Monday, November 30, 2015

Death by Scones

Title: Death by Scones
Author: Elizabeth Ashby & Jennifer Fischetto
Publisher: Gemma Halliday
ISBN: 9781940371764
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction

Thoughts: Although there is a flaw with the premise of the murder, this is a thoroughly delightful cozy from beginning to end.  Riley is a great character with realistic issues and a great fashion sense, and that just added to the fun.

Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In the Box: Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss Limited Edition Quarterly Box - Christmas

Fresh Fiction decided to do limited edition quarterly boxes on top of their monthly subscription.  Although I am not the biggest fan of Christmas romances, there were two items that had me jumping on this box. 

The announcement said it would contain four print books and an ebook (one for me, one for a friend) of an exclusive short story collection from Gemma Halliday Publishing.  Fresh Fiction has got me addicted to the cozies from GHP, so I had to have this.  The Holiday Mystery Short Story Bundle contains nine stories, all of which I am totally excited to read.  As far as the four print books go, it ended up being five paperbacks and a hardcover:  Unwrapped by Katie Lane, A Ranger for the Holidays by Allie Pleiter, An Amish Noel by Patricia Davids, Snowbound at Christmas by Debbie Mason, Angels in the Snow by Rexanne Becnel, and A Knights Bridge Christmas by Carla Neggers.

The other item that made me want the box was the Baby Vixen, who is just so adorable!  Author swag was a magnet from  Tricia Skinner (the only non-Christmas item) and a poster calendar from Chanta Rand.  The box also included a snowman Pez dispenser and some hot cocoa.

This quarterly box from Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss ended up being a lot of fun.  It did cost $35 plus shipping, but the retail value of the print books alone, most of which have just been released, comes to $50.94, so that a good deal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Title: Eigengrau
Author: Dawn Pearson
Publisher: Booktrope
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: Early Review

Thoughts: These poems are easy to read and understand, some even with humor, like the ones featuring Bootsy.

Rating: 3 stars

Divided We Fall

Title: Divided We fall
Author: Trent Reedy
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: The biggest part of what made this YA dystopian so compelling was how plausible it was.  While I did not agree with all of Danny's decisions and am normally not a fan of military fiction, this really made me see the story from all sides.

Rating: 5 stars

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Amazing Mr. Howard

Title: The Amazing Mr. Howard
Author: Kenneth W. Harmon
Publisher: JournalStone
ISBN: 9781942712138
Why Read?: Early Review

Thoughts: This is a deep and twisted vampire/serial killer story.  The problem I had was how destable the lead dectective was, which made it neigh on impossible to root for him.  I was rather indifferent towards Mr. Howard himself.

Rating: 3 stars

Stacking the Shelves: 11/15-11/21

First Reads from Goodreads:
Cat's Maw by Brooke Burgess
Numero Zero by Umberto Eco
Spell Breaker by Joni Parker

Swapped for on My Subscription Addiction:
The Complete Dracula by Bram Stoker, Leah Moore, John Reppion, & Colton Worley

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: 11/8-11/14

First Reads from Goodreads:
The House by Christina Lauren
Intentions by Pamela Johnson

Swapped for on My Subscription Addiction:
The Coins of Zakynthos by David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, Marc Gaffen, Kyle McVey, & Jose Malaga

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publisher: Tantor
ISBN: 9781400158591
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: Everyone knows the story, which makes the book a little hard to categorize.  Thought of as horror, it is more of a Victorian mystery - complete with the immense amount of talking common to Sherlock Holmes.

Rating: 3 stars

These Boots Are Made for Butt-Kickin'

Title: These Boots Are Made for Butt-Kickin'
Author: Kalan Chapman Lloyd
Publisher: Lulu
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: Fresh Fiction

Thoughts: This is the sequel to Home Is Where Your Boots Are, which is reference so much, that it becomes distracting.  The story would be much tighter if the events of the first book were referenced only when necessary.

Rating: 3 stars

Sunday, November 8, 2015

In the Box: October 2015 Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss

This was the best Fresh Fiction box so far!  Once again, it contained three hardcopies, one in hardcover: Her Christmas Protector by Geri Krotow, The Single Undead Moms Club by Molly Harper, and the hardcover, A Blossom of Bright Light by Suzanne ChazinA Blossom of Bright Light is a mystery rather than any form of romance, so I am stoked about that. This month, there were 4 ebooks.  I received Tastes Like Murder by Catherine Bruns, Taste by Tracy Ewen, 8 Weeks by Bethany Lopez, and Killer Closet Case by Elizabeth Ashby & T. Sue Versteeg.  There was a problem with the Tastes Like Murder code, but they fixed that promptly and gave a code for an addition book from Gemma Halliday Publishing.

The swag wasn't all that exciting this month.  I love the little stressball pumpkin and the rest was from Rose Gordon, which, aside from the bookmark, is up for swap.

Possibly my favorite Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss.  While this month had 3 paperbacks, each box will have at least one paperback and 3-6 ebooks, along with swag, for $25 a month (you can skip months). 

In the Box: October 2015 Awesome Pack Big Kid Pack

While's September's box may not have seemed the most customized, October's Awesome Pack Big Kid Pack was 100% me.  The subscription is $44.99 a month and you can choose the Big Kid option (for those without kids - like me), or the Family option.  Their site does not have referral links set up yet, nor can you log into your account yet, but they do have a referral program, so if you do decide after reading my review to try it, I would very much appreciate if you told them you heard about it from me, rickimc [at] aol [dot] com.

For October, the main game was Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Munchkin ($24.95 value) from Steve Jackson Games. If you have never played Munchkin, you need to!  It is crazy fun and great for friends who do not mind a little backstabbing.  This version is based on The Nightmare Before Christmas movie and looks totally awesome.

For the smaller games, I received 3 card games.  First we have MindTrap Shadow Mysteries (a $8.95 value) from Outset Media.  I love mystery games, so this sounds totally cool.  In roughly the same vein, I also received Dark Stories (a $9.99 value) from Z-Man Games.  My final card game was Scopa (a $10.99 value) also from Outset Media, which is an Italian card game.

No collectibles this time since I received 3 smaller games, but due to an issue last month, I received a Something Extra Awesome (aka a bonus game), Marvel TCG: Spider-Man Vs. Doc-Ock 2-Player Starter Set (a $8.00 value) from Upper Dck.  For Awesome Pack goodies, I received two bookmarks.

This was definitely, so far, the most awesome Awesome Pack!  Not the highest value Awesome Pack, but it still came in at $62.88 value, and I got it all for $44.95, which included shipping. I still got a great deal, but even better, got amazingly awesome games.  If you would like to subscribe, once again, I ask that you say you heard it from me, rickimc [at] aol [dot] com.  (Please note: as games and collectibles can vary in price based on demand, I tried to take the price from the manufacturers site whenever possible.)

Friday, November 6, 2015


Title: Headstrong
Author: Patrick Link
Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works
ISBN: 9781580819305
Why Read?: For Fun

Thoughts: This was performed remarkably well, but there were just a few moments that did not work as a radio play.  The story is a powerful one, but the last scene did not seem entirely necessary.

Rating: 4 stars