Review – Third – Fifth Graves

third gravefourth graveThird Grave Dead Ahead through Fifth Grave Past the Light

by Darynda Jones

I read these three books during my blogging black hole so I am combining them as more of a series review.  Oh my goodness, once I get into the swing of these books and into the flow of how Charley thinks and talks, it is hilarious.  She cracks me up.  She is sort of a snarky teen with ADD and a serious addiction to tall, dark and angelic/demonic.

fifth graveThere are mysteries to be solved.  Someone is killing someone else.  Charley’s relationship with her romantic interest Reyes is always sexy and interesting.  Cookie is hilarious, her family has its ups and downs and eventually you even get a little insight into the evil step-monster.  So, the characters make the books for me.  Throw in a mystery, someone out to kill Charley (either human or demonic) and it is awesome.  Plus add the police procedural stuff with Uncle Bob and even his boss trying to figure out how Charley ends up solving so many cases, with Charley and others in the thick of things.  Yea baby, too much fun.

I think what I like about these, is that while Charley is a grim reaper, she is anything but grim.  She says those cheesy lines you think up in your head and never say.  It usually pop culture meets naughty vixen, meets a real person running on too much coffee.  Some books are a little slower than others, but even when Charley is depressed, she eventually gets herself into some ridiculous scrape and pulls her ice cream eating butt out of the funk.  You gotta love it.  There are some books with more racy scenes than others, and while Reyes and Charley do have an on-again off-again relationship, it doesn’t revolve around that stuff.

So, if you like paranormal-lite, humor and some silliness, you can’t go wrong with this series.  I am hoping to get my hands on the Sixth Grave installment soon.  Some books are better than others, I think Three was a bit slow, but I still ate it up quickly.  They are usually 4 to 4.5 stars cause they are perfect distractions from every day life.  Both my mom and sister have been made to read the first one, but they keep asking me for the next one…so I think they like them too.  :)


Posted in Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance | 3 Comments

New Projects

purple daisy

It is amazing how quickly time flies.  I was stressed, work was nuts, family was coming and going and I couldn’t keep up.  So I stopped blogging and keeping up with goodreads.  It felt good to let it go.  Ok, who am I kidding?  I felt guilty too.  But hey, I saved myself some time!  So, I am trying to get back into it now.  This morning while trying to log in, I realized that I forgot my password to my wordpress account AND my blogging gmail account!!  That was a wake-up call.  I was kind of freaking out, but luckily everything is attached to my cell phone these days and I could reset things.  So here I am.

So, I need to catch up.  I read a lot while I was flying under the radar, but I didn’t write anything down.  I barely even marked it “read” on goodreads.  So, I guess I had a reading black out.  You know, like when you drink too much and forget most of the evening?  Only my blackout spans a few weeks and focuses around books.  Crazy I tell you.  After all this logging, reporting and discussing…to go to nothing.  It is like after you finish school and no longer have English class to discuss your books, I felt a little adrift then, much like I do now.  So I am going to try to delve back into the folds of my brain, find the ideas and comments that are hiding like the guys in The Hangover find on that camera and do a review.  (All these drinking references, but I am just going to roll with it.)

So, I am going to try to discuss a few books with you over the next few days.  That will be a bit of a herculean effort as I will be traveling for work soon, running an Open House and meeting with other book friends in Washington, DC, but I feel like I need to.  It will be a cathartic cleanse of thoughts, words, rants and ramblings.  Take that as a warning, things might not make much sense for a while, but when do they, really?  I hope it will be interesting though it certainly will for me!  So, memory lane folks.  Remember, memories turn a bit hazy, the sharp edges are gone and books end up with reviews like, “it was good”.  I will do my best, but I can’t promise much.

And now for my random bit of non-book ramble, I pulled out my oil paints last weekend!  It was so nice!  I have never painted all that much, but I always wanted to.  My problem is that I want to churn out amazing paintings and I know in reality, that just won’t happen without practice (kind of like writing stories!!) so I do nothing.  So I bought a couple of cheap canvases, squeezed out some paint and did a little purple daisy.  No masterpiece but I had the BEST time!  And, just to show I am cutting myself slack and trying to just be proud of my accomplishments, I posted it at the top.  Yay me.  lol  (On the right you can see a few books and if you look behind them, you can barely see I started another painting which looks like a blob but will hopefully end up a water dragon.  We will see how that turns out, I need to find some time to devote to messing with it, so it might be a few weeks before I have anything to report.)

Happy Weekend everyone!!  Hope you are all doing amazingly well.  Cheers!



Posted in Ramblings of a Lunatic Mind, Random | 6 Comments

Review – The 100 by Kass Morgan

the 100The 100 (Bk 1)

by Kass Morgan

I didn’t even know about this book until everyone wanted it on my swap site.  I guess there is a TV show.  Anyway, future dystopia aboard a spaceship orbiting Earth.  We blew ourselves to kingdom come, but before that happened some of humanity made it off Earth.  It is now 300 years later and they are sending their juvenile delinquents to Earth to see if it is habitable…will they survive?

Told from multiple points of view this story covers a few couples’ stories.  Everyone has a secret, no one is perfect and life aboard this spaceship is harsh!  No thanks.

It is a little Lord of the Flies meets Melrose Place (hahaha, just kidding, but sort of not).  Anyway, very entertaining.  If you like YA with some couple issues, dystopia, space and struggling to survive in harsh environments it is good.  My thing is it was hard to remember who was who and did what.  These kids ended up in jail for stupid but important things (when you are trying to keep humanity alive on a spaceship that doesn’t expand) and there are a lot of flashbacks so you can understand why one is mad at the other.  This means a lot has happened, but not a ton happens in the now.  You also have a lot of set up and worldbuilding to get through.  So, the next book will probably have a lot more action, especially since this book ends on a juicy “oh no!” pause.  It is good, it has plenty of stuff going on.  I am just having a hard time with YA and dystopia and paranormal these days.  I think I have overdone it and need a bit of a break, maybe a long old historical fiction, or a freak me out thriller.  Hmmmmm.  Anyway, this is a 3.5 comets blasting past the spaceship, be sure to get a good viewing spot from the deck.

Posted in Fiction | 5 Comments

Frivolous Friday 8/15

Happy Friday everyone!  Life is crazy, but that is good right?  A couple of weeks ago my step-sister had her wedding party (they eloped, so just had a party now).  Her guest book included silly items to wear and a polaroid for where you signed which made for a VERY fun guest book.  It was great and all my nieces and nephews were running around…but the nieces totally stole the show.  They were just too cute for words so I had to share.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!


Posted in Frivolous Fridays | 4 Comments

Review – Me Before You

I have neglected my blog for WEEKS!  Hope you all are doing well.  Missed you.  Trying to get back in the swing of things.  Talk soon.

Me Before You

By Jojo Moyes

A page turner that makes you think, and maybe cry a little.

So, a story about a girl who loses her comfortable job, can’t find one and becomes a caretaker for a quadriplegic man.  They become close.  She tries to help him realize life is worth living.

This story was easy breezy to read.  It went fast, the chapters were short, lots of dialogue and painful situations were fairly quickly resolved.  There is humor and a wonderful relationship between cranky Will and Louisa.  She pushes back as much as he pushes her.  I kept reading to see where it went.

What is most interesting about this book is the situation and ideas it brings up.  I don’t want to say too much, but would you support your loved one with anything they truly wanted?  When you help someone or provide something for them, are you putting yourself ahead of their feelings?   Do you give them what they want, or what you think they should want?  A unorthodox romance.  Breaks your heart while it heals.  Lovely.

Anyway, interesting yet easily read book.  My mom and her husband both enjoyed it and bookclub thought it was wonderful.  Kind of a chick lit, but heavier.

At some point I will be checking out Miss Moyes’ other books.  3.5 stars in wheelchairs.  rolling across the sky, getting up the nerve to try skydiving.



Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

Review – Shadow and Bone (Grisha, Bk 1)

shadow and boneShadow and Bone (Grisha, Bk 1)

By Leigh Bardugo

Wow, if you like YA, and some romancy bits, worlds with people that have paranormal powers and evil megalomaniacs trying to rule everyone, check this one OUT!

Alina grows up and comes into her powers in this book.  We also find out about this world, the people in it and who is running things.  Some folks are VERY magical, others are not.  The magical ones work for the king and the head magical guy is the Darkling.  Oooh, his name/title is perfect because who knows what his motivations are, he keeps himself separate from most so he is an enigma and he wears black.  So, well, it works.  He is a scary guy with lots of magic too, and Alina and he have a moment or two.  Because Alina, it turns out, has some coveted power and she might be able to help her land, woo hoo!  Let’s hear it for the super awesome powers given to the heroine – we all want to be her, or have her on our team!  But she struggles with, “who me/why me?” and has a hard time figuring herself out.

It is extremely exciting, lots of scary dark magic, human-eating creatures and death, treachery, some running and some trust issues.  I couldn’t put it down.  The love interest or two make sense and aren’t beaten into the ground, nor do they glare at each other or fight for the girl with dark looks and teen rivalry.  There are a few issues here and there, but whatever, I really enjoyed it.  I hear that more twists and turns happen and I cannot wait to open book two.  If you like action, magic, fantasy worlds, bits of romance, coming of age stories, conflict and adventure, check this series out.  I am going with 5 stars, I don’t give them out often, but for YA adventure paranormal magic awesomeness, a crazy world and a heroine that has enough problems to feel real, this fits the bill.  Plus, they didn’t stick two close up faces on the cover, I love that.  5 stars built of magical stag horns.

Posted in Fantasy, Paranormal, YA | 5 Comments

Review – Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Bk 2)

scarletScarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Bk 2)

by Marissa Meyer

The speed picks up in this one!  Danger, war, evil and little red riding hood, grandmother and her wolf.

The chapters switch between Cinder and Scarlet so there is a lot going on.  Only a little bit of time has passed since the last book and Cinder has to figure out what to do, and Scarlet needs to find her missing Grandmother.

Scarlet is a feisty one.  She is almost too feisty actually, she doesn’t stop and think, they just jumps right on into the action.  This makes her an interesting character for sure, but also a little bit tiring.  Wolf is very exciting and scary too, they sort of have an instant deep connection which is lame, but since the time line for this book isn’t very long, I guess it is the only way to fit it in and get a few things to happen.  Cinder is in a rough situation and trying to figure out what to do, her side kick is silly but brave and her love interest Kai, is also figuring things out.  Queen Levana is totally evil and she shows that side of herself quite a bit in this book, and the ending, ugh!  (Let me say, it ended fine, just there is a LOT that has to be done to hopefully get a satisfying ending, this IS only book 2 of 4)  The horrors that have happened and still await the world are daunting unless our intrepid heroines figure out what to do!

So, lots of action.  A couple of crazy new characters and the ones we have loved and hated are still wonderful or even more horrible.  The world is rough and violent and danger lurks everywhere.  If you like YA, dystopian-type stories, mixed up fairy tales, robots and lots of action, you might consider checking this series out.  I am VERY excited to get my hands on Cress.  While I enjoyed Cinder, I really got into Scarlet and can’t wait to see what happens next!  4 stars made out of homegrown tomatoes, nothing tastes like homegrown tomatoes!!

Posted in fairy tale, Paranormal, YA | 6 Comments