Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Book Review | Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Blacktop Wasteland is a new crime fiction release by S.A. Cosby.

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying.

Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is a searing, operatic story of a man pushed to his limits by poverty, race, and his own former life of crime.

Why Did I Read Blacktop Wasteland?


The early reviews have been amazing for Blacktop Wasteland! How could I not get pulled into wanting to read it? The majority of my friends have given it 5 stars and the rest a solid 4 stars.

The Strengths


I went into Blacktop Wasteland pretty blind outside of just knowing how well it was being received. Blacktop Wasteland turned out to be a really great crime novel. It was full of action and full of consequence, and I loved S.A. Cosby's voice.

Blacktop Wasteland had a lot of surprises, too. I'm certain I said "noooo" out loud more than once!

There was a lot of heart in Blacktop Wasteland. It makes me excited to see what Cosby does next.

The Weaknesses


Here is the part where I get purely subjective. Pretty early on I had Blacktop Wasteland pegged as a heist book. I am such a huge fan of heist stories, and I've been really craving them lately. I see now that Blacktop Wasteland is being billed as part Ocean's Eleven which is fair since my own mind went there (more specifically Ocean's Eight). I'm glad I didn't see the comparisons ahead of time, though, because my heist expectation would have been even higher. My mind kept expecting the plotting and the pacing of a heist novel but was being given a great crime novel that was something else altogether.

Final Thoughts


If you love a good crime story, I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up Blacktop Wasteland. I will not be surprised to see it on a lot of favorites and awards lists for this year.

⭐⭐⭐💫★
3.5/5 stars

Review copy provided by the publisher

Jennifer

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | July 12

I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend. Things have been really busy over at the Ladies of Horror Fiction and unfortunately that balances out to things being really quiet over here! Things will hopefully be semi back to normal next month, but in the mean time, please be sure to check out all these lists of nominees!!

LOHF Award Nominees for Best Collection
LOHF Award Nominees for Best Debut

LOHF Award Nominees for Best Poetry Collection
LOHF Award Nominees for Best Novel
LOHF Award Nominees for Best Novella

Stay tuned because we have more categories to announce this week.

Posted Since Last Update



Finished Reading


Home Before Dark by Riley Sager Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

I finished reading Home Before Dark by Riley Sager. Hopefully I can put the finishing touches on my review today to post this week! ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I also read Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby which I really enjoyed. I'm aiming to get a review out for release day on Tuesday. ⭐⭐⭐💫★

Currently Reading


The Bright Lands by John Fram

I'm planning to start The Bright Lands by John Fram later today!

Recent Acquisitions


The Midnight Lullaby by Cheryl Low

Many, many thanks to Grinning Skull Press for sending me out a copy of The Midnight Lullaby by Cheryl Low. (And thank you to Tammy for putting this author/book on my radar!)

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Powers Devil's Creek by Todd Keisling Murder Ballads by John Hornor Jacobs

I had a few highly anticipated orders arrive last week!! These are all must read authors for me!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Powers - After loving Wilder Girls {my review}, I had to read her new release!

Devil's Creek by Todd Keisling - I absolutely loved The Final Reconciliation {my review} so I'm looking forward to reading Devil's Creek. The reviews have been spectacular for this one so I'm even more excited.

Murder Ballads by John Hornor Jacobs - I'm also a big John Hornor Jacobs fan having loved Southern Gods {my review}, A Lush and Seething Hell {my review}, and his Incarcerado series {my review} which I need to return to some day!

Current Distractions


Hamilton

Are you guys watching Hamilton? I've seen it 5 times in the last week and a half. That's normal right? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Silver Linings PlaybookThe Exterminating Angel Eurovision

I finally watched Silver Linings Playbook. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

The Exterminating Angel is a Spanish movie from 1962. It's very Twilight Zone-ish, and I loved it. A group of people are having a dinner party and they just stay. No one can leave the room they are in. The audio is in Spanish, but I believe the subtitles were in English. ⭐⭐⭐⭐★

I also watched Eurovision. I really enjoyed it - it was a great quarantine escape - but I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems to have loved it. ⭐⭐⭐★★

Iron Man The Incredible Hulk Iron Man 2 Thor
Captain America: The First Avenger The Avengers Iron Man 3 Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Guardians of the Galaxy

Are we friends on Letterboxd? I've come to rely on Letterboxd so much for selecting and tracking movies. When I'm in the mood for a certain genre of movie, I'll search by genre and filter for movies I haven't seen. Every single time I would search a genre that wasn't horror, all of the top choices were Marvel movies. I'm giving up and giving in and I'm watching them all in order. I'm attempting to rank them (it's not easy, there's so many) as I go.

These are my ratings so far if anyone is curious!

Iron Man (rewatch) ⭐⭐⭐⭐★
The Incredible Hulk ⭐⭐⭐★★
Iron Man 2 (rewatch) ⭐⭐⭐★★
Thor (rewatch) ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I enjoyed it more this time.
Captain America: The First Avenger ⭐⭐💫★★
The Avengers ⭐⭐⭐⭐★
Iron Man 3 ⭐⭐⭐★★ - The first half was 5 stars, the second half was 1 star.
Thor: The Dark World ⭐⭐⭐⭐★
Captain America: The Winter Soldier ⭐⭐⭐💫★
Guardians of the Galaxy (rewatch) ⭐⭐⭐⭐★
Avengers: Age of Ultron ⭐⭐💫★★

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

On My Wishlist {33}

On My Wishlist is where I share a few books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye!

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn (Kingdom of Grit #1) by Tyler Whitesides
Published May 15th 2018 by Orbit

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn (Kingdom of Grit #1) by Tyler Whitesides

"I'm hiring you to steal the king's crown."

Ardor Benn is no ordinary thief. Rakish, ambitious, and master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a Ruse Artist Extraordinaire.

When a priest hires him for the most daring ruse yet, Ardor knows he'll need more than quick wit and sleight of hand. Assembling a dream team of forgers, disguisers, schemers, and thieves, he sets out to steal from the most powerful king the realm has ever known.

But it soon becomes clear there's more at stake than fame and glory -Ard and his team might just be the last hope for human civilization.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn was recommended in one of my group reads last week as a great heist novel. If you are also in need of a team of thieves right now - give it a look!



Still Can't Do My Daughter's Hair by William Evans
Published September 18th 2017 by Button Poetry

Still Can't Do My Daughter's Hair by William Evans

Still Can't Do My Daughter's Hair is the latest book by author William Evans, founder of Black Nerd Problems. Evans is a long-standing voice in the performance poetry scene, who has performed at venues across the country and been featured on numerous final stages, including the National Poetry Slam and Individual World Poetry Slam. Evans's commanding, confident style shines through in these poems, which explore masculinity, fatherhood, and family, and what it means to make a home as a black man in contemporary America.

This poetry collection came highly recommended by one of my favorite poets - Stephanie Wytovich. It sounds amazing, and I need it.



Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Expected publication: July 7th 2020 by Bloomsbury YA

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

My friend Emily (book.happy/LOHF) just read and recommended this, and I need this one, too!

Have you read or are you planning to read any of these? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?



This post is being shared as part of Can't-Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

Jennifer

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