Hello, it’s me again Margaret.

Leave a comment

Hello everyone. Well, I know it has been a horrible long time that I’ve been away but I am trying to reclaim my life in baby steps. I’ve decided to start a new blog with a new name. Here is the link so I hope to see you there and thank you to Miss Ivy for helping me out.  At my new blog over on Wix called From Cover to Cover you’ll see my two newest posts, P.S. I’m hoping to be getting a new laptop soon so bear with me because I’m on a borrowed one. I’m hoping the link works but if not please try looking me up under From Cover to Cover. I’m giving away a Susan Mallery/Harlequin tote bag,

http://seawitchreviews.wix.com/covertocover

Z Seawitch

Giveaways & News

Leave a comment

These are the giveaways going on now at MIBN. The review for Corey Logan #2, TEASER, is up. Later this week there will be spotlight features and giveaways for Jill Mansell, THE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE & Gwyn Cready, JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER. Be sure to stop by for those!

9780143127284_LovebytheBoo_CV.indd

 

 

 

A print giveaway of LOVE BY THE BOOK, a comical look at an ex-pat dating using the advice of dating/love guides. This is based on the authors real life experience.  A fun read.  Not only do we have the book to give away but also wine charms...

 

 

 

hot irish lass

 

Jennifer Saints is giving away 3 ecopies of HOT IRISH LASS. The latest in her Weldon Bros. series. Though HIL is part of a series it can easily be read as a stand alone easily. For those who tweet about the giveaway Jennifer has a GC giveaway.

 

 

Giveaways

2 Comments

There are some great giveaways going on at MIBNII right now & reviews of THE RAVEN, UNRAVELED BY HIM, ROUGH RIDER, & MURDER WILL OUT.

S.G. is giving away a print copy of OURSELVES (Sorry, U.S. & Canada only)

They’re among us, hiding in plain sight…..ourselvescover

 

 

 

There’s still a coupla days left to enter Cate Beaumann’s REAGAN’S REDEMPTION giveaway. 6 03 Reagan's Redemption - 3D(six) ecopies are up for grabs! 

below the belt hi resTo  celebrate BELOW THE BELT Sidney Halston’s giving away a $25 GC.

 

 

Nancy Naigle’s latest Adam’s Grove BARBECUES AND BAD NEWS is out. Nancy is giving away an ecopy to 1 (one) lucky commenter.  Have you ever tried to talk your way out of a ticket?

Barbecue and Bad News COVERGet in on these great giveaways before time runs out. Be sure & check back or subscribe because there’re more goodies on the way.

 

Giveaways & More

Leave a comment

There’s some great giveaways going on at MIBN.

03 Reagan's Redemption - 3D

 

 

Cate Beauman is giving away 6 digital copies of #8 in her The Bodyguards of L.A. County series, REAGAN’S REDEMPTION.

 

 

 

 

The First Kiss S.G. Redling’s giving away a digital copy of OURSELVESourselvescover

Grace Burrowe’s having a giant blended book bundle giveaway & spotlighting her latest, THE FIRST KISS.

 

To celebrate their boxed set release CAPTIVATED BY HIS KISS,  Bronwen Evan, Heather Boyd, Collette Cameron, Lauren Smith, Barbara Monjem, and Wendy Vella are giving away a $100 GC.

Captivated by His Kiss 3-D cover on transparent @ 72 dpi low res- 500px

Later this month we’ll have giveaways from Melissa Pimentel, Shana Galen, Gwen Cready, Victoria Vane, & Jill Mansill!!

Be sure & become a follower so you don’t miss the latest reviews, interviews, excerpts, & giveaways! 

Hope everyone’s staying safe & warm!

Coming Attractions

2 Comments

Wanted to let y’all know who is coming to visit the Nook II in the next month or so & yes, there will be giveaways. We’re always scheduling new guests and there will be reviews too. Fingers crossed that my reading gets caught up & keeps up. It’s been crazy & sadly I’ve gotten behind.

