WWW Wednesday – 10/24/18

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Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted by Taking On A World of Words.

To participate you just answer three simple questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 


 

 

Dead Leaves: 9 Tales from the Witching SeasonI am currently reading Dead Leaves by Kealan Patrick Burke and it is an anthology of eight short seasonal stories. Perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit.

I’ve really come to enjoy short stories, especially between some of my longer novels and after reading Blanky by Burke, I knew he was going to be an author that I would follow and continue to read

I started this over the weekend and just have a couple of stories left which I’ll probably finish on the train home tonight.

I’m also STILL currently reading IT by Stephen King. I’m finally on Part 4 and I do believe that once I finish this book it just might be my biggest reading accomplishment ever! This thing is a beast! I started to follow along with the audio as well so that I can listen at work or when I’m walking from the train to the office. I do enjoy the book but I’m just starting to get that feeling of wanting to be done so I can move onto the next great book.

I’ll write reviews here on both when I’m done.

 recently finished reading Hark! the Herald Angels Scream: An Anthology by Christopher Golden and Stench by AB Morgan.

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream ARC I received from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I’m working on a seperate post for so be on the lookout. It’s a collection of short stories of Christmas themed horror and it was just released yesterday! Just in time to get you into the holiday mood!

Stench by AB Morgan was another ARC from NetGalley that I finally had to the pull the plug on. I don’t DNF books very often, I really hate to do that, especially when I was given the opportunity to read in exchange for a review. However I had been trying to read that book for months and I kept putting it down to read other things. Life is to short to read books that you don’t enjoy and even though it wasn’t for me, it’s definitely the right pick for someone else. The book starts off interesting: a man finds a dead woman under the floorboards of his house. However it quickly shifts to a woman named Anna who speaks to her dead husband. She thinks she’s working as an investigative reporter to take down some local baddies with her ‘husband’ following close behind, whispering over her shoulder. I find it important to also mention that ghost husband is a dick.

The Elementals As for what I’ll be reading next, I’m going to squeeze in one more for October and read The Elementals by Michael McDowell because it’s been on my kindle for forever and I was supposed to read it with a group and fell behind.

This is a story of an old family house, filling with sand, that is left empty…except for the vicious horror which is shaping nightmares from the nothingness that hangs in the dark, fetid air.

After the family matriarch dies, family comes back to visit their old summer homes. From here the story gets haunted and weird and I’m looking forward to something spooky for Halloween!

 

What are you currently reading? Have you ever not finished a book? Let’s chat below in the comments!

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WWW Wednesday – 10/17/18

img_1384-0Welcome to my first WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted by Taking On A World of Words and I discovered it through Jenna’s blog at Jenna Bookish.

To participate you just answer three simple questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

 


An Anonymous GirlI am currently reading An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen which is an  ARC that I was given by the publisher through BookishFirst.com.

It’s a gripping novel of psychological suspense and obsession. I’m really loving it!

Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

A young woman blindly shows up for a psychological study conducted by a mysterious Dr. Shields. She thinks all she has to do is answer some questions, collect her money and leave…but nothing is ever that simple.

I’m also currently reading IT by Stephen King as a buddy read on Instagram. This book needs no summary as we all know what this one is about. Creepy clown, deep routed fears, and a  little town called Derry. Follow #ITbuddyread on Instagram for all the awesome posts and discussions!

I’ll write reviews here on both when I’m done.

 recently finished reading Wytches, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder, The Lies We Told by Camilla Way (review here) and The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (review here).

Wytches is a graphic novel that has been on my shelf for some time. It’s a much darker and much more horrifying take on the witches that we have come to know. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place and I enjoyed it a lot! This was published in 2014 and so far I haven’t seen anything about a second volume but I am all for it if there is!

As for what I’ll be reading next, I’m still whittling away at my NetGalley list so that has yet to be determined. I think I’ll read Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard which is scheduled to be released on December 18th and I’ve already seen some awesome reviews flying around for it!

The Witch ElmMy pre-order for Tana French’s new book, Witch Elm is also here so that is a pretty strong contender!

It’s about a man name Toby who is out celebrating with some friends when he happens upon two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead.

While struggling to recover from his injuries and accepting the fact that he may never be the same, he escapes to his family’s old home to care for a dying uncle.

A skull is found in the trunk of an old tree in the garden which opens up Toby’s family to investigation, and soon means his past comes back to haunt him along with the realization that it may not be what he always believed it to be.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books that I’ve mentioned? Let’s chat below in the comments!

The Lies We Told by Camilla Way

The Lies We ToldPublished: October 9, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Genre: Thriller

Buy: Amazon

Rating: 3/5

I received a copy from the Publisher through a Goodreads Giveaway that I had won. 

When Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, disappears, everyone believes that he’s left her, but Clara thinks she knows the truth. Recent evidence suggests that Luke had a stalker, and Clara worries that he’s been kidnapped. Then Luke’s older sister, Emma, who vanished twenty years ago, suddenly reappears.

Emma wants to help Clara with her search for Luke, but she refuses to talk about what happened — even though it nearly destroyed her family when she vanished. And the deeper Clara digs into Luke’s mysterious disappearance, the more convinced she is that the two incidents are connected. 


I love dark, psychological thrillers so I was pretty excited when I received a copy of this in the mail. Camilla Way is a ‘new-to-me’ author so I wasn’t sure what to expect having not read her previous novel, Watching Edie. 

I was pleasantly surprised with the kind of fast read that’s impossible to put down.

Clara is hanging out at the flat she shares with her boyfriend Luke Lawson, waiting for him to return home from work, but he isn’t responding to her texts. When she notices that he’s left his phone at home, she checks to see if he’s contacted her through email. She notices that he has emailed her, telling her he’d be home at his normal time.

As the time passes and a heavy feeling grows, Clara contacts Luke’s family, friends, and the police. Upon some digging of her own she discovers that Luke had a stalker, and a darker past that Luke had never mentioned. Luke’s sister Emily disappeared when he was just a kid, and the family completely erased her from their life. As if she never existed at all. Soon the police investigation gains nationwide appeal and Luke’s sister, Emily, reaches out to Clara eager to assist with the search but unwilling to see her family.

The only reason why I didn’t give this four or five stars is because the plot itself is nothing new or unique to the world of thrillers, however, it’s cleverly written and very entertaining. The cast of characters are all really unlikable as well and there’s so much deceit flying about it makes your head spin! Nonetheless, this novel is worthy of adding to your TBR pile for a quiet night on the couch and a cocktail.

Have you read Watching Edie or The Lies We Told? What’s the best thriller you’ve read recently? Tell me in the comments!

Happy Reading!

 

 

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

The CraftsmanExpected Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Format: Kindle

Pages: 352

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Pre-Order: Amazon

Rating: 5/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Catching him will make her career – and change her forever.

August, 1999

On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity. 

June, 1969

13-year-old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave. 

August, 1999

As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks’ old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy – one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?


I’ve read quite a few of Sharon Bolton’s books and all of them have been four or five star reads for me. I love the way she writes: the character development is always masterful and the atmospheric details pull you in to her world in a way that has you both wishing to stay and dying to get out. Her latest book, The Craftsman, far surpasses that and is deserving of more than just five stars. It has earned it’s spot as my favorite read this year.

I read a lot of Mystery and Crime novels and one thing that I find irritating is the way that a lot  of authors feel the need to write every female lead detective as damaged but bossy, arrogant and just like ‘one of the guys’. I get the strong female thing, but it’s overdone and borderline cliche.

In The Craftsman, Sharon Bolton introduces you to Florence Lovelady, who as a young detective in her twenties during the notorious Glassman case in 1969, struggles with sexism in the office. Her peers don’t take her serious because she’s a woman and would rather have her serve them tea then give input on a case. It’s real and it’s refreshing, so for that I gave two huge thumbs up. However, don’t be fooled, our lead detective is still full of spunk and does not easily take no for an answer.

But let’s get to the gist of the story which, in all seriousness, still has me in a book hangover. It begins in 1999 at the funeral of serial killer Larry Glassbrook, who killed three local teenagers back in 1969. Florence Lovelady, the investigator responsible for putting Larry away, returns to the town of Sabden to attend the funeral. While there, strange things begin to happen that seem eerily similar to Larry Glassbrooks MO, and they seem to be directed at Florence.

From here the story alternates between 1999 and 1969 and is perfectly executed. In the past we learn of Florence’s involvement in the case, as well as other drama in the town. Just when you think you know what’s happening, your blindsided with something even more shocking. We also get a taste of witchcraft but in a way that adds nothing but eerie charm to the environment and to the story. It’s authentic and real. It takes this book from ‘just another mystery’ and makes it next level. Florence is in danger but Larry is dead, so who is the person coming after her?

I urge you to not wait to buy this book: witchcraft, children being buried alive, and serial killers. If you’ve never read anything by Sharon Bolton, then make this your first; and if you have – well then what are you waiting for? The Craftsman will be released on October 16th, just in time for Halloween! Pre-order your copy now and then come back and tell me how much you loved it once your done!

Happy Reading!

 

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

The Brilliant DeathExpected Release Date: October 30th, 2018

Publisher: Viking

Format: ARC Paperback

Pages: 330

Genre: Fantasy

Pre-Order: Amazon

Rating: 3/5

I received a copy of this from the publisher through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review.

Teodora di Sangro is used to hiding her magical ability to transform enemies into music boxes and mirrors. Nobody knows she’s a Strega – and she aims to keep it that way.

Then she meets Cielo – and everything changes.

A Strega who can switch outward form as effortlessly as turning a page in a book, Cielo shows Teodora what her life could be like if she masters the power she’s been keeping secret. And not a moment too soon: the ruler of Vinalia has poisoned the patriarchs of the country’s five controlling families, including Teodora’s father, and demands that each family send a son to the palace.

If she wants to save her family, Teodora must travel to the capital – not disguised as a boy, but transformed into one. But the road to the capital, and to bridling her powers, is full of enemies and complications, including the one she least expects: falling in love



Teo is a Strega, only she’s kept it hidden from her family since she was a young girl since most people in the village don’t believe them to be real. A member of a powerful family, she’s used her powers to turn people who do not pledge loyalty to her father into charms and trinkets.

One evening, her father receives a formal letter from the Capo – a ruler who claims to have the desire to unite the country. After reading the letter, her father drops, coming dangerously close to death. On a mission to find help for him before it is too late, Teo sets off to the capital, using her powers to transform herself as a son of the DiSangro family.

Along the way she meets a fellow Strega, Cielo, who can transform himself into anything he wishes, including a woman. Together they venture to the capital and Cielo helps Teo with strengthening her powers, the two forming an unbreakable bond along the way.

This book sends off a very clear message. There’s a lot of obvious female empowerment which (don’t hate me), although I appreciate, it felt a little at times like ‘okay get off the soap box, we get it’. It was a little trite.

This book includes a gender-fluid couple as well as the struggle Teo herself faces with accepting who she is and who she loves. This earned a star for me because diversity in books is a wonderful thing and the world could use a little more of that. I think a lot of young people out there will feel good reading books with characters like these as it gives them something/someone to relate too, and that’s never a bad thing.

However, unfortunately the story itself just felt…underwhelming. There wasn’t a lot of character or world building and for most of the book I kept wondering when something really interesting was going to happen. The plot moved much to quickly and had it slowed down a bit  there would have been more time for the characters to develop. Sadly I skimmed a lot and didn’t feel like I missed anything in doing so.

Overall, I didn’t love it but I appreciated it. I wanted this book to be so much more than just a message though.  I mean, gender bending Strega’s and mafia battles?! It should have been most epic! I think there is a lot of room for improvement and I do hope the author writes more with Teo and/or other Strega’s!

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Life Lately | Friday 9.14.18

Wait a hot minute…how is the summer over already?

The last few weeks of August was a complete whirl wind and now here I am, finally able to see the dust begin to settle. I’ve finished a couple of books since Pieces of Her but I just haven’t had as much time to read as I wanted.

I did finish Hangman by Daniel Cole which is a sequel to Ragdoll. I’ll be posting a review of that but until then, you can check out my short Goodreads review.

My daughter started Kindergarten this month, which is super exciting, and this week is my first week back to work after having some time off. I took an unintentional break from social media during that time so let me get you caught up all the bookish things in my life!

I received two ARC’s through BookishFirst which is a really cool way to win advanced reader copies if you’ve never heard of it. The first book I won, which is the one I’m reading now, is The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta. This book is about a young girl who hides her magic from her family. She turns her fathers enemies into music boxes and other trinkets but everyone in her village knows Stregas aren’t real. Then the Capo, the ruler of the land, sends poisoned letters to the head of fives families, killing them. Four lie dead, but her father is gravely ill. She must figure out a way to save him, hoping that her magic is the answer.

I’m not loving this book so far but definitely look for a review from me once I’m finished. I’m hoping it will pick up. It’s set to be published on October 30th by Viking.

The second book I won is An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I’m really looking forward to reading this one! I read the first few pages and was hooked and the reviews on Goodreads are really positive with a rating of 4.21 out of 5.

In addition to those, I have a really large list of ARC’s on my kindle from  NetGalley. My main goal right now is to catch up on them so I’ve banned myself from buying any new books until I’m caught up.

Except I broke that ban today.

But, only because I’ve been eyeing this series for SO long and I just couldn’t help myself anymore. I purchased the first two books of the Deanna Madden series by A.R. Torre and I just can’t wait to get my hands on them!

The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1)The first book in the trilogy is called The Girl in 6E and I’ve seen this book talked about on Instagram and Goodreads quite a lot lately. However, I stood strong and continued to hold out.

But then Natasha from MyReadingisOdd talked about it in her latest video and it was all over. I immediately bought the first two books.

Whoops.

The main character is a cyber sex worker, making online videos from the confines of her apartment, which she never leaves. She also has murderous desires that would make Dexter blush.

YES.

I had a strong feeling that I was really going to love this book (which is why I didn’t bother checking the library first) so I also bought the second book, Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb (Deanna Madden, #2)

I wanted to buy all three books but of course I couldn’t find a decent used copy on any of the sites I typically buy from. I did finally find it on Amazon but figured I’d read at

least the first one before I ordered it.

See, I DO have willpower.

I will probably be stalking my mailman until I get these.

Have any of you read these books? Did you love them or hate them?

I’ve seen people compare this to Dexter and 50 Shades of Gray, so if erotic is not your thing you probably wouldn’t enjoy these books.

 

 

So that’s really all I have. Looking forward to getting back into a routine now that things are calming down (just in time for the holidays’ to ramp things back up).

ChelseaDolling Reads and MyReadingisOdd are hosting the Contemporary-A-Thon next week and I’ve been toying with the idea of following along. So I’m going to look at what I have on my kindle and see if any of my ARC’s fit the challenges. I don’t read a ton of contemporary and admittedly a little unsure of what really qualifies.

Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with this fun bookish gift. I was in a wedding over the weekend, I officiated with another friend which was such a rad experience! The bride gave us all a gift which included cozy socks with fun sayings on the bottom. Mine couldn’t have been more perfect for me and I can’t wait to get home and put them on!

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Happy Reading!

 

 

 

 

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Pieces of HerPublished: August 21, 2018

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: Paperback

Pages: 480

Genre: Thriller

Order: Amazon

Rating: 5/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all?

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small town of Gullaway Island; she knows she’s never had any more ambition than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life.

But one day, a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura.

Twenty-four hours later, Laura is in the hospital, shot by an intruder whose spent thirty years trying to track her down. Now Andrea must go on a desperate journey to follow the breadcrumbs of her mother’s past. If she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either of them.


Happy Publication Day to Karin Slaughter! Her new book “Pieces of Her” is available to purchase today so do yourself a favor and get your copy now!

Pieces of Her is a beefy book coming in at 480 pages of character and relationship exploration. It’s a departure from Karin Slaughters typical style but I liked it just as much.

Andy Cooper lives with her mom Laura in the small apartment above her garage. For a 31 year old woman, she doesn’t have much going for her: she dropped out of school, works as a 911 operator and hardly speaks to anyone. She’s actually a really annoying character who seems completely incapable of managing the most basic of things like packing an overnight bag or having a real conversation with either of her parents. This didn’t make her a very likable character but I think it was key to her development you see happen throughout the story.

One afternoon she’s having lunch with her mom in the cafeteria when everything changes. A man walks up and begins to open fire. Andy freezes but Laura takes action and pulls out some fancy assassin-like moves and now Andy finds herself staring at a woman she thought she knew.

While in the hospital Laura tells Andy it’s time for her to leave; not tomorrow, or next month, but right now. Without any explanation from her mother, Andy leaves and begins a journey for answers. Who is her mother? Why won’t she talk to the police?

The narrative switches between current Andy and that of another woman from thirty years before whose story line is even more suspenseful and exciting. The two narratives eventually collide together in a action packed ending that will make your head spin!

I enjoyed watching Andy stumble and grow along the way and appreciated the way Laura and Andy ‘find’ themselves in each other at the end. This was definitely a story about relationships and the bond a mother and daughter have. As a mother myself I know how easy it is to want to coddle and protect your baby but just as easily,  that can become the very thing that burdens them.

A great big thank you to Karin Slaughter and William Morrow Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed this book tremendously!

#SlaughterSquad forever!

Happy Reading!