Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower

While at a Science camp Andi and Colin encounter another mystery. Someone is sabotaging the camp and putting the blame on the janitor. Andi and Colin hide around corners to listen in on mysterious conversations trying to find out who is behind the incidents that keep occurring.

I enjoyed ANDI UNDER PRESSURE. I would say this is a cozy elementary age mystery. There were a few twists and turns, family angst and even some humor mixed in that made this a fun and entertaining read. This is the 2nd book in the Andi Boggs series and I look forward to reading more in the future.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Plain Malice by Amanda Flower

When the people from a tour bus are visiting the Troyer's farm two people drop dead after drinking the fresh milk. Chloe is once again in the middle of a murder investigation. Coerced by Chief Rose to join the group as their new tour guide in order to keep all of the suspects in one place, Chloe must endure the cranky bus driver and disgruntled passengers in order to find out who the murderer is. 

I enjoyed the mystery of A PLAIN MALICE. There were several twists and turns as well as many misleads before the actual killer is found out. Chloe and Timothy's relationship has grown closer, but still has a few bumps to iron out. Chloe is an independent young woman and Timothy, being raised Amish, finds Chloe constantly fighting against his desire to protect her. Curt and his nasty friend also make an appearance in this book. Curt says he has turned over a new leaf, but his caring for Chloe and her inability to return the feelings may cause him to spiral once again. Hopefully we will see next book. So for a return to characters that I am fond of and an exciting mystery to go with those characters I enjoyed A PLAIN MALICE and look forward to the next installment of the Appleseed Creek mysteries.

Unfortunately I do have to mention that I think that the author lost her publisher for this book and so it didn't go through the editing process that a more traditional publishing route may have gone. A PLAIN MALICE reminded me of an unedited ARC copy which is something I am used to reading, but may be extremely distracting to others that are expecting a more polished book. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch: Pre-Order Party and Giveaway!

About the Book

What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?

Rebecca Sullivan has been "Becky" all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a "perfect lady" for a wife—a real Southern belle, who's now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a "perfect lady" for her future husband.

If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he'd have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca's vulnerable eyes...and knows he'll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.

Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?

Book One in The Brides Series
Sweet Historical Western Romance / A Mail-Order Bride Novel

Release Date: October 6th, 2014
Available for pre-order in ebook format:

Author Bio

LENA GOLDFINCH writes romance and fantasy for adults and teens. She’s a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel, novella, or short story, young adult or adult,
fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Elements of romance, fantasy, and mystery have a way of creeping into her writing, even when she's writing historicals or something light and contemporary. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. Visit Lena at www.LenaGoldfinch.blogspot.com.


The lean-to was chilly and not for the first time, Isaac considered boarding it up proper and calling it a barn. He sat on the stool and began milking the goat, all the while mentally preparing for the worship service they planned to go to later that morning. The Scriptures he'd read first thing that morning were fresh in his mind, and his prayers kept returning to the problem of Rebecca. One inner voice urged him to send her back home, but another voice spoke of commitment. He'd said vows before God to love and keep her till death do them part. Those weren't words he was willing to dismiss lightly.

"What's her name?" Her voice was suddenly in his ear, quite close.

Isaac jumped. The goat bleated at him.

"Sorry, girl." He patted her side and resumed milking her with slow, careful hands. He glanced over his shoulder toward the subject of his thoughts.

Rebecca stood watching him, leaning over the rail and peering in at them with curious eyes. He was surprised to see her out this early. She usually left him to his morning chores, and most times he'd get back inside the cabin and find her already up preparing breakfast.

"What's her name?" she repeated.

"Name? The goat?" He looked at the goat dumbly. It was a goat. He'd never gotten much further than that. She gave them a daily supply of milk, but other than that she was generally a nuisance. She liked to butt down the stall door. And whenever she got loose, she'd eat what few vegetables he was able to grow in the summer. She also liked to nip at his shirts and underthings when he hung them out on the line--if he was lucky. Most times she'd tug the whole line down and drag it through the mud.

"Yes, the goat," Rebecca said, a pleasant-sounding smile in her voice. "Don't tell me she hasn't got a name?"

There was something nice about hearing a woman's voice in the morning. It reminded him a little of when he was young, and his mother had chatted with him in soft tones while they ate breakfast. As if speaking too loud would jar them too quickly out of whatever dreams they'd had the night before.

Rebecca's soft voice put him much in mind of those times.

"All right. I won't." Isaac focused on his milking.

"She doesn't have a name?" Rebecca pressed. "How can you have an animal that doesn't have a name?"

"Never gave it much thought. She's good for milk, but other than that she's nothing but trouble, always munching on the laundry."

"Well, then I think your choice is clear. Either you call her Milky or you call her Trouble." Her teasing tone brought a reluctant smile to his lips.

"Well, then, if I have to choose, then I guess she's Trouble."

The real Trouble was standing behind him, her elbow propped against the top of the rail, her chin cupped in one dainty hand.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Celebrate the upcoming release of Lena Goldfinch’s new historical romance with this sweet giveaway! One winner will receive a book locket necklace from the Lily Pickford Etsy shop, as well as a paperback copy of The Unexpected Bride. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Horrorstor: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

About the book:

Amy works at her local Orsk store. An Ikea-like furniture superstore, Orsk boasts the same huge warehouse/maze feel that an Ikea store has and all of the employees are like family. Something strange is happening at the Orsk store though. Furniture is mysteriously broken and vandalized when the employees come to work in the morning. With a visit from corporate arriving soon Amy's boss Basil is determined that nothing is going to happen to taint his name or position. He asks two of his employees, Amy and Ruth-Ann to stay overnight to find the culprits and end the destruction. What transpires during their evening at Orsk changes their lives forever.

My Thoughts: 

First, I love the way the book is packaged. It is designed to look like a store catalog! How cool is that? And seriously, besides loving a good horror story, the design is what piqued my interest and had me saying "yes" to reviewing it. Each chapter begins with a description of some piece of furniture that Orsk sells. They are very creative and interesting. About halfway through the book when the "haunting" actually starts the descriptions of the furniture changes into descriptions of torture devices that were used by the warden in the prison that used to sit on the Orsk property.

Amy is really not a very likeable character at first. Well, for me even at the end she still kind of got on my nerves. But at least she sort of matured through her night at Orsk. Basil was a real pain in the butt, but at least he had a sense of responsibility to the company and the employees. The other 3 employees that also spent the night had their issues as well.

The "Rah Rah, we are a family, take pride in your work etc." that Basil kept preaching to Amy made me laugh at times because I have been in those meetings and found my attitude to be like Amy's. The impromptu seance' at one point in the evening was a bit much for me in the fact that I think the author became a bit preachy trying to educate the reader in there being nothing wrong with calling up the dead.

As for the horror story I did find some of the more grisly scenes hard to get through, but the whole premise of the store being on a haunted prison site and an insane warden out to teach the employees(or prisoners) a lesson was interesting and helped the characters develop.  Did it make me never want to go into an Ikea store again? Naw, but you won't ever find me there at night!!

*Warning: Some language and violence along with evil supernatural characters may offend some readers.

I received my copy of the book from Quirk books in return for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

War among the factions seems to be the order of the day in Insurgent. Also secrets. Tris is keeping secrets from Tobias. Tobias is keeping secrets from Tris. Marcus is keeping secrets from all of them. Speaking of Marcus, Tobias still hates him and therefore so does Tris. Tris is dealing with guilt over killing Will and finds it impossible to pick up a gun again. This could be a problem in the coming war against Jeanine and the Dauntless traitors. And yes, Jeanine, she is not a very nice person for sure! She has come up with another way of controlling a large group of people to do her will. It really isn't a pretty picture when friends become your enemies even against their own will. Eric and Peter? Yes, they are still prominent in the story. INSURGENT is 525 pages long and filled with angst between Tobias and Tris. I got so frustrated with them that I wanted to reach through the pages and shake them both! They fluctuated between caring for each other and then distrusting each other. Tris's Divergency helps her to be able to reason things out a lot easier than others so that makes her the most dangerous to Jeanine. Tris also has a death wish through half of the book which has her putting herself in way too many dangerous situations and has Tobias totally frustrated with her. I didn't feel the chemistry between Tobias and Tris like I did in the first book though. Even though they professed to love each other they still did things that made them both question that love and loyalty. The big reveal at the end of the book of the information that everyone wanted to get their hands on was a bit confusing to me and left a big cliff hanger so I'll be moving on to ALLEGIANT soon. I know I'm a bit late to the game with this series, and from hearing others talk I sort of knew what was coming in this book so I wasn't too surprised by anything.

How about you? Have your read the series? Any thoughts or opinions about it?

Click HERE to read my review of DIVERGENT.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello Kitty!

I got these two super-cute books in the mail last week from Quirk Books!

The first one: Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee is an Amigurumi pattern book for Hello Kitty and friends. Do NOT ask me how to pronounce Amigurumi because I have no clue! I have never made an Amigurumi stuffed toy before so I was eagerly looking forward to trying my hand at it. I thought it turned out very cute!

This is the front of the ballerina Hello Kitty. I used felt for the cheeks but the pattern called for using brads that you get to use with scrapbooking. I couldn't find the color pink I wanted so I settled for the felt.

This is the backside. I thought the tail was pretty stinkin cute! I think if I sat down and worked this project from start to finish it would have taken a couple of hours. The sewing together of course was the most tedious part of the project. I'm going to give this to my granddaughter for her birthday next month.

The second book: The Hello Kitty Baking Book by Michele Chen Chock is a bit more complicated for me. I love to bake, but the recipe's and projects in this book are a bit too advanced for me. The cookies, cupcakes, cakes and pies all look fabulous, but they also look difficult for the artistically challenged like myself! A lot of the projects require decorating tools that I don't have and do not wish to go out and acquire. All that to say that I didn't try any of the projects in the book, but again, they look fabulous and if you are an adventurous baker and love to decorate your cakes, cookies and such AND you love Hello Kitty then this is definitely a book that you should try.

Thanks to Quirk Books publishers for my copy of both books. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Deluge by Lisa T. Bergren

Getting to dive back into the River of Time series once more was absolutely wonderful! I loved DELUGE! There were so many changes for the She-Wolves, with many more to come. Gabi and Lia faced danger and heartbreak in true She-Wolf fashion. With the Black Plague on the horizon and enemies still lurking DELUGE kept me biting my nails to the very end. I found myself having to take little breaks while reading in order to calm my emotions. From laughter and tears to hope and despair, I found my emotions running the same course as the characters in DELUGE. Yes, there are some favorite characters that die in DELUGE, so grab your Kleenex and be ready to shed some tears! But even in the midst of the hard stuff Gabi, Lia, Marcello and Luca still manage to bring a smile to the reader with their wit and charm. If this is the last River book I’m going to miss these characters, but I am most definitely happy that I was able to take the journey with them! So to author Lisa T. Bergren, thanks for such a wonderful series! It was a pleasure to escape to another time and place and be swept up in such an epic story! 

Check out my reviews of the River of Time series: