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text 2017-05-26 18:55
Friday Reads - Summer Holiday Weekend Part I
After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Her Last Breath - Linda Castillo
Among the Wicked: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Death by Tiara (A Jaine Austen Mystery) - Laura Levine
Egg Drop Dead - Laura Childs
Purl Up and Die (A Knitting Mystery) - Maggie Sefton
Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower - Jennifer McQuiston

I feel like it has been a long time since I did a Friday Reads post. I hope all my fellow US'ians have a safe holiday weekend. I hope my British neighbors have a safe bank holiday weekend. We got caught in a heat wave (in the 80s come afternoon time) so I broke out the kiddie pool; forecast states we have one more beautiful summer day, then the rain and lower temps are coming by the end of the weekend. I am spending most of my weekend with books and a long walk in the Thetford Forest with the family before the rain comes.

 

Here is what I hope to read over the weekend/the final week in May.

 

1. After the Storm by Linda Castillo

2. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo 

3. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

      I picked these three books from the library. They're from the Kate Burkholder series (Amish police procedurals). I've wanted to try this series for a while now. These books are from later in the series.

 

4. Death by Tiara by Laura Levine

5. Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

6. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton

        Another bunch from the library, this time in really cute cozy mystery flavor. The first is from the Jaine Austen series, and the name of the series was enough for me to take it off the shelf. I tried one book from Laura Childs before (from that tea shop mystery series) and DNF'ed it, so I don't have much expectation for this one (from the Cackleberry Club series). The last one's titled just made me laugh.

 

7. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

           Borrowed this one from OverDrive because I kept getting recommended it (OD has the first three books in the series). I'm at the 62% mark and really liking it; PJ is not one of those perfect model of a Christian, but she is a Christian with good intentions and a good heart. The writing is different from a lot of Christian fiction without being profane. I am looking forward to book two and three.

 

8. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuinston

          My BL-opoly pick which makes it a priority. New to me author, but I loved the interviews she did for the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast - she talked about her work at the CDC in general and her work in Africa dealing with Ebola outbreak specifically....along with her weekend job writing historical romances.

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-05-26 12:30
Boo! by David Haynes
Boo! - David Haynes

 

Cue the circus music! Boo! was just plain fun! What horror fan doesn't enjoy a good evil clown story? I know of exactly none. 

 

A young boy has his smile stolen when a clown murders his parents right in front of him. How that affects him and those around him is the basic plot of this book. Toss in the author of a book called Clownz, a spunky police detective, and a super lovable grehyound, and that basically rounds out our main cast of characters.

 

Everything moves along, maybe not always completely believable, but that's ok-evil clowns can make up for a lot and these are especially evil. There are some nasty scenes in this book, and man oh man, it's just so darn FUN! (I may have mentioned that before.)

 

If you're in the mood for some creepy-ass clowns, characters you can relate to, and a fast paced story you can take down in a few settings, Boo! is what you need! Just don't blame me if you wake up in the night, and there's a dark figure in the shadows of your bedroom. You'll just have to hope that Sparkles decides to spare you.

 

Highly recommended to fans of creepy clowns!

 

You can scare yourself silly here: Boo!

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review 2017-05-26 08:45
The Sinister Mr. Corpse - Jeff Strand
The Sinister Mr. Corpse - Jeff Strand

Stanley is a loser, nearing middle age with not much to show for it. After he dies in a freak accident, he is brought back to life on live TV and starts his second life as the Amazing Mr Corpse. He is now essentially owned by a corporation who are looking to cash in on his infamy, forcing him to do all manner of 'celebrity' appearances. When he begins to get cocky about his importance he is shown that a second death will be far more unpleasant than the first and that he was not the scientific miracle he thought he was but something far more sinister.
I enjoyed this one a lot, I'm a big fan of Strand and this one certainly didn't disappoint although I thought the main character wasn't as good as some in his other work. The ending was also slightly anti-climatic.
Strand uses this to lampoon celebrities who are famous for being famous, how they are viewed and the cult like status that some of them achieve for doing absolutely nothing. Stanley is a fairly talentless individual who soon begins to believe the hype of his own fame before it all goes wrong. Secondary characters were done well but for some reason none of the characters really resonated with me that strongly however the story itself was engaging, pulling several threads together at the end and gave me almost everything I come to expect in a Strand novel. As with most of his other work this was fast faced and darkly funny and whilst it's not my favourite it was still a fun read.

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review 2017-05-25 20:05
Review: The Whitby Witches by Robin Jarvis
The Whitby Witches (Egmont Modern Classics) - Robin Jarvis


I would like to thank Egmont Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.

 

I somehow managed to miss this author's books as they were originally released many years before my own children were of age to read them. Last year I happened across his newer series, The Witching Legacy and have since read both books one and two and loved them. So when I saw this one I was eager to delve into it, especially as it's set in Whitby like the newer books.

 

The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun. It was full of adventure, imagination, and danger. I was completely swept along with the characters and their story. The writing was easy to read and the world was vividly described. It was wonderfully dark and atmospheric and a lot of fun all round. Everything was so easily pictured in my mind as I read. It was like being a child all over again, reliving that wonderful sense of adventure, danger and anticipation.

 

The only negative aspect, and it's not something that's particular to this story alone but something that seems to be a trend across many children's stories and books and something I'm more aware of now as a mother, is the fact that the majority of villains or bad guys in children's stories always seem to have some kind of disfigurement or disability. They are always "ugly" scarred or disfigured in some way. Why are we portraying this kind of message to our children? How a person looks doesn't portray whether they are good or bad. Beauty is only skin deep, the outside does not reflect who a person is on the inside. "Monsters" can look just like everyone else and just because someone isn't what most would class as "normal" it doesn't make them the bad guy to be feared. Perhaps that is too scary of a concept in truth for children but it's reality. Anyway, I realise this is a more general comment and not something particular to this book alone but it's something that I found myself contemplating after finishing this one so I wanted to comment on it.

 

All in all, The Whitby Witches was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the rest of the series now.

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2017-05-25 00:28
And the Five Boroughs marathon continues...
Interborough - Santino Hassell

So back on Mother's Day my hubby in his inimitable wisdom decided that since I was now listening to audiobooks what better gift than to treat me to some new ones and I got to go shopping for them so I  could pick what I wanted and while I wanted more than a few this series was at the top of my list, especially since I had this one to review. Overall it was money and time well spent because not only did I love them but I am absolutely dying to go back to the beginning and re-listen to them all over again. I basically marathoned these books over the course of  a weekend as soon as I was done listening to one, I clicked the play button to start the next one, which explains why I'm now sitting here catching up on the reviews.

 

I could not get enough...I devoured them, so needless to say once again Michael Ferraiuoloa was the narrator for this installment of 'The Five Boroughs' and once again I was not disappointed...well other than...more Oli time would have been really nice but since this is a David and Raymond story and not Oli and Caleb, I'm maybe being a little picky on this one, but that's just me.

 

'Interborough' is the fourth book in this series and unlike the previous books it's not about a new couple. With 'Interborough' we find ourselves back in the lives of David and Raymond. It's about a year later and these men are having a hard time of it...oh, they're still very much in love, unfortunately sometimes life doesn't leave us much time for love and these two are floundering.

 

David wants to be a loving and supportive partner but that's hard to do when you're feeling ignored, neglected and shut out. 

 

Raymond wants to be the partner he thinks David deserves but with two jobs, school and unexpected demands on his finances and a new friend who really rubs David the wrong way. Raymond's feeling more than a little pressure and stress but he's determined that he can handle it on his own, if David would just give him time.

 

Both men are hanging on to the prospect of their forthcoming vacation cruise to try and regain some balance in their relationship. But between the sun, the fun and the mojitos  Ray's having a hard time getting David alone so they can reconnect but once he does their passion blazes hotter than the tropical sun. Problem is will it last past the end of their cruise. 

 

Raymond and David established themselves as  a couple in 'Sunset Park' and while their ending may have been more of an HFN than an HEA they seemed fairly solid. But a little more than a year later things aren't so certain for this pair and it's not because of any over the top angst or drama. Sadly just like in real life what's driving these men apart isn't the big things it's all the little things that life throws at them and sometimes when enough of those little things get tossed our way, the pile they make seems insurmountable. 

 

As in the previous books in this series we also get the fun of catching up with Michael and Nunzio, Caleb and Oli, as well as glimpses of other characters we've already met and new ones whose stories have yet to unfold.

 

What I really loved about this book was that more than any of the previous books I was really able to relate to what David and Raymond were going through. This was in some ways the most realistic story of them all because relationships...they're hard work and so often life hands us so much sh!t to deal with we lose sight of things...like what and who's really important. For me this wasn't a story about assigning blame it was about learning to truly be partners, to listen and share, to communicate and always appreciate that person who you've chosen to spend your life with. The good times are easy to get through but it's what you do when your faced with the day to day challenges that can often make or break a relationship. 

 

'Interborough' didn't really so much feel like it was messing with the HEA of an established couple as it was taking us further along on their journey to show us that having a happily ever after means working at it every day in order to keep it. I absolutely loved that just like in real life there are no promises and guarantees, just chances and opportunities and it's up to David and Raymond to make the most of them.

 

From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat cheering for these two to find a way to make things work again. Caleb and Oli may be my favorite couple in this series so far but that doesn't mean I don't have a place in my heart for all of them. 

 

*******************

An audiobook of 'Interborough' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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