Daphne Martin has recently moved back to her hometown in Virginia to open Daphne’s Delectable Cakes. Shortly after starting her cake business, Daphne discovered her first customer dead, of suspicious circumstances. After helping to solve the mystery behind Yodel Watson’s death, Daphne is hoping to spend some time making Christmas cakes and all around getting ready for the season.
That all changes when half of her small town becomes ill at an office Christmas party. Thankfully, the doctors there were able to help everyone. Everyone except Fred Duncan. What would appear to be a simple case of food poisoning quickly turns into murder and Fred’s mother is asking Daphne to help her discover what happened to Fred, before anyone else gets hurt.
Daphne is at it again in this second installment in the Daphne Cake Mysteries. Daphne is doing much better since the end of “Murder Takes the Cake.” She’s getting along better with her family, her cake business is gaining ground, and her relationship with Ben is going smoothly. Her natural inclination to ask questions and ferret out the truth makes her a wonderful candidate to assist in finding answers to Fred’s death. Her previous accomplishment solving Yodel Watson’s murder also adds to her credibility.
In the first novel, her cake business had barely taken off, but in this installment, you can tell she is doing much better.
I have to admit that I have conflicting feelings about this novel, as a whole. The mystery is intriguing and I was happy to discover that we have a better look into the personality and character of Fred Duncan. After meeting him in the first novel, I was surprised that he was the victim in this novel, and more worried that we would not be presented with a full picture into his life and personality. I was thankful that we were.
I was also happy that we were able to learn more about Fred’s car accident and his resulting brain injury that was mentioned in the first novel but not expounded upon.
I found that by the end of the novel, I had numerous questions that were not addressed in this book. During her investigation, Daphne manages to learn a lot about Fred and the people in his life, some of which seemed important to the mystery, however, some of the information’s involvement was never explained. Also, there were some questions about some of Daphne’s business endeavors that were never explained either.
In the end, I found myself stuck somewhere in the middle. I liked the mystery, I wasn’t surprised by the big reveal, and I found myself with a number of unanswered questions.
I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoyed book one and would like to learn more about Daphne Martin. I may read book three in the future, in the hopes of having some of my questions answered, though I cannot say when that will be.
I received my copy of this novel from the author for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and have permission from the publishers at Bell Bridge Books to use an image of the cover artwork featured above.
Mercy Brennan is a U. S. Marshal stationed in St. Louis Missouri. Her father is also a law enforcement officer, but he has been absent for most of her life, until now. After Mercy is shot in the line of duty, her father tries to reach out to her, neither of them realizing that by being in contact with her, her father has made her a target for the most dangerous gang in St. Louis. To protect her, her boss assigns her ex-boyfriend, U. S. Marshal Mark St. Laurent, and her best friend, Lieutenant Tally Williams, to get her away somewhere safe until they can stop those out to get her.
Brennan is kept in the dark about the danger she is in until an unexpected ice storm traps the three officers in an isolated location with no way to call for backup. There is a mole in the U. S. Marshals and Brennan’s location may have already been leaked. Can they make it through the worsening weather and ward off any enemy threats long enough for help to arrive?
This book left me feeling conflicted. Mercy Brennan is the kind of character you’d expect to see in real life. She has lived through tough times and came out a good and respectable person. She cares about other people and helping them but she is also human with fears and doubts.
Mark St. Laurent and Tally Williams are also strong characters. Laurent is kind and protective of everyone. He relies on his gut and God. Tally is a great cop and friend, and as a person, he is the kind of guy you want out there on the streets.
The threat against Mercy Brennan seems severe, that said, though I have lived in Missouri for some years now, I have yet to see St. Louis. The threat against her made me think more of New York and Chicago. I should not be surprised though, since I know in the back of my mind that St. Louis is a rather large city and therefore this level of threat makes sense and is believable.
By the end of this novel, I felt like something was missing and should have been explained. There is one character whose actions did not always fit the character that he was shown to be. At first I thought that this was great, a character who stood somewhere between good and bad, a realistic character facing an internal conflict. However, by the end of the novel I had many questions about the character and his motivations that were never answered and I hold little hope that they will be answered in the future novels to come. I really wish the author would have addressed these questions. It is because she didn’t that I have conflicting thoughts about this book.
All in all, I would say this was a good read and I enjoyed it for the most part.
I would recommend this novel to fans of Dee Henderson or Gilbert Morris.
I borrowed a copy of this novel from my local library and have permission from the publishers at Bethany House to use the image of the cover artwork featured above.
With the amazing advancements made in virtual reality, gaming has become a sport all its own. Kali Ling has been a gamer her entire life. Now she is the first female team captain in the Virtual Gaming League’s RAGE tournaments. Every week, Kali and her team fight to the death in the Virtual world on National television.
Though the fights are digital, every player feels the pain of their death. Kali is at the top of the virtual world, until one of her teammates dies of an overdose and leaves her to deal with her team and their new recruit. With the guilt of not being able to save her teammate and the pressures and stress of turning her teammates into a new team, Kali is falling apart inside. In order to heal her team and herself, she will have to change her world and the game, but will she be able to?
In the last century alone, gaming has grown more and more popular and advanced. Already we are seeing virtual reality take a grip on the world around us. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to think that in 50 years we may in fact have full immersion video gaming.
Imagining the gaming in the near future is easy, the changes in scenery, is a little more difficult. The idea that all of LA may be completely reconstructed in less than 50 years is harder for me to believe.
Personally, I am not a very big fan of science fiction, but occasionally, I stumble across a book or a series that appeals to me, and this one did, even though I am not a gamer myself. The plot of this story goes far beyond just the gaming world and, in my opinion, the synopsis does not do this novel justice.
The characters are realistic with dynamic personalities and unique qualities. All of the characters on Kali’s team have strengths and weaknesses that balance the team as a whole.
This novel delves into serious areas that are not only futuristic issues, but are also a concern in our world today. For once, there is a young adult novel that shows the negatives behind partying, drinking, and using drugs. It was refreshing to have a writer show these issues in their true light.
I was also happily surprised by how this book discussed the value of appreciating reality and finding balance in one’s life.
I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to readers who enjoyed “Flashpoint” by Nancy Kress or readers who enjoy the idea of full immersion virtual reality gaming on a large scale.
I received my copy of this novel from bloggingforbooks.com and have received permission from Penguin Random House, Inc. to use an image of the cover artwork above.
Kylie Galen is having a tough year. It started when her nana passed away, then her boyfriend dumped her, her parents split and her dad moved out. To celebrate the end of the school year, she went with her best friend to a party that ended up getting busted by the police. So, her mother decides to send her to Shadow Falls - a camp for troubled teens - for the summer.
But the other kids at Shadow Falls aren’t delinquents, they’re supernaturals, and they believe that Kylie is too. While the rest of the kids are there to learn to live with and embrace their powers, Kylie doesn’t feel like she is one of them.
If the whole supernatural business wasn’t enough, there also happened to be two really attractive boys at the camp, Lucas and Derek. Lucas is a werewolf whom Kylie knew when they were younger, and Derek is a super-hot fairy. Both of them have caught Kylie’s eye, and she theirs. Just as Kylie begins to except that she may actually be a supernatural herself, an enemy threatens the camp and everyone inside. Can Kylie make sense of her abilities in time to help save everything she has come to love at Shadow Falls?
This is an interesting read. I highly enjoyed being propelled through this new supernatural adventure. Watching all of the different supernatural races mingle in a teenage, high school like setting was equally interesting.
The character of Kylie Galen is very well written. Her personality is realistic, filled with internal turmoil and strength. Her being a teenager just discovering who she really is, a supernatural, also allows us to see her personality as it is molded and shaped by all that she is experiencing and learning.
Lucas, the werewolf from her past, I found to have less personality to work with. As if his personality were already set in stone. Of course, we are not allowed to see too much of him in the beginning. Derek, on the other hand, has a strong, somewhat stubborn personality that fits his character and compliments the character of Kylie Galen.
The plot line is unique in the fact that these teens are supernaturals all living together and some of their parents are unaware of their gifts and abilities. In the first book, there is a lot of background and character and setting development and less action. In fact, it focuses more on friendship, love, and self-discovery than any external threat. However, it is still a very interesting read.
I would recommend this book, or both books separately, to teens and young adult readers who enjoy supernatural mysteries and or anyone who enjoyed the “Ghost Whisperer” television series.
I bought my copy of this novel from bookoutlet.com and have been granted permission from the publishers at St. Martin’s Press, to use the cover artwork image featured above.
Our world is filled with beauty. From flowers growing wild along the road to the early morning songs of the birds. God has constructed our beautiful home so that we may find joy and happiness in our daily lives.
The coloring pages in this collection cultivate the beauty of the world around us, allowing us to stop and color the flowers, while reminding us that not everything has to be rushed, and there is beauty all around us.
This is a very nice, hand-drawn coloring book, suitable for children, teens, and adults. Many of the images feature crosses or churches and the details are quite extensive and unique.
There are also many pictures of flowers, birds, and city landscapes. The many shapes and designs provide extra details, allowing for a multitude of different coloring options.
Inspirational statements and Bible verses accompany many of the coloring pages. This brings an added positive to all of the pages and helps to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us, if we only slow down long enough to take it in.
I would recommend this coloring book to anyone looking for a unique coloring experience.
I received my copy of this coloring book from the publishers at Faith Words for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and have their permission to us the cover artwork image featured above.
This stunning coloring book is composed of 46 inspiring parables designed to help Christians know how God expects them to live their lives. The coloring pages themselves correlate to the story on the page ahead of it, allowing for a coloring page per story. Take a moment to learn from these parables and color these stunning images.
I thought that this was an interesting idea for a coloring book. There are many different devotionals out there, but this is the first coloring book devotional I have ever seen. Sometimes these lessons are hard to keep with us during our busy days, running to and fro trying to get things done, being able to color an image relating to the devotional that you just read can make it easier to remember what you have just read.
The images themselves remind me of illustrations from the medieval period. I found this to be very interesting because it fits with the stories, but is not a common style in today's day and age.
I am on the fence about this coloring book. I want to say that I liked it, and I did in a lot of ways, but I did not enjoy coloring the images, as much as I have with other coloring books. I believe this is because of the way that the pages are set up, in the medieval style that throws me. Although, I was happy to see that this coloring book works well with a variety of mediums, crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. I used a wide variety when coloring my first of many pictures. I eventually decided that I preferred to use colored pencils, but this is my usual medium when coloring.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for something new in the devotional world, who also enjoys coloring.
I received my copy of this coloring book from the publishers, Faith Words a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and have permission to use the image of the cover artwork featured above.
As a mother, life can be hectic, and it can be difficult to slow down and relax. This collection of beautiful coloring pages help to bring comfort and encouragement, while inspiring and reminding you of your wonderful purpose and of your loved ones. Filled with beautiful coloring pages and inspiring quotes and scriptures, this coloring book is a perfect way to turn down the chaos and relax.
I found this coloring book to be quite a delight. Each coloring page is filled with intricate designs, usually encompassing flowers and wonderful quotes or scripture that reminds you of the beauty and importance of being a mother. I really liked how each quote was also added to the backside of its coloring page so that it continued to be easy to read.
I love how the intricate designs were able to provide a great amount of detail but were not chaotic or overwhelming.
I believe this coloring book would make a great gift, any time of year, but also a great buy for oneself, just because.
I would recommend this coloring book to mothers everywhere, as well as anyone looking for a great way to show their mother how much she means to them, and how much they are appreciated.
I received my copy of this coloring book from Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. for the sole purpose of providing an honest review and have permission from the publishers to use the image of the cover artwork featured above.
Adult, Young Adult, and Teen Reviews.
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