tHe crooKed WorD

As of April 30, 2014 we will no longer be posting reviews on tHe crooKed WorD. Reading is like breathing for us - and discovering new books and authors has been a wonderful adventure - but the time has come for us to move on. Thank you for your support, for allowing us into your lives, and for letting us influence in some small way the contents of your bookshelves.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Lightning Rider

Lightning Rider

Kindle Edition
Published May 30th 2013 by The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

For Evy Rivera, thunderstorms have always caused her physical pain, but she's never known why. When a record-setting storm arrives on the same night her father finds ancient ancestral documents, Evy is set aglow with mysterious tiny lightnings she can command.

Even worse, she alerts some people in the universe who've been looking for her family for a very long time.

Thrown back into ancient Spain and tasked with killing a Spanish legend, she must train alongside Constantine, a sexy yet obstinate Roman warrior. He teaches her how to wield her lightning as a weapon, through more errors than trials. With a relationship as explosive as their late-night training sessions, Evy and Constantine battle their push-pull relationship while trying to ignore the two-thousand-year difference in their birthdates.

Ilif Rotiart, her quasi-mentor, is appalled at Evy's skill. He would prefer to train her father and keep Evy on the sidelines—where women belong. Evy has a feeling Ilif is keeping something from them, but she must play nice until she uncovers the truth. And if he's lying, it will be the worst day of his four-hundred-year life.

Penya Sepadas claims she's Evy's rightful trainer, and she has the prophecy to prove it. Penya doesn't share Ilif's misogynistic attitude, but she does have her own agenda...and her own secrets.

Evy must sort through the lies and find the truth behind her family's time-traveling past before the wrong history obliterates the future. She’s spent her whole life fighting for her place. Now, as the first female lightning rider, she'll dedicate her existence to fighting to save the world.

But will Evy learn to manage her lightning and find the truth before it's too late?


Lightning Rider is a unique, action-packed book featuring a girl named Evy.  This isn't one of those books where the girl sits back saying, "someone save me!"  Evy is a bike building, motorcycle riding chick with lightning powers who can travel through time.  The author has created such a cool concept with how the lightning works- it's really well thought out.  The characters are fun and easy to relate to while the setting is creative and fun. Can't wait for the sequel!

4/5 stars

Author Bio:
From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers.
Jen also writes university courses and corporate training material when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile.

Author Links:
Twitter: @jengreyson

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dead Like Me

Dead Like MeDead Like Me
by Kelly Miller

226 pages
Published November 29, 2012

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

On edge after a two-week mandatory leave, Detective Kate Springer is blindsided when she discovers she shares a link with Tampa's newest murder victim-a troubled teen found strangled and dumped in a remote part of town. The bond between them threatens to expose Detective Springer's past-a past she's been hell bent on keeping secret. When the killer finally emerges from the shadows, Kate's secrets aren't the only thing on the line. So is her life.

* * *

Ms. Miller has done a great job with her debut novel. The characters are very real -- although I really didn't like Kate for the first couple of chapters. After that, she really fell into focus. I thought Patrick was great, he made a great partner for Kate.

The "mystery" was predictable, which was fine, most are.

I have to admit, there were a couple of things that bothered me. First, if you read this, be prepared for the fact that this isn't a happy/feel good book. This is a drag-you-into-the-trenches type of book. Generally, I read to escape, not to hear about child molestation.

My other complaint is rather silly: it took me almost the whole book to stop comparing Detective Kate Springer to Detective Kate Beckett. (Sorry, I'm a Castle fan. When I hear "Detective Kate" I assume it'll be followed with Beckett. And really, Kate Beckett is hard to live up to.) Sorry.

I'm very curious as to what Ms. Miller will bring us next!

3.5/4 stars

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Chocolatier's Wife

The Chocolatier's Wife

Monday, May 13, 2013

Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29

Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29Agent Colt Shore: Domino 29
by Axel Avian

370 pages
Published May 15, 2013

This book was provided by Arundel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

When an ordinary kid learns he’s the heir to a secret agent dynasty, F.A.L.C.O.N puts him on a case to protect a famous rock group and find a missing journalist. Before he knows it, Colt Shore has gone from body guard to rock star to full-fledged agent when he learns that a human trafficking ring plans to kidnap a group of teenage girls. It will take more than his ingenuity and skills and a couple of cool gadgets to protect his new friends and rescue the captured girls before it’s too late.

* * *

I could NOT put this book down. I loved every minute of it, and I'm very hopeful that it will turn into a series. :)

Yes, spy books are like bread and butter to me. Well, GOOD spy books, that is. And this one is definitely good.

While I want to tell you every tiny detail, I'm afraid anything I say will ruin the book - and you truly must read it for yourself. However, there are a few things I'm comfortable saying:
* I love the way Mr. Avian lets you know each leading decision by inserting a domino: "Domino five."
* These characters are fantastic. So fleshed-out as to be completely real.
* Um, can anyone say spy gadgets? Is there anything better?
* F.A.L.C.O.N., in general. Specifically, the way they're hidden, and the fact that they're not linked to any specific government.

There's so more more I want to say, but you'll just have to read it to find out why I went all "fan girl" on this book.

5/5 stars

Friday, May 10, 2013

Immortal Eclipse

Immortal EclipseImmortal Eclipse
by Sherry Soule

360 pages
Published April 19, 2013

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


A devoted fashionata and practical New Yorker, Skylar Blackwell doesn’t believe in the supernatural—until she inherits Summerwind Mansion. . . .
When her uncle is brutally murdered, and the cops seem uninterested in following up the case, Skylar journeys to California to seek answers. Her search for clues is soon overshadowed by haunting nightmares of a young woman also murdered in the house.

Now the inhabitants of Summerwind are mysteriously dying, leaving no evidence as to how or why, and Skylar finds herself in a deadly race against time to expose the killer—before they strike again.

Armed with only wit and Pradas, Skylar begins questioning the servants, but the growing list of suspects includes the sexy and brooding caretaker, Dorian Delacroix, a man desperately trying to forget his tragic past. And a major distraction for Skylar.

Determined to play detective—instead of the fashion police—and unravel the dark history of the mansion, Skylar is plunged into an otherworldly mystery that not even she can explain away. As the boundaries between reality and dreams blur, Skylar’s greatest challenge is to stay alive long enough to learn the truth.

* * *

My first impressions almost always come from -- you guessed it -- the cover. And, as always, I DO let the cover influence the way I approach the book. My first thoughts on the cover: Meh. After that, I didn't look at it again for a while. Once I got a little ways into the book, I did check out the cover again, and I could see the image on the cover being Skylar. But, well, that picture of Dorian? It's so VERY far from the way I pictured him! Kinda disappointing. Even though no two people are going to see any character exactly the same way.  :)

My favorite part of the book would have to be the setting. Summerwind is a bit spooky, and very Gothic. Very well done.

The characters -- well, to be honest, my least favorite character was the one whose eyes we're seeing the story. The other characters are quite rounded, and they all have interesting pasts and good roles to play in the book. Skylar, on the other hand, is very shallow (which she knows and comments on, which is fun), and doesn't seem to have a lot going for her - other than her love of fashion, and the fact that when she finds her uncle's death to be suspicious she decides to look into it. That's not to say she isn't a decent character, I just felt the rest of the cast out-shone her.

The mystery was interesting, but predictable. Also, I felt the pacing fluctuated and just felt off. Just my opinion -- I'm sure other people found the pacing to be perfect.

This book is worth a read just for the atmosphere -- the story is bonus from there.

4/5 stars

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero Blog Tour

The Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Genius of Little Things

The Genius of Little ThingsThe Genius of Little Things
by Larry Buhl

235 Pages
Published January 15, 2013

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sixteen-year-old Tyler’s big dream of becoming a top immunologist could come crashing down if he doesn’t manage all of the little things right now. But when this obsessive-compulsive science geek confronts a school election, a demeaning job, needy tutees, a first girlfriend, and the possible extinction of honeybees, there are suddenly too many things to manage.

Tyler’s catastrophically humorous run for high school student council convinces the principal that he’s a troublemaker, while it wins him the admiration and desire of Rachel, a smart and iconoclastic reporter for the school paper.
A new night job at a nursing home puts Tyler on a collision course with his new foster parents, a childless middle-aged couple with an agenda and a tragic past of their own. And the pain of his mother’s death becomes too big to ignore.

Set on the mean streets of suburban Las Vegas, The Genius of Little Things is about how you can’t always get what you want. But sometimes, well, you know...

* * *

This book has one of the better main characters. He's funny, smart, and focused. He doesn't get hung-up on things he doesn't understand, choosing instead to just move on.

My biggest compliment: While there were parts that were really funny, those same parts were also sad. That's really hard to do without becoming cheesy and melodramatic.

There were times I wanted to toss the book aside. Not because it was badly written, just because the story got slow, or a couple of parts weren't quite believable. It was almost impossible to connect with Tyler -- which I think was done on purpose, because that's the way Tyler is -- but it made it a little hard for me to get through.

3.5/5 stars

Thursday, May 2, 2013

By Blood

By BloodBy Blood
by Tracy E. Banghart

Published February 18, 2013

This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.

* * *

This is one of those books I accepted for review solely on the basis of the girl spending her summer at Oxford. Yep, you got me.

There were parts of this book I didn't care for, but it was VERY well done. (Which is probably why I didn't like those parts, if that makes sense.) The family drama got a bit old, but three characters totally made up for that. The first, of course, was Emma. I loved her, she was really fun and different from most of the characters I've read in a long time. Then there was Josh. He was such a sweetheart. :) Then there's Ash. She's fantastic. I'll leave it at that.

I had a few issues with Simon right off, and yes, I was right to be wary. Without going into things that will ruin the book for other readers, let's just say the word that comes to mind for him is "slimy."

Good story, great pacing, little tidbits that make it real (hello, calling the baby "Vermin" instead of Fermin? Perfect).

4/5 stars