Book Tag – Dreamy Book Covers

Since the Top 5 Wednesday choices this month are all romance-based, I am not planning to do them. Today, instead, I thought I’d do a fun book tag!  🙂


Here are the rules:

1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love! – I’ve stolen this one from Elnade over at Confessions of a Serial Reader

2. Mention me Tiana @ The Book Raven as the (insert adjective here) creator of this book tag!

3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, Feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires!)

4. At least tag 1 fellow blogger for this tag. Even if you’re like me sometimes and feel a bit lazy – Aurora Librialis and Siobhan, I choose you!

5. List the rules


1) “No Ideas But in Things” – A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it

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Is this a strange choice? It seems like a strange choice…or maybe not. Did I mention that this book is basically a “what would it be like if the Scooby Gang grew up and had to face one more monster” with a large dose of HP Lovecraft throw in?

2) “Dark and Lovely” – A book cover that is so creepalicious you just want to eat it up

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I don’t know about creepalicious, but the cover is DEFINITELY what first drew me to this book. Super spooky!

3) “Sugary Sweet” – A cute cover that is so fluffy you want to give it a hug

furiouslyhappy

What, you don’t think stuffed raccoons are sweet? As Jenny would say, “That’s sounds like a You problem”. 😉

4) “The Simple Aesthetic” – A book cover that stuns with the most minimalistic of design

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A cover almost as mysterious as the Juliet itself.

5) “Cover Envy” – A book cover you wish you had on your shelves, but don’t yet

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I’ve been on a Sherlock kick since I read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes by Loren D Estleman a couple weeks ago. This book sounds fun AND the cover is cool. 🙂

6) “Traveling Abroad” – A beautiful book cover featuring a country outside of your own

darkwitch

Nora Roberts? Really? I know, not a usual “me” type of book, but the story line was really interesting and it takes place in Ireland, one of my favorite countries.

8) “The Color Wheel” – A cover that showcases one of your favorite colors

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This series is wonderful and the covers are gorgeous! I love that they kept the same style the whole way through the series.

9) “Switching Gears” – A cover change you absolutely adore

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Don’t get me wrong, the original Harry Potter covers are ICONIC to me, but look how pretty that new cover is! And it has Hagrid, my favorite character, looking all happy and fluffy on it. 🙂

10) “Oldie but Goodie” – A favorite cover of your favorite classic

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See? Sherlock kick. But this IS a pretty cool cover, right? Just the right amount of spooky.

11) “And the Winner is…” – Which book cover mentioned above is your favorite?

Aww, they’re all good or I wouldn’t have chosen them! But…I’ll have to pick Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I just smile every time I see that silly raccoon. 🙂

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Sweeping The Shelves #1

Hello all and welcome to the first installment of Sweeping The Shelves!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve decided to clean up my shelves a bit this year by picking 5 random books that I own but haven’t read, posting about them here, and then deciding whether to keep or donate them.

Let’s get started…

Death Wishing (Laura Ellen Scott)

deathwishingDescription from Goodreads: What if your most fervent wish could come true, and all you had to do was…die first. Recovering from a bitter divorce, middle-aged Victor Swaim wants nothing more than to live a carefree, drunken existence in New Orleans, making capes and corsets, and lusting for Pebbles, the girl who lives across the street.

But, after a series of deathbed wishes come true—including the curing of cancer, the elimination of cats, the return of Elvis (1967 vintage), the clouds turning orange, mothers growing third eyes and cups of coffee becoming bottomless—the hysteria that grows around “Death Wishing” forces Victor into action. Along with his entrepreneurial son Val and his libertine friend Martine, Victor must battle the apocalyptics who have seduced Pebbles away from her true vocation of singing the blues (very badly) while at the same time confronting his mortal identity: just what would he wish for the world without him in it?

Final Verdict: I NEED to read this one. I picked it up at a book event directly from the author herself and it sounds REALLY interesting. – KEEP

Escape From Wolfhaven Castle – The Impossible Quest #1 (Kate Forsyth)

escapefromwolfhavencastleDescription from Goodreads: Wolfhaven Castle has been attacked, and only four escape capture… Tom, trained to scrub pots, not fight; Elanor, the lord’s daughter; Sebastian, a knight in training; and Quinn, the witch’s apprentice.

Somehow, if they are to save their people, these unlikely heroes must find four magical beasts from legend and awaken the sleeping warriors of the past. But first, they have to make it out of the castle alive… 

Final Verdict: I literally JUST bought this one about a month ago and it’s pretty short, so I’m going to keep it and then donate it after I’ve read it. – KEEP

The King’s Gambit – SPQR #1 (John Maddox Roberts)

spqr1Description from Goodreads: In this Edgar Award nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes readers back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, high-born commander of the local vigiles, was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes and sinister threats, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves. Set in 70 B.C.

Final Verdict: Debating this one. I really like historical mystery novels, but this one sounds a bit gory. Since it has decent reviews, I might give it a go for a few chapters and see what it’s like. – KEEP (FOR NOW)

Murder Walks the Plank – Death on Demand Mysteries #15 (Carolyn Hart)

murderwalkstheplankDescription from GoodreadsIt’s “Corpse ahoy!” when death takes a pleasure cruise — as we set sail once more with that incomparable, crime-solving duo, the Darlings. Annie Darling, popular proprietress of the Death on Demand bookstore, has done it again! Her murder-mystery cruise in the waters off her not-always-idyllic isle of Broward’s Rock is sure to be a roaring success, with every participant dressing up as a favorite fictional sleuth. And sure enough, everything goes swimmingly — until one of the revelers plunges overboard. And despite hubby Max Darling’s courageous rescue attempt, faux murder turns all too quickly into real-life death. Over the next few days, the body count rises and Annie strongly suspects that all the victims were murdered most foully and that they are all connected in some unknown way. The trick now will be to prove it, with the able assistance of investigator-spouse Max, best friend and best customer Henny Brawley, local bestselling superstar Emma Lloyd, and even (surprise!) Annie’s normally ditsy mother-in-law, Laurel. But what the intrepid crime solvers do not realize is that the killer they seek is more ingeniously efficient than most — and the puzzle they wish to solve is, in reality, a time bomb packed with an explosive mix of arson, assault, kidnapping, robbery . . . and homicide, of course. One false step and Annie and her canny cohorts will be blown off Broward’s Rock for good . . . and they’ll sink like stones into the cold, briny deep.

Final Verdict: Wait, this is Book #15? See, this is what happens when you binge buy at rummage sales, lol! My library apparently has most of this series, so even though it sounds fun, I think I’m going to go ahead and donate this book to the mission. That way I can start at the actual beginning. 😉 – DONATE

What Angels Fear – A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery #1 (C.S. Harris)

whatangelsfearDescription from GoodreadsIt’s 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III’s England. Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

Now a fugitive running for his life, Sebastian calls upon his skill as an agent during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence. In the process, he accumulates a band of unlikely allies, including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn, who broke Sebastian’s heart years ago. In Sebastian’s world of intrigue and espionage, nothing is as it seems, yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy, as well as to Sebastian’s own salvation….

Final Verdict: This one was actually recommended to me, so I should give it a try. Fingers crossed. – KEEP


Today’s Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1

Overall Count: Keep = 4, Donate = 1

Book Review – The Juliet

Book: The Juliet – Author: Laura Ellen Scott

Genre: Adult, Adventure, Western?, Treasure Hunt

Description from Goodreads:

During Death Valley’s great wildflower bloom of 2005, retired cowboy actor Rigg Dexon gives a rootless woman a gift that will change her life forever: the deed to The Mystery House, a century old shack long thought to be the hiding place of a legendary emerald known as The Juliet. Willie Judy remembers Dexon from cereal commercials she watched as a kid, but now she’ll spend the next seven days searching for the truth about him, the house, and herself, as the history of The Juliet reveals the American Dream’s dark side—one that is corrupt, bawdy, and half insane. (see listing here)

My Review:

Where to start…

This was an odd one. Though the description above focuses on only two characters, the book itself is more about the history of the jewel and ALL of it’s owners, not just Rigg & Willie. The entire lifetime of the Juliet is shown, along with all the despicable things people did to each other in order possess the gem.

I will say, the novel hopped around quite a bit in the Juliet’s history, going back and forth between all the owners’ stories at once, instead of running a direct timeline. This made sense in the context of the story, but it was somewhat difficult to follow. The author DID include the dates at the beginning of each section, but I still had some trouble remembering who lived in which year, though not enough to throw me out of the story.

It helped that I really liked the author’s writing style. All the characters seemed completely believable, which, considering the wide variety, was pretty impressive. Even though most of the characters were all similarly greedy, the author managed to imbue each of them with their own sense of purpose and individuality. And, as easy as it would have been to go overboard with the ways in which the characters obtain the Juliet, you never have to throw on the “suspension of disbelief” switch in this novel. Even the most unbelievable of twists seemed entirely believable with this cast of characters.

The author also managed to encapsulate the time periods in which she was writing fairly well, without falling into the common pit of overdoing the accents & dialogue or focusing too much on historical details. The scenes in older time periods were just as easy to follow as the modern ones and, though there was some description of the locations/clothes/etc, the focus stayed where it should, on the Juliet and her devotees.

I ended up really enjoying this book. Putting all the bits and pieces of the story together into one cohesive storyline made me feel like I was also on a treasure hunt, the treasure being the Juliet’s history rather than the stone itself.

Similar Book(s):

Yyyyeeeaahhh…I got nothin’. So I’m just going to list the author’s other works. 😉

Death Wishing & The Mean Bone in Her Body

 

Whatcha Readin?

Hi all! I am in the middle of a few books, so I don’t have a full review for you today. Instead I thought I’d do a little promo for the books I’m currently reading. They are so good!

The Juliet (Laura Ellen Scott)

29511753Description: During Death Valley’s great wildflower bloom of 2005, retired cowboy actor Rigg Dexon gives a rootless woman a gift that will change her life forever: the deed to The Mystery House, a century old shack long thought to be the hiding place of a legendary emerald known as The Juliet. Willie Judy remembers Dexon from cereal commercials she watched as a kid, but now she’ll spend the next seven days searching for the truth about him, the house, and herself, as the history of The Juliet reveals the American Dream’s dark side—one that is corrupt, bawdy, and half insane.

Thoughts: This one is a bit odd, but I’m really enjoying it so far! I plan to do a full review of it when I’m done, so I won’t say too much here. Suffice it to say, if you like a little bit of mystery, a touch of thriller, and a lot of The West, you should enjoy it! 🙂

Ireland (Frank Delaney)

90360Description: One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a bed and a warm meal, he invites his hosts and their neighbors to join him by the wintry fireside, and begins to tell formative stories of Ireland’s history. Ronan, a 9-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again. Ronan’s search for the Storyteller becomes both a journey of self-discovery, long unspoken family secrets, and an immersion into the sometimes conflicting histories of his native land.

Thoughts: I’m really loving the storytelling vibe of this one. I’m doing the audiobook, which is the perfect medium for this type of novel, especially since the author contributes his wonderful Irish brogue which only enhances the tales. If you love history, Ireland, or even just listening to someone tell you a good story, this one is for you!

Up Next:

The Shack (William Paul Young)

1812457Description: Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his “Great Sadness,” Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

Thoughts: This one was chosen by my Book Club to be our next read. I’ll be honest, even being Catholic, I get a bit leery about “religious” books, but the story line sounds thoughtful and hopefully a bit inspiring, so I’m gonna give it a go.

Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery (Kurtis J Wiebe, author & Roc Upchurch, artist)

20299683Description: Who are the Rat Queens? They’re a pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire and they’re in the business of killing all the god’s creatures for profit. Meet Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief.

Thoughts: The description goes on to say the book is “like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack”…how could I resist that?!? 😉 Honestly, this sounds like a fun series and the artwork is really cool, so I’m going to cross my fingers and dive on in!


So how about you guys? What are you reading right now?

Chocolate Fest & Book Faire

Can you believe it? My tiny corner of the world (or, well, the town adjacent to my tiny corner of the world) actually holds an Annual Chocolate Fest & Book Faire. I have died and gone to Heaven!

The event takes place in downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia (USA). Several shops on “Main Street” host local authors and you can grab a piece of chocolate while you chat! The local chocolate factory, DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates, also runs tours. And, yes, they DO give samples and their chocolate is delicious! 😉

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There was also a cupcake tasting, yum! 🙂

I snagged six new books from four local authors:

It was really nice getting to meet the authors. You could tell how excited they were about sharing their books with people. They even all signed the books I bought! 🙂 I have to finish up my library books first, but I can’t wait to get started on these. They all look really good!

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In extra cool news, I was chatting with Laura Ellen Scott and mentioned my book blog, so she offered to put me in touch with her publishing company, Pandamoon Publishing, to see if they would be willing to get me more books to review! I’ve already gotten a message on Goodreads from her company and another author! 😀