Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #26

Posted June 15, 2019 by Lisa Mandina in giveaway / 4 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.   Jane Austen Made me Do It – Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart:

Stories by:
Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter •
Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James
• Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston •
Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane
Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen
Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey,
the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley

“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If
you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then
you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection
of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels,
her life, her wit, her world.

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at
Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a
familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures
the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as
they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s
“Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving
her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s
Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her
novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy
bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice
sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen,
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles
to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo
Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll
have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each
of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one
of history’s most cherished authors.

Look for special features inside.

My thoughts:
Honestly, I’m not a Jane Austen reader.  Oh, I’ll admit I enjoyed the Pride and Prejudice movie, but I’m not really one for reading her writing.  So, don’t know that I really will ever want to read these?  Although it’s exciting to see a couple of the authors that are supposedly a part of this.

Verdict:  Toss

2.  An Infinite Thread – A Merry Sisters of Fate Anthology by Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff:

A collection of the best early stories from the Merry Sisters of Fate website (, written by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton.

My thoughts:  
Because I love all three of these authors, and I never did get to reading anything from when they had the website up, I know that some day I’d love to read through what they collected in this book.  I’m guessing it is impossible to get a copy of these days, but it is something I’d love to have, so I want to not forget about it. 


3.  Shivers VI by Richard Chizmar (Editor):

Cemetery Dance
Publications is proud to announce the sixth entry in this
award-nominated and best-selling anthology series! Shivers VI is by far
the largest volume to date and the first volume in the series to be
published as Limited Edition and Lettered Edition hardcovers signed by
the editor for the collectors in addition to the affordable trade
paperback edition for general readers!

Shivers VI weighs in at
410 pages and contains more than 110,000 words from today’s most popular
authors of horror and suspense including Stephen King, Peter Straub, Al
Sarrantonio, Jay Bonansinga, Lisa Tuttle, David B. Silva, Melanie Tem,
Brian Hodge, Brian Keene, Alan Peter Ryan, Blake Crouch and Jack
Kilborn, Bev Vincent, Brian James Freeman, Norman Prentiss, and many

Two of the longest pieces are a long lost novella — “The
Crate” by Stephen King, which has never been in one of his collections
and hasn’t been in print in more than three decades — and “A Special
Place: The Heart of A Dark Matter” by Peter Straub, a novella that is
“creepy to the core” and “shines a terrible light on the backstory of
Straub’s acclaimed A Dark Matter” according to the coveted Starred
Review from Publishers Weekly.

Featuring original dark fiction with a handful of rare reprints, Shivers VI is available only from Cemetery Dance Publications.

My thoughts:  
As much as I really want to read the Stephen King short story, and I used to love and devour these types of anthologies, it looks as if this is a difficult book to get ahold of.  So, I probably won’t keep it on my list.

Verdict:  Toss

4.  Another Piece of My Heart  by Jane Green:

From The New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J and The Beach House
comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that
explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made

Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life
looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she’s finally found
him.  Ethan—divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia—is a devoted
father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a
mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own.  But in Emily’s
eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do
whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two
escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and
motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives
and in their hearts.

Another Piece of My Heart is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.


My thoughts:
While Jane Green is a very popular author that I don’t think I need help remembering, many of her books other than a few, are more what I call women’s lit rather than the chick lit that I prefer.  This one however, just about fits what I would kind of hope for myself if I ever find the right guy. Since I have no kids and can’t ever have them, I kind of think it would be nice to find a man with kids.  So I think I’ll keep this on my list.

Verdict:  Keep

5.   Walden 3.0 – A Dystopian Romance by Phil Fragasso:

If Steve Jobs designed a
utopian community, had it filtered by Lewis Black and then painted by
Picasso, it would look like Walden 3.0.

Jacob Botticelli is a
young reporter who’s been asked to tell the story of Walden 3.0, a
secretive, self-sustaining community in Vermont with its own unique
culture, educational and healthcare systems, religious beliefs, and
economic structure. Almost immediately, Jacob’s head swirls with
revelations that the monogamy of the “outside world” has been replaced
with serial marriage; parenting is a communal responsibility; death
panels are a reality; and everyone gets to be god for a day. The more
Jacob learns of Walden’s ways, the more uncertain he becomes of his own
beliefs and the life he wants to lead.

Torn from today’s
headlines, Walden 3.0 offers a worldview that will alternately delight
and dismay pretty much everyone. Rather than the traditional Red
State-Blue State blather, this no-holds-barred, Purple-State black
comedy aims its sights on parenting, romantic love, higher education,
gay marriage, universal healthcare, circumcision, the bloated legal
system, organized religion, reality television, social networking,
conspiracy theories, plastic surgery, and much more.

My thoughts:
Eh, sounds like it might be good.  But don’t know that it is grabbing me enough that I have to read it. 

Verdict: Toss

6.  12.21.12 (The Altunai Annals #1) by Killian McRae:

The only way to save the future is to decode the past. The only way to decode the past is to save the future.

Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his
wife and partner on proving his widely panned theory: Cleopatra VII, the
last sovereign pharaoh of Egypt, was not a victim of suicide as history
suggests, but of a well-concealed murder. When a statue of the doomed
Queen is unearthed in a pre-Columbian excavation site in Mexico, Shep
rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him
for so long. The statue, however, is only the first clue suggesting a
mysterious connection between Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, and possibly –
beyond. Suddenly thrust into the heated rivalry between sexy and
enigmatic antiquities thief Victoria Kent and the infamous Russian
mafioso Dmitri Kronastia, Shep finds himself a common pawn played by
forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids and cloaked in
the Mayan Doomsday prophecy of 12.21.12.

My thoughts:
There was a time, before 2012, when the whole doomsday prophecy of the Mayans was frightening.  Now, not so much.

Verdict:  Toss

7.  Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt:

According to her
guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus
object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It’s supposed to be
something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at
during class: Sean Griswold’s head. They’ve been linked since third
grade (Griswold-Gritas-it’s an alphabetical order thing), but she’s
never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help
Payton deal with her father’s newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And
it’s working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton
starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He’s
cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may
have a secret or two of his own.

In this sweet story of first
love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments,
spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

My thoughts:  
Cute, but eh, not sure I’ll get to it.

Verdict: Toss

 8.  Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks:

Time is running out and the Dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her.

Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to
start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd
spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there,
stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home.
Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly
sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out
world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past
lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves and bone
dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is
to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she
can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix
mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved
and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a
man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she
loves? Everything including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.

My thoughts:
Don’t remember adding.

Verdict: Toss

9.  Daemon Hall by Andrew Nance:

Is winning a writing contest worth risking your life?

exciting ever happens in the town of Maplewood—that is, until famous
thriller writer Ian Tremblin holds a short-story writing contest with a
prize that seems to be the opportunity of a lifetime: five finalists
will get to spend the evening with Tremblin himself in the haunted
mansion Daemon Hall, and the winner of the best short story will see
Wade Reilly and the other finalists could never have
imagined what they find lurking in the shadows of this demonic mansion.
During a suspenseful night of tale-telling, strange incidents mix the
realms of the real and the supernatural. What is Tremblin really up to,
and can he be trusted? What about Daemon Hall—is it alive? And, more to
the point, will any of the contestants make it out of this hall of
horrors to tell their story?
In the tradition of Stephen King, this
chilling novel will have teen readers on edge in anticipation of what’s
to come with the next extinguished candle.

My thoughts:
Once upon a time I read this kind of stuff constantly, now, not so much.

Verdict:  Toss

10.  Bedtime Stories for Dogs and Bedtime Stories for Cats by Amy Neftzger and Eli Stein:

This unique volume
combines Bedtime Stories for Dogs and Bedtime stories for Cats into one
book. These engaging stories and essays are specifically written for
individuals who love their pets and enjoy imagining what these animals
would like to read. The topics range from mythology to magic and horror
stories, combined with a little sprinkling of canine poetry.

My thoughts:
Sounds cute, and yes I would read a story to my dogs before bed if I had something silly like this. But, I don’t need to buy, and who knows where I’d even find this anymore.

Verdict: Toss

Final Thoughts:
Only keeping two this week out of ten, so that’s good! Once again you can see that I may have dropped some, but you can also see how many I’ve added during the week as well because I’m also pointing out how many books are on my Want to Read list on Goodreads each week.  This week, after taking these 8 off, I have 3,189 books listed now, and last week I ended with 3,190. Like last week, I did get rid of more than I added for a change.  It may just be one book, but still!

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 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:

2014 ARC:

I’m continuing to add in my early 2019 ARCs now.  You can pick one of your two choices from the picture below, the other book you pick needs to come from the pictures above.

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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4 responses to “Cleaning Up My TBR With a Giveaway (US Only) – Down the TBR Hole #26

  1. It's good that you keep getting rid of more than you're adding! I have to admit I recently unhauled Babyville by Jane Green so would be curious to know if you end up liking her book…

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