24 June 2018

Review: A Spell of Trouble

A Spell of Trouble (Silver Hollow #1)A Spell of Trouble by Leighann Dobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good cozy little murder mystery. Helped immensely to take my mind off things for a spell (pun intended). Issy came closed to getting herself in trouble in several ways and with several authorities. In the end, she figured out who the real killer was and that person's reasoning, but it was almost too late. The "who" is the real surprise. I admit rarely am I surprised by the murderer but for this one, I was.

While the whole book is concerned with witches and magic, I don't think Dobbs weaves that into the story as well as perhaps Juliet Blackwell in her Witchcraft Mysteries Series. That said, although all the major characters are witches or werewolves or some paranormal entity, the book seemed to focus more on the actual mystery - who killed Louella Drummond and why.

One actual complaint - I got the book through Amazon Prime so I was reading it on my Kindle. A couple of the pages were not there. I forgot to write them down and can not find them now. I did not loose any of the story.

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© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2018

13 June 2018

Review: Twist of Fate

Twist of FaithTwist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

Wow what a twist! Ava Saunders was determined to find out who her biological mother was. Who wouldn't, right? But Ava went to extremes, eliminating all who stood her way and manipulating those who could help.

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© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2018

20 May 2018

Review: The Buried Book

The Buried BookThe Buried Book by D.M. Pulley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nine year old Jasper gets pulled out of Detroit City in the 1950s to be left on his uncle's farm. His mother had got caught up in something (which of course gets resolved and explained by the end) and leaves him there for his own safety. She never expects him to find her old diary and begin asking questions, questions most adults would even have a hard time with.

Jasper reminds me alot of Scout from "To Kill A Mockingbird" in that both Jasper and Scout are about the same age in the story and find themselves face to face with some ugly adult happenings. Scout learned of racial opinions. Jasper learned of many issues. Society still struggles with many of them and the shame that goes along with them.

D.M Pulley really made the two boys - Jasper and his older cousin - come alive and feel real. All the main characters came alive, to be fair. From an editorial point of view, the story ran smoothly with one exception. When Jasper and the Detective show up at the Reservation, the background explanations almost seem a little rushed or forced.

I did love - to leave things on a positive note - the title of the book and the unsaid meaning, or at least the meaning I took from that scene. Jasper, with his cousin's help, bury the book at their grandmother's farm where it was first found. The scene prior has Jasper saying "I forgive you." to his mom and telling her it is okay. So, to me, burying the book was the final forgiveness and closing of that chapter of their lives.

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© 2018, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

13 May 2018

Goodreads A-Z Challenge

The goal of this challenge on Goodreads is of course to read a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

A - The Amber Keeper by Freeda Lightfoot
B - Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler (A B&B Spirits Mystery #1)
C - Confessions of a Funeral Director by Caleb Wilde
H - A Haunted Murder by J. A. Whiting (A Lin Coffin Mystery #1)
M - Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks <-- a Goodreads giveaway win!

T - Twist of Fate by Ellen Green
Y - You Can Compete!: The Retail Doctor's Tools to Double Your Sales by Bob Phipps

Other books:
A - Magical Match by Juliet Blackwell (A Witchcraft Mystery #9)
B - Buried Book, The by D.M. Pulley

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© 2018, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

07 April 2018

Review: A Magical Match

A Magical Match (A Witchcraft Mystery #9)A Magical Match by Juliet Blackwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Could not put it down! Juliet Blackwell does not disappoint in her latest of the A Witchcraft Mystery series.

With Sailor in jail through most of the novel, Blackwell built a lot of backstory in. Confirmed a great deal about Lily and her past. Blackwell also foreshadowed quite a bit. Met her grandmother and her coven! Can't wait til her next in the series!

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© 2018, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

23 February 2018

Review: Confessions of a Funeral Director

Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My LifeConfessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life by Caleb Wilde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this at a book signing Caleb was at. I went to support a local guy, a fellow Octorara graduate, and because I have been following his blog of the same name since early on. I have to admit, until I stumbled on his blog, I didn't really know Caleb. His parents, I knew. His grandfathers, I knew.

I love his style of writing. In some aspects, it's like we're sitting down talking. In other aspects, I feel like I'm reading his journal. It fits as I read through stories of his own struggles as to if joining the family business was the right decision for him.

His words gave me a mixed sense, I have to admit. There were some parts I cried, like the mother who sat holding her young cancer-afflicted child on her lap. There were some parts, I muttered in disbelief, like when he was called to remove a man in a seedy hotel and the police warned about needles all over.

For better or worse, I had held on to his book for awhile before I actually sat down to read it. The night I picked it up was the night I came home from talking to his father about my Dad's final arrangements. His book made me appreciate the work and the mental anguish that funeral directors also go through on a daily basis.

Thank you, Caleb.

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(c) 2018, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman

27 January 2018

Review: Midnight by the Piazza

Midnight in the PiazzaMidnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a girl who grew up on Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, I personally enjoyed reading about 13 year old Beatrice Archer and how she solved the missing turtles and other woks of art. Tiffany Parks does a great job visualizing Beatrice as she follows her instinct and the clues.

Parks did an excellent job capturing the feel of a 13 year old girl, who was being torn away from everything she knew and set loose in a new place. She also convinced me that we were in Italy. My one issue, more as a parent than a potential young adult reading this, is that I would never allow my 13 year old daughter to wander free in a new country with such a language barrier. I also doubted that a university professor was not more computer literate.

That said, all in all I enjoyed the book and would suggest it to any young adult who enjoys mysteries, or travel.

The book I read was a paperback not an ebook but I did not have that option. I did acquire the book through a giveaway here on Goodreads.

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(c) 2018, Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman