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April 25, 2017

*Top Ten Tuesday* Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This weeks Feature:

Top 10 Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT
Want to Read a Book!

1. BDSM - While others may like the kinky, I like my sex vanilla. Does that make me strange? 

2. Rape - As a survivor of rape, I do not care to have it reminded to me when I pick up a book and the author has crossed the line into sexual assault. This is my pet peeve with movies and TV shows as well. We, as a society, scream about rape culture, but we don't scream at writers or authors who can't find another way to tell their stories.

3. Overly involved synopsis' - I mean synopsis' that are overly explicit. Those that pretty much tell you EVERYTHING that is going to happen in a book. Why would I want to read a book when I already know what is going to happen?   

4. Typos, No Editing, Screwed up Formatting - You know the books right? Where you receive a copy from NetGalley, or Edelweiss and there are so many glaring errors, you wonder if the finished copy is going to fix them all. I understand that these are ARC's and that they are uncorrected versions. But, how do you read a book when there are so many run on sentences?

5. Books that feature politics, religion, and other issues that don't appeal to me. I've burned myself out on politics in real life. I don't want to read about politics in books, or be subjected being screwed at because I may have a different take on the issue. Some religion is OK, as long as we don't get into a shouting match about who is right, and who is wrong.

6. Books that are longer than 600 pages. Ok, yes I have read books from Sarah Maas that are longer, but I only have patience for so many before I flip through to get to the good parts. I am really comfortable with books in the 200-350 page range.

7. Love Triangles - Possibly the devil's own doing. Some love them, some hate them. I am in the later category. For years now, authors have chosen to go down this path. I know there is nothing we, as readers can do about it. But still....

8. Series that end without any resolution. Want to turn me off from reading a book from the author again? Do this! The character is hanging on for their lives. But, because of publishers, or what have you, we never find out what happened next. This happens to TV programs all the time. It's unfair to those who have infested time in finding out how things will be wrapped up

9. Books written by Politicians. Nope. You can waste your money if you like, I would rather spend my money on something else that appeals to me. Why would I want to give my money to a politician who is already making more money than I will in my entire life time? 

10. Use of stock models over and over again. I love to see originality. I don't like to see covers being used over and over again by several different authors. I think this happens mostly in Indie authors. Could you call it stealing, or is it just pure laziness?



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Follow Me: Gizmo's Reviews Blog | Facebook | @GizmosReviews | Goodreads




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April 21, 2017

Loved It: Snared by Jennifer Estep #urbanfantasy @Pocket_Books

Series: Elemental Assassin 16
Format: ARC
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.




Reading Jennifer Estep is the equivalent of having a chilled glass of martini on a hot Summer night. It's refreshing, exciting, and the buzz Gin Blanco gives you is distinct and will make you come back for more. 

So it's killer v killer in SNARED. There's a serial killer in Ashland aptly named Dollmaker because he makes up his victims before brutally killing them. Although this appears to be an episodic part at first glance, this whole mess led Gin a small step closer to the Circle. 

April 18, 2017

The Graveyard Queen by Amanda Stevens


Amanda Stevens
The Graveyard Queen 4-6
Urban Fantasy | Horror
MIRA | Goodreads




Say it isn't so. Please tell me that we haven't seen the last of The Graveyard Queen series! I binge read the last three books for a week and I want more! There are so many things that went on in this story arc that I'm sure I'm not the only reader who thinks (or hopes) that the Amelia Gray is far from done!

THE VISITOR, THE SINNER, and THE AWAKENING is a new plot arc concerning an old and dangerous group called The Congè. Each book builds up the tension, the sense of foreboding while each investigation and experience caused Amelia's powers to grow.

April 11, 2017

I'm Back with my Genre Mash-up



Has it been three weeks since I’ve been away? It feels like forever! It's been busy several weeks for me and things have never been this good in a long time. And with all these happy changes that have been going on in my life, my mood readings have become more severe. I did a lot of genre hopping, unsure of what kind of story will appeal to me not to mention finding the time to read has also been a big challenge. Still, I’m happy that I’ve managed to squeeze in a few titles despite my busy schedule and all. Anyways, let me brass-tack my reading pile: 

