Category: Uncategorized

Can’t Wait Wednesday | The Ex Hex: A Novel (Ex Hex #1) by Erin Sterling

Posted May 5, 2021 by Bonnie in Uncategorized, Waiting on Wednesday / 2 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday | The Ex Hex: A Novel (Ex Hex #1) by Erin SterlingThe Ex Hex: A Novel by Erin Sterling, Rachel Hawkins
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on October 5, 2021
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
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Also by this author: Hex Hall, Demonglass, Spell Bound

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is the author of Rebel Belle and theNew York Times bestselling series Hex Hall. Born in Virginia and raised in Alabama, Rachel taught high school English for three years before becoming a full-time writer.

Eeeee! New *secret* Rachel Hawkins!!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Top Ten Tuesday | Ten Mini (Review) Reads + A Ton of DNFs

Posted May 4, 2021 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized / 4 Comments

Of This River by Noah Davis | Published August 1st 2020 by Wheelbarrow Books
four-stars

Of This River is an impressive debut collection of poetry with a distinct Appalachian theme. Noah Davis is one to watch.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens | Published December 1st 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
four-stars

An adorable story of missed chances that is full of convenient coincidences but will still manage to melt even the hardest of hearts.

Highway Blue by Ailsa McFarlane | Expected publication: May 18th 2021 by Hogarth Press
two-stars

This book lacked a pulse. The plot seemed to meander despite the intriguing blurb, the characters were one-dimensional, and the ending only gave the guise of a resolution.

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella | Published October 27th 2020 by Dial Press
dnf

I think I quit this book faster than the main character’s date did after she started talking about butternut squash soup having a soul on their first date.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan | Published February 2nd 2021 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
dnf

While I’m clearly not the targeted reader for this novel, I love the occasional Middle Grade and I’m always up for anything by Levithan. This story felt like an ode to The Chronicles of Narnia but one that never really went anywhere and I just wanted more from this fun concept of a story.

Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson | Published April 6th 2021 by Henry Holt and Co.
dnf

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened remains one of my favorite books of all time, however, Broken was a massive disappointment. I’m not sure if Lawson’s sense of humor changed (or mine) but I found her antics to be far more preposterous than entertaining.

Astrid Sees All by Natalie Standiford | Published April 6th 2021 by Atria Books
dnf

This was recommended for fans of Fleabag and this couldn’t be further off base. I personally loved Fleabag because of the realness and how darkly comedic it is and honestly, this book didn’t possess a single funny bone in its pages. It was dreary and pretentious and none of the characters left any semblance of an impression on me.

The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories by Kevin Brockmeier | Published March 9th 2021 by Pantheon Books
dnf

I’ve developed a taste for short stories only recently, but flash fiction is something different entirely. There simply wasn’t enough substance in any of these snippets to keep me invested.

 

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy | Published August 4th 2020 by Flatiron Books
two-stars

Migrations is definitely your standard literary fare full of fanciful descriptions and an oftentimes hard-to-follow storyline that likes to bounce between the present day and flashbacks. I don’t think I was in the right mood to try this one (or if I honestly even possess a mood that is “right” for reading literary fiction.)

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence by Becky Cooper | Published November 10th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
two-stars

I got major I’ll Be Gone in the Dark vibes from this true crime tale, but I’m not sure I mean that as a compliment. There’s an exceptional amount of information regarding the investigation within these pages, however, once I discovered that this case was actually solved in 2018 it made me wonder why the story seemed to have been written as if this wasn’t knowledge the author possessed. I’m unclear when the author started writing this story, but I felt like at the very least an addendum could have been added prior to publication.

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Something To Look Forward To | Week of May 3rd, 2021

Posted May 3, 2021 by Bonnie in Something To Look Forward To, Uncategorized / 4 Comments

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Week of May 3rd, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Ballantine Books

Bottle Demon (Eric Carter #6) by Stephen Blackmoore [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Daw Books

Shadowed Steel (Heirs of Chicagoland #3) by Chloe Neill [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Berkley Books

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Gallery / Saga Press

The Dragon of Jin-Sayeng (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #3) by K.S. Villoso [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Orbit

The Shadow of the Gods (The Bloodsworn Saga #1) by John Gwynne [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Orbit

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by MCD

Stolen Earth by J.T. Nicholas [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Titan Books

The Shadow in the Glass by J.J.A. Harwood [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by HarperVoyager

Immunity Index by Sue Burke [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Tor Books

Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest (Marvel Aconyte Novels) by Cath Lauria [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Aconyte

The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel by Laura Dave [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Simon Schuster

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Berkley Books

Six Weeks to Live by Catherine McKenzie [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Atria Books

Dead of Winter (August Snow #3) by Stephen Mack Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Soho Crime

Seven Demons by Aidan Truhen [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Find You First by Linwood Barclay [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by William Morrow

21st Birthday (Women’s Murder Club #21) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 3rd 2021 by Little, Brown and Company

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Doubleday Books

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (The Cuba Saga #4) by Chanel Cleeton [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Berkley

The Lady Has a Past (Burning Cove #5) by Amanda Quick [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Berkley

The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Sourcebooks Landmark

The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Park Row

The Radio Operator by Ulla Lenze [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by HarperVia

The Secret Talker by Geling Yan [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by HarperVia

The Glorious Guinness Girls by Emily Hourican [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Grand Central Publishing

A Lonely Man by Chris Power [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Mysteries by Marisa Silver [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Doubleday Books

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Knopf Publishing Group

Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Gallery Books

The Siren by Katherine St. John [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Grand Central Publishing

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Ballantine Books

It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Leda and the Swan by Anna Caritj [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Riverhead Books

Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night by Julian Sancton [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Crown

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Waiting on Wednesday | The Case of the Vanishing Blonde: And Other True Crime Stories

Posted May 13, 2020 by Bonnie in Uncategorized, Waiting on Wednesday / 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday | The Case of the Vanishing Blonde: And Other True Crime StoriesThe Case of the Vanishing Blonde: And Other True Crime Stories by Mark Bowden
Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on July 7, 2020
Pages: 400
Genres: True Crime
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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From Mark Bowden, a "master of narrative journalism" (New York Times), comes a true-crime collection both deeply chilling and impossible to put down.
Six captivating true-crime stories, spanning Mark Bowden's long and illustrious career, cover a variety of crimes complicated by extraordinary circumstances. Winner of a lifetime achievement award from International Thriller Writers, Bowden revisits in The Case of the Vanishing Blonde some of his most riveting stories and examines the effects of modern technology on the journalistic process.
From a story of a campus rape at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 that unleashed a moral debate over the nature of consent when drinking and drugs are involved to three cold cases featuring the inimitable Long Island private detective Ken Brennan and a startling investigation that reveals a murderer within the LAPD's ranks, shielded for twenty six years by officers keen to protect one of their own, these stories are the work of a masterful narrative journalist at work. Gripping true crime from a writer the Washington Post calls "an old pro."

About Mark Bowden

Mark Robert Bowden (born July 17, 1951) is an American writer who is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and a 1973 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, Bowden was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1979-2003, and has won numerous awards. He has written for Men's Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone over the years, and as a result of his book, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, Bowden's received international recognition. The book has been made into a 2001 movie, and was directed by Ridley Scott. He currently lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday | A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

Posted May 6, 2020 by Bonnie in Uncategorized, Waiting on Wednesday / 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday | A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain NeuvelA History of What Comes Next (Take Them to the Stars, #1) by Sylvain Neuvel
Published by Tor.com on February 2, 2021
Pages: 304
Genres: Sci-fi
Format: Hardcover
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Also by this author: Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods

Even before our kind started using tools, the Kibsu have been with us, guiding humanity, teaching us, molding us.

As long as we follow the rules.

