Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Challenges

2018 Challenges

To be honest, I didn't do very well last year with the challenges.  Life has this way of turning everything upside down, and what you expected to do gets turned on its rump.  My husband, who is in the military, got promoted, and naturally posted, leaving me to deal with two teenagers and a very hectic schedule.  Unfortunately, the stress of this dealing with this, plus my job, made me realize I am not Super Woman, and I had to take a break from blogging.  With the intention of only taking off one month, turned into a very well-needed six months, and with that came the realization that I can not possibly do it all or I will lose my mind.  I think that's the hardest thing to deal with, the fact that we're only human and need to give ourselves a break once in a while.  With two children growing into adulthood of whom I couldn't be more proud, it's time to take the plunge into the next chapter of our life as the oldest heads off to university next year and leaves the nest (tear, tear!).  So, I will try these challenges again, and if I don't succeed, there's always the year after that one.

Debut Author Challenge

This one is to introduce readers to this year’s wonderful group of debut authors and to challenge readers to read 12 or more (or less! It’s up to you!) middle grade, young adult, and new adult debuts this year.

RMFAO Challenge

RMFAO 2018 Genre-List:
‣ January - Science-Fiction
‣ February - Mystery-Thriller
‣ March* - Women's Fiction or Westerns
‣ April* - YA or Graphic Novels
‣ May - Classics/Literary
‣ June - Non-Fiction
‣ July - Dystopian/Apocalyptic
‣ August - Contemporary Fiction
‣ September - Humour
‣ October - Horror
‣ November* - Historical or Steampunk
‣ December - Adventure/Fantasy

British Book Challenge

The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running on Tales Of Yesterday between 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.

This challenge is available for all bloggers and/or booktubers who review books on their blogs, YouTube channels or readers who review on other websites such as Goodreads.

If you sign up for the challenge you will be aiming to read at least 12 books by British authors (which works out to one a month).

1. Choose the level of which you would like to participate:
  • Peckish – 1 – 10 Cozy Mysteries
  • Famished – 11 – 30 Cozy Mysteries
  • Yearning – 31 – 50 Cozy Mysteries
  • Starving  – 51 – 75 Cozy Mysteries
  • Ravenous – 76 – 100 Cozy Mysteries
  • Voracious – 101 – 125 Cozy Mysteries 
  • Completely Satiated – 126 – 150 Cozy Mysteries
  • Overindulged – 151 – 200 Cozy Mysteries
  • Pigged Out – 201 or more Cozy Mysteries
2. You can Feed Your Need To Read with print, digital or audio books.
3. You do not have to post a review but the authors would appreciate it if you did. If you need help just let me know. 

4.  You do not need to have a blog to participate. If you do have a blog, take the button above, put it on your blog and post about the challenge. 

 This challenge begins January 1, 2018 and ends Dec 31, 2018 will count. 
  •  You may sign up anytime during the year. 
  • Books must be young adult or new adult genres.
  • Books may be horror, romance, dystopian, paranormal, graphic novels, etc. 
  • You may include books of any format including traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks.
  •  Books may count towards other reading challenges. 
  •  Use the hashtag #2018YARC 
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

  • Everyone can participate! If you don't have a blog you can post a link to your review if it's posted on Goodreads, Facebook, or Amazon, or you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish.
  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please use the direct URL that will guide us directly to your review)
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, History/Non-Fiction, etc.)
During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

20th Century Reader - 2 books
Victorian Reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History - 25 books
Prehistoric - 50+ books

  • You can read any book that is from the mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Any sub-genres are welcome as long as they incorporate one of these genres.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate but you do need a place to post your reviews to link up. (blog, goodreads, booklikes, shelfari, etc.)
  • Make a goal post and link it back here with your goal for this challenge.
  • Books need to be novellas or novels, please no short stories. (At least 100 pages +)
  • Crossovers into other challenges  are fine.
  • The Challenge will  be from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st. (Sign up ends April 15th)
There will be a monthly link up so that others can check out your progress and look at your reviews. At the halfway mark and at the end we will have a giveaway for those participating.

If you tweet about your progress or reviews please use the hashtag #CloakDaggerChal so others can see it.
5-15 books – Amateur sleuth
16-25 books – Detective
26-35 books – Inspector
36 – 55 – Special agent
56+ books – Sherlock Holmes
Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review: A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert

A Murder for the Books (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, Book #1)
by Victoria Gilbert
Release Date: December 12th, 2017
2017 Crooked Lane Books
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-1683314394
ASIN: B072396CZL
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

4 / 5 Stars

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.

My Thoughts
A Murder for the Books is the first in a new series, the Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, and I thought it was a nice start to what could be an interesting series.  After catching her ex-boyfriend in a compromising position at a party, Amy reacted in a way that forced her to make a hasty retreat from a beloved job, move in with her aunt, and take over the job as a local librarian in the small town in which her aunt lives.  Being a fan of such scenarios, I was looking forward to simple who-dun-it, and it didn't disappoint in that regard.

I think my biggest issue with the cozy mystery genre is the way they often treat the local police and their lack of ability to solve crimes: you know, you have to suspend you disbelief a bit too much and accept the fact that police officers can't find the clues on their own, or aren't capable of interrogating suspects or witnesses capable, and I get really frustrated by this.  And sometimes it's a little too much suspension for my liking.  This novel however, didn't treat the police that way as Amy used her research skills to help her neighbour work on a personal project and discovered information through that research, which she shared with the police.  This is something that I liked and found much more convincing.  It really made the story much more credible, and because of that, I found the research and the subsequent activities and actions to be quite interesting and entertaining.  There were a few twists and turns that I wasn't expecting, and even though I guessed who the murderer was quite early on, those research twists made the novel, and the resulting research that Amy and Richard did, quite fascinating.  And I suppose it was the research for me that made this book so interesting; that is why we read, isn't it?

As for the characters, while I didn't quite connect with either of them, I did find them charming and interesting.  I did develop a particular fondness for Amy's Aunt Lydia, and interestingly enough, the local policeman, Brad, who was actually allowed to shine during the investigation instead of looking like a bumbling idiot.  The writing was really good though, clear and concise, and I have to admit the plot was at times, quite clever.  

A Murder for the Books was an entertaining first novel, and definitely set up the characters for some interesting times ahead; I am looking forward to learning more about some of the other characters introduced in this novel.  This was an easy read, and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series, Shelved Under Murder, to be published July 2018.