January 2020 books on my list

Books published in January 2020 I might read — What books have I missed?

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 as 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 might not know about!

January 1

The beginning of a new series and it’s an author I haven’t read before as well as a police procedural!

Lost Hills

by Lee Goldberg

Series: Eve Ronin #1

Published by Thomas Mercer

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

237 pages

Synopsis: A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.

Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.

January 7

I’ve read a number of books by Jenny Colgan and I really like her writing. Plus the cover is very cute!

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

by Jenny Colgan

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

368 pages

Synopsis: Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie’s dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, it wouldn’t hurt if there were more eligible bachelors.  

More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there’s no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills—or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she’s never been one for muddy rain boats—and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere—the tiny town does have one major draw: men. LOTS of them!

But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she’s not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there’s the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can’t afford to get on Harry’s bad side any more than she already has.

January 14

I liked the first book in this series a lot. Gunnie Rose is a very memorable character.

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #2

Published by Gallery / Saga Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Alternate History

304 pages

Synopsis: In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what’s inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

This is a new author to me, but it has a beautiful cover and this historical mystery series sounds really good.

The Hollows

by Jess Montgomery

Series: Kinship #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Historical Mystery (Ohio, 1926)

352 pages

Synopsis: Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.

Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths, but Lily does not believe that an old woman would wander out of the hills onto the tracks. In a county where everyone knows everyone, how can someone have disappeared, when nobody knew they were missing? As ghost stories and rumors settle into the consciousness of Moonvale Hollow, Lily tries to search for any real clues to the woman’s identity.

With the help of her friend Marvena Whitcomb, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—an asylum is northern Antioch County—and they begin to expose secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains. 

A great title and dogs and cats are in the story so this sounds like fun! But the dog mentioned in this synopsis is a bulldog and I think this is a Boston terrier? Why is he on the cover?

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets

by Annie England Noblin

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Animals

382 pages

Synopsis: Laid off, cheated on, mugged: what else can go wrong in Maeve Stephens’ life? So when she learns her birth mother has left her a house, a vintage VW Beetle, and a marauding cat, in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, she packs up to discover the truth about her past.

She arrives to the sight of a cheerful bulldog abandoned on her front porch, a reclusive but tempting author living next door, and a set of ready-made friends at the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, where women knit colorful sweaters for the dogs and cats in their care. But there’s also an undercurrent of something that doesn’t sit right with Maeve. What’s the secret (besides her!) that her mother had hidden?

January 21

I like reading books set in Montana plus this is a mystery and about a military veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The Blaze

by Chad Dundas

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

384 pages

Synopsis: One man knows the connection between two extraordinary acts of arson, fifteen years apart, in his Montana hometown–if only he could remember it.

Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father’s death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. It’s not only a blank to him, but a mystery. Why as a teen did he suddenly become sullen and vacant, abandoning the activities and people that had meant most to him? How did he, the son of hippy activists, wind up enlisting in the first place?

Then on his first night back, Matthew sees a house go up in flames, and it turns out a local college student has died inside. And this event sparks a memory of a different fire, an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew’s past that might lead to all the answers he’s been searching for. What he finds will connect the old fire and the new, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder. 

I read the first book in this series and liked it a lot plus I’ve read the Linesman series also by Dunstall which was excellent.

Stars Beyond

by S.K. Dunstall

Series: Stars Uncharted #2

Published by Ace

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: An engineer with a fondness for weapons. A captain with no memory. An obsessive genemodder who loves to tinker. Meet the crew of Another Road.

Josune, Roystan, and Nika have escaped the company thugs trying to kill them. They’ve gotten a new spaceship to replace The Road (after it was blown up underneath them). And their new ship is armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, courtesy of Josune. All that’s left to do before they head out to find the legendary lode of transurides is to restore Roystan’s memory. To do that, they need to collect the genemod machine Nika has ordered.

But first, they have to shake off the Justice Department agent and the Companies tracking them.

It should be easy. They’ve done it before. What could possibly go wrong?

January 28

My husband has read several of Eoin Colfer’s books, but I haven’t. I like that this is an adult fantasy about dragons and that it takes place in the modern world!

Highfire

by Eoin Colfer

Series: Unknown

Published by HarperCollins

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

384 pages

Synopsis: In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?

A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.

Another new author to me plus a mystery and a police procedural. Yes!

A Dredging in Swann

by Tim Garvin

Series: Seb Creek Mysteries #1

Published by Blackstone

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

304 pages

Synopsis: Two investigations start at the same time in Swann County, North Carolina, one by the FBI, the other by the sheriff. The feds want to know who stole three Stinger missiles during a helicopter crash. The sheriff wants to know who hung a black ex-con in a well.

Seb Creek, a sheriff’s detective, gets involved in both investigations and fights through lies, secrets, and murder to find the killer. The trail involves a long-ago ax murder, the ravages of combat, an outdoor gas chamber, a mystery at the bottom of a well, and finally a last killing and an ancient testament.

The dog on the cover of this book is so cute plus it’s nonfiction and it sounds heart-wrenching (Gabby is 8 years old and has never been outside??) I think I need to read this. (I am glad to see the dog on this cover seems to match Gabby as described here.)

Gabby: The Little Dog that Had to Learn to Bark

by Barby Keel

Series: None

Published by Citadel Press

Genre: Nonfiction, Animals

256 pages

Synopsis: Baby seagulls, mischievous ferrets, strutting peacocks…in the decades that Barby Keel has run her animal sanctuary in the English countryside, she has seen all manner of creatures. Thousands of cats and dogs have come through her doors and, with the aid of Barby and her dedicated staff, found loving forever homes. But Gabby, a small terrier with solemn, terrified eyes, is like no case Barby has ever encountered before.

Gabby has spent all eight years of her life indoors. She has no idea how to play with a toy or chew a treat. She has never dug in the dirt or rolled happily in the grass. Strangest of all, Gabby does not know how to bark. Barby can tell that the little golden-haired dog is bright and curious beneath her paralyzing fear, but coaxing out Gabby’s true spirit will be a daunting task.

Yet sometimes, a dog and a human fit together like two puzzle pieces, and so it is with Gabby and Barby. And Barby, who believes passionately in animals’ ability to help and heal those they love, will find her faith in Gabby repaid just when she, and her sanctuary, need it most . . .

I’m several books behind in this series, but I really like the ones I’ve read so I’d like to catch up so I can read this one!

Death Comes to the Nursery

by Catherine Lloyd

Series: Kurland St. Mary’s Mystery #7

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Delighted by the quiet uproar of raising their newborn, Lady Lucy and Major Sir Robert Kurland could not be more pleased at the prospect of welcoming another into their home. But their preparations are soon overshadowed by a baffling case of murder . . .

Once known to all in her village as the rector’s daughter, Lucy is now a mother herself—to a wonderful eighteen-month-old son, Ned. Upon discovering that she is expecting a second child, Lucy and Robert are delighted. In anticipation of the new arrival, Lucy is set on expanding her nursery staff. When Agnes, her current nurse, recommends her cousin, it seems like the perfect solution.

But trouble arrives along with the new nursery maid from London. Polly’s flirtations provoke fisticuffs in the servants’ hall and tumult in the village tavern, and on her afternoon off, she fails to return to the Kurland Estate. When a farmer finds her lifeless body in a drainage ditch, Lucy and Robert fear foul play.

This dog looks a lot like my daughter’s black lab so I had to include this book! However, the only dog mentioned in the synopsis is a poodle so who is the black lab??

Cold Nose, Warm Heart

by Mara Wells

Series: Fur Haven Dog Park #1

Published by Sourcebook Casablanca

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dogs

384 pages

Synopsis: All Caleb Donovan has to do to redeem his family name is take a rundown Miami Beach apartment building and turn it into luxury condos. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, that would also turn the local dog park into a parking lot and the neighbors aren’t having it. Caleb is faced with outright revolt, led by smart, beautiful building manager Riley Carson and her poodle, LouLou.

For Caleb, this project should have been a slam dunk. But even more challenging than the neighborhood resistance is the mutual attraction between him and Riley. It would be so much easier just to stay enemies.

What books are you excited about this month?

August 2019 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.

July 22–it’s already available in the U.S. (or August 22)

Know Your Rites by Andy Redsmith

Series: Inspector Redsmith #2

Published by Canelo

Genre: Fantasy Mystery

314 pages

Synopsis: Inspector Nick Paris is back in this magical crime mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch.

Inspector Nick Paris, now also known as ‘the one who stopped the demons’, has become an unlikely celebrity in the magical world. He is desperate to return to tackling more ordinary crimes on his home turf of Manchester.

However, the fates aren’t in his favour when he is called upon again by his more unusual police colleagues to solve a gruesome killing. The only suspect is a dwarf trying to make it in the rap business. But are there more mysterious matters afoot?

Paris is thrust back into the world of magic and murder – but who will face the music? 

August 1

Bright Shards by Meg Pechenick

Series: The Vardeshi Saga #2

Published by Sigil Press

Genre: Science Fiction

543 pages

Synopsis: Linguist Avery Alcott has spent three months proving herself to her Vardeshi companions and earning their respect. She arrives at Arkhati, the space station halfway between Earth and Vardesh Prime, eager to continue her adventure. But the next stage of her mission brings its own challenges. In the months to come, new alliances and old friendships will be tested. Avery will question her purpose and her place among the Vardeshi, and she will discover that the most memorable journeys are the ones we can’t predict. 

August 6

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness #13

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is excited when Darcy announces out of the blue that they are flying to Kenya for their extended honeymoon. It is only after they arrive that she suspects he has actually been sent there on an assignment. She tries not to be angry, because she is, after all, in a paradise!

They are picked up in Nairobi and taken to a lovely house in Happy Valley–the center of upper-class English life there. Darcy finally confides that there have been some spectacular robberies in London and Paris, and it is suspected that the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya.

Georgie is shocked at the completely decadent lifestyle that involves wild parties and rampant infidelity. One of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, makes a play for Georgie. She rebuffs him. Then he is found dead along a lonely stretch of road. At first it seems to be a lion attack. But why was he on that stretch of road, alone, late at night? It seems the Happy Valley community wants to close the case, but as Georgie and Darcy investigate, almost everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead. 

Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

Series: Harriet Gordon #1

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Singapore 1910–Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers’ Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When a second body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a complex web of stolen gemstones and a mysterious gang of thieves who have no qualms about killing again to protect their secrets. 

August 13

Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain

Series: Inspector Tom Reynolds #2

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery

347 pages

Synopsis: Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?

August 20

Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

416 pages

Synopsis: As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.

When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no idea that her research will plunge her into an intricate conspiracy, one meant to incite rebellion and invoke war. Alongside dearest childhood friend and fellow archeologist Kudshayn, must find proof of the conspiracy before it’s too late.

TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT is a delightful fantasy of manners, the heir to the award-winning Natural History of Dragons series, a perfect stepping stone into an alternate Victorian-esque fantasy landscape.

August 27

A Better Man by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #15

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

448 pages

Synopsis: It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

What books are you excited about this month?

Review: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Series: Heartstone #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Dragons

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2017

352 pages

Synopsis: A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

My thoughts

I saw this book on Goodreads and I was intrigued since I haven’t read a romantic fantasy for a while. This is the author’s debut book and it’s patterned after Pride and Prejudice. That was easy to see and for the most part I thought it worked well. I enjoyed the fantasy world created by the author.

I would have liked more backstory about this world and its creatures–about why they were together on this world. Did they all evolve there or did some of them–perhaps the humans–arrive from somewhere else? Since there are more books in this series perhaps some of these questions are answered.

I liked reading about the dragons, wyverns, gryphons, direwolves and all the other creatures in this world as well as the humans. This is a medieval type world with horses, carriages, fortresses, great estates and prominent people. Aliza Bentaine, Alastair Dared, Akarra and so many others are great fun to read about. I thought the ending was a little rushed, but it’s a satisfying ending and there are more books in the series.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Mini-Reviews: Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy by W.R. Gingell

I read the Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy in February and March and am doing mini reviews for each book. I’m also excited because this is the first time I’ve read a book by an author from Tasmania (as far as I know). I’ve always thought Tasmania sounds like such an intriguing place to visit.

twelve days of faery by w.r. gingellTwelve Days of Faery by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #1

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

150 pages

My thoughts

This is the first book I’ve read by W.R. Gingell, but it isn’t the last book by Ms. Gingell I will read. So far this year I’ve read six of her books! I really enjoy her writing.

I liked that this book turned some of the fairy tale tropes on their head. For example, a prince is cursed instead of a princess. A woman comes to save him, but maybe after the curse is gone she’s not interested in the prince, but in his father the king. This is a short book (a novella), but it’s lots of fun and filled with intrigue, magic, some romance and trips into Faery. A good start for a trilogy.

My Rating: B+

fire-in-the-blood-by-w-r-gingellFire in the Blood by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #2

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

123 pages

My thoughts

This is the second novella in this fantasy trilogy called Shards of a Broken Sword. The first two books are about different characters. They are set in the same world and both about shards from a broken sword that hold a great deal of magic. The books are short (from about 120 to 220 pages), but the stories are satisfying and complete.

This story about a prince, a dragon, a maid and a sleeping princess in a tower is humorous and exciting as the prince along with his dragon try to complete challenges in seven circles to find the princess. And there is even some romance!

My Rating: B

the first chill of autumn by w.r. gingellThe First Chill of Autumn by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #3

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

220 pages

My thoughts

I like how this ties up the loose ends in the trilogy. Each book is about different characters, but in this book all the characters are brought together by the end. I like that. There is magic galore in the book as well as dragons, royalty, enchanters and enchantresses, romances, lots of Fae! And we finally find out what the shards of the broken sword are for.

I recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings, a little romance in their stories (that doesn’t take over the story), magic, dragons, fantasy.

My Rating: B+

Trilogy Rating: B+

About the Author

W.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She loves to rewrite fairy tales with a twist or two–and a murder or three–and original fantasy where dragons, enchantresses, and other magical creatures abound. Occasionally she will also dip her toes into the waters of SciFi.

W.R. spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.

Reading Challenges

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book with a weather element in the title (The First Chill of Autumn)

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge hosted by MsNoseinaBook — Read a sequel (Fire in the Blood)

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

last-dragon-standing-by-rachel-aaronLast Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #5

Published by Aaron/Bach

Publishing date: March 1, 2018

Genre: Urban Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: There is no way to write a blurb for this final book without spoiling all of the others. Suffice it to say, mysteries resolve, dragons war, pigeons abound, and Julius must risk himself in ways he never dreamed possible as Bob’s grand plan finally comes to fruition. 

But the Great Seer of the Heartstrikers isn’t the only one whose schemes are nearing completion. The Nameless End is coming, and even the machinations of the world’s most brilliant dragon seer might not be enough to stop it. As the world comes crashing down, it’s up Julius to prove what he’s always known: that seers can be wrong, and Nice Dragons don’t always finish last.

……………….

This is the last book in the series. I love this series and am sorry to see it end, but I also respect an author who has a vision of where they want their story to go and sticks with it.

Rachel Aaron has done a great job as an author with this series, but she’s also self-published these books. One of the problems with self-publishing is often the editing of the book. From what I’ve seen these books are published every bit as professionally as a big publishing house does it.

I finished book 4 a couple of weeks ago and am all set for this last book! If you haven’t read this series and if you like fantasies I hope you will read these books. Start with book 1. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

February 2018 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.

Not too many books this month, but I think all of them will be good.

February 6

This Fallen Prey

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Casey Duncan #3

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

368 pages

Synopsis: When Casey Duncan first arrived at Rockton, the off-the-grid, isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect. There are no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. She certainly didn’t expect to become the town homicide detective. But, the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned. And she never thought that she’d have to be responsible for him.

The longer Oliver Brady stays in town, the more people seem to die around him. When evidence begins piling up that someone inside Rockton is working as his accomplice, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing. 

Into the Fire

by Elizabeth Moon

Series: Vatta’s Peace #2

Published by Del Rey

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

384 pages

Synopsis: As Admiral Kylara Vatta learned after she and a shipfull of strangers were marooned on an inhospitable arctic island, the secrets she and her makeshift crew uncovered were ones someone was ready to kill to keep hidden. Now, the existence of the mysterious arctic base has been uncovered, but much of the organization behind it still lurks in the shadows. And it is up to the intrepid Ky to force the perpetrators into the light, and finally uncover decades worth of secrets–some of which lie at the very heart of her biggest family tragedy. 

February 13

Diamond Girl

by Julie Mulhern

Series: A Country Club Short

Published by Henery Press

Genre: Historical Mystery Novella

39 pages

Synopsis: For Aggie DeLucci, former assistant private investigator and current housekeeper extraordinaire, 1975 is turning out to be a banner year. There’s a new man her life, Mac. He makes her laugh, takes her dancing, and makes a helluva salami sandwich.

When Mac is accused of theft, it’s up to Aggie to clear his name. She’ll have to polish her slightly tarnished investigative kills and tame her fears (and her hair) to catch the real thief.

February 27

Tess of the Road

by Rachel Hartman

Series: Unknown

Published by Random House for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy, Dragons

544 pages

Synopsis: In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

What February books are you excited about?

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?

Save

Save

Save

Save

No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron

no-good-dragon-goes-unpunishedNo Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron
Series: Heartstrikers #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: Heartstriker Mountain, Desert Southwest, Detroit DFZ
Published by Aaron/Bach, LLC
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: August 5, 2016)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
478 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: When Julius overthrew his mother and took control of his clan, he thought he was doing right by everyone. But sharing power isn’t part of any proper dragon’s vocabulary, and with one seat still open on the new ruling Council, all of Heartstriker is ready to do whatever it takes to get their claws on it, including killing the Nice Dragon who got them into this mess in the first place.

To keep his clan together and his skin intact, Julius is going to have to find a way to make his bloodthirsty siblings play fair. But there’s more going on in Heartstriker Mountain than politics. Every family has its secrets, but the skeletons in Bethesda’s closet are dragon sized, and with Algonquin’s war looming over them all, breaking his clan wide open might just be the only hope Julius has of saving it.

Initial impressions

  • I loved this book. One of my favorites so far this year. It’s a great addition to the series!

The story

  • The book picks up right where the last book ended. Julius beat his mother and could have killed her, but he has a vision for his clan–to live peacefully together.
  • He has created a three member council which will rule the Heartstrikers. He and his mother are two members, but they still need to vote for the third member.
  • The Heartstriker dragons have never encountered an idea like Julius’ and they don’t like it. All the Heartstriker dragons have returned to Heartstriker Mountain and most of them are ready to kill each other and/or Julius.
  • Algonquin has declared war on the dragons so the Heartstriker dragons need to present a unified front. But with so many dragons trying to kill each other and Julius is that possible?

Pluses

  • The book takes place during just a few days, but they are action-packed days.
  • So many great characters in these books–especially Bob, Amelia, Chelsie, Svena, Ghost and, of course, Marcie and Julius.
  • New characters are introduced in this book and they’re very interesting, too. I really like Raven. He’s very devious and has his own agenda.
  • The book has many twists and turns. It’s hard to see how Julius can really use democratic methods with the dragons.
  • Most of the dragons have lived for hundreds of years and they have many secrets to keep. Amelia, Bob and Chelsie all have secrets that are part of this story.
  • I like the way Rachel Aaron puts a story together. Her books are very readable and well plotted.
  • By the end of the book I’m not sure how or if everything will hold together for the Heartstrikers.
  • There will be at least one more book in this series. It’s good to know the author has things figured out for the series! Though I don’t want to see the series end.

Minuses

  • None–other than having to wait for book 4!

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I can’t wait for the next book. This is such a great series and I’m really invested in these characters.
  • The audiobook is coming out September 13 and is available now for preorder. These would be fun books to listen to in audio, I think.
  • The ebook is available on Kindle Unlimited which is great if you are a subscriber to that.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Rachel Aaron is the author of 11 novels, including the Fantasy fan favorites THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS and NICE DRAGONS FINISH LAST. She also writes romantic Science Fiction under the name Rachel Bach, starting with FORTUNE’S PAWN, a high octane romantic adventure about a powered armor mercenary who gets in way over her head, published by Orbit Books.
  • In addition to her fiction, Rachel is also known for her bestselling writing efficiency book 2K TO 10K: WRITING BETTER, WRITING FASTER, AND WRITING MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE. To learn more about Rachel and all her titles, visit http://www.rachelaaron.net!
  • Author Links
    Website: http://www.rachelaaron.net
    Twitter: @Rachel_Aaron
    Facebook: facebook.com/RachelAaronAuthor

Reading Challenges

Waiting on Wednesday: June 1

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

no-good-dragon-goes-unpunished-by-Rachel-AaronNo Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #3

Publication Date: August 5

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: When Julius overthrew his mother and took control of his clan, he thought he was doing right by everyone. But sharing power isn’t part of any proper dragon’s vocabulary, and with one seat still open on the new ruling Council, all of Heartstriker is ready to do whatever it takes to get their claws on it, including killing the Nice Dragon who got them into this mess in the first place.

To keep his clan together and his skin intact, Julius is going to have to find a way to make his bloodthirsty siblings play fair. But there’s more going on in Heartstriker Mountain than politics. Every family has its secrets, but the skeletons in Bethesda’s closet are dragon sized, and with Algonquin’s war looming over them all, breaking his clan wide open might just be the only hope Julius has of saving it.

……………………………..

Why this book sounds good:
  • I love this series
  • I love the world Rachel Aaron has created. The dragons are especially fun to read about–especially Bob. And Julius, of course.
  • I really want to know what happens next with Julius, Marci, Bob.
  • I like that Rachel Aaron also writes science fiction as Rachel Bach. The Paradox series was so much fun to read!

Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

one-good-dragon-deserves-anotherOne Good Dragon Deserves Another
by Rachel Aaron
Series: Heartstrikers #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: Detroit DFZ, New Mexico and a few other places
Published by Aaron/Bach LLC, 2015
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: August 1, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
404 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one, and now that he’s got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker’s gamble to put her clan on top.

Refusal to play along with his mother’s plans means death, but there’s more going on than even Bethesda knows, and with Estella back in the game with a vengeance, Heartstriker futures disappearing, and Algonquin’s dragon hunter closing in, the stakes are higher than even a seer can calculate. But when his most powerful family members start dropping like flies, it falls to Julius to defend the clan that never respected him and prove that, sometimes, the world’s worst dragon is the best one to have on your side.

Cheers

  • I was so excited when the author’s husband sent an email and asked if I would like an e-Arc! That was a no brainer. 🙂
  • Second in a self-published urban fantasy series. The first book in the series was one of my favorite books of 2014.
  • This book lived up to the first book. I love it! We find out more about dragons and especially the Heartstrikers.
  • I like the world she has built. We learn more about it in this book and it’s very interesting.
  • I like the work Julius and Marci have created for themselves. We see them doing magical animal removal in the DFZ in the first part of the book. They’ve started their own business and Julius is so happy about it. Then his mother, Bethesda visits . . . .
  • Bethesda is a very scary dragon. She has lots of children which makes her somewhat different from other dragons. She has had 10 clutches so far. Because she has so many children she’s a little careless with them!
  • I love the Heartstriker dragons’ origins–Quetzalcoatl was Bethesda’s father. So she and her children are feathered serpents.
  • The dragons are fun to read about. Each dragon has so much character and are unique. Except for their arrogance and aggressiveness which all dragons except Julius seem to have.
  • We get more Bob (Brohomir) in this book! He’s a dragon seer!
  • Amelia is a dragon we didn’t meet in the first book. She’s the only dragon still alive from Bethesda’s first clutch. Amelia is the heir to the Heartstrikers, the Planeswalker, Clan Magus and Consort to the Concept of Mountains! Bethesda doesn’t want Amelia around since she doesn’t trust anyone. After all, Bethesda killed her own father to inherit everything.
  • I love Marci. She’s smart, funny, loyal, very enthusiastic(!) and a great friend. I also like Ghost who is bound to her. He’s a very interesting character who becomes even more interesting in this book.
  • Julius and Marci are very cute together. They like each other, but don’t know quite what to do with that.
  • I really like the story in this book. There are twists and turns, but Julius stays true to himself.

Jeers

  • None! I love this book.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • The book ends with the problems of this book wrapped up, but with more problems for more books! I’m really glad about that and happy to read at the end that Ms. Aaron hopes to have the third book published in early 2016.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Rachel Aaron was born and raised in Atlanta, but currently lives a lovely, nerdy, bookish life in Athens, GA with her faster-than-the-speed-of-light son, perpetually understanding husband, and fat weiner dog. She writes full time, all the time, but when her family can drag her away from her own books, she loves reading fantasy (urban and traditional), Romance (paranormal and Regency), and Science Fiction (all kinds). She also enjoys video games, Minecraft, anime, manga, hanging out at conventions, and overdone, epic things.
  • She has also written a productivity book–2 k to 10k and The Legend of Eli Monpress fantasy series and the Paradox Science Fiction trilogy under the name Rachel Bach.

Reading Challenges