Sunday, May 1, 2016

Where in the world has the reading fool been??

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Happy May Day! Can you believe it's already May 1?! I know I can't. These past two months have completely flown by and I apologize for my lack of reviews and updates. What a crazy busy time it's been. So here's an update on what I have been up to and what you can expect in the next few weeks!

1. March was a hectic time for me at work. We kicked off our biggest annual fundraiser for the year, Bowl For Kids's Sake! 2 weekends full of bowling and lot of work in between. I was able to raise $1300, double what I did last year! Thank you to all of my donors!

Bowling Team!
2. I went on a 9 day, much needed vacation to end the month of March. First time to Florida and it was fantastic! Beach, great food and drinks, Spring Training baseball, and got to see a friend I haven't seen in 5 years :) It may have rained almost every day but was still a lot of fun! Needless to say, I had planned to read a book or two and never even picked it up the entire time!

3. Work, work, and more work. The one thing about non-profit work is you never get used to the high turnover rate. That being said, work has been a little busy due to some staffing changes. Hopefully, it starts to slow down for a little while, but probably not.

4. Exercise! I just completed a 5K and 10K challenge as part of the Illinois marathon. While I started off March strong working out, April fell off a bit but I still feel like I did great! I wasn't shooting for any specific time, just wanted to get out there and actually complete it and I did! Surprisingly I felt pretty good afterward. Now I just have to stick to it!

5. I had a wedding shower/bachelorette party for my best friend who's wedding I am in this summer. It was a nice weekend away! 

6. BASEBALL HAS RETURNED! And completely taken over my life! Instead of staying up to 2am reading my book, I find myself up that late reading baseball news, checking scores, and trade rumors. Whoops! :) I love it. I listen to it every day at work/home and watch it whatever way I can, even at my desk. I'm great at multitasking ;) Go Cubs!

7. Also had to make it back to my parents to see this handsome fella! He is rotten to the core but so dang cute!

What a poser!

As you can see, it's been a little crazy! Not to mention all the little things that have been going on. So that being said, I woke up this morning and decided to get everything back on track. I started by cleaning my apartment so it no longer is confused with the inside of a frat house, scheduled out my calendar for the next two weeks (work, workouts, reading, etc.), made my lists for the week, and I'm ready to go! Now I can't promise a huge slew of reviews right away, but I promise to have a couple out to you soon. I have a few that I started and just need to finalize and post, and a stack of books waiting to be read. I'm also in a mood to reread some of my favorites so be on the lookout out for those as well as newer books! My goal is to focus small and start off that way to avoid getting overwhelmed by everything. Here goes nothing! Thanks for continuing to check in and put up with me!

Happy reading fools :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Crappy day = Book haul = Cops at the library!

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today was one of those days that starts off great. Super productive at work, got a lot accomplished and then BAM! it all goes out the window. But then again, it's Monday. I should have known better. So I checked out a little early and headed to return some books to the library. I figured since I was already there, I might as well wander the shelves and get myself back into a happy mood.

Perused the shelves, picked up a few first books in a couple new series, and after about 20 minutes headed to the check out with way more books than I planned on checking, as usual.

As I am at the counter chatting with one of the sweet, older librarians, two people start making a commotion at the other end of the counter. Yelling words at each other or at least I think they were real words. One librarian tried to calm them down and after threatening that they needed to leave or he was going to call the cops, the guy decided to yell back and him and then pick up a chair and through it at the column in the middle of the room.  By this point, the cops were being called as the guy continued to yell and hit things. Now here is what I don't understand. Why is this ever acceptable? What made you think yelling at someone, in a library no less, was a good decision? Then throw a chair? Because that always seems like a smart idea. I don't get it. People continually baffle me. Every day I have less hope and less faith in humanity. Good has lost and hatred as won the war. And people wonder why I prefer to stay at home and read all the time! Needless to say, the cops came and he was arrested.

