Reader's Favorite

Thursday, October 24, 2013

AUTHOR: Juliet Blackwell

Author:  Juliet Blackwell     (Hailey Lind)
Goodreads Author Page 
Juliet Blackwell Website Link 
Hailey Lind Website Link 

A Witchcraft Mystery Series
1. Secondhand Spirits
Author's Page Link               My Review
2. A Cast-Off Coven
Author's Page Link               My Review
3. Hexes and Hemlines
Author's Page Link               My Review
4. In a Witch's Wardrobe
Author's Page Link               My Review
5. Tarnished and Torn
Author's Page Link 
6. Vision in Velvet

A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series
1. If Walls Could Talk
Author's Page Link              My Review
2. Dead Bolt
Author's Page Link              My Review
3. Murder On the House
Author's Page Link 
4. Home for The Haunting
Author's Page Link 

Art Lovers Mystery (under the name Hailey Lind - cowritten with her sister)
1. Feint of Art
Author's Page Link               My Review
2. Shooting Gallery
Author's Page Link 
3. Brush with Death
Author's Page Link 
4. Arsenic and Old Paint
Author's Page Link 

Feint of Art (An Art Lover's Mystery, #1) by Haily Lind BOOK REVIEW

Feint of Art (An Art Lover's Mystery, #1)Feint of Art by Hailey Lind
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Feint of Art is the first book in the Annie Kincaid Mystery series which is written by Hailey Lind, which just happens to be a name created when Juliet Blackwell and her sister write together. Now, I happen to love Juliet's books, and I am not sure what name her sister writes under normally, or if she does, but I would be happy to say that she is just as good as her sister, if this book is any indication. I loved it!!

The story revolves around our main character, Annie Kincaid, she is the grand-daughter of a master art forger, spent time learning from him and passing some pretty good forgeries herself, but she went straight, now owning a studio that deals in faux finishes and murals and even some restoration of a old piece, which I am thinking who better to clean up and fix a master than a forger, really. She is scrapping by, but their are still people in the art world that want nothing to do with her, but more of them want her knowledge, because when it comes right down to it, when you spend a great deal of money on a painting that is suppose to be an old master you want it verified, and if I was verifying an old master, who better than a master forger to tell me if it is real, or one of their works. Of course, they all want it kept on the down-low that they are using her services and she is fine with that for now.

The story begins with Anne being called by an old flame to verify a new painting at the gallery he works for, only for Anne to have to tell him it is a fake. The old flame makes plans to met back up with her in a couple hours and she waits at the coffee shop only to be stood up, what else is new. So on her walk back to her truck, she sees police lights and finds out that the security guard that let her out just an hour ago is dead and there is no sign of her old flame anywhere. When she can't reach him still days later, she begins to look into what is going on out of concern for the guy, which leads her into a whole mess of things she never imagined!

This was just so well-written and so easy a story to follow, I just loved it and I look forward to more in this series, because I was blown away by all the art information that was tucked into the book, it never seemed like a "teaching moment" but more like real conversation and it was so neat and interesting. I really liked it and I hope you will take a chance on the book and give it a read!

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Dead Bolt (A Haunted Home Renovantion Mystery, #2) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

Dead Bolt (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #2)Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead Bolt is the second book in the Haunted Home Renovation Series by Juliet Blackwell, who also writes the Witchcraft (Vintage Clothing) Mystery Series. She is probably one of my favorite authors that is currently writing cozy mysteries. I guess I just get her writing style and her books speak to me, and I love them.

Dead Bolt finds Mel Turner again in the middle of a renovation project, this time she is working on an 1890s Queen Anne style-old house, again in San Francisco. The owners area cute, yet strange couple Katenka and Jim and their new baby Quinn. As the construction is going on, strange things happen like tools missing, handprints in the ceiling and paints. Katenka is thinking it might be spirits, and Mel is not one to doubt her, but she wants to find some history on the home and see what might be going on in the history.

We follow Mel as she hunts down the history on the house, talking to former owners and tenets and finding out what she can about the house and the people who lived there.

Again we see and talk to some of our favorite people in the book, Mel and her dad, Stan and her stepson, Caleb. The always proper Graham, and then through in assorted friends and family, which we might have met briefly in the first book and we get to met more in this book, and I look forward to even more in the next book, which I heard is just now being released.

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If Walls Could Talk (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #1) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

If Walls Could Talk (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #1)If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another cozy mystery in my list of books that I have read, is that surprising anyone at this point. So I like them, I like to get into them and the way characters develop. So this was a new one, the first in a series and a new author to me at that.

This is the first in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series, and it is a little different from the other cozy mysteries in that the police aren't actually investigating this murder, in fact the only person who seems to be concerned with the murder at all is Mel Turner, our female lead. After a divorce, the unexpected death of her mother has her taking over her fathers construction business, instead of hiding in Paris licking her wounds. The business is good, they specialize in restoring old homes to their former glory, and believe it or not Mel is really good at what she does, which probably is one reason she didn't do so well in her marriage to a professor.

A friend, Matt Addax, and aging rock start at that, buys an old house to flip, and although she agrees to do a walk through for him on the house before he buys it, that was all that her involvement was suppose to be. Until Matt's teenage son calls and wants her to check on him, they had a do-it-yourself demo party that included drinks, not the best combination with power tools. She stops by to find a passed out Matt, empty beer and wine bottles, and alot of damage, then as they are walking through the house, Matt's business partner and friend Kenneth walks up too them with a nail gun, nail shots into his abdomen and his hand sawed off. Kenneth passes away at the hospital and what seems to be almost no investigate ensues.

During the brief, one day search of the place, she finds out that her business name has been forged on the permits, and Matt has asked her to help finish the remodel because he needs to recoup the money. And thus begins the twisted a sorrid tell that ends up involving ghosts and spirts from at least three generations before any work ever gets done on the house!

It took me alot to actually get into the book. I read one chapter, then pushed myself to read the next, then pushed on, it was only about a third of the way in did I finally find myself enjoying the story and looking for some closure. I'm not sure about the series yet. I kinda liked Mel, I really like Graham, old family friend come back into her life, and the teenage boys, Caleb and Dylan, Matt's son and her ex=stepson whom she still has a good relationship with and is in her life more than you would think an ex would be. Her Dad and his best friend, Stan are there, and although they started the business, they have stepped out and let Mel take over. The original reasoning that Mel gives was that her father was just unable to handle it after her mother's death, but late in this story we find out that his wife was a big part of the business, and I think he stepped aside on purpose, I think he had it in his mind to bring Mel in, give her a purpose after the divorce and to settle her down and make her deal with life. She thinks this is temporary and that her Dad will take back over soon, but I don't think he has any plans of taking it back over. So there is part of me that is ready for the next book to see how that sub-plot matures.

Overall, it was a good book, and I defintely think I will read the second book in the series, and I think I will reserve judgement on it until then. Not sure if it will be a favorite or not, but looking forward to learning more about the characters.

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Hexes and Hemlines (A Witchcraft Mystery, #3) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

Hexes and Hemlines (A Witchcraft Mystery, #3)Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hexes and Hemlines is the third book in the Witchcraft Mystery series by author Juliet Blackwell, who I just happen to really love!

Lily has been asked by Detective Carlos to take a look at his crime scene, it is littered with bad luck symbols, and he wants to know what she thinks. This is a huge step for the detective, he is actually, after her being involved in his last two cases, coming to terms with the supernatural and the fact that witches and ghosts actually do exsist, which is a whole lot better than her said crush, reporter Max Carmichael, who after the last crime and actually seeing her in action, tucked his tail and ran off to Florida! Coward! Of course Lily isn't ready to announce it to the whole world that she is a witch, but she is getting better about letting people get close to her.

The crime scene that Detective Carlos takes her to is on the 13th floor, there is a ladder you have to walk under to get in, broken mirrors, a black cat and all kinds of other bad luck symbols. The funny thing, Lily can't really get a vibe on the place and that kinda freaks her out, so of course she has to get invovled and look into things, especially when she finds out that her friend Browyn's son-in-law was at the dinner the night before and is a "person of interest", which of course is freaking rebecca, Browyn's daughter out to n o end, it is upsetting her "perfect", normal, un-supernatural life.

Of course we learn a little more about Browyn and her daughter, Rebecca and their relationship in this book. We also learn more about Adian and Sailor, who just happens to be involved in this book quite alot, which is really neat, because I like Sailor, in fact I think Sailor and Lily would be a cute couple, but that is just my opinion. We also learn more about Lily. I love how we get small glimpses into her past, things that made her what she is today in each book, and in this book, because we are dealing with this "bad Luck Club" and the symbol of the snake, we learn that Lily is not afraid of snakes and o n incident in her life when she was younger involving her mother and a snake-handling church. It really helps you understand the basic mistrust she has of people, when someone who is suppose to love her can subject her to such a horror.

I am really looking forward to the next book, the Art Deco Ball and learning more about Aidan and lily, and how they are connected, because we know that they both are very powerful witches, and you just know there has to be some connection between them, jut what it is exactly is yet to be discovered. I love finding out more about them in these small doses, as they navigate life and death and reality.

Book Four is titled, In a Witch's Wardrobe, I think, and it is available now. I also hear, from following the author on Facebook, that she is currently working on book five! Love it!

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A Cast-Off Coven (A Witchcraft Mystery, #2) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

A Cast-Off Coven (A Witchcraft Mystery, #2)A Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you have read any of my previous reviews, you might already have figured out that Juliet Blackwell is one of my favorite authors. Not only do I love her books, but I think she is a pretty cool person too, as I follow her on Facebook and hear about the new books as she is writing and they are published. It is alot of fun to be able to keep up with your favorite authors!

This is the Vintage clothing, witch series and this particular book happens to be the second in the series, with the book Secondhand Spirits being the first book.

I really enjoy Lily Ivory, the title character. She is a little afraid of people and making friendships, and her history is hinted at each time she explains that. Not much is told, that he father left when she was a toddler, her mother couldn't cope with a child that was a witch and so her "grandmother" rasied her and tried to teach her about her magik. Now weather Graciela is actually her grandmother by blood or not, I am still not sure about, she kinda hints that she might not be, but Graciela also raised her father before her, so she is counted as a relative. Little is really told about her past, although I am finding that with each book, we find just a hint or two more about her.

Lily has only been in San Fransico for a few months, and she was drawn into a child abduction and a murder in the first book withing weeks of being in town. Now it seems like the local Art College is having a problem with a ghost that is scaring the students, and since one of those students is Maya, who works for Lily, she gets involved in finding out what is going on. The day they decide to visit the school, they don't find any ghosts, but a murder and once again Lily is sucked in and the local police are none too happy.

Lily is still investigation a relationship with Max, and weather there is any chance of one occuring or not, especially since he believes that witchcraft is a bunch of hooey and Lily is a witch. They continue to dance around each other and try to figure out what to do, until Max's family gets drawn into this particular event because his younger brother is a profressor at the Art School where Lily is investigating the haunting or rather what turns out to be more serious and scary, a demon on the lose. Max doesn't want to believe any of it, and yet it is right there in front of his faced, but he thinks he can solve everything with science, and this is going to take alot for him to figure out in his mind. He may never be able to deal with it and there goes a relationship out the window.

I really enjoyed this series, and continue to look forward to what Juliet puts out in the written word.

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Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

Secondhand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1)Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I discovered author Juliet Blackwell awhile back when I found her Haunted Home Renovation Series, and I loved that first book so much, that I researched the author to see what else she might hve written, and discovered this series, A Witchcraft Mystery.

I loved this book. Lily is our lead, a powerful witch, that we know very little about, so we discover just a little about her history, with so many more mysteries in her as a person herself yet to discover. Bronwyn is actually a wiccan, a normal human who practices witchcraft as a religion, but not a real witch and not powerful. Bronwyn shares space in the store with Lily and can already tell what Lily is, before and without Lily telling her. She becomes something of a friend to Lily, the first of her life. Maya is a student at the Fine Arts College that is recording histories of people, and in that role finds a number of vintage clothing stashes for Lily. Se also, although being skeptical of the whole paranormal world, another friend to Lily.

In this, the first of the series, Lily and Maya met with an elder lady who isn't all that she seems, and while they are visiting to look for clothes, a young girl down the street is "abducted". Lily takes it upon herself to try to figure out what is going on and to get the girl back.

It is a well-written and charming story that weaves it's way around, introducing a number of people, giving us just a touch about them, not too much but just enough to keep us interested. So looking forward to the next book to see where each of these people go, the history and pasts that they bring to the story and where they are headed. I find myself wanting to discover more about the people.

Another great book by Juliet Blackwell.

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In a Witch's Wardrobe (A Witchcraft Mystery, #4) by Juliet Blackwell BOOK REVIEW

In a Witch's Wardrobe (A Witchcraft Mystery, #4)In a Witch's Wardrobe by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a Witch's Wardrobe is the fourth book in the Witchcraft Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell. She mixes vintage clothing and witchcraft together into a complex and compelling storyline that also keeps me guessing.

Lily Ivory is a witch, not a fact that she shares with too many people. It has not been a well-received fact in the past and she is still scarred from the reactions of people in her past, which influences how she reacts and acts now. She owns a vintage clothing store called Aunt Cora's Closet, and she also sells some protective tailsmans in the store too.

The thing is if you hadn't read any other book in this series, you could still read this one and follow along well enough. You might wonder about some of the people, but it wouldn't hamper the store in any way. Now, reading them in order is much nicer. You follow a progression and you see Lily start to grow and become more comfortable and happy where she is.

Lily attend the Art Deco Ball with Aidan, a male witch of great power in the area that she is still holding at arms length, mainly because he knew her father. An aside here, we know almost nothing of Lily's father after four books, he is sort of a ghost in her past and not something that she is willing to talk about or think about. She grew up with her grandmother. Back to the ball, while at the ball, a young woman passes out and Lily is sure there is witchcraft involved.

At first she is told to back off by Aidan, but after a few days he tells her that she has to find out what is going on, and to protect people involved without telling her why or how they are tied to him. Of course Lily is already in the investigating phase and what she learns will make changes in her life for the future.

This is a wonderful book, well written as always. I love the storyline and the plot. I love the vintage clothing angle that is so fun, she really describes the clothing and and makes you feel that you can see them and want to wear them. It is so much more than just the witchcraft angle to the story, there is a whole life story to it. I just really feel for Lily and want her to find happiness and someone who understands her.

This has always been one of my favorite cozy mystery series, and one of my favorite authors. It still is and I continue to be impressed by the books each and every time.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

NEW AUTHOR: D. S. McKnight

Author:  D. S. McKnight

I recently "met" Deborah McKnight on a book review community I am on in Google+. She was posting about her first novel being published and was looking for people to give it an honest review. By now, you all know, I love to read and even more love to share what I read with you all here on the blog, so of course I had to check into this. She allowed me to read the book, in exchange for an honest review. One word of note here, my reviews are always honest, even if I don't like a book, I am going to write it anyway. I made sure she knew it would be honest, whether I liked the book or not. Fortunately, I ended up loving the book. So I have info to share with you about this new author, her first book, and let you all decide for yourselves.

Author Website

This is her website. It gives you information on the book and book signings and such.

Author Facebook Page

This is her Facebook page, which allows you to interact with the author. If you liked my review, want to read the book or want to know more, please like her facebook page and follow along. I am looking forward to following and seeing what more she has to offer.

Author Blog

The author's blog, which has info about this book, but other info as well. Guest posts from other author's and more. It's a great blog to follow.

Amazon Book Link

Yep, an Amazon link. You know what that means. You can buy the book. It comes in paperback or Kindle versions. Not trying to pressure you, but I think it is always in our best interests as readers to support the Indie writers, the new and up-coming. Just my two-cents.

Amazon Author Page

Of course this is the Amazon Author page, and although it is pretty sparse, not much in there for Amazon to put on it, I wanted to include it for those that like to check out those pages too.

Now that I have shared all that information, let me share one last piece, the author has no idea that I am writing this post! Yep. This is all me! She only wanted my honest opinion of the book and I have given her that, but at the same time, I love to share, and I think I have found one of the next big names in writing. Of course I have to share. Every time you read a good book, you just have to tell someone, and I have to tell you all about this author.

Alterant (Belador, #2) by: Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love BOOK REVIEW

Alterant (Belador, #2)Alterant
Belador, Book Two
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alterant is the second book in Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love's combined efforts series Belador.

Ok, I'll come clean, I LOVED this book. I loved the first book. There was something about Tzader and Quinn and even Storm that just exudes sex appeal and raw manness right out of the book. I just was intrigued by them, captivated and couldn't put the books down. While I was waiting for this book to arrive, after reading the first, I read some more of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books, and how she makes the draw, the appeal and the grab of the male characters come across in writing is beyond me. I am not talking sex scenes, but just in the protection of a lady, the kindness, the way they talk and act. It is just amazing!

So back to the story, this book picks up right at the end of book one, Blood Trinity. Yes, book one ended in a cliff hanger, and normally I hate those, it just makes me so made, but in this one all I wanted was to get the next book and read it. This one again just kinda ends in the middle of the story, I mean some things are resolved but new things are opened and just as those are about to begin, the book ends. It has me clawing at the computer to get the next book!

Evalle is slowing learning that not all men are to be rejected. That the hurts of one man does not apply to the whole of mankind. Although being an Alterant puts her in a class below others, she still fights for truth and justice. And she just may have found that someone knows more about the Alterants and where they came from. It just might help her to understand, but as always, there is a catch. Can she trust someone who has betrayed her in the past.

Evalle isn't the only one to have their lives and futures played with. The Goddess Mecha is playing in a number of lives, including that of Tzader and Brinna. To be honest, there were times when I wanted to smack Mecha and tell her to butt out, but she is the Goddess so I guess she can do whatever she wants, but I find her a little hard to like after this book. It's just a little scary the way she thinks people should give up true happiness to do her bidding.

This book had a pronunciation key at the end of the book, which I loved!! Wished it had been in the first book, but I found that I was pronouncing things correct. The "evil" druids that are trying to take over are called the Medb, which if you know Gaelic is pronounced Maeve. That happens to be my daughter's name, so I had to tell her about her role in the book. As a family we always find it neat to see names we know in a book, and since my kids all have very traditional old Irish names, I never see them in a book. Sherrilyn Kenyon has changed that. She has included my daughter in this book, and in the League series, my son Tiernan is one of the characters! Wow! Now how often do you see that?!

This is a great book, a great series and even more a great author. I am looking forward to reading more of this series and more by this author.

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Of Dreams and Shadow (Forget Me Not, #1) by D. S. McKnight BOOK REVIEW

Of Dreams and Shadow (Forget Me Not, #1)Of Dreams and Shadow by D.S. McKnight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I belong to a number of book groups, writing groups and reading groups. In one of those groups, I was asked to read this book and write a review for the author. I agreed, because I love to read and write, but I made it clear that my review would be my honest opinion, they agreed and and I read Of Dreams and Shadow on my Kindle.

You might call it a Young Adult novel, since the main characters are teenagers in High School. I really didn't think of it that way, I barely remembered at times they were in High School because of the story. Even if you think you don't like anything labeled as Young Adult, give this a try, it's really not what you would think of as Young Adult, a little more mature.

The story starts with the disappearance of a bright little four year old girl named Sarah, that is witnessed by the next door neighbor boy, Chase also four, but no one can believe what he tells them. It's a mystery. Fast forward twelve years and a new family moves in next door to a teenage Chase, and they have a teenage daughter his age.

As Jenna adjusts to moving from the big city of Charlotte to the small town of Parson's Cove, in the middle of the school year no less, she makes friends and enemies. She thinks the boy next door, Chase is an enemy, but there is more beneath what he is thinking, every time he sees her he is reminded of Sarah.

The story plays out as Jenna and Chase learn to be friends, and learn more about the truth of what really happened to Sarah. It was just as Chase saw it happen, it is just that it doesn't make sense then, now at the older ages, and learning the things they do, it makes more sense.

I really enjoyed the book, it only took me two days to read, and that is only because I had to put it down and stop reading for awhile to take care of the family, or I would have read it straight through! I liked it! Young adult, ok they are teens, but it wasn't the annoying coming of age that a number of young adults have been recently. Paranormal, in a way but not as much as you would think. It's more about the idea that there is more than just life or death, but something in between.

I found it to be well written, to captivate my senses and draw me in. Yes, there were a few times when I wanted to smack Jenna in the head and say "Girl, are you dense?" but only a few, and then I had to remember she is suppose to be a junior in high school, so maybe I should cut her some slack.

This book stands on it's own, but from the ending, I can see where there is an opening to carry on with the books ideas and move into another story. I liked that it stood alone, that I didn't feel I needed another book to finish the story. It ends on a good enough note that you feel the closure of the story and you can move on, it's not a cliffhanger. I am so tried of reading books that end leaving you guessing and you have to read another just to get closure.

Overall, I gave this a high rating, and I normally don't do 5 stars, but it deserves them. It was just a good book that anyone can enjoy, not just young adults, trust me I have teens at home, so I am no spring chicken and I loved it!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Harry's First Christmas by G. Norman Lippert BOOK REVIEW

Harry's First ChristmasHarry's First Christmas by G. Norman Lippert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

J. K. Rowling may have given Harry Potter life and a voice, but G. Norman Lippert has given voice to the previous generation in this booklet, James and Lily, Sirus and Remus and to the next generation in the James Potter series. He follows the original perfectly without a catch in the voice, you would swear it was the same author!

This small book gives a little insight into the first Christmas, just before James and Lily were killed. You see the deep friendship between James, Sirus and Remus. You can understand Pettigrew's seduction into being tempted to give them up, and there is a brief encounter with Lily and Servus.

It just fills in what you have probably already imagined in your head would have been happening, but it is enjoyable to read it.

This is fan-fiction, which means that this book is free to anyone. You can download it from Goodreads or from the authors website for free, he can not sell it. Also all of his James Potter books are free because they are fan fiction, thus it takes him longer to write them since he still has to pay the bills somehow. So this is my soapbox speech, if you read any of the fan-fiction and enjoy it, support the author and buy some of his other works so that he can continue to give us the fan-fiction. I do, and I really want more James Potter books.

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James Potter and The Morrigan Web (James Potter, #4) by G. Norman Lippert BOOK REVIEW

James Potter and The Morrigan Web (James Potter, #4)James Potter and The Morrigan Web by G. Norman Lippert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Potter and the Morrigan Web is the 4th book in the series. It is in a genre called fan-fiction, which means that is is based on the ever-popular Harry Potter series, but not written by the same author. This being the case, Norman Lippert does a wonderful job staying true to the charcters and the places of the original book.

Now, for my little soapbox speech, since this is fan-fiction, you can not buy these books. They are only available for free on his website. Yep, he doesn't get a dime for writing them, just our love of them. Anyone who knows writing or reading books, knows what it takes to write a book. Now, Norman is honest in that he would like to write the 5th book, already has a title, but is just not sure he can. My plea to everyone, if you have read any of the James Potter series, you read this review and you like it, buy some of this guys other books. They are all good. Let's support this guy though the works that he does get paid for so he can continue to write the ones that he gives us for free.

This book begins with the veil of secrecy being torn. when that happened the great Wizard city of New Amsterdam, which would be like New York City and just happens to be about fifty feet in the air above New York, so when the veil is gone, all the sudden, all these Muggles see this great city above them. Of course it freaks them out! Now, this of course brings out the different factions of people, the ones who want to repair the veil quickly and return to a world apart of wizards and muggles seperate, another that wants to make use of the tear and try to live together in harmony, and then the age old group that wants to enslave the muggles even if it means acting like they want harmony first.

I find this a history repeating itself theme, it happened in the Harry books. Voldemort rose, the next generation cme along and he was able to rise again, now with the next generation of James, the threat is rising again. But don't think it only happens it books, it happens in real like all the time. Let's see, Slavery in United States, Holacaust in Germany, genocide in Africa and on and on the list goes, we never seem to learn from our mistakes. The same things happen over and over again.

As a parent, this was one thing I loved about the Harry Potter and now the James Potter books. I could read them with my kids, and we could enjoy the stories and another world, but at the same time, the themes, the issues could be brought back and related to current events and things that are going on in our world today. It was a wonderful way to have a conversation with my kids. I think it is a great tool for any parent, and everyone knows that parents need all the tools they can get in keeping communication open with their kids.

It's really hard to give much about the book without giving it all away. Just know that all your favorites are there. Professors Longbottom and McGonnal, James, Albus and Lily, Rose and Scopious, Ralph and Zane. Of course it would be a Potter book without a visit from the old guard, Harry and Ginny, Ron and Herminoe and even Haqrid.

The story is well-written, it's captivating and entertaining. It keeps you wanting to read, and although it is completely different than the Harry Potter series, it doesn't feel that different, it seems natural that things would have grown and changed, although not much in the time that Harry has been away from school. It all just works well together.

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James Potter and the Vault of Destinies (James Potter, #3) by G. Norman Lippert BOOK REVIEW

James Potter and the Vault of Destinies (James Potter,#3)James Potter and the Vault of Destinies by G. Norman Lippert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The James Potter series is a fan fiction book written by Norman Lippert in response to the Harry Potter series, taking up after it and following the next generation.

I have enjoyed the James Potter series, enjoyed catching up with the characters. I still liked this book, and although I thought it was well written, it was more of Mr Lipperts own though. This book took place in the United States at their wizard school, and I found that even as it was good, I really missed Hogwarts, there is just something magical about Hogwarts and England that the USA can't convey.

Still it was a great adventure and school ending, and it fulfilled a need to continue on with the story.

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James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing (James Potter, #1) by G Norman Lippert BOOK REVIEW

James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing (James Potter, #1)James Potter and the Hall of Elders' Crossing by G. Norman Lippert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book by chance as I had just downloaded the Goodreads App to my new phone and I was searching ebooks available through it, this came up and since I had loved the original series I knew I had to try this.

This is a book written not by the original author of the Harry Potter series, J K Rowling, but by another author and it is written in a genre call fan fiction. This was new to me but apparently there are a great number of these type if books written. The other thing I learned was that the author of this book does not make any money on this book because the characters are registered to another author, but he still writes them for the fans who want them.

This book follows Harry and Ginny's first born, James in his first year at Hogwarts. James finds his own adventures at Hogwarts even without Voldemort around to cause havoc. James has to deal with his own fears and expectations. He is worried about living up to his fathers expectations although his parents put no pressure on him, he still feels like a failure when he doesn't make the Quidditch team,

This book is well written and a tribute to the original books. It deviates from the original making this more his own but that doesn't bother me. The connection between the characters of the original and this book are wonderful and really make you feel it all goes together. It was such a joy to return to Hogwarts.

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AUTHOR: G. Norman Lippert

Author:  G. Norman Lippert
Goodreads Author Page
Author's Website                        

James Potter Series
1.  James Potter and the Hall of Elder's Crossing
E-Book Link                    My Review Link                   E-Book Link
2.  James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper
E-Book Link                    E-Book Link
3.  James Potter and the Vault of Destinies
E-Book Link                    My Review Link                   
4.  James Potter and the Morrigan Web
My Review Link

E-Books on
1.  Harry's First Christmas
E-Book Link                    My Review Link
2.  Merlin's Gift
E-Book Link
3.  Petra's Getaway
E-Book Link

Other Books - not in a series

The Girl on the Dock - A Dark Fairy Tale
Author Website Link                  Amazon Link

The Riverhouse
Amazon Link

Ruins of Camelot
Amazon Link

Flyover Country
E-Book Link

***Please note****
The James Potter books are in a genre called FAN FICTION meaning they are based on another author's work, which means that this author can write the stories, but can not sell them. They are available on his website for free.  This means that it takes longer for him to write on, as he needs to write a book that does sell to pay the bills so he can write the FAN FICTION.  Once you read one you will understand why this is such a great thing, and why I am begging you to support this author so that he may continue to write the free FAN FICTION books.  Thank you!!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling BOOK REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book in the series. This is the build up of all the books to this final confrontation and the final battle, only one person will survive, the world will go one of two ways.

There has been so much build up to this book over the life of the series, would it fulfill the build up or would it leave readers flat?

The book is good, I still felt part of the story and I still cheered for each person. I would encourage people to read the book for that reason alone.

The seventh book should be following Harry, Ron and Herminoe in their seventh and final year of school at Hogwarts, but to say that things are not that simple is an understatement. Voldermort is back and in moire power than ever, no matter what anyone says. It's not safe to go back to school this year, so they are on the run.

Secrets of the past are revealed that change perceptions and beliefs that they held for long times about people. Their loyalities and trusts are put to the test and in the end, the true test of friendship, honor, and good vs evil will play out in the most epic battle ever.

I'm not about to give away anymore than that, but know that it is worth the read, at least once if not multiple times. I have had a number of deep and theological conversations with my kids during and after they read this book. It has been a wonderful conversation starter and I thank the author for that.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) by J.K. Rowling BOOK REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Half Blood Prince is the sixth book in the series, following Harry through the sixth year of school at Hogwarts. The basics are the same, we see the school, the characters in a new adventure, a new plot to kill Harry and take over the world, and a new reason to try to stop it. As all this is going once watch the human element, being the growth of each person, their own questions, the relationships changing and the shifting of alliances and emotions.

Here the characters are older, they are coming up on the last years of school, the return of Voldemort is public knowledge and the world has changed in strange ways. Families are pushed in ways that no one would have thought. This year sees differences, and it ramps up for the coming final struggle.

The book is written so that you feel part of the story, part of the characters lives, wanting them to succeed and do well. It is a mark of a great author who can make you feel like you belong in the story.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) by J.K. Rowling BOOK REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the series, and follows Harry through his fifth year of school at Hogwarts. The book continues to follow the friendships and romances of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they continue to grow and find their way in the world. There is a new adventure, new secrets and old relationships that all intertwine and effect everything in their lives.

This year Harry is not so well liked in the wizard world, because no one wants to believe that Voldemort is really back and that Harry and Dumbledore are telling the truth. This sets in motion a series of events that puts Harry on the outside looking in this school year, yet at the same time he finds who his real friends really are.

Again the book is well written, it had me yelling at people not to keep secrets, to tell the truth, to give some credit to the other person,I felt completely in the story. Every book she writes has me doing that and it only comes from a truly great author and enjoyable story. This is definitely one of this authors and stories.

I have read this book to my children, with my children and for myself. I find something different in the story each time I read it and with each child I read it with I find that they key in on different things. I find that such a joy and love the conversations that we have had over this book, and the rest of the series. I recommend it to parents and children all the time.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K.Rowling BOOK REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, and follows Harry potter through his fourth year of school at Hogwarts. The fourth year brings us a new adventure, a new attempt on Harry's life and more friends, growing friendships, budding romances, new teachers, and new enemies.

Each book brings greater attempts on Harry's life as he grows older. He is more capable of defending himself in each year, and yet each push him to the limits of what he should or does know at that point in his schooling. It takes the work of Harry, Ron and Herminone together to make it through, and that is part of the joy. This isn't just Harry saving the world, but real teamwork and working together.

As always, the book is well written, the story captivates you, pulls you in and finds you rooting for Harry, crying at the mistakes and cheering for more. I am always amazed at each book at how well the author is able to make each book new and to grow the characters in each book that it feels like real life and you want to continue reading to see where they all end up.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K.Rowling BOOK REVIEW

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book in the Harry Potter series, which follows Harry through his third year of school.

As with the other books in the series, we watch Harry through a year of school. He, Ron and Herimone continue to grow their relationships and find the friendship that they each need so much and find their places in life.

In this story Harry is faced with an escaped prisoner on the lose And many stories of the man, but which is true, is he out to get Harry or is something else going on, how will he find the truth, and will he find it before its too late.

As with the whole series, the book is well written and engages you and pulls you into the story and you want more and want to read more.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare BOOK REVIEW

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

City of Glass is the 3rd book in the Mortal Instruments series. Being as there are three mortal instruments, the mortal cup; which was stolen in book one. The mortal sword, which was stolen in book two, and this was book three, I already thought this would be about this third of the mortal instruments, and it was in part.

It did bring us to the third mortal instrument, it brought us to the ancient home of the Shadowhunters, it filled in a number of blanks, and could have very easily wrapped up the series and I could have slept at night thinking they all lived happily ever after! In fact I really think I want to stop right here, forget that there are any more books to follow this and just walk away, but I know that I won't be able to do that.

For me, it was the perfect ending to the series. It tied up all the loose ends, but still left enough untold for you to imagine everyone living happily ever after. Jocelyn is awake, but the conversations between her and Clary were not what I expected, they seemed so off kilter for the closeness the relationship was portrayed to be. All in all, aside from the senseless death of Max, the book was good. It seemed a fitting and proper end to the series, only it wasn't the end to the series, there are more books.

Now, if I read some of the reviews right, it originally came out as a triology and the next two books came out later, but as I m just now reading them, I know they are out. I also know there is a prequel series and some other spinoff series. Maybe I would be better off moving on to one of those, because I am not looking forward to returning to these characters. I feel as if this book should have put them to bed and let them sleep. Yes, I loved them and I like the author and I do want to read more from her. Jace and Clary finally had a few minutes of a true and perfect love at the end of the book, I just want to end it there. Close the book and leave it at that and not tamper with it. Somethings are just to precious to fool with, move on to a spin-off.

That all being said, I still liked the book. I like the author, and I am still looking forward to reading more from her, just no more Mortal Instruments. I think I am going to check out the Mangus Bane series. He is a favorite character from this series, and I think that might be good fun to read books from his world view for awhile. I will probably look into the prequel series too, but I just can't bring myself to pick up the City of Fallen Angels. There was an excerpt in the back on my book, and I hated it! The interaction between Jace and Clary was like two completely different people.

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Another Blogger's review

City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments #2) by: Cassandra Clare BOOK REVIEW

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

City of Ashes is the follow-up to City of Bones, which has just been released as a movie called The Mortal Instruments, which is what the whole series is titled. I am a book person, so I have no desire to see the movie, and I not comment on it further.

City of Bones left us all at a loss for words after finding that all time bad guy Valentine, unlike the holiday of the same name, is still alive and that he is not only Clarey's father, but wait for it, yes Jace's father too. Shock or all shocks, horror of all horrors, and after they had their first kiss too. Hate that. Worst of all their mother, Jocelyn is in a trace, coma like but other-worldly induced and no-one and nothing seems to be able to bring her out of it.

Jocelyn is put in a mundane hospital, oh yeah, that is the name for ordinary  humans, mundane's. It actually fit's, and I find the humor in it quite pleasing. So she is at the hospital and Luke, poor Luke, so in love with her, but never telling her, is holding watch at her side hoping beyond hope that something will happen.

All the while, Jace and Clarey have to figure out how to act like brother and sister, when they were feeling alot more than that just a few minutes earlier. Simon still wants a relationship with Clarey, even if he is only a mundane, and then Isabella and Alex's parents are home and that brings a whole new can of worms, because it seems like "someone" has decided they don't believe the kids!

The last book, I felt a lot of de ja vue, but not in this book, in fact I found this book much easier and faster to read, and I am even more excited to move on to the next book. I felt the storyline flowed a little better, less of the backstory and history, and more of the teens trying to figure things out, but a lot, and I do mean a lot of unanswered questions in this book, so the next book has a lot to answer and tell the readers.

Fay Bay's Book Review

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Another Blogger's Review

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare BOOK REVIEW

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

City of Bones is the first book in the Mortal Instruments Series and involves another world of Downworlders, demons, half-humans, witches and warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Shadowhunters and more all trying to co-exsist in a human world, the treaties and accords and uprisings and overthrows and defeats.  But the main characters are teenagers trying to understand adults and themselves in the midst of all this, with each adult twists the truth of the history to fit themselves, making things only muddy for the the teens to figure out.

For parts of the book, I could swear I had read it before, or read something almost the same, but for most of it. it seemed like a new book.  The beginning and the, here before thought to be a normal human girl Clarey is able to "see" the ShadowHunters at a club seems so familiar, and the interest between Cleary and Jace, and the dislike that Isabelle and Alec feel toward her seems over the top teenage angst, but it so much feels like I have been there before.

I guess that the Shadowhunters and their marks might remind of Lara Adrian and the Breed, or many of the novels I have read, but it is more of a feeling, that although I know I have never seen this book before it feels familiar.

The twists and turns, the bits of History that Cleary learns from each adult she meets, and how each adult twists the history and their owe involvement in it to make them look less bad, and more a victim of place or timing, than really planning to do bad, is thoughtful and well laidout. The Ultimate twist that turns Jace and Cleary's world on it's head is kinda expected and I really hate that card played in the story, but I still want to continue reading and hearing more.

I am intrigued by the world, I want to read more and see how they figure out their struggles, how they decide who and what needs to be protected and what needs to be allowed to life free and left alone. Just keep a clean mind that you are going to be dealing with teenagers throughout and sometimes the throught processes and thinking aren't what you would expect from adults.

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Another Blogger's Review

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare

Author:  Cassandra Clare
               Amazon Author Page Link
                 GoodReads Author Page Link               Author's Blog  

The Mortal Instruments
1.  City of Bones
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link                 My Review Link
Another Blogger's Review
2.  City of Ashes
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link                 My Review Link
Fay Bay's Blog Review          Another Blogger's Review
3.  City of Glass
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link                 My Review Link
Another Blogger's Review
4.  City of Fallen Angels
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link                 Mystery Sequel's Blog Review
5.  City of Lost Souls
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link
6.  City of Heavenly Fire   (scheduled publication May 27, 2014)
Author Site Link                   Amazon Link

The Infernal Devices
1.  Clockwork Angel
My Review Link              Author Site Link                   Amazon Link
Another Blogger Review
2.  Clockwork Prince
Author Site Link             Amazon Link                       My Review Link
Another Blogger Review
3.  Clockwork Princess
Author Site Link             Amazon Link                      My Review Link

The Dark Artifacts
Author Site Link
1.  Lady Midnight                                              My Review Link
2.  Lord of Shadows                                          My Review Link
3.  The Queen of Air and Darkness

The Bane Chronicles
Author Site Link
1.  What Really Happened in Peru     4/2013
Amazon Link
2.  The Runaway Queen                   5/2013
Amazon Link
3.  Vampires, Scones and Emund Herondale    6/2013
Amazon Link
4.  The Midnight Heir                       7/2013
Amazon Link
5.  The Rise of Hotel Dumort            8/2013
Amazon Link
6.  Saving Raphael Santiago              9/2013
Amazon Link
7.  The Fall of Hotel Dumort            10/2013
Amazon Link
8.  The Last Stand of the New York Institute   11/2013
Amazon Link
9.  What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who has Everything    12/2013
Amazon Link
10. The Course of True Love              1/2014
Amazon Link

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Born of Ice (The League, #3) by: Sherrilyn Kenyon BOOK REVIEW

Born of Ice (The League, #3)Born of Ice 
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Born of Ice is the third book in the League series and this book moves on to the next generation. At the very end of book one we met Adron, the son of the Quickaides and then at the end of book two we find that Syn and Shay are expecting.

Book three we are introduced to all the children of the families, not just the Wades and the Quickaides, but also the Cruel's and the Kauk's, everyone that was part of Sentella in book one, has children in book three. It's actually really neat.

This book is centered around Syn and Shay's son Devyn. The man is a saint, never done a thing wrong, unless of course you consider the fact that he runs medical supplies through League lines to war-torn villages even though that is against the law.

Alix is sent to find or fabricate evidence on Devyn, she is told he is a criminal, but she is finding it hard to believe the more she is around him. I find Alix hard, some times she is naive and others cruel almost, it's just hard to understand her. I don't get her most of the time.

I find Devyn to be so much like Syn, without the trauma that I love him to death. We again meet Paden, and I actually find him to be refreshing although a bit unbelievable.

I loved this world. I have been a fan of it from the first book and I find that I am still a fan of it. I really find myself enjoying each and every book. I was a little sad because there were only the three at the library, but I just found out there are more to this series, so now I am excited again. Now to just find them!

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Born of Fire (The League, #2) by: Sherrilyn Kenyon BOOK REVIEW

Born of Fire (The League, #2)Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Born of Fire is the second book in The League series, and although the League is a set of trained assassins, Syn was a doctor at one time, never in the League, but his best friend was. He still features in both the first and second books.

I love Syn! Ok, so I am a sucker for a man that was given a rough road and pulled himself up from it, not once but twice and made a good life for himself, he has taken the punches that have been dealt him, and although he drinks himself into a comfortably numb state most of the time, who wouldn't? He is just too much man not to like! I mean there is just nothing about him not to like, and it is hard to even believe the stories told about him.

Not as big a fan of Shay, but you can't win them all. I still liked the book. I love this world. I love the story and the life and everything about it, and I just enjoy reading and losing myself in this world.

I am such a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's and this is only the 3rd book of hers I have read now! I am just loving the way she writes and the way she draws me into this world, and I can image it and feel it, and see it. I am there and I want to read more.

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Born of Night (The League, #1) by: Sherrilyn Kenyon BOOK REVIEW

Born of Night (The League, #1)Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had just finished a book by this author, and loved the way she wrote, and was waiting on the second book in that series to arrive so I went to the library, and found another series by the same author to read while I wait on the other book.

Born of Night is the first book in a series called The League. The League is an elite solider training group, and these guys are trained as assassins, once you are part of The League, you are part of it until death.

Nykarikan is done. He is out of the League, he no longer wants to play by their rules, but no one leaves the League, but then again, Nykarikan is not just any other assassin either, he is the most elite they have ever trained, so if anyone can leave, it would be him.

This story follows Nykarikan years later, he is still hiding from the League, and doing a good job of it, along with some other guys who fly under the radar of society in a future world, they protect the innocent and police those who are suppose to be policing the world. Corruption is everywhere, same as today, so they are the "Robin Hoods" of the future in a way.

He is tasked with protecting a Princess and it goes against everything he is, and it pushes him to places and decisions he never wanted to make, to discover things that are even worse than he thought were the truths of his past, and to come to terms with them.

The whole concept of the worlds is fun and exciting, and the interactions between the characters and the relationships are well developed and they mirror so many other realities of life. It is just a great book. I was so engrossed in the book that I read it in one day!

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AUTHOR: Kinley MacGregor

AUTHOR:  Kinley MacGregor

This is actually a pen name for the author, Sherrilyn Kenyon. She used this name when writing historical books, such as the four series listed below.

Brotherhood of the Sword Series
1.  Master of Desire
Author Site Link 
2.  Born in Sin
Author Site Link 
3.  Dark Champion
Author Site Link 
4.  Return of the Warrior
Author Site Link 
5.  The Warrior
Author Site Link 

Lords of Avalon
1.  Sword of Darkness
Author Site Link 
2.  Knight of Darkness
Author Site Link 
3.  Darkness Within
Author Site Link 

MacAllister's Series
1.  Master of Desire
Author Site Link 
2.  Claiming the Highlander
Author Site Link 
3.  Born in Sin
Author Site Link 
4.  Taming the Scotsman
Author Site Link 
5.  The Warrior
Author Site Link 

Sea Wovles
1.  A Pirate of Her Own
Author Site Link 
2.  Master of Seduction
Author Site Link