Modest Musings

Modest MusingsWelcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we will tell you what books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing a review of.  Hope you enjoy!

Jessica’s Modest Musings

21480837Pixie Dust by Laura Lee – Karli Lane is the only fairy left on the planet. Vampires had driven her race to near extinction, causing the others to return to their homeland over twenty years ago. Orphaned at a young age, she was forced to hide her identity in a world full of exposed supernaturals. 

Facing her upcoming immortality, her life has become a complicated mess. A new employer and a gruesome murder bring two incredibly complex men into her life, making matters worse. She finds herself riding a non-stop emotional roller coaster while trying to figure out who she is, how to control her powers, and most importantly, how to stay alive.

Meant to Be by Tiffany King – Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can’t help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams. 

Krista’s emotions are put to the test when a move to California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.


Cipher by Cindi Madsen – Summer Davis sees deaths before they happen. She attempts to live a normal life by focusing on the dance team and her quarterback boyfriend. But then the way-too-cheery Angel of Death shows up and tells her she’s a Cipher—a person chosen to help people who are going to die resolve problems with their loved ones. Ashlyn Moore, one of Summer’s classmates, is going to die, and she needs Summer’s help before that happens.

See No Evil by Cat Byrd – A serial killer is terrorizing the coast of South Carolina, leaving behind victims brutally murdered in an unspeakable manner. What will it take to stop him?

His father once called him Lucifer, son of the devil…

He’s a friend, a father, and a lover… with an alter ego.

Can he overcome an alter ego that grows stronger by the day? Can he save his friends and family from the mad man who lives within him? This seems like an impossible task because he has no clue that the mad man even exists.

18394146Dead Dreams by Emma Right – Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams–of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.



Lynn’s Modest Musings

17315594Vanities by Gail Z. Martin—  Jewel thief and newly-turned vampire Sorren sets out to steal a priceless brooch possessed by an ancient evil before it sets the Black Dragon loose in medieval Antwerp. This series of adventures spans over 500 years, from the 1500s to modern day as a small cabal of vampires and their human helpers battle supernatural enemies to find and destroy dangerous magical items and keep the world safe from dark forces.

Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott–Trace Monroe doesn’t believe in luck. He never has. But when a fiery-headed cowgirl saunters through the saloon doors, wielding shotguns and a know-how for killing the living dead, he believes he just may be the luckiest man alive.

Trace wants to join Red’s posse, but she prefers to work alone–less messy that way. In order to become her traveling companion, Trace has to agree to her terms: no names, no questions, and if he gets bit, he can’t beg for mercy when she severs his brain stem.

He agrees, knowing only that Red is the sharpest shooter he’s ever encountered. The fact she’s stunning hasn’t escaped his attention either.

What he doesn’t know, is that Red has a very good reason to be on top of her game. She not only has the answer for how they can all outlive the plague taking over the wild, wild west, she IS the answer.

Behind The Fire by Susan MayEmily and Bobbie Jessup stand accused of first-degree arson. Their small coal-mining community of Karlgarin has branded them criminals and sociopaths; some even call them insane monsters. But something led Bobbie and Emily to leave their two young children with a sitter while they embarked on a fire-bug spree spanning many months. That something was a secret they’d promised to protect—even if it meant lying under oath. When Emily impulsively breaks that promise while under cross-examination, a bizarre tale begins to unfold of the night she followed Bobbie and discovered his secret. Behind the Fire is an extraordinary story of the random appearance of strange, shimmering black holes, frightening “black things”, and one couple’s battle to protect their town from these desperate and dangerous creatures. Is this a tale of insanity or great heroism? You won’t know until you reach the very last page. Behind the Fire is a 28,000 word novella based on a true life newspaper story. The book has been edited by the award winning NY Book Editors, New York. It also includes the short story “Do Us Part” from Susan May’s upcoming anthology of dark thriller short stories “Behind Dark Doors” which is released in September 2013.
Balancer by Patrick WongWhen teenagers Nicole and Amy save a child from a freak wildfire, they unwittingly trigger a bizarre sequence of events. In the following days, Nicole finds herself caught up in more extraordinary happenings, until she is forced to confront the startling truth about herself: She has the power to give life or take life from every living thing around her. As Nicole tests the extent of her powers, her activities attract the attention of mysterious agents who believe the girls are part of a larger terrorist plot. Now on a trail into the unknown, Nicole and Amy will be forced to question just what is real — and who they can trust.
18108877Timebound by Rysa Walker–When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence.





Ember by Bettie Sharpe


by Bettie Sharpe

Book Blurb:

Everyone loves Prince Charming. They have to—he’s cursed. Every man must respect him. Every woman must desire him. One look, and all is lost.

Ember would rather carve out a piece of her soul than be enslaved by passions not her own. She turns to the dark arts to save her heart and becomes the one woman in the kingdom able to resist the Prince’s Charm.

Poor girl. If Ember had spent less time studying magic and more time studying human nature, she might have guessed that a man who gets everything and everyone he wants will come to want the one woman he cannot have.

My Review:

WOW!! What a book. It is vulgar and crass, witty and intelligent.  It is wonderfully written and the characters are well developed.

“I know you think you’ve heard this story before, but you’re wrong. Some would have it that this story begins with a virtuous virgin, a young woman of honesty and integrity sucker punched by cruel fortune and forced to sleep among the cinders while her moral inferiors lived the life which was meant to be hers. Bullshit.”

How can you not be drawn in when the book starts like that!   Did I mention it was witty. Oh yes it is! It is a twisted tale of Cinderella that at times can leave you speechless. Ember is a witch.  She took a blood oath so she could resist the prince and in doing so caused him to notice her. When you have everything there is what do you want?  The one thing you can’t have.

Ember disguises herself as the Cinder maid in order to avoid the prince when he comes to stay at her house, and he is there a lot! You see in this version the stepsisters and stepmother are whores and they have turned the house into a whore house to make money and feed the family after Ember’s father died. They were planning on conning Ember and her father and taking off, but Ember put the nix on that and as a result have a relationship that brings some of the most interesting elements to the book.

The book takes twists and turns that at first you don’t see coming and then wonder why Ember doesn’t realize it sooner.  Highly entertaining with wonderfully developed characters and excellently written.

I love fairy tales retold and this is by far one of the most interesting I have read.  But before you pick it up beware it is an erotic retelling.Jessica



PicsArt_1375992687897NC-17 –  When they say no one under 17 admitted they mean it!! Swearing and graphic detail in this book.




About the Author:

Bettie Sharpe is a Los Angeles native with a fondness for hot weather, classic cars, and air so thick it sticks in your teeth. When she’s not busy attempting to metabolize smog into oxygen, she enjoys romance novels, action movies, comic books, video games, and every other entertainment product her teachers said would rot her brain. She loves to write almost as much as she loves to read. As a child, she dreamed of seeing her name in shiny gold cursive on the cover of a luridly titled paperback book.

Bettie and her husband share their house with two cats, numerous computers, and the possum in their palm tree.

Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

18463818Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Do not be fooled by the cover.  This isn’t just a love story between two people.  This is a story about falling in love with New York city.

Book Summary:

22-year-old Beryl doesn’t know why Gavin Slater trashed his penthouse, abandoned his dog and fled the country. But as his house sitter, she must pick up the pieces for the front man of the white-hot rock band Tattoo Thief.

When Beryl confronts the reckless rock star, she wants to know more than just what to do with his mess. Why is he running? What’s he searching for? And is he responsible for the death of his muse?

New York newbie Beryl must find her footing in Gavin’s crazy world to discover her own direction and what can bring him back.

Steamy, sassy and tender, Tattoo Thief is a story of love, redemption and escaping a comfort zone to find a second chance.

My Review:

This book is the first in a series about a band but you wouldn’t really know it from this book.  They aren’t really introduced until the very end when Gavin has a party to introduce Beryl.  The main characters are not even on the same continent for the first two thirds of the book.  That, however, leaves time for an incredible advertisement for New York city.  Beryl has a rocky start when she shows up in New York but she quickly falls in love it.

I don’t think that I’ve read a book about characters who interact solely through emails and chats before.  It was interesting to see that unfold.  At first Gavin doesn’t know Beryl is a woman.  He thinks she’s a guy named Berry.  They initially exchange email because he’s completely trashed his penthouse and hired Beryl’s uncle’s property management company to fix it.  The company that Beryl moves to NYC for.  They start out talking about the  penthouse but things get personal when Beryl starts actually house sitting for him. Gavin has forgotten about his dog being boarded and he left him there.  Heartless I know.  In what universe does someone forget their dog?  So eventually they start talking about other things and Beryl gets to the heart of Gavin’s problem.

The thing that I didn’t get was that everyone forgave so easily in this book.  Where I come from forgiveness has to be earned.  Beryl’s friend Stella does something that is a complete betrayal of trust and Gavin is all over Beryl to forgive her.  I don’t know about anyone else but no one decides for me who I forgive and no amount of cajoling would sway me.  Something else that bothered me was that when Gavin tells “Berry” to get rid of the clothes in the guest room she doesn’t.  She keeps them for herself.  They’re expensive I get it but they belonged to his dead ex-girlfriend.  Then when he comes home and their relationship has progressed they go out.  He’s goes to meet her somewhere and she wears one of the dresses.  Who does that?  He bolts before she sees him.  I no longer hated him for the dog thing at that point. I felt sorry for him.  Then I felt sorry for Jasper the dog.

All in all I liked how the author painted such a loving picture of NYC.  It is very well written.  Heidi Joy Thretheway has a very fluid way of telling a story and it kept me reading ( it pains me to give it a three but the whole instant forgiveness thing killed it for me.  I don’t even care what was in the envelope).  The author makes you feel like you’ve been to New York.  I would say it’s a love letter to New York in a lot of ways.  I’ve never want to go there before but I do now.  I admit that this isn’t what I read and I’m certain that a lot of the romance was lost on me.  I like my romance Jane Austen style.  I love how YA does it.  I got the book because the summary I read was different than the one above.  It talked of the ultra rich and butlers and that Beryl knew their secrets (the ultra rich’s secrets not the butlers because butlers are cool).  There were not any secrets and we don’t get a butler but we do get a very nice doorman.  One who saves Jasper’s life when he has an allergic reaction and treats Jasper to cheese every time he comes home.  Finally Jasper gets some respect.

temp (8)


PicsArt_1375992631838R  Beryl and Gavin are together for the last third of the book.  It isn’t over the top but it’s definitely there.








You may also enjoy these reviews:

lovely vicious cover2kiss a girl in the rainClose to you

Modest Musings

Modest MusingsWelcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we will tell you what books we have acquired this week.  Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails.  Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing a review of.  Hope you enjoy!

Jessica’s Modest Musings

18053060Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?           My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.
I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I’ve been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart.
Steal the Scarecrow’s brain.
Take the Lion’s courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Red at Night by Katie McGarry – Stella knows she should keep her distance—after all, she spent her girlhood being bullied by Jonah’s friends. Once he’s sorted out his tangled emotions, Jonah won’t have time for her anymore. Too bad she’s already fallen for him….


Freak of Nature by Julia Crane – When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

The Last to Fall by Glynn James – In 1926 Joseph Dean was just getting ready to hang himself when the man named Joshua stepped into his cafe and changed his life.
He made Joe an offer – one that would mean travelling through the door to another world to find something that had been lost for nearly two hundred years.

Large_SovereignHope_FRose_FINAL_ECoverSovereign Hope by Frankie Rose – I am prophesied.  My coming has been awaited for hundreds of years.  I am destined to end the tyranny of the Soul Reavers.  To do so I must die.  I have a life most eighteen year olds would kill for… No mom hanging around to embarrass me in front of my friends, telling me who I can and can’t date; my own house, with no one to dictate what I should do and when.  Ideal, right?



Lynn’s Modest Musings

Hidden Lost Girl: Hidden Book One by Colleen Vanderlinden – Molly Brooks is a telepathic vigilante with a few secrets and a mysterious past. Determined to make something of her bizarre powers, she devotes herself to saving those who need her most. One night, she’s followed by a powerful being in a pickup truck, and her world will never be the same. Finding herself thrust into a world full of supernatural beings she could have only imagined, Molly learns how powerful she really is, and how much she stands to lose. Combining elements of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, Lost Girl is the first book in the Hidden series by author Colleen Vanderlinden.


The Waking Moon by T. J. McGuinn – Paulette’s life is in shambles. Her sister is dead, her mother is a drunk, and she’s beenwaking forced to transfer into a chaotic public school full of bullies. Things go from bad to worse when her intoxicated mother hits and kills a teenage boy and is sent to jail. Now she is truly alone. That is until the teenage boy mysteriously comes looking for her, convinced that he and Paulette are meant to be together. He is the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen. But dead.

Afraid he’ll find her insane, Paulette must keep the secret from her love-struck best friend, Rhodes, a prodigy who lives and breathes rationality and science. In the end, it’s up to her to save them all from the power-hungry, undead teens who want to kill her, kidnap Rhodes, and claim Jack as their own.


Sinners and Sorcerers: Four Urban Fantasy Thrillers – WITCH HUNT (Preternatural Affairs) – SM Reine
Cesar Hawke wakes up with a dead waitress in his bathtub after a night of drunken partying, but he knows he didn’t kill her. He works for the Office of Preternatural Affairs. He doesn’t hurt people – he saves them. The cops disagree. Now he’s running. He’ll have to find Isobel Stonecrow, a witch that speaks to the dead, to clear his name and get his life back. He’s bagged a dozen witches before. How hard can one more be?

CALLED (Southern Watch) – Robert J. Crane
A local cop keeping order in Midian, Tennessee, Archibald “Arch” Stan lives a good but ultimately empty life. Until the drifter with a sword comes to town. Lafayette Hendricks fights things that don’t die – even when shot. As demons, chaos and unspeakable evils threaten Arch’s small town, he and Hendricks must join forces to keep watch on the darkness before it swallows Midian–and from there, the world.

FLAMING DOVE – Daniel Arenson
A child of both angel and demon, Laila is outcast from Hell, banished from Heaven and lost on an Earth left in ruins. Yet the armies of Armageddon, ended now in an uneasy truce set to implode, both need her. She can become the ultimate spy…or ultimate soldier. As the armies of Heaven and Hell pursue her, Laila’s forced to confront the struggle between her demonic and heavenly blood that battles within her heart.

CURSED! – Scott Nicholson & J.R. Rain
Albert Shipway is an ordinary SoCal guy, an insurance negotiator who likes booze and women and never having to say he’s sorry. But a little old woman knows about the storm of broken things — promises, hearts, families — littering his past, and she has one heck of a recipe for supernatural revenge: a psychotic ex, a pinch of childhood fear, a life-stealing great-granddad and a notorious mass murderer who doesn’t know he’s dead. Albert’s about to get a chance to right some wrongs.

forgottenThe Forgotten Sister by Jennifer Paynter –  The third Bennet sister, Mary, steps into the spotlight in this graceful retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

As a middle child flanked by two pairs of closely bonded sisters, marginalized by her mother, and ridiculed by her father, Mary Bennet feels isolated within her own family. She retreats to her room to read and play the pianoforte and, when obliged to mix in society, finds it safer to quote platitudes from books rather than express her real opinions. She also finds it safer to befriend those who are socially “beneath” her. When wealthy Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley glide into her sisters’ lives, Mary becomes infatuated with an impoverished young musician, the son of her old wet-nurse, who plays the fiddle at the Meryton assemblies.

It is only after her sisters tease her about her “beau with the bow” that Mary is forced to examine her real feelings and confront her own brand of pride and prejudice.

An elegant accompaniment to Jane Austen’s Pride and PrejudiceThe Forgotten Sister plucks the neglected Mary from obscurity and beautifully reveals her hopes and dreams.

Russian Reckoning by Joyce Yarrow – Performance poet and private investigator, Jo Epstein, is roped into helping her RussianRussian émigré stepfather, Nikolai, escape the clutches of a blackmailer. Jo enters a world where criminals enforce a 19th-century code of honor, threats arrive inside not-so-traditional Matryoshka (nesting) dolls, and fashion models adorn themselves with lewd prison tattoos.

From Vladimir Central Prison to the brooding Russian forest, Jo races against the clock to solve crimes committed on two continents.


Greywalker by Rayne Hall

Greywalker by Rayne Hall

From: Undead Ten Tales of Zombies Edited by Rayne Hall

ebook_cover___undead__ten_tales_of_zombies_by_raynehall-d5revv0Book Description:

Welcome to the world of the not-quite-living.

While zombies still have physical bodies, their minds are irrevocably changed. No longer governed by a conscience, incapable of reason, unrestrained by values of right and wrong, they often follow primitive instincts. If their new focus is overwhelming hunger, they let nothing get in the way of their urge to feed.
Confronted by a zombie, how would you defend yourself and those you love? What if it was your friend, relative or spouse, with remnants of their old personality – would you protect them or kill them? Is a zombie an individual with human feelings and rights, or is it a menace to be destroyed?

In this story collection, ten authors share their visions of the undead, each with their own style of storytelling and their own imagination of how ghouls may impact our lives.

Some of these zombies have been infected by virus-spreading bites, some were raised from their graves, and some have chosen the undead state for reasons of their own. Most have their wits about them, but their priorities have changed. They are single-minded in pursuit of what they need… which may or may not be living human flesh.

The authors come from around the globe. They write variously in British or American English, with different word choices, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Their tales range from short flashes to long yarns, from fantasy to science fiction, from funny to macabre and from thought-provoking to scary.

See which story of these ten appeals most to your taste. But beware: Some of these ghouls are deceptive, and by the time you realise the danger, it may be too late.

Story List:

1. IMMUNITY by Jeff Strand
What if the body’s immune system can shake off the infection?

2. GREYWALKER by Rayne Hall
A dying man will pay any price to gain time.

3. LAST CHANCE TO SEE by Tracie McBride
You have twenty-four hours before death becomes permanent.

4. FURZBY HOLT by Jonathan Broughton
Collecting census information in this English village should be an easy job.

Retirement home resident Margaret is hearing music that no one else can hear.

Mama lives in the basement.

7. I’LL LOVE YA, FOREVER, BUT… by April Grey
Faithful to a fault, that’s my Fred.

The year is 2225. Is it safe to reanimate a person from the barbarous past?

9. THE REASON FOR ZOMBIES by Douglas Kolacki
My limbs are not as cooperative as they used to be.

10. FEEDING FRENZY by Matt Hults
These zombies are hungry.


My Review:

I love the anthologies that Rayne Hall puts together.  They are always unique and her contribution to this anthology is even more so.  This was a fun story with a bit of a twist at the end.  I knew that the witch had her own reasons for helping Turgan but I didn’t know where his journey would lead him.  That was the fun of this story.  You know that the full out zombie part is coming, you just don’t see it or expect it when it does.  I liked that she gave me a false sense of security.  I honestly thought everything was going to be alright for Turgan and Laina.  I should have known better.

temp (8)
















Try these reviews: