Wednesday, November 6, 2013

THE ACCIDENTAL WEREWOLF: Accidentals Book One - Dakota Cassidy

When Marty Andrews gets bitten by a mutt, the hair on her legs starts growing at an alarming rate and her mood swings put her dream job as a cosmetic sales rep in serious jeopardy. Then a drool-worthy man shows up at her door claiming that he accidentally bit Marty. And since he's a werewolf, that means she is now, too...
WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG? What took me so dadgum long to get to this series? I love Dakota's posts on Facebook and her interviews on various blogs I follow, but I hadn't read her books yet. Dumb on my part. I loved reading this fast moving first in series.
I cracked up, wanted to hug poor Marty then cheer her on as she got in anyone's face who got in her way. She's a driven woman with some hesitancy in some aspects of her life.
She makes friends with two of the most unlikely individuals and falls for the man who claims to be a werewolf.
I normally don't dig paranormal romance and if I do read one, I skim the bedroom scenes. I didn't skim one hottie bedroom scene here. Dakota paints  HOT readable sexy scenes...muh-rowr.
Now I need to find the next in series, ACCIDENTALLY DEAD.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

SINCE YOU'RE LEAVING ANYWAY, TAKE OUT THE TRASH: A Domestic Equalizer Mystery #1 - Dixie Cash

The strongest, sexiest, and sassiest debut contemporary romance we've seen since Rachel Gibson! The quality of Dixie's writing combined with the pure romance of the story guarantees that Avon Romance has just acquired a new star.
Debbie Sue Overstreet is still the best-looking gal in Saltlick, TX-and her ex-husband Buddy is still the best-looking sheriff. Thanks to a thriving gossip mill (also known as Debbie's hair salon), there isn't a thing in Saltlick that she doesn't know about before anyone else. That is, until somebody offs snooty Pearl Ann Carruthers. With Buddy on the case, the woman who has to know everything is stumped by not just one, but two questions: first, who killed Pearl Ann and why, and second, how on earth did she ever let Buddy Overstreet get away? Lucky for Saltlick and Buddy both, she means to find out the answers, no matter what it takes!
Oh how I loved reading this book as a handheld a few years ago. It's even better as an audiobook! Peggity Price is the perfect narrator for this series. I loved revisiting this debut of one of my favorite series. I may have to start collecting them in audio format so I can listen anytime I want.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HEXED: Iron Druid Chronicles Book 2 - Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.
With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.
So very glad that I have the Iron Druid series on my keeper shelf. Both because they are signed by the author and because they are so damn FAB!
I do find myself comparing Atticus and Oberon to Harry Dresden and Mouse, but only because there is plenty of exhaustingly excellent magical action in both series and I have a crush on both (Atticus and Harry, not Oberon and Mouse).
I read HEXED because it's October and I am in a witch kind of mood. Plenty of witchery here both the black and the grey-ish. Atticus did battle against one set in HOUNDED, but they are asking for his help against truly evil witches from Germany. He cautiously joins forces with the Polish batch to do battle against the German hexen.
There's action, sadness, thrills, magic, and Oberon the Irish Wolfhound who can talk to Atticus. Love love love Oberon.
Definitely need to read next in series, HAMMERED, very soon. Would that Atticus existed, I'd visit Tempe least I can visit while reading....

WILD JUSTICE: Nadia Stafford Trilogy Book 3 - Kelley Armstrong

The long-awaited final installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling author’s Nadia Stafford series
Since Kelley Armstrong wrapped up book two of the Nadia Stafford series, fans have been eager to know what happens to the tough-as-nails contract killer. At last, Wild Justice brings Nadia back for the series’ thrilling conclusion—an action-packed tale that will dazzle fans of the series as well as those who are only familiar with Armstrong’s bestselling paranormal books.
In Wild Justice, Nadia is confronted with her most difficult task to date: going after the man who killed her cousin Amy twenty years prior. But when it turns out that someone else has already taken justice into their own hands, she is drawn into a complex situation where everything she knows and loves is thrown into the path of danger. Nadia is forced to take matters into her own hands, ultimately requiring her to confront her darkest secrets—and her deepest desires—in a way that she never thought possible.
I am a HUGE fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. Kelley is superb with a paranormal thriller story. She is just as superb with a normal thriller.
One wouldn't think that a hit woman would be a sympathetic character, but then who'da thunk that a reader would want to cheer on a serial killer (Dexter anyone?).
I started at the end of the trilogy and I'd love to read the first two, but I don't think it's necessary (but the first two are on the WWBL). Kelley does enough backstory that the reader is aware and this could be read as a standalone.
Nadia takes only the jobs that she sees necessary and they are against people who fall through the cracks of justice. Vigilante, yes, but understandable.
Kelley writes an intricate, but never convoluted novel. A superb turn-the-page-fast-I-NEED-to-know-NOW thriller.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LAMENTATION: Psalm of Isaak Book One - Ken Scholes

An ancient weapon has completely destroyed the city of Windwir. From many miles away, Rudolfo, Lord of the Nine Forest Houses, sees the horrifying column of smoke rising. He knows that war is coming to the Named Lands.
Nearer to the Devastation, a young apprentice is the only survivor of the city – he sat waiting for his father outside the walls, and was transformed as he watched everyone he knew die in an instant.
Soon all the Kingdoms of the Named Lands will be at each others' throats, as alliances are challenged and hidden plots are uncovered.
This remarkable first novel from an award-winning short fiction writer will take readers away to a new world – an Earth so far in the distant future that our time is not even a memory; a world where magick is commonplace and great areas of the planet are impassable wastes. But human nature hasn’t changed through the ages: War and faith and love still move princes and nations.
An epic fantasy with hints of steampunk set in a time of battles fought on horseback and magick is commonplace.
Windwir, the home of a great library and its librarians, the Androfrancine Order, is destroyed. War is coming. This is the center of the story. The surrounding tale is about the tribes and people, the treachery, the battles, stepping up when called upon no matter the cost.
This could have been a convoluted story, but the intricacies are well done. It is definitely character driven, the world-building is superb. I can't wait to get the next in the series, CANTICLE.

MAYHEM AT THE ORIENT EXPRESS: League of Literary Ladies Mystery - Kylie Logan

At a local Chinese restaurant, it's the owner who gets taken out...
Most folks aren’t forced by court order to attend a library-book discussion group, but that’s just what happens to B and B proprietor and ex-Manhattanite Bea Cartwright, hippy cat lover Chandra Morrisey, and winery owner Kate Wilder after a small-town magistrate has had enough of their squabbling. South Bass, an island on Lake Erie, is home to an idyllic summer resort, but these three ladies keep disturbing the peace.
The initial book choice is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and that sets their mouths to watering. The Orient Express is the island’s newest Chinese restaurant. They might not agree about much, but the ladies all love the orange chicken on the menu. But their meal is spoiled when the restaurant’s owner, Peter Chan, has the bad fortune of getting murdered. Now, with Christie as their inspiration, the League of Literary Ladies has a real mystery to solve…if they can somehow catch a killer without killing each other first.
Kylie Logan is one of my favorite writers whether writing as Kylie Logan or Casey Daniels. I love all of the series she's written that I've read so far. She had me with her Pepper Martin, the paranormal cozy series with the cemetery guide who reluctantly talks with ghosts. She's kept me with her Button Box series (who knew buttons could keep me enthralled) and now there's the League of Literary Ladies mystery series.
The premise is nifty: a group of women are court-ordered to join a book club. They need to stop bickering and the library needs patrons.
Each character makes me laugh and alternately want to hug or smack them. The mystery is super, the ladies needing to find the killer of the owner of their favorite Chinese restaurant. They are going to miss their orange peanut chicken. And there's more to it than meets the eye, especially with each of the ladies.
There are still tiffs among the group of ladies, each one has a distinct personality. The story is told through the eyes of Bea Cartwright, owner of the bed and breakfast on the small island of South Bass in Lake Erie, but the story is group driven.
I really look forward to more of this fun series. And anything else Kylie/Casey writes.

Friday, October 4, 2013

JUSTICE: Galillee Falls Book One - Jennifer Harlow

It's hard being a regular police officer in Galilee Falls, a city with the highest concentration of superheroes and villains in the country. It's even harder watching your best friend, the man you're secretly in love with your whole life, planning to marry another woman. Detective Joanna Fallon has to contend with both. When the vilest supervillain in the city's history, Alkaline, the former crime boss who can shoot acid from his wrists, escapes from the maximum security prison, the whole city is gripped by panic. Leading the pursuit is Captain Harry O'Hara, Joanna's boss and secret lover, and the city's champion superhero Justice, who caught the villain last time, much to Joanna's chagrin. Before her father was murdered in a mugging twenty years earlier, Joanna worshiped the hero, but when he disappeared and failed to save her father, that adoration turned to contempt for all supers. After Alkaline attacks too close to home and targets Joanna as his next victim, tough-as-nail Joanna has to contend with her increasing fear while struggling to choose between her life-long crush and her new-found love.
At turns vulnerable and fierce, equally mordant and winsome, Joanna is an earnest yet emotionally damaged heroine, who despite the tough breaks of her childhood sees the good in people and vow to protect her beloved city at all costs. An ass-kicking petite firecracker with no superpowers of her own, she charges after supervillains unflinchingly, never losing her wit even when facing her toughest fight. With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, she delivers both humor and thrills in an action-packed and edgy blend of comic book cool, fantasy-noir, and bitter-sweet romance.
Jennifer Harlow had me with MIND OVER MONSTERS: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Investigation and has kept me with TO CATCH A VAMPIRE and a book in her Midnight Magic series, WHAT'S A WITCH TO I have another series of hers to love, Galilee Falls.
JUSTICE, book one in the series, is awesome. Joanna Fallon is a straight up, hard working detective in a city that has the highest concentration of supers..both heroes and villains. She has to be extra vigilant as she is normal, no extra powers, but it doesn't keep her from catching the bad guys and putting them super-villain prison.
There is plenty of action, secret love interest or two, gut-wrenching drama. I was in tears at one scene. I had one or two things figured out, but I can see how it would be missed by the characters in the book since it was right in front of them. And it's easy to miss that which we do not want to see.
Jennifer has made it easy to suspend belief that there is a world with superheroes and super-villains and the normal people who live with them.
I loved this book and can't wait for the next in the series. Hurry up Jennifer...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MAMA GETS HITCHED: A Mace Bauer Mystery #3 - Deborah Sharp

According to Mama, a Gone with the Wind-themed wedding—complete with Scarlett O' Hara bridesmaid gowns and a ring-bearing Pomeranian—is fine and dandy for her fifth trip down the aisle. But what's a bridezilla to do when her caterer is murdered? Thanks to the nonstop gossip train in their small Florida town, Mama's gator-wrestling daughter Mace is getting the dirt on who did it.
Unfortunately, the suspect list is longer than the gift registry. Right at the top are the groom's East Coast Yankee cousins—who may have Mafia ties. With her on-again, off-again beau, Detective Carlos Martinez, Mace must track down the killer before Mama's Special Day turns especially deadly.
How I adore this series. Mama's antics make me laugh and I love how Mace steps up to each challenge even when some might make her roll her Mama's 'GONE WITH THE WIND' themed wedding. Her three daughters don't know why she's going to all this fuss. It is wedding number five after all.
But Mama wants a fab wedding since this is true love. And Mama usually gets what Mama wants. It's easier to give in.

Mace gets involved in the investigation since it's Mama's wedding caterer and it also involves Mace's sweetie, Detective Carlos Martinez (so yummy) could mean some quality time even though it makes Martinez crazy that Mace gets involved and sometimes hurt.
I do feel for Mace and her sisters, but Mama is a wonderful character and I wouldn't mind having her for my Mama. At least for a little while.
If you want a superb mystery set in a wonderful locale and you want to laugh a lot, this is the mystery for you and definitely the series is.

CURIOSITY THRILLED THE CAT: A Magical Cats Mystery #1 - Sofie Kelly

When librarian Kathleen Paulson moved to Mayville Heights, Minnesota, she had no idea that two strays would nuzzle their way into her life. Owen is a tabby with a catnip addiction and Hercules is a stocky tuxedo cat who shares Kathleen's fondness for Barry Manilow. But beyond all the fur and purrs, there's something more to these felines.
When murder interrupts Mayville's Music Festival, Kathleen finds herself the prime suspect. More stunning is her realization that Owen and Hercules are magical-and she's relying on their skills to solve a purr-fect murder.
I've wanted to start this series for some time. Very glad I finally got to it. Cozies starring animals, especially cats it seems, are meant to be. Paranormal cozies starring magical cats? Mystical match.
This book is a fine example why I love cozies. I love suspending belief and enjoying a book with a murder to solve, a librarian main character, and a small town where I'd love to live. Add in the magical cats and I had a fun fast highly enjoyable read.

HEARSE AND BUGGY: An Amish Mystery #1 - Laura Bradford

Claire Weatherly has fled a high-stress lifestyle for a slower pace—in Amish country: Heavenly, Pennsylvania. She only planned a short visit but instead found herself opening an Amish specialty shop, Heavenly Treasures, and settling in.Claire loves her new home, and she’s slowly making friends among the locals, including Esther, a young Amish woman who works in the shop. So when the store’s former owner,the unlikable Walter Snow, is murdered, and the man Esther is sweet on becomes a suspect, Claire can’t help but get involved.

Newly returned Detective Jakob Fisher, who left Heavenly—and his Amish upbringing—as a teenager, is on the case. But his investigation is stalled by the fact that none of his former community will speak with him. Claire’s connections make her the perfect go-between.

When a cozy mystery has an endorsement from gritty Harlen Coben on the cover, a mystery-of-all-kinds reader like me will take note and buy that dadgum book. And immediately read it.
I liked the characters and the small town of Heavenly, Pennsylvania. I liked how Claire, the main character, came to be in the small town that is a blend of Amish and the English as non-Amish are known. I especially enjoyed how Claire is drawn into the investigation. It was fairly seamless and didn't feel at all forced just to move the story along.
And the ending....did not see that coming.
Exceptionally enjoyable and can't wait to read the next in the series, ASSAULTED PRETZEL and SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS (out in 2014).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MOTHER'S DAY OUT - Karen MacInerney

Life is pretty typical for stay-at-home mom Margie Peterson. She’s got two young kids, an attorney husband who never quite makes partner, and a fixer-upper house she doesn’t have the money to fix. Things are rolling along fine until the first preschool tuition bill hits the mailbox, and Margie realizes it’s time to take out a second mortgage…or get a job.

Margie’s mother-in-law wants her to join the Junior League, her mother thinks her aura needs adjusting, and her husband wants her to sell Tupperware. But Margie decides on something more exciting than washing dishes at charity teas or matching plastic lids with bowls.

When a seedy PI agency hires her as a part-time private investigator, Margie finds herself tracking an obese plumbing salesman with a penchant for Saran Wrap and bargain-basement hookers. But Margie’s no Sam Spade. By the end of her first day, she’s totaled her minivan, submitted a picture of a naked man in Saran Wrap to the school newsletter, and accidentally participated in a drag queen contest. When she finds a dead transvestite in the “Princesses’” room of a gay bar, she decides it may be time to hang up her hat and start planning Tupperware parties. Then she picks up the drag queen’s phone … and discovers the last call the dead man made was to Margie’s own house.

This was FUN! This is what it would have been if Lucille Ball had decided to become a private investigator.
Marigold 'Margie' Peterson wants to earn some extra money. Her husband wants her to be a SAHM and join the Junior League to help him move up to partner in the law firm. 
Margie finds Peaches, a private investigator, and asks for a tryout. Peaches reluctantly gives her a shot with an infidelity case. Margie gets her man, wrapped in plastic wrap, and it's pedal to the metal from there on out.
She wins points with the snooty headmistress of her children's pre-school by agreeing to look into missing school funds. And her next job leads her into getting third place in a drag queen contest.
I loved this book. I could identify with Margie's need to get out of the house and find herself again. She is more than a mother and wife and definitely more than Junior League material. She has the coolest best friend, Becky, who helps her out in more ways than one.
I do hope there will be more adventures with Margie. I love Karen MacInerney's other two series I've read, Grey Whale Inn Mystery and Tales of an Urban Werewolf, and now I can add Marigold's adventures to the mix.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

HALLOWED BONES: Sarah Booth Delaney #5 - Carolyn Haines

The southern Delta has never been more exhilarating, evocative, and wickedly funny than in the mysteries of Carolyn Haines. Now she takes readers on another rollicking ride across the Mississippi cotton fields and into the glamour of New Orleans…as P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney follows a winding trail of murder and deception into a world where ghosts make fashion statements—and where one person’s miracle is another person’s mayhem.
The leaves of the calendar may be shedding faster than the sycamores on her family’s decaying Mississippi plantation, but thirty-something southern belle Sarah Booth Delaney isn’t ready to sing the blues. Not when she’s got a thriving detective agency and the outspoken, outrageously attired ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny to keep her on her toes. But the matchmaking phantom may have the last word on motherhood when Sarah Booth takes on the controversial case of an accused baby killer.
Although Doreen Mallory’s been arrested for feeding sleeping pills to her ten-week-old daughter, no one could accuse her of lacking faith. A healer who, tragically, couldn’t save her own baby girl, born with multiple birth defects, Doreen has her own crosses to bear. While the local law seems convinced of Doreen’s guilt, Sarah Booth isn’t so sure. But why is Doreen reluctant to talk about the men in her life? Like the televangelist who stands to lose a lot more than his flock. Or the married politician with family ties to the Mob. Either of them could be little Rebekah’s father; either of them could also be her killer.
With Halloween approaching and her own personal life up for grabs, Sarah Booth could use a little faith healing herself. Torn between a married sheriff and an old flame who’s literally sweeping her off her feet, she’d better be prepared for the fallout of her most unpopular case yet. Justice may not stand a ghost of a chance as a decades-old secret explodes, unleashing a storm of fury on Sarah Booth and all those she loves.
Witty, suspenseful, and featuring a cast of memorable characters, Hallowed Bones is a riveting tale of faith, murder, and maternal love. It is Carolyn Haines’s most accomplished novel yet.
My review:
Sarah Booth and Tinkie are called down to New Orleans to clear Doreen, a spiritual leader and healer. She's been accused of killing her infant daughter, but she's not worried as she knows she's innocent and everything will work out.
She tells Sarah Booth that the baby's father could be one of three men, but won't share the names.
Plenty of action in the investigation and in Sarah Booth's love life. She has two men to choose from, but one is taken by a manipulating woman.

I love listening to a well-told story. I keep audiobooks in my car for my commute and for running errands. I love this series for just such occasions. I find myself sitting in the car in a parking lot or in my driveway for just a wee bit more Sarah Booth, Jitty, or Tinkie or CeeCee. I adore all three and would love to have friends like these four women...yes, I know Jitty is a spirit...though I sometimes wonder if Jitty isn't Sarah Booth's subconscious....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

THE BAKER STREET LETTERS: Baker Street Letters #1 - Michael Robertson

First in a spectacular new series about two brother lawyers who lease offices on London's Baker Street—and begin receiving mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes
In Los Angeles, a geological surveyor maps out a proposed subway route—and then goes missing. His eight-year-old daughter in her desperation turns to the one person she thinks might help—she writes a letter to Sherlock Holmes.
That letter creates an uproar at 221b Baker Street, which now houses the law offices of attorney and man about town Reggie Heath and his hapless brother Nigel. Instead of filing the letter like he’s supposed to, Nigel decides to investigate. Soon he’s flying off to L.A., inconsiderately leaving a very dead body on the floor in his office. Big brother Reggie follows Nigel to California, as does Reggie’s sometime lover, Laura – a quick-witted stage actress who’s captured the hearts of both brothers.
Two brothers move into 221b Baker Street, now law offices. Letters pleading for help from the famous previous resident of the address continue to come in. Nigel Heath, the meandering brother of Reggie Heath, wealthy barrister, is assigned to read and dispatch the letters. One comes across the desk and Nigel decides to investigate. In Los Angeles. And gets arrested. There's a dead body. Reggie follows. Investigation ensues.
Such a superbly excellent book! This has the feel of a 'Chinatown' with Englishmen instead of JJ Gittes (Jack's character) investigating murder and shady development deals.
I really cannot wait to read the next in the series, THE BROTHERS OF BAKER STREET.
I highly recommend this one.


When Great War veteran Laurence Bartram arrives in Easton Deadall, he is struck by the beauty of the crumbling manor, venerable church, and memorial to the village’s soldiers. But despite this idyllic setting, Easton Deadall remains haunted by tragedy. In 1911, five-year-old Kitty Easton disappeared from her bed and has not been seen since.
While Lawrence is visiting, a young maid vanishes in a sinister echo of Kitty’s disappearance. And when a body is discovered in the manor’s ancient church, Laurence is drawn into the grounds’ forgotten places, where deadly secrets lie in wait.
Rarely do I read a book that compels me to immediately go out and find the next in series. THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN JOHN EMMETT, the first in the Laurance Bartram series, was one such book. I enjoyed the pace of the book, the character studies, and the bit of mystery that was there. I could only hope that the second in the series would be as superb. And it was.
This one is set a few years after the first book. Laurence has published his architectural book of churches in England and has become a teacher at a local school. He is invited by a friend to come have a look at a church that was discovered to have additional intriguing aspects while being restored. It's part of a larger project Laurence's friend has taken on for a wealthy family in the country.
Laurence arrives to find that the church and the restoration project are indeed intriguing, but not as much as the wealthy family. There is a pall of sadness over the family members, sadness brought on by the unexplained disappearance of a young daughter of one of the two sisters living in the house. The daughter has been missing for some time, since she was five, gone in the middle of the night and never seen again. No one knows if she's alive or dead.
Her mother behaves as if the child will be coming down the stairs any moment. The rest of the family gently enables her belief.
Laurence begins to find information that various members of the family would wish remain hidden. So there is more to the mystery than the disappearance of a young child.
I really cannot wait to read more of this series. I hope the next books comes out soon.


London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John—like Laurence, an officer during the war—has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why.
Aided by his friend Charles—a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels—Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.
This could almost be labeled amateur sleuth, but it doesn't have the same feel as others I've read. It felt more like historical mystery along the lines of Maisie Dobbs, written by Jacqueline Winspear. That may only be because of the time the book is set, after WWI.
Soldiers have come home from the war in various states of wellness or injury. This is also a view of the class system in England and the changes that were occurring.
Laurence Bartram is at odds with his life. He's home from the war, his wife and child died while he was fighting. He has enough money to set aside to live reasonably well without having to immediately find a job. He's writing a book about the architecture of the churches in England. Then he hears from the sister of an old schoolmate. Mary wants Laurence to find out why her brother committed suicide. He came home mentally exhausted from the war, but was doing so much better at the convalescent home where he was recovering. Then Emmett's body is found, dead from what looks to be a self-inflicted wound.
Mary thinks that Laurence must have been closer to him than she. Added to the fact that they both fought in the war, maybe Laurence has insight into what might have caused the death.
Laurence and his friend Charles proceed to investigate, finding out more than they originally imagined would be the story.
There's human greed and pettiness causing more grief and death even among the allies.
I loved this slow moving book. I immediately bought the second in the series and I can't wait to read the next.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The Goat Woman of Largo Bay begins the detective series featuring Shad, a bartender in a fishing village in Jamaica, who is the community problem solver and right hand of Eric, an American who owns the bar and a hotel left in ruins by a hurricane.
When Shad sees movement on the island offshore, he thinks it’s just a goat. But it turns out to be Simone, an American who has run away from her professional and personal life in the U.S., an intriguing woman who captures Eric's heart. Always keeping his ear to the ground, Shad discovers that a gunshot heard near Simone’s place late one night isn’t exactly friendly fire, but tied to a plot to harm Simone and ultimately manipulate local elections. But why does someone want to harm Simone? And what does she have to do with the elections? Only Shad can find out.
An irresistible character is born in The Goat Woman of Largo Bay and Royes wonderfully blends suspense and the soul of the islands in this smart debut.
I was intrigued by the title and had to read this debut book.
A little meandering and the mystery isn't about a murder like usual. This one is more along the lines of politics and missing people in a wee Jamaican town.
I loved Shad, the bartender, who is the amateur sleuth and assistant to the bar owner, Eric. Eric is a bit forlorn as he lost his retirement plan island hotel to a storm. Then built his new bar almost directly across from it on the shore. He can gaze at the ruins and mourn his loss.
Shad is on hand to keep Eric moving forward.
So why is a goat on the island? Who is that woman who has moved into the ruins?
Who are these people spreading rumors about the government?
Shad is on the job....
Loved this book and can only hope there will be more to either this series or from this author.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS: Book One Chronicles of Light and Shadow - Liesel Schwarz

From B&N
LEAVE IT TO CHANCE. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is—the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.

When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.

Steampunk genre is a favorite, but it doesn't always translate well into a good read. Thankfully, A CONSPIRACY OF ALCHEMISTS is in the right side of the thin line.
A fast-paced story with magic being a moving power as much as steam and science.
I really liked Eleanor 'Elle' Chance. She's gutsy and keeps on going even though others around her are trying to keep her lady-like and at home. She owns her own airship and has a successful freight business.
She also has magic to deal with, the dark kind. And a Viscount....the dark and handsome kind...
This is the beginning of a pretty nifty series. I look forward to the next in the series.

Monday, July 29, 2013

THE TWELVE: Book Two of The Passage Trilogy

DADGUM! I really didn't think THE PASSAGE, first book in the trilogy, could be improved upon, but THE TWELVE is just as epic...even more so. More character development, good is good with a veil of dark and evil is evil with a shade of decency in some.
There is a bit of back and forth in time, but no confusion is incurred. It's necessary to give the reader (or listener like me) the backstory on events.
The feel of the 'Homeland' was terrifyingly real. The virals and the collaborators in charge of the humans toiling to keep the place going and get everything ready for the future of the vampires. It read just like a concentration camp in WWII.
So much going on, but everything kept pace and always the feel of anxiety just waiting for what was going to happen next.
Absolutely superb.

TWIN CITIES NOIR - edited by Julie Schaper and Steven Horwitz

As with most anthologies I come across to read, this one has a few skippable, a few skimmable, one or two or three gems and the rest darn fab.
My favorites here: MAI-NU'S WINDOW by David Housewright with its well-done manipulation, BUMS by William Kent Krueger with more manipulation, TAKING THE BULLETS OUT by Mary Sharratt with revenge, and THE BREWER'S SON by Larry Millett which has a nice Sherlock Holmes feel.
I knew I'd like William Kent Krueger's story, he's a favorite author. Was well pleased that other authors brought it and wrote some fab tales.

Definitely recommended!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Blooms on Sunday - 28 July 2013

Garden art hummingbird is taking a sip from the hibiscus
 Tomatoes are finally making a show
 A happy bee in the Russian Sage
Showy Cosmos

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blooms on Sunday - 21 July 2013

 View out the kitchen window
 Monarda/bee balm in the back garden
 Echinacea in the front berm is going crazy after the rain and heat
Snapdragon in the front this reseeding plant

WHAT'S A WITCH TO DO? - Jennifer Harlow

Mona MacGregor is the manager of the Midnight Magic Shop in Goodnight, VA, and High Priestess of the local coven. On top of that, she's planning one sister's wedding and raising the other sister's two daughters. The last thing Mona needs is a wounded werewolf—even one as sexy as Adam—landing on her front stoop. Unfortunately, along with his wounds Adam brings word that someone is trying to kill Mona, and she realizes that it might be someone close by. With a demon on her tail, Mona knows she will need Adam's help to figure out who wants her dead. VERDICT With witches and werewolves, murder attempts, and romantic interludes, this supernatural mystery launch by the author of the "F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation" paranormal series (To Catch a Vampire; Mind Over Monsters) has a something for many readers' tastes. An entertaining romp through a fantasy town where even murder has a little bit of magic involved.
Now I know I don't have these kinds of responsibilities...but I can identify with Mona McGregor. She has a full life of taking care of her shop, her house, her two nieces she inherited from her ne'er do well sister....and she has a huge coven of witches to lead.
And into her overfull life comes Adam, a wounded werewolf. He's yummy and a bit grumpy and he's here to help. There seems to be a demon out there who wants to kill Mona and Adam is in town to bodyguard.
The book is funny and has plenty of hurry-turn-the-page action of street and sheet kind both. Not always a fan of action in the sheets, but Jennifer does a good job of keeping it all even-steven.
Jennifer Harlow had me with F.R.E.A.K.S. and now has me diggin' on witches with werewolves in this new series. She can write no wrong as far as I am concerned.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blooms on Sunday 7 July 2013

 Echinacea first bloom in the front berm
 Mallow in the front berm
 Shasta Daisy in the front berm
 Pineleaf penstemon in the front berm
 Daylilies in the back shade garden
Cherries for the squirrels in the back garden

Saturday, June 29, 2013

BLACKLANDS - Belinda Bauer

Darkly chilling tale of a boy in search of the bones of his dead uncle who was killed by a serial murderer of children. The killer is in prison, but bodies are unaccounted for. Steven wants answers. And he goes to the source by writing to Arnold Avery. The correspondence begins between the two passing cryptic notes to bypass censors.
Steven wants to help his grandmother get closure. His life is dreary, but he makes do with what he has.
Amazingly atmospheric and I will read more by this author.

PEAS, BEANS & CORN: Sovereign Series Book 2 - Jennifer Wixson

Everything in its place and time and order. That's sort of the theme in the book. A gentle, rather lovely story of some of the people in the town of Sovereign, Maine. Bruce Gilpin, an Army Guard veteran returns from his long tour of duty to what he hopes will be a quiet life. He's not sure what he wants to do, but he knows where....and on the bus home..he knows with whom. He meets Amber Johnson and is smitten pretty much immediately.
There are bumps in the road to their happiness. Like each one's mother has other mates in mind.
Not my usual fare, but so glad I requested and won this book.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blooms on Sunday - 23 June 2013

 Peace Rose in front berm
 Achillea 'Moonbeam'
 Pineleaf Penstemon 'Mersea Yellow'
 Maltese Cross
First hollyhock bloom

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blooms on Sunday - 16 June 2013

 Achillea "Strawberry Dream"
 Crazy tea rose on the way back patio
Maltese Cross

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MERCY FALLS: Cork O'Connor Mystery #5 - William Kent Krueger

So good! I need to bump up the next in the series on my wishlist on Simply Audio. I need to know what's going to happen to Cork and his family.
A murder victim is found in Cork's jurisdiction not long after someone takes a shot at Cork and his deputy when they answer a domestic violence call on the reservation. His deputy is shot and put in the hospital and it is soon clear that Cork was the target.
Then a bomb is found in Cork's vehicle, the vehicle that Cork's daughter was about to drive. This makes Cork send his wife and kids to Chicago to get safely away. Or are they?
The story goes a bit retro so we get a glimpse of Cork and his wife's past. I liked this peek a lot as much as I loved the suspense of this mystery.
Such a superb series!

Monday, June 10, 2013

WHEN DEMONS WALK: Sianim #4 - Patricia Briggs

I do enjoy authors who write several different series and each one is unique. Patricia Briggs is one of those authors.
Sham lives in a world where magic exists, but not everyone believes in it. Sham does since she is both a thief and a sorceress. Her land was taken from her people and she is doing what she can to take it back where she can from the nobility.
A killer is running amok and killing the nobility. There seems to be a pattern, but she can't quite see it.
The Reeve of the land asks her for her help, so she poses as his mistress to help. He is one of those who doesn't believe in magic, so when she tells him it's a demon doing the killing....
Sham is street smart, so she can get the job done. She just has to keep from being tempted to do what she's been doing with her stealing from the rich.
This is number 4 in the series, but I didn't feel like I'd missed anything by not reading the first three in the series. But I am now intrigued enough to go looking for them.
A very neat mixture of a mystery, fantasy, and a wee bit of romance.
Highly recommendable.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Blooms on Sunday - 9 June 2013

 The only peach-colored iris in the garden
 Another cactus in bloom
 Shasta Daisy in the front berm
 Achillea "Paprika" in the front berm
 Snapdragons that reseed themselves each year
Alchemilla - Lady's Mantle in the front shade garden