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.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prophecy Girl

Prophecy Girl 

(Lacuna Valley #1)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Texting Through TIme

Texting Through Time: John Taylor and the Mystery Puzzle

Monday, March 25, 2013

Confessions of a Cereal Mother

Confessions of a Cereal Mother: True Stories to Let Every Mother Know She's Not Alone in the Craziness


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Emilie and the Hollow World

Emilie and the Hollow WorldEmilie and the Hollow World
by Martha Wells

287 pages
Published April 2, 2013

This is a pre-release review. Many thanks to the publisher, Strange Chemistry, for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

* * *

Such a great story! And, even if you're not very familiar with steampunk, you'll appreciate the story just for the adventure. After all, who hasn't ever dreamed of running away and having a spectacular time?

Emilie is an impressive character, who was brave enough to run away from her aunt and uncle. When she's in the wrong place at the wrong time and is inadvertently taken on a voyage to the inside of the planet, she shows her mettle, jumping into battles, rescuing people, and having an impressive journey.

The writing is spectacular, and Ms. Wells easily carries the reader into the depths of their imagination.

4.5/5 stars

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Poison Me Blog Tour


Poison Me by Cami CheckettsJake Merrill was raised by his grandmother, Ruby, and her hilarious friends. After a suspicious death at the retirement home where Ruby lives, she enlists Jake and Chanel, the beautiful activities director, to help her find the killer.
But secrets Ruby has kept for decades threaten her family and the man she’s always loved but could never have. Chanel’s unstable ex-boyfriend, a presumably dead relative, and vicious criminals add to the confusion. Time is running out as Jake, Chanel, and Ruby desperately search for clues to solve the murders and fight to save those they love.

* * *

We're lucky enough today to be able to share with you an excerpt from  Poison Me, by Cami Checketts. So, without further ado, here we go!

Ruby's soul filled with despair. "You know nothing about me or how I think."
"I know a little bit," Michael drawled, offering her the grin that won her over as a teenager. "I know you like mayonnaise better than Miracle Whip."
Ruby rolled her eyes, but her insides quivered at the knowledge that he remembered something about her from so long ago.
Michael continued, "I know you hate it when men whistle at you."
Ruby grunted, catching a smile before it slipped out and betrayed her. "That doesn't happen much anymore."
Michael's gaze warmed her soul. "Then the men are blind."
She had to smile at that.
He edged closer. "I know on warm July nights you like to snuggle on a rowboat, in the middle of Glendale Reservoir, under a starlit sky."
Ruby lowered her head to hide the pink inching up her face.
Michael cupped her chin with the palm of his hand, lowering his face within inches of hers. "I know that when I kiss you, your eyelids flutter like you're having a good dream."
A dream she'd had many a time since their last kiss.

My Review:
This book is not quite my "normal" reading fare. You see, it's been a while since I've read something that takes place at a retirement center. That said, this is a fun book, with great humor and better characters. It's a fast, easy read.

4/5 stars

Author Cami Checketts

Cami is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She's never been happier.
A portion of the proceeds from Cami's books will be donated to The Child & Family Support Center. For more information on this worthy cause, please go to

Book Blog
Fitness Blog

Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 doTERRA Oil basket and $35 wholesale membership, $50 Kate Ryan Skincare GC, $50 Amazon GC.  Ends 3/30/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Monday, March 18, 2013


Flash Flash
by Barbara Morgenroth

Published September 29, 2012

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

When Kip “I lied about being 18 for so long, it seemed like the truth” Chanin, arrives in Los Angeles with her mother who wants to work in Hollywood, it doesn’t take her long to understand that this is a factory town and the product is an illusion. To help support her two-person family, Kip grits her teeth, puts aside being a news photographer and becomes a paparazzi.

Kip’s first photo is of Alex Milne, the handsome and volatile young actor. That one photo changes both their lives. An evening being detained in the Beverly Hills Police Station expands Kip’s world and opportunities both wanted and unwanted confront her. To lasting shock and pain, Kip learns the identity of her father and she sets out to solve a murder that’s been gossiped about in Hollywood for the last 80 years, tainting the Milne family to the present day.

One thing Kip learns to her core is that life is real even in a city dedicated to creating illusions.

PG-13 Some mature themes

* * *

This is a very well-written book, with a story that pulls you in and doesn't let go. I read it in a single day, and loved every minute of it. And it's been simmering in my mind ever since.

There's so much to love about this book: Great, real-to-life characters, some you root for, others you want to finally get their due. A little mystery, which is set up to continue in the next book. Romance, even if you sometimes want to slap the guy upside the head (this is great, it means I was very involved!).

I'd love to go on and on about this book, but I'm afraid I'd give away some important things. So instead, I'll just say this: Read it. You won't regret it.

