Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Dark Power Collection (Forbidden Doors #1) by Bill Myers

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Dark Power Collection (Forbidden Doors #1) by Bill Myers. It's an intriguing young adult book that deals with spiritual warfare.



About the Book

In Myers' bestselling series, teenager Rebecca "Becka" Williams, her brother Scott, and her friend Ryan Riordan are swept into heartstopping encounters with an all-too-real invisible world fraught with deception and spiritual adversaries. Three books that center around a particular Forbidden Door are gathered for each volume in these special collections.


Book Beginning (from the first story in the collection, The Society)
Rebecca's lungs burned. They screamed for more air; they begged her to slow down. But she couldn't. She pushed herself. She ran for all she was worth. She had to.

Friday 56 (from the second story in the collection, The Deceived)
They pedaled down the road of deserted structures in total silence. At last the house came into view. It had to be the one. No question. It was the only house with a car parked in front. A white Jaguar.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

About the Book
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.


My Thoughts

Steelheart is the first Brandon Sanderson book I've read and now, after finishing it, I'm wondering why it's taken me so long to try one of his books. Steelheart was fantastic! I had a blast reading it! It was completely engrossing and action-packed. Things did get a little slow in the middle, but it wasn't long before it really picked up again.

The Reckoners were a great group of characters. They were all fully fleshed out and felt very much like individuals. They all had strong and distinct personalities that worked so well for this story. They're a little eccentric, but easy to root for.

I'm immensely intrigued by the Epics, how they got their powers and where Calamity came from. And while this book wrapped things up pretty well, there were still plenty of loose ends and questions that need answered, so I'm definitely gonna be picking up the rest of the series.

Four Stars

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: Knox (The Montana Marshalls #1) by Susan May Warren

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Knox (The Montana Marshalls #1) by Susan May Warren releasing March 12.

About the Book
Montana rancher Knox Marshall's danger years are behind him. A former bull-rider, he now runs the Marshall family ranch, raising champion bucking bulls for the National Professional Bullrider's Expo (NBR-X). Wealth and success are his, but life is stable, expected, and…ordinary. He can't help but wonder if his best years are behind him.

Kelsey Jones just wants a safe life, a family, a home. Onstage, the beautiful rising star of the Yankee Belles becomes the person she longs to be - vivacious and confident - burying the brokenness she carries from a violent assault. Becoming NBR-X’s next country act is key to outrunning her past and achieving the success and security she craves.

Knox and Kelsey's paths collide when an explosion at an NBR-X event traps them in the rubble and leaves them reeling. Kelsey’s crippling nightmares return, but for Knox, an obsession to find the bomber is ignited.

When Kelsey’s past threatens Knox’s family, he'll have to choose between saving the Marshall legacy or becoming the protector he's always longed to be.

The explosive beginning to the Montana Marshall series.

Why I Need It
Susan May Warren is one of my favorite authors and I'm always so excited when she releases something new. This sounds like it'll be an exciting read! I can't wait!

What upcoming release are you excited about?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to My To-Read List


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The topic for this week's Top Ten Tuesday is 'The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List'. Here's a list of some of the recent books I've added to my Goodreads to-read list.













What are some of the most recent additions to your to-read list?

Review: The Line Between by Tosca Lee

About the Book
In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, THE LINE BETWEEN is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.
 


My Thoughts

The Line Between was an exciting thrill ride that kept me on the edge of my seat. I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't read it fast enough. I was completely sucked into the story. The walls of my bedroom faded away and I was right there in the thick of things alongside Wynter.

It switches between two time periods – the past which explores Wynter's life inside the cult of New Earth and then present day after Wynter is kicked out of the cult.

Wynter was a great character. She had a bit of a tough time readjusting to normal society. The teachings she learned in the cult seemed to torment her. She was constantly bombarded with things that were 'forbidden' and plagued with thinking that there was no saving her soul now. It was heartbreaking, but she's quite the resilient young lady. I really admired her bravery, strength, and determination to overcome it all.

I'll be thinking about this novel for a long time to come. It was quite terrifying because it's not out of the realm of possibility for something like what happens in the book to actually happen in real life. It's a scary thought, but it was such a compelling read. I can't wait for the sequel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion

Four Stars

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I finally found the time to read this one and it's so good! 


