Book Review – The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock

July 22, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 2 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray PollockThe Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock
Published by Doubleday on July 12th 2016
Pages: 384
Genres: Southern Gothic/Country Noir
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

two-half-stars

From Donald Ray Pollock, author of the highly acclaimed The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff, comes a dark, gritty, electrifying (and, disturbingly, weirdly funny) new novel that will solidify his place among the best contemporary American authors.

It is 1917, in that sliver of border land that divides Georgia from Alabama. Dispossessed farmer Pearl Jewett ekes out a hardscrabble existence with his three young sons: Cane (the eldest; handsome; intelligent); Cob (short; heavy set; a bit slow); and Chimney (the youngest; thin; ill-tempered). Several hundred miles away in southern Ohio, a farmer by the name of Ellsworth Fiddler lives with his son, Eddie, and his wife, Eula. After Ellsworth is swindled out of his family’s entire fortune, his life is put on a surprising, unforgettable, and violent trajectory that will directly lead him to cross paths with the Jewetts. No good can come of it. Or can it?

In the gothic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy with a healthy dose of cinematic violence reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, the Jewetts and the Fiddlers will find their lives colliding in increasingly dark and horrific ways, placing Donald Ray Pollock firmly in the company of the genre’s literary masters.

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“That’s the one good thing about this here life. Nothin’ in it lasts for long.”

The Heavenly Table‘s cast of characters is extremely large and despite the extravagant and grandiose picture attempting to be painted, most characters were superfluous. There were two main stories, the first being the story of Pearl Jewett and his three sons, Cane, Chimney, and Cobb. Their father is something of a religious man and believed that the harder they lived here on Earth, the higher chance they would earn a seat at the heavenly table. They lived the hardest existence possible without succumbing to it. Until the day that Pearl did, and his boys decided to hell with the heavenly table, they wanted to live good now. They began with a  murder, followed it up with a bank robbery, and went on from there.

The second is the story of a farmer named Ellsworth Fiddler, a farmer in Ohio, who also leads a hard existence but only because he got swindled out of his life savings. On top of that, his son, who was the only help he had with farm work, has up and disappeared. The year is 1917 and war is brewing and Ellsworth believes he joined up and hopes that he can finally make something of himself.

These stories were all well and good but we’re given full accounts of several other storylines that never really ended up amounting to much. The military officer that gets dumped, discovers he’s gay, decides to kill himself but decides at the last minute to enlist so he can die honorably in the war instead. The black man that uses and abuses women travels home to visit his family but finds himself mixed up with the Jewett’s. The bar keep in a small town that likes kidnapping and torturing people for the hell of it. And last but certainly not least, the sanitation inspector with a giant penis. I’m not kidding. At one point it’s referred to as a “long slab of meat.” I think that about covers everything but goddamn was it convoluted. The chapters, of which there are 72 in total, are short and to the point which didn’t exactly help when you’re trying to connect and under such an extensive cast of characters. All in all it made for quite the rocky read.

The Devil All the Time, Pollock’s debut novel, is one of my all time favorites and is the book that solidified my love of southern gothic fiction. It hosted a cast of perverse characters and was extremely violent brash, but damn was it brilliant. The Heavenly Table introduces a brand new cast of perverse characters but there was a distinctly vulgar quality to Pollock’s sophomore effort that I found fairly unpleasant. Here are just a few examples:

‘Even Esther, probably the least self-conscious person he’d ever met, occasionally got the jitters if too many voyeurs crowded into her tent to watch her play a tune on some john’s skin flute.’

and

‘Bovard had stumbled to his quarters so aroused from what Malone had said that he was still awake at reveille, his handkerchief stiff with ejaculate and his hand cramped so badly that he had a difficult time lacing up his boots.’

Pollock excels at portraying the backwoods down South mentality. He highlights just how poor the poor were and the lengths they would go just to climb out of the station assigned to them at birth. It’s sad and devastating when you really think about it, but Pollock’s delivery is done in such a way so as to not garner sympathy. He simply tells it like it is. The added facet of WWI seemed an unnecessary inclusion at first but it only aided in highlighting the small mindedness of these people and how unaware they are of the vastness of the world around them.

“And what’s this?” Eula said, pointing at the broad expanse of blue that separated America from Europe while waving gnats away from her face.
“That’s the Atlantic Ocean.”
Ellsworth leaned in for a closer look. “Why, that don’t look no bigger than Clancy’s pond,” he said.

Times were changing for these people, whether they liked it or not. Not just with the war either but with new technology and even evolving mindsets. It was a time of change and seeing these characters confronted with it was most fascinating.

I never thought to expect more novels from Pollock, I was sure that The Devil All the Time was destined to be his only one, and while this one was quite a disappointment overall it’s still fantastic to see southern gothic continue to grow in popularity.

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Audiobook Review – The Voodoo Killings (Kincaid Strange #1) by Kristi Charish

July 21, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – The Voodoo Killings (Kincaid Strange #1) by Kristi CharishThe Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Series: Kincaid Strange #1
Published by Audible on May 10th 2016
Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: a Giveaway
Amazon|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-half-stars

For the first time since we launched Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Random House Canada is thrilled to announce the debut of a new urban fantasy series. Kristi Charish's The Voodoo Killings introduces Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner...

For starters, she's only 27. Then there's the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she's broke. With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running seances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker--who happens to be Kincaid's on-again, off-again roommate.

Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighbourhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he's tied to a spate of murders: someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle's infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City's oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She's broke, but she's not stupid.

And then she becomes the target...As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle.

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The Voodoo Killings is a brand new Urban Fantasy series by Kristi Charish which introduces Kincaid Strange, a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, Washington. Struggling to make ends meet after losing her job with the Seatle PD and now that raising zombies is technically illegal, Kincaid resorts to making the rent by performing seances. Her roommate, a deceased Seattle grunge rocker by the name of Nate Cade, occasionally assists her with these but it’s often difficult for her to persuade him to stop playing video games to do so. When a local bar owner calls to inform her that an abandoned zombie was discovered in his alley, Kincaid Strange becomes his temporary guardian while she tries to not only find out who turned him and why but to keep others from finding out, mainly her ex-boyfriend Aaron who still works for the Seattle PD.

This book didn’t even make it onto my radar (and I compile an entire list of book releases on my blog so I don’t know how I missed this) but thankfully a blogger friend (Thanks, Tammy!) brought this to my attention and I’m so very glad. I knew next to nothing about this story or the author, only discovering it was about zombies (and ghosts!) and I immediately was all on board. With an intriguing form of magic in addition to a fascinating mystery and a most charming cast of characters, The Voodoo Killings was enticing and incredibly entertaining.

“I mean, there’s hell freezing over, pigs flying, and then there’s me and responsibility.”

It’s so refreshing to read about a heroine that is not only a total badass but has flaws and power limitations and isn’t some perfect superhuman, and that’s exactly how Kincaid Strange is written. She’s brazen, headstrong, and isn’t afraid of handling business. In addition to a lead character that can hold her own, her roommate Nate is all that was needed to make up the perfect dynamic duo. But wait, there’s more! The zombies practically adopts, Cameron, fits right into the group. Kindcaid is constantly finding herself in a bind (or three) and her two sidekicks have her back and are constantly keeping her out of trouble. And even better, there is zero romantic inclinations, just pure, unadulterated friendship.

I loved the characters far more than I expected, but I really relished the intricate details of Charish’s magical world. Rather than your typical post-apocalyptic world where some virus has been unleashed causing the existence of zombies, these zombies only come alive because a voodoo practitioner makes it so. The added details regarding the dead being brought back to life to solve land disputes or to discover who murdered them was an amusing concept. Just as long as they consumed a steady supply of brains (animals brains worked in a pinch but human brains really did the trick) they remained fairly coherent for the most part. Additional interesting tidbits included details about different bindings as well as much discussion about Otherside or the energy Kindcaid draws from which comes from the land of the dead.

