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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2012
This is not the type of book I would normally read; however, it was free for the Kindle, so I took a chance. The plot is excellent, and the characters and dialogue are engaging enough to make the reader suspend belief.

So many 'Paranormal' books are just for soppy teenagers; this is a real exception - the plot is very grounded and the author gives several 'probable' explanations for the situations, before revealing the full backstory and climax of the book.

I haven't seen anything else by this author, but I will look out for her. Apparently, she has worked on scripts for tv, and I think that showed in her ability to write credible characters and amusing dialogue.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2012
After reading so many truly awful ebooks recently it was a real treat to come across this one.

I didn't have high hopes, the wisecracking style it is written in isn't usually my preference but the author has done some homework on her subject and it shows ( allowing for a certain amount of literary licence!). Under the frothy "whatever" style of writing it is quite a gothic little tale.

Once started I found it hard to put down and when I had to I was keen to get back so yes I throughly enjoyed it and will be looking for more from this author.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2011
I got this ebook free and it's my favourite kindle freebie so far! This is a great little ebook with some really fun, believable characters. I loved both Mara and Gus; and thought Paul made a good romantic interest. It is well written and I thought the pace perfect...in fact my only niggle is the italicised 'if only I knew' paragraphs which crop up at the end of the early chapters as if the author is worried the reader may lose interest without reminding them that things are going to get scarey! I just didn't need these as I was interested enough without them, and found they irritated me so I ended up just skipping them and I loved the story's natural build up and pacey ending. I will definitely be looking out for a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I received a complimentary audio book copy from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Toad Witch Series. I enjoyed it.

I downloaded this audio book and started listening. This story was narrated by Marie Rose. She did a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life, but I felt that her narration was a bit rushed at times.

Mara is a character I struggled to like. In fact, I wanted to strangle her myself due to her "woe is me" attitude. Granted she has not had the best of luck, what with losing her job and then her apartment, but in a way she brought these things on herself. She is a powerful witch, though I found her to be a poor lead character.

This was a story that I struggled to get into at first. I found myself a bit ambivalent to most of the characters, which saddened me. However, I did love Gus. He felt more like a lead character to me, rather than a secondary one; I loved his flamboyant and boisterous attitude.The story lagged and didn't really get interesting until Mara met Aunt Tillie at the cottage. I found myself doing a lot of eye rolling at some of the situations Mara found herself in, and was fully on Aunt Tillie's side for getting rid of her. However, that being said, it was interesting to follow Mara through the latter part of the story. I am not fully versed on the practice of Wicca, so cannot comment on whether the spells used by both Mara and Gus would actually work. However, to err on the side of caution, I would say don't use them - you could accidentally release a demon, or a power hungry witch! There are some light moments in the story which made me giggle, but there are also some dark moments that made me shudder. There are also several twists in this tale that kept the latter half of the book interesting, but there were also a few threads that were left loose and never fully explored. Perhaps these will be dealt with further in the series. Unfortunately, with all due respect to the author, I don't think I will be continuing with this series, as I just couldn't connect with the characters. Though I love paranormal stories full of humor, this book just wasn't my cup of tea. I will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide for yourselves.

Christiana Miller has written an intriguing tale. Her writing style is not particularly fast paced compared to other authors I have read, but she does have a flair for describing scenes vibrantly. Her world building was wonderful, but her characters, especially the heroine, could have done with being less helpless and had more common sense. The flow of the story was a bit erratic in the beginning, but evened out near the end.

Due to several mentions of explicit sex and sexual acts, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love paranormal romance or stories about Wicca and witches. - Lynn Worton
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2011
This was a fun read, with a few scary moments thrown in, and it kept me guessing.I liked the main character, and Gus, wasn't sure about Aunt Tillie though! I would like to see these characters again, and would def read another book by this author, job well done, I'd say!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2013
I bought this book based on the reviews here on Amazon and the fact that it was witchy and paranormal - it sounded promising. About halfway through this book, I'm taking a break, I just don't like reading it. For me personally, there is too much conversation, pages and pages of dialogue, which I found rambling. And as another reviewer said, this book doesn't know what it wants to be. Without giving away anything, some of the book is quite graphic and scary and then on then next paragraph, the main character is redecorating/eating/shopping and it feels like you're reading a different book. Not for me.
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on 9 March 2015
I have to say, I felt a bit misled by the cover of this book, which suggests a light, humorous read.
Well it isn’t. Not in my opinion. That’s not to say it wasn’t a fine read, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.
Mara is having the month from hell. She’s lost her job, is being evicted from her apartment because she’s practicing witchcraft, and her tarot cards give her nothing but death, sorrow and destruction. She even dreams the ghastly death of a woman who turns out to be her Aunt Tillie. Mara’s pretty sure she’s responsible for the fatal accident that kills Tillie, and Tillie’s inclined to agree.
When all Mara’s problems seem to be answered by her unexpected inheritance, she discovers that running in the opposite direction might actually have been the smarter idea.
Yes, this is lightweight chick-lit, but for me, too grim for most of the book to be funny. The outstanding character is Mara’s best friend, Gus, who reminds me strongly of Lafayette from True Blood, although this gay witch is in perfect control of his powers, and revels in them. He is outrageous, has the best lines, and is a staunch friend to the damsel in distress.
The character I felt was least used, leaving me somewhat disappointed, was Grundleshanks, the toad. I kept expecting him to DO something, other than excrete hallucinogenic slime onto his skin. Ah well…
So in summary, this is a well written book, with great dialogue. The plot is a little slow to get going, although the interaction between the lead characters carries you along. I was just expecting more humour than I got, based on the cartoonish cover.
Perhaps my British sense of humour is letting me down. If you like a light paranormal read, you might find it funnier than me.
I enjoyed it enough that I will read the next one, so recommended if comic(?) horror is your type of genre.
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on 19 August 2014
This is the first book I've read by Christiana Miller and I'm glad I have. I completely agree with all the reviews by both readers and authors, and to add my own thoughts...

It's good to see most of the reviews are highly in favour of this book. It's well written with very well developed characters that are truly likeable. The pace changes keeping it interesting and yes there is a lot of dialogue which for me is a plus as I'd rather learn about the characters from themselves rather than be told about them. It's a light easy read which draws you into its story to the point where you don't want to put it down and the paramormal angle has been researched making it all a plausible and very entertaining read. I studied Literature but am in no way a book snob. Every genre has its place as long as it's well written. Some may prefer to stay with a couple of genres but if you have a wide based reading, it's good to have a well written, well developed novel that's fun to read to brighten the tone after some heavier novels.Which is why I bought this book as I'm always on the lookout for those lighter works of a good standard. Very much looking forward to the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2012
Not normally my cup of tea but took a punt as it was free for Kindle. Very glad I did as very likeable characters (particularly enjoyed Gus). Raced along and read it in one sitting. Did feel sorry for the toad at the end though, as even his character grew on me! Would like to see the sequel available in UK - as far as I can see, it is only available on amazon.com.
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on 22 August 2014
This was kind of kooky and unexpected for me. There were times when I was reading it that I didn't enjoy it, and some things that annoyed me about it, but there were so many great moments and unexpected twists too, that I feel it rightly deserves five stars.

The bad points: Aunt Tillie, she's irritating and I couldn't understand why the heroine was so tolerant
- The frog, it was like his part got cut and so he only managed a couple of walk on moments, despite being quite key in the end
- The neighbour and the landlord at the beginning, how could she be okay with it?
- being drugged by her best friend, so not okay!
- no explanation regarding the egg, I was very curious about what caused the colour!

The good: The evil ancestor, I won't say any more for fear of spoiling, but she was a character and a half
- the best friend, another well written personality
- the back drop of the cottage, totally brought to life in the writing
- the ending, nice twists and turn and good result all round
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