Thursday, April 29, 2010

Enter to Win...

I received an email for chances to win all of these items. Just click on the pictures. Good Luck

Check out the Guest House

Matt Garry and his parents JoLee Gene lived in a trailer park. It is not the best of circumstances but they make do. Besides they are kind of a broken family. Matt never really got to know his father until about kindergarden. He dad was always on the road. JoLee works as a massage therapist. It is at her job that she meets Melba Burns. Melba is in need of a friend.

It has only been a short while since the incident that changed Melba’s life but she will never forget it. She was driving home one day, when she witnessed a truck back into a man on a bike. The man was thrown through the air, where he landed in a bloody heap. The man died in Melba’s arms.

This one event changes Melba’s outlook on the rest of her life. She quits her job, gets rid of her vehicle, and moves into a quiet farm house.

I thought the Guest House started out strong. Sadly for some reason I didn’t really find this book to my liking, the first time around. Yes, you heard me right. It took me two times to read this book. Usually I won’t do that as my instincts are pretty accurate. The first time, I had to re-read paragraphs as I couldn’t get myself into liking this book as much as I tried. I did finish it was a struggle. The Guest House was to become an uninvited guest but after reading many other peoples thoughts, which again I don’t do until after I have written my thoughts, made me decide to try this book out one more time.

Sometimes second chances are worth it. I felt a better connection with Melba, JoLee and Matt. The characters in this story could be your neighbors. They were filled with so many emotions from sadness, love, loss and happiness. Author, Barbara K. Richardson is welcome back as a guest into my home anytime.

Garth Stein=Fun Times for you!

Hello to all my fellow readers. Thanks to following me. To give back, I will be giving you a chance to win a red umbrella (just like the one on the cover of Mr. Stein's latest novel) Raven Stole the Moon.

You can read my review of this book here.

So, how do you enter to win this umbrella? I will be posting a series of different interviews that Mr. Stein has done. The last one posting on May 7th. All you have to do is to listen to each interview and comment on each post. Please leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. Good Luck

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vampyre Blood: Eight Pints of Trouble

We are all familiar with the story of Count Dracula and his life. However, were you aware that Count Dracula played a mean violin? It is true…he was a member of a rock band called The Techno Zombies. Ok, so the only reason Count Dracula joined was because he needed a way to get to America. The Count promised Igor that he would travel to America and find a way to become good again.

Bradley Harrington Chester III is a rising attorney. He was out having dinner with his wife. Things were good until Bradley is the victim in a hit and run accident. As Bradley lies on the side of the road dying; Count Dracula comes by and makes Bradley an offer he can’t refuse. In exchange for saving Bradley’s life, Bradley has to help the Count. Bradley agrees. Though Bradley is now under the control of the Count. Bradley has eight pints of the vampire’s blood running through his veins.

I thought this book had some pretty hilarious moments. Vampyre Blood: Eight Pints of Trouble is not your typical vampire novel. I liked this though. This book is more on the lighter side. The best part is that it is an original and not a mash up of a classic. Count Dracula had some personality. It was kind of like Bradley and Count Dracula switched roles. Bradley was the bad guy and Count Dracula was the good guy, trying to get by the best he could. This is one quick read. If you are looking for something different to read, then you might try Vampyre Blood: Eight Pints of Trouble.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Snubbr: ask an expert". = Win a book!

I want to thank the people at Snubbr for allowing me to host this giveaway. They will give one person a chance to win the book of their choice.

I am sure we all have a favorite historical novel. Wheather it be fiction or nonfiction. Well now is the time to share. Check out some of the best historical ficion novels chosen here.

All you have to do to enter to win a free book is to leave a comment here with your email address, with what historical novel you like or maybe want to read. I will pick a winner, one weel from today.

I am Flipping Out

Terry Biggs and four other of his fellow detectives were out on Reggie Drabyak’s fishing boat. They were enjoying a guys day out. This would be the last time any of the guys would be spending together, just having fun for a while.

The next day, Terry and his partner were heading into the station. Their boss was waiting for them. Reggie Drabyak’s wife, Jo was murdered. Why would anyone want to murder sweet Jo? Jo worked as an events planner. Things start to get stranger, when another woman is murdered. There seems to by a connection…one both women were cop’s wives and two; the women were murdered in “flip homes”.

Famous mystery author, Nora Bannister also purchases abandoned homes, renovates them and then turns around and sells them for a profit. This is called flipping homes. It is not uncommon to have someone die in one of Nora’s flip homes. Usually, though the people dying are fictional characters in her books.

Flipping Out is the latest Lomax and Biggs novel by author, Marshall Karp. It also just happens to be the first book I have read by this author. This book is a barrel of laughs and hijinx. Lomax and Biggs are kind of like the Odd Couple…they just work together. Flipping Out is a fun, light-hearted, cozy mystery novel. There were twists and turns around every corner. Both Lomax and Biggs are very good at their job. Mr. Karp did a very good job with this book. The plot was very well thought out. I enjoyed it. I plan to go back and read all the prior Lomax and Biggs novels.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Win a signed guitar

I don't know how I got on this email list...LOL, but thought I would share in case anyone is interested in winning a signed guitar by Justin Beiber. Enter Here

The Burying Place

Lt. Jonathan Stride is recovering since his ordeal that took place in the prior novel; In the Dark. Maggie Bei, Stride’s partner has been keeping Stride in the loop about an ongoing investigation case. The case is in regards to several women have gone missing in the past few months. Maggie has just found body number four.

Denise Sheridan works as Deputy Sheriff for Itasca. She comes to pay Stride a visit. Denise needs Stride to investigate a missing person’s case for her. Rich, surgeon, Marcus Glenn reported his eleven month old daughter, Callie missing. Denise would like to take on the case but she can’t due to a conflict of issue. Marcus is her brother in law.

Stride and Maggie will both be challenged in The Burying Place. They will have to watch their backs or they could be the next ones buried.

Another fine read by Mr. Freeman. I have read pretty much all of Mr. Freeman’s books except for In the Dark. Which I still plan on reading. I was blown away by Mr. Freeman’s debut novel, Immortal and knew that this author would be big, even before the hype really started spreading.

I could tell that I had missing a little by not reading In the Dark, as there was some reference to why Stride was on leave and recovering but nothing that really took away from this book or the story line. Speaking of story lines, this one had some well placed twists and plenty of intensity. All of the female leads in this book were strong, confident women. I liked this. Plus they matched well with Stride. Don’t let The Burying Place get buried on your tbr or wish list. Start reading this book today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Jacob Logan left his home town of Maryfield, North Carolina as soon as he could and never looked back. Now, Jacob is all grown up. Jacob has returned home. Both his parents have passed away. It isn’t long that Jacob has been back before he starts experiencing weird and unexplainable things. There is an evil force in the house and surrounding the property. Jacob can remember chasing after the fireflies that were around his home, when he was a little boy. It appears that the fireflies have something more to worry about then Jacob. Every time they get too close to the house, they die. Jacob must figure it out before the evil presence that is killing the fireflies consumes him.

I so missed getting on the right train that everyone else seems to have booked a ticket to with this book. When I read Mr. Clegg’s comment about comparing Mr. Dansky to Stephen King, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of Firefly Rain to see for myself. Unfortunately, Firefly Rain ended up all wet. This book started out alright but I barely got a third of the way into it and that is when it fizzled. Neither the characters nor the story line grabbed me and made me want more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Harm's Way

Rachel Sutton was walking through the parking lot of a diner, when she came upon an old, Raggedy Ann doll frozen in the snow. She frees the doll and that is when the strange things start happening to Rachel. As soon as she comes in connect with the doll, she experiences a sad and terrifying vision. She doesn’t quite know what the vision is about but she knows she needs to contact the authorities.

FBI Special Agent Nick Bradley has seen many things in his career. He has a good instinct about people. When he sees Rachel’s reaction to the doll, he believes she is the real deal. Together Rachel and Nick will have to race against the clock to save a little girl before it is too late.

In Harm’s Way is the third and final book in the Heroes of Quantico trilogy. It can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone novel. This book also happens to be my first introduction to author, Irene Hannon. I liked the pretense of this story line. I felt that Rachel was an interesting character. She was nice and very smart. Nick and Rachel meshed well together. While, I liked this book, I felt it was a little on the weak side. The beginning drew me in and kept me there until about the middle and then flat lined some. The ending could have been better. Overall, In Harm’s Way was a pretty good book.

“Available April 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Find yourself discovering the Language of Secrets

Justin Fisher has returned home to play his respects to his parents. He comes back to a huge surprise. One that will change his life and everything he knew about it forever.

Justin goes to the grave yard. There he finds his mother’s and father’s headstones. Justin also sees another headstone. The name on the head stone says Thomas Justin Fisher…born August 5, 1972 to February 20, 1976. It is Justin’s headstone but how can that be as Justin is alive. Justin is about to travel down a path that he can’t turn back from. Just who really is Thomas Justin Fisher?

To be honest, when I picked The Language of Secrets, I had no clue what it really was about. I skimmed over the summary and thought it sounded intriguing. When I actually sat down to start reading it, I was blown away by how much I found myself really getting into this book. The past was more exciting then the present. I found every time the story traveled back to the past, the story built on itself and got more interesting as the story went on. I felt for Justin as a little boy. All of the characters had great depth and range of emotions. It was hard not to get entangled by what was happening in toe story. Clear some time off your schedule as you will find yourself discovering the Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Come get hypnotized by M.J. Rose

Lucian Glass was just a young boy when the woman he loved, Solange, was murdered. Ridden with guilt, Lucian has not been able to forgiven himself for not being able to protect Solange.

Now twenty years later, Lucian works for the FBI as part of the Arts Crime Team. He and the Arts Crime Team are trying to track down the person responsible for destroying priceless works of art. Lucian’s investigation brings him to Malachai Samuels. Malachai is a skilled hypnotist and part of a powerful secret society known as the Phoenix Foundation. He is very interested in getting his hands on some very old artifacts called memory tools. Is there a connection between Malachai and Lucian’s case?

The Hypnotist is book three in the Reincarnationist series. It can be read as a stand alone novel. I jumped into the middle of this series. My first experience with Ms. Rose was with The Memorist. That was all it took for me to become hooked. At a little over four hundred pages, this book reads like a dream. I started reading this book right before I went to bed. This was not a good idea as I had to force myself to put the book down and get some sleep. Lucian and Malachai are both very strong male leads. There were a few twists that were placed well in the plot. It is easy to see why author, MJ Rose is so fascinated by the subject of reincarnation. Be warned as you will be hypnotized by The Hypnotist.

Flirting with Forever

The Executive Guild is in charge of supervising the afterlife of artist. They have learned about Campbell “Cam” Stratford. Ms. Stratford aims to release a fictography about the famous artist, Van Dyck. What Cam is saying about Van Dyck could ruin his reputation as people knew him. The Guild wants Peter Lely to stop Stratford from releasing the fictography.

Cam was working on the Van Dyck piece, when all of a sudden she felt a weird sensation. The next thing she knows, she is nude. Cam realizes that she is not alone in the room. There are many other nude women. Cam escapes in search of some clothes, only to bump into Peter. Peter is known as a bit of a playboy. When Cam becomes Peter’s newest muse... things start to heat up.

Flirting with Forever is a fun, upbeat, historical, romantic read. This book started out good but it sort of fizzed a bit in the middle for some reason. The chemistry between Cam and Peter didn’t explode for me. I expected more fireworks then I got. Though, I did laugh several times through out this book. Cam was a bit of a klutz. Peter may be a play boy but he has a heart of gold. Flirting with Forever was not a bad introduction to a new author in Gwyn Cready.

I’ll Know You by Heart

Stephanie Roberts is used to her husband, Mark abusing her. She just keeps excusing him. When their son, Tyson comes to the rescue of his mother, Mark loses it and starts hitting Tyson. Stephanie could put up with Mark hitting her but not one of their children. Stephanie finally reaches her breaking point and packs up all the children’s things. She, Tyson, and her two daughters, Maddie and Sarah leave. Stephanie is glad to be free of Mark. Mark will do anything to get his family back.

Jared Wakefield is trying to raise his daughter, Katie the best he can. His wife was killed, while driving drunk. Jared receives a phone call from Katie’s school that Katie fell and broke her arm. He takes her to the doctor, where he meets Stephanie. Jared strikes up a friendship with Stephanie. Jared and Stephanie will discover that love does give second chances.

I’ll Know You by Heart is a story of love, loss, hardship, friendship, and second chances. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this book. I really felt for the characters and what they were going through. It is sad what Stephanie went through with the abuse and all. I was really happy to see her become a fighter and get her self esteem back in this story. Jared and Stephanie made a nice couple. The subject matters in this book are tough but for those of you who don’t like depressing stories, be assured that I’ll Know You by Heart ends on a high note. I will be keeping my eye on this author’s next book.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Jane Slayre has just obtained a job as the new governess to Mr. Rochester’s daughter, Adele. Once Jane arrives, she realizes that it might have been a mistake to agree to be the new governess. There is something strange about Mr. Rochester. Most of the time he hides behind closed doors. Though, whenever Jane does get to spend time with Mr. Rochester, she feels a connection with him.

Mr. Rochester is not the only person, Jane has to worry about. His former wife is locked up in the attic. She is a werewolf. Jane must deal with her. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of Jane’s friend’s turns into a zombie. Oh what is a girl to do?

This book drew me into the scary and morbid world of Jane Slayre. It takes a strong woman to deal with vampires, werewolves and zombies. All of the characters played a prominent part in the story, even the secondary characters. Jane started out a prim and proper young woman but as the story advanced, readers saw her grow and become a demon slayer. It seems everywhere you turn there are tons and tons of books to choose from that feature vampires, werewolves and zombies. It is still a little rare to have all three appear in the same book. Sheri Browning Erwin did a good job incorporating paranormal elements into a classic. Though, I have never read the original book, I had no issues with reading this new twist to a classic. Jane Slayre is a slaying good time. Fans of Charlotte Bronte will probably like this latest mash up. Though, I am sure Ms. Bronte is rolling in her grave as we speak over this book. If she could, she would return as a zombie and try and take down Jane Slayre and Sheri Browning Erwin. Jane Slayre is better than some of the others one out there right now.

Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show + 3 questions with author, Frank Delaney

The year was 1932.

Ben MacCarthy and his father were heading out to watch the circus that had come to town. It was called the Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show. Ben can remember sitting in the stands, watching the show…his father laughing really hard at the talking ventriloquist, Blarney. As the show was ending, Ben’s father turns to him and tells him that he won’t be returning home with him. He is going to stay on with the circus. Ben returns home alone. His mother tasks Ben with tracking down and bringing his father home. Ben travels all over the country side, following the circus. Will Ben be successful at his mission?

Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show is one of those books that only comes along every once in a while. When it does and you ha better make sure you have the pleasure of reading it. I finished this book in one afternoon. I found myself instantly transported back in time with Ben. It was like I was walking in his shoes. All of the characters featured in this book had lots of depth and were very intriguing. The circus may seem like the happiest show on Earth but behind the tent walls is loneliness. Mr. Frank Delaney holds a winning ticket with Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show.

With over 21 books written, how do you find ways to come up with new material?

This excellent question made me laugh out loud! It's kind of like riding a bicycle - if you think about it, you might fall off. My life - my inner life - is spent examining and either accepting (in my notebooks) or rejecting the many, many ideas that I get each day for novels, non-fiction, stories, movies, plays. Reading is an immense stimulus, as is travel - each is essential to a writer. Most of all, people - whom I observe, meet or otherwise perceive - provide a well that seems never to dry up. Gossip, family stories, social encounters - there's potential in each one and sifting them is one of the joys and delights of my life.

What would you say is the most rewarding thing about writing books?

The challenge - the challenge to get it right, to tell the story in a pure and clear way that engages the reader, and takes them with you into emotional territory, intellectual lands they've never visited before, places of the heart and soul. The desire to achieve clarity is the greatest challenge, to write sentences that land the story in the middle of the reader's spirit as sweetly and definitely as an excellent pilot landing an aircraft. And the desire to cover the distance, to sustain the energy at book-length, to retain the reader's interest, is the greatest challenge. As is the need to make characters so clear and interesting and finally compelling that the human condition is there to be examined, scrutinized, sympathized with, empathized with, loved, hated, embraced - while all the while reminding the readers of their own humanity. That's the greatest challenge - and you'll notice that I've described each one of them as "the greatest challenge" and so they are; the whole ball-game of writing books is the greatest challenge!

What makes Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show different from most of the novels currently on shelves and why should readers check it out?

I've tried and tried to find a book in the marketplace at the moment to which I could compare Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show - and I can't come up with one. It begins with a theatrical device - getting all the characters onstage, so that when the action opens out we know who everyone is. There are elements of Tristram Shandy in it; there are elements of rites-of-passage novels - Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann contributed some influences, I think. There's considerable political satire, and what I think - I hope - truly distinguishes it, is a deliberately conversational style, as though the story were being told by an oral storyteller, with asides and digressions. I chose this for three reasons: I come from a background in Ireland where everybody to this day tells stories of all kinds; secondly, a conversational style might be interesting to readers who live daily with cable television talk-and-politics shows, and radio talk shows; and thirdly, I wanted the book to have an original feel and yet be true to itself and its historical background. Therefore, readers should check it out because it will, I think - and to judge from the reviews - prove a book that's difficult to put down, yet rich enough to be rewarding, and different enough to be escapist. But don't just take my word for it; read the reviews on my website; and the many, many blogs that have commented favorably. And thank you for asking!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chatting with Josi Kilpack

Within my process of learning to write, I can attribute a great deal of my education to becoming a critical reader. Up until I began writing, I had been a voracious reader for many years, reading anything I could get my hands on. I finished nearly every book I picked up and very rarely did I not like a book. However, after writing my first story I realized there was an actual craft; a set of skills necessary to write the right way just as there is a craft to architecture or painting. I already read books on parenting, marriage, cooking, and personal finance; certainly there were books out there that taught someone how to write. In fact there were, but beyond non-fiction books on novel writing there was also the realization that every novel I picked up was an instruction manual in disguise. I quickly found that by studying the way an author told their story I could learn a thing or two about the craft and get my reading fix in the process. So, instead of just reading for entertainment or edification I started reading to learn the craft of writing, the structure of fiction, and how to best develop characters people would want to read about for three hundred pages. I would finish reading a book and ask myself what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I would have changed. Did I like the ending? Did I relate to the characters? Were there any parts of the story that could have been stronger, were some things overstated? It was rather fascinating to dissect plots and characters, holding each piece up to the light as I studied it from a new perspective. I then tried to bend and mold the elements I learned into my own stories.

But, something happened through these exercises; something I hadn’t expected. Once I was critically evaluating the elements of a book it became harder and harder to get lost within the pages. Whereas I used to finish 98% of every book I picked up, I soon found my percentage dropping farther and farther as I found more and more storylines that, for one reason or another, I just didn’t like. These days, I probably only finish 1/3 of the books I pick up. The downside of the development of this critical reader who is consistently reading over my shoulder, is that it’s not always easy to find a good book. When I’m reading it’s hard to turn off my “internal editor” and let the story sweep me away.

The upside is that when I like a book, I really, really like it. Another benefit is that reading is very much an educational experience for me. Not only am I learning about whatever time period, culture, or person the story features, I’m also learning about the book’s structure, character development, plot, and basic usage of words, dialogue, and description. Since I only get captured by great books, I figure I’m getting the best education I possibly can. It’s not uncommon for me to be reading and stop in order to scramble for my notebook where I write down a certain word I liked, or a sentence structure that had great texture, or I jot down a character idea that was triggered by the story. Then I run back to the book and get lost once again. In this sense I’ve learned to write from some of the great writers of my time—Sue Graphton, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, John Shors as was as some of the classic writers such as Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, and Edgar Allan Poe. What better teachers could a writer want? And they’re all available for nothing more than a library card.

There are days when I pine for the reader I once was, the reader who was happy with anything over 200 pages, and yet in the long run the sacrifice of that part of who I was, has made room for another part of me that even a year before I wrote my first novel I didn’t know existed. It’s an amazing journey, these lives we live, and a fascinating vista when we stand on the verge of who we are and look back at where we’ve been and all the people who helped us get here. Once we can look over what we’ve done, we can then turn and face the horizons of where we are going. It’s my core belief that regardless of who we are and where we want to end up one day, good books will lay that groundwork one way or another. I know it’s been true for me.

About Josi Kilpack
Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998, while on bedrest with a pregnancy, and never stopped. Devil’s Food Cake is Josi’s eleventh novel, and the third book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. The other novels, Lemon Tart (Book 1) and English Trifle (Book 2) were released in 2009. While the books all feature Sadie Hoffmiller as the main character, they stand alone in regard to plot and can be read as a set or as individual titles. Josi currently lives in Utah with her husband, four children, one dog and varying number of chickens.

For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at or her blog at

Poor Little Bitch Girl

Annabelle Maestro is the daughter of famous film maker, Ralph Maestro. Annabelle is used to living the good life. So when her father will no longer give her handouts, Annabelle has to find a way to survive. With the help of her coke-addict boyfriend, Frankie; Annabelle and Frankie start up a high priced call girl business.

Denver Jones is an up and coming successful lawyer. Denver has just scored the biggest client of her career…Ralph Maestro. Mr. Maestro is the number one suspect in the murder of his wife. Denver has not seen any of the Maestro’s since, she and Annabelle were little girls in school.

Carolyn has fallen for a married senator. She can’t wait for him to leave his wife, so that they can be together forever. In fact he is the father of her unborn child.

Bobby Santangelo is the famous son of Lucky Santangelo. Lucky has made appearances in several of Ms. Collin’s novels. Bobby and Denver hook up.

Poor Little Bitch Girl had its highs and its lows. This book read like a soap opera…all the drama. At times I couldn’t take it. At the beginning of the book, I really got into Annabelle, and Denver. Then about middle of the book, I really got into Carolyn and Annabelle. The only person I never really found any interest in was Bobby. Though, he had his hands in a little bit of almost everyone’s business. My biggest issue was that there wasn’t anything about the characters that really made me want to like them, other than Carolyn. Even then it took me a while to warm up to her. She started out weak but grew by the end of the book. Overall, Poor Little Bitch Girl gets only 3 stars from me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Watch out for the Lemon Tart!

Sadie Hoffmiller was making homemade apple sauce when she saw the first police car some driving down her neighbor to Anne Lemmon’s house. Sadie is like the resident neighborhood watch woman. So when she sees the police car, she stops what she is doing and heads to Anne’s house. When Sadie arrives to Anne’s house, she has a bad feeling but when she smells that Anne has something in the oven, her worries go away until the police find Anne’s body. Before Sadie can make sense of Anne’s murder; she is considered a suspect. Sadie knows she did nothing wrong and fears the worst for Anne’s young son, Trevor. Trevor is missing. Can Sadie solve Anne’s murder before the police do?

Lemon Tart is the first book in a brand new cozy mystery series by author, Josi S. Kilpack. I loved Sadie and her nosey ways. I had a fun time reading this book. I was laughing, smiling and cheering for Sadie to come out on top. Never mess with a woman’s stove…especially when she is cooking a lemon tart! Some of the people, Sadie knew tried to pull the wool over her eyes. This didn’t work. If anything it only made Sadie more determined to expose them and get to the bottom of the truth. All the recipes printed throughout this book were an added bonus. I plan to use them all.

Author, D.C. Corse Stops by to talk

Getting it Write: Researching the FBI in a post-9/11 America

D.C. Corso, Skin and Bones

Most mystery writers will agree that if you ask the FBI for an interview on procedures to ensure accuracy in your book, you’ll get a polite response that everything you could possibly want to know is on their official website (read: everything they feel comfortable sharing is on their website). Despite any initial disappointment that a Real Live FBI Agent will not be advising you, the FBI website really does hold a wealth of information. Everything from department names and functions to statistics can be found at, including links to other agencies and all the various Field Offices.

Not a fan of the internet? There are plenty of books out there by retired agents; the most readable ones are aimed at the mainstream true crime-reading public (such as former agent John Douglas’ intriguing Mind Hunter). There are also plenty of procedural guides out there that give a more historical spin and really read more like reference books. If you’re trying to get an idea of what a behavioral profiler is trained to do, the more academic texts written by agents are extremely helpful. For instance, BSU co-founder Robert Ressler’s unfortunately-titled Sexual Homicide: Patterns and Motives – a text which I am too self-conscious to give away or read in public, as if people who see it will think it’s a how-to book.

I have pages upon pages of notes taken largely from the FBI site. But how much do the readers care about technicalities? I assume that they only want to know what they need to know, and write accordingly. I recall my first draft was filled with far too much procedural information which, in turn, required far too much accompanying expositional dialogue. There are simply some things that law enforcement officers do not say to other officers because they already know it. My favorite example of bad expositional dialogue appears repeatedly on television crime dramas; one officer will ask another, “Was there any GSR?” The other will inquire, “You mean gunshot residue?,” for the benefit of those watching at home. It’s necessary for television, but I prefer to avoid clunkers like this; there are always better options in writing.

My first novel, Skin and Bones, is about a small Washington island community affected by a series of child abductions. I chose the days immediately following 9/11 because the shared emotional chaos of those early days was the start of an important shift in the American psyche. There was a short-lived sense of unity among Americans as we all looked nervously to the skies, yet there was also a paranoid sense of self-inflicted isolation among individuals. I had no way of knowing how this affected the FBI, aside from interdepartmental shifts that occurred at the time, which were all well-documented and easy to find via the Internet.

While I did not want 9/11 to be the focus of the story, but rather a backdrop, capturing that feeling did not entail regurgitating facts, but rather keeping them in mind when setting the characters about their business. After all, during this time the general public tended to ignore the more ordinary horrors of local news, fixing our gaze instead on CNN’s coverage of the national tragedies.

This is where the real story lay, I thought – in the forgotten. I wanted to keep the focus on the Missing Persons Squad and how their jobs were perhaps made more difficult by Americans’ intense focus on anti-terrorism. And while research was a must to set the background, only character development and multiple drafts brings reality to fiction.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Than Words

More Than Words Volume 6 is the second of these volumes that I had read. If you haven’t read one of theses books then you should check them out. What I most like about these books is that they introduce me to some really great people all over the world, doing wonderful things like…Katherine Chon with the Polaris Project. The Polaris Project is an organization made up of volunteers, FBI, and other law enforcement groups, who help provide resources for stopping and locating children of human trafficking.

Each author introduces readers to a different person, who is doing something great like Katherine and then writes a short story based on that organization. The stories range from romance to suspense, based on the author’s expertise. Some of the best selling authors today…Joan Johnston, Robyn Carr, Christina Skye, Rochelle Alers, and Maureen Child, join in Volume 6. Rochelle Alers and Maureen Child were both new to me authors. I did like their stories and plan to check out their full length novels. Though, I do have to admit that I found the real life stories a little more interesting then the fiction ones. While they were all good, I liked some better then others.

Calling all Jennifer Weiner fans

*Please note that Jennifer Weiner’s NEW YORK CITY book signing event on MAY 13TH (previously scheduled at Borders Columbus Circle) has CHANGED LOCATION to BORDERS PARK AVE. (461 Park Avenue at 57th street).

Please make this location change in your calendar listings. New details are below. Thank you!!

On Thursday, May 13th, best-selling author Jennifer Weiner will be in New York to promote the paperback launch of her New York Times #1 bestselling novel, Best Friends Forever. She will be speaking, answering questions, and signing books at BORDERS PARK AVE (461 Park Avenue at 57th st.) at 7:00PM.

WHO: Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner

WHAT: Jennifer Weiner will be speaking, answering questions and signing books from her New York Times #1 bestselling novel - Best Friends Forever

WHERE: BORDERS Park Ave–461 Park Avenue at 57th street – NYC

WHEN: Thursday, May 13th at 7:00PM

Skin and Bones

FBI Special Agent Severin Ash deals in missing person’s cases all the time. His latest case is no exception. A child has gone missing. At what first seemed like a open and shut case for Ash, has now turned out to be a challenge. Another child has gone missing. Ash brings in the help of a local woman by the name of Parker Kelly. It will all of Parker and Ash’s brain smarts to solve this case. The people in town have a few things they are hiding.

I so wanted to really like this book as it seemed right up my alley. Unfortunately, I found I had a hard time getting into this book. It wasn’t for a lack of trying as I did pick this book up several times. Skin and Bones just wasn’t the book for me. I do want to warn readers that there is some strong language used in this book. Though, you may find yourself liking this book as other readers did. I just seemed to be in the minority. The chill and creep factor was high in this book. This was a good thing. Agent Ash is one tough cookie and smart too. I could see where D.C. Corso was going with this book. I thought Skin and Bones had some potential.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Highest Stakes

Charlotte Wallace’s died. Her uncle is now Charlotte’s guardian. She comes to live wither uncle. Charlotte’s uncle is the owner of a very prestigious horse stable.

Robert Devington works as a stable hand for Mr. Wallace. Robert falls in love with Charlotte, not only for her beauty but for her love and care for horses.

When Charlotte’s uncle learns about Robert and Charlotte, he warns her against falling for Robert. Robert is a nobody. In order to show Charlotte and her uncle that he is just as good as any other guy Charlotte could have, Robert leaves and joins the British military to make something of himself.

I liked this book. I thought Emery Lee did a good job of telling a story with this book. I just wished I could have connected with the characters more. This in turn would have made this book more enjoyable. Though, I thought the author did a good job portraying the life of horse racing. Emery Lee showed that she really researched this topic well. Charlotte and Robert were supposed to be in love but they sent a majority of the story apart and interacting with other people. I didn’t really feel the love connection between them. Highest Stakes came out a little short this time. On the other hand, I would be willing to give this author another try in the future.

Too Close to Home

When one girl went missing, there was some concern. Though when another girl went missing shortly after the first one, people started to panic; especially when the body of one of the missing girls turns up.

FBI Special Agent Samantha Cash is called onto the case to assist, Homicide detective Connor Wolfe. Connor is good at his job. Some of Samantha’s techniques throw him for a loop. Though when it comes to this case, he is fine with letting Samantha take the lead.

You know when you parents warned you about meeting people online, they weren’t saying it annoy you but to protect you. Just when Samantha and Connor think they are getting closer to the killer; a turn of event brings the case even closer to home for Connor then he ever wished. The killer has targeted his daughter, Jenna. Will Samantha and Connor be able to stop the killer before it is too late.

Too Close to Home is book one of the Women of Justice series. I thought this book was a pretty good start to this series. Samantha and Connor worked well together as a team. It was nice to see a female lead character be so strong and in charge. There was an issue with the killer in this story. While, I didn’t need this book to be gruesome but I would have liked to have seen the killer become a more prominent character in this book. Though, I can’t wait to see how this story all plays out in book two.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Own Personal Soap Opera

Frankie McNally is the head writer for the soap opera television show, Lust for Life. It is hard to come up with new materials; thus the slippage in ratings. I mean…there are only so many times you can kill someone off before it is old news. Frankie gets the break she was looking for in an unexpected way. A jewel thief is copying the plot from the show in their heists. Some would say this is the greatest form of flattery. Things are sure to get wild when they involve Frankie.

My Own Personal Soap Opera is the second book I have read by Libby Malin. Just like the last book, My Own Personal Soap Opera had some very funny, crazy, kooky moments. My favorite moment had to be at the beginning when Frankie was talking on the phone about offing someone. She kept getting all these strange looks, including one from a police officer. While this book did make me laugh, I wish I could have laughed all throughout the book versus just in several areas of the book. I knew soap operas could be crazy but I didn’t know they could get psycho crazy. Now that is a whole nether level. Frankie’s real life was much more exciting then the television show, Lust for Life. Frankie was the star of the story. The rest of the characters were more secondary. Though, another good read by Libby Malin.

Eye of the Red Tsar

Nicholas Romanov, Tsar of Russia was a very powerful man. With wealth and power comes the danger of people always wanting to kill you.

While training in the military, Pekkala met Romanov. They became friends, formed form their admiration for each other. Due to Pekkala amazing ability to remember things, even down to the smallest of things like how many buttons are on someone’s coat; Romanov brought Pekkala into his closest circle. Pekkala became known as “The Red Eye of the Tsar.

In 1917, Romanov and his family were murdered. Pekkala was charged and sent away. He would be forgotten and only known as prisoner 4745-P. Flash forward to the present. Pekkala’s help is needed.

Eye of the Red Tsar is the debut novel by Sam Eastland. This book really surprised me in a good way. I could not tear myself away from this book .Pekkala is the next Jason Bourne. This book started out with a bang and ended on a high note. I found all of the characters intriguing and memorizing. The storyline would flash back and forth between the past and present. It was so effortless. I found that every time the story would go back to the past, it would add that much more depth and intensity to the plot. Pekkala is both a great detective and assassin. I can’t wait to read the next Pekkala novel. Anyone who likes to read a good book needs to check out Eye of the Red Tsar!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Certain Wolfish Charm

Lily Rutledge has been put in charge of caring for Lord Oliver Maberley. Oliver is Simon Westfield, Duke of Blackmoor’s nephew. Oliver is growing up and changes are starting to happen to him like his endless appetite. Lily has written Simon that now is the time for him to take an interest in his nephew but Lily’s correspondences are answered with how much money does she need?

A full moon is fast approaching. The last thing Simon needs is a distraction like Lily. When Lily pushes Simon’s buttons…just how long can he control the animal instincts within him?

A Certain Wolfish Charm has lots of charm. It is the start of a new trilogy by author, Lydia Dare. Lydia Dare will make you howl for more. Simon is one sexy werewolf. He is a big reason why I enjoyed this book so much. What I liked about Lily is that she was not afraid of Simon. In fact there were several times throughout this book where Lily put Simon in his place. A Certain Wolfish Charm had the best of both worlds…a good historical novel mixed with paranormal elements. Simon and Lily made the perfect mates for each other. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Westfield brothers…continuing with Benjamin in Tall, Dark and Wolfish.

He is The Bride Collector

A body of a woman hanging nailed to a wall, drained of blood and wearing a wedding veil has been found. Ok, if this sentence didn’t get your attention, then you might be dead… Just kidding.

FBI special agent Brad Raines is called onto the case. This is one of the most gruesome and puzzling case he has encountered. Brad is going to need all the help. How do you think like a serial killer…well you obtain knowledge from someone who can get into the mind of the serial killer. Brad meets Paradise. Paradise has schizophrenia but she also has a very special gift. The ability to be about to live through the victims of the Bride Collector by experiencing the women’s final moments before their death, when Paradise touches the dead body.

I have read several books by Mr. Dekker and enjoy his thriller work. I read Kiss which was a collaboration with Erin Healy and didn’t care for it as much. This book was dark and twisted…just the way I like my thrillers. Raines equally matched wits with the Bride Collector. This I found nice as there are some times when the killer is stronger or even weaker then the authorities. Paradise was the wild card in this book. She was intriguing. Though, sadly I didn’t really fell the romance between Paradise and Brad. There were plenty of action and a few surprises along the way. If you are a fan of thrillers, then you will want to check out The Bride Collector today.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


This book starts out with Dr. Charles Lucas; Department of Marine Studies at the Stanford University reading a diary entry dated 1906 written by Dr. Charles H. Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert was a Stanford professor of Marine Biology. Readers are transported back in time through Dr. Gilbert’s diary entries to a time when the Chinese were considered outsiders but who had lots of mystery surrounding them. The Chinese had many priceless artifacts in their possession like jade. Dr. Gilbert shares about his discover of some of the wonderful items he uncovered but what happens later when the items are forgotten? Only the cypress tree knows the secrets…In the Shadow of the Cypress Tree.

When I first read the summary for this book, I found it intriguing and then when I found out who the author was, I knew I had to check this book out. I have to admit that the only book I read of Mr. Steinbeck’s famous father’s work was Travels with Charley; a story about John Steinbeck taking a road trip with his full sized black poodle. I am in the middle of the road with this book. On the one hand I thought this book was interesting and at times read like poetry but on the other hand I found that it took my a little while to get into the story. The characters were alright but they were kind of like secondary to the story. This book is not character driven but more story driven. The switching between the past to present was a smooth progression for me. Mr. Steinbeck shows promise and talent with this debut novel. He shows that he can make a good name for himself like his father.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Iron King

When Meghan Chase was just a little girl, her father disappeared, never to be found again. Megan has this faint memory of her father walking into the pond at the park but Meghan has this ability to see things that aren’t really there or are they?

Meghan is excited to be celebrating her sixteenth birthday. What Meghan is about to soon discover is that turning sixteen is a really big deal. Robbie is Meghan’s best friend. Ever since she was little, Robbie teases her with the nickname he gave her of “Princess”. Meghan had some strange things happen to her at school. When Meghan arrives home, she finds her mother on the kitchen floor lying in a pool of blood with her little brother, Ethan standing in the door way. Robbie tells Meghan that the Ethan has been kidnapped.

Meghan and Robbie travel through a portal in her closet to the land of the faeries. It is there that Meghan learns that she is the daughter of King Oberon of The Seelie Court. Someone is killing off the faeries. The same person who has Ethan.

The Iron King is the first book in this series. I absolutely got excited over this book. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book. Move over vampires and werewolves as the faeries are hear to stay. Thanks to author, Julie Kagawa. Meghan is fearless. I like that even though she comes from royalty that she is not spoiled and very smart. All of the characters Meghan encountered where very interesting and unique. Ms. Kagawa has a great niche for storytelling. It was like I was there with Meghan and I could see and touch everything. Clear off some time in your busy schedule as you will get lost in this book for good reason. I am on pins and needles awaiting the next book in this series, The Iron Daughter.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Micah Taylor has the good life. He is rich, has a girlfriend, and is the boss of his own company. What more could he ask for? One day Micah receives a letter written by is Uncle Archie. His uncle tells Micah that five months ago he built a home on the Oregon coast especially for Micah. The home is to bring Micah resolve and restoration. Micah first thinks it is a joke…a home built for him. Micah has never really known his uncle. Also Micah has not been back to Oregon since the accident.

Micah decides to leave Seattle for a bit and check the home out. Through he has no plans of staying. Once in Oregon, Micah meets Sarah, who works at the local ice cream shop and Rick, a mechanic. There is something different about Rick but Micah can’t quite put his finger to it. Will Micah find the resolve and restoration he didn’t know he was looking for or will he go back to his posh life in Seattle?

Rooms is the first book I have read by James Rubart. After reading this book, I look forward to more to come from him. This book was filled with suspense, intrigue, some paranormal elements, any a good message. The parts I was most intrigued about was when Micah was in the house and things were happening to him and a man’s voice kept calling out and saying things to Micah. Also the letters that Micah’s uncle wrote were not light reading. It goes to show that God puts people and us in situations for a reason. Rooms is a very fast paced read. Won’t you come along on this journey with Micah and check out Rooms today!

The Murderer’s Daughters

After Lulu and Merry’s father murdered their mother, all Lulu and Merry wanted was another place to call home. Unfortunately, they never found another place they could call home, as they were bounced from place to place. Though this all, Lulu and Merry realized that home is where the heart is and nothing is stronger then a sister’s bond. Sadly before they could both come to this realization, they first would have to endure lots of heartache and loss. Lulu is forever haunted by the words of her mother asking her to not let their father into the house. Lulu feels like she let her mother and sister down. Merry on the other hand carries with her the scar from when her father cut her. Can Lulu and Merry step out of the shadows of being known as The Murderer’s Daughters?

The Murderer’s Daughters is the debut novel by Randy Susan Meyers. Right from the beginning this book grabbed me by the heart and sucked me into Lulu and Merry’s world. I literally almost couldn’t stop reading this book. It is a one sit read! There are few books that come along, every once in a while, that make you want to jump up and scream to everyone that you have got to check this book out. When this happens you know you are holding and reading a winner. Every step that Lulu and Merry took…I took with them. The bond that Lulu and Merry shared is priceless. Mrs. Meyers is an author to watch out for. She has made a big name for herself in the booking world. The Murderer’s Daughters is a book you will want to read over and over. I can’t wait to see what she brings for me next.

It is going to be a Prague Spring

Someone has murdered a US congressman’s son. This case brings in Inspector Simon Wolfe of the San Francisco PD. He will have to use everything in his arsenal to track down the killer. It won’t be easy as the killer is smart. It will be the battle of the wits.

It appears that the killer may have one up on Wolfe. The killer knows something about Wolfe’s past life before he became Inspector. Wolfe used to be an Israeli assassin but the question is…what does Wolfe’s past have to do with the present? This is the million dollar question that Wolfe must find the answer to before it is too late

I liked the beginning of this book. The pace started out right. Unfortunately, the adrenaline rush I felt in the beginning let me pretty soon afterwards. This of course seemed to apply only to me, as all the other reviews I saw for this book were glowing. I am not saying that I hated the book but only that it didn’t engage me as much as I had hoped it would. It was the characters and the storyline. I couldn’t connect with any of them. I appreciated that at the beginning of this book, Mr. Del Bourgo shared that the tried to be as accurate with the historical timelines and facts as he could with a fiction novel. Prague Spring showed that Mr. Del Bourgo showed good promise as an author.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Red Letters Project

The Red Letters Project is an electric collection of rock music playing to the scriptures of the Book of Matthew. I thought this three disc collection was a nicely arranged compilation. The first disc was more on the lighter side of the rock spectrum; whereas I found disc two to really rock out. There were a few times in several of the songs where I couldn’t hear the people and what they were singing. These songs captured the message of each chapter and verse. I found the Red Letters Project a fun, upbeat and refreshing new way to listen to scriptural. I already have friends asking me to lend them this collection as I found myself talking about it a lot. You should check the Red Letters Project out.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.

Watch out for the Dawn of the Dreadfuls

My review:

Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters don’t have a care in the world, other than finding good husbands to marry. While attending a funeral, Elizabeth and her sisters hear an awful howling sound. It is the sound of the undead. They are coming. Mr. Bennet wants his daughters to be prepared to defend themselves, so he hires Master Hawksworth to train his daughters to become vicious slayers.

Dr. Keckilpenny is a bright scientist. He also joins the fight against the undead but his ways are more unorthodox. Dr. Keckilpenny believes he can interact with the undead versus killing them. Elizabeth feels something for both men but who will she choose?

If you are looking for something a bit different to read, then you might try Dawn of the Dreadfuls. This book is the prequel to Price and Prejudice and Zombies. This book is based on events four years prior to PPZ. I have never read PPZ so I have nothing to compare it to in regards to if this book was a good prequel or not. What I can say about this book is that I thought it was an interesting morbid twist to Jane Austen’s P&P novel. If you are looking for a romantic, flowerily read then this is not the book for you but if you are looking for a dark, and sometimes gruesome zombie story then you should consider trying Dawn of the Dreadfuls. I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth and her sisters training to be zombie slayers. It was fun to watch as they went from meek to full blown slayers, who were not afraid to slice a head or two off. As much as I did like this book, there were a few times when it got a bit dry. Overall, a zombie good time.

Chapter 1
by Steve Hockensmith,
Author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Walking out in the middle of a funeral would be, of course, bad form. So attempting to walk out on one's own was beyond the pale.

When the service began, Mr. Ford was as well behaved as any corpse could be expected to be. In fact, he lay stretched out on the bier looking almost as stiff and expressionless in death as he had in life, and Oscar Bennet, gazing upon his not-so-dearly departed neighbor, could but think to himself, You lucky sod.

It was Mr. Bennet who longed to escape the church then, and the black oblivion of death seemed infinitely preferable to the torments he was suffering. At the pulpit, the Reverend Mr. Cummings was reading (and reading and reading and reading) from the Book of Common Prayer with all the verve and passion of a man mumbling in his sleep, while the pews were filled with statues -- the good people of Meryton, Hertfordshire, competing to see who could remain motionless the longest while wearing the most somber look of solemnity.

This contest had long since been forfeited by one party in particular: Mr. Bennet's. Mrs. Bennet couldn't resist sharing her (insufficiently) whispered appraisal of the casket's handles and plaque. ("Brass? For shame! Why, Mrs. Morrison had gold last week, and her people don't have two guineas to rub together.") Lydia and Kitty, the youngest of the Bennets' five daughters, were ever erupting into titters for reasons known only to themselves. Meanwhile, the middle daughter, fourteen-year-old Mary, insisted on loudly shushing her giggling sisters no matter how many times her reproaches were ignored, for she considered herself second only to the Reverend Mr. Cummings -- and perhaps Christ Himself -- as Meryton's foremost arbiter of virtue.

At least the Bennets' eldest, Jane, was as serene and sweet countenanced as ever, even if her dress was a trifle heavy on d├ęcolletage for a funeral. ("Display, my dear, display!" Mrs. Bennet had harped at her that morning. "Lord Lumpley might be there!") And, of course, Mr. Bennet knew he need fear no embarrassment from Elizabeth, second to Jane in age and beauty but first in spirit and wit. He leaned forward to look down the pew at her, his favorite -- and found her gaping at the front of the church, a look of horror on her face.

Mr. Bennet followed her line of sight. What he saw was a luxury, hard won and now so easily taken for granted: a man about to be buried with his head still on his shoulders.

That head, though -- wasn't there more of a loll to the left to it now? Weren't the lips drawn more taut, and the eyelids less so? In fact, weren't those eyes even now beginning to --

Yes. Yes, they were.

Mr. Bennet felt an icy cold inside him where there should have been fire, and his tingling fingers fumbled for the hilt of a sword that wasn't there.

Mr. Ford sat up and opened his eyes.

The first person to leap into action was Mrs. Bennet. Unfortunately, the action she leapt to was shrieking loud enough to wake the dead (presuming any in the vicinity were still sleeping) and wrapping herself around her husband with force sufficient to snap a man with less back-bone in two.

"Get a hold of yourself, woman!" Mr. Bennet said.

She merely maintained her hold on him, though, her redoubled howls sparking Kitty and Lydia to similar hysterics.

At the front of the church, Mrs. Ford staggered to her feet and started toward the bier.

"Martin!" she cried. "Martin, my beloved, you're alive!"

"I think not, Madam!" Mr. Bennet called out (while placing a firm hand over his wife's mouth)."If someone would restrain the lady, please!" Most of the congregation was busy screeching or fleeing or both at once, yet a few hardy souls managed to grab Mrs. Ford before she could shower her newly returned husband with kisses.

"Thank you!" Mr. Bennet said. He spent the next moments trying to disentangle himself from his wife's clutches. When he found he couldn't, he simply stepped sideways into the aisle, dragging her with him.

"I will be walking that way, Mrs. Bennet." He jerked his head at Mr. Ford, who was struggling to haul himself out of his casket. "If you choose to join me, so be it."

Mrs. Bennet let go and, after carefully checking to make sure Jane was still behind her, swooned backward into her eldest daughter's arms.

"Get her out of here," Mr. Bennet told Jane. "Lydia and Kitty, as well."

He turned his attention then to the next two girls down the pew: Elizabeth and Mary. The latter was deep in conversation with her younger sisters.

"The dreadfuls have returned!" Kitty screamed.

"Calm yourself, sister," Mary said, her voice dead. She was either keeping a cool head or had retreated into catatonia, it was hard to tell which. "We should not be hasty in our judgments."

"Hasty? Hasty?" Lydia pointed at the very undead Mr. Ford. "He's sitting up in his coffin!"

Mary stared back at her blankly. "We don't know he's a dreadful, though.

But Elizabeth did know. Mr. Bennet could see it in her eyes -- because now she was staring at him.

She didn't grasp the whole truth of it. How could she, when he'd been forced to keep it from her for so long? Yet this much would be obvious to a clear-thinking, level-headed girl like her: The dreadfuls had returned, and there was more to be done about it than scream. More her father intended to do.

What she couldn't have guessed -- couldn't have possibly dreamed -- was that she herself would be part of the doing.

"Elizabeth," Mr. Bennet said. "Mary. If you would come with me, please."

And he turned away and started toward the altar. Toward the zombie.

The above is an excerpt from the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2010 Steve Hockensmith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Author Bio
Steve Hockensmith is an award-winning novelist and reporter. His debut mystery, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony awards. Critics have hailed the novel and its sequels as "hilarious" (Entertainment Weekly), "dazzling" (The Boston Globe), "clever" (The New York Times), "uproarious" (Publisher's Weekly), "wonderfully entertaining" (Booklist), and "quirky and original" (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). He lives in Alameda, California, with his wife and two children.

For more information, please visit

Don't forget to Drink the Tea

Willis Gidney is a private investigator. If you had told Gidney that he would some day become a PI, he would have laughed in your face. Gidney came from the streets of Washington; D.C. Gidney was a con artist and liar. That all changed when Gidney was taken in by Police Captain Shadrack Davies. Captain Davies helped show Gidney the straight and narrow path. Of course, you can never truly rid Gidney of his old ways. .

Steps Jackson is a famous Jazz saxophonist. He is also a good friend of Gidney’s. Steps asks Gidney to locate his daughter. First Gidney didn’t know Steps had a daughter and second thing; she has been missing for twenty one years. This case will take Gidney to the dangerous and seedy underbelly of the streets of Washington, D.C.

Mr. Kaufman is an Emmy award winning movie director and cameraman. I could see why Mr. Kaufman is at the top of his game. It showed in his debut novel…Drink the Tea. The characters were not just one-dimensional, which made me engaged in the story more. I really liked Willis. He had this rough edge to him from his days on the streets but he also had brain smarts as well. Mr. Kaufman through out some well placed twists in this plot. I was only about a third of the way into this book when I encountered the first surprise. I am not giving anything away, so if you want to know what it is, then you will just have to pick up a copy of this book for your self.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila

Jaclyn shares the story of her family and how they fought battles against the Nazis and each other.

Jaclyn’s mother, Channa Perschowski was born in a small town in Poland. Jaclyn’s father, Nathan Polczer came from a large family. When Channa was a little girl, she and her family fled from the Nazis. She later traveled to New York with some friends.

On January 29, 1948, Nathan Polctzer became Nathan Poltzer. He boarded a ship for New York. Once in New York, he found that his family didn’t really want him.

While attending a dance, Nathan meets Channa. Later they get married and have five children. Jaclyn and her brothers grow up…get married and have children of their own. Sadly when Channa dies, Jaclyn learns that sometimes the blood between families can be tainted.

Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila is inspired by author, Jeannette Katzir’s own experiences as a Holocaust survivor. I thought that Mrs. Katzir did a good job portraying life back then during World War II and the Holocaust. I always have found a fascination with reading stories in regards to the Holocaust. Some of my favorites were The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. I thought that this book fit nicely somewhere in the middle. While I enjoyed reading this book, I only became attached to a few people in this book and they were Channa, Nathan and Jaclyn. Not to say that the rest of the people won’t interesting but I just liked Channa, Nathan and Jaclyn better. So when the story pertained to them, I was more engaged in the story. Which is why at times, it seemed that the story dragged a bit. Overall, though, Broken Birds does fly with emotion and sorrow.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Enzo may be a dog but don’t tell him that. Enzo is a human trapped in a dog’s body. Enzo’s owner is Denny. Denny is a race car driver. He has mastered the art of racing in the rain. Denny tells Enzo you have to imagination that you are walking on egg shells. Enzo loves Denny and enjoys watching Denny’s video tapes of his races. What Enzo didn’t like at first was Eve. Denny started dating her and they eventually got married. Come join Enzo as he shares about his family.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is the second book I have read by Mr. Stein. I absolutely fell in love with this book. I am happy to report that it lives up to all the hype and good reviews and more. Enzo warmed my heart. The relationship he and Denny shared was priceless. I used to have a Yellow Labrador named Patriot, whom I would communicate with as if he was human and could understand every word I said to him. This book was very character driven and filled with lots of heart and emotions. I could not get enough of Enzo. It was nice having everything told through Enzo’s eyes. My favorite part was when Denny took Enzo for a ride in his race car.