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I Belong

Early Review: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

January 23rd, 2017 Kristie Posted in Review No Comments »

Eleventh Grave in MoonlightTitle: Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

Author: Darynda Jones

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Charley Davidson (Book #11)

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250078210 (St. Martin’s Press)

ISBN-13: 978-1250078216 (St. Martin’s Press)

Reviewed by: Kristie


A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

Quick & Dirty: Charley’s crazy quirkiness is back in full form. She learns more about her powers and about Reyes. A must read for people who love this series.

Opening Sentence: I lay on a psychiatrist’s couch, a couch I’d named Alexander Skarsgard the moment my gaze landed on its buttery curves and wide back, and wondered if I should tell Dr. Mayfield about the dead kid scurrying across her ceiling.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight continues the crazy that is Charley Davidson. This series is so much fun, hilarious and quirky and it also has some really emotional moments because as funny as this series can be it also has some really serious moments. I still very much enjoy the Charley Davidson series. The series has gotten more complex and Charley is still trying to understand her incredible powers.

This novel picks up not too much longer after The Curse of Tenth Grave. Charley is continuing her private detective work when as case she never expected falls right into her lap. A case that allows Charley to continue to look into the family that took Reyes from his birth family. Reyes is not happy about this case and keeps pressuring Charley to drop it. Charley is also worried about her Uncle Bob, he has only a few days left to live and the search for the man who kills him is not looking too good. Uncle Bob who knows nothing about his impending death is blocking Charley from her search because he doesn’t want her to leave her apartment, ever. Thankfully, Charley never pays much attention to what other people want her to do.

Charley’s cases have her all over the place mentally and physically. This is the novel that answers a lot of the questions that we had about the Fosters, those nasty people who took Reyes as an infant. Let me just say that this storyline was quite a shocker and it does take up most of the book. Then something really strange is going on with someone really close to Charley, they haven’t been acting like themselves and no one has noticed until something entirely eerie happens. Then Charley is informed that someone has disappeared but everything else unfortunately takes up most of her time so this story is left open.

For full disclosure, I did read an ARC version of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight. There were quite a few word errors which I can overlook but I do wonder if I was missing some of the story since my version clocks in at almost 70 pages shorter than what Goodreads says is how long it should be. I know they don’t always match but there is one storyline that seemed to be completely overlooked, unless it will be acknowledged in book twelve.

Charley is still her funny, quirky and overly optimistic self. She is reeling with the news about her “powers”. Reyes takes a huge role in this book helping Charley learn more about herself while teaching her some of his own secrets. Their relationship takes an even hotter turn when they both find some intense pleasure due to their powers. Charley learns a really harsh lesson that involves what she can and can’t do.

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight ends with a crazy cliffhanger. I was surprised by the events that happened at the end but I wasn’t surprised by the outcome. I knew that was coming for a long time. (As of writing this, I checked out book twelve, The Trouble with Twelfth Grave. I didn’t realize the synopsis was released. Don’t read it unless you want something major spoiled.) I would not wait to read this book though, Charley does some growing up and some major plot points happen. I’m really excited for the next installment in this series. It continues to be one of my favorite urban fantasy series.

Notable Scene:

“So, my uncle keeps trying to arrest me,” I said to him. “And my husband is trying to bully me into dropping a case that could lead us to a treasure trove of answers.” I settled an angry gaze on him. “And then there’s you guys.”

He tilted his head to the other side.

“You know what?” I asked him.

He continued to stare, ambivalent.

The fury that had been pooling like a bucket of gasoline in my stomach ignited.

“I’m with Angel. I quit, too.”

It would be so easy. To just quit. To walk away. To disappear.

Then reality bitch slapped me upside the head.

Charley Davidson Series:

1. First Grave on the Right

1.5 For I Have Sinned

2. Second Grave on the Left

3. Third Grave Dead Ahead

4. Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

5. Fifth Grave Past the Light

6. Sixth Grave on the Edge

7. Seventh Grave and No Body

8. Eighth Grave After Dark

8.5 Brighter Than the Sun

9. The Dirt on Ninth Grave

10. The Curse of Tenth Grave

11. Eleventh Grave in Moonlight

12. The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (October 31, 2017)


FTC Advisory: Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press provided me with a copy of Eleventh Grave in Moonlight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Review: Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

January 20th, 2017 Kristie Posted in Review No Comments »

Martians AbroadTitle: Martians Abroad

Author: Carrie Vaughn

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 17, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0765382202 (Tor/Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0765382207 (Tor/Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Kristie


A great new stand-alone science fiction novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series.

Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth—the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

Homesick and cut off from her desired future, Polly cannot seem to fit into the constraints of life on Earth, unlike Charles, who deftly maneuvers around people and sees through their behavior to their true motives. Strange, unexplained, dangerous coincidences centered on their high-profile classmates begin piling up. Charles may be right—there’s more going on than would appear, and the stakes are high. With the help of Charles, Polly is determined to find the truth, no matter the cost.

Quick & Dirty: A fun, yet complicated take on earth when a Martian is put through trials to make it in an earthling school. You gain a whole new appreciation of earth especially when seen through a Martians eyes.

Opening Sentence: There are a thousand shades of brown.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Martians Abroad is a standalone tale from Carrie Vaughn that made me really appreciate earth and the beauty that we have here. This novel is set a couple hundred years in the future. The main character didn’t care much for earth, or at least wasn’t impressed by it, but in her words it made me appreciate it more, especially if you are a horse lover. She loved the rusty browns of Mars over the colors of earth, I would think that if I had grown up on Mars I would be so impressed with earth.

Polly is a Martin. She and her twin brother Charles grew up on Mars. Polly thinks that she has her whole life planned out. She plans to go to an academy on Mars and become a pilot, simple as that, but her mother has a whole different plan. Polly and Charles are going to earth to go to school at the prestigious Galileo Academy. Polly is not happy that she has no choice but to go, the school takes three years before she can hope to get into a piloting program. Plus, Polly doesn’t want to leave Mars at all.

Polly is disappointed that Charles didn’t put up much of a fight. On the way to earth, Polly is determined to see what the cockpit on the ship really looks like, to see how pilot’s truly act and work. Once on earth, Polly reluctantly makes friends with the other offworlders because they have been lumped together, the locals don’t like the “aliens” much. Polly and all the others in her freshman class are put through trials. Charles puts it all together because the school wouldn’t truly put the kids in harmful situations. Polly just believes they are accidents or coincidences until it keeps happening.

Polly is a strange one but not as strange as her brother. She likes to do her own thing whether or not it will get her in trouble. She sees it as an adventure while others might see it as rebelling or troublemaking. But when it comes to true selflessness, Polly has that in spades. When someone is in trouble she has no problem jumping into the action even if that means she could possibly be hurt. I think my only complaint was the fact that Polly wanted to be a pilot but she didn’t want to leave Mars, and while she’s gone all she can think of is Mars. She dreams of flying to all these places but all she really wants to do is be at home on Mars.

I really enjoy Carrie Vaughn’s writing style. It’s really simple in a way that immerses me directly into the story and feeling the emotions that the MC is going through. I think this is a fun book for all young adult ages and more because it had me appreciating earth and all that we have because it could also be gone in an instant. Also, the lesson of helping someone as “the right thing to do” and not because you gain anything from it.

Notable Scene:

In the clear light of morning, I’d started to wish I’d had even more of a reaction. I wished I’d had my punch glass in hand, so I could have poured it all over him. Or I could have just, you know, punched him. “So he just wanted me to look bad and him look . . . what? Clever? Is it just because we’re from Mars?” I sighed and squished my food with the fork. If Tenzig showed up anytime soon, I might just throw the whole tray at him.

“The question is, what are you going to do about it?” Charles said.

I wanted to strangle Tenzig. Grab his head and dunk it in the punch bowl until he drowned. Drop him off the top of the building. Then I remembered . . . don’t let on when you think you’ve lost. Move on.

“Nothing,” I said. “I’m not going to do anything.”


FTC Advisory: Tor/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Martians Abroad. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Early Review: To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough

January 19th, 2017 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

to-catch-a-killerTitle: To Catch a Killer

Author: Sheryl Scarborough

Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 7, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0765381915 (Tor Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0765381910 (Tor Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother’s killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she’s secretly doing on her own.

Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it’s too late.

Quick & DirtyA great mystery with realistic characters, cute romance and good suspense. It was slightly predictable, but I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to mystery/thriller fans!

Opening Sentence: I sooth my four head against the icy car window and breathe out of path of fog.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

When Erin was two years old her mother was brutally murdered, but for some strange reason Erin was left alive! Her story hit national news and sadly her mothers killer was never found! The identity of Erin’s father is unknown so her mothers best friend raised her as her own.

Despite having a tragic past, Erin has grown up as a rather normal teenager but her mothers unsolved murder is never far from her mind! It has been fourteen years and Erin has developed some forensic skills that she plans to use to solve her mothers case. But tragedy strikes again when Erin discovers the body of her beloved biology teacher. Could it be the same person who killed her mother? Erin is determined to find out and she enlists the help of Journey Michaels, a boy she has crushed on for years, who also happens to be a suspect in the murder!

Erin was a wonderful MC that was very easy to develop a connection with! I think the reason why is despite having an interesting history, Erin was very normal! Sure, she was a little obsessed with solving mysteries but besides that she lived a normal teenage life. She had some great friends, a crush on a cute boy, and a loving parent! She was smart, kind, resourceful and fun. Overall, I thought she was a great character!

I loved Journey! He is one of those guys you can’t help but crush on! He is the star basketball player, very popular but also totally down to earth! The romance was totally insta-like but honestly it worked for me because it totally reminded me of what my high school relationships were like. We would flirt all awkwardly and then all of a sudden we were boyfriend/girlfriend! The relationship between Journey and Erin was very similar but to me it felt realistic and perfect for the story!

To Catch a Killer is a fun mystery filled with suspense and great characters! I don’t really read a lot of mysteries due to the fact that it’s so hard to surprise me but I’m glad I read this one. I will be honest, the killer was very predictable to me, but I still found this to be a very enjoyable read! I love how the author incorporated science and forensics into the story. It gave it a unique twist! If you are a YA mystery/thriller fan, I definitely think you should pick this one up!

Notable Scene:

There’s a quick jolt of recognition. I wasn’t expecting to see him here like this, and I definitely hope he doesn’t see me.

Journey Michaels jaw tightens. His gaze sweeps the room, looking for who or what brought this down on his head. For the second time today, he looks directly at me, only this time instead of sizzle, his expression reveals an anger so hot it could melt tungsten.

I expect him to look different to me now. I mean, if he’s a killer he should look different. Right? I can’t help it, though–I still fill a tug. There’s something about a Journey Michaels that draws me to him.

I bury my face in Rachel shoulder and she strokes my hair.

“Hey, it’s OK to cry, you know. This is one of those times.”

Rachel means well but she never totally gets it.


FTC Advisory: Tor Teen/Macmillan provided me with a copy of To Catch a Killer. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Early Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

January 18th, 2017 Bridget Posted in Review No Comments »

daughter-of-the-pirate-kingTitleDaughter of the Pirate King

AuthorTricia Levenseller

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Daughter of the Pirate King (Book #1)

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250095964 (Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-1250095961 (Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Bridget


A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

Quick & Dirty: Amazing swashbuckling adventure you will not soon forget. This is one of my favorite books I have read in a long time! I suggest everyone pick this one up ASAP!!!

Opening Sentence: I hate having to dress like a man.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The pirate king has just discovered that there is a very special map on board a enemy pirate ship and he decides to send his best mate to retrieve it! Alosa is the daughter of the pirate king and she is a force to be reckoned with! To accomplish her fathers wishes she stages her own kidnapping to gain passage on the ship! After all, who would suspect that a young women locked inside a cell would be a threat?

But finding the treasure map proves more difficult then Alosa had planned and it doesn’t help that the very attractive first mate is suspicious of her! Can she get the map and get off the ship before her carefully laid out plan is ruined by a boy she shouldn’t even consider being attracted to?

I think Alosa might be one of my all time favorite heroines ever! She is smart, ruthless, beautiful, caring and cunning. She loves dresses and nice things but she also has no problem slitting a mans throat if it will gain her what she needs! I would definitely categorize her as an antihero since she has some very villainous traits, but she is also a good person! I loved how bold and spirited she was, it made her very easy to love. She felt like such a realistic character and like I said, she has easily become one of my new favorite leading ladies!

Riden is the epitome of what I would imagine a dreamy pirate would be like! He is charming, perceptive, kind, dangerous and gorgeous! He doesn’t underestimate Alosa and I loved that he treated her as an equal despite the fact that she was a girl! Their relationship was very entertaining and I loved how they interacted with each other. They brought out both the best and the worst in each other and they were so perfect for each other! If you can’t tell Riden has easily become one of my new favorite book boys and I imagine he will be for a long time to come!

Daughter of the Pirate King was everything I wanted and more! There is swashbuckling adventure, steamy romance, bloody battles and cunning pirates all combined into an epic tale that I couldn’t put down! If you didn’t know I am a huge pirate fan and this story was so captivating and extremely entertaining, especially for anyone that loves pirates like I do! The plot was full of surprises, the characters were wonderfully crafted and the writing was phenomenal! The pacing was spot on and the romance was perfection! If you can’t tell, I was a huge fan of this story and I would say it was hands down the best book I have read this year! I would recommend it to all YA fans. it is a story you don’t want to miss!

Notable Scene:

Once they’re out of sight, I smile. Riden isn’t the only one to have gathered information during our little chat. I learned that Riden and Draxen are brothers, sons of the pirate Lord Jeskor. I’m still unsure as to what happened to Jessore and his original crew for Draxen to inherit the ship, but I’m sure I will learn that later. Riden’s a good shot, and he has his captain’s confidence. How Else did he manage to convince Draxen not to kill any more of my men? I wonder what he whispered to him back on the other ship and why he bothered to step in, in the first place. Riden’s concern for the men on the ship, not just with the normal concern that a first mate might have for the men he oversees. I think back to when he told me each of the men on the ship are killers and how sadden he was by it. He feels responsibility for something. Perhaps it is tied to whatever happened to the original crew of the Night Farer.

There are many secrets aboard the ship, and I will have plenty of time to discover them all, starting tonight. I shake my right arm. I feel the metal slide down and slip into my hand.

It’s the key to my cell.

Daughter of the Pirate King Series:

1. Daughter of the Pirate King (February 28, 2017)


FTC Advisory: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Daughter of the Pirate King. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Review: The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

January 17th, 2017 Kristie Posted in Review No Comments »

The Last Harvest HCTitle: The Last Harvest

Author: Kim Liggett

Genre: YA Horror

Series: N/A

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0765380986 (Tor/Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0765380982 (Tor/Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Kristie


“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad’s throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town’s looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won’t leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity…or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

Quick & Dirty: Suspense filled young adult horror novel that is equally creepy and terrifying.

Opening Sentence: People call this God’s country, but you can’t have God without the Devil.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Kim Liggett’s The Last Harvest is a young adult horror novel that kept me in suspense from beginning to end. There are some terrifying and creepy events that happen within the book but it wasn’t until the end that I was truly creeped out. I spent most of the novel trying to figure out what was real or what was imaginary in which the ending did truly surprise me in that regard. The only unfortunate was the twist, I kind of saw that coming.

This novel did slightly feel like Friday Night Lights and Rosemary’s Baby but as I was reading it, I thought the novel seemed more like The Ninth Gate. Clay’s father died one year ago after a series of bizarre and terrible circumstances. During that year, Clay has stepped up to be the man of the family and taken care of the farm while still going to school. He dropped out of football after his father died. Clay has pretty much ostracized himself from society because what happened with his father, he doesn’t even speak with people who were once his friends. His remaining family is also in shambles.

The one year anniversary of Clay’s father’s death has Clay remembering all the strangeness of the events that happened during that time. But it is the death of a golden calf that stirs the newest events that has Clay trying to figure out why his dad died like he did. Clay’s family has been a part of the town’s Preservation Society ever since the town was founded. Clay never took his rightful place on the council after his father’s death and because of that his “girlfriend” Ali wasn’t allowed to speak to him until he chose to come back.

The events that follow Clay investigating his father’s death are a mixture of supernatural and just plain unfortunate. Clay is hoping to rekindle his relationship with Ali but his school mates and the townsfolk are just acting plain weird. He isn’t sure what is real and what isn’t and just when he thinks he has things figured out he learns that he doesn’t.

Clay is driven with the need to learn about why his father died the way he did. He seems to care a lot for his littlest sister, Noodle. He tries to help his sister Jess but he mostly lets her do her own thing. Unfortunately, he thinks he is helping out his mom by not being demanding like his father but it just seems to backfire. Clay’s guidance counselor, Miss Granger, is the only one he can turn too with his investigation because she’s the only one who believes his crazy tale. I really liked Clay and he is a lot braver than I because I wouldn’t have put myself in half those situations he puts himself through.

The story is dark and deals with the prophecy of Lucifer returning to earth. This story ended up being a quick read for me because I was really intrigued on how all the supernatural events would play out. I was very curious myself with what Clay dealt with was real or if it was imagined. The ending surprised me but not entirely so because I was surprised by how the events did play out. I do recommend this for the older “young” adult horror fans or if you want to read something a bit creepy.

Notable Scene:

I sprint for the next gap in the wood to see arms and a torso rise from the cow’s stomach. A girl. My heart’s beating so hard I’m afraid it’ll burst. I can’t stop staring at her chest. I know I should feel repulsed, but the sharp curve from her waist to her hip bone fills me with something ancient and primal. Sick and wrong.

My gut is screaming at me to look away, but I can’t stop.

The warm, sticky sound as she crawls out of the carcass seeps deep inside of me, making me woozy.


FTC Advisory: Tor/Macmillan provided me with a copy of The Last Harvest. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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