Sunday, August 19, 2018

New Releases 8/21/18

Some of the books hitting shelves this week are:

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

Windhaven: A Graphic Novel by George R. R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Black God's Drums by P. Djèli Clark

Coldfall Wood by Steven Savile

Terra Incognita by Connie Willis

Ohio by Stephen Markley

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

Heartbreaker by Claudia Day

Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Red White Blue by Lea Carpenter

The Devoted by Blair Hurley

New on DVD:
Deadpool 2

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Pre Pub Book Buzz: Cravings: Hungry For More by Chrissy Tiegen

My love of books extends to cookbooks as well, if you didn't know, and I'm always on the lookout for the next one I just have to have. After the buzz and attention Chrissy Tiegen's first outing got, her upcoming release immediately got added to my must have list!

Here's a bit about the book from Goodreads:

Cravings: Hungry for More takes us further into Chrissy’s kitchen…and life. It’s a life of pancakes that remind you of blueberry pie, eating onion dip with your glam squad, banana bread that breaks the internet, and a little something called Pad Thai Carbonara. After two years of parenthood, falling in love with different flavors, and relearning the healing power of comfort food, this book is like Chrissy’s new edible diary: recipes for quick-as-a-snap meals; recipes for lighter, brighter, healthier-ish living; and recipes that, well, are gonna put you to bed, holding your belly. And it will have you hungry for more.

I know she caught flack for putting cheese in her guacamole (it's yummy, so don't knock it) but that's kind of what I love about her recipes so far: she does what she wants! And it turns out tasty!

Cravings: Hungry For More is due out in September - so not that much longer to wait. Now if only she'd release a cookbook for new moms trying to cook with kids, that'll be something I REALLY need coming up :)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Short Fiction Friday: Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

After finding out the truth about its past, Murderbot has set a new initiative for itself.

Murderbot has decided it's time to help its new owner. Dr. Mensah purchased the SecUnit, basically setting it free. For all intents and purposes, that is. While Dr. Mensah never implicitly said that the SecUnit can go out on its own, the scientist's actions do allow for autonomous existence on the part of Murderbot.

And Murderbot is still a little burned up about what happened when it was working for Dr. Mensah in the first place. Now, it's decided it's time to find out more about the plot that put Mensah and the rest of the team in danger. And that means traveling to Milu, an abandoned planet that was once being terraformed by GreyCris. The SecUnit's hope is that it can finally get evidence Dr. Mensah can use against GreyCris. Evidence that will prove once and for all that the corporation is up to no good.

Unfortunately, Murderbot didn't plan for yet another group of unprepared and uninformed humans being involved. It appears someone is out to scavenge Milu and Murderbot can either attempt to avoid contact and notice or, once again, lend a hand where needed.

I really do love Murderbot. It's quite probably my absolute favorite character in fiction right now!

Above all, Murderbot has to protect itself from being caught as a free SecUnit. And people are looking for it, which makes it that much harder. Alterations in the previous installment have allowed it to mask itself a bit, but it can't avoid detection forever, especially when other bots are involved.

It would be easier if it didn't repeatedly find itself having to choose between saving people or leaving them to their own devices! Ah, the plight of a conscientious security android. Time and again, Murderbot proves that it's more than just a series of codes and programming!

If you haven't treated yourself to Martha Wells's Murderbot Diaries novellas yet, do it now! I think there's probably no better science fiction out there right at this moment than this series!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Lori Rader-Day's latest, Under at Dark Sky.

In the year since her husband's death, Eden has become inexplicably afraid of the dark. She sleeps, when she can, during the day and spends each evening holed up in her house with the lights burning. 

When she finds out that her husband had booked a trip to a dark sky park for their anniversary, she decides to take the opportunity to try and work through her fear. A week alone in a beach house at a park devoted to star watching might just be the thing she needs to get on with her life. But when she arrives she finds the house in question has also been rented by a group of six celebrating their own anniversary. Her husband had simply rented a suite within the house. And Eden doesn't want to share her week with strangers. 

Though some of the group encourage her to stay, Eden vows to leave first thing the following day - when she knows she can make it home to Chicago before nightfall. But in the early hours of the morning, Eden is awakened by screaming and stumbles out of her room to discover that one of the group has been murdered. Now, everyone in the house is a suspect and Eden can't leave until the killer is revealed. 

Under a Dark Sky proves once again that Lori Rader-Day has a true talent for creating page turners that delve deep into the emotion and psyche of her characters.

Eden is revealed layer by layer as the story progresses. She's afraid of the dark, she's a widow, she's trying to decide if she wants to sell her house, and this vacation is the first outing she's allowed herself in the wake of her husband's death. This is what we know when we start. And though we suspect things weren't great between her and her husband by the little pieces of info she doles out through her narrative, we can't be sure if it's grief or something more.

Meanwhile, the six strangers she meets are seen through her eyes. Two couples and two additional friends, all but one of whom attended the same college and are getting together on the almost anniversary of their graduation. But there are hints that something more is going on with these friends. As an outsider, though, Eden isn't privy to their history or their potential secrets.

I really enjoyed my time with this book and with Eden. This was the kind of read that I was able to just sink into for hours, retreating from the real world and becoming part of the story!

I want to add here that almost a year ago, I had the pleasure of attending a conference that featured Lori as a keynote speaker. I had just read her previous book and was excited to hear her talk about her journey as a writer. She was a fantastic speaker and a joy to hear, leaving me even more excited to read each and every new book she creates!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Lori Rader-Day and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall

Josune Arriola has been sent on a mission. Her captain has arranged a rendezvous with Hammond Royston of the ship The Road. Except the rendezvous is a secret and Josune has been dispatched undercover.

Her ship, The Hassim, arrives three days late and unresponsive to calls from The Road. Upon boarding, Josune, Royston, and the others find The Hassim has been attacked, the crew have been murdered, and only a few of those behind the hostile takeover remain.

Everyone knows exactly why The Hassim would be a target for attack. Their mission is exploration and their discoveries are legend. So the knowledge saved within the memory of the ship is of the highest value. But salvaging The Hassim leaves Royston and his crew the targets of a group of mercenaries seemingly unwilling to give up their lost bounty, leaving Josune no choice but to keep her identity secret all the while trying to discover why her captain wanted to meet with Royston in the first place!

This latest from sisters and cowriters Sherylyn and Karen, aka S. K. Dunstall, is a truly fantastic space adventure!

The Hassim has made a name for itself following in the footsteps of Goberling, a famed space explorer whose biggest accomplishment was discovering a world packed full of a Dellarine, a metal used in every kind of technology imaginable. But no one had ever found a mother lode even close to Goberling's. Unfortunately, before vanishing altogether, Goberling himself forgot where his discovery was located. And so others had taken up the mantle in search of it themselves.

The Hassim, but last account, hadn't yet discovered the world but had found many others and a record of the ship's travels is one any company would pay dearly for.

But the story doesn't begin on The Hassim. Instead, the story begins with a body modder called Nika Rik Terri, who's discovered a way to allow two people to swap minds for a period of up to 24 hours. Unfortunately for Nika, her tech is exactly what lands her on the run and on the path of Josune and Royston.

Half the fun of the book is waiting for the two groups to meet - Nika and a young apprentice she picks up along the way, and Josune, Royston, and The Road. And boy is this book some serious fun!

Stars Uncharted was like the perfect mash up of Expanse (books) style space opera and Killjoys (show, but I wish there were books!) style adventure. In other words, exactly the kind of book I'm looking for right at this moment! And though there were times when the story became a little easy to figure out, the fact that it was so entertaining and enjoyable made that totally fine with me.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Day of the Dead by Nicci French

Happy Monday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Nicci French's final Frieda Klein thriller, Day of The Dead.

It's been coming for years, the final showdown between therapist Frieda Klein and serial killer Dean Reeve. And now it's finally here!

A car crashes into a clothing store but the body of the suspected driver has been dead for days. Just a week later, another body is found, burning but covered in flame resistant material. They're clearly meant to be found, to be noticed. A spectacle put on display by a killer who wants attention. But it isn't until Frieda Klein's name is connected that the police realize they're dealing with Dean Reeve. 

Meanwhile, Klein is nowhere to be found. Her friends and family haven't heard from her. She's gone underground, seemingly without a trace. And the police aren't the only ones interested in finding her. 

Lola Hayes isn't sure what she'll write her dissertation on but the suggestion that she dig into Frieda Klein's story piques her interest. Unfortunately, her attempts to ferret out information on Klein catches the unwanted attention of Dean Reeve himself. Now, Lola is at the center of a cat and mouse game that has been playing out for almost a decade and only the mysterious Frieda Klein can help her. 

As a long time fan of this series, this is the book that each new installment has been building towards. And that comes with a lot of expectation and anticipation! I won't torture you by making you wait - the book lives up to it!

Frieda has gone into hiding. No one knows where and no one has heard from her. Which is why it's particularly hard for Lola Hayes to successfully research her suggested topic of study. But she's curious, even if she has only passing familiarity with a few of the cases Frieda has been involved in.

Part of her research involves following in Frieda's footsteps, walking the city and discovering the things around her. This particular piece of the story is a great way to illustrate just how innocent and naive Lola is when the story begins.

Meanwhile, a full quarter of the book goes by before the reader actually meets up with Frieda again! This little detail also helps build the suspense, introducing two new detectives involved in the latest stream of crimes with brief snippets updating us on the current state of Frieda's closest friends and family.

But of course the biggest build of suspense involves Dean Reeves and his actions. The crime that kicks off the book and the subsequent crimes that are tied to his latest endeavor to tease Frieda out of hiding, all building to a denouement that has literally been years - and books - in the making.

While I am sad to say goodbye to this series and these characters, Day of the Dead is a satisfying end to the story. These authors work together so seamlessly, bringing to life smart and suspenseful thrillers with each and every new book, and I'm dying to see what they'll do now!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on the husband and wife team that make up Nicci French and their work you can like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, August 12, 2018

New Releases 8/14/18

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall

Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear

The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

The Million by Karl Schroeder

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

Relic by Alan Dean Foster

Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper

Abandoned by Allison Brennan

His Favorites by Kate Walbert

Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu

Cherry by Nico Walker

Fresh Ink ed by Lamar Giles

The Dark Vault by Victoria Schwab

New on DVD:
Bad Samaritan
Avengers: Infinity War
How to Talk To Girls at Parties