Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter - Review

Title: The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3)
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Length: 464 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

I thought I had nothing left to give. I thought wrong. They started the war. Now I will end it.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice "Ali" Bell thinks the worst is behind her... until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a zneak attack, killing four of her friends. It's then she realises only the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies... and she isn't the girl she thought she was. She's connected to the woman responsible for killing — and turning — her boyfriend's mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima — even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

OMG!!! I love this series more and more with every book. Alice and the slayers are ready for war. This isn't just another battle - only one will come out on top and both side will suffer along the way. This is really a non-stop action packed story that never calms down until it's all over.

Zombies and Anima are back with a vengeance and some really imaginative tactics. Alice gets an unexpected blast from her past that really causes some problems - but may be the only way to solve the even bigger problems. Cole and Alice will have to face another landmine in their relationship that threatens to tear them apart.

The snarky comments and attitudes are still present and they may be even bigger than they were before as we introduce a whole new slayer crew to stir up the existing dynamics.

Warning: You just may cry - it's an emotional roller coaster that never stops. Also, this is a trilogy. Book three wraps up the story very well - but apparently others like myself just wanted more, so there is a fourth. But if you were looking forward to a good ending of the series - it does happen.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Unpredictable Webs by Darlene Quinn - Review

Title: Unpredictable Webs
Author: Darlene Quinn
Genre: Adult, Suspense
Length: 451 Pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Release Date: April, 16, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Betrayal, rebellion, jealousy, and a kidnapping gone awry are at the core of this fourth novel in Darlene Quinn's ensnaring series. Unpredictable Webs picks up the Webs series five years after Twisted Webs.

About to turn sixteen, Marnie Taylor is rebellious--fighting often with her mother, Ashleigh--and jealous of her more even-tempered and popular twin sister, Callie. Lonely, Marnie finds a compassionate listener in Brad, whom she meets online. Spinning a web of lies to throw her parents off, Marnie arranges an in-person meet-up with Brad. But she realizes too late that she has been targeted in a sinister scheme for ransom.

Quinn's vivid cast of characters returns in this high-tension, stand-alone sequel. Though their actions are plausible, none of them behaves as others might predict in this tale that discloses the darker behaviors people are capable of. Cougar Viviana De Mornay takes Chicago's fashion world and ''Italian Stallion'' Gino Cabello by storm. Tony Wainwright, who has paid his dues for a past crime and appears to have turned his life around, is catapulted to the top of the list of suspects. PI Ross Pocino is on the scene with his surprising insights into criminal behavior, and Paige Toddman's mother, Helen, seems to grow younger every day. While some mothers can unintentionally do unspeakable harm to their children, Ashleigh's steel-magnolia efforts to wrest her daughter from her captor redeem the sacredness of that role.

Ashleigh once again finds herself in the middle of a horrible situation. Having already survived through a kidnapping/attack and one of her twins being kidnapped, now the other one is. This may sound like a bit much at first, but Darlene Quinn writes in such a way that all you feel is grief and suspense as this new chapter in her life unfolds.

Once again all the players seem to overlap in strange and surprising ways. Ways that will be very important as things come together in the end and work themselves out. I really enjoy how the reader is allowed to see both sides of the story as it all unfolds. Instead of "giving away" too much and ruining the suspense element, it only adds to it. Seeing things from everyone's perspective really adds a nice touch and quite a bit of atmosphere to the story as well.

Another great addition to this tale of the retail giants, I'm glad that Darlene Quinn moved into a more personal look into their lives instead of focusing on the business aspects. While the business is interesting, seeing into their lives at a more personal level really brings the characters to life and I become fully invested in their stories and lives.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Previous Reviews for the Series:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake - Excerpt

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)

Release date:  1/5/16
Author: Brenda Drake
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels—magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books—rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

I pressed the screen, and it went dark. “How do we know he’s not being forced to say this?”

                “The password, May Agnes guide you,” Lei replied. “She’s the patron saint of Asile.”

                Agnes? That was the silver woman’s name that formed from my globe. Did the saints have something to do with the Chiavi?

                I faced Ricardo. “How did you know I was here?”

                “The werehounds tracked your scent from a shirt Katy…excuse me, your nana…gave us.”

                “Can your pack help us save Couve?” Arik asked him.

