Welcome to Kathy’s Book Bag

I Am Now A Blogger

With so many fun book challenges to participate in, I could no longer be without a blog.  I intend for the blog to help me keep track of my reading for the year as well as my progress on the challenges I choose to join.

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By popcorn317 Posted in Books

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

Book Description:

Published: May 30, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Review –

Detention takes a dark turn when the student behind Bayview High’s infamous app About That dies from a peanut allergy—and every witness has a different reason for wanting him gone.

Although the author’s debut novel initially feels like a rehashing of The Breakfast Club, with five teens from very different social circles brought together through detention, there is no bonding through library dance parties or atypical lipstick application. Instead, Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper, and Addy witness Simon collapse and ultimately die after taking a sip of water. When police discover the drink was laced with peanut oil—and that Simon was going to reveal life-ruining secrets about all four students on his gossip app the next day—they go from unfortunate witnesses to top murder suspects. With each teen (“brain,” “criminal,” “jock,” and “princess,” respectively; “walking teen-movie stereotypes,” as Simon says) narrating alternating chapters, the novel offers insights into common adolescent struggles—from the pressure to succeed to an alcoholic, out-of-work father—as well as an unlikely romance and opportunities for self-reflection as the investigation escalates.

Although the language and plot sometimes border on cliché, this fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic the  John Hughes  film, will leave readers racing to the finish as they try to unravel the mystery on their own.

The ending is surprising and makes for a very good “who-dun-it” read.

 

Under His Protection (Brie’s Submission #14) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published:  July 30, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Misunderstood Hero
Faelan is a passionate Master with a hidden past that holds him hostage.

Having his heart recently broken, he accepts the challenge of keeping Brie safe and vows to protect her by
Any.
Means.
Necessary.

But when a curvy little sub catches his eye at the Haven, he is forced to choose loyalty over love.

His allegiance lies with his friends at The Center, and the time has come to prepare their rescue of Rytsar Durov—one of their own.

Review –

We learn sooo much about Todd Wallace, aka Faelan, in this installment of the  Brie’s Submission series that I almost couldn’t stand it.

Faelan has always been one of my favorite supporting characters and I’ve always considered him weaker than the other Doms, in stature and personality BUT that is most definitely NOT the case. He’s been unlucky in love but finds a woman in this book that I think will turn out to be his soul mate. She helps him finally put the tragedy of the car crash behind him and at the very end we find out that Trevor was not the saint everyone thought him to be.

He and Captain and Samantha agree to go to Russia to rescue Rystar Durov and of course, in between everything else, he protected Brie from the crazy half-sister, Lily.

Love this installment.

 

Her Russian Knight (Brie’s Submission #13) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: March 25, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Warning: There will be tears…but Rytsar demands no less.

Rytsar Durov is a sadist–and he’s upset. Bones may be broken. The Russian Dom is a force unto himself, and he intends to take care of the threat once and for all.

No one touches radost moya. NO ONE!

Nothing fazes this sexy Russian Dom, but how will he cope when he finds out the tragedy that’s befallen his comrade–the only man he calls Brother?

Review –
 
Another amazing installment of the Brie’s Submission series centering around the Dominant of Rystar Durov, a sadist, and “blood brother” to Sir Thane Davis.
 
In this  book we learn more background of Rystar and his deep love for his first love, Tatiana, and the reason behind the murder of his beloved mother. He’s an all or nothing kind of guy and never does things half way, and shows this in his love and care for Brie while Sir is still in a coma. Her welfare comes first, no matter that a hit man is after him for killing the “maggot” back in the club in Russia. He truly loves Brie and has confessed this to Thane and he is surprised that the knowledge did not change things between them. But Thane completely understands, after all, it’s Brie.
 
Rystar deals with the “crazy half-sister from Hell”, Lily, and she confesses that her intent had been to kill Brie’s child and then sell Brie into slavery. When he has to leave town he entrust her charge to Todd Wallace and he will notify the police and let the law take over. But he has waited too long and is confronted by his enemies in Sir’s room at the hospital, no less, and is beaten and dragged away. BUT, before the hit squad enter the room Rystar slips a note into Brie’s hand and tells them her and Thane to shut their eyes, because that way they won’t be able to identify to bad guys.
As he is dragged away and thrown in a van, there is a slight smile on his face the he recalls what the note says – “Tell Sunshine(his name for Brie’s baby girl(he know it’s going to be a girl) to save a dance for me”.
OMG – tears were falling down my face at this point.  I can’t wait to get into the next book.
Love, love this series.

Because of Pat

 

 

Because of Pat

 

i feel free

and my soul is light.

i have finally discovered

what life is truly for.

see the smile on my face ?

it’s because of you.

when i’m with you

nothing else matters because

i love you –

and it’s wonderful –

for love is life

and life is love

and things are made to be discovered –

and i have discovered you.

 

written by me 3/27/1968

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

Book Description:

Published: July 18, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

Review –

I loved his book, even though it did become a bit monotonous with Cass bemoaning the murder on Blackwater Road all the time and that made her become a victim easier.

I won’t go into detail because it would be easy to give the ending away, but know this, it’s not what you initially think. It’s not cut and dried. There are misdirections and all of this makes for a class A “who-dun-it mystery”. 

I highly recommend  this book if you enjoy this genre.

Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1) by Rachel Caine

Book Description:

Published: July 1, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

Review –

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine is a chilling thriller about what happens to the family of a serial killer and their struggles as the rest of the world continue to judge them as responsible for the killer’s atrocities.

The novel,by Rachel Caine, explores the consequences of the age-old question: how could she not know? Gina Royal is the wife of a serial killer. He killed women in his “workshop,” which was a refinished garage that Gina supposedly never went into. Even though she went to trial and was found not guilty, the jury of the world at large doesn’t believe her. 

Now, after years on the run, Gina—now Gwen—is tired of running. Her kids are tired of running. She hopes that this new house on the shores of Stillhouse Lake will be the perfect new forever home. And all signs point that way: there are police officers nearby, Gwen has learned how to use firearms, and there’s an alarm system and a panic room. It may just be time to settle down. 

Then, they find the woman in the lake. She had  been brutally mutilated and dumped in the lake. The modus operandi is all too familiar to Gwen. Her ex-husband used to do the same thing. Gwen—who has moved from place to place, never letting her children or herself settle into any kind of steady routine—now has to make a choice: run again or stay and hold her ground. 

Every day, Gwen hits the computer and checks the “sicko” boards—people who have followed her husband’s case and her own trial, people who think she is as guilty as he is, people who think she and her children should be punished. 

By the time we, as readers, meet the sickos on the boards, we’ve already spent a lot of time with Gwen and the kids, Lanny and Connor. While the kids are remaining flexible, the strain of constant moves and the inability to put down any roots is showing. There’s trouble at school. There’s trouble at home. The kids are completely caught in the middle of this fiasco—the children could easily be categorized as two more victims of their cruel father. 

But the sicko boards don’t care. Knowing what we know as readers, it’s very hard to read what these strangers want to do to them.  

Despite all its darkness Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake is a great summer read. The central topic is fascinating—haven’t we all wondered about serial killers who were married? Haven’t we all wondered about the spouse, what they knew, and whether they should be considered an additional victim? There’s a hint of romance, of all things. There are definitely scary, tense moments. The author  delves into all this and keeps the pace driving forward, perfect for the beach … maybe a little harrowing for the lake.

Loved this book.

Side Note:

IF the name Rachel Caine sounds familiar, it’s because she is also the author of several young adult books, One series being The Morganville Vampires series and I have read and loved all of those book.

The Morganville Vampires series

  1. Glass Houses (October 2006)
  2. The Dead Girls’ Dance (April 2007)
  3. Midnight Alley (October 2007)
  4. Feast of Fools (June 2008)
  5. Lord of Misrule (January 2009)
  6. Carpe Corpus (June 2009) 
  7. Fade Out (November 2009)
  8. Kiss of Death (April 27, 2010)
  9. Ghost Town (October 26, 2010)
  10. Bite Club (May 3, 2011)
  11. Last Breath (November 1, 2011)
  12. Black Dawn (May 1, 2012)
  13. Bitter Blood (November 6, 2012, Fall of Night (May 7, 2013)
  14. Daylighters (November 5, 2013)

Mixed Emotions

 

Mixed Emotions

 

i love you

but at the same time i hate you

you love me but always deny it.

sometimes you make me smile-

but mostly you make me cry-

you hurt me by saying you love another.

 

i ignore everything you say

it’s very hard to find the truth

among your lies.

 

your voice lingers in my ears

long after we talk

for i want to cherish all the

words you say – the good and the bad.

 

you place yourself above me

but you are more lonely than i

for i have many who are equal to me

but you will not admit to being equal to

anyone.

 

i love you-

but at the same time – i hate you.

i think it is best not to think

seriously about you –

that way the tears will remain

inside.

 

written by me  8/1968

Breathe With Me (Brie’s Submission #12) by Red Phoenix

Book  Description:

Published: December 5, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When life gets too rough, breathe with me…

Tono Nosaka, the Kinbaku rope master, has known heartache and loss—never defeat. He is determined to claim his soulmate.
Miss Autumn is courageous and talented, but she hides a personal secret that binds her heart. Just when the walls start to come down, Tono has a dream about Brie so shocking he would make any sacrifice to ensure it never comes true.

Love that strong has extraordinary power.

Review –

Another great installment of the Brie’s Submission series and  centered around Tono (Master) Ten Nosaka, the Dominant that had it not been for the verbal misgivings of his father, Brie would have chosen to be HER Dominant. As it happened, because of that she chose Master Thane Davis, whom in her heart of hearts, she always wanted, but never thought she could have.

Tono takes over Brie’s care after Master Brad Anderson has broken his leg and his quiet nature and peaceful calm has a positive effect on Brie and she begins working again on her second documentary.

The crazy half-sister, Lily, makes another appearance in his book but still escapes capture.

Tono had begun a semi-relationship with Autumn Day in Denver before he left and he concentrates on getting her to accept him wholly, mentally and physically. He discovers that besides her scars and prosthetic, she is also a virgin and realizes he has to be extremely patent with her.

Everything works out in the end and he is able to go back to Autumn in Denver as Rystar Durov, the Russian and blood brother to Sir, comes to care for Brie.

Excellent installment of this series.

 

A Cowboy’s Heart (Brie’s Submission #11) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: November 7, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A cowboy can’t resist a damsel in distress

Brad Anderson, the bullwhip master, has guarded his heart ever since a certain redhead broke it. After attending the wedding of his best friend, Master Anderson decides to find his own happy ending. However, it seems Fate has different plans when he finds himself protecting a damsel in distress.

Will this cowboy at heart ever let down his guard long enough to allow true love to flow in? Find out what happens when love and loyalty meet Fate head on.

* A portion of the story Includes the short “Stud Poker” part of the retired anthology, One Night in Vegas. It is important part of Master Anderson’s journey.

Review –

I loved this installment of Brie’s Submission series because it dealt with a supporting character, Master Brad Anderson.

He was the genius behind the Dominant/Submission Training Center in Denver, but has been given the job of HeadMaster at the same school in LA.

He is single, has country roots, likes red cats, wears a cowboy hat, and is a Dominant looking for his soul mate. He stopped over in Las Vegas on his way to LA and meets Shea, a masseuse and they have a steamy one night that neither will soon forget.

Once in LA he is charged with protecting Brie as she stands vigil at Sir’s bedside after the plane crash. Sir’s crazy half-sister, Lily, is threatening to tell the world that she is pregnant by Sir unless he gives her half of his estate, so Master Anderson has his hands full.

Toward the end of the book he is in a truck crash and is laid up with a broken leg and has to recruit Tono to take over as Brie’s protector and Shea moves to LA and wants to try or a relationship with Brad, if he will NOT have sex with his students, as is part of his job description as HeadMaster. Believe it or not, he agrees and says he will change the list of mandatory obligations of a HeadMaster.

 

Claim Me (Brie’s Submission #9) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: September 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Fairy tales come true…

Brie Bennett’s Master is about to make all of her dreams come true. The wedding is almost here but darkness lies ahead—a plot so horrendous it will rock their foundation to the core.

Yet love as fierce and passionate as theirs cannot be denied. Join our favorite submissive as she discovers the romance that awaits when an Italian Dom plans the wedding of the century for his cherished bride.

Review –

I also read numbers seven and eight of this series and enjoyed them, but this one has been my least favorite of the series so far.

There was just too much “lovey dovey” and everything coming up roses because of the fairy-tale-like wedding and honeymoon, until the  end and then we were back to fictional reality. 

The next book, Enchant Me, is about the honeymoon and getting Brie pregnant (which does happen) and ends with  a great cliffhanger. 

The next two books deal with Master Brad Anderson and Tono and we learn some of their background  and their quests to find their soulmates.

I’m just about to finish up  A Cowboy’s Heart, which deals with Sir Brad Anderson and will report on it shortly.