Books

Books

Thursday, June 10, 2021

GIVEAWAY: A Blueberry Bay Giveaway from Whiskered Mysteries


Another super cute giveaway from Whiskered Mysteries. Enter today to win a a paw-some prize pack inspired by Blueberry Bay including a blueberry muffin-scented candle, an animal lover's mug, a muffin-in-a-mug kit, a plush Puffin, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Never Say Never by Justine Manzano

 


Never Say Never by Justine Manzano

Publisher: Sword and Silk Books

Publication date: 15 Jun 2021 

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:


Brynn Stark is NEVER going to fall in love.


After she walks in on her mom doing the horizontal mambo with a man that's decidedly not her dad, Brynn Stark swears to never fall in love. One of her friends—Val— reveals her true identity—Aphrodite, goddess of love, and promises to show Brynn why she shouldn't lose faith.


But when Brynn realizes she's beginning to fall for Adam, Aphrodite's boyfriend, Brynn's forced to decide if she'll choose her goddess-given fate, or risk it all for the wrong-but-right guy.


One thing's for sure. Love sucks. And it's all about to blow up in their faces.


My review:


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


What happens when you find out your best friend’s foster sister is actually the Greek goddess, Aphrodite? And you’re falling in love with her boyfriend? That’s where Brynn finds herself during her senior year of high school. The more she tries to deny her feelings, the more circumstances keep putting her on a path with Adam and in conflict with Val/Aphrodite. 


It definitely takes some willful suspension of disbelief to buy into an ancient Greek goddess hanging out in high school, but overall, it’s a cute story about friendship, family, and the power of love. There are some tense moments (particularly when a certain high-powered “Dad” gets involved). It’s a fun ride though with a sweet ever-after ending. There is a lot of typical, high school drama that is all dealt with in mature, positive ways. A few potentially upsetting themes are parental divorce, a parent committing adultery, an asthma attack, and people being caught outside in a lightning storm. 


Fun stuff:


The author shares some fun extras, like a character interview and social media graphics on her website here: https://justinemanzano.com/never-say-never-extras/ 

About the author:


Justine Manzano is a YA author who prides herself on her ability to juggle motherhood, writing, editing, and the very serious businesses of fangirling and multiple forms of geekery. When she’s not flailing about her favorite characters and actors, she struggles to create her own characters with the hopes someone will flail about them one day. Her debut novel, The Order of the Key, a Young Adult Urban Fantasy, is available everywhere books are sold from Black Rose Writing. Reviews have called it “Season 5 of Buffy meets the X-Men,” and Justine will likely live happily off of that description alone for the rest of her days. It was a finalist in the 2020 IndiesToday Awards. 


Her sophomore release, Never Say Never, a Young Adult Contemporary Romance with Fantasy Elements, will be released on June 15, 2021.



Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler by Balduin Groller

 


The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler by Balduin Groller

Publisher: Kazabo Publishing

Publication date: 28 November 2017

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:

Dagobert Trostler is the Sherlock Holmes of Vienna . . . with a twist. Like Holmes, he's the most famous private investigator in Vienna. Unlike Holmes, he's a bit of a party animal. While he loves a good mystery, he also loves good food, good company and a good time. He's a bon-vivant and right at home in the brilliant social scene of Vienna in the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These stories, written by Balduin Groller and published in Vienna between 1889 and 1910, are a glimpse into the sparkling, forgotten world of turn-of-the-century Vienna. Hugely popular in the German-speaking world, they are now available in English for the first time exclusively from Kazabo Publishing. If you love Sherlock Holmes, you need to read these stories!


Contents:

"The Fine Cigars"

"The Great Embezzlement"

"Anonymous Letters"

"An Arrest"

"The Cheat"

"The Mysterious Box"


"The Adventures of Dagobert Trostler" is the first in a series. Watch for The Memoirs of Dagobert Trostler and The Casebook of Dagobert Trostler.


My review:


I received a free copy of the ebook from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


I have never read Sherlock Holmes before so I can’t really say how well this book compares to the books from that series. It was told in an interesting manner. Rather than the reader being privy to the action, for the most part, Dagobert’s adventures are told to the reader as the hero himself tells his stories to his friends in their salon after dinner. And rather than bringing the wrongdoer to civil or criminal justice, Dagobert favors solutions that allow everyone involved to “save face”. Propriety is of utmost importance in turn-of-the-century Venice apparently. 


It was an interesting read and definitely different than anything I have read before. Certainly, there were lots of whodunnit aspects to keep a mystery lover engaged and reading. I doubt personally I will read more in the series, but it was an entertaining peek into another time and place. 


About the author:


Balduin Groller is the pseudonym of Adalbert Goldscheider (1848 – 1916), an Austrian journalist and author as well as the founder of the Austrian Olympic Committee.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

 


Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Penguin 
Publication date: June 3rd, 2021
My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 

Publisher's description:

Evie Thomas doesn't believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything--including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he's only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it's that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

About the author:

Nicola Yoon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star. She is a National Book Award finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book recipient and a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. Both her novels have been made into major motion pictures. Nicola grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist David Yoon, and their family.

My review:

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

Oh... so many tears. I love magical realism and this one balanced the magic with the realism really well. But, oh, there is some heartbreak in here. The premise of Evie being able to see couple's relationship stories is an interesting one and well-executed. How she got this skill was a little odd but since I can't come up with a better way, I won't criticize.

The ending is not expected. Of course, there are obvious plot paths that run in a typical literature fashion, but there are also twists that leave you breathless. I would have liked a couple of plot points to be explained a little better (Shirley's backstory for one), but all in all, I really enjoyed this book and read it pretty quickly as I was so engrossed in the story. 

I recommend it to anyone who is a bit of a hopeless romantic and anyone who likes magical realism. It is a clean romance.



Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Queer Icons and Their Cats by Alison Nastasi and P.J. Nastasi

 



Queer Icons and Their Cats by Alison Nastasi and P.J. Nastasi


Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication date: 04 May 2021 

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


The link above is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through it, I will receive a small amount of the sale, at no cost to you. It helps me make a little money to support my book reviewing hobby. Thank you! 


Publisher's description:


These cat lovers are out and purr-oud!


Freddie Mercury, Sylvia Rivera, Alison Bechdel, Dusty Springfield. This book is a celebration of queer icons of the past and present and their furry feline friends. From images of lost legends such as Josephine Baker and James Baldwin, to snapshots of contemporary trailblazers like comedian Tig Notaro and fashion designer Jason Wu—these charming and eccentric photographs capture what it truly means to be a cat purr-son.


• PURR-FECT FOR CAT LOVERS: This book celebrates the love between human and cat. What better gift could you get the feline fancier in your life?

• AMEWSING ANECDOTES AND IMPAWTENT MOMENTS: Learn about the lives of the queer heroes who came before us and those who are still fighting for equality and inclusion. We're not kitten around—with watershed moments like the Stonewall riots and sweet stories of domestic bliss, this book will both entertain and inspire you.

• PHOTOS WITH CATITUDE: In these purr-ecious photographs, you'll get to see your heroes in unguarded moments expressing love for their pets. This collection of images will bring joy to any cat lover's heart.


My review:


I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley in exchange for my review. All opinions shared are 100% my own.


This is a really cool book! First of all... CATS! If you love cats, you will love the photographs. I also learned so much about people I already knew and learned about people I'd never heard of doing incredible work in the world. Though not a traditional coffee table book size, it definitely has the potential to be a beautiful book left out for frequent browsing by you and guests to your home or office. You'll also want to read it cover to cover (not something usually said about a book of photography). What an inspiring and fun idea for a book!


Recommended to LGBTQIA+ cat lovers and the people who shop for them and anyone interested in learning more about influential queer figures—and their pets!


Fun stuff:


The authors have also published Artists and their Cats and Writers and their Cats


About the author: Alison Nastasi is an arts and culture journalist, author, and artist living in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in Angelus News, Darling Magazine, Gizmodo, Fandango, Moviefone, MTV, Pitchfork, RogerEbert.com, and more. She was a longtime editor for the website Flavorwire. Alison is the author of the popular books Artists and Their Cats and Writers and Their Cats from Chronicle Books.


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Caturday: 08 May 2021

 

Our current foster kittens, available for adoption through CritterhouseKC.  


Oak - 2 months old, female

Mulberry - 2 months old, female

Hickory - 2 months old, female