Living Dead Lovers by Jonathan Dunne

living dead lovers

 

With a story full of gypsies, ghosts, mental health issues, love, death, outcast animals, and family issues; how could you go wrong? You can’t. Not in my opinion anyway. I loved every page of this book.

In this fictional tale, Valentina “Cabbage” Moone has written her autobiography which may or may not be used in an educational syllabus with select edits. No worries, Cabbage lets you know what areas should be omitted for educational use. She tells her life story from conception to how she came to fall for her dead lover. Literally and metaphorically.

With a helplessly romantic father and feisty gypsy of a mother, Cabbage has her hands full. But the living aren’t the only ones she has to deal with. She also has a gift passed down from her gypsy white-witch grandmother; she can communicate with the dead. In the first days of her life she meets her guardian angel and that is only the beginning of what is to come.

This tragicomedy novel will have you laughing and cringing at the same time as you follow Cabbage on her adventure through life, as short lived as it may be. With the setting in the European countries of Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain; this book had me reminiscing of my time spent in Europe and longing to visit again.

I found it especially unique that Cabbage speaks directly to the Reader. Yes, you, the actual reader of the book. This offbeat, fresh, funny, and lively (or not so lively in some cases, he-he) book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It is part coming-of-age tale, part paranormal mystery, and part tragicomedy that had me reading late into the night.

U.S. readers need to put Irish author Jonathan Dunne on their radar. You will not be disappointed. I gave it a ‘5 star’ rating and would highly recommend to all readers, especially ones that enjoy zany characters and a wild ride.

Find all of Jonathan Dunne’s work here (Kindle versions on sale for $0.99 each! As of the date of this post only, no guarantees):

Living Dead Lovers

Balloon Animals

Hearts Anonymous

The Nobody Show

Hide the Elephant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Butterfly Garden

I would like to give a special thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer (publisher) for providing me with a free copy of The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison in exchange for an honest review.

Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

I finally got approved for my first NetGalley book! As a new blogger I am stoked to have been chosen to give a review. I got so used to seeing my requests denied that I didn’t quite know what to think when I saw an email saying my wish had been granted. “They like me, they really like me” pretty much sums up the huge grin on my face.

First thing is first, if you like horror or thrillers, you NEED to get his book stat.

I first saw this book on Amazon and added to my to-read list on Goodreads immediately. I was back and forth on purchasing it, looking at it on Amazon every other day trying to decide. The only thing that was holding me back is the fact that I have 150+ books on my shelves at home to read and I tend to get a little carried away with over purchasing. This month I have been trying to rein in my book addict purchases. Logging in to NetGalley to request a few books, there it was again, calling my name. I decided to request it and lucky me I got approved. I feel like it was some sort of book fate that this book landed in my hands.

I downloaded it immediately and got started. Once started I couldn’t stop. What an addicting read! I flew through this book in 2 days. A book of this length would typically take me 3 to 4 days based on the amount of time I can dedicate to reading. But I found myself glued to the couch reading way too late into the night, unable to put it down, dreading work in the morning due to lack of sleep. I had to know what happened in the butterfly garden. I had to know about the Butterflies. I had to know about the Gardner.

This book put a strong grip on me. It’d definitely been a long time since I was so intrigued with a novel in the horror genre. I love horror and/or thrillers, but lately I found most the books I read lacking an undefined uniqueness and tended to stray away from them after the last couple of lackluster reads. This book has me itching for another great horror read.

The writing was quick and easy to read, but don’t let that lead you to think the story wasn’t complex. The characters each had their own depth and complexity. The author was able to project such clear ideas and scenes. I saw the garden, knew the Butterflies, and felt the presence of the Gardner. In fact, at times I felt like I was one of the FBI agents and wanted to scream “Tell us what happened in the garden Maya!” It was during these times that I kept telling myself I would go to sleep after the next page, the next page, the next page.

I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend to anyone that enjoys a great horror/thriller. Just make sure your schedule is clear when you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down.

The kindle book is a steal at $4.99 on Amazon and is available free for Kindle Unlimited members. So go ahead and break your book budget, you won’t regret it. I know now that I would have really regretted passing on this one. Dot Hutchinson is on my radar now, I can’t wait for another book from her.

 

Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Find it here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14748.Good_in_Bed

Description from Goodreads: For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

I don’t usually read the typical “chick-lit” books that many are fans of. Mostly because I don’t like all the whiny, woe-is-me, and why-can’t-I-find-a-man story lines. I did take a chance on this novel because my mother gave me free rein to order 10 audiobooks for us using her account. I wanted to get us a wide variety of books and try a few new authors. I have seen several of Jennifer Weiner’s novels around at book stores and library sales, so I thought I would take a chance and try it.

I wasn’t expecting much going in; especially after the recent flop when I listening to Big Girl by Danielle Steel. I knew that the book wouldn’t be a life changing read. I simply wanted something somewhat light and the plus-size protagonist had me intrigued. Good in Bed turned out to be what I had wanted and expected from Big Girl. I felt her struggle with weight was more realistic and I bonded to the character much more.

I rated it 3 of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a simple read (or listen in this case).