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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-24 00:00
Behind Bars
Behind Bars - Meredith Katz Behind Bars - Meredith Katz Overcoming prejuidice

This story is aptly named Behind Bars and its title and implication of imprisonment only to start the story from the bartender’s perspective. The bartender being the main character Pel who is raising his sole child, Bruant, in a strict Inquisition approved establishment. The style of writing is intriguing and the author’s use of words and turn of phrases entertains whilst at the same time drawing the reader into the thickening plot.

Pel was a guard protecting humans from the supernatural in a village that is not supernatural-friendly. Pel fell in love with an innkeeper’s daughter, married her, had son Bruant, and inherited inn and lost unprejudiced wife Phalene to a vicious demon. Pel, having worked as a city guard protecting against demons, becomes an Inquisition informant reporting anyone whom he thinks are acting suspiciously. He and his son are not seeing eye-to-eye on the Inquisition and attitude towards supernaturals. Imagine all suspects being treated to a Salem witch hunt on someone accusations. If you sink, you’re innocent… that’s okay, right? Regardless once accused you’re dead!

Enters into Pel’s bar/inn, traveler Tari in search of a room during her travels. Thinking this was an M/M book, I kept waiting to meet the protagonist’s love match. Again, I felt the author is quite talented in and made twists in the plot in just the right amount of time to keep the reader from feeling like the storyline was boring or not well-paced. In the meantime, Pel is observing his surroundings as usual on the scope of information or actions out of the ordinary. He is concerned about his relationship with his son, but brushes most anomalies off as growing child pains.

Pel observes Tari’s ability to get along with people and her and his son’s instances of conversation. In hopes of improving his and his son’s relationship, he starts talking with Tari more. At some point, they become attracted to each other!? During a heavy make out session, he finds out she is an intercubus – neither male nor female, but most comfortable in between. Pel, still trying to work over the death of his wife, his blind discrimination against all supernatural due to the nature of his wife’s death, his unwilling guilt over having reported so many suspecting individuals to the Inquisition, and now in bed with a he demon, overwhelmingly tells Tari if she leaves his inn and his family immediately, he will not report her to the Inquisition.

At this sad point, one wonders what else remains in this strict Inquisition village that will give our story the necessary impetus to move on to the happy ending we all look forward to. Well, well, what do you know – Bruant is witch, has found love with his newly bonded familiar Kip, and oh, has been captured by the Inquisition. This proved to be the necessary impetus to change Pel’s outlook. Pel works hard to get over his ingrained habit of hating supernaturals. He finds and begs Tari, the only other supernatural he knows, to help him with his plot to rescue his son.

The two journey to save Braunt and in the process may just find freedom and to learn to love each other openly despite their issues.

Behind Bars is certainly not all m/m or highly sexual novel, I almost hesitate to call it a romance novel. If you like twisty supernatural stories, with characters full of emotional angst and flirt with hermaphrodite as a sort of gender ambiguity, this story is for you.

An free copy was provided to me from Reading Alley in exchange for an honest and unbias review.
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review 2016-10-20 01:56
Behind Chocolate Bars (Chocolate Covered Mystery, #3)
Behind Chocolate Bars - Kathy Aarons

No as good as the first two books in the series.  It felt like Michelle lost some of that individuality that made her stand; she lost some of her wise-cracking nature and felt a lot more vanilla.  It also felt like a lot more chocolate descriptions that could have doubled as marketing copy.

 

The mystery was good though and I like the direction the author has gone with Detective Lockett.  Aarons isn't rushing the romance - if anything it's moving at a snail's pace - but I do think the whole sub-story line with Leo was rushed and I don't think she did any favours to PTSD with the way she neatly wrapped it all up in a bow at the end.

 

Generally I enjoyed the read, if not as much as I did the first two books.  I'll definitely read the next one.

 

This storyline takes place in the weeks coming up to Halloween and culminates on Halloween night; since my original book for Set on Halloween square for Halloween Book Bingo 2016 hasn't yet arrived (damn you postal services!), I'm using this as my substitute.

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text 2016-10-18 09:57
Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 288 pages.
Behind Chocolate Bars - Kathy Aarons

Ok, I've given up on waiting for my Set on Halloween book for bingo to arrive.  I'd planned on reading A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities by Ray Bradbury  and I even paid for expedited shipping to get it here faster, but it's been almost 3 weeks now.  Yesterday, this book arrived as part of my Book Buddy Swap box and it takes place on Halloween, so substitution made.

 

Thank you mystery book swap partner!  :D

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review 2016-10-04 18:40
Behind Chocolate Bars (A Chocolate Covered Mystery #3) by Kathy Aarons
Behind Chocolate Bars - Kathy Aarons


Best friends and business partners Michelle and Erica have a monstrous to-do list as they prepare for the annual West Riverdale Halloween Fair. Their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, will have a booth at the event, where Michelle will serve spooky delights while Erica displays an assortment of spine-chilling books.

Thank goodness the teenagers from Erica’s comic-book club are chipping in to help. But one of their volunteers winds up in trouble after a woman’s body is found in an abandoned house—with the teen’s superhero key ring close by.

The teen swears he didn’t do it, but he’s obviously hiding something—leaving Michelle and Erica with a witch’s cauldron of questions. Soon they discover that the dead woman was tricking a whole bunch of people out of more than just treats. Now these two friends must go door-to-door if they hope to unmask a killer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I never used to be very fond of food/pet mysteries but the older I've gotten the more I've grown to like them and understand what makes them so likable.

Of course with Halloween being around the corner who can resist a sweet holiday related read filled with both tricks and treats?

I really feel like readers of any age can enjoy Behind Chocolate Bars. From teens to adults this book has it all for all ages.

I was happy that Aarons makes it easy for first time readers of the series to follow along, I love her town and her cast which are fun and fantastic I love her writing and personality.

Aarons has a great way of bringing a scene together that keeps you plenty entertained. Behind Chocolate Bars is a fun quick witty mystery filled with bounds of fun for all of us.

A great book choice for one of my Halloween reads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing

 

 

 

 

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If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like or let me know what you think! I love hearing from followers! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-09-11 12:51
Review - Prison Ramen - 5 out of 5 stars
Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars - Gustavo "Goose" Alvarez,Clifton Collins Jr.,Samuel L. Jackson

You might ask what the hecks wrong with me; managing to review two books in as many days, after months of nothing. Well, part of that is down to Prison Ramen being structured in an easy, bite-sized way.

 

These short stories are, for the most part, each an important life lesson and an eye opener as to how cheap life can really be in some of the American prisons. One of the two-pagers is a section from a film script, but mostly these are real accounts. Some are snippets of the joy that people manage to find in the most adverse situations (the makeshift birthday cake was inventive) but a lot of them are melancholy and one particularly made my heart hang heavy.

 

Not a book to be read if you want escapism (deliberate pun there) or entertainment, but some real thoughts that... you never know... might stop someone from doing something stupid someday... because some of these pages are heartbreaking.

 

I leave you with one of the recipes which is worth keeping in your arsenal... The Belushi... useful also for diabetics on a serious sugar crash, and similar is taught to us in First Aid.

 

Lifesaving Coffee

 

Once at the L.A.County jail, I saw a man lying on the floor, shivering and sweating like crazy. You could tell he was a big-time addict by looking at his arms. Another inmate brought him this special drink - the Belushi. About 30 minutes later, after finishing it, he was calm and composed enough to walk over and thank the man.

 

I asked the lifesaving coffee maker why he called it a Belushi. He explained that John Belushi was a great comedian who died of a drug overdose. I guess having a sanity-saving, sugar filled coffee drink named after you isn't a bad way to be remembered. It's loaded with sugar and helps with the symptoms of heroine detoxing.

 

*) 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules

*) 1 tablespoon sugar

*) 3 tablespoons French vanilla creamer

*) 1 cup boiling water

*) 1/2 full-size (52 gram) or 1 miniature Milky Way bar

 

Place coffee in large mug. Add the sugar and creamer. Add the water and stir well. Then add the Milky Way and drink immediately while the candy bar melts.

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