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review 2019-07-18 16:56
#BooksFromTheBacklog – Dark Promise by Julia Crane & Talia Jager @juliacrane2 @TaliaJager
Dark Promise - Julia Crane,Talia Jager


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, swing by Carole’s Random Life in Books.

Today I am sharing one that has been hanging around in Documents on my Kindle for a very long time, Dark Promise, Between Worlds Book I by Julia Crane & Talie Jager. Why? They tend to get lost through all the one clicking I used to do. I still have trouble controlling myself, but I am trying to be choosier. There isn’t enough time to read them all.


Published 7.28.12 by Valknut Press, LLC


Dark Promise was free when I created this post, but be sure and check for the ‘0’

There is more than one cover and I am curious which you like more. They are both gorgeous in their own right and I cannot choose my favorite. How about you?


Dark Promise (Between Worlds, #1)

Amazon / Goodreads




Rylie is special. Her mother gave her up when she was a baby to keep her safe, but now her birthday is approaching and there is nowhere to hide.


I was quickly intrigued…faeries…I haven’t read a lot of them. Once she met Kallan I became hooked. Even though there is a triangle, it doesn’t bother me, the guys are two separate beings and that just adds to my curiosity…which will she choose…and why.


My only problem, I was just getting hot and heavy into the book and it ended. I need more.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos4 Stars




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Source: www.fundinmental.com/dark-promis-julia-crane-talia-jager
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review 2019-07-17 19:12
Perky by Julia Kent
Perky - Julia Kent



Revenge shouldn't be this adorable. Julia Kent takes an awkward situation and finds humor and heart. Perky takes a look at the bright side of a darkly, embarrassing situation. One bad choice, five years ago has come back to haunt Perky and she blames her ex, Parker. Careers may have changed, hearts have obviously been broken, but the attraction is still there. Can a bad decision and an embarrassing meme, be the second chance these two have been waiting for? There's always a smile waiting to be found in a Julia Kent romance.

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review 2019-07-12 11:22
Death Waits in the Dark by Julia Buckley
Death Waits in the Dark - Julia Buckley

TITLE:  Death Waits in the Dark


SERIES:  A Writer's Apprentice Mystery #4


AUTHOR:  Julia Buckley



"Writer's apprentice Lena London is back and better than ever when her friend bestselling suspense novelist Camilla Graham needs help solving a town murder that hits a little too close to home...

It's summertime, and Lena and Camilla are busy working away while a town vandal runs amok. Things get even more complicated when Jane Wyland pays Camilla a not-so-friendly visit and gives her an ultimatum: reveal Camilla's husband James's family secret, or she will. Lena assures Camilla that nothing will come of the woman's threats, since the family has no secrets to hide.

When Jane Wyland is later found dead, they're convinced that whatever secret she was planning to expose led to her death. With Lena's assistance, Camilla is determined to solve the case before the finger points at her...




Nancy Drew for Adults.  An entertaining cozy mystery novel.    My only problem is that the main character and her circle of friends are far too nice and perfect.



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review 2019-07-07 17:00
Death in a Budapest Butterfly by Julia Buckley
Death in a Budapest Butterfly - Julia Buckley

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Hana works at her family's Hungarian tea house and loves her job. When the Magyar Women, a group of older Hungarian women, rent out the space for an afternoon tea, she expects it to be gossip, “when you going to meet a nice boy” talk, and friendship sharing, she does not expect murder.

With the reputation of their tea house on the line, Hana and her mother and grandmother work with Detective Wolf to help solve who wanted Ava Novak dead. Hungarian myths, legends, magic, food, and new and old mysteries swirl around as Hana wonders who could do such a thing and if maybe she should let a Wolf into her heart.


They’ve got poor Mrs. Kalas out there, looking all deflated and nervous. Can you really picture one of these old ladies committing murder?”

Of course I can. They’re a scary batch of Old Country women, full of superstition and paprika-scented resentment.”


The first in a new series, Death in a Budapest Butterfly, introduces us to Hana. She's of Hungarian descent and even though she is American, the Hungarian culture plays a big part in her life. She helps her mother and grandmother run Maggie's Tea House, a business that has been in her family for generations. When Hana sees that one of the members of the Magyar Women is drinking from her very rare Butterfly tea cup that was only supposed to be a for looks center piece, she makes a move to rescue it. When she sees a Hungarian message about a witch written inside the cup, she immediately searches for Ava, the woman drinking from the cup, and discovers her dead in the bathroom. This starts off the mystery of who could have poisoned a woman in such a public setting and why.


I liked the beginning way the author started off the mystery, the murder happens fairly quickly and then we get relaying of events with each chapter having a specific character giving their account to Detective Wolf. This helps to introduce us to the characters, set the scene, and engage the reader in who is and isn't telling the truth while shifting through the character's testimony.


While I thought the layout of the murder mystery started off strong, I would have liked to have felt like I knew Hana and her family better. It is not until the latter half of the story that I finally felt like I “knew” them, cared, and felt settled in their world. The murder mystery is obviously the highlight of the story but I like to care about the main characters we are following along with.


You’re falling prey to an illusion. They’re elderly, and they have accents, but they’re not automatically harmless.”

My stomach felt sick. “Jekyll and Hyde,” I said.

You bet. And it’s my job to find Hyde. In everyone.” His face was solemn.


The relationship between Erik Wolf and Hana was a bit too immediate. Wolf's character was very dry and not fleshed out enough for me; he felt like a blank slate. I did like how the author created a plausible excuse for Hana to be somewhat involved in the investigation, her and her family translate Hungarian to English for him and explain some Hungarian cultural norms and structures.


The story structure reaches out from Hana and her mother and grandmother, this was a matriarchal cozy mystery. There was some supernatural or mystic elements added with Hana inheriting “gifts” or “sight” from the female line in her family. The Jekyll and Hyde theme is threaded throughout with the how could the killer be a “little old woman”?


Later, I realized it was because we had innocent hearts, and my grandmother had always told me that the innocent heart cannot see the evil one, but that evil could see evil because “they live in the same darkness, and they learn to see in the dark.”


I thought the mystery was wrapped up well, the author gave us meaning and backstory for reasons and it wasn't all Scooby Doo dumped at the end. I did think this had a little bit of a heavier feel than the usual light cozy mystery. The inclusion of recipes at the end was delightful as the author will make you hungry with all the descriptions of food throughout the story.


Detective Wolf was too much of a blank slate for me and his romance with Hana lacked depth in its immediacy. The murder mystery started off strong, lost some steam in the middle, but had a satisfactory explanation, and sad one. Hana's family supernatural abilities added a fun twist and all the Hungarian folklore, food, and culture additives gave this a special feel. A pleasing start to a series where I'll look for more depth to certain characters and relationships when the next mystery pops up.

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review 2019-07-06 22:50
A Fountain Filled With Blood / Julia Spencer-Fleming
A Fountain Filled With Blood - Julia Spencer-Fleming

Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, Miller's Kill, New York is about as safe as it gets. That's why Episcopal minister Clare Fergusson is shocked when the July Fourth weekend brings a rash of vicious assaults to the scenic town. Even Clare's good friend, police chief Russ Van Alstyne, is shaken by the brutality of the crimes-especially when it appears that the victims were chosen because they are gay. But when a third assault of an out-of-town developer ends in murder, Clare and Russ wonder if the recent crime wave is connected to the victim's controversial plan to open an upscale spa in Miller's Kill. But not all things in the tiny town are what they seem-and soon, Clare and Russ are left to fight their unspoken attraction to one another even as they uncover a labyrinthine conspiracy that threatens to turn deadly for them both...


I’m finding myself really riveted by this murder mystery series. I read the first one back in January (In the Bleak Midwinter) and then saved this one for July 4th (as it starts on that holiday). It was a great way to spend the day. Make no mistake, I may have started it in a leisurely fashion, but by halfway through I was determined to finish by day’s end. I needed to know whodunit.

I find myself really drawn into the whole relationship between the Rev. Clair and police chief Russ. They both know that it’s the wrong thing to do. Russ is married, supposedly happily, but the further I go in the series, the more I question this. Clair, as an Episcopalian priest, knows that she must live up to the standards of her church, but realizes that it’s not always an easy thing to do. This second book reveals that there’s a fair age discrepancy between them as well (15 years) that would stand in the way of some people.

It’s an uncomfortable situation to find themselves in, but they are both honourable people and they try to do the honourable thing. They are struggling to continue to be “friends” and yet can’t help sometimes saying things that inflame their situation. So there’s the whole “forbidden love” thing happening and that is a draw for me.

I’ve also recently been listening to a podcast about the gay community in Toronto in the 1970s and 80s, as well as the recently nabbed serial killer there, so murders and beatings of gay men have been on my mind. The prejudice of society and police forces against the LGBTQ+ segment of society makes the solving of these crimes much more difficult than it ought to be, and I would hope that we could learn from past mistakes. So the crimes against gay men in this book were a timely read for me.

I’m very disappointed to find out that my library doesn’t have the next two books in the series, so I have requested the third on interlibrary loan. Unfortunately, these take ages to arrive, so I will not get another Claire-and-Russ hit for quite some time.

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