Saturday, May 4, 2019

Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) - Down the TBR Hole #20

This meme was started by Lost in a Story.  Here is how it works:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Because I have so many to do, I'm going to try to do this weekly, and do 10 at a time.

1.   Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey:
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother's political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.

Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.

My thoughts:
I was fascinated in learning more about Marie Antoinette for a while.  I'd say I'm past that point now, have learned what I want to.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  The Tudor Throne by Brandy Purdy:

In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious state—as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favor of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favor. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era. . .

A brilliant portrait of the rule of "Bloody Mary" and her intricate relationship with Elizabeth I, the adored "Virgin Queen," here is a riveting tale of one family's sordid and extraordinary chapter in the pages of history.
My thoughts:  
Another time in history I was once obsessed with.  Not so much anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Airplane Novel by Paul A. Toth:
Paul A. Toth’s Airplane Novel is the Guernica of 9/11 novels, a literary mural that provides the one view of events never before depicted: inside-out.

Toth employs the South Tower as his narrator, a crucial conceit that allows the tower’s computer infrastructure, height and thousands of windows to provide the first truly-panoramic 9/11 novel. Rather than focusing on a single family or individual, Airplane Novel pursues the WTC’s past and future to the moment of their collision. Yet the narrator also follows characters representative of all that it has and will endure.

Adding yet another angle, the South Tower addresses its audience as readers of "airplane novels" in flight to various destinations. The distance between readers and the center of the catastrophe thus decreases until all must answer a key question: Are they reading a fictional account of a historical event...or participating in that event?

Comic and tragic, wailing and railing, fantastic and hyper-realistic, Airplane Novel portrays the South Tower to be “more human than human” and the perfect spectator of its own spectacle.

My thoughts:  
While this sounds really original, not sure it's one I'll ever actually want to pick up and read. 

Verdict:  Toss

4.  Hollow by Richard P. Denney:
Welcome to the house of Hollow.

In a dystopian future, sixteen year old Leah Munro has been sold to a rich woman in a crippling mansion. Soon Leah discovers that there is something mysterious going on around the home, and with the help of three other girls, she attempts to uncover what is truly happening… what lies beyond all of the plexiglass windows and the hideous screams in the middle of the night? Leah will soon find out.

This book is no longer going to be published.

My thoughts:
Well, from the last line of the Goodreads synopsis, it sounds like this isn't anything I'd even have the chance to read anyway.  So why bother keeping it?

Verdict:  Toss

5.   Fade by Kailin Gow: 

What if you found out you never existed?
My name is Celestra Caine. I am seventeen years old, which makes me a senior at Richmond High. I never thought this would happen to me, but it has... I'm one of those people you see every day, go to school with, remember seeing at the supermarket or the mall, and then one day you don't hear about them any longer. They're gone, and eventually, you forget them.
My thoughts:
I really do need to read something by this author, but not sure I'm so interested in this one anymore.

Verdict: Toss

6.  Placebo by Paul Allih:
Emma is a teenage girl who has spent most of her life being shuffled from place to place. Between her mother’s drug addiction and her sister’s overbearing nature, Emma feels she is being forced to grow up sooner then she should. Using her love for brooding music and paranormal romance novels to escape; Emma hides from this stress that she faces every day.

Finally settling in a small coastal town, Emma meets Matt, a man who she believes to be the prince that she has always dreamed of. At first she finds herself drawn to his dark and strange desires, but the closer they become, the more Emma realizes that there is something horribly wrong with Matt. The person who she thought could save her from her life, might be the same man who could end it.

My thoughts:
Eh, not sure why I added this one, other than the really creepy cover.

Verdict:  Toss

7.  Wolfsbane by William W. Johnstone:
It had been years since wolfsbane grew on the bayou, yet everyone who lived in Ducros Parish, Louisiana, knew that someday it would appear again. With its pretty yellow flowers and lovely green leaves, wolfsbane was as beautiful as it was deadly. And when the townspeople saw the ancient root once again spring from the earth, they knew it wouldn’t be long before they heard the terrifying howls in the night . . .

There were those who called the tales of wolfsbane superstition, the stuff of childhood legend. But others knew that when the flower blossomed again, so would the spilling of human blood—and there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide . . .

My thoughts:  
This is an author that I really used to read all his horror novels that I would find for cheap at used bookstores.  They aren't published anymore, but I think this is one I'd still enjoy, so I'll  leave it on the list in the hopes of seraching for it some day.

Verdict:  Keep

 8.  The Devil's Laughter (The Devil #5) by William W. Johnstone:
Something funny’s going on in Louisiana’s backwoods . . .

Someone in LaGrange has stirred up something truly evil. From beyond, demonic messengers emerge out of the fires of Hell itself, to ignite an orgy of chaos, murder, and bloody destruction.

But the Devil was the only one laughing . . .

Town veterinarian Link Donovan (former CIA) and Sheriff Ray Ingalls have grave premonitions that the ungodly laughter they heard echoing through the woods meant this was only the beginning. Once they root out the rich folk whose meddling released the minions of Satan, they recruit a band of God-fearing locals like themselves ready to battle—and obliterate—whatever face of evil dares to cross their paths.

My thoughts:
Same reasoning as above since it is the same author, and I have read the first couple in this series.

Verdict:  Keep

9.  Between by Cyndi Tefft:
It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water's life isn't alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven's siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

My thoughts:
I do love a Scottish accent. But this just seems too much like others I've read. 

Verdict:  Toss

10.  Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel:
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead - or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria - a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible - until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead - and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

My thoughts:
I'm not sure!  I've heard good things, but don't know when or if I'll get around to it?

Verdict:  Keep for now

Final Thoughts:
Tossing all but 3 this week!  Have you read any of these?  Would you suggest I keep any I'm tossing?  And if you're inspired to do this on your blog, please feel free to join in and share a link in the comments, since it's not really catching on, I'm not going to waste time with the link up this week.  It will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway at the bottom of this post.      

Once again this is a US only giveaway, unless you are International and see a book here you really want and would be willing to pay for the difference in the shipping through Paypal or some other way.  This week I'm upping the prize, you get to pick any two books from the pictures below, as long as they don't get traded away, or picked by last week's winner, and I will pick a surprise book from the piles to add to your choice.  Here are your choices:   

2018 ARCs;

2017 ARCs:


Once again I'm going to let you pick two, along with me throwing in a surprise third book!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway