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review 2017-05-20 14:13
The Sixth Victim (A Constance Piper Mystery) - Tessa Harris
** spoiler alert ** Set in London during the days of the Jack the Ripper frenzy, this book was both entertaining and creepy. The murders of Jack the Ripper, while important to the story, are mostly in the background.

The main story is told of two characters. One is Constance who thinks she may be clairvoyant as she keeps dreaming things and seeing things while in a desperate attempt to find her friend, Emily Tindall. Emily is the second major character who has become Constance's friend. She has been trying to educate her in all things regarding being a lady. In the meantime, Constance comes to be introduced to a lady of means who is looking for her sister and inquires about Constance's help in her journey.

Suddenly Emily disappears and Constance is on the hunt to find her friend. This leads to the start of Constance's dreams and sets her on a path of regarding a sixth victim who has been found murdered. This murder is much different than the one's left behind by Jack the Ripper. However, is he the culprit and two women are missing? Could the body be one of those people that Constance is looking for?

A creepy, suspenseful and tragic read that held my interest way into the night.

Huge thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley to read and review with an honest, unbiased opinion.
 

 

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text 2017-05-19 19:30
RT Booklover's Convention 2017 - Day Two
Outfoxed by Love (Kodiak Point Book 2) - Eve Langlais
What a Lady Craves - Ashlyn Macnamara
Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig,Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech,Jennifer Robson,Marci Jefferson,Jessica Brockmole,Beatriz Williams,Evangeli
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
Ten Days in August - Kate McMurray
Kissing the Captain - Kianna Alexander
Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins
The Lawyer's Luck: A Home to Milford College prequel novella - Piper Huguley,Piper Huguley
Tycoon - Joanna Shupe

Day One post

 

 

Wednesday (May 3rd) was the official start to the convention. I skipped the 7am work outs since I was still jet lagged, but I could only make myself get a few hours of sleep (a habit that lasted the entire convention). I hit up the coffee shop for a venti-sized tea and a piece of banana bread (I don't trust hotel catering to have enough food for all attendees) and met up with a fellow COYER group member and BL'er Lexxie (Unconventional Book Views)! After having breakfast with Lexxie, I went to the welcome breakfast; the guest speaker was Karen Robards. I thought she did an okay job opening the convention, but it seemed a lot of her speech was about previous, long ago RT cons and not much about this one. That was another theme - most attendees are long time RT convention goers and there is a feeling of cliques and talking about the old times. Then the staff at RT each had to take the mic to talk (boring)...which authors in attendance used that time to start pushing their books to the readers at their tables. Lots of aspiring and current authors writing "dark, gritty" romantic suspense is my take away.

 

First reader event I went to was Trope Bingo. The organizers did not plan to have so many people attend this event and ended up scrambling to set up more tables. Then more people showed up after another reader event closed due to running out of supplies. I had fun at the Bingo and met some readers that wanted to talk about what their favorite/least favorite tropes were.

 

Next I went to the Maple Syrup and Mounties reader event. This was one of the best reader events of the convention! Funny, smart ladies (authors Viola Grace, Lucy Farago, Eve Langlais, Ashlynn Macnamara, and Mandy Rosko) who organized and prepared for the crowd. The swag was pretty great too. FYI: Eve Langlais is pretty damn proud that she was able to put a moose shifter romance on the best seller list (Outfoxed by Love) and Ashlynn Macnamara is proud of her books' butt covers (Eton Boys Trilogy). These authors not only enjoyed interacting with the audience (it was a rowdy quiz type of event), but they seemed to really enjoy being around each other. One of my highlights of the convention.

 

Lunch time and then I stood in line for the one reader event I was most looking forward to - the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books Reader Recommendation Party! It definitely lived up to my expectations. I ended up winning a raffle, so I took home a short story collection centered around World War I called Fall of Poppies. I have been eyeing this book for some time now and when I saw it on the prize table I had to grab it. The Bitches were as lovely and funny as they are on the blog and on the podcast. Another big highlight for me, as it was truly about the readers talking about books with other readers.

 

Some books recommended:

The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (historical set during the French Revolution)

The Iron Duke Series by Meljean Brooks (steampunk)

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (paranormal)

Blood on the Earth (Soulwood #1) by Faith Hunter (spin-off of the Jane Yellowrock series)

Roller Girl (Lake Lovelace #3) by Vanessa North (f/f contemporary featuring a trans woman as one half of the couple)

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare (historical)

Bedchamber Games by Tracey Anne Warren (historical)

The Glassblower Series by Petra Durst Benning (historical)

Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy (fantasy)

The First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (sports contemporary romance)

Rites of Passage (Tulsa Thunderbirds #4) by Catherine Gayle (sports contemporary romance with HIV+ characters)

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet (fantasy)

Anything by KJ Charles pretty much

 

 

The SBTB party was still going but I left after winning so I could make it to my first author panel, Welcome to Americana, featuring Alyssa Cole, Kianna Alexander, Kate McMurray, Beverly Jenkins, Piper Huguley, and Joanna Shupe. What a great discussion! Everything from the state of American historical romance (in terms of what is being published right now) to how they go about researching the history for their stories. Kate McMurray has a really great blog post on her website in regards to POC/LGBT+ people in historical romance not being present in mainstream historical romance and that readers really have to search to find the authors that are writing outside the mainstream. Most importantly, American historical romance is oversaturated with cowboys and mail order brides - and these authors are trying to expand American historical romance to include POC/LGBT+/urbanites. Everyone on the panel had some very thought-provoking things to say about racism, sexism, homophobia, and historical romance writing. Shout out to reference and research librarians for providing plot bunnies and historical research for the authors.

 

Took a much needed break from all the people, then headed to the Petticoats & Pistols party. Here the organizers actually had a big enough room that attendees could walk and mingle about without being crushed. I enjoyed the outfits the authors and cover models wore and the design of the party. Probably my favorite social event of the convention - it was low-key enough to take in at my leisure, but high-spirited enough to build excitement for the attendees. Here I got to meet Merry Farmer, a personal favorite of mine and talk with Joanna Shupe about her panel I attended. Shupe encouraged me to try my hand at writing historical romance. Maybe....someday.

 

After the party I was tired from being around so many people all day, so I got dinner and headed to my room. I didn't expect or intend to make this a very historical romance intensive day, but it is my favorite subgenre. So many new to me authors to try.

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review 2017-05-15 00:23
Cute Toys to Crochet
Crochet Toys: 10 Easy Crochet Toy Patterns - Piper Christensen

The book has some cute toys. Some that I have marked for future use. 

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review 2017-05-13 23:56
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Little Engine That Could - Watty Piper,Doris Hauman,George Hauman

Genre:  Toys / Travel / Perseverance / Classic


Year Published: 1930

 

Year Read:  2017

 

Publisher:   Platt & Munk Publishers

Series: The Little Engine that Could #1

 

 

Engine

Now I have a bit of a confession to make: I actually was introduced to this classic children’s story through an animated special that premiered on TV way back in the early 1990s and I have only just recently decided to pick up the book that the animated special was based off of. “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper along with artwork by George and Doris Hauman is truly a cute classic that children will read for years to come!

The story starts off with a little train carrying good things for the little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain such as teddy bears, dolls, books for the children to play with. The little train also carried good food for the children to eat such as apples, oranges, milk and peppermint drops. Just as the little train was heading towards the mountains with all of these good things for the little boys and girls, it suddenly stopped on the train tracks and it could not budge. The toys then began to lament this predicament and they tried to receive help from various trains that stopped by. Unfortunately, none of the trains wanted anything to do with taking the toys to the other side of the mountain and they just left the toys on the side of the tracks. Finally, a little blue engine came along and…

Will the little blue engine help the toys get to their destination and will the toys make it over the mountain in time to give the little girls and boys their gifts?

Read this book to find out!


Watty Piper (which is actually a pseudonym for the Platt & Munk Publishing House) had done an excellent job at writing this cute little story as it details the importance of perseverance through the actions of the little blue engine as she tries to get the toys to their destination despite being so small. I like the fact that this story teaches children about the importance of never giving up in the face of a difficult situation and that they just need to do the best they can when they are dealing with situations that might be impossible for them. I also like the idea about the story being mainly about the toys and the train trying to get to the other side of the mountain to deliver toys and food to the little boys and girls since it reminds me a bit of how Santa Claus usually has to deliver toys and goodies to many children of the world, except in this case, this story does not take place during Christmas. George and Doris Hauman’s artwork is truly adorable to look at as all the toys are so cute to look at and I especially loved the image of the little engine herself as she is colored in blue, which is quite a unique color for a train, and she constantly has a smile on her face that makes me root for her.

Engine

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating is because I felt that the pacing for this story was a bit slow and I wished that they trimmed off a bit of the toys’ conversations with the trains in order to get to the main point of the story.

Overall, “The Little Engine that Could” is a cute story about the importance of perseverance in the face of hardship that children will easily relate to! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-09 22:09
Piper Perish
Piper Perish - Kayla Cagan

I checked this out of the library because the cover was so pretty. And it's about teen artists. But the main character is so damn dense I cannot stand her. No, honey, you didn't make your boyfriend gay by looking boyish. No, sweetie, he won't like girls if you have bigger boobs. It doesn't work that way. So I am not going to waste any more time on this. If at 100 pages I still cannot stand the story, then I'm out. I have many more books to read. 

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