Review: The Shadow of Death (Psalm 23 Mysteries #9) by Debbie Viguie

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If you’ve been reading the Psalm 23 Mysteries, you’ve got to read The Shadow of Death. Right. Now. It’s fast-paced, international, truth-revealing, and the most dangerous book in the series yet. I love when a plot is written so well that you feel like you’re on a thrill ride… no effort, just excitement and fun!

If you haven’t picked up the Psalm 23 Mysteries, I implore you to. Despite the name, they aren’t preachy or hokey or Bible-pushing. They feature a church secretary and a Jewish rabbi who keep tripping over dead bodies. Some of the time it’s coincidental, and some of the time it’s due to Rabbi Jeremiah’s sordid past.

In The Shadow of Death, Jeremiah’s secrets are revealed, he comes clean about his true feelings for Cindy, and he faces his biggest fear.

Read it. Love it. Wait for the next one. Amazing writing and a really fun ride.

-Calliope

It’s on sale today. $7.95 for kindle. Worth every penny.
buy THE SHADOW OF DEATH

Review: The Beautiful Ashes, by Jeaniene Frost

01bea I love Jeaniene Frost. Let me just start out by saying that. I loved her Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones were one of the funnest paranormal series I’ve ever read. I hated to see them end. But when I heard that she was writing a new adult paranormal series, I was super excited, and slightly nervous, to read it. I was so used to adult romances by her, I wasn’t sure how I’d take a NA. But she did it flawlessly.

Synopsis via Goodreads
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

The story starts out with a bang. If the first chapter doesn’t grab you, I’m not sure what will.

When we first see 20 yr old Ivy, she is searching for her sister, after the death of her parents, a few days earlier. She has been dealing with hallucinations and is trying to decide what is real and what is not. So searching has been quite difficult, when you never know when visions will pop up and show you a world that seems true, and yet isn’t. Right off the bat she finds herself in a world of trouble, and meeting someone who is destined to be her enemy. Since she has no one to help her, Ivy finds herself going with him, even though she doesn’t trust him.

Adrian wants nothing to do with his “family”. He has chosen a different path. He doesn’t want to believe is his fate, when it comes to Ivy, but he knows you can’t stop fate. It’s going to happen anyways. But when he saves her and finds out who she really is, he has no other choice but to help her. Then he finds himself growing to like her, even though he shouldn’t.

“Nothing but Dark magic had ever felt so powerful, and when I touch you, it’s a thousand times worse. You’re the light I can never have…and I’m the darkness you’ll never succumb to.”

This book had the feel of the Fever series, by Karen Marie Moning, but with a NA atmosphere. Demons, glamour, mystical relics, that sort of thing. But Ivy is your typical 20 yr old and has typical 20 yr old feelings about a very hot Adrian. I was glad to feel the tension, but not have it thrust in my face the whole time. As they go through the many challenges together, they grow slowly closer to each other. Ivy learns about her past and how she is very important for the future. She has powers that only she can, because of her lineage. Adrian learns that it isn’t easy to fight what fate already has destined for you. But, with Ivy, I think he can get past it to prove himself worthy.

I am super excited for this series. I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

~Melpomene

Buy The Beautiful Ashes (A Broken Destiny Novel)

Review: Eyes of the Woods, by Eden Fierce

01eyes What a fantastic debut novel, from this young lady!! I was so very excited to read this. In all honesty, I went in with the notion of finding a young adult book for my daughter. I hoped being written by a 15 yr old, it wouldn’t have some of the stuff many other YA books have. I have struggled with finding true YA books without sex or language. I honestly don’t think they exist. But this book blew me away. It had the perfect amount of action. It was the PERFECT amount of sweet romance. It wasn’t overdone and sappy. It was perfectly innocent. I can’t wait for my daughter to read this!

The funny thing is, when I first started it, and she called her dad Father, I was immediately taken in. There’s something sweet about that. I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps, deep down, I’m old fashioned.

SYNOPSIS
Eris Helgren knew her life was about to end. A daughter of the Priory–a generations-old family who protected their territories from nightwalkers–Eris was strong and independent. But on her birthday, her father would announce her betrothal. A year later, she would be forced to marry.

What Eris didn’t know was that the very beings she hunted were watching her, and that being tamed wasn’t what would kill her after all.

In a land where the woods were forbidden and the laws meant life, Eris will have to make a decision that could bring peace between enemies, or war among friends.

I was drawn to Eris right away. She loved her family very much, but didn’t like some of the rules they had to follow. But being a good daughter, she was forced to go along with them, until something happened that changed the course of her life. She was then forced to make decisions that could change her entire world.

The action was fantastic! My nerves did get the better of me a few times. I was so very curious to what happening, I couldn’t put it down. There were a couple of sad parts that may be hard to read. But as I thought about what these kids watch on TV or video games, they would be used to things much worse.

As the primary book chooser for my kids it is very refreshing to find a true Young Adult book. Many YA books have sex and that is not needed or necessary in any YA books. This is the transition time. From kid books to teen books. We shouldn’t have to worry about warning our kids or blocking certain pages off. You should be able to pick up a YA book and hand it to any 12-15 yr old without having to worry about them reading about sex. This is a book I will be recommending to all of my fellow moms of tweens/teens.

**ADDITION**
I asked my 12 yr old to read this book, as a favor. I knew she’d like it, but telling her to read, instead of asking, always backfires. But I wanted an honest tween opinion.

At 8pm, she comes out of her room and says, “I’m just on chapter 2 and I know I’m going to like it already.”
At 9pm, “Oh my gosh!! I promise I’ll go to bed not too late, but I have to know what’s going to happen!!”
The next morning, “Good morning, Mom. I got to…….Can I finish before I start school, pleeeeease?” (Homeschool)
Half hour later, “Mom!! Can you order me a signed copy? I love this book!! This ranks right up with Edenbrooke.” Edenbrooke is her FAVORITE book.
After lunch, “You know how I’m not a rereader? Well, I REALLY wanna reread this.” :)

Her thoughts: “I liked the action.” “I was sad at some parts, and almost cried!” “I am so happy to see a girl who was strong and didn’t need help. Katniss needed help, Eris didn’t she knew what she wanted and went and got it.”

Yep, teens will like this. Way to go, Eden!!! I know your mom is proud of you, but this mom is also. You are an example to this young girls, out there, that they can do anything, no matter their age.

~Melpomene

Buy Eyes of the Woods

Review: Harbor Island (Sharpe & Donovan) by Carla Neggers

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I don’t know HOW I missed out on this series until now. Where have I been? Living under a rock?

Harbor Island is a complex, witty, gritty, romantic suspense novel. Emma and Colin are FBI agents. Right there, Neggers has me as a fan. They have a quiet, affectionate banter … refreshing, as it’s not the usual shtick I experience in rom coms. (I love rom coms, but this is a nice change of pace.) And they are bent on solving a crime that spans decades and the globe.

While I mostly appreciated the underlying romance, and just ate up all the knowing glances, smooches, and warm embraces, I also really enjoyed the FBI adventure set on an island near Boston, MA. Gunshots, murder, larceny, con men, artists… Neggers made it so exciting that I’m on the edge of my seat just remembering it.

There were a lot of characters in this novel, and it took a bit to keep them all straight. I would have been better off reading books 1-3 in the series before jumping into this one (#4). But it was totally doable and enjoyable. Neggers took me on such a great ride that I can’t wait for book 5. I’m off to read 1-3 … and then maybe book 4 again!

-calliope

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Review: Personal by Lee Child

personalhmmmmm….what can I say? I love Jack Reacher. I love Lee Child. I’ve been a massive fan from the very start. I’ve recommended his books to dozens of people…probably hundreds! I’ve shared countless books with neighbors, co-workers and friends. I pour a cup of coffee and I think of Reacher. I buy a new toothbrush and I think of Reacher…..

