Saturday, September 22, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 9.22.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)

~*~

HAPPY THINGS:

1. Short work week due to taking the kid back to college.

2. Oregon Shakespeare Festival - going to see Sense & Sensibility, Manahatta, and Othello.

3. Traditional Cheese Fondue



~*~

For Review:

Art Boss
by Kayla Cagan
-Art, YA
Release date: October 2018
courtesy of publisher -Thanks! | Goodreads

A companion novel to Piper Perish which includes illustrations sprinkled into the pages of the book.

Salt
by Hannah Moskowitz
-Fantasy, YA
Release date: November 2018
courtesy of publisher -Thanks! | Goodreads

SEA monster hunters premise makes this a good candidate to add to my R.I.P. 13 challenge.


Freebies:

By a Lady:
Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England

by Amanda Elyot
-Historical, Time Travel, Jane Austen | Goodreads

GOT this from the bookswap table at the local chapter Jane Austen Society Fall meeting.

Finding Fraser
by K.C. Dyer
-Chick-lit, Scotland | Goodreads

GOT this from the free bin at Green Apple Bookstore. Could not resist this Jamie Fraser inspired romance (from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon).


AND watched: in theatre for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

one
A Simple Favor (2018)
Director: Paul Feig
Screenplay: Jessica Sharzer
Based on the novel by: Darcey Bell
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding
-Crime, Drama, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 5

A Simple Favor, directed by Paul Feig, centers around Stephanie (Anna Kendrick), a mommy blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend Emily's (Blake Lively) sudden disappearance from their small town.

Watched: 9/15/18
Connection: Anna Kendrick was in Pitch Perfect 3 with John Lithgow who starred with Bacon in Footloose
I liked this chick-lit thriller and enjoyed the french swinger tunes in the soundtrack.


AND watched: on DVD for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

Annihilation (2018)
Director/Writer: Alex Garland
Based on novel by: Jeff VanderMeer
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson
-Adventure, Drama, Horror | imdb | my rating: 4

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply.

Watched: 9/14/18
Connection: Benedict Wong starred with Benedict Cumberbatch in Avengers: Infinity War who starred with Bacon in Black Mass
Interesting concepts brought up in the mysterious zone aka the shimmer. Ended with an interesting cliffhanger too.

The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Chris Morgan
Writer/based on characters created by: Gary Scott Thompson
Stars: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson
-Action, Crime, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

Watched: 9/17/18
Connection: Jason Statham was in The Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg who starred with Bacon in Patriot's Day.
This film series continues to entertain with its action packed scenes (with cars), especially the zombie time sequence.

~*~

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Death On Demand by Paul Thomas

Death On Demand
by Paul Thomas

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
BookExcerpt

Published: 2013
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Genre: Mystery, New Zealand
Paperback: 288
Rating: 5

Tito Ihaka series:
Death On Demand
Fallout

First sentence(s):
Greytown, fourteen years ago
Females had always found him hard to resist.

Zombie sighting:
He drove over the Rimutakas to Greytown, aka Gaytown. It had been just another zombified little country town until a few gays from Wellington jazzed it up.
-chapter 9, page 145


Maori cop Ihaka, unkempt, overweight, intemperate, unruly, unorthodox, and profane, is a cop unable to play the police politics necessary for promotion, but he's a man who has a way with women, and he's a stubborn investigator with an uncanny instinct for the truth.

Tito Ihaka is in the wilderness, having fallen foul of the new regime at Auckland Central. Called back to follow up a strange twist in the unsolved case that got him into trouble in the first place, Ihaka finds himself hunting a shadowy hitman who could have several notches on his belt.

His enemies want him off the case, but the bodies are piling up. Ihaka embarks on a quest to establish whether police corruption was behind the shooting of an undercover cop and—to complicate matters—he becomes involved with an enigmatic female suspect who could hold the key to everything.


My two-bits:

This mystery got complicated and twisty-like. However, I liked how this cop stayed true throughout.

~*~

* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 9.15.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)

~*~

HAPPY THINGS:

1. Watching films for the start of the Fall Film Challenge (here)

2. Making Chinese hot pot meal using a fondue pot :-) it worked but was a slower process

3. Custom-made zombie cards, stickers and washi tape by @beecreativegreetings - Thanks Nicole!


~*~

Library:

How To Walk Away
by Katherine Center
-ChickLit
Goodreads

PART of the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge. Although summer is over, I am still working through some of the books on the list (here).

A People's History of the Vampire Uprising
by Raymond A. Villareal
-Horror, Vampires | Goodreads

IMPULSE pick up. Looks like a good one for R.I.P. 13 reading challenge (here).


AND watched: in theatre

BlacKkKlansman (2018)
Director/writer: Spike Lee
Writers: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott
Based on book by: Ron Stallworth
Stars:
-Biography, Comedy, Crime | imdb | my rating: 5

Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan with the help of a white surrogate, who eventually becomes head of the local branch.

“based on some fo’ real, fo’ real shit.”

TIMELY story as a reminder of the past and how things have/have not changed.

Of Love & Law (2017)
Director: Hikaru Toda
-Documentary, Japan | imdb | my rating: 5

Fumi and Kazu are life partners, both professionally and privately: they run the first and only law firm in Japan set up by an openly gay couple. The lawyers know all too well the realities of being a minority in a conformist society, where the collective unity is absolute and often maintained at the expense of individual rights and freedom. Not being part of the majority could lead to prosecution by law and alienation by society at large - illustrated by the cases that the two lawyers take on. The individual freedom is viewed as a privilege not a right, and the fundamental human rights of equality and security are only extended to the majority. In a 2014 report, Amnesty International slammed Japan for 'veering away from global human rights standards', while the World Economic Forum places Japan 101st out of 145 countries in the global gender equality ranking, far behind developing countries such as Rwanda and the Philippines. Laws of Love and Other Things follows the two lawyers as they enter into the lives of their clients; each revealing the hidden diversities of the homogeneous and conservative society. As the two lawyers work hard to defend the rights of their clients, they have their own dilemma to deal with - to raise a family of their own in a society where their partnership have no legal recognition or protection. The film explores the universal concept of love, family, and equality with the personal stories of the characters revealing modern Japan in transition. The film also poses the questions - what are the risks of being an outsider in your own country? What happens when you don't belong to the masses?

THOUGHTS on diversity and conformity prevail.


AND watched: on DVD

Jane Got A Gun (2015)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Screenplay: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton
Story by: Brian Duffield
Stars: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor
-Action, Drama, Western | imdb | my rating: 4

A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.

WESTERN heroine by necessity. Made me think of Natalie's character from Cold Mountain film and this film as the continuation of her story.

AND watched: on DVD for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Based on comic book The Secret Service by: Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons
Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
-Action, Adventure, Comedy | imdb | my review: 5

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the United States. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

Watched: 9/11/18
Connection: Colin Firth starred with Bacon in Where the Truth Lies
Action-packed with British spy work and a kooky villain.

The Sea of Trees (2015)
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Chris Sparling
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Watts, Ken Watanabe
-Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

A suicidal American befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mt. Fuji and the two search for a way out.

Watched: 9/10
Connection: Ken Watanabe was in Batman Begins with Christian Bale who was in The Big Short with Steve Carrell who starred with Bacon in Crazy Stupid Love.
Slow moving but good story on self reflection and survival amongst trees (and dead people).

~*~

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Summer of Scandal by Syrie James

Summer of Scandal
by Syrie James

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Just released: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Historical Romance
Paperback: 416
Rating: 5

Dare to Defy series:
Runaway Heiress
Summer of Scandal
book 3 - 2019

First sentence(s):
Bolton, Cornwall, England
June 21, 1889
The brisk wind bit Madeleine Atherton's cheeks as she stepped down from the train.

Madeleine Atherton is no typical American heiress, sent to England to marry an English lord. A brilliant college graduate who secretly dreams of becoming a published author, she wants to marry for love. After receiving a proposal from a future duke, Madeleine flees the London Season for Cornwall to seek her sister’s advice, never expecting her decision to be complicated by a charming, handsome earl she’s certain she dislikes—even though his every touch sets her blood on fire.

Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders, has secrets and ambitions of his own. Although under pressure from his mother and gravely ill father to marry his cousin, Charles cannot find the words to propose. But this fascinating American visitor does not figure into his plans, either.

Thrown together unexpectedly at Trevelyan Manor, Madeleine and Charles struggle to rise above their intense attraction. But as things heat up between them over a summer that becomes increasingly scandalous, Madeleine and Charles will both be forced to make a difficult choice. Can two dreamers dare to defy convention and find their own happily ever after?


My two-bits:

Although second in the series, this works well enough as a standalone. But it is an extra treat when characters from the first book make appearances.

Loved the friendship to love transformation with this couple. Lots of chatting, sharing and stolen kisses to move this along.

Liked learning about what the two characters face when their expected paths "dare to defy".

~*~

* review copy courtesy of author

Thursday, September 13, 2018

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

News of the World
by Paulette Jiles

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
Website

Published: 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Historical, Literary, Western
Hardback: 224
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Wichita Falls, Texas, Winter 1870
Captain Kill laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.

In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.

Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember—strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: abandon the girl to her fate or become—in the eyes of the law—a kidnapper himself.


My two-bits:

This western road trip tugged at my heart at parts. All the elements of a western old-timey tale were in place including the pacing. Loved it.

And, loved the relationship and interactions between Captain Kidd and Johanna throughout.

~*~

* National Book Award Finalist—Fiction

* part of the Blog All About It Challenge: Escape (here)

* part of Bout of Books 23 (here)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Law of the Desert Born by Louis L'Amour

Law of the Desert Born
by Louis L'Amour
Charles Santino, Beau L'Amour, Katherine Nolan, Thomas Yeates

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
Website

Published: 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: Graphic Novel, Historical, Western
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

The first graphic novel adaptation of the work of master storyteller Louis L’Amour is a dynamic tale of the Old West that explores the borderlands of loyalty and betrayal with the emotional grittiness of a noir thriller.

New Mexico, 1887, a land in the midst of the worst drought anyone can remember. Family histories and loyalties run deep, but when rancher Tom Forrester has his access to the Pecos River cut off by the son of his old partner, he convinces his foreman, Shad Marone, to pay Jud Bowman back for the discourtesy. Yet what starts as a simple act of petty revenge quickly spirals into a cycle of violence that no one can control.

Now Marone is on the run, pursued by a sheriff’s posse across a rugged desert landscape. Leading the chase is Jesus Lopez, a half-Mexican, half-Apache with a personal stake in bringing Shad to justice. Newly released from jail, trusted by no one, Lopez swears he’s the only man who can track Marone down. That may be true. But who will live and who will die and what price will be paid in suffering are open questions. Fate and the Jornada del Muerto desert possess a harsh justice that is all their own.

With a propulsive script from Beau L’Amour and Kathy Nolan, adapted by Charles Santino and illustrated in bold black-and-white by Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born captures the dust and blood of Louis L’Amour’s West—a world where the difference between a hero and a villain can be as wide as the gap between an act of kindness or brutality or as narrow as a misspoken word.


PeekAbook:


My two-bits:

A little bit of everything old western style in this novella turned graphic novel. I loved the artwork with its charcoal sketch vibe.

~*~

* part of the Blog All About It Challenge: Escape (here)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Happy release: Summer of Scandal by Syrie James

Summer of Scandal
(Dare to Defy #2)
by Syrie James
-Historical Romance
Release date: September 11, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

Madeleine Atherton is no typical American heiress, sent to England to marry an English lord. A brilliant college graduate who secretly dreams of becoming a published author, she wants to marry for love. After receiving a proposal from a future duke, Madeleine flees the London Season for Cornwall to seek her sister’s advice, never expecting her decision to be complicated by a charming, handsome earl she’s certain she dislikes—even though his every touch sets her blood on fire.

Charles Grayson, the Earl of Saunders, has secrets and ambitions of his own. Although under pressure from his mother and gravely ill father to marry his cousin, Charles cannot find the words to propose. But this fascinating American visitor does not figure into his plans, either.

Thrown together unexpectedly at Trevelyan Manor, Madeleine and Charles struggle to rise above their intense attraction. But as things heat up between them over a summer that becomes increasingly scandalous, Madeleine and Charles will both be forced to make a difficult choice. Can two dreamers dare to defy convention and find their own happily ever after?


Monday, September 10, 2018

Runaway Heiress by Syrie James

Runaway Heiress
by Syrie James

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Just released: June 12, 2018
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Historical, Romance
Paperback: 400
Rating: 5

Dare to Defy series:
Runaway Heiress
Summer of Scandal
book 3 - 2019

First sentence(s):
London, England
May 8, 1888
"One first-class ticket for Liverpool, please." Alexandra Atherton managed a smile for the ticket agent behind the window.

Jane Austen sighting:
"I'm looking for Miss Austen. And I know just where to find her."
-chapter 12, page 166


When a runaway heiress runs into trouble, she may end up exactly where she belongs…

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her--even abandon the life of privilege she's always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Thomas Carlyle, the Earl of Longford, sweeps in and out of London disguised as a humble artist, earning just enough to keep his ancestral Cornwall estate afloat. When Alexandra crashes into his life, she awakens feelings and desires that he vows will stay buried. Despite himself, he needs this beautiful newcomer, for his sisters have run off another governess.

Alexandra is surprised to find she thrives in her new position at Longford's home. But as she grows closer to Thomas and his sisters, and her relationship with the emotionally guarded earl unleashes their hidden passions, the truth Alexandra's been forced to hide may end up coming between her and the only man she's ever loved.


My two-bits:

Loved this headstrong heroine, Alexandra, that exudes American independence set in this historical Jane Austen-like setting.

The hero is just as captivating with his demeanor and open mind to take on Alexandra.

~*~

* the next book in this series releases tomorrow!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Lovely Books and Things - 9.8.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)

~*~

HAPPY THINGS:

1. Listening to KDFC classical radio station while crocheting a comfy throw blanket

2. Made my first pot roast - mmmm, more comfort food

3. Shakespeare in the Park in the Presidio (pictured below) - this year's performance is Midsummer Night's Dream


~*~

Freebie: belated birthday gift

Piercing
by Ryū Murakami
-Horror, Japan | Goodreads

Almost Transparent Blue
by Ryū Murakami
-Horror, Japan | Goodreads

69
by Ryū Murakami
-Horro, Japan | Goodreads

THESE are perfect for my next Japanese binge mode.


AND watched: in theatre

The Children Act (2017)
Director: Richard Eyre
Screenplay and based on book by: Ian McEwan
Stars: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci
-Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

As her marriage crumbles, a judge must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle.

THOUGHTS on meaning of life as well as parent and child relationships come to mind.


AND watched: on DVD for Fall Film Challenge - six degrees from Kevin Bacon (here)

Black Mass (2015)
Director: Scott Cooper
Screenplay: Mark Mallouk, Jez Butterworth
Based on the book by: Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill
Stars: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson
-Biography, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

Connection: Johnny Depp - Bacon is a co-star.
Interesting historical bit about violent criminal, White Bulger. Johnny sure made him and himself unlikable.

Interstellar (2014)
Director/Writer: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Jonathan Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
-Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 5

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Connection: John Lithgow who starred with Bacon in Footloose.
Some slow parts in this but loved how they handled time and aliens and black holes. Interesting to see Matt Damon suited up in astro gear, but totally not Martian-like.

Jurassic World (2015)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Screenplay: Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Screenplay and story by: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Based on the characters by: Michael Crichton
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins |
-Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 5

A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.

Connection: Chris Pratt starred in Passengers with Jennifer Lawrence who starred with Bacon in X-Men: First Class.
I can understand the hype and love for this one. It was entertaining for a dinosaur flick.

Maudie (2016)
Director: Aisling Walsh
Writer: Sherry White
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Kari Matchett
-Biography, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community.

Connection: Sallie Hawkins was in An Education with Peter Sarsgaard who starred with Bacon in Black Mass.
Lovely introduction to this folk art painter and Nova Scotia.

~*~

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, September 7, 2018

World Reads: China

World Reads
hosted by Stephanie Jane
details | my world posts

World Reads blog series challenge is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month Stephanie Jane highlights five books. Everyone is welcome to join in by reading one or more books from a different country each month, write a post about them and include the World Reads banner.

Going to... CHINA

My reading list:

What We Were Promised
by Lucy Tan
-Contemporary, China, Shaghai
Amazon | Goodreads

China Rich Girlfriend
(Crazy Rich Asians #2)
by Kevin Kwan
-ChickLit, Romance, China, Singapore
Amazon | Goodreads

Rich People Problems
(Crazy Rich Asians #3)
by Kevin Kwan
-ChickLit, Romance, China, Singapore
Amazon | Goodreads


LISTEN:

Le Velours et La Soie by Jessica Fichot

A friend mentioned this Velvet and Silk Shanghai jazz song (Chinese & French)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

You Think It, I'll Say It
by Curtis Sittenfeld

Find out more about this book and author:
Amazon
Goodreads
BookExcerpt
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Published: April 2018
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Short Stories, Women's Fiction
Hardback: 240
Rating: 3

A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.

Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.


My two-bits:

Most of the contemporary stories in this collection had female protagonists with a slightly dark edge.

~*~

* part of Reese Witherspoon's Book Club (here)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Happy Release: Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natush

Dare You to Lie
(Hometown Antihero #1)
by Amber Lynn Natush
-Mystery, Thriller, YA
Release date: September 4, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town's hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.


PeekAbook:

Ky Danners, star of DARE YOU TO LIE, reads mean reviews.



Monday, September 3, 2018

Excerpt: Billy Old, Arizona Ranger by Geff Moyer

Billy Old, Arizona Ranger
A Historical Novel Based on a True Story
by Geff Moyer
-Historical, Thriller, Western
Amazon | Goodreads

In this historical novel, Billy Old and Jeff Kidder were Arizona Rangers at the turn of the twentieth century and best friends. In 1908, while acting in the line of duty, Kidder was murdered by five crooked Mexican policemen. No charges were filed against his killers. They were quietly skirted away to various locations throughout the county of Sonora, Mexico, a vast, desolate area covering nearly twenty thousand square miles. In 1909, shady politics in the Territory of Arizona brought about the disbanding of the Rangers, leaving many to drift into obscurity and some into degradation. In that same year Billy Old vanished into Sonora to find and kill the men responsible for his friend’s death. He returned close to two years later with that deed accomplished. During Billy’s search of hundreds of sleazy Sonora whorehouses and cantinas he experiences many exciting, humorous, and tragic encounters. There’s a bloody and deadly confrontation with four scalp hunters; a mystical meeting with an old, dying Hopi Indian; an attack by the legendary “Red Ghost” of the southwest; a sorrowful meeting with a past fellow Ranger; cannibal Indians from East Texas; renegade Apaches; flushing toilets; the wonders of ether; Dancing Devils—fifty-foot high swirling dust funnels that can blind an animal; and a whore named Abbie Crutchfield who proves vital to Billy’s quest. And then there’s his horse Orion and a mule named Captain, all a part of a critically changing time in the American Southwest. Includes Historical Background and Readers Guide.

Excerpt:

Date unknown

The fat, jolly policeman was happily stirring the boiling contents of a large iron cauldron suspended over a roaring fire. The tantalizing aroma of the pork and hominy pozole made Billy's mouth water. The policeman grinned then handed him an empty bowl, inviting him to enjoy the tasty treat. Like a hungry orphan Billy grabbed the bowl and hovered over the contents of the cauldron awaiting his helping of the stew. The fat man laughed as he churned and mixed the pozole.

Then Billy saw the arm.

A man's forearm with a tattoo of Old Glory was floating and bobbing in the steaming mixture. Repulsed, he stepped back and turned to the policeman whose face had now formed into that of Tomas Amador. Then it melted into the face of Delores Quias, then Moises Alverez, then Diaz Pasco. Just as it was about to take the shape of the mysterious Victoriano, Billy kissed the ground hard. Flat on his back with the wind knocked from his lungs, stunned and groggy, he realized he had been sleeping in the saddle again. Before he dared to move he ran a quick check for broken bones. The sound of an angry rattlesnake shocked the remainder of his senses back into focus. The wind returned to his lungs. Then a second rattle sounded, followed by a third. Orion had walked right into the middle of a rattlesnake orgy. The horse had managed to buck and leap free of the snakes, but the move had thrown his sleeping rider from the saddle. Billy was spread eagle in the middle of their lusty ritual. He froze everything but his eyes. He peeked left and right, spotting a rattler on each side and just a few feet from his face. Both were coiled, ready to do away with this unwelcomed intruder in their bedroom. The third one was coiled somewhere out of his line of sight. If he rolled either direction they'd strike. If he reached for his weapon they'd strike. If he tried to get up they'd strike. Even if he remained motionless he knew they would soon strike anyway, just for the hell of it. Rattlers are like that.

Captain whinnied and hee-hawed then stepped right into the middle of the standoff. As the snake to Billy's left reared back to strike, the mule slammed his heavy hoof down on its head, mashing it into a slimy patty of dirt, blood, and venom. Then the snake on Billy's right struck, but not at Billy. It flew into the air straight at Captain in an attempt to defend his or her mate. Billy watched the serpent's riveted underbelly sail a good two feet over his face like it was flying. Captain took a quick step backwards, raised his head, and slammed his teeth down on the soaring serpent snatching it out of mid air. Dangling over Billy's head the snake twisted and hissed but couldn't free itself from Captain's crushing jaws. The mule shook his head, violently snapping the snake up and down and side-to-side. Then he whipped his head to the left and released his jaws. The smashed and broken rattler flew into the brush. The third snake seem to come out of nowhere. It struck the lower part of Captain's front leg. By that time Billy was up and drawing his Smith & Wesson. He fired and the remaining rattler's head exploded.

Captain was limping in fast circles favoring his bitten leg. It took great effort for Billy to finally get the animal to the ground and lying on its side. He pulled some pipe tobacco from his bag, doused it with water, and squeezed and kneaded until it became a gooey poultice - a remedy he had learned from Feather Yank. He pressed it onto the snake bite. Captain groaned and grunted a soft hee-haw as Billy wrapped a cloth around the bite securing the mixture to the mule's leg.

"Be still now, Cap'n! This'll draw out some of the poison," he said softly as he stroked the animal's neck and tried to keep him calm. He knew if Captain decided to get up there was no way in hell he could stop the strong beast from doing so, so he made camp right there in the rattler's vacated bedroom. He dined on the snake Captain had smashed and the one he had shot. Every few hours he would change the poultice eventually using up an entire canteen of their safe water. Orion stood and watched and snorted concern over the state of his friend.

Fortunately the mule didn't try to stand. He slept most of the time, which kept the poison from surging through his veins. Soon it would lose its killing powers. The morning of the third day Captain and up and hee-hawing again. That was also when Billy discovered the crushed canteen. The mule had been laying on it. They were now down to just three canteens of safe water.

~*~

* courtesy of author

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Blog All About It: Escape


ESCAPING to Texas with western vibe...


READ:

Billy Old, Arizona Ranger
A Historical Novel Based on a True Story
by Geff Moyer
-Historical, Thriller, Western
Amazon | Goodreads

News of the World
by Paulette Jiles
-Historical, Western
Amazon | Goodreads | my review | my rating: 5

Law of the Desert Born
by Louis L'Amour, Charles Santino
-Graphic Novel, Historical, Western
Amazon | Goodreads | my review | my rating: 5


LISTEN:

Bluebird Bluebird
by Attica Locke
-Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Amazon | Goodreads | my review: DNF


WATCH:

Hostiles (2017)
Director/screenplay: Scott Cooper
Based on manuscript by: Donald E. Stewart
Stars: Scott Shepherd, Rosamund Pike, Ava Cooper
-Adventure, Drama, Western | imdb | my review | my rating: 4

Jane Got A Gun (2015)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Screenplay: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton
Story by: Brian Duffield
Stars: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor
-Action, Drama, Western | imdb | my review -tba | my rating: 4

The Sisters Brothers (2018)
Director/screenplay: Jacques Audiard
Screenplay: Thomas Bidegain
Based on book by: Patrick Dewitt
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, John C. Reilly
Release date: September 19, 2018
-Western | imdb | my rating: tba


~*~

* header from cover of The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt

* part of the Blog All About It Challenge (here)
 
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu