Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Sunday Post #2



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ 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've made it to week two! Last week I promised (threatened?) to tell you about a challenge that I'm currently hosting, and one that I'm thinking of hosting. Here goes!


The Award Winning Science Fiction

 and Fantasy Reading Challenge


Last year I attended my very first World Con - The World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, because it happened to be right here in my area! I really didn't know what to expect, and I got a whole lot more than I bargained for! So many authors I have long heard of, 5 Awarded Grand Masters (Connie Willis, Robert Silverberg, Larry Niven, Joe Haldeman and James Gunn) all in one room, talking about their careers and experiences, not to mention a slew (a literal slew, that's a measurement, right?) of other familiar and beloved names, Scott Lynch, Gail Carriger, JOHN SCALZI! (OMG OMG OMG *flails* *whispers* I got to meet to John Scalzi!) George R. R. Martin (OMG! GRRM! Out on his own, walking around the place, I wasn't sure at first that it was him, BUT IT WAS!) and many more!  Needless to say I was very excited about the whole thing and a little intimidated once the reality of what we were doing hit me. We were going to see the Hugo Awards, live! Also, there were astronauts!  REAL ones!  There was also some tiara wearing, by one of the astronauts, the male one! And he looked very regal too! It was so much fun!

All of this greatness in one place made me realize that while I had grown up knowing many of the great names of Science Fiction and Fantasy, I hadn't read too many of their books, and what a great focus for a challenge!  And so I came up with the idea of  The Award Winning Science Fiction and Fantasy Challenge including the Grand Masters, the Hugo winners and nominees, because if you've made it far enough to be a nominee for any of these big awards, it must still be a great book even if it doesn't win, along with the other big Sci-Fi and Fantasy Awarded books and their nominees.

It's still open to join, it runs all year, I award prizes each quarter, and if you sign up by July 31st you'll be eligible for the third quarter prizes!  If this sounds at all interesting to you, please come check it out! Here are the rules and sign up, and also a link to the pages of reviews that we've read so far this year!



Read the Rainbow Challenge

And now a teaser for the challenge I'm thinking of hosting, if I don't talk myself out of it, starting July 1st:


I'm still working on the details, but it was inspired by how we like to do Book Spine Rainbow pictures as read-a-thon challenges, they are always so pretty, what if we make the challenge to pick out a rainbow and read those books? I want to make it accessible to e-book readers as well, so I need to decide how we'll present our rainbow of books, because there will have to be pictures of course (spines, or a collage of covers is what I'm thinking)! What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Or if you know that someone is already doing this, please let me know, I don't want to encroach on an already established challenge!


Last Week on The Space Between



COYER


And I reviewed:





Coming This Week on The Space Between



I'll be reviewing:


I think this cover is just beautiful!

And I'll be posting my June edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Reading is Better than Real Life, where you get to help me chip away at my TBR pile by voting on what I should read next!

Added to the TBR Pile

Kindle Freebies still at available as of 7:00 pm Central 5/27/17


Netgalley

Netgalley

US Kindle Freebie

US Kindle Freebie


See you next week! 




Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly

Book Synopsis:

This spirit is willing -- to catch a killer

Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookshop -- a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted.  Pen my not believe in ghosts but she does believe in good publicity -- like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing.  But soon after the bestselling thriller writer reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940's murder, he keeps over dead -- and right in the middle of the store's new Community Events space.

Who gives Mrs. McClure the first clue that it was murder?  The bookstore's full-time ghost -- a PI murdered on the very spot more than 50 years ago.  Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination?  Or is the oddly likable fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime? You can bet your everlasting life on it!

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, because there's a ghost, it's in a bookstore, and in real life, I am a Mrs. McClure myself, so it's hard not to be affectionate towards a book with your name on it! I was happy that it won the vote, though all three are series I've needed to get into for a long time. 

Even so, it does employ my pet peeve of having a cat on the cover when there isn't a cat in the book, not that I was expecting one. It's a long standing complaint of mine on cozy mystery covers.  I even had an author pretty much admit to me that they (the publisher?  the industry? I don't know how much say authors truly have in their covers) employ a "put a cat on it and they will buy it" ideology.  Unless it's a dog cozy. But that's my problem, this is far from the only book dangling a kitty in front of us as a tease.

Mrs. McClure is Penelope, who is trying very hard to put her life back together on her own terms after her husband passed away, raising her son Spencer with as little interference from her husband's rich and controlling family as possible.  She has joined her aunt in running and expanding the bookstore, and she thinks she might just be losing her mind.  She's hearing voices.

The Ghost is Jack Shepard, who was murdered 50 years before where the bookstore now stands.  He was a private eye and he has some opinions on the murder, and a lot of other things, that he isn't keeping to himself.  He's a true to form detective noir, and a lot of fun!

Jack and Pen are a good team in trying to find out what really happened at the book signing, he's got the know how and she has the... well, the physical form!  Hands down Jack is the star attraction of this book for me, I was a little lukewarm towards Pen herself, and the rest of the town but I felt like the story was pretty well laid out and interesting with enough twists to make me not quite sure who done it!  I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the series!




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

From Goodreads:

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, from which enough ash spews to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

And it ends with you. You are the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where orogenes wield the power of the earth as a weapon and are feared far more than the long cold night. And you will have no mercy.


This book deserves every bit of the hype it has gotten and more. Here is a list of the awards and nominations it has received:

  • Hugo Award for Best Novel (2016)
  • Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2015)
  • Locus Award Nominee for Best Fantasy Novel (2016)
  • The Kitschies Nominee for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2015)
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy (2015)

Did you know there was a Red Tentacle award? Me either! But now I need to go find out more about it!

I was lucky enough to be at the Hugo Awards when this book received Best Novel last year, and it was so exciting! There was so much happiness in the room that N. K. Jemisin had won. It felt like a love wins victory after the weird political divisiveness that has been going on in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy world that is such a mirror of real world politics.  I wasn't aware of that until I knew we were going to World Con and had started doing some research and ran into articles discussing the different factions.  I would have expected this genre to be the most open minded and accepting of all, considering it is based on magic and imagination and science we haven't achieved yet.  But alas it still has some ugliness to work out.  I think it's dwindling, but it is still there.

That cannot dim the greatness that is The Fifth Season.  This was such a well crafted and interesting world, story and cast of characters.  There are many messages worked in, class systems, prejudice, history being set by the winners, and rewritten to suit the regime, all woven into a story where it fits, it's not forced, it just is part of the world.  Which brings up another idea to me, acceptance of what is, because you don't know any different, and the idea that maybe you need to look further than the surface to see what's really going on.  The world itself is so intriguing to me, the "powers" that certain people have are geology based, and it is definitely a post apocalyptic world, perhaps many times post apocalypse, as is suggested  in the first line of the summary.  This has all happened many times before, they have lore which relates instructions on how to survive it, but maybe that won't be enough this time.  There are mysterious DeadCiv artifacts from long gone times, and strange floating obelisks that clearly served an important function, which has been lost over time.

Enjoy isn't the right word for this, I was fascinated and so interested to see where it was going.  I'm definitely in for the rest of the ride, and highly recommend it!  I wish I had taken notes while I was reading it, there were so many a-ha moments and "I see what you're doing there" that I'm finding difficult to relate now after the fact, universal truths and parallels to our world that make this one changed yet still recognizable to us.  Yes, I'm gushing.  I'll stop now, you should definitely check out this 5/5 book for yourself!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

COYER Summer Reading List Challenge

COYER


It's time for another COYER! I am joining the Summer Reading List Challenge to hopefully get to some of those books I've been meaning to and keep putting off! I've also added my new subscription box books, and my first Netgalley approved reads, so we'll see how I do!

Here is my Summer Reading List. To join us just click on the banner above! You know you want to!

The Sunday Post #1



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ 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


Welcome to my inaugural edition of the The Sunday Post! I've had two bookish changes in the last couple months, I've been trying out a few book subscription boxes, and I also joined up at Netgalley, which I've always been afraid to do!

Book Sub Boxes

This could become an expensive habit!  So far I have tried:
These three are all young adult boxes, so I wouldn't mind trying out some adult targeted boxes as well. If you subscribe to any book boxes, which ones do you like?


Netgalley

I was always afraid to try Netgalley because I often heard other bloggers saying how behind they were on their Netgalley reading. Having been in an owed book debt state before, I sincerely don't want to get overwhelmed like that again! I have been using Blogging for Books which allows you one book at a time, and you get to choose a new book once you review the one you have, no time limits, no stress. I have enjoyed that one a lot and plan to keep doing it, but decided to go ahead and give Netgalley a try. The challenge will be to not request too many! I have never been part of the ARC crowd before, so we'll see how it goes and if I can keep ahead of it! I can do this! I have been approved for three books so far, all of which I am excited about, so look for these to come later in the summer!



Last Week on The Space Between


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


Next Week on The Space Between



That's all for my first edition of The Sunday Post! Next week I'll tell you about the challenge I'm currently hosting, and the new one I'm thinking about hosting, if I haven't talked myself out of it by then! Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.

It was the cover of this one that caught my eye first, with the city in a bottle and the reflection of a ship under the water, such neat artwork! It was suggested as a possible group read in a Goodreads group that I admin, and while it didn't win that round, I was intrigued enough to still give it a try.  I will definitely keep it in the running for the group read! Adventure, time travel to exotic locations, some romance, an artifact hunt, roller coaster feelings, there is a lot here!

The main draw after the cover caught me was time travel, I'm a sucker for the ability to pack history in with that nifty mechanism, and I enjoyed looking up images of the places they traveled to online.  I won't say where they went, that's part of the fun!  Also, you need a good hunt through time with a puzzle, and a handsome and conflicted pirate (ahem, legal thank you very much), while being chased by who knows how many different factions.  For not knowing anything like this was possible, Etta really took the whole thing very well! 

I enjoyed the characters, except for Sophia, you aren't supposed to like her though, and every time you almost feel sorry for her, yep, she says something that just makes you want to strangle her.  Papa Ironwood is of course super evil, though even he you can feel a smidge of empathy for when you know what he's up to, although it's still all for his own gain.  Nicholas and Etta fit together almost immediately, in fact so well that he is afraid to believe it.  Etta meanwhile is just bulling through the whole adventure like a bat out of hell that will not be stopped! She's got moxy for sure!

On the whole this was a great YA adventure with a lot of my favorite elements included which I would definitely recommend to you if you're looking for some treasure hunting, time skipping fun!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May TBR List Winner - The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly



 And the winner is...


Book Synopsis:

This spirit is willing -- to catch a killer

Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookshop -- a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted.  Pen my not believe in ghosts but she does believe in good publicity -- like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing.  But soon after the bestselling thriller writer reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940's murder, he keeps over dead -- and right in the middle of the store's new Community Events space.

Who gives Mrs. McClure the first clue that it was murder?  The bookstore's full-time ghost -- a PI murdered on the very spot more than 50 years ago.  Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination?  Or is the oddly likable fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime? You can bet your everlasting life on it!


I'm actually glad this one won, as I am a Mrs. McClure myself in real life, so I already have affection for this book! My Dad had read this series also and enjoyed them, so I think I'm in for a treat!



39% of the votes


33% of the votes


28% of the votes

Saturday, May 06, 2017

My To Be Read List - May 2017 - Paranormal Cozy Mysteries



Welcome to my May 2017 edition of My To Be Read List, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading. This is a monthly meme where we offer up 3 choices from our TBR pile for our readers to pick from to help us make the super hard decision of "what do I read next?" a little easier and to whittle away at the ever growing TBR Mountain! 

Theme: Paranormal Cozies -  Here are three paranormal cozy mystery series I've been meaning to start for a long time, so this month at least one of them will happen!

The poll will stay open through Friday 5/12, and I'll update this post with the winning book on Saturday 5/13, then post a review on the last Saturday of the month, 5/27.

If you think this sounds fun and would like to join (the more the merrier, because we love voting!) please head on over to Because Reading where Michelle lays out the rules for us!

And the choices are...


Book Synopsis:

M. J. Holliday's a medium with a message -- her business is helping lost souls cross over to the other side. But what if the ghosts want to stay put?

M. J. Holliday has two rules. One, she and her partner, Gilley Gillespie, work alone; and two, she doesn't date clients.  But when handsome Dr. Steven Sable needs her help, the specter-spotting sleauth is ready to break both of her rules.

It seems the hot doc's grandfather jumped from the roof of the family lodge in an apparent suicide.  But Dr. Sable knows in his bones it was foul play, and strange things keep happening at the lodge.  He'll hire M. J. and Gilley -- but only if he can come along.  Hey, the duo needs the money -- and looking at eye candy all weekend doesn't sound too bad either.

But once they reach the lodge, the three realize they're dealing with more ghosts than just Grandpa Sable's.  And the spooks keep playing nasty tricks on their human visitors.  To the untrained eye, it would appear that the ghouls just want to have fun.  But M. J. knows they're communicating their distress -- and it's up to her to figure out why.
Book Synopsis:

Bringing a little culture to Stony Mill, Indianam Enchantments is one of the area's finest antique shops.  But shop clerk Maggie O'Neill and her employer Felicity Dow do more than conjure up curios for the locals -- they each possess a talent for spellbinding sleuthing...
 
Bored with her office job (and subsequently fired for excessive tardiness), Maggie jumps at the opportunity to work in Enchantments.  She was a little weirded out when Felicity described herself as a witch, but if her boss wants to play with broomsticks and cauldrons, where's the harm?  However, Maggie's first day on the job may turn out to be her last when police question Felicity in the murder of her estranged sister.



With everyone in town proclaiming Felicity's guilt faster than the Salem Witch Trials, Maggie finds herself wondering if she'll also be tied to the stake.  And lately, she's been receiving messages on a spiritual frequency guiding her to prove Felicity's innocence -- and to embrace her own charmed life...

Book Synopsis:

This spirit is willing -- to catch a killer

Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookshop -- a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted.  Pen my not believe in ghosts but she does believe in good publicity -- like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing.  But soon after the bestselling thriller writer reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940's murder, he keeps over dead -- and right in the middle of the store's new Community Events space.

Who gives Mrs. McClure the first clue that it was murder?  The bookstore's full-time ghost -- a PI murdered on the very spot more than 50 years ago.  Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination?  Or is the oddly likable fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime? You can bet your everlasting life on it!


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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bout of Books 19 - May 8th - 14th, 2017

Bout of Books




Join me and some other awesome readers for Bout of Books 19! Click on the image above to learn more!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th 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 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


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