[747]: Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson

A fascinating study of an eclectic group of people held together by a quirky matriarch, magic, and her predecessor.


Matchmaking for Beginners
by Maddie Dawson

Everything about this book screams, Rom-Com; from its Tiffany-blue jacket with a couple drawn animatedly on the front, to the quirky synopsis about a divine connection between two unsuspecting, quirkily similar women. Truthfully, it was what drew me to this book. It started out great. Unfortunately, the more I got to know the heroine, the less I was inclined to continue. But I persisted because there’s nothing I love more than reading about an eclectic commune of people tentatively finding their footing in their own ways.

Luckily for you, dear readers, Blix might endear you (as she had, me). As well, the group of humans living in a brownstone building that Blix haplessly saved from the clutches of eternal discontent. There was Lola, a geriatric who was too afraid to start over but have learned through Blix’s manipulations urgings that life starts only when you realized you only have one to live. There was Jessica and Sammy, a mother and son tandem. Then, there’s the recluse who lives in the basement – a former artist disfigured from a fire accident.  This eclectic group acted as a balm from everything else that made this novel frustrating.

There are also characters here that might drive you to drink. The good for nothing, two-week husband who has no balls and no brains; his entire snooty-nosed clan who has more greed that can fit in their pretentious mansion; and worst yet, Marnie McGraw, who was a train wreck and a basket full of bad decisions rolled into one. Unfortunate, considering she shares the top billing in this novel. Marnie was perfectly imperfect. But I can’t, for the life of me, reconcile myself to actually like this girl. Even if she redeemed herself in the end, the damage was done. [spoiler]You can’t make a man marry you. You also can’t hurt another man twice in his lifetime. Cheating is never acceptable. It’s an unforgivable sin in my book. [End of spoiler]. So yeah, Marnie tried my patience.

Never fear, this book has its moments as well. When Marnie is not being her self-absorbed, woe-is-me, self, she was unintentionally funny. She truly cared for the well-being of the people in her building and was truly sentimental on forging ahead with Blix’s unfinished businesses. And if you’re into magic and things of that nature, this book also has an air of mystical quality reminiscent of Practical Magic minus the darkness and only loads funnier.

WHERE TO BUY: Indigo | Amazon Canada | Amazon.com


About Maddie Dawson:
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today she lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of five previous novels: The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal.

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The winner will receive 1 copy of Matchmaking for Beginners (HC) by Maddie Dawson!
Giveaway Details:
– Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)
– Giveaway ends on July 13th at 11:59 pm EST
– Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email & will have 48 hours to claim their prize

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Little Heaven by Nick Cutter: Review And Giveaway

Horrors,  both man-made and supernatural, sure to give you nightmares for days.


Little Heaven
by Nick Cutter

It was easily discernible right from the start that I will be out of my element. Nick Cutter has a way with words that only masters of horrors can craft. I supposed if I were a Stephen King reader, I would find the same kind of writing chops that makes him the “king” of this genre. Nick’s brand of writing, however, is a new thing for me. It was disarming and in turns, astounding. The violence and the gore were even more viscerally shocking – especially for a newbie such as I.

Little Heaven is not an easy read – which I supposed, is a good indication of a horror novel. And because it tells the story in two timelines, the book was of considerable heft. But Little Heaven pulled me in right away; ripe with an ominous atmosphere and messed up characters that you wouldn’t want to encounter in a dark alley, it’s a whole another experience altogether. Right off the bat, you’re introduced to monsters of different breeds: the supernatural kind and the human kind. In 1965, three guns-for-hire mercenaries fought to death then somehow found themselves forming a truce of sorts after the dust settled. I love reading unlikely alliances between characters that can barely trust each other’s own shadows. It makes for an even more suspenseful read and admittedly, a favorite trope of mine.

This is where the story takes off. It was during their tenure as a threesome trouble that they were hired to investigate a suspected kidnapping of a client’s nephew. They’ll discover a cult whose membership consisted of the exploited and the enslaved but fanatics all the same. It was in here that they’d find the horrors of Little Heaven. Practically everyone in this commune is the stuff of nightmares – children and adults alike. Coupled that with a monster that lurks in the woods and in the commune itself, these band of mercenaries would find Little Heaven was actually Little Hell on Earth.

Then the timeline moves into the future (1980) where the three would once again find themselves in Black Mountain Wilderness after Shug found her daughter missing from her bed in the middle of the night. Older, beaten by time, and much changed from what they once were, the three knew that there remains an outstanding debt to be paid. This time, the horrors were more or less the kind of things that haunt them in their waking and sleeping hours.

I don’t have much to say about Nick Cutter’s writing other than it’s brilliant. If horror is your thing, Mr. Cutter gives Stephen King a run for his money. His characters were haunted by their miserable and troubled pasts which he’d seamlessly interwoven into his narrative. He was able to reach the emphatic reader. He showed me that even though these characters are bad to the bone, there are some good about them that I will still love. And most of the time, I found myself doing that very thing. I rooted for these characters because I know there is a much more evil monster lurking within the pages of the book.

Little Heaven will scare you and at times, will make your stomach churn. Nick Cutter is a brand new author to me, but I have a feeling I’ll be looking for his books more now that I’ve discovered him. If you’re a fan of supernatural horrors, this book is a must read. An old school horror-fest, indeed!


Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the review copy of Little Heaven and for sponsoring this giveaway. Join in the fun and enter for a chance to win!

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It’s Been 5 Glorious Years

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Last year, my blog anniversary came and went without any fanfare. Four years of doing this thang is a huge deal, but FIVE years is a freaking milestone! Not gonna lie, my first two and a half years of blogging was a blur. I was frustrated and was ready to quit because I didn’t see the point of writing book reviews when no one ever reads them. I did, however, saw the light during the latter part of my third year. I realized what I was doing wrong and have made corrections to jump start my love blogging over again.

It took painstaking patience to get to where I am now. I feel like even though my blog isn’t huge by any stretch, I’m comfortable enough to say that I’ve experienced success at last. I only ever want to be read and find a little niche for myself. And in the last couple of years, I feel like I’ve already achieved so much. I don’t care that I don’t get ARCs of the popular books everybody gets; nor do I care that my follower count has been virtually stuck. I’m happy to see you reading my posts and even though my commenters are the same people day in and day out, at least I know that I am a part of your daily blogging routine. So thank you, my loyal readers and friends. Because without your thoughtful comments and religious visitations, I don’t think I would still be here.

So here’s a little token of gratitude for sticking with me:

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        • Open Internationally. That’s it.

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Giveaway: Charley Davidson Series

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Hello, friends!

So, I’m sure you know by now how much I adore this series. I have been obsessed with it since I decided to check it out in February. I’ve featured it as a series that I’ve been obsessively trying to scour heaven and earth for on one of my Friday Finds posts. You can say I’m hopelessly, utterly, smitten with these books. Thanks to Big Honcho Media, I managed to procure myself an ARC of Eighth Grave After Dark, which I read in practically one sitting. I don’t know how else to convince you to read this series.

Today, let me give you the opportunity to try and win this amazing prize pack. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press , you now have a chance to win this entire series and a branded mug! All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

  • Open to US residents only, and must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • This giveaway  is sponsored by St. Martins Press.
  • NO purchase necessary, and void where prohibited by law.
  • Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to reply back or another winner will be drawn.
  • Host will not be responsible for items lost during shipment.

In the meantime, keep reading for some more info on this wonderful series!

Eighth Grave After Dark:

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About the book:
“Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of my life
is to serve as a cautionary tale to others.”
–T-shirt

Charley Davidson has enough going on without having to worry about twelve hellhounds hot on her trail. She is, after all, incredibly pregnant and feeling like she could pop at any moment. But, just her luck, twelve deadly beasts from hell have chosen this time to escape onto our plane, and they’ve made Charley their target. And so she takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. Of course, if hellhounds aren’t enough, Charley also has a new case to hold her attention: the decades-old murder of a newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows of the convent.

Add to that the still unsolved murder of her father, the strange behavior of her husband, and Charley’s tendency to attract the, shall we say, undead, and she has her hands full…but also tied. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders like evil sentries, so Charley has been forbidden from leaving the sacred grounds. Luckily, she has her loyal team with her, and they’re a scrappy bunch who won’t let a few thirsty hellhounds deter them.

While the team scours the prophesies, searching for clues on the Twelve, for a way to kill them or at least send them back to hell, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. Their presence is comforting. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life…


Charley Davidson Series

CompleteSeriesIntroduction to the series:

First Grave on the Right is the smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper..

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

About the author:

DaryndaJones_CREDITDonitaMasseyPrivett
Photo by Donita Massey Privett

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a RITA Award for best first novel for First Grave On The Right. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Jones lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Connect with Ms. Jones!

Twitter: @Darynda  Website: Darynda Jones  Facebook 


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Big, huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the prize pack for letting me be a part of this wonderful event.

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Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

unnamed-4 Definitely not an April Fool’s joke, but join me and a whole slew of bloggers participating in this giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mary over at BookHounds.

Want a cool $40 bucks to spend on Amazon goodies? Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

DETAILS:

  • OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
  • Must be at least 13 years of age to enter, or be represented by someone at least 18 and over.
  • Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers hosting this hop as well.
  • That’s it! Good luck!!!

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