Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Nightbird by Alice Hoffman


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.
Published March 10,  2015
by Wendy Lamb Books

The novel is aimed at middle graders, but I am enjoying it all the same. 

My teasers:

location 72 at 3% through:
People in Sidwell argue as much as people do anywhere, but everyone agrees on one thing:Our monster can only be seen at night, and then only if you are standing at your window, or walking on a lane near our orchards, or if you happen to be passing our house.

location 82 at 4% through:
Being unusual is not unusual for the Fowlers.

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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: With Vics You Get Eggroll by Diane Vallere

With Vics You Get Eggroll by Diane Vallere is #3 in the Mad for Mod series. It was released April 14, 2015 by Henery Press.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Business as usual for mid-century modern interior decorator Madison Night involves a rundown ranch restoration and endorsing a set of retro paint colors. But when an investigation into a string of recent abductions turns up a murder vic, and evidence at the scene links the flirtatious Lt. Tex Allen to the crime, Madison’s priorities shift faster than she can say “Doris Day.”

Voluntary suspension keeps Tex off the case, and pesky reporters force him to live in his car. Madison’s own life is complicated by the return of her hunky handyman and her new demanding client. She immerses herself in routine, but suspects come out of the freshly-painted woodwork. When seemingly unrelated events lead back to the abductions, she exposes a secondary agenda, a copycat crime, and a vengeful plot to destroy someone she loves.

What's good about this book? The mystery itself is really good. It kept me guessing until the end. And as it says in the last paragraph of the synopsis, there is more to it than just a simple solution. The romance is good. It doesn't feel like a love triangle to me even though there are 2 love interests. She is drawn to both of them for different reasons. It becomes apparent as the book progresses which one she is being drawn to more. The guys don't really compete for her. There is also humor to the book.

The bad? There is just a little repetition about how Madison came to be in Dallas and what motivates her to keep her emotional walls up. I didn't need it repeated as much as it was, but it is a minor complaint.

Overall this is really a well written, engaging mystery. If you like Doris Day type characters, Madison Night is for you. And even if you don't like Doris Day all that much, I think you could still enjoy the mystery. 

I give it 4 out of 5 stars. 
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: The Dead Play On by Heather Graham

Published March 31, 2015 by Mira
Tyler Anderson plays the sax his friend Arnie Watson left to him and has a replay of some of the events of his life and death. Someone starts killing musicians from the French Quarter in New Orleans and stealing their instruments. Tyler approaches Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn and asks them to look into Arnie's death because he knows it was murder and not the overdose it looked like. Also, Detective Larue invites Quinn in to look at the cases of the dead musicians. Something unusual is going on.

The key to this mystery seems to be the last few lines of the synopsis: They (Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn) discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer. 

The killer is convinced that somewhere in New Orleans is Arnie Watson's magic sax. And he will go through anyone to get it.

This mystery isn't quite as magical as the first 2 in the series. And most of the secondary characters from the first book are relegated to minor status in this one. 

The romance between Cafferty and Quinn is still going strong. The relationship between Billie and Hattie is mentioned, but not built on.

There are a lot of names in this book. A lot of band characters to try and keep straight. Danni, Quinn, and Billie join the local music scene to try and find out what's going on with the deaths and see if they can solve the mystery faster that way. 

I liked the book, but I was expecting something a little different from the mystery portion. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars because it was well written even if it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

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

Waiting on Wednesday #87: Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews


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


Expected Publication August 4, 2015
by Minotaur Books
Synopsis from publisher: 


The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The eighteenth book in her New York Times best-selling series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.

It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo. When a real body at the zoo and a suspicious fire at the Haunted House threaten to mar the town's creepy fun, it's up to Meg Langslow to save Halloween.
Like Meg Langslow, the blacksmith heroine of her series, Donna Andrews was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia. She introduced Meg to readers in her Malice Domestic Contest winning first mystery, Murder with Peacocks, and readers are still laughing. This novel swept up the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and a Romantic Times award for best first novel, and a Lefty for funniest mystery.

With Lord of the Wings, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery--this one filled with Halloween spirit and suspense.

Why am I looking forward to this one? I love reading mysteries that have a Halloween setting. And I love to read humorous mysteries. This particular book seems to satisfy both of those preferences. I like the cover and the punny title too.
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, May 19, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Dead Play On by Heather Graham


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can participate, just do the following:
  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and the author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.


She (Danni) cleaned up the kitchen, deciding to leave as soon as she was done to see Natasha Larouche, aka Madame LaBelle. Natasha was a voodoo priestess and a dear friend. She also owned a voodoo shop where she learned just about everything that was going on in the Quarter and the surrounding area.

location 879 in The Dead Play On by Heather Graham 

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans. But Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, a soldier and musician who died soon after his return, he believes he sees visions of his friend's life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with whatever happened, and with whatever's happening all over the city. 

Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy to the police, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn't. Or wouldn't. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes. 

They're partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn's a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie's and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that lead them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now. 

They discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Quickie Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Published May 6, 2014 by Simon Pulse
Killer Instinct by S.E. Green is a killer YA suspense novel. It's book #1 in new series. Book #2,  Killer Within, is due out May 19, 2015. 

I think this is the first YA thriller I've read. It blew me away. I read it in 2 sittings. If you like the television show Dexter at all, you would probably like this book. 

Lane isn't quite the typical teenage girl that her sister is. She isn't into cheerleading and boyfriends and hanging out with her friends at the mall. Instead, she is in the gifted and talented program in school and tends to be a loner. And she has a fascination with serial killers. 

Perhaps this is understandable given that her mother and step-father both work for the FBI. Lane somehow feels they wouldn't understand her obsession though and keeps it to herself. With the unwitting help of her BFF, she finds herself examining the crimes committed by the Decapitator - a serial killer who has brought his crimes to her hometown. And once she has drawn his attention, she is worried about who might be the next victim. 

Lane also has another hobby. Taking up for the defenseless while wearing a ski mask and getting revenge on those who appear to have gotten away with crimes. 

I liked Lane even though she was an unusual character. I liked the family unit she had. The book was suspenseful and well written. The action and suspense kept it moving forward. I don't usually read books in one or 2 sittings and yet I finished this one in 2 sittings. The ending of the book was unexpected and mind-blowing, yet at the same time a possible logical outcome.

I would recommend this book for people who like Dexter - a serial killer who targets other criminals. I would also recommend it if you are a little curious about serial killers in general. And also, if you like a fast-paced suspenseful read.  I give it 4 stars out of 5.

This week this book is available on the Simon Pulseit website to read for free. http://www.pulseit.com/

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Released May 5, 2015
by Ace
A man walks into a hotel in Dallas... Manfred Bernardo, psychic, is in Dallas to see clients. He does see the clients, but he also sees Olivia from back home in Midnight with an unknown couple who turn up dead the next day. Meanwhile, one of his regular clients ends up dead just as their reading is getting started. Her son Lewis is accusing him of having stolen her jewels from her purse. Somehow Manfred knows that Olivia can help him out and get things back to normal as fast as possible, as normal as things get in Midnight, Texas anyway.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, so to speak, Midnight has a hotel being mysteriously remodeled. Also, there are insights into the lives of the other Midnight residents with the exception of Teacher and Madonna who we really don't know why they live in Midnight since they don't appear to have any of the peculiarities that the other residents have. All of the other residents are special in some way, including the Rev, who didn't seem to have much going on for himself has a visitor that brings his uniqueness to the forefront before the end of the book. 

It's an interesting book about the town and it's occupants and leaves things open for the next book. It's well written. There is a short appearance by a couple of characters from the Sookie Stackhouse series. 

My biggest and perhaps only real disappointment in the book is that it seems we are going to learn more about Olivia and her background, which we do up to a point. But it seems like it's going to play a bigger part of the plot, and instead it sort of fizzles out. It's definitely wide open for action in book 3 though. My other disappointment is that there is little motivation for revealing the uniqueness of Joe and Chuy other than to inform us and make Madonna and Teacher stand out more.

Otherwise, it's a good mystery. It's pretty much a cozy since it's solved by amateurs of sorts. And, of course, the overall book has paranormal overtones. 

I give the book 4 stars. It's well written and interesting. And it leaves you wanting to know what will happen next for the characters in Midnight.


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