Friday, July 31, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #7

The Hobbit

This is the version of The Hobbit I read as a kid, and is still my favorite version of the book. This image shows Bilbo and the dwarves floating away from captivity. There's something serene and relaxing about this one- the gently flowing river and the tranquil nature of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Caught Read Handed

Caught Read-Handed

Caught Read Handed is a fun cozy and the second in the Read 'Em and Eat mysteries. The setting is Fort Myers Beach in Florida, and the main characters are Sassy and Bridgy the owners of the Read 'Em and Eat cafe. The cafe doubles as a book haven, with paperbacks and regular book club meetings. When Sassy meets a high strung lady who ends up murdered, and the prime suspect is the relative of a friend, Sassy determines to find the true killer.

Sassy is a lot of fun, she has a bit of snark and her and Bridgy make a good team. Half the fun of this is the sun- drenched Ft. Myers setting- the palms, the mangroves along the water, the egrets and wildlife. A lot of the story takes place at the cafe, with people coming and going- and Miguel, the irrepressible cook, adds a lot of flavor to the place. Like a lot of cozies, there is food, and pretty good food by the sounds of it- and the supporting characters are nice, especially Ophelia, who is Bridgy's aunt and quite the character. The story lightly touches on issues such as animal rights and PTSD, as the suspect is a veteran suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder.

I had an easy time getting to know all the characters, especially as this is a second in a series, and while it started slow for me it picked up and got better as I went. The mystery was nothing special but again part of the fun is the setting. The author seems to love the area and it shows. The cafe is neat too, with tables named after famous literary figures, and the menu reflects that as well. After serving a few Swiss Family Robinson cheeseburgers, I started wanting one! This is a fun, breezy read with great characters and I would definitely be interested in reading more.

From Goodreads:

From the national bestselling author of Well Read, Then Deadcomes the second mystery featuring Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, who bring Fort Myers Beach, Florida, residents plenty of sinful treats and killer reads at their bookstore cafĂ©, Read ’Em and Eat.

Happy to help her fellow bibliophiles, Sassy visits the local library with book donations for their annual fundraising sale. Unfortunately, the welcoming readers’ haven is in turmoil as an argument erupts between an ornery patron and new staff member, Tanya Lipscombe—also known as “Tanya Trouble.” She may lack people skills, but everyone is shocked when she’s later found murdered in her own hot tub.

The man last seen arguing with Tanya is soon arrested. But Alan Mersky, a veteran with PTSD, happens to be the brother of Sassy’s former boss—and he’s no murderer. Now it’s up to Sassy and Bridgy to clear Alan’s name and make sure the real killer gets booked.

Includes a recipe for Miss Marple scones!
 (less)
Paperback304 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Berkley

Teaser Tuesday #44

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"Coincidence is when other people don't tell you their plans." 
I paused mid- sweep. "That's brilliant."

Butter Off Dead (Food Lovers' Village mysteries #3)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sunday Post



This week went by fast. The nice weather continued with temps in the 80's and sunshine. July is turning out nice.

This past week I reviewed Big Little Lies (loved it) and also reviewed a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I also did a Teaser Tuesday and a Waiting On Wednesday (a fun MG title). And if you've read Big Little Lies, let me know- I'd love to talk about that one!

Next week I'll be reviewing Caught Read Handed (a fun cozy) and maybe something else- The Husband's secret maybe? - depending on the week.

Some more "up north" pics- celebrate summer!




Click to see large- this is from Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan.

BOOKISH NEWS

Not much bookish- but

Some "up north" news.

Floatilla seeks to reclaim world record- more than 3,000 kayaks and canoes



Last week I shared a video of a sandbar party that got out of hand- so this video shows a little nicer event. Love all the colorful kayaks!

And here's another video I found on youtube- of Sleeping Bear Dunes. I thought I'd include it because I've done this hike before- and it is tiring (but very rewarding). Enjoy!



CURRENTLY READING:
    
All We Have Is Now The Husband's Secret
 

NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Murder in the Paperback Parlor

AROUN THE BLOGOSPHERE: 

My Nook, Books and More recaps Comic con 2015. Check it out!

Like candles? Check out Cornerfolds Candles on Etsy. Her blog is here.

Recipe of the week- courtesy of Brys Estate Winery and Vineyard. These seem to be popular so here's another.

Braised Chicken Herbs de Provence

Captivated Reader has a Bookish quote of the day.

This is a time lapse montage of Traverse City- kinda neat. Horizon Books is at 3:38 (love the nighttime view). This was taken in winter so doesn't really show the natural beauty of the area but it shows the main street.



ReadReadRead reviews The Girl On The Train.


And this Star Wars/ Fury Road combo is kinda cool.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure Journey Under The Sea

Journey Under the Sea (Choose Your Own Adventure, #2)

I really liked the Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. Well, maybe I liked the idea of them, as the actual execution was ... spotty at best. Some better than others. But it's a neat idea- you start out with a premise, and then make choices. Your choices determine the path of the story, and your eventual fate. There are good endings and bad endings (more bad than good, if you ask me, but that's just based on my recollections, not on any real analysis). So when I saw this on vacation last year, I picked it up, and finally got around to reading it this week.

In this one you are an undersea explorer looking for Atlantis.

These are good for kids. This one is light and fluffy, not too i depth, and frankly the novelty might wear off quickly even for a child, although that may be my adult viewpoint talking. It says there are 42 endings, and I really didn't think any of them were that compelling. The writing is pretty amateurish, seems like, but then they were never known for stellar writing. What is interesting is that when presented with choices, you often end up with totally results, even though you're going the same place via a different route. So it seems completely random in that sense.

Another note- this is the revised version of this book. The original Choose Your Own Adventure books came out in the late 70's and throughout the 80's, whereas these are the 2000's version. Same author, revised text (I think) and different artist. I've heard online that the older versions are better.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #23

A Sliver of Stardust (A Sliver of Stardust, #1)

This week I'm waiting on A Sliver of Stardust by Marissa Burt. I love this cover, and the synopsis sounds good too. This one is out in the fall, should be a nice autumn read.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

This book. Big Little Lies was an amazing read. The story of three women- Madeline, Jane and Celeste- and the trials and tribulations of married life and social interaction in an Australian suburb. Madeline has the misfortune of having her ex- husband living in the same community with his new age wife, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as her daughter. Jane is a single mom and her son is also attending kindergarten at the same school- she meets Madeline by accident one morning and they hit it off- fast friends- in spite of their vastly different lifestyles. Jane has a secret in her past she can't let go, and when her son is accused of bullying, it sets off a chain of events that will have a profound impact on these three women- and many others besides.

Celeste has the perfect life, seemingly- wealthy, beautiful, with an enormous house and a loving husband. But their marriage is not as happy as it seems, and Celeste struggles with a secret of her own that she can't share. Together these three women have to face all manner of crises as life slowly unravels. The book starts with an incident at a trivia night gathering at the school. The story is told from the perspectives of the three women, but some chapters also have snippets of (often hilarious) comments from other mothers, and a few dads, at the school. There is a police investigation, and the book takes us through the events leading up to the fateful trivia night.

There's so much that happens to these three women, and others besides, that it would be spoilery to go into any more detail. Suffice to say that this book is wholly enjoyable, laugh out loud funny at times- and probably the book I've read this year. I absolutely love Madeline- at first she seems vain and shallow, but as you get to know her she turns out to be funny, loyal and tough. If I were going through the mommy wars (or daddy wars, for that matter) I would want her on my side. She is a true friend to Jane and Celeste, and has a fierce sense of justice along with a love of fashion. She is one of my favorite protagonists in a long time.

Jane and Celeste both have a tragic element to their stories, and a lot of ground is covered here- joy, betrayal, infidelity, friendship- and lies. The lies we tell ourselves, and others. The lies we use to make our lives look more glamorous, or to hide an ugly truth. The lies we sometimes don't know we're telling, maybe we've done it so often. And anyone who has kids in school or has been involved in school drama will doubtless find much familiar here.

The writing is excellent, the characters sparkle (and seem so familiar), and the dialogue is a joy. I was into the story from the first page, and couldn't wait to get to trivia night to see what happened. And there is a twist at the end where my jaw about hit the floor. Some trivia night! And a decision made by those present made me want to cheer! Such a great story- I want to go out and read every of Liane Moriarty's books. Loved it- and I'll miss Madeline and her exploits. Read this one.

Teaser Tuesday #43

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"I won't pretend not to worry. You're trying to expose a secret that somebody killed to protect." 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sunday Post #100



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This week I was asked how I organize my TBR pile, by the fine folks over at SFSignal. You can see my response, along with the other panelists, here. Otherwise this week was good- perfect weather. Sunny every day, low 80's I read several books, including the much hyped Big Lille Lies- I have to say, it may be my favorite book of the year so far- I loved it. I'll be reviewing it on Tuesday.

 I'm hoping to get my Choose Your Path post up soon- it's a riff on the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books. The idea is I'll provide a short story setup- with two possible choices for the reader. I think this will be fun- the only issue is do I have time to do it right.







I hope everyone has a good weekend- and happy reading! 


BOOKISH NEWS

No book news this week- but

Here's another recipe from Brys Estate Winery and Vineyard- last week's thin crust pizza recipe seemed popular. This week- Quiche with spinach, bacon and mushrooms. Yum.

Here's the slate of free movies at the Traverse City Film Festival. Movies under the stars!

Here's a look at Brys Vineyard.



CURRENTLY READING:

Big Little Lies

LAST WEEK

The Royal Assassin
Waiting On Wednesday
Butter Off Dead
Bookcover Spotlight

NEXT WEEK: 

TUESDAY: Big Little Lies
WEDNESDAY: Waiting On Wednesday
THURSDAY: Choose Your Own Adventure Journey Under The Sea   
FRIDAY: Bookcover Spotlight

NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

 Murder in the Paperback Parlor

AROUN THE BLOGOSPHERE: 

OK fun on the water is a big part of Michigan in summer- and readers know I promote northern Michigan anytime I can. This is a video of a Torch Lake sandbar party on July 4th- quite the time apparently. Take a look- what do you think? 





Torch Lake's massive sandbar party leaves residents angry, poop and trash on shore.

Want to watch the Star Wars The Force Awakens panel at Comic Con? Here you go!



Beth Fish Reads has a Paper Towns movie giveaway going on.

Paperback Princess reviews Don't Ever Change.

Downright Dystopian reviews No Such Person.

Rinn Reads reviews Time Salvager.





More food.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #5

The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)

Have you ever wondered where the elves go when they leave Middle Earth? The Lord of the Rings is full of references to the elves leaving, sailing into the west. The Silmarillion is the massive history of J.R.R. Tolkien's world, from creation through to the Third Age. I read The Silmarillion  and it has a lot of fascinating information. It's also very dense, and while I have no desire to read it again (I prefer Unfinished Tales), it does show us a bit of Valinor. Here Ted Nasmith, famed LotR illustrator, shows us ships arriving at Valinor in the west.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Butter Off Dead

Butter Off Dead (Food Lovers' Village mysteries #3)

Butter Off Dead is a fun cozy and the third in the Food Lovers Village series. I have to admit, I tried this one based solely on the cover- I love old time movie theaters and idea of a film festrival mixed with a small town appealed to me. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this one.

Erin Murphy and her friend Christine Vandeberg are planning the Food Lovers' Film Festival in Jewel Bay, Montana. Erin runs the Merc, a hundred year old grocery and Christine is dating her brother. When Christine is found dead at her home, there are several suspects a student who was there when the body was discovered, several other townsfolk, and Erin's brother Nick. Erin knows he couldn't have done it, but in spite of herself she begins to wonder after his alibi looks shaky.

This was a good cozywith an engaging protagonist in Erin and a fun cast. Her mother Fresca is the smarky matriarch and there are some other interesting characters as well. I liked that there was a cast of characters in the front, but even with that it took me a while to sort out who eeverybody was. Not sure if that's because this is the third book and I'm jumping in, or because there are so many characters to keep straight right off the bat. Probably both.

The town is well drawn, and early in the story when they're all hanging out in the bar I felt like I was right there, with the music and the low lights. There's a lot of food in this one, and she does a great job evoking Jewel Bay as something of a food haven. I did guess the identity of the killer although I wasn't sure, there areclues that make it somewhat obvious, but it's still a good mystery. And we get an examination of small town life in a tourist town, and the jealousies and rivalries that can happen anywhere.

To top it off, we get some recipes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #22

The Blackthorn Key

This week's pick is The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. This looks like a fun MG and I'm curious to see if this one lives up to its billing. It seems to be getting good early buzz.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Royal Assassin

The Royal Assassin (A Victorian Bookshop Mystery #3)

The Royal Assassin is the third book in Kate Parker's Victorian Bookshop mysteries. Georgia Fenchurch is an antiquarian bookseller who also happens to be a member of the Archivist Society, a group that looks into matters discreetly for those who engage their services. They also work with the Duke of Blackford, who is sort of a liaison for them with the government and has worked with them in the past. In this one Blackford walks back into Georgia's life needing her help. It seems the bodyguard of a visiting Russian princess was killed on a train from Scotland, and the crown fears that the princess- or her fiance the Duke of Sussex- will be next. Blackford wants Georgia to pose as a secretary to the duchess hosting the Russians, so she can get close to the parties involved.

Georgia soon finds she has her hands full with the princess, who likes to dodge her chaperone. The Russians fear that anarchists will assassinate the princess, and want harsh measures taken to prevent that.

I looked at him in amazement. "We don't do things that way in England."
"You see the problem."

I enjoyed this third installment in the Victorian bookshop mysteries. It's a pleasure to revisit these characters, and to get to know them better. The familiar dynamic between Blackford and Georgia is there- they obviously love each other, but due to differences in their social class they cannot move forward. Blackford is a duke, expected to marry well and produce an heirm while Georgia is a bookshop owner and not a suitable wife. The romantic in me wants to see forward movement- let them get together somehow, even if the realist in me knows that probably would not- or could not- happen. By the third book I wanted something more than wistful thoughts and swooning when they can share a discreet private moment- but again, the rules of society prevent this. It probably doesn't help that another cozy series I'm following has development as the series progresses- characters change, get married, etc. So maybe I'm judging by that standard, against an era with very different mores.

And there is some development, to be fair. Emma and Sumner, two supporting characters with a lot of potential, do get some some screen time here and develop nicely. We also get movement on the subplot regarding the killer of Georgia's parents- she meets him in this one, and her and Blackford are determined to bring him to justice. And this is a really fun series. I look forward to more.

I have to say something about the Archivist Society. I haven't said much about them in previous reviews, but they are an integral part of these. I very much enjoy their meetings- who wouldn't want to go to Sir Broderick's stately townhouse, have hot tea and delicious scones, and talk mysteries and cases with other members- an eclectic group of shopkeepers, ex- policemen, high society people and others? It's a neat concept. The supporting characters- Emma, Sumner, Phyllida, even Blackford's butler Stevens- are all enjoyable. This series is rapidly becoming comfort reads for me. This is a fast paced story, with something always happening.

Tease Tuesday #42

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"For future reference, that's what you're supposed to do." And then with a wink, she disappeared into the habitat. 
"James, your life signs are all over the place. Is there a problem?"

Time Salvager

This is a scene where Elise, a woman James has met back in time, kisses him and he's a bit flustered. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday Post #99



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This was a good week, I got some reading done and spent some time working on new features for the blog. Temperatures have been mild and it's been a nice summer so far.

Also I was asked to participate in the Mind Meld interview feature at SF Signal. I was honored to be asked and it was a lot of fun. The feature should be up next week, and the discussion is how do you prioritize your TBR reads.

This week I reviewed Time Salvager - it was good to get to this one as I had been anxiously waiting for it. It didn't disappoint- my thoughts here. I also posted Bookcover Spotlight #4 - another look at a great science fiction cover. Next week I have a good one- switching gears to fantasy this time.

Time Salvager

Oh, and I won a $5 giftcard at the SciFi and fantasy Fridays giveaway at On Starships and Dragonwings. Check out her site, she does it every Friday and there's good review links there too.




CURRENTLY READING: 

Big Little Lies The Royal Assassin (A Victorian Bookshop Mystery #3)

LAST WEEK: 

Teaser Tuesday #41 
Time Salvager
Bookcover Spotlight #4

NEXT WEEK: 

TUESDAY: The Royal Assassin
WESNESDAY: Waiting On Wednesday #21
FRIDAY: Bookcover Spotlight #5

NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS

Big Little Lies

Murder in the Paperback Parlor Butter Off Dead (Food Lovers' Village mysteries #3)

AROUN THE BLOGOSPHERE:

Here's a great list of books for summer reading, as compiled by Brilliant Books.

Here's a killer thin crust pizza recipe from Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City MI.

Check out snap Happy Gal blog for some beautiful "Up North" photography.

Some cover reveals courtesy of The Hiding Spot:

The Land of Ten Thousand Madonnas Rebel Bully Geek Pariah


Want to party at the end of the world? Check out Wasteland Weekend- yes this is a real event.



Comicbookgirl19 reviews the movie Ant Man (no spoilers).



This is awesome. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Comic- Con feature.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #4



Star Born by Andre Norton is an older science fiction novel, with a very nice cover by Dean Ellis. Something about the rocket, at night, with tiny people illuminated in the various openings, a crane loading or unloading something, the rugged otherwordly landscape- even a moon off to the left hand side- just very evocative. This pretty much sums up old school science fiction for me, the golden age of science fiction when anything seemed possible, and we dreamed that we might someday make it to other worlds.

I love staring at this one and just drinking in all the details. What planet are they on, and what are they doing?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Time Salvager

Time Salvager

Time Salvager is the story of a man, James Griffin- Mars, who goes back in time to recover resources from prior eras. He lives in the twenty- sixth century and is a chronman, or time operative. The Earth is a wasteland, the oceans are sludge and anyone who can afford to lives offworld. ChronoCom is the time travel agency that regulates the chronmen, and handles all the time jumps. Resources are brought to the present as technology has atrophied to the point where civilization can barely function. James has been doing this for a long time, and is burnt out- the jumps take a toll on mind and body, and he just wants out, When he is offered a job that will get him out, he takes it, even though it seems to good to be true.

James goes back to retrieve items from an ocean platform in the twenty- first century, but something about the job is off. When it all falls apart, he barely escapes- but commits the crime of bringing someone back with him. Elise, a scientist from the platform is about to die, and he brings her back- setting in motion a chain of events that will rock the world. They become fugitives and have to find a way to survive in the wastelands of Earth, as the time agency- and a powerful megacorporation pulling their strings- hunt them down. Bringing back someone from the past is a serious crime- but now the corporation wants Elise. She has something they want...

This was a good book, with a lot of interesting ideas. I wasn't really into it until about a quarter of the way through- it wasn't bad, just didn't wow me. The action picks up though once James hits the platform and saves Elise- once they return to the present the story takes off. James and Elise have an interesting bond- they are both attracted but their situation doesn't lend to romance. Nevertheless they do grow closer together as time goes on- he has been scarred by past actions and regrets, and has a lot of remose over people that were lost in the past. She, for her part, deals with the transition to living in the era she finds herself in, where everything is different- and she is hunted. Together they begin to build a new life- and perhaps can rebuild a shattered Earth.

Characterization is good, especially for James. He starts out an antihero, and I didn't care for him that much to be honest in the beginning- he's obviously willing to kill to further his objectives, but as time goes on we learn why he is the way and how his grief and remorse have consumed him. Elise is a breath of fresh air, with her optimisitc viewpoint standing out in field of jaded, ruthless characters- she's not quite as well drawn but quickly becomes the heart of the story. There are themes of loyalty and regret here, and second chances- I became fully immersed in this by the halfway point and couldn't wait to see what happened.

I loved the end of this one. Just felt right given we learn about the characters. Well done.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Teaser Tuesday #41

TeaserTuesdays-ADailyRhythm3

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at A Daily RhythmTo participate you grab your current read, open to a random page and share (2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INLUDE SPOILERS (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away. You don't want to ruin the book for others). Share the title and author. 

"So you're Blackbird," she says. She's older than you thought- nearly fifty, with deep lines around her mouth and eyes. "And I get to do the honors..." 

Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)

Deadfall is the followup to Blackbird, about a girl who wakes up on a subway track with no memory. She soon finds that she's the target of hunters who prey on other people- and in this one she flees from LA to New York, trying to find other targets and fight back. This quote is from when she's cornered...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sunday Post #98 Happy 4th of July!



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

This was a good week. I got a bit of reading in, and am gearing up for the 4th of July weekend.
This week is also the COYER Red, White and Blue RAT. I'm not participating in it since it looks like a busy week- but I'll be cheering on the participants as much as I can. Remember to hit #COYER to see progress.

I still haven't seen Jurassic World yet- maybe this weekend?

Happy 4th of July to all those in the US!

BOOKISH NEWS: 

Elizabeth Cooke is releasing The Gates of Rutherford, the third Rutherford Park novel, in September. I enjoyed the first one a lot but wasn't as crazy about the followup. So we'll see what the third one is like. You can find my thoughts on the first book here.



LAST WEEK: 

TUESDAY: Teaser Tuesday
WEDNESDAY: Waiting On Wednesday
THURSDAY: Deadfall
FRIDAY: Bookcover Spotlight #3

THIS WEEK: 

Tuesday: Teaser Tuesday
Wednesday: Waiting On Wednesday
Thursday: Time Salvager
Friday: Bookstore Spotlight #4

NEW ARRIVALS/ UPCOMING REVIEWS: 

Big Little Lies Time Salvager The Adventuress (Lady Emily, #10) Murder in the Paperback Parlor Journey Under the Sea (Choose Your Own Adventure, #2)

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure? These were a lot of fun- and they're still available, albeit in revised editions (some of the originals are still available, I understand). This one looked fun so I snagged it to see how it holds up. Got me thinking- how fun it would be to post a story idea, and let readers pick the next step in the story. A Choose Your Own Adventure blog story- hmm. I may try it just for a lark.

AROUN THE BLOGOSPHERE: 

Join Megan at Reading Away The Days as she does a virtual road trip of the US, all through July.



This is kind of a cool video- I always liked Tangerine Dream. Very atmospheric. Bonus points if you can name the movie.






Bronze Age Reprints talks Virginia Comicon and meeting Chris Claremont.

Pizza farms are hot!

This weeks transmission from Hearts of Space is American Skies. One of the tracks is a Bill douglas piece. I like his stuff- here's a sampler.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bookcover Spotlight #3

The Chessmen of Mars (Barsoom, #5)

The Chessmen of Mars is the fifth book in the John Carter series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cover art by Michael Whelan. I love this cover for the background. The chess arena with its black and orange squares and domes and towers in the far background. Whelan painted several distinctive Mars covers, but this one grabbed my imagination as a kid. I still love it today.

Imagine a great game of living chess, fought to the death, in a fabulous city on a decadent world. A world with two moons and city states- some savage, some refined- a world of daring swordsmen and beautiful women. That's the Mars books in a nutshell. These were some of my favorites growing up. I re- read some of these recently, and to be honest some hold up better than others. Nevertheless, no one quite captures the feel of ERB's Mars like this artist- and these images still fire my imagination.




This week is a two for Friday- I have the Spotlight planned out for several months and couldn't figure out where to slot this one, so here it is!

Cash Crash Jubilee: Book One of the Jubilee Cycle

Cash Crash Jubilee  is an interesting name for a book, but what caught my eye about this one is that cover. The story is set in a futuristic Tokyo and I like the neon and the rain coming down. All we need now is a huge billboard advertising the off world colonies! I'm a sucker for futuristic cityscapes and the cyberpunk- ish look here appeals to me. Does this one look good to you?

A cyber-dystopian thriller unlike any other.

In a near future Tokyo, every action—from blinking to sexual intercourse—is intellectual property owned by corporations that charge licensing fees. A BodyBank computer system implanted in each citizen records their movements from moment to moment, and connects them to the audio-visual overlay of the ImmaNet, so that every inch of this cyber-dystopian metropolis crawls with information and shifting cinematic promotainment.

Amon Kenzaki works as a Liquidator for the Global Action Transaction Authority. His job is to capture bankrupt citizens, remove their BodyBank, and banish them to BankDeath Camps where they are forever cut off from the action-transaction economy. Amon always plays by the rules and is steadily climbing the Liquidation Ministry ladder.

With his savings accumulating and another promotion coming, everything seems to be going well, until he is asked to cash crash a charismatic politician and model citizen, and soon after is charged for an incredibly expensive action called “jubilee” that he is sure he never performed. To restore balance to his account, Amon must unravel the secret of jubilee, but quickly finds himself asking dangerous questions about the system to which he’s devoted his life, and the costly investigation only drags him closer and closer to the pit of bankruptcy.

In book one of the Jubilee Cycle, Cash Crash Jubilee, debut novelist Eli K. P. William wields the incisive power of speculative fiction to show how, in a world of corporate finance run amok, one man will do everything for the sake of truth and justice.
 (less)
Hardcover392 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Talos

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Deadfall

Deadfall (Blackbird, #2)

Deadfall by Anna Carey picks up right where the first book Blackbird left off with Sunny taking a train to escape the people hunting her. She's a pawn in a game where people hunt other people for sport- and she only has a few vague memories of her time before she woke up. In Blackbird she eventually met a boy named Ben who helped her- but she discovered that he was part of the game. Fleeing from a hunter who almost killed her, she went to the train station- and found Rafe, a boy she vaguely remembered.

This one starts off with Lena (her real name) and Rafe on the train heading for New York. Rafe knows there are other targets out there, on the run, and hopes to meet up so they can help each other. But when things don't go according to plan, they find themselves on the run again. Meanwhile, the group behind the hunt sends Ben to New York after her- and Ben has to decide where his loyalties lie.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are," she calls. Her tone is playful, singsong. It gives you chills. 

This is a fun, quick read. The story is told from Lena's POV, although we get some other POV's as well, helping to understand crucial parts of the backstory. It flows well, with lots of action, and it's nice to see other targets. This is a fast paced thrill ride, with New York City as the backdrop, and a pretty twisted set of antagonists. Being a duology, it might feel a little rushed the way everything is wrapped up, but then again there's no second book syndrome- everything is moving. The characters aren't super deep, but there's enough there to satisfy. This is a fun actioner and a nice follow up.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday

Butter Off Dead (Food Lovers' Village mysteries #3)

This week I'm waiting on Butter Off Dead. This looks like fun and I love old time movie theaters.

From Goodreads:

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana, try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local vendor...

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, filled with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin has to find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. But the closer she gets to the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program...

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES!
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Paperback304 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Berkley