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 berm..love 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