                “They will, but Gia must go with me.” He noticed the protest forming on my lips. “Merlin said no exceptions. I’m to get you to the shelter.”

                From the corridor came yells, scuffles, and the continual wail of the warning siren.

                “I can’t go with you,” I said. “I have to fight with them.”

                “She can’t fight with us,” Lei said, glancing at the door. “She almost killed Kale.”

                I turned to Sinead. “You know what I can do.”

                Sinead gave me a pity smile. “Yes, but you have no control over it. Let Ricardo take you to your father and friends.”

                I thought of Kale lying motionless, near death, and I hated that she was right. As much as I wanted to stay, I might be more hindrance than help. I caved. “Okay,” I said, defeated. Lei flew out of the room with the Laniars on her heels.

                Sinead hugged me, then rushed after them. Arik moved over to me and cupped my face gently in his hands. His eyes held the intensity that always drew me to him.

                I swallowed my breath in anticipation. All the sounds around us went silent.

                He bent and lightly brushed my lips with a kiss. His lips were soft and oh, so tender. Butterflies swooped and curled inside me, and it felt like the ground disappeared from beneath my feet. He pulled back a little and said, “Regardless of the fact that you’re a royal pain in the arse, I fancy you. Listen to Ricardo and don’t do anything rash.”

                He gave me another kiss and rushed out the door. My heart twisted in my chest as he disappeared. I touched my mouth and exhaled. He liked me. It was against the laws, but he told me he fancied me. Maybe we had no future, but we had now.

                “What a sweet display,” Ricardo said, dragging me out of my haze. “I’m not one for rules or laws, but I’d be careful there. The punishment would be much worse for him than you.”

                “Why?” I stared at the door as if I’d see Arik there.

                “He’s a leader. He knows better.” Ricardo headed to the window. “Are you ready to fly?”
                “Did you say fly?”

About Brenda Drake: 
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis - Review

Title: Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
Author: Alethea Kontis
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale
Length: 308 Pages
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

Enchanted was quite the mix of fairy tale goodness. I saw Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, a hint of Rapunzel, The Little Old Lady Who Lives in a Shoe, The Swan Princess, The Princess and the Pea, The Frog Prince, and I'm sure there are many more that I'm just not thinking of at the moment, Sooo many that at times it got a little crazy.

I really loved the Woodcutter family - named after the days of the week - they all have their very own personality based on an old rhyme. The story really starts with Sunday falling in love with a frog - a talking one of course - and really takes off from there. We have fairy godmothers, princes, evil fairies, and even a changeling.

I really liked how we got to know so many different people in the Woodcutter family. All the sisters have a special role to play and each of them get to be the hero at some point in the story. I loved that they were the heroes and got to save the day several times.

Arilland is an amazing kingdom full of magic that I really enjoyed. But there were just too many fairy tales going on. While there were combined and meshed together quite well, my mind kept jumping around from one to another and sometimes lost track of where it was actually going in the story. I had a few "now what" moments. On the other hand, I'm totally invested in this family and I need to know what happens to the next sister.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Talismans of Shannara by Terry Brooks - Review

Title: The Talismans of Shannara (Heritage of Shannara #4)
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 440 Pages
Publisher: Random House
Source: Self-Purchased
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Although some of the goals to keep Shannara safe had been met, the work of Walker Boh, Wren, and Par was not yet done. For The Shadowmen still swarmed over the Four Lands, poisoning all with their dark magic. Each Shannaran had a special death waiting for him- at the hands of The Shadowmen-unless Par could find a way to free them all with the Sword of Shannara.

Well, it seems like everything got wrapped up - but man did it happen in one big epic crazy scene - or two. The war between Shadowen and the heirs of Shannara is being fought on two (sort of three) fronts. Are you confused yet? There is a ton going on here - and I mean a ton!!! While very exciting and full of action - it might have been nice if it was a little more spread out. We jump from strategy and hiking across the land to super fast paced action battle scene.

While this is probably very realistic, it was quite exhausting to read at times. I was either wanting them to hurry up and get to the action, or slow the action down so I could follow it better. I think Walker and Wren's stories are still my favorites. Which may seem odd, because they had the most up and down again stories as far as pace - but they were gradual changes and some really great build up.

There was also a lot going on inside the heads of our characters. I love getting into their heads and seeing what makes them tic. Walker, especially, has a lot going on and a lot to try and figure out. Overall, this was a great wrap-up. I got to see everyone together again and how everyone's previous story tied into all the others' and really came together.

The Shannara Series

Friday, December 4, 2015

Webs of Fate by Darlene Quinn - Review

Title: Webs of Fate
Author: Darlene Quinn
Genre: Adult, Suspense
Length: 517 pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

In the high-fashion world of the mid-'80s, Ashleigh McDowell falls victim to a painful betrayal by Danielle Norman, a naive and vulnerable young buyer who is fighting to save her plummeting career. How high a price will both women pay in their battle over a grave secret? Each step Ashleigh takes to uncover the truth about Danielle's actions--and her whereabouts--unwittingly exposes her to a criminal mastermind who feels events spinning out of his control. Unexpectedly, Ashleigh discovers an ally in her hunt for Danielle--the handsome Conrad Taylor. But is he the man who will steal her heart or break it?

In a race against both time and the emotions that haunt her, Ashleigh ultimately finds what fate holds for her.

From international award-winning author Darlene Quinn, Webs of Fate is a tension-filled work of fiction that creates the background for the personalities and motivations that drive the stories in Webs of Power and Twisted Webs.

This is the best so far in this series. Going back in time to visit Ashleigh and experience some of the events that are briefly mentioned and referenced in the first two books. There are three distinct crimes that happen in this book, and each has its own unique and special twist. They all revolve around a missing buyer from Bentleys Royale, Danielle. Ashleigh and Danielle have quite the history together, and she just knows that Danielle would never just disappear - she loved her job too much and would never risk doing anything to lose it.

There were a few slow spots in the book that kept it from getting a full 5 star rating. These spots delved more into the retail personnel that really didn't seem to play a part in the story - perhaps they have more to do in future stories.

The suspense was incredible. There were times I thought for sure that someone wasn't going to be saved, they weren't going to find the bad guys, and it would all just fall apart. But then something would happen or be discovered and the chase was on again. I loved it!

Getting to know Conrad, Ashleigh, Vivian, and Mitchell in a different light was very entertaining as well - especially since I had read the books and knew where they were all going to end up. I'm enjoying this series more and more with each book.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum - Review

Title: Never Never
Author: Brianna R. Shrum
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale, Retelling
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does. 

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

Have you ever wondered why Captain Hook disliked Peter Pan so much? It was always just a given in the story that they were enemies. Come see where it all began - and how it all ended. Take a look at the beginning and meet James Hook before he was pirate. It will change how you see a lot of things.

A fascinating way to present the tale of Peter Pan from the viewpoint of Captain Hook. While he becomes the sympathic character, you still never completely believe he's the good guy. There's a dark element, a dangerous element, that is always lurking within him that keeps this from being a true turning of the table for this fairy tale.

James never wanted to be a boy forever, but he never imagined growing up in a place like Neverland. We get to see all our old familiar characters from a new perspective and in a new light. Tiger Lily, the Lost Boys, Wendy and the gang, even the crocodile take on a new meaning when you see them through the eyes of Captain Hook.

There are plenty of piratey adventures and Peter Pan pranks that help to lighten the story just a little and remind you of the original tale and its fun atmosphere. 

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, November 30, 2015

Micawber by John Lithgow - Review

Title: Micawber
Author: John Lithgow
Illustrations: C.F. Payne
Genre: Children's
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2005
Source: Library
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A squirrel named Micawber loves the paintings he sees through the windows of the nearby art museum. One day he notices an artist copying the old masters, and he decides to do the same -- with surprising results. 
In their second collaboration, best-selling author-illustrator team John Lithgow and C. F. Payne introduce children to the world of art through the eyes -- and paint-splattered tail -- of a highly creative squirrel.

Micawber is a great squirrel - he travels from his home in the park to the art museum every day to see the wonderful painting. But once he realizes that he can paint! Well, then off he goes and creates many works of art. The story was very cute - and the fold out of his studio/museum was really great.

The only down side is that you better know your great artists and how to pronounce their names. There's a few in there that I stumbled over and I got weird looks from little man for it.

Goodreads - Amazon - B&N - iBooks

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fright Before Christmas Anthology - Featuring Jessica Bayliss and Giveaway

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 

Order now to take advantage of the special pre-order sale price!

About Jessica Bayliss:
Jessica Bayliss's love for reading goes all the way back to the 6th grade book bin, and it's never faded. She writes across genres and age groups, but Jessica's dearest dream is to dazzle the hearts of young readers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tales of a Fifth-Grade Knight by Douglas Gibson - Review

Title: Tales of a Fifth-Grade Knight
Author: Douglas Gibson
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Length:160 pages
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Release Date: August 1, 2015
Source: Author Request
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

One day, Isaac Thompson is just your average fifth grader playing the part of a porcupine in the school play. The next, he has strayed into a mysterious subterranean realm that has been lurking beneath his school Castle Elementary and launches his quest to knighthood. When Isaac's little sister Lily goes missing from their school's creepy basement, he and his best friends Max and Emma set out in search of her. Their search takes them to the Underground, where they encounter an army of spear-wielding rats, a talking human-sized bat, and a thumb-nosed prison guard. But humans who stay in the Underground too long transform into weird, unpleasant creatures and are forced to work for the horrible Elf King. Can Isaac and his crew escape the Underground before it's too late for them to ever return home?

This is such a cute story! Isaac and his friends, through a series of accidents, find themselves in another land hunting for his little sister. The Underground is full of some really great ideas. I particularly enjoyed the concept of how newcomers became elves. Seeing the various stages of transformation as they met the residents of the Underground was great - I especially liked the ear-man.

But things get very serious when they find out they may not be able to leave. None of them are too keen on sticking around to see what they might be turning in to. Lily is especially vulnerable to this change and they need to get her out fast!

Not all the creatures they run into are good or bad. There are quite a few that are just trying to get on with their lives - a very great mix. The ending is quite nice, but I hope Lily learns a bit of a lesson out of the whole thing. Hopefully we'll see more in this world. The author left it open for another adventure, but still wrapped this one up very nicely.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scooby-Doo! Witching Hour by Sonia Sanders - Review

Title: Scooby-Doo! Witching Hour
Author: Sonia Sanders
Illustrations: Duendes del Sur
Genre: Children's, Halloween
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: July 1, 2009
Source: Library
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Scooby and the gang are picking pumpkins for Halloween when they see a witch haunting the pumpkin patch. When the witch makes another appearance at the town's annual Halloween bash, will the guests be too spooked to party?

OK. I know this is a little late for Halloween, but who doesn't like Scooby-Doo? This was a really fun one about a haunting at the pumpkin patch over Halloween (of course). With tons of great Scooby and the gang sayings - and updated to reflect current technology, this was a great one to read.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fright Before Christmas - Release Blitz Featuring Laura Pauling and Giveaway

It's the most wonderful time of year...or is it? 

Christmas Eve is a night of mystery and magic, but not always in ways we expect. Things lurk in the shadows and they're not the least bit jolly or merry. Let's just say some presents are better left unopened.

‘Tis the season to be screaming along with our thirteen tales of holiday horrors. Ghosts. Monsters. Demons. And more! 

This Christmas, be careful what you wish for... 

Pre-order now, so you can get the special pre-order sale price:

About Laura Pauling:
Laura Pauling writes about spies, murder, and mystery. She’s the author of the young adult Circle of Spies Series, the Prom Impossible Series, and the Holly Hart Cozy Mysteries for adults. She writes to entertain…and work in her jammies and slippers. 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fright Before Christmas by Shannon Delany

Fright Before Christmas

by Shannon Delany

Giveaway ends December 05, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Deathly Magic by A.L. Kessler - Cover Reveal

Title- Deathly Magic (Book 2 Here Witchy Witchy Series) 
Author- A.L. Kessler 
Release Date- February 15th 2016

Pre-Order Now: Amazon

Zombies... When Abigail Collins heard Nick’s theory on their current case, she knew he had to be crazy, but when a zombie shows up in her apartment she has no choice but to believe him. A renegade necromancer bent on manipulating witches and murdering innocent people runs amok in town and Abby and Nick have to stop them before more bodies pile up. Further complicating matters two PIB agents step onto the scene, claiming a link between their case and Abby’s. To top it all off, blood starved vampires are causing chaos in the city. It’s just another day for PIB Agent Abigail Collins, full of blood, monsters, and explosions. 

About the Author 

A.L. Kessler is the author of Dark War Chronicles. She dabbles in paranormal romance, steampunk and urban fantasy. Since she was a teenager she's loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she's not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband, she's either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles. For those who like things on the more spicy side, she leads a double life as Alexandra Webb.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright - Review

Title: Sneezy the Snowman
Author: Maureen Wright
Illustrations: Stephen Gilpin
Genre: Children's, Christmas
Publisher: Two Lions
Release Date: October 1, 2010
Source: Library
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A snowman keeps doing things that make him melt, but the kids build him up again.

A cute story, but at times the illustrations of Sneezy made him look a little creepy. Like the famous Olaf from Frozen, Sneezy keeps trying to get warm and melting. The children follow him around and don't seem to think anything of it, they just keep re-building him and giving him their winter clothes. Cute, but I'm not sure I would want to do more than borrow it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Twisted Webs by Darlene Quinn - Review

Title: Twisted Webs
Author: Darlene Quinn
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Length: 447 Pages
Publisher: Emerald Book Co
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

A baby girl is stolen, and tightly woven webs of deception encase her and two families for eight traumatic years. The stunningly beautiful and elegant Ashleigh Taylor gives birth to twin daughters while she's in Long Beach visiting her father figure, Charles Stuart, the founder of Bentley's Royale. Hours later, a parent's worst nightmare occurs: Cassie is kidnapped. Twisted Webs unravels the mystery of the abduction of Callie's identical twin. With the same drama, tension, and high style that hooked readers of Webs of Power, the author invites loyal fans and readers new to the series to step into this provocative sequel set in the 1990s. There is plenty going on to keep them turning pages all the way to the end. 

Ashleigh Taylor was introduced in the previous book about the department super powers and their fall to leveraged buy outs. Twisted Webs takes a step back from the corporate world and looks more into the personal lives of the characters. Ashleigh has twins - but one is stolen from the cradle in the hospital days after they are born. As the hunt for the missing twin begins - we follow the lives of both sides throughout the entire story. 

Some favorite characters are brought back and the small world of retailing and fashion force the kidnapped twins family and Ashleigh's family into each other's sphere time and again - with close calls and finally a recognition. The thing that really stands out in this whole drama is the lack of a bad guy. The family that has the missing twin has no idea that their daughter was kidnapped. Once the story comes to light, the story begins to really unfold in a very interesting way.

The ending was brilliant. I don't think Darlene Quinn could have done better with it. Ashleigh's attitude during the story was amazing. The strain it put on her relationships was very real. A very well-done story.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Little Mouse's Painting by Diane Wolkstein - Review

Title: Little Mouse's Painting
Author: Diane Wolkstein
Pictures: Maryjane Begin
Genre: Children's
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
Release Date: April 1, 1992
Source: Library
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Little Mouse creates a painting which looks like three different things to her three friends, all of whom find themselves in it.

Little Mouse's Painting has been a big hit in our house - read at least once a day and sometimes more. Little Mouse and his friends discover that not everyone sees things the same way and that different perspectives will give different impressions. The illustrations are beautiful and are works of art on each page. I wish this version was still in print so I could add it to our home library. If your library carries it - you will not regret checking it out.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fortune's Son by Emery Lee - Review

Title: Fortune's Son (Georgian Gamesters #2)
Author: Emery Lee
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Length: 448 Pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Source: Self Purchased
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Love is the ultimate gamble... 

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he's ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom-until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors' prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways...

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip's skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards...Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren't afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice...

This is one the most detailed historical fictions I have ever read. That is a good thing and and a bad thing. It's good because the story is really brought to life and the world Emery Lee creates is vibrant and alive. It's a bad thing because, since I don't know tons about the Georgian period, there were things I just didn't quite understand. It seemed like everyone had three, if not more, names and at times it was hard to keep track of them all.

I really enjoyed watching Phillip maneuver his way through the gaming tables of England. I think I learned more about how to cheat at dice and cards in this book than anything else. Susannah, on the other hand, isn't quite as good at the game. But she wants to learn - and while Phillip teaches her they fall in love. Sound like a romance? While it has a lot of romantic elements - this is definitely not an historical romance.

Lots of twists and turns that eventually take us back to the story in book one of the Georgian Gamesters. Very well rounded and well written. I hope to see more about this world soon.