Monday, February 29, 2016

*Platypire Read-A-Thon* February Results

Photo Courtesy of Platypire Maribel

February is over so it's time to see how I did. If you remember from the beginning of the month, I said that I was going to try to read all the bold books because I either got them from Netgalley (and they're really dragging my review percentage down something awful there) or I accepted an ARC in exchange for a review, and need to get those books read before I can start my super secret blogging project. So without further ado, here is how I did.

X - Read
R - Currently Reading
+ - To Be read


X - Far From Safe by Jillian Ashe (Read in January)
Read my review here.

X - A Message for Grandpa by Julie Guardado
Read my review here.

X - My Friend Hyman is Dead by Lee Ward (Jan)
Read my review here.

X - 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (Jan)
Read my review here.

X - Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus (Jan)
Read my review here.

X - Dark Perception by Alexandrea Weis (Jan)
Read my review here.

X - Echoes on the Bayou by Mary Reason Theriot
Read my review here.

X - Killshot by Aria Michaels (Jan)
Read my review here.

X - Seven Deadly Sins by Mary Reason Theriot
Read my review here.

X - Twisted by Elizabeth Montgomery (Feb)
Read my review here.

X - Love, Music, Amali by Mia Mitns
Review to be posted soon.

X - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Feb)
Review to be posted soon.

X - The Angel Knights by Mary Ting
Review to be posted soon.

Currently Reading

R - Sector 64: Ambush by Dean M. Cole*
R - Sweetwater: The Kihn by Rivi Jacks*
R - The Voyage by Tammie Painter*
R - The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd*
R - Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur*
R - Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder*
R - The Road Home by Kathleen Shoop*
R - Buffalo Trail by Jeff Guinn*
R - Troll by Ashley C. Harris*
R - Christine by Stephen King*
R - Human: A Shadow Empires Book by S.M. Carriere*
R -  The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild*
R - The Sanctum of Souls by R.K. Pavia*
R - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak*
R - Back Blast by Mark Greaney (Jan)
R - Hatched by Jason Davis
R - Something Great by M. Clarke

To Be Read

+ - Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
+ - Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
+ - The Silver Suitcase by Terrie Todd
+ - Very Like a Queen by Martin Lake
+ - Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch
+ - The Keeper of the Crows by Kyle Alexander Romines
+ - Progeny of Vale by Rhett C. Bruno
+ - Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan

+ - Henchgirl by Rita Stradling
+ - Infinitas by David N. Sebastian
+ - Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur
+ - Back Blast by Mark Greaney
+ - In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker

Leftover from 2015
+ - The &Now Awards Volume 3 by Various Authors
+ - Shadows of the Unseen by Christine Steendam
+ - Drawing Heat by S.L. Dearing
+ - Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
+ - PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon
+ - House of Holes by Nicholson Baker
+ - Pieces by Maria Kostaki
+ - Summer Secrets by Jane Green
+ - Forgiveness by Chiquis Rivera
+ - The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
+ - The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine
+ - Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu
+ - The Underwriting by Michelle Miller
+ - The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel
+ - Omega City by Diana Peterfreund
+ - American Warlord by Johnny Dwyer
+ - When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
+ - Bell Weather by Dennis Mahoney
+ - Deadly Design by Debra Dockter
+ - Unprocessed by Megan Kimble
+ - The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
+ - The Sparks by Kyle Prue
+ - Take by Silvia Ami
+ - The Never-ending Story by Michael Ende
+ - Devil's Garden by Lance Tuck
+ - The Rumor by Elin Hildebrand
+ - It's You by Jane Porter
+ - Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
+ - Beautiful Girl by Fleur Philips
+ - The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
+ - Killing Katie by B.A. Spangler
+ - A Hanging at Cinder Bottom by Glenn Taylor
+ - The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
+ - Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
+ - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer
+ - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
+ - Dracula is a Racist: A Totally Factual Guide to Vampires by Matt Melvin
+ - Steele Mackaye Investigations: The Tarot Problem by Barry H. Wiley
+ - The Age of Amy: Behind the Fun Zone by Bruce Edwards
+ - Jezebel: Defeating your #1 Spiritual Enemy by Bob Larson
+ - Fear Itself by Duffy Prendergast
+ - Anyone? by Angela Scott
+ - Silent Creed by Alex Kava
+ - The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie
+ - This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
+ - In the Dark by Chris Patchell
+ - Need by Joelle Charbonneau
+ - Gods of Anthem by Logan Keys
+ - Second Chances by Sarah Price
+ - A Bridge to Cross by Edward R. Hackemer
+ - The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp
+ - Diary of a Single Wedding Planner by Violet Howe
+ - The Curse of Crow Hollow by Bill Coffey
+ - Family Grandstand by Carol Ryrie Brink
+ - The Saturday Night School of Beauty by Marsha Mehran
+ - The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison
+ - Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea by Jonathan David Kranz
+ - The Phantom of the Earth (Omnibus Edition) by Raedan Zen
+ - Wynn in Doubt by Emily Hemmer
+ - Bloodlines by Lynn Lipinski
+ - High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker
+ - The Devil's Engine: Hellraisers by Alexander Gordon Smith
+ - Seaside by Wylde Scott
+ - Lydia's Enchanted Toffee by Neale Osborne
+ - Welcome to Monstrovia by Mark Newhouse
+ - Corr Syl the Warrior by Garry Rogers
+ - Christmas at the Vicarage by Rebecca Boxall
+ - Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash

I only managed to read 12 books this month (but I had fewer days than every other month, which is a perfectly reasonable excuse, right?) Those 12 books also included 4 proofreads, which do take longer because I read them paying close attention and highlighting errors, then I have to correct the errors and send them back to the author and that usually takes about 2 hours or more (which means I spent about 8 hours of potential reading time correcting manuscripts, that's an entire book missed.) And 7 of my books read did come from my list, so that's a good thing (3 of those proofreads were last minute jobs, so I didn't even know I'd be doing them at the beginning of the month). I didn't make much of a dent in my required reading, but maybe I'll do better in March. - Katie

*Review* Twisted by Elizabeth Montgomery

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Published: February 27, 2016
Pages: 148
Setting: Oz and Wonderland


Who could’ve known one pair of shoes could cause so much trouble. 

Dee’s lost the sparkly red heels, and when she befriends a witch to help her find a way home, she finds herself down the rabbit hole. With the veil between Wonderland and Oz torn wide open, things go awry.

The flying monkeys are loose in the Kingdom, Hatter is lost on the sun-colored brick road, and betwixt a battle of the worlds, the Red Queen seeks power, but all Dee wants is to go home.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A little known fact about me (unless you've met my mother) is that I LOVE The Wizard of Oz. According to my mother, when I was 3, I had to watch it 3 times a day, every single day. She probably hated the movie after the first month of that. Even though I've never read the books by L. Frank Baum, I get very excited about Wizard of Oz retellings or continuations. Twisted by Elizabeth Montgomery imagines what Dorothy's life would have been like after the wizard took off in his balloon if she'd lost the ruby slippers.

I felt like this approach was a fresh take on The Wizard of Oz story and provided a slightly different view of Glinda that really makes sense if you think about it just a little bit. Even if you think about her actions in the movie (I'm not sure about the books since I haven't read them), they fit with this view of her. 

A big issue with this story for me is that Ms. Montgomery avoided using names from the original stories like the plague, and it was completely unnecessary because The Wizard of Oz is in the public domain. There was no real good reason to refer to Toto as "the pup" all the time, and it annoyed it, a lot. Additionally, when Dee encountered a tin man, it was like she'd never seen one before, and that made no sense at all to me. 

Another issue for me is that there were far too many spelling and grammar errors for a book this size. Granted, I had an ARC, but I checked two separate issues that I'd highlighted against the version available on Amazon and both were still present, so I have reason to believe the others were not caught and corrected either. 

Overall I give Twisted 3 out of 5 stars because I liked the idea and overall story arc, but it failed to deliver on a few aspects. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Elizabeth Montgomery was born in Williamsburg, Va and raised in Yorktown, Va. Growing up in and around the historic triangle spurred her love for the unusual and paranormal. She is a mom to four amazing kids, a wife to an extraordinary husband and a full-time pediatric nurse. When not writing, working or helping with homework you can find Elizabeth with her nose stuck in a book or hovering around her Keurig waiting for that next cup. She is the author of the best-selling Dyphillum Series, an Upper YA paranormal series, and her latest release Scarred that hit #1 Hot New Release on Amazon for her category. A portion of all proceeds for Scarred are donated to an antibullying foundation.

*Deja Revu #2*

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.



Sunday, February 28, 2016

*Review* Seven Deadly Sins by Mary Reason Theriot

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: November 24, 2012
Pages: 318
Setting: Bear Corner, Louisiana


He must save the town of Bear Corner, Louisiana from the wicked. The first of the seven sinners, Pride, has been cleansed of her sins. He has six more to go before his mission is complete. 

God chose him for this mission. He must eradicate the sinners. Only when those sinners have atoned to their sins will his mother be allowed entry into heaven. Each day her soul is confined to purgatory is a day of unrest for him as well.  

Detective Jo Melancon is determined to catch this killer. The town is finally starting to find peace from the last killer and she doesn’t want that tranquility broken again.


I was hired to proofread this book. I have worked with the author before and I believe she is aware that I review the books I proofread, but the review was not part of our agreement. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review.

I liked the plot of this book, that the killer needed to find someone representing each of the deadly sins. It's an approach I've never encountered before in a book and I thought it was well executed. I do realize it's not an entirely new idea, but it's also not an overused one in my opinion.

This book allowed me to play detective, trying to figure out who the killer was. It fed me morsels of information, leading me to assumptions about a few of the characters. Most of my assumptions were dead wrong and I'm pretty sure that was the intent.

Overall I give Seven Deadly Sins 4 out of 5 stars because it kept me interested. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

A Louisiana native and have had the wonderful opportunity of living in various states during my husband's 20-year career in the United States Coast Guard.

I have been happily married for over twenty years and am the proud mother of two wonderful children. My youngest encouraged me to begin writing this year.

Until my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2001, I worked in the Legal Field. Writing is great therapy for my own personal fight against MS.  

I truly hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

*Review* Killshot by Aria Michaels

Photo Credit: Goodreads
Genre: Dystopian
Published: October 16, 2014
Pages: 474
Setting: Midwest somewhere (I forgot)


When seventeen year old Liv Larson and her brother are sent to separate foster homes, she gives up on her old life, her old friends, and her faith in God. The only bright spot in Liv’s new life is her energetic and obnoxious foster-sister, Riley. When Riley convinces her to come to the rooftop party to view Icarus, the up-coming solar flare, Liv meets Zander. For the first time in months her troubles take a back seat...that is until what should have been a small flare, erupts into a full blown solar storm. 

Now, Liv and her rag-tag group of not-quite friends must find a way to survive the sweltering heat, lingering radiation, and the mysterious virus that appears to have found an ideal host among their ranks. Alliances will be formed, and battle lines will be drawn as Liv and her new friends set out on a perilous journey to save their loved ones, find answers, and reach salvation. 

But, something sinister awaits them in the dark—and it’s undeniably connected to Liv. 

Will Liv be able to keep her promise and reunite with her brother? Will her brave determination be enough to save them all from a rogue government, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night? 

…Or was Icarus, indeed, the KILLSHOT.


I listened to the audiobook version of this book. The narrator's voice was pleasant and sounded suitably teenager-y (not that teenage females sound much different than adult females.) The character voices mostly sounded pretty similar to me (there were two or three exceptions to this), but they were almost always accompanied by character tags, so that didn't really matter because I still always knew who was speaking, and I'd prefer similar voices with character tags to voices that just sound like caricatures. I did occasionally find myself tuning out the story, quite likely because of the narrator's voice (and my own failings as a human being). Her narration never felt excessively dramatic (which is a good thing) so I would sometimes just kind of forget to pay attention for a minute.

As far as the book goes, the descriptions were on point. I've been craving a greasy small-town diner burger since the beginning of the story and that's not something that exists in Germany (Germany has some amazing food, but good hamburgers are not on that list). Beyond that little annoyance, I could easily see myself facing the new world with Liv and the gang. I was right there with them and I don't usually feel that invested when listening to audiobooks. 

The one thing I didn't understand is why everyone expected Liv to know what to do. I understand why she initially took charge, that was made very clear and makes perfect sense, but it doesn't explain why everyone else present seemed to expect her to have all the answers, and they really seemed to. This was a recurring question for me. 

Overall I give Killshot 4.6 out of 5 stars because it totally gripped me. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Aria Michaels lives in a small town in Illinois with her loving, patient, husband and her six (yes, SIX) energetic boys. Always the creative type, Aria fed off the encouragement of her mother, and started writing and illustrating her own stories at a very young age. Aria's passion for creation and love of the human spirit followed her to the university level where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Fine Arts, and a Bachelors Degree in Communications, with a minor in psychology. After years of juggling parenthood with her a career in higher education, the universe finally called Aria back to her original passion...writing. When she isn't glued to her computer, or painting her next masterpiece, Aria can be found playing in the dirt with her kids, snuggling up to a good zombie flick with her husband, or sipping a glass of wine by the fire with friends.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

*Review* Echoes on the Bayou by Mary Reason Theriot

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published: November 14, 2012
Pages: 222
Setting: Bear Corner, Louisiana


Mia Arnold has moved back to Bear Corner, Louisiana. She wants to be closer to her parents and help her mother take care of her ailing father. Mia's life is going so well. She believes she may even be falling in love with the handsome Detective Chad Picou. Then the hurricane strikes, changing the lives of those living in Bear Corner forever. They had been lucky and the hurricane spared their small town but it had left a nightmare in its wake. The hurricane had churned the bayou waters. Bodies were released from their watery grave. Then the unthinkable happened, a local woman went missing. Detective Picou fears the worst. With the number of unidentified bodies discovered there is no doubt this monster has been killing for a long time. With the help of his partner, Detective Jo Melancon, they hunt for this elusive killer.


I was hired to provide post-publication proofreading for this book. A review was not part of my agreement with the author. If you believe that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest opinion.

This story is told from several different perspectives, allowing us to experience the events from several angles. It made the events feel more personal, but also led to some repetitiveness in the storytelling as several characters had very similar experiences throughout the story.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't really get to play detective for this story. I didn't have the chance to examine potential suspects myself, and instead I was stuck in the backseat of the cop car on the ride along only able to eavesdrop occasionally. In spite of that, I was still drawn into the story.

Overall I give Echoes on the Bayou 4 out of 5 stars because it was entertaining, but slightly repetitive. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

A Louisiana native and have had the wonderful opportunity of living in various states during my husband's 20-year career in the United States Coast Guard.

I have been happily married for over twenty years and am the proud mother of two wonderful children. My youngest encouraged me to begin writing this year.

Until my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2001, I worked in the Legal Field. Writing is great therapy for my own personal fight against MS.  

I truly hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Monday, February 22, 2016

*Deja Revu #1*

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

Action & Adventure
Science Fiction
Graphic Novel