Sunday, February 2, 2020

Book Review: Big Ten Ones by Janet Evanovich

Hey fellow book lovers! It has been a minute since I have reviewed or even read a Janet Evanovich book. If you are new to my blog, I am a big Janet/Stephanie Plum fan. I have been reading this series for years now and I'm only on the 10th book (technically 11th since I read a Christmas special book). I've been reading a lot of different books by various authors, but there's just something about the winter season that makes me want to read some more Stephanie Plum. Here is my full review on Big Ten Ones by Janet Evanovich.



A Little Bit of Background 


Janet Evanovich is a New York Times Best Selling author for plenty of her works. Her Stephanie Plum series started back in 1994. This book came out in 2004 and follows directly after the 9th book and Christmas special. 

This time, our heroine faces a notorious gang in Trenton who wants her dead. Morelli warns that she's in too deep, and Stephanie more than agrees. But the gang won't let her bow out. With Ranger missing in action, Stephanie has to go into hiding-and stumbles on to the secret location of Ranger's "bat cave." Is it the perfect place to disappear? Or will she get into more trouble than she knows by delving into his private world? The tenth Stephanie Plum novel is filled with Evanovich's trademark high stakes, high adventure, high wit, and sly comedy.


A Little Review

This is another typical Stephanie Plum novel with our main character getting into trouble and someone going after her and she somehow survives it all. Typical Stephanie formula, but it was still very enjoyable. 

If you have read a Stephanie Plum book, I am very much a Morelli fan, but Ranger is a very close, slightly there, second choice. He just seems more of the in and out type, where Morelli has turned into the in and definitely in kind of guy. This 10th book has really highlighted this dynamic and has defined these two characters very well. And even though I am a Morelli fan, I was rooting for Ranger, just slightly and very silently. I mean, how could you not? 

This book is just another great read for anyone looking for a fun, compelling and laugh out loud story. So many funny moments, I felt a little bad for the other people in my work building who were in the tenant lounge while I was reading. It was just too funny not to laugh!

I don't really have any criticism for this book. It is well-written and even though it's the 10th one in the series, Janet still didn't (hasn't) lost it's touched.

Overall

Overall, I recommend giving any Stephanie Plum book a read! I think you should start off from the beginning though, and then you'll be sucked into an on-going series that's full of fun and hookers and mystery! Until next time, Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Review: Spent Identity


SPENT IDENTITY
Annalisse Series, Book 2
by
Marlene M. Bell
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Light Romance Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing Date of Publication: December 11, 2019
Number of Pages: 378
Scroll down for the giveaway!


A body, a disappearance, just another hot summer in upstate New York. It’s July when antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury reaches her family’s small-town farm to consult with the trusted aunt who raised her. She learns that her beloved homestead—the one she expects to inherit—is for sale. While Annalisse reels at the betrayal and her shattered dreams, the Walker Farm ranch manager discovers a corpse in the barn. Officials close the suspected murder scene, and Annalisse seeks refuge with her aunt at Alec Zavos’s rural estate in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Then Aunt Kate vanishes. Annalisse solicits the help of Greek tycoon, Alec Zavos, even though their rocky romance has dissolved into routine separation. What began as hope on Crete nine months ago has eaten away at Annalisse’s hope for a future with him. In Spent Identity, Annalisse and Alec come together for the second time and find themselves in the center of not one mystery, but several. Where is Kate, and why sell her farm now? Is the dead man a coincidence or a clue to the aunt’s disappearance? John Doe’s identity may hold needed answers to solve the puzzle before Kate’s unstable health issues make her rescue impossible. The clock ticks, and a vengeful murderer is in charge…

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It's my first review of the year, everyone! So excited for another year of reading and writing. Two things I love in the world! Anyways, I started the year off reading the second book of a series, something I haven't done in forever. Starting this series off with the second book was probably not the best idea and I only say this because there were quite a few shocking references back to the first book. Hearing those past references made me sad that I didn't read the first book. I also felt that maybe reading the first book would help readers understand the dynamics of everyone's relationship a little better, but overall, the author does a great job at letting us into what happened in the first book.

This book is right up my alley! Spent Identity is a great mystery novel that makes you second guess everything every other chapter. The story itself starts off a bit slow, but if you pick up this book I encourage you to keep reading as you'll find that after the first few pages, it will keep your attention until the end. 

"I'm not taking your gun, Alec. When you come back, bring my purse, then we'll both have a weapon."

What also might keep you intrigued with the story is the romance. It's not a super heavy topic, but it's prevalent throughout the book. As someone who doesn't read too many romance novels, this was a great medium. The romance, the mystery the wonder is what makes this book very suspenseful and keeps you flipping through the pages until the very end.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. I would recommend picking up both books in this series as I will be doing this year. It's got a lot of elements going for it and the slow start is worth reading the rest. Make sure to put Spent Identity in your book list for 2020! Until next time, Happy Reading!

★★★★☆




Marlene M. Bell is an acclaimed artist and photographer as well as a writer. Her sheep landscapes grace the covers of publications such as, Sheep!, The Shepherd, Ranch & Rural Living, and Sheep Industry News. Ewephoric, her mail order venture, began in 1985 out of a desire for realistic sheep stationery. A color catalog of non-fiction books and sheep-related gifts may be requested on her website or www.texassheep.com. Marlene and her husband, Gregg reside on a wooded ranch in beautiful East Texas with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large and lovable Maremma guard dog named Tia, and Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats who believe they rule the household -- and do.
 ║ Website║ Facebook Twitter  ║ LinkedIn ║ Goodreads  ║ Amazon Author Page  BookBub   Blog  -------------------------------------
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$350 PRIZE PACK / ONE WINNER
Autographed copy of Spent Identity & companion notebook, Mary Poppins-style bag (18x13” tapestry carpet bag with leather trim, handmade in Israel), $100 Amazon gift card, and 18” freshwater pearl necklace. 
JANUARY 7-17, 2019

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Rainy Thoughts: 2019 Year in Review

By the time this blog post comes out, it'll be 2020. It's crazy to think I am 24 years old living in my 4th decade. It's also crazy to think that another year has come and gone. Well here's my short and sweet year in review!


First Thoughts

My first thoughts of the year, I'm not going to lie, 2018 was pretty much my year. 2019 wasn't that bad though. A lot of fun and exciting things happened this year. I traveled to Chicago with my love for the first time, went to Las Vegas again with family, started a pretty great job that I love, adopted our dog Ollie, and purchased our first house on Valentine's day. Not to mention that we now have two new nephews, and we saw my favorite band Vampire weekend for the first time with their brand new album after 6ish years!

Stepping on Up

This was a great year and I stayed true to my word of the year, which was fearless. I felt that this year was a big stepping stone for me career-wise. I'm so glad to have found the job that I did, it's really helped me grow and progress out of the box that I felt that I was in with my last two jobs. I'm also happy that I participated in NaNoWriMo again. I didn't finish, but I started my new book project and I hope to go further with my book this time around.

BTW, you can pick up my first book on Amazon by click right here. 

Take Away

This was a great year and I'm excited to live by my word of the year for 2020: Wanderlust. There's so much in store for my future and I'm ready to take on the world! I pray all of you have a wonderful 2020 and that we all see the positive no matter how much negative there may be.


Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 19, 2019

Book Review: Santa Claus Bank Robbery


SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY A True-Crime Saga in Texas
by
TUI SNIDER
  Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: December 8, 2019
Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos
Scroll down for Giveaway!


When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running - with loaded guns in hand! But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress.
This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning! Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion. Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?


I don't know about you, but I am a big Forensic Files, Sword and Scale, and all types of murder mystery, documentary fan. While reading this story, it felt like I was reading one of the shows, learning, discovering and finding out what really happened with the Santa Claus Bank Robbery as our author was discovering as well.

This was definitley a fun way to read about a historical event, one not many people know about. I sure did not learn this in my Texas public school. I enjoyed the way the author was writing how she felt. It was real and it felt like someone was reacting to their emotions in real time. I was hooked to the book from the first page to the very last.

We can all also appreciate all the actual evidence the author uses to help us paint a picture of this crazy story with pictures, written documents, and quotes from another book that was written about this event. One will really admire all the heart and sole Snider goes through to get us all the truth that she can find. There is a book that Snider often refers too, but doesn't really like that the book doesn't give the real names of the real life people and goes into a more fictional tale. She really wants to be as authentic as she can be and I love and appreciate that in an author.

Overall, the author does a great job in telling a story that has already been told in several different ways. It really feels like you are going on a journey with her finding out the truth behind this bizarre happening. I would defintiley recommend for anyone who enjoys a good non-fiction murder mystery.


Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!” Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel. Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.

◆  WEBSITE  ◆  FACEBOOK  ◆  TWITTER  
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3RD PRIZE (International): Kindle eBook
  December 12-22, 2019

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