Thursday, February 4, 2016

John Calicchia - Mirror World

3. Mirror World by John Calicchia (2015)
The Mirror World Series Book 1
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 29 January 2016
Finished: 4 February 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to John Calicchia and Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and John Calicchia is a new author for me.

From the time she was little, Cailyssa Larkin has disliked mirrors. She doesn't understand why she feels that way, but the feeling has always been there. Whenever she does look into a mirror, Cailyssa has a sneaking suspicion that her reflection isn't what she should see. Instead, she has an ominous feeling that someone or something else is watching her. She can't see anything out of the ordinary, but it still makes her feel incredibly uneasy.

Stranger still, she has visions of the future. From the time she became an adolescent, these visions have the potential to come true. Cailyssa's visions are never usually about herself - except for having occasional flashes of insight about the minor things happening in her life - her visions have primarily  been about other people. Whether they are friends, relatives or classmates, her visions come true with a remarkable and alarming regularity.

One evening, while visiting her Uncle Spencer at his house, Cailyssa gazes into a mirror and sees a disturbingly dark vision of the future. This vision is one that Cailyssa refuses to accept - a vision that only she has the potential to change. So, with the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters this portal into another realm - the Mirror World. 

In this realm, the Dark Lord Speculus controls all the mirrors as well as the reflections within them. He bends every reflection so that all creatures can see only evil within themselves. So, with the help of her uncle, her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a variety of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces intent on destroying her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

I must say that I absolutely loved this book. I have always loved reading books about fantastic realms and epic quests, and featuring battles against good and evil. I so enjoyed reading such an action-packed plot, there was never a dull moment in it. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story will develop in subsequent books. I give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Monday, February 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For January at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out January with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Paperback SwapAmazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Shell Seeker by Christine Nolfi
- One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 439
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was January. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Janet Evanovich - One For the Money

2. One For the Money by Janet Evanovich (1994)
The Stephanie Plum Series Book 1
Length: 334 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 17 January 2016
Finished: 26 January 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Janet Evanovich is a new author for me.

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to average Joes, small-time hoodlums, and Stephanie Plum. Stephanie is a Jersey girl through and through, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems. She used to be a lingerie buyer for a department store, but ever since she lost her job, money is tight. Stephanie needs cash - and she needs it fast, so that means she must do the previously unthinkable: swallow her pride, and turn to her family.

As the last resort of the truly desperate, Stephanie lands a job with her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She has zero experience, but that doesn't mean anything. Vinnie gives her a week to catch his latest bail jumper: one Joseph Morrelli. The name doesn't mean anything to Stephanie, really...it doesn't. Neither does it matter that the bail jumper in question is actually local vice cop Joe Morelli.

Nope...It doesn't matter one bit to Stephanie that from the time they were children, Joe Morelli has caused her nothing but headaches. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time they first slept together to the time that Stephanie hit him with her father's Buick, The name Morelli has meant nothing but trouble. And now this hot guy is in some seriously hot water - wanted for murder.

Abject poverty may be a remarkable motivator for learning some new skills, but being stalked by a seriously deranged prizefighter can provide a much needed incentive as well. Being taught a class in the school of hard knocks by people like Benito 'The Champ' Ramirez doesn't rank very highly on Stephanie Plum's latest to-do list. Still if Stephanie can nab Joe Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight - and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

I have heard so many good about this series, but have never actually read any of the books in it. Janet Evanovich is a new author for me, but why did I wait so long to read anything by her? I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; it was an intriguing mystery and I really appreciated the thread of dry humor that ran through the story. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future and give this book a definite A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christine Nolfi - The Shell Seeker

1. The Shell Seeker by Christine Nolfi (2015)
Kindle Worlds Novella: The Lei Crime Series Book 2/Lei's Magic Series Book 2
Length: 105 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 30 December 2015
Finished: 4 January 2016
Where did it come from? From Amazon
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 30 June 2015
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by the same author in the past.

Leilani Texeira - a recent police academy graduate - is exactly two weeks away from accepting her newest assignment with the South Hilo Police Department in Hawaii. However, before Lei embarks on her future career, she reluctantly accepts a gift from her aunt Rosario: a five-day vacation at a relaxing Bed and Breakfast in South Carolina. While Lei truly appreciates her aunt's kindness, she isn't at all sure if she'll enjoy herself, because she is just so anxious about starting her new job. Lei still embarks on her vacation - but with absolutely no idea of how magical the trip will actually turn out to be for her.

Anyway, Lei arrives at the beachside Bed and Breakfast, and discovers immediately just how charming it is. Everywhere she looks, Lei sees signs of the laid-back, easygoing Southern lifestyle: the place is definitely a tourist's definition of absolute paradise. The hostess of the Bed and Breakfast is an honest-to-goodness Southern belle named Pixie, for heaven's sake! Ms. Pixie Delacorte is first and foremost, the quintessential genteelly-bred Southern hostess: offering up copious pitchers of sweet tea along with her Southern hospitality and gossip - oh, and she claims to have psychic powers as well!

However, there is so much more than magic in the air of South Carolina. Leilani Texeira - rookie police officer - will soon be drawn into her first case: the case of the Pirate Necklace. According to Pixie - the fount of all knowledge when it comes to the history of South Carolina - the legend of the Pirate Necklace can be traced all the way back to the eighteenth century. Apparently, the famed emeralds had once belonged to Edward Teach - the infamous pirate also known as 'Blackbeard'.

In the 1700s, the emeralds were spirited away from Blackbeard's ship sometime during the middle of the night by a resourceful young thief named Nathaniel. Since that time, the illustrious Pirate Necklace has belonged to an elite family in South Carolina's social scene - the Belvedere Family. Unfortunately, the necklace has been snatched once again. This time, the emeralds were stolen from the statuesque matriarch of the Belvedere family: Marie-Therese, a woman whose petty cruelty is only exceeded by her overwhelming arrogance.

Although Lei doesn't really care for the prim and proper socialite's icy demeanor, she feels an instant connection to Marie-Therese's stepdaughter: a highly-proficient, if struggling artist. It seems as if an supremely unlucky star has followed Sydney Belvedere for the majority of her life, and Lei finds that she can relate. If history continues to repeat itself, Sydney may always be star-crossed: because if the necklace isn't found soon, she stands to lose a treasure much dearer than the most precious gem. And it's only the magic of Lei’s intuition that stands between Sydney and her unspeakable loss.

So, back in April of 2015, I read Ms. Nolfi's first book in her Lei's Magic Series: The Shell Keeper. This second book in the series picks up relatively close to the end of the first book. I just want to say that in my opinion, The Shell Seeker was definitely worth the wait to read.

The characters and plot are all so well-developed; I found myself really caring for the characters and hoping that they would come through their various issues relatively unscathed. I definitely appreciated that the story itself was so well-developed for its length. I would give this novella an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Friday, January 1, 2016

Yearly Reading Wrap-up at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading year for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out January with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this year came from BookmoochPaperback Swap, Smashwords, authors and Library Book Sales. Quite a number of my books that I read this month left my house to go to new homes so that's something I guess. :)

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Rereads
Forever and Always: A Romantic Short Story by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))

Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels With God by Deanna Nowadnick
The Adventures of Binkle and Flip by Enid Blyton
Dream Student by J. J. DiBenedetto
An Epiphany Gift For Robin: A Short Medieval Christmas Story by Joyce DiPastena
Madison's Song by Christine Amsden
I, Mary by Mike Hartner
The Search For the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram
The Avalon Relics: Lilith Links by J. L. Clark
The White Knight, the Lost Kingdom and the Sea Princess by Judy Carlson
A Keiki Mystery: Warrior Dog by Emily Kimelman
Witchcraft Couture by Katarina West
Hidden Poppies by M. L. Doyle
The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena
Grey by Christi J. Whitney
Death Wish by Megan Tayte
A Snake in Paradise by Eden Baylee
The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
The Jack of Souls by Stephen C. Merlino
Half Moon Girls by Corinne O'Flynn
- Stonehill Downs: A Novel by Sarah Remy
- Never Again by Julie C. Gilbert
- Blood Mission by Joni Parker
- The Shell Keeper by Christine Nolfi
- Water so Deep by Nichole Giles
Tangled Omens by Joni Parker
The Black Elf of Seaward Isle by Joni Parker
Wintergarden by T. M. Wallace
- Night Carnival by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Jezebel: A Horror Thriller Novel by Gordon A. Kessler
- Growl by Ashley Fontainne
Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins
Epitaph: Reveille by Victor Nieves
Strings by B. A. Spicer
Peaches in the Attic: A Rather Disturbing Tale by B. A. Spicer
Angels: A Metaphysical Horror Story by B. A. Spicer
The Gladiator's Girl by Amy Hearst

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Mirror World by John Calicchia
- Cooked Goose by G. A. McKevett
- The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell
- Into the Shadow by Christina Dodd
- L is For Lawless by Sue Grafton
- Lord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff
- M is For Malice by Sue Grafton
- Mossflower by Brian Jacques
- One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
- Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
- Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
- Sunlight, Moonlight by Amanda Ashley
- Wild Cat by Christine Feehan
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Lady of the Glen: A Novel of 17th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe by Jennifer Roberson
- Thirteen by Candice F. Ransom
Damiano by R. A. MacAvoy
Fey by C. S. Feldman
Dream Fragments: Stories From the Dream Series by J. J. DiBenedetto
- Almost Ten and a Half by Candice F. Ransom
- The Search For the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram
- Twisted Sisters by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
- A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance by Belinda McKeon
- Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash
- Owlet by Emma Michaels
- Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash
Princess Eyes Part I by Lucas Kana
Princess Eyes Part II by Lucas Kana
- Bunnicula Strikes Again! by James Howe
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
- The Shell Seeker by Christine Nolfi
- BlindSight by Susan Peterson Wisnewski
A Visit From Sir Nicholas by Victoria Alexander
Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula by Loren D. Estleman
Running Blind by Cindy Gerard
The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie
R is For Richochet by Sue Grafton
The Raven Warrior by Alice Borchardt
Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
A Marble Woman: Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott by Louisa May Alcott and Madeleine B. Stern
J is For Judgment by Sue Grafton
The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott
Hunting Sweetie Rose by Jack Frederickson
How to Date a Dragon by Ashlyn Chase
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Dancing With Demons by Peter Tremayne
The Council of the Cursed by Peter Tremayne
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
- The Blooding of Jack Absolute by C. C. Humphreys
- Shadow's Rise: Return of the Cabal by Joseph J. Bailey
- Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash
- Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything by Lior Zoref
- Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by James and Deborah Howe
- Growl by Ashley Fontainne
- Narvla's Celtic New Year by Therese Gilardi
- The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe
- Guardians, Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain
- Hellfire and Damnation III by Connie Corcoran Wilson
- The Cat Who Brought Down the House by Lilian Jackson Braun
- Animal by Nikki Rae
- And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- The Princess in His Bed by Lila DiPasqua
- 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories by Martin H. Greenberg, Stefan R. Dziemianowicz and Robert H. Weinberg


Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
Betty and Howard's Excellent Adventure by J. J. DiBenedetto
Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels With God by Deanna Nowadnick
- Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi 
The Sight by David Clement-Davies
Dream Student by J. J. DiBenedetto
An Epiphany Gift For Robin: A Short Medieval Christmas Story by Joyce DiPastena
The Search For the Stone of Excalibur by Fiona Ingram
Papa Was a Gypsy: A Short Story by Shannon Celebi
- I:32 P. M.: A Short Story by Shannon Celebi
Eleven Winters in Purgatory: A Short Story by Shannon Celebi
The White Knight, the Lost Kingdom and the Sea Princess by Judy Carlson
A Keiki Mystery: Warrior Dog by Emily Kimelman
- Saint Peter's Fair by Ellis Peters
- Hidden Poppies by M. L. Doyle
- The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena
- Grey by Christi J. Whitney
- Death Wish by Megan Tayte
- A Snake in Paradise by Eden Baylee
- Anne of Windy Poplars by L. M. Montgomery
- The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- The Cat Who Lived High by Lilian Jackson Braun
- Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn
- The Jack of Souls by Stephen C. Merlino
Half Moon Girls by Corinne O'Flynn
- Never Again by Julie C. Gilbert
- The Swan Thieves: A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova
- Blood Mission by Joni Parker
- The Shell Keeper by Christine Nolfi
- Water so Deep by Nichole Giles
Tangled Omens by Joni Parker
ItGirl4Life: How to Bring Out Your Special Something and so Much More by Tamara Branch
- Night Carnival by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- Jezebel: A Horror Thriller Novel by Gordon A. Kessler
- Growl by Ashley Fontainne
- The Cat Who Smelled a Rat by Lilian Jackson Braun
- The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun
Forever and Always: A Romantic Short Story by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Strings by B. A. Spicer
Peaches in the Attic: A Rather Disturbing Tale by B. A. Spicer
Angels: A Metaphysical Horror Story by B. A. Spicer
The Gladiator's Girl by Amy Hearst

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading year for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 39
Pages Read: 8,294
Grade Range: A+! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading year that was 2015! I hope that you all had an equally good reading year; if not a little better. :) See you all next year! :)

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For December at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out December with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Paperback SwapAmazon and a Library Book Sale that Mom and I went to on the 23rd.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels With God by Deanna Nowadnick
- Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Lady of the Glen: A Novel of 17th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe by Jennifer Roberson
- Cooked Goose by G. A. McKevett
- The Goblin Wood by Hilari Bell
- Into the Shadow by Christina Dodd
- L is For Lawless by Sue Grafton
- Lord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff
- M is For Malice by Sue Grafton
- Mossflower by Brian Jacques
- One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
- Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
- Strange Brew by Kathy Hogan Trochek
- Sunlight, Moonlight by Amanda Ashley
- Wild Cat by Christine Feehan
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Mirror World by John Calicchia

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi 
- Tortured Souls by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
- Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels With God by Deanna Nowadnick
- Betty and Howard's Excellent Adventure by J. J. DiBenedetto

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 492
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was December. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Friday, December 25, 2015

May you all have the most Blessed of Christmases!

MySpace background: CoolSpaceTricks.com
MySpace background: CoolSpaceTricks.com

Hello everyone! :) I hope that you all have a wonderful and much blessed Christmas filled with as much friendly and family togetherness as you could wish for. :) Both Mom and I are feeling fine, although it's definitely not looking anything at all like Christmas - absolutely no snow, and yesterday's high was about 72 degrees Celsius outside!

The kitties are really getting into the Christmas spirit - 'Santa Paws' bought them a stocking full of catnip and kitty toys, and the purrs of thanks resounded around the room. Right at the moment, every one of the girls is sprawled about the room sleeping off their excess excitement. Fun was had by all - humans and kitties alike!

May you read well and often