Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review: City of Heavenly Fire

Thank you Cassandra Clare for giving us, in my opinion, a perfect final installment to the Mortal Instruments series.  After reading the endings of much loved series such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Twilight, I was a bit nervous about being disappointed at the end of TMI as well. Happily, this was not the case and I feel that the author wrapped things up in a way that leaves the reader completely satisfied. 

Synopsis from Amazon:
Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

My review:
All of our beloved TMI characters are here, Jace, Clary, Simon, Izzy, Magnus, and Alec, as well as some new faces, such as Julian and Emma, who are introduced to prepare us for the next series of books to come.  If you have read The Infernal Devices, you will also pleasantly surprised to recognize characters from this story and there is a great connection between the two series toward the end of the book.  

There is plenty of emotional turmoil to go around here.  Jace and Clary are a strong couple throughout the story as he struggles to control the heavenly fire. Although this book is a bit darker than others, Jace continues to make us smile with his tongue in cheek comments. I loved the scenes where he and Clary have a stolen moment together.  We also have Magnus, who is tortured by his love for Alec, and Simon and Izzy, who are still finding their way. Even through the dense plot and extreme action scenes, Cassandra Clare finds time to develop each of these relationships and creates for the reader, a deep investment in them, leaving us desperate to read on and find out if hope and love will win out in the end.

The action in the story is almost non-stop and made it very difficult to put the book down. It is chock full of demons, endarkened ones, and even the betrayal of those once trusted. These all added to the level of engagement of the story. I especially loved the descent into Edom. This part was, in my opinion, very well written. The way each character entered, the description of the landscape as they traveled, and the throne room during the final scenes.  Just amazing to read. I could see the events running like a movie through my mind.  The final showdown between the Shadowhunters (Clary especially) and Sabastian was intense, emotional, and satisfying. 

There really was nothing about the story I didn't absolutely love.  If I had to chose something to nitpick about, I would simply giggle and ask this question: Who remembers to pack a condom when traveling to Hell? 

All in all, a great ending to a great series.  Grab it, devour it, love it. I may even read it a second time.  Bittersweet to see it end but I now look forward to The Dark Artifices and the story of Emma and Julian.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: The Wanderers

The Wanderers was generously given to me in exchange for an honest review.  While the story may still need a bit of polish, I still found myself reading it in one day, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish.

Synopsis from Amazon:
What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets. Secrets that could get you killed... 
Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. 
Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her. 
When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust. 
When she finally learns the truth of her families deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.

My Review:
Ella, the main character in the story, is a teenager who has had to deal with way too much grief for someone her age.  You can empathize with her from the start but also hope that she is able to get past it. She makes some lousy decisions in the story that will make you angry but thankfully, she always comes through in the end.  Tristan is your typical gorgeous college student who is completely incorrigible, to the point where I didn't even like him at some points in the story.  He seemed too much of a playboy to be swoon worthy. However, as I began to piece things together toward the end, I realized that what I thought was happening wasn't really the case.  Even though all of my questions weren't answered about him, I have some pretty good hunches about why he acted the way he did.  By the end, I was also enamored by him and hoping he and Ella would find happiness together.  Jack started out as a good friend but I knew something was wrong with him from the start.  I just couldn't place my finger on what it was but he was just off in some way that made me suspicious.

What I found quite interesting about the story was that there was really no major paranormal element to it until about halfway through.  I wasn't sure if we would be dealing with witches, vampires, werewolves, or what. There were little clues here and there, and Ella's dreams of course, but the big reveal didn't happen for a long time.  I kind of liked it this way. Not only did it keep me reading to see if my predictions were correct, but I didn't feel like the romance or plot was rushed in any way.  Once everything was finally out in the open however, the action really picked up and the ending was, well... let's just say I need the next book now.

Fans of YA paranormal will like this story.  When I mentioned earlier that it could use a little bit of polish, that just means that there were a few editing issues and I still have a lot of burning questions that need to be addressed.  I'm hoping that these questions will be answered in the next book.  Give this one a chance.  I think you will enjoy it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Sixth Grave on the Edge

I have had this book on my wishlist for so long and of course grabbed it as soon as it was published.  I devoured it immediately and it did not disappoint.  My only regret... reading it so quickly when I have to wait another five months for the next book.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Most girls might think twice before getting engaged to someone like Reyes Farrow—but Charley Davidson is not most girls. She’s a paranormal private eye and grim reaper-in-training who’s known to be a bit of a hell-raiser, especially after a few shots of caffeine. Her beloved Reyes may be the only begotten son of evil, but he’s dark and sultry and deeply sexy and everything Charley could hope for. Really. But when the FBI file on Reyes’ childhood happens to land into her lap, she can’t help herself: She opens it...and then the real fun begins. First, Charley finds a naked corpse riding shotgun in her car. Then, a man loses his soul in a card game. Throw in a Deaf boy who sees dead people, a woman running from mobsters, and a very suspicious Reyes, and things can’t get any worse for Charley. Unless, of course, the Twelve Beasts of Hell are unleashed…

My Review:
Another winner from Darynda Jones.  This has quickly become one of my favorite series.  I never get tired of the characters.  They all bring their own brand of fun to the story.  Charley continues to make me laugh out loud as I read but she also wears her heart on her sleeve, often putting the needs of others above her own. She still ends up in every possible bad situation and this just makes the book even harder to put down. Reyes, her almost fiance, is a perfect mix of deep, dark, and deadly and incredibly hard to resist.  We did get to learn a bit more about him in this book and I found it hard at times to remember he was the son of Satan because he was so protective and caring toward Charley and her friends.  Finally, I can't forget to mention Cookie, Uncle Bob, Artemis, and Angel.  I love them all, every one.

There is plenty of action in this book and things are definitely escalating.  In addition to Charley's obsession with coffee, the naked ghost in her jeep, the ghost stuck to her face, and Mr. Wong in the corner of her apartment, it is easy to see that something big is on the horizon, something big and bad.  The main case Charley works in this book is locating a demon who has taken a man's soul.  He wants it back and she vows to help him.  In addition, she and Garrett are also trying to figure out what the prophecies about her and Reyes really mean and it isn't looking good. We have been leading up to a big event since the beginning and I feel we are getting closer to finding out what that event is going to be.  I can only hope that whatever crisis these characters face, even if it is the possibility of the end of the world, that they somehow come through it together.

Even with all of these ominous clouds of doom approaching, I did laugh out loud often as I read, probably even more than in the other books.  I could make huge lists of favorite Charley Davidson sayings and laugh over and over again every time I read them. I continue to love the t-shirt and bumper sticker sayings at the beginning of each chapter.  My favorite one in this book being, "I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure."  I also loved when the ghost of Miranda stuck herself to Charley's face and Charley says, "and for the love of pancake syrup, get her off of me!"  I could go on and on but I'll control myself...

In all seriousness, this series is truly enjoyable.  If you like paranormal romance with attitude and you haven't tried this series yet, please pick up First Grave on the Right.  I promise, you will not be sorry.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: Prelude

Prelude is the first book in the Rhapsody Quartet and was graciously given to me in exchange for an honest review.  Honestly... I really enjoyed it.  The story introduces a fantasy realm parallel to our own human world with fantastical characters and it doesn't try to shove too much information into one small space. I was easily able to understand the plot, get to know the characters, and preview a glimpse into a fantasy realm that will surely become a bigger part of the story as it continues in the next installment.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Sarah Mills is an endangered species— she just doesn't know it. 

Then she turns sixteen and ‘transitions.’ One magical hangover later, she’s awakened as a gorgeous adult siren— a species the other magical races thought went extinct thirteen years ago. Most girls might adore the attention Sarah’s suddenly getting, but all she wants to do is become invisible for the remainder of her high school career. 
Unfortunately, Sarah can’t seem to turn off her siren compulsion. People hang on her every word. They do whatever she asks them to. The best looking guy in school wants to date her. Sarah just wants to go unnoticed, but it seems all she can do is make mistakes. After she shatters the minds of her foster parents with her first siren song, Sarah has no choice but to move in with the class diva. It’s the foster system all over again, but this time her host is a mermaid princess, backed by a council of magical creatures. The council claims to have her best interests at heart. They even assigned her a stoic elf bodyguard just to keep her safe. Because unfortunately for Sarah, there’s a reason the sirens all died off over a decade ago. Someone isn't happy that she survived. Someone wants her dead. 

The first attack was a wraith. The second attack played on Sarah’s greatest fears. The third attack might succeed.

My review:
Sarah is, in my opinion, a wonderful character.  She changes from human to siren in one day, almost kills her foster family, and then has to learn to survive in this new life that isn't friendly to say the least.  Her emotions are in an upheaval and there are many times when she breaks down due to the stress.  I predict however, that as she learns to use her powers and embraces what she is, she will become one of those kick-ass heroines we love.  I also love Glenn and have to say, that I was hoping that these two would be the ones to fall in love. This is not the case in this book but I still have hope for the future! Instead, she bonds with Will, who seems to be the perfect guy for her but I still feel like something is wrong with him.  Just a hunch.

The plot is quite interesting.  The big question being why many of the creatures in the story want to kill Sarah? She seems to be the last of her kind but no one seems to know the story behind what really happened to the other sirens. I truly had a hard time putting the book down.  I found it to be original, well-paced, and a stand out from many fantasies that seem to just tell the same story.  It had just the right amount of twists and turns and wrapped up nicely, leaving a perfect opening for the next installment to begin.

If you are looking for a YA fantasy that is unique and hard to put down, give this one a shot and you won't be disappointed.  I'll definitely be reading the next one very soon.  


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: A Witch Before Dying

A Witch Before Dying is the second book in the Wishcraft series that I just discovered a couple of months ago through another blog.  I just adore this perfect combination of quirky characters, cozy mystery, and paranormal.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Darcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts’ newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn’t able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems—including the occasional murder… 

When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service As You Wish is “No Job Impossible.” But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.

Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother’s disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula— before the power of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands…

My Review:
In the first book, we meet Darcy, her sister Harper, Aunt Ve, and the town "regulars."  Each character is unique and has their own story and I find that in the second book, I enjoyed getting to know them better as their roles within the Enchanted Village became clearer.  All of the characters are engaging or quirky in a way that makes you feel connected to them, human or non-human. The magical setting only adds to the charm of the people living there. As I read, I am fondly reminded of old shows such as Bewitched or Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

I also enjoyed the gradual developing relationship between Darcy and Nick.  Throwing them together right away would have, in my opinion, ruined the story.  I enjoyed the way they kept meeting during the investigations.  Darcy investigating on her own, and Nick always finding her in the wrong place at the wrong time also added humor to the story.  Nothing was forced between them and as Darcy began to build a relationship with his daughter Mimi, the romance developed naturally.  Even at the end of this story, we can infer that they are together but nothing has officially been established, leaving the reader something else to look forward to in the next story.

The main problem in the story was of course, the murder.  However, we also had to solve the mystery of the peeper creeper, Aunt Ve's unusual sickness, and the missing amulet.  All of these flowed together nicely as the book moved toward the ending.  A few creative twists kept me guessing until the very end but the author wrapped it all up well and the pieces fell together perfectly.  A Witch Before Dying was a fun read and I will definitely be picking up the next one soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: The Warrior

The Warrior by Victoria Scott is the final installment in the Dante Walker series and he certainly went out with a bang.

Synopsis from Amazon:
War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.
Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.
Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

My Review:
I am certainly going to miss Dante and all his swagger.  Since his grand entrance in the first novel, The Collector, he has made me laugh, cry, and occasionally drool just a little.  He began as a hard-hearted collector who cared only for himself and his own gains.  Through his relationship with Charlie, he slowly transformed into someone able to feel compassion and love, who would fight to the death for the people he cares about.  Amazingly, he does all this without losing that sexy bad-dude attitude we have all come to know and love.

This book is full of drama and action. There are many battle scenes and not everyone makes it through to the end.  Prepare for some sad moments and a few twists that will leave your head spinning. Most of the plot focuses on the impending war between Heaven and Hell.  As the liberators train for battle, relationships develop between some of the characters and we finally get to see further into Kraven's hard exterior.  In fact, all of the characters learn more about themselves and how to trust one another in the face of immense danger. There is more emotion in this book than in either of the other two. When we get to the main battle, well, it is worth waiting for and that is all I will say to avoid spoilers.  Give yourself plenty of time because you aren't going to want to put it down.

The Warrior was a fast paced read and I'm sad that this is the end to the series.  Dante Walker ranks right up there with some of my other favorite male leads.  Strong, good looking, and that bad-boy exterior that is so appealing to so many.  Thank you to Victoria Scott for sharing him with us.  :)


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Murder is Academic

I am very excited to be part of this book tour.  Please read on to see my review and to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Murder is Academic!

Synopsis from Amazon:
Laura Murphy, psychology professor, thinks there's nothing she likes better than coffee and donuts on a summer morning until she says yes to dinner with a Canadian biker and finds herself and her date suspects in the murder of her college's president. Laura's friend, the detective assigned the case, asks her to help him find out who on the small upstate New York college campus may be a killer. The murder appears to be wrapped up in some unsavory happenings on the lake where Laura lives. A fish kill and raw sewage seeping into the water along with the apparent drowning suicide of a faculty member complicate the hunt for the killer. And then things become personal. The killer makes a threatening phone call to Laura. With a tornado bearing down on the area and the killer intent upon silencing her, Laura's sleuthing work may come too late to save her and her biker from a watery grave.

My review:
I love a good mystery and this was no exception.  It was light and fun and had enough twists that I didn't figure out who the criminal was until a few chapters before the end of the book.  Laura Murphy is our main character and she was perfect.  She had a small group of close friends who appreciated and accepted her for who she was, which was a good person with good intentions who consistently meddled where she really didn't belong.  She may have been a detective in her previous life.  She is the friend whom you love to pieces but who knows how to push all of your buttons... at once.

The story wasn't overly complicated and the reader has several opportunities to evaluate the evidence and theories and develop some hunches.  Mine were wrong twice but then as I got closer to the end, I was able to figure it out and that's when the action really started.  I couldn't put the book from this moment forward. In addition to the murder mystery, there is also a little romance and the unavoidable turmoil that goes with it. What story would be complete without a little bit of swoon, right?  

The story wraps up nicely but also leaves an opening for the next book and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what the characters get into next.

I also really loved the setting.  Laura's house on the lake was gorgeous and made me want to start looking for real estate.  The lake was also a perfect backdrop for many of the events in the story.

Please leave a comment below for your chance to win a copy of Murder is Academic!

Click here to purchase a copy from

Lesley A. Diehl is the author of cozy mysteries featuring sassy, country gals who enjoy snooping.  Stop by to learn more about her on her website/blog at

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: Bloodspell

Bloodspell by Amalie Howard was a great start to my Bout of Books challenge for May 12- May 15.  My goal is to read 3 books this week so this is book number one.  This young adult urban fantasy has been on my TBR for a couple of months and I'm glad I finally picked it up.

Synopsis from Amazon:
The spell was simple... ''Cruentus Protectum'' (''Defend the Blood'')
But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?
Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds--much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.
What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...
Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

My Review:
Victoria was a fabulous character.  She wasn't really your typical teenager to begin with and truly, I found her to be a bit boring at the start.  Once she realizes that she is a witch, the reader is able to see that, although terrified, she is also incredibly strong and this mental and emotional strength only grows as the story progresses.  Her journey from being a nobody to being a witch with unimaginable power was creative and interesting to read.  I thought she was a refreshing female lead.  Christian was strong as a male lead as well. He was good looking but wasn't made out to be a perfect male specimen as many male vampire leads seem to be these days.  He was the stronger of the two as the relationship began but by the end of the book, she was the more powerful one and this was refreshing also because we usually see the male vampire as the dominant when it comes to power and strength.

The main story revolves around her discovery about who she really is and her growth as she learns her new role in the world.  Her struggle with the power of the blood that runs through her veins is engrossing and the many action scenes kept me on the edge of my seat.  Was there romance between Victoria and Christian? Absolutely! But it was kept more in the background.  It was definitely enough to make you swoon a bit but not so much that it took away from the story.

One character I hope to see more of is Angie.  She was very unlikable at the beginning but slowly opened up to Victoria and became what was probably her one true friend.  Her power to see auras around people was interesting and also has a lot of potential to add more to the continuing story.

There were a few times when I felt that deja vu, reminding me of other popular vampire stories, but this was an engaging, sometimes dark story that kept me turning the pages and leaves me waiting for the second book, Bloodcraft, which comes out in late 2014.  If you like witches and vampires and the paranormal in general, this book won't let you down.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: The Shadow Year

The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell is our book for the month of May at  The story follows a group of college students who want to escape the realities of adulthood for just a bit longer and also a woman who is struggling to regain her strength after a loss.  The past and present are eventually brought together and the end will leave you with only one word... wow.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Still grieving the death of her prematurely delivered infant, Lila finds a welcome distraction in renovating a country house she's recently inherited. Surrounded by blueprints and plaster dust, though, she finds herself drawn into the story of a group of idealistic university grads from thirty years before, who'd thrown off the shackles of bourgeois city life to claim the cottage and rely only on each other on the land. But utopia-building can be fraught with unexpected peril, and when the fate of the group is left eerily unclear, Lila turns her attention to untangling a web of secrets to uncover the shocking truth of what happened that fateful year, in order to come to terms with her own loss and build a new future for herself. 

Suspenseful and moving, with a deep secret at its heart, THE SHADOW YEAR is Hannah Richell's breakout book.

My Review:
The past story takes place in the 80's and will appeal to all of us who have been through the tumultuous twenties, where real life is beginning and you just want to hold onto that carefree life for a little while longer.  The reader is at first envious of this group of college students, living in a cottage on a lake with no responsibilities.  But then, there is also the dramatic side of the story, as the characters begin to show their darker sides and tensions rise in the cottage.  Simon infuriates us and charms us at the same time as the group's self chosen leader. We empathize with Kat, as she experiences longing, love, heartbreak, and hope. It is through her that we remember those decisions we may have made that we cannot go back and change.   

The present day story has us empathizing with Lila, who has recently lost a child, and who inherits a cottage from an anonymous benefactor and decides to fix it up in the hopes that it will help her heal.  It is the same cottage, and so comes our first inclination as a reader that somehow, these two stories, past and present, are going to come together. The author linked them flawlessly. The setting of the cottage is beautiful in both time periods and creates a longing in the reader to move out to the country where it is quiet and peaceful.

The plot was original and there were many little twists and turns in the story. The complexity of the characters made it hard to predict what path either story would take.  The book was extremely hard to put down; one you could easily find yourself lost in for hours as you try to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  And the end... well, you just have to pick it up yourself to read it.  As I said at the beginning of my review, the only word I had after reading the last few pages

This book, as all books we have read recently at She Reads, gets five stars from me.  :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bout of Books read-a-thon (My first!)

Well, I did it!!  I made my goal of reading three books in one week.  I read two of my original three choices plus Murder is Academic by Lesley Diehl.  I started a fourth book, wrote three reviews, and participated in a twitter chat and the "Spell it Out" challenge.  I feel like it was a pretty good reading week and I'm proud of how much I accomplished.  I will definitely be joining the Bout of Books readathon next time.  Loads of fun! Thanks!

This will be my first year participating in Bout of Books.  I'm excited about it!  If you don't know much about it, here is the description.  It seems fun and low pressure and allows me to do a lot of what I love, read!!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

My list for the week includes these three books.  I work full time and have two very active children so I'm hoping to get all three done in one week (which is about double what I can usually manage).  I plan to retire to my room as soon as my little friends go to bed and read while I hang out during their afternoon sports, etc. :)  


  • Monday, May 12, 2014:  Read Bloodspell, wrote a review, posted it, participated in a crazy fast twitter chat that I could barely keep up with, and began reading my second book, The Warrior by Victoria Scott.
  • Tuesday, May 13, 2014:  Started reading Murder is Academic (forgot to add this to the original list).
  • Wednesday, May 14, 2014:  Finished Murder is Academic, wrote the review, participated in the twitterchat, updated this post.  A pretty good day!  On to The Warrior!!
  • Thursday, May 15, 2014:  Read half of The Warrior, participated in the "Spell it Out" challenge.
  • Friday, May 16, 2014:  Busy day.  Continued reading The Warrior, finished my blog tour post for Murder is Academic.
  • Saturday, May 17, 2014: Posted blog tour review and giveaway and continued reading The Warrior.
  • Sunday, May 18, 2014:  Finished The Warrior by Victoria Scott.  Wrote the review and posted.  Started reading A Witch Before Dying.
For the spell it out challenge, I decided to use the month of my birth.  All of the books are books I have read in the last year.  :)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The by Michelle Hodkin
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Uninvited, The by Heather Graham
Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: It Takes a Witch

It Takes a Witch is the first book in the Wishcraft series by Heather Blake.  It is a fun and entertaining voyage into the lives of two sisters who recently moved in with their aunt and discovered that they are witches, wishcrafters to be more specific.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Darcy Merriweather has just discovered she hails from a long line of Wishcrafters-witches with the power to cast spells by making a wish. She's come to Enchanted Village to learn her trade but finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation...

My Review:
What a fun story! We begin in Salem, Mass (appropriately) where Darcy and Harper have just moved in with their aunt Ve.  Their parents are both deceased and they have just learned that they are wishcrafters, witches who can grant wishes as long as the intentions are true.  They discover that there are many types of witches in the enchanted village but that it is quite difficult to tell who is a witch and who is a mortal.  There are also a lot of rules and Darcy, our main character, is having some trouble following them, which leads to some humorous moments in the story.  Darcy is warm hearted and wants to help everyone.  She tries to make good decisions but her emotions often get the best of her. These humorous imperfections are what makes Darcy so likable throughout the story. In fact, all of the characters are likable and interesting and this is what made the story so readable.  Even the dog, Missy (short for Miss Demeanor) brings additional fun to this book with her great devious escapes.

One of the characters, a mortal who wants to be a witch, is murdered at that start of the story.  As Darcy begins getting involved in the investigation, she meets Nick, the man she doesn't want to like who is also investigating the murder.  Their chemistry was charming and it was funny how Darcy always tried to talk herself down during their encounters.  Their relationship however, was not the focus of the story so I'm hoping it will be revisited in the future.  I was glad of this because I felt that the author really gave me time to get to know the characters and truly appreciate them before jumping into anything.

The suspects and motives were abundant, which was a plus because I wasn't able to predict exactly who the culprit was until the end was near.  My many hunches were consistently changing.  I was satisfied with the ending.  It closed up this book/mystery nicely but also left plenty of room for more books in the series.  I already picked up the next book and can't wait to get started!

What I didn't realize was that Heather Blake is also Heather Webber, who wrote the Lucy Valentine series, which is equally entertaining.  If you want to learn more about these enjoyable cozy mysteries, visit Heather's website at  or  


Friday, May 2, 2014

Feature and Follow (May 2nd)

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Click here to link up, join, and make some new friends!

This week's question:  Tell us about one of your hobbies that is NOT reading.

I have a few.  First, I love researching my family history.  I've traced one side all the way back to just after Henry Hudson sailed and found out that I am distantly related to Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Although I have slowed down a bit on it, I still do some research over the summers when I don't work and I love  :)

Second, I knit.  I truly suck at it and thus far have only made scarves, but I enjoy it and I know that I will get better with time (at least, I hope I do).  My goal is for my next project to NOT be a scarf but I haven't decided what to do yet.  

Finally, I must admit that I do like games.  Games on my iPod, iPad, or playing Call of Duty on the xbox with my son.  I'm actually pretty good at it too.  ;)

What are your hobbies outside of reading? Follow me and I'll happily follow back.