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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Currently Reading & To Be Read

It has been a quiet week here on Amberkatze's Book Blog.   I have been reading.  I just haven't finished anything.  I am actually reading three books at the moment and I am making slow but steady progress on them all.  Hopefully a review will be coming soon!

Currently Listening to :

The Rose Gardner's Mysteries are a series I started listening to a few months ago.  I finished books one and two and noticed that the rest of the series wasn't available on Audio yet.  So I put off listening to this third installment because I knew I would be annoyed when I didn't have any more to listen to.

I noticed that three more books have popped up on Audible so I decided it was time to find out what happens next to Rose.  Thus cozy mystery like series has a nice twist.  Rose has visions. It also has some very interesting characters, well thought out plots and a very addictive on-going story.

I guess I am about halfway through and hope to finish listening to this next week.

Currently Reading :

As I mentioned, I am reading two books at the moment.  The latest offering from Gail Carriger brings back some great memories of the Parasol Protectorate and actually includes a lot of the characters from that series.

The Paranormal Steampunk mix-up is wonderful and the witty and weird dialogue is very well written.  However there isn't much happening in the story that is grabbing me so I am easily distracted.

The new installment in the Midnight series from Charlaine Harris is an ARC.  I actually debated requesting a copy because I listened to the series debut and intended on listening to this sequel.  Now I have the book and have made a start on it, I wonder if I have made a mistake.  I can actually see myself not finishing this before the release date next month and then getting a copy from Audible and listening to the rest.

Hopefully I will get this one read before the release date but somehow the audio version is calling to me more than this readable version.  Yes I have the book before the release but the first part was a good listening experience and the urge to return to Midnight via Audible is very high!

The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :

Not a lot has been happening to this pile lately.  I hope that there will be some changes over the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

48) The Cat, The Vagabond & The Victim by Leann Sweeney

The Blurb :

When Clyde the cat travels two hundred miles back home only to find his former owner dead, the story makes national news. While everyone seems eager to tell Clyde’s incredible tale, someone needs to step up to care for him. Because the media attention is creating chaos at the local shelter, cat quilter Jillian Hart agrees to foster the loyal orange tabby, hoping his location is kept secret.

But while the media circus around Clyde continues, Jillian learns the real story behind his owner’s death—he was murdered. Why would an eldery man already dying from a serious illness become a murder victim? As the local police search for an answer, Clyde makes another escape. Jillian is drawn into the case when she finds Clyde has returned to his home again—and he’s found another body. When the motive behind these murders is finally revealed, Jillian understands Clyde is in danger of becoming the next victim, and she must help find the killer before the claws really come out.…

My Thoughts :

I am really enjoying this kitty cozy series but was annoyed to find this sixth installment wasn't available in an audio format even though the book released last Summer.  So when I saw this one appear on Audible for pre-order I used a credit and made sure I was ready to start listening to this one as soon as it came out.  Jillian and her kitties are lovely entertainment for my trip to and from work and I love the mysteries that the author weaves.  This latest addition was no exception.

Of course Jillian manages to get herself mixed up in yet another murder.  However how she finds herself involved and why she keeps herself involved always has something to do with her cats or another cat.  This time it is the lovely vagabond Clyde who gets Jillian mixed up in a family full of feuds that will make your head hurt.  The annoying reporters are nothing compared to the headache Clyde's family makes when they find out his owner didn't die of natural causes.

There was, as always, the usual characters involved in this mystery but Tom and Candace didn't make much of an appearance and neither did many of the regulars.  They mostly had cameo roles in this one but it didn't hurt the story at all.  There were quite a few new people added to the mixture but I doubt they will be seen in future books.  Although it would be nice to catch up with them at some point to see how they are doing.

The continuing story took another leap and it will be nice to see what happens next.  It looks like the kitties will be getting some more people to curl up with everyday.   I am still envious of Jillian's catcam and wish I could have one!  And I don't think I am the only one!

All in all another enjoyable installment in this cozy mystery.  The audio version has a great narrator and I love listening to the series.  I am really looking forward to the next installment and hope the audio version releases as soon as the physical version.

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Amberkatze's Book Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2015

47) Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

The Blurb :

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .

My Thoughts :

I love Jennifer Estep's books and can't get enough of her wonderful stories.  This new Young Adult series had an ok blurb but a boring cover and I wondered if this was going to be the first bad book of the bunch.  However within a few pages I knew that this was going to be another hit!

Jennifer Estep has outdone herself again by inventing yet another amazing concept that broadens the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre.  A new twist on the usual paranormal talents and some nice fantasy additions make this first in a new series really stand out.  Forget the Young adult label and concentrate on another set of great characters who all have a compelling story to tell.  A tale of magic and family feuds. A story that follows a strong and clever young lady who can kick-ass with the best of them.

I won't go into details as far as the plot is concerned because I don't want to spoil things for anyone who is waiting for this new release which hits the shelves next week.  However I will say that there is some romance, a lot of action and a nice new paranormal community involved in Cold Burn of Magic.  Of course there is a subtle nod to the other locations of Estep's books and maybe one day they will all get together for a story or two.

Cold Burn of Magic is just a confirmation that this author is one, if not the best, in the genre.  The new ideas and different angles jump from the story and grab you and don't let go till the end.  There is everything that you have come to expect from this author and then some in the first of the Black Blade books and I can't wait for more.

If you are a fan of Jennifer's work then you need to get a copy of Cold Burn of Magic as soon as possible.  The opening scenes are just the beginning of a wonderful and magical read that stands out and takes control.   Lila's attitude and strength is inspiring and I am really looking forward to finding out more about her and her past.

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Amberkatze's Book Blog

Thursday, April 16, 2015

46) Quick Study by Maggie Barbieri

The Blurb :

Alison thought that dating a cute NYPD detective like Bobby Crawford would be exciting, but he hasn’t really invited her on any stakeouts…

Things do rev up when a friend asks her for help finding his nephew—the same missing boy Bobby pulled from the Hudson days earlier. The boy’s employer calls it a suicide, but Alison and Bobby, not convinced, take the case into their own hands.

With matching and sleuthing to spare, staying out of trouble isn’t on the syllabus in this third outrageous outing starring Alison and Bobby.

My Thoughts :

This is the third book in another series I have been neglecting!  The Murder 101 Mysteries have somehow managed to pile up on my Kindle and not actually get read so when I saw that I could get the Audible version very cheap (because I have the Kindle version) I snapped it up and was happy to get another series back on track!

As it turned out, this installment wasn't the best so far.  I have much fonder memories of books one and two and didn't find this third part to be overly exciting.  The plot was ok and the on-going story was still enough to keep me reading (or in this case listening) but there was something missing and a lot of the story felt flat.

There was quite a repetitive feeling to this book.   I kept hearing the heights of people,  Alison mentioning her French-Canadian cheese roots and also a lot of Rangers talk.  I think the most annoying and constantly repeated phrase was 'fugue state'.  I swear the term was used at least once in every chapter and I can't believe the author, who is writing from an English teachers perspective, couldn't come up with another description for someone staring into space.

Although Quick Study was a little disappointing compared to the two previous books, I still enjoyed listening to the story and am prepared to listen to more.  I will certainly be giving the fourth installment a try and look forward to seeing what happens next to the many unusual characters that play a part in Alison's life and this series.  I also enjoy the trip to New York ;)

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Amberkatze's Book Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Currently Reading & To Be Read

My reading goals are going well!  I am way ahead of my reading goal and I may have to raise my target because I am over 15 books ahead!  The goals of catching up with some series is going better than I expected and I have already crossed the Flavia de Luce books off because I am all caught up!  My goal of reading more physical books isn't going very well but they aren't going anywhere!

Currently Listening to :

I started listening to this series and want to continue listening to the series so I have been eagerly awaiting the Audible version of this sixth book in the series.

The Cats in Trouble series is a lovely cozy mystery read and the narrator does a wonderful job.  Just a shame that it has taken so long for this book to be available in an audio format seeing as it released last Summer.  I hope the seventh book, due out this Summer, will come out on Audio sooner rather than later.  There is nothing worse than getting invested in a series in a certain format only to have the release dates messed with.

Currently Reading :

Jennifer Estep is one of my all time favourite authors.  She has never let me down and I have enjoyed all of her books so far.

This new release is due out later this month and I was lucky enough to get an ARC version to check out in advance.

I will try not to give anything away when I get around to reading/reviewing this one but it is the next book I am going to be reading and I can't wait.  I already sneaked a little look but I want to make sure I have the time needed to read a nice big chunk, if not all of this, at once.

The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :

Well some books have disappeared but I have to admit there are a few books on the pile that are just not getting off!