Sunday, September 29, 2019

Review: Bittersweet Betrayal

Bittersweet Betrayal Bittersweet Betrayal by Stephanie Damore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this quick cozy mystery. At 70 pages it is just the right size for taking a break out of a busy day. The fall through Christmas always seem a busy and stressful time. A quick, no stress, book is a great antidote.
With Bittersweet Betrayal you can relax and refresh. Claire and Nick, the main characters, have a love tie that goes beyond death. They make me smile and give me hope of finding a love like that. I’m excited that Milo will be appearing in future books. A surprising like, for me, was Adele. I truly enjoyed her. The mystery was good. I was interested but not stressed with keeping track of everything. Being a short, it is fast paced.
This book is available in a boxset. If you like your books longer, I would recommend getting the boxset so you can keep going. If, however, you like to keep some shorts on hand to read between errands on busy days or to refresh with, Bittersweet Betrayal will fulfill that.

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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Review: No Exit

No Exit No Exit by Taylor Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book grabbed and held my attention. It was, for me, a page turner. Was there anything annoying? Yes, a couple of things were. That was how we went to four stars. Was it true to life? No but, if I want true to life, I am educated enough to know you need to leave fiction behind and look in nonfiction or possibly true crime. I wanted to escape into a fantasy. I like to suspend reality and dive into a world where anything is possible..even bad things. If I’m going to read fiction hoping for a white knuckle thrill or hard to breathe, edge of the seat scare, then I’m leaving reality for another book.
Monsters can be scary because you recognize them right away. They are off enough for you to see it but normal enough for you to think you could be wrong. Sometimes normal hides abnormal. Sometimes people make mistakes because they believe they are incapable of making them. Sometimes people make mistakes, a bad decision or two, and it changes things. People do, say and think in different ways. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
This book had me scared for Jay, for Darby. Heck, possibly for other characters, at one point or another. Did I like them all? Not really. But that’s the thing about being trapped with strangers. You don’t get to pick strangers you like and immediately trust. You get what you get. I love the twists that came, even when I suspected where it may go. I didn’t have it exact so I was still surprised. There was a lot of action and a fair bit of waiting. It worked for me. I was tense. I was anxious. I was glued to the book. Even when I took a breather, I was anxious to get back to the story. Don’t start this book without the time to finish it, just in case you find yourself like me.
I’d also like to thank the author for the teaching moment. I really love when I learn something new. I can’t go more into that, as it’s a twist for you to discover.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Review: Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World

Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World Empath: Highly Sensitive Person’s Handbook for Mastering Your Gift, Setting Your Boundaries & Thriving in a Chaotic World by Rozella Hart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t know much about empaths when I came across this book. . I selected it to see what they are and why I had been told I am one. I found this book to be easy to understand yet very informative. It tells you what empaths are, even supplying a test if you aren’t certain if it applies to you. From there it tells you the difficulty in being an empath and what to do to protect yourself. It also tells you the benefits and how to care for yourself.
I was a bit surprised to see how much of the book applies to me. I recognized some troubling aspects that definitely I was doing. I also discovered that I truly do need to be living near forests and mountains. The renewal of my soul that I always feel when walking or sitting in a forest is a very real thing. There were some very helpful tips that I believe will help me.
It is a very basic, informative book. The language is simple and clear. If you want to learn more about empaths or think you may be one, I recommend this book to start with.
I received an ebook version of this book through BookSprout. My review is voluntary and hopefully helpful.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: Valleys, Vehicles & Victims

Valleys, Vehicles & Victims Valleys, Vehicles & Victims by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Valleys, Vehicles & Victims is the ninth book in the Camper & Criminals Series. While the book can be read on its own, I would strongly recommend reading them in order. The cozy mystery is completely solved in each book. It is the secondary, ongoing, story of Maybelline “Mae” West that requires the reading in order. I like Mae. I think she has a fascinating story, a little of which comes out in each book. I think you, if you are a new reader, will also become invested in Mae’s story. You’re going to want to know how things unfold. Plan on it.
In this book, a wedding is coming to Normal, Kentucky. The wedding party is staying at the Happy Trails campground. Mae is thrilled and excited to help the bride. Well, that is until she recognizes part of the wedding party from her time as a socialite. And she is not the only one who has met them before. It’s only a matter of time before things go squirrelly.
With surprises, twists and more suspects than you can shake a stick at you won’t be leaving Normal for a good bit. You may as well get some coffee, a decent snack and get comfy. Tonya Kappes tells a whopper of a story!

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: A Sleepy Hollow Kiss

A Sleepy Hollow Kiss A Sleepy Hollow Kiss by Vivien Mayfair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lane is damaged from childhood trauma and is now raising her younger brother. The childhood trauma, along with trying to be a parent, affects her personality. I get that and was able to connect with her. Sarcasm, which can be sharp, is one of the ways she protects herself. It was interesting to watch her tackle her issues.
Miles is a single dad raising a daughter. He feels he needs a mother for his daughter, no matter the personal cost.
Lane and Miles are strangers thrown together to work on the same project. Sparks fly, not always in a good way. The debate between gothic and horror plays a part here and I loved it.
There are a number of characters. Some I liked right away while others I needed to warm up to. The plot peaked my interest. The book has quite a bit packed into it. More than I thought. I thought it was going to be short and sweet. I got an entrancing mix of humor, at times on the darker side, drama, romance, family love, a few frights and a lot of Halloween. I loved it.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Review: Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster

Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster Infected Waters: A Titanic Disaster by Alathia Paris Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this take on the Titanic sinking. The author took them time to let know and care about the characters. This moved the zombie part a bit slow. Once that got going, it snowballed much in the way one expects it would. I enjoyed getting to know the characters so this worked for me.
*I received a copy of this book through BookSprout. I voluntarily read it and gave a review.*

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Review: Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery

Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Haunted Hooligans: A Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoy the Chantilly Adair books. I love the way thing are progressing. Chantilly and her friends become more dear to me with every book. Her friend, Thelma, has captured my heart so much so that I’m worried about losing her. She is an older character whose husband has passed on. One part of me wants them happy joined together again. The other part of me wants to keep her alive. In this book someone in Chantilly’s circle needs help. Because of my growing feelings for her friends this book felt a bit personal. I’m not going farther in. This is a quick book to read so spoilers are easy to accidentally write. You can read this story by itself. I would recommend reading them in order for maximum enjoyment.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle

Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle Magic and Mystery: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Bundle by Lily Webb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first book in this boxset, Broomsticks & Burials was my introduction to Lily Webb. I really like Zoe and Luna. Zoe is smart but currently unemployed and staying with her grandma. A job, though, isn’t the only thing Zoe has lost. She has lost her magic. She’s talking to her grandma when she receives the call that changes things. The next day she is off for Moon Grove and a new job! Pretty normal, right? Except Moon Grove is anything but normal. For starters, Luna, her gorgeous cat, can talk. Claude, the bus driver, appears to be a vampire. Her new boss is a werewolf. And how did she come to be petting a man’s bare stomach?
This book was incredibly fun to read! The snark had me rolling! Seriously, do not read this book at night laying next to someone trying to sleep. Particularly if they tend to be grouchy when woken by howling laughter. The characters are some of the most interesting I have met, the mystery was well done and I adored the surprises. I couldn’t wait to read book two, Spellbooks & Stakings. Would it be just as good? Luckily this is a boxset so I didn’t have to wait to find out. In this book Zoe goes to magic school! Very cool, right? I want to go, though I might not want to go through the mean girls thing again, with mean witches this time! We meet more interesting characters, there are plenty of surprises, a mystery to solve and the snark goes on. The answer to my question, would this book as good as the first is a resounding yes! Alchemy & Arson is the title of book three. I’m going to be vague again because I want to start talking up a storm. Spoiler free reviews mean a lot to me though. If I tell you everything there is no reason to read the books. This book finds Zoe getting turned down for having her grandma visit. Her friend, and one of the two council members to vote yes to the visit, Circe has spoken to her about running for Head Witch. Will she or won’t she? There is a Blood Moon rising and grandma is on the way, not knowing the council said no.
I love this series! The boxset is definitely what you want to get if your in the mood for cozy mysteries with a paranormal smorgasbord at a snark fest. Once you start this series, you won’t want to stop. Make sure you either have plenty of free time to read or you are super good at being sick when you find you need to call work for a reading day off or two.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Review: Death on the Range

Death on the Range Death on the Range by Nikki Haverstock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun book to listen to. I enjoyed the characters but I love snark and drama when I’m not living it. I thought the story was hilarious. I like Di and Mary but honestly, Moo steals the show. I never thought about a series location being at a range. What could go wrong at a range? An archery range at that? Murder. Murder could go wrong. The story is a fast listen and does a good job introducing the series.
The author did the narration on this. I’m not a big lover of authors narrating their books. However Nikki Haverstock did a good job. I think, because of the number of characters and the snarky drama, having a couple narrators would have been more enjoyable. But the author didn’t stumble,mumble, or bore me as others have. She was easy to listen to.
I recommend the audio version as well as the book. I had an enjoyable morning listening to it.

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Name Fresh Start

I have been away from posting here the way I want to. Neglecting this baby because life happens. I post my reviews from Goodreads. I’m looking to start again and have changed the blog name. It will still be primarily about books with other things tossed in. It is still Alaskan Book Cafe. I still live in Alaska. I still drink coffee. I still read...excessively. I changed the name as I’m trying to coordinate everything. Social media is a jungle. Please stay with me or join me during construction. I’ll still be posting about what I’m reading, thinking of reading, books I’m excited about, Alaska photos & life, coffee, movies, tv series, products I like, yarda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture.

I’m participating in Hooked on Books week long readathon that starts today. Some of my book selections are:

      Aunt Dimity.                          No Exit                    Witch Hunt
I am also participating in Castle Macabre’s Something Wicked Fall. The read-a-long is Dr Sleep! 

If you haven’t participated in an event on Castle Macabre or Seasons of Reading you should check them out. Michelle does a lot of fun things there. I’m excited for FightFall in October and Christmas Spirit in November. 

What are you reading? Any events you are participating in or hosting? Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review: Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology

Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology Curses and Cauldrons: A Paranormal Halloween Mystery Anthology by Tegan Maher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am reviewing an arc of Time To Jump by Mona Marple. The story features Felicity from the Witch In Time Mysteries. This time we go back to 1947, New York. I enjoyed reading this story. I thought the author did a great job capturing society at that time. The mystery was excellent, surprising me at the reveal. I loved the ending. I am looking forward to reading the rest, (some of my favorite authors are in this set!), of the stories. I have already preordered it for my fall reading.
Review of an ARC of Battle of the Hexes by Morgana Best. I recently fell in love with a series, (His Ghoul Friday), by this author and now want to read everything she writes. I loved Battle of the Hexes. This story is set in Australia and our sleuth is Adeline Bloomwood. She lives in a town with other magical beings, unknown to the mundane residents. She has a familiar, who I adore, named Pudding. One thing I love is that the author includes an explanation of the different spellings and a list of Australian slang and terms, (some of these are so fun, I’m going to use them). I’m never lost when I read her books. The stories have to be short but don’t let that stop you. I had a fun time reading this mystery. The time flew by as I read. I want to tell you all about it. I’m dying to. But you won’t have any reason to read it if I do. I’m so hoping this isn’t the last we hear of Adeline, Pudding and some other interesting characters I’ll let you discover.
*This review will be edited later to include all the stories.*

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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...