Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where Is Your Bookmark? (A Peek Into Bring Me Their Hearts)

I just finished reading my June TBR List winner, Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf, and thought I would share a a bit with you today.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly. 
Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.
Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat. 
So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.
Winner takes the loser’s heart.
Literally. [Goodreads Summary]
A weekly meme where readers share the first sentence of the book they are reading and say what they think. Hosted by the wonderful Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader.
King Sref of Cavanos watches me with the deadened eyes of a raven circling a corpse--patient, waiting to devour me the second I let my guard down. I briefly debate telling him humans don't taste all that good, until I remember normal girls don't eat people. Or fake their way into royal courts.
My thoughts: In this opening paragraph, the reader gets a taste for our main character's wit, and to wonder about the king and just what kind of danger Zera will find in the court. It was enough to keep me reading.

A weekly meme in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading. Hosted by the wonderful Freda of Freda's Voice.
The prince studies me, or rather, my mask. My eyes behind the mask. It feels as if he's trying to peel away the layers of my defenses, my secrets, like a bird of prey peeling back skin and muscle from a kill. [56%]
My thoughts: There are a lot of references to birds in this novel, I have noticed. I like this particular scene in which Zera and the prince are getting to know each other better, both through verbal barbs and perhaps opening up a little more.

And another teaser because I can't help myself:
"I'm not used to dueling girls, milady," the twin sneers. 
"I assure you, it's no different than fighting a man," I say, and launch an immediate strike to his left flank.  [70%]

What do you think? Does this sound like something you would be interested in reading? 

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Wishing to Read Wednesday: Old & New (#5)

Books from the Backlog is a weekly meme, hosted by the wonderful Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books to spotlight and discuss the neglected books sitting on our shelves still waiting to be read.. Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released.

The Old

It Takes a Witch (A Wishcraft Mystery #1) by Heather Blake (New American Library, 2012)
Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They've come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee deep in murder...

Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: They're actually Wishcrafters - witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt's magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills.

But their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead - strangled with Aunt Ve's scarf - and Ve's sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming over the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Skylar wish that the victim would disappear - forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it'll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery....
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this:


Bayou Moon (The Edge #2) by Ilona Andrews (Penguin Berkley Ace, 2010)
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny… 
Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: I enjoyed the first book in the series, and have had this one on my shelf for awhile. Ilona Andrews has a gift for world building, and this one sounds irresistible.

*                     *

The New

Eagle and Crane by Suzanne Rindell
Release Date: July 3, 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Two young daredevil flyers confront ugly truths and family secrets during the U.S. internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, from the author of The Other Typist and Three-Martini Lunch.

Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada -- Eagle and Crane -- are the star attractions of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family's belief that the Yamadas -- Japanese immigrants -- stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family.

When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they're both drawn to Shaw's smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw's planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don't add up.

Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth. By turns an absorbing mystery and a fascinating exploration of race, family and loyalty,
Eagle and Crane is that rare novel that tells a gripping story as it explores a terrible era of American history. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: Everything about this book screams, "Read me!" I have long had an interest in World War II history and add in airplanes and a mystery and I'm even more intrigued. I cannot wait to read this one.


Poppy Harmon Investigates (A Desert Flowers Mystery #1) by Lee Hollis
Release Date: July 31, 2018 by Kensington Books
Lee Hollis begins a delightful new series in which Poppy Harmon and her friends find that life after retirement can be much busier--and deadlier--than any of them ever anticipated . . . 
When Poppy goes from complacent retiree to penniless widow in a matter of weeks, the idea of spending her golden years as the biggest charity case in Palm Springs renders her speechless. With no real skills and nothing left to lose, Poppy uses her obsession with true crime shows to start a career as a private eye . . . 
But after opening the Desert Flowers Detective Agency with help from her two best friends, Violet and Iris, Poppy realizes that age brings wisdom, not business--until she convinces her daughter's handsome boyfriend, Matt, to pose as the face of the agency. It's not long before Matt's irresistible act snags a client desperate to retrieve priceless jewelry burglarized from an aging actress at the Palm Leaf Retirement Village. Or before Poppy stumbles upon the bloodied body of the victim's arch rival . . . 
In a flash, Poppy's innocent detective gig is upstaged by a dangerous murder investigation riddled with slimy suspects and unspeakable scandal. As she and her team uncover the truth, Poppy must confront the secrets about her late husband's past and swiftly catch a killer lurking around the retirement community--even if it means turning her world upside down all over again. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this: The Palm Springs setting caught my attention with this one, but the premise is what really pulled me in. I love the sound of this new cozy series.

Do any of these sound like something you would read? If you have read them, what did you think?

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at The Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is the Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach (aka my Summer TBR List). The chances of me reading by the pool or the beach this summer are very slim, but there are a number of books I would like to get to this summer. Of course, being on this list is no guarantee I will get to them, but I do want to read them sooner than later!

