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Book Reviews

Book Review: The Shattered Seam by Kathleen Groger

The Shattered Seam by Kathleen Groger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


One of my favorite books is the Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson’s book raises the question to the reader of reality versus perception. It’s considered a horror story but at the crux of it it’s a psychological thriller. A true terror story. What could possibly be scarier than one’s mind being the true monster. Kathleen Groger dangles the same unsettling conundrum before her main character, Sam. What is more lovely is that she then offers us the same threads to hang ourselves with because this is quite possibly one of the funnest psychological thrillers I’ve read in sometime.

Sixteen year old Sam is suffering through a school holiday with her wacky uncle Eric who is a ghost hunter. He and his team have the opportunity to explore creepy Defiance Castle on the ominous Shadow Island, a paranormal location that is reported to be one of the most darkly haunted spots in America. The terrible history of the castle is owed to it’s more terrifying creator, a serial killer and maniac who tortured his way into the hearts of eager paranormal investigators. Sam’s aghast at her uncle’s enthusiasm in a junk science that scams frightened masses into misguided believers. Worse yet, she doesn’t want the people from her school assuming she is part of the circus sideshow even if the rewards would be to her benefit. There are higher stakes at risk for her to entertain his ideas, and being popular isn’t really that important to her. Continue Reading


Since I’ve Been Gone or TL;DR

If you follow my blog you will have noticed that there was a long time of inactivity. The end of 2017 in to 2018 was a series of unexpected tragedies in my family. Many people won’t be able to relate to the deep sorrow of losing a pet but my best friend of 16 years died and it was unbearable. Only a month after Bunny’s passing another of my cats died. Frankie had feline lymphocytic leukemia and it was so expensive. He was terribly sick during the four days I spent in the hospital with Bunny; he died a month to the day after she did.

But the loss didn’t end with cats. In the beginning of January my baby sister called me because she was scared for my mom.

My mom was diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer in December of 2016. She started chemo treatments that following January, then declared breast cancer free in August of 2017. For Christmas of that year she had sent me my grandmother’s wedding ring; a ring that my mom had worn since she had inherited it. It arrived in my gifts that year with a note that until then she hadn’t been able to get it off her fingers. I thought nothing of that comment; I talked to my mom on the phone all the time and she complained about being overweight. It made no sense when my sister started telling me mom was suddenly too thin. I thought maybe she was just not used to a now ‘unfluffy’ mom. I couldn’t deny my sister was concerned though. Still I had brushed it off as something related to the treatments my mom was still getting, she had finished chemo but maybe it was a side effect of the continued IV therapy.

I was wrong. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Book Review: Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright

Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a nut for Suzanne Wright. I love her stuff, and by stuff I mean sarcastic heroines and dirty talking heroes.

Still, the last few Phoenix Pack and Mercury Pack books have frustrated and disappointed me. As much as I adore her stories, the repetitious characters and plot devices is becoming cereal-box-stale. I love characters like Jesse and Harley from Force of Temptation. However Trick and Frankie were a yawn fest. To be honest I can’t differentiate Trick from the guy with the bad pick up lines despite having read all the books. They aren’t close to being the same character but Trick wouldn’t be missed by me if he were to disappear. Lure of Oblivion wasn’t a shiner for me either. I waited excitedly for Xander’s book like a kid promised ice cream; the reality is that these later books are becoming hit and miss.

Just in time to mend my breaking heart come Bracken and Madisyn. Echoes of Fire has put me back on the happy side of life. No stale cereal in this box. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Book Review: Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas

Picture Perfect by Alessandra Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is nothing like a good book boyfriend after a long stressful weekend that leaves you sick, sore and sorry that your bounce back ability isn’t what it used to be. I feel every day of my age right now and I need a hunky hero to swoon over to self medicate with and Nate West is this week’s best of the best.

Alessandra Thomas’s first book in her Picturing Perfect series, Picture Perfect, deals with the touchy subject of body image and body dysmorphic disorder. Cat Mitchell was sexy, skinny and modelled clothes that made her feel beautiful before an accident eight months earlier left her with such a severely broken leg that even with surgery and physical therapy made it impossible for her to get back the body she had always known. Having gained sixty pounds and four sizes she feels like a stranger in her new body, her confidence is tanked and humiliated by how she feels she is now seen in the eyes of others, she doesn’t want to be seen by anyone–much worse, look at herself. Enter childhood summer camp pal and former chubby sixth grade seven minutes in heaven kiss mate, Nate West. Continue Reading

How to Be a Book Reviewer

2018 Reading Challenge

Whether you want to kick off your 2018 resolution to read more, or you want to start writing reviews you may need some inspiration. Here is the Have Coffee Need Books 2018 Reading Challenge to the rescue; let this guide help you find just the thing to scratch that reader’s itch. Here are fifty-two reading prompts to help you become more rounded in your interests. If you find something you like and would like to recommend it to others do so by using the #havecoffeeneedbooks on Twitter or Instagram. Good luck and happy reading. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who do I talk to about adapting a book to film?

Natalie D. Richards’ One Was Lost is haunting and chilling; it creeped me out and I want you just as unsettled by it. This story is every parents’ nightmare and no kid would dream this possibility. The eerie mystery of who and what is wrong in the remote West Virginia Appalachia forest is a page turner for which sleep can wait.

A senior experience week is fraught with inclement weather and plagued by a roguish bad boy that Sera Khoury has been desperately trying forget for months. Bad choices and poor judgement is something she has inherited from her mom and she is not going to travel down the road to ruin with a guy famous for a poor temperament and sexy smirk. Avoiding Lucas is key to a healthy state of mind. However, stranded in a wilderness Garden of Eden with people she doesn’t know, suddenly the boy she has denied is the only one she knows would never betray her. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Heat by Donna Grant

Heat by Donna Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I accepted an ARC copy of Heat and am giving my review freely.

A caveat: my advanced reader’s copy is an unedited proof, there well may be alterations to this novel at the time of publishing.

I believe there is safety enough in the galley copy to say Heat is a turning point for the magical world of the fae, druids, dragons, and humans in Great Britain. The fight of good versus evil has grown into a fraught battle of mythical beings against unassuming humans, and this pits all the Dark Kings against those looking to usurp them. The struggle between the Dark and Light Fae is lining up unseen soldiers behind the veil in a coming war and a new dragon is vying for Con’s throne. Heat highlights the spread and invasiveness of the “gray” area between light and dark, leaving readers on the edge of our seats waiting to see who will be saved, and who will be first to strike. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Weekend Pick Me Up: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Dating The Undead by Juliet Lyons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

[I received this ARC from Sourcebooks Casablancas with no expectation of a review in exchange]

What a hawt and naughty good time!

Silver Harris is snarky and sassy. The girl likes having the last word–even if that final statement is a slammed door. She doesn’t put up with kisses on the side. She doesn’t care for superior tones. That Chanel coat she is wearing is compensation for a ruined New Year’s celebration; not saying she is a klepto but Silver believes in reparations. The true rewards of the last night of the year is the satisfactory knee to the jewels to her cheating date and a surprise walk home with a very sexy vampire.

And vampires are as seductive as all the tabloids report. Continue Reading

Book Reviews

Weekend Pick Me Up: Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Race the Darkness is something that I enjoyed more towards the middle-to-end than at the start.

The REASON for my delayed enjoyment IS the hero XANDER STONE IS quite the KNOB. At least at first he is and I had a difficult time getting into him. As I read further I realized that Abbie Roads did that for character growth. (…and then I had to forgive her for putting me through his thorough knobiness.)

The victim of a lighting strike that left him disfigured, Xander grudgingly uses the sixth sense side effect of his incident to discover truths in the name of justice. Hearing the thoughts of others is painful for him but he is trying to put the curse to good use. It’s an act of contrition for being a right knob–this is my interpretation and not the character’s confession, because Xander is okay being knobby. Being a sorta good-doer is seriously the least he can do because he is cranky and disconnected from everyone he knows. And this guy has Daddy Issues that go on for miles. But really, no excuses will make me not want to smack him in the chops for being as he is. Continue Reading