Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Legends of Teddy Bear Island

Teddy Bear Island has as many grizzly tales as it does flesh-eating plushies, and it’s bursting at the seams. From the elven vagabond lurking the jungle to the hired mercenaries looting the temple, every corner of the island has its own history, and its own secrets. Tear into this collection of curious, creepy, and downright crazy adventures based on Teddy Bear Island RPG, where escape is never easy, and nothing is quite as innocent as it appears. Around every corner waits something eager for the ripping. Grab your toughest dwarves, your surliest orcs, and your most loyal kobolds, and get ready to spill some stuffing.

What story will you tell?

My Review

The story goes that Jessie the Flufamancer was what you could call a mad scientist. He brought to life teddy bears. Yet, these bears are not the cute and cuddly kind. Nope, these ones are the killing type. Jessie and his bears escaped to Teddy Bear Island, where it is told that Jessie lived there with his bears until his death. Now, the bears roam freely on the island.

A group of adventurers go exploring the island. What they encounter are Zombears, Brute Bunnies, and a large three-headed bear sea creature to name a few. There is lots of killing, stuffing flying,...oh and heads will roll. I thought this was a good book. Although, I must admit that even with all of the killing that the bears were not that scary. Yet, I would not want to meet them in person. The different authors did a nice job of telling the different stories to make this one whole book. If you do have a couple hours to spare then you may want to check out this book.

Catalyst Moon: Incursion

Trouble is brewing in Whitewater City where Kali, a crippled mage must meet with a powerful healer. Together with her escort, Stonewall - a man with nothing left but his own name, they must defeat bloodthirsty bandits. But with every strife comes a discovery of new landscapes within each other’s hearts.
My Review

This is an nice, interesting read. The lay of the land got me excited. I found Kali to be a surprise. Each time that she used her abilities there seemed to be something new that even Kali was learning about her full powers. Although, I agree with another reader that the use of the other characters calling Kali "Mage Halcyon" was confusing at first. This is because the author really did not it clear that Mage Halcyon and Kali were the same person. It was not until after about chapter 10 that Kali even questioned what Stonewall was calling her by the other name that he explained it was out of respect.

In fact, the first 5 to 6 chapters were not really explained that well in regards to the events or why Kali found herself in handcuffs at the beginning of the story. Yet, I stuck with the story despite this as I liked Kali and I did find the story to have action and it moved at a steady pace. If you can get past this then the story does get better the further you get into it. In regards to the romantic relationship between Stonewall and Kali, if it was not even there I would have been fine with it. It was sweet but I did not feel the great passion. Readers who are looking for something different to read may be interested to check out this book.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I'm Still Here

A modern take on Sleeping Beauty, for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she's lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don't know that she's regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who's just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies, and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it's too late?

My Review

This is my first introduction to author, Clelie Avit. What a heartfelt story. I was cheering for Elsa and Thibault the whole time. I love that the main focus was really on just Elsa and Thibault. They both had a story to tell if you just listened. Yes, Elsa did have a story and her story was that she is a fighter; Thibault knew this and this is why he felt such a strong connection towards Elsa. Although, it was really Thibault that needed saving. Elsa was his savior. As I was reading this book, I kind of felt like I was using my sense of hearing even more. This book was well written and translated just as well with no problems. What I mean by this is that it did not read stiffly or choppy. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I'm Still Here is like reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. This is a very good thing. You will fall for the story and the characters will stay with you even after you finish this book.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Like a Coen brothers noir south of the border, Paraíso is a genre-bending story about love, sibling relationships, and the dark side of paradise.

Peter and Wendy—their mother chose the names—felt as close as twins, despite their difference in age. As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home in the family station wagon and headed for Mexico, only to be discovered sleeping in the car on the banks of the Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years later, estranged by an apparent betrayal as profound as their family's dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out and an invitation to Los Cabos, she drives the Mercedes inherited from their father to Baja California, finally completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.

But when the engine fails near a small town named Paraíso—Paradise—she lingers, exploring its underside in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly, becoming witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in New York, Peter can't help but think of Wendy. When, from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he watches the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day, he knows it's time to leave his comfortable life, go find Wendy, and make peace with his long-lost sister. A noirish tale reminiscent of David Lynch and the Coen brothers, Paraíso traces the journey from a mother's dark secret to a place where love, and even perfect love, is possible.
My Review

This book started out just fine. The opening was good. It left me wanting to know all of the events leading up to the present moment. I was actually into this story for quite a while, even though my feelings about the story as a whole was middle of the road. I appreciated that the author let me get familiar with Wendy before he transferred over to Peter. Which the events that Peter had to deal with leading up to his reunion with his sister were real and a moment in history not to be forgotten. Yet, try as I must I really could not get into Wendy and Peter's lives or the story as a whole that much. Other then a faint whisper of the locations, the storyline a little and what was taking place at that moment. Although, from what I can remember of this story there is some depth to it and the ending was good.

Circle of Trust

A gruesome murder...
Radio psychologist Jacob Temple is found dead on the floor of his den. A gaping wound in his neck, lacerations crisscrossing his chest, a fork bored into each eye.

No break-in. No evidence.

Bouncing back and forth in time, the story of Jacob Temple's life unfolds as told by the people closest to him, particularly his ex-girlfriend Jane Light, who has been stalking Jacob for nineteen years, ever since he left her. Still reeling from her boyfriend Noah's murder, Kadee Carlisle works alongside Detectives Poole and Gibbs to unravel the facts behind Jacob Temple's life and death. As time ticks away, Kadee struggles to reconcile her conflicted feelings about her own past--and present--and their ominous parallels to the Temple case.

When the circle of trust is broken...
As the hunt for the killer ensues, a tragic love story unfolds, along with a plan for vengeance and an unflinching look into the mind of a murderer. But will they ever figure out who killed Jacob Temple? Piercing the thorny line between facts and deception, passion and obsession, this torrid thriller illustrates one important thing: SOMETIMES THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO THE TRUTH, THE HARDER IT IS TO SEE.

My Review

This is the first time that I have read anything but this author. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the fact that I had not read the first book in this series. There was enough of the dialect that I was able to put the pieces together for the most part of what happened in the first book. Although, after finishing this book I do want to go back and check out book one. I liked Kadee Carlisle and Detectives Poole and Gibbs. I thought they all worked well together. There was a little sexual violence in this book but it was not long or drawn out. It only happened to be mentioned a time or two. What really drew me into this story was the characters. It is more character driven then psychological and suspenseful. While as far as when it comes to my taste in books. Yet, I was not disappointed by this factor. In fact, the last third of this book is where the story really comes together. The cliff hanger of an ending is great. It left me wanting more and looking forward to reading the next book to find out what happens.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Muse

A picture hides a thousand words . . .

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . . Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

My Review

The premise of this book had me intrigued. Then when I watched the video by the author reading a part from the book, I was even more interested to read this book. Yet, sadly I was not so over the moon with this book as I was looking forward towards. To be honest, it is purely by the author's writing and the wonderful time periods and locations that kept me reading as much as I did. The characters did not really resonate emotionally with me. Therefore I struggled with the book as a whole. Although, maybe just a tiny bit I did like Odelle. She did seem to have a stronger voice that stuck with me over Olive, Teresa and Isaac. However as I stated prior, the author does have a nice way of telling a story. I did feel like the story was being told with the brush stroke of a paint brush. I would try this author again.

Behind Closed Doors

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

My Review

Finally a book that actually does live up to the hype. What I mean by this is the mention to this being the next Gone Girl or other books like this. I have recently read some books that made comparisons to books like this and other best sellers and they turned out to be downers for me. In fact, some of the books I could not finish. Yet, I had no problems with this book what so ever.

Everything from the storyline with the alternating past to present, Grace and Jack's Jekyll and Hyde relationship, Grace's sister, Millie, and the suspenseful moments leading up to the ending. I can't wait to see the movie. It can't come out fast enough. Although, I am hoping it will be every bit as great as this book. At first I thought Grace was just the "perfect" wife but she was a fighter. I loved Millie and agree with her when it came to "Jorj Koony". He is an evil, evil man. Anyone who is looking for the next great book to read has to pick up a copy of this book. You will be doing yourself a favor.