Review: Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera

Auntie_ClausIn the spirit of the holidays, one of my absolute favorite books to share with young children is the delightful story of Auntie Claus.  Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  But the youngest readers won’t get it right away, keeping the magic going until almost the very end.

Little Sophie has always adored her glamorous but eccentric aunt. There’s just something not quite right about the woman known as Auntie Claus.  Most intriguing to young Sophie is her aunt’s annual “business trip” right around Christmas every year.  When Sophie’s curiosity gets the best of her, she finds herself in for the trip of her life.  Along the way, though, she discovers more than she bargained for.  Most importantly, she finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is.

Kids will enjoy the magic of the story, and the trip to the North Pole is nothing short of amazing.  Older readers will love the puns and references to Christmas sprinkled throughout the story.   Add this one to your shopping list!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Auntie Claus deluxe edition

Audible Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

01 aud Just when I thought a book couldn’t get any better… Man, oh man! I just finished listening to the audible version and I’m a puddle on the floor. Since I’ve read the story, I knew what was going to happen. But nothing could prepare me for actually hearing this heartbreaking story. Between the super talented narrator’s voice and the beautiful music that was sung throughout, I was overcome with emotions. I tend to get that way when I read anyways, but this was more. It’s hard to describe, but when you actually hear the words, they have more of an impact. In fact, my husband was laughing at me, as the tears fell down my face, more than once last night. I was a mess.

Arielle DeLisle was fantastic as the narrator. She made me forget everything and drew me in. Her voice brought so much emotion, I could feel Sabin’s torment and pain. It gutted me. And then to add Troy’s music and voice in the mix, I was sunk. Totally sunk. He captured Sabin’s emotions perfectly.

I know that Audible members can get 50% off right now, before the holidays. So if you’re on the fence about getting this, trust me. You want to hear this.

~Melpomene

Grab the audible version HERE.

Grab the kindle version HERE. It’s actually free on KU!

Check out my review HERE.

Review: The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary by Sue Ann Jaffarian

  
Jaffarian’s Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery series is ostensibly cute, but actually delves into some pretty heavy social issues. It’s always nice to have some substance, even when you’re expecting a cozy mystery. 

Jeremiah Jones is a former cop, current private investigator, who uses his extra sensory perception to communicate with spirits of dead people. One of those people is Granny Apples, who acts as a fly on the wall to help him catch bad guys. 

In this episode, Jeremiah tries to find a missing woman while helping the homeless, the down and out, and those trying to turn away from the criminal edge of society. 

You’ll read about a caring agency who helps people get back in their feet, a shootout led by drug dealers, a double-cross that almost seems legit, and the first step in healing for a few key characters. 

I enjoyed this gritty look at Southern California. I appreciate the blessings that people bestow upon those in need. Granny’s ghost provides some much needed comic relief, and lightens up an otherwise dark look at life on the streets. 

-calliope

Buy THE GHOST OF MISTLETOE MARY

Review: The Body at the Tower (The Agency #2) by YS Lee

7507889Even better than the first! Straight on to book number three! I really enjoyed the first Agency book. I was very happy to find myself enjoying this one even more! This installment picks up with Mary a year after we left her. She’s had more training but is still lacking in self-confidence. It’s often hard to remember how young Mary is. When we are reminded, it’s so great to see her try to step up, face her fears, and go forth with more confidence.

I especially like that Mary is more or less disguised as a young lad in this novel. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always enjoyed novels where the heroine is disguised as a young lad. Why is that? Ha! This story has Mary revisiting a rougher life in London and she is once again plagued with the history of her past. She really seems to want to know more about her family’s history, but at the same time, she is afraid of what this will mean in regards to her future at the Agency and how others react to her. I can’t wait to see how it all pans out.

Of course, It wouldn’t be fun without, James, our hero from the first novel. You can be sure that he shows up in this one….and right from the moment they see one another, it’s perfectly clear that neither James nor Mary have forgotten the other…regardless of the amount of time that has lapsed….

Finally, I must say, since I am new to England (just under 2 years now) that I especially enjoy seeing London as it was 150 years. I’m just as fascinated with the time period and the location as I am with Mary and the Agency. I can’t wait to read the next book. I’ve already bought it and am about to dive right in! No break in-between these books…I can’t wait!!!!!

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Body at the Tower by YS Lee

Review: Iniquity by Amy Bartol

01 ini How can I write a review for a book that has been in the back of my mind for the past three years? I’ve never felt like this over a series before, so this is very hard for me. It’s over. Lives have been lost. Lives have been saved. Nothing more can be done. It’s very bittersweet for me. I found, as I was reading, I would just burst into tears, for no reason at all. It was coming to a close, and I wasn’t ready for it. We may have wanted this, but deep down we really don’t want it to end.

The Premonition series has been a part of my life shortly after I became a reader and I don’t know how to say goodbye. In fact, I suck at saying goodbye. I mean really, how do you say goodbye to characters that you love so much? And even though some of these characters I hated, deep down I really loved them. They were doing what they’re made to do, even if I didn’t agree. But saying goodbye is still going to suck, so here I go.

Goodbye, Russell. I fell in love with you the moment you opened your mouth and I was met with that amazing southern drawl. Your sweetness and protectiveness always made me so overwhelmed. You’re Evie’s soulmate. You’re bound to her and you can’t just walk away, even if your heart is being ripped to shreds. I loved how you loved Evie, even when she couldn’t love you the same way. No matter what, you were there for Evie. Even if she made you mad and frustrated, you never stopped protecting. You did it full force. I will miss you.

Goodbye, Finn. I always thought you were something special. And reading reading Iniquity, I know I was right. Even though you made me a bit mad over Molly, I know your heart was in the right place. You were a fierce second. You always helped Brennus and your queen and I love you forever.

Goodbye, Buns and Brownie. You girls were the best friends Evie could ever have. I’m so glad she had you guys as part of her inner circle. She couldn’t have done anything without you girls.

Goodbye, fellas. You crazy bunch of lunatics. I wanted to smack some of you many times, but I get it, you were only doing what you were made to do and what your king told you to do. You’re loyal and very strong fighters. I’m glad Evie could count on you to protect her, even if she didn’t think she needed it. And I still can’t believe I found myself crying over you guys, in this book. I mean, whoa. The twists and turns you guys gave me, definitely kept me on my toes.

Goodbye, Zephyr. I must admit, you scared the crap out of me, when Evie stumbled upon you in Reed’s house. I was sure you were going to kill her, but only because you’ve never seen anything like her. Once you figured it out, you were like her big brother. I love how you always had Reed’s back, even if it meant you were getting a beating right along with him. You never left his side. You’re the best, Z, and I will miss you.

Goodbye, Brennus. You crazy undead faerie. What can I say about you? Thank you for always having Evie’s safety as your #1 priority. Although, you could’ve gone a little bit less stalkery to prove your point. You freaked her out, man. You need to learn to back off and let the girl come to you. But I am glad she could call on you and you would be there as soon as possible. Thank you for protecting her and loving her enough to let her make her own decisions.

Goodbye, Evie. Girl, you have lived a crazy life. Heck, all your lives are crazy! But I’m glad to see how much you’ve grown in these books. I’m sorry you had a such a hard time, in the beginning. I wish you all the best and hope you will be happy with the rest of this lifetime.

Goodbye, Reed. Let me start out by saying that you will always be one of my top book boyfriends ever. You loved Evie so much, that you’d die for her, kill for her and walk away, if that’s what she wanted. I was always rooting for you. Team Reed all the way. I’m going to miss your sweet and romantic words, the way you and Russell would tease each other and how, no matter what, you put Evie first above all else. I will never forget you.

“You’re my air, Evie. Without you, I drown in a breathless sky.”

Thank you, Amy, for giving us these characters. They will always be loved and never forgotten.

~Melpomene

Inescapable (The Premonition Series Book 1)
Intuition (The Premonition Series Book 2)
Indebted (The Premonition Series Book 3)
Incendiary (The Premonition Series Book 4)
Iniquity (The Premonition Series Book 5)

Review: New Orleans Series by Lisa Jackson

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If you’ve not yet experienced the chilling brilliance that is Lisa Jackson, her New Orleans series is a great place to start.

The series starts out with the unforgettable Hot Blooded  and is currently up to Never Die Alone, just released this past summer.  Is it absolutely necessary to read them in order?  Not really.  But as with all great series, they’re best enjoyed read as they were written.  The character development is outstanding, and part of the thrill is seeing the changes each key player goes through over the years.

Most of the stories take place in New Orleans, of course.  But the crimes do venture outside the area from time to time.  Detectives Bentz and Montoya are as good as you’ll find in any series.  The rapport between them is authentic and compelling, and it doesn’t diminish over the course of the series.  Supporting characters are good as well, although my absolute favorites scenes are still the ones revolving around these two.

And lest you fear that they might become a bit cliche as far as murder goes, no worries!  Each one features a distinctly creepy psychopath to contend with.

Sure, I’ll admit I’m a bit biased because of the setting.  Go figure.  But still, it’s murder mystery at its finest.  Each book leaves you guessing until the very end.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  New Orleans series bundle

Review and Giveaway: The Best Goodbye by Abbi Glines

01 good “Oh, Captain, my captain.” Seriously. Swooning.

When I read When You’re Back, a few months ago, I completely fell for Captain. I wasn’t a big fan of some of his actions, but he intrigued me. And then the ending of that book left me with a fierce need for his story. I knew it was going to be good, because deep down he’s a good guy, but I had no idea his story would turn out this way. He may not always seem like it, but his intentions are in the right place, even if they seem like they’re not.

SYNOPSIS
After ten years in the employ of a mysterious crime boss, River “Captain” Kipling is ready to leave his sordid past—and his cover occupation as an upscale restaurateur—behind him. The only thing standing in the way of his “retirement” is his commitment to launch a new restaurant in the resort town of Rosemary Beach. With his sister, Blaire, nearby, Captain can delay his dream of running a humble bar on the waterfront, but the unwanted attentions of his head server, Elle, have him itching to get out.

Until he notices Rose Henderson, the new server at the restaurant. All he knows about the pretty redhead with the cute glasses is that she’s a hardworking single mom from Oklahoma. But there’s something overly familiar about her laugh…something strange about the way she looks at Captain…

I am so happy with this book. I wanted Captain to have someone to love him. I knew there was someone made just for him. It was too bad that life put a few road blocks in his path and making it difficult to live the life he wanted.

Finding out his past, broke my heart. His life turned tragic, years ago, and he’s spent the last 10 years trying to make the world a better place for those who can’t do it themselves. His ways aren’t what you consider “right.” But in my eyes, he was doing a job that many wish they could do but never had the guts to do it. After surviving what he did, he wanted no one else to suffer like that.

“No one touched my soul, Addy. Only you.”

I would say more, but there’s a bit of a turn in this story that makes me both happy and sad. Lies and deception have a way of messing up Captain’s world, but little does know that it’s all about to come out in the open and change his life again.

Abbi has created a world of characters that you wish you were a part of. The way they stand up for each other and drop everything to help each other, is refreshing. I love seeing the past characters come in and out of each book. It’s so good to see how their lives have been. And let me tell you, in this book, we get a snippet of a possible future, and I.CAN’T.WAIT.

~Melpomene

Be sure to go HERE and enter the rafflcopter.

Buy The Best Goodbye: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series)

01 best