Monday, September 30, 2013

Thought of the Day - Series Finales of books really need ratings

I’ve been reading some final books in trilogies lately and had a thought.  I really would like to know if a book’s going to have a horribly sad ending you know so I won’t do something dumb like read it while at work. :)  So that's what I propose a book ending rating system so you know whether the end will be super happy or horribly sad.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Top 5 Sundays - Biggest Book Turn-offs!

This feature was thought up by the awesome Larissa's Bookish Life

1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Feel free to use the Features image
4 - After you've finished your post, add your link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)   
Top 5 Sundays - Biggest Book Turn-offs!

* All of these things will make me second guess buying a book or think again about trying the author:

A lot of formatting or spelling errors...
Reading a book only to find out it was the sequel and not the first book...

A love triangle that makes no sense...

Forgetting that I've read a book before until I'm in the middle of it...

Buying a book thinking it's new/one I don't have only to find out that it just has a new cover...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

City of Devils - My Favorite Quotes/Lines

City of Devils by Justin Robinson

* Provided by Candlemark & Gleam/NetGalley for Review
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

 “That’s the problem with hiring a human dick, ma’am.”
There was a long silence while we stared at each other.
Finally, I said quietly, “It’s just a figure of speech.”

“Would you like… more coffee?”

“Insane. What was it about humans that made monsters lose their damn minds?”

“It was an exciting and terrifying time to be alive.”

“It seemed to take him about a week to fully emerge, like the sun rising up over my imminent and brutal asskicking.”

“Goddamn it. Don’t make me die with my dick out.”

“...but what is life if not the continued search for new ways to invite fate to empty her bedpan on your head?”

“No means no, Imogen!”

Killed by a human. That’s irony for you.”

Friday, September 27, 2013

Devilish Good Time - Here There Be Monsters (that you should read about ASAP)

City of Devils by Justin Robinson

* Provided by Candlemark & Gleam/NetGalley for Review

5 out of 5 gnomes

This book made me smile so much while reading it.  I love the noir atmosphere, the plethora of puns, and the myriad of monsters that are seen.

Nick Moss is a human in a world where monsters are the norm and far outnumber humans. He also happens to be the only human Private Investigator and the actual police force consists only of werewolves or wolfmen.  This essentially means that it’s hard out there for a human.

The story takes place after two wars the one with Germany and The Night War, the war the humans didn’t win.  The Night War led the the monsters overtaking everything.  The setting really makes the story shine, well that and the great supporting characters.  If you’re a fan of noir detective books or books about monsters that are fun/scary then this is a book that you should check out ASAP.

Things get very interesting when a client wants him to find her husband. This client is a doppleganger movie star and puts Nick in the middle of a lot of trouble with some important monsters.  He seems to be a magnet for trouble but also great at figuring ways out of these predicaments.

It’s awesome to see all the different ways to scare off the monsters and how each of these monsters works.  I also thought that it was pretty ingenious how these monsters actually do need humans and the reason why they need them.  Monsters trying to recruit in the human neighborhood after dark made for some really funny lines especially from Sam the Pumpkinhead who’s determined to turn Nick into one of his kind.  

I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say, Go for the monsters and stay for the mystery which is full of some delicious twists and turns where just about anybody could be the bad guy. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sentence Sneak Peek - City of Devils

City of Devils by Justin Robinson

The first sentence from each chapter of City of Devils, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)
* Provided by Candlemark & Gleam/NetGalley for Review

The man knocking on the outside of my office window had the head of a fly.”

My new client left as elegantly as she arrived, and as soon as she was out the door, I grabbed my stuff.”

I was up about a half hour before dawn.”

I took a step into the room.”

The problem with Evelyn Farrell is that there might not even be a crime there.”

The Ophelia was Downtown, the first of several theaters planned for a new complex.”

Before arriving home and vanishing into sandy air, Juba II had been at the office.”

For lunch, I stopped by Castle Frankenfurter, a small silver diner a couple blocks from City Hall.”

Visionary Pictures was located on a former orange grove, bulldozed and covered over with cement.”

It took me a little longer than I liked to start driving home, mostly because I wanted to be certain the curse had worn off before I got behind the wheel of a thousand pounds of fast-moving steel.”

I got to my neighborhood right as the sun dipped below the horizon.”

Wake up.”

I sat in my office with my heart pounding long after the two wolfmen left.”

