Modest Musings

Welcome to Modest Musings!

This is were we tell you about the 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 us review.  We hope you enjoy what we found this week!

Jessica’s Modest Musings

Hexes and X’s by Zoey Kane

18132963An invitation to a dead pirate’s two-hundred-year-old mansion. A decrepit finger bone tied to a map of hidden passages, supposedly leading to bloody pearls. A legal fight over who owns the estate, and its hidden treasure—the tenacious town council, the mischievous Matilda Dread, or the kooky Coven House Witches? And booby-traps galore.

What are Zoey and her daughter Claire getting themselves into now? Thank goodness there’s a handsome deputy, Riley Jones, and an endearing redneck named Slobber, to help them along the way.

So Far Gone, Girl: A Parody by Luke Young

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Marriage can be a real nightmare; especially when your wife is a sociopath, who’s either trying to kill you, frame you for her disappearance or maybe even both. Supported by his sister whose own behavior is inappropriate at best, a pair of lunatic detectives and in-laws with questionable motives, Rick Dunce tries to navigate the tricky waters of exactly how one should act when the woman he absolutely can’t stand disappears without a trace. If this Husband-of-the-Year is truly responsible did he act in self-defense or did one too many bizarre quiz questions or inane treasure hunt clues finally push him over the edge? Whether Winnie is missing, dead or just hiding out, the only thing that’s certain is she’s so far gone that it’s not even funny- except that it is. A parody of, Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s acclaimed and runaway bestselling masterpiece, So Far Gone, Girl- will leave you doubled over with laughter, gasping for breath and checking to see if you own ottoman can really balance on its side like that.

Netherworld (The Chronicles of Koa #1) by K.N. Lee

17994785Welcome to a world where vampires must “register,” humans sell their services as pets, and angels patrol the Earth. This is Koa’s world. Koa Ryeo-won is a half-blood. She works alongside her best friend Halston in the Netherworld division. With her legendary, enchanted Lyrinian sword, Koa and the other agents keep order in the mortal world. Someone is letting rogue supernatural creatures out of the Netherworld and Koa is determined to find out why. She is missing memories of her early teen years, when her vampire father brought her to the Netherworld. Koa will stop at nothing to retrieve those memories and break her mother’s curse. Koa had it all, an attractive human pet, a sprawling manor, and the ability to walk in the sun. A Netherworld serial killer, with a craving for little girls, threatens it all. Is Koa ready to return to the Netherworld to release the one creature that can protect all that she holds dear? Is she really ready to reclaim those lost memories?

Lynn’s Modest Musings

SMLSix Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

“Recommend it to fans of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.” —Library Journal

She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory…

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life.

Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows.

Discovering Aberration by S. C. Barrus

Thaddeus Lumpen’s archaeology career is near collapse, thanks to DAthe machinations of rivals who would kill to claim a discovery for themselves. In desperation he turns to Freddy Fitzgerald, a rebellious writer who still maintains connections from his days as a street hooligan. For Lumpen to get ahead of his even less scrupulous competitors he must steal an ancient map and forge a path to an island where a lost civilization waits to be found. For Freddy, it’s a chance to sell the story of a lifetime.

But nothing is as simple as it appears from halfway across the world. Old acquaintances become enemies, professional rivalries turn violent, and a notorious gang lord wants his map back. The island itself holds dangers that Freddy and Lumpen couldn’t have prepared to face–and horrifying secrets that might be better left buried. Beset by wild beasts, cutthroat competitors, and dangers darker still, the two men fight not for glory, but their own survival… before the island pushes them past the brink of insanity.

DISCOVERING ABERRATION is a alternative history adventure novel. Inspired by the classic science fiction, adventure, and horror writers who spawned what would later become the steampunk genre, DISCOVERING ABERRATION is part Victorian era urban romp,part dark fantasy adventure.

Benedict Hall by Cate Campbell

BHIn this richly layered debut novel, Cate Campbell introduces the wealthy Benedict family and takes us behind the grand doors of their mansion, Benedict Hall. There, family and servants alike must face the challenges wrought by World War I and the dawn of a new age brimming with scandal, intrigue, and social change. Seattle in 1920 is a city in flux. Horse-drawn carriages share the cobblestone streets with newfangled motor cars. Modern girls bob their hair and show their ankles, caf s defy Prohibition by serving dainty teacups of whisky to returning vets and the wartime boom is giving way to a depression. Even within the Benedicts’ majestic Queen Anne home, life is changing above and below stairs. Margot, the Benedicts’ free-spirited daughter, struggles to succeed as a physician despite gender bias and personal turmoil. The household staff, especially longtime butler Abraham Blake, have always tried to protect Margot from her brother Preston’s cruel streak. Yet war has altered Preston too not for the better. And when a chance encounter brings a fellow army officer into the Benedict fold, Preston’s ruthlessness is triggered to new heights. An engineer at the fledgling Boeing company, Frank Parrish has been wounded body and soul, and in Margot, he senses a kindred spirit. But their burgeoning friendship and Preston’s growing wickedness will have explosive repercussions for everyone at Benedict Hall rich and poor, black and white as Margot dares to follow her own path, no matter the consequences.

The Paris Time Capsule by Ella CareyTPTC

Inspired by the fascinating true story of a treasure filled apartment that was abandoned in Paris for seventy years,The Paris Time Capsule sweeps through France, from the charms of Paris to Provence’s delectable vineyards and villages …

In 2010, New York photographer Cat Jordan is fighting against her difficult past. But when a stranger dies in Paris, Cat finds herself the sole inheritor of an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been abandoned for seventy years since its mysterious owner, Madame de Florian, fled on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940.

A stash of love letters belonging to the owner’s grandmother, the infamous Belle Epoque courtesan Marthe de Florian, and the appearance of the beautiful and mysterious Isabelle de Florian’s grandson, Loic Archer, leads Cat in search of the reasons why Isabelle kept her Paris apartment a secret until her death, and why she left her entire estate to Cat.

As Cat unravels the story, she too embarks on her own journey, realizing that the secrets in the apartment may finally unlock the future…

A magical, enchanting tale, inspired by a fascinating true story, filled with unforgettable characters, each caught in the relentless turmoil of their own generation. Ella Carey’s The Paris Time Capsule will linger in your thoughts long after you have finished it.

Chief by Lyle S. Tanner

ChiefGabe has nothing to go home to now that his wife is dead. He’s spent every hour since the news in the office, burying himself in his work. He had a stack of case files on his desk full of incidents that he would have to deal with.

Among them was also news of something new that had come into town that might be able to bring his wife back to him.

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Throwback Thursday: Was It A Dream by Guy de Maupassant

Was It A Dream by Guy de Maupassant

GdMI stumbled upon this story in an anthology of what was supposed to be scary stories.  Even at seventeen my threshold for scary was high.  I expected a lot.  I still do.  Even though Was It A Dream didn’t meet my “scary” expectation but it sent me on a search for all things Guy de Maupassant.  I have nothing but admiration for Maupassant’s short stories.  No one else comes close to entertaining me the way he does.

His stories have an equal balance of simplicity and complexity.   All of his short stories (there are are around 300) have a twist to the end of them that he is famous for.  It’s almost as if he’s saying “I provided you will all the evidence.  If you didn’t catch on you only have yourself to blame.”

Was It A Dream is about a madman who obsessively loves a woman.  She becomes ill and dies and he is left to wrestle with the loss of his love.  It consumes him.  Eventually he finds himself at her grave.  That is where the story gets interesting.  The narrator of the story witnesses some very strange things.  I don’t want to give it away so you’ll have to read the story for yourself.  You can read it here.   My favorite thing about this story is the narrators decent into madness.  We actually get to watch it.

Maupassant is, even to this day, known for employing psychology in his work.  He was fascinated with it and it’s why I’m fascinated with him.  He liked to throw his audience and twist his endings.  He lowers the curtain at the end of the story and shows you the clockwork moving.  It’s beautiful.

The next time you are looking for a short story to read, consider Guy de Maupassant and his wonderful stories.  You can get most of them for free from The Literature Network, Amazon, B&N or Project Gutenburg.  Guy de Maupassant is the father of the modern short story and he inspired great authors like O. Henry so don’t be afraid.  You’ll be as obsessed as I am in no time.

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Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

 

TMT_BookBook Description:  Two years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising. But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems. Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy. He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

* I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:  The book description sounds dire.  This book is far darker than the Timely Death series.  While the Timely Death series follows Eric and Jessica’s struggle with the righteous Light it is confined to their struggle.  The war that Eric and Jessica are fighting is not known to the everyday humans.  There isn’t a constant tension that the entire world would be affected.  This book has a wider scope.

In the opening pages we find that the United States is a different place then what we know.  There is a curfew that the main character of this story skirts like a professional.   Right from the beginning we know that something terrible has happened and changed everything forever.

We are immediately introduced to a drug that is a huge problem for a lot of people for a number of reasons.  Tomo allows the user to see the future.  It’s an interesting concept.  Who wouldn’t want to see the future right?  When Sophia meets Noah for the second time he is clearly under the influence of tomo.  Under the influence and totally alert as if it’s a normal thing for someone to know what is going to happen before it happens.

The characters in this novel are just as complex, and just as complicated as the Timely Death series so if you enjoyed those characters you will love these.  These are not just normal teenagers thrust into the unknown.  These teenagers know that life can be upset in a single heartbeat.  They know that lives can be irrevocably changed by the decisions or mistakes of a single person.

This book is an adventure and I loved every single minute of it.  I enjoyed getting to know Noah and Sophia.  Everything is on the line in the war they are fighting and the author makes us feel it.  If you like books such as Divergent and Under the Never Sky then you will love Take Me Tororrow.  It’s a big story with many layers and I’m excited for the next installment.  It’s clear that Shannon A. Thompson is growing as an artist and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

 

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*Complicated themes.

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Don’t miss our reviews of the Timely Death series and our interview with Shannon A. Thompson:

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Modest Musings

Welcome 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

16170345Die for Me by Cynthia Eden – Katherine Cole thought her fianc? was the perfect man ? until he turned out to be the perfect killer. He left his victims stabbed through the heart holding a telltale single red rose and was deemed the Valentine Killer. Three years ago he vanished. Now he’s back. And he’s hunting the one who got away. In New Orleans, Katherine dared to hope she was finally safe, yet somehow he found her. This time, Katherine won’t just sit silently by; she?ll do anything to stop the monster she once loved, even trust the sexy cop promising to keep her safe? Detective Dane Black never lets his emotions interfere with the job, even as the Valentine Killer surfaces in New Orleans to stalk his prey. But when Dane agrees to protect the killer’s ex-fianc?e, he can’t ignore the passion kindling between them. After a single unforgettable night binds them body and soul, Dane won’t rest until Katherine is safe in his arms ? and the Valentine Killer is dead.

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Haven A Stranger Magic by D. C. Akers – Sam Dalcome thinks he is so completely average that no one ever notices him. Until he discovers a mysterious stranger outside his home. Bewildered, he tries to uncover the stranger’s intentions. But Sam is sidetracked when he and his friend Travis discover a secret passageway deep in the town’s quarry that leads to a hidden cavern. What they uncover next will not only change their lives forever, but will uncover the first clue to a deadly Dalcome family secret. Sam finds himself drawn into a world of mystery and magic he never knew existed, which brings him closer to a destiny he never knew was possible.

HAVEN SERIES: Known as a place of refuge, Haven is a sanctuary for those with supernatural abilities. Decades of peace between the Witches, Vampires, Goblins, Elves, and Orcs is coming to an end. Now the once tranquil world is shrouded in deception and corruption. Dark secrets tear at the very fabric of their alliance giving way to an evil that stirs in the shadows. Exhilarating and utterly gripping, the HAVEN series is an action-packed journey full of suspense, magic, mystery, and intrigue.
HAVEN: A Stranger Magic is the first Novella in the HAVEN series by author D.C. Akers. This Novella contains 28,817 words, and about 172 pages in print form.

18195108The Doll’s House by Louise Phillips – People say that the truth can set you free. But what if the truth is not something you want to hear?
Thirty-five years ago Adrian Hamilton drowned. At the time his death was reported as a tragic accident but the exact circumstances remained a mystery.
Now his daughter Clodagh, trying to come to terms with her past, visits a hypnotherapist who unleashes disturbing childhood memories of her father’s death. And as Clodagh delves deeper into her subconscious, memories of another tragedy come to light – the death of her baby sister.
Meanwhile criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is called in to help in the investigation of a murder after a body is found in a Dublin canal. When Kate digs beneath the surface of the killing, she discovers a sinister connection to the Hamilton family.
What terrible events took place in the Hamilton house all those years ago? And what connects them to the recent murder?
Time is running out for Clodagh and Kate.
And the killer has already chosen his next victim . . .

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Blackmoon Beginnings by Kaitlyn Hoyt – Large gorgeous men, a hidden race, and a magical secret.

Ryanne Arden was on track to being Stormfield High School’s Valedictorian. Being the shy, quiet studious type, she’s always done her own thing. That all changed when a drunk man decided to get behind the wheel of a car. With the death of her mother, Ryanne is suddenly more alone than she’s ever been. With no friends or family to turn to, a local woman named Jane offers to help Ryanne in her time of need.

With graduation looming ahead of her, eighteen year old Ryanne must get her act together if she wants to get out of the small town of Stormfield, Maine and away from her painful memories.

Meeting the attractive Colton Wagner, changes everything. He awakes something in Ryanne that even she didn’t know she had. Magic. With her life suddenly thrown upside down, Ryanne has been thrust into a world completely unbeknown to her.

Being the only non-mage to ever gain magic, paints a target on Ryanne’s back. She’s the girl the whole mage world has been searching for. It has been prophesized for thousands of years that a young non-mage female would put an end to the chaos created by rogue mages, the Gadramicks. Their manipulative leader, Dravin, will do anything within his power to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.

Finding out that she’s an intricate part to ending a supernatural war, Ryanne has the weight of all mages on her shoulders. With the help of Colton and his family, along with a healer, a dream-walker, and a loud-mouthed mage, Ryanne sets out on the journey of a lifetime. Can she overcome her insecurities and do what is needed of her or will she lose her identity behind the magic inside of her?

sfSolitude’s Fine by John Porter – A gripping short story chronicling the journey of an eighteen year-old’s discovery of sex, violence, love, pain and grief – and the realisation that they’re all the same thing.

Written by an eighteen year-old John Porter, fiction has never been so hauntingly honest.

Lynn’s Modest Musings

22913398The Hanging of Hard Barnes by Ryan King—  Raised in the dark shadow of his twin brother Hardin, Lloyd Barnes is on a mission to save Hard from the hangman’s noose. In the corrupt L.A. scene of the late 1920’s, though, Lloyd’s task looks hopeless as the California penal system makes ready for its last legal public execution. The Hanging of Hard Barnes is a compelling and humorous short novel.

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Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter—  BOOK 1 OF THE WHITE RABBIT CHRONICLES

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave.

Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

10048874Dearly Departed: A Zombie Novel by Lia Habel—  Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

 

Throwback Thursday: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

BATacNarrator: Michael C. Hall

Length: 2 hours 52 minutes

Unabridged

 

I read this story for the first time just after I saw the movie for the first time.  I haven’t watched the movie since.  It was a good movie but my teenage brain was let down by it once I read the story.  I still feel that way.  If you’ve only ever seen the movie you should take the time to at least listen to the audiobook.  They are not the same.

This story follows an unnamed narrator as he observes and befriends fellow tenant Holly Golightly.  He, of course, is instantly in love.  Holly however knows better than to fall in love with him.  She is still searching for who she is and where she belongs in the world.

Truman Capote’s words are flawless.  People may not all agree about Breakfast_at_Tiffanyshis subject matter or story construction but no one can find fault in the words he used to get there.  His words are perfect.  They create the characters.  His ability to chisel into existence a character that you would believe is walking around somewhere is unmatched.  After two hours of listening to our unnamed narrator recount his time as someone who cared deeply for Holly, I felt his pain, his loss, his helplessness.  I don’t think it was just Michael C. Hall’s brilliant narration.  I think it has to do with Truman Capote’s genius.  I realized that I missed some of that the first time around.  I knew it was good but I didn’t know how good.

I understand this story more now than when I was a teenager.  Things make sense now.  I understand how profoundly sad these characters are.  I feel for Holly in a way that I didn’t before.  Holly was an obnoxious socialite to me as a teen.  Now I see her for what she was; lost.  She was completely and totally lost and terrified, drifting with no land in sight.  She is a survivor and I can respect that now.  I felt sympathy for our narrator where before I just thought he was a chump who got what he deserved.  I do however still feel bad for the cat because he spent a week in an ally.

I recently watched Capote on Netflix.  It’s an excellent movie and you get to spend two hours (which feels like three minutes) watching the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman be amazing.  I promise that it’s not a dry period piece.  It was very entertaining.  I have no idea how accurate it was but I was captivated.

So the next time you’re looking for a novella remember Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It’s one of those stories that is so big you will find something new in it every time you read it.

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Prime Deception by Carys Jones

UBB-PrimeDeceptionbyCarysJonesPrime Deception

by Carys Jones

Book Summary:

John Quinn, an investigative journalist on England’s biggest-selling and most notorious tabloid newspaper, is about to write the story of his life – a kiss-and-tell with one of the country’s most powerful men at its heart. But the story dies when Lorna Thomas, the kiss in his kiss-and-tell, kills herself on a quiet country road.

Unable to accept her twin’s suicide, Laurie Thomas follows in her sister’s footsteps to London and to the heart of government. And as she becomes more involved in Lorna’s world, she grows more convinced than ever that Lorna did not take her own life. But if Lorna didn’t kill herself, who did?

My Review:  

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This book was a wonderful mix of mystery and romance that kept me guessing till the very end.  I had a couple of ideas of what might have happened, but I was wrong and for me that is the best kind of mystery.  Plus the romance, of which I love, was an added bonus.

I connected with the characters and felt every emotion.  I cried with Laurie as she investigated her sisters death and agonizes over the fact that she couldn’t have possibly committed suicide. I was annoyed by Elaine, the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, a very materialistic and all about the appearances of her life.  The Deputy Prime Minister himself takes us on a grief stricken trail where he starts to lose his sense of reality. There is a heavy emphasis on the emotions of everyone involved in this story.

I will emphasis that while this is a mystery, as I have already stated, it is a romance as well.  Charles connection and grief about Lorna gets him confused with Laurie since they are identical twins.  It’s about the depth of his love for Lorna, the lack of his love for his wife, and the wish of love from Laurie.

This was well written and kept my interest all the way through.  I would rate it in with some of the top books I have read this year.

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There is sex, death, betrayal, murder

 

 

About the Author:  

7314534Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

For more information about Carys please visit www.carys-jones.com or follow her on Twitter; @tiny_dancer85

 

Modest Musings

Welcome 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

22886703Spirited Away by Angela Campbell – Who knew pet-sitting could be so dangerous…or so sexy?!

Socially awkward Emma “Spider” Fisher prefers her laptop to people, so she’s more than happy to oblige her boss when he asks her to pet- and housesit while he honeymoons in London.

But it doesn’t take long for accident-prone Spider to lose a dog, get locked out of the house, and set off the house alarm!

Thankfully, her hot new neighbor is more than happy to come to her rescue. But Noah West is a mystery to Spider—and one she intends to solve.

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Child of Awe by Kathryn Lynn Davis – Muriella Calder…a young Scots beauty with auburn hair and wondrous green eyes. Sole heir to castle and fabled fortune. Stolen from her family and betrothed against her will to the second son of a rival clan.

John Campbell…a proud young warrior and hero on the bloody fields of valor. His courage has won him honors for the Campbell clan and made his name a legend—but his bloodlust dismays his stolen bride.

Every corner of Muriella’s new world seems locked in violent struggle, but none so fierce as that which rages in her heart. She anxiously awaits the sweet awakening of love’s first passion—the tender touch and warm need of a gentle lover’s lips, her proud heart’s desire.

18627447Tethered by Brandi Leigh Hall -Since foreseeing the imminent death of her parents six years earlier, Chloe has lived a simple, not-so-charmed-life away from her remaining Wiccan family.

Zero magic.

No close friendships.

While struggling to bench-press more guilt than any nineteen-year-old ever should.

But fate intervenes and forces Chloe to return home. As if being an in-the-closet-Seer wasn’t bad enough, now she has to spend summer break with the snarky sister who hates her—and the magical birthright she was hell-bent on denying for all eternity.

Luckily, meeting Mr. Perfect takes the edge off her endless family drama. Hunter’s twenty-five, sometimes old-fashioned in a Jane Austen hero sort of way, and more delicious than molten-lava cake. But the more she tries to hide her family’s magical secrets from this ever-present stranger, the more quickly she realizes he’s hiding a few doozies of his own.

Will the lies and betrayal destroy their relationship before it really begins? Or will learning of their tethered future create an unbreakable bond neither can deny? Either way, their hearts will be forever entwined by destiny.

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Dewitched:  The Untold Story of the Evil Queen by E.L. Sarnoff – After serving time for Snow White’s attempted murder, the Evil Queen is about to get a makeover. Just not the kind she expected. Thinking she’s been sent to a luxurious spa that will enable her to regain her beauty and recapture her title, Fairest of All, Jane Yvel instead finds herself at Faraway, a rehab center that caters to Fairytalelanders addicted to evil.

Upon confronting her love-hate relationship with her magic mirror and the demons of her past, she is sent back to the world of happily-ever-after. Her goal: to discover the true meaning of beauty. Her assignment: to work for Marcella, a demanding Princess-In-Waiting. Jane finds herself irresistibly drawn to Marcella’s dashing fiancé, Prince Gallant, and his exquisite seven-year old daughter, Calla Rose. Will the Evil Queen who had no heart end up with a heart that’s broken?

Wickedly funny, darkly shocking, and deeply moving, DEWITCHED unravels the Snow White story as we know it and will make you see the evil legend in a new light as she rewrites her life.

20987118Dark Angel by Christine Pope – Finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare….

As the future prima, or head witch of her clan, Angela McAllister is expected to bond with her consort during her twenty-first year, thus ensuring that she will come into her full powers at the appointed time. The clock is ticking down, and her consort has yet to make an appearance. Instead, her dreams are haunted by a man she’s never seen, the one she believes must be her intended match.

But with time running out, and dark forces attempting to seize her powers for their own, Angela is faced with a terrible choice: give up her dreams of the man she may never meet and take the safer path, or risk leaving her clan and everyone in it at the mercy of those who seek their ruin.

Darkangel is the first book in the Witches of Cleopatra Hill, a paranormal romance trilogy set in the haunted town of Jerome, Arizona.

Lynn’s Modest Musings

17370021Darker Days by Jus Accardo—  Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls–but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course…

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case–until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they’re recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy–except for one thing…

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family–or lose everything.

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Letters From A Murderer by John Matthews—  New York, 1891: a rapidly changing city, torn between lamplight and electric light, where the burgeoning steel and railway industries attract a flood of humanity from every corner of the globe, fuelling cut-throat gangs, corruption and vice.

A prostitute is found brutally murdered. Immediately fear starts to spread. The victim bears the same hallmarks as Jack the Ripper’s recent killing spree in England. Could it be that the Ripper has crossed the Atlantic to fresh killing grounds? Or is this simply a copycat murder?

To solve the case, one of the original English Ripper pathologists, Finley Jameson, is teamed up with Joseph Argenti, one of the new ‘untouchable’ detectives, hand-picked by a New York Mayor eager to fight corruption.

But Michael Tierney, the city’s leading gangster, has his own ideas about how the city should be run. And as the body-count rises, and Jameson & Argenti are taunted by the killer in open letters, they find themselves fighting not just to save the next victim, but for the city’s very soul.

21518594Dead Medium by Peter John—  New Re-Edited Edition. The deathly silence is about to be broken. She disliked the company of others and death did little to warm her spirit. She had led an independent life and she faced death in much the same way. She was finally alone, finally free from the mindless babble of others, at least that’s what she thought. May Elizabeth Trump was the rarest of spirits and she was none too happy about it either. She was a dead medium, a ghost who can speak with the living, and her services were to become in great demand. Flung into the limelight and smothered with unwanted attention, May soon discovers that it is not only ghosts with long awaited messages that have taken an interest in her. Something dark was lurking in the shadows, stalking her. Even the dead are not left to rest in peace. Dead Medium: A humorous, character driven story and a unique vision of life after death. Not your average ghost story.

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The Flirt (The Regency Intrigue Series, Vol.1) by M.C. Beaton—  Tongues were set wagging when Elizabeth Markham’s glamorous young parents were killed, leaving their only child to the unspeakable class of poor relation. Forced to live with her cruel, miserly uncle Julius, Elizabeth was forbidden to participate in the season’s festivities. Elizabeth realized that marriage was her only escape, and she decided on a daring plan: she would trick her way into the Duke of Dunster’s exclusive house party and snare one of the eligible bachelors sure to be happy to dance with her.

Elizabeth’s plan succeeded swimmingly, as she flirted with everyone with the exception of the arrogant Lord Charles Lufford, who was considered by those in the know to be quite a catch. She ignored Charles thoroughly until her uncle discovered her deception and it was, of all people, Charles who saved her – by announcing their engagement!

But Elizabeth’s troubles were far from over. In her absence she had come into an inheritance and her uncle, along with another sinister party, would rather see her dead than receive.

18010355The Line by J.D. Horn—  Savannah is considered a Southern treasure, a city of beauty with a rich, colorful past. Some might even call it magical…

To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South.

Despite being powerless herself, of course.

Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content. But when a series of mishaps—culminating in the death of the Taylor matriarch—leaves a vacuum in the mystical underpinnings of Savannah, she finds herself thrust into a mystery that could shake her family apart…and unleash a darkness the line of Taylor witches has been keeping at bay for generations.

In The Line, the first book of the Witching Savannah series, J.D. Horn weaves magic, romance, and betrayal into a captivating Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare.

The Way Life Was Forever by Carey Corp

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The Way Life Was Forever

by Carey Corp

Book Summary:

Sun-dwellers are foul monsters that eat a human’s flesh from their bones…or so sixteen-year-old Lyra has always been taught. To keep their citizens safe, her colony seals itself into the vaults by day.

Moonwalkers are horrible beasts that feed on the blood of men…at least, that is what Perseus was told. The only sure survival for his people is to lock themselves into their repositories each night.

Both labeled as undesirable by their respective kinds, a fated meeting in the forbidden forest offers Lyra and Perseus an unexpected chance at happiness. If they can overcome their own prejudices and discover the truth about one another before time runs out.

Can the sun-dweller and the moonwalker learn that when reality is distorted by hate and terror sometimes the only thing to truly fear is fear itself?

My Review: 

I will admit it was the cover of this book that first caught my eye.  When I read the summary I thought, well that could be interesting.  I was not disappointed.  This is a very short story and I felt like I had just started it when all of a sudden it was over, but don’t let that fool you.  It is very descriptive and you learn a lot about our main characters in a short span of time.

Essentially there are two groups of people, the Sun-Dwellers and the MoonWalkers and each believe the other will kill them.  When it is time for one faction to come out the other one seals themselves up in there vault like homes.  If you are not back when it is time to seal the vaults you are left outside.  Lyra gets left outside when the day comes and that is when she meets Perseus.

I don’t want to say much more or I will give the whole story away, but this is a free short story on Amazon and I enjoyed it.  It was well worth the little time it took to read it.

 

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PicsArt_1375992687897GA_roundThere is nothing inappropriate out this book.

 

 

 

 

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

Dead Spots by Melissa F. Olson

 

DeadcoverBook Description:

Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused—vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.

But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.

 

My Review:  I am not a werewolf fan.  Everyone knows this.  That said, I didn’t hate this book but I’m not in love with it either.  I liked Scarlett but I didn’t connect with her.  I didn’t agree on many of her choices.  Really I only agreed with one and you’ll know it when you see it.

This book has some interesting mythology.  I liked the idea that all the supernatural beings had the same origin.  I liked that they evolved into what they are now.  It paved the way nicely for what a null was and why they existed.  It was explained well so I at least had a good understanding of what Scarlett was.  It sort of came back to bite me where the plot concerned though.

What I didn’t understand was why or how Scarlett was in the predicament she was in.  If null’s are so valuable why was the most powerful vampire in the city ready to use her as a scape goat?  Even the end of the book didn’t work that out for me.

I didn’t think that the love triangle was believable.  I liked Cruz but as Scarlett says on many occasions, he has the gun.  Not the stuff that dreams are made of.  I assume that he was supposed to represent the normal life that Scarlett could have.  Eli, the werewolf, made me think more of werewolves.  I didn’t think anything of them before so this was an achievement.  I even felt bad about his situation with Scarlett.  Does he really like her or does he really like that he’s human when he’s with her?  Remember that she’s a null and makes supernatural creatures human when she’s around them.  Poor messed up Eli.

My only actual problem with this book is that Scarlett doesn’t take any actual action.  She’s saved by Eli and Kirsten when she’s Scarlett-napped.  Even during the big ending she only contributes by mistake.  The saving that she does is completely by accident.

Everything is completely by accident.  When Stephanie Plum does it using her gut instinct it’s fun.  When Scarlett does it because she stumbled and face-planted in the middle of the big finish it isn’t as much fun.

There is one more big thing that bothers me about Scarlett.  Her only contribution to keeping herself safe is running several miles a day to keep in shape.  If there were an infinite number of things that could kill me even if they were human I would be taking more precautions.  She doesn’t carry a gun.  She doesn’t know any self defense.  She doesn’t even keep the Taser with her at all times.  Just when she thinks she may be in danger.  This doesn’t make any sense to me.  She’s rare and everyone knows who she is.  Why wouldn’t someone be after her all the time?  I hate it when female characters need protection.

I would love to read a story about Kirsten.  She’s like a supercharged Samantha from Bewitched.  She lives in the burbs.  She has a husband, a white picket fence and a fancy kitchen.  She sounds fun.  She sounds like someone who can take car of herself.

All in all I like this book.  I may even read the next one.

 

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Questionable Content:  Eli is a one night stand.  Scarlett cleans up bloody and sometimes burned crime scenes.

 

 

 

Try these books with a strong female lead:

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Alice in Undeadland by Sebastian Gregory

Alice in Undeadland by Sebastian Gregory

Alice_coverBook Description:  What once was curious is now dead.

 

Shortly after her thirteenth birthday, unhappy orphan Alice takes a tumble — off a bridge, and into the Thames. But it seems that her misfortune has only just begun. Because where once was a Wonderland, is now a festering world of the unwanted dead.

Accompanied by a mouse-head bottle top, Alice braves Undeadland, encountering as she does so the Mad Undertaker, the Knave of Broken Hearts, and the dreaded Queen of the Kingdom of Rot. As events take curiouser and curiouser turns, things look bleak for Alice. Will she ever find her way back to the land of the living?

 

 

Book Review:  This novella is quite the adventure.  I love Alice in Wonderland stories.  I love them.  So I feel reasonably confident that I am qualified to say that this novella is magnificent.  It is hauntingly magical.

Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro should team up and make this a movie.   I would love to see that.  They would do some interesting camera work as Alice tells Mousehead the story of the Victorian children and the cursed seal.  Scary stuff.

This story is interesting and inventive.  I never knew where the story was going next.  It’s Alice in Wonderland but it’s not.  It is its own.  All of the characters are there but it isn’t Wonderland.  It is Undeadland.   It is a place far removed from the original but it is charming in its own gruesome way. Trying to predict where the story was going was like trying to catch smoke.  It was there and then it was gone.  Just like Undeadland itself, it was a mystery.   I won’t even start on what I think about the Rigor Mortis Forest.  You can leave at any time and get the book.  I wouldn’t blame you one bit.

I was pleased to discover that Alice is level headed in this story.  She handles everything that is thrown at her.  She’s very mature for thirteen.  She’s mature for any age really.  The place is spooky.  River of Poltergeists?  Scary so count me in.  The best thing about this story was that things were changed but not unrecognizable.  It also recreates the tale and changes it into something new for a new audience.  If you can’t tell, I loved it.

Alice in Undeadland also has an unexpected ending that I absolutely loved.  It was perfect for this story.

This story is delightfully creepy.  It sort of felt like all of my Christmases came at once.  Now I’m on to The Asylum for Fairy Tale Creatures.

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PGS_roundThis story is gruesome and full of the undead.   Parental Guidance Suggested.

 

 

 

 

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195877767GV Audible Audio12933942

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