Author Archives: Ruby Lee

It’s been over a year since I posted my last review. It boggles my mind that time moves that fast. I originally stepped back for a couple of months as I changed jobs and cities. But one change led to another and life continued to throw its little surprises at me. All of the sudden, it has been a year. I know that I just have to get back on this horse because if I wait for life to slow down, I will be in my early 90’s before I post my next review. So here I am.
Lucyfer and Izzy have changed a lot in the last year. Lucyfer is still slightly dark and demented but I think Izzy is giving her a run for her money. In a year, Izzy has transformed from her sad, malnourished kitten form to Izzy the hulk cat. I have no documentation about the breed of cat that Izzy may be because she was found starving in a bean field, but now we are pretty sure she is at least 50% Maine Coon which translates to big. We have our first yearly check-up with our new vet on Wednesday and I am interested in her reaction to Izzy’s growth spurt. I am a little afraid she will tell me that Izzy is actually part Bobcat.
Since I didn’t want my first post to be all about me and my 2 minions, I thought I would share a little of what I have read in the last year. I hit a milestone with my 1000th book purchased on my Kindle. It was a little mind-blowing for me to think that I have enough books on my Kindle to keep me reading for a decade.

 

I have finished the first two books in Mira Grant’s Feed series and they are incredible. I listened to the Audible audiobooks and would highly recommend them. I will write a complete review on the series once I finish the third book.

 

 

 

Amanda Steven’s The Sinner, the fifth book in the Graveyard Queen series, was a very prominent read for me in the last year. I just finished the final book in that series and a review will be published shortly.

Jill Shalvis began her Heartbreaker Bay series much to my delight, and I am look forward to the Trouble with Mistletoe being made into a TV movie for the 2017 Holiday Season. I am also completely caught up with Bella Andre’s The Sullivans series. If you are a reader looking for a new series to invest your time, The Sullivians will not disappoint. It may be a little daunting to look at the number of books but I promise that it will be worth it.
My biggest and most pleasant surprise came from the Calendar Girl series by Audrey Carlan. Just when you think you have a series pegged, it surprises you by delivering rich, deep characters painted by superb writing. The twists in this story are unexpected and it shows that you can’t judge a book by its genre.
So that is my year in a nutshell. I hope that reviews will be following this post shortly and if I fall off the earth every once in a while know that I will show up again soon.

A Walk On The Darkside by Corinna Underwood

Walk on the DarksideTitle: A Walk On The Darkside
Author: Corinna Underwood
Series: Darkside Chronicles, Book 1
Publish Date: October 30, 2012
Genre:
Paranormal Mystery
Source:
NetGalley and Author’s Request

Publisher’s Description:

Pearl Blackthorn is a novelist and investigative reporter for Darkside paranormal magazine. Armed with her digital recorder and accompanied by her friend and photographer Harry Raymond, Pearl is sent by her editor J.J Benson – affectionately known as Benny – to the four corners of Great Britain, (and sometimes further), to investigate stories of spirits and specters, demons and doppelgangers, prophecy and possession. The problem is, Pearl doesn’t believe in the supernatural; her creative imagination is tempered by a strong skepticism. She is immovable on her stand that there is always a simple, rational explanation behind every report of paranormal activity. But Pearl soon realizes that the intricacies of paranormal events are often far from simple and not always rational.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

I really did not know what to expect when I picked up my Kindle to begin reading this story.  Would this be horror?  Would I need to sleep with my lights on?  Would it be a torturous read that would completely ruin my Sunday night?  When you agree to read someone’s story that you know nothing about, you are never sure what you may get.  However, what I found was more beautiful than I could have expected.

This book is may up of several mini-stories that connect the theme of the entire piece.badge4v4  The stories were wonderful because each one was so very different from each other but they all helped to grow the main characters into wonderful three dimensional living creations.  I love Pearl and her skeptical mind but her heart that I think really wants to believe in the paranormal.  Harry’s enthusiasm enveloped me and I could feel him wanting to hang on to his ideas of the paranormal so he could continue to believe his dead wife did visit him to say good-bye.  Plus my romantic side desperately wants these two to fall in love, but remember that I look for romance everywhere.

