Thursday, December 12, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Well Met by Jen DeLuca & Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna

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.

This has been a long week. The adrenaline that propelled me through these last couple weeks of show preparation and the performances this past weekend, has died off, leaving me feeling exhausted and extra tired. I have barely gotten any reading done, and I have not had any time to get online. Hopefully life can return to some semblance of normality--at least until the holidays. In the meantime, I wanted to share a couple of my fall reads with you as I continue to catch up on posting my reviews before the year is out. 

Well Met (Well Met, #1) by Jen DeLuca
Berkley, 2019
Romance; 336 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
I didn't choose the wench life. The wench life chose me.
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
When had my daydreams drifted away from the beefcake in a kilt and toward the slim pirate in black leather, with dark moods and perplexing smiles? 

My thoughts:
The opportunity to help her sister and her teenaged niece after her sister’s accident, could not have come at a better time for Emily whose own life is in transition. She did not anticipate having to volunteer at the local Renaissance Faire with her niece, however. It doesn’t seem like it will be so bad at first. At least not until she meets Simon, the man in charge of the volunteers. Simon takes the Renaissance Faire very seriously. It is his brother’s legacy after all. Simon and Emily butt heads right from the start. He seems uptight and she is more lighthearted. While the two do not seem to care for each other in their real life personas, once Simon dons his costume, it is as if he is a different person—and Emily cannot help but flirt back. Still, she wonders which persona is real. Is it all an act or is there something growing between them?

This was such a fun read, and I loved every minute of it. This enemy to lovers romance is swoon-worthy and charming, as well as smart and funny. Emily has been through a lot as has Simon. Both are well-developed characters whom I fell in love with myself. I wanted so much for them to have their happy ending. I enjoyed their Shakespeare banter and playful teasing. I cried with them, both in sadness and joy, laughed with them, and wish I could jump right into a Renaissance Faire myself (I think there is one nearby in the spring . . . ). Well Met is one of those novels that left me with a silly grin on my face at the end.

Have you read Well Met? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you would want to read? 

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina LaManna
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2019
Crime Fiction/Thriller; 336 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
"Hush, little baby, don't say a word. . ."
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
If only she'd started her hangover routine sooner.

My thoughts:
This was a fun one as well, but for different reasons. The tag line for the novel describes it well: “Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.” Written from the perspectives of all four women, the reader gets an intimate look into their lives, both in the present and through flashbacks into their pasts. Emily is a lost soul, losing herself in alcohol and meaningless sex; Kate has money—but it can’t buy everything; Ginger feels like her family is falling apart, certainly her relationship with her daughter, and this holiday she saved so hard for isn’t turning out as well as she hoped; and then there is Lulu who dearly loves her husband, but is afraid he may be straying. Emily, Kate and Ginger were college roommates of the bride’s and are both looking forward to and dreading their reunion. Lulu is a family member of the groom’s. Right from the start, the reader knows someone was murdered. Exactly who died and why is the ultimate question, along with by whose hand.

Pretty Guilty Women is one of those books that once you start, it is hard to stop reading. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I liked the glimpses the author gave us into her character’s lives. It was impossible not to feel for all of them to some degree, although Kate was perhaps the hardest for me to relate to. They are all at low places in their lives.  Each of the characters (mostly) grows in this novel, including coming closer together, adding hope to their despair. I thought the mystery itself was well played out and thoroughly entertaining.

Have you read Pretty Guilty Women? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you might like? 

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.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Sweep of the Blade/Taken/Warcross

Sweep of the Blade (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4) by Ilona Andrews
NYLA, 2019 
Science Fiction/Fantasy; 322 pgs
The hot wind flung brown dust into Maud's face. ~ Opening of Sweep of the Blade
This is my favorite urban fantasy/science fiction mash up series. I admit though I was a little leery about this one given the focus of the novel is on Dina’s sister, Maud DeMille, and not on Dina and here inn, both character and setting I have come to love. Maud is a great character in her own right, however, and I ended up loving Sweep of the Blade just as much as I have the other books in the series.

Maud wants nothing to do with the vampires after her husband betrayed his clan and had him, his wife, and daughter, Helen, banished to a desolate planet. She never meant to fall for the striking vampire Arland, Marshal of the House of Kahr. She does not know what to say when he asks for her hand in marriage. She does not trust the vampires and wants to protect her daughter. She also knows her daughter could benefit from further training given her nature, being human and vampire. What kind of life would her daughter have on earth, unable to interact with the human population? Maud agrees to go with him, but not to marry him, not ready yet to commit. Marrying a vampire of such high status from a respected House would bring its own complications, especially for a human. She knows this all too well.

As it is, the situation in the House of Kahr is not as perfect as it first may seem. Two warring Houses have come together for a wedding with the House of Kahr hosting and playing peacekeeper, intending to bring peace between their Houses. Something seems off though. And now someone is trying to kill Maud.

Action-packed, Sweep the Blade is a fast-paced novel that had me turning pages as fast as I could. Arland has played a regular character throughout the series, and you can read about his and Maud’s meeting in One Fell Sweep. The world building in this series continues to impress me, and it was interesting to get a look into the political and hierarchy of the series’ vampires. Arland was a bit of an arse early on in the series, but he has grown as a character, and I really like him for Maud and Helen. He sees Maud as an equal and treats Helen as if she were his own. Maud shows off a different side in Sweep of the Blade. Readers already knew she is a gifted fighter. She is also an amazing diplomat. I continue to enjoy this series quite a bit.

The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1) by Vicki Pettersson
Harper Voyager, 2012
Crime Fiction/Fantasy; 417 pgs
Here's the thing. ~ Opening of The Taken
I have had this book on my TBR shelf for quite a while now, and there it sat until a friend asked me to join in an online book reading and discussion about the book. Truth be told, I didn’t participate in the discussion, but I did read the book.

There is a lot mystery and romance all wrapped up in this urban fantasy novel. The Taken opens with the murder of a photographic journalist, Nicole Rockwell, and the angel who is supposed to guide her into the Everlast. Things do not quite go the way they are supposed to, and said angel, Griffin Shaw, is forced back into his human skin. In order to regain his place in the Everlast, he is tasked with escorting investigative journalist, Katherine "Kit" Craig there after her own death. You can imagine that didn’t quite go as planned either. Kit not only doesn’t die, but she teams up with Grif to find out who is behind the murder of her best friend Nicole, and also agrees to help Grif look into who may have killed his wife all those years ago. She, of course, has no idea he is a fallen angel or that Evie was his wife. At least not right away. And even when he tells her, she thinks he is crazy. 

I had no idea what a rockabilly was before reading the The Taken. Rockabilly is one of the earliest forms of rock-n-roll from the 1950’s, and there are a group of people in contemporary times who have taken to that way of life. They dress in the 1950’s styles, and walk the talk of that time period. Kit is one of those women. It makes it much easier for Grif to slide right into the scene then, given he is straight out of the 1950’s. It was his era. I admit I was a little taken aback at how quickly Kit accepts Grif into her life particularly given how he entered it. But he is a good guy with good intentions, so I was able to overlook that. Somewhat.

I had not been expecting the novel to go down such a dark path in terms of the mystery. It left me with a hopeless feeling the more Grif and Kit uncovered. Even if they were able to get to the bottom of the mystery itself, the filth would remain and crop up in other ways (how is that for a vague spoiler?). I even wondered if perhaps this book should have come with a trigger warning.

I did like this one despite how it may seem, and plan to read further in the series. I liked both Grif and Kit quite a bit, and Vicki Pettersson knows how to pull in a reader and keep her hooked. I especially liked the fantasy aspects of the novel, which were often on the subtle side except for when they weren’t. I am curious to know the direction Pettersson will take the series next.

Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu 
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 2017
Science Fiction; 336 pgs
It's too damn cold of a day to be out on a hunt. ~ Opening of Warcross
This was my one audiobook of the year. I try to incorporate audiobooks into my life, but obviously I have not been too successful. Warcross is the first in a duology about a teenage bounty hunter with amazing hacking skills who hacks into the International Warcross Championships. It is not just a game. It is a way of life, connecting people through virtual reality. For some, it is an escape. For others, it is a way to make money, which is what Emeka Chen is hoping to do. Through a glitch, she is discovered and comes to the attention of the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka. Instead of arresting her as she expected, he asks for her help, offering her money to find out who an even greater threat to his games is, someone who appears to have a more sinister plan for the games in mind.

