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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Void (Witching Savannah #3) by J.D. Horn

by J.D. Horn (Goodreads Author)
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published November 18th 2014 by 47North

Goodreads synopsisBook Three in the darkly magical Witching Savannah series.
   An otherworldly energy runs through the city of Savannah, betraying its sleepy, moss-cradled charm. The old, beguiling streets look welcoming to most…but certain families know what lurks under their genteel surfaces. Families like Mercy Taylor’s, which has the most powerful lineage of witches in the South, know this all too well.
   Mercy and her husband, Peter, are happily preparing to welcome baby Colin into their lives. But their excitement quickly becomes overshadowed by a gruesome discovery: someone has scattered severed limbs throughout the city. After a troubling visit from an old foe, Mercy learns dark magic is at play, and someone—or something—wants her and her unborn child out of the picture. To uncover the shocking reason why, the amateur witch must face a force beyond her power…or risk losing everything.
   The third book in J.D. Horn’s Witching Savannah series, The Void is a gripping adventure about the enchantment—and evil—that can lie just beyond sight.

This is the third book in the Witching Savannah series which follows The Line and The Source. This ending in the trilogy is exactly what  you look for in a finale. It has everything you want. At least, it had everything I wanted. I was so upset at the death of Jilo that I feared I would never see her in book three. I am so glad I was wrong. Mercy Taylor was conflicted between her love and devotion to her husband Peter and their soon to be born son, Colin, that she squashed any feelings she had for the golem turned real man, Emmett.

The only negative thing I can say is that everything seemed a bit long and drawn out but I guess if you want to know all the crucial details, you have to make it that way. I enjoyed reading this finale and was so happy when I discovered that I would be able to review it. A happy "YIPPEE!!!" squealed forth from me.

If you are looking for an interesting read that is full of heart, family and determination, then this is definitely the book for you. 

5 Stars (15 Stars for the entire series!)

I try to make my reviews as spoiler free as possible so each person can be surprised by what pops up.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Net Galley in return for an honest review. I thank Net Galley, the author, J.D. Horn and the publisher for allowing me to read this novel.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen #2)
by Joanne Fluke (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2002 by Kensington (first published February 1st 2001)

Goodreads synopsis: Joanne Fluke introduced small-town Minnesota bakery owner Hannah Swensen in Chocolate Chip Cooke Murder. Now, this intrepid amateur sleuth returns in another dangerously delicious mystery.

This story features Hannah Swensen, and she is one of the judges of the Heartland Flour Dessert Bakeoff that is being broadcast on the local television station. One of the judges has to bow out and they bring in, Boyd Watson, a character from the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder who was proven to be a wife beater. He is the coach of the Gulls high school basketball varsity team. He says some not so nice things to some of the contestants and they end up finding his dead body the next day. Hannah gets emersed into the mystery of this man's murder.

With the help of her sister, Andrea, who is a real estate professional, they tackle the mystery of Boyd's death. Then a nosy reporter from the local tabloid wants to get some benefits from the death and then does a disappearing act. Hannah and Andrea spend quite a bit of time looking for her and then they realize that there are now two deaths to contend with. 

I really enjoyed following the antics of Hannah and her sister all the while trying to evade Mike, the local police detective and Andrea's husband the local sheriff.  The two police men are not very hot on having the Swensen women working on cases that should be left to the police.

Hannah never listens and still investigates all the murders she comes across. She is a hoot and a half. I look forward to reading the next Hannah Swensen mystery.

I purchased this title with my own money and bought it on my Kindle.

Monday, February 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen mystery #6) by Joanne Fluke

Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen #6)
by Joanne Fluke (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2004)

The holidays are the icing on the cake for bakery owner Hannah Swensen. Surrounded by her loved ones, she has all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas until murder is added to the mix... 
     When it comes to holidays, Minnesotans rise to the occasion and the little town of Lake Eden is baking up a storm with Hannah leading the way. The annual Christmas Buffet is the final test of the recipes Hannah has collected for the Lake Eden Holiday Buffet Cookbook. 
     While Hannah is baking the day s goodies at The Cookie Jar, the evening s plans begin to jell. Start with the best Lake Eden culinary creations, add two of Hannah s sometime boyfriends, a pinch of her ready-to-pop pregnant sister, and a dash of her mother and new significant other, an actual British lord, and what do you get? A recipe for disaster, but the juiciest ingredient is yet to come...
     The recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrives at the buffet with his new Vegas showgirl wife all wrapped up in glitter and fur. His ex-wife, however, seems as cool as chilled eggnog. And when Hannah s mother s antique Christmas cake knife disappears, its discovery in the dcolletage of the new and now late Mrs. Dubinski puts the festivities on ice.
     With everyone stranded at the community center by a blizzard, Hannah puts her investigative skills to the test, using the ingredients at hand: half the town of Lake Eden and a killer. Now, as the snowdrifts get higher, it s up to Hannah to dig out all the clues and make sure that this white Christmas doesn t bring any more deadly tidings.

I have to state from the very beginning of this review that I am in love with Joanne Fluke. If you are ever in a severe reading slump like I have been for the past two months, you need to pick up a Hannah Swensen mystery. When you're in a reading funk, pick up a Fluke novel. It is guaranteed to get you out of your reading slump. It sure worked wonders for me.

I used the Text to Speech feature on my Kindle and read this book while I cross-stitched. This book is a bit smaller than other Hannah Swensen mysteries but it sure pack s a punch. Fluke doesn't sit on her laurels and phone in the shorter books. These are just as filled with mystery, mayhem and mad cap moments as all her full length novels. Plus, this book has a plethora more recipes than other books do, at least it seemed that way to me. This story featured a contest sort of thing where they were cooking dishes that would make it into a town cookbook. Of course, Hannah is in charge of that. Even her "I don't cook and don't make me" sister, Andrea, even provides a recipe.

It was such a joy to return to these characters and follow along as Hannah and her two sisters helped Mike solve the mystery of who killed Brandywine, the Las Vegas showgirl turned Martin's newest bride.

This book is a hoot and a half. You definitely need to read this one. I may have enjoyed it a tad bit more since it featured a holiday theme and Christmas is only a month or so behind me as far as calendar time goes.

It is my mission to collect all the Hannah Swensen mysteries. So expect to see more of them featured here.

I bough this book from Amazon and read it on my Kindle. I bought this book with my own money and I thank the publishers for being so foresighted to allow such a wonderful series out into the world.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Model Undercover New York by Carina Axelsson

Model Undercover: New York (Model Under Cover series)
by Carina Axelsson (Goodreads Author)

Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 

Goodreads synopsis:
Unlock the secrets of the fashion world in this fun and breezy mystery
When the world's most famous black diamond is stolen during a magazine cover shoot, it's up to undercover model Axelle Anderson to crack the case. The only witness is a trendsetting teen fashion blogger who refuses to say anything, and Axelle has a hunch that what appears to be a clear-cut case of jewelry theft is anything but.    
Axelle and her sleuthing friends are drawn into a web of blackmail and backstabbing fashionistas. As she struts her way down the New York City runways and juggles her busy modeling schedule and new romance, Axelle must pit herself against a rival who'll stop at nothing to bring her down.
Axelle, the young detective turned model, is back in another fashion mystery. This time the mystery is set in New York. It takes place not long after the mystery in book one which was in Paris. But you don't need to read book one in order to know what is going on. The author does a good job of really setting the scene and letting you know who is who.
This mystery is about a missing diamond. Cazzie is a fashion magazine editor who is doing a cover shoot with a slew of suspects present when the diamond is hijacked from the editor's purse. Cazzie enlists the help of Axelle who posed as a model in her Paris hijinks. She does the same in this mystery. But her mother and the lady who schedules all her appointments for model shoots have a different agenda. They want her to be a successful model and not a successful detective. Her mother even gets her model boyfriend, Sebastian in the ordeal to keep her from the mystery.
The story is easy to follow and get into. I will definitely look forward to more books in this series.
This was a great story and it is a series that I highly recommend. Please check it out if you get the chance.
4 Stars.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this title.

Giveaway Winner of Model Undercover New York

And the winner of the RaffleCopter giveaway of Model Undercover New York is...

Drum roll, please. 

*** MICHELLE S.  ***


Congrats Michelle. The publisher should be contacting you to get you your new book. 

And don't forget to check out book one in the series called: Model Undercover Paris. It is the book that started it all. 

Again, congrats!!

Reading Slumps...

Does this ever happen to you?

You're going along at a nifty pace reading a book every few days and then suddenly you lose your book reading bug. It has gone into hiatus and took a vacation in Hawaii or some other tropical location. That is what has happened to me. I read a total of 0 books in January. Ack! What is wrong with my reading bug? My reading bug needs to get back and make it uber quick.

I did manage to read a book and I finished it last night. I discovered my Kindle has a text-to-speech feature. I am listening to my books right now. I am finished reading Model Undercover, New York (book 2 in a series) and am in the middle of The Void by J.D. Horn which is book three in the Witching Savannah series. I love both of these series. You really need to check them out.

My next book to dive into will be one an author requested I read called "And The Earth Moved" by Zanna Mackenzie. Is that not the coolest name or what? The book is about a sleuth who specializes in celebrity crimes or crimes against celebrities.

And check this updated info straight from my email... New Cover Alert!! 

I wanted to give you an idea of how I got into this slump. Here is my currently reading list on Goodreads... 

I know! Pathetic.

I started Tune In what seemed like an eon ago. I read a good part of it but never finished because other books on my TBR list seemed more important.

The Casual Vacancy. I read like a chapter and planned on doing more but my slump set in. I blame Dash of Peril. That is not a bad book but I think it is way bigger than it needs to be. You could probably cut that book in half and have a fantastic book. I am nearing the 3/4 mark.

I read a bit of The Nest hoping to get it done before its release date but failed miserably. I is not a bad book. I just wasn't in the mood for it.

The Job, The Union Street Bakery and Holly Lisle's Create a Character Clinic is on the list but I have not started them yet. They were good intentions gone wrong. And the Iron Trial, like the Nest, I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. It is a middle-grade novel and you just have to have the gumption to read it before digging into it. It is also the first book in a series and you have to pay attention to what is happening in those.

An Island Christmas is not what I thought it would be. It was pretty boring starting off. I am thinking I should just eject it from my currently reading list like I did for The City by Dean Koontz and Nightingale, a werewolf type novel. I don't think I will finish that one. Not interested, no way.

That is my Reading Slump update. Look for a review of Model Undercover New York coming soon. Because thus far in February I do have one book read! Yay.

Have a great week.