Reviews

Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Review

Storm Front
Storm Front
by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files #1
Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
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Synopsis
HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD

Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed.

What I thought
This is the first book in what I am learning is a very long series of books. To date, there are 15 books in the main series and then there are side books too.  From my understanding, the number of books total may be more than 20 in the end.  So why in my right mind would I start this series with my TBR in the state it is?  Well, it looked really good.

Long story short I really liked it.  I loved the writing and how smooth the story seemed. I liked how you saw the main character really struggle and everything was not okay just because he could use magic.  I mean even though he is a wizard he had real-life struggles. Oh then there is Bob and I can’t wait to see if we ever get some form of a back story there. One of my favorite moments in the book has to be with Toot Toot and his love of pizza.

Well, I can say it looks like I’m going to be in this one for the long haul because I really enjoyed this book.

My Rating: /54 StarsFollow me on other platforms:
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New Releases

Cover Reveal: Mistaken Identity Crisis by James J. Cudney @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26 #CreativiaPub

Mistaken-Identity-Crisis-Main-File
Mistaken Identity Crisis
by James J. Cudney
(Braxton Campus Mysteries #4)
Genre: Mystery
Publication Date: 6/30/2019
Page Count: 260
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A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer in order to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove.

Mistaken-Identity-Crisis-Promo-Hardback-EreaderAs if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he’ll have to make a few ruthless sacrifices.

Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County.

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AUTHOR PIC JAY
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

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List of Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen: The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

The Hummingbird Dagger
The Hummingbird Dagger

by Cindy Anstey
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery

1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.

Expected publication: April 16, 2019

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Reviews

Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Review

A Study in Charlotte
A Study in Charlotte
by Brittany Cavallaro
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Synopsis
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

What I thought
Before picking up this book I was feeling so slumpy. I had picked up 6 books this month and read a little out of each of them and put them all down. None of them were bad I just was not feeling any of them. So what is the best way to break a slump for me? Pick up a Jane Austen or a Sherlock Holmes story.

So for anyone who is not aware in this version of the world Holmes and Watson were real people and they somehow worked with Doyle to publish the stories. So they are all real people. I really liked the character Charlotte even though she is made easy to dislike. She is Sherlock Holmes as a teenage girl.

I found Jamie’s dad to be very frustrating in this story. I mean come on your son is accused of murder and your all excited that he is in the middle of a murder mystery. Just bad parent representation but I get it.

There is just something about a Sherlock Holmes story that makes me feel comfortable and that is exactly what I needed. I hope to pick up the next one before summer.

My Rating: /54.5 starsFollow me on other platforms:
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New Releases

Cover Reveal: Flower Power Trip by James J. Cudney

Flower-Power-Trip-Main-File
Flower Power Trip

by James J. Cudney
Braxton Campus Mysteries #3
Mystery
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Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus?

As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all of the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion.

Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

Blue Blurb

Flower-Power-Trip-Promo-Paperback
At a masquerade ball to raise money for renovations to Memorial Library, Kellan finds a dead body dressed in a Dr. Evil costume.

Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill the annoying guest who’d been staying at the Roarke and Daughters Inn, or does the victim have a closer connection to someone else at Braxton College?

As Kellan helps school president Ursula bury a secret from her past and discover the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his family. Everything seems to trace back to the Stoddards: a new family who recently moved in.

Between the murder, a special flower exhibit and strange postcards arriving each week, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. But unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to be exposed – and when it is, Kellan won’t know what hit him.

Purchase on Amazon

Author Bio BlueJames J. Cudney
James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th-floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. How else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?

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Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Can you hula like Hilo Hattie by Tyler Colins

Can you hula like Hilo Hattie
Can you hula like Hilo Hattie
by Tyler Colins
Publication date: August 13th, 2016
Genres: Mystery

The novice sleuths accept their first official detecting assignment: uncovering the “secret” of an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife. If they succeed, their newly founded business, The Triple Threat Investigation Agency, will prove a viable venture.

The twist: the wife is found murdered along Oahu’s sapphire shores. And there’s a secret all right, one of many, but they’re not all the deceased woman’s. Who of the unconventional cast of characters is the murderer? As JJ (Jill), Rey and Linda begin fitting puzzle pieces together, they stumble upon a few more bodies.

A straightforward task becomes anything but. They’ve dealt with murderers in past, however, thanks to a wacky “collect your inheritance” week in Connecticut; while this new set of quirky personalities proves equally taxing, they have enough faith in their [budding] talents to persevere and unscramble clues.

Here’s an opportunity for the women to prove they made a wise choice in becoming bona fide detectives. Can they do it before the murderer strikes again?

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Brown Blurb

The aspiring detectives of the Triple Threat Investigation Agency take on their first official paying assignment: discover the secret of an elderly millionaire’s young wife.

It seems straightforward enough—until the wife is found dead in the sapphire Hawaiian oceanside.  As Jill (JJ), Rey and Linda strive to uncover the killer amid a cast of curious, unconventional characters, they stumble across several secrets and fall over a few bodies.

Piecing together the puzzle detours the trio—to the domains of drug pushers, informants, and gangs.  Serious game players, they play for keeps.  Does the trio possess enough shrewdness and savvy to beat the odds and win the game?

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Brown Excerpt

Carmie was the main focus of the mission, so I dug around and discovered her name at birth had been Carpella.  She’d been born in Tenafly New Jersey to Joseph Leone Carpella, the owner of a popular local pizza shop on Washington Street, and Lina Spera, a former aesthetician.  Gino, Carmie’s fraternal twin brother, was currently a prominent businessman in New York.  At a young age, he’d recognized there was money to be made in food that drew townspeople for blocks.  A well-conceived business plan, leg power, and lots of charm resulted in his papa’s delicious pizzas becoming available beyond a twenty-block radius.  In record time, Papa Jo Leone’s product moved beyond the borders of the borough, across the state, and then the nation.

At twenty-five Gino made his first million.  Papa and Mama Carpella remained in Tenafly, but instead of living over the pizza parlor, resided in a lovely six-bedroom house with enough garden space to grow fifty bushels of Roma tomatoes.

While sister was slim, brother was heavy, not from fat, but muscle.  In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Gino had talked about an obsession with staying fit (evidently, it ran in the twins’ veins), but his went beyond the physical.  In addition to daily one-hour workouts at 5:00 a.m., he hit the books frequently to engage the gray matter.  He’d even made it an objective to take two university courses every year.

As I drove to Kalihi, I considered all the information gleaned so far.  It was edifying, but pretty rudimentary.  Would it prove worthwhile and time efficient to dig deeper?  We had to prove Carmie was having an affair at the very least, but discovering she was into something illicit or that she had something to hold over her husband would be best.  Did the past matter?  Probably not, other than maybe demonstrating she’d been a flirt or skank.  That would go to character and integrity and all that.  But if she’d been a flirt or skank, wouldn’t William have discovered that?  Surely he’d have learned all he could about Carmelita Sangita Carpella before he’d married her.

And why marry someone of such a common background?  Was it true love?  Or a need to prove virility and/or have a trophy wife?  William’s first wife, Lucy, had been born to an aristocratic English family.  Fox hunts, high teas and Harrods had been part of the Howell’s routine—until she’d passed at the age of thirty, after five years of marriage.  A misadventure with a bunch of boisterous beagles during a fox hunt in Kent had cut her privileged life very short.  Like Carmie, she was slim and approximately 5’4” tall, blonde and blue-eyed.  Her nose, set between two incredibly high cheekbones, was quite pronounced.  Some might have called it Patrician if they’d been feeling kind, while others who were more candid might have called it for what it was: a Gonzo (as in Muppet) proboscis.  Snout, uh, nose aside, Lucy’s face held a noble and haughty air.

William remained single for four years and then met Lowella, the daughter of a Greek olive tycoon.  A whirlwind romance ensued.  They were married not quite eight months when daughter Sophia Bella was born.  Lowella passed after five years of marriage when a tractor-trailer totaled her and a Jaguar in oatmeal-thick fog along California’s SR 1.  Poor William.  He wasn’t particularly lucky in the sustainable marriage-love department.

I pulled into the Kalihi district and found a small parking lot in a tiny strip mall.  Before stepping from the car, I peered into the rearview mirror.  The peacock-blue cotton sun hat looked okay, but dark circles under the eyes didn’t.  I should have slapped on make-up, or at the very least concealer and lipstick, but really, why should I care that I looked tired and edgy?  The folks I’d be asking about Xavier wouldn’t.

I eyed a long, white clinic across the road.  Two young people, one scarecrow skinny and one sea-lion blubbery, shuffled from the entrance, whispered excitedly and anxiously shambled onward.  It was as good a place to start as any.  Maybe Xavier had dropped in.

My career as P.I. had officially begun.  Hopefully, in the process, I wouldn’t blow it—or get “blown”, as into bitty pieces.  What did I know about druggies and dealers other than what I’d heard at the stations I’d worked at or viewed on the idiot box, as Great-Uncle Warren called television?  My father’s uncle was the only relative I had ever known on that side of the family.  I’d never even met my dad.  When I’d been a baby, he’d taken a fatal roll down Mount Kilimanjaro during a botanical exploration (so the story went).

These folks had been babies once, too.  Innocent, trusting infants with lives to live and dreams to make happen.  . . . Or destroy.  Sometimes we made wrong choices; sometimes others made them for us.  And sometimes life simply wasn’t fair.

Brown Author Bio

TylerC BioPhoto
Tyler Colins is a fiction writer and blogger, and a sometimes editor and proofreader (books, manuals, and film/television scripts).  She’s also been known to create business plans, synopses and outlines, and film promotion documents.

Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are both skills and joys (she likes playing detective and developing structure).

Her fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries.  Her genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and “affirmative” non-fiction.

She aims to provide readers with smiles and chuckles like the ever-talented Janet Evanovich and missed Lawrence Sanders, the “coziness” of Jessica Fletcher, and a few diversions and distractions as only long-time pros Jonathan Kellerman and Kathy Reichs can craft.

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HulaBannerR final 11-28-2018

Dec. 1st, 2018 Nicole Campbell – www.thebookwormdrinketh.com
Dec. 2nd, 2018 Lisa Reynolds – www.culturevultureexpress.wordpress.com
Dec. 3rd, 2018 MD Walker – www.plotmonster.wordpress.com
Dec. 4th, 2018 Jessica Rachow – www.jessicarachow.wordpress.com
Dec. 5th, 2018 Jess bookish life – www.jessbookishlife.wordpress.com
Dec. 6th, 2018 Nina D. Silva – www.thecozypages.wordpress.com
Dec. 7th, 2018 Prachi – www.starryeyedenigma.com
Dec. 8th, 2018 Carla Johnson – www.carlalovestoread.wordpress.com
Dec. 9th, 2018 Prachi – www.starryeyedenigma.com
Dec. 10th, 2018 Natalie – www.thespooniemummy.com
Dec. 11th, 2018 Mary – www.sophrilreads.com
Dec. 12th, 2018 Kristina – www.booksanddachshunds.wordpress.com
Dec. 13th, 2018 Jannin – www.thebooknerddragon.wordpress.com
Dec. 14th Alicia – www.misshoneybug.wordpress.com

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Reviews

Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Review

The strange case of the Alchemists daughter
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

by Theodora Goss
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Synopsis
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

What I thought
“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with ladies.”

How do I get my copy!!

This is how I heard this series described by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. You can see her booktube video here where she received the second book in this series from the publisher. I discover when I went to look up the video that I never finished that haul video.  Why you might ask well that is because I literally took my lunch break and drove to my local bookstore and picked up my copy.

So after I had my copy I realized that I now had really high expectations for this book and rarely do books live up to really high expectations. But I am happy to be able to say that this book not only lived up to those really high expectations but surpassed them.

When I began reading this story I noticed that the characters in the story have a going commentary regarding the manuscript.  To be honest I wasn’t sure how I felt about it in the beginning and I remember stopping and really thinking about how I felt about it. but in the end, I really loved it.  This approach really added another layer to the characters and made me love them more.

This book takes characters from multiple gothic stories and molds them all together. These women are true friendship goals. I love not just the mystery of the story but the friendships in this book are amazing.  I am not going to go into the plot very much because I think that not knowing more than that one tagline is what made it so very enjoyable for me.

I can not wait to pick up the next installment! Thanks to my local library they are getting it in for me. (Update: They called and they have it in for me!!!!)

About the Author

Theodora Goss is the World Fantasy and Locus Award-winning author of the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format; the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia (2014); debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017), and sequel European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman(2018). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List. Her work has been translated into twelve languages. She teaches literature and writing at Boston University and in the Stonecoast MFA Program. Visit her at theodoragoss.com.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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