Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #21

Posted May 11, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in giveaway / 11 Comments

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.   Haunting the Night (Past Midnight #2.5) by Mara Purnhagen:

Charlotte Silver has been through hell.

mom’ s in a coma. She may have caused the death of a young man. And now
her friend Avery wants her to tackle going to Prom? Not going to
happen, even if she is dying to spend some alone time with her
boyfriend, Noah. Instead, Charlotte needs to find some answers to a few
nagging questions—why was her family attacked? Will her mother survive?
And is there a creature from the Other Side coming for her? Soon enough,
Charlotte’s search for the truth becomes a race against time. But she
may just find the sign she’s been looking for all along….

An ebook exclusive Past Midnight series novella.

My thoughts:
This is one of my all time favorite series and I wish the author would write more, but alas, I’m friends with her on Facebook, and she’s said she has no plans to write anymore.  So at some point I need to get this one.  Here are the links to my reviews of the others in the series:  Books #1, #1.5, and #2,   Book #3.

Verdict: Keep

2.  Between by Jessica Warman:

Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her
eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht, where she’d been
celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise
has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change
everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and
everything in between. As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances
surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her,
least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent. Critically acclaimed
author Jessica Warman brings readers along on a roller-coaster ride of a
mystery, one that is also a heartbreaking character study, a touching
romance, and ultimately a hopeful tale of redemption, love, and letting

My thoughts:  
Sounds like a lot of other books that were popular around the time I added this to my TBR.  But doesn’t sound unique or seem to be one I still want to read.

Verdict:  Toss

3.  Dark Rising (Alex Hunter #2) by Greig Beck:

When a massive amount of gamma radiation is detected somewhere
beneath the desert of Iran, the world is on edge. Is it a nuclear
weapon—or worse? Alex Hunter and his highly trained incursion team is on
a mission to find out. When they arrive at the ruins of Persepolis,
they find an underground facility but no lab, no weapons, no
scientists—not even radiation. A black hole has taken everything…

Meanwhile, Iran is preparing for the return of the prophet.
Israel is threatening nuclear war. And the details about Alex’s special
U.S. military venture—code name: Arcadian—have been stolen. Then another
gamma spike is detected…and someone, or something, is draining the
fluids from the bodies of Iranian soldiers in the desert.

Now it’s up to Alex to follow the traces of radiation all the
way to the ancient caves of Arak, where he’ll come face to face with a
creature from his darkest nightmares. Is it game-over for Alex and his
team? Or are greater forces at work as the world reaches its natural
end—and mankind casts its final judgment?

My thoughts:  
Um, so this is the second book in a series that I haven’t started.  Not sure.  Sounds maybe like something I used to read a lot of, but not anymore.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson:

The Japanese hold a
Mogi ceremony for young women coming of age. Latina teenagers get
quinceaneras. And Janice Wills of Melva, NC … has to compete in the
Miss Livermush pageant.

Janice loves anthropology–the study of
human cultures–and her observations help her identify useful rules in
the chaotic world of high school. For instance: Dancing is an effective
mating ritual–but only if you’re good at it; Hot Theatre Guys will
never speak to Unremarkable Smart Girls like Janice and her best friend,
Margo; and a Beautiful Rich Girl will always win Melva’s annual Miss
Livermush pageant.

But when a Hot Theatre Guy named Jimmy Denton
takes an interest in Janice, all her scientific certainties explode.
For the first time, she has to be part of the culture that she’s always
observed; and all the charts in the world can’t prove how tough–and how
sweet–real participation and a real romance can be.

Funny, biting, and full of wisdom, this marks the debut of a writer to watch

My thoughts:
Hmm, I don’t remember this one, but it sounds really good! 

Verdict: Keep

5.   The Postmortal by Drew Magary: 

John Farrell is about to get “The Cure.”

Old age can never kill him now.

The only problem is, everything else still can…

a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much
political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide.
Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil
green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious
cult, and other horrors.

Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The
Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a
pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.

My thoughts:
Sounds like it might have been kind of original, but these days, not sure it’s something I’m that interested in.

Verdict: Toss

6.  Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay:

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.
-William Shakespeare,


Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she
trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, who made the sacrifice to
ensure his own immortality. But Romeo didn’t anticipate that Juliet
would be granted eternal life as well, and would become an agent for the
Ambassadors of Light.

For seven hundred years, Juliet has
struggled to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent, while
Romeo has fought for the dark side, seeking to destroy the human heart.
Until now.

Now Juliet has found her own forbidden love, and Romeo, O Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy their happiness.

Secrets unfold and surprises abound in Stacey Jay’s powerfully dark romance, which reunites literature’s most tragic couple.

My thoughts:
I know this is a retelling that sounds good. But I don’t know when I’ll get to it. We do have it at the school library where I work, so I probably will just try to get to it some day.  Don’t know that I need to keep it on my list though. 

Verdict:  Toss

7.  To Die For – A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting #1) by Sandra Byrd:

What would you sacrifice for your best friend?
Would you die for her?

Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn’s closest friend since they grew up together
on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne’s star
begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling… at first. Meg is made
mistress of Anne’s wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this
privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and
beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to
her is being close to Anne.

But favor is fickle and envy is often
laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly
impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life’s unwelcome
surprises rub against the court’s sheen to reveal the tarnished brass
of false affections and the bonafide gold of those that are true. Both
Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to
fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but
headless as well.

A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For
chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the
heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest
companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live in
our hearts forever.

My thoughts:  
As I’ve mentioned, I went through a phase of being obsessed with all things to do with Anne Boleyn, but I don’t know that I will ever get to them all.

Verdict: Toss

 8.  i am DACHSHUND (Dachshund Escapades #2) by Mavis Duke Hinton:


Sometimes a dog has to put up with a little silliness from humans.

have strange notions and do some of the craziest things, but I don’t
mind them. I get all the attention I want from Mama, Papa, and my sweet
baby sister, Annika, who loves my kisses. But there’s one thing
lacking…people food. I love people food. After you’ve had it, dried-up
dog food tastes like cardboard. That’s why I count on my absolute
favorite person in the world, Papa, who calls me his “Granddawg,” and
his best friend, Sellars. They’ve been known to slip me the good stuff
now and then, when Mama and Grandma aren’t looking.

Most dogs
just lie around, passively accepting what comes their way, watching the
world go by. That sounds suspiciously like a cat to me. I want the world
to know I AM DACHSHUND – the guardian, the sentinel, the keeper of
everything my family holds dear.


Fall in love with Sarge, the quintessential dachshund, and laugh along with his foibles and humorous escapades.

The Dachshund Escapades

Previously published as I Am Shadow… One Dog’s Story

My thoughts:
It’s about a dachshund.  Need I say more?

Verdict:  Keep

9.  The Academie by Amy Joy:

The teachers have been
replaced with military personal. The school doors are locked. We won’t
be going home until we’re 22. And somehow, everyone seems to be ok with
this. Everyone, that is, but me. When Allie Thompson graduated, she
thought she’d put high school behind her. But when a series of violent
outbreaks by teens sends panic surging through the nation, high school
is right where she finds herself again. Now transformed into what the
government calls The Academie, what was once the public school system is
now the permanent home of everyone 22 and under.

Torn from her
boyfriend, her friends from college, her life, Allie doesn’t take too
well the Academie’s militaristic nature or its 16 foot perimeter fences.
Knowing she won’t see her boyfriend for years and remembering all she’s
left behind, Allie plummets into depression. But when strange things
being to happen and her brother disappears, Allie realizes that she must
unravel the mystery that is The Academie-before it’s too late!

Fans of Divergent (Veronica Roth), The Gender Game and The Girl Who Dared to Think (Bella Forrest) will enjoy this scifi romance dubbed “a sweet love story” by Publisher’s Weekly . Mystery, heartbreak, true love, unexpected friendships, and a dark secret await inside The Academie.

My thoughts:
Sounds like a lot of what I used to read, but don’t know that I’ll get to it.

Verdict:  Toss

10.  Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory:

Loory’s collection of
wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by
people–and monsters and trees and jocular octopi–who are united by twin
motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk
(and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their
nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall
down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a
voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.

Contains 40 stories, including “The Duck,” “The Man and the Moose,” and “Death and the Fruits of the Tree,” as heard on NPR’s This American Life, “The Book,” as heard on Selected Shorts, and “The TV,” as found in The New Yorker.

My thoughts:
I don’t read too many short story collections these days.

Verdict:  Toss

Final Thoughts:
Tossing all but 3 again 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.    


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

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11 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #21

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