This Chicks Sunday Commentary: BookLoversCon #BLC19 Finale!

I’m sitting in line at the FedEx store waiting for it to open so I can mail home a box of books. I’ve whittled down the stash so that I am bringing the most anticipated, new to me authors, and swag. Most fit in my two bags but for a little 20 book pile. Oh to have those problems, right? This trip has been so much fun and I probably haven’t taken enough pictures to show but here’s a few.

Heather Graham showed up to the Historical Fiction party in her full Voo Doo regalia. She hosts an evening function with a different theme and kind of combo’d the historical dress with the VooDoo head gear. She was charming, beautiful and very down to earth. I loved this chance to chat briefly with her.

This picture shows the set up for most of the functions with one host per table. Some are themed-this was Entangled’s Candy and Spoons game. Always a very popular one as the winner walks away with a stack of about 15 new books. My sister was a lucky winner and her table got super rowdy! All in good fun but they pass out bandaids for a reason! Lol.

This picture shows my day two of swag. I received a few ARC’s at a Berkley Blogger party that I’m very excited about!

Book Fair! Some authors just show up for this super large signing. I took a couple of snapshots of a few I was excited to see!

Jasmine Guillory!
Susanna Kearsley!
Shannon K. Butcher/aka Anna Argent!

other big names including Kristen Ashley, Christina Lauren, Rebecca Zanetti, and so many more! It was overwhelming and fun!

This morning we end with a brunch which I hope to make but first priority mail those books!

Looking forward to next year when Booklovers Con will be in my city! Nashville!

Deborah

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Booklovers Con! #BLC19

The first two days at the Booklovers Con have come and gone and my good intentions to post pictures every day has fallen by the wayside because of my need for sleep. Sorry guys! However, today I’ll give you two days of pics to satisfy your book loving needs!

I’ve met some really great authors and taken a few pictures to share. The first night was the kick off party with a Jazz Fest theme, after all we are all in New Orleans! We paraded into the ballroom to a great jazz marching band.

There were authors stationed around the room and I bee-lined towards Christine Feehan to say hi and take her pic.

Christine Feehan!

I’ll admit that I didn’t want to stand in line for food but there were food trucks galore and the band was fab. My sister and I ducked out to eat at a little Vietnamese place we spotted down the street. Yum!

Thursday was chock full of events. A Harlequin author signing and Indie author soirée were fun! Although the lines…not so much. Lol.

Julia London! (On the right)
Rebecca Zanetti!
Ooohhh my feet!

I really learned a lot from a workshop for bloggers and publishers and will endeavor to meet some new goals!

The evening wrapped up with a pretty amazing Fairy gala with a full dinner. The costumes and decorations were pretty spectacular!

Packaging paper turned into a magnificent dress!

Gorgeous centerpieces!

My sister and I were VIP’s ( we won it in a lottery) and got to sit for dinner at a table with an author. I sat with the wonderful fantasy author C. L. Wilson and she sat with Amanda McIntyre. It was a great hour spent getting to know these authors.

At the end of the day I had a pretty good book haul! Not as much in the past and definitely a smaller amount of swag, but you know what? The experience has been so much better and more intimate!

This is only day 1’s book haul!

I’ll try to get out one more post possibly Sunday from the airport! We are packing in the fun at the BLC19!

Deb

Friday YA: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Finale is a story about the meaning of love and how that meaning changes for each of the characters in this story. Tella’s love for Legend is tested by her confusing feelings for Jacks and Scarlett’s love for Julian is never wavering but her definition of love changes when she uncovers some truths about her past. Both of their journeys are tested but eventually love conquers all, and in this novel you can’t take that statement literally.

Stephanie Garber continues with the beautiful prose from the first two novels. Each word is imbued with ribbons of color which seems appropriate to the theme of love that runs through this story. At times though her lyrical style seems to distract rather than draw attention to, and I’ll admit my mind wandered a bit. I found myself scanning back through the pages wondering what had happened since I last tuned in. I still enjoyed the story, but it took a really long time for it to reach a conclusion.

Tella and Legend continued their tale of unrequited love. If an immortal feels the emotions of love it turns them human and Legend fights his fears through most of their storyline. I found Jacks’ emotions the more interesting of the two men, since he gave into his obsession and seemed to turn Tella’s head with his feelings, even though those feelings were rather unhealthy.

Scarlett’s story with Julian remained unchanged, however her character grew a lot more than Tella’s did in this conclusion. She learned a lot about why she could see the color of other people’s emotions and how she dealt with that knowledge uncovered strengths that she previously hadn’t really shown. I cared a lot more for the resolution of her story than I did for her sister’s which seemed a lot more shallow a tale.

Finale was my least favorite book in the series, but part of that was that the newness had dulled slightly. Some new characters (the Fates) were introduced and time was spent allowing us to get to know a few of these characters so that it helped build more of an impact to the conclusion of the story. The end felt a little too pat for all of that prior build up, but I did feel like I got the conclusion that I wanted for these characters and I was left feeling pretty satisfied. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Finale: A Caraval Novel

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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

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

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

Happy Easter from The Reading Chick!

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and even though today was 50° and I am wearing a sweater you can tell by the smiles on everyone’s faces that winter is over. Unless you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, then Winter is Coming. I couldn’t resist, sorry!

For those of us who celebrate this time of year for religious reasons, may you have a blessed holiday!

For those of us who are looking forward to seeing what kind of candy is in our Easter baskets… what number from the graphic below is your favorite Easter candy? Feel free to share your favorite from your own country if these aren’t familiar!

I am a Cadbury mini eggs gal myself!

May your Easter basket be filled with the blessings of your season, and chocolate! Happy Easter from the Reading Chick!

Deb

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (4/15/19)

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

Playing for Keeps (A Heartbreaker Bay Novel) by Jill Shalvis

First Sentence Read: ‘Sadie Lane walked through the day spa, closing up for the night, alone as usual.’

JUST STARTED

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

First Sentence Read: ‘” So what did YOU do, Mary Jo?” Called Ben in his crisp British accent.’

Ahh, a new week! Monday’s are great because you can start over, get rid of all the bad things that happened the previous week and START A NEW BOOK!

What are you reading this fine Monday?

Deb