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review 2018-01-01 15:52
Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith
Cemetery Dance Select: Michael Marshall Smith - Michael Marshall Smith

 

The Cemetery Dance Select series is a line of Limited Edition Hardcovers that will be available later in 2018. There are a number of authors involved and how it works is as follows: The author chooses which of their short works they consider to be their best or that had the most impact on their careers, or neglected favorites they feel deserve a second look. This volume, as stated above, features Michael Marshall Smith, (MMS). 

 

Even though I own several of Smith's books, I haven't read them yet, so this was a good way to familiarize myself with his writing. I loved it! This slim volume contains 4 short stories, all of which were excellent. Since they are short, it's hard to say much without spoiling anything, but I'll try.

 

THE MAN WHO DREW CATS is the first tale and my favorite in this collection. Vividly told and extremely compelling, MMS knows how to draw complete characters even in a such a short story as this. At times it was heartbreaking and at others, uplifting. (It was not surprising to discover in the afterword that this tale won The British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.)

 

LATER-I don't want to say anything about this tale, because...spoilers. However, this is another example of how MMS can make you care for characters in only a few pages. 

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE NIGHT In addition to short stories that pack a punch at the end, my other favorite type of short tale is the one that just IS. No explanations, it just is. (The first tale I think of as an example is Joe Hill's POP ART.) This is one of those and it's also among the finest examples of that type of narrative I've ever read. If THE MAN WHO DREW CATS wasn't so damn poignant, THIS would be my favorite.

 

THE WOODCUTTER A tale of magic and of going home. This was a very different type of tale as compared to the others, but I loved it. I especially liked the fact that I had no idea where the story was going until quite close to the end. And what a end it was!

 

I have a few more Cemetery Dance Select books to read, and I'm very much looking forward to them.  If this, and Kevin Lucia's MYSTERY ROAD are an example of the quality contained within these slim titles, any lover of dark fiction cannot go wrong!

 

Highly recommended!

 

*A HUGE thank you to Cemetery Dance for providing a paper ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-10-30 08:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Nailed It
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meet the Author:


Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
    

About the Book:

 

I'm Ivy Clarke. Bartender, best friend, and disbeliever in love.
And now I'm in over my head, trying to flip a house all by myself.
Thanks, HGTV.
I'm not too proud to admit I need some help. Too bad the only one who can help me is the same man I want to throw out this house's second-story window.
Jackson Gamble and I can't be in the same room together for more than a minute without devolving into a sparring match.
Except for that one time…
But enough about that. Jackson's looking for forever, and I don't believe in love, remember?
Get in. Renovate. Get out. Keep my heart firmly in tact.
Because it's much easier to fix up a house than a broken heart.
Full of humor and dripping with delicious tension, Nailed It proves that every heart can be ready for a little rehabilitation, if only you're willing to open it up.

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Nailed ItNailed It by Cindi Madsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ivy is best friends with both Jackson, and his sister. They are almost like family. Almost. Except she has serious feeling she does not want to admit about Jackson. They have a hot history in more ways than one.

Jackson has always wanted Ivy for his own. They have serious chemistry and sparks are always flying when they are in the same room. Now, he has the chance to spend time with her and maybe get her to see him in a new light?

Lots of humor, and very sexy story! I loved the characters right from the get go. I really felt like this was a compelling and interesting story with deep characters. You can actually feel their pain and happiness leap off the page.


***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by its publishers, along with Netgalley.

View all my reviews

 

 
 

Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2017-10-08 11:21
Once more
Nailed It - Cindi Madsen

Ivy is best friends with both Jackson, and his sister.  They are almost like family.  Almost.  Except she has serious feeling she does not want to admit about Jackson.  They have a hot history in more ways than one.

 

Jackson has always wanted Ivy for his own.  They have serious chemistry and sparks are always flying when they are in the same room.  Now, he has the chance to spend time with her and maybe get her to see him in a new light?  

 

Lots of humor, and very sexy story!  I loved the characters right from the get go.  I really felt like this was a compelling and interesting story with deep characters.  You can actually feel their pain and happiness leap off the page.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by its publishers, along with Netgalley.

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review 2017-09-29 03:12
Chances
Cinderella Screwed Me Over - Cindi Madsen

Jake & Darby are neighbors, and he wants to be more.  He also owns her favorite restaurant and she feels it is a little too close for comfort.  What if something were to go wrong?

 

Darby does not believe in happily ever after.  Not anymore.  She has the case files to prove her theory.  So the fact she is attracted to Jake bothers her.  How can she want someone so wrong for her?

 

This is a funny story.  It also has some hot secy times.  The characters are certainly meant to be and it is a slow burn watching them circle one another.  The case files are a must read for any romance lover.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-09-22 17:57
Select/Marit Weisenberg
Select - Marit Weisenberg

Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?

 


What a strange and convoluted book this was!

 

I suppose I expected it to be a bit more fantastical, a bit more whimsical, a bit more sci-fi, and a lot more exciting, but... it wasn't. I started and stopped it many times because I kept getting bored.

 

I really just failed to understand a conflict early on between Julia and her father that ends up with her going to public school. I could not buy that premise and had a lot of negative feelings and questions as to why this was happening.

 

None of these characters felt particularly well developed to me. There was potential, but from a strange sibling relationship to a forced family dynamic to an almost suicidal friendgroup, all of the connections in this seemed very artificial and unreal. And don't get me started on the John/Julia thing--there was zero substance there. I couldn't get involved.

 

I like the idea of highly-evolved humans, but again, the backstory wasn't developed here and the future story wasn't really either. I think I'd be far more interested in reading about a character set in the future of these people. There was potential for a lot of commentary on the environment and on society, but these were all overlooked. It ultimately came off as having a cult-like feel and I couldn't really root for anyone.

 

There are far more exciting and engaging YA books upcoming that deal with important themes, and I'm not too fond of this one as a stand in for those.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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