This book was so much fun! It had a Ready Player One and Hunger Games feel to it, but is very much its own book. I loved Emeka’s character and being able to experience the world through her voice. I am sure the narrator deserves some credit for that as well. Nancy Wu did a great job setting the tone for the novel. Emeka is such an interesting character, as is Hideo. I only wish I could have gotten to know some of the minor characters a bit more. I have never really gotten into online games the way my husband has, but I can see the draw of a game like Warcross, especially given how much it crosses over into the people’s real lives. It seems impossible to avoid, really. Warcross is a combination of science fiction, mystery, and romance, which I cannot resist. I am looking forward to reading the next book, Wildcard. Maybe it will be my one audio for next year (although I will try to aim for more)!

Have you read any of these novels? If so, what did you think? If you have not, do any of them sound like something you might enjoy?

© 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, November 28, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Wild Hunger and Wicked Hour by Chloe Neill

Along with my (not so) 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.

I hope you all are enjoying your week, and that my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving! I am still playing catch up. This week I am featuring the first two books in Chloe Neill's Heirs of Chicagoland series, which I read recently.

I have not had much of an opportunity to read as of late, sadly. I had hoped the quiet of the holiday week would allow for some reading time, but it wasn't as much as I would have liked. I have been getting some much needed cleaning and straightening done, and Mouse and I went into my office on Wednesday to deliver the fundraiser products my coworkers were kind enough to buy. We are in the final stretch before The Nutcracker performances, which will be next weekend. We have three more dress rehearsals before that, and picture day is this Sunday.

Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1) by Chloe Neill
Berkley, 2018
Science Fiction; 352 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
"Noooooo! A little girl's voice echoed through the hallway. The cry was followed by footsteps, more yelling, and a petulant squeal. 
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"We don't have anything," Connor said. "We have a pin, some speculation"--he glanced up, gaz settling on my face--"and a bruise. None of that is going to free Riley. None of it is going to convince the Ombudsman that he's got the wrong man, especially if the other option is creating a supernatural war."
My thoughts:
I am sure I have the first book of the Chicagoland Vampires series on my TBR pile somewhere. I was in the mood for vampires this Halloween season and starting with the first book in Chloe Neill’s Heirs to Chicagoland series seemed a more promising start  since I won’t have far to go to catch up, with only two books in the series out so far. Although this book stands well on its own, I would not have minded having the background the original series offers, especially in regards to many of the past characters referenced. Something to look forward to, at least!

Elisa Sullivan is the first and only vampire born to vampire parents. She had left Chicago to strike out on her own, attending school in Paris, France with the well-respected Dumas House of Vampires, where no one cares whose daughter she is—or what she is. It’s also where she has been able to keep her inner demon at bay—a secret she’s managed to keep from everyone so far, with the exception of her childhood friend, Connor Keene, son of the king of the werewolves. And so it is with a little bit excitement and nervousness, she returns home to Chicago where peace talks hosted by her parents’ House are being held. The hope is to bring peace between the European Vampires. But when a diplomat is murdered, all bets are off. A shapeshifter is accused of the crime, but Elisa does not believe he could have done it. Joining up with a childhood friend, Connor Keene, and her best friend,  Lulu Bell, she sets out to prove his innocence and find out who wants to foil the peace talks.

It has been awhile since I last read a vampire novel like this. I have drifted more toward shapeshifters, witches, and fae urban fantasy—although there are plenty of all of those in this one as well. The world building in this novel is detailed and well done. I imagine it helps that this new series has roots in an already established one. I enjoyed my first foray into it through this novel, however. Elisa is still very young, but is strong and skilled when it comes to fighting. She is also very smart and insightful. She knows when to play the diplomat and when to strike. At least most of the time. I am really curious to know the direction Neill will take Elisa’s best friend. Maybe it is because I am a sucker for anything witch-y—but I really like Lulu Bell’s character and am guessing her non-magic stance won’t last. The romance between Connor and Elisa takes a while to get off the ground, which worked well for both of their characters given the circumstances. I imagine they will have a difficult time of it given the politics of their species, in future books. Wild Hunger is high in intensity and action-packed. It was a lot of fun to read.

Wicked Hour (Heirs of Chicagoland, #2) by Chloe Neill
Berkley, 2019
Fantasy; 352 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
While the humans slept, monsters raved.
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"You are in my territory." Ronan's voice was low and dangerous. His eyes silvered, and his fangs descended, ad magic rose in the air, peppery and hot. I braced myself against the coming blow--and prepared to meet it.
My thoughts:
Not long after I finished reading the first book in the series, I decided to read up the second. Wicked Hour picks up soon after the previous book leaves off. Elisa, the vampire born to vampire parents, finds herself at loose ends. She isn’t sure what her place is and exactly what she wants to do. For the time being, she is working with the Ombudsman’s office, but even that is not proving to be very satisfying. She is not sure what to make of shifter Connor Keene’s offer to accompany him to a private pack celebration. Is it personal or business? Probably a little of both. Connor wants Elisa there for her insight and to have someone extra he can trust on his side. Not to mention, it is an opportunity to start introducing his love interest to the pack he one day hopes to lead.

Upon arrival in Minnesota, it becomes clear that the situation there is somewhat volatile. The elders and the younger shapeshifters are on uneasy ground, one wanting to hold on to tradition and the other seeking change with the times. In addition, there appears to be a monster in the woods that is preying on the shifters.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wicked Hour and another visit into Neill’s world, this time in the north forest among the shapeshifters. Politics can be contentious at best, and it was interesting to delve more into pack politics, as well as get to know an outside faction of vampires. Connor and Elisa’s relationship continues to heat up in this second installment, but they are still taking in somewhat slow, feeling each other out. A lot takes place in Wicked Hour. Like the book before, it is high in action, and we see some familiar characters return. By the end, the reader gets an idea of what direction the series will take from here, and I am eager to find out what Elisa and Connor get up to next.

Have you given this series a try yet? If so, what did you think? Does it sound like something you might like? 

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.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Off the Grid and Out of Time by Monica McCarty

I was first introduced to Monica McCarty’s Highlander series by a friend, and so when I first came across the Lost Platoon series (it feels like a trilogy, but I could be wrong), I thought I would give it a try.

It was a mission that went terribly wrong. A Navy SEAL team disappears without a trace on a top secret mission to Russia. Not everyone survived, but those who do have gone into hiding and are believed to be dead. Someone is a traitor. Someone gave them away, and until they know who, the surviving SEALs plan to stay hidden until they uncover who would betray them and why. You can find my review of the first book in the series, Going Dark, here.

Off the Grid (The Lost Platoon, #2) by Monica McCarty
Berkley, 2018
Romance/Thriller; 384 pgs
Source: NetGalley
"Travel the world," they'd said. ~ Opening of Off the Grid 
Brittany Blake isn’t buying the story the government is feeding the public about the disappearance of her brother. Putting her investigative reporter skills to use, she launches her own investigation which leads her to her brother’s best friend, John Donovan, one of the surviving SEAL team members in hiding. John tries his best to throw her off the track and get her off the story—because he knows she will become a target—but perhaps she is just what the team needs to set a trap . . .

Brittany is a tenacious and focused woman on her own mission, and I enjoyed getting to know her. I could appreciate her reluctance to trust John, even though I knew he was a good guy. He may be smoking hot, but he has a reputation with the ladies and he isn’t being completely honest with her about what happened to her brother, not at first. Not to mention that John broke her heart once before. John himself comes with his own baggage, not wanting to commit because of past experiences. He and Brittany have something special though and both of them can only fight it for so long.

This really is a series that needs to be read in order. The events in each book play on each other. In addition to Brittany and John's story, readers get to see more into another budding-second-chance love story, which carried over from the first book and will continue into the third. There is plenty of suspense as Brittany and John and the others in their group get closer to the truth of what happened to the SEALs team in Russia. I definitely had my suspicions as I read this book. Full of tension and steamy romance, Off the Grid was a fun read.

Out of Time (The Lost Platoon, #3) by Monica McCarty
Berkley, 2018
Romance/Thriller; 384 pgs
Source: NetGalley
"What are we going to do now, sir?" ~ Opening of Out of Time
So much of what we find out about the lost platoon in the first and second book comes to a head—and what seems like a conclusion—in this third book of the series, Out of Time. And what a fitting title!

His men put a lot of trust into Lieutenant Commander Scott Taylor when he asked them to scatter across the globe and remain in hiding until they had answers to who betrayed them. He was crushed when he heard the woman he had been dating was killed in a car accident not long after she had alerted them to the betrayal. What he doesn’t want to believe, however, is that she could be behind that very betrayal, but all the evidence points in her direction.

Natalie Andersson, born Natalya Petrova, was adopted and raised by a loving American family. I admit it was a bit of a stretch for me to buy how she could be a Russian spy given her background, but for the sake of the story, I went along with it. And to be fair to her, she did what she could to sabotage the Russians’ efforts to use her without risking the lives of those she loved. That took some moxie. Now, Natalie has taken a new name and made a new life for herself, praying neither the Russians nor the Americans find out she is alive. Scott, furious and hurt, however, shows up on her doorstep demanding answers.

The love and hate relationship between Natalie and Scott runs parallel to that of Kate and Colt, whose story readers have been getting piecemeal throughout the series. Kate is probably one of my favorite characters in the series—high-powered and knows how to get things done. Colt is a hot head, and frankly, it’s no wonder Kate divorced him all those years ago. His insecurities got the better of him, and he wasn’t the best husband to her. He grows as a character throughout this series, especially in these last two books. I think of all the romance threads in the series, theirs was the one I was most drawn to.

Out of Time was action packed and high in emotion and suspense, much like its predecessors. While the romance is front and foremost in a series like this, I liked that the mystery aspect remained strong as well. It was never far in the background when it was not front and center. My suspicions from the last book proved correct.

Overall, I enjoyed this series, and, while I would not give any of these books five paw ratings, they were fun and hit the spot.

© 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, November 21, 2019

Bookish Mewsings: Vox by Christina Dalcher & Gossamer Mage by Along With Fun Friday Memes

Along with my (not so) 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.

This week I am posting two reviews again in my continuing effort to get caught up with posting my reviews before I go on break near the end of the year. I had not realized how far behind I was!

Vox by Christina Dalcher
Berkley, 2018
Science Fiction; 336 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week's time, I wouldn't believe them. 
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
Cheek to the ground, I can see the locked lab door only ten feet away, and I scramble to my feet. A cold hand, heavy as a meat hook, grips my arm and pulls.
"I'm fine," I croak. Or I think I do.

My thoughts:
It may have been the comparison to The Handmaid’s Tale or perhaps the current political climate in the United States that first interested me in Christina Dalcher’s Vox. I knew I had to read it. Set in a not so far future, women in the US are now required to wear bracelets that send debilitating shocks to the wearer if they go over their 100 word a day allotment. Dr. Jean McClellan had a successful career before, but women are no longer allowed to work nor are girls taught to read or write. I spent a lot of this book angry. Angry at the government and religious extremists. Angry at men like Jean's husband who was complicit in what how his wife and daughter were forced to live. Angry at all the people who sat by and let this happen.

Jean is given an opportunity to regain her voice because the government needs her specialized skills, and she hopes to use that opportunity to give her daughter the gift of words via bartering—at least for a short time. As a mother of a daughter myself, I felt Jean’s frustration and grief that her daughter was not given the same rights as her sons, and was learning that her place was in the background, to do as she was told and not use her voice. I felt Jean’s anguish as she watched her oldest son embrace this new Pure Movement. And I could understand how her relationship with her husband changed given how their life was before and how they live now. Jean is flawed, and I did not always agree with her choices, but there was much about her I could relate to. This book is full of emotion—sadness and rage and fear. It was hard to feel any sense of hope, at least initially.

This novel is part social commentary and part thriller. The first part of the novel introduces the reader to the characters and world they live in, along with their struggles and relationships with one another. As the novel progresses, however, the novel takes a turn into thriller territory, which added a different flavor to the novel than I initially expected. Suddenly there is hope for the future. Throughout, Vox was tense and thought provoking. While it did not rise to Atwood’s The Handmaid Tale level (is there a book out there that can, at least for me?), I liked Vox overall.

Have you read Vox? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you would want to read? 

The Gossamer Mage by Julie E. Czerneda
DAW, 2019
Fantasy; 416 pgs
Source: NetGalley

Book Beginnings:
The world was not always thus.
Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
Nothing about Kait explained The Lady's continued distance from such a fair and true daughter. Darkest thought? For he'd plenty. The Hag bided Her time, intending to unleash Kait as Her Designate at the school, to end them all in order to deal with the evil in the urns.

My thoughts:
The novel is set in a region where magic is controlled by the Deathless Goddess, in which the price of writing magic is years off one’s life. If a mistake is made, a gossamer is made, a magical creature with a will of its own. Maleonarial is considered one of the most powerful of the Deathless Goddess’s Mage Scribes. He long ago sought isolation and had fallen out of favor. When she seeks him out through her accolades, however, he is drawn back into the life he tried to put behind him. Only, this time, he is determined to find a way to destroy the Deathless Goddess and break the hold she has on her people. But first, he must find out who or what is threatening Tananen. He finds an unusual ally in one of the Deathless Goddess’s accolades, Kaitealyon, a Daughter called to serve the Goddess. Kaitealyon and the other Daughters sense something is gravely wrong. The voice of the Goddess seems to have been silenced and something sinister is afoot. She is tasked with finding out what it could be and saving the Deathless Goddess. Maleonarial may be the only one who can actually stop it.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I found the first portion of the book difficult to follow. Perhaps it was the writing style or the mythical feel to it (although that isn’t something that always bothers me, depending on the book). It got better when the author focused more on the individual characters. And while Mal’s character is one I quickly became fascinated by, it was not until Kait was introduced that I truly was able to get into the story and began to enjoy the book more. Once that happened, it was harder to put the book down. She has a son she loves dearly, but had to leave behind because of her calling to be a Daughter. Her devotion to him is one I think most mothers would be able to relate to. I know I could.

The world Julie E. Czerneda created in The Gossamer Mage was interesting, and I liked that we get an opportunity to see if from the two different viewpoints, one of the Mage and the other of the Daughter, especially given their differing feelings about the Deathless Goddess. I really liked Kait's and Mal’s characters. They both have sacrificed so much and have good intentions. The author delves deep into their psyches and motivations as they journey together in search of answers. It was hard not to feel the connection with both of them.

I am glad I stuck with The Gossamer Mage despite my struggle with the first part of the book. While not a page turner, I did enjoy it once I finally got into it. I have one of the author’s Science Fiction novels on my TBR shelf, and I am curious what I will think of that when I get to it.

Have you read The Gossamer Mage? If so, what did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you might like? 

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.

Name one book that makes you feel thankful and happy.

I am grateful for books in general, and the authors that share their stories with us. I am also grateful for
  • The magic that is created when letters and words come together to form a story 
  • Complex characters, beautiful writing, settings that come to life, and entertaining and twisty plots
  • Happy endings and those that are not
  • Books that spark my child's interest in reading
  • Books that hold me captive and stay with me even when I have to set them down
  • Stories that melt my heart--or break it 
  • Those books that draw out my emotions, whether tears, laughter, even anger, and everything in between 
  • Books that open our hearts and minds
  • Books that make me think and dream and make me want to be a better person
  • Stories that help me escape for awhile and forget life's stresses
  • The lessons I have learned through books as well as new perspectives
  • The places I have traveled within the pages, giving me a window into other worlds, real and imagined 
  • The variety of books out there, and that there is something for just about everyone, even those we may not agree on
I could probably go on, but I think you get the idea. I am thankful and happy any time I finish a book that sweeps me off my feet and leaves me feeling that my time was well spent. It's all of the above. I could name so many! One I just finished is Sarah Morgan's A Wedding in December. Such a beautiful and romantic story about two sisters and their mother--and the men in their lives. Or there was The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, which combines two of my favorite genres: historical fiction and fantasy. It was so much more than I imagined and left me wanting more (in a good way). But then there is How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, which broke my heart just as it filled it with love. And there are so many more! How do I choose just one?!

I will share with you the first book that came to mind though as I pondered this week's question. I will go with that one, although it feels unfair to stop there.

Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus - I was under it's spell from the first word.

What about you? Is there one book that makes you feel both thankful and happy? What types of books fit into that category? 

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 Book you read in a day/Book you DNFed

I took an interest in Don Quixote earlier this year because my husband was playing the part of the errant knight in the ballet this past summer. Alas, I did not finish it. It was a struggle to get as far as I did, and frankly, I just could not get into it.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Gone are the days I could sit and read at my leisure for hours at a time or long into the night like I once did. I am sure there have been one or two in recent years. Maybe a novella if I was lucky enough to set aside a decent chunk of reading time or a book of poetry. My memory fails me--at least when it comes to the books I read for me. So, I am going with the obvious. The last book I read in a day. Because I read a lot of these types of books in a day.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

What was the last book you read in a day and the last book you were unable to finish? 

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

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