Monday, July 27, 2015

What Are You Reading Monday #17


Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information go to Book Journey and join in!

Books Completed This Month so far (links go to my review):
  • Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner (audiobook, library)
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (audiobook, library)
  • Knitters on Yarn: Writers on Knitting by Ann Hood (library)
  • The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (audiobook, audible)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory (ebook, Scribd)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory (ebook, Scribd)
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (audiobook, library)
  • In a Dark, Dark, Wood by Ruth Ware (ebook, netgalley)
Reading Now: 
  • Forever Odd by Dean Koontz (audiobook, library)
  • The Wrong Man by Kate White (ebook, netgalley)
Next: 
  • Not sure yet :)
Summary -
Finally in the last few weeks I really feel like my reading mojo has come back.  I have enjoyed the series by Philippa Gregory and plan to continue with it.  I have been intrigued and sucked into several books I received from Netgalley.  And dare I think it, but I might actually start reviewing again. I've been visiting blogs again and enjoying that reading and look forward to being back in the blogging world after a long hiatus.

Summer is going quickly.  My kids have one last vacation with my parents for the summer next week and then my oldest starts soccer practice at the high school.  But I"m going to enjoy all the lazy boating days that I can until deer season starts and the weather cools!

So how was your week?  What were your temps like where you were?  Are your kids starting sports for the new school year yet? Any great books to share from the past week or ones you are looking forward to?


Monday, June 29, 2015

What I'm Reading Monday #16


Come post weekly and see what others are reading too just so you can add to your tbr - I always do! For more information see Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books and join in!

Books Completed Last Week (links go to my review):
  • Vanished by Joseph Finder
  • Weightless by Sarah Bannan
  • The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court #1) by Kate Emerson
Reading Now: 
  • Knitters on Yarn: Writers on Knitting by Ann Hood
  • What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
  • The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory (audiobook, audible)
Next: 
  • Not sure yet :)
Summary -
It's been hot here and that leads to me coming home in the afternoon, throwing some laundry in and curling up in a book until it's time to fix supper and the husband and I watch tv.  After that I read until I go to sleep. Some afternoons will find me in the hammock reading, but most have been inside lately.  My reading mojo has come back and that feels good. I loved finding my way back to Joseph Finder's great suspense reading Vanished.  I have immediately requested another one of his books from the library. I also have a great fascination with the Tudors.  We have been making our way through the Showtime series and it has re-awakened my fascination with this time period.  So I have several books coming from the library on this period and group of kings/queens.  I can't wait.  Probably by the time this publishes we will be almost done with the series. 

So how was your week?  What were your temps like where you were?  Any great books to share from the past week or ones you are looking forward to?


Friday, June 26, 2015

Currently Listening: The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory

The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory
Obtained From: Audible
Why I chose this one: I am currently obsessed with the Tudor ruling of England. We are watching the Tudors and I must admit this is the most fascinated I have been by historical fiction in awhile.
Date Started: 6/25/2015

About The Constant Princess:
"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."

Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII's older brother, Arthur, Katherine's passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match; but when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents -- the crusading King and Queen of Spain -- have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the very pinnacle of power in England.

Set in the rich beauty of Moorish Spain and the glamour of the Tudor court, The Constant Princess presents a woman whose constancy helps her endure betrayal, poverty, and despair, until the inevitable moment when she steps into the role she has prepared for all her life: Henry VIII's Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory against Scotland.


Thoughts So Far
I am loving this book.  The narrator is wonderful and the story has captured my interest right away.  I love Catalina and how sure of herself she is.  I love her romance with Arthur so far and look forward to more intrigue and seeing how this all plays out.

If you haven't watched The Tudors (it's on Netflix streaming), it starts with Henry losing interest in Catherine and the battle to make Anne Boleyn legitimate as his wife.  So it''s interesting to find out more about Catherine's history and what has led up to the start of The Tudor tv show.  I look forward to reading/listening to the whole series (The Tudor Court) by Phillipa Gregory, and if the rest start like this one I know I will be enthralled.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Currently reading: Weightless by Sarah Bannan


Weightless by Sarah Bannan
Obtained From: publisher (St. Martin's Griffin)

Why I chose this one: I received it earlier this week. I'm not sure I requested it. However after I read the blurb I knew I had to read it soon!

Date Started: 6/24/15 (I read over 200 pages the first night!)


About Weightless:

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan's deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.


My thoughts so far:
At first I wasn't sure about the author's narrative. The story is written from the point-of-view of a group of girls and how they saw things. In the beginning it took some getting use to, but once I started reading I really got into it and really like it from this point-of-view.  I'm still not sure who all the "we" includes, but it doesn't really matter. It's interesting getting a feel for the group and what they see and perceive.

It's a fast read, I read close to 2/3 of the book just the first night and look forward to finishing this afternoon. It's just one of those books that you want to pick up and keep reading because you have to know what happens next.

Have you read this book?  

It officially comes out Tuesday June 30th.


Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge First Quarter Update



So how am I doing with the audiobook challenge?  Well it was the one thing I kept reading during my slump in March so I'm doing great. I've read from a variety of sources, e-audiobooks from my library, actual CD or MP3 audiobooks from the library, some of my own and some from Audible.  No matter what I value my reading time going to and from work (25 minutes each way).

One thing I've learned, is I love speeding up the reading of my audiobooks.  Audible and my Smart AudioBook Player app on my phone allow me to do this.  The app for a desktop for eaudiobooks from the library (OneClick) allows this, but the app for my phone doesn't. So I'm a little slower listening to those books, but I enjoy them. I've found my ideal speed is around 1.8x normal.  But with some readers I have to slow this down some.  I usually stay in the 1.5x-1.9x range.

So what have I read and where am I with my goal?  I've read 12/30-50 that I wanted to read.  So I would say I am right on task for this challenge :)
  1. Tidal by Emily Snow
  2. Bad for You by Abbi Glines
  3. Hold On Tight by Abbi Glines
  4. Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
  5. The City by Dean Koontz
  6. One More Chance by Abbi Glines
  7. Suspicion by Joseph Finder
  8. Rush Too Far by Abbi Glines
  9. Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb
  10. You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  11. Cell by Robin Cook
  12. Death Benefit by Robin Cook



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cover Reveal: Awake by Natasha Preston (+ enter the giveaway)

It's Cover Reveal time!  Today it's Awake by Natash Preston which I can't wait to review for the September release.  Here's more information and continue to the bottom for how you can enter to win an early copy of this exciting book.

About AWAKE:

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

About Natasha Preston:
UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online—and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.



Social Networking Links:

Twitter 

And now for the cover . . .


Giveaway:
 
Sourcebooks is also hosting a giveaway. grab the never-before-revealed cover for AWAKE, post this on your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter with the hashtag #AreYouAwake any of your fans that retweet the cover will be eligible to win an early ARC of AWAKE.

Here is an example Tweet:

COVER REVEAL: @natashavpreston’s Young Adult thriller AWAKE will be released this September! #AreYouAwake

Add the cover and you are entered!




Book Preview, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Grift by Jason Mosberg


Grift by Jason Mosberg
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:
Three Story

Publish Date: March 4, 2015
Pages:
234 pages
Format:
ebook

ASIN: B00SU8XL6Y









Note: My review is coming later this week, but let me say it really grabbed me from the start.  I can't wait to get home and finish reading this.

Summary
Why would a 17-year-old girl pretend to be a prostitute?

Piper is a con artist whose canvas is the city of Las Vegas. She rolls with a crew of young grifters including a card-counting genius, a tourist-hustling pool shark, and a pocket-picking magician. Together, this crew of teenage outlaws live with their mentor Max in the penthouse of a hotel casino. They work hard and play harder. But unlike the others, Piper must balance her hyper-real Vegas fantasy with the reality of raising her 14-year-old half-sister Sophie. Disaster strikes when the Las Vegas mafia kidnaps Sophie and demands a multimillion-dollar ransom. With only five days to piece together the money, the crew races the clock to save her.

"Ocean's Eleven for the Reddit set, with a twist of Oliver Twist floating in a dirty martini none of the characters are old enough to order. Jason Mosberg deftly explores the very real world of Vegas runaways and misfits through the lens of a heist movie Sinatra's great-grandaughter would be proud of." -Sean Beaudoin, author of Wise Young Fool

"Thrilling read... couldn't put it down!" -- New York Times best selling author Aubrey Rose


Buy Links
B&N

Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE – The Strip “How does this work?”
For the first time, I look directly into his eyes. It’s hard to make eye contact in the poorly lit Riviera Hotel and Casino. Hard to make eye contact anywhere in Las Vegas. Too dim in the casinos, too bright in the sun.
He seems anxious. Maybe because he’s out of his element. Or maybe because he’s not good with women. I give him a warm smile to loosen him up.
“Well, unless you want me here in the casino, we start by getting a room.”
He forces a one-syllable laugh.
“What’s your name?”
“Mark.”
At the mention of his name, I do everything possible to avoid smiling. I heard somewhere that it takes 10 muscles in your face to smile and 30 to frown. How many does it take to keep from smiling?
“Madeline, right?”
I nod. But Madeline’s not my name. Piper’s my name. I have a roster of about eight fake names, but I always circle back to Madeline. My mother’s name.
Mark and I wander over to the front desk. One room costs 40 bucks. On Friday and Saturday nights, a room here, booked the day of, might cost over two or three hundred. But on some random Tuesday? They just want to get you in the casino.
He fumbles for his wallet, but I insist.
He seems like a gentleman. Lets me into the elevator first. Opens the door for me. Doesn’t gawk at me. I wonder if this gentleman has a wife at home in Indiana or Rhode Island or Arizona or wherever he’s from.
Once I close the door to the hotel room, he slides his arms around my waist.
“There’s one rule I have.”
“No kissing?”
I giggle what I consider a sexy-giggle. “No. That depends on how things go. I kiss when I want to kiss.”
“So what’s the rule?”
“I always collect the money first.”
“Oh. Of course.” Mark draws his wallet. He counts out 15 crisp hundred-dollar bills. In this age, people rarely pay for anything with this much cash unless it’s scandalous. Drugs. Gambling. Sex.
The cash never stops flowing in Vegas.
“Thank you.”
He hasn’t inhaled in a few seconds. Or blinked. He’s waiting to ask me something.
“Will you dance for me?”
Damn it. There it is.
Dance means strip. No one pays an escort to do the funky chicken fully clothed.
I’m not really in the mood to slowly remove layers of clothing while dancing, but the request gives me a quick in for booze. I glance at the ground and use my most innocent voice. “Sure, but I might need some champagne then.”
After one glass of champagne, I dance. I don’t enjoy doing it, but it’s not the worst. It’s slow. Tasteful. He’s not expecting me to shake my ass in his face. He can get that over at the Pussycat Lounge for $35. He wants to see class. That’s what he’s paying for. Class.
Fifteen minutes of slow, rhythmic swaying pass. Feels like fifty minutes to me. Afterwards, I stand in my bra and underwear, undergarments that cost twice as much as the room. His eyes have grown bigger and his looks longer. The word gentleman no longer comes to mind.
I pour myself another glass of champagne. After a few sips, I rub my head and grimace.
“You okay?”
“Yeah, just…didn’t eat dinner. Reminds me of this time a couple years ago when I was on a field trip with my class. Me and my friends snuck out and stole a couple bottles of wine from this drug store. One of my friends…well she was obsessed with grunge music. You know, the 90’s, Nirvana and…well, anyway so we hid the bottles in her baggy jeans and flannel shirt. But none of us had eaten dinner, so of course we all ended up getting sick.”
He takes the bait.
“How old are you?”
“Seventeen.”
His jaw drops. As if his chin instantly gained five pounds.
“You’re 17 years old?”
“I’ll be 18 in two months.”
A lie. I’ll be 18 in more like ten months. For a moment, it looks like he’s changing his mind, but they never change their mind.
As he puts his hands on me, I move to my purse.
“I’ll feel better if I take my medicine.” I pull out some prescription pills. They wash down like two little barrels going over a waterfall of champagne.
His impatience grows. He places his hand on my shoulder. I want to smack his hand away, but I have to pretend his fingers don’t feel reptilian against my skin. Pretend his reaction to my being 17 years old doesn’t make me want to puke on him.
I put my hands on his arm, but then I reel back. He sees then that I’m ill.
“Hey. Are you sure you’re okay?”
I try to stand. But I can’t. I collapse on the couch.
He rushes over to me, shakes me a few times.
“Madeline! Madeline!”
A driblet of saliva runs down my lip to my chin. It tickles like crazy.
He shakes me a few more times but realizes this girl is not going to wake up.
As soon as the door closes, I spring to my feet. I want to get out of the suite ASAP. Just in case the guy experiences a sudden burst of conscience. They never do, but I still have my rules.
I walk past the elevator to the stairwell, but I don’t walk down. I walk up four flights. A different key card I had in my purse unlocks the door to room 1216.
On the bed sits the bag I left. I dump out the items: denim overalls I plan to throw over my dress, an extra-baggy hooded sweatshirt, and a baseball cap with a built-in red ponytail wig.
Thirty seconds later down the elevator rides an inconspicuous tomboy.
Fairly smooth, I think to myself as the elevator descends. I wasn’t in the mood to dance, so that was a drag, but at least he hadn’t insisted on paying for the room. If he had, then his card would have been on file with the hotel, and he’d have been much less likely to flee. In which case, I would have needed to use a different variation of the con. I’ve used dozens of variations.
I scan the lobby for the mark, but even if he were there, he probably wouldn’t recognize me. Now I take a moment to smile at the coincidence of his name.
Chances are Mark wouldn’t have stuck around. So you might think the $80 I spent on the two rooms went to waste. But it’s worth it. Worth it for that one time you get seen.
The $80 isn’t the only money that comes out of the $1,500 I just scored. $150 goes to the spotter, who in this case is a fat man named Randy who played Single A professional baseball before he began working as a telephone representative for an escort service called First Class. And of the $1,270 that’s left over, 90% goes to Max. I’m sure 90% seems like a lot, but I owe everything to Max. Compared to everything, 90% doesn’t seem too bad.
From the lobby, I walk outside, hitting the dry desert air just as the afternoon sun disappears below the towers of Circus-Circus. I head south on The Strip – I’ve got another appointment at 7:00.

 

Author Biography

Jason Mosberg lives in Los Angeles where he works as a screenwriter. He has optioned several feature screenplays to independent financiers. He wrote his first novel Grift while staying in cheap hotel rooms in Las Vegas. When he’s not writing, Jason can be found playing soccer, walking, and over analyzing everything.

Having grown up in Delaware, Jason attended Wake Forest University before he lit out for the west coast. His top five TV shows of all time are The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, and Twin Peaks.

His one vice is claw machines.

On the book side, he is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger.


Social Networking Links
Twitter

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***I received this book from the author for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***