Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stacking The Shelves - October 31, 2015

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books I added to my shelves this week. They may it be physical or virtual. I include books I buy in a physical store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  Follow the link to see what others have on their shelves. 

For Review:
Rustler's Moon (Ransom Canyon, #2)
Rustler’s Moon by Jodi Thomas

Nexis (Tricksters, #1)
Nexis by A.L. Davroe

Ice Moon (Moon Series #5)
Ice Moon by Lisa Kessler

City of Light (Outcast, #1)
City of Light by Keri Arthur

What Else I Read in October 2015


Christmas at Evergreen Inn by Donna Alward – There is nothing like a visit to Jewell Cove at Christmas time.  Both Todd Ricker and Lainey Price are old friends who find that Christmas changes friends to lovers.  A nice short sweet romance.

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep – This is book two of the Black Blade series and it does a great job of moving the story forward.  All of the original characters are there along with at least one surprising new character.  The world building, character development and back story are furthered fleshed out.  The plot moves at a nice pace and the action is once again tension filled.  A good well written addition to the series.

Lone Wolf Lawman by Delores Fossen – I have become a fan of several of Harlequin Intrigue books and authors.  Delores Fossen is one of the authors.  Lone Wolf Lawman is the first book in the new Appaloosa Pass Ranch series.  The series is off to a great start.  The characters are interesting, the back story is worked into the story line and the plot is full of twists and turns.   Along with the danger there is a nice romance.  One couple finds their HEA while others are in the backgound waiting their turn.  

Castaway Planet (Boundary Series Book 4)Castaway Planet (Boundary #4) by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor – While this is book 4 (and the start of a new trilogy) in the Boundary series it will work well as an entry to the series. It is a set up for the rest of the trilogy.  Most of the story is about how to survive on an unexplored planet.  It follows the family for the first year.  As the book ends they realize that someone else has arrived.  To find out how that changes things you will have to wait for the next book.  Castaway Planet has an interesting story line, fun characters, as well as lots of tension and adventure. Pick it up for a fun quick read.

What Happens Under the MistletoeWhat Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran - Four fun Christmas stories and as the title suggests they all have a kiss under the mistletoe.  I had two favorites in the collection.  My very favorite was Sabrina Jeffries The Heiress and the Hothead.  This one featured the mill owning sister of Jeremy from a previous story.  I just knew she needed a romance and an HEA .  Jeffries provide the perfect one.

My other favorite was Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran.  I loved both Lucas Goodwin and Georgie.  Theirs was not a smooth path to an HEA but it was an interesting one.

Like The Heiress and the Hothead the other two stories were based on characters from Hawkins’ and Camp’s series.  I did not know the characters so did not enjoy the stories as much.  This is a fun Christams collection and since it is four novellas you can pick it up and finish a story in a short time.  Great for when you are too busy to start a long book.

Shadows of Self (Mistborn, #5)Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson – Shadows of Self is the second book of a new series set in the Mistborn universe.  It does not work as a stand-alone.  At the very least read The Alloy of Law first.  Even better start with Mistborn, then The Well of Ascension and The Hero of Ages.  All of those are part of the back-story and world building needed to understand all the reference in Shadows of Self.  The story here is full of danger, tension, character development, and surprises.  All of that kept me reading but in the end I don’t know where the story is going.  The set up for the next book is there at the end so I guess I will find out when The Bands of Mourning comes out next year. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fury of a Highland Dragon by Coreene Callahan - Book Blast and Giveaway

Fury of a Highland Dragon
by Coreene Callahan


GENRE: Paranormal Romance


Trapped by a future she refuses to face…

Accused of cyber espionage by the United States government, ethical hacker Ivy Macpherson is now on the FBI’s most wanted list. Out of options, she runs, desperate for time to prove her innocence. When fate takes an unexpected turn, bringing her face-to-face with Tydrin, she must decide—trust a man more dangerous than the hunters on her Ivy Macpherson, trail to keep her safe. Or risk capture by a covert agency well known for ruthlessness.

Condemned by a past he doesn’t want to remember…

Cursed with a terrible temper, Scottish dragon-warrior Tydrin struggles to atone for a mistake that took innocent lives. Unable to forgive himself, he returns to the scene of his crime in hopes of finding absolution, but discovers a woman in need of his help instead. Intervening in the nick of time, he whisks Ivy to safety, only to realize the daughter of the family he wronged is the one destined to steal his heart.

Feet rooted to the ground, Tydrin stared at the female. He blinked to clear his vision. Nothing. No change in his visual field and—bloody hell. It couldn’t be. He must be seeing things. Must be imagining the impossible. But no matter how many times he forced himself to refocus, nothing changed. She remained front and center, kneeling in the dirt, head bowed, hands resting on her thighs. The submissive position drew him tight, messing with his ability to think for a second.

Tydrin shook his head.

The movement knocked brain cells into motion and…Good Christ. Unbelievable. She was real. He wasn’t imagining her. Or the radiating warmth frothing around her like sea foam. Glowing bright blue, the female’s aura lit up the space around her. Her bio-energy hummed and his dragon half woke, setting off a dangerous chain reaction. Bone-deep hunger punched through. His body came alive. His mind dulled, blocking out everything but her. Long red hair pulled into a messy bun, she shuffled closer to the headstone. Mumbling another apology, she cleared debris away from the granite base. The task was one he usually preformed. On this date, every year when he visited. Right now, though, he didn’t care about his mission.

Or about paying his respects.

Struck stupid by her, only one thought registered—a high-energy female here…in middle the of Aberdeen.

Tydrin frowned. Holy shite. He was in trouble. Neck deep and sinking fast without any idea how to control his reaction to her.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Growing up as the only girl on all-male hockey team, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write characters inspired by them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally gave in and returned to her first love: writing. Her debut novel, Fury of Fire, was a finalist in the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest in two categories: Best First Book and Best Paranormal. She combines her love of romance, adventure and writing with her passion for history in her novels. She lives in Canada with her family, a fun-loving golden retriever, and her wild imaginary world.

Coreene will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Freya and her father go sailing."

Page 56:

Aurora"As always, Devi spent several hours a week studying the communications freed from the solar system. The delay between transmission and reception was now 10.7 years.

The beginning did not catch me. Page 56 lets you know this is Science Fiction. Both are from Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. I checked this out at the library but have not started it yet.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)

Fantasy/Steampunk/Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

  Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

I really loved the beginning of The Aeronaut’s Windlass.  I though it had it all.  The world building was interesting and different.  It was blended into the story and did not interfere with the action.  The same with the back-story.  Everything started with a bang and it just kept going non-stop.  

As I met each character their actions showed their personality.  As the story progressed they became more complex and better 

I started reading and did not want to put the book down.

That is how I felt about the story for the first ¾ of the book.  I wish that feeling had stayed through out the book but it did not.  The last 100 or so pages were something of a let down.  There was still action, tension and adventure.  The characters were still interesting but something just seemed off and I was left at the end of the book feeling a bit disappointed.  The last few pages left a really grim feeling.   

While I would give The Aeronaut's Windlass 5 stars for the first part of the book the last part would only get 3 stars.  So 4 stars not 5.

That will not stop me from continuing the series.   I do want to know what happens to b the world and characters.  I just wish that the feeling I got as I read the first ¾ of the book had continued with the last ¼.

Roc published TheAeronaut’s Windless by Jim Butcher in 2015.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff

Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. But when she learned the truth about the war the Confederation was fighting, she left the military for good.

But Torin couldn’t walk away from preserving and protecting everything the Confederation represented. Instead, she drew together an elite corps of friends and allies to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not—or would not—officially touch. Torin just hoped the one they were about to embark on wouldn’t be the death of them.

Ancient H’san grave goods are showing up on the black market—grave goods from just before the formation of the Confederation, when the H’san gave up war and buried their planet-destroying grave goods for the death of war. Someone is searching for these weapons and they’re very close to finding them. As the Elder Races have turned away from war, those searchers can only be members of the Younger Races.

Fortunately, only the Corps Intelligence Service has this information. Unfortunately, they can do nothing about it—bound by laws of full disclosure, their every move is monitored.

Though Torin Kerr and her team are no longer a part of the military, the six of them tackling the H’san defenses and the lethally armed grave robbers are the only chance the Confederation has. The only chance to avoid millions more dead.

But the more Torin learns about the relationship between the Elder Races and the Younger, the more she begins to fear war might be an unavoidable result.

It is always fun to spend time with Torin, Craig and their crew.  Once again they are off on a dangerous mission.  This time the mission is to prevent another war.  If you have followed this series you know that the last book finished a story arc.  An Ancient Peace is the start of a new series and story arc. 

The action is non-stop and the plot interesting. All is told from two viewpoints – Torin and her crew and the group of grave robbers.  The mission is successful but does leave some things hanging.  That is the set-up for the new role for Torin and crew.

I recommend reading the previous books in the Confederation series before reading An Ancient Peace.  The present is always influenced by the past.  A lot of the action and dialog is based on the action in the previous series. 

Daw published An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff in 2015.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - October 27, 2015.

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Furry Logic, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Guide to Life's Little ChallengesThe Teasers:

"If at first you don't succeed, swallow all evidence that you tried."

"If at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished."

From Furry Logic, A Guide to Life's Little Challenges by Jane Seabrook.  This is a short cute book full of saying along with an illustration of a animal to match.  Every time I pick it up I get a nice laugh.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Musing Mondays - October 26, 2015

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
Musing Mondays is sponsored by A Daily Rhythm.

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you read any horror, or something scary, in honor of Halloween? Why, or why not?

I do not!!!  I won't watch horror or scary movies.  Same with TV programs.  Books are the same.  My adrenalin level spikes and I just want to crawl out of my skin.  Not for me.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

War Dogs (War Dogs #1) by Greg Bear

Science Fiction

From Goodreads:


One more tour on the red.
Maybe my last.

They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago.

Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn't pass up. We called them Gurus.

It took them a while to drop the other shoe. You can see why, looking back.

It was a very big shoe, completely slathered in crap.

They had been hounded by mortal enemies from sun to sun, planet to planet, and were now stretched thin -- and they needed our help.

And so our first bill came due. Skyrines like me were volunteered to pay the price. As always.

These enemies were already inside our solar system and were moving to establish a beachhead, but not on Earth.

On Mars.

Look for the unexpected in War Dogs.  Bear takes some familiar themes and really turns them around.  There are the aliens (The Gurus) who show up first and seem helpful.  Then there are the aliens  (The Antags) that show up on Mars. The Gurus recruit humans to fight the Antags on Mars..  Sound familiar but it gets all turned around when something new is discovered.

War Dogs is the first book in a new series and most of it is devoted to back story and world building.  Told from the first person view of  Master Sergeant Michael Venn, a Skyrinen, after he  made it back from Mars.  His story moves back and forth from the present on Earth to the past on Mars. 

At times I found the story very slow going.  What kept me reading were the unusual things that kept happening.  It was hard to tell where the story was going.  That did not change. Don’t expect to understand everything by the end of the book.  Do expect to be left hanging and in the dark.  Even so if you are a big SciFi fan I think you will enjoy this Military Science Fiction story full of plot twists and turns.

Sky Dogs is an interesting start to a new series.  I am waiting for the next book Killing Titan to see if at least some of my questions are answered.

Orbit published War Dogs by Greg Bear in 2014.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves - October 24, 2015

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books I added to my shelves this week. They may it be physical or virtual. I include books I buy in a physical store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  Follow the link to see what others have on their shelves.

I only got two new books this week and both are for review. 

Boundary LinesBoundary Lines by Melissa F. Olson - This is book two in a new series.  I got a signed copy of book one, Boundary Crossed, at World Con when I went to the 47North party.

Reunion at Cardwell Ranch (Cardwell Cousins)Reunion at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels - I am hooked on her books and love how characters show up more than once in books in her series.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - October 23, 2015

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

16065004The Beginning:

"Waxillium Ladrian, lawman for hire, swung off his horse and turned to face the saloon.

Page 56:  

"Yup. There he was, bowl-head himself, crouching beside a rubbish pile, waiting to see if anyone followed him. Wayne had almost made the bubble too big and caught the man in it." 

From Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson, A Mistborn Novel. This starts like a western but is really fantasy with it's own unique world. I haven't started it yet. I will have to read soon as it is a library book and will be due soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Wishing Stone by Tegon Maus - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

The Wishing Stone
by Tegon Maus


GENRE: Soft Sci-Fi



The last time we used it was at the hospital the morning she died. 

On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished the same.  Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about it again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or... in the existence of God... and then, after three miserable, lonely years... the unthinkable, a second chance... Warwick.



In the middle of the room stood a large machine of some sort.  Six large, blue cylinders, with thick cables and several hoses protruding out of their tops, made up the bulk of the apparatus.  At the bottom, each narrowed almost to a point, terminating in a black plastic square.  A rainbow of braided wire, jutted out of one side of the square before being taped to the side of each cylinder.  The wires trailed along the thicker cable until they connected to the back of a dull aluminum box.  More cables, attached to a computer, were tied to the opposite side of the aluminum box.  Below the cylinders was a flat, slanted table.

Roger stood with his hands in his pockets, shoulders slumped, staring at the contrivance.

"I'm sorry, my friend,"  Digby said softly, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.  "I fixed it."

"Got it to work at last then?" Roger asked.  His voice held a sorrowful tone.

"I wish it had been in time," Digby said, patting him.

I didn't understand what was going on.  What was this machine?  What did it do?  

"It looks... complicated," I offered trying to think of the right thing to say.

"It was Roger's design.  Digby finished it when Kate went into the hospital for the last time," Marcie answered, coming to my rescue.

"What does it do?" I asked, running a curious hand over the metal cylinders.

"It doesn't do anything... it makes," Digby said, lightly slapping my hand away from the apparatus.

"My mistake... what does it make?"

"Skin," he returned.

"I beg your pardon?" 

"Skin," he repeated.

"Skin like..." I couldn't think of the right words to convey my curiosity.

"Yes, skin... people skin... like yours, like mine, like hers," he said with disinterest, pointing at Marcie.

"Well, not like my skin," Marcie countered.

"Oh, you're right.  I hadn't thought about that... wouldn't that be interesting.  Yes?" Digby exclaimed, covering his mouth with his fingers.  He stood for a moment looking to the ceiling, his fingers drumming over his half open mouth.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

  I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else... devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn't friendly, I just wasn't "people orientated". Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
         The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can't remember what it was about... something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
         It wasn't a deliberate conscious thought it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. "Be as detailed as you can," we were told.
         I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it's making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn't be sure if it were true or not.  When I write, I always write with the effort of "it could happen" very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

Barns & Noble



Tegon Maus is awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway