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Friday, May 30, 2014

End of the month stretch - Mini Book Reviews

Mind Games (Mind Games #1)
by Kiersten White (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 237 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by HarperTeen (first published February 19th 2013)

I really liked the premise of this book. It is about two sisters who lose their parents to an accident that blind sister, Annie foresees. They are taken in to this school for special kids that also have paranormal powers. Soon they learn that Fia (short for Sophia) has the uncanny knack for intuition. She is right every time she has to guess at something. 

The story overall was good. But the thing that continued to trip me up was the chapters kept changing POV (point of view). So sometimes the *I* in the book was Annie and sometimes it was Fia. Then not only did the chapters change POV but the story kept going backward and forward in time as well. I found myself wondering if this section was in the past or present and who was speaking more than once. It was kind of annoying to me. I had read a huge book series a couple of years ago in the "Sweep" series and for about ten or more books there was one POV and then in book 11 or 12 suddenly the POV switched back and forth between two people. So, I guess I just have a sore spot for unusual POV.

Because of all of that, I only gave this book.

3 stars.

The Paris Assignment (The House of Steele #1)
by Addison Fox (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2013 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2013)

This book really appealed to me because it reminded me of my own internet based series called The Legacy. That series was set in both Paris and London and this House of Steele series also was set in those two locals.

Abby was a work focused gal who didn't have time for a life and Campbell was also a work focused character who had turned his life to the side of good after a wake up call from his grandfather. I loved following the mystery here. Watching Campbell try to convince Abby that she needed protection was quite entertaining. 

My only niggle with the plot was that the bad guy wasn't even spoken about until about half of the book was over. These types of characters need to be introduced earlier so we, the readers, can feel like we are figuring out the mystery along with the characters.

Still, this was a very enjoyable book.

Four stars.

Most Eligible Spy (HQ: Texas #4)
by Dana Marton (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2013)

This book did not disappoint. I think I want to keep it around to read again and again. It was my sweet indulgence of the month.

I loved the character of Moses Mann. Part video gamer geek, part warrior, part drug enforcement agent. He was quite a bit of contradiction. I love it when characters just jump off the page like that. And then pair him with Molly Rogers and she brings the sweet to his spicy. 

I loved the fact that Molly had a kid and Mo wasn't put off by that. I loved how she stood up for her brother until Mo had to literally show her the crime scene for her to admit that her brother wasn't who she thought he was. 

I truly enjoyed the mystery of this book. If I could step into any story, this would be a great choice to live out a week in.

Four stars,

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Reading Marathon - Mini Book Reviews

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day holiday. I sure did. I took the time to catch up on some books I had stashed away. Many of them are from the cool Henery Press. Take a gander at this Memorial Day mystery offering.

by LynDee Walker (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published November 20th 2013 by Henery Press (first published January 29th 2013)

I work at my local newspaper so this book was right up my alley. (I work as an ad designer and not a reporter.) It didn't take long to realize that this wasn't really a cozy mystery. There was tons of action and I really liked Nichelle's interactions between her fellow newspaper co-workers and the Mafia guy, Joey. Nichelle really has a nose for news because she lands in the middle of the story of her career. The writing was so easy to follow and i think I read a lot if it all in one stretch. I actually did not figure out whodunit which makes this all the better. I love a good mystery where you follow the clues that are dropped. I wish the reporters at the newspaper where I work were half as go-get-em as Nichelle.

by Terri L. Austin (Goodreads Author), Larissa Reinhart (Goodreads Author), LynDee Walker (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, First, 225 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Henery Press (first published December 8th 2013)

If you have been wanting to check out some Henery Press books but have been hesitating, this is the perfect book to dive into. It is all Elvis at Christmastime-themed. It also all takes place in the flea-bag motel called Heartache Motel where drag queens of all of Elvis' co-stars work the floors.

A Rose Strickland Mystery Novella (follows DINER IMPOSSIBLE)
All the quirky characters from her previous novels are either present or mentioned in this short story which features Ma convincing the gang (Rose & Roxy) from the Diner, along with Ax and Stoner Joe to take a holiday to Graceland. And of course, as goes with Rose's life, they run across a dead Elvis impersonator. Terri L. Austin manages to get a pretty good mystery into a few pages and I always appreciate that. Tons of good stuff here.

QUICK SKETCH by Larissa Reinhart
A Cherry Tucker Mystery Novella (prequel to PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY)
I actually haven't read a novel by this author yet, so it was quite a hoot to get to know the artistic Cherry Tucker and her poker-phenom boyfriend, Todd. They run across Todd's cousin who has, gasp, lost all his money in a bogus poker tourney and now has no money for Christmas presents or for that matter, his entire life. Cherry and Todd pretty much set up a cool sting that I really didn't see coming. I totally thought this was a blast of a short story.

A Headlines in High Heels Mystery Novella (follows BURIED LEADS)
Leave it to crime reporter, Nichelle Clarke to get herself boxed, literally, into a Graceland thievery ring. When it is discovered that one of the original jeweled belts of Elvis has been switched with a fake, Nichelle is on the case. I had read the compelling Front Page Fatality at the same time I was reading this and I found it to be quite a good mystery as well.

All the authors managed to give a similar feel about the Heartache Motel and I thought it was just a wonderful offering for those who needed an extra dose of their favorite cozy(or crime drama) characters not to mention a dose of Elvis and Christmas.

by Gretchen Archer (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, First, 276 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Henery Press (first published January 24th 2014)

It took a little investigating to figure out that Davis Way, the main character of this book was a girl. I had to go read the synopsis of the author's first book to discover exactly who "she" was. After that hurtle, I was digging into the mystery. There are a lot of characters in this book and they all are really explained to perfection. I gritted my teeth at the bossy behavior of many people around Davis in this book. Bianca was an overbearing boss' wife making lookalike, Davis, do her every bidding. Her bald supervisor was nearly as overbearing as the boss' wife. I think I have used the word "hoot" too many times in this Memorial Day reading wrap up but this book was definitely that. Her ex-Eddie was another one of the annoying characters that litter this story. Then pile onto that the mysterious So Help Me God Church who are not quite as holy as they appear and this book rounds out to be a real winner. I will definitely check out book one in this series too!

Model Undercover: Paris
by Carina Axelsson (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 

I thought this premise sounded like a hoot. Fashion and mystery. Very cool. I understand the author used to be a fashionista herself too. This story follows Axelle Andersen who is chomping at the bit to be the world's next private eye, but her mother has other plans. When she pokes her nose into one too many places, she is sent to Paris to stay for a week with her Aunt V who is the editor of a fashion magazine covering nothing less than Fashion Week in Paris. To Axelle, this is more than punishment, it is just cruel. But leave it to Axelle to find a mystery to solve in Paris when one of the most popular designers goes missing! I devoured this book in less than a day. It was so interesting to see the setting of Paris through the eyes of Axelle. I enjoyed all the secondary characters too and look forward to new books by this author. This was Carina Axelsson's first novel. Good job, Carina! I'd buy book two in a hot minute.

by Teri Terry (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 448 pages
Published May 3rd 2012 by Orchard Books

This book actually freaked me out a bit. It is the first book in a three book series. It is a dystopian novel which means that the future is a bit Hunger Games-esque. Nothing is quite the way you think it is. Kyla has been slated. It means her memory has been erased. They tell her she was a terrorist and she had to be rehabilitated into society and given a second chance at life. Kyla soon realizes that she can do things other Slated people can't. She can think for herself. Not to mention the device monitoring her that is supposed to quell her anger impulses does nothing of the sort. I really enjoyed this novel. It was confusing and interesting at the same time and I look forward to books 2 and 3.

Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #17)
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2014)

I have only read "The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" by this author and I was afraid that I would be a bit spoiled by jumping to the last book in the series, but I do seem to find myself doing that quite a bit in my reading journey. But, even though I was a bit spoiled in one aspect, I was quite taken with the new mystery which had Hannah Swensen locked up in jail and getting ready to go to trial for the accidental murder of a mysterious man on the side of the road. I do have to admit that the mystery was a bit predictable and I was able to figure out what was going on, caught nearly all the clues and got to the conclusion before the author led me there. But needless to say, this was still a great book and I completely enjoyed it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Rose Strickland Mysteries by Terri L. Austin and Henery Press

Diners, Dives & Dead Ends (Rose Strickland Mystery #1)
Paperback, 333 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Henery Press (first published July 1st 2012)

Last Diner Standing (Rose Strickland Mystery #2)
Paperback, 296 pages
Published December 3rd 2012 by Henery Press (first published July 17th 2012)

Paperback, 286 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by Henery Press (first published November 7th 2013)

I started this series by reading book three to review for Net Galley and when I came away hating it, I knew not reading books one and two had been a big mistake. So, I vowed to read the entire series straight through in order to give book three another chance. And I am glad I did. I really loved this series. I loved the characters once I got past my original negative view of it.

Rose Strickland and her band of cronies are just a hoot. Here are a few of my favorites: Ma and her son who run the breakfast diner where she works, Roxy and her blue hair, Axel and his stoner friend, Joe, and we can't forget self-confessed criminal/aka business magnet, Sullivan or Officer Andre "Hard Ass" Thomas.  Anyone who loves a good mystery and isn't afraid to pay attention to the clues will really love these books.

Each book had a greatly plotted mystery that kept you guessing. My only advice would be to do a bit more of telling everyone more of who the characters are description-wise in books 2 and 3 so no one will come away really hating this wonderful series. I'm so glad I gave this a second chance. It totally deserved it. Thank you for this great series. I look forward to new mysteries in the Rose Strickland line.

Please give this series a try. It is published by an uber cool company called Henery Press. 

I purchased books 1 and 2 with my own money and was gifted book three through Net Galley.

Friday, May 16, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Circle- Book One of The Sidhe

The Circle (The Sidhe #1)

I enjoyed reading this book about the fairies known as the Sidhe (pronounced "she"). I learned a lot about the mythology of the fae realm and I found that part quite interesting. The story was okay but I could have done with some more suspenseful pacing. I don't know if this is targeted at mid-grade readers or YA but it seemed a bit more mid-grade than YA in my opinion. I loved the interaction between the characters and the character selection was interesting and compelling. I wish that Riley gal would have had a bit more fire in her like Cordelia from Buffy does. But overall I found this book was great. I  would have given this 3.5 stars but Goodreads doesn't do half stars so I rounded up and gave it four stars. I would buy the next book in the Sidhe series just so I can figure out what happened to Finley. Thank you to Net Galley and the Publisher (Odyssey Books) for letting me review this literary offering.

As for my feelings on the cover design, I didn't find it as compelling as other series I have seen.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling/Capstone Publishing

The Diamond Thief
Paperback, 276 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Curious Fox, Capstone Switch Presss 


This book is completely amazing. I'm star-struck. The characters are wonderful. I root for the heroes of the story and boo the bad guys. (I want to strangle the Professor) I love the vividly expressed setting of Victorian London. Remy, the trapeze girl and jewel thief is engaging and exciting. The addition of Thaddeus is just great and thrilling to the plot. This book is one I can definitely see on the big screen. Everything is depicted so beautifully. The text is easy to read and has great flow. I understand this is targeted to teens but this book would be great for just about everyone. It's as if these characters just stepped out of the past and emerged all shiny and new in the 21 century. I am greedily awaiting her next book in this series. Sign me up now. lol

Paperback version
I can't stop at just the amazing book in general but also the cover is amazing. I have the uncorrected proof provided to me by Net Galley and Capstone Publishing. On it is this really wonderful (have I said that word enough yet?) depiction of Remy, the thief of the book. I love this cover. But on Goodreads I discovered that the paperback edition has a different cover. I don't like this one as much as the Remy cover but it is also very appealing. Good job to the Capstone Publishing designers. You are winning in great book design! I also loved the Trajan-ish type face at the beginning of each chapter. Just wonderful! :)

I hope you can tell that I liked this book. I mean, it's da bomb dot com, as the teens say. lol

These opinions are my own. Thank you for such a wonderful offering. I love, love, love it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Gone by Michael Grant

Gone (Gone #1)
Hardcover, 559 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books

I am really, really glad this book is over. I don't think I will delve into the books after this one. The story was decent. The characters were excellent but I just had a hard time believing that some kid would kill another kid before the 8th day of them being captive under the dome. That fact colored the entire experience I had with the book. I loved the twist at the end concerning Little Pete. That was quite clever and explained the oddness of everything to that point. I did enjoy the writing style and the world they built for the readers. That was excellent. Since this is a YA novel and I am far from the age of a YA reader, I think that also colored my experience with the book. I would, however, recommend this book to a YA aged reader.

In case you are interested in this book here is a brief synopsis. All the children are in school, doing school-like things and then suddenly their teacher disappears right before their eyes. It isn't discovered until later that every adult and kid above 15 years old has also disappeared. Poof. Gone.

This story isn't without its sci-fi elements. Many of the children have discovered they have new abilities, many knew about them earlier before this incident. Sam, the main character, has an ability to make a light, and/or fire burst come out of his hands. He accidently burned his step father pretty badly when he first discovered the ability. Sam's mom worked at the school that is on the outskirts of their town up on a cliff. This school is for troubled youth, and when the invisible barrier comes crashing down on this city, the kids from this school decide to take over. One kid, Caine, has powers that equal Sam's. Sam has proven himself more than once to be a hero saving a bunch of kids on a bus years earlier and so he is the one many of them want to be in charge. And so begins the fight over who is and is not in charge in the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone.). This is what they call their new town without adults. 

BOOK REVIEW: Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle

by Cleo Coyle (Goodreads Author)
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Berkley Hardcove

This is my third Clare Cosi Coffeehouse Mystery. So I have gotten to know the characters pretty well. I sped through this book in a little over half a day. I have been reading them out of order which can make certain aspects a bit confusing but I am totally digging the barista world of Clare Cosi. I think the more you get to know the characters and this world, the easier the reads will be. I would suggest this book series for anyone who loves a good mystery. 

BOOK REVIEW: Thief (The Scarab Beetle #1)

by C.L. Stone (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published February 26th 2014 by Arcato Publishing

I thought this was a good book. Interesting premise but I had a bit of a problem with how the main character's relationships with the Academy boys was portrayed. Kayti was a bit of a player. I think she kissed or had feelings for nearly every boy in the Academy. She even makes out with the bad guy too. What is this behavior teaching our youth? Other than that, the plot line was good. I enjoyed the written voice the text gives as you read. It's really easy to read. It has a flow. If Goodreads had a 1/2 pt rating system I would have only given this book 3.5 Stars. Not my favorite book but not bad either.

I can only guess what "The Scarab Beetle" means in the main title of the series arc. There was no mention of Beetle or Scarab anything in this book which I found odd so why is this series entitled "The Scarab Beetle?"

Friday, May 9, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Read It and Weep by Jenn McKinlay

Read It And Weep (Library Lover's Mystery)
by Jenn McKinlay

Paperback304 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Berkley

Goodreads synopsis:

William Shakespeare is credited with inventing how many words?*

Answering Shakespeare trivia comes with the job description for library director Lindsey Norris. But when the Briar Creek Community Theater mounts their newest production of the Bard, she has no intention of leaving the stacks for the stage. Unfortunately a villain is waiting in the wings…

Former Broadway actress Violet La Rue is holding auditions for A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and everyone from the sour spinster librarian Ms. Cole to Lindsey’s youthful library pages are trying out for parts. Brought in to play the mischievous Puck is the flirtatious professional actor Robbie Vine, who seems to have eyes for Lindsey. Before her blush has faded, the Bard’s dream turns into a nightmare—when one of the cast is poisoned. Now Lindsey and her crafternooners must take center stage to unmask the culprit before the final curtain call…

3.75 Stars

I have to admit I had a hard time getting into this book. It was probably just me and my inexperience with the series. But don't give up on this book if you experience the same thing. The whole atmosphere is just so darn appealing.

The first half of the book until the murder was slow and the characters were not what I wanted them to be. But that's okay. This book was still pretty good, decent. My main concern was that I wasn't as familiar with the characters as I should have been since this was the first book I had read in the series.  The latter half of the book really picks up. Yay!! Sully finally started fleshing out a bit for me which was a relief. I want to root for a couple when I get invested in a book. I found the flow of the text a whole lot better at the last half. In the end, I did enjoy the plot and I did figure out whodunit which always makes me happy.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review: The Collector by Nora Roberts

Book Review - FIVE STARS!

The Collector

Paperback, 752 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Putnam Adult

Lila Emerson is a professional house-sitter and part time YA writer. While she is living in a high rise apartment building, she witnesses a murder. Lila likes to look into the windows of the other apartments across the way and imagine what their lives are really like. She makes up stories, gives them names and relaxes drinking her current wine of choice, whatever the house has available. It is relaxing for her after a long day of fixing things, watering plants and taking the dog of the moment out for a walk. During one of her late night window shows she sees someone push a lady out of a 13th floor window. Obviously freaked, she dials 911 and is immediately enmeshed into the action of the story. 

At the police station she meets Ashton Archer, brother of the second victim in the apartment of the dead woman. Through a series of events they both discover the true reason Ashton's brother and his girlfriend were killed: he was in possession of one of the 8 missing Immortal Faberge eggs. 

This book was truly engaging. It was witty and I just loved seeing the world through Lila's eyes: he eyes of a writer, a dog lover and gypsy. Ashton was gruff and take charge all the while getting what he wants. And he soon realizes he wants Lila. I am always amazed at how quickly Nora Roberts can get us invested in truly caring about her characters.

I loved this book. I listened to it on audio and it made it seem like I was right there with them both as they tried to solve the mystery and stay alive at the same time. Just a wonderful book. I suggest that anyone who likes mysteries, cozies and romantic suspense will just love this offering from Nora Roberts. 


Book Review: Hexed by Michelle Krys via Delacorte Press

Hexed (The Witch Hunter #1)

by Michelle Krys
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 10th 2014 by Delacorte Press

I completely fell in love with this book. The author's writing style really flows making this book easy to read and the main character, Indigo, is engaging and someone we want to root for. Right from the beginning you can see that Indigo is high on the social food chain. She is a cheerleader, a trendsetter and her mother owns an occult/new age type shop called The Black Cat. What's not to love?

You can tell immediately that Indigo's world is not as easy as it seems. Her relationships with her bestie, Bianca and her boyfriend, Devon seem strained at best. I am sure many teen readers will be able to sympathize with this character. She is pretty universal, I think. Great choice for a protagonist.

I was a bit disappointed by the fact that the witchy-like material wasn't introduced right at the beginning and that colored my impression of the book when I first started. I wanted to be drenched in the witchy world right from the off. I mean, it does happen relatively early but not before a big main even happens introducing the enigmatic Bishop into the mix.

It was a very fast read for me. I was invested in the characters and the world right from the beginning. I think I wanted to slug Bianca for Indigo because she was really annoying me which tells you exactly how great this author is at creating her world. I wanted to understand Bishop and Jezebel, sent from the mysterious Family. And I wanted to know more about the evil Priory. The Epilogue had me peaked with curiosity. What will happens to Indigo's new BFF Paige now? Good thing this is the first book in a new series because those questions will hopefully be answered sooner than later.

If you enjoy YA with a dose of fantasy/paranormal then this us definitely for you.

I received this book for review from NetGalley via Delacorte Press and I was so glad this book was approved for me. It was just a lovely, quick read. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me review it.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Reading Wrap-Up

I am so proud of myself. I read 12 books in April. Yay! 

Here are a few comments I 
have about the books I read. 
Hardly a bad one in the bunch

Confessions of a Murder Suspect.
This book was just amazing. It centers around a character named Tandy and the locked door murder of her parents in their apartment in the elusive Dakota hotel. The police suspect the children and assistant of the mother of the crime and doggedly pursue each of them as suspects but Tandy, being the most focused of the bunch decides to take on the task of solving their murders. The parents are crazy strict and the kids realize they  have been taking "vitamins" that the father, head of Angel Pharm, a drug company, has cooked up on his own to enhance his children to their individual success. Its a bit cray cray in that department, but it is such a fast read. I think I read it in a day. Started it around 2pm on day one and finished before 2pm on day two. I just had to know whodunit. And dang it if I did not figure it out. Good for you, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro!

Best Kept Secrets
I listened to this on audio and I thought it was just great. I can't believe how quickly Sandra Brown gets you invested in the lives of her characters. This story is about a gal named Alex who is searching for the facts to her mother's murder when she was just a baby. So she goes back to her mother's hometown to solve said murder and finds lots of intrigue. I did figure out whodunit on this one. That made me happy. Loved this read. Listening to it on audio just made it "funner." (is that a word?) lol

Hex Hall
I have had this on my iBooks app on my iPod for a long time and just never got around to reading it. I knew nothing about the series when I bought it. I just had a hankering to read it. It sounded interesting and just up my alley. And it was definitely that. It is the first in a five book series, I believe. Sophie Mercer has powers and knows she is a witch but she has never really been exposed to the world of magic and just fiddles on her own. During one of her first encounters at the beginning of the book she does a mixed up love spell that angers the Elders of the Council and gets her set to Hecate Hall (or Hex Hall, for short). This book takes Sophie on a sort of roller coaster ride of sorts that is completely intriguing and I just couldn't put the book down. 

Billionaire Blend 
I read two Cleo Coyle books this month. I had first discovered this author by getting her book Murder by Mocha at Big Lots. Thank you Big Lots! I was introduced to a great author that I plan to keep reading. This book features Clare, a barista of sorts for her ex-mother-in-law's coffeehouse. This story centers around a billionaire named Eric who runs a company sort of like Google who is creating an app for the coffeehouses around NY  where you can get certain types of coffee. While this Eric character is in her shop, there is a car bombing right outside killing a person and greatly injuring Eric and many others in the shop. And so goes the start of this story. I have been taking these stories slowly since there is so much action packed into a single book and I don't want to miss one twist or turn. Just great.

The Mystery of the Yellow Room
This was one of the first locked door mysteries. It was originally written in French and translated into English. I have to admit this was a bit hard to wade through. The names were all in French and it was hard to remember who was who based on the names. And since I listened to it on audio, that made it doubly hard. I did not figure out whodunit because the author didn't play fair and left out a whole bunch of clues that weren't revealed until the end. Ugh! I really didn't need to listen to the last hour of the audio because the killer was revealed at that time. And it took over an hour to relate just how the crime was committed. It was told from the point of view of a journalist and so it was also written in the fashion of a journalist, just the facts ma'am.

Night of the Living Deed
Alison Kerby decides to buy an old victorian house in her New Jersey hometown. But funny thing about this house, two ghosts are living there and they want her to solve their murders. This was a pretty good book once I gave myself a change to read it. It had been stuck in my lunch pail for a very long time. I loved the old shows about Topper so this completely appealed to me. It takes a minute to get into it but once you do, you're off to the races.

Fired Up
This is one of those books that I had been trying to read for a very long time. It had been half read for a good amount of time, not because it wasn't good but life kept interfering. This book is about a gal named Chloe Harper who can read something called Dreamlight. Apparently, not many people can do this and so Jack Winters comes to her for help. He need to find a lamp sort of like Aladdin's Lamp that is supposed to cure him of the nightmares and blackouts he's been experiencing. This was a good book and definitely a great read. It is the beginning of the Arcane Society series.

Robinson Crusoe
I listened to this on audio and I am so glad I did. I think the reader with his British accent really made this book easy to understand. Boy, this man sure had a lot of adventures. I was nearly two thirds of the way through the book before his man Friday made an appearance. That really surprised me. It tells the tale of a man who tries to survive on and island by himself and how he does that day after day. He creates tools, grows his own crops and discovers that cannibals come to his island to have feasts. The story was good, but it is long and you really need to be invested to finish this one. And apparently it is not the end of the story because there is basically a to be continued tacked onto the end of the book.

The Archived
This story is about a place in the in between, not really heaven, but a sort of heavenly library where people's bodies are stored like human archives. These bodies are called Histories and they live in the Archive. Mackenzie works for the Archive, she is a keeper. She's basically on a sort of probation since her grandfather died and left his key to her but she was too young to start working in the Archive but they made an exception for her. Basically what she does is magically receive a name that is written on a slip of paper that appears on the paper in her pocket. She goes into the dark areas that lie just aside the Archive and searches for recently deceased people and lead them to the right door in the Archive so they can be "shelved." There is a bit of a deception going on in the Archive that is revealed during the course of the book that makes this book a must read. Just wonderful.

The last three books I read were self-help books that were all amazing and I suggest you go out and read them for yourself.

Earl Nightingale's The Strangest Secret.
It's short. There is no reason not to read this. Amazing. 

How to Instantly Connect With Anyone
Lots of great tips in this book. Just wonderful.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. 
This along with How to Win Friends and Influence People should be the type of stuff they teach in school. Really invaluable stuff packed in these two books.

Those are my twelve books for April. Currently I am reading Gone by Michael Grant, Diners, Dives and Dead Ends by Terri L. Austin, Hexed by Michelle Krys, Tune In by Sonia Choquette, The Collector by Nora Roberts and Night Shade by Andrea Cremer. And yes, I am reading all these at once. I read a few chapters of  one and read a few chapters of another one. Reading is just amazing and I suggest you get an account on and check out the wonderful world of books.

Here is a link to my Goodreads account: