Books, Out of the Box Blogs, paranormal romance

The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones

ninth grave

Wow! Les and I are at polar ends with this book so we decided to do a tandem blog. That’s right you get not just one but two opinions! But wait there’s more, we can’t just leave it at that, we have to comment on each others opinions because we feel so strongly different so we left a open draft for 24 hours (we are 6,000 miles apart so we had to give it some time) so we could give a proper rebuttal to the others unbiased and honest comments, because netgalley was crazy enough to give us both copies for that exact purpose. Yup, that’s why they did it, and that’s why they’ll never do it again 🙂  But first as always the official blurb..

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.

Kar: I’m pretty disappointed in this book. I want to start out by saying that I loved this series. Charley and the gang always made me laugh, had great adventures and her and Reyes were hot! But then came book seven, I felt like the story line took a hard left turn without warning. I hated it, raged about it, even called up my friends, that are fellow fans and cried to them. And book eight came out, I felt vindicated, total redemption! Characters were back to their crazy, snarky, entertaining selves. Oh and Reyes practically smoldered off the page, I loved it, so when I had a chance to get an advance copy of the ninth book I jumped all over it. I’m so sad right now. Let me break it down for you.

First 1/4 of the book Charley doesn’t know who she is or who anyone else is. Everyone is there but no one is tell her or interacting with her (except Cookie, she at least talks to her) so it is literally Charley aka Janey (that’s her new name) working in a diner. No, I’m serious that is it. NOTHING else is going on, okay you get one or two matrix slow mo looks from Reyes but nothing else. For like 75 pages….

Next section Janey decides that she’s going to solve a mystery. Finally something to read about! Oh and she decides she is attracted to Reyes (seriously!?! who isn’t???) so she might like to kiss him. Also she starts to discover what she can do. If you never read any of the other books this is a great way to learn all about Charley/Janey’s abilities. Unfortunately I have so this is just more boring for me.

Next part. Finally we get some Reyes action, but to be honest it feels a little rushed, like it’s just thrown in there cause there would be riots in the streets if it wasn’t. Even this mystery isn’t really getting much attention.

The last part. Book seven took a left turn. This book just DROVE OFF THE ROAD!! Really, can’t that Earl guy die??? And seriously, could this story be any more convoluted? I feel it’s so far from the original plot line I don’t even think I’m reading the same series. Which brings me to my ultimate point, I’m done. This isn’t anything like the books I loved and I refuse to continue to cling to this series hoping for the past. Will Reyes continue to be smoking hot? Absolutely! But these books are just too far from where they started. I can’t recommend this book, I hated it.

: I really enjoyed this book!! Even though she has no memory she is still Charley. The whole gang is there and they are funny and witty. Reyes is as hot as ever!!! Uncle Bob gets a new name and there is a new ghost in the corner. I admit Garrett wasn’t his normal self. He didn’t insult her once. I disagree with Karen, yes it took a turn in book 7 &8 and this is where it was always headed. They told us a lot in book 8 so some wasn’t a shock to me. The whole deal with an angel thing I admit is weird but makes the perfect conundrum. As per usual I think Darynda Jones did a good job. Would I have liked more Charley and Reyes time well duh, who wouldn’t? Earl was in a paralyzed state in the hospital, so he was up for grabs, and who was paying attention to him in book 8, they had a lot going on at the time. Look she is Charley she does dumb shit that almost gets her killed and that didn’t change. I must say I missed Mr. Wong.

And she starts her first detective work in the first 11% of the book. Give her some credit she doesn’t remember anything and she sees dead people and all this stuff is happening and she doesn’t understand it. At least she isn’t whining like in book 7.

Needless to say we don’t agree I loved it Kar hated it I will go on to read book 10 while Kar is done.

But Kar, we found out who she was in book 8 and what she was capable of and also beep, so why didn’t you think it would go this route?

Kar: Because this route is pure insanity! By the way it’s really hard to fight with you spoiler free..Anywho the best part of this series is that, though she is crazy and a bit dumb, there is a pattern. Charley does her grim reaper thing, solves a crime (usually getting hurt in the process), has crazy hot sex with Reyes, and there is some hilarious banter in between with the rest of the cast of characters. Somehow we have veered waaay off course, now basically Charley can do anything she wants, everybody lives and breathes for her (in the whole universe), she has the power to make everyone stop breathing but is too dumb to figure that out still and there is some funny banter with the cast of characters. See the difference?!!? Yeah not what I signed up for…

Les: SHE HAS AMNESIA!!!!! It does get explained to her and then she understands what she can do and what she is capable of. They do not live and breathe her if they did she wouldn’t have gotten her ass kicked in the woods. No I don’t see the difference. The route was exactly where it was always headed. I don’t think it was just pulled out of the air. I was not even suprised by it. She can’t do anything she wants, they almost arrested her. They get mad at her as usual and then they get over it, because at the end of the day Charley will always do dumb shit and get hurt.

Clearly Les and I don’t agree on this book (trust me this could go on for DAYS) but I will end the torture and publish the review. Let us know what you think once it’s release. I say if you must read it get it from the  library, Les says buy, I guess we are leaving this one in your hands…the book releases January 12,2016 and can be preordered at Amazon here:

Books, great reads, Reviews

Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds

Shifter Planet Cover

This was my first book by D.B. Reynolds but not my last. I really enjoyed the world that she built, but let’s make this blog official, blurb first then a review.


Specialist Amanda Sumner is one of the first to make contact on the Earth-like planet Harp and discovers she’s the only Earthling, who can hear the trees sing in the strange forest. Determined to remain and learn more of the planet’s secrets, Amanda sets out to become part of the elite Guild there…

But there is a secret involving some Guild members-one that could get her killed.

Shifter Rhodry de Mendoza wants the Earthlings off his planet before they destroy it–even if that means denying what he feels for the fierce and lovely Amanda. The pair is thrown together in what becomes a fight for their lives. And they might just lose everything-including each other-in their battle for the right to live in peace.

Now the review: I loved this book! I have to admit in the beginning I was not a Specialist Amanda Sumner fan. I found her arrogant and annoying. For example she practically throws a hissy fit when she finds out there are shifters on the planet and no one told her. Really? This is one of they’re biggest secrets, your people have done nothing but harm but they should have told you because your breathing? That irritated me. But I loved Rhodry from go. He was protective and honorable, plus being smoking hot didn’t hurt. And truth be told Amanda grew on me, her personally became less entitled and more independent (it they’re a difference? Of course there is) which also coincided with the story really picking up. The less I worried about her the more I realized that this was a really good book. The world building was spot on, I was never confused about where they were or what something looked like. The relationship between Rhodry and Amanda was refreshing, instant attraction but not insta-love. And the story itself was great, just enough angst to make you want to read, just a little more.

I recommend reading this, the book comes out October 26th. Grab it, you won’t be disappointed. I did get a free copy from netgalley, so thank you for that!

Books, great reads, Out of the Box Blogs, Reviews

Montana Dragons by Chloe Cole

Ok so this is about a wolf shapeshifter that’s prearranged mate ha chosen someone else, so her parents secretly marry her off to a dragon shapeshifter without her knowledge.

This is pretty much part 1 of this, I guess I would call it a series of novellas. I got them as a bundle and I’m actually ok with them being short right now.

It is a good story. Lead female is feisty and strong. The male lead is smart, strong, sexy and has to watch his temper a little.

All in all I am going to continue reading it and will update you soon.



Books, great reads, indie author, Reviews, scifi

The Unspoken Agreement

I have always felt there was an unspoken agreement between an author and us readers when we purchase a book and frankly lately I think the rules have been out the window. So I’m curious, is it just me that feels this way, having these expectations of my writers? Do I need to adjust to a new way of writing? Or are some books just not playing by the rules? Allow me to explain.

When I buy a book it’s like the author and I have made a contract. A simple one, I will give money to your seller and you will deliver a story. I don’t have to like it but it must follow the guidelines of all stories. Sound simple? Apparently not. This is how I view a story: A beginning, if it’s the first time we are meeting everyone with character and world building when appropriate. Then a middle, this is where your plot comes to life, the climax of the story as it is, whether it’s bad guys seemingly defeating good guys, or a big fight, big reveals, this is when we get the meat of the story. The all important end, the big finish, where you frankly actually finish the book. No cliffhangers (I will discuss this), no unrelated twists, just bring it home. Make it complete.

What I feel like has been a trend in some writing lately…

The Cliffhanger. Why do authors do this? Especially with book one? I have yet to meet a reader that loves this, so why do it? Is it because you just couldn’t think of an ending? Is it because you want me to be forced to buy your next book (doesn’t work with me, you cliff hang I abandon)? Or is it because you knew from the beginning that you would write three books so it doesn’t matter to you? Well that sucks. Let me tell you there are many extremely successful series out there that have 8,10,20 books and you know what, no cliffhangers! Every book is a complete story by itself. We feel satisfied when we read it, like an episode on tv.

The Plot. Ever read the back of a book, then read the book and the blurb has nothing to do with the story? I bought the book because this is what you told me the story is about. Can’t always blame the publisher, indies are also committing this crime, it’s kind of like false advertising. See this whale??? Sorry we are sending you home with a guppy. I might have been interested in your original story, I like guppies, but it’s just not going to sit right with me the whole time cause all I can think about is that whale. Blurbs should match the story and the plot should follow that. Having a plot is good too, some now don’t even have a plot.

The beginning. World and character building are paramount. In fact too often characters are left with no personality, shallow as it were, and books can fall very flat. But some authors swing too far the other way making whole books out of world and character building. That’s great if I already have book 2 and 3 but if this is all I have, then I don’t have a story, just a really long resume. And 200 pages of that gets boring. I know a lot of authors say they are setting up the next book, but I’m not buying, you got to sell this book to me, not the next one.

So the big question is, are my expectations to great?