5+ stars

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Eternal (Sons of Heaven, #1)
by Virginia Hust

346 pages
Published January 7, 2013

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

Three hundred years of penance, of suffering through an immortal life has left Maura praying for salvation. She joins a group bent on gaining back their souls by awakening The One and after a rather bleak few years in Cairo she thinks they’ve found him. But after a meeting with her sire goes terribly wrong she is trapped in the enemy camp. How far will she go to survive? Gabriel is a normal, if rather jaded private detective living in Seattle Washington, until a beautiful woman shows up at his practice, claiming to be a vampire and asking for his help. Suddenly his life is turned on its head as he is introduced to the underground society of Fallen Angels bent on finding their savior.

* * *

It happened again: I was drawn to a book through the cover art.

When I started this book, I expected to like it, if for no other reason than the blurb mentions Cairo. (I have to admit, I was disappointed that only a tiny fraction of the book took place there. I was expecting more.)

Total honesty here. I felt like the vampires in this book take themselves way too seriously. Not really a problem, but it felt heavy-handed at times. Also, it was a bit much to have the vampires, and fallen angels, and the devil, and God, all rolled together. Cut even one thing out, and I feel it would have held together better.

If you like getting to see snippets of the world, you'll enjoy the fact that there's a lot of travel in this book. While we don't get to see much of these places, we do get a really good feel for them.

One of the best parts of this book, in my opinion, is the way that Maura behaves and learns to deal with being a prisoner. The concessions she makes and her attempts at manipulation are very believable.

3/5 stars

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tears of Min Brock

Tears of Min BrockTears of Min Brock (War of Whispers, #1)
by J.E. Lowder

Published September 21, 2012
388 pages

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

Areall crept toward the parchment as if an evil spirit possessed it. “Its beauty is its deception,” she whispered. “Burn it, child. Destroy it or you will curse us. The Cauldron will know. The Cauldron will see. They will come.”

Elabea calmly lifted the parchment from the coals, where it had refused to burn. “How can something so beautiful be evil?”

The Dark War is over. Betrayal, defeat and death forever accompany any mention of the battlefield known as Min Brock. The shining kingdom of Claire is no more. Any hint of rebellion is supressed by the constant drone that echoes throughout the land. The Oracles of the Council of Ebon, the dark lords who feed the perpetual flames of the Cauldron, forbid even mentioning the name of the Only, the King of Claire, on pain of death.

Yet in the night... a whisper comes to Elabea, a girl of 14 summers, who hears and dares to believe there might be more to life than the drone. Accompanied by her lifelong friend, Galadin, Elabea embarks on a dangerous journey to become one of the most powerful creatures in the land - a storyteller. Along the way she must learn to discern the true whisper of Claire from the counterfeit whisper of Ebon. One might lead her to restore light and life to a world ruled by darkness. The other leads to certain death.

The War of Whispers has begun.

* * *

I'm not quite sure where to start with this one. When I first read the blurb, I thought "Great, that could be really good." Then I started reading it. And I struggled. I really wanted to like it, but neither the characters nor the plot were able to hold my attention. However, this could be because I didn't have a lot of reading time and could only read the first part in small snatches.

The idea for this story was very well-thought-out, and had all the aspects necessary for a good fantasy. I can't put my finger on why it didn't work for me.

If you're a fan of fantasy, you should give it a try.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Keeper's Curse

The Keeper's Curse (The Keeper's Curse, #1)The Keeper's Curse (The Keeper's Curse, #1)
by Diana Harrison

Published November 13, 2012

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

After fifteen-year-old Emmy Rathers unintentionally summons a strange glowing cloud during a break-in, her mother rips her from her home, her father, and her world, forever.

When she lands in the rustic, militant land of Methelwood, she is told she's a crafter - a person who can perform magic by conjuring souls of the dead. But starting life over normally in the midst of grieving for the life she has left behind, while at the same time attempting to fit in in her new war-obsessed school, becomes impossible when she begins to hear a voice in her head. Complicating the matter further is the fact that the voice belongs to a boy at school named Breckin, who just also happens to be the most powerful crafter in the world, and the future ruler of Methelwood.

But that's not the worst part - suddenly Breckin's most hostile adversary is coming out of the shadows and trying to kill her. With no other choice, Emmy must travel deeper into this bizarre, dark world she is so unfamiliar with to find out why this is happening to her, and more importantly, how to stay alive.

* * *

Yes, I decided to read this book based on the cover. Then I read the blurb. Maybe some of you can walk (or scroll) right by a coold cover, but I can't.

The story. Well, it's a little of this, and a little of that. Fantasy, fighting/action, a little romance, some twists, world-hopping, you name it. It's kind of a mish-mash that shouldn't work, but does.

There were some interesting things, such as the attitude the crafters have about humans (they're so much better that casters shouldn't be allowed to associate with them, etc.) that add depth to the world Ms. Harrison has built.

I'm very excited to see where the story goes from here, and what twists are in store.

4/5 stars