most eagerly anticipated books for 2017 plus she's a Canadian author:


A Stranger in the House
by Shari Lapena

Thanks again to Penguin Audio!


I won this signed ARC in a giveaway hosted by Jean Book Nerd:


Soleri
by Michael Johnston

Thanks again, Jean & Michael!


I bought these like-new books at a used book sale for $0.65 each. What a steal! I couldn't say no:


The Girl in the Spider's Web
by David Lagercrantz
(Millennium, Book #4)


More Bitter Than Death
by Camilla Grebe & Åsa Träff
(Siri Bergman, Book #2)




Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

Friday: Audiobook Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Final Girls by Riley Sager


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, July 28, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Final Girls by Riley Sager @riley_sager @PRHAudio

TITLE: Final Girls
AUTHOR: Riley Sager
NARRATORS: Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: July 11, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 24 mins
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
Ten years ago college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to - a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now Quincy is doing well - maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won't even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started 10 years ago is finished.
MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

With the main characters being mass murder survivors, I knew this book was going to be messed up! I mean, how can you go through an ordeal like that and NOT be a bit unstable?!

When Janelle’s parents rented a cabin in the woods for their daughter’s 18th birthday, they never expected the celebration to end in a bloodbath. Quincy Carpenter is the lone survivor of this brutal massacre that was so traumatizing that her brain has repressed the memories. She has become a member of an exclusive club known as the Final Girls, referring to the last girl standing in those cheesy slasher flicks. Besides Quincy, there are two other Final Girls who are often named in the press: Lisa Milner and Samantha Boyd. Sam basically went off the grid to escape the media frenzy, but Lisa embraced her survivor status and wrote a book and reached out to Quincy after her ordeal. The ladies never met, but they had been in contact with each other by phone and email. Quincy has tried to move on and make a life for herself, and she is a baking blogger working from home and lives with her fiancé.

Ten years after surviving the Pine Cottage carnage, Quincy receives the news that Lisa is dead. Initially, it was thought to be suicide but then evidence points to murder. Then Sam resurfaces and shows up on Quincy’s doorstep, and she seems determined to force Quincy to remember those forgotten memories.

This story was dark and twisty, and I really enjoyed it! Sam is one of those characters that you love to hate. She wheedles her way into Quincy’s life and wreaks havoc. Quincy utterly devolved, and it was interesting to see Sam's effect on her. I grew to hate her nearly as much as Sam! I thought I had it all figured out, but there was a twist at the end that I never saw coming. I love when an author can do that to me, and I will definitely pick up Sager’s next book!

The book was narrated by Erin Bennett and Hillary Huber. One narrated the events that took place in the past at Pine Cottage, and the other narrated the present. I have no idea which narrator did which part, but both were very good and held my attention. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:
4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy a good mystery. Thanks again to Penguin Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1 by Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence, and Amelia Woo @DynamiteComics

SERIES: Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels, Book #1.1
AUTHOR: Patricia BriggsDavid LawrenceAmelia Woo
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
PUBLICATION DATE: March 1, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 128 pages
GENRE: Graphic Novel, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9781606902035
"Mercy Thompson inhabits two worlds without truly belonging to either. To the human inhabitants of Tri-Cities she's an oddity, a fiercely independent woman who repairs cars for a living. To the town's darker residents; werewolves, vampires, and fae, she's a walker, a last-of-her-kind magical being with the power to become a coyote. Mercy warily straddles the fine line dividing our everyday world from that darker dimension...

MY REVIEW:

One of my 2017 reading challenges is to read a graphic novel. I have never read one before, and it is a little out of my comfort zone so I picked an adaptation for one of my favourite urban fantasy series which is the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. This volume combines the first four single-issue graphic novels for the Mercy Thompson: Moon Called series. It continues with single issues #5-8, which are combined in Volume 2.

This was a quick read that I finished in one sitting, and it was fun to revisit Moon Called, which I listened to in 2013. I understand that a lot of the meat from the original book is cut out of the graphic novel for the sake of brevity. Having said that, I think that the adaptation was done well. There is also a bonus story about Mac and how he was changed.

If you compare the covers of the book and graphic novel, Mercy is depicted as having raven hair. However, Mercy’s hair colour changes to light brown in the artwork inside the graphic novel and it is not the same as what is depicted on the cover! Why the change? Also, her arm tattoos are different than the book. 


Book cover
Graphic Novel Cover

From inside Graphic Novel

 In terms of the artwork alone, I think Charles’ character is closest to what I was expecting to see based on Briggs’ descriptions.

Am I a convert? I would never choose to read a graphic novel instead of the original book. It’s the same reason why I’d never choose to listen to an abridged audiobook versus an unabridged version. It’s sacrilege! I want the WHOLE story in its original format the way the author intended it, but that’s just the way that I am. For me, the graphic novel is a fun way to revisit a favourite read and to see it in a different way. I liked it, but not as much as the original book. My library also has Volume 2, so I will continue with the next graphic novel in the series.

If you are a Mercy Thompson fan, I think that you will enjoy this graphic novel. If you are an urban fantasy fan looking for a great read, I’d recommend reading the original book first. 

MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski @ChelseaBobulski @FeiwelFriends

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:


TITLE: The Wood
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 320 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9781250094261
After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.

When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can't help but think there's more to her dad's disappearance than she's being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

Creepy woods? Oh, yeah! This time-travel YA debut has caught my eye. It sounds great! 


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, July 25, 2017

High Summer Read-a-Thon: Mid-Event Check-in #HSreadathon @truebookaddict


The is the Mid-Event Check-in for the High Summer Read-a-Thon!

I have been posting my updates on Twitter. Here is what I have finished so far: 


Finished:


Broken Angels
(Katie Maguire, Book #2)
by Graham Masterton


Burntown
by Jennifer McMahon
[on my iPod]


Final Girls
by Riley Sager
[on my iPod]

Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1
by Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence and Amelia Woo
(Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels, Book #1.1)


Still Reading:


Beyond Exile
by J.L. Bourne
(Day by Day Armageddon, Book #2)



Into the Water
by Paula Hawkins
[on my iPod]



I'm looking forward to the Christmas in July Readathon this weekend! These are my picks:

by Fiona Harper


by Debbie Macomber
[on my iPod]


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

#Book #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for Broken Angels by Graham Masterton @GrahamMasterton @HoZ_Books

TITLE: Broken Angels
SERIES: Katie Maguire, Book #2
AUTHOR: Graham Masterton
PUBLISHER: Head of Zeus
PUBLICATION DATE: April 10, 2014 (first published 2012)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 397 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
ISBN: 9781781852187
Someone is brutally killing Catholic priests. Revenge, or something more sinister Irelands first female detective must get to the truth in the second Katie Maguire mystery. One cold spring morning in County Cork, two fishermen find a bundle of rags floating in the Blackwater River. It is the bloated body of Father Heaney. His hands and feet are bound, and his neck bears the marks of garrotting wire. Worse still, he has been castrated. When a second priest is found murdered, his body bruised and beaten and the same savage wound hidden beneath his soutane, Detective Inspector Katie Maguire finds evidence of a sinister cover-up at St. Josephs Orphanage. But the Catholic diocese still wields considerable power here, and the Garda are under pressure to close the case. Katie has to work alone if she is to catch the killer in time but first she must shatter a wall of silence that for decades has hidden a terrible secreta secret that is beyond belief.
MY REVIEW:

The torture and grisly deaths continue in the second installment of the Katie Maguire series!

Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire has her hands full when the bodies of priests begin to turn up, with evidence of torture and castration. There was a scandal years back involving a number of Catholic priests with allegations of abusing boys from an orphanage, but no charges were laid and the furor died down. The reason behind the crimes wasn’t at all what I expected, so kudos to Masterton for creating a complex storyline.

Katie is a wonderful character. I am growing to love her more and more! Her relationship with John continues, but she has to make a decision about their future because he plans to sell the farm and return to the United States.

What I loved so much about White Bones, the first book in this series, was how dark and gruesome the slayings were in all their graphic detail. This one wasn’t quite as dark, but there are some parts that definitely made me squirm! While I don't feel that it was as good as its predecessor, it was still an enjoyable read and I will continue with the series. 

MY RATING:

3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:
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