Friday, July 31, 2015

Awake by Natasha Preston #Book #Review

Awake book reviewTitle:  Awake
Author:  Natasha Preston
Release Date:  August 4, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Source:  NetGalley

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question - until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it...because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Awake is an interesting story about an ordinary teenage girl who turns out to be anything but.

Scarlett seems to think that she's pretty ordinary though, aside from not remembering anything before the age of four. She seems to think this is a big deal, but I don't. I mean, who remembers much from their toddler years?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cat Thursday: Teddy & the Kittens


Cat Thursday
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

I have a teddy bear that's been with me forever. His name is Fred and the foster kitties seem to have fallen in love with him. When they're not on my lap, they like to hang out with good ole' Fred.

Tortellini & Katniss
Tortellini & Katniss

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bookmark Monday: DIY Ribbon Bookmark


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!

I'm not very crafty, so while I may pin a lot of crafts to my Pinterest boards, I doubt that I'll ever actually try any of them. Nice to dream though...

Here's my one attempt at a DIY bookmark. Made of two ribbons, it was pretty simple. I still messed up tying off the ends, but overall am pleased with the finished product! 

Bookmark Monday:  DIY Ribbon Bookmark

Not sure why I decided to use a basket as the background, but it was too big to fit on a book cover. 








Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Book Haul 7/25/15

The latest editions to my TBR shelves: The Uninvited by Cat Winters, Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, and The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.

For Review:

This was a nice surprise in my mailbox as I'd forgotten that I'd accepted a review copy. Oops! Good thing I've started writing titles down! It's a little outside my usual genres, but sounded intriguing.

The Uninvited by Cat Winters
The Uninvited by Cat Winters

From the award-winning author of In the Shadow of Blackbirds comes a stunning new novel - a masterfully crafted story of love, loss, and second chances. Set during the fear and panic of the Great Influenza of 1918, The Uninvited is part gothic ghost-story, part psychological thriller, perfect for those who loved The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield or The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cat Thursday: Books + Cats = Happiness


Cat Thursday
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

The foster kittens have certainly made themselves at home, and seem to love to hang out on my bookshelves!

teamwork!
One of the kittens favorite activities is removing the towel I have on top of the bookcase. Why they find this so amusing is beyond me, so I'm constantly replacing it. I don't want them to scratch the bookcase since it's right under the window, and don't want to anchor it down with something heavy in case they manage to remove that too and get hurt. At least they're working together, right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep

Book Review Spider's Trap by Jennifer EstepTitle:  Spider's Trap
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Release Date:  July 28, 2015
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Source:  ebook provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld - by default, not by choice - a lot more punches are being thrown my way. 

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death… (Goodreads)

My Review:

Spider's Trap is a little bit different from the other books in the series as Gin is now head of the underworld. Guess that's what happens when you take out the previous boss. Poor Gin!

While being the underworld head honcho might sound glamorous, it's anything but. As Gin finds out when she has to mediate a dispute between two crime bosses.

She's bored out of her mind listening to them complain about one another, until someone tries to kill her. That's one way to break up a boring meeting!

As a top-notch assassin known as the Spider, Gin is used to people trying to kill her. What she isn't used to is when her family and friends are threatened. To Gin, that's unacceptable! And so begins another awesome adventure with Gin and the gang!

Jennifer Estep is one of my favorite authors and Gin Blanco is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines! I love seeing how Gin has grown over the course of this series, gradually expanding her circle of friends and allowing herself to actually care for others. The only downside is that opening her heart means risking that someone might get hurt.

Love that Gin uses cooking to relax and enjoys feeding her loved ones so much. This let's us see her in an entirely different light from hardcore assassin or Underworld Boss. Cooking is a large part of Gin's life, including her "real" job of running a BBQ restaurant. How she finds the time I've never figured out, but love this part of her life!

This is another fast-paced, interesting story with a few flashbacks thrown in for good measure. While I think it could be read as a stand-alone story, it would probably be a richer reading experience if the series was read in order. 

Previous reviews:

Poison Promise (#11)
The Spider (#10)
Heart of Venom (#9)
By a Thread (#6)
Spider's Revenge (#5)
Spider's Bite (#1)








Monday, July 20, 2015

Bookmark Monday: Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!


Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!
Dr. Who is one of my favorite shows and the Daleks are one of my favorite Dr Who villians, so how could I resist picking up this awesome colorful bookmark?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Sunday Post 7/19/15


The Sunday Post 7/19/15 | Alexia's Books and Such
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, but I use it more as a mid-month review. It’s a chance for a recap, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog.

New Arrivals:


When I was in grade school, I went on a reading binge and read everything I could get my hands on about King Henry VIII and his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. I don't remember reading much about Lady Jane Grey and didn't even realize that she had sisters, so this review request really grabbed my attention! While not my usual type of read, I'm looking forward to learning more about these two sisters!

Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle
Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics. (Goodreads)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cat Thursday 7/16/15: How Much Is That Kitty In The Window?


Cat Thursday
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

There's just something about sitting by a window that cats seem to love. I'm not sure if it's the view or the sunshine or what, but the foster kittens seem to love hanging out by the window!


Not sure what caught their eye, but whatever it is must be interesting!
Not sure what caught their eye, but whatever it is must be interesting!

Buster, just hanging out
Buster, just hanging out

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hostile Takeover book review

Hostile Takeover book reviewTitle:  Hostile Takeover
Author:  Shane Kuhn
Release Date:  July 14, 2015
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher

Professional assassin John Lago faces off against his deadliest adversary yet - his wife - in Hostile Takeover, the exciting sequel to Shane Kuhn’s bestselling debut The Intern’s Handbook, which the New York Post called “a sexy, darkly comic thriller.”

At the end of The Intern’s Handbook, John tracks down his nemesis Alice but instead of putting a bullet in her head, he puts a ring on her finger and marries her. Together, they execute a hostile takeover of Human Resources, Inc., the “placement agency” that trains young assassins to infiltrate corporations disguised as interns and knock off high profile targets. As HR’s former top operatives, they are successful until conflicting management styles cause an ugly breakup that locks John out of the bedroom and the boardroom. (Goodreads)

My Review:

While Hostile Takeover is a sequel, it can be read as a stand-alone story with no problem. I haven't read the first book, but still enjoyed this one and never felt confused or lost.

John Lago, the intern assassin, is in Federal custody at the start of the book. He's telling his story to an FBI Assistant Director, so we get several flashbacks. The time shifts are handled well and are easy to keep track of.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review: Alive by Scott Sigler

Book Review Alive by Scott Sigler | Alexia's Books and Such Title:  Alive
Author:  Scott Sigler
Release Date:  July 14, 2015
Publisher:  Del Rey
Source:  ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement - and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth. (Goodreads)

My Review:

Alive grabs your attention from the very first page with a young girl waking up on her twelfth birthday....in a coffin!  Unable to move due to restraints on her wrists, ankles and hips, she struggles to break free and stop whatever is biting her neck. Talk about grabbing the reader by the neck from the very first page! I was immediately hooked!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Witch Hunter book review

The Witch Hunter book reviewTitle:  The Witch Hunter
Author:  Virginia Boecker
Release Date:  June 2, 2015
Publisher:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source:  ARC provided by the publisher via BEA

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate. (Goodreads)

My Review:

The Witch Hunter is about Elizabeth Grey, a young girl who has been taught to fear magic and blames witches for the death of her parents.

Trained to hunt down any magic practitioners and bring them in for punishment, Elizabeth is very good at her job. In fact, she's one of the best witch hunters around, despite her young age.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cat Thursday 7/9/15


Cat Thursday

Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

The foster kittens seem fascinated by my book tour badges. They do make a fun noise when swatted, but the kitties quickly lose interest and move on. Until they discover them again the next day....

What are these?
I think they're noise makers?
   







Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How I switched from Bloglovin to Feedly


After Bloglovin' started playing games with me and driving me mad (see my original rant), I started to seriously consider a switch to Feedly.

The Problem:

Bloglovin' "lost" some of the blogs I was following, only to have all of the missing posts mysteriously show up a few days later. And several of the posts I'd already read would pop back up as unread.

Several of my blogging friends recommended Feedly and said they loved it, so decided to tackle the transfer during Bloggiesta.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bookmark Monday - Photobooth Puppies!


Bookmark Monday
Since I collect bookmarks, thought it would be fun to join the Guiltless Reader for her Bookmark Monday posts!

This has got to be one of the cutest bookmarks ever!

Cutest bookmark ever!

My friend Tammy picked up this bookmark for me at BEA because she knows that I'm a sucker for cute dogs. The weird thing is that I took a picture of the bookmark, but now I can't find it.

Pretty sure that it's a bookmark advertising adoptable dogs in a photobooth, but not 100% sure. Right now, I'm blaming the foster kittens because that's better than admitting that I lost a bookmark. D'oh!








Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Belated Blogoversary Bash Winners!

Congratulations!


Congratulations to the winners of my 
Belated Blogoversary Bash!


US winner is Jenny!

International winner is Tracy!


Both winners have been confirmed!

Thanks to everyone for helping me celebrate my 6th year blogoversary!


box-o-kittens
I pulled out the box to start packing up Jenny's books and the kittens decided they wanted to go too! Sorry Jenny, but they have to stay here with me. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

My Book Haul 7/4/15

The latest additions to my towering TBR pile:  Hostile Takeover by Shane Kuhn, Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle, Season of the Dragonflies by Sarah Creech, Supervillians Anonymous by Lexie Dunn, and lots of goodies from BEA!

In need of a new way to showcase titles, I decided that My Book Haul seems like a good fit. I like giving books a little special attention as sometimes it can be awhile before I'm able to review them. Sad to say, but some get put on the shelf and gather a little dust before I'm able to give them the love they deserve. I've included links to Goodreads if you want more information.

For Review:

This is book two and I haven't read book one, but the publisher assured me that it could be read as a stand-alone. And what an interesting premise! Very happy to receive this review offer!

Hostile Takeover by Shane Kuhn
Hostile Takeover by Shane Kuhn

Professional assassin John Lago faces off against his deadliest adversary yet - his wife - in Hostile Takeover, the exciting sequel to Shane Kuhn’s bestselling debut The Intern’s Handbook, which the New York Post called “a sexy, darkly comic thriller.”

Friday, July 3, 2015

Supervillians Anonymous book review

Supervillians Anonymous book reviewTitle:  Supervillians Anonymous
Author:  Lexie Dunn
Release Date:  June 30, 2015
Publisher:  Harper Voyager Impulse
Source:  Edelweiss

New superhero Gail Godwin, the one and only Hostage Girl, is in big trouble: her nemesis Chelsea is loose, someone close to her is dead, and everybody thinks Gail did it. 

To make matters worse, Davenport Industries has thrown her into a prison that just happens to be full of the very same supervillains who used to kidnap her on an almost daily basis.  (Goodreads)

My Review:

Supervillians Anonymous picks up shortly after the first book's sudden cliffhanger. That cliffhanger was evil, so I'm pretty sure that the author is a supervillian in disguise.

It's been awhile since I read Superheroes Anonymous, but it was easy to dive right back into the story! While I think it's best to read them in order, I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

Gail, formerly Hostage Girl, is blamed for the murder of a close friend and thrown into jail. Not just any jail but supervillian jail, full of the bad guys who used to kidnap her on a regular basis! Uh-oh!

I really loved the idea of the supervillian jail! It makes sense if you think about it, as it's full of powerful supervillians who need something to occupy their time, so they put them to work. And wait 'til you see how they put them to work! Very clever!

It was nice that Gail has finally learned a thing or two since the first book, as she was a little too passive in that one for my tastes. While she's still vulnerable at times and not in complete control of her abilities, she's learning.

Unfortunately, even with her new powers, Gail is once again being used by supervillians for their own nefarious plans. That girl really needs to start coming up with her own plans, just in case!

Our favorite superheroes are back to help Gail and there are even a few new faces! Good guys, bad guys, plot twists, evil schemes, they're all here!

Really enjoyed this one and, despite the aforementioned evil cliffhanger from book one, it was well worth the wait!








Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cat Thursday: Meet the Foster Kittens!


Cat Thursday (48)
Welcome to Cat Thursday, hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict! Cat Thursday is a way to share fun pictures, tidbits, and news of all things cat related!

It's been awhile since I took part in Cat Thursday. When I lost my Didi, it hurt too much so I stopped participating. While I'll never stop missing Didi and Salem, I recently decided to foster some kittens to help out one of the local shelters.

Michelle graciously invited me to start participating again, so I am going to share my fostering adventures. Aren't they adorable?

kitties!
hello kitties!
I really love this picture, so think it will become their "official" portrait!

I've never raised kittens before, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Wrap Up

monthly wrap up
Monthly wrap up posts seemed to help keep me on track last year, so giving it a shot again this year.

Books read

Didn't make my reading goal last year, so lowered it from 100 to 75 books. In order to meet my Goodreads goal, I need to read 6.25 books per month. According to Goodreads, I've read five:

  1. Are You Still There by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
  2. What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam
  3. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  4. Buzz Books 2015 Fall/Winter
  5. Supervillians Anonymous by Lexie Dunn

June Reviews


Blog Goals

I didn't realize that you could have external links open in a new tab, but found an easy how-to post online and think I've fixed it! I usually hold down the control key so I don't leave the original blog, but this makes things so much easier!

New Arrivals

Received my first batch of foster kitties at the end of the month! These poor babies were left in a closed Rubbermaid tote near a recycling bin. We've been having a heat wave so if someone hadn't come along, they would have died. I can't understand how people can be so cruel.

New foster kitties, aka The Wild Bunch

Three girls and one boy; a tiger, tortoiseshell, and two black & white kittens. The shelter said I could name them, so let me introduce you to Katniss, Buster, Tortellini, and Houdini. Hey, I was rushed so no judging!

Overall

Hit a dry spell with my reading and reviewing. I've been working on the same three reviews for about a month now but can't seem to finish any of them. No mojo.

On the bright side, I celebrated my 6 year blogoversary! A month late, but I didn't acknowledge it at all last year so am counting that as a win! 

The kittens are taking up a lot of my time now as they're so much fun to watch! We're all still getting used to one another, but trying to blog or read while kittens are zooming around the room is a work in progress. These guys can move!


How was your June?