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review 2017-09-21 19:39
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding / edited by P.N. Elrod
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding - Jim Butcher,Sherrilyn Kenyon,Rachel Caine,Susan Krinard,P.N. Elrod,L.A. Banks,Charlaine Harris,Lori Handeland,Esther M. Friesner

An "ordinary" wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What's the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives---who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who's just a little too good at impersonating Elvis? Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

 

Read to fill the “Supernatural” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo card.

A collection of short fiction—these are almost always a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed all but one of the stories and my favourites were “Tacky” by Charlaine Harris and “Dead Man’s Chest” by Rachel Caine. Not surprising, as I am familiar with both authors.

There are lots of vampires and werewolves of course, but I loved the cursed pirate ship in Rachel Caine’s story and the spookily good Elvis impersonator in P.N. Elrod’s “All Shook Up.”

Definitely a worthwhile read if you enjoy any of the contributing authors or are looking for something new. I must say I wish there were more pirates in the urban fantasy genre!

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review 2017-09-20 13:47
Wish It Had Been Longer & More Resolution to One of the Story-lines
The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen

I was shocked when I finished this last night. I mean I read fast, but not that fast, and than I saw that the ebook was only 278 pages. I think the shortness of the book actually impacted some of the story-lines. I feel of two minds about how one of the story-lines ended (sorry, I am never rooting for a cheater) but loved all of the magical realism/supernatural aspects in this book. Sarah Addison Allen is always a good read for the most part, so this book was very quirky and cute.

 

"The Sugar Queen" is about three women (Josey, Della Lee, and Chloe) living in a North Carolina town called, Bald Slope. The name of the town threw me the entire time I was reading this by the way. I wanted to keep calling it Bad Slope. 

 

One day Josey is surprised to find Della Lee hiding in her closet and refusing to go. Josey is the daughter of a man who ended up bringing Bald Slope back to life. Having a lot of money doesn't make her happy though. She's a slave to her mother's whims and lives to wait for the mail to be delivered everyday by a man named Adam. Della Lee ends up pushing Josey to go to Chloe's cafe at the courthouse to get her food and the two women (Josey and Chloe) end up becoming friends. 

 

I have to say that I loved how the friendship between Josey and Chloe developed. Heck, I even loved how Della Lee pushes Josey to get out more and stand up to her mother and not be cowed by what other people think. 

 

Chloe is dealing with breaking up with her longtime boyfriend Jake after he tells her he cheated on her, but loves her, he really does. Sorry, I didn't care for Jake and hated the entire resolution to this story. It was such crap. I really wish that Allen had went a different way with this plot line. I actually thought she was at one point, but she veered to everyone must have a HEA even if one of the character's kind of sucks. I hated how everyone acted as if Chloe just needed time to get over what Jake did, and also why was he dumb enough to tell her about it. Bah. 

 

The writing was lyrical at times and seriously the entire book made me hungry. There is a lot of descriptions about cookies, snack cakes, chocolate, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato, etc. I was starving and eventually got up out of bed and made myself a small cheese and crackers plate. 

 

The flow works throughout the book, but as I already said, I wish this had been longer. I thought the resolution to all of the story-lines came just a bit too quickly. I felt like I was missing some key chapters or something. Maybe one day Allen will revisit Bald Slope.

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-18 19:37
Solid Second Book in Mercy Thompson Series
Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

I was initially going to read this for the demons square for Halloween bingo, however, it includes werewolves and I decided, two birds, one stone.

 

Image result for two birds one stone gif

 

If you have been following my reviews you know that I devour the Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson books. I have all of the books either via ebook or one that I got in hardcover (never again, I realize I don't care for the feel of most hardcover books) and I tend to re-read my favorite parts of this series over and over again. One of these days I will get around to just posting a mega review or something. Until now, here is my review of book #2.

 

"Blood Bound" finds Mercy trying to get settled with the fact that she now is dealing with the fact that an old love has moved in with her (Samuel) and by the way, the alpha of the local werewolf pack is interested in her as well (Adam). If she didn't have to deal with vampires and a demon slaughtering people left and right she may actually get some time to repair some cars. 

 

This book actually deals more with the vampires in the Tri-Cities than the prior one did. We have Mercy agreeing to help out her vampire friend Stefan which has her getting involved with local vampire politics with the head of the seethe Marsilia.  I do like how Briggs in her series let's you know first and foremost vampires are predators. They are not sparkly and friendly (well except for Stefan, and only the friendly part). 

 

When the werewolves gang up to take out a new enemy everyone in Adam's pack has to deal with it too. 

 

I do love Mercy. She has become one of my favorite urban fantasy characters. I can read about her and Kate Daniels (see Ilona Andrews) all day. I will say though that this book includes my least favorite thing ever, a love triangle. Thank goodness that Briggs deposes of that triangle in book #3. I am not a fan of who should I be with in my long running series, see Janet Evanovich. Also, Briggs does a great job developing Mercy through this series. We are only provided so much information about her, but we find out about things real time for the most part just as she does. I rather have that instead of a info dump.

 

My favorite characters are in this one, Adam, Stefan, Zee, and Samuel. I do wish that we got more Samuel in the later books since he kind of disappears after Silver Borne, Mercy Thompson #5. 

 

I do love the writing in this series. I always think that Briggs can make dialogue really work. I also have to say the flow for this one works. We also get to see a new dimension to Mercy's powers besides shapeshifting. I will echo something another BL member has mentioned here before, Mercy has I think zero female friends, which is weird. I didn't realize that when I was reading the series the first time. But honestly, besides Honey (in the later books) most of Mercy's friends are male. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I will still keep wishing that Mercy becomes closer to Charles's wife (see Alpha and Omega series) or other females such as Honey. I can see why she doesn't reach out to women more though since she is a male profession (auto mechanic) and her hobbies include self defense courses along with ghost hunting. 

 

The setting of the Tri-Cities in Washington state is always a fun one to return to. 

 

I did like the ending of this, but if you want to be wowed by this series, check out Iron Kissed, Mercy Thompson #3. That one almost wrecked me. It was really good. 

 

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review 2017-09-17 12:58
Great Collection of Horror Short Stories
Night Shift - Stephen King

I remember reading this collection when I was a teenager. So happy to re-read again and refresh my memory. We get classic King here. I read this for the "American Horror Story" square due to all of these stories taking place in America. One started in space, but ended in Florida, so that one still counts too.

 

"Jerusalem's Lot" (5 stars)-taking place in the late 1800s in Maine. We get to read about the ancestors who came to stay at what will become a house of horror and terror for those in King's book, Salem's Lot. The tension in this story told via letters and excerpts grows until the ending which leads us to the events of the present day at Salem's Lot. 

 

"Graveyard Shift" (4 stars)-this one had a lot of do with rats. So enjoy twitching while you read. A college educated man working at a factory gets fixated on the mean foreman. I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown. And I honestly didn't cheer for the main protagonist since I thought he was insane.

 

"Night Surf" (3 stars)-the only saving grace is that this can be considered a side story in "The Stand". We read about a group of teens who come together after Captain Trips hits America and everyone starts dying. I just didn't care for any of the characters.

 

"I am The Doorway" (5 stars)-just realized this story would fit the "Aliens" square. I thought it was very well don't and full or horror when you realize what is happening to a retired astronaut. 

 

"The Mangler" (5 stars)-a haunted machine that gets a taste for blood. I remember watching this movie as a kid and I liked the crazy ending that got tacked on. The original story is just as good too. 

 

"The Boogeyman" (5 stars)-this book still scared me via my re-read and is directly the reason for my inability to sleep with the closet door open. So kudos to King for that. I do wonder if the awful man who treats his wife with contempt and his children with benign neglect is the reason why the so called Boogeyman was focused on this man and his family. 

 

"Gray Matter" (4 stars)-a man and his beer will not be parted. The ending leaves things up in the air so you don't know whether there will be a happy ending or not.

 

"Battleground" (3 stars)-weirdest story in this collection. I was fascinated by a tale of Army men come to life, but it ultimately didn't work for me.

 

"Trucks" (4 stars)-I consider this King's earlier version of "The Happening" with trucks. I still found it to be a bit hard to swallow though. How does a truck know Morse code? 

 

"Sometimes They Come Back" (5 stars)-really great story of a man haunted by the death of his brother. I recall watching the original movie and sequels to this and enjoyed them. 

 

"Strawberry Spring" (5 stars)- a man explains how during his college days, when a Strawberry Spring came, so did a serial killer. I thought when I read this for the first time how smart and surprising the ending for the story was that King wrote. Though I knew the ending, I still enjoyed this.

 

"The Ledge" (5 stars)-a man forced to bargain for his lover and his life by being forced to walk a ledge from several stories up. I have a far of heights so this story always freaks me out.

 

"The Lawnmower Man" (2 stars)-my least favorite in this collection. It was just weird, not scary. 

 

"Quitters Inc." (4 stars)-what would you be willing to give up in order to quit smoking? The whole premise of this book seems far-fetched though I liked it.

 

"I Know What You Need" (5 stars)-the fact that King in the 70s gets that your inability to give consent is rape floors me since many people still argue about this. What would you do if you found someone could give you everything that you never knew you wanted?

 

"Children of the Corn" (5 stars)-the whole thing could have been avoided if the husband listened to his wife. Heck, I would have left him in this small town where no adults seem to exist. The description of this town and the smell of corn felt very real to me yesterday when I was reading.

 

"The Last Rung on the Ladder" (5 stars)-such a sad tale of what happens when an older brother is not there for his younger sister as they grow into adulthood.

 

"The Man Who Loved Flowers" (3 stars)-not that engrossing as "Strawberry Spring."

 

"One for the Road" (5 stars)- Salem's Lot, I think two years after the events in that book.

 

"The Woman in the Room" (3 stars)-i thought this was a weak story to end the book on. Would have been better to end the book with a Lot story since one opened up the collection.

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-16 18:35
Review: "Crescendo" (Song of the Fallen, #2) by Rachel Haimowitz
Crescendo - Rachel Haimowitz

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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