Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Colleen Houck Book Club Picks for 2017!

    December 27, 2016


    Hi Everyone!

    I’m very excited to share with you my CHBC picks for 2017. There are some fabulous authors and books on the list so pick these up and then join me for the conversation. If you’re new to the Colleen Houck Book Club, it’s super easy to join. I host the club on Goodreads and each month you get the chance to ask authors questions. You can ask anything from what they like to eat to what they’re writing right now. You don’t have to read the book to participate and every month I choose one lucky person from the chat to win a prize. The prize includes the book or books I’ve read from that author that month as well as your pick of any of my books as well as some extra fun stuff I throw in.

    You can check out the past chats on the group board with amazing authors like Beth Revis, Tera Lynn Childs, Sophie Jordan, Kimberly Derting, and many more, and you can also ask me questions there as well. Hope you can join the club this year!

    Now for your 2017 sneak peek. Here are my Book Club Picks!


    January

    This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

    No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

    Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

    Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.


    February

    I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

    by Gretchen McNeil

    Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

    So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win her boyfriend back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

    Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity, and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?


    March

    The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

    When a plague isn’t all that kills…

    As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge—and quarantine colony—for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there.

    However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on. But will she and Weevil survive the Scourge—and the gorvernor’s wardens—long enough to make their escape and expose the cruel plan?


    April

    Remants of Tomorrow by Kassy Tayler

    Wren is in the last place she ever wanted to be: back inside the dome. Held as a prisoner of her father, the Master General Enforcer, she is completely cut off from the outside. After a harrowing escape attempt, and finding Levi trapped in a cell, Wren’s world is further turned upside down at would could be Pace’s ultimate betrayal. Only Pace’s whispered words keep her from losing all hope.  “Things are not always what they seem.”  Those words, along with the sight of yellow-feathered Pip keep Wren fighting for what she knows in her heart is right for everyone.  She must break the glass.

    When Wren’s father realizes that his rebellious daughter and her friends are not falling into his plan of complacency, he turns them over to an even darker enemy. While Levi is certain his uncle will save them, the Quest and all their friends outside the dome seem to have disappeared. 

    The outside world is a brutal place, but Wren will not be beaten. She holds strong to her belief that outside the glass there is the promise of freedom and the hope for love.  Wren must battle the forces that want to enslave her, and the foolish whims of her own heart to free her world and finally find where she belongs.  


    May

    The Row by J.R. Johansson

    A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

    Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

    Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.


    June

    The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

    Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

    But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

    With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness — a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.


    July

    And I Darken by Kiersten White

    NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

    And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival.

    Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

    But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.


    August

    Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

    Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

    When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

    But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.


    September

    Ghostly Echos by William Ritter

    “Tread lightly, Miss Rook,” warned Mr. Jackaby. “It would not do to push Miss Cavanaugh too far or too fast.”

    Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder–her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all.

    Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

    Ghostly Echoes, the third installment in the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series, features its much-loved quirky, courageous characters and sly humor in the scariest and most exciting volume yet.


    October
    Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman
    A companion novel to VENGEANCE ROAD, set in 1887 Arizona and about a boy in possession of a mysterious gold coin who is forcibly recruited by a train-robbing gang interested in the piece, and about the aspiring female journalist who will either be his ticket to freedom—or a noose.

    November
    Resonance by Erica O’Rourke

    Del risked everything to save Simon and the multiverse…but now he’s gone, lost in an alternate world with no way for her to find him.

    Devastated, Del tries to resume her life at the Consort, training to be a Walker like the rest of her family. But the Free Walkers, rebels with ties to her family’s past, accuse the Consort of unthinkable violence.

    The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: join their fight against the Consort, and they’ll reunite her with Simon. She’s forced to choose between the boy she loves and the world she’s sworn to protect – and the fate of the multiverse hangs in the balance.


    December

    Partials by Dan Wells

    Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. But sixteen-year-old Kira is determined to find a solution. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that that the survival of both humans and Partials rests in her attempts to answer questions about the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

    Playing on our curiosity of and fascination with the complete collapse of civilization, Partials is, at its heart, a story of survival, one that explores the individual narratives and complex relationships of those left behind, both humans and Partials alike—and of the way in which the concept of what is right and wrong in this world is greatly dependent on one’s own point of view.


    There you go. My 2017 Book Club Picks. Let me know if you have suggestions for 2018. I reach out to authors pretty early and will start filling in spots soon!

     

    This entry was posted in Colleen Houck Book Club, Featuring Authors.

    One Response to Colleen Houck Book Club Picks for 2017!


    1. amanda alves da silva says:

      gostaria de participar!!!
      pois livro não so apenas nos da o prazer de viajar e se imaginar vivenciando todas as historias contidas nele.
      mas tbm nos proporciona cultura e educação!!!

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    Linda
    Linda

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.