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text 2018-11-08 01:04
24 Festive Tasks Door 4: Diwali
Stolen Songbird - Danielle L. Jensen
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer
Sprig Muslin - Georgette Heyer
The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer

Tasks 1, 2, and 4 completed. Points = 3

 

Task 1:  Share a picture of your favorite light display. ~ I might be reaching here, but no man-made display has ever captivated me as much as the night sky (though lantern festivals come close).

 

 

Task 2:  Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos.  OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information. (If in doubt, see here: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/1782687/state-of-the-database-booklikes-database-halloween-bingo-and-a-mini-rant-with-pictures). 

 

I literally just rearranged my shelves and have no before pictures, so digital it is. I'm not sure how to track this, so I'll just list the titles I tried to tidy up. (Kindle editions only. Hope I didn't screw up any book data. Y'all might've opened Pandora's box with this task.)

 

1. Call of Poseidon by CP Bialois (Added cover and description, corrected ASIN and erroneous crediting of editors as authors)

2. Illegal Magic by Arlene Blakely (Added cover etc., corrected ASIN)

3. The Savage Blood by Tamara Rose Blodgett (Reported duplicate book entry with incorrect ASIN)

4. Stolen Peace: The Untold Story of the Spanish Conquest by Gloria Bond (Added cover and other book data, corrected ASIN)

5. Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman (Added cover and book data, corrected ASIN)

 

Task 3: Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us.

 

I'll come back to this one.

 

Task 4: During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower. Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.

 

See books at top of post. This was a struggle. Thank goodness for my small Heyer collection! I might be stretching it with a couple, but I'm reasonably sure I see flowers in that basket on The Grand Sophy's cover, and I think those are flowers in her hand on Sprig Muslin.

 

Book: Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)

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review 2018-09-24 16:39
Stolen / Kelley Armstrong
Stolen - Kelley Armstrong

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Shifters square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I just don’t know quite know why this series doesn’t grab me. It had been a year since I’d read the first book and I was actually looking forward to this second installment. The assumptions in Urban Fantasy are always ridiculous to those who don’t like the genre, but this one seemed a bit more ridiculous than most.

Take an ultra-insensitive billionaire, add his secret prison for supernatural creatures, and shake it up with the plot line of Richard Connell’s short story The Most Dangerous Game, and you get Stolen. The first book limited itself completely to werewolves and was all about Elena coming to terms with her life as a member of that community. Hey presto, this book suddenly produces a whole range of other supernatural folk not hinted at in book one—vampires, witches, demons, shamans and sorcerers. Might as well go whole hog, I guess.

I’m not sure why some authors can do this successfully (for me) and yet I find this version annoying. I find Elena to be a disappointing main character, not nearly as mentally strong as I would like her to be. What good is supernatural strength if you haven’t got the brains to back it up? Her relationship with Clay is also an irritant—they are incredibly irresponsible, often stopping in the middle of something crucial for a quickie. The sex seems gratuitous to me, not really moving the plot along, just thrown as “characterization” I’m guessing.

However, I haven’t given up. I will persevere with book three to see where Armstrong takes the concept from here. Just not until I’ve wrapped up all my various reading challenges for this year.

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video 2018-09-02 16:43

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review 2018-08-26 22:20
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave."
Stolen - Dawn Kopman Whidden

I think I can honestly say that this is the first series of crime novels that I've followed through with - mainly because I would read the second one so long after the first that I'd forgotten all the details. Thanks to the wonder of audiobooks, I've been able to work my way through this series in a more reasonable time frame and I'm enjoying getting to know more about these characters with each book.

Now, in book 3, the crime involves another murder, with two suspects and two young children of unknown identity. I don't think it would be a spoiler to mention that there is a pedophile involved, so this may not be suitable for some readers.
Untangling the identities of the children and the suspects makes for riveting listening and so I also managed to do quite a bit of ironing :)
I was happy to see that the narration was by Amy Deuchler, the same narrator as book 2. She does a good job with both male and female voices and spoke at a good pace.

I enjoyed the twisty nature of this novel and the ending was satisfying. It was a pleasure to reunite with the crime team of Marty Keal and Jean Whitley, plus Marty's fiance, Hope, whose insights into child psychiatry are fascinating. We also find Jean's daughter Bethany getting involved again, this time through her involvement with her boyfriend Dylan.

Book 4 next...

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review 2018-08-05 00:00
The Stolen Throne
The Stolen Throne - David Gaider I honestly didn't have high expectations of The Stolen Throne - the other book I read by the author, Asunder, was on a topic that I found much more interesting, and reading it still felt like a drag. The Stolen Throne was a pleasant surprise though! While it definitely suffered from a bit too much telling (as opposed to showing), the characters were interesting and the writing - perfectly serviceable, if not great. The growth of the characters felt really realistic, and even though there were some extreme jumps in characterization, they felt properly built up and explained. Makes me wish that the next Dragon Age novel would focus on the same heroes, as opposed to what was teased at the end.
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