Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Laydown Lowdown

It's rainy and chilly in our area today.  It's a great day to curl up with a good book, if you didn't have to return to work after a 3 day weekend like I did.  Regardless, here are this week's new reads that you'll want to make time for.

Mystery mavens will want to check out "A Conspiracy of Faith," by Jussi Adler Olsen and "Graveland" by Alan Glynn. Plus "A Dark Anatomy," by Robin Blake, "Dust to Dust," by Tami Hoag, and "Gone" by Jonathan Kellerman are released in paperback today. 

Romance revelers should look for "Darkness Bred," by Stella Cameron, "Any Duchess Will Do," by Tessa Dare, "Forever," by Jacquelyn Frank, "It Had to Be You," by Jill Shalvis, and "Love at First Sight," by Lori Wilde.

Science Fiction and Fantasy fiends may want to pick up "Moxyland," by Lauren Beukes, "Antiagon Fire," by L.E. Modessit Jr., "Ghost Spin," by Chris Moriarty, and "Any Other Name," by Emma Newman.

Young Adult admirers will appreciate "Goddess," by Josephine Angelini, "Of Triton," by Anna Banks, "The Girl With the Iron Cross," by Kady Cross, "Monument 14: Sky on Fire," by Emmy Laybourne and "Dare You To," by Katie McGarry.

Will any of this week's new reads make your "to-read" list?  Please share with us.  We'd love to know what you're reading.  Remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Readin', Havin' a Blast...

We finally made it, it's Memorial Day weekend!!  The winter seemed way too long this year but Summer is here!! The entire "T" family consisting of NaomiRuth, Rebecca T and Grammy T are currently enjoying the beautiful beaches of North Carolina.  I checked in with them and the rest of the BWOBNY crew to see Beach Reads they'll be packing this summer.

Grammy T is currently reading "The Negotiator," book 1 of "The O'Malley" series by Dee Henderson with the 2nd book in the series, "The Guardian," in her beach tote for the later in the week.  She also read next month's book club pick, "Through the Ever Night," by Veronica Rossi.   

Meanwhile Naomi has a mixed bag.  She is reading the "Complete Plays of Aristophanes, a Kierkegaard anthology, and random YA and Middle Grade books..." that she didn't get to read during the school year.  Wombly failed to comment, I guess he's working on his tan.

Rebecca T shares her sister's thought and loves reading all the Young Adult novels that she didn't have a chance to read during the busy school year.  She's currently juggling three titles: "Through the Ever Night" by Veronica Rossi, "The Name of the Star" by Maureen Johnson, and "Grave Mercy" by Robin LaFevers.

Jen C. loves to relive her childhood by re-reading her favorite series' such as the "Christy Miller" series by Robin Jones Gunn.

Jess B. took an early vacation this year but she is currently reading "City of Ashes," by Cassandra Clare. 

Rachel always takes "a bunch of classics with me to the beach thinking I'll use that time to be all fancy and intellectual, but I always end up saying 'Camus is too heavy for the beach where's the YA?" She then ends up searching for the fluffiest YA title she can get hands on.
As for me, I love re-reading childhood favorites like Jen P.  I also love the "Christy Miller" series but my traditional beach read is my battered copy of "Boy Crazy Stacey," the 8th book in "The Baby Sitters Club" series by Ann M. Martin in which the gang heads to the fictional Sea City, NJ for the first time.  My other favorite summer read is "The Baby-Sitters' Summer Vacation," the second "Super Special" in the series.  And if you'd like to make this your beach read, "The Baby Sitters Club" has just been re-released in e-book format!! 

What about you guys?  What are your favorite beach reads?  Please share with us!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Laydown Lowdown

It's 80 degrees and humid out as I write today's post and I couldn't be happier.  I've been waiting for weather like this since Labor Day!!!

However, if you don't love the heat like I do then perhaps you'd like to check out today's latest thrillers; you might catch a spine-tingling chill!  There are many titles to choose from such as "Sacred Games," by Gary Corby, "The Last Girl," by Jane  Casey, "Requiem Mass," by Elizabeth Corley, "Smarty Bones," by Carolyn Haines, and "The Redeemer," by Jo Nesbo.

But, if you crave heat, you may want to steam things up and check out the Romance section for "Pleasure Control," and "Pleasure Prolonged," by Catherine Fox or "How to Pursue a Princess," by Karen Hawkins. 

If this weather makes you think of Prom season then you may want to check out the new Young Adult releases like "All I Need," by Susane Colasanti, "September Girls," by Bennett Madison, or "Time Raiders: The Eternal War," by Alex Scarrow.

Finally, if you want to escape this atmosphere all together, you may want to get lost in a new Science Fiction/Fantasy title such as "Tarnished," by Rhiannon Held,"The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black," by E.B. Hudspeth or "The Red Plague Affair," by Lillith St. Crow.

What books will make your "to-read" list?  What are you currently reading?  Share with us and remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible.  Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fairy Interesting: OUAT - And Straight On 'Til Morning

2.22 "And Straight On 'Til Morning"

What a finale! I loved it and I'm so excited about next season!

We start off in flashback world with Hook and young Bae in Neverland where Hook has a change of heart about his greatest enemies' son and reveals a bit more of himself. However, when Bae rejects him, he reverts to the Hook we've known and turns Bae over to the evil Peter Pan.

In present day Rumple has to fight his inclination to kill Henry, save himself, and selfishly hold onto Lacey. Both Regina and Hook get a chance for redemption, the Charmings are the most resilient, adorable family ever, and Tamara and Greg take twisted to a whole other level.

Young Bae was really well cast. I thought that the interchanges between him and Hook were fantastic and I am dying to know how they all got out of Neverland, especially since they reiterated the fact that no one ever leaves. And how much do I love that Peter Pan is some sort of evil, dark force and that they are the "Lost Ones" instead of the "Lost Boys" and how absolutely creepy was it that he's been searching for Henry for so long?! How does that work? I mean, Bae is Henry's father, so how did they have a picture already? What does it mean?

I was actually glad that Greg and Tamara took Henry into another dimension, because this could be the thing that helps them keep Henry on the show - it gives a perfect explanation why he will look considerably older next year, something they were going to have to deal with - though I'm not exactly sure how they will make it work since he goes to Neverland where the boys don't grow up. So we'll see how all that plays out.

Rumple has become one of my favorite characters again. He was getting on my nerves at the beginning of the season, but his story line has gotten so interesting again. I couldn't believe he was actually fraying that rope and his reaction to Bae's death was heartbreaking. But I found his response - particularly the line that he'd come to peace with his death didn't ring right. It was just too quick of a turnaround for me and he'd barely had two seconds to come to grips with anything. Especially since he was just trying to kill Henry so he wouldn't be his undoing.

I also didn't believe suicide mission Hook, so I was relieved that he hadn't actually been serious. Though I was kind of hitting my head over the fact that Bae had started to feel like a son to him. I thought we had one fairy tale character who was free of the parent/child drama, but apparently not.

Side note: Why is it that when bad guys (and what world is this where Hook is the good guy and Pan is evil?! I love it!) are searching for someone (or something) and don't find it, such as with the Lost Ones and Bae, that the second THE SECOND they leave the other people run right to the hiding place. Wait like five minutes or so to make sure they're actually gone so you don't inadvertently give something away!

But it looks like we'll get plenty of Hook next season, which makes me very happy.

I loved Hook and David Charming together and that David Charming got the snarkiest line of the episode. When everything shook and Hook said, "Time's running out," and David snarked, "Oh, is that what that means?" I cracked up. And speaking of Charming, for a second I thought Tamara had done more than just graze David and I was pretty much ready to jump into my tv, so I was very relieved when he got up and ran after them. And I was glad Hook was there to stop him. Chasing after the insanity twins would only have gotten him killed.

And how excited was I that they finally found a way to bring back the memories?! I was yelling for Rumple to not let her die as Lacey. How adorable was Leroy for making another dose for Belle. And how adorable are Rumple and Belle together! They have to see each other again!

If there was a theme for this episode it had to be redemption. Regina had her moment to change everything and to repay a little bit of the things she had done and she takes it without hesitation. I have been kind of up and down with my feelings toward her this season, but I can't imagine the show without her, so I was so glad they found a way to save her.

Rumple has the chance to redeem himself by saving Henry instead of letting him die. Rather than turning cold at the death of his son, he chooses to restore Belle and protect his grandson. We'll see what happens next season.

Hook has the chance to save himself, as he always chooses, or to do the right thing. And he does, but (of course) it's based on the fact that he cares for Bae, and therefore Bae's family (except Rumple). It was interesting to see this side of him.

Hook's speech to Bae pretty much summed up the theme of this season: "It's not too late to start over. I can change, Bae."

Side note, there were seriously not even enough people in that shop waiting to return to fairyland. What about the blue fairy? And the pink fairy? and ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE IN THE TOWN?! They were just going to leave everyone else to die? It didn't make any sense. I don't even remember seeing Ruby, though I'm sure she was there. But Rumple and Belle weren't? Come on!

And I was excited to see Aurora back again, though less than thrilled for her companions. However... BAE! Woot!

Also, Hook has a crazy arm. Did he really have to throw the bean SO far from the boat? I was kind of worried it was going to close before they made it there!

Such a good finale, so many questions left, but still a sense of ending for the season. So great. I loved it.

What did you think? Do you like where it's going? What do you think next season has in store for us?!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Laydown Lowdown

Happy Tuesday everyone!! I am very excited today because I just ordered my ticket to Book Expo America 2013.  So in a few weeks, I'll be bringing you details on the event and the latest hot books.  Meanwhile, let's check out today's new releases.

Armchair sleuths will want to look for "Lucky Bastard," by Deborah Coonts, "Cuts Through Bone," by Alaric Hunt, "Close to the Bone," by Stuart Mac Bride, and "Shotgun Lullaby," by Steve Ulfelder in Mystery.

If you're looking for love, you may want to cruise through Romance for "Lachlan's Bride," by Kathleen Harrington, "The Right Bride," by Jennifer Ryan, or "Ray of Light: The Days of Redemption," by Shelley Shephard Grey.

If alternate universes and adventures you might consider "The Tyrant's Law," by Daniel Abraham, "Magician's End," part of the "Chaoswar" series by Raymond E. Feist," or "The Human Division," by John Scalzi.

Finally, in Young Adult, you'll find "Formerly Shark Girl," by Kelly Bingham, "Towering," by Alex Flinn, "The Year of Luminous Love," by Lurlene McDaniel, and "The Beautiful and the Cursed," by Page Morgan.

What are you reading this week?  Happy Reading and remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Please Hold.....

Rebecca T here! I am super excited about the season finale of OUAT but I am the only one in my house caught up and that meant I couldn't watch it live and then we spur of the moment dashed off to see Iron Man 3 for Mother's Day and I would rather be conscious while watching the finale so I will post my thoughts and reactions etc on Wednesday so check back then!

btw Iron Man 3 was absolutely fantastic and if you go watch all the way to the end!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The First Law - Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie's first novel, "The Blade Itself," is the first in his "The First Law" trilogy.   US publication was in 2007.  I don't know why I just recently found this series, but I'm glad I did.  It's given me a well needed dose of Epic Fantasy while wondering if "A Song of Ice and Fire" will ever be finished.

For a first novel, let alone a trilogy, Abercrombie really delivered.  His characters are diverse and complex.  From Jezel dan Luther, a haughty young noble who gradually learns more of the value of others, and himself, to Bayaz, the self-proclaimed "first of the Magi;" who is either a complete charlatan, or a centuries-old wizard. 

Then there is Logen Ninefingers, a Northman, also known as "the bloody nine."  Here is truly a berserker with a conscience.  A warrior who has lost everything, but has more to offer than he seems.

One of his most intriguing characters, however, is Sand dan Glotka, a Superior for the Inquisition.  In other words, he is one of the chief torturers in the kingdom.  Glotka is an expert torturer partly because he has spent time on both sides of the torture chamber.  His wrecked body reminds him constantly of the man he was, and the man he has become.

Abercrombie's narrative flows whether he is portraying the political maneuverings of the Closed Council, a game of cards, a lovers' quarrel, or the mayhem of battle.  This is epic fantasy/swords and sorcerers fare.

The First Law trilogy consists of "The Blade Itself," "Before They are Hanged," and "The Last Argument of Kings."  In my next entry, I will discuss both the second and third books.

Highly recommended for any "Game of Thrones" or "The Lord of the Rings" fans.

Alan Andrews
Basso for Hire

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Laydown Lowdown

Whoo-hoo!! It's finally May, I think the Spring weather is finally here to stay.  It's a great time of year to sit outside with a great book such as one of today's new reads.

Best selling author John Sanford presents his latest thriller, "Silken Prey," today plus Ace Atkins continues the late Robert B. Parker's legacy with the latest "Spencer," caper, "Wonderland."  Other novels available in Mystery today include "Hour of the Rod God," by Richard Compton, "Foal Play," by Kathryn O'Sullivan, and "Every Broken Trust," by Linda Rodriguez.

It sure is getting hot over in the Romance section with steamy new reads such as "Black Jack" by Lora Leigh and "Ours to Love," by Shayla Black.  Alysa Day presents her latest supernatural romance, "The Cursed," and Katie MacAlister debuts her the first book in her new paranormal romance, "Time Thief."

Somewhere in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section I bet you'll find our own Rebecca T. checking out "Reawakened: A Once Upon a Time Tale," by Odette Beane, based upon the hit ABC series.  Other tales available in the genre today include "Guardian," by Jack Campbell, "Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void," by Tim Lebbon, and "Shadows of Falling Night," by S.M. Stirling.

Sadly, it's time to say good-by to Sookie Stackhouse as Charline Harris has penned her last "Southern Vampire," novel.  "Dead Ever After," hits shelves today and we'll finally (hopefully) discover who Sookie settles down with and what will become of Bill, Eric, Pam and the rest of the citizens of Bon Temps.

Meanwhile, over in Young Adult, the successful "Morganville Vampire," series by Rachel Caine keeps growing with the 14th installment "Fall of Night." "Invisible," by Andrea Creamer, "Icons," by Margaret Stohl and the buzzed about dystopian thriller, "The Fifth Wave," by Rick Yancey are also available today.

There are a lot of great new books this week.  Are any of them on your "to-read" list.  I'm heading over to my local bookstore to pick up "Dead Ever After," right after work tonight.  I don't know what is going to happen but if Sookie doesn't choose Bill, I'll gladly swoop him up :)

Happy Reading!! Remember to support your local bookstores whenever possible.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fairy Interesting - OUAT "Second Star to the Right"

2.21 "Second Star to the Right"

Tonight we see a bit of Baelfire's back story, which makes this whole thing even more convoluted than ever. Peter Pan turns out to be an evil imp, and we understand why Bae isn't dead.

In Storybrooke Emma is the only one who can see the truth about Tamara's evil plot, Snow and David Charming run around in adorable coordinating outfits and everyone has to try to save Regina. Again. Meanwhile Bellacey has a seriously bad hair day and gets all smoochy over Rumple's magic powers.

I thought this was an amazing episode. I am very anxious over where the season finale is going to go and I am more than a tiny bit mad over the ending, but I'll get to that in a minute.

How sweet was it when Mrs. Darling
said he could stay?!
The casting for young Bae was well done, as most of their casting has been. I say most because I really cannot forgive them for Pinocchio/August. Ever.

I mean really -
how creepy was this Pan!
I wasn't really sure where the flashback was going and at first wondered if Bae was going to be Peter Pan. However, the disembodied, glowy-eyed shadow Pan was way creepier and I love the dark twist of it being called Never Land because no one could ever leave. It was pretty obvious once the story of the shadow was introduced that Bae was going to step in to save the family and be taken away. However, I wasn't expecting for him to end up on the Jolly Roger. Which means that he ends up working with the sworn enemy of his father.... Seriously, there are way too many connections in this thing!

On a side note, I still love the decor in Regina's office.

"You killed my father
prepare to die..."
I kind of felt like there was a larger thing going on, but I wasn't expecting Tamara and Greg to be part of this giant clandestine operation like that. Though it makes sense. My question is that if magic is supposed to be evil and something that needs to be destroyed in our world, then why are they collecting things and sending them back to the "Home Office." And it seems like it would be a pretty big breach of this ideal to create a freaking portal.

Seriously. What was with her hair?
I was so sad when Regina revealed that she had killed Greg's father though. She is just so cold and evil - just the way the evil queen should be.

As for the Bellacey/ Rumple story line ... I'm still on the fence. I definitely think that the relationship needed something, but Lacey was really getting on my nerves in this episode. But I do love the twist that it could be Belle who ends up pushing Rumple into killing - or attempting to kill - Henry.

About half way through the episode I noted the following to myself: Neal and Emma are so cute too. I want it to work out. Which means horrible things will happen.

*sigh* I really wish I hadn't been right about that one. For real? Shoot Bae AND send him through the portal? AS THEY ARE CONFESSING THEIR UNDYING LOVE *sobs*

I can't even handle this. And if they don't get back to him in some way I will have to hurt someone. First Graham, now Neal?! EMMA DESERVES A HAPPY ENDING TOO. Or at least to have one good thing not ripped away from her.

And it's a testament to the actors that David can look so very fatherly toward Emma as he comforted her on the steps. Because they are all practically the same age it should be a lot weirder to have Snow and David being parental, but it totally works.

I seriously can't wait for next week's episode and I'm so sad that it's the finale! Thanks for everyone who's tagged along this season. I'd love to hear what you thought about this episode!