Tales from the Haunted Mansion, Volume II: Midnight at Madame Leota’s by Amicus Arcane

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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Book Group for the opportunity to read and review Midnight at Madame Leota’s (Tales from the Haunted Mansion #2) by Amicus Arcane. The disclaimer of the ARC is even written in Haunted Mansion-ese, clever and sets the spooky stage from the beginning. This book tells the tale of William and his visit with Madame Leota and contains several stories within a story. William wants to talk to his deceased sister, but has to listen as librarian Arcane reads spooky tales to him first. The first tale is about a truly haunted house attraction at a traveling carnival. The second is the history of a vampire resident of the Haunted Mansion. Third is a spooky horror story about a man losing his beloved theatre and the last story tells a young girl’s tale and how she came to be at the Haunted Mansion. Finally, William meets Madame Leota and gets what he’s been asking for. Fun and spooky. 5 stars for this creepy addition to the Haunted Mansion volumes!

Overturned by Lamar Giles

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Overturned by Lamar Giles has a unique plot and sarcastic humor. The second line of the book is priceless, “He was my dad’s latest and greatest attorney from the law firm of Cheap Suit, Bald Spot & Smoker’s Cough.” I immediately appreciated the author’s use of humor. Nikki Tate is keeping her family’s business running while her father is in prison. Nikki’s mother tries to help but is not quite capable enough to handle the casino business on her own. Her father is released from prison and sees that Nikki is using her gambling knowledge and card skills to earn money for college and what she considers freedom. Nikki has a crush on Davis, the new student. Davis’ family owns the new casino in Las Vegas that Nikki’s father seems to be spending a lot of time at. He’s also showing Nikki the ropes of high stakes gambling. Nikki and Davis’ relationship is adorable and the dent they made in the hood of a borrowed car while kissing made me laugh out loud. Things take a turn for the worse when Nikki gets a crime scene thrust in front of her eyes. The mystery builds and then unravels. The author created complex and wonderful characters; I cared about them and enjoyed their personalities: Nikki’s maturity and intelligence, Molly’s snark and loyalty and Gavin and his protectiveness. 5 stars for an interesting mystery that kept me entertained!

The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney! Lo, short for Delores, needs help retrieving her mother from a burning pentagram that pulled her through the floor. Shaw, a tracker, is willing to help her for fifteen thousand dollars in cash. He brings his large dog, Mange, along for the journey. They visit a seer at a nursing home and then every other being they can find to get guidance from. Lo feels like she is going in circles and not accomplishing anything that she has set out to do in her quest to rescue her mother. The variety of characters is fun and I enjoy Lo’s sense of humor and snarky comments. Shaw, in all his mystery, is intriguing and interesting and I want to get to know him better. The book ends as though there is a sequel planned and I look forward to reading it. The Things They’ve Taken is a mix of supernatural, fantasy, mythology, adventure and humor. Fun and enjoyable and worthy of a 5 star rating!

The United States of Absurdity by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History! This book is separated into six different sections: Great American Characters, The Best of American Sports, Great American Medical Breakthroughs, Very Bad American Ideas, When Americans Go Wrong and American Tails. Also included is a conclusion and an index. Disturbingly funny and morbidly fascinating, this interesting book grossed me out, made me laugh out loud and gave me the heebie jeebies! 4 stars for this nonfiction book with an adult sense of humor and content!

Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell! This is a humorous story about Cassie and her discovery of zombies and how she dealt with this not-so-great turn of events. While she travels across the country with friends, she spends the time pondering how the zombies came to be and observes how each person deals with the tragedy in their own way. Cassie’s personality makes the story funny and lightens the dystopian mood. 4 stars for this action packed fun zombie story!

The Invisible Crown by Charlie Cottrell

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I was invited to join the blog tour of Charlie Cottrell’s first full length novel, which will be published December 19, 2016!

“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to Royal James Publishing for the invitation to read and review The Invisible Crown by Charlie Cottrell. The Invisible Crown is the first full length novel about Eddie Hazzard, “the hard-boiled detective” in the Hazzard Pay series that Charlie Cottrell has written.

The Invisible Crown is a detective story involving a wife looking for her missing husband. Science fiction and humor add to this quick read detective story, 3.5 stars! The sci-fi in this novel includes interesting genetically modified characters and the humor is all Eddie Hazzard’s personality. These details make the book fun to read and leave you wanting more from the city of Arcadia!

Synopsis:

About The Invisible Crown:

The city of Arcadia is a craphole, but it’s my craphole. I’ve walked its streets my entire life, always searching for something: a purpose, a suspect, or a stiff drink. My name’s Eddie Hazzard, and I’m a hard-boiled detective. Yeah, laugh it up. It’s a ridiculous job description, but this is a ridiculous town. It’s full of every cliché you can imagine: corrupt city officials, police officers on the take, greedy businessmen, and crime so organized it has an accounting department, a health plan, and retirement benefits. Which is more than I can say for myself.”

Meet Eddie Hazzard: he’s tenacious, a certain kind of clever, and usually drunk. When a beautiful woman comes into his office and asks him to find her husband, Eddie takes the case because the alternative is having his creditors show up at his door and do terrible things to his limbs. But the case takes a series of bizarre turns, getting Eddie caught up in a tangled web of reluctant cops, sketchy businessmen, and shadowy crime bosses. The deeper he gets, the worse things look. Will Eddie solve the case? Will he save the day? Most importantly, will he get paid?

The Invisible Crown is the first full-length novel of a series featuring Detective Hazzard and the bizarre, bewildering array of tough mobsters, genetically-modified creeps, and ruthless scumbags who inhabit the city of Arcadia.

Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter

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Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter is the final book in the Shadow Falls series, which I have thoroughly enjoyed because of the clever wit, dynamic characters, in-depth world building and the suspense that each book carries along with its own story.  I am sad that this series is ending and I hope to see more works from C.C. Hunter.  I give Midnight Hour a 5 star rating!

“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter! The instant I began reading Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter, I was drawn back into the supernatural world of Shadow Falls. I am sad that this book marks the end of the Shadow Falls series, but I am glad the author chose to write about Miranda as the main character. Miranda and her half-sister, Tabitha, visit an old witch that can supposedly tell anyone their future love story. As soon as she gets started with Miranda and her love story, things become chaotic.

C.C. Hunter is a wonderful storyteller and brings the reader up to speed flawlessly. Miranda and Tabitha are witches and are struggling to come to grips with the fact of their father having two families because he chose to cheat on his first wife (Tabitha’s mother). Miranda and Tabitha unwittingly discover an age-old cult that uses young witches to reproduce their progeny, so they can rule the world with witchcraft.

Midnight Hour fits perfectly in the supernatural genre and has mystery, suspense, romance and conflict added into the mix. I give it 5 stars for an indulging read!

Here is the link to the Midnight Hour booktrailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdCkKyDDjVw

Here is the link for a Midnight Hour giveaway:

http://us.macmillan.com/smp/promo/midnighthoursweepstakes

Chasing Truth

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for the arc of Chasing Truth by Julie Cross! Wow, what a ride! This adventure, mystery, thriller, romance, young adult story held my attention from beginning to end.

Chasing Truth is cleverly written, with complex main characters and side characters, and mysterious because the main character has hidden agendas and a secrecy surrounding her. I like Ellie (Eleanor) with her clever, quick wit and the fact that she seems to care about people and also values integrity in others. Ellie’s friend, Simon, supposedly committed suicide but the investigation into his death is ongoing. This book is hard to put down and I just wanted to keep reading, but alas, life needs to be lived;).

I loved this line, “This makes me hate him 2 percent less, which is useful when I have to pretend not to hate him”. I laughed out loud! It’s priceless! Out of context, this line doesn’t make much sense, but when you get to know Ellie and how she is dealing with her con-artist background while trying to be normal, it makes great dialogue!

The mysterious background of Ellie and the mystery surrounding Simon’s death kept me riveted throughout the book, 5 stars!

Immortal Beloved Series

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Immortal Beloved Series by Cate Tiernan because of the humor, action, mystery and suspense!

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Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan begins with a group of immortal friends painting the town and Nas questions everything about herself and her friends. Nas wants to improve her immortal life. She has several identities and passports, so she chooses one and leaves her friends behind to travel to Massachusetts, where River, another immortal, lives. I love the main character’s snark and her reluctant humor. Nas learns a bit about her heritage and her knowledge continues to grow along with her abilities, thanks to River and the other immortals Nas is now living with. River runs a sort of rehabilitation center for immortals to help them heal and make good choices. The immortals have all lived long enough that each of them has suffered tragedy in one form or another and struggles to deal with the memories. The support helps Nas heal while she works on the farm and at her minimum wage job at a local pharmacy where she grows to care about and help regular people. Great book and I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Darkness Falls.

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Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan recaps book one, Immortal Beloved, while Nastasya (Nas) is trying to deal with the regrets that keep springing into her mind and she wants to learn from her mistakes and become a better person. Then things start to fall apart and she ends up running away and somehow Incy finds her. Incy hides his true self, but only for a short while and then everything comes to a head. Cate Tiernan keeps the humor going even in dire circumstances and this just holds true for Nastasya’s character and personality. Enjoyable read and I am onto the third book, Eternally Yours.

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Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan ends the Immortal Beloved series perfectly. Nas is back at River’s Edge trying to make good choices an everyday occurrence. She and Reyn are trying to figure out their relationship. Danger surrounds River’s Edge and no one can figure out who or what is causing it. The humor keeps coming and the characters grow. This is the perfect ending to a fun, interesting series. I really enjoyed the history tidbits.

 

A Totally Awkward Love Story

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Thanks to First In Line for selecting me as a winner and giving me a free copy of A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison! The title is perfect for this story as the awkwardness continues throughout the entire book and throughout the relationship between Hannah and Sam. Young adult British humor made me laugh a ton! I enjoyed the humorous honesty and complete openness about everything, and I mean everything! Fun and fast read by clever authors.