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Friday, February 17, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Silence of the Lamps by Karen Rose Smith

by Karen Rose Smith (Goodreads Author)
Mass Market Paperback, 322 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Kensington

Goodreads synopsis:
Business has never been better for home stager Caprice De Luca, but her personal life could stand a few renovations. Just when she thought things were getting serious with her boyfriend Grant, his pretty ex-wife swoops into town and nabs his attention. Uncle Dom is living with her parents and desperately needs a new job. And her sister Nikki's catering business is threatened when rival Drew Pierson starts eating away at her share of the market. Things could not possibly get more chaotic when Drew is found bludgeoned to death by one of his grandmother's antique Tiffany lamps--and Nikki is the number one suspect. Now, Caprice must act fast to illuminate the truth and clear her sister's name--before a cold-blooded killer puts her lights out next.


4 Stars

Let’s start out saying that this is a great book. The mystery kept me interested and I had quite a ride trying to figure out whodunit. But… this is my least favorite title for a book. If I saw this on a shelf I don’t think I would buy it. And that is sad since this is such a great read. I kept thinking it should be called something like Dueling Caterers, The Stained Glass Murder or The Secret of the Tiffany Lamps. But what do I know. I just  read ‘em and don’t write ‘em.

Caprice DeLuca is a home stager whose sister, Nikki’s catering business is being tested by the underhanded Drew. Drew used to be an employee and frankly has a bit of a history of stealing from those who helped him up the ladder of success.

Then when said underhanded ex-employee dies a mysterious death, Nikki is suspect number one. Time for Caprice to dust off her sleuthing skills, much to the dismay of the police who tell her over and over to let them handle it. And that is what Caprice is afraid of. They will handle it and her sister will be in jail for life.

This is a great book. Good mystery. Entertaining characters but I am just not a fan of the title.

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

BOOK REVIEW: Tea Cups and Carnage (A Tourist Trap Mystery #7) by Lynn Cahoon

Tea Cups and Carnage (A Tourist Trap Mystery #7)
by Lynn Cahoon (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Goodreads synopsis:
The kettle’s about to boil over . . . 
   The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . .
   Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi’s sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi’s name—without getting herself in hot water.


4 Stars

Jill Gardner is back with all her South Cove homies for book seven in the Tourist Trap mystery series. A new tea shop has opened in this tourist town called Tea Hee and there is all sorts of mystery behind the store. Who is the new owner? Who is her annoying sister that suddenly shows up in town unannounced bad mouthing Kathi, the owner of Tea Hee. And how are they both connected to a dead body found in a local motel?

Jill divides her attention in this book between the main store of Books, Coffee and More and their popular food truck down on the beach. Then her aunt brings to her attention the little detail of a missing $3,000 and how that would be very bad for their business. The attention goes straight to her two most loyal employees: Sadie and Toby.

The tourist trap mysteries are some of my favorites and I greatly recommend them to anyone who loves a good small town mystery. I did find myself a bit stressed reading this book due to the developments between Jill and her aunt and her employees. It is no fun when you can’t trust those you work with every day.

I always look forward to the new Tourist Trap books and try to grab them as soon as they come out. And I am lucky because there always seems to be a new book release not too far on the horizon. South Cove is my guilty pleasure. I hope you can make it yours.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse Defiers (Curse Keepers #3) by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Defiers (Curse Keepers #3)
by Denise Grover Swank (Goodreads Author)

Kindle Edition, 382 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by 47 North

Goodreads synopsis:
For centuries the gods have waited—for the betrayal that will release them, for the traitors who will defend them, for the warrior who will challenge them. Now at long last the gate between the human and spirit worlds is open, and with it, an army of vengeful demons poised to swarm the earth. Only the Curse Keepers, Ellie Lancaster and Collin Dailey, can stop it…if they can break free from a tangled web of treachery, jealousy, and lies.

Torn between two men—her heart belongs to David, yet her soul is bound to Collin’s—Ellie no longer knows who she can trust. Demons slipping through the gate are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake, each death a chilling reminder of the power of the ancient spirits to bring humanity to its knees. Faced with an unimaginable future, Ellie realizes the time has come to turn her back on prophecy and choose her own destiny—even if it means defying the gods themselves.


4 Stars

This final installment of the Curse Keepers series did not disappointment. I found this series well thought out and filled with so much research that it boggles the mind. But all that research paid off because it made the plot so plausible, realistic and believable. 

The backstory of the main character’s parents came to light in this book revealing just how long this curse  keeper tradition has  been in place.

The crux of this story revealed around Ellie and David and their relationship. I was kind of happy the appearances of Collin were few and far between. I was Team David. This roller coaster ride kept us not only entertained but answered many off the questions posed in book one. A lot of series disappoint and leave you hanging, this totally did not do that. All questions were answered in some way.

In the middle of the book Ellie discovered where her true power came from and found out she was more powerful than she even realized. The ending was left open when makes me think there could be other books in the future for this book series.But this book was touted as the finale.

If you love supernatural, fantasy and sci-fi, you will definitely love this. It is unputdownable.

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

BOOK REVIEW: Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2) by Jennifer David Hesse

Bell, Book & Candlemas (A Wiccan Wheel Mystery #2)
by Jennifer David Hesse (Goodreads Author)
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 27th 2016 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Goodreads synopsis:
A new year has barely begun and Edindale, Illinois, family law attorney Keli Milanni already has her hands full at work. But her private practice--as a Wiccan--may cause her worlds to collide... 
   The Wiccan holiday of Candlemas is right around the corner, but when vandals target New Age gift shop Moonstone Treasures, the mood is far from festive. Frightening threats and accusations of witchcraft aimed at the owner have some Wiccan patrons calling it a hate crime. And when things escalate to murder, the community turns to Keli... 
   As a friend and customer, Keli wants to help. But there's one problem: she's fiercely private about her religion. How can she stop the harassment, not to mention catch a killer, while keeping her faith hidden from her colleagues, clients, and her promising--and long awaited--new boyfriend? At a time meant to banish darkness, will Keli have to choose between risking the spotlight and keeping her beliefs locked in the proverbial broom closet? Or will she call on her deepest convictions to conjure the perfect path?...


4 stars

Keli Milanni is not the typical heroine of a book series. She is a lawyer, yes, but she is also a Wiccan who practices her religion regularly. So, she knows all about tarot cards, and pagan symbols and rituals. And this is good because they really needed her expertise in this story. Keli finds herself in the middle of a mystery when he local new age shop, Moonstone Treasures, is vandalized with the word “witch”. What, are we in the dark ages?

Keli is a solitary Wicca, which means she does not belong to a coven (group) of witches. She takes her religion very seriously, but keeps it to herself. Not many know of her Wiccan ways, even her best friend, Farrah. So, when multiple businesses get burglarized, Keli finds herself more drawn into the mystery.

This book was fast-paced and really kept my attention. The background of the heroine was one I hadn’t seen in books before an that made this unique and a refreshing change from the norm. People are scared of what they don’t know and Keli’s religion won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. There is a stigma and fear attached to anything new age and I applaud the author for having the courage to goo this unconventional route.

I would be interested in seeing future books get more into her Wiccan ways and maybe introduce oracle or tarot cards more fully since those readings have seemed to boom on YouTube in the last few years.

I would definitely recommend this book. The author writes a flowing, easy-to-read text and creates captivating, thought provoking characters that everyone will remember.

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