Thursday, July 02, 2015

Ian Fleming's James Bond - Octopussy and the Living Daylights: And Other Stories (Bond #14)

Octopussy and the Living Daylights: And Other StoriesOctopussy and the Living Daylights: And Other Stories by Ian Fleming
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a casual James Bond fan. I'll always stop and watch a few minutes if I see one of the movies on. I came in during the Roger Moore era, so he is who I always picture first when Bond is mentioned, though I have seen some of the Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig movies, though none of the earlier ones than Connery. I like them all, it helps make Bond, 007 more of an idea than any one person.

This was the first time I had listened/read one of the actual Ian Fleming novels depicting Bond and he was very different from the dashing ladies man and spy I grew up with from the movies. There was no being trapped in underground lairs or jumping out of airplanes, and in fact Octopussy contained very little of Bond at all. It was more the story of a retired WWII Major whose past catches up with him. Bond is still the cool character we expect, but at times we gain more insight into his psyche and see that he is actually quite bothered by being a 00, licensed to kill, which makes him more real to me.

Hiddleston's narration was wonderful. He is expressive and enjoyable to listen to, and gives a short interview after his readings about his own Bond experience and his enjoyment of portraying different characters through their voices. Lucy Fleming, one of Ian's nieces, reads the 4th story of the collection, 007 in New York, which of the 4 was the most characteristic of my previous Bond experience, though it's a simple check in through customs, all the while we are with Bond's thoughts on the city and how things have changed over time, with the detailed observation of a trained spy on the people around him. It was nice to hear Lucy, an actual family member talk about her uncle and Bond with that reading.

Far from being disappointed with the tameness of the stories compared to the flashy and exciting movies I'm used to, I'm more intrigued to go back and watch those movies to look for the bits of the story that must be there, and to read the other novels and do the same with them. James Bond is such an icon and the embodiment of the cool, collected spy in our imaginations, few characters endure the test of time the way he has.

View all my reviews

#44 COYER Scavenger Hunt - Read a book that has been turned into a movie.  This one has technically had 2 movies in fact!  not bad for less than 100 pages, huh?

And for us Hiddles fans, here is the alternate cover to what I listened to:

Monday, June 29, 2015

COYER - Red, White, & Blue Read-a-thon - July 4 - 10, 2015


The Red, White, & Blue Read-a-thon is the first of 5 that are happening during COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reader) this Summer. We'll be reading books with Red, White, or Blue on the cover, as words or colors. For more details, check out the Red, White, & Blue Read-a-thon page!  I've picked out some suitably Red, White, & Blue titles/covers below that I'll be working on.



July 4:
July 5:
July 6:
July 7:
July 8:
July 9:
July 10:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Giveaway: The Hunted Series by Amanda Shofner

The Hunted Series by Amanda Shofner

The Hunted is a riveting world in which two opposing factions of Gifted, the Memory-bringers and the Illusionists, must overcome their fear of each other and work together against their common enemy: The Northern Alliance Betterment Society. Doesn't that name just bring chills? Betterment Society? So many real world horrors have been perpetrated in order to "better" things according to skewed versions of perfection. True to form, The Society will stop at nothing until they realize their goal, the neutralization of all Gifted. Of course just killing a Gifted isn't enough, the Society must experiment in order to find a way to truly eliminate the biological elements that make someone Gifted.

I am drawn in to a book by the characters.  You can have the most interesting setting ever, but if I'm not invested in the characters, I couldn't care less.  Fully realized characters are one of the strengths of this series, I cared about what happened to all of them. I hurt with them, was afraid with them, was happy for them, and sometimes wanted to slap some of them (Janey) for being so stubborn and impatient, but that's who she was.  For me that's what makes a story I won't forget, characters who are true individuals, with realistic emotions, strengths and weaknesses.  Add to that a bit of Sci/Fi-Fantasy, a little romance, and I'm in!  You get all that here.

Synopsis from Amazon

The Northern Alliance Betterment Society rose up to declare war on the Gifted and erase them from existence. The deep division between the Gifted—the illusionists and memory-bringers—made the war successful. Now the Gifted are being hunted and eliminated, but there remain a few who choose to fight back and reclaim their lives.


One false move—or trusting the wrong person—can turn the Gifted into the hunted.

Sam Benson doesn’t know where she is or, more importantly, who she is. With her memories gone, she must piece together the details of her life—and figure out who to trust—before they take it from her.


When Michael gave up his Gift, he was told it'd be forever. In the middle of recruiting for the new Gifted army, his Gift comes back. Unexpectedly.

But rather than celebrating the impossible, Michael’s carefully laid plans are about to come to naught... unless he can find a way to survive and make it right.


Janey Jones is driven by one purpose. Will Brown has seen what blind ambition can do.

When Will and Janey are thrown together, they’re forced to put aside their differences for a greater purpose: find a way to stay alive—and salvage the mission to cut the Hunters down, once and for all.


She’s about to learn life isn’t like her controlled experiments.

Edie Brown's well-ordered scientist’s life unravels when her best friend Marcus proposes a different kind of experiment—one that puts her heart at risk.

The Hunted series will be available as a bundle starting July 1st!  I'll be giving away 2 US Kindle bundles, and as many single US Kindle parts of the series as I'm in the mood for! Just tell me in your entry whether you want the bundle, or a single part of the series, and also the e-mail address you want it sent to if you win.  This contest will be open through Sunday July 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 27, 2015

COYER Scavenger Hunt June 20 - September 4, 2015

The COYER (Clean Out Your E-Reader) Scavenger hunt is under way! I am joining in the challenge a little late, but there is plenty of time left! This event run from June 20th - Sept 4th and sounds like a whole lot of fun! There 5 summer read-a-thons scheduled, along with a reading scavenger hunt, twitter parties, a facebook group and prizes to win, so come on and join the fun!

For this event we can use any book we obtained legally. That would be Kindle Freebies, ARCs, Netgalley & Edelwiess books, Audiobooks, Purchased books (any $ amount) and Physical Books. Because of the Scavenger Hunt you are not allowed to read Library books, Kindle Unlimited or Borrowed books. (This is for my own use, but also helpful if you're wondering what to use, I asked just to be sure!)

Details, Signup, and Schedule

Scavenger Hunt List

Currently Reading: 

To Be Read Possibilities:

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (#61 Stormi's Review from Last COYER )
White Night by Jim Butcher (for RWB Read-a-thon)
The Patriot Witch by C. C. Finlay (for RWB Read-a-thon, #2 mostly blue cover or #1 first in a series)
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (for RWB Read-a-thon, #18 Red in the title or #37 Water/Ocean on the cover)
The Art of Purring by the Dalai Lama's Cat (#55 for about an animal and DDS Read-a-thon)

Reviews I've visited:

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - reviewed by Book Briefs

Books Finished:

Finished 6/30/15
SH #7
66 pages

Finished 7/1/15
SH# 44
Audio/93 pages

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts

The Next Always

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

I adore this trilogy. I will admit that I didn't think I'd be a Nora Roberts fan. I picked up The Next Always when it was on sale on Audible because it mentioned a haunting. I didn't expect to fall in love, with the people or the place, but I did. I want the Montgomery boys to be my brothers, and Avery, Clare and Hope to be my friends. I want to hang out and have pizza at Vesta and celebrate holidays with the whole family. I want a hug from Willy B and to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth. These were pure comfort reading for me once I got into them, and will go down in my list of favorites. The description of the places and the characterization of the people make it all seem so real that it makes me want to jump in my truck and go there, to be part of it all, to get enveloped in that world. I can smell Avery's marinara sauce and hear the brothers hammering away on their latest project. I didn't expect to get sucked in, it's not my usual thing, but I did, and I'm so grateful for it. :)

Friday, May 08, 2015

Bout of Books 13 - May 11 - 17

Bout of Books

I am so excited that it's Bout of Books time again! Since I've taken the pressure off of myself to read certain numbers or types of books, I've really enjoyed my reading a lot more this year. I had a fantastic day on Dewey's Read-a-thon a few weeks ago and I'm hoping that momentum carries over here!

I'm giving myself a goal of 1,000 pages, so no pressure to finish anything, just read what I'm in the mood for!

If you're not familiar with Bout of Books, here's a little explanation:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Page Goal: 855/1000

Currently Reading:


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time for some Napping!

I finished my second full length book, and hit 541 pages! 2nd level achieved!

I discovered Nancy Springer in junior high when I read The Silver Sun by her, so I always know I'm in for a good story, whatever she tackles.  I love Arthurian tales, and this was no exception, poignant and sad however, told from Mordred's point of view, and no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, his fate seems sealed.  It's making me want to go watch Excalibur again,  even though I really recall not liking Mordred in the movie.  There was some rearrangement of the tale here, but there are always differences in every retelling.

And the cover goes really nicely with my blog color scheme, I just noticed!

I'm headed to bed for now with my next read, Ashes and Alchemy by Cindy Spencer Pape.  It's part of a steampunk series I've been enjoying.  I may try to get up before the end of the read-a-thon to be there for the finish.  If I don't make it up, I'll wrap up later, and another round of thanks to all the cheerleaders and organizers!  You all make this the wonderful event it has become!

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages
Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green - 230 pages
The Nameless City - Michael Scott - 81 pages
I Am Mordred - Nancy Springer - 184 pages

Total Pages: 541

ETA: Fergus was nice enough to wake me up half an hour before the Read-a-thon was over, so I got a few more pages in before the end, after I fed the furballs of course! 

Ashes and Alchemy - Cindy Spencer Pape - 30 pages

Updated Total Pages: 571
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