Tag Archives: book

Book Review: Graveyard Shift

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Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet
Series: Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. #1
Paperback: 258 pages
Publication Date: January 2, 2014
File Size: 1047 KB
Print Length: 259 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10: 1480004189
ISBN-13: 978-1480004184
ASIN: B009M0ARH0

Something that always piques my interest when it comes to choosing a book is a story where the author is brave enough to take on mythologies and theologies. To me, it is very difficult to do the mythologies justice without making the entities seem silly or – for lack of a better term – preachy. It is usually rare to find an author who not only shows that they have knowledge of the pantheons that they are writing about, but are able to make the characters believable and in some cases likable.

Angela Roquet was able to do this, as well as have the different groups of gods/entities interact with each other seamlessly. She also has a talent at merging the different mythos into a functioning afterlife that actually makes sense.

The story of Graveyard Shift tells of a reaper named Lana Harvey that has a low-level job in Limbo City, doing as minimal work as possible without getting in trouble with her boss Grim. During the story, she interacts with beings from Greek, Roman, Asian, Egyptian and Judeo-Christian mythos, and the interaction is smooth and flawless… and real.

Lana is the typical minion on the bottom of the corporate totem pole who doesn’t really like her job, but doesn’t want to go back to school to move up and doesn’t understand the drive of others who are trying to climb up the reaper ladder. She hangs out with the ne’re-do-wells of the angelic world (both from above and below) and couldn’t understand the rigid hierarchy of her boss and his peers.

And then out of the blue, she gets a promotion. No one, including herself, believes it or understands how the heck that happened. But there is more behind it than first seemed and Lana has to struggle with more responsibilities than she ever wanted.

Definitely get this book. The first one in the series is free on Kindle as of this article creation, so you have nothing to lose and all of Limbo to gain!

My Rating:

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I liked the premise, I liked the characters, and – most importantly – I like how the author presented her version of the mythologies.

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Review: If the Shoe Fits…

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If the Shoe Fits by Laurie LeClair
Series: Once Upon A Romance
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2013)
File Size: 483 KB
ASIN: B00FGHYLD4
ISBN-10: 1493754130
ISBN-13: 978-1493754137

I’ll admit it, sometimes I’ll read cozy romances, if the premise is catchy and the cover art isn’t cheesy. If the Shoe Fits Is the first in a series called Once Upon a Romance based (loosely) on fairy tales. This particular novel is based on the tale of Cinderella, and does a pretty good job of it too!

The story is about Charlotte (Charlie) King, whose father owned King’s Department Store until he died. When the book begins, the store is under the control of her strict stepmother. Charlie lives in the King household with her stepmother and her two plain, boring stepsisters. Charlie wants to bring her father’s store back to its former glory; her stepmother wants to sell it.

Enter Alexander (Alex) Royal: young, wealthy businessman who is looking for a match, mainly to appease his aging grandparents. Then Charlie and Alex meet, and their businesses, and hearts, hang in the balance.

For a cozy romance, this was actually very good. The author kept the premise of Cinderella without going overboard (no singing mice, no cleaning chimneys, no pumpkin), and – except for a few cheesy romantic moments, which cozies are known for – the story was engaging and fun.

This was a well thought out, fact-pace read which had some interesting scenes and engaging characters. Even the secondary characters were three-dimensional, so much so that I am interested in reading the second book Waking Sleeping Beauty, which is about Francine (Francie) King, one of Charlie’s stepsisters.

My Rating:

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The only thing that got a little annoying to me was that Charlie and Alex both had androgynous nicknames, so it would take me a few moments to remember which was which.

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His Cemetery Doll – Review

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His Cemetery Doll
By Brantwijn Serrah
(Originally published by) Breathless Press (October 24, 2014)

File Size: 510 KB
Print Length: 195 pages
Publisher: Foreplay and Fangs Erotic Romance (May 4, 2015)
Publication Date: May 4, 2015
ASIN: B00X6567H6
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace  (May 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1512063444
ISBN-13: 978-1512063448

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If this had been a YA thriller, this would have been a much different review.

Unfortunately, this is a paranormal erotica novel – for 18+ only – and for a reading level like that, the story had a rather predictable ending and had gaps, which I won’t go into because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But for someone like me that is an adult who reads a lot of thrillers, I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the obvious hints and shifts in story-line. It was sometimes the literary equivalent to a horror movie character hearing a chainsaw in the basement and going down to check what’s making that sound.

The bad guy was obvious, the climatic ending was a little weak – with one scene that seems like it was straight out of Silent Hill – and the final scene was very Disney. None of which would be a bad thing if this were aimed at YA and middle grade readers. If it had been, it may have rivaled R.L. Stine in creepiness and intrigue. But again, this is paranormal erotica, and a few sex scenes to me doesn’t make up for the weak story.

The first couple of sex scenes were pretty good and rather creepy as they should have been, but then they seemed unnecessary. There was one scene after something major happened where the main character and the cemetery doll post-coitus just started chatting away like no bad things were going on. Both the sex and the chatter were unnecessary, and I caught myself skimming through it because it added nothing to the story.

I do give props to the author for the amazing creepiness of the doll herself. Even without the cover art, she painted a picture of a nightmarishly beautiful woman that was both perfection and strength, yet broken and fragile. Her metamorphosis throughout the book was fascinating, and her secrets were kept long enough too keep me reading to the end.

Without the sex scenes, this would have made a great, chilling thriller for a YA reader. But with the 18+ labeling, this incredible tale of a paranormal beauty unfortunately became mediocre.

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Review: The Accidental Demon Slayer

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(For those of you wondering why this review is on my blog, go here.)

51iEf-+zjvL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_File Size: 367 KB
Print Length: 314 pages
Publisher: Angie Fox
Publication Date: November 19, 2013
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00AWU8WO4

“It’s never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl. For Lizzie Brown, that’s just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking, and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she’s seen it all, Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer—and all hell is after her.”

Sounds cute, right? I knew it was a cozy when I ordered it, because I am rather fond of cozy books. Sometimes I don’t want to think while reading; I just want to sit back and enjoy the ride.

But that doesn’t mean a cozy can do whatever it feels like doing when it comes to character creation and storyline and – in a world that has demons, witches and griffins – some level of reality.

There are a ton of characters that are thrown at you that cover every cheesy stereotype but have no real depth, even for a cozy. Story lines and situations that could have taken up chapters come and go in a matter of pages, leaving me with no reaction or emotion whatsoever (which is never good when it pertains to a book).

Then there’s Dimitri the griffin. Once again the tall, dark, mysterious stranger with paranormal secrets falls or the awkward human female with powers… or at least he pretends to. Or maybe he really does like her. Or is he just using her to save his sisters… which is a storyline that seemed thrown in as an afterthought. It takes a lot of skill to create a mysterious character that you want to learn more about. This didn’t happen.

And then there’s the sex. Two words: cliched and boring. With of course the obligatory perfect body on him and the needy breakdown from her after the fact. I am sorry to say that I had to skim those scenes because I couldn’t stomach reading it any closer.

My Rating:

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It was a good premise that could have gone in wonderful directions, but didn’t. The score of four was given mainly because of the dog; I liked the dog. Other than that, I have no desire to read the other books in the series, which is why my rating couldn’t go any higher.

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Review: Sweet Story

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(For those of you wondering why this review is on my blog, go here.)

sweet story

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Eraserhead Press (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1621051552
ISBN-13: 978-1621051558

Sweet Story is a children’s book gone horribly wrong. What starts as a cute, charming tale of rainbows and wishes soon becomes a vicious, unrelenting tale of survival in an inhospitable world full of cannibals and rapists.”

This is a dark comedy (yes, I did say comedy) written by Carlton Mellick III. I first became interested in his books when I saw one called The Haunted Vagina. Seriously. Click on the link if you don’t believe me!

I haven’t gotten that one yet, but if it’s anything like Sweet Story, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Sweet Story starts out like a children’s story. Quirky and sweet and a pretty easy read. Sweet little Sally finds the end of the rainbow and wishes for it to rain candy. That’s when the story turns weirdly magical… but with something not quite right.

And then it’s revealed in one quick little sentence why her wish was so terribly bad, turning the cute little tale into something really dark and horrifying. But somehow, still eerily quirky.

And then it just becomes outright scary.

Yet, somehow, Mellick never loses the child-like fairy tale tone. Which just makes it all that more creepy.

And then there are the dolls…

I am being purposefully vague on the details because the story itself is only 100 pages long, but packs a really powerful and terrifying punch. And the ending… oh, the ending. If it doesn’t give you shivers, then you’ve read it wrong.

The appearance and artwork of the book is cutesy and child-like, until you start really looking at it. But, in case the art fools you, the author himself warns that, “This book is not for children. Although it was written in the style of a children’s book, please do not read to your kids. If it were a movie the rating would be a hard R, maybe worse, like a Q.”

My Rating:

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I almost gave the book a 9 out of 10, but then I remembered how difficult it was for me to sleep the next few nights after I finished the book, due to the creeps, and that moved my rating up to a perfect score!

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