1.  Suicide Club by Rachel Heng ~ If you could live forever, would you want to? This novel, set in the near future, is about a woman who has that chance if she does everything right. Only, her estranged father's appearance in her life can change everything. He is part of a Suicide Club that believes immortality is not worth striving for when instead you can live (and die) on your own terms. This one sounds like it will be thought provoking.

2. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover ~  A book about a troubled marriage, infertility, and two imperfect people who share the perfect love. This will be my first by Colleen Hoover. I have heard this is an emotional and good read. I hope so!

3. The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis ~ A dual time line novel set in New York City, fifty years apart. Working in an information booth at Grand Central Terminal, Virginia comes across the remenants of a long ago art school, and a masterful painting whose story she must know. Years past, Clara's future lay in front of her, full of promise, as she began teaching at the Grand Central School of Art. I love a good historical fiction novel and have high hopes for this one.

4. Silent Hearts by Gwen Florio ~ A novel about the growing friendship between two women, an American journalist and her Pakastani interpreter, in war torn Kabul. I look forward to reading this book about two strong women living in such difficult times.

5. Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell, #1) by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne ~ This book had me at the opening lines of the synopsis (and maybe the comparison to The Princess Bride, which I loved, and Terry Pratchett, who I know I will love when I get around to reading his books):
Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdon, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairytale ever told.
This is not that fairytale.
There is mention of fine cheese and an assassin afraid of chickens . . . This sounds like it will be fun.

6. The Sunflower Girl by Rosanna Chiofalo ~ A dual time line novel set in Italy during World War II and the present, this novel about a mother and daughter, love and loss, forgiveness and hope.  One of my favorite types of books.

7. Room Service (Inkeepers, #3) by Rochelle Alers ~ Set in New Orleans, this novel takes us into the life of a woman who is starting over after a failed marriage as she learns to love and trust again. This sounds like the perfect beach read.

8. The Locksmith's Daughter by Karen Brooks ~ I do enjoy historical fiction from time to time, and I cannot resist this one, about Queen Elizabeth's spymaster and his female protégée. (As my husband groans at another "daughter" in the title book).

9. A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua ~ A novel about immigration, motherhood, identity, and so much more. A timely and poignant sounding novel.

10. Tail of the Dragon (Zodiace Mystery, #3) by Connie di Marco ~ This is a fun cozy mystery series featuring an astrologer. In this one, the main character goes undercover in a law firm at the request of a client to find out who is behind death threats being made, which is followed by murder.

Have you read any of these? Are they on your to read list too? What books do you hope to read this season?

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Storm King by Brendan Duffy

For Nate, Saturdays in the spring mean baseball. ~ Opening of The Storm King 

The Storm King by Brendan Duffy
Ballantine Books, 2018
Crime Fiction/Thriller; 391 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Nate McHale returns home to Greystone Lake after years of being away. He has long put the lake town behind him, wishing to forget the painful memories of his past. From the tragic loss of his family, the anger and vengeance that ruled his youth, to his girlfriend who went missing. Only, now the dead body of that girlfriend has been found fourteen years later, and Nate wants answers. Past regrets, a lifetime of secrets, old hurts, and childhood pacts have not been forgotten, even if long buried.

There are a lot of layers to this novel. And I mean a lot. The novel alternates between the past and the present as Nate recalls his past and reveals present day events as they unfold. Lucy’s disappearance has always raised eyebrows, even with the note left behind of her planning to run away. Nate is the prime suspect given his relationship with Lucy and their last encounter before she disappeared. Nate is a complicated character, feared by some and revered by others. Upon his return visit and the discovery of Lucy’s body, the past comes back to haunt Nate and his friends tenfold.

I loved the juxtaposition between the events in the novel and the stormy weather. It seemed fitting too that it was raining much of the time as I read. Author Brendan Duffy has the gift of bringing a book to life—pulling me into the pages of the book and making me feel like I am right there with the characters, forgetting I am reading.

I was kind of taken by surprise by Brendan Duffy’s The Storm King, expecting a more fast paced thriller. What I got was so much more. The characters are well fleshed out, the writing is atmospheric, and the plot a complex web of mystery and suspense, coming of age, and the drama that comes from life and friendships, young and old. While I did race through the pages of The Storm King, I also found myself wanting to slow down to take everything possible in.

For more information about the author and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wishing to Read Wednesday: Old & New (#4)

Books from the Backlog is a weekly meme, hosted by the wonderful Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books to spotlight and discuss the neglected books sitting on our shelves still waiting to be read.. Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released.

The Old

While dusting off my bookshelves, I re-discovered these two gems I have been wanting to read for awhile:

Midnight Never Come (The Onyx Court #1) by Marie Brennan (Orbit, 2008)
England flourishes under the hand of its Virgin Queen: Elizabeth, Gloriana, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs.

But a great light casts a great shadow.

In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above. In the thirty years since Elizabeth ascended her throne, fae and mortal politics have become inextricably entwined, in secret alliances and ruthless betrayals whose existence is suspected only by a few.

Two courtiers, both struggling for royal favor, are about to uncover the secrets that lie behind these two thrones. When the faerie lady Lune is sent to monitor and manipulate Elizabeth's spymaster, Walsingham, her path crosses that of Michael Deven, a mortal gentleman and agent of Walsingham's. His discovery of the "hidden player" in English politics will test Lune's loyalty and Deven's courage alike. Will she betray her Queen for the sake of a world that is not hers? And can he survive in the alien and Machiavellian world of the fae? For only together will they be able to find the source of Invidiana's power—find it, and break it…

A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England;
Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect. [Summary from Goodreads]

Why I want to read it: Dare I admit that I received this book in a blogger holiday gift swap in 2009? I have a lot of unread books on my shelves. It's shameful really. This is one that survived two major bookshelf cullings. And I will read it! Someday. This has a mix of two genres I love: historical fiction and fantasy (fairies!). The England setting helps some too. And fairies!  


Blood Ties (PI Julie Collins, #1) by Lori G. Armstrong (Medallion Press, 2005)
Julie Collins is stuck in a dead-end secretarial job with the Bear Butte County Sheriff’s office, and still grieving over the unsolved murder of her Lakota half-brother. Lack of public interest in finding his murderer, or the killer of several other transient Native American men, has left Julie with a bone-deep cynicism she counters with tequila, cigarettes, and dangerous men. The one bright spot in her mundane life is the time she spends working part-time as a PI with her childhood friend, Kevin Wells. When the body of a sixteen-year old white girl is discovered in nearby Rapid Creek, Julie believes this victim will receive the attention others were denied. Then she learns Kevin has been hired, mysteriously, to find out where the murdered girl spent her last few days. Julie finds herself drawn into the case against her better judgment, and discovers not only the ugly reality of the young girl’s tragic life and brutal death, but ties to her and Kevin’s past that she is increasingly reluctant to revisit. On the surface the situation is eerily familiar. But the parallels end when Julie realizes some family secrets are best kept buried deep. Especially those serious enough to kill for. [Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read this one: This one has been on my shelf since 2007, a book I discovered via author Karen E. Olson, if memory serves me right. Family secrets and murder and a female P.I. are what are drawing me to this one.

*                    *

The New

America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Release Date: July 24, 2018 by William Morrow
Pival Sengupta has done something she never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is traveling thousands of miles from Kolkota to New York on a cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told them he was gay. Then, Pival’s husband, Ram, told her that their son had died suddenly—heartbreaking news she still refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and come to terms with her own life.

Arriving in New York, the tour proves to be more complicated than anticipated. Planned by the company’s indefatigable owner, Ronnie Munshi—a hard-working immigrant and entrepreneur hungry for his own taste of the American dream—it is a work of haphazard improvisation. Pavil’s guide is the company’s new hire, the guileless and wonderfully resourceful Satya, who has been in America for one year—and has never actually left the five boroughs. For modesty’s sake Pival and Satya will be accompanied by Rebecca Elliot, an aspiring young actress. Eager for a paying gig, she’s along for the ride, because how hard can a two-week "working" vacation traveling across America be?

Slowly making her way from coast to coast with her unlikely companions, Pival finds that her understanding of her son—and her hopes of a reunion with him—are challenged by her growing knowledge of his adoptive country. As the bonds between this odd trio deepens, Prival, Satya, and Rebecca learn to see America—and themselves—in different and profound new ways.
[Goodreads Summary]

Why I want to read it: The title is what first caught my attention, causing me to want to know more about what this book is about. When I read the synopsis, I was sold. Parent/child stories appeal to me and this particular story especially. Is this a road trip you want to go on as well?


Shelved Under Murder (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #2) by Victoria Gilbert 
Release Date: July 10, 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
Autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling in the historic Virginia village of Taylorsford—so are some cherished memories, and a few bodies.

October in Taylorsford, Virginia means it’s leaf peeping season, with bright colorful foliage and a delightful fresh crew of tourists attending the annual Heritage Festival which celebrates local history and arts and crafts. Library director Amy Webber, though, is slightly dreading having to spend two days running a yard sale fundraiser for her library. But during these preparations, when she and her assistant Sunny stumble across a dead body, Amy finds a real reason to be worried.

The body belonged to a renowned artist who was murdered with her own pallet knife. A search of the artist’s studio uncovers a cache of forged paintings, and when the sheriff’s chief deputy Brad Tucker realizes Amy is skilled in art history research, she’s recruited to aid the investigation. It doesn’t seem to be an easy task, but when the state’s art expert uncovers a possible connection between Amy’s deceased uncle and the murder case, Amy must champion her Aunt Lydia to clear her late husband’s name.

That’s when another killing shakes the quiet town, and danger sweeps in like an autumn wind. Now, with her swoon-inducing neighbor Richard Muir, Amy must scour their resources to once again close the books on murder. 
[Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read it: Thanks to those of you who voted in May's TBR List Poll, I read the first book in the series and loved it. I can't wait to continue with this series and see what Amy is up to next.

Have you read or heard of any of these? Do these sound like books you would enjoy? 

© 2018, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.