Ani's Book Abyss

Ani's Book Abyss

I like to read. A lot.

Halloween Bingo 2019 | This Week's Early Start!

 

Halloween Bingo 2019



IMoonlight has kicked off Halloween bingo with an early start week rather than just on August 31!.  We can start reading one book this week, and as long as doesn't get finished until September 1, it'll count towards Halloween Bingo!

After a brief consideration, I decided that I would start with The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle for the Locked Room Mystery square.  It is a three hour audio book, but I tend to take a long time with audio books, and if I only listen to it during my drive to and from work, the chances of finishing it before September 1 rolls around will be less than if I started reading one of my other books.

I had briefly considered starting one of my hard cover or paperback books, but just went for the audio book.  Decision made.

 


I already started listening to The Sign of the Four from The Complete Sherlock Holmes audio book collection from Brilliance Audio, narrated by Simon Vance.  It's been a long time since I've listened to a Simon Vance narration!  =D  I'm very much enjoying his portrayal of Sherlock--a nice touch of arrogance for the famous detective tells you exactly who's speaking without it being said.

Following are the books I'm considering next.

The plan is to try and read all the books I need to pick up from the library first, since those will be the least accessible to me, especially if they're not quite available for borrow yet.

 


I will more than likely start off with Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire on September 1--I do miss me some Aeslin mice.  And then from there, it'll be a guessing game... although the chances that I'll roll into The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee is pretty big.  I'd like to read Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson for the Baker Street Irregulars square or the Sleepy Hollow square; unfortunately, it's a wait list for now, so I'll see if it becomes available soon.  If not, I DO have a backup.

 


Meanwhile, a couple books that I'd like to add into the mix are Firelight by Kristen Callihan and A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber.  I own both of these books and can read them whenever, but if I get into the mood, I'll just go for it.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/halloween-bingo-2019-this-weeks-early.html
Bout of Books 26 Wrap Up
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, Aug 19th and runs through Sunday, Aug 25th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



I have been frightfully lazy in the bookish world lately.  Of course, being frightfully lazy still managed to finish me two books for the week of Bout of Books 26.  Except that I'd started both of those books way before the readathon even started.

So I took lazy and laid back to another level.  After finishing my Storm Front audio book, I took my sweet time, reading a chapter or two of Death in the Stocks a day until I finished it.

It was... actually kind of nice to not think about blogging or reviewing for a while.

With Halloween Bingo coming up in less than a week, I know I'll be doing a lot of updates and trying to keep up with my reading.  As much as I want to take it easy and not stress myself over my Halloween Bingo reading list, I have an obsessive streak that won't let me just take it one book at a time.  I've already made plans and have an idea what direction I'll be going with my books.


In the meantime, I've been spending more time than anything watching YouTube videos about bullet journaling.  I came across an interesting post about habit trackers, and then spiraled into bullet journal layouts, ideas, and more and more articles and videos.

For anyone unfamiliar with this, there are some nice YouTube tutorials for how to manage your daily tasks and future tasks, and just about anything using a bullet journal format.  The ones I've been watching are the ones by YouTuber AmandaRachLee, and here's her bullet journal playlist.

Of course, as I'd told my BFF the other day, I don't have the patience to sit there and hand draw out calendars, journal layouts for different weekly spreads, shopping list set ups, etc...  As pretty as a lot of those spreads look, and as much as I love to doodle, I'm not really that artistic... and also, I'd probably give up bullet journaling pretty soon, getting super tired of redrawing layouts each month.

On the other hand, I'm more of a spreadsheet person.  I use spreadsheets a lot to track a lot of things.  In fact, I'm more willing to spend hours stuck in detailing and formatting a spreadsheet form for my planners.  Because I can make subtle changes to the forms without starting completely over, and if I mess up, I can use the handy 'undo' button.  I can copy and paste these forms for future use for other things.  It just seems easier.  And also, I'd get straighter lines using a spreadsheet than trying to draw them on my own, really...

So rather than getting into bullet journaling, I decided to take some ideas and incorporate them into some of the weekly planner layouts and monthly calendars I'd already been using regularly.

And then, going a step further, I decided to take the Habit Tracker idea to help make myself accountable for things I'd like to get used to doing routinely.

 


The photo's lighting is a bit dark, but the gist of it is that I've got a lot of activities on the left that I'm wanting to do on a daily (or at least a routine) basis, and the days of the month are along the top.  I have the form spread split into three specific sections, 'A.M.', 'P.M.' and 'Exercise.'  Exercise is the biggest habit I'd like to make myself get into more routinely.

Each day, when I do the activity, I color in a box.  Or in the case of the bottom 'Exercise' section, I'm simply writing in numbers, such as how much time I'm spending on the elliptical, or how many reps and sets of a certain exercise I did.

Since I didn't start the tracker until a few days ago, I decided to mark off the entire first part of August... and while at first I was just going to put a big 'X' through all that space... I just started doodling lines and the next thing I new, I had diamond patterns going on.

The entire form was created on my computer with Google Sheets, so as you can see there's a whole block where I merged a bunch of boxes so I could add a message for the weekend pertaining to the exercise activities... basically that I wasn't going to start the exercise stuff while working twelve hour shifts this weekend.  I figured that was reasonable enough.

 


And this is my Habit Tracker I went ahead and set up for September and printed out.  I didn't think I was going to do a lot of decorating aside from drawing in a header... but I was thinking about trees and leaves, then looked up some tree doodles, intending on just adding two trees in the bottom corners... and then ended up filling the entirety of the bottom of the sheet with tree doodles...

And yes, I realize now as I'm typing this that the bottom of the sheet got cut off on the photo.  But I'm too lazy to go back and re-upload a new picture, so everyone will just have to use their imaginations.

 


Finally, here's my typical layout for a monthly calendar.  It's a blurred picture, but the green boxes I have pre-inserted in Google Sheets and have my work schedule.  There are about five lines for each day for tasks and other planning activities.  Then there's a side bar for weekly to-dos that I don't have specific dates for.

To spiffy things up, I decided to draw some leaves around the 'September', which doesn't show very well.  And then added some grass and a tree.  That was about when I hit the extent of my artistic abilities and called it a night.

This is what I'd been up to for the past few days when I probably could have read another book.  But, hey, this was a pretty fun and relaxing activity.


Anyway...

Enough about my side activities (soon I'll probably end up pulling out some old Mandala books and spend hours coloring).

As far as bookish stuff goes, as I'd stated earlier, I finished two books for Bout of Books 26, both of which were already about half read when I started the week.  In total, I read 189 pages of Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer, and finished listening to the last 265 minutes of  Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

This wasn't the progress I'd hoped for, but it was what I'd expected.


Oh, and while I'm at it, guys...

 


Bear's back!  It's hard to tell if Baby's all that happy with that...

 

 

Books Finished During Bout of Books

 

 

 

What's Hopefully Up Next


I don't really know what I'll be reading next in this week before Halloween Bingo starts.  I might rush through a romantic suspense if I feel like it... or I might just keep watching bullet journaling videos.  Who knows?

So I don't really want to list any tentative reads at this point since I'm not really in that mind set.

So this was probably the most un-readathon related update post I've ever written.  But oh well.  It's my blog and I'll talk about what I want to, right?  =D

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/bout-of-books-26-wrap-up.html
Bout of Books 26 - Starting Post
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, Aug 19th and runs through Sunday, Aug 25th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



Bout of Books 26 started today, but I didn't really get much of a chance to read, so not much of an update.  While I wanted to update everyday, I'm not sure that's actually going to happen, so I'm changing one of my initial goals to just updating whenever I finish a book... maybe.

I'm fairly certain that, at the pace I've been going, I'm not really going to make my reading goals of wanting to read 3 books this week.  But we'll see how it goes.  If I manage, then I'll be quite satisfied.  I'm hoping to jump into some books I've been meaning to read, that are already on my shelves.  Hopefully, I'll get to them and get some good read in this week.

Happy Reading Week to everyone!

 

 

Main Goals


I only have three simple goals for this August 2019 Bout of Books Readathon

1) Post regular updates, daily... or every other day, maybe.  Update with each finished book.
2) Read at least 3 books.
3) Read books already owned.  (After finishing the Georgette Heyer book).

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

 



I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post.

Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/bout-of-books-26-starting-post.html
Review
3 Stars
Brief Thoughts: Ember
Ember - Kristen Callihan

Ember

by Kristen Callihan
Darkest London #0.5 (novella)

 

 

Prequel to Firelight.

After a fire consumes the Ellis family fortune, the beautiful and resourceful Miranda finds herself faced with an impossible dilemma: enter a life of petty crime or watch her family succumb to poverty.  But once her fiancé learns of her descent into danger—and of the strange, new powers she's discovered—saving her family may come at the high price of her heart.

When Lord Benjamin Archer's one chance for redemption is destroyed by corrupt London antiquarian Hector Ellis, he vows to take what Ellis values most—his daughter Miranda.  Forced to hide his face behind masks, Archer travels the world hoping to escape the curse that plagues him so that he can finally claim his prize.

But once Archer returns home to London, will it be revenge he seeks?  Or will the flame-haired beauty ignite new, undeniable desires?



In preparation for Halloween Bingo 2019, I'm reading a few books and novellas that are either the first book or, in this case, a prequel to a book I want to read for the game.  I figured, what better book to read for the Darkest London square than a book from a series titled Darkest London, which follows a girl with a supernatural gift for creating fire?  Apparently, there's also a mystery involved in said book so I'm super excited to read it.

And so, I decided to go ahead and read Ember, which is the prequel novella to Firelight (the first book in the series), and found it intriguing enough to keep me hooked, even if the outline of the novella itself was a bit chaotic.  I'm also not sure that the novella did much for me as a story if it weren't attached to a book I'm interested in reading, and which has gotten enough positive critique for me to want to keep moving forward.

For a little while, I was having trouble following the novella's story's events, especially with the hopping timelines that didn't seem to have any reasoning behind them.  The brief tangents following Archer were pretty confusing, and didn't feel like they contributed much to the story.  I DID find that I liked Miranda, but that was the extent of how I felt about all the characters.  I didn't much care for Miranda's at-present lover nor her father.  And I'm not certain I saw how Miranda's and Archer's tangents fit together.

Maybe it'll all make sense in Firelight, since the novella is supposed to give more of an insight into the first book of the series, according to a lot of reviews I'd skimmed out of curiosity.  So I decided to get it read.  So rather than being a historical romance with a paranormal twist, the conclusion of Ember was rather open-ended and bittersweet.  There's so much unresolved conflict going on in Miranda's life that I'm tempted to just hop right into the book to get at a possible Happily Ever After... or at least a more satisfying resolution for her.

After all, there are still more books in this series I can read for the Darkest London square, right?  The series is seven books long, and any of them would fit the square... and then some!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/brief-thoughts-ember.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Quick Thoughts: Lethal Lifestyles
Lethal Lifestyles - LynDee Walker

Lethal Lifestyles

by LynDee Walker
Book 6 of A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller

 

 

The groom is the prime suspect in a murder at his own rehearsal dinner.  Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke doesn't believe he's the killer—but now it's up to her to find out who is.

When Nichelle Clarke is invited to be the maid of honor in her friends' Virginia vineyard wedding, she looks forward to the celebration.  The storybook ceremony has been planned to the tiniest detail, and the rehearsal dinner is going off without a hitch.

Until a dead body is found in a barrel of award-winning Riesling.

But when the dust settles, the corpse is no longer Nichelle's biggest worry.  There is a growing list of evidence pointing to her friend the groom as the killer.  Nichelle doesn't buy it, but finds herself the lone skeptic.

Wading through skeletons of past love and loss, Nichelle sets out to prove the groom's innocence.  But the journey forces her to face hard truths about how well she really knows her closest friends.

Can Nichelle track down the truth in time to save her friend from life in prison--or worse?  Assuming he is innocent, who is the real killer?  And more importantly, will they strike again?



I'm having a hard time deciding how to feel about this book.  On the one hand, this was an exciting, fast-paced read where the action just keeps the story moving forward.  On the other hand, you once again get Nichelle spending a lot of her time racing against the clock, the upper administration, her rivals, and now other mysterious higher powers, to find the truth in a murder mystery.  And once again, law enforcement is conveniently absent with no power to do any true investigating.

While I love that Nichelle is such a strong, resourceful heroine, I'm also exhausted after reading this book (and not only because I kept at it when I probably should have been sleeping).  There was SO MUCH going on in this book, and so much going on in Nichelle's life already, that I'm frankly kind of getting tired of the constant upward battle that she's facing off with with her weasel-y publisher.  And while I understand that the rivalries are fierce and probably necessary between her and other ambitious reporters, sometimes the battles get a little too catty for my liking... and maybe too repetitive.

BUT, on the other hand, I really DID enjoy the mystery in this book; sans all the office drama, I think I would have really loved all the action, the investigation, and all the strange twists that were thrown in.  I also loved that Nichelle and Kyle could team up and investigate the case together without romance or hurt feelings getting in the way--they DO make a pretty good team.

Unfortunately, speaking of the romance, I'm STILL not feeling Joey, the mysterious mafia love interest, now serious significant other.  I just don't see enough of him and don't know enough of him to care about this love story.  It's been six books into the series, and Joey is really taking the tall, dark, mysterious, and handsome love interest trope to a new level.  At some point, I feel like we need to start getting to know Joey more if I'm to believe that Nichelle and Joey are having a serious relationship outside of physical attraction.  And because of that, I'm actually warming up to Kyle a little bit more... even if I still like Nichelle's co-worker Grant Parker more.

At least we get to see Kyle on a more personal level and we're getting to know him better with each book.  His cockiness is also starting to grow on me, even if his over-protective streak is a bit tiring.

Apparently I'm hard to please.

As far as the series itself goes, I'm still very much enjoying it, so I'll definitely continue reading, even if I'm not planning on jumping into the very next book right away.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #20:
Square: The Stay-cation 6 | Read a book set in your home town, state, or country, or that you checked out of your local library, or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.

How it fits:  This book takes place in my home country (U.S.A.)
Page Count: 372
Cash: $3

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/quick-thoughts-lethal-lifestyles.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Brief Thoughts: Madam, Will You Talk?
Madam, Will You Talk? - Mary Stewart

Madam, Will You Talk?

by Mary Stewart

 

 

Widowed Charity Selborne had been greatly looking forward to her driving holiday through France with her old friend Louise - long, leisurely days under the hot sun, enjoying the beauty of the parched Provencal landscape.  But when Charity arrived at their hotel in the picturesque French town of Avignon, she had no way of knowing that she was to become the principal player in the last act of a strange and brutal tragedy.  Most of it had already been played.  There had been love--and lust--and revenge and fear and murder.

Very soon her dreams turn into a nightmare, when by befriending a terrified boy and catching the attention of his enigmatic, possibly murderous father, Charity has inadvertently placed herself center stage. She becomes enmeshed in the schemes of a gang of murderers.  And now the killer, with blood enough on his hands, is waiting in the wings.



Well, this isn't my favorite of the Mary Stewart books I've read so far, but I'll give a kudos for the strong start it had, although the book was punctuated by a lot of banal moments, some of which were quite idyllic, but others of which were just a little draggy.

The truth is, I really liked Charity a lot, because she comes off strong and flawed, all at the same time, which is what makes her an interesting character.  More so, I was really, really getting into the book as the danger and the conflict began to pick up.  And even as I started to find the rest of the mystery quite predictable, I still got drawn into the story and the atmosphere.

But then the instalove happened, and I found myself a bit jarred out of the book.  I guess after following Charity's high speed chases, her escaping from Richard, the man she believed to be an evil murderer... I hadn't really expected the sudden turn of events that happened mid-book.  The insta-attraction might have been believable to an extent, but the sudden declarations of love kind of threw me.

The second half of the book then proceeded to spin further out of control, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about the chaotic conclusion to the mystery and the thriller itself.  Everything kind of all happens at once to bring all the tangents to a head, and yet I kind of felt like the ending was a bit unsatisfying.

Nonetheless, this was exciting enough to keep me hooked until the end.

On a side note, was it just me, or was there an extremely unhealthy and unbelievable amount of smoking throughout this book?  Or was it just the time period?


***

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #18:
Square: Robot Card | Create a number list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.

Note:  Used in place of Beach Week 13.  See post for the numbered list.
Page Count:  372
Cash:  $3

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/brief-thoughts-madam-will-you-talk.html
Halloween Bingo 2019 | Ani's Tentative Reading List!

 

Halloween Bingo 2019



I'm super happy and have been anticipating my card for weeks ever since the first stirrings of Halloween Bingo 2019 news started presenting.  And lookie!  Not a lick of horror to be found!  =D  And I know this is Halloween Bingo, and I should maybe step outside of my comfort zone a little bit, but the truth is, I'm not feeling the desire to step too far outside of my comfort zone these days, so this is perfect!

I wasn't really going to create a tentative reading list, if only because I didn't want to lock myself down into any particular books.  But on the other hand, I DID want to give myself a little bit of direction, specifically as to what to start reading when the game starts.  So I started making a list of books I wanted to read that would fit my card, and the next thing I know, I've already picked books for some of my squares.

On the other hand, most of my squares are fairly broad, which gives me a lot of wiggle room to work with, such as Romantic Suspense, Genre: Suspense, Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth...  I've got tons of book options that will fit these squares.

Some other squares, I've got an idea of what I'd like to read for already, which I'll list below.  But a few of the squares will require some thought such as Country House Mystery, Locked Room Mystery, and the more specific It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, In the Dark Dark Woods, Full Moon, or Sleepy Hollow.  Looks like I'll be combing some lists... although I'm not above using those freebie Transfiguration Cards we're being given.

In terms of books I'd like to read, I'm quite determined to catch up with the Lady Darby Mystery series, which I've already read up to book three of.

 


Lady Darby Mystery series by Anna Lee Huber --
As a historical mystery series, these books fit a few of the squares on my card such as Genre: Mystery or Amateur SleuthA Study in Death will fit Paint It Black... though unfortunately I don't think any of these books take place in London for Darkest London... drat.  I might be able to make a bid for Romantic Suspense and/or Genre: Suspense.  Otherwise, we have the  broadest squares to play with--Read By Flashlight or Candlelight and Poe Raven Free Space.

Anyway, I'm kind of stealing a bit of Themis-Athena's format in creating my tentative reading list.  So let's move forward.

 

 

The Squares on Ani's Card:

 

 

Paint It Black:
-- There are a lot of possibilities for this square, but some of the covers I'd considered I'm not sure if they really qualify as black--they're dark, but not quite black.  But no matter, I have one specific book that will definitely fit.  Mostly, I was looking at books that I already own, though of course, other books I don't actually own got slipped in...

Most Likely
A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber
The Black Opal by Victoria Holt

Other Possible Books
The Black Tower by Louis Bayard
India Black by Carol Carr
Broken by Cynthia Eden
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

 

 


 

 

Halloween:
-- This square was a little harder for me to find a book for.  I had considered using a Transfiguration spell for this, but found at least one book I can read.  And I'm actually kind of excited for it.

 

 



Most Likely
A Night in Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

Other Possible Books
None...

 

 


 

 

In the Dark, Dark Woods:
-- I didn't really do much of a search for books to read for this square, but I have a few possibilities, as well as one particular book I will most likely read after asking about it in the FAQ and getting the go ahead.

 

 



Most Likely
Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

Other Possible Books
In the Woods by Tana French
Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

 

 


 

 

Spellbound:
-- Obviously, there are a lot of books I can think of that will work really well for this square, with a few cozy mysteries about witches that came to mind.  But then I remembered that I'm a tad behind in my Discworld reading, and so decided that the best book would be one about wizards... or in this case, a sourcerer!

 


Most Likely
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Other Possible Books
It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake
Mercy Strange by Alisa Woods
Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson

 

 


 

International Woman of Mystery:
-- After a bit of clarification, I decided that I had a lot more possibilities than I had considered previously.  I'm not really going to make any sticking decisions on books, so I'm leaving this square blank for the time being.  I will be reading books written by authors not from or currently residing in the U.S.

 


Mostly Likely
Undecided

All Possible Authors
Tana French
Emmuska Orczy
Agatha Christie
Mary Stewart
Georgette Heyer
Zen Cho
Rin Chupeco
Juliet Marillier

 

 


 

 

Read by Flashlight or Candlelight:
-- Like the previous square, I'm not going to lock in any particular book and just mood read for this one.  But I'm definitely going to read either a hard cover or paperback for this square.  It would feel a bit... pointless to read one of my e-books, on my back-lit Paperwhite, by candlelight.  But there are some books I'm considering based on the kind of book and the kind of mood that reading by candlelight will set.

 
Most Likely
Undecided

Possible Books
The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
I'll Be Watching You by Andrea Kane
The Black Opal by Victoria Holt
Kill and Tell by Linda Howard
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens

 

 


 

 

Sleepy Hollow:
-- This took some research, but I managed to find some possible books.  I'm not going to make a decision yet, because only one of the books I'm considering is one that I already own.  The others, I'll need to acquire somehow, more than likely from the library, and just hope that the book is available when the game starts.

 


Most Likely
Undecided

Possible Books
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (Vermont)
It Takes a Witch by Heather Black (Massachusetts)
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (Connecticut)
The Cabin by Carla Neggers (Massachusetts)
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (Vermont)
The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson (Massachusetts)

 

 


 

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night:
-- Honestly, I've got nothing for this square.  I've gone through the linked book list and nothing really stands out to me, but I'll probably comb the list again in a couple weeks and see if anything looks good at that time.  It's entirely possible that I'll just use a Transfiguration spell.  There is one particular book I'm considering if I can get access to it from the library when the time comes.

Possible Books
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

 

 


 

 

Country House Mystery:
-- There are so many possibilities for this square, but the book I'm most interested in happens to be part of a series, and the second book in a series, at that.  So at present, I'm reading the first book of said series so that I can read that book for this square.

 

 


Most Likely
Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer

Other Possible Books
Why Shoot a Butler? by Georgette Heyer
Dead Man's Island by Caryolyn G. Hart
Cover Her Face by P.D. James

 

 


 

 

Modern Noir:
-- I read The Big Over Easy for this square last year, so I'm considering reading the second book in that series.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I'm feeling in the mood for Noir at all, and so it's possible I'll use a Transfiguration spell on this square.  But we'll see.  I've only got three spells to use, so I need to consider carefully.


Possible Books
The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde
The Bat by Jo Nesbo
In the Woods by Tana French
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

 

 


 

 

Gothic:
-- This is another broad category that I've got a lot of possibilities for.  For certain, I'd like to read something by Barbara Michaels or Mary Stewart.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what I want to read, as I have a lot of Mary Stewart books on my owned book shelves, but I'd have to acquire a Barbara Michaels book.  I've also got one more Victoria Holt book on my owned shelves that needs to be read... and then there are some other authors with loads of possibilities...

Possible Books
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
Witch by Barbara Michaels
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart
The Sea King's Daughter by Barbara Michaels
Wait for What Will Come by Barbara Michaels
Secrets on the Mist by Anna Lee Huber

 

 


 

 

Grave or Graveyard:
-- The last time we had this square, I read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman... and it'll be quite hard to top that book, truth be told.  And really, I don't have a lot of possibilities.

 

 

 


Possible Books
Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
The Visitor by Amanda Stevens

 

 


 

 

Poe Raven Free Space:
-- This square is my "I want to read this book, but I don't know where to put it" free space.  It'll probably get filled last unless I manage to make some concrete decisions on the rest of the squares.  More than likely, I'll slide a romantic suspense in here... or one of the Lady Darby Mystery books.  Or maybe one of the InCryptids books...  I just really don't know why I'm even including this square in this post...

 

 


 

 

Baker Street Irregulars:
-- I read The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson for this square last year.  I'm considering reading the next book in the series... although I've also got another possible pick in Gail Carriger's Finishing School series, which I believe to be a mystery, but I could be wrong.  I don't read a whole lot of YA books these days, but I'll be damned if I use the Transfiguration spell on this square without at least trying to find something I'd like to read.

Possible Books
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

 

 


 

 

Genre: Suspense:
-- Another freebie space for me.  I'll throw in whatever I can't fit anywhere else.  I'm most interested in getting a romantic suspense read, so that's probably what's going to happen.  There's a slew of these in my Kindle library as well as my physical shelves that I'll probably choose from.  Although I'm also interested in reading something by Nora Roberts or Jayne Ann Krentz.

All the Possible Books!!
Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Hidden Talents by Jayne Ann Krentz
Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz
Eye of the Beholder by Jayne Ann Krentz
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Ice by Linda Howard
Close Up and Dangerous by Linda Howard
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart
I'll Be Watching You by Andrea Kane
Broken by Cynthia Eden
Ricochet by Jessica Andersen

 

 


 

 

Darkest London:
-- I'm mostly looking at either Amanda Quick or Sherry Thomas, although not all of their books take place in London.  There are other books I'm interested in, so I'm not locking in any particular book.

 

 

 


Possible Books
A Study in Scarlet by Sherry Thomas
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
Affair by Amanda Quick
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

 

 


 

 

Monsters:
-- I've been meaning to read the rest of the InCryptids series and any of those books will fit into this spot.  I've already made a decision, if you want to know the truth, so if this book ends up unavailable... well, I may cry.  I'll think about some back-ups.

 

 


Most Likely
Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

Other Possible Books
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling)
Bodyguard Bear by Zoe Chant
Wildfire Griffin by Zoe Chant
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier

 

 


 

 

Ghost Stories:
--  Probably something by Simone St. James.  I've got two books left of hers to read, but only one of them, I think, is actually a ghost story.  So I'm hoping to get a hold of it and get started when September rolls around.  Otherwise, I think I have a few other possibilities.

 

 


Most Likely
Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

Other Possible Books
Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
Haunted by Heather Graham
Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
Witch by Barbara Michaels
The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels

 

 


 

 

Locked Room Mystery:
-- I think Halloween Bingo is a great time to read certain books that aren't part of my usual repertoire of reading.  And I think I've had my set of Sherlock Holmes books on audible, narrated by the awesome Simon Vance, for much too long without having touched them.  It's time...

 

 


Most Likely
The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Other Possible Books
Cover Her Face by P.D. James
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

 

 


 

 

Amateur Sleuth:
-- Since I'm on a mission to catch up with the Lady Darby Mystery series, I might just read one of those books for this square.  As neither Kiera Darby nor her love interest are considered law enforcement, this will work.  But if I'm not in the mood, there are plenty of other books I can read.  Since I'll be reading A Study in Death (yes I'd already decided) for the Paint It Black square, then I'll reserve the next book for this square.

Most Likely
As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber

Other Possible Books
A Brush With Shadows by Anna Lee Huber
An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber
Deadly Politics by LynDee Walker
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
Broken by Cynthia Eden
The Daydreamer Detective by S.J. Pajonas

 

 


 

 

Diverse Voices:
-- After a bit of a search, I actually ended up finding one particular book that I'm pretty excited to read amidst a list of some other books I added to my TBR.  And while it's a young adult book, the summary caught me and I'm super interested in the modern day tale involving the legendary Monkey King of Chinese mythological fame!  And then something about battling demons and stuff...

Most Likely
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Other Possible Books
Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

 

 


 

 

Romantic Suspense:
-- Because this square is like free cake for me.  This list could go on forever, so I'm just going to give myself a few top pick possibilities.  Although I DO have a desire to stick to more crime thrillers and murder mysteries... in other words, no survival, on the run stuff, or military romances... unless there's a murder mystery involved.

 


Possible Books:  See book list for Genre: Suspense above.

 

 


 

 

Magical Realism:
-- I'm thinking something by Sarah Addison Allen or Neil Gaiman.  I think there might even be a Maggie Stiefvater book that will work in here if she's published anything new lately...  But this is another square I'm not feeling, so a Transfiguration spell will more than likely get used.

 

 


Possible Books
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

 

 


 

 

Genre: Mystery:
-- This is another freebie space for me since I've been really into crime thrillers since forever.  I've also been dabbling in classic mysteries and historical mysteries.  And a lot of the romantic suspense I read are also crime thrillers and murder mysteries.  Then there are the cozy mysteries I could also choose from.  For the most part, I'll probably try to stick to the Lady Darby Mystery books just to catch up with the series.  Since I've already set two other Lady Darby books for two other squares, then I'll temporarily set the next book in the series for this square.

Most Likely
A Brush With Shadows by Anna Lee Huber

Other Possible Books
An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien
Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts
Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
I'll Be Watching You by Andrea Kane
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
The First Victim by J.B. Lynn
Cold Dark Places by Kylie Brant
Deadly Politics by LynDee Walker

 

 


 

 

Full Moon:
-- I did a bit of research for this square and even started listening to the audio book of Storm Front by Jim Butcher just to prep for the next book, Fool Moon when the game officially starts.  Which pretty much means that I've listed a lot of books, but I'm already set on one particular book.

 



Most Likely
Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Other Possible Books
Feather on the Moon by Phyllis Whitney
Omens by Kelly Armstrong
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

 

 

The Transfiguration Spell

 


The card speaks for itself, but I'm so glad we have this option this year.  But I'm not going to make any sticking decisions yet on what cards I want to transfigure, because as the month wears on, my reading mood might change, and I will either want to transfigure a different square, or end up finding a book for a square I can't find a book for at present.

But at this point in time, the squares I'm most likely to use my Transfiguration Spells on are the following three:

 


And then the squares I would end up choosing as replacements:

 


I'm of the mind to go ahead and transfigure one of my squares to Cryptozoologist just so I can include another InCriptids book into the game.  And the Murder Most Foul and Serial/Spree Killer, and Supernatural squares are broad enough in definition that I'd have tons of books I can use for them if it comes to that.  Dark Academia and Truly Terrifying are my favorite of the new squares added this year, so I'm considering finding a book for them and adding them to the game.

So many decisions to make, but with only three Transfiguration Spells, I don't want to make too many changes at the moment.  So this post is super huge with lists of books and possibilities.  Although at least I've got a little bit of direction so that I have a sort of idea what book I'll be starting two weeks from now.

 

 

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- July 2019

Whelp!  This is probably THE latest I'd ever posted a wrap up for the previous month.  Time went by and I just got plain lazy about everything.  I could feel myself going into a bit of a slump, so I let myself go for a bit, not really forcing myself to really read unless I was feeling it.  In the meantime, I'm slowly catching up with some of my posts, and slowly catching up with some of my reads, and especially prepping for Halloween Bingo, to start in two weeks.

July came and went pretty quickly, and I think I read as many books as I'd expected, considering how busy the beginning of the month turned out to be.  With weddings and puppies and all sorts of family stuff happening... I know I kind of let myself drift a bit on the reading front.

But no matter, we read a lot of great books, none of which I truly disliked, even if there weren't any that really stood out to me.  All-in-all, the month was a great one.

 

 

July Reads

 

 

 

Books Dropped/Put On Hold

 

None this month!  Yay!

 

 

Currently Reading

 

 

 

July Reading Stats

 

Total works read:  8

  • 8 print/e-book novels


Average rating: 3.56 Stars

  • Highest Rated:  2 books // 4.0 Stars
    • (1) Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin
    • (2) Cover Shot by LynDee Walker
  • Lowest Rated:  A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters // 3.0 Stars


Series I started reading:

  • The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters
  • DC Icons by various authors

 

Series I completed:

  • None

 

Series I have made progress on:

  • Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller by LynDee Walker
  • Wolfe Security by Laura Griffin

 

 

Reviews & Notable Posts

 

Reviews Written

 

Memes

  • Did not meme this month!

 

Other Posts

 

 

Coming Up In August

 

Tentative TBR

 

 

Other Stuff

I'm hoping that with fewer social obligations, I'll be able to get some more reading done for the month of August.  But I'm also relaxing myself a bit so I don't feel overwhelmed as Halloween Bingo rolls around.  After half the month has gone by already, and I've only really finished reading a couple books, I'm just going to go the rest of the month without really making myself read anything unless I really want to.  A short hiatus feels like it's in order while there aren't any reading games going on for me to try to keep up with.

With Halloween Bingo looming in the near distance, there are some books that I'm not sure will fit in with the game, so I'm kind of wanting to get them read if I can get to them before September.  And well, will you lookie at that--it looks like I'm still in the mood for some historicals despite the fact that I'd read so much the first part of the year.

I don't know if I'll actually read all those books I've listed, but it'll give me a list to start with if I'm looking for a random book to pick up, especially for the Bout of Books readathon coming up in the next week.  And obviously blogging might be at a minimal this month, as well.

 

 

2019 Wrap-Ups 

 

Past Monthly Reading Wrap Ups (2016 / 2017 / 2018)
See Also: 2015 Reading Wrap-Up posts (scroll to bottom of page)

(updated as year progresses by month)
January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/monthly-reading-wrap-up-july-2019.html
Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 26
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, Aug 19th and runs through Sunday, Aug 25th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.   There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 26 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team



Time flies and it's time for another readathon again in a couple days.  I'm not certain how many books I'll actually read for this one, so going to participate just for kicks.  After all, it's a great way to motivate myself to get some reading done.

Once again, I'll be keeping my goals simple and straight forward.  I'm hoping to to be able to post an update daily (though we'll probably just play by ear on that count), I'm hoping to read at least three books for the week, and I WANT to ONLY read books from already owned TBR shelves.  Unfortunately, I'm also currently reading a library check-out, which I might still be reading by the time Monday rolls around.  But after that, I'm planning on picking an already owned book for the rest of the week.

Unlike in the past, I'm not going to list any tentative books I'm planning on reading.  I might just do a book draw or something.

 

 

Goals


This BoB, I'm reiterating the same goals I had for the last one:
1) Post regular updates, daily... or every other day, maybe.
2) Read at least 3 books.
3) Read books already owned.

Wish me luck!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/read-thon-bout-of-books-26.html
Halloween Bingo 2019 Pre-Party - Set 1



So I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never, right?  The work week has been crazy busy to the point that I just want to flop over and do nothing when I get home, so I've been putting off these pre-party prompts for until the weekend.  And then I got lazy, so this is still a little later in coming than I'd intended.

So I'm going to toss all of the prompts into the same post rather than create individual ones for each.

While putting together this post, I spent the evening scrolling back through to the first pre-party post on my dashboard feed to kind of get an idea of what and how everyone else is posting--because I'm a bit anal like that.  And so while adding another mountain of books to my TBR thanks to everyone else's pre-party posts, I started putting together my own.

At first I was just going to keep it simple and give some brief responses to all of the prompts, but then I started throwing in book covers and rambling on, so the next thing I knew, the post ended up pretty long.

So here we go!

 

 

8/1/2019:  Mystery or Horror?


Well this is a rather easy one to answer.  If you know me, you know that I'm definitely NOT a horror person.  The number of horror books I've read probably equals the number of times we've played Halloween Bingo, if only because I make myself step out of that comfort zone and read something in the genre.  For the most part, I find myself enjoying more of the Classic Horror novels; I've yet to really read many modern horror novels save for some psychological horror by Neil Gaiman or Dean Koontz.  I've yet to touch Stephen King or Joe Hill if only because I've heard that their books can get pretty heavy.

I like ghost stories, but I don't like bloody, gory, slasher fic horror.  Though surprisingly, I don't mind a bit of bloody, goriness in crime thrillers.  And to be honest, I've read a few crime thriller mysteries that have content that can be quite horrifying if you really think about it.  But I'm fine with that...  because I don't make sense.

But anyway, yeah...  I'm more of a mystery story type of person and have lately been interested in historical mystery.  I've always been interested in cozy mysteries, and I'm also very much a fan of crime thrillers with good murder mysteries.  Romantic suspense with crime thrillers and murder mysteries are my go-to genre and comfort reads.  I've only recently started sampling more classic mysteries such as those written by Dame Agatha or Sir A.C. Doyle.

Like a few other BL-ers have stated, I'm not always into mystery for the puzzles though--I'm no good at figuring the puzzles out on my own.  But I love following the characters as they interact and react to the situations they are thrown into as a result of a murder or as a need to investigate said murder.  And I love watching the pieces fall together in the conclusion and thinking, "Ah, that makes a lot of sense..."

 


Some of my more favorite mystery books/series that come to mind immediately include Dame Agatha's And Then There Were None, and Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series.  After a quick scan of all the books I've read, I'd also throw in the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling), the Mindhunters series by Kylie Brant, and the stand-alone book Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (a.k.a. Susanna Kearsley).  Once again, I love these books not so much for how the mysteries were set up, but more so for the characters and how they interact with each other, how they react to everything happening around them.

 


I also have a thing for mysteries with a supernatural twist, though I haven't read a lot of them.  Some that come to mind that I personally liked would be the first few books of Kay Hooper's Bishop/SCI series, The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright, the In the Garden trilogy by Nora Roberts, and some recent favorites by Simone St. James.

 

 

8/2/2019:  Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?


Between the three listed above, I've never cared for vampires nor zombies, so by default werewolves would be my preferred type of supernatural creature.  I think I'd probably choose any kind of animal-shifter as my preferred supernatural creatures.

 


In truth though, I don't know if supernatural creatures are really my thing, and my experience with books that have these creatures is pretty limited.  I DO love Anne Bishop's The Others series a lot, so there's that.  And then there's that urban fantasy series I fell for last Halloween which involves cryptids, which will forever fascinate me.  I shall, in fact, be trying to insert the next few InCryptid books into this year's Halloween Bingo if I can.  =D

 

 

8/3/2019:  Favorite Ghostly Tales


While I'm not a huge fan of horror, I DO love a great ghost story, especially of the ghostly mystery and haunted house mystery variety.  One of my first and forever favorites from my childhood is The Dollhouse Murders which I've already listed above, one of few books I've reread and actually still loved.  Recent favorites include the Simone St. James historical, ghostly mysteries, which I also listed above under the first prompt.  So I'm not going to add any covers here since I've already added them above.

There's nothing like a great haunted house or ghostly mystery without the blood, guts, and gore to scare the crap out of you, and yet at the same time really make you think.  This is probably the only way I like to be scared in my reading.  And if the author includes some history of really old hauntings in the story, I'm even more excited!

I'm not sure I've read a whole lot of other ghostly tales that weren't also mysteries.  There's a non-fiction book I read a long time ago of which I don't recall the name of, but compiled a lot of haunted places around America.  These are always fun.

On a non-bookish aside, I once visited Savannah, Georgia with my besties for a vacation and took a couple ghost tours at night with them.  The history was fascinating; Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in America, so there was lore everywhere!  I wouldn't mind doing more historical ghost tours in future.

 


On another aside, I think there are at least a few ghostly tales that aren't really mysteries I've read and loved.  Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House was an incredibly psychological horror that creeped me out a lot.  Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book was one of my most favorite Halloween Bingo reads from the first game in 2016!  Both are books I'd absolutely recommend to anyone wanting to read something ghostly and well-written.

 

 

8/4/2019:  Favorites From Halloween Bingos Past


Ah... this is a good one.  My best year was probably the first Halloween Bingo in 2016 wherein I had so many favorites I had a hard time choosing just one.  In 2017, I had a few books I liked just fine, but none that really stood out.  And then in 2018, there were two books I squee-ed over, and a couple that I found pretty good... but the rest were really kind of mediocre, truth be told.

Hopefully 2019 will bring another great year, just like the first!


2016:

 

 


2017:

 

 


2018:

 

 

 

8/5/2019:  Favorite Series With Supernatural Elements

 


One of the first series I thought of for this prompt was Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle series, one of my most favorite series since the moment I started reading The Raven Boys and found that it had a lot more depth than I'd expected, as well as a squee-worthy friendship between Blue and her boys, as well as wonderful writing that just takes you into the magical world.

 


The Others by Anne Bishop is a strangely entertaining series that I fell for quite quickly during the first book.  It seemed that it hadn't mattered to me that there was very little story in the first book, very little development of characters... and recycling of story conflicts throughout the series.  But I just loved the books.  In truth, the books that follow the Meg story-arc seem to have better story lines and development, even if we still repeat the same conflicts.

 


Brown and de Luca is a fun and witty series that follows famous self-help book writer Rachel de Luca after she has a corneal transplant only to start seeing visions of brutal murder through those donated cornea.  The creepy factor is intriguing, but what I really loved was Rachel's voice as she discovers the beauty of being able to see again.  It helps that she's super snarky and doesn't take crap from anyone.  The murder mysteries are also interesting.

 

 

8/6/2019:  Favorite Seasonal Covers


I was going to base this prompt off of books I read for Halloween Bingos past, as I'm not entirely sure how to go about finding some favorite seasonal covers.  Instead, I decided to just show off some of my favorite covers from Halloween Bingos past, and then add some covers that seem quite seasonal.


Favorite Covers from Past Halloween Bingos

 



Covers that feel seasonal to me that I like

 

 

 

8/7/2019:  Favorite Halloween Bingo Authors


This one's a little harder to respond to if only because reading Halloween books isn't exactly a thing I think about until Halloween Bingo rolls around.  So I'll just list a few authors I've thought of who have books that would definitely fit into my Halloween Bingo card based on my leanings more toward mystery.  I also have a couple authors who's books I've saved specifically for Halloween Bingo.

Simone St. James
Mary Stewart
Barbara Michaels
Neil Gaiman
Anna Lee Huber
Deanna Raybourn
Nora Roberts
Seanan McGuire

I think I've read a book by Nora Roberts each year so far.  And I've always intended to read a book by Neil Gaiman each year, but did not do so in 2018.  And starting from this year foward, I think I might start including a book by both Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels each year if I can manage it.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/halloween-bingo-2019-pre-party-set-1.html
Booklikes-opoly 2019 | End Game Update and Brief Wrap Up
Booklikes-opoly
@ Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

Ani's BL-opoly 2019 Summary Page



My plan had been to compile the books I had read for the last half of Booklikes-opoly 2019 in one post, and then do another post for a wrap up, but I'm too lazy, so I'm just going to throw everything into this post.  So this post will be slightly longer than I'd intended, but there it is.

As far as final tallies go, here are my totals:

Final Bank:  $111
Bail Fund Donation:  0 pages
Books Read:  21
Pages Read:  7,085

I'm extremely satisfied with my progress for BLopoly this year, even though I'm pretty sure I read twice as many books the last time we played.  Of course, I think this year the game play duration was shorter, but if I had been reading at the pace I used to read at two years ago, them my totals would be a little different.  Nonetheless, I'm still very happy with how my game play went!

All-in-all, I managed to (mostly) stick to books on my already owned TBR shelves.  Of the 21 books I read, 15 of them were previously owned prior to the game start, 2 were bought during the course of the game, and 4 were library e-book check-outs.  I finished reading all the books for two different series that had been languishing on my shelves for a few yeas, so yay for that!  And then I caught up with all the books I currently own for one ongoing series.

Me being me, I was stubborn enough to make myself read for all the squares I landed on, with only one exception.  And because of that, I ended up with three Novelty Cards left in my pocket that never got used.  For fun, I may go ahead and "use" them post game just to determine my next few reads leading up to Halloween Bingo.  Maybe.

This was another great reading game from our favorite BLer game hosts, and again, I'd love to give them a great, huge thank you for always bringing so much excitement to the BL dashboard feeds!

The following are some rambles for the books I read during the last half of the game.  Here is also a link to the first set of books I read for the first half of the game:

BL-opoly 2019 | Mid-game Update

If anyone is interested, that is.

Afterward, I've included my tracking table and a repeat of my final stats once again at the end of this post.

 

 

Books and Squares

 

Roll #12 | The Summer Blockbuster 25
A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #1)
Rating:  3.0 Stars


This book was slow to start, and took a while for me to get into.  I'm not certain if it was the book or my own personal life happenings that caused this, but for such a short book, it DID take a long time to finish.  I WILL admit that Brother Cadfael is an interesting man, and I wouldn't mind continuing to follow his story, and I DID find the antics of the Shrewsbury brothers quite amusing.

The conclusion of the mystery felt a little too convenient, and I'm not entirely sure that I really saw much investigation going on... though it could have just been that I was distracted and couldn't fully appreciate Brother Cadfael's investigation techniques?

Anyway, I didn't really write a review, so the short above paragraphs will have to suffice.

How the book fits:  This series was adapted into a television series.

 


 

Roll #13a (July 4th Bonus) | The Summer Blockbuster 27
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo (DC Icons #1)
Rating:  3.5 Stars


What better book to read for "a hero's journey" than one about a superhero?  Although this book wasn't exactly what I'd been expecting, it was still enjoyable, and Leigh Bardugo continues to prove that she is a wonderfully solid author.  Unfortunately, I had recently seen the new film adaptation starring Gal Gadot... and so kept picturing the teenage Diana in this book with the Gadot's face... not that she couldn't pass off as a youthful teenager, really...

How the book fits:  This book follows a hero's journey.

See my review:
Thoughts: Wonder Woman  Warbringer

 


 

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James
Rating:  3.5 Stars


Simone St. James writes beautifully, and creates great atmosphere.  This wasn't my favorite of her books, and I was actually disappointed that the haunted hospital aspect felt a bit underused.  Nonetheless, a great read.

How the book fits:  This book is historical fiction.

See my review:
Quick Thoughts: Silence for the Dead

 


 

Sharp Edges by Jayne Ann Krentz
Rating:  3.5 Stars


Jayne Ann Krentz always presents great characters, banter, and entertaining excitement in her romantic suspense books.  Sharp Edge was no exception.  I liked the tidbits about glass art.  And I also found the characters likable.  And I saw the conclusion coming ten miles away.

But I was satisfyingly entertained, as I usually am with Jayne Ann Krentz, so no real complaints.

There will be no actual review aside from the simple few lines above.  I have trouble reviewing JAK books anyway since they're fairly formulaic, even if I love them so much.

How the book fits:  This book is tagged as a 'mystery.'

 


 

Roll #15 (July 4th Bonus) | The Stay-cation 8
Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin (Wolfe Security #2)
Rating:  4.0 Stars


This was another great romantic suspense by Laura Griffin that I enjoyed immensely and could not put down.  She never fails to deliver her usual dark and gritty, action-never-stops crime thrillers.

How the book fits:  The author's name begins with the letter 'L.'

See my review:
Thoughts: Her Deadly Secrets

 


 

Roll #16d | Who (2)
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker (Nichelle Clarke #4)
Rating:  3.5 Stars


I'd been meaning to get back to this series for a while, and this square gave me the push to do so, and I'm glad I did.  It's so easy to hop back into Nichelle's world and follow her around while she investigates murder when the local police are so stumped themselves.  Great writing and atmosphere, and Nichelle is always a top-notch heroine.

How the book fits:  This book is a cozy mystery.

See my review:
Some Thoughts: Devil in the Deadline

 


 

Roll #17 | The Stay-cation 9
Cover Shot by LynDee Walker (Nichelle Clarke #5)
Rating:  4.0 Stars


Hmm... while this book was a lot quieter and less gruesome in terms of details and investigation, I found I really liked it a lot more, if only because we're more focused on Nichelle's human interest story, the investigation, and the crime thriller itself.  Another excellent addition to the solid cozy mystery series.

How the book fits:  Our author's name begins with the letter 'L'.

See my review:
Some Thoughts: Cover Shot

 


 

Roll #18 | Robot Card
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart
Rating:  3.5 Stars


Having actually landed on Beach Week 13, I decided to use one of my novelty cards since I wasn't feeling in the mood for any of the books on my TBR that would fit the square.  Since I had two Robot Cards in my pocket, I figured, what the heck?  So my list was made, and Madam, Will You Talk? was the winner.

This book is pretty suspenseful, and kind of dives into the story and the conflicts right from the beginning, even if there were moments of quiet.  An enjoyable Mary Stewart book, but probably not my favorite.

I will have a review posted pretty soon.

See my review:
Brief Thoughts: Madam, Will You Talk? (link coming soon)

 


 

Roll #19 | The Lake House 19
Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz
Rating:  3.0 Stars


Another interesting JAK book, although probably not one of my favorites.  Sometimes her characters get a little overly philosophical, and the dialogue gets a bit eye-roll-worthy.  But Deep Waters still had all the charm and "feel good" of any other JAK book.

And so, once again, a short review above in three sentences since I probably won't bother with a full, individual review post.

How the book fits:  The book's cover is definitely greater than 50% blue.  Also author's last name begins with a letter 'K.'

 


 

Roll #20 | The Stay-cation 6
Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker (Nichelle Clarke #6)
Rating:  3.5 Stars


This was an exciting, fast-paced read with maybe a few quibbles from myself, but overall another great addition to the series.  It's a little early, so I don't have a review yet, and it should be out within the week.

How the book fits:  This book takes place in Richmond, Virginia; in the United States, which is my home country.

See my review:
Quick Thoughts: Lethal Lifestyles (link coming soon)

 

 


 

Table and Other Stats


Final Bank:  $111
Bail Fund Donation:  0 pages || in table: remain in parentheses in (italics and red)
Books Read:  21
Pages Read:  7,085

Table notes:
*Dates link to corresponding dice roll updates / other links for related activities included.
*Book titles link to reviews if written.
*Page/Cash values in parentheses are still pending reads/ not yet cashed out.
*Doubles rolls are depicted as such (dbls) under the dice roll number.

 

Date
(Roll #)
Dice Roll Space/Prompt Book Title / Author Pages Cash
5/20 Game Start $20
#1 5 The Silk Road:
Read a book set in any of the 40 countries along Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.
Hard Target by Pamela Clare 261 $3
5/22  
#2a 8 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#2b 4 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Tightrope by Amanda Quick 320 $3
5/25 See Also: Roll #3 and Memorial Day Bonus Roll Activities
#3 5 The Lake House 20:
Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover; or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle 312 $3
  Memorial Day Bonus Rolls
#4 7 The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier 516 $5
#5 9 European Vacation 35:
Read a book set in Europe; or that was written by an author who was born in Europe; or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.
A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber 433 $5
6/8  
#6a 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Novelty Card Race Car -- save for later
(Race around the game board to the space of your choosing and read!)
n/a n/a n/a
#6b 11 Mountain Cabin 18:
Read a book that is set west of the Mississippi in the USA, or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is considered part of the Western genre.
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin 357 $3
6/10  
#7a 7 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Take one extra roll n/a n/a n/a
#7b 10 European Vacation 33:
Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.
The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa 212 $3
6/13  
#8 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
School's Out For Summer 1:
Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or MG
Going Rogue by Robin Benway 321 $3
6/16  
#9 10 Beach Week 10:
Read a book that appears on any beach reads list, or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.
Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant 324   $3
6/19  
#10 6 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Touching Evil by Kylie Brant 288 $3
6/26  
#11 4 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Facing Evil by Kylie Brant 314 $3
6/29  
#12 6 The Summer Blockbuster 25:
Read a book (or a book in a series) that has been adapted for film or television.
A Morbid Taste for Bones  199 $2 
7/2 July 4th Bonus Rolls
#13a 2
(dbls)
The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 374 $3
#13b 8 When? (34):
Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.
Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James 386 $3
#14 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Sharp Edges by Jayne Ann Krentz 338 $3
#15 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin 368 $3
7/21  
#16a 4 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#16b 7 Free Parking:  Roll 2 dice.
A 2 or a 3 sends you to the robot;
4, 5, or 6, go to the race car;
7, 8, or 9, go to the Scottie dog;
10, 11, or 12 takes you to the cat.
n/a n/a n/a
#16c 9 Novelty Card Scottie Dog -- save for later
(Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.
n/a n/a n/a
#16d 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker  282 $3 
7/23  
#17 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Cover Shot by LynDee Walker (360) ($3)
7/28  
#18 5 Beach Week 13:
Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit, beach bag, beach towel, or other beach items on the cover, or a book that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.
Using Robot Card n/a n/a
Novelty Card Robot
Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart (372) ($3)
7/31  
#19 7 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz (376) ($3)
8/7  
#20a 5 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Move to the Start Space n/a n/a n/a
Go Space:  Collect $5 and roll again. n/a n/a $5
#20b 6 The Stay-cation 6:
Read a book set in your home town, state or country, or that you checked out of your local library, or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.
Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker (290) ($3)

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/booklikes-opoly-2019-end-game-update.html
Booklikes-opoly 2019 | Roll #20
Booklikes-opoly
@ Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 


So I wasn't sure I was going to roll again, as I've been distracted and fairly absent from the blogosphere, sporadically.  But the official end of BLopoly 2019 is still a few days away, and so until the end of the day on August 10, I can still spend some time reading.  So I'm going to roll one last time, also rounding out my number of turns to 20, and hopefully finishing my book before the end of Saturday.

If I don't finish, oh well.

Meanwhile, I'd like to thank the hosts of our game for another wonderful reading summer!  I have always enjoyed these reading games and continue to enjoy them, and so was especially ecstatic that we got to reboot Booklikes-opoly this summer!  Thank you two so much for all the work you put into this game.

It was only unfortunate that I wasn't able to keep up the way I'd hoped, but I still managed to finish reading a lot of books on my owned TBR shelves, which really did me a lot of good.

Usually I'll come up with a wrap up at the end of these games, but at the rate that I've been going lately, blogging seems to be beyond me--at least blogging on a regular basis.  I can feel myself falling into a bit of a slump, so I'm hoping to take the time between the end of BLopoly and the beginning of Halloween Bingo to just take it easy.  While I'm excited to get started with Halloween Bingo, I'm also going to take this game a bit more laid back than I usually do.  I may not even create any tentative lists.

But more on Halloween Bingo later--I'm hoping to participate in some of the pre-party stuff over the weekend if I have time... or if I can find the mood.

So... moving along to my final roll.  It is a little passed midnight on Thursday, August 8, but I actually rolled right before midnight on August 7.  Not that it matters anymore really since this is my last roll, but I like keep things straight.

 


So, following in the footsteps of some of the other BL-ers, rolling right before going to bed automatically leads to a complicated, multi-step turn.  And so my roll of 5 brought me to the BL Square, which leads me to spinning the Wheel Decide.

 


It looks like the Harry Potter party continues, both because I like the props and also because I couldn't think of any better idea.  Although it looks like Penni has come out of her baggie and Keychain Puppy is sniffing around in it.

 


Wheel Decide moves me to the Go Space, which really just helps me get another roll and pads my bank account with an extra $5.  No going to refuse free money... moving along...

 


Penni seems to be eyeing Monkey's magic wand.  Don't go getting any ideas there, Penni.  You've already got the sleeping bag and the Ravenclaw tie.  You don't need Monkey's wand, too.  I'm watching you.

 


Moving forward from the Go Space, I rolled a 6 and landed on The Stay-cation 6, which is both a great square to land on as well as a hard square to choose for.

 


Okay, Penni.  You get the wand for a little bit this time.  At least Monkey's got the golden snitch to keep him company... so long as he doesn't eat it since this one's made of chocolate.  And I had hoped that Keychain Puppy would be done sniffing around Penni's sleeping bag by now.

 

 


For this last square, I went through a few books on my Kindle shelves before deciding to go ahead and finish reading the last Nichelle Clarke book I currently own, if only because I've had this book on my Kindle shelves since last year.  I also just want to catch up with the series, and so after finishing Lethal Lifestyles, I can move onto the next book, most recently published this year, Deadly Politics.  Also, I'm in need of an e-book for easier access for reasons.

Lethal Lifestyles takes place in Richmond, Virginia, which is neither my home town nor home state, but most definitely my home country.  The book clocks in at 290 pages, which will give me a $3 final addition to my bank if I finish it before the end of Saturday.

If I don't finish it before the end of the game, I won't be too disappointed since I've already broken $100, which was my own unofficial goal after I realized what kind of pace I was reading at.  And also, I will have finished reading Lethal Lifestyles, which is progress on a personal front.  So yay!

 

 

Novelty Cards Currently In My Pocket

 

 

 

Novelty Cards Used

 

Roll #18
Book Chosen:
Madam, Will You Talk?
by Mary Stewart

 

 

My Progress


Current Bank:  $108
Bail Fund Donation:  0 pages || in table: remain in parentheses in (italics and red)
Books Read:  20
Pages Read:  6,713

Table notes:
*Dates link to corresponding dice roll updates / other links for related activities included.
*Book titles link to reviews if written.
*Page/Cash values in parentheses are still pending reads/ not yet cashed out.
*Doubles rolls are depicted as such (dbls) under the dice roll number.

 

Date
(Roll #)
Dice Roll Space/Prompt Book Title / Author Pages Cash
5/20 Game Start $20
#1 5 The Silk Road:
Read a book set in any of the 40 countries along Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.
Hard Target by Pamela Clare 261 $3
5/22  
#2a 8 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#2b 4 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Tightrope by Amanda Quick 320 $3
5/25 See Also: Roll #3 and Memorial Day Bonus Roll Activities
#3 5 The Lake House 20:
Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover; or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle 312 $3
  Memorial Day Bonus Rolls
#4 7 The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier 516 $5
#5 9 European Vacation 35:
Read a book set in Europe; or that was written by an author who was born in Europe; or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.
A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber 433 $5
6/8  
#6a 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Novelty Card Race Car -- save for later
(Race around the game board to the space of your choosing and read!)
n/a n/a n/a
#6b 11 Mountain Cabin 18:
Read a book that is set west of the Mississippi in the USA, or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is considered part of the Western genre.
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin 357 $3
6/10  
#7a 7 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Take one extra roll n/a n/a n/a
#7b 10 European Vacation 33:
Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.
The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa 212 $3
6/13  
#8 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
School's Out For Summer 1:
Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or MG
Going Rogue by Robin Benway 321 $3
6/16  
#9 10 Beach Week 10:
Read a book that appears on any beach reads list, or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.
Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant 324   $3
6/19  
#10 6 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Touching Evil by Kylie Brant 288 $3
6/26  
#11 4 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Facing Evil by Kylie Brant 314 $3
6/29  
#12 6 The Summer Blockbuster 25:
Read a book (or a book in a series) that has been adapted for film or television.
A Morbid Taste for Bones  199 $2 
7/2 July 4th Bonus Rolls
#13a 2
(dbls)
The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 374 $3
#13b 8 When? (34):
Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.
Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James 386 $3
#14 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Sharp Edges by Jayne Ann Krentz 338 $3
#15 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin 368 $3
7/21  
#16a 4 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#16b 7 Free Parking:  Roll 2 dice.
A 2 or a 3 sends you to the robot;
4, 5, or 6, go to the race car;
7, 8, or 9, go to the Scottie dog;
10, 11, or 12 takes you to the cat.
n/a n/a n/a
#16c 9 Novelty Card Scottie Dog -- save for later
(Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.
n/a n/a n/a
#16d 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker  282 $3 
7/23  
#17 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Cover Shot by LynDee Walker (360) ($3)
7/28  
#18 5 Beach Week 13:
Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit, beach bag, beach towel, or other beach items on the cover, or a book that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.
Using Robot Card n/a n/a
Novelty Card Robot
Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart (372) ($3)
7/31  
#19 7 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz (376) ($3)
8/7  
#20a 5 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Move to the Start Space n/a n/a n/a
Go Space:  Collect $5 and roll again. n/a n/a $5
#20b 6 The Stay-cation 6:
Read a book set in your home town, state or country, or that you checked out of your local library, or that has been on your (physical) bookshelves since last summer.
Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker (290) ($3)

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/08/booklikes-opoly-2019-roll-20.html
Review
4 Stars
Some Thoughts: Cover Shot
Cover Shot - LynDee Walker

Cover Shot

by LynDee Walker
Book 5 of A Nichelle Clarke Crime Thriller

 

 

Cryptic online messages and a murder in a swanky condo complex don't strike crime reporter Nichelle Clarke as related--until a gunman sends a hospital into chaos.

