Stolen Obsession Review

I would like to thank Prism Book Tour Group and the author Marlene M. Bell for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a written review.

 

Title: Stolen Obsession
Author: Marlene M. Bell
Publisher: Ewephoric Publishing
Publish Date: March 20, 2018
Number of Pages: 355
Price: Kindle: $2.99, Paperback: $9.99
Link to Amazon Here

 

Stolen Obsession is the story of Annalise, who works for a jewelry dealer, and the mystery behind at least 2 deaths that may be linked to a cursed, 500 year old necklace. At the opening of a gallery, Annalise notices the necklace in a case and notifies her friend, the owner of the gallery, of its age and curse. The owner is convince that the one in her case is a replica, but upon further analysis, Annalise knows this is the real deal. After the murder of her boss Annalise is reeling, trying to figure out who could have killed him. Then a near rape incurs with another coworker and when she heads back to her apartment to recover from all the stressful events, she realizes is has been vandalized, her computers have been taken, and worse yet, the man whom she is so obviously attracted to gets shot by the madman who had invaded her home. After Alec, the son of the gallery owner, a Greek playboy, and the man whose bed Annalise is trying to hard not to get into, whisks her off to Greece to lay low until the men hunting her – and the necklace – are caught.

The characters in this book seem so real and so obviously flawed in a good way. I loved this story which starts action packed and stays that way until the very end. Annalise and Alec,as well as the other characters in this book, have a pretense in your heart from beginning to end. I could not put this book down and ended up reading it in two back to back reading sessions. This book is an absolute adventure with a perfect mystery. I am so glad that this is going to be a series because I cannot wait for book two! I would recommend this book to mystery lovers who also like a little romance as well as fans of amateur sleuth plot novels. With the Kindle version of this book at only $2.99, you definitely need to add this to your collection.

Overall, I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

 

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June Wrap Up

I had an amazing reading month and amazing buy-all-the-books month. I haven’t indulged myself on book buying sprees in a long time but with it being my birthday month I went a little crazy.

Here is what I read:

  1. IS
    Is” by Masakazu Katsura – A Manga obsessed with a girl and having perverted daydreams about her. I didn’t care for it, but I loved the majority of the illustrations. 2/5 stars
  2. Last Day On Mars
    Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson – This middle grade sci-fi is now one of my favorite sci-fi novels. I cannot wait to read book 2. 5/5 stars
  3. The Lucky One
    The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks – I liked it as a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. This may be one of my favorites of his books. I listened to half of this on audiobook 4/5 stars Candle from Little Mouse Bookshelf on Etsy
  4. FURTHERMORE
    Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – This middle grade Alice in Wonderland retelling is amazing! I thought it was well done being different and whimsical in its own way. 5/5 Stars
  5. Nevermoor
    Nevermoor and the Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend- This middle grade fantasy blew me away. On the back it says “For fans of Harry Potter” which made me interested, but it truly was magical. An absolutely delightful novel that reminded me of the magic in the HP series and some of the whimsical agony and humor of A Series of Unfortunate events. 5/5 Stars and my favorite read this month!
  6. The Raven Boys
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater was so magical. I felt like I was friends with Blue’s friends. I cannot wait to read The Dream Thieves this month! 5/5 Stars
  7. She Walks in Moonlight
    The last book I finished was She Walks in Moonlight by Jennifer Silverwood. I wrote a full review of this for the author which is posted below. I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

7 books in one month is really good for me. I am hoping to keep this number of books per month up because I actually love getting this much accomplished. This month I am participating in the 24 in 48 read-a-thon. Please let me know of any other July Read-a-thon’s happening so I can get through my July TBR!

Oh and here is a picture of all the books I acquired this month which is abnormal. I am thankful for a wonderful reading month!

June Haul

What did you read in June that you loved? What in this giant stack should I read next?

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

First off, this is an #ownvoices novel about Lily who is ADHD (like the author) and Abelard, her boyfriend who fits somewhere on the Autism/ Asperger’s spectrum. Lily is your typical teen except she loses stuff, can’t remember things, and her mouth moves as fast as her brain does. She also has impulses, which leads her to kiss Abelard when they are mutually in trouble in the office one day after accidentally breaking a wall.

Let me tell you what I love about this novel:

Lily’s ADHD is spot. on. My fiance has ADHD and I am a teacher who has to deal with the problems in my students like the problems Lily has. Besides having ADHD myself I have seen the effects of ADHD up close and personal in many different settings. For my students, them taking their medicine or not is the difference between an A+ and an F. For my fiance, it is the difference between going to work or skipping. ADHD is mostly talked about in teens and children and this book really puts us to thinking about Lily’s future as an adult.

I got on Goodreads at 2 AM after I finished this book, to rate it, and noticed all the subpar reviews because of the ending of the novel which was so discouraging to me because I thought the ending was kinda perfect.

Here is my take…which gets a little spoilery so if you want to read this book, come back and read the rest of my review later.

SO THE END. A lot of people on Goodreads said the end made it seem like Lily should have to change to be accepted and I don’t think that is what the author intended at all in this book. In the novel, Lily is presented with a surgery that could tone down her ADHD so she could function a little better, and have a better shot at college and a bright future. Her parents and friends and boyfriend all have their own opinions and Lily is spinning in circles because she just wants everyone to be happy, including herself. In the end she decides to do what is best for her, and she believes that that is having the surgery.

Now here is where I disagree with the Goodreads reviews: having a surgery to reverse a disability or to help it out  is NOT CHANGING YOURSELF. In this fictional surgery, an implant is placed in the brain and Lily is told this will not change her personality or even get rid of her ADHD altogether. I kind of viewed this like a prosthetic leg, it helps you out, but doesn’t get rid of the disability completely. People with ADHD are more likely to not be able to hold a job, finish high school or college, go to prison, and live in poverty. Medication helps, but as highlighted in the story IT DOES CHANGE YOU. I watch my fiance take this medicine and it erases his ability to eat and alters his moods. He gets irritated and angry and depressed. If there was a way to tone down his ADHD without the effects of meds, he would take it. The surgery in this novel seems to not exist by the way, I did a lot of research. If you can find the research to show me this surgery exists, please let me know.

Let me put it to you a different way, I suffer from anxiety and depression, as a lot of people do. I also have chronic migraines. These two things combined keep me from work sometimes. I am so weighed down by this that I cannot physically get out of bed and go to work. If someone told me they could implant something to tone all of that down I would be ecstatic. Saying ADHD is a part of someone and to get rid of it is feeling like they have to change is not acknowledging that it is a brain disorder that makes that can make a person suffer. So I don’t think the author was trying to say that Lily needed to change and that’s why she got the surgery, I think she was saying that if you are presented with an alternative future, a chance to better yourself, even if there are consequences, it is your choice to be bold or to play it safe.

Review: She Walks in Moonlight by Jennifer Silverwood

Title: She Walks in Moonlight
Author: Jennifer Silverwood
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publish Date: October 28, 2017
Pages: 228
Price: $9.99 on Amazon

This second chance story is about a Russian globetrotter – Danica who is called back home to America after 10 years. Ten years ago she ran away from her one and only true love – Adam King. Now her brother is sick with leukemia, the same disease that stole their father away from them when she was ten years old.

Let me be clear – this is one of those books where the story line is well thought out and put on paper that you can sit and read it in one sitting. I loved that about this book. The characters had distinct personalities (thought some were confusing to me… more on that later) and the plot line made sense for the most part. I did have a couple problems with this novel. The first part being that some of the characters had almost personality or feeling flips with no explaination or growth development. One minute furious, mean, ugly and the next kind and laughing. This bothered me a bit. The other part was some major plot holes that were missing in this book. We learn there was an accident and Adam goes to look for Danica when they were 18. Danica then goes to Adam, they both lose their virginity, and she runs away. BUT WHAT HAPPENED? We have no clue what the accident was or why Adam was out looking for Danica when the accident happened. And this accident is what the entire relationship in the book is based off of. There were some other minor plot holes, especially in the last couple chapters when time lapses would happen with no explanation. There were also some minor grammar and spelling mistakes that need to be fixed and would momentarily distract me from the plot of this book. The storyline was so sweet through it made up for some of the errors that I noticed within in the book.

Overall, I liked this book but I didn’t love it. This is definitely an adult romance novel (someone had told me it was YA but I am not sure who it was now??) I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves a quick romance read. I gave this book 3.5/ 5 stars and rounded to 4 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.

**I was send a physical copy of this book for review purposed from the author and Prism Book Tours**

 

 

The Widow’s Watcher – Review

THE WIDOW’S WATCHER
by
ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: March 29, 2018
Number of Pages: 286Scroll down for the giveaway!

From Eliza Maxwell, the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl, comes a gripping novel about the mysteries that haunt us and the twists of fate that can unravel them…
Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.
Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness. 
But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?
PRAISE FOR THE WIDOW’S WATCHER:
“There was a moment I had to tell myself that this is just a book…”
Goodreads reviewer
“A well-paced story of healing, forgiveness and tragedy, with enough unexpected twists to keep readers guessing.”
— Amber Cowie, author of Rapid Falls

CLICK TO PURCHASE

║ AMAZON  ║  MURDER BY THE BOOK 
║ BARNES AND NOBLE (Print Only) 

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Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever-patient husband and two kids. She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers.
Twitter ║ Facebook 
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————————————-
MY REVIEW:
The Widow's Watcher
This is my 2nd 5 star review for some amazing #LSBBT authors and I think this is my favorite read of May thus far! This book made me cry and made me smile. I loved every minute from beginning to end. It was just icing on the cake when I realized that Eliza Maxwell lives in the same small town as me!
This story follows Jenna Shaw who is grieving after a tragic accident in which she lost her family. She stumbles upon Lars Jorgensen who also knows a lot about loss and in their journey throughout the novel, the two get to know each other and realize that they can help each other find the answers they need in order to live with their grief everyday. Throughout the novel, Jenna has an inner monologue with her deceased eldest daughter who sort of acts as her conscience. At first, I completely did not understand this because it is introduced as the first sentence in the book and wasn’t really properly explained until much later, BUT I got over it the deeper I got into the plot.
Eliza Maxwell makes the characters in this novel come to life completely. Each character seems completely real and complicated from the two main characters to the unsubstantial side characters. She has a way of giving depth to the characters emotions and envokes the same emotions in the reader. I legit bawled for the last 100 pages. My lovely signed copy is completely tear stained. I am okay with that though, not many books can bring out that sort of emotion from me.
This book is for fans of thriller and mystery. My favorite part is definitely the plot twist that wraps up the mystery within this book (I wish I could say more but I cannot and will not spoil any part of this book. You need to read it!!)
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
Three Winners! 1ST PRIZE: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy + $10 Amazon Gift Card
3RD PRIZE: Signed Copy
MAY 22-31, 2018
(U.S. Only)
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Review – Royals by Rachel Hawkins

I was given the ARC of this book at the Texas Library Association Conference by the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers and the finished edition will be released on May 1st.

 

Royals is the story of Daisy Winters, little sister to the future queen of Scotland. Daisy is an American, born and raised in a fairly normal household in Florida. Her sister goes off to college and manages to land the prince of Scotland, the future king. Now that they are engaged, Daisy must give up her summer plans with her best friend to go to Scotland and try to win over the royal family with her charm and wit. Disaster ensues, chaos, etc.

Okay first off, I knew immediately that this was a sort of Princess Diaries tale because there is no royal family of Scotland and so it is a warped sense of realistic and historical fiction. That being said, I did take this to be a light-hearted contemporary book, and not something where the author was just trying to give us a warped sense of Scotland or trying to pass off false facts as truth. There are so many reviews of this book where the reviewer thought that it was embarrassing for the real Scotland, but I just viewed this as a book written from the point of view of an American and the facts and history that we are fed here through pop culture.

This did take me back to the days when I read The Princess Diaries book because like those, the main character does not fit into the royal life very well, she is strong, independent, quirky and funny. I enjoyed this book for the humor and the nostalgia throughout the story.  Daisy is a memorable character who gave me some laugh-out-loud moments like when she is at a very fancy horse race where everyone has those big fancy hats on, and this woman is sneering at her because she is a common American, and Daisy compares her hat to Big Bird’s butt. The romance aspect to this book is cute and very PG. The ending is wrapped up very nice which is a relief, and I didn’t feel that it was dragged out.

Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, because it was great but not one of my absolute favorite novels of all time and because of the skewed view of Scotland throughout the novel. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books with royalty or who loved The Princess Diaries.

Here is the link on Amazon to Pre-order this novel:

Killing in C Sharp Review

KILLING IN C SHARP
A Gethsemane Brown Mystery, Volume 3 
by
Alexia Gordon
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 288

Scroll down for the giveaway!

She saved Carraigfaire—but can she save her friends? Gethsemane Brown fought off an attack by a sleazy hotel developer who wanted to turn her Irish cottage into a tourist trap. Now she must face a vengeful ghost determined to exact revenge for her murder centuries ago. This ghost’s wrath spares no one—not Gethsemane’s students, Inspector Niall O’Reilly, fellow teacher Frankie Grennan, or a group of ghost hunters descended on Dunmullach to capture proof ghosts exist. Proof Gethsemane has to quash to keep Eamon, her resident ghost and friend, from becoming an internet sensation. As if a spiteful specter wasn’t bad enough, a crooked music reviewer turns up dead in the opera house orchestra pit, a famous composer is arrested for the crime, and Gethsemane must team up with a notorious true-crime author to clear his name. If she doesn’t, friends will die, a ghost she cares about will never know peace, and she’ll star in a final act gruesome enough for any opera.

PRAISE FOR THE GETHSEMANE BROWN MYSTERY SERIES:

Book 1, Murder in G Major
Winner of the 2017 Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel
2016 Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel
Suspense magazine “Best of 2016” selection in Debut Novel category
Book 2, Death in D Minor
Runner-Up, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Mystery/Suspense
Short List, 2017 Lone Star Bloggers’ Choice Awards, Best Series
Book 3, Killing in C Sharp
Starred review, Publisher’s Weekly, January 29, 2018
CLICK TO ORDER ON:
┃  Amazon  ┃  Barnes & Noble  ┃  iBooks  ┃  Kobo  ┃

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, released July 11, 2017. Book three, Killing in C Sharp, comes out March 6, 2018. Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts.
I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at Miss Demeanors, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers, and Femmes Fatales
 ║Website ║ Facebook ║ Instagram
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Review.jpg

Gethsemane Brown is back in Killing in C Sharp! Gethsemane Brown is a musician and music teacher for a rowdy boys’ orchestra, but she is witty and always seems to find trouble. Or perhaps, trouble always seems to find her. Either way, she seems to always end up in the most crazy of circumstances and they usually involve murder and ghosts. She is a lovable character especially for fans of leading ladies who are funny, sharp, and can stand on their own without a man. I thoroughly enjoyed this character and her cast of friends in this novel. In this installment of the series, a vengeful ghost is summoned during an opera that was written by Gethsemane’s friend. When the first born sons start turning up ill and dead, Gethsemane starts investigating ways to get rid of the vengeful ghost and the reasons behind some murders happening within the town. Gethsemane keeps us laughing the whole time with her quirkiness and her relationship with her best ghost buddy and roommate, Eamon.
This is the third in the Gethsemane Brown Series, but any of these books could stand alone, although if possible, I would recommend you read in order as I seemed to be missing some of the back story with this read since I hadn’t gotten a chance to read the first two novels. Overall, I loved this book and gave it 4.5 stars, but rounded down to 4 on Goodreads. There were moments in the book where random characters seemed to appear out of nowhere which distracted me from the story line which is the only reason why I couldn’t give this novel a perfect 5. This of course, could seem this way because I did not read the previous novels, which is another reason why I would recommend starting with book one.  I would recommend this book to fans of the TV series Supernatural who will enjoy the back story line of the ghost hunters TV show which reminded me of the lovable Ghostfacers on Supernatural. I would also recommend this series to fans of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, because I feel like the characters of Gethsemane and Stephanie really reflect each other in so many ways.

