Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Review: Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

Dragon Spawn
Author: Eileen Wilks
Series: A Novel of the Lupi (Book 13)
Publication: Berkley (December 6, 2016)

Description: The New York Times bestselling author of Mind Magic returns as FBI agent Lily Yu gets some very bad news…

Lily learns she was right. Tom Weng—a powerful sorcerer allied with the Old One who keeps trying to take over the world—is still alive. But that's not the worst. Weng is a dragon spawn, the product of a botched hatching given a human form in an attempt to keep him from going mad. A failed attempt.

Meanwhile, Lily’s husband Rule is facing a Challenge to the death. Then there’s the possible reappearance of another sorcerer. But none of that matters when their enemy strikes out of nowhere in the worst way possible. Lily must face a nightmare and return to a place she never wanted to see again. The place where she died…

My Thoughts: Lily and Rule are back on the West Coast and hoping their last encounter with the Great Bitch foiled her plans for a while. Rule has to deal with a Challenge (to the death) for his rule of the Leidolf clan. But the challenge is interrupted when Sam summons them to tell them that their enemy Tom Weng was not killed as they thought.

Sam also shares some information about dragons that is a closely held secret. Baby dragons have to be given the first syllable of their names through mind magic when they are born or they will be forever unable to use mind magic. The last time this happened the dragons grew up to be sociopaths but dragons are really reluctant to kill their children and decided to give them human forms. Tom Weng is one of those dragon spawn.

Since Tom Weng has allied himself with the Great Bitch in her plans to take over the Earth, the dragons have decided to act. Before they can do anything, the Great Bitch through her puppets on Earth shoots a missile at Sam's cave, bombs the FBI building in DC, and detonates a nuclear device which kills a Chinese dragon.

Amid the resulting chaos, Rule's ten-year-old son Toby, Cynna and Cullen's nine-month-old daughter Ryder and three other lupi children are kidnapped by Tom Weng and taken to Dis, the demon world. Rule, Lily, and various allies need to mount a rescue mission to Dis to recover the children.

This book was action-packed and filled with tension and battles. It also ends on a major cliffhanger which makes me want to read the next book in this series RIGHT NOW!

Favorite Quote:
"To some extent she'll be dealing directly with chaos energy. You don't know what that means. I barely do," he admitted, "but if you think of her task as hopping on one foot across a thin wire strung all the way across the Grand Canyon while juggling a dozen primed grenades ... in a thunderstorm ... while someone randomly yanks on your other foot, you'll have some idea."

A moment's silence. Rule spoke. "You're not reassuring me."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Memes: Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
The sunlight glittered on ocean waves, the air sparkled with sorceri, and the baby he held was asleep.
Friday 56:
She couldn't fail to sense Sam's mind when he was this close, but she could -- with effort -- refrain from "staring" at him. Was it her mindsense that found the dark splendor of Sam's mind so riveting? Or her mind?
This week I'm reading Dragon Spawn by Eileen Wilks. This is the 13th book in her World of the Lupi urban fantasy series. I've been following along since the beginning. Here's the description from Amazon:
The New York Times bestselling author of Mind Magic returns as FBI agent Lily Yu gets some very bad news…

Lily learns she was right. Tom Weng—a powerful sorcerer allied with the Old One who keeps trying to take over the world—is still alive. But that's not the worst. Weng is a dragon spawn, the product of a botched hatching given a human form in an attempt to keep him from going mad. A failed attempt.

Meanwhile, Lily’s husband Rule is facing a Challenge to the death. Then there’s the possible reappearance of another sorcerer. But none of that matters when their enemy strikes out of nowhere in the worst way possible. Lily must face a nightmare and return to a place she never wanted to see again. The place where she died…

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ARC Review: Break Me by Tiffany Snow

Break Me
Author: Tiffany Snow
Series: Corrupted Hearts (Book 2)
Publication: Montlake Romance (March 14, 2017)

Description: Just a few weeks ago, computer prodigy China Mack’s typical night in involved Endor Star Wars pajamas and a sensible bedtime. Now she’s dating gorgeous tech guru Jackson Cooper—one of Forbes’s Top Ten Eligible Billionaires—much to the Twitterverse’s delight.

Turns out, going from socially inept hermit to poster girl for geek chic has its challenges. China’s relationship gets even more complicated because her role heading the top-secret Vigilance program—where she’s partnered with Superman clone Clark Slattery—makes her a target. And when ruthless businessman Simon Lu plans to co-opt Vigilance software to blackmail government and military employees, he’ll need China’s cooperation—willing or otherwise.

But not every enemy is so easily identified. Some hide in plain sight, in very high places, and mistaking foe for friend could be the last mistake China ever makes…

My Thoughts: China Mack returns in her second adventure and this time she has to keep the beyond-top-secret computer program that she is running out of the hands of the Chinese. She also has to learn how to deal with being in a relationship with billionaire computer company owner Jackson Cooper. This is all new territory for China who prizes her routine above all.

A genius IQ, OCD, and a position high on the Asperger's spectrum aren't exactly the right skills for dealing with a romance. The romance is even more complicated when her boyfriend is under the scrutiny of the Department of Justice for the dealings of his company. China has to take extreme measures to get the DoJ off his back and looking in the right direction.

I like China for her vulnerability. I like that she inspires loyalty in her employees. I like that the is a nerd in the best sense of the word. I like her relationships with her boyfriend Jackson and her partner and friend Clark.

This thriller got quite intense and had me on the edge of my chair. Fans of techno-thrillers with characters who are easy to relate to and like will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
I never thought I'd be one of those girls who felt at home in a man's arms, but we fit so well together. It made me feel . . . not alone . . . which was a big deal. I'd felt alone and been alone for a lot of my life. Loneliness was just part of my daily existence. To not be lonely . . . was incredibly pleasing. And addicting.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WoW: The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!

The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison isn't new. It is the first book in the Brit in the FBI series. This one come to my attention when I noticed that the 4th book had been released. Here's the description:
Scotland Yard’s new chief inspector Nicholas Drummond is on the first flight to New York when he learns his colleague, Elaine York, the “minder” of the Crown Jewels for the “Jewel of the Lion” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was found murdered. Then the centerpiece of the exhibit, the infamous Koh-i-Noor Diamond, is stolen from the Queen Mother’s crown. Drummond, American-born but raised in the UK, is a dark, dangerous, fast-rising star in the Yard who never backs down. And this case is no exception.

Special Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich from Coulter’s bestselling FBI series don’t hesitate to help Drummond find the cunning international thief known as the Fox. Nonstop action and high stakes intensify as the chase gets deadly. The Fox will stop at nothing to deliver the Koh-i-Noor to the man who believes in its deadly prophecy.  Nicholas Drummond, along with his partner, FBI Special Agent Mike Caine, lay it on the line to retrieve the diamond for Queen and country.
Have you read this series?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Break Me by Tiffany Snow

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser (from 10% in the eARC):
He nuzzled my neck, kissing the sensitive skin underneath my ear. "Now we can have makeup sex."

My eyes slid shut at his touch. "Is makeup sex better than regular sex?"
This week I am reading Break Me by Tiffany Snow. I got this eARC from NetGalley. Here is the description from Amazon:
Just a few weeks ago, computer prodigy China Mack’s typical night in involved Endor Star Wars pajamas and a sensible bedtime. Now she’s dating gorgeous tech guru Jackson Cooper—one of Forbes’s Top Ten Eligible Billionaires—much to the Twitterverse’s delight.

Turns out, going from socially inept hermit to poster girl for geek chic has its challenges. China’s relationship gets even more complicated because her role heading the top-secret Vigilance program—where she’s partnered with Superman clone Clark Slattery—makes her a target. And when ruthless businessman Simon Lu plans to co-opt Vigilance software to blackmail government and military employees, he’ll need China’s cooperation—willing or otherwise.

But not every enemy is so easily identified. Some hide in plain sight, in very high places, and mistaking foe for friend could be the last mistake China ever makes…

Monday, March 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 20, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading... 

This week was sort of a busy one. I met with the realtor who will be listing my house to make some beginning plans. I met with a painter who is going to neutralize the colors in my house to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

A friend and I got together Friday evening to start dividing stuff into four piles - take, rummage sale, donate, or trash. We got through two closets. We'll be meeting the next few Friday evenings to continue sorting stuff. Next week -- my office!

I have to have my books packed and the bookshelves loose from the walls before the painter comes in. He and my realtor will be picking the colors since I don't care what color the walls are once I'm gone. I'm hoping to have him come and paint the beginning of May so that I have time to organize and box. I really don't want my things to sit in boxes for months either. I need to contact movers and get them set up to move my stuff around the 8th of June.

My realtor wants me to have flyers to hand out during my rummage sale May 19 - 20 in case anyone who comes might be interested in buying the place. Plans are now that no showings will happen until after May 20 to give me a chance to unclutter.

Read Last Week
Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen was a creepy psychological thriller with a very unreliable narrator. It kept me on the edge of my seat. My review will be posted on April 6.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick is the latest by this prolific author. She has changed time periods and settings from her usual. This one is set in 1930s California. The characters and story were great. My review will be posted on May 4.

Currently
I am currently reading Alice & the Assassin by R. J. Koreto. This historical mystery stars a seventeen-year-old Alice Roosevelt and her Secret Service officer. It will be released on April 11.

Next Week

This week will also be filled with April releases from my review stack.
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

ARC Review: The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

The Cutaway
Author: Christina Kovac

Publication: Atria / 37 INK (March 21, 2017)

Description: The Cutaway draws you into the tangled world of corruption and cover-up as a young television producer investigates the disappearance of a beautiful Georgetown lawyer in this stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn.

When brilliant TV news producer Virginia Knightly receives a disturbing “MISSING” notice on her desk related to the disappearance of a beautiful young attorney, she can’t seem to shake the image from her head. Despite skepticism from her colleagues, Knightly suspects this ambitious young lawyer may be at the heart of something far more sinister, especially since she was last seen leaving an upscale restaurant after a domestic dispute. Yet, as the only woman of power at her station, Knightly quickly finds herself investigating on her own.

Risking her career, her life, and perhaps even her own sanity, Knightly dives deep into the dark underbelly of Washington, DC business and politics in an investigation that will drag her mercilessly through the inextricable webs of corruption that bind the press, the police, and politics in our nation’s capital.

Harkening to dark thrillers such as Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive, and Big Little Lies, The Cutaway is a striking debut that will haunt you long after you reach the last page.

My Thoughts: This story is as complicated as the politics in Washington, D.C. Virginia Knightly is a television news producer who becomes intrigued by the photo of a missing woman and who tries to find out what happened to her.

Virginia has a photographic memory and knows that she has seen the woman before on some news clip. She tries to track it down while trying to get information from the police. It happens that the man in charge of the investigation is a former boyfriend of hers.

Meanwhile, her job is in jeopardy because a new News Director has been hired who wants to take over her programs and promote his own protegee as the news anchor. Virginia and Ben, the current anchor, work well together and have a relationship that could be more than professional if only Virginia would let herself take a chance on him.

Virginia is a fascinating character who is the product of a dysfunctional childhood. Her father abandoned Virginia and her mother when her mother developed cancer leaving twelve-year-old Virginia to cope with her mother's illness and death. After her mother died, Virginia was in a variety of foster homes but managed to be admitted to, and graduate from, a prestigious journalism school. She has built her career at this Washington television station.

As Virginia investigates what happened to Evelyn Carney, she learns more and more about her and the people she interacted with. Virginia has a number of sources but not all of them are giving her accurate information.

This was a wonderful, fast-paced thriller with twists and turns until the very end.

Favorite Quote:
When I hurried toward my office, she ran around her desk and stopped me. "I don't know why I was afraid of you," she said. "You're so much nicer than everyone says."

"Well, for God's sake. Don't tell anyone."
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.