Thursday, December 31, 2015

Memoir Review - Year of Yes

Hey y'all 

Today I'm reviewing Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. 



Summary from GoodReads: The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

YA Review - Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. 


Summary from GoodReads: Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It's quiet and peaceful. You can't get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere's museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe's psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver's license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she's dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn't want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Romance Review - Tidings of Great Joy

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Tidings of Great Joy by Sandra Brown.  


Summary from GoodReads: Ria Lavender is the last woman in the world to be swept away by a smooth line and a seductive smile. A talented architect, she's just beginning to savor the fruits of her success when she meets a man who will change everything.

Mayor-Elect Taylor MacKensie is handsome, charming, and charismatic. Still, Ria never imagines that she'll leave a Christmas party with him, or that, caught up in the magic of a snowfall and a bottle of champagne, she'll give in to desire. Eight weeks later, Ria knows she's carrying Taylor's child.

To give their baby a name, Ria persuades Taylor to marry her—at least temporarily. But while Ria soon feels a surprising tenderness—and passion—for Taylor, she fears his prime concern is protecting his career. Ria vows to keep her distance from the man who holds the key to her heart...until life teaches them both a lesson in miracles—and love.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Romance Review - The Perfect Christmas

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber. 


Summary from GoodReads: WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS PERFECT?

For Cassie Beaumont, it's meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.

What's left? A professional matchmaker. He's Simon Dodson, and he's very choosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she's astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa's elf at a children's party and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all --- and she's finally ready to meet her match.

But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise! 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Romance Review - The First Love Cookie Club

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde. 


Summary from GoodReads: "On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny."

The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier—not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children's book author "Sadie Cool"now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she'll never fall foolishly in love again!

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she's shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl's father—unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Romance Review - Santa in Montana

Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Santa in Montana by Janet Dailey.  


Summary from GoodReads: Montana winters are harsh, but bad weather won't get in the way of the Calders' Christmas reunion. Patriarch Chase Calder is determined to make this holiday the happiest yet - especially for his daughter, Cat. And Chase knows the best gifts aren't always done up in paper and ribbon. 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Romance Review - The Winter Lodge

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs.  


Summary from GoodReads: On the longest night of the year, Jenny Majesky loses everything in a devastating house fire. But among the ashes she finds an unusual treasure hidden amid her grandfather's belongings, one that starts her on a search for the truth, and on a path toward a life that she never imagined. The Winter Lodge, a remote cabin owned by her half sister on the shores of Willow Lake, becomes a safe refuge for Jenny, where she and local police chief Rourke McKnight try to sort out the mysteries revealed by the fire. But when a blizzard traps them together, Jenny, accustomed to the safe predictability of running the family bakery, suddenly doesn't feel so secure. For even as Rourke shelters her from the storm outside, she knows her heart is at risk. Now, following her dreams might mean walking away from her one chance at love.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Romance Review - Dashing Through the Snow

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber. 


Summary from GoodReads: Savor the magic of the season with Debbie Macomber’s newest Christmas novel, filled with warmth, humor, the promise of love, and a dash of unexpected adventure.

Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Sutherland, a former army intelligence officer, has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there’s only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

At first they drive in silence, but forced into close quarters Ashley and Dash can’t help but open up. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there’s even a spark of romance in the air. Their feelings catch them off guard—never before has either been so excited about a first meeting. But the two are in for more twists and turns along the way as they rescue a lost puppy, run into petty thieves, and even get caught up in a case of mistaken identity. Though Ashley and Dash may never reach Seattle in time for Christmas, the season is still full of surprises—and their greatest wishes may yet come true.

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mystery Review - A Likely Story

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay. 



Summary from GoodReads: A new hardcover in the Library Lover's mystery series from the New York Times bestselling author of On Borrowed Time. Small-town librarian Lindsey Norris must solve a murder and a missing person's case involving two reclusive brothers.

NOT HIS BROTHER'S KEEPER

Delivering books to the housebound residents of the Thumb Islands, just a short boat ride from the town of Briar Creek, library director Lindsey Norris has befriended two elderly brothers, Stewart and Peter Rosen. She enjoys visiting them in their treasure-filled, ramshackle Victorian on Star Island until she discovers that Peter has been killed and Stewart is missing. Now she's determined to solve a murder and find Stewart before he suffers his brother's fate.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Romance Review - The Stanislaskis: Rachel & Alex

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Stanislaskis: Rachel & Alex by Nora Roberts. 


Summary from GoodReads: Falling for Rachel Landlocked in Manhattan, rugged seaman Zack Muldoon needed a tough, no-nonsense lawyer to save his kid brother's delinquent hide. Public defender Rachel Stanislaski was not what he had in mind--until he discovered there was a lot more to the beautiful, coolheaded attorney than met the eye...and found himself falling for her, hook, line and sinker.
Convincing Alex When Alex Stanislaski mistakenly arrested daringly bold soap-opera writer Bess McKnee for soliciting, she decided the sexy detective was absolutely perfect--for her research and for herself. Now all she had to do was convince him she was right.... 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Romance Review - Should've Said No

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Should’ve Said No by Tracy March. 



Summary from GoodReads: Welcome to Thistle Bend! Perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, this charming series debut introduces a small town where old secrets are revealed—and wounded hearts are opened to new love.

A year after being laid off from the Smithsonian, Lindsey Simms says yes to a job offer as curator of a heritage museum in Thistle Bend, Colorado (population 1,519). It could be worse—and it is. Because the new museum has escalated a dispute between the Karlssons, Lindsey’s relatives, and the Crenshaws, a blood feud which goes way back to a land deal that changed the fortunes of both families. Trying to stay objective, Lindsey can’t tell anyone about her conflict of interest—especially not the ruggedly handsome handyman fixing up her cabin, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.

Although he’s the executive director of the family trust and one of Colorado’s most eligible bachelors, Carden Crenshaw prefers getting his hands dirty in town and on his sprawling ranch. Staying busy has given him an excuse not to risk heartbreak, but getting to know the beautiful “museum lady” makes him reconsider. Little does he know, the heat between them will only add fuel to the fire—unless this unlikely couple can prove they’re lovers, not fighters.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

YA Review - The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. 



Summary from GoodReads: Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life. 

It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair. 

Or is it? 

The Readers of Broken Wheel has touches of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, but adds an off-beat originality and intelligence all its own.

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

YA Review - These Shallow Graves

Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly. 


Summary from GoodReads: Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all. 

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

YA Review - The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone. 


Summary from GoodReads: For anyone who has ever geeked out about something and for fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars.

Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the St. Louis area. She is unemployed, broke, and on her last bowl of ramen. But that's all about to change. 

Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she's offered a job. A job that she's woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?). 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mystery Review - State of the Onion

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy. 


Summary from GoodReads: Introducing White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras, who is rising-and sleuthing-to the top. 

Includes recipes for a complete presidential menu! 

Never let them see you sweat-that's White House Assistant Chef Olivia Paras's motto, which is pretty hard to honor in the most important kitchen in the world. She's hell-bent on earning her dream job, Executive Chef. There's just one thing: her nemesis is vying for it, too. Well, that and the fact that an elusive assassin wants to see her fry. 

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mystery Review - Murder in the Mystery Suite

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams. 


Summary from GoodReads: WHO WOULD RESORT TO MURDER?

Tucked away in the rolling hills of rural western Virginia is the storybook resort of Storyton Hall, catering to book lovers who want to get away from it all. To increase her number of bookings, resort manager Jane Steward has decided to host a Murder and Mayhem week so that fans of the mystery genre can gather together for some role-playing and fantasy crime solving.

But when the winner of the scavenger hunt, Felix Hampden, is found dead in the Mystery Suite, and the valuable book he won as his prize is missing, Jane realizes one of her guests is an actual murderer. Amid a resort full of fake detectives, Jane is bound and determined to find a real-life killer. There’s no room for error as Jane tries to unlock this mystery before another vacancy opens up… 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mystery Review - Murder Past Due

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Murder Past Due by Miranda James. 



Summary from GoodReads: There's a cat in the stacks... 

...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth. 

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris-and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous bestselling novelist, Godfrey Priest. 

But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the bestseller lists- permanently, and with extreme prejudice. Now, Charlie and Diesel must browse through the history section of the town's past to find a killer.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mystery review - A Killer Read

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing A Killer Read by Erika Chase. 


Summary from GoodReads: For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Mathews's old Southern mansion-including Lizzie Turner, a reading specialist with a penchant for mysteries. But the mystery book club meeting becomes the scene of an actual murder when a stranger is shot--and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly's antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.

Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox. As she and the book club members try to read between the lines, Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list... 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mystery Review - Death by Cashmere

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum. 


Summary from GoodReads: This brand-new mystery series spins a yarn about knitters and murder in a quaint seaside village. 
Not long after Isabel Chambers opens up a knitting shop in the sleepy fishing town of Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, a diverse group of women begins congregating each week to form the Seaside Knitters. 

Izzy raises some eyebrows when she rents the apartment above her shop to Angie Archer, whose reputation for loose behavior and a quick temper has made her unpopular with many locals. But could any of them have wanted her dead? Angie's body is discovered drowned in the harbor, her long red hair tangled like seaweed in a lobster trap. 

An official investigation rules the death an accident. There are speculations of too many whiskey sours, a slippery wharf, a dark night? But Izzy and the Seaside Knitters smell something fishy. When several strange incidents occur above the shop, the women decide to take matters into their own hands. But before long, their small-town sense of security is frayed, and the threat of more violence hangs over this tightly knit community. 

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mystery review - Final Sentence

Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Final Sentence by Daryl Wood Gerber. 


Summary from GoodReads: In need of a change, Jenna Hart leaves the high-pressure world of advertising to help her aunt, Vera, open a culinary bookshop and café. Back with her family in Crystal Cove, California, Jenna seems to have all the right ingredients for a fresh start—until someone adds a dash of murder.

As a marketing expert, Jenna wants to make sure the grand opening of the Cookbook Nook draws a crowd, and no one is better at getting attention than her old college roommate, celebrity chef Desiree Divine. But when Desiree arrives in quiet Crystal Cove to do a cookbook signing, the diva stirs up more trouble than business…especially when she turns up dead.

Known for stealing husbands and burning bridges, Desiree left behind plenty of suspects—including Jenna. Though the celebrity’s life always appeared to be an open book, Jenna will have to read between the lines in order to clear her name, and catch a killer before another body is served cold.

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mystery Review - A Killer Plot


Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams. 


Summary from GoodReads: In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you'll find plenty of characters, ne'er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story... 

Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip. Ever since she came back to town-a return as mysterious as her departure-Olivia has kept to herself, her dog, and her unfinished novel. With a little cajoling from the eminently charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, break her writer's block, and even make a few friends... 

But when townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems left by the bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. And it's up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own surprise ending.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mystery Review - Lending a Paw

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass. 


Summary from GoodReads: With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she’d better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Eddie followed Minnie home one day, and now she can’t seem to shake the furry little shadow. But in spite of her efforts to contain her new pal, the tabby sneaks out and trails her all the way to the bookmobile on its maiden voyage. Before she knows it, her slinky stowaway becomes her cat co-pilot!

Minnie and Eddie’s first day visiting readers around the county seems to pass without trouble—until Eddie darts outside at the last stop and leads her to the body of a local man who’s reached his final chapter.

Initially, Minnie is ready to let the police handle this case, but Eddie seems to smell a rat. Together, they’ll work to find the killer—because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue.

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mystery Review - Mistletoe Murder

Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier. 



Summary from GoodReads: MAIL-ORDER MURDER

As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.
Taking time out from her hectic holiday life to find out what really happened, her investigation leads to a backlog of secrets as long as Santa’s Christmas Eve route. Lucy is convinced that someone murdered Sam Miller. But who and why? With each harrowing twist she uncovers in this bizarre case, another shocking revelation is exposed. Now, as Christmas draws near and Lucy gets dangerously closer to the truth, she’s about to receive a present from Santa she didn’t ask for–a killer who won’t be satisfied until everyone on his shopping list is dead, including Lucy herself…

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mystery Review - Double-Booked for Death

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing Double-Booked for Death by Ali Brandon.


Summary from GoodReads: As the new owner of Pettistone's Fine Books, Darla Pettistone is determined to prove herself a worthy successor to her late great-aunt Dee...and equally determined to outwit Hamlet, the smarter-than-thou cat she inherited along with the shop. Darla's first store event is a real coup: the hottest bestselling author of the moment is holding a signing there. But when the author meets an untimely end during the event, it's ruled an accident-until Hamlet digs up a clue that seems to indicate otherwise...

Review after the jump!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mystery Review - Scandal in Skibbereen

Hey Y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly. 


Summary from GoodReads: Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting.

Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor’s gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea’s real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history—before someone else is out of the picture…

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mystery Review - Buried in a Bog

Hey y'all, 

Today I'm reviewing Buried in a Bog (County Cork Mystery #1) by Sheila Connolly. 


Summary from GoodReads: Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.  

In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head...

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mystery Review - The Red Book of Primrose House

Hey Y'all,

Today I'm reviewing The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate.


Summary from GoodReads: In Marty Wingate’s charming new Potting Shed Mystery, Texas transplant Pru Parke’s restoration of a historic landscape in England is uprooted by an ax murderer.

Pru Parke has her dream job: head gardener at an eighteenth-century manor house in Sussex. The landscape for Primrose House was laid out in 1806 by renowned designer Humphry Repton in one of his meticulously illustrated Red Books, and the new owners want Pru to restore the estate to its former glory—quickly, as they’re planning to showcase it in less than a year at a summer party.

But life gets in the way of the best laid plans: When not being happily distracted by the romantic attentions of the handsome Inspector Christopher Pearse, Pru is digging into the mystery of her own British roots. Still, she manages to make considerable progress on the vast grounds—until vandals wreak havoc on each of her projects. Then, to her horror, one of her workers is found murdered among the yews. The police have a suspect, but Pru is certain they’re wrong. Once again, Pru finds herself entangled in a thicket of evil intentions—and her, without a hatchet.

Review after the jump! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mystery Review - The Garden Plot

Hello, 

Today I’m reviewing The Garden Plot by Marty Wingate. 



Summary from GoodReads: Pru Parke is a middle-aged American gardener in London who turns up more than weeds. She’s moved to London to start a new life, but she’s having a terrible time finding a job – until she lands a big garden makeover in Chelsea. There, she finds murder, secrets, and lies when she unearths an ancient Roman mosaic in the garden. She worms her way into the investigation, which not only puts her in danger, but also creates tension between Pru and the inspector – although the tension isn’t all business. 

Review after the jump! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Romance Review - The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. 



Summary from Goodreads: "I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." 

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

YA Review - The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing the first in a great new series, The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel. 



Summary from Goodreads: After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual. 

This year, it is my turn. 

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power. 

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

More after the jump!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nonfiction Review - Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing a non-fiction history book, Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall. 



Summary from Netgalley: When you hears the word "plantations," most people think of grand homes with pillars and sweeping staircases. These houses of grandeur were located all through the South in the days before the Civil War, and there are some that still resonate with the loveliness they had in their heyday. These majestic homes have a long history, and some of those who lived in these homes remain today. The ghosts of soldiers, slaves, and the elite family who lived in the plantation homes still wander the halls. 
Richard Southall explores gorgeous plantation homes and those that are abandoned and in decay to present a colorful history of the ghosts that linger there.
More after the jump!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Romance Review - Unforgiven: Athos by Michele Hauf

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing Unforgiven: Athos by Michele Hauf. #PrettyPrettyCovers #Rawr



Summary from Goodreads: Musketeer Arnaud de Sillègue d’Athos is ready to bid adieu to the King's Guard and to lay down his sword. Yet he's been charged with one final mission—to apprehend a dangerous enemy of the king, the Belle Dame Sans Merci. Despite his desire to apprehend a woman who causes such destruction, Athos refuses... until he sees a sketch of her. It's the same villainess with whom he had been locked in a passionate, sensual moment. 

Emmanuelle Vazet never gives up control, even if briefly, in the arms of a blue­eyed stranger, she felt the need to give in and let desire take over. But now circumstances have placed her at the scene of a murder. Her reputation—and the ridiculous name—has preceded her, even if she isinnocent. Now her nameless lover is the enemy. A royalist. A musketeer who could be her undoing... unless she becomes his undoing first.

More after the jump!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

YA Review - Flavia de Luce Novels One & Seven by Alan Bradley

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)  and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce #7) by Alan Bradley. 



Summary from Goodreads: (First) It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

(Seventh) Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

More after the jump! 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Historical Nonfiction Review - Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy by Phyllis Birnbaum

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing Manchu Princess, Japanese Spy: The Story of Kawashima Yoshiko, the Cross-Dressing Spy Who Commanded Her Own Army by Phyllis Birnbaum. 


Summary from Goodreads: Aisin Gioro Xianyu (1907--1948) was the fourteenth daughter of a Manchu prince and a legendary figure in China's bloody struggle with Japan. After the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1912, Xianyu's father gave his daughter to a Japanese friend who was sympathetic to his efforts to reclaim power. This man raised Xianyu, now known as Kawashima Yoshiko, to restore the Manchus to their former glory. Her fearsome dedication to this cause ultimately got her killed.

Yoshiko had a fiery personality and loved the limelight. She shocked Japanese society by dressing in men's clothes and rose to prominence as Commander Jin, touted in Japan's media as a new Joan of Arc. Boasting a short, handsome haircut and a genuine military uniform, Commander Jin was credited with various daring exploits, among them riding horseback as leader of her own army during the Japanese occupation of China. 

While trying to promote the Manchus, Yoshiko supported the puppet Manchu state established by the Japanese in 1932, which became one of the reasons she was executed for treason after Japan's 1945 defeat. The truth of Yoshiko's life is still a source of contention between China and Japan -- some believe she was exploited by powerful men, others claim she relished her role as political provocateur. China holds her responsible for unspeakable crimes, while Japan has forgiven her transgressions. This biography presents the most accurate and colorful portrait to date of the controversial princess spy, recognizing her truly novel role in conflicts that transformed East Asia.

More after the jump! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

YA Review - Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita

Hey y’all, 

Today I’m reviewing Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita. 



Summary from Goodreads: Would you send a villain to do a hero's job? An exciting new twisted fairy tale series from award-winning author Jen Calonita.

Full of regret, Cinderella's wicked stepmother, Flora, has founded the Fairy Tale Reform School with the mission of turning the wicked and criminally mischievous into upstanding members of Enchantasia.

Impish, sassy 12-year-old Gilly has a history of petty theft and she's not too sorry about it. When she lifts a hair clip, she gets tossed in reform school-for at least three months. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its sweet mission. There's a battle brewing and she starts to wonder: can a villian really change?

More after the jump!