 

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HOW ABOUT A BOOK AND A BOURBON?
One winner receives a signed copy of Killing in C Sharp and 
a bottle of Koval Bourbon Whiskey

Winner must be at least 21 and shipping of alcohol permitted by laws of the state where prize is being delivered. In the event above conditions not met, an alternate prize will be awarded.
MARCH 13-22, 2018
(US ONLY)

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Welcome to The Book Robin Hoods

Hello!! I have recently received some very happy news… I am part of The Book Robin Hoods Bloggers! We are a group of bloggers who help review and promote author’s books. Please check out The Book Robin Hoods Webpage found here.

I am at the very bottom of this list but my blog is next to so many amazing ones! I cannot wait to get paired with some authors and read their books!!

friends

 

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song

This Savage Song takes place in a world where violence breeds monsters. August is one of the rarest form of monsters, created by only the most violent of acts. August desperately wants to be human and tries to force the monster in him to hide. Kate Harker is the daughter of a man who is scarier than the monsters he controls within the city. Kate has been getting kicked out of every boarding school her father has sent her to, trying to prove to him that she can come home and be a daughter he can be proud of.

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I love that this book ended with a clean wrap-up so that you wouldn’t HAVE to read the Sequel, but you definitely will want to.

Our Dark Duet

Victoria Schwab is a genius. Her writing style is so easy to follow and this world she has created is dark, demented, and bloody. I couldn’t wait to go to bed each night so I could just pick up this book and continue to turn the pages of it.

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The characters in this book are so relatable. Although August is a monster who eats the souls of people tainted with violence, he acts desperately human for the majority of the novel. Like any teen, he wants to fit in and be good. He has a hard time giving into his monstrous appetite.

Kate’s story, though she is human, is much darker than August’s. I enjoyed her story line more just because she knew how cruel and relentless she could be, yet she was desperate for attention from the one parent she had left. I also enjoyed her more and more as the story went on and she started to remember more about her childhood and what really happened the night her mother died.

Would recommend this to readers of dark YA fantasy novels or dystopain YA readers. Solid 5/5 stars for me!

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Children’s Lit Week One

I am taking a children’s lit course this summer for my Master’s in Library Science. I have to read three books each week and review them for the course. I thought I might review them on here as well with my MORE honest opinions because my reviews for my class are all uplifting when in reality most kids I know would not appreciate the books like adults do.

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Okay so for this week I had to read a Classic (list was given), a book by Mo Willems, and a Caldecott Medal Winner or Nominee.

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I already had Kitten’s First Full Moon from an animal unit I did at the beginning of last year in my 3rd grade class. I also had Pigeon Finds a Hotdog but I have no earthly idea why. I had to order Millions of Cats as it was the only book on the Classics list that I don’t remember reading. Knowing my mother though I probably did read this as a kid. I have lots of fond memories of being in the library as a child and looking through the shelves and shelves of picture books. My mom always brought this giant pink beach bag with us to the library and between her and my sister and I we would fill the bag up every week. I wish that when I was a kid I had tracking apps like Goodreads so I could know just how many books I have read in my lifetime.

My favorite of the three was The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog. Mo Willems is a genius. If you are a parent of small children you should go check out his books. All of them. Right now. Go. Run. Seriously.  I can’t imagine better books for reluctant readers. Pigeon is 100% hilarious. The drawings make it that much better. Mo Willems definitely has the facial expressions down.

Kitten’s First Full Moon is a cute book. There are some repetitive phrases for the younger audience. Repetition is essential for beginner readers. The story of the kitten chasing the moon is innocent and sweet. The pictures are all black and white but they are paneled on every other page sort of like a graphic book which makes them more interesting.

Millions of Cats is one of those more ridiculous classic books. I can imagine an older audience found this book hysterical. Classics are classics for a reason and I appreciate the story and the thought behind it but as a kid I would have never picked this book up without an adult making it more enticing. It was originally published in 1928 so the pictures lack any color (hello, it was impossible to mass produce in color in 1928).

What are your favorite picture books?