The Opal Fire by Barbara Annino

The Opal Fire: A Stacy Justice Mystery, Book 1 by Barbara Annino


Book Description:  Stacy Justice is just your average green-eyed, redheaded, twenty-something witch who would rather focus on her job as a reporter than practice the crazy magic her grandmother and great-aunts are into. She’s perfectly content to spend her free time hanging with her cop boyfriend and her gassy Great Dane and helping her cousin Cinnamon run the Black Opal bar. But when the Opal goes up in flames, Stacy may need that magic after all.

The blaze was arson–and Cinnamon is the prime suspect. Determined to clear her cousin’s name, Stacy digs deep into the crime and makes a shocking discovery amid the rubble. It’s clear someone wants her dead–and she’ll have to dodge everything from angry motorists to exploding chickens to survive. It’s time to dust off her so-called magic skills. But will they be there when she needs them?

With its strong, sexy heroine and her razor-sharp wit, and its collection of eccentric small-town characters, Opal Fire introduces a bewitching new mystery series.


My Review: This is a charming little mystery. It possesses all of the characters that these kind of mysteries do. We have the heroine Stacy Justice who does in fact show us her razor sharp wit from time to time. What I didn’t like about her was that she didn’t always use that razor sharp wit. She makes a lot of really silly mistakes that were frustrating to read about over and over. I think this may be a case of trying to shove a character into a story or it may be the other way around. Either way this book doesn’t take itself too seriously so I’m willing to give it a pass.

The townspeople are eccentric and, may I say, some are a little creepy. There is the guy that follows her around for a while and a patron of the bar is a newspaper hoarder. I’m still not sure if the grandma and aunts were creepy or charming. One aunt needs to be drunk to function and one dresses in ball gowns made of taffeta for example. I can tell you one thing, I hate the chief of police boyfriend. Anyone who puts me in holding cell without charging me with a crime better watch out. If a boyfriend were to do it, well, he better move to another country hoping and praying that I forget he exists.

There is a general lack of positive relationships in this book. Cousin Cin is back on with her cheating husband. Stacy’s father died when she was a kid and her mother took off never to be heard from again. Her grandparents decide to go on a couples retreat to get in touch with their feelings. The only problem there is that her grandparents have spent the last thirty years hating each other. Now they’re flirting and wanting to see if they can work things out. The new guy at the office is creeping around and breaking into Stacy’s office. He is a different creepy guy then the one I mentioned above. Oh and her boss is slightly afraid of her. All of that said she has a great relationship with cousin Cin and the Great Dane that Cin gave to her. Don’t worry some of the relationships work themselves out.

The plot was actually good. It begins with cousin Cin’s bar being torched. Cin is instantly the prime suspect so Stacy sets out to find the real arsonist and clear Cin’s name. Things actually get more interesting when a body is found behind a wall in the bars basement. That was the most intriguing thing for me.

I don’t want to judge this book to harshly. It’s the first in the series and I want to give it a chance. I recently learned a valuable lesson when  I read the first book in a series that I have loved for years. Somehow I missed this first book in the quirky series that I have come to love. I still can’t believe it myself. The fact remains, however, that I most likely wouldn’t have read the rest of the series if I had started with the first book. I really hated almost everything about that book. I was actually shocked with how different the main character was compared to the character I know and respect. My point is that the author worked out the kinks and really turned the quirky little mystery series around.

So if you want something lite to read while handing out candy this Halloween then Opal Fire is the book for you. It’s easy to follow and will make you look down at your e reader wondering if you just read what you think you just read. It was quirky enough that I will read the next one.

lynn signature










Arson, murder and general mayhem.






Try these other mysteries:


Background Image: Fire Abstract 1 by Victor Maasilamani (dejure) from

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 Musings

18810282Blur by Steven James – The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams.

Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.

What’s real? What’s not? Where does reality end and madness begin?

As Daniel struggles to find the truth, his world begins to crumble around him as he slips further and further into his own private blurred reality.


As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka – In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

6491148Timberwolf A Spooky Short Story by Carol Hanrahan – t’s the full moon, and our werewolf has been invited to dinner with the local vicar by his widowed neighbor. A home-cooked meal for this bachelor sounds pretty good. He’s starting to get very hungry….


Blackbriar by William Sleator – Danny can feel something sinister about his new home, Blackbriar, an old, abandoned cottage in the English countryside. The residents of a nearby town refuse to speak of the house and can barely look Danny in the eyes. Then Danny begins to have strange dreams of fire and witches, and awakes to shrieks of laughter that seem to come from another time and place. With help from his friend, Lark, Danny begins to unravel the mysteries of Blackbriar and its frightening past, through the discovery of an ancient doll and a chilling list of names and dates carved on the cellar door. But what might be most terrifying of all is the mystery that does not lie in the past but in the here and now…

Lynn’s Musings

downloadThe Second Girl Detective Megapack – The Second Girl Detective Megapack collects 23 more novels with girl protagonists, sleuthing for fun and justice. Here are series from Julia K. Duncan, Roy J. Snell, Dorothy Wayne, Helen Randolph, and more — nearly 3,000 pages of great girl-powered adventure!


The Carolyn Wells Mystery Megapack – Carolyn Wells was an American author of mysteries, verse, humor, and children’s books. In 1910 she decided to devote herself to mysteries and became an early master of the genre, creating two memorable sleuths: Pennington Wise and Fleming Stone. Earlier in her career, she penned two humorous stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and a plethora of other great detectives, both of which are included here.

20573174Female Sleuths The Victorians Megapack – Before Sherlock Holmes there were three female sleuths who solved crimes on either side of the Atlantic: Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, Loveday Brooke and Amelia Butterworth. Every single work featuring these three pioneering crime-busters is collected here – Lady Molly: The Complete Collection by Baroness Orczy, The Loveday Brooke series of detective novels by C. L. Pirkis and The Amelia Butterworth trilogy by Anna Katharine Greene – 21 novellas total.

Lady Molly of Scotland Yard – 12 Titles featuring the intrepid sleuth of Inverness, Scotland.

The Ninescore Mystery, The Frewin Miniatures, The Irish Tweed Coat, The Fordwych Castle Mystery, A Day’s Folly, A Castle In Brittany, A Christmas Tragedy, The Bag of Sand, The Man in the Inverness Cape, The Woman in the Big Hat, Sir Jeremiah’s Will and The End

Loveday Brooke – The popular female detective appeared in six stories in Ludgate Magazine in the 1890s. All six mysteries are included here:


The Amelia Butterworth trilogy by Anna Katharine Greene

That Affair Next Door
Lost Man’s Lane
The Circular Study

*Over 1,000 pages total!

*Each book stunningly illustrated with original art reformatted for the Kindle.
*Includes original essays and author biographies.


Synchronic 13 Tales of Time Travel -Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel introduces 13 varied and original takes on the pitfalls and paradoxes of time travel—from some of today’s most talented voices.

From Michael Bunker’s story of a father, a son, and the legendary Santa Anna Gold, to Jason Gurley’s heart-wrenching tale of an astronaut forever torn from his young wife and daughter, these stories will keep you on the edge of your seat, and often have you guessing right up until the final word.

You’ll meet a prison therapist who treats his patients by going back and preventing their crimes; a woman who can’t stop reliving her life, no matter how much it hurts; a space marine suffering from a time-altering brain injury; a woman who will betray the man she loves to correct a horrible mistake; a vengeful soul from ages past; and a time cop charged with preserving the timelines of multiple universes.

You’ll experience a world where time travel is so common, reality itself hangs by a thread; a love story that overcomes the unforgiving barriers of time; a thrilling encounter with a pack of T. rex; a historian’s efforts to alter Roman history; and the first manned mission to the Red Planet—or is it?

So sit back and enjoy. Just be sure you’ve got plenty of time.

20680865Murder at Ashgrove House by Margaret Addison – The first book in the Rose Simpson mysteries.
When Sir William and Lady Withers invite friends and family to a weekend house party at their country home, Ashgrove House, they are faced with the arrival of both invited and uninvited guests, the consequence of which is murder. Set in 1930, “Murder at Ashgrove House” is full of intrigue, clues and red herrings, with nearly everyone having a motive for wishing the victim dead. This is a classic country house murder mystery set during the golden age of crime and will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie and Downton Abbey, alike.



Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk


Short Fiction Thursday:

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk


Book Description:  Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”


My Review:  If you already think that carnivals are creepy then this story will seal the deal.  I personally have very fond memories of carnivals as a child. However, I never remember seeing an assassin there. They may have been even more fun if I had.

I really liked this story. It was a great mix of fun and danger. I should say that I have never read any of The Elemental Assassin series so I didn’t know any of the characters before hand. I’m sure that the story is even better when you know the characters involved but this story was great on its own. I didn’t have any problems following along. It’s my understanding that there are twelve books in this series and like any long running series the author knows the main character so well that she feeds us information smoothly and it didn’t interrupt the story. That was really important to me.

This was the first thing I have ever read anything by Jennifer Estep and I really think I’m going to give her Elemental Assassin series a try. Yes, even though it’s twelve books in. Actually at the moment it’s only eleven books in, Black Widow comes out November 25th according to her website.

This is a great story to get you in the mood for Halloween. Bring on the carnivals!

temp (8)








QC-13_roundA tiny bit of violence there are knives involved. All kinds of throwing knives.





Background image: Carnival by Lilykreit from


































Spirited Away by Angela Campbell

22886703Spirited Away

by Angela Campbell

Book Summary:

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.

My Review:

The Psychic is one of my favorite series and this book did not disappoint.  Spider (Emma) is one of my favorite characters and I was excited when I found out this was her book. Spider comes across as a confident woman and one who knows her stuff.  It was nice to learn that she hadn’t always been that way and she made herself into what she knew she could be.  She is a strong character with insecurities that I think most woman have.

Noah is a man on a mission.  Spider is his bump in the road.  The attraction between them is a nice story line.  He has a past that you will get to know really well in this book. He is not a perfect man, which makes him more endearing and he cooks, which lets face it every woman loves in a man.

One of my favorite characters in this series also makes his appearance.  Connor is the quirky member of the  Bellator de Lux who hears what you are thinking and just knows everything it seems.  I love reading about him interacting with the ghosts.

All in all this the story moves at a good pace.  The characters are well written and well developed and while the books are connected you don’t have to have read the rest of the story to read this book.  If you haven’t read anything by Angela Campbell I suggest you give it a try.

See our review of Something Wicked by Angela Campbell 




There is death and romance




About the Author: 

5219553an eclectic reader who loves almost every genre, Angela Campbell read her first romance novel at 16 and immediately endeavored to write one, too. Many offbeat attempts (and a couple of decades) later, she published her first novel through Carina Press. Her new romantic suspense series is being published by Harper Impulse. With every story she pens, Angela aims to build in a paranormal element to a contemporary and recognizable world with characters who find love in oftentimes humorous and extraordinary situations.

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 Musings

18459932Angelbound by Christina Bauer – Eighteen year old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your every day quasi-demon, half-demon and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she hasn’t lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights aren’t enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it’s not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and doesn’t like the answers she finds. What happened seventeen years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is? Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what’s a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla’s not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla’s going to shake up Purgatory.


This Little Piggy by Craig McGray – Here piggy, piggy!

James wakes up with no recollection of how he ended up in a culvert full of corpses. He struggles to escape the confines of the pipe, and quickly realizes he should have stayed home that night.

From the Author

I use my wife as a sounding board, and sometimes she just looks at me with an I-love-you-but-now-I’m-kind-of-scared-of-you look. I definitely received that look more than once for this story. That usually means I got it right. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

17398829The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler – Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader, Mab, is the Faerie Queen of legend—and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant, Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargained for.

The show’s just beginning. Step right up…


Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae – Seventeen is a life changing age for Emma Wise.
As her family’s sole survivor in a car crash, she is left with a broken arm and a few scrapes and bruises. But these are only outward marks; inside, her heart is broken and the pieces scattered.

Whisked away to Alaska, to an aunt she’s never met, Emma starts over. Secrets unveil themselves and now…she doesn’t even know who or what she is.

A centuries old prophecy places Emma in the heart of danger. Creatures of horrifying and evil proportions are after her, and it will take Emma, her aunt, and six, gorgeously captivating Guardians to keep her safe. But, if she can survive until her eighteenth birthday… things will change.

Lynn’s Musings

23201780The Blind King by Lana Axe – Two kingdoms at war. One possesses an elite force of fire mages, the other has only remnants of an army.

Passed over for the throne in favor of his younger brother, Prince Efren never expected to become king. Efren’s only wish was for a peaceful life in the country where he might raise a family of his own. Peace, however, was not to be found.

A neighboring kingdom declares war, throwing the land into chaos. His brother is slain in battle, and Efren is forced to ascend the throne. Threatened by an army of mages, his kingdom is quickly being invaded, and his people are fleeing for their lives. With little hope of victory, he seeks a solution that can turn the tide of war in his favor before all is lost.


Death at the Manor by Celina Grace – It is 1929. Asharton Manor stands alone in the middle of a pine forest, once the place where ancient pagan ceremonies were undertaken in honour of the goddess Astarte. The Manor is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the West Country and seems like a palace to Joan Hart, newly arrived from London to take up a servant’s position as the head kitchen maid. Getting to grips with her new role and with her fellow workers, Joan is kept busy, but not too busy to notice that the glittering surface of life at the Manor might be hiding some dark secrets. The beautiful and wealthy mistress of the house, Delphine Denford, keeps falling ill but why? Confiding her thoughts to her friend and fellow housemaid, feisty Verity Hunter, Joan is unsure of what exactly is making her uneasy, but then Delphine Denford dies…

Armed only with their own good sense and quick thinking, Joan and Verity must pit their wits against a cunning murderer in order to bring them to justice.

20801995Spearwood Academy by A. S. Oren – Avalon is the first female of her kind in centuries. She is a dragon shapeshifter, who is painfully cursed to turn into her dragon form every night. Spearwood Academy has the answers to her questions, but there is just one problem, up until she came along it was an all boy school. How ever will this Harry Potter geek, Whovian and Nerdfighter wade through the waters of testosterone, greed and even love?


The St. Valentine’s Day Cookie Massacre: A Hatter’s Cove Gaxette Mystery Novellla 1 by Elisabeth Crabtree – It’s Valentine’s Day in quiet, cozy Hatter’s Cove, Florida and food columnist, Kat Archer, has been assigned the event of the year, the grand opening of Miss Dolly’s Cookie Jar and Sweets Emporium.

What begins as a run of the mill, albeit tasty, assignment turns into something much more dangerous when one of the Cookie Jar’s employees is poisoned.

Now Kat is chasing the biggest story of her life, while trying to catch the eye of her handsome editor and avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

Grave Danger by Heather Graham




Grave Danger

by Heather Graham

Book Summary: 

or special-effects artist Ali MacGregor, it can be hard to tell fantasy from reality. Especially when her coworker Victor leaves her alone in the studio one night, surrounded by scary creations—zombies, werewolves and mangled corpses. And then she hears footsteps…. Footsteps that shouldn’t be there.

Nearby, Ali’s ex, cop Greg Austin, is called to the graveyard set of a horror movie after a real corpse appears. But the dead man isn’t who his ID says he is. And Victor isn’t who he seems to be, either. Greg quickly realizes that Ali, the woman he’s never stopped loving, is in grave danger….

My Review:

This short story is action packed right from the beginning and don’t forget the romance.  The setting is creepy, I mean a special effects studio where they are working on zombies with a fake grave yard just behind a real grave yard and it’s the middle of the night, who wouldn’t think it was creepy.

This is the kind of short story that when you read it you want so much more.  It draws you in and wets your appetite. You have strong characters with a past, you have a good story and it keeps you interested. Murder, horror, suspense, and love.  What a combination.  It’s a free read so if you haven’t read anything by Heather Graham it’s a good way to check out her work.

Jessica signature








Alienated by Melissa Landers

Alienated by Melissa Landers

AlienatedcoverBook Description:

Interplanetary relations have never been more exciting! The first in a funny, romantic YA sci-fi series.

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life-not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.


My Review:

I enjoyed this book.  I liked the idea of aliens trying to learn about humanity.  Yes they have ulterior motives but what book that involves aliens doesn’t have them off being cloak and dagger about something?  I will admit that I had worked out what they were actually after even though I didn’t want it to be true.  I had hoped it was something else.   It was alright though.  I was a little surprised about what Aelyx was up to.

This book is a little predictable but the characters are interesting.  Cara is a refreshing departure from some of the books that I’ve read recently that I couldn’t review.  She has a lot in common with Sophia Grey from Take Me Tomorrow and I couldn’t help but think as I read this book that if Sophia and Cara were real people they would be great friends.

Aelyx is a great character too.  The author did an excellent job of making him alien and still relatable.  He also changes over the course of the book.  The L’eihr are a very neutral everything society.  They wear neutral colors and eat bland food.  When he first comes to live with them Cara puts a great deal of effort into finding food that Aelyx can stand to eat.   Everything she has him try at first makes him sick.  His observations provide amusement as well as define his character.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it for anyone traveling.  Consider it for your trip around the holidays. It’s the kind of book that you can leave and come back to without loosing the story.  This is actually a 3.5 but I’m rounding up.

temp (8)













Try these other reviews:

10215349TMT_Bookangelfall cover






Background Image: Desert Sunset by Aureliy Movila (Teslacoils) from

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 Musings

14453325The Girl from Yesterday by David L Dawson – The planet Stoker was once home to humanity. Now it is ruled by vampires, thriving in their new utopia. The surviving humans are used as slaves and are taught that they are inferior beings.
Ashlyn Fountain is brought out from cryogenic suspension in the year of 1005. She is bought as a slave by the wealthy Sublime family and given as a maid to Vienna, their eldest vampire daughter. Ashlyn quickly comes to realize that vampires are monsters, even the handsome Jensen Sublime, who bears a remarkable resemblance to the hero in her favorite vampire novel.


Cursed by S. A. Archer and S. Ravynheart – As a private investigator specializing in paranormal problems, London Eyer thought she could handle working for the Sidhe. They couldn’t be any worse than vampires or werewolves or wizards, could they? Oh, how wrong she was. One ‘Touch’ of Sidhe magic and she was cursed. Her only chance to survive is to serve the creep that cursed her against the vicious Changelings out for his blood.

9475805Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter – Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, guidance counselors, and ghosts won’t stop harassing her. When a new boy starts school, he surprises Mary by befriending her. That’s a rare thing for the school freak, but her unusual abilities put a rift in their budding friendship when Mary has to tell Cy that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost. Mary has to get rid of the ghost, thwart the school bully, do her homework, and not get detention. Mary’s sure she can do all of that except for the last part.


The Color of Heaven by Julianne MacLean – Sophie Duncan is a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter’s unexpected illness and her husband’s shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold, dark depths of the water, Sophie experiences something profound and extraordinary–something that unlocks the secrets from her past, and teaches her what it means to truly live

5895613Crux by Moira Rogers – Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny.

Lynn’s Musings

18469782Carrots by Colleen Helme – Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber’s mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer. The next thing she knows, she’s lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head. Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn’t suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly ‘hears’ what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she’s bossy and too old to understand them, but that’s nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the redhead at work that he doesn’t want her to know? As if that isn’t enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he’s out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone’s thoughts can not only hurt her feelings, but get her killed.


Storm by Brigid Kemmerer – Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.


The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.”

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth . . .


The Amersham Rubies by Rhys Bowen – Before Molly Murphy crossed the Atlantic or even had an inkling that she might someday become a much sought after private investigator in New York City, young Molly lived in Ireland in a small cottage with her father, brothers and little else.

While keeping herself and her home together, Molly receives a request from Lady Hartley—the lady of the country estate where Molly lives, and the family that employs Molly’s father and brothers. The Hartleys are hosting a ball at their manor house, and there will be so many fine gentlemen and ladies in attendance that Lady Hartley needs Molly to help some of her guests prepare for the ball.

Beautiful debutantes, dresses of the finest fabrics, and sparkling chandeliers are all on display, as are heirloom jewels like the Amersham rubies—a stunning and priceless ruby necklace that has been in the Amersham family for generations. When the rubies go inexplicably missing from Lady Amersham’s neck in the middle of the party, the high-spirited Molly must rely on her wits to solve her first case in Rhys Bowen’s charming prequel to her beloved Anthony and Agatha Award–winning historical mystery series.

303639On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle – Introducing a delightful new series featuring Clare Cosi, manager of the historic Village Blend coffeehouse…

Clare arrives at work to discover the assistant manager dead in the back of the store, coffee grounds strewn everywhere. Two detectives investigate. But when they find no sign of forced entry or foul play, they deem it an accident. Still, Clare is not convinced. And after the police leave, Clare can’t help wondering…If this was an act of murder, is she in danger?


Throwback Thursday : The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Narrated by Tom Mison

LOSHAudible Description:

Tom Mison, star of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, narrates the classic Washington Irving short story.

In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel’s farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball during the Revolutionary War.

My Thoughts:  I really like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  It’s right up there with my Alice in Wonderland problem.  Something was missing from the other versions I’ve listened to but I didn’t know what until I listened to this one.

When I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow I always feel that the narrator of the story is in love with the area of Sleepy Hollow.  Washington Irving brings the area to life with his descriptions.  The descriptions are a necessary part of this story.  You need to feel the area and know the people who populate it to have a good understanding of situation Ichibod is in.  Usually when I listen to people narrate this story all I hear most of the time is a condescending attitude and a general lack of respect for the story.  Narrators tend to treat the set up of this story like it’s something to rush through so they can get to the good part where their talent won’t be wasted.  That’s why I’ve decided that this version is my favorite.  It isn’t rushed and there is the added bonus that Tom Mison sounds like he enjoyed preforming it.

How many actors have narrated The Legend of Sleepy Hollow while they played Ichabod Crane on television?  That must be a pretty exclusive club.  Tom Mison made me love an audio version of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.  I never thought I would see the day.  He really does the story justice.  I may have to start rooting for him on Sleepy Hollow instead of the Headless Horseman.

I also realized that I have enjoyed many variations of this story over the years.

*  I think I was in second grade when I saw the Disney version for the first time.  I was mesmerized by lanky Ichabod and that crazy horse.


*  I still love Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.  Michael Gambon is fantastic and it’s the only movie where I’ve enjoyed Johnny Depp.


*  I loved season one of Sleepy Hollow and am looking forward to season two. (Sept 22nd)



The Hollow*  I read The Hollow by Jessica Verday last year and I really enjoyed it.  You can read my review here.







The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow has fascinated people since it was first published in 1820.  Washington Irving wrote it while he was living in England.  Perhaps that’s why he took such care in describing Tarrytown.  Maybe he was a bit homesick.  Whatever the reason it’s a wonderful story and you can get it free from Audible.  What could be better than that?

lynn signature







*Background Image: Field In Autumn by ShadowRave from


First to Fall by Carys Jones

22864060First to Fall

by Carys Jones

Book Summary:

Aiden Connelly is a young, successful Chicago based lawyer who has grown tired of the rat race of city life so he decides to relocate his family to the small, Southern town of Avalon. Once there he settles into his new job and tackles his first case, that of fallen beauty queen, Brandy White who is accused of murdering her husband, local football hero, Brandon, in cold blood. As Aiden delves deeper into the case he soon realizes that things are not as they seem and that Avalon is far from the idyllic town that it appears to be. It is up to him to unravel the mystery surrounding Brandon’s death before it is too late…

*I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

My Review:

I am not sure where to start with this review.  While I liked the plot of First to Fall there are a lot of discrepancies I had a hard time overlooking.

In a town where key players are covering up the horrible indiscretions of there “favorite son” I was more angry with Isla, Aiden’s wife then I was with the Sheriff and Mr. White.  She comes across as a horrible woman who is to self involved to understand that her husband is a lawyer and even though they moved to Avalon so he could spend more time with his family he is still investigating a murder case and will sometime have to work long hours. She spends so much time being jealous of Brandy that I didn’t find any redeeming qualities about her.

As far as the legal aspect it ranges from the little to the big.  When I say little I mean Brandy not wearing regular dress clothes to her own trial.  When I say big it starts with the priest not being subpoenaed for trial, to no doctors that treated her being subpoenaed.  Also Brandy never took the stand for herself.  Which without giving anything away in her case and with the pictures of her that could have been presented could have made a strong case for her.  Then the appeals process in America takes years.  Nothing moves quickly in appeals. In the book it takes about a week for appeals.

I can over look the little things like in America when you come home to eat at the end of the day it’s dinner and the Author says Tea.  Some of the other things in the book however could have possibly used a little more research.

All in all it is not a bad story, there are good guys and bad guys, there is a twist you didn’t see coming, there is the small town feeling and the trepidation for new comers.  Carys Jones does a good job of showing the feeling of a small town.  Where people can walk to get where they need to come.  How they all come together to support there local high school football team and of course everyone knows what everyone else is doing. The story itself has a good flow and you do feel yourself pulling for Brandy 100% of the way. Jessica signature






QC-13_round This is a                   story about           death and               abuse