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Since the year is almost half over I thought I would post a mid-year update on my alphabet reading challenge.

So far I’ve read 20 books this year, but I’ve had a lot of repeat first letters so I’ve only completed 8 books towards my alphabet challenge. I guess I’m going to have to start paying more attention to the first letter of the titles for the rest of the books that I read this year. 😉

Beautiful Disaster  by: Jamie McGuire

Dark Secret, The  by: Tui T. Sutherland

Forgetting, The  by: Sharon Cameron

Legend of Holly Claus, The  by: Brittney Ryan

One Was Lost  by: Natalie D. Richards

Pack  by: Jeaniene Frost

Shadow of the Wolf  by: Tim Hall

Witch Song  by: Amber Argyle

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FEBRUARY:

I was lucky enough to find all of these books on Book Outlet.

The Children’s Home by: Charles Lambert

The Skylighter by: Becky Wallace

A Natural History of Dragon’s by: Marie Brennan

Dream On by: Kerstin Gier (I couldn’t actually find a link for this book so I’ve linked to the first book in the series.)

Stolen Songbird by: Danielle L. Jensen

A Star Shall Fall by: Marie Brennan

I ordered these 2 books from Amazon’s used book section.

Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk

The Lies of Locke Lamora by: Scott Lynch

 

MARCH:

The first book I ordered on Amazon.

Kings of the Wyld by: Nicholas Eames

The other two I got at Shopko (1 free with my rewards coupon and 1 half off with a regular coupon.)

Catacomb by: Madeleine Roux

The Asylum Novellas by: Madeleine Roux

I picked this one up at Wal-mart.

One Was Lost by: Natalie D Richards

 

JUNE

I picked up all of these books at yard sales.

Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by: Helen Brown

Fury’s Kiss by: Karen Chance

Dust by: Elizabeth Bear

The Hero of Ages by: Brandon Sanderson

Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds by: Angie Bailey

The Heart of Myrial by: Maggie Furey

Spirit of the Stone by: Maggie Furey

Echo of Eternity by: Maggie Furey

After picking up the 3rd book in this series at a yard sale, I went ahead and ordered the first 2 books from Amazon.

Midnight’s Daughter by: Karen Chance

Death’s Mistress by: Karen Chance

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Girl of Nightmares by: Kendare Blake (Anna #2)

Girl of Nightmares, the acclaimed sequel to Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood.

It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong…these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor. ”

4 stars

This is the 2nd book in the Anna duology, the  first being Anna Dressed in Blood. I enjoyed this book almost as much as I did the first book. It was a bit slower in pace, but still a lot of fun. With the exception of Caramel, I really liked most of the characters in this story. This book didn’t have quite the same Supernatural (the tv show) feel to it as the first book, but it does have some really dark sides to it, and yet I still wanted to like Anna in spite of it all.

I was pleased with how the story wrapped up and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by Kendare Blake.

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All the Crooked Saints  by: Maggie Stiefvater

“Expected publication: October 10th 2017 by Scholastic Pres”

Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.”

“The book takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family—each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night.”

“The Soria family are saints as well, and the miracle they perform for pilgrims to Bicho Raro is as strange as most miracles are: They can make the darkness inside you visible. Once the pilgrims see their inner darkness face to face, it’s up to them to perform another miracle on themselves: banishing the darkness for good. It can be a tricky business to vanquish your inner demons, even once you know what they are, but the Sorias are forbidden to help with this part. They’ve all been told that if a Soria interferes with the second miracle, it will bring out their own darkness, and a saint’s darkness, so the story goes, is a most potent and dangerous thing.” – Maggie Stiefvater, EW interview.”

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The Beast is an Animal by: Peternelle Van Arsdale

Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of adults who are terrified of their power, and who cower behind high walls and grim rules. Fear of the soul eaters—and of The Beast—rules their lives. Even more, they fear the ways in which The Beast may lurk among them—and within a girl like Alys.

For Alys has a connection to the soul eaters, and The Beast. And she hides a truth about herself that she can reveal to no one, for fear she will be called a witch. As the threat posed by the soul eaters grows, Alys must undertake a journey through the wild danger of the fforest. But the greatest danger is not outside her. Alys’s secret about who—and what—she is terrifies her most of all. And in order to save her world, she must also risk losing herself.”

3.5 stars (Almost got 4 stars, but faltered at the end.)

I was really excited when I found out that my local library not only had this book, but that it was in stock and available for checkout without having to sign up on a wait list.

I absolutely adore the cover and it was a big reason that I wanted to read this book. I really didn’t know what to expect beyond the Old Byd Nursery Rhyme on the back of the book, which drew me in and pushed this book to the top of my TBR list.

The book moves along at a slow but steady pace, which I was ok with. It had the feel of an old fairy tale, dark and creepy. At times it even reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately once the romantic interest was introduced to the story it lost a bit of its creep factor. The story was still good, it just developed a different feel. I also felt like the end of the book was a wee-bit of a let down. It just didn’t have the bang that I was hoping for based on the creepy way the book started.

On a positive note, this book is a stand alone. It’s gotten harder and harder to find stand alone books now-a-days, so I was happy when this book had an actual ending and not a cliff hanger. This is Peternelle Van Arsdale’s first book and I did enjoy it enough that I will be keeping an eye out for her next book so I can give it a read.

 

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Sara’s Game by: Ernie Lindsey (Sara Winthrop #1)

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BBDescription

Two years ago, Sara’s husband left for the gym one morning…and never came back. His car was found. He wasn’t. Unbelievably, the police report said, “No foul play suspected.” There were a few unreliable sightings over the following months, but little else.

Now, on the last day before summer break, her three children have gone missing from their schools, all at the same time.

And the note under her windshield wiper asks one simple question: Are you ready to play the game? ”

BBReview

4 Stars

What a ride. This book starts off on the day that Sara’s children are abducted. There’s no messing around with a lot of back-story before you get to the action. This was a fast paced story that kept me up reading late into the night. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

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Unlikely Substitute by: Leah Atwood (Mail-Order Husbands #1)

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BBDescription

“Once widowed, once duped Anne Marie Meadows has no desire to be married, but she is down to her last option. In order to save her farm, she sends for a mail-order husband.

U.S. Marshal Jude Malstrom is a loner dedicated to his work, but when a dying man asks him to deliver a letter, he reluctantly carries out the task.

When nature unleashes her fury, Jude and Anne Marie find themselves in each other’s company for longer than they wish. Can they see beyond obligation and find an unlikely love?”

BBReview

3 stars

At only 55 pages long this novella was a really quick read. It was a clean, fun and entertaining story.  I enjoyed it enough that I would definitely be willing to read more by this author.

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TopNewRelease

Kings of the Wyld by: Nicholas Eames

Released on February 21, 2017. Kings of the Wyld is Nicholas Eames’ debut novel. It only came to my attention a few days ago in a booktube video by Rhodes Vlog. Right away I knew it sounded like a book that I would enjoy and I’ve already added it to my ever growing list of books that I want to read. If any of you have already read this book I’d love to hear what you thought of it (spoiler free of course.)

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BBDescription

“GLORY NEVER GETS OLD.

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.”

BBAuthorLinks

Nicholas Eames’ Goodreads Page.

The Heartwyld, Nicholas Eames’ website.

Kings of the Wyld, available on Amazon.

 

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I love to find books at discount prices and have a few favorite locations for doing just that.

I found The Republic of Thieves at Goodwill for under $2.

I ordered Changeless from Amazon using points that I had built up so it was, essentially, free.

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I found all of the books listed below at Salvation Army for $0.69 each.

A Daughter’s Inheritance

An Unexpected Love

Land of My Heart

Shadow Spell

Every Fifteen Minutes

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And last but not least my favorite used book store, Half Price Books. Where all of the books are, as the name suggests, half off the cover price, sometimes even lower. A few of these books were even on clearance for $1 and $2.

Through Wolf’s Eyes

Red Country

The Rose Labyrinth

Shadow’s Lure

Shadow’s Master

Wolf in Shadow

Beyond the Deepwoods

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TopReviewBanner

A Little Something Different by: Sandy Hall

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BBDescription

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gabe were meant to be together.
Fall in love with falling in love in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel!

BBReview

2 stars (maybe closer to a 1.5 star book for me)

**small spoilers**

When I first heard about this book I was really excited. I thought that seeing this couple’s romance unfold through the eyes of those around them, would be fun. I was even excited that one of the POV’s was that of a squirrel. Sadly this book didn’t turn out to be quite what I was hoping for. I was a bit put off by the college writing professor that became so obsessed with her “project couple” and the speed at which their relationship was or wasn’t progressing that she became emotionally distraught. And the bus driver that was so worried about listening in on the conversation that the couple was having that he sat through multiple green lights. Then you have the POV of the local park bench that was only worried about the perfict butt setting on it. It wasn’t long before I started skimming the book in an attempt to see if it got any better, but when I could literally read the first sentience in each paragraph for multiple pages and not miss anything important to the story line, I simply finished the book because I knew it wouldn’t take me that long and I felt I owed it to the author if I was going to review the book. I really don’t like to give bad reviews. I know authors work hard on their books and I know not every person is going to love every book. Unfortunately this book just didn’t do it for me.

 

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