Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Blog on Hiatus! I like to move it move it!


Hiya readers!
Please excuse my absence and slacking on the bloggity lately. There are big things happening in Casa Bambi... involving an impromptu move across the country! Watch out Arizona - here we come! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be moving to the land of Kristen Ashley and Diana Gabaldon. I am gonna fan girl all over the freaking place! So for the next couple months, I am not going to be posting much. I'm trying to pack up the house for me and the pups, and I have to head back out west to find a house. The move itself will be taking place mid-October, so my time in New Orleans is winding down. Things are super duper crazy and hectic. I am not getting much reading time for print books - but I am rocking the audiobooks. I am currently enjoying a Rock Chick audio marathon, and should be posting a series review soon.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

ARC Review: Sleeper by Lexi Blake

Series:     Hunter #3 / Thieves #8
Pub. Date:Oct. 17, 2017
Publisher:DLZ Entertainment
Length:476 pages
Source:InkSlingrPR

I'm very greedy for this series, to the extent that I did an entire series re-read last year and then bought the whole series from Lexi at the RT Convention. So I did a happy dance when I saw we had a new installment coming out this month. And, seeing as I got the ARC on my birthday... happy birthday to me!!!

As this is an urban fantasy series, you really need to read all the earlier books before embarking upon Sleeper. There are new storylines for each book, but there is also a continuing series arc that would be difficult to follow. Plus, all the books are awesome so... just read them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Audiobook Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2017
Publisher:Macmillan Audio
Narrator:Jennifer Ikeda
Length:12 hrs 5 min
Source:Publisher

So this story is a bit out of my normal wheelhouse, but it was a nice diversion. The synopsis really says it all... this is a somewhat feminist retelling of Snow White

Our "evil" stepmother character is Mina, with a heart made of glass. I liked that Mina's character was misunderstood rather than truly evil, and I felt more drawn to her character than I expected to be. Mina grew up with an uncaring and slightly evil father, and her longing for love made me sympathetic to her. I enjoyed the play on the magic mirror giving Mina the power over glass, and her creation of Felix was an interesting take on the original story. As we saw Mina grow from young adulthood to a stepmother queen, her desperation for love and understanding was clear to the reader. It was easy to feel sorry for her and want things to go her way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ARC Review and Author's Top 5: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series:     Maiden Lane #12
Pub. Date:Oct 17, 2017
Publisher:Grand Central
Length:364 pages
Source:NetGalley


Duke of Desire is the conclusion to the Maiden Lane series, and man did Elizabeth Hoyt take us out with a bang. I was supposed to be packing today for my big move, but this book kept me totally distracted and camped out my couch turning page after page.

Lady Iris Jordan was the friend of Hugh Fitzroy, Duke of Kyle, from Duke of Pleasure. Thought to be Kyle's new wife, Iris was kidnapped by the Lords of Chaos, a group of sadistic and pedophilic men operating in the dark of London society.  Iris is a widow and, after her unhappy first marriage, she was hoping to marry again for love and children. Finding herself married to the beastly Duke of Dyemore was not in the cards, but Iris found herself compelled by his dark vulnerability. I really liked this heroine. She was mature and did not despair of her circumstances. She looked past Dyemore's scarred visage and saw the wounded boy underneath, and the good man that he was trying to be. I liked that she was brave in her uncertainty and didn't allow the Duke to push her away or intimidate her.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Series:     Nine Kingdoms #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 12, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Laura Jennings
Length:13 hrs 6 min
Source:Publisher

I was somewhat confused for most of this book, because I simply couldn't remember what happened in Star of the Morning, and it drove me crazy. I wish I had the time to go back and listen to the first book before I started this one. I remembered the gist, that Morgan of Melksham and Miach of Neroche met up as they journeyed across the Nine Kingdoms and started to fall in love. Only Miach had told Morgan that he was a simple farmer's son, and not the Archmage of the realm. When Morgan learned the truth, she broke a sword and ran off half-cocked and got herself poisoned by Ludar, the big bad.  So while I had all the overall storyline in mind, I really wish that I remembered the smaller details.  

Now Morgan is recovering from her poisoning and near-death with her old friend and mentor, Sir Nicholas. But Morgan is being plagued by dreams which she attributes to magic so she journeys to the one place where magic cannot touch her, her swordmaster Weegar's stronghold. Morgan is maintaining her aversion to mages and magic, and refusing to believe/heed what her own abilities and dreams are telling her. She thinks the worst of Miach and of the rest of the realm, and is withdrawing into herself. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Audiobook Review: His Lady Bride by Shayla Black / Shelley Bradley

Series:     Brothers in Arms #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Tim Allen
Length:9 hrs 2 min
Source:Publisher

His Lady Bride is set during the tumultuous time of Richard III's reign, shortly after Richard had his nephews murdered to steal the throne. I enjoy when my historicals include actual historical events with a re-imagining of events, motives and characters.

Our heroine is Gwenyth de Auburd, a baronet's daughter who lost everything when her parents died. After being condescended to by her vain cousins and forced to work in the kitchen by a cruel uncle, Gwenyth dreams of the days she can be a lady again. Indeed, all Gwenyth seemed to care about was marrying well and regaining her status. So when she was wed by force to a poorly sorcerer, Gwenyth did not accept her fate graciously. Despite growing up with little, Gwenyth came off as a spoiled brat. She was ungrateful, greedy, and callous when it came to her new husband. I was not a fan of this heroine at all.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ARC Review: Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

Series:     Guild Hunter #10
Pub. Date:Sept. 26, 2017
Publisher:Berkley
Length:361 pages
Source:NetGalley

Nalini Singh has never disappointed me, and Archangel's Viper is no exception. I love the diversity and uniqueness of her characters, and I like the continuing story arcs so that we see prior characters and couples in abundance. Every time I read a new book in this series, it makes me want to go back and read the others all over again!

Monday, October 2, 2017

ARC Review: The Hunt by Chloe Neill

Series:     Devil's Isle #3
Pub. Date:Sept. 26, 2017
Publisher:Berkley
Length:336 pages
Source:NetGalley

Warning! This review may have spoilers for the earlier books in the series. If you have not read the earlier books... go do that, like, right now!

In this third installment of the Devil's Isle series, we are fresh off the failed attempt to open the veil between New Orleans and the Beyond, and secrets are out for our main characters, Claire Connolly and Liam Quinn. Claire had to use magic during the battle, and Liam got hit with magic... so both of them will have to avoid being rounded up by Containment and being stuck in Devil's Isle. It's quite easy for Liam, who has left New Orleans, and Claire, to deal with the magical consequences. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

ARC Review: The Final Score by Jaci Burton

Series:     Play-by-Play #13
Pub. Date:Sept. 12, 2017
Publisher:Berkley
Length:352 pages
Source:NetGalley

In the thirteenth installment of Jaci Burton's Play-by-Play series, we see the youngest Cassidy paired up with the son of Mick Riley (The Perfect Play) to give us the start of a new athletic dynasty (and room to expand the series maybe?).

Mia Cassidy has just graduated college and has undertaken an ambitious and risky venture to open her own sports management firm in San Francisco, where here brother and best friend play a little pro football for the San Francisco Sabers. Luckily Mia's family athletic affiliations and sports knowledge have prepared her for the business and dealing with athletes. I liked Mia's ambition and courage to take on such a venture at her age. But my favorite aspect of Mia's character was that she is a planner girl y'all! I totally loved that and got quite a few chuckles about her lists, planner addiction, and the hero teasing her about planner stickers.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Audiobook Review: Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Series:     In Death #45
Pub. Date:Sept. 4, 2017
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Length:13 hrs 2 min

Wow, this release snuck up on me and I almost missed it! Luckily I caught it in passing and Eve and Roarke were able to keep me company as I continued to pack for the big move this week. It's amazing that this series is still going so strong at the 45th installment, but I really hope I'm still saying that for a long time to come. I don't ever want to give up these characters. I only wish I could live in their world!

Friday, September 1, 2017

ARC Review: The Time In Between by Kristen Ashley

Series:     Magdalene #3
Pub. Date:Aug. 29, 2017
Publisher:Self-Pub
Length:563 pages
Source:InkSlingerPR

Man, The Time in Between was so good that I want to immediately read it again. This is the third installment of Magdalene series, that takes place in picturesque small-town Maine. If this book doesn't make you want to live in your very own lighthouse, well, you just don't believe in magic at all!  I SOOOO want a lighthouse!  But I'm moving to Arizona in 6 weeks (land of Kristen Ashley!), so I wonder how weird they would find me if I tried to buy a slice of desert and build me a lighthouse on it? I can just imagine that majestic tower and revolving light in the midst of all the saguaro cacti. (I've lost my mind, I know.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

ARC Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Series:     Baltimore #5
Pub. Date:Aug. 29, 2017
Publisher:Berkley
Length:512 pages
Source:NetGalley

This is my first read by Karen Rose... and I picked it up because I was in the mood for a good suspense/thriller story. Monster in the Closet is the 5th book in Rose's Baltimore series, and 19th overall in her romantic suspense lineup.  Prior to reading the book, I did not realize that all of the books are interconnected, told within the same universe and a somewhat common cast of characters. If I had known that ahead of time, I probably would not have started with this book. However, I stumbled along just fine and was able to follow the story. I was just missing all the backstory on the characters.  I think if I knew everyone's back story, I would have enjoyed this book even more. So I would recommend following the reading order if you have the time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day Blitz: The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

   

"She was the one then and nothing changed in the time in between."

 

✮✮✮A story of past decisions gone awry, secrets that change directions, and emotional second chances, this gripping love story is what happens when two paths again collide. The final standalone title in New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley’s Magdalene Series, THE TIME IN BETWEEN is a rich, heartfelt love story available now!✮✮✮


Explore THE TIME IN BETWEEN and grab your copy today!

 

About THE TIME IN BETWEEN (Magdalene Series #3):

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.

Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.

But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.

As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again?


Grab your copy of THE TIME IN BETWEEN today!

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay


Add to your Goodreads

 

5% of the proceeds from the first week of sales of THE TIME IN BETWEEN release will be given to HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, a no-kill shelter. HALO stands for “helping animals live on” and is a shelter started by a mother/daughter team of committed animal advocates who have done a huge duty for animals in this area, and continue to do so with unwavering love, support and energy.For more information on HALO or to donate to the work they do, go to www.halorescue.org.

     

And don’t miss the first titles in the Magdalene Series!

THE WILL / SOARING

  THE TIME IN BETWEEN EXCERPT: 

I took in the mess of the large, circular room we were in and at first saw nothing but the mess—decaying furniture, a soot-covered stone fireplace, a kitchen that might have been put in in the forties but had not only not been touched the last nine years, it perhaps had not been touched the last nineteen (or more).

Then I saw more.

The extraordinarily carved railing to the sweeping wood staircase that ran the curved side of the house. The red brick walls. The plank wood floors.

“Once upon a time, long ago,” the realtor was suddenly talking wistfully, “someone loved this place. Put that love into building it. Put that love into keeping it. Nine years and more when no one really gave a whit, and still you can see it once had a lot of love.”

Oh yes.

You could see that.

“It’s got a basement, more like a big crawl space,” the agent declared, surprising me with his quick change in tone back to businesslike and informative. “The furnace is down there. You can get down there through a door in the floor. The furnace was put in a while back, and full disclosure, though an inspection will catch it, it probably needs to be replaced.”

Through his words I stared at the fireplace, which scoured would be magnificent, and I noticed it didn’t have a chimney as such, but the smoke probably went out a vent in the wall.

“This floor has a powder room under the stairs,” the realtor kept on. “You can look at it if you want, but if you wanna save yourself that, I’ll just tell you straight, it needs to be gutted.”

I decided to take his word for it and told him that.

He looked relieved when I did before he stated, “Place has a garage, two car. Not in good condition, but think you saw that. Still, it’s close to the house and there’s a covered walkway to that door over there.” He pointed at a door that was across from the door we’d walked in. “Means you might feel a chill but you won’t get wet, unless it’s raining sideways, which happens.”

With a breeze that plastered my jacket to me on a sunny, early spring day, I did not doubt that.

“Garage has a loft space above it, which could be renovated as a studio rental if you’ve a mind to do that sort of thing. As for the property itself, it also has a building where the generators are stowed,” the realtor carried on. “Hook up for a washer and dryer and good space in there. Lots of it for storage. Which is good because there’s not a lot of storage in here for tools and Christmas decorations and whatnot.”

I glanced around seeing he was right. There wasn’t even enough cabinetry to house the things a decent cook would need in her kitchen. Though there was room for them. In fact, if you fought back the gloom, there was quite a bit of room.

“And there’s a place outside, could call it a studio, could call it a mother-in-law house,” he shared. “Whatever, it’s got goodly space, two bedrooms, big kitchen. Could be renovated to be a guest house. Or like I said, a studio if you’re artsy. Or you could rent it out like a B and B. I’ll show you all of that after we have a look at the lighthouse.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

“Now, since I mentioned full disclosure, you have to know it all,” the realtor continued.

Slowly, my eyes went to him.

When they did, he launched in. “Like I said, it’s automated. And like I said, you won’t really have to concern yourself with the functionality of that unless the electricity goes out, but then the generators automatically kick in. There are two. But you’ll need to keep fuel on hand to keep them going in case a blackout lasts awhile. And just to say, this is coastal Maine. We get weather. Blackouts can last awhile.”

When I nodded to share I took that in, he kept going.

“And if you’re, say, away on vacation, you need to make sure someone is playing backup in such a case.”

“Okay,” I replied when he stopped talking, thinking this probably wasn’t a good thing since I knew no one in Maine (or not anyone who wanted to know me) and thus couldn’t call on anyone to do something like that.

I also didn’t hold high hopes I’d make friends and win people. I hadn’t had a lot of success in that in my life.

And last, although Patrick believed it completely, I held no hope that the reason I was out there was going to come to fruition.

That being me having a happy ending.

That being what Patrick thought would be my happy ending.

Which might mean I’d have someone, a certain someone, or actually two (at least), even though I knew I never would.

         

   



Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. Nothing's changed. Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.