Review of The Sister by Louise Jensen — novelgossip

Goodreads/Amazon/Author Website Release date: July 7, 2016 Publisher: Bookouture Genre: Thriller/Mystery Goodreads blurb: Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there […]

via Review of The Sister by Louise Jensen — novelgossip


Liebster Award Nomination and (of course) Paying it Forward

Leibster Award

“The Liebster Award 2016 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Not bad for a fledgling book review blog, huh?

So here’s what I’m supposed to do:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and mention their blog
    • Can’t help but do that since it’s a NICE thing
  • Display the award on your blog
    • Done (rather pretty don’t you think?)
  • Give 10 facts about yourself
    1. I really do not like doing this, as I’d much rather remain almost anonymous among those who browse my blog (but…if you’ve browsed my pages, you know more than you think you know about me…)
    2. I am procrastinating right this moment
    3. I love animals, but I’m partial to cats
    4. My name comes from a Greek Goddess
    5. There really is a method to my madness, although very few can understand it
    6. Shamefully, I’ve only recently read Vonnegut (Why isn’t he included on the “must read list” for school? Never did I read him in high school or in any one of the English courses required for my degree. But neither is Lovecraft, and that simply has to be an oversight)
    7. I’m such a perfectionist, that even though this is the very first post I’ve typed directly into WordPress, I’ll probably copy and paste it into MSWord anyway to double check for errors
    8. I am completely embarrassed to come across typos in blog posts weeks after they’ve been posted
    9. If I am not reading or doing responsible things, I’m playing video games with my son (or while he’s at school…ok, mainly when he’s at school…sorry, kid)
    10. I really, really hate to cook
  1. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Well, riding horses, of course

  1. What was the best vacation you ever had?

My honeymoon in San Francisco

  1. If you could meet anyone before they became famous, and be part of their journey, who would it be?

Edgar Allan Poe

  1. Do you have any regrets in life?


  1. If you were president, what would you do?

This is a tricky question, but…I would find a way to reward honesty and integrity in politics that would outweigh whatever they are getting for being not that right now

  1. Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time?

Um, yes, I want to be published. But I have to get over the crippling fear of failure first.

  1. If you lost the ability to speak, move, hear and talk, what would be the memory you thought about the most?

Memories….my marriage and my kiddos

  1. What do you think is the single best decision you’ve made in your life so far?

Marrying my hubby

  1. If you had to marry a fictional character, either from a film, TV show or book, who would it be?

I’ve married my prince charming, everyone else is just eye candy

  1. If you had to lie, what job would you say you did?

Mildly successful writer

  • Mention the rules in your post
    • Done
  • Ask your nominees 10 questions after tagging them in the post.
    1. Share a quote that motivates you the most.
    2. What is your favorite color and why?
    3. Which book(s) do you reread often?
    4. What is your guilty pleasure?
    5. Why did you choose to start your blog?
    6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
    7. How long have you been friends with your best friend?
    8. If you could have an afternoon with three famous (living or fictional) people, who would they be?
    9. Is your workspace extraordinarily messy or absurdly neat?
    10. If you could travel to one fictional place and visit regularly, where would it be?





Featured Article – “Love Stinks” – A Cynics Look at the Romantic Genre by Tay Laroi — Truth About Books by A Fae

Despite popular mockery and academic criticism, it continues to outsell every genre, including Classic Literature, year after year. In 2014 alone, Americans spent 1.08 billion dollars on these books and it has sparked some the most people, and most hated, franchises in the last ten years with no signs of slowing down. I’m, of course,…

via Featured Article – “Love Stinks” – A Cynics Look at the Romantic Genre by Tay Laroi — Truth About Books by A Fae

What’s on Your Shelf Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links Jul 23 — Live to Write – Write to Live

I don’t think they run them anymore, but I always kind of liked Capital One’s “What’s in Your Wallet?” campaign. My fondness for the ads might have something to do with the fact that Alec Baldwin and Samuel L. Jackson make excellent spokespeople. I’m just saying. Anyway … I thought it might be fun to […]

via What’s on Your Shelf Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links Jul 23 — Live to Write – Write to Live

Audiobooks  — novelgossip

Within the last year I decided, somewhat skeptically to give audiobooks a try. Clearly, I’m a total bookworm, but I had never in my life listened to a book. Why? I honestly figured that I would get bored just listening and probably fall asleep. Though I liked being read to as a child, I can’t […]

via Audiobooks  — novelgossip

The Rules of Supervillainy

The Rules of Supervillainy

By: C.T. Phillips

Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer

GoodReads Summary: Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown’s resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion’s magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy.

But is he evil enough to be a villain in America’s most crime-ridden city?

Gary soon finds himself surrounded by a host of the worst of Falconcrest City’s toughest criminals. Supported by his long-suffering wife, his ex-girlfriend turned professional henchwoman, and a has-been evil mastermind, Gary may end up being not the hero they want but the villain they need.


I’ve never properly fit into any group and comic-lovers is one of those groups I spend a lot of time on the outside looking in. I discovered a long time ago that I love the stories of superheroes. I love art that goes into a graphic novel. But I’m also cheap. I have been since my allowance was $2 a week. I mean, why spend the equivalent of a novel on a thin magazine that entertained me for 25-30 minutes when I could buy an actual book that maybe I could stretch out a whole week to read amid all the activities of my childhood? I loved the comfort of knowing I still had more to read and would carry a book around, reading in the school cafeteria, standing in line with my mother at the grocery store, when riding around with mom on her errands….you get the picture.

