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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

12) Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

The Blurb :

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

My Thoughts :

After reading a Christmas novella featuring Denis Grover Swank's character Rose Gardner, I decided I had to try the series as soon as possible.  The novella was a story that saw Rose meet up with a character from the Mudbug series and seeing as I have been following that series via Audible I decided that if this one was also available as an audio I would try it that way.  So I was delighted to see it on Audible and snapped it up when my new credits arrived.

I loved this book straight away.  Rose's demeanor and naive character made her likable but not annoying or frustrating.  Within the first few chapters you start to see her evolving and finally coming out of the shell she has been kept in.  Rose basically starts living her life and her decisions, actions and funny ideas are inspiring.  Getting mixed up in all the action makes the story even more interesting and the slight paranormal angle of Rose's visions make this even more fun to read.

Don't judge a book by its cover is a term well used for this one.  What looks like a young adult girly romance read is actually a cozy mystery southern enough to rival Sookie Stackhouse and have you giggling on more than one occasion.  I found myself mentally cheering for the leading lady and hoping that she would get through her list of wishes.  Some may find Rose a silly and naive woman but I liked her ability to finally stand up for herself and taking no nonsense from anyone after the huge hurdle that was her momma was out of the way.

The narrator on the audio version was great and I enjoyed listening to the book a lot.  I already had the second book downloaded before I was halfway done with this first installment.  I think that shows how much I was enjoying it  Unfortunately I have noticed that while this series is at least six books long there are only three of the books available on Audible.  I hoping this will change soon.  It would be very annoying to switch over to reading the series after listening to it.  Especially when the narrator is so good.

Well worth checking out if you liked the Sookie Stackhouse series, every enjoyed Stephanie Plum or are just a cozy mystery lover.  There is a little bit of something for everyone including some romance, comedy and action.  The plot is well thought out and the characters are unforgettable.  I am looking forward to starting the second book tomorrow and if it is as good as this debut then I am sure it won't take long to finish.  I found myself listening to this one whenever I had the chance!



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11)

Monday, January 26, 2015

11) The Immortal Who Loved Me by Lynsay Sands

The Blurb :

A few hours ago, Sherry Carne would have sworn that vampires didn’t exist. That’s before rogue immortals rampage through her store, leaving bloody chaos (literally) in their wake. The kicker comes when Sherry learns that one of the vamps on the bad guys’ trail may be her life mate. Her head says it’s impossible. The rest of her takes one look at Basileios Argeneau and has much more interesting ideas.

Whatever Basil expected in a life mate, funny, outspoken Sherry isn’t it. But mind-blowing chemistry and instinct don’t lie. They tell him something else, too—that Sherry’s connection to the immortal world goes deeper than she knows. And that she’s in the kind of danger only Basil can save her from—if she’ll just trust him, now and forever . . .

My Thoughts :

Like all the previous Argeneau novels, this was a wonderful reading experience.  The author never fails to come up with another original and exciting story in the world of her immortals.  With each life mate story that comes along there is always a new twist and a different plot.  However the same story is there in the background and all the characters from the previous books come along for the ride.

It amazes me how Lynsay Sands manages it.  Twenty-one books in and she never fails to spin a different tale that ends with the same satisfying ending.  Romance combines with mystery and the paranormal for the foundation of this series which is always the same.  The main characters stories always build on this foundation and make a new but familiar tale that sucks you in from the very beginning.  I know that they will make it in the end but how they get there is the huge mystery that keeps me coming back for more.

This time around there are some developments in the on-going story that will please a lot of fans.  There is also the usual group of characters from the previous books making an appearance or being referred to.  It is always nice to find out how everyone is doing.   You can expect some hot scenes and some thrills as well as some amusing moments.  Everything I have come to know and love about this series.

Argeneau immortals are one of the best 'vampire' series out there.  A great strong concept with fabulous characters and spectacular writing.  I hope there will be another twenty-one books in the series because I just can't get enough of the different ways the life mates meet, get together and stay together.  Oh and I hope Bricker is the next one to find his life mate!



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11)

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!