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Monday, May 4, 2015

Currently Reading & To Be Read

I didn't have much time to read last week so there was a huge lack of posts and reviews.  Apologies!  Sometimes there just isn't time to read and remember this blog is more of a hobby than anything else ;)

Last time I posted my Currently Reading list I had three books on the go.  One of them was Dayshift by Charlaine Harris which hasn't gotten any attention and will definitely go back on the to be read pile until the Audio version releases.  I just can't get into the ARC I received!  Sorry!

Currently Listening to :

I am really enjoying this series by Melissa F.Olson and believe this is the third and final part about Scarlett Bernhard.  Another series by the same author based in the same world is now out and I really want to listen to this one because I really want to try the new one ;)

This is a great PUF series with a great set of characters and some original ideas.  Well worth listening to if you like audios but I am sure reading this series will be just as rewarding.

Looking foward to finishing this and hope to get it finished before Dayshift comes out so I can squeeze that in before the new Charley Davidson (a MUST LISTEN) releases in a couple of weeks!


Currently Reading :


One of my reading challenges this year is to catch on the series I have been neglecting over the last few years.  The Do-It-Yourself mysteries are one of those series.

I have been busy with this series over the last month and managed to get books two and three read in April.  Now I am reading book four and enjoying it a lot.  It is just so easy and well written.  The characters are nice and the location appealing.  The concept is interesting and I find myself on google searching for lots of information due to this series.  I am actually learning something ;)

The series is already over so I am really intent on getting the rest of the series read before the year is over.  Actually before Summer is over if I can manage it!



The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :

Not a lot has been happening to this pile lately.  I hope that there will be some changes over the next couple of weeks!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

50) Thirty and a Half Excuses by Denise Grover Swank

The Blurb :

Life in Henryetta, Arkansas is turned upside down with the arrival of a televangelist, but it’s the death of a little old lady on Rose’s street that catches her attention. The Henryetta police deem her death natural causes, but Rose suspects foul play and so does an unlikely supporter–-the president of the Busy Body Club, her eighty-two year old neighbor Mildred.

But Rose is in the middle of opening her nursery with her sister Violet, who’s separated from her husband Mike, as well as stalling her boyfriend Joe’s family, rich socialites who are determined to meet her. Along with her multiple encounters with Fenton County’s new assistant DA, Mason Deveraux III, it’s just another day in the life of Rose Gardner–-chaos.

My Thoughts :

It has been a busy week which meant hardly anytime to read.  I did manage to listen to this third book in the Rose Gardner Mysteries series and finished it this morning.  I enjoyed every single minute I managed to listen to over the last week and despite wishing I had time to actually pick up a physical book or my Kindle, this story kept me more than entertained.

I have been putting off listening to this third installment because the other books in the series weren't available on Audible/hadn't been released.  Once you start listening to a series it is very hard to switch to reading it and I really wanted to listen to the rest.  I was assured that the rest of the series was coming on audio soon and so I waited a little until I saw they had been released.  Then I snapped up this third part and started it immediately.

Thirty and a Half Excuses sees Rose go through a lot of changes.  The two previous books have also been full with Rose's new life and new ways but this story really takes her in new directions as well.  Anyone who found Rose to be a little meek and annoyingly naive will be happy to see her finally get some backbone and start speaking up in this story.  It is a slow process but she is getting there and is really trying hard to become a more independent and strong woman.

The mystery is a good one and is definitely worth reading however the characters themselves are the element that keep this series interesting.  There are some revelations and events in this book that really change Rose's views on people who are close to her and there are some really huge developments that I believe will have an effect on the series till the very end.

What I really liked about Rose's character in this book was how she is finally beginning to accept her gift and use it.  The visions were always a bad thing and they are slowly but surely becoming a good thing.  She even forces a vision to help solve the mystery and  to help her made a big decision. I feel proud of the character and it makes me feel invested in the series.  So it is no wonder that I will be getting the next installment as soon as possible.

If you like cozy mysteries and don't mind the little paranormal twist then you can't go wrong with getting to know Rose Gardner.  So far the series hasn't just been a collection of mysteries but also an emotional and fulfilling trip through the life of a boring young woman who is finally finding herself and enjoying it...even if she keeps getting involved in murder mysteries.  This is an original series that smells just a little like some other very good cozies.




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Sunday, April 26, 2015

49) Prudence by Gail Carriger

The Blurb :

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances - names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer.

Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone's secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

My Thoughts :

I absolutely adored the Parasol Protectorate novels by Gail Carriger and was extremely excited about this new series starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.  This was the series that made Steampunk a genre worth checking out.  The witty and outrageous dialogues were always fun, the stories exciting and the characters delightful.

Twenty years have passed and Prudence, or Rue as she prefers to be called, is all grown up and very much a combination of her parents characters.  The steampunk/paranormal setting that Carriger built up in the PP is ready and waiting for the Custard Protocol to take over. There are meetings and mentions of all the old folks we know and love from the Parasol Protectorate.  Actually it is quite fun to find Pru hanging out with the younger generation/offspring of the PP and finding out what they have been up to.

The ground work has already been done but that doesn't help Prudence at all.  In fact she is quite annoying.  Prim, her best friend, isn't much better either and while I liked Quesnel on some occasions I have to admit he got on my nerves too.  Percy is the most likable character but he is constantly presented as a weird man who isn't really needed but is actually the one they need the most.  All in all the characters failed to make me care for them and this alone made the book hard to read to the end.

If that wasn't enough to get around there was also the severe lack of plot.  I kept waiting for the whole trip to make sense, for something to happen that made an impact on the story or even a mystery to be introduced.  However it was just a trip to India that had some slightly interesting events involved which by the end quickly got pushed together in a roundabout way to have a reason for a second installment.  It wasn't horrible to read and it wasn't bad but it was frustrating and of course it lacked that certain something that makes you eager to keep reading.

While I love Carriger's style this time around it went a little overboard.  The fashion details were over the top and very silly while the dialogue was more often than not a little absurd.  The Victorian times had certain customs and the English language was different but there is a point where it is too much.  Carriger met this point and went over the limit in Prudence and her finally using Ladybird instead of Ladybug was only a slight relief.

I could continue to point out things that were annoying or possibly boring but it won't help anyone, not even me.  Why?  Because despite my nitpicking I still read this to the end and will of course read the next installment.  Really?  Yes!  This is the only Paranormal Urban Fantasy Steampunk author that I like and I want to go back into this world!  The whole concept is enough to keep me going back for more and maybe I won't pre-order the next book but I will get a copy of it at some point and I will most likely moan about that one too.

So Carriger fans and Parasol Protectorate lovers you have bee warned!  You are going to love to hate this one or just love it.  Or maybe just hate it.  Either way you won't find anything better in this genre!



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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Currently Reading & To Be Read

It has been a quiet week here on Amberkatze's Book Blog.   I have been reading.  I just haven't finished anything.  I am actually reading three books at the moment and I am making slow but steady progress on them all.  Hopefully a review will be coming soon!

Currently Listening to :


The Rose Gardner's Mysteries are a series I started listening to a few months ago.  I finished books one and two and noticed that the rest of the series wasn't available on Audio yet.  So I put off listening to this third installment because I knew I would be annoyed when I didn't have any more to listen to.

I noticed that three more books have popped up on Audible so I decided it was time to find out what happens next to Rose.  Thus cozy mystery like series has a nice twist.  Rose has visions. It also has some very interesting characters, well thought out plots and a very addictive on-going story.

I guess I am about halfway through and hope to finish listening to this next week.




Currently Reading :


As I mentioned, I am reading two books at the moment.  The latest offering from Gail Carriger brings back some great memories of the Parasol Protectorate and actually includes a lot of the characters from that series.

The Paranormal Steampunk mix-up is wonderful and the witty and weird dialogue is very well written.  However there isn't much happening in the story that is grabbing me so I am easily distracted.

The new installment in the Midnight series from Charlaine Harris is an ARC.  I actually debated requesting a copy because I listened to the series debut and intended on listening to this sequel.  Now I have the book and have made a start on it, I wonder if I have made a mistake.  I can actually see myself not finishing this before the release date next month and then getting a copy from Audible and listening to the rest.

Hopefully I will get this one read before the release date but somehow the audio version is calling to me more than this readable version.  Yes I have the book before the release but the first part was a good listening experience and the urge to return to Midnight via Audible is very high!

The Dreaded 'To Be Read' Pile :

Not a lot has been happening to this pile lately.  I hope that there will be some changes over the next couple of weeks!