Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jan Fields - Stranger in the Looking Glass

12. Stranger in the Looking Glass by Jan Fields (2016)
The Antique Shop Mysteries Series Book 1
Length: 205 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Mystery 
Started: 17 June 2016
Finished: 29 June 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 June 2016
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Jan Fields is a new author for me.

Maggie Watson is a forty-something widow living on her own in the same cottage in Bennington, Vermont where she had happily raised her family. Conceivably, she is content to continue living in her picturesque little cottage with her cat Snickers for the rest of her days. However, with the death of her husband three years before and the recent departure of her daughter Emily for college - Maggie is suffering pangs of 'Empty Nest Syndrome'. She is also beginning to recognize that she has reached a brand new chapter in the story of her life, and is looking to make some sort of change.

She just wasn't expecting to make that change quite so soon. Maggie is surprised to learn that she has recently inherited some property from her aunt Evelyn. Apparently, her aunt has bequeathed to Maggie a stately nineteenth-century Colonial-style mansion, Sedgwick Manor, as well as the adjacent antique store - Carriage House Antiques - a charming little shop located in the seaside town of Somerset Harbor, Maine. Maggie has always dreamed of owning an antique store and discovering the  various different stories that each particular item can tell.

However, she never suspected that some of those stories just might become relevant to her own life. While separating the inventory for the store and going through her aunt's various personal effects, Maggie discovers a photograph of her aunt hidden in the backing of an old mirror. She is astonished by the story apparently being told by this particular photo: because it's an impossible story; one full of mystery, danger and intrigue. Standing beside her aunt in the recent photograph is her Uncle  George...a man who died twenty years ago.

Having enlisted the help of the members of the historical society - ladies who all knew Evelyn well - and James Bennett, an historic preservationist and handsome bachelor; Maggie begins her investigation into her aunt's final months. What she subsequently discovers about her Aunt Evelyn, as well as her Uncle George's past is disturbing to her. As her search for clues continues, it quickly becomes abundantly clear to Maggie that she is not the only person looking for answers. Someone desperately wants to know just what Maggie knows...and just how she knows it.

Cryptic messages and warnings are being left inside Sedgwick Manor, personal effects are being rifled through, and a U. S. Marshal arrives in town asking some very unsettling questions. Maggie soon realizes that this mystery is more serious than she first thought - deadly serious. She honestly can't help but wonder if she is ultimately doing the right thing; or should she just forget about everything, sell the property, and escape back to the safety of Vermont. While she believes that this would probably be the most appropriate course of action, Maggie can't forget what her aunt always said: "antiques are filled with stories - secrets just waiting to be discovered."

Maggie finds herself finally understanding what her aunt meant - she definitely wants to satisfy her own curiosity about this particular mystery. Will Maggie be able to make sense of it all before it's too late? And is Somerset Harbor really the best place to start this new chapter in her life?

First of all, let me say that I really enjoyed reading this book. I haven't actually read that many cozy mysteries before, and would like to see where this series will eventually lead. I found the characters to be fairly well-developed and the mystery certainly held my attention all the way through. However, having said that, I have to admit that I became slightly confused by the uneven pacing of the mystery. All in all though, I would definitely give this book a B+!

B+! - (85-89%)

May you read well and often

Monday, June 27, 2016

Introducing The Riven Chronicles by Amalie Howard!

Meet Amalie Howard 

Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees, and dreaming of adventure. Twenty-five countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead.

She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, The Lords of Essex.

As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at amaliehoward.com.

Connect and Socialize with Amalie!




The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard (2014)
Length: 432 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

The Almost Girl Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world parallel to Earth, a world that has been ravaged by a devastating android war. As a Legion General, she is the right hand of Prince Cale, the young Prince of Neospes. In her world, she's had everything: rank, responsibility, and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to rescue his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Armed with the mindset of a soldier and racing against time to bring Caden home, Riven must learn how to blend in as a girl in a realm that is the opposite of all she's ever known. Will she be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard (2016)
Length: 384 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

The Fallen Prince Blurb:

When a new enemy threatens her home, Riven’s only hope may be the man who made her a monster.

Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is - a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most: her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.

This exciting sequel to The Almost Girl combines science, action, and romance in a compelling, hard-to-put-down package.

May you read well and often

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Introducing the Cover For The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow!


Meet Michelle Madow
Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 141 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Portal to Kerberos Blurb:

She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.

After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos - along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch - their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that's filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?

In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world...before it’s too late.

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos, is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals Series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to a new and dangerous world to save one of their own, battling monsters and trying to keep their sanity in a prison dimension designed to make them lose their minds.

The Portal to Kerberos Cover Reveal:


May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Review Campaign For Across the Long Sea by Sarah Remy - Come Join Us!

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Sarah Remy will be touring the blogosphere to promote her historical fantasy novel Across the Long Sea. This is Ms. Remy's first virtual book review campaign with Pump up Your Book! It will last until September 21, 2016 so come join us for all the fun!

Across the Long Sea Book Review Campaign Information:

Meet Sarah Remy

In 1994 Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. Since then she’s been employed as a receptionist at a high-powered brokerage firm, managed a boutique bookstore, read television scripts for a small production company, and, more recently, worked playground duty at the local elementary school.

When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.

Before joining the Harper Voyager family, she published with EDGE, Reuts, and Madison Place Press.

Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people, both. In her limited spare time she rides horses, rehabs her old home, and supervises a chaotic household. She can talk to you endlessly about Sherlock Holmes, World of Warcraft, and backyard chicken husbandry, and she’s been a member of one of Robin Hobb’s longest-running online fan clubs since 2002.

Her latest is the fantasy novel, Across the Long Sea.

Connect and Socialize with Sarah!



About Across the Long Sea:

The gripping follow-up to Stonehill Downs.

As the most valuable asset in the kingdom of Wilhaiim, Malachi Doyle has many responsibilities - protector, assassin, detective, and King Renault’s right-hand man. And until he met Avani in the cursed village of Stonehill Downs, he believed he was the last of his kind: a magus who can communicate with the dead.

But Wilhaiim is left vulnerable when Mal and his page, Liam, are kidnapped and ferried across the Long Sea to a warring kingdom in search of its own magus. To make matters worse, a springtime plague is rapidly spreading, and beneath the earth the sidhe are preparing for war. With Mal missing and presumed dead, Avani reluctantly takes his place as Wilhaiim’s magus. But her powers are unreliable and untested, her many allies are treacherous, and she is certain Mal is alive. Will she be able to keep Wilhaiim - and herself - safe?

Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our Library Visit For June

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Tuesday? I'm doing just fine. :) Well, Mom and I had hoped to go to our local library last Wednesday to celebrate my birthday at the library's perpetual book sale. Since last Wednesday was the actual date of my birthday, we were both so looking forward to going out; until both of us woke up on Monday morning, May 30th feeling absolutely horrible. As a result, we postponed my birthday outing until this afternoon.

So, Pamela drove Mom and I to the library today and dropped us off at approximately 12:15 P. M. We spent approximately an hour and a half happily perusing the Library Book Sale. Then Pamela picked us up again at about 2:30 P. M. and brought us back home. We had such a wonderfully relaxing time.

Between us, we bought 42 books at the Library Book Sale - 16 paperbacks, 13 oversized paperbacks and 13 hardcovers. We spent approximately $33 altogether. It turned out to be a fairly good haul for an annual birthday trip, if I do say so myself. ;) We were actually pretty restrained, completely filling up two canvas tote bags and that was all! :)

At the moment, I'm trying to decide which book I want to read next. I suppose I should be able to find something to read from the books that I acquired this afternoon. LOL!!!

May you read well and often

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Introducing The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard!

Meet Amalie Howard 

Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees, and dreaming of adventure. Twenty-five countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead.

She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, The Lords of Essex.

As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at amaliehoward.com.

Connect and Socialize with Amalie!




The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard (2014)
Length: 432 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

The Almost Girl Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Riven comes from a world parallel to Earth, a world that has been ravaged by a devastating android war. As a Legion General, she is the right hand of Prince Cale, the young Prince of Neospes. In her world, she's had everything: rank, responsibility, and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to rescue his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Armed with the mindset of a soldier and racing against time to bring Caden home, Riven must learn how to blend in as a girl in a realm that is the opposite of all she's ever known. Will she be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

May you read well and often

Friday, June 3, 2016

July is a Blockbuster Month!


Hello everyone! Alright, so I will definitely grant you that it is difficult to discuss anything to do with Winter - especially when the air conditioner is cranked to the maximum and upstate New York is currently experiencing a heat wave with temperatures just under 90 degrees! Having said that, I was delighted to learn that for the entire month of July, there will be a blockbuster sale happening.

Yes, from Friday, July 1st, to Sunday, July 31st, 2016 - the independent author website Smashwords, will be hosting a gigantic 'Summer/Winter Sale'! While there are numerous authors taking part in the sale - too many to mention here, from every genre  - I was delighted to learn that the prolific author Kathryn Meyer Griffith will also be taking part in the Smashwords sale!

Ms. Griffith recently contacted me to let me know that ALL of her twenty-two current ebooks will be available in the 'Summer/Winter Sale'! The prices on her ebooks range from FREE to 50% off!!! Apparently, if you enter the code SSW50 at checkout, you will receive a discount of 50 percent. So, I would advise you all to take advantage of the Smashwords 'Summer/Winter Sale' as soon as you possibly can - I guarantee you that you won't regret it!

May you read well and often

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For May 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 May 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, BookmoochAmazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Rereads
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- The Wolf of Britannia Part I by Jess Steven Hughes

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Counterfeit Heiress by Tasha Alexander
- A Christmas Homecoming by Anne Perry
- A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

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

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 808
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was May. 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