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Thursday, 12 April 2018

STAR WITCH

Star Witch by Helen Harper
Book 2 of the The Lazy Girl's Guide To Magic series
Read by Tanya Eby
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook


About Star Witch:
Lights. Camera. Inaction.

Ivy Wilde, the laziest witch in the West, is still entangled with the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. That's not a bad thing, however, because it gives her plenty of excuses to spend more time with sapphire eyed Raphael Winter, her supposed nemesis. And when he comes knocking because he needs her to spy on the latest series of Enchantment, she jumps at the chance. Hanging around a film set can't be hard ... or dangerous ... right?
Source: Info in the About Star Witch was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35123171-star-witch on 03/09/2017.

My Thoughts:
Why in god's name did Ivy suddenly look like a drag queen in the cover of this book? Sure, the over-glittered barbie look is not my favourite, but it was preferable to the drag queen!!! Anyway, Brutus is getting a bit of action in this book and for the first time ever, I get to read him talk in real sentences and hold a conversation! How's that for fun! Ok, ok... I so need to get a life... on the other hand... nah, I'll just read a book :) ..So, I wondered why the title of this book is Star Witch, then it made sense as I read on. The cover might not be the best, but, one thing you can say about this series is that the titles are always apropos! And as usual, the narration is wonderful!


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = (8 hours & 9 minutes)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Lazy Girl's Guide To Magic:


Meet The Author

About Helen Harper:
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door! Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.


Meet The Narrator

Tanya Eby
About Tanya Eby:
Tanya is a starving artist without the starving part. Maybe, then, she's a snacking artist. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her two kids and tiki-obssessed husband and writes quirky fiction.

In 2009, she published her romantic comedy "Easy Does It" available on Amazon.

Champagne Books published her second romantic comedy "Blunder Woman" in July 2010 with ebook versions on Amazon and Allromanceebooks.com as well as http://www.champagnebooks.com.

In February 2011, Champagne Books released her romantic comedy mystery "Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage".

Tanya is currently working on a historical gothic suspense. She likes to keep things interesting.


FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE

This Side Of The Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Book 5 of the Night Huntress Novel series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback, audiobook

About This Side Of The Grave:
Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.
Source: Info in the About This Side Of The Grave was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6871617-this-side-of-the-grave on 09/03/2012.

Review:
I could only make it through halfway this book and gave up. Cat is just too stupid to live (TSTL). Although the world building is very good, it cannot outweigh the annoyance of Cat's TSTL. By now, I have a good grasp of this series. I know with high certainty that the TSTL and holey plot will feature throughout the entire series. In which case this series is not worth the wasted time of reading or listening to it despite the wonderful world building that Jeaniene Frost gave this series. And despite the really beautiful cover art this book has!

Overall Rating: Did not finish (DNF)

Monday, 2 April 2018

SHELTER


The Book

Shelter by Sarah Franklin
Genre: historical fiction / romance


About Shelter:
Spring 1944. Connie Granger arrives, alone, in the Forest of Dean. Fleeing her blitzed home and the war that’s fiercely raging on, she will train with the Women’s Timber Corps as a lumberjill. Deep in the heart of the forest, Connie’s duties will include felling, snedding, loading and crosscutting.

As she is drawn to the healing rhythms of the ancient forest and its remote local community – the forester and his wife, the shepherd, – Connie battles with the knowledge that she must soon make a life-changing decision.

Also arriving in the forest is Seppe, an Italian Prisoner of War, who is haunted by the past. Amongst the trees of the forest, he finds a strange kind of freedom and when Connie and Seppe cross paths in the forest, their meeting signals new beginnings. With the support of one another they will find the means to imagine their own lives anew and to face the fears that haunt them.

In this explosive moment of history, everything is changing. Women just like Connie – brave, uncompromising and strong – are finding opportunity and liberty like never before. But is the price Connie must pay for her freedom too great?
Source: Info in the About Shelter was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):


Meet The Author

About Sarah Franklin:
Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She lectures in publishing at Oxford Brookes, is the founder and host of Short Stories Aloud and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies, The Pool, Sunday Express. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship on the strength of her opening pages of SHELTER, and worked on the novel for a year with Jenn Ashworth, amongst others.





Monday, 19 March 2018

DARK IN DEATH


DARK IN DEATH by JD Robb
Dark In Death by JD Robb
Book 46 of the In Death series
Narrated by Susan Ericksen
Genre: scifi crime fiction
Format: ebook & audiobookAudible Books


About Dark In Death:
It was a stab in the dark.

On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.

Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime — from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.

The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama — and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.
Source: Info in the "About Dark In Death" was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35466342-dark-in-death on 31/01/2018.

DARK IN DEATH by JD Robb (UK)
My Thoughts:
5% into the book and it had me thinking about that Sharon Stone movie where the crime author was the killer... However that sense of similarity to that movie soon faded as Dark In Death's story unfolded. Anyway, and just for fun, below is the trailer for Basic Instinct...

I was looking forward to this book for a year but once I started reading/listening to it, it kinda got boring and I was afraid that the staying power of this series has finally started to wane on me. It probably is not the book, it's most likely just me. But I guess it gotta happen sometime. Anyway, I still enjoyed the book but not as much as I used to with this series. Or even like the last book. For some reason this one is mediocre to me compared to previous books. Anyway, I still like meeting Bella again! That one I really liked! And the plot is quite solid with this book, too. This time its not just Dallas, all by her lonely self (again), who got the murderer. This time it was actually a team effort that they got the bad guy. I like that, rather than it's only ever Dallas who got the antagonist in the end. That was ok for the first few books. After reading it like that, book after book after book, it kinda lost its novelty. Not only that, it also gets annoying. However, this book is not like that, so kudos to this book!

Just because I whinged doesn't mean I not a fan anymore. I still am. And would still continue buying this series for some time to come. I just wished that I hadn't gotten jaded yet... It was more fun then...


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (13 hrs & 25 mins listening time)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


BASIC INSTINCT Trailer:




FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Monday, 5 March 2018

SLOUCH WITCH

Slouch Witch by Helen Harper
Book 1 of the The Lazy Girl's Guide To Magic series
Read by Tanya Eby
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook


About Slouch Witch:
Let's get one thing straight — Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she's probably the last witch in the world who you'd call if you needed a magical helping hand, regardless of her actual abilities. If it were down to Ivy, she'd spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart's content.

However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she's yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order's noses. It doesn't exactly help that she's been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy's concerned, he's a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

And if he makes her go to the gym again, she's definitely going to turn him into a frog.
Source: Info in the About Slouch Witch was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34670747-slouch-witch on 31/08/2017.

My Thoughts:
A promising start to a new-to-me series.

I like the sassy and spontaneous heroine. Sure, she tends to be stupid sometimes but it is in line with her character so it didn't annoy me, as opposed to a stark deviation from the character that some authors tend to do to create a dilemma in their plot. Now that really annoys me! And I also like that the hero is the opposite of the heroine. He's a stickler for propriety and rules. That formula is usually a sure fire way to yield sparks. And it did! It was just a bit formulaic though... However, I think it is more about how the story is told than just the formula itself and this author kinda did pull it off. And the book turned out to be a fun read! Maybe if I wasn't a bit too jaded, I would enjoy the book more...

This is not the first Tanya Eby book that I've listened to, but this one is the most enjoyable thus far. Kudos to this book!


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (8 hours & 9 minutes)
Plot = 4.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Lazy Girl's Guide To Magic:


Meet The Author

About Helen Harper:
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door! Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.


Meet The Narrator

Tanya Eby
About Tanya Eby:
Tanya is a starving artist without the starving part. Maybe, then, she's a snacking artist. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her two kids and tiki-obssessed husband and writes quirky fiction.

In 2009, she published her romantic comedy "Easy Does It" available on Amazon.

Champagne Books published her second romantic comedy "Blunder Woman" in July 2010 with ebook versions on Amazon and Allromanceebooks.com as well as http://www.champagnebooks.com.

In February 2011, Champagne Books released her romantic comedy mystery "Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage".

Tanya is currently working on a historical gothic suspense. She likes to keep things interesting.


FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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