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review 2017-12-15 19:06
Giveaway & Review – Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins by Erin Johnson @EJohnsonWrites @dollycas
Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins: A Cozy Witch Mystery (Spells & Caramels) (Volume 3) - Erin Johnson

 I am so excited to be a part of the wonderful tour for Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins, A Cozy Witch Mystery, by Erin Johnson. This is a bit different from my usual cozy reading and I loved every minute of it.

 

 

Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins: A Cozy Witch Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self Published (November 21, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages
Paperback: 286 pages
Kindle ASIN: B077CHVX8N

MY REVIEW

 

I love mermaids and cozy mysteries, so to get my hands on Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins by Erin Johnson was quite the treat.

 

Imogene is a Swallow. No, it is not an erotic thing, but a magical power and hunky Hank, the Prince is teaching her how to use it.

 

A trip to the Mermaid Kingdom and a murder will have Imogene, Hank and her band of merry bakers working the investigation.

 

I love all the magical creatures, some new to me, and we even have some rambunctious pirates. I love Iggy, but ya gotta be careful because ya might get burned.

 

How would you like to be able to swallow a sea bubble, grow fins and gills, changing into a mermaid and swimming the ocean blue? Oh man, I sure would.

 

The fabulous world building leads to an adventure I am so glad I didn’t miss. This light, humorous mystery is full of characters to laugh with, love with, and fear for. Even in this world of beauty, someone must die to create an undersea mystery of a fresh kind.

 

This is Book III, but I had no trouble following the mystery, and even though not all questions will be answered, this particular mystery is solved and it left me wanting to read more. I call that…a job well done.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins by Erin Johnson.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

Enter the giveaway here.

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/giveaway-review-mermaid-fins-winds-rolling-pins-by-erin-johnson-ejohnsonwrites-dollycas
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review 2017-09-06 16:37
Giveaway & Review – The Dark Mermaid by Christine L Barr @ninjadustpub @XpressoReads
The Dark Mermaid (Cursed Water) (Volume 1) - Christina L Barr

 

The Dark Mermaid
Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

MY REVIEW

 

I like mean, vicious mers, but I also like the ones that fall in love with humans. Here, we have both, and because of the title I am curious where Christina L Barr will take me.

 

The Bermuda Triangle and Atlantis. Splash…in a dark way.

 

Her father has six girls, but has chosen her to train as a warrior. She has no idea what his real motivation is. Her father had declared war on all humans. When they attacked the ship and she met her first human, her life was changed forever.

 

Would her father kill her for saving one?

 

Her fathers order…kill him before she turned seventeen or he would kill them both.

 

We meet the Sea Witch, where she learns more about her heritage than she ever learned from her father. And Napa. He is an interesting character, a shapeshifter and I wonder what part he will play.

 

Halfway in and I’m liking it. I am looking forward to what will become of Luna…Ian, her father, her family, and, of course, the Sea Witch. Will she find true love? Will the mers and humans go to war? What side will Luna be on? Who will she have at her side? So many questions.

 

The action is amping up. It’s getting exciting and I can’t help but smile at the turn the story takes. It is not like other mermaid stories. A pooling of all the other mer tales I have read, with a dash of something extra on the side. 

 

The battle between dark and light, good and evil…I am very suspicious, untrusting, some would say paranoid. I believe nothing is at it seems, and I am waiting for the lies, the betrayal.

 

Some parts were lacking detail and I would have liked them fleshed out, developed and drawn out, so I could enjoy them more. They felt a little rushed, glossed over. I wanted  the story to unfold in full detail, slowly, and this would be a WOW. Or maybe it’s just me and I wanted more. (?)

 

Still, The Dark Mermaid by Christina L Barr is one that stands out from the crowd.

The end…and it does end…was great.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of The Dark Mermaid by Christina L Barr.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

Enter the giveaway and read more here.

 

  • You can see my Giveaways HERE.
  • You can see my Reviews HERE.
  • animated smilies photo: animated animated.gifIf you like what you see, why don’t you follow me?
  • Leave your link in the comments and I will drop by to see what’s shakin’.
  • Thanks for visiting!
Source: www.fundinmental.com/giveaway-review-the-dark-mermaid-by-christine-l-barr-ninjadustpub-xpressoreads
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review 2017-07-24 00:01
Visual novel review - Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival

 

Mermaid Splash! Passion Festival (MSPF) is a “pay what you want” f/f visual novel.

CiCi the mermaid has decided that she’s going to finally take part in the Passion Festival. There’s only one problem: although CiCi has many interests, she’s never really focused on one particular hobby. In order to make a good showing at the festival, she’ll need to pick an interest (martial arts, gardening, dance, or painting) and stick to it. Will she be able to hone her skills in time, and maybe even find love along the way?

When I first heard about this, it sounded like it could be my next Robo-Tea, cute, sweet, and relaxing. While I did end up liking the game overall, it didn’t quite turn out to be what I’d expected. Almost all of the character routes involved jealousy of some sort, usually creative jealousy. As a result, MSPF wasn’t quite as fluffy and relaxing as I’d hoped.

When I first started playing, I was worried that this would be a stat-building game like Roommates and similar visual novels. It wasn’t, despite the “plan out CiCi’s week” screen. Gameplay was pretty simple. The entire thing took place in the space of four weeks, and each week you could choose which hobby CiCi spent time working on and who she’d spend time with on the weekend. After you made your choice, it was time to sit back and read as CiCi interacted with one of her four friends - there were absolutely no decision points or conversation choices.

This threw me off a bit, because almost every route had a tense moment that made me feel like I’d done something wrong, even though there were no conversation options and therefore nothing I could have done differently. Angie the anglerfish responded badly to gentle criticism of her habit of never finishing her comics writing/illustrating projects. Delora the sea slug was upset when CiCi told her she should quit her day job and pursue her true passion. Bea the cuttlefish didn’t take well to being defeated in a practice bout. The only one who never got upset with CiCi was Maka the shark, which was a large part of the reason why I liked her route the best. Although CiCi and her friends made up on the weekend or at the start of the next week (if you were focused on one particular hobby and friend), I still found myself wishing there were dialogue options that could allow me to handle those conversations differently.

Although a single playthrough didn’t really take that long, I’m the sort that likes to try to get all of a visual novel’s endings unless I get emotionally invested to the point that hunting down the “bad” endings becomes too painful. In this respect, the game turned out to have far more to it than I originally realized. I hadn’t bothered to reread the product page, so I missed that there were 23 endings, 8 unlockable outfits (which had no effect on the story, but were cute), and 52 random events. The unlockable outfits were easy enough to get, and I didn’t have the patience to try to get all 52 random events, but I really, really wanted to get all 23 endings. This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Each playthrough usually resulted in two endings: the Passion Festival ending (how CiCi did in a particular Passion Festival event) and the romance ending (whether CiCi ended up in a romantic relationship with someone). Each of the four romance options also included “friendship” endings, which, sadly, I disliked. It wouldn’t have been hard to write these endings as true close friendships, but instead every single one of them included CiCi feeling like she’d missed out on something and thinking she’d have preferred her Passion Festival outing with her friend to be a date. It was a little depressing.

The gardening route was probably the biggest stretch for me. I found it hard to believe that CiCi could produce a prize-worthy specimen in only four weeks, even considering that it was a transplanted plant. Still, since I loved Maka so much I was willing to ignore that. I initially found her multiple rows of teeth to be more than a bit off-putting, but she was so cheerful and awkward that I ended up loving her anyway. I also enjoyed her romance ending: her choice of date activity was wonderful and very fitting. My second favorite route was probably martial arts and Bea, my third was dancing and Delora, and my least favorite was painting and Angie.

Bea was a little too prone to bragging for my tastes, but her story was one of the more interesting ones. CiCi struck me as being way too immature for someone like Delora to be happy with for long, and Angie’s route reminded me that it is often a bad idea for friends to critique each other’s creative works. It bothered me that, after Angie got mad at CiCi the first time she attempted to voice a bit of criticism, CiCi censored herself during a later scene and said that she wouldn’t change a thing about Angie’s work. I also worried about CiCi’s repeated insistence that she and Angie collaborate on a project - Angie didn’t seem to be completely on board but at the same time appeared to be unwilling to say so and, plus, I felt the two of them would be better off doing their own thing, artistically.

Art-wise, MSPF was absolutely wonderful. All the sprites were cute and pretty (although, if the product page hadn’t said that the characters were 24, 26, 35, and 43, I’d likely never have guessed it, since the sprites usually made them look much younger). The event art was great too, although I could tell it had been done by a different person, and I loved the pretty backgrounds. A couple routes seemed to reuse artwork more often than the others, but there was so much artwork packed into this game in general that I didn’t mind.

It was clear that a lot of work had been put into this. There were a few spots where I felt the writing could have been tweaked and the jealousy moments bugged me a little, but it was generally a fun and slick visual novel with lots for “ending hunters” to dig into. I was so proud of tracking down those final three endings! (Hint: the last ending can only be achieved after finding the other 22.) It’s too bad that the only romantic option I 100% enjoyed was Maka, but the others weren’t necessarily bad, just not my cup of tea.

Additional Comments:

 

- This probably counts as a spoiler since it isn't mentioned on the product page and doesn't come up until several weeks into CiCi's interactions with the character, but I feel I should mention that one of the romantic options is a trans woman, since this will probably be an appeal factor for some players/readers.

 

- Each character had their own dialogue sound effect, which I usually thought was a nice touch. Unfortunately, something about Bea's sound effect grated on my ears.

 

- I wish that the text colors had occasionally been a bit darker - sometimes the text was a little harder to read than it should have been.

 

I'll close with a screenshot of Maka being sweet, friendly, and helpful. She's the best. ♥

 

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-07-21 20:50
It Was Rushed and I Wanted More
Heart of the Storm (Undertow) - Michael Buckley

3.5 stars
A great series with a rushed ending.
I really enjoyed tis YA series. The fresh look at merpeople and sea creatures was really cool and kept me coming back for more. The character details alone are worth the read. They are believable, functional, and awesome. Mr. Buckley has a wonderful imagination. He also developed some shameful characters that you just love to hate, really love to hate ! LOL
My problems with the book was the rushed pacing. Everything was happening at a semi regular paced then bam, bam, bam, we were at the end. The new characters just never got developed enough and they were so amazing. I loved Husk, he was just getting so interesting and then it ended with him not fully finished for me. I had the same issue with Fantom, why did he just disappear in the book ? It felt like there was a hole. I fell like these side characters need their own book I liked them better than the MCand we got too much of her and not enough of them.

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review 2017-07-21 03:52
The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid
The Mermaids Singing - Val McDermid

Series: Tony Hill & Carol Jordan #1

 

So this was weird. Definitely weird. I was interested enough to keep reading and I did like part of the ending, but there was definite weirdness going on. I mean, the phone calls...?

 

And the people warning me about the gruesomeness really weren't kidding. Overall I'm not really sure what to make of it since it was also quite dry and clinical in parts, so I'm going with a completely middle of the road rating unless I change my mind. I know I could put off writing a review, but I'd rather just put something down now so that it's done.

 

I'm thinking about checking out the next one in the series because I didn't mind Carol and I thought Tony might be better in future books. I also quite like police procedurals.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly Mystery 35 "Read a book tagged police procedural or detective on GR, or has a MC who is a police detective". This one is tagged police procedural and one of the MC's (Jordan) is a police detective, so I'm pretty sure it counts. Other people confirmed the genre too. At 416 pages, this adds another $10 to my bank, leaving me with a whopping $247!

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