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I had the best weekend of reading!! Three super good cozies that you “OTTER” be reading:
Zoe Donovan is one of my favorite cozy series. Kathi Daley does such a good job with the characters and all the little details that make them seem like real people instead of just characters in a book. In this one, Zoe has to contend with the death of the local cat lady who may have had some big secrets!! Zoe must also keep her new fiance’ out of the clutches of the ladies at the charity bachelor auction! If all that’s not enough, there are rescue animals and bears in the dumpsters; I like the way Zoe deals with these things in a believable way. The mystery fooled me (as usual!!) and I was enthralled til the very last page. I was given a copy of this book-the review is my own opinion.
TJ Jensen is a new series for Kathi Daley. In this one, TJ finds the body of her elderly friend and then must untangle a mystery that stretches back decades. There are quite a few characters but they are sorted out quickly with not much confusion about who is who. The town is so inviting-lots of quirky as we expect from Kathi! I liked TJ as a character and the way she was so believable in the way she approached the mystery while still grieving for her friend and dealing with own home life. The hunky Deputy could have been just another pretty face but he has some depth and a back story that was unexpected-I can’t wait to see how this romance plays out. As always, Kathi gives the reader well written characters, realistic situations and a good little puzzle of a murder mystery. I’m looking forward to many more with TJ!!
Oh, what to say about this one!! Emily Castles is one of the best cozy series I have read this year. I know I say that about a lot of books 😉 but this book blew me away! It wasn’t overwrought or violent/gory or even funny ha ha hysterical. It was all so civilized and low-key and the psychic dogs were perfect!! The human characters were eccentric in the best possible ways and Emily was a treat.
She is called upon to act as a “future crimes investigator” at a scientific/paranormal Belief and Beyond conference. The twist is a famous magician is offering a $50,000 prize to anyone who can prove the paranormal exists. When a vision of a drowning at the conference becomes a real possibility, Emily tries to put the clues together before it’s too late. Add in several very engrossing sub plots and I was up way too late reading this book!
It’s finally time for First Chapter Friday!!! This week something different: what happened is this: I receive emails every day from authors requesting Big Otter Books to read and review their books. That’s the cool part about having a blog!! Sometimes the books are exactly right for us and sometimes they are a bit …not… Either the genre is not what we read or the content is too much not what we read etc.
The bad thing right now is my time. There is literally not enough in the day to read all the books I want to read. Sadly, that means I have to send these wonderful people an email that says, sorry, can’t read your book right now. It just breaks my heart!!
That’s partly why I blog; because I don’t have that ‘thing’ to write fiction. I’ve tried & tried and the words just don’t flow. Somebody famous once said the way to write is to sit in front of your typewriter until blood drops form on your forehead!! I’ve done that, too and it doesn’t work for me! But these authors who contact me DO have the ‘thing’ and quite possibly bloody foreheads as well!!
So, even though I don’t have time to read their entire book, I read the first chapters. These are just two that I think some of my blog followers might enjoy reading; so, I’m featuring them on First Chapter Friday. Maybe they will be an “OTTER” read for you!!
The Valentine Circle is set in Boston 1885. A mystery man has been found on board a ship. He has no memory and there are odd weapons near him. This first part was pretty good as the characters were introduced and we got some great descriptions of the ship & area. The next part got a bit weird for me. The mystery man, now named Silas, joins the police force! Yep, he’s now a cop with no memory. There is a strange kidnapping of a child and Silas works the case. This was actually a pretty good first chapter. A bit convoluted and the author got a bit mixed up on present day & 1885 so an editor would have helped. But all in all, if you don’t mind taking your time to go through this, it looks like a good book. Based on just this first chapter, I would read the entire book if I just had the time!! This is a 3 star read.
I’ve read Jennifer L. Hart before. She’s the author of the hilarious Laundry Hag series. She also has new book out called Murder al Dente, a Southern Pasta Shop Mystery. In this Final Notice first chapter, Jennifer introduces the reader to Jackie Parker. Jackie is a process server who quits her job following too much touchyfeely by her boss. She joins her husband & brother in law in their property management company where she of course finds a body!!
If you enjoy a more adult book (not porn or too vulgar) just a very ‘real’ book about real characters, then you “OTTER” be reading Jennifer L. Hart books!! This is another one I wish I had time to read the whole thing. 4 stars.
Have a wonderful reading weekend!!
This is book 2 of the Plato Jones series and will be released 11/6. Plato is a PI who solves various puzzling problems for the Gods of Olympus. The mystery in this book is that humans with superhuman powers are running amok and creating all kinds of trouble for the Gods. Plato is called in to figure it all out. There is literally a ton of great research into mythology in this book! All the little details really flesh out the Gods so they are more realistic as characters than merely omnipotent beings. Plato is a wonderful character that speaks & acts like a hard boiled detective. I liked this book and the only thing I could really complain about is the lack of a good review of the back story-this is book 2 and without reading book 1, I was totally lost for about the first 4 chapters. Once I figured out who was who and how the characters were connected it all made sort of sense. So definitely read book 1 before you pick up this one! I received a copy of the book-the review is my own opinion.
5 stars!!! This YA is the first in a trilogy that has been out for a while. I’m late getting started on it but WOW, am I glad I read it!
Here’s the back story on how this happened: my son picked this up at the library last week. Since they take longer than I do to choose books, my designated role is to sit on the very comfy chairs (!) and read while they look around. He handed me this one and instead of dropping it into our ‘library book carrier’, I opened it and read the first page …then I read the first chapter… by the time they were ready to check out their books, I was well into chapter three!
The plot grabbed me right from the start. Kira is 16 years old and lives on Long island in what seems to be the future about 2076 or so. This is eleven years after genetically modified superhuman/robot things called Partials, that were created by a genetics lab went off the rails and turned against humanity while the RM virus they carry killed just about everybody else that wasn’t immune.
The final indignity of the RM virus is that human babies are not immune so they die. every.baby.every. time So the 40,000 or so humans on Long Island are all that’s ever going to be on Earth. When they all die, humanity dies as well.
The way the society deals with this is mandatory pregnancy laws for females of a certain age (which is getting lower!) in hopes of getting a baby with immunity so they can find a cure for RM and save the human race.
Are you hooked so far? Wait, because it gets even better! Remember the Partials? There are millions of them but they have retreated and not been seen for eleven years. Where they went, what they are doing, no one knows but the humans live in fear they will return to finish wiping them out!
In the meantime, Kira who is trained as a medic which is sort of like our doctors, finds out her best friend is pregnant. The baby is doomed, of course, but Kira decides (like every good teenage girl in a YA dystopian book!) that it is up to her to be the one to find a cure for RM and save the world. How do the Partials figure into her quest and what secrets will Kira discover about herself and humanity? Lots of good stuff happens as we go along for the ride and find out!!
I don’t think I’m explaining the book very well because I don’t want to give away any plot spoilers. Suffice it to say, if someone had said to me ‘hey, read this book’ I would have probably not thought it was my type of a read. I would have been WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! This book was really good, oh, there were a couple of places it dragged with too much explanation/not enough action and some quick learning/acceptance of things that was REALLY quick but, hey, it’s a story. The characters were great and the plot blew my mind!!
If I can’t convince you to read this book any other way, let me tell you that I have the next 2 on hold at the library already!!
I have been waiting for WEEKS to share this with you!!! I was invited to be part of the Blade Singer Blog Tour to bring you, the reader, coverage all over the internet of this super good book that you “OTTER” be reading!
And I do mean super-WOWZERS!! Is it ever great!! Blade Singer could be described as a “sweeping fantasy”, I guess because it covers so much ground from Texas in our world to the Fae world in ‘someplace else’.
“Manuel “Manny” Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket’s association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch’s scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.”
Whoa-Manny is just some dude from Texas that is now a goblin in an alternate world trying to prevent a war between humans and the Fae. The Fae are faerie critters! Think Disney fairies but meaner & trying to take over not just their own world but maybe ours, too. Nasty little beasties and Manny is right in the middle of it all!
I devoured this book-it was so good! It took a while to get started; there was a bit too much back story. There were also a couple of places where I had to say, well that was convenient! But none of this is a deal breaker-just read the beginning really quickly and get to the ‘meat’ of the story!
I always like books with great characters and Blade Singer does NOT disappoint-lots of details that brought these fantasy creatures to life and made their actions in the plot really make sense. The plot itself is very good-not just the same old fantasy/alternate reality. A nice twist on how the ‘real’ world & Fae world intersect. I hope there are sequels!! This book is not just for adults-older YA kids/fans of the genre would have no problem enjoying Blade Singer. 5 stars.
Make sure to stop by the other blogs on the Blade Singer tour and enter the giveaway!!
Blog Tour List
Stop by and visit these other wonderful blogs!
This is the tour page for Blade Singer, a middle grade fantasy by Aaron de Orive and Martha Wells. The tour runs September 29th- October 10th with reviews, author interviews, guest posts and more.
Sunshine, Bubbles and Books – Review
Sher A. Hart: Written Art– Review
Girl of 1000 Wonders – Review
Victoria Simcox’s Blog– Promo
Cover2CoverBlog – Review
Where Connor and JT Go– Review
Three Boy Circus- Promo
Every Free Chance – Promo
Big Otter Books– Review
Brooke Blogs– Guest Post or Top Ten
Book Lovers Life– Top Ten
Literary Escapism– Guest Post
Bookish Wanderlove– Review
Book Enthralled – Review
Word Forward– Promo
WS Momma Readers Nook– Review
CBY Book Club– Review
Write Away Bliss– Top Ten or Guest Post
Books and Ashes – Review
Book Sense– promo
Shelf Life– Review
Suzy Turner, YA – Guest Post
Let’s have some good, clean fun today! I think everyone “Otter” be reading more, but how about reading ‘better’. By that I mean, take a step back from your usual books and try something that’s uplifting or inspirational.
I read just about every genre out there and sometimes I get to the point I can’t take one more murder or another scary thing jumping out! Especially with Halloween coming up and all those good cozy/paranormal books I am intending to read 😉 This is a great week to recharge my spiritual batteries and it’s always better when it’s combined with humor!
The classics stick around for a reason! Good old Aunt Erma literally wrote the book on inspirational family humor. I read this YEARS ago and always try to re-read every few years because it’s just that good. Erma and her family moved to the suburbs back in the days when nobody knew what the heck the suburbs were but they flocked there anyway. This book gives us the unvarnished truth about family and how we are all truly hilarious when we are together.
Ah patience, I remember those days, before children came along and showed me what life is truly all about! Linda does a great job with this book; our journey as parents is one we do not have to make alone. The scripture references are right on the nose and mesh perfectly with the text.
Sadly, we lost Barbara several years ago and the humorous/inspirational book world misses her unique blend of scripture and off the wall funny. This book is uplifting and will have you literally in stitches at Barbara’s take on just about every aspect of motherhood. She goes into quite a bit of detail about her own children and some of the challenges her family had faced over the years.
I hope you find something a bit different to enrich your reading life this week!! Tomorrow is mild Wednesday and you just never know what we’ll be reading around here for ‘hump day’!!
OOOH!!! Some great new Cozy Mystery books this week. You “OTTER” be reading these!!!
This is the 3rd in the Cookbook Nook series. I’m still 4th in line at the library for the first book in this series so it will be a while before I get to read this one. It looks SO good!! Jenna moves back home to open the Cookbook Nook and of course cozy mystery ‘stuff’ starts to happen! This is being released tomorrow 9/30.
I am seeing this book EVERYWHERE! Every blog, every newsletter, some serious buzz is being generated for this book. It was released 9/2 and is the debut novel for author Kathy Aarons. The plot is super: Michelle & Erica are best friends who open a Bookstore/Chocolate shop-can there be anything more perfect 😉 Things go awry as they usually do in cozies and a local photographer is dead of possible CANDY poisoning!! OH, NO!! Whatever will our heroines do? Why, solve the mystery of course! It will no doubt be wrapped up before they lose their store and ruin the Memorial Day Arts Festival. I’ve put this at the top of my to-read list.
A librarian by day and ghost tour guide by night-what a combination! Ripley (Rip) discovers a dead body, then a ghost who communicates via text messaging. Add in a cute cop who is also a ghost hunter and you have another great Rose Pressey book; the first in a new series. It was just released on 9/22 and has all 5-star reviews on Amazon. Pressey is always an enjoyable read with quirky characters in zany situations. Another top of the pile book!
Another cozy/paranormal mix. Lee returns to Salem, Massachusetts to interview for a TV reporter job. When the call-in psychic for the late horror movie show is murdered, Lee takes the job. Is she becoming psychic for real? What is she really seeing in her crystal ball? Will she solve the murder? There is a cat on the book cover so I’m already a fan of the series before I even read it!!
Two new cozies and two new cozy/paranormal for this week. They are all at the top of my to-read list, I need to study some physics or at least watch more episodes of the Big Bang Theory-maybe Sheldon could explain how ALL my books are #1 on my list!!
This was good but short-less than 200 pages. The characters were very believable and the story moved right along. The plot focuses on Jessica, an FBI agent who uncovers a family secret that her murdered parents kept from her. There was lots of drama as Jess gets drawn into this mystery while realizing she has deep feelings for her boss! There were a couple of twists and turns that I didn’t expect but it was interesting and I liked the ending. I received a copy of the book, the review is my own opinion.