Thursday, November 14, 2019

Bookish Mewsings Double Header: Read and Gone & Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook



Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.

At the moment I am finishing up Sarah Morgan's A Wedding in December and will soon be starting my November TBR Poll Winner, The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor. I need a little something different from all the holiday romances I have been reading as of late, and so am looking forward to it. 

In an effort to catch up with review posts, I thought I would share two of my recent reads, which seem very fitting for the upcoming winter season. If you have not already, I recommend you give the Haunted Library series a try!


Read and Gone (The Haunted Library Mysteries #2) by Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books, 2018
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 320 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
I glanced around my cottage at the thirty or so guests laughing and chatting, and grinned.
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
Dina cackled. "Here we sit in a pizza parlor, the daughters of two thieves."
"I grew ashamed and embarrassed, knowing my father was a thief," I said. "Jim was away most of the time, and I missed him a lot. Now I'm glad he wasn't around." 
My thoughts:
Head of Programs and Events at the public library, Carrie Singleton, is settling nicely into her new cottage and life in Clover Ridge. On the night of her birthday and house warming party, she is awakened in the wee hours of the morning by her father who has a favor to ask. Carrie hasn’t seen him in years, and his visit now is less than welcome. He was in and out of her life when she was growing up, stealing and serving time in prison. Now he wants her to talk to his former partner in crime about getting his share of gems they had stolen together. Carrie, of course, says no immediately. Then the body of the jeweler her dad had asked her to speak to is discovered—with her dad caught at the scene of the murder. Carrie believes her dad is innocent of the murder.

Despite everything he’s done in the past, Carrie feels protective towards her dad. When it comes to him, her decisions are not always the brightest. His presence in her life threatens the perfect life she’s created, including getting in the way of her fairly new romantic relationship. I felt like I got to see a different side to Carrie in Read and Gone. Family can bring out the best and worst of us. And with a personal stake in this particular case, Carrie isn’t always at her best. Still, with the help of Evelyn, the librarian ghost, and her cat Smokey Joe, Carrie is able to keep her head enough to ask the right questions to get closer to the truth.

I raced through Read and Gone just as I had the first book in the series. There is just something about the way Allison Brook writes that has me wanting to read her books every chance I get—and even when I’m not supposed to. The reader gets to know more of the Clover Ridge residents, as well as more about Carrie’s past. The mystery was strong—at times intense—and I enjoyed seeing more of Carrie’s love interest in this second book of the series. I am really enjoying this series so far.



Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries #3) by Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books, 2019
Crime Fiction/Cozy; 316 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
"The blue-cheese burger and fries are calling to me, but I'm going with a small salad, no bread," Angela said, looking up from the lunch menu with a sigh.

Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
My hand shook as I opened the door. I stood outside the staff room, too dazed to move.
My thoughts:
With winter coming and temperatures dropping, the homeless residents of Clover Ridge are taking shelter in the library, much the consternation of some of the town’s more fortunate residents. Carrie wants to do what she can to help the homeless and joins the committee of volunteers seeking to renovate an old house the homeless residents can use during the day when the shelter is closed. Only, the more Carrie learns about the plans for Haven House, the more she questions the motives behind those involved with getting it off the ground. Could it be a cover for an illegal operation? And what about the alleged accident and later death of a not-so-well-liked librarian? Could the two be tied together or was it just a freak accident? Librarian Carrie, with the help of the library’s ghost Evelyn, and the library cat Smoky Joe are ready to take on another case—or will Carrie be in way over her head this time?

Carrie continues in her role as Head of Programs and Events at the public library, and is proving she is more than well suited for the job. I wish my library had half the programs the Clover Ridge library has. This is the third book in the Haunted Library series, and I continue to enjoy the series. Carrie puts herself in danger’s way more than once during her investigation, despite the warnings from both her boyfriend and the police chief, making me want to shake a little more sense in her. She should know better, but she’s a bit impatient when it comes to waiting for the police to do their job. Besides, there isn’t much they can do without evidence.

On a personal note, Carrie and her boyfriend are still feeling out their relationship. Carrie seems to have difficulty with trust, which is understandable given her past. I found it ironic that some of her concerns about her boyfriend’s occupation are the same concerns he voices about her amateur sleuthing—at least he has the excuse of being trained and doing his job professionally.

While the outcome and twists in this particular installment were not always surprising, Buried in the Stacks was still an entertaining read, and I enjoyed seeing how everything played out. The author gives us a glimpse of what is to come in the series at the end of this novel, and I am looking forward to seeing what trouble Carrie finds herself in next!

Does this sound like a series you would be interested in trying? (You can find my review of the first book in the series Death Overdue here.)


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!


© 2019, 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.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

My November TBR List Poll Winner!

Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 




I hope you all had a good week. Bad news seemed to come the way of many of my friends this past week, and my heart goes out to them. Whether you lost a loved one, are struggling with an illness, are having financial difficulty, or just are not feeling good, know that I am thinking of you and sending you hugs.

Thank you to everyone who voted in my November TBR List Poll! I had to call in a tie breaker because it was a three way tie there in the end! As much as I would love to read all three books this month, I have a feeling that will not be possible.


The two finalists earned 6 votes (I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon and Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt) each and the winner, Hazel Gaynor's The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter took the poll with 7 votes.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.
1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.
1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love. [Goodreads Summary]

Thank you for voting! What are you reading right now? I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!


© 2019, 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.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Weekly Mews: Book Crazy / October Wrap-Up / Vote For My November Read!

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz where participants discuss what they are reading and other bookish topics. I am linking up to Nicole of Feed Your Addiction's Monthly Wrap-Up Post, where any book bloggers who write monthly wrap-up posts can link up and visit other bloggers to see what they have been reading.   I am linking to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Team Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently. 


New to the Shelves:

I kind of went crazy when I received an invitation from Amazon to spend $45 on e-books and earn $30 in e-book credits. I put to use an Amazon gift card I had been saving for a rainy day, and so it worked out perfectly--no money out of my pocket! Several of these are early books in series I have the second, third or fourth book in already, and others have been on my wish list awhile now. One I got for my husband.


An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose #1) by Charlaine Harris
White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
The Spectral City (Spectral City #1) by Leanna Renee Hieber
Spectacle (#1) by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Mouse loves a good yard sale, and so when a friend of ours held one this past weekend, we thought it would be a great time for a visit. Wouldn't you know it, Mouse and I both gravitated mostly toward the books. We ended up bringing home two for each of us.


The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich


What I Am Reading: I am in the middle of Jenn McKinlay's The Christmas Keeper, set in North Carolina. I imagine I will be finishing it this weekend. I am not yet sure what I will be reading next, but I had better choose quick!

What I Am Watching: We have jumped on the Masked Singer bandwagon, and watched the first season and just started the current season. Mouse has especially gotten into it. I finished season 14 of Supernatural and now have several months to wait until the final season comes out on Netflix (it's airing now on network television). A coworker and I were talking about television shows recently, and it put me in the mood to re-watch The Vampire Diaries. I stopped watching the show before it officially ended, but decided to start from the beginning instead of trying to figure out where I had left off.

Earlier this month, we went to see a local theater's production of The Addams Family Musical. One of the singers/dancers who had performed with Mouse and my husband this past summer was in it, and we joined up with a handful of our dance studio friends to show our support. It was a great show, and we all had a good time. This past weekend we went into Hollywood to the Pantages Theatre to see the musical Anastasia, which we all enjoyed. It's such a beautiful theater and the cast did an awesome job. It's similar in story line to the animated movie that came out years ago--only with a few added songs and a different villain.


Off the Blog: October is a bit of a blur; it went by so fast. We were very busy all month. School. Work. Dance. Girl Scouts (we made wind chimes out of twigs, strings and little metal pieces found around the house--they turned out really well). Mouse spent the entire month counting down to Halloween, one of her favorite holidays. She certainly got to celebrate all week long! With the dance studio's Halloween party, her class party, trick-or-treating around our neighborhood, and her school's Fall Festival (which was technically in November--just this Friday), we had our fill of Halloween.

With the Santa Ana winds came fire and the city and county firefighters and other first responders have been working extra hard to put out fires here in the city and and in neighboring communities, help with evacuations and doing what they can to keep damage and loss of life to a minimal.  Other parts of the state have been engulfed in flames as well.  We are all so grateful for the first responders, especially the firefighters, and also the volunteers who have been working on the Frontline and behind the scenes.

 My little cuddle kitty. Sometimes, at least.

Several of our trick-or-treaters complimented us on our cute cat.
Nina may not be very affectionate, but she's also not shy. 

 Mouse's decorated pumpkin for the school pumpkin pageant
Is it a bat? No! It's a cat!

Mouse and her dad's carved pumpkin
(thank goodness for stencils)


Here is what I finished reading in October:
  • Murder Can Mess Up Your Masterpiece (Haunted Craft Fair, #1) by Rose Pressey (Paranormal Cozy Mystery)
  • Silverlicious by Victoria Kann (Children's)
  • Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (Children's)
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (Children's)
  • Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas (Children's)
  • A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams (Children's)
  • Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine & Kadir Nelson (Children's)
  • Ivy + Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go (#2) by Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall (Children's)
  • Me With You by Kristy Dempsey & Christopher Denise (Children's)
  • Wild Hunger (Heirs of the Chicagoland Vampires, #1)) by Chloe Neill (Urban Fantasy)
  • Death Overdue (Haunted Library, #1) by Allison Brook (Paranormal Cozy Mystery)
  • Read and Gone (Haunted Library, #2) by Allison Brook (Paranormal Cozy Mystery)
  • Amelia Bedelia Tries Her Luck by Herman Parish & Lynn Avril (Children's)
  • Ivy + Bean Break the Fossil Record (#3) by Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall (Children's)
  • I Am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer (Children's)
  • Buried in the Stacks (Haunted Library, #3) by Allison Brook (Paranormal Cozy Mystery)
  • Wicked Hour (Heirs of the Chicagoland Vampires, #2) by Chloe Neill (Urban Fantasy)
  • Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Children's)
  • Coming Home For Christmas (Haven Point, #10) by RaeAnne Thayne (Holiday Romance)
  • One Wish by Jodi Thomas (Historical Holiday Romance)
I may not have been around the blogging community much this past month, but I did manage to get in a bit more reading than I usually do. I enjoyed all of my reading again in October--I seem to be on a roll. If I had to pick a favorite, however, I definitely would go with RaeAnne Thayne's Coming Home For Christmas. I just love RaeAnne's books, and this one really touched my heart.

Tell me what you have been up to! What are you reading, listening to and watching? How was your October? Do you have anything planned for this month?


Thank you for helping me decide what book from my TBR collection I should read next:

My TBR List is a meme hosted by the awesome Michelle at Because Reading. It’s a fun way to choose a book from your TBR pile to read. The 1st Saturday of every month, I will list 3 books I am considering reading and take a poll as to which you think I should read. I will read the winner that month, and my review will follow (unfortunately, not likely in the same month, but eventually--that's all I can promise). 




I have been in the mood for a good historical fiction novel, and these three particularly caught my eye on my TBR shelf. They all feature stand out female characters, which in and of itself appeals to me.  Gaynor's book because I love all things Hazel Gaynor--and lighthouses! Although I do not read much in the way of Old West fiction, the idea of a book focusing on an all female gang is too good to pass up. Then of course, Lawhon's novel appeals to me especially because I recently say the musical Anastasia on stage, and have always had a particular interest in that period in history.


I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Russia, July 17, 1918 Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.

Germany, February 17, 1920 A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.

As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened.  [Goodreads Summary]

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love. [Goodreads Summary]

Heresy by Melissa Lenhardt
They were the first and only all-female gang in the American West. Though the newspapers refuse to give them credit, their exploits don't go unnoticed. Now, they've got a rival male gang on their trail and an old score to settle.

Margaret Parker and Hattie LaCour never intended to turn outlaw.

After being run off their ranch by a greedy cattleman, their family is left destitute. As women alone they have few choices: marriage, lying on their backs for money, or holding a gun. For Margaret and Hattie the choice is simple. With their small makeshift family, the gang pulls off a series of heists across the West.

Though the newspapers refuse to give the female gang credit, their exploits don't go unnoticed. Pinkertons are on their trail, a rival male gang is determined to destroy them, and secrets among the group threaten to tear them apart. Now, Margaret and Hattie must find a way to protect their family, finish one last job, and avoid the hangman's noose. [Goodreads Summary]




Thank you for voting! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Happy Reading!


© 2019, 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.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Death Overdue by Allison Brook & Friday Hop Fun



Along with my mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.


Death Overdue (The Haunted Library Mysteries #1) by Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books, 2017
Crime Fiction/Cozy/Paranormal; 329 pgs

Book Beginnings:
Time to move on. I crossed the Green and headed for the library. A gust of wind bowed the branches of the nearby trees, showering me with red and yellow leaves. I paused to inhale the tangy air. It was a glorious October morning, and I stood in the center of the most glorious setting--the historic town of Clover Ridge, Connecticut. 

Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
The cottage was lovely, but it was also very isolated. It was only five, and the evening looomed ahead of me. I wished Dylan were home, simply to know someone was close by. Was this why the rent was so cheap? Because no one wanted to live this far from town without a neighbor for miles?
Don't be silly. You'll get used to it. 
My phone rang, sending a jolt along my spine.  

My thoughts:

Thank you to everyone who voted for Death Overdue in my October TBR Poll. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery featuring a library ghost. I loved the protagonist Carrie Singleton the moment I met her with her purple spiked hair and goth attire. She had no intention of making Clover Ridge, Connecticut her home but when her uncle and aunt appeal to her and with a job offer she just cannot refuse (and maybe the ghost whispering in her ear), she decides to give it a try. In her first event as head of programs and events at the local public library, the guest speaker falls dead of food poisoning. Carrie had taken an instant liking to the former detective and is determined to find out who murdered not only him, but the woman whose long ago murder he had claimed finally to have solved. Joining forces with the murdered woman’s son, Carrie is sure she and he will be able to solve the two homicides even as the police investigation seems to be going nowhere.

Carrie has to give up her goth appearance for a more conservative one when she takes the administrative assistant. While most everyone at the library is pleased to have her there, the reference librarian, Dorothy, is quite put out. She had been angling for the position Carrie was given. As it is, her boss doesn’t seem to be on Carrie’s side either. Dorothy is not above sabotage to try to get Carrie out.

I enjoyed getting to know Clover Ridge and some of its residents alongside Carrie. With the exception of the murders, being wrapped up in that investigation, and Dorothy and her boss, the pieces of Carrie’s life seem to be falling perfectly together. She has the perfect job, finds the perfect cottage with a rather attractive landlord, and, even despite not having an easy childhood, has a very supportive extended family by way of her aunt and uncle. Carrie also proves to be a good judge of character.

There are many possible murder suspects in Death Overdue, and the author does a good job of giving them all not only strong motives, but making them all realistic options. I had a strong suspicion early on who might be behind the murders, but the author made me doubt my assumption several times along the way. Death Overdue was such an engrossing novel that had me from page one. I got really caught up in the characters’ lives and wasn’t ready for my time with them to end. Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long for the next book. I had it on hand (review to come).


Does this sound like something you would enjoy reading? Have you read Death Overdue or anything else by Allison Brook (otherwise known as Marilyn Levinson)?



Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.

What's your favorite horror book-to-movie adaptation?

I am not a huge fan of horror movies. Not because of the scare factor, but more because I have trouble buying into them. Gore and gruesomeness for the sake of a scare turns me off. And often times the way it is portrayed in films is, well, over the top funny. I much prefer more subtle horror.  Novels like Dracula by Bram Stoker and Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist come to mind (I loved them!), but none of the movies, in any of their incarnations, impressed me.  I have read a few Stephen King novels and seen their respective movies. None stand out as favorites of mine.

I am more drawn to a good psychological thriller. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris was good, and I enjoyed the movie. That has a horror flavor to it, don't you think? (Pun totally intended.)

My husband suggested I mention Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which is very unfair of him. While it has definite Gothic elements which has similarities to the horror genre, I would not classify it as a horror novel. And, to be honest, I liked the film versions, but I would not count any among my favorites.

I haven't yet seen the series based on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, but I absolutely loved the book and imagine I will like the show as well. But that doesn't count because I haven't yet seen it. Maybe most would not count it as horror, but the book sure scared me!

I think the closest to a favorite I can come up with is Interview With a Vampire. I really enjoyed the movie adaptation of Anne Rice's novel with the same title. It may not be all that scary as some prefer their horror to be, but it was beautifully done all around, even if not completely true to the novel.


What about you? Do you watch horror movies, particularly ones based on books? Do you have a favorite book-to-movie horror adaptation?


Everyone has a favorite and then we also have something we dislike. Like a coin, there are two sides to every question. Each week, Carrie at The Butterfly Reads and Laura from Blue Eye Books ask participants to list what they like and don't like about that week's topic.


This week's topic is Character Most/Least Likely to go on a Road Trip

One of my favorite characters takes to the road quite often, whether walking or by vehicle. She doesn't have much choice really, given she's a ghost traveling the ghost roads. Her name is Rose Marshall, otherwise known as the Phantom Prom Date and the Girl in the Green Silk Gown. She can be found in both Sparrow Hill Road and The Girl in the Green Silk Gown,  both awesome urban fantasy novels.


The least likely to go on a road trip . . . definitely Dr. Anna Fox from The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. Anna suffers from severe anxiety and agoraphobia. She mixes her medication and alcohol quite regularly to cope--which makes it all too easy to question whether she really did see what she thought she did while looking out her window . . .



What characters would make your most/least likely to go on a road trip list? 


 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!

© 2019, 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, October 22, 2019

Waiting to Read Wednesday: The Ruins of Ambrai/Lady Takes the Case/Get a Life,Chloe Brown/A Sanctuary of Spirits



The Old(er) 
I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!

The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles #1) by Melanie Rawn (DAW, 1994)
A thousand years ago, Mageborns fled prejudice and persecution to colonize the planet Lenfell—pristine, untouched, a perfect refuge for those whose powers were perceived as a threat by people not gifted with magic. But the greater the magic, the greater the peril—and Lenfell was soon devastated by a war between rival Mageborn factions that polluted land, sea, and air with Wild Magic and unleashed the hideous specters known as Wraithenbeasts.

Generations after that terrible war, with the land recovered from crippling wounds and the people no longer threatened by genetic damage, Mageborns still practice their craft—but under strict constraints. Yet so long as the rivalry between the Mage Guardians and the Lords of Malerris continues, the threat of another war is ever-present. And someone has been planning just such a war for many long years, the final strike in a generations-old bid for total power….
Why I want to read this: I got The Ruins of Ambrai many many years ago in mass paperback format. The print is tiny because it's such a long book. I used to love epic fantasy, and, while I still do enjoy it from time to time, my tastes have run more along the lines of urban and dark fantasy as of late. I am sure someone somewhere in my past recommended this book (long before my blogging days), but I couldn't tell you who. After doing a little research, I see the author hasn't yet completed the third book in in the trilogy--and so I imagine it is a good thing I've put it off. I have several of her books in other series as well I might jump into before this one as a result. 


Have you read anything by Melanie Rawn? Have you tried this trilogy? Does this sound like something you would like?


The New
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.


Lady Takes the Case (Manor Cat Mystery #1) by Eliza Casey
Release Date: November 26, 2019 by Berkley Books
When a dinner party turns deadly, the feisty Lady Cecilia Bates and intuitive cat Jack are on the case, in this first entry to an exciting new historical-mystery series.

England 1912. Danby Hall is the only home Lady Cecilia Bates has ever known. Despite the rigid rules of etiquette and her mother the Countess of Avebury's fervent desire to see her married off, Lady Cecilia can't imagine life anywhere else. But now, with an agricultural depression sweeping the countryside, the Bates family's possession of the hall is suddenly in peril.

A possible solution arrives in the form of the imperious American heiress Annabel Clarke. The Earl and Countess of Avebury are determined that Cecilia's brother, Patrick, will win Annabel's hand in marriage--and her fortune along with it. To help the lackluster Patrick in this pursuit, the Bates and their staff arrange a grand house party upon the heiress's arrival.

When a guest dies after sipping from a glass meant for Annabel, it's clear the Bates have a more poisonous problem on their hands than a lack of chemistry. As the scandal seizes Danby, Cecilia sets out to find the culprit, with help from Annabel's maid, Jane, and Jane's curiously intelligent cat, Jack.

After the poison that someone had stashed away inside the manor is discovered, Cecilia is left with two possibilities: Either a resident of Danby snapped and tried to kill the arrogant heiress, or the threat is coming from one of their guests, who would love to see the Bates family's decline become permanent. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I enjoy historical mysteries, especially ones set in England. Plus, there's a cat. How could I not want to read this?!


Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert
Release Date: November 5, 2019 by Avon
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.Ride a motorcycle.Go camping.Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior… [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I love that Chloe is stepping outside her comfort zone, and I want to go along with her on her journey.


A Sanctuary of Spirits (Spectral City #2) by Leanna Renee Hieber
Release Date: November 12, 2019 by Kensington Books
New York, 1899, and the police department’s best ally is the secret Ghost Precinct, where spirits and psychics help solve the city’s most perplexing crimes . . . ether . . .

There’s more than one way to catch a killer—though the methods employed by the NYPD’s Ghost Precinct, an all-female team of psychics and spiritualists led by gifted young medium Eve Whitby, are unconventional to say the least. Eve is concerned by the backlash that threatens the department—and by the discovery of an otherworldly realm, the Ghost Sanctuary, where the dead can provide answers. But is there a price to be paid for Eve and her colleagues venturing beyond the land of the living? ether . . .

Searching for clues about a mortician’s disappearance, Eve encounters a charismatic magician and mesmerist whose abilities are unlike any she’s seen. Is he a link to mysterious deaths around the city, or to the Ghost Sanctuary? Torn between the bonds of her team and her growing relationship with the dashing Detective Horowitz, Eve must discern truth from illusion and friend from foe, before another soul vanishes into the ether . . . [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I have the first book on my wish list, which surprised me since I thought I had already purchased a copy. I can't believe I don't have it! Now I want this one. I love the idea of a mystery Ghost Precinct made up of psychics and spiritualists.


Do any of these books sound like books you would like to read?


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