Tag Archive: favs



Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 2)Kill Game: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by SM Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Dana! My first born son and this female powerhouse character that we all met long ago in Sara Reine’s series. In this case, it is the first character I could personally relate to in size and shape. I’m much older but a part of me thinks I looked like her when I was in my forties. I think I had similar beliefs to hers. I don’t know that I hate vampires. But I never saw the craze. Now Ms. Reine has brought me along to expand my imaginary creatures profile.

And Dana isn’t a perfect person in any way. She makes mistakes. She has a mindset that needs taming. But she is lovable and loves deeply. And it is wonderful that she is getting her own series. This was the second book. I think it may read as a stand alone but I love that I have read all the history of these altered Nevada stories from the beginning. Other states are in her other books but most of Sara Reine’s books are in places I have lived or visited enough to know ‘our’ versions. It gives a depth to the books that a made up place never has.

Dana is going through divorce in this series and it is messing with her mind. As it does for most of us. The reasons seem weird to me, but most folks from the outside of the couple going through this might think that, also. But will the ending of this book change that? Gosh, Sara, if you’re going to bring us to this ending can’t you write faster and let us see what happens next?

Okay, I need to clear this up. This is not a cliffhanger. You all know how much I hate those! And I don’t know a more prolific author than S.M. Reine. I just love her books so much I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Hey–since I moved from there two years ago, how about another Reno setting? Las Vegas is too busy, too much of a tourist trap–even in the alternate universe. Is there a place for Dana, the vampire-slayer in demon possessed Reno? Or, since I can’t seem to find a way, could you take her to the beaches of California? Orange County, LA County? Mojave Desert?

Okay, I’ll read it no matter where you take us! Can’t wait!!!!

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Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller (Dana McIntyre Must Die Book 1)Drawing Dead: An Urban Fantasy Thriller by S.M. Reine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!!!! OMG!!!!! Of all of S.M. Reine’s massive series(s), this is my favorite!!!! I couldn’t stop reading once I started.

I almost missed this one. I had gotten so far behind in my email that I didn’t see the one offering to read/review Drawing Dana. Luckily I was offered a reprieve and allowed to read it even though late. Because since I met Dana McIntyre I have loved her. She is the bitch with a heart of gold. She is strong with the right amount of weakness. She is the vampire slayer who has been bitten. And I love the name of the weapon of choice. Spoilers! Can’t tell you!

Some of the many series(s) are a little dark or ‘demonie’, or too far into fae. And as much as I hate vampire stories, this should have been a non-starter. But it was Dana!!! I knew I couldn’t go wrong.

What I like and have liked about Sara’s writing has been her use of places where I have lived or at least visited. This one takes place in Las Vegas. Never lived there but been there enough to recognize the place. I never saw the vampires there but it is easy to imagine them there. Ms. Reine often writes of Reno. I did live there a while. But my Reno looked nothing like the one in her books, except, they did. Her imagination put beings there that I must have overlooked.

Please, if you get the chance, read this book. It is written so that you can start here. BUT… I suggest you start at the beginning: Six Moon Summer. Watch the world around you change into Reine’s world. So many adventures await, including this one.

I can’t wait for the next book!!!!!!!

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A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over a decade ago, I met an online friend that would change or at least, modify my life. I met Judith on LiveJournal, you remember that old site, better than MySpace but not quite as social as FaceBook. Judith was chatting in her journal about Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo scene (Which resulted in my first novel being written between the Ides of March and the Ides of April. I didn’t finish the novel then as we had to move to a new city and I just couldn’t stay with it. But I added more than enough wordage to that novel in November 2002 to “win”. (First of 10 or 11 novels since.)

The other thing Judith introduced me to was BookCrossing.com. The concept that grabbed me with BC was how my read book could be recycled to others and then the new reader and the old could discuss this story. The book could travel even when I couldn’t, so it felt like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea. It is fun to see where your book could end up and the friendships that develop over said book. I still belong but since my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am happy for the invention of Kindle and other e-readers. So I release far fewer books nowadays.

Besides Judith, what do the above paragraphs have in common, and what do they have to do with ‘A Tale for the Time Being’? The art of writing and the art of reading. Both concepts play strong in this story. Rather than a message in a bottle, this message floats ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox in layers of freezer bags. The writer was in Tokyo, the reader/finder in Canada. Years separate the two. Yet a bond is formed. Oh, yeah, Judith read and reviewed this and hooked me in. I think she didn’t like the Zen parts of the book. I found that part delightful. I have to admit that most of the book is believable whereas the Zen bits are a little more ‘magical’. But the title twinkles with that magic. If you read it right.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I actually read it one and a third times. I borrowed the Kindle version from the library. Between reading it on my Kindle app on my Tablet and listening on my old Kindle text-to-speech, I managed to get to about 36% in. Then I found that my library also had the OverDrive version. So I restarted reading the book with the author’s voice. That pumped up my ratings for this wonderful tale. Each layer of depth into the story has its own built-in amazements. Level one, tree book, and the Kindle version, there are many footnotes and definitions to help with a deeper understanding of that time in history or that country, language. But the narration includes minor helps. Hearing a voice say the Japanese names or words adds to the believability of the whole story. Ms. Ruth Ozeki has an impeccable voice and narration, her variations of voices for each character supreme! I enjoyed rereading the first third with her help. I felt I gained deeper understanding just by hearing her. Please, if you get the chance to pair both versions, go for it!

By the way, I want to thank Jonelle Patrick and her Mysteries and website: http://jonellepatrick.me/ for introducing me to many contemporary Japanese subjects presented in A Tale for the Time Being. At least I was forewarned.

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Tell Me WhyTell Me Why by Trista Hendren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another amazing gem! This one was dedicated to the author’s son and the male community at large. Still there was a lot of wisdom to be inhaled by all.

Once again, this was one I couldn’t afford right now but when I saw I could get it through Kindle Unlimited, I just grabbed it up and gobbled it down. The illustrations by Elisabeth Slettnes were breathtaking. The quotes by wise ones worth rereading over and over. That’s why I must buy this one once I get paid. Not only do I want the whole series on my Kindle, I want the tree copies to highlight and meditate over.

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The Girl GodThe Girl God by Trista Hendren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, wow. I picked this small but mighty book up for free today from Amazon. I was intrigued by the picture on the front cover and the title. I thought I was getting a children’s book. I believe this is an ‘everybody’ book.

The story was from a mother to her daughter. A sweet simple story. But the wisdom of the story runs deeply. Then there are the quotations throughout; each capturing a piece of my soul. All the illustrations were engaging. I wish I bought this in tree form as I would like to spend more time with the book and with the pictures. At least I can go back to this one in my ‘cloud’.

Because this was so wonderful I went to find other books by Trista Hendren. Yay! The were free with Kindle Unlimited!

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Black BeautyBlack Beauty by Anna Sewell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I did go through that phase as a pre-teen, when I read every book about horses possible. Black Beauty was an important part of that literary diet. I loved it then. But how would that translate to my old-lady brain? It was better!

The Amazon page says it is for kids 9-12. That may have been so a generation ago, but now the vocabulary and historical references don’t play out quite as well. In a well-structured class program, it could be a great lesson plan anchor to cover history, equines, medicine, weather and many other subject-matter for an all inclusive study. The best is the lessons of kindness. This is a lesson that covers all generations and all religions or philosophies. And we here it all from the horse’s mouth. Animals understand kindness.

Peter Batchelor was the narrator in this version of the story. I was lucky to pick up the Kindle version from Kindle Unlimited and for a tiny fee I got the Whispersync Audible narration. He did a marvelous job bringing all the characters to life. I highly recommend that everyone read this classic!

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Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a bit of research I realized that I read the first book, A Discovery of Witches, in 2011. That reading was a result of a recommendation by my cousin. I loved that book. Yet, I just took the quiz and found I only got 3 questions right out of 10. So maybe I should have read it again before reading this second book, Shadow of Night. I did feel lost at times, but the story kept me engaged and I didn’t want to leave the past to review the first book. Also, on my research I found that I didn’t have the Kindle version of the first book. I must have borrowed the hardback from the library. But I do have the Audible version of the book that I had listened to alongside the hardback.

With both books of the series, I was delighted by the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda. Her voice is exquisite, I love the way she can vary according to each character. I feel she could read the phonebook and make it exciting. But Deborah Harkness’s writing needs no help. Several times I’d have a sleepless night and want to read. I hated donning my headset just for a few minutes of reading. Those few moments lasted for sometimes hours. So yes, I know how well the writing is. With the duo of writer and narrator this story comes to life. And that is when Elizabeth I is queen.

I love time travel stories, but this was different in that it was due to witchcraft that made it happened. And that by a witch who doesn’t understand her craft. Okay, I won’t tell you any more about the story. Needless to say, it is worth the read. The characters alone can grab you. They are well developed, as is the plot. So much so that I couldn’t wait to get the next book and get involved. I highly recommend this series.

