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Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Title: The Cuckoo's Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith
Narrator:  Robert Glenister
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 15 hrs 54 mins
Publication: August 6, 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Mystery, Crime

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

My Thoughts: When Cormoran Strike is asked to investigate the death of a former classmate's sister he knows this is his chance to get caught up on overdue debts. Even though Strike believes the death to be suicide, as it has been officially ruled, he provides top quality investigative skills. Strike is helped out along the way by his temp agency issued secretary, Robin. Strike's office is Robin's dream job and the tow form a formidable team. 

When I decided to read this book I had no idea that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. Knowing this information would not have changed my decision in picking this read. I was impressed by this read the story started out slow but once things got moving it was nonstop. When it comes to mysteries I am usually clueless as to the villain and this story was no difference. I was completely blindsided when everything was laid out for me. I am looking forward to the next book due out this summer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review & Excerpt: Landing by J. Bennett

Title: Landing
Author: J. Bennett
Publication: January 5, 2013 
Publisher:Endeavor Writing
Source: Author
Genre: Paranormal
Audience: 18+

Will Maya's Nightmare Come True in Landing?

Fighting evil isn’t only high-stress, no pay, and uncomfortable as hell most of the time, it also doesn’t turn out to be quite as black and white as Maya would have hoped. As a hybrid angel struggling to control her murderous appetite, Maya should know better than to expect simplicity.  With one half-brother still convinced that she’s an unstable threat and the other oblivious to the danger she presents, Maya struggles to find a balance between her diminished humanity and the darkness of the monster within.

The world gets murkier when Maya discovers a pair of angels who invite her into their lives. Now, she must choose between family or the promise of acceptance. The stakes grow higher when Maya’s greatest enemy returns. Vengeance may be within her grasp, but will Maya have to sacrifice one she loves to take it?

Landing is J Bennett's action-packed, darkly-humorous sequel to Falling, and the second book in the paranormal Girl With Broken Wings seriesAnd yes, there will be plenty more Chuck Norris jokes.

My Thoughts:  Maya continues to struggle with what she has become and the hunger as a result of this change. Despite her desire to help destroy the monsters Maya is unable to kill one. Maya must decide her role in everything or else it could end badly for her and her brothers. This was a quick read for me and it included many emotions. I loved how the siblings relationships developed over the course of this book. I really enjoyed getting to know Tarren and understanding him better. Landing along with the other books in the series is full of action and is a great read. I look forward to seeing how the series progress as I'm left with many questions after this read.  

Chapter 1
The cold of this October night seeps through my jacket, finds my joints, and nestles inside. Aches settle into the small of my back and in my elbows as I lean against the edge of the ice cream shop’s roof. Day one of patrol in this small college town was fine. Day two got annoying. Day three just sucks. I’m almost too bored to be nervous anymore.

A quarter mile down the street, a bar announces final call, and our next great generation stumbles out of the doors, laughing. Idiots. Their energy fields are fogged and giddy with alcohol. Such strong, healthy energy. They practically beg to be snatched and drained.

My body shivers involuntarily, and I remind myself that I already drained a perfectly good rat before we left on the stakeout. A perfectly good, small, tiny handful of energy that did little but whet my appetite.

A group of guys lingers outside the bar. They laugh and swing sloppy fists at each other. Their overt good spirits are offensive. I don’t know them, but I can tell that they are enjoying every minute of their dimwit college experience: signing up for useless classes like Latin or Shakespeare II, meeting study groups in the library, pondering the cork boards in the dorms for some obtuse club to join, banging drunk sorority girls at parties, being normal and human and whatever.

In the midst of the group, I immediately recognize the vibrant blue aura of my brother, Gabe. Technically half-brother, that is. At least we share my good half. He’s already managed to befriend the entire group. He hoots with the rest of the guys and has somehow obtained a university hoodie, which hangs on his thin frame. His energy is as foggy and looping as his compatriots, and I wonder if he actually downed a couple of drinks, or if he’s just that good at acting. I’m learning that Gabe excels at this bait trick. He takes pride in putting on a good performance and usually manages to enjoy himself in the process.

“See ya losers!” Gabe calls fondly as he breaks away from the group. His voice carries down the empty street.

“Friday man!” one of the guys yells after him. “’s gonna be epic!”

“Maybe.” Gabe turns away and continues with slow, plodding steps toward the industrial part of town. He whistles a soft, off-key tune to himself. I watch the other boys stagger back to campus. None of them peels away from the group. Good.

Our angel likes his victims drunk and alone. In the middle of the week it’s slim pickings even in this college town. We haven’t found a body in two days, which means it has to be tonight. It has to be Gabe. My heart starts picking up its pace, and I tell it to mind its own goddamn business.

But it is tonight. It is Gabe. As he makes his way farther from the bar, the voices and giggles fade. This is the kind of town that goes to bed at night, at least during the week. Cars roll by in intervals, but there’s no one else left on the street except for Gabe and a figure trailing behind him. The stranger must have seen his share of horror flicks, because he lurks with some gusto, keeping to the shadows, hands plunged deep into his coat pockets.

This is our angel. It’s easy enough for me to tell. The space around his body is empty—bereft of the glowing blues and greens and soft violets of a human aura. Angels don’t produce their own energy; they drain it from humans. Gabe doesn’t know it, but he has just about the most beautiful aura I’ve ever seen. Blue as blue, true as true. I’m rambling like I always do when I get nervous.

“Confirm,” I whisper into my Bluetooth earpiece. “Black coat. By the nail salon.” The angel continues to lurk his heart out.

A pause. “I see him,” Tarren whispers back. He’s on the roof of a scrapbooking store across the street, dampening his energy to a soft glow that even a hungry angel wouldn’t notice unless he knew where to look. Even though I know he does, I am tempted to glance up, find Tarren, and make sure he’s got his Barrett 82A1 semi-automatic rifle trained on the figure.

Instead, I dig the cell phone out of my pocket. Stupid shaking hands. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, but I still hate it. Dangling something dear over the abyss.

I tap into my saved messages, find the right one, and hit send. Down below, Gabe reaches into his pocket, still taking slow, unsteady steps farther from the main drag. A glow of light graces his sharp nose and chin as he wakes up his phone and checks the message, Leprechauns are extinct , because leprechauns piss Chuck Norris off.

“Awesome,” Gabe says. He picks up his pace and whistles a little louder as he makes his way toward us.

I track the angel as he keeps to the shadows—still lingering, watching, hungering. A car filled with music blares its way down the street. Its headlights make a wide sweep as it turns down the street Gabe has just crossed.

For a moment the angel is blocked from view. When the headlights fade, I refocus on the scene below. There’s Gabe still whistling. The angel is…gone.

Shit on a stick!

I scan the street. Nothing. Back to Gabe who is a hundred feet away from us and readying himself for the grand finale.

“Oh sweet tiny baby Jesus,” he moans.

Wait, wait! I cry inside my mind. But he’s going for it, staggering against the side of a building and pretending to dry heave. There are no cars. No people. The trap is baited.

“Where?” Tarren hisses through my earpiece. He’s lost the angel too. I hear my heart banging in my chest, and I try desperately to calm it down. Angels are good at hearing heartbeats.

Gabe crumples to his knees, heaving, swearing colorfully, praying to Keira Knightly for relief, pandering for the Oscar.
My eyes catch swift movement.

“Oh, oh, there,” I hiss to Tarren. “I mean, below you. Right under you!”

Inexplicably, the angel must have turned down the same street as the car, gone behind us, and doubled back so that he is now walking swiftly toward Gabe. He is directly below the scrapbooking store, hidden for a moment beneath its polka dot awning. I know immediately that Tarren has lost his shot, even before he whispers, “I don’t have him”, his voice all tight and boiling into my ear. The angel picks up his pace, moving so fast it’s like he’s gliding on ice. I pull out my gun and press the extra lever to remove the safety.

Gabe sees the guy. “Just ignore me, I’m fine,” he slurs, slowly getting to his feet, waiting for us.

“Maya,” Tarren hisses. The Glock 32C is big in my palm. I know how to hold it now. How to aim. I can usually smoke a dozen empty beef ravioli cans without missing. But this isn’t beef ravioli or Spaghettios or any other label that can be dispatched without a hint of moral meltdown.

“Oh no,” I whisper, because I can’t shoot. The angel is there, reaching out for Gabe. Time slows in order to accommodate the lurching wave of fear that breaks over me. Panic drops black snowflakes across my vision, because I know, just know, Gabe is going to die for my cowardice.

“Oh fuck,” Gabe says as the angel descends upon him, hands open and glowing.

Author Bio:
J Bennett is a professional copywriter, as well as a novelist. She lives and writes in Southern California.
She also writes the blog
Find J Bennett online at or on Facebook at

Works by J Bennett
Girl With Broken Wings
Falling (Book One)
Coping (Novella, 1.5)
(Book Two), To Be Released Jan 2013
The Vampire’s Housekeeper Chronicles
#1 Employment Interview With A Vampire (Short Story)
#2 The Vampire Hunter Comes to Call (Short Story)
#3 Duel With The Werefrog (Short Story)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Audio Review: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Series: Finishing School #1
Author: Gail Carriger
Narrator: Moira quirk
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 8 hrs 55 mins
Publication: February 18, 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Historical fiction

Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
My Thoughts: This is the cutest story ever. Sophronia is a mischievous young girl. Her mother is fed up and decides that she needs a finishing school to turn her into a proper lady. Little does she know that Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality is the perfect place for Sophronia and it is more than just any finishing school. I love, love, love this story. Sophronia's curiosity and antics land her in many a situation. Her quick wit, on the other hand, always seems to get her out of said situations. The best part of the story to me is the school's setting. I imagined a stuffy castle as the home of the finishing school. Instead the school is located on a balloon. 

This is a single voiced unabridged audio. This is the first time I have listened to an audio narrated by Moira Quirk. She has done an amazing job bringing the characters to life. Her accents are wonderful and the differentiation between each character is distinct and simple to recognize. This story provides an excellent platform for audio performance. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Giveaway: Inquisitor by R.J. Blain


When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.

There's only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison's desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance...



RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series

In no particular order:

Anne McCaffrey's Pern
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher's Codex Alera
Brandon Sanderson's Elantris
Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega & Dragon Bones
Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time


Free Audiobooks!!!

Do you love Young Adult reads? How about FREE Audiobooks all summer long? Then SYNC is for you. SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for young adults. From May 15th to August 13th, SYNC gives away two complete audio book downloads a week. A current young adult title along with a thematically paired classic or required summer reading title. 

What do you need to get started? All titles are delivered through the OverDrive Media Console. So you can start by downloading the application. OverDrive is a free application and it can be downloaded to many platforms. 

This week's titles. 

Visit Sync to see all of the titles offered this summer. Text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cover Reveal: A Perfect Dilemma by Zoe Dawson

Title: A Perfect Dilemma
Author: Zoe Dawson
Series: A Perfect Secret Series, #3
Publication: June 30, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Audience: 18+


The one secret she can't stand to keep is the one she can't afford to tell.

The perfect little rich girl, River Pearl Sutton has always done what her family expected of her. She’d become the perfect little beauty queen, the perfect child model and now her global success locks her into a life she never really chose.

Coming home for the summer to prepare for the Founder’s Day Festival, a celebration of her lauded ancestor, she is tasked by her father to write a speech to be delivered at the end of the party.

Returning to Hope Parish brings her back into close proximity with sweet-talking, skirt-chasing Braxton Outlaw, the boy who always seemed immune to her charms in high school. But now he looks at her with those challenging blue eyes, both intimidating and seductive at the same time. Using research of her family lineage and his as way to get close to this bad boy, they fall into a hot, torrid affair.

She stumbles across a terrible secret that could bring to ruin not only her reputation, but the reputation and standing of her family. But when her infatuation with Brax grows into something that she can’t live without, she must decide what to do. Keep the secret and lose Brax or destroy her family and lose them. 

It’s an awful, heartrending perfect dilemma.

Author Bio:
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

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Audio Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Narrator: Julia Whelan & Kirby Heyborne
Publisher: Random House Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 19 hrs 11 mins
Publication: May 25, 2012
Source: Library
Genre: Psychological Thriller

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts:  Gillian Flynn breathes new meaning into the phrase hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Nick Dunne is by far the husband of the year and he continues to dig he grave deeper with each lie and evasion. At no point during the story did  I think that Nick was a murderer. I did think that if he had to go to trial he was going to be convicted because all the evidence was point to him and he was not making anything easy for himself. Getting the story form Nick, Amy, and Amy's diary's point made things very interesting and really put thing in perspective. My jaw hit the floor at the end of the story. I wanted something different for Nick but at the same time I felt that he got what he deserved. 

This is a multi-voiced unabridged audio told from the two main characters points of view. Each narrator clearly differentiated each character. Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne brought the book to life. appropriate pace was well maintained throughout the production. I loved my listening experience and would recommend both narrators for future productions. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Excerpt & Giveaway: Mine To Spell by Janeal Falor

Title: Mine to Spell
Author: Janeal Falor
Series: Mine #2
Publication: May 5, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Source: Author
Genre: YA Fantasy
Audience: 14+


Synopsis:Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.

