Goodbye, October … Hello, November

IMG_1109.JPG
On this last day of October…

October’s Party
by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”

Tomorrow we welcome November. New books… and long, cold nights during which to read them.

-Calliope

New Releases for Oct 29, 2013

Here you can find some spooky selections from Melponeme’s blog post last October. Happy Halloween!

Random Book Muses

Today is a crazy day for new releases. There are a ton, and there is no way I can list them all. So I’m gonna list a few of what we’re most excited for.

15808767Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter)I know there are a few of us that have been waiting anxiously for this one to come out. I plan on starting it as soon as I wake and the family will have to fend for themselves. 😉

16158558Dark Witch: Book One of The Cousins O’Dwyer TrilogyWhat a perfect book to read on Halloween. If you’re a fan of witches, this is right up your alley.

16108870Midnight’s Promise (Dark Warriors)It seems like I have been waiting for years for this story, but I just started these this year. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen to Malcolm!!!

17264459Forgiving LiesMolly McAdams killed us with Taking Chances, so I’m…

View original post 157 more words

Review: Three mysteries by selected authors

IMG_1092.JPG
I primarily read contemporary romance, but I do love a good mystery. This past week I read three cozy mysteries – all winners! I guess I hit the trifecta … now you can, too. 🙂

HELL ON WHEELS by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Paralegal and accidental sleuth Odelia Grey and her husband Greg witness a murder, and it appears to be committed by one of their friends! With Odelia’s boss home recovering from injury, Odelia has plenty of time to play detective and find out whodunit.

As with all the books in this series, I love Odelia’s candor and blunt approach. This particular mystery included quadriplegic rugby, traffic on the 405, help from the baddest criminal in town, and a very unexpected romance (oh, that part made me HAPPY).

Sue Ann Jaffarian writes a fun, witty, heartwarming story about good versus evil, family relationships, and that dance we call marriage. Jaffarian happens to move the plot along by having the characters go after a murderer… The thrill of the chase, you know?!

buy HELL ON WHEELS

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL by Debbie Viguie
Rabbi Jeremiah is in transition. He’s falling in love, being asked to help with the church next door, dragged into a crazy serial murder mystery, and trying to be true to himself – even though he’s still figuring out who he is.

Luckily, his longtime friend and confidante Cindy is right by his side. Trouble is, can Jeremiah keep her safe – and his heart safe – while they figure out who is behind the witchy crimes?!

Oh, and Trina? Quite possibly my new favorite character. A “mental” federal agent. 😉

Viguie did a fantastic job integrating Halloween, church, synagogue, murder, witches, a costume party, and a youth group haunted house. Oh and romance with an alpha. Yup. You heard me. ROMANCE. Just a bit.

Debbie Viguie writes the Psalm 23 Mysteries so fast my head spins. The plot moves quickly, the dialogue is spot-on, and she doesn’t rush relationships. I am chomping at the bit everytime there’s an impending release.

buy I WILL FEAR NO EVIL

MURDER ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS by Billie Thomas
Chloe and her mom are interior decorators. They have special access into people’s homes, and are sometimes privy to dangerous secrets.

When the mother-daughter team does up some fancy mansions for Christmas, they are surprised by the “gifts” they find: a dead man’s hand, a rat, a dead Santa, and a very confusing (and enlightening) version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The women keep sticking their noses where they don’t belong, until they are confronted by the killer. Not to worry, the Carstairs pair use Southern charm – and their newfound friendship with the Law – to keep themselves alive.

It’s super fun to read about over-the-top Christmas parties, evening gowns up to here and down to there, quirky characters, and a mother-daughter relationship that goes from rolling eyes to warm embraces. Billie Thomas successfully weaves together family banter, a murder mystery, and a little bit of Christmas romance.

buy MURDER ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS

-Calliope

Review: The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly

thewolfinwinterOkay….so I should probably start this review by confessing that although this is the twelfth book in the Charlie Parker series, it is actually my very first time reading John Connolly.

However, that doesn’t mean I felt lost….it doesn’t mean that I believe I could have liked this book any more…it was simply put…brilliant. I was torn between wanting to rush on and finish this one or slinging it aside and starting at book one….It’s a new series that I am EXCITED to read more of. This is at a time where I have been in a major book slump and nothing could hold my attention.

Here we have infamous Charlie Parker….a former NYC police officer turned private investigator. As with all great protagonist, Parker has personal tragedies that have shaped him into the man he is today. There are many people that love him….and many that would like to see him dead….but few are brave enough to try it themselves…He has a reputation that proceeds him and many that have battled against him do much to stay clear of him today….

