Showcase Sunday (7)

Updates

Hey gals, I’m back with a new round of Showcase Sunday picks after taking a break for the summer holidays and some time off celebrating my birthday.  If you’ve been reading my other posts, then you know I’ve been transitioning into something of a “crafter’s mode”, blogging and chatting about my Filofax and all the fun accessories out there you can get for that.  Go ahead, check out some of the posts if you’re curious. I’ll wait.

My Book Bag

Here is this week’s stash of new reads:

Bridge to Haven | Delia’s Shadow | Glamorous Illusions | The Lost | Princess For Hire | The Pursuit of Lucy Banning | The River of No Return

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers

I grew up reading Francine Rivers and for a while, it was like “all is silent” on her historical fiction.  Rivers’ plots are incredibly rich with detail and compelling characters and I loved her Mark of the Lion series.  I also love how loooong her books are, so I’m thrilled that she’s come out with another historical novel.

Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer

I actually got this because I saw the sequel on display which looked really, really good, but I don’t like reading series out of order so I thought I’d pick up book 1 and go from there. I love the fashion of ‘Delia’ on the cover and how dark and moody it is. I hope that the book is like that too. 🙂

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Tawn Bergren and The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport

I adore historical novels and the covers on both of these were so lovely, I was just tempted to pick them off the shelf. I have high hopes that the Bergren one will be really great, being set in Paris (happy sigh). We shall see!

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

This was a recommendation from a co-worker. Looks sort of like a thriller in a town in nowheresville.

Princess For Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

At first glance, I mistook this for one of the Meg Cabot books (gotta love it). Such a cute idea. Common girl fills in for a princess for a day since she’s a lookalike. Isn’t that every girl’s dream – to be a princess for a day?

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

This has a weird romantic, time travel story to it that caught my attention and I really like the illustration on the cover which just stood out to me so I thought I’d give it a shot and try it out.

Those are this week’s picks. If you’ve read any, or if any look good, give me a shout-out and let me know.

I’d love your thoughts — I’m thinking about changing this to a monthly post instead and branching the format out so it’s not just about my books but also what I’m listening to, working on, watching, etc.  Is that something you’d be interested in? Let me know and have a great week!

A little about this meme’s origins:

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

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Showcase Sunday (6)

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

Updates

Happy Memorial Day!

Are you spending time with your loved ones this weekend? Maybe a trip to the lake? Wherever you are, I hope that your spirit will be rejuvenated by a weekend of fun, fellowship with your families and a moment of reflection for the lives of the men and women who have sacrified everything for the sake of our freedom.

This weekend, my family and I honored my father who celebrated a landmark birthday this weekend. Here in the midwest, we do things BBQ-style with alfresco dining and a potluck open house at the farm. I tried a new recipe, a strawberry pretzel salad, that was devoured. I’ve also been keeping track of all of the animals (domestic and wild) I’ve spotted on the road and back again.

Total animal count:

2 turkey vultures hanging out on a railbar on the side of the highway (quite ugly birds).
1 brown goat bearing saddle bags, and being led around by a couple of hikers (milk to go anyone?)
2 box turtles we managed not to crush while crossing the road. I tried to imagine life as a turtle…why would you want to cross such an expanse of non-grass like a highway? I dunno.
4 dogs
1 mommy cat
3 kittens
1 strange Asian beetle with a beautiful green back
1 strange black worm that the Asian beetle eats
1 giant spider (a wolf spider maybe?) hanging around the lintel of a door
12 seed ticks and counting…

I didn’t get much reading done today.

My Book Bag

This week I didn’t have a regular trip to the library to collect books. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot of e-book reading, courtesy of my library’s partnership with Overdrive.

I am working my way through Abigail Gibbs’ “Dark Heroine” series, beginning with “Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire” and now I’ve progressed to book 2 which came out this year, “Autumn Rose”. Both books are somewhere between 450-500 pages each and are really different from one another, leading to mixed reviews on Goodreads.

Between the two, I’d say that the content matter in “Dinner with a Vampire” is mature in nature and wouldn’t recommend it for younger audiences. It’s got some profanity, rape content, sexual allusions and at least one sex scene. It’s actually a lot better than it sounds and I loathe books that deal with women who are abused. That’s just one thing I hate (in fiction or IRL).

Anyway, book 2 “Autumn Rose” is more milder in tone and it runs along some of the same timeline as the first book, but there’s little interaction between the characters from books 1 and 2. The relationship between the two leads is also a lot purer and less lust-driven I think than the first book. It’s a much sweeter romance.

I haven’t finished book 2 yet so I’m not sure how it’ll all pan out but I’m crossing my fingers that Gibbs will write more of the series. If it continues in the same way, we might be able to skip book 1 and still have a great story without all of the “dark” elements. Then again, I suspect necromancy may play a stronger role in book 3 so we’ll see…

Next up in the reading queue is “The Pelican Bride”, an ARC I received not too long ago. Should be fun! What are you reading this weekend? Shoot me a comment below and tell me about it.