Ugh. So that was fun. All I wanted was a little quiet time surrounded by what I love best in this world... books. Sorry for the rant! On a positive, I'm excited to start these books! If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how much I love the In Death series by J. D. Robb. I can only read a few of them at a time but it was been a little while since I finished the last one. They're great, quick read, mystery/sci-fi books! I've also been on a waitlist for The 5th Wave for some time and then I found it on the shelf today so that was an exciting find! The Accident Season has been on my TBR list since before it came out. Has anyone read it yet?

I know I have been slacking these past few months with review posts. I put one up for you today and have two more in the works. Finding time to write has been difficult! And I know I got off track with the monthly themes. It's proving to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm one of those people who just sees the cover and starts a book, not thinking about genre or type of book it is. Yes, I basically just said I judge a book by its cover. It's true. I do. I can't help it. So how is your reading for the year going? Are you sticking to your goals? Reading anything great lately? Feel free to share any thoughts, comments, or recommendations! I love hearing your thoughts!

Happy reading fools :) 

"Patriot" (Alex Hawke #9) - Ted Bell

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Since I sucked at reading in February, I'm continuing the month's theme, Unfinished Series, part way into March. I have a few books carrying over from February, as well as, a few ARC's but then I will be able to get to my never-ending stack of books I have bought or received in giveaways but haven't been able to read yet for March's theme! I am a huge fan of the Alex Hawke series by Ted Bell. Today's review is the most current book in the series, Patriot. Each book continues the story of Lord Alexander Hawke, so it's a good idea to start at the beginning with Warrior, the first book in the series!

On a beautiful day off the coast of Maine, an esteemed former CIA director and expert sailor is found dead on his sailboat, his head bashed in after what seems like a horrific accident.  Half a world away in Paris, another senior CIA officer dies of a heart attack while making love in a posh hotel room. When counterspy Alex Hawke hears the news, and other recent CIA deaths under suspicious are discovered, he suspects these are more than coincidences. Hawke believes the deaths can be tied to one source: Spider Payne, a rogue intelligence officer whose exploits got him fired by the CIA. Now the former star agent seems to have evolved into a serial killer -- and it looks like MI6 officer Alex Hawke is directly in his line of fire. 

But Spider isn't the only ex-intelligence operative with a grudge. Texan colonel Beau Beauregard founded an international mercenary fighting force that gave him both worldwide prestige and sizeable fortune. Now he's lost it all as the worldwide press, and soon clients like the U.S., Russia, and China, blame him for amassing an army of hired renegade killers rather than soldiers. Beau sets his sights on enemy spies who've betrayed him. And he won't stop until they've all be eliminated. 

In an increasingly corrupt and dangerous Russia, Vladimir Putin is determined to forge his country into a formidable superpower once more. His dream is to redraw the map of Europe to his liking, and he'll stop at nothing to realize his global fantasies -- including shooting down a Russian Aeroflot airliner full of men, women, and children. Meanwhile, Putin's Kremlin scientists are developing a radical new weapon that could forever alter modern warfare. NATO knows Putin will not hesitate to use it. But they feel powerless while they've locked in a tense standoff as Russian Army forces are arrayed on Eastern Europe's borders. Only one man can bring the world back from this apocalyptic brink: Alex Hawke. Can he evade stalking assassins while finding a way to neutralize Russia's threat? In the murky world of counterterrorism and high-stakes intrigue, the odds against him -- and any hope of success -- have never been higher. 

Another round of applause for Ted Bell. If you're looking for a great thriller series, with each book keeping you hanging on until the end, then this series is for you! Alex Hawke is a great character. There is a multitude of levels to his character that continues to build throughout each book. I can't get enough of him. This book was no different. The story goes back and forth between Hawke, Beauregard, and other characters, a common consistency with these books. I like the alternating points-of-view. One thing that was sometimes difficult to follow in this book was the amount of locations throughout the book. While this is a common trend for Bell in the series, I felt this book had more than usual. I enjoyed the expansion of Hawke's relationship with Putin in this book. It's something that has been present in the past few books but not as prevalent as it was in this one. It was an interesting perspective into the Kremlin and interworkings of the old KGB. Bell is an amazing writer. He continues to impress me with each book from his character dynamics to the use of vocabulary he writes and the way he sets up every scene and relationship. I just wish he could write them faster!!

As always, feel free to share any thoughts, comments, or suggestions. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading fools :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hell School: Fresh Meat TOUR!

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I know I promised you reviews in my last post but we had an unexpected change at work and let's just say things have gone from busy to unimaginable. Working in the non-profit realm can be rough! SO I still have a backlog of reviews to type and post from you but before I can get to those, check out this post as part of the blog tour for Hell School: Fresh Meat by Heidi Angell, the first book in a YA stalker series. Check out a blurb for the book and author information below as well as a character introduction for Samantha Havre!

"High school is hard, especially when you're a freshman in a new town, surrounded by people you don't understand and who don't understand you. Sam was overwhelmed just trying to fit in. Then she is singled out with the first letter.

While some girls envy the "romantics" of this unknown admirer, Sam can tell something isn't right. Sam wanted to just blend in, but someone's eye is fixated on her. As the letters and bad poetry continue, so does the nagging in Sam's stomach telling her this is not normal.

When things escalate from strange to creep, Sam's world becomes a nightmare. Twisted admiration is stalking her around every corner in the high school from hell..."

Sounds spooky and intriguing and twisted. My kind of book! Check out the character introduction from author Heidi Angell for Sam below!

Character Introduction - Samantha Havre
Name: Samantha Havre
Age: 14
Nickname: Sam, Buttercup
A Little About: Sam is a beauty who doesn't know she is beautiful. Her personality is very tomboy meets bookworm. She is a Mormon and raised in a conservative home. Her parents got divorced and her mom moved the family from the only home Sam had ever known in Montana to live with her older sister Kelly in South Carolina while her mom tried to put their life back together.
Sam's hobbies: Reading any book she can get her hands on. Singing, she has an inner desire to be a musician. Acting, she wants to do it. She is scared, but she wants to do it. Dancing.
Sam's goal: Survive the move, survive high school, and survive her stalker.
Who I imagine playing Sam: Marissa Quinn. She encapsulates the pretty girl, and has a great range. I could totally see her being an "every girl" that was shy and awkward, despite her amazing looks!

About the Author
Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith! She is the author of The Hunter Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also Created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found spending quality time with her lovely family camping, hiking, swimming, or watching movies. Learn more about her and her books at!

Social Media 
Twitter @HeidiAngell

Check back soon for an updated post featuring a review of the book! A complete list of other stops along the tour featuring book reviews, chapter excerpts, author interviews, and more can be found on Heidi Angell's website! Make sure to check it out! As always, feel free to share any thoughts, comments or suggestions!

Happy reading fools :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Winter" (The Lunar Chronicles #4) - Marissa Meyer

Hello fellow bibliophiles! What a last two weeks it has been. Sorry for the lapse the past couple of weeks. It seems like every book I have picked up recently has been taking FOREVER to finish. And then once I finished them, I then ran out of time and didn't get the reviews wrote up. So while I have been reading, albeit slowly, I now have a few reviews to get out to you!! To kick off, here is the latest, and last, installment in The Lunar Chronicles. Check out my review of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, the first three books in the series. Beware! If you haven't read the first three books, you may not want to read any further as it will give things away for those books!

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. 

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend -- the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

When I read the first three books, they were easy and I was able to get through them fairly quickly. This book, though, took me forever. I was so looking forward to seeing how all four of the main characters and their stories came together. And yes, while that did happen, everything else you could ever possibly imagine happening, was thrown into this book. I mean everything. There were wayyyy too many things happening in this book. I felt like a big majority of these different things took away from the story and made it drag on and on and on. I understand why Meyer wrote it this way. She wanted to make sure all the strings were tied up nice and pretty. But often she was creating more and more issues for the band of misfits to solve, many that were unnecessary. One positive from the book is that she does a good job wrapping up all 4 of the storylines for Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter and I liked how they all ended. All in all, Winter wasn't what I was hoping for. I still gave it a 3 out of 5 solely because I have enjoyed the series overall.  Gorgeous cover once again! As always, feel free to share any thoughts comments or suggestions.

Happy reading fools :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"The Prophecy" - Coreena McBurnie

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today's post is a spotlight fAntigone: The True Story. Check out a brief summary of the book, information about the author, and where you can get your copy below!
or a new YA series by Coreena McBurnie,

"A hidden prophecy. A chosen princess who speaks with snakes. A family duty. 

Sixteen year old Princess Antigone, daughter of the infamous Greek King Oedipus, wants to lead a normal life and fulfill her duty to the gods, her city, and her family, but fate has other plans. The Olympian gods bless her, the snakes talk to her, her parents want her to marry a foreign prince, her embroidery looks like burial shrouds for dogs, and she has fallen in love with the wrong boy.

When the mysterious and devastating prophecies surrounding her family are revealed, Anitgone must choose where her allegiance lies: With the gods who have betrayed her family but who she is obliged to serve? With her plague ridden city? With her family which lay in ruins? Or even with herself?

In Prophecy, Book One of the Antigone: The True Story series, Antigone steps out of the shadows of the past to tell her own story, a story where truth of history is stranger than the fiction of the myth."

About the Author
I write mythological retellings -- my passion for ancient cultures, mythology, and history started many years ago and, after studying Classics in university and earning my Master's degree, I am channeling this love into my writing, Prophecy, Book One in Antigone: The True Story series, is my first published book. I do most of my writing in Novembers during Nanowrimo and spend the rest of the year editing and reading. I live in BC, Canada with my husband, three kids, and our cat.

Where to find Coreena McBurnie:

Goodreads: Coreena McBurnie

Make sure to head over to Amazon to pick up your copy of the book. Both physical and e-book available! Looks like the start of a great YA series!

Happy reading fools :)

Friday, February 12, 2016

"The Royal We" - Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Today's review goes off my "Unfinished Series" theme for the month but as I said at the start, I would have a few books to read outside of that! This review is the February book for my FYA book club. Since the list came out of books we would be reading for the year, the other members have been going crazy for this book. So I was quite excited to pick up The Royal We! Who doesn't love a good "commoner falls in love with the prince" fairytale?!

I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next. 

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasised about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, NIck's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family who's private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become. 

Which is how she gets into trouble. Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love -- her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself -- will have been for nothing.

Spanning nearly a decade, THE ROYAL WE is a richly imagined, emotionally compelling novel that examines, with warmth and wit, what truly happens after your prince has come. 

Normal girl from Iowa studies abroad at Oxford, meets a great group of friends, falls in love with the Prince of England, goes through the horrific tribulations of the press, ultimately causing rifts in their fairy tale romance. All completely normal. Sounds great right? Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are great writers, don't get me wrong. And I love a good fairy tale dream-like romance. But UGH! I was so disappointed!! What I couldn't stand, is  the multitude of similarities between the book and the real Prince Will and Kate. And not just similarity with it being a story of royals but parallels between family relationships, friendships, and love story. I mean, we're talking the same timeline of events, absent mother figure, and Jenny Packman dresses!! It was too much. I love the "Will & Kate" story. I'm the creepy stalker who waits anxiously for new pictures of the royal babies and wants to know every charity Kate is spearheading. I read every People article. And I would have liked this book more had it not been SO similar. That fact alone ruined the book for me. Still a well-written book though so if that fact doesn't bother you, then it's worth the read! As always, feel free to share any comments, suggestions, or recommendations!

Happy reading fools :)

P.S. Things will be a little quiet for the next few days! I have a puppy I need to go spend some quality time with this weekend! Don't let that adorable, innocent face fool you, though. He's a monster :)