When a body is discovered in a high-rise in Richmond, Virginia, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke races to the scene.  The victim is a brilliant doctor with an unusual past.  But before Nichelle can decide what to make of the murder, the local police radio is filled with a dreaded distress call.

There is an active shooter at a nearby hospital.

The gunman has taken hostages on a patient floor, and gives the police a single demand.

He wants to speak with Nichelle.

In person.



Cover Shot was another enjoyable installment of the Nichelle Clarke series, with more convoluted twists to Nichelle's investigation, and a sort of personal touch involving some emotional back story on Nichelle's part, even if only touched upon briefly.  This particular book was also a bit more subdued on the dark and gritty than the previous book was--you don't even get to see the first murder victim, and the entire "hush-hush" on the investigation thing almost made me forget that there'd been a murder victim in the first place from page one.

There isn't a whole lot to say, as Nichelle is as spunky, resourceful, and persistent, as usual... except I DO wish she would stop trying to get herself killed while proclaiming that she has no desire to get herself killed.  As an investigative crime reporter, TSTL seems to be one of her traits that I've learned to live with, and meeting unknown sources in back alleys is probably one of the few ways she depends upon for information.

Meanwhile, I absolutely enjoyed focusing more on the multiple lines of investigation going on, with two crimes occurring that verge together in the end to make sense.  Gone are the 'Mean Girl' cat claws and hissing between Nichelle and Shelby, and even Charlie seems more subdued after her first sarcastic insult at Nichelle.  Unfortunately, without those, the book seems to fade the two rivals out, as if their only purpose was to be rude and antagonistic to Nichelle.  But whatever, at least we can skip all of that, because Nichelle had more worries on her mind to deal with in the first place.

We've also set the romance on the back burner, as Nichelle had officially made her choice previously, so we got to kiss the love triangle good-bye... even IF I still don't see the chemistry between her and Joey, and even IF the male posturing still continues on.  In fact, the mystery mafia man still doesn't strike me as all that appealing, and it seems that aside from a mutual attraction, food, and sex, the two don't really have a whole lot in common.  And since Joey remains so shrouded in shadows, you don't get to know him well enough, and neither does Nichelle, to understand why he's the better choice.  Although in the long run, I suppose Nichelle's feelings on the matter are truly all that matter.

On the flip side, Kyle has grown a bit petty.

Anyway, another strong, solid entry into the series that I'm still enjoying!


***

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #17:
Square: The Stay-cation 9 | Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library, or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.

How it fits:  Author's name begins with the letter 'L.'
Page Count:  360
Cash:  $3

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/some-thoughts-cover-shot.html
Review
4 Stars
Thoughts: Her Deadly Secrets
Her Deadly Secrets - Laura Griffin

Her Deadly Secrets

by Laura Griffin
Book 2 of Wolfe Security

 

 

Private investigator Kira Vance spends her days navigating the intricate labyrinth of Houston’s legal world, and she knows all of its shadowy players and dark secrets.

On a seemingly normal day, she’s delivering a report to her top client when suddenly everything goes sideways and the meeting ends in a bloodbath.  Twenty-four hours later, the police have no suspects but one thing is clear: a killer has Kira in his sights.

Fiercely independent, Kira doesn’t expect—or want—help from anyone, least of all an unscrupulous lawyer and his elite security team.  Instead, she launches her own investigation, hoping to uncover the answers that have eluded the police.  But as Kira’s hunt for clues becomes more and more perilous, she realizes that she alone may hold the key to finding a vicious murderer.  And she knows she must take help wherever she can find it if she wants to stay alive…



It's quite signature of Laura Griffin to give you a few main POVs to follow during the course of one of her books--it's kind of a way for her to very subtly, and sometimes very naturally, introduce more characters into her series, and setting up a background for them for future books.  And so while this book's main focus should have been Kira Vance and her bodyguard, Jeremy Owen, Her Deadly Secrets also spends a lot of time following around police detective Charlotte Spears and her partner as they investigate the death of Kira's mentor, Ollie.

In a way, it felt like two separate investigations going on at the same time, following two different investigators, which all ultimately tied together in the end.  And it wasn't until closer to the end of the book that you realize that aside from having about equal book time for Charlotte as much as for Kira, there was also very little in the romance department, considering this book is filed as a romantic suspense.  And normally, I would have been quite disappointed that the romance was set on the back burner for so long... but, in truth, I enjoyed the entire book, as the murder mystery and both lines of investigations were quite interesting to follow.

Well... I take back one thing I just mentioned.  I did get slightly disappointed that the story was so light on the romance, because it kind of ended up sidelining Jeremy's character status to not-quite-main-hero, sliding him in right behind Charlotte.  Of course, while he didn't stand out all that well, he DID assume his role properly as the bodyguard.  But since I had a hard time recalling his name just to right this post, that kind of goes to show how memorable his character truly was.

But aside from that, I think I thoroughly enjoyed, and was entertained by, this second installment of the Wolfe Security series.

And I'm also quite happy to say that I'm glad that Kira wasn't TSTL and after her first attempt at resisting having a security team guarding her, she kind of readily relied on them to help keep her safe while she tried to do her job as a PI for the fancy defense lawyer who hired her.  It was a bonus that Jeremy also pitched in to help unearth some info for her investigations.  And so, in a way, while Kira and Jeremy's romance felt a little lackluster, they're working relationship turned out quite fun to follow.

As is typical of Laura Griffin, the pacing was non-stop the entire way through, starting from the murder at the beginning.  I'm looking forward to the next book now, and am hoping it will be following Charlotte, since I absolutely enjoyed her POV of things, romance or no, though there's a little hint of who might be her main love interest somewhere in this book.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly 2019


Roll #15 (July Fourth Bonus):
Square: The Stay-cation 9 | Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.

How it fits:  Author's name begins with the letter 'L'.
Page Count:  368
Cash:  $3

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/thoughts-her-deadly-secrets.html
Booklikes-opoly 2019 | Roll #19
Booklikes-opoly
@ Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 



Okie doke!  Here's a quick update.

I finished reading Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart the previous night, getting $3 for its 372 pages.  This brings me to my unofficial goal of breaking into the triple digits of cash by reaching $100!  Yay!

Because I finished this book right before midnight, I passed out before I rolled again.  So I rolled real quick this morning before heading to work, giving me a bit of time to think about what I wanted to read next.

 


My next roll was a 7 which took me to The Lake House 19, another square I've been to before; another square with loads of possibilities.

 


It's a party on the BL-opoly board tonight.  My younger brother and his wife went to a Harry Potter party that was being thrown for one of their nephews, and brought me some party favors.  And so Monkey and friends have decided to throw a small Harry Potter party of their own!  Monkey wields his magic wand to keep Teddy Bear on his spot, and Peek-a-Boo Penni plays her namesake's game from inside an HP-themed baggy.  =D

Fun times!

 


There were a bunch of other books that I could choose from, and even some books that I feel like I need to get read.  But I'm in the mood for a romantic suspense, and specifically I'm feeling Jayne Ann Krentz.  Deep Waters fits this square in both ways, where the cover is most definitely greater than 50% blue, and Jayne Ann Krentz's last name starts with a 'K' which fits the "first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E".  Perfect!

Deep Waters is 376 pages, paperback version, which will give me $3 when I'm finished reading it.


Tomorrow is August 1st, which is coming into the last two week (a little less than two weeks actually) stretch, which means even if I finished my books in time for each next roll, I'll only get to roll a whole of four more times.  I'm going to make the most of these last few rolls, but most likely, I'm just going to go with the flow since I've already made it to $100 and am quite satisfied with my progress.

Besides... I'm kind of gearing up for Halloween Bingo now!  Whoo-hoo!

 

 

Novelty Cards Currently In My Pocket

 

 

 

Novelty Cards Used

 

Roll #18
Book Chosen:
Madam, Will You Talk?
by Mary Stewart
 

 

 

My Progress


Current Bank:  $100
Bail Fund Donation:  0 pages || in table: remain in parentheses in (italics and red)
Books Read:  19
Pages Read:  6,337

Table notes:
*Dates link to corresponding dice roll updates / other links for related activities included.
*Book titles link to reviews if written.
*Page/Cash values in parentheses are still pending reads/ not yet cashed out.
*Doubles rolls are depicted as such (dbls) under the dice roll number.

 

Date
(Roll #)
Dice Roll Space/Prompt Book Title / Author Pages Cash
5/20 Game Start $20
#1 5 The Silk Road:
Read a book set in any of the 40 countries along Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.
Hard Target by Pamela Clare 261 $3
5/22  
#2a 8 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#2b 4 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Tightrope by Amanda Quick 320 $3
5/25 See Also: Roll #3 and Memorial Day Bonus Roll Activities
#3 5 The Lake House 20:
Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover; or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle 312 $3
  Memorial Day Bonus Rolls
#4 7 The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier 516 $5
#5 9 European Vacation 35:
Read a book set in Europe; or that was written by an author who was born in Europe; or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.
A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber 433 $5
6/8  
#6a 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Novelty Card Race Car -- save for later
(Race around the game board to the space of your choosing and read!)
n/a n/a n/a
#6b 11 Mountain Cabin 18:
Read a book that is set west of the Mississippi in the USA, or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is considered part of the Western genre.
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin 357 $3
6/10  
#7a 7 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Take one extra roll n/a n/a n/a
#7b 10 European Vacation 33:
Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.
The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa 212 $3
6/13  
#8 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
School's Out For Summer 1:
Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or MG
Going Rogue by Robin Benway 321 $3
6/16  
#9 10 Beach Week 10:
Read a book that appears on any beach reads list, or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.
Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant 324   $3
6/19  
#10 6 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Touching Evil by Kylie Brant 288 $3
6/26  
#11 4 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Facing Evil by Kylie Brant 314 $3
6/29  
#12 6 The Summer Blockbuster 25:
Read a book (or a book in a series) that has been adapted for film or television.
A Morbid Taste for Bones  199 $2 
7/2 July 4th Bonus Rolls
#13a 2
(dbls)
The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 374 $3
#13b 8 When? (34):
Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.
Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James 386 $3
#14 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Sharp Edges by Jayne Ann Krentz 338 $3
#15 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin 368 $3
7/21  
#16a 4 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#16b 7 Free Parking:  Roll 2 dice.
A 2 or a 3 sends you to the robot;
4, 5, or 6, go to the race car;
7, 8, or 9, go to the Scottie dog;
10, 11, or 12 takes you to the cat.
n/a n/a n/a
#16c 9 Novelty Card Scottie Dog -- save for later
(Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.
n/a n/a n/a
#16d 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker  282 $3 
7/23  
#17 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Cover Shot by LynDee Walker (360) ($3)
7/28  
#18 5 Beach Week 13:
Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit, beach bag, beach towel, or other beach items on the cover, or a book that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.
Using Robot Card n/a n/a
Novelty Card Robot
Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart (372) ($3)
7/31  
#19 7 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz (376) ($3)
TBA  
TBA          

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/booklikes-opoly-2019-roll-19.html
Booklikes-opoly 2019 | Roll #18
Booklikes-opoly
@ Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 



I had hoped to have had my previous BLopoly book read by Saturday, but that didn't happen.  So I finished reading Cover Shot on Sunday (7/28), so I took my roll last night.  Meanwhile, Cover Shot was an entertaining cozy mystery that banked in at $3 with it's 360 pages.  A review should be out sometime in the next few days.

On the personal front, I'm hoping that life starts settling down a bit more the next few weeks post-wedding hangovers and the like.  I've been on a weird work schedule as well, and am hopefully moving back to normal for the next while.

Also, my elder brother and his wife have returned from their travels, honey-mooning in the Grand Cayman Isles, then following by traveling for work purposes as well.  This just means that it was time to say good-bye to the pups that we've been dog-sitting for the past weeks, and the house will definitely be a lot quieter and maybe even a bit subdued for a while as we get used to not having Bear upending everything in sight.  Yogi was always the quiet, unassuming presence, but I loved that he would routinely climb right into my lap every evening whenever I sat down on the couch.

Here's a little pic of all three of the doggies, including our very own Baby, all enjoying a leisurely afternoon on said couch.

 


Since they live about six hours away in a different state altogether, it will probably be some time before we get to see them again.  Baby, certainly is showing some signs of depression, missing his companions, so we've been trying to play with him more lately, but all he wants to do is lay around.  Hopefully, he'll bounce back to his usual self in a few days, because if not, that means we might have to find a chance to take a road trip to visit the pups... Not that we wouldn't be happy to also see my brother and his wife.


And now onto the next roll of BLopoly...

 


Roll #18 was a five, which took me to Beach Week 13 (even though the photo shows 12, the square on the board is actually 13).

 


It's also a fairly subdued time on the board, with Monkey just hanging around and Penni adrift in her boat.  Maybe the excitement will come back soon, though I've said this before:  I'm not sure Penni is ever NOT looking excited about something.  Which is why we love her so much!


There are exactly two books I'd found that would have fit this roll's square.  But unfortunately, while perusing my shelves, I just wasn't feeling in the mood for either of them.  And so I'm finally throwing in a Novelty card.  Since I've got four in my pocket, and two of them are Robot cards, I decided to go ahead and use one of them.

 

 


1.  Lethal Lifestyles by LynDee Walker
2.  A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber
3.  Surrender by Pamela Clare
4.  The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
5.  Silken Threats by Addison Fox
6.  Open Season by Linda Howard
7.  Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart
8.  The Pirate by Jayne Ann Krentz
9.  The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa
10.  Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Mariller


My list of books weren't as much random as they were in the order of books I really wanted to read first, then following with whatever other book I thought of next.  Aside from Open Season by Linda Howard, I already own all of them, and there's a nice mix of historical and contemporary, as well as one fantasy.  There are ten different books by ten different authors (I hadn't even realized I'd done that until after I was finished).

And so then I went and found a random number generator app on my phone and came up with this:

 


The above cover for Madam, Will You Talk? corresponds to the Kindle edition I currently own, though I'm not sure I really like that cover.  But anyway, this book is 372 pages long, which will net me a $3 addition to my bank balance, and so with the completion of this book, I'll have hit exactly $100!  Yay!

I knew I wasn't going to be reading as much as I did the last time I played this game, and so one of my unofficial goals was to hit the triple digits by breaking $100.  And I'll be there soon!

I've already started reading Madam, Will You Talk?, which so far isn't as intriguing as previous Mary Stewart books I've read, but hopefully things will pick up soon.  The main character kind of reminds me of another main character from another book, though I can't quite place my finger on it.

 

 

Novelty Cards Currently In My Pocket

 

 

 

Novelty Cards Used

 

Roll #18
Book Chosen:
Madam, Will You Talk?
by Mary Stewart


 

 

My Progress


Current Bank:  $97
Bail Fund Donation:  0 pages || in table: remain in parentheses in (italics and red)
Books Read:  18
Pages Read:  5,965

Table notes:
*Dates link to corresponding dice roll updates / other links for related activities included.
*Book titles link to reviews if written.
*Page/Cash values in parentheses are still pending reads/ not yet cashed out.
*Doubles rolls are depicted as such (dbls) under the dice roll number.

 

Date
(Roll #)
Dice Roll Space/Prompt Book Title / Author Pages Cash
5/20 Game Start $20
#1 5 The Silk Road:
Read a book set in any of the 40 countries along Silk Road, or by an author from any of those countries.
Hard Target by Pamela Clare 261 $3
5/22  
#2a 8 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#2b 4 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Tightrope by Amanda Quick 320 $3
5/25 See Also: Roll #3 and Memorial Day Bonus Roll Activities
#3 5 The Lake House 20:
Read a book that features a dog or which has a dog on the cover; or that is set in an area known for its lakes or on a fictional lake.
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle 312 $3
  Memorial Day Bonus Rolls
#4 7 The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier 516 $5
#5 9 European Vacation 35:
Read a book set in Europe; or that was written by an author who was born in Europe; or that involves travel by boat or that has a picture of a ship on the cover.
A Grave Matter by Anna Lee Huber 433 $5
6/8  
#6a 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Novelty Card Race Car -- save for later
(Race around the game board to the space of your choosing and read!)
n/a n/a n/a
#6b 11 Mountain Cabin 18:
Read a book that is set west of the Mississippi in the USA, or that was written by an author who comes from that region, or that is considered part of the Western genre.
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin 357 $3
6/10  
#7a 7 BL Square:  Spin the Wheel Decide n/a n/a n/a
Wheel Decide:  Take one extra roll n/a n/a n/a
#7b 10 European Vacation 33:
Read a book set in the UK, or that was written by an author whose first or last name begins with any letter in the word L-O-N-D-O-N.
The Indignation of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa 212 $3
6/13  
#8 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
School's Out For Summer 1:
Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or MG
Going Rogue by Robin Benway 321 $3
6/16  
#9 10 Beach Week 10:
Read a book that appears on any beach reads list, or a book whose author's first or last name begins with any letter in B-E-A-C-H.
Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant 324   $3
6/19  
#10 6 Mountain Cabin 16:
Read a book that is considered mystery/suspense genre, or which has a title that contains all of the letters in the word C-A-B-I-N.
Touching Evil by Kylie Brant 288 $3
6/26  
#11 4 The Lake House 19:
Read a book with a cover that is more than 50 percent blue, or by an author whose first or last name starts with any letter in the word L-A-K-E.
Facing Evil by Kylie Brant 314 $3
6/29  
#12 6 The Summer Blockbuster 25:
Read a book (or a book in a series) that has been adapted for film or television.
A Morbid Taste for Bones  199 $2 
7/2 July 4th Bonus Rolls
#13a 2
(dbls)
The Summer Blockbuster 27:
Read a book that features a hero's journey or is a Bildungsroman (coming of age tale); or that has a word related to space in the title (i.e., star, planet, rocket).
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo 374 $3
#13b 8 When? (34):
Read a book that is time travel or historical fiction, or a book with the word "when" in the title.
Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James 386 $3
#14 5 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Sharp Edges by Jayne Ann Krentz 338 $3
#15 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin 368 $3
7/21  
#16a 4 Novelty Card Robot -- save for later
(Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you)
n/a n/a n/a
#16b 7 Free Parking:  Roll 2 dice.
A 2 or a 3 sends you to the robot;
4, 5, or 6, go to the race car;
7, 8, or 9, go to the Scottie dog;
10, 11, or 12 takes you to the cat.
n/a n/a n/a
#16c 9 Novelty Card Scottie Dog -- save for later
(Post a list or poll of 4 books, and ask your fellow players/followers to "fetch" you a book.
n/a n/a n/a
#16d 10 Pass Go:  Collect $5! n/a n/a $5
Who? (2):
Read a mystery or detective story, or a book with the word "who" in the title.
Devil in the Deadline by LynDee Walker  282 $3 
7/23  
#17 7 The Stay-cation 9:
Read a book that includes a visit to a museum, a concert, a library or a park, or that the author's name begins with one of the letters in R-E-L-A-X.
Cover Shot by LynDee Walker (360) ($3)
7/28  
#18 5 Beach Week 13:
Read a book with sunglasses, swimsuit, beach bag, beach towel, or other beach items on the cover, or a book that has a cover that is more than 50% yellow.
Using Robot Card n/a n/a
Novelty Card Robot
Create a numbered list of ten books, and let a random number generator pick for you.
Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart (372) ($3)
TBA  
TBA          

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/07/booklikes-opoly-2019-roll-18.html

currently reading

Progress: 57/378pages
Brazen Virtue (Sacred Sins) - Nora Roberts