Friday, November 24, 2017

Weekly Reads (11/24/17)


So, you can probably guess it was a super busy week.  Good think I was off on stay-cation and don't return until next Wednesday.  Now that all the holidays/events have been hit, perhaps we can relax a tad.  The 22nd was Cass' birthday.  He got toys, snacks and a small piece of ice cream cake.  I can't believe my baby turned 4!  Our Anniversary also happened to fall on Thanksgiving this year so on Monday, as a gift to each other, we had a new fridge and stove delivered.  Do you know when you buy a stove you don't get the cord with it and it has to be purchased separately?  CRAZY.  Then on Thursday Mr. Barb smoked the turkey and Mom came for dinner.  We are actually having a nice quiet dinner home tonight which Mr. Barb is working on right now to celebrate.

We've been busy watching The Punisher on Netflix and finally finished it last night.  I have disliked the actor ever since he played Shane on The Walking Dead but since watching this, I realized how good he is and now that I can associate him with a better character, I think I actually like him.  We've only watched 3 episodes of Longmire so we'll probably watch it in between football this weekend and then start on Frontier Season 2.

I have managed to finish 2 books and look for my review soon of the latest Sin du Jour book.  I've just started chapter 3 of Truants so I hope to finish it and then start the Mira Grant books this weekend.

Here is a picture of Cass in his favorite sleeping position - upside down.  Also, here are the lovely flowers Mr. Barb had delivered Wednesday afternoon.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a super weekend.  Stay safe if you are Black Friday shopping!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

2018 Cloak & Dagger Sign Up Post

Where did 2017 go! Neither Stormi nor I can believe it's already time to do sign ups for 2018! We hope everyone who participated this year read a lot of great mystery, suspense, and thrillers. I sure had tons of fun!  I discovered some new authors and some of the best buddy reads Stormi and I had were mysteries! 

We still have our facebook group so if you haven't joined we would love for you too!  Here is the groups link: It’s a closed group so just ask to join and we shall let you in. 🙂
Challenge Rules:
  • You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, goodreads, booklikes, shelfari, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to be novellas or novels, please no short stories. (At least 100 pages +)
  • Crossovers into other challenges  are fine.
  • The Challenge will  be from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends April 15th)
There will be a monthly link up so that others can check out your progress and look at your reviews. At the halfway mark and at the end we will have a giveaway for those participating.
If you tweet about your progress or reviews please use the hashtag #CloakDaggerChal so others can see it.
5-15 books – Amateur sleuth
16-25 books – Detective
26-35 books – Inspector
36 – 55 – Special agent
56+ books – Sherlock Holmes

This year we want to play a game some time during the year. It's sort of a mystery game but we haven't tweaked it just yet so it doesn't have a name but I wanted you to get ready in case you like to play games. It will all involve reading mysteries but just doing so in a fun way. :)

Hope to see you all join in on the fun and sign up for the Cloak and Dagger Challenge.  I think this year I'm going for Special Agent!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Two Bloggers One Book - Canal Days Calamity

I think for the most part, Stormi and I have been pretty successful with our buddy reads this year.  And we already have books picked for December and January so here's hoping the streak continues.  This month we chose the second installment The Dog Days Mystery series.  So as soon as you are done reading my thoughts, make sure you head over to Stormi's blog Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! and see her review.

TITLE: Canal Days Calamity (Dog Days Mysteries #2)
AUTHOR: Jamie M. Blair
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: November 8, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Cameron Cripps-Hayman is taken aback when she stumbles upon another murdered neighbor, this time behind her sister's shop, Dog Diggity. The timing couldn't be worse, as there's only a week left before the store's grand opening during Canal Days, the biggest festival of the year.

When the police arrest her handyman, Cameron knows they've got the wrong suspect, so the Metamora Action Agency sets their sights on cracking the case. With one solved murder under their belts, how hard could a second be?

With a flood warning and a murderer on the loose threatening the start of Canal Days, can Cameron and her crew save the town's annual dog and pony show from being canceled?

MY THOUGHTS: Cam's small town is gearing up for its annual Canal Days (which is something of a Halloween festival so I was glad to find that out) when she finds another dead body.  This time around,  one of Cam's friends is arrested and she is fearful her father-in-law may have had something to do with it.

It was fun to visit Cam and the other town residents again.  In addition, Cam's mother is visiting Cameron and her sister Monica, which brings about a whole new dynamic.   Also, some new relationships are forming and the reader gets to see things progress between Cam and her estranged husband, Ben.  I love that the author doesn't fall back on the commonly used love-triangle trope, and its refreshing to see things play out as they might in the "real world."  

I really wasn't able to figure out the mystery and I have to admit Stormi might have been more on top of it than I was.  I love how Cam is always helping stray animals and she even has a new duck follower this time around.  "Canal Days Calamity" is a strong followup to "Deadly Dog Days" and I'm curious to see what trouble Cam and her crew find next.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (133)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADS: DARIO HEYWARD KNOWS ONE THING: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?
WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I love the cover and also love the idea of old creature features.  I know it's a long wait but I really want to read this one.


Monday, November 20, 2017

TTT - New Bloggers I Am Thankful For This November

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.

This week's topic is supposed to be 10 books I'm thankful for but just like last year, I would like to share some new bloggers I've discovered who I am thankful for and who I visit several times a week.

Also, HERE and HERE are some links to the past features I've done on my other favorite bloggers.

L is a recent discovery and I love the fact that she features some great comic and graphic novel discoveries. 

Jamie lives fairly close to me and is another blogger I've recently found.  She reads lots of variety and I've enjoyed chatting with her.

Bleu @ Booked & Busy
If you're not checking out Bleu's new blog, you don't know what you're missing.  She reads lots of different genres and especially enjoys horror.  She also participates in a lot of challenges and reviews movies as well.

Kate and Kim @ Midnight Book Girl
Kate works at a bookstore so she always features lots of new releases. I've been visiting this blog for years and don't know why I've not featured it before.

Lynn has been blogging for a long time and I love her Friday Face Off features.  She also reviews a lot of science fiction - a genre I'm trying to read more.  I'm always curious to see what she recommends.  

The Qwillery is a site shared by several bloggers.  It always has lots of new releases in some of my favorite genres.  I visit it almost daily and am always excited about what I see.

I love Kim's blog and I had a blast participating in her HoHoHoRAT.  She is an awesome blogger and I just love seeing what's she reading.  She reads more romance and contemporary that I do, but it's nice to mix things up and I've found some great recommendations there.

Bonnie is my go-to blogger to see what is released each week.  She has one of the best new release features around.

Yvonne @ Socrates' Book Reviews
I visit Yvonne's blog when I want to see the latest and greatest cozy mysteries.

Katie @ Just Another Girl and Her Books
Katie is always acquiring new books and I'm really looking forward to her 12 Books of Christmas Challenge

So there you have it  - more blogs to follow.  Be sure to check out my other two posts for some additional faves!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Weekly Reads (11/17/17)/Stacking the Shelves (137)/ Sunday Post

So this in gonna be a combination post.  The last two days I was busy at work (and out of town) for the yearly conference we throw each year.  It was in a neighboring town and was a lot of work and driving.  But, it's over and I have 11 glorious days of Stay-cation planned. 

The pups are fine but the weather is crazy. It doesn't know if it wants to be warm, cold, sunny, cloudy or rainy - all in a three day span.  We watched a new Amityville movie the other night, "Amityville: The Awakening."  It wasn't horrible and I've always enjoyed Amityville movies.  We will probably be Netflix-ing it the next week or so because a new season of "Longmire" started, "The Punisher" has started, and "Frontier" Season 2 starts next Friday.

Since I just posted my November Musts & Mights, I won't show pics of my planned reads but I'm currently reading "Canal Day Calamity" and next up are "Rolling in the Deep" and "Truants."

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

I won this Kindle box set from the HoHoHo RAT Twitter Party.  Thanks Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer.   They look like super cute cozies to get me in the Christmas season.

I also got "The Burial Society,"  "Gringo" and "The Broken Girls" for review.

Next week I should have a library haul as well as a few books I've purchased or found for free.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Killer Libraries! (Death in the Stacks review)

TITLE: Death in the Stacks (Library Lover's Mystery #8)
AUTHOR: Jenn McKinlay
PUBLISHING DATE: November 14, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: Lindsey Norris and her staff are gearing up for the Briar Creek Library's annual Dinner in the Stacks fund-raiser. The night of dinner and dancing is not only a booklover's dream--it's the library's biggest moneymaker of the year. But instead of raising funds, the new library board president is busy raising a stink and making the staff miserable. 

Although Olive Boyle acts like a storybook villain, Lindsey is determined to work with her and make the event a success. But when Olive publicly threatens the library's newest hire, Paula, Lindsey cracks like an old book spine and throws Olive out of the library.

The night of the fund-raiser, Lindsey dreads another altercation with Olive--but instead finds Paula crouched over Olive's dead body. Paula may have secrets, but Lindsey and the rest of the crafternooners know she's not the one who took Olive out of circulation. As the plot thickens, Lindsey must catch the real killer before the book closes on Paula's future . . .

MY THOUGHTS: Since this is the 8th book in the Library Lover's Mystery series, there are certain things I can't disclose because of spoilers. However, let me say I devoured this book and this series keeps going strong. In this installment, there is a new library Board member, Olive Boyle, and she's out to make Lindsey's life hell. One night, after a fundraiser, Olive is found dead in the stacks and one of Lindsey's favorite employees is the prime suspect. Even though Lindsey has sworn off investigating, she feels it's up to her to clear Paula's name and figure out who really killed Olive. 

McKinlay has once again set up a great cozy mystery and all the town favorites are back - Beth, Sully, his sister and brother-in-law, Robbie and even the Lemon - who I love more and more with each book (doesn't every library have an employee who can be referred to as "The Lemon"). Lindsey once again gets in some sticky situations, which are always fun and entertaining, and it was fun to catch up with everyone's lives.

The only problem I have with this series is that I look forward to the new books being released and then I devour them so quickly so I get discouraged that I have to wait so long for the next one. If you are a cozy mystery lover and adore the small town settings, please pick up the first book and give this series a try!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (132)

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

FROM GOODREADSApril 1943: four boys playing in Hagley Woods, Essex make a gruesome discovery. Inside an enormous elm tree, there is the body of a woman, her mouth stuffed with a length of cloth. As the case goes cold, mysterious graffiti starts going up across the Midlands: 'Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?'

To Ross Spooner, a police officer working undercover for spiritualist magazine Two Worlds, the messages hold a sinister meaning. He's been on the track of a German spy ring who have left a trail of black magic and mayhem across England, and this latest murder bears all the hallmarks of an ancient ritual.

At the same time, Spooner is investigating the case of Helen Duncan, a medium whose messages from the spirit world contain highly classified information. As the establishment joins ranks against Duncan, Spooner must face demons from his own past, uncover the spies hiding beneath the fabric of wartime society - and confront those who suspect that he, too, may not be all he seems ...

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I didn't intentionally plan on featuring witchy books 2 weeks in a row, but alas, I HAD to share this one.  First, look at the cover in all its purple gorgeousness.  And secondly, black magic and mystery?  Sign me up please!


A VERY late Must and Might

So this is extremely late and I pretty much have already started on November's TBR.  However, I skipped this post last month and kind of realized how lost I am without it as a reference.  You know from my weekly read posts that I'm participating in the #HoHoHoRAT this week, so I've been reading some Christmas cozies.  However, there are some other books I'd like to get read this month and since I have a vacation coming up, here's hoping I get to them.



So 6 books in half a month?   Probably not going to happen but I would love it if it did!

Monday, November 13, 2017

TTT - Why I Would Want My Children to Read Horror

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

Today's topic is 10 books I want my future children (nieces, nephews, etc) to read.  Since my children are of the 4-legged variety, I thought I'd share why any kid of mine should read horror and then share what 5 horror books I'd want them to definitely read. (Are you clued in that I'm not really a kid person - kids reading horror is probably a dead giveaway.  I do  like kids and worked with them for years, but as an only child in a small family, my exposure has been limited).


  • Because it will prepare them for the real world - which is rather scary
  • It will teach them good problems solving skills - if you can defeat evil clowns, you got it made
  • It's an under-appreciated genre and needs more love
  • Scary tales tend to bring people together - there's safety in numbers
  • It can teach them to confront their fears


A modern classic I think EVERYONE should read

A dog named Merlin in the middle of a horror novel - awesome!

So I could tell them about their Grandfather and how he scared the crap out of Grandma and they would understand.

This would teach them that people are much more scarier than monsters.

So they would know what NOT to look for when purchasing their first home.

So there you have it and yes, my kids would probably be scarred for life!

Cute Heading? I Got Nothing - A Christmas Peril Review

TITLE: A Christmas Peril
AUTHOR: J.A. Hennrikus
PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink
PUBLISHING DATE: September 8, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: When Edwina “Sully” Sullivan’s life imploded, she left behind her job on the police force and her unfaithful husband to start a new life as the general manager of her hometown theater, the Cliffside Theater Company. For five years, she focused on budgets instead of crimes and kept the Cliffside running alongside its mercurial artistic director.

But when her best friend is arrested for killing his father, the rich and powerful Peter Whitehall, no one is looking for another suspect. So, in between keeping A Christmas Carol on budget and Scrooge sober, Sully dusts off her investigative skills to find a killer. Her two lives collide when her ex-husband gets on the suspect list and she’s forced to confront her past in order to save her present.

MY THOUGHTS:  I picked up "A Christmas Peril" as part of my #HoHoHo RAT and it did serve the trick of reading something with Christmas undertones which wasn't over-the-top.  However, while I think this is a solid first installment in a new cozy series, it didn't pull me in like I had hoped.

Edwina "Sully" Sullivan has moved back to her small hometown after quitting her job as a Detective and leaving her unfaithful husband.  She immediately takes a job working for the Cliffside Theater Company as the primary manager, and has settled in to the job quite nicely.  Just when the troop is getting read for their annual Christmas Carol run, a wealthy but not so liked individual in the community is murdered.  His son and Sully's best friend is accused of doing the deed so Sully and her ex husband, who is also a lawyer, work together to clear Eric's name and figure out who really killed Peter Whitehall.

First, I need to say I think this book was written well enough.  I really wasn't able to figure out the mystery until the very end and even then was only half right.  That's always fun when reading a cozy mystery.  I also liked a lot of the small town characters and especially enjoyed Sully's relationship with Regina, the detective assigned to the case.  However, I don't feel this book needed a love-triangle, especially in the first installment, and for some reason, I never really connected to Sully.  There is just something about her that makes her seem aloof.  I couldn't see myself being friends with her in real life, and sometimes,  it's that connection which makes me enjoy cozies.  

For anyone who loves theater this would be an ideal book to pick up.  There's just enough mention of the production and rehearsals to keep your interest and add to the overall depth of the book.  I will probably pick up the next book in the series and see what the author does with the characters, as well as see if I end up liking Sully more eventually.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (136)/Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews. And it now has a new co-host where individuals can link up as well - Marlene from Reading Reality.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.  I'm also now linking up with the Sunday Post which is hosted by Kimberly@Caffeinated Book Reviewer

So once a year, a local church in our town has a huge book sale.  They gather donations all summer long and then run it for a week in November.  They take the proceeds and split them with 4 other town charities so it's a win-win for everyone.  Pretty much prices go down as the week progresses and if you're a book lover, you need to go at least twice because they have tons of boxes in reserve and they fill in as time passes.  We're talking a huge basement with table after table of books.  And the best part about it (depending on how you look at it) is that it's 2 blocks from my office.  So today I just want to share with you the books I grabbed from the sale.  There's very little rhyme or reason to them but you will see a theme.  There wasn't much horror available but there were tons and tons of mysteries. 

The Loop - Nicolas Evans
The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Edited by Laurie R. King
A Very Merry Christmas - Lori Foster
Sole Survivor - Dean Koontz
The Truth of All Things - Kieran Shields
Unleashed (Melanie Travis #7) - Laurien Berenson
What a Ghoul Wants - Victoria Thompson
Putting on the Dog - Cynthia Baxter
Doggie Day Care Murder (Melanie Travis #15) - Laurien Berenson
Dog Eat Dog (Melanie Travis #3) - Laurien Berenson
Brownies and Broomsticks - Bailey Cates
Witchful Thinking - H.P. Mallory

Best in Show (Melanie Travis #10) - Laurien Berenson
Jingle Bell Bark (Melanie Travis #11)- Laurien Berenson
Hot Dog (Melanie Travis #9) - Laurien Berenson
Hush Puppy (Melanie Travis #6) - Laurien Berenson
Finding Mr. Right - Emily Carmichael
Dog Stories - James Herriots
Hounded to Death (Melanie Travis #14)- Laurien Berenson
A Pedigree to Die For (Melanie Travis #1)- Laurien Berenson

So pretty much I got 20 books for $25.00 and it all went to a good cause (at least that's what I keep telling myself - that and that it's a once a year sale).

So what did you add to your stacks this week????

Weekly Reads (11/10/17)

So thankfully it's kind of been an uneventful week at The Farm.  Definitely needed one of those.  However, looking back, the week does seem like it last forever so I'm not quite sure what's up.  Thursday Mr. Barb and I tried a new diner for takeout.  The food was massive!  We ordered fried veggies (love my fried pickles) and he ordered a "kitchen sink" burger.  Have you ever had a burger with fried mac and cheese on it?  It was huge!  He liked it but said it needed more condiments.

The pups are doing great.  They are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Cassius' birthday in a few weeks.  Mr. Barb works this weekend so besides visiting Grandpa, I hope to clean carpets and get some Christmas shopping done (I'm so behind on that).  Oh and remember my cousin the nuisance?  He landed in rehab.  Sad because I'm sure she needs it as much as he does.  Bet no one saw that coming - RIGHT!

There was a huge charity book sale in town this week and it just happened to be in a church basement 2 blocks from work.  But you'll hear all about that in tomorrow's post.  We really only watched one movie "War of Planet of the Apes."  I cheered for the apes, cursed the humans and cried!  It was good but I had trouble watching it - I'm such an ape fan.  And Bad Ape was so darn cute!

I'm participating in the #HoHoHoRAT this week so that's why you'll see Christmas books on this week's reading stack.  I'm about 75% done with A Christmas Peril and then I'll be moving on to "The 12 Slays of Christmas." 

So what has everyone else been up to and what do you plan on reading this week???

Thursday, November 9, 2017

HoHoHo RAT! Story Prompt

So as part of the HoHoHo RAT there are all kinds of challenges you can participate in and win prizes.  And even if you don't win, they are really fun and I'm meeting some great new bloggers.  Anyway, Lampshade Reader is hosting a Christmas Story Prompt Challenge and I couldn't resist putting some Booker T and Cassius flair on it!

It was the night before Christmas and the only creatures stirring were Booker T and Cassius.  They were sneaking around the house while their parents were asleep, sure they could catch Santa delivering their presents.  Secretly though, Booker T was hoping Cassius would get a glimpse of Krampus.  He hadn't completely forgiven him for causing him to get stitches last February and since he was so naughty, he figured he would at least get a few lumps of coal beneath the tree.

All of a sudden, they heard a noise.  They ran to the window but the only things in sight were icicles and freshly fallen snow - there wasn't a reindeer anywhere!  Cass looked at Booker and said "It was probably the neighbor's cat trying to climb up the chimney again.  We better hurry back to bed before Mom and Dad catch us!  You know they don't always keep normal hours while on vacation. "

"Okay," commented Booker T.  "But first, grab that gingerbread cookie, I'm hungry and could use a midnight snack."  Both boys quietly crept back to the bedroom, where their parents were still sleeping snug in their bed.

"Man, I wish I had some eggnog!"

"Shut up Cassius and go to sleep" mumbled T.  And the next morning, when they awoke, they were thrilled to run down the stairs and see all the dog toys and treats under the tree.  "You're getting coal next year Cassius, so you better enjoy the oversight,"  Booker T exclaimed.

"Stop being a Grinch Booker T!" Cassius yelled and off they ran to thank their parents for such an awesome morning...and to look for breakfast.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This Book Put a Spell on Me

TITLE: The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #0)
AUTHOR: Alice Hoffman
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PUBLISHING DATE: October 10, 2017

FROM GOODREADS: For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm finding this review somewhat hard to write which is rare for a 5/5 book. Basically, from the first chapter, Hoffman worked some kind of magical spell within the pages and I found "The Rules of Magic" almost impossible to put down. In fact, although I enjoyed "Practical Magic," I had seen the movie first so I found the book a tad redundant. With this one, we get a fresh new tale about the Owens' family history and I was riveted to find out what happened long before we met Sally and Gillian.

"The Rules of Magic" follows three Owens' siblings - Franny (the stubborn one), Jet (the beautiful and whimsical one) and Vincent (the confused wanderer). From birth they are discouraged by their mother and father from learning about their heritage and are warned about all the things they should not do. However, one summer spent with their Aunt changes all of that. This book follows pretty much their entire lives and shows how they are cursed to always lose their true love.

This book was pure magic. I will caution that overall I wouldn't consider it an action-packed, exciting read. In fact, at times, it might seem quite slow. But for some reason, none of that bothered me. I even remember commenting while reading it that nothing was really happening in the book yet I couldn't stop reading to find out what comes next.

This was a perfect prequel to "Practical Magic" and at the end, the reader gets a glimpse of how Sally and Gilly came to live with Franny and Jet. While reading, I found myself growing so connected to the characters and I have to admit, Franny was my favorite. For anyone who loves Hoffman, or witches, or even just enjoyed the "Practical Magic" movie or book, you simply must grab a copy of this book. It lyrical and beautiful and a whole bunch of other adjectives I'm sure I don't need to detail. "The Rules of Magic" definitely ranks in one of my favorite top 5 reads of the year!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (131)

  Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead.


Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. 

The rise of Hans Christian Andersen’s iconic villainess is a heart-wrenching story of friendship, betrayal, and a girl pushed beyond her limits—to become a monster.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Pretty much the word "witch" and tentacles (although the synopsis sounds good too!)


Monday, November 6, 2017

TTT - 5 Awesome Characters to Lead a Supernatural Army

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading. 

This week's topic is leaders and then each poster can chose what's being led.  I wanted to stay away from political topics so I decided to focus on characters who would be awesome at leading supernatural armies for various reasons.  I had to put some thoughts into this one but I hope you enjoy what I out together.

Oberon from Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles.  "But Barb, you haven't even started this series yet" you might be saying.  You are quite right but I do follow Oberon on Twitter and also read his newsletter and  I know he has lots of experience dealing with various creatures and individuals plus he would make sure they had plenty to eat.

Mercy Thompson (art by Dan Dos Santos).  Mercy is bad ass.  Being a shifter, she would be able to see both the human and animal side of things so I think she would gain a strong following from both sides.  Plus she's a mechanic, which I love!  Not only could she lead, but she could assist with any vehicular issues.

Jenks from Kim Harrison's Hollows series.  Jenks is a pixie but he's been around for years. He's very knowledgeable of things and he has tons of kids so he knows how to convince beings to do things.  Jenks is also very loyal which I think is necessary for a good leader.

Lying Cat from the Saga series.  What better than a leader who automatically know someone is lying.  Plus he's encountered all kinds of different beings in the Saga universe so I don't think anything would shock him.

Harley Quinn - now hear me out.  In the comic series, Harley has a strong love of animals which I think would come in handy when dealing with supernatural beings.  Plus, she has ran into some pretty tough and often misunderstood characters so I think she would be a good listener.  Yea, she's a tad crazy, but aren't most leaders?

So there you have my top 5.  I'm really excited to see everyone's lists this week.