Wednesday, September 30, 2020

BLOG TOUR: After Hours Redemption by Kianna Alexander

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for After Hours Redemption by Kianna Alexander. I was provided with an e-arc for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Harlequin Desire and Kianna Alexander for letting me be a part of this fun tour!

Title: After Hours Redemption
Author: Kianna Alexander
Published by: Harlequin Desire
Released: October 1, 2020
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: Their red-hot reunion
is off the charts!
They made passionate music together.
Has this heartbreaker changed his tune?
Songwriter Eden Voss had the perfect man—sexy, charming, talented and hers. Until record executive Blaine Woodson broke her heart to save his fledging label. Now music’s bad boy is back, begging for her songwriting skills in his studio…and her lovemaking skills after hours. Eden vows to keep things strictly business this time. But there is nothing professional about the heat still between them… (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this! It was a romance that I just got lost in and I couldn't help flipping through the pages. I really liked the setting of Atlanta and how the music industry played a big part. It was also very steamy and satisfying.
This was a really addicting read that I enjoyed a lot. I'd definitely recommend it to all the romance lovers out there! Kianna Alexander writes a good story and I can't wait to see the next one.

Like any good Southern belle, Kianna Alexander wears many hats: loving wife, doting mama, advice-dispensing sister, and gabbing girlfriend. She's a voracious reader, an amateur seamstress and occasional painter in oils. Chocolate, American history, sweet tea, and Idris Elba are a few of her favorite things.  A native of the TarHeel state, Kianna still lives there with her husband, two kids, and a collection of well-loved vintage 80's Barbie dolls.

Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for After Hours Redemption by Kianna Alexander. Thank you to Harlequin Desire and Kianna Alexander for letting me be a part of this tour.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

BLOG TOUR: She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells. I was provided with an e-arc for honest review from the publisher. Thank you so much to Berkley and Robin Wells for letting me be a part of this.

Title: She Gets That From Me
Author: Robin Wells
Published by: Berkley
Released: September 22, 2020
Source: e-arc from publisher for review

Synopsis: Quinn never expected that her best friend’s courageous decision to be a single mother by choice would end up transforming her own life in this poignant novel from USA Today bestselling author Robin Wells.
When Quinn Langston’s best friend unexpectedly passes away, Quinn embraces Brooke’s three-year-old daughter Lily and elderly grandmother Margaret as the family she’s always wanted. She’ll do whatever it takes to help them heal, but she didn’t anticipate Lily’s biological father would be part of the plan. Margaret is old-fashioned, though, and she has no compunction about finding a way to reach Lily’s dad, a sperm donor. After all, he's a blood relative, and she believes family should raise family.
Zack Bradley doesn't know what to expect when he finds out he has a child. Sperm donors don't usually get to meet their...well, he's not sure what to call Lily yet, but he’s certain he wants to get to know her. There’s just one of problem: he’s about to move to Seattle with his wife, Jessica, who’s undergone multiple infertility treatments, desperately wants a family of her own and can’t stand the idea of Zack playing daddy to another woman’s child.
Together, they’ll all learn that the human heart is infinitely expandable and there are many different roads to family. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: There's a lot going on here, but I enjoyed it. It deals with grief, infertility, and just what makes a family. It's a very sweet and heartwarming book. I really liked how all these people came together and wanted the best for this little girl. It's a make-you-feel-good story.
There were a lot of different pieces going on in this one. There's an unexpected death, a friend jumping in to care for another woman's child, an elderly lady that has strong opinions, a sperm donor who is told of his child, and a marriage that has troubles. There's a lot. A lot. I liked how everything was done though. It was a book that put some warmth in my heart.
I would criticize the idea of a romance between someone who is married. I never, ever like that. Even if the wife is awful, it doesn't make it okay. I wouldn't say that anything really happens, but there's the suggestion of it. I would rather Zack had just been single.
I enjoyed this. Robin Wells tells a very sweet story of people coming together to mourn a loved one and raise her little girl. It really hits home how family isn't all just blood. If you're looking for a Women's Fiction to read, I'd definitely say give this one a try.

Robin Wells was an advertising and public relations executive before becoming a full-time writer. She always dreamed of writing novels--a dream inspired by a grandmother who told "hot tales" and parents who were both librarians. Her books have won the RWA Golden Heart, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and numerous other awards. She now lives in Texas with her husband, but will always be a Louisiana girl at heart.

Thanks for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells. Thanks so much to Berkley and Robin Wells for letting me be a part of the tour!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Review: One Way (#1) by S.J. Morden

Title: One Way (#1)
Author: S.J. Morden
Published by: Orbit
Released: April 2018
Source: e-arc from publisher/physical copy from library

Synopsis: It's the dawn of a new era - and we're ready to colonize Mars. But the company that's been contracted to construct a new Mars base, has made promises they can't fulfill and is desperate enough to cut corners. The first thing to go is the automation . . . the next thing they'll have to deal with is the eight astronauts they'll send to Mars, when there aren't supposed to be any at all.
Frank - father, architect, murderer - is recruited for the mission to Mars with the promise of a better life, along with seven of his most notorious fellow inmates. But as his crew sets to work on the red wasteland of Mars, the accidents mount up, and Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all. As the list of suspect grows shorter, it's up to Frank to uncover the terrible truth before it's too late.
Dr. S. J. Morden trained as a rocket scientist before becoming the author of razor-sharp, award-winning science fiction. Perfect for fans of Andy Weir's The Martian and Richard Morgan, One Way takes off like a rocket, pulling us along on a terrifying, epic ride with only one way out. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Convicts being sent to Mars to build the first base station, and then someone starts killing them. A Mars Murder Mystery! We follow Frank, who, while being a convicted murderer, is a pretty okay guy. I mostly enjoyed myself while reading this.
This book was very science heavy science fiction. I tend to enjoy more fiction in my science fiction. That's mostly because the science part is going to go right over my head. There was a lot of focus on the science. There were long sections all about putting the base pieces together. Why this part goes here and the other part goes there. I mean, it was interesting, but it was also a little dull. I probably would have been more into it if I had understood it. The author is a scientist, which you could totally tell. I would trust him to build a Mars base.
There was a weird sort of time jump in the story. All this focus had been on the beginning of building the base, and then I turn a page to find it all done. It jumped ahead a couple of months, which threw me a little.
I enjoyed the mystery part, although it was fairly obvious who was behind it. There was a good amount of tension though. All alone on a planet and your team members are dying one by one. There were some good action scenes.
I also enjoyed S.J. Morden's writing style.
I'm definitely interested to see how the story will continue in the sequel. I'm definitely going to read it. One Way was a good time.

Mars and Murder!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Reading Right Now! (273)

Hooray for Friday! Bookopoly is almost over, but I'm hoping that I can squeeze a couple more books in. I've had fun doing it. I think I might keep on using the game board when I'm not sure what to read next. I'd really like to make my own kind of game board/wheel/something TBR thing, because I do find it a lot of fun, I'm just not creative enough.
So, what I'm Reading Right Now! is...

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian -- hmm hmm hmm. This book is very strange. I don't really know how I feel about it. I think the main reason that this came on my radar was because of the cover. It has a great cover. And the cover does explain some of what the book is about. I guess I saw that cover and thought maybe it was horror/mystery kind of thing, but it actually is fantasy/horror. It's an odd book.
Now, I want to be fair to it, because I don't think it's all the book's fault. I read, I think it was on the goodreads page, that this book was supposed to be a duology, but the publisher decided that they were only going to do one. The author then had to reconfigure the book so that the story meant for a duology got squished into one book. I can definitely feel that. There's a lot going on in this book. It doesn't get a lot of time to spend on things. Sometimes, I'm not even that sure what's going on. It's odd. It would have been better if it had been allowed to be two books.
There's a lot of horror and gore in this, which would maybe hit me harder if we weren't speed racing through the whole journey. I'm not really connecting/caring that much about the characters. They feel distant to me. There's supposed to be a relationship kind of thing happening and it feels kind of forced. There's no time for it to develop.
This is a strange one for me. There's magic, empaths, horror, death, being stuck in this deep, never ending cave, an evil centuries old magic dude, a band of eight people forced together who start dying (sometimes immediately) one by one, and a lot of body horror. Some of those things I feel like I should like, but I don't know if this book is really working for me. I'm near-ish to the end, so we'll see.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Love Study by Kris Ripper

I'm excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Love Study by Kris Ripper. I received a free electronic copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Carina Press and Kris Ripper for letting me be a part of this tour.

Title: The Love Study
Author: Kris Ripper
Published by: Carina Press
Released: September 29, 2020
Source: Electronic Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: What happens when the search for the perfect date goes perfectly wrong?
Don’t miss this charming romantic comedy from critically acclaimed author Kris Ripper. 
Declan has commitment issues. He’s been an office temp for literally years now, and his friends delight in telling people that he left his last boyfriend at the altar.
And that’s all true. But he’s starting to think it’s time to start working on his issues. Maybe.
When Declan meets Sidney—a popular nonbinary YouTuber with an advice show—an opportunity presents itself: as part of The Love Study, Declan will go on a series of dates arranged by Sidney and report back on how the date went in the next episode.
The dates are…sort of blah. It’s not Sidney’s fault; the folks participating are (mostly) great people, but there’s no chemistry there. Maybe Declan’s just broken.
Or maybe the problem is that the only person he’s feeling chemistry with is Sidney. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: This is very cute. I enjoyed my time reading it. I liked watching Declan go on all these different dates. I liked Sidney's YouTube advice show and the idea to report on all these dates. I just thought this book was cute, it was fun, it was nice break from the real world.
I'm glad I got the chance to read it. There were a lot of funny situations in this book that just made for good reading. There are some precious beans in this book. I'd definitely recommend it for people looking for a more sexually diverse type of romance. I think you'd have a good time.

Kris Ripper is an author from the great state of California, and zir pronouns are ze/zir. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write and was boring stuffed animals with stories long before that. Now, Ze shares a converted garage with a kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards.

Thanks for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for The Love Study by Kris Ripper. Thanks so much to Carina Press and Kris Ripper for letting me be a part of this fun tour. Look out for this one on September 29th!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

BLOG TOUR: Smash It! by Francina Simone

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Smash It! by Francina Simone. I received a free electronic copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so, so much to Inkyard Press and Francina Simone for letting me be a part of this tour!

Title: Smash It!
Author: Francina Simone
Published by: Inkyard Press
Released: September 22, 2020
Source: Electronic Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: Refreshingly authentic and bold... Don't miss this smashing #ownvoices novel from Francina Simone! Filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for, Smash It! is a perfect read for fans of Julie Murphy, Ibi Zoboi and Ashley Poston.
Olivia "Liv" James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does...
After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts--why, God, why?--she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list--a F*ck-It list.
1. Be bold--do the thing that scares me.
2. Learn to take a compliment.
3. Stand out instead of back.
She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv's heart is interested in three different guys--and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she's not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?
In Liv's own words, "F*ck it. What's the worst that can happen?"
A lot, apparently.
#SMASHIT (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this. It was fun, and I liked the idea of a book that stresses be yourself, love yourself. I really liked watching Liv's journey. The way she really went for taking chances and conquering her fear. It's an uplifting and important message. Liv goes after things with courage and she's honest with herself. I liked it.
The relationship stuff was interesting. Instead of a triangle, we get so many more options. This was another plus about the book, it really was honest about relationships and sex. Liv knows what she wants. It's refreshing.
I just really enjoyed reading Smash It!. I enjoyed all the time that I got to spend with Liv, I liked seeing her get the most out of life. Her bravery and drive to do the things that scared her was just very uplifting. I'm glad she decided to stop being scared. I thought it was fun. I'd say give it a try.

Francina Simone is a writer of YA Epic Urban Fantasies brimming with Magic and Moral Ambiguity.

From the time Francina Simone entered kindergarten, she loved to read and share words with her friends. When she was in the fifth-grade, she was scared to read aloud and so the teacher concluded she wasn’t very good at reading—Francina read anyway.

Francina left her middle school book club behind for the daunting and exciting life as a high school freshmen. She was quickly told Young Adult books were childish and she should concern herself with finer literature—Francina read them anyway.
Francina waved good-bye to her high school life and strutted into University with her YA books and graphic paper to take notes. She witnessed the birth of a YA trend where publishers flocked to sell their stories to teens…stories that were underdeveloped and glaring with structural issues. The message she heard as a consumer was simple—common belief is YA readers aren’t good enough readers to discern quality stories or they are too childish to tell the difference.
Francina dropped her degree in chemistry and decided enough was enough—and set out to write the quality* stories her fellow readers deserved.
After her formative years she moved to Japan, with her best-friend and husband, land of some of the worlds best story-tellers and creators of unique manga. There she worked on her stories and the quest to understand what authenticity* in story means.
Now she lives in Boise with her husband, son, cat, and Catahoula. She spends most of her time battling the terrible-twos and puppy-dom. But when things are quiet—you can hear frantically typing away; her mind far away with her characters in their quest to make the right decisions in a world brimming with magic and moral ambiguity.

Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Smash It! by Francina Simone. Thanks so much to Inkyard Press and Francina Simone for letting me be a part of this fun tour.

Monday, September 21, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox. I received a free electronic copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Graydon House and Hester Fox for letting me be a part of this tour.

Title: The Orphan of Cemetery Hill
Author: Hester Fox
Published by: Graydon House
Released: September 15, 2020
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: The dead won’t bother you if you don’t give them permission. 
Boston, 1844.
Tabby has a peculiar gift: she can communicate with the recently departed. It makes her special, but it also makes her dangerous.
As an orphaned child, she fled with her sister, Alice, from their charlatan aunt Bellefonte, who wanted only to exploit Tabby’s gift so she could profit from the recent craze for seances.
Now a young woman and tragically separated from Alice, Tabby works with her adopted father, Eli, the kind caretaker of a large Boston cemetery. When a series of macabre grave robberies begins to plague the city, Tabby is ensnared in a deadly plot by the perpetrators, known only as the “Resurrection Men.”
In the end, Tabby’s gift will either save both her and the cemetery—or bring about her own destruction. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Everything about this synopsis made me want to read this book. I'm always drawn to ghostly tales, so Tabby having the ability to communicate from the dead was a big draw. I also love the time period it's set in and how it incorporates the popularity of seances. I also loved the danger of it. Tabby has a mystery to solve and she must find out who these "Resurrection Men" are.
This book was just really fun to read. It gave me the spooky adventure that I wanted. I really enjoy Hester Fox's books, I like how she incorporates some supernatural spookiness into her novels. I really enjoyed getting thrown into Tabby's world and having to figure out just what was going on. I loved the historical setting of it too.
I liked following Tabby's story, I liked getting to meet Caleb. I just liked a lot of stuff about this one. I'd say give it a read if it sounds good to you. I'm glad I got to read it.

Hester Fox is a full-time writer and mother, with a background in museum work and historical archaeology. Most weekends you can find Hester exploring one of the many historic cemeteries in the area, browsing bookshops, or enjoying a seasonal latte while writing at a café. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son.

Thank you for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox. Thanks so much to Graydon House and Hester Fox for letting me be a part of the tour! This book has the perfect feel for the season.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

BLOG TOUR: Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and Jon Klassen

I am really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake with illustrations by Jon Klassen. I received a free copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Algonquin Young Readers and Amy Timberlake for letting me be a part of this fun tour.

Title: Skunk and Badger
Author: Amy Timberlake
Illustrations by: Jon Klassen
Published by: Algonquin Young Readers
Released: September 15, 2020
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship, from Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake with full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.
 No one wants a skunk.
 They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Important Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it.
 When Skunk plows into Badger’s life, everything Badger knows is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?
 Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake spins the first tale in a series about two opposites who need to be friends.
 New York Times bestselling author/illustrator and Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen completes the book with his signature lushly textured art. This beautifully bound edition contains both full-color plates and numerous black-and-white illustrations.
Skunk and Badger is a book you’ll want to read, reread, and read out loud . . . again and again.  (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: This was very, very cute! A perfect read for middle grade readers. It features a Badger and a Skunk who become roommates. Badger is a rock scientist and needs peace and quiet to do his work. Skunk is his exact opposite, he's also friends with a lot of chickens. 
This is a really sweet story of friendship. How sometimes the best friends come from giving a person a chance. It's about getting involved with someone different then you and also not judging by appearances.
I loved the illustrations and the design of the book. It was just a lot of fun to read.
This is super cute and I'd definitely recommend it!

Amy Timberlake's work has received a Newbery Honor, an Edgar, and a Golden Kite Award. One book was chosen to be a Book Sense Pick, another was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review. Her books have made several "best books of the year" lists, and she loves it whenever her books are chosen to be part of a state reading list. (Thank you!) Chicago's Lifeline Theatre has adapted both One Came Home and The Dirty Cowboy for the stage. She's received residency fellowships from Hedgebrook, and the Anderson Center. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake. Thanks so much to Algonquin Young Readers and Amy Timberlake for letting me read this cute book and having me on the tour.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Reading Right Now! (272)

I'm still having fun with #bookopoly and I might even continue with it after this readathon month is over. I'll probably have a tbr of books that I want to read, but when I don't know what to do, I'll roll the dice and see what I land on. It's a good time.
What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel -- I've read this author's Book of Ivy duology and their adult thriller The Roanoke Girls and really enjoyed them all, so I was very excited to check out their next work. I rolled the dice for #bookopoly and landed on the square to read something that starts with the letter F, book or title, so this fit perfectly.
This story is very bleak. I'm not saying that like a bad thing, but that's the feeling it gives me. It's a story about a mother who's daughter is murdered. She's having to live with the grief of that and she's sort of doing her own investigating into who killed her daughter and daughter's friend. This mother, Eve, is poor. She comes from a hard past that has defined her in a lot of ways. She still lives in the small town she grew up in. A small town that has it's own problems with drugs and rough people. Her life isn't easy.
I'm definitely enjoying it. It's a different kind of book from her previous ones so far. The last thriller I read by Engel was The Roanoke Girls and that one was messed up, kind of icky, and I really liked it. The Familiar Dark doesn't have that exact same feel. It kind of reminds me a little of Sadie by Courtney Summers and Winter's Bone. Now, I've never read the book for Winter's Bone, but I saw the movie, so that's what I'm basing my comparison on. I'm not saying The Familiar Dark is the same thing as those two works, but it's giving me that same type of feeling and vibe.
I like it, I can't wait to read more. I'm interested to see what kind of twist or shock it's going to give me. How it's going to end. Amy Engel writes some good stuff.

And that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading? I'm so glad that the weekend is coming. I need it.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

BLOG TOUR: Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets

I'm really excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets. I received a free electronic copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to MIRA, Jude Deveraux, and Tara Sheets for letting me be a part of the tour.

Title: Chance of a Lifetime
Author: Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets
Published by: MIRA
Released: September 15, 2020
Source: Electronic Review Copy from Publisher

Synopsis: In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him
In 1844 Ireland, Liam O’Connor, a rogue and a thief, fell madly in love with a squire’s daughter and unwittingly altered the future. Shy and naive Cora McLeod thought Liam was the answer to her prayers. But the angels disagreed and they’ve been waiting for the right moment in time to step in.
Now Liam finds himself reunited with his beloved Cora in Providence Falls, North Carolina. The angels have given Liam a task. He must make sure Cora falls in love with another man—the one she was supposed to marry before Liam interfered. But this Cora is very different from the innocent girl who fell for Liam in the past. She’s a cop and has a confidence and independence he wasn’t expecting. She doesn’t remember Liam or their past lives, nor is she impressed with his attempts to guide her in any way.
Liam wants Cora for himself, but with his soul hanging in the balance, he must choose between a stolen moment in time or an eternity of damnation. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I really liked the idea for Chance of a Lifetime, it definitely caught my attention. This book has two timelines, plus a story of multiple lives. I really enjoyed the part of this book set in 1844 Ireland. The historical setting was my favorite of the book by far. We get to see Cora and Liam meet, fall in love, and then mess up the time continuum.
The book then gets a little strange. There's heaven, angels, and Liam being sent forward in time to fix the mistakes he made in the past. It was definitely an interesting read.
I really did enjoy Cora and Liam as characters though. They were going through all these crazy things, but I did want them to be happy together.
This book was different, but I did enjoy it. I appreciate a book that takes a concept and runs with it. If you're looking for something fun, I'd recommend it.

Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All TimeMoonlight in the Morning, and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.

Thanks for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Chance of a Lifetime by Jude Deveraux and Tara Sheets. Thank you to MIRA and the authors for letting me be a part of this fun tour.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

BLOG TOUR: A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black

I'm pretty excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black. I received a free copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Algonquin Books and Michael Ian Black for letting me be a part of the tour.

Title: A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son
Author: Michael Ian Black
Published by: Algonquin Books
Released: September 15, 2020
Source: Electronic Review Copy from the Publisher

Synopsis: “Raw, intimate, and true . . . A Better Man cracked me wide open, and it’s a template for the conversation we need to be having with our boys.”
Peggy Orenstein, bestselling author of Boys & Sex
A poignant look at boyhood, in the form of a heartfelt letter from comedian Michael Ian Black to his teenage son before he leaves for college, and a radical plea for rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love. 

In a world in which the word masculinity now often goes hand in hand with toxic, comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black offers up a way forward for boys, men, and anyone who loves them. Part memoir, part advice book, and written as a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son, A Better Man reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and searches for the best way to help young men be part of the solution, not the problem. “If we cannot allow ourselves vulnerability,” he writes, “how are we supposed to experience wonder, fear, tenderness?”
Honest, funny, and hopeful, Black skillfully navigates the complex gender issues of our time and delivers a poignant answer to an urgent question: How can we be, and raise, better men?  (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I thought this was a sweet, thoughtful, and reflective book. I will admit, I'm not the biggest non-fiction reader. I would rather get lost in a fictional world with fictional problems then read about real things, I did enjoy this book though. It explored a lot of different topics in a way that kept my attention. It's definitely a beneficial book for young men.
One thing I appreciated about this book is that it was written for young men. I think they are an audience that tends to get pushed to the side. We get so many books written about feminism and Girl Power, but not really very many books for boys. I think that's sort of sad. I thought a majority of the messages in here were good.
This book also functions a bit as a memoir which was interesting to read. I knew Michael Ian Black was a comedian, and there was a little bit of humor sprinkled in this book, but it wasn't the main focus or forced. I used to watch this show on VH1 called I Love the 90's or 80's or 2000's and Michael Ian Black was one of the commentators on that show, he was funny on it.
I liked this book. It's not something that I usually read, but it was nice. It's a contemplative letter from father to son that deals with some tough and important topics. I'd recommend it. 

Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian, and writer who started his career with the sketch comedy show The State, on MTV, and has created and starred in many other television shows. Movie appearances include Wet Hot American SummerThe Baxter, and Sextuplets.
Black is the author of several books for children, including the award-winning I’m BoredI’m Sad, and I’m Worried, and the parody A Child’s First Book of Trump. His books for adults include the memoirs You’re Not Doing It Right and Navel Gazing, and the essay collection My Custom Van. Black also co-authored with Meghan McCain America, You Sexy Bitch.
As a stand-up comedian, Michael regularly tours the country, and he has released several comedy albums. His podcasts include Mike & Tom Eat Snacks, with Tom Cavanagh; Topics, with Michael Showalter; How to Be Amazing; and Obscure.

He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

Thanks so much for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son by Michael Ian Black. Thanks so much to Algonquin Books and Michael Ian Black for letting me be a part of the tour!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BLOG TOUR: Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody. This is the third book in The Shadow Game Series. I received a free electronic copy for honest review from the publisher. Thanks so much to Inkyard Press and Amanda Foody for letting me be a part of the blog tour!

Title: Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3)
Author: Amanda Foody
Published by: Inkyard Press
Released: September 1, 2020
Source: Electronic Review Copy from the Publisher

Synopsis: Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.
Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.
After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.
Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.
Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…
And monsters. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Queen of Volts is definitely a good time and I enjoyed myself immensely. This is the last book, the final tale, in The Shadow Game series. I'm sad to see it end. As a finale, this was everything I wanted it to be. It was great! It had a really nice pace to it, there were numerous shocks and twists. It was a really fun reading experience.
While our characters weren't always the nicest to each other, I really did enjoy the found family element. I love found families when it comes to books and TV shows. I love the bounds that these characters formed with each other and how they had to team up for the Shadow Game.
I'm sad this series had to end, and I definitely recommend that more people read it. If magical games are your thing, you need to check this series out. I liked it a lot. I can't wait to see what Amanda Foody does next.

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a master's in accountancy from Villanova University and a bachelor of arts in English literature from the College of William and Mary.

Thanks for stopping by my Blog Tour Stop for Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody. I'd definitely recommend checking this series out. Thanks so much to Inkyard Press and Amanda Foody for letting me be a part of this fun tour!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Review: Crosswind, Volume 1 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

Title: Crosswind, Volume 1
Written by: Gail Simone
Illustrated by: Cat Staggs
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Published by: Image Comics, Inc.
Released: February 2018
Source: Library

Synopsis: Goodfellas meets Freaky Friday in this mind-bending new ongoing series from Fan-favorite creators GAIL SIMONE (Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Deadpool, Secret Six, Birds of Prey) and CAT STAGGS (Adventures of Supergirl, Smallville Season 11, Wonder Woman '77).
A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman.
A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife.
When an inexplicable event strikes these two random strangers, their bodies, souls, and lives are switched--to potentially deadly effect.
Collects issues 1-6. (Synopsis from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: This was fun. I enjoyed it. It was kind of like a B action movie. It was quick, violent, full of action. The art style was really unique and I liked it. It was fun to look at.
There's a lot of language in this book, a lot.
Also, almost every man in this Volume is a sexist pig and I didn't really buy that. It was excessive.
I enjoyed the switcheroo. Seeing Cason turn into Juniper was probably my favorite.
The ending, I wasn't expecting that. It was a surprise.
I liked Crosswind and I'm definitely interested in seeing where it goes in Volume 2.

Housewife and Hitman