About the Book
Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Book Beginning
        
          Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth's Laboratory,
          Highgate
          30 August 1888
I placed my thumb and forefinger on the icy flesh, spreading it taut above the breastbone as Uncle had showed me.

Friday 56
"It's essential we tell no one of this," Uncle said at last, removing his spectacles and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Not Nathaniel. Nor friends or classmates. At least until we can prove ourselves to the police. For now, I want you both to scour the evidence we've collected. There has to be some clue we're missing, anything at all we can use to identify the perpetrator before he strikes again."

What have you been reading lately?

Review: How To Marry A Werewolf by Gail Carriger

About the Book
Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a charming stand alone story set in her popular Parasolverse.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they're her only option. Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized.

At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for them. But there's something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to defend his species and his honor (what little he has left). But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

Don't miss this charming story from the author of the Parasol Protectorate books. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology.


My Thoughts

How to Marry a Werewolf was a super fun read. There were so many moments that had me laughing out loud. The romance was really great. The chemistry between Faith and Channing was electric and their banter was massively entertaining. I feel like sometimes with novellas the romance develops too fast, but the pacing was perfect here.

Faith's parents were just absolutely horrible. The way they treated her so poorly and essentially discarded her was awful! I was so glad that her cousins in London, the Iftercasts, were such delightful company. They were like complete opposites from her own family. A nice change, for sure.

I'd only read one of this author's books before and was eager to try another. I'm glad it was this one. I'm hoping to read more books set in this fascinating world soon!

Four Stars

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: Murders and Metaphors (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Murders and Metaphors (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #3) by Amanda Flower releasing February 12, 2019.

About the Book
USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower is back with the third in her more-charming-than-ever Magical Bookshop mystery. Fans of Sofie Kelly and Heather Blake, prepare your bookshelves!

Niagara region booksellers Violet Waverly and Grandma Daisy sleuth the slaying of a sommelier whose book signing turned into her sayonara.


January means ice wine season in the Niagara Falls region, but the festivities leave Charming Books owner Violet Waverly cold, still reeling from a past heartbreak. A past heartbreak who will be present at the annual midnight grape-harvest festival, and no magic in the world or incantation powerful enough could get Violet to attend. But Grandma Daisy, an omniscient force all on her own, informs Violet that she’s already arranged for the mystical Charming Books to host celebrity sommelier Belinda Perkins’s book signing at the party. Little do either Waverly women know, the ice wine festival will turn colder still when Violet finds Belinda in the middle of the frozen vineyard—with a grape harvest knife protruding from her chest.

Belinda grew up in Cascade Springs, but she left town years ago after a huge falling-out with her three sisters. One of those sisters, Violet’s high school friend Lacey Dupont, attends the book signing in the hope of making amends with her sister, but Belinda and Lacey end up disrupting the signing with a very public shouting match and Lacey quickly becomes the prime suspect in the sommelier’s murder.

Violet is sure Lacey is innocent, and to keep her friend out of prison, Violet asks for guidance from her magical bookshop. The shop’s ethereal essence points her to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, but what have the four March sisters to do with the four Perkins sisters? If she can’t figure it out, Violet, herself, may turn as cold as ice. Violet, Grandma Daisy, Emerson the tuxedo cat, and resident crow Faulkner are back on the case in Murders and Metaphors, USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s enchanting third Magical Bookshop mystery.
 

Why I Need It
I LOVE this series and am so excited for this third installment! The characters are so much fun, especially Faulkner the crow and Emerson the cat, and the setting is great! The idea of a magical bookshop is just plain awesome!

What upcoming release are you excited about?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The topic for this week's Top Ten Tuesday is 'Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To'. It'd be safe to say that I have far more than ten for this topic, so it was a little hard to narrow it down, lol. I decided to pick some books that were new releases in 2018 that I really meant to read, but just wasn't able to get to. Hopefully I'll be able to find the time to read them this year!















Have you read any of these books? What are some of the books you meant to read last year, but didn't get to?

Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

About the Book
Swept away by a cyclone from the Kansas prairies to the Land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, must find their way home. Traveling to the Emerald City with a new band of friends—the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion—Dorothy’s fate is in the hands of a great and terrible wizard. But a wicked enemy stands in her way.

For readers familiar only with the iconic 1939 film, delightful surprises are in store along Baum’s original yellow brick road. Considered “America’s first fairy tale,” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has found a home in the collective imagination of the entire world.



