August 30, 2017

Cozied Up This Summer with Tonya Kappes, Maia Chance, Chrystle Fiedler, & Carrie Doyle

Wilson County Fair 2017
Lebanon, TN

Summer. I have a love and hate relationship with this season. I love how it almost automatically makes everyone peppy, basking in the warmth of the sun before the long, cold days of Winter rolls in. We got lucky here in Middle Tennessee, this Summer isn't as punishingly hot as the previous ones however that also drew in a LOT of tourists. Great for out state's economy, but navigating the city has become an effing bitch because of the traffic. 

As the adage goes: "if you can't beat them, join them!", so join them I did! One weekend I played tourist in the bustling city of Nashville and signed up for a Scavenger Hunt, not only did I learn some fascinating trivia about my town, I also discovered new hideaways. I strongly recommend you guys do this whether you're visiting a new city or want to get reacquainted with your own. Also, check Groupon first, that's where I got my ticket and there's a variety of hunts you can do. 

Reading wise, I've been at a turtle pace. I don't necessarily think I'm in a slump, I just felt a strong disinterest for books in the past few weeks. Ghastly I know, I promise you I was extremely frustrated because I was afraid that I'm turning into a non-reading person! Eep! In any case, I managed to read a few cozies and below's the rundown:

FIXIN' TO DIE by Tonya Kappes 
(Kenni Lowry 1 | 2016 | Henry Press)
I love Tonya Kappes and it's a no-brainer that I have to meet Sherriff Kenni Lowry. I had fun with Fixin' To Die and getting acquainted with Kenni's little Kentucky town as well as her quirky neighbors. The romantic tangent here is delicious too! I'll be following Kenni's dating adventures for sure. At the moment, TKappes' Ghostly Southern Mysteries still remain as my favorite, I find Emma Lee and her town of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky more developed and full-bodied than Kenni Lowry. Then again, this is just the first of the series so my opinion might change as I continue on with the series.

(Discreet Retrieval Agency | 2015 | Minotaur Books)
Thanks Sophia (fellow blogger who you'll find moonlighting everywhere these days) for featuring this! 

Come Hell or Highball is my first Maia Chance and I absolutely love our first date! This series is set during the Prohibition era featuring a widow who's forced to utilize her snooping skills as a detective for hire to survive and pay off her bills and debts after her rich husband left her with nothing. This series is perfect for fans of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries what with its family drama, unique fashion, hifalutin lifestyles, high society intrigues, and scandalous murders. Lola Woodby will captivate you with her charm while her trusty sidekick and Swedish cook, Berta, will have you chuckling thanks to her dry sense of humor.

DANDELION DEAD by Chrystle Fiedler 
(A Natural Remedies Mystery 4 | 2016 | Pocket Books)
This is my second book in this series and it's yet to win me over. If the characters were real people, I would be delighted to have them as my friends or neighbor, but as fictional characters, they're a little too normal for my taste. Even the threat of a killer on the loose doesn't incite strong emotions from me. What's cool about this series though is all the trivia about herbs and plants and their therapeutic and medicinal properties. Other than that, I'm passing up on the rest of the books.

(2016 | Dunemere Books)
I binge-read this series and to be honest, Antonia Bingham didn't impress me. She's cute but her character was a little dry in the beginning. But her earnestness and mild naivete managed to charm me and now I'm a fan! Antonia Bingham is a foodie AND curvy so that made her accessible to me. 

Antonia is a busy bee so there's always something going on in her world whether it's flirting with a movie star, going on double dates with her bestie, managing her thriving inn, fending off unwanted advances from a local reporter, or investigating a murder, Antonia will keep your attention and will continue to entertain you. I'm a little wary of the brewing romance between Antonia and her movie star suitor, it's bordering on douchey as he's still married (on the rocks) and is already "courting" Antonia. I'm sure it's going to work out but it's not the best prelude and failed to give me the feels. Highly anticipating the next one to see how it goes down.

The cover arts are linked to its Goodreads 
page for your perusal at your liesure.

Talk Supe

August 28, 2017

Shelley Liked: Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover | 272 pages
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Griffin Teen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Ghost Stories

A recently deceased girl must solve her own murder in order to escape purgatory.Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.

She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.

Temple Mathews' BAD GIRL GONE is a young adult, paranormal ghost story featuring 16 year old Echo Stone. Echo wakes up in a place called Middle House. She has been told it is a place for orphans, but Echo isn't an orphan. She has a mother and father, and is out to prove everyone wrong. Especially the rude and obnoxious teens who taunt, and make her life a living hell upon her arrival. Echo flees from the House, and makes her way home. After arriving home, she discovers crime scene tape. Something bad definitely happened here, but what? 

Echo learns that she has ended up in Middle House (purgatory). It's a place for those who have been murdered to find their own brands of justice before moving on to the next plane of existence. Those who are murdered, including Echo, have zero memories of what happened to them because their soul consciousness shattered. When people die a normal death, they are surrounded by loved ones. Usually. The path from mortal life to the next life therefore is much easier. But, when you are murdered, killed in cold blood, it's radically different. Everyone at the Middle House has experienced trauma. Everyone is looking for the person who killed them. Nobody can move on until that happens.

August 23, 2017

Shelley Liked: Give Me a K-I-L-L by R.L. Stine

Series: Fear Street Relaunch 6
Format: Hardcover | 281 pages
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne | St. Martin's
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Horror

The sixth new book in the re-launch of R.L. Stine’s bestselling Fear Street series, which has sold more than 80 million copies around the world.

At Shadyside High, cheerleading can be a scream!

For the first time since the original series, R.L. Stine brings back his most beloved characters—the cheerleaders of Shadyside High.

The cheerleading squad at Shadyside has always been strong, but now there are rumors that lack of funds may mean the end of cheerleading at Shadyside. That would be a shame for Gretchen Page, who has just transferred from her old school, where she was a star, and is eager to join the squad. There’s only one other girl who stands in her way—rich, spoiled Devra Dalby, who is also trying out for the one open slot. The competition to join the squad is anything but friendly—and it ends in murder. Will Gretchen make the squad—if there's even a squad anymore—or will she end up dead?

Packed with screams and guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine, this is a terrifying installment in Stine's bestselling Fear Street series.

GIVE ME A K-I-L-L is the 6th installment in author R.L. Stine's Fear Street Relaunch series. Meet protagonist Gretchen Page, new to Shadyside High School. As the new kid in school, Gretchen has to prove herself, especially when it comes to joining the cheerleading squad which has already proven they belong among the best. In her old school of Savanna Mills HS, Gretchen was the best cheerleader on her squad. But, after a divorce, she and her mother move to Fear Street.

August 16, 2017

Suped Up: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

Series: Chicago Rebels 1
Format: ARC
Release Date: August 15, 2017 
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Sports Romance (Hockey)

Irresistible You kicks of the all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series by Kate Meader, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times). Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

Sports has never been an area of interest for me. It's always been a need-to-know like if something major is happening like the Olympics then I will follow and even then, I won't go beyond the trivial stuff. Then I met my BF who is a HUGE sports fan! And so my "formal education" in sports began and I found myself falling in love with hockey. 

If you follow the sport or is a fan of some celebrity who is married to a hockey player, you probably heard that our home team, The Nashville Predators, made it to the Stanley Cup this year. Sadly we didn't win but the team's Cinderella season turned huge so much so that major news networks are covering the event and the street where the arena is now called (unofficially) Smashville.

August 9, 2017

A Shot of YA: The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

Series: The Falconer 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Sci-Fi | Fantasy | Steampunk

The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series. Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her. Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, and publishing simultaneously in the UK, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion.

The Falconer, one of the best YA fantasy series that deserves more coverage and hype IMHO. What is The Falconer about? Set in 19th century Scotland, the series has a fae-based myth revolving around the infamous Wild Hunt, the never ending war between the Seelie and Unseelie, and how the survival of the world lies on a human girl called The Falconer. 

To be fair, the bones of this series is familiar with tropes like forbidden love, class (creature) inequality, friends-lovers-enemies, etc., we've all reead this kind of plot at least once so a fair question to ask is what makes it stand out from the rest? I honestly don't have a specific answer for you except for how Elizabeth May portioned the elements of the story. Like for example, the romantic element is made stronger by muting the passion between the leads and replacing it with undying faith and loyalty; Or the deliberate demonstrations of everlasting friendship, and duty to one's purpose, or how unflinching Aileana is when faced with important decisions and difficult choices like choosing her own happiness or forfeit that for the sake of peace and everyone's survival. The human element especially in this last installment, THE FALLEN KINGDOM, is written so deliberate that even the most desensitized reader will be reduced to mush.

And perhaps the most stunning and possibly my favorite part of this series is how EMay didn't shy away from devastating her readers be it from a character dying or total annihilation. This author is as cutthroat as her villains when it comes to character development which, IMO, is that one thing that gives The Falconer a leg up from the rest of its contemporaries or at least puts it in the same category as one of the best out there.

To close it off, THE FALLEN KINGDOM concluded The Falconer series perfectly. I cheered, I was nervous and anxious, I loved, laughed, and even cried! And though this ended happily, it came at such a high cost that I took the HEA as nothing but a well deserved ending for everyone.

Talk Supe

August 2, 2017

Bourbon, Gypsy, & The Red by Tiffany Reisz

So is it me or is Bourbon (the liquor) everywhere from books like J.R. Ward (has any of you read Devil's Cut?) and Tiffany Reisz, to TV. Even my favorite liquor store has stocked up on different kinds of Bourbon!