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    Calculated in Death

    Calculated in Death (In Death, #36) by J. D. Robb On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence. But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . .  (goodreads.com) Because I wait for the mass market release of the In Death books I’m always slightly behind the rest of the world. I could technically get these on my eReader now, but there’s just something about reading a new J. D. Robb book in paperback that makes the entire experience much more fun for me. I didn’t rush out to pick this one up because I have been trying to not buy books these days, but since I was in the bookstore…

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    The Bone Season

    The Bone Season (book 1) by Samantha Shannon It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives. (goodreads.com) DISCLAIMER: You are about to see this book pop up everywhere. On every blog. On morning TV programs. On late night TV programs. In the news. In the paper. In magazines. It will be EVERYWHERE. And you will probably find yourself in one of two camps. Camp One: OMG! It looks AMAZEBALLS! I NEED to get this! Camp Two: OMG! *eye roll* I hate hyped books. It will suck. I refuse…

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    Perfect Ruin (Early Review!)

    Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles, #1) by Lauren DeStefano On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan’s older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil. Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose. (goodreads.com) Release date: October 1, 2013 (No spoilers. But read at your own risk.) This book doesn’t come out for two months but I couldn’t help myself and read it early. I have been struggling horribly with reading lately and when this ARC arrived  on my doorstep (this time I knew it was coming) I picked it up with a mixed feeling of dread and anticipation. You see, I absotively adored Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy and discovered that series thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada when…

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    The Prairie Bridesmaid

    The Prairie Bridesmaid by Daria Salamon Just cresting her thirties, Anna Lasko is a frustrated high school teacher whose almost ex-boyfriend, Adam, is away on temporary assignment in Europe. She finds herself tricked into a break-up-with-the-bad-boyfriend intervention by her supportive but meddling girlfriends. To cope with it all, Anna starts smoking again, keeps nightly counsel with her backyard squirrel, Buddy, and starts sessions with a caring but fashion-challenged therapist. Her well-intentioned family adds to the emotional workload when her beautiful and free-spirited sister decides to move to the Middle East with her boyfriend. Luckily, Anna has her gun-toting grandmother who constantly says it like it is, refuses to conform to anyone’s requests, and continues to live on her prairie farm half-blind, happy, and alone. (goodreads.com) This book belongs to a friend of mine and if she hadn’t shoved it at me last summer and said, “You have to read this. It’s great and now that I know the background behind it, it’s even better.” There are reasons my friend has this book and met the author. It all happened on her summer vacation last year. But this post isn’t about that. It’s about how I forgot that I had the book in my overhead bin at work and only saw it when I was on a cleaning binge in July. Oops. So before my friend went on her vacation this year, I took the book home and started to read it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did…

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    A Bad Day For Voodoo

    A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, “Trust me. This is gonna be awesome.” Of course, you probably wouldn’t believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone’s leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I’ve seen it. It can happen. And when there’s suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there—a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)—well, you know that’s just gonna be a really bad day …(goodreads.com) I received my copy of A Bad Day for Voodoo from Sourcebooks last October as part of their Halloween give-away promotion and I gave away a copy of this book and others to one lucky reader. I am sad to say that this book sat on my TBR for so long before I picked it up. I get into these comfort zone phases and I don’t want to read anything outside of that zone. This book scared me because I was pretty sure it would be Outside The Zone. Of course now I’m in a phase where any and every book I pick up just annoys the hell out of me and I feel like everything is just so unoriginal. Does that…

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    A Discovery of Witches

    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. (goodreads.com) Well, hey. It’s a pretty amazing thing that I actually read all 579 pages of this book because there were many, many moment when I questioned whether or not to go forward. Many. I did not like this book. I thought I might  like it, but it was a slow, painful discovery of dislike as I turned the pages. What didn’t I like? Well, the first problem was how bloody slow the story was to start. This book seemed unnecessarily long. There was so much contained within the first 450 pages that just did not need to be in the book. That whole chapter just on GOING TO YOGA? I don’t care if it was freaking supernatural yoga, it was a chapter on GOING TO YOGA. The chapter included being picked up at the apartment, taking things out of the trunk, walking up to…

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    Happy 6th birthday to Beyond Books!

    Yesterday I was visiting a friend’s blog. She uses one of the free wordpress blogs and so I get my little dashboard toolbar over it since I use WP myself. I noticed that I had a notification in the toolbar and thought that was odd. I clicked on it and, lo! Apparently yesterday was my 6th anniversary of signing up with wordpress.com. Although I have been self-hosting my blogs for a looooong time, I didn’t know how to run two at a time so when I broke off the book posts from my personal blog, I used a free wp account. Six years ago, on July 19, 2007, I wrote my first ever book blog post. I was certain I’d never keep it up and would quickly forget about this blog. Oddly, I ended up devoting more time to the book blog than the personal blog over the years. I know that lately neither blog has been getting much love, but that’s more due a lack of time than anything else and not because I have given up blogging. And so, even with being four book posts behind, I am writing this little note to acknowledge that I have been doing this for 6 years in one spot. That’s not something to sniff it. It’s pretty good. And since I’ve be writing about the books I have read since I started blogging originally, I have almost 10 years under my belt in the blogging world. Good on me! I have…

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    Hidden

    Hidden by Catherine McKenzie When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered—his wife and someone else’s—and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—her ex-boyfriend—Tim. With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love. (goodreads.com) I have professed my love for Catherine McKenzie’s novels many times on this blog. (Spin; Arranged; Forgotten – with Spin being my all time favourite!)  I was surprised – and disappointed in myself for not knowing about this – that her new novel was released this summer. Hidden hit the stores in July and although I happened to physically be in a store when the book should have been on the shelf, it wasn’t there. Don’t you just hate that? Imagine my delight when I received an email from HarperCollins Canada about…

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    Fire with Fire

     Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance. Not even close. For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before. And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn. It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn… (goodreads.com) Release date: August 13, 2013 I received the first book in this series at a SimonTeen event prior to BEA last summer. I was very surprised at how much I liked Burn for Burn and I eagerly awaited this sequel. I…

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    The Virgin Cure

    The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay “I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart.” So begins The Virgin Cure, a novel set in the tenements of lower Manhattan in the year 1871. As a young child, Moth’s father smiled, tipped his hat and walked away from his wife and daughter forever, and Moth has never stopped imagining that one day they may be reunited – despite knowing in her heart what he chose over them. Her hard mother is barely making a living with her fortune-telling, sometimes for well-heeled clients, yet Moth is all too aware of how she really pays the rent. // Through the friendship of Dr. Sadie, a female physician who works to help young women like her, Moth learns to question and observe the world around her. Moth’s new friends are falling prey to fates both expected and forced upon them, yet she knows the law will not protect her, and that polite society ignores her. Still she dreams of answering to no one but herself. There’s a high price for such independence, though, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street. (goodreads.com) (snipped for length) Oh, hello! Welcome to, “Cat Backdates All of Her July Posts as She Writes Them in August”. Today’s backdated post is all about my absolute LOVE of this novel by Ami McKay. As you may (or may not) know, I consider historical…

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    The Shadow Society

     The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population. Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her. As if she were his enemy. When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . . (goodreads.com) It is no secret that I loved each and every one of Marie Rutkoski’s Middle Grade series, the Kronos Chronicles, so of course I was delighted to find out she was writing a paranormal YA novel. When I read the summary, it sounded like something I would enjoy though I was sceptical of the love  interest angle, because I am so, so, so very tired of YA books being all about insta-love and romance and not as much about the mystery or suspense. I am sad to say that…

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    Fractured

    Fractured (Slated, #2) by Teri Terry How do you know where to go when you don’t remember where you came from? Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever. Or so she thought. Kyla shouldn’t be able to remember anything. But she can – and she’s beginning to realise that there are a lot of dark secrets locked away in her memories. When a mysterious man from her past comes back into her life, she thinks she’s on her way to finding the truth. But the more she learns about her history, the more confusing her future becomes… (goodreads.com) I am at the point where I wish I could just update this blog telepathically. I compose numerous blog posts in my head as I am falling asleep – both about the books I have read and just random posts I should be posting on Beyond Elsewhere. Alas, I am just not around the computer as I am snuggling down into my pillow and drifting off to nightmare land (I don’t dream. I epically night terror.) Reading, blogging and many other things are just tiny parts of my life right now. I can’t seem to find enough time in the day for everything I want to do. I need to quit my job and become independently wealthy and that might help with my time management issues. 😉 SO… Fractured is the sequel to Slated (which I adored). It’s out in the UK now but not in North…

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    Mini Reviews (2): The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Everneath & Etiquette & Espionage

    Because I am so behind in writing up posts for the entire month of June, I am breaking down and writing another Mini Review post to get caught up. I have not read much this month, and I am hoping to at least break LAST June’s pathetic 5 book record. I am up to 4 this month. It’s not looking good to get much more read since I just can’t get into anything I start reading! But enough about my reading misery – on to the mini reviews! The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2) by Michelle Hodkin Mara Dyer knows she isn’t crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she’s not unstable and doesn’t need to be hospitalised isn’t easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability…before anyone else ends up dead! (goodreads.com) Last year I was wowed by The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and eagerly awaited the sequel. Unfortunately the sequel came out while I was in the middle of NOT…

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    The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

    The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows Bonaventure’s silence is filled with resonance – a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer. Bonaventure’s remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mere Letice, plagued by grief and long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed. (goodreads.com) I am a failure at blogging lately. I’m still here, just seem to have other priorities and am enjoying reading more than writing lately. That being said, I haven’t read much in June at all (what’s that? Oh, yes, I will be back-dating this post. ;)) May was an…

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    Astonishing Splashes of Colour

    Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall “When is the right time to tell someone they’re not who they think they are?” Caught in an over-vivid world as a result of synaesthesia (a condition in which emotions are seen as colours), Kitty Wellington is tipped off-centre by the loss of a child. And as children all around become emblems of hope and longing and grief, she’s made shockingly aware of the real reasons for her pervasive sense of her own “non-existence.” What mystery at the heart of Kitty’s family makes her four older brothers so vague about her mother’s life? And why does her artist father splash paint on canvas rather than answer his daughter’s questions? On the edges of her dreams, Kitty glimpses the kaleidoscope hippie van that took her sister Dinah away and wonders how this event may link to the dim corridors of her own childhood, a childhood in which she had no tangible sense of her mother. (goodreads.com) I bought this book from Monkey’s library when I went to visit her last December. In Canada, there’s this amazing thing where you can get English books in your library. It’s amazing. Wish I had that here in Quebec. Alas. But political snarking aside, there was this little section in the library where you could buy used books! Imagine! For like, no money. So I picked up this book – because it had been sitting on a wishlist for EVER when I saw it and was surprised to…