Friday, April 29, 2011

Heads You Lose will have you looking at crime, mystery novels in a whole new way.

Paul and Lacey Hansen are brother and sister. They live in Mercer. Population 1, 280. Paul and Lacey were flipping a coin to see who would be taking out the trash. Lacey lost. While taking out the trash, Lacey stumbles upon a headless body. Usually in this type of situation, someone would call the police but there is just one problem…Lacey and Paul are the main marijuana suppliers in town. So this leaves only one other option…dump the body. Things are fine until the body reappears. Paul and Lacey are on the case.

Heads You Lose is a rip-roaring, hilarious collaboration by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. I am a huge mystery fan. I am a huge mystery fan. I am always looking for how an author is going to try to do something different or put a new twist on these types of books. There is only so much you can do like revealing the identity of the killer or how to kill someone off. So when I read Heads You Lose, I was pleased to see that this book was not in the traditional format of a mystery novel. This book was unique, in the sense that you got to read the author’s thoughts about each other’s chapters. This book got funnier and funnier as I was reading it. The jabs that the authors took at each other were flipping comical. Heads You Lose will have you looking at crime, mystery novels in a whole new way.

Six Moon Summer

Review by Nancy
Rylie absolutely did not want to go to camp for the summer. She was a city girl, she liked art and museums and her friends – IN THE CITY. Even if her parents were in the middle of a divorce why shouldn’t she get to stay home?

When you’re not 16 yet the parents make your choices, even if they aren’t the best. Spending her first week playing sick, staying away from her shrewish roomies and writing in her diary doesn’t prepare Rylie for what happens to her the night she tries to run away. Nothing would have.

Meeting a boy named Seth does wonders for Rylie’s mood but, like her; Seth is much more than he seems. Her roomies settle down after one girl-fight between Rylie and the head shrew named Amber. The mood at the camp is one of fun, marshmallows and cocoa. And something in the night that hunts humans.

S. M. Reine has pegged teenage angst just right. Rylie is an outsider, picked last and nothing can change that. The campers are done well, too – rich girls and boys playing their summer away. A well-written tale with a splendid plot that my niece will love, if she can get it away from me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

hard-hitting characters, a strong story line, and a craving for more!

Chris Massi grew up with a huge burden on his shoulders. His father was a Mafia assassin and his father-in-law was a legend in the Mafia world. Chris has tried his hardest to stay out of his father’s world. Chris became an attorney. Lately, Chris is wondering if he has sheltered his son, Matt enough from the Mafia world. Matt has been acting like a prince. As if Chris does not have enough on his plate with his son, his disbarment from law; Chris learns some new that will bring him back into a world that he wanted nothing to do with.

Michelle Mathias is a junkie. Her room mate was just murdered. When Chris comes into her life, Michelle thinks about cleaning up her life.

Sons and Princes is the latest novel from author, James LePore. If you have not read a book from Mr. LePore you are missing out. Chris was such a solid character. He had great depth. He was like the hero in this story. I was cheering for him to come up on top. I didn’t think Michelle was as strong as Chris but I still did like her. She did have strength, even when the odds were against her. This book was split into several different sections that really focused on the many, different characters and their story lines. I liked this. It really helped to draw me into the characters. Sons and Princes brings me back to what I love about Mr. LePore…hard-hitting characters, a strong story line, and a craving for more!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Come discover Buried Secrets!

Joseph Finder introduced Nick Heller, a “private spy” who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden, to widespread acclaim from the critics and wild enthusiasm from the readers, in theNew York Times bestselling novel Vanished. Now, in Buried Secrets, Nick Heller returns, finding himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that’s both high-profile and intensely personal.

Nick has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he’s urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick’s help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the internet. She’s been left with a limited supply of food and water and, if her father doesn’t meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she’ll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus’s business. He’s being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus’s daughter. But to find out who’s holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why. Once he does, he uncovers an astonishing conspiracy that reaches far beyond anything he could have imagined. And if he’s going to find Alexa in time, he will have to flush out and confront some of his deadliest opponents ever.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Giveaway

What starts out as a leisurely trail ride turns into a terrifying afternoon when Alex and Leslie see a plume of smoke rising in the trees. After saving the neighbor's horses from a horrible fate, the two teens must run through the burning woods and get back to Green Meadow before it's too late. On the way, they encounter a strange horse wandering through the woods by itself, and it follows them home. Leslie soon becomes attached to "Spark" when she can't find his owner...but will she get to keep him, or will someone come forward to claim the horse she has come to love?

Readers of Bubba to the Rescue will enjoy an exciting story, but they will also learn about the care and showing of horses while they read about Leslie's adventures. Bubba to the Rescue is the second of the Riders of Green Meadow series, which will showcase horses that are unwanted by one person but are another's dream come true. This installment also digs into the problems that today's teenagers face, like boyfriend troubles and a widowed father who remarries.

Enter here

Sunday, April 24, 2011

If a Dog Could Blog

Meet Princess Lola LeDeaux aka Killer. She lived with the Breeden Garcia family for eleven years, before she left this Earth. In that time though, Killer kept a journal. Now in If a Dog Could Blog, Killer’s journal entries are shared.

If a Dog Could Blog is a fun, quick read. This is a perfect book to remember a loved animal. I enjoyed reading about the different adventures, smells, animals, etc that Killer encountered. The illustrations in this book are well done. They helped to tell the story. The blog entries were as if I was seeing things through Killer’s eyes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Paper Garden

Mary Delany was born to Colonel Bernard Granville and Mary Granville. She grew up in a moderate home. She learned several different languages and took a liking to paper cutting. It wasn’t until she was married to Mr. Delany that Mary revisiting her artist side and her paper cutting. At this time Mary was seventy-two years old. The artwork Mary produced gained her lots of praise. Mary would cut out fake flowers or other items out of paper and than recreate beautiful artwork. She called her artwork “Paper Mosaiks”.

I did like this book. At times it even read a bit like an instruction manual. This is because the author was detailed in her description of Mary’s artwork. While on one hand, I enjoyed this and on the other hand at times I felt like the book moved at a really slow pace. For me I didn’t read every chapter. I did at first but after a while, I sort of skimmed parts and than picked up again towards the end. I did not feel like I missed anything by doing this. Molly Peacock seemed very enthusiastic in regards to Mary and her artwork. In turn this helped make this book an interesting read versus a dull one. Towards the end of each chapter, the author would interject some of her experiences or inspirations. The portraits displayed throughout this book are beautiful. I wish I could show you some of the pictures but I guess if you really want to see them you will have to pick up a copy of this book for yourself.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blackberry Crumble

After being involved in helping to solve several murder cases, Sadie Hoffmiller has gained a reputation. A reputation that Sadie would rather not have. Unfortunately for Sadie, the harder she tries to not get involved, she always seems to fine herself in the wrong place, no matter what she does. Sadie’s reputation has caused the townsfolk to gossip even more. Also Sadie, is trying to figure what where she and her boyfriend, Peter Cunningham are in their relationship. So when, May Sanderson wants to hire Sadie to travel with her to Portland, Oregon to help solve her father’s murder, Sadie decides this might be the break she needs to get away from it all for a little while.

I like this series. Blackberry Crumble is the latest yummy, treat in the Culinary Mysteries series. Sadie is a fun character. She is just your normal, everyday woman who just wants to bake, have a boyfriend, and solve a few murder cases on the side. While, this book took a little longer for me to get into it, I still did like it. Once it picked up, I had fun reading about all the mayhem that Sadie got into. It is amazing how Sadie solves a murder as it is like she does it purely by accident. An added bonus that comes with each of these books are the delicious recipes inserted throughout the book. For example, there is always the featured recipe that goes with the title of the book. In this case for Blackberry Crumble, the featured recipe was…Blackberry Muffin Tops.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I would go slow dancing again with author Lisa Dale.

When Thea and Jonathan divorced, the rumors started. In a small town like Price’s Pier, by the evening, everyone knew about Thea and Jonathan. Thea and Jonathan’s daughter, Irina is not handling her parent’s divorce so well. Another person that seems to have a grudge with Thea is Jonathan’s brother…Garret.

Fifteen years ago, Garret thought that he and Thea would end up together but instead she married Jonathan. Thea is trying to adjust to the single life again but it isn’t easy when everywhere she turns, Garret is there. Thea has a secret she hasn’t told Garret. How will he react when he learns what Thea has been hiding from him all these years?

I thought that this book had a charming quality to it. While I did like the characters, I must admit that it was predicable. Brothers hanging out with the new girl in town…brothers and the girl grow up…one brother falls for the girl…the other brother must have the girl first…the wrong brother ends up with the girl. I thought Garret was a jerk at first. The way he was mean to Thea. What I realized was Garret was really just vulnerable and scared. He acted out as a way to put his defenses when it came to Thea. Jonathan was too nice. I wanted him to have more of a backbone. Overall, though I did like this book. I would go slow dancing again with author Lisa Dale.

A Cowboy's Touch

Abigail Jones is a workaholic. This is why her mother demands that she go spend the summer with her Aunt Lucy in Moose Creek, Montana. Population…1, 923. The first thing that Abigail has on her mind when she gets there is Wi-Fi. To her devastation, her Aunt has no internet. Though she does inform Abigail that the main house has internet.

Wade Ryan and his daughter, Maddy live in the main house. So when, Maddy takes a liking to Abigail and asks her to be her nanny, Abigail takes her up on the offer. Wi-Fi, here Abigail comes.

A Cowboy’s Touch is book one in the Big Sky Romance series. My favorite person was Maddy. She was full of life and happiness. Plus she still had the innocent of a child that was endearing. Abigail was sweet as well. She was understanding with Maddy and was a good friend to her. The chemistry between Wade and Abigail was slow going. They don’t really make a move until about the last half of the book. Even than it is more on the mild side, which I would expect form this type of book. This book was a nice start to a new series.

The Manufatured Identity

Review by Nancy

If your husband went missing what would you do? Heave a sigh of relief? Cry? Call the police after the appropriate 234 hour time limit? Many Texas women did at least one of these. If you lover went missing? Hope he didn’t die of AIDS? Ask around to your other pals if they have seen him? Go into counseling to work out your (and, presumably, his) issues? Many men and women also did one of these.

Through counseling sessions, Pete Mayberry has worked through at least some questions he has had over his lifetime. Does God love gays? Where will he go – After? What will he tell those he loves and who love him?

Curtis has his own problems. He can’t remember who he is. He does know he had over 10K in his sock when he woke up on a park bench. He knows he wasn’t hurt and has met people who swear they do know him. Counseling isn’t helping him, either as he feels it’s a load of crap.

Brought together by mutual losses, Addy, Lory, Jane and others are madder than sad. Why? Ask Frank, Pete, Curtis, Carson and John, Paul, George and maybe even Ringo. Heath Sommer wrote an interesting case study in this book and if I tell you anymore you won’t have reason to enjoy reading it. A worthwhile hang out on the front porch book just waiting for your attention.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Final Alice

Review by Nancy
This ain’t your average girl down the rabbit hole story folks! Alice is here, ready, willing and able. Tweedles Dee and Dum are bloodthirsty young children. Simmons is here to guide them all – he’s a Stag. And off we go……………….

The Red King is after Alice and he doesn’t really care how he gets her – as long as he does. Alice has been a misfit since birth. Her gr-gr-grandmother was THE ALICE, it seems and has left a task undone. Alice’ boyfriend, Gray, just smiles and tries to keep her happy while not quite getting the whole blood and death thing.

Red King’s minions are everywhere and they are committing horrid crimes against children, each other and humanity in general. Alice, along with her crew of odd folk (plus the deer) goes after them in an attempt to stop the Red King from escaping Wonderland forever.

Excellent plot, splendid characters and, in general, just an over-all decent story to keep you up all night because, after all, this IS Alice!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Already Home is like a slice of warm, apple pie…tasty and satisfying!

Jenna Stevens has moved back home to Texas. After splitting from her ex. Jenna is ready for a brand, new start. What she didn’t expect was to purchase a building. It sounded like a good idea when Jenna purchased the place. She was going to open up a store and sell all kitchen supplies. There is just one problem…Jenna does not know the first thing about retail. Besides Jenna is better in the kitchen. Lucky for Jenna, she finds Violet. Violet has lots of retail experience. Now if only Violet can help teach Jenna to loosen up some.

I have not read many books by author, Susan Mallery. Just because, she writes a lot of contemporary romance stories. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I usually limit myself as to how many of these types of books I read a year. Though, when I read the book summary for this book, I thought it sounded interesting and worth my time. I like to read books that involve cooking. This book could have gone wrong but it ended up just right.

Jenna could have been a downer but she was fun, though a little on the boring side but she was working on that, thanks to her mom and assistant, Violet. My favorite was Violet. She had a bubbly personality that was like a rainbow. Which I think she wore just about every color of the rainbow in some fashion or another. Cliff started out a nice guy but he ended up not so nice in the end. This was a bummer. It was nice to see somehow other than the main character, Jenna get all the attention. Already Home is like a slice of warm, apple pie…tasty and satisfying!

Ten Beach Road scores a perfect ten in my book!

Madeline Singer is tried and needs a break. Unfortunately, Madeline’s life is about to get shook upside down very, quickly. First Madeline receives a shocking surprise, when she learns that her husband was laid off from his job…six months ago. Than Madeline’s daughter, Kyra returns home, only to inform her that she is pregnant. Lastly, Madeline’s husband tells her that they are broke. He invested all their extra money with a man named Malcolm Dyer. Malcolm ends up becoming a Bernie Madoff and leaves the country with their money. Avery Lawford is the host of Hammer and Nail, a remodeling show. Nicole Grant is the founder and owner of Heart Inc., a match making business. The only things that these other two women have in common with Madeline are that they have all been robbed of their money by Malcolm and they are also the joint owners of a beach house. How will these three women survive the summer at Ten Beach Road?

I liked this book a lot. I started it on my lunch hour and before I knew it, I had read almost the whole book. I loved each woman in her own way. Madeline for the strength, she gave to everyone, Nicole for the humor, and Avery for the take charge attitude she had. This book was full of warmth, humor, and love. While I was reading this book, I became so connected with these ladies that I could picture myself right there with them…on the beach, sipping margaritas, and having a few laughs. Ten Beach Road is the perfect beach read or would make a nice selection for your next book club. Ten Beach Road scores a perfect ten in my book!

Q&A with WENDY WAX Author of Ten Beach Road, Magnolia Wednesdays, The Accidental Bestseller and Other Popular Novels.

You grew up in St. Pete Beach and on Pass-a-Grille Beach, yet this is the first time you’ve set a book there? Why TEN BEACH ROAD and not one of your earlier ones?

Actually, Tanya in The Accidental Bestseller got to live in St. Petersburg and on the very last page there are these movie-like blurbs at the end laying out the friends’ futures. Tanya’s rewarded with a home on St. Pete Beach and a sixty foot houseboat. So I guess even two books ago I was nostalgic about life on the water and back on the beach. In Ten Beach Road I put a derelict beachfront mansion at the heart of the story and, frankly, I rarely think ‘beach’ without the words St. Pete or Pass-a-Grille in front of it.

What was it like to grow up “on the beach?” And can you still do cartwheels?

It was wonderful. To this day nothing relaxes me like the feel of hard packed sand beneath my bare feet—I absolutely don’t believe shoes of any kind should be allowed on the beach. Add the sound of waves on the shore and the caw of a seagull (as long as someone’s not feeding it anywhere near me) and I’m happy. I tried hypnosis once to cure a fear of flying and when I had to come up with a relaxing image, that was it. I confess I haven’t tried a cartwheel in a long time. I’m going to be in St. Pete Beach again soon. I’ll have to try one. I’ll just have to make sure no one has a camera out at the time!

You have Madeline, Avery and Nikki escaping from their hard labor and relaxing Gulf side at a beachfront concession stand and other places such as The Cottage Inn. Are any of these real?

Almost everything on Pass-a-Grille in Ten Beach Road is real or a fictionalized version of an actual place. Whenever I’m in town I meet my friend Ingrid for breakfast at The Seahorse, and then we poke around the shops on Eighth Avenue before we walk and talk our way down the beach to the Don CeSar. When I’m in town with my husband and sons, we often have breakfast at the Paradise Grille, which used to be a concession stand, and then walk back to wherever we’re staying. There’s also The Hurricane, which I’ve been going to since childhood, The Brass Monkey right on Gulf Way overlooking the beach, and The Black Palm, which I’ve heard great things about. There’s also a really neat artists’ collective called A Little Room for Art, where I’ve bought gifts and things for the house. And of course Evander Preston’s custom designed jewelry and Shadrack’s, an old school beach bar, have been sitting right near each other on Eighth Avenue pretty much forever. The fictional Cottage Inn sits where the real Island’s End is located. And I did ‘mentally’ knock down a condo on the spot I wanted for the fictional Bella Flora on the southwestern tip of Pass-a-Grille. The magnificent view from Bella Flora is very real.

OK, Madeline, Avery and Nicole enjoy margaritas (frozen and not), sunsets over the Gulf, sunrises over Boca Ciega Bay, pressed Cuban sandwiches—the list goes on. It begs the question—how much of TEN BEACH ROAD is autobiographical?

My affection for St. Pete Beach and Pass-a-Grille is very real. I hope that comes across in Ten Beach Road. However the story itself and the things that happen to those particular characters are a product of my imagination. As to the sunsets, they didn’t recently name St. Pete Beach the “Sunset Capital of Florida” for nothing. Do you believe that setting plays a more important role in this novel than in other of your books?

Definitely. I could have put Madeline, Avery and Nicole’s sole remaining ‘asset’ anywhere, but I think this particular setting contributes a lot to the story and the protagonists’ friendship and growth. Another setting would have demanded a very different kind of house and a very different experience for the main characters. And, of course, you can’t conjure up a threatening hurricane just anywhere. As much as I believe in the importance of setting, I still tend to be spare in my descriptions of places and people. That’s mostly because, as a reader, I don’t enjoy tons of information about setting or character appearance. I only want the bare bones so that I can envision things myself. You include glimpses of many different architectural styles that are an important part of the ambiance of St. Pete Beach and especially the Pass-A-Grille historic district. Which appeal to you most? If you were to build your dream house, what would it look like? And who among Florida’s architects past and present would you want to design it?

I’m very drawn to clean lines and contemporary ‘airiness.’ When I first started antiquing ages ago with my sister, I was repeatedly drawn to Art Deco furniture and accessories, a style that Avery really loves. Architecturally, I’ve always admired the Arts and Crafts Bungalow and I’m a great admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. While researching Ten Beach Road, I toured a number of wonderful homes in northeast St. Petersburg and absolutely fell in love with the Mediterranean-Revival style of architecture, which was so popular in Florida and California in the 1920s. I read a history of Addison Mizner, who was responsible for transforming Palm Beach architecture. I was fortunate enough to tour the one Mizner on the west coast of Florida. The owner shared a lot of her personal restoration stories and experiences, which really helped me flesh out my characters’ experiences with Bella Flora. I’d love to live in a historically significant home—but only if I had the wherewithal to pay professionals to restore it. No one in our family is allowed to own tools.

As TEN BEACH ROAD progresses, you expand the cast of characters, adding Madeline’s pregnant twentysomething daughter Kyra and Chase’s two teenage sons. Is this the first of your novels to give a large role to the children of one of your protagonists? When you first gave Kyra a voice, did you know that she would evolve into a fully developed character and contribute so much to the story?

I have actually had strong secondary characters in many of my other books and typically work with a large ‘cast of characters.’ Sometimes it’s planned, but other times characters do seem to grab on and become more than I initially intended. Lacy in The Accidental Bestseller was one of those; she was originally only meant as an insult to Kendall, but became the fairy godmother of the story—that person who still believed in the power and purpose of publishing. In Ten Beach Road there are five women, all very important to the story, who spend the summer at Bella Flora. I must admit by the time I finished I was swearing my next book would be a single character written from one point of view. But of course, that’s not at all what seems to be happening. You’re known for exploring the importance of women’s friendships in your work. In Magnolia Wednesdays, Vivi seemed to have to learn how to be a friend. In The Accidental Bestseller, four women may have been guilty of taking the strength of their friendship for granted. In TEN BEACH ROAD you seem to be taking a closer look at issues such as trust, risk taking, honesty, and mother/daughter relationships.

Do you agree? Did you start out in this direction? Or did the characters take you there?

I don’t start out with ‘themes’ in mind, but I seem to have some issues that I keep coming back to. In fact, I’ve had a number of interviewers point out that I seem to keep writing about ‘secrets.’ When asked why, I didn’t have an answer, so I now say “that’s a secret.” The mother-daughter relationships in Ten Beach Road were intentional, but I didn’t know how they’d play out until I began writing. Watching a story and characters evolve in unexpected ways is one of my favorite parts of the process. There are a lot of things you simply can’t know or imagine about characters until you’ve spent time with them.

Did your past life as host of the Tampa radio program Desperate and Dateless have anything to do with you choosing matchmaking as Nicole’s high-profile career?

Well, I’d like to say yes but the truth is I was a radio person who ended up hosting Desperate & Dateless back when I was both of those things. Nicole was inspired by an article or two I saw, which led me to a book about a real dating guru/matchmaker. I was kind of fascinated with the idea of making a living that way. I made her a matchmaker to the affluent, because I wanted her rise from poverty to be marked, and the loss of her fortune deeply emotional.

Can you tell us anything about your next book? Setting? Situations? When it may be published?

My next book, currently titled Reality Check, is scheduled for release in June 2012. Two estranged friends living very different lives are about to mix it up in ways they never could have imagined—but I did!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Come be scared with Enclave

Ann Aguirre, author of the Corine Solomon Series & the Sirantha Jax Series, releases her first -ever Young Adult dystopian novel, 'Enclave':

"New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Across Eternity

Review by Nancy What if you only had one love for all of your lives? What if you keep meeting again and again during each reincarnation from Roman times to present? How would you react? How would you explain it to the other person who is completely innocent of it all?

Across Eternity answers these questions and more. Logan Richards met Amber when he was three and she had yet to be born this time around. She was his waitress and they felt an immediate “knowing” that they kinda sorta knew each other. But they had never met in this lifetime. Logan knows everything about Amber and she has little knowledge of him. She doesn’t even know he owns the restaurant!

A chance meeting turns into a time of revealing. Amber doesn’t really know if she should play along with Logan or not but, after several weeks together; she comes full circle and understands it all. But does she make this discovery in time? Excellent writing, splendid characters and beautiful descriptions of the world. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to rereading it with more knowledge than I had the first time around.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim

I am familiar with the story of Huckleberry Finn but I was not familiar with the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim. This is why I chose to read this book and the fact that I have been recently all into everything zombies. While I did appreciate Mr. Czolgosz attempting to re-write a classic, I was expecting more. Or course, I am not saying that this book could ever become a classic like the original but I was hoping for more flesh-eating zombie action and light-heartlessness.

Instead, I got a nice story with the same characters, I grew up with expect for Jim, who is a zombie. This book stayed pretty close to the original. Because I already knew this story, I kept wishing for it to move faster. So I skimmed over the last half of the book. Overall, I got more of a nibble than the whole feast.

Monster Story

Review by Nancy. Sorry no book cover.

Coming home for her grandmother’s funeral was something Christy MacCauley really didn’t want to do. She’d left a few years ago never intending to return. However, her gramma had been a good influence in Christy’s life and she felt she needed to say good-bye. She didn’t expect Gramma to leave her cabin, bank accounts and 30 acres of land to her! Her father wasn’t too thrilled as the land way ‘way to hell and gone out of town, all by its lonesome.

At the same time, hunters are being brutally murdered out by Misty Lake – pretty close to the cabin Christy just inherited. Also, in the fancier part of town Maria Fullard, widow of a judge is thinking it quite odd that someone had broken into the house and stolen things of Harold’s, nothing of hers. How does this all come together? Well, kids, hang onto your chairs because Monster Story will take you into really gory explanations of all of the above!

This book literally scared the bejesus out of me! It takes a lot to do that but McCarty Griffin managed – in spades. If you enjoy every-light-in the-house-on, come-up-behind-me-and-you’ll-get-popped, gasp-when-the-cat-jumps-on-the-bed books – this is the one for you. As some odd voiced guy used to say “You’ll be UP ALL NIGHT!” Seriously, this is one of the best horror stories I’ve had the pleasure to read and review. If you read the genre you’ll love it.

Her Own Best Enemy

Review by Nancy

Her Own Best Enemy
does not disappoint. Cynthia Justin has written a great story of love not fought for, families torn apart, friends who are enemies and vice versa. Taking all she has, Grace Stevens steps into the bar and confronts her past. Keith King, the man she loved and still does is the only one who can help her find her son, Ryker - taken by her ex-husband, Mark, who is far more than he seems.

Grace is much stronger than Keith thought. He trains bad-ass men to deal with bad-ass situations and somehow has come under fire for selling secrets to the enemy. Truth be told, he’s been working with Mark to discover the real culprit and them Mark took a powder. She keeps up with his hardest pace, hikes to the bottom of Grand Canyon, hangs from high places and shoots to kill. His kind of girl.

If only she had been his kind of girl in high school. If only her sister hadn’t been assaulted that night. If only Mark had told them the truth. If only…..If this is the only book you read this Spring, you won’t be sorry as the tale unfolds and old loves may just become new again.

The Mozart Conspiracy is both music to by ears and a breath of fresh air!

It has been two months since, famous opera performer, Leigh Llewellyn’s brother, Oliver passed away. Oliver was in Austria conducting research on Mozart. He had come up with the theory that Mozart was murdered by the Freemasons. Leigh decides to pick up where her brother left off. She is joined by her former flame and former British Special Air Service Officer, Ben Hope. What Leigh and Ben discover will have them running for their lives.

The Mozart Conspiracy is both music to by ears and a breath of fresh air! This book is the second Ben Hope novel but the first one I have read. It can be read as a stand alone novel. The first book is The Alchemist Secret. I have read many mystery/thriller novels and while there were some flaws, for the most part this book was right on par. The beginning started out at a rapid pace but than the story line started to slow down and than it would pick up again when it would flash to the past. I thought the ending was alright. Though, I liked that author, Scott Mariani played on the idea of a famous icon like Mozart being murdered. I do plan to check out the first book.

There is something magical and fun to be discovered in The Kitchen Daughter!

Ginny Selvaggio has Asperger’s syndrome. It is a disorder that causes people to not be able to communicate sociably and effectively with other people. Unfortunately, there is no cure currently. For this reason, Ginny is very protected by her older sister, Amanda. When Ginny and Amanda’s parents die, Ginny seeks solace within the confines of the kitchen. There Ginny finds old recipes. She takes to trying them out. The first one is a recipe for the “Best Ribollita”. The recipe was Ginny’s Italian grandmother’s. The smell of the “Ribollita” summons Ginny’s grandmother. Soon, Ginny is visited by other ghosts of the past. Ginny is hoping that she can summon her parents.

The Kitchen Daughter is the debut novel from new author, Jael McHenry. Instantly, I fell in love with Ginny. Her disorder did not affect her in anyway from living a normal life or doing the things she loved. I felt sorry for the rest of the family that they worried more about Ginny and life than to sit back for a moment and enjoy the little things. I loved Ginny’s grandmother. She was pure Italian. There was quite the electric cast of characters that make appearances in this book. The recipes featured throughout this book had my mouth watering. I now have to try out every recipe. This is the time when I actually wish that with every recipe there was a scratch and sniff by the recipe so that I could smell the wonderful scents and not just envision them in my head. There is something magical and fun to be discovered in The Kitchen Daughter! I look forward to more to come from Ms. McHenry.

Starcraft: Devil’s Due is out of this world!

Jim Raynor and Tychus may have just hit their biggest’s mark yet...a Confederate cargo train. Jim and Tychus make off with heir goods including Confederate credits and a Jukebox.

To be honest, I am a computer game junkie. Though, I have not played the Starcraft games as much as Diablo or World of Warcraft. So, what drew me to this book was first the cover, I thought it was cool looking, second…the fact that it is based around the game, and third…I read the book summary and thought it sounded good. I have however read several books from author, Christie Golden. You can tell she is a dedicated gamer as well. She really brings the characters to life and as well as the story. It is as if you stepped into the game. I thought that Tychus and Raynor worked well together. They have each other’s backs. Tychus and Raynor reminded me of good ole fashion outlaws but the ones that everyone wanted to win. Starcraft: Devil’s Due is out of this world!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Everyone needs some Redemption and you can fine it in this book!

Detective Jane Perry is trying to bring down the bad guys one at a time and on her terms. When an undercover sting operation goes wrong, Jane finds herself in desperate need of money and fast. So when Katherine “Kit” Clark from Jane’s “AA” meeting group offers to hire Jane to track down a serial killer in California, the offer is too good for Jane to pass up.

Redemption is the second Jane Perry novel. It can be read as a stand alone novel. Right from the beginning, this book did not hold back. Jane can out swing and hard. Jane is just like one of the guys, which is a good thing. Jane and Kit made a great pair. They reminded me a little bit like Thelma and Louise. Jane as the crazy, unpredictable Louise and Kit as Thelma looking for an adventure. Jane plays be her own rules and if you aren’t with her than you better watch your back, that she doesn’t put a bullet in it. This book kept a pretty, evenly fast pace. The ending was strong. A surprise was seeing my hometown listed not once but several times in this book. Grand Junction, Colorado is not a town that is usually mentioned when stories take place in Colorado. I have a new favorite author in Laurel Dewey. Everyone needs some Redemption and you can fine it in this book!

The Kindness Experiment

Review by Nancy (Fellow reviewer and my friend)

One of the nicest things about The Kindness Experiment is that some of each pur4chase of this goes to Heifer Internatonal. If you don’t know about this wonderful charity, look it up, you will be amazed! This book has 365 stories and each of them has it’s own lesson to be learned. The author set out to perform one random act of kindness each day and the book gives us his recollections of his good works.

My favorite (I think, there were many) was Act 49: The Snow Angel. This isn’t really a spoiler because each day has its own tale but the author goes out on a slippery, nasty day to lock a lady’s car as she is afraid she will slip and fall. The quote at the end of this one is by Kin Hubbard and states “Don’t knock the weather. Nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in awhile.” Too true!

This is a feel-good collection of good deeds done, hopefully reciprocated by paying them forward and will surely open your eyes to a splendid concept: Do something nice for someone. You don’t have to know them, you just have to do it!

Ghellow Road

Review by Nancy (Fellow reviewer and friend)

Tera Waters had a hell of a childhood and in Ghellow Road we learn more about it than may really be good for us. It sure wasn’t good for her! Born to a schizophrenic mother and a father who didn’t really want to be there she grew up feeling unwanted, unloved and was basically both. Her brother had the sense to leave home when in his early teens but, Tera – well Tera hung in there, just like the loyal family dog. Not matter how bad you treat him, he always comes back.

That doesn’t sound too flattering and it isn’t meant to be but my heart broke everytime Rainy (Mom) went away for awhile to “rest”. I cried everytime Tera got schlepped off to a relative for whoknowshowlong. I cheered when she had the nerve to finally break away and make a life for herself with an aunt who loved her. Even though her mother really couldn’t help it and even though this was ‘way before current psych drugs doing their thing it was an absolutely horrid way to grow up.

Ghellow Road should be read. And possibly reread. Then go call your mom who you haven’t spoken to in awhile and tell her you love her. Call your children as well. Tera didn’t hear it enough and you need to help make up for that somehow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"sexy back” in witches with Demon’s are a Girl’s Best Friend!

Meet Maggie O'Malley. Maggie works for the Hellion Guard. A secretive law enforcement branch that deals in the unusual. Maggie's latest assignment is to provide protection to Declan and his club the Damnation Alley. The Alley has a demon portal. It seems that the Mayans have interest in the portal and that is not all they are interested in. They have targeted a human girl for their sacrifice. Can a demon and a witch really work together?

I am a fan of Linda Wisdom. I love her other witch series. This time she brings..."sexy back" in witches with Demon's are a Girl's Best Friend! This book reads more like urban fantasy than paranormal. It is darker and edgier. Maggie can kick some serious butt and look good doing it at the same time. Declan and Maggie was smoking together. Declan was such a big, burly man that he needed a woman or witch like Maggie. Maggie and Declan fed off each other. Who knew that a demon and a witch would make a perfect match? Ms. Wisdom did of course. I can not wait to read Undercover Demon, book two.

The Goodbye Quilt is a heart-warming, sweet, fun, quick read.

Linda Davis can not believe her grown daughter; Molly is heading off to college. Linda does not want Molly to leave. Linda is not ready to say goodbye to Molly, so instead she decides to drop Molly off at college. Linda also comes up with the idea of making a heritage quilt for Molly as a keepsake. Linda and Molly head off for an adventure that they will never forget.

The Goodbye Quilt is a heart-warming, sweet, fun, quick read. This book is the perfect weekend read. Mothers and Daughters can relate to this book. It was funny as Linda thought she still had a lot to teach Molly but it was really Molly who had something to teach her mother. The act of loving and letting go. I really felt like I got to know Molly and Linda on a personal level through the memories. It was nice getting to know Molly as a little girl. The freak out moment Linda had about wanting to adopt a child from Haiti was funny. Her husband is the rock and he calmed Linda down. This book made me interested in wanting to learn how to quilt. This book is worth your money.

Cowboy Fever did make my temperature rise!

Jody Bryce has returned home. She has not been back since; she left to become Miss Rodeo Wyoming. Jody is famous. Though Jody wants to put her Miss Rodeo Wyoming days behind her and have a fresh start. Her main focus now is trying to get people to help her with her therapy riding horse clinic for children.

Teague Treadwell can remember the day that Jody left. Now here she is all grown up. Teague has noticed a change in Jody. She is no longer about looking beautiful all the time. Teague still has feelings for Jody but will he make the first move?

While I am a sucker for a good cowboy book, I thought that this book was alright. Not to say that Jody and Teague weren’t god together, as they were. I just thought this book was more on the sweeter side and I was looking for a little more. The romance between Jody and Teague was drawn throughout the story until the last half of the book. Of course, this had something to do with Courtney draping herself all over Teague. I wanted Teague to have a bigger back bone and tell Courtney off sooner. I do plan to read author, Joanne Kennedy’s next cowboy book. I have read her prior novels and enjoyed them. Cowboy Fever did make my temperature rise!

Rock Hard. I already have purchased my pass for the whole tour!

Jessica Chase thought she has the perfect life. She had a sexy; boyfriend named Sed Lionheart and had just gotten accepted to law school. That all change when Sed gave Jessica an ultimatum…him or law school. Jessica walked out of Sed’s life.

Present Day.

Jessica is doing the best she can to put herself through law school. Sed is the led singer of the rock band, Sinners. Sed can have any woman he wants and he usually does but the one woman that will always haunt his dreams is the one that got away…Jessica. When Sed and the rest of the Sinners go to a strip club to celebrate Brian’s last night as a single man, Sed receives a shocking surprise. There dancing on stage is Jessica. Sed hops onto the stage and whisks Jessica away. Myrna, Brian’s wife offers Jessica a job as her assistant. This would mean that Jessica will be seeing more of Sed. Will Sed and Jessica have a happy ending or will they end up with broken hearts again?

Rock Hard is the second book in the Sinners on Tour series. This book can be read as a stand along novel but I would recommend starting with book one, Backstage Pass, as you are going to love these books. I thought the first book was hot but this book is even hotter. Sed and Jessica just oozed sex. They could not keep their hands off each other. Jessica and Sed were meant for each other and not just because of the chemistry they shared. They are both bullheaded. I already have purchased my pass for the whole tour! I can not wait for book three.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Vampire Voss

Viscount Dewhurst otherwise known as Voss usually strays from the spotlight. Voss is also part of an exclusive member of the Dracule. Members of Dracule are gentlemen that have been branded with a mark to show that they have given up their souls and became…yep, you guessed it…vampires.

Angelica and her two sisters are under the care of Lord Corvindale, while their brother Cas is gone. Angelica and her sisters are gifted with the gift of “sight.” Angelica embraces the gift, while he sisters depise their gifts. Voss and Lord Corvindale hate each other. So when Voss meets Angelica and learns she has the gift of sight, he plans to use her to get at Lord Corvindale. Voss is surprised by the feelings he has towards Angelica.

I have been a fan of Mrs. Gleason’s, since her Garden Vampire Chronicles series. Her newest trilogy, the Regency Draculia is off to a great start. I thought Voss and Angelica made a nice couple. Angelica is independent and not afraid to speak her mind. Voss on the other hand is not used to a woman like Angelica and needs someone like her in his life. This is why I thought that they made a good couple together. There was not a lot of romance going on in this book but that is alright with me. If there had been a lot of romance, I don't think I would have liked this book as much. The element I liked the most was the historical aspect. It took me back in time and I felt like I was experiencing everything through Angelica’s eyes. The Vampire Voss is one tasty delight. Seconds please!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rock Bottom is rock solid!

Angela Joy Palladino used to be called “The People’s Champion”. This is because she fought for the people and what was right, no matter what the odds were against her. Angela had a good life. She worked as a radio personality. That is until a fatal incident left Angela packing up all her belongings and her son, David and moving back home. A place that she left ten years ago and did not look back.

Angela is ready to start over. When Angela’s new boss is murdered. Things go from good to bad real quickly. Angela teams up with her boss’s daughter, Elizabeth to solve her father’s murder. Some people in town don’t appreciate Angela sticking her nose where it does not belong. Angela better watch her back or she will end up buried ten feet under ground.

Rock Bottom is the first book I have read by Ms. Brockovich. Though, I am familiar with who she is and what she does. I am a fan of CJ Lyons. Her medical suspense novels are good. Together, I thought that these two women made a great duo. I could not tell where one author left off and the other one picked up. I liked Angela. She is tough but at the same time, she just wants to be a good mother to her son. This made her more human in my eyes. I liked the topic that Ms. Brockovich based this book on. It is an interesting one but an important one…environmental issues and the effects on the land, people and animals. I can not wait to see what next issue Angela battles. Rock Bottom is rock solid!

Mr. Connelly does it again

Mickey Haller works as a criminal defense attorney. Business has been slow for Mickey, since the shift in the economy has gone downhill. This does not mean that crime has decreased as there will always be people in need of a good attorney. It just means that people are utilizing public defenders more than usual. Because even Mickey needs to make some money, he has recently taken on helping people fight against the big banks, who are about to foreclose on their home.

Lisa Trammel is a client of Mickey’s. She has just been charged with murder. It does not look good for Lisa. She is being accused of murdering a man at the bank. The same man who was about to force Lisa out of her home. Mickey comes to her aid to defend her. There is just one problem…Mickey does not know if he believes Lisa is innocent.

The Fifth Witness is the fourth Mickey Haller novel. Mr. Connelly does it again. The only thing that I “witnessed” reading, The Fifth Witness was …brilliance! I swallowed this book whole and had read about half way through this book before I put it down and walked away from it for a moment. I like Mickey. He is smart, tactful, a people’s attorney and an all around good guy. Lisa was a surprise. A nice surprise. I thought Mickey and Lisa played well off each other. They helped build off each other. There was a good, steady pace throughout this book with a few twists along the way. I can not wait to read the nest Mickey Haller novel.

Monday, April 4, 2011

If you want to rope yourself a winning read than pick up a copy of Texas Blue today!

Lewton Preston jokingly tells his good friend and ranger, Duncan McMurray that he would make s good husband to one of his cousins. Duncan tells Lewt that he is not husband material. This upsets Lewt. Duncan has found three male suitors for his cousins. They will me traveling to the Whisper Mountain Ranch tomorrow. Lewt cons one of the suitors into taking his place. Now all Lewt has to do is learn the ranch life and win one of the McMurray’s women’s hands in marriage.

Emily is the only one of the three sisters, who is less than thrilled that Duncan has sent suitors for them. Rose and Beth can have the men. Em has no interest in every getting married. She would rather stay on the ranch and take care of the horses. Em pays a friend to pretend to be her for a week. When Em is asked by Lewt to teach him about ranching, she will be put to the ultimate test.

Texas Blue is the fifth Whispering Mountains novel. It can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone novel. The best part of reading a Jodi Thomas novel is…the love and passion she brings to the story and characters. I absolutely fell in love with Lewt and Em. Lewt because he thought he was quite the ladies man but in a charming way and Em because she has a feisty personality and she kept Lewt in line. As I was reading this book, I could imagine myself at the ranch. Too bad that the ranch, Em, Lewt and the rest of the McMurrays don’t exist. They would be great people to hang out with. I guess that I will jut have to settle for visiting with them in the books. If you want to rope yourself a winning read than pick up a copy of Texas Blue today! You won’t regret it.