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Review: Mars Rising


Mars Rising
Mars Rising by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO SAD! This is the end of the series. I could live in this series forever. I want to be Jess, or Harpreet. They are my favorite characters. Both are pilots who fly between Earth and Mars and globally on either. Oh, include the moon in that for Jess.

REAL science fiction. Real research involved in the science. These things are all possible and hopefully the space travel will be something we do.

Mars as a colony is grand! Its a believable world peopled according to what is possible in the beginnings of populating another planet.

Creepy things have taken over the political system of Earth. Such a marvelous planet to an outsider. Rain, oceans, breathable air. But recycling bodies? ‘Rebodying’. Ew. Although some of the science might be worth looking into for incurable diseases.

I know. You are looking at what I am saying and wondering what in the world I am talking about. Sorry. I should stick with reviewing. I try so hard not to make spoilers that I find relaying what the book is about nearly impossible. Meanwhile, these are the books I would have died to have to read when I was a kid. Still they hold up for me at 64. Though a little heavy in males, I find that the author has included all ages and sexes which is refreshing. And they learn from each other.

Okay, there is a bit of romance, but Jess isn’t all googly she holds on to herself and the couple completes each other intellectually and emotionally. That, too, is refreshing.

Cidney Swanson, also took a chance an included a sibling that has a disability. Jess’s brother, Ethan, seems to be a bit of a savant or has autism or Asberger’s Syndrome. She never labels his differences as such, just describes him with his assets and problems in ways that he is just human like all of us. Ms. Swanson is amazing in how she portrays this character.

In fact, the writing of these books is fantastic. I think I found an editing oops, but it was so minor that I can’t remember it at all. THAT’s how an author writes!

The series ended very well. I was glad to stick it out to the end. I didn’t have that incomplete feeling I often feel at the ends of books. Even still, I feel I will have to reread them all again and again! I recommend everyone who is a sci-fi buff to read them all. By the way, The first book, Saving Mars, is free right now. But for once I don’t feel bad about spending the money on the rest of the series. I think Ms. Swanson’s promotions of her books are very well done. Please, find these and enjoy them like I did–do.

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Review: Unbreakable


Unbreakable
Unbreakable by Joann Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is there anything that befalls womankind that doesn’t appear in this series? Whew! Don’t get me wrong, as much as is covered in these books, these are not thrillers. Suspense is there, but you have a confidence that it will work out. Love seems to pull the characters and reader through it all.

This second book is even better than the first, if that’s possible. The characters are wonderful. I love them all. Well, that is, except the bad ones and even they are believable. This book had more the stresses of life as a rock-star and cop couple who happen to be lesbian. In this book we see the stresses of married life, fertility treatments, adoptions and so much more.

Erotica peppers the two books, but I feel it is fun and a natural part of being a couple. Spice of life, you know?

My favorite parts of the books, aside from the above fun, was the child, Calista. I fell in love with her in the last book, starting with sandcastles and that love continues into this one.

Although I have watched the reality show with Guiliana and Bill and the troubles they had with IVF treatments, I think climbing into the minds of Lynn and Alexis gave me a better appreciation of what women, couples, go through to get and stay pregnant.

That was on top of the bigoted treatment the couple had sustained in their individual lifetimes. When others can’t find it in themselves to love you in spite of the fact that you don’t fit their idea of what is normal and acceptable, yet all you want is love.

Gosh, I miss Lynn and Alexis! Though the author didn’t leave us on a cliffhanger, there were enough threads to let us know we were not finished. I can hardly wait to read book three!

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Review: Dragonsdawn


Cover of "Dragonsdawn (Dragonriders of Pe...

Cover via Amazon

Dragonsdawn
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third reading of this book. I still love it. This time I was able to purchase the Audible version to go along with my own hardback book. This particular book includes Chronicles of Pern: The First Fall. But since I am trying to read these in order I didn’t want to read that part yet. Yes, I realized that Moreta should have been the read, but I didn’t have that Audible version yet. So I jumped ahead. I do have Moreta now, so I’ll start it soon.

I loved discovering, again, how humans landed and learned to survive on Pern. I was fascinated by the amount of research that Ms. McCaffrey put into the writing of this book. Not only is this pointed out in her preface, but it is obvious in how the humans proceed in inhabiting this new land. Her characters are so realistic.

Dick Hill’s narration further developed each character. All voices done so well that you know who is talking without the identifying tags in the sentences.

I have mentioned in previous Pern reviews how I love the way Dick Hill reads. He keeps the reader/listener engaged. Even his dragon voices sound convincing.

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