Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Bitter Roots (Bitter Roots Mysteries #1) by C.J. Carmichael

img_6164

*No Major Spoilers*

Dispatcher Zak Waller prefers working behind the scenes in the Sheriff’s Office of Lost Trail, Montana, but when a newcomer to the sparsely populated town is brutally murdered—and the Sheriff is quick to pin the death on an unknown outsider—Zak starts his own private sleuthing.

On the surface Lost Trail is a picture-perfect western town, offering a simple way of life revolving around the local ranches and ski hill, but Zak knows the truth behind the façade. When his old school friend Tiff Masterson, whose family owns a local Christmas tree farm, moves back to town, the two of them join forces to get to the truth about the murder.

I found Bitter Roots on the iBooks app. They had featured some series starters for free, and this one looked the most interesting. I am not the biggest fan of small-town mysteries, but I’ve had decent luck with them here and there. Now, let’s see how this mystery unravels.

First off, this novel is told from primarily three points of view. Zac who works as a dispatcher at the local sheriff’s office, Tiff who is returning home after her big-city dream turns sour, and finally, Justin who is the town’s only lawyer who has adopted his best friend’s daughter and is helping both of them get on their feet.

I loved how this mystery was somehow connected to anyone throughout the town. You never figure who the bad guy is until the big reveal. However, I came close to solving the mystery before the end. Not too bad of a surprise ending.

There is no romance amongst any of the main characters. Only focused on character development and the murder mystery at hand. I liked how Zac and Tiff just remained “good friends” throughout the story. They not only grew up together, but they solved the mystery together.

I would highly recommend Bitter Roots for lovers of cozy mysteries, small-town mysteries, and Montana based novels. This novel is a quick read for those who are looking for a book to break a dry streak or to get out of a rut.

Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

My Goals for 2020!

close up of text

Happy New Year fellow bookworms! I’m glad 2019 is behind us and we can move and hope for a better 2020.

Here’s a small list of both personal goals and goals for this blog.

  • Get a new pair of glasses-super long overdue for them!
  • Take better care of my mental and physical health-more mental health though
  • Do my job to the best of my ability and hopefully can get hired on permanently-no more seasonal/temporary work for me!
  • Reach my reading goal for this year. I set a goal of 75 because I had already hit the 50 goal around September/October, but due to a difficult situation, I stopped reading and took a break. Let’s get to 75 books in 2020!
  • I am actually going to try and branch out and read some other genres I’m not as familiar with. I’m starting to get a bit bored with monsters and mysteries.

Well, there are some of my goals for 2020! What are some of your goals for 2020?

Posted in Personal Blogs

REVIEW: 2019 in Books

480-4809168_writing-a-literature-review-review-of-related-literature.png

2019 has been a fantastic year when it comes to books and movies! I know every year is a great year for bookworms. Especially for Stephen King or James Patterson fans.

So here is how I decided to do my lists, the list will be my top 10 from my stats from this year. I can make a separate list of my favorites if you are interested. Please let me know!

So here we go! Let the countdowns begin!

Top 10 Posts of 2019 According to Stats *In no particular order*

The Fixer (Lawson Vampire #1) by Jon F. Merz This novel about an underground vampire association who thinks that vampires and humans can co-exist. Only if things were that simple in Lawson’s world. Fighting against renegade vampires is no easy task, and makes this novel the more exciting to read if you’re looking for a new supernatural thriller to read in 2020.

Miao-Shan: The Awakening by G.A.M. Morris This is a novel I was invited to read by the author, I loved this novel and the universe Mr. Morris has created with Miao-Shan and her origin story. This is a well written coming-of-age story full of action and butt-kicking! If you’re looking for a foreign action-packed adventure, then I would highly recommend Miao-Shan: The Awakening.

The Atlantis Code (Thomas Lourds #1) by Charles Brokaw This series is for fans of The Davinci Code and other conspiracy-driven treasure hunts. Globetrotting in hopes of solving the mystery of Atlantis, this novel will leave you breathless and on the edge of your seat.

The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red #2) by Ed Duncan This intense urban mystery that discusses modern racism and how loyalty is a wavering thought. I would highly recommend this novel if you’re looking for a good mystery that has underlining issues to make you think about the current world we live in.

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey This novel has it all, mystery, supernatural elements, and a small town caught in between their strong religious beliefs and an old legend. If you are looking for a small-town horror novel, then I would highly recommend The Curse of Crow Hollow.

Honky Tonk Samurai (Hap and Leonard #9) by Joe R. Lansdale I was actually found this novel on a book recommendation group on Reddit. The person who suggested Hap and Leonard made my time reading this novel to be a blast. There’s tons of humor and action as well as a mystery that others don’t want to be solved.

Ain’t No Messiah by Mark Tullius This novel intrigued me from the beginning. A coming-of-age story about a boy who not only grew up in a religious cult but is the main focus of this cult. I feel the premise alone is enough to catch anyone who’s looking for a unique take on religious cults.

Red River (Edge #6) by George G. Gilman I found this novel while I was in the mental hospital. There wasn’t much of a book selection and I’ve had decent luck in the past with the genre, so why not give this another go? I loved this novel, I felt like I was transported back in time to where the west was wild, and the Civil War was close to ending. This is an adventure worth taking if you’re interested in a quick read.

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore The history classes I have always found to be lacking in some way or another. Even though this is fiction, a lot of what takes place is historical events. I never knew there was an inventor war between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. As well as the high demand for Nikola Tesla’s scientific mind. This is a fascinating read if you’re looking for a nonromance historical fiction novel.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner I did not know that this was considered a classic novel. This novel takes place in not an Orwellian future per se, but in a world where the pollution is so high that most people have to wear gas masks when they leave their homes and even sometimes when they are at their workplace. If you are looking for a realistic post-apocalyptic novel without the zombie and aliens, then I would recommend this novel.

And that concludes my first list, some of these would be on my personal list as well. So there you have it!

Let’s go into 2020 with a Gatsby-like bang! Cheers!

Posted in Book Reviews

Life Update and Plans for the Rest of 2019

snowman and drum decor
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on Pexels.com

Hello everybody!

I know my posts have been few and far in between. There’s been a lot of personal drama and chaos that has been happening since October/November. I have not only been getting used to working a fulltime job again but as well as moving into a new place.

With all of this, my depression and anxiety have been keeping me from reading like I should. Hopefully, we can start fresh in 2020 and move on from the holidays.

That being said, my goals for 2020 is to become a core worker at my job instead of just being seasonal. I love what I am currently doing, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Well, unless call centers get taken over by robots anytime soon.

Another goal is to read 75 books next year! I know most bookworms have a more reasonable number for their goal, but usually by August or September I’ve reached 50, so why not try and reach the next level?

I will be posting more of my goals for 2020 later this month as well as a review on 2019 in books. I hope to see you all there!

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews, Non-Fiction, Personal Blogs

REVIEW: The Confession Killer

img_6321

From IMDb.com

Henry Lee Lucas was known as America’s most prolific serial killer, admitting to hundreds of murders, but, as DNA results contradict his confessions, will they expose the biggest criminal justice hoax in U.S. history?

I have been a fan of true crime for the past few years. My first memory of being fascinated with true crime, was when the Casey Anthony trial was going on in Florida. However, I’ve only been really invested in learning about true crime since the big boom of true crime trending on the Internet. Although I believe the true crime genre has always been a focal point in society ever since the very beginning.

I had never heard of Henry Lee Lucas before I got invested in the genre. After I listened to a few podcasts that discussed his crimes, I just brushed him off as another severely mentally ill individual who murdered whoever crossed his path.

I watched this docuseries while I was at home recovering from a bad cold, and I was shocked at how out of control this story ended up being. Not only do you have another mini-series that is “this is why he’s evil”, and “this is why he’s innocent”, but you get a conspiracy to cover up the Lucas case.

This was a fascinating watch. I was enthralled as they kept showing pictures and videoes Lucas helping the Texas Rangers and other detectives from different areas close these cold cases by “confessing” to them. I was shocked at how many crimes he actually confessed to, and seeing them on a map was stunning. However, when they discuss the timeline of his crimes, and how many contradict each other was impossible to ignore.

I liked how they had various people who both knew Henry Lee Lucas, and have had a part in the case. It was interesting to see how not only were the Texas Rangers the highest power in law enforcement before the FBI fully developed a behavioral analysis unit but for the fact they had the power to make the mistakes they made during the case disappear or become “confidential”.

I can understand how much pressure more rural town police departments have when a murder happens in their town, and they aren’t trained per se, but hearing about a serial killer who is confessing to all of these seemingly mysterious murders would ease their case-load.

The only issue I had with this docuseries is I wish they had discussed more of Lucas’s background. They mention that his mother was physically abusive and was a prostitute. As well as how his father has a severe drinking problem that caused him to get into a train accident where he lost both of his legs. Lucas even discusses this in the clips of the interviews they had with him. However, I kind of wish they went further into his childhood.

Overall, I really enjoyed his mini docuseries. The focus was on the victims’ families and not glorifying what Lucas had done. It was a real deep-dive into an investigation that was corrupted and severely mishandled. Hopefully, we can learn from their mistakes and not repeat these events going forward in the world of crime-solving.

I would recommend this docuseries for fans of true crime, and for anyone looking for a good watch on Netflix.

Posted in Discussions, Personal Blogs

Podcast Review: American Elections: Wicked Game by Wondery Media

d3da3674f7ccde71a68baae75a396d041a7308d6be4036082441e2b441ade247a4608124b7a6e0cd70cfb655e9b87bd622edf6f3ce14e2fc01c5c75143630bcc

From Wondery:

On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, the citizens of the United States will cast ballots to elect their president, and it feels like the country couldn’t be more divided.

America will have to endure another 58 weeks of shouting, outrage, and the worst sort of political rancor. How has it come to this?

It turns out, it’s almost always been this way. And the 58 weeks we have remaining is just enough time to review the entire history of presidential elections, from the unanimous and inevitable election of George Washington in 1789, to Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory in 2016.

I am always open to learning new things. I feel that our current education system is failing most American students, and learning on my own through trusted sources has taught me so much about the world.

I have enjoyed learning about each election, what happened leading up to the vote, and the aftereffect of each election. My favorite episode so far has been the ones about George Washington. He was so dedicated to serving his country that he couldn’t happily retire to Vermont. He knew where the nation was heading by making the government a two-party system. Sadly to say, he was right.

I would highly recommend this podcast for lovers of political history, history in general, or for those looking for a new podcast to. It’s going to be a wild and insane ride to 2020, so we might as well learn some history to get away from the insanity.