Sunday, April 23, 2017

True North Blog Tour - L.E. Sterling

True North by L.E. Sterling
Published by Entangled Teen
Published April 4th, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy/Science Fiction

FROM GOODREADS:  Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.   While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.   As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

MY THOUGHTS:  "True North" picks up right where "True Born" left off and is packed full of excitement and action.  And even though I may have enjoyed book one a tad bit more, this is still a strong installment in Sterling's series.  I think for the most part, "True North" is setting the scene for something major to happen in the next book.  Yet, don't fret, there is still plenty going on.

As the book starts, Lucy is still working with Storm in Dominion City and together they are trying to move into a position of power and figure out what is happening with the Plague and what role Lucy and her twin Margot may play in the cure.  However, upset because Storm has yet to follow up on his promise to help locate Margot in Russia, Lucy finally decides to take off on her own.  However, this time, she has some help from a new "friend," Alistair and of course, her True Born guard, Jared, is not far behind.  Together, the three of them travel to Russia, meet some new power players in the current Plague war, and get into loads of nasty predicaments.

I really enjoyed the introduction of Alistair.  I feel I need to clarify that there is no real love triangle forming as Lucy is still trying to fight her attraction to Jared and vice versa.  However, that doesn't stop me from being #TeamAlistair.  Oh well, one can dream.  Almost all of "True North" focuses on Lucy and when Margot is finally reunited with her sister, there is still a lot of her backstory missing. Being more familiar with Sterling's excellent storytelling though, I'm pretty sure the readers will learn lots more about what happened to Margot during her time in Russia when book 3 arrives.  I'm not sure about how I feel about Storm and feel there is still a lot to learn about the man who just might hold Lucy and Margot's fate in his hands.

If you liked "True Born" then reading this next installment is a must.  And if you haven't started this series, now is a great time to catch up and marathon both books.



I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance. For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since. My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words. My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend. But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow. Website:
Read the first 6 chapters HERE:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (107) - Back After Two Weeks

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.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page.

So it's been two weeks since I shared a haul.  Last weekend was a holiday weekend and to be honest, I just didn't feel like posting one.  However, that hasn't kept me from accumulating books so here we go!

I grabbed a few book for Paul Anka (my Kindle).  Some were free and others were under $3.00 (I think and nope, don't remember which were which so check before you buy).  I had to grab "The Beast of London" after seeing it on Clare's blog at Duel Reads and "Just One Damned Thing After Another" was a daily deal and since I never read it when I had it from the library, I couldn't resist.  "A Howl in the Night" is a mystery series I stumbled on and "Demon Blessed" was free and the both satisfied my C-ADHD (Canine ADHD).  "Chips of Red Paint" was also free and since my Dad had a refinished truck like that when I was a kid, the cover spoke to me.  Finally "Live Wire" sounded like a decent urban fantasy read.

I snagged the following three books from the Penguin First to Read program.  It was 3am and the dogs needed out and while I was standing at the back door, I remembered new books were being posted so I grabbed the tablet and this is what happened.  I may not make the best decisions at 3am - we'll see.  

And finally I got the following ARCs and rather than make excuses, I'm just owning it 😈😈😈 "A New Leash of Love" and "Hunting Hour" were new acquisitions courtesy of the above mentioned C-ADHD.  I saw "Strange Alchemy" on a Can't Wait Wednesday post and really wanted it - Roanoke Island/lost colony tale.  I've had my eyes on "Only the Dead Know Brooklyn" for some time and was recently approved and the "Penance" and Carnivalesque" were impulse grabs, but at least they sound promising.

I think I hit the jackpot with quite a few of these.  So what did you add to your shelves this week???

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Friday Reads (04/21/17)

I want to thank everyone who tolerated and even commented and enjoyed some of the Prince posts from the past few weeks.  I know this week was kind of heavy with them, but as he passed a year ago today, I wanted to make sure to do some things to remember him this week.  I have pretty much used up all my ideas though so that's all the Prince posts for now.  However, do expect to see some books in some upcoming hauls.

Last weekend was nice and restful.  I took Grandpa on a mini-trip last Friday while Mr. Barb was working and then he came up for Easter dinner Sunday.  With the cousins still at the house, he really needed to get out so I'm glad he felt he could come visit us.  The boys got new Easter presents - a bunny and a parrot and enjoyed seeing Grandpa as well.

We also managed to watch a few movies this week that in my opinion, at least didn't suck.  First we watched a new horror flick called "The Void."  It was kind of reminiscent of 80's horror and I can say I practically loved it.  If you are a horror fan, please consider checking it out.  Then we watched the new Jamie Foxx film, "Sleepless."  It's an action film about dirty and undercover cops in Las Vegas and although it's never going to be winning any awards, it was quite entertaining. 

So tonight I will be watching "Purple Rain" and some older videos while chilling with a mixed drink or two.  Mr. Barb works this weekend so I plan in doing some errands, visiting Grandpa and then having Chinese with Mom for lunch Sunday.  Needless to say I want to cram some reading in so here's what's up on the stack - lots of great looking books!

So how was your week and what are you planning on reading over the weekend???

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rest in Purple - Prince Book Tag

So I knew in the month of April I wanted to do a few things to commemorate the passing of my favorite artist this time last year.  Wow, it's hard to believe it's coming on a year.  So I created this book tag to combine my love of Prince with my love of books!

For favorite dystopian novel  chose "True Born" by L.E.Sterling.  I love how the book has beings with combined human and animal DNA.  Plus the second book releases tomorrow.

To say I really didn't enjoy reading "Welcome to Night Vale" is an understatement, but I do love the cover.

I grabbed "Clown Moon" in March for my Kindle after accidentally stumbling upon this awesome cover.

Matt Wallace's "Sin du Jour" series is so crazy and fun that it was an automatic choice for this category.  If you haven't read it, what are you waiting for?

I don't read a lot of classics, but I've actually read "Little Women" twice and have enjoyed it both times.

Ever since I've read "Pit Perfect" and its sequel "The Money Pit," I've wanted to give Smooshie a big old hug and kiss!

If you've read any of Jeaniene Frost's "Night Huntress" books, then you'll know why I picked Cat and Bones.

Of course I cried when I read "Marley and Me."  And then did again when I watched the movie.

Hands down it has to be "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making."

I know tons of people liked "The 5th Wave" but I just didn't understand all the hype.  

So there you have it.  I very rarely do tags, let alone create them.  If you like this and want to give it a go, please leave a comment or a link so I can check out your answers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday (102) - The Royal Edition

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. 

This week I'm sharing two books which I will definitely be pre-ordering.  They will be a great addition to my Prince collection!

DESCRIPTION: When Prince wanted to document his One Nite Alone tour in 2002, he turned to Afshin Shahidi. Again in 2004, he went along on Prince’s record breaking Musicology Tour. Afshin met Prince in 1989 and became his cinematographer and later his photographer. He was the photographer closest to Prince for the last fifteen years of Prince’s life. Afshin is the only photographer to shoot the legendary 3121 private parties in Los Angeles that became the most sought after invitations in Hollywood.

Prince: A Private View compiles his work into a journey through Prince's extraordinary life. With many never-before-seen photos, this is the ultimate collection of – some intimate, some candid, some in concert – shots of Prince, but all are carefully directed in the artist-as-art style that we associate with him. Deep photo captions are brief, but complete stories about Prince's life at that moment - some are incisive, others are personal and even funny.

DESCRIPTION: PICTURING PRINCE sees the late icon's former art director, STEVE PARKE, revealing stunning intimate photographs of the singer from his time working at Paisley Park. At least half of the images in the book are exclusively published here for the first time; most other images in the book are rare to the public eye.
Alongside these remarkable images are fifty engaging, poignant and often funny written vignettes by Parke, which reveal the very human man behind the reclusive superstar: from shooting hoops to renting out movie theatres at 4am; from midnight requests for camels to meaningful conversations that shed light on Prince as a man and artist.
STEVE PARKE started working with Prince in 1988, after a mutual friend showed Prince some of Steve's photorealistic paintings. He designed everything from album covers and merchandise to sets for Prince's tours and videos. Somewhere in all of this, he became Paisley Park's official art director. He began photographing Prince at the request of the star himself, and continued to do so for the next several years. The images in this book are the arresting result of this collaboration.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  Really???  I won't even insult you with a reason my friends!

So what can't you wait for this week (beside my crazy font to go back to normal!!!)

Monday, April 17, 2017

TTT - Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read a Book!

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 I'm sharing with you things that make me instantly want to read a book!

So what makes you instantly want to read a book???

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Need More Bandit and Driller - Descenders Vol. 2 Review

TITLE: Descenders Vol. 2
AUTHOR: Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen
PUBLISHER: Image Comics

FROM GOODREADS: Young robot boy TIM-21 and his companions struggle to stay alive in a universe where all the androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

MY THOUGHTS:  This is a great continuation to Vol. 1 and I'm really enjoying this science fiction tale.  TIM-21 and TIM-22 escape with Telsa and Dr. Quon to Hardwire, except they are forced to leave Driller and Bandit which just happen to be my two favorite characters.  TIM-21 still just wants to find Andy and the reader finally gets to meet Andy, who once he learns TIM-21 is still alive, starts his search for him with the some help from Bandit and Driller, who he rescues.  This volume also introduces the reader briefly to Andy's ex-wife who is an interesting character to say the least.

The artwork continues to be great and in this volume, some of the panels are done with a texture which resembles watercolor paper which is a really nice effect.  I have to admit I enjoyed Volume 1 a tad more than this one but it's still a strong series and I plan on continuing on with it as soon as I can locate the next volume at my local library.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Duels & Deception Blog Tour

Duels and Deception
Cindy Anstey
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father’s choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.
Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won’t hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert’s help, Lydia strives to keep her family’s good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

Author Bio:
Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.
She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.
Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

MY THOUGHTS: I found "Duel & Deception" to be a really cute read and am so glad I picked it up.  Lydia's father passed away a few years ago and although she is not quite 18 yet, she is basically in charge of the family estate.  While her drunken uncle has been named executor until she becomes of age, he is the brightest of chaps and left alone, would quickly run the estate into the ground. Lydia is set to marry Lord Ashterton, a neighbor who doesn't necessarily have the money, but does hold the status, and together run both neighboring estates.  However, while this plan was fine with Lydia in the past, once she meets her lawyer's new apprentice, Robert Newton, she starts to question if she is marrying for all the wrong reasons.  In addition, throw in a kidnapping, a lot of deception and foul play, and a few ornery and despicable characters and Anstey creates a fun historical romp.

One of my favorite things about "Duels & Deception" is the characters.  Lydia is definitely not the quiet, passive refined individual someone in her position should be and she almost always speaks her mind.  She is also as smart as a tack because she manages to accomplish things yet maintain propriety and make it look like she is the mild-manner lady-in-waiting society expects.  I loved the interaction between her and Mr. Newton as well.  I will say that I quite easily figured out the main mystery part of the novel, yet so many other things were playing out that it was just as exciting even though I was aware.

If you enjoy historical novels and don't mind a little bit of romance, then you'll probably find "Duels & Deception" to be of some interest.  Anstey's writing is smooth and easy and every time I set the book down, I found myself picking it back up to read just a little bit more.  I haven't yet read her first book, "Love, Lies & Spies" but definitely plan on doing so in the future.

I received a copy of "Duels & Deception" from Xpresso Books Tours and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: 4 Paws

Weekly Reads (04/14/17)

Hope everyone who celebrates the Easter holiday has a nice weekend ahead of them.  We aren't doing anything on a grand scheme but hope to enjoy some family time.  I have a three day weekend so I'm hoping that I can get a little more reading in than usual.  You will see coming up that I have an ambitious stack planned.  Mr. Barb has three more weeks until graduation so he's on the homestretch with classes.  Also, Booker T and Cass are enjoying the Spring weather we've had this week and I'm hoping to get some pictures taken of them over the weekend (especially since they are getting new Easter toys).

I'm still watching "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix and have 3 episodes left.  I think it's really well done and am amazed at how deeply it looks into how far bullying in high school can go and the results of such acts.  Mr. Barb and I watched "The Get Down: Part 2" last weekend. It was only 5 episodes and I didn't really like them as much as I did the first 6.  In fact, we kind of felt like we were watching two different shows.  We also rented "The Bye Bye Man" and man, it was a colossal waste of time in my opinion.  There were a few jumpy parts but on the whole, we should have just skipped it.

So by now everyone who read my review for the new Prince book yesterday knows how much I loved it and how quickly I devoured it.  Since then, I've moved on to a few new books so here's what's up next on the stack.  I really can't hold off on reading "About A Dog" much longer and I should be able to knock out the graphic novels as well.

So everyone be safe this coming week and hope you get to spend lots of time doing what you want to do.  As always, I appreciate you stopping by The Farm.