Search

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

August 2015

Review: Power Shift by Calinda B and Tina Winograd #ReadingAlley

Power Shift“Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Chia Petit wants, desperately, to keep her little corner of Alaska safe – for both shifters and humans alike. She has worked hard over the last three years to make sure that happens, setting up rules and regulations for what you can and cannot do in Charming, Alaska. So far, it is working, and most everyone loves the Charming Queen of Rules. Of course, not everyone likes that Chia has set up a safe place for shifters. And politics being politics, well, people love you, but humans are incredibly fickle . . . and that very fickle nature means that Chia’s life has suddenly turned to garbage in the last 24-hours. And it all centers around that jerk-off Hung Durand. Bounty hunter, total ass, and massive pain in Chia’s backside. She wants him dead. But first? First, she wants to do him.

There are a lot of things to like about “Power Shift.” There are lions and tigers and bears (oh, my), and a wonderful group of characters and personalities. Chia’s roommate is a very old vampire, and the two of them are hysterical with their practical jokes and interactions. Cecil Carpenter, Husky Shifter, town drifter and barhopper, is probably my favorite character. He is loyal and courageous (even though he is terrified at the things he must do to keep Chia safe when the world starts coming apart around their ears.) Dick Nighthawk (real name “White” but you can’t take advantage of the Alaskan Natives without them thinking you are one of them) and Red Mountainbear (ditto) are bad guys you love to hate. And the idea of ghosts that haunt you, literally, because you fail to face the bad things you have done in your life, was quite interesting. Overall, I would normally really enjoy this book. However, Chia herself brought down my enjoyment of the story. She has a lot of good qualities, but her obsession with sex soon became tiresome, then caused me to lose respect. The world is burning around you, you need to focus and save people’s lives, and yet all she can think of is sex – so she misses signs, misses opportunities – and gets people killed. It was both distracting and irritating, and finally dropped my rating by two full stars.

If you can overlook Chia’s irritating personality and obsession with sex, the rest of it is really good. I started skipping over the parts with Chia thinking – anything. It detracted from the book – which is a shame, because the rest of the book, without the obsessions, was quite good.
I received this book from Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Oh, and I really like the cover!

Advertisements

Review: Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait #CozyMystery #NeedleworkSamplers

18938930“Cleaning Woolwork: If the woolwork is not much soiled, stretch it in a frame and wash it over with a quart of water into which a tablespoon of ox gall has been dropped. If much soiled, wash with gin and soft soap, in the proportions of a quarter of a pound of soap to half a pint of gin. – The Dictionary of Needlework: An Encyclopaedia of Artistic, Plain, and Fancy Needlework, London, 1882”

The members of Mainely Needlework understand the importance, and the history, of those pieces meticulously stitched by hand and folded gently into a girl’s trousseau. Saving the old, and creating new to carry on the tradition. Now that Angie Curtis is back in Haven Harbor (well, at least for six-months. Really. Just six months, then she is back to Arizona.) she is managing her grandmother’s business, though she really knows nothing about needlework. But she is good with business and she is able to help with her grandmother’s wedding to Reverend Tom, so life is good on the Maine Coast. And when Angie and her friend Sarah are asked to appraise the contents of the old Victorian known as Aurora, a house with a dark history, things are looking up for Mainely Needlework and Angie. Sold to a famous actress, Skye West, the decrepit house is slated to be brought back to its former glory. But things aren’t quite as they seem. Skye has another agenda. Back in 1970, Jasmine Gardener, daughter of the Gardeners who owned Aurora, died. And Skye is determined to find out who murdered her.

The only problem? Angie, as a former private investigator’s assistant, is comingclose to the answer.  But someone is determined to assure that Skye doesn’t find out what happened to Jasmine. And if arsenic doesn’t work, fire might. The answers may be in the unlikeliest place – the needlework samplers stitched by Jasmine’s mother after her death and being restored by the Mainely Needlework stitchers.

This is the second in the Mainely Needlework series, but you can comfortably read it (though the first one sounds really good!)

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Lea WaitMaine author Lea Wait writes the NYT-praised 7-book Shadows Antique Print Mystery series, the latest of which is SHADWS ON A MAINE CHRISTMAS, and the Mainely Needlepoint series which debuted with TWISTED THREADS in January, 2015, and is followed by THREADS OF EVIDENCE in August, 2015, and THREAD AND GONE, in December, 215. Wait also writes acclaimed historical novels for ages 8 and up set in 19th century Maine, the latest of which, UNCERTAIN GLORY, takes place in a small northern town during the first two weeks of the Civil War. Lea’s LIVING AND WRITING ON THE COAST OF MAINE, about being an author and living year ’round in Maine with a husband who’s an artist also includes writing tips. Lea did her undergraduate work at Chatham College (now University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her graduate work at New York University. While she was raising the four daughters she adopted as a single parent she worked as a manager for AT&T. Now she writes full time and speaks at schools and libraries. She loves rowing, visiting historical sites, and, of course, reading and writing. See her website, www.leawait.com, and the blog she writes with other Maine Mystery writers, http://www.mainecrimewriters.com, and friend her on FB and Goodreads.

 

Well Now, I’ve Been Saying This Since I Was A Little Girl #DalaiLama #PutWomenInCharge

What more can I say?

Make Your Own Air Freshener Gels with Staci McLaughlin

Between the Chapters Extras

While Esther prefers the smell of fresh flowers and the great outdoors, sometimes the weather isn’t pleasant enough to open the windows. That’s when she relies on homemade air freshener gels.

View original post 117 more words

Check This Out – Sitting Pretty In Pink Ribbon by Gigi Lopez #BreastCancer

For FREE at eBooksHabit.com Sitting Pretty In Pink Ribbon
by Gigi Lopez

Get This Book for FREE

(The book is free on Amazon, but if you find it funny, touching, and uplifting, won’t you make a donation to breast cancer research?)

Sitting Pretty In Pink Ribbon is a funny and honest chronicle of a young woman’s battle with a breast cancer diagnosis at just 29. Her endless search for love, stability, and balance make for an inspiringly hilarious and heartbreaking story of a confused survivor trying to make sense of the world and her place in it. Written like an unapologetic heart-to-heart session with your best girlfriend, Gigi will have you both feeling for her and laughing with her.

100% of the proceeds from this book go to breast cancer research and organizations that provide treatment to BC patients and survivors that cannot afford them.

Review: Promise Me by Tara Fox Hall #HystericalTropism #BadRomanceNovel #SparklyVampires

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. — Marcus Tullius Cicero

What must it be like, to be born in 1601, a destitute dirt farmer, desperately trying to feed a wife and child? Completely illiterate, superstitious, held under the thumb of the rich, little more than a slave. Then, to find oneself suddenly immortal, seen as a demon, unclean, a monster in god’s eyes and those of your family. To make connections, fall in love, only to see the object of your affections wither and die time after time. To exist the next 200 years in the same crushing poverty and ignorance, until the world begins to turn, and opportunity begins to appear. And four hundred seventy five years later, to exist in a world completely at odds with the one you knew for so long. A world of cars and planes and space exploration. A world where intelligent, educated women are not inclined to take any crap from the men who used to rule their worlds completely?

“With some bitterness, he wondered why he was fighting so hard to survive. His life had been pointless for the last half century. Modern books and novels talked about how fun it was being a creature of the night’ so romantic and glamorous. What a crock of s**t.”

Four hundred seventy five years. Only to wind up poisoned, sprawled on the side of an isolated quarry road, alone. Well, until Sarelle comes along, with her front end loader, and her two dogs, Ghost and Darkness, to load him up and carry him to her basement. Well, she thought he was just a human . . . until she saw his teeth the next morning. Hum. A real live vampire. Sar is a kind woman, the type of woman who rescues animals off the side of the road at her own peril. So, she feeds him. But she swears she won’t be like all the silly little girls out there. She is, after all, a grown woman, over thirty and a widow. She will feed him, give him a place to stay, then send this vampire, whose truck is loaded down with silenced handguns and sniper rifles, on his way. She won’t be some stupid fan girl, fainting and squea­­ling at the thought of a sexy vampire.

Until she is.

Part way through the story began to lose coherence. From a good start, the author begins to throw in unnecessary plot points willy-nilly, as if she had lots of ideas she suddenly decided she wanted to explore. Humor disappears and histrionics ensue. There were flashes of story line that appeared, and then just as suddenly disappeared, like a shark flashing by under the surface of the water. It became somewhat of an overwrought mess of genre-specific tropes, with no real point at all. Contiguous to the breakdown of the story line, character personalities began to devolve, and distressing mannerisms and dissociative personality disorders began to appear where there were previously none. Sar goes from being a strong, capable woman, maybe not willing, but fully capable of blowing away an intruder with her own handgun, to a fluttery mess, standing around twisting her hands while her lover fights off a demon, intent on murdering them both, all the while said lover is screaming for her to run. “You might need me!” Yeah. Not so much, when all you can do is stand there and hop from foot to foot and whimper. Pft. Of course, in a lot of ways, Danial isn’t any better – just saying, “Watch out for other vampires at the party,” not, “If my brother the King of the Vampires demands to kiss you, turn him down because . . .” is just plain stupid. Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets. So, don’t get mad at her when you don’t give any real guidance, just vague generalities! Again, pft.

There are some really well-written parts, especially as we learn more about Danial’s history, from a poor peasant in rural Spain to well-off security company owner in modern day America. But the rest of the story broke down for me, for all the reasons listed above and more. I don’t normally read vampire novels, but the thought of a human woman who could stand up to the supernatural world and be strong was appealing – though the whiny, schizoid mess that began to appear two days later put paid to those expectations. It wound up being typical ‘sparkly vampire’ tropism. I checked into the others in the series, and the whole hysterical, overwrought mess turns into every bad romance novel stupid trope in the book. Bah. Not recommended. There are MUCH better series out there!

I received this book from ReadingAlley.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. All thoughts are my own.

What I Have On My September List

Wow. Lots of books for September! If I post them, maybe I will keep up – save embarrassment that way. 😉 You will be expecting the reviews (grin).

A wide variety of works – from Native American Poetry to how to make soap, I am looking forward to reading these.  Some are Netgalley.com, some are ReadingAlley.com. Check out both sources for more information on each!

Just added another! Won an Audible edition of:

These Boots Are Made for Butt Kickin' | [Kalan Chapman Lloyd]

Fun!

Promise MeProving GroundCatalina And The Winter TexanDead Men Don't Talk

Review: The SEAL’s Angel by Petie McCarty #MysterySuspense #StrongHeroine

“I’ll tell you what I’m fighting for. Not for England, nor her allies, nor any patriotic cause. It’s all come down to the hope of being with you.” ― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon

“War always reaches the depths of horror because of idiots who perpetuate terror from generation to generation under the pretext of vengeance.” ― Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier

“The footprints of an Angel in your life are Love.” ― Genevieve Gerard

Cory Rigatero is one strong young woman. A young woman who has suffered loss and betrayal, pain and suffering, and still keeps right on getting up in the morning, fighting to keep her family’s legacy, Bel Tesoro, “Beautiful Treasure” the family resort on the edge of Cory has lost everything. Her parents. Her brother, a SEAL, listed MIA two years ago. Now, it is her and Vern, her manager and general handyman at Bel Tesoro, a pile of bills, and a desperate need to keep Bel Tesoro alive.

Her brother Brian’s last words before he left her all alone six years ago were, “I prayed for a guardian angel for you last night to dog your steps while I’m gone…”

She is going to need that angel – because bad things are happening at Bel Tesoro. Things that may land Bel Tesoro in the hands of Percy “Senior” Standish, local rich bully, who is determined to buy Bel Tesoro out from under Cory and raze it to the ground in order to build honeymoon cottages as part of his own huge, overblown, high class resort on the other side of the lake. And if bad – read, ‘expensive’ – things continue to happen, she may have no other choice.

Of course, the bad things didn’t start happening until “Mac” shows up, all bearded, long haired Harley riding drifter. Vern trusts him, so Cory lets him stay to work. But when two of her resort clients nearly drown due to sabotaged kayaks, and Cory herself nearly dies when the dock collapses, trapping her under the pilings, Mac becomes suspect number one for the sabotage.

There are layers of story here. The sabotage at the resort. A mysterious package from her brother, who has been listed as dead for the last two years. And a break in by two foreign speaking men, “Where’s Formula?” Cory is terrified now not only of losing Bel Tesoro – but of losing her life.

I loved this book. Really loved it. The story line is well-developed, and the characters are believable. There is mystery, suspense, thrills. Cory is a strong woman character without being over-the-top, and highly likable. The pace is fast, and Cory barely has the chance to catch her breath as things spin out of control around her. And the very ending? Well, it was, in a word, a great ending. You will have to read it to find out what happens, but it left me with a huge smile on my face. Again, I loved this book and highly recommend it to mystery and suspense lovers with a quirky sense of humor.

As an aside – a major character in the book? Lucky Luciano. If you aren’t familiar with America Mobster History, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, and Meyer Lansky were three of the most famous American mobsters in history. History comes into play here in Lucky’s story and how it crosses and melds with Cory’s great-grandfather, Brocconi “Brock” Rigatero’s history as he built Bel Tesoro. Lucky’s history crosses my own, as my own grandfather was Lewis Archer Cooper, Chief of Police in Hot Springs, Arkansas during the period. Family stories say that Arch, besides being COP, also owned bars and, uh, hum, “bath houses,” with Lucky. Seeing as how Lucky was arrested in Hot Springs by a federal agent who was investigating “Other Matters” in Hot Springs at the time, I got a huge kick out of reading about Lucky’s part in this story! Oh, and as for one of my pet peeves? GREAT COVER!! It caught my eye right away and led me to read the blurb, which made me want to read the book. Awesome!

I received this book from Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review. This is the third Mystery Angel Romance. Each stand-alone love story has an angel hidden in the plot, and the angel’s identity is not revealed until the finale unless the reader figures it out first.

About the Author

Petie McCartyPetie McCarty spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job in order to write her stories full-time. Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer Spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday Conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

OK, I Couldn’t Resist. . .

Photo courtesy of Connie Zawacki – click to go to her Facebook page.ru

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