Aug-Sep 2018 Wrap-Up

I’ve decided to do a monthly wrap-up post each month to see how I’m doing on my blog and what’s going on in my personal life. I plan to link-up to a couple of blogs that host wrap-ups and reviews of their months. The Month in Review is hosted at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Personal life

Yard & Garden

August was dry and September got rain. The grass had turned brown and now everything is green again! We have a few autumn flowers blooming.

Family

I was gone for most of the month of August visiting my daughters in Indiana and Illinois. During the time in Indiana we helped our daughter move into her house and helped her build a fence around her backyard so her dogs could roam without being on a leash. They love it.

I spent the month of September back home in Iowa. So nice to be home snuggling with my cats! The weather is cooler and I love that, too. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.

Blog life

I reviewed quite a few books in August, but only two in September. I hope to get more reviews done in October. I do have a few in the works. I read lots of good books in August and September and hope that trend continues!

I’m also trying to get more posts scheduled since the last months of the year are always busy for me. I also am trying to catch up on visiting other blogs and seeing what everyone is up to this fall.

Books read during August

Books read during September

Books reviewed

Reviews

Modern Crimes by Chris Nickson (ebook, purchased) — B+

Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman (audiobook, library) — B+

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (hardcover, library) — A-

Spindle by W.R. Gingell (ebook, purchased) — B+

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf (audiobook, library) — B+

Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger (audiobook, library) — B+

Confluence by S.K. Dunstall (ebook, purchased) — B+

Between Jobs by W.R. Gingell (ebook, purchased) — B+

Mini Reviews

Diamond Girl by Julie Mulhern (ebook, purchased) — B

My Challenges update

I’m doing well with my Goodreads Challenge. However, I need to work a little lot more on the other challenges!

Goodreads Challenge

Goal–90 books read

By the end of September I’ve read 75 books toward my goal. I am 8 books ahead of schedule!

Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge

Goal–read 26-35 mysteries 

I’ve read 39 mysteries so far and have reviewed 16 of those mysteries.

Discussion Challenge

Goal — 1 -10 discussion posts

I haven’t written any discussion posts yet. I finally have some reviews written so I can focus more on discussions and hope to get one or two done in October!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Goal — 40 prompts to the challenge

I’ve read 14 books which match prompts

Swords & Stars Reading Challenge

Goal — 20 prompts for the challenge

I’ve read and reviewed 8 books which match this challenge

What were August and September like for you?

Sunday Post: I’m back again!

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

My husband and I drove to Indiana this last week where one of our daughter’s has moved. She sold her house in Iowa at the end of June (on the first day it was listed for sale!) so she bought a house in Indiana and signed the paperwork for it this week. My husband and I brought some of the things she had left at our house (including her two Labrador Retrievers!). Bailey and Juneau were so happy to see her!

Once the house was hers we painted her bedrooms, a hallway and living room. She wanted to get them painted before her household goods get delivered (next Thursday or Friday). I’m going to stay here in Indiana through next weekend and then meet up with my husband in eastern Iowa where he is working to get a house ready to sell.

Television

I didn’t watch any television this last week since my daughter didn’t get her internet connected until late in the week plus she doesn’t have a TV since her household goods aren’t here yet.

Blog

I haven’t done a Sunday Post for several months. I struggled earlier this year to get blog posts (especially reviews) written. I think I’m getting a handle on my review books so I’m happy about that. I’ve started just writing a few sentences for some of the books I read. So far that seems to work okay.

Since I’m travelling sometime next weekend I’m not sure I will get to do a Sunday Post and then the next week I won’t have internet for part of the week. I’m going to try to have some posts scheduled.

Last week
Next week
  • Tell Me Something Tuesday
  • Can’t-Wait Wednesday
  • Review: Spindle by W.R. Gingell
  • Review: Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Sunday Post (tentative since this is a travel day for me)

My books

What I’m reading
  • Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany
  • Blackfoot by W.R. Gingell
  • Black Velvet by Steven Henry
What I read last week
  • Gun Shy by Donna Ball
  • Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Blood Hollow by William Kent Kreuger
Books I got this week

Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

Black Velvet by Steven Henry

Drifters’ Alliance, Book 1 by Elle Casey

The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey

What did you do last week?

August 2017 books on my list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of asbooks-on-my-list the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I missed.

August 1

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness #11

Published by Berkley Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

320 pages

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. 

August 8

Among the Dead

by J.R. Backlund

Series: Rachel Carver Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Former North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent Rachel Carver blames herself for the collateral death of an innocent woman in her last case. Unable to accept her superior’s attempts to cover up the incident, she turned in her badge. But when a former partner asks her to consult on a new murder case, she reluctantly agrees, traveling to a small, remote mountain community, where she’s tasked with leading a group of inexperienced detectives on a hunt for the killer. The trek has hardly begun when what seems to be the act of a loner proves to be much more as Rachel’s team comes under attack―and a detective is killed in the fallout.

Now that the stakes have risen, Rachel’s old employers at the SBI step in to take over the investigation. But Rachel, convinced they are on the wrong track, continues to work the case alone. And just as she delves into the town’s past, she discovers a secret history that connects the victims―one that makes her the target of a man who would kill to keep it a secret―in Among the Dead, J. R. Backlund’s gripping mystery debut.

Hunting Hour

by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

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.

Dead Man’s Bridge

by Robert J. Mrazek

Series: Jake Cantrell Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery

288 pages

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.

Dead Stop

by Barbara Nickless

Series: Sydney Rose Parnell #2

Published by Thomas & Mercer

Genre: Mystery

398 pages

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. 

August 15

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion

by Margaret Killjoy

Series: Danielle Cain #1

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy Novella

112 pages

Synopsis: Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town’s residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner.

Danielle shows up in time to witness the spirit—a blood-red, three-antlered deer—begin to turn on its summoners. Danielle and her new friends have to act fast if they’re going to save the town—or get out alive. 

August 22

A Red Peace

by Spencer Ellsworth

Series: Starfire #1

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

232 pages

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.

August 29

Dark River Rising

by Roger Johns

Series: Unknown

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: A tense and expertly-plotted debut mystery set against the bayous of Louisiana.

Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman has had better days. With her long-time partner and mentor on medical leave and a personal life in shambles, she’s called to the scene of a particularly gruesome murder: the body of a known criminal has been found in a deserted warehouse, a snake sewn into his belly. Obvious signs of torture point to a cunning and cold-blooded killer who will stop at nothing to find what he’s looking for.

When Federal Agent Mason Cunningham arrives on the scene, Wallace expects a hostile takeover of the case. But when a scientist with ties to the victim goes missing from a government lab, she needs Mason’s federal connections as much as he needs her local insight, and the two form an uneasy partnership to solve a case that grows more complicated—and dangerous—by the minute.

Meanwhile, the killer lurks in the shadows with an agenda no one saw coming, and when Wallace and Mason threaten to get in the way they risk losing everything they hold dear. Including their lives. 

Death by His Grace

by Kwei Quartrey

Series: Darko Dawson #5

Published by Soho Crime

Genre: Mystery

272 pages

Synopsis: Accra, Ghana: Katherine Yeboah’s marriage to Solomon Vanderpuye is all the talk of Accra high society. But when it becomes apparent that Katherine is infertile, Solomon’s extended family accuses her of being a witch, hounding her until the relationship is so soured Solomon feels compelled to order Katherine out of the house they shared. Alone on her last night there, Katherine is brutally murdered by an intruder.

Chief Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghanaian federal police has personal as well as professional reasons to find the killer fast: Katherine was the first cousin of his wife, Christine, who is devastated by the tragedy. As Darko investigates, he discovers that many people close to Katherine had powerful motives to kill her, including: Solomon, her husband; James Bentsi-Enchill, her lawyer and ex-lover; and her filthy rich pastor, Bishop Clem Howard-Mills. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana—and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up. 

What books are you excited about this month?