Anyway, comic books were not the most bang I could get for my buck back in the day. But that never stopped me from finding a way to know the story. Others who had extensive collections would tell me the stories and I’d listen to the geekfest arguments intensely. So even though I was so sheltered as a child, that in 1986 I didn’t know who Michael Jackson was, I knew Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman and any Xman you could name.

Add that outside-looking-in thing, to the cartoons of the nineties, the movies lately and ignore the fact that I’d like to hear the story from someone else who’s read the comic and you might just get why I like superheroes but have never been fully invested.

Take that perspective rather than the geeky one and you’ll understand why I jumped on this book as soon as I could.

I loved the cover from the start even though I still can’t pinpoint what it says to me. It makes my lips twitch up every time I see it.

Two things I found most interesting while listening:

  1. I thought it quite similar to Please Don’t Tell My parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts. Sure the MC’s are quite different. Bad Penny is a young girl with aspirations of being a superhero with talents that lean toward supervillainy. Merciless is a married man with aspirations of being a supervillain gifted with a dead superhero’s cloak and an actual moral compass.
  2. Merciless is married. Merciless is in a good Merciless lives in suburbia. I found it highly refreshing.

The Rules of Supervillainy is campy and staggered as if someone put together a series of five graphic novels in one place. It is perfect for the book reader in me looking for more bang for my buck. Rather than buying each of those five comics, I’ve got the whole story in one place. That makes me jump and yeah inside.

This is not technically an origin story even being the first in a series. Nor does it leave the reader completely hanging at the end (a thing that some writers are doing to boost sales that just leaves dryness in my mouth).

Yes, there is an opening at the end for more. However, for this part of the story, the main threads are tied up neatly at the end even though the pattern might be a bit more random than some would like. The open end is just what you would expect from the first of a novel about superheroes and villains. You don’t want it all wrapped up in a neat little bow when you just know another adventure waits just around the corner.

Jeffery Kafer is familiar to me from his work on Preternatural Affairs, another series I completely recommend. While he doesn’t have the range of someone like Patrick McLean, his straight telling of the story with just a hint of emotion reminds me of how I read to my kids. (My husband is the one who does the voices.) Everything is clear and dry and a perfect rendition of how I think Gary would actually be telling the story. I really don’t know how Mr. Kafer got through this with a straight face. He is such a professional. I applaud the result.

Loose Ends: A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery, Book One

loose ends

By: Terri Reid

Narrated by: Erin Spencer

Series: A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery

GoodReads Summary: Dying is what changed Mary O’Reilly’s life. Well, actually, coming back from the dead and having the ability to communicate with ghosts is really what did it.

Now, a private investigator in rural Freeport, Illinois, Mary’s trying to learn how to incorporate her experience as a Chicago cop and new-found talent into a real job. Her challenge is to solve the mysteries, get real evidence (a ghost’s word just doesn’t hold up in court), and be sure the folks in town, especially the handsome new police chief, doesn’t think she’s nuts.

Twenty-four years ago, a young woman drowned in the swimming pool of a newly elected State Senator. It was ruled an accident. But now, as the Senator prepares to move on to higher positions, the ghost of the woman is appearing to the Senator’s wife.

Mary is hired to discover the truth behind the death. She unearths a connection between the murder and the disappearance of five little girls whose cases, twenty-four years later, are still all unsolved. As she digs further, she becomes the next target for the serial killers’ quest to tie up all his loose ends.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I picked this up from one of my free lists. I can’t remember when or which one, I’ve had this on my TBR list for so freakin’ long. Somewhere along the line, I added narration for the low, low price of $1.99. So I paid $2 and change for the opportunity to listen to this.

I think the cover appealed to me. I think the summary appealed to me. After listening to the sample clip a few dozen times, the narrator didn’t do that much for me. She didn’t make me want to listen to the book. I think I finally got it because I was running out of daytime listening. (Deep, rumbling male voices for night / Bright, upbeat female for day.)

Hell, even the first chapter kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Erin Spencer didn’t impress me as the narrator to enhance the dark and creepy.

But to be honest…the blend of Terri Reid’s writing and Erin Spencer as Mary O’Reilly…well, that’s just gold.

By the third chapter, I was hooked. By the end, I’d acquired an appreciation for the voice I hadn’t liked to start with. Erin Spencer is Mary O’Reilly. (Please don’t let me find out somewhere in the middle of freakin’ 15 books that someone else narrates this series.)

Add the ghosts, the devastatingly handsome police chief, a chewy mystery or two and that’s a recipe for a good afternoon (doing dishes, folding clothes…not stopping the cleaning because you’d have to take out your earbuds to do anything else….)

This is not your typical female running headlong into danger. This is not one where the gorgeous guy saves the day. This is different.

(Yeah, I knew what was what way before the end. It’s the journey getting there that I enjoyed.)

Hell, I enjoyed the whole experience so much, I’ve already purchased the next book. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow…. Well, the house is pretty much clean so yardwork?