The best part of these stories – the truly most beautiful part- was the writing.  Corinna Underwood is a master at weaving together words so that everything pops off the page at you in a style similar to how Stephen King uses his choices of words to be almost another character in his stories. I think she could probably make a cookbook captivating.

In the end, I had a great Sunday  night with A Walk on the Darkside.  I hope that the next book will be released soon because there are questions that need answers.  I am also glad that The Secret in the Sanctuary was the first story, and if you want to know why, you will have to read it yourself.


Lucyfer’s Corner

2 paws – Lucy Face My one complaint about this book is the lack of gore.  When Ruby told me we were reading a paranormal story tonight, I imagined all the nasty disgusting things in that book and how I could keep Izzy up all night by telling her the terrifying stories.  It was going to be great.  Then I read it and there is no blood or ectoplasm or anything that would even remotely keep that annoying little kitten quaking in her bed until sun up.  Now I am going to have to listen to her snore all night again.  What a total disappointment.


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What We Find by Robyn Carr

You can’t go home again.  – Thomas Wolfe

26154344Title: What We Find
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Sullivan’s Crossing, Book 1
Publish Date: April 5, 2016
Genre:
Romance
Source:
NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:

Join Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin River and Thunder Point series, as she explores the healing powers of rural Colorado in a brand-new story of fresh starts, budding relationships and one woman’s journey to finding the happiness she’s long been missing

Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she’s never faced before. It’s in this desperate moment that Maggie’s boyfriend decides he can’t handle her emotional baggage, and she’s left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.

Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie’s estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan’s Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.

But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie’s world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she’s relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully’s responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man’s eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

I was a little hesitant to read this book.  I haven’t read a Robyn Carr book since the last book of the Virgin River Series a few years ago.  I can easily say that the Virgin River books are some of my all-time favorite reads.  I know I will go back to that series during different times of my life and reread all of them.  There is a timeless quality about them.

I knew that my brain would automatically compare any new books to her previous successes which is why I chose to wait with her Thunder Point Series.  I know I will read them one day but I needed time.  It may sound silly to some that a person could have such a connection to a series of books, but the real readers out there know what it’s like to say goodbye to fictional people that have become very real to you.  So I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure I could give What We Find a fair chance.

I felt the first third of the book to be a little disjointed and I didn’t feel a connection to anybadge3v4 of the characters.  I could see the story that she was trying to create but it just wasn’t happening in a smooth way.  But as the story progressed, the problems began to work themselves out.  I felt the characters begin to develop a life and some depth.  Halfway through, the book sucked me in and didn’t let go.

Overall, I enjoyed the story but it didn’t knock my socks off.  I do remember that I had a difficult time with the first Virgin River book so I will save overall judgement of this series until I have a chance to read a few.


Lucyfer’s Corner

0 paws – Lucy Face Nell wasn’t the only one that Ruby Lee left at home when she ran off to Canada.  She left me alone with Izzy, the happiest cat on the planet.  She gave me directions to read this book but I decided Izzy and a romance book were too many things for me to handle.  There is only so much one cat can take without having to start burying bodies in the backyard.


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The Visitor by Amanda Stevens

The VisitorTitle: The Visitor
Author: Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen, Book 4
Publish Date: March 29, 2016
Genre:
Paranormal Mystery
Source:
NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:

Restoring lost and abandoned cemeteries is my profession, but I’m starting to believe that my true calling is deciphering the riddles of the dead. Legend has it that Kroll Cemetery is a puzzle no one has ever been able to solve. For over half a century, the answer has remained hidden within the strange headstone inscriptions and intricate engravings. Because uncovering the mystery of that tiny, remote graveyard may come at a terrible price.

Years after their mass death, Ezra Kroll’s disciples lie unquiet, their tormented souls trapped within the walls of Kroll Cemetery, waiting to be released by someone strong and clever enough to solve the puzzle. For whatever reason, I’m being summoned to that graveyard by both the living and the dead. Every lead I follow, every clue I unravel brings me closer to an unlikely killer and to a destiny that will threaten my sanity and a future with my love, John Devlin.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

It is almost four years ago today that I started the Graveyard Queen series.  I whipped through the first three books very quickly.  I had always heard the rumors of a fourth book, but the third book ended well so I wrote it off as finished series.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this book on NetGalley.  I was so excited that I got to play with Amelia again.  I love paranormal stories, especially ones about those who can see ghosts, but the Graveyard Queen series took that concept in a direction I had never seen before.

The Series begins with the three rules that Amelia must follow to keep the ghost at bay and the third book ends with her beginning to truly understand the spirit world and what power she truly possesses.  The fourth book picks up where the third left off and quickly spirals you down into Amelia’s world, which is getting more complicated by the day.

Amanda Stevens’s writing really makes Amelia come alive, and the reader feels eachbadge4v4 terror, question, and hurt that Amelia suffers.  I sometimes felt confused about how the spirit world really works and what creatures it contains, but I soon realized that I was seeing everything through Amelia’s eyes so I was never going to know more than what she understood.There is a romantic element to the story but it is by far not a romance.  In fact, the one she loves may actually be the one that destroys her and there is no ‘happy ever after’ ending in that.

Overall, The Visitor is a captivating, beautiful told story about a woman who is more and can do more than she ever expected.  Her relationships are complicated, the story of her birth is amazing, and I can’t wait until the next book to see what path this story takes.  I recommend this book for all that love the paranormal but I also recommend that you start at the beginning of the series with The Restorer.  I think you would really miss out on a huge part of the story if you don’t experience the build up of conflict and power from one story to the next.


Lucyfer’s Corner

4 paws – This book is dark, and I loved every minute of it. Ghosts and creatures from theLucy Face other side really make my day, and I love to feel the power of fear that permeates this book. However, my favorite part is when Amelia’s dog becomes too scared of her to be with her any longer.  Dogs are such babies.  If she had a cat, the cat would figure out how to siphon off some of her power and rule the world.  Too bad Ruby’s only super power is that  her snoring could wake the dead.  I’ve used it before in ceremonies but unfortunately, once the dead hear the snoring, they crawl right back in their coffins.  The things I put up with.


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Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis does it again.  Nobody But You is being released tomorrow, which is just in time because Spring is here and love is in the air.

Nobody But YourTitle: Nobody But You
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Cedar Ridge, Book 3
Publish Date: March 29, 2016
Genre:
Romance
Source:
NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:

SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN…

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Ruby LRuby_Lee 100ee says…

My respect for Jill Shalvis’s writing increases with every book I read.  Nothing But You is the third and final book in the Cedar Ridge series, and I am a little sad about leaving such a beautiful place.  Her vivid imagery and true to life problems that the characters face cause Cedar Ridge to become a very real place in the minds of her readers.

Many people feel that romance books are nothing more than formula writing but Jill badge4v4Shalvis is about as far from formula as you can get.  I love the snarky comments that Jill writes for the main character Sophie.  Every one of them made me laugh and led me to like Sophie a little more.  Jacob is a returning soldier with PTSD, and Jill takes that on with the compassion it deserves.

Jill Shalvis also makes it very clear about how she feels about 50 Shades of Grey with many direct references that don’t paint the book in a good light. They made me look at the story from a different angle, and I agree with many of her comments.

Overall, Nobody But You is a funny, well written, romantic story that I very much enjoyed over my Spring Break.  If you have read Jill Shalvis before, I am sure you are excited for this book release tomorrow.  If you have never read a Jill Shalvis book, you are missing out and Cedar Ridge is a good place to start.


Lucyfer’s Corner

1 paw – Lucy FaceRomance…  I can’t believe that I had to start reading romance again. Ruby felt that the “romantic situations” were a little too hot for Izzy’s young kitten eyes so I had to subject myself to the mush and grossness of human love.  I have never been more happy that Ruby had me spayed.  Who in their right mind would want to deal with all that?  Yuck!


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