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Thursday, October 19, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins @naturallysteph @LLAudiobooks

NARRATOR: Bahni Turpin
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 26, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 26 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that's fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

MY REVIEW:

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook for voluntary review consideration.

This fast-paced story was a quick read for me, and I really enjoyed it!

Someone is brutally killing teenagers in Osborne, Nebraska. This killer likes to mess with the victims, like moving things in the house before he attacks so that the victim is aware that something isn’t right and that they aren't alone. Can you imagine how chilling that would be? The killer is truly diabolical and twisted, and that is what makes the book so good and reminiscent of the movie Scream!

The killer makes a mistake, and his attack on Makani is interrupted by her boyfriend. The identity of the killer then becomes known because Makani survived, and the hunt is on. Meanwhile, Makani and her friends try to figure out the connection between the victims to determine the next target.

Makani is an interesting character. She is a native of Hawaii, and her parents sent her to live with her aunt in Nebraska after something happened to her. Part of the mystery of the story is not knowing what’s in Makani’s past. I have to say that the revelation was a bit of a let-down. It wasn't nearly as scandalous as I was expecting! I'm still kind of scratching my head wondering why it was such a big deal, because she was a victim and the ones who were ultimately to blame were the ones who perpetrated the offence.

This is my first book by this author, and I was a bit taken aback at all the sex in this YA book! Makani meets a boy at the grocery store and shows up there once a week to make out with him on his break. When they finally go off to somewhere more secluded and private to have sex, their "relationship" (I use that term loosely) fizzles out and they don’t see each other again. Just a wham-bam thank you ma’am! I am not an advocate for casual sex, especially amongst teens. That was a disappointment for me. Makani and this boy do reconnect and have more of a committed romance, but it’s still more sex than I like to see in a YA book. I do applaud the author for her diversity in characters, with Makani’s background and her transgender friend.

I enjoyed the macabre details of the slayings. I know that Perkins normally writes contemporary YA romances, which generally aren’t my thing. However, I’d definitely pick up another one of her scary books if she writes one again!

Bahni Turpin was a good choice for narrator, although I thought her pace was a tad slow. I did enjoy the flair and attitude she gave to each character. Here is a sample:



MY RATING:
4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy horror. Thanks again to Listening Library for the opportunity to review this audiobook!

This book qualifies as:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Contagion by Erin Bowman @erin_bowman @harperteen

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa @ Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.


Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:

TITLE: Contagion
SERIES: Contagion, Book #1
AUTHOR: Erin Bowman
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: July 24, 2018
FORMAT: Ebook
LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction
ISBN: 9780062574183
It got in us

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don't set foot here again

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

Oh, wow! This one sounds sooooo good! I love survival stories and that this one is set on another planet.




What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Favourite Cookbooks #TopTenTuesday


This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Favourite Cookbooks



Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with your Slow Cooker
by Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good
I love my slow cooker! I love being able to throw something in there in the morning before I leave for work and come home to a (nearly) finished meal. I usually just need to make a side dish and salad, and I can get supper on the table within a half hour of coming home. This is my "go-to" cookbook for trying out new recipes for my slow cooker.



The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever
by Natalie Haughton
This is the first slow cooker cookbook that I bought. At that time, I wasn't sure whether I'd like using a slow cooker. It's a small cookbook, and I have found a few recipes in here that I love. However, if you are looking for more recipes and more variety, get the Fix-It and Forget-It one.



Company's Coming: Cookies
by Jean Paré
I own every single book in the original Company's Coming series. They were the first cookbooks that I ever bought when I was single and first moved out of the house! I still use them to this day. My especially love this Cookies one.


Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications
Christmas Cookies 1999
I own a couple of these Christmas Cookies magazines from Better Homes and Gardens, but this is the first one that I bought and use most often. So many yummy goodies!


Taste of Home Thanksgiving Cookbook 2017
I just bought this at Costco last week, and I'm already loving it! I made the Roasted Autumn Vegetable Soup on Page 72 already, and it's wonderful!


The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread
by Bette Hagman
Way back when, my older daughter had digestive issues for many years and could not tolerate gluten, dairy, and eggs. Therefore, everything had to be made from scratch. Nowadays, there are gluten-free flour mixes that you can buy and even boxed cake mixes from Betty Crocker but back in early 2000s that wasn't the case. Correction: There were a few boxed mixes but they tasted awful! I had to learn how to make my own blends for pizza dough, pancakes, bread, cookies, muffins, crackers, pretzels, and more. This book was a lifesaver. Bette Hagman is the Betty Crocker of the gluten-free world! I own a number of Hagman's gluten-free cookbooks, but this was the one that I used the most.


Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo
by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong
My older daughter has now outgrown her digestive issues that plagued her for years, but we've discovered that we feel better eating low/no gluten and refined sugar. Yeah, I know...I featured all those baking cookbooks earlier up there but those are more for holidays and I try (being the operative) to be good and bake with no gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. I love Nom Nom Paleo's website, and I snatched this cookbook when I saw it at Costco. I love the photographs that accompany the step-by-step instructions, rather than just a photo of the finished dish.


Super Baby Food: Absolutely everything you should know about feeding your baby and toddler, from starting solid foods to age three. Includes more than 350 quick, easy, delicious and nutritious recipes and thousands of money-saving and time-saving child care and kitchen tips. High recommended by new moms and dads!
by Ruth Yaron

I don't use this one anymore since my kids are no longer this age, but I absolutely loved this cookbook! I made my own baby food for my kids utilizing the recommendations in this book for what to introduce to your child at each age, and the various tables made it easy to look up the nutritional analysis in different foods to ensure that my child was getting all the required vitamins/minerals/proteins from the food groups. I used to give this cookbook as a gift at baby showers.



All Recipes website
I use this website all the time! Whenever I want to try something new, this is probably my go-to place online to browse recipes other than the Nom Nom Paleo website mentioned earlier.


So, what are your favourite cookbooks or websites for finding recipes? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!


Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading: 

Something from my dusty bookshelf, and it's a good choice for RIPXII and Frightfall Read-a-Thon!

TITLE: Dust
SERIES: The Resurgam Trilogy, Book #1
AUTHOR: Joan Frances Turner
PUBLISHER: Ace
PUBLICATION DATE: October 4, 2011
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 384 pages
GENRE: Horror/Zombies, Young Adult
ISBN: 9780441020690
Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. After she was buried, she awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. And there were others-gangs of undead roaming the Indiana woods, fighting, hunting, hidden. But when a mysterious illness threatens the existence of both zombies and humans, Jessie must decide whether to stay and fight or flee to survive...

I am taking this nine-week course with a group of people, which features DVD Study sessions and a Participant Guide with study questions (homework!) for discussion each week. I'm looking forward to this! I've heard the book is great.

TITLE: Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2, 1992
FORMAT: Hardcover
LENGTH: 314 pages
GENRE: Nonfiction, Psychology, Self-Help
ISBN: 9780310585909
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

I am reading this book aloud to my younger daughter. We both loved the 2017 movie remake with Emma Watson.

PUBLISHER: Disney Press
PUBLICATION DATE: January 31, 2017
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 288 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
Belle has dreamt of adventures like the ones she reads in her books, of traveling the world outside her small town. When Belle's father is captured, she takes his place as a prisoner of a fearsome Beast. But life in the enchanted castle isn't as terrible as Belle imagines, and she ultimately finds friendship and love. Enjoy this tale as old as time about adventure and love, about looking past first appearances, and about the inner Beauty and Beast in all of us in this beautiful novelization of the upcoming star-studded film!

I'm listening to:

From the library, and another good choice for RIPXII and Frightfall Read-a-Thon!

AUTHOR: Ruth Ware
NARRATOR: Imogen Church
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 10 hrs and 8 mins
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Someone's getting married. Someone's getting murdered.

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room....

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.


I just finished:

NARRATOR: Bahni Turpin
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 26, 2017
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 26 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Horror
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that's fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stacking The Shelves and Sunday Post



This meme is hosted by Tynga over at Team Tynga's Reviews, which she describes as follows:

"Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!"




Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


And so it begins...woke up to this yesterday! 




Yup, I guess I should have put my snow tires on this week! That is next week's project. I enjoy changing my tires myself. I don't think the snow will last, but it sure made watching the football game yesterday a little chilly! We were bundled under blankets outside. 

I have already bagged 11 of the Costco lawn bags so far and there are even more leaves down now and still many more yet to fall! Last year, I bagged 60 bags of leaves, and I stopped when I ran out which coincided with our last leaf pick-up in mid-November.



I grabbed this when I saw it at Costco this week, and I'm kicking myself for not getting the two previous ones when I saw them last year. Oh, well! I'll have to order them:


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Illustrated Edition)
by J.K. Rowling
(Harry Potter, Book #3)


Recap: Last Week On The Blog



Sunday: Stacking the Shelves and Sunday Post

Thursday Book Review: Afraid to Die by Lisa Jackson

Friday Audiobook Review: It by Stephen King


What books have you added to your shelves this week? If you are also participating in either of these memes, please leave me the link to your blog post in the comments so that I can come and drool over all your goodies!

Friday, October 13, 2017

#Audiobook #Review: 3 out of 5 stars for It by Stephen King @StephenKing @BlackstoneAudio @TheStevenWeber

TITLE: It
AUTHOR: Stephen King
NARRATOR: Steven Weber
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: March 9, 2010 (first published 1986)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 44 hrs and 57 mins
GENRE: Horror
They were just kids when the first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.
MY REVIEW:

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf forever, about 30 years! I find big books very daunting, and this one is 1,116 pages! I decided to listen to the audiobook, and I borrowed it on Overdrive through my local library. The only problem is that the lending period is only three weeks, and then I was back in queue to wait to borrow it again. Well, I had to end up getting my own audiobook to finish it because I was #38 on the waiting list. It took me about four weeks of listening to finish this. So, was it worth it? It is satisfying to have finally read it, but it didn’t give me the thrills and chills that I was hoping for! Also, I think it could definitely have been pared down a bit.

I think most of us have a vague idea of what the book is about. Something bad happens to a group of kids in 1957, there’s an evil clown involved, and the kids grow up and return to their hometown in 1984 to finish off what they started as kids.

I loved learning about the 27-year cycle and tracing It back through history. I also enjoyed jumping back and forth between the two time periods, and seeing how the kids turned out as adults. I was excited when they reunited in Derry, and I was rooting for them all. That is, until it is revealed how Bev united the group. Seriously?!


There are a lot of disturbing and cruel deaths, and the ones involving children and animals are always are the worst. The book opened with Georgie, and then later there is another child who drowns in the toilet. Listening to how Henry watched the poisoned dog die just turned my stomach.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t find the book particularly scary but the 2017 movie trailer made me jump:



Narrator Steven Weber did a great job keeping me entertained through this extremely long tome! 45 hours is a huge investment of my time, and I don’t think I would have gotten through reading this one. The audiobook definitely made it easier for me, and Weber is a great storyteller. His Richie voice always made me smile, and I did shudder a little every time I heard Pennywise. Weber breathed life into each character, and I think he nailed it!

MY RATING:
3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

This book qualifies as:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

#Book #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for Afraid to Die by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson @KensingtonBooks

TITLE: Afraid to Die
SERIES: To Die, Book #4
AUTHOR: Lisa Jackson
PUBLISHER: Zebra
PUBLICATION DATE: June 12, 2012
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 416 pages
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781420118506
Afraid to Scream
Others may dread the chill of winter, but he relishes it. The way the frigid water preserves his victims, the feel of their icy skin beneath his fingers... And soon the world will see their beauty—and his vengeance.

Afraid to Run
The town of Grizzly Falls is on edge in the wake of a serial killer, and Detective Selena Alvarez is no exception. That case was solved, but a new nightmare is about to unfold. There are two victims so far—their bodies found frozen solid and deliberately displayed. Both are women she knew. And each wears a piece of Selena’s jewelry…

Afraid to Die
Selena’s partner, Detective Regan Pescoli, and the entire department are on the case, as is P.I. Dylan O’Keefe—a man Selena got too close to once before. But this killer already knows too much about Selena’s secret terror, her flaws, and the past she’s tried to outrun. And soon he’ll show her that she has every reason to be afraid…
MY REVIEW:

My favourite installment in the To Die series so far!

I love going back to Jackson’s Grizzly Falls. I love the setting of Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains and the snowy landscape, and the story is always set around Christmas. The murders in this story are particularly chilling (pun intended!). The killer abducts women, strips them naked, and pours water over them until they are encased in ice. He also adorns each victim with a piece of Detective Selena Alvarez’s jewelry. It’s definitely personal!

Detective Regan Pescoli is still having trouble with her kids, Bianca and Jeremy, and she is still undecided as to whether or not to move in with her boyfriend. There was actually very little interaction between them. This book was all about Selena, and I’m very pleased that Jackson brought the story back to the detectives. In the last book, Born to Die, the story revolved around other characters and Pescoli and Alvarez were more like secondary characters. Jackson finally gives us Selena’s backstory, and Selena is forced to face more than one person from her past. There are lots of revelations, which is why this fourth book in the series is my favourite so far! With each book, I feel that I am getting more and more invested in Pescoli and Alvarez, and they are complex characters with complicated pasts. I’ve already bought the rest of the books in the series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one, Ready to Die.


MY RATING:

4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it in your TBR if you enjoy Romantic Suspense!

This book qualifies as:
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