Saturday, October 31, 2015

Books Read - October 2015

Armstrong, Kelley
  • Bitten *****
Fiction.  First book in an urban fantasy werewolf series.  Elena Michaels is trying to live her life in Toronto with her boyfriend, unencumbered by her past.  But she has a secret she is terrified to reveal, because she wants so much to continue this life.  This human life.  But her other half struggles to come to the fore, and when it does, she must RUN.

Baker, Deb
  • Murder Passes the Buck **
Fiction.  First in the Gertie Johnson cozy series set in Michigan.  It’s hunting season, but the unexpected happens when a hunter is shot inside his own blind.  Gertie quickly assumes that it’s murder and sets forth to solve it herself.

Banks, Maya
  • Golden Eyes ***
Fiction.  First in the Eyes shapeshifter series.  Aliyah has been captured in Africa and shipped to Colorado for the pleasure of trophy hunters.  She’s a cheetah shifter running for her life.  When Duncan finds her, she has an arrow in her haunch, and he takes her home to see if he can help her.  He leaves her lying on the floor in the mudroom, but when he returns, he is shocked to find a beautiful, and very naked, woman lying there with an arrow sticking out of her.

Bassett, JoAnn 
  • Maui Widow Waltz ****
Fiction.  First in the Islands of Aloha cozy mystery series starring Pali Moon, a wedding planner struggling to keep her business running.  With all the overdue bills crowding her desk, she is thrilled to see a prospective customer.  But when the woman tells Pali that her husband has been lost at see, but she still wants to go through with the wedding using a stand-in spouse, Pali wonders if this is really a job she wants to take.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Witch of Wyckhadden ****
Fiction.  Ninth in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series.  Agatha is tired of waiting for James Lacey to come home, where she’s sure he’ll want to rekindle their old romance.  She drives to the coast to the small fishing town of Wyckhadden to stay at the Garden Hotel.  She meets some local residents including the police inspector, Jimmy Jespers, which whom she finds herself enamored.  On the advice of one of her new friends, she visits the town witch to buy a potion to restore her hair, but she comes under scrutiny when she finds the witch dead.

Bevill, C.L.
  • Deadsville ****
Fiction.  Detective Octavia Stone went out on a call, and the next thing she knows, she wakes up in a strange town called Deadsville, where all of the inhabitants are dead.  She accepts the job of being sheriff of this town, and her first case is investigating the murder...of a dead man.

  • Death Twitches *****
Fiction.  Fourth in the Lake People series.  Melisandre has a special gift that allows her to read minds.  She has learned to use that gift to make money playing poker.  But she has come to the attention of an evil man who hires her to read minds for him, so that he can make business decisions, some of which include murder.  Meli is in danger, and Rousseau hears her all the way from Unknown and comes running to save her.

  • Dial ‘M’ for Mascara *****
Fiction.  Mary Grace is a graphic designer living alone in Texas.  As she’s traveling home one day, the brakes on her car give out, and she is lucky to make it out okay.  Her car, not so much.  But this is just the beginning in an odd and humorous story of this young woman.

  • Iron Moon ****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the Cat Clan shifter series.  Lena is on the hunt for Martinez, a rogue shifter who kidnaps and sells other shifters into captivity.  She tracks him to Peru but is caught and held prisoner in a pit.  To her surprise, another shifter is thrown down with her, a wolf shifter from Paris.

Bishop, Erzabet
  • Samhain Shadows ****
Fiction.  Erotic novella in the Erotic Pagans series.  Brigit is trying to move past her mother’s passing, and running her mom’s witchy shop does help. Samhain is here, and when her covenmate, Jasmin, tries to get her to go to the Samhain celebration, Brigit just doesn’t feel up to it.  She’s lonely and sad.  But when Julia, her cat’s vet, stops by to drop off Bathsheba, Brigit feels herself responding to Julia’s presence.  Julia feels the same way, and Brigit isn’t lonely any more.

  • Yuletide Temptation ***
Fiction.  Erotic novella in the Erotic Pagans series.  Jasmin spies her high school crush, Shane, working at his mother’s florist shop, and as she needs some evergreen swag to decorate for Yule, she stops in at his shop, where she is flattened by a big hairy beast.

Blake, Heather
  • Ghost of a Potion ****
Fiction.  Third book in the Magic Potion paranormal cozy series set in Hitching Post, NC.  Carly plans to hibernate over the Halloween weekend, because her gift of communicating with ghosts frightens her.  The one social engagement she does attend is a ball at the Ezekial mansion celebrating its grand opening after a historical restoration.  She didn’t count on a murder that night or on the newly departed haunting her into solving his murder.

Bright, Vonette & Nancy Moser
  • The Sister Circle ****
Fiction.  First in the Sister Circle Christian series.  Evelyn’s husband has died and left her without any money, just the house that has been in the family for one hundred years.  She’s at her wit’s end, since her husband was the one who had made all the decisions in their family, but now she needs to figure out what she’ll do for money and with the rest of her life.  Her life changes drastically when she hangs up a Rooms 4 Rent sign, and within two days, all three of the spare rooms have been rented.  She and the other women have to learn how to live together with all their different personalities.

Byrne, Kerrigan, Cindy Stark, Tiffinie Helmer, Cynthia St. Aubin
  • Which Witch is Wicked? ***
Fiction.  Second in the Witches of Port Townsend urban fantasy series.  The four witches are still at war with the four Horsemen, which is proving to be complicated, as each of the witches has fallen for a Horseman and vice versa.  Meanwhile, Lucinda, better known as Satan, has been busy infiltrating the witches’ home and wreaking havoc in their town.

Chopin, Kate
  • The Awakening *
Fiction.  Published in 1899, this is a story of a woman who flirts with infidelity.

Connolly, Sheila
  • An Early Wake **
Fiction.  Third in the County Cork series.  Maura Donovan inherited a pub and house in tiny Leap along the shore in County Cork.  She’s still learning how to run the business and how things work in Ireland.  Tim is a university student down from Dublin, who is researching the old music tradition at Sullivan’s pub, and when the old musicians hear about his interest, they come from far and near to hold a musical event that brings in good business.  But it also brings murder.

Evans, Misty, et al
  • Every Witch Way But Wicked ***
Fiction.  Anthology of short stories in the paranormal romance genre.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Autumn Thorns *****
Fiction.  First in the Whisper Hollow urban fantasy series.  Kerris Fellwater returns to Whisper Hollow to fulfill her duty as a spirit shaman after the death of her grandmother.  The town, the lake, and the forest surrounding them are teeming with unseen entities who are walking the earth, and her job is to help protect the town.

Gregory, Philippa
  • The Lady of the Rivers *****
Fiction.  Third installment of the Cousins’ War historical fiction series.  Jacquetta of Luxeumbourg is given in marriage to John, Duke Bedford, a man old enough to be her father.  While he admires her youth and beauty, what he wants is not a bedmate but a virgin with the powers of Melusina, who can foretell the future in his quest to keep his king on the throne.  After his death, Jacquetta marries for love, Richard Woodville, former squire to the Duke.  She becomes friends with Margaret of Anjou, the wife of the new king and, like her husband, does her best to see the throne remains in Lancaster hands.

Hirahara, Naomi
  • The Summer of the Big Bachi ***
Fiction.  First in the Mas Arai series.  Mas is a Japanese gardener in Los Angeles.  He is a survivor of the Hiroshima atom bomb.  When he hears the name Jijo Kimura, it takes him back to the day the bomb landed, and a mystery began.  When he comes face to face with the man who calls himself Jijo, Mas realizes he is a very different man.

Jaffarian, Sue Ann
  • The Curse of the Holy Pail ****
- Fiction.  Second in the Odelia Grey cozy mystery series.  Odelia can’t decide whether she should or shouldn’t marry Greg.  She loves him, but she’s afraid of making another mistake like she made with her first fiance.  She tries to concentrate on work, but when a client dies unexpectedly after showing her his lunch box collection, she’s swept up in the investigation of what happened to him, as well as what happened to his prize lunchbox worth $100k.

Neal, Toby
  • Twisted Vine ****
Fiction.  Fifth book in the Lei Texeira mystery series set in Hawai’i.  Lei is a federal agent working on O’ahu.  She is trying hard to fit in at work after some stumbling blocks during her training period.  Her boyfriend, Michael Stephens, has been promoted to Captain at the local police force on Maui, and they’re dealing with a long-distance relationship.  Lei’s current case involves assisted suicide, and her team as been tasked with finding out who is running the ring and stopping him.

Roberts, Nora
  • Irish Thoroughbred **
Fiction.  First book in the Irish Hearts trilogy.  Adelia’s aunt has passed away after a long illness, and the farm in Ireland has been sold.  Paddy, Adelia’s only remaining relative, has invited her to live and work with him on a horse farm in Maryland.  When she arrives, she marvels at the beautiful horses and the great expanse of the property, not to mention the glorious owner of the property, Travis, who sets her blood rushing.

Singh, Nalini
  • Angel’s Blood *****
Fiction.  First in the Guild Hunter urban fantasy series.  Elena is a vampire hunter.  In her world, angels Make vampires, and when the vampires go rogue, angels hire Elena and her fellow vampire hunters to hunt down the vampires and return them to their angel masters.  Raphael is an archangel, one of ten in the world.  He hires Elena to hunt down a fellow archangel who has gone bad.  Terrifying and beautiful, he mesmerizes Elena, who fights his attraction as she fights to not get lost in terrors of her past.

Speare, Elizabeth George
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond *****
Fiction.  Kit Tyler left behind the only home she knew in Barbados.  With her grandfather dead, her only remaining relative is her aunt who lives in a small town in Connecticut.  Kit’s upbringing was very different from the Puritan life her cousins know, and the town never lets her forget that she’s an outsider.  She struggles to find her place in this harsh land and befriends an elderly woman who lives alone in a shack in the meadow next to Blackbird Pond.  The townsfolk call her a witch, and Kit finds herself under their scrutiny as well.

Wilds, Elissa
  • Between Light and Dark ***

Fiction.  The Gods of Light are seeking a new council member, and Axiom, a Grey God, wants the post.  They send him on a mission to the Earth Realm to impregnate the human woman who will bear the Earth Balancer.  He doesn’t have much time to complete the mission.  Laurell is seeing to her grandmother’s estate when she runs into Axiom, who kidnaps her to keep her close and safe from the Umbrea who seek to destroy her.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Books Read - September 2015

Abbott, Victoria
  • The Marsh Madness ****
Fiction.  Fourth in the cozy mystery series set in Harrison Falls, New York.  Mrs. Van Alst is invited to the Summerlea, the Kauffman estate, to look at some first edition Ngaio Marsh books.  Jordan and Kev accompany her to the luncheon, and the deal is made.  The next day, the police show up and accuse them of murdering Chadwick Kauffman.  While they’re trying to stay out of jail, Jordan learns that people are not what they seem, but that doesn’t prevent the police from concentrating on Jordan, Vera, and Kev as the prime suspects.

Allen, Jenny Jo
  • Connecting with Crystals ****
Non-fiction.  Information on creating crystal divination sets for divination.

Allende, Isabel
  • The House of the Spirits *****
Fiction.  This family saga set in South America is centered around three unique women, Clara, her daughter Blanca, and her granddaughter Alba, and the men in their lives.  In the midst of political unrest, these women are simply trying to keep their families together.

Beaton, M.C.
  • The Wizard of Evesham ****
Fiction.  Eighth book in the Agatha Raisin cozy mystery series set in the Cotswolds of England.  Agatha is bored and tired of waiting for James Lacey to return home, so she looks around for any mysteries to solve.  Her hair is showing some grey roots, so she takes herself off to a hairdressing salon in Evesham that she’d heard good things about.  Mr. John’s has a lot of good energy, and Agatha is just relaxing when the owner, John, comes to work on her hair.  He’s handsome and flirty, and before she knows it, she finds herself falling for him.

Bevill, C.L.
  • The Flight of the Scarlet Tanager *****
Fiction.  Teddy is on the run for her life, but seeing a young boy fall off a bridge into the ocean makes her forget her own danger, and she leaps off to save him.  Unfortunately, the ensuing news  coverage has film of her face, and the danger she fears hunts her down.  

  • The Life and Death of Bayou Billy ***
Fiction.  Bayou Billy was an infamous thief who spent time living in two towns on opposite sides of the Mississippi river.  When he died, a feeding frenzy erupted, as both towns tried desperately to gain access to his remains, in the hope that it would be good for tourism.

  • Missile Rats *****
Fiction.  Rick Skeets decides to join the military, and after interviewing several recruiters, he chooses the US Army.  Missiles are what interest him, so off he goes to basic training.  The Army isn’t everything the recruiter told him it  would be, in fact it’s very different.  As his eyes are opened to life in the military, he goes through advanced training, and then more training to become a Nike-Hercules technician.  As bizarre as his life becomes, he still prefers it to going home to live with his ma.

  • Shadow People *****
Fiction.  Urban fantasy set in Texas and Oregon.  Penelope Quick is a creeper, a sneak thief, a cat burglar.  She had planned to wait on her friend, Jeremy, to do the creep together, but she needs money quickly in order to pay her blind mother’s quarterly fees at the retirement home, and Jeremy is out of town.  This house isn’t like most houses, it has a reputation of behind haunted.  It’s been known as a murder house since a man who lived there killed his wife, their four children, and even the family dog, before turning the gun on himself.  Penelope doesn’t believe in ghosts, something she reminds herself as she’s emptying the safe in the basement.  Until she hears a sound behind her.

Blackwell, Juliet
- The Paris Key *****
Fiction.  Genevieve is ending her marriage, and her elderly uncle in Paris has just died and left her his locksmith shop.  Genevieve had spent a summer there when she was 14 and recovering from her mother’s death, and to keep her mind occupied and the sorrow at bay, her uncle Dave had taught her how to open and work with locks.  Trying to have a fresh start in her life, she moves to Paris to take over Dave’s shop, and in doing so, learns who she is, and who her mother was.

  • Spellcasting in Silk *****
Fiction.  Seventh in the paranormal cozy mystery series set in San Francisco.  Lily Ivory runs a vintage clothing store with a side business of helping the police solve otherworldly situations.  The magical issues in the city is ramping up, and the police need her help in resolving a situation in a local botanica, where the owner has been jailed in relationship to the suicide of a woman.  Lily must also find the owner’s granddaughter, who has gone missing.

Blake, Heather
  • Some Like It Witchy *****
Fiction.  Fifth in the Wishcraft paranormal cozy mystery series set in Enchanted Village.  Darcy’s aunt Ve is running for mayor, and the town is arguing whether part of the forest should be razed to build more houses.  The forest, being sacred, is very important  to the Crafters in the village.  Darcy’s current assignment is to help her friend, Calliope, find a house to buy, and Calliope has her heart set on the Tavistock, but she has tough competition, and a bidding war has started.  Raina, the realtor, is late for the showing, so Darcy and Calliope decide to look around by themselves, only to find Raina’s corpse stuffed into a closet.

Galenorn, Yasmine
  • Night Shivers *****
Fiction.  Sixth in the Indigo Court series.  Cecily and Grieve face another danger in the form of a giant wolf.  Fenrick sees her as a young and untried queen and hopes to take over her throne.  Cecily is determined to send him back from whence he came.

Greiman, Lois
  • Unplugged ****
Fiction.  Second in the Chrissy McMullen cozy series.  Chrissy’s geeky acquaintance has gone missing, and Laney, her best friend, has asked Chrissy to find him.  Much to Chrissy’s chagrin, Laney has fallen for the millionaire geek and is desperate to know why he’s gone missing.  Rivera is brought back into her life when she goes to the police department to missing J.D. as missing, and he knocks her hormones out of kilter once again.

  • Unzipped ****
Fiction.  First in the Chrissy McMullen cozy series.  Chrissy is a psychologist with a practice in Los Angeles.  She is treating one of her patients for impotency, when she suddenly finds out in a brutal way that he has been lying to her all along.  Unfortunately for her, the patient dies in her office, and she has to convince  police lieutenant Rivera that she is innocent of the murder.

Lavene, Joyce & Jim
  • Be My Banshee *****
Fiction.  First in a new paranormal cozy mystery series set in Norfolk, Virginia.  Sunshine Merryweather owns the Purple Door Detective Agency.  Her lover has been murdered, and she has to solve the case and hire someone to replace him.  When a bean sidhe walks into her office during the interviews, Sunshine isn’t sure what to do with her.  The bean sidhe, Aine of Ulster, is not here to apply for the job, but to hire Sunny to find the last remaining O’Neill of the family she had been guarding for hundreds of years.

LoTempio, T.C.
  • Meow If It’s Murder ***
Fiction.  First in a cozy mystery series set in Cruz, California.  Nora Charles has left a crime reporting job in Chicago to take over the family deli.  At first, she thinks she’s left that whole world of crime and mobsters behind her, but as she becomes entangled in trying to solve a murder, her old skills come into play.

Roberts, Anthony H.
  • The Beautiful Shore ***

Fiction.  Short story about Jonah, a father who had lost a son and a faith, and how he found them again.