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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Currently Reading & To Be Read

It has been quiet around here the last few days but I have been busy reading.

Currently Listening to :

This one of those books where the cover does not do the contents justice.  If I had come across this book on my recommendations or anywhere else where the cover was shown, I doubt very much that I would have even bothered to check out the blurb.  However this series/author was part of a Christmas novella with that teamed up with the Mudbug series.  After reading about Rose Gardner in that short story I have been hoping to try the series.

I picked this up on Audible and I have already downloaded book #2.  I am really enjoying this audio and am quite addicted to the story.  I have been listening to bits here and there all weekend when I usually only listen to books during the week.  This is really turning out to be a wonderful story.

If you haven't already come across this one then I can recommend giving it a go.  There is a slight supernatural twist and so far I have to say the plot is very addictive and has some lovely twists and turns.

Currently Reading :


I haven't really started this one yet but it is the next one up on the tbr pile due to its release date.

I got this one from Netgalley and it looks like it could be a good read.  It is definitely going to be one of those books that need to grab me straight away for me to keep reading till the end though!  I am getting a little behind with my reading again and have no time to waste on books that don't wow me in some way.

The cover looks interesting and the blurb sounds like it could be a very busy read.  I am really loving my cozies lately and love checking what else is out there.

It could take me all week to get around to reading this but I am determined to have this one read and reviewed before its release date in February.

The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :


There are a few books on this list that are ARC's I try and read these before the release date but sometimes I don't mange it!

I have quite a few books that are just not making it to the top of the pile!

Some of these books are ones I intend on reading asap but new releases or reviews keep taking over.

How do you manage your to be read pile?   I don't think I am strict enough with myself!



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10) On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle

The Blurb :

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?

My Thoughts :

This book/series has been on my wishlist for a while and when I saw it cheap on Audible I snatched it up.  I, like most people, love coffee and drink a couple of cups a day to survive work and life in general.  Coffee shops are a regular occurrence and despite not having a regular coffee place I do live in Vienna which is famous for its coffeehouses.

I'll start by saying that if I had read the book I may have actually given up on it.  Listening to the book was hard enough and at some points I thought about turning it off and starting something else.  Why?  The coffee!  Yes this is a cozy with a coffee theme but wow!  I think half of the book was coffee facts, how to make coffee, Clare making coffee (always a long descriptive process) and stories about coffee.  It was too coffee and it was annoying.

Clare is a total coffee snob and she is constantly going off on tangents talking about coffee this and coffee that.  At first I thought it would be nice to hear a few facts but this author went over the top.  It drowned out the actual story and made me want to slap Clare.  She may run a coffeehouse and love coffee but she needs to get a life.

That wasn't all that annoyed me.  There was so many unbelievable things.  The fact that Clare's mother-in-law just gave her the coffeehouse to run with loads of incentives and the free apartment on top was just too easy.  Clare being a mother also felt weird.  She used it as an excuse/reason for things but I never really believed she was a loving mother.  More distant than close.  I won't even get started on her relationship with her ex.  I could rant all day.

The plot would have been good if there had been more of it.  There was so much potential at the beginning but it seemed very flat and boring till the end.  So much coffee chat and not enough action made things drag on and on.  I felt like the story was taking place over a week or two weeks but in reality only two days had passed.

There must be something amazingly good about this series because there are another twelve installments after this one.  So I have to believe that the author gets a grip on the characters and grows into the series because otherwise I can't understand how there can be so many more books about the coffeehouse.  For this reason and this reason only I am going to at least try book two in the series.  I am intrigued to see what the author comes up with next and if the many kinks get ironed out.

Lovers of coffee will appreciate the in-depth workings of everything coffee but if you are looking for a strong cozy then you may want to rethink this one.



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Monday, January 19, 2015

9) No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie

The Blurb :

M.J. has had a distant relationship with her father since her mother died more than two decades ago. But when M.J., her boyfriend, Heath, and BFF, Gilley, take a break from their show, Ghoul Getters, and visit her family home in Valdosta, Georgia, they find Montgomery Holliday a changed man. The source of his happiness seems to be his new fiancée, the charming Christine Bigelow.

But despite the blush of new love, Montgomery and Christine are dealing with a big problem in the form of the antebellum mansion she is having renovated. After a series of strange accidents, the work crew is convinced the place is cursed, and the contractor has walked off the job. At Christine’s request, M.J. and her pals agree to find out if they’re really dealing with some spirited saboteurs and a possessed plantation home.

My Thoughts :

I have been enjoying this series ever since it started and it amazing to see how far things have come.  What started out as little bumps in the night have grown into night terrors of the scariest degree.  Ghost Hunter or not, M.J. is really getting the big kills!  She is coming up against things that nightmares are made of and this time it is personal.

This ninth installment sees M.J. going home for a visit and getting involved in the most spookiest and craziest ghost problem yet.  Over the course of the book it becomes apparent that her mother was involved in the events causing the hauntings but M.J has to figure out how.  Her mother is on the other side and isn't ready to tell her daughter anything.

As the story unfolds there are some extremely scary happenings and just reading about them will give you goosebumps.  Don't let the cute cozy cover deceive you!  This may be a cozy mystery but it is very haunting!  There are some very shocking revelations in No Ghouls Allowed and I have to wonder if the author took things a little too far this time around.  I could see some readers being put off by the actions of the characters, ghosts, possessed or other wise.

The Ghost Hunters are a favourite cozy of mine and I have to admit that the spooky, dark and over the top hauntings are actually very enjoyable.  The plots are always interesting and there are some amazing characters involved.  If you aren't a horror movie type of person then you may want to stay away from this series but if you don't scare too easily you will enjoy this no holds barred ghost hunting adventure.

Start at the beginning of the series to get the full effect.  This series keeps getting darker, scarier and fantastic.  The mysteries are well thought out and keep you guessing plus the sleuthing and ghost hunting combination makes for a great story all round.





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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Currently Reading & To be read

January has already hit the halfway mark!   Before we know it February will be here!

My reading goal is still going well and I am still ahead!  I wonder how long that will last ;)

Here are my current reads!  Also my To be read pile...which I have updated!

Currently Listening to :

Yes this was the book I was listening to last time I posted a 'Currently Reading' post.  You see I had a slight problem...I was ill.  Now it didn't stop me from reading but I usually listen to my audio books while traveling to and from work.  However I didn't go to work for a couple of days and so I am only about halfway through.

I can tell you some of my first impressions though.

Too much coffee talk.  Yes this is a cozy with a coffee theme but it is very over the top.  The story goes off on tangents about coffee every few minutes and it is getting slightly annoying.

Actually the story is slow going and I wonder what the actual mystery really is.  The 'crime' that took place is hardly being investigated and I continue to listen because I have to believe it gets better because there are twelve more books in this series.

So I am very interested to see what I will be writing in my review ;)

Currently Reading :


This is a must read & pre-order series/author.  I love the Ghost Hunter Mysteries and they keep getting spookier and scarier!  Don't let the cute looking covers fool you.  This ghost hunter series means business!

I haven't made a start on this one yet but it is the next on the pile or should I say it is the next book open on my Kindle ready to be read.  I am really looking forward to the book and actually thought about staying home 'sick' an extra day just so I could at least make a start on it.

I am pretty sure this is the next review that will be posted!








The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :


There are a few books on this list that are ARC's I try and read these before the release date but sometimes I don't mange it!

I have quite a few books that are just not making it to the top of the pile!

Some of these books are ones I intend on reading asap but new releases or reviews keep taking over.

How do you manage your to be read pile?   I don't think I am strict enough with myself!









Wednesday, January 14, 2015

8) Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn

The Blurb :

Low Midnight spins out of the series on the wave of popularity surrounding Kitty's most popular supporting character, Cormac Bennett, a two-minded assassin of the paranormal who specializes in killing lycanthropes.

In his first solo adventure, Cormac, struggling with a foreign consciousness trapped inside him, investigates a century-old crime in a Colorado mining town which could be the key to translating a mysterious coded diary… a tome with secrets that could shatter Kitty's world and all who inhabit it.

With a framing sequence that features Kitty Norville herself, Low Midnight not only pushes the Kitty saga forward, but also illuminates Cormac's past and lays the groundwork for Kitty's future.

My Thoughts :

The Kitty Norville series is a pre-order must read for me so I don't even bother reading the blurbs.  I want to be surprised and I don't want to torture myself.  The torture of waiting for a new installment is enough.  So when I started reading this one I was surprised.  Kitty was present but Cormac was taking the reins this time around.  No wonder the book title didn't have Kitty in it for the first time!

Low Midnight is the thirteenth book in the series and this turn around of character perspective was not a bad decision.  I love this series and it has had its ups and downs but there is nothing like the up of doing something different and making it all fresh again.  Also, like any fan of the series, finding out more about Cormac and his guest, witch Amelia, was not an unwelcome plot change.

However it may also feel like a slap in the face because the next book is the last.  Feel cheated?  Well maybe a little but Kitty is in this book, she takes part and she rocks as always.  She just isn't telling this part of the story and that is ok.  This part of the ongoing plot that will obviously see Kitty saving the world (in the last book) needed to be taken care of by someone else.

The story is good, a little different but good.  It isn't my favourite of course but it is an interesting one.  I think I enjoyed finding out more about Amelia than anything else.  I am very eager to see what role she ends up playing in the last book and if she will get a second chance or or or...

If you are a fan of the series then just go get a copy and delve right in.  If you have been waiting to start the series, weren't sure or have fallen behind,  then now is the time to catch up!  The last installment is coming soon and I am pretty sure you don't want to come across any spoilers.  Kitty has come a long way over the years and it would be a shame to miss out on the final hurrah and conclusion to everything Kitty!

Now I will go off and try not to dwell on the fact that the end of an era is coming.  I just hope Carrie Vaughn knows what she is doing and doesn't disappoint the fans with the last piece of the puzzle.




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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7) Spell Book by Joyce & Jim Lavene

The Blurb :


Once upon a time in Wilmington, North Carolina, three witches ran a curio shop named Smuggler’s Arcane. But as the years passed, their magical powers started to fade—leaving them no choice but to conjure up a retirement package…

Before they could blink their eyes or twitch their noses, Molly, Elsie, and Olivia somehow became eligible for AARP. But they can’t fly off to Boca Raton just yet. First they must give up their magic, recruit and train three new witches, and pass on their cherished spellbook.

They’ve barely begun to consider potential practitioners when Olivia winds up dead and their spellbook is stolen. To honor their friend and reclaim their spells, Molly and Elsie are about to go wand-to-wand with a dangerous young witch more powerful than the trio was in their prime. And this time they’re going to need more than magic up their sleeves…

My Thoughts :

I was very excited about this new series.  Paranormal cozy mysteries are the best and I couldn't wait to try this new offering from two authors that haven't disappointed me before.  This was on pre-order and I couldn't wait to curl up with it over the weekend but it had to wait till the Bank Holiday (yeah we had one here!) before I could give it my attention.

Ever read a book and thought the whole time, 'Not sure if I like this? It isn't as good as I expected?'  Then gone over to somewhere like Goodreads and seen that everyone is giving it amazing reviews?   Well this is one of those books.  There were things I liked about it.  For instance the general concept was ok.  However the story kept falling flat and the characters kept annoying me.  The plot was good but at the end of the day the big reveal, while very surprising, was rushed and lacking in any real explanation.

What got me from the beginning was the lack of mourning and general grief about their friend being murdered.  Someone they have spent all their lives with, own a shop with and share magic with.  The reactions of Molly's husband who talked about Olivia as if she was some passing acquaintance and not someone who was such a huge part of Molly's life.  I didn't need a full on cry fest but it came across as something that happens all the time.

The magic was nice enough but lacked explanation.  The council was mentioned so much and it was all hidden from everyone mundane and so on but there was something missing.  I didn't believe it.  Which brings me on to my other problem with this debut.  Everyone just accepted it.  Even poor Dorothy just took everything on and went with it.  No ifs or buts.  Just jumped on the crazy weird roller coaster of an investigation that really didn't solve anything.

I am willing to give the sequel a go but I won't be pre-ordering it.  When it comes around it will go on my wishlist but I won't be rushing to read it.  There were so many things that didn't sit right with me from the ages of the main characters (they all felt wrong) to the amount of times in the two? three? days that they ate pizza.  Which even the story ended up trying to joke about.

A slight disappointment but I remain hopeful.  




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