Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ice Lake - Gone Cold by B.J Daniels

Gone Cold by B.J Daniels

First Chapter First Paragraph

'Is everything all right, honey?'
Morgan Sinclair stirred from her dark thoughts as Tom turned off the highway onto a snowy narrow road. She suddenly felt anxious as she looked at the glistening, cold white mountains ahead.

Pg 34

She surreptitiously studied the other guests, wondering who was staying in the cabin closest to them. Morgan didn't lie to herself; she was searching for 'A.'

Pg 56

Had he gotten the SUV stuck on purpose, so she couldn't leave him once he told her the truth?


Gone Cold was straight forward suspense from the first page. Morgan's new husband Tom gets a text message that has her concerned and she slowly realizes that she knows very little about the man she recently married. I enjoyed the suspense of the first story as it kept the pace and makes it easy to finish the almost 100 page suspense story.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Adopt a Shelter Dog!

From the title of the post you're probably wondering what does shelter dogs have to do with books? Well, Guinnevere Shuster decided they needed a book all of their own!

About the Author - Suzanne Johnson aka Susannah Sandlin

About the Author
Suzanne Johnson aka Susannah Sandlin was born in and a current resident of Alabama but also a long time citizen of New Orleans, the setting of her Sentinels series. She is a veteran journalist with more than fifty national awards in writing and editing nonfiction for higher education. She is currently the editor of the quarterly magazine for Auburn University in Alabama. Suzanne is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc., and is a member of the Southern Magic, Kiss of Death, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters of RWA.

Suzanne Johnson Links

Susannah Sandlin Links

Monday, April 25, 2016

Books by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s
The Very First Damned Thing
A Symphony of Echoes
When a Child is Born
A Second Chance
Roman Holiday
A Trail Through Time
Christmas Present
No Time Like the Past
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings
Lies, Damned Lies, and History

Other books
A Bachelor Establishment (Isabella Barclay)
The Nothing Girl

Little Donkey

If you've reviewed any of her other books let me know what you think of them in the comments. The Chronicles of St. Mary's is definitely on my TBR list and possibly A Bachelor Establishment would be next. However, eventually I do think I'd like to read all of her works. She seems to be someone who thinks out of the box when creating situations and solutions for her characters - one of the traits I admired and hated at the same time when I read Just One Damned Thing After Another. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Books by Suzanne Johnson aka Susannah Sandlin

Suzanne Johnson books

Christmas in Dogtown

Sentinels of New Orleans
River Road
Elysian Fields
Pirate’s Alley
Pirateship Down
Belle Chasse

Anthology Contributions
Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology (Set in Sentinels of New Orleans)
Summer Gothic: A Collection of Southern Hauntings

Susannah Sandlin books

Contributed to Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts

Penton Legacy

Omega Force
Storm Force

The Collectors
Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Deadly, Calm, and Cold

Wilds of the Bayou

Wild Man’s Curse

Readathon - Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson - REVIEW

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans, #1)

Readathon - Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson Quotables

Finished Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson during readathon. Uploading Royal Street Quotables

Royal Street Suzanne Johnson

What should a wizard pack when fleeing a hurricane? It sounded like the opening line of a bad joke.

The sentinel in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was a self-absorbed, Elder-wannabe asshat monkey. I’d walk to my grandmother’s before I’d voluntarily spend time with him.

If normal hurricane frenzy ranked five on a scale of one to ten, Katrina hysteria had ratcheted up to fifty in the past twenty-four hours. ….. .Without a miracle, the City That Care Forgot (or, as we liked to call it, the City That Forgot to Care) would be in trouble.

We had an unwritten belief system: God watches out for fools and New Orleanians.

If Gerry had tried that stunt, we wouldn’t have to worry about a hurricane. We’d be so deep-fried you could roll us in powdered sugar and sell us as beignets.

I finally broke down and visited my father – Gran had told me it was his off-day. I didn’t feel too badly about waiting so long. The roads worked in both directions, and he hadn’t come to see me either.

I’m an empathy, not a psychic or telepath. I can tell what an arrogant letch you are but I can’t read your flipping mind.

‘The fight wasn’t over,’ I said through gritted teeth. ‘I’d have wont.’ Probably.
‘Right,’ he said. ‘And something just flew past your window. It was oinking.’

‘Do you think you brought enough firepower?’ Talk about overkill. He could take down a small third-world country.

‘Kindergarten is over, DJ. As we say in Mississippi, if you want to play with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch.’

Tonight, as long as he left me alone, Mr. Fixit could do whatever charges his chain saw.

‘So why aren’t you driving some big studly truck with Playboy Bunny mud flaps?’
‘Why aren’t you riding a broom?’ he muttered to himself….

First, I got rid of Alex, telling him I had cramps and wanted to rest. Mention cramps and guys get a panicked, deer-in-headlights look and develop a sudden urge to go hunting or drink beer. Like hormones might be contagious. Too bad they’re not. The world would be a more equitable place. Or more violent. It could go either way.

Great. That would help find Gerry. To stay busy till the magical desk jockeys got their horses lined up….

Anything magic couldn’t fix, duct tape and WD-40 could.

An iron? Was he kidding? God made knits so people didn’t have to iron.

Jake, who knew only that I had some nebulous relationship with his cousin and was missing an uncle, apparently didn’t find the subject of my needing a gun the least suspicious. Gotta love the South.

Sorry, Jake, but the world isn’t exactly what you thought it was.

‘Quit trying to be so tough, DJ. I’m here. I’m not leaving.’
‘Everybody leaves.’

Given enough time, people say, everything heals.

Royal Street 1st Paragraph, Page 34, and Page 56 Excerpts

First Chapter First Paragraph

A secluded Louisiana bayou. A sexy pirate. Seduction and deceit. My Friday afternoon had the makings of a great romantic adventure, at least in theory.   - When DJ says at least in theory....sorry folks that's as far as it goes so far....hoping for at least some romance before the book ends since it was alluded to at the beginning. 

Page 34

A red-faced man in a white polo shirt that failed to camouflage the evidence of a few too many Budweisers ranted to nobody in particular. “I heard there’s over a million people running from this dadburned storm.”
He had to be from Mississippi. Nobody from Southeast Louisiana says “dadburned.”
 - These two lines made me feel right at home. It's been awhile but I used to hear older folks like my grandparents use "dadburned" when I was younger. A moment of nostalgia and made me smile when I read it. 

Page 56

I felt like Alice, but I’d slid down the rabbit hole past Wonderland and straight into hell. - Being a fantasy book and references to the Beyond, an undead realm, I liked the reference to Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit hole - very fitting. 

I will post additional excerpts once I finish the book. I originally planned on doing these elements separate - which I may if I'm reading an ebook and going based off of percentages. However, 56 pages is easy enough to get through in one day; therefore, when I'm reading a physical book I will probably try to keep these elements together in one post. I like having more than one or two sentences when I post. Leave your comments below what you prefer and any additional current read features you enjoy!

Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson

The newest book I picked up at the library is Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson. I didn't realize it until I got home and searched for the book on Goodreads but Royal Street is actually book 1 of a series called Sentinels of New Orleans. It is a fantasy book.

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor REVIEW - For an Adult Audience

Dewey's 24 hour Readathon - TODAY!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Today is Dewey's 24 hour readathon! I had picked up a few extra books at the library just in case I need to vary my reading. I think my biggest obstacle will be tonight when my boyfriend goes to bed and I want to see how late I can stay up. I will need to look for an ebook after "lights out."
My current read I'm hoping to finish: Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson. 
My optional reads to "change the scenery" :
Ice Lake (3 story Anthology approx 100 pages per story.)
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (more time travel)
The Matchmaker by N. G. Simsion
Playing with Matches by N. G. Simsion
Tell Me You Want Me by Amelia James.
Opening Meme
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Small town Ohio, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? How to Live Safely in a  Science Fictional Universe. I'm hoping it's similar to my last read Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Sour cream and onion Potato Skins!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  Quirky country girl that loves to read. I'm starting to think Sci-Fi (time travel) and fantasy seems to be my favorite genres. 
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?    This is my first readathon WOOHOO!!! I'm curious how late I'll stay up after my boyfriend goes to bed. The idea of wanting/trying to stay up for 24 hours makes me feel like a little kid again!

Friday, April 22, 2016

About the Author - Jodi Taylor

About the Author

Jodi Taylor (who also writes as Isabela Barclay) is, and always has been, a History Nut. Her disinclination to get out of bed for anything after 1485 can only be overcome by massive amounts of chocolate, and sometimes, if it’s raining, not even then.

She wanted to write a book about time-travel that was a little different, and not having a clue how difficult this would make her book to classify, went ahead and slung in elements of history, adventure, comedy, romance, tragedy, and anything else she could think of. Her advice to booksellers is to buy huge numbers of her books and just put one on every shelf.  (This really does sum up Just One Damned Thing After Another)

The result is the story of the St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research and the nutters who work there.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Just One Damned Thing After Another Excerpts

I combined the First Chapter, First Paragraph, 34% and 56% with the other excerpts I enjoyed from this book.

First Chapter First Paragraph

There have been two moments in my life when everything changed. Moments when things could have gone either way. Moments when I had to make a choice.

He said, “You’ve come a long way since then. You stood in front of me, radiating attitude and defiance and now look at you, heading up the most important assignment we’ve ever had. I’m proud of you.”

“Jesus,” whispered Dieter, “I am never going anywhere with you again, Max. Ever. I’m not even using the dining room if you’re there. You’re a [f***ing] disaster!”

Quotables (excerpts I found amusing/interesting/personally relatable)
Studying history opened doors to other world and other time and this became my escape and my passion.

Silence holds no fears for me. I never feel the urge to fill it as so many other people do.

Although the phrase ‘time travel’ is so sci-fi. We don’t do that. Here at St. Mary’s we investigate major historical events in contemporary time.

But as Lisa Simpson once said, It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

He smiled and said, ‘You’re not a team player. Yet. You don’t trust people enough to place your safety in their hands. You don’t like relying on other people and you especially don’t want to rely on me because you don’t know me, you don’t like me, and you don’t trust me. At this very moment you’re wishing I’d drop dead so you can vanish back to your room and enjoy your own solitary self, doing whatever you do in there every night.

Size matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

‘Never mind,’ he said. ‘There’s always tomorrow night. But there wasn’t. It only goes to show – take your eye off the ball and Fate, Destiny, History, call it what you will, steps up and just pisses all over your chips.

Trouble had arrived and it was up to us to deal with it, even if we had only stumbled upon it by accident.

It seemed very possible we would all be killed by idiots rather than villains, which would be typical.

Everything you touch, everywhere you go, people die.

‘You’d better go after them,’ I said, eventually. ‘Markham’s quite capable of getting into trouble between here and the back door!’

Apparently, there’s something in the Geneva Convention or the Human Rights Thingy about leaving people lying around bleeding. I was going to require some convincing.

He looked much better as people tend to do when they’ve got fat, calories, salt, sugar, and cholesterol inside them.

That was the moment when everyone’s imagination took flight and we became unstoppable.

Sod’s Law decrees if a thing can go wrong it will. We’ve done our best but something will happen that we haven’t foreseen and then we’ll just have to wing it.

You can say this about historians, we may be the tea-drenched disaster magnets of St. Mary’s but bloody hell, can we think quickly when we have to?

We grabbed from all over the Library so it should be a nice mixed bag. Of course, with our luck, it’ll be just multiple copies of the furniture inventory.

Society is rigid. Everyone knows everyone else in their world. Everyone has their place in the scheme of things. If you don’t belong to a family, a tribe, a village, a guild, whatever, you don’t exist then, either. And you can’t just pitch up somewhere without mutual acquaintances, recommendations, or letters of introduction. Life on the fringes of society, any society in any time is tough.

‘DON’T YOU COME NEAR me, you devious, double-dealing, underhand, rat-bastard. I’m going to gut you with a rusty breadknife and then stake your honey-covered arse over an anthill in the noonday sun.’

Not so much the end – more a kind of pause…

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Features

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I do plan on incorporating blog features based off as memes such as First Chapter First Paragraph [Tuesday] Intros hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea,  What Are You Reading [Wednesdays] hosted by It's A Reading Thing, [Thursday] Quotables hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, and The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice. These meme features won't actually be posted on the same day of the week as the hosting blog since they pertain to the current read. However, I still want to credit the blog authors for the ideas.

First Chapter First Paragraph Intros - Copy and discuss the 1st paragraph of my current read
What Are You Reading? - Page 34 or 34% (Kindle) and share one complete sentence
Quotables - Excerpts either periodically or all at once at the end before the day before the review
[Friday] 56 - Page 56 or 56% (Kindle) and share one complete sentence.
I also plan to post an Author Spotlight type feature sometime in between the other features which may include links to the Author's social media, other books by the author, and any special blurbs about the author from either the book or his/her website/social media.

If one of these features doesn't fall on a Wednesaday I do plan on participating in WWW Wednesdays hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

Hopefully, these features will provide a chance to post new content nearly every day!

Leave your favorite memes/blog feature in the comments!

Monday, April 18, 2016

First Book - Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

I finally picked out Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. This is the first book in her new series The Chronicles of St. Mary's. I received an advanced copy from Edelweiss Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review (which I will post later.) So far it seems interesting.

Some of my favorite quotes from the first chapter:

"Studying history opened doors to other worlds and other times and this became my escape and my passion." - I liked this because it's the same way I feel about reading books.

"Silence holds no fears for me. I never feel the urge to fill it as so many other people do." - I thought this was an interesting way to think of filling those awkward silences in conversation - a fear of silence.

"Although the phrase 'time-travel' is so sci-fi. We don't do that. Here at St. Mary's we investigate major historical events in contemporary time." - Such a sophisticated way to describe time travel.

"But as Lisa Simpson once said, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." - Everyone's all-time favorite quote.

I'm really looking forward to finishing this book and the rest of the series to follow!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Join Me and Escape the Stress of Daily Life!

If you was locked in a room with no one to talk to, no internet, no phone, no connection to the outside world, what is the one thing that could drag you so far away the room would collapse and you could be free as a bird? A Book! A book can take you anywhere. When the pressures of life get too hard to handle open a good book and fly away. In Bridge to Terabithia, a book I read in school a long time ago, the characters created a magical land in they're back yard.  Books open up new "magical lands" that we could have never dreamed of ourselves.

On this blog, I will be reviewing books I read. A good book with a high review will be one that takes me so far away I almost forget my "real life." The characters and places come alive as if I actually witnessed the events and met the characters myself.  A book with a low review will be a book that I flipped pages just to get to the end. I never leave my room; I never get attached to the book. An average book comes to life but has no wow factor. I'm interested but it's not real to me.