Happy Thanksgiving

indian-corn_jksLolaToday is Thanksgiving and we have been thinking about all of the things we are thankful for. Specifically we are thinking about the books that we are thankful for.

Some of these are the books that shaped us. Some are the ones that influenced us and made us feel things that were outside of ourselves for the first time. Some are the books that changed us and made us smarter. Some are the books that helped us decide who we wanted to be when we were young. Some let us use our imaginations and grow. Some entertained us and scared us. Some are the books that kept us up at night and kept us thinking until dawn.

These are the books that made us love reading and respect books. These are the books that we will forever love.  We didn’t just read these books we lived them.

 

 

Lynn’s List

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Midnight Hour Encores by Bruce Brooks

Awakening Foster Kelly by Cara R. Olsen

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

 

Jessica’s List

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien

Fate by Sydney Lane

Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

 

Original Background Image: Indian Corn by jks Lola from PublicDomainPictures.net

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Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

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Book Description:   When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.

 

My Review: I really enjoy these Lizzy and Diesel novels. I can’t say that I like the Wicked books more than the Plum books but they are an adventure start to finish. Wicked Business is filled with funny moments just the way that the Plum books are.  The similarities between the Plum books and the Wicked books has not escaped my notice but I think there are some important differences also. To start with the Wicked books have Wulf, magic and Glo.

I think that Janet Evanovich is the queen when it comes to writing sidekicks. She created Lula who is one of my favorite characters of all time. I honestly mean that. Even though Glo isn’t exactly a side kick I think she still qualifies. She helps out a lot in this book with everything from reading secret messages to babysitting Carl the monkey. (Nothing injects humor into a story quicker than a monkey, dressed as a child, creating a diversion by running amuck in a museum so Diesel can steal some magic bells.) Glo is a witch that almost always gets her spells wrong. She thinks she is Dumbledore when in reality she is Ron Weasley.

The Wicked series is about Lizzy and Diesel who are trying to find some magic stones. Seven magic stones to match the seven deadly sins.  Lizzy can feel the magic of the stones and things associated with the stones that have been imbued with magical energy. The stones actually look like stones so Diesel and Wulf need someone like Lizzy to find them.

I like Wulf. He’s Diesel’s cousin and like Diesel possesses his own kind of abilities. Magical abilities. They can open locks by passing their hands over them. What else can you call that? Wulf’s supposed to be the bad guy. He is the bad guy. I think. It’s just that he returned the stone to Lizzy after she does something really courageous. Then he does something completely selfless. So I think he’s the bad guy. Maybe.

Something that the Plum series doesn’t have is Lizzy. Stephanie Plum inadvertently finds herself in dangerous situations. Lizzy puts herself in danger to do the right thing and sometimes she gets hurt in the process. Stephanie survives on luck. I’m not sure Lizzy will survive at all. Lizzy is more like the “every girl” that finds herself in an extraordinary situation but she still has to deal with things like a job and dinner. I like her more for that.

If the Plum series looks like to much with its twenty some books then start this series. Take the time to go back and read the Stephanie Plum between the numbers books (which are short) where Diesel makes his first appearance. You don’t have to but you should. The first one is Visions of Sugar Plums and takes place around the holidays. It’s perfect for this time of year and at around a hundred and fifty pages you’ll be done before the turkey is.

If you are in the mood for an adventure that is also a mystery then check out Wicked Business. It has magical stones, secret societies, secret passages and tunnels, magically appearing writing, and a monkey that likes to give Diesel the finger.

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This story is about the stone of lust.

 

 

Try these other books:

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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

23125381 Forever by Eric Marier – Rich, popular Kate Hewitt destroys lives at Sussex High. Mute, violent Kev Anderwaith hasn’t been to school in months. On the day Kev does return, Kate is shocked when the overgrown, social outcast sits next to her in class and claims they’ve both lived previous lives, and keep finding each other, throughout the centuries, falling in love every time.

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Time and Again by Deborah Heal – Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream job. But it does come with perks.

There’s John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor who is almost too wonderful to be real.

And there’s the new computer program Beautiful Houses—also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.

In 1858, the house is a train stop on the Alton & Chicago Line. And Charlotte is stuck there serving meals to the passengers, wondering if she’ll ever get to have any fun. And then she meets two travelers who change her life forever.

There’s James McGuire with whom she falls in love. And there’s his boss, a young Springfield lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. His debate with political opponent Stephen Douglas catapults him onto the national stage. And it inspires Charlotte to take up the cause of abolition.

The House

A stop on the Alton & Chicago Line. A stop on the Underground Railroad.

Watching the house’s history unfold, Abby and Merrideth gain a new perspective on their own lives as time and again they see God’s loving hand in the lives of its inhabitants.

18809867Anais of Brightshire by Jamie Wilson – Anais, the eleven-year-old daughter of a fishmonger, enters the Great House of Brightshire as a scullery maid. Isolated from her peers, she fears a life of solitude and menial chores. The only person who shows her any kindness is a scribe, who offers to teach her how to read in exchange for her help in acquiring goods at fair prices in the market. When she discovers a manuscript describing the art of magic on a routine trip to the market, she can’t help but feel tempted to try it, even though magic is strictly prohibited. Giving in to temptation, she starts spending her hours practicing simple spells for her own amusement, but when one of the girls from the kitchens goes missing – amidst rumors of monsters rising in the south and devouring townspeople – Anais decides to use her new skills to find the missing girl. In her search, she befriends the Lord of Brightshire’s youngest son, Cedric, and his cousin Mediera. Finally having friends she cares for is great, but practicing illegal magic and fraternizing with those above her station puts Anais in more danger than she can handle.

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 Tucker’s Way by David Johnson -After enduring a childhood of horrific abuse and crushing poverty, Tucker seeks refuge in her rural Tennessee home. The three grandchildren she is raising are her only connection to the outside, and her demeanor is purposefully rough. But her world is turned upside down when a new neighbor, Ella, moves into the old McDaniel place next door.

Ella seeks solace on the same country road after overcoming cancer. Although she is Tucker’s peer agewise, she was raised in a world of privilege and opportunity. Still, Ella shares a tragic part of Tucker’s experience—she also suffered abuse. Hers was at the hands of her husband, a prominent judge in the community and Tucker’s sworn enemy.

When Tucker finds herself at risk of losing custody of her beloved youngest grandchild and worse, the child’s mother is murdered, she draws support and strength from her new friendship with Ella. These two women from disparate backgrounds form a fierce bond, and they weather life’s storms together with faith, love, and determination.

19546185Swimming Upstream by Ruth Mancini –  “I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.”

After seven years, Lizzie wonders whether she’s truly happy with her long-term boyfriend. When one wrong step and a chance meeting set off an unexpected chain of events, her life begins to unravel. On the same day that she meets Martin, an attractive lifeguard, her old friend, Catherine, re-appears. But is Martin really all he seems? And what is the secret that Catherine is hiding? As Lizzie struggles to confront the ghosts of her past, can she survive the shocking twist that will change the course of her future?

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about a young woman’s pursuit of happiness. It is also a story of female friendship, love, and divided loyalties – and the moral choices that we find ourselves making when the chips are down.

Lynn’s Musings

TFFThe Final Formula by Becca Andre – To a master alchemist like Addie, impossible is just another word for challenge. When a fiery explosion destroys the Alchemica, the premier alchemy institute in the United States, she’s left with nothing. No home, no colleagues, and no memory. Learning what happened seems impossible, but she still has one strength, and in her opinion, it’s the only one she needs. She hasn’t forgotten a thing about alchemy.

Addie brews a potion to restore her lost past, but remembers only the flames of the Alchemica’s destruction—and a man among the ashes. A man with the elemental power of fire, who just happens to be the leader of the magical community. He might know what happened, but getting him to tell her will require some…creativity. The magical aren’t fond of alchemists. Some say it borders on hatred, but Addie isn’t one to back down from a challenge, even if that challenge happens to be a man who can turn her to ash with a thought.

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The Emperor’s Edge Collection by Lindsay Buroker – For those who enjoy heroic fantasy, steampunk, and heroes who are just as likely to battle with words as with swords, the first three Emperor’s Edge novels are now available in one collection.

Follow enforcer-turned-outlaw Amaranthe Lokdon, the infamous assassin Sicarius, and their team of aspiring heroes as they attempt to clear their names by thwarting evils aimed at the young emperor.

This collection includes:

Book 1: The Emperor’s Edge

Book 2: Dark Currents

Book 3: Deadly Games

Each full-length novel is over 100,000 words (300 pages).

DR (2)Dark Roses –  Eight bestselling YA authors. Eight stories of paranormal romance. Eight series to take your breath away. From kick-ass cheerleaders to leaders of the fae, these teenage girls are out to save their worlds, one unforgettable adventure at a time. The only thing standing in their way – love, loss & a little magic.

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling author, P.T. MICHELLE – BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

From USA Today bestselling author LYLA PAYNE, writing as TRISHA LEIGH – WHISPERS IN AUTUMN

For sixteen years, Althea has been alone in her ability to feel emotion, to think for herself, and on occasion, light things on fire. The autumn brings a boy named Lucas to town, along with unwanted scrutiny from the alien race of Others that rule Earth, and if she wants to live to see winter Althea will have to stop hiding–and start fighting

From USA Today bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP – FEYLAND: THE DARK REALM

Jennet Carter never thought hacking into her dad’s new epic-fantasy sim-game would be so exciting… or dangerous. But behind the interface, dark forces lie in wait, leading her toward a battle that will test her to her limits and cost her more than she ever imagined.

From bestselling author, LOLA ST. VIL – GUARDIANS: THE GIRL

The prophecy says “should human and angel unite, it will bring the end of the human race…” Yet Emmy & Marcus can’t fight their feelings. All they want is to be together; the only way for us to survive is to keep them apart…

From bestselling author, TERAH EDUN – WITCHES FINISH FIRST

Witch. Daughter. Queen. Katherine is second-in-line in a provincial town ruled by her coven. But she’s about to learn that the hierarchy of witches first, fae second, and humans last isn’t set in stone…at least not in high school.

From bestselling author, ERICA COPE – LARK

An ordinary girl. An ordinary life. Until her Elfin heritage comes to light. Mia Carrington discovers she’s the heir to the kingdom of Álfheimr in the most unexpected way. But it’s the Dark Elves that pursue her that have her world turned upside down, because they will let no one and nothing stop them from claiming her.

From bestselling author, CAMERON JACE – PENTIMENTO

On her seventeenth birthday she comes of age. Her seventeen birthday is also the day the Beasts come for her. After the destruction of the world these rulers of new America provide safety and services to human in exchange for one new teenage girl every week. They call them the Brides, and they never come back.

From bestselling author, SARRA CANNON – BEAUTIFUL DEMONS

Harper Madison’s inability to control her extraordinary powers has gotten her kicked from countless foster homes. Shadowford Home for Girls and Peachville High are her last chance. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.

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Kissing Santa by Heather Horrocks – KISSING SANTA (A Christmas Street Romantic Comedy Novella #2)

written by USA Today bestselling author Heather Horrocks

It was supposed to be just an innocent kiss at a charity kissing booth—but it turned out to be fireworks.

‘Volunteered’ to dress as Santa, firefighter Zeke Pepper is blown away by the kiss and feels he may have met The One, but school teacher Hannah Cooke is still trying to win back her high school sweetheart Jackson.

When Zeke runs into Hannah on Christmas Street, they make a deal: In exchange for him making her ex jealous at a New Year’s Eve party, she agrees to go on three dates with Zeke.

It seems like her plan to win Jackson back is working perfectly—but Zeke has other plans. Could she be falling in love with the wrong firefighter?

ACCA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – The holiday season brings the chance to give, and what better gift is there than one of the most beloved stories in the English language? This year, we at Atria Books are offering a free ebook edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the perfect companion for a cozy night by the fire.

Since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol and the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge have become literary classics. Illuminated with practical scholarship and questions for discussion, this edition makes a charming package that includes the facts behind the fiction, as well as the pure joy and magic of this timeless tale about the true meaning of Christmas.

Deadly Sins A Dezeray Jackson Mini Series by Kori Miller

Deadly Sins coverDeadly Sins A Dezeray Jackson Mini Series

by Kori Miller

Book Summary:

Private investigator Dezeray Jackson hates Florida; she hated it 24 hours after she arrived 5 years ago. Not for any particular reason, really, just a whole lot of little ones — bugs, alligators, snakes, and rude, obnoxious people. Dez thinks a break is in order, then she gets the Millicent James case. All she has to do is follow Millicent’s gamer grandson for a month, which could be as exciting as waiting for water to boil, Dez thinks. But a boring, routine assignment suddenly takes some interesting twists when a much-anticipated pre-release game disappears. It’s a hot commodity that could make somebody millions of dollars. But who?

After two years in the Big Apple, Dez is fed up with cheating spouses and embezzling employees. Convinced that she needs a change, Dez tells her boss that she’s ready to move on. He gives her a farewell gift — one last case, involving a missing artifact. Dez and her partner hit the streets, and soon learn that the missing artifact is something more. To recover it, Dez will enter a world that few know about. Dez thought she’d seen it all … she hadn’t.

When Dez left New York, she didn’t think she’’d end up back in Omaha, NE, her home town. But here she is three months later. After stints in Florida and the Big Apple, Omaha was an unexpected, but welcome change. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. One evening, after hearing Dez speak to her female self-defense class, a student is killed in a hit-and-run. Dez gets the case, which leads to an unpleasant stroll down memory lane, with a character she’d rather forget, and involvement with some deadly corporate shenanigans.

Eccentric Mayville Toussaint hires Dez to find two men who stole a box from her. Toussaint’s instructions are simple — find the thieves, recover the box, and return it unopened. A dangerous game of cat and mouse, double-dealing and lying place Dez in harm’s way. Dez recovers the box — case closed. But when returning the treasured item, Dez learns that Toussaint has been playing her own game of cat and mouse … with Dez. Toussaint clearly is not who she seems. But who is she?

My Review:

Deadly Sins is written in a different style then I am used to.  It reads a little bit more like a screen play and I will admit that at first I was a little distracted by it.  But then I got into the flow.  I mean part of the title of the book is A mini series.  Each Scene comes to it’s conclusion and then you are on to the next.  In other words we are getting little snippets of Dezeray’s life at a time.

Dezeray is a private investigator who is obviously good at her job. She has quick wit, smarts and a little spunk.  She gets the big private cases where people usually don’t want to involve the police and turns them over quick.  In her journey she deals with some pretty interesting people.  Story number two was particularly interesting.  Then there was Mayville Toussaint.  Now that is a story I would love to hear more about.  The mystery and illusions in this one keep you guessing.

When Lynn first asked me if I would take a look at this story I will admit I thought what did she get me into?  This is a little strange.  But trust me just go with the flow and be in the mind set that this is flash fiction. The author has a way of, in a short amount of time, sucking you into this world.  And just enjoy what she has created. Jessica signature

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Kori1_12_15_2011_crop-300x236Kori Miller’s previous creative non-fiction and short stories have been published in Fine Lines
Literary Journal. She launched Back Porch Writer: The show for writers, about writers, and writing in
March 2013. In late May/early June 2013, the show received featured status on Blog Talk Radio. In
June 2013, Ms. Miller was awarded first prize in a Flash Fiction World contest. In early July, Dear
Teen Me posted her letter to her teen self. And, July 31, Stand Out Books posted an interview about
her self-publishing experience. She edits Kori Miller Writes: The site for creative writers and newbie
podcasters.

Author Website: www.koridmiller.com
Author Twitter: @kmillerwrites
Author Facebook: Kori D Miller
Author Google+: Kori Miller

 

Feature image background by Stux of www.pixabay/en

 

Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby

ignoring-gravity-by-sandra-danbyIgnoring Gravity

by Sandra Danby

Book Summary:

Rose Haldane is confident about her identity. She pulls the same face as her grandfather when she has to do something she doesn’t want to, she knows her DNA is the same as his. Except it isn’t: because Rose is adopted and doesn’t know it. Ignoring Gravity connects two pairs of sisters separated by a generation of secrets. Finding her mother’s lost diaries, Rose begins to understand why she has always seemed the outsider in her family, why she feels so different from her sister Lily. Then just when she thinks there can’t be any more secrets…

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

My Review: 

This book takes us on an emotional journey of finding out your adopted and then what you do with that knowledge.   Rose and her sister Lily have just gone threw the devastating lose of there mother as if that isn’t hard enough while they are cleaning out her things they discover her mothers journals where Rose finds out she was adopted.  As Rose follows the clues to reveal her true identity she comes comes across information that is even more life changing then she could have thought, and a whole world of lies that could break her.

When she meets Nick, who she is interviewing for her paper, she finds in him a man who is understanding and kind and willing to help her.  It’s with his help that clues start to unlock.

As Rose is dealing with her adoption, her sister Lily is dealing with trying to get pregnant and not succeeding, a barely there husband and a sister who all of a sudden isn’t her sister.

This is an extremely emotional book.  That kept me reading till the end.  The author deals with adoption and infertility in a very realistic way.  With strong characters and good writing.  This is the type of book I could read again and again. Jessica signature

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About the Author:

sandranewsletterSandra Danby grew up on a small dairy farm at the bleak edge of East Yorkshire where England meets the North Sea. She started reading early and has never stopped. After a degree in English Literature in London, she became a journalist. Now she writes fiction full-time.

Watch Sandra Danby talk about Ignoring Gravity at You Tube: http://youtu.be/C80lR2gnceg

Watch the book trailer for Ignoring Gravity at You Tube: http://youtu.be/dGJnw-7qaa4

Twitter: @SandraDanby

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sandradanbyauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sandradan1/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6563021.Sandra_Danby

Image by Destiny on www.pixabay.com/en

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

51QhEOLu9AL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_London Falling by Emma Carr – American Aimee Kennedy doesn’t think she needs anyone … until she’s stuck with sexy banker, Simon Ruleford, in his London home.

Stranded in London with no money and no airline ticket, Aimee applies to be Simon’s housekeeper. Without the job, she’ll end up homeless in a foreign country. But Simon can’t hire the adorable American without a work permit, because he would risk losing the royal family’s business, costing years of planning and hard work. Unfortunately for Simon, fate conspires to trap Aimee in his home, while mutual blackmail and a lovable Scottie puppy keep them together. As they fight their growing attraction, Aimee’s money-making plans soon force Simon into one compromising position after another.

Ultimately, they realize they belong together. But will Simon be willing to risk his career and the family business for her? And if he does, will Aimee finally be ready to open her heart to love?

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Gone by Anna Bloom – Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.

When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?

Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

22878315The Obituary Society by Jessica L. Randall – When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like it’s a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

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Whisper Cape by Susan Griscom – Escape to a world where the impossible becomes possible and sparks ignite.

Whisper Cape is a town of secrets, and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe that his demise was accidental. But that’s not the only thing she struggles with. All of a sudden, the impossible seems possible, and it’s not clear whether that’s a blessing or a curse.

Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious, but he’s also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills.

A powerful woman, an extraordinary man, and a murderous maniac who wants to destroy them. Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them all in the end?

12996931Frey by Melissa Wright – Unaware she’s been bound from using magic, Frey leads a small, miserable life in the village where she’s sent after the death of her mother. But a tiny spark starts a fury of changes and she finds herself running from everything she’s ever known.

Hunted by council for practicing dark magic, she is certain she’s been wrongfully accused. She flees, and is forced to rely on strangers for protection. But the farther she strays from home, the more her magic and forgotten memories return and she begins to suspect all is not as it seems.

Lynn’s Musings 

KickKick by John L. Monk – Dan Jenkins returns from death for a chance to live again.

The stolen bodies of killers are his rides:

…an enforcer for the Howlers Motorcycle Club, a violent criminal organization in Memphis spilling mayhem into the lives of innocent people.

…a deranged killer in the desert racking up a body count one young woman at a time.

…a twenty-something junkie in Florida, part of a three person team of sociopaths terrorizing a beach community.

Before he’s kicked out, Dan needs to stop his hosts from hurting anyone else. It’s one of the rules if he wants more rides. More rides means more movies and fishing trips, and more of those little apple pies they sell at gas stations and convenience stores, because they’re just that good.

For a dead guy, it’s a pretty good gig…until someone changes the rules.

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Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper – Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she’s supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah’s memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.

more short fusesMore Short Fuses by Stephen Leather – Four short stories from bestselling author Stephen Leather, plus opening chapters of five of his bestselling thrillers.

The short stories are: Rules of Engagement (where Spider Shepherd has to help a friend who is in serious trouble with the police), The Constituency Meeting (where a group of old folks decide to commit a murder), Ghost Kids (where a holidaymaker takes more home from Thailand than he expected) and Massage Therapy (where the massage skills of a Thai masseuse change a man’s life forever).

There are also tasters of five of his bestselling novels, including Hard Landing, The Stretch and The Tunnel Rats.

Obsidian Eyes

Obsidian Eyes by A. W. Exley – 1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild.

The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracised by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.

She begins to suspect why she is at the school when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.

Used to relying on herself, Allie must cross the guild-noble divide to keep Zeb safe and stop the weapon falling into the wrong hands. However, the guilds want the device and she is caught in their trap.

Once rescued from Newgate prison, now she must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend or he will return her to the gallows. Can she trust her new bonds of friendship to save both their lives?

FrozenFrozen by Meljean Brook – For a year and a half, Olivia Martin has tried to forget Erik Gulbrandr, the glacial man who’d scorched her mouth with a single kiss. But when Olivia finds herself snowbound with Erik on the winter solstice, she discovers that the man who set her body aflame is cursed by abominable needs — and a desire that might destroy them both…

 

Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup by Camille Laguire

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by Camile Laguire

Book Summary: Five previously published and award nominated mystery short stories by novelist Camille LaGuire.

In the title story, “Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup!” two police detectives sort out a poisoning case over lunch at the deli, with a little help from a foodie in the corner. (This story was nominated for a Derringer award in 2003.)

“The Hoosegow Strangler” was the first story featuring Mick and Casey, a pair of young gunslingers turned detective. In this locked room story, a witness they were guarding is murdered, and they have to solve the crime to preserve their reputation.

“Trail of the Lonesome Stickpin” finds Mick drugged by a pair of pretty femmes fatales, and he has to figure out what happened before Casey shoots him. (This story was put forward for an Edgar by its publisher.)

In the fourth story, a killer believes that all he needs is a strong “Alibi” to pull off the perfect crime, but he finds that works against him.

In the final story, “The Promise,” a teen aged girl has to keep her brutal father from turning her brother into a killer.

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My Review:

I read all the stories in this Anthology but my favorite was  the first story Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup it was a quick tale of two detectives who sit down in a deli and discuss their case over lunch.  The two detectives are engrossed in the details of who ate what from the Chinese Restaurant and how the woman in question died when the older gentleman from the corner who is always there, and no one pays attention to comes over with his wealth of Chinese Restaurant knowledge.  He is a wise man and threw his tale enlightens the detectives.

It’s a cute story that is well written.  It is a very quick read and shows off the quality of the authors work very well. I look forward to picking up and reading more work by Camille Laguire.

The other stories were just as well written and also quick reads.  If you are looking for a little mystery this month you can definitely get it here.

 

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Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

 

Deadly CuriositiesBook Description: Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.

Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.

 

My Review: My favorite thing about this book wasn’t the plot (which I loved) or the characters (which I adore). My favorite thing was the history. This book takes great care when describing Charleston and its history. It takes its time setting the scene. There is a scene in the book when a character is showing Cassidy around a building and Cassidy is describing what she has seen. In my humble opinion it takes a certain amount of skill to pull that off and not make it boring. That’s why Gail Z. Martin is one of my favorite authors ever. She keeps you thinking even when she’s talking about lamps. You can’t help but think that anything could happen.

Another great aspect of this book is all of the stories that go along with the objects that are in the story. Are they based on real stories? I have no idea but they’re details that make this book.  Cassidy’s visions of the past are a whole different matter. Her visions are whole stories within stories. She lives her visions so we get to live them too. I also thought it was nice that Cassidy gave us a cameo of Alard the vampire that created Sorren. We met Alard in the first story in this series Vanities.

I really don’t think that you need to have read all the short stories that came before it. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t or that you won’t want to after you read this book. Be prepared to want to read those stories. It will, however, make this book even more enjoyable. I miss Dietger and Alard.

I’ve written enough reviews of this series that I don’t have to tell you what I think about the characters. I don’t think that I’ve given any of the stories in this series anything less than five stars. Sorren has always been my favorite but now I think it’s a tie between Sorren and Cassidy. I like how they interact and how Cassidy feels for Sorren. She recognizes that he looses everyone in the end to either a natural or violent death. Part of me has to think perhaps she’s worried that she’ll lose him at some point. Part of what I like about Cassidy is that her friends are her family.

This is such a great adventure story. I’m really into adventure right now. I really enjoyed it and if you go to Gail Z. Martin‘s site you can see that there is more adventure to come. I’m so excited.

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Try these other books by Gail Z. Martin:

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Original background image: Iron Gate by Tom Genovese from PublicDomainPictures.net

 

 

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

21532015New England Witch Chronicles by Chelsea Bellingeri – The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few overzealous Puritans, but what if real witches existed during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That’s what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday. Alex is haunted by bizarre recurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest.

Alex knows something strange is happening. With the arrival of a new boy in town, James Van Curen, who is causing problems between Alex and her best friend, Peter, Alex feels like her entire world is on the verge of chaos. Could Alex really be a witch? Is it possible Hazel Cove will become a battleground for modern-day witches and witch hunters?

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Sparks by RS McCoy – “Everyone in the world has a Spark, a light inside that guides them, keeps them alive.”

Myxini School for Children specializes in training young men and women who have powerful Sparks. Strikers are taught to manipulate fire. Trackers learn to find animals in the most formidable terrains. Handlers are instructed in communication with large predators. But forty years have passed since the last time they had a Reader – a student with the ability to read minds.

When Lark Davies enrolls at Myxini, he knows there aren’t many like him, but he doesn’t realize just how rare his abilities really are. He thinks nothing of being asked to keep his Spark a secret; after all, he can barely control it. Thoughts and emotions flood unbidden into his mind until he can scarcely walk or hold a conversation. But just when he needs it most, his ability fails him.

Lark meets Khea, a small frightened girl who mysteriously incites his protective nature. He has no explanation for the curious strength of their relationship, and it doesn’t help that she is one of the few people in the world whose thoughts can’t be read. As he struggles to get to the root of their unique bond, Lark begins to unravel more power than even his mentor expected, but in the process makes himself a target to political leaders eager to take control.

18592138If the Shoe Fits by Laurie LeClair – What happens when a modern day Cinderella’s dreams don’t involve getting married?

Romance? Love? In this Once Upon A Romance Series Book 1 romantic comedy, Charlotte (Charlie) King doesn’t have time for either one. All she wants is her late father’s dream to come true by making his beloved King’s Department Store thrive again. However, her stepmother has other ideas. Charlie agrees to help her stepmother find grooms for her sheltered stepsisters. In exchange, the stepmother will release her stronghold on the store’s budget. After all, one good deed deserves another, right? But, Charlie has no idea what her heart’s in for when…

Alexander (Alex) Royale, dubbed by society newspapers as Prince Charming, arrives for dinner to meet the all-female King family. His ailing grandparents yearn for his marriage and then the baby carriage. Well, that and running the family company. Having unsuccessfully searched for months, Alex doesn’t hold out any hope in finding his future bride among the King sisters. However, all his expectations, including his idea of a business-like marriage of convenience, vanish the moment Charlie crashes into him.

When Alex sets out out to win over Charlotte, he has no idea he has to bargain with the stepmother, secretly buy the store, court Charlotte after the wedding, and, oh yeah, be featured in Charlie’s new fairy tale ad campaign, The Charmings, based on them. Can a guy ever get a break?

The couple never factored in falling in love with each other. Now, faced with losing all their families ever wanted, Charlie and Alex must choose: Do they live their families’ dreams or do they finally live their own?

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Season of the Harvest by Michael R. Hicks – What if the genetically modified crops that we’re being forced to depend on for food weren’t really created by man? What if they had a far more sinister purpose?

FBI Special Agent Jack Dawson investigates the gruesome murder of his best friend and fellow agent who had been pursuing a group of eco-terrorists. The group’s leader, Naomi Perrault, is a beautiful geneticist who Jack believes conspired to kill his friend, and is claiming that a major international conglomerate developing genetically engineered crops is plotting a sinister transformation of our world that will lead humanity to extinction. As Jack is drawn into a quietly raging war that suddenly explodes onto the front pages of the news, he discovers that her claims may not be so outrageous after all. Together, the two of them must battle a horror Jack could never have imagined, with the fate of all life on Earth hanging in the balance…

Lynn’s Musings

15728807House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple – Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

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Ticker by Lisa Mantchev – When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.

On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?

Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.

18880103The Lady Machinist by Ava Morgan – The Lady Machinist: A romantic steampunk tale of clockwork soldiers, persistent pirates, and political intrigue.

Book One of the Curiosity Chronicles

1837: Lydia Dimosthenis detests pirates, especially those of British ilk. The lady machinist will do anything to protect her island home of Aspasia from the scurvy knaves, even if it means crafting seven-foot clockwork soldiers to drive intruders away. When her automatons catch the eye of a charming yet stubborn ambassador from New Britannia, she is given an offer that she truly cannot refuse. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.

Rhys Cartret, ambassador and agent for the Cabinet of Intellectual Curiosities, didn’t count on having a strong-willed, attractive inventor thwarting his every diplomatic move. It’s hard enough keeping his pirate past a secret from Lydia. Matching wits with her is the last thing he needs, especially since New Britannia’s rival France is racing to get the automatons before he does. Intrigue, romance, and striking bargains abound in this curious tale of clockwork soldiers, ruthless pirates, and steam-powered ships.

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My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Holly Black, Kelly Link, Gayle Forman, Myra McEntire, Kiersten White, Mathew de la Pena, Jenny Han, Ally Carter, Laini Taylor – If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins.  Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone.  So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy.  You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

17836581Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett – Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett’s last–and most successful–novel. Following the enormous success of “The Thin Man” movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became “After the Thin Man” and “Another Thin Man”. Bringing back his classic characters, retired private investigator Nick Charles and his former debutante wife Nora, who return home to find Nora’s family gardener murdered, pulling the couple back into another deadly game of cat and mouse. Hammett has written two fully satisfying “Thin Man” stories, with classic, barbed Hammett dialogue and fully developed characters.

Neither of these stories has been previously published (except for a partial in a small magazine 25 years ago). The Return of the Thin Man is a hugely entertaining read that brings back two classic characters from one of the greatest of mystery writers who ever lived. This book is destined to become essential reading for Hammett’s millions of fans and a new generation of mystery readers the world over.

 

The Final Death by Gail Z. Martin

The Final Death by Gail Z. Martin

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Book Description: A Deadly Curiosities Adventure #8 (Novella) – Vampires, vengeful ghosts and Voodoo are all in a day’s work for Cassidy Kincaide, owner of Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio store in historic, haunted Charleston, SC whose real mission is to get dangerous magical objects off the market and out of the wrong hands. When developers disturb old graves, Cassidy and her team land in the middle of big trouble as the restless dead return to finish old business and feast on the blood of the living. A novella in 5 parts – FREE for a limited time on Wattpad.

My Review: I love these stories. I think it’s Cassidy’s view of things that pulls me in. Her passing observations about Sorren are great too.

Since the story is told in first person (just like Deadly Curiosities) we get to experience the story through Cassidy’s level headed retelling. I like that she isn’t prone to hysterics. The weird and scary don’t send her into a panic. Her strength comes from her ability to see the situation she’s in as a whole. Her curiosity keeps her fear in check. Even in the creepy crypt she keeps her head. It isn’t that she’s not afraid. She is. That scene in the crypt scares every character that’s in it. Trust me.

Speaking of creepy scenes there are a lot to choose from in this novella. Even parts that you wouldn’t think would be creepy were creepy. I have two words for you: parking garage. I loved it.

Read this one before it’s gone from Wattpad. If it is gone from Wattpad find it on Gail Z. Martin’s site. You won’t be sorry.  Check back on Monday for my review of Deadly Curiosities.

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Original background image: Canopy Of Trees by Lynn Greyling from PublicDomainPictures.net