Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 10th Book

10. "Dial C for Chihuahua" by Waverly Curtis Hardcover

Waverly Curtis is two people; Waverly Fitzgerald and Curt Colbert. This is their first book. In a word...cute. I dove into it with enthusiasm.  I purchased it because the title made me giggle (you would be surprised how any books I purchase and read as a result of the title tickling my fancy!). It slowed quite a bit in the middle, but since I ALWAYS finish a book that I start, I read along until it sped up again and in the end, I found that I enjoyed it. I am reserving final judgement until I read the second in the series, "Chihuahua Confidential".

In this series, we have a talking chihuahua, a divorcee who is trying to get back on her feet after leaving a cheating husband, several unusual characters and a new love interest...possibly.  Another thing that this book series has in it's favor is that the authors are donating a portion of all book sales to the ASPCA (a charity that I also support). I know that is not a typical reason one keeps purchasing books, but if I find the stories cute, they make me smile, and is for a good cause, then that is good enough reason for me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 8th and 9th Books

8. "Doom with a View" by Victoria Laurie Paperback

I started reading Victoria Laurie's books a few years ago when I picked up the first in her first Ghost Hunter Mystery Series, "What's a Ghoul to Do?". It was so different and so interesting, that when I found that she also writes The Psychic Eye Mysteries, I dove right in with the first one, "Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye" and have been devouring her books ever since.

"Doom with a View" is the seventh one in the Psychic Eye series. Abby has come a long way, both in her professional life as a psychic and in her romantic life with her FBI boyfriend Dutch Rivers. In this story, she and her best friend, Candice Fusco (a private investigator), work with the FBI to find the missing children of US Senators and Representatives. Not only do they have to deal with skeptical FBI agents, but with a deranged serial killer.

Ms. Laurie IS a professional psychic who also is an author. I believe that she is a genuine psychic, but that is not what makes to books so good. She is a great writer who gets you hooked in the story early and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

I am sure that before this challenge is done, I will have read several more of Victoria Laurie's books and enjoyed them all (and I don't need a psychic to tell me that!).

9. "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich Audio Book (and Hardback)

I keep reading reviews lately in which individuals really trash Ms. Evanovich's books calling them "more of the same" or "please make Stephanie Plum grow up and get a life" and other words to that affect. I. DON'T. CARE! I LOVE her books. I will continue to read them and listen to them. I will wait with excitement for each new installment. I will purchase the "Plum Books" and the "Wicked Books" and the other books with her name on them. Her books make me laugh out loud. They make me smile.

This book contains all the essentials; Cars blowing up, FTA 's with interesting back-stories, rocket launchers, bad guys, senior citizens, Morelli and Bob, Ranger, Lula and Connie and of course Stephanie.

Keep writing Ms. Evanovich. I will continue to read and listen until you run out of numbers.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 6th and 7th Books

6. "Etched in Silver" by Yasmine Galenorn e-Book (e-Novella)

This is another back-story for Ms. Galenorn's Otherworld Series. This time, we are taken back to the past in Camille's story-line and shown a little bit of not only her past in Y'Elestrial but the story of how she met her Alpha lover, Trillian. Again, because I have been listening to the other books in the Otherworld series, this was a treat to learn a little more about two of the characters. I enjoy mysteries, romances and erotica. This series brings them all together. Ms. Galenorn as been criticized by some for the amount of sex in her books, but I find it appropriate to the plot and her characters. I love this series. I thoroughly enjoy everything about it and am extremely grateful that there are many more to read; it is like catching up with old friends.

7. "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" by Laurie R. King Audio Book

WOW! I am surprised that it has taken me so many years to "find" this author! There are just some books that you don't want to end, because you have to wait to read the next in the series. Laurie King's books (as well as Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, Charlaine Harris, etc) are those books. This is the second in her series about the apprentice to Sherlock Holmes. Yes...Ms. King takes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's sleuth, brings him into the 20th Century and gives him an apprentice...and it is MAGIC! This is the second book in the series. The first is "The Bee Keeper's Apprentice". There we meet Mary Russell, 15 years old, both parents killed in an automobile accident in California, and forced to live in the family home in Sussex with a spinster aunt who controls the family fortune until Mary comes of age (when she turns 21). In Mary's attempt to stay as far away from the aunt in question, she comes upon a bee keeper at the next farm who turns out to be none other than a retired Sherlock Holmes! He takes her under his wing as an apprentice and the rest is a flight of fantasy that combines the familiar characters and places in the Sherlock Holmes books with the new characters and story lines. I enjoy listening to these books. I am married to a Brit and I love to hear him talk - what a great accent! Listening to these books is the same; a wonderful narrator with a British accent. If I tried to write about the plots and turns and twists in this book, I would be blogging for the next week; suffice to say that if you are looking for a historically accurate, British mystery with a great pair of protagonists...start with the first book and keep going.

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 5th Book

5. "Bruja Brouhaha" by Rochelle Staab Paperback

This is the second of Ms. Staab's books that I have read. She writes about different "religions" and psychiatry through her main characters Liz Cooper (psychiatrist) and Nick Garfiled (professor of religious studies). I picked up the first one purely because I liked the title "Who Do Voodoo?" I enjoyed it so much that I did not hesitate to purchase the next. This time, instead of getting a peek at voodoo, we are allowed to learn a little about Santeria. I find myself eager to learn about all types of worship and religion and I love me a good mystery, so this was a win-win for me. The story started out at a good pace, slowed a little near the middle, but then tied everything together neatly at the finish. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next one!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 4th Book

4. "Ice Shards" by Yasmin Galenorn e-Book (e-Novella)

I have read some of Ms. Galenorn's work, in paperback, in the form of her Chintz 'n China series as well as another (too short, in my opinion) series when she was writing as "India Ink". Lately, I have been listening to Ms. Galenorn's Otherworld series on my mp3 player. I enjoy her writing style and plots. The Otherworld series of books are intriguing and satisfy my imagination. I find the whole supernatural genre to be fabulous reading and have added more books dealing with witches, vampires, demons, dragons, werewolves, shifters, etc. to my "read" list and to the "to be read" list.

"Ice Shards" tells the background story of one of the characters (Iris, the house sprite) in the Otherworld series. Since I have been listening to the other books in this series, reading one (especially on my i-Phone) was a new experience for me. As I read, I could still hear the narrator (Cassandra Campbell) voice. The only difference I noted is the Otherworld books use one of the three D'Artigo sisters as the "narrator" if you will, starting with Camile (moon witch), Delila (were-tabby/were-panther) and Menoly (vampire). The books include all the characters, but the individual sister's story drives the action in each book. It was a nice change to hear the story through one of the other characters. After reading this one, I am hoping that Ms. Galenorn takes the time to write other novellas that focus on one or more of the other characters from Otherworld.

This story was a good, quick read, but I am wondering how much I would have enjoyed it if I had not started listening to the others in this series. As it stands, I read this story out of sequence; but not far enough out that I couldn't follow the plot line. I have finished up through book #8, but this story really happens between books #10 and #11. Guess I'll just have to listen to numbers 9 and 10 to catch up!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge 3rd Book

3. "Clobbered by Camembert" by Avery Aames  Paperback

This is the third book in The Cheese Shop Mysteries. I found this author's books at the blog "Mystery Lovers' Kitchen". I am a big fan of Cleo Coyle's Coffee Shop Series and of Krista Davis' Domestic Diva Series. I learned that both of these ladies not only share recipes in their books, but at this blog as well. One day while I was checking out the blog, I noticed the cover for one of Avery's (a.k.a. Daryl Gerber) and decided to purchase it and check it out. It was the first one, "The Long Quiche Goodbye". I'm so very glad I did. The plots, characters and description of different cheeses are wonderfully rich and satisfying. I am looking forward to the next one in the series.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Reading (or Listening) Challenge (The Beginning)

I love books! I love to read! So...I joined a book challenge "Read A Latte". I am going to read as many books as I can this year from January 1 to December 31, 2013 and post reviews or at least the titles of the books here on my blog.

Here goes:

1. "File M for Murder" by Miranda James   Paperback

I really enjoy cozy mysteries, especially cozy mysteries with animals. This one has a cat; a Maine Coon named Diesel. The other characters are human, and that's cool too. The main human, Charlie Harris, is a librarian who inherited his Aunt's house and has moved in after his wife passed away. This is the third book in the series and I have enjoyed each in turn. The stories are well thought out, have engaging plots and showcase Diesel who gets his name from the sound of his purr. We meet people from Charlie's work, his boarders, his children and old and new friends. All in all, a good read.

2. "Dead in the Family" by Charlaine Harris   Audio Book

This is the 10th book in Ms Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. I like Sookie. I like reading about vampires and werewolves and shape shifters and fairies and witches and telepaths. Many people have panned this book as not having any "new" things happen. I happened to like it as much as I like the other books in the series. I listen to books while I exercise, either on the stationary bike or while I take my daily walk. I guess I just like to be read to. I feel like I "know" the characters in a series especially if I've invested so much time to read, or listen to, all the books, so I just want to get to the see what happens next.

Two down...Seventy-three to go...
Keep checking back to see my progress and maybe pick up one or two to read or listen to yourself.