Saturday, May 13, 2023

In Death Covers Getting a Makeover in 2024

Looks like J. D. Robb's In Death series are getting a makeover next year. Check out the cover art for Random in Death, release on January 23, 2024.


Do you like it?

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Stormlight Archive Boxset

While the truth is I was more or less moved by my completing of reading The Way of Kings back in October, I still wanted (at some time or another) to give Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series more chances. I understood from some readers how the second book, Words of Radiance, really set the tone of this epic fantasy. The issue is that I just didn’t know when exactly I wanted to try more of the series–-to jump in further within Kaladin, Shallan and Dalinar’s journey. It’s one of those epic fantasy series that continues to stay in the back of my mind, with a part of me ready to find precisely what is the draw of the series overall.


Then, right on time, I happened to come across the complete boxset on BookOutlet and could not believe it. $42 for the complete Stormlight Archive series in hardcover (with an original price tag of about $140 dollars). I couldn’t believe it; there was zero hesitation in my taking advantage of this opportunity and purchasing the boxset.

So, I don’t know exactly when I will be jumping back into the series. However, as seen, I’m prepped and ready to see what else the series has to offer. I want to find what makes this series such a beloved staple in the high fantasy genre. What is all the rage? What is all the fuss? And, as a The Wheel of Time lover, will I ever find my Nynaeve in Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere Universe?


We’ll see. Soon. At some time. Lots to get through here. But, as when I took on reading The Wheel of Time, I believe I can do this. 


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

T. A. Barron's Adventures of Kate 20 Years Later Re-Reading

Here it is and here I go. Finally, finally doing a rereading (because I’m not great at doing so). Though this is a twenty-years-later type of rereading. While I won’t get into all these long “historical” details, I simply must express how–for whatever reason–I suddenly wanted to read T. A. Barron’s three Kate Gordon fantasy books. Two decades later, by the way. Anyway, I’ve held on to them for so long and am now ready to answer this strange calling. So… here we go…

The reading order is:


  1. Heartlight

  2. The Ancient One (my personal favorite/introduction and one I read for the first time years before the others)

  3. The Merlin Effect


So the month of May is dedicated to going on adventures with Kate again. From the distant planet in her physics journey in Heartlight. Her falling deep into the past wrapped in an indigenous-themed tragedy in The Ancient One. And, finally, the deep sea quest found in The Merlin Effect.


I’m not interested in examining how these middle-grade books that were published in the earlier 90s stand today. Nor gauged them for how much I’ve grown as a reader. I’m here for just pure, relaxing, fun, ADVENTURES.




Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Cover of Payback in Death by J. D. Robb is OUT!

(Amazon affiliate link)


"Lt. Eve Dallas is just home from a long overdue vacation when she responds to a call of an unattended death. The victim is Martin Greenleaf, retired Internal Affairs Captain. At first glance, the scene appears to be suicide, but the closer Eve examines the body, the more suspicious she becomes.

An unlocked open window, a loving wife and family, a too-perfect suicide note―Eve's gut says it's a homicide. After all, Greenleaf put a lot of dirty cops away during his forty-seven years in Internal Affairs. It could very well be payback―and she will not rest until the case is closed."

Yay. The new cover of Payback in Death by J. D. Robb is out. It's really different. I love the red and blue in particular. Anyway, it's out wayyyyyyy away on September 5th. I still haven't gotten through the last book, Encore in Death, yet. But, naturally, I'm still looking forward to Payback in Death.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Gifted Myself a Wacom for my Birthday

 

I finally, finally bought a Wacom One beginners drawing tablet! Now I just must learn how to draw something in the digital realm. Old millennials problems, I guess. It’s just hard to wrap my head around growing up going to Michael’s and Hobby Lobby to collect art supplies and now everything I need is pretty much a click away. Anyway, my hope is to reinvigorate drawing some more cartoon art. New age. New time. New device. New purpose.


I stopped by 2nd & Charles and grabbed some books, too. Though I’ve tried to avoid doing so, I gave myself a pass today. These are the books. Luck was on my side when I found a copy of The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope. I’ve been wanting to read this book since it came out. More Mercedes Lackey and a Steven Saylor Ancient Rome mystery.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

New Book Release Alert

Of courseeeeeeeeee, J. D. Robb’s new release, Encore in Death, would be on this list. Of course, chile. Of course. Nevertheless, Eve Dallas’ latest case has us readers falling into the cyanide poisoning affair of the husband of a celebrity couple. Now, anybody who is familiar with me know I can hardly stand mysteries involving celebrities, film sets, actors, so on. But if anybody can sell and deliver me on such a setup, it’s J. D. Robb.

Second, our Patricia Raybon is back with her second Annalee Spain Mystery, Double the Lies. So off to the 1920s we go to solve another mystery with our professor.


Monday, February 6, 2023

Afternoon at a Cafe

 


Spent an afternoon at the cafĂ© “studying” my way through my long-term journey reading The Feeling Good book by David D. Burns, MD. An absolute GREAT book that looks at treating depression and anxiety with a practical approach. I first discovered this book as far back as 2006 and have always kept it around because of how simple and reasonable Burns addresses mental health roadblocks and how we can conquer them. Either way, it's always good to just get out of the house on a nice day!

Other than all that, look what I got earlier today...









Wednesday, February 1, 2023

CHOP IT UP: One Visit by George Veck

 

"In sleepy, rural North Wales, Frankie Gibbs, a recently laid off, aimless twenty-year-old on Universal Credit, wants nothing more than to keep his younger brother out of the care system. He single-handedly takes this upon himself while their alcoholic, cocaine-addict, single-parent father, Guy Gibbs, heaps misery on their lives through systematic abuse and his never-ending wild parties. After Guy is sent to prison, Frankie is coerced into opening his home to Justice, an acquaintance from his school days now turned drug dealer, while his own addiction and self0worth spiral beyond recognition."

Taking in the synopsis alerts the reader how One Visit is set to be a rather dark–and some might say–depressing read. Usually when a book such as One Visit crosses my path, I have to wonder what will be the resulting message in the work. So seeing how the book centers around the subjects of abuse and addiction, I end up asking myself a few things. One: how much of the story will center around the dark premise in itself, leaving an avalanche of despair by its end? Two: how much will center around the theme in hopes that a message of hope will result in its conclusion? Of course, I'll leave that up to you–the reader–to arrive to. Yet, while I found the ending fairly gratifying, it was the journey forward that was tough. From a technical standpoint.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Amelia Peabody Series is Wrapped

"Banned forever from the eastern end of the Valley of the Kings, eminent Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson's desperate attempt to regain digging rights backfires—and his dream of unearthing the tomb of the little-known king Tutankhamon is dashed. Now Emerson, his archaeologist wife, Amelia Peabody, and their family must watch from the sidelines as Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter "discover" the greatest Egyptian treasure of all time.

But the Emersons' own less impressive excavations are interrupted when father and son Ramses are lured into a trap by a strange group of villains ominously demanding answers to a question neither man comprehends. And it will fall to the ever-intrepid Amelia to protect her endangered family—and perhaps her nemesis as well—from a devastating truth hidden uncomfortably close to home . . . and from a nefarious plot that threatens the peace of the entire region."



The day is over. The Amelia Peabody series is over. Or, at least, my journey reading them. I closed out and finished the final entry–per the proper timeline–Tomb of the Golden Bird. I can not say it was the best entry in the series, but it had all the fixings to be one with the opening of King Tut's tomb. And for once, Amelia Peabody actually went into a tomb and explored. I stress this because it always frustrated me how Amelia was not also slipping into a tombs. Instead she often stayed outside and sifted through debris. Stuff like that, anyway. Though, of course, Amelia Peabody is so much more than all those things combined. Otherwise, I wouldn't have stuck with reading the series for nine years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Vanille Caught Something New Today



"Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later―murdered―Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent―under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family―what could go wrong?"

Author Olivia Matthew's NEW RELEASE is out TODAY. You can grab a copy on Amazon (affiliate link) HERE

I have a lotttttt of new releases to catch up on. Boy, I tell ya. Life of a bibliophile.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Excerpt: The 8th Grade Killer by Katy Pierce

Images are Amazon affiliate links to the book


CHAPTER ONE


Amber hopped down from a haphazard pile of driftwood and peered off across Lake Michigan, watching the sunset spill its reds and oranges across the dark water.

At her back, Harborside was already tucking itself into bed. There wasn’t much to do in her hometown—it was mostly filled with boring old shops and creeps walking around with big maps, listening to murder podcasts. But Amber did love this beach. The summer wind blowing off the lake was already cooling down the evening, and she was happy she’d remembered to grab her hoodie.

The crowd of swimmers and beach volleyballers was already disappearing behind her as she trudged through sand in the opposite direction, the distant cheers swallowed by the gentle lapping of waves and an occasional bark from her dog, Cooper. Amber giggled at the big, dumb yellow lab. His tail was wagging at an almost dangerous speed as he trotted ahead along the shoreline.

“Cooper,” she called, knowing the cheeky mutt would ignore her. “Cooper, get back here!”

Amber smiled as he barked at a bug crawling toward the water, batting it with his paw before the next distraction drew him away.

“Are you even listening to me?” Jaclyn, Amber’s friend, snapped her attention back to their gossip. “I asked if you saw what Bethany is wearing.”

Mild curiosity grabbed Amber as she picked up the perfect stone to toss into the lake. Meanwhile, Jaclyn huffed in frustration as she struggled over a tree trunk. They had been coming to this beach all their lives, yet Jaclyn still had trouble navigating nature.

Feeling unusually gracious, Amber decided to humor her. “No, what?”

“It’s the sluttiest bikini I’ve ever seen!” Jaclyn threw her arms into the air, her body exploding with the news. She often made comments like that, and Amber picked out a slight twinge of jealousy in her tone.

“Sounds about right for Bethany.” Amber tried to stifle a chuckle, grabbing at Jaclyn’s mouth to bring her volume down. Jaclyn tended to shout her opinions, and while Amber loved her candor, she didn’t want anyone overhearing what they really thought of their mutual friend.



Amber could appreciate a good slutty bikini, but wearing one was an art form and Bethany was no artist. She didn’t understand that deciding
when to wear a swimsuit was almost as crucial as the choice of swimsuit itself. For Bethany to wear something like that at Whittler’s Cove, at night, was a bold statement.

“Bethany’s probably still trying to ride Abigail’s brother. I saw them there too.” Jaclyn rolled her eyes at how obvious Bethany was being. She was normally too savvy to do something as stupid as wearing a string bikini in early summer.

“Probably. She’s gone into whore hyperdrive since graduation. Abigail’s brother is pretty hot, though.”

“Oh, is he? I guess so…”

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Almost at the End of the Amelia Peabody Experience



So I'm writing this post while listening to Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes." The song is befitting my mood–seeing as I'm trying to decide if I want to read the final Amelia Peabody mystery, Tomb of the Golden Bird. Because once this book is read, this will be the end of my journey reading Elizabeth Peters’ famous Victoria-era Egyptologist series. It’s been nine years since I cracked open the first book, The Crocodile on the Sandbank; 20 books later, my adventures with Peabody and crew are ending.

It's more complicated than not, but Peters took many liberties in adjusting the timeframe in the series. The final two publication releases, A River in the Sky and The Paint Queen, officially close the series out at twenty books. However, per the precise timeline, the final book is Tomb of the Golden Bird. I corrected the order from books sixteen forward. Now I've landed at the series' end and in proper sequence.

The problem is that, while I’ve decided to finally finish this series THIS year (I want to move on to reading Peters’ Vicky Bliss series next), I’m feeling some type of way about taking on the final book as it lies here in my hands.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Two New #Blackmysteries Launching Within the Coming Weeks

Just a general heads up since we’re talking about Black women writing mysteries–per my last post on Tracy Clark. We have two pieces coming up in the first two months of 2023 (that I am aware of now).


Patricia Sargeant is writing as Olivia Matthews in another new series centered around baking pastries with a West Indian flare down to the Brooklyn streets. The first book in the series is Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery. It’s due out January 24th, with a follow-up called Hard Dough Homicide coming in May 2023. So Matthews is not playing, honey. And I live for the back-to-back releases. Matthews is coming for the cozy field, as it appears this new series will share in all its West Indian culture and flavor. 

As a matter of fact, culture and taste were two things I found missing in the first book of her previous series. I have yet to read the second book, but I hope to get to it soon. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to Matthew's new (dare I say "daring") series. Many times authors such as Matthews have to either remove or water down cultural references and themes in their work. So this is Matthew saying to the cozy field: NOT TODAY, SATAN. NOT TODAY! That aside, my pre-order is in. Read Matthew's Sister Lou series if you can.




Author Patricia Raybon is back with her 1920s historical fiction-themed series featuring ex-college professor Annalee Spain. Double the Lies will release on February 7th of 2023. Despite my flurry of criticisms about the first book, I look forward to buying this one upon release. 

And such a treat this series is because you hardly EVER find a mystery series that takes place in the flapper days with a black woman in the lead. Like, NEVER. Go to the bookstore and see what I'm talking about! Anyway, how absolutely BOLD this cover is. The feeling I get knowing Raybon and Annalee Spain is COMING for the girls this season does my heart good. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one, too. With, of course, the hopes the author improves on her plotting and not rely on traditional mystery tropes to tell her story.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Tracy Clark's New Series Book Release Has Arrived

"When a young red-haired woman is found brutally murdered in downtown Chicago, one detail stands out: the red lipstick encircling her wrists and ankles.

Detective Harriet Foster is on the case, even though she’s still grieving the sudden death of her partner. As a Black woman in a male-dominated department, Foster anticipates a rocky road ahead acclimating to a new team―and building trust with her new partner isn’t coming easily.

After another victim turns up with the same lipstick markings, Foster suspects she’s looking for a serial killer. Through a tip from a psychiatrist, Foster learns about Bodie Morgan: a troubled man with a twisted past and a penchant for pretty young redheads with the bluest eyes. As Foster wades into Morgan’s sinister history, the killer continues their gruesome assault on Chicago’s streets.

In her desperate race to catch the murderer before they strike again, Foster will have to confront the darkest of secrets―including her own."

Unfortunately, 2022 didn't bless us with another Cass Raines book from mystery writer Tracy Clark. I suppose it's still being determined if the series will be complete (looks like Clark changed publishers or something) after the fourth book, Runner, was released in the summer of 2021. Cass Raines was one of few private investigator black woman characters in the overall genre; naturally, I have concerns about whether she should vacate the field. Nevertheless, Cass's "mother," Tracy Clark, is launching in 2023 with a new series featuring a new character/voice in the form of a Black woman detective named Harriet Foster. Apparently, Tracy Clark is shifting from the private eye to the law enforcement narrative. And guess what? I’m down for the ride! I just got my newly released copy of Harriet Foster’s first book, Hide. With–and get this–with the second book in the series (Fall) releasing later this year in December.


Now the issue is pulling myself out of a jagged reading slump to reclaim all the readings that I… well… I’ll stop here…

Regardless, I always show my support by buying books and going from there. I am a borderline book hoarder at this point. But I forgot to care.

Happy New (NEW) Release, Tracy Clark. Detective Harriet Foster is officially here. (Though I still want to know what is the future of Cass Raines.)

For more on Cass Raines and author Tracy Clark, click on the Labels below!

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