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Friday, August 26, 2016

Audiobook Review: Chasing the Dead by Joe Schreiber

TITLE: Chasing the Dead
AUTHOR: Joe Schreiber
NARRATOR: Renée Raudman
PUBLISHER: Tantor Media
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 14 mins
GENRE: Horror
ISBN: 9781400102969

A stranger has kidnapped her daughter, Veda. But he doesn't want Sue's money, only her suffering -- and he will kill Veda if Sue doesn't follow his every command. With detailed instructions, the faceless abductor leads Sue into a blinding snowstorm on the longest night of the year, to a place she has not traveled to since childhood. The voice on the other end of the line somehow knows Sue's deepest, most chilling secret, an ominous incident from her past, buried long ago.

Across the loneliest back roads of Massachusetts, in the black expanse of a New England winter, Sue is forced to confront her most awful fears. She is met at each step by ever-increasing horrors created by a monster who is surely something less than human. In the hope of saving her daughter from a kidnapper whose origin seems darker than anything she could ever have imagined, Sue will discover just how much trauma and fright the human body is capable of absorbing.

Set over the course of a single night, Chasing the Dead is a fast-paced, ferociously tense supernatural thriller. With skill reminiscent of masters like Dean Koontz and David Morrell, Joe Schreiber has created a tableau of shock and horror, death and destruction, that will draw you in and never let you go.


This book was not at all what I expected. My local library categorized this is a mystery, but it actually falls into the horror genre. I picked it up because the synopsis was about a mom whose daughter was kidnapped, which is every mom’s worst nightmare. I was looking for a mystery, so I was a bit disappointed when the story played out with paranormal themes. Now, I love the horror and paranormal genres as well, so the book still ended up working for me.

The protagonist, Susan Young, receives a mysterious telephone call from a stranger, who claims to have her young daughter. The infant, Veda, was supposed to be in the care of her nanny. The caller gives Susan very specific instructions on what to take with her and sends her on a road trip, and she must do exactly as he says if she ever wants to see Veda again.

The pace of the book was quick, and the story takes place during a single night and Susan has 12 hours to complete the mission. Schreiber did develop an interesting paranormal element to the story, which I thought was unique. Even though it wasn’t the mystery that I was expecting, I still enjoyed the book. Schreiber is a new-to-me author and this is his debut novel. I intend to check out more of his work.

Renée Raudman is a new-to-me narrator, and I thought she was just “okay.” If I was Susan and my daughter had been kidnapped, I would have been much more frantic and I wish that Raudman would have conveyed that in her voice.


3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Day the Floods Came 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #12
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLISHER: Blackstone Audiobooks
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 6 hrs and 9 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504701150
Abandoned by new husband, James, Agatha Raisin hops on a plane to the South Pacific in the hope that an idyllic holiday will bring some consolation. There, she befriends a honeymooning couple but, tragically, the young bride is accidentally drowned. Returning home to the Cotswolds, Agatha finds herself involved in a strangely similar situation - a woman, dressed in a wedding gown, is found floating in the river. The police say suicide, but Agatha sets out to prove them wrong.

This 12th installment in the Agatha Raisin series had lots of action! After her brief sojourn to Robinson Crusoe Island (which turned out to be something completely different than what she was expecting but ended up being exactly what she needed), Agatha visits the salon in Evesham where she encounters a young engaged couple. Her spidey senses tingle as she feels that that groom-to-be is a bit “off.” Later, the young bride-to-be is found dead floating down the river in her wedding dress and clutching her bridal bouquet. Agatha feels obligated to look into the mystery. Was it a suicide, or was it murder?

I love the new (old?) Aggie! With James out of the picture, he sells his home and a new man moves in next door. Dear Agatha mistakes her younger, handsome neighbour, John Armitage, for a Mormon when he rings her doorbell with a Bible in hand. Unbeknownst to her, John had come across the Bible belonging to James and thought Agatha might like to have it! Eventually, proper introductions are made and John helps Agatha with her sleuthing.

Agatha’s usual sidekick for the past few books, Charles, is also absent for the most part since he is now married off. Bring in Roy Silver! He is quite a character, and it was nice having him back. I love Agatha, and Beaton had me in stitches with this one. She is always entertaining!

Listening to Penelope Keith narrate the story is like listening to a dear friend! She is wonderful and a delight to my ears.


5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

#12 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Love From Hell by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Love From Hell 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #11
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
PUBLICATION DATE: January 1, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hrs and 18 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504614818
Recently married to James Lacey, Agatha quickly finds out that it’s not all "happy ever after" - before long the newlyweds are living in separate cottages and accusing each other of infidelity. After a fight down the local pub James vanishes completely, leaving a bloodstain as the only clue to his fate. Naturally, Agatha is Prime Suspect. Determined to clear her name and find her husband, Agatha begins her investigation - and promptly finds a murdered mistress...


This eleventh book in the Agatha Raisin series is one of my favourites!

Agatha finally gets her man, but the marital bliss does not last. After a very public argument, James disappears and a woman is murdered which brings suspicion on both him and Agatha. Charles comes to the rescue, and the two of them search for James to try to find out what really happened.

Even though I prefer Agatha with Charles, I was rooting for Aggie to finally get her happy ending but it was not to be! I felt sorry for Agatha, with James’ constant criticism. She is better off without him! I hope that she can finally put James behind her! Somehow, I doubt that will happen.

Penelope Keith is such a dramatic narrator. She makes me laugh out loud and smile while listening.


5 stars!! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

#11 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf (Or TBR) From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven't Read Yet

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf (Or TBR) From Before I Started Blogging That I STILL Haven't Read Yet!

Wow, that's a huge list for me!! I started blogging in 2010, and I thought by joining online reading challenges that it would give me the accountability that I needed to tackle my bookshelves! Well, you all know how that goes. Once you start book blogging and become immersed into the community, you add more books to your ever-growing TBR piles and then you start receiving review copies and the books that you intended to tackle are still there unread!

Here are ten books that I have randomly picked off my bookshelves (and they are all quite dusty!):

Insomnia by Stephen King

The Homing by John Saul

Mortal Fear by Robin Cook

Audrey Rose by Frank DeFelitta

Stillwatch by Mary Higgins Clark

Whispers at Midnight by Peggy Roberts

If I Should Die by Judith Kelman

Primal Fear by William Diehl

The Need by Andrew Neiderman

Winter Moon by Dean Koontz

So, what books have been sitting on your shelves since before you started blogging? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

I'm reading:

TITLE: Beg for Mercy
SERIES: Dead Wrong, Book #1
AUTHOR: Jami Alden
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
FORMAT: Paperback, 413 pages
GENRE: Romance/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780446572804

He lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching . . . And once he has you, all you can do is. . .

Beg For Mercy

Megan Flynn thought she was falling in love. Cole Williams wasn't just handsome and passionate, he was one of the good guys. Or so she thought, until he arrested her brother-the only family she has left-for a murder she knows he couldn't have possibly committed. Now, with her heart broken and her brother's life hanging in the balance, Megan will risk everything to prove his innocence. Even if that means throwing herself into the path of a sadistic killer with a hauntingly familiar MO.

Seattle Detective Cole Williams had given up on making Megan see reason where her brother is concerned. But when she insinuates herself into the most shockingly brutal case Cole has ever worked, he can't stand idly by. Plunged into a secret world where the city's elite indulge their darkest desires, Cole will do whatever it takes to bring down a madman who has made Megan his most coveted prey.

I'm listening to:

TITLE: Reached
SERIES: Matched, Book #3
AUTHOR: Ally Condie
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs, 15 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781611761023
After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising - and each other - Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the number-one New York Times-best-selling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

I just finished:

NARRATOR: Todd Haberkorn
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: September 16, 2014
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 3 hrs, 25 mins
GENRE: Nonfiction
ISBN: 9781101913857
A sensational memoir with all the emotional power of The Fault in Our Stars, The Yellow World is the story of cancer and survival that has moved and inspired readers around the world.

My heroes don’t wear red capes. They wear red bands.

Albert Espinosa never wanted to write a book about cancer - so he didn’t. Instead, he shares his most touching, funny, tragic, and happy memories in the hopes that others, healthy and sick alike, can draw the same strength and vitality from them.

At 13, Espinosa was diagnosed with cancer, and he spent the next 10 years in and out of hospitals, undergoing one daunting procedure after another, starting with the amputation of his left leg. After going on to lose a lung and half of his liver, he was finally declared cancer-free. Only then did he realize that the one thing sadder than dying is not knowing how to live. In this rich and rewarding book, Espinosa takes us into what he calls "the yellow world", a place where fear loses its meaning; where strangers become, for a moment, your greatest allies; and where the lessons you learn will nourish you for the rest of your life.

TITLE: Scars
PUBLISHER: WestSide Books
FORMAT: Paperback, 233 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
ISBN: 9781934813577

Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-- her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. Scars is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these books and, if so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments and, if you are also participating in this meme, leave me a link to your blog post so that I can stop by!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #10
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 5 hrs and 57 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781504614757
Feeling jilted and cross, Agatha follows a fortune-teller's advice and rents a cottage in the pretty village of Fryfam, where she hopes good fortune and true love will come chasing after her. Unfortunately, her romantic notions are soon dispelled by the strange goings-on in the village. What are those strange lights in Agatha's back garden? Who is stealing paintings and pottery? And who murdered the local squire? Agatha's nose for trouble leads her into a maelstrom of jealousy, blackmail, and dangerous liaisons....


Beaton takes us away from Carsley again in the tenth installment of the Agatha Raisin series. In the previous book in the series, a fortune-teller told Agatha that the love of her life is in Norfolk. Agatha is still bereft over her failed romance with James Lacey and, with nothing to lose, she puts a pin in a map which leads her to Fryfam. She rents a cottage there, and we meet a new group of people. The local residents blame fairies for the mysterious goings-on, and soon a villager is found murdered and this drives Agatha to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Agatha is like a breath of fresh air for the ladies of Fryfam. I liked her influence on them. Once again, I enjoyed Agatha’s pairing up with Charles, but I miss Roy Silver! We haven’t seen him in a while. The ending was a surprise, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Narrator Penelope Keith is spot-on as usual! She is absolutely perfect for this series.


3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

#10 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Audiobook Review: Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden by M.C. Beaton

TITLE: Agatha Raisin and the Witch of Wyckhadden 
SERIES: Agatha Raisin, Book #9
AUTHOR: M.C. Beaton 
NARRATOR: Penelope Keith
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 6 hrs and 2 mins
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 9781482982848
There is nothing more depressing for a middle-aged lovelorn woman with bald patches on her head than to find herself in an English seaside resort out of season. Agatha Raisin, her hair falling out after a run-in with a hairdresser-cum-murderess from a previous investigation, travels to an old-fashioned hotel in order to repair the damage away from the neighbors in her all-too-cozy Cotswolds village. Unhappy about the slow results and prompted by the elderly residents of the resort, she consults the local witch for help. Agatha purchases a hair tonic (and a love potion, just in case!) and is soon sprouting hairs and capturing the fancy of the village police inspector. But the quiet town is stunned by the murder of the witch. Which one of the graying guests is capable of such a brutal crime? The brassy yet endearing Agatha won't stop until she finds the culprit — and, of course, a little love, too.


Poor Aggie! The vain woman decides to escape the Cotswolds to give her hair time to grow in, after having it ruined by a depilatory cream in the last mystery. Intrigued with the hotel gossip of a local woman or “witch” who sells potions and tonics, she pays her a visit to see whether she can whip up something to help her hair come along. In addition to the hair tonic, the unlucky-in-love Agatha also buys a love potion. When the witch is murdered, Agatha finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery. A local Wyckhadden police officer, Jimmy Jessop, becomes smitten with Agatha. Is that because of the love potion?

I miss the Carsley residents, like Bill Wong and Mrs. Bloxby, when Beaton takes us out of the Cotswolds. I really didn’t care very much for the old-timers at the hotel. The best part of the book, for me, was when Charles came to see Agatha. Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed others in the series but it was still a fun story.

It is the narrator that really makes the book and, in this case, Penelope Keith's perfect characterizations kept me enthralled throughout the story. I love her!!


3 stars!! It was good, and I enjoyed it!

#9 for my M.C. Beaton Cozy Mystery Challenge

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Top Ten Books With Paranormal Settings

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today's list is Top Ten Books With X Setting. The setting that I am choosing is paranormal.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling: Who wouldn't want to live at Hogwarts? The changing staircase is too cool, and I love all the secret passages and all the magical elements of the story.

2.The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: I loved this book! When I was a kid, I would pretend that my closet led to Narnia just like the wardrobe did in the story. It would be so cool to be with animals that could talk and to see magical creatures like Mr. Tumnus, the faun.

3. Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward: It was this second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series that made me fall in love with those brothers. I'd love to live at the mansion with all those hot alpha males!!

  4. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega Series): I love this urban fantasy series with werewolves and their strong females.

5. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Series): It was the third book in the Twilight series, Eclipse, that was my favourite. I loved the Edward/Bella/Jacob triangle, and this was the book that made me root for Team Jacob! I love vamps and werewolves.

6.  Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: An excerpt from my review: "I was completed transfixed by this world with magical portals and other-worldly creatures...Taylor has created a world that is so rich in detail that I felt as though I was part of the story." 

7. Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole (The Dacians Series): This is the spin-off series of Cole's Immortals After Dark Series, which I still haven't read! Demons, sorceri, vamps, lykae, trolls - you name it, it's in there! Of course, there are also the hot alpha males!

8. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercedes Thompson Series): Another urban fantasy series featuring a kick-ass female with werewolves.

9Written in Red by Anne Bishop (The Others Series): If you like urban fantasy, you are going to love this series! An excerpt from my review: "I was truly enchanted with Bishop’s world-building. She has woven together an amazing array of unearthly beings."

10. The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon FraterIf you love zombies and kick-ass females, you simply must read this futuristic zombie series! 

So, what are your favourite books with paranormal settings? Please let me know in the comments, or leave me a link to your blog post if you are also participating in the meme!
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