The Lucky Hat Mine by J.V.L. Bell

“Ahhhhhhh”  (That’s the sigh of a contented reader who just found a book that was exactly what she hoped it would be.)

The Lucky Hat Mine is a classic old west tale complete with miners, murder and mail order brides.But… the mail order bride’s husband-to-be was the murder victim and all the miners are lining up to propose.

Literally.

And repeatedly.

Fortunately, our heroine is made of stern stuff and despite the fact that she spouts off rules of etiquette at every occasion and constantly reminds the men to watch their language, she gets along just fine, and even thrives, in the Colorado mining town she has landed in.

Would I recommend it? There is a goat in this book! A fainting goat. So, clearly, yes. Also there is a great strong female lead, humor, a smidgen of romance, a murder mystery all wrapped up in a western. What’s not to love!?!

 

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

 

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Madam Tulip by David Ahern

There is a frog on the cover of this book and it’s pretty. And so I decided that I needed to read this book. (I’m pretty sure that’s what you call successful cover art!)

Would I recommend it? Maybe you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but you sure can choose one. Frog loving isn’t even required to enjoy this book! I mean, you should love frogs anyway but amphibian love is unnecessary to appreciate a book with a main character who, rather accidentally, gets caught up in the world of celebrities when she decides to become a fortune teller. Unfortunately, as she soon finds out, there are some seriously shady sides to a few of those celebrities.  The action is fast, the humor is constant and frogs are discussed. But it wasn’t the frogs that have me recommending this book, it’s the just slightly over the top characters and the just a little bit crazy plot.  Something about the tiny bit of excess in both turns this from just another female lead action book to a book that you really need to bring along next time you hit the beach! Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Desprite Measures by Deborah Jay

First thing first.

There is a vampire in this book and he can’t tolerate the sunlight.

I like to get these kind of facts in the open right away so that if you are like my husband you will at least consent to hear about the rest book. Some people, are so touchy about these things. I mean seriously, what’s wrong with a little sparkle now and then?

But I digress.

Vampires, elementals, witches, fey… There are loads of creatures in this book living alongside humans in the Scottish Highlands – which is the best part of the book. Not just that they exist, but that they do so with a fairly well thought out strategy of how the creatures live aside humans and why they act the way they do. Fantastic for people like my vampire persnickety husband who can then just enjoy the story without shaking their heads too much over the technicalities. Even better, the author fits that information into the writing smoothly enough that the book doesn’t bog itself down with the details. Well some of the details. Apparently elementals need DNA to support a human guise and sometimes a girls gotta do whom a girls gotta do in order to get some… DNA…

 

Would I recommend it?  This book is good! It’s quick and fun, with a well written, solid plot. If I weren’t warming my toes by the fire and battened down for cold weather I’d call this a perfect beach read!

Be warned, if you search for this book search engines everywhere will try hard to convince you that you mean “desperate measures” don’t believe them!

Rosie's Book Review team 1

This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother by Christie Barlow

A Year in the Life Tour Banner

Today I am participating in a Brook Cottage Books book tour!  Click on the banner above for more information about the book and links to more stops on the tour.

I am part of a book club.  One of the many small groups of women who get together once a month, theoretically having all recently read the same book.  Of course, before we can talk about the book we have to pour some drinks, eat some snacks and catch up on the last month. And, yes, that can take most of our time, but we always get around to the book… eventually.

Reading this book, was like having a surprise guest at book club. She comes in though the door, wearing comfy clothes and monster slippers, which seems like a pretty good mark in her favor. Then she brings out her drink of choice which she brought to share – also a mark in her favor. The fact that it’s sherry is a bit odd because I’ve never known someone to do anything other than cook with the stuff but, well, she’s from England and it’s not like anyone else in the group wants my bourbon on the rocks, so we’ll roll with it  Of course, then someone asks her about herself…

A long time later we have learned many things. First off, this new one is a bit of a conversation hog. I mean really, we asked how things were going and she gave us a whole year in review! But we’ve been giggling pretty constantly so I think everyone is ok with it.  Her stories are hilarious! At least I think they are hilarious, sometimes it’s hard to tell. One wouldn’t think you’d need a translator to translate English to English but I definitely feel I’m missing some things. The only unfortunate thing is that as time has gone on the sherry has kicked in. Arms are waving, stories are louder and while she is still funny there are few topics and phrases that she seems to think have gotten funnier as the night goes on. But we’ve all been there so when she wanders I take the moment to sip my own drink and let my mind drift and quickly come to a conclusion. Girls can be mean, moms can be meaner. And this new mom, despite her humor, is no exception!

Would I recommend it? I would have invited her back for another book club, but I don’t think she actually read the book…

It was a funny, quick read, and it can be yours! Click on the book below for a chance to win your own copy of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother!

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 This honest review was given in return for a free copy of the book from its author.

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

There I am, standing at the circulation desk of the library waiting as my pile of books gets checked out when yet another book catches my eye.Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart

How could I have missed it? The cover is muted red with black and shiny gold highlights. The title “Wicked Bugs” sounds interesting but once I see that the subtitle involves the word “diabolical” I pick it up.

I pick it up and discover that it is one of those hard cover books.

Perhaps someone can help me out here because I have no idea what the technical term is for this kind of cover. All I know is that there are hardcovers, and then there are those hardcovers. Those hardcovers have a matte finish, feel extra soft in hand and once I’m holding a book with one of those covers it’s all over. The book practically screams to come home with me, I must know what’s inside.  Need it even be said? – I love those covers.

Once I’m done swooning over my favorite cover I see that it’s a unique size. Squarish, but not so square as to be awkward, just enough to be different. Smaller and cuter (which is saying something since I count ten bugs on the front alone) than your average book.

So, there I am, abandoning my favorite librarian mid-conversation, already in love with a book I have yet to open.

I quickly page through it and it just gets better. Line drawings of giant bugs, fancy fonts, off set quotes, informative boxes, classifications at the top of the page including “Horrible,” “Deadly” and “Painful” and the paper -it’s good paper, thick paper, I love this book.

I toss it on the top of my already too big pile, attempt to ignore the look from John which is trying to subtly inquire if I’ll ever be doing the dishes again with this pile of books to read and say “This one too!” just in case there is some other library patron ready to swoop in and take my new favorite book from me.

Would I recommend it? Need you ask? I’ve already read it, but it’s not due back at the library yet so I’m keeping it around the house thrusting it at people and forcing them to read crazy, wicked bug facts while admiring the cover.

Also I have made a mental note never to move any further south, too many “wicked bugs” down there where it’s warm!

And a second mental note that I must next read Wicked Plants by the same author.

And that e-readers are probably not my thing.

And that while I just gave this a broad recommendation probably people who go through the roof when they see a spider wouldn’t appreciate the larger than life drawings involved.

And a final mental note that the rest of my mental notes should be on post-it’s as  I’ve been staying up way too late reading to be able to remember all this stuff.

The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets by Diana Wagman

What was I thinking?

A book about kidnapping that involves a seven foot iguana?

Seriously, I had to know that it was going to get ugly.  The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets by Diana Wagman

Would I recommend this? It did get ugly, in the way that happens when crazy people who own giant iguanas kidnap people but, like I said, I probably should have been prepared for that. I think this was a good book, I just don’t think it was the right book for me.

Anyone else have an opinion on this one?

Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

Flavia is back!!!Speaking From Among the Bones

Of course to be fair she’s been back before this in I Am Half-Sick Of Shadows but I see I didn’t manage to write a post about that.

Sorry.

Would I recommend it? Yes! I’d recommend all five and this one I liked better than the last two.

If you haven’t already please, do yourself a favor, read The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie where it all starts.