Saturday, August 1, 2015

Books Read - July 2015

Arthur, Ruth M.
  • A Candle in Her Room ****
Fiction.  Melissa Mansell and her family inherit an old house in Wales.  Melissa’s youngest sister finds an old wooden doll that has ties to witchcraft, and it causes no end of trouble in their family. 

Ash, Maureen
  • Murder for Christ’s Mass *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the medieval mystery series set in England and starring Bascot de Marins.  Just a few days before Christmas, a body is discovered at the bottom of a quarry, but it is no accident.  The man had been stabbed in the chest before being rolled into the quarry, and only a single silver penny has been left at the site.  A few days later, and another body is found.  Bascot must find out if the two murders are related and who the killer is.

  • A Plague of Poison ****
Fiction.  Third in the Middle Ages mystery series starring Bascot de Marins, a Templar Knight.  Bascot and his ward, Gianni, are waiting at Lincoln Castle for the sheriff to return, when a series of poisonings occur, and Bascot must work with the castellan Nicolaa de la Haye to solve the cases before more people are killed.

Blake, Deborah
  • Everyday Witch A to Z ****
Non-fiction.  Trivia style book full of great information interspersed with witchy humor.

  • Everyday Witchcraft *****
Non-fiction.  Sequel to The Goddess Is In The Details.  How to bring our spiritual life into our mundane life.

  • The Goddess Is In The Details *****
Non-fiction.  Incorporating our religion into our daily lives, an advanced look at the Everyday Witch.

  • Wickedly Dangerous *****
Fiction.  Second in the Baba Yaga series.  Barbara Yager, one of the Baba Yagas working in the U.S., has been summoned to the small town of Dunhill, where children have gone missing.  She, along with the Riders, Chudo-Yudo, and the local sheriff band together to find the children and to punish those responsible.

  • Wickedly Magical *****
Fiction.  First in the Baba Yaga urban fantasy series.  Baba Yaga Barbara is approached by a man seeking her help in retrieving his two young daughters from a conman his wife has taken up with.  Using her magical powers, Barbara manages to obtain the magical amulet the conman has been using for his own gain.

  • Wickedly Wonderful *****
Fiction.  Third in the Baba Yaga urban fantasy series.  Baba Yaga Beka looks like a  typical, and gorgeous, California surfer girl.  She lives in a converted school bus with her Chudo-Yudo, a very large Newfoundland.  Beka’s still very new to being a Baba, and she has doubts about her abilities to do the job well.  Her first big job comes when the Queen of the Mer people and the King of Selkies petition her to find out what is making their people so ill.  She requests the help of a cranky former Marine whose father owns a fishing boat to take her out onto the ocean so she can dive down and see what has been poisoning the oceanfolk.

  • Witch Ever Way You Can ****
Fiction.  First in the Star Stone series.  Deirdre is a Witch and a writer who lives in upstate New York in a 100-year-old farm house with five cats (rather like the author).  She received a call from a billionaire to help him by performing some magick, and he offers her a lot of money to do it.  As long as it doesn’t interfere with another’s will or harms anyone, she is willing to consider it.  As an extra bonus, the billionaire Stephen Tyler, has arranged for her to have a dinner date with her heartthrob actor Rob.  After the date, they meet up with Tyler in his hotel suite, and he produces a sealed box.  He wants Dee to open it, and the adventure begins.

  • Witch Upon a Star ***
Fiction.  Novella from the Star Stone series.  Rob Addison, Deirdre’s boyfriend, asks her to help him solve the problem with a  blighted area of the Louisiana wetlands.  She tries, unsuccessfully, to use regular magick on it, but it’s not until she uses the Star Stone that the land is healed.

Camfield, Thomas W.
  • Port Townsend: An Illustrated History of Shanghaiing, Shipwrecks, Soiled Doves and Sundry Souls *****
Non-fiction.  An history of the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.

Collins, Suzanne
  • Catching Fire *****
Fiction.  Second in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Katniss and Peeta are home in District 12, but they are having trouble dealing with the relationship that they were forced into during the Hunger Games.  Katniss still has feelings for Gale, and Peeta is convinced that he’s lost her.  As they take their Victory Tour around the districts, strange things begin happening.  Unrest begins, and Katniss still has to deal with the President’s hatred toward her.  Her fears that he will attack come true when history repeats itself, and Katniss and Peeta must once again fight for their lives.

  • Hunger Games *****
Fiction.  First in a dystopian trilogy.  Every year a boy and a girl are chosen from each of twelve districts to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal test of survival and killing skills.  When Katniss’s young sister is chosen for District 12, Katniss quickly volunteers to take her place.  The baker’s son, Peeta, is chosen as the male participant for their district, and Katniss fears the time she might have to kill him to save her own life.

  • Mockingjay *****
Fiction.  Third in the Hunger Games trilogy.  Katniss and her family and friends have escaped to District 13, formerly believed to have been annihilated, but the survivors have simply moved underground.  Katniss is still in danger from President Snow who wishes to destroy her and the symbol she is to the rebels.  Though unwilling at first, Katniss finally becomes the Mockingjay who will lead the rebels in their fight to freedom.

Dedman, Bill
  • Empty Mansions *****
Non-fiction.  Biography of copper mining heiress Huguette Clark who lived a reclusive life for most of her 105 years.

Dugan, Ellen
  • Secret of the Rose **
Fiction.  Second in the Legacy of Magick series starring Autumn, a woman who recently discovered that she has magickal powers.  She lives with her aunt and cousins while she attends graduate school and is having a romance with Duncan, a member of another magickal family in a town full of magickal families.  Upon finding an album that contains her family tree, she learns that she has a half-brother and is determined to find him.  The family is also seeking pages of the Blood Rose Grimoire, a book that was torn into four parts with the hope that it would never be put back together again.

Dugan, Ellen & Tess Whitehurst
  • Every Witch Way ***
Non-fiction.  Two very different witches’ opinions on different topics in their spiritual path.

Evanovich, Janet
  • Wicked Charms ****
Fiction.  Third in the humorous paranormal cozy mystery series starring Lizzy and Diesel.  Diesel is in Lizzy’s life to recover eight special stones.  They have two, and Diesel’s evil cousin has one of them.  This time they’re searching for the Avaritia Stone, the stone of avarice.  They aren’t the only ones searching.  Diesel’s cousin, Wulf, wants it, as do a Trump-like businessman and a history professor.  It’s a search for treasure.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Flight from Death *****
Fiction.  Book two in the urban fantasy series set in Seattle and starring Shimmer, a blue dragon, and Alex, her vampire boss.  An old friend of Alex’s contacts him to help rid his B&B of ghosts.  Shimmer is excited to visit the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, and after some twists and turns, they arrive at the High Tide Inn along with their werewolf co-worker, Ralph.  Patrick invites them into the inn, and right away they feel negative energy surrounding them.  Energy that comes from something much more dangerous than ghosts.

Graham, Heather
  • Ghost Memories ****
Fiction.  Novella prequel to the Bone Island Trilogy set in Key West.  Bartholomew was a privateer who fell in love with the beautiful Victoria.  She returned his love, and they planned to spend the rest of their lives together, once Victoria convinced her father that Bartholomew was a worthy man.  Their relationship was doomed from the beginning, and Bartholomew was hanged for her death, though he was innocent of the crime.  

  • Ghost Moon ****
Fiction.  Final book in the Bone Island Trilogy.  Cutter Merlin dies alone in his house full of oddities.  Liam has the task of calling Cutter’s granddaughter to let her know of his passing.  When Kelsey hears the news, she berates herself for not fulfilling her promise to Cutter to return home from California, but she finally does fly home to bury Cutter and to put his house in order.  Cutter had a reputation of being a Satanist, one who practices the dark arts, and as such there are many rumors flying around town after his death.  When Kelsey arrives home, something is amiss in the house.  Something unseen.  Something that wants her.

Hamilton, Laurell K.
  • Divine Misdemeanors ***
Fiction.  8th in the Merry Gentry urban fantasy series.  Merry is a faerie princess who has left behind fairyland and lives in Los Angeles with her retinue of male and female guards and lovers.  She’s pregnant now, by six men, and is carrying two children.  Her friend, police detective Lucy, calls her in to help investigate the deaths of some demi-fey who are staged in scenes from children’s stories.  As deaths continue to happen, Merry and her followers need to figure out who the serial-killers are, before they lose one of their own.

Jackson, Melanie
  • Moving Violation ***
Fiction.  First in the Chloe Boston cozy series.  Chloe is a tiny meter maid with big aspirations.  She wants to be a detective, but no one will take her seriously, and she really needs to make a good  impression on the new Chief of Police.  She’s not off to a good start, but when her partner goes missing, she decides to undertake the investigation of his disappearance on her own.

  • Mysterious Island *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Wendover mystery series.  The storms around the islands are getting worse and worse and seem to have a supernatural effect to them.  Tess is woken by someone pounding on her front door, but it’s not a normal knocking.  It has a very regular beat and is pounding so hard she fears the door might crack.  Is it friend or foe?

  • On Deadly Tides ***
Fiction.  Third in the Wendover mystery series.   A body washes up on Little Goose island who bears a striking resemblance to Kelvin Wendover, Tess’s great-grandfather, who died and was buried six months previously.  When Kelvin’s casket is opened and no body is found, Tess determines to figure out what is going on.

  • Pieces of Hate ***
Fiction.  Fourth in the Wendover mystery series.  A storm rages outside waking Tess, and when she crosses to the window, she sees a strange green glow coming from the beach.  Knowing she has to see what it is, she hurries down to the beach and finds a small wooden chest covered with barnacles on the sand.  Another curse is connected to the Wendover family, this one is related to a pirate ancestor of her.  Deaths will continue to happen unless she can resolve the curse.

  • The Secret Staircase ****
Fiction.  First in the Wendover mystery series.  Tess’s great-grandfather whom she never knew has left her the Wendover house  on a remote island off the Maine coast.  She’s the last of her family, and since her grandmother had run away from the island when she got married and never spoke of the Wendover family, Tess grew up knowing nothing about them.  When she arrives on Little Goose island, she’s surprised to find herself enchanted by the quirky house with no electricity, but she’s not alone in the house, and she soon finds herself surrounded by mystery.

  • Twelfth Night ***
Fiction.  Second in the Wendover mystery series.  Tess and her friends are gathered at the house during a storm.  They’re telling supposedly true ghost stories, experiences that they’ve had.  Tess has engineered this party in order to tell the story of her ancestor, Hannah Wendover, who was executed for being a witch.  Hannah’s ghost has been haunting her for awhile, and Tess wants to set her to rest.

Lee, Harper
  • Go Set A Watchman **
Fiction.  Prequel to To Kill A Mockingbird.  Scout is now an adult living in New York City.  She returns home to Maycomb for her annual visit with her father, and what she finds there shakes her world.  Life there is nothing like she remembers from her youth, the town is being poisoned by racial prejudice, and she is disillusioned by her father.

Orenduff, J. Michael
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy ****

Fiction.  Second in the Pot Thief cozy mystery series.  Hubie is commonly called a “pot thief”, because he digs up ancient pottery in the desert of New Mexico, but he is very observant of cultural feelings and only digs on public property, never on a reservation or on private property.  These pots he sells for a great deal of money, but he also copies the originals and sells the copies for a reduced rate, though still for quite a bit of money.  A former professor of anthropology at the university contacts Hubie to locate 18 pots that he suspects were stolen by the head of the department.  When said head of the department is found dead, Hubie is the number one suspect.