Tag: charlaine harris

Summerathon TBR 2019

I am so happy it is summer! Time to lounge outside in the sunshine with a book, lots of sunscreen, and an ice cold drink. Heaven.

Summerathon runs from June 21-27 and is hosted on YouTube by Melanie, Jen, Heather, Aimee, and Amy.

–The Challenges–

  • 1: Read a “beachy” read
  • 2: Read a book with sunrise colors on the cover
  • 3: Read a book featuring a road trip/traveling or summer vacation
  • 4: Read a book set in summer
  • 5: Read a book with food on the cover
  • 6: Drink your favorite summery drink while reading

The readathon is only a week long so I will probably only get one book maybe two read but I’m going to pick out a book for each challenge and then I will just read whichever one I feel like. Some of them will actually work for more than one challenge.

🌅 Beachy Read

NetGalley has a tonne of beachy reads at the moment so I might request one of those. I’ve never really read what I would consider to be a beachy book before so I’m interested to try one. If I don’t get a book from NetGalley I will read a cosy mystery by Charlaine Harris. I think that genre is perfect for taking it easy while reading but is still interesting enough to keep you reading.

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard #1) by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard, #1)

Welcome to Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily Bard came to the small town of Shakespeare to escape her dark and violent past. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. So when she spots a dead body being dumped in the town green, she’s inclined to stay well away. But she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and despite her best efforts, she’s dragged into the murder case. Lily doesn’t care who did it, but when the police and local community start pointing fingers in her direction, she realizes that proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

🌅 Sunrise Colours on the Cover

Riveted (Iron Seas #3) by Meljean Brook

Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)

A century after a devastating volcanic eruption forced Iceland’s inhabitants to abandon its shores, the island has become enshrouded in legend. Fishermen tell tales of giant trolls guarding the land and of seductive witches who steal men’s hearts. But the truth behind the legends is mechanical, not magic—and the mystery of the island a matter of life and death for a community of women who once spilled noble blood to secure their freedom.

Five years ago, Annika unwittingly endangered that secret, but her sister Källa took the blame and was exiled. Now Annika serves on the airship Phatéon, flying from port to port in search of her sister and longing to return home . . . but that home is threatened when expedition leader David Kentewess comes aboard.

Determined to solve the mystery of his own origin, David will stop at nothing to expose Annika’s secrets. But when disaster strikes, leaving David and Annika stranded on a glacier and pursued by a madman, their very survival depends on keeping the heat rising between them—and generating lots of steam . . .

🌅 Traveling/ Summer Vacation

One of those summery/beachy reads on NetGalley would probably suit this one too. If now I might read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough which begins with a family traveling to Australia.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds is a robust, romantic saga of a singular family, the Clearys. It begins in the early part of this century, when Paddy Cleary moves his wife, Fiona, and their seven children to Drogheda, the vast Australian sheep station owned by his autocratic and childless older sister; and it ends more than half a century later, when the only survivor of the third generation, the brilliant actress Justine O’Neill, sets a course of life and love halfway around the world from her roots.

The central figures in this enthralling story are the indomitable Meggie, the only Cleary daughter, and the one man she truly loves, the stunningly handsome and ambitious priest Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph’s course moves him a long way indeed, from a remote Outback parish to the halls of the Vatican; and Meggie’s except for a brief and miserable marriage elsewhere, is fixed to the Drogheda that is part of her bones – but distance does not dim their feelings though it shapes their lives.

Wonderful characters people this book; strong and gentle, Paddy, hiding a private memory; dutiful Fiona, holding back love because it once betrayed her, violent, tormented Frank, and the other hardworking Cleary sons who give the boundless lands of Drogheda the energy and devotion most men save for women; Meggie; Ralph; and Meggie’s children, Justine and Dane. And the land itself; stark, relentless in its demands, brilliant in its flowering, prey to gigantic cycles of drought and flood, rich when nature is bountiful, surreal like no other place on earth.

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🌅 Summer Setting

I have no idea what seasons my books are set! I had to look up a Goodreads list for some ideas for this. The only book I currently own and have yet to read from the list is Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

🌅 Food on the Cover

I could only think of cosy mysteries for this one! Why is it that cosy mysteries often have food on the cover???

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys by Harper Lin

Tea, Tiramisu, and Tough Guys (Cape Bay Cafe Mystery, #2)

When Francesca’s old high school crush, Todd, is accused of murder, she is convinced he is innocent. The police don’t believe Todd’s story, and neither does Matty. 

During the busy summer tourist season at Cape Bay, Francesca sets out to prove Todd’s innocence. Matty, however, investigates to prove Todd is guilty. Why does Matty detest Todd so much? But what if he’s right—what if Todd is a murderer? 

Includes two special recipes! This is Book 2 in The Cape Bay Cafe Mysteries. The books don’t have to be read in order.

🍹 My Favourite Summer Drink

My favourite drink to have in summer is definitely prosecco. Although, to be fair, I drink it for all seasons 😉 One of my favourite ways to have it during the summer is with a dash of elderflower cordial. If you have some gin and mint you could throw those in too to make a hugo cocktail. Perfect refreshing drink for summer.

Image result for prosecco gif

Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads

What’s your favourite summer drink?

Weekend Reading Vlog

One weekend each month my Goodreads group has a four-day readathon where we set a personal reading goal. I usually go for about 300 pages but I decided to challenge myself a bit this month and go for 600 pages.

Books

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse by Charlaine Harris

May Wrap Up | Part Two

I seriously upped my reading game this month! I read a total of 13 books which blows my usual 5 or 6 right out of the water! I got through so many because I read a few short books and listened to more audiobooks than usual. It was a fantastic reading month nothing I read was below 4 stars. What are the chances of that?!

If you’re not familiar with my wrap ups, I like to just give a mini review with my thoughts on the book and not go into too much detail about the book. I do full reviews of each book as well later and give a bit more detail in my video wrap ups.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare ★★★★★

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy

This one was so good! Usually the middle book in a trilogy slows things down a bit but this one picked up speed instead. So much happens in this book that if you enjoyed the first one you should love this one.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ★★★★☆

The Great Gatsby

Classics

Sometimes I feel like with classics there’s no point in saying anything about them cause pretty much everyone is familiar with them in some way. This book especially since it was required reading for a lot of people in school. Anyway, I found this story very interesting. Gatsby and Nick are two fascinating parallels to pair together. Nick seems to barely feel whereas Gatsby feels intensely and obsessively.

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter ★★★★★

The Bloody Chamber

Short Stories, Feminism

Very interesting collection of stories inspired by fairy tales. Some of them are pretty disturbing with heavy sexual and violent themes. I really want to do a deeper reading and check out some analysis of them online.

The Mystery Woman (Ladies of Lantern Street #2) by Amanda Quick ★★★★☆

The Mystery Woman

Historical Romance, Paranormal

This was really good. A lot of focus on the story instead of just the main characters hooking up. It was kind of like a paranormal historical romance adventure. That’s a lot of genres for one book! Paranormal is a favourite of mine but I think I would have preferred this book without it. I’m probably just not used to it in historical’s though.

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Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden #1) by Charlaine Harris ★★★★★

Real Murders (An Aurora Teagarden Mystery #1)

Cosy Mystery

This one surprised me! I loved Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books but these are nothing like them. No paranormal activity and it’s definitely PG. I really enjoyed it though. Aurora is a librarian and member of the Real Murders club who like to discuss past murder cases. On the night Aurora is to talk at the club one of the members is found dead.

A Bone To Pick Aurora Teagarden by Charlaine Harris Elaine Howlin Bookstagram

A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2) by Charlaine Harris ★★★★☆

A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mystery, #2)

Cosy Mystery

Continuing on with the Aurora series, Aurora finds a skull in her new home and is tasked with discovering how it got there and where the rest of the skeleton is. There are a lot of changes happening in this one…. pretty much everything I’d adjusted to about Aurora and her life from the first book gets switched up so it was a little bit jarring but still enjoyable.

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden #3) by Charlaine Harris ★★★★☆

Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden, #3)

Cosy Mystery

This one I didn’t enjoy this one as much but I think that was because I was getting tired of listening to audiobooks. The mystery in this one has been the best so far.

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I hope you all had a wonderful May and that June will be just as good.

Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Books Out this Week

A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #4)A Map of Days -Ransom Riggs

The #1 bestselling series returns with a thrilling new story arc set in America!

Vintage photographs reveal the never-before-seen world of peculiar America with a stunning addition—full-color images.

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

Consumed (Firefighters, #1)Consumed – J.R. Ward

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards, #1)Kill the Queen – Jennifer Estep

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince LestatBlood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat – Anne Rice

The Vampire Chronicles continue with a riveting, rich saga–part adventure, part suspense–of Prince Lestat and the story of the Blood Communion as he tells the tale of his coming to rule the vampire world and the eternal struggle to find belonging, a place in the universe for the undead, and how, against his will, he must battle the menacing, seemingly unstoppable force determined to thwart his vision and destroy the entire vampire netherworld.

In this spellbinding novel, Lestat, rebel outlaw, addresses the tribe of vampires, directly, intimately, passionately, and tells the mesmerizing story of the formation of the Blood Communion and how he became Prince of the vampire world, the true ruler of this vast realm, and how his vision for all the Children of the Universe to thrive as one, came to be.
The tale spills from Lestat’s heart, as he speaks first of his new existence as reigning monarch–and then of his fierce battle of wits and words with the mysterious Rhoshamandes, proud Child of the Millennia, reviled outcast for his senseless slaughter of the legendary ancient vampire Maharet, avowed enemy of Queen Akasha; Rhoshamandes, a demon spirit who refuses to live in harmony at the Court of Prince Lestat and threatens all that Lestat has dreamt of.
As the tale unfolds, Lestat takes us from the towers and battlements of his ancestral castle in the snow-covered mountains of France to the verdant wilds of lush Louisiana with its lingering fragrances of magnolias and night jasmine; from the far reaches of the Pacific’s untouched islands to the 18th-century city of St. Petersburg and the court of the Empress Catherine . . .

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose, #1)An Easy Death – Charlaine Harris

#1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, True Blood, Midnight Crossing) delivers the first thriller in a new trilogy that presents a chilling alternate history of the United States where everyone believes in magic—but no one is sure whether they can trust it.

Gunnie Lizbeth Rose has been hired by a pair of Russian sorcerers as both their local guide and muscle through the small towns of East Texas as they search for a distant relative of an infamous sorcerer whose bloodline can help save their emperor-in-exile as an ever increasing number of assassins tries to stop them.

After the assassination of FDR in the 1930s, the US collapses and is picked off by the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Russia. We find ourselves in the southwestern states now known as Texoma. It is here that the gunnie Lizbeth Rose tries to piece out a life, running security on runs from Texoma, across the border to Mexico where work and prospects are stronger. When two Russian magicians come looking for a man named Alex Karkarov, they hire Lizbeth to find him or his family, but there are problems: The man they’re looking for is dead, but he has a daughter they now need to find, as an ever-growing set of sorcerers and gunnies do not want them to succeed. It’s a good thing Lizbeth is a deadly gunfighter; too bad she hates sorcerers, even the ones she has to learn to rely on.

#1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries/True Blood, Midnight Crossing) returns to fantasy in a taut thriller set in a United States where magic is an acknowledged truth, but disreputable.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository