Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Vlad: The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys

Just a few real facts I would like to toss out first:

Dracula. Most know this name because of the famous book written by Bram Stoker. However, the man was not a made up being. No, he was not a vampire; though he was considered bloodthirsty. The real man, Vlad III Prince of Wallachia, ruled mostly from 1456 to 1462. He was known as Vlad the Impaler. Why was he considered such a name? Like I already mentioned the man was bloodthirsty. He was known to kill by impaling his 'victims' (they were at war so you can't really call them victims, just the other side of the war). Vlad would impale by inserting a sharpened pole into the bottom of the body and leaving the pole at such an angle that the pole would slowly fully impale the person until he died.

This sounds extremely vicious and gross, I know. But just keep in mind that this was in the 1450s, which was a very long time ago where people were well... different. Vlad might have been more bloodthirsty than most, but that may never be solved, for many cases may never have been documented.

Ok, now that I have spilt my 'knowledge' at you so you have a bit of background information, we shall go on to the review of the book.


For some reason I thought the book was a biography of Vladimir the Impaler's life. I was looking forward to reading it. I had previously watched on the history channel a series on the real Dracula. It was interesting and as I said I was looking forward to reading more about him.

However, the book is not a biography on Vladimir. No, it is a story with some 'facts' about the real man. The novel "is a reinterpretation of the 'facts' that led history to remember Vlad Dracula as a monster".

That said, while I was not as excited with this change in the tide, I still continued to read the book. I was not overly happy with it, but it was an ok read. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but it wasn't too bad.

**I was sent a copy of the book in order to write a real and honest review. I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own.**

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Murder Takes The Cake by Gayle Trent

A routine cake delivery becomes a culinary nightmare when a small-town baker discovers her first client’s dead body in this irresistible new mystery series.

It’ll take more than a little sugar to convince folks Daphne Martin’s freshly baked spice cake was not to blame for the mysterious death of town gossip Yodel Watson. Getting her new cake decorating business, Daphne’s Delectable Cakes, off the ground is hard enough now that Daphne’s moved back to her southern Virginia hometown, but orders have been even slower since she found Yodel’s body. She soon realizes, however, that just about everybody in town had a reason to poison the cantankerous busybody, from the philandering pet shop owner, to Yodel’s church potluck nemesis, to the Save-A-Buck’s cranky produce manager-turned-bagger. Now, to help prove she’s no confectionery killer, Daphne recruits her old flame, Ben Jacobs, editor of the local newspaper, and quickly stirs up a long-hidden family scandal that just might hold the secret ingredient she needs to solve the case. All she’s got to do is roll up her sleeves and get her hands a little dirty before the real culprit decides that taking sweet revenge on Daphne will be icing on the cake. (Details taken from the back of the book.)

Murder Takes The Cake is written in first-person narration, which isn't my favorite angle, but that's ok, I've worked with it fine before.  There were times when I thought to myself though, 'wow I am really getting bored'.  There were some moments though that picked up some.

There was quite a bit of time spent going on about making cakes and references to cakes.  That's just fine and dandy if you want to talk of them for a moment or two throughout the book; the woman is supposed to have a cake business after all.  However, I was bored with all of the references and the time spent of the cakes.  The one thing I liked though about the whole cake processes is that at the end of the book, Trent gives you a few of the recipes that her character makes.  And, you can get more of her recipes on her website, which is nice.

The story line was rather skeletal and blah.  It definitely could have been spiced up to give it some life.  The suspense was lacking (this is supposed to be a mystery, cozy or not!)  As far as the murder case that Daphne is suppose to solve, well, there really wasn't much of a case.  The 'mystery' lacked the tension, the 'oh what will happen next', it lacked drama as well, something a good mystery should obtain. 

Characters were ok, nothing too special.  There was some unexplained bits though.  Like why some of Daphne's odder neighbors had their quirky traits, and why did Daphne have a strained relationship with her mom?  These are just a few examples to let you understand what I mean when I say this.

Overall- I cannot give this book praise.  It lacked quite a bit and needs a major facelift.  Although, I do like the cover, it's cute.
Rating- Don't Bother

**I was sent a free copy of the book in order to write a real and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  I was not paid to write this review.**

Friday, May 6, 2011

Free Ebooks!

Sourcebooks is having another awesome promotion with some FREE ebooks!

You can download them via Kindle, Borders, Sony Ereader, Nook and many more..

You can go to the main page for Sourcebooks to see all the promotion info.

Some of the FREE ebooks are:

One Lucky Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
SEALed with a Kiss by Mary Marget Daughtridge
Secret in Salem by Sheri Anderson