Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (April 26, 2015)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow. 

Two for Review and two for TBR mountain this week.
I got Ever After by Jude Deveraux for review this week from Penguin's First to Read program. It is the third book in the Nantucket Brides series. I really enjoyed the first two and can't wait to read this one. It will be released on June 23.

I also got Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Marty Wingate from Alibi. This mystery is third in a series and will be released on August 4.
House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter was a Kindle Daily Deal this week. It is the first in an urban fantasy series I haven't read.

Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick is her latest and is an historical romantic suspense story. 

What did you add to your stack this week?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

Deadly Spells
Author: Jaye Wells
Series: Prospero's War (Book 3)
Publication: Orbit (February 10, 2015)

Description: After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.

When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers - and their lives.

Deadly Spells is the third novel in the Prospero's War series that started with Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon!


My Thoughts: It looks like someone is trying to start a war between the Covens in Babylon. The first victim is Charm. Kate has known him since she was a child because he was one of her Uncle Abe's enforcers. After the usual in-fighting between the local police and the Magical Enforcement Agency task force, Kate and the rest of the team begin working the case. The next victim is from a rival Coven. He survives but isn't going to help Kate figure out what is going on.

They soon learn that a killer from a Brazilian Coven has come hunting. They also soon learn the new mayor and childhood friend of Kate's - John Volos - is neck deep in the whole thing. Kate doesn't like the man Volos has grown up to be but he isn't so willing to move on. He keeps trying to tangle Kate up in his life. Meanwhile, Kate is also having relationship issues with her partner Drew Morales who is giving every indication that he would like a more intimate relationship with her. 

To add to the complications, Danny is having troubles at the exclusive prep school that he is attending. His friend Luna, who happens to be one of the other Adept scholarship students there, has been raped and won't give up the name of her rapist. Danny comes home on day with a black eye and not much later Kate is called to the school because he used a magical potion on a kid who was bullying Luna. It just so happens that the kid is the son of one of Volos' fiercest political rivals.

This was an entertaining story. I liked the Kate needs to come to terms with what she really wants out of life in this story. Fans of urban fantasy will enjoy this series.

Favorite Quote:
He was the kind of man who disposed of anyone who stood in his way regardless of the law or morality. But that wasn't who I was. Not anymore. I'd become a cop because I truly believed I could do good. sometimes we had to do bad things to reach the good result but the line had to be drawn somewhere. If we murdered an unarmed man—not to mention naked—man, no matter how evil he was, then we'd never be able to get back over that line.
I bought this book. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Memes: Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells. This is the third book in her Prospero's War urban fantasy series. This book is from my TBR mountain. Here is the description:
After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.

When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers - and their lives.

Deadly Spells is the third novel in the Prospero's War series that started with Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon!
Beginning:
There was a body in the church.
Friday 56:
By the time we made it through the Bessemer Bridge traffic and all the way to Danny's school, we were only about fifteen minutes early.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others, Book 3
Publication: Roc (March 3, 2015)

Description: The New York Times bestselling author of The Black Jewels Trilogy transports readers to a world of magic and political unrest—where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price…

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon's only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon's doorstep…

My Thoughts: This third book in the Others series has all sorts of political intrigue happening. The Others have freed many of the blood prophets from their imprisonment but now are having trouble finding a place where they can survive. They are depending on Meg to tell them how to make conditions acceptable for the other girls. But Meg has learned by trial and error. Each time she comes up with something that might help, it is shared. But she is afraid that it might be too little and too late.

Montgomery's daughter Lizzy comes to him after her mother's death carrying a stuffed bear stuffed with jewels and a diary containing potentially dangerous information about the Humans First and Last party. She also brings assorted enemies on her trail who want the jewels and the diary. Luckily one of the "wolf police" was riding the same train and noticed her as an unaccompanied child. Nathan is one of Meg's wolf guardians and knows Lizzy's father too.

Meanwhile, the Humans First and Last party is making it difficult for those who interact with the Courtyard. They are also encouraging humans to breach their contracts with the Courtyard. This is angering all the Others and endangering all humans. Tensions rise to a new height when the Others realize that the keepers of the girls who are blood prophets are breeding them and killing all the boy babies. If the members of Simon's Courtyard didn't know some humans, this could have been enough for the Others to exterminate all humans in Thaisia.

I particularly liked the story of the young blood prophet who finally names herself Hope. Watching her learn to interact with the world was interesting. I also liked the growing relationship between Meg and Simon but wouldn't be able to define it. Some humans think that they are falling in love but both of them are identifying the relationship as friendship. Given that they are different species, I think that friendship is the most the relationship can ever have but am willing to debate the issue with other readers.

I liked the combination of humor and incredible tension in the story. I hope that there are more books coming in this series.

Favorite Quote:
"Some of you have become like the Intuits—you're considered not edible because you have made a bargain with the terra indigene that will benefit both sides." He looked at Pete and let a hint of the Wolf show through the human form. "But most humans are clever meat. The are also predators that come to our land and keep trying to encroach on our territory. We won't allow it. We never have. That's something humans tend to forget."
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ARC Review: Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer

Lowcountry Boneyard
Author: Susan M. Boyer
Series: Liz Talbot Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Henery Press; First edition (April 21, 2015)

Description: Where is Kent Heyward?

The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.

But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.

Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

My Thoughts: This is the third book in the Liz Talbot mystery series. While I'm curious about her other cases, this book stands alone quite well. Liz is called on to investigate the disappearance of Kent Heyward. The police have moved the case off the active list despite the pressure put on by her socially prominent parents. Liz immediately begins nosing around and soon uncovers all sorts of possible suspects from her shady uncles, to her chef boyfriend, to her new artist friend. Liz knows that she is getting warmer when someone sends her a rattlesnake as a way of discouraging her interest in investigating.

Liz is also a little preoccupied by the state of her relationship with her partner and love interest Nate. They have been having a sort of long-distance relationship for a while with Nate based in Greenville and Liz near Charlotte. One of Liz's reasons for staying in Charlotte is the ghost - guardian spirit - of her childhood best friend whose presence she hasn't shared with Nate. Colleen's existence, her close ties with her family, and her desire to preserve her island home from real estate developers are strong reasons to stay in Charlotte. Nate feels he has equally strong reasons to stay in Greenville. This disagreement causes a break in their romantic relationship but they are also business partners working as private investigators.

The more Liz and Nate investigate the more they learn about long-buried family secrets. Liz finds herself in danger on a number of occasions. Luckily, she has a guardian spirit to direct her actions and help keep her safe.

This was a fun mystery with a decidedly Southern flair. Liz calls on her Southern charm a number of times as she is investigating. I like her relationship with her family with an over-protective older brother and a mother who seems to think proper makeup can solve a lot of problems.

Favorite Quote:
"Maybe she knew her best friend had inappropriate thoughts about her guy. That sort of thing typically makes a woman behave unpredictably."

"You know a lot about women, do you?"

"I study up on things I'm interested in and things I'm afraid of. Women are both."
I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Working in a Courtyard was a sacrifice some terra indigene made for the benefit of the rest of their kind. They kept watch over the two-legged predators who had come to Thaisia from other parts of the world. They made it possible for humans to exist on this continent. Vlad wondered if any humans realized that—or realized what happened to the places granted to humans when a "civilized" place like the Courtyard disappeared.
This week my teaser comes from Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop. I have read the first two books in this trilogy and loved them both. Here is the description from Amazon:
The New York Times bestselling author of The Black Jewels Trilogy transports readers to a world of magic and political unrest—where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price…

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 20, 2015)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

Another quiet week has passed here in Chez Kathy. It is apparently meeting season at school. I will spend the next couple of days interviewing candidates to fill our open Technology position. I have a web training with a couple other people about using a new computer program after the interviews on Monday that will last until about 4:30. Then later in the week I'm looking at a Capital Outlay committee meeting. It is also still testing season and, since all the testing is done online these days, my media centers are being used as testing centers. I don't think I have to find other places to have my classes this week but I know I'm displaced next week.

Not that I'm counting, but the seniors who do the announcements are saying there are only 34 days of school left this year. The elementary kids are getting out on May 22 - only 25 days left for them. The construction at the elementary is going well and we are all getting used to the sound of jackhammers and heavy equipment. Monday the construction will begin on our new track and field set up. I am hoping that they don't block the path that I need to walk to get between the two buildings.

I look at all I would still like to accomplish with my classes and start feeling a little panic. It will all get done and the days will fly by but I still worry that I'll miss something that the kids need to know. Our weather has taken a turn toward Spring which means the kids and the teachers are all down with Spring Fever. That makes it a bit harder to get work done too.

Read Last Week
I read Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind by Dru Pagliassotti this week. It is the second book in the Clockwork Heart series and was a good middle book in a trilogy. My review will be posted on May 21.

I also read A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith and enjoyed it after a slow start. This YA contemporary was filled with all sorts of issues that plague many YAs today. I enjoyed the main character's growth through this story. My review for this May 19 release will be posted on May 21.
Since I'm pretty far ahead with scheduled posts on both my blogs, I decided that I could fit in reading some of my new arrivals and schedule the review for Wednesdays when I review my extra books. 

The Liar by Nora Roberts is her newest romantic suspense hardcover. I loved the characters and the relationship that Shelby had with her family. I also loved the relationship she is building with the new man in her life Griff Lott. My review will be posted on May 6.

I also read Edge of Dreams by Diana Pharaoh Francis. This is the second book in her Diamond City Magic urban fantasy series and was also really enjoyable. I like the world that Francis creates and I like Riley as a kick-ass main character with an unusual magical talent. My review will be posted on May 13.

Currently
I am reading Velvet by Temple West. This is a review book from Swoon that I got from Macmillan. It didn't arrive with all my other Macmillan ARCs. When it arrived last week, I had to shoehorn it in to an already full calendar. It will be released on May 12.

Next Week
I have two books by favorite authors on the stack for my adult reads of the week. Both Rock Hard by Nalini Singh and Prudence by Gail Carriger also help me meet my goal of reading what I bought in 2015 in 2015.

They might find themselves sliding down the list though because Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick will also be downloading to my Kindle this week. I really love anything by that author and probably won't resist diving right in. I will also be getting an eARC of Ever After by Jude Deveraux from Penguin's First to Read program on Tuesday.  Since it will be an Adobe Digital Edition with a short reading window, I'll probably be reading that one as soon as it arrives too. The book will be released on June 23.

Here are the next YAs on my review stack.
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb and The Cage by Megan Shepherd are both May 26 releases that I got from Edelweiss. They will also finish up the May review books on my stack.
Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer and Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu are both being released on June 2. I got Proof of Forever from Edelweiss and Devoted was a surprise delivery from Macmillan.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
I hope everyone has a great week. Leave a link and I'll check out your post.