Review | Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter

In the wake of a tragedy,

the Tactical Crime Division is the first call.

When ironclad body armor inexplicably fails and soldiers perish, the Tactical Crime Division jumps into action. Agent and former ranger Davis Rogers asks to go undercover to find the traitor responsible for the death of one of his friends, and Petrov Armor CEO Leila Petrov is happy to provide access to her company…especially once she discovers she’s being framed. But will their joint efforts be enough to uncover the truth?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Having never read anything by Elizabeth Heiter I was interested in seeing what her writing style was like since the premise of this book (and the Tactical Crime Division series itself) interested me. I really enjoyed the pacing and the fact that while there was romance it was definitely not the main focus of the story. There were definitely some complex emotions wrapped up in these characters and I was kept guessing until it was revealed who was really causing problems with the body armor. If you want a read that is chock full of suspense and will keep you guessing with every page turn, this would definitely fit that bill.

Happy reading!

Review | Isola Vol 1 by Brenden Fletcher

An evil spell has been cast on the Queen of Maar and her Captain of the Guard will do anything to reverse it. Their only hope lies on an island half a world away–a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First and foremost I thought the art and coloration were amazing and that’s really what piqued my interest in this series. The way the story starts you do kind of get dropped in partway, but the backstory is built well through flashbacks so that you know what has lead to the state the main characters are currently in. I really loved how the coloration changed depending on the environment or character perspective. I definitely look forward to seeing where this series goes as the first volume definitely left some things as question marks.

Happy reading!

Review | A California Christmas by Brenda Novak

Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man anytime soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was excited to pick this one up as I do enjoy books set at Christmas time, or centered around holidays. While this one does have Christmas in the title, it isn’t necessarily a Christmas story and could be read any time of the year. I really enjoyed how the characters had to grow and face their own difficulties before figuring out if they could take the chance to be together. The chemistry between Emery and Dallas was incredibly crafted and really great to read. Their individual journeys and working through their own roadblocks really added to the story.

I would definitely want to pick up other books in the series to see how they connect, but I would say that you don’t have to have read the series to read this book. I’m not sure if having read the previous books would add anything, but this does work as a stand alone.

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 4/21

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

I’ve really enjoyed the books by Riley Sager that I’ve read so far, so will pretty much pick up anything put out by them. This one comes out in July and I can’t wait!

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night. 

Happy reading!

Review | Ghosted in L.A. by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan and Cathy Le

Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles and finds that the only ones who can help her find love and live life to the fullest are the ghosts of her new home!

In Los Angeles, finding an apartment is killer—unless you live with the dead. Daphne Walters moves to Los Angeles for her boyfriend Ronnie, ready to live her happily ever after. But when happily ever after turns into happily for a month, she’s stuck in a strange city with no friends, family, or prospects for fun. Desperate to escape the lingering ghost of Ronnie’s presence everywhere, Daphne sets out to explore the city—and ends up encountering ghosts of a more literal kind! Rycroft Manor is abandoned, beautiful, and haunted. Will the dead be able to help Daphne find the life she’s been missing in the big city? From GLAAD Award-nominated Sina Grace (Iceman) and illustrator Siobhan Keenan (Jem and the Holograms) comes a story about learning how to make friends, find love, and live life to the fullest with a little help from some friends whose lives didn’t end at death.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When I picked this one up I was pretty sure it would make me laugh and I was right. There definitely could have been more setup to the relationships that were already existing, but for the most part it is explained throughout the story. The end of the first volume definitely leaves a lot of things up in the air and questions unanswered, so it’s even more reason to pick up future volumes. I found the art style to also be very dynamic and easy to read, so it was a super fast read.

Happy reading!

Kindle Deals | 4/19

Hey all! Today’s my birthday, so I was naturally perusing some kindle deals to see if there was anything I wanted to spend birthday money on and I happened to find some great finds. As always make sure you check the prices before buying as they could be different in your region or have changed.

Heartstopper Vol 1 ($1.99)Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out. This edition features beautiful two-color artwork.

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance.

But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.

Lumberjanes Vol 1 ($2.99) – What’s to Love: Lumberjanes is the hit series from the BOOM! Box imprint that features five rad ladies who fight monster baddies with the power of friendship! Written by Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, Adventure Time) and newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter), this new series has taken comics by storm and placed on many Best-of-the-Year lists, including Comics Alliance, Entertainment Weekly, and Comic Book Resources.What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Presented as the Lumberjanes Field Manual featuring a cover gallery and early character designs by Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen.

The Princess Saves Herself in This One ($0.99)From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.

the princess saves herself in this one is the first book in the “women are some kind of magic” series.

Happy reading!

Review | Grimoire Noir by Vera Greentea and Yana Bogatch

Beautiful, spooky, and utterly enchanting, Vera Greentea and Yana Bogatch’s Grimoire Noir is a charming graphic novel about coming to terms with your own flaws and working past them to protect those dear to you.

Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn’t at fifteen?

His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his dad is the town sheriff, and wait for it―he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town’s painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was intrigued by the synopsis and my initial flip through of this book so I picked it up and flew through it immediately. I loved the art style and the way it really had that Noir feel, while also being mystical and spooky in some ways. I thought the way the story was woven and the characters that were featured really added to not only the main storyline, but also to the other secrets and mysteries that were revealed. The final twist was a total surprise and not something I suspected at all, so it was really well done. If you’re looking for something spooky and full of paranormal themes, with a touch of noir, check this one out.

Happy reading!

Review | Greek Myths: Meet the Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of Ancient Greece by Jean Menzies

Journey into a world of gods, goddesses, heroes, extraordinary creatures, and fantastic monsters with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Ancient Greek mythology for kids.

Perfect for children aged 7 to 9, this collection contains enthralling new retellings of favorite myths as well as some you might not have heard before.

Including the saga of Theseus and the Minotaur, the 12 labors of Herakles, and the escapades of Jason and the Argonauts, each myth is told in engaging modern language, making them easy for children to understand while still retaining the humor and intrigue of the original tales. Each one is brought to life with stunning illustrations by multi-award-winning artist Katie Ponder, which breathe new life into these classic stories.

Additional feature pages and maps delve deeper into the mythical world, including profiles of the gods and a map detailing Odysseus’ long, monster-filled voyage home from the Trojan War. The reference section provides key background information to the stories, such as Ancient Greek storytelling and the incredible beasts of the myths, including centaurs and unicorns.

Greek Myths is the perfect gift for children to explore by themselves or as bedtime stories and will be treasured forever.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve been excited to pick this one up ever since it came out, so I’m glad I was able to get to it. I’ve always enjoyed Greek myths and myths in general, so while I knew a lot of these myths, it was great to read them in a modern language and somewhat simplified. I loved the way that important details were included in these versions. Though it is written for younger readers I feel like it is something that readers of all ages can enjoy. The writing style combined with the artwork was a perfect fit and I loved how bold the artwork was. I’m excited to see what else Jean Menzies publishes as this was such a perfect volume not only sharing famous Greek figures (such as Gods, Goddesses and Heroes) but also talking about the culture of Ancient Greece and what shaped their beliefs and culture.

Happy reading!

Writing Update | 4/16

Well friends, I do not come with good news today. I was excited to get into April and get some good writing done but here we are halfway through the month and I’ve written a few paragraphs. To be fair at the end of March my family was dealt a blow and we lost a family member, so that definitely contributes to my lack of writing.

I’ve also been gaming. Probably more than I should, but it’s stress relief.

So really it’s just been a month that I’ve been doing some other things and dealing with larger issues. Because of this my muse has decided that they are taking a vacation and have only been appearing when I absolutely cannot write. -_-

I’m still going to do my best to write what I can, but I don’t foresee me reaching my goal for Camp Nanowrimo. You can only do what you can and I’m obviously having to concentrate on other things.

How’s everyone’s month going writing wise?

Happy writing!

Review | Midway Relics and Dying Breeds by Seanan McGuire

“The trouble with wanting to do the right thing is that frequently the right thing today is the wrong thing for tomorrow, or the wrong thing for the people who are standing between you and your perfect, platonic future. The wild was the wrong place for our elephant, just like the recycler was the wrong place for Billie, and the cities were the wrong place for me.”

A tale of bioengineering, a carnival, and the cost of finding one’s right place.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really enjoyed the way McGuire built this world, which was a futuristic look at Earth when bioengineering and changes due to things such as climate change border on the extreme. Beyond that there was also the theme of this carnival and the carnival life within the family that ran it. It was the perfect length for the story it was trying to tell and I could see it as part of a bigger story, but it did move at a pretty slow pace for me. At times it felt like the language just didn’t flow as well as McGuire’s writing typically does, so that did bring down my enjoyment a bit.

Happy reading!