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Friday, May 26, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Day by Day Armageddon by J.L. Bourne @jlbourne @audible_com

SERIES: Day by Day Armageddon, Book #1
AUTHOR: J.L. Bourne
NARRATOR: Jay Snyder
PUBLISHER: Audible Studios
PUBLICATION DATE: July 13, 2010
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 38 mins
GENRE: Horror/Zombies, Science Fiction/Apocalyptic
Start intercept: Sporadic reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet. The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain. Intercept complete.

In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

MY REVIEW:

I love apocalyptic survival stories, and the start of this series reminds me of The Walking Dead…where zombies are scary and not cheesy!

The story is told entirely in epistolary fashion through the main character’s (“MC”) journal entries. A Naval Aviation Officer, whose name is never mentioned, chronicles the worldwide collapse due to a viral outbreak that begins in China. The US government sends medical military staff overseas to help out, but one of the doctors gets sick and is sent back home due to the inadequate care in the area. Thus, begins the spread of the virus to other parts of the world. The highly contagious disease causes victims to lose their motor function and act in an erratic manner, and it is transmitted through a bite. The victim dies and then returns to life, seeking to spread the virus to others. The undead are drawn to noise, and they can only be killed by trauma to the brain. People are ordered to stay indoors, and the MC prepares to hole up inside his home by stockpiling ammunition and other essentials and to reinforce the entrances to his home. A neighbor, John, makes contact with him using a flashlight. They soon are forced to leave the area, fleeing with John’s dog in tow. You gotta love a MC who refuses to leave someone’s dog behind! On the run, they rescue other survivors including a couple with a young girl and the group rallies together.

It's during a time of crisis when we see one’s true nature: To be selfless or selfish. The MC is definitely selfless. He risks his own life to save others and puts himself in danger again and again. With his military training and background in aviation, he is built to survive. If it’s the end of the world, you definitely want this guy on your side! He is a great hero to this story, and I really like John as well. The men take turns carrying John’s dog as well as the little girl. These are good men who look out for others, so you can’t help but root for them! When the government orders the use of nukes on the most infested cities, the nukes actually have the opposite effect on the zombies. Instead of destroying them, the radiation actually changes them and makes them more cunning. The story is fast-paced, but the ending comes abruptly. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile.

Narrator Jay Snyder is new to me, and I thought he suited the MC. You would think that a book of journal entries would be boring, but Snyder doesn’t make it so. He conveys the emotions of the MC, whether that’s fear, despondency, anxiety, or hopefulness.

MY RATING:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy horror/zombie or science fiction/apocalyptic stories!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Buried in Buttercream by G.A. McKevett @GAMcKevett @KensingtonBooks

SERIES: A Savannah Reid Mystery, Book #17
AUTHOR: G.A. McKevett
PUBLISHER: Kensington 
PUBLICATION DATE: March 5, 2013 (first published March 1, 2012)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 298 pages
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
ISBN: 9780758238139
After a recent brush with death, plus-sized P.I. and bride-to-be Savannah Reid has decided to stop sweating the small stuff. But when an event planner comes in to arrange her wedding, Savannah discovers that murder can ruin even the best laid plans…

Hailed as the wedding planner to the stars, Madeline Aberson has orchestrated some of the most exclusive soirees in Hollywood. But when Madeline becomes embroiled in a nasty divorce, her life falls apart, and rumors swirl that her parties have become total duds. Desperate for work, Madeline finds herself planning far less glamorous affairs, including none other than Savannah Reid’s wedding to Dirk Coulter.

It doesn’t take long for the opinionated Madeline to get on Savannah’s last nerve, and when the big day finally arrives, Savannah can’t wait to send Madeline packing. But when the bride finds Madeline’s body face down in the pool, floating among an elegant array of rose petals, it’s clear that someone has already hastened the diva’s departure. For better or for worse Savannah and Dirk put their wedding on hold, vowing instead to find out who killed Madeline and why…
MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.

This cozy mystery was a fast read for me. With a likeable protagonist and interesting secondary characters, I intend to go back and start this series from the beginning!

Savannah Reid is a retired police officer, now working as a Private Investigator. Her long-time partner on the force, Detective Sergeant Dirk Coulter, is now her fiancĂ©. She’s the oldest of nine kids, raised by their God-fearing grandmother.

After an arsonist torches the community centre where Savannah and Dirk were to exchange their wedding vows, two of Savannah’s dear friends (Ryan Stone and John Gibson) offer to pay for a top-notch wedding planner who is also an acquaintance of theirs. Savannah really doesn’t need one, as she knows exactly what she wants and how she wants it done, but she hasn’t the heart to turn down the kind offer. Savannah’s meeting with the wedding planner, Madeline Aberson, doesn’t go over too well. In her tell-it-like-it-is attitude, Savannah clues Madeline in that she’s only agreeing to her assistance out of courtesy to her friends. Madeline is irritated by the snub, but the two of them manage to work something out. Savannah agrees to allow Madeline to make the arrangements for the wedding to take place at the local country club. Everything is a go and Savannah is about to walk down the aisle when she finds out that one of her dimwitted sisters left her dearly-departed grandfather’s wedding ring that she was going to give to Dirk in a trash bag with Savannah’s things in the bridal suite. Savannah goes back to her suite and locates the precious ring, but she also finds Madeline’s body face-down in the suite’s private pool. Poor Savannah! Her wedding is on hold yet again.

I don’t normally jump into a long-standing series at the tail end of it, but this book can certainly be read as a standalone. It is mentioned several times throughout the book that Savannah nearly died three months earlier, and the good that came out of that horrific incident is that Savannah and Dirk realized their love for each other and wanted to be together. It was so refreshing to see Savannah and Dirk decide to wait until their wedding night to consummate their relationship! There was no mention as to whether these two remained virgins until their 40s or whether they just decided to wait in terms of their relationship with each other. I like how Dirk is very protective of Savannah, yet knows to stand out of her way! She’s a feisty woman, but she’s also been traumatized by the incident that left her with five bullet holes. I’m very intrigued by this life-changing event, and I plan to go back to the beginning of the series to watch how Savannah’s and Dirk’s relationship unfolds. Savannah was forced by an alcoholic mother to take responsibility for raising her siblings, so most of them have been coddled far too much and are too self-centred and self-absorbed. They need to grow up! I really like Savannah’s brother, Waycross, and his budding romance with Savannah’s assistant, Tammy, is sweet.

Memorable quote:

“He bent his head, softly kissed the scar, and said, “Every time I see that, I’m going to think how strong my wife is, that she could survive something like that. And I’m going to think how lucky I am that I didn’t lose her that day. I’m the luckiest man in this world.”

Awwww, every woman should have a man like Dirk! He's definitely a keeper.

MY RATING:
4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it in your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries! Thanks again to Kensington Books for the opportunity to review this book!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs @KathyReichs @SimonSchusterCA

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

TITLE: Two Nights
AUTHOR: Kathy Reichs
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Canada
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: July 11, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 336 pages

GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 
9781476726458
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing.

But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn't she want to be found?

It s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

I love the TV show Bones, so the Temperance Brennan series by Reichs is on my TBR. However, I like the idea of a standalone so that I don't have to commit to yet another long series at this point!


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Books with a Summer Theme #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is a Summer Reads Freebie. I'm going with:

Books with a Summer Theme

I've tried to blend a mix of adult fiction and YA, as well as some summer-time mysteries (cozies and more suspenseful thrillers) and scarier reads.


Someone Like You
by Sarah Dessen


All the Missing Girls
by Megan Miranda



The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by Ann Brashares


Clammed Up
(A Maine Clambake Mystery, Book #1)
by Barbara Ross


Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch


The Island
by Elin Hilderbrand


Dying for Strawberries
(A Berry Basket Mystery, Book #1)
by Sharon Farrow


Summer Rental
by Mary Kay Andrews


Wake
(The Watersong Quartet, Book #1)
by Amanda Hocking


Summer of Night
(Seasons of Horror, Book #1)
by Dan Simmons


The Au Pairs
(The Au Pairs, Book #1)
by Melissa de la Cruz


Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe
(Comfort Food Cafe, Book #1)
by Debbie Johnson


Joyland
by Stephen King


So, are there are summer-themed books that I have missed? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my review pile, in light of the May Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge.

TITLE: Unspoken
AUTHOR: Lisa Jackson
PUBLISHER: Zebra 
PUBLICATION DATE: November 27, 2012 (first published November 1, 1999)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 369 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781420100938
The More You Know

The envelope delivered to Shelby Cole's Seattle home contains no return address, just a photograph of a little girl. Shelby knows at once that this is the daughter she was told died at birth. And in that moment, Shelby knows something else: she needs to go back to Bad Luck, Texas.

The More You Tell

She's not the only one coming home. A long-ago killing is in the news again following recanted testimony. A violent nightmare from Shelby's past has been set free. And she can't shake a suspicion that someone is baiting her, luring her back here for their own ends.

The More There Is To Fear

Shelby's search for answers is met with stonewalling and hostility. Her only ally is a figure from her past--someone she has every reason not to trust. And in the midst of dark family revelations she uncovers a terrifying scheme of revenge. Because some secrets, once spoken, can never be forgotten--or forgiven. . .


Something from the library. I'm a big Alice Cooper fan, though I'm not a fan of golf!

AUTHOR: Alice Cooper
PUBLISHER: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
PUBLICATION DATE: May 1, 2007
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 260 pages
GENRE: Autobiography/Memoir
ISBN: 9780307382658

The man who invented shock rock tells the amazing and, yeah, shocking story of how he slayed his thirsty demons--with a golf club. It started one day when Cooper was watching a Star Trek rerun between concerts, bored and drunk on a quart-of-whiskey-a-day habit; a friend dragged the rocker out of his room and suggested a round of golf. Cooper has been a self-confessed golf addict ever since. Today he and his band still tour the world, playing some one hundred gigs a year . . . and three hundred days out of that year, Cooper is on the course.

Alice Cooper, Golf Monster is Cooper's tell-all memoir; in it he talks candidly about his entire life and career, as well as his struggles with alcohol, how he fell in love with the game of golf, how he dried out at a sanitarium back in the late '70s, and how he put the last nails in his addiction's coffin by getting up daily at 7 a.m. to play 36 holes.

Alice has hilarious, touching, and sometimes surprising stories about so many of his friends: Led Zeppelin and the Doors, George Burns and Groucho Marx, golf legends like John Daly and Tiger Woods . . . everyone is here from Dali to Elvis to Arnold Palmer.

This is the story of Cooper's life, and also a story about golf. He rose from hacker to scratch golfer to serious Pro Am competitor and on to his status today as one of the best celebrity golfers around--all while rising through the rock 'n' roll ranks releasing platinum albums and selling out arenas with his legendary act.



Something from my bookshelf. This is my vintage 1970 edition, which I've kept from my childhood! I'm reading it aloud to my daughter, and our plan is to make our way through the whole series. This is a re-read for me, but I honestly don't remember a thing about it! It read it when I was young.

SERIES: Oz, Book #2
AUTHOR: L. Frank Baum 
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
PUBLICATION DATE: 1970 (first published 1904)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 192 pages
GENRE: Children's Fiction, Classics, Fantasy
ISBN: 0590085654
"You'll never bother me again," says Mombi the witch, "once you drink this magic brew."

"What'll it do?" cries poor Tip.

"It will turn you into a marble statue!"

Tip's heart beats wildly.

Can a mere boy escape from a witch's evil power?

But this is Oz -- the marvelous, magical land where anything can happen!


I'm listening to:

Something from my review pile, in light of the May Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge.

PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: January 13, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 59 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

I just finished:

TITLE: Nemesis
SERIES: Project Nemesis, Book #1
AUTHOR: Brendan Reichs
NARRATORS: Kirby HeyborneEmily Rankin, and Paul Boehmer
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: March 21, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 10 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Orphan Black meets Lord of the Flies in this riveting new thriller from the co-author of the Virals series.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

SERIES: A Savannah Reid Mystery, Book #17
AUTHOR: G.A. McKevett
PUBLISHER: Kensington 
PUBLICATION DATE: March 5, 2013 (first published March 1, 2012)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 298 pages
GENRE: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
ISBN: 9780758238139
After a recent brush with death, plus-sized P.I. and bride-to-be Savannah Reid has decided to stop sweating the small stuff. But when an event planner comes in to arrange her wedding, Savannah discovers that murder can ruin even the best laid plans…

Hailed as the wedding planner to the stars, Madeline Aberson has orchestrated some of the most exclusive soirees in Hollywood. But when Madeline becomes embroiled in a nasty divorce, her life falls apart, and rumors swirl that her parties have become total duds. Desperate for work, Madeline finds herself planning far less glamorous affairs, including none other than Savannah Reid’s wedding to Dirk Coulter.

It doesn’t take long for the opinionated Madeline to get on Savannah’s last nerve, and when the big day finally arrives, Savannah can’t wait to send Madeline packing. But when the bride finds Madeline’s body face down in the pool, floating among an elegant array of rose petals, it’s clear that someone has already hastened the diva’s departure. For better or for worse Savannah and Dirk put their wedding on hold, vowing instead to find out who killed Madeline and why…

SERIES: Day by Day Armageddon, Book #1
AUTHOR: J.L. Bourne
NARRATOR: Jay Snyder
PUBLISHER: Audible Studios
PUBLICATION DATE: July 13, 2010
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 38 mins
GENRE: Horror/Zombies, Science Fiction/Apocalyptic
Start intercept: Sporadic reports indicate chaos and violence spreading through U.S. cities. An unknown evil is sweeping the planet. The dead are rising to claim the Earth as the new dominant species in the food chain. Intercept complete.

In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"




Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians! It seems to never fail that we get rain on the May long weekend! Yesterday was warm and I cut the grass and did other yardwork, and it's a good thing because today and tomorrow look rainy. Oh, well. Perfect for curling up with a book and a movie tonight with the kids!

If you missed it earlier, I have ARCs to swap. Check out MY POST to see if there's anything there that you'd like to read. If so, please let me know! I'd love to trade with someone. I will be adding to it once I have a chance to dig through boxes and bookshelves.


Audible had some great Daily Deals this week, and I picked these ones up for $2.95 and $1.95 each:

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
by Caitlin Doughty
**This one has been on my Wishlist for a long time. This is recommended as one of the best memoirs.

Devil in a Blue Dress
(Easy Rawlins, Book #1)
by Walter Mosley
**This mystery is a little more hardboiled than I like, but it's won a number of literary awards and the price was right so I thought I would give it a try!


I forgot to post about this sooner. Have you all been taking advantage of the FREE audioboks that SYNC has been offering? I love this program! Each week during the summer, there is a new pair of audiobooks up for grabs and you need to download them before the new pair is up which takes place every Thursday at 7:00 AM EST. The pairing consists of a newer YA book with a classic or non-fiction title, and it's based on a weekly theme. The books are suitable for ages 13+.

Here are the Week 4 FREE audiobooks, which you can download HERE. You have to download them by 7:00 AM EST on May 25th. Once you have downloaded them, the audiobooks are yours to keep forever and listen at your leisure.

Here is information about Week 4's theme:

It’s Week 4 of AudiobookSYNC’s free audiobook program! This week, the pair of audiobooks you can download for free and to keep invites listeners to consider what might be happening around them. Stepping away from attending to our own self-interest to notice how others are affected by circumstances and events is a big step toward developing empathy.

Shadow House
by Dan Poblocki
(Shadow House, Book #1)

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do To Stop It
by Nita Belles

These ones are no longer available for download, but I neglected to share them earlier as new books added to my bookshelves:

Week 3:

We come to our third week of AudiobookSYNC 2017 with two audiobooks celebrating teens who speak from the heart. Poetry and diaries both cut to the essence of what we need to say, and the voices teens can hear this week may inspire the articulation of their own feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Both of these audiobooks are short, offering good listening introductions for those new to the audio format.

Bronx Masquerade
by Nikki Grimes

Teenage Diaries: Then & Now
by Radio Diaries


Week 2:

Week 2 of AudiobookSYNC 2017 features a pair of audiobooks that take us into possibilities for the future of humanity. Both have been popular in audio since they first became available, and every new listener can quickly understand why.

Feed
by M.T. Anderson

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
(Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book #1)


Week 1:

We kick off with a pair of audiobooks each of which provides a great blend of horror, quirks in time’s effects on main characters, and the invitation to ask who each of us believes ourselves to be. What do we know about ourselves, really, or how accurately others judge our actions?

The Dead House
by Dawn Kurtagich

The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde


I received this goodie in my mailbox:

The Sixth Victim
by Tessa Harris
(A Constance Piper Mystery, Book #1)

Thanks again, Blackstone Audio!


I received these audiobooks for review:

The Garden of Small Beginnings
by Abbi Waxman

Do Not Become Alarmed
by Maile Meloy

Thanks again, Penguin Audio!


I won this book in a giveaway hosted by Savvy Reader during the Savvy Reader Read-a-Thon which took place on Saturday, May 13th:

Mitzi Bytes
by Kerry Clare

Thanks again, Harper Collins Canada & Savvy Reader!


I won this Amazon Gift Card at the Caffeinated Clean Sweep ARC Reading Challenge Twitter Party hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer on Thursday, May 18th:


Thanks again, Kimberly!


Recap: Last Week On The Blog

Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!
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