I got back in my car just as the day was starting to turn, tossing the sack lunch into the passenger seat.”


I approached the house cautiously.”

The screaming started a second later.”

There’s a problem with running from werewolves, and that’s the fact they’re faster than humans.”

I yelped and immediately reached into my jacket for the evil eye charm.”

Hexene was waiting in the living room when I got out of the shower.”

I drove up to the Visionary lot and, for once, had sort of legitimate business there.”

My pride was kind of wounded, sure.”

The hearse and bikers rolled through the gates of Visionary with barely a word from Ugoth, who was now thoughtfully masticating half a swordfish.”

We joined the streams of monsters going to and fro around the various stages of the Visionary lot.”

What was that?”

They didn’t laugh at me, really.”

That was a shot of pure glacier into my veins.”

I should thank my lucky stars she was a terrible shot.”

Knocking on this particular door was awkward for a variety of reasons.”

I realized it was a dream too late, as it went with all dreams.”

I burned down Sunset as fast as the bike could move me.”

I rejoined Hexene out front.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Waiting On" Wednesday - The House of Hades

"Waiting On"  Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on... 
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

* Book will be released October 8, 2013

Check out the description from Barnes & Noble:

* This whole description is pretty much a spoiler if you haven't read the other books.
"At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don't succeed, Gaea's armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus."

I'm finally just about caught up with the Heroes of Olympus series, I'm on CD 11 out of 12 from the 3rd book.  I've been listening to all of them on audio which has been a great experience and really makes my drive to work fly by.  I highly recommend you check out the audio it really brings the characters to life marvelously.  With how I know the last book ends this book will either be super awesome or terribly scarring.  I have a bad feeling that not everybody will make it out of this quest alive (I mean just take a gander at the cover of the book.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gnometry Slam

Write your best gnome or book related haiku -


This gnome loves all books
Collects them and stacks them high
Needs more time to read

Tiny Reverse Vampire:

Fugitive mothers
Wanted, hunted, by the watch
How I met my man.

- written from the point of view of Gwen from the book The Art of Stealing Time by Katie MacAlister

Monday, September 23, 2013

Question of the Day - What book have you been really looking forward to?

I'm really looking forward to this one because I love Schwab's writing style and can't wait to see her take on superheroes/villains. Just check out the description on Amazon.  It looks like it'll be an epic read.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Top 5 Sundays - Favorite Book Series {Any Genre}!

This feature was thought up by the awesome Larissa's Bookish Life

1 - Write a post listing your TOP 5 choices within the theme I chose (or was chosen on a poll) for the week.
2 - Mention this Blog on the post and link back to it.
3 - Feel free to use the Features image
4 - After you've finished your post, add your link (of the post, not your blog's main page) to the Mr.Linky at the end of that week's post.
5 – If you don’t have a blog to post, just leave your list in the comments =)   

Top 5 Sundays - Favorite Book Series {Any Genre}!

These are the top 5 series that I thought of right off the bat:

- Love this series
- really brings Greek mythology to life.
- characters are fun, funny, and really make you care about them.

- This series is so addictive.
- You'll be wanting to know everything that happens to these characters.
- Each character has depth/great personalities.
- Can be fun, silly, serious, and pretty scary all in the same book.
- One of the first series I went out of my way to obsessively collect.
- I loved all the characters.
- Always fascinating to wonder what morphing would feel like and what animals would think.

- This series is dark yet magical.
- The world building and characters are all so fascinating.
- I would totally read a book from any character's point of view in this series.
- Such a great story.

- A world you can truly immerse yourself in to.
- The characters and story just draw you right in.
- These books are definitely one of the best re-reads out there because there is always something to enjoy.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekend Read - City of Devils

* Arc provided by Candlemark & Gleam for review.

If you love noir books then this book is definitely for you.  In this book humans are in the minority and monsters are everywhere.  There are a wide range of monsters now and it's fun to read about them and see how they interact with the world. Nick has to solve a mystery and survive when he's on the bottom of the food chain.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gnome Story - The Wicked Lawn: A Gnoir Tale by Justin Robinson

Today I have a very special Gnome Story from Justin Robinson author of Mr Blank which I adored as you can see here and the upcoming City of Devils (which I'm reading now).  Now please enjoy this awesome Gnome Gnoir Tale.

The Wicked Lawn: A Gnoir Tale
By Justin Robinson

You look at the lawn, what do you see?
A bright square of green, bordered by riots of yellow, orange, and blue, like a stove’s flame. After that, the high, tangled hedges. And then the fence, the final barrier defining this lawn as its own entity, calling it inviolate.
I see a wicked home of nasty deeds.
The name is Periwinkle Bumblebee, and I look after Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s lawn when she’s sleeping.
That’s what gnomes do. You think lawns stay so cheerful and welcoming on their own? Without us they’d be nothing but patches of thirsty dirt, covered in squirrels and birds, and the only flowers you’d ever see would be painted on the side of your teapot.
When the sun goes down, we wake up. That’s when the work starts. We keep the grass green and healthy. We keep the flowers blooming. We make sure the place is welcoming to blue jays and finches, and keep pigeons and rats away. And we do it all because that’s just what we do. It’s who we are.
Sometimes, though…it’s not enough. Looking at my lawn, anyone could see what was happening. Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s grass wasn’t as green as it used to be. The flowers weren’t as bright. The hedges weren’t as full. I did my job, sure, but it was just that. A job. Ever since the battle. I took another swig of nectar to forget, but the memories were always there, ready to crowd in if I ever let my guard down even a little bit.
I was sitting on a decorative ceramic turtle, drinking nectar right out of the flower like the lush I had become, staring out over the wicked lawn and waiting patiently for another night to be over so I could turn back into plastic and fade gently in the sun. I heard the rustling through the hedge—not near the hole in the fence where I always heard rustling, even in my dreams, but across the lawn, in the direction of the Mendozas’ lawn. They emerged from under the fence single file, their conical hats bobbing and swaying, like windblown blades of grass.
There were eight by my count, though it took longer to see the ladies, whose hats were a little less suggestive than those of the men. They were gnomes of course, like me, and I could rattle off their names and lawns like that still mattered. Their eyes were on me, glittering in the lights from the Christmas decorations next door; Mr. Whigham still hadn’t taken them down. When they got close to the border where the grass stopped, marked by the line of soil near the fence with the sprouting orange poppies, they stopped and removed their hats one by one.
Their brows furrowed, and several of them seemed much more interested in what was going on with their feet than me over on my fake turtle.
“Screw off,” I suggested pleasantly.
“Mr. Bumblebee, please!” It was Heddleton Schnitzelface talking; he looked after the Mendoza place. Schnitzelface was as close as we got to a leader, and he got that distinction by having the whitest beard and the jolliest laugh. It wasn’t the best method to pick your leaders, granted, but it was how things were done when you were a gnome. “We need your help. All of us!”
“Why me, huh? This place look like it’s in tip-top shape?” I gestured out at the lawn, where the tips of the grass were ragged and gray-brown.
“You saved it once. Back when—”
I don’t know if I heard the happy meows and ecstatic purring in my head or if it was coming from the section of fence I never looked at now. “That was in the past!” I took another swig of nectar. “That’s not me anymore. I’m retired. Just me and my friend here,” I said, patting the ceramic turtle on the head.
“You don’t understand, Mr. Bumblebee. The hedgehogs have... organized.” The assembled gnomes murmured at one another, concerned about what was happening.
I wasn’t about to take the bait. I was going to drink my nectar and stare over Schnitzelface’s shoulder at the hummingbird feeder that had been empty for weeks. Was a time I would have cleaned the crusted sugar from the spouts that looked like plastic flowers and refilled it immediately. Back when I was a different gnome.
Not that this stopped Schnitzelface. He waited, mopping a powdery brow, and when he saw I wasn’t gonna speak up, continued. “They started over at the Nguyen place, then moved into the Keough lawn, then the Van Owens... and they won’t stop.” As he named each family, the gnome in charge of that lawn bowed his or her head in shame. “The hedgehogs say the hedges are theirs now. We have to give them tribute!”
“Hogging the hedge, huh?” I snorted.
They nodded solemnly. I was busy drinking, so I couldn’t cut the old man off when he declared, “You’re the hero of the Battle of Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s Flowerbed, No Not the One Out Front, the One Under the Kitchen Window—”
It was a long drink.
One that I mostly spat out onto the dirt while sputtering, “That’s not me anymore!”
“You have to be, Mr. Bumblebee. You’re our only hope.”
He knew that was the final entreaty, and knew I wasn’t going to say anything. The gnomes filed out across the lawn. I watched them go, trying to shut out the purring now rumbling through my head. I threw the flower down and stalked along the border of the hedge. They didn’t know what I lived with every day. They just knew I was the guy. That guy. When the cats were pooping in Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s flowerbed, no not the one out front, the one under the kitchen window, I was the guy who solved the problem.
And I had to live with what I had done every day. The glassy eyes. The splayed bodies. The happy purring.
“And where do you think you’re going?”
Two fat hedgehogs lounged against the fence, right by a newly dug burrow into the yard. My yard. One of the hedgehogs pushed off from the fence to waddle over while his friend resolutely chewed on a dandelion stem. The lead hedgehog got right up into my face, giving me a whiff of grass-breath. “Don’t you know where you are?”
“On my lawn, last I checked,” I said to him.
“Your lawn. Hear that, Professor Cuddles?”
His friend chuckled. “Sure did, Bitsy Pookums.”
“No,” said Pookums, “this is our lawn. We’re generous, though. You can keep living on it. We mostly want the hedges.”
“And if I say no?”
Professor Cuddles moved up next to his friend, and both of them loomed over me like a tubby eclipse. “Don’t say no. We’re coming tomorrow and setting up shop here. And as long as you stay smart, nothing on you has to break.” Professor Cuddles punctuated his friend’s threat by packing a furry fist into his paw. They stared through me for a couple seconds, making sure I understood the gravity of my situation. Then Pookums turned and waddled back for the burrow. Professor Cuddles did a fake lunge, and even though I stayed as still as I do in the daytime, he still chased me with a mocking laugh.
Alone on the lawn. Alone for good. And letting Mrs. O’Clanrahan down. That hedge was hers, not the property of some pudgy mafia. I couldn’t help it. My eyes went to the flowerbed. No, not the one out front, the one under the kitchen window. The snapdragons were coming in nicely, a splash of yellow against the crisp blue of the house. Wasn’t too long ago that flowerbed was nothing but a swatch of dead dirt.
And then I was there. Seeing it again and again. The few plants that could manage poking resolutely up from the dirt, others trampled or worse. Every cat in the neighborhood coming under the fence to do his business in that spot. Killing everything that tried to take root. Nothing Mrs. O’Clanrahan could do about it.
That was where I came in.
I tried everything to keep the cats out. I seeded the flowerbed with sharp rocks. I covered the sides with any number of plant extracts. I tried physically blocking the cats. Nothing worked. They pawed the rocks away. The ignored the extracts. They jumped over me or knocked me down.
And Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s flowerbed suffered for it.
And I suffered for it, too.
At wit’s end, I wandered the neighborhood until I came to the Taylor house. Mrs. Taylor was an older lady who collected cats, though none of them were among the ones who had turned Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s flowerbed into a litterbox. I saw why, and as soon as I did, the solution was right there.
The horrible, monstrous solution.
The next evening, I had waited at the entry to the fence where the cats got in. The first one, a big orange tabby, was already coming in to do his unholy business on Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s snapdragons. He paused at the gap, sniffing it. Then he scraped his cheek over it, again and again. Soon another joined, a Siamese with eyes as blue as the bug zapper hanging from the Mendoza porch. She repeated the same ritual. Soon six cats were happily rolling around on their backs, rubbing against the hole. Their eyes were glassy, their purrs rattled through the yard. I had smeared the hole with catnip. I was their pusher. Their dealer.  
I turned away from the hole, trying to forget my crime. But they were still there, coming to get their fix. Every night. That was the price of Mrs. O’Clanrahan’s snapdragons.
My soul.
But I still had a little bit left. A little bit of my soul to spend. And I’d do it, for Mrs. O’Clanrahan. Because that’s what it means to be a gnome. That’s what it means to love the lawn so much it tears you up inside until there’s nothing left.
The next night, I waited by the burrow. And they came. Bitsy Pookums and Professor Cuddles and a bunch of their hedgehog friends. But then they saw what was waiting for them: a half-dozen cats, all playful and happy, ready to have some squeaky-toy fun with the new residents. Baked out of their minds on Mrs. Taylor’s catnip.
“Whose lawn is it now?” I asked them.
“This ain’t over, gnome!” Bitsy Pookums shouted, shaking his furry little fist as he and his friends retreated into the burrow.
“I know,” I murmured. “It’s never over.”
I told the other gnomes what to do and they did it. Maybe some of the cost came out of them. I don’t know. All I knew was that the lawn took its due, no matter what. And I knew that the lawn was a wicked home of nasty deeds.
But it was also mine.