Saturday, 31 December 2011

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Title: Fracture
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1-4088-1739-1
Pages: 262
Series: N/A
Type: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: ARC Won

Delaney Maxwell falls through the ice of a frozen lake in Maine and though her friend Decker manages to pull her out, she's already been in the freezing water for eleven minutes. When she wakes up in the hospital everyone thinks it is a miracle, but Delaney has come back different. Having survived death she is now drawn to the dying. When Delaney meets Troy Varga who possesses the same abilities she soon begins to wonder if Troy truly is a kindred spirit or something far more sinister all together.

Fracture was not a book I'd even heard of until I won a copy randomly at an event. I sat down today to read a couple of pages and ended up glued to the story. What I expected to be either a thriller or a love story turned out to be both with a huge side of things to think about. Somehow the author has managed to create a young adult book that explores the concepts of live vs death, fate, what it means to truly live and the morals of euthanasia. I love that the book poses the question "If you had one day left to live, what would you do?" because it really makes you think about what your priorities are.

In terms of characters I really liked Delaney and Decker. To me it was obvious from page 6 that Decker was in love with Delaney but I liked that. It meant that as the reader I knew both what Delaney was going through and the issues she was oblivious to.

Troy also wasn't a cookie cutter bad boy - he's written in shades of grey which adds to the morality questions raised by the book. All the major characters in the book are incredibly well-developed and have their own stories to tell which creates an intricate tapestry. Some of Delaney's friends aren't quite as well developed, but this story is about Delaney and those closest to her so it didn't bother me too much.

The romance aspect of the book is beautifully written and manages to avoid the pitfalls of protracted love triangles and insta-love. The entire book is written in gorgeous prose and manages to build tension, pose questions and make me sigh in turn. You are plunged into the action right at the beginning and I'm still thinking about the book even after closing the cover.

All in all, this is an awesome debut that I definitely recommend and I'll be looking for more by this author.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 47/50

Friday, 30 December 2011

Say Not What If by Andrew Friedman

Title: Say Not What If
Author: Andrew Friedman
Publisher: Createspace
ISBN: 978-1463627317
Pages: 52
Series: N/A
Type: Adult Poetry
Source: Purchased

Say Not What If is the story of a man who is so committed to his career he doesn't realise what he's about to lose until it's gone. He sacrifices his marriage and life outside of work to advance in his career. Comprehension of what he's done comes too late and he makes a terrible choice. All choices have consequences and his are harsh, sending him to death row and allowing the author to explore the morality of the death penalty.

This is outside of my comfort zone in both its style and subject matter. Written as a 10,000 word rhyming poem, I was worried about whether it would be difficult to read but I found it was easy to read with an accessible style. At 51 pages this is a short read, but has excellent pacing and flow and manages to be realistic without being overly graphic. This book is also unexpectedly humourous at times, especially when discussing lawyers (ironically the author himself is an attorney).

The subject matter is very thought provoking and it presents different viewpoints fairly, allowing the reader to see both sides of the argument and explore their own views. Whatever your personal opinion on the use of the death penalty this book does a great job of discussing the various arguments for and against it. There is also a good message that time is the one thing we can't get more of and so we should seize the day. The line "there is no promise of tomorrow" is repeated several times and is a good message for the story to promote.

One thing that did bother me was the handful of typos spread throughout the book. They are mostly homophones (their instead of they're and due instead of do) so would have been missed by a spellchecker, but it's still jarring to stumble across them and it did affect my enjoyment of the book. I was also a little disappointed by the plainness of the cover, although it does fit with the book.

All in all, this is a clever thought provoking read.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 43/50

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Harper Voyager
ISBN: 978-0-00-742547-1
Pages: 358
Series: Chemical Garden Trilogy #1
Type: Young Adult Dystopian
Source: Purchased

In an attempt to perfect the human genome, DNA engineering has created a horrifying genetic flaw - females die at 20 and males die at 25. Young girls are abducted and forced to breed in an attempt to prolong humanities existence until a cure is found. Rhine Ellery has been kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden to replace his dying wife. Placed in a gilded cage Rhine is determined to escape with the help of a servant Gabriel, but Rhine hasn't counted on catching the attention of Linden's cruel father...

I'd heard great things about this book but even after I picked up a copy I wasn't really drawn to read it. Then when I did I managed to finish it in a single day. The plot is brilliant with a clever pace that sucks you in and keeps your attention glued to the page. The conflict between the normal lifespan first generation (born with perfect genetic profiles) and their tragically shortlived children is outstanding. As a science nerd, the genetic aspect was especially fascinating.

I found the dystopia to be well developed and despite what I'd heard from other readers the young age of death is explained, albeit rather briefly. That said I don't necessarily want an in-depth pseudo-science discussion in the middle of such a great character driven novel. The book is an emotional rollercoaster and any overly long explanations would have severely damaged my enjoyment. As this is the first in the Chemical Garden trilogy, there is much room to expand the history of the world in later books.

Rhine is an amazing lead character who is really independant and capable which is a refreshing change from some heroines who fall apart by themselves. She even manages to form friendships with the other two Linden's wife Rose and his other two brides, quiet Jenna and idealistic Cecily. Polygamy is a new subject to me as a reader but I felt it was well handled and believable. The other wives are really well fleshed out characters each with their own unique pasts and motivations.

I was a little nervous of the potential love triangle between Rhine, Linden and Gabriel but it soon became clear that Rhine had no interest in Linden and rather than the now standard YA 'who should I pick?' Rhine's dilemma was more about whether she would begin to believe her own lies. Rhine has to pretend to be happy with Linden to win his trust but it is clear that her interest lies solely with Gabriel who is the perfect romantic hero, constantly doing little things to make Rhine happy and carrying all the consequences himself.

All in all this was an awesome read and I can't wait for Fever.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 49/50

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (16)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish where a new top ten list is posted each week. This week is: Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011. These are in no particular order.

 1. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I was a little nervous of the hype about this book as I've been let down in the past, but this was an outstanding read. I loved Rhine and Gabriel, and I adored the fact that there wasn't a conventional love triangle. Instead the author focused on the emotional consequences of living a lie, even if it's for the best reasons.

2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This is hands down one of my favourite books of all time. Not only is the cover beautiful (and has an awesome silky/neoprene feel to it) but the book is lyrical and gorgeous in its writing. Plus it has evil water horses. I love evil water horses! I also need to make the November Cakes as they just sound yummy.

3. The Hollow & (The Haunted) by Jessica Verday
I read these two way back in January and loved it. I've got the last book of the trilogy (The Hidden) waiting to be read but I want a weekend where I can curl up with some snickerdoodles and read all three. I love Abby and Caspian, and the whole Sleepy Hollow link is amazing. I'm a sucker for any kind of gothic romance, and this is an outstanding example.

4. Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
This pick could include all of the Psy-Changeling novels because I absolutely adore them. They are one of my favourite paranormal romance series partly because alongside the beautifully written romances there is some of the best world building I've ever seen. The series is now ten books long and presents a fully fleshed out realistic world.

5. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
Back near the start of the year I saw a preview for a movie on TV that seemed really familiar. Five minutes on Google and I knew why. I first read this a few years back, realised the rest of the books were unavailable in the UK and promptly forgot about it. My Mum got me all the books for my birthday (she ordered them from Australia!!!) and I'm totally hooked. The movie is also really good.

6. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
An old favourite of mine that I reread. This was my gateway book to urban fantasy. I'd tried a few authors before, but Kelley Armstrong was the first to get me completely hooked. I really liked Elena and I totally fell for Clay ("I am the local psychopath" lines aside). The last book in the series is out next year *sniff* so I'm guessing I'll be rereading it again.

7. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Definitely an out of left field pick for me, my reading of this book was basically down to other bloggers. I doubt I'd have even heard of the book without them. I loved Anna and Cas, and then the book threw in an awesome secondary plot that left me with my mouth hanging open. I cannot wait for the sequel!

8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
I'd heard good things about this for ages before I read it. It was one of those tricky to get books that I randomly stumbled across one day in a store and snatched up a copy. Evie is awesome (and I soooo need a pink taser). The world is really well developed and I loved how pretty much every kind of paranormal creature is featured.

9. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
I finally got around to reading past the first book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and can safely say Zsadist's is my favourite book so far. I love the whole tortured anti-hero vibe he has and I like that his story wasn't just "I love you, I'm healed, lets be happy". Z has issues and they rarely come with simple solutions.

10. Shiver, Linger and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
A blatant cheat I know, but I love this trilogy. I actually waited to start my blog until I had reviews for these as I wanted to get it off to an awesome start. All three books are amazing and I am totally blown away by Sam and Grace every time I read them. As a bonus below is a video of Jonas and Plunkett performing Summer Girl (from Shiver) at Maggie's London signing. Sorry it's not brilliant quality.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter

Title: Deep Kiss of Winter
Author: Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-451-60005-6
Pages: 520
Series: Immortals After Dark #8 and Alien Huntress #4.5
Type: Adult Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

This book combines stories from two of my favourite paranormal romance authors Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. Kresley Cole's Untouchable fits into her Immortals After Dark series (the first book is A Hunger Like No Other) and Gena Showalter's Tempt Me Eternally is part of her Alien Huntress series (the first book is Awaken Me Darkly).

***Untouchable by Kresley Cole***

Daniela the Ice Maiden is widely known among the Valkyrie for being untouchable. As the daughter of the Queen of the Ice Fey, Danii's skin is ice cold and literally burns with any contact with warmth. Murdoch Wroth is a vampire most known for his human exploits as a warrior and ladies man. When a chance meeting results in his heart beating for the first time in three hundred years Murdoch knows he will stop at nothing to claim the untouchable Daniela.

This story is the reason behind my purchase of this anthology. Dani has been mentioned in several previous books and I was excited to learn more about her, and Murdoch is the last of the Wroth brothers to get his own story. I'd heard that this is supposed to fit between books 8 and 9 (Kiss of a Demon King and Pleasure of a Dark Prince) of the Immortals After Dark series, but it actually runs concurrently with the prequel novella in Playing Easy to Get and first four books. This gives a bonus of additional action, added to by the pursuit of Danii by the brutal Ice Fey.

I really enjoyed the story and loved getting to know more about Danii. It was also fun to get a different perspective on previous events although I found myself a little lost at times as not only has it been a while since I first read the books, I've also never read the prequel featuring Nikolai and Myst. I was pleasantly surprised by the duration of the story as many anthologies just feature insta-love whereas this is set over more than a year. The storyline is well thought out and I enjoyed the steady development of both the relationship and Danii's true nature. All in all, this is a great book that is a must read for IAD fans.

Plot: 9/10; Characters: 9/10; Ending: 9/10; Enjoyment: 8/10

***Tempt Me Eternally by Gena Showalter***

Aleaha Love can take the identity of anyone she chooses just through touching their skin. Her latest identity is Macy Briggs, an AIR (alien investigation and removal) agent. Her latest mission is to capture a group of otherworldly warriors but when her team is captured by the aliens Aleaha finds herself tempted. The alien commander Breean can see through Aleaha's disguise to her true form and his seductive nature means for the first time the only skin Aleaha wants to inhabit is her own.

While I have read some of Gena Showalter's books, her Alien Huntress series is completely new to me. That combined with the fact I rarely read anything even vaguely sci-fi meant I was more than a little apprehensive about this story. This falls between the fourth and fifth (Seduce The Darkness and Ecstasy in Darkness) books in the series, which does show in the novella. I felt like I'd been dropped in at the deep end as although some key events are mentioned, the backstory is rather brief.

The majority of the plot revolves around the romance between Aleaha and Breaan, and I was disappointed that more attention wasn't paid to the broader story. I found Aleaha's gift fascinating and I really enjoyed the glimpses into her backstory. Breean was well developed and again had a fascinating backstory. The problem is that there is a lot going on while the focus of the story remains in the bedroom. I'd have loved to have known more about what was going on with the prisoners, the evil Schon queen and the AIR so while I was disappointed in this story, I'll probably read more from this series in the future.

Plot: 7/10; Characters: 7/10; Ending: 7/10; Enjoyment: 6/10


All in all, this is a fun read that I'd recommend for the authors' existing fans.

Average plot: 8/10
Average characters: 8/10
Average ending: 8/10
Average enjoyment: 7/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 40/50

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays!!!

I just want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Fall into Reading 2011: The Wrap Up

I can't believe the challenge is over already! I didn't even come close to reading all the books on my very long list. I think I was a bit to overenthusiastic when I wrote it, and I also got distracted by other books that weren't on the list. I've realised that when it comes to reading challenges having a set list of books to read doesn't help me, if anything it makes me reluctant to read those books.

My favourite book this fall isn't actually from my Fall into Reading list. It's The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I adored the entire book and it's probably my favourite book this year. Written in her usual lyrical style, the plot revolves around viscious water horses called cappaill uisce and grabbed me from the very first page. I even got to meet Maggie at a signing and chat about killer water horses.

Anyway, the books I managed to read for the challenge are below:

Beastly by Alex Flinn
First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost
Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

I had a lot of fun during the challenge, even if I didn't meet my goal and I just want to say thank you to Katrina at Callapidder Days for hosting!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Gift to Last by Debbie Macomber

Title: A Gift to Last
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 978-1-5516-6930-4
Pages: 240
Series: Angels Everywhere #4
Type: Adult Chick Lit
Source: Purchased

This book combines two stories from Debbie Macomber: a stand alone focused on a group of stranded travellers and the fourth story in her Angels Everywhere series (after A Season of Angels, The Trouble with Angels and Touched by Angels).

***Can This Be Christmas?***

A mismatched group of travellers have ended up on a packed train to Boston on Christmas Eve. Submariner Len is determined to get back to Texas to propose to his long-term girlfriend, recently widowed Cathy is heading to her daughter's for her first Christmas without her husband, salesman Matt is heading back to his family...if they're still waiting and Kelly and Nick are taking their baby daughter home. But when the train becomes stranded at a small New Hampshire station, the travellers must band together to recapture the true meaning of Christmas.

This is a cute story and is apparently inspired by an experience of the author's parents. I love snowbound settings so I was excited to read this. The whole story takes place over the course of two days as the travellers are stranded in a small town and opt to stay in the train depot so they won't miss the train leaving. The story is well written with a clever plot, but there are a lot of characters introduced very quickly so I found it a little hard to keep track. This is also a very short story (only 100 pages or so) so it's a very quick read. It is a great story for showing how the Christmas spirit can be captured by anyone regardless of circumstance if only they try.

Plot: 8/10; Characters: 8/10; Ending: 8/10; Enjoyment: 8/10

***Shirley, Goodness and Mercy***

The irrepressible angels are back in the role of prayer ambassadors again. This time the case is so dire all three have been assigned to work together. Greg Bennett hates Christmas. Mid-way through a divorce, friendless and on the brink of losing the vineyard he's spent 50 years building he has no time for sentimentality or the Christmas spirit. But Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are determined to help him recapture the joy of the season and fix his life.

I've really enjoyed the previous angel stories and was a little surprised to realise that the three angels would only have one prayer to answer. The previous books have dealt with three cases, but this is significantly shorter so I can understand the single focus. While I enjoyed the story it wasn't on par with the previous installments. Greg's backstory is presented briefly and ended up being info-dumped on the reader. I found his brother's attitude was incredibly annoying and stuck up. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy also don't get up to as many antics as usual which I really missed. I did like the ending as, while some parts were predictable, one aspect was unexpectedly realistic.

Plot: 8/10; Characters: 8/10; Ending: 8/10; Enjoyment: 7/10


All in all, this is a quick and easy read that's great for the Christmas season.

Average plot: 8/10
Average characters: 8/10
Average ending: 8/10
Average enjoyment: 7.5/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 39.5/50

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (16)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My teaser:

"Oh please, she prayed, don't let us end up spending our first Christmas with Brittany stuck in a train depot. Don't let this be our Christmas."

~ Page 61, A Gift to Last by Debbie Macomber

Top Ten Tuesday (15)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish where a new top ten list is posted each week. This week is: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings. I'm not going for books I hope Santa brings because they were on my list, I'm going for books I'd love to receive but haven't asked for.

1. Evernight by Claudia Gray
I just got the last two books in the series in a lucky dip, but I haven't read the first two so they are top of my list. I don't like starting in the middle of a series because I always miss important things so I need to pick this up before I'll read the two I have.

2. Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Ditto what I said above, plus it's purple!

3. White Cat by Holly Black
I keep hearing amazing things about this series and the author. I have Tithe waiting to be read but this sounds like an incredible read too - illegal curse workers who by a simple touch could change your emotions, your thoughts, your luck? Awesome!

4. The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan
I met Sarah at a Cassandra Clare signing a few months back in London and got to chat with her for a bit. I've had The Demon's Lexicon on my TBR for ages and I picked up The Demon's Covenant at the signing so I really need to catch up. This would allow me to read the entire trilogy in one go.

5. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
I only just heard of this a couple of days ago, but it sounds hilarious. I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice when I read it (although I'm still a Knightley girl at heart) and I love modern retellings of classic novels so this sounds made for me. Plus rock music :)

6. Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
I heard about this modern take on the Medusa myth back when I first started blogging and it sounds amazing. It is however a hardcover so it's pricier than my normal paperback purchases. It's a very girls-kick-butt kind of book so I would love to read it.

7. All Just Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
I've always been a reader but when I hit my late teens I got really hooked and started reading at least once a day, every day. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was one of the authors I discovered and I still love her books. This continues on from one of my favourites (Shattered Mirror) which had a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I can't wait to see how she concludes the story.

8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
This sounds like an incredible read and I've heard so many great things about it. The idea of not being able to touch anyone for fear of killing them reminds me of Rogue from X-Men. It's an idea that terrifies me - never being able to touch anyone or be touched? Creepy.

9. The rest of the Discworld by Terry Pratchett
I started reading the Discworld books last year and fell in love with the world. I've read up to Mort and have a couple more standing by but I'd love all of them. There are a lot of books in the series though so it's going to take me a while to catch up.

10. The Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin
I read the first one of these a few years ago when I got it out of the library. I really enjoyed it but never managed to get my own copy. The series is now complete and the author has sadly passed away so I'd love to get and read all of them.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Trouble with Angels by Debbie Macomber

Title: The Trouble with Angels
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Avon
ISBN: 0-00-773964-8
Pages: 337
Series: Angels Everywhere #2
Type: Adult Chick Lit
Source: Purchased

Angels Shirley, Goodness and Mercy have been sent to Los Angeles to act as prayer ambassadors for three difficult cases. Shirley finds herself assigned to Karen Woods, a young girl who has been having nightmares since her parents painful and messy divorce. Mercy is sent to Catherine Goodwin who is praying her grandson finds a love that will rival the one she experienced years before and Goodness finds herself with a demanding case. Assigned to Paul Morris, Goodness must help the pastor to regain the faith he has lost since the death of his wife.

This is the second book in the Angels series (after A Season of Angels) and I was really looking forward to reading it. I fell in love with the irrepressible Shirley, Goodness and Mercy in the previous book so I couldn't wait to see what they'd get up to next. As with the previous book, each angel is assigned their own case but frequently join together to help each other out.

The three stories are well paced with realistic plots and unique storylines, and switching between them created some mini cliffhangers that kept me glued to the page. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy continue with their unusual ways of connecting with their charges, often with hilarious results. At times I wished for a little more depth on some background characters, like Karen's father, but their motivations weren't really relevant to the story so I can understand why they were skipped.

Faith is a key part of the story, but the book isn't pushy or aimed at forcing you to believe in religion. It simply shows how having faith (in anything) can make your life easier. Most problems have mundane solutions and the majority of the book revolves around honesty and trust between characters not divine intervention, although sometimes people just need a nudge in the right direction.

I did find the ending of the previous book to feel a little contrived, but I'm happy to say that this ending flows beautifully out of the story tying up the loose ends in a believable way. The whole book has a really positive uplifting feel which makes it an ideal holiday read.

All in all, this was a great read and I'm really looking forward to reading Touched by Angels.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 47/50

Sunday, 18 December 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Each weekend I'll post about any new books I've gotten either in my mailbox or from a store or library that week. If I haven't gotten any new books, I'll wait until I do. I've had an awesome haul of books this week!

One book that I've mentioned a few times on my blog has been Undone by Rachel Caine which is the first in her Outcast Season series. It had a massive cliffhanger at the end so I've been waiting to read further. This is the third in the series, and the final book is out early next year. I can't wait to read them all!


One of the 2012 reading challenges I've signed up for on Goodreads is the LA Banks - We Will Miss You Challenge in memory of LA Banks who died this year. I started her Night Huntress series and really enjoyed them but fell behind. As I have all of those, plus the first in her Crimson Moon series I decided to sign up for the challenge. I decided to take a gamble (based on the fact I like her writing style) and pick up the rest of the Crimson Moon series so I can read those too. Both series were completed before she passed so I'm glad I'll be able to read the complete storylines as they were intended to be read. The challenge runs all year with no required amount of books so feel free to click here if you'd like to join in.

I also got the third Calliope Reaper-Jones novel by Amber Benson (yep - that Amber Benson, the one who played Tara in Buffy) which is another series which I need to catch up on. Callie is next in line to take over the family Death. The first was an awesome read so I can't wait to catch up.

Vampire Dragon is the third in Annette Blair's Works Like Magick Novel. I've loved Annette's writing ever since I read The Kitchen Witch so I'm glad to get this, even if the main thing I remember from the first novel is the mention of man lances.

These two are part of my unhealthy addiction to the Donut Shop Mysteries (unhealthy because they make me crave donuts). I loved the first and have had the second and third waiting to be read for ages. Now I have four and five here, with six and seven on preorder. I'd forgotten about them until someone mentioned that it is rumoured that Jessica Beck is actually a pen-name for Joanne Fluke. Whether that is true or not, I love the series and I'm really glad I was reminded of it.

This is the ninth Coffeehouse Mystery and I've read and loved all of the previous books. I'm a big coffee fan and I love the little tidbits I've learnt about coffee through reading these. I'm hoping to post some reviews for the earlier books near the start of next year, so if you're a coffee or mystery fan keep a look out :)


Last but not least, another Annette Blair but this time from her Vintage Magic Mystery series which blends paranormal mystery with vintage clothes. Again this is a series I've fallen behind in (anyone noticing a theme here?) but I loved the first and can't wait to catch up.

So what's in your mailbox this week?
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