Showcase Sunday (5)

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

My Book Bag

So last week I mentioned that there was a largish number of books I acquired at my local library and I didn’t want you to have to spend all of Mother’s Day reading a blog post, so I was going to split the group into two.

That said, the second half of the books I pulled are all YA titles with paranormal/vampire, dystopian or steampunk themes.  Here we go:

 

The Farm | Silver | The Girl in the Steel Corset | Drink, Slay, Love | Uglies | The Princess Curse

 

The Farm and Drink, Slay, Love are both vampire books. The Girl in the Steel Corset is book 1 in a trilogy called The Steampunk Chronicles. All of the covers in the Steampunk Chronicles are gorgeous. I can’t wait to read it!  I’ve heard a lot about Scott Westerfeld and I’m intrigued by the idea of a society where everyone must confirm to a single standard of beauty. Silver was a recommendation but I don’t know a lot about it.  I’m much more excited about The Princess Curse, which is a fairy tale retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast.

It’s going to be a fun week for reading. 🙂

What were your picks this week?

Showcase Sunday (4)

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

Updates

Last week I blogged about receiving a copy of Evertrue by Brodi Ashton and The Baron’s Honourable Daughter by Lynn Morris. I’m pleased to say that these were both great and the reviews will be appearing later this year on the website.

My Book Bag

This past week I made the rounds to check out the new YA displays at my local library and spotted a few titles I’ve seen other Showcase Sunday bloggers posting about (fancy!). Nate, a teen services librarian, recommended several titles based on my reading interests and I picked up some additional titles while browsing.

Given how large the list was (close to a dozen?), I’ve decided to break the bunch up into this week and next week’s posts so you can see the whole lot. 🙂  That said, since it’s Mother’s Day (call your mum already!), here are the flirty, girly titles I got this week:

The Amaranth Enchantment | Just Ella | Suite Scarlett | Anna and the French Kiss | Courting Miss Lancaster

What titles have you gotten this week? I’d love to hear about them. Have a happy Sunday and a great Mother’s Day!

Showcase Sunday (3)

Showcase Sunday is an original feature/meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Tea. ~ Showcase Sunday is designed to share your latest reads received from reviewing, libraries, book shops, and other sources. Thanks to Vicky for creating this meme and encouraging participants.

My Book Bag

Links: The Headmistress of Rosemere | The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry | Evertrue | The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd has a lovely gothic, wintry look that I hope will be evocative of Jane Eyre.  The plot certainly has some notes of Bronte about it. It’s also the second in a series but the titles seem to be focused on different characters so I hope I won’t be missing out on anything relevant to the sequel.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin sounds like sort of a who-dunnit meets The Christmas Carol/It’s a Wonderful Life, but not at Christmas and it’s about a bookstore owner whose collection of Poe poetry has been stolen. Without knowing anything else about it, this sounds like fun!

Evertrue is the finale to the Everneath series by Brodi Ashton which I’ve been reading/reviewing over the past year.  Will Nikki bring down the Underworld? Will she end up with Jack or Cole?  I’m excited to find out.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig has advance praise from Meg Cabot (love her!), Mary Balogh and Eloisa James so I’m hoping that this first in a new series will be great, despite the mixed reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads.  It sounds like something of a historical novel but also a chick lit and a mystery too.

I’m a little unclear whether the bulk of the story is a period piece bookmarked by the present, or if the story goes back and forth between time periods. Have you read this one yet? Any idea which one it is?

New ARCs

This has been a fun week for new books.  A couple of these books arrived this week (Friday) and I just got an email that I won The Great Glass Sea through Goodreads and that should be arriving in the mail in the next 4-6 weeks. Here are my new ARCs:

Links: The Baron’s Honourable Daughter | Love Comes Calling | The Pelican Bride | The Great Glass Sea

The Pelican Bride is set in the early 18th c. as two single sisters, wishing to escape religious persecution in France, agree to travel to Louisiana to become mail-order brides. This is the first in a new series so I’m hoping it’ll be fantastic. Gorgeous cover.

Love Comes Calling looks like one of those breezy historical novels I love to read. I’ve had my eye on a couple of other titles by this author so this will be a sampling of what her writing is like. Looking forward to checking this one out.

The Baron’s Honourable Daughter is a Regency Era book (a fave historical period of mine) and the cover copy reminds me somewhat of Emma by Jane Austen. I used to read Lynn Morris years ago when she was actively writing the Cheney Duvall series, but I haven’t read her recently. I’m curious to see if this is any good or if it just re-works material from Jane Austen.

The Great Glass Sea was one of several books I applied for but wasn’t sure if I’d win or not.  It’s quite unlike anything I’ve read before, but the setup of two brothers — a dreamer and the practical one — and the growing gap between them … it just sounds absolutely fascinating. I hope it’s good.

Upcoming on LMB

This week I’ll be reviewing a book by a legendary steampunk author, K.W. Jeter. He’s released a new book out, Fiendish Schemes, a sequel to his 1986 classic, Infernal Devices.