Recommended Reading 101: Office Romance

February 11, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 1 Comment

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Office Romance 101

28938849If you’re looking for something cute and funny about work enemies falling in love…

The Hating Game is one of the most fantastic debut novels I have ever read. Lucy and Joshua hate each other (but not really because they’ve been secretly falling in love with each other for years). This one has hysterical banter and some seriously hot chemistry.


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If you’re looking for something with more suspense…

Something About You combines a murder mystery with some slow-building office romance between a U.S. attorney and an FBI agent who are working a case together. This one leaned more towards predictable but the chemistry + steamy scenes made this well worth the read.


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If you’re looking for an epistolary novel about finding love in unexpected ways…

Attachments was my very first Rowell and is my all-time favorite of hers. Combining hilarious e-mail banter between friends Beth and Jennifer and a behind the scenes look at the IT man responsible for monitoring work e-mails who slowly begins falling in love with Beth and you’ve got Attachments.


If you joined in for today’s topic, link up below by sharing your blog post link in the comment box!
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Book Tour Review – The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

February 10, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2017, TLC Book Tours 7 Comments

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

Book Tour Review – The Possessions by Sara Flannery MurphyThe Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy
Published by Harper on February 7th 2017
Pages: 368
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible|HarperCollins
Goodreads


four-stars

In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances

In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as “bodies“, wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.

But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.

After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.

A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.

About Sara Flannery Murphy

Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artists’ community in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and studied library science in British Columbia. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son. The Possessions is her first novel.

‘The fear swirls out of my mind, the last dregs of water spinning and sliding down the drain.
I open my eyes and reach for the cup, swallow the lotus. It barely takes any time before I’m gone.’

Eurydice (Edie) has worked for the Elysian Society as a body for five years where she acts as a conduit connecting individuals with their deceased loved ones. By consuming a lotus pill, it allows the “body” to almost disconnect so as to allow the loved one to once again have a physical form. The physical aspects of the body never change, but their mind returns as if they were never gone. Many don’t survive in the job for long but Edie is well-suited for it, lacking any emotional connections and much preferring to relinquish her body for that brief respite from the past that haunts her. When Patrick Braddock enters the Elysian Society to reconnect with his wife Sylvia who died almost two years ago under puzzling circumstances, Edie develops an obsession in both Patrick and Sylvia. With each visit from Patrick, Edie retains pieces of Slyvia’s memory, helping her assemble the puzzle surrounding Sylvia’s death.

‘I’m overwhelmed by the thought of all the women who would pour out of me if I were cracked open: swarming like insects, bubbling up out of my mouth. The women who have collected inside me over the years, filling up my insides until there’s no room left for me.’

This debut novel is fascinating. Murphy combines a contemporary story with paranormal aspects to create something quite mesmerizing. The entire concept of the Elysian Society and the lotuses is written loosely and never delves into any scientific aspects to explain exactly how channeling is done, but the vagueness still makes it a credible concept. As readers, we don’t actually witness what occurs when the lotus is consumed until later in the story which certainly gets imaginations running wild at the idea of taking a pill and giving a spirit free reign of your body. The lotuses themselves and how it’s described is incredibly reminiscent of the Lotus-Eaters from Greek mythology and the Odyssey. “Those who ate the honey-sweet lotus fruit no longer wished to bring back word to us, or sail for home. They wanted to stay with the Lotus-eaters, eating the lotus, forgetting all thoughts of return.” (The Odyssey, BkIX:63-104) Obviously, this is absent any aspect of channeling the dead, but the notion of becoming mentally absent and “forgetting all thoughts” is rather comparable to the lotuses in The Possessions.

‘My reflection lies trapped in the darkening window. A tree branch cuts through my torso, the spidery limbs fanned like veins and arteries spreading outward from my heart.’

The strongest aspect of this story is by far the author’s skillful writing style. The elaborate and sumptuous style felt often at odds with the emotionally disconnected voice of the narrator. Edie comes across as a character shrouded in mystery that we’re told very little about but this never lessened the strength of her voice in driving the story nor any interest in discovering more about her. The weakest aspect was the parallel mystery that never coalesced quite as natural as it could have but I felt the story would have suffered if it simply hadn’t been included at all.

