Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mysterious Saturday Review: Driving Heat

* Book 7 in the Nikki Heat series * 
A promotion brought Nikki Heat to the rank of Captain. When Heat's psychologist turns up murdered on her first morning, she's surprised to see Rook's on the surveillance video going into the office. He won't tell her why he was at the office. Heat doesn't appreciate being kept in the dark, especially when she feels it will help her case. Files were stolen from the office and she's worried about them falling into the wrong hands.

In order to make her team run smoothly, she jointly promoted Roach to run the case. But even Raley and Ochoa are trying to one up each other for the permanent promotion.

Throw in the fact that Nikki's getting cold feet about the wedding and tension between her and Rook escalates. This investigation brings out the worst in all the relationships in this book. Can they work together and solve the murder before the murderer comes for one of them?
My Thoughts: As a huge fan of the show, I'm happy when more Richard Castle books come out. This one wasn't my favorite - mostly because all the characters were at each other's throats and I didn't enjoy that type of tension. The overall mystery pushes to book forward with lots of suspects, clues, and dead ends. I love the tidbits that overlap the TV show and the book.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library
Final Thoughts: If you're a fan of the show, read these books!

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy the day of candy and getting the pants scared off you. Stay safe if you're out and about.

Here I am in 2011 as Katniss (most everyone thought I was Robin Hood since the movies had not appeared yet)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Dumplin'

Willowdean's is fat, but she's also comfortable in her own skin. Over the summer, she begins to drift away from her best friend and she starts hooking up with a boy. As the summer winds down, she learns that Bo isn't going back to his private school, he's going to her school.

Immediately she stops seeing him so gossip about them doesn't run wild. She doesn't like this new side of herself -she does the only thing she can think of - enrolls in the Miss Clover City beauty pageant.

Her mother lives for pageant season and Willowdean entering is just one more thing they fight about. But Willowdean isn't giving up. She's making a stand, along with a few other outcasts who decide to join her. Can Willowdean gain back her confidence?
My Thoughts: I Loved Willowdean. She had an honest outlook on life and she wasn't afraid to share her opinions. I'm glad that other girls followed her lead and entered the pageant - I loved getting to know them. I loved the moments between Willowdean and her mother - how they didn't understand each other, how they tried to  communicate, how they each saw food and body image, and how finally they saw each other. I loved the relationships in the book from the friendships to the family drama to the romances. I liked the romances. I really liked Bo - especially the red lollipop gestures, those were sweet. I Loved that the ending was realistic and something that could help (not something from the movies). This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions and I couldn't put the book down. A fantastic inspiring read.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source My library
Final Thoughts: Everyone raved about this book - and they were totally right. Get yourself a copy and devour it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On My Hold List (108)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold. 

Since coming back from BEA, I've decided that I need to change my reading habits. I need to start reading the ARCs and worry less about the library books for right now, except of course for the hot books coming out that I need immediately. It's not really working...but I am trying.

Here are a few Christmas books I'm looking forward to reading when they come in at the library.

Marry Me at Christmas (Fool's Gold, #19)
Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery
I love Fool's Gold. I'm always happy to read more of these books, especially set at Christmas.

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane (Life in Icicle Falls, #8)
Christmas on Candy Cane Lane by Sheila Roberts 
Three women have very different ideas of Christmas but this year, will be different in Icicle falls. I adore this series!

A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek, #9)
Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
This book just came out yesterday - I love this series and I'm happy to see Kyle finding love.

And a picture book:
How to Catch Santa
How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan
What happens if you catch Santa?

Mini Review: Queen of Shadows

 * Throne of Glass Book 4 *
Celaena Sardothien returns to reclaim her throne, save her friend, and avenge her friend's death. It won't be easy, it won't be pleasant, and it might not save her future. But revenge must be taken and order must be restored.
The Good:
Revenge plots - double crossing - the plot twists
I like how Aelin had to confront her past
I grew to love Manon and her story line
I ADORED Lysandra - her snark made me laugh and tear up in places
The big battle
That ending
ALL the feels reading this one

The Bad:
Waiting for the next book
Final Thoughts: I seriously Love this series and would read it until the end of time. I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tween Tuesday Review: The Girl Who Could Not Dream

Sophie lives above a hidden shop. Her family owns a bookstore but below the bookstore lies a dream shop. Special people can purchase and sell dreams. Sophie helps out her parents, but she actually can not dream.

One morning, she comes downstairs without checking the calendar. Sophie and Monster (her best friend who came to life from a dream) come down stairs and find a man in the bookstore. The man pretends not to notice, but he does ask several questions. Sophie's parents freak out and with good reason.

When Sophie comes home from school, the bookstore and her home are trashed and her parents are missing. Sophie isn't sure what to do, but she knows that she must do something. Should she trust her new friend with her secret in hopes that he might be able to help?
My Thoughts: I really loved this book. I loved the cozy bookstore and learning about the dream shop underneath the store. I really loved Monster - he was funny, quirky, and very loyal. I loved his admiration for cupcakes.  I liked Sophie branching out of her shell with the dream catchers and even finding friends. I really liked Ethan and how he didn't care that Sophie was weird - he just liked spending time with her. I liked how Sophie dealt with Madison - who wasn't the same as Ethan. She didn't want people knowing about their relationship. But I like how she changed over the book. The bravery the characters showed shone through, along with their determination. Mr. Nightmare was scary and downright creepy. The ending is sweet and heartwarming.

Cover Thoughts: I like it now that I've read the book but before reading it seemed really strange
Source: BEA Arc

Final Thoughts: Charming friendships, dangerous dreams, a creepy villain, and a secret mix together to make a perfect middle grade fantasy read. Run out to the library or bookstore to request this book today!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: Cold Burn of Magic

 * First in a new series *
Lila lives in a tourist trap - the most magical place in America. It's a place where monsters and founding families rule the town. She tries to keep her head down, especially after her mother was murdered protecting one of the families.

Then, one day, Lila steps up to protect a boy and her life changes. She's blackmailed into a new job - a job she's trained for her entire life and the job that left her mother dead. Lila isn't thrilled about the new job, but she's not about to let Devon die on her watch.
My Thoughts: I really loved Mythos Academy, so I was excited to hear about a new series coming from this author. I had high expectations and this book didn't disappoint. 

I loved this book. I loved the magic - both the monsters and the heightened abilities. Lila's skills were useful and entertaining. I enjoyed the pixie in her room who wasn't interested in her. HIs insults added humor to the book. I liked finding about more about the death of Lila's mom and how it changed her life. I loved that Lila found comfort in the library - among the books. I liked the relationship between Devon and Lila. She felt torn between her anger and her need to protect him too. So looking forward to the next book in this series!

Cover Thoughts: Fantastic
Source: my Library
Final Thoughts: If you're looking for a wonderful read with fantastic and romantic elements - look no further. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Winter Programs (5)

Fall is beginning, but winter is coming. So I thought I'd attempt to help with some craft programs and toss out a few ideas for winter - all from Pinterest. You can market these as Valentine food programs or just for fun in January/February.
For More Food Ideas - check out this past post

White Chocolate Hearts
A Love Your Community Project:

Dog Treats
Lots of these recipes on Pinterest
You can give them to the food shelter 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mysterious Saturday Review: As Gouda Dead

* Book 6 in the Cheese Shop Mystery series *
It's coming up on Valentine's Day; the perfect time for a wedding. Charlotte and Jordan will be tying the knot. The night of Charlotte's surprise bachelorette party brings things to a screeching halt.

A phone triggers a search for Tim (owner of the bar.) Charlotte and Deputy Devon O'Shea find him dead on Jordan's farm. He's been murdered.

With the death in the community, the two love birds decide to postpone their wedding. Unhappy at the postponement, Charlotte can't help to theorize about Tim's murder. 
My Thoughts: I really enjoy this series. It does make my mouth water too. I love the bits in the cheese shop, learning about cheeses and talking about food.  I loved the day dates Jordan planned out and the notes he left for Charlotte. He really is a sweetheart! I liked Rebecca branching out a bit - especially with the play. I think she's one of my favorite characters of this series.  The list of suspects for the murder grows with each person Charlotte talks with, making it hard to discover the real murderer. Another great installment for the series.

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My library

Friday, October 23, 2015

Books and Movies: Suffragette

Suffragette opens today. Check out the trailer. I think it looks really well done and I can't wait to watch it.

Books to Read:
Of course this isn't an extensive list and it's harder to find books from the British perspective, but these books will give you a starting point. 

British Suffrage:
Sally Heathcote: SuffragetteSuffragettes: How Britain's Women Fought & Died for the Right to VoteVotes for Women: The Virago Book of SuffragettesSuffragette Girl

Documenting Women's Suffrage

American Suffrage:

Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women's SuffrageWomen's Suffrage: Fighting for Women's RightsElizabeth Cady Stanton: Women's Suffrage and the First VoteSisters: The Lives of America's SuffragistsWhy Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote?: And Other Questions About Women's Suffrage13227534With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to VoteSojourner Truth's Step-Stomp StrideWomen's Suffrage In America: An Eyewitness HistoryCreated Equal: Women Campaign for the Right to Vote 1840 - 1920You Wouldn't Want to Be a Suffragist!: A Protest Movement That's Rougher Than You ExpectedAlice Paul: Equality for Women