This is borderline paranormal. No….maybe I shouldn’t say borderline. It is paranormal. But it doesn’t read like it. It seems very real. This book isn’t written to provide escapism into another universe….It’s made to have you question those things around you….to look closer at things around you….

What I especial liked about this book is that there is little doubt that there are many ongoing story-lines involved. Yes, I read this as a stand alone. No, I did not feel lost. Yes, the focus was on THIS storyline….however, you were surrounded by several other ongoing story-lines as well…there were hints and glimpses galore..and I am excited to go back and get started on this series and find out what they are all about!

I also loved what Connolly has done with the many characters. Again, it’s obvious that they have played major parts in previous novels. In this novel they might not be very dominant, but they are there to remind you that they exist. There are there to remind you that they will become more involved one day in a future story. They are much like an old friend (or disliked co-worker) that you meet on a crowded street….you’re in a hurry…you only have a moment to say hi….but you promise to meet up soon and really discuss life…..and you mean it!

So often, authors of longer series feel the need to start and end a storyline in every book….maybe dragging it out for a second book to wrap up…..so often they think that each character must play a dominate, visible part in each novel….or somehow just mysteriously be vacant in the novel…..Connolly didn’t do this….and it makes me excited to read the rest of these novels….

He is an author I have always wanted to read….I pictured for some reason a John Saul type of author….I’m not sure who to compare John Connolly to now….no….I take that back….there is no comparison. He is original. He is worthy of all the praise I’ve heard about him. He deserves to be a household name. You deserve to treat yourself to this series….

I’m feeling some serious author love right now….just saying….

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Buy it now The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly

The Collectors’ Society, by Heather Lyons

01collectWOW!!! A swoon worthy, tear jerking, adventurous fairytale. I found myself wide awake at 1am, because I needed to know what was going to happen. There was no sleep happening for me. This book was so exciting to read. I found myself on the edge of my seat, with such curiosity and nerves.

Synopsis
After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.

It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?

The relationship between her and Finn was so romantic to watch. He’s this crazy sexy man, who has a hard time trusting people, but finds a way to trust Alice. I loved watching them grow closer. He was her partner and guide through this world and she finds herself learning to trust him, little by little.

“After all that I’ve gone through, after all I’ve lost, I’ve finally found my true north star.”

They set out to save her world, and in the process you find out why it was so hard for her to leave. Let me just say that the White King…..swoon…and I was practically crying throughout all of his scenes. The emotional level was rocketing and I was NOT expecting that.

We are introduced to so many fairy tale characters, I was in love. I have always had a fondness for them. And this is the adult version. It was perfect all the way around.
Seriously, no words are good enough for this review. I am so excited to get this on my shelf.

~Melpomene

Buy The Collectors’ Society

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

dd0188081c1c4d616421d117d5f437bbThe history nerd in me loves anything to do with the Salem witch trials. The book lover in me loves historical fiction combined with a bit of fantasy. This latest book by Katherine Howe fits the bill on both ends.

It’s the story of Colleen and her friends, seniors at a prestigious girls’ prep school. They’re already under immense pressure from AP courses, GPAs, and the college admission process. And then comes another level of stress as several of the girls become afflicted with some strange syndrome. Hair loss, twitching, rambling incohesive speech…it’s all there and nobody can seem to figure out what’s causing it. Is it environmental? Stress? Mental/emotional? Or is something more sinister at work?

Part of the appeal of this book for me was how the author shifted back and forth between the present day story and the early 1700s during the actual Salem witch trial period. We’re given a glimpse into the hysteria of that era and encouraged to make a connection to the current story. This is a good story that kept me guessing as to what was really happening. An afterword by the author provides some insight into what inspired her to write this book. Grab this one for a great read, just in time for Halloween!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Conversion

Review: Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

I know Halloween hasn’t yet arrived, but there’s something about the cold New England weather that makes me think of Christmas … Here’s a festive re-release. Enjoy!

Random Book Muses

20130919-205920.jpg You know what happens four days from today? Christmas on 4th Street is released, and all you Susan Mallery fans (and Christmas romance fans) become happy campers!

You know what will make you even happier? Diving in to Noelle and Gabriel’s story. (Nice Christmassy character names, Ms. Mallery.)

Noelle’s three best friends are planning a triple wedding during the Fool’s Gold Christmas festival. One best friend’s fiancé has a cute doctor brother that comes to town for the wedding. I’m sure you can see where this is going… Kissing, dinners, getting caught in a remote cabin during a snowstorm … the usual.

A few things struck me as unique in this romantic tale. First, Noelle was the most optimistic person I’ve ever met in a book. I wasn’t annoyed, I was reflective. If Noelle could traverse tragedy and come out of it smiling, I should be able to do the…

View original post 134 more words