Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be released on the tenth. Any book (or book trailer) that can suggest looking like, "a librarian . . . or a well paid prostitute," has me curious to what the author (and her life) are like. Here's the trailer:


about From the Corner of the Oval:

The compulsively readable, behind-the-scenes memoir that takes readers inside the Obama White House, through the eyes of a young staffer learning the ropes, falling in love, and finding her place in the world.

In 2012, Beck Dorey-Stein was just scraping by in DC when a posting on Craigslist landed her, improbably, in the Oval Office as one of Barack Obama's stenographers. The ultimate DC outsider, she joined the elite team who accompanied the president wherever he went, recorder and mic in hand. On whirlwind trips across time zones, Beck forged friendships with a tight group of fellow travelers--young men and women who, like her, left their real lives behind to hop aboard Air Force One in service of the president. But as she learned the ropes of protocol, Beck became romantically entangled with a consummate DC insider, and suddenly, the political became all too personal. Set against the backdrop of a White House full of glamour, drama, and intrigue, this is the story of a young woman making unlikely friendships, getting her heart broken, learning what truly matters, and discovering her voice in the process

Spiegel & Grau // July 10, 2018 // 352 pages // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Into the Drowning Deep ~ Mira Grant review [@seananmcguire @orbitbooks]

Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1)
November 14, 2017
440 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.''

If you thought Jaws was the only reason you should stay out of the water this Fourth of July holiday (or if you always thought that seemed silly), be prepared to worry about something else entirely.

It was supposed to be another 'mockumentary', a bit of 'crytozoological fiction thinly veiled as fact," from Imagine Entertainment: Lovely Ladies of the Sea: The True Story of the Mariana Mermaids. Just a bit of fun to make the network a ton of money.

Until the ship was found abandoned in the middle of the ocean.

Three years later, Imagine is trying again and this time Victoria Stewart, whose sister was part of that first ill fated voyage is there, looking for answers.

If the fate of that first ship, the Atargatis is anything to go by, though, the mermaids they're looking for aren't the cute, singing Disney sort. They may have more in common with Jaws.

I absolutely loved the blend of science fiction, science fact, myth and fables, personal relationships - both past and present - the sea and its secrets, beauty and hazards . . . and the danger. Tory, Luis, Dr Toth, Olivia, and all three Wilson sisters gave readers characters they could care about, characters you wanted to find answers and also, you know, wanted not to die. 

The different ways they are each trying to prove something to and/or about themselves while most are also trying to make scientific discoveries added another layer to the story. It not only gave them a great reason for being there, a deeper understanding of the ocean and marine life but also made sure the Melusine was not going to head for shore at the first hint of danger.

Then, it made for some great thought processes, actions, and decisions (both in a good, safe, going-to-save-you way and in ways that made the story better even if they were incredibly dangerous) later in the story.

I loved the characters, their snark and wit, and their intelligence. I really appreciated that the author gave us a diverse cast of characters and that who they were and how they experienced the world also played into their choices and was important to the larger story and its development, as well.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Into the Black Nowhere ~ Meg Gardiner review [@MegGardiner1 @DuttonBooks]

Into the Black Nowhere (UNSUB #2)
January 30, 2018
355 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

** Contains spoilers for UNSUB (#1), the first book in this series - see my review here **

Inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, an exhilarating thriller in which FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer

In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.

Caitlin and the FBI's serial crime unit discover the first victim's body in the woods. She's laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest's darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style--posed like Snow White awaiting her prince's kiss.

To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology--that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy--dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin's profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people's trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
Into the Black Nowhere was an even better read than UNSUB. We now know Caitlin and not only what happened to her in the first book, but how the Prophet impacted her life in the past, as well. With Caitlin now a part of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, it is her job to get into the minds of serial killers,  It is Caitlin's dream job, but it also required her to move across the country - from California to Quantico, Virginia - leaving Sean and making their relationship now a long distance one.

I liked that, while the story immediately throws Caitlin into a case, to working on profiling and catching a killer, she was definitely still the newbie. We saw how she had to prove herself, to feel things out. That bit of transition not only allows readers to become more familiar with the aspects of her work, but also felt more realistic.

The search for the killer - and then trying to prove whether or not a suspect is really the one to be watching - was intense, sometimes twisted and dark. Yet, it never felt rushed or like it was more dramatic than would actually be true simply for a thrilling read.

I loved that we also saw Caitlin's attempts to balance her personal life (her relationship with Sean, her friendship with Michelle) with not only her new job and the pressures and stressors it provided, but also the distance and absence of physical, face to face interactions. Knowing her better as a person away from being a profiler makes you more invested in her character - as a profiler and in her personal life.

The bits of the story that slowly crept up on you, until you realized just how much they may matter, has me very anxious to read Book 3, The Dark Corners of the Night.

Other Books You May Also Enjoy:  The Sleeping Doll (Kathryn Dance #1) by Jeffery Deaver and the Lucy Kincaid series by Allison Brennan

Friday, June 29, 2018

Book Trailer Friday [@FoxHomeEnt @EpicReads @acthomasbooks @@TheHateUGive @BalzerandBray] #TheHateUGive

The film version of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give will be in theatres October 19th. You can find out more about the movie on the FoxMovies site, here.

Now for the trailer:

about The Hate U Give:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Balzer + Bray // February 28, 2017 // 453 pages // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier ~ Tatiana de Rosnay review [@tatianaderosnay @StMartinsPress]

Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier
Sam Taylor, translator
St Martin's Press
April 18, 2017
340 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The nonfiction debut from beloved international sensation and #1 New York Times bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay: her bestselling biography of novelist Daphne du Maurier.

“It's impressive how Tatiana was able to recreate the personality of my mother, including her sense of humor. It is very well written and very moving. I’m sure my mother would have loved this book.” ― Tessa Montgomery d’Alamein, daughter of Daphné du Maurier, as told to Pauline Sommelet in Point de Vue

As a bilingual bestselling novelist with a mixed Franco-British bloodline and a host of eminent forebears, Tatiana de Rosnay is the perfect candidate to write a biography of Daphne du Maurier. As an eleven-year-old de Rosnay read and reread Rebecca, becoming a lifelong devotee of Du Maurier’s fiction. Now de Rosnay pays homage to the writer who influenced her so deeply, following Du Maurier from a shy seven-year-old, a rebellious sixteen-year-old, a twenty-something newlywed, and finally a cantankerous old lady. With a rhythm and intimacy to its prose characteristic of all de Rosnay’s works, Manderley Forever is a vividly compelling portrait and celebration of an intriguing, hugely popular and (at the time) critically underrated writer.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."So beings Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca. It is probably one of the best known first lines of a book ever but I did ot know very much, at all, about the author. Written by Tatiana de Rosnay, the author of Sarah's Key and other novels, Manderley Forever is the first (at least according to the text) French biography of du Maurier.

This biography tells Daphne du Maurier's life story using the houses she lived in and loved. A fitting method considering Manderley has to be one of the best known hones, fictional or otherwise.

I loved finding out about Dapne's famous grandfather, her famous actor father, their family's relationship with J.M. Barrie and the Llewelyn Davies. It's always interesting to be able to fit pieces - and people - of history that you knew of separately, together. From her childhood relationships with her parents and sisters their governess and friends/society Daphne is expected to behave a certain way around, we learn a lot about the little girl, her love of storytelling, and distaste for conventional gender roles. It is especially interesting and thought provoking when we see how those same relationships transform (or sometimes, don't) as du Maurier ages.

Possibly in part because this book was originally published in French, likely just because its fact, there is a lot of focus on the du Maruier's connections and visits to France. Whether it's because of where the book was first published or not, I really appreciated those parts of the story, what it said about Daphne, her family's past and then their present/future.

It works surprisingly well that de Rosnay does not try to provide a modern context or interpretation to many occurrences, statements, writings, etc that readers are shown in the novel. Things are written in such a way that they speak for themselves and readers are able to draw their own inferences, have their own interpretations.

There is quite a bit of description of the plot of du Maurier's (and her grandfather's, as well) writings so if you are someone who has not read them (and wishes to) you may want to skim those passages.

Manderley Forever gives readers a very real, truly human look at the life of Daphne du Maurier, from her childhood playing Peter Pan with her sisters, to her walks along the beach in Cornwall with her dogs, from her marriage and children to her publishing successes and failures. Tatiana de Rosnay has written a biography that is both compelling and complete.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday [@GretchenMcNeil @DisneyHyperion @FreeformTV]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

#MURDERTRENDING by Gretchen McNeil

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

published August 07th by Freeform

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


There is a lot that the #Murdertrending description left me wondering, but all in a very good way. I want to know when the book is set, if we get to find out how The Postman app came to be - and how Dee came to be there. Not to mention, if she can survive and how.

Plus, the Death Row Breakfast Club is basically enough, all on its own, to make me want to read this book. Adding in that it's written by Gretchen McNeil and I am incredibly curious to discover this story. It's a dystopian, near future thriller, that seems like there will be some snark, too - what more could you want?

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Action Presidents: Abraham Lincoln~ Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey [@HarperChildrens @fredvanlente]

Action President #2: Abraham Lincoln
Ryan Dunlavey, illustrator
February 06, 2018
129 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Where the history is real and the jokes are fake!

The second Action Presidents book is just as fun—and funny—as the first. Legendary lumberjack and paramount president Abraham Lincoln practically jumps off the page.

Wimpy Kid meets the Who Was… series in these hilarious new graphic novels from New York Times bestselling comic book author Fred Van Lente and award-winning cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey.

Did you know that Lincoln never went to college, and that he kept important documents in his famous top hat? Even the most reluctant reader won’t be able to put this graphic novel down, and they’ll learn about an American icon along the way.

U.S. history comes to life like never before! Historically accurate and highly entertaining, Action Presidents is perfect for curious minds. With timelines, maps, charts, and more, readers will keep learning until the last page.

The critics agree that the Action Presidents should not be missed. "A delightful, educational spin on history—and plenty of jokes," said School Library Journal of the first book in the series, George Washington. "Sheer joy," praised Booklist in a starred review.
The second installment of the Action Presidents series tells readers the story of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. The book does a great job - starting with the back cover - of letting you know, right away, that it includes information you, likely, do not already know.

The blending of things you probably did not already know about Lincoln - even small things like why he grew a beard - with the more known facts of his presidency with his early career really help readers to assemble a full picture of who Abraham Lincoln was. Both the public, political figure and the man he was in private.

There are smart descriptions of the whys, wheres and hows of not only the start of the Civil War, but its battles, strategies, leaders, victories and defeats (both Union and Confederate). The telling does keep the age of its intended readers in mind but doesn't gloss over things or try to sanitize them - something that seems especially important at present.

Readers, beyond the eight to twelve-year-old range, will like being able to learn more about both President Lincoln and the Civil War in a format other than a more in depth, denser nonfiction book.

Action Presidents #3: Theodore Roosevelt! will be released July 24th

finished copy received from publisher, for review consideration

Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...