The White Shepherd by Annie Dalton

First in the brand-new Anna Hopkins dogwalking mystery series: an intriguing new departure for award-winning YA writer Annie Dalton.

Anna Hopkins’ daily walk through Oxford’s picturesque Port Meadow is rudely interrupted one autumn morning when her white German Shepherd, Bonnie, unearths a bloodsoaked body in the undergrowth. For Anna it’s a double shock: she’d met the victim previously. Naomi Evans was a professional researcher who had told Anna she was working on a book about a famous Welsh poet, and who offered to help Anna trace Bonnie’s original owner.

From her conversations with Naomi, Anna is convinced that she was not the random victim of a psychopathic serial killer, as the police believe. She was targeted because of what she knew. With the official investigation heading in the wrong direction entirely, Anna teams up with fellow dogwalkers Isadora Salzman and Tansy Lavelle to discover the truth.

My rating: 4 stars

If you enjoy mysteries that are very detailed and don’t leave out any possible lead or suspect, then this book will be exactly what you are looking for. I kind of expected a flat, one-dimensional cozy mystery when I picked this up, and was delighted to find that wasn’t the case.

The author took great care with her character building, using a familiar setting and really taking time with her descriptions. You would be hard pressed to figure out the mystery early on in this novel, since she also waits to let the plot unfold  a bit before revealing many clues.

I found this book to be well paced and interesting and am looking forward to reading more of this author’s work. The only thing that bothered me, is that if it is supposed to be a dog walking mystery–perhaps the dogs could have played a slightly larger role than just being companions for much of the story.

Overall, I thought this was really good. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy the whodunnit.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Corridors of the Night by Anne Perry

Corridors of the Night (William Monk, #21)Corridors of the Night by Anne Perry

One night, in a corridor of the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich, nurse Hester Monk is approached by a terrified girl. She’s from a hidden ward of children, all subject to frequent blood-letting, and her brother is dying.

While William Monk’s River Police fight to keep London safe from gun-runners, Hester takes on a new role at the hospital, helping to administer a secretive new treatment. But she slowly realises that this experimental cure is putting the lives of the children at risk. Attempting to protect the young victims, she comes under threat from one rich, powerful, and very ill man who is desperate to survive…
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a difficult time with this one. Whilst there were parts of this book that I found fascinating, there were other parts that I couldn’t stay focused on and I felt went unresolved.

I have read a few other books in this series, and I found this one to be a bit darker and more moody than the others. I liked the characters just as well, but the story lines at first seemed to be separate and I was interested in the husband’s half of the tale, but it was that part that seemed to be left unfinished. So…I’m not sure what to think.

This is a very atmospheric book. The descriptions are good and the actions of the characters are both understandable and believable, but I still found my mind wandering off occasionally.

If you are into medical mysteries–and like the idea of early science, this book will please you.

I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I’m glad I read it–and that’s about all the opinions I’ve got for this one.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. Al opinions are my own.

Murder at Malenfer by Iain McChesney

Murder at MalenferMurder at Malenfer by Iain McChesney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Those in line to the Malenfer estate are succumbing to terrible ends – but is it a supernatural legacy at work, or something entirely more human and evil?

Young Irish mercenary Dermot Ward headed to Paris at the close of World War I, where he drinks to forget his experiences, especially the death of his comrade, Arthur Malenfer. But Arthur has not forgotten Dermot. Dead but not departed, Arthur has unfinished business and needs the help of the living.

Upon his arrival at Malenfer Manor, Dermot finds himself embroiled in a mystery of murder, succession, and ambition. Dermot falls in love with the youngest Malenfer, the beautiful fey Simonne, but in his way are Simonne’s mismatched fiancé, her own connections to the spirit world, Dermot’s overwhelming guilt over the circumstances of Arthur’s death … and the curse.

***Note: This book was previously published under the title “The Curse of Malenfer Manor”.***

My review:

** I didn’t realise when I picked this book up through Netgalley that it was a book I had already read–curse of the faithful reader. But I wanted to make a quick note here, before the review I had written previously–that I read it again, and enjoyed it again, perhaps even more than the first time. This is a book that has so much to offer, and I decided after consideration, that I am amending my 4 star review to a 5 star. If I can read it a second time and still feel wonder–it deserves all 5 stars. Highly recommended.

It may seem strange, but sometimes the most complicated books are worthy of the shortest reviews. This is a book that it is hard to review without giving away something that would be better discovered by the reader, so this will be pretty basic in an attempt not to give away anything crucial.

I liked this book for a variety of reasons. It was more than just the average “ghost story” or paranormal book. This is a complex tale that weaves together the past and the (then) present. It involves many characters and histories. I was thoroughly impressed that the author managed to tell such a complicated story while making everything make sense to the reader and never faltering with plot holes.

The atmosphere of this novel borders on Gothic and has a certain dark quality that fit perfectly with the story. One thing that made this book really stand out for me was the way the characters were introduced. I had a sense that I knew each one personally. This is a difficult thing for a lot of authors to accomplish.

I didn’t see the ending of this book playing out the way it did and that was important to me. I love when you get a surprise at the end and things don’t go as you would expect them to.

The questions were all answered, the plot tied up nicely and there were no loose ends at the finish. This is a truly excellent book.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided by Netgalley.

#RomancingSeptember Day 7 Love Aflame by Pamela Beckford @poetrybypamela

ionia martin:

Pamela writes some incredibly moving and hot poetry. Check this out!

Originally posted on Rosie Amber:

Welcome to Day 7 Of #RomancingSeptember

2015 cover

Our guest today is Pamela Beckford and her book of love poems called Love Aflame.

Love Aflame

Where is your home town?

I live in Northeast Indiana

How long have you been writing romance?

I started about 3 years ago writing poetry and it quickly became love poetry

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

I like something with a good story, not just romance – I’m not much of an erotica reader though.

Love Aflame is a books of poems, how many are there?

First I use various poetic forms. It sounds like a short poem would be easier to write, but I find that restricting the number of syllables can force me to be very intentional with my words to get the desired effect. I do include a description of each poetic form for the readers though. There are 60 poems about love and…

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Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith

HoodooHoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can’t seem to cast a simple spell.       Then a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, and Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger’s black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He’ll just need to learn how to conjure first.       Set amid the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small town Alabama in the 1930s, Hoodoo is infused with a big dose of creepiness leavened with gentle humor.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an odd little book. It is somewhat reminiscent of Lemony, and yet an idea all on its own. I really liked the main character, Hoodoo and his family, but at times I didn’t feel like the story lived up to the full potential it had.

It takes a while for the story to find the right pace and fully develop, but when it does it is a joy to read. This story will keep kids and adults alike interested in what is going to happen next in the unusual life of this little boy.

I wasn’t thrilled with the choice of repeat phrases, as it on the verge of being insulting to the reader. Still it was a fun story and deserving of a look.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

The Gates of EvangelineThe Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

From a unique new talent comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her . . .

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte “Charlie” Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.

After a little boy in a boat appears in Charlie’s dreams asking for her help, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana’s prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family’s sprawling estate, Charlie heads south, where new friendships and an unlikely romance bring healing. But as she uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, the facts begin to implicate those she most wants to trust—and her visions reveal an evil closer than she could’ve imagined.A Southern Gothic mystery debut that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, The Gates of Evangeline is a story that readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold won’t be able to put down.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is fascinating, there is no question about that. From the first few pages I was hooked and I didn’t want to put it down.

Charlie is a strong character and although she has a lot of unexpected events occur in the beginning of the story, she doesn’t heavily overreact or do anything that would seem particularly out of character, save for the one act that ties the rest of the story together–a necessary plot device used by the author, and one that I could appreciate.

I loved the atmosphere of this story and the plantation home setting. The structures were beautifully described and I really felt I could see the same things the main character was viewing. I was particularly impressed with the descriptions of the swamp and surrounding territory, including New Orleans–though it was perhaps a more positive perception than some visitors get from the city.

I won’t say that I gave this four stars instead of five for the language and the comparisons the author made to the people of Louisiana and Texas compared to a New Yorker with a college education–others already have. Frankly, having not lived there and only been a visitor to the south and to Texas, I likely would have done the same thing–dialogue is a tough nut to crack.

What I will say, is that I couldn’t totally get around the idea of a sick, dying old woman seemingly being completely out of it and then acting as though she were able to clear the fog and have a perfectly rational conversation as she wished.

Otherwise, I thought this was a brilliantly crafted novel and recommend it to anyone looking for a good, deep mystery with a lot of unexpected revelations.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Americosis by Haydn Wilks

A naked man arrives in New Mexico claiming to have traveled through time.
He says that he’s America’s savior.

A bizarre sexually-transmitted infection in New York takes control of people’s bodies and burns them out in an incessant drive to infect others.

And a Presidential candidate is conversing with angels.
His aides think he’s crazy.
The electorate might not agree with them.

It could all be madness. It might be the apocalypse.


An epic genre-bending mash-up of sci-fi, horror, thriller & dark comedy.

This short novella introduces the series. It’ll leave you begging for more…

My Review :

4 Stars

This is certainly an interesting way to introduce readers to a new series. If you are squeamish and offended by swearing and blatant sexual acts, this book will immediately be off-putting, but if you aren’t, then this book has a little bit of something for everyone.

Chaos and destruction, insanity and excitement–this book doesn’t slow down from the first page to the last. If you are looking for something with a dystopian twist that also borders the line of horror, this will do nicely.

I liked the different stories that all combine together to make for a wider angle than you get with most stories. For a short book, this packed a punch. Recommended to those who like something a bit different and edgy. It was a lot of fun.

This review is based on a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Hanover House by Brenda Novak

Hanover House (Hanover House Chronicles #0.5)Hanover House by Brenda Novak

Hanover House
The Hanover House Chronicles

Prequel novella to my new Hanover House Chronicles (digital only).

Welcome to Hanover House….

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them?

After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst.

But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.

He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong…

From Sweet Dreams Boxed Set

The Hanover House Chronicles

Coming September 2016

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a bit of a change for Brenda Novak, but she knows how to work it. I agree with her that the minds and inner workings of psychopathic personalities are a very interesting subject and certainly one that is fun to explore.

I liked the dynamic between the two main characters in this book. The tension between them was the perfect mix of sensuality and frustration. Evelyn is a strong character that I see being able to carry a series like this well, without the reader losing interest in her. The memories of her past and the violent things she has suffered through give her a strength that a lot of female characters lack.

Overall, I was really impressed with this and am looking forward to the release of the first novel “Whiteout,” coming in 2016.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Exciting news! Next book in Null City series coming soon

ionia martin:

More reasons to be excited about the book world!

Originally posted on Barb Taub:

The next book in the Null City series, Round Trip Fare, is coming soon from Hartwood Publishing.



by Barb Taub

Blurb: Carey Parker knows superpowers suck. From childhood she’s had two choices—master the powers of her warrior gift, or take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. There are just a couple of problems with either option. Her parents have been killed, her brother and sister targeted. The newest leader of the angels trying to destroy Null City might just be the one person she loves most in the world. And her sexy new partner’s gift lets him predict deaths. Hers.

Sneek PeekClick here for a sneak preview of ROUND TRIP FARE.

And don’t miss:

barb_taub_null_city_500x800-1Someone should have told them the angels were…

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The 33

If you are a film buff, then this is something you don’t want to miss. Thanks to Warner Bros. and Grace Hill Media for allowing us to view this special preview.

Remember the Chilean Mine Crisis? This is their story. Told by way of an epic cast, this is a film that will be sweeping the awards ceremonies. Be among the first to view this video.

And ladies…Antonio Banderas and Loud Diamond Phillips. That’s why.

Please take a moment to share the clip with your favourite media outlet.