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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney @alicewriterland @Flatironbooks

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:

AUTHOR: Alice Feeney
PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: March 13, 2018
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 258 pages
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
ISBN: 9781250144843
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?

This one sounds like a great psychological thriller! Amber sounds like an unreliable narrator.



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, February 27, 2018

Books I Could Re-read Forever #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

The topic for today's list is:


Books That I Could Re-read Forever


I confess that I don't often re-read books. I have SO MANY books on my TBR that if I spend time re-reading favourites then I won't have time to get to the ones waiting to be read! However, having said that, there are a select few that I have re-read.



by J.K. Rowling
(Harry Potter, Book #1)
I have read the first book in the series a couple of times. The first time I read it, I decided to hold off on reading the rest of the series because it was so magical that I wanted to share it with my kids (I didn't have any at that point, LOL!). I have read this one aloud to my kids, and I will probably read it again. I'd love to listen to the audiobooks. I've heard that Jim Dale did a fantastic job with the narration.

The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty
There is nothing more chilling than demonic possession, and this audiobook narrated by the author is fantastic! I've listened to this one several times, usually in October when I want a scary read! This 40th Anniversary edition has additional material.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
This is another that is a seasonal favourite! I listen every Christmas.

by C.S. Lewis
(The Chronicles of Narnia, Book #1)
This was a favourite of mine when I was a kid. I've read it aloud to my kids, and it still hasn't lost its magic!

by Laini Taylor
I absolutely loved this one, and I want to finish the series this year. It's been a while since I listened to it, but I loved Khristine Hvam's narration. I need to re-read before I continue on with the series.

So, what books could you re-read forever? 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, February 26, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.


I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf.

TITLE: Fear Nothing
SERIES: Moonlight Bay, Book #1
AUTHOR: Dean Koontz
PUBLISHER: Bantam Books
PUBLICATION DATE: December 1, 1998 
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 448 pages
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 0553579754
Christopher Snow is different from all the other residents of Moonlight Bay, different from anyone you've ever met. For Christopher Snow has made his peace with a very rare genetic disorder shared by only one thousand other Americans, a disorder that leaves him dangerously vulnerable to light. His life is filled with the fascinating rituals of one who must embrace the dark. He knows the night as no one else ever will, ever can - the mystery, the beauty, the many terrors, and the eerie, silken rhythms of the night - for it is only at night that he is free. Until the night he witnesses a series of disturbing incidents that sweep him into a violent mystery only he can solve, a mystery that will force him to rise above all fears and confront the many-layered strangeness of Moonlight Bay and its residents.

Not only am I a first generation Canadian, but immigration is my profession. 

PUBLISHER: Caitlin Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 7, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781987915341
Edited by Miriam Matejova, Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and world-views that underline the immigrant condition for women.

A yellow dress with ruffles, a kind Grade 1 teacher with a surname that’s difficult to spell, cockroaches in the bathroom, the contempt of strangers, and Whitney Houston on the radio–a Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. Browsing through a Polish fashion magazine at a European deli, a woman sees herself in an alternative universe of what her life might have been had she never immigrated to Canada. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive a seventeen-foot truck through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents.

Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

I completed a nine-week course with a group of people, which featured DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. The book is a lot to digest, and I'm still reading it in chunks.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Something from the library. I really enjoy this author, and I find him to be very inspirational!

AUTHOR: Joel Osteen
PUBLISHER: FaithWords
PUBLICATION DATE: October 24, 2017
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 304 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781455534326
The same God that leads you through green pastures guides you through the valleys. #1 New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen shares how God uses the darkness in life for good.

All of us at some time encounter dark places that we don't understand: a loss, a sickness, a divorce, a child who breaks our heart. It's easy to get discouraged, give up on our dreams, and just settle there. We may not realize it, but when we feel buried in dark places, we are being blessed. God is using those experiences to help us grow, because we cannot reach our highest potential if we're standing in the light all the time. With Blessed in the Darkness, you will learn how to draw closer to God and trust Him when life doesn't make sense.

If we will go through the valley trusting, believing, and knowing that God is still in control, then we will come to the table that is already prepared for us, where our cup runs over.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. We are loving this series!

SERIES: Warriors, Book #3
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: Avon Books
PUBLICATION DATE: October 5, 2004 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 312 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780060525613
Allegiances are shifting among the Clans of warrior cats that roam the forest. With tensions so delicately balanced, former friends can become enemies overnight, and some cats are willing to kill to get what they want.

Fireheart is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious death of brave ThunderClan warrior Redtail. But as he searches for answers, he uncovers secrets that some believe would be better left hidden.


Something from the library, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. Her teacher was reading it to the class, and we started reading it at home as well so that we can enjoy the movie together afterwards!


TITLE: Wonder
SERIES: Wonder, Book #1
AUTHOR: R.J. Palacio
PUBLISHER: Oxford Childrens
PUBLICATION DATE: April 1, 2013 (first published 2012)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 400 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary
ISBN: 9780198391012
Educational edition of this warm and moving novel about an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face

Features:

An extremely moving and engaging novel that is sure to become a classroom favourite

Told from multiple perspectives, with opportunities to explore narrative, perspective, timeline and precepts

Themes of friendship, bullying, self-image and social responsibility

Supported by extensive teacher resources online and student-focused Reading Guides

Durable, soft cover your students will want to pick up

I'm listening to:

Something from my library's Overdrive.

SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #26
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton
NARRATOR: Alison Larkin
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 15, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 58 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
ASIN: B014LHVV6O
New York Times best-selling author M. C. Beaton's beloved Agatha Raisin is back and finds that she must prove her own innocence when a local therapist turns up dead. When therapist Jill Davent moved to the village of Carsely, Agatha Raisin was not a fan. Not only was this therapist romancing Agatha's ex-husband, she dug up details of Agatha's not-too-glamorous origins. Jill also counsels a woman, Gwen Simple, that Agatha firmly believes assisted her son in some grisly murders, although there is no proof. Not one to keep her feelings to herself, Agatha tells anyone who will listen that Jill is a charlatan and better off dead. Agatha can only sigh with relief when the therapist takes an office in Mircester.

When Agatha learns that Jill had hired a private detective to investigate her background, she barges into Jill's office and gives her a piece of her mind, yelling, "I could kill you!" So when Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days later, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. But Agatha, along with her team of private detectives, is determined to prove her innocence and find the real culprit. This time Agatha must use her skills to save her own skin. With Dishing the Dirt, M. C. Beaton proves that "once you meet Agatha Raisin, you'll keep coming back" (New York Journal of Books).

I just finished:


SERIES: The Others, Book #4
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
NARRATOR: Alexandra Harris
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 6, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 15 hrs and 21 mins
GENRE: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
ASIN: B01AIVUX4S
Fourth in the "flawless" (The Reading CafĂ©) New York Times best-selling series from the author of Vision in Silver.

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they're willing to tolerate - both within themselves and within their community....

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the new closer companionship as beneficial - both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don't realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others - and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs...

TITLE: Escape
SERIES: Island, Book #3
AUTHOR: Gordon Korman
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
PUBLICATION DATE: August 1, 2001
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 144 pages
GENRE: Childrens, Adventure/Survival
ISBN: 0439164524
Luke, Charla, Will, Lyssa, J.J., and Ian aren't alone on their desert island. They've survived so far -- but now their enemies are closing in. They have only one chance to escape. Will they make it?


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, February 25, 2018

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


I have a comical picture to share. I feed all the critters, big and small, in my yard from deer to raccoons to bunnies to squirrels to birds...even accidentally was feeding and housing a skunk for a while under my gazebo! I love all of them, and they all have their unique personalities. In the winter, I leave peanuts on my kitchen windowsill. Normally, as soon as I get out of the shower, I go outside and leave them on the sill even before the sun comes up so that the bluejays can get them as soon as they are up. Heaven forbid if the sun is up and they come to my house and there are no peanuts! The bluejays will sit in the birch tree in front of my dining room window and will jeer and call until I bring out the peanuts, LOL! The cats think this is great fun, because they jump up on the kitchen counter and attack the window as soon as they see the bluejay on the sill. I love how the bluejay will pick up a peanut and shake it in its beak to make sure there's enough peanuts in there. They always grab the heaviest ones first. I finally was able to get a pic:




Did you grab this goodie from Penguin Random House Audio? It was their FREEBIE of the month:


The Drifter
by Nicholas Petrie
(Peter Ash, Book #1)


I bought these audiobooks at Audible this week. The first one is from Audible's "Start a New Adventure" sale and the following two were Daily Deals:

Hounded
by Kevin Hearne
(The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book #1)

Secondborn
by Amy A. Bartol
(Secondborn, Book #1)

Alien: River of Pain
by Christopher Golden
(Canonical Alien Trilogy, Book #3)


I received this audiobook for review:


Let Me Lie
by Clare Mackintosh

Thanks so much to Penguin Random House Audio!



Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

Thursday Audiobook Review: 2 out of 5 stars for A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow


Friday Audiobook Review: 4 out of 5 stars for At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost



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, February 23, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost @Jeaniene_Frost @BlackstoneAudio

SERIES: Night Huntress, Book #3
AUTHOR: Jeaniene Frost
NARRATOR: Tavia Gilbert
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 2010 (first published 2008)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 28 mins
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Some things just won’t stay buried… at grave’s end.

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover, Bones, at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’ past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.
MY REVIEW:

This is the third installment in the Night Huntress series, and it has so much going on! Cat really gets put through the wringer with this one.

Bones gets down on bended knee and proposes to Cat, and they plan to have a traditional wedding. Before that can happen, Cat's dad resurfaces with the intent to kill her.

At his request, Bones turns Tate into a vamp. I think maybe Tate thinks that this will make Cat love him, even though he denies it.

Bones and his grandsire, Mencheres, merge their bloodlines before all hell breaks loose and Patra (descendant of Cleopatra and Mencheres' wife) unleashes a curse.

There are so many ups and downs with this one. My emotions were all over the place. It turns out that Bones was right when he said in One Foot in the Grave that all that Justina (Cat's mom) needed was a good shag! I like the new Justina! Hopefully, this is a new beginning for her as she (hopefully) grows to accept Cat's relationship with Bones.

With her brilliant narration of this series, Tavia Gilbert is fast becoming one of my favourite narrators! I just love her!! I love how she brings these characters to life and the uniqueness that she brings to each one. 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 urban fantasy or paranormal romances!

This book qualifies as:
#8 for my 2018 Audiobook Challenge
#2 for my 2018 Library Love Challenge
#12 for my Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge
#10 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#4.1 for my 2018 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
#11 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#11 for my Blydyn Square Books 2018 Reading Challenge
#11 for my GWB Book Bingo 2018
Task #58 for my 2018 Reading Challenge (Linz the Bookworm)
#6A for my 2018 Literary Escapes Challenge
#12A for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#41 for my Monthly Mix-up Mania
#6 for my What An Animal Reading Challenge 2018
#2 for my Romance Roundabout Challenge
#1 for my The Series That Never...Ends Challenge
#2 for my Literary Pickers Challenge
#6 for my 2018 Paranormal Reading Challenge
#5 for my Science Fiction vs Fantasy Bingo 2018
#5 for my The 2018 Swords & Stars Reading Challenge
Task #2 for my Goodreads Winter Scavenger Challenge: Northern Lights
#6 for my Chapter Break February Bookish Bingo 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 2 out of 5 stars for A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

SERIES: Kate Shugak, Book #1
AUTHOR: Dana Stabenow
NARRATOR: Marguerite Gavin
PUBLISHER: Brilliance Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: October 18, 2011 (first published 1992)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 5 hrs 31 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ASIN: B005TKYT5S

Eighteen months ago, Aleut Kate Shugak quit her job investigating sex crimes for the Anchorage DA’s office and retreated to her father’s homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. But the world has a way of beating a path to her door, however remote. In the middle of one of the bitterest Decembers in recent memory ex-boss — and ex-lover — Jack Morgan shows up with an FBI agent in tow. A Park ranger with powerful relatives is missing, and now the investigator Jack sent in to look for him is missing, too.

Reluctantly, Kate, along with Mutt, her half-wolf, half-husky sidekick, leaves her wilderness refuge to follow a frozen trail through the Park, twenty thousand square miles of mountain and tundra sparsely populated with hunters, fishermen, trappers, mushers, pilots and homesteaders. Her formidable grandmother and Native chief, Ekaterina Shugak, is — for reasons of her own — against Kate’s investigation; her cousin, Martin, may be Kate’s prime suspect; and the local trooper, Jim Chopin, is more interested in Kate than in her investigation. In the end, the sanctuary she sought after five and a half years in the urban jungles may prove more lethal than anything she left behind in the city streets of Anchorage.

MY REVIEW:

I've seen this book at the library and wanted to read it for a while. When Audible featured it as a Daily Deal, I couldn't resist buying it. However, the book left me a bit underwhelmed.

Let's start with the pluses! I actually love the main character, Kate Shugak. The reason why she retired from the District Attorney's office is because she was involved in a knife fight with a child molester (he lost) and she was injured. She had the highest conviction rate of anyone in the DA's office, and the FBI tried to recruit her. Kate is tough as nails, and she is perfectly happy living on her remote and isolated homestead in barren Alaska.

Kate's former flame and boss, Jack Morgan, pays her a visit and pleads for her help in locating the national park's ranger who has mysteriously disappeared. Jack also has a FBI agent in tow, because the ranger's father is a congressman from Ohio. The investigator that Jack sent to look for the ranger has now disappeared as well. Kate agrees to help out, but she is going to wish that she hadn't!

I thought that this was going to be more of a cat and mouse type of book, with Kate trying to stay one step ahead (or annihilate) the bad guys. She seems the perfect heroine to do that, but it wasn't that type of book. For the first third of the book, Kate was preparing for her search. Finally, when the search started, it was just a lot of talking and very little action. The pace of the story was very slow, and I actually found it to be a bit boring. It won the 1993 Edgar Award, so perhaps I am in the minority. Even so, I do think this series has potential, and there are 21 books published so far. I do love Kate as well as the Alaskan setting, so I am willing to give this series another chance and will continue with the next book in the series, A Fatal Thaw.

This book was narrated by Marguerite Gavin, and she did a fine job but I felt that her voice didn't quite match the main character. Stabenow describes how Kate was slashed across her throat from ear to ear and how the injury damaged her voice and left her with a nasty scar. As a result, I expected Kate to sound more hoarse or gruff. Even still, I am glad that I listened over reading because listening makes it easier to get through a slow story.

MY RATING:

2 stars!! Meh, it was just "okay."

This book qualifies as:
#7 for my 2018 Audiobook Challenge
#7 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018
#11 for my Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge
#9 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#7 for my New Authors 2018 Reading Challenge
#7 for my 2018 Try Something New Challenge
#10 for my Blydyn Square Books 2018 Reading Challenge
#5 for my 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge 
#11 for my 2018 Full House Reading Challenge
#10 for my GWB Book Bingo 2018
Task #27 for my 2018 Reading Challenge (Linz the Bookworm)
#5A for my 2018 Literary Escapes Challenge
#11A for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#40 for my Monthly Mix-up Mania
#8 for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
#1 for my 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge
#4 for my 2018 Platypire Diversity Challenge
#5 for my Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
#16 for my Bookish Bingo Winter 2017-18
#8 for my COYER Winter Switch
Task #8 for my Goodreads Winter Scavenger Challenge: Northern Lights
#5 for my Chapter Break February Bookish Bingo 2018

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