Review--The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.



It’s a lot of fun to get caught up with a series! I’m now two books closer to being caught up with the Charley Davidson series, three more to go! The Dirt on the Ninth Grave picks up pretty much where Darynda Jones left us hanging in agony—thank goodness I took so long to read it! Lol! Poor Charley has lost her memories since she had to give up little Beep in order to protect her from all the evils in the world that were after her. Now she’s living in Sleep Hollow as Janey Doerr and she’s trying to adjust to her new abilities in life mainly that of seeing ghosts!

Living without your memories is pretty hard, but Janey is getting along rather well. She’s got a nice job as a waitress, a crappy place to call home, and some great new friends, like Cookie, Garrett, and Osh. Then of course comes along the new cook, Reyes who just sets her soul on fire. Okay, obviously reading from Charley’s point of view has ingrained her sense of humor in me! Lol! It was fun to see that Charley was still Charley even though she was really Janey.

Janey still has the same qualities that Charley had, naturally. It’s no surprise at all when trouble continues to find her. When delivering a food order to a customer, she senses something is off that may in fact involve a hostage situation. Then there’s the fact that her coworker may be haunted and then you add in that the cop who rescued her upon waking with amnesia, has yet to leave. He’s kind of attached himself to her without her wanting it. So there’s a good deal of problems all around.

It was interesting to read from Charley’s point of view as Janey. She has no memories of her life and the people who were in it, so meeting new people always came as a surprise for the reader. You never knew if they were someone we knew already, luckily, her friends used their same names, but a few other people pop up and either don’t give out their name or give another one but they are still someone we already know.

The few mysteries that were happening in this one were done exceedingly well! Adding in the little ones were quite fun too! And surprising as well! I would’ve thought one of them had a simple answer, but I was so wrong about that! It’s one of the few instances where I was glad to be wrong! Lol!

Speaking of laughs, this book was pretty much filled with them like any other Charley Davidson novel! Who would’ve thought that Janey Doerr would be just as hilarious as Charley! Heehee! I guess it just proves that some things are just ingrained in our beings!

Then we have the continually amazing sizzling romance between Charley/Janey and Reyes! You can’t help but feel for Reyes that when he sees his wife she looks back at him as if he were a stranger…a really, really hot stranger. Janey can’t help but feel that this Reyes may know more than what he says he does. In trying to get answers, she finds they definitely have chemistry between them. And like with all Darynda’s past romantic occurrences between these two, it was seriously hot and had me blushing! Thankfully I have a naturally red cheek complexion so no one can ever really know what I am reading!!

The ending was soooo omg! We get another one of those shocks that comes from not knowing what’s going on since we are in Janey’s point of view versus Charley’s. And THEN…SOMETHING ELSE BIG is set to happen! Like a seriously wtf moment! How on earth will Charley and Reyes be able to overcome THAT little thing! Little, pfft! Again, sorry for all this weird commentary thing I’ve got going on! I swear reading from Charley’s point of view does things to my own sense of self and whatnot! But it’s not necessarily a bad thing! This series just touches at my heart in so many ways! Yes, there’s lots of laughs, but there’s action, romance, mystery, and some ghostly dealings as well! This was a series made for me to enjoy and I have since day 1!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars





 

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict
 
 
This week's question is: Which book(s) would you like Santa to bring you this year? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)
 
 
MY ANSWER: Hmm...I might have forgot to tell Santa, but other than receiving ARCs of nearly any 2018 book that I am dying to read...*coughsIMMORTALREIGNcoughs* one I'd like just for collection purposes is the Deluxe Edition of The Princess Bride by William Goldman!

I've seen it in person and it's sooooo beautiful!!! Really ought to buy this for myself unless Santa is a mind reader or if I send him a quick text! Lol!!






Mini Review--Brighter than the Sun by Darynda Jones

All his life, Reyes Alexander Farrow has suffered the torments of the damned. Only one thing has given him hope: the woman who radiates a light that no mortals can see; a light that only the departed can see...

Told from his point of view, BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN chronicles the first time Reyes ever encountered Charley, and how their relationship has been the one thing that can either save him or doom him.











Brighter Than the Sun is Darynda Jones’ take on what Reyes was up to in the time before he gets to be with Charley. It’s basically a condensed version of his life story…minus the being in hell part.

It was quite an emotional read, because oh my god, poor Reyes went through hell at the hand of Earl. Really makes me like the song Goodbye Earl even more now! Lol! But yes, sadly Reyes was abused pretty much all his life growing up. When his sister comes into the picture it only gets worse, because now Earl has something to hold over Reyes’ head.

But despite all the pain and torment, he has one little piece of light in his life and that is the girl he dreams about, who he calls Dutch. He’s dreamed of her pretty much since he was a child and envisioned watching Dutch grow up. We even get to learn how he comes to call her Dutch!

I would definitely say this novella could pretty much be read at any time after book 1. It’s not really a novella 8.5 as Reyes’ story takes place so early on in the series. It’s definitely an interesting read, but not really one that’s “necessary” to read to help with series comprehension. This is mostly for us Reyes fans! Which pretty much makes it an amazing little read!! The events don’t really reach past the first book, so this makes it even easier to read pretty much at any time of your series reading! Though if you have yet to start it, I would say reading it right after the first book would be best!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars






 

Random Thursday

Time to return to Disney's Aladdin: 25 Magical Fun Facts for 25th Anniversary as originally seen on Yahoo! As far as I can tell it was put together by Yahoo Movies Editorial with no actually author cited. I still can't believe this movie is 25 years old already! Eek!

Aladdin was drawn to resemble Tom Cruise! 
 
Say what?! I guess I saw it with his nose...but really?


Eric Goldberg, one of the animators, revealed that he and the team studied MC Hammer's dance moves in order to get Aladdin's pants right!



This video here shows one of the songs that was cut from the movie. 




Yet another song that was cut.


As already mentioned, the story changed a lot over the course of production. After one early screening failed to elicit excitement, the filmmakers added the "Applause" sign after Genie's big number, which turned into a big hit!





 



Review--Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….




I finally did it!! I read Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones! I’ve come back to Charley, Reyes, and the gang! It was beautiful! So beautiful! I can’t believe I stayed away for so long! I’ve missed this world and these characters! Especially Charley and her humor! The girl always has me laughing in stitches! Then there’s Reyes who’s  just so…Reyes! Lol!

Charley and Reyes have been holed up in an abandoned convent since it’s on holy ground and there’s twelve hell hounds out to get them, or more precisely, little Beep, as Charley calls her unborn daughter. She’s now about nine months pregnant and ready to pop any day now, but first they must celebrate the wedding of Cookie and Uncle Ubie! And nothing says wedding like a few ghosts! Charley has found more than a few spirits wandering around the convent, one in particular is a young nun who Charley can’t help but want to help!

It was rather interesting this time around watching Charley try to solve another murder mystery all without leaving the convent. Kit comes to Charley wanting her help in finding a missing person. A young girl has been kidnapped and Kit is trying to find her before the unspeakable happens! Again, Charley is forbidden to leave the convent as that is where she’s safest. Surprisingly Charley obeys this rule, but likes to toe the line! She does a lot of her investigating through her friends who can come and go as they please.

There were quite a few surprising developments in this one! I mean seriously, how many shocks can Darynda throw at us? Truly the number is infinite because I never stopped dropping my jaw at the end! There were so many surprises that came about and I am still in a state of shock over that ending!

The prophecy that has been surrounding Charley as of late does come back into play for a bit. I can’t remember everything about that naturally, but was able to roll with the punches rather well!

Then there’s the continued smoldering romance between Charley and Reyes! Man did my toes curl when these two continuously found time to be together. Okay, it was maybe 2 times? I’m at a rush with things happening right now, so my memory isn’t too great! Short-term memory problems can be a real pain! But needless to say, this book was smokin with the romance scenes!!  

The ending was definitely a shocker! All little mysteries that demanded Charley’s attention were solved and resolved for the most part. There’s nothing immediately left hanging in the balance, but there are other more pressing matters that overtake Charley’s life and just wow! Freaking wow!!! So glad that I have the next book at the ready…right away I dive into the novella from Reyes of course!

If you’ve yet to read the Charley Davidson series, I highly recommend you start it! It’s a fun, fantastic series filled with quick wit and more than one laugh out loud moments, sizzling romance between a reaper and a son of hell, and thoroughly mesmerizing mysteries! This is a series to be enjoyed by all sorts of readers…pending that you know that this is an adult read! ;)



Overall Rating 5/5 stars





 

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.



Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Super excited for this one!! Loved Holly's early faery books so this one sounds like the read for me! Plus...Holly is coming to ST. LOUIS!! So excited to meet her since she had to cancel on the event from last month!


AUTHOR: Holly Black
PUBLISHER: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2018


WELCOME TO ALPHAVILLE, where the she-wolves and alpha-males play. . .for keeps.

Renny Landry is a wolf on the run. Pursued by a shapeshifting stalker and his slobbering pack of killer coyotes, she is forced to flee her job as a librarian to find sanctuary in the wooded hills of Alpha, Washington. A well-secluded safe space for troubled shifters, Alpha is Renny’s last hope. But the first person she meets there is a gorgeous alpha male with fiery eyes, fierce tattoos, and one ferocious appetite—for her…

Mick Fischer thought he left his past behind when he moved to Alpha. But fate has a way of biting him in the tail when a female wolf shows up on his property. Wounded, desperate—and disarmingly hot—Renny brings out the snarling, protective alpha beast in Mick like no other woman he’s known. Can these two haunted, hunted wolves manage to mate for life…even as the deadliest past demons howl at their heels?


I am soooooo behind on Christine's books! I still need to read the last half of the Others books AND her entire Gargoyle series! But this is one I would like to read as well! Just add it to my list! LOL!


TITLE: Baby, I'm Howling for You
AUTHOR: Christine Warren
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
RELEASE DATE: January 30, 2018





 

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.


Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.


"There was a dead tax attorney in my closet, sobbing uncontrollably into the hem of her blouse. She'd been there a few days now. It made getting dressed in the morning awkward." p 1


TITLE: Eighth Grave After Dark
AUTHOR: Darynda Jones
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
GENRE: Paranormal Mystery
RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2015




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.



This week's topic is: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017


*in no particular order


10. AS OLD AS TIME by Liz Braswell--after an unsuccessful attempt to enjoy Liz's previous two Disney stories retold, I was surprised to find how much I really really enjoyed this one!! I thought it was pretty perfect! Although...I wouldn't have minded an extended epilogue!
9. TORN by Alyssa Rose Ivy--was psyched to have Haley's story beginning this year! I think her next installment is releasing next! Can't wait!
8. WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER by Leigh Bardugo--I wasn't sure how I would like this one since all I know of the DC universe is what I learned from the first Batman movies! Lol! I really liked this one despite my little knowledge of Wonder Woman!


7. INTO THE FIRE by Jeaniene Frost--Finally read the last Vlad installment! Always intrigued me that he was on the covers, yet we had Leila's point of view! Still an amazing series! So glad Jeaniene's not done with this world! Can't wait for Ian's turn!! 
6. A PROMISE OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet--really liked this one as well! Reminded me of Maria V. Snyder's Study world. Probably just a general thing though...fantasy, magic, a slow burn romance! I've got to read book 2 already!
5. ROAR by Cora Carmack--one that took me by surprise! It was a rough start, but it wasn't long before I was addicted!


4. CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber--if owning 9 editions didn't tell you how much I enjoyed this one...well, I can't help you. Lol!!
3. HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA by Kerri Maniscalco--sooooo loved this one! EVERYTHING about it was perfect! 
2. A COURT OF MIST AND FURY by Sarah J. Maas--yes I am shame faced. I STILL need to read ACOWAR! Hopefully soon! Maybe even this year! I hope! I hope! I hope! 


1. THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo--I loved this one! As a HUGE fairy tale fan I was ecstatic for a collection of fairy tales from the Grishaverse! I loved how they were somewhat familiar tales too!





 



Mini Review--Full Moons and Candy Canes by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Dark magic is no match for fate...

Three years after Nancy's mom disappeared she receives her first clue of where to find her. Too bad the clue is delivered in the form of a half-naked shifter on her living room floor. To make matters worse there is another shifter in the room, a wolf shifter she can't stop thinking about.

Norm can't get Nancy off his mind. It should be easy because she's not his destined mate-- so why can't he seem to forget the memories of their kiss?

When Nancy's freedom is threatened, Norm is willing to do anything to protect her and to make her his mate.





Full Moons and Candy Canes is Alyssa Rose Ivy’s second holiday read that continues on from Full Moons and Mistletoe but with new and familiar characters! This time we follow Nancy and Norm and the possibility of their own romance and the obstacles they will need to overcome to have it. Familiar faces are still around and they mostly encourage Nancy and Norm to get together!

A year has gone by since the events of the first book, Ryder and Alexandra are happily married and are even expecting another baby, Nancy and Norm had a kiss happen at the wedding that neither one has been able to forget, yet Nancy has held herself back from falling for Norm for reasons unknown. When her dad decides to throw Christmas ball that they had stopped throwing when her mother disappeared three years ago. Nancy has continued to search for her mother despite her father’s opinion on the matter. And it’s when her friend decided to post a picture of Nancy on a “need a date” website that things start to get out of control. Suddenly she’s getting all sorts of emails from guys she’s never met willing to be her date for the big ball, it’s then that she turns to Norm for help.

It was just supposed to be a simple matter of helping her find this dating ad and having it removed, but when a shifter winds up at her door that things start to get very serious. Someone is very clearly after Nancy and it has something to do with her mother. Norm will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

I really enjoyed this story, in some ways more than the first, for there was definitely more “Christmas”-ness to this one. I loved seeing Nancy and Norm fall for each other all over again. It’s not quite like Alex and Ryder’s romance re-blossoming. Nancy and Norm shared one kiss, yet nothing ever happened afterwards due to their own fears and whatnot. But I liked watching them come back together. It was sweet.

One thing that I felt like needed more development was the actual mystery of what happened to her mother. Things are explained in some ways, but then there’s just not enough explanation. Nancy is realizing there’s some secrets to her family history. And I still don’t really feel like I know what it all was. I know that since this was a novella, things had to be short and usually a simple explanation and resolution comes into play. It’s usually why I can’t handle novellas; I’m always left wanting more! Lol!

Besides that little tidbit, I had no other issues with this story! It was cute and quirky and romantic and lots of good paranormal people in it! A perfectly delightful holiday read for a paranormal reader!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars 





 

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

The Rose Society by Marie Lu (4.5 stars)
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (4.5 stars)
Prodigy: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Leigh Dragoon, & Kaari (5 stars)
Champion: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Leigh Dragoon, & Kaari (5 stars)
Life After Legend by Marie Lu (5 stars)
Full Moons and Mistletoe by Alyssa Rose Ivy (5 stars)


Review that was Posted:

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine (ARC) (4.5 stars)


About to Start Reading:

Full Moons and Candy Canes by Alyssa Rose Ivy


What I Plan to Read this Week:

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones
Brighter than the Sun by Darynda Jones


Other Posts of Interest:







Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


This was another slow week in some ways. I got a few books this week! Plus my Secret Santa gift which as of this moment of writing my post I have not opened yet. I making myself send off my Secret Santa's before I allow myself to open mine. I just gotta wrap it. Which FYI Secret Santa people, my wrapping skills have yet to approve with time! LOL!

But anyway, since I will likely open that next week, here's what I got this week:

Full Moons and Mistletoe by Alyssa Rose Ivy--already read and reviewed! I don't know why I passed on this one last year, but since it came up FREE this week, I downloaded it and then immediately purchased the next one!
Full Moons and Candy Canes by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Brave by Jennifer L. Armentrout--SIGNED! I decided to just go ahead and order this beauty signed! *That way* the next time I meet Jennifer I won't have a huge stack of books to get signed! Lol! At least that's my reasoning! So it's a totally frugal purchase!


Caraval by Stephanie Garber--the Waterstones' Edition paperback! Yes, I'm slightly nuts! I paid a pretty penny to get this edition! The stained edges are so pretty too!
 
 
And then I won a contest at Silver's Reviews and received this beauty!
 
The Faerie Handbook by Carolyn Turgeon
 
 
THANK YOU Elizabeth & Harper Design! 
 
 
 
And finally, I bought yet another book sleeve from Fandom Designs--my family already thinks I'm nuts buying so many of these! But I HAD to get this one!
 
 It's Chapter 55 from a beloved book! I was sooo excited to snag one of these!! It's beautiful!!
 
 
 
And that was my haul this week! What did you all get?