Friday, November 9, 2018

Review: Dracul

Dracul Dracul by Dacre Stoker
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Dracula was the first horror story I read as a teenager. It scared me but I loved the story. The way it sucked you in and left you shivering in a drafty castle, though whether you shivered from the chill or from fear you could not say. It remains a favorite of mine. When I came across Dracul and learned it was written by a descending relative of Bram Stoker, I was so excited to read it. It did not disappoint me at all. I loved going back to the atmosphere of terror yet a longing to know the story completely. I was enchanted once again. The book travels through time, location and journal entries. There is more than one POV. I was afraid I would get lost but it all came together beautifully. I was spellbound each time I picked it up to read further. Bram’s childhood had gripped me from the start and I kept wondering what he was. Matilda, I loved this brave, loyal sister. Nanna Ellen intrigued and frightened me. Their story will not be forgotten. For me, it has its place next to Dracula.
Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker did a phenomenal job with this book. It took a long time to read and this was with me picking it up as often as I could, reading way into the night. It was worth the lost sleep.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: Asking for Truffle

Asking for Truffle Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with the cover of this book the very first time I saw it. I adored the pup pictured. Finally, I got the book! It was everything I hoped for. Every bit of entertaining as the cover promised me. I love Stella, the cover dog, even more! There are a few things going on with the story’s main character, Penn. I like Penn a lot. I think her and Stella are a great match. I also liked the other characters to various degrees. I love that the author gave everyone good and bad parts. It made choosing the villain hard but also kept things real. How many people do you know who are totally either good or evil? That’s right. Most people are a mix of good and bad. I really enjoyed this story. I love chocolate so reading all about it was no hardship at all. If you are thinking about choosing this book, my recommendation is to go for it. I got caught up in the story fairly quickly. I hope you will, too.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Review: Christmas, Criminals, and Campers - A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series

Christmas, Criminals, and Campers - A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Christmas, Criminals, and Campers - A Camper and Criminals Cozy Mystery Series by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this author. Every book I have read from her has kept me entertained. Christmas, Criminals and Camping is no exception. I had a good time from my first peek until the end of the book. I say first peek because I had promised myself I was not reading this until after Halloween. Temptation was too much and I peeked and peeked until I discovered I had read the whole book, before Halloween!

We are back in Normal, Kentucky for Christmas with Mae and The Laundry Club. A romance author, a favorite of Abby’s, is coming to stay at the campground! Of course she does not come alone. They are not the only new faces in town either. When the author does a reading at the library, a shocking secret is told. One that devastates and angers Abby. Is she angry enough to kill? Sweet Abby? O. M. G. No! Don’t do this to me Tonya Kappes! Everything points to her. Mae is determined to get the real killer before Abby finds herself with lots of reading time behind bars! What Mae doesn’t count on is the surprise at the campground or how it will affect her. Will Mae and Hank be able to continue exploring their romance when he has Abby sitting in jail? Oh so much is not normal in Normal this Christmas!

I enjoyed all the twists and turns of this book. Every time I thought I had it figured out..it would take a turn. The reveal was as shocking as the secret Nadine White had held during her writing career! The author gave us all a peek into an aspect of writing that we all know about but choose to ignore. After all no one wants to think a beloved writer keeps that secret.

I really adore the people of Normal. Don’t we all want friends like the ones in our favorite books? I long to find a laundromat like The Laundry Club. I don’t care that I have machines at home. I would gather some laundry just to hang out there. Though, I suppose, being the stranger in town could make me the next victim! Oh the chilling deliciousness of that! I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

In case you are new to Tonya Kappes, her books are full of fun times and a bit of death. There is no over the top violence or gore, no “bad” language, no graphic sexual content. They are just good people, a few bad, enjoying each other and life, or death, in a small town. Some have a paranormal bent to them. I prefer to read her books in order but if you find yourself reading them out of order, I don’t think you will have a problem. She does a quick run down in the beginning of her books so you won’t be left behind.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Review: American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest

American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest by Hannah Nordhaus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have a love hate relationship with the title of this book. I do feel almost cheated by it. I was expecting more of a ghost story. I got a haunting story of a woman searching out the truth of her great, great grandmother who it has been said, is a ghost haunting a hotel in New Mexico. I say that yet I give it high stars? Yes. I loved the story, though I did feel that it gets a little twisty at times. There is more in this book that just the story of Julia Staab. I understand it, though, because when you search out the life story of an ancestor you get stories from all the people in between you and the ancestor in question. This book is an interesting account of a young German Jewish bride coming to live in the American Southwest. At times it is a very sad tale which is why I call it haunting. I think of the bravery of this woman, yes she had no choice as a woman, but brave is what she was. I can't imagine going to a foreign country, with no real grasp of the languages, to live. And that is now, when there are so many options to to help me. If women's history interests you or history of the southwest or German Jewish people, this book will probably have something to bring you. If you are looking for a scary ghost story, even though this has moments with psychics and tv's Ghost Hunters, look for another book. This isn't that kind of story. It is a book I would recommend to book clubs though. I think it has a lot that can be discussed. I enjoyed it, taking my time with it, thinking about how things were for my female ancestors.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Review: Elvis and the Dearly Departed

Elvis and the Dearly Departed Elvis and the Dearly Departed by Peggy Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was on my TBR for a long time. I got it for the basset hound named Elvis on the cover. I loved Elvis and his music when I was growing up. I thought it was fun having him reincarnated in the hound dog. I read this in between scary reading. I needed something to just relax and laugh with. For me, it did the job. I don’t expect reality when I read fiction. I also don’t expect my characters to be perfect examples of my idea of perfect people. The plot and characters were fun. I honestly didn’t know who did it until the end. I really enjoyed the dog.
I would recommend this book to people who just want to have fun in a cozy. If you are going to be judgmental of the characters you probably won’t like the ones here. They are probably not people you want to be. I don’t tend to look at fictional characters as role models so I’m cool with the quirky, not perfect peeps in a book. If you are looking for a serious cozy, keep going. But if you just want to escape from reality and you miss Elvis, read it.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Review: Malignant: a gripping psychological thriller you do not want to miss

Malignant: a gripping psychological thriller you do not want to miss Malignant: a gripping psychological thriller you do not want to miss by Anita Waller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book surprised me. I was glued to it wondering what was going to happen next. I was on an emotional roller coaster all the way through. I am not one to deeply discuss the plot in reviews because I think you can read the synopsis and the rest you should discover on your own. I do give a heads up for certain themes because I know some aren’t ready to read them. One is domestic violence which is in this book. I believe the author handled it well in the respect that it is only as graphic as it needs to be. Just enough for the reader to know it was present, who knew or didn’t, what the results were. The friendship between Claudia and Heather was fairly honest. It was very touching yet difficult. I loved reading it. The relationship with Claudia and her children was too. The characters were likable people with exceptions to those we were suppose to dislike. Even those, though, were characters that I could think of as representing someone I really knew. I liked how the marriages were portrayed, how love and hate dance with each other, how easy it is to cross back and forth between feelings with the people in our lives. I would recommend this book. I think it would actually be a good book club selection with all the things going on. There is much to discuss in the plot twists, lies, events and relationships.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Review: Aftershock

Aftershock Aftershock by Valerie Lioudis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this during RAT. Review to come.
Would have been five star but there was no ending. If you pick this get book 2. I had no idea I was at the end when it cut off. It was frustrating.

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Review: Dracul

Dracul by Dacre Stoker My rating: 0 of 5 stars Dracula was the first horror story I read as a teenager. ...