Thursday, October 19, 2017

On My Shelf: Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

On My Shelf is an awesome feature hosted by Teresa at Readers Live A Thousand Lives that anyone can join. The idea is to spotlight a book from your TBR shelf; it's a fun way to discuss books with fellow bloggers and, with their help, decide which books are must-reads... and which ones can wait a while longer.

We're getting an early start to a long weekend so I'm posting my Friday post today.

I first saw this book on a must-read zombie list a few years ago. After reading this summary...

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda—and he begins to move.

The family hides the child—whom they name Stony—rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret—until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

...I grabbed a copy for my shelf. It sounds like a perfect book for me!

Have you read Raising Stony Mayhall? What are your thoughts? 
Do I drop everything and start reading -- or put it back on my shelf for later?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you next week! 

© at A Belle's Tales


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #75: Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2) by Marie Lu

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, previously hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2) 
Author: Marie Lu 
Publisher: Random House 
Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 
Pre-order: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

So technically, I'm a Marvel girl, and Batman may not be my most favorite comic book character; but I am still incredibly excited for Marie Lu's Nightwalker. I think I'm going to love this book!

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

© at A Belle's Tales


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

100 Words and a Quote

100 Words and a Quote is a feature in which I review books in exactly 100 words and share my favorite quote from each book. It’s fun, but it can also be challenging to make what I have to say fit that count. Well, I do love a good challenge. I do this for books when I can’t give much detail for fear of spoiling, for series finales, when I need to clean up my TBR, for novellas, and for those rare times when I just don’t have much to say about a book whether I loved it or not. Hope you enjoy my take on the (extra mini) mini-review. 

Title: Nowhere but Here 
Author: Renée Carlino
Publisher: Atria Books 
Published: May 5th, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Summary: A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.

This book is as intoxicating as the Estate Pinot Noir, and I’m tipsy over both the story and fantastic character, Jamie. It was easy to get lost in this book and the winery as well as to relate to Kate. I was drawing definite parallels between her background and mine. I found myself getting emotional at points in the book, but it was around 50% when I went from crying to laughing over a singed eyebrow and a foot-long. I love a book that can conjure up such contrasting emotions. A must-read for Carlino fans and lovers of sweet romances.

“...hold on to each other, and never let go.” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Title: Third Watch 
(Tracy Crosswhite, #0.5)
Author: Robert Dugoni
Publisher: Amazon 
Published: August 16th, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon 

Summary: Tracy Crosswhite’s ordinary night patrolling her Seattle beat becomes front page news when she responds to a domestic disturbance call that turns into a hostage crisis. 

In this prequel short story to Robert Dugoni’s #1 Kindle-bestselling novel, My Sister’s Grave, Tracy Crosswhite is a young patrol officer, paying her dues, keeping her head down, and hoping a solid record will get her promoted to detective. While years have passed since the disappearance of Tracy’s sister, the experience has made her one of the city’s most dedicated cops. 

Reporter Tevia Kushman is shadowing Tracy on a ride-along seeking to follow-up on a recent (and nasty) exposé about the Seattle PD’s treatment of female cops. Young and ambitious, Tevia is hoping for a juicy scoop on the gender politics of the PD, but may get a much bigger story than she bargained for… 

Neither woman expects a routine-sounding call to turn into something dangerous, until Tracy walks into a domestic dispute and finds herself looking down the barrel of a shot-gun. No stranger to high-pressure situations, Tracy must draw on more than just her academy training and lightning-fast shooting skills to find a way to talk down—or take out—the volatile man holding the gun. 

This forty-seven page short story is a prequel to my beloved Tracy Crosswhite series. This story takes place when Tracy is just a young patrol officer, years before she becomes the brilliant homicide detective she is now. It’s supposed to be a regular night of patrolling; but at 11:30 pm, only four hours into her shift, a call about a domestic disturbance takes a turn into something incredibly dangerous. The way Tracy handles everything is insight into the detective she’s going to become, and I loved getting this look back into the younger version of one of my favorite heroines.

“Veteran officers had told her that the crazies came out with the full moon, that it possessed some of them to behave in a manner they otherwise wouldn't.  It wasn't a full werewolf transformation, but personalities changed just the same.” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Title: Tower of Dawn 
(Throne of Glass, #6)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Published: September 5th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Summary: In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Empire of Storms was a brilliant installment in the Throne of Glass series, though there was one particular character I missed. But Tower of Dawn makes up for that absence with an incredible story, cluing us in on just what Chaol Westfall was up to during the events taking place in EoS. This story is genius and brings us fantastic new characters and a HUGE revelation! Action, suspense, and romance abound in these pages; and Chaol’s story reminds his fans just why we fell in love with this perfectly imperfect human finding his way in a world full of magic.

It was agony and despair and fear. It was joy and laughter and rest. It was life, all of it...” 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

© at A Belle's Tales



Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

Previously read:

Currently reading:  

Up next: 

What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Early Review: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

Title: The Midnight Dance 
Author: Nikki Katz 
Source: Publisher 
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
Published: October 17th, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 
Summary: When the music stops, the dance begins.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late. 

The Midnight Dance probably has one of my most favorite covers of 2017. It is just stunning! This is a YA historical fiction; and though I had heard it was inspired by “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” I found it doesn’t seem to have much in common with the German fairytale at all. I liked the story and didn’t struggle with the writing – the plot itself is still intriguing: twelve young ballerinas in a creepy boarding house under the rule of the nefarious “Master” – but this book also didn’t blow me away like the beautiful cover did, either. And I think I know why. 

First, I want to discuss the things that I really did enjoy: There are young adult books that push the boundaries of young adult. This book does not. It is exactly what I think of when I think of a young teen reading, and I would absolutely put this into the hands of a young reader. It is clean; it has a sweet butterfly-spawning romance without overdoing it or going too far. The story lends itself to a bit of excitement but nothing that would be too scary or intense. Just the right amount of dark for its target audience. The young heroine Penny is brave; and not once does she give up, even when all hope seems lost. Her admirer Cricket is courageous and devoted. These two are incredibly sweet together, as well. 

So, what was it that didn’t work? Me. The reader. I honestly can find no fault with the story or the writing. I haven’t been a young adult for a very long time; and while I do enjoy some YA, it is usually those that push the boundaries I mention above. I am also a lover and reader of adult thrillers and mysteries so my mind hatched huge dastardly plots, abundantly deceitful characters, and unforeseen twists… and those things didn’t come to pass for me. 

All in all, I’m giving this book a solid three stars. It reminds me of the books I loved when I was a young girl. I couldn’t help but fall for Penny and Cricket. Their relationship is extremely endearing. Though I wish there had been more dancing and that the story was a tad more thrilling, I can still wholeheartedly recommend this for its target audience. And you know what? I’m buying a copy for my personal library anyway, not only because the cover is stunning but because this is a great addition to my YA section and I’ll be able to lend it out to several fellow readers that I know will love it. 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

© at A Belle's Tales


Monday, October 9, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a great weekly meme now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It's where we share what we've just read, what we're currently reading, and what we're starting next. 

Previously read:

I really enjoyed this sequel to Her Darkest Nightmare; you can find my review here.

Currently reading:  


This book isn't quite what I thought it was going to be. I'm enjoying some aspects but am on the fence with others.

Up next: 

Mckenzie and I always enjoy Cyn Balog's books, and this is being marketed as a must-read for lovers of Stephen King's The Shining. Count me in! Alone will be out in November.

Previous Posts: 

Mini-Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Waiting on Wednesday #74: Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5) by Patricia Briggs
Review: Hello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2) by Brenda Novak

What are you reading this week? 
Hope you have a happy Monday! 

 © at A Belle's Tales