library

Book Review: Hitting the Books by Jenn McKinlay

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Hitting the Books (Library Lover's Mystery, #9)Hitting the Books by Jenn McKinlay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The ‘Library Lover’s Mystery’ series by Jenn McKinlay is one of my favorite cozy mystery series. By reading the 9th book, Hitting the Books, I’m now current and eagerly awaiting the 10th one due to be released later this year. Although I thought this one was too simple from a mystery plot perspective, I enjoyed all the normal library shenanigans and small town community relationships.

When Lindsey notices a friendly library patron–famed tennis player, Theresa Huston–run down by a car, she tries to save the woman. Luckily, she’s only injured and survives the accident. Then Lindsey’s friend, Charlie, is hit by the same driver later that day. A gunman is shooting throughout the town. Is someone attempting to knock off Briar Creek residents? Or is it a misunderstanding? Emma, the Chief of Police, asks Lindsey to look into some library books that were in the car (once it’s found), and it leads them to a young kid we’ve met before in a prior book. Liza, Theresa’s soon-to-be step-daughter, is worried sick, but she’s acting strangely, too. Ultimately, Larry, the soon-to-be husband and Liza’s father, knows more than he’s saying about his ex-wife, Liza’s mother, who supposedly died. It comes together in a crashing finale where we know who and why, but I was left a little disappointed at the minimal amount of suspects and detail surrounding how it all came to pass.

That said, it wasn’t enough to detract or worry me from moving on. I just think it could’ve been stronger to really intrigue me as to what was going on behind the scenes. Instead, I found the normal comings-and-goings around the library as my focal point. From ‘The Lemon’ to Mary’s new baby, we had great moments of sentimentality and thought-provoking questions about Lindsey’s relationship with Sully. Will he wants kids? How are they doing now that they’re living together? What’s Beth’s new marriage like? I enjoy the side stories, so I am still happy with the book and will keep reading the future ones.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook

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Death Overdue (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #1)Death Overdue by Allison Brook

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

After reading the second book in ‘The Haunted Library Mysteries’ by Allison Brook last year, I ordered a copy of the first in the series, Death Overdue, to read and get current. It’s a great setting and has a little bit of everything for cozy mystery lovers. Carrie Singleton (late 20’s, single) is about to leave Connecticut after visiting her aunt and uncle for a few months when she’s offered a promotion at the Clover Ridge library. Although she wants to escape, a ghost haunting the building convinces Carrie to stick it out. After her first event is held, the author she brought in to discuss new leads in a murder case from ~10 years earlier is poisoned and dies in the library. Carrie investigates to ensure no one thinks poorly of her, but she also finds the challenge an easy distraction to help her decide to stay in town.

Full of great supporting characters and side stories, this series has a lot of potential. You’ve got the ghost of a former employee who died under somewhat mysterious circumstances in a fall in the parking lot (we know that’ll be a mystery in future books!), a few colleagues who dislike Carrie because of her appearance or connection with her uncle as a member of the library board, her thief father who is missing, her sudden attraction with local sexy investigator Dylan, and a whole lot more. I look forward to all the capers and trouble that could happen in this charming New England town.

Brook has a simple yet strong writing style. It’s easy to get lost in the book for a few hours before realizing how far you’ve read. I like the descriptions and dialog as much as the narratives and past details being dropped throughout the story. I am very curious to learn more about Carrie’s aunt and uncle who likely have a very suspenseful and crazy past. This mystery was medium-complex and had a lot of family drama. Ultimately, I thought the killer was a little too easy to identify, but it did keep me guessing a few times in the middle section. I’m curious to see which characters stay in the future books and which ones disappear. There are only 2 in the series so far, but I’m sure a new one will be out in 2019. I’ll be looking for that ARC!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor

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At some point last year, I must have been on a kick to enter tons of Goodreads Giveaways in the hopes I’d get a bunch of free books. Included in that over-zealous moment was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. I tend to get lucky in terms of winning a giveaway once each month, and earlier this year, I won this book. When I received the email, I looked the book up as I couldn’t remember anything about it… and for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I picked it given it’s science fiction and fantasy. I reasoned out that it had a cool premise where historians time travel to the past to see what happened, and well, that does kinda raise my interest. So… trying to clear off my list of ARCs (I’ve got 11 left… almost there for my 5/31 deadline… and I punished myself by not allowing any new ones until these are done)… I slotted it for this week, and wow! It was such a surprise and fantastic read.

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It’s the first (except for a short prequel) in a series with ~10 books already (and it’s only been 3 or 4 years since the author started writing the series from what I can tell). A group of modern history buffs work for a secret organization who travels back in time to either correct any interference from criminals trying to alter the timeline or to study and learn the reasons why things happened (that we never really understood). In this initial book, we visit dinosaurs, great library fires, epic wars and battles, and other great historical events. Throw in some romance, many suspenseful moments, the classic good versus evil battle, some interesting history lessons, and a really fun and easy-to-read style, and you’ve got a winning book series.

It was a difficult start because the two year old inside me kept saying “but what about,” or “how did this happen,” and then “you never explained” … yet truthfully… it’s the kinda book and topic where you will never have all the answers as it doesn’t exist in reality. Time travel isn’t a real thing (as far as I know, but clearly I don’t know everything so there’s some potential I am dead wrong), so why should I feel the need to invent all these rules and structure. The book has several already to give us appropriate constructs within which the historians can move around. We don’t learn how the machine was built, what it can/can’t do, etc. We just know the researchers can get in a pod, punch in coordinates and voila, they are there. That’s good enough for me as I don’t read this genre often. If you get hung up with needing all the specifics, then I don’t think this book is for you unless in future ones within the series, it’s more clearly explained. That said, it’s such a fun journey, I really don’t think you need to worry about knowing everything. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as the historians do.

The main character changes jobs and is at the end of her rope when a former mentor invites her to a mysterious meeting. Fast-forward five years later to when she’s a leading member of the historian team jumping through time. She’s smart and spunky, but definitely has a few flaws. It makes her more likable and human. When she battles the evil characters, I kinda laughed at how she just survives anything thrown at her, but it’s good drama. I really can’t encourage you enough to just let it flow and think about the fantasy aspects of this opportunity. It’s not real life, so if she can kill a few people and walk away without worrying too much, then I suppose I can do that for a few hours, too!

Thank you to the author and publisher for including this in a giveaway. You’ve got a new fan and I will pick up another in the series this year.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Read and Gone by Allison Brook

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Even though I promised myself I wouldn’t go on NetGalley, I did… then I requested a few books… then I was awarded said books… and now my ‘ready to read on the shelf’ TBR is back around 25! So… I started with NetGalley reads this weekend, choosing a new author and a book series I’d not read before: The Haunted Library Mysteries by Allison Brook. I even read the second book, Read and Gone, before the debut of the series since I don’t have that one in my possession. I can safely say that I will go back to read the first book and continue reading the whole series.

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In this cozy caper, Carrie Singleton is celebrating Christmas with her family and new boyfriend, Dylan. After everyone leaves, Carrie’s thief father shows up asking for help. Before she knows it, a frustrated and angry Carrie agrees to help him in between her duties running one of the departments in the local library. As the story unfolds, her father Jim’s former partner is found murdered, and Carrie is stuck trying to prove her father isn’t a killer. Add in a few more bodies, and a second mystery at the local senior care facility, and Carrie is quite busy. It’s all connected, but she’s not sure how. In the end, she solves the crime and figures out how to move forward.

At first, the story felt a little too stiff and formulaic, but by 10% it settled in with a really positive and engaging flow. The ghost of a friend’s dead aunt watches over the place, but really doesn’t provide many clues thus far — it’s just an other-worldly presence for some humor. Carrie also struggles in her relationship with Dylan, whose job forces him to play on opposite sides for part of the story. There are lots of suspects, several side-stories, and a welcome amount of refreshing honesty about private citizens acting as detectives. Carrie pushes the limit, but she’s also clearly showing us why she has to. It’s believable.

All in all, I’m glad I downloaded this one, and it only took 3 hours to get thru… a strong start for me in the series pushing me to go back and read more.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Better Late Than Never by Jenn McKinlay

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When I need a go-to, guaranteed solid and sure-fire cozy mystery, I look to Jenn McKinlay for her wonderful settings, characters and plots. In the seventh book of the Library Lover’s mystery series, I found another good read with Better Late Than Never. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and round it up to 4 on Goodreads and Amazon.

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It’s Amnesty Day at the Briar Creek Public Library where Lindsey receives hundreds of overdue library books, including one that was last handled by someone who was murdered–and the crime was never solved! Lindsey quietly investigates in the background while trying to keep famous actor Robbie Vine from convincing her to be his girlfriend. She also spends more time with Sully, and there’s an actual decision in her love triangle in this book. While playing detective, Lindsey meets tons of staff at the local high school, learns more about the brother of another supporting character, and finds herself discovering someone isn’t who they say they are… shocker! LOL

McKinlay always delivers characters you can believe and whom you want to know. The setting is cozy and makes you wish you lived in the town, minus the murders. The plot was strong in the beginning, but the case was solved too quickly. It was humming along with a few potential suspects and then BAM, the “I know who did it” scenario happens… but there weren’t enough clues along the way. The book was 50% focused on her relationship issues which meant less time for the crime. In some ways, I’m cool with that, as I like Lindsey and it’s always fun to just read about her life. But I think it would have been better with another 2 chapters leading readers around a bit before she guessed the killer and found herself in his/her clutches.

I’ll keep reading as I’m a fan… maybe next time it will be even stronger. I have her Hat Shop series books on my shelf saying ‘read me now please’ but I can’t listen until after I finish my Agatha Christie Readathon I’m hosting in April 2018.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 136 – Brief

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Brief: of short duration, a concise statement or summary

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As today’s word suggests, today’s post will be a bit more brief than usual. Although the poll has a few more hours before I close it, over 90% of the responses indicated I should feel free to adjust the content or approach in the 365 Daily posts, as long as I retain the same voice and message. I may be writing a bit shorter posts, so that I can also focus on writing my novel, but I still want them to be a valuable part of your day.

We’re going to start out this one with a laugh. After following my routine of choosing the word, I conduct a Google search for images that have the word within their contents. For some reason, the word ‘brief’ did not conjure up cute cartoon word art or memes with a funny picture of the word. Instead, it brought up hundreds of men wearing briefs followed by several wearing briefs that were missing some of their fabric, as in the entire part that’s supposed to cover your ass, or wearing no briefs at all. I was mildly interested amused salivating curious surprised and spent a second minute hour looking for what I needed. I was tempted to use the first picture in the returned list as my post’s featured image, but then I realized it might give everyone the wrong impression. So… sorry to say… no guys in skimpy bathing suits or underwear for you today. Just me and some brief words hopefully worth sharing.

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For a brief moment this morning, I had caught up on most of the outstanding items on my plate, such that I could focus on writing for a solid 6 hours today. It felt great. By lunch, I checked my phone to see what messages I had missed. Those were not brief. Those were plentiful but encouraging. Two hours later, I lost track of how much time had passed. How do you all do it? What I thought might be a brief break to look at a few sites turned into hours of reading and responding. No writing. OK, so I put my phone on a hiatus for a few hours and continued writing. I never stopped for the gym when I should have at 4pm. I’ll punish myself later with no liquor allowed at or after dinner. It’ll be a rough night, folks. No telling what will turn out this evening.

But I quit by 5:15 and said, I’ll do a brief check of social media before I clean up and figure out what to make for dinner. All the posts I’d written last night had now been published, giving me a whole new round of responses to review.

*** I swear it’s like rabbits. I’ve got a herd of hares humping in my hard-drive and heaven better help me before they hippity-hop into my head. ***

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I might be losing my mind this week, which is why I’ve opted for a brief post for tomorrow’s 365 Daily Challenge. Brief because:

  • Sometimes our minds are tapped out.
  • Our energy levels are normal instead of the usual bonkers which is required to actually do everything I need to do.
  • Your head’s spinning trying to decide:
    • write?
    • read?
    • post?
    • tag?
    • award?
    • which social media tool?
    • what agent?
    • how many words today?
    • did you pay the bills?
    • Ryder, stop throwing your hedgehog on the table at me while I’m working.
    • Yes, I would like a nap.
    • The voices are getting stronger in my head.

And with that said, I hope you all enjoyed this moment of schizophrenia I am sharing. Because if I have to live with this crazy today (all good stuff), I’m sharing it with everyone that matters on my blog.

So there you have it. A few last thoughts of what you’ve seen just now:

  1. A brief glimpse into a man losing his mind — please call help
  2. A brief interlude between my sanity and my insanity — but seriously I’m fine
  3. A brief post to meet the 365 Daily Challenge goal — it feels good to be done today
  4. A brief moment of laughter in your day while reading this post — at least I hope so
  5. A brief step away from the norm — we all need one
  6. A brief update on the “Adjustable” poll — thanks for telling me to do whatever I want in these posts
  7. A brief morsel of knowledge — never Google this word unless you’re searching for something a tad bit R or even X rated
  8. A brief story — didn’t you just love my little “H” themed rabbit moment – HILARIOUS
  9. A brief apology — for not producing high quality content today
  10. A brief pair of underwear — despite denying I’d include a picture of them

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Question: Why do they call them a “pair” of briefs? And another question, an even more important one, … who would wear something like this? I’ve heard of Granny Panties for women before, but what do you call these other than Tighty Whities? I wouldn’t be caught dead in them. Everyone needs to have a good pair of underwear or we can’t be friends anymore. I prefer boxer briefs. And I’ll leave you on that note. Happy Briefs!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is The Orangutan Library. First thing to say — there is absolutely no link between the 365 Daily Challenge word and the Recommended Blogger of the day. I’ve pre-planned the bloggers through mid-August, and sometimes it’s just gonna happen where the selections are a bit amusing and disconnected. But… where there is a small connection… is in that we met 3 months ago, briefly chatting over a few different book reviews and TV shows, ranging from Shakespeare to Pretty Little Liars… From there, we covered various apes and gorillas to the 365 Daily Challenge words, and how both applied to each of us. But after all the tags we’ve done together and a few shared awards, we’ve built a fun rapport throughout our posts and comments back and forth. The site library is great, with tons of feedback and full of new ideas. Great art work and graphics. A load of humorous links. If you don’t believe me, check out the below blurb from the About Me section and then go visit the site yourself:
    • “I bet you are all surprised to see that an orang-utan can manage to use a keyboard, let alone run a blog about books. Well, prepare to be amazed, because I’ve barely got started yet. Ok enough aping around. Please insert the usual disclaimer about all opinions being my own here. Also try not to take offence at any of my brutally honest opinions. Yada yada yada, etcetera etcetera.  So without further ado (*drumroll please*) I hereby declare this virtual library open. And yes, for all you Terry Pratchett fans out there, the title is a nod to the Librarian. Just getting into the Discworld and becoming a massive fan… so stay tuned for more!”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Blog: 350 Book Reviews on ThisIsMyTruthNow

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After I finished looking at all the updates on Goodreads, WordPress and my other social media accounts this morning, and posting today’s 365 Daily Challenge blog, I began writing up a few reviews for books I’d read in the past. When I finished, I realized I’d written 350 book reviews in the last 9 months. I was shocked I’d gotten that far already. Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for reading and providing feedback on all the reviews. I’m about 75% complete with finishing prior reads and hope to finish by the end of June. Below are some statistics as well as a link to the Book Review section here. This will help give you some insight into the different authors, books and genres I’ve read in case you want to go poking around in previous posts.  Thank You!

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Welcome to my collection of book reviews. My favorite genres are thrillers and historical fiction. I’ve broken the categories into the following 11 genres: (1) children’s literature, (2) classics [pre-19th century], (3) cozy mystery, (4) fantasy & science fiction, (5) general fiction, (6) historical fiction, (7) non-fiction, (8) other & about TV shows, (9) thriller & suspense fiction, (10) young adult fiction and (11) alternative fiction.

As May 2017, there are over 350 book reviews on my blog and website, ThisIsMyTruthNow. Within each menu, you will find all the books I’ve written a review for organized by genre. I first post the book review on Goodreads and then send it over to this site, where I explore more about the genre, book series and authors. Since I only started publishing book reviews in October of 2016, I have been trying to catch up on everything I’ve read to date. As a result, there are two types of book reviews being posted.

Book Review Type 1 – Full & Detailed

  • For any book I’ve read since I started this website and blog in mid-2016, there is a full and detailed book review containing the following items: author, title, genre, rating, year published, overview of the story, initial thoughts, characters, strengths, areas for improvement, similar books by this author or another author, why I chose the book and some final thoughts. There are also pictures and graphics to help provide a fun and informative review.

Book Review Type 2 – Short Summary

  • Although I have a good memory when it comes to books and authors, I can’t possible remember everything about all 500+ books I’ve read in the last few decades. For anything before 2016, if I don’t have a vivid recollection, I have a shorter version of the review with some general thoughts, the good and the bad of what I remember, ratings, and some recommendations on similar items. These are generally only 1 paragraph long and do not have pictures or graphics.

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Thanks for stopping by and perusing the site. If you aren’t sure which genre the book falls into, you can also search by author in the next menu category called “Genre/Author/Series” or you can enter the book into the “Search” box on the main home screen. If you have any feedback, please share… I love to hear from everyone, as well as get book recommendations. To see my profile on Goodreads, click here.

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. <i>Note</i>: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.