Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

Book Cover: Fires of Invention by J Scott Savage Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
Published September 2015 by Shadow Mountain Press
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review: Fated by Sarah Fine

Book Cover: Fated by Sarah Fine Fated by Sarah Fine
Published September 2015 by 47 North
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

Aislin Ferry and Jason Moros have only days until they will be called to account before the Keepers of the Afterlife. Yet as they race to restore order and make their case, their worlds fall into total disarray.

Mutiny within the fractured Ferry family threatens Aislin’s hold on power and role as Charon. Meanwhile, the fearsome Lord of the Kere has family trouble of his own. Someone is unraveling the fabric of fate, and Moros suspects one of his supernatural siblings is behind the terrible bid to unleash Chaos.

Now unlikely allies, Aislin and Moros each need the other to escape the wrath of the Keepers. As the stakes rise, it becomes clear that protecting their respective empires is not the endgame. With the fate of all humanity dangling by a thread, Aislin and Moros must surrender completely to one another if they are to fight their common enemy. And as time runs out, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, September 28, 2015

October Blog Ahead Challenge

It's almost October and I'm signing up for the Blog Ahead Challenge. The purpose of Blog Ahead is just like it sounds: During the month of October, increase the number of scheduled blog posts ready to publish. The suggested number of posts to schedule is 31, but since I've been having trouble getting more than one or two posts written each week, I can't possibly write 31 extra posts. So my goal is going to be more modest. I plan to end October with 10 scheduled posts: one or two per week starting in November.

I'll update this post with my status throughout October and also report how I'm doing in the weekly Sunday Summary posts.

My Progress


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Summary: 27 September 2015

I started this past week having lunch with hubby's parents. They're both in their early nineties, and I hope I'm as “with it” when I reach that age. They live in the house they've occupied for over 20 years and Dad still drives, so that makes them totally independent. Mom is an avid reader and we've shared many books over the years. She's not reading as much right now because it's baseball season! Once the World Series is over, her reading pace will pick up. I'll be researching books from her favorite authors and seeking out new authors who write in a similar style.

Where I've been reading

This week's travel was a leisurely trip to San Antonio. It's only a one-hour flight away and I flew down on Monday morning and home on Thursday afternoon. I was very busy all week long and didn't have time for a lot of reading. (That's the down-side of those short flights!) I did, however, have time to relax and rest up for the frenzied travel that is scheduled for next week.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves(50)

Again, the only new books in our Texas home came from the library. Although I have hundreds of unread books on hand, I keep selecting books from the library. And that's fine—I'm still not spending any money for books and I'm satisfying my drive to read whatever I happen to be interested in. I picked up two very different books, each a volume in a well-liked series. A week from now you should see both of them listed as books completed in the Sunday Summary.

From the library:

Book Cover: The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters In order to complete all of the Brother Cadfael mysteries by the end of the year, I need to read two books per month for the rest of the year. The Confession of Brother Haluin is the 15th of 20 novels in the series and will be the third I've started in September. Don't know if I'll finish it by the end of the month, but I hope so because that will help put me a little bit ahead.

Brother Haluin is seriously injured in a fall from the roof and with death highly likely, he makes a full confession to the Abbot. When he recovers, he sets out on a journey with only Brother Cadfael as his companion, traveling to make amends to those he had hurt.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Summary: 20 September 2015

Where I've been reading

This week was marked by a business trip to Raleigh. All-in-all it was an easy excursion with non-stop flights on Monday and Wednesday. I used my in-flight time well, reading for most of the trip. Unfortunately, I found very little time to read the rest of the week. I listened to another couple of hours of Fire with Fire while I was in the car, but otherwise, I made little progress reading until I returned home.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (49)

I only have a couple of new books this week. I borrowed two books and then at the end of the week, received a new book for review. I'm still on a self-imposed book-buying ban. My daughter has been fussing at me about getting books from the library—pointing out the large number of unread books in my house. Yes, I probably have close to 1000 books that I haven't read, and yet I keep getting new books from the library instead of reading the books that are on hand. But, if I didn't get new books, I wouldn't have anything to share in the weekly Stacking the Shelves posts.

From the library:

Book Cover: Miriam's Well by Lois Ruby There are some books that stick with you for a very long time. Miriam's Well is one of those. Lois Ruby's YA novel was originally published in 1993, and I don't know when I read it, but it was a long time ago. In fact, several years ago when I was looking for the book, I found that it was out of print. To me, that was very sad since I was recommending it to teachers, librarians, and others who work with teenagers. I was thrilled to find that it has just now been released in e-book format. I'm counting on that to ensure that it will be available forever!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Summary: 12 September 2015

Where I've been reading

It was so nice being home all week for the second week in a row. The week started with the Labor Day holiday. Then I had a few crises pop up at work and felt like I was chasing my own tail at times, but it was nice that I was at home when this happened. It was so much better than being on a business trip when I would have had more obligations to interfere with resolving the problems that had arisen. It can't last, however. I'm heading out on Monday afternoon.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (48)

Another frugal week. I didn't buy any books, and I only took one new ARC to review. It's hard to resist all the yummy review books at NetGalley, but I'm trying to focus on completing the challenges that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. To that objective, the two library books I borrowed are in two of the targeted series I plan to complete by year-end.

From the library:

Book Cover: The Hermit of Eyton Forest by Ellis Peters The Hermit of Eyton Forest, 14th book in the Brother Cadfael series, picks up shortly after the events of the previous volume. One of the abbey's students, ten-year-old Richard Ludel becomes Lord of Eyton when his father is slain in battle. Abbot Radulfus is the boy's guardian until he comes of age, but Richard's grandmother wants the boy sent home where she plans to marry him to the heiress of a neighboring manor.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: The Oncoming Storm

Book Cover: The Oncoming Storm by Christopher Nuttall
Published 15 September 2015 by 47 North
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

In the year 2420, war looms between the galaxy’s two most powerful empires: the tyrannical Theocracy and the protectionist Commonwealth. Caught in the middle sits the occupied outpost system Cadiz, where young officer and aristocrat Katherine “Kat” Falcone finds herself prematurely promoted at the behest of her powerful father. Against her own wishes, Kat is sent to command the Commonwealth navy’s newest warship, Lightning.

Determined to prove she has value beyond her family name, Kat struggles to earn her crew’s respect and find her footing as the youngest captain in naval history. She soon discovers the situation on Cadiz is even worse than anyone in power anticipated. War isn’t just a possibility—it is imminent. Yet the admiral in position to bolster defenses refuses to prepare for a fight. Can Kat find a way to investigate the enemy, alert the Commonwealth, and whip an entire fleet into fighting shape before the Theocracy’s war machine destroys everything she holds dear?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Blog Tour and Review: Destiny Rising

Destiny Rising banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for Destiny Rising by Siobhan Davis. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 21 September, and you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Destiny Rising is the third book in the True Calling series. The two prior books are True Calling (True Calling #1) and Beyond Reach (True Calling #2). There are also two novellas: Lovestruck (True Calling #0.5) and Light of a Thousand Stars (True calling #2.5).

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sunday Summary: 6 September 2015

In this post, I begin my second year of weekly Sunday Summary posts.

Where I've been reading

This week I've been mostly at home. I made a very quick business trip to Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday. My flight from DFW took off at 6am and I arrived back in Dallas at 6am on Thursday. The travel comprised four flights: Dallas to Phoenix to Portland and then Portland to Los Angeles to Dallas. Lots of time to read, but also plenty of time to sleep! On the red-eye flight from Los Angeles, I slept most of the way.


What I've been reading: Completed this week

Book Cover: The Raven in the Foregate by Ellis Peters The Raven in the Foregate
by Ellis Peters

Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from library via Freading
Completed: 30 August


A year ago, in the very first Sunday Summary post, I was reading the first book in the Brother Cadfael series, A Morbid Taste for Bones. This past week, I completed reading the twelfth book, The Raven in the Foregate. I'm still entranced with Ellis Peters' masterful descriptions of medieval life and with her leading character, Brother Cadfael, a aging Benedictine Monk.

The war between King Stephen and Empress Maud is still going on. For now, Stephen is prevailing and Maud is gathering her forces to make another try for the throne. Although the political scene is relatively calm, things at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul are not going well. Abbot Radulfus has returned from Winchester with a new priest for the parish church—a priest whose rigid manner has earned the dislike of one and all. When Father Ailnoth is found drowned in the nearby mill pond, Brother Cadfael must find out how and why he died. Was it an accident, or was he murdered?

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (47)

I picked up four books from the library this week. I had intended to hold off borrowing any more books and do a little bit of catching up on the backlog of freebies that have been accumulating on my Kindle, but the books from the library were just more appealing. They run the gamut from familiar series to new authors; from the medieval times to the 2050s. I've already read one of these books and will be enjoying the others in the week to come.

From the library:

Book Cover: New York to Dallas by J D Robb I just cannot stay away from the In Death books. This is the first (and only so far) book in the series which doesn't contain the “In Death” phrase in the title, indicative of the major difference in this episode. When a child rapist escapes from prison, Eve returns to Dallas, the town that she was named for. She leaves behind her staff and the support team at NYPSD, but Roarke is right by her side. Although the series is set in the mid-21st century, it doesn't FEEL like the future. New York to Dallas promises to be an outstanding member of the In Death series.

Book Cover: The Rose Rent by Ellis Peters I will be returning to 12th century England when I start reading The Rose Rent, the 13th book in the Brother Cadfael mystery series. The Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is renting a widow's estate for a pittance—each year, she is to receive one white rose from a specific rose bush. When the young brother who was delivering the rose to her is found murdered and the rosebush is decimated, the property reverts to the widow. She's become especially attractive to a number of suitors who would like to manage her wealth. Just a short time later when the widow disappears, Brother Cadfael is off to find her and discover who murdered the young monk.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Month in Review: August 2015

August was a amazing month for reading, not so much for blogging. I completed 19 books which contained a total of 5527 pages. That took me to a year-so-far total of 132 books and 38,281 pages. With a yearly goal of 200 books and 50,000 pages, I'm now back on schedule for the book goal and very far ahead of the page goal.

Two things contributed to completing so many books: the Bout of Books 14 read-a-thon and a week-long vacation. Since they occurred at the same time, I was able to read a record five books during the week.