This Chicks Sunday Commentary (Yes, I know it’s Wednesday!): April ’19 Wrap Up!

I feel like I just did my March wrap up, the days are just flying by too fast. April was a solid month for reading. I finished 17 books, including a few audiobooks and feel like I’m making progress on my stack of ARC’s. Do you ever feel like you’ve overcommitted yourself? Me too! I hate it when my favorite authors all have books coming out on the same day. Yet, I love it at the same time. It’s a love hate thing. LOL. Anyhow, here is what you missed if you haven’t been keeping track of The Reading Chick!

GREAT APRIL READS!

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

I blew through the rest of this series in the month of April, but this book was my favorite!

“I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun!”

Full Tilt by Emma Scott

I actually read this book a couple months ago but had to clear my thoughts before writing the review. It was soo good, yet emotionally wrenching.

“I have never read a novel by Emma Scott, but after reading Full Tilt I know I will definitely be looking through her backlog for my next fix. Full Tilt was heavy, dark, desperate, uplifting, sad, and joyous. By the third chapter I was all in and I think I must’ve gone through a box of Kleenex while rooting for this couple to overcome the odds.”

Love Hacked (Knitting in the City series #3) by Penny Reid

Every time I read a book in this series I say, THIS is my favorite! I definitely chanted that mantra after reading Love Hacked.

“Needless to say, I loved this novel. I had picked it up so many times and put it down. I’m not sure why and am kicking myself for not enjoying their story before now. However, sometimes those novels that surprise you with their strength and your emotional impact to them are read when you need to read them. This was the perfect time for me.”

BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES

We all met a few interesting bloggers this month on my series Blogger to Blogger. If you haven’t had a chance to read their interviews, please check them out!

Tina @ Reading Between the Pages

Kyle and Hannah @ But, First, Fiction

I am mulling over putting my Blogger to Blogger series on hiatus. If you would like to be featured, please contact me and let me know, and I’ll fit your blog in before I take a break.

THIS CHICKS SUNDAY COMMENTARY

Part of the reason I want to take a break from Blogger to Blogger is to spend more time coming up with topics for my Sunday discussion posts. I’ll admit, with a full time job it’s hard to find the energy, but I want to do better. Here are my posts from last month. If you missed any please click the links below to check them out.

March’19 Wrap Up!

My May’19’s Most Anticipated Releases

Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

MAY’S TBR PILE

OH, Boy! I know I mentioned above that I’m backed up a little bit on my ARC’s. As you can see from this NetGalley snapshot, there are several releases that are all on the same day! Usually I try to space them out, but either I wasn’t paying attention or was overcome with greed at the thought of reading all of these great novels. I have read Romanov already (review to come this week!), but need to start on Finale to stay on track.

THEN you have the books on my Kindle that I’ve purchased, like Kristen Ashley’s FREE and Slow Burn, and my library books that are about to expire like Daisy Jones and the Six, and well, you get the problem!

On top of that my sister and I are going to the Booklovers Con in New Orleans 5/15-5/19! Woo-Hoo! Expect to see a daily post from me regarding all of the authors I will see and the fun activities to be had! I’m excited about that trip, but conventions don’t leave a lot of time for reading. LOL. Oh well, c’est la vie!

May looks to be a much more exciting month than April, and I can’t wait to read ALL of these books! LOL. (yeah right!)

Are you sitting on a big pile of ARC’s too? Give me a shout in the comments section and let me know I’m not the only one in this boat!

Until next Sunday, (or Wednesday, Tuesday or Saturday…)

Deb

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This Chick’s Audio Review: Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep

When I read the synopsis and saw Gladiator meets Game of Thrones I just knew I had to read this novel! It was a very apt description. Kill the Queen is an action fantasy adventure novel that follows our heroine Lady Everleigh from the halls of the Queen’s castle to the dorms of a Gladiator troop. Seventeenth in line for the throne and virtually ignored by the royal family due to her lack of magical talent, Evie finds herself the sole survivor of her cousin Vasilia’s royal coup and the assassination of the Queen. Escaping the scene, Evie hides out in plain sight as a member of a traveling Gladiator troop filled with ex guards of the just assassinated Queen.

I listened to the audiobook of this novel narrated by Lauren Fortgang who did a fabulous job featuring different voices for a very lengthy list of characters. She imbued the plot with excitement, not losing any of the tension in these action packed scenes. I will definitely be looking at other books narrated by Lauren Fortgang.

Evie was a heroine that showed such tremendous growth in character that by the conclusion of the novel you were completely on her side wanting to see her as the champion of every scene. Her evolution included her own realization that her lack of power was in itself very powerful making her the ultimate underdog, and I do love rooting for the underdog. The novel was imbued with colorful characters for Evie to interact with, even a light love interest that may develop in future novels, but really it was her friendship with all of these characters that gave this novel a lift. Evie was the girl who had only one or two close companions when she lived in the castle but by the end of the book she had a dozen new friends who had her back.

I am a big fan of Jennifer Estep’s YA Mythos Academy series because I have a fondness for fantasy action novels. Kill the Queen was right in my sweet spot and when I finished I immediately gushed about it to anyone that would listen to me. If you like fantasy novels you MUST read Kill the Queen it’s one of my favorite novels so far this year. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Kill the Queen (A Crown of Shards Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (5/6/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox (Amaranthine series #1) by Forthright

First Sentence Read: “There must be some mistake.” Tsumiko finished the solicitor’s letter of introduction and checked the name of the firm embossed on the heavy gray envelope- Watanabe, Wada, & West.

JUST STARTED

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

First Sentence Read: “The key to success is to visualize it.” The soothing voice commands my attention, mostly because I’m wearing earbuds and it blocks everything else out.

Yep, I gave you guys two sentences, but I feel like the spoken works weren’t enough! LOL. I cheated.

It’s the start of a new week and that means more books to read! What are you reading this fine Monday? Let me know in the comments below!

Deb

Friday YA: The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Caroline Flarity

Anna Fagan’s mother was possessed and killed by a demon when she was a child. Her father never recovered from the loss and buried himself in his work, the exorcism of ghosts from haunted relics. Anna’s home life is definitely not the norm, but when she see’s people from school going off the deep end she starts to wonder if there’s not something going wrong in her hometown. When her own thoughts start to become murderous, she shies away from her best friends Freddy and Dor and tries to salvage the scraps of her sanity. What she doesn’t realize is that her friends lives are also getting blacker and by the time she realizes it, she’s almost too late to save them.

Anna’s home life was a wreck. Her father was not just a ghost hunter, but he was also a hoarder. His things a labyrinth that blocked light and created an even more creepy atmosphere for the setting of this story. Known as the “Goblin girl” at school because of her dad’s job, Anna struggles to overcome that stigma and her feelings of shame. It’s only because of her best friends support that she had any light in her day. It’s when she becomes fixated on a boy at school and her fixation starts to turn unhealthy that I got an inkling that I might become uncomfortable with the direction this novel was headed.

I don’t want to sound too dramatic, but I kept looking for those moments of light in this story where I’d finally get to start rooting for Anna. There was just so much going on, and all of it was pretty dark and depressing. Anna does realize the town has been taken over by an evil demon and she does overcome all odds to save the day, but that only happens near the end of the book. On my wait for that to happen we see her father advance further into depression and hoardom (is that a word?), her friends become suicidal, and the bully at school turn into being bullied (by Anna!). Not to disrespect this author because I could see the work she put into it, but it really just wasn’t for me.

I am a huge fan of urban fantasy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. and I went into this with my eyes wide open, hoping for the best. If there had been a few more kernels of light or humor I think my feelings would have been different. I will say that I do believe every book has it’s reader and I just wasn’t a good fit for The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter. If you like creepy fantasy-type novels The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter may be the right fit for you, so please give it a try.

❤️❤️❣️

I received a free ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“The thing I loved most about this narrative was the supernatural lore. It was interesting and compelling, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before…. It was a rollercoaster ride of thrills, chills, and despair, and I loved every second!” UnabridgedBren

Click this link to purchase!* The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

After Mercy stood on a bridge and declared the citizens of her territory safe from others, she and her pack have been seriously busy. Called out to take care of some miniature goat zombies (or was it goat mini zombies?) she stumbles onto the fact that her territory is under siege by a coven of witches. The timing could have been better, after all, Adam and the pack are helping the government negotiate a meeting with the Gray Lords (fae) that will hopefully end in peace. Mercy again finds herself in the middle of a ‘situation’ and it takes the combined efforts of her pack to facilitate the survival of everyone.

Mercy is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines. Even though she’s mated to the Alpha of the Columbia Basin pack, is the daughter of Coyote, and step daughter to Bran- THE North American Alpha, she is a character that many of us readers can identify with. She is a woman who lives for normality. However, being Coyote’s daughter, mischief is never very far away. In Storm Cursed, Mercy’s role as ‘she who spoke big words on the bridge’ is never more apparent. She now has to leave that wish for normality behind her and actively interfere for those who ask for her help. Her interference previously has always been passive. Mischief finds her, but now she must find the mischief in order to stop all of the chaos. It’s an interesting change for this character and I quite like seeing her take a more leadership role in her own life.

There were many plots and sub- plots intertwining through Storm Cursed that makes it really hard to talk about the plot without giving away some key plot points so I’m not going to talk too much about those other than to say there was a lot of very satisfying action scenes where Mercy and the gang got to outsmart the bad guys. I loved these action scenes, but a more subtle defining moment for Mercy’s character was when she and Mary Jo were dealing with the mini goat zombie’s (or was it zombie miniature goat’s?) and they had a heart to heart. Mary Jo is one of the wolves who is against Mercy and Adam’s relationship. Even though Adam declared a cease fire on any active resistance to he and Mercy’s marriage, Mary Jo still subtly lets Mercy know she’d prefer Adam with Christy, his ex-wife. Mercy usually rolls with the punches, but Mary Jo’s dig catches her at a weak moment and she speaks her thoughts on why Adam and Christy were bad together. Why would you want your Alpha to be with someone who tore him down and made him regret who he was? Christy was that woman who make him feel bad about himself and ashamed of being a wolf. I believe this conversation with Mary Jo will be the turning tide in Mercy’s relationship with the pack and we could see a united front in future storylines. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so!

The title of this book is Storm Cursed which is certainly apropos because they are in fact battling a coven of witches and their evil curses, but that is not the only cursed storm in this novel. In fact, this series is rife with objections against behavior that is beyond the norm. There are government factions who are against non humans, both fae, wolf, and vampire. There are vampire politics and hierarchy whose lineage becomes transparent both in Marsilia’s seethe as well as rooted throughout America and Europe’s vampire community’s. Then there are the more commonly found bias’s among humans against homosexuals and women, themes that are vividly portrayed on these pages. In Storm Cursed, we see the beginnings of absolution for many of these things. Kyle, Warren’s lover, is given a hierarchy of sorts within the pack, politicians begin to see more clearly through the clouded glasses of bias and hate, and yes, women’s roles are not subjugated but given strength through their actions. This novel starts as Storm Cursed, but almost ends up being a blessed storm. One that provides a cool wind of change. I can’t wait to see what the next Mercy Thompson novel will bring and in what other ways the subjugated will become uplifted.

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Storm Cursed (A Mercy Thompson Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (4/29/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

In Her Sights (Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #1) by Katie Ruggle

First Sentence: “I’m headed to the park,” Molly said as she let the screen door slam behind her.

JUST STARTED

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

First Sentence Read: My blood is my crime.

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of Katie Ruggle. Her new novel came out last month and I had pre-purchased it and it got lost on my kindle. It’s a really cute romance, this time the leads are all sisters which I love!

Another topic I love is the Russian revolution. Did Anastasia really die? It’s always a fabulous fantasy and to mix magic into the tale? Perfection! I can’t wait to immerse myself in it.

Don’t you love starting a new book? It’s better than starting a new work week! What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Kyle and Hannah @ But, First, Fiction

I love blogging duo’s, trio’s and more! As with most of us, the reason we started to blog was because we wanted to discuss the books we’ve read with someone. Well, Kyle and Hannah are the book blogging team behind But, First, Fiction. They have such a fun vibe on their blog. As soon as you search their Menu and see Monday Mumblings and Wednesday Wordlings you know you’re in for a treat! If you haven’t visited But, First, Fiction please click the link below. But, First, Read their answers to my 10 questions!

But, First, Fiction

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

Kyle: We live in South Africa. People often ask us, “Where is South Africa?” to which we reply, “Northern Africa, as the name implies.”

What is the view outside your front door?

Kyle: The sprawling wilderness of Johannesburg is visible outside both of our respective front doors. Wild gazelle stroll across the vast plains of Africa.
Hannah: Kyle is a very serious person; I’m sure you can all tell 😉 Neither of our front-door views are anything to write home about, but the view from Kyle’s balcony is breathtaking!

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blog’s name and/or why you started blogging.

Hannah: Well, I have a terrible book-hoarding problem. Kyle and I met each other in a bookshop last year…
Kyle: …and couldn’t seem to get rid of one another after that, so we figured if you can’t beat them, start a book blog together.
Hannah: Seriously though, so much of our relationship is predicated on the fact that we both love stories as well as the meanings we derive from those stories.
Kyle: We’d often find ourselves discussing into the wee hours of the morning how these meanings influenced our perspectives on life and one day we just thought, “Hey, we should probably write these thoughts down!”
Hannah: And so our blog came to be. We’re also coffee addicts and think to ourselves every morning, “We’ve got all these things we have to do – but first, coffee.” We apply that same principle when it comes to reading – we’ve got all these things we have to get through in life, but first: fiction. Kyle wrote the best poem for our homepage that perfectly encapsulates this idea.

Describe where you write your blog.

Hannah: We pretty much write all over the place. Most of the posts I contribute to the blog are written from my work computer when I’m in between projects.
Kyle: Exclusively nightclubs, disco raves and cemeteries. My ideal combo would be anywhere that contains police sirens, screaming babies and barking dogs. This really gets them book-blog juices flowing.

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack?

Hannah: HA! I have over 100 books in my apartment that I haven’t read. (Remember that book-hoarding tendency I mentioned previously?) Here’s a photo of my bookshelves, for an idea of what I’m up against…

My soon-to-be-reads include the latter two books in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle (which is also the closest I come to cycling) and the final book of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy: Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

Kyle: Making my way downtown… the Patrick Ness series Chaos Walking; I’m about to start the final book, Monsters of Men, so I guess you could say the Chaos is currently at a sprint.

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go-to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

Kyle: My favourite genre is basically anything that has magic, time travel or knights.
Hannah: I’m definitely a fantasy girl, through and through.
Kyle: I’m also a fantasy girl.
Hannah: No wonder we work so well together! I love dragons, magic and romance, especially romantic dragon magic. If I pick up anything by Gail Carson Levine or Laini Taylor, I guarantee my mood will be improved in minutes.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

Kyle: We’re actually professional ninjas, but according to my mom, I’m in healthcare.
Hannah: I’m a book cover designer in my dreams and a packaging designer in real life. I illustrated this cartoon of us for our blog:


Here’s what we look like in live action, though:

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

Hannah: My favourite post has actually just been published this week! I took part in the ABC Book Challenge and discussed books and book characters beginning with the letter V. I found it viciously vexing at first, but eventually was victorious! You can read it here: www.butfirstfiction.com/2019/03/18/a-very-vicious-venture.
Kyle: My favourite post is our homepage, because homepage is where the heart is. The link is plain and simple: www.butfirstfiction.com

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Hannah: Not a lot of authors come to South Africa – weird, I know! I went to a book-reading by Anthony Horowitz when I was in my tweens, but didn’t actually meet him. I’d probably thank him for all the plays on words he managed to work into characters’ names in the Alex Rider series – I’m a big believer in puns.

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

Hannah: Can I have a tea party instead? I’m wildly indecisive! I’d host Rainbow Rowell, Amie Kaufman, Laini Taylor and Jane Austen (this is a fantasy, after all). We’d snack on lemon cheesecake, cherry turnovers, chocolate chip cookies and decadent mocha-chocolate cake. I wouldn’t even ask questions – just bask in the glory of the company! Somebody should probably reign me in.

Kyle: I think both Hannah and I would actually like to sit down with Patrick Ness. He can choose the cake provided he answers one simple question: “WHYYYYY?!” (For context, read the Chaos Walking series… or don’t, because the emotional trauma is real!) 

I LOVE Kyle and Hannah’s sense of humor and their writing is so clever. I haven’t read a few of the authors they’ve mentioned and am excited about their recommendations. Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking for sure. I need to know WHYYY??? LOL. Drama works apparently. 😉

If you have enjoyed reading Blogger to Blogger and would like to participate, please let me know!

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb



Friday YA: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross

Claire O’Connor’s back in Juniper Falls because of an all hands on deck family emergency. Helping get her family’s restaurant and sports bar back on solid footing after her father’s stroke is more important than being at school. Tate Tanley was her best friend’s little brother and when she catches sight of him she wonders where that little boy that she shared a secret with the night before she went to school went. Now he’s the goalie of their high school hockey team and all grown up and that secret brings them back together.

I recently read the third book in this series, On Thin Ice, when I got an ARC through NetGalley and was rewarded by reading a really good story! I immediately went to my local library to take a look at the other books in the series. Off the Ice is the first and it also didn’t disappoint. These characters are dealing with so much more than a high school romance. The stories are packed with emotional plots and Off the Ice’s is another doozy.

There were so many things I liked about Clair and Tate. Even though Claire always dreamed of a life outside of her small town of Juniper Falls, her family was the most important thing in her life and she dropped following her dreams to come home and help out when her father grew ill. I did struggle a little bit with her waffling over whether she should give Tate a chance but then we’d have lost a little bit of the tension that kept the story moving forward. Tate was a fabulous character. He was dealing with a dud of a father, pressure as the new goalie on the team, and a recent break up with his long time girlfriend. He was singleminded in his pursuit of both Claire and his game that you couldn’t help but admire how he was dealing with all of this pressure. I really liked how he helped Claire see her future both at school but also with him. They were well matched.

I love contemporary novels with a hint of romance that revolve around sports. Especially if they are actually playing the game! This novel had quite a bit of hockey being played which made it even more enjoyable to me. If that’s not your thing, I think you’ll really appreciate how these characters grow and become each others anchor through some of the crappy things that are happening in their lives. Either way, it’s a book to enjoy and I’ll be reaching for the second in the series next. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Off the Ice (Juniper Falls)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Molly Sullivan has had the strangest things happening lately. Lights have been fizzling out, her car keeps breaking down, and when she’s angry she see’s little white sparks in her vision. That last gets tested when she finds out her husband has cheated on her… again. When she confronts him, she let’s her anger take reign and her power manifests. Josiah Mason, local DA and a powerful witch in his own right, witnesses this manifestation and offers his help to Molly, which she begrudgingly takes. When she finds something hinky in her husbands finances she turns to Josiah for help.

American Witch is set in the world of the Elder demesne and Thea Harrison’s previous series the Elder Races. Being totally familiar with this realm, I eagerly anticipated reading this novel. I liked Molly’s character a lot. She is getting out of marriage that ends up having a few more surprises than her own manifesting magic. The mystery of her marriage and what her husband was up to was interesting, but I’ll admit that I was disappointed in the lack of focus on Molly’s magic. If I learned that I was turning into a witch and had this amazing power I would have wanted to know everything about it! I thought she was a little disinterested in the beginning and that made it hard for me to connect with her character.

Josiah Mason is driven by revenge. Not the best attribute of a leading male but he could’ve overcome that flaw if he had been a little more empathetic towards Molly. I didn’t believe their connection and didn’t really like how long and more importantly why it took him so long to put her first. Thea Harrison is a great storyteller but I thought she should have pulled the trigger on his emotions a little sooner when it came to his feelings for Molly.

I fought against my ambivalence and really wanted to love this book. I didn’t hate it at all, but thought it could’ve been so much better with only a few tweaks. It’s because of this that I’m giving this novel a 3.5 rating. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* American Witch

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe the Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City series #6) by Penny Reid

First Sentence: “I was sweating. ‘Is this seat taken?”

Another wonderfully kooky romance with characters who get under your skin. I LOVE this series!

JUST STARTED

Blindsighted : The First Grant County Thriller by Karin Slaughter

First Sentence: “Sara Linton leaned back in her chair, mumbling a soft ‘Yes Mama’ into the telephone.

I am actually reading another book and was taking a break from company at my mom’s Easter dinner, picked up a book off the shelf and was immediately hooked in by this opening line. Now I’m halfway through. Sorry company! Lol.

I hope your book is just as good as this one! What are you reading?

Deb