This Chick Read: The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5) by Genevieve Cogman

Called in to solve the murder of a high level dragon at the secret Dragon- Fae Peace conference, Irene, and her friend Inspector Vale are in a race against time. Not only does Irene have a personal stake, as her parents are being held hostage by one of the groups, but she and Vale must solve this murder before one or both sides decide that peace isn’t worth the effort to overcome their prejudices against each other.

I enjoy this series of historical fantastical mysteries. Irene is an intrepid heroine who may internally second guess her decisions but outwardly looks like she knows exactly what she’s doing when racing to solve a case. For me, the interesting character in this novel was Vale. Taken out of his own time and thrown into an alternate universe, we initially see a more hesitant Vale. He is insecure in his knowledge of how this place functions and is afraid that he’ll make the wrong judgement call. It’s only when he goes with his gut instincts that he overcomes those more human emotions. I liked the human side of Vale that we don’t usually get to see.

Irene’s investigations always prove spyworthy and in The Mortal Word, she overcomes all obstacles in somewhat superhero fashion. I almost expected her to have gained a super power or two, but she remains just as “normal” at the end of the book as she did at the beginning. I can’t decide if I’m a little disappointed by that fact. Kai didn’t play a huge roll in this story, although their relationship does advance forward and I’m eager to read the next installment in this series to see how their romance plays out. 

I enjoyed the Mortal Word a lot, but except for a couple of key plot points it plays out as a kind of filler novel. The Lost Plot was soooo good, that in my eyes it would be hard to have as good a follow up. However, The Mortal Word did set the stage for some interesting scenarios in future novels. So I do have hope that we haven’t seen the best out of this series yet. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received an ARC of this novel through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere!

“As of this writing I am around 15% into this book but every single aspect has grabbed my attention. We have a romantic interest that the story has been hinting at for FOUR BOOKS! Finally, it feels like something might come of it. We have murder under mysterious circumstances and a staged crime scene and…and…oh it is just great!” Literary Weaponry

“I loved this new installment. I loved the new depth to Irene’s relationship with Kai (total OTP) but also getting to see Vale again, and meet some important players on each side of the conflict. What I love about these books is not only how much I relate to Irene – I feel like she was written just for me – but how much the characters grow from book to book, making them all so realistic and deep.” Readcommendations

Click this link to purchase!*

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

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This Chick Read: Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy 3.5) by Ilona Andrews

This short novella is a fix for all of us Ilona Andrews junkies. We get just a taste of Nevada and Baylor, as the story revolves around the planning of their wedding, but it centers around her sister Catalina. Nevada goes through a few wedding planners so her sisters Catalina and Arabella decide to step in and take over. No worries about Nevada turning into Bridezilla, she doesn’t, but some of her tastes are a little questionable and there are a few wedding guests who’d rather not see her walk down the aisle. When a Rogan family heirloom goes missing, Catalina is hired to track it down before Nevada’s big day.

I have always wanted to see a little bit more of Catalina. As a Prime Siren, she has the power to enthrall and make anyone love her to the point of obsession. As Catalina investigates she has to go outside her comfort zone and use her skills as a Siren to get people to answer her questions. It was fascinating to see another side to Catalina as she explores her powers. She is obviously afraid but her love for her family makes her step up and solve this mystery. You could tell the author(s) had a lot of fun with this short story!

I LOVED the big reveal at the end of the story. As Catalina runs down the list of who did what, Nevada is described as leaning back in her chair and giving her sister a big thumbs up and a grin. You could just feel the pride and love. Yes, the Hidden Legacy series revolves around Rogan and Nevada, but the underlining theme is family, and the Baylor’s are the definition of that word. Of course, as this was a short story, you are left wanting more, more, more! I believe the next novel, also centering around Catalina, will be out sometime in 2019. As with all of the others, it will be well worth the wait! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“You can always count on Ilona Andrews for a story that will not only thrill and excite, but also wrap you up in the complex personal relationships of their characters. Diamond Fire was a terrific addition to the series and sets the stage nicely for Catalina to lead the way in upcoming books.”Harlequin Junkie

“I feel like this book accomplished what it set out to do – make me anticipate Catalina’s story. But it also suffered from its short length and didn’t have the usual brilliant plotting and storytelling that we know the author can bring to the table.” Rayas Reads

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Click this link to purchase!* Diamond Fire: A Hidden Legacy Novella

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with The Captain @ Captain’s Quarters

I love visiting the Captain’s site for her avast ye matey sang froid and to increase my own repertoire of pirate phrases. Even more interesting is the Captain’s insightful reviews and commentary. How does the Captain find time to read while sailing the seven seas looking for pirate’s booty? Well, I’m sure all Captain’s require an evening off occasionally to read a good book! If you’ve never visited the site Captain’s Quarters then ye should walk the plank, or just click the link below to check it out. Come back though, I don’t think you want to miss the Captain’s answers to my 10 questions!

Click HERE to visit the Captain’s Quarters!

Captain's logo

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I originally hail from the port of Baltimore in Maryland in the U.S.  I have “officially” lived in over 10 American states and in the jolly ol’ Port of London.  I currently be sailing the seven seas in search of adventure, treasure, and fun!

What is the view outside your front door?

Me glorious view be of nothing but winds, waves, and the wonders of the sea, matey!

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

The Story Behind the Captain’s Quarters…

What’s in a name? I am a pirate captain.  Me ship’s logbook is stored in me captain’s quarters.

Why did I start blogging? I started me blog on January 4, 2016 and have been happily continuing ever since.  It started as an online log for me to keep track of what I read and what me thoughts were on the various ports I visit.  I had no real expectations of getting followers but I have been pleasantly surprised that ye scalawags think me (b)log is of interest.

Describe where you write your blog. 

I write me log posts on me laptop in me cabin.  I’ll not be including a picture to protect me secrets.  Arrr!

Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? 

Aye, matey.  I do have plenty of unread books on me ship.  In me cabin there be 117 books waiting for perusal.  There be 1180 un-owned books currently on me ports for plunder list.  I also have unknown numbers of books on library lists, me kindle, and in the hold.  I keep meaning to tally them.  But I get distracted . . .

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood?

Me go to genres be fantasy and sci-fi.  They be the focus of the Captain’s Quarters.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

Well matey, the theme of me life be:

Pirate motto.PNG

I have a ship to sail, ports to plunder, loot to be counted, and scoundrels to be run through with me cutlass.  Arrr!  Me formal schooling days be over but I be a lifelong self-educator about whatever subject happens to capture me fancy.  Besides sailing the world, I do enjoy occasionally relaxing on a hammock on a deserted island somewhere.  Of course reading is one o’ me main pursuits.  Occasionally I catch a show when I be in port.  I do hope to see every Shakespeare play performed live at some point.  The tally currently be 18/38 (the histories be hard to find).

My favorite blog post banner

What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? 

Well matey, me most fun post was when I wrote about readin’ the wrong book!  That book is currently holding the place for best book of the year despite it not being sci-fi or fantasy. (Click links to read)

Curiosities of the Deep – the seven husbands of evelyn hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

The Seven Husbands

The “correct” book review was also fun to write.

On the Horizon – the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle (Stuart Turton) – wherein I finally read the correct book!

Seven Deaths

But the post I be most proud of involved standing up against the use of rape as a plot point.  It burned bridges with a publisher for “author provocation” but me review be honest and heartfelt.  The fallout was nasty. I stand me ground.

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – hidden sun (Jaine Fenn) – rant that contains spoilers

Hidden Sun.jpg

Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead?

Well matey, I be unusual in this regard.  I have quite a few favourite authors but I don’t care to meet any of them.  I don’t want their personal details, usually politics or history of abuse, to make me unable to enjoy their work.

If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask?

Cake.  Yum.  I love Key Lime Pie and Classic Yellow Cake with chocolate icing.  Derby Pie.  Strawberry Shortcake with biscuits.  Pound Cake.  Smith Island Cake.  But not Fruitcake or Cheesecake.  Those Walk the Plank!  I would commandeer all the cake from the any author and flee to savour the goodness.  I suppose I could share with me crew.  Depends on how much treasure they have discovered since the last tally.  Arrrrr!

 

Oh my! After that list of cakes and pie’s I just had to include a couple of images, yum!

I love that the Captain included three of their posts for us to read. I, too was confused by the Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! I read the first and not the second. I did hear that the publisher inserted the 1/2 into the first title to try to differentiate it from the other. I think they both came out at about the same time?

As far as her third link, bravo! I am so bothered about how some authors use mistreatment of women in the wrong way. If it is needed to move the plot forward and the character learns, grows, and gets over it, great. However, it is not ok to use rape or other types of abuse and abusive relationships in the way the Captain mentions in their post. The one rant post I wrote was about a man who essentially stalked a woman from childhood, controlled her future, then married her and it was considered a romantic book! I was pretty horrified and said so in that post. (Everything for Her by Alexa Riley)

Even though the Captain was a little cagey in letting us see the vista out of their ships porthole, I do think I know them a little bit better and am thankful they wanted to take part in my Blogger to Blogger series.

Have you ever read a book that you didn’t agree with how a woman or women were treated? What was your response?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

Friday YA: Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

Valentine grew up in a small New England town where her legacy as the daughter of a woman who murdered the beloved son of one of the founding families and was hanged for it. Years later when more people are murdered in their town people start pointing fingers at Valentine and she has to investigate to prove her own innocence.

Girl at the Grave is labeled as a Gothic Mystery and definitely gives off that dark historical vibe. Told from Valentine’s POV we see the townspeople change from her childhood views to a new adult perspective. The mystery intertwines through so many layers of not only Valentine’s life but those of the people around her as well. It was worth the time it took for the author to take us on the road to discover who was behind these crimes. I was truly surprised and did not figure this one out. I must’ve changed my mind every time that road twisted.

There were two love interests for Valentine. Sam, the boy she grew up with. He was comfortable, solid, and sweet. There was also Rowan who was the son of the man that her mother killed. Handsome, rich, smart and always on the peripheral of her mind. Someone she admired, living a life she wanted to be a part of. I loved the intricacies of the mystery so much that I thought this love triangle actually detracted a little bit from the story. It did not ruin it though.

Girl at the Grave is a very refreshing historical mystery. Technically it’s a YA novel but most of the time I forgot the age, and unlike other YA novels the adults had a presence and were actually a HUGE part of this story and Valentine held her own. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“Girl At The Girl is a stand-alone YA debut novel by Teri Bailey Black. Well, this book has a great potential but sadly it falls short of perfection. To be honest, I enjoyed the story-line, but it was disappointing that the plot focused more on the romance and less on the murder mystery.” Dreamy Addictions

“This novel kept me guessing.  At certain points, I rolled my eyes, certain I knew which direction the plot was headed, and how similar this book was to so many others I’d read.  And I was very pleasantly proven wrong.” Books and Such

YA Gothic Mystery

Click this link to purchase!* Girl at the Grave

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Wild Like the Wind (Chaos #6) by Kristen Ashley

MC romance novels are not my typical fare, but when a novel comes out by Kristen Ashley I always pre-order. This one didn’t sit too long on my virtual shelf because Tack, the leader of the Chaos motorcycle club is one of my favorite characters, he and Tyra’s story, Motorcycle Man is my go to Alpha male/sassy chick read. I did get a little of Tack and Tyra in Wild Like the Wind, but the couple this book focus’s on is Hound and Keely. Now, Hound is a pretty familiar character. He’s been involved in quite a few of our other Chaos novels, but Keely has not entered this realm. Or so I thought! Keely is actually the widow of Black, the Chaos member who died years ago and who all of the members have tattooed in memorandum somewhere on their body. As an ex-Chaos members wife, Keely should be off limits to another brother, but Hound has been in love with her since he set eyes on her. For that reason their story was pretty tenderhearted. (Key the sound of cars crashing and tires squealing. Yes! It was tenderhearted, in an Alpha biker kind of way!)

The story of Hound and Keely’s love blooming is sweet and gentle, but those sex scenes. Wow! I was a little, ummm, uncomfortable with some of these details? Yes, we are talking biker babe and grunting not very emotive biker guy. I assume they have hard core sex, but somehow my vision of their love story and Ms. Ashley’s didn’t travel the same path. I was a little disappointed! Look, I am a huge fan and I know what you get when you read a KA novel, but I don’t know. I had a problem with the sex scenes getting in the way of the story in this novel. So, I skimmed through most of them, which was about 200 pages of this novel. The actual love story was really sweet though, and I loved their story!

Soooo, if you took out those 200 pages of miscellaneous sex scenes and stick to the story of how Hound and Keely overcame their Chaos brothers objections, fell in love and got their HEA, it was pretty damned good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Wild Like the Wind

Click this link to purchase!* Wild Like the Wind (Chaos Series) (Volume 6)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

I bought this novel in the summer of 2017 to read on my trip to Italy. I thought it would be so much fun to read a novel that takes place in the country I was visiting. Needless to say, I never got around to reading it. I was eating too much gelato and enjoying the vistas, not reading. Last weekend I was in the mood for a lighthearted YA and took a look at my kindle and had that aha! moment. So, I started Love and Gelato, a year later, but it was worth the wait.

Love and Gelato sounds like a lighthearted Italian romance but this novel had a lot of hidden depth and emotional trauma. Our heroine, Lina, deals with her mother dying of cancer and finding out who her father is within the same few months. Her mother’s dying wish was for her to go to Italy and see the country she fell in love with and give her father a chance to get to know her. When she arrives, she is given her mother’s journal to read and starts to understand her love of Italy through her mother’s young eyes, visiting her favorite places with her new friend Ren. Some of the surprises that are in store for her are life changing and heart warming.

I love Jenna Evans Welch’s easy going style. Her novels are totally PG and are usually more about friendship and family than romance and this novel is no different. Ren, as the love interest, is totally charming and adorable but their’s is a love story that grows through a strong friendship and of course, lots of gelato. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Love and Gelato

Click this link to purchase!* Love & Gelato

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

The Women in the Castle tells the story of three widowed women in post World War II, Germany. Even though each woman comes from a different level of society their history ties them together. All three are widowed wives of resisters, men who had hoped to assassinate Hitler and stop the war. When their plot failed, these women were left behind; Marianne to carry on in her husbands name to save the wives and families of other resisters, tragically Benita was left in the hands of the conquering army, and Ania and her two boys were left as refugees in a war camp. They come together and live in Marianne’s husband’s castle in Bavaria, each of them moving on in different ways.

Marianne was kind of the leader of this troop of women and children. It was her castle they resided in, so she did have the authority to make commands, but also because she had the strongest personality of the three. Her view of the world was very black and white. What their husbands fought for was good and pretty much everything else was evil. It was interesting to see her character grow and learn that there are many shades of grey in the world that don’t represent evil.

Benita was the widow of Marianne’s closest friend. She was stunningly beautiful and where beauty usually makes your life easier during a war it brings a ton of unwanted attention. Her story was the hardest to read as she endured some absolute horrors following her husbands death. As we viewed Benita mostly through Marianne’s eyes, she seemed so fragile against the strength of character that was Marianne’s backbone.

Ania was a mystery through most of this novel. She was sturdy, strong, and seemed to have a back breaking work ethic. Every time something needed to be done Ania had the strength and knowledge to complete the task. She and Marianne became best friends and partners, I think mostly because she buckled down and got the job done without complaint.

Reading a novel about World War II is so difficult because of all of the atrocities of this particular war. What set this novel apart from others I’ve read was that we see the war through these German women’s eyes. Their feelings about what Hitler and the Nazi’s did and the reaction of the people around them- or lack of reaction in a lot of cases. I think this might be the first novel where I read about the German people’s apathy. That most Germans had buried their head in the sand when it came to Hitler’s propaganda and escalating spewing of hatred towards Jews or embraced his theology.  This book came out in the beginning of 2017 and now reading it a year and a half later I was stunned by the comparisons I could make to politics in the US right now. I don’t want to get political in my review, but those similarities are pretty scary.

I listened to the audio book of this novel. It is narrated by Cassandra Campbell who does an excellent job of reading  and emoting while speaking in German, Polish, Russian and American accents. She was truly amazing. She read at a pace that fit the mood of the story and delivered each woman’s dialog with the deft skills of one of the best actors. Bravo, Cassandra! If you have 13+ hours to spare, I’d recommend listening to this book! Regardless if you are reading or listening, this book was truly excellent.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Women in the Castle

Click this link to purchase!* The Women in the Castle: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Friday YA: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I love a fairy tale re-telling when I don’t remember the exact details of that fairy tale. It helps me get lost in the story instead of making comparisons to the original. Spinning Silver was a new take on the story Rumplestiltskin and about all I could remember from that story was that there was a girl that spun straw into gold and got her some unwanted attention. Our heroine Miryem has a talent for turning things into gold but it’s not by spinning straw. She is the daughter of a family of moneylenders, and while her father is horrible at collecting those dollars owed, Miryem excels at remaining cold to their customers excuses and keeps her hand out until it is filled. While walking home through the forest one day, she makes an off hand remark about being able to turn anything into gold and the Staryk overhear. The Staryk are a race of (for lack of a better term) ice people. They live in winter 24/7 and are the boogeymen of Miryem’s world. When she catches their attention she does what she does best. She gets them results and gets some unwanted attention in return.

Miryem is not the only main character of this book. It’s actually told through multiple POV’s and I’ll admit that that got a little confusing. Especially when a new POV was introduced and you spent a few paragraphs reading to try to figure out whose eyes you were seeing through this time. Each character had their own plot that spun and twisted together to combine into a satisfying conclusion to all of their storylines. I’ll admit to liking Miryem’s story the best, but maybe that’s because her POV was easy to spot.

The pace of this story helped the overall feeling that you were reading a fairy tale and the writing was well done. However, there was a lack of warmth for these characters. I so wanted to like them but something seemed to be missing. They were all so determined in their lives, but nothing seemed to make them very happy. Overall, even though there was a happy ending, I felt kind of unhappy about it all. That’s not to say that I didn’t appreciate the writing, the story had twists and turns that I didn’t expect and I certainly appreciated the craftsmanship of the author, but for me it lacked heart.

I have read nothing but great reviews for this novel, but because of that lack of warmth I could only give it a 3.5 rating. Sorry Naomi! However, as with all books reading is subjective and all of you may LOVE this book. Even though I am always right (not really), if you are interested in reading this book, please do! I would love to hear what you think. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Spinning Silver

Click this link to purchase!* Spinning Silver: A Novel

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: Emerald (Red Hot Love #2) by Elle Casey

I love the premise of this series. Amber, Emerald, and Rose grow up with their mothers in a hippy commune as sisters. One day, a lawyer shows up at their house with an offer of 30 million dollars from the band Red Hot as recompense for not knowing their daughters were alive. Their mothers were groupies for that band and the bandmates are their fathers. They don’t know who has fathered whom and are happy being group fathers. Each daughter gets her own story, and this novel is about Emerald, the shy, sweet, hippy.

After Amber ends up moving to NY to work for the band, she twists her sister Emerald’s arm to come for a long visit. Emerald really hates big cities, but loves and misses her sister so agree’s to the visit. When the band, who is touring Tokyo, has an emergency, Amber has to ditch her sister right when her boyfriend’s brother, Sam shows up on their doorstep. She enlists Emerald’s help in playing hostess to Sam and the chemistry between the two of them is immediate.

I really liked how Emerald and Sam seemed to fit so easily together. Yet, I hated that at the same time! I know, that’s a little wishy washy, but the two of them were so low key. What do you feel like for dinner, pizza? Hmmm, sounds good to me. Pizza it is! Even Sam’s tragedy back in LA doesn’t really bring any tension to a story that needed a little conflict. Not that I disliked them, I didn’t at all, it’s just that their story kind of hummed along. No grand theatrics or anything, yet somehow pleasant and enjoyable to read. Weird, I know.

I did like the progression of the story with their fathers in the band Red Hot. They are so excited to be fathers, it’s hard to not like them! Amber is now all in, working for the band, but Emerald and her sister Rose are a little more difficult. What do two hippy chicks have in common with a rock band? The series wraps up with Rose’s story and yes, I am going to read it because I’m invested in their story and want to see what happens. ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Emerald

Click this link to purchase!* Emerald (Red Hot Love Book 2)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana

Plucked from the back of a baker’s shop and whisked away to the Confectioner’s Guild to meet with their leader no one is more surprised than Wren when he drops dead at her feet after eating one of her confection’s. Being a suspect for murder is a difficult way to start as the newest apprentice at the Guild. Wren is determined to clear her name and with the help of the lead investigator she starts to unravel a political plot that has her risking her life and his.

Wren was discovered and brought to the guild because of her magical creations. This discovery is pivotal and has the importance to change her circumstances but the murder of the guild’s beloved leader pits most of her peers against her except for a chosen few friends. I have to admit that I love anything sweet, so the scenes where she is baking away in the kitchen are among my favorites but this is a murder mystery, not a Master Baker exhibition. I liked the idea of a world filled with specialized guilds. I even liked that there was a bit of magic involved in this world, but wanted a little more explanation. I felt like this world that was kind of light and fluffy (except for the murder part) but still wasn’t as colorful and round as I’d have liked. The murder did add more texture and grit, but not depth.

I did really like the characters and this world full of craftsmen guilds intrigued me.  This novel is just the first in the series, so there was a lot of set up and character building which may be why I thought the story felt a little light. My hope is that the characters settle in, grow, and become three dimensional. I’d like to see more of Wren’s magic since she is just now discovering she even has it, so keep those baked goods coming! ❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received an ARC of this book for my honest review and it was honest.

The Confectioner's Guild

Click this link to purchase!* The Confectioner’s Guild (The Confectioner Chronicles)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate