Triple Reviews, Contest Winner and Bookish Ramblings, Oh My!

Good evening,

I’ve been trying to read quicker while also working at getting my tbr pile down a bit that I haven’t had much time to post about my recent views on a few books as well as working my regular job. I did post on GoodReads but it was a quick one because I prefer to be more in depth on my blog. Before I go ahead with the double post, I would like to mention some things. Recently I have been very fortunate to receive two paper advanced reading copies (arcs) which have made my inner bookworm happy and brought happy tears to my eyes. Reading books is something that I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl and only recently in the last few years have I considered writing reviews and hoping to  be given a chance at receiving advanced reading copies. My first arc was from a GoodReads contest called Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey which was a great book by the way and highly recommended. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to stumble across NetGalley where they have given a newbie book blogger (me) a chance to review digital arcs when I struggled to be given the chance to show just much I’d like to be a blogger and get paid in books. I can add being a beta reader for a very talented author to my list of people also giving me a chance and many others.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided on a whim to try to get a paper copy of a book called Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown. I nearly did a happy dance when I received the email about being approved for a physical arc copy which just happens to be near me right now. Then I also found out that I was to receive an arc of The Highland Duke by Amy Jarecki which I just received in the mail today and am a little stunned. I can’t accurately put into words how much it means to me that these authors are allowing me this amazing chance to have a physical copy of a project that they have likely worked on for years and I just wanted to say how grateful and touched  I am as a lover of books and fairly new book blogger. I hope that some day I may be given the chance by more authors to review their books whether digitally or paper though I know only so many can be given out and may some day I will be able to say that my second job literally pays me in books. Not that it would actually be a job though but a dream come true. So thank you again to those that have taken a leap of faith with me and for those that may in the future.

I held a contest back in regards to the Winner Takes All Series by Kate Noble with the chance for a participant to win all three books in the series. Time got away from me especially the the holidays, taking on a second job for a season, attempting to squeeze in reading time and well other curve balls that life sometimes throws. Now that my seasonal job is over with, I can get back to my regular schedule and have contacted the winner before posting this blog who is Danielle Clemmerson! She was very happy to receive the news and had them delivered safely to her hands yesterday! Congratulations to her and may the books be enjoyable. Thank you so much to everyone that participated and I hope that if I’m lucky to hold a giveaway again, you’ll tune in. So now it’s on to the reviews and if you’ve read this far, thanks for hanging in there and taking a moment to check out my blog, it’s very much appreciated!

A Review of Where The Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper

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I know that every time I read a book by Molly, I know I’m in for a hilarious treat. I love her books which all have humor and usually some supernatural character tossed in and wait eagerly for her to release books when I find out there’s more on the way.
This particular story was a joy to read especially since the main character is a bookworm who specializes in rare book collections which is something that fascinates me though alas I don’t work in that field but I’m glad I was able to get a glimpse into life as a rare book expert. Well apart from the supernatural aspect and having to jump from a plane.

Anna just wants to safety deliver a special book to Jane in Half Moon Hollow and return to her quiet life in Virginia where she doesn’t have to deal with people other than her best friend and stay in her own germaphobic bubble. She also finds it easier to avoid her overbearing Mother especially since they live apart in different states which is better for her sanity. Life and a determined group of shifters after the special book have other ideas about her fear of lots of people, weird situations and germs.
In the space of twenty four hours she finds herself dealing with a crazy pilot, being forcefully carried out of a plane still in the air with just her purse with the special book, sky diving out of a plane about to crash by a vampire named Finn and being in the wilderness of Kentucky with no clue how to get to civilization. It’s enough to make a regular woman go mad, let alone someone who makes it a point to follow a certain schedule and expecting the worst though she certainly wasn’t expecting this kind of worse case scenario.
Over the next five days, Anna learns to toughen up, speak her mind, somewhat defend herself including shoving her finger into a chimera’s eye and realize that maybe staying in her germaphobic bubble isn’t quite where she wants to be. Sometimes when you’re at your lowest is when you realize just what you’re capable of and if you’re lucky enough, prove to the naysayers how wrong they were to doubt. 

I think Anna and I would get along great at least in the sense of talking about books and hopefully getting a chance to check out her rare books collection. She’s very smart, not afraid to speak her mind to Finn, generous, socially awkward and passionate about her love of reading. She has had to deal with a lot of disappointment particularly in the last few years but thankfully with the help of her best friend, has managed to continue a career that involves her love of books though not in the way she had hoped. I’m so glad that she eventually gets her chance to kick the butt of the guy who hurt her and finds a common friend in Jane Jameson.

Finn is quite the mysterious vampire at times and it took me a bit to figure out his motives. He was turned back in the 1960’s after a deal that went wrong which involved some vampires and he’s been having to repay people that he owes since then. He rescues Anna from a plane that’s about to crash, nearly burns to a crisp when rescuing her from people who want the book that Anna carries, baffled that Anna doesn’t seem to be affected by his charm and yet is drawn to her at the same time. Finn has quite a few secrets that he’s reluctant to share, seems to not want to have dealings with Jane Jameson and one of them may just send Anna back to her germophobic bubble.
Full of adventure, laugh out loud scenes, a bit of steamy romance, the power of friendship with an interesting mix of vampires,  a large group of redneck shapeshifters and twists.

After reading this book, I’ve realized that I need to go back and read from the beginning of this particular series. I was able to follow along just fine in this book without reading from the beginning but I’m really curious about some of the characters mentioned and how they came to Half Moon Hollow. Also, I’d like to go back and read about Jenna Jameson as I can only remember reading the first book. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book and to find out what else is in store for the Half Moon Hollow Residents!

A Review of A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

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I haven’t read a lot of adventure/mysteries over the years which is a shame but I’m glad to have read this book which has been a fascinating mixture of mystery, humor, adventure, a very smart and feisty heroine, a grumpy but caring hero and lots of surprises.

Veronica Speedwell hasn’t stayed in one spot for very long since she was a little girl. Raised by two eccentric Aunts who rescued her from an orphanage, she’s moved with them all over England and seen much of the world. When she became an adult, she chose to become a butterfly hunter, dallied with men in certain areas of the globe and generally led a fairly independent life, coming back to England to see her two spinster Aunts. She comes back to England to nurse one of her beloved Aunts and then just a short time later, returns again to help remaining Aunt who had a fit of apoplexy and then passes away.

Most women would probably decide to settle down and live a quiet life but Veronica has other ideas. Choosing to ignore the offer of becoming a wife and mother to six unruly children that came from the nosy vicar’s wife the day Veronica buries her Aunt, she heads home to grab her single valise and has plans to go on another adventure. She interrupts what she thinks is a thief trying to steal something from her temporary home and is rescued by an engaging German Baron who seems to know a bit about her and who her mysterious parents were. Compelled to ride with him to London as she was going that way anyways, she hopes to learn at least about her mother and curious about the secrecy.

Convinced to spend the evening in the company of a bad-tempered historian named Stoker who owes the Baron a favor, he leaves on an errand with promises to reveal a number of things in time. Alas, Veronica’s parentage is not to be so easily found out.

Stoker finds himself watching over Veronica for longer than a night when his friend and Mentor is sadly found dead less than two days later. Fate is about to toss Stoker and Veronica a curve ball that could very well change the way of life for a number of different people and give insight into the mysterious beginnings of Veronica, that is if they could figure out who is trying to keep them quiet.
These two unlikely people are tossed together in a plot that will leave them reeling, scrambling to stay safe in a number of interesting places including pretending to be a married couple in a Circus and wondering who to trust.

I adore Veronica who is constantly full of surprises, very smart, practical, adventure- seeking and strong with touches of vulnerability as most people are. Traveling since she was a child has certainly given her an open-minded view on a number of different things. She’s not afraid to go toe to toe with Stoker even when he’s in more of a bad mood than usual and is certainly no timid young woman. She’s very funny too and quick to speak her mind. In a sense, she reminds me of a female Sherlock Holmes with a unique twist.

Stoker is full of surprises, including what his full name really is, smart, often bad tempered, a gentleman, full of secrets and protective. He’s not quite sure what to make of Veronica at times especially that she’s quick to match him in wit and is driven to want to know who killed his friend. In the beginning he is very short tempered with Veronica but eventually softens a bit and soon realizes that he’s rather fond of Veronica despite some of her outlandish views. The poor guy has been through a lot especially in the last decade and it’s changed him a lot from the man that he used to be. Stoker was once a renowned physician until a scandal arose after an expedition he led out of the country and cut ties with most of the people that he knew as a result. He’s for sure a guy that you’d want at your side, that is if you don’t mind his grumpiness.

I laughed my way through most of the book  especially with the commentary between Veronica and Stoker and was on the edge of my seat for the last half, wanting to know how things would turn out with the ending leaving me rather shocked. It’s amazing what two people can accomplish when they have a mind to do something and that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

I can’t wait to read more about Stoker and Veronica and so glad the next book has been recently released. I highly recommend this book even if you’re like me and don’t usually read mysteries. You may change your mind after you close the book!

A Review of Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review and I’d like to first say wow!
I was so excited to get my hands on this book and I couldn’t put this book down until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Yes, it was just that good!
Phoebe is a high school Junior who is more comfortable with her nose stuck in a book, shooting a bow, playing a flute, knitting or teaching others to knit at a local knitting shop than trying to be a social butterfly or attempt to date. She’s like a mini me when I was in high school minus the knitting! She’s such a devoted bookworm and I love that she’s so much into books including rereading certain books especially when there’s another release in a series or just for the fun of it, visiting bookstores for fun, going to author signings, dressing up as favorite bookish characters and her love of shooting a bow actually came from a book character.
Her best friend Em  who doesn’t care for books, is passionate about being an actress, enjoys being around Phoebe despite her tendency to bring a book everywhere she goes (that’s what I do!) and loves playing matchmaker decides to try to get Phoebe together with Dev who has always been just a friend. Em is well meaning but things don’t go quite as planned which is often the case when trying to get two people together who are both on the shy side.
Phoebe is very reluctant at first because she has never attempted to try to date someone, is more interested in a jock who doesn’t even seem to know she exists and mostly just wants to tackle her to be read list pile which seems to be growing in leaps and bounds.
Dev is an easy going guy who loves acting, hanging out with friends, is very smart, occasionally teases Phoebe about her books, is rather cute, a fellow band member, an interesting sense of humor and seems to have always just been around. There is more to Dev than meets the eye, including having family from India where his Uncle asks him to briefly be a part of a Bollywood movie and he’s full of surprises. I think Dev has been crushing on Phoebe for a while but has been hesitant to speak up because he’s not sure how she feels.
When Phoebe decides to attempt to get Dev’s notice after Em’s nudging, she decides to take notes from some of her favorite book characters. She’s not sure how to react when Dev seems to want to hang around more including bringing her food while she waits in line to get her book and bow signed by one of her favorite authors, invites her out to eat with some of his other friends, gets her to take part in a flash mob dance just before homecoming and even asks if she’ll knit him something by asking of he’s “Knit- Worthy”. Just as she’s starting to wonder if maybe Dev and her could be more than friends, something happens that causes Phoebe to shy away and she retreats back into her world of books and knitting.
Phoebe will soon see that sometimes taking cues from fictional books doesn’t always go as planned, the importance of taking a leap of faith, the amazing power of supportive friends, not jumping to conclusions and realizing that sometimes the best person to be is just yourself. What ensues turns out a lot more different than she’d planned and she starts see that it will take more than book advice to figure things out about herself and if Dev may be the person who’s been right for her all along.
Phoebe and Dev really are quite the interesting pair though both seem reluctant to come right out and admit their feelings which makes sense considering they’ve been friends for a long time and both are at an interesting point in their lives. I love how Dev isn’t bothered by Phoebe’s love of reading despite his teasing and genuinely wants to get to know her. He even asks Phoebe for book recommendations, texts her during a Thanksgiving and is very happy to receive Phoebe’s interesting knitting gift.
Just when it seems as though these two are about to go their separate ways, they are tossed together to help mentor elementary kids for a week at a camp as co counselors and Phoebe wonders if she was to hasty in her decision about Dev. Fate seems to be determined to find a way for these two unlikely people to get over their shyness and be honest, even if the outcome may not be what they had hoped for.

Full of humor, adventures with books involved, the power of believing in yourself, friendship, and taking a leap of faith. I’m so glad the ending turned out as it did and hopefully I’ll read more about Phoebe in the future and just may add even more books to my current to be read list pile!

So that concludes my triple review post and my bookish ramblings. I am over halfway done with the current book I’m reading and have lots of other books on my list so there will be more posts coming up soon. I’m really looking forward to tackling my goal of reading eighty books, reading books by authors that I already know and getting to know new ones. There’s so many books being released this year that I can’t wait to get my hands on and the new bookish adventures I shall go on.
Thank you once again for tuning in and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post despite it being much longer than usual. Your support means a lot to me and I hope that I’ve added a bit to your own TBR list. Reading is such a wonderful thing and can take you on endless adventures usually from the comfort of your favorite chair. May books bring you comfort during good times and bad and grow your love of reading or be inspired to pick up a book. If you’re not a fan of reading, that’s okay too and know that you’re still among friends. I’ll be back soon.
Slainte
~Meg

 

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