My Thoughts

Of course I've seen the movie multiple times and if I'm being honest here, it was never one of my favorites. I have read and liked many retellings though.

Wicked was fantastic. I loved the idea that the Wicked Witch was just misunderstood. Dorothy Must Die was interesting because Dorothy was the villain. I mean, I knew it all along, but it was nice to finally have confirmation, lol. Emerald Illusion was a brilliant allegory. Seriously, that book was beautiful.

Despite reading so many retellings, I'd never read the original Wizard of Oz. I thought it was way past time to remedy that.

I enjoyed it, though I do think the first half was stronger than the second. That's where my interest kinda started to waver. I did find it really interesting to see how it differed from the movie.

I'm glad I can finally say that I've read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And now I want to go read Wicked again.

3.5 Stars

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson.


About the Book
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Book Beginning
I've seen Steelheart bleed.

Friday 56
"Your work means something!" I yelled. "But it's not enough! So long as the most powerful of the Epics consider themselves immune, nothing will change. So long as you leave them alone, you're essentially proving what they've always said! That if an Epic is strong enough, he can take what he wants, do what he wants. You're saying they deserve to rule."

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Gaffe Out Loud (The Worst Detective Ever #7) by Christy Barritt

About the Book
Actress Joey Darling is beginning a new season . . . of her TV show and her life.

Joey Darling’s life is finally on track. Her hit series has been picked up by a new network, her relationship with Detective Jackson Sullivan couldn’t be better, and she’s even bought a house. But right after taking possession, Joey discovers a dead body upstairs.

Joey knows she won’t have any peace until she figures out why a dead woman was left at her house and who killed her. And she desperately needs peace as the “normal” life she’s trying to establish quickly progresses from great to the brink of collapse.

The countdown is ticking as Joey must soon leave to begin filming. But one gaffe after another slows her investigation and makes her question her choices. The closer Joey gets to answers, the more someone is determined to make sure this season of her life is canceled—permanently.


My Thoughts

Joey Darling is back in Gaffe Out Loud, the seventh installment of the hilarious Worst Detective Ever series. And oh my goodness, I am so glad she's back! I hadn't realized how much I'd missed her and all the rest of these quirky characters.

Everything's finally going great for Joey. She's got a wonderful boyfriend, her TV show was uncancelled and is about to start filming again, and she just bought a new house. Life is perfect...well... it was for a little while, but knowing Joey, nothing ever goes smoothly for long. The first day she's in her new house, she finds a woman murdered in one of the bedrooms. And as we all know, Joey's not about to stay out of it. She's gotta solve this murder herself!

Joey's still just as sassy, dramatic, and hilarious as ever! I laughed so much while reading this and seemed to have a perpetual smile on my face. This book was like a breath of fresh air. I was sad to see it end, but am very excited to find out what's gonna happen next. I highly recommend this series!

Four Stars

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: Never Let Go (Uncommon Justice #1) by Elizabeth Goddard

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Never Let Go (Uncommon Justice #1) by Elizabeth Goddard releasing February 5, 2019.

About the Book
As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather's footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.

Ex-FBI agent--and Willow's ex-flame--Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they'll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he's spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow's tender heart at risk.

In this fast-paced and emotional page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps the stakes high, the romantic tension sparking, and the outcome uncertain until the very end.

Why I Need It
I'm always on the lookout for new books in the romantic suspense genre and this one has me intrigued. I've not read anything by this author before, but I'm eager to give this one a try.

What upcoming release are you excited about?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, I'm sharing some books by new-to-me authors that I read in 2018.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?
_______________________________________


About the Book
She falsified test results . . .
. . . to land the job of her dreams.
Will a dead body turn it into a nightmare?

Sylvia Stryker dropped out of the academy when her dad was convicted of collusion with space pirates. Outcast from society, she dreams of finding a place where she’s accepted. When Moon Unit Corporation recruits for a uniform manager aboard their newest cruise ship, she hacks her profile into their database and gets ready for takeoff. Now to lay low . . .

A dead body in the uniform inventory closet changes everything.

Moon Unit security sees her as a person of interest. Medi-Bay sees her as an imposter. A stowaway sees her as a friend. Her supervisor sees her as a candidate for probation.

And the Martians . . . they see her in a whole different light.

And when space pirates destroy the only thing that matters to her, she has nothing left to lose.

Can Sylvia prove she belongs? Or embrace her differences to survive?

You’ll adore this outer space mystery for its humor and whimsy, and because everyone understands the universal desire to fit in.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Princess Rose’s fiery temper has kept every potential suitor away—until now. After being spurned and humiliated for the last time, the princess forces every eligible man in the kingdom to present a gift to her under pain of death. The man who brings her the best gift will be chosen as her husband.
When Corbin is summoned to present his gift, he hopes that his simple offering will keep him safely overlooked. All he wants is to return to his quiet life as a common blacksmith, away from forbidding castles and beastly princesses. But love works in mysterious ways, and it all starts with a rose...


_______________________________________


About the Book
In an age of political unrest and racial divide, one girl's search for truth will determine the future of her kingdom.

Prague, 1870

For the last ten years, nineteen-year-old Eleanora Svobodov√° has worked as a servant in her stepmother's household, dreaming of the day she will be free to live life on her own terms.

But when her estranged grandmother, Lady Penelope, comes to Prague on behalf of Queen Victoria, everything changes. Throughout Bohemia, a string of murders and secret whispers hint at a larger coup, and Lady Penelope, as the leader of the Order of the Crystal Daggers, an ancient order of spies and soldiers that protect kingdoms and their rulers, is determined to discover the perpetrators. When she offers Eleanora the chance to help her prevent the kingdom from falling apart, she is hesitant to trust her. And while joining means freedom from her stepmother and protecting the people of Prague, Eleanora knows her life will never be the same--or her own.

Can she find a way to be free and still do the right thing? Or will joining the Order only lead to disaster?

With castle intrigue, true love, and family dysfunction, Cinderella meets Mission Impossible in this historical fiction spy adventure series by C. S. Johnson.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Fairy tales always end with “and they lived happily ever after,” but what if there was more to the story? 

When Princess Aurora Claire wakes up from her 100-year sleep, she thinks she’s found her happily ever after with Prince Damien. Her picturesque world is soon shaken when people in the castle start falling into a deep sleep. The charm of her prince charming begins to wear thin as they embark on a perilous journey to save the kingdom. Has she been falling in love with the wrong person all along? As she battles an enchanted forest and races against time to find the original fairy who saved them all, will she find a way to revive her kingdom and discover the secret to lasting happiness?
_______________________________________


About the Book
Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan's great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins' palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie's great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.

On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.

Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.
_______________________________________


About the Book
Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--including Kaely herself--is killed.
 
_______________________________________


About the Book
While covertly investigating a controversial neurological research program, expose filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms. After giving up his career as an escape artist and illusionist in the wake of his wife and sons' tragic death, Jevin is seeking not only answers about the questionable mind-to-mind communication program, but also answers to why his family suffered as they did.

Rooted in ground-breaking science and inspired by actual research, Placebo explores the far reaches of science, consciousness, and faith. Readers will love this taut, intelligent, and emotionally gripping new thriller from master storyteller Steven James.

_______________________________________

Who were some of the new-to-you authors that you read last year?

Review: Flights of Fancy (American Heiresses #1) by Jen Turano

About the Book
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she's always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he's unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora's secret threaten those they love, they'll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.


My Thoughts

Flights of Fancy was such a delightful story! I was so excited to start this new series from Jen Turano. Her books never fail to leave me in a good mood and always put a smile on my face. This book was no different. I was literally laughing out loud the entire book. It was so funny and so full of heart. Plus it had a great spiritual message too.

The whole cast of characters were awesome. From the instantly likable main characters of Isadora and Ian to eccentric Uncle Amos and ornery Aunt Birdie to the four precocious orphans living at Glory Manor - Henry, Primrose, Violet, and Daisy. But my absolute favorite characters of all were the farm animals. The laundry-eating goats, the constantly-escaping chickens, and especially Buttercup the cow who's favorite place to be was inside the house and found every opportunity to let herself in. Goodness, they made me laugh so much! I'll be remembering their antics for a long time!

If you're looking for a great romantic comedy, look no further than Flights of Fancy. I highly recommend it and can't wait for the sequel!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Four Stars

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Gaffe Out Loud (The Worst Detective Ever #7) by Christy Barritt

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Gaffe Out Loud (The Worst Detective Ever #7) by Christy Barritt. This is probably my favorite Christy Barritt series and I'm so happy to finally have a new installment. It's awesome to be back with all these quirky and hilarious characters.

About the Book
Actress Joey Darling is beginning a new season . . . of her TV show and her life.

Joey Darling’s life is finally on track. Her hit series has been picked up by a new network, her relationship with Detective Jackson Sullivan couldn’t be better, and she’s even bought a house. But right after taking possession, Joey discovers a dead body upstairs.

Joey knows she won’t have any peace until she figures out why a dead woman was left at her house and who killed her. And she desperately needs peace as the “normal” life she’s trying to establish quickly progresses from great to the brink of collapse.

The countdown is ticking as Joey must soon leave to begin filming. But one gaffe after another slows her investigation and makes her question her choices. The closer Joey gets to answers, the more someone is determined to make sure this season of her life is canceled—permanently.
 

Book Beginning
"Oh. My. Goodness. There aren't his or her sinks in this ensuite?" I paused dramatically, making sure my eyes were wide with disbelief as I stood in the center of the master bathroom.

Friday 56
My heart stuttered out of control. I was dangling from the deck.
Two stories stretched below me. Two stories. That would be enough to crush some bones. Hurt my head.
Kill me?
I didn't know. And I didn't want to find out.

What have you been reading lately?

Review: Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy #1) by Maria V. Snyder

About the Book
“The answer is no, Lyra,” my mother utters her favorite—I swear—phrase.

No means I have to travel with them to another planet—again.

No means leaving all my friends fifty years in the past. Thanks, Einstein.

Seventeen-year-old Lyra Daniels can’t truly blame Einstein or her parents for their impending move across the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s all due to the invention of the Q-net, which made traveling the vast distances in space possible—with one big caveat: the time dilation. But that never stopped Lyra's ancestors from exploring the Milky Way, searching for resources and exoplanets to colonize. What they didn’t expect to find is life-sized terracotta Warriors buried on twenty-one different exoplanets.

... Make that twenty-two.

As the Galaxy’s leading experts on the Warriors, Lyra's parents are thrilled by the new discovery, sending them—and her—fifty years into the future. Her social life in ruins, she fills her lonely days by illegally worming into the Q-net. The only person close to her age is the annoyingly irresistible security officer who threatens to throw her into the brig.

After the planet they just left goes silent—meaning no communications from them at all—security has bigger problems to deal with than Lyra, especially when vital data files go missing. But that's just the beginning, because they’re not as alone as they thought on their new planet... and suddenly time isn't the only thing working against them.


My Thoughts

Maria V. Snyder is one of my favorite authors. Her Study Series is one of my all-time faves. (I could reread those books over and over again and never tire of them.) Her characters are always so multi-dimensional, memorable, and, again, some of my favorites. (I mean, who could ever top Valek and Yelena?) So to say I was excited for a new book from her was a vast understatement.

Even though sci-fi isn't a genre I normally gravitate towards, especially those set in space, I'll read anything this author writes. And Navigating the Stars did not disappoint. It was everything I had hoped it'd be. It featured Snyder's signature style, detailed setting, and a strong, independent leading lady.

Lyra was a great narrator. So relatable, funny, and sassy. And I really appreciated the fact that she actually had a 'normal' relationship with her parents. That's rare to find these days. It was super refreshing.

I will say that it took a little bit of time for all the technical science things to make sense to me. Like time dilation. It was confusing at first, but there was a moment when it all clicked and I found it to be really fascinating.

This was a book I read slowly. Not because I didn't like it, but because I absolutely loved it! I wanted to savor it, take my time, and linger there for as long as I could. I highly, highly recommend it! I'm anxious to get my hands on the sequel! The wait is gonna be torture!

Note: This book does contain some strong language.

Five Stars

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Can't Wait Wednesday: A Return of Devotion (Haven Manor #2) by Kristi Ann Hunter

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring A Return of Devotion (Haven Manor #2) by Kristi Ann Hunter releasing February 5, 2019.

About the Book
Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed--loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she's come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford's main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They've spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

Why I Need It
I actually haven't read book one yet, though I did read and love the prequel novella. This second book sounds so good and with it coming out in less than a month, it gives me even more motivation to read the first as soon as possible.

What upcoming release are you excited about?