Let me kick this off by saying that if you haven’t read The Others, not only are you missing out, I’m also begging you to pick up Written in Red! Anne Bishop simply wove a magical and truly unique world with this one. Everything about The Others is inspired, memorable, and truly enthralling. Each installment is a gem which is why it was a blow to this clueless reader that ETCHED IN BONE is the last of the Lakeside Courtyard arc. Part of me is happy that it ended on such a high note while the other part of me is dead curious about Meg and Simon’s relationship. These two is one of the cutest couple that I’ve come across with and I’m dying to know how they’re going to make their relationship work considering they’re essentially two different species. If you’ve read the series, you’ll understand that this couple goes beyond the usual were/shifter-human pair-up. Anyway, I’m happy that ABishop isn’t done with this world. Needless to say, I’m dying to get my hands on Lake Silence (2018), a new arc featuring new characters set in a human town. I just can’t get enough of this world and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying, KEEP IT COMING!


March 29, 2017

Shelley's Review - Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire #Urban Fantasy @seananmcguire @dawbooks

Series: InCryptid # 5
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: DAW
Source: Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The fifth book in New York Times-bestselling Seanan McGuire's witty urban fantasy InCryptid series about a family of cryptozoologists who act as a buffer between humans and the magical creatures living in secret around us.

Destiny, Noun: 

   1. The inevitable or irresistible course of events.
   2. The inescapable future.
   3. See also “Screwed.”

Verity Price is back on the West Coast and getting back into the swing of the family business: cryptozoology. She's rescuing cryptids from bad situations, protecting them from monster-hunters, and generally risking life and limb for the greater good, with her ex-Covenant partner/husband, Dominic, by her side. Her ballroom dance career is behind her...or so she thinks. 


When Verity gets the call from the producers of Dance or Die, the reality show she almost won several years before, she finds the lure of a comeback impossible to resist, and she and Dominic are off to L.A. for one last shot at the big time.


Of course, nothing is that simple. When two of her fellow contestants turn up dead, Verity will need every ally she can find—and a couple she wasn't looking for—in order to navigate the complicated steps of both the tango and a murder investigation without blowing her cover. It doesn't help that her official family backup is her grandmother, Alice Price-Healy, who thinks "subtle" is something that happens to other people.

Winning this competition may have just become a matter of life and death.





Chaos Choreography is the fifth installment in author Seanan McGuire's InCrypid series. When last we read about Verity Price in Midnight Blue-Light Special, she had left just Manhattan behind along with her paramour Dominic de Luca. 6 months later, Dominic and Verity, who are now married after a quickie stop in Vegas, are back in Portland, Oregon at the secretive survival ranch where the Price-Healy's have been holed up keeping out of sight and out of mind of the dreaded Covenant of St. George who believes they are traitors to the cause. 

The Price-Healy's are Cryptozoologists. What is a cryptozoologist you ask? Cryptozoology is the study of creatures whose existence has yet to be—or else cannot entirely be—proved or disproved by science. These creatures, known collectively as cryptids, include examples like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Dragons, Plesiosaurs, Boogeymen, and the Himalayan Yeti. The Price family stands up for those who follow the law, and put down any who step out of line.

3 years ago, Valerie Pryor aka Verity Price, came in second place in a dance competition known as Dance or Die. Verity has dreamed about becoming a professional dancer all her life, but after her year in Manhattan dealing with the Covenant, and discovering something wonderful that was once thought extinct, Verity has leaned towards becoming a cryptozoologist full time. Then one phone call changes everything. The producers of Dance or Die have invited Valerie back to compete against the top four finalists from the previous (5) seasons. Think of Dance or Die as So, You Think You Can Dance? 

There's so much to talk about with this book. First, I have to guide your attention to the Aeslin Mice. They are freaking amazing and adorable and if someone doesn't send me one right now, I'm going to take my toys and go home. Right. Anyway! The Aeslin Mice are the Price-Healy family historians. They remember everything that ever happened to the family. They celebrate almost everything, including cheese and cake. They have slick names for all of the Price-Healy's. In Verity's case, she is called The Arboreal Priestess. 

“Breanna Kelly, meet Alice Price-Healy. Grandma, meet Breanna. No one is shooting, stabbing or immolating anyone in this hotel room."

"Please," added Dominic. "I have to sleep here."

"HAIL!" Rejoiced the mice. "HAIL THE LACK OF STABBING, SHOOTING AND FLAME!” 

Second, McGuire introduces readers to the enigma of the Price-Healy family. The reason why the family has been labeled as traitors by the Covenant and why they have to be careful to not bring too much attention to themselves. Meet Grandmother Alice Price-Healy. She doesn't age like you or me. She can actually pass as Verity's sister. She has tattoos which are really spells woven into her skin. Plus, she is a multidimensional traveler who has spent years looking for her missing husband. Alice is the most dangerous person in four dimensions. She is known to carry grenades with her, and she is one of the more brilliant characters that McGuire has created.

As Verity, Dominic, Alice, and a supporting case of characters work to find out what is happening to those who have been eliminated from the show and stopping an even bigger catastrophe from happening, things get rather interesting and choices are made that will have a severe impact on the rest of this series. If you love cliffhanger endings, well you get one that will blow your mind away. If you don't, well you get one anyway that will blow your mind away and push you towards reading the next book in the series called Magic for Nothing which features Verity's younger sister Antimony. 

Haven't read this series yet? You should. If you've been reading the authors October Daye series, then you know McGuire can write some really entertaining, as well as twisted storylines. Her characters are as fun to read about, as they are badass. I dare say that Verity is my favorite character in this series which is why I skipped over her older brother Alex's two books. I was able to pick up this book without having to figure how what happened in Alex's books, or if they would have any impact on this storyline. Also, if you love swoon worthy Italian men, well, Dominic will definitely make a lasting impression.




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March 21, 2017

#Top Ten Tuesday - Shelley's Top Ten Authors I Would LOVE to Meet!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This weeks Feature:

AUTHORS I WOULD LOVE TO MEET!

10. Jenna Black author of Fairiewalker, Morgan Kingsley, & Nikki Glass

9. Chloe Neill author Chicagoland Vampires, The Dark Elite, and Devil's Isle

8. Faith Hunter author of Jane Yellowrock, and Soulwood

7. Anne Bishop author of The Others, The Black Jewels

6. Darynda Jones author of Charley Davidson

5. Kelley Armstrong author of Darkest Powers, Women of the Otherworld, Cainsville, & more

4.Ilona Andrews author of Kate Daniels

3. Patricia Briggs author of Mercy Thompson

2. Gini Koch author of Katherine "Kitty" Katt

1. Jennifer Estep author of Elemental Assassin, Mythos Academy, Black Blade & Big Time


Follow Me: Gizmo's Reviews Blog | Facebook | @GizmosReviews | Goodreads




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March 14, 2017

See You In A Bit!



Hey Supies! 

I know I've disappeared into the ether yet again but there's a valid explanation for my absence.
I'm in the middle of a transition, moving into a new house and a new job. 
I'm not very adaptive to change but I have to say I'm pretty excited for this one!
I'll be back in 3-4 weeks, Shelley will pop up once in a while, and I'll be on Twitter and Instagram. 

If you're getting hit by the snowstorm, stay safe and warm! 
If you're not, stay healthy, happy, and safe. 
See you around!











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March 6, 2017

Liked It: Duke of my Heart by Kelly Bowen

Series: Season for Scandal 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: Januray 26, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance

Scandal can be handled...

Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl—quite inconveniently deceased—tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.

Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected—yet absolutely true.





I've read a lot of rave reviews for Kelly Bowen's Season for Scandal Series last year and I made sure to grab the series for when I'm in a mood for some good historical romance.

I finally managed to read DUKE OF MY HEART, the first in the series which to me felt like a Regency version of the hit TV show, Scandal with Ivory Moore as the period's very own Olivia Pope. Our cunning and resourceful handler was hired by the Duke of Aldridge's, Captain Maximus Harcourt, aunt when his sister goes missing after the death of her lover who died tied up in her bed on the night of ball. 

March 2, 2017

Liked It: Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn

Series: Lily Bound 1 
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
Genre: Urban Fantasy


Lily O'Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker--an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before--has escaped to reclaim his "artwork," Lily knows she's next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn't expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim.




And Yasmine Galenorn has given us yet another promising urban fantasy series featuring a persistent female protagonist, succubus, Lily Bound. SOULJACKER is the introductory installment and I think fans of the genre will be pleased with Lily O'Connell & Co., including Galenorn's fan base, won't be disappointed. 

February 28, 2017

Loved It: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson 10
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: ACE Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise.




Mercedes Thompson-Hauptman is a badass!

I know it's been said before and it will continuously be said about our favorite coyote shifter. Mercy, the most underestimated yet the most powerful supernatural in Patricia Briggs' universe not by strength, but by connection, finds herself neck deep in vampire politics in the middle of Eastern Europe.

February 21, 2017

Shelley's Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This weeks Feature:

My Top 10 Books I Loved More Than
I thought I would - This was a very hard list for me to come up with. I read so many books, that I had to sift through all the one's I've read over the last several months.

*Clicking on the cover takes you to Goodreads*

10. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

9. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
>

8. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid


7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys


February 16, 2017

Loved It: Marry Me, Baby by Elisabeth Staab

Series: Evergreen Grove 4.5
Format: Mobi
Release Date: February 1, 2016 
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Dante Ramos will win at love if it's the last thing he does...

Since I retired from boxing, I’m fighting to keep my life off the damn ropes.

Lately, one thing after another’s falling apart. First there’s the road-trip on Valentine’s weekend that coulda gotten me and my girl both killed. Then came the unspoken secrets that keep putting so much distance between us.

My love for Michelle is everything that keeps me human. I can feel her slipping away. I’ve got one last shot. A desperate proposal.

And it’s all about to go wrong.



MARRY ME, BABY by Elisabeth Staab is the perfect (post) Valentine read. Dante and Michelle's love story told in Acts of Creation is possibly the most heart-wrenching one in the series. These two fought each other, fought for each other, went against expectations, and managed to remain together, stronger than ever. I'm not surprised that EStaab chose this couple to treat us fans with something special for Valentine's Day. 

From the title alone, you can tell what the novella is about. Dante and Michelle are still in the midst of tying up loose ends. I commend Michelle for staying strong because Dante needed someone to lean on and she proved to be one rock-solid wall for him. It's so sweet to read Dante's inner musings about how much he appreciates Michelle and all the ways he loves her which didn't go unnoticed. As for the proposal, I love how heartfelt it is. There are no grand gestures of any kind, it's so romantic in its unromantic way, if that makes sense. It's every bit, Dante and Michelle, in that it's all heart and the expected pizazz is unnecessary. MARRY ME, BABY gave me the warm fuzzies and totally made my Valentine's Day better. Of course, the candy helped too. 









Talk Supe


February 15, 2017

Wednesday Wants


Putting our own spin on the classic
Waiting on Wednesday
hosted by Breaking The Spine

Here are our most anticipated releases for
February 21-March 7
(cover arts linked to Goodreads)



It's quite the mix of genres. Lala Pettibone's Act Two sounds like a chick-lit with substance so I'm hoping that it'll have me laughing out loud.
Souljacker... well what can I say? It's a new series by Galenorn, how could I possibly skip that?!
And finally, The Illusionist's Apprentice's setting is a huge draw for me: Harry Houdini in 1926?! Yes please! I hope that it'll give me feels like that movie, The Prestige




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February 12, 2017

Loved It: A Study in Scarlet by Sherry Thomas

Series: Lady Sherlock 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Historical Mystery

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down…

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her. But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.




I'm sure a lot of you have either heard or have had the pleasure of reading Sherry Thomas' A STUDY IN SCARLET, the debut novel in her new historical mystery series, Lady Sherlock. I'm sure you've also seen rave reviews for it, endless praises, and a variety of critiques. Allow me to add my bit to the pile, I promise I'll make it short and sweet.

February 10, 2017

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged [228]: The White Princess


BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, ongoing events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron's Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning's smash hit series, Fever. 




February 4, 2017

Liked It: Killing Kate by Alex Lake

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper
Source: Publisher
Genre: Suspense Thriller

A serial killer is stalking your home town.
He has a type: all his victims look the same.
And they all look like you.

Kate returns from a post break-up holiday with her girlfriends to news of a serial killer in her home town – and his victims all look like her.

It could, of course, be a simple coincidence. Or maybe not.

She becomes convinced she is being watched, followed even. Is she next? And could her mild-mannered ex-boyfriend really be a deranged murderer?

Or is the truth something far more sinister?




KILLING KATE by Alex Lake is a dark, engaging, easy thriller. Aside from the murders, the predominant storyline concerns Kate and Phil's recent break-up which drove the plot. A big chunk of the tale is about how these two exes are trying to move on from their relationship in different fashions which complicated the mystery giving us readers a good whodunnit puzzle to solve.