Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (122): Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner #waitingonwednesday #wow


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3)
Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 1, 2015

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head.

Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker and urban warrior known in Corinth’s underworld as The Knave of Hearts. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father back on Avon and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

I've had my ups and downs with the Starbound trilogy, but I've enjoyed it overall. I'm interested to see how everything plays out, and I'm super curious as to who will be narrating the audiobooks.

What are you waiting on this week?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Banned Book Week Giveaway Hop #3 (INT) #bannedbookweek #giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop hosted by Mary at Book Hounds and Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Visit for more information.

Most Challenged Titles of 2014

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2014 Are:

1) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2) Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3) And Tango Makes Three Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4) The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5) It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6) Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

7) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9) A Stolen Life Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10) Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

To find more controversial titles, check out ALA's list of Frequently Challenged Books.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (121): Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas #waitingonwednesday #wow

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Kingdom of Ashes (A Wicked Thing #2)
Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 23, 2016

The kiss was just the beginning . . . The second book in Rhiannon Thomas’s epic retelling of Sleeping Beauty combines adventure, magic, and romance for a sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny.

Aurora was supposed to be her kingdom’s savior. But when she was forced to decide between being loyal to the crown and loyal to her country, she set events in motion that branded her a traitor.

Now, hunted by the king’s soldiers, Aurora’s only chance of freeing her kingdom from the king’s tyrannical rule is by learning to control her magic. But Aurora’s powers come at a price—one that forces her to leave the only home she’s ever known, one that demands she choose between the man she loves and the people she seeks to protect, and one that will cause her to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before . . . and uncover the truth about her destiny.

I don't remember a lot about reading A Wicked Thing earlier this year, but I do recall enjoying the fresh take on Sleeping Beauty. I'm also interested in seeing how Aurora continues to deal with her situation.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): The Visitant by Megan Chance #giveaway #TLCBookTours


Title: The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story
Megan Chance
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (Amazon)
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

A crumbling palazzo in nineteenth-century Venice holds a buried secret.

After she nearly ruins her family with a terrible misstep, Elena Spira is sent to Venice to escape disgrace and to atone by caring for the ailing Samuel Farber. But the crumbling and decaying Ca’ Basilio palazzo, where Samuel is ensconced, holds tragic secrets, and little does Elena know how profoundly they will impact her. Soon she begins to sense that she is being watched by
something. And when Samuel begins to have hallucinations that make him violent and unpredictable, she can’t deny she’s in mortal danger.

Then impoverished nobleman Nero Basilio, Samuel’s closest friend and the owner of the palazzo, arrives. Elena finds herself entangled with both men in a world where the past seeps into the present and nothing is as it seems. As Elena struggles to discover the haunting truth before it destroys her, a dark force seems to hold Samuel and the Basilio in thrall—is it madness, or something more sinister?


“Chance’s Venice is glittering, mysterious, sophisticated…” – The Seattle Times on Inamorata

“…provocative and haunting. Chance’s quietly powerful tale will appeal to fans of well-detailed, mysterious, and romantic historical fiction.” – BookList on Bone River

My Review

I wanted to read The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story because I am always interested in a spooky or gothic historical, especially if there's also a mystery involved.

My problems with The Visitant started with my wrong assumption that the story was set in the late 1700s rather than the late 1800s. The entire first third of the book resulted in my shaking my head because I couldn't believe how progressive the Venice in the story was. When I realized that the story was in the late 1800s, I began to like the story better, but I still didn't think that Venice was that progressive. Toward the beginning of the novel, Samuel attempts to make a deal with Elena, swearing if she reads a racy novel he will stop acting like a spoiled child. I was a little worried that my hopeful Italian gothic mystery would then change into an erotica novel, with naughty passages filled with nurses and patients and nuns and priests. Thankfully there are only a few sex scenes, and none of them are out of the ordinary of the run-of-the-mill historical romance. However, I just couldn't believe that men and women were that outspoken about sex in the late 1800s, even in Venice.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on Kim's Fall TBR #toptentuesday @KHeniadis

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books on Kim's Fall TBR

1. Autumn Thorns by Yasmine Galenorn

A woman who ran away from a small town, only to come back after her grandmother passes and she inherits her home. And of course, she finds out that she has a gift, and that her mother was murdered. This is one trope that always attracts me.

2. Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

Really, really loved this series up to about book 13. I keep reading it in hopes that Evanovich will go back to her roots. We shall see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (120): Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith #waitingonwednesday #wow

1 comment:

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Dreamstrider
Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)
Release Date: October 6, 2015

A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighboring kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this. It being a standalone (that I can see so far) makes it all the more appealing.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley #BibPleaseReview #audiobook #historicalfiction

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Title: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Natasha Pulley
Narrator: Thomas Judd
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Audio Publisher: Audible
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Acquired Via:

1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.


My Review

I have been putting off this review for over a month because reviews of mediocre to blah books are the most difficult for me to write. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street would have been put aside if it had started thus, but the "meh" came gradually.

As you probably realize, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is historical fiction that had quite interesting premise - Thaniel, who can see the color of sounds, gets a watch, finds a bomb threat, and then tries to figure out how the watch had been programmed to save his life. Running parallel to his story is Grace, who wants to be a scientist but is being met with the issue of her lacking a penis in Victorian England. As these two story lines come together, we meet a variety of characters: Mori, the titular watchmaker of Filigree Street; Katsu, Mori's clockwork and kleptomaniacal octopus; and Matsumoto, Grace's Japanese buddy whose wardrobe is often the victim of her cross-dressing adventures. It should all work, but Katsu was the only character I remotely liked by the end, and I detested Mori.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: Romancing the Earl by Darcy Burke #historicalromance #BibPleaseReview @KHeniadis

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Title: Romancing the Earl (Regency Treasure Hunters #2)
Darcy Burke
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Acquired Via:

Major Elijah Hollister never wanted to be an earl, particularly not when it meant losing his brother. When a bold adventuress shows up at his door seeking a treasure map, Elijah suspects his brother’s death may not have been accidental and that the lady knows more than she’s willing to share. Whether she’s a friend or foe, Elijah plans to keep her close—and hope the temptation of her kisses doesn’t ruin them both.

Miss Catriona Bowen can almost taste the fruits of her years-long quest to find one of Britain’s greatest treasures. The discovery will deliver the recognition and respect she deserves as an antiquary, despite the fact that she’s a woman. However, to find the map that will lead her to success, she must ally herself with a stoic, yet provocative gentleman with a different goal. And when a villain threatens their lives, she realizes too late that love is the greatest treasure of all.

My Review

This is the second book in Darcy Burke’s Regency Treasure Hunters series. It can be read as a standalone book, but if you were to read the first one in the series, The de Valery Code, you will get even more out of some of the side characters. And you will know a lot more about Catriona’s (or Cate) parents.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: ZED by Jason McIntyre #BibPleaseReview @KHeniadis

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Title: ZED
Jason McIntyre
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Release Date: July 26, 2015
Acquired Via:

It’s the waning dog days of August, 1975 and Tom Mason’s in Dovetail Cove for the last few weeks of his summer job at the group home. His boss and the home’s owner is Karen Banatyne, one of the wealthiest folks in town. It seems like she’s got it in for Tom; she’s the only one standing in his way as he scrimps for a new camera. But Karen has her own problems. A regulatory agency might cut off her funding, plus her hubby hasn’t been seen in a few weeks, and she’s not saying why. Most ominous of all, it seems as though something’s hiding in the hot spring north of the main beach and one of Karen’s ‘houseguests’ is about to come face to face with evil. Tom is too.

My Review

I really enjoyed the nostalgia in this book. Jason McIntyre’s reference to Jaws, slathering oneself with baby oil while sunbathing, and other things from the 70’s, made me feel like this story could have taken place during my childhood. I do think these references would have been unnoticed from readers in their 20’s. They are not needed to understand the story, they just make it a bit more enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (119): Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire #waitingonwednesday #wow


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Every Heart a Doorway
Seanan McGuire
Publisher: (Macmillan)
Release Date: January 19, 2016

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

This just sounds so very perfect, don't you think? And it's only 160 pages!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): Dark Screams Volume Four by Clive Barker, Ed Gorman, and Heather Graham #TLCBookTours

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Title: Dark Screams: Volume Four
Clive Barker, Ed Gorman, and Heather Graham
Publisher: Hydra (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

Clive Barker, Heather Graham, Lisa Morton, Ray Garton, and Ed Gorman lead readers down a twisted labyrinth of terror, horror, and suspense in Dark Screams: Volume Four, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the revered Cemetery Dance Publications.

THE DEPARTED by Clive Barker
On All Hallows’ Eve, a dead and disembodied mother yearns to touch her young son one last time. But will making contact destroy them both?

CREATURE FEATURE by Heather Graham
What could be better publicity for a horror convention than an honest-to-goodness curse? It’s only after lights out that the hype—and the Jack the Ripper mannequin—starts to feel a little too real.

THE NEW WAR by Lisa Morton
Mike Carson is a war hero and a decorated vet. He doesn’t deserve to be trapped in a hospital with some black thing sitting on his chest as patients die all around him. His only hope is to take out the nurse—before it’s his turn.

It’s what every family prays for: a lost pet returning home. But when Sammy, the Hale family sheepdog, appears on their doorstep, he brings back something no parent would ever wish upon his or her child.

Cindy Marie Brasher is the prettiest girl in the Valley, and Spence just has to have her. Unfortunately, Cindy has a “friend” . . . a friend who tells her to do things . . . bad things.

Praise for Dark Screams: Volume Four

“Collectively, Volume Four constitutes the most cohesive, narratively enriching and entertaining Dark Screams entry to date. Be it the presence of genre icons Barker and Morton, stories from the lesser-known but equally talented Garton and Gorman, or the pure fun of Graham’s tale, fans of horror of every variety will find something to love in these pages.” — LitReactor

“The best of the bunch so far.” —

“Stacks up well with any of the other three books so far [with] a fairly good variety in the kinds of horror stories too . . . If you’re new to the series, this is a good jumping-on point.” — Wagging the Fox

Dark Screams is one of the best values on the horror market. . . . Do yourself a favor, and pick it up.” — Adventures Fantastic

My Review

I'll break down my review of Dark Screams Volume Four by short story to make things simple.

The Departed by Clive Barker

This story was not at all what I had expected from Clive Barker. I've read some of this other work, which was mostly horror-laced fantasy, but The Departed was about a single mother who is coping wtih her new status as a ghost. It affected me emotionally, as I also spent several years as a single mother myself. That emotional reaction to this story was the most unexpected thing of all, and this was my favorite story in the collection.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Finished Series That Kim is Yet to Finish #toptentuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Finished Series That Kim is Yet to Finish

1. Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

This series is really good, but each book is really long. And by the time the next book came out I would forget parts from previous books. Perhaps now that the series is complete, one day I’ll go back to the beginning and finished the whole series.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’ve only seen the movies. I know, I know, the books are always better. Even my husband said these books are better than the movies.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review: Alice by Christina Henry #AceRocStars #Horror #adultlit

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Title: Alice
Christina Henry
Publisher: Ace (Penguin)
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Acquired Via:
Ace Roc 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.

My Review

If I could only choose two words to describe Christina Henry's Alice, they would be "whimsical" and "gruesome". The book deftly captures the essence of Lewis Carroll's classic, while giving it a gory twist that will thrill horror fans. Readers familiar with the original work will find most of their favorite characters, but none of them are as they will remember.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): Little Robot by Ben Hatke #Giveaway @MacKidsBooks @01FirstSecond #kidlit #littlerobot


Welcome to my stop on the review tour for Little Robot by Ben Hatke! I'm very excited to share my thoughts on the book with you, especially because I was able to read this with my daughter. There is also a giveaway provided by our friends at First Second Books!

Title: Little Robot
Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second (Macmillian)
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Acquired Via:

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

New York Times Bestselling author Ben Hatke brings his signature sweetness to a simple, moving story about friendship and overcoming fears that will appeal to readers of all ages.

My Review

I could review Little Robot like I normally do, but instead I'll tell you about my little girl's reaction to it. I have an eight year old daughter who is still trying to love reading. She doesn't read often, and she is very particular about what she will pick up. That being said, I had to pry Little Robot out of her hands so I could finally read it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop #2 (INT) #yalit #firewalker

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Welcome to my stop on the September is for Sequels Giveaway Hop hosted by the wonderful Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature. Since I'm reading the sequel to Trial by Fire right now and loving it, I thought I would share it with you guys. Plus, it's Firewalker's book birthday today!

What You Can Win

Title: Firewalker (The Worldwalker Trilogy #2)
Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillian)
Release Date: September 1, 2015

I'm a Witch and Witches burn.

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

You think I'm a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can't persuade Lily to return to her world, she'll have to find a way to
make her come back.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!


@GriffinTeen Has a New Look & New #Sweepstakes! #backtoschool #makeover

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When I woke up this morning, I noticed that one of my favorite publishers had some new bright and shiny going on. Once I checked my email, I knew why.

The new school year means a whole new wardrobe. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, Griffin Teen got a brand new look!

Newly updated, we now have a beautiful website featuring some of our favorite and up-and-coming titles and a very convenient way to sign up for the Griffin Teen Newsletter!

Here is one of the pictures from the Facebook page, that was unveiled today: