WWW Wednesday: May 31

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (police procedural)–I’m nearly finished with this one and it’s so good. I think I’ve finally figured out who the killer is.

Recently finished

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy)–A very good addition to the Blackthorn & Grim series.

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger (Police Procedural)–I’ve already bought the second book in this series. I like the main character–DC Smith. He’s an older policeman and a bit cynical, but not in a bad way.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Science Fiction)–This was a very fast read since it’s a novella. And I enjoyed it a lot.

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

But for the Grace by Peter Grainger (Police Procedural)

“We are living in the departure lounge,” said Ralph Greenwood, “and flights leave with monotonous regularity.” So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no-one is very surprised – not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated. To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end… This, the second DC Smith investigation, follows on from ‘An Accidental Death’.

Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell (Historical Mystery)

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps con­fi­dences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed car­riage indus­try is threat­ened by the work of an arson­ist, and a car­riage fac­tory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solv­ing the mys­tery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mis­tress is also mur­dered, leav­ing her one-week-old baby with­out a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While strug­gling with being less than the per­fect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and prob­lem solver to bring two mur­der­ers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (Science Fiction/Alternate History)

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.

Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.

This was a terrible plan.

Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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Anticipated books the last half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m talking about the books I’m most Anticipating for the second half of 2017. I know these aren’t all the books I will be excited about, but these are the books I’m aware of now!

July

One of my very favorite series!

The Harbors of the Sun

by Martha Wells

Series: The Books of the Raksura #5

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they quickly encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance of their own, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades.

But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. To stop them, the Raksura will have to take the ultimate risk and follow them into forbidden territory.

I loved the first book in this series.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus

by David D. Levine

Series: Adventures of Arabella Ashby #2

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk

Synopsis: The thrilling adventures of Arabella Ashby continue in the second book in Hugo-winning author David D. Levine’s swashbuckling sci-fi, alt-history series!

The swashbuckling Arabella Ashby is back for brand new adventure in the ongoing story of her life among the stars.

Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain.

To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon.

Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire galaxy if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate.

This is a great self-published series about dragons!

A Dragon of a Different Color

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #4

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dragons

Synopsis: To save his family from his tyrannical mother, Julius had to step on a lot of tails. That doesn’t win a Nice Dragon many friends, but just when he thinks he’s starting to make progress, a new threat arrives. Turns out, things can get worse. Heartstriker hasn’t begun to pay for its secrets, and the dragons of China are here to collect. When the Golden Emperor demands his surrender, Julius will have to choose between loyalty to the sister who’s always watched over him and preserving the clan he gave everything to protect.

An urban fantasy and a romance. I don’t read much romance, but this is a really good series and one of my favorite authors.

Wildfire

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Hidden Legacy #3

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis: Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

August

This series gets better and better.

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness #11

Genre: Historical Mystery (1930’s Great Britain)

Synopsis: When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales AND the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy is (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.

I love police procedurals and reading about K-9 dogs so these books are favorites.

Hunting Hour

by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Synopsis: Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

I haven’t read anything by this author, but the main character is a former army officer with a wolf-dog friend.

Dead Man’s Bridge

by Robert J. Mrazek

Series: A Jack Cantrell Mystery #1

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Disgraced former army officer Jake Cantrell and his pal, Bug, a wolf-dog he saved while in Afghanistan and the only friend he has left, try to put their bitter pasts behind them as Jake finds employment at the bottom rung of the campus security ladder of a small upstate New York college. But things only turn for the worse when the college’s richest and most powerful alumnus is found hanging from a campus footbridge on the eve of homecoming weekend.

Jake is convinced the man was murdered, but with no honor to his name, no one agrees―at least not until a second body is found hanging from the same bridge. Unable to push aside his military training, Jake and Bug finds themselves working to bring justice to the small college town. But as a vicious hurricane sweeps up the Eastern seaboard and the college’s homecoming weekend rapidly unfolds, the clock is ticking and it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again.

I read the first book in this series last fall and loved it.

Dead Stop

by Barbara Nickless

Series: Sydney Rose Parnell #2

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: The search for a kidnapped child leads a courageous railway cop down a twisted trail of murder.

It’s been five months since Special Agent Sydney Parnell survived a violent confrontation with a gang of brutal thugs, an encounter that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Deep down, Sydney fears she isn’t ready for another investigation. But when a woman is murdered on the train tracks and a child is kidnapped, she knows she’s the only one who can lead the hunt for the killer. While Denver police and the FBI chase down blind alleys, Sydney focuses on a single cryptic clue left behind at the crime scene—one that will send her down a path of greed, violence, and long-ago love.

With Denver beset by a series of monsoonlike thunderstorms that threaten to flood the city, Sydney and her K9 partner, Clyde, must wade through a murky trail of murder that stretches back thirty years—all to rescue a child…and catch a killer with a long memory and an insatiable appetite for destruction.

This is a Tor.com book. I’m really liking the books they’re publishing plus this is space opera!

A Red Peace

by Spencer Ellsworth

Series: Starfire #1

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Synopsis: Half-breed human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the leader of the Resistance wants desperately enough to send his personal guard after. An interstellar empire and the fate of the remnant of humanity hang in the balance.

Spencer Ellsworth has written a classic space opera, with space battles between giant bugs, sun-sized spiders, planets of cyborgs and a heroine with enough grit to bring down the galaxy’s newest warlord.

October

Another mystery series in which I read the first book last fall. Looking forward to seeing what Kate Fox does next!

Dark Signal

by Shannon Baker

Series: Kate Fox #2

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.

Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident?

While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life, and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up―and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again.

What books are you looking forward to the last half of 2017?

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Sunday Post: Memorial Day weekend

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

Memorial Day

This is the day we honor those who died while serving in our country’s military. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials this weekend. It is good to remember those who died.

Lots of people also correlate it with the beginning of the summer vacation season.

The weekend

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We went to see a baseball game Friday night. We have a triple-A minor league baseball team in town–the Iowa Cubs–affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. They are fun to watch, the tickets aren’t expensive and the stadium is great. The Iowa Cubs led during most of the game, but in the end the Reno Aces won 7-6. It was a good game and fun to watch since there were lots of hits. Every Friday night home game they have fireworks after the game which are so fun to see, too.

On Saturday we went to a nursery to look at plants and get ideas of what we might want to plant. However, we have to build more flowerbeds first. My husband brought home a bunch of hostas from his Dad’s yard after he visited this last week. He has spent a lot of time dividing and planting hostas this last week and not gotten them all planted yet!

My sister-in-law is driving here to visit for a couple of days on Sunday so that will be fun. She wants to play croquet which really makes me think of summer. We don’t have too much else planned, but the weather is supposed to be nice so I’m sure we’ll have a great time even if we just hang out.

Blogging

I had a very busy week this last week with several doctors’ appointments, physical therapy for my lower back and neck plus several other activities. Thus, I didn’t get much blogging done again. I did visit a few blogs which was fun. Nice to see what book bloggers are blogging about. I’ll try again this week to do a little more.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Review: Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

What I’ve read

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Some books I got recently

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

But for the Grace by Peter Grainger

Into the Shadows by Shirley Wells

Sync Audiobooks

Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

Audiobooks available May 25 – 31

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede | Read by Nick Podehl

Published by Brilliance Audio

Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand. Taemon has learned to blend in, to pretend he’s just like everyone else in Deliverance. To pretend that he can’t send his mind wandering into objects and see exactly how they work. But Taemon’s brother, Yens, suspects the truth, and he’ll stop at nothing—even murder—to expose Taemon’s secret. In this thrilling dystopian novel from newcomer Lana Krumwiede, Taemon must choose between accepting his life among the freaklings or fighting for the destiny he’s never wanted?—and all that comes with it.

Boy by Anna Ziegler | Read by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, Bobby Steggert

Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a powerful statement about sexual identity and the mystery of what makes us who we are. After a baby boy is seriously injured in an accident, a doctor persuades his parents to raise the child as a girl. As the child grows up, the child—known as Samantha and Adam at different times—faces an extraordinary challenge to carve out a place in the world.

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:

Sarah Drew as Jenny
John Getz as Dr. Wendell Barnes
Travis Johns as Doug
Amy Pietz as Trudy
Bobby Steggert as Adam Turner

Directed by Debbie Devine. Recorded in Los Angeles before a live audience at The James Bridges Theater, UCLA in July of 2016.

Boy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Audiobooks available June 1 – 7

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli | Read by Robert Ramirez

Published by Recorded Books

Young Persian Prince Orasmyn lives a peaceful life of quiet duty and thoughtful obedience. Tending his fragrance garden gives him much more pleasure than the bloody royal hunts staged by his father. But a single wrong decision sets in motion an ancient curse that changes Orasmyn’s fate forever. Told he will be killed by his own father, he is transformed into a lion on the day of a great hunt. The prince has no choice but to flee beloved Persia and his precious family. Balancing his fading human memories with his new beastly impulses, he makes his way to Europe-where his destiny awaits in the person of a French beauty named Belle. Donna Jo Napoli once again weaves the magic she has shown in books like Crazy Jack and Zel, transforming a well-known fairy tale into an unforgettable epic of duty, love, and redemption. Robert Ramirez’s narration captures all the anguish and struggle of Orasmyn’s quest to regain his humanity.

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay | Read by Julia Whelan

Published by Tantor Media

It’s pointless. Hopeless. Even if she weren’t afraid of me, we’ll always be enemies at the core . . .

In the city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra is raised to be a human sacrifice. Her death will ensure her city’s vitality.

In the desert, a mutant beast named Gem fights to save his people, known as the Monstrous, from starvation.

Neither dreams that, together, they can return balance to their worlds. When Gem is captured for trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, he becomes a prisoner of the city. Isra enlists his help, and soon begins to care for him—and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

She’s a queen; I’m her prisoner. I am her monster and she is mine.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: May 24

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy)

I’m really enjoying Den of Wolves, but haven’t had a lot of time to read lately. I do hope to finish it soon.

First book in a series and the first time I’ve read anything by this author. I’m listening to the audiobook and am enjoying the narration and the story. I’m only about 20% into the book, but it’s good so far.

An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger (Police Procedural)

The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so.

Recently finished

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (Science Fiction, Time Travel)

Book 2 in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. I’m really enjoying these books. There are lots of twists and turns. I’m not sure if I have book 3 or not, but I’ll want to start it before long!

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

These are both ebooks and I usually only read one book at a time so I haven’t started either of these books yet. I keep hoping for some time to finish Den of Wolves so I can read at least one of these books in the next week.

I’m not sure what my next audiobook will be.

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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Sunday Post: Space Opera Week

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

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My photo gallery this week includes photos of my daughter and my pedicures plus photos of the two orchid plants I bought when we went to the plant sale last week. They’ve started blooming and are beautiful! The bouquet of flowers is from my son on Mothers Day. They are beautiful–still are even after a week!

My cats

The other photos show my three cats–Elf (the calico), Katzi (the gray) and Scorch (the part Siamese). They all have very different personalities.

Scorch loves to lay with her hind legs splayed out. Makes her look a little like a cat rug! Scorch will only sit on my lap. She runs and hides when new people come around.

Elf is always the first to sit on my lap in the mornings and can be very “in your face!” She also runs to jump on the cat tower in the morning when I open the window shade by the tower.

Katzi is regal, aloof and strong-willed. She is 15 or 16 years old. I’ve only had her about five years, but she’s a sweetheart. The shelter said she was 10+ years when we adopted her. She only has one tooth left, but insists on eating dry food. She has a strong, loud meow and piercing stare when she wants something. Each year we’ve had her she’s lost about a pound and now weighs only a little over five pounds. She had a bladder infection a couple of weeks ago and the vet said there could be other problems. She is better for now.

Outdoor concert season and lots of rain

Outdoor concerts have begun and we went to one this last week. Lots of fun. There was a food truck there plus hamburgers and brats (with sauerkraut, of course!) Lots of people were there and the band was great. It was only a high of about 60 degrees that day and had rained a lot, but that didn’t deter people from enjoying the show.

We have had lots of rain this week and the temps cooled when a cold front came through. Early in the week we had two days above 90 degrees! Our river is about a half-foot below flood stage might rise another foot or so, but only cause very minor flooding. So that’s good.

Blogging

I have more blog posts planned for next week. I hope that works out! This was Space Opera week which I didn’t discover until later in the week so I’m putting up a post about it for next week. Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern comes out this next week and I highly recommend it!

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Review: Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern
  • My favorite Space Operas
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

What I’ve read

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Some books I got recently

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Killing Gravity by Corey J. White

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

Interesting on the Internet

This last week was Space Opera week

I love the Space Opera subgenre of Science Fiction, but hadn’t realized it was Space Opera week until it was nearly past! There were some interesting lists and articles I read during the week.

Explore the Cosmos in 10 Classic Space Opera Universes by Alan Brown– from Tor.Com Blog

During the Golden Age of Science Fiction, there was a lot of concern about the amount of apparent dross being mixed in with the gold. The term “space opera” was originally coined to describe some of the more formulaic stories, a term used in the same derisive manner as “soap opera” or “horse opera.” But, like many other negative terms over the years, the term space opera has gradually taken on more positive qualities.

Mr. Brown writes about some of his favorite space opera universes including several I’ve read and loved: the Uplift Universe by David Brin, Robert Heinlein’s Juveniles and the Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

From Dark to Dark: Yes, Women Have Always Written Space Opera — from Tor.Com Blog

An article from author Judith Tarr best known for her fantasy novels. She talks about women authors who wrote space opera years ago, but who aren’t always well-known. Andre Norton is one of those authors. I read and loved her books when I was a teenager, but had no idea she was a woman until years later! Very interesting article.

10 Comics & Graphic Novels for Space Opera Fans — from B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

I don’t read many comics or graphic novels (only one or two in the last five years), but several of these really tempt me. For example, ODY-C, Volume One: Off to Far Ithicaa by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward is Homer’s Odyssey set in Space. But with mostly women characters.

All of these comics and graphic novels sound very different from each other so that’s exciting, too.

Space Opera: Making Us Immortal With One Neat Trick — from B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

This article talks about one of the tropes of space opera–the stories are on a grand scale and often span lightyears–and how some authors have accomplished this. Maybe by cloning, by traveling near the speed of light and thus aging differently or by characters in cryopreservation or some sort of hibernation.

55 Essential Space Operas from the Last 70 Years — from B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

This starts with Classic Space Opera from authors likes Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffrey and continues through to New Wave to Hits of the 80’s to British Space Opera to 21st Century Space Opera. I’ve read some of these books, but there are a lot I haven’t read and some I hadn’t even heard of! Lots to explore here.

Tales of the Rampant Coyote blog–Space Opera Week: Links to Cool Operatic Spacey Thingies!

Lots of great links to both space opera week articles and a link to a Military SF bundle deal. Plus links to video games, TV shows and a movie. Tales of the Rampant Coyote is the blog for Rampant Games an indie gaming company.

If you google Space Opera Week you’ll find lots of other great articles about space opera.

Sync Audiobooks

Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

Audiobooks available May 18 – 24

The Gathering: Shadow House Book 1 by Dan Poblocki | Read by Dan Bittner

Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Multiplatform takes on horror with a trilogy that brings Miss Peregrine to middle grade with an online Skeleton Creek twist! Come Play With Us…

Buildings have memories. Places bear scars. We’ve all had those moments–a chill in the air, a sense that something terrible once happened where we stand. But some houses are more than scary. They’re hungry.

Larkspur House has lured five kids inside, and they’re trapped. The five will have to look carefully–there are clues to the house’s secrets scattered all over the grounds, and if they can figure out the past, it might show them a way out of their terrifying present. Will they stay strong enough to discover the house’s weakness and escape? Or will the horrors of Larkspur House scare the five right out of their minds?

Each book in the series is full of creepy photos and objects that tell one story in the book, and unlock exciting, choose-your-own-adventure stories online where kids try to survive the house!

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do To Stop It by Nita Belles | Read by Nicol Zanzarella

Published by Oasis Audio

Modern slavery is happening all around you . . . and you can be part of the solution.

Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. Nor is it something that just happens to “other people,” such as runaways or the disenfranchised. Even kids in your own neighborhood can fall victim. But they don’t have to.

Through true stories and expertise from her many years of boots-on-the-ground experience, anti-trafficking expert Nita Belles teaches you everything you need to know about human trafficking in the United States, helping you identify risk factors, take practical steps to keep your loved ones and neighbors safe from predators, and recognize trafficking around you, so that you can help fight it.

Audiobooks available May 25 – 31

Freakling by Lana Krumwiede | Read by Nick Podehl

Published by Brilliance Audio

Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand. Taemon has learned to blend in, to pretend he’s just like everyone else in Deliverance. To pretend that he can’t send his mind wandering into objects and see exactly how they work. But Taemon’s brother, Yens, suspects the truth, and he’ll stop at nothing—even murder—to expose Taemon’s secret. In this thrilling dystopian novel from newcomer Lana Krumwiede, Taemon must choose between accepting his life among the freaklings or fighting for the destiny he’s never wanted?—and all that comes with it.

Boy by Anna Ziegler | Read by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz, Bobby Steggert

Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a powerful statement about sexual identity and the mystery of what makes us who we are. After a baby boy is seriously injured in an accident, a doctor persuades his parents to raise the child as a girl. As the child grows up, the child—known as Samantha and Adam at different times—faces an extraordinary challenge to carve out a place in the world.

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:

Sarah Drew as Jenny
John Getz as Dr. Wendell Barnes
Travis Johns as Doug
Amy Pietz as Trudy
Bobby Steggert as Adam Turner

Directed by Debbie Devine. Recorded in Los Angeles before a live audience at The James Bridges Theater, UCLA in July of 2016.

Boy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: May 17

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

I haven’t had a lot of time to read this past week, but I’m loving these two books when I do get a few extra minutes.

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy)

This is a wonderful series and I’m enjoying it so much. Both Blackthorn and Grim are in fine form in this book. They’ve both been through so much, but they still have compassion for other people. I also like that these books are about solving a mystery–why people are acting the way they do and what has caused it.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (Science Fiction, Time Travel)

I’m listening to the audiobook of the second book in this series after reading the first book as an ebook. I’m loving the narrator and this is another exciting book with lots of adventures.

Recently finished

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction, Space Opera)

I can’t wait (though I will have to!) for the second book in this series. Lots happening for a second book.

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

All Systems Red

by Martha Wells

The Murderbot Diaries #1

Science Fiction Novella

Synopsis: In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3

Mystery, Police Procedural

Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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Sunday Post: Mothers Day

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

Beautiful weather this week. Only one day of rain. Next week it’s supposed to be in the 80’s and even up to 90 degrees one day. With all the good weather the fence is nearly done. It’s beautiful!

Mothers Day

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I’ve had a wonderful Mothers Day weekend. One of my daughters and I spent Saturday together first going to a plant sale at the Botanical Gardens, out to lunch, coming home to plant some of the plants, then off to get a pedicure! Such a nice day! As you can see from the photos above the botanical staff has a sense of humor! While we were transplanting our plants my daughter’s dog Bailey had her first swim of the season!

Sunday we plan to just stay in since lots of people will be out and about. My husband has given me a couple of online genealogy classes which start this next week. I’m excited about those. I also got my DNA results back from Ancestry. Now I’m trying to figure them out!

Blogging

Not a lot of time on the internet this week. Good reading though.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

What I’ve read

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Dark Crimes by Michael Hambling

Some books I got recently (there was an Agatha Christie Kindle sale!)

After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

Interesting on the Internet

Sync is back! Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

Audiobooks available May 11 – 17

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes | Read by Jessica Almasy, Kevin R. Free, Marc Damon Johnson, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Melanie Martinez, Cherise Boothe

Published by Recorded Books

Acclaimed poet, novelist, journalist, and educator Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. Each of the 18 kids in Mr. Ward’s inner city classroom has something important to say, but some don’t even realize it. Then Mr. Ward begins to have “open mic” poetry slams once a month on Fridays. Young adult listeners will identify with the characters in Bronx Masquerade as they explore questions about life and self-expression. “As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they’re looking for-real characters who show them they are not alone.”-School Library Journal

Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by Radio Diaries | Read by Hosted by Joe Richman

Published by HighBridge Audio

They conduct interviews, keep audio journals, and record the sounds of daily life; usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year, edited into documentaries airing on NPR’s All Things Considered. Whether it’s the story of Amanda, a gay teen trying to understand her sexuality, or the story of Juan, who crossed the Rio Grande with his family illegally, these stories offer insight into the mysterious life of teenagers. Sixteen years later, five of those diarists return to chronicle their grown-up lives.

Audiobooks available May 18 – 24

The Gathering: Shadow House Book 1 by Dan Poblocki | Read by Dan Bittner

Published by Scholastic Audiobooks

Multiplatform takes on horror with a trilogy that brings Miss Peregrine to middle grade with an online Skeleton Creek twist! Come Play With Us…

Buildings have memories. Places bear scars. We’ve all had those moments–a chill in the air, a sense that something terrible once happened where we stand. But some houses are more than scary. They’re hungry.

Larkspur House has lured five kids inside, and they’re trapped. The five will have to look carefully–there are clues to the house’s secrets scattered all over the grounds, and if they can figure out the past, it might show them a way out of their terrifying present. Will they stay strong enough to discover the house’s weakness and escape? Or will the horrors of Larkspur House scare the five right out of their minds?

Each book in the series is full of creepy photos and objects that tell one story in the book, and unlock exciting, choose-your-own-adventure stories online where kids try to survive the house!

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do To Stop It by Nita Belles | Read by Nicol Zanzarella

Published by Oasis Audio

Modern slavery is happening all around you . . . and you can be part of the solution.

Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries. Nor is it something that just happens to “other people,” such as runaways or the disenfranchised. Even kids in your own neighborhood can fall victim. But they don’t have to.

Through true stories and expertise from her many years of boots-on-the-ground experience, anti-trafficking expert Nita Belles teaches you everything you need to know about human trafficking in the United States, helping you identify risk factors, take practical steps to keep your loved ones and neighbors safe from predators, and recognize trafficking around you, so that you can help fight it.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: May 10

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I haven’t read or blogged or commented a lot since my husband and I are building a fence in our large backyard. It’s taking a lot of time and I’m really tired when we’re not out there fence building. Today is a rainy day (we might get an inch of rain by the time the thunderstorms finish up) so I’m hoping to get caught up some on blogging.

Currently reading

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction, Space Opera)

I’m listening to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. I’m almost done and I’m loving it!

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy)

I’m still not far into this book. I decided I needed to read a mystery since I hadn’t read any in a few weeks!

Recently finished

Police procedurals are my favorite mystery subgenre right now and when I saw this series I decided I needed to try it. I enjoyed this first book, but had some reservations. I felt DCI Sophie Allen was a little too perfect as were her family. I’m hoping the next book or two will change my opinion.

Dark Crimes by Michael Hambling

DCI Sophie Allen series #1

Mystery, Police Procedural

A young woman’s body is discovered on a deserted footpath in a Dorset seaside town late on a cold November night. She has been stabbed through the heart.

It seems like a simple crime for DCI Sophie Allen and her team to solve. But not when the victim’s mother is found strangled the next morning. The case grows more complex as DCI Sophie Allen discovers that the victims had secret histories, involving violence and intimidation. There’s an obvious suspect but Detective Allen isn’t convinced. Could someone else be lurking in the shadows, someone savagely violent, looking for a warped revenge?

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

I love Martha Wells’s fantasy series–The Books of the Raksura. This sounds really different from those, but really interesting.

All Systems Red

by Martha Wells

The Murderbot Diaries #1

Science Fiction Novella

Synopsis: In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

I’ve enjoyed this series a lot and am looking forward to this one. I really like Mattie and her partner Robo.

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3

Mystery, Police Procedural

Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

I recently read the first book and it was so much fun so I’m looking forward to this second one. I have an audiobook so I hope I like the narrator.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2

Science Fiction, Time Travel

In the second book in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, withess the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.

But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary’s – an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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Sunday Post: More fence building

Sunday-Post

Kimberly hosts the Sunday Post each week. I like to take part because it gives me an opportunity to look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also love to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Home and Blog

The weather is beautiful here. A little rain earlier in the week and now lots of sun and temps in the 70’s. I don’t know if the weather or just the time of year has made my allergies go into hyper drive. I blew my nose and my eyes itched all week, but I had a couple of days with allergies all day and went through at least a box of Kleenex everyday.

Fence building

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We moved forward with our fence building this weekend. We got the rest of our lumber delivered on Friday afternoon and put in the rest of the fence posts. On Saturday my husband and I started to put in the side pieces and then even put up some of the fence slats. By Saturday evening we were really tired!

I did get a few herbs planted this week and hope to get a few more plants to plant this week.

Blogging

Not a lot of blogging. I’m hoping next week will work better.

Blog posts
Blog posts planned
  • WWW Wednesday
  • Book review
  • Sunday Post

My books

What I’m reading

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

Dark Crimes by Michael Hambling

What I’ve read

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern

Some books I got recently

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Dead Simple by Peter James

Dark Crimes by Michael Hambling

Dead Over Heels by Charlaine Harris

Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan

Interesting on the Internet

Sync is back! Every week until August 16 two young adult audiobooks are free to download. These books are young adult titles so if that’s your favorite genre check them out.

Audiobooks available during May 4 – 10:

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Read by David Aaron Baker, a Full Cast

Published by Listening Library

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon—a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world—and a smart, savage satire that will captivate listeners with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
Published by Random House Audio

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

Audiobooks available during May 11 – 17

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes | Read by Jessica Almasy, Kevin R. Free, Marc Damon Johnson, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Melanie Martinez, Cherise Boothe

Published by Recorded Books

Acclaimed poet, novelist, journalist, and educator Nikki Grimes was born and raised in New York City. Each of the 18 kids in Mr. Ward’s inner city classroom has something important to say, but some don’t even realize it. Then Mr. Ward begins to have “open mic” poetry slams once a month on Fridays. Young adult listeners will identify with the characters in Bronx Masquerade as they explore questions about life and self-expression. “As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they’re looking for-real characters who show them they are not alone.”-School Library Journal

Teenage Diaries: Then and Now by Radio Diaries | Read by Hosted by Joe Richman

Published by HighBridge Audio

They conduct interviews, keep audio journals, and record the sounds of daily life; usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year, edited into documentaries airing on NPR’s All Things Considered. Whether it’s the story of Amanda, a gay teen trying to understand her sexuality, or the story of Juan, who crossed the Rio Grande with his family illegally, these stories offer insight into the mysterious life of teenagers. Sixteen years later, five of those diarists return to chronicle their grown-up lives.

What did you do last week? What did you read? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

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WWW Wednesday: May 3

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction, Space Opera) — I’m listening to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. I’ve just started it and I’m loving it!

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy) — Another book I’ve barely started, but I loved the first two books in this series. Blackthorn and Grim are such good characters.

Recently finished

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1) Science Fiction, Time Travel — Lots of action. So fun to read.

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern (Country Club Mysteries #5) Historical Mystery, Cozy [NetGalley–publishing date, May 23] — This is one of my favorite mystery series and the series just gets better and better.

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3) Mystery, Police Procedural

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2) Science Fiction, Time Travel

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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