Friday, October 28, 2011

Fudge Cupcake Murder by: Joanne Fluke Review

Title: Fudge Cupcake Murder
Author: Joanne Fluke
Pages: 304
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Hannah Swensen Bk 5

Description:

Bakery owner Hannah Swensen just can't keep her hands out of the batter when murder stirs things up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, leaving the sheriff dead, a deputy accused, and a killer on the loose. . .
For Hannah, life seems to be lacking a certain flavor lately. Maybe it's the local sheriff's election that's got her down. For years, Sheriff Grant's been the iron hand in town. But now, Hannah's brother-in-law Bill is giving the old blowhard the fight of his long, dubious career—and Grant's not taking it well, especially once the polls show Bill pulling ahead.

But before anyone can taste victory, things go sour. While Hannah's emptying the trash, she makes a very unappetizing discovery: Sheriff Grant's body in the Dumpster behind the high school where she's teaching her cooking class. And as if that weren't bad enough, the poor man still has fudge frosting on his shirt from one of her cupcakes.

The number one—and only—suspect is Bill, but Hannah's not swallowing it. Plenty of people had reason to hate Sheriff Grant. Soon, Hannah's dishing up scandalous secrets, steaming hot betrayals, and enough intrigue to keep the gossip mill at The Cookie Jar going through several pots of decaf. And the closer Hannah gets to the truth, the closer she gets to smoking out a murderer with a very nasty recipe for silencing people. . .

My Review:

I really enjoy this series as while you are reading you get some good recipes along the way. This book finds Hannah’s sister Andrea on bed rest while very pregnant. The sheriff who’s up for reelection and it is up to Hannah and Andrea to determine who had it out for him. They find themselves needed to clean Andrea’s husband who’s running for Sheriff. We also catch a glimpse of a relationship bonding between Mike and Shawna Lee Quinn and it has Hannah’s temper all over the place. A great enjoyable cookie mystery!



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beautiful Darkness by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Review

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown and Co.
Pages: 503
Series: Caster Chronicles Bk 2
Source: Reading With Tequila Blog Giveaway

Description:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

My Review:


Lena is a mess after the death of her Uncle Macon.  Feeling only herself to blame for what happened.  Ethan is a mess, because well Lena is a mess.  He's tried everything to help her.  Nothing has helped yet.  In this book we find out how connected to the Casters Ethan's family really is.  


This book was definitely worth it, we learn not everything is what it appears,  That dark needs light.  And that Lena loves Ethan even if it doesn't seem that way!




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Calgary's Child Interview with Melissa Foster

New Author Melissa Foster has an interview up on Calgary's Child Magazine for anyone who is interested in checking it out.

Her books are:
Megan's Way
Chasing Amanda
Come Back to Me

Check them out definitely worth the purchase!

Link to Article
Link to Melissa's Website

In her off writing time she also runs The Women's Nest a site for women of all ages with all sorts of information and great women to meet and get to know.  Feel free to check it out!

The Women's Nest

She will be joining us for a blog tour in December so check her out!

Between The Sea and Sky by: Jaclyn Dolamore Review

Title: Between The Sea and Sky
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Pages: 240
Source: NetGalley

Description:

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.


My Review: 


This is a great and interesting story about mermaids and sirens.  When Esmerine becomes a siren she longs for the time when her and her sister Dosinia can go out together.  The next day Dosinia disappears and Esmerine is on a mission to find out what happened to her sister. 


 She goes to the mainland and meets up with an old friend of her's Alandare, a winged man who she use to spend time with.  He now works in a local book store and decides to help Esmerine find out what happened to her sister.


We also meet another Mermaid who's takin' to leaving the water for the mainland wanting something more than signing and swimming, also Swift another winged boy who is on a mission for Esmerine to find Dosinia and deliver a letter from her sister asking what happened.


As Esmerine and Alan decide to fly to where Dosinia is they find they are bonding over time.  Their first stop is to see Alan's father to get more magic to help them to get to the mountains where Dosinia lives.  Alan's father has a crude opinion of mermaids and sirens being ignorant to which Esmerine pleads her case with him.  Alan acquires his mothers belt which held her mermaid magic.


Finally they get to the mountains, and Esmerine learns that Dosinia isn't upset about her choice, she hasn't been kidnapped or had her belt stolen from her.  She has chosen this life.  Dosinia inquires to her sister what she is going to do about Alan and the feelings there.


This book was a great story about Esmerine and Alandare.  A great love story and adventured combined together.




Monday, October 24, 2011

Thirteen Diamonds by: Alan Cook Review

Title: Thirteen Diamonds
Author: Alan Cook
Pages: 172
Publisher: FirstPublish
Series: Lillian Morgan Bk 1
Format: Kindle Book

Description:

Lillian Morgan is bored with life in a retirement community, but she gets more excitement than she hoped for when a fellow resident drops dead at the bridge table--while holding a perfect hand of thirteen diamonds. Intrigued by the astronomical odds against this happening, she uses her mathematical background plus assistance from her beautiful granddaughter and friends to prove that a murder was committed--but not everybody wants her to find the murderer.

My Review:

Lillian Morgan is deep into trying to solve a murder of a fellow resident Gerald at her retirement community.  But someone doesn't want her to solve the murder, they even go so far as to have her removed from the community.  Lillian doesn't stop there, she won't stop til she figures it out.  With the help of her friend Tess and Wesley they figure out that something isn't right with the director of their retirement community, and it's up to them to figure it out.


Loved this book it was cute seeing an older woman crack a case instead of the younger ones we usually read about.  I enjoyed the humor and math analogies in this story.  A great cozy mystery!




Fatal Affair by: Marie Force Review

Title: Fatal Affair
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 294
Series: Fatal
Source: Nook Book

Description:
Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career—and her confidence—after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can't afford—especially when the bodies keep piling up.

My Review:

What an incredible portrayal of Metro Police in D.C. The story follows the life of Senator John O'Connor and how he died what he was like as a man, and a relationship between Nick Cappuano and Sam Holland a local cop.  After a fling years ago circumstances kept them apart namely Sam's ex husband Peter. Senator O'Connor had many deep and hidden secrets everything from sex to an illegitimate child.  There is no short list of suspects, but the killer really takes the case in this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  Can't wait to read the next one!



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flower Child by: Sheila Deeth Review

Title: Flower Child
Author: Sheila Deeth
Publisher: Gypsy Shadow Publishing
Pages: 56

Description:

When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s little angel has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

My Review:


What an enjoyable read.  We follow the story of Megan and her daughter Angela that was never meant to be.  Megan is pregnant and in an instant that pregnancy is robbed of her when she suffers a horrible miscarriage.  She finds herself meeting her dead daughter and naming her Angela.  She ends up giving birth to a son named Daniel and Angela is there for the birth of her brother.  Angela tries to please her mother through their dreams.  In their dreams Megan is able to watch Angela grow, and in the end accepts what has to happen.


This book was great even with the small number of pages, it does it's job of pulling you in and shoving all sorts of emotions into you.  I found myself feeling sad about the miscarriage.  I also felt a weird sense of happiness that she was able to spend time with her daughter, to watch her grow and help her in the end.  What a great story.




Guest Post: Sheila Deeth

My ebook’s just come out and I love the cover! So when Paula kindly invited me to her blog and asked if I could write about the picture, I jumped at the chance.

I have to say, I love the background to Paula’s blog—it matches my cover perfectly, and the subtle sparkling makes me think of magic…

I’ve got three ebooks out with Gypsy Shadow, and all the covers were created by the wonderful Charlotte Holley. The first one was the subject of a competition on the Gypsy Shadow website. The prompt was a picture, and the prize was publication. Amazingly, my story won, and my first ebook, Refracted, came out last year. The picture became my cover with the addition of beautiful text and even a rainbow crafted to match my theme. It was like a dream come true.

I really enjoy the fact that Charlotte keeps her authors in the loop when she designs the Gypsy Shadow book covers, and she takes great care to make them match the tale. For Refracted she added the rainbow which made the cover so perfectly right and individual. For Black Widow she sent me six images to choose from—from man to spider to sacred cup—then painted the guy in my chosen picture blue, added tats, and surrounded him with red and black for the spider—it matches my story perfectly.

Then came Flower Child. Charlotte searched the internet again and sent me a selection of images. Each had flowers and a child in it, but somehow I couldn’t quite settle on any of them. Some were too sweet; some too mature; some had too many children, or too vivid flowers… None felt “just right” though I had to wonder, is “just right” ever possible? And how do you choose?
Charlotte didn’t limit me to those images though. She also sent me a link to a magical website called Dreamstime: http://www.dreamstime.com/ If you’ve never been there, you really should give it a try. Type “flower and child” into the search box and see what images you find. Now I really did have too many to choose from—page after page after page—and I gained a better appreciation of how hard Charlotte works to create our covers.

The final choice was an image that simply grew on me. I’d narrowed my search by then—flower, child, girl, young etc.—and every time I saw this picture I liked it more—the distant houses, almost lost in mist; the color of the haunting sky; the girl, so sweet, with her face mysteriously turned away from the lens… It had to be this.

Charlotte quickly approved my choice and dealt with all the permissions. Then she turned the picture into a cover—not the easiest task I’m sure—adding appropriate writing and that touch of innocence in the flowers on the title, carefully positioning the text…

So that’s how Flower Child’s cover came to be. I love it and hope you do too. And I love the work Charlotte Holley does for her authors.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nephilim by: Mary Ann Loesch Review

Title: Nephilim
Author:  Mary Ann Loesch
Pages: 191
Publisher: Lyrical Press Inc.
Format: e-book Pump Up Your Promotions Virtual Book Tour

Description:

When sin stains your soul, he tattoos your skin . . .
When sin stains your soul, he also tattoos your skin . . .

Tattoo artist Nathan Ink is more than he seems. An angel living in secret on earth, he forces his clients to face their flaws by tattooing images of their sins on their bodies, but this glimpse into the soul often results in his clients' deaths. Although Nathan avoids the other angels, when they ask him to keep an eye on Faye, a nephilim being stalked by another of her kind, he reluctantly agrees.

The angels have kept Faye in the dark about her stalker, but to keep her close to Nathan, they've tasked her with investigating the high mortality rate of Nathan's clients. Despite her distaste for his methods, she finds herself fighting a growing attraction to Nathan, and discovering he's not a rogue after all forces her to question her own mission. When Faye learns her stalker is another nephilim who intends to use her to breed a new race of hellish beings, teaming up with Nathan may be the only way to prevent a genocide.


My Review: 


This book was sent to me via Pump Up Your Promotions Book Tour, thank you to Dorothy Thompson for such an interesting book.


The main characters in this book are Faye, a half angel half human.  She has had her fill of Angels and is less than pleased when Azal contacts her looking for her to look into Nathan Ink who runs a tattoo shop and the tattoos are anything but normal.  For Faye this is her hardest thing to deal with as Azal allowed her parents and boyfriend to be killed while he was suppose to be guarding them.


Nathan Ink, runs a local tattoo parlor where patrons get tattoos of the seven deadly sins if people choose to clean up their act from whatever sin is plaguing them then the tattoo has done it's job and is just a reminder to stay on the clean and narrow if they ignore it fate intervenes.  Azal tells Nathan to protect Faye from something that is after her.


Azal is an angel and guardian to Faye.  Knowing he failed her when her family died, he's been trying to help her ever since even when she despises him.  He knows more than he says to Nathan or Faye.  Something dark is haunting Faye and he needs Nathan to protect her from what it is.


This book definitely has tons of paranormal and mystery in it.  People are dying and Faye is determined to find out what it is and how it is connected to Nathan Ink.  She is also suffering with recurring dreams of a dark haired boy who she can't recall who he is or who is planting the boy in her dreams.


Nathan is also suffering affects of this thing that is stalking Faye, when it is near the headaches are extremely intense, and Angels are disappearing as well.  Now it's up to Faye and Nathan to figure this out before it's too late.


What a great story and characters.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the angels and Faye.  Was glad to see the angels band together to defeat Sammael and for him to get a karmic ending.  I was very pleased that Lucifer was shown in a more positive light as opposed to how he is normally viewed.   Was sad by the ending but what good book doesn't have sad parts one I could read again and again!  




Friday, October 14, 2011

Ding Dong the Diva's Dead by: Cat Melodia Review


Title: Ding Dong The Diva's Dead
Author: Cat Melodia
Publisher: Camel Press
Pages: 246
Source Tribute Books Blog Tour

Description:
Deborah de Lille is an opera singer-in the least grand sense. Debbie doesn't foresee a future beyond Handel Messiahs and low-budget tours ... until her agent finagles her a minor role with a small-town company. The artists assembled for this production of Offenbach's spooky opera, Tales of Hoffmann, have more than opera on their minds. Their games of love are not for the faint of heart, and the cutthroat atmosphere may have become literal. How far are they willing to go to advance their careers and even the score?

 The singer Debbie replaced died under suspicious circumstances, and after another minor player bows out suddenly, she is also given her role. Now she has two small roles that no one in their right mind would kill for. So, either someone isn't in their right mind, or the close calls threatening Debbie's safety are all unlucky coincidences. Add to the mix three preening tenors, a sexy lesbian director, a vengeful conductor, an obscenely rich and Hollywood-handsome general director, a fading Italian pop star, a trio of bitchy leading sopranos, an ambitious understudy, countless attention-starved underlings, an anti-opera terrorist group, a resident ghost, and Debbie's kooky and dysfunctional friends and family, and you have an opening night that promises to genuinely thrill and chill!

My Review:


Debbie finds herself at a opera house that is full of weird things going on.  Everything from bee stings to disappearing ghosts calling her name.  Her band of associates are vastly different everything from nasty mean sopranos, to lesbian direction, the understudy who seems to know the cleaning guy and designer.  Debbie finds herself getting jealous at one point of the understudy who seems to be perfect and pretty to make it worse.  


This book was full of all sorts of drama, mystery and weirdness.  I enjoyed it.  And a big mystery at the end of who is killing the opera cast.  Definitely a great book for those who love the opera, and wonder what it is like behind the scenes.




Sunday, October 9, 2011

September Wrap Up


Books That Make You Scream


With it being October I thought I would highlight some books that will make you shiver or scream.  Let me know if you can think of any others.

The Cellar
Author: A.J. Whiten

Description:
Meredith Willis is suspicious of Adrien, the new guy next door. When she dares to sneak a look into the windows of his house, she sees something in the cellar that makes her believe that Adrien might be more than just a creep—he may be an actual monster.

But her sister, Heather, doesn’t share Meredith’s repulsion. Heather believes Adrien is the only guy who really understands her. In fact, she may be falling in love with him. When Adrien and Heather are cast as the leads in the school production of Romeo and Juliet, to Heather, it feels like fate. To Meredith, it feels like a bad omen. But if she tries to tear the couple apart, she could end up in the last place she’d ever want to be: the cellar. Can Meredith convince her sister that she’s dating the living dead before it’s too late for both of them?

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead
Author: Paul Elwork

Description:
The innocence of childhood,
the unknown of adulthood,
and the search for forgiveness . . .

Emily Stewart is the girl who claims to stand between the living and the dead. During the quiet summer of 1925, she and her brother, Michael, are thirteen-year-old twins-privileged, precocious, wandering aimlessly around their family's estate. One day, Emily discovers that she can secretly crack her ankle in such a way that a sound appears to burst through the stillness of midair. Emily and Michael gather the neighborhood children to fool them with these "spirit knockings."

Soon, however, this game of contacting the dead creeps into a world of adults still reeling from World War I. When the twins find themselves dabbling in the uncertain territory of human grief and family secrets- knock, knock-everything spins wildly out of control.

Ruined
Author: Paula Morris

Description:
Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her aunt. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city. There's just one catch: Lisette is a ghost.   A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.   As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend -- and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey -- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?

Shadowed Summer
Author: Saundra Mitchell

Description:
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
 
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

What scary books will you be reading this month?

It's Monday what are you reading? #19



It's Monday What are you Reading? Is a weekly bookish meme where we get together to share what books we've read in the past week, what books we're currently reading and what new books we're planning on reading in the coming week along with any reviews or interesting posts. It's hosted by Sheila @One Person's Journey through a World of Books

Finished Reading:
Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun by: Victoria Laurie
Vision Impossible by: Victoria Laurie
Ghouls Gone Wild by: Victoria Laurie
Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by: Victoria Laurie

Currently Reading:
Cancelled by: Elizabeth Ann West
The Chronicles of Mira by: Christine E. Schulze

Up Next to Read:
come see next week what I am reading...  What are you reading this week?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls by: Victoria Laurie Review


Title: Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls
Author: Victoria Laurie
Publisher: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 344
Series: Ghost Hunter Mystery

Description:

When M.J. Holliday and the crew of her cable TV show, Ghoul Getters, venture to the haunted ruins of Dunlow Castle in Ireland, drawn by the legend of hidden treasure, they hope the road will rise up to meet them, that the wind will always be at their backs-and that the resident phantom won't push them off a cliff. If they treasure their lives, M.J. and her ghost busters need to get the drop on the menacing phantom...

My Review:

M.J., Heath, Gilley, Gopher, Kim, Meg and John find themselves travelling to Scotland to search a haunted Castle on rocks for ghouls and missing treasure.  Early into their search Gopher the producer goes missing, and much of the book is trying to find out what happened to him, and why Heath and M.J. can’t locate his spirit or sense his energy.

They find things are not what they appear, there is much history involved with this story.  As the original owner of the castle has hidden gold but many towns folk aren’t sure if it is accurate it or not.  M.J. spends much of her time having conversations with Sam Whitefeather, Heath’s grandfather as he assists them from beyond the grave, and Lord Dunnyvale, who was the original owner. 

They also battle a nasty phantom who has been there protecting the gold and injuring many people along the way even killing a few of them. 

This book really had me wondering if the producer, Gopher would be found in time or if his fate was already sealed.  I was so happy when they were able to close up the case and find their friend.