Connect 5 Friday: Five books I want to read before the end of the year

Five books from my TBR to read in 2020 I hope will make me happy

Connect Five Friday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. (The hashtag is #connect5books). This is a fun and creative way to think about my books and reading. Check out Kathyrn’s blog and link up your Friday Five!

The five book-related items need to connect in some way, but each person who participates can decide for themselves what the book subject and connection is. For example, you could write about five books read last year or five books you want to read. It could even be favorite bookstores or five movies made from books.

………………………..

This week I’m talking about the five books I want to make sure I’ve read by the end of 2020. These are all books which have a good possibility to make me happy–and that’s what I’ve wanted with most of my books this year.

Night Shift Dragons by Rachel Aaron

I’ve read all the Heartstriker series–the previous series Rachel Aaron wrote. This DFZ series is set in that same world.

I like how original Rachel Aaron is with her dragons and with the world building in these books.

The Green Man’s Foe by Juliet E. McKenna

This is not horror (though the cover looks like it)! I read the first book in this series and really liked it.

Ms. McKenna shows a conception of fantasy in the United Kingdom I would love to see!

Dead Blow by Lisa Preston

This is the second Horseshoer mystery. I’d never read a book about a female Horse Shoer!

That was the first thing which attracted me to this series. Then I discovered the series takes place in Oregon in the area I grew up. And it’s a mystery with horses and a dog and some romance. All things I liked in the first series.

Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall

I like S.K. Dunstall’s science fiction space opera. She writes really interesting characters and exciting stories.

I have an audiobook version of this book and look forward to listening to it.

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

I’ve read several of Lucy Dillon’s books. Her books are a joy to read.

I love the way she writes about dogs, women’s friendships and that her books have some romance in them.

Have you read any of these books? How did you like them? What books are you interested in reading before the end of the year?

November 2019 books on my list

Books published in November 2019 I might read — What 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!

November 5

Science fiction, space opera, military SF, short stories by authors such as Becky Chambers, Tanya Huff and Robert Heinlein. Yes!

Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers

Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Series: None

Published by Titan Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Military SF, Short Stories

600 pages

Synopsis: Continuing the definitive space opera anthology series. Today’s most popular writers produce new stories
set in their most famous universes, alongside essential and seminal short fiction from past masters.


The follow-up to the critically acclaimed INFINITE STARS anthology, INFINITE STARS: DARK FRONTIERS continues to present today’s finest science fiction authors writing new stories set in their most famous worlds. With a new introduction and a short story by David Weber, the authors include Becky Chambers (Wayfarers), Curtis C. Chen (Kangaroo), Orson Scott Card (Ender), Susan R. Matthews, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (Dream Park), Tanya Huff (Confederation), Jack Campbell (Lost Fleet) and many more. All new stories are exclusive to this volume for 18 months. The unparalleled collection also offers masterpieces by famous writing legends including Arthur C. Clarke, E.E. “Doc” Smith, C.L. Moore, and Robert Heinlein. 

I liked the first book in this series about a retired Army MP and her bomb sniffing dog so I’m looking forward to this one and I love the cover.

Blind Search

by Paula Munier

Series: Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: It’s October, hunting season in the Green Mountains—and the Vermont wilderness has never been more beautiful or more dangerous. Especially for nine-year-old Henry, who’s lost in the woods. Again. Only this time he sees something terrible. When a young woman is found shot through the heart with a fatal arrow, Mercy thinks that something is murder. But Henry, a math genius whose autism often silences him when he should speak up most, is not talking.

Now there’s a murderer hiding among the hunters in the forest—and Mercy and Elvis must team up with their crime-solving friends, game warden Troy Warner and search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear, to find the killer—before the killer finds Henry. When an early season blizzard hits the mountains, cutting them off from the rest of the world, the race is on to solve the crime, apprehend the murderer, and keep the boy safe until the snowplows get through.

Inspired by the true search-and-rescue case of an autistic boy who got lost in the Vermont wilderness, Paula Munier’s mystery is a compelling roller coaster ride through the worst of winter—and human nature.

I haven’t read the first book in the series, but this historical mystery sounds good and I like the cover!

Tell Me No Lies

by Shelley Noble

Series: Lady Dunbridge Mystery#2

Published by Forge

Genre: Historical Mystery

368 pages

Synopsis: Rise and shine, Countess, you’re about to have a visitor.

Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She’s come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement—and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon.

His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond.

With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige. 

The first book in this series was one of my favorites of 2018. Rainy is a great character and I love that she’s a horseshoer!

Dead Blow

by Lisa Preston

Series: Rainy Dale Horseshoer Mystery#2

Published by Arcade Crimewise

Genre: Mystery

264 pages

Synopsis: A dead blow hammer leaves little to no mark on the surface it strikes. It’s not a shoer’s tool, but horseshoer Rainy Dale knows them and knows there are more questions than answers about how her new client became a widow. The old woman says there was hardly a bruise on her dead husband. Why was he driving his tractor so dangerously near the killer bull? How long did it take him to die after the machine rolled and pinned him? The whole town seems aware of the dead man’s wandering eye. Did the widow know? It all happened just before Rainy came to town, about the time that her fiancé, Guy, volunteered with his buddy to help search for a young woman who went missing from Cowdry, Oregon. Rainy is supposed to be making wedding plans and friends, but she can’t help being drawn into the town’s old intrigues.

Once again, Rainy will have to dig deep and use all the tools in her box to both defend herself and the people she’s just learning to love. 

November 12

I love a book with a dog on the cover! And this sounds really good.

The Dog I Loved

by Susan Wilson

Series: Unknown

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Fiction

368 pages

Synopsis: After spending years in prison for a crime she didn’t intend to commit, Rose Collins is suddenly free. Someone who knows about the good work she has done—training therapy dogs while serving time—has arranged for her early release. This mysterious benefactor has even set her up with a job in the coastal Massachusetts community of Gloucester, on the edge of Dogtown, a place of legend and, for the first time since Rosie’s whole world came crashing down, hope. There she works to rebuild her life with the help of Shadow, a stray dog who appears one rainy night and refuses to leave Rose’s side.

Meghan Custer is a wheelchair-bound war veteran who used to be hopeless, too. Living at home with her devoted but stifling parents felt a lot like being in prison, in fact. But ever since she was matched with a service dog named Shark, who was trained in a puppy-to-prisoner rehabilitation program, Meghan has a brand new outlook. Finally, she can live on her own. Go to work. And maybe, with Shark by her side, even find love again.

Two strong women on a journey toward independence whose paths collide in extraordinary ways. Two dogs who somehow manage to save them both. A tale of survival and a testament to the human spirit, The Dog I Loved is an emotional and inspiring novel that no reader will soon forget. 

November 14

An interesting sounding science fiction and a great cover!

Body Tourists

by Jane Rogers

Series: Unknown

Published by Sceptre

Genre: Science Fiction

240 pages

Synopsis: In this version of London, there is a small, private clinic. Behind its layers of security, procedures are taking place on poor, robust teenagers from northern Estates in exchange for thousands of pounds – procedures that will bring the wealthy dead back to life in these young supple bodies for fourteen days.

It’s an opportunity for wrongs to be righted, for fathers to meet grandsons, for scientists to see their work completed. Old wine in new bottles.

But at what cost?

What books are you excited about this month?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Dead Blow by Lisa Preston

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. So I have a while to wait!

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 . . .

Dead Blow by Lisa Preston

Series: Horseshoer Mystery #2

Published by Skyhorse

Publishing date: November 5

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: A dead blow hammer leaves little to no mark on the surface it strikes. It’s not a shoer’s tool, but horseshoer Rainy Dale knows them and knows there are more questions than answers about how her new client became a widow. The old woman says there was hardly a bruise on her dead husband. Why was he driving his tractor so dangerously near the killer bull? How long did it take him to die after the machine rolled and pinned him? The whole town seems aware of the dead man’s wandering eye. Did the widow know? It all happened just before Rainy came to town, about the time that her fiancé, Guy, volunteered with his buddy to help search for a young woman who went missing from Cowdry, Oregon. Rainy is supposed to be making wedding plans and friends, but she can’t help being drawn into the town’s old intrigues.

Once again, Rainy will have to dig deep and use all the tools in her box to both defend herself and the people she’s just learning to love. 

……………………..

I read the first book in this series last year and liked it a lot. I haven’t read a book with a horseshoer as the main character. I’m looking forward to learning more about Rainy as well as reading a good mystery.

Review: The Clincher by Lisa Preston

The Clincher by Lisa Preston

Series: Horseshoer Mystery #1

Genre:  Mystery

Setting: Central Oregon, United States

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: November 2018

288 pages

Synopsis: Clinching is the technique used to bend a driven horseshoe nail to hold the shoe to a hoof. Rainy Dale is The Clincher, a twenty-something high school-dropout turned farrier (horseshoer) who is haunted by a secret she carries. Estranged from her California d-list actress momma and her ranch hand Texas daddy, she tracked down her childhood horse in small-town Oregon–a land full of cowboys and their horses–then stayed to build a life with her tools, steel, and forge. She’s sleeping in a garage and trying not to fall for her landlord, the hapless and hopeful chef, Guy, who is determined to create the perfect souffle while Rainy would prefer to just stuff her mouth with fuel for her physically demanding job. As the new kid in town, Rainy has an uphill battle to prove herself, especially to her male clients, but when one of her clients turns up dead, Rainy is in over her head as both a suspect and a seeker of the truth. The Clincher is the first in a series of horseshoer mysteries featuring the irrepressible, irreverent, and irresistible Rainy Dale and her loveable and unlikely side-kick (her culinarily inclined boyfriend, Guy).

My thoughts

Such a good book! I really enjoyed Rainy Dale. She has a strong voice plus I’m not sure I’ve read any books about farriers (horseshoers) before. I learned all sorts of things about horses and shoeing. The cover was what first attracted my attention to this book and then that it was also a mystery. When I read a little of the synopsis and realized it took place somewhere in Central Oregon (where I grew up) this looked like a match for me! And it was.

A good mystery

The mystery is good, the characters–especially Rainy and her chef boyfriend Guy–are so fun to read about. I sometimes felt sorry for Guy who is such a good person. He has trouble understanding Rainy who is complicated and troubled. She hasn’t had the easiest childhood since she was shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents (a Hollywood actress and a truck driver ranch hand). She’s trying to be a better person and has many internal dialogues with herself! I sometimes felt like I was eavesdropping…lol.

Rainy is a suspect when one of her clients is found dead. Rainy is the last person known to see her. Rainy feels guilty about the fact the woman invited her for a talk and a drink after Rainy finishes the horseshoe job. Rainy turned her down because she found the woman irritating. In hindsight Rainy realizes the woman was nervous.

A horse and dog? Oh yes!

Rainy’s horse, Red, and Australian shepherd dog, Charlie, are fun to read about. Charlie herds Guy’s goslings and the search Rainy made to find her childhood horse Red help make the book special. The author knows a lot about horses and dogs which I appreciate.

I’m so glad the second book in the series–Dead Blow is set to publish in 2019.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?