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review 2018-03-07 08:41
Spells and Scones (Magical Bakery, #6)
Spells and Scones - Bailey Cates

Eh.  I generally enjoy Bailey Cates' writing, but a few of my least favorite tropes were trotted out for this one:  the relationship crossroads; the ex's last ditch effort (which was SO transparently meant to give Steve an HEA) at reconciliation; the jealousy bit with Mungo the dog... eh.

 

The mystery plotting  didn't light up my disco ball either. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great; too few clues and a reliance on the 'lightbulb' moment at the very end.  Reading Golden Age mysteries is ruining my mediocre tastes.

 

Still, a relaxing enough read when one's brain has been overtaxed in real life.

 

 


This book qualifies for the Murder Your Darlings Scene of the Crime card:  Gryffindor Common Room.  This was one of the crime scenes identified by Nighttime Reading Center in the Green Game Round, so worth 10 points for my team (Themis-Athena, Lillelara and myself).

 

My misunderstanding of the rules left me with this book unused, so I'm using it for the Suspect: Jane Austen cards.  (Alliterative Title)

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review 2018-02-26 11:35
#BookoftheMonth - The Trouble with Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks #1) by Lacey Weatherford
The Trouble With Spells - Lacey Weatherford

The Trouble with Spells is the first book in the Of Witches and Warlocksseries, and we start with a prologue of two years ago, when Vance first set eyes on Portia. He finds out she is the daughter he has been warned to stay away from, and so he does.

Skip forward two years, and Portia is near her 16th birthday. On her birthday, she gets more than she bargained for, and finds out she is from a long line of witches and warlocks. Not only that, but she already has an amazing amount of control over her powers. Throw in a soul mate, a big bad, and you're on the way.

Now, this story has an amazing amount of Insta-Love, which I usually don't like too much. I prefer the slow burners. However, it seems to work in this story. Perhaps because Portia deals amazingly well with what is thrown at her. I was worried she would be a whiny character, but she isn't. Her and Vance do make an exceedingly cute couple.

I thought this story was well written, and a delight to read. If you like insta-love, and young-adult paranormal, then I would definitely recommend this one. Plus you can get book 2 free if you sign up for her newsletter!

Source: mailchi.mp/e031da2f5b33/bookofthemonth-the-trouble-with-spells-of-witches-and-warlocks-1-by-lacey-weatherford
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review 2018-02-21 01:55
Not Bad
Spells, Swords, and Storms: Short Stories - Nicole J. Sainsbury

Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  We are GR friends, though I didn't realize she had published until the offer.

 

                Spells, Swords, and Storms is a three-story collection, one story for each word in the title.  The first story, “Spellbound” is a pretty story about a love spell.  Sainsbury plays with the idea of what happens after the love spell works and love is gained.   It’s a delicate balancing job to write a story like this, especially when a reader factors in the questions of will.  It is to Sainsbury’s credit that she handles the balancing act just fine.  The sense of guilt, love, and shame that Jenna feels are palatable.

 

                “Aislinn’s Raven” is the second story, and draws on the knights surrounding King Arthur.  In fact, this story has been on my TBR shelf.  While it is a good story, it is the weakest of the three.  The story centers around Gareth, filling in his backstory, in particular where he would learn such skill at arms if his mother kept him tied to her skirts (as the story goes).  While the central protagonists are well drawn (Gareth and his teachers), their opposites are not, at least not in the same way.  The theme of a class of culture and powers is interesting and the description of time and setting is well done.  However, one villain’s behavior doesn’t fully make sense.   Perhaps this is all to do with bullies being “piss and wind”, but something more is hinted at, making the ending a bit too open ended.  The reader wants a sequel and a bit more answers.

 

                The best story is the last, “Winter Flood” which isn’t so much a fantasy, as a study of growing up and grief.  Rachel, a college student, suffers a break up with her long-term boyfriend, and meets someone who is strangely familiar.  While not, technically, the fantasy that the other stories are, it contains, at its heart, a quiet and beautiful magic.  In some ways, it reminded me of Jim C Hines’ Goldfish Dreams – a more quiet, real story that is fantastic in tone and deals with real life and serious real-life problems directly.

 

                All three stories deal with the theme of friendship, loyalty, and love.  All feature strong women, though strong in different ways.   Each story also focuses on questions of love and loyalty.  They are not overly sentimental and quite magical.

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text 2017-12-12 04:04
My first unsolicited book!

Those that know me, know that I've been going through some stuff in real life, but the book world has been pretty kind to me! I've won several giveaways recently, and today I got a package in the mail and it was a book I wasn't expecting!

 

A while ago, I won a giveaway for Cooking For Ghosts Book 1 in The Secret Spice Cafe trilogy. The author just sent me book 2 out of the blue! It is called Spells & Oregano. I'm loving the titles. I've never been a great cook, but a ghost story with cooking? It sounds really interesting to me.

 

There was no giveaway for book 2, so that would make this my first unsolicited book. That's what you'd call it, right? 

 

She even signed and personalized it, so she did not mail it to me by accident. Thank you very much Patricia V. Davies. I will get to reading and reviewing both books soon in 2018! 

 

I don't have a huge following on any of my social media, so I am honestly not sure why she sent it to me, but it was the kindest gesture. It meant so much to me. It helped brighten my day. I am very thankful!

 

29901992

 

36510582

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/29901992-cooking-for-ghosts
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review 2017-11-02 20:56
Catering, Book Signing and Murder
Spells and Scones - Bailey Cates

Lucy, Ben and Katie are catering a book signing for a self-help guru, Dr. Dana, at their business neighbor's bookstore. As the author arrives, there are a few people who have shown up to contest that the guru is what she says she is. Her "Radical Trust" philosophy has proven detrimental to many relationships. Her sister and her husband help to usher her to the back of the store when it seems all that were present to get an autographed copy of her book have been taken care of. She is found laying on the floor with a scent of almonds. 

 

The woman accused of the murder turns out to be a witch and Mungo's former owner. She had stopped practicing magic and was divorced following the advice of Dr. Dana. Mungo convinces Katie to help her and prove that she couldn't have murdered Dr. Dana. As Katie delves into the mystery she finds many other suspects, including Dr. Dana's sister, husband, a bar owner and his wife. 

 

Fun read. Declan and she are moving closer to being together and have been together for a year. Steve has returned to town and has broken ties with his father and the Dragohs. He is also wanting to be with Katie again. 

 

 

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