Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blog Tour Post, Review & Giveaway: Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman

Description (from cover):

'Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there's no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg.

The highlight of this year's fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch's cauldron resting over it. Clyde's best friend, Diana, leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead--or that Diana will be a prime suspect.

Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there's a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend's name and catch a killer.'

My thoughts:

This book was perfect for this time of year. The book takes place at Halloween and with that holiday right around the corner, this book was a great read. I love Autumn and this book help create that feeling of crisp air, bonfires and just Fall fun. Also, I love witches. Anything to do with magic and I will just eat it right up. This book features the Wiccan religion and it was interesting to learn about covens and Wiccan traditions for this time of the year. The author creates a cozy little town in Crystal Haven and it was interesting to see how this book took off after the first in this series.

I enjoyed reading the debut in this book, Pall in the Family and was anxious to read this one. I love Clyde's family. They make me laugh so much. I actually caught myself laughing a lot aloud while reading this one. They are witty and crazy and just a riotous bunch. I really enjoyed this book and I think I liked this one more than its predecessor. This author has a way with creating fun and quirky characters that make reading quite enjoyable.

If you are looking for a perfect book to read during the crisp evenings of Autumn, then this book is perfect for the season. I enjoyed the mystery and was surprised a little at the ending. I think that this was a wonderful addition to an already wonderful series. If you haven't discovered this gem of a series yet, then you are seriously missing out on a fantastic cozy series.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  Be Careful What You Witch For
Author:  Dawn Eastman
Series:  Family Fortune Mystery #2
Publisher:  Berkley
Publication Date:  July 1, 2014
Pages:  305
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small down. Pall in the Family is her first novel. You can follow Dawn at her website: http://www.dawneastman.com/, her blog: http://familyfortunemysteries.wordpress.com/ or on Twitter: @DawnAEastman

This has been a stop on the Be Careful What You Witch For blog tour hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Make sure you stop by all the stops on the tour as a lot of them are giving giveaways of this book!

October 25 – Kelly P’s Blog
October 27 – Griperang’s Bookmarks
October 28 – Mystery Playground
October 29 – readalot blog
October 30 – Girl Lost In a Book


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Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Great Escape Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: A Plain Disappearance by Amanda Flower

Description (from cover):

'USA Today recently hailed award-nominated author Amanda Flower for A Plain Death, calling it 'the first Amish rom-com...bring on the next one!' As the enthusiastic reviews continue to mount, she's back with her third Appleseed Creek mystery,  A Plain Disappearance.

It's Christmastime in Amish County, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy's friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.'

My thoughts:

It was this author's books who first lead me to learning about the Amish and their mysterious ways. I love the way that this author weaves a mystery but uses Amish country as a backdrop. I find it more than entertaining to read about a group of people who are strongly adhered to their way of life and simplicity. I found that after reading Flower's books, I have a desire to learn more about this often overlooked culture and find out how intriguing it really is. I find the Amish to be utterly fascinating and love to learn about their ways of life and their different ways of approaching life.

This book is the third installment in the Appleseed Creek mystery series. I didn't quite enjoy this one as much as the others in this series, but nevertheless, I found it to be a good read. It was interesting to see how the Amish celebrate the Christmas holiday and how it differs so much from the way I celebrate Christmas. Throw in a murder mystery along with well-developed characters and well you got a interesting read on your hands. I am interested to see how things turn out in the future for these characters and I am most curious to see how Timothy and Becky adjust to their new lives after leaving the Amish.

I enjoy this series because it teaches me something I know very little about. I also like it because it is very entertaining at the same time. I enjoy the characters and love how the author created so much depth. These characters are not the run-of-the-mill lot and really bring something to these books. I enjoy escaping to Amish country for a little while when I read these books. I still, however, think that this book isn't as good as the others, but nonetheless, I still found it to be a fun book to read.

Overall Rating: 3.5

Title:  A Plain Disappearance
Author:  Amanda Flower
Series:  Appleseed Creek Mystery #3
Publisher:  B&H Books
Publication Date:  September 1, 2013
Pages:  336
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour Stop, Review & Giveaway: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Description (from cover):

'When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder. Suddenly she's learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.

A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930's are pieces of the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she's not sure she's ready.'

My thoughts:

I am a girl that was born and raised in the South. I like books that portray a sense of the upbringing that I had, but I also don't like books that overdo it and put a bad slant on Southerners as well. I'm torn between stating whether or not this book did that or not. I don't think that it was intentional on the author's part, but I almost felt a little insulted. This book takes place in Tennessee and I live in North Carolina. While I realize that this book is fictional and a spin on the South, we simply do NOT speak like the people in this book. It was annoying to read and it was very hard to get past.

Nevertheless, if you put the horrible way the characters speak in this book, it wasn't all that bad. I liked how the author portrayed a current day mystery and mixed it with a mystery from the 1930's. I thought that was interesting and I really like how the author did that in this book. It created a depth and a thread of a storyline that I was eager to read on to figure out. I like Tess' character and I like the small town of Goose Pimple Junction as well. I thought that this was a good cozy and I would like to see some more of the characters in this book. I will say that this book was a little too "romancey" for my tastes, but it wasn't distasteful or anything. 

If you like books that are set in the South and if you like very strong characters, then this might be a book worth checking into. It wasn't the best book, nor was it the worst. I am curious to see what the author has in store for these characters, so I am sure that when the next book is released, that I will pick it up. I just have to get over the Southern speech thing first.

Overall Rating: 3

Title:  Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
Author:  Amy Metz
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Southern Ink Press
Publication Date:  September 6, 2014
Pages:  320
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble


About the Author:

Amy Metz attended Centre College and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught first grade until her first child was born, and then motherhood and volunteer work took up her time. When her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, she turned to writing as therapy. Needing an escape from life and from the memoir, and desperately needing to laugh, she began writing a humorous southern mystery that eventually became Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, and an author was born.

Amy has been richly blessed with two sons--an adult and a teenager--and a daughter-in-law. When not actively engaged in writing or spending time with her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. Amy's debut novel, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, was published in August 2012. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.



This has been a stop of the 'Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction' book tour hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. Make sure that you stop by all the other stops as some of them are giving away a copy of this book!

October 15--MysteriesEtc
October 16--Tea and A Book
October 17--Cozy Up With Kathy
October 20--Girl Lost In a Book
October 21--Turning the Pages
October 22--deal sharing aunt
October 25--readalot
October 28--Chloe Gets A Clue
October 31--Melina's Book Blog

Now you can win a copy of this book too. Just enter using the widget below. Please note this giveaway is for US residents only. Good Luck!!


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Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Wouldn't It Be Deadly by D.E. Ireland

Description (from cover):

'Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series.

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball--where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins' bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess--Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival, Emil Nepommuck.

After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard's prime suspect.

However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck's pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor's name is to discover which of Nepommuck's many enemies in the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

This reimagining of George Bernard Shaw's beloved characters is sheer pleasure. Wouldn't It Be Deadly transports readers to Edwardian London, from the aristocratic environs of Mayfair to the dangerous back alleys of the East End. Eliza and Henry steal the show in this charming traditional mystery.'

My thoughts:

I've only had the privilege of watching some of My Fair Lady and I loved Audrey Hepburn's character in it. When I heard that there was going to be a cozy mystery based on the characters, I knew that I wanted to read it. I enjoyed this one and I loved how the author used the characters in this book. The characters are very similar to the ones in the movie and play and I love how the author decided to stay true to the character's natures. That alone is a hard feat, and I admire that greatly. Eliza Doolittle in this book is a lot like the Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. However this book takes place after the Embassy Ball, Eliza has changed, but as the saying goes, 'You can take a girl out of the East End, but you can't take the East End out of the girl.'

Eliza tries her best to be her new and reformed self, but at times, the reader sees the East End Eliza make an appearance. I really enjoyed this book for it's characters and I thought that it was a well written cozy mystery. I am anxious to read the next in this series and see how the author continues Eliza's and Professor Higgins' story. I thought that this was a unique idea and I applaud the author for their use of creativity and plot to make this one I was hard pressed to put down.

I found this one to be highly amusing and entertaining. I simply cannot wait to read the next one. If you love My Fair Lady and like cozy mysteries, I highly recommend this one for you. I thought that the author stayed true to detail and did an epic job of taking something so famous and making a cozy mystery out of it that I immensely enjoyed.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  Wouldn't It Be Deadly
Author:  D.E. Ireland
Series:  Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery #1
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Publication Date:  September 23, 2014
Pages:  336
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blog Tour Stop & Review: Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne

Description (from cover):

'FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she's left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her...until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers put her talents to the ultimate test.

A hacker who identifies himself only as "Warlock" brings down the FBI's website and posts a code in its place that leads to a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground...as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.

Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star--until she turns her back on her troubled family to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes' discovery of an old magic magazine will turn Jessica's world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose--and everything to gain--by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to achieving the seemingly impossible.

The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock's series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to stop a depraved killer? If she can't, she may become his next victim.'

My thoughts:

This type of book is something that I don't typically read. I usually stick to cozy mysteries and historical fiction, which is clearly evidenced by this blog. I decided, when offered to read this book, that I would step outside my box and try something new. I am so glad that I did. This book was fantastic. It started off with a bang right away and had me reading through it to find out what happens next. Andrew Mayne is a fantastic thriller writer and keep me guessing from page one until the very last page. The author created a wonderful character in Jessica Blackwood. She is not your typical protagonist. She is not confident in her skills as an FBI investigator. She has a troubled background and fights constantly with her past in this book.

I really enjoyed this book. For some reason it reminds a little of James Patterson, but at the same time, it doesn't. James Patterson's books tend to follow a predestined formula and this one was all over the charts. I had no idea what to expect next and spent most of the book wondering what the Warlock had in store next. The author did a phenomenal job of creating some pretty complex murders in this book and it amazed me as it shows me a little bit of what his imagination is like. 

If you are looking to read a thriller that will keep you turning the pages and that is not your typical thriller, then this is the book for you. I really enjoyed this one a lot and I am hoping that we get to see more of Jessica in future novels. The author really has created a masterpiece and I can't but hope that he has more for this reader. I am also glad that I tried something a little different from the norm for me and that I loved it.

Overall Rating: 5

Title:  Angel Killer
Author:  Andrew Mayne
Series:  Jessica Blackwood #1
Publisher:  Bourbon Street Books
Publication Date:  September 23, 2014
Pages:  368
Genre:  Thriller
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Hes a magician, a paranormal illusionist, an inventor and an unapologetic prankster. Hes been one of magics best kept secret. Andrew Mayne started off on a promising career in magic as a teenager when he became the second youngest illusionist to ever embark on a world tour (The first one being another upstart by the name of David Copperfield).

During his tour he performed in resorts, on luxury liners and exotic locales around the world. Five years later, at the ripe old age of twenty-three, he decided it was time for a career change. Bored with putting beautiful girls into boxes only to be cut in half, the sequins and the other clich├ęd trappings of magic, Andrew decided to call it quits on anything that was beginning to look like a normal career in magic.

Although an established performer at the top of his career, there wasnt a place for the kind of magic Andrew really wanted to perform. To his booking agents chagrin, he decided to delve behind the scenes and see what kind of boundaries he could push.
 
This has been a stop on the 'Angel Killer' book tour presented by TLC Book Tours. Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour!

Tuesday, September 23rd--Always With a Book
Wednesday, September 24th--Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
Thursday, September 25th--Priscilla and Her Books
Thursday, September 25th--Mysteries and My Musings
Thursday, September 25th--Why Girls Are Weird
Monday, September 29th--From the TBR Pile
Monday, September 29th--Mysteries and My Musings
Wednesday, October 1st--The Road to Here
Friday, October 3rd--Not in Jersey
Monday, October 6th--BoundbyWords
Tuesday, October 7th--Ace and Hoser Blook
Wednesday, October 8th--Book Loving Hippo
Thursday, October 9th--Open Book Society
Monday, October 13th--Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, October 14th--No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, October 15th--Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Wednesday, October 15th--A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, October 16th--Book Marks the Spot
Friday, October 17th--Girl Lost in a Book
Friday, October 24th--Dream Within a Dream


Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review: The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory

Description (from cover):

'They trust her to watch over the rise of the House of Tudor. She's the only one who knows how it can fall.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the critically acclaimed Starz series The White Queen, comes the story of Margaret Pole, the last of the Yorks, and her unique view of Henry VIII's stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.

As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the king's mother, the Red Queen, as a rival to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter--Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales--and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.

But Margaret's destiny, as cousin to the White Princess, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty, yet a royal death restores her to a place at young Henry VIII's court, where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband, and her tragic decline. 

Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing her knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming to pass...'

My thoughts:

Every single time I pick up a Philippa Gregory book, I know that I am in for a treat. I love her writing style as it always sucks me right in at the beginning. Gregory has not become a famous author for no reason. She has a sense of style that makes her a legend in the historical fiction genre. When I think of Gregory and compare her to the great Jean Plaidy, I think that Gregory is the Plaidy of our current historical fiction era. Her books are wildly popular and a television show was based on her books. Gregory has a wonderful knack of telling a story that plunges the reader into the historical detail of the times she is writing about. This book is the last of her Cousin's War series and this book was a nice conclusion to that series.

This book features Margaret Pole and her role at the court of the Tudors. The reader begins set in the court of Henry VII and ends with the court of the tyrannical Henry VIII. It was nice to read about someone that I don't know a lot about and it was a new perspective on the events that took place during that time. I have said it a million times on this blog that I am so sick of reading about the Tudors, but for a Gregory book, I will always get over it and read it anyways. I wasn't disappointed. I, obviously, knew the outcome of the story, but it still was nice to get a different view of the historical events that happened during the Tudor reign in England.

Gregory, once again enchants her reader with her excellent historical detail and storytelling. I have come to expect greatness when I read one of this author's books. This book wasn't as enjoyable for me as the others in this series, but nevertheless, I thought it still was a good read. It was a  little long, but that is typical with this author. I enjoyed a fresh new character and reading about how she made an impact in her own day and age. I am glad that this series ended with a lesser known historical figure and thought it was a nice touch.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  The King's Curse
Author:  Philippa Gregory
Series:  The Cousin's War #6
Publisher:  Touchstone
Publication Date:  September 9, 2014
Pages:  624
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review: In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

Description (from cover):

'A bestselling writer's American debut and a heart-wrenching novel of WWI--a tale of love, regret, and the powerful draw of the road not taken.

Iris Crane's tranquil life is shattered when a letter summons memories from her bittersweet past: her first love, her best friend, and the tragedy that changed everything. Iris, a young Australian nurse, travels to France during World War I to bring home her fifteen-year-old brother, who ran away to enlist.

But in Paris she meets the charismatic Dr. Frances Ivens, who convinces Iris to help establish a field hospital in the old abbey at Royaumont, staffed entirely by women--a decision that will change her life.

Seamlessly interwoven is the story of Grace, Iris's granddaughter in 1970's Australia. Together their narratives paint a portrait of the changing role of women in medicine and the powerful legacy of love.'

My thoughts:

I usually tend to like books that go back in time and spend some time in the modern world. This was one of those types of books. However, I really didn't enjoy this one all that much. I spent half the time reading this book being confused. Normally books that go back and forth from the past to the present are clearly marked and easily understood by the reader. This book was all over the place. When I was reading, one moment I was in World War I and then simply the next I was in present day Australia. It was very hard to keep up, not one bit clear and frustrating.

Also, with the huge success of Downton Abbey, a slew of books featuring World War I have been released over the past couple of years. This one was of those books, but it really didn't stand out. Nothing about it was really unique and it just seemed to get lost in the enormous amount of books it competes with. It was overly long and confusing for the reader and the plot was simply predictable. I mean, we all know how WWI turns out due to history, but I want to read something a little exciting. 

I find that this book simply just didn't really appeal to me. The setting was right, but nothing really endeared me to this writer or to this novel. It simply was a way to pass the time by reading something, but it is something that I will find easy to forget. Predictable books are so boring to me and I got predictable with this one. I want something a little different and exciting. If you are looking for a read along the same lines, I would skip this one and go for something else.

Overall Rating: 1.5

Title:  In Falling Snow
Author:  Mary-Tose MacColl
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Penguin Books
Publication Date:  August 27, 2013
Pages:  464
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.
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