But I didn’t care for this book at all. Actually my least favourite book of Reacher. I’m the type of person that buys books on pre-order. Lots and lots of them. However….there are only two authors I actually READ on release day…..John Sandford and Lee Child…..Usually I read Lee’s in a single sitting….no more than two days….This one took me over two weeks to muddle through it.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this one is so different for me. It’s taken me a bit, but I think I figured it out finally. Reacher wasn’t on his own. I understand he’s been part of makeshift teams before. However, even as a team member he was always on his own….working for himself….because he wanted to correct some wrong in the world. This book was full of politics. It was just bogged down. The story line just got lost in all the politics and the conspiracy and back office deals. Reacher felt like a puppet in this novel. He had no personality.

I won’t continue on…except to say that I was totally bored with this novel. I wouldn’t have even finished it if it were not a Reacher novel. That makes it a very sad day in the life of a long time Reacher fan….

Will I wait for the next book? Damn right. Will I read it right away? Damn straight I will. This is one book out of almost 2 dozen…..it’s not the end of the world….I’m still a loyal fan and I still have massive love for Lee Child and Reacher…..I will still be putting on a pot of black coffee next time he comes to town…

If I could say one thing to Lee Child it would be this….Forget your editors….forget your fans…..go back to your one new book every May…..forget the second book in the fall….yes we bitch and moan about the wait…..yes, you can make more money by writing more books….but really, Christmas only comes once a year and we’ve all survived our childhoods of waiting for Santa all year long…….The Real Jack Reacher is worth the wait as well……please…please…..go back to once a year and spend that extra 6 months giving us the REAL Reacher….not just words on a page….

That is all…..

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Buy it now Personal by Lee Child

Review and Giveaway: I Want It That Way(2B Trilogy#1), by Ann Aguirre

01iwant This trilogy is about 4 friends. Four friends who live in the same apartment and go through the joys and heartaches that life brings them. They learn to be there for each other, through thick and thin. They learn that no matter what life throws at them, their friendship is always stronger, if they lean on each other.

This first story is about Nadia. She left home with her best friend, to go to college and make her parents proud. She didn’t come from money, so she needed to do the very best she could and never quit. No matter what life threw at her, she had to take it and run. Never settled for anything less than what she thought her parents would want. To say she had stress, was an understatement, but she had to keep going. She had zero time for dating. So when she meets the neighbor below them, she is smitten. But he seems to standoffish, she doesn’t know if there’s anything she can do about it.

Daniel Tyler(Ty) is a single dad, in his mid 20s, working full time and going to school part time. He is trying to be the very best dad he can, while trying to keep his head above water. He has absolutely no time for love. So meeting one of the new neighbors, and feeling an instant connection, completely floored him.

Soon they find their paths crossing, on more than one occasion. Ty is forced to send his son, Sam, to day care, which happens to be where Nadia works. So she gets to spend time with his son, on a regular basis. Which then forces them to see more and more of each other. Their feelings start to grow. They start to rely on each other for a small slice of sanity.

“I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off, like, ten steps. I can breathe again.”

Ty struggled with letting people in, because of his son. So I totally understand why he was leery of Nadia. But as we see her interact with him, we see that she is perfect for them both. When Ty and Sam get sick and Sam goes immediately to Nadia, I just knew that keeping her at arms length wasn’t going to work anymore.

This was a very quick read. And I like the way it’s set up for the other two books. I’m quite anxious to see how the next one is going to pan out.

~Melpomene

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Ann Aguirre
About Ann Aguirre:
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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Review: Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

18769271So many reasons to love this book! The main character, Leigh, sells graves in the family-owned cemetery which earns points for plot originality. Leigh is a sympathetic teenager struggling through somewhat normal teen angst. There’s the tear-jerker factor in a sibling recovering from a potentially fatal disease. And there are Leigh’s parents who at first glance are not very likeable but kinda grow on you by the end of the story.

This is such a different kind of young adult novel. It has some of the common elements such as high school drama and bits of a love story. But the language of the story is so quirky and Leigh has such a deadpan sense of humor that the book stands out from many others that I’ve read lately. I also love that the story was inspired in part by events from the author’s life. A debut novel from Jennifer Longo that promises even better things to come in the future!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Six Feet Over It