Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

This week's teaser comes from The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero published August 12, 2014 by Doubleday. It's a bit of a ghost story and a mystery. So far it reminds me a little of Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King's The Shining.

Niamh and A. are adopting a dog. Niamh is mute, but not deaf. A. tells her to choose the dog. This is their resulting conversation. A. is referred to as Guy in this bit of writing and Niamh as girl on p.41.

Guy: I like him. What are you going to call him? 

(The girl retrieves from under her pullover a small notepad and a short pencil on a string around her neck; she writes.)

- Your choice - I'm not calling him.

There is humor in the book from time to time even though it mostly is supernatural, horror and mystery. So far I'm enjoying the book. What's your teaser this week? Leave it or a link in the comments. I'll check it out. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Southern Spirits by Angie Fox

Published January 21, 2015 by
Season Publishing
Southern Spirits by Angie Fox is the first book in her new Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries. It has so many things in a cozy that I like: a strong female main character/amateur detective, a southern setting, a touch of the paranormal, humor, and a dash of a possible romance.

Verity Long is a graphic designer who is currently unemployed and about to lose her grandmother's house because of her jerk ex-fiance and his mother who have poisoned some of the townspeople against her.

After an estate sale, Verity has few items left and still owes $20,000. When she takes a vase out into the garden to clean it off, she discovers that it was an urn and she has accidentally trapped the ghost of the inhabitant on her property. Her newly found ability to see other spirits with his help leads to a job offer from her ex-fiance's brother.

Ellis wants her to do one thing, clear the ghosts out of the carriage house that he is converting to a restaurant so that they will stop tearing up the place. Verity soon finds out that there is more than the supernatural at work. And that the mystery from the past and the present mystery are linked.

"Verity isn't above questioning the living or the dead. But can she find the truth before the killer finds her?" (Goodreads.com)

This book is really a fun, cozy, paranormal mystery. I enjoyed reading about Verity who was definitely very courageous right from the beginning. The ghostly character of Frankie wasn't overdone and was interesting. He faded out at a good time in the plot. Ellis was a good character as well. Don't want to say more about him because that would be a spoiler. The supporting characters were kept to a minimum which kept any confusion down. There is room for expansion on them and their roles in Verity's life in the future. I seriously enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who like a little paranormal with their cozy mysteries.
I gave it 5 stars. I am so looking forward to the next installment in the series. I hear it may be out Fall of 2015.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Waiting on Wednesday #70 - Canary by Duane Swierczynski


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 


This week the book I am waiting on is Canary by Duane Swierczynski. It's due out February 24, 2015 from Mulholland  Books.

I like that it has a strong female as the main character and from the synopsis it sounds like she gets her own over crooked cops and gangsters alike. 

The synopsis from Goodreads.com:
It's dangerous enough when an ordinary college girl turns confidential informant. Even more dangerous when she's smarter than the killer, kingpins, and cops who control her. 

Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a "CI"--a confidential informant.

Philly narcotics cop Ben Wildey is hungry for a career-making bust. The detective thinks he's found the key in Sarie: her boyfriend scores from a mid-level dealer with alleged ties to the major drug gangs.

Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI: a quick study with a shockingly keen understanding of the criminal mind. But Wildey, desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the nineteen-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her--except what she's learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant.

Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a quick study.

So, what book are you waiting on this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Southern Spirits by Angie Fox


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Southern Spirits by Angie Fox is turning out to be a cute book. There are mysteries on 2 levels: paranormal and human. Verity Long needs cash fast to pay off her ex-fiance and keep her grandmother's house. Ellis needs someone to look into a destructive haunting at his property. He hires Verity and the 2 begin to work together to solve the ghostly mystery and find the all too real human mystery.

This scene is where they are negotiating:

(Ellis) He took a slow breath as he steered us onto more solid ground. "That kitchen equipment cost me more than you're asking. You clear out my vandal ghosts, every damned one of them, and you've earned the twenty grand."

(Verity) "All right, then." This was a business arrangement, pure and simple.

It's a good sample, but it doesn't do justice to the banter between Ellis and Verity or the banter between Verity and the ghost she has accidentally grounded on her property. I'm enjoying the book. It comes out officially January 21, 2015 from Season Publishing. It's Book #1 in the new Ghost Hunter Mystery series.

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds

When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds is a winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction award. Published October 1, 2014 by University of Iowa Press is a somewhat disjointed account of Ms. Freedman, a high school teacher who is also bi-polar, and some of her students. I would agree with the synopsis. Some of the novella told mostly in letters and essays is funny. Some of it is heartbreaking. Towards the end of the book it seems to get more disjointed. I attribute that to another impending psychotic break for Laura Freedman.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

In When Mystical Creatures Attack!, Ms. Freedman’s high school English class writes essays in which mystical creatures resolve the greatest sociopolitical problems of our time. Students include Janice Gibbs, “a feral child with excessive eyeliner and an anti-authoritarian complex that would be interesting were it not so ill-informed,” and Cody Splunk, an aspiring writer working on a time machine. Following a nervous breakdown, Ms. Freedman corresponds with Janice and Cody from an insane asylum run on the capitalist model of cognitive-behavioral therapy, where inmates practice water aerobics to rebuild their Psychiatric Credit Scores.

The lives of Janice, Cody, and Ms. Freedman are revealed through in-class essays, letters, therapeutic journal exercises, an advice column, a reality show television transcript, a diary, and a Methodist women’s fundraising cookbook. (Recipes include “Dark Night of the Soul Food,” “Render Unto Caesar Salad,” and “Valley of the Shadow of Death by Chocolate Cake.”) In “Virtue of the Month,” the ghost of Ms. Freedman’s mother argues that suicide is not a choice. In “The Un-Game,” Janice’s chain-smoking nursing home charge composes a dirty limerick. In “The Hall of Old-Testament Miracles,” wax figures of Bible characters come to life, hungry for Cody’s flesh.

Set against a South Texas landscape where cicadas hum and the air smells of taco stands and jasmine flowers, these stories range from laugh-out-loud funny to achingly poignant. This surreal, exuberant collection mines the dark recesses of the soul while illuminating the human heart.

The book says a lot about human nature. Some of it is sly observations while other parts say clearly what they mean. I enjoyed the first part of the book more than the latter part. It gets looser and more disjointed at that point. Still over all it is an interesting read. It gives insights into several characters. It's a little on the bizarre side in parts. 

I liked the format in the part of the book where it read like student essays and then emails between the teacher and a couple of her students after she is put away. Harder to follow some of her diary entries.

Overall,this is a good book. I gave it a 3.5/5 stars mostly because it gets disjointed and you can't tell what really happens in the end (or maybe it's open to interpretation?) Otherwise I probably would have given it a 4 stars. 

If you liked Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick,  you might also enjoy this book. The end of the book is really a descent into madness of sorts, where Leonard Peacock has a redemption of sorts. Still I think if you liked one you might like the other. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Review: Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Black Widow by Jennifer Estep is book #12 in the Elemental Assassin series. The Kindle edition was released November 25, 2014 by Pocket Books.

I really enjoyed this book as much as I did book #11, Poison Promise. It was surprising to find out that Mab had a daughter, but not so much a surprise that Madeline would choose to seek revenge against Gin and use it to gain control of the underworld. After all, ever since there was a power void created when Gin killed Mab, every other boss in town has been trying to do the same thing.

The plot twist comes when it shows that Madeline's expertise is not so much in face to face confrontation, but in weaving webs around opponents causing things to become more and more miserable before she finds a way to take them out. What I am saying here isn't so much of a spoiler since it is mentioned in the blurb on Goodreads.com.

Finn comes across a little two dimensional in this book as did some of the other characters. The thing is. this book really was mainly about Gin Blanco, the Spider, vs Madeline Monroe more than anything else. Her friends served mostly as a supporting cast. I did like the way her relationship with Bria seemed to improve after the last book. I enjoyed the character of Silvio, her self appointed assistant. It would have been nice to see more of the other characters in terms of development, but again this particular book is mostly about Gin vs. Madeline.

The writing is good. The pacing of the book is well done. I kept turning pages wanting to know what would happen next.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #69 - Southern Spirits by Angie Fox


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.


This week I am checking out a new series, Southern Spirits by Angie Fox. It's due out January 21, 2015, so I don't have too long to wait.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with.

Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity put an end to the disturbances. But soon Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms.

There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn't above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?
 

Why am I waiting on this book? Well, it's a paranormal mystery that takes place in the southeastern U.S.
And it looks like it will have some humor to it. Those are 3 ingredients that have made up good mysteries before for me.

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave it or a link in the comments so we can check it out! Thanks for coming by.