Day: October 11, 2018

Book Review: The Trouble With Witches by Shirley Damsgaard

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The Trouble With Witches (Ophelia & Abby, #3)The Trouble With Witches by Shirley Damsgaard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When it comes to reading cozy mysteries, I enjoy interesting settings and sometimes even a little magic. There’s something fun about the lighthearted mystery combined with witchcraft or the occult. One of the first series I began reading years ago was the Ophelia & Abby mystery series by Shirley Damsgaard. I read two back in 2015/16 but then got pulled into a different direction. I’m on a quest to catch up on all series I’ve started so that I am current, then I’ll take on a few new ones. This month, I went back to it with the third installment, The Trouble With Witches. It was a good, solid mystery with a likable cast and setting, but I remember it being a bit better in the earlier two.

Abby and Ophelia are grandmother and granddaughter who are also modern day witches. They solve crimes and butt heads with the local police in an Iowa town. In this caper, they’re pulled to Minnesota to investigate a possible disappearance when a news reporter whom Ophelia has a little crush on asks for their help. A girl has gone missing and might be in a cult of witches. Rick, the news reporter, knows Abby and Ophelia’s secret, but he’s careful not to tell anyone else. The ladies take a road trip and discover a nice family, a mean family, Native American on a walkabout of sorts, and a poor almost-orphaned girl. How does it all come together? Someone ends up murdered. A past magician’s secrets are revealed. But who’s connected to whom in this scheme?

Overall, it was a good read and took about 3 hours to finish today. I like the magical aspects of it as they’re mostly about spells and mental connections. It challenges readers to think outside the box, but it also offers an opportunity to see a different approach to solving a puzzle. I was a little thrown off that they went to a different state, and there weren’t any normal characters from their town in this one other than the policeman and the news reporter on a couple of occasions. In the end, it was a good read, but I preferred the earlier ones. I will pick up another one next month to see if I’m ready to finish the series or say I’m done for now. I’ve given this one 3.5 stars and will round up or down on various sites to balance it out.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

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An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, #1)An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Under normal circumstances, it’s easy for me to write a review directly after I’ve read a novel. Occasionally, the book is so strong, I need time to think about what I want to say. I only finished Exaltation of Larks, the first in the Venery series by Suanne Laqueur, last night but feel compelled to get some of my thoughts down before I have so many, I can’t organize a review. This book was recommended to me by a very generous blogger who wrote a stellar review of one of my books. Given how much she thought I’d like Laqueur’s work, I accepted the recommendation and got a copy of the book to read. I allotted it as an October read, slightly nervous that it was ~550 pages and I’ve been focusing on other genres lately. After 30 minutes in, I couldn’t stop reading it… and that’s just how it kept on going until I devoured the entire tome in 2 1/2 days.

Do not be fearful of the page count, or that it’s only the first in a series. I haven’t read the others (definitely will this year) but even if you only stopped at the first one, it would be the kind of read you always remember. It goes extremely quickly… I’m a quick reader but I was flipping pages so fast and connecting with the story on a different plane than normal. I’d read 25% before bed the first night and still wanted to keep going despite how late it’d gotten. I finished 50% the next day and then the final 25% before bed last night.

The book was written in a way that I couldn’t help but feel part of it. Between physical and emotional attraction to the main characters, a thirst for something ravenous to happen, a moment or two of crying in pain, and a recognition of things I have and might be missing in my own life, this book kept pushing me to want to climb inside the spine and become one with it. Those are some powerful words, images, and thoughts, but Alex, Val, and Jav are truly the kind of characters I navigate toward. Throw in a dysfunctional set of families, cliffhangers, over-coincidences (which ultimately I love), and a statement about the value of life, I am in awe of Laqueur’s plot and character development to the umpteenth degree.

I’m sure I’ll come back to write more… you don’t need me to describe the plot, just read the summary and you’ll get it. If you’re comfortable with LGBTQ stories, somewhat occasional graphic descriptions of intimacy, and language with multi-cultural references and speech, you will love this book. I bring these things up not as a warning, but as the primary reason this book was so phenomenal. It opens your mind to understanding physical attraction, chemistry, longing, and fear of taking an alternative step in life. It’s about deciding who you are and who you want to be versus what people think you should be or where you’re initially born.

I’m sure there will be more to come in the future, but this is what I’ve got left emotionally to say… just go read it.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.