Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I'm still Reading!

I'm not blogging, but I'm still reading!

If you're interested in more book reviews just join me over at Goodreads.  You'll find me there as Etcetorize.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Witch's Daughter

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy...

Amazon  |  Book Depository

Summary (via Goodreads.com): In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers' market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories—and demons—long thought forgotten.

Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

The Return of the Witch is the sequel to The Witch's Daughter
The other three books are separate 'witchy' stories.

Review (3/5 stars): I picked up the audio version of this book because I had been reading a lot of cutesy mysteries featuring witches. I knew it would be a little heavier than what I had been reading, but this is really totally different. It's serious, and heavy, and dark.

I began to wonder if this book is supposed to be more of a thriller, which I don't normally read, but even the 'scariest' bits weren't all that frightening.

I think the premise of the book is interesting but I did have a few problems with some of the plot points. Some things seemed to drag on forever and then suddenly everything you could imagine would happen in the blink of an eye. And Bess, who is supposedly a witch beyond compare, rarely listened to her intuition and more than once was easily fooled by Gideon. It just didn't jive for me.

There are a couple of explicit scenes, one sexual and a couple more on the gore side, but that side of things doesn't feature too heavily.

Teagan was definitely not my favourite character. I struggle to understand Elizebth's (Bess's) attraction to her. She came across as your stereotypical, stroppy teen-anger with not much in her head. Elizabeth even says more than once that Teagan is immature. Why then would she choose Teagan of all people to share her knowledge with? 

I'm on the fence with this book, but if you like a little mystery, a little fantasy, and a little time travel, then you'll probably enjoy it.

The author-Paula Brackston
If you visit Paula Brackston's site, you'll find an interview, some background on the writing of this book, and discussion questions for book groups.

It's the end of the month so that means it's the end of my list of spooky books.  I hope you enjoyed my picks and found some new books to read!  Leave a comment below with your favourites~

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Witches of East End

The book that inspired the TV show...

Amazon  |  Book Depository
Summary (via melissa-delacruz.com):  It's the beginning of summer in North Hampton, and beautiful Frey Beauchamp is celebrating her engagement to wealthy Bran Gardiner, the heir to Fair Have and Gardiners Island.  But Freya is drawn to Bran's gorgeous but unreliable brother Killian, and sparks fly when the two decide to play a dangerous game, following an ancient story of love, betrayal and tragedy that harks back to the days of Valhalla.

Witches of East End follows the Beauchamp family-the formidable matriarch Joanna and her daughters Frey and Ingrid.  Freya, a sexy bartender, has a potion to cure every kind of heartache, while Ingrid, the local librarian, solves complicated domestic problems with her ability to tie magical knots.  Joanna is the witch to see when modern medicine has no more answers; her powers can wake the dead.   Everything seems to be going smoothly until a young girl, Molly Lancaster, goes missing after taking one of Freya's irresistible cocktails.  As more of the town's residents begin disappearing, everyone seems to have the same suspects in mind: the Beauchamp women.

There are 2 more books in this series!
Review: (3/5 stars): Let me preface this by saying that I binge watched the TV series on Netflix long before I knew it was based on a book, so the entire time I was reading this first installment, my head was picturing the TV show. And I have to admit, that this might be one of those rare circumstances where the book is not as good as the movie/TV show.

The storyline in the TV series is quite different from the one in the book on many levels. That being said, if I had never seen the TV show, I think I would've enjoyed this book, up until the ending. That part felt a little rushed and forced.

Still, I liked getting to know the characters, although why they live the mundane lives they do, working at jobs most of us would consider the first rung on a ladder, is hard to comprehend. I will read the next book in the series, but I think that's mostly because again, I loved the TV show so much.

              Season 1, episode 1

Did you watch the show or read the books?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below~

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Witchcraft Mysteries

More occult fun from Juliet Blackwell!

Summary (via Goodreads.com): Lily Ivory is not your average witch. Her spell-casting powers tend to draw mischievous spirits while keeping normal humans at a distance. But now her vintage clothing store could give her a chance to make friends in San Francisco....

Lily hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion -she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry—her store becomes a big hit.

But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime. She tries to keep her identity a secret while investigating, but it's not easy—especially under the spells of sexy "mythbuster" Max Carmichael and powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily's witchy ways be forced out of the closet?
The rest of the series~
Review (4/5 stars): I'll give you my review overall of the entire series....because I loved the books so much and there are so many of them.

This is the series that introduced me to this fun little witchy sub genre of the mystery section of the book store and got me hooked!  The main characters of each book are all very loveable.  You'll find yourself wishing you could be part of their little circle.

The series is set in San Francisco, which is itself a great backdrop, but on top of that it's nice that's it's a large enough city that we're not constantly losing beloved characters either by having them killed off or by being caught out as a murderer!  There are enough strangers for Lily to cross paths with to keep her busy with her witch crafting and sleuthing for plenty more books, and I do hope there will be more.

In each book we get to know Lily a little better.  We learn more about her past and her witchy ways.  You can easily enter this series with just about any book, because Juliet Blackwell is a master at engaging the reader and making sure that you have everything you need to understand what's going on.

Hear all about the series from straight from the author above or you can read excerpts from the books HERE~