Edward grips my upper arm and strides toward the hall.
Suddenly, Zade reaches out to Edward. “If you mistreat her—”
“You’ll what? There’s nothing you can do. She’s my property. Any interference will constitute you breaking the law. I’d hate to see you lose your Chancellorship over something so trivial.”
Anger flames at the insult. If anything, the last year has taught me that no one is trivial. But now isn’t the time to fight. I will Zade to leave it, but he doesn’t get my silent message. “The Chancellorship may be important, be she’s more important. Don’t forget it.”
Zade’s words and stance warm me, yet are also enough to make me want to cower even though I’m not the one he’s threatening. Edward only laughs, this time big, happy and loud, crowding the small space further. “Oh, I won’t forget how valuable she is. You can be assured on that count.”
He yanks me forward, digging into my arm so hard there will be a bruise later. I clench my teeth to keep from crying out.
“At least let me get her things,” Serena calls out.
“The only thing of yours allowed to enter my house is her. And she is no longer yours.”
The words are sharp against my ears. Part of me is aching to struggle against this, but most of me is still attempting to process it. This was just supposed to be a meeting to sign me over to him. Nothing more.
He continues jerking me forward, out of the house and into the carriage. I tumble onto the wooden bench as Serena calls out something I can’t make out. Edward slams the door shut, and I’m left in darkness. Alone.

Author Bio: 
Amazon best-selling author Janeal Falor lives in Utah with her husband and three children. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it's time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family, fencing, or drinking hot chocolate.

Giveaway: This Giveaway is for three (3) ebook copies of Mine to Spell. This giveaway is open internationally and is sponsored by the author. Please use the rafflecopter form below to enter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Hedge Witch by Simon Kewin

Title: Hedge Witch 
Author: Simon Kewin 
Publication: April 8, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Fifteen year-old Cait Weerd has no idea she’s being sought by the undain: sorcerous creatures of necromancy that feed off the spirit of the living. She doesn’t know the undain need her blood to survive. She doesn’t even know she’s a witch, descended from a long line of witches. Cait Weerd doesn’t know a lot, really, but all that’s about to change.

At Manchester Central Library she’s caught up in sudden, horrific violence. In the chaos she’s handed an old book that’s been hidden there and told to run, hide the book or destroy it. It contains all the secrets of the undains’ existence. They and their human servants want to find that as much as they want Cait.

What’s more, she learns that the fate of two worlds is at stake here. Just what she needs. Along with definitely-not-a-boyfriend Danny, she has to decide what the hell to do. Run, fight or just hope it all goes away.

It’s only then she learns who she really is, along with the terrible truth of what the undain have been doing in our world all this time …

My Thoughts:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Mine to Tarnish by Janeal Falor

Title: Mine to Tarnish
Author: Janeal Falor
Series: Mine #0.5
Publication: December 2, 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Source: Purchased
Genre: YA Fantasy
Audience: 14+


Katherine’s place is the same as any woman’s—on the shelf next to the dresses and bolts of cloth. When she’s sold to a warlock, life grows even bleaker. Her new owner is as old and rancid as he is cruel, driving her to do the unthinkable: run.

Nothing prepared her for being on her own. And she’s definitely unprepared for the warlocks hunting her down. But she must stay one step ahead because if caught, the best she can hope for is death.

My Thoughts: Katherine's plight is a normal one for her society. She has come of age and has had her magic tested. She has been sold to on eligible warlock. No consideration has been made as to if this will be a good match; women are to do as they are told. Katherine's mother knows just how cruel warlocks can be. She sets things in place for Katherine to escape. Once on her one Katherine must decide who she can trust and the the safest place for her to go. 

This is a quick read and excellent introduction to the Mine Series. I really felt for Katherine and think I would have made the same decision to run that she did. I wanted something different for Katherine in the end but it was her decision to make. 

Get this read free (May 5 -May 10, 2014) at amazon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Audio Review: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Title: Life After Life: A Novel
Author: Kate Atkinson
Narrator: Fenella Woolgar
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Format: Unabridged Audio
Length: 14 hrs 34 mins
Publication: April 2, 2013
Source: Library
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.
My Thoughts: Ursula is unique. She gets to relive her life many times. During each of her lives events happen that cause her an untimely death. When she encounters these events the second time around Ursula has uncanny feelings and is able to to make different choices. 

I really enjoyed this read. I connected with Ursula easily and I wanted her to have a happy ending. Given the times and situations that was not always possible. I was heart broken with each of her deaths including the final one. During her lives Ursula is an abuse housewife, friend and confidant to Eva Braun, and a single woman doing what she can for England's war effort. This story left me wondering if I could change anything about my past and do it differently what would I change and how would that one change effect the world?