The Possessions was a story that lingered long after I read the final page. Love, loss, and tragedy play expected roles in this tale that leaves you contemplating if you’re ever truly able to leave your past behind. Sara Flannery Murphy’s debut novel shows incredible potential for brilliant stories to come.

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This post was a part of ‘The Possessions’ blog tour.
Check out the other tour stops below!

Tuesday, February 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, February 8th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, February 9th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, February 10th: For the Love of Words
Monday, February 13th: Rebecca Radish
Tuesday, February 14th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, February 15th: A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog
Thursday, February 16th: The Ludic Reader
Friday, February 17th: Leigh Kramer
Monday, February 20th: Art Books Coffee
Tuesday, February 21st: Tina Says…
Wednesday, February 22nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, February 23rd: Doing Dewey|
Friday, February 24th: Luxury Reading
Saturday, February 27th: Sweet Southern Home
Sunday, February 28th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Tuesday, March 1st: Stacy’s Books
Wednesday, March 2nd: As I turn the pages

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Short & Sweet – Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond Denial

February 9, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2017, Short & Sweet Reviews 4 Comments

Short & Sweet – Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond DenialBeyond Shame by Kit Rocha
Series: Beyond #1
Published by Kit Rocha on September 15th 2012
Pages: 354
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


three-stars

All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.

“She’d been cast out of Eden and straight into Hell.”

Outside the walls of Eden is complete ruin after solar storms destroyed much of the Earth, but many have found ways to survive and even thrive. Noelle Cunningham, a councilman’s daughter, has lived her entire life behind the heavily regulated walls of Eden but after getting caught in various compromising acts she is thrown out into the Sectors to fend for herself. She hasn’t walked the Sectors long before she’s drugged and is being stalked through the streets when she is rescued by Jasper McCray, an O’Kane lieutenant of Sector Four. When his protective instinct arises, he decides to take her under his wing. The O’Kanes, led by Dallas O’Kane, are the most dangerous gang in all the Sectors and their money is made from distilling alcohol and smuggling it into Eden where alcohol is forbidden. Sector Four is led with an iron fist but for the most part, it’s a non-stop party where regulations are non-existent like they are in Eden. Alcohol and sex are enjoyed without shame and Noelle will be in for an eye-opening experience.

This book has been on my TBR for years because the genre combination of post-apocalyptic and erotica was too intriguing a concept to pass up. Except there were like two sentences that reference the reason the world is the way it is, a chapter or two about conflicts between Sectors, and the rest was basically one giant orgy.

Yes, I know, it’s erotica (or as I like to call it, word porn) so I shouldn’t be surprised at all but word porn can have a storyline too, so excuse me. Anyways, Jasper ends up putting Noelle in the hands of Lex who decides to teach her how it’s done out in the sectors. No, not like, how to work or earn her keep (although I guess it is?) anyways… it was basically, “Hey, I’m Lex, here are some clothes of mine you can borrow because you can’t wear that to the sex party. I’ll introduce you to people later. I’m going to give this guy a blowjob, you should watch carefully because you’re going to also get down here and practice. And later we’ll have dance lessons because you’re going to be a stripper. Welcome to Sector Four!”

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Get a girl a drink first, ffs. So yes, this is definitely erotica, don’t be fooled as I was by the post-apocalyptic aspect thrown in for effect.

Jasper and Noelle of course get cozy super fast and out in the Sectors you don’t get wedding rings. You get collars. Yes, like a dog, oh except it’s tattooed on you. You get collared and you’re supposed to be submissive because you’re owned and… what in the fuck did I read? The one aspect of this story that smoothed all these jagged flaws out was the topic of consent. It wasn’t all about the women because men got “taken care of” way more than the women did but the need for consent was always being brought up. The women were never forced into doing a single thing that they didn’t want to do, which was appreciated, even though half the time I was like

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But if they were cool with it, then you do you.

The actual legitimate issue I had with this story though was Noelle herself. Rules that heavily restrict society in general is bound to cause turmoil and some massive rebelling and that’s exactly what got kicked Noelle out of her home. She comes off as cute and innocent because that’s what Eden instructed her to be but she’s still got that rebellious streak and it comes out through her interest in sex. It seems like an understandable curiosity at first but this chick is either thinking about sex, talking about sex, or bemoaning how terrible she is for being the way she is. You discover not a damn thing about her character other than this. As Navessa put it ever so eloquently: “she’s basically a clit with legs”.

Despite my abundant issues, this was oddly unputdownable. I’m intrigued by the fact that each story in the series focuses on a different couple but I am hoping that the world-building and characterization is built on as well.

Short & Sweet – Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond DenialBeyond Control by Kit Rocha
Series: Beyond #2
Published by Kit Rocha on March 13th 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


three-stars

She refuses to be owned.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.
He’ll settle for nothing less.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.

Beyond Control centers around the relationship between Lex and Dallas and holy shit, these two be crazy. We learn that Lex wasn’t always in Sector Four, she used to be owned and was something of a sex slave in another Sector so she has issues with submission (as can be expected). Her and Dallas have been something of a thing for years but he hasn’t made her an honest woman and collared her yet so she decides to force his hand one day and gets his name tattooed across her stomach. He responds as she expected and bestows a gorgeous temporary collar on her made of leather and chains. They finally seal the deal by having sex (without an audience either!) because even though they’ve been at it for years, Dallas wouldn’t sleep with her until she was officially collared.

Goddamn, this is some romantic shit.

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As hoped, we do find out more about the state of the world (only a little though) and the politics between Sectors plays a much larger part. Overall though, this one was a bit of a rocky read for me. I never much cared for the dynamic between Lex and Dallas and his continued insistence that she wants to be owned touched a bit of a nerve when you consider her past. Once again, the consent train comes barreling in to the station to make all the crazy shit okay. I just didn’t super buy it this time. And whether it’s because of the lack of characterization or what, but I don’t actually like any of these characters. I didn’t like Noelle’s doe-eyed, innocent act, Jasper was this seemingly brainless brute that just wanted to protect the pretty lady, Lex has clearly got some mental hangups due to her past but goddamn she’s angsty, and Dallas is the king of brainless brutes. Their sex scenes were also not nearly as hot as in the prior book mostly because the domination factor was through the roof and that got old quick.

I continue to have many of the same issues with these stories but they leave me completely riveted. It almost must be said that they definitely don’t read like the self-published books that they are. I may not have any partiality when it comes to characters but I have enjoyed meeting new couples with each story… definitely keeps things interesting.

Short & Sweet – Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond DenialBeyond Denial by Kit Rocha
Series: Beyond #2.5
Published by Kit Rocha on March 22nd 2013
Pages: 15
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: eBook
Source: Freebie
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Caution: this story is not meant to stand alone.

The Beyond Happily Ever After stories are vignettes and outtakes showing the O'Kanes in their daily lives, in between the adventures and often after their happy endings. These stories were written exclusively for readers and fans of the series, and will probably not make very much sense to anyone not familiar with the characters.

The stories are also available for free at kitrocha.com.

lol Yeah, I’m still reading these.

Beyond Denial consists of just 15 pages, seeing as it’s actually a deleted scene from Beyond Control (so make sure to read that one first). Since each book focuses on a different couple, I was anticipating a book between Ace and Rachel, but this deleted scene is actually between Ace and Jared. And they aren’t having a chat.

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I’m growing to appreciate the openness of sexuality in these stories. The things that go on may seem a little extreme and crazy but I find the general absence of labels, shame, and taboos that we constantly deal with in society to be quite refreshing. I wasn’t sure if I’d be continuing these stories because they’re really not my thing… but they’ve got their hooks in me.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey

February 8, 2017 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 10 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. CareyThe Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey
Published by Orbit on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 400
Genres: Horror, Zombies
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Girl with All the Gifts

A new standalone novel set in the same world as the USA Today bestseller The Girl With All The Gifts.

From the author of USA Today bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts, a terrifying new novel set in the same post-apocalyptic world.

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.

To where the monsters lived.

About M.R. Carey

Mike Carey was born in Liverpool in 1959. He worked as a teacher for fifteen years, before starting to write comics. When he started to receive regular commissions from DC Comics, he gave up the day job.

Since then, he has worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, writing storylines for some of the world's most iconic characters, including X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, LUCIFER and HELLBLAZER. His original screenplay FROST FLOWERS is currently being filmed. Mike has also adapted Neil Gaiman's acclaimed NEVERWHERE into comics.

Somehow, Mike finds time amongst all of this to live with his wife and children in North London. You can read his blog at www.mikecarey.net

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I raved about The Girl with All the Gifts but never expected anything more set in that world. The Boy on the Bridge is intended as a standalone story set in the same world and whether or not reading Girl before is a requirement or not remains to be seen. But color me intrigued.

confused adam levine maroon 5 interested intrigued

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Top Ten Tuesday – More Of/Less Of

February 7, 2017 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 19 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Today’s topic is a broad one: books that we wish had more/less of X. I could list a multitude of books that need more romance, horror novels that need more terror, so instead of nitpicking specific issues I decided to nitpick quantity. Speaking of quantity, I couldn’t settle on 10. It is what it is.

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Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
I’ve read many, many books over the years but Agnes has always stayed shining in my memory. She deserves more books.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Levithan’s writing style in this will always be one of my favorites. More stories should be written in such a way.

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins
I remember when this was supposed to be the start of a new series but then it wasn’t and ended up just being grouped in with Hex Hall. Izzy deserves her own series.

The Awesome by Eva Darrows
Maggie Cunningham is so fantastically snarky that I would love to read about her future antics.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Maybe Ernest Cline could come up with story where a sequel to OASIS was found in some attic like they keep claiming with Michael Crichton books.

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Paradox series by Rachel Bach
MORE DEVI SPACE ADVENTURES. Rupert can come too, please.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I mean, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny grow up. They aren’t like those Land Before Time dinosaurs… so let’s have some grown up adventures, yeah?

Brian Froud’s Faerielands series
Each of these books are based off Brian Froud’s art. Each of the four are fantastic and I would love to see more stories based off his art.

Locke & Key series by Joe Hill
Joe Hill has always been one of my favorite horror authors but he knocks it out of the park with these graphic novels. I’d love to see more in this world.

Indexing series by Seanan McGuire
I’m not sure if more books are being planned but I sure hope so. McGuire’s dark fairy tales series is so much fun.

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Newsflesh series by Mira Grant
I adored the original trilogy and the short stories are phenomenal but Feedback was… no.

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST LEAVE IT AT FIVE. Everything after Shadowfever (Iced and beyond) has been not good (yet I keep reading them). The latest, Feversong, is supposed to be the final installment. We’ll see if that sticks.

All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
I loved A Discovery of Witches but the following two installments in the trilogy were such an epic disappointment. I’m not sure where the series went wrong but wrong it went.

Me Before You series by Jojo Moyes
While I didn’t dislike After You as a great many did, I can agree that it was wholly unnecessary. Me Before You was a heartbreaking story but was complete and should have been left to stand on its own.

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
I love this series. But the last one? Holy hell, what a chore to get through. While the history of the time period is fascinating, it seems to be the story instead of the story that Gabaldon creates. I’ll keep reading them because I think the end is near, but I’d love if we could get back to what made these fantastic in the beginning.

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of February 6th, 2017

February 6, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 1 Comment

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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 February 6th, 2017

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A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Poppy

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Blink

Returned (Forbidden #3) by Kimberley Griffiths Little [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by HarperCollins

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows #2) by Sophie Jordan [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by HarperTeen

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by HarperTeen

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Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Magic of Blood and Sea (The Assassin’s Curse #1-2) by Cassandra Rose Clarke [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Saga Press

Bone Jack by Sara Crowe [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Philomel Books

Jonah (The Styclar Saga #3) by Nikki Kelly [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

Disruptor (Seeker #3) by Arwen Elys Dayton [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Delacorte Press

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Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles #1) by Erica Cameron [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Denton Little’s Still Not Dead (Denton Little #2) by Lance Rubin [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Starfall (Starflight #2) by Melissa Landers [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne

Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2) by Brenda Drake [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

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At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Simon Pulse

To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Tor Teen

Zodiac: A Novel by Sam Wilson [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Pegasus Books

The Cruelty (The Cruelty #1) by S. Bergstrom [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

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Romeo & What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Swoon Reads

Traveler (Traveler #1) by L.E. DeLano [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Swoon Reads

Crazy Messy Beautiful by Carrie Arcos [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Philomel Books

Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Spencer Hill Press

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster

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Simon Thorn and the Viper’s Pit (Simon Thorn #2) by Aimee Carter [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Finders Keepers (Rebels of the Lamp #2) by Michael M.B. Galvin, Peter Speakman [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Disney Hyperion

The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Clarion Books

The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Philomel Books

 photo 9781101985137_66edd.jpg photo 9780765384270_8dba6.jpg photo 9780765383815_47c0b.jpgWaiting on Wednesday – The Burning World (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Dutton Books

The People’s Police: A Novel by Norman Spinrad [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Tor Books

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Tor Books

The Burning World (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

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With Blood Upon the Sand (The Song of the Shattered Sands #2) by Bradley P. Beaulieu [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Daw Books

Hungry Ghosts (Eric Carter #3) by Stephen Blackmoore [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Daw Books

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company

The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death (The Hollows 0.1) by Kim Harrison [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Gallery Books

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Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show by Eric Scott Fischl [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Angry Robot

Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Angry Robot

A Perfect Machine by Brett Savory [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Angry Robot

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Saga Press

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Universal Harvester by John Darnielle [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology by Ellen Datlow [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Pegasus Books

Idle Ingredients (Sin du Jour #4) by Matt Wallace [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Tor.com

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Gallery Books

The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Harper

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Long Time Lost by Chris Ewan [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Minotaur Books

Desperation Road by Michael Farris Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Little Brown and Company

Under the Knife by Kelly Parsons [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan #2) by Kelley Armstrong [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Minotaur Books

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Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Hachette Books

The Freedom Broker (Thea Paris #1) by K.J. Howe [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Quercus

Garden of Lamentations (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #17) by Deborah Crombie [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by William Morrow

The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Harper Perennial

Lucidity: A Thriller by David Carnoy [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by The Overlook Press

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Cruel Mercy (DS Aector McAvoy #6) by David Mark [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Blue Rider Press

What You Break by Reed Farrel Coleman [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Berkley Books

The Lost Woman (Louise Rick #9) by Sara Blaedel [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Hachette

What You Don’t Know: A Novel by JoAnn Chaney [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Flatiron Books

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The Clairvoyants by Karen Brown [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.

Swiss Vendetta (Agnes Luthi Mysteries #1) by Tracee de Hahn [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Minotaur Books

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Riverhead Books

A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Ecco

Stolen Beauty: A Novel by Laurie Lico Albanese [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Atria Books

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The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

The White Russian: A Novel of Paris by Vanora Bennett [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

The Evening Road by Laird Hunt [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Little Brown and Company

The Coming by David Osborne [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Grove Press

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My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by The Dial Press

Someone to Hold (Westcott #2) by Mary Balogh [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Jove Books

Forever is the Worst Long Time: A Novel by Camille Pagán [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

The Woman Next Door: A Novel by Yewande Omotoso [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Picador

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A Separation by Katie Kitamura [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Riverhead Books

Autumn by Ali Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Pantheon Books

Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Penguin Classics

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee [Purchase]
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Grand Central Publishing

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Stacking the Shelves (161)

February 5, 2017 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 3 Comments

Recent Posts

New Books

Snagged one review book this week from Netgalley that sounds like an excellent Sci-Fi/horror novella.

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Review Book
Final Girls by Mira Grant [Purchase]

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Recommended Reading 101: Fantasy Romance

February 4, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 5 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Fantasy Romance 101


Book Review – First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda JonesIf you’re looking for something with equal parts steamy and humor…

First Grave on the Right, the first installment in the Charley Davidson series, is crazy entertaining. Charley has a non-stop snarky sense of humor and is one of my all time favorite literary characters. These stories are a witty combination of mystery and paranormal with some seriously steamy scenes between Charley and Reyes, the literal son of Satan.



1451694If you’re looking for something with a brooding male lead in a fascinating world…

This was one of the very first Urban Fantasy series I fell in love with and it’s still one of my all time favorites to this day (at least the first 5 installments are). The Fever series has always had one of the most captivating magical worlds where the Fae walk among us along with many other dark and mysterious things. And of course Jericho Barrons.



Book Review – A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. MaasIf you’re looking for some heart-wrenching, unforgettable romance…

A Court of Thorns and Roses didn’t cause complete swoons (it’s really the second book that I loved but reading the first is a must). Regardless, Maas writes some phenomenal romances and I absolutely adore this intriguing retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


If you joined in for today’s topic, link up below by sharing your blog post link in the comment box!
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Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of Alice

February 3, 2017 Bonnie Book Reviews 4 Comments

Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of AliceAlice by Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1
Published by Ace on August 4th 2015
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror, Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


four-stars

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll...

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

‘Alice hardly recalled when she was new and whole. That girl seemed like someone else she’d known once, long ago and far away.’

When Alice was sixteen-years-old, she snuck out of New City and into Old City with her friend Dor. She returned home changed irrevocably: she had a cut across her face that would no doubt transform her beautiful face into a scarred one, she was covered in blood, and she couldn’t stop talking about Rabbit. Her parents are determined to quiet any negative gossip that could be associated with their family so they place her in a mental asylum in Old City and there she remains for ten years. Drugged daily, memories of the Rabbit still haunt her and her only companion is Hatcher, a man that she speaks with through a small mouse hole which connects their two rooms. When a fire consumes the asylum and something powerful within is released, her and Hatcher escape together. Together they must work to contain what was released and Alice intends to find the truth of what happened to her all those years ago.

“I feel the night crawling up all around, blotting out the moon. I feel blood running down the walls, rivers of it in the streets below. And I feel his teeth closing around me.”

This book was mad. Completely and utterly mad. It’s this bizarre mix of fantasy and horror but is one outrageously insane nightmare. So, if you’re looking for some variation on the original Disney tale? hahahaha…. Look elsewhere. I read this entire book with this look on my face:

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All the characters from the original tales are included in this retelling, except their roles are vastly different (and they are men, not animals). We see Chesire, Caterpiller, the Carpenter, and Walrus who are all crime bosses in Old City. But instead of just silly illusions we’re dealing with fighting rings, sex trafficking (massive trigger warnings here in terms of rape), cannibalism, some horrifying depictions of slavery and magical body modifications… (refer to above gif once again for my response). Honestly, this book is extremely disturbing and the incredible amount of non-stop violence felt like a complete assault on my being at times. Even if it was a difficult read, it was quite remarkable how the author managed to take the basis of a story yet transform it so drastically so as to render it nearly unrecognizable. What didn’t work quite as well was how the actual characters themselves were written. Whether it’s because the author chose to focus completely on the world itself or because she chose to have us rely on our recollections of the characters from the original tale, either way, the characters themselves were lacking in both personal detailing and their general motivations.

This story isn’t going to be for everyone and it’s definitely going to take someone with a higher threshold for reading some seriously messed up shit. It’s grotesque yet in that captivating way that keeps you reading while simultaneously thinking: “What the hell else could possibly happen?”

This fantasy horror mashup will definitely appeal to fans of unconventional fairytale retellings.

Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of AliceRed Queen by Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #2
Published by Ace on July 12th 2016
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror, Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads


three-half-stars

The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…

Alice and Hatcher have escaped the Rabbit, Cheshire, and the Jabberwocky, but they are still on a mission to find Hatcher’s missing daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

“Once, there was a girl called Alice, and she lived in the New City, where everything is shining and beautiful and fair. But Alice was a curious girl with a curious talent. She was a Magician.”

After Hatcher and Alice discovered the truth of their pasts, they set out in search of Hatcher’s daughter Jenny who was believed to have been sold and sent East. On their journey, they stumble upon a small village near the woods with the horrifying stories of the children that they must sacrifice to the White Queen. Alice believes she can be of help to these people despite her inability to consistently use her magic and when Hatcher disappears, Alice is left on her own to take care of herself and make things right for the village.

‘There were monsters in the night but there were monsters in the day too, and monsters inside people who smiled and showed you all their teeth like they were nice.’

Reading this duology back to back was like shifting from fifth gear down to second without slowing down. If Alice was 100% horror, Red Queen is more like 30% and has all the building blocks to make it feel more like the fairytale these stories are based on. Creepy woods that contain unknown creatures that hunt at night, a White Queen and a Black King and the mysterious story of their pasts, magical villages that possess untold rules, a goblin that can fool you with illusions, and giants who were transformed from normal men by a malicious queen. For the majority of this story, Alice is the sole character presence and we get an inside look at her thought process which at first is hesitant and insecure at her ability to do anything on her own. Alice is not only besieged with her personal identity crisis but also with getting a grasp on her magical abilities. The build-up to her gaining confidence is a bit of a plodding process but is a necessity to make her change a realistic one.

The fairytale aspects of this story take center stage when it comes to wrapping up this magical adventure by cleaning up loose ends in a bit of a rapid and unrealistic (but realistic in fairytale standards) style. While I was glad to get a respite from the brutality of the first installment, I think there should have been more included in Red Queen so it felt less like a completely separate story instead of a continuation of the first.Christina Henry certainly knows how to mix up a fairytale and turn it into something awe-inspiring though and I look forward to next reading her take on Peter Pan and Captain Hook in

Christina Henry certainly knows how to mix up a fairytale and turn it into something awe-inspiring though and I look forward to next reading her take on Peter Pan and Captain Hook in Lost Boy.

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Monthly Rundown: January 2017

February 2, 2017 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 8 Comments

Books Read = 17

First month of a new year and I’m feeling like it was a productive month. I managed to post 7 reviews for ARCs (sure 3 were DNFs but it counts!), I finished my Harry Potter re-read that I started back in October, and I read a surprising amount of poetry. It was a fairly middle of the road sort of month where I didn’t love anything but I didn’t loathe anything either. Hoping I can find some to really love in February. 🙂

Posted Reviews

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Unreviewed Reads

Much thanks to Dani for Late Wife and Here, BulletLate Wife was sooo beautiful and I’m really going to have to find more of Emerson’s work.

The following are a few reads from the month that I won’t likely review:

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Short & Sweet – Half-Blood Prince, The Rose and the Dagger, The Lover’s DictionaryBest of the Month: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan ★★★★★

Last month my best of was also a re-read. I only list this one instead of Dark Matter which likely came in second as best of the month because I actually loved this even more than my first read which doesn’t happen often.
Short & Sweet – The Book of Mirrors, The Atomic Weight of Love, Rosemary & Rue

Least Favorite: The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici ★★★
The Book of Mirrors was definitely my least favorite. This one is being compared to Night Film and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter but I just do not see it. Don’t compare a book to another big name title just for interest. Never works out.

Short & Sweet – The Book of Mirrors, The Atomic Weight of Love, Rosemary & Rue

Biggest Surprise(s): Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire ★★★
You ever read a book and think it’s boring, mediocre, and you’re not quite sure what the fuss is about? Do you ever down the road try to re-read it and end up with vastly different results? That’s what happened with Rosemary and Rue for me.

Short & Sweet – Half-Blood Prince, The Rose and the Dagger, The Lover’s Dictionary

Biggest Disappointment: The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh ★★★½
This one wasn’t terrible but after I lurved The Wrath and the Dawn, I just had some crazy high hopes that just didn’t pan out for me in this follow-up.

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