Barbara's Booky Blog

I'm a reader not a blogger so this could prove to be interesting.
I read mostly mystery, paranormal, fantasy and romance but I've been known to give almost anything a try except biographies and non-fiction unless forced.

An Ex to Grind in Deadwood (Deadwood #5) by Ann Charles

An Ex to Grind in Deadwood - Ann Charles, C.S. Kunkle
Deadwood South Dakota is one of those places you want to move to just so you can be friends with Violet, Doc and old man Harvey. What an amazing bunch of characters Ann Charles has created! I love the bloody weapons on the covers - sure they're gruesome but it just embodies everything that happens to Violet.

As usual many things are happening in Violet's life that would make a sane person crazy. In this one, her ex-boyfriend (and the father of her twins) has come to town after 10 years wanting something from Violet that she just isn't willing to give and boy is he mad when she won't. Then we have the old lady who calls Violet just before she dies in a creepy and mysterious way. And let's not forget about Detective Cooper who has always disliked Violet since she has a knack for finding dead people. And since that's not enough, how about Cooper's old partner showing up in town, harassing Violet and driving Cooper nuts and he in turn takes it out on Violet. And how about Violet's new boss who thinks Violet alone can save the realty business by billboard ads and creepy television shows. Yup Violet has a whole lotta on her plate and in this one her bestie is out of town and unable to provide succor for her crazy friend.

I loved the way it ended and hope the next installment comes quickly. Poor Violet. Come on Coop, you can do it. And bold Natalie, put on your big girl panties and go after who you want. I can't wait.


Blood Lies - Daniel Kalla

It took a long time to get into this book as I did not like the main character at all. Once you get past Dr. Dafoe's personality issues, the story itself is a good one and it definitely keeps your interest.  It's twisty turny with just enough red herrings to keep you guessing all the way to the end.  I figured out one connection but totally missed the other one.  I would read more by this author.

I'm always asked why I own so many books and why I keep buying more. This says it all.

Book collecting

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12)

12th of Never (Women's Murder Club, #12) - James Patterson,  Maxine Paetro I remember when the Women's Murder Club all worked together to solve a single mystery. Now they each have their own thing going on and none of them are supporting the others in any viable way. Lyndsay is dealing with her very sick newborn and not one of her friends is even remotely involved. Yuki is trying a shady lawyer for murdering and dismembering his wife and when the case goes to shit, none of the WMC are around to offer support. Claire has been suspended because a body disappeared from the morgue and again where are the WMC? And where the hell was Cindy? She breaks up with Rich and disappears and again not one of the ladies offers any support. Except for one brief meeting at Suzi's, the 4 main characters did their own thing and were definitely not a Club of anything.

There is just too much happening in this very short book and none of it was handled well. All the issues were glossed over and wrapped up quite easily with little to no investigation, just wallah case solved. From my count, there are six different storylines. The main storyline is about Lindsay and her sick baby. She has returned from her maternity leave and is immediately on a case involving a clairvoyant who is dreaming various murders that actually happen. Lindsay is also assisting the FBI trying to get a serial killer who just woke up from a coma to tell where his many victims are buried. An NFL quarterback's girlfriend is found murdered and then kidnapped from the morgue and poor Claire takes the heat and is sidelined. Yuki is in court trying that shady lawyer and though Lyndsay's baby is really the main story, Yuki's case takes center stage for a good portion of the book. Cindy and Rich have a falling out and Rich quickly move on. While this is a storyline, it is mentioned and glossed over quickly. With all of this going on, you'd think this would be an exciting book, well it really wasn't.

I keep reading these books because I like the characters and like to revisit them periodically to see what they are doing. This book was just too much all at once with everyone all the time. The action never let up and no one caught a break ever. Since I borrow these books from the library, it doesn't cost me anything so I'll continue reading them but I certainly wouldn't shell out $25 for it.
Red Phoenix - Kylie Chan The only complaint I had about this book was remarkable Emma. Everything she did or said was deemed remarkable. It got irritating real fast. At times I found Emma annoying and domineering, heck bitchy even. Don't get me wrong, I like Emma and I like this series but the author really needs to cool it with the whole remarkable thing. Oh yeah and the sex scenes between Emma and John were ridiculous. They finally get an opportunity to touch and he just falls on her. Seriously? And she's okay with that. Really?

The relationship between Emma and John moves in odd directions in this story. John continues to weaken while Emma's powers are growing by leaps and bounds. I wasn't surprised that Emma could shift forms but it was fun to read about. I continue to enjoy the glimpses of Chinese culture and the mythology woven throughout the whole series. It's enlightening and yet entertaining.

I'll be reading [b:Blue Dragon|1771764|Blue Dragon (Dark Heavens, #3)|Kylie Chan||1769920] shortly to see how it all ends. I can't wait.
Bitter Blood - Rachel Caine WOW. At first I was thinking here we go again. I always have that feeling of doom when I start one of these books. To me it's like Claire, Michael, Eve and Shane can never catch a break. It's always one thing after the other with no pause to even catch a breath. This one starts out that way as well but as usual, it's all pulled together into a cohesive story that just blows me away. I loved this one and though I'm glad the series is coming to an end, I'll be sad when the final book is finished.

I've always liked Myrnin and enjoyed seeing events unfold from his perspective. And boy that Naomi is something else but at least she gets what she deserved (or at least I imagine she did). Of course I have issues with Amelie but I guess that's expected considering the circumstances. Those poor Glass kids have lots to fix and I'm not sure that Claire and Shane departing is going to be the answer but I guess we'll see how Ms. Caine messes with them and Morganville in the next book.
The Perfect Hope (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #3) - Nora Roberts A wonderful story to draw the Inn Boonsboro series to a satisfying conclusion though I wouldn't mind revisiting Boonsboro at some point. I've liked Ryder throughout the series and Hope really was "perfect" and though the antagonism was there between them, I wasn't sure how a relationship would work but as usual Ms. Roberts pulled it off beautifully. It just wouldn't have fit if they had proceeded any other way. It wasn't quite friends with benefits because let's face it, they weren't friends at all. I really liked the camaraderie between family and friends. Since I don't really have that in my family, it's great to experience it vicariously.
Scarlet Nights - Jude Deveraux I don't know why I'm in the minority on this entire series but I really like it. I love the characters (the main characters and all the supporting characters too). They are all just quirky and fun to hang around with. In this one I particularly liked Mike though I admit that Sarah was a little TSTL in the beginning. I can never figure out why smart women do stupid things or allow men to force them to do stupid things. Her entire relationship with Greg Anders made absolutely no sense. Anyway, I liked how not-so-handsome Mike with the unbelievably sexy body basically swept Sarah off her feet (after he annoyed the hell out of her of course!)

The plot is a good one. An undercover cop who just happens to have a sister (Tess) living in Edilean where a con artist and her son are playing out another con. The cops know where Mitzi is but not what she wants in backwater Edilean. Mike's task is to figure out exactly what Sarah Shaw has that this diabolical duo wants and of course, to save the girl. The mystery and Mike's unreal athletic abilities kept me turning pages. I love me some Scots so when the kilt went on, I was there waiting for the games to commence. Another good read from Ms. Deveraux. I will definitely return to Edilean Virginia. Hmm I wonder which one of those quirky females will be the next heroine...Ariel maybe?
Faerie Tales - Martin H. Greenberg, Russell Davis, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, John Helfer, Tanya Huff, Wen Spencer, Adam Stemple, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Jane Lindskold, Michelle Sagara West, Charles de Lint, Sarah A. Hoyt, Tim Waggoner, Jim Fiscus, Janet Pack I needed a non-fiction book from each of the major Dewey Decimal classifications and this is the only one I could stomach from the 800-899 - LITERATURE classification. Unfortunately there wasn't anything special about it. All the stories have been told hundreds of times and nothing in this anthology stood out as new and different. I usually use anthologies to test or weed out authors I haven't read before. I found a few I would try again but for the most part, these aren't authors that stand out from the herd.

Sweet Forget-Me-Not - Charles de Lint. A cute story about bullying and the fairies that saved him. (I would read this author again.) ★★★

The September People - Tim Waggoner. A rather boring tale of an old woman's journey to recreate an event in her childhood. The story bounced back and forth between past and present without warning so it was hard to follow and confusing. (This is not an author I would try again.) ★★

Judgment - Kristine Rusch. I found this one to be very boring but that could just be because I hate anything to do with Nazi's and this was set during the Nuremberg Trials. There should have been a way to make it more exciting but that wasn't done. (This is not an author I would try again.) ★

Changeling - John Helfers. A changeling story with heart. Poor Trent knew he didn't belong there but how to get home again. Now that was the question. I liked this one and would have enjoyed a longer story. (I would read this author again.) ★★★★

Yellow Tide Foam - Sarah Hoyt. An okay story until the end which really didn't fit the main characters personality and seemed forced. (I might read this author again.) ★★★

He Said, Sidhe Said - Tanya Huff. I usually love Tanya Huff's writing style but this wasn't anything special. A typical Queen of the Fairies story with nothing new or different. ★★★

A Very Special Relativity - Jim Fiscus. An interesting blend of science fiction and fairies which was amusing but confusing as well. The instant deals made weren't believable but with the length of the story I guess it wasn't easy to make it so. (I would read this author again.) ★★★

Witches'-Broom Apple Soon - Jane Lindskold. I didn't understand the point of this story. It was just too confusing and not enough details were given to explain what was going on and why and the ending was lame and didn't finish the story. (I might read this author again.) ★★

Wyvern - Wen Spencer. Here's one I thought I would really like as I love dragons but alas it was just mediocre. (I might try this author again.) ★★★

A Piece of Flesh - Adam Stemple. A good changeling horror story with a surprise ending. Though I felt the introduction of the German teacher was rather abrupt and not explained enough. (I might try this author again.) ★★★★

The Filial Fiddler - Elizabeth Scarborough. I did not like this one as it was confusing and didn't really make any sense. (This is not an author I would try again.) ★

The Stolen Child - Michelle West. This is an author I've read before and liked her books but eventually gave up on her Chronicles of Elantra series as the books became unbelievable confusing and difficult to figure out what the heck was going on and why. This story was the same. I guess Ms. West and I must part company forever. ★
Dark Moon - Rebecca York The story itself was just mediocre as was the writing. It's not anything like her previous books which were really good. This self-published book really needed an editor and/or a proofreader as sentences were repeated one after the other, words were missing and the main characters name changed 3/4 of the way through the book for an entire page then reverted back to the correct name. This was very distracting. A very disappointing start to this new series and it didn't add anything to the Dark series either. From now on, instead of just grabbing a favorite authors book, I'll have to do some research as this was definitely not worth the $9.99 price tag.
Ink Flamingos - Karen E. Olson I've said it before and I'll say it again...I love this series! Brett Kavanaugh owns The Painted Lady, a high-class tattoo shop in Las Vegas. I love Brett but I also really like her cohorts Bitzy, Joel and Jeff. I also like her long-suffering brother (the cop) who puts up with Brett's interference in his cases. In this one, a famous client is found murdered and Brett is the prime suspect. Of course, she's vowed to stop investigating but she just can't help herself and once again finds herself in the middle of everything with police scrutiny on one side and rabid fans on the other. Oh I guess I should tell you that someone is setting her up to take the fall for the murder in various and interesting ways. This is one that kept me turning pages. Though I figured out part of the mystery, I was surprised by the ending.

I'm so sad. I just heard that this is the last in the series. I'm going to miss Brett and her gang and her love life was just getting interesting. Darn!
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology - Kevin Osborn;Dana Burgess I've always been intrigued (and confused) about Mythology. I could never remember which Gods were Greeks, Romans or Titans. This book helped to define who's who while detailing various exploits and adventures of the Gods and the mortals with whom they interacted (and whose lives they destroyed!) Written in simple English with a humorous bent to make reading 432 pages enjoyable while being informative. Though if you value your sanity, don't attempt to read it cover to cover in one sitting or your brain might actually explode.

One thing I realized was that I knew and understood more than I thought about Greek Mythology. Must be all those Sherrilyn Kenyon books I've read! The Roman's were a complete mystery until I realized they just copied everything the Greeks did. I've heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but those Romans took it a little too far.

After reading this book, I'm amazed that the Gods survived at all with all the infighting, incest, wars, rape, treachery, etc. And it's no wonder I'm confused. It took the author 50 pages (listed like a dictionary) to spell out who's who in classical mythology. Yes I did say 50 pages!

I'm glad I read it and I did make a cheat sheet so I should be good to go for any future questions.
Written in Red - Anne Bishop This was rather different than anything else I've read. Ms. Bishop took werewolves, bird shifters, cat shifters, mythological beings, vampires, clairvoyants, elementals and twisted them all together and spit them out in a totally new way. I absolutely loved this book!

Our heroine Meg Corbyn, was raised in a lab and knows about things through movie images and picture books though only to be able to interpret her own prophecies. You can't explain what you see if you don't know what things are. So when cs759 (Meg Corbyn) escapes it's like a time traveler has arrived from the planet Ork as she knows things like a car (but can't drive), a wave oven (but not how to use it), a laundromat (but not how to operate it) etc. Luckily she learns fast and is able to fool the inhabitants of the Others realm she has accidentally entered.

The Others (Terra Indigene) populated Namid (the earth) before the humans and ultimately rule giving the humans little land and less privileges. Kind of like what North America did to the Native American Indians putting them in reservations surrounded by whites. The humans are terrified of the Others and for the most part behave themselves. Though all bets are off if they enter the Others' lands without permission.

I liked how the Others rallied around Meg who was different from them but also not quite human. She smelled different and acted different which confused them but in a good way. Simon Wolfgard was the first to encounter her and as such became her protector and friend. I can't wait to see how this relationship develops as it's not accepted that an Other would have a real relationship with a human. But then again Meg isn't really a human either. Hmmm definitely interesting.

Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)

Out of Breath (Breathing, #3) - Rebecca Donovan I don't usually like these angst-ridden young adult stories but I found myself really enjoying this series. I thought the first two books were very real and I know things like this happen as it has happened to my half-siblings so the story really hit home for me. I was looking forward to a positive ending to this series with book three but I found that it just didn't live up to the first two books.

Emma went through a ton of trauma in the first two books and handled it better than I thought anyone could. Now she's in college (after dumping Evan without a word) and she's totally lost her mind. WTF happened to the strong, positive person we met in the first two books? How is it possible that she is now drinking constantly and after holding out for so long with Evan, screwing at the drop of a hat? This new image just didn't mesh with the Emma we've come to know and love. And why did her supposed girlfriends who was so wonderful to her, keep pushing alcohol on this suicidal nutcase? It just didn't make sense.

And though I really liked Cole, what was the point of his existence as all he did was wreck Emma farther not to mention her wrecking him but in her defense, she did warn him and he ignored her warning. I just didn't get it. I guess it was just filler until Evan could arrive in California.

The whole depression thing was a bit much. Emma caused this situation (by dumping Evan) and there is absolutely no reason why she can't just pick up the damn phone and call him. She initiated this whole thing and it's up to her to put a stop to her stupidity. Now we have suicidal Emma whose running, running, running and not eating, trying to kill herself. Yet guys still say (think) how beautiful she is. Now I'm thinking that if she's exercising to this extent and not eating, shouldn't she be skin and bones? That is just not attractive no matter what you look like.

And don't even get me started on the different POVs. The author could have handled this better. Evan's POV was in italics (most of the time) and Emma's not. It would have been okay except that the POV switched from one paragraph to the next and it was really confusing as to who was doing the thinking. I found this very irritating and exhausting to keep track of what was going on.

I forced myself to finish this book because I needed to know how it ended but after slogging through 422 pages, the ending totally sucked. The story just felt unfinished and I was left hanging.

Hunting Eve - Iris Johansen I've always enjoyed Eve Duncan and her exploits but this latest "trilogy" is really stretching it. This isn't a story that required 1054 pages to tell (#1 339; #2 400; #3 416). It just felt as if the author let the publishers dictate how this story should play out. A whole lot of the story was repetitive and though I liked the plot itself, I found myself frustrated and thinking "get on with it already". I think this story could have easily been told in one book (450-500 pages) that wouldn't have sacrificed any of the suspense (since for the most part it wasn't exactly suspenseful) or the angst that everyone was feeling. I think putting in all the extra characters helped with little side stories (Caleb and Mark; Kendra Michaels and Margaret; Zander and Stang) which could possibly set up kickoff series but I don't think we needed their input to the degree it was offered. It just made this particular story drag and seem forced at times.

That said, I do love Jane, Eve and Joe. I've also come to really like Zander (and even Stang) and even Caleb and Mark grew on me. I would definitely read any book featuring any of these characters but again I didn't think Eve's story required these drawn out shenanigans hence the 4 stars instead of 5 stars.

Gabriel's Daughter (The Londo Chronicles) (Volume 2)

Gabriel's Daughter - Patricia Simpson Read The Marriage Machine first (book 1) ebook avail from Smashwords.