On Vacation #AmReading #BeachReads #FreeBook

Along with visiting family, this is where I’ll be spending a chunk of time over the next several days.  I have my beach reads chosen and packed (kind of ambitious with three books, but I dream big) – hopefully I’ll get through a couple of them.  That doesn’t count what’s on my Nook and Kindle.

Behold the chosen ones:

 

Next Friday, August 30th, The Gemini Connection will be free on Book Barbarian.  I’ll post something here on that day and would deeply appreciate any sharing – thanks in advance!

See you guys on September 3rd!

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings #bookreview #YA #dystopian

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

I’ve had this in my TBR for far too long, and after finishing it, I’m sorry I didn’t get to it sooner.

When another author friend recommended this book, I looked it up and loved the premise.  Having La Femme Nikita as a comp title was just icing on the cake.  Trained assassins, a government who tracks population numbers, a fierce female protagonist, and family secrets – what’s not to like?  Be warned – this is a dark storyline with violence and some graphic deaths, so it may not be to everyone’s taste; however, if you enjoy thrilling plot twists and outstanding action sequences, this could be for you.  I felt like the romance happened at the speed of lightning (literally love at first sight for one of the characters), but it didn’t really overshadow the plot.

Several reviewers have commented on the violence, but I felt it was comparable to The Hunger Games.  I’ve already downloaded the next book, and I guarantee it won’t take me so long to read this one.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones #bookreview #YA #fantasy#TuesdayBookBlog

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves. 

Besides the dazzling cover, this intriguing description caught my attention.  I’ve read numerous stories about risen corpses, but they were usually zombies.  Bone houses are a unique take, and I had to know more about them.

Characterization is strong in this novel.  From the main characters, supporting characters, and down to the loyal, territory-defending goat, I enjoyed all of them.  Ryn is a take-charge, driven main character and as a gravedigger possesses a strong sense of compassion and respect for the dead.  After losing her parents, providing for her brother and sister is her priority.  Ellis has a mysterious past, and it’s refreshing to see a male character who knows his strengths and limits and isn’t afraid to let a female take the lead.  Their relationship develops naturally with occasional sarcastic banter that gave me some laughs.

It’s difficult to put a new spin on zombies, but this author manages to do it.  Bone houses aren’t the typical risen dead – no spoilers – and they provide some nail-biting moments.

This isn’t really a fast-paced novel, and some parts are predictable, but the story pulls you in and makes it difficult to put down the book.

Because it features risen corpses, don’t think The Bone Houses is a horror novel – it’s far from it.  The overriding themes are the importance of family and learning to move on after a loss.  It’s an unusual story I’d recommend to fans of supernatural tales.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

 

#Serengeti, #Otherhood, #AmWatching

It’s a hot, steamy Monday here.  Temps have been in the mid 90s for the past week, and this girl doesn’t venture outside very often when it’s that hot.

On the list for this week is getting ready for vacation and getting final edits in for the new book by Thursday.  I’m also sending out information for Bad Moon Rising.  If you’re interested in participating, I have six spots left.  Hurry and contact me!

Are any of you watching Serengeti on the Discovery Channel?  Hubby and I are addicted and completely taken with the animals this series is focusing on – a single mother lion trying to provide for her cubs after being shunned by her pride, a male baboon who adopts the orphaned baby of his ‘love interest’, a ‘teen’ male elephant struggling to find his place in the herd after his mother gives birth to his brother – the footage is heartwarming, comical, and even shocking at times, and the scenery is stunning.

We also watched a Netflix Original movie, Otherhood.  Three mothers whose grown sons forgot Mother’s Day decide to drop in on them unannounced in NYC.  It’s nothing that would win any awards, but an amusing way to spend 90 minutes or so.  Having sons, I found several things to laugh over.

Hope everyone has a great week – try to stay cool!

 

Calling #Horror, #Thriller, and #Paranormal #IndieAuthors for #BadMoonRising

 

For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising!  If you’re an indie author of horror, thriller, or paranormal books and would like to be featured, send me your info.  Free publicity, book sales (hopefully!), new authors to follow, and more books added to the TBR – what’s not to like?

Each post will feature one of your releases, a blurb, author bio, social media links, buy links, and a short interview.  If you’d like to include a giveaway or have alternative ideas for your post, I’m open to suggestions.

This is the fifth year of Bad Moon Rising and spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’d like to be included, email me at tpolen6@gmail.com.

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen

Author Marcia Meara very generously loans out her blog for #ShareAReviewDay every Tuesday and featured The Gemini Connection this week. While you’re there, check out her romantic suspense series, Wake-Robin Ridge and Riverbend. Thanks again, Marcia!

The Write Stuff

Our second guest of the day is author Teri Polen, who is sharing a terrific review of her book, The Gemini Connection. This one ticks all the boxes for folks who love sci-fi adventure and action, combined with unbreakable bonds between brothers. I know you’ll want to share it all over social media. Thanks!

REVIEW:

D. W. Peach

June 23, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Oh, what a fun read. Sci-fi fans will have a blast with this thriller, but readers who love human stories will thoroughly enjoy this book too. Simon and Evan are twins with a unique connection even though they are strikingly different. Simon is cerebral, a scientist and gentle soul. Evan is a jock with a temper and a painful chip on his shoulder—he’s never been able to live up to his parents’ expectations.

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WWW Wednesday: What Am I Reading? #amreading

WWW Wednesday is a meme from Sam at Taking On A World Of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

If you know me, what I’m currently reading may surprise you.  I’ve read nearly all of D.G. Driver’s novels (she’s practically a neighbor, living in Nashville).  All the Love You Write is the continuation of a novella (here) I read by this author a few years ago.  The interfering ghosts mentioned in the description are Mark’s grandparents who left behind love notes they’d written to each other while his grandfather served in the Vietnam war.  I challenge you to read this and not have every heartstring you possess tugged on.  Such a sweet, heartwarming story.

A story about young love, first love, true love, timeless love, and the power of love letters.

Mark and Bethany are two mismatched high school seniors in a new relationship.

It’s doomed to fail.

Mark has adored Bethany since middle school, and she’s finally giving him a chance. Only, he’s clumsy at romance and knows he’ll lose her because of it. Bethany thinks Mark is sweet. Only, she’s afraid to commit her whole heart to him because he’s going into the army and she’s headed off to college.

Fifty years earlier, a boy and a girl from the same high school shared an amazing but tragic love story. They have now returned as ghosts and are interfering in Mark and Bethany’s relationship.

Who are they? Why do they care what happens to Mark and Bethany?

Over the weekend, I finished The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett.  What a fun romp this was!  With ciphers, puzzles, and teasing dialogue, this had the feel of an Indiana Jones movie.

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it. 

Next, I’ll read Hood Academy by Shelley Wilson.  It’s been a while since I’ve read werewolves (Twilight maybe?), so I’m excited to get to this one.

Will she follow the pack…or destroy them?

A dead mother. A violent father. A missing brother.

When Mia’s father is murdered, it’s her estranged uncle that comes to the rescue, but what he offers her in return for his help could be worse than the life she is leaving behind.

Taken to Hood Academy, a unique school deep in the forest, she discovers friendships, love, and the courage to stand on her own.

Mia takes the oath that seals her future as a werewolf hunter, but not everyone wants Mia to succeed.

Screams in the night. Secret rooms. Hidden letters. Mia becomes an important piece in a game she doesn’t want to play.

Loyalty, friendships, and family bonds are tested as Mia discovers her true identity, but will the truth set her free, or will it destroy her?