Would love to know what y’all think of the line up so far.  Comment away. Is there any author you’d like to see visit? Can’t promise but can certainly try to get them to visit. For those here at the WP blog you’ll have to follow the link to the Nook II for these guests and giveaways as it’s against WP policy to host them here. Hope to see y’all!!
Confess to being excited & looking forward to our guests & reading these books.
In January we have:
Cate Masters ~ TWICE IN A BLUE MOON
Amanda Berry ~ HIS SMALL TOWN SWEETHEART
Grace Burrowes ~ FIRST KISS
and a historical romance blog tour
Reviews of ALL THAT GLITTERS, BROKEN, BLOODLINES, THE LIST, MURDER WILL OUT & hopefully a few more.
February brings….
JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER ~ Gwyn Cready
ROUGH RIDER ~ Victoria Vane
EARLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN ~ Shana Galen
THE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE ~ Jill Mansell

SPINSTER BRIDE – Jane Goodger
BARBQUE AND BAD NEWS – Nancy Naigle
SNOWED IN – Sarah Title
CINDERELLA & THE GHOST – Marina Myles

& Reviews of TEASER, ROUGH RIDER, TOUCH, JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER, & LOVE BY THE BOOK.

THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST Review

Leave a comment

Looking for a quirky paranormal cozy with a difference? Tired of the same ‘ol supernatural creatures? If so, THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST could be exactly what you’re looking for.

the accidental alchemist

Zoe Faust believes she’s found the perfect place to stop running, Portland, Oregon. The city speaks to her and she’s found the perfect fixer upper to meet both her needs and budget. Buying the local haunted house leads Zoe to all sorts of complications. For someone determined to stay under the radar it’s increasingly hard to do when Charles, the handyman she hired, is found dead on her front porch on her second day of residence.

Imagine a cozy paranormal with a quirky charm. No vamps, werewolves-shifters, witches, demons, or ghosts need apply. So what does that leave? THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST with its vegan former alchemist protagonist, Zoe Faust, and a recently discovered transformed gargoyle, Dorian Robert-Houdin. The first in a new mystery series has more going for it than against it.

The cast is diverse and should appeal to a wide range. The setting fits Zoe perfectly and she has my newest favorite partner in sleuthing, Dorian.

Here’s a quick run down of the characters I think will be reappearing in the future.

Veronica, Ethan, and Brixton are the youth factor.
Ethan’s the rich James Dean rebel with a good heart.
Veronica’s the gawky soon to be stunning girl who has no idea what’s ahead. She just likes hanging with her friends Ethan and Brixton.
Brixton is the only child of a teen mother. His upbringing has been eclectic and loose. The biggest stabilizing influence has been Blue, wildcrafter and owner of the local teashop.

Heather is Brixton’s artist mom. He has a step-dad now but he’s always gone so readers never meet him. Heather’s parenting style is lax at best.

Max Liu ~ Portland detective lives in the neighborhood and frequents Blue’s tea shop. Max learned about herbs from his grandmother, an apothecary in China. His deceased wife was a doctor. He’s an odd blend of lore and science making him the ideal possible love interest for Zoe. Don’t worry; this is by no means a romance. Only hints of attraction occasionally.

Blue ~ owner of Blue Sky Teas, the local teashop/watering hole. No pub, coffee-shop, or diner here, it’s all about au natural. Blue has been a mother figure to Brixton. Blue and Zoe are in sync with many of their beliefs and tastes. Blue, like Zoe, has something to hide.

Olivia and Sam are aunt and nephew. Sam teaches and returned to live with Olivia when she was seriously ill. He’s worked at Blue’s also to earn extra money for Olivia’s treatment. The kids consider him the cool teacher. Olivia can be offputting. She’s one of those people who can be taken the wrong way easily and she’s extremely fond of gossip.

Ivan is a former chemistry professor. A friend of Olivia’s he’s retired due to his health. Ivan’s trying to write a book before his illness catches up with him completely. His book is on the connection between alchemy and modern chemistry/science.

Zoe Faust ~ accidental alchemist and protagonist. Zoe accidentally discovered the Elixir of Life without being aware of it for several years. There were times I really liked Zoe and times I wondered if she’d truly been around as long as she claimed. Zoe’s a bit more passive than my tastes normally run but she grew on me.

Dorian Robert-Houdin ~ adorable Parisian gargoyle and gourmet chef. Dorian captured my heart the minute he appeared. Dorian knew of Zoe from her time in Paris and stowed away in a shipping crate to seek her help. Dorian was shocked to discover she was no longer in France. Poor Francophile gargoyle….

Besides appealing and interesting characters THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST has a solid mystery going for it. All the clues for solving the mystery are there before the reader.

Ms. Pandian’s mix of fictional and historical characters combined with some extrapolation of their deeds, gives a feeling of realism and authenticity to Zoe, alchemy, and Dorian. Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Nicholas Flamel, and John Dee are a few of the fascinating historical figures Ms. Pandian introduces.

My only complaints are minor. Charles’s murder was often lost. Despite it being the catalyst for everything it becomes secondary to subsequent events. We only get a sense of Charles from other characters and he stays sketchy at best.

The emphasis on vegan is overdone with the whole purity thing becoming a bit preachy. After reading the bio at the end it’s understandable. However, I hope it’s strongly tempered in future books.

THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST is a delightful and welcome addition to the paranormal cozy ranks.

4 stars

GIRL GONE MISSING Review

1 Comment

girl gone missing

My thoughts ~ 4 stars

A local woman’s afternoon walk with her young son and dog turns nightmarish when their dog make a grisly discovery. The lab finds a badly decomposed body tangled in an oak branch washed up on the mud flats of the river Wye.  So begins the eighth book for Superintendent John Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook.

GIRL GONE MISSING has no dangerous thrills, car chases, or overly dramatic denouements. The mystery of who killed Alison Watts is character, not action driven.  And there are some interesting characters among the suspects.

Jason Bullimore, the attractive English teacher at Alison’s school. Jason has been cosseted all his life. He’s surprisingly clueless and out of his depth in many ways where daily living is concerned.

Barbara Bullimore, librarian and Jason’s protective, single older sister. A formidable woman per Hook.

Thomas Murray MA, FRSA, Headmaster at Oldford Comprehensive, Alison’s school. Bit of a pretentious twit.

Robert Watts, Alison’s stepfather is the personification of that conundrum that draws and keeps women with abusive men.

Jamie Allen, Alison’s boyfriend. Sweet, intelligent, naive, and vulnerable.

Mrs. Allen, Jamie’s mother. Protective of the son she loves and keeps on a tight rein. A bit overbearing and afraid to loosen the strings.

Finally, the victim herself, eighteen year old Alison Watts.  I didn’t find Alison to be an especially sympathetic character or victim nor did I like her. The arrogance of youth is one thing but Alison took it to an extreme.

Everyone has a secret or something to hide.

The differing perspectives of Lambert and Hook via their interactions with other characters create truly multi-dimensional leads. In particular the view of Detective Inspector Christopher Rushton says a lot about Lambert and Hook, as well as Rushton himself. Rushton is described as “prissy” and that is certainly fitting.  Rushton was, for me, the comic relief.  Perhaps the most revealing glimpse of Lambert comes from his wife, Christine.

It’s evident from the get go that Superintendent John Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook are well established in their relationship. However, at no time did I feel lost or that I was missing vital details or information regarding the characters. There are intriguing references to past events that piqued my curiosity, such as why Hook turned down promotion, but this only makes me want to read the backlist. My only bewilderment involves the English school system and golf.  I floundered when the intricacies of the education system were discussed and Lambert and Hook were golfing. It wasn’t too bad though and the golfing scenes do facilitate character understanding and add levity.

GIRL GONE MISSING doesn’t bring facts, suspects, and details out of left field to create a solution readers would have never been able to suss out. If you pay close attention the solution is right before your eyes. That’s the draw with this type of mystery. They may not involve a lot of action but they require mental acuity if you want to solve the mystery or conversely you can just go along for the ride. Either way GIRL GONE MISSING is a solid, satisfying, terribly English police procedural. One of my favorite kinds. As soon as I have two minutes to rub together I’ll be searching out Mr. Gregson’s Lambert & Hook backlist.

THE WICKED WAYS OF ALEXANDER KIDD Review

2 Comments

THE WICKED WAYS OF ALEXANDER KIDD is the second in Ms. Quinn’s The MacGregors: The Highland Heirs series. Allow me to introduce our hero and heroine…..

Captain Alexander Kidd, son of Captain William Kidd.
Alex learned to love the sea at a young age but the desire to answer to no man led him to follow his father’s path of piracy. Retrieval of his father’s legacy, a heretofore unknown treasure map, leads Alex to the Isle of Skye, Camlochlin, and the notorious MacGregor clan. Unbeknownst to Alex he’s about to embark on his life’s greatest adventure and learn what truly constitutes a treasure.
Alex’s sinful good looks, wicked humor, and devilish charm combined with all the qualities he hides under his flippant devil-may-care façade make him nigh irresistible. Alex is definitely worthy of a certain headstrong Highland lass.

Caitrina Grant, daughter of Connor Grant and Mairi MacGregor.
Trina’s family has been proscribed putting her life in danger the minute she leaves Skye. For her own safety Trina’s been trained in the art of self defense and archery. Trina prefers the weapons and combat training the boys receive to sewing and cooking. Her family history, particularly her matriarchal line, bold taste in literature, and thirst for adventure and foreign climes makes Connor’s expectation of Trina settling down to a quiet life of domesticity and babies idealistic at the least. Trina’s prayers for adventure are answered when she sneaks away and slips onto Capt. Alexander Kidd’s ship, Poseidon’s Adventure. She only wants a quick look round while she has the chance. Stowing away was purely accidental……..
Trina is beautiful, bold, intelligent, and daring. Our intrepid heroine is determined to wring every second from her unexpected adventure.

THE WICKED WAYS OF ALEXANDER KIDD begins with a bang. Ms Quinn sets and maintains a brisk pace of daring adventures on the high seas and in exotic locales favored by pirates while keeping the sexual tension between Trina and Alex as taut as Trina’s bowstring. I was totally captivated. The pages fairly flew by.
Their seafaring adventure of love, betrayal, and treasure seeking, accompanied by strong interesting secondary characters, is anything but predictable. The value of unpredictability can’t be overstated. I was tickled no end with the twists and turns that proved me wrong regarding a major plot point.
I was swept away by the bold, brash and engaging adventure created by Ms. Quinn, absolutely enthralled by THE WICKED WAYS OF ALEXANDER KIDD. What a wonderful escape….4.5 stars

Visit Paula

Wicked

THE ORACLE Review

Leave a comment

A monster lurks in the house next to the ancient ruins of Cumae where, in 427 BC, a young girl was chosen by the gods to become the Sibyl–oracle of the Greco-Roman people that enhabited the area. Though she lived to fulfill her mission, it is written that the chain of oracles, passing from one young girl to another, will continue forever.

Now, American author David Jeffrey is killed along with his teenage daughter, Angelica, when a fire breaks out in their Naples, Italy, home. When David’s brother, Jake, decides to leave Michigan with his family to visit his brother’s widow, Jennifer, strange things begin to happen in the modeled, castle-like home near the ancient ruins of Cumae. (Synopsis from Amazon)

The combination of history and mythology drew me to THE ORACLE. After finishing I’m left wondering what they really had to do with the story. Maybe I’m missing something but the Sibyl and the mythology surrounding her explains, barely, only one aspect of the modern story.

From ancient history to a modern day tragedy/semi-horror the link to the Sibyl was tenuous at best. Both the modern and the historical were well done and could have easily stood alone. Personally it would have been better to have one or the other. While reading I kept waiting for the AHA moment when it would become apparent what the ancient past had to do with the recent past and present. I think the moment came at the end but it was anti-climatic and unsatisfying. What was the reasoning behind it? What led to her in particular? What about the in between time? Why?

The modern tragedy was revealed and solved but I was left with too many questions regarding the history/mythology aspect.

THE ORACLE is well written. There’s no doubt Mr. Sedge knows his history and Italy but the lack of cohesive reasoning between the two time periods made this an average read for me.
3 stars

the oracle

SISTER EVE, PRIVATE EYE Review

Leave a comment

sister eve private eye

Sister Eve knows God moves in mysterious ways. And Eve adores a good mystery. Especially a murder.

Two decades into her calling at a New Mexico monastery, Sister Evangeline Divine (pronounced Diveen) breaks her daily routine when a police officer appears, carrying a message from her father. Sister Eve is no stranger to the law, having grown up with a police captain turned private detective. She’s seen her fair share of crime—and knows a thing or two about solving mysteries.

But when Captain Jackson Divine needs her to return home and help him recover from surgery, Sister Eve finds herself taking on his latest case.

A Hollywood director has disappeared, and the sultry starlet he’s been running around with isn’t talking. When the missing man turns up dead, Captain Divine’s case escalates into a full-blown murder case, and Sister Eve’s crime-solving instincts kick in with an almost God-given grace.

Soon Sister Eve finds herself soul-searching every step of the way: How can she choose between the vocation in her heart and the job in her blood? (Synopsis from Thomas Nelson Publishers site)   

I’ve read many mysteries featuring nuns, priests, rabbis, reverends, and other religiously affiliated protagonists, contemporary and historical. Amongst all these Sister Eve (Evangeline) still manages to make an impression.  She rides a Harley, has a need for speed (and the tickets to show for it), collects strays, and even after twenty years has a problem with authority.

Sister Eve has spent her years in service at the Benedictine monastery in Pecos, NM. She’s been reprimanded recently for speaking out about the Vatican’s decision to move the nuns. Eve believes the funds would be better spent building an animal sanctuary vs new accommodations for the nuns.  It’s obvious from the beginning that Sister Eve has reached a crisis. Not in her faith but her vocation. Will going home help her decide? Is it apparent to her superiors? Is that why her superior gave her a two month leave of absence?  

Eve thinks she knows her family but she’s been out of the daily loop for twenty years. As is the case with most families the relationships are never easy. Eve’s sister, Dorisanne who’s living in Las Vegas, refuses to come home during The Captain’s surgery and hospitalization, telling Eve it’s her turn since she took care of their mother. This is the first in a series of familial surprises for Eve. The awkwardness and difficulty of trying to see beyond years of misconceptions surrounding those closest to us is reasonably depicted.  

The mystery of who killed Chaz Cheston, Hollywood director and writer, is mildly interesting. The murder isn’t one readers can solve before the protagonist, the facts simply aren’t there. Readers have to solve it along with Eve and the Captain. Mostly it serves as a catalyst to the Divine’s working out some of their issues.   

SISTER EVE, PRIVATE EYE is set in the austerely beautiful desert landscape of Madrid, Pecos, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. However, the setting isn’t utilized. Sadly, the area isn’t as much a character as the people.  

Personally I’d like to see a bit more depth to the characters, a more engaging mystery, and more use of the setting. SISTER EVE, PRIVATE EYE shows promise.

3 stars

Older Entries

Just English

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Romance Reader Girl

Reading & Chatting about Romance

leahluvsmedieval

An old soul who yearns to return....

blondieblack

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: