RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


Review: Girl's Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky

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Girl's Guide to Witchcraft (Jane Madison #1) by Mindy Klasky
Urban Fantasy, Chick-lit Witches
Trade (RED DRESS INK, 432 pages, $13.95)
ISBN# 0373896077
Which is more unlikely?
Meeting a single, straight, reasonably attractive, willing-to-commit man?
Or discovering a secret cache of magic books?
For good-girl Jane Madison, neither has a shot in hell of coming true -- until the day she finds a hidden room...
Now she's done a bit of experimenting and found a spell that makes her irresistible to men -- even those who have previously ignored her. And another that turns a cat into her witch's familiar (a snarky, critical, self-absorbed man -- pretty much a typical male). Though her impulsive acts of magic have brought a warder (sexy, grouchy, elusive and determined to stop her from using magic) down on her, Jane's not willing to let go of this fantastic new life.
Though she wonders about having things that aren't "real," she's having too much fun to stop. After all, no one ever said being a witch was easy...

Author Site:

Witchy Good Chick-lit (5 stars)

What would you do if you discovered a secret room full of dusty, ancient books filled with "magic spells" in your new apartment? Certainly not read one of them out loud. Unless you're Jane Madison, librarian at the Peabridge Free Library in Georgetown. Afterall, Jane specializes in colonial tomes and these certainly look old enough to be an old collection worth learning more about. Until the spell turns that funky cat statue into a walking, talking man with designs on making a snack of Stupid Fish, the neon tetra her ex-fiance gave her. If that isn't the way to make her regret her careless reading the visit from her new Warder, David Montrose, certainly is.

Jane has to choose whether to learn the magic she's unleashed or give up not only the stash of spell books and magical paraphenalia littering her basement but her newly awakened familiar too. Could being a librarian and a witch be such a bad thing? Surely a little charm casting to improve her luck with the man she's been lusting after wouldn't be wrong. Now if only there were a way to keep using her magic without getting herself into trouble!

Now this is one that just hit the spot. I'm not a real big chick-lit reader but it blends so well with witch stories that this one was a real treat. Jane definitely has some moments where she seems too-stupid-to-live when it comes to men but haven't we all had those moments? Her commitment to her librarian job and her love of it are cute, if a little boring at times. Still, she manages, through her strongly written voice, to make a reader care about what happens both to the library and her romantic life. Though a bit cliched, her overtly gay familiar makes for lots of funny moments. Meanwhile her love interests bring a lot of conflict that isn't fully resolved by the end of the book but will definitely lure readers into the next book.

If you're in the market for something different from the dark or erotic urban fantasy and paranormal romances out there this one is worth a read. It's light without being too fluffy and paranormal without being gloom and doomy. Jane isn't a blank slate could-be-any-girl character, yet she manages to be highly likable and genuine. Enjoy!


Might be slow on the blog scene for a bit.

Argh! I was hoping it wouldn't come down to this but as they say, every pregnancy is different. My first was very much a breeze in comparison to all I've gone through this time around. That said I really have been trying to at least keep up with my reading. Reviewing and such has fallen by the wayside a bit. My apologies!

As it happens I am not due until late October but I've had some recent complications that've left me stuck in bed most of the time. When I'm not lying down reading, napping or salivating over my guilty pleasure (Food Network) I'm trying to get everything ready for the little one we're hoping to welcome soon... but not too soon!

I hope all you readers out there are enjoying your reading and visiting lots of other terrific book blogs. In fact, it'd be awesome if you commented to share some of your favorites with me for when I have some more time down the road to blog and read other blogs. :)

I finished two interesting young adult books this week. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, a werewolf romance, and Sucks to Be Me: The All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton, Teen Vampire (maybe) by Kimberly Pauley, a really lovable, humorous vampire story. I put their reviews up over on Amazon.com as they were Vine program reads so feel free to check out my profile there to see what I thought of them. I have a huge stack of paranormals from Vine to get read including Gena Showalter's The Darkest Whisper and Intertwined so wish me luck getting caught up with all my reading for both blog and Amazon. ;)

And, of course, all the positive vibes you can send my way are much appreciated while I wait out this pseudo-bedrest situation I am in. Will hopefully be doing better by month's end and can get some reviewing of these witch stories done! TTFN!
-- Rhi


Review: Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell

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Secondhand Spirits (Witchcraft Mysteries #1) by Juliet Blackwell
Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Witches
Hardcover (CLARION BOOKS, 336 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 045122745X
Love the vintage- not the ghosts
Lily Ivory feels that she can finally fit in somewhere and conceal her "witchiness" in San Francisco. It's there that she opens her vintage clothing shop, outfitting customers both spiritually and stylistically.
Just when things seem normal, a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area. Lily has a good idea that some bad phantoms are behind it. Can she keep her identity secret, or will her witchy ways be forced out of the closet as she attempts to stop the phantom?

Author Site:

Witchcraft + Vintage Clothes = A Ghostly Good Mystery (4 stars)

Opening a vintage clothing shop—Aunt Cora's Closet—in San Francisco was supposed to be a way to be settled and make a new life for Lily Ivory. The shop has drawn a good clientele and even gets featured in the paper when she gets drawn into a tangled mystery. A little girl has been kidnapped and a woman that Lily was trying to protect winds up dead leading the police to suspect she may be involved. She has to not only prove her own innocence but rescue the little girl from a heinous evil even if it means risking her own life in the process.

Backing Lily up in her quest are unlikely allies from Aiden Rhodes, a male witch of considerable power, and Max Carmichael, a handsome debunker of the paranormal, to Bronwyn, who sells herbs from Lily's shop, and her coven.

Can't give too much away without spoiling the mystery but this was a very satisfying book. Lily is an unusual character and very little of her history is revealed. For a reader looking for a character they can get to know through-out a series Lily makes a great one to follow. What hints we're given certainly made me hungry to find out what lead her to where she is and why she has some of the attitudes she has. Though a little frustrating at first her lack of friends and people she lets close changes through the story and those she begins to let in are for the most part pretty interesting.

There is also the contrast of a more magical (paranormally gifted) witchcraft system and Wicca I think many readers will be drawn to this book and series. I was looking for non-Wiccan witchcraft myself but I think both were treated very well by the author. The mystery itself was a little predictable but not to the point it wasn't entertaining. I had never heard of the evil spirit the plot focuses on by the name given here but she is a very familiar one in many cultures and makes for a really creepy villain.

On the whole Secondhand Spirits didn't cast a love spell over me but I liked it a lot. This is definitely the first book of a series with potential to entertain mystery readers and paranormal fans alike. A terrific read for a rainy October afternoon! Don't forget to check out the second Witchcraft Mystery book, Cast-off Coven, due out summer 2010.


Review: Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

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Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Young Adult, Time Travel, Witches
Hardcover (CLARION BOOKS, 304 pages, $16.00)
ISBN# 0547223994
Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.
Author Site:

Likable but something's just missing... (4 stars)

Living up to a family legacy of magic isn't easy for Tamsin Greene. Upon her birth her grandmother claimed she would be one of the most Talented witches the family had yet seen. Until her eighth birthday came and went without her Talent manifesting itself. She sees herself as an outsider among the very gifted witches in her family, particularly her elder sister Rowena who has the ability to control others with her voice. Attending a boarding school in New York City is a welcome escape from the constant reminder that she is the family pariah except for her summer vacation where she returns home to help out at the family bookshop. When a strange but compelling man comes to the Greene family's bookshop hoping to hire one of them to find a missing family heirloom Tamsin decides not to reveal that she has no Talent. If she can somehow find this object maybe she can prove useful to the family.

Getting her childhood friend, Gabriel, whom she hasn't seen in several years, to help sends the two back through time to retrieve the missing item. But when their plans go awry and the heirloom proves to be more than just a beloved trinket Tamsin puts herself and those she loves at risk. She will learn family secrets and unravel deceptions that could be a blessing or a curse depending on how she uses this knowledge and ultimately comes into her own.

If you love witch stories like I do, Once a Witch isn't one to easily pass up. Though certainly not in any way truly comparable to the much beloved Harry Potter series there is a certain flavor about this one that I found reminded me of them. Like the Weasley family of Potter fame, Tamsin's large, eccentric family of gifted magic weilders is easy to fall in love with. Tamsin's kooky Aunt Beatrice in particular provided comic relief and charm. Seeing them through Tamsin's eyes, however, and her feeling of being rejected for her lack of Talent will have most readers wondering just what went wrong.

I did anticipate that time traveling would play a slightly larger role in this plot based on the premise. These scenes are well written but not as involved as I would have liked to have seen. This is one area where the book fails to deliver to my satisfaction. Where this is made up for in my opinion is in the fact that on the whole the plot isn't completely predictable. I often catch on to the twists before they happen and with this one I was able to get surprised which was really refreshing.

Overall, I didn't love this book. It had some flaws that detracted from the storyline in ways that frustrated me and left me feeling as if there should have been much more to the book. But it was generally enjoyable and if MacCullough continues to write about Tamsin or her family I would be happy to dive into their world for another!


RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading [09/11-09/13]

Is it Friday yet? It is? Woohoo!

Maybe it's just me but even with the holiday it has been one long and busy week. But you can feel autumn creeping up around here. There was frost on the grass Thursday morning! Got to enjoy the not-too-hot, not-too-cold weekend the Weather Channel insists we're going to have. Which means getting in some grocery shopping and housework. My desk looks like a bomb went off on it, perhaps it's due for another sorting and cleaning? ;)

What's everyone out there in blogland got planned?

I'm almost finished with Secondhand Spirits which has been pretty good so far. I'm hoping I can get it complete and finish that stalled review for Once a Witch over the weekend. I'm also reading an ARC I got from the Vine program over at Amazon.com called Girl in the Arena. The premise just really blew me away and though the narrative is a little odd I really am enjoying the book, it's smart but still entertaining which not all YA fic manages to do. Since next week is Vine week I will probably focus mostly on GITA until it's done so I can review it before Thursday. Then it'll be back to Witches! But which book to read next? The other four I have sitting here are more romance than urban fantasy so it's a hard choice. I may have to let random.org help me pick if I get stumped. :P I want to read them all NOW! As I often say "too many books, not enough time".

Whatever your plans and reading is this weekend hope it is a terrific one!
-- Rhi


Spotlight: Linda Wisdom's "Hex" Series

Choosing a series to spotlight this month was EASY! Linda Wisdom's Hex series was a no-brainer.

Back when I first started this blog I had a chance to review an advanced copy of the second book in this series but since I'd never read the first I passed it up. Now there are four—soon to be six—in the series and I'm kicking myself! Why? Because when I went to sit down and choose which books to read and review this month Linda's Hex series was the first to come to mind but the first couple were out of print! Fortunately they've just gone for another round at the printers so you can get your hot little hands on them now. :D Yay!

I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about the plot of the series overall. But what I do know is that these books blend romance, humor and mystery well enough that they're well loved. It is definitely one series I will get around to as soon as I can! So check them out and if you like them let me know. :) And don't forget, you can find out more about the author, her series and the next two unprinted titles by visiting her website: www.lindawisdom.com.
-- Rhi

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50 Ways to Hex Your Lover (Hex #1) by Linda Wisdom
Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Witches
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 374 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 140221085X
Jazz can't decide whether to scorch him with a fireball or jump into bed with him.
Jasmine Tremaine, a witch who can't stay out of trouble.
Nikolai Gregorivich, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop on the trail of a serial killer.
The sizzling love affair between Jazz and Nick has been off-again, on-again-for about 300 years. Mostly off, lately. But now Nick needs Jazz's help, and while Jazz and Nick try to figure out their own hearts and resist their ever-increasing attraction, they must steer clear of a maniacal killer with super-supernatural powers. They are surrounded by a hilarious cast of oddball paranormal characters, including Irma, the chain-smoking ghost who haunts Jazz's sports car, Dweezil, her ghoul of a boss, and Fluff and Puff, a pair of bunny slippers with sharp teeth and short tempers (watch your ankles)!

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Hex Appeal (Hex #2) by Linda Wisdom
Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Witches
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402214006
The second book in the Hex series features feisty witch Jazz and her drop-dead gorgeous vampire cop boyfriend in a new installment. On again, off again for over 300 years, Jazz and Nick are finally back together, but then Jazz thinks Nick has bitten her. Separated again, upset and angry, the two of them start having violent, recurring dreams in which each one figures in disturbing and menacing ways. They can't sleep, they can't eat, and they finally figure out they'd better get together and discover who's poisoning their dreams-and their relationship.
Full of the fantastic secondary characters that Linda Wisdom's fans know and love, including Jazz's sister witches and a cast of delectable supernatural male characters, Hex Appeal is fun and funny paranormal romance at its best.

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Wicked By Any Other Name (Hex #3) by Linda Wisdom
Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Witches
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 384 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402217730
Stasi Romanov uses just a little witch magic in her lingerie shop, running a brisk side business in love charms. A disgruntled customer threatening to sue over a failed love spell brings Trevor Barnes to town. Trevor's the best attorney around, and he just happens to be a wizard. Everyone knows that witches and wizards make a volatile combination—sure enough, the sparks fly and almost everyone's getting singed. Add to that Cupid playing a practical joke, a lunar eclipse that nearly precipitates a witch hunt, and some very mysterious goings on at the magical lake, and the feisty witch and gorgeous wizard have more than simply a possible lawsuit on their hands. Can they overcome their objections and settle out of court—and in the bedroom?

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Hex in High Heels (Hex #4) by Linda Wisdom (Releases October 2009)
Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Witches
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 352 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402218192
In this sexy, funny paranormal romance by bestselling author Linda Wisdom, it's all beautiful witch Blair Fitzpatrick can do to keep a lid on her talent for revenge spells, but things are about to get a lot more complicated...
Blair loves running her vintage shop and hanging out with witchy friends Stasi and Jazz. She's forever had a crush on hunky carpenter Jake Harrison, whose Were nature (he's a Border collie) makes him loyal, lovable, and fierce when need be. Just as sparks are beginning to fly, Blair is served with a big surprise when Jake's mother shows up along with his pack leader, who threatens to make Jake heel! When the alpha does the unthinkable, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!


How can I possibly compete with this?

Oh good gravy my dear readers! Just got in from a mile long walk in the dark—trying to combat the evil that is gestational diabetes—and thought I'd take a few minutes to scan the book blogging world. I really need to add to my list but it's so easy to enjoy the collective here on Blogger with ease.

As I scrolled through my dashboard I happened upon what I thought was intended as a straight-forward (if a little weird) incident that the clever Katiebabs was weighing in about. As I read along I thanked my lucky stars that none of my readers were sending me (or my blog's mascot... oh wait, I don't have one of those... hmmm, perhaps we need one!) advice queries. But, alas, I was drawn right into the hilarious trap and laughed so hard it hurt. It is to this gut busting laugh that I must encourage you all (of the 17 and older persuasion as the post contains mature-ish subject matter) to go read The Demon King Love Doctor Is In Da House.

So sorry if you get offended or cannot appreciate the humor but I personally love such irreverence and fun poking!
-- Rhi


RhiReading Feature: Weekend Reading (& Giveaway Winner!)

TGIF! Alas I spent most of the day out of town and away from my computer. Thus I hadn't yet had time to sit down and announce our Guest Blog from Monday's prize winner.

Random.org has spoken and Wanda is our winner! Wanda if you would please drop me an email to always.and.never AT gmail DOT com with your shipping info I'll get your books out to you ASAP. :D

So what is everyone working on reading this weekend?

With the extended weekend and my husband stuck at work the entire time no camping trips or vacations for me so I fully intend to take advantage of laying in bed to finish up Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough which I was sooo close to finishing last night. Then I'm going to get started on Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell. It's been a long time since I read a mystery-mystery so it should be a fun change of pace.

Hope everyone who gets to enjoy a Labor Day rest has a good time and that everyone's weekend reading time is grand!
-- Rhi


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