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Thursday, January 18, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop #AnneBishop @PRHAudio

SERIES: The Others, Book #2
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
NARRATOR: Alexandra Harris
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 4, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 14 hrs and 13 mins
GENRE: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Return to New York Times best-selling author Anne Bishop’s "phenomenal" (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others - where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules.…

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

Has it really been over four years since I devoured Written in Red? I can't believe that it's taken me so long to get back to this much-loved series.

In terms of timing, this second book in the series takes place approximately seven weeks after Meg first came to the Courtyard. It probably would have been a good idea for me to re-read Written in Red, but things came back to me as the author recapped the major events that took place in the earlier book.

The animosity between humans and the terra indigene is growing, and Meg is smack-dab in the middle of all the drama. I liked seeing how The Others protect their human pack, and they work well with Meg to decipher her prophecies. My favourite part of this book was the developing relationship between Meg and Simon. They both clearly have feelings for each other, but they are struggling with how to deal with that and what that means in terms of their friendship. I love how Bishop addresses this in their relationship.

I am determined to get caught up on this series, in anticipation of the sixth book (yes, I still have three more books to read!) expected to be released in March 2018.

Alexandra Harris is a great fit to this series, and I enjoyed listening to her again. However, her pronunciation of cassandra sangue was different in this installment compared to the first book in the series. Here is a sample of the narration:



MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy urban fantasy.

This book qualifies as:
#2 for my 2018 Audiobook Challenge
#1 for my 2018 Blogger Shame Challenge
#4 for my 2018 Beat the Backlist Challenge
#3 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#1A for my 2018 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
#4 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#4 for my Blydyn Square Books 2018 Reading Challenge
#4 for my Full House Reading Challenge 2018
#4 for my GWB Book Bingo 2018
Task #26 for my 2018 Reading Challenge (Linz the Bookworm)
#2 for my 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
#4 for my Ivyclad Bingo 2018
#A4 for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#38 for my Monthly Mix-up Mania
#4 for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
#4 for my 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge
#1 for my What An Animal Reading Challenge 2018
#1 for my 2018 Paranormal Reading Challenge
#1 for my Science Fiction Vs Fantasy Bingo 2018
#1 for my The 2018 Swords & Stars Reading Challenge
#12 for my Bookish Bingo Winter 2017-18
#3 for my COYER Winter Switch
Task #10 for my Goodreads Winter Scavenger Challenge: Northern Lights
#4 for my Chapter Break Bingo January 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Can't-Wait Wednesday: All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller @WmMorrowBooks #DanielleTeller

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

AUTHOR: Danielle Teller
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: May 22, 2018
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Fantasy, Retellings
ISBN: 9780062798206
In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s “evil” stepmother.

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of “happily ever after.”

I just love fairy tale retellings, and I'd love to hear the story of Cinderella's stepmother. Plus, she's a Canadian author!



What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bookish Resolutions/Goals #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is:

Bookish Resolutions/Goals

My bookish resolutions/goals will be much the same as they were for 2017: Try to read more of my own books and also tackle review copies that have been languishing for <ahem> too long (hangs head in shame).

For 2017, I read a total of 97 books:
[37 shelf love, 28 library, 32 review]

For 2018, I want to break 100 books! I was oh, so close! last year. One of my goals last year was to continue to try to finish series that I've started and get caught up on continuing series, and that will continue to be a 2018 goal.

I'm also going to continue to try (being the operative word) to restrain myself with requesting new books. I am going to try to limit my requests to books in series that I'm already reading. Again, I'm still trying to focus on the review copies that I have but haven't read yet.

I do use the library a fair bit, and I know that keeps me from tackling my bookcases but library love is important to me! My library's branch manager told me that I single-handedly increased the circulation in my neighbourhood's branch and that if I ever moved out of the area that I needed to find someone else like me who constantly uses the city's interlibrary loan service. I am always requesting books from other branches for my family, and the library loves seeing their books in circulation.

I'm also a reading challenge junkie! I entered 106 reading challenges last year (66 completed and 40 failed). I certainly never expect to ever complete them all, but I love how challenges force me to branch out and read genres that I wouldn't normally read. It's fun for me to look at my bookshelves and try to plan my reads to fit into my challenges. If you want to take a look at my reading challenges for 2018, here's the LINK. Maybe you will even be inspired to try a couple!


So, what are your bookish resolutions/goals for 2018? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Bout of Books 21 Read-a-Thon: Wrap-up Post #boutofbooks

This is my Wrap-up Post for Bout of Books 21 Read-a-Thon!

With this Read-a-Thon coinciding with back to work, I knew I wasn't going to get very far in my paperbacks. I only managed to finish my audiobook!



I Finished:


The Girl in the Ice
by Robert Bryndza
(DCI Erika Foster, Book #1)
[on my iPod]
(Shelf Love, from my Audible library)


Still Reading:

Bewitching
by Alex Flinn
(Kendra Chronicles, Book #2)
[Shelf Love]


Wherever I Find Myself: Stories by Canadian Immigrant Women
edited by Miriam Matejova
[from the library]


Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
[Shelf Love]


Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working For Your Good
by Joel Osteen
[from the library]


Fire and Ice
by Erin Hunter
(Warriors, Book #2)
[Shelf Love, reading aloud to my daughter]


Murder of Crows
by Anne Bishop
(The Others, Book #2)
[on my iPod]


I participated in the daily challenges (whoops, just realized that I missed Day 5):

















Thanks again to Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal for hosting!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf.

TITLE: Bewitching
SERIES: Kendra Chronicles, Book #2
AUTHOR: Alex Flinn
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
PUBLICATION DATE: February 14, 2012
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 338 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy/Fairy Tales
ISBN: 9780062024145
Kendra Hilferty, the witch who curses Kyle Kingsbury in Beastly, tells about her immortal existence-how she discovered she was a witch and the various ways she has used her powers to help people throughout the centuries. (Unfortunately her attempts have often backfired.) As it turns out, Kendra has actually had a hand in "Hansel and Gretel," "The Princess and the Pea," and "The Little Mermaid"-but these are not the fairy tales you think you know! Kendra's reminiscences are wrapped around a real-time version of "Cinderella," except the "ugly" stepsister is the good guy. With dark twists, hilarious turns, and unexpected endings, Bewitching is a contemporary read for fairy-tale lovers, fantasy fans, and anyone looking for more Alex Flinn.

Not only am I a first generation Canadian, but immigration is my profession. 

PUBLISHER: Caitlin Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 7, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 216 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781987915341
Edited by Miriam Matejova, Wherever I Find Myself is a diverse collection of stories about the joys and struggles of immigrant women living in Canada. Often bringing with them the shadow of war and the guilt of leaving, the women in this new anthology expose their emotional pain but also their gratitude for being able to call Canada home. Their stories paint touching and charming portraits of cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, bureaucratic hurdles, attempts to navigate unfamiliar landscapes, and a desire to be accepted despite differences in accent, skin colour, or taste in food. Together they form a mosaic of emotions and world-views that underline the immigrant condition for women.

A yellow dress with ruffles, a kind Grade 1 teacher with a surname that’s difficult to spell, cockroaches in the bathroom, the contempt of strangers, and Whitney Houston on the radio–a Filipino woman recalls her experience as a six-year-old immigrant in a ghetto in Mississauga in the 80s. Browsing through a Polish fashion magazine at a European deli, a woman sees herself in an alternative universe of what her life might have been had she never immigrated to Canada. A same-sex couple moves from Minnesota to Ontario to find refuge for their love, but first they must drive a seventeen-foot truck through a blizzard and make it through the frustrating net of Canadian bureaucracy. In search of her origins, a Jewish woman travels to her birthplace in Passau, Germany. There, among rows of European picturesque houses and foreign tombstones of a Jewish cemetery, she finds no memories, only the shadow of Hitler and the ghosts of her parents.

Through these stories of courage, aloneness, and hope, new and established writers reach out to both immigrants and those whose families long ago ceased to identify with the immigrant label. Through their struggles and, at times, endearingly critical looks at Canada, they remind us that many of our perceived divisions are nothing but artificial creations of mind and that all of us are past, current, or potential immigrants.

I completed a nine-week course with a group of people, which featured DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. The book is a lot to digest, and I'm still reading it in chunks.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Another one from my dusty bookshelf, which I am reading aloud to my younger daughter. We loved the first one in the series!

TITLE: Fire and Ice
SERIES: Warriors, Book #2
AUTHOR: Erin Hunter
PUBLISHER: Avon Books
PUBLICATION DATE: June 1, 2004 (first published 2003)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 317 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780060525590
Fireheart could hear a roaring around him, like wind in tall trees. The acrid stench of the Thunderpath stung his nostrils, together with a new smell, sharper and more terrifying. Fire!

Book Two of Warriors continues Fireheart's quest to be a true warrior, when he finds new danger lurking in the woods as the chill of winter sets in.

WindClan is missing, and hostilities between the remaining three clans place all the cats in peril. Illness and tragic accidents weaken the camp, and ThunderClan needs all its warriors to defend itself - but Fireheart suspects that certain cats may not be as loyal as they appear.
I'm listening to:

Something from my review pile.


SERIES: The Others, Book #2
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
NARRATOR: Alexandra Harris
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 4, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 14 hrs and 13 mins
GENRE: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Return to New York Times best-selling author Anne Bishop’s "phenomenal" (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others - where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules.…

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

I just finished:


SERIES: Detective Erika Foster, Book #1
AUTHOR: Robert Bryndza
NARRATOR: Jan Cramer
PUBLISHER: Bookouture
PUBLICATION DATE: February 12, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 7 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Police Procedural
Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice...She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong...resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she's faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

A pause-resisting thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, and Karin Slaughter, discover Rob Bryndza's new series today.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post


This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Well, I survived the first week back to work after Christmas Break! Just barely!! Studies show that we have poorer memory and slower reaction times, in addition to the tiredness, following a return to work after vacation. Yup, I agree! My kids are more tired as well, having to re-adjust to waking up early. Hopefully, next week will be easier.


It's been pretty cold here. Our temps have plunged, and our daytime high yesterday was -24 degrees Celsius (that's -11 degrees Fahrenheit) with a windchill of -33 degrees Celsius (that's -27 degrees Fahrenheit). We are expecting a brief warm-up on Wednesday, so next weekend will be milder.


I won this paperback in a giveaway hosted by Lisa Loves Literature:

Grave
by Joan Frances Turner
(Resurgam Trilogy, Book #3)

Thanks again, Lisa!


I won this audiobook in the Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon Giveaway hosted by Michelle @ Seasons of Reading:

Survival
by Rhonda Hopkins
(Survival, Book #1)

Thanks again, Michelle and Rhonda!


I received these audiobooks for review:

Blood Fury
by J.R. Ward
(Black Dagger Legacy, Book #3)

The Last Girl on Earth
by Alexandra Blogier

Thanks again to Penguin Audio and Listening Library!



Recap: Last Week On The Blog



Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

Thursday Book Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Friday Audiobook Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza


What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, January 12, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @bookouture

SERIES: Detective Erika Foster, Book #1
AUTHOR: Robert Bryndza
NARRATOR: Jan Cramer
PUBLISHER: Bookouture
PUBLICATION DATE: February 12, 2016
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 7 mins
GENRE: Mystery/Police Procedural
Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice...She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound, and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong...resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she's faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

A pause-resisting thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, and Karin Slaughter, discover Rob Bryndza's new series today.

MY REVIEW:

This start to a new police procedural series has hooked me, and I already purchased the next three audiobooks in the series and can't wait to read more!

As you can see from the title and the cover, a young girl is found in the ice. She had been reported missing four days earlier, and she was violently attacked and killed. DCI Erika Foster from Manchester Metropolitan Police is called in to lead the investigation because of her experience. 

Foster uncovers similar attacks on other women, which were cold cases that were previously unconnected. This puts her in jeopardy, and she has to figure out who the killer is before he gets to her.

On a personal level, Foster has returned to work following a leave of absence after the death of her husband who was working a case with her. She still suffers from nightmares, and the guilt gnaws at her. She's definitely a flawed and broken character, which makes her a great heroine!

Bryndza is new to me, and I really enjoyed this one! As Foster investigates the crime, more and more layers are added to the story. There were lots of interesting characters, and I especially liked Detective Moss and her loyalty to Foster. I hope we see more of her in the next book in the series.

This book was narrated by Jan Cramer, and I really enjoyed her. She was a pleasure to listen to, and I thought her voice suited the characters very well. Here is a sample of the narration:




MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy mysteries and/or police procedurals.

This book qualifies as:
#1 for my 2018 Audiobook Challenge
#2 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018
#1 for my The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge
#2 for my 2018 Reading Assignment Challenge
#3 for my 2018 Beat the Backlist Challenge
#2 for my The Backlist Reader Challenge 2018
#3 for my New Authors 2018 Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2018 Try Something New Challenge
#3 for my 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
#3 for my Blydyn Square Books 2018 Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge
#3 for my Full House Reading Challenge 2018
#3 for my GWB Book Bingo 2018
Task #59 for my 2018 Reading Challenge (Linz the Bookworm)
#3 for my Ivyclad Bingo 2018
#1B for my Monthly Keyword Challenge
#1 for my What's In A Name 2018
Bonus #1B for my 2018 Literary Escapes Challengee
#A3 for my Good Rule Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2018 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2018 A to Z Reading Challenge
#2 for my Cloak and Dagger Challenge
#11 for my Bookish Bingo Winter 2017-18
#2 for my COYER Winter Switch
Task #1 for my Goodreads Winter Scavenger Challenge: Northern Lights
#3 for my Chapter Break Bingo January 2018

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