Blog Tour: Allure of the Gypsies by Charles E. Yallowitz

By Jason Pedersen

By Jason Pedersen

New Year is here! New Year is here!
So let’s all head to Windemere!
Grab a drite and dance a jig
no matter if you’re small (Charles)
or big…

The final day of this blog tour,
in case you haven’t heard of “Allure”
Check out the links provided below
and while your at it tell those you know

The third book in the series is out
so find out what the buzz is about
take a half-elf by the hand
and dance away to the gypsy band

Make a tweet and spread the news
hit facebook (support our Jew)
I mean…
Hit Facebook and reblog too

If he hasn’t killed me yet,
this next year is a sure bet
But I do the best I can,
for Luke and Nyx and the author man….

Happy New year peeps! Check out Legends of Windemere author Charles E. Yallowitz

Here

And check out his books, and in particular “Allure of the Gypsies”

HERE

A Tiny Favor if I may ask

Help out my dear friend, get the word out about her poetry please:)

Poetry by Pamela

I’ve been trying to write more and more poetry. Some of it is good, some not as much. But I’m learning and trying to do more.

What I would like to do though is increase my readership. May I ask that if you like a particular poem, would you please re-blog it for me? That may get me more eyes and hopefully a few more followers.

I don’t get too worried about how many followers and my stats, but I would like to increase a tiny bit.

So I hope it isn’t inappropriate for me to ask you to give me a hand. Much appreciated. Thank you.

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Cider Brook by Carla Neggers

Cider Brook (Swift River Valley, #3)Cider Brook by Carla Neggers

Unlikely partners bound by circumstance…or by fate?

Being rescued by a good-looking, bad-boy firefighter isn’t how Samantha Bennett expected to start her stay in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. Now she has everyone’s attention—especially that of Justin Sloan, her rescuer, who wants to know why she was camped out in an abandoned old New England cider mill.

Samantha is a treasure hunter who has returned to Knights Bridge to solve a 300-year-old mystery and salvage her good name. Justin remembers her well. He’s the one who alerted her late mentor to her iffy past and got her fired. But just because he doesn’t trust her doesn’t mean he can resist her. Samantha is daring, determined, seized by wanderlust—everything that strong, stoic Justin never knew he wanted. Until now…
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I give this book an overall 3.5 stars. The story was interesting and complex, but the not as filled with action nor suspense as I would have believed from reading the blurb.

While this story has a relatively slow pace, it is still very well written. The main character has a lot of shadows in her past that must be dealt with before she can figure out what to do with her future, and Carla Neggers has always been good at spinning a good back story for her characters.

I didn’t feel close to the main character in this story for the first two-thirds or so of the story. The way she is portrayed made me unsure if she were trustworthy or not and I had a difficult time warming up to her. There are also an abundance of other characters early on in the story and that made it hard for me to get to know any of them very personally.

What I did love about this story was the description. From the very first few pages, the author managed to capture my adventuresome spirit with her beautiful descriptions of New England and adequately make me feel like I was there.

The love story is slowly built and has a nice ending, not entirely expected.

This was a good book to read on an evening when the weather outside made me want to transport to somewhere else. I would recommend this to readers who like complex characters.

This review is based on a digital ARC from netgalley and the publisher.

Tuxes by Scott Fivelson

TuxesTuxes by Scott Fivelson

Scott Fivelson, whose screenplay satire riffed on the music industry in “American Reel,” starring David Carradine, Michael Maloney, and Mariel Hemingway, now turns his satirical sights to Dynasty, Dallas, and the whole rich-family saga in a novel about a modern Texas empire run by a greedy entrepreneur who gets his comeuppance when his prehistoric ancestor is found frozen but alive, becoming the Chairman of the Board… in TUXES.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I began reading this book I didn’t make it past the first page without laughter. Scott Fivelson is a sharp and witty writer with the ability to transform characters from words on paper to real people that make you think about the world we live in.

I wasn’t sure what to think before I began this book, sometimes satire is done really well and is entertaining and smart and other times…well, not so much. This book is definitely smart and fun.

Based on the rich and monetarily-motivated families of Texas, this book follows the goings on of one family in particular. The story rises and falls around the decisions and actions of the characters, showing more of their personalities and characteristics as the book progresses.

If you are a fan of the books that focus on Big and Rich Texas, you will need to keep in mind that this is satire.

I particularly enjoyed Cad’s character. The upheaval he brings to the story made for a nice jump in pace that carried the story until the end. This story is full of hilarious quotes and wry observations that you will want to share with those around you.

Overall, this book was a lot of fun. It is a short, tightly-woven read worthy of a recommendation.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr. DarcyUnleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.

Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs; her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy, and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In many ways, this is one of my favourite romances I have read this year. I was actually quite surprised by how much enjoyment I got out of this book. What the characters were based on put aside, I loved the originality of the cast. When you read a lot of romances, they all tend to blend together after a while, so it was nice to see some characters that really made me want to root for their success.

I really loved Elizabeth’s character. She was intelligent, emotional and just all around the kind of character that you want to learn more about. I understood why she felt the way she did and respected her for being different than the average female character who meets the rich, handsome bachelor.

Donovan was well written and the dialogue he brought to the story was better than the average romance lead character drama. I laughed out loud in multiple places at his observations of the other characters and the situations he found himself in.

The dog shows were well described and I loved that Elizabeth had such a soft spot in her heart for Bliss and for Sue’s companions.

Romance-wise, this story was paced well and the characters didn’t fall in love and end up in bed together within the first chapter. The author allowed them time to build a relationship before she embarked on much intimacy and this made me feel closer to them. I liked that we got to know more about them as individuals before they became a single unit. The sex scene itself was also tasteful and more romantic than gross for those of you who don’t like really explicit descriptions.

I will say, that as much as it made me giggle at times, if you are English, the MANY references to what English people and English men in general are like will either make you laugh or drive you mad. In some places the cliches were so abundant it nearly reminded me of one of those “what American‘s think we do” memes you find on the internet.

There is a bit of imagination stretching to get around things like passports, visas and the ability to simply decide to stay in a country other than your own, but the story warranted a bit of belief suspension and that was okay. I thought the characters were worthy of it.

That and the repeated use of the phrase “Storm clouds gathered in his eyes” were the reason I gave this four stars rather than five. Still, this was a really fun way to pass the hours and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it, more so even than I had expected.

If you are a fan of the lighter romance with a good back story and lots of reasons to smile, this book will be just your thing.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Thirteenth Mystery by Michael Dahl

The Thirteenth MysteryThe Thirteenth Mystery by Michael Dahl

Abracadabra, the founder of the Hocus Pocus Hotel has vanished! Charlie Hitchcock and Tyler Yu team up again to solve this mystery and find their friend. As the boys continue to search for clues, and as Annie Solo, a desk clerk at the hotel, helps them out, the last thing they expect happens. Tyler vanishes. But Charlie has reason to believe that a mysterious thirteenth floor exists in the old hotel…

For ages 9-12. Final book in the Hocus Pocus Hotel trilogy.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. In the realm of younger audience/middle grade fiction, there have been a lot of disappointments this last year but I am pleased to say this is certainly not one of them.

Here is what I loved about this book:

Charlie, the self proclaimed “biggest nerd in school” has a strong narrator’s voice that I think children will no doubt be able to identify with. He is smart and funny and his observations help the reader to uncover the proper clues to the mysteries at hand. The supporting characters are well written, each with a unique personality that really shines through in their actions.

The chapters are short and often broken up by full page illustrations that go hand in hand with what is happening in the story. The illustrations are well done and match the descriptions of the characters in the book.

There are many clever names in this story and they made me stop and smile on multiple occasions.

This book has loads of magic and mystery and for all those children who are interested in how magic works, this book will thrill them. The story is appropriate for a young audience and exciting enough to keep your child turning pages.

overall, this was a fun read even for an adult and I think kids will love it. You should check out this series.

This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.

The Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Vaughn Entwhistle

The Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan DoyleThe Revenant of Thraxton Hall: The Paranormal Casebooks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Vaughn Entwistle

Arthur Conan Doyle has just killed off Sherlock Holmes in “The Final Problem,” and he immediately becomes one of the most hated men in London. So when he is contacted by a medium “of some renown” and asked to investigate a murder, he jumps at the chance to get out of the city. The only thing is that the murder hasn’t happened yet—the medium, one Hope Thraxton, has foreseen that her death will occur at the third séance of a meeting of the Society for Psychical Research at her manor house in the English countryside. 

Along for the ride is Conan Doyle’s good friend Oscar Wilde, and together they work to narrow down the list of suspects, which includes a mysterious foreign Count, a levitating magician, and an irritable old woman with a “familiar.” Meanwhile, Conan Doyle is enchanted by the plight of the capricious Hope Thraxton, who may or may not have a more complicated back-story than it first appears. As Conan Doyle and Wilde participate in séances and consider the possible motives of the assembled group, the clock ticks ever closer to Hope’s murder, in The Revenant of Thraxton Hall by Vaughn Entwistle.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I dare you to read this book and not fall in love with it if you are or have ever been a Sherlock Holmes fan.

This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. I giggled my way through the wry humour and appreciated the complexity of the mysteries involved in the telling of this tale.

From the very beginning, you can tell that the author put a lot of thought into this work. He managed to not only honour Arthur Conan Doyle and his fantastic career, but to make a new and interesting story of his life and his most infamous character.

The characters in this book are vibrant and alive, and each one has a special role to play in the story. I loved the way he portrayed Oscar Wilde in particular. If you are a fan of the literary greats, you can’t go wrong with this story. The flair that Mr. Wilde was painted with was in keeping with the historical documentation on his charismatic personality. From his concern over his clothing to his determination to make an entrance in every situation, he was written perfectly.

As for the paranormal aspect of the story, it was ever present throughout the entire book. The paranormal theme did not waver as the tale progressed.

I liked the conflicted emotions of the main character and his struggle to honour his wife, whilst still experiencing things that reminded him he was a young man. This made the author seem more important than his character for once, and I enjoyed that aspect very much.

The ending of the story is surprising and left me excited to read the next installment. There have been a lot of books based on famous authors, but this one was by far the best I have read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who truly loves literature, from the past and the present.

This review is based on a digital ARC from Netgalley and the publisher.

Severed: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley

Severed: A Tale of Sleepy HollowSevered: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow by Dax Varley

Katrina’s still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman – the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.

Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.

When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.

But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For about the first third or so of this book, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I wasn’t certain if the author was simply retelling the story of the original Sleepy Hollow or if it was going to be a years later kind of scenario. It all begins to make sense later on, and I was thrilled with this story by the half-way mark.

One thing that impressed me with this telling, is that the author managed to retain the spooky feeling of the original story, but veer it off the expected path and make you solve a mystery during the course of her tale.

The dialogue was good and appropriate for the time period the book was set in. I though Katrina’s voice (the narrator) managed to reveal her innocence and curiosity while still allowing her to display her determination to make things right and stop the horror her village was experiencing.

The love story is not entirely unpredictable, but the cause of tension between the characters was unique. I enjoyed watching this story unfold and learning more about the setting, the characters and the events the author described. In the end, there were still surprises to be had.

I did find a few mistakes, including a wrong word form, but I am going to assume these things have been fixed since I was reading a galley copy.

Overall, this was a quickly paced book with a lot happening in it and an exciting ending. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed the original book and those who like a bit of mystery.

This review is based on a digital ARC from Netgalley and the publisher.

Happy Holidays to you and yours

Holiday 112

I hope that all of you have an amazing Holiday Season and A bright and happy New Year. This post is just a quick thanks for everything you have all done for me and for Readful Things. I look forward every time I log onto the computer to seeing your faces and interacting with you. Many of you have become dear friends to me and I am so grateful that I have had the chance to get to know you all.

You pick me up when I am down and give me a reason to smile. There is nothing better than that. Love you all:) (John, I’m still waiting for you to show up at my door in nothing but a bow.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year to all of my friends and fellow bloggers. May 2014 be everything you hope for and more.

Now…on to this pile of books.