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text 2018-08-19 03:41
Halloween Bingo Randomness

I think I just spent way too much time working out how I'm going to track my Halloween Bingo calls and books read... and I'm not even sure if it'll work out the way I want it to.  I went back and forth between the table I used last year, to just making a bullet point list, to playing with a new idea that you can see below.  It's sort of a table slash card that I wasted hours working on just to get the dimensions right, only to realize that I might have made things more complicated than necessary.

 

I may or may not actually use it.  -_-  And really, I need to be thinking about what marker to put on my actual Bingo card rather than playing with tables and html.

 

 

But anyway, here's another (different) look at the books I've chosen for my squares!  A couple new changes have been made.

 

So yes, September needs to arrive soon so I can quit wasting time outlining and formatting update posts, and start reading all the books I'm actually very much looking forward to reading.

 

Really, I just need to step away from my computer for a couple days and finish reading a couple other books.

 

 

Called:  9/1/18
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Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/08/halloween-bingo-randomness.html
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text 2018-08-11 04:42
Halloween Bingo 2018 | Ani's Tentative Reading List!

First of all, a great thanks to Moonlight and Obsidian for once again hosting this year's Halloween Bingo, and thank you to Moonlight for the wonderful works she's done with all of our bingo cards.  Also, thanks to all the readers in the Booklikes community, because just reading through the hype and anticipation and all the tentative reading lists for Halloween Bingo is really helping me break out of my blogging slump.

 

I want to start participating again, even if at a different pace than I used to.

 

 

 

Halloween Bingo 2018



I didn't think that I'd be participating in any reading games this year.  With the massive reading slump I had had since the beginning of the year, the last thing I wanted to do was restrict myself to reading based on any challenge.

But I have participated in Halloween Bingo since it's inception in 2016, and with the new categories, as well as a new game twist, I couldn't help but join in.  On top of that, my reading slump IS, kind of, sort of lifting.  So to all of my reading buddies and friends at Booklikes:

I'm back!!!  Let the Halloween Bingo game begin!


I don't want to get too carried away assigning books, but here are a few books that I would like to read for Halloween Bingo, some of which fit a few different squares.  Other book possibilities for the squares on my card follow after these two series.

 


The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts --
After reading the summaries for each of these books, I have come to the conclusion that they all fit into at least six of the thirty-one different Halloween Bingo categories.  The villain is a vampire, the hero of the first book is a sorcerer, the hero of the second book is a shifter, the hero of the last book is a vampire... so there are elements of the paranormal/supernatural involved.  Nora Roberts is a well-known romantic suspense author...

I'm super stoked!

Possible squares:

  • Spellbound
  • Dead Lands
  • Shifters
  • Supernatural
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Terrifying Women

 

 


Harper Connelly by Charlaine Harris --
I've been looking for a reason to read this series, and I admit that I was kind of looking forward to sliding these books into Halloween Bingo at some point.  These books don't fit as many squares as the above series, but they still fit some.

Possible squares:

  • Southern Gothic
  • Supernatural
  • Cozy Mystery
  • Terrifying Women
  • Terror in a Small Town -- counts for at least two of the books

 

 

The Squares on Ani's Card:

 

 

Ghost Stories:  Undecided
-- I'm considering one of many of the Simone St. James books, as there are several, all about ghosts and hauntings.  But I haven't quite decided yet.  But the chances are high that I will probably just read one of the books I already own, Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor, which is a book I've also got lined up to read for my Reading Assignment challenge this year.

Possible books:  An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James; Silence of the Dead by Simone St. James; The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James; Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James; Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor

 

 


 

 

Diverse Voices:  Undecided
-- The first author I thought of off the top of my head was Sherry Thomas, if only because I still have her A Study in Scarlet Women sitting on my Kindle, unread.  It's probably time to get it read, but I'm leaving this square open for now in case I come across something else I may want to read.

Possible books:  A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas; A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas; The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

 

 


 

 

Terror in a Small Town:  Undecided
-- I have several possibilities for this category, a couple that are unread books on my Kindle, and a few that are books I'll need to check out from the library.  I'm still trying to decide in which direction I want to go.  I'll probably end up letting my mood decide for me what to read.

Possible books:  The Innocent by Amanda Stevens; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris; Real Murders by Charlaine Harris; Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts; Hold Back the Dark by Kay Hooper; The Obsession by Nora Roberts

 

 


 

 

Southern Gothic:  Sick of Shadows by Sharyn McCrumb
-- I had considered reading If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O, also by Sharyn McCrumb, but due to availability, I decided on Sick of Shadows instead.  I've read the reviews and noted that Sick of Shadows is not her best work, but that the series DOES get better with each book, so I will keep that in mind while I read it.  It's possible I may decide to read the next book in the series and try to insert it somewhere on my card.

Other possibilities:  Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris; Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

 

 


 

 

Shifters:  Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts
-- Lake Silence by Anne Bishop would be my other choice, but I'm still on a wait list to check out said book from the library, and the wait list is very, very long.  The chances of getting Lake Silence in time for Halloween Bingo does not have a very good outlook.  On the other hand, Dance of the Gods is very much available right now, and I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that it will still be available by the time Halloween Bingo starts up.

Because I can only check out an e-book for 21 days, max, I don't want to check it out too early.  Although, I could just run to the library and find a paperback, I'm sure--then renew the heck out of it.

Other possibilities:  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater; Her Rogue Alpha by Paige Tyler; In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler; Bodyguard Bear by Zoe Chant

 

 


 

 

Cozy Mysteries:  Undecided
-- This is a very broad category and I have a lot of books I want to read for it.  I recently purchased some Audible books by Elizabeth Peters, and I even own Crocodile on the Sandbank in paperback, a book I bought at a library sale a long time ago.  But I'm also considering the Harper Connelly series listed above as well.  And then there are a lot of other cozy mysteries I'd been wanting to read for a long time.

I may have to book a book roulette into play for this one... or just read based on my mood.

Possible books:  Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters; Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris; Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates; It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake; A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley; Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

 

 


 

 

Cryptozoologist:  Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire
-- I honestly have already decided that this will be the book for this square.  Ever since reading the description, I got very curious--a family of cryptozoologists, studying the monsters of the world and protecting them from humanity.  Now I only hope it will be available at the library when I'm ready to read it for Halloween Bingo.

And I also hope that I have better luck with this urban fantasy series than I've had with other urban fantasy books in the past.

Other possibility:  The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) XD

 

 


 

 

Genre: Suspense:  Undecided
-- This is also a broad category for me since I read a lot of crime thrillers and romantic suspense.  So I'm leaving it open for the time being, though I have a massive list of romantic suspense I could use for this category.

Possible books:  Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz; Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor; Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayers; The Black Opal by Victoria Holt; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin; In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler; Her Rogue Alpha by Paige Tyler

 

 


 

 

Creepy Carnivals:  Undecided
-- I honestly considered requesting to exclude this category from my card, but since we could only exclude three, I went back and forth before deciding which squares I really DIDN'T want to include.  Between this one and 'Fear the Drowning Deep' somehow I convinced myself that I'd have a better chance of finding a book for this square... Now I"m not so sure.

So there is a high possibility that this square will be a Wild Card author square, or I could use the Buddy Read starting in October to fill this one.

Possible books:  Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

 


 

 

Spellbound:  Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts
-- The first book in the Circle trilogy by Nora Roberts features a sorcerer as the main hero, so this was the first square I thought of.  Well, it was either this one, or Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts, the first book in her Three Sisters Island trilogy, which I believe is a series about three women who are witches.

Other possibilities:  Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates; A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness; Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett; Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

 

 


 

 

Classic Horror:  The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
-- I'm not sure what I actually wanted to read, but after I found that I had this in my Kindle, I'm kind of looking forward to it.  I also own a large collection of Edgar Allan Poe works, which would all also qualify for this square (and with shorter stories too, in case I can't keep up with my reading).

Other possibilities:  The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe; The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins

 

 


 

 

Murder Most Foul:  Undecided
-- This category is just as broad as the 'Suspense' category and the 'Cozy Mystery' category.  I'm not making a decision yet, but I know I have tons of books to choose from.

Possible books:  Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin; Real Murders by Charlaine Harris; Hold Back the Dark by Kay Hooper; The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber; This Side of Murder by Ann Lee Huber; Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

 

 


 

 

Creepy Raven Free Space:  Undecided
-- I'm leaving this one open for anything just because...


 

 

 

 


 

 

Relics and Curiosities:  Undecided
-- The Key trilogy by Nora Roberts would definitely fit, but I don't know if I want to do a Nora Roberts flood for Halloween Bingo since I'm already reading one trilogy by her.  (Hint:  It's entirely possible that I will choose her romantic suspense or supernatural books as my two wild card books, so there will probably be a Nora Roberts takeover on my card).

For my own sake, I'm going to insert the link to the Halloween Bingo reading list for this category here--Halloween Bingo 2018 - Relics and Curiosities--and keep checking it until I find something I'm interested in reading.

 

 


 

 

Modern Noir:  Undecided
-- I considered requesting this category as one of my three exclusions.  But I decided that I should be able to find at least one book for this category I might enjoy.  We had fun with the Classic Noir group read last year, even if I didn't enjoy the book.  But that's neither here nor there.

I happened across Murder by Death's Halloween Bingo reading list and saw that she has listed a book by Jasper Fforde as her choice for Modern Noir--The Fourth Bear.  Upon further searching, I found that it is the second book in a series; the first book is called The Big Over Easy, and there is indeed a noir tag in the GR top shelves page of this book.

I'm not entirely familiar with 'Noir,' but I'm definitely interested in reading these books.  It is also available through my library's e-book collection.

Possible books:  The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde; In the Woods by Tana French; Ice Princess by Camilla Läckberg

 

 


 

 

Romantic Suspense:  Undecided
-- Like the 'Murder Most Foul' and 'Genre: Suspense' categories, I'm leaving this one open while I work on the others.  More than likely, I'll end up reading Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Possible books:  Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz; Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor; Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayers; The Black Opal by Victoria Holt; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin; In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler; Her Rogue Alpha by Paige Tyler

 

 


 

 

Darkest London:  Undecided
-- I think I ended up picking an Amanda Quick book last minute, so those are always good possibilities for this category.  Otherwise, I haven't decided what I want to read yet.

Possible books:  A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas; Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick: Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick; The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson; Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick; The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber

 

 


 

 

13:  Undecided
-- I'm not sure what to read for this category, though I'm thinking of just picking up anything that might be on the Halloween Bingo suggestions reading list for 13.  I have one possible book, Nora Roberts's Year One, but seeing as it's the first book in a trilogy, and I'm loathe to start a series that I can't finish in a timely manner (the second book comes out in December this year, and the third book will probably be out next year about the same time) I will probably not touch it.  It has a raven on the cover and would be perfect for this square.

This square might end up as a Wild Card author book.

 

 


 

 

Deadlands:  Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts
-- The last book in the Circle trilogy would go great in this spot, since the main hero is a vampire AND the main villain is a vampire.

As an aside, every year I tell myself that I don't have a vampire book to read, and every year I find a reason to keep this particular square.  It's kind of interesting how things turn out.

Other possibilities:  Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

 

 


 

 

A Grimm Tale:  Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
-- I'm on a couple wait lists for the library copies right now, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping I'll get this one picked up at some point in the next three months.  Otherwise, I'm sure there are other books I can insert into this square.

Other possibilities:  Beauty by Robin McKinley; The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden; Heartless by Marissa Meyer

 

 


 

 

Gothic:  The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley
-- I almost forgot about this category, but after going through my books, I found a Susanna Kearsley audio book I already own.  Definitely going to get used for this square.

Other possibilities:  This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins; Window on the Square by Phyllis A. Whitney; The House of a Thousand Lanterns by Victoria Holt; The Black Opal by Victoria Holt

 

 


 

 

Terrifying Women:  Undecided
-- Obviously another free space for me.  We'll keep our options open.

Possible books:  Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters; Real Murders by Charlaine Harris; The Key of Light by Nora Roberts; Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts; Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas; Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick; Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin; Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz... and many, many more...

 

 


 

 

Doomsday:  The Last Policeman by Ben Winters
-- I've been looking for a chance to read The Last Policeman series ever since my BFF read it and told me she loved it.  I've heard good things about it as well.  So we'll get to see what this is all about!

Other possibilities:  Good Omens by Neilg Gaiman & Terry Pratchett; Year One by Nora Roberts; The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau; The Stand by Stephen King; Pines by Blake Crouch

 

 


 

 

Baker Street Irregulars:  The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
-- I had a couple other books in mind for this square, but the one I'm going to go with just sounds interesting to me at the moment.  Chances of switching it out are 50/50, because I don't know when the last time was that I read something YA or Childrens.

Other possibilities:  The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene; Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor; Going Rogue by Robin Benway

 

 


 

 

New Release:  Undecided
-- This is a very broad category, but I have two different books I'm considering:  Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin, which is a mystery and romantic suspense; or Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz, also a mystery and romantic suspense.  Both books were published in 2018.  I'm leaving this category open, though because there are so many other possibilities, and my tendency to change my mind is pretty high.

Other possibilities:  The Broken Girls by Simone St. James; Lake Silence by Anne Bishop; City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/08/halloween-bingo-2018-anis-tentative.html
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text 2018-08-09 20:45
Bright We Burn / Kiersten White
Bright We Burn (And I Darken) - Kiersten White

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada's rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won't rest until everyone knows that her country's borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed's peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister's indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before--including her relationships--can Lada truly build the country she wants.

 

For some reason, I had a hard time convincing myself to pick this book up—it had been sitting & staring at me for just over 2 weeks. Look at that gorgeous cover! All of the covers for this trilogy have been absolutely lovely, but this one is the best in my opinion. I love that exploded pomegranate!

Once I got past the first two pages, I had no more problems. I was right back in Wallachia with Lada and in Constantinople with Radu and Mehmed. I knew enough about the actual historical events that I was aware of how things would have to end—but Ms. White gave me the best possible ending given the circumstances. [I think she jiggered with the facts just a bit to improve Lada’s death, but why not, when you’ve already made Vlad Tepes into a woman?]

I have read that the people of Romania still honour Vlad as a harsh, but fair ruler. White definitely stays true to this notion. A great story, told well in a new & interesting way, and the best possible ending. Certainly a trilogy that I’ll be recommending to others.

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review 2018-08-09 17:04
A Fatal Waltz / Tasha Alexander
A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander

At her friend Ivy's behest, Emily reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as odious as he is powerful. But if Emily is expecting Lord Fortescue to be the greatest of her problems, she is wrong. Her host has also invited Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who was once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves. What Emily believes will be a tedious evening turns deadly when Fortescue is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.

Determined to right this terrible wrong and clear Robert's name, Emily begins to dig for answers, a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets. Not until she engages a notorious anarchist in a game of wits does the shocking truth begin to emerge: the price of exonerating Robert can be paid only by placing Colin in deadly peril. To save her fiancé, Emily must do the unthinkable: bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange.

 

Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are attending a party together, now that they are affianced. And of course, since this is an historical mystery series, there is a murder. It reminds me of Agatha Christie in that way—wherever Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot happen to go, there will be a murder. Christie tended to set her mysteries in a small town, to ensure that everyone knew one another. In this series, Alexander had chosen a certain stratum of society, who all socialize with and gossip about one another.

It seems that this series will also be a bit like Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence series too. This couple will team up to solve murders and diplomatic incidents together, like Tommy & Tuppence and their espionage endeavours. I have no idea whether Tasha Alexander set out to model her characters after Christie spy duo, but I will soon have the chance to hear her talk about her writing experience—the conference that I’ve been waiting all summer for starts tomorrow!

This is an engaging series and I will look for an excuse to read the next book as soon as I can.

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review 2018-08-07 17:43
Moonraker / Ian Fleming
Moonraker - Ian Fleming

As the super patriot and war veteran who’s bankrolling Britain’s top-secret Moonraker rocket program, Sir Hugo Drax should be above reproach. But there’s more to this enigmatic millionaire than he lets on. When M suspects Drax of cheating at cards in an exclusive gentleman’s club, he sends Bond in to investigate. But exposing the deception only enrages Drax—and now 007 must outwit an angry man with the power to loose a nuclear warhead on London.

The mysterious death of the head of security at Drax’s missile base gives Bond the perfect opportunity to go undercover to find out the secret agenda of the supposed British war hero. With the help of another agent, the lustrous Gala Brand, 007 learns the truth about Drax’s battle scars, his wartime allegiances—and his murderous plans for the deployment of Moonraker.

 

***2018 Summer of Spies***

The oddest so far in the James Bond series. I was about two thirds of the way through when I started to wonder when something of significance would happen! The last third, however, held all the action that I’d been asking for.

A very slow start, back to Bond & his card expertise. Having just read Tim Powers’ Last Call, which heavily involves poker and other games of chance, I was maybe a bit worn out with the card games! However, what I did find fascinating in the opening pages of the book was Fleming’s description of James Bond’s schedule:

”It was the beginning of a typical routine day for Bond. It was only two or three times a year that an assignment came along requiring his particular abilities. For the rest of the year he had the duties of an easy-going senior civil servant—elastic office hours from around ten to six; lunch, generally at the canteen; evenings spent playing cards in the company of a few close friends, or at Crockford’s; or making love, with rather cold passion, to one of three similarly disposed married women; weekends playing golf for high stakes at one of the clubs near London.”


This is Fleming, the now-married man, describing his life during his stint in naval intelligence! It could almost have been written by his biographer, Andrew Lycett.

The third book in the Bond series, this is first one in which Bond doesn’t get the girl. I found the last sentence to be a bit sad: “He touched her for the last time and then they turned away from each other and walked off into their different lives.” Fleming drew so much from his personal life for these books that it makes me wonder who he had in mind when he wrote such a melancholy final line.

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