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text 2017-09-05 01:27
Tasty
Spells and Scones - Bailey Cates

Since this is the sixth book in the series and I own paperback copies of each, it's safe to say I enjoy Bailey Cates' writing. Her characters are well fleshed out, motivations make sense and the action is mostly what you'd expect in any story, magical or not. The town of Savannah where the action takes place is large, but the group Katie interacts with is a much smaller circle of people.

 

What intrigued me most about this one is Katie's familiar, Mungo. In this mystery, the accused innocent is actually Mungo's former witch partner. So watching Katie struggle with the jealousy and fear of loss that their reunion engenders enhances her responses. Because of this she's understandably less enthusiastic about clearing up this mystery than others before. 

 

What I didn't care for was the convenient manner in which Katie's rejected suitor, Steve, is removed as an obstacle in her relationship with her boyfriend Declan. Steve's attempt to use a spell to force Katie to love him isn't out of character. It's what happens when he shows up at her house to beg forgiveness that seems like a cop-out. No, I won't give any more details because spoilers. 

 

Figuring out who the murderer was was actually pretty simple but not so obvious as to be patronizing. All in all, a worthwhile story, as long as you're not expecting too much depth. 

 

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review 2017-07-23 16:26
Book Review: Deadly Spells
Deadly Spells - Jaye Wells

*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Kate and Morales are called in as consultants at a crime scene. A body with his limbs cut off. Kate knows the victim, Charm, from her days in the coven. Uncle Abe's enforcer. Charm's death could be the very excuse the covens need to start a coven war in Babylon city. Kate and the MEA force need to act fast to find the real killer before war breaks out, destroying the city. Kate also is distracted as Charm's death stirs old memories of her mother's death. Then there's life with making sure Danny is taken care of. He is a teenager, and troubles do pop up.

I love going into this book that I know each chapter and scene has something big in it. It may be dealing with Danny or it may be Kate's job. Or, if we are lucky something with John Volos or Morales. Oh John Volos. That usually involves a double whammy of work and sparks. And the same could be said of Morales. I love that Kate is working her way through raising her brother, which gives her a family feel as she stumbles through parenting like many of us do. Family and work are hard to balance, and choices need to be made. Kate does just that.

Speaking of family. Kate learns more about her mothers death. Wow. That's a punch to the gut. I like how Jaye left us with hints about Kate's mother at the end of Cursed Moon, and with this case Kate is drawn to the memories. Kate is determined to know what happened with her mother. I'm not saying any more because you need to read to learn what Kate learns. Oh, and what we learn from John Volos and Morales. Interesting!

Then there's Kate and her own personal life. She feels there's really no time for it with Danny and work. But Kate starts to open up a little bit here, for herself.

This book feels as it expands the world for us. There are other suppliers and covens that we learn about. These expand outside of Babylon city, but are a threat to Kate's home city and the way of life here. This opens up the series for us in a big way.

The book has all the elements I enjoy in one place and constantly has me glued to the words. I have enjoyed this book, world, and characters.

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review 2017-04-24 14:50
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy - Ellen Datlow,Terri Windling,Jeffrey Ford,Genevieve Valentine,Maureen F. McHugh,Delia Sherman,Kathe Koja,Elizabeth Wein,Elizabeth Bear,James P. Blaylock,Kaaron Warren,Leanna Renee Hieber,Dale Bailey,Veronica Schanoes,Catherynne M. Valente,Ellen Kushner,Car

Loved it. Wonderful collection. There might be one or two stories that aren't quite as strong as the rest, but it hardly matters. They are imaginative, well-constructed, and a great deal of fun. I particularly enjoyed the stories who owe a debt of inspiration to the Brontes, Austen and Trollop. I'm a big fan of most things Datlow and Windling (the editors) do, and this is no exception. 

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review 2017-01-01 00:00
Jingle Spells (CyberWitch Press Short Fiction Anthologies Book 1)
Jingle Spells (CyberWitch Press Short Fi... Jingle Spells (CyberWitch Press Short Fiction Anthologies Book 1) - Heather Marie Adkins,Jennifer Laslie,Sammi Cox,Sidonia Rose,Brittany White,K. Laslie Crystal's 5 Star Review
What’s not to love about 6 short reads about the Yule Season. Most of these were new to me authors and I can’t wait to read more by them. At only 182 pages, it’s a quick enjoyable read. If you love reading about magick, witches, elementals, etc. you will enjoy these stories and hopefully become fans of these authors. Check this anthology out today!
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review 2016-12-08 00:00
Garden Spells
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen

The Waverly sisters learn to love in this heartwarming southern novel. Let's review!

I read Garden Spells when it was first published (almost ten years ago!). Since I couldn't remember much of the plot, I decided to listen to the audio-book from the library. This novels really does an amazing job entwining three narratives - Clair, Sydney, and Evanelle - together in a romantic, lyrical journey. Each Waverly is a unique individual, each with her own struggles and tribulations. It's a beautifully written book with striking imagery of a small, southern town. The only problem for me was the conflict at the end. After the buildup for a showdown, it really just felt anticlimactic and messy.

I enjoyed the audiobook. The narrator created a dynamic story, although more distinction between Clair and Sydney's voices was needed. Sometimes I had a hard time knowing which sister was speaking if they shared a scene.

tl;dr A delightfully coming home story full of friendship, love, and romance.

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