Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Reviews - The Merriweather Witches Series, By Tricia Schneider

Alright, so I got a set of four books that are tied together into a series.  I sat down yesterday, while doing massive amounts of laundry, and decided to get to reading them.  When I have a deadline I like to get the books read before then just in case something massive happens at work or elsewhere.  You never know when things will fall apart somewhere.  The life of a social worker.

I am going to give you all four books here...

Book Title: The Witch and the Wolf

Author: Tricia Schneider

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal).

So this was the first book in the series.  I wouldn't call them full books, they were more like novellas and I would have surely found them in one book together, like the way Stephen King sometimes does his novellas.  I am only using that format as a example.  Tricia's books are not horror like Mr. Kings' books.

The idea behind the plot was wonderfully thought out. I did have some problems with this book though.  I think that at times things were way too rushed. I know that idea behind the romance genre is find love, living happily ever after.  I think that there were just not enough steps to get from point A to point B.  I get that the characters come from the paranormal side of things, but I just feel like there were many steps left out.

I think that if the author would draw it out more, make it longer, she could give the story more depth. I felt like there were definitely things missing.  You have a main character that is already in love in less then 24 hours.  While I do believe in love at first sight, this was almost too much for me.  I also think that the issues were all prettied up and finished too quickly.  I get the happy ending idea, but I feel like there was no enough "struggle" for this ending.

Yes, we had a werewolf in this one, but it seemed to be a back story, not a main point. I wanted more on that.  I felt like the author just threw that in there to give her male lead something supernatural.

Overall I think that the idea for the story had merit, but I think that Tricia should have fleshed it out more.  I think that if she would take it from novella to full book she could flesh out the idea more and make the story into something grander.  The idea of the evil family member that was going to do bad things to the main character was a great start, but I just felt like it was very rushed.  She wanted to get from meeting your two main characters, the love interest and the protagonist, to them being in love.  There was just not enough between there to make me see them really love each other.

Pros: The characters were likeable. The idea behind the story was great.

Cons: It was too fast.  There was no depth.  The ending was too rushed.

Overall rating: I don't know if I would recommend this to anyone until it is fleshed out more.

Book Title: The Witch and the Vampire

Author: Tricia Schneider

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal).

So this is the second book in the series that Tricia Schneider wrote.  I liked that it took place at the same time as the other story, just in a different location.  Again, this was a novella, not a full book.  I use that term because these are not full novel length stories.

I think that the idea behind this one was a bit more thought out.  There was more struggle to this one and I liked that.  The characters in this one were a bit more "grr" for me and I liked that.  I think that it helped with the story.

This one was again still too short for my liking.  I think that it needs to be drawn out more, giving the story more life.  This one has a better struggle in it.  The evil family member in this one is the same as the first, but we get a better idea about him.  I still think there is more there.  I think his part could be made larger, with more depth.  There was just not a lot of depth in the story.

I know that romance is a way of escape, but there was not enough to escape to in this story.  We are brought into the story at the right time but shoved right back out again before we can really settle in.

I do like her idea on vampires.  She has put out there that they only feed on the full moon.  I liked the idea, but what I really want is to know how he became a vampire.  I also didn't like that he just threw out there that he was 100, with nothing else to go with it.  That should have had something to go along with it.  I get that the love interest understood what he was, but I don't care who you are, you tell me you are 100 and I am going to ask some questions.

I am also struggling with the side story that was in this one, with the vampire hunters.  There was just nothing there and it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Pros: The struggle was a bit more pronounced in this one.

Cons: Still too fast.  Too many openings that were left unopened.

Overall rating: I don't think I can recommend this one yet.  If she can draw it out more, I might be able to tell others to read it.

Book Title: The Witch's Thief

 Author: Tricia Schneider

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal).

So as this series goes, the stories get more to them.  When we get to the third in the series, it feels like the author is starting to flesh out more things.  I still feel like the story is rushed in this one, but we see more then just getting from point A to point B in this one. As the series progresses, we see more in the stories and that helps a lot.

This one takes place in the same time frame as the first two, and I think that as we get to the end of this one we finally get to start moving past that time frame, due to needing the other characters to come to the location in this one.

I felt like this one has more potential and sadly we were left with a hanging issue.  The "bad guy" in this one had no closure.  I hated that and I wish we could have seen more into the reasoning and thinking of the evil man.  I am being very vague here, but I am just not sure how I want to talk about him.  I don't really know how to fit him into things.  The mad, crazy man was shoved on us and I think that we need back story.  We see the death in the very beginning and then never hear of it again until we are shoved into that story toward the end.  We need more there.

I still feel like the story is lacking something.  I think that there needs to be more added to this one.  I do like that in this one we have a more plausible love story.  They knew each other many years ago and have come back together.  This was more real for me and I could see them coming back together, as opposed to the "I just met you but in less then 24 hours I love you and will marry you" idea we get in other stories.

Pros: This story was fleshed out more.  The love interests were better portrayed.

Cons: Again, still far too rushed.  We need more back story on the antagonist.

Overall rating: I think I could almost recommend this one, if it was given more back story on the bad guy.

Book Title: The Witch's Kiss

Author: Tricia Schneider

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal).

Alright, so this is the fourth book in the series.  Of the four, this one felt like it was on the right path from the very beginning.  This one did not feel nearly as rushed.  The main characters were in the last book and the struggles started there. Part of the back story in the previous book are the main point in this book.

So we have a demon and a ghost in this one.  I love that they can't be together to start with and it was not until the very end they even told each other how they felt.  The struggles in this story were better and it gave us a chance to see them trying to do the right thing before they ended up together.

We have a random fiancee, other women who have been with the male lead, and internal struggles that keep the characters away from each other.  I think that this helped make the story more then the others.

I am still struggling with the shortness of the story though.  I would love to see this one drawn out more.  Give us more trying to fix the issues, give us more back and forth between the male and female lead, to show us how they work together.  I just want more!

The ending was still very rushed for me.  We did take longer to get from point A to point B but it was still very fast.  The ending was too pretty, if that make sense.  They took all the problems and tied them up in pretty little bow.  I think it should have been drawn out more, made to feel more plausible.  Well as plausible as a paranormal story can be, with witches, vampires, werewolves and demons.  But I think you understand where I am coming from here.

This is the book that feels more thought out.  I have to wonder if perhaps this was always the end game, but the others were just small steps to get to this one.

Pros: More story, more struggles.

Cons: Too short, the ending was too pretty.

Overall rating: This is the one story in this set of four books I can safely recommend to others.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review - The Mine, By John A. Heldt

It's that time again.  I know that I should probably do more of these each week, but the last couple of weeks at work in the real world have been keeping me tired at night.  I can't focus properly when I am tired and that means reading is pretty much out.  It is not fair to a good author to have the person reviewing their work not getting the full impact from their book.

I have a growing list of books to get read and reviewed.  It was just e-books until yesterday.  I went to check the mail after dropping my evil monkey off at school and found that I won a book from St. Martin's press.  So it looks like I will be reading a real book, not just things on my Kindle.  I also have a book series I need to read before May 9th. 

We have a Comicon coming here that my husband has a booth in and an author will be there.  I have wanted to read her books for some time and my husband bought them for me so I can get them signed.  My husband feeds my reading habit, a lot.

Here is the first review for this week, I feel like we will have another tomorrow.  Gotta love weekends...

Book Title: The Mine

Author: John A. Heldt

I got this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  I love that I get books to review and they turn out to be far more then I expected.  This book is no exception to this rule.  I went in with no expectations and this book was far more then I had hoped for.

The story starts out with two college boys in Montana.  If you didn't know any better it appears to be a time travel book, with no big changes to the time travel format.  The planets align and Joel goes into a cave, a special area is all glowing and boom he is in the 1940s.  The time travel format was good, but it was after that we see something very different.

I have read romance stories for a long time and going back over them I don't think any of those books were written by a man.  I was very surprised and happy to see that a man could write a book that focused on romance.  Once we get to the 1940s we see a lost man finding his way.  He knew what was coming to them all and you could see him struggle with the knowledge that war was coming.  Because he met his own family member, he knew what would happen to the others.

This book flowed well and I loved the progression of things with each character that we got to know.  Without spoiling the ending, let me just say that I loved the twists and turns we went through to get from point A to point B, with all the time traveling in between.  I think that this book is one of those hidden jewels.  You go in expecting one thing and come out with something else entirely. 

Pros: The story moved well and the characters were very developed.

Cons: I wish that we could have had more time at the end, to see what the next steps would have been.

Over all rating: Very recommended!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Book review - Kragen, By Dennis K. Hausker

So I know I finished a book review just this morning, but I started a book last night that I had to finish today.  As soon as I finished the book I had to do this review.  It was a great book and I can't help but share it.

I have more books to read, but here is the newest review...

Book Title: Kragen

Author: Dennis K. Hausker

I got this book by e-mail from the author for an honest review.  Let me start this review with an honest statement, I have not read much epic fantasy.  It has just been outside of my norm.  I wanted to branch out and when I got the e-mail about the book I jumped on the chance to read it.  I could not put this book down once I started reading it.

Dennis did an excellent job with this book.  There were just a few little issues with a name being in the wrong place or a word being wrong, but other then that I had no issue with reading this book.  I loved the concept of the book and the characters in it as well.

I want to start with Damon.  I loved how he started out so low on himself, and even as he grew that never truly changed.  His low self-esteem just made him the person he needed to be.  It made him question the things he did and all the people around him.  I believe that it was all these things that helped him grow as a character.  As he grew I loved him more and by the end of the book I just wanted to hug him and put him in my pocket.  Yes, I know that is a girl thing to say, but I am a girl.

The relationships in the book really worked for me and I loved how they all grew and changed as the book progressed.  I think that if he had written the book where the characters all got what they wanted in the beginning, things would have been different for them in the end.  The way he did things made the characters all grow.  Not many authors will do that. Most of the time the main character gets his love interest right away, or they have some small task to complete to prove themselves.  That was not the case here.

I think because of how much I enjoyed reading this book I am going to have to branch out and read more epic fantasy books. This is the first book I have given a five star rating too on this site.

Pros: Well developed characters, storyline and a wonderful ending.

Cons: Just some small editing issues

Over all rating: Highly recommended!!

Book Review - Graveyard Shift, By Angela Roquet

 I would have gotten this review out earlier this week, but this has been the week from hell.  Only fitting since the book review I am doing is about a book that deals with purgatory and all the different religious hells and such.  So today has been the first day I have had more then 5 minutes to myself.

We have been accepted over at Book Blogs.  We have a profile up there.  I also found out that we are on a list of book review blogs now.  I felt all excited when I saw it.

Anyway, here you go....

Book Title: Graveyard Shift

Author: Angela Roquet

I grabbed this book from a free list on Amazon.  I am glad that I did.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into. From the get go I was hooked.  I loved the main character and that she is a Reaper.  She was taking a man after his funeral in the very beginning and I love how she acted with the soul and even when the people she encountered once they were in Limbo.  I was curious where the story would go from the very beginning.

As the story progresses you get to see more of Limbo and world they live in that is a part but not in our world.  We get to learn how they divide up the souls.  It was interesting to me that they took the souls to the different hells based on what their religion was.  They even had the Sea of Eternity, which was where the souls went that were suicides.  It was all very interesting.

The world in Limbo is well through out and you get to see all the sides.  There are working businesses and people going about their everyday lives.  Angela did her research and made sure she knew what she was writing about.

I feel like there is more to the relationship between the main character, Lana and Maalik.  I can't wait to see what happens with them.  I was a little thrown by how easy she got them together.  I think that we needed a little more back story there, perhaps Lana liked him more then she was letting on when we heard about him?

Perhaps we can get a list of all the characters in the beginning, if they are going to play a role.  I did get a little lost at times trying to figure out who was who or what they were doing.  We go so many random people popping up that I did get a little lost.

Pros: The book has a great plot, with great back stories.  I love the characters

Cons: The relationships were quickly developed. There are too many random characters.

Over all rating: I would definitely recommend this book to others!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Review - The Enchanted Rose, By Nadia Nadar

I know I know, this is two reviews very close together.  I have been a reading fool, let me tell you.  I have another book I just got that I need to read and review as well.  I have been a busy busy little book reviewer.  It's how I spend my down time, when I am not playing The Sims.  Seriously.

I know there are people out there who read this blog and thing "Just get to the book review".  Well, I am a horrible person and will not just get to the book review.  I think that people need to have something they can connect to when they are reading things.  Well, I want you all to know little things about me as I wrote.  So before I do review I will keep talking about things in my life before I get to my reviews.

But I digress and should get to my review.  I could ramble all day if you let me, lol.....

Book Title: The Enchanted Rose

Author: Nadia Nadar

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

I felt like we got shoved into this book at a peak point.  I don't see that as a bad thing.  I am a fan od books that start on climax and not ones who start slow and make me drag through to get to the good stuff.  These kinds of books keep me engaged.  This was no exception.  I was engaged from the start and read this book quickly.

I loved the idea of the story.  I love how the town reacted to Vivian when she arrived and you finally see why they did.  I am curious as to why it took so long for the reason to come out though.  I would think that she would have found out the day she got there, when she got to the home.  I am not complaining, mind you.  The way things are exposed in this book was well done.

While I was reading the book, it felt like it was going too fast.  I felt like there was no enough in the story and that it was shorter then it was.  So many things felt left out for me.  I just felt like I was missing things and had to go back and read things again because I felt like I had skipped over something.  That is why I cannot give the book a full 5 stars.  I loved it, but I felt like it was so rushed through the whole book that I was left feeling like I missed things.

I think that to make this book great some of the areas can be fleshed out more, give more details, give more back story.  I think that would make this more then it is. Overall though, this book is good, and the series has great potential!

Pros: The characters and the story are strong

Cons: It felt short and quick.

Over all rating: I would definitely recommend this book to others!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review - Firefly: Ice Born, by P.M. Pevato

I love to read. I really do. Sometimes I just love to find random books and start reading them. It's usually something off the beaten path or just something I find on a bargain table. When I worked at Barnes and Noble I use to get all kinds of books there that were random and very obscure. It made me happy when I got to find new authors.

I think that is why I love to read and review things for new authors. I find so many new books that I just love love love. I did find a few that were not all that good, but I still gave honest opinions. If you are an author and reading this, I will always be honest about what I write. I just can't sugarcoat something like a book review. I would hate to give the wrong review and then have someone come back later and ask me why I said something that was not true.

That being said, here is today's review....

Book Title: Firefly: Ice Born

Author: P.M. Pevato

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

I really enjoyed this book. I went in hoping that it would be a book that would grab me. I have been reading books between my reviews that are so hard to get into and some I have just not been able to finish. I was glad this one started with a bang and kept me engaged. You start off with a little snow and magic and goes on from there. What more could you ask for from a book? They are always good when you start out with something so exciting.

As I kept reading I started to love some of the characters. Of course you have a great strong female lead, but sometimes she kind of irritated me. She second guessed herself at times. But the other characters made up for her lacking confidence at times. I especially loved Ben. I love how he interacts with Emeranna. I think that their relationship is being set up be a great one in future books.

I think the only thing that kept me from giving this a full five stars was that it ended so harshly and some areas seemed forced or rushed. I think that it could have been stretched out some to make the story flow better, but over all this book was an excellent book and I am so looking forward to the next books in the series!

Pros: Strong characters and a strong story line

Cons: The ending left me a little off. I think that some areas felt rushed or were not fleshed out enough.

Over all rating: I would definitely recommend this book to others!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Review - Days of Throbbing Gristle, By Kevin Cole

So I am introducing my husband to a documentary that I watched a while back that just confirmed my belief that I will forever have job security.  We are watching The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.  If you have not seen it I recommend you watch it.  When I first got my job with Family and Protective Services in my area, I watched this and it showed me what I already knew.  Some people are bat shit crazy.

So I was recently approached by e-mail to review a book.  Kevin Cole spoke with me about reading his book and reviewing here for him.  I of course said I would do it.  I am all about helping out authors and getting their work out there.

So that being said....

Book Title: Days of Throbbing Gristle
Author: Kevin Cole

Alright so when I started reading this book I loved how the main character was our narrator for the whole book.  I loved how sarcastic and snarky he was.  I also loved him because my husband is English and a lot of the things he said just sounded like a regular day in my house.  It was great to have a main character that was real for me.  It's so hard to relate some characters when they are all happy and get what they want.

I was enjoying this book as I was reading it. About half way through I was little confused about Sam's sexual orientation and by the end it wasn't much better.  But I am just the kind of person who wants it straight forward.  You are either gay, straight or sing both ways.  I could never get a feel on him.  But some others could I am sure.

I did love some of the other characters as well.  Jill was awesome and I loved how while she was a Jehovah's Witness, she was not shoving in down Sam's throat.  Yes, she did talk about it but she was respecting his right to not be converted.  I loved her family as well.  It was just nice to see some that were talking about their faith but were not telling Sam he had to convert.

Now all this being said, I hated the ending.  I was truly pissed when I got to the last part of the book.  I loved everything until you get to the last few pages.  I was so angry when I got done with the book that I had to wait a little bit before I started writing this.  I just didn't want to taint all my feelings with how the ending left me.

Pros: I loved the 80s references, they were spot on.  I loved most of the characters.

Cons: The ending left a bitter taste in my mouth. I think there was some parts that could havebeen left out, just to help the story along.

Over all rating: I think that I have some people who would read this and love it, so I would recommended it to others.  It just left me with a lot of unhappy thoughts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review - Apple, by R.A. Black

You just have to love this time of year.  And yes, there is a lot of sarcasm in that statement. Allergy time is upon us all I am sure, sadly mine are year round so they just get a little worse right now.  It just means I get to curl up with books more often, because I am so not going outside with all the pollen and plant ickiness.  Yes, I said ickiness.  I am such a wordsmith. Haha.

So I have a new review for you all.  I have three books I am working on, and I finished the first one last night.  It was a struggle.  So let me get right to it...

Book Title: Apple
Author: R.A. Black

I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

Alright so I am going to get right to this.  I just could not get into this book.  I love gothic romances and gothic horror, but this was just not my cup of tea.  When I have to force myself to read something there is a problem. I could not get engaged from the get go and that is something a book needs to do for me.  If I am struggling in the first couple of chapters, I understand.  Sometimes the story starts slow.  This one, however, just never got me hooked.  That actually made it hard for me to get through the whole book.

I am not sure if my struggles were due to the book not being geared toward me or the story itself.  I wish that I could give this book a better review. The characters, Apple and Skye, they were just not fully developed for me.  I also had a hard time with how they just left the family in the beginning.  I know that in the past children left the family at some point, but I just had a hard time with how this played out.

I think that if this book was changed up a little it would turn into a great story and very engaging.  I think that perhaps things with the family in the beginning could be changed a little.  I think that some details could be elaborated on and that would help engage more in the beginning.

I know that I am mentioning engaging a lot but I find that I do better when books are just that, engaging.

Pros: At times the description was good, the author does know how to write.

Cons: The story just does not progress for me and felt forced.  It was hard to engage and I could not get into the story at all.

Over all rating: I am not sure I would recommend this book.  I think it could use some work before I would recommend it.