Friday, December 8, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (139)/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

I ended up grabbing some books from Amazon this week on sale.  I've heard some good things about "Jade City" so when I got an email Friday that it was on sale for $2.99 I went ahead and grabbed it.  "The Ripper's Shadow" is a book I've been meaning to read all year and even though my library has it, it was on sale for $0.99 so I figured  it was worth it.  Finally "Demon Dog" was a total impulse but for $0.99 as well.

I also received three books from Netgalley and the publishers.  I'm thrilled to have "Pick and Chews" especially since it's a series I'm current on and I featured it on a Can't Wait Wednesday post a few weeks ago.  "The Dogs of Camelot" looks right up my alley and pretty interesting to boot.  I used to love werewolf books but really haven't read any in ages so I'm hoping "Wolf Blood" rekindles my love of them.

What did you add to your shelves this week???

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Weekly Reads (12/08/17) I Smell Snow

That pretty much says it all.  Late Thursday morning I spotted the first flakes falling from the sky.  They didn't amount to much and while for a whole second they put me in the Christmas mood, sanity took over and I was forced to face the fact that Winter is in fact coming and there's little I can do about it.  

It's been a pretty uneventful week here at The Farm.  For anyone who has followed the Stupid Cousin (SC) saga over the past year or so, he had the audacity to call me Sunday morning (and wake me up) to ask to borrow money.  Apparently he was stuck in a dream where he thought I would say yes since it was so early.  Maybe my "NO!" woke him up.  

The pups are fine and hopefully I can get some newer Christmas pics of them soon.  They both got new toboggans and Cass makes the cutest reindeer (with his new antlers and all).  To be honest, I haven't read much this past week.  I've been a tad under the weather and it's kind of interfered with reading.  However, I am about 100 pages into "Pupcakes" and enjoying it.  Here's the next books up on the stack.

Saturday is Mr. Barb's birthday and although he has to work until 4pm, the pups and I are planning dinner and cupcakes for him when he gets home.  We haven't really watched any good movies lately but I found out "It" will be available digitally 12/21 so I know what will be the yearly Christmas Eve movie this year.  I did finish watching "Longmire" and overall it was good but I felt like some things were really pushed.  

Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead and are you reading and watching anything good?

This Book Will Make You Hungry!

TITLE: Twelve Slays of Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1)
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Frost
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
PUBLISHING DATE: October 10, 2017

FROM GOOREADS: When Holly White's fiance cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime--exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly's family tree farm. 

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly's father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn't help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost's jolly series debut.

MY THOUGHTS: If you are looking for a cute cozy to get you in the Christmas mood, look no further because "The Twelve Slays of Christmas" does just that. Holly has just returned home to Mistletoe, Maine for the holidays after her fiance called off their wedding. In order to get over the loss, she immerses herself in work on her parents Christmas tree farm and it's there that the reader becomes introduced to the entire zany cast of characters. Soon after the book begins, a townswoman named Margaret is found dead on the property after making numerous people upset. The tree farm is now abuzz with investigations from the new detective in town and it is ruining the annual Reindeer Games.

This book is just so much fun. I'm not even a huge reader of Christmas-themed tales but I devoured it in a few days. The tree farm is so quaint and the activities associated with Reindeer Games sound like so much fun even a Scrooge would enjoy them. I really enjoyed meeting all the residents of Mistletoe, Maine and of course the mystery kept me on my toes as well. This book is Christmas through-and-through and I am wondering what the author has planned for the next installment because I can't imagine anything other than Christmas tales in this setting. I mean, even Holly's cat (where's the dog love cozy writers???) is named Cindy Lou. I will warn you there that there is tons of talk about food in the book though - from pies and cookies to cocoa and cupcakes. I was seriously hungry through half of it.

"Twelve Slays of Christmas" earns 5/5 because the mystery kept me on my toes, the characters were a blast and the setting definitely put me in the Christmas mood. If any of that interests you, then I suggest you start this series as well!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

November 2017 Wrap-Up

Well, it's that time again - time to look back at what I read during the past month and take stock of my challenge progress.  I participated in a Christmas reading challenge and also worked in a few library books as well.  All in all I'm pretty happy with how the month shaped up so here we go!

GOODREADS: 95/100 - almost there and at this point, I've already read one in December so I'm not real worried and believe I will meet my target.
2017 CLOAK & DAGGER CHALLENGE: 40/26 (Twelve Slays of Christmas, A Christmas Peril, Death in the Stacks, Canal Day Calamity)
2017 FLIGHTS OF FANTASY CHALLENGE: 41/18 (The Rules of Magic, Rolling in the Deep)
2017 HORROR READING CHALLENGE: 42/15 (Gluttony Bay, The Truants, October Faction Vol. 4, Rolling in the Deep)
2017 WHAT AN ANIMAL CHALLENGE: 24/20 (Canal Day Calamity)
2017 NEW RELEASE CHALLENGE: 71/61 (Twelve Slays of Christmas, Gluttony Bay, The Truants, A Christmas Peril, The Rules of Magic, Death in the Stacks, Canal Day Calamity)

So I pretty much completed all of my challenges except Goodreads and as I write this, only have 3 1/2 books yet to read to nail it as well.  I'm happy with how things are going and am still having tons of fun.  I had 3 5-paw reads which is great, 4 4-paw reads, 1 3-paw read and a lonely DNF which is rare for me but I don't regret it one bit (Thanks Stormi for the encouragement to call it quits on The Truants).

So how did your month shape up???

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (135)

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.

Hello guys,  it's Booker T and Cass.  We're sneaking in and using Mom's computer while she is at work.  We haven't had a chance to work (play) on it in a while and we have to make an appearance for our faithful followers every once in a while.  Mom's been busy with Christmas prep and Dad's birthday is this weekend so we're sure she won't mind.  We've each picked a book we think Mom and a lot of your will like!

FROM GOODREADS: The Tail Waggin' Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who's filming the festivities. She's critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake--and as a matter of fact, that's exactly what they're both going to do . . .

It's the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore--with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard--but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation--whether he wants her to or not . . 

WHY BOOKER T CAN'T WAIT:  Mom loves this series and I think that philosophical basset named Socrates is one cool pup!

FROM GOODREADS: The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores. 

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world. 

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world. 

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

WHY CASSIUS CAN'T WAIT:  A mysterious crow??? Mom, can I have a mysterious crow....PLEASE!


My First 2018 Challenge Announcement

I've done this challenge for the past few years and it's pretty much a given for me.  I am so glad Yvonne @ Socrates Books Reviews hosts it every year.  I have achieved my goals every year so far with this one and I'm aiming for Level 3 this year.  Here are the rules and guidelines:

1. Any book read for this challenge has to have an animal that plays a major role in the book (which could be fiction or non-fiction.)
 It also counts if a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you'd like). In the past, books would qualify if an animal is in the title or on the cover, but that alone no longer qualifies. This challenge is for books related to animals and just because they are in the title or on the cover, doesn't mean it's about an animal.

These are the levels.

Level 1 - Read 6 books

Level 2 - Read 7-12

Level 3 - Read 13-20

Level 4 - Read 21 or more

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragon, mermaid, centaur, vampire, get the idea...

3. Challenge runs from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.

5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or you can just list them as you find them.

6. Book titles may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).

7. Crossovers with other challenges are permitted and encouraged.

8. You don't have to have a blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.
 If you don't have a blog, just post in the comment section that you'd like to join. You can post your books in there. Or you can sign up by joining my group on Goodreads for this challenge by clicking here.

9. Books can be in any format of your choice (print, audio, ebooks)

10. To sign up, use the Mister Linky below. There will be links for reviews and wrap posts later.

That's it! Enjoy and have fun!

Monday, December 4, 2017

TTT - 10 Books Settings I'd Like to Visit - NOT!

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 book settings I'd like to visit.  I kind of did that topic already in October when the topic was related to food and I switched it up.  You can find that post here.  So therefore, I'm switching this one to 10 Book Settings There is No Way in Hell I'd Visit.

Matt Wallace's Sin du Jour universe - Killer Santas, cupids and Easter Bunnies, demons everywhere, blood and gore - while it's all a blast to read about, I wouldn't fare well in this world.

One word about this setting - SNAKES.  I'm even amazed I was able to read it and sit through the movie.  That should clue you in on how much I actually liked the story.  No way would I be here!

I didn't even like reading about the New Mexico settlement called Little Heaven so I know it's a place I would never visit!  Too many weird and creepy things.  Plus, the book bored me so the setting might and just when I let my guard down, I'd end up dead.

You couldn't GIVE me an apartment in the Bramford.

Night Vale is too odd for even me, and that's saying something.

A creepy apartment next to a graveyard with only my family as the occupants - nope, no way.

Do I even have to explain?

So the apocalypse has arrived and I'm stuck with a bunch of high schoolers?  KILL ME NOW!

I think the setting alone might be fun but if I had to spend any time with Alice, I'd be tried for murder or at the very least assault.  So I better stay away from this one too.

I wouldn't do well in the Seven Kingdoms.  I'd probably die pretty quickly.  The only house I'd want to be a part of is the Stark's and have you seen how cold and crude it is there?

So there you have it - my list.  Hope you enjoyed!