The Kibsu had five rules to guide the gradual elevation of our species:

1. Preserve the knowledge.
2. Survive at all cost.
3. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
4. Don’t leave a trace.
5. There can never be three for too long.

But when their enemy got too close, the Kibsu add one more:

6. Fear the Tracker: always run, never fight.

But now, during the terrors of the Great War, the Trackers are closing in, and for Mia and Sarah, running might no longer be an option.

About Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

February 2021?!

I Want It Now Parks And Recreation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday – My Life in Shambles by Karina Halle

Posted February 6, 2019 by Bonnie in Uncategorized, Waiting on Wednesday / 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – My Life in Shambles by Karina HalleMy Life in Shambles by Karina Halle
on February 13th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Goodreads

Also by this author: Come Alive, Shooting Scars, Bold Tricks

When Valerie Stephens made the resolution to say yes to new adventures, she never thought she’d end up in the tiny town of Shambles, fake engaged to one of Ireland’s top rugby players. But there’s a first time for everything.

They say bad things happen in threes.

After my boyfriend broke off our engagement, I lost my apartment, and was laid off from my job, I can definitely attest to that.

They also say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.

So when my two sisters invited me to ring in the new year in Ireland, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and go for it. I was going to let “saying yes” be my new resolution.

Little did I know I’d spend New Year’s Eve having a hot and dirty one-night stand with Padraig McCarthy, one hell of a sexy Irishman. I also didn’t know that the brooding and intense sex god was one of Ireland’s top rugby players.

A rugby player with a proposition for me:

Come with him to his tiny hometown of Shambles and pretend to be his fiancé for a few days, just so that his ailing father can have some peace of mind.

It sounded simple enough.

It was anything but.

Not when a town gets up in your business, not when the media hunts you down, not when your past comes back in the picture, not when there are real hearts and feelings at stake.

Not when there are secrets that could break you.

They say life is what happens when you say yes to new adventures.

This is my life in Shambles.

This is a full-length contemporary standalone romance

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as sixty other wild and romantic reads.

She, her musician husband, and their adopted pit bull, Bruce, live in a rainforest on an island off the coast of British Columbia, where they operate Raven Ridge, a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats and romantic getaways.

In the winter, you can often find them in California or on their beloved island of Kauai, soaking up as much sun (and getting as much inspiration) as possible. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com/books.

Halle is represented by Root Literary and is both self-published, and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, and Montlake. Her books have been published in numerous languages around the world.

Next week!! 😍

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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In Memoriam: Colleen McCullough

Posted February 4, 2015 by Dani in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

Last week, we lost an author who was tremendously important to my personal reading history. As long as I can remember, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds has been a staple on the bookshelves of my homes. First, as a book beloved by my mom – carefully packed, transported and reshelved along our many, many moves. My mom later shared this book with me as a young woman giving it her most honored (in my eyes alone) stamp of approval as “one of her favorites.” Most people who know us both, know that we share an awful lot; we have the same voice and mannerisms, we have similar tastes from food to movies, and we have a very deep love of reading. It was these small acts of sharing books like The Thorn Birds by which my mom slowly changed the course of my life. My love of literature grew deeper and stronger, and ultimately, more important than other pursuits.

 

 

Slowly, this book migrated from the communal shelves of our family to my own growing library. When I moved out, this was one of a very few books my mom officially passed to me. It still holds a proud place in my collection. I don’t read The Thorn Birds as often as I used to, but it’s one that I simply hold onto often – when I feel homesick, when I feel lonely, when I miss my mom. As I open the front cover, I see my mother’s (maiden) name written atop the first page. And as I read the epigraph, I can’t help but think of all the times my mom’s eyes have looked over the same passage.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest I searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain…Or so says the legend.”

Thank you Colleen McCullough for living, for writing, and for imparting your beautiful book to my mom and to me. You are greatly missed.

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Man Booker Prize 2013 – Shortlist Announcement

Posted September 10, 2013 by Bonnie in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

download

The Man Book Prize was launched in 1969 and is a literary prize for the best original full-length novel written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

I have always found myself drawn to the winners and nominees of this literary prize even though I very rarely find myself agreeing with the judges decisions (*cough*Life of Pi*cough*). The judges started with a list of 151 novels and the longlist which consisted of 13 was announced on July 23rd, the shortlist has been announced today with a winner being announced October 15th.

Man Booker Shortlist 2013

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

I have yet to read any of these (although The Luminaries and Harvest are on my TBR list) so it’s difficult to take a guess at who might win. Jim Crace and Colm Tóibín have already been reported as favorites to win though.

 

Have you read any of these? Who do you believe should win it all?

 

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To the Authors Lost in 2013

Posted August 24, 2013 by Bonnie in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Much of my reading is occupied solely by current publications, and I often feel as if I’m missing out on the legends and the greats. The ones with classic works that will still be adored even after they’ve left us. Unfortunately, we’ve lost several great authors this year and it shames me to say that these three authors in particular are ones I never took the time to read their works while they were still with us. At least they leave us with their books to remember them by.

Elmore Leonard


“Psychopaths… people who know the differences between right and wrong, but don’t give a shit. That’s what most of my characters are like.”


Most recent is the death of Elmore “Dutch” Leonard who passed away on August 20th, 2013. Over the course of his lifetime he published 46 novels, 26 of them were adapted for film and TV including Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma, Jackie Brown and Get Shorty and his stories were also the inspiration behind the hit show Justified. Late last year Elmore was honored with the medal for distinguished contribution to American letters from the National Book Foundation.

Fun Fact: He never owned a computer so all 46 of his novels were written on legal pads before he would type them up on a typewriter.

The first book of Elmore’s I have selected to read is Pronto, the first installment in the series behind Justified. I already had it on audiobook and I started listening to it the day he died. It was the inspiration behind this post because so far? It’s fantastic. And I regret waiting so long to read it.

 

Richard Matheson

“I think we’re yearning for something beyond the every day. And I will tell you I don’t believe in the supernatural, I believe in the supernormal. To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it’s only because we haven’t been able to understand it yet.”

Richard Matheson passed away on June 23rd, 2013. He was not only an author but a screenwriter and is most known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also the writer of sixteen episodes from ‘The Twilight Zone. It’s always interesting to find out that popular movies were originally books. I watched Stir of Echoes and I Am Legend and didn’t find out till much later they were based on books written by Richard Matheson.

Fun Fact: Senator Richard Matheson, a character from “The X-Files”, is named after him.

The book of Matheson’s that I have selected to read is Hell House. I love a good ghost story and this one sounds fantastically creepy.


Iain Banks

“Writing is like everything else: the more you do it the better you get. Don’t try to perfect as you go along, just get to the end of the damn thing. Accept imperfections. Get it finished and then you can go back. If you try to polish every sentence there’s a chance you’ll never get past the first chapter.”

Iain Banks passed away on June 9th, 2013. He wrote 26 books in his lifetime which were both mainstream fiction and science fiction. He is most known for his first novel ‘The Wasp Factory’ which was later listed as one of the top 100 books of the 20th century and also as one of the 1001 books to read before you die list (a total of 5 of his books appear on that list).

Fun facts: Iain has an asteroid named after him. It resides in the Main Asteroid Belt of the Sol system. He was also an extra in Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

The book I’ve decided to read first is ‘The Wasp Factory’ although ‘The Crow Road’ is a definite possibility as well. I’m open to recommendations. 🙂

It’s overdue (better late than never, right?) but I have finally decided to take the plunge and read these great authors works. They leave a legacy behind, a legacy we are all still able to sit down, enjoy and appreciate I have no doubt this is how they would want their lives to be celebrated.

Did you lose a favorite author this year? Are any of these three favorite authors of yours? What books of theirs would you recommend?

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