It was an incredibly compelling story and I enjoyed every minute of it and I do mean every minute in the literal sense. I listened to the audiobook and Susannah Jones’ narration was absolutely brilliant. I am not a night owl at all but I found myself staying up till 1:30am one night because I couldn’t stop listening. Her various voices and accents for both male and female was phenomenal and she no doubt made this already fantastic story into something even better.

Urban Fantasy fans, don’t let this one go unnoticed! The Voodoo Killings possesses a mystery that will keep you guessing, a cast of character you wish you could call friends, and a unique magic system. The ending will leave you hoping there was a second installment ready and waiting. Alas, there isn’t yet. I definitely wont be letting that one fly under my radar though.

It’s a bit difficult to find a copy of this one considering it was published by Random House Canada and currently the only format that can be purchased in the US is the audible version (but I highly recommend the audio!)

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Waiting on Wednesday – Yesternight by Cat Winters

July 20, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Yesternight by Cat WintersYesternight by Cat Winters
Published by William Morrow on October 4th 2016
Pages: 400
Genres: Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

From the author of The Uninvited comes a haunting historical novel with a compelling mystery at its core. A young child psychologist steps off a train, her destination a foggy seaside town. There, she begins a journey causing her to question everything she believes about life, death, memories, and reincarnation.

In 1925, Alice Lind steps off a train in the rain-soaked coastal hamlet of Gordon Bay, Oregon. There, she expects to do nothing more difficult than administer IQ tests to a group of rural schoolchildren. A trained psychologist, Alice believes mysteries of the mind can be unlocked scientifically, but now her views are about to be challenged by one curious child.

Seven-year-old Janie O’Daire is a mathematical genius, which is surprising. But what is disturbing are the stories she tells: that her name was once Violet, she grew up in Kansas decades earlier, and she drowned at age nineteen. Alice delves into these stories, at first believing they’re no more than the product of the girl’s vast imagination. But, slowly, Alice comes to the realization that Janie might indeed be telling a strange truth.

Alice knows the investigation may endanger her already shaky professional reputation, and as a woman in a field dominated by men she has no room for mistakes. But she is unprepared for the ways it will illuminate terrifying mysteries within her own past, and in the process, irrevocably change her life.

About Cat Winters

Cat Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing.

Her critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/October 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she's a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.

Cat lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two kids.

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I absolutely adored The Uninvited. Adored. It wasn’t quite as popular as her Young Adult novels, being her first targeted solely towards Adults, but I feel like her books really straddle the line and can be equally appreciated by all. Can’t wait for this one though!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of July 19th, 2016

July 18, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of July 19th, 2016

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A World Without You by Beth Revis [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Razorbill

Flying by Carrie Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Tor Teen

Chasing Stars (After Eden #2) by Helen Douglas [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Monterey Bay by Lindsay Hatton [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Penguin Press

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Simon Pulse

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The Way Back Home (Wildflower #3) by Alecia Whitaker [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Poppy

Signs of You by Emily France [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Soho Teen

Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Stars So Sweet (All Four Stars #3) by Tara Dairman [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books

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Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2) by Gail Carriger [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Orbit

The Race by Nina Allan [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Titan Books

The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel by Jenni Fagan [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Hogarth

Something Happened Here, But We’re Not Quite Sure What It Was by Paul McAuley [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 20th 2016 by Tor Books

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Fallout (The Hot War #2) by Harry Turtledove [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Del Rey

Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Tor.com

The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Simon & Schuster

Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Blackstone Publishing

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Gallery/Scout Press

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Revolver by Duane Swierczynski [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Mulholland Books

Night and Day (Eve Duncan #21) by Iris Johansen [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

White Bone (Risk Agent #4) by Ridley Pearson [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

SoHo Sins by Richard Vine [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Hard Case Crime

The Hemingway Thief by Shaun Harris [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Seventh Street Books

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Mata Hari’s Last Dance by Michelle Moran [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Touchstone

The Castle of Kings by Oliver Pötzsch [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Wars of the Roses: Bloodline (Wars of the Roses #3) by Conn Iggulden [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Falling by Jane Green [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Berkley

The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Knopf

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Losing It by Emma Rathbone [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Riverhead Books

This Must Be the Place: A novel by Maggie O’Farrell [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Knopf

The Inseparables: A Novel by Stuart Nadler [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 19th 2016 by Penguin Books

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Stacking the Shelves (142)

July 17, 2016 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 0 Comments

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Recent Blog Posts

5th Blogoversary Waiting on Wednesday – Feedback (Newsflesh #4) by Mira Grant Something To Look Forward To – Week of July 11th, 2016 Audiobook Review – A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley Book Review – The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones Waiting on Wednesday – The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell Top Ten Tuesday – Underrated Gems Pt. 2

New Books

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Purchases
Jewels of the Sun (Gallaghers of Ardmore #1) by Nora Roberts
Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower #5) by Stephen King
The Lover’s Dictionary: A Novel
David Levithan
Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland Series #1) Kristen Ashley

For Review
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell
Bury the Living (The Revolutionary Series #1) by Jodi McIsaac
A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet

Library Checkouts

I went a tad bit crazy with the graphic novels. And after I discovered Revival and asked my library to buy them all.. they actually listened and I was ecstatic. Except the 3rd volume came in first. Like two weeks ago. And the 2nd volume just came in. And I’m still waiting for the first. So I got some other graphic novels to tide me over in the meantime. And other books in general. 🙂

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The Safe-Keeper’s Secret (Safe-Keepers #1) by Sharon Shinn
Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #10) by Louise Rennison
Stop in the Name of Pants! (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #9) by Louise Rennison
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
Saga, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
2 Sisters: A Super-Spy Graphic Novel by Matt Kindt
Revival Deluxe Collection Volume 2 by Tim Seeley
Revival: Deluxe Collection, Volume 3 by Tim Seeley

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5th Blogoversary

July 15, 2016 Bonnie Announcements 8 Comments

I took a bit of an unplanned break this week, mostly just life stuff making review writing the furthest thing I want to do at the moment. I’ll be back next week. But today is a special day so I had to post/write a little something. Today marks the fifth year blogging for me. Fifth. Year. If you had told me five years ago that I’d still be blogging today I probably would’ve laughed because back then I never could have imagined what a huge part of my life blogging would become. I love sharing my love of books and I love finding people that share that love and I just wanted to give an immense thank you to everyone that manages to keep me inspired and keep this dream alive for me.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Feedback (Newsflesh #4) by Mira Grant

July 13, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 8 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Feedback (Newsflesh #4) by Mira GrantFeedback by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #4
Published by Orbit on October 4th 2016
Pages: 496
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Zombies
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

A new beginning for Mira Grant's New York Times bestselling NEWSFLESH series!

There are two sides to every story...

We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED.

Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the facts while competing against the brother and sister blog superstars, the Masons.

Surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows, they must hit the presidential campaign trail and uncover dangerous truths. Or die trying.

FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel that overlaps the events of the acclaimed first novel in the series, Feed, and offers a new entry point to this thrilling and treacherous world.

About Mira Grant

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

Mira also writes as Seanan McGuire.

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I really don’t need to explain myself do I? I HAVE A MIGHTY NEED. MIGHTY.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of July 11th, 2016

July 11, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of July 11th, 2016

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Rebellion (The Elysium Chronicles #3) by J.A. Souders [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tor Teen

The Shadow Hour (The Girl at Midnight #2) by Melissa Grey [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Delacorte Press

The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook by Soman Chainani [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by HarperCollins

Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Silver Wing Press

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Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things #2) by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by HarperTeen

The Day Before Forever (Seventh Miss Hatfield #3) by Anna Caltabiano [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Epic Reads Impulse

The Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Viking Children’s

The Crimson Skew (The Mapmakers Trilogy #3) by S.E. Grove [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Little, Brown BFYR

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The Inside Job: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy (Superspy #2) by Jackson Pearce [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

The Monster War (The League of Seven #3) by Alan Gratz [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Starscape

The Treasure of Maria Mamoun by Michelle Chalfoun [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina #2) by Robert Beatty [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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Necessity (Thessaly #3) by Jo Walton [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tor Books

Time Siege (Time Salvager #2) by Wesley Chu [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tor Books

Red Queen (The Chronicles of Alice #2) by Christina Henry [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Ace

Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature by Jacob Weisman [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tachyon Publications

Dr. Knox: A novel by Peter Spiegelman [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Knopf

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Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tor Books

The Sea King (Weathermages of Mystral #2) by C.L. Wilson [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 15th 2016 by Avon

The Ghoul King (Dreaming Cities #2) by Guy Haley [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Tor.com

The Devourers by Indra Das [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Del Rey

Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 18th 2016 by Pocket Star

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The Last One: A Novel by Alexandra Oliva [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Ballantine Books

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

The Asset by Shane Kuhn [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Simon & Schuster

The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon #16) by Daniel Silva [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Harper

Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Minotaur Books

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The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Doubleday

Girl in the Afternoon: A Novel of Paris by Serena Burdick [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

Vita Brevis (Medicus Investigation #7) by Ruth Downie [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA

The Death of Rex Nhongo: A Novel by C.B. George [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Lee Boudreaux Books

The Hundred Names of Darkness (The Wildings #2) by Nilanjana Roy [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Random House Canada

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Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Gallery Books

Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel by Jane L. Rosen [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Doubleday

Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by HQN Books

The House at the Edge of Night: A Novel by Catherine Banner [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Random House

The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

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Lost Along the Way: A Novel by Erin Duffy [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by William Morrow

All the Time in the World by Caroline Angell [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Holt Paperbacks

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA

Break in Case of Emergency: A novel by Jessica Winter [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Knopf

Paradise Lodge by Nina Stibbe [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

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The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Scribner

My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Simon & Schuster

Everything I Don’t Remember: A Novel by Jonas Hassen Khemiri [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Atria Books

Stranger, Father, Beloved by Taylor Larsen [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Gallery Books

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The Kingdom by Fuminori Nakamura [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Soho Crime

I Don’t Want to Know Anyone Too Well: Collected Stories by Norman Levine [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Biblioasis

Brightfellow by Rikki Ducornet [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Coffee House Press

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Riverhead Books

Miss Jane by Brad Watson [Purchase]
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company

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Audiobook Review – A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley

July 8, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 1 Comment

I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – A Sudden Crush by Camilla IsleyA Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley
Narrator: Tami Leah Lacy
Published by Pink Bloom Press on June 26th 2016
Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
Genres: Chick-Lit
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Author
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

three-half-stars

Joanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high-profile, best-selling author and the man of her dreams, and she's headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.

Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he'd like to admit, and he hates city girls.

So it's just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six-hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.

Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna's husband?

When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna's first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren't prepared to feel.

When they are finally rescued, will Joanna's marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?

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Joanna Price has just gotten married and her and her new husband are flying to the Caribbean for their honeymoon. Everything is going perfect, except they were given separate seats and the guy Joanna is stuck sitting next to won’t give up his seat no matter how convincing her argument. To make matters worse, her new husband is “stuck” sitting next to what appears to be a model and he doesn’t appear to be making much progress in asking her to switch seats either. Things continue to go downhill for her when their plane gets caught in a storm and Joanna blacks out only to wake up to a monkey caressing her hair.

 photo 991fe421-0a58-4e4b-8e5d-59a21a0f6697_560_420.jpgPicture it: you’ve just gotten married and you’re on the plane to your honeymoon and you wake up on an island with a man you don’t even know. You have no idea where the plane is, where this mysterious island is located, and where everyone else could possibly be including your husband. Connor Duffield, Joanna’s seatmate, is a rancher from the midwest and communicates mainly by use of guttural sounds. Joanna Price is a book editor that lives in the city and doesn’t know the first thing about surviving in nature. The two are the most unlikeliest of duos but not only do they manage to somehow thrive on that island but they manage to overcome their pre-conceived notions of one another and slowly become closer.

While the book is called A Sudden Crush, I feel it’s important to mention that there was quite a bit of development to the relationship that matures between the two. Not only that but there’s a definite lack of complete focus on the romance with much time given to Joanna’s personal growth. It was much welcome in a type of story that could have focused solely on the romance and still been a perfectly entertaining story. It gave this a measure of depth that was most appreciated.

The audio narration by Tami Leah Lacy made this an incredibly enjoyable listen. It’s always difficult for female narrators to pull off a convincing male voice but Tami did just that and brought the emotions Joanna was experiencing to life. Thoroughly impressed that this was her debut narration and look forward to listening to more from her! (Check out Audible for an audio excerpt.)

 A Sudden Crush is a humorous and romantic read that is entertaining and full of charm. The perfect summer read.

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Book Review – The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda Jones

July 7, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson #10) by Darynda JonesThe Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #10
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 28th 2016
Pages: 352
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

five-stars

As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…

Charley Davidson series

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First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) [PurchaseReview]
For I Have Sinned (Charley Davidson #1.5) [Purchase – Review]
Second Grave on the Left
(Charley Davidson, #2) [Purchase – Review]
Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3) [Purchase]
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4) [PurchaseReview]
Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5) [PurchaseReview]
Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6) [PurchaseReview]
Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7) [Purchase]
Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) [Purchase]
The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson #9) [PurchaseReview]

style-3 (4) review

*BOOKS 1-9 TO BE DISCUSSED. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED*

‘The fact that there’s a Highway to Hell and only a Stairway to Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers.’

Hallelujah, Charley’s back!! Okay, it hasn’t been that long, The Dirt on Ninth Grave just came out this past January but it sure feels like it’s been forever. The ninth installment was a bit of a filler novel, with Charley having to work to regain her memories and it took damn near the entire book to get there, but in The Curse of Tenth Grave we’re back to the good ol’ Charley that we all know and love. The stakes are even higher after Charley’s father passed through her after being a spy down in the depths of Hell to obtain vital information: the three Gods of Uzan are on Earth to kill her daughter and she just so happens to be very close with one of them.

In addition to that, Charley still manages to find time to solve a mystery (or three) for her P.I. business. This time she’s dealing with a dead woman where all evidence points to her fiancé despite Charley’s misgivings, a mystery behind kids who believe themselves to be cursed at a local group home, and the repercussions of videos resurfacing from Charley’s past involving her and an exorcism that could land her in some hot water. There’s always so much going on in a normal day with Charley Davidson – seriously it’s no wonder she drinks as much coffee as she does – but even though the stories are always told at a breakneck pace, they’re still always exhilarating rather than jumbled. The stuff she has to deal with, especially now the issues involving her daughter, life has got to be stressful yet Charley’s sarcastic sense of humor maintains.

‘I wondered if I should just tell him the truth. Of course, after finding out a Colombian drug baron wanted to eat me, I figured I should reevaluate how many people we let into our little circle.’

In addition to being able to rely on the hilarity of these stories, the steaminess also never lags. I’ll never look at a Twister game the same, that’s for damn sure. What I appreciated most in this installment is we got some insight into their actual relationship. These two never really communicate with one another and most of the time Charley is doing all kinds of crazy shit behind his back and he’s keeping secrets (okay, she’s keeping secrets too) yet they still have the hots for one another. But for the most part that seemed to be the only aspect of their relationship that made sense. In this installment, we get real heart to heart talks between them and some genuine bonding that will only make you love these two more (if you didn’t already).

This is officially the longest running series that I’ve not only continued to keep up with but still eagerly anticipate. And it’s still so freaking fantastic. I have no idea how many more installments we have, but at least there’s a possibility of a spin-off series and I’m all over that. Simply put, Darynda Jones continues to hit it out of the park with Charley and the gang. If you haven’t jumped on board these series, do yourself a favor and find out what you’ve been missing.

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