Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Audiobook Review - Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming

Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming
Narrated by Julia Whelan
Series: Until the End of the World #1
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Publication Date: January 24, 2014
Date Read: October 31, 2017
Length: 13 hours 15 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase

Cassie Forrest isn't surprised to learn that the day she’s decided to get her life together is also the day the world ends. After all, she’s been on a self-imposed losing streak since her survivalist parents died: she’s stopped painting, broken off her engagement to Adrian and dated a real jerk. Rectifying her mistakes has to wait, however, because Cassie and her friends have just enough time to escape Brooklyn for her parents’ cabin before Bornavirus LX turns them into zombies, too.

This is difficult enough, but Cassie’s tag along ex-boyfriend and her friend’s bratty sister have a knack for making everything, even the apocalypse, more unpleasant. When the two attract a threat as deadly as the undead to their safe haven, Cassie’s forced to see how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. And it’s a lot farther than she’d anticipated. This, coupled with Adrian’s distant voice on Safe Zone Radio and, of course, the living dead, threaten to put Cassie right back into the funk she just dragged herself out of.

Survival’s great and all, especially when you have leather armor, good friends and home-brewed beer, but there’s something Cassie must do besides survive: tell Adrian she still loves him. And to do that, Cassie has to find faith that she’s stronger than she thinks, she’s still a crack shot and true love never dies.

My Review

I ended up really liking this book.  I stumbled upon this series quite by accident while I was browsing Audible.  I am a huge Walking Dead fan so I thought this looked promising and decided to give it a try.  This was a story that I liked more and more as I continued to read.  I listened to the audiobook for hours at a time and never tired of the story.  I am so glad that I took a chance with this book.

This book starts just as the trouble begins.  Cassie and her friends live in New York City and there is a virus causing people to get sick.  The group quickly figures out that things are a lot worse than they are being told and they make plans to get to Cassie's parents' home.  Cassie's parents prepared for disasters and though they have both passed away the home is well stocked. 

I found that during the beginning stages of the book the focus was more on the drama between the characters than the zombie outbreak.  I really wanted someone to smack a couple of Cassie's "friends" and move on to more zombie stuff.  As the book progressed, I started seeing more and more of the zombie action that I had wanted. 

There is a rather large cast of characters to keep track of in this book but each of their personalities were well developed so it really wasn't too much of a problem.  The characters do grow over the course of the book and the same characters that I wanted to feed to the zombies did end up redeeming themselves.  I did end up liking the characters and wanted to see the whole group remain safe. 

I thought that Julia Whelan did a great job with this story.  She handled a large number of character voices very well.  She put a lot of emotion into the reading of the story and made some of the scenes fell even more intense.  She had a very pleasant reading voice and I look forward to listening to more of her work soon.

I would recommend this book to others.  This may not have been the most original story but it was a lot of fun.  I can't wait to see what is in story for Cassie and her friends in the next installment.

This ebook is currently free on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo.
About the Author - Sarah Lyons Fleming

I'm a Laura Ingalls devotee, wannabe prepper and lover of anything pre-apocalyptic, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic—-or anything in between. Add in some humor and romance, and I'm in heaven.

Besides an unhealthy obsession with home-canned food and Bug Out Bag equipment, I love books, making artsy stuff and laughing my arse off. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, I now live in Oregon with my family and, in my opinion, not nearly enough supplies for the zombie apocalypse. But I'm working on it.

Author Link:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

New Releases - November 21, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:

The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Jane Hawk--fiction's most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine--continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

"No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this."

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun--just before she takes her own life, and many others', in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband's inexplicable suicide--and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals--Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But these ruthless people bent on hijacking America's future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue--and become the nation's most wanted fugitive--in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

The People vs. Alex Cross by James Patterson

Find it at:
This time it's Alex Cross on trial.
Alex Cross is on the wrong side of the law. Serving a suspension from the force while he awaits trial for murder, Cross has been branded as a trigger-happy cop, another bad apple walking the streets with a gun, an accusation that Cross will do anything to refute. To make himself feel useful again, Cross opens a counseling office in the basement of his home. When his former partner Sampson shows up needing his help, Cross jumps at the chance, even if it may end up costing him what's left of his career. When a string of young, blonde women go missing, the investigation leads Cross and Sampson to the most depraved, darkest corners of the internet. Struggling to prove his own innocence and uncover the truth lurking online, Cross must risk everything to save his most at-risk patient of all...himself.

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.

(Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I'll let you in on a little secret... This book isn't just a book. It's a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll discover more than just a story--you'll learn how to make your own magic!)

Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.

Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town's most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Review - The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant

The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant
Series: Heart of Texas #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Date Read: November 18, 2017
Length: 320 pages
Source: Direct from Publisher
Hot Cowboy SEAL heroes in the heart of Texas abound in the Heart of Texas series by New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant returns to Texas, where a small-town legend just might find the greatest gift of all. . .

’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays—even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.

Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby—and the inescapable longing in his heart—off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?
My Review

I loved this book!  I am not usually someone who reads a lot of Christmas stories.  I will read them but I don't really look for them.  This book made its way into my hands and something about that cover drew me right in and I wanted to start reading it right away.  Once I started, I didn't want to stop and I ended up reading the whole thing from cover to cover in a single day.   I really enjoyed every moment I spent reading this wonderful little story.

Clayton is ex-military and has been working overseas until he is called home to the family ranch.  The ranch is in trouble and his dad is sick so Clayton must come home to run things and try to save the ranch.  Abby has not had it easy.  She has been raising her two younger brothers and doing her best to get ahead in life. 

Abby and Clayton meet when Abby's brother is caught stealing cattle from the ranch Clayton's family owns.  Not the best way to start things.  Clayton turns out to be a really nice guy and instead of sending Abby's brother, Brice, to jail he lets him come and work his debt off at the ranch.  Clayton also enlists Abby's help with the ranch's books hoping that she can sort out exactly what is going on.

I loved the characters in this book.  Abby and Clayton were both amazing.  Abby was strong and cared deeply for her two brothers.  She was smart and willing to sacrifice her wants for the sake of other people.  Clayton was such a good guy.  He has had some things to deal with in his personal and military life.  I loved this pair together.  They had great chemistry from the very beginning and it was really wonderful to watch them fall in love. 

The secondary characters were also really well done.  Abby's two brothers, Brice and Caleb, played a large role in the story and were really great.  Their relationship with their sister really helped illustrate how much she cared for them.  Clayton's parents were also key players in the story.  I liked how they welcomed Abby and her brothers as if they were family right from the start. 

The mystery in the book kept things interesting.  I really wanted to see Clayton save the ranch with Abby's help.  There were a few scenes where we got to see Clayton, a former SEAL, in action which was pretty exciting.  This was really a book more focused on romance than anything else and it did a wonderful job with it.  I don't know that there was really anything too surprising in the book but everything was executed perfectly.  I couldn't help but get swept away by this romantic tale.

I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary romance.  This book had just the right combination of romance, action, and great characters.  The story had just the right amount of Christmas adding just a bit to the story.  This is the first book by Donna Grant that I have read and I am really looking forward to reading more of her work soon.

I received a review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press.
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. She’s the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance including the bestselling Dark King stories. The acclaimed series features a thrilling combination of dragons, the Fae, and Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #94

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

I made it through the week and now I am officially on vacation!  I can't even describe how happy I am to get some time off from work.  I hope to get a whole lot of reading done in the upcoming week and get a bit ahead with the blog.  I do apologize for falling behind yet again this week and I promise that you will see me around more this week.

Books for Review
Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner (NetGalley)
The Cowboy Who Came Calling by Linda Broday (NetGalley)
The Brightest Embers by Jeaniene Frost (Audiobook Jukebox)

I am really excited about all three of these books.  Unsub was such a great book so I cannot wait to dive into the second book in the series Into the Black Nowhere.  I am also excited to read Broday's upcoming release The Cowboy Came Calling.  The Brightest Embers will be my next listen and I am looking forward to seeing how the trilogy wraps up.

The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant (St. Martin's Press)
So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks (St. Martin's Press)

I received a surprise package in the mail on Monday from SMP Romance.  I do remember filling out a form now that I think about it but it really did feel like Christmas opening up the package.  One of the books was wrapped up in paper like a gift.  I really should have taken a photo of it but I didn't think and tore into it as soon as I saw it.  I have already read So I Married a Sorcerer and loved it so I am happy to have a print copy and I am looking forward to reading The Christmas Cowboy Hero this week while I am off work.

Books Won

Sinless by Lynne Connolly (Goodreads Giveaway)
Up for Heir by Ruth Cardello (Goodreads Giveaway)

I was able to add a couple of romances to my kindle shelves thanks to Goodreads giveaways this week.  I haven't read either of these authors but am ready to give both of these books a try.

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review - Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck by Molly Harper @mollyharperauth @Pocket_Books

Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck by Molly Harper
Series: Southern Eclectic 0.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: October 16, 2017
Date Read: October 30, 2017
Length:  136 pages
Source: Won - Goodreads Giveaway
Molly Harper brings her signature “clever humor, snark, silliness, and endearing protagonists” (Booklist) to the charming small town of Lake Sackett, Georgia with the new Southern Eclectic series.

Carl and Marianne were high school sweethearts, loving the way only teenagers can—with no thought to logic or pride, just a bone-headed, optimistic frenzy of unicorns and hormones. That was all they needed. Or so Carl thought.

Scared of being stuck in Lake Sackett, Georgia, like so many of her friends—without a real shot at a future or achieving her own dreams—Marianne panicked and bolted to college after stomping Carl’s heart into the high grass. But when she returns to Lake Sackett for the summer with her family after years away, she and Carl are drawn together like moths to a flame. As they rekindle their old romance and remember what it was like to be in love, they have to wonder: is this, finally, their real chance at happiness?

Perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Amy E. Reichert, this warmhearted and witty love story introduces Molly Harper’s new Southern Eclectic series set in the small town of Lake Sackett, Georgia. This story about second chances proves that “Molly Harper never lets the reader down with her delightfully entertaining stories. Humor, emotions, and romance are cleverly matched, and her likable characters are most appealing” (SingleTitles).

My Review

I didn't want this story to end!  I was really excited to get my hands on this prequel novella to Molly Harper's Southern Eclectic series.  The fact that I won this title in a Goodreads giveaway made it even a little nicer.  I listened to the audiobook of another of Molly Harper's books earlier this year and really enjoyed it so I was really eager to give this new series a try.  This turned out to be a very enjoyable read.

This really felt like Marianne's story to me.  Yes, there is some romance between Marianne and Carl but this was Marianne's tale.  Marianne left the small town she grew up in when she went to college because she was looking for something more.  She found what she thought she wanted and has a life she likes and what she thinks she needs as she comes home for a little while before going to law school.

Marianne has a large and colorful family and they all live by each other.  Some of her family works in the funeral industry and Marianne is there to help out since she is home for a while.  She ends up putting some of her negotiation skills to use pretty quickly when a family can't decide how to handle a loved one's final wishes.  It was fun to watch Marianne try to find her spot in her family and their business.

When Marianne left the small town, she left Carl.  It is pretty obvious right away that Carl and Marianne are still very attracted to each other.  They have a lot of unresolved issues to work through since their break up was pretty rough but I thought that they really seemed to fit with each other.

I would recommend this book to others.  I will say that just as the romance started to get going the book ended.  I guess the idea behind a prequel novella is to make readers want to start reading the series and I can say that this novella accomplished that goal because I do want to find out what happens next.  Anyone who enjoys a fun romantic story filled with humor and great characters will enjoy this one.  I can't wait to read more from Molly Harper soon!

I won a kindle copy of this book from a giveaway on Goodreads.
About the Author

Molly Harper is the author of the popular series of paranormal romances set in the small Kentucky town of Half-Moon Hollow. She also writes the Bluegrass series of contemporary ebook romances, most recently Snow Falling on Bluegrass. A former humor columnist and newspaper reporter, she lives in Kentucky with her family. Visit her on the web at

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review - Paradox Bound by Peter Clines @PeterClines @CrownPublishing

Paradox Bound by Peter Clines
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Date Read: November 14, 2017
Length: 384 pages
Source: Blogging for Books
An ingenious, irresistible new time-travel thriller from the author of The Fold and the Ex-Heroes series

Eli’s willing to admit it: he’s a little obsessed with the mysterious woman he met years ago. Okay, maybe a lot obsessed. But come on, how often do you meet someone who’s driving a hundred-year-old car, clad in Revolutionary-War era clothes, wielding an oddly modified flintlock rifle—someone who pauses just long enough to reveal strange things about you and your world before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires?

So when the traveler finally reappears in his life, Eli is determined that this time he’s not going to let her go without getting some answers. But his determination soon leads him into a strange, dangerous world and a chase not just across the country but through a hundred years of history—with nothing less than America’s past, present, and future at stake.
My Review

This book was seriously fun!  I knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it described as a time-travel thriller.  I was completely entertained by the story from the first page.  When I wasn't actually reading the book, I was thinking about how this kind of time travel would work.  I am so glad that I made the decision to read this exciting story.

This book is told from Eli's point of view.  We first meet Eli as a child and see him as he first encounters Harry.  As a teenager, he comes across this same individual with her Model A Ford once again.  After their third meet when Eli is an adult, he decides to find Harry so that he can warn her that she may be in danger.  That is when Eli's life take a dramatic turn as he learns about people traveling through history.

I loved the time travel, or history travel, described in this book.  There are two groups of people traveling through time.  One group is searching for the American Dream while the other group is trying to stop them.  The skip through time just by finding specific slick spots in the road that lead to a specific time period.  Some towns are stuck in time while others have slick spots leading to many periods.  The faceless men were also very interesting.  The whole idea of their certainty gave me something to ponder as I went through my day.  Who need eyes, a nose, a mouth, or a face when you have certainty?  I was very glad that we were able to get a bit of perspective from this unique group.

The biggest strength of this book was that it was just a lot of fun.  There were a lot of exciting scenes and enough mystery to keep me guessing.  I thought that the whole concept of the story was well thought out and incredibly original.  I also really appreciated the fact that the characters didn't get sidetracked with romance.   Eli and Harry are simply working together to find the lost Dream.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I found this to be a really fun and exciting read filled with great characters.  This is the kind of story that almost feels like it should be made into a movie or television show. I look forward to reading more from Peter Clines soon.

I received a review copy of this book from Crown Publishing via Blogging for Books and NetGalley.
About the Author

PETER CLINES has published several pieces of short fiction and countless articles on the film and television industries. He is the author of the Ex-Heroes series, 14, and The Fold. He lives in Southern California.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review - Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang @ruthemmielang @StMartinsPress

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Date Read: November 11, 2017
Length: 352 pages
Source: NetGalley
Through the story of Weylyn Grey, Lang weaves a mystical tale about life, love, and the ability each of us has to change our own story.

Finding magic in the ordinary.

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.
My Review

This was such a magical story.  I don't read a whole lot of magical realism but it seems that I love them when I do read them.  I am not sure that this book would work for every reader since there are a whole lot of strange occurrences but it worked well for me and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up.

This book tells the story of Weylyn Grey.  We don't learn his story from Weylyn.  Instead, we learn about him in different points in time from others that are close to him.  We see Weylyn as others see him and learn all of the incredible things that play a part in his life.   Each section of the book shares a very vivid snapshot of this wonderful character.

Weylyn lives a life unlike anyone else.   He is different in a lot of ways.  He has a certain innocence throughout the book and it is hard not to fall in love with him.  I also really liked the characters in the story that shared Weylyn's story.  These characters grew and changed over the course of the book and seemed to be positively changed through their association with Weylyn.

There is a bit of magic on nearly every page of this charming story.  This was a strange book in a lot of ways but it was strange in the best way possible.  There are so many strange things associated with Weylyn and his life that I never knew what to expect.  I quickly learned not to even try to guess what Weylyn would do next and just sat back and enjoyed the journey. 

I would highly recommend this book to fans of magical realism.  I found this book to be a wonderful story filled with magic.  I am very impressed by Ruth Emmie Lang's debut novel and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.
About the Author

Ruth Emmie Lang was born in Glasgow, Scotland and has the red hair to prove it. When she was four years old, she immigrated to Ohio where she has lived for the last 27 years. She has since lost her Scottish accent, but still has the hair. Ruth currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and dreams of someday owning a little house in the woods where she can write more books. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is her first novel.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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