Monthly Archives: February 2016

Review & Giveaway: MURDER MOST FINICKY by Liz Mugavero

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Today, as part of a Blog Tour organized by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, I am happy to tell you about a new release – Murder Most Finicky, the fourth installment in the Pawsitively Organic murder mystery series by Liz Mugavero.

Synopsis

MURDER-MOST-FINICKYThe dog days of summer have arrived in the small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, and business is booming for Kristan “Stan” Connor. Her Pawsitively Organic pet food has even caught the attention of celebrity pastry chef Sheldon Allyn, who helps Stan open a fancy pet pastry shop in Frog Ledge. A partnership is born, and Sheldon invites Stan to Newport, Rhode Island, for an appreciation weekend he’s hosting for all his independent chefs. But the gourmet getaway turns sour when one of the chefs turns up dead, and a second one goes missing…

As Stan tries to figure out who had a recipe for murder, the pool of…

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This year I decided to try and read one book a month since I am no longer in college and don’t have to read textbooks anymore. Whether or not I will accomplish this is only known by my future self. Nonetheless, book one of this year that I have completed is Empty by K. M. Walton.

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[ Disclaimer: if mental illness is something you shy away from, this book and review is not for you ]

I read this book in about two days! Needless to say, I was quite addicted to it. I’m not sure if it was so much that the story itself was good, or because I related to the main character in many ways.

Empty follows a teenager, Dell, dealing with various obstacles. The usual teenager problems are there. You know, the need to look and act perfect. To be skinny. To be popular. Occasional parental authority…

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Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Books and a cup of coffee ♥

Title: Throne of Glass

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ★★★★☆

404 pp.

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”


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Book Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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Title: The Glass Castle

Author: Jeannette Walls

Genre: Memoir

Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads summary: The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family.
The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.

My review: First, I have to give props to Jeannette Walls for putting up with her parent’s nonsense. I wanted to strangle…

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Review: Dancers in the Dark by Charlaine Harris

The Simple Luxuries

charlaine-harris-dancers-in-the-dark1Disclaimer: This book describes very disturbing situations.

I love Charlaine Harris and I love most of her books and series. The only series that I did not continue ready was Lily Bard, and that is because it was too disturbing. Some of you may know that Harris was a sexual assault survivor and very often so are the characters of Harris’ such as Lily Bard and Sookie Stackhouse. Harris is a wonderful writer, but when she writes about sexual assault survivors or scenes, it is very real and raw and can makes the reader very anxious.

Dancers in the Dark is a Novella that is set in the same  Sookie Stackhouse universe. It is about a dancer name Rue. Rue answered an ad for a dancer that would be willing to work with vampires and get bitten. Although she has some reservations, she needs the money. I was immediately hooked.

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Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

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Don’t Stop Now

From Jen's Bookshelf

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There is not really a back story to why I chose this book other than I had read another book by Julie Halpern (The F*** It List) and I am a sucker for a good road trip story. Don’t Stop Now follows a fresh out of high school Lillian and her best friend that she happens to also be in love with, Josh. Lillian’s friend Penny had informed her that she had been planning to fake her own kidnapping before they graduated. Now at the beginning of summer Lillian gets phone call from Penny with only the phrase “I did it.” leading Lillian to believe that she did fake her own kidnapping. Lillian and Josh then go on a road trip from Chicago to Portland in hopes of finding Penny. And maybe finding love along the way.

I am just going to say it, this book was a…

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You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover. Or Can You?

As the old saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” How true is this?

The meaning behind this saying is a simple premise. Don’t judge a book by the cover alone. Covers can be wonderful or dreadful glimpses into the book behind them. For some books, you may wonder if the cover designer was even given the briefest synopsis of what the book is about. A bad cover can hide a well-written and thoroughly enjoyable book. Likewise, a great cover can be a lie adorning poorly written slop.

And, although you might righteously try to put yourself above it all, proclaiming to all, “I shall not judge a book by its cover alone,” you cannot truly deny the cover has some merit in your book choice.

I would like to say I chose these books entirely at random and that their cover had no bearing on my choices, but that would be a lie. Something made me choose one over the rest of the books on the screen. Knowing nothing else about them, I have to admit it is the cover.

All of these books were found on Kobo. I made an attempt at finding books that are not the best sellers, popping up as the only selections on the first 20 or so pages of every search. Let’s give a little face time to the little known authors, who are most likely indie or self-pubbed authors.

A big thing I noticed flipping through these books, is the change in trend. I remember when the main characters on the covers would be almost exclusively male, standing tall and powerful, with perhaps a woman hanging off a leg looking up to him, or in the background.

 

What do these covers say to you?

 

Sci Fi & Fantasy:

Fire Storm by Shannon Mayer

firestorm-the-elemental-series-book-3The first two thoughts in my head are, “Classic case of sex sells cover”, quickly followed by, “Is the fire storm in her crotch?”

It’s not a bad looking cover, but for me it does not say science or fantasy. The book title suggests to me this would be a fantasy book. From the cover, I’m thinking the book will be full of someone getting some action that is not necessarily related to the story.

My take on the cover? It’s probably too sexy for the story behind it.

Would I read this book? Maybe. The synopsis gives it more hope than the cover does.

One thing that confuses me. The search page shows five stars and (27). This leads me to think the book has an average 5 star or close to it rating from 27 people leaving star ratings, if not reviews also. I click the book and … where’s the star ratings? Personally, I like to see a star rating breakdown. Did all 27 people give it five stars? Because a stream of only five stars is something I question. Did every one of those people really think it was absolutely fantastic? Not one gave it a four, really enjoyed it, but did not think it was the cat’s meow of fantastic books?

 


Maxon by Christina Bauer

MaxonBuff shirtless dude, right? This is definitely meant to appeal to the ladies. The grey scorched sky, dead tree, and bleak lifeless earth appeal to me more on this one. I would be more inclined to go a step further on this one and look at the synopsis.

This one shows 4.5 stars from 19 ratings. The lack of perfection suggests to me that at least some of these are likely honest.

The other covers in this series show a similar bleak landscape. The difference is they feature a woman with a devil’s tale, who is not dressed to impress the boys. The consistency of the ambience of the background gives this series more hope for me. If the covers are consistent, the writing may be too.

 

Departure by A.G. Riddle

departure-7The silhouette of a person standing before something blowing up, watching the fiery destruction.  This suggests to me this one is sci fi and involves destruction and battle.

This book has a four star rating from five ratings. There are no reviews to suggest why none of these gave a five star review. But, that doesn’t mean much. Four stars is still good. It still means they liked the book. Maybe the readers have read better, or just don’t want to give an automatic five star review to every book they read. Something has to be left for the truly spectacular, doesn’t it? They can’t all be five star books. It might just mean this book was rated by readers who are not friends and family of the author, who tend to feel anything less than a five star review would be taken as an insult.

The synopsis of this one certainly makes it sound more interesting.

 

Zero-G by Rob Boffard

zero-g-2“In space, there is nowhere to run.” Is that blood spatters? Right there, this covers tells me there should be fleeing, a chase through space, and blood.

The main character? A woman. Again, following the trend of having more female characters running the show.

This book has no stars. The cover does intrigue me enough to click and look at the synopsis.  Okay, we’re still good after reading the synopsis.  Now what? I’s a sequel, so I click the author name to see what it is a sequel to.

 

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4.5 stars from two ratings. If I had seen this cover first, I probably would have flipped right past it. The cover has an old cover feel to it and it just doesn’t catch your attention like the book above does.

 

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The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

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The Sword of Summer is the start to the new series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, by Rick Riordan. I, personally, had every one of his novels and enjoyed most of them, The Kane Chronicles being one of the first chapter books I’ve willingly read. I could say the same for this new series.

To summarize, this is about a 16-year-old boy, Magnus Chase, that has been homeless for the last two years after the murder of his mother. But on the day of his sixteenth birthday he’s thrusted by his Uncle Randolph, the same his mother warned him about, into the world of Norse mythology. Five-out-of-five stars for me, 96%. I can shyly admit that this is one of my favorite’s of Rick’s books.

I just love the fresh sense of humor in this book! It’s not Percy humor or Sadie humor, it feels so new to…

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Book Review: “The Amber Spyglass” by Philip Pullman

Victoria L.

Publisher: Scholastic/David Fickling Books
His Dark Materials | Book Three: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Cost: $7.99 at Barnes and Noble
Where to Buy: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.

WARNING: Contains many spoilers


Characters:

  • Lyra “Silvertongue” Belaqua (Main)
  • Will Parry (Main)
  • Baruch
  • Balthamos
  • Mrs. Coulter
  • Lord Asriel
  • Metatron
  • Serafina Pekkala
  • Mary Malone
  • Chevalier Tialys
  • Lady Salmakia
  • Ama
  • Iorek Byrnison

Setting:

  • Himalayas
  • Ci’gazze
  • Lyra’s world
  • Will’s world
  • World of the Dead
  • World with the mulefa
Plot Summary:

The novel starts off by having Mrs. Coulter hiding in the Himalayas with Lyra drugged into sleep. She feeds Lyra a sleeping potion to keep her from waking up. A young servant girl, Ama, goes to a monk to get medicine that can wake up Lyra. Ama learns that Mrs. Coulter is not who she thought she was; Mrs. Coulter was an evil woman. Meanwhile, Lyra is dreaming of her speaking to Roger.

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