Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

Tressa at Wishful Endings hosts Can’t-Wait Wednesday. 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 . . .

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness #13

Publishing date: August 6

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. 

…………………………………………

One of my favorite series. So happy there are more books in this series!

Thoughts about books I’ve read–Jan 2018

I’m trying something a little different for some of my reviews this year. I’ve only done a few stand-alone reviews so far this year so I’m going to do a post about the books I read each month, I will list all the books I read (in this case January 2018) and write a few sentences about each one and give a link to the review if I’ve already reviewed the book. I really want to get my reviews under control.

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #5.5

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Novella

Source: Ebook, purchased

129 pages

My Rating: B+

Reviewed: April 19

Bottom Line: A quick read, but a satisfying story. Great for Peter Grant fans.

;The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy #1

Genre: Historical Fantasy, FairyTale Retelling

Source: Audiobook, library (11 hours, 48 minutes)

Narrator: Kathleen Gati

346 Pages

My thoughts

I listened to the audiobook and loved the narrator. She does a really good job with this historical fantasy. I think this is a good book to listen to since it’s a fairy tale retelling and I think fairy tales are great to read aloud. It reminded me of when my mother would read fairy tales to me when I was a child–especially ones like “East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon.”

The story kept me guessing about how it would end especially since fairy tales told by Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm do not always end well for the main characters. The setting is in a fantasy medieval Russia–very exotic. This has so many fairy tale images–a stepmother and stepsisters, a nanny who tells the old stories of magic and spirits and how the smart people honor these spirits. Vasilisa loves the old stories and follows her nanny’s teachings which puts her in opposition to her stepmother. A wonderful story with memorable characters . . . a true tribute to fairy tales.

My Rating: A

Narrator Rating: A

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna RaybournA Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Series: Veronica Speedwell #2

Genre: Historical Mystery

Source: Ebook, library

338 Pages

My thoughts

I read the first book in the series when it came out. I’ve read a number of Deanna Raybourn books through the years and enjoyed them. I liked the first book in the series more than this one–maybe the setting seemed newer to me in the first book. However, that may have more to do with me and my mood when I read this one. I do like the main characters–Veronica Speedwell and Stoker. (The books remind me a little of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books when she writes books set in the 1800s using the pseudonym Amanda Quick.)

This is quick, fun, light reading. However, I’m not sure I’ll read the next book  since this didn’t holding my interest as much as the first book.

My Rating: B-

Evan Help Us by Rhys BowenEvan Help Us by Rhys Bowen

Series: Constable Evans #2

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Source: Audiobook, purchased (6 hours, 52 minutes)

Narrated by Roger Clark

223 Pages

My thoughts

This is a series Rhys Bowen wrote before her Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness series. I love the setting in Wales and Evan Evans is a very fun character. (He reminds me of Hamish in the Hamish MacBeth series by M.C Beaton.)

I like the cover of this book since the story is about someone in the village finding ruins. The villagers immediately begin thinking the ruins must be a castle and that it will put the village on the map. They even think about renaming their village! Then the person who found the ruins is murdered. Does his murder have something to do with the discovery of the ruins?

I listened to the first book in the series last December and I really like this series. In my genealogy research it looks like some of my ancestors came from Wales to the United States in the 1700s. I have someone in my family tree named “Ellis Ellis!” So that makes me love the Welsh setting even more! I also like how Ms. Bowen shows that the villagers don’t like incomers–especially from England. If the villagers are speaking English they quickly switch to Welsh! It’s these little touches which make me like this series.

My Rating: B

Narrator Rating: B

Summon the Keeper by Tanya HuffSummon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Series: Keeper Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

366 pages

My Rating: B-

Reviewed: April 17

Bottom Line: This was fun, but a little too cute. Not my favorite Tanya Huff book.

A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel AaronA Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #4

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Source: Ebook, Kindle Unlimited

525 Pages

My thoughts

One of my favorite series and now there’s only one more book before the series ends. That makes me sad since I love the characters and feel the world building is excellent. However, I’m glad when an author decides a series is finished and ends it so they can move on to other stories they want to tell.

A Dragon of a Different Color really moved the story along and I can see an ending in sight! It seems things just keep getting worse and worse for Julian and the Heartstrikers. Lots of things he thought he knew and understood are in doubt–including who he can trust. Julius has gone through so much, lost so much and in this book there is more to come.

The arrival of the dragons of China is very dramatic and it doesn’t look good for the Heartstrikers. It’s hard for Julius to show much interest in what’s happening, but he has to continue to step up. And, of course, all is not as it seems. If you haven’t read the books before this one you really need to read them before you read this one. And I do recommend you read this series especially if you like fantasy, urban fantasy, good world building, dragons and good story telling!

My Rating: B+

Starman Jones by Robert A Heinlein

Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein

Series: None

Genre: Science Fiction

Source: Audiobook, purchased

272 pages

My Rating: A-

Reviewed: March 30

Bottom Line: One of Heinlein’s Juvenile series and a good science fiction adventure story.

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Does this format I’m trying out work for you to show my mini reviews as well as links to my reviews.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

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 . . .

four-funerals-and-maybe-a-wedding-by-rhys-bowenFour Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness #12

Published by Berkley

Publishing date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Historical Mystery (1930’s England)

304 pages

Synopsis: Georgie is finally able to plan for her wedding in the summer. It is going to be a summer of weddings: her mother is marrying Max, her German beau; Georgie’s grandfather is marrying his next door neighbor, Mrs. Huggins; and Darcy’s father is getting up the courage to ask the princess to marry him. Georgie is staying at the princess’s London house when she receives a letter from one of her mother’s former husbands, Sir Hubert Anstruther. Georgie is now his sole heir, and he’s offering her the use of his lovely country house. He suggests she move in right away to keep an eye on the place because all might not be well since his butler died.

Georgie talks this through with her husband-to-be, Darcy, who is off to Europe again, this time to Berlin. They decide that she will take Sir Hubert up on his offer. However, when Georgie arrives, it becomes clear that she is definitely not wanted in the house. Strange things are happening, including a lively ghost and a less than friendly reception from the new butler. When a body shows up, Georgie realizes that Sir Hubert’s invitation may not have been entirely altruistic and begins to wonder if she’ll even make it to her wedding day. 

………………………..

This is one of my favorite light historical mystery series. Georgie is a fun character and I really enjoy the history of the 1930’s in England and the rest of Europe. I also like the fact that Georgie has matured a lot as the books have gone by. She’s finally getting closer to getting married to Darcy which I will enjoy seeing happen.

WWW Wednesday: June 14

This meme is hosted by Sam @ 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 reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

queen-of-hearts-rhys-bowen

I’m enjoying this book a lot. I’m about half way through–mostly listening to it on my way to and from physical therapy. That gives me about an hour of listening time twice a week.

They’ve crossed the Atlantic and gone across the U.S. by train. They’re in Hollywood now and hearing about Hollywood in the 30’s is lots of fun. Charlie Chaplin makes an appearance as well as other Hollywood types–the leading man heart-throb, the aging, fading silent film actress trying to make it in “talkies” and the all-powerful movie mogul.

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness #8

Historical Mystery–1930’s Great Britain and the United States

 

but-for-the-grace-peter-grainger

I ‘m close to half way through this book, too, and it’s good. 

Did someone help Joan Riley die? Was it at her request or not? 

But for the Grace by Peter Grainger (Police Procedural)

DC Smith #2

 

Dead Simple by Peter James

I started Dead Simple by Peter James, but had to stop reading it. It was too depressing. I read about 20% of the book and just couldn’t take it anymore.

The detective is depressed and the events which lead to a bachelor party going wrong are just awful. Practical jokes, greed, accidents and depression just don’t make for a happy mix. At least for me.

I’ve decided this isn’t the book, series or author for me.

 Recently finished

Lots of twists and turns in this one! Such a good series and I’ve already bought book 4. I’ll give myself some time to enjoy thoughts about this book…but I can’t wait too long!

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #3

Science Fiction, Time Travel

 

 

Reading next (maybe–I’m a mood reader!)

delivering-the-truth-edith-maxwell

A historical mystery (set in 1888 Massachusetts) and about a Quaker midwife! The second book in the series came out this spring.

Delivering the Truth

by Edith Maxwell

Historical Mystery

Quaker Midwife #1

 

 

 

river-of-teeth-sarah-gailey

A story about hippopotamuses in the marshlands of Louisiana is just too fantastic! But the U.S. government was actually going to import hippopotamuses….

River of Teeth

by Sarah Gailey

River of Teeth #1

Science Fiction/Alternate History

 

 

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

August books on my radar . . .

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times by a new author I might try.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too!

Note: This post is almost a week late. I had it almost complete last week before I traveled to Iowa, but lost the post. 😦

Then we left for the North Woods of Wisconsin for a wonderful long weekend, but we didn’t have internet access plus we were all too busy to spend time on the internet. 🙂

July 29

I thought this book came out in August so I missed it in my July list. However, I’ve already bought the book. Ilona Andrews is an auto-buy author for me and I love this series. I’m saving the book for a few days so I can savor it.

magicbreaksMagic Breaks

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels series #7

Published by Ace Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

381 pages

Synopsis: As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

August 5

This sounds very good. And it’s the first in the series. That’s always nice!

dust-and-lightDust and Light

by Carol Berg

Series: The Sanctuary Duet #1

Published by Roc Trade

Genre: Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….

Unlike Dust and Light (see above) this is book 2 of a series I haven’t started yet, but I’ve heard great things. Book 1–Masks–came out last August.

shadows03Shadows

by E. C. Blake

Series: Masks of Aygrima #2

Published by DAW Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: In Masks, Mara Holdfast’s life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: a quiet, ordered life in the capital, making Masks with her father and doing work important to the ruling Autarch. But when her Mask, specially made by her own father, cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she once knew. Soon, she becomes part of an underground rebellion, rejecting the unjust rules of a Masked society and uncovering a horrifying plot of mind control over the entire population of the empire.

In a moment of crisis, Mara finds herself possessed of a volatile magical power that neither she nor any of her allies can truly control. In Shadow, Mara faces terrifying new challenges and dangers as she struggles to understand her unprecedented ability to use all types of magic—and to tear magic from the living bodies of those around her. With the arrival of Chell, a young man from across the sea, the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima begins to make itself felt. Then an act of brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness…and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be….

I enjoy this historical mystery series. It takes place in 1930’s Great Britain. The mysteries are fairly light-hearted and Georgiana is a fun heroine.  However, I’m not up-to-date with this series yet. 😦 So I will wait to read this one until I get caught up!

queen-of-heartsQueen of Hearts

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness #8

Published by Berkley Hardcover

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal—but now she’s off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene …

My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.

Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.

Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!

Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…

August 12

I bought the first book in this series. It sounds like a good new urban fantasy series and I plan to read Dirty Magic (book one) this month.

cursed-moonCursed Moon

by Jaye Wells

Series: Prospero Wars #2

Published by Orbit

Genre: Urban Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone’s emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate who’s wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.

August 14

I still need to read book 1–Between the Devil and the Deep Blue. They both sound good and I love the names.

betwwen-the-spark-and-burnBetween the Spark and the Burn

by April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: Between #2

Published by Dial

Genre: Gothic Horror, Romance, Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it’s easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he’d done both to me.

The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .

August 26

John Scalzi is already one of my favorite authors even though I read my first book by him in 2014. Every book I’ve read by him since then has been great!

lock-inLock In

by John Scalzi

Series: None

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

320 pages

Synopsis: Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

One per cent doesn’t seem like a lot. But in the United States, that’s 1.7 million people “locked in”…including the President’s wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse….

This sounds like a good start for a new series.

storm-sirenStorm Siren

by Mary Weber

Series: Storm Siren #1

Published by Thomas Nelson / Harper Collins

Genre: Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: “I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

 

The books I plan to buy this month:

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Dust and Light by Carol Berg

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Lock In by John Scalzi

What new releases are you planning to buy this month?

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2013 TBR list!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly Meme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish Blog

When I looked over the list of books I want to buy and read this spring I had a hard time coming up with ten books! Many of the books on my list are hardcover editions and even as e-books they are $10 or more. I only buy a few of these books each year. Usually I will wait until they come out in paperback and hope that the e-book version is also reduced. It is frustrating when the paper version of the book is less than the electronic version, but this happens quite often. It has to be a favorite author before I spend that much money.

1. Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson series) by Patricia Briggs–This is my most anticipated book of the spring. I haven’t bought it yet, but will probably do so this week. I don’t want to buy it and read it too soon because I have to wait another year for Ms. Briggs to write another book!

2. What Darkness Brings: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C. S. Harris

3. Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

The rest of the books I will wait to read reviews and buy as my budget allows:

4. Murder in Chelsea (Gaslight Mystery)
by Victoria Thompson

5. The Family Way (Molly Murphy Mysteries)
by Rhys Bowen

6. Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight series)
by Darynda Jones

7. Midnight Blue-Light Special: An Incryptid Novel
by Seanan McGuire

8. Written in Red: A Novel of the Others
by Anne Bishop

9.  Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
by Charlaine Harris

The following book sounds quite intriguing and has some good authors, but I don’t usually like short stories so I will wait and see:

10. Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
(18 stories from such writers as Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Kushner, Tanith Lee, James Blaylock, Gregory Maguire as well as new authors)

I’m looking forward to seeing what books others are looking forward to so